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Joyful Wine

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“Where are we going?” Wei Wuxian complained. He would have complained more loudly if Lan Wangji hadn’t allowed him to take a jar of the very fine celebratory wine with him. Still, to be dragged away from A-Yuan’s wedding banquet when it had barely begun wasn’t precisely the route he’d imagined this evening taking. Surely both he and Lan Wangji had earned a celebration, if not for the miraculous feat of saving the boy’s life in the first place, then for having managed to raise him to be a credit to not one but three clans?

“You’ll see,” was all that Lan Wangji said in response to his continued demands for information, and the answer was terse at that.

Terse enough that Wei Wuxian had to wonder, “Did I do something wrong?”

Lan Wangji stopped, turned him gently, and kissed his lips.

“I take that as a ‘no’?”

The slightest tilt of a smile; the slightest tilt of his head. And then Lan Wangji did perhaps the most shocking thing he could have done in that moment: he took the white wine jar from his husband’s hand and drank deeply from it before handing it back to him.

“Lan Zhan!”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji replied, the smile broadening enough that it might have been identifiable even to someone who hadn’t spent the better part of two lifetimes trying to discern it.

Interesting. Wei Wuxian offered the bottle again, but Lan Wangji only shook his head. “Mmm, I see,” Wei Wuxian said. “You need fermented courage but you don’t want to pass out?”

Another affirmative tilt of the head.

“Oh but Lan Zhan—” he began to tease, and then stopped when he saw the look on the other man’s face. Wide eyes, a suddenly-serious mouth. His words had been flippant; he hadn’t really thought that Lan Wangji had drunk for any other reason than to celebrate their son’s wedding.

It seemed, however, that his words had been more accurate than he had intended. And if that was the case, what on earth was Lan Wangi planning? Debauchery, he hoped—but the look on his husband’s face wasn’t particularly lascivious. If anything, it was speculative, his golden eyes fixed not so much on Wei Wuxian as in him.

“What are you up to?” he asked, pushing himself against Lan Wangji, hooking his free arm around his neck. “Tell me!” He pouted his lips, lowered his lashes—and Lan Wangji laughed. Laughed! “Lan Zhan!” he cried, and although he knew that there could not be anything malicious behind his husband’s odd behavior, still, a little bit of him was hurt.

“Be patient,” Lan Wangji said, lacing their fingers together and drawing him onward.

But Wei Wuxian was out of patience. Today he had watched the closest thing to a son he would ever have take the last of a long series of steps away from him. He wasn’t precisely sad about it; after all, SiZhui had married a girl who looked at him as if he hung the moon and stars, and he loved her just as deeply. Still, as he’d watched SiZhui and his bride make their prostrations in their wedding red, watched them smile shyly at each other as they left the banquet hall for the bridal chamber, he couldn’t help but feel all that he had missed in the making of this young man. All that he had lost. There was one certain way to shake off his melancholy, and he didn’t want to wait for it any longer.

A cool hand caressed his cheek. “Wei Ying.”

He shook off the reverie, turned to kiss the smooth palm of his lover’s hand. “Let’s go home.”

A pause—slight and yet unmistakable before the nod, the familiar, “Mn.”

Hmm. Well, they had almost reached the jingshi. Soon enough he’d figure out what Lan Wangji wasn’t telling him. However, when Wei Wuxian turned toward their rooms, his husband stopped him. “What—” he began, and then he heard it. Not loud. Of course not: they weren’t yet comfortable enough with each other to be loud. But he could clearly hear SiZhui’s light tenor speaking soft words, ZiYi’s sweet laughter in response.

He narrowed his eyes. “Alright Lan Zhan. Why are they in our house?”

Lan Wangji smiled. “Because it is their house, now.”

“But—what—?”

Lan Wangji took the bottle again, sipped from it neatly before handing it back. “It was our wedding present to them.”

Wei Wuxian shook his head, wondering if he was caught in some strange kind of dream. “That is very generous of HanGuang-Jun,” he said with an exaggerated bow and a mocking tone, “however, where do you propose that we sleep if you’ve given our house away?”

Lan Wangji gazed at him, his honey-colored eyes heavy with questions rather than answers. At last, apparently in reply, he turned and began to walk again. They left the neat gravel paths of the compound, moving onto a narrower dirt path that led into the trees. They followed it for a good ten minutes around the foot of the mountain, nothing but the leaf-fractured light of the gibbous moon to mark their way.

