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“I can’t believe you’ve downloaded that already,” Jiang Cheng said, shaking his head. Outside the train window was a blur of suburbs and farms, two-dimensional landscape that Wei Ying had gotten bored of some hours ago. “We’re not even in the city yet. You’re not even a resident and you’re already on the apps? You’re shameless!”

“A lot of people use apps to make friends,” Wei Ying argued. “It’s not all about dating, Jiang Cheng! We’re starting fresh, it’ll be nice to know people.”

“We’re not starting that fresh, we know some people. And anyway,” Jiang Cheng said darkly, “that is not a dating app, it’s a sex app. You’re on a sex app.”

“No, no,” Wei Ying murmured, already distracted again by her screen, swiping through slowly, lingering on each photo in the way that Nie Huaisang told her was contrary to the point: she should be going quickly, making lightning decisions, no no yes no. But Wei Ying liked to think of herself as a romantic, and anyway, if she was using the app for making friends—which she wasn’t not, jeez, Jiang Cheng—then she should be paying attention to more than just how hot someone was. She should focus on whether they looked fun, what their other photos were, a sense of their interests, a funny caption.

Wei Ying didn’t really date anymore; in the hungry years after high school, she’d slept with a few people, fairly miserable encounters that left her lonelier than she’d been before or just more bored, blinking up at a guy and wondering like, am I 100% sure that I’m bi, though before she turfed them out and pretty much forgot about them between taking a shower and putting the kettle on. But Wei Ying loved to meet people and make friends! Why shouldn’t she use the app for it?

Mostly Wei Ying swiped yes on girls who took cheerful photos out hiking or in busy markets or streaked with paint and laughing, their faces open and bright to the camera. Wei Ying wasn’t thinking much about whether they were hot, whether she would want to sleep with them, she didn’t even have much of a sex drive so it just wasn’t that imporant to her. Sure, a few women were objectively hot—the woman with a crisp dark wave of hair and a sleek moustache with a beer keg casually lifted on one shoulder, the stubble-haired girl with a smirk waving some kind of novelty penis item over her head—but that wasn’t the point.

She did make one exception, or her dumb hand did without any input from her brain whatsoever. There was only one profile picture and it was just an oddly framed body shot, clean skin above black sweatpants and the slightest glimpse of something that wasn’t underwear, a leather buckle curving around a hipbone, a long line of smooth skin and then the bottom hem of a plain black sports bra. No caption, no real name, nothing except the username: hgj. The most obvious thirst trap Wei Ying had ever seen, and she was judging herself for how quickly she swiped yes, and she was judging herself more for the way her heartbeat racketed up a little while later when she got the notification that hgj had also liked her profile. She looked at the profile again. The clean lines of shadow and skin, one thumb hooked in her waistband. Not like a tease, just matter of fact, and those big hands.

“Why are you turning red?” Jiang Cheng demanded.

“You are!” Wei Ying said, and, annoyed at how quickly the stranger had gotten to her without saying a word, she opened a message and wrote: lol this is so ott why dont u just write IM HERE FOR SEX and move on

A read receipt. Wei Ying waited, her pulse high and fast in her wrists, her throat. There was no response.

After a moment she sent: sry im not judging it’s just kind of funny!!! you’re not even bothering to show ur face! like respect whatever go out get it get yours but u might as well admit it

This time there was barely a pause before hgj wrote back. Can’t see your face either.

“You’re going really red,” Jiang Cheng said.

“Just someone annoying,” Wei Ying said, and wrote, thats different im fencing!! She’d picked the photo without a lot of thought, just something that she thought represented her personality well enough. It was from the summer, when she’d been messing around with Jin Zixuan’s foils, because if her jie was going to marry a rich asshole Wei Ying was going to take his stuff hostage whenever she felt like it. Jin Zixuan was a square who’d insisted on her wearing a helmet even though it was just a play fight, mostly just Wei Ying chasing Jiang Cheng around waving her foil threateningly, and Wei Ying thought it was a funny contrast in the photo, tight leggings and a baby blue crop top with the big heavy helmet. She’d been in the process of taking it off anyway, yanking it up so that her hair was spilling out and the corner of her mouth, stretched wide in laughter, was visible. its not just a body shot, u can see me kind of, u can see my mouth

Yes, I can, hgj wrote back.

“Do you need some water or something?” Jiang Cheng said.

“Thank you,” Wei Ying said faintly, and put her phone back in her pocket. She wasn’t going to check it again. At least not with her brother there.

When they had finally gotten into town, though, and gone through all the shit of carrying Wei Ying’s two and Jiang Cheng’s seven suitcases to the new apartment, and Wei Ying had done a late night run to the supermarket for basics and come back to find that Jiang Cheng had ordered their body weight in takeout, when she’d dragged her new mattress into the corner of her bedroom and plugged in the big tasseled lamp jie had sent her a housewarming gift and left the rest of her luggage and boxes piled in the corner, she opened the app again. There were a bunch of messages from other girls. Nothing from hgj. Wei Ying worried at her nail and then texted, have u lived here long?? i just moved here for my masters, i took like 2 years off and i think ive forgotten how to study 😓😓 but im living with my brother again and i know we’re going to kill each other before the end of the week so mb it doesnt matter

One year, hgj wrote back.

oh great so u know the ropes!!! tell me where’s the best place to eat i dont know how to cook and i REFUSE to learn!! Actually Wei Ying was all right at cooking, had learned from necessity in those miserable undergrad years when Mom had kicked her out, but she’d only been able to afford the most basic ingredients and she’d hated eating alone in her shithole of an apartment, shivering all through the winters and trying to string out each mouthful for as long as she could make it last. It was strange and lovely and awful all at once to be back on the Jiang family support train, but she was at least going to take advantage of being able to eat out again while she could.

hgj sent a link to a vegan restaurant. Wei Ying opened it and scoffed loudly to herself in the quiet dimness of her room. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d eaten a vegan meal — probably not since she’d gone with her parents for dinner at the Lan household, years ago, and she and Jiang Cheng had faked sick half way through just to avoid the next course of steamed vegetables.

VEGAN!! DISGUSTING!!!!! ok nvm we’ll have to talk about something else!! are u a student too?? do u like it? my plan is to make lots of friends on here and then show up to class like squad already approved, all set, what u think, is it gonna work

Yes I’m a student, hgj wrote. It’s fine. I don’t know.

dont know what??? Wei Ying sent, and frowned, sitting up with her blanket heaped around her waist, knees drawn up. hgj only answered direct questions as far as she could see, and she scanned through her previous message again. my plan u mean?? why not, arent ppl friendly?? i think this is a smart way to make friends in a new place

You already said that’s not what I’m on here for, hgj sent.

Wei Ying let out a breath. She pressed her thighs together under the covers. She flicked back to hgj’s profile picture and then to the messages. She didn’t know what to say but she didn’t want it to look like hgj had intimidated her, Wei Ying was not easily intimidated, so she wrote without thinking and sent hgj.

<3w<3w<3x, hgj wrote back, which made Wei Ying flush, serve her right for picking a username based on jie’s childhood nickname for her. (She’d been a fairytale prince who saved all the beautiful maidens while jie narrated.)

i cant believe u’d say something that shameless to me, Wei Ying wrote, and watched the read receipt tick up. hey why do u only reply to questions

I don’t only, hgj wrote. Do you want me to ask you some questions?

Wei Ying swallowed. like what

Why did you like my profile if you’re only on here to make friends?

don’t know
not only on here to make friends
no i am actually
i don’t know
what kind of underwear is that

It’s not underwear.


You knew that though

Wei Ying pressed her face against her knees. She was still blushing hot, embarrassed even though there was no one to see her here. After a moment she sent yea. Then she sent, it’s a strap right


i’ve never used one of those before
or like had it used on me
idk mb i would like to use it what do u think hgj?? do u like it??? is it fun??? mb i should buy a strap on and then all the ladies would come to me! you could be my guru!
tho it does look like a lot of work,
she added, still flushed but getting back into the spirit of things again, feeling more sure of herself. Wei Ying could talk about anything! It was her superpower! She wasn’t going to let a faceless stranger intimidate her. and i get kind of floppy sometimes, u know, like sometimes sex can be so overwhelming and u just want to like -- lie back
hgj i am not saying im a pillow princess!!!!!!!!

I like it, hgj wrote back.

strap ons or pillow princesses, Wei Ying wrote back, grinning.


Wei Ying laughed. i am like 90% sure that was a joke hgj!!!!! im so proud of u!!!! There was no response to that, but she wasn’t expecting one. She wrote, anyway even if u do like them im not like that, im v generous n giving in bed and i return favours!! i guess there’s no point in going down on a strap on tho, hey????

Why not?

She put her chin on her knees, staring at her phone, trying to imagine it. Wouldn’t it just be kind of awkward, going down on a strap, something that couldn’t feel her mouth? would u like that??? rly????

I think you would like it.

“Shit,” Wei Ying said, almost shocked by the breath that raced through her, and she threw her phone down on the covers and laughed. What a show off! What a mouth! This stranger who thought they knew Wei Ying so well! Wei Ying pressed her legs tight, tight together and kept her hands flexed on top of the bed covers. After a moment she picked up her phone again and wrote, thats not what i asked

Already said I like your mouth

i dont think u did actually, Wei Ying wrote in a breathless rush.
ur being very forward
it’s not even that good a photo of my mouth

Send me a better one then

“Oh ho ho, you wish,” Wei Ying said, and without really meaning to she opened her camera and took a selfie of her chin resting on her knees, the line of her mouth, her hair falling soft behind her ears, her collarbone clear over the tank she slept in. She didn’t include anymore of her face; she wasn’t an idiot, and hgj had Stranger Danger practically blaring from every message. Wei Ying sent the photo.

Thank you, hgj replied, which should have been kind of awkward and formal but instead Wei Ying felt herself getting hotter, something pulsing in her stomach. Like she’d done good and was being thanked, grave and polite.
I like it
You should put something in it

Wei Ying’s mouth flooded with saliva. already told u i dont have a strap

I know
Don’t want you to go down on one without me to show you how anyway
Try your fingers

It was good that she was alone, that she had this small, quiet bedroom all to herself, because Wei Ying was panting a little, breath coming short as though she’d been racing up and down the stairs. She wanted to make fun of hgj again, wanted to ask her where she got the fucking nerve, wanted to send an obnoxious picture of her with a banana or something equally ridiculous, but instead she slipped her fingers into her mouth and sucked. In a different mood she would have been surprised at how good it felt, as though the pads of her fingers and the weight of them on her tongue shot straight down to her nipples and her stomach and her clit, but she had no room for surprise, no room for anything that wasn’t the whimper that rolled through her and her other hand, shaking, opening the camera app.

One finger wasn’t enough. Two was better. Three was best, stretching the corners of her mouth, but it meant her mouth looked stuffed full in an awkward way. She went back down to two and let her tongue slip out of her mouth, a flash of pink against her fingers. The photo was closer up this time, just her mouth and her hand. She sent it through and felt immediately stupid, humiliated, couldn’t believe she’d done exactly what this stranger had told her to without even questioning it. A photo they could do anything with, could post anywhere, and even if people didn’t know it was Wei Ying, they would still look at the photo and think about how shameless she was, think she was something that she wasn’t.

She scrambled for her phone, fingers wet on the screen, and wrote quickly, feels silly

Looks good, hgj replied.
Good girl

“Ah,” Wei Ying said. Her world was narrowing down to the phone screen, the words waiting on it. thank u, she wrote, remembering that hgj had thanked her. Wei Ying wanted to match up. She wanted to keep being good.
u like it

Pretty mouth
I’d fill it up

Wei Ying gave up. She flopped onto her back and slid her hand over her underwear, shuddering at how wet the material was, clinging to her. She rubbed her heel against herself through the underwear, a little rough, confident, the way she imagined hgj would touch her. She held the phone above herself and wrote, shaky with the wrong hand, with what

First my dick, hgj sent, immediately, as though she’d been waiting to be asked.
Then my fingers, so I could keep your mouth full while I fuck you

Wei Ying squeaked. She shoved her underwear to the side, hasty and scrambling, pressed a finger deep inside herself without hesitation. She was so wet that it felt like it was sinking deep and inevitable into the core of her, never mind that she didn’t usually bother with penetration when she was jerking off. Her mouth was still so wet; she wanted to suck her own fingers again, wanted it to be full like hgj said, but she had to use her other hand to hold the phone, gaze running frantically up the messages hgj had already sent. She turned her mouth to her shoulder, pressing her lips against her own skin, trembling.

hgj, she wrote
hgj i cant u shouldnt saz this stuff
hgj what else wud u do pls

Are you jerking off

yes im sorry
is that weird i cantt help it i need it ill stop im sorry

Don’t have to stop
Are you going to do what I say?

yes!!! yes!!! thank u pls ill do whatghevr ill do it i promise

How many fingers?


Two now
You have nice fingers but they’re small
Going to need to practice if you want to take me

Wei Ying dropped her phone on her face. “Motherfucker,” she hissed, and couldn’t bring herself to stop even for the sake of shame and a bruised nose. She pressed another finger into herself and rolled over onto her stomach, phone resting on the pillow in front of her, caught a laugh over a moan. She couldn’t believe it, couldn’t believe what she was doing, being like this with a stranger. Someone whose face she didn’t even know. She messaged back, ok i am


hgj!!! i
give me some time pls i
i dont n ormllly take this much

Said you would do what you were told

Wei Ying slid her ring finger inside to join the others, just up to the first joint. It still stung, a stretching kind of ache that she wasn’t sure she would have been able to manage at all except that she was so wet, her underwear ruined now, so hungry for it that she was grinding down against her own hand on the mattress like some kind of unstoppable mess.

ok 3 she managed to type out. i did it

Good girl


You like it when I call you that

ysjdf yes, too frantic to be embarrassed now, yes yes yes i wannit wnat to be good for u
can i touch my clit pls pls i need it


Wei Ying moaned into her pillow. She was trying to be quiet but she kept making tiny, strained, bitten off noises, the kind of noises she didn’t usually make when she was jerking off. Nothing like this felt like normal jerking off. She could feel the weight of hgj’s attention as though it was a pair of eyes on her. Her clit was already swollen and hot, peeking out of its hood so that when she brushed her thumb over it her hips rocketed up, jerking away and then back as though she’d touched a live wire.

