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make every minute count (against me)

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In a company as large as the Jianghu Corporation, there’s always a sub-division or department somewhere on the verge of disaster, at any given time. But Nie Mingjue counts on Meng Yao to ensure that these matters remain beneath his notice, and Meng Yao refuses to disappoint him. Meng Yao has managed to keep on top of things, so far, by keeping to a strict schedule at work, and having next to no personal life outside of it.

Thursdays, for instance, start at 0628h (he’s scheduled the time to snooze exactly twice, and no more). He gets to the office by 0729h exactly, and starts plowing through emails until the division heads’ meeting at 1000h. At 1043h, as Lan Qiren begins his usual droning presentation and everyone's eyes have glazed over, he’ll text Wen Qing and Luo Qingyang under the table to casually double-check the more dubious numbers that their respective division heads have just presented. By 1125h, he’ll move to close the meeting, which will actually end at 1152h. Then he takes lunch at his desk, cleaning up the meeting minutes and ripping through more emails, before heading up to Mingjue’s office at 1326h to brief him on his weekly marathon Zoom session. He’ll let Mingjue complain about it for exactly 7 minutes before he starts sniping back, ramping up the sass until Mingjue inevitably reaches for him, eyes hungry and dark, and then Meng Yao gets to ride his cock for the next 13 minutes. After that, he'll actually brief Mingjue for the 8 minutes it takes for Mingjue to put him back together with gentle hands, leaving him a comfortable 4 minutes to set up the Zoom meeting and bow out.

Then, he steps out of the office at 1437h, gets on his bicycle, and is at the library by 1508h, just in time to casually bump into Lan Xichen in the philosophy section at 1516h.

“You’re here again today, Meng Yao,” says Lan Xichen, the delight in his voice deep enough to drown out the ticking clock in Meng Yao’s head, just as it does every Thursday.

“I am,” Meng Yao replies, letting a smile rise up, soft and unbidden, for the first time that week.

“How did you find Decolonisation Deasthetics?” Xichen asks, leaning close to whisper, even though the library is always empty at this time of day. Meng Yao shivers at the feel of Xichen’s warm breath against his ear. The schedule goes out the window then; they can discuss their book-of-the-week for anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, and then the conversation flows onwards as easily and unpredictably as fresh water tumbling downhill.

But it always ends the same—with Meng Yao on his knees, Xichen’s cock in his mouth.

This time, they don’t even make it to the public bathroom; Xichen darts a wicked look at Meng Yao and says something politely catty about the author, and Meng Yao finds himself sliding off his seat and under Xichen’s desk. They’re the only ones at the study tables, but the dividers are low, and the windows behind them mean that Xichen’s back is clearly visible to anyone passing by. Meng Yao usually tries to be more circumspect, but it’s been a long week, and Xichen’s look of startled desire unfetters him; all reason washed away by the surging awareness that sensible, respectable-looking Xichen wants him too much for caution. That Meng Yao can draw Xichen’s already hard cock out from his perfectly pressed pants, out here in the open, and Xichen will only curl his shoulders in and whisper Meng Yao's name like a prayer. He takes Xichen’s cock deep into his throat, and drinks in the sight of Xichen staring blindly ahead, glassy-eyed and flushed, thighs twitching with the urge to thrust. His own thighs twitch in sympathy, and he can't help grinding up against Xichen’s calf, groaning around his mouthful. Xichen slams trembling arms against the desk, as though barely able to stay upright, fists clenched, wedding ring glinting in the afternoon sun.

He’s going to come, Meng Yao thinks, and wonders feverishly if he should swallow, to keep things neat, or if he should pull back at the last moment and have Xichen come on his face—risk getting cum on his shirt, for the thrill of being marked by Xichen’s loss of control, the vicious pleasure of knowing that after Xichen cleans him up, he’ll fold his soiled handkerchief back into his pocket, and be reminded of the mess he made of Meng Yao later, after he’s returned to his expensive, orderly home. He doesn’t have long to decide, but it’s hard to think past the urgent tightness in his groin and the buzzing in his head, which—

“Oh—” Xichen gasps, and reaches down to clench a fist in Meng Yao’s hair to pull him away. The sharp tug sends an urgent jolt down his spine, and he thrusts helplessly against Xichen’s calf again, barely noticing when Xichen reaches into his back pocket with his other hand to... to pull out his phone, oh, that’s where the buzzing is coming from.

“It’s my husband,” he murmurs, and answers the call with Meng Yao still caught tight in one hand, his cock jutting out of his unzipped pants, wet and obscene. “Hello?”

Xichen turns away from Meng Yao as he listens, and when he replies, “The library, of course,” he doesn’t sound out of breath at all. His usual serene smile is back on his face, his wedding ring conspicuous against the matte black of his overpriced Fairphone, his Armani dress shirt still pristine—for a moment, he looks just like the Xichen that Meng Yao had first met, here in this very library, a distant beam of moonlight entirely out of Meng Yao’s reach.