Just when Wei Wuxian was about to ask Lan Wangji if he had lost his mind (or if those two sips of wine had been enough to addle it) he saw a light through the trees. It was warm and golden, candlelight, though there should be no artificial light out here. They emerged from the trees into a small clearing that Wei Wuxian didn’t recall having seen before—because it hadn’t been here before, at least not the last time he’d come this way. But that wasn’t what arrested him, almost causing him to drop his wine jar in surprise. In the center of the little clearing was a house, and not just any house. For a moment the world seemed to slip and shift beneath him, and he wondered if he had gone mad—or if perhaps Lan Wangji had unearthed that cursed incense burner again.

But no: while it was a very good approximation of the cabin from his dream, it wasn’t an exact copy. It was larger, and it was brand new where that one had been old and weathered. The log walls bled sap redolent of the living trees they had recently been, and the gardens were sparse with young plants. A magnolia sapling lifted its branches in the soft light from the window at the back of the house, just where the corner of another building showed. A bathhouse? Their very own bathhouse, where they could be as loud and as messy as they liked? And this, after the long, emotional day, was what finally undid Wei Wuxian.

“Lan Zhan, oh, Lan Zhan!” he said, and then he burst into tears.

Lan Wangji caught him as he crumpled, hooking an arm beneath his knees, another around his shoulders and cradling him against his chest, lowering both of them carefully to the ground. Wei Wuxian tried to master himself but the tears kept coming. Lan Wangji held him as he cried, kissing his wet cheeks, his salty lips.

“If you do not like it—” he began gently.

“I like it!” Wei Wuxian interrupted, wrapping his arms around his neck and kissing him fiercely. “I love it! Only—Lan Zhan, how can I take HanGuang-Jun away from his people?”

Lan Wangji’s lips tipped upward, a smile as tentative as a new spring blossom. “How is this taking me away? We are still in my family’s territory.”

“But not to live amongst them? What will they say?”

Lan Wangji pressed his lips to Wei Wuxian’s, silencing him. Then he drew back, and after a moment he said, “My father and my mother are dead. My brother has his hands full since our uncle’s death. SiZhui has begun his own family. Who are my people now but you? Who would I care to live with but you?”

Wei Wuxian searched his face for any sign that he was not entirely sincere—but of course, there was none. Lan Wangji couldn’t be anything but sincere, and Wei Wuxian was neither naïve nor drunk enough not to know exactly how precious a gift his beloved was offering him. This little house represented a life of their own, away from the prying eyes of the Lans. A life in which he could tinker with talismans and flags to his heart’s content, without watchful gossips eager to be the first to catch the Yiling Patriarch slipping back into his evil ways. A life in which he would never have to stifle his cries of pleasure; in which Lan Wangji might at last be coaxed into voicing his own.

“Show it to me,” Wei Wuxian said, voice eager, tears forgotten.

“Mn,” Lan Wangji answered, a smile in the non-word, as familiar and dear to Wei Wuxian now as the sound of his own name on the other man’s lips. Lan Wangji stood and carried him into the house, only allowing him to wriggle free once they were inside.

Wei Wuxian was speechless in the face of his dream made real. There was the loom, already strung with pale blue thread, and there the table where Lan Wangji had knelt reading: a beautiful piece of honey-colored wood waxed to a satiny sheen. Between the simply latticed windows were shelves of books and scrolls, and against one wall a long bench held the materials of Wei Wuxian’s trade, laid out neatly or stored in a row of arched pigeon holes.

Wei Wuxian turned to Lan Wangji, wide-eyed. “How did you—when did you do this?”

Lan Wangji allowed himself another fraction of a smile. “I had it built when you were visiting your brother. I had our things moved during the ceremony.”

Wei Wuxian nodded, still not quite certain that he wasn’t dreaming. He ran his fingers along the spines of the books, the smooth thread in the warp of the loom, the runnels of wax the candles had dripped into their wooden holders. Wangji lay on the low table on which it resided when they weren’t traveling, a censer spilling sweet smoke on one side and a jar of creamy magnolia blossoms on the other. On the wall behind it, Chenqing rested on two filigreed hooks. A bed sat in one corner, already made up with crimson quilts and cushions. Beside it, a brazier burned against the chill of the mountain night, its smoke was scented with something warm and sweet and so heady it sent hot blood thrumming through him, intoxicating as wine.