And now stop, hgj wrote.

For a moment it didn’t make sense and she didn’t stop at all. Then she read it again and stilled, fingers still deep inside herself, a wet patch, she realised, embarrassed, where her mouth had been open on the pillow. She messaged, ???????????????????????????

I have an early appointment and am going to sleep now, hgj wrote.

hgj, Wei Ying wrote. Something was fluttering in her chest, anxiety and something hotter, giddier. um ok it was nice to talk to you!!!!! i will be up for a little longer if u cant sleep 😊sweet dreams xxxxx

You can stay up as long as you like, but you can’t touch yourself anymore.

Wei Ying gaped. She slipped her fingers free and whined, cunt throbbing, empty, but she forced herself to sit up and ignore it for a moment in favour of her phone. hgj!!! that’s not fair!!!!


😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡 you know why

Do I

hgj i havent come and u got me rly worked up and i need to cum, pls let me finish, ill be so fast or u can go to sleep and ill just finish on my own pls


!!!!!! nnot fair!!!! i wont be able to sleep!!! u made me need it rly bad!!!!


ok i can??

Okay I understand that you feel that you need it really bad

Wei Ying was still breathing fast, something caught like a whine in her throat. She drew her knees up to her chest again, pressed her thighs together. She was sticky and throbbing and hot and there was electricity crawling up and down her spine. Her nipples felt tender, her mouth was wet. She couldn’t wait, she couldn’t, she couldn’t.

hgj!!!!!!!! what does that mean!!!

If you want to come you can wait until tomorrow, when I say so.

when tomorrow like midnight??? like midnight tonight when it becomes tomorrow????????
hgj its 9pm pls pls pls pls le t me ill be so good pls ill send more photos

You will be good and wait

no im not going to wait im not going tobe good u dont even know me u dont get to saz things like this and then just disappear itsn not fair its not and i wont wai ti wont

I think you will.


No read receipts. No nothing. Wei Ying threw her phone across the room and then hastily went to pick it up and check that it wasn’t broken and that hgj would be able to message her back and maybe, maybe hgj had changed her mind and messaged Wei Ying — but no. She made a furious noise and rolled over, buried her face in her pillows, rolled from side to side, ended up humping against the blankets like a fucking animal, what had this woman done to her, it was so unfair. It was unbelievable, and it was rude, and Wei Ying would not stand for it, there was no reason to listen to her, she could finish jerking off now at her own speed and her own tempo. hgj would never even know! Wei Ying could lie and say that she’d waited!

She balled her hands into fists at her side. She lay on her back shaking.


“You’re being such a bitch today,” Jiang Cheng told her. “Are you homesick after all?”

“Yeah, Jiang Cheng,” Wei Ying said. “I decided I missed the shrine to your third place athletic trophies and the spunk stink of your room. I’m pining away for it.”

“A massive fucking bitch,” Jiang Cheng grumbled. Wei Ying went back to drowning herself in her third large iced coffee of the day. She’d finally drifted off to sleep around four but her sleep had been hot and fractured, tossing around trying to get comfortable all through complicated, simmering dreams about shadows pressing her close against walls, leaving her empty. She woke up early and somehow still turned on. She messaged hgj good morning asshole!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and then, when half an hour later hgj hadn’t replied, im sorry i was just joking 🥺🥺 how are u, and hgj hadn’t replied to that either. Wei Ying was going to delete the fucking app.

Instead she trailed around with Jiang Cheng as they followed up on the plan to explore for a while, hit up some of the bakeries and wander around campus, still mostly deserted for the summer. Jiang Cheng was visibly indifferent about classes starting next week—sometimes Wei Ying wondered how much using her as an incentive for Jiang Cheng to go to grad school had been behind Mom’s decision to forgive her and welcome her back into the fold—and Wei Ying felt hot and too big for her skin. It wasn’t a very pleasant morning.

By three o’clock they’d given up and gone to the first open bar they could find. After the first long-necked beer Wei Ying relaxed a little and Jiang Cheng started rambling about the new gaming chair he wanted to buy to replace his current gaming chair which was worn with frequent use. Wei Ying stopped jumping every time her phone buzzed and even found it within herself to reply to some of jie’s texts without being furious that they weren’t from hgj.

Jiang Cheng was up at the bar ordering another round when her phone buzzed again. She was genuinely expecting Yanli and instead it was the app. You have a new message from hgj! She almost froze in place. Her heart was pounding. She darted a look up at Jiang Cheng, complaining about something to the bartender, and swiped it open.

Hello, hgj had sent.
You can finish now

Wei Ying had been just turned on enough to be extremely uncomfortable all day and now her stomach went soft and molten, her lips parting. A breath she couldn’t help.

hi im sorry im out
im with my brother
im in a bar
hi it’s nice to hear from you

Bars have bathrooms, hgj wrote.

Wei Ying darted another paranoid glance at Jiang Cheng, now in full outrage up at the bar. i cant, she wrote. i rly cant im sorry i can go home in like half an hour mb and we can then

I have limited time today
Be good

“Fuck,” Wei Ying said, and realised she was going to jerk off in a toilet cubicle for someone whose face she’d never seen. She stood up and tried to make a casual gesture towards the bathroom as she passed Jiang Cheng, even though she felt like she was on fire, ashamed and turned on and overwhelmed like everyone must be able to see. Jiang Cheng just nodded impatiently at her.

The bathroom wasn’t too grotty, at least. Wei Ying locked herself in and sat on the closed toilet seat and sent, ok im here im in the bathroom
it’s not too nasty at least haha!

On your knees, hgj sent, and Wei Ying swallowed. She couldn’t even be bothered arguing, couldn’t pretend that she wouldn’t do exactly what hgj told her, had been wanting to do exactly what hgj told her for over twelve hours now. She folded down onto her knees, sent a photo of her blue jeans against the tiles.

Legs spread, hgj wrote. Wei Ying drew in a shaky breath. She spread her legs, denim stretching tight over her crotch. She sent another photo.

Good girl
You can touch yourself now
Don’t take your jeans off, don’t finger yourself
Finger on your clit and slow

Wei Ying was shaking, her forehead pressed against the closed door, forefinger stroking in slow, sure circles around her clit. Everything felt hot and constrained, sweat prickling under her t-shirt, the waistband of her jeans cutting into her wrist, tight over her thighs. She tried to breathe as quietly as possible, turned her mouth against her arm so that she didn’t make any noise. If someone else came in, they’d notice anyway, right? Notice her knees on the ground, wonder what she was doing, suspect she was crazy or dirty. She was probably both of those things. She panted in quiet, steady breaths against her sleeve.

feels good feels rly good ive been waiting for it all night i didnt think i could wait but i waited pls can i can i now pls

A little faster first

Wei Ying picked up speed, mouth open and panting. She made a few low noises that she couldn’t help, huh, huh, releasing each tiny grunt like a burst of relief as the door didn’t open. The bar had been pretty empty, she thought frantically, she was probably safe enough, but even if she wasn’t, she would do this anyway, do what she was told. Be good for hgj, for the stranger who knew what she needed.

pls, she sent.

You can come, hgj replied, and Wei Ying nearly cried with relief, realised she hadn’t been sure hgj would let her. And then, immediately after: But you have to send me a voice note at the same time.

Wei Ying froze.

Don’t stop touching yourself came through, as though hgj had known.

Wei Ying made another tiny whimper as her finger picked up its rhythm. i have to be rly quiet, she sent back, im in public, im just in the bathroom, i cant i have to be quiet

So be quiet

Wei Ying’s mouth was so wet. Her pussy was so wet. She was tired and strung out and turned on. She turned the voice message option on within the app and stroked herself roughly to a climax, finger moving in tight, rapid circles, phone close to her mouth.

Such a good girl, hgj sent, and when Wei Ying walked back out to join Jiang Cheng her shoulders were relaxed and her cheeks lightly flushed and she felt proud and complete. She hadn’t even made that big a fool of herself, she thought, although later she would listen back to the audio note on headphones in her bedroom and realise she’d been louder than she thought, sharp, rapid breaths and a low, rough noise that sounded like it was coming from the back of her throat, anxious and desperate. She listened to it twice, hot all over. It was on hgj’s phone now. It was Wei Ying’s breath, Wei Ying’s noises, Wei Ying’s orgasm, but they didn’t belong to Wei Ying anymore.

After that first day—second day?—hgj never left Wei Ying to wait very long, as though it was a test and Wei Ying had passed. They messaged all through the day, late into the night. Wei Ying trailed around the city behind Jiang Cheng and met the Nie siblings for lunch and went to get her books and attend the two pre-semester orientation days and all the time she was messaging hgj, wide-eyed and delighted about the latest filthy shit hgj would come up with, doing her best to rise to hgj’s level.

She lost some of her shyness after she worked out it didn’t matter whether she was modest or not. hgj didn’t care if she was shocked or rude, hgj replied just as quickly and brought Wei Ying up higher and higher every time. She messaged hgj my mouth is so wet all the time ge i cant stop thinking about it and hgj told her to go home and make herself come in the shower, Some part of you might as well be clean. It was the earliest Wei Ying had ever left a night out and Jiang Cheng asked her if she was actually sick or something, giving her an ideal out, so she faked a cough and had to do her best not to skip until she was out of sight of the bar.

Out of the shower, wrung out and sleepy from the way she’d come, one palm braced against the wall and the water hard on her shoulders and three fingers inside herself and imagining hgj’s hands on her hips, hgj holding her up, she opened up the app before she even got dressed. im so sleeeeepy now 🥺🥺🥺🥺 need to be put to bed

Do you, the absolute lack of punctuation that Wei Ying secretly thought meant hgj was kind of amused and indulgent, the textual equivalent of letting Wei Ying crawl into her lap.

YES 🥺🥺🥺 im just a poor small girl being bullied and pushed around!! i need someone strong and handsome to come and put me to bed and take care of me!!!!!

Do you want me to find them for you

no i want hgj (nice) to come and save me from hgj (evil)
you can wear a mask so i know who is who
like a zorro mask!!!
sexy mask not creepy phantom of the opera style thing and the mask is only for hgj (evil) no masks for hgj (nice) or it might hurt me when you kiss me all over

All over

ALL OVER hGJ!!!!!!!! do u think u are going to leave an inch of me unkissed, do u think that is a nice thing to do

Would never
Do you always talk this much

Wei Ying grinned, settling cross-legged on her mattress. She was still in her towel and she was going to get her sheets all damp but it was hard to care about that right now, and she didn’t want to put the phone down for a second, didn’t want to stop talking to hgj even in order to get dressed. pretty much, she replied. why??? do u want to shut me up???? do u want to shut me up with…………. your dick????? 😳😳😳

Want to see if you can keep talking when I’m splitting you open

!!!!!!!!!!, Wei Ying sent, and rolled over, burying her face against the pillow and letting out a breath that was half-scream. She should have learned to stop trying to beat hgj at her own game. cant say things like that, she sent, peeking one eye over at the screen. im blushing everyhwere

Show, hgj wrote.

Wei Ying looked at the message for a moment. She breathed out slowly. She rolled onto her back and opened the towel, leaving it discarded beneath her, and then she stretched her toes out and tucked her hips so that her back was arching up, and she took a photo of her body stretched out like that, the blush flooding down along her chest, the soft peaks of her tits, her stomach, the dark thatch of hair at her crotch. She sent the photo through before she could think better.

Very pretty, hgj replied.
Thank you

🙀🙀🙀 ur welcome, Wei Ying messaged, feeling a little horrified at herself.

So pretty, hgj sent.

hgj didn’t typically repeat herself. Wei Ying stared at the message for a long time, something fluttering high and sweet in her throat.

She sent a lot of photos after that; there didn’t seem any point playing coy once she’d already done it. She was careful never to have her face in them, because she wasn’t stupid, and if hgj turned out to be a jerk or an idiot who got her phone hacked Wei Ying would like to have some plausible deniability. Aside from that, though, she didn’t bother holding much back. She posed up high on her back, hips arched, legs spread. She curled her forearm around her breasts, leaned forward so they were pressed tight together, her nipples dark and hard. She took a photo on her hands and knees with the camera pointed over her shoulder at the mirror so that hgj could see the curve of her ass, the pink lips peeking through. It was like she was drunk, like she was high. Sometimes what she was doing would flash through to her and she would be humiliated and sick, but then she opened the message thread and read hgj’s Goods and Pretty girls, and everything felt okay.

hgj sent her photos too, although more often mundane ones when Wei Ying asked what she was doing, like she couldn’t be bothered to type out the answer. A laptop with a blinking cursor on an empty document, a shot out the library window, her fingers in a book holding her place next to a bowl of congee, a mundane breakfast photo except Wei Ying ended up zooming in on hgj’s hands, the big palms, the fingers disappearing between the pages.

She was sick and feverish over hgj, even thought about going to the library to find the same book and try to get a sense of scale, work out their exact size. Big enough to fold over Wei Ying’s hips and hold her right where hgj wanted her, big enough to circle both her wrists in one hand and pin them above Wei Ying’s head. Wei Ying messaged, want u to hold me down, want u to fuck me even if i say stop and hgj wrote back, Rope if you can’t stay still. Wei Ying was losing her fucking mind.

