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He was a strong and confident man. He made his own decisions. He had said no. He remembered saying no several times, but there he was anyway. He looked at Wu Xie who was sitting way too close to him and decided that it was all his fault. All of it. The man was clearly some sort of demon, and Liu Sang was weak for him. And for pots. Damn, he loved a good hot pot. Even if it meant tolerating Pangzi for far longer than what was necessary.

Even with his ear plugs, Liu Sang could hear every breath, every heartbeat, every whispered conversation through thin walls, and the sizzle of cooking and the hiss of steam from their table. Then it was Pangzi’s occasional jabs at him which became more and more creative the more he drank.

The only way he could sit it out was because Ouxiang and Wu Xie were there with him. Although Ouxiang did nothing but eat – he stared in amazement as he finished bowl after bowl of all the meat and fish that were added to the pot and drained the broth into a nearby basin – while Wu Xie did nothing more than torment him while eating –  his thighs pressing closely into Liu Sang’s and every so often his hand “slipped” and landed dangerously near his crotch. 

Every time that happened Liu Sang would look up to find the barest hint of a smile on Wu Xie’s face as he appeared to be listening to something else, but in fact his heartbeat gave him away, and he counted on Liu Sang’s noticing it. It was a stupid game that they were playing, but Liu Sang loved it despite all the inconvenience, finding himself helplessly wanting more of those fleeting accidental touches and Wu Xie’s attention on him.

There was something to be said about being in that cramped space with the three of them there – sometimes if he focused hard enough the space would recede into the background of white noise and he just felt terrifyingly, overwhelmingly safe, something he had not felt in public in a long time. With Wu Xie and Ouxiang around, he knew that he could just let go and not have to watch his back all the fucking time like he had to whenever he was on a job. He liked the money that they paid, but hated the jobs themselves – which frequently involved him spending long stretches of time in the company of people whom he didn’t feel safe around. Whenever people enlisted his services, it was for something that couldn’t be done legally, and he often got caught in the backlash – as the scars from his previous job reminded him. He was lucky that Wu Xie had acted as fast as he had, or else he wouldn’t have been here sitting with them, listening to Pangzi’s inane jokes about him.

Pangzi had just grabbed the grease-stained menu from the table and was in the middle of reading it out when he had paused, taken a look at Liu Sang and promptly dissolved into helpless laughter. Even without hearing what he had to say, Liu Sang knew that it probably couldn’t be anything good.

“Look!” Pangzi shouted over the din, making Liu Sang wince – he was sure that the man was doing it on purpose, “Jinx, you’re on the menu!”

Wu Xie eyed him appreciatively before looking at Pangzi and saying, “What do you mean Pangzi?”

Liu Sang looked at the man in surprise. If he didn’t know any better he would have been fooled by Wu Xie’s wide-eyed innocent look which he was currently directing at Pangzi. 

“Well, it says here ‘Drunken shrimp’, and I thought why would we need to order that when we have him at the table?” Pangzi said, slamming the menu down on the surface and laughing so hard that there were tears leaking out of his eyes.

Liu Sang had had enough. He had sat through an evening’s worth of Pangzi’s ‘shrimp’ jokes which were targeted at him, and honestly, he didn’t know whether the man was just obnoxious or fucking blind. There wasn’t anything remotely shrimp-like about him. He was taller than Pangzi when he straightened up, damnit! 

“So there’s actually something that you haven’t ordered till now? I thought we were clearing out the restaurant,” Liu Sang replied drily, and he watched Pangzi puff up in pleasure, as if he had received a compliment.

“Don’t be so sour about this Jinx, when all of this is Tianzhen’s gift to you, for surviving, apparently! He owes me what, at least six hotpots? But the one he treats me to is in your honour? I clearly see where we stand, Tianzhen, you aren’t fooling anyone,” Pangzi said theatrically and downed his glass, wagging his eyebrows until Wu Xie started laughing.

“We’ve had hotpots before, Pangzi,” Wu Xie said and casually leaned into Liu Sang’s shoulder as if he was stretching himself out, and Liu Sang gulped and looked away, since if this went on any longer he would be sitting in this cramped corner table with the three of them as well as a raging hardon. 

“Yes, but ever since this shrimp and his brother joined us, this is the first one you’re treating us to. Speaking of whom, why didn’t he turn up? Wasn’t free food a compelling enough occasion?” Pangzi said, looking at Liu Sang accusingly.

