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Once Upon a Time in the Desert

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In the flickering orange torchlight, the new prisoner is bathing.

Fu Hongxue should be asleep. He needs the chance to recover his strength before another soul-scorching day of interrogation. Instead he's peeping through his lashes as his cellmate dabs a rag into the bucket of water he's somehow procured from the guards and smooths it over one long, bare arm. Droplets of water run down his wrist - surprisingly delicate for someone with the build of a swordsman - and fall to the cell floor. The man sweeps his long hair to one side and rubs the cloth over the hollow of his throat. Water trickles down his chest, the stream parting around one dark nipple. Fu Hongxue catches his breath, squeezing his eyes tight shut against a hot rush of sensation that after the preceding days of torment he hadn't been sure he'd ever feel again. He forces himself to be still and quiet, afraid that he'll be caught watching.

Time is hard to keep track of, here, but he thinks the new prisoner had arrived two days before. He'd sauntered in as if he owned the place, with two meek-looking guards following in his wake. He must be someone important, because he's already been able to obtain additional wall torches to relieve the sullen darkness of the cell, and even books in addition to washing water. He'd introduced himself as Bai Qi and Fu Hongxue had just grunted at him in answer. The man could be a spy. He could have been put into his cell to worm information from him, and there's no reason for Fu Hongxue to grant him the courtesy of telling him his name in return. When Fu Hongxue had been dragged off for questioning that morning, Bai Qi had been sitting leafing through a book of poetry, chained only by one wrist and eating something that didn't look anything like the scanty rations that had been fed to Fu Hongxue throughout his imprisonment.

There's a rustle of cloth from the other side of the small cell and Fu Hongxue's eyes open involuntarily. Bai Qi is taking off his trousers, exposing a smooth, pale flank. He bends to wet the cloth again and runs it over one thigh, turning so that Fu Hongxue catches a quick glimpse of slender hips framing dark curls and… He shuts his eyes but the image of Bai Qi's heavy shaft, beaded with shining drops of water, burns itself into his memory, making his pulse pick up. Is that a low chuckle he hears? He forces himself to breathe slowly, keeping his eyes closed and willing his body into a state of composure. After a while the soft splashing sounds stop, there's a rustle as Bai Qi lies down, and eventually Fu Hongxue's exhausted body drops into sleep.

In the morning, the glare of the sun burning his eyes as he's dragged out of the dungeon is almost worse than the pain he knows he's about to experience. His captors obviously think he knows important information and don't want to kill him too quickly. For days they've been stripping him of his clothes, whipping him, leaving him to scorch out in the sun, asking him questions he doesn't know the answer to. But at the end of every day they give him water and make some attempt at treating his wounds so they don't fester, before throwing him back into his cell.

Today seems no different, until as the setting sun is casting a fierce glow over the dunes, he's dragged out of the cooling desert air and into a tent. The guards shove him down at a low table, with the chief inquisitor, a bear-like man in maroon robes, sitting at the other side. Any pretence that this is a courtesy call is belied by the sword a guard holds to Fu Hongxue's throat.

"Ah, our young prisoner. I hear you were once again intransigent today." The inquisitor tries to look sorrowful, but a strange mirth-like expression keeps almost breaking through. Fu Hongxue stays silent.

"You leave me no choice." The inquisitor pushes a delicate goblet over to Fu Hongxue. A sweet scent rises from it. "Accept your punishment."

Fu Hongxue doesn't move, and the guard presses the tip of his sword harder against his neck, breaking the skin. A small trickle of blood runs down under the collar of the thin under-robe which is all he's wearing. Fu Hongxue has abruptly had enough. If they want to poison him, let them. He has nothing left to endure for.

He closes his hand around the goblet and chugs back the syrupy liquid. It tingles as it goes down, and he wonders vacantly how long it will take to kill him, and how much it will hurt.

"So eager," breathes the inquisitor. He leans across the table, raking his eyes up and down Fu Hongxue's body. "Perhaps tomorrow, you will be more amenable."