Sometimes hgj would send her something else, though like Wei Ying she was also careful to keep her face out of view. A bathroom shot on her way back from the gym, higher up so that Wei Ying could see the curve of her bicep and her sharp shoulders in her sports bra as well as the dark trail of hair from her naval down into her sweatpants. Her crotch in the same black sweatpants, the bulge of her hand inside them clear, fingers stroking lazily at her clit when Wei Ying sent another topless photo.

Once, when Wei Ying begged for it, told hgj that she was so hungry for it, that her mouth was wet as her pussy, hgj sent a photo from the waist down of herself wearing the strap-on. Handsome, her strong thighs and the lifelike skin colour of the dick, the sturdy straps around hgj’s hips like a frame for her skin. Even still it should have been silly, Wei Ying thought vaguely, the dick was silicone and there was hgj’s hand angling it up, obviously it was always hard. Wei Ying hadn’t made it like that, even if hgj had messaged For you. But no matter how much she reminded herself of that all she could do was stare at it and hgj’s big hand wrapped around it, her fingers tight at the base like she was concentrating on not coming. For me. Wei Ying wanted both inside her, hgj’s fingers, hgj’s dick, hgj.

want it, she sent, mindless. want it pls, want it inside

Have to earn it first, hgj wrote, and told her that she had to be wet all day, all evening, had to make sure she was always slick and hot and ready for hgj’s dick. hgj spent a full twenty-four hours texting her intermittently Now? and Wei Ying had to reply yes yeah i am and hgj would make her touch herself for ten minutes anyway, just to make sure, to keep her body on heightened alert and waiting for hgj. She didn’t let Wei Ying come until two o’clock in the morning, when Wei Ying was in another bar bathroom, Jiang Cheng and a table of hanger-ons they’d picked up in their orientation events over the last few days outside with no idea. Wei Ying came shuddering sitting on the closed toilet seat half folded over so her head was touching her knees. She stood up to send hgj the photo, flash on in the dark interior, fingers slipping out of herself and a wet line of fluid connecting her hand and her pussy.

Such a good girl, hgj sent.

want u here, Wei Ying sent, so enthralled she didn’t have any shame left. bend me over the sink

Soon, hgj said.

That was the fourth day. They had talked extensively about what they would do to each other when they met, how they would touch each other, what would happen, but they had never actually acknowledged that this meeting would have to be arranged, that it wouldn’t just appear, Wei Ying wouldn’t just step through her phone and into hgj’s arms. On the fifth morning Wei Ying woke up tired but clear-headed. She’d only had two beers last night, the need for alcohol somehow receding when hgj’s dizzying attention was focused on her, and she brought a moaning Jiang Cheng some ibuprofen and a bucket and then she sat down on their new couch and messaged hgj, when is soon tho

? hgj replied. She was already up, of course. Wei Ying suspected that hgj preferred an early bedtime, which was secretly kind of adorable. At the very least hgj was an early riser; she sometimes sent Wei Ying a picture of the city in its morning rush while Wei Ying was still struggling out of sleep.

like if this is just a text thing thats totally cool!! but u should tell me now before i drive myself crazy thinking about u fucking me lol
and if its not a text thing like…….. whenever u want me……

Whenever I want you?

yes, Wei Ying wrote. consider me sufficiently booty called. my booty is at ur service
i promise my face is also p cute but at this point i will put a paper bag over my head and u can fuck me i dont care i just want u to touch me pls

Don’t want you to put a paper bag over your head
Do you have plans for lunch?

Wei Ying’s heart had already been beating fast, if she was honest with herself. Now it was pounding. She had such a crush, it was so embarrassing, she was going to have to keep a handle on that, but also — also hgj hadn’t told her to come around to hgj’s apartment, hgj hadn’t suggested a late night pick-up, hgj hadn’t even suggested a bar. hgj had asked her out for lunch.

lunch!!! what am i not classy enough for a dinner date????

Will take you to dinner if you like, but that is nine hours away. Lunch is three

i am fucking in love w u, Wei Ying wrote, and deleted it without sending. She was beaming at her phone. She sent, lunch sounds good 🥰🥰🥰🥰

hgj sent her a restaurant address. Wei Ying went to her bedroom to spend three hours jerking off and picking an outfit.


Jiang Cheng insisted on accompanying her to the dumpling house hgj had sent. “She’s probably a sex murderer. jie’s going to be so mad at me when you get chopped up into little pieces by a sex murderer, I might as well say that I saw you off and she looked normal.”

“She’s not a sex murderer,” Wei Ying said.

“But probably she won’t look normal,” Jiang Cheng continued. “She’ll have like, a toothbrush mustache and white person lips. She’ll have teardrop tattoos. She’ll have a hook-hand.”

“She doesn’t have a hook-hand,” Wei Ying said. She deeply regretted telling Jiang Cheng about hgj at all, but she’d had to explain even partially why she’d become addicted to her phone and then she’d been too excited this morning to keep it under wraps. Now he was trudging along next to her scowling and completely ruining her vibe, the clean white sneakers she could skid around in and black miniskirt with a slit up her thigh and her good luck pale pink t-shirt, which had never let her down yet.

“How do you even know what she looks like?” Jiang Cheng demanded. “You said you haven’t seen her face!”

“I’ll know her,” Wei Ying said. She had wondered that, too, whether they should exchange selfies or at least real names, but hgj had just said Meet at 12.30. I’ll find you, and Wei Ying had no reason to doubt her.

They were early to the restaurant, which was also Jiang Cheng’s fault, because he’d watched Wei Ying slump around the house and pose against various walls and check her teeth to make sure nothing was between them eighteen times and then said, “Okay, we’re fucking leaving.” It was on a sidestreet, busy but not packed, and they hung back against a closed shop and watched people passing by. Every time a woman between the age of eighteen and sixty passed, Jiang Cheng started shoving Wei Ying nervously in the ribs with his elbow, and so Wei Ying was in the middle of explaining exactly how she was going to kill him when she saw a flash of something out of the corner of her eye and turned, mostly on instinct.

It was strange, her brain ticking over familiarity, her lips parting, not sure why. Golden eyes, a bored, haughty expression, hair slicked back behind her ears and feathery on the nape of her neck, tight white t-shirt and dark jeans. Something in Wei Ying’s brain hummed and settled down and then ratcheted up into high gear, and Jiang Cheng, frowning, said, “Wait, is that—”

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying yelped, and ran for her. “Lan Zhan! What the fuck! Hi! Lan Zhan!” and she threw herself into Lan Zhan’s surprised arms, clutching two fistfuls of Lan Zhan’s shirt, breathing in that clean dry smell of her. Lan Zhan’s hair was short now—basically a mullet! Look at her!—and she’d finally gotten around to piercing her ears, small silver hoops in each lobe, but she was still the girl Wei Ying had spent four years obsessed with, the only person Wei Ying had ever swung her full charm at and not been able to win over.

“Wei Ying?” Lan Zhan said. Her eyes were huge and shocked like Wei Ying had never seen them, her face turning attentively down to Wei Ying. Wei Ying wobbled and Lan Zhan caught her automatically, an arm around her waist. Her fingers brushed against the slit in Wei Ying’s skirt, warm against Wei Ying’s thigh. “What are you—”

“I didn’t know you lived here!” Wei Ying said. “How fucking long has it been, eight years? You look good, look at you, you’re all grown up!”

“Hi, Lan Zhan,” Jiang Cheng grumbled, coming over to join them. “Sorry, she’s the same as ever.”

Lan Zhan shook her head. “Fine,” she said, “it’s fine, I — what are you doing here?”

“My masters!” Wei Ying said cheerfully. “I took a couple of years out but I’m back to school, here we go! Political science, bow down.”

“Right,” Lan Zhan said. She kept staring at Wei Ying, that intense focused Lan Zhan gaze that Wei Ying had chased all through high school and almost never gotten. “But what are you doing here? Right now?”

Lan Zhan was not being very polite about their incredibly sweet serendipitous reunion, Wei Ying thought fondly, expecting nothing less, and opened her mouth, but Jiang Cheng got in first. “Wei Ying has a date with a sex murderer.”

“Not a date,” Wei Ying said, switching her attention briefly to glare at him. “And not a sex murderer, fuck you, it’s just—”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan said. Her voice sounded strange, strained. Something inside Wei Ying snapped, went quiet and still and attentive. She swung her attention back to Lan Zhan. Lan Zhan’s arm was still around her waist, Wei Ying’s hands on Lan Zhan. They stared at each other. Wei Ying was trapped in that stare, rabbit in the headlights, and then she shuddered and took a step back.

“Lan Zhan,” she said. “Lan Zhan.” She laughed weakly. It sounded bizarre to her. “What the fuck. You dick, I can’t believe you used your basketball nickname.”

hgj, a random choice, Wei Ying had always assumed, except it wasn’t random at all: Hanguang-Jun, the ridiculous name the junior students had given Lan Zhan on the court, Hanguang-Jun the younger sister of Zewu-Jun, the two basketball legends of the school. Some people had called them the Twin Jades, they were so thoroughly invested in the Lan cult of worship, and Wei Ying had always assumed that Lan Zhan had been icily embarrassed by it, but here she was, using the remnants of the name to pick up girls on sex apps, and it wasn’t Lan Zhan who was embarrassed. Not Lan Zhan at all. Wei Ying’s cheeks were burning.

Jiang Cheng was looking back and forth incredulously between Lan Zhan and Wei Ying. “Oh,” he said. “Well. This is embarrassing for you.”

“Haha,” Wei Ying said weakly. “Not at all. Okay, well, Jiang Cheng, she’s not a sex murderer, so you can probably go now.”

“Yeah, I don’t need to watch this trainwreck any longer,” Jiang Cheng said. He threw up the peace sign and ambled away into the crowd.

Lan Zhan was still watching her. Every line of her body was tense, like she was waiting for Wei Ying to — what, to fall back into her arms? To go down on her knees? To embarrass Lan Zhan in public, to show how shameless she was all over again? Wei Ying thought she’d exorcised herself of her shame, thrown it all into a stranger who’d absorbed it, but instead she’d been saying those filthy things, sending nudes, to icy, perfect Lan Zhan.

It made Wei Ying want to crawl away into a corner. It made her want to die. She felt sick with humiliation. Lan Zhan wasn’t even saying anything, just staring at her like she was shocked, like she couldn’t believe all those slutty messages had come from Wei Ying. Wei Ying wished they hadn’t. She wished she’d never downloaded the app. She wished she’d been able to have some self-control even once in her miserable life.

“Ah, Lan Zhan,” she said, and forced herself to smile. It didn’t feel very real. “Well, okay, we can still have lunch at least, can’t we? I’m hungry!”

She wasn’t hungry at all, but she wanted to salvage the situation. If they could breeze past this awkward reintroduction, maybe Lan Zhan would think Wei Ying had just had an aberrant few days. Maybe she would forget it, the awkward time when they hadn’t known who they were talking to. That Lan Zhan was commanding and hot, okay, no real surprise, it fitted what Wei Ying knew of her, but all the things Wei Ying had done, had said, had begged for—

“Lunch,” Lan Zhan echoed, a little slow.

“Yes! Don’t worry, obviously I won’t expect anything else. It’s funny that we didn’t recognise each other — ah, never mind,” she said, faltering, and turned determinedly towards the restaurant, leading the way inside. For a sickening moment she thought maybe Lan Zhan wouldn’t follow, would be so horrified by the discovery that it was Wei Ying she’d been talking to that she would just walk straight away. But when she hesitated for a moment in the entryway, thrown off course by the busy interior, Lan Zhan appeared behind her and put a hand on Wei Ying’s back, steering her towards an unoccupied corner table. The five points of her fingertips felt very hot through Wei Ying’s lucky t-shirt. Wei Ying kept her back straight and didn’t lean into the touch.

At the table she seized up one of the big plastic menus and disappeared behind it, talking a mile a minute about the years since she’d last seen Lan Zhan, her undergrad and the six months she’d spent in a punk band (“We were terrible! We had none of your talent, Lan Zhan!”) and Wen Qing, did Lan Zhan remember Wen Qing, from their biology class, she was a doctor now of course, when would she have been anything else, and when Wei Ying got kicked out and Wen Qing was a medical student she used to sneak Wei Ying antibiotics under the table whenever she got sick—

“Kicked out?” Lan Zhan said, frowning.

“Oh, it was only for a little while,” Wei Ying said quickly, “my fault, really, I always made things too difficult for Mom. I was very bratty when I was younger, you remember,” and Lan Zhan looked at her like she did remember.

Wei Ying faltered under Lan Zhan’s stare. They ended up just looking at each other for a long moment. Wei Ying wondered how much she’d changed, what Lan Zhan thought of her. Lan Zhan looked older and it wasn’t just the hair or the clothes or the way her jawline had sharpened: there was something calmer about her, surer, a low thrum of confidence that didn’t waver under Wei Ying’s eyes or babble. Eight years ago Lan Zhan had been serious and easy to offend, and somehow Wei Ying didn’t think it would be so easy now.

Also, Lan Zhan had been kind of feral in high school. She’d put on a good, stuck up, rule-abiding front, but Wei Ying had always seen through it and known she could rile Lan Zhan up. Lan Zhan would try to ignore her but she’d inevitably crumble, eyes hot with fury, spitting low insults about how shameless Wei Ying was, how uncontrolled, how boring, how undisciplined.

The best times had been when Wei Ying really got through, made Lan Zhan snap and drop her perfect posture. They’d both been on the basketball team, both tall and athletic, and once Wei Ying had nudged Lan Zhan’s ribs too many times in a friendly practice, kept sneaking up under Lan Zhan’s arm and trying to steal the ball. Lan Zhan had finally just gone for her, snarling and tackling Wei Ying onto the hard gym floor, the two of them thudding to the ground in a tangle of hair and sweat, flashes of Lan Zhan’s bared, gritted teeth and cheeks burning with rage. It had been a hot mess: Wei Ying was pretty sure Lan Zhan had bitten her, somewhere in there.

