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About a month after Yizhou lands the chef part, he finally finds a good boxing gym in the city. It's right off Line 2, five stops away from the apartment, and it's established enough that the trainers know what they're doing but not so flashy that the monthly membership fees are too exorbitant. The first time Yizhou visits with Bowen and Yu Bin, the place also happens to be doing a bundled promotion with the yoga studio upstairs. He could use the extra stretching. Considering the steady string of modeling gigs that have been buffering his savings, Yizhou doesn't have to think too hard about signing up.

"Does that mean you won't be glistening at me from the living room floor when I get home from work anymore?" Ji Li asks, lying across the bed with his chin propped in his hands, Naicha curled next to his knees and Baimi nosing at a half-folded sweatshirt. "That seems unfair." Ji Li's carry-on luggage is laid out across the floor, neglected. Despite the fact that he has an early morning flight out to Hengdian and he's still only about thirty percent packed for a two-week trip, he's watching Yizhou shove things into his gym bag instead.

"I can glisten at you in other places," Yizhou points out. He tosses his new set of hand wraps into an unzipped side pocket and shakes his head when Ji Li gives him an extremely slow and extremely obvious onceover. "For instance, once you finish packing, we can have shower sex."

Ji Li immediately rolls off the edge of the mattress and dumps the contents of his hamper into his open suitcase. "There," he says, grinning with teeth, way too pleased with himself. "All done."

Yizhou snorts, throwing his bag into the armchair for tomorrow. "I love how efficient you are," he says, rolling his eyes, but he lets Ji Li crowd him back into the bathroom all the same. They won't be seeing each other for almost half a month, so they might as well make the most of the time they have left tonight. He ends up holding Ji Li against the glass and jerking him off fast, swallowing the low noises that spill out of Ji Li's mouth. After he comes, Ji Li sinks bonelessly to his knees, a puddle against the wet tile, and does his level best to suck Yizhou's soul out through his dick. As far as temporary farewells go, it's one of the better ones he's experienced in recent memory.

 

 

Yizhou's first few sessions at the gym leave his forearms pretty sore, which is to be expected; his training efforts had dropped off severely during his last couple months in Shanghai, after he cancelled his membership at his old club, so it's been a while. Still, it doesn't take him long to settle back into the groove, shadowboxing and practicing his moves. Trainer Lu, a grizzled ex-heavyweight who's always there at five AM sharp, helps Yizhou with his form, and going in first thing in the morning means he never has to wait to use the heavy bags hanging from the ceiling around the ring. The hour of hot yoga Yizhou usually gets in after all the conditioning work helps him roll out any aches in his back and his hips. The upstairs studio has nice locker rooms and free towel service, and there's a cafe across the street that gives gym members a twenty percent discount on all drinks. It feels good to head off to a photoshoot or table read feeling awake and refreshed, endorphins buzzing beneath his skin.

By the end of the week, the trainers have started pulling Yizhou into the ring to work on the target mitts or spar with the other regulars. He's also gotten to learn more people's names. Lao Yang's been coming to the gym for almost a decade, after his physician suggested it would help him manage stress from his day job. Xiao Tao has a mean left hook and always bums a smoke off Yizhou when they're walking to the subway station together. Mimi and Lili are college students who grew up around the sport because their dad used to box on the amateur circuit. They kick his ass during jump rope endurance training and help him take videos on his phone to send to Ji Li, who responds with if you ever need me to film another one of your matches, da-ge, just say the word and various selfies, making faces at himself through the vanity mirrors during hair and makeup.

Early morning call times for work mean Yizhou puts in a few afternoon and evening hours here and there as well. The gym's always more crowded then, but Yizhou is perfectly content going through the familiar beats of his routine on his own, sinking into the soothing embrace of repetitive motion. The day Ji Li's supposed to be flying back, Yizhou stays late enough nailing his uppercut that the evening rush has mostly cleared out by the time he's done. The bright gym lights begin shutting off on their own, and Trainer Guo bellows a last call across the floor for all the stragglers.