He laughs raucously and the guards join him, in on a joke that Fu Hongxue isn't party to. Not a deadly poison then, if he's still expected to be alive tomorrow. Perhaps it will just make him so ill that his captors think that he will be able to resist nothing? His pulse is beginning to pick up, and he can feel his temperature rising. He braces himself for the pain to begin.

It's only when he's back in the cell, short chains anchoring both of his wrists to the walls, and the tingling sensation in his chest and throat is spreading through his whole body, that he realises what his captors have done to him.

It's bad enough being locked in a dungeon in this remote desert land, with his force of Penglai drained so he can't hope to escape until it renews itself. But on top of that, Bai Qi is being kept awake by the whimpering coming from his pretty boy cellmate.

Bai Qi had been napping when the boy was brought back in and he'd kept his eyes shut through the clanking of chains as the guards restrained him. The guards didn't leave, but hung around outside the bars whispering to each other and making what sounded like ribald comments in the local dialect. From his cellmate, there had been only silence. After some time the guards had grown bored and wandered off, and Bai Qi had tried to find a comfortable spot on his thin blanket and drifted off into oblivion.

Then the small noises had started. In the silence of the night they sound very loud - the boy is breathing hard, like he's trying to stifle it and can't, and there's an occasional jangle of chains as if he's making little movements. Is he sick? Bai Qi cracks open one eye and squints at him in the low light from the torches in their sconces. Then both of his eyes open wide in surprise.

The boy is chained by both arms tonight - heavy clasps around both wrists holding him in a standing position against the wall. His head is thrown back against the stone, eyes screwed shut, and sweat beading on his temples. He lets out another breathy moan and bites savagely at his lip to try and silence himself. Bai Qi might be a centuries-old spirit, but he's only human. Of all the potential cellmates, he couldn't have picked a more beautiful one, even beaten and half-starved as he is, and the yearning on his face is making Bai Qi's thoughts turn in a lascivious direction. Then the boy makes a sudden movement of his hips. Bai Qi's gaze drops, and he almost swallows his tongue.

The boy's thin white robe is open at the throat, revealing translucent skin marked here and there with bruises. The robe clings to his body, hiding nothing of the bulge of his erection which distends the delicate fabric. Bai Qi takes a deep breath. The boy is impressively hard, and carefully chained so he can't touch himself. His hips thrust forward and his cockhead pushes out at the fabric, showing dark through the pale silk. He does it again, body jerking, and the noise he makes this time is almost a groan. Bai Qi can imagine exactly how it must feel, enough to tease his lust even higher, but not nearly enough to quench it. His own cock is waking up, swelling in the loose confines of his trousers. If a pretty boy with an erection can get Bai Qi hard this fast, it's way too long since he fucked or was fucked. He gives his dick a meditative squeeze through the cloth, wondering if the boy is absorbed enough in his own torment that Bai Qi can bring himself off without attracting his attention. He sticks one hand under his waistband, rubbing with one finger at the moisture that's already beading at the tip of his cock.

Since he always loses his many years of acquired wisdom as soon as he's horny, he does it with the hand that's cuffed and the clinking of the chain betrays him. The boy's eyes snap open. They zero in on the position of Bai Qi's hand, go wide in shock, and then drop to his own urgent erection as if surprised to see it jutting out from his body. It would be comical if it didn't also fill Bai Qi with lust.

"Looks like you could use a hand." As soon as he says it, Bai Qi realises it's the best idea he's had in a long time. Even semi-concealed by his robe, the boy's beautiful, swollen cock is making Bai Qi hungry to taste and touch. And helping him out of his predicament would be the friendly thing to do.

The boy's lips part and he makes a strangled noise. It isn't, "no."

Bai Qi grins at him. "I saw you watching me yesterday. Would you like to feel just what you were looking at?"

He gives his cock a goodbye for now squeeze and crawls across the cell, thanking the heavens that the guards are obviously worried he might turn out to be someone influential and have only attached him with one long chain. He kneels in front of the boy, whose cock is now level with Bai Qi's suddenly dry mouth. The boy is leