Mark cashes in on Sicheng’s gift quicker than he was expecting. He waits a little over two months, until the beginning of October, then asked Jaemin if he wanted to go on vacation with him during his fall break so they could bond.
Both Jisung and Donghyuck are in the room when Mark asks, and they both start sputtering when Jaemin answers, “yes”.
“Why do you need to bond with Jaemin?” Donghyuck asks from his spot on the floor.
Mark laughs while Jaemin tries not to look offended. “Jaemin probably spends more time in my apartment than I do. I just want to get him to know him better.”
“You can get to know him better right here in this apartment, you know that right?” Jisung chimes in from next to Donghyuck.
“Yes, I know,” Mark says while rolling his eyes, “but you two twerps could walk in at any time and take him away from me. We are gonna go to a non-Jisung non-Donghyuck zone.”
“Don’t worry,” Jaemin says to Mark, “They’re just going to miss me.”
“Miss you?” Donghyuck scoffs. “Never.”
Jaemin throws himself over both of their laps and leans up to plant a kiss on the edge of Donghyuck’s jaw. “You’re allowed to miss me, you know. If Mark hyung wants to do something nice for me, then let him. You can survive a weekend without me.”
Mark loves the fact that Jaemin calls him hyung, and he loves Jaemin’s ability to silence Donghyuck even more. Jaemin smiles when Donghyuck doesn’t offer any other arguments. He sits up and pets the back of Jisung’s neck to keep him quiet too. “So where are we going?”
Mark lets Jaemin pick the destination and he decides to go to Sardinia, one of Italy’s islands. They leave Incheon at 7AM on Friday, leaving a teary eyed Jisung and an amused Donghyuck behind. They have a great time exploring the island, going to beaches and hiking in the mountains. Jaemin even insists that they go wine tasting, and Mark can hardly say no when he has money to spare.
On the morning before they fly back to Seoul, the two of them go to some fancy restaurant to squander the rest of Mark’s money. Jaemin finishes his food first and sits and waits for Mark to finish. After a small silence, he downs the rest of his espresso and heaves a big sigh.
“Mark, is this,” Jaemin starts, looking troubled, “is this a date?”
Mark’s eyebrows furrow. “What? N—”
Jaemin continues on, ignoring Mark’s denial. “I mean, I’m totally flattered, but the two of us can’t date. I like Jisung.”
Mark feels a sudden surge of pity. He wonders if Jaemin knows about Jisung’s relationship with Donghyuck.
“I hope that works out for you,” Mark says.
“Oh it will,” Jaemin giggles, and Mark’s eyebrows shoot towards his hairline, “We kissed at the airport before we left.”
The first thing Mark feels is confusion. The second thing he feels is a fierce need to protect Donghyuck from any kind of harm. He can’t help it, but he knows it’s kind of stupid. Jisung isn’t a cheater—it was his own mother’s infidelity that destroyed his family and made his adolescent years excruciating. He’d never do something like that.
Mark doesn’t know exactly what’s going on, but they are all adults who are more than capable of figuring shit out themselves.
“Can I tell you something else, Mark?” Jaemin asks, and he looks nervous in a way that Jaemin never is.
Mark leans in closer. “Sure.”
“I also...like Donghyuck,” Jaemin says, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth.
Mark at least has the decency to pretend to be surprised. He leans back and folds his arms across his chest. “Huh.”
Jaemin holds his palms out to Mark. “Please don’t kill me! I like the both of them a lot…” he trails off, batting his eyelashes at Mark, “You know I’ll take good care of them right?”
“What?” Mark says out of instinct. “Jaemin, are you asking for permission?”
Jaemin hangs his head and pulls his hands back into his lap. “Maybe.”
“You are an adult,” Mark reminds him.
“I know ,” Jaemin whines, “But you are so prevalent in their lives and I don’t ever want it to be awkward with you if we end up dating or something.”
Mark lays a hand over Jaemin’s on the top of the table. “I’m not going to hate you. I know you will treat them well.”
Jaemin excuses himself to the bathroom while Mark goes to pay. While the cashier rings him up, Mark thinks about what the three of them dating would look like, and it’s not very different from how they already act.
He’s smiling when Jaemin comes out and stands above him in the restaurant’s foyer. “What’s with the face?” Jaemin teases, poking Mark’s knee through his jeans.
“Nothing,” Mark replies, grin terribly concealed. “You ready to go home?”
“Yeah,” Jaemin says, “Let’s go home.”
“Are you sure you’re fine going alone?” Minseok asks Mark, straightening his jacket as the car pulls up the red carpet drop off.