Wei Ying had struggled and yelped and fought back and it had taken the coach and three other girls to pull them apart, Wei Ying’s nose bleeding and Lan Zhan’s finger sprained. They’d been sent to the nurse’s office in disgrace, where they sat by side and Wei Ying crowed her victory over the great Lan Zhan, the wonderful disciplined Lan Zhan who hadn’t been able to help herself, who couldn’t keep her cool under Wei Ying’s glorious assault! Lan Zhan hadn’t said a word. She sat staring golden-eyed at the wall, frozen except for her breath, which was still coming hard.

They’d calmed down a little in their senior year. They’d both been on the student council and they’d had to work together on a few projects. Lan Zhan still looked pained and told Wei Ying off all the time, but they’d had some fun nights too, staying up late strategising how to get Wen Chao expelled or sneaking KFC up to the equipment room at the top of the gym to celebrate the end of exam season. Lan Zhan stopped flinching away like Wei Ying burned her whenever Wei Ying touched her. She let Wei Ying grab at her arm, her shoulder. On their final day she’d even let Wei Ying hug her and nodded shortly when Wei Ying demanded to know whether Lan Zhan would answer her emails, but not long after that Wei Ying had been kicked out of home. For a while she hadn’t had an easy place to check her emails, let alone the headspace to write any. They’d drifted apart. It was normal enough, and this should have just been a fun and unexpected reunion, except for the way Wei Ying had managed to make it awful, make all of Lan Zhan’s hisses of shameless and undisciplined come true.

She could feel her cheeks going hot again, her gaze drooping, miserable, although at least their food showed up to offer some distraction. Wei Ying choked down two dumplings—delicious, worth much more than the half-hearted attention Wei Ying was paying them—and said, “Ha, Lan Zhan, you’ll forgive me this indiscretion, won’t you? You know I’ve always had trouble behaving myself!”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan said, frowning, “you did not—”

“I know, I know,” Wei Ying said quickly, “but I’ll be better now.” I’ll be good, she thought, and something awful caught in her throat, like heartbreak. She let out a quick breath, staring down at the table. The food swam before her eyes for a moment and then she lifted her face and smiled. “You have to tell me everything I’ve missed. What are you studying, Lan Zhan?”

“History,” Lan Zhan said.

“Not music?”

“That I can do alone,” Lan Zhan said. She looked as though she was only half paying attention to her answers, most of her attention on Wei Ying’s face, eyes slightly narrowed, as though she was searching for something underneath, trying to work out how her old schoolfriend could have done such humiliating things.

It was awful, sitting there under Lan Zhan’s scrutiny, and especially awful because the nasty, wrong part of Wei Ying that had gotten her into all this trouble was still uncomfortably turned on. She’d come down to the restaurant feeling as though her whole body was humming with it, the promise of hgj, and she was still thinking about hgj’s hands, but they were Lan Zhan’s hands, Lan Zhan’s long fingers using her chopsticks, Lan Zhan’s big palm resting on the table. Paired with Lan Zhan’s face, her cheekbones and her mouth and those eerie, handsome eyes. Lan Zhan was more beautiful than Wei Ying had ever dared to think hgj would be. Wei Ying let out a shivering breath.

“It’s been so long,” she repeated, a little mindless. “There’s so much to catch up on. I didn’t even know I was gay in high school! Did you, Lan Zhan?”

Lan Zhan looked a little amused. “Yes,” she said.

“Of course,” Wei Ying said, “you’ve always had everything figured out. Not that — obviously not — I don’t mean you knew, this week—”

“Didn’t know,” Lan Zhan said. “Didn’t know I was talking to Wei Ying.”

Wei Ying nodded bravely. “We should just pretend it didn’t happen, Lan Zhan. It’ll probably be a funny story in a few years!” She reached across the table, grabbing for Lan Zhan’s phone and fumbling to add her details. “Here, here’s my WeChat so we don’t have to talk on — anyway. If you want to talk, I mean.”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan said.

Her face was hot. The next mouthful seemed to stick in her throat, and her hands were trembling on the table, and she realised suddenly if she didn’t get out of here right now she was going to compound her humiliation by breaking down and crying, begging Lan Zhan not to think too badly of her, begging Lan Zhan to delete the pictures, begging Lan Zhan to tell her she’d been good just one more time, even now that it was so self-evident that she wasn’t.

“I’m going to go,” she said, stumbling up to her feet. “I should — I have to — I realised I forgot something — I shouldn’t have — but we can hang out again, if you want to, just—”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan repeated, rising as well, and she reached out but Wei Ying reeled backward and nearly crashed into a waiter and she ended up hurrying out of the place while being scolded loudly by several different people. She threw a glance back over her shoulder as she went and Lan Zhan was standing still watching her, her fingers curled very lightly into fists at her side, like the last remnant of that first furious teenage girl Wei Ying had known.

Wei Ying rushed home through crowds and streets that she still barely knew, her eyes hot, face turned down. It felt as though the food was stuck in her throat, or rising back up, next to a sob so there was barely room for Wei Ying to breathe. She got home to an apartment that was, thank fuck, empty, Jiang Cheng gone somewhere, and raced into her room, slammed the door, threw herself onto her bed. She took in several huge, gasping breaths. Her eyes stayed dry.

She lay there for a long time, face buried in the blankets, and then eventually sat up. Her hands were still shaking and her chest still tight but the tears she had been sure were on their way didn’t come. It felt kind of strange, left Wei Ying cold and uncertain of herself. She went to the bathroom and washed her face because she was kind of sweaty and gross and the face that looked back at her was pale and contained and strange to her. Her heart was pounding and her throat was tight and the woman in the mirror just looked back at her, empty, a little derisive.

She went back to her bed. She climbed in still wearing her clothes—disgusting—and pulled the blankets up tight and high around her. The skirt rode up uncomfortably and her socks were too thick, but she didn’t move. She was thinking too many things at once to slow any of it down, to make sense of any of it. It felt as though her body was full up with it and her head too and the meaning was out of reach, somewhere hidden in Lan Zhan’s shocked expression or Wei Ying’s shaking hands.

After a while she reached for her phone to check the time—she’d spent two hours there, could that be right? Huddled under her blankets, proving herself more useless and pathetic than ever?—and found a WeChat message from Lan Zhan waiting for her. Lan Zhan’s name was like an electric shock, real this time, and Wei Ying dropped the phone with a start. She was immediately sure that she was both incapable of not reading the message and that it would fuck her up more. She sat still for a moment, and then in a burst of movement ran back out of the apartment with keys and money and bought a bottle of vodka and then swung back for home.

She took Jiang Cheng’s favourite mug with her into her bedroom and poured herself a finger of vodka, shot it back. It went down hot and nasty, inexpensive stuff that she’d bought on instinct like she was still living alone and trying to kill the long lonely evenings, and for a moment her throat worked as though she was going to spit it all back up, but it settled. Her hands steadied a little. She sat on her bed staring dumbly at the ceiling and took another shot, and then she opened the message.

Wei Ying
Are you okay

Wei Ying drew in a deep, steadying breath. The vodka was right there. Everything was okay, she had managed worse. It was humiliating and pathetic but Lan Zhan was a better person than her, the best person Wei Ying had ever known, and this message seemed genuinely concerned; she wouldn’t tell anyone, probably. She would keep Wei Ying’s shamelessness to herself.

Only yesterday, only this morning, it had been so easy to message hgj, to message Lan Zhan. Wei Ying’s fingers had flown over the screen without thinking, as though hgj had tapped a direct line to Wei Ying’s brain and Wei Ying just needed to let it flow out. Now Wei Ying was hesitating over the screen, beginning to write and then hastily deleting it, false starts and uncertainty.

😊😊im fine now ty for asking lan zhan!! i guess those dumplings didnt agree w me or something??? or mb im a lil sick or something bc they were rly nice dumplings that was a nice place thank u for picking it. but i feel all better now 😊

Wei Ying, a moment later, and Wei Ying waited but Lan Zhan didn’t say anything else. Wei Ying didn’t know how to read that, just her name, and there was a long pause as though Lan Zhan was waiting for her to reply all the same. Wei Ying’s hands were shaking again. What did Lan Zhan want? The openness of the message was awful and if Wei Ying let it hang over her much longer she was going to start apologising again or begging or something equally embarrassing, and surely she had embarrassed herself enough in front of Lan Zhan now. She took another shot instead. It was setting in, her fingers fuzzy, her head soft and warm.

Okay, Lan Zhan sent finally. Glad you feel better.
It was nice to see you today.

Wei Ying couldn’t reply to that, either, not without spilling her guts onto the floor. She started drinking in earnest instead.


By the time Jiang Cheng returned Wei Ying was quite drunk. Jiang Cheng was in full rhapsodic flight about some impromptu gaming contest that he had just “crushed!” so it took him a while to notice, and then he frowned and said, “Wei Ying! We were meant to go out tonight!”

“Ugh,” Wei Ying said.

“We’re meeting jie fu’s cousin! Jin Zixuan set up the meeting for us especially!”

“Is that meant to be a good thing?”

“We can’t all make friends on the sex apps,” Jiang Cheng said, scowling. “Why are you so drunk after your date with Lan Zhan, anyway? I thought Lan Zhan didn’t drink!”

“That was eight years ago, Jiang Cheng, who knows what she does now,” Wei Ying said, and slouched deeper into her bed. “It wasn’t a date.”

“I told you not to go on the sex app,” Jiang Cheng said. “Get up. Get dressed. I’m not meeting jie fu’s cousin on my own. If you don’t come with me, jiejie will be sad.”

“Oh, you’re the worst,” Wei Ying said, and allowed Jiang Cheng to drag her to her feet.

She even got changed, after he pointed out that her skirt was a little over the top, although he seemed annoyed when she came out in leggings and a big t-shirt. “Can’t you put a little effort in?” he demanded and Wei Ying, holding onto her vodka, launched into a lecture about him trying to police her, trying to use his male privilege to—

“Okay, okay, let’s go,” Jiang Cheng said.

It turned out Wei Ying was wrong again, though, because Jiang Cheng wasn’t the worst: that title definitely went to Jin Zixun, who’d arrived at the bar full of pompous bullshit and surrounded by a whole little gang of Jins. Wei Ying hated Jins. It was like they were all raised on a steady diet of arrogance and daddy issues. It turned out that apparently Wei Ying had met Jin Zixun before, at jie’s wedding, and he was furious that she didn’t remember him, and then he worked out that she was drunk and decided to give her a big lecture about how it wasn’t ladylike to be seen out in public like this.

“At the very least you should make sure you have someone to look after you,” he said with something that Wei Ying thought might be a leer. He put an arm around her waist, fingers dipping down to her hip. Wei Ying flinched away from him like she’d been hit and managed to knock his beer into his lap—probably like, eighty percent by accident—and he started howling with rage. Jiang Cheng sent her a panicked look from the other side of the table. Wei Ying excused herself for the bathroom.

It was a bar that she and Jiang Cheng had already been to. Three days ago Wei Ying had been in this bathroom jerking off, sending photos— she shuddered, ducking her head. She sat on the toilet seat and stared at the graffiti on the wall and felt her phone like a burning weight in her jacket pocket. She needed to be more drunk. She’d been nursing a beer and the cool air on their way down here had sobered her up. She didn’t want to be in her head anymore.

She went back to the bar and ordered a tequila shot and then a vodka soda, which she drank as quickly as she could before signalling for another. Ah, that was better, her rationality unhooking itself and sailing into the distance. The bar was busy which meant the bartender wasn’t that interested in her and didn’t keep track of what she was drinking, and although people kept bumping into Wei Ying, jostling her while they waited for her drinks, her skin crawling with discomfort at every strange touch, at least she wasn’t back at a booth trying to make nice with fucking Jin Zixun.

This week had started so well and gone so badly. Wei Ying didn’t think she’d ever fucked something up so fast. She dimmed the light on her phone as low as possible and scrolled through her messages with hgj, feeling like she wanted to be sick. It was strange and overwhelming to imagine Lan Zhan on the other end of these messages, Lan Zhan idly typing them out, Lan Zhan checking her phone as she made dinner and replied. Lan Zhan’s big hands, Lan Zhan’s strap.

Wei Ying wished they had never decided to meet. But would she have run into Lan Zhan eventually? Surely she would have, the university wasn’t that large. There was no way she could have both the things she wanted, her old friendship with Lan Zhan rekindled and hgj messing her up on her phone. And it was unfair to make it Lan Zhan’s fault when it was Wei Ying who had ruined everything, Wei Ying who hadn’t been able to help herself.

She stared down at the phone. She opened the app again and sent, hgj.

She ordered another shot. Her head was spinning, the bar moving unsteadily, but the tequila burned down her throat and steadied her a little, let her reach out and catch the bartop and keep herself balanced there, half slumped, ankles twisted around the barstool to keep herself secure.

Her phone lit up. I am here.

hgj im prhg drunk haha
udont mind me msging tho


ahhh u dontweann
dont wannsa say anything else???
i forgot u only answer qs
Dnt wrz im nts askin anything just wanted to
just was thinking bout u
Im in the bar

She was writing fast, sending message after message on instinct, not allowing herself to think about what she was doing. The room around her phone was spinning and the characters on her phone kept sliding out of reach: she had to hold the phone close to her face with her eyes squinted to keep the screen in focus.

The bar? hgj replied. Wei Ying groped around blindly on the bar for her vodka soda; it was empty, and she signalled for another. It tasted fresh and clean, slick around her teeth.

ws here lst night
night befro
cant remmeber
u made me do things

I remember. Are you okay?

u arldy asked me that!!!!!
lz were u surprised to see me today


bc i didnt seem nsty in school
im rly sry
i feel sick

You don’t need to be sorry.
I think we should meet again.
I think we should talk about what happened.
What kind of sick?

i cnt
i dont want to

The world was reeling. Wei Ying pressed her cheek against the cool bar. There was no reply from hgj and after a moment she managed to type:

wht if u just froced me to do those things
ur strongr than me
u could force me n i wouldnt have a choice n thne it wouldnt be that i was so slutty n disgusting
hgj (evil) cld di it
lan zhan i feel so sick

Where are you? Lan Zhan wrote, and Wei Ying sent the name of the bar.