So Meng Yao can’t help but lean forward, tugging against Xichen’s loosening grip to lick daintily at the head of his cock, and Xichen’s breath hitches midway through an agreeable murmur. He finally looks back at Meng Yao, flush rising in his cheeks again. Meng Yao holds his gaze, and flicks his tongue out once more, slowly licking up the drop of precum at the head of Xichen’s cock. Xichen’s cock twitches, and a low moan tumbles off his lips.

“Ah, sorry, Mingjue,” Xichen says belatedly, voice half an octave lower, “can you repeat that?” and the words shoot through Meng Yao like lightning, his mind whiting out, his heart erupting into flame like so much dry kindling. Can Mingjue tell that Xichen is on the verge of coming? What would Mingjue’s face look like, if he stumbled upon them right now? An image blooms across his mind, clear as a memory, a fantasy he tries and fails to put aside every night—Mingjue stumbling across them, shocked and indignant, dragging Meng Yao away from Xichen to throw him down onto his hands and knees, saying that if Meng Yao wants a fucking so much, then he can learn to take it from both of them at once—

Meng Yao’s hand reaches between his legs and he groans, thankfully muffled as he leans down to choke himself on Xichen’s cock. Xichen says something—Meng Yao can’t make it out through the pounding in his ears, but he catches the stuttering rhythm of Xichen’s words, the hitch in his breath, and then Xichen lets out a soft, pained moan and grips his hair viciously tight, nails digging into his scalp as he pulls Meng Yao off again, but this time, he’s coming in thick ropes on Meng Yao’s face, and Meng Yao grinds against Xichen’s calf a final time and almost blacks out with pleasure as he comes, shuddering, into his pants.

When Meng Yao blinks back into awareness, Xichen is saying his goodbyes into the phone, his breath still coming a little too quick. Then Xichen hangs up, puts the phone on the desk, and stares at Meng Yao, eyes solemn and dark.

And reality comes crashing back down.

Fuck, Meng Yao shouldn’t have—he knew better. He doesn’t even know—did Mingjue actually hear anything? What did Xichen even say? How suspicious was that call, objectively, and is there some way to salvage it, if it was? Meng Yao doesn’t have enough information to tell, he needs to... The ground seems to shift beneath his knees, because he’s just risked everything, everything, and for what, just for—

Then Xichen takes out his handkerchief, tenderly wipes Meng Yao’s face clean, and smiles.

“So, would you?” Xichen asks, as he puts his handkerchief away.

Meng Yao blinks up at him, heart thundering, and tries and fails to make any sense of those words. “Would I what...?”

Xichen huffs a chagrined laugh. “Of course you didn’t hear it. Mingjue says his video call with Wen Chao was cut short, so you’ll both end work on time today, and he asked if you’d like to have dinner with us tonight?”

“...His call with Wen Chao was cut short...?” Meng Yao replies, a beat too late, his brain still a static blur. Mingjue’s Thursday Zoom meetings always run over until half past five, sometimes even six; more than enough time for Meng Yao to make his way back to the office and not be missed.

“Something about his fiancee interrupting him...? I’m sure Mingjue can tell you more about that later.”

Xichen shifts back and helps Meng Yao back into his chair, even as Meng Yao’s mind bats futilely at the idea that Xichen is...telling him to talk to Mingjue? Asking him to dinner? Miraculously still looking at Meng Yao with expectant fondness in his eyes...?

“...to head back to the office now, don’t you? I told Mingjue I wouldn't keep you much longer, I’m sure he wants you back urgently,” Xichen says, a mischievous glint in his eye. “But I’ll see you tonight?”

“You know I—” work for Mingjue? Meng Yao barely cuts himself off in time. He doesn’t, however, manage to stop himself from blurting out instead, “It’s okay that I—”

Xichen reaches out to clasp one of Meng Yao’s hands in his own. Meng Yao looks down, and finds himself staring helplessly at Xichen’s wedding ring, a perfect match for the one he sees on Mingjue’s hand every morning, more expensive than he could afford even with a year’s income—not that he’s imagined it for himself, of course not, it’s always been enough to hoard what fragments he’s managed to steal of their lives, their regard.

But Xichen doesn't look like he’s been stolen from; he looks like he’s received a gift instead. “You always say you’re too busy to meet up, but surely you’ll be free tonight? You can stay over after dinner too, if—or, that is, Mingjue can drive you home after dinner, if you... It’s no trouble either way. Whatever you want.”

Whatever you want.

What does he want?

“Dinner, with you and Mingjue...” he murmurs, testing the words in his mouth, and Xichen’s smile widens, hope unabashed in his eyes. Meng Yao takes a deep breath. “Yes,” he says, and brings his other hand over Xichen’s, the ring pressed into his palm. “Yes, that’s what I want.”