“I’m sure. I just hope Donghyuck can forgive me,” Mark answers, smoothing out his eyebrows.
It’s a month after Mark and Jaemin return, the night of the Korean National Book Awards. It’s not really a huge deal, not anything like music shows or anything, but they’ve become increasingly more popular because of Mark—or rather, because of Daniel.
Despite their relationship, Mark never took Daniel to the awards show with him. Donghyuck was always his date and attended with Mark every year, before either of them hit it big in their respective careers. The same would have been said for tonight, but it is also the night of Donghyuck’s album launch party, and he has to be in attendance. Mark understands, would never ask him to miss it, and decides to go by himself this year.
When they’d initially compared schedules together and found out about the overlap, Donghyuck suggested asking Jisung. Mark thinks it’d be bizarre to have anyone but Donghyuck there, and Jisung is taking Jaemin as his date anyway. It’s going to be their first appearance in public together and Mark is proud of them for stepping out so soon.
Honestly, in past years, Mark dutifully attended the awards even if he didn’t need to. This year, the one year he wants to skip, he’s nominated for the most awards in his career thus far, and for the most awards of any author that will be in attendance; four. He’s nominated for the awards despite the fact that he released his last novel a little over a year ago. He didn’t even know it was still eligible.
“He’s not even mad at you, Mark. Don’t be dramatic,” Minseok says. “Go get ‘em.”
Mark will never entirely be used to the camera flashes and calls of his name. He can barely see faces, but he smiles at everyone anyway. When he gets to the end of the carpet, they begin throw questions at him and he does his best to keep up with the steady influx of them.
“Mark! You’re alone! Where’s Haechan?”
“Over here, Mark! Do you know about Jisung’s date tonight?”
“Hey Mark, when’s that next book coming out?”
He does pretty well at answering them—flawlessly promoting Donghyuck’s album, confirming that yes, he does know who Jaemin is and states that they are friends, refusing to give a date for the last one—but there’s one question that makes his blood turn hot.
“What do you have to say about Daniel?”
It’s been six months since their break up now, and Mark hasn’t thought about him in five. He smiles tightly, about to give an answer, but another question comes from a different direction.
“You never gave a statement, were the allegations true?”
Mark tries not to scoff at the use of the word allegations; something as simplistic as sex is never that serious. He does find truth in the reporter’s statements though, so he clears his throat and tells everyone the truth.
“Yes, I never had sex with Daniel because I never felt like I was completely ready for it. He dumped me and behaved childishly when I didn’t ‘put out’, Mark says, raising his hands to make air quotes, “as you all read. We have not spoken since then, and I have no desire to speak with him again.”
He sees people rushing to scribble down to write down his words. “Anything else?”
“Are you still a virgin?” comes from the back, strained, but everyone hears it and looks back at Mark with curiosity.
Mark gives his most charismatic smile. “The show is starting soon,” he says, then walks inside of the venue.
It’s not, but he needs an excuse to get away. He slips into his front row seat next to Jaemin and pretends not to notice that he and Jisung are holding hands. Jaemin turns his kilowatt smile away from Jisung for a second to speak to Mark.
“Hey, big fella. Paps bother you?”
“As always,” Mark answers, rubbing his forehead, “They asked me about Daniel.”
Jisung cringes. “ Ew. God, why?”
“I never made a statement and they felt like having one from me was imperative. The poor girl behind me was probably waiting so long for them to finish,” Mark whines.
The three of them continue to make small talk until the show starts and the host walks on the stage. Mark grins brightly and immediately sits up.
Qian Kun has hosted every KNBA since Mark was sixteen, and this night is no different. The awards are broadcasted in both South Korea and China, so they needed someone who can switch between languages easily. He and Mark became friends because Mark wins so many awards, and the walk between backstage and the main seating area is excruciatingly long. Silence was awkward, so they filled it and Mark thoroughly enjoys Kun’s company.
He only sees Kun like six times a year, seeing as Kun mostly works from China, but they make sure to hang out every time he comes. The last time Kun had visited Korea, his hair was light brown, but now he’s blond and smilingly brightly down at the crowd. They cheer politely while Kun starts reading from the teleprompter to present the first award of the night.
Mark and Jaemin make a big deal out of cheering for Jisung when he wins the award, and Kun smiles at them fondly. He sends Mark a little wave before disappearing into the back with Jisung.
Honestly, the award show isn’t terribly interesting. It only becomes fun when one of them goes up to get an award. When Mark goes up to collect his first, he gives Kun a tight hug before giving a thank you speech.