“Vodka please,” she said, raising her head to look at the bartender.

“Uh-uh,” the bartender said. “That’s enough for you now.” He put a pint glass in front of her. “Drink some water.”

Wei Ying glared. “D’nt need water.”

“I literally don’t care,” the bartender said, and turned dismissively away. He was right to, Wei Ying had worked shitty service jobs and she was being the worst kind of customer today, but she couldn’t move, couldn’t join her friends, was too drunk to even see her phone screen anymore. She folded her arms and put her cheek against the bar and lost some time there, sick and miserable, hoping that maybe soon Jiang Cheng would notice and come and take her home. Maybe in a little while she’d be able to call a Didi. If she was going to throw up, she decided faintly, she’d go to the bathroom, but otherwise she wasn’t going back in there. She’d wait right here, another mess on the sticky bar, until she got kicked out.

She lost some time in there, the world sliding sickeningly away from her. She wasn’t falling asleep but she could feel the drunk cloud of the night hot and foggy around her, while people laughed and sneered at her. That seemed right, too. She only opened her eyes when the door opened, the roar of traffic beyond, and so it was just chance that she saw the sleek black motorbike pulling up against the curb, the driver kicking the stand down and swinging off the bike. They took their helmet off, shaking out their hair, and Wei Ying and Lan Zhan looked at each other for a moment through the glass of the bar.

Lan Zhan tucked her helmet under one arm and came through the door. She was wearing a bulky leather jacket in blue and white and the bar’s lights painted her throat in neon greens and purples, sliding over her like she was gathering all the light in the room. She made a beeline for Wei Ying and put her hand on Wei Ying’s shoulder.

“Just came to check on you,” she said quietly, and Wei Ying folded against her, let her head droop to Lan Zhan’s chest and breathe in the good smell of her, the cool night outside and the exhaust of the road and Lan Zhan herself, clean sweat and sandalwood. Lan Zhan’s hand went to the back of Wei Ying’s neck, clasping her there, keeping her steady. Neither of them moved.

“They’ve cut me off,” Wei Ying confessed, slurry against Lan Zhan’s jacket.

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said. “That seems wise.”

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying said. She turned her face up, into the hollow of Lan Zhan’s throat. Here Lan Zhan smelled even better. “Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan.”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan said. “Let me take you home.”

“Your home,” Wei Ying said. Through the drunkenness it felt very clear, like a promise.

“My home,” Lan Zhan agreed.

They said goodbye to Jiang Cheng and Wei Ying flipped off Jin Zixun and then Lan Zhan bought Wei Ying an enormous bottle of water and made her drink all of it while they wandered up and down the streets before she would let Wei Ying on the back of her bike. Wei Ying complained about it, loudly, but actually it wasn’t so bad. Wei Ying kept stumbling and tripping over her feet and Lan Zhan’s feet and eventually Lan Zhan just put an arm around Wei Ying’s shoulders and tucked her against Lan Zhan’s side, and that was easier.

“Lan Zhan, you must have better things to do than go out and fetch drunk losers,” Wei Ying said. “What were you doing tonight?”

“Wei Ying is not a loser,” Lan Zhan said. “I was studying.”

“S’the holidays,” Wei Ying said. “No school for — for three days still, isn’t that right, Lan Zhan? What are you studying for? Don’t you know how to enjoy time off, Lan Zhan?”

“I have a meeting with my advisor tomorrow morning,” Lan Zhan said, and caught Wei Ying when Wei Ying nearly fell into the gutter, her arm tightening around Wei Ying and drawing her in tight. “How do you feel?”

“Drunk,” Wei Ying admitted, smiling up at Lan Zhan. “But not so sick.”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said. “I think we may risk it. You have to hold on tight.”

She was looking down at Wei Ying, her sharp face clear in the streetlights, bright eyes trained on Wei Ying’s face. Wei Ying nodded. Her tongue was thick in her mouth, and it felt like the layers of shame and misery were simmering under the surface, but the oil slick of Lan Zhan lay over everything, her handsome face, her straight-backed walk, her arm heavy on Wei Ying’s shoulders.

“I will,” Wei Ying promised.

Lan Zhan had a spare helmet, which she put on Wei Ying herself, tightening the straps around Wei Ying’s chin. She gave Wei Ying’s thin shirt a dismissive look and took off her leather jacket, settling it around Wei Ying’s shoulders. Wei Ying protested, trying to give it back, but Lan Zhan was stronger and more coordinated than her and she didn’t say a word in response, just dragged Wei Ying’s arms in and zipped it up around her. The jacket smelled of Lan Zhan’s soap and something else, faint sandalwood that reminded Wei Ying immediately of the dark room atop the gym and being sixteen and plucking at a loose thread in her skirt and looking up to find Lan Zhan’s eyes on her. Her cheeks were hot. Lan Zhan was wearing a simple long-sleeved black shirt and Wei Ying’s gaze dipped down, the very slight rise of Lan Zhan’s breasts, the hint of muscle in her arms. When she jerked her gaze back up Lan Zhan was waiting.

“Ah, Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying stammered, caught. Lan Zhan put her own motorcycle helmet on, turning away, straddling her bike and waiting for Wei Ying to climb on behind her and hold tight.

The water and the walk had taken away most of Wei Ying’s dizziness, which Wei Ying was grateful for, but the roar of traffic and wind around them made Wei Ying’s nausea rise up again. She clung to Lan Zhan’s back, pressing as close as she could and hating the helmet which meant she couldn’t find a way to tuck her face in against the curve of Lan Zhan’s shoulder. Lan Zhan shouted something to her that she couldn’t hear over the noise, and her fingers curled in tighter against Lan Zhan’s ribs. She was selfishly glad that Lan Zhan had given up her jacket and Wei Ying could feel the heat of Lan Zhan’s skin through her shirt, the rise and fall of her breath as they swung around sharp corners.

It wasn’t a long drive, at least. Wei Ying had only just barely gotten used to it when Lan Zhan was pulling up outside a high rise building, clean cement and glass and palm fronds. Wei Ying tried to get off the bike on her own and nearly fell, legs wobbling and the asphalt rising sharply to meet her, but Lan Zhan was there first, hand on Wei Ying’s waist, another on her elbow, drawing her up and close to Lan Zhan, huddled into the tall silhouette of Lan Zhan’s body.

“Wei Ying,” she murmured, and took Wei Ying’s helmet off.

“So cool that you have a motorbike now, Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying slurred, and had to throw up in Lan Zhan’s neighbours’ bushes for a while, Lan Zhan’s arm around her waist and her big hand pulling Wei Ying’s hair back from her face.

Lan Zhan ended up having to practically carry Wei Ying up the stairs to her apartment. The ride had made all of Wei Ying’s sickness and misery come swerving back to her and she was beginning to regret letting Lan Zhan take her home. She was sweating and shivering against Lan Zhan’s side, cold even in Lan Zhan’s big jacket, and the stairs up to Lan Zhan’s apartment seemed endless. When they finally got inside she managed to look around and start to say something blurry about it being a nice place—actually she was having trouble focusing, couldn’t take it in—before she had to smack her hand against her mouth and Lan Zhan hustled her into the bathroom, where Wei Ying compounded her humiliation by spending ten minutes throwing up into Lan Zhan’s toilet.

Somewhere in there she got overwhelmed and hot. Her throat hurt and her stomach was revolting, her eyes dripping with involuntary tears. Lan Zhan took the jacket off her when Wei Ying started weakly struggling against it, as easily as she had put it on, and when she was finished Wei Ying hung over the toilet for a little longer, panting weakly. Lan Zhan’s hands were in her hair again, holding it back light enough that nothing tugged or hurt, a gentle swipe of her thumb against Wei Ying’s ear.

The bathroom stopped revolving quite as much as it had been. Lan Zhan was so close, perhaps too close, how could she not be grossed out right now? But she didn’t seem grossed out. As Wei Ying took little, wavering breaths, Lan Zhan pressed a fresh bottle of water into her hand. Wei Ying rinsed her mouth out and drank deeply and then waited, but her stomach, while unhappy, didn’t rise up again. She let out a ragged breath, slumped backward to find herself resting against Lan Zhan’s chest. Lan Zhan’s legs were spread out on either side of Wei Ying’s hips and Lan Zhan’s left arm went around Wei Ying’s chest, following the line of her collarbone, fingers curled around Wei Ying’s right shoulder. A loose, anchoring hold, her other hand flat on the tiles beside them. Wei Ying lay back against her and closed her eyes. Her hair was damp with sweat at the temples.

“Ah Lan Zhan,” she mumbled. “I’m so embarrassed. I wish we had never spoken on that thing.”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said, solid and unreadable behind her.

Wei Ying couldn’t tell if she was still drunk or not. She was exhausted, heavy with misery. She mumbled, “The worst part, though, all that week… Lan Zhan, I liked you so much.”

“Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan’s hand passed over her hair, a heavy, sure touch. “I liked you too.”

They sat on the cold tiles of Lan Zhan’s bathroom floor for a long time.


At some point Wei Ying realised that she smelled rancid and started making apologetic noises about it. Lan Zhan unfolded herself from Wei Ying and padded out of the room, and when she came back she had a towel and a clean t-shirt, which she offered to Wei Ying, nodding towards the shower. “Oh, Lan Zhan, I’m gonna kiss you,” Wei Ying said, and felt herself turning a slow, horrified red. Lan Zhan didn’t react.

“Do you need help?”

“Oh, no,” Wei Ying said quickly. “Really, Lan Zhan, I’m basically sober now, really, I don’t need you to,” and she trailed off. They stood there staring at each other and Wei Ying was thinking about it without meaning to, Lan Zhan undressing her, Lan Zhan dragging her t-shirt over her head, Lan Zhan helping her step out of her leggings, Lan Zhan unhooking her bra with one hand.

Wei Ying was all out of practice with Lan Zhan’s facial expressions. She thought Lan Zhan might be smiling.

The shower helped her crawl about halfway back to humanity. She stole Lan Zhan’s shampoo and conditioner and soap and then spent ten minutes just letting the hot water beat into her back, her scalp. She came out dripping and new and scoured herself with Lan Zhan’s towel and then put on the big t-shirt Lan Zhan had left for her, pale blue and down to Wei Ying’s thighs. She thought about putting her bra on, but having to use the same underwear felt gross enough and she didn’t think she was going anywhere else tonight. Underneath the t-shirt was a pair of socks she hadn’t noticed earlier.

She came out of the bathroom shyly, her hair scrubbed as dry as she could get it. She’d stolen some of Lan Zhan’s moisturiser too and though she still felt a little dizzy and out of it, she thought she’d thrown up most of the vodka. She followed the low murmur of the radio back into Lan Zhan’s tiny kitchen, where Lan Zhan was moving between her counter and the wok. The smell of ginger and xiáncài hit Wei Ying’s nose.

“Lan Zhan!” she said, hurrying forward to peer into the wok, slipping glances at Lan Zhan only over her shoulder, from the side, when she hoped Lan Zhan wasn’t looking. “What are you making? Is that for me?”

“Yes,” Lan Zhan said. “Dandan mian. I have no pork but there is tofu.”

“Do you have chilli?” Wei Ying demanded. “Lan Zhan, those are my favourite! Well, okay, top five, but still! Lan Zhan, I thought you didn’t like Sichuan food? Are you sure you have enough chilli? Otherwise it will be very bland, even with—”

“I have chilli,” Lan Zhan said. “Sit down,” and she gave Wei Ying a shove in the direction of a tall stool by the far counter. Wei Ying climbed up onto her perch and Lan Zhan set up a cup of tea in front of her and went back to cooking. It didn’t take her long, and she glanced over at Wei Ying every minute or so, but it was nice that Lan Zhan was a little distracted: it made it easier for Wei Ying to talk. In the absence of any direction from Lan Zhan Wei Ying tried to fool herself that everything was normal, that she’d just run into Lan Zhan in the street out of the blue, and now they were having dinner together, just two old acquaintances catching up. So Wei Ying poured out what she and Jiang Cheng had been up to over the last years, the way she’d been invited back into the family just in time for her jiejie’s wedding “to such a peacock, Lan Zhan, I hate him so much, you would hate him—”

“I know Jin Zixuan,” Lan Zhan said calmly. “His father is an associate of my shufu. Jin Zixuan can be quite kind.”

Lan Zhan! How could you betray me like this! How could you cast your old friend Wei Ying into this torment—”

She talked and talked, and kept talking when Lan Zhan set the bowl of noodles in front of her, accepting the chopsticks and beckoning for the chilli jar, which Lan Zhan handed over with a disapproving look. Wei Ying wasn’t going to let Lan Zhan shame her like this: Lan Zhan couldn’t be trusted with her chilli to noodle ratio.

It was only when she finished her noodles and finished the second cup of tea and interrupted herself mid-sentence with a wide, cracking yawn that Wei Ying trailed to a halt. She felt the strangeness of the night descend around her again. It must have been so late by now, two or three in the morning? Wei Ying knew that Lan Zhan didn’t like late nights, even hgj hadn’t really seemed to like late nights, but here Lan Zhan was, waiting up with Wei Ying, her kitchen like a warm cube of light in the dark.

“Ahh,” Wei Ying said, faltering.

“Bedtime,” Lan Zhan said. “Spare toothbrushes in the bathroom drawer.”

“And, um,” Wei Ying said, “do you have like — should I sleep on the couch? Or if you have a spare mattress or—”

“Wei Ying, go brush your teeth,” Lan Zhan said.