It was Wu Xie who responded. “He let me know that he had something to take care of, so he wouldn’t be joining us.”

Liu Sang looked up in surprise at Wu Xie’s cover, when they both knew that the reason Wang Can had stayed away was because he and Ouxiang never really got along – and ever since he had figured out who Ouxiang was, things had only gone from bad to worse. Apparently being made to sit at a table with a man you’ve spent your entire life training against wasn’t high on Wang Can’s priority list. It was either that or an all-out fight, so Liu Sang hadn’t really pressed when Wang Can had flat out refused to turn up.

Pangzi simply snorted in response and picked up the menu again. “No, seriously, it sounds really good, Tianzhen, this ‘drunken shrimp’? What do you say, Xiaoge?”

Ouxiang looked up from his bowl and looked over at Liu Sang first, then Wu Xie. After catching something in Wu Xie’s eye, he looked back at Pangzi and just nodded. Liu Sang felt extremely betrayed by his Ouxiang’s behaviour and turned towards him incredulously. The man didn’t look back, but the corners of his mouth turned up slightly and Liu Sang realized with a jolt that he was being teased. By his Ouxiang. Who hadn’t said a single word. Even through the haze of indignance he felt strangely proud that Ouxiang considered him part of their group enough to tease him, something that he usually reserved for only Pangzi and Wu Xie.

Wu Xie scrambled across the table to get a hold of the menu, in the process draping half over Liu Sang, and for an entire minute, all he could see was Wu Xie’s very solid shirt-clad chest and arms blocking his entire line of vision, and the way his body seemed to react to a not too distant memory of the man leaning over him was enough to render him speechless for a while. Which was when he realized that Wu Xie was reading out the description of the shrimp dish, and it all sounded vaguely insinuating.

“There’s a...spicy version, as well as a non-spicy one in rice wine,” Wu Xie read out, the ends of his mouth curling up in amusement. 

“Which one would you prefer, Tianzhen?” Pangzi replied, smiling so widely that Liu Sang could count all the teeth on the upper row – and some of them had bits of scallion sticking out of them. 

“I can’t really make up my mind,” Wu Xie said, still smiling that infuriating smile, and Liu Sang thought that he might as well have drowned himself in wine before he got to the end of this conversation.

“It also says that the shrimps are alive when they are placed in alcohol where they become numb and then they can be deshelled and eaten.” Wu Xie said, still reading out from the damned menu. “It sounds delicious, and I didn’t realize it but I’ve been craving shrimps for a while now,” he said, looking directly at Liu Sang, and if his mouth hadn’t already gone dry, it would have by then. 

Wu Xie sat back down, making sure to lock his shoulders with Liu Sang’s, and said, “There’s something on your cheek.” Then he brought up a callused finger to brush against the side of his mouth, and Liu Sang looked at him in wide-eyed surprise at the stunts that this man was pulling in order to flirt with him in full view of everyone, and he’d be damned if it wasn’t already working. 

“Tianzhen!” Pangzi hollered, and it startled Liu Sang enough for him to drop his chopsticks. “We are eating ! Unlike you, we are in the process of having a decent meal, and we should be spared all this…” and Pangzi flailed his arms for a bit, trying to think of something suitably offensive, “groping and making eyes and whatever else that is going on here!” 

Wu Xie widened his eyes and blinked back, as if he hadn’t understood a word of what Pangzi had meant to say and just said, “But I was talking about the food here!”

On his other side, Liu Sang heard a low huff and turned to see his Ouxiang smiling. He didn’t know whether to be mortified or pleased, but he settled on pleased since he liked knowing that Wu Xie wanted him enough to make it known to others, and the warmth of the alcohol that he was slowly sipping was also making him feel things differently. 

He heard Wu Xie’s phone vibrate in the back pocket of his jeans even before the man registered it ringing, and Wu Xie had to stand up awkwardly to reach it. Almost without thinking, Liu Sang leaned over and reached into his pocket, making his hands linger on the firm feel of Wu Xie’s ass long enough where he felt the heat of his body through it, and then drew out the phone. He handed it to Wu Xie who was looking at him with his mouth open, face flushed a dark red, whether from the steam and alcohol or Liu Sang’s sudden ruse it was hard to tell. 

“It’s still ringing,” Liu Sang said, when it seemed like all Wu Xie was capable of was gaping at him with an unreadable expression on his face. 

Pangzi took one look at Wu Xie and another one at him – who was sure that he was radiating smugness out of his pores from the reaction he had drawn out of Wu Xie – and smirked. “Serves you right, Tianzhen, serves you damn right! You’ve been pawing at him through this entire meal, so much so that he probably has his food down the wrong pipe by now, and he gets back this one time and you look like someone whose modesty has been compromised!” he said, and it wasn’t just Wu Xie who was glaring at him by the time he had finished. Liu Sang hadn’t missed the jab at him either.

Then the phone started ringing again, cutting Wu Xie right off in the middle of whatever weak excuse that he was coming up with to justify his behaviour. “Uh, I need to get this?” he said, looking down at all of them. And judging by the noise around them, he needed to go outside. “I’ll be right back, he said, and gingerly stepped into Liu Sang’s space, stopping in the gap between his knees and looked down at him expectantly, as if it was perfectly obvious to Liu Sang whatever it was that he was doing. When he nudged at Liu Sang’s knees with his thighs, Liu Sang lost it.

“You could have asked! We could have stepped out, like normal people,” he hissed, his cheeks flushing at the proximity to Wu Xie’s crotch – which was approximately at his eye level now and extremely hard to ignore – as Wu Xie sidestepped his knees and jumped inside Ouxiang’s who contorted himself perfectly to let him pass.

“But where’s the fun in that?” Wu Xie remarked before he started walking towards the exit, making Liu Sang fume even more. 

 

 





Ouxiang had stepped out as soon as Wu Xie had left, leaving Liu Sang sitting at the table with Pangzi, which didn’t make him feel half as bad as he thought it would even a few months ago. He was grudgingly starting to see the inherent kindness behind the jokes and the blustering, since the man seemed to have softened imperceptibly towards Liu Sang ever since he had learned that he had been abducted. He had been fully prepared to face Pangzi’s ribbing about getting himself abducted on the job, but it had never come. Liu Sang had instead heard him shouting at Wu Xie one morning when he had come back to Wushanju about how he should have tried to screen Liu Sang’s clients better. Granted that he found the idea nothing short of ridiculous, he had still been puzzled as to why Pangzi would have thought it necessary to point it out to Wu Xie. As if Wu Xie hadn’t already been an absolute menace about it. 

Wu Xie’s bringing back his phone had been a trap. After he had returned to his apartment when his injuries had healed, Liu Sang found himself flooded with job offers and emails about consultations which he was pretty sure he hadn’t accrued over the period of one job. Also whenever he would express an interest in any of those offers and would proceed towards a negotiation about quotes, he would mysteriously receive a text from Wu Xie asking him whether he could come over – which Liu Sang hadn’t always been able to refuse given how much he wanted to see the man – and it would always turn into a discussion about how he should take Ouxiang with him if he was going to work. Which is how Liu Sang found himself scanning his phone for any suspicious apps and found one which was apparently password-protected, and he was sure that he wasn’t the one who had installed the app nor set the password for it. When he had held it up to Wu Xie’s face, the man had caved immediately, smiling at Liu Sang through his eyes, saying something absolutely ridiculous like “it had been necessary,” and how it provided him with some “additional security.” The primary one being his Ouxiang, as he figured out. 

Seeing him frown at his thoughts, Pangzi had immediately settled on making a big fuss over ordering as many dishes as possible – including the drunken shrimp, spicy version – while Liu Sang timidly asked the waitress for more alcohol, which had seemed like a good idea then.

But it was while he was making his order that the waitress – a very young and very pretty woman – took one look at him, and blushed. And it wasn’t just that. She kept looking at him as he spoke – and he had repeated himself twice, thinking that he had probably not been very clear while speaking – and she had promptly forgotten the order as soon as he had finished talking. 

“Um, I’m sorry, but could you please repeat the dishes for the order?” she said, and looked at Liu Sang directly. Hell, even Liu Sang didn’t know half the dishes Pangzi had ordered off the menu, so he pointed to the other man and said, “Ask him for the dishes, I don’t know which ones he ordered.”

By this time Pangzi had also noticed the staring and the blushing, so he smiled widely and said, “Which one of us is so distracting that you forgot all of that, huh?”