“Ambergris?” he asked.

Lan Wangji nodded, a question in his eyes: Do you remember?

Of course Wei Wuxian remembered. Lan Wangji had burned this the first time they had made love—not that quick coupling by the roadside, but the night that followed. They had stayed in a secluded inn nearly empty of guests, and Lan Wangji had produced an uninspiring lump of grey material from his sleeve which, when lit in the room’s censer, had made Wei Wuxian forget his pains and earlier pleas for mercy, and beg instead for the opposite. Unlike their first time, with their second Lan Wangji had taken his time. That night they had begun to learn the intricacies of each other, and it was a memory that never failed to bring tears to Wei Wuxian’s eyes.

The better part of five years had passed since they’d declared themselves. There were more lines around his husband’s eyes, a few threads of silver in his hair, but Wei Wuxian’s love and desire for him had only grown. Gazing at the man standing so still in the center of the room, waiting for him to accept or reject this offering, he felt his eyes filling again. Could Lan Wangji could possibly imagine that he would not accept this gift? That he could see it as anything other than infinitely precious? He crossed the room in a bound, flinging himself into Lan Wangji’s arms.

“Thank you,” he breathed. “Thank you.”

“Did you not forbid those words between us?” Lan Wangji asked, his own words barely more than a breath in Wei Wuxian’s ear.

“Who cares if I did? I’m saying them now!”

“Mn,” Lan Wangji conceded, burying his face in Wei Wuxian’s neck, nipping the delicate skin behind his ear.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian smiled. “This house. This incense. Are you asking me for another wedding night?”

“It is SiZhui’s wedding night.”

“So what? Should SiZhui have all the fun? Don’t we deserve something for raising him into a man who could have a wedding night with a woman he loves?”

“I cannot counter your rhetoric,” Lan Wangji answered, laughter in his voice.

“Did you actually mean to try?”

Lan Wangji’s answer was to lift him again and lay him down on the crimson bed, unfastening Wei Wuxian’s belt as he did it so that his robes fell open. He straddled his waist, tugging open the ties of his man’s undershirt as Wei Wuxian pulled at his own belt and robes, shoving them out of the way. Their mouths met, hot and hungry, and Wei Wuxian spared a moment to wonder whether a day would ever come when they didn’t crave each other like this. He hoped not—hoped it fervently. Life had set him on the path to madness more than once, but this was one brand of it he was happy to succumb to.

He shivered as the breeze from the open doorway ran fingers across his exposed skin, Lan Wangji following it with a hot tongue. He bit his lip against a moan—and then recalled that he didn’t have to. “Lan Zhan…” he breathed, tangling his fingers in his hair as Lan Wangji swirled his tongue in the hollow of his hip, and then bit. “Lan Zhan!” he yelped.

“Wei Ying?” he answered, pausing to look up.

“I’ve been thinking,” Wei Wuxian said, pretending to stop and ponder his words.

“Thinking what?”

As gravely as he could, Wei Wuxian said, “Thinking that it’s high time I heard HanGuang-Jun scream.” He flipped them over, neatly reversing their positions and laughing delightedly at the look on his husband’s face.

“I will not scream for the asking,” Lan Wangji warned.

Wei Wuxian laughed again, saying, “I don’t plan to ask.”

“No?”

“Oh, no. I intend to make you ask. In fact,” he walked his fingers down Lan Wangji’s chest, “I think I’ll make you beg.”

Lan Wangji tried to wriggle out from under Wei Wuxian, but for once, his strength failed him. Wei Wuxian grinned, pinning his wrists easily above his head, and then plucked off his forehead ribbon, wrapping it around them.

“Wei Ying!” Lan Wangji growled, flexing his fingers as if doing so could free him.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian answered, folding his own fingers together and resting them on Lan Wangji’s bare chest, and then his chin on top of them. “Do you have a request?”

“Yes! Untie me!”

“Mmm,” Wei Wuxian pretended to contemplate. Then he smiled. “No.”

Lan Wangji sighed, though his eyes still flashed. “How did you do it? A talisman to sap my strength?”

Wei Wuxian raised his eyebrows, pouted a bit, struggling not to give in to mirth. This was altogether too much fun. “Sap your strength! How could you think I would do such a thing to my beloved husband?”

Wei Ying!”

He sighed theatrically. “No, Lan Zhan—I’m afraid you did this to yourself.” He shook his head in mock-despair. “I didn’t force you to drink that wine, after all.”

“Two sips.”

“Three. You toasted the couple.”

“Fine. Three. Even I do not get drunk on three sips.”

Wei Wuxian smiled. “You do when the wine is that potent. And I made certain that the Joyful Wine for SiZhui’s wedding was particularly potent. I don’t think you’ll recover until morning—if then.” Lan Wangji groaned. “Oh, excellent! A very good start! But not quite a scream.”

“You cannot make me,” Lan Wangji said.

“Well, that’s debatable. But if you don’t think so, we could make it interesting. Make it a wager…”

“There is no—”

“—gambling in Cloud Recesses. Yes, yes, how could I forget when I had to copy it a hundred times? But we aren’t in Cloud Recesses anymore, are we? Not really.”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji huffed.

“If I can’t make you scream when you come,” Wei Wuxian continued, unperturbed, “I’ll go to the kitchens and bring you breakfast in the morning.”

“Mn.”

“Don’t you want to know what will happen if I can?” He lifted his chin, thumbed his husband’s nipples. They were already hard. They weren’t the only part of him that was.

Lan Wangji’s breath barely hitched before he said, “No. Because you can’t.”

Wei Wuxian didn’t argue, only replaced his thumbs with his tongue, lapping at one hard nub and then the other as he undid the rest of the ties on Lan Wangji’s shirt, and then moved to his pants. They were fine pieces, made of silk like their elaborate robes in honor of this day. Wei Wuxian didn’t particularly want to ruin them, and so he slid off Lan Wangji’s trousers and tossed them with his own clothing to the end of the bed. Then he worked him out of his robes, and added those to the pile. He was pleased to see Lan Wangji’s ears pinking. Though they must have been naked together a thousand times, nudity still embarrassed him. Wei Wuxian found it utterly endearing.

And utterly tantalizing. For a few moments he stat back on Lan Wangji’s thighs, simply admiring him. He was achingly beautiful like this, candlelight playing in the dips and hollows of his muscles, lighting his wine-drowsy eyes like sun through wildflower honey. His hair splayed around him, inky brush-sweeps on the deep red of the bedding. Best of all, though, his fine lips were pressed together as if he were already stifling the cries Wei Wuxian intended to draw from them. A challenge.

“Any requests?” Wei Wuxian asked, stroking a line from the shadowed dip beneath Lan Wangji’s throat to the place where his heavy cock rested on his belly. He withdrew the finger just before touching it, and Lan Wangji let out a shuddering breath.

“Untie me.”

Wei Wuxian laughed. “Now where would be the fun in that? How about instead you tell me where you put the oil.”

“Get off. I’ll show you.”

“Oh, Lan Zhan! What do you take me for?” Wei Wuxian let out another dramatic sigh, and then put his first two fingers in his mouth, holding Lan Wangji’s eyes as he sucked and licked them, making little sounds of pleasure as he did. When he saw his husband’s cock twitch (although he had not uttered a sound through all of it) he smiled and, without preamble, he slid his hand between them and worked his middle finger into Lan Wangji’s entrance.

He was careful. Lan Wangji allowed him to do this rarely enough that he was tight as a virgin, his muscles clenching against the intrusion. Yet though it must have been at least a little bit uncomfortable, he kept his silence. The only thing that showed he had registered the incursion at all was the slightest widening of his eyes and dilation of his pupils.

“Ah, Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian crooned. “You do like this, don’t you?”

“I can like it silently,” Lan Wangji answered, voice low and hitching.

“We’ll see,” Wei Wuxian answered mildly, pushing in another finger. He worked slowly, watching the other man’s face for its minute ripples of expression. This all might have been easier if Lan Wangji had been a little drunker; then again, a little drunker and he might simply have passed out.

Deliberately, Wei Wuxian avoided the bundle of nerves just beyond the clenching ring of muscle. He let himself get close to it, circle it even, but never quite touch it. Lan Wangji began to move against him, trying to find the contact Wei Wuxian was denying him. Perfect.

“What is it, Lan Zhan?” he asked, sucking the fingers of his other hand and then lowering them to the fleshy space between Lan Wangji’s balls and his entrance. He pressed there, drawing his fingers back and forth in a way that Lan Wangji had used to rile him on countless occasions. Even the thought of it was enough to make him tighten and twitch, but he maintained focus. He had longed to hear his husband voice his lust for far too long to give up now. More to the point, it was beginning to look like he might succeed. A sweep of pink colored each of his man’s high cheekbones; his eyelashes fluttered against them, long and black and beautiful as the strokes of his calligraphy brush. His licked his parted lips, the flick of his tongue too much for Wei Wuxian to resist. He leaned down and kissed him as he curled his fingers, finally making contact with the pleasure center; he was rewarded with a low moan.

He smiled against Lan Wangji’s mouth, licking into it as he pressed his fingers into him, splaying them, working him open. “You can’t pretend that you don’t love this,” he said, teasing the corner of his jaw with his teeth, sucking a bruise into the skin below it. “That you don’t love me.”

“Why,” Lan Wangji gasped, “would I ever pretend that I don’t love you?”

Those words, so simple and honest, drove straight to Wei Wuxian’s heart. He paused, wondering if he ought to let all of this go. After all, what really mattered other than the fact that this beautiful soul loved him? Had loved him beyond reason for longer and through more hardship than anyone had a right to expect? But—no. For all the pleasure Lan Wangji had taken with him, he was certain that his man had not reached the limit of what he could feel. Had not even come close, perhaps: too worried about who might be listening. Well, that problem was in their past.

“You wouldn’t,” he said. “And that’s exactly why you are going to lose the wager, er-gege.” He whispered the last words into Lan Wangji’s ear, taking the lobe between his lips and sucking for a moment before he bit it gently and let it go. “Now do you want me to fuck you dry? Or are you ready to tell me where the oil is?”

Lan Wangji let out a little frustrated grunt; and then he sighed defeat. “There are drawers under the table.”

Wei Wuxian smiled, and then pulled the ribbon from his hair. He looped it several times around Lan Wangji’s bindings and one of the slats of the bed’s latticed headboard, and then he slipped away, smiling more widely to himself as he heard the little whimper Lan Wangji uttered as his fingers left him. He opened one drawer after another, finally locating a small porcelain jar, its seal unbroken. Interesting. He tore the paper seal and then twisted the stopper free. An intoxicating perfume wafted out, a mix of ambergris, jasmine, something woody, something smoky, all of it making him harden and twitch. He swallowed hard. Lan Wangji had planned quite the housewarming!

He brought the jar back to the bed, scooped a bit of the contents into his palm and then closed his fingers to warm and melt it. It didn’t take long before it was a small pool of liquid, but he didn’t move to use it immediately, simply breathing it in. It smelled like sex, but also, in its way, like temples. This was oil for a ritual; an anointing. He moistened the tip of an index finger, and then touched it to one of his lover’s eyelids, sweeping the oil along it as a woman might with cosmetics.

“What—” Lan Wangji began, but Wei Wuxian kissed him silent, daubed the other eyelid, and then pressed kisses to both of them, and his lips, and his neck. He rubbed a drop into each nipple, making the other man shudder. Finally, he slicked three fingers and pressed them into him. This time Lan Wangji gasped and moaned, thrusting his hips upward. Wei Wuxian, still seated at the edge of the bed, leaned down and took his cock into his mouth, pressing on the ripe-plum mound of flesh inside of him, dragging his fingers downward. Lan Wangji thrust again, this time with more urgency and a needy cry, the headboard creaking as he tugged against his bonds. A dribble of hot, salty liquid met Wei Wuxian’s tongue, and he let out a hum of pleasure, sucking and lapping at it.

“Oh, you taste good!” he freed his mouth long enough to say, and then ran the tip of his tongue up the back of Lan Wangji’s cock, circling the top before licking delicately at the slit as he pressed on him again with his fingers, sending another runnel of fluid leaking out. “So good,” he murmured, lapping at him as he shuddered and moaned. “Do you want more?”