Wei Ying brushed her teeth. She was tired but Lan Zhan wasn’t letting anything be awkward. She felt like she was floating when she came back out and Lan Zhan put her hand on the back of Wei Ying’s neck and led her into the bedroom. Lan Zhan’s bed was inviting and rumpled and she’d already drawn the covers back for Wei Ying, so Wei Ying just had to climb in and let Lan Zhan pull them up around her chin. She lay waiting wide-eyed as Lan Zhan moved around the tiny apartment. She changed in the bathroom and came back into the bedroom in a ribbed singlet and turned the lights off and then got into bed.

For a moment they both lay there, still and quiet. Wei Ying’s breath was catching up high in her lungs. “Lan Zhan,” she whispered, and Lan Zhan reached out and caught Wei Ying by the upper arm. Her fingers dug in for a moment, punishing and making Wei Ying yelp, and then Lan Zhan jerked her forward and Wei Ying found herself rolling onto Lan Zhan’s chest, their legs tangling, her head tucked under Lan Zhan’s chin.

Wei Ying’s breath left her in a soft rush. Lan Zhan’s arm tightened around her shoulders and Wei Ying groped down Lan Zhan’s side for her other hand to hold, and was reprimanded: Lan Zhan’s fingers caught around her wrist instead, pinning it down against her side like she was expecting Wei Ying to mess around. But all that meant was that Lan Zhan’s arms were both around her, holding her tight and close. Wei Ying fell asleep with the rise and fall of Lan Zhan’s breath beneath her and her nose brushing Lan Zhan’s bare shoulder, wondering dreamily if her wrist would bruise, if she would wake up to the faded remainder of Lan Zhan’s hold.


Actually she woke up to sunshine and a shockingly clear head. She knew exactly the kind of hangover she deserved: seedy and revolting and enough to make her bury back down into the covers and be unable to move for the rest of the day. As it was, she had a very faint pinching headache and aside from that felt mostly all right. She sat up slowly, cautiously, waiting for it to descend. There was nothing, but now that she was upright she could see the glass of water and ibuprofen waiting for her on the bedside table. Her phone was there too, plugged in and fully charged.

She reached for the ibuprofen first, swallowed it down greedily. The bed was empty aside from her, which was nothing less than she expected. The sunlight made her think it must already be quite late in the morning and Lan Zhan had said she had a meeting with her advisor, hadn’t she? Wei Ying winced. As though she hadn’t made enough of a fool of herself all week, and to be such a wreck last night, to ruin Lan Zhan’s night and make her come down and rescue Wei Ying and then look after her all evening… Wei Ying shook her head. It was lousy. She would have to apologise, and do better.

Even thinking this, that hard and hot layer of shame from yesterday seemed to stay at a distance. Everything was horribly embarrassing, of course, but the white hot humiliation had faded. Lan Zhan had practically carried her home. Lan Zhan had bossed her into showering and eating and then bed, and now Wei Ying was hangover-free and able to face the situation with a little bit of clarity. She thought maybe she could recover their friendship. What she’d said yesterday, that this would be a funny joke some day, it didn’t need to be a miserable lie! They really could be friends. Wei Ying would go home and text Lan Zhan when some reasonable time had passed and show just what a smart adult she could be now, and they would move on from this first disastrous reunion.

She picked up her phone, wondering if she should expect an angry tirade from Jiang Cheng, and went still. You have a new message from hgj!

The world seemed to go suddenly slow and golden. Wei Ying opened the app.

Good morning Wei Ying
Go to the bathroom and brush your teeth and then come out to the living room and sit on the chair opposite me.

Lan Zhan was quite a bossy person, Wei Ying thought dreamily, as she got up out of bed and drifted out of Lan Zhan’s bedroom. When she opened the door she could hear Lan Zhan’s voice, a low stream of conversation in the next room, but she went to the bathroom first, as instructed. Even as a teenager, Lan Zhan had been bossy, had always wanted to tell Wei Ying what to do and how to do it, been infuriated when Wei Ying didn’t follow the rules. Last night she’d been kind but demanding. It made sense that this was the kind of friend she’d be, Wei Ying thought, brushing her teeth. Her heart was pounding, her fingers a little trembly around the toothbrush, but she tried to keep the voice in her head sensible, straightforward. Lan Zhan was going to tell Wei Ying not to feel bad about everything that had happened with that same demanding, unarguable tone and they would be friends. It was as simple as that.

In the living room, Lan Zhan was on a video call, her laptop open in front of her, sitting at a big wooden table with her books spread around her. Wei Ying hesitated. Lan Zhan was so sure and at home here, and Wei Ying had been nothing but a disaster since she crashed back into Lan Zhan’s life.

Lan Zhan’s gaze snapped to her. Her eyes narrowed slightly, and she looked at the chair opposite her with a quick, bored flick of her attention, like she was annoyed even to have to remind Wei Ying. Electricity sparked down Wei Ying’s spine. But she still waited, lingering in the doorway, phone held loose in one hand.

“Excuse me for one moment, laoshi,” Lan Zhan said, muting her microphone and leaning to the side, her face briefly out of view of her camera. “Wei Ying.”

“Lan Zhan, you’re so busy,” Wei Ying said. “I already wasted all your time last night, maybe we should just catch up again in a few days when you have time--”

Lan Zhan said, “If you don’t be good and sit down, I will put you over my knee.”

Wei Ying’s mouth opened. Heat rushed through her, shuddering and sweet. The walls of the apartment were closing in. “Lan Zhan,” she whispered.

Lan Zhan looked at Wei Ying, flat and impassive, something nasty about the expectation there. She didn’t look at the empty chair again, like she wasn’t going to waste her time repeating even a gesture, but Wei Ying didn’t need reminding now. Wei Ying moved without thinking. She didn’t need to think anymore. She went in one fluid rush to the table and sat down, hands twisting together in her lap, bouncing her knee.

“Hands on the table,” Lan Zhan said. “Feet flat. Don’t move.”

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying said, and did what she was told.

Lan Zhan had already turned back to her video call, and she didn’t acknowledge Wei Ying again, even with Wei Ying sitting directly opposite her. She was focused on the call, quiet and attentive, not talking very much except now and then in a fluid rush of information that Wei Ying couldn’t properly parse right now. She was concentrating on the wood of the table against her palms and her thighs flat against the chair and Lan Zhan’s presence, so close.

Lan Zhan talked to her adviser for a long time, at least half an hour. Then she moved immediately into another call with, Wei Ying thought, more participants; Lan Zhan didn’t speak as much, and didn’t follow the call quite as intently. Her gaze still didn’t touch on Wei Ying, but after about ten minutes she reached for her phone and tapped out a message. Wei Ying’s phone buzzed on the table.

She looked down. There was one message from hgj. It said, Down on your knees.

“Ah,” Wei Ying said, and Lan Zhan did look at her then, a single dismissive touch of her eyes like she was disappointed that Wei Ying had made a noise, that Wei Ying was clinging to her phone like a lifeline, that Wei Ying was doing anything other than she was told. Wei Ying slid out of her chair as quietly as she could and went onto her knees.

The next text said Crawl. Under the table, Lan Zhan spread her legs.

It didn’t take any effort or thought to move forward, as though Lan Zhan’s instructions sparked neurons in Wei Ying’s brain and she didn’t even have to think about obeying. She crawled forward on her hands and knees until her nose was brushing Lan Zhan’s kneecap and then she hesitated. Above her, Lan Zhan said flatly, “No, it’s not a good idea,” and dropped her hand to Wei Ying’s hair, a handful in her fist and dragging Wei Ying forward the last inches. Wei Ying smacked her hand over her mouth to keep in the gasp and let herself be pulled in against Lan Zhan’s thigh.

For a moment she was confused. Did Lan Zhan just do insane leg workouts? Then her eyes adjusted to the dim light under the table and she stopped being such a complete idiot and her breath came out in a hot rush against the fabric of Lan Zhan’s sweatpants and Lan Zhan’s dick straining underneath.

Her mouth was so wet, that old problem again, making a spot against the grey cotton. She darted her tongue out, trying to map out the shape of it, how long it went past her cheek, and whimpered at the hard press against cotton. Lan Zhan’s hand tightened in her hair. Wei Ying couldn’t tell if that was reprimand or reward and so she did it again, nuzzling blindly against Lan Zhan’s thigh and her dick, mouthing anxiously. Eventually Lan Zhan gave her enough leeway to move her head, her fingers against Wei Ying’s scalp, guiding her, so that Wei Ying could find the head, suckle it, the heavy lap of cotton in her mouth, the promise of the dick underneath.

Unbelievable, unthinkable that Lan Zhan had already put it on, except that Wei Ying couldn’t stop thinking about it. Lan Zhan had hooked on her harness while Wei Ying was still sleeping, settled the strap into place. Where did she keep it, surely in the bedroom? Had she put it on in the same room, with Wei Ying only a few feet away from her? Had her gaze raked across Wei Ying, lazy and expectant, willing to take her time and wait? And she’d been sitting out here with it on, waiting for Wei Ying to get up and come to her, waiting to take Wei Ying with it.

Wei Ying wasn’t tracking Lan Zhan’s conversation even a little anymore, but she noticed when Lan Zhan had to let go of her hand to type something, sending through links. She made a muffled little murmur of disappointment and used the unexpected freedom to press her face in, touching her lips to the base of Lan Zhan’s dick through the cotton, feeling the very slight roll of Lan Zhan’s hips forward.

Wei Ying wanted it out from under Lan Zhan’s clothes, wanted it in her mouth for real, not this frantic messy nuzzling and making a mess of Lan Zhan’s sweatpants, but she also didn’t want to leave this moment. She felt so sure and safe here, under the table, no one looking at her, no one knew where she was except for Lan Zhan, keeping Wei Ying right there where Lan Zhan wanted her. Everything was hot and fuzzy, the only clear things were the ache of her neck and her knees and even that was just pressing her into her body, the pain like another caress from Lan Zhan.

When Lan Zhan’s hand fell back down, it wasn’t to Wei Ying’s hair but to her own dick. She pulled it out with careless ease, shifting her waistband down just enough that she could curl her fingers around the base of it and tap the head idly against Wei Ying’s cheek. It felt so desultory and proprietary, like Wei Ying didn’t matter, just a toy that Lan Zhan was looking forward to using when she had the time. Wei Ying moaned, louder than she meant to, and Lan Zhan lifted her heel and pressed it down onto Wei Ying’s hand, where Wei Ying was propping herself up on all fours. Her bare heel ground into Wei Ying’s knuckles, painful enough to make Wei Ying whine and try to pull away, but Lan Zhan’s other hand was in her hair again holding her close. Wei Ying braced her forehead against Lan Zhan’s thigh and took several shuddering breaths, quiet and still once again, until Lan Zhan lifted her foot again and moved, deceptively gentle, pressing her dick back against Wei Ying’s cheek. Tap, tap, tap.

Wei Ying had almost forgotten her phone lying beside her on the floor, when it buzzed again. Put your mouth on the tip. Don’t touch.

Wei Ying didn’t give herself the time to be nervous about it. She slotted the dick into her open mouth, wrapping her lips around the head. It was even more lifelike that it had seemed in the photos, it felt like real skin on Wei Ying’s tongue, and she could feel the outline of a vein pressing against the roof of her mouth. It didn’t taste of much, but there was a scent to it that Wei Ying focused on, breathing through her nostrils, wondering how they gave a fake dick such a realistic, deep, heady smell, until she realized the smell was from Lan Zhan’s cunt. Lan Zhan was wet for her. Lan Zhan was getting wet from having Wei Ying suck her dick.

The realisation sent a hot thrill through Wei Ying and she started to move faster, bobbing her head over the tip of Lan Zhan’s dick over and over. She was banging her head on the tabletop, not hard but just these nudges of her temple against the wood, until Lan Zhan reached up to cup the top of her head and cushion it while Wei Ying moved.

“Thank you,” Lan Zhan said. “This was very helpful.” She took her hand off of Wei Ying’s head and Wei Ying heard the click of the laptop being closed. Lan Zhan pushed her chair back, her dick falling out of Wei Ying’s wet mouth, making Wei Ying whine and sit back on her heels under the table. She wasn’t sure what to do now; she couldn’t see Lan Zhan’s face, and she wasn’t sure what would happen if she crawled out from under the table and looked Lan Zhan in the eye.

Lan Zhan patted her thigh. Wei Ying shuffled forward, eyes on the ground, like a pet coming when it was called. Get you on your knees, hgj had written three days ago, I think you’d look pretty crawling over to me like that.

“How are you feeling?” Lan Zhan asked.

“Better,” Wei Ying said, and she rested her cheek on Lan Zhan’s thigh and did not resist when Lan Zhan put two fingers under her chin and tilted her face up. They looked at each other. It was so strange that they had known each other and then lost each other for all those years and now Lan Zhan was here, her sharp cheekbones, her golden eyes, looking down at Wei Ying like she was a pet begging at Lan Zhan’s feet. Like she hadn’t decided yet whether Wei Ying should be indulged or punished.

Wei Ying started to smile. It was impossible to feel ashamed with Lan Zhan looking at her like that. It was hard to do anything but preen. “Lan Zhan,” she said. “Do you still like my mouth? Is it like in the pictures?”

“It’s similar,” Lan Zhan said. She thumbed over Wei Ying’s bottom lip, swiping up the spit that her dick had spread there. “Looks more pink in person. And it’s wetter. I’ve never seen you take a dick in your pictures.”

“No,” Wei Ying agreed, “I was waiting. Waiting for yours.”

“Okay,” Lan Zhan said. She sounded bored, unimpressed, and Wei Ying smiled wider as hgj (evil) looked down on her. There was a mean set to Lan Zhan’s mouth. Wei Ying wondered when Lan Zhan was going to kiss her. “And what are you waiting for now?”

