Fighting a delighted grin, Zhao Yunlan unlocked the Jeep with a push of the button. After climbing in, he handed Shen Wei the bag packed full with an assortment of lubes—two bottles of every type the store sold and three of the kind he knew he liked. He hadn’t bought anything truly outrageous at the sex toy shop, but Shen Wei’s ears blushed wonderfully at merely the sight of the bag full of lube. Zhao Yunlan had to see if he could get some color into those perfect cheeks, too. He threw the bag with the graduated plugs, vibrator, and toy cleaner solution in the back seat.
“Might not wanna look in that one yet.” He grinned when Shen Wei’s eyes grew even wider. “Hope the Inspectorate isn’t checking our itemized bills.”
Shen Wei’s face closed, and Zhao Yunlan chided himself for pushing too far. Again. His heart restarted with a happy jump when Shen Wei actually laughed with a wide, genuine smile Zhao Yunlan had only seen in Shen Wei’s distant past. Knowing he’d brought that ease back to Shen Wei’s face erased some of his guilt for the morning’s missteps.
“Right?” Zhao Yunlan said, his own smile returning. “There he is.” He squeezed Shen Wei’s thigh, gentle and soft, as he should have been that morning.
Shen Wei turned to him, his cheeks the exact pink Zhao Yunlan had hoped to see. “There who is?”
Zhao Yunlan cradled Shen Wei’s chin between thumb and forefinger. If he let his imagination add several inches to Shen Wei’s hair and fill in a different wardrobe, he could almost see the young Dixingren general they’d both left in the distant past.
“The Shen Wei who met me for the first time,” he said. “I haven’t seen him in a while.”
Shen Wei’s eyes fluttered closed and he pulled Zhao Yunlan’s hand closer, pressing a kiss to his wrist.
“He missed you, too,” he whispered, his cool lips and warm breath making Zhao Yunlan shiver.
Zhao Yunlan sighed, short and sharp. He slid his hand around Shen Wei’s head and pulled their mouths together, hoping Shen Wei would forgive yet another shameless expression of desire. To his shock and delight, Shen Wei responded enthusiastically and didn’t break the kiss, even when a car door slammed a few parking spaces away. His cock stirred and he pulled away with a regretful hum. If he got a hard-on now, he’d be stuck with it until they got back to the cabin.
“We should probably talk sometime,” he said quietly, the thought popping into his head along with the memory. He stroked Shen Wei’s cheekbone with his thumb. “About what happened back then. When you first met me. Never really got a debriefing session between the wormhole and, uh. Everything else.” It certainly wasn’t the sexiest topic. He hoped the timing of his suggestion removed some of the sting.
Shen Wei closed his eyes and shook his head. “But not now,” he said.
Encouraged and grateful, Zhao Yunlan kissed Shen Wei’s lips, closed eyes, and forehead, and then his lips again.
“No. Definitely not now. Not on our first date!” He grinned and shook his finger gently by Shen Wei’s jaw. “Although this is a very strange date. Usually the sex doesn’t happen first.”
A faint blush returned to Shen Wei’s cheeks as he leaned forward for another quick peck.
“It can happen last, too,” he replied, and Zhao Yunlan broke into delighted laughter.
Back in the cabin, full from dinner and flush with victory from lighting the fire again, Zhao Yunlan unnecessarily brushed off his already-clean hands as he stood from the task. Looking uncertain, Shen Wei stood in the middle of the cabin, his eyes flicking between the chairs by the stove and the bed.
The grin fell from Zhao Yunlan’s face as tenderness mingled with his arousal—a novel sensation. This morning, their first time, he’d been selfishly reckless. He’d kicked himself for it more than once over the course of their day.
He’d started with the best of intentions, going slow, letting Shen Wei set the pace. Once Shen Wei’s perfect body had been on him, though, the moment he’d heard that desperate, whispered “yes, please, yes,” it was all over. He’d been lost, nearly as uncontrolled as he’d been when he was drunk. He’d introduced bloodplay, for fuck’s sake. Totally inappropriate.
