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Kissing naked is very different from the kiss they shared while still clothed.

But Xie Lian supposes it could be the water, making everything slippery and soft that has something to do with it too. Every time Xie Lian tries to adjust his position, he slips around like oil in a bowl. More than once, his hand on Hua Cheng’s chest loses its traction, running off to the side, pulling a harsh breath from his partner as it glides over his peaked nipple. Hands holding him steady tighten their grip; fingers digging into the muscle at his waist deliciously before loosening to soothe it away.

Xie Lian’s courage is building with every sound and nip against his lips. He’s not sure what comes over him, but he slides his hand down Hua Cheng’s body, following the soft rises and falls, detouring here and there as his whims pull him.

Perhaps his wandering hid his intention well enough because Hua Cheng makes a deep-throated gasp when Xie Lian’s hand anchors itself not so innocently on his hip, holding on tight to the muscle there. Hua Cheng separates their lips with a wet pop. Xie Lian feels like his balance is out of sorts now that they aren’t kissing, so he falls forward to nestle his face into Crimson Rain’s neck, his fingers gliding ever closer to his destination. He can feel Hua Cheng looking down at him before his hand comes to gently halt Xie Lian’s progress.

“Gege, leave that for now. Come back up here and just relax.” His voice is husky and inviting. It almost works.

Xie Lian stills for a moment, basks in the breath of relief he feels Hua Cheng take before pressing a haunting kiss to the side of his neck, drifting his way up in mock obedience. When he finally arrives at Hua Cheng’s ear, he bites the lobe, and says, “But I thought San Lang liked it when I got my way?”

Xie Lian feels, “Fuck” breathed heavily over his cheek as his hand is released and he freely runs the palm over the head of Hua Cheng’s cock. It’s mesmerizing to watch Hua Cheng’s features be overwritten with pleasure. He feels himself buzzing as he watches Hua Cheng’s eyebrows pull together, his jaw fall open, the hands on Xie Lian’s thighs squeezing. Xie Lian scoots himself back in Hua Cheng’s lap to look down and watch his hand, loosely wrapped around Hua Cheng, move against him. Hua Cheng’s hands are floated aimlessly, grabbing his thighs, latching onto his hips, running along his ribs, holding him still. Even though there is only the warm water touching Xie Lian’s own erection, he feels his own breath picking up as Hua Cheng’s does.

The skin in his hand is warm and hard, slicked by the water. It’s soft and Xie Lian finds his wandering hands drawn to the velvety skin at the head. He rolls his palm around it, feeling the ridges and veins with his fingers as Hua Cheng throws his head back, a hearty moan thundering from his throat. Xie Lian’s own member gives a harsh twitch; Hua Cheng’s hands tightening on his waist to rut his hips up into Xie Lian’s hand. Xie Lian presses his free hand onto Hua Cheng’s chest to steady himself.

It pushes the sensation that much higher to feel Hua Cheng quiver underneath him, gasping and moaning while he tries to beg Xie Lian for more.

“San Lang, San Lang, does it feel good? You have to tell me.” Hua Cheng slips his eye open, leveling Xie Lian with a molten gaze. His hand stutters out of its rhythm as Hua Cheng rightens his head before pulling Xie Lian into a heated kiss. Hua Cheng doesn’t hold back as he plunders Xie Lian’s mouth, sucking on his tongue and biting his lips. Xie Lian can’t help his own moan, breathing out into Hua Cheng’s mouth. Hua Cheng tightens up beneath him, his face glowing in bliss as his cum stains the water between them.

The sight sets Xie Lian’s world spinning, instantly addicted to the sights and sounds of pleasure from this man. He doesn’t think he will ever be the same. He doesn’t want to be.

Like the tension in his own body has snapped and euphoria swims through his veins, Xie Lian slumps against Hua Cheng, soothed by the chest supporting him, rising and falling heavily as Crimson Rain catches his breath.

Hua Cheng wraps his heavy arms around Xie Lian, pulling him further in his embrace, nuzzling his face into Xie Lian’s hair, breathing roughly around the edges.

Xie Lian floats through a haze as Hua Cheng rinses them off, gently cleaning the day off. He carries Xie Lian back over to the stool as Xie Lian nearly dozes off as his hair is cared for and combed out. His muscles are lax and pliant as he sits, swinging his feet lightly. He smiles softly as he is pampered and polished like a revered treasure. If it is Hua Cheng, he supposes he will allow it.