Nothing, there was nothing left to say, so instead of talking Wei Ying put her mouth on Lan Zhan’s dick and swallowed down, as far as she could go. She surprised herself by taking less than half. It was not as easy as she’d thought it would be. When she had talked to hgj before she’d pictured the dick sliding easily down her throat, all the way in and all the way out again, her mouth as flexible and pliant as her pussy. But actually it was hard not to choke and Wei Ying’s enthusiasm was working against her, driving the dick into the back of her throat over and over, making her gag. There was more spit than she had expected, too, thick and sticky saliva spilling out of her mouth and dripping down the rest of Lan Zhan’s dick.

Wei Ying thought about pulling off to reassess but before she could try Lan Zhan’s hand appeared on the back of her head, guiding her back down. It was easier like that, to let Lan Zhan set the pace, to focus on relaxing her muscles, but she still gagged with every other thrust into her mouth. The noise was embarrassing, a heavy wet gulping sound, and after the fifth or sixth time she gagged she looked up at Lan Zhan and tried to apologize for her lack of finesse. Her mouth was too full to actually say anything but she made earnest, penitent eyes.

Lan Zhan looked straight back down at her and she did not seem disappointed. She did not seem surprised that Wei Ying didn’t really know what she was doing. She did not seem interested in stopping. Instead of adjusting the angle so that Wei Ying wouldn’t gag again, Lan Zhan just fucked in harder in the exact same place, hips rising up off her seat, aiming for it.

I want to see you choke, hgj had written, Want to see how much you like it when I fuck your pretty throat. You’ll have to wait for me to decide when you get to breathe.

Wei Ying had replied doesnt it hurt when you do that

Yes, hgj said, it hurts.

Lan Zhan’s sweatpants had slipped halfway down her thighs and now Wei Ying could see the straps around Lan Zhan’s hips, the heavy black harness outlining the V of Lan Zhan’s crotch, and the leather curving over her hipbones, just like in the pictures. hgj was right there in front of Wei Ying like she’d been dreaming about all week, and Lan Zhan was there too. Lan Zhan pulling her hair, Lan Zhan fucking her mouth, doing all of the filthy things that hgj had promised to do. Somehow those two things didn’t feel contradictory. It should have been confusing but it wasn’t anymore. hgj and Lan Zhan were the same person; Lan Zhan was the girl Wei Ying had known in high school and she was the hgj who had made Wei Ying film herself coming, who had called her cumslut and needy brat and pretty girl, who had held her hair back while she vomited last night and put her to bed in a clean T-shirt.

Lan Zhan was hgj, and hgj was everything she’d promised that she would be.

“I want to fuck you,” Lan Zhan said. Her voice was less level than before. She was still fucking lazily up into Wei Ying’s mouth, her grip on Wei Ying’s hair just loose enough that Wei Ying could look up and clumsily nod her head, yes. Lan Zhan nodded back, short and pleased. “Stand up,” she said. “Take off your clothes.”

Wei Ying’s arms were almost numb from holding herself up and her legs were shaky, so in the end Lan Zhan had to help her up, Wei Ying’s hand on Lan Zhan’s knee and an errant strand of spit trailing down from her mouth. She wiped it with the back of her hand, stood unsteady and unsure, her fingers twisting in the hem of her T-shirt. Lan Zhan had seen her naked, of course, but not like this, never close enough to touch.

“I don’t like to repeat myself,” Lan Zhan said.

Evil, Wei Ying thought, and took a deep breath, and whipped the shirt off over her head. She pulled her underwear down too, before she could second-guess herself, and when she straightened up again she accidentally looked at Lan Zhan’s face, and then found she couldn’t look away.

She wouldn’t be in trouble for staring, for freezing like a rabbit in the headlights, because Lan Zhan wasn’t looking at her face right now. Lan Zhan’s gaze was raking down her body, hot and hungry, something satisfied in the crook of her mouth. Taking Wei Ying in like she’d bought Wei Ying long ago, and Wei Ying had finally been delivered.

“Are you wet for me?” Lan Zhan asked. Wei Ying nodded, unable to breathe. She gasped when Lan Zhan reached out but it wasn’t to touch her; Lan Zhan pushed her laptop out of the way and tapped the tabletop. “Sit.”

Wei Ying did her best to hop up on the table without exposing herself too much, legs still pressed tightly together, but as soon as she was sitting Lan Zhan pushed forward on her chair and nudged Wei Ying’s knees apart, effortless as pulling aside a curtain. She pulled the chair in until she was sitting up close between Wei Ying’s spread legs. Her hands stroked up from Wei Ying’s knees to her thighs and higher, knuckles ghosting over Wei Ying’s slick folds. Wei Ying was so wet already and she was only getting wetter sitting there like that, Lan Zhan studying her with silent intent like Wei Ying was some rare, fascinating piece of art.

Wei Ying could feel her pussy twitching in reaction to Lan Zhan’s fingers, her close hot breaths, and she couldn’t take it anymore. She couldn’t close her legs with Lan Zhan sitting in between them but she could cover her face, hands coming over her eyes, and she said, exasperated and whining, “Take a picture, Lan Zhan, it’ll last longer.”

“I already have pictures,” Lan Zhan said. It sent a hot thrill through Wei Ying, to think about Lan Zhan receiving all those photos, Lan Zhan touching herself while she imagined how it would feel inside Wei Ying’s pussy, the noises Wei Ying would make when she was writhing on Lan Zhan’s dick.

When Wei Ying parted her fingers enough that she could peer through them, she found Lan Zhan looking up at her, something amused in her expression, like hgj (nice) had come in for a closer look. Lan Zhan’s mouth looked so soft, from up here, the satisfied line of it, the mouth of a person who always knew the right thing to say. Wei Ying wondered what she tasted like. It was crazy, so unfair, that Wei Ying had tasted Lan Zhan’s dick but not her mouth.

“Are you even going to kiss me?” Wei Ying asked her. “It’s rude to fuck someone without kissing them.”

“True,” Lan Zhan said, and bent her head down without warning to press a languid, open-mouthed kiss to Wei Ying’s clit.

“Fu-uuck,” Wei Ying said, voice about three octaves higher than it had been before, trembling with it. Lan Zhan kissed her again, flicking her tongue out over the most sensitive part of Wei Ying. Wei Ying tried to rut up into it but then Lan Zhan’s hands were on her hips, holding her down, so she couldn’t do anything except pant and twitch under Lan Zhan’s clever mouth. Lan Zhan tongued down to her entrance and then licked back up to her clit, her tongue broad and sweeping, touching every part of Wei Ying that she could.

Bet you taste so good, hgj had written, only days before. Is your pussy as sweet as it looks?

Idkk Wei Ying had scrawled back, chasing her third orgasm and two fingers deep, the corner of her blanket shoved into her mouth to keep herself quiet. how would i know how i taste

Taste it now, hgj wrote. Take your fingers out and suck on them and tell me how it tastes

i cant
cant do that hgj

If you don’t do it I won’t let you come again tonight

hgj ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!
tastes wet
tastes good

Wei Ying could remember how she had tasted now. Dirty and sweet and strangely familiar, sucking on her fingers in a way that she hoped hgj would appreciate, if she’d been able to see it.

Good girl, hgj wrote. And now Wei Ying was dripping onto Lan Zhan’s clean desk, Lan Zhan drawing more and more slick out of her like she was hungry for it. She fucked her tongue inside and Wei Ying made these desperate, hiccoughing sounds she didn’t know how to control. Lan Zhan came back up to Wei Ying’s clit, teasing it between her lips, and Wei Ying was already so close, she could come just like this if Lan Zhan didn’t stop, but Wei Ying didn’t want that. She wanted what she had been promised.

“Lan Zhan,” she panted, “Lan Zhan, you said you wanted to fuck me, you’re being selfish, you promised I could have your dick—”

When Lan Zhan pulled back her mouth was wet. “You can’t wait any longer?”

“No,” Wei Ying said, shaking her head emphatically, “please, please,” and then she huffed in surprise when Lan Zhan suddenly stood up. Wei Ying stared down at Lan Zhan’s dick lying heavy between them. It looked somehow bigger from this angle, and bigger still when Lan Zhan took it in hand and tapped the head against Wei Ying’s swollen clit, making her squeak. Wei Ying was sweating all over and she didn’t know how Lan Zhan could bear to be dressed, still in her long-sleeved shirt, sweatpants caught around her thighs.

“Will you take your shirt off?” Wei Ying said. “It’s not fair, I’ve never seen you,” and Lan Zhan murmured, “You do it,” so Wei Ying reached with shaking fingers and pulled Lan Zhan’s shirt off over her head, Lan Zhan acquiescently raising her arms. She took the shirt from Wei Ying’s hands and set it on the chair behind her.

Lan Zhan’s tits were so good. Nipples that jutted out, the same dusky shade as her mouth. They were a little bigger than Wei Ying’s, and they were set slightly further apart with a stretch of golden skin between them. Wei Ying wanted to lick down the line of her breastbone, and she ducked forward to do it, but Lan Zhan put her palm on Wei Ying’s forehead and pushed her back.

“Not now,” Lan Zhan said. “Wei Ying begged me to fuck her. You’ve been begging me all week.”

Wei Ying nodded, helpless, unable and unwilling to deny it. There was the ghost of Wei Ying’s shame, somewhere in the back of her mind, but even the shame didn’t feel so bad any more, just a reminder that she was doing something utterly private and secret and filthy that no one else would ever know about. Only Lan Zhan. They had both gone quiet, just the sound of their mingling breaths, until Wei Ying whispered, “Lan Zhan.”


“I really wasn’t lying. I’ve never been fucked like this before. Like, I’m not a virgin, but I’ve never, never taken a dick this big.”

Lan Zhan didn’t say anything. She just nudged Wei Ying’s legs further apart and started to line herself up. Was she not even listening?

“I know I used to show off in high school,” Wei Ying babbled, “and I probably told you I had so much experience, I talked a lot about how much I had done with guys, but I was lying, it’s only been a few times.”

“I know,” Lan Zhan said. “You were never very convincing.”

Wei Ying was too startled to protest. Lan Zhan put her hands on Wei Ying’s hips and pulled her forward, so she was perched right on the edge of the table. Her dick was nestled between Wei Ying’s folds now, Wei Ying could feel the blunt end of it, so much bigger here than it had felt before, even when it was tearing down her throat.

“Are you asking me to go easy on you?” Lan Zhan asked.

“No,” Wei Ying whispered.

“Then shut up,” Lan Zhan said.

“But what if it hurts, Lan Zhan, what if I can’t take it, ah, oh my god, Lan Zhan!”

She was shuddering, her hands behind her on the table just barely propping herself up, and they both stared down between them as the tip of Lan Zhan’s dick breached Wei Ying’s pussy. She was pink and swollen from Lan Zhan’s mouth and she couldn’t stop herself clenching around it, squeezing so tight around Lan Zhan’s dick that it couldn’t get in any further. Lan Zhan tried a shallow thrust, hips canting upward, but she couldn’t get deeper.

Wei Ying’s heart was beating hard. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry, I’m trying but I don’t know how, I said all that stuff over text but it feels so different, there isn’t enough space inside me, should we, should you—”

Lan Zhan seized her discarded sweatshirt from behind her and shoved a fistful of it in Wei Ying’s mouth.

“Be quiet,” she said.

Wei Ying made an indignant noise but Lan Zhan’s expression made her stop short from spitting the cloth out of her mouth. It pressed up hard against her teeth, made her already sore jaw ache. She mumbled around it, a wordless plea, not sure any more what she was asking for.

“Put your arms around my neck,” Lan Zhan said. It meant Wei Ying had to lean forward and she could feel the dick heavy and insistent trying to nudge deeper, jolts of electricity in her stomach, but she was still much too tight. Lan Zhan kissed her neck, behind her ear, their faces so close together now that Wei Ying could see the fine baby hairs on Lan Zhan’s hairline. There was a piercing on the crest of Lan Zhan’s ear that Wei Ying didn’t remember her having in school.

She was dimly aware of Lan Zhan murmuring to her, “Come on, sweet girl,” and it seemed unfair that Lan Zhan was allowed to talk and Wei Ying wasn’t, so she spat the shirt out of her mouth. Before she could speak, though, Lan Zhan caught her mouth with her own and kissed her. She took Wei Ying’s chin in her hand, the other still tight on Wei Ying’s hip, and rocked her up to Lan Zhan’s mouth, a hot caressing press that was slow and sure like there was no rush for anything, ever again. Lan Zhan bit Wei Ying’s bottom lip, too hard, she stroked her tongue into Wei Ying’s mouth, she kissed her slow and filthy and her mouth was curving a little against the hungry noises Wei Ying was making, like she was smiling. It made more heat roil in Wei Ying’s belly, the press of Lan Zhan’s tits against her own, fires sparking up all down her spine until finally her muscles went lax and without breaking the kiss Lan Zhan slid fully into her, all the way up to the hilt.

They both moaned. Wei Ying was much louder than Lan Zhan but she still heard it, Lan Zhan’s low voice breaking as her dick settled inside Wei Ying. It felt so rigid, as if all of Wei Ying was just liquid inside, molten, and Lan Zhan’s dick was the solid centre that the rest of her body arranged itself around.

Lan Zhan pulled out slow and then pushed back in again, two times, three times. The drag against her inner walls made Wei Ying moan again, long and loud like the noise was being torn out of her.

“There we go,” Lan Zhan said. “Tell me how it feels.”

“Good,” Wei Ying gasped, “You were right, Lan Zhan, so good, so smart, you were always so much smarter than me—”

“Not true,” Lan Zhan said, and before Wei Ying could argue back she added, “Lie back for me. Feet up on the table.”