Tonight he’d take it slow for real. This would be Shen Wei’s first time like it should have been. Zhao Yunlan would be gentle, so gentle.
“Hey,” he said softly, slowly approaching his new lover as he would a shy cat.
After a slight hesitation, eyes cast down, Shen Wei slid his cold fingers into Zhao Yunlan’s offered hands. At Zhao Yunlan’s quiet sigh, he looked up. His eyes blinked wide, nervous in a way they hadn’t been this morning, even as he’d let the robe fall from his arms.
Bracing against his sinking heart, Zhao Yunlan kissed the knuckles of one of Shen Wei’s hands.
“It doesn’t actually have to happen, you know.” Breaking eye contact, he swallowed against the shameful disappointment. “It’s okay if you don’t want to. I’ll understand.” He could only hope he sounded halfway convincing.
“I…” Shen Wei stammered and stopped with a quick inhale. He frowned, closing his eyes for a moment, as if fighting with himself over something.
Overcome with sudden protectiveness, Zhao Yunlan squeezed Shen Wei’s hands. Shen Wei looked at him again, uncertainty clear in his eyes.
“No, seriously,” Zhao Yunlan said, now resolute. “It’s okay if you don’t want to. I mean that. Just let me know. Do you still want this, Shen Wei? Do you want me?”
Shen Wei’s eyes fluttered closed again and he huffed a laugh. “I do.” When he looked at Zhao Yunlan again, his gaze burned. “I want you.”
“All right then,” Zhao Yunlan said, a little breathless, his heart leaping in relief and happiness. “I want you, too.”
Stepping backward, he guided Shen Wei across the cabin. When the backs of his legs hit the bed, he stopped and ran his hands up Shen Wei’s arms. Rubbing his thumbs soothingly against those wide, frankly stunning shoulders, he raised his eyebrows in a wordless question. Shen Wei took a slow stuttering breath but didn’t look away. With excruciating slowness, Zhao Yunlan helped Shen Wei out of his clothes, only turning him to sit on the bed when it was time to remove his socks.
“Lie down,” Zhao Yunlan said quietly, holding the blankets up.
Shen Wei slid into them and watched with laser focus as Zhao Yunlan methodically removed his own clothing with intensely steady hands. Keeping his eyes on Shen Wei’s face, watching for the slightest hint of nervousness, he crawled under the blankets and pressed himself against Shen Wei’s chest, the skin so much cooler than his. He cupped Shen Wei’s face and steeled himself to ask, one more time, if he was sure. Before he could open his mouth, Shen Wei closed the distance between them and brought their lips together with a moan.
Taken by surprise, Zhao Yunlan’s lips instinctively parted. The moment was all he needed to tamp down the rest of his instincts. His body nearly trembled under the tension of restraint. He let Shen Wei take over the kiss, pressing soft with his own lips and barely touching Shen Wei’s with his tongue. He only let his hands drift down to Shen Wei’s waist when an insistent knee wove its way between his thighs.
Shen Wei’s breath blew hot and quick on his cheek, a moan escaping as Zhao Yunlan’s hands slid over that full, perfect ass. Rolling against him, Shen Wei pressed his hardening cock against Zhao Yunlan’s hip. Zhao Yunlan’s hands flexed briefly at the wonderful, exquisite enthusiasm before he remembered to keep his grip loose.
Fuck, this was difficult. It took every bit of Zhao Yunlan’s will to keep from clutching hard enough to bruise. Shen Wei had always been his one weak spot, though, and Shen Wei’s ass was nothing short of a miracle. A vision of how it would look in front of him—his cock sliding between those lush cheeks—made him gasp, abdomen clenching in a quick spasm. Needing some distance, he gently broke the kiss.
Eyes closed, he swallowed against a dry throat. “Lie on your back,” he whispered against Shen Wei’s lips.
