Xie Lian spends the following week doing three things: trying not to think about the fact he peeped on his believer touching himself inside the privacy of his own mind, frantically reciting sutras every time he remembers he peeped on his believer touching himself inside the privacy of his own mind, and working himself to the bone in order to avoid remembering that oh, that's right, he peeped on his believer touching himself inside the privacy of his own mind.
The fact said believer prayed so ardently to Xie Lian he literally dragged him inside his fantasy is inconsequential. Xie Lian could have left at any moment. He could have, but he didn't. Instead, he just stood there and watched like… like a pervert. Xie Lian has never felt like a pervert before. It comes with the territory of being utterly uninterested in sex in every shape or form. Or so he thought.
Every moment he has an opportunity to think, the memory creeps on him and clings to his mind like a parasite. Ghosts of broken moans ring into his ears, the intoxicating smell of flowers and raw desire is so strong he could sob and the visuals. Oh but the sight of those long fingers stroking restlessly under the clothes, the sensual movement of that body, that face. It's torture, pure and simple. Xie Lian cannot see his statues without picturing his beautiful worshiper withering under them, begging His Highness and crawling to lick the stone foot like it's his greatest honor to do so.
Red blooms over his retina constantly, and he wishes so viciously he could erase a color from this plane of existence, and himself while he's at it. Unfortunately, he cannot, so he copes by allowing himself as little occasion for his corrupted mind to wander as physically possible. It more or less works, until Feng Xin tires of him and his insane agitation and locks him in his room.
"I'm sorry, Your Highness, but you can't come out until you sleep at least eight hours," his attendant declares through the door. "You haven't closed your eyes in five days."
"That's not true!" Xie Lian must protest for the sake of accuracy. "I blinked regularly! It's like micro-resting! It counts!"
"That's bullshit." Feng Xin replies with his usual tact. "Sleep, I beg you."
To hear him, Xie Lian is the worst god to care for ever, which is, as Feng xin would say, 'bullshit'. Xie Lian is polite, respectful, hard-working; he doesn't send his attendants on ridiculous errands at improbable hours of the night like some people do; and he doesn't have shameful sex scandals with gods and mortals alike. Well. He didn't use to have sex scandals. Does accidental dream voyeurism counts as potential sex scandal material? For everyone else, probably not.
But he's the Crown Prince of Xian Le, General of the East, and Jun Wu's favored martial god, for some mysterious reason he still cannot quite explain. They are all waiting for him to falter in his ethics, to prove that deep down, he's faillible and meek of character like everyone else.
Which, apparently, he is. So much for his grand talks about being a role model to mortals and upholding a higher moral ground.
"I'm a god," he argues, petulantly. "I don't need to sleep."
Technically true. It's also true he's been running everywhere, like an over-excited kid who ate the whole honey jar, and may or may not be on the verge of a breakdown and an identity crisis all at once.
Feng Xin doesn't dignify that sentence with an answer. Xie Lian could break the door, but he's not so far gone as to not realize his attendant is right to be concerned. Xie Lian has been, as a matter of fact, behaving oddly in the last few days, for no particular reason, as far as they know. And he has no intention to explain himself, under no circumstances, ever.
He closes his eyes and lets his back slide down the door and sit on the ground. He really is exhausted, but to allow himself to fall asleep terrifies him. He knows it's very unlikely this one worshiper will manage to snag him into his wet dream again; unfortunately, rationality has very little grip on his mind right now.
He can just… rest his eyes for a bit. Yeah, he can survive like this just fine. It's fine. He's a god. He's not that tired. It's perfectly fiiiine…
The first thing Xie Lian feels is a caress. A soft, gentle, loving caress wandering across his side and his stomach, a firm brush over the corded lines of his muscles, a blissfully warm touch dancing over his cold skin.
The sheer tenderness of the contact creates waves of pure euphoria all over Xie Lian's frigid body and releases earthquakes shaking his soul to the core. When was the last time someone touched Xie Lian with so much care? When was the last time someone touched Xie Lian at all? He can feel everything single callus over that blessed hand, revel in the expert touch of those agile fingers. This is the hand of an artist, made for creation. This is the hand of a soldier, made for destruction.
And this hand is ravaging Xie Lian's dignity. If he could moan out loud, if he could beg for more, he would, decency be damned. His voice seems to be trapped in his rigid throat, the vocals locked up within where only he can hear them.