It’s Mark that speaks first when they’re on the walk back. “Hey, Kun. You look good,” he says, trying to convey how much he means it.
Kun laughs and swats his arm. “Thank you, so do you. How have you been?”
Mark shifts his award into his other hand. “I’ve been great honestly.”
“Even without Daniel?” Kun asks, knowing how much Mark liked him.
Mark only scoffs. “ Especially without Daniel.”
Kun hums, hugging Mark closer by the waist. “That’s good then. Why are you all alone tonight?”
Mark tries to calm himself and remember that Kun is always this affectionate. He’s like Donghyuck or Jaemin, only older and hotter and—
He’s so fucked.
“Donghyuck’s album comes out tonight and his management is throwing a party for him,” Mark explains, “it’s a big deal for him. I can’t wait to have the house all to myself tonight.”
Kun gives him a confused look. “No Jisung?”
“I doubt it,” Mark shrugs, “He probably wants to do something with Jaemin.”
“Why don’t I come over and hang out?” Kun suggests. “I don’t go back to China for two more days.”
“Okay but be warned; I’m going to murder your ass at Mario Kart,” Mark agrees.
Kun chuckles and pulls Mark in for another embrace before they part ways. “Somehow I doubt that you could destroy my ass at anything.”
Mark chooses not to comment on that one.
Mark, like the embarrassing hyung he is, insists that Jisung joins him for pictures of their haul before he leaves. Between the two of them, they win seven awards: Most Original Book, Best Science Fiction, Best Thriller, and Young People’s Literature for Jisung and Best Erotica, Best Fiction, and the Screenplay Grant for Mark.
The Screenplay Grant is kind of a big fucking deal. The International Board of Literature chooses one author from all over the world and gives fifty billion won to the winner to turn their novel into a huge blockbuster movie. The award and honor itself are already huge, but characteristics of the novel chosen make his win absolutely earth shattering.
Mark’s last release, A Servant’s Tears, is about Choi Chanhee, a young musician who summons a demon to help save his sick mother. He summons the demon of lust by accident, who possesses him and drives him to seduce his best friend Changmin. Towards the book’s end, there is an extraction process, an exorcism, and there’s an unreasonably vague threesome scene that made Jisung run away in terror once he read it.
The book is everything the mainstream media hates; a gay couple, explicit sex, blatant rejection of Christianity and its themes. And it’s going to be a big budget movie. Mark can hardly wait.
Once Mark finishes pestering Jisung, he goes back into the venue where Kun said he’d be waiting. He turns around when he hears the door open. “Ready to go?”
Mark nods his head, gripping his awards a little tighter when Kun rests his hand on the small of his back and guides him outside. Kun’s valet arrives quickly, and the driver doesn’t even look at the owner of the car when he tosses the keys to him. His eyes are on Mark, a shocked expression on his face.
Kun says something in Chinese, a word of thanks most likely, and Mark stares right back at ‘Zeren’ before the driver bows at him and scurries away.
The drive to Mark’s place is short but very...tense. There’s something electric in the air between them, and Mark almost fools himself into thinking it’s normal.
When he thinks about it, it probably is normal. Kun had been close to Mark before and during the time he was dating Daniel. Mark has been told by several people, hookups included, that he looks better now than he ever has, and this is the first time he’s been completely available in three years. Mark had always regarded Kun as just a friend—a handsome, affectionate friend, but a friend nonetheless. Had he been missing all of the signs? Did Kun... like him?
Did he like Kun?
He gets ripped from his thoughts by the parking of the car and the sound of the person in question clearing his throat. Mark turns to look at him curiously and notices that Kun’s drumming his fingers against the steering wheel. That’s only something he does out of nervousness, and Mark immediately knows he hadn’t been imagining the intensity in the car.
When Kun reaches across the center console to pull Mark into a kiss, he goes willingly. It’s as soft as Mark had been expecting, and it’s almost like he can taste Kun’s trepidation.
Mark presses himself into Kun, tongue darting out to seek and envelop, and Kun only whines at the sudden change of pace. As if not to be left behind, he parts his lips and lets Mark do what he wants. Mark latches onto the opportunity, body moving on autopilot as he goes to straddle Kun’s lap. The elder stops him with a gentle hand on his waist.
“Shouldn’t we go inside?” he asks, eyes flickering down to Mark’s mouth like it pained him to separate for even a second.
Mark licks his lips, resisting the urge to smile when Kun follows the movement. “Yeah, let’s,” he says, breathing slightly labored, “let’s go inside.”
