Streaks.

What are those? he asked, tracing the purple streaks on my hips.

Stretch marks, I said, a blush filling my cheeks.

He sensed my shame and he kissed those streaks and said he loved them, just like he loved the rest of my body.

It wasn’t contrived like you’d expect. It was exactly what I needed; what I thought I’d asked for from him but never received.

I was grateful he’d never answered Polo when I’d called Marco in the past. He instead gave what he wanted to give in that moment.

That made it all the more real and precious.