The waitress smiled bashfully, trying not to give away too much but in the process revealing everything at once. She unconsciously jerked her head in Liu Sang’s direction before saying, “I’m not sure what you mean, sir, so if I could just get the order again?”

Pangzi kept smiling at her, and it was making Liu Sang uncomfortable, but he eventually repeated the entire order a second time and said, “Try not to forget it this time? Because if you do, you’ll have to come sit with us here.”

Liu Sang made a face at Pangzi’s blatant attempt at flirting, and Pangzi caught that.

“What?” he said, “she can flirt with you but I can’t flirt with her?” 

Liu Sang didn’t really have the energy to argue with him at the moment so he just nodded and looked at the phone in his lap, debating whether to send Wu Xie a text message asking him when he would be back. 

The waitress came back with the alcohol first. She walked up to Liu Sang, set the bottles on the table and still looking at him said, “Should I open the bottles for you?”

Liu Sang had been prepared for it this time, so he looked up at her and in what he thought was his coldest expression, said, “No, thank you, we’ll do it ourselves.”

He could hear the way her heartbeat sped up at his words and he sighed. He didn’t like being cold to people who expressed an interest in him – and there many – but he knew from experience that if he wasn’t firm enough the first time, he just ended up setting expectations that couldn’t possibly be met. So as much as he hated the cold treatment, he knew that it was the only way out.

Even without looking up, he knew she was still there, and her heartbeats were still all over the place. He looked at Pangzi instead, hoping he would know how to react to the situation. He was crass and loud, but he knew when people were unwelcome and could show them out – and since it was a woman, Pangzi would go easier on her. 

“Are our dishes ready?” Pangzi asked her, his words unnaturally drawn out, which alerted Liu Sang to the fact that he was about to pull something off. 

“Some of them are ready, the others will take a little while,” she said, still standing next to Liu Sang, her hands clutching the tray for the drinks. 

“Ah, I’m so hungry I could eat anything!” Pangzi said exaggeratedly, and it was so untruthful with the remnants of their hotpot still on the table that Liu Sang almost rolled his eyes at him before remembering that they had company. 

Seeing that she was still there, Pangzi extended a hand towards Liu Sang, whose hands were on the table, and grasping the one nearest to him, said, “See, our Jinx here is already taken,” and Liu Sang heard the loud gasp from the woman which covered over his shock at Pangzi spilling his personal life to a person at a hotpot restaurant

“So, if you don’t mind the age gap, you could consider me? I’m still very handsome and have a lovely personality, as all my friends can vouch for,” Pangzi said, stepping on Liu Sang’s toe to make him respond.

“Ah, yes. He’s a good friend,” he said stupidly, going along with Pangzi’s lead and then looked up to check the woman’s reaction. 

She had gone very pale, and was gripping the tray so hard that her knuckles had turned white. She avoided looking at him, but glanced at the table where the bottles were kept, and Liu Sang knew that something was wrong.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said. Then she turned around and nearly ran back to the kitchen through the personnel door, setting the tray on the counter with a loud crash that made most diners look up in annoyance. 

Liu Sang’s gaze was fixed on the bottles, trying to figure out what it was about them that had bothered the waitress so much. Were they spiked? Poisoned? Fake? Then he laughed at himself for being so suspicious. The woman had expressed an interest in him, she had a crush on him, for fuck’s sake! Why would she try to kill him? Still shaking his head at himself, he realized that it might be what he was looking for. Something that expressed her interest.

He carefully ran his fingers along the caps of all the bottles and then lifted them up to check the undersides. He had ordered six bottles, and out which five turned out to be normal – nothing out of the ordinary about them that he could detect. Then as he picked up the sixth one, he immediately noticed that it was the only one that didn’t rest properly on the surface, and that was because there was something taped to the bottom.

Ignoring Pangzi’s loud reactions to his sudden investigation, Liu Sang peeled off the note that was taped underneath and pulled it open. On cheap notepad paper – presumably from the shop itself – was scrawled the message:

“This is for the last time you were here. Call me!”

And then there was a number at the bottom.

As Pangzi scrambled to look at the note, Liu Sang was calmly making up his mind. He had never been to this restaurant before, but he had a good idea as to who had. As his eyes furtively landed again on the hastily scrawled note, he let out a curse and thought that he was going to strangle the bastard.