He rested their foreheads together briefly before pulling away. For a moment they stared into each other’s eyes. Shen Wei’s were steady now, and gazed back with soft certainty. One corner of his wet, kiss-flushed mouth curled, small and sweet, and he did as instructed.
With a smile of his own, not as small or sweet, Zhao Yunlan tipped his head at the bedside lamp.
“You want me to turn it off?”
This time both sides of Shen Wei’s mouth curved up and he shook his head.
Grinning, Zhao Yunlan stroked the backs of his fingers down Shen Wei’s neck. Shen Wei’s pulse fluttered under them and for a moment Zhao Yunlan was acutely aware of every rapid heartbeat, the flush and flow of blood through Shen Wei’s veins, his quickening breaths. With a deep breath of his own, Zhao Yunlan focused his attention on the needs of the beauty before him.
“Are you warm?” he asked, his eyes flicking down to where Shen Wei’s shoulders disappeared under the blankets.
Shen Wei looked puzzled for a moment before his face cleared. “I’m warm enough,” he said. Ears pink again, he bit his lip and pushed the blankets down to his hipbones.
Dry-mouthed, Zhao Yunlan drank in the sight. The bedside lamp highlighted Shen Wei’s perfect skin and muscles, throwing shadows into the hollow of his throat and the slight dip under his collarbones. Even without his newly-sensitive eyes, Zhao Yunlan would have seen the rapid pulse beating under the soft planes of his abdomen.
“You’re so beautiful,” Zhao Yunlan whispered.
Propping himself on an elbow, he slowly dragged the tips of his fingers around the swell of Shen Wei’s chest, over his shoulder and down his arm. The man was ridiculously well-built, with a physique that wasn’t merely the result of dark energy. Zhao Yunlan might be miraculously, unnaturally stronger now, but the visual confirmation of Shen Wei’s natural power was breathtaking. It was also incredibly hot.
With grace granted by strength he was still learning, he maneuvered himself to crouch between Shen Wei’s thighs, arms bracketing Shen Wei’s hips. Holding Shen Wei’s gaze, he rubbed his chin back and forth across Shen Wei’s lower belly, just above his pubic hair.
“Make that fucking gorgeous,” he amended with a wink.
Shen Wei breathed a short laugh. The smile didn’t quite reach his eyes, which burned like embers. The heat of his gaze shot straight to Zhao Yunlan’s belly, forcing him to look away. Eyes closed, he pressed a slow series of wet kisses between Shen Wei’s navel and pubic hair. The head of Shen Wei’s cock brushed his neck and they moaned in unison, their soft voices swallowed in the cabin’s dim warmth.
Zhao Yunlan risked another glance up. Shen Wei’s face was turned to the side, eyes squeezed shut, his mouth slightly open, brows pulled tightly together. He looked already on the verge of coming—or crying. Zhao Yunlan laid his hand loosely over Shen Wei’s, clenched tightly at his side.
“You okay?” he asked. “Shen Wei. Does this feel good?”
Shen Wei’s eyes shot open, and again the intensity burned a line of lust straight through Zhao Yunlan. A lot of people had looked at him with various sorts of intent, but none with the raw, all-encompassing need that poured from Shen Wei. It pinned him with a force rivaled only by his lover’s former strength. Frozen, he waited for a response.
“Yes,” Shen Wei answered, sounding broken and desperate. “It feels good.”
The tension Zhao Yunlan hadn’t realized was building in his shoulders released, and he smiled.
“Good,” he said. “Tell me if something doesn’t. We’re gonna take it slow and easy this time. Okay?” He waited for Shen Wei’s nod. When he got it, he lifted Shen Wei’s hand to his mouth and kissed it gently. “Let me take care of you, Shen Wei.”
Something, perhaps a similar tension, eased behind Shen Wei’s eyes and he relaxed with a sigh. “All right,” he whispered. He cupped Zhao Yunlan’s face briefly before placing his hand somewhat deliberately back on the mattress. It trembled but at least it wasn’t clenched in a fist anymore.