Everything is still now, Xie Lian is cozy in a light silk robe, and by the sounds, Hua Cheng has stepped away for a moment. Xie Lian doesn’t like the distance, so he finds it in him to crack his eyes open. He can’t stop the embarrassing sound of disapproval from leaving his mouth and a pouty scowl from settling deep across his face. Hua Cheng freezes, comb stalling halfway through his aggressive rake down. How did he even have hair left if that is how he treats it?

Any other time Xie Lian would melt into the floor with embarrassment with how he stands and snatches the comb from his hand, but his entire time with Hua Cheng has taught him to be selfish! He said he would comb his hair for him! Seeing the displeasure written clearly on his face, Xie Lian doesn’t even need to stomp his foot for Hua Cheng to obediently fall into place on the stool.

Xie Lian hums happily to himself while gently combing out Hua Cheng’s hair. His heart is light and happy as he puts tiny braids in it and decorates them with the pretties Hua Cheng has placed in a fancy dish.

Xie Lian feels more awake now, but he still leans in heavily on Hua Cheng and the stool. It’s comfortable as he wraps his arms around wide shoulders.

Hua Cheng turns his head to kiss Xie Lian’s cheek. “We should work on your back while the muscles are still warm and relaxed,” he says. He stands gracefully before leading Xie Lian back into the main room. He easily guides Xie Lian to lie on the plush bed. The air is chilly on his back after the warm bathing room, but his comfort is immediate.

“Are you comfortable, gege? Would you rather just sleep?” Hua Cheng says as he lightly sits on the end of the bed.

“I’m not sleepy yet, besides San Lang is the one doing me a favor!” Xie Lian holds himself back from telling Hua Cheng not to feel bad if he isn’t able to help Xie Lian, it’s an old injury and he’s tried many things in his lifetime.

“Very well, I’ll take a quick look, please excuse me.” Hua Cheng helps Xie Lian remove most of the robe to expose his back, leaving his backside and thighs covered for his modesty. Xie Lian doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that.

Xie Lian lets out a pleased little sound as Hua Cheng runs his broad hands along the breadth of his back. He feels very much like a cat napping in the warm sunlight. Hua Cheng moves around gracefully, his thumbs occasionally digging in here and there before coming to run along his spine.

“Gege has slipped some disks. It is amazing you’re still able to stand upright like this.” His palm rubs a deep warmth along his spine, right in the center of his back. Xie Lian wiggles around, preparing to sit up. There was not much to be done about slipped disks. Besides, he feels fine after the bath.

Before he gets too far, he’s pressed down in to the bed as Hua Cheng settles his weight comfortably along his hips. “Hold still, gege, you said I could try to fix it.”

Xie Lian sighs fondly and acquiesces. Goosebumps spring up on his skin as warm oil is spread over his back. He melts further into the bed as Hua Cheng’s large hands beautifully dig into the muscles and knead them until he’s seeing stars.

Hua Cheng moves smoothly through the massage, loosening each knot in each muscle until it flows freely. He tells Xie Lian to take deep breaths and cracks his back like this was something he was made to do, had been practicing for this moment his entire life.

Some points of the massage and presses against his spine feel more impactful than others, and Xie Lian can’t contain his voice as bliss and pain work together seamlessly to make him feel weightless.

Hua Cheng stopped the press of his fingers after a harsh twitch of Xie Lian’s back, and a loud moan.

“Your hands are MAGIC, San Lang,” Xie Lian hums as more warm oil is drizzled on his back.

“This one wants to know what gege did to manage his pain before now?”

A sly smile spreads across Xie Lian’s lips before shaking off as a broad palm presses against his spine. “I’ll be more than happy to show San Lang tomorrow, if he is up for it. It’s kept me on my feet for centuries. I can only hope San Lang has the facilities here at the Manor.”

Hua Cheng hums deep and content behind him. “Must be something special for gege to keep going back to it for so long. I’m sure I can make arrangements for you here; but I fear gege will no longer require my assistance at times like these. Count for me please, gege.” Xie Lian felt like his brain was evaporating right out of his skull. The weight of Hua Cheng’s hips lifted off his own, but a broad hand places itself steadily, confidently right where his spine meets his hip; another hand curves around the jut of his hipbone. Xie Lian’s breath jumps in his throat, “Breathe, gege.”