“Liu Sang,” Pangzi said, and he was taken aback by the address and the way in which it was spoken. It was probably the first time that he had heard Pangzi refer to him by name, and it made him a little uneasy. The man’s heartbeat seemed to have picked up and he gulped without meaning to.

“Has Tianzhen been neglecting you?” Pangzi said, still in that odd voice, head a little cocked to the side.

Liu Sang blinked a little at the question, unsure of what Pangzi meant by that.

“Um, no, I don’t think so? Why are you asking?” Liu Sang said, and saw the other man straighten up in his seat.

“Then what do you mean by picking up women from restaurants, of all places? I didn’t even know you liked women!” Pangzi said loudly, earning them stares from the nearby tables.

Liu Sang spluttered angrily at the accusation, and slammed his glass down on the table. “It wasn’t me! I’ve never been to this place before!”

“That is exactly what someone who has been going around people’s backs would say. How long has this been going on? Have you even thought about what Tianzhen would think if he knew? It would break his heart! After all that he did for you!” Pangzi said, looking more wounded than angry, and that was what made Liu Sang calm himself down enough to try to give the man a proper answer.

“Do you think I’m the only one with this face?” he shot back, and saw Pangzi’s eyes widen in realization. “I think I know who has been to this place before. So if you’ll excuse me, I have a call to make,” Liu Sang said in a huff and stood up stiffly, patting down his trousers to locate his phone.

“Someone is about to get it good,” Pangzi said with a note of amusement to his voice as Liu Sang left the table, and he also heard being said for his benefit, “Give him grief! Enough for both Tianzhen and you!” 

 

 






Liu Sang’s first response was to let the call connect and then figure out what to say afterwards. He had to give the bastard a chance to explain himself before he acted on the basis of a conjecture formed because of a fucking note slipped to him at a restaurant. If Wang Can wanted to do things this way, well, he’d have to hear about it. 

Angrily pacing the corridor Liu Sang found himself near the restroom and he turned the handle and pushed in, thinking that maybe he needed to calm down first. As the door closed behind him, he was suddenly greeted by the absence of the general din of the restaurant and he wondered just how soundproof the restroom was and dimly wondered whether it was intentional or just a coincidence. However he found the lack of ambient noise relaxing, and he leaned over the sink, resting his arms on either side and thought about what he wanted to say. 

A part of him was seething, he realized, at not just Wang Can getting around, but the fact that he hadn’t told him about it. Weren’t they lovers? Or something like that? Didn’t Liu Sang tell him at the first opportunity when he saw him at Wushanju that he had slept with Wu Xie? He knew that he was overreacting, but he knew why it rankled so much. He didn't like being in the dark when it came to Wang Can, he wanted to know everything about his brother – he had already missed out on decades of his life and he didn’t want to miss any more. 

Frustrated with himself he directed his fist towards the countertop, bracing himself for the moment it made contact, but it never did. A warm hand caught hold of his wrist and brought it towards his chest, and Liu Sang gasped in surprise to see Wu Xie in the mirror, standing right behind him. 

The restroom was better insulated than he thought, Liu Sang realized, that or he had been so focused on his thoughts that he had missed Wu Xie coming in. The surprise had quickened his breathing and sharpened his senses, and he thought to himself that it was something he didn’t know he liked. 

Still holding the closed fist in his hands against Liu Sang’s chest, Wu Xie leaned into his neck, his breath ghosting the sensitive skin behind his ears. Liu Sang gave an involuntary shiver, his senses overwhelmed with the intimacy of the gesture. Looking at him in the mirror, Wu Xie turned towards him imperceptibly and then bringing up both of his hands, tried to gently coax open his tightly clenched fingers. 

“Wu Xie,” Liu Sang began to say, turning to face him, but Wu Xie held him firmly where he was. “I heard about it from Pangzi,” he said.

With both of Wu Xie’s hands working to pry open his fingers, Liu Sang finally let go and opened up his fist, resting his palm in the warm embrace of his hands.

“You’re upset,” he almost whispered to Liu Sang, and he looked at how dark Wu Xie’s eyes looked in the mirror. “I’m upset too,” he said. 

“What would you have done if it were me and not Wang Can?” Liu Sang asked him, still facing the sink and relying on his hearing and the mirror to reflect Wu Xie’s response.

“I would have still been upset,” Wu Xie said, and Liu Sang thought he heard a smile in his voice.