He can barely keep his hands to himself in the elevator, but Mark would be damned before he let his neighbor Yanjun see him in a compromising position again. Kun stands so close to Mark and it makes him stupidly nervous. His hands shake as he tries to get the key in the lock.
When they finally get inside, Kun slams him on a wall adjacent to the door. Mark’s breath stutters at the action alone, but it halts all together when Kun leans in close and whispers, “I have wanted to do this with you for such a long time.”
Mark bares his neck and Kun gets the message, inclining his head down to kiss along the skin roughly. His hips are jutting forward, pressing into Kun’s, and Kun pushes them back against the wall with so much force that Mark feels like his tailbone will bruise. The mere thought of it makes him excited.
“I have to have you,” Kun says, candid and frank in a way Mark adores, “I need it.”
If this is going where Mark thinks it is, he’s shocked by how much he reciprocates. It’s like Daniel had blocked any other man from Mark’s view; Mark had never even considered being with another man while they were dating. But now with Daniel out of the picture for good, Mark’s overwhelmed by his attraction to Kun, mentally, emotionally, and most prominent right now, physically.
Mark is just looking at him with his chest heaving, taken aback because Kun, calm, collected, kind Kun wants to fuck Mark right there in his living room.
“Please,” Mark says.
Despite them being relatively the same size, Kun bends his knees a little bit to pick Mark up and carry him further into the living room. He deposits him on the edge of one of the couches, and Mark spreads his thighs to let Kun between them.
They start kissing again, and while grinding his hips upward into Kun, Mark can’t help but acknowledge that there’s been way more kisses now than there were between Mark and any previous hookup. He only stops thinking about it when Kun unbuckles his belt, mind going carefully blank.
Mark nearly whines when Kun separates from him, but it’s worth it when Kun begins to take his clothes off. He watches with keen, interested eyes but he notices that his chest is looking suspiciously...pink? Kun is blushing?
“Hey,” Mark says softly, reaching out to caress Kun’s cheek, “Why are you shy? It’s just me.”
“You’ve never been just you,” Kun says before leaning in to kiss him with insistence. He seems to juxtapose all of his sweet words with rough actions, but Mark doesn’t care at all. If Kun was going to fuck him hard, Mark would adore him all the more for it.
“The lube is in your room?” Kun asks, and continues on when Mark nods, “I want you undressed and bent over the couch when I come back.”
Mark has never gotten undressed so quickly in his life. He throws himself over the arm of the couch, even going as far to spread his cheeks apart for Kun.
The only warning Mark gets before Kun slips a finger into him is the drizzling of lube directly onto his hole. One finger doesn't make Mark react and it enters him with relative ease. Even though Mark cannot see anything that’s going on, his spine pricks with heat and he can just feel Kun’s eyes on him. Mark wonders what he looks like, if his eyes are blown wide or if he’s licking his lips.
The thought of Kun enjoying the view of Mark’s ass expanding around his finger makes Mark shift his hips a little. Kun takes that as his a sign to continue, adding another finger to Mark's ass. The younger moans, soft and distracted, burying his face in the couch cushion.
Kun scissors his fingers to make room for another, simultaneously thrusting his fingers in. Mark cries out, muffled by the cushion, and he pushes his hips back without much thought. It’s Mark’s actions that send Kun’s fingers straight to his prostate, and Kun is startled by how loud Mark moans.
Mark’s muscles commit mutiny and refuse to hold him up and he’s boneless against the arm of the couch, cock so frustratingly hard between his thighs and Kun just wants to be done with this part so he can fuck Mark until he cries. Mark’s breathing is labored and raggedy, but he jumps when Kun twists his wrist and presses the pads of his fingers against the upper wall.
"Please," Mark whimpers, “I can’t take it.”
Kun reacts quickly, lubing himself up for entry. He holds a hand steady against Mark’s hip as he pushes in, and Mark’s hole sucks him in beautifully.
Mark raises up onto his elbows, “Fuck,” he whispers, head hanging, “Shit.”
Maybe he’s gone too long without being fucked, but Kun feels like magic inside him, especially when he starts to move. Kun has this fluid way of moving his hips that’s making Mark insane, mouth falling open to pant against the cushions.
Mark is so loud , vocal cords healthy as he moans without a care in the world. Kun is unbearably thick, pressing into him in all the right ways, and it feels so good he couldn’t even imagine trying to restrain himself. Kun pounds into Mark at a steady rhythm, and he holds Mark’s waist in a tight grip for leverage.
One of Kun’s hands slides from Mark’s waist, up his spine and to the base of his neck. He presses Mark’s head down into the pillow he’s grabbed onto, smothering him slightly. Mark turns his head to the side so he can breathe, but otherwise, he lets Kun fuck him and handle him how he wants.