To do that Wei Ying had to spread her legs obscenely wide, legs bent up with Lan Zhan’s warm hands hooked beneath her knees to ease the strain. Wei Ying’s elbows hit the wood of the table and she stared at Lan Zhan, shirtless between her legs, hair curling slightly down across her face, Lan Zhan’s cruel mouth, the toned line of her arms, the dip of her abdominals as she fucked back into Wei Ying, deeper now that she had the access. Wei Ying didn’t remember Lan Zhan being so much stronger than her in their teens, but right now she felt defenceless and entirely at Lan Zhan’s mercy.

Wei Ying couldn’t imagine what it looked like from Lan Zhan’s point of view. The way Wei Ying’s hands were splayed out against the wood, the way her head was tilted up to the ceiling, her eyes screwed tightly shut as she took and took and took it. Her teeth started to rattle as Lan Zhan sped up her thrusts. Lan Zhan was always so reserved and hgj had been the same, always holding back and only saying just as much as was necessary to get the right reaction, but nothing about the way she fucked Wei Ying was reserved. Wei Ying could feel the momentum rising as Lan Zhan worked all of that calm and precision and pent up energy out on Wei Ying, Wei Ying writhing beneath her, eager for it, begging uncontrollably for more.

When hgj had said I’ll make your stomach bulge with it, Wei Ying had thought that she was exaggerating for sexy effect. It surely wasn’t anatomically possible — her stomach and pussy weren’t connected, and no dick could possibly be big enough to punch that far into her body.

But now she knew what hgj had meant, because she could feel Lan Zhan’s dick all the way inside her, and she knew if she put a hand on her stomach she would feel the bump of Lan Zhan’s dick under her fingers. Lan Zhan reached down to pinch Wei Ying’s nipple, twisting and toying with it until Wei Ying whined at her to stop, at which point she pinched harder. Wei Ying had never thought of her own tits as particularly pretty before; they were small and her nipples were dark, more red than pink. She always thought it made them look kind of lewd, like a lipstick covered mouth had been sucking on them, but hgj had said they were the perfect colour. I’ll make them bounce when I fuck you she wrote, and now Lan Zhan was making good on the promise.

It just felt so good. Wei Ying felt so hot and malleable, so entirely claimed by Lan Zhan, her hands and her voice and her dick, so hot and moving so nicely inside. At first Wei Ying tried to remind herself that it was a toy and not a real part of Lan Zhan’s body but then she gave up on that and let herself sink into it, let herself accept the fact that it was Lan Zhan’s dick inside her. Lan Zhan’s cock was hard and insistent inside of her and it was making Lan Zhan groan, short cut-off noises of exertion, like she could feel every inch of it plunging relentlessly into Wei Ying.

does it actually feel good tho????? Wei Ying had asked hgj. like could u cum from it

You’re asking if I could come from fucking you? Lan Zhan had replied. Yes, baby, I’ll come deep inside your pussy so you know I'm not faking it.

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying panted. Lan Zhan grunted in response, and when Wei Ying dared to open her eyes she caught Lan Zhan staring down at her, drinking her in like she couldn’t quite believe Wei Ying was really there.

“You’re so different,” Wei Ying said, “so different from how you were in high school, Lan Zhan.”

“How?” Lan Zhan asked. She sounded breathless, faintly annoyed, like Wei Ying was misbehaving.

“Uhn, uhn, I don’t know, I don’t know,” Wei Ying said. She thought about Lan Zhan’s mean mouth, how competitive she was, forcing a reaction out of Wei Ying even when Wei Ying didn’t want to give her one. Wei Ying thought about the way that hgj had singled her out, responded to Wei Ying’s goading messages, and called her bluff over and over again.

Wei Ying squeezed her thighs around Lan Zhan’s hips and remembered, with startling clarity, being seventeen on the basketball team when they had just won a game. They’d been on opposite sides of the court when the final buzzer went and Wei Ying had flown across the space between them and Lan Zhan had seized her up by the waist. She’d let Wei Ying wrap her legs around Lan Zhan while they cheered, Lan Zhan throwing her head back and shooting a rare, brilliant smile up at the sky while Wei Ying stared down at her and thought sometimes Lan Zhan is really just so beautiful. Her pussy ached when Lan Zhan put her down on the ground again but Wei Ying dismissed it as the rush of the win, of body contact, of all the sweat and nerves and pheromones. But today, spread out on this table with Lan Zhan leaning over her, she felt exactly the same.

“Wei Ying is not different,” Lan Zhan said.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying said giddily, almost giggling. It was a weird sensation to laugh while getting fucked this hard but she couldn’t help it, the delight of it all, the fact that Hanguang-Jun was fucking her on a table. Lan Zhan pushed her legs further until Wei Ying was bent almost in half and then switched the angle, hitting somewhere so deep inside that Wei Ying's eyes rolled back in her head. She couldn’t see anything anymore, couldn’t think, was only aware of the rough animalistic noises she was making and the feeling when Lan Zhan started rubbing her clit, her wet thumb working the nub over and over.

Wei Ying squealed. “You’re gonna, gonna make me come, I can’t stop it, I swear if this is one of your mean tricks and you're gonna suddenly pull out I will really kill you, Lan Zhan!”

“Not a trick,” Lan Zhan said. She was slowing down, concentrating more on depth than speed, pushing forward so far that her hips slapped against Wei Ying’s ass, deep snapping fucks that seemed to be building up to something. Lan Zhan is going to come inside me, Wei Ying thought, feeling dizzy and almost reckless with it. But actually it was Wei Ying who came first, all the heat and pressure inside her suddenly sweeping together in one hot tight spot and then collapsing in on itself, Wei Ying’s whole body writhing with it, coming in her pussy, coming in her shoulders, coming in her flushed cheeks and her toes and her nipples.

“Fuck,” Lan Zhan said, and for the first time her movements seemed to lose their control as she jerked up, messily, one hand slamming down on the table next to Wei Ying’s head as she came, stuttering, inside Wei Ying. She rode it out, releasing Wei Ying’s leg with her other hand and cupping Wei Ying’s face instead, staring into her eyes. It was too much, to have Lan Zhan’s golden eyes looking down at her like that. Wei Ying turned her face towards Lan Zhan’s other hand, still braced against the table, and pressed her open mouth against Lan Zhan’s knuckles in another sloppy kiss.

Wei Ying was laughing a little, she thought, and maybe crying too, overwhelmed and not bad anymore, just Lan Zhan’s, and Lan Zhan was still jerking inside her, her arms around Wei Ying, keeping her close against the wooden table and Lan Zhan’s warm skin. Lan Zhan’s mouth against her cheek, kissing the salt track of tears, telling her quietly that she’d been really good, she’d been so good, she’d been perfect.


Wei Ying couldn’t possibly walk, she said, eyes wide and tragic. Lan Zhan had ruined her! Wei Ying had never taken anything that big and Lan Zhan had forced it all into her, made it so that she could still feel it in her pussy — deeper than that, she added, in her tummy, even. She was bruised inside! Lan Zhan had messed her up!

Lan Zhan gave her an unimpressed look when she said that, so familiar that Wei Ying almost expected her to hiss shameless, a last remnant of poor angry sixteen-year-old Lan Zhan. She wrapped her arms around Lan Zhan’s neck, laughing, losing track of her pitiful narrative.

“I really can’t walk,” she murmured, low in Lan Zhan’s ear. “My knees are weak,” and Lan Zhan scooped her up and carried her into the bedroom, Wei Ying clinging to Lan Zhan’s shoulders, legs around Lan Zhan’s waist. She was deposited carefully in Lan Zhan’s bed, even though she whined a bit and Lan Zhan had to detach each limb one by one. Lan Zhan didn’t leave for long, at least; she made Wei Ying drink water and fetched her a bowl of grapes and then she settled behind Wei Ying again, scooped Wei Ying back into her lap and hooked her arm over Wei Ying’s chest, just like last night on the bathroom floor. Except Wei Ying wasn’t sick and wasn’t dizzy and it felt more like Lan Zhan was keeping her there because it was what Lan Zhan wanted, what Lan Zhan needed.

Wei Ying reached up to take hold of Lan Zhan’s forearm. She pressed back close. “Lan Zhan,” she said, stupid and glad. “You’ve wrecked me now. I have to stay here all day, in your bed.”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said, like that had never really been up for discussion. The sunlight was streaming through the windows and Wei Ying could feel herself, swollen and messy against Lan Zhan’s pristine sheets, her legs hooked up within the bracket of Lan Zhan’s, their ankles overlapping. Lan Zhan’s room was clean and pretty and welcoming and Wei Ying didn’t feel filthy at all, lying back in Lan Zhan’s arms. Or maybe just a little, squeezing her thighs tight together. Lan Zhan caught the movement and reached down, thumb sliding thick over Wei Ying, making her whine and twitch, hips jerking instinctively closer to Lan Zhan and then away.

“No, no, I can’t, I can’t,” Wei Ying said breathlessly, “too sensitive, Lan Zhan, you have to be — be nice for a little while, please, be kind—”

Lan Zhan slid her first two fingers inside Wei Ying, blunt and merciless. Wei Ying groaned, hips pushing up to meet Lan Zhan’s palm, a sharp white heat like she was burning up inside.

“I c-can’t,” she moaned, “oh, fuck, Lan Zhan, I can’t, I can’t—”

“Fine,” Lan Zhan said, and slipped her fingers free.

Wei Ying yelped, clenching down on the sudden, disappointing emptiness. She whipped her head around, glaring at Lan Zhan. “Lan Zhan!”

“Said you couldn’t take it,” Lan Zhan said, and put her fingers in her mouth. She sucked them lazily clean, not showing off the way Wei Ying did, when she deliberately made a display of her fingers fucking in and out of her own mouth for the camera or Lan Zhan’s hot gaze. Lan Zhan looked like she was just cleaning herself up, methodical and interested, flash of tongue against those long fingers. Wei Ying stared, her own lips parting instinctively, and Lan Zhan gave her an amused look and dropped her fingers, leaned forward and bit Wei Ying hard on the shoulder.

“Ow! Lan Zhan! What was that for!”

“Not for anything,” Lan Zhan said.

“You’re so pleased with yourself,” Wei Ying realised, staring at Lan Zhan, torn between outrage and something else. Her heart was beating hard. “Look how mean you’re being to me! Just because you think you can!”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said, which was not a denial.

“Lan Zhan, this is extremely rude behaviour,” Wei Ying told her, beaming. “You’re a danger to society. Give me your phone, I’m going to delete that app.”

“Are you,” Lan Zhan said.

Wei Ying held out her hand, imperious. “It would be very wrong of me to let you loose on poor innocent girls who have no idea what they’re dealing with. I have a civic responsibility to keep you under control.”

Lan Zhan stayed still just long enough that Wei Ying tensed, butterflies in her stomach, unsure whether to expect pain or pleasure, hot anticipation racing through her. Then Lan Zhan reached for the bedside table and put her phone into Wei Ying’s waiting palm. Wei Ying opened her mouth to crow and Lan Zhan’s hands dropped to Wei Ying’s hips, tightened. Wei Ying reconsidered her need to boast about her victory.

Instead she opened the app on Lan Zhan’s phone and, without really thinking about it, went straight to Lan Zhan’s messages, scrolling through old conversations. Lan Zhan was quiet while Wei Ying read through, though her mouth dropped to Wei Ying’s shoulder again, hot and present. Most of the conversation threads were pretty short, arranging dates and times to meet, the occasional nude, the odd message from Lan Zhan that said I had a good time, too. Wei Ying found herself unexpectedly unconcerned by this evidence of old dates; more important was that Lan Zhan hadn’t seemed to indulge in the same long, filthy conversations with anyone else. Most of the conversations were just logistics, and when girls sent Lan Zhan nudes she was appreciative without any of the vicious detail with which she had greeted Wei Ying’s messages. More embarrassing, though…

“Lan Zhan, look at this,” Wei Ying said, swiping through to the profiles of girls Lan Zhan had liked. “You have such a type, this is so embarrassing for me. I’m just another one of your girls.”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said, with a note in her voice that made Wei Ying pause. She looked back over her shoulder, considering Lan Zhan’s impassive face.

“I look just like all of them,” Wei Ying said, glancing back at the screen. Then she darted another look at Lan Zhan. The tips of Lan Zhan’s ears were going pink. Wei Ying said, “Isn’t that right, Lan Zhan?”

“I don’t think you look exactly like them,” Lan Zhan said.

“Hmm,” Wei Ying said, and swung around so that she was facing Lan Zhan, hooking her legs over Lan Zhan’s hips, grinning at her. “I really do, though, Lan Zhan. It’s almost like.. do you think that actually it might just be that they all look like me?”

“Behave,” Lan Zhan said.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying said. Her chest was fizzy with happiness. “Lan Zhan, did you like me in high school?”

Lan Zhan narrowed her eyes.

“Lan Zhan, have you formulated your whole sexuality around wanting to wreck me? Have you spent the last eight years being mean to poor girls who had the misfortune to look a bit like your A-Ying?”

“Is this behaving?” Lan Zhan asked.

“No,” Wei Ying said cheerfully. “I really think you did, Lan Zhan!”

Lan Zhan flipped her onto her back, caught her wrists in one hand and dragged them up above her head. She settled between Wei Ying’s thighs, scooped Wei Ying’s knee up with her free hand and brought it up to Lan Zhan’s waist, stretching her open and ready. Lan Zhan wasn’t wearing her dick just now but the strain in Wei Ying’s thighs and the way Lan Zhan was pulling her open was enough to make her moan, Lan Zhan rocking her cunt down against Wei Ying’s, the pressure and hint of what was to come.

Wei Ying was still deeply pleased with herself, satisfied, the happy way she had been when hgj had told her to meet for lunch. Hitched over a whimper, she said, “Lan Zhan, I can’t believe you’ve spent the last week sending such filth to your childhood sweetheart—”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan said, the sweet promise of violence in her mean mouth.

“Don’t worry,” Wei Ying said, grinning up at her. “I won’t tell anyone.”