As soft and slow as possible, Zhao Yunlan pulled the blankets past Shen Wei’s erection that now lay flushed and full, waiting for him. He cradled the base of Shen Wei’s cock loosely in the webbing between his thumb and index finger. Shen Wei’s stomach fluttered with a long, staggered breath but he didn’t shy away or freeze up again. Zhao Yunlan laid the rest of his hand gently against Shen Wei’s pubic area. Pressing just enough to keep things still, he took a steadying breath and oh, finally, finally, pressed his slightly-parted lips against Shen Wei’s cock. Focused so hard on gentling his touch, his own loud moan surprised even him. Above him, Shen Wei gasped and his hands flew to Zhao Yunlan’s head. This time Zhao Yunlan’s breath exited in a high, shameless whimper. He closed his mouth in a soft kiss to swallow.
Shen Wei’s hands left Zhao Yunlan’s hair to clutch at his own hips. His thumbs pressed hard into the creases at his thighs, body pulsing minutely under the pressure. Zhao Yunlan ran his nose up Shen Wei’s shaft, ending with another soft kiss.
“You can move,” he said. “Trust me, I’ll hold you down if you get too unruly.”
Shen Wei let out a single harsh pant of a laugh. After a moment, the tension in his arms lessened, but his hands remained firmly in place. Zhao Yunlan smiled to himself. It was an acceptable compromise. He again ran his nose up Shen Wei’s cock and then back down to nuzzle the curls at his groin.
Fuck, Shen Wei smelled good. Like incense, or the spices he’d neatly arranged in his kitchen cabinet—and then in Zhao Yunlan’s. Zhao Yunlan had always thought it was the cooking that made his apartment smell like that, but no. No, that was just Shen Wei.
Shen Wei smelled delicious.
Zhao Yunlan used the moisture from his watering mouth to slick Shen Wei’s base before wrapping his hand more firmly around it. Shen Wei moaned softly and in an instant Zhao Yunlan’s body tensed with the desire to launch himself back up the bed. His skin craved the sweat-slick connection from this morning—the motion of Shen Wei’s body rocking against him. He ached to lock their mouths together, just rut and grind until they were both sweating and gasping.
Fuck. This was going to be more difficult than he’d thought.
He better understood Shen Wei’s fear and restraint, now. How had Shen Wei yearned for this for so long and never done more than touch Zhao Yunlan’s damn knee? Zhao Yunlan could only demonstrate his appreciation by showing Shen Wei all the different ways they could touch each other now. He gently removed his hand from Shen Wei’s cock, trailing his fingers over his groin and thigh.
He propped himself up on his elbows between Shen Wei’s thighs. Shen Wei’s skin glowed soft and smooth in the lamplight, perfect and unblemished, veins running faintly blue under the pale skin. Curious, Zhao Yunlan pressed his tongue against the largest one. He closed his eyes, focusing his newly-heightened senses and…yes, there it was, a steady pulse and flow surging under his mouth. He would never, ever bite Shen Wei hard enough for it to hurt—he’d already deduced that being on the receiving end of that wasn’t really Shen Wei’s particular thing—but feeling his blood so close and present was gorgeous. Zhao Yunlan traced its path from groin to knee with soft, open-mouthed kisses, savoring the tangy salt that made his mouth water again. He repeated his ministrations on the other side, now solely focused on soothing his lover.
With a soft, sighing moan, Shen Wei finally relaxed under Zhao Yunlan’s attention. His bent legs fell wide, the full weight of one still in Zhao Yunlan’s hands, while the other collapsed to the side. Shen Wei’s hands slid from his hips to stroke what he could reach of Zhao Yunlan’s head and shoulders. After a parting, closed-mouthed kiss on the inside of Shen Wei’s knee, Zhao Yunlan looked up, prepared to fall again into the heat of Shen Wei’s stare. What met him instead was a soft look of trust and surrender. It took Zhao Yunlan’s breath away.
