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 Samba de Janeiro, February 23rd | 11 am | Closed
Mimic
 Posted: Feb 15 2018, 02:28 PM
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It was still early in the morning as Calvin made his way into the master bedroom of the apartment he had been sharing with Sunspot for just over two weeks now. He had just finished having breakfast with Berto - or rather, Cal had breakfast while his love had his usual café de monhã that still made the Mimic wonder how anyone managed to make it until lunchtime on - and had suggested the other man go get ready to head out because there were plans. Plans that he had then acted very coy about, because what Cal had in mind was supposed to be a surprise. It was a visit to Rio de Janeiro, to enjoy a few days of its famous carnival, something he had plotted out behind his boyfriend's back with both Reece and Estevao, the head of household of the Costa estate back in Rio. The former to arrange for transportation quick enough to make a trip of only four days viable, the latter to ensure that the estate and its staff would be prepared for them.

Grabbing the two bags he had already prepared the day before from the back of their spacious walk-in closet, Calvin made his way back into the living room and flopped down on the couch to wait for his love, the bags set down on the floor. When Berto came into the room again, freshly showered and dressed, his gaze dropping to the bags briefly before coming up to meet his own again, Calvin shrugged lightly and flashed his love a smile. "I'm still not telling you what we're doing." He paused for a few seconds then, brow furrowing slightly as he worked out something he wanted to add in Beto's native tongue. It was a lot harder now that he no longer had his telepathy to cheat with, but that didn't really matter to his love. Any attempt at Portuguese seemed to score a perfect ten. "É um segredo," he said cheekily after his moment of consideration, giving Berto a little wink. It really was a secret, one that Calvin could barely stand to keep, but after managing for several days now he wasn't going to cave just short of the finish line.

The necessity for secrecy was almost at its end when a flash of pink signalled Reece's arrival to Berto's apartment. Impatient as he was to get to the actual reveal of what he had been planning for them, Calvin wasted no time grabbing the bags off the floor and rising to his feet. "Thanks so much for agreeing to help out, Reece," Cal told his friend as he reached out to take the hand of his love. "Come on, amorzinho," he said, smiling broadly, "you're going to love this." Of that, Calvin had no doubt. As the large pink portal appeared in front of them, Calvin gave Berto's hand a soft squeeze and stepped forward, nodding appreciatively towards Reece before disappearing.

--

Stepping out on the other side of the portal, Calvin blinked rapidly a few times as his eyes adjusted to the brightness of the sunlight at their location. There was no doubt in his mind that Berto would immediately recognise where they were; it was, after all, the place he had grown up in. A sprawling estate on its own little island just off the coast of Brazil, the splendour of just what little he could see of it from their point of arrival far exceeding Cal's expectations. He'd seen some photos, but Christ... the home itself was enormous, he wasn't sure if what they had teleported in near to was a pool or a lake, and the view of the azure blue ocean was spectacular. "Wow" didn't even begin to cover it, but that was all that Calvin managed before getting his bearings back together and turning to look at his love.

"Bem vindo ao Brasil," Calvin smiled at him, moving a little so he could take hold of Beto's other hand as well. "You always come alive in the most wonderful way when you speak of your home," he started to explain, wanting Beto to know why he had decided to take him there. Not that his love likely needed an explanation, but Calvin carried on with it anyway. "I thought it would do you good to come here, to hasten your recovery." Going back to where he came from seemed like an excellent way to help Berto get back to who he had been before his decision to take the Kick had messed up his life. And of course, another important reason that shouldn't be forgotten... "Besides, carnival starts tomorrow. I figured we could experience at least a few days of that together, after how you made it sound like something that's absolutely not to be missed."
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Sunspot
 Posted: Feb 23 2018, 08:32 AM
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Life was wonderful right now. Everything that had happened in the previous weeks aside, Roberto hadn’t been able to stop smiling for days. He had never really appreciated the value of waking up next to another body before he had met Cal, now he wasn’t sure how he had ever had a morning without at least an hour for talking and snuggles. Even mundane activities such as taking his coffee at breakfast time felt like so much more now that he had someone to share it with. Life was somehow just easier with Calvin there to ease the stress of work or improve time outside of it. That morning had been no different; taking their time to emerge from the bedroom, they had sat at the table together whilst Mimic ate and Roberto drank his café, black and extra sweet in the typical Brazilian fashion. He didn’t have the stomach for eating first thing in the morning and really didn’t understand how Cal could; the thought of consuming even the smallest meal before the day had really gotten underway made his stomach flip. A small smile creased the corners of his eyes as his love instructed him to get ready. Apparently Cal had made plans, secret ones that he would get to know more about once he had showered and changed.

Folding up his morning newspaper, Roberto gave his boyfriend a nod and a playfully suspicious narrow eyed glare before making his way to the bathroom. He took his time getting ready; Cal hadn’t told him to be quick and he had never been the sort to rush his routine. Freshly showered and changed, he gave himself one last check in the mirror before making his way back out to the living room where his love was waiting for him on the couch. Spotting the bags on the floor beside him, Roberto’s brow furrowed with an unasked question, his head titled as he fixed brown eyes on Cal’s hazel ones. What was he up to? Where were they going that they needed bags and when had Cal packed them? Giving a light laugh as his boyfriend spoke to him in his own native language, Roberto replied softly. “Um segredo, eh?” He was grinning from ear to ear as he shot Calvin a wink of his own.Whatever they were doing, wherever it was that they were going he was going to love it, he just appreciated that Cal had taken the time to think of him.

A bright flash of pink drew Beto’s attention away from his boyfriend as Reece arrived at the apartment. The Brazilian threw her a surprised wave; he’d not yet gotten used to her sudden appearances. “Oi Clarice! Tudo Bem?” There was only time for a quick exchange of pleasantries before he was given his marching orders. Taking Cal’s hand as another portal appeared before them, Berto shot Reece another smile before following his love through to destinations unknown.

--

The first sensation to hit Roberto as the pair emerged on the other side of the portal was the warmth of the sun on his skin. Closing his eyes against the sudden brightness, he stood in his spot for a moment just to drink in the sunlight. Given the special nature of his relationship with the sun, he had a particular appreciation for the feel of it on his body, even more so since he had developed thermokinetic powers. Having shut his eyes almost as soon as they had passed through the portal, Sunspot had not immediately acknowledged where it was that Calvin had taken them although the stark contrast in weather hinted at the obvious. As his love welcomed him to his country in his own language, the Brazilian could barely contain the excitement that bubbled up in him. Calvin had brought him to visit his home. Eyes snapping open, Roberto let out a delighted laugh as he turned in a circle on the spot, drinking in the beauty of the Costa Estate. He really didn’t know why he had ever left it.

This is my house.” He said quietly, as Calvin talked. He wasn’t really listening, he didn’t mean to be rude but he was stunned. “This is my home.” The emotion in his voice was more than clear, his words wobbled ever so slightly with the effort it took for Roberto to hold back the happiness that threatened to overwhelm him. He had not stopped talking about Rio in recent weeks, it was that time of the year when the city held it’s famous Carnaval and he had been sad that with everything that had happened since the new year, he would probably not be able to make it. He had tried not to let on how much this bothered him instead choosing to entertain Cal with stories of past carnivals; the parades, the food, the music, the dancing and more than a few tales of the antics he got up to over the festival period. Roberto had never been the most well behaved of young men; he’d been escorted home by police more times than he could remember, much to his late father’s despair. He’d never had anything but fond memories of even those times however and he couldn’t wait to make more with Calvin, although perhaps more sensible ones than those that he had shared.

Cal…” Roberto turned to face his boyfriend, his eyes shining with happy tears. Pausing for barely a second he smiled at the other man before throwing himself at him with enough force to knock the bags from Mimic’s hand, wrapping his arms around his middle. Urging him closer with a hand to the back of Calvin’s head, he planted quick little kisses on the other man’s lips before pulling away, taking Cal’s hand in his own. He was crying now, tears slipping down his cheeks despite the smile that remained. He wasn’t sure if his love really knew what he had done by arranging such a trip; just how much he had needed to come back to the place that made his heart sing but regardless he was filled with gratitude for such a wonderful gesture. “I love you.” He said with a sigh. “This is the best secret anyone has ever kept from me.” Tugging on the other man’s hand, he took a couple of steps towards the main house. “Come on, let me show you around. You are going to love this place, Cal, it is so beautiful. What do you want to see first? There’s the guest house, my house, the tennis courts, the dock for the boats. The pool out the back has a wonderful view of the sea and the library is my favourite room on the whole estate.
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Mimic
 Posted: Feb 25 2018, 01:43 PM
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Enthusiasm over Berto's initial happy outburst, that laugh he let out when he realised where they were, had them talking past each other for a brief moment. Or rather, Berto had gone quiet while Calvin was happily chatting away about why he'd decided to bring him there. As if, between the love his boyfriend had for his homeland and the famous Rio de Janeiro carnival starting the next day, that wasn't completely obvious. It was just so easy for Cal to get caught up in the moment, after plotting to bring Roberto here for almost a week and being exuberant that the moment had finally arrived.

