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Bride's Last Words

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"You're going to die," Shen Qingqiu said.

Fortunately, he was looking right past Shang Qinghua to Liu Qingge, who was holding a very normal looking rock. Liu Qingge's brow furrowed. Abruptly, his fingers went slack—when he dropped the rock, it shattered into a dozen pieces that sparkled quite suspiciously.

"It's been nice knowing you, Liu-shidi," Shang Qinghua said consolingly.

Shen Qingqiu pointed at Shang Qinghua with his fan. "This is all your fault," he said in that elegant yet furious way of his. Not even roleplaying a refined immortal for a decade could change his true character as a vengeful VIP reader. "You're going to make it right."

"Okay, yes, it's probably my fault," Shang Qinghua agreed. "What exactly am I supposed to do here? Go back in time and undo whatever happened to that rock?" Liu Qingge slumped abruptly and stumbled into Shang Qinghua as gracefully as a bull, or a falling column or something. Shang Qinghua grabbed him before he could dent his skull on something else that looked like a totally reasonable set piece for a cave. "Liu-shidi. Please. I am trying to help."

Shen Qingqiu's fan had appeared out of nowhere. He fluttered it before his face for absolutely no reason. "Weren't you just preparing a eulogy?"

"No," Shang Qinghua said.

"You were," Liu Qingge croaked. He really did sound bad; his face was pale except for a vivid flush over his cheeks. Shang Qinghua had no idea why, because he wasn't some monsterfucker or sexy plant fetishist unlike another person in this room. "I'm not going to die."

"That's a piece of the Bride's Last Words stalagmite," Shen Qingqiu said. "We're in the Cave of Forbidden Desires and Liu-shidi just—touched it?"

That did sound like a landmark Shang Qinghua would have named at 4am on an energy drink bender. Briefly, he considered the idea that Liu Qingge might have to marry the cave to get out of this one, but it seemed more likely that the groom ought to be Luo Bingge. Their own Bingmei was definitely sulking in his demon palace because his husband was not whacking him with a fan, that colossal M, which was bad luck for Liu Qingge. "You're right, he's going to die," he agreed.

Shen Qingqiu angled his head so that Liu Qingge couldn't see his face and rolled his eyes at Shang Qinghua over his fan. "No, you idiot," he said in a sonorous voice. "You're going to marry him."

Wang Haotai collapsed into Luo Binghe's arms, blood welling on her pricked finger. There was no way they could reach the Resurrection Boulder hidden deep within the cave to bring back her father now. Unless—Luo Binghe pulled her tight to him, feeling her enormous breasts softly press against his chest—he wed her.

"Wang guniang," he said gently. "That's the Bride's Last Words stalagmite."

"What's a stalagmite?" she said, her eyes growing hazy.

Luo Binghe said, "It's a rock formation that thrusts up from the ground." Like he would need to, to save her life. "Now that it's in your blood, there's only one way I can save you."

"The afflicted must cry out their husband's name in the throes of passion," Shen Qingqiu continued.

Liu Qingge said, "I'm going to die."

Ah, he was coming around to it. Shang Qinghua patted Liu Qingge's shoulder awkwardly. He'd always wanted to touch this beautiful specimen of masculinity... that it was in the War God of Bai Zhan Peak's final hours was so tragic. "There, there," he said.

Shen Qingqiu sighed. "Liu-shidi can still kneel, can't he?"

Liu Qingge swallowed. "Is that—necessary—to the act?"

"For the wedding bows," Shen Qingqiu said, fanning himself.

With visible effort, Liu Qingge lifted his head. "You expect me to..."

"I know," Shang Qinghua said. "This is a big step in our relationship for me, too."

"To say his name while we consummate?" Liu Qingge choked out.

Gravely, Shen Qingqiu said, "Yes."

The ceremony alone was challenging. Shen Qingqiu daintily supported Liu Qingge by his hips while he and Shang Qinghua made their bows. Liu Qingge's brow was glowing with sweat, but he seemed coherent enough. Weirder things had happened to Shang Qinghua since he self-TKOed via keyboard ramen.