Yizhou resurfaces from beneath the steady thud of his heartbeat and looks toward the entrance to see Ji Li leaning against the railing of the steps leading down into the pit. He must have stopped by the apartment first: his hair is still drying, probably from washing up, and he's wearing one of his favorite fuck-you outfits, black skinny jeans that leave very little to the imagination and a gauzy silver shirt that billows around his torso. Yizhou sheds his gloves and unwraps his hands, wipes his face off with a towel, and then strolls over grinning, bag slung over one shoulder.

"Didi," he says, fanning himself with his soaked tank shirt. "What are you doing here?"

"Bowen sent me the address," Ji Li says, eyes trailing down Yizhou's neck. He swallows visibly.

Yizhou resists the urge to flex, but it's a close call. "Been waiting long?"

Ji Li's expression turns downright filthy. "Nah, just enjoying the view." He leans further over the railing, the deep-v of his shirt gaping. "I thought I'd come over and see if you'd had dinner yet."

"I could eat," Yizhou says. He jerks his head upstairs. "Gotta shower first, though. You can wait for me in the yoga studio if you want."

Ji Li follows him up to the second floor and into the locker room instead. It's pretty quiet on the men's side, especially with the last bikram class still in session, and Yizhou isn't surprised when Ji Li leans against the lockers to watch him pull out clean clothes. "Did you get more ripped while I was away?" he says, reaching out to brush a hand down Yizhou's bicep. "Damn, da-ge."

"Don't be ridiculous," Yizhou huffs. "You were only gone for two weeks." He discards his tank shirt and steps out of his shorts, but before he can grab a fresh towel, Ji Li slides closer and leans up to kiss him, eyes sparkling. Yizhou indulges in the warm press of his mouth for a long moment before he bodily pushes Ji Li back into the lockers and cocks an eyebrow. "Ji Li. Be honest. Are you trying to get me banned from this gym within my first month of membership?"

"I'm not," Ji Li says, drawing the vowels out. He winds his arms around Yizhou's neck and reels him in. His mouth twitches as he hooks a leg around Yizhou's thigh, forearms flexing like he's trying to climb up Yizhou's torso. "Can you blame me for missing your muscles? This is your fault for sending me so many gym pics when I was out of town."

Yizhou huffs again, this time with his face tucked into the curve of Ji Li's neck. He obligingly hikes his arms beneath Ji Li's legs, bearing him into the paneled lockers behind them. Yizhou can feel Ji Li's hard-on pressing against his abs through the thin denim of his jeans. "So it's just the muscles you miss, huh? I see how it is."

Ji Li laughs, throaty, his hips hitching as he seeks more friction. Yizhou crushes him further into the locker, sighing as Ji Li's fingers slide into his hair, nails scratching across his scalp. "They're hot, da-ge, I can't tell a lie," he says, wriggling in Yizhou's grip. "You're really fucking hot." The warmth and the pressure and the smell of Ji Li's sharp cologne make arousal flare up in Yizhou's gut.

They shouldn't do this here. Yoga class could end at any moment, and other people will be rushing in and out of the open space. Yizhou still needs to shower the stickiness off his body. On the other hand, they're in a back corner of the room, far from the door, hidden behind several rows of lockers. Maybe Yizhou can just slip a hand past Ji Li's fly and…

Ji Li arches his spine and undoes the button on his jeans. Yizhou leans away a little, glances down to watch him unzip his fly. "Hey, da-ge," he says, voice cracking as he draws his erection out — and of course he isn't wearing anything underneath his jeans, that's just fucking like him. Ji Li's all about easy access. The locker door behind him creaks as he braces himself against it, reaches down to rub at the tent in Yizhou's boxers. "I'm already ready for you. Hurry up and get on with it."