Only when Berto turned to face him and speak his name did Cal catch himself instead of rattling on even more, offering his boyfriend a brief "Yeah?" before the Brazilian practically threw himself at him. A brief chuckle escaped from Calvin's lips as the bags fell to the floor, instantly forgotten as one hand moved around the back of Berto's torso and the other slid down to his bum. To help the man bridge the gap that came with their height difference, of course. Encouraged by the hand that moved up to the back of his head, Calvin leaned in to welcome the series of kisses that Berto planted on his lips. If he'd done this with the intention of being rewarded for his efforts, this was already moving in the right direction. But as tempting a prospect as it was, Calvin knew that "Make out on the patio" was not what they were there for. Not just what they were there for. He fully intended to be out on the patio, taking in the sunset with his love held in his arms.

But for now, he was content to simply follow Berto as the man showed him around the estate. His hand held in Beto's, Cal let him lead the way from where they had arrived. Realising he had left their bags once they'd started on their way, he briefly considered taking a moment to return and grab them, then figured he could just grab them later. There was a whole estate for him to see, one that was clearly a lot more extensive than he had even considered, and Cal just couldn't be bothered with their luggage when he had the prospect of Berto speaking passionately about his home.

"Eu te amo também." Cal gave Berto's hand a soft squeeze as he echoed his declaration of love, doing so in his boyfriend's native language. Quirking his brows slightly at his love, he offered a smile and an explanation. "I have been taking lessons." Between those and paying attention to his love when he spoke Portuguese, asking questions when necessary, he was... not completely hopeless with the language. Cal was certain that he would not be able to keep up with Beto if he held any sort of conversation with his fellow Brazilians though.

"I don't know where to start, so I'm just going to follow your lead here," Cal said in response to Beto's inquiry about where he wanted to begin with the tour of the Costa estate. "I want to see everything though," he emphasised. "I didn't even know you had your own dock, but of course you do." One of these days Calvin would actually fully grasp just how rich Berto was, until then he would just have to try and make the wide-eyed, surprised response look cute on him. "I would like to meet your staff as well," Calvin told Berto as they reached the entrance to the main house. "The way you speak of them, they sound like they're like family to you. I've spoken to Estevao, when we were plotting behind your back to arrange for this trip, but that's the closest I've come to getting to know anyone." With a teasing smile he added, "Dying to find out if Cook has an actual name."

Sunspot
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Sunspot
 Posted: Mar 1 2018, 03:21 PM
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Roberto let go of a small gasp of surprise at Cal’s Portuguese expression of love. It wasn’t the first time that Mimic had spoken to him in his own language but there was something particularly special about his boyfriend speaking it of his own accord instead of by telepathically plucking the words from his mind. His confession that he had been taking lessons only served to warm the Brazilian’s heart even more. It was just such a thoughtful and deeply personal gesture. “Magnífico!” He said with a wide smile. “You’ll be speaking like a local before you know it!” Not that he didn’t enjoy conversing in English, he was perfectly fluent thanks to his American mother however absent she had been. It was just that Portuguese was his mother tongue and it meant a lot to him that Calvin was making the effort.

Of course I have my own dock, where else would we leave the boats, silly?” He laughed as he continued towards the house with Calvin in tow. He wasn’t sure at this point where he was going, only that he wanted to show his boyfriend every inch of the house that he had grown up in. The trouble was with where to start, there were so many spots that he could claim to be his favourite all for their own reasons. The library was stunning; his father had been an avid reader and the estate had practically been built around it but it didn’t feel like the right place to begin a tour. He would save the terrace out back for the evening, it was the perfect spot to watch the sunset with a beautiful view of the sea. Stopping in place for a moment, Roberto bounced softly on his heels, he was in crisis; the good kind like a child in a sweet shop where too many great options risked complete mental shutdown. Taking a deep breath he smiled up at Cal. “We’ll start inside. I’ll show you the main house first so that you know your way around.

Leading his boyfriend to the front door to the main building, Roberto laughed a little at Cal’s mention of the cook. He’d mentioned Luzia a few times now but never by her first name, he didn’t know why he had started out by calling her by her job title because he’d never done it growing up, but once he’d begun it with Cal it had sort of just stuck and now it amused him more than anything. In truth there was absolutely no way that he could refer to the woman who had practically raised him in such a dismissive way. She was more than just the family chef to Beto, she was his Lulu; the woman who had swept in when Nina had abandoned him and his father to take up the role of mother. “I will introduce you to them all, although at least two of the maids are new so I am not sure that even I will know their names.” Most of the staff were like family to Roberto but certain roles on the estate saw a rotating cast of employees.

Reaching out a hand to take the front door handle, Beto was not surprised when it opened without his help. Peering around the frame a grinning Estevao greeted him with open arms, a happy chuckle rumbling in his chest. “Senhor Costa, welcome home.” Returning his smile, Roberto dropped Cal’s hand for a moment to wrap his Estate Manager in a tight hug. “Estevao, it’s good to see you!” he replied in a manner that seemed to suggest that he had been away far longer than the four months that it had actually been. It certainly felt that way. Pulling away he turned back to his boyfriend, gesturing him forward with an outstretched arm. As Calvin approached, Beto slid an arm around his waist. “I want you to meet Calvin although I believe that the two of you already know each other?” Letting the two other men have a moment to finally say their hellos face to face, Roberto moved past them to enter the house proper.

Awaiting the pair in the tiled entrance hall, their previously discarded luggage at their feet was a line of thirteen more uniformed staff all with genuine smiles on their faces. The first was Luz, a short and stout woman in her early sixties with grey streaked black hair tied up in a chignon. When their eyes met both she and Roberto smiled wide. The woman wasted no time in rushing forward to throw her arms around Sunspot’s waist. “Betinho. Eu senti sua falta.” Taking his face into her hands the woman fixed a loving gaze on him for a moment before seemingly checking him over for something, anything that might be amiss. Playfully swatting her away, Roberto turned to Calvin again gesturing for him to approach. He was desperate to introduce his boyfriend to Lulu and nervous all at the same time. She was a good Catholic woman and although he was almost certain she would embrace Cal without question, he couldn’t completely sure.

Taking Calvin’s hand he said in English with a cheeky smile. “Calvin, I want you to meet Cook.” Turning back to Luzia, he addressed her in Portuguese. “Lulu, este é o meu namorado, Calvin.” There was a moment of quiet before Luzia turned to Mimic with a soft smile. “Bem vinda Senhor Calvin.” The jury was out on her opinion of him but she hadn’t reacted by throwing him out of the house so for now, Roberto would consider this a win. “Ele gosta de cozinhar.” He elaborated, explaining to the chef that Calvin liked to cook. That elicited a wider smile from the older woman and she responded in a flurry of excited Portuguese about how she missed having a young man in the kitchen to cook with her since Betinho had left. Well, that was far easier than he had anticipated. “I am really sorry, querido but most of the staff don’t speak English. Luz here included.” He said finally giving away the chef’s name.

But if you find yourself a little overwhelmed in the next few days Estevao, the Estate Manager; Beatriz, the Housekeeper and Marília, my Domestic PA are all pretty much fluent.
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Mimic
 Posted: Mar 4 2018, 01:32 PM
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A light chuckle escaped from Cal's lips at Sunspot's enthusiastic response to a few words spoken in Portuguese, his chest puffing out with pride as if he'd just mastered the language instead of managing four simple words that Roberto had said to him on more than one occasion. He knew that he still had a very long way to go, and that Berto's claim that he'd be speaking like a local in no time was an exaggeration, but it still gave Cal a little boost of confidence. One that would probably last until he actually talked to someone who was local and his limited Portuguese vocabulary and ability to sort of make sense of things based on the few similarities the language had with Spanish and Italian both failed him.

Following Berto towards the main house, Cal couldn't help but laugh when it was pointed out to him that of course he had his own dock, because where else would the boats go? "Of course, the boats you have go in the docks that you also have. I don't know what I was thinking. bonito," he remarked lightly. Cal was certain that there would be many more moments like this over the coming few days, where he would be surprised at something that his boyfriend owned or had access to, while Berto would act like it was perfectly normal. There was a very clear contrast between the two when it came to that sort of thing. Calvin had developed quite the expensive taste during the years between leaving Xavier's and being locked up in Utah, but he was still just a regular guy from Passaic, New Jersey, while Berto had grown up surrounded by a level of wealth that most people couldn't even imagine. The disparity between the two of them didn't bother Cal, though; he had approached Roberto because of his wealth initially, but beyond that it had played no part in the relationship that had grown between the two of them, and wouldn't factor into it moving forward.