"I'm going to wait outside," Shen Qingqiu said as he stood, letting Liu Qingge sprawl onto Shang Qinghua once more. "You have about half a shichen left until Liu-shidi will die, but he may not stay conscious the whole time. Oh, and you have to make him—"

"Orgasm?" Shang Qinghua guessed.

Shen Qingqiu made a moue of distaste unfitting to a man with exclusive claim to a protagonist-worthy sex life. He spun on his heel and stalked halfway out of the cave before he abruptly halted and turned back. "Take care of yourself, Liu-shidi."

"That's my job now!" Shang Qinghua said. "Get out of here!"

Liu Qingge was in Shang Qinghua's lap, but not in a sexy way. He rested his chin on Shang Qinghua's shoulder. "Thank you," he said to Shen Qingqiu. "I'll do my best."

Why was Liu Qingge thanking Shen Qingqiu? As usual, Shang Qinghua was the one who had to do all the work!

"What sort of positions are you into?" Shang Qinghua asked his husband—seriously, what the fuck—as soon as Shen Qingqiu was out of hearing range. "Do you like to top or bottom? Anything weird I should know about?"

"What are you talking about?" Liu Qingge said hotly into his ear. "You mean—fighting forms?"

Shang Qinghua cleared his throat. "No, like during the sex we're having so you don't die? The sex we're having where you have to get off?"

Liu Qingge was silent for a tellingly long time.

Holy shit, had Shang Qinghua taken a virgin bride?

"I don't think I can..." Liu Qingge attempted a gesture of some kind. His limbs disagreed. "Take an active role. At this time."

"Okay," Shang Qinghua said thoughtfully. "Have you ever stuck your finger up your own ass?"

(Shang Qinghua had, of course. For research! It was the farthest he'd gotten with anyone, unless he counted frenching his elbow, also for research.)

"No!" Liu Qingge sputtered.

"So we'll be treading new ground today," Shang Qinghua said. "Great."

Liu Qingge swallowed. "You know about these things?"

"I read," Shang Qinghua said, attempting to emulate Shen Qingqiu's lofty air and failing. "You can lie back and trust me."

Instead of doing that, Liu Qingge shoved Shang Qinghua down and crawled on top of him. Wow, that was scary and hot! Shang Qinghua shivered. "I don't trust you," Liu Qingge said. "You were a spy. You lie in Cang Qiong account books about how many things my disciples break."

"What the fuck," Shang Qinghua said.

"They are not undisciplined," Liu Qingge said, as he tried to undress both of them while lying on top of Shang Qinghua and the openings of their robes.

Shang Qinghua stared up at the roof of the cave, where ominously glowing stalactites disappeared into the shadows like points of light in an endless sky. He'd taken a geology class at university, okay? "I honestly don't know where to start with this."

"Start saving my life," Liu Qingge said through gritted teeth.

"Yeah, okay. Do you think I have to penetrate you for this? Probably, right?" In a way, Shang Qinghua was glad that Cucumber Bro hadn't explained in further detail. But also, not.

Liu Qingge squinted at him. "Penetrate?"

"Yes," Shang Qinghua said. "That's why I just asked you about fingering your own asshole."

They got each other undressed, mostly; Shang Qinghua wanted a physical barrier between themselves and the rubble on the cave floor for many reasons. By the time he had their pants—and boots, a challenge!—off, Liu Qingge was in no shape to even pretend to top. "Do what you need to," he said grimly as he laid down on top of his robe like an entree coming to rest on a sushi conveyor belt.

"We'll have to use the grease for my abacus," Shang Qinghua said with some reluctance.

"Whatever," Liu Qingge said.

Shang Qinghua fingered Liu Qingge open, remembering the time he'd stuck his fingers into an overripe durian to get some more erotic ideas for the texture. The durian had provided less resistance and the core was definitely in a different place than Liu Qingge's anal gem. "Could you make some noise?" he said. "I'm trying to tell if I'm in the right place."

Skeptically, Liu Qingge said, "There's a right place?"

"So I've read," Shang Qinghua said. "I can't reach that far without my arm cramping."