He looked up, caught the barest downward tilt of Lan Wangji’s chin. Something deep inside him warmed. He took Lan Wangji’s cock into his mouth again, all the way to the back, and then dragged his teeth very gently up its length. Lan Wangji made a sound deep in his throat, very close to a growl. It sparked a rush of heat into Wei Wuxian’s own cock, and he felt himself leaking. Once again, he wavered. It would be so easy to move just a little, give in to what they knew. It certainly wouldn’t be a hardship to ride his husband until they both forgot their names—but he didn’t want Lan Wangji to forget his name. He wanted him to wail it. He wanted to hear it shouted so loudly they would all hear it back in the compound.

Lan Wangji moaned again, thrust again, but this time, Wei Wuxian moved away, so that only the tip of his cock met his mouth. He ran his tongue across it and then drew back. Lan Wangji thrust again, and this time Wei Wuxian only allowed him the slightest brush of his lips. The growl was more obvious this time, and when he looked, Lan Wangji’s eyes were fierce.

“Wei Ying,” he said, “do not toy with me.”

Was there anger in the tone? Wei Wuxian teased it apart. No—threat, but not anger. And threat he could work with. “Toy with you?” he asked innocently. “You’re hardly a virgin, and you know the rules. How could I toy with you?”

Lan Wangji let out a huff of hot breath. Wei Wuxian’s lips tilted upward, and he slotted his erection beside the other man’s in the crook of his hip, moving them slowly against each other.

“Do it harder,” Lan Wangji said curtly.

“Oh, no,” Wei Wuxian answered. “Absolutely not.”

Why. Not.”

Wei Wuxian could tell that his jaw was clenched with the effort not to cry out. He pressed the fingers inside Lan Wangji down again, sliding them across his most sensitive part. He let out a stifled yelp.

“Because you aren’t desperate enough,” Wei Wuxian said before taking him into his mouth again, sucking hard as his tongue swept his length. He drew back and Lan Wangji followed him, back arching to get closer, but Wei Wuxian moved out of his reach.

“Wei Ying!” he wailed.

“Not a scream,” Wei Wuxian said.

Wei Ying.” Soft. Almost a sob.

“Oh, love,” he said, sliding his body up his lover’s, meeting his lips in a deep kiss. “What would you think of me if I gave in now?” And with one more kiss, one more thrust of his fingers, he drew back, once more straddling Lan Wangji’s thighs.

“Wei Ying!”

“Lan Zhan,” he answered, reaching for more oil and running it along his own length before splaying his fingers on Lan Wangji’s belly, pushing the sweet-smelling oil up until his hand lightly circled his throat. He stroked his fingers down to his collarbone, bent to kiss in their wake, skimmed his hands down his lover’s sides, barely making contact. He kissed him likewise, barely touching his lips to Lan Wangji’s, although he chased him, trying to deepen it.

He pulled away, laughing softly as he watched Lan Wangji tilt his head back, swallow hard, try to even his breathing. But he couldn’t. It hitched and stuttered as Wei Wuxian toyed with his entrance, running a thumb along the puckered skin.

“Wei Ying. Please.”

“Please what?”

“Please…do it.”

“I’m afraid you’ll have to be more specific.”

Lan Wangji opened his eyes, molten gold irises almost eclipsed by black. “Fuck me,” he growled. “Drive yourself into me as far as our bodies allow. Don’t be gentle. Don’t be careful. Fill me with your release. Do whatever you want, but do it now!”

For a moment, Wei Wuxian simply stared at Lan Wangji in disbelief. His man had never said so many words at once when they were in bed together. “Beautiful,” he murmured, and then slipped his fingers free, making Lan Wangji shudder and writhe beneath him. He hooked the other man’s legs over his arms, lined up with his entrance and then drove into him, whimpering as the tight heat closed around him. It was so rare that Lan Wangji received him like this that the sensation always seemed brand new. Lan Wangji was clenching and unclenching around him, muscles spasming involuntarily, and he knew that if he wasn’t careful he would come in seconds, unmoving, barely touched. He breathed evenly, focusing away from the pull of Lan Wangji’s body, until he’d regained control.

“Move,” Lan Wangji gritted out.

“Ask nicely,” Wei Wuxian answered, grinning. “Or don’t. Beg me with every filthy word you know.”

Lan Wangji struggled to move, to thrust against him, but Wei Wuxian held him tightly. With an exasperated cry Lan Wangji said, “Fine! Fuck me! I am begging!”