When Beto told him they'd go for a tour of the main house first, Cal nodded and flashed him a bright smile. It was obvious how excited Berto was to be here, seeing such joy in his love lifting Calvin's spirit up high and affirming that taking him to his home in Rio had definitely been the right choice. Not that there'd ever really been any doubt there, not with how highly the Brazilian had always spoken of his home, and now Calvin finally got to see for himself. Or as much as he could in only a couple of days, considering how much there likely was to see, but it was a good first step.

A big step too, which was something that did not really dawn on Calvin until they reached the main house. Cal had been wanting to meet Berto's staff, particularly Cook, because of how highly the man spoke of them all. They were closer and more dear to him than his own mother, which was exactly what set off Calvin's nerves as the door was opened for them and the knowledge that he was meeting his boyfriend's family really settled in. Cal was generally good with people, could often charm his way out of whatever situation he found himself in, but this felt different. He couldn't help but worry a little that he would end up disappointing some of them, that they would either be suspicious of him for dating Roberto considering his love's wealth, that the relationship between two men would not fit with what Cal imagined were more traditional values, or that he just wouldn't be good enough.

Calvin managed to shake off those doubts once he'd stepped closer to Beto, who wanted him to say hello to Estevao, the man whom Cal had previously been in contact with to make sure the Costa estate was ready for their visit. There was a sense of security that came with the way Berto wrapped his arm around his waist, a kind of physical reminder of what they had; an affirmation that it didn't matter what other people thought of them as long as he had his bonito's love. "We do," Calvin looked briefly at his love when he introduced him to Estevao, the Mimic affirming that the two did know each other, if only from their brief communication over the phone. "It's good to meet you," Cal smiled as he extended a hand to shake Estevao's hand. "Thank you for helping me arrange this," he added, "I hope it wasn't too much effort?" It hadn't been, of course, which Estevao assured him of quickly. This kind of thing was simply part of the man's job.

While Roberto had his little reunion with Cook, Calvin remained standing with Estevao, hazel eyes briefly wandering over the staff that had all been gathered. He only approached when Berto beckoned him over, offering his boyfriend a smile as he took hold of his hand. Despite most of Beto's introduction being in Portuguese, Calvin could follow it pretty well, figuring that he was being introduced as the boyfriend based on the familiarity of the word namorado. Not a word Calvin had learned yet, but easy enough to make sense of. "Obrigado," Cal said to Cook when she welcomed him, his smile mirroring hers. He looked back towards Berto then as his love said something Cal couldn't quite follow beyond that it had something to do with cooking. Whatever it was, it went over very well with Luz, who started speaking to him excitedly in Portuguese, far too quick for Cal to even hope to make sense of.

"It's okay," Cal told Berto when he apologised for Luz speaking to him in Portuguese, explaining that most of the staff did not speak English. "Being surrounded by people who speak a language is the best way to learn it." It was how he'd learned most of what he knew about other languages, aside from what his mother had taught him when he was little. When everyone just adapted by speaking English around you, you usually ended up not learning a whole lot. Turning his attention back towards Luz, Cal offered the woman another smile. "Muito prazer, Luz. Desculpe, eu não falo Português." That he could manage. One of the first things you usually learned about another language was how to tell people that you didn't speak their language. Sometimes it even worked, though oftentimes it lead to a reassurance that your skill in whatever language you claimed you couldn't speak was fine, followed by a lot that you just didn't understand at all.

"Could you tell her I'm looking forward to enjoying her food?" Calvin asked his boyfriend, giving his hand a soft squeeze. Until Calvin got a better grip on speaking Portuguese, which would definitely take some time, Beto would have to serve as a translator. Calvin couldn't imagine that he'd mind. "Then you can introduce me to the rest of the staff, and we can explore the rest of the estate?" Meeting the staff had been one of the things Calvin had wanted to do, but now that the moment was there, he found himself almost impatient to see the rest of the estate. If the part of the main house they were in was any indication, it was going to be amazing, and that was only the start of what Cal already knew were going to be an incredible four days.
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Sunspot
 Posted: Mar 8 2018, 12:05 PM
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The sunset off of the coast of Copacabana was, to Roberto, one of the most beautiful views in the world. The wash of oranges, reds and yellows lit the early evening sky in a blaze of golden light. In the distance the shadow of Sugar Loaf Mountain stood tall and proud and the gentle roar of the ocean waves played a soothing song against the backdrop of the quiet Costa estate. There was no place on earth that calmed Beto’s soul quite like Brazil and the small island that his father had made their home. That he was now able to share the very place that defined him with the one person that he loved more than anything was a beautiful feeling. Life couldn’t get any better than sitting in the warmth of the evening with the man who had saved him from himself, who had given him a reason to keep going, to be better. Leaning in close to Calvin, Roberto ran light fingertips along the length of his love’s arm and across the back of his hands, the action born out of a subconscious need to maintain contact. He loved the feel of his boyfriend’s skin, the reassuring familiarity of the lines of his body.

Lacing his fingers with Cal’s, the Brazilian took the other man’s hand and brought it to his lips to kiss each knuckle, smiling as he reached the last one. A small laugh of contentment left him as he pulled away from his kisses, and he smiled again at his boyfriend. “Thank you.” It was not the first time that he had expressed his gratitude for what Calvin had done by bringing them both here but now that his excitement had settled he felt it needed to be said again. Turning his attention back out to the sky, Roberto closed his eyes against the warmth of the evening air and took in a deep and cleansing breath. “It is this place that keeps my faith. I can’t not believe in a God when I’m confronted with such natural beauty.” Brazil had it’s problems, Rio in particular, but it was an undeniably beautiful country with a rich culture and wonderful people. “I am so glad that I get to share my home and my family with you this weekend.” It meant the world to Berto to have Calvin there with him, to have been given the opportunity to introduce him to Lulu and Estevao and the others.

It had not been lost on him that he and Cal had just taken the step of introducing him to what was basically his family and once the pair had gotten settled, the nerves had begun creeping in. He had always worried about what they might potentially think; Roberto had always brought women home to the Costa estate but not once had he entertained any men there. Until that day he’d never really questioned why, but now that he had been forced to confront his feelings, it was clear that despite being completely comfortable with himself and his sexuality, he didn’t necessarily feel the same about how the staff might perceive him. Most of them he could take or leave, if they didn’t approve of his partner then to hell with them, he could find another gardener or better maids. Lulu though was a surrogate mother, when Nina had left the family home twenty years ago the cook had stepped into her place without missing a beat. That she accepted the love that was between him and Calvin was very important to Roberto and he had begun to worry almost immediately that her deeply Catholic leanings might present an issue. He loved Lulu but he loved Cal more; there was simply no contest.

Nevertheless, he had needed that reassurance and, snatching a moment alone with her whilst Cal freshened up, he had taken the opportunity to ask her exactly how she felt. Relief had hit him with incredible force when Lulu had expressed surprise but felt that the most important thing to point out was just how handsome Mimic was. She had confessed to reserving judgement about their relationship though not for any other reason than that she did not know the man that her Betinho claimed to love so much. He was ‘status pending’ as far as she was concerned until he had proved that he was worthy of her boy’s time and attention. That had been good enough for Beto; he was in absolutely no doubt that Lulu would fall in love with Calvin by the end of the weekend. Really all he had to do was dazzle her with his beautiful smile every so often and share a few Italian recipes with her and she’d be sold. It was such a great relief for him to know that she didn’t carry with her any of the prejudices that were so common in the Church; he didn’t have the energy to argue with anyone about exactly how wrong all of the was.

Luz told me today that she thinks you’re very handsome.” He confessed to Cal. “Actually she said that I am punching above my weight.” He couldn’t help but laugh about that, not because he thought the cook was wrong but just because he found it so funny that she had said it. “I told her just how much I love you.” He went on to explain, “And she agreed that it would be almost impossible not to fall in love with someone as beautiful as you.” He shook his head in amusement. “I think you may need to watch out for Lulu, Cal. She’s single, she might make a move." Shifting in his seat, Roberto planted a soft kiss on his love’s lips before shuffling from the sun lounger and onto his feet. The staff had left a caddy with all of the necessary ingredients for evening drinks. They had otherwise been given strict instructions not to interrupt and to stay clear of the terrace. “Cocktail?” He asked, grabbing two glasses from a shelf beneath the caddy worktop.
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Mimic
 Posted: Mar 10 2018, 03:29 PM
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A sigh of utter contentment shivered through Calvin as he was lying next to his love, watching the Sun set over the Atlantic. There had never been a moment where the man had felt so completely unburdened by everything that life had thrown his way over the years. His time in Utah felt like it was years in the past, nothing but a distant memory, the concerns about what the government might still want from him washed away by the light from the setting sun. All there was right then that mattered was the beautiful sunset, one of the most gorgeous views Cal had ever had the pleasure to lay eyes on, and the sensation of his boyfriend's fingertips tracing a soft line across his skin. In that moment, the world beyond the terrace of the Costa estate that overlooked the ocean could have ceased to exist and Calvin wouldn't have noticed.