Kum notices this, of course, and stutter fucks Mark momentarily. “Fuck, you are so perfect,” he moans, “like a dream come true.”
Mark blushes darkly at the words, but hopes Kun’s far enough away to not see it.
“Please,” Mark begs, “Please, please, please,” he repeats like a mantra.
“What do you want, baby?” Kun asks him, “Tell me what you want and you can have it.”
“I want— fuck— I want to come,” Mark pleads, voice scratchy and trembling like he hasn’t used it in years.
“Oh,” Kun says, sounding so falsely pitying that Mark gets chills, “I was going to let you do that anyway, baby boy.”
As soon as he finishes speaking, Kun winds his arm back and smacks the curve of Mark’s ass hard. The sound of it echoes through the room.
Kun‘s slap hurts like hell, but it feels so fucking good and Mark blindly reaches out to ground himself. In this reach, he accidentally brushes his hand over the remote control and turns the TV on. This wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the screen comes to life and—
It’s Mark. Mark is on the TV.
It’s a picture of him and Jaemin leaving the airport, laughing and looking like the friends they are. It’s really not an incriminating photo, but the anchors continue speaking and Mark can hardly believe his ears.
“Mark Lee has been seen with several different men recently,” the woman says, swiping at her tablet. A screenshot from Donghyuck’s snapchat on Mark’s birthday appears next, Johnny sitting on Mark’s lap, mid strip performance, “and it has fans wondering.”
“The young writer has been spotted several times leaving buildings at late hours by himself,” the male anchor interjects. Then there’s a really unnecessary slideshow of grainy photos of vaguely Mark-shaped people, “As someone outed as celibate by his previous boyfriend Kang Daniel, this doesn’t seem to be the most celibate behavior, Nayoung.”
Mark wants to be angry at the hyper fixation on his sex life, wants to be annoyed by the fact that Daniel’s fans followed him around and submitted this weak ass article, but at the moment, all he feels is shame.
Mark feels abysmally ashamed at how much he’s been acting like a whore, but it’s not the sorrowful kind of shame; it’s the dizzying, erotic kind that makes heat burn through his body. It’s only doubled by the fact that Kun starts fucking him harder, faster while listening to the anchors.
Kun grabs a fistful of Mark’s hair and pulls him up so Mark’s back is to his chest. “Look, baby, the whole of Korea knows how indecent you are.”
Mark whines, head dropping back to rest against Kun’s shoulder, “Please.”
The elder grinds up into Mark dips his head to whisper into his neck, “That wasn’t enough? Do you need me to tell you how much of a slut you are too?”
And Mark just comes, dick standing proud and his thighs shaking as the feeling takes over him. Kun fucks him through it, a little more gentle than he was previously. Mark tries to fall forward, but Kun secures an arm around his midsection and keeps him standing.
Mark’s little dick doesn’t even wane at all after he comes. Kun doesn’t stop fucking him either, spitting in his hand and wrapping it around the length. “You’re still hard? You like being told you’re a fucking whore? Do you like that everyone else knows it too?”
He can barely even answer, hips fucking back onto Kun with a mind of their own. Mark realizes, quite belatedly, that he probably seems so insatiable to Kun and his cheeks get hot.
“You gonna come for me again?” Kun asks, stroking Mark faster. He’s given up on trying to maintain the same pace of hip and hand, now only fucking into Mark in hard, short bursts.
Mark doesn’t answer, eyes falling shut as he waits for his second orgasm to hit, but Kun isn’t having it. The forearm that was wrapped securely around Mark’s torso disappears and manifests around his neck, and Mark’s eyes fly open in surprise.
“I asked you a question,” Kun says, voice still as sweet as always, and Mark is only able to get out “Ye—” before he comes again, dirtying Kun’s hand and whining from oversensitivity.
He collapses forward and this time Kun lets him slump over the arm of the chair. Kun follows his lead right after, pulling out to jerk off over the curve of Mark’s ass, and Mark cannot help but be a tiny bit disappointed that Kun didn’t come inside of him.
Mark flops over to his back and drags Kun down for a slow kiss, and there’s something about it that feels right , despite his own come smeared and cooling between his back and the couch.
He breaks the kiss and runs his hand up and down Kun’s right bicep. “You can stay the night if you want,” Mark offers timidly.
Kun just grins at him. “I’d like that.”
“We need to take a shower first. We’re not getting into my bed like this,” Mark says, and untangles their limbs so he can walk down the hallway to the bathroom.
He knows Kun is right on his heels without having to look back.