Suddenly, the hand retreats, abandoning him in his frozen hell. Xie Lian could cry at the loss. Quickly, another sensation replaces it, light, like a feather kiss, teasing the lines of his arms. A brush? It feels like a brush, gently laying paint over his clothes.
"There we go," a deep voice whispers. "Much better that way."
Xie Lian's unbeating heart twitches in his chest. That voice. How could he not recognize it? It's exactly what he feared. He slipped inside the man-in-red's dreams again. How often does his worshiper's fantasies feature Xie Lian as a guest star exactly? Is this going to happen every single time he allows himself some rest?
"Just a minute, Your Highness," the man in red says, Xie Lian's title rolling from his lips like a caress. "I'm going to give you back your eyes."
His eyes? How did Dream Xie Lian manage to lose those in the first place? How incompetent is he in his believer's eyes?
The feather-like sensation appears over his eyes, tenderly caressing his orbs into life. First he makes a large stroke with the brush, then a cautious slit at the vertical. Oh. He's painting Xie Lian's eyes.
Light bursts underneath his eyelids. Xie Lian clenches his eyes shut by reflex, allowing himself a minute to get used to the sudden sensory attack, then he opens his eyes again. He's standing inside the same temple as last time, flickers of red calling for his attention in the background. He looks down at himself tentatively. An ocean of grey, speckled with cheerful points of colors, greets him.
Oh. Oh, this time, he is the statue. And right in front of him, the artist who carved him out of stone, sheer will power, and devoted love, is smiling. It's his worshiper, of course, still in crimson red, still radiating both adoration and terrible guilt.
"There," he whispers as his thumb roams along the line of Xie Lian's eyelid. "Beautiful."
Yes, beautiful indeed, that's the word. There is no denying this man is handsome. And he doesn't mean it in the way he usually does, clinically and objectively, an indifferent 'this person is aesthetically pleasing to look at' constatation before he moves on. No, his believer is beautiful the way natural disasters are beautiful: devastatingly so. A meteor shower in shades of snow white, ink black and crimson red crashing on Xie Lian's planet, setting a dead land on fire.
He averts his eyes, silently blessing the fact he can't blush with his cold stone skin. Down on the floor, there are many carving materials and tools: a hammer, spike, paint and brushes; plus an enormous collections of jewels and precious trinkets: bracelets, necklaces, hair pins, and a crown. For him, Xie Lian realizes. When the statue is finished, he'll be adorned in those priceless ornaments and covered with flowers. The familiar looking red umbrella is folded neatly next to its owner's legs.
"The hair now," the man in red decides, leaning toward Xie Lian's face.
Oh dear, he's so close now! Too close, too close, way too close! How is Xie Lian supposed to think with that handsome face so close to his, his black eye glistening with happiness, the corner of his red mouth twisted with concentration as he ever so cautiously runs his brush over Xie Lian's locks? How is he supposed to stay dignified and aloof with that warm body pressed against his, tender flesh and corded muscles leaning over his stone skin, filling him with tantalizing heat and rising waves of want he didn't even know he could feel?
The warmth, the sheer adoration, it just feels so good. Somehow, Xie Lian has failed to notice he has been starving all this time, and now this is a full meal right under his nose, wordlessly begging to be devoured. For once in his life, Xie Lian wants, wants so deeply and so intensely it shatters him. He's no stranger to want, he's always been a very passionate person after all, but this is different. This is base, crass, ugly desire, and Xie Lian has no idea how to make it go away.
He hasn't even realized he is moving, until those cursed, blessed hands clamp around his hips, locking them into place.
Oh. Oh god, more.
"I don't remember carving that," the man in red chuckles incredulously.
'That? What is that?' Xie Lian wonders with no small amount of concern. The right hand abandons his hip to roll over his stomach. No. Not his stomach. Definitely not his stomach. A broken moan bucks in his throat when his believer's slender hand rubs his crotch and ohhhh yes, there, right there.
Oh no. Oh no no no, Xie Lian somehow grew a penis when he wasn't looking, and he's unknowingly been rutting against the man in red like a filthy, disgusting animal devoid of any self-control.
"Even when I'm trying to honor His Highness without corrupting his goodness, my subconscious betrays me," his believer mutters, sounding bitter and angry at himself.