Hazel eyes turned away from the sunset and towards Sunspot for a moment as his love placed a series of kisses on the back of his hand. Calvin met Berto's smile with one of his own when his boyfriend thanked him once more for arranging the trip to Brazil. "You're still welcome," he said, letting out a light chuckle. It had been his pleasure, of course, both for the experience he'd had so far already and for how it had affected the man lying besides him. After the unusual way they had gotten to know each other, and the difficult time they had faced during the earliest stage of their burgeoning relationship, Calvin felt they were due something like this. They had both been in need of a break, and this was the perfect opportunity for both of them, if only for a couple of days.

Looking back towards the setting sun, Calvin quietly mused on what Berto said regarding his faith. He was not a religious man himself, hadn't been for over a decade now, but he respected his boyfriend's belief and, with the view they had before them, could easily understand where he was coming from. "I'm glad that I get to experience this," he told his boyfriend, turning his gaze back towards him for a moment and leaning in to place a kiss on the side of his head. "Just sitting here like this, watching the sunset with you, it actually makes me feel like the world isn't such a bad place after all." It was very easy to see the good in the world when it was right there in front of him. Calvin hadn't seen much of Brazil yet, only the Costa estate, but so far the country that Beto loved so much was doing a great job at winning Calvin over as well.

He wanted to see more of it, but Calvin knew that there wouldn't be enough time to see even a fraction of what it had to offer. Carnival was starting the next day, and would likely take up most of the remaining three days they would be there. But just because the plan for now was to return to New York on Sunday evening didn't mean they wouldn't have the opportunity to see more of it in the future. There was very little that actually kept either of them in the States, only a few of his friends were reason for Calvin to want to stay there, and they had the luxury of being able to pretty much just pick up and leave whenever they wanted. Cal was sure that after this weekend, it wouldn't be long before they had the opportunity to visit here again.

Calvin let out a laugh as Berto told him what Luz had said to him earlier that day. "Oh, did she now?" He shook his head and let out another brief laugh. Berto was the one punching above his weight? The man was an absolutely gorgeous billionaire, while Cal was a guy from Jersey without a penny to his name, who hadn't even finished high school or gotten his GED. If anyone was punching above their weight, it was him and not Roberto. There was no denying that the two of them came from sharply contrasting backgrounds, but despite their differences they seemed to click well. Both had a taste for the finer things in life, even if only one of them could actually afford it, and were very passionate, emotionally driven people who had their share of flaws but were willing to work on improving themselves. That neither of them seemed to ever grow tired of showing their affection for one another certainly did wonders for their relationship as well.

A soft whine escaped from Calvin's lips when Berto shifted away from him and got up from the sun bed they had been sharing. Going from having his love beside him to being on there by himself was not something he found agreeable, though Cal didn't voice his objections. Beto was just getting up to make them some drinks, and then they could go right back to cuddling while enjoying what Cal assumed were some typically Brazilian cocktails. "Maybe you should check if Luz wants one." Calvin sat up straight on the bed and shot his boyfriend an amused grin. "She sounds thirsty."

Chuckling to himself, Calvin shifted further until his feet touched the warm terrace tiles and stood up as well. Taking a few steps towards the edge of the terrace, the waves of the ocean softly breaking against the stone a couple of feet below him, he let out a sigh as he stared out across the water. "I wish I'd thought to bring my art supplies," he said softly. "I don't think I could even hope to capture the beauty of this view, but I would like to try." And he would, whenever they next came here. With how little time they would have here in the coming days, spending even a few hours painting felt like a waste. "Another time," he decided, turning to face his boyfriend again. "We have a carnival to attend this weekend, and I don't want to miss any more of it than we have to." It would continue on after they went home, but Cal imagined they would experience plenty of it during the three days they were there for it.

"Are we going to have to dress up for it?" Calvin wondered as he approached the caddy where Berto was busy making them their cocktails. He had never been to carnival before, but the first thing that came to his neophyte mind were the colourful costumes. Headdresses, feathery accessories, beaded necklaces hanging over bare chests... "Should I shave for that?" he added, bringing his hand up to touch his bared, fuzzy chest. "I feel like it would look better if I did." Whatever that "it" was. Calvin's mind had moved two steps ahead already, and considering he didn't actually know what the deal was, that was at least two steps too far.
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Sunspot
 Posted: Mar 12 2018, 12:25 PM
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Taking roughly an ounce of raw sugar cubes and tipping them into a cocktail shaker, Roberto began to crush them up, curly hair bouncing into his field of vision with each striking motion. He was making caipirinhas, Brazil’s national cocktail because why start with anything else when it was your boyfriend’s first real visit to your home country? Looking up at Cal as he failed to answer his question about wanting a cocktail and instead suggested that Roberto ask Luz if she wanted one, the Brazilian barked an amused laugh. The idea that the family cook, the woman who had practically raised him was ‘thirsty’ was both cringe inducing and hilarious. He wondered for just a moment, the thought inspired by Cal’s joke and not something that he had ever considered before, whether she dated much. He certainly didn’t remember a consistent friend or companion being present over the years. Except his father but Roberto wasn’t sure if Emmanuel had ever been particularly interested or even if he had divorced Nina, and if he hadn’t done that then he would never have pursued another relationship. Of course this was assuming that Lulu even had her eye on his father, he had no idea what the cook even thought of him.

Yeah, I’m telling you querido, keep a careful eye. She’ll have you backed into a corner over the course of this weekend. Women of a certain age can be dangerous.” He said through his laughter. Taking a lime and a small knife out of a basket on the caddy top, Roberto cut the top and bottom off and then sliced the fruit in half. Putting one half to the side he cut the remaining one into half wheels and threw them into the cocktail shaker. “Have you ever had a caipirinha?” He asked as he watched Calvin stand from the sun bed and walk over to the edge of the terrace. “Because that’s what you’re getting.” His cocktail vocabulary was limited anyway so it wasn’t like he was taking requests. Almost involuntarily stopping what he was doing just to take in the sight of his boyfriend illuminated in gold by the light of the setting sun, Roberto let out a quivering sigh. If he could bottle that moment and keep it forever then he would. He wasn’t sure that it was possible to be happier than he was right then, which given how his life had played out so far in 2017 was nothing short of miraculous.

Hmmm?” He hadn’t picked up what Calvin had said about his art supplies. The limes had been abandoned and he had wandered into a daydream. “Oh the carnival!” He declared finally catching up as his boyfriend turned to face him. “I’m so excited to go there again and to watch the parades with you.” He said remembering the cocktails and continuing to squeeze the juice from the fruit and the oils from it’s skin, working it into the sugar. He hadn’t been to the bigger parades in a number of years, preferring instead to attend the blocos and the parties but as Cal was technically a tourist it made sense to take him to the part of Carnaval that was meant for them. A smile crossed his lips as Calvin asked about dressing up, the answer to that question was really ‘only if you want to’ and the suggestion that he should shave was just a definite ‘no’. “For the parades, no.” Roberto said retrieving a few ice cubes from a nearby ice box and placing them into the two old-fashioned glasses that were already set out on the counter.

People sometimes dress up for the blocos; the street parties.” He elaborated. “But why on earth would you want to shave? You look great just as you are.” Adding four ounces of cachaça to the cocktail shaker and stirring briefly before pouring out the drinks into the two glasses, Roberto handed one over to Cal. “Do you want to dress up? Because I have all sorts of things back in the house. Crowns, glitter, feathers, waistcoats, masks. I don’t usually go in for a theme like some people do but there are no rules, you can go dressed as whatever you like and there is no requirement for a bare chest.” Even if Beto would very much appreciate his man shirtless, fuzz and all. “Ooh, there’s gonna be so much dancing.” He said gleefully. Roberto loved samba, when the music played it was like he couldn’t contain himself. “How are you at shaking your hips, Cal?” He asked with a delighted smile, coming around to the front of the caddy, glass in hand, swaying to a tune that he hummed loud enough for them both to hear.

He was quite the mover, years of unabashed dancing at carnival had loosened his hips so that his moves were smooth. Slipping an arm around Cal’s bare waist, he smiled up at his boyfriend. “Come on, dance with me.” He demanded with a laugh, one arm in the air, hand still holding onto his drink.