After a while, Liu Qingge started squirming. Shang Qinghua had gotten three fingers in by the grace of abacus grease, will, and magic rock dust that made a bride's orifices welcome him. That was his working theory, anyway. "I think—" Liu Qingge said, making a choked noise, "You should just—do it."

"Does this feel good?" Shang Qinghua asked eagerly.

Liu Qingge made a face. "No."

Shang Qinghua sighed. "Okay, I'll put it in."

The abacus grease made his dick shine like it had been cast in dick-colored bronze. Shang Qinghua lined up and pushed inside Liu Qingge. He'd always imagined himself as the bride in this scenario—not that he had ever imagined this scenario—but this was fine, this was good, it was totally fine, he was not going to nut immediately, he was not going to kill Liu Qingge because he'd just stuck his virgin dick into the most seraphic hole in this universe aside from, presumably, the protagonist's. Shang Qinghua wheezed pitifully and tried to think of something boner-wilting. Bai Zhan Peak's accounts! No, Qiong Ding's! Absolutely the worst. They never kept receipts for anything!

"You have to call my name," Shang Qinghua said as he took Liu Qingge's dick in hand and began to stroke him. "Be loud. The cave has to resonate for the cure to take hold."

"No," Liu Qingge moaned, even as he thrust into Shang Qinghua's grip. "Sha—" His cheeks flushed. "Sh—"

"It's not a curse!" Shang Qinghua said as he frantically jerked his husband off. His balls tightened. "Just say it!"

"SHANG QINGHUA," Liu Qingge bellowed.

He came all over Shang Qinghua's hand, slumping back against their spread robes just as Shang Qinghua lost control and filled him up in a series of messy pumps. His dick slipped out towards the end and dripped down between Liu Qingge's thighs. All in all, it was a disaster.

Shang Qinghua piggybacked Liu Qingge out of the cave, exhausted yet wired with nervous energy. His pants were chafing his dick. Oblivious, Liu Qingge breathed heavily into Shang Qinghua's ear, his arms draped around Shang Qinghua's neck. How was he so heavy? Was it Cheng Luan? Did live-saving orgasms add twenty kilograms? Liu Qingge was lucky that Shang Qinghua spent so much time hauling around melon seeds!

"I see that you performed adequately," Shen Qingqiu said when they reached the mouth of the cave. "I could hear you from out here."

"I don't have time for this," Shang Qinghua said. "Did you kill the big scary beast or whatever?"

Shen Qingqiu's hand fluttered delicately over his face like someone who hadn't spent half his life watching fansubbed tentacle hentai. "The Mystic Zephyr Dragonette? Yes."

Liu Qingge made a disappointed noise.

"Next time, Liu shidi," Shen Qingqiu said consolingly.

Shang Qinghua had to fly Liu Qingge out on his sword; terrifyingly, Liu Qingge conked out about halfway through their journey. He snored contentedly in Shang Qinghua's arms while Shang Qinghua balanced on his tip-toes to see over Liu Qingge's shoulder. This was too advanced! Shang QInghua wasn't tall enough to take up the protagonist's plotlines, thank you!

Liu Qingge slept the whole way back to Cang Qiong Mountain, and even through Shang Qinghua getting him into his bed on Bai Zhan Peak. Asleep, his resting bitch face turned soft and gentle. Shang Qinghua tucked Liu Qingge's blanket around his shoulders, patted him on the shoulder, and returned to An Ding Peak.

As usual, Shang Qinghua hauled himself out of bed just after dawn to head to his office. He still hadn't reconciled last year's books and hoped fervently to elude an urgent summons from his king before they were done. An Ding Peak had more or less run itself in Shang Qinghua's two-year-long absence, but that "less" included things like denying unreasonable requests, agreeing to net 90 terms on melon seed payments, and other matters that didn't impact the day-to-day life of Cang Qiong Mountain Sect until they abruptly did.

Shang Qinghua got in two hours of uninterrupted work before one of his senior disciples came in with a crumpled invoice from their rice vendor that was conspicuously missing their usual volume discount. "Please," he said desperately. "Make this someone else's problem. Get Qiao Liyue to review the last three invoices and make sure this hasn't been an ongoing thing, and then you had both better go out there and resolve what's going on."