Giving in to Wu Xie’s teasing, Liu Sang asked again, “Would you have been more upset or less?”

Wu Xie responded with a sharp nip at his neck, and Liu Sang yelped. Licking over the area he bit, Wu Xie withdrew a little and said, “I don’t like the idea of you being with other people,” and let his hands come up against Liu Sang’s waist, squeezing him tightly. “I don’t want others to have you,” he said.

Liu Sang felt another shudder run through him at that. He didn’t realize how much Wu Xie’s possessiveness of him burned through him. It made him feel wanted, and he found that he liked that feeling. He liked how it made him want to offer himself up knowing that he would be safe with Wu Xie. The simmering state of arousal that he had been in throughout the evening burned higher, and Liu Sang marvelled at how shockingly easy it was to give in to it. “Show me,” he found himself saying, “Show me what you would have done if it had been me,” and he turned around to face Wu Xie this time. He saw Wu Xie’s eyes darken further at his shameless demand, but he tilted his head to the side, offering up a challenge to the man. 

“Right here?” Wu Xie replied, his lips curving in a slow smile, and Liu Sang almost grit his teeth in frustration. 

“You don’t have to fuck me, just use your mouth or your hand on me. You can do that, right?” he responded angrily, since if Wu Xie could tease him through an entire meal, he could ask this much of him, couldn’t he?

“God, you’re so attractive like this,” Wu Xie said, a little incredulously but his hands had started inching up across Liu Sang’s sides, pushing in under his shirt and burning right through his skin. “You’re so attractive when you get huffy, so bossy and so pretty like this,” he said and leaned in to capture Liu Sang’s mouth in an unrelenting kiss.

Liu Sang didn’t even register the impact of Wu Xie’s lips on his, he was busy grabbing onto anything that he could hold of the man, trying to grip him while he let him all but devour his mouth. After both their breaths turned to rasps, Wu Xie pulled away briefly to study his face, and what he saw there seemed to please him. “I wish I could have the both of you at the same time,” he said, and of all things, Liu Sang wasn’t expecting him to say that. His breath hitched, and as Wu Xie’s hands tightened around him, he realized he also really liked the idea of that. 

“Did you fuck him that time at Wushanju? He never told me what you did,” he said, letting a little of his annoyance seep through in his voice and he was pleased to hear Wu Xie’s heartbeat stutter a little at that.

“He went down on his knees for me, took me into his mouth and was very good at what he did,” Wu Xie told him, and cupped the front of Liu Sang’s trousers, then unbuttoned his fly effortlessly.

“He sucked you off?” Liu Sang replied, trying to appear unaffected when all of his blood seemed to be pooling in his groin at the thought. “Did you like how he looked with your cock in his mouth? Did you hold him by his hair? He really likes that,” he said, looking at Wu Xie all the while, tracking his every reaction, every breath, every skip of his heartbeat.

Wu Xie’s fingers trembled over the swell of his cock, his fingers ghosting the surface lightly, but it made Liu Sang lean forward, his body loving every bit of the contact from the other man. 

“I did grab him by his hair,” Wu Xie slowly replied, looking up to register his reaction. Liu Sang’s throat had gone very dry, so he licked his lips without meaning to. This close, he could see Wu Xie’s throat bob at the gesture, his eyes moving across Liu Sang’s face as tangibly as a caress. 

“Was he good to you?” he rasped out, burning with a need to know exactly how Wang Can had gone down on his knees for Wu Xie, and how Wu Xie had responded to him. 

“Oh, he was. He was very good to me. So docile and willing,” Wu Xie answered, knowing exactly what it was that Liu Sang wanted to hear at that moment. His eyes were still fixed on his face and while his heart was beating away in his chest, there was nothing to indicate that he was lying.   

Liu Sang shivered at the mental image, suddenly grateful for the counter to brace him up when his legs had started to feel unsteady. “Did you like it?” he asked Wu Xie, almost on the edge even when the man hadn’t even touched his cock yet. 

Wu Xie looked up, his lips stretching in a knowing smile and said, “I liked it very much.”

Liu Sang responded to the sheer need for contact, moving into Wu Xie’s hands without even meaning to. He leaned in, letting his hair brush over Wu Xie’s shoulders, then moved closer to his neck. “I want you to make me feel good,” he said hoarsely, and he heard Wu Xie’s breath hitch in his throat. “Make me feel good, Wu Xie?” he drawled, and was gratified to feel Wu Xie grab him a little too forcefully, fighting to control his actions. 