I love you, Shen Wei, he wanted to say. I’m yours. Completely, always, forever. He’d realized the truth of it that morning, when Shen Wei asked to kiss him for the first time again. It had struck with a shock but not surprise. Zhao Yunlan would marry the man tomorrow if he asked. He was pretty sure Shen Wei wasn’t ready for that, though. Zhao Yunlan already worried his current happiness was tempting fate. Swallowing his impulses, he smiled and turned to catch Shen Wei’s palm in a kiss.
“I could look at you forever,” he murmured. It was the safest thing he could think to say.
Shen Wei blushed and looked away. Every inch of him spread out in an erotic banquet and still so shy. This man. Zhao Yunlan’s heart filled nearly to bursting. With renewed resolve, he bent his head to fully wrap his mouth around the head of Shen Wei’s cock. Above him, Shen Wei gasped and his hips jerked under Zhao Yunlan’s hands, but Zhao Yunlan was lost in the new sensations flooding his mouth.
Lips gliding slickly, he marveled at the soft, gliding texture before the lightly-crinkled skin around its ridge met the tip of his tongue. The experience was magnitudes more intense than it had ever been before. Fascinated by the contrasting textures, he rolled his tongue over and over and around the head. The soft, gently spongy surface of the glans pressed against his hard palate and Shen Wei’s rapidly-galloping pulse pounded against his tongue. He pressed it against the underside in a soft rhythm that better matched his own heartbeat, coaxing Shen Wei into a more comfortable rhythm.
Let me take care of you.
He fell into a slow but steady rhythm, completely absorbed by how much of Shen Wei’s experience he sensed and felt. His ears were full of Shen Wei’s heartbeat, of his lungs emptying and filling with his sighs and moans. Every soft hair on his thighs lay highlighted in the lamplight, a brilliant thread against silken skin. The sharp spice smell of him traveled from Zhao Yunlan’s nose into his brain and then his belly, intoxicating and unbelievably arousing. Every part of Zhao Yunlan’s skin that fell into contact with Shen Wei tingled, like energy sinking into his skin. His hands, his mouth, the places where Shen Wei’s thighs pressed against his shoulders, they all hummed with an electric connection.
Shen Wei’s arousal flowed into him, mingling with whatever energy now flowed through his body. Shen Wei’s spikes of adrenaline, his attempts to calm himself, every suppressed rise into orgasm were clear to Zhao Yunlan as his own wants. Shen Wei’s resistance certainly wasn’t necessary, but Zhao Yunlan appreciated the desire to not have this over too quickly.
Feeling merciful, he pulled his mouth off Shen Wei’s cock to again lick up and down his thighs. With every pass he delved a little deeper between Shen Wei’s thighs, nosing aside his balls. At one particularly low swipe, Shen Wei pulled his hips away, gasping sharply.
Let me, Shen Wei. The command was almost out of his mouth before he stopped himself. “Is that a little more than you’re up to yet?” he asked, glancing up.
Eyes squeezed shut, Shen Wei nodded frantically.
“Okay,” Zhao Yunlan said softly, smiling even though Shen Wei couldn’t see. “That’s good. Thank you for telling me.”
He directed his attention instead to Shen Wei’s balls, pulled endearingly tight against his body. He pulled each side into his mouth as best he could, sucking and mouthing them, entranced by the delicate softness of skin and fine hair. Shen Wei was so, so close. Zhao Yunlan felt it in his own body, and ached for him.
He’d been with many—perhaps too many—people, but he’d never experienced something as intensely intimate as this. The vividness was a revelation. Would he ever get used to it? Even his own outrageous curiosity wasn’t a match for his growing arousal, and Shen Wei’s rose with it in an insistent and irrevocable demand.
“You ready?” Zhao Yunlan asked, his mouth hovering over the head of Shen Wei’s cock again. “You wanna come now? Come in my mouth?”
