Pretty please?” Wei Wuxian begged, balanced on his knees at Wen KeXing’s feet.
“No.” Wen KeXing replied simply from his perch, he continued to gaze out of the window of the brothel the two friends frequented most often.
Wei Wuxian pouted. “Come on! It might be fun!”
Wen KeXing stopped fanning himself and fixed Wei Wuxian with a stern look. “Every single time you have dragged me on one of these blind dates it’s been one of the most dreadful experiences of my life.”
Wei Wuxian huffed. “Okay...I will allow that some of our previously arranged meetings have not gone exactly to plan.”
“An understatement if ever I heard one,” Wen KeXing said dryly.
“But this one will be different!” Wei Wuxian exclaimed with one of his trademark smiles. Wen Ke Xing narrowed his eyes. It wasn’t fair to use his secret weapon. His best friend's smiles always blinded his judgement.
Wei Wuxian jumped around like an angry toddler. “Come on! I’m so bored of this brothel! The girls all know my tricks so well they won’t bother with me anymore. They know I’m just teasing and my preference lie elsewhere.”
“Surely there are enough servant boys around to tempt you…” Wen KeXing offered.
Wei Wuxian rolled his eyes. “Too weak. I like them strong.”
Wen KeXing grinned and sipped his wine. “I have to agree with you there.”
Wei Wuxian’s eyes sparkled. “So you’ll come?”
Wen KeXing let out a resigned sigh. “Why is it so hard to say no to you?”
Wei Wuxian grinned. “Because I’m a master manipulator.”
“You sure are,” Wen KeXing said, setting down his wine cup. “Very well, let’s go prepare.”
Wei Wuxian clapped his hands excitedly. “This one will be different, Wen Ke Xing, I can feel it, the spirit of a matchmaker told me tonight would change my life forever!”
Wen KeXing arched an eyebrow skeptically, but allowed some of Wei Wuxian’s infectious excitement to flow through him as he considered the possibilities of the evening. Perhaps he would meet a handsome bedfellow or maybe even his soulmate. Then he laughed at the absurdity of the thought. What were the chances of meeting his soulmate on one of Wei Wuxian’s ridiculous set-ups? About as likely as Wei Wuxian staying quiet for five minutes straight.
An hour later, Zhou Zishu and Lan Zhan sat in a small inn on the outskirts of town waiting anxiously. Lan Zhan folded his arms across his white robed chest and glared across the table at Zhou Zishu who turned pale in his dark blue garb.
“Okay, I admit it. This was a bad idea. But he promised me most faithfully that he had information regarding your missing rabbits Lan Zhan! And he said he would share all he knew as long as I agreed to meet him here this evening and….” Zhou Zishu trailed off and took another drink.
Lan Zhan leaned across the table. “And…” he said.
Zhou Zishu swallowed hard. “The second part of the deal was that I had to bring a handsome friend with me.”
Lan Zhan stood up abruptly and Zhou Zishu rushed up to stop him. “Wait! Look...how bad could it be? We get the information we require and then we can leave immediately. Lan Zhan considered his words and slowly lowered himself back into his seat. Zhou Zishu smiled at his old friend reassuringly.
“Would you like a drink?” he asked.
Lan Zhan shook his head.
“Just one?” Zhou Zishu offered.
Lan Zhan glared and Zhou Zishu looked away.
“Just endure it for a little while and I’m sure we’ll get your fluffy friends back soon,” he offered with a smile.
“Mn,” came the reply from his monosyllabic friend.
Outside the inn, Wei Wuxian and Wen KeXing had just arrived. They were late of course. Wen KeXing was dressed in a dark green robe and Wei Wuxian in his usual black attire. Wei Wuxian peered through the windows of the inn.
“Do you see him?” Wen KeXing asked as he inspected his fingernails.
“I do!” Wei Wuxian exclaimed, then his mouth fell open and he gasped.
“What?” Wen KeXing asked, suddenly interested.
Wei Wuxian snaked his hands around Wen KeXing’s arm and smiled up at him.
“What do you want?” Wen KeXing asked.
“I need you to switch with me,” Wei Wuxian said.
Wei Wuxian ran his finger up and down Wen KeXing’s arm. “It’s just that I find I have quite a longing for the treat that my cute new acquaintance has brought with him…”
“Oh, so you want to give the leftovers to me!” Wen KeXing exclaimed.
“Not leftovers! My new friend is very handsome…”
“No. No trades.” Wen KeXing said.
Wei Wuxian pouted. “But…”
“I’ll leave right now if you don’t agree to my terms!” Wen KeXing threatened.
Wei Wuxian glared at him then nodded. They entered the inn and Wen KeXing noticed the two men seated near the window immediately. They had an energy that made them simply impossible to ignore. They were also two of the most handsome men Wen KeXing had ever seen. His eyes connected with the man dressed in blue and the breath was drawn from his lungs. This had to be the man that Wei Wuxian wanted so badly. His skin, his lips, his jaw line...Wen KeXing could think of no other way to describe them than perfection. He smiled at himself, satisfied that he had kept his prize from Wei Wuxian.
He raised his fan and opened it then turned to Wei Wuxian. “Can I assume the boy in blue is the one you wanted to pull away from me?” he mocked.
Wei Wuxian shook his head. “The man in white is your date,” he said sadly.
Wen KeXing looked again at the table. The man in white was indeed beautiful but far too stern for his liking. He didn’t look like someone who would enjoy a jar of wine with him in the moonlight. No. This wouldn’t do.
“Do you still want to trade?” He asked Wei Wuxian who beamed and nodded enthusiastically. Wen KeXing smiled slowly as he followed Wei Wuxian to the table. Wei Wuxian bounded ahead of him and practically fell into the man in white’s lap. The man looked dismayed for a moment, then his eyes softened as he focused on Wei Wuxian fully. Wen KeXing sat down next to the man in blue and closed his fan. The evening was looking up after all.