Yizhou doesn't understand what he actually means by that until Ji Li manages to shimmy his jeans down around his knees in midair, while Yizhou is still holding him up. Yizhou would be more stunned by the impressive display of upper body strength if he weren't so distracted by the curve of Ji Li's ass that this reveals, nor the plug nestled neatly inside him. "Wow," Yizhou says, surprise knifing white-hot through his stomach, because what else is there to say? What else is there to do when your boyfriend apparently needed you to fuck him so badly that he wandered into your gym fully prepped and aching for it? He swallows around the lump in his throat, helps Ji Li tug his pants the rest of the way off. After a moment's thought, Yizhou hooks Ji Li's knees over his shoulders in one smooth motion, breath burning in his chest. Ji Li makes a tiny noise when Yizhou brushes his fingers across the flared base of the plug. "What do you want, didi?"

"Stop asking questions you already know the answers to," Ji Li says, nails digging into Yizhou's ribs, scraping toward his hips, plucking at the slippery waistband of Yizhou's shorts. Yizhou raises his eyebrows, pinning Ji Li against the lockers with his full body weight, and grabs Ji Li's wrists to hold him in place. It's not nothing, not after a couple hours at the gym, but he could stay like this for a while. Ji Li groans. "I just think — you should start incorporating wall sex into your workout routine. It's basically cardio and lifting at the same time."

"Interesting suggestion, Coach Ji," Yizhou says, and his next push brings his cock up against Ji Li's lower back, slipping along the crease of his ass. Ji Li squirms. Metal creaks. Yizhou shifts, settling Ji Li's calves in a better position across his shoulders, and reaches down again to ease the plug out of him. It's one of Ji Li's bigger ones, ribbed silicone, dark green — "For Qinghe!" Ji Li said once, cheeky and terrible — and it's still gleaming with lube. He sets it gently in his open locker, shaking his head. "You really thought of everything, didn't you?"

He tucks two fingers inside Ji Li before he can answer, and whatever Ji Li was going to say in response is lost in a loud hiss. Yizhou watches the flush creep up Ji Li's neck, watches his eyelashes flutter as Yizhou adds a third finger, watches his mouth go slack. Ji Li's breathing big heaving breaths by the time Yizhou finally pulls his hand back and frees his cock from the confines of his shorts and underwear.

It takes Yizhou a moment to remember — "No condom, though." He bites his lip, hips tilting forward. They both groan when his aching erection rubs against Ji Li's open hole.

"It's alright," Ji Li says, a little slurred and a lot desperate, arms reaching out to hook around Yizhou's neck. His thumb strokes soothing circles at Yizhou's nape, and Yizhou follows the movements of his mouth, mesmerized. "We don't need one."

"Okay," Yizhou says, dizzy with desire. "Okay." There's nothing stopping him. No one else is in the locker room, and this isn't going to take long at all, if the leaking mess across Ji Li's stomach and the hem of his sheer top is anything to go by. He leans in to press his mouth to the corner of Ji Li's, brief but searing, and then trails down to suck a mark into his clavicle. Then he lines himself up, thighs straining, and starts sinking in.

Even with the prep, it's a tight fit. Ji Li's into that, though, gasping as his body makes room for Yizhou, clenching down around him. They've only been doing this with each other for a month and a half, but it feels like longer; Yizhou has learned a lot about Ji Li's tastes, and he knows Ji Li likes the burn, likes when Yizhou is rougher with him, likes being able to feel it the next day. Yizhou thrusts up into the heat of his body and Ji Li groans so loud that it echoes off the ceiling, bounces through the rows of lockers. Between them, Ji Li's harsh gasps mingle with the sound of the wet slide of Yizhou's cock, sinking deeper and deeper, and the rattle of metal behind Ji Li's back. It almost feels as if they're shaking the whole row of lockers.

Yizhou is leaning in to kiss Ji Li again when he hears, over the rushing in his ears, commotion near the door. The hot yoga class must have just ended; chatter pours in from the hall, and a couple of guys push in to grab their things. Yizhou can't quite make out what they're saying to each other, but shock zips up his spine, and his arms lock in place. He tries to corral his sharp panting, tries to stay quiet, but he can't help jerking his hips up, still chasing heat.