Xie Lian takes in a shaky breath and gives his first count; his second is steadier, the anticipation building up. He forces himself lax; his third breath is nearly a moan as he breathes out his count and feels the hands tighten sharply against his limp body. The movement against him is smooth and seductive in its controlled power. There’s a flash of pain behind his closed eyes before relief like he hadn’t felt in years washes over him as something clicks into place in his back.

A pain that had been his normal was wiped off him with a flick of Hua Cheng’s wrists. It was strange to have something he didn’t even know he had taken from him. New life tingles from the tips of his fingers, the soles of his feet, to even the freshly combed ends of his hair. And he could only sit and relish in it.

When he finally gathers himself enough, he lifts his head to look over his shoulder at Hua Cheng kneeling over him, “I would leave it all behind to keep your hands on me.”

“I suppose that’s why you’re still here, isn’t it, gege?” Hua Cheng preens. He smooths his hands slowly back across Xie Lian’s back, as if pushing and pulling the muscles into their proper position. “It is getting late, I should let gege get some rest,” Xie Lian shivers as the weight on his back disappears. He rolls over to see Hua Cheng pulling his robe loosely back over his shoulders. He manages to reach out and grab the sleeve, but his back is freshly sore.

“You’re leaving? I thought…” A small little bubble of shame and doubt wallows in him.

“Is gege really going to rest if I’m here?” Hua Cheng allows himself to be pulled by his sleeve a step closer to the bed until Xie Lian can get a grip on the other one and pull him even more.

“Haven’t we slept along for long enough, San Lang?” Xie Lian lays his head against the closest piece of Hua Cheng he can, but with Hua Cheng standing, and Xie Lian floundering on the bed, his cheek ends up pressed against the firm muscle of his thigh. It isn’t the image he planned on going for, but it works none the less, as he watches Hua Cheng’s resolve crack as he looks down on him. A warm hand comes to rest on his head before carding carefully through his hair.

Oh. Oh, that’s nice.

He shifted to get closer to Hua Cheng, sensation shooting up his spine from a part of him that enjoyed the massage a bit more than it should have. Xie Lian didn’t think he would sleep for a while. Hua Cheng has pulled his robes closed to cover himself before he allowed Xie Lian to pull him close. Xie Lian is half thankful for that, with his given position. But he must’ve made a sound as his hips pressed down into the bed of their own volition. Hua Cheng’s gaze is locked onto his hips, his fingers stalling in their smooth glide through his hair.

“Gege. You…”

“San Lang, I must confess, I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Hua Cheng looks at him like he’s being torn in half, “Why doesn’t gege take tonight to figure out what he likes? Perhaps… Perhaps then tomorrow I could come back and see how you’re feeling.”

“It won’t be the same, it won’t be right without San Lang here.”

Hua Cheng looks at him, eye sweeping over him intently before he lets out his breath and says, “Sit up.” San Lang situates himself behind Xie Lian on the bed. He pulls Xie Lian in closer until he’s leaning back against Hua Cheng’s chest. His robe falls loose around him, but Hua Cheng makes no move to pull it fully open, leaving him only half exposed.

This position feels different; it churns his stomach in a good way. Back in the bath, it was dim, but they could see each other. A mutual exploration. Here, Xie Lian is laid out like a meal for Hua Cheng. All eyes are on him, while Hua Cheng remains in the background; the steady rise and fall of his chest against Xie Lian’s back, moving his own body.

Thinking he will just do the same thing he did to Hua Cheng, Xie Lian reaches down to his semi hard cock, only for his hand to be brushed aside and a tongue to click disapprovingly by his ear.

“Gege shouldn’t just rush into it. Lead into it.”

“But San Lang… With you I just… Was it not good?” Xie Lian tries to look over but Hua Cheng hides his face in his shoulder.

“Gege gave plenty of foreplay, kissing, touching, snuggling. All of it is good. But what does he want for himself?”

Xie Lian doesn’t have a clue. He wants Hua Cheng to touch him, but all he is getting is teasing breaths on his neck and long fingers twirling his hair.

“I… like San Lang.” Xie Lian starts, trying to just get something out.

Oh,” there’s a sharp smile against his neck. Maybe Xie Lian is biting off more than he can chew. “And what exactly about this San Lang does Dianxia like?”