He gasped loudly when he felt Wu Xie push his pants down his hips and then yank on the band of his underwear, but Wu Xie’s hands were absolutely steady as he rolled the underwear down, freeing his cock. The rush of coolness against the heated skin felt so good that Liu Sang thought he might be able to come just from that, seeing how wound up he had been all evening. 

Every touch, every insinuating whisper, every show of attention from Wu Xie had been keeping him on edge the entire time he was sitting at the table with Ouxiang and Pangzi, and Wu Xie knew it, the evil man that he was, and Liu Sang was burning with want now – he wanted Wu Xie’s hands, mouth, anything of him. 

But Wu Xie was stalling, which is when he realized that he had closed his eyes somewhere in the middle of it, and he opened them slowly and blinked at the man, who was looking at him with his mouth slightly open, eyes completely dark. 

“What?” he found himself saying a little crossly, bringing a finger to push up the spectacles that were slipping off his nose. 

Wu Xie exhaled loudly and then said, “Nothing, just nothing. I wish you could see yourself now. So incredibly beautiful like this.” Liu Sang flushed darkly at the comment, refusing to show how much it had affected him but Wu Xie had already noticed as he placed his hands on his very hard cock which was all but leaking by now.

“Can I take off your shirt?” he said, still looking at Liu Sang in that strangely intense way.

“Just take it off,” Liu Sang told him and Wu Xie’s hands flew to the placket, unbuttoning him swiftly and slowly pushed the shirt down his shoulders, letting it pool near his elbows. As Liu Sang made a gesture to shrug it off, Wu Xie’s hands stilled him and he went obligingly limp in his grip. Wu Xie leaned forward into him, still holding him in an unyielding grip. “I like it better this way,” he said. Liu Sang had to gulp at the look in his eyes as he said that.

Then Wu Xie was carefully removing his glasses and placing them on the counter, and before Liu Sang could react to it, he grabbed him by the shoulders and turned him around, so that he could see himself blink confusedly in the mirror in front of him now.

“This is what you look like,” Wu Xie said, and that was all the warning he had before his hands had closed over his cock and was moving across it in sharp, hard movements. Liu Sang let out a high keening noise which Wu Xie immediately silenced with a kiss, and he felt himself flail against the man to no avail. 

With every slide of Wu Xie’s hand against his cock, Liu Sang came closer and closer to the edge, and he reached back and clawed at Wu Xie’s shoulders in an effort to ground himself. It was embarrassing how little time it took for Wu Xie to take him apart like that, hands tightened around his cock like a warm sheath, and Liu Sang placed both of his hands on the counter to steady himself as he came all over Wu Xie’s hands. As he leaned back, trying to catch his breath, he felt Wu Xie clean him up and shivered at the sensation, his cock sensitive to the slightest touch even as the last of the spasms still racked his body. He was conscious of the way Wu Xie took his time wiping him down, lingering in the crease of his thighs where every touch sent a dozen shockwaves down his legs. His cock was trying to twitch again, but he resolutely tried to steer himself away from that particular direction. Now that his head was reasonably clear, he suddenly woke up to the fact that he had been in the restroom for far longer than what was appropriate, and that the main reason he had been there in the first place was still woefully unaddressed. 

But he didn’t hurry Wu Xie who dragged his eyes up from his body reluctantly and started pulling the shirt over his chest and buttoning it up, his fingers brushing against his bare skin tantalizingly before moving on to the next button. It still rendered him a little dizzy to witness how much Wu Xie wanted him, and how much he wanted that attention on him. Before he had met Wang Can, Liu Sang had thought that he wouldn’t like that kind of unrelenting attention on him all the time. He always preferred to do things on his own and attracting too much attention to himself was therefore something he was wary of doing. At the same time he was aware of how much he liked it, craved it even. Being around people whom he could trust enough to allow himself to be wanted and taken care of had been an incredibly heady feeling. He was still drifting in his thoughts when he felt Wu Xie pull up his underwear and his pants, and started a little when Wu Xie started speaking.

“Did you talk to Wang Can?” Wu Xie said, looking at him with those large, kind eyes of his, and then leaned forward to pick up his glasses and place them across his nose, pushing them up the bridge just like Liu Sang did it himself. He was so distracted by the gesture that he forgot to answer the man.