Mimic
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Mimic
 Posted: Mar 12 2018, 05:04 PM
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"Oh, I don't doubt that," Calvin laughed when Berto jokingly cautioned him about Luz being dangerous. He had yet to get to know the woman, having spent most of the day being shown around the estate by his boyfriend, but she certainly seemed spirited. "I'm sure if she could hear us talk right now, we would both be in trouble," he added with a chuckle. There was no doubt in his mind, even with what little interaction he'd had with Luz, that she would quickly set both of the cheeky young men straight immediately. Luz seemed very sweet, but at the same time also struck him as someone who wouldn't suffer their foolishness. He was sure he was going to take a liking to her in particular, once he got to know her, though with the days ahead revolving around carnival he sadly didn't think he'd get too much of a chance to.

With the subject shifting to discussing what to expect from the Rio carnival, Calvin listened to his boyfriend attentively. Cal hadn't actually been aware of the difference between the parades and the bloccos before Sunspot pointed it out to him. Out of the two of those, participating in a street party sounded like it would be the more fun out of the two, but of course Calvin wanted to experience both. He couldn't very well go to Rio de Janeiro during carnival and not attend at least one of the parades. On top of what an experience he was sure it would be, Chuck would likely be disappointed if he returned without having all of the pictures to show to her.

"Thanks," Cal smiled at Berto when he was handed his cocktail, bringing it up to his face to take in the sweet aroma briefly, then putting the glass to his lips and taking a small sip. "I've never had this before, but it's good," he said contentedly. He had always been someone who drank his liquor straight, the harder kind when he was younger to try and escape from his own mind, and mostly premium, dark beers more recently because he enjoyed their rich flavour. The caipirinha was good though, doubly so because his boyfriend had made it for him.

On the topic of costumes, Calvin had been leaning ever so slightly towards "No" until Roberto explained all the things he had available in the house. The thought of his beautiful love dressed up in that was far too appealing a thought for him to pass up on. Besides, it would help make him feel like he was really participating instead of being the odd one out. "Glitter, feathers and a bare chest?" Cal mused, bringing his glass up to take another sip. "That sounds like something I would love to see on you. As for me?" Calvin gestured around them with his free hand. "I'm thinking that this is exactly the type of weather where no shirt is the best idea. I'll leave what I do or do not wear, costume wise, up to your discretion." Berto was the local boy, who had been to these bloccos many times before, Cal trusted him to know best.

A broad grin spread across Calvin's face when Berto brought up how much dancing there would be. The way he danced around the caddy, drink in hand, was adorable, and any reluctance he had towards the idea of him dancing washed away. Cal honestly didn't know how he was at shaking his hips, because that was not something he'd ever done much of, but he would give it his best for Roberto. "I'm light on my feet and have an excellent sense of balance," Calvin told his boyfriend as the man's hand slipped around to his back, his own free hand moving up to rest on Roberto's shoulder. "Not sure I have any sense of rhythm, but I'll just follow your lead." As he spoke, Calvin began to move his hips in conjunction with Roberto's, his eyes turned downwards for a moment before they levelled with his love's again. His hand holding his drink was held wide, off to his left to keep from accidentally spilling any of it on either of them. Dancing without actual music felt like it should have been something he felt weird, but as with so many things when it came to his boyfriend, it was easy to get swept along in his passion for it.


"I thought I had lived before," he spoke up quietly as he gazed into his boyfriend's eyes, hips swinging to the imaginary rhythm. "Before Utah, I mean." Travelling the world, charming his way into fancy parties and exclusive social circles, keeping himself pampered and entertained at other people's expense... back then, Calvin had thought that was the life. But now, dancing under the setting Sun, a drink in one hand while the fingers of his other hand tapped a silent rhythm on his love's shoulder, Calvin truly understood how he had nothing back then. "You have made me realise how empty my life was back then," he confessed, though there was no sorrow in his voice about what he had missed out on before. What he had now filled him with so much contentment that everything that had come before didn't matter.

Leaning forward and down a bit, Calvin pressed a kiss against Roberto's lips. "Te amo." Letting his hand slide down the arm that his love had wrapped around his waist, Calvin moved back so he could take a hold of his hand as he broke away. He continued to move his hips the way he had when he had been standing closer to Berto, their hands swaying along in mostly the same rhythm. Somehow it felt a bit awkward though. "I have no idea what I'm doing," Calvin chuckled, taking a brief moment to have another sip from his cocktail. "I should not make decisions while dancing," he resolved, quickly correcting his mistake by stepping closer to Roberto again and letting go of his hand so he could wrap his arm around him this time. "This is better anyway." Close was good, not close was not good. That was more or less what it boiled down to for Calvin, clear frontrunner in the race for world's biggest sap where his boyfriend was concerned.
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Sunspot
 Posted: Mar 20 2018, 06:46 PM
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Dancing with Cal under the setting sun, no music save for the softly hummed latin tune remembered from his childhood, Roberto couldn’t have felt any happier. His boyfriend moved well which admittedly surprised him however pleased he was by it and he laughed with nothing more than happiness as they swayed in place. “You have a wonderful sense of rhythm as far as I recall.” He smiled up at his boyfriend with a cheeky wink before taking a sip of his drink, though taking anything but an indelicate mouthful of the caipirinha was difficult whilst the wide smile that had found its way to his lips refused to disappear. How was it possible to be this content? When he was with Cal it was like there was nothing else outside of the moment that they shared and all of the stresses of everyday life just melted away. It seemed impossible, after everything, that he could feel so good but that was how it was with Calvin and it was effortless. Though he was somewhat concerned about the early appearance of crow's feet should all of the smiling refuse to cease.

Going back to humming the song to which the two men danced, his eyes never left his boyfriend’s as they moved together. When Mimic spoke up, his quiet words hinting at a life he thought had been lived but had not, Roberto tilted his head inquisitively, his expression asking a silent question. He thought he knew what Calvin meant because despite the extravagance of the kind of life that only a billionaire could lead, Roberto could honestly say that he’d never felt more alive than he did right there dancing in the dusk with his love. He could not have had a penny to his name and would have still felt the same way. True enough the next words out of Cal’s mouth were as he expected but that he had sensed them didn’t give them any less impact. “Not empty, meu amor, just different.” He whispered back just as a kiss was pressed against his lips. “Eu também te amo. Your Portuguese is improving. We’ll make sure you learn to say only the good things.

Serious, loved up expression creased into a laugh as his boyfriend broke away, taking him by the hand to dance at a distance. The move had been unexpected and at first Roberto wasn’t entirely sure what to do, his hand swaying with Cal’s in much the same way that his hips were. It was wonderful though even as it was awkward and, taking direction from the other man, Beto drank up his cocktail finishing it in one last mouthful before stretching backwards to place the empty glass back on the caddy. “Funny, I’m the same.” He said with a playful tone in his voice as Cal pulled him closer once again. “No wait. For me it’s when I’m drunk. I shouldn’t make decisions when I’m drunk.” Particularly in Brazil, somehow the police always ended up involved in one way or another. Come to think of it the last time he remembered drinking in New York, Sam and he had ended up in a fight.

With both hands now free, Roberto reached up to put his arms around Cal’s neck, the other man had to stoop a little to allow it but that was okay, he didn’t plan on them standing up for much longer. “Come lay back on the sun lounger with me, querido.” He urged, already pulling them in that direction. “I’m done with dancing and more drinks can wait.


February 25th | 12:00 | Cordão da Bola Preta

The street party in the centre of the city had been in full swing since 9 o’clock that morning. The music was loud, and the one million revellers were full of the life and vivacity of Carnaval. The theme for the Bola Preta was, as it had been for 99 years, black and white. The parade cars were decked in polka dots, with pretty men and women dancing the samba as the line of vehicles moved slowly through the crowds. Brass bands belted out tune after tune in unrelenting revellery. On either side of the street, almost disappearing into the rows and rows of people, stalls large and small sold food, alcohol and festival trinkets. In the middle of a small clearing in the crowd Roberto da Costa was mid celebration, drink in one hand,chestnut curls bouncing as he danced to the music. He was dressed to impress in black and white polka dot trousers and an open, black sequin waistcoat that shone in the sunlight. Silver glitter was painted in a thick line from temple to temple over his eyes and black and white feathers adorned his hair. Tiny black bells were tied around his wrists and they jingled lightly with every move that he made.

He’d been drinking since the festival opened, paying no mind to the fact that his first beer had basically been breakfast. It didn’t matter today because he was filled with the spirit of carnival and nothing would get in the way of just how happy that made him. Most of all because this year he got to spend it with the one he loved and there wasn’t anything more special than that. Sashaying over to where Calvin had stopped for a moment to take photos or pause for breath, Beto wasn’t sure, the lively Brazilian threw his spare arm around his boyfriend’s waist and smiled up at him through all of the glitter. “We should get something to eat.” He stated, forgetting entirely that they had shared a particularly large tray of cheese pastries only fifteen minutes ago. “And more drinks.” He added, gesturing wildly enough that the drink he had hold of sloshed a little over the side of his plastic cup. So filled with the excitement of the day was he that he was practically giddy. “Cally. Did I tell you today just how much I love you?” He asked, stepping up onto his tiptoes to steal a kiss.