Xie Lian hesitates to feed him compliments, but how else will he get Hua Cheng to allow him some relief? He looks down to where Hua Cheng’s hands are fiddling with the seams of the robe he’s wearing. Grabbing it, he cradles it in his two hands just how he had out in the pavilion just earlier today.

“San Lang has very nice hands,” he pauses as his words earn him a hand on his ribs. Holding the other, he says, “They are strong, powerful, but soft.”

Hua Cheng’s hold on him is reverent. Divine.

“I like it when San Lang says and does what he wants, even if its…” Xie Lian stalls off, losing his confidence.

“Even if its, what?” Hua Cheng’s hands are lecherous, blasphemous in the way they hold Xie Lian. Unapologetic.

“Even if it’s a little mean.” Xie Lian squeaks out as Hua Cheng’s hand rises to hold his jaw. When did he start kissing Xie Lian’s neck?

When did it start to feel so good?

Xie Lian thinks he’s ready to feel what Hua Cheng did in the bath, but once again his hands are brushed away.

“Just wait like a good little boy like I told you to.” Hua Cheng bites his neck and Xie Lian thinks he could come if Hua Chen would just keep talking to him in that deep, haunting voice.

But of course, he doesn’t.

Instead, his hands wander, trailing the soft pads of his fingertips along Xie Lian’s thighs before dragging them back up with sharp, black tipped nails that are gone as quick as they came.

Xie Lian gasps at the change in texture. His back arching back to lay his head on Hua Cheng’s broad shoulder just in time for the second hand to dance along his ribs and chest with the same tantalizing flashes of sharp pleasure when the claws slide across his skin.

Xie Lian feels himself growing harder even though Hua Cheng is nowhere near his member.

He is struggling to keep up with the full body experience. With Hua Cheng’s one hand growing closer and closer to his hips, while the other runs a sharp nail over his nipple.

Trying to control himself, Xie Lian reaches around to hold the back of Hua Cheng’s head and pulls him back into kissing him. Instead of Hua Cheng coming along obediently, he ducks down into his neck. Xie Lian thinks he’ll kiss him there instead. Rather than the heated kiss he expected, the firm muscle of his neck is bitten by teeth way sharper than they were before. Xie Lian groans, arching into nothing.

He’s fully hard and leaking and he expects Hua Cheng to tease him for it, but he just keeps his attention away. Xie Lian is about to reach for himself again when Hua Cheng runs a single sharp nail up the center of his balls. Lightning shoots through him. Xie Lian reaches out with his free hand, slapping the muscle of Hua Cheng’s thigh before gripping on for dear life. He groans at that, his claws retracting once again to massage Xie Lian’s balls, rolling them gently.

Xie Lian is free falling, plummeting through his desire.

“San Lang, please,” he whines.

“This San Lang doesn’t know what gege likes,” a Lie. “Why doesn’t Dianxia show me himself?” Permission.

Xie Lian doesn’t waste the opportunity, his hand coming to wrap around himself with more confidence than he thought possible. He sobs at the relief, like scratching an itch he couldn’t reach. There is no finesse, no technique, just his body swimming in ecstasy.

The hand that had been resting pleasantly on his collar bones, with its thumb pressing on his pulse point, rears up to press his two long fingers into Xie Lian’s open mouth.

He is helpless to stop the shocked moan as Hua Cheng’s fingers press down on his tongue. Xie Lian’s grip on himself tightens and his vision goes white.

His arousal hits him harder than a boulder on his chest ever could. It leaves him weak and muddled; the only thought in his mind: more. Hua Cheng uses his fingers in his mouth to move Xie Lian’s head so he can run his nose along the soft skin of his cheek.

Xie Lian tightens his hands, one gripping Hua Cheng’s nape, the other on his heavy member. Hua Cheng moans as he watches him, leaning in to bite Xie Lian’s earlobe with too-sharp teeth. Xie Lian can’t hold still anymore, he’s rocking his hips and baring himself for Hua Cheng.

His vulnerability is appreciated and Hua Cheng’s free hand comes to lie like a brand on Xie Lian’s taut stomach. Xie Lian’s breathing is quick and shallow as Hua Cheng’s hand is larger than when he had held it in his own. The darkness that had resided on only the tips of his claws has spread down his fingers; Xie Lian wants them to paint him in the same ichor, to leave a massive stain of possessiveness pressed deep into his belly.

For the second time that night, Hua Cheng’s voice reverberates around the room rather than coming from his mouth, “Deep breaths for me, beloved.”