"Yes, Shizun," Lin Chengzhe said with a bow. He had all the assertiveness of a wet rag. At least Qiao Liyue had a strong enough backbone to keep Cang Qiong Mountain Sect from getting ripped off. Shang Qinghua kept teaming them up in hopes that Lin Chengzhe would learn some confidence and self-respect, thus far without success.

The rest of the day was more of the same. By the time Shang Qinghua crawled into bed, he'd almost forgotten the events of the day before. His dick helpfully reminded him. Ah well, he thought as he slid his hand beneath the sheets. He'd tasted paradise once. No one could blame Shang Qinghua for reminiscing!

A few days later, Shang Qinghua had finally finished making his way through Zui Jian Peak's books—now there was a peak that kept track of payments and expenses!—and was freed to work through dinner on something even more thrilling: writing firm letters to melon seed customers with past-due accounts. By Shang Qinghua's standards, this was quite a relaxing evening. Maybe he'd even get a chance to do some writing before he collapsed into bed tonight.

He looked up when he noticed his inkwell running dry to discover Liu Qingge standing in the doorway. "Holy shit," Shang Qinghua said, and fell out of his chair. His brush flew out of his hand and landed somewhere on the floor; he could hear it roll over the boards for a few seconds. The chair creaked threateningly, but remained upright. "What do you need?"

Liu Qingge's head floated over him; a beautiful hand reached down. It was holding the brush. "You dropped this."

"Uh, put it on the desk." Shang Qinghua crawled out from behind it and stood up, like a normal person greeting a visitor, or someone who hadn't been vibing hard with payment reminders, whatever. Liu Qingge looked much better than when Shang Qinghua had last seen him—his skin warm with a summer tan, eyes bright, RBF firmly in place. Sexy and intimidating. Shang Qinghua wriggled his fingers nervously, then clasped his hands behind his back in a futile attempt at composure.

"Where have you been?" Liu Qingge said.

Shang Qinghua frowned. "Here?"

"On An Ding Peak. Not in the demonic realm. Or any other place beyond Cang Qiong Mountain." Liu Qingge's questions had turned into statements.

With a sigh, Shang Qinghua gestured to his desk. Account books stacked high, papers strewn everywhere that they weren't, the inkwell holding down a stack of invoices that kept blowing away. On the far side, the previous year's account books were stacked against a rack of scrolls that Shang Qinghua was trying hard not to think about. "Where else would I be with all this to get done?"

"Are we not wed," Liu Qingge said.

"Well," Shang Qinghua said, twisting his hands behind his back. "Yes. We are."

An awkward, marital silence stretched between them.

Shang Qinghua cleared his throat. "Did you, ah, not want to pretend it didn't happen?"

Slowly, a flush stole over Liu Qingge's cheeks. Shang Qinghua was now burdened with the knowledge that the exact same thing happened when Liu Qingge was being fucked on the floor of a cave, by Shang Qinghua, with Shang Qinghua's dick inside him, with Shang Qinghua's hand on his dick. The full-body memory of it slammed into Shang Qinghua so hard that he briefly lost track of what was happening in the present. He was thinking about the way Liu Qingge had clenched down on his abacus-grease-slick fingers when Liu Qingge finally spoke. "Why would I?"

"It's me?" Shang Qinghua said. "Why would you want to be married to me?"

"But we are married," Liu Qingge said stubbornly.

"We established that!"

"You saved my life."

"So did Shen-shixiong, and you didn't marry him!"

Oh boy, this silence was even more awkward.

"Which is great!" Shang Qinghua continued, as if he hadn't noticed. "Because you were free to marry me, and now we are married, we are married people who can do normal married things. I don't know what those are. I'm pretty confused right now. Did you want—red robes, or something? A tea ceremony with your parents?" Shang Qinghua paused. "Mine are dead. I guess we could just have tea with Zhangmen-shixiong."

"I already told Zhangmen-shixiong," Liu Qingge said.

"Wow," Shang Qinghua said despite himself. "Okay. I can work with this. You want to be married to me? Give me—" He glanced at the mess on his desk. "Two days. How's that?"

Liu Qingge's brow furrowed. "We're already married. We're married right now."