Taking hold of his boyfriend’s hand, he lead them through the crowd in no particular direction. He was just looking for anything to show Calvin, something new to wow him with. The smell of nearby grilled kibe- small patties of spiced minced lamb and bulgur wheat speared on wooden skewers filled the air. Pulling up in front of a small tent lined with soapstone ornaments, Roberto picked up a miniature of Christ the Redeemer and brandished it at Calvin. “I should get you something to take back to the city.” He said, referring to their place in New York. “Ooh, how about this?” Giggling childishly he replaced the Cristo Redentor figurine back on the table in favour of a particularly garish fertility statue. “We could put it outside the front door to ward off prudish neighbours. What do you think?
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Mimic
 Posted: Mar 21 2018, 01:55 PM
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The opening parade the day before had been spectacular, with Calvin taking picture after picture to commemorate his first time attending the Carnival, many of them featuring himself and his beautiful boyfriend with the Carnival as a backdrop. The floats, the costumes, the dancers, it had all come together to create quite the spectacle, though if Calvin was being honest the experience did not quite measure up to the Bola Preta. The day before Cal had gotten to witness the Carnival, but today it felt like he was truly a part of it. The music, the festive atmosphere, the people and the revelry that had taken hold of them, they were all around him and Calvin was having a great time dancing and drinking with the wonderful man who had brought him there.

Like his love, Calvin was dressed according to the theme of the blocco, with black and white striped pants, a white dress shirt with its sleeves rolled up, a black tie, suspenders and a bowler hat. It had taken a last minute shopping trip the day before to make sure that he had anything to wear. Berto had assured him he had what they would need to dress up, but nothing of Beto's was the right size for the much taller Calvin. Luckily they had succeeded, with Beto seeming especially pleased to have Calvin dressed up in a formal shirt and a tie, and insisting he reconsider when Calvin had entertained the thought of foregoing the shirt altogether. To finalize his appearance Calvin too had painted his face, though he had put his artistry to work and made more of an effort of it than Berto had, using the same silver glitter as well as black and white face paint to create a butterfly-like mask around his eyes. He had offered to help his boyfriend, who had insisted that he was fine until he saw the finalized work, by which point it was too late to do the same for him.

If not for his healing factor and speedster metabolism, Calvin would likely have been sloshed by noon. Unlike Berto, Calvin had actually had breakfast this morning, but swept up as he had been by the spirit of the Rio Carnival the alcohol had flowed freely enough that even he was a little bit tipsy. A wide grin was plastered over his face as he was once again taking pictures, wanting to make sure he could share his experience with those he had left behind in New York. Or rub it in their faces, Calvin was leaning towards the former with his intent, but you never knew. When his boyfriend slipped his arm around his waist, Cal turned to look at him and quirked his eyebrows slightly at the suggestion that they get something to eat, which they had done no more than fifteen minutes prior. With how much alcohol was being consumed though, eating something was probably not a bad idea. Getting more drinks? Well... it was a party, Calvin was not about to comment on that when the mood was so festive. "You may have mentioned it once or twice," Cal chuckled when Beto asked him if he'd told him how much he loved him yet today. Drunk Roberto was even more affectionate than he usually was, so declarations of love seemed to almost come with every other sentence. Calvin would never grow tired of hearing those words coming from his boyfriend though. He leaned into the kiss that Beto gave him, his hand slipping around the man's back to give his cute bum a quick squeeze. "I love you too, bonito."

Following his boyfriend's enthusiastic lead through the crowd and towards one of the souvenir tents, Calvin furrowed his brow a little at the wares on display. That seemed... unusual. Looking at his boyfriend when he first presented a Cristo Redentor figure and then one of the fertility statuettes, Calvin couldn't help but laugh a little. "This looks like an angry dick," Calvin observed amusedly. Scratch that, it was an angry dick, one out of a whole lot of angry dicks and other questionable (but less garish) fertility idols and such, and they were just set out on the stall next to soapstone statues of Jesus Christ like it was no big deal. Taking a brief moment to fish out his phone again to take a picture of the eclectic setup of souvenirs, Cal tucked it away again and turned his attention back towards his boyfriend, a grin on his face. "Is this what you meant about making bad decisions while you're drunk?" Leaning forward and down a little, Cal planted a kiss on Berto's lips and at the same time plucked the fertility statue from his hands, setting it back in its place. "I'm already taking the most beautiful thing in Brazil back to the city," he stressed, wrapping his arms around Roberto's waist briefly. "Besides, you said you wanted to get something to eat and drink." Stepping back a bit again, Calvin held up both his empty hands. "I could use one myself." The last one he'd downed rather quickly, so he would have both his hands available to use his phone to take pictures.

"Although," Calvin started as he led Roberto away from the souvenir tent and in the direction of one of the stands actually selling a selection of typical Rio street food, "having two free hands does make it very tempting to just put them all over you while we dance to this music." As he spoke, Calvin had slipped his arms around his love and pulled him close, mindful to avoid having Berto spill his drink all over the two of them. Steadily he got into the rhythm of the music, swaying his hips along with Beto's much like they had on their first evening at the Costa "They should have these kinds of parties every weekend," Calvin decided as his eyes briefly wandered the surrounding crowds. "But lacking that," he added as his eyes met Berto's again, Cal pausing briefly to kiss his love, "we will just have to make our own fun, right?"

Sunspot
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Sunspot
 Posted: Mar 24 2018, 03:52 PM
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Roberto let out a gleeful, drunken giggle at his boyfriend’s assertion that the fertility statue he had thrust into Cal’s face looked like ‘an angry dick’. He wasn’t wrong. Roberto was pretty sure that was probably exactly what it was and it delighted him. Swaying into the kiss that was meant to distract him, the merry Brazilian did not notice at all as his boyfriend took the idol and placed it back on the table where it rightfully belonged. At least not until Cal pulled away and he was left boyfriendless and dickless too, a pout on already full lips. “Aw but…” He began, not really having any argument to make and already having moved on to focussing on how Cal had totally just called him beautiful. “Hmm smooth, Rankin.” He said, looking up at his boyfriend through lazy eyes. Waving a hand dismissively he followed with a mock disappointed; “Oh okay, no highly suggestive ornaments for the apartment.” Food and drink they could really do with however. He perhaps needed to find some coconut water or Guaraná to keep him hydrated, and alcohol made him crave all of the worst food so he was already hungry again.

Yes, you should try Cauim. Colorado tem um pilsen com sabor de mandioca. É uma cerveja brasileira e a inspiração vem de uma bebida tradicional dos povos indígenas do Brasil.” He explained unconsciously switching to Portuguese, a little too addled to notice his mistake at first. It was how he had talked as a small child, before his mother had left, moving between his parents’ two native languages mid sentence without fully understanding what he had done and confusing his nanny in the process. It wasn’t until Roberto had turned seven or so that he had come to appreciate that not everyone could follow the sudden changes he made or even that the languages he spoke were distinct from one another. Finishing up his explanation it was only when his focus returned fully to Calvin that his brain caught up with his mouth and he frowned, scratching the top of his head in confusion, brown eyes narrowed. “Sorry querido.” He said after a moment’s pause. “Cauim is uh...a mandioca, no wait, cassava flavoured drink that’s traditional to some native tribes here in Brazil. Colorado are a company that produce a beer that is close enough. Well, it’s cassava flavoured anyway.

He continued to lecture Calvin about exactly the types of drinks he should try whilst in Rio as his boyfriend led him away from the soapstone stall stopping only when Mimic pulled him in close. Smiling lopsidedly as they began to dance to the music, Roberto nodded his head and drank down the last of his beer, stepping up onto his tiptoes as Cal leaned in to kiss him. “Amorzão if you want a party like this every weekend then I can find you one, or failing that just throw one of my own.” He meant it as well, although he wasn’t sure he wished to share the other man quite as much as regularly partying would mean that he would have to. “But I’m pretty sure you’d grow tired of it quickly.” As they danced together the crowd drew in closer and soon the two men were lost in a sea of people. With everyone so tightly squeezed into the festival space and dancing to the same beat nobody noticed the two of them as they lost themselves in each other for the moment. “I really do love you, meu amor.” Roberto told his love not forgetting that he had already told him one hundred times that day but feeling as though he couldn’t tell him enough.

The words were barely audible though as the parade began to make its way past the crowd, whistles sounding and brass bands blaring out their rowdy tune. Swept along as the spectators followed the floats, Roberto moved to take Cal by the hand, pulling him to the edge of the sea of people. “We need to get you that beer and I need something fried. Coxinha, maybe. Ooh Cally they’re made with a Brazilian cheese called catupiry that was actually invented by the Italian community here. You have to try them! Acarajé stuffed with vatapá are delicious too so maybe we should get some of those as well with bolinho de chuva for dessert.” What Sunspot had just described was a heart attack waiting to happen and although he really did love each and every one of the foods described he wouldn’t normally have been caught dead eating them all in one sitting or in the quantities he was willing to consume them when drunk. Right now though he was pretty determined that he was going to sample every dish the carnival had to offer. He stopped short of actually explaining to Cal what any of the dishes were and chose instead to show him.