Shen Wei groaned, long and loud, and Zhao Yunlan felt the vibrations all the way to his groin. Shen Wei’s hips writhed under Zhao Yunlan’s hands as he whimpered, his hands once more grasping at Zhao Yunlan’s hair. Holding his lips away, Zhao Yunlan licked away the bead of moisture that shone in the slit of Shen Wei’s cock. He looked up.
“Do you want to come in my mouth, Shen Wei?”
“Yes,” Shen Wei gasped. “Yes, yes, yes—” The rest was muffled by either his hand or his lips clamping shut as Zhao Yunlan took a deep breath and slid down Shen Wei’s shaft until his nose was buried in Shen Wei’s hair.
Zhao Yunlan barely had a moment to enjoy being so taken, so filled, before Shen Wei was spilling down his throat. Nearly forgotten in his focus on Shen Wei, his own desire flooded him. Desperately trying to ease Shen Wei through his remaining spasms, Zhao Yunlan pushed down the instinct to suck hard and fast or pump himself to completion. When Shen Wei finally relaxed with a sigh and a last whimper, Zhao Yunlan shakily pressed his mouth into Shen Wei’s thigh, breathing hard.
When he had some semblance of control, he rose from between Shen Wei’s lax thighs, before laying his trembling body against Shen Wei’s. Shen Wei turned glazed eyes on him and pulled him into a deep kiss. His tongue ran clumsily around Zhao Yunlan’s mouth while Zhao Yunlan settled himself, straddling Shen Wei’s thigh. Plastered against the now-warm, pliant body, it only took a handful of quick, hard undulations before he was coming against Shen Wei’s hip.
After the ecstasy of Shen Wei’s climax, his own was, honestly, a bit disappointing. He laughed to himself, wondering how much practice they’d need before he could time his orgasms to match Shen Wei’s. That sure would be something. He couldn’t wait to get started.
Careful not to spread more of his mess over the sheets, he slid to Shen Wei’s side. One leg still thrown over Shen Wei’s thighs, he rested a hand on his chest. The bedside lamp threw Shen Wei’s gorgeous profile into high relief. After a moment, Shen Wei turned to him with unfocused eyes and a soft smile.
“Good?” asked Zhao Yunlan.
“Good,” Shen Wei replied with a soft huff of laughter.
“Good,” echoed Zhao Yunlan with a laugh.
He got up, grabbed the shirt he’d worn earlier, and mopped them up. They donned the charming pajamas Shen Wei had chosen at the store and prepared for bed, jostling against each other to share the small sink instead of taking turns. As Shen Wei bent to spit toothpaste into the sink, Zhao Yunlan darted a quick kiss at the exposed nape of his neck. He continued stealing little kisses here and there until they finally climbed into bed together.
After turning off the bedside lamp, Shen Wei scooted close until he lay with his back along the line of Zhao Yunlan’s body. Nearly giddy with the rush of happiness, Zhao Yunlan draped an arm over Shen Wei’s waist and pulled him close. He kissed his shoulder and smiled into the flannel.
“I’m probably gonna want to do that a lot, just so you know.”
Shen Wei’s breath stopped for a moment, then released in a quiet laugh. Zhao Yunlan loved holding Shen Wei this close, but he wished he could see his face.
“Thank you for letting me know,” Shen Wei said. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
“You do that.”
Shen Wei fell asleep surprisingly fast. Had his old body not needed sleep like this new one so obviously did? Or had he deprived himself, pushed himself to exhaustion just to watch Zhao Yunlan sleep? Zhao Yunlan put the question aside. Probably best not to question ghosts of the past.
Enough starlight came through the cabin windows that Zhao Yunlan’s new eyes could see clearly into every corner. They hadn’t had time to make this place theirs yet, but they would. Zhao Yunlan would do everything he could to make sure Shen Wei felt safe here. Safe enough to take the rest he so much deserved. Zhao Yunlan wanted to give him the world. Perhaps someday he would—portal them around the planet, finding new experiences and easy adventures.
In the meantime, though, he could give him this. He would give him patience and trust and love. He would give him a place to rest. He would give him a lifetime of firsts.