Wei Wuxian loosened his hold on him then and let him move, at least as much as he could, bound to the headboard. He pulled out and then buried himself again, slowly, so slowly that it was agonizing to him as it must be to Lan Wangji. Heat tangled in his belly, sending hot shivers to his groin and thighs. He’d held them both off for too long; he wouldn’t last like this, and so he had to make it good.

Spending so much time on his back with his husband buried deep inside him wasn’t without its merits. Beyond the obvious, it had also given him the experience to pinpoint exactly what would drive another man mad, and he wasted no time now in shifting their position so that his thrusts stroked the most sensitive places inside of Lan Wangji.

He was panting now, eyes squeezed shut, letting out something between a gasp and a grunt every time Wei Wuxian thrust into him. Wei Wuxian stroked his nipples, touched his cock delicately to make him thrust up, asking for contact Wei Wuxian denied him. He watched him carefully, reading how near he was to the edge in the quickening of his breath, the flush on his cheeks, the clench of his fists around the binding ribbons. When he saw tears in the corners of Lan Wangji’s eyes, he pulled out of him. Lan Wangji let out a furious cry. Wei Wuxian broke the red ribbon holding him in place and flipped him over, wrapping an arm around his waist.

“Well?” he panted in the other man’s ear. “Are you going to scream for me?”

Silence. Hmm. Wei Wuxian pressed himself just inside Lax Wangji’s slick entrance and then stopped.

Lan Wangji turned to give him quite possibly the hottest look Wei Wuxian had ever seen on his face. His lion’s eyes burned, his parted lips were bitten red and swollen, his cheeks were flushed dark with desire and deprivation. It was too much. To hell with the bet; Wei Wuxian plunged back into him, stroking his shaft as he gave up any semblance of his own control. He was climbing fast, too fast, but he couldn’t stop, the need for this slick, hot body beneath him too much to resist.

Lan Wangji was moving with him, speaking his name over and over again. Fine. There would be time enough to coax him to voice it louder in this warm little home he’d made for them. But they were headed for a rare simultaneous orgasm, and nothing would make him hold that off. He let go, crying out as he came, thrusting with abandon into the wet heat of his lover’s body and his own release, so high that he didn’t realize for a moment what he was hearing.

And then, as his mind cleared a little bit, he did. Lan Wangji was crying out his name, a broken wail of ecstasy as he spasmed around him. Wei Wuxian laid his head against Lan Wangji’s back just to feel the vibrations of those cries. He didn’t want this ever to end: the feeling of Lan Wangji surrounding him, the sweetness of his hoarse voice crying out his passion, the warm smell of sex and sweat and whatever was in that ungodly mixture in the porcelain jar.

But end it did, finally, Wei Wuxian softening and Lan Wangji’s voice lowering to little whimpers and murmurs as he drove himself backward, seeking a few final sparks of pleasure. At last, though, even those were spent, and they collapsed together in the damp bedding. Wei Wuxian reached for Lan Wangji’s hands and freed them from the white ribbon, twining their fingers together as he kissed across his strong shoulders, tasting the salt of his exertion.

Outside, the forest was waking. Soft wind rustled the young leaves; the first birds chirped in the branches. The light of the few remaining candles mixed with the grey of a dawning day. The lovers breathed together, far from sleep, but also very far from wanting to shift from the magical aftermath of that joining.

Wei Wuxian disengaged one hand, brushed aside Lan Wangji’s hair and kissed his neck, savoring the creamy sweetness his skin always took on when his pleasure had been intense. Wei Wuxian would carry the subtle scent of him on his own skin until he bathed. He wondered whether he could give up bathing entirely.

“Wei Ying?” Lan Wangji said after a time, stretching and then turning over to look at him in the dawn light.

“Lan Zhan?”

There was a long silence, and Wei Wuxian knew that his husband was working himself up to speak words that didn’t come easily. At last, though, he said, “Sometime…”

He paused, and Wei Wuxian traced a finger along his cheekbone, down to his lips. Lan Wangji closed his eyes, caressed it with his tongue.

“Sometime?” Wei Wuxian coaxed.

“Sometime…could you do that…this…to me again?”

“Oh, my love.” Wei Wuxian smiled, kissed him. “I could take you like this every day.”

“Mark your words,” Lan Wangji smiled, and pulled him close in the light of the rising sun.