Xie Lian lets out a weak whimper but obeys. He’ll obey anything Hua Cheng says, he’ll do anything just to finish. He’s so close. Who knew breathing could feel so good? His body singing and tingling to a new height as his breathing evens into heavy pants.

Hua Cheng purrs against his neck before a tongue that is much too long and slick runs from his collarbone to his ear until Hua Cheng is nuzzling into his hair again. It’s too much. Xie Lian gasps, his mind helpless but to fall into imagining that tongue rubbing along his own mouth. Pressing, perhaps, even further down his throat than the fingers still holding his mouth open and toying with his tongue.

Xie Lian tries to suck on those fingers, tries to give himself completely to the feeling of Hua Cheng surrounding him, but his suction cuts short with a harsh gasp as hot liquid splatters on his stomach. It gets all over Hua Cheng’s hand like that was the whole reason it was there.

Xie Lian slumps down, his body giving into the heavy, weighted blissful fatigue. His head is pillowed softly on Hua Cheng’s chest. Everything feels amazing. Beyond amazing. Living could feel like this? He feels hazy as he syncs with Hua Cheng’s steady breathing.

His eyes are blurry when he opens them. The surrounding room is twinkling in a soft silvery light. Blinking around clarifies the shimmering butterflies as they flutter lively once his attention is on them. They are beautiful beyond words. Xie Lian weakly lifts a hand and several fly over to perch on him, allowing him to take in the intricate details and patterning of their wings. They settle on him, and he laughs in delight. Hua Cheng hides shyly, kissing his shoulder.

When his hand shakes under the exertion of holding itself up, Hua Cheng’s comes up to support him; it’s back to its soft, supple nature. As much as he loves the butterflies, Xie Lian is tired, so he threads his fingers in with Hua Cheng’s and turns onto his side to bury into Hua Cheng.

Hua Cheng allows him this, curling his arm around him, tracing light patterns into Xie Lian’s skin. When he speaks, it’s soft and tentative. “Gege… How are you feeling?”

Xie Lian tugs on Hua Cheng’s hand until he can play with it, imagining the claws and the other changes. He hums, “How am I feeling?” he wonders aloud before stretching out like a spoiled cat. He pulls Hua Cheng down with him until they are both laying on the bed facing each other, their legs tangled together. “Would you ask a flower how it feels when summer rain gives way to the sun? Would you ask a blade why it shines so bright after hours have been spent to polishing it? Would you ask a fox how it feels after being sheltered from a storm?”

Hua Cheng leans in close, their noses almost touching. “I would. I wouldn’t dare to assume.” he reaches out to tuck some of Xie Lian’s hair behind his ear. A butterfly floats over to perch on him again. “I live just to hear gege say it again and again.” Hua Cheng closes his eye and takes a deep breath. It tickles Xie Lian’s skin. “To die for you was my greatest honor. To have you here in my arms is the fulfillment of a prayer I didn’t dare to utter. To share this lifetime with you, to still be yours, is a grace I couldn’t dream of. I’m selfish, gege. So please, tell me.”

Xie Lian reaches up to cup Hua Cheng’s cheek, running his thumb softly there. “Ah, who knew this husband of mine was so soft at heart?” Xie Lian leans in kiss Hua Cheng’s nose, taking in the shocked look on his face. “Actually, I did. I knew it.” Hua Cheng’s expression can only be described as bewildered elation. “But since my husband has asked so nicely, I will tell him how he has made me feel born anew. San Lang, I’ve told you before, being loved by you is fun! Do you know when the last time I had fun was?” Hua Cheng makes a pained sound, but Xie Lian kisses it away. “San Lang, beloved, husband, thank you.”

Hua Cheng opens his mouth to protest, before pausing, shaking his head and scooting fulling into Xie Lian’s embrace. Wrapped up together, Xie Lian finds true happiness. It settles into his bones and weaves through his muscles. He really feels new, bright and shiny and cherished. He kisses the top of Hua Cheng’s hair and feels a soft kiss pressed to his heart in reply.

As his eyes drift closed, with their bodies pressed closely together, he hears Hua Cheng softly singing. He doesn’t recognize the language, but the melody reminds him of his old lullabies. Hua Cheng’s voice is smooth and soft as it pulls him into a deep, restful sleep where he dreams of a fox and bunny playing in a dew-covered field before snuggling in together under a tree to avoid the midday showers.