They stopped first at a Colorado branded tent and purchased the cassava beer and then, as luck would have it, the stall next door was serving coxinha freshly fried to order. Requesting a portion he let Calvin pay since he had made the sensible decision when sober to give his boyfriend control over his finances. When he had told his boyfriend a few days previously that he made terrible decisions when drunk he had not meant the casual purchasing of highly suggestive soapstone statuettes. Roberto was liable to spend tens of thousands in the blink of an eye when he was not in his right mind; Charlie’s new LaFerrari was a testament to that fact (though that had been a cool million spent in a little under and hour). What there was for him to destroy his bank balance with at Carnival was uncertain but with the Costa heir where there was a will there was always a way. “They’re like little food versions of us.” He said dopely, gesturing for Calvin to try some. “Brazilian-Italian and incredibly cheesy.” He added with a ridiculous grin and then a laugh. “Street food is the best here Cal. I should take you out for churrasco sometime too.

Pausing for a moment to take in the surroundings Roberto let out a sigh. Coming to visit his hometown had been such a wonderful surprise and he couldn’t have been happier that he was there. But it had awoken a feeling in him that he hadn’t realised was there; he wanted desperately to come back to the city. Despite it giving him Calvin, New York had very rapidly lost its charm in the months since he had returned to it. Ever since the night that he had taken the Kick he had not felt at home there and it had only gotten worse with every mistake that he had made thereafter. There was very little keeping him in the US these days save for his boyfriend and if it weren’t for Cal he would have dropped everything right then and just remained. But it would be the end of them if he did, Roberto was sure of that. Their relationship was very new and had already been an emotional rollercoaster. He couldn’t expect Calvin to give up a life in New York with his friends and what little family he had formed and neither could he ask him to stay with him despite a distance of over four thousand miles. “Cal, meu amor how would you like to visit here again sometime soon?” He asked instead, perhaps he could adjust if he were able to make frequent trips.
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Mimic
 Posted: Mar 25 2018, 04:23 PM
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A confused look had spread across Calvin's face when his boyfriend began suggesting something to him in English, only to switch to speaking Portuguese a few words into his sentence. It had not been the first time that the language barrier had proved to be difficult for Calvin to overcome. Back at the estate most of Roberto's staff did not speak English, and communication had thus been difficult at times, but not completely hopeless. Cal knew a few words of Portuguese thanks to spending the last few weeks in the presence of someone who spoke it fluently, picking up some through the telepathic powers he had until recently and more just by learning from Beto. Beyond that, Calvin's grasp on both Italian and (especially) Spanish helped sometimes, with the rest often coming together through context or by pointing at things and repeating words slowly.

None of that had been helpful here though. With as much ambient sounds as there were at the blocco it would have been tough enough already, but having had his share of alcohol, Berto made things worse by not enunciating properly like he normally would and talking as quickly or even quicker than he would to someone for whom Portuguese was their native language as well. "Uh..." Calvin cocked his head and regarded his boyfriend with his brow furrowed. "Beer?" That was all that he had been able to really make out, cerveja being close enough to the Spanish cerveza. That and something about a traditional drink. Okay, Berto was suggesting he try some kind of beer, so maybe Calvin wasn't as bad at this whole "Understand your drunk Brazilian boyfriend" as he had thought.

The explanation of what it was he actually wanted Calvin to try that followed when his boyfriend realised he'd subconsciously switched from speaking English to Portuguese. "That sounds good to me, amorzinho," he smiled in response. "I do always enjoy trying new things." It didn't always turn out well, but Calvin would rather burn himself trying than not try at all and risk missing out on something good. He had taken a chance when he had decided to commit to Berto, to believe in him and try to help him be better back when most of the signs were pointing to "NOPE", and there wasn't a doubt in Calvin's mind now that he had absolutely made the right choice.

Getting caught up in dancing with his love after they had moved away from the stand that would forever live on in Cal's mind under "Jesus and the Angry Dicks", a name he had coined himself, Calvin's mind easily strayed away from food and drinks and just focused completely on sharing this experience with his boyfriend. Cal smiled at Berto's promise that he would find them a party like this every weekend or throw one of his own if he couldn't, but he frowned lightly when his love suggested that he'd grow tired of it quickly. "As long as you're there with me, I don't see how I could grow tired of anything," he pointed out to him. Though as the crowd around them grew closer and they were starting to get swept along in their movement, Calvin couldn't help but chuckle. "Except maybe the crowds." With Beto there though, it wasn't all that hard for Cal to forget they were even there, simply allowing himself to get lost in his boyfriend's eyes. "I love you too," he returned his love's words of affection. Yes, Beto had said it dozens of time already, thanks in no small part to how much he'd had to drink, but Calvin would return it in kind every single time.

When Berto started leading him to the edge of the large crowd, his mind apparently still set on food, Cal happily followed along. None of the things that his boyfriend mentioned actually rang a bell for him, all he really knew was that Coxinha involved cheese because Beto had explained that much, but he'd be happy to try any of them. Part of possessing the metabolism of a speedster meant that his appetite was voracious, so he could pretty much eat anything, whenever. Their first stop once they had freed themselves from being swept along by the sea of people was a tent to purchase the beer that Beto insisted he simply had to try, before Beto dragged him right on to the next stand over as soon as Cal had paid for his drink so they could get some freshly made coxinha as well. Cal allowed Beto to have the first go at the latter, curious as he was to try it himself, instead taking the opportunity he had now that Beto had his deep fried treats to sample the beer his boyfriend had insisted he'd try. It was different from what he was used to, but not in a bad way, having a faint fruitiness to it with a grainy kind of sweetness and a slight sourness in the background that was rather pleasant. Cal did almost choke on his second sip though, when Beto felt it necessary to point out that the coxinha were like the food version of them, Brazilian-Italian and incredibly cheesy, and he couldn't help but laugh mid-sip. "Delicious too, I bet," Cal winked at his boyfriend as he took one of the dough-covered fried treats and bit off half of it. Okay, that was delicious, but then Cal couldn't actually recall ever having something battered and fried that he didn't like.

"Hey, are you okay?" Cal wondered when his boyfriend's mind seemed to wander away for a moment. He slipped his free arm around Beto's waist and leaned in to kiss him on the cheek, about to ask him if he needed something non-alcoholic to drink or perhaps to sit down somewhere, seeing as he'd been drinking since nine in the morning and hadn't had breakfast before then as was typical for him. Instead, it turned out that Beto had simply been giving thought to visiting Rio more often than just this weekend, which honestly did not come as a surprise to Calvin, given how much his boyfriend had come alive during the three days they had been here so far. "I'd love to visit here again soon," Cal responded without giving it a moment's thought. "There is so much to this city that I have yet to see, and that's not even taking into account everything else that Brazil has to offer." Four days was not even enough to see the tip of the iceberg, especially not when much of the city was shut down because of the Carnaval. "Reece willing, we can come here as often as you'd like," he assured his boyfriend, "and even if she's not we'll find a way to make it work." It wasn't as if Cal had a job that he needed to take into account, and the main office for the company Berto was in charge of was located right there in the city, so they weren't exactly strapped for time or opportunity.

Briefly, Calvin's eyes dropped down to the coxinha, before meeting Berto's again. "Okay, help me out here," he said, holding up his beer for Roberto to see. "I want another one of those, but--" Well, Beto could see for himself that one of his hands was occupied with the beer, while the other one served him a reminder by slipping down just enough to give his bum a quick grab. Then, Calvin just opened his mouth and assumed his boyfriend would do as was expected of him.
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Sunspot
 Posted: Apr 4 2018, 03:50 AM
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"Reece willing, we can come here as often as you'd like, and even if she's not we'll find a way to make it work."

In one sentence Calvin had managed to lift a weight off of Roberto’s shoulders that even the Brazilian had not known was there. Letting go of a small sigh he smiled up at his love and nodded his head. Sightseeing was as good enough of an excuse to return to his hometown more often as he could think of even if he might have preferred spending the time back at his estate. Carnaval had meant that Mimic had not yet had the opportunity to really take a look at what Rio de Janeiro had to offer and although the parades were a tourist attraction in their own right, showing his boyfriend what other beautiful things the city held within its boundaries did appeal somewhat. If Reece didn’t feel too much like Roberto was using her for nothing more than her portals, then he would be asking Cal to come home with him more regularly than perhaps his love suspected. He would think of a way to thank the teleporter; if she wanted payment then he would happily provide it. She was welcome at the Costa Estate whenever she liked whether Roberto was in residence or not, and if neither of those things would do for compensation, well he’d think of something. “You have a good friend in Clarice.” He said.