Ji Li's eyes go wide with alarm. "Fuck," he mumbles, choked, legs squeezing around Yizhou's shoulders. Yizhou clamps a palm over Ji Li's mouth, blinking sweat from his eyes, heart fluttering in his throat like a swinging maize ball. Maybe it's the leftover adrenaline from a long workout, or the idea of potentially getting caught, but he has to fight to keep still even as the coil of pleasure in his stomach winds tighter.

Finally, after what feels like an hour but can't have been more than two minutes, whoever came in shuffles off toward the showers. Yizhou lets go of Ji Li's jaw; his mouth is red and swollen when Yizhou pulls his hand back.

Ji Li's head falls against the locker. "We're lucky — aah, we're lucky they didn't leave their stuff in this row," he says, wriggling so hard Yizhou nearly loses his grip and has to press him into the metal again.

"Hmm," Yizhou says, rolling his hips up, too strung out to be anything but truthful. "I don't know, didi. It could be hot." He dips his head and traces his tongue up the vein in Ji Li's neck, leaves wet, open-mouthed kisses along the line of his jaw as he fucks up into him, arms straining from exertion. Yizhou feels the low rumble in Ji Li's chest more than he hears it. When Yizhou slants their mouths together, Ji Li's staring right at him, gaze half-lidded. Yizhou bites down on his lower lip and shoves deeper, sneakers squeaking against tile. "I mean, anyone would be lucky to see you like this."

Ji Li's breath stutters; his eyes go wide; his fingers dig into the back of Yizhou's head. He clenches hard around Yizhou, so suddenly that Yizhou's vision swims, and then he comes with a muffled cry, shaking apart in Yizhou's arms. Yizhou turns his face into Ji Li's leg, exhaling through his nose, mouth brushing along the twitching muscles in Ji Li's thigh. Two more thrusts is all it takes, and then he's coming too, shuddering through it, knees buckling as he crushes Ji Li against the lockers.

Somehow, Yizhou manages to stay upright; somehow, he manages not to drop him. Ji Li's petting his hair when Yizhou finally relaxes enough to inhale properly again. Yizhou slides out slowly, their skin sticky and slick. When Yizhou lets his feet down, Ji Li sags onto the bench next to his discarded jeans, plucking at the collar of his top. "Well, this is completely ruined," he says, dismayed. There's come dotted all over the silver mesh, and whole patches are soaked through with their intermingled sweat. Ji Li rolls his eyes and peels the shirt off with a resigned air of someone who's going to drag his feet doing the laundry when they get home.

"And whose fault is that?" Yizhou murmurs, but he reaches into his gym bag and passes Ji Li his extra shirt anyway. Ji Li takes it with a pleased smile and trades him a fresh towel. They scrub enough jizz away to be presentable washing up in front of others, gather the rest of their clothes, and go rinse off beneath the cold spray in the communal shower area.

"How the hell do you stand this," Ji Li complains, hopping up and down as the water sluices over his head. "My balls are about to shrivel up and disappear."

"Stop being such a goddamn baby," Yizhou says, flicking more water at him, and laughs when Ji Li flips him off.

 

 

They pick a place on the subway ride back home to stop and eat at, late night pot stickers for cheap. Yizhou's spare shirt is too big on Ji Li, the neck scooping low to show off his collarbones, and Yizhou's eyes keep snagging on the red mark blooming across one delicate arch. "Like what you see, da-ge?" Ji Li says in between bites, waggling his eyebrows. He takes a breath and holds it when Yizhou reaches across the table and pushes his thumb against the bruise.

"You should wear my clothes all the time," Yizhou agrees, just to watch Ji Li flush. He's aware he's probably grinning like an idiot, but that doesn't matter. He feels too good to care.