“Uh, no, not yet. I was about to make the call when you came in,” he said a moment later, and turned towards the mirror because he suddenly felt self conscious of Wu Xie reading too much on his face. He made a show of running a hand through his hair and trying to smooth it so that the strands framed his face.

Wu Xie closed in on him again, appearing right behind him and it took all of his resolve not to ask him to fuck him right there, because there was an issue that needed to be addressed, and this wasn’t it. 

“You know, you could always show him how you feel about this,” Wu Xie said, his lips inches away from Liu Sang’s throat. Liu Sang tried to focus on his words instead.

“Show him?” he asked, because he wasn’t sure what Wu Xie was referring to.

“He might respond better to it this way,” Wu Xie said, casually bringing up his arms around Liu Sang’s chest, holding him there in a way which felt shockingly proprietorial and which he also decidedly liked a lot, judging from the way his body started reacting again. 

“Talk to him, but also show him how you feel,” Wu Xie reiterated helpfully since Liu Sang was too focused on the way his heart was beating in his ribcage right under where Wu Xie was holding him to actually pay attention to what he was saying. 

Then just as suddenly, he let his arms drop and Liu Sang almost made a sound of disapproval at that. “I’ll let the others know that you had to leave, so you can walk out of here directly. I even brought your jacket,” Wu Xie said, and Liu Sang turned around to see him take down his jacket from a coat rack near the door. 

For a while, Liu Sang kept standing, rooted to the spot in front of the mirror and tried to assess what it was that he was feeling right then. He looked at Wu Xie, who was looking at him with a smile in his eyes, holding out his jacket, which he had brought out for him so that he could leave immediately, no questions asked, and thought that maybe his feelings were all messed up because he had been badly aroused all evening and then he had been enlightened about Wang Can’s exploits, and had also proceeded to have sex with Wu Xie in the restroom, but none of it explained why he suddenly and irrepressibly felt the urge to mark this man as his, because there was no way that he could be. 

Wu Xie must have seen something in his eyes, because he frowned slightly and asked, “Is anything wrong? Do you not want to leave right now?”

Liu Sang covered the distance between them in two long strides – since there wasn’t much space inside – and crowded Wu Xie against the door and it frustrated him to no end that the man only looked slightly amused at that. He leaned in, making his intentions clear, and kissed him soundly on the lips, only deepening the kiss when he felt Wu Xie open up against him. They stayed like that for a while, trading open mouthed kisses between them, and Liu Sang vaguely wondered if he was displacing his annoyance at Wang Can onto Wu Xie and stilled briefly. 

“What’s wrong?” Wu Xie said, and Liu Sang was pleased to see how dark and wet his mouth looked against his pale features, before his mind snapped back to the question.

“Nothing,” he replied a little untruthfully, since he wasn’t sure whether he could even articulate what he was feeling at that moment.

“It’s okay,” Wu Xie said, pulling Liu Sang into himself and he went with the motion without objecting. “You’re jealous that Wang Can has been seeing other people, and it’s completely fine.”

“I’m not jealous!” Liu Sang piped up from somewhere over Wu Xie’s shoulder, but still didn’t try to free himself from Wu Xie’s grasp. “I’m angry, and I’m upset, but I’m not jealous,” he clarified, but even to his own ears the protests sounded a little hollow. He knew what it was by now.

Wu Xie held him even tighter, and ran a hand down his back in what was clearly meant to be a reassuring gesture but Liu Sang reacted a little to that. “There’s nothing wrong with being jealous or upset at this. Talk to him clearly and let him know how you feel about this,” he said, and Liu Sang wondered why the prospect of actually talking to Wang Can suddenly seemed so hard. 

Then he felt Wu Xie drape his jacket loosely over his shoulders and pat him on his arms, and when he didn’t respond, he said, “Lift your arms.” Liu Sang obeyed him this time, and Wu Xie pulled his arms inside the jacket and fiddled with the collar as Liu Sang stared at him. 

“Thank you,” he finally said and saw the look of surprise on Wu Xie’s face as he did that. “I’ll leave now, please tell Ouxiang that I left.”

He only remembered the way Wu Xie had smiled at him as he walked out of the exit and waved down a cab, getting in immediately. Well, he had a long conversation ahead of him and Wang Can better be at the apartment when he reached.