Chuckling as a hand squeezed his backside and Calvin did a wonderful impression of a baby bird begging food from its parent, Roberto’s eyes fell to the tray of coxinha in his hand. Smiling he picked a particularly fat one from amongst the dozen or so and, raising himself up ever so slightly on his toes held it close to the mimic’s mouth. Only when Cal leaned into take bite, Roberto snatched it away with a sly smile, taking a bite of it himself before his boyfriend could complain. Snickering to himself as he chewed, the look on the other man’s face only making the little trick all the more worthwhile, Roberto finished off the snack and stuck is his bottom lip out jokingly. “Aw, I’m sorry Cally.” He laughed, “Here let me get you one.” He followed, “No playing this time, I promise.” True to his word the Brazilian offered up another of the snacks and this time let Calvin take a bite; they were too big and too hot to eat whole but he waited with the remaining half in his fingers until Cal was ready, blowing away some of the heat for him. “They’re really good right?” His question was more of a statement as he handed off the last bit of coxinha to his boyfriend, wiping the trace amounts of grease and breadcrumbs on his trouser leg.

Next time we visit the city we should visit the Lapa Arches.” Roberto suggested, “They’re a part of the old aqueduct. Friday and Saturday nights they hold parties there and sometimes free samba instruction.” He didn’t feel like he needed samba classes; he was hardly a professional or even a hobby dancer but he could move well enough to feel good on a dancefloor. But whatever excuse he could find for getting close to Cal, he would use and although he was fairly sure he would get away with just dancing around the estate on a whim, hanging out at a party fulfilled Cal’s wish to attend more things like the carnival. “And we should reserve a day to let you loose with a camera.” He teased. “It’s been a while since I’ve been to the Municipal Theatre, Lage Park or the Botanical Gardens. And of course, we should visit Cristo Redentor-”” He smiled; the soapstone figurines that they had been looking at earlier had been replicas of the giant Jesus statue that sat atop Corcovado Peak. “As far as I know there’s no giant angry dicks alongside that one though. Which is a shame, really.

Taking a bite out of a coxinha, he thought for a while longer whilst he ate. “There’s Tijuca Forest too. Which we can visit at the same time as Christ the Redeemer” One of the world’s largest urban rainforests, Tijuca was technically reclaimed land that had been planted by hand during the latter half of the 19th century. Roberto hadn’t been there since he was a child. It had been the last place that his mother had taken him before she had left the family home for the final time but despite that, it was a place of only happy memories for the Brazilian and if it was as he remembered it then Cal could not miss visiting. “It’s a beautiful national park with waterfalls and lakes. There’s a train that runs right through it up to the mountain.” Then of course there was the rest of Brazil outside of Rio. São Paulo was not so far away that they couldn’t visit overnight or for a long weekend and then of course, there was the gateway to the Amazon; Manaus, from which the pair could trek into the jungle if Cal was up for the hike. It did seem like it would be a shame to come to Brazil and not see the rainforest. Roberto would have to arrange a tour with a proper guide for sometime in the future.

Cally, I know I said that I wanted another drink-” He began, suddenly more aware of how much alcohol he had consumed since the Bola Preta had started that morning. “And food.” He handed over the tray of remaining coxinhas to his boyfriend. “But I think maybe we should go back to the estate.” He was feeling all of a sudden very tired. “A friend of mine is throwing a Carnaval party tonight at his penthouse in Lagoa. I’d like to take you there.” And show him off. It would be the first public outing in Rio society that Roberto would attend as part of a couple; sure he’d shown up to events with a partner before, almost always women unless he took Sam, but everybody knew that they were just there for decoration (unless he took Sam). That night he would be as proud as punch to walk through the door with Cal and for everyone to see that Roberto da Costa, once eligible bachelor was now very much committed and in love.
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Mimic
 Posted: Apr 5 2018, 05:19 PM
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Hazel eyes followed Berto's hand down to the tray of he was holding, then followed it back up holding a delicious looking piece of coxinha. His mouth remained held open expectantly, with Cal doing his best to try not to smile at the situation too much. When the coxinha was within reach, Calvin leaned in to take a bite... only for Sunspot to teasingly pull it away before he could do so. Brow furrowing, Calvin pursed his lips and regarded his boyfriend with an unimpressed look. "Mean," he said, punctuating his brief assessment of his boyfriend's antics with a low "Hrmph" as he watched the coxinha disappear into Beto's mouth. That he could have simply removed his hand from his boyfriend's bum and grab one for himself somehow didn't occur to him. Or he just had his priorities straight, one of those two things.

When his boyfriend promised he wouldn't trick him again, Calvin quirked his brow a little. Once bitten (or in this case, once not... having bitten, something like that) twice shy, and he remained a bit wary that his adorably drunk boyfriend would find it funny enough a second time around for a repeat performance. True to his word though, Roberto allowed Calvin to take a bite this time, eliciting an appreciative "Mmhmmph!" from the man as he finally got to experience the delectable blend of flavours that made up the uniquely Brazilian snack. He made quick work of the bite he took, then grabbed the rest of the piece Beto was holding up for him with his mouth and happily chewed on that as well. "They really are," he agreed when his love pointed out how good they were. "Maybe we can find a recipe for it?" he suggested. "Bring a bit of Brazil back home with us. I bet Luz would be able and willing to help out with that." Even though they still had issues communicating because of Calvin's lacking ability to speak Portuguese and Luz barely knowing a word of English, but Cal had found her to be a delightful, loving woman regardless. One whom he assumed would gladly ensure the boys had the perfect recipe to make their own coxinha.

Taking another coxinha from the tray, Calvin chewed away happily while his boyfriend talked about all that they needed to do when they next visited Rio. He just nodded at every suggestion that came his way, trusting Roberto to know all of the must-see locations around the city. Cal would have liked to see more this time around, but with Carnaval taking over the city this weekend did not seem like the best time to focus on anything else. A lot of the regular day to day business around town had simply been shut down because of the Carnaval, so any activity not related to that would likely be lacking compared to what it would normally be like, and Calvin wanted to get the proper Rio experience instead of one diluted because the city was simply taken over by the Carnaval celebrations.

"I want to see everything," he told his boyfriend once he seemed to have come to the end of listing all there was for Calvin to see. Roberto had a colourful way of speaking, to match his personality, and that would have made everything an easy sell even if Calvin hadn't already been keen on seeing all of the city that his boyfriend loved so much. "And yes, I will need a day to go wild with a camera. And a camera, I will be needing one of those as well." Sure, he had his phone, but the quality of pictures taken with that just weren't as good as the ones taken with a proper camera. Calvin planned on taking a lot of pictures to use as references for his art, and quality was key to that. "I'm a bit disappointed that there are no angry dicks up where Cristo Redentor is, though." Briefly, Calvin's eyes peered in the direction of the stand they had been at before. "So much for truth in advertising." He almost suggested they could erect one themselves, but decided not to. For one, using "erect" in relation to the angry dicks was just too much, and secondly he was pretty sure that would be sacrilege.

Taking the tray of coxinha from Beto when it was offered to him, his hand finally removed from his boyfriend's perfect rump, Cal frowned at the suggestion that they return to the estate. That was a bit unexpected, given how much his love seemed to have been enjoying himself, and Cal was honestly a bit reluctant to leave a celebration that he had been enjoying so much. He just wanted to try more of the various street foods, have a least a few more of the Brazilian beer that he was enjoying quite a bit, and most of all dance with his beautiful boyfriend. The mention of a party later that day made Calvin reconsider voicing his objections though, his interest piqued by the idea of experiencing yet another different way of celebrating Carnaval. "Aw, is my caramel cupcake in need of a nap before he can attend another party?" Calvin teased his boyfriend lightly. Though considering breakfast and lunch had mostly been alcoholic for Beto so far, that was probably a good idea if they had another party to attend to.

"Is it a fancy party?" The fact that it was held at someone's penthouse made it sound fancy to Calvin. "I don't really have a lot of things to wear, and most stores are closed..." Briefly, Calvin's eyes drifted away, as if the solution to that potential issue was just waiting for him off to the right of where they were standing. "We can go," he decided then, before Berto had even had the chance to tell him more about the party. "Both back to the estate, and to this party in Lagoa tonight." If there was any kind of dress code, Calvin was sure they would figure something out. He couldn't imagine that any Carnaval related party would be all that strict when it came to what people dressed like anyway. That just seemed like it would go against the whole spirit of the celebration. "Come," Calvin smiled at his boyfriend, taking his hand in his own and beginning to make his way through the crowd. Perhaps one day, some time very far in the future, they would actually find the end of this mass of people and make it back to the Costa estate.
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