Xie Lian is about ninety-five percent sure this is his fault. He's the one whose horny subconscious decided to twist the innocent dream to make it sexual, the one who threw morals to the ditch in order to build himself a manhood out of stone and use his devotee like.. like a conveniently warm and close body to pound into. For all he pretends to be morally superior, he's not any better than General Pei Ming. If only he could die of shame right then and there. Someone please take pity on him and smite his pervert self where he stands already.
His frozen face somehow managed to convey his inner freak out because the man in red's self-loathing frown eases into a soothing smile. "Your Highness, it's alright. You can use me however you like."
To prove his point, his devotee slips his leg between Xie Lian's and slowly, so, so slowly rubs his knee against Xie Lian's painfully hard length.
Sleeping nerves burst to life, and his mind goes blank with pleasure. The pressure against him is beyond divine. If Xie Lian wasn't currently made of rock solid stone, he would have crumbled like those golden foil palaces he used to play with. Instead, he melts inside his devotee's arms, seeking for more of this mind-blowing warmth. 'Not close enough', he feverishly tells himself, as he presses himself all over his ridiculously tall believer and clenches that wonderful knee between his thighs. Needs more, wants more, demands more.
"Like that, Your Highness," the man who built Xie Lian with his own two hands pants against Xie Lian's ear. "Please, please take me any way you want."
He makes a sound like a broken sob when Xie Lian's arms circle his chest. Xie Lian's hands flutter along his long spine, hesitantly. Maybe he's been too forward. When his believer said 'any way he wants', surely he doesn't actually mean any way. Before he can disentangle himself from his partner, mortified by his shameless attitude, the man in red embraces him back, plastering their chests together. Stone and skin, clothes and paint, god and mortal, melting together into one world of their own making.
Xie Lian dies a little when he feels his believer's erection pulsing against his belly. His lover? Does dreams count as proper sexual intercourse? Hopefully it doesn't, because Xie Lian knows he can't stop himself anymore. Instead of flinching away from the evidence of the other man's desire for him, his hips rock down on their own, chasing the pressure of it against his cock and oh. Impossibly, it feels even better.
"Your Highness, ahhh," his lover's desperate moan makes Xie Lian shiver from head to toe. "May… May this lowly servant touch His Highness?"
Touch? Isn't that what they're doing already? Is it even possible to get even closer than what they are doing? Xie Lian might die from pleasure and embarrassment. He's already so close to combust into flames. Yet, stupidly, he nods in agreement. His devotee smiles like he was bestowed the greatest honor ever, and his hand slides from Xie Lian's back to their intertwined midsections, the other securing Xie Lian's hip carefully.
Xie Lian looks down at their lengths pressed together in his devotee's beautiful hand, his grey and hard, his partner's red and just as hard, leaking a clear liquid at the tip. Can.. Can Xie Lian even come like this, or is he going to stay hard forever? Xie Lian wants to come so badly, in a way he never has. The few times he indulged into sex before he took his vows were more curious and utilitarian than anything else. He had no idea intimacy could feel like this.
Oh, merciful gods, is his worshiper going to come on him again? Cover him with his pearl white spent, mark Xie Lian with his cum like a vulgar whore? Maybe he'll get on his knees to lick Xie Lian clean like last time. Maybe he'll use it to finish painting Xie Lian, spread that cum with his soft brush ever so reverently and oh, Xie Lian actually wants that.
He hides his face in the crook of the man in red's neck, embarrassed by his eagerness and complete lack of property.
"Your Highness, ahh, please, please let this worthless servant see your face…" his lover begs so earnestly Xie Lian can't find the strength to deny him.
He tilts his heavy head to the side, meeting the other's bright eye, and something within him twists and snarls in raw delight at the pure ecstasy on his believer's face. Tides of pleasure uncoil in his entire body, rising and rising, so high that Xie Lian loses any ability he had to think about anything but more more more more more, give more to your god, my dear worshiper, more ahhh.
Xie Lian feels himself tip over the edge that he didn't know existed. Everything dissolves into a storm of electric light; the temple, the dream, his believer's ecstatic face, his stone body; it all rises and crashes down, leaving Xie Lian undone by the shore.
He wakes on the floor, rock hard and wrecked beyond words.