No, if Liu Qingge wanted to be married, they were doing it right. Shang Qinghua had written over a hundred wedding scenes into Proud Immortal Demon Way. Was anyone better-prepared to put a wedding together than him in this universe? Probably, but between Shang Qinghua and Liu Qingge, there was a clear winner! Shang Qinghua straightened his spine. "We're doing it over," he announced to the room.

Liu Qingge's RBF wobbled, like he might be experiencing an emotion, or perhaps gastrointestinal distress. "Fine," he said, mouth thinning. "That's fine."

Unlike Luo Binghe, Shang Qinghua didn't just keep wedding robes on hand, but also unlike Luo Binghe, he did manage inventory and storage for one cultivation sect and multiple demonic palaces. With less trepidation than he might have before the events that led up to Mobei-Jun's ascension to the throne, Shang Qinghua sent a message to his king that he was unavailable for the next week as he had come down with a sudden case of marriage.

With less than three shichen to go, Shang Qinghua set himself to the task of deep cleaning his quarters on An Ding Peak, which looked exactly like what you would expect a bachelor's pad inhabited by a paranoid spy who hadn't let anyone in to clean in over a decade to look like. All Shang Qinghua could do was throw out the worst of the garbage and shove everything else in the spare room, even things he would immediately need and be unable to find in the remaining shichen allotted.

Two days! Why had Shang Qinghua said two days?!

Maybe so he wouldn't have to think about whatever came after the married part aside from harem intrigue! Which was very reasonable of him, and indeed anyone who had just engaged in a life-saving marriage of necessity in a magical cave!

With just an incense time to go, Shang Qinghua swept the floor for the third time and stepped back into the doorway to inspect his handiwork. The place still kind of looked like a tornado had gone through it, but there were a lot more red decorations disguising that than before. Rose petals were sprinkled over the freshly-made bed, lanterns hung from every place they could be hung and a few where they really shouldn't have been, and the wedding garments were draped elegantly over the desk. Shang Qinghua was very proud that he'd been able to find a crown on such short notice.

"What are you looking at," someone said behind him.

Shang Qinghua stumbled forward. He would have fallen (again) if strong arms hadn't caught him around the waist and hauled him up against a physique so sculpted that Shang Qinghua could feel his eight-pack with his back. "Liu-shidi?"

Liu Qingge didn't let go of him. "Who else would it be?"

"Yeah, I don't know why I asked," Shang Qinghua said. "Come in."

Inside Shang Qinghua's humble quarters, Liu Qingge surveyed the room with an assessing gaze, as if the dark quarters might be hiding cursed objects with killing intent and not just old socks and dust bunnies. Then he turned his eyes on Shang Qinghua. Shang Qinghua would prefer NOT to be seen, thank you very much! If only he'd been into writing himbos!

"These are your quarters?" Liu Qingge said, and laughed. "Mine look worse."

Irritation reached Shang Qinghua through an incoming bout of nerves. "I should hope so! I've been cleaning them all day."

"I can tell," Liu Qingge said, then fell silent.

"Here are the robes," Shang Qinghua said. "I don't think they're long enough, but it's just us, right?"

"Ah," Liu Qingge said. "The robes."

Then he immediately started stripping, as if Shang Qinghua could just look at his godly physique like that, no advance warning, nothing. Shang Qinghua quickly turned his back and started to undress himself. They were already married! They'd had sex! Why was he behaving like this—like a teenage boy, but also someone who cared about another person's feelings?

How strange it was to think about Liu Qingge as a person in his own right, and not just a character on the page. Shang Qinghua had barely given a thought to him then. Sure, Liu Mingyan had gotten tens of thousands of words to herself, but Shang Qinghua had killed Liu Qingge off with only a handful of appearances to establish his character. In Shang Qinghua's defense, was he supposed to expect that he'd transmigrate into his own novel and then end up married to the guy? No way! He'd written in a lot of hot guys and offed them just as readily, and he didn't end up with any of them.

Liu Qingge said, "I am ready."

Hastily, Shang Qinghua tied the sash of his robe. "No," he said. "I have to put on the crown."

"The crown," Liu Qingge said cautiously.

Yet, without a word of protest, he sat in Shang Qinghua's chair so that Shang Qinghua could brush out his messy hair and put it up first. Shang Qinghua settled the crown into place, then draped the veil of red silk over it. It was impossibly delicate; it had been worn by the protagonist's mother in her rushed, secret marriage to Tianlang-Jun. Hopefully Bingmei would never find out Shang Qinghua had it in his possession or that he'd used it for such perverted purposes as celebrating his own marriage, but that was a problem for Future Shang Qinghua. Present Shang Qinghua got to secure it in place with a pin and then to admire the view. "Perfect," he said. "Let's go outside."

"I'm the bride?" Liu Qingge said, like he hadn't just let Shang Qinghua pin a crown and veil on him or do him in the ass in a cave.

"Yeah, I guess," Shang Qinghua said evasively. "Do you want me to be the wife? I'm secure in my masculinity."

Liu Qingge said, in a very reserved tone, "This is fine."

Prior to one cave ago, Shang Qinghua had never thought of himself as a top, on account of his height as well as his general cowardly demeanor. He was a man ready to take what he was given! Obviously, he didn't anticipate that Liu-shidi's asshole might be in that category, but he could work with that. Shang Qinghua was highly experienced with Working With Things, like negotiating discounts on purchases of bulk goods and pacifying demonic tribes during unpleasant court visits, and, of course, saving his own neck. These seemed like skills that might transfer to marriage. All that erotic fiction writing? It could only be a plus!

They went outside, where Shang Qinghua had hung some more lanterns and streamers. The clearing had the vague ambiance of a child's fifth birthday party inconveniently taking place during an unseasonably warm New Year celebration, but Liu Qingge probably wouldn't notice. Indeed, he was preoccupied by straightening his robes, which fell to the middle of his calves and strained to cover his broad chest. Shang Qinghua wanted to touch it. He was going to.

They did three long, deep bows, with much more ceremony than their quick union in the Cave of Forbidden Desires. Liu Qingge stood on his own, his spine straight, his noble browse smooth and unburdened. He was here to marry Shang Qinghua, of all people. Again.

"Okay," Shang Qinghua said after they had risen the final time. "Now, I carry you."

This time, he swept Liu Qingge up in a bridal carry, which was more elegant than piggyback albeit more challenging. Shang Qinghua only had to carry the bride over the threshold into the house, according to Baidu and also all of the romance novels he'd ever read. That wasn't so hard. Liu Qingge even wrapped his arms around Shang Qinghua's neck cooperatively; he smelled the way Shang Qinghua had always imagined that idols in expensive cologne ads smelled.

Shang Qinghua nearly dropped his husband when they got inside, but Liu Qingge caught himself gracefully on the way down. Then they were standing together, facing each other, without room for bows between them. Liu Qingge put his hands on Shang Qinghua's hips and stared at his mouth. Was he nervous? Shang Qinghua was nervous. His elbow really hadn't prepared him for this.

"Lean down," Shang Qinghua said, tugging on Liu Qingge's sleeve. He lifted the veil over Liu Qingge's face and draped it back over the crown.

Their mouths met hesitantly. Liu Qingge's lips were soft and uncertain about what they ought to be doing, and Shang Qinghua's were, well, also there. After a few kisses, though, something started to click. Kissing was hot. Kissing was where it was at. Shang Qinghua could do this all day, except that he was also supposed to be deflowering his bride, who was a man and also already deflowered. Hopefully, they could multitask.

"Let's go to bed," Shang Qinghua said when they finally separated, breathless.

Liu Qingge's lips were shiny. "I have to take off my shoes," he said.

They took off their shoes, and then their robes. Shang Qinghua folded both sets neatly before he realized he'd forgotten to remove Liu Qingge's veil. "Sit down," he said. "I have to—" He gestured to Liu Qingge's hair, in a vague way that included half the room.

Liu Qingge sat down. On the bed. He was naked, his dick in the shadows between his muscled thighs. His thighs were thicker than Shang Qinghua's head. Shang Qinghua forcibly dragged his eyes up over the rest of Liu Qingge—not a hardship, really—and focused on his task. Liu Qingge's hair, cascading over his shoulders, with the veil still thrown back over most of it. He was extremely beautiful. Out of Shang Qinghua's league. Yet, also, married to him. Twice!

There would be no ravishing until Shang Qinghua had removed the treasured veil, an oversight on his part. He gave himself a moment to run his fingers through Liu Qingge's satin-smooth hair after he unpinned the crown, which was jade, because that was the only kind of crown Shang Qinghua had ever written into Proud Immortal Demon Way. "What if I suck your dick?" Shang Qinghua asked contemplatively.

Liu Qingge shook his head. "Come up here," he said, and then he frowned. "Why are there dead plants on the bed?"

"They're rose petals, it's romantic," Shang Qinghua said as he eased up off his knees.

"Hmm," Liu Qingge said.

This time they made out with Shang Qinghua in Liu Qingge's lap, naked, which provided Shang Qinghua with the novel experiences of being taller and having his boner pressed against sculpted, willing abs. Shang Qinghua got so into it that he wasn't really paying attention to the moment when Liu Qingge fell back on top of the bed. Awareness abruptly returned when Shang Qinghua realized he was going to come like this, just grinding against Liu Qingge's leg. "I'm gonna, ah," he said, stilling his hips against Liu Qingge's. "I— I don't want to, yet."

Liu Qingge's mouth was red, lips glossy and bitten. "Why not?"

"It's our wedding night, isn't it?" Shang Qinghua said. "Don't you want to...?"

"You can do it again," Liu Qingge said, turning his face away.

Do it? Do IT? DO IT? Did Liu Qingge expect Shang Qinghua to top? Did he want that again? Did he think that missionary was the only way you could have sex? Shang Qinghua stared at Liu Qingge's ruddy cheek, the flushed column of his throat. "You want to be the wife?"

"Didn't we agree on that?" Liu Qingge gritted out.

"Oh," Shang Qinghua said raptly as he discovered a new kink, one for which no erotic webnovel had prepared him. "Yeah. Yes. You are... my wife. Of course."

This time, Shang Qinghua had rose-infused oil (also romantic) to ease the way; the potent floral scent made Liu Qingge's noise wrinkle. He fingered Liu Qingge open for as long as he could stand, then pushed in. Liu Qingge's legs locked around his waist. Was Shang Qinghua even capable of railing him? Was Liu Qingge going to have to rail himself using Shang Qinghua as a tool? Both options seemed hot.

"My wife." Shang Qinghua pulled Liu Qingge's legs over his shoulders to get in deeper. Channeling the bravado of any harem novel protagonist, he said, "You're going to come for me."

Instead of issuing a sassy retort, sighing breathily, or letting loose a sensual moan, Liu Qingge went for an option Shang Qinghua had reserved for only the purest maidens: his eyelids lowered bashfully, his lips parting. Then he squeezed around Shang Qinghua like he wanted to make Shang Qinghua come first, just to prove a point.

Shang Qinghua fervently began to recite melon seed customers with outstanding balances in his head. "Please," he said as he thrust hopefully against Liu Qingge's prostate. "Please, my virgin bride, come for me. I would obviously be failing to provide as a husband if I do not— if you don't—" Shang Qinghua worked his hand between their bodies. "Come," he said plaintively.

Liu Qingge came all over Shang Qinghua's fingers before he could even wrap them around Liu Qingge's dick, and Shang Qinghua's brain faded, orgasmically, to black.

"You're into some weird stuff," Liu Qingge said while Shang Qinghua was trying to nap on the petal-covered sheets. The petals had felt nice on his face when he rolled onto his stomach, but they were starting to get sort of clammy. Liu Qingge was, confusingly, spooning Shang Qinghua.

"Probably," Shang Qinghua agreed.

"Are you going to want to do it like this every time?"

"What?" Shang Qinghua said. "This was special occasion sex. I went all out for you! I got you a veil! You're the one into weddings!"

Liu Qingge said, very seriously, "I'm into keeping my vows."

"That's an area of growth for me."

"I'm aware."

"But," Shang Qinghua said, "I can grow as a person, probably." He swallowed. "If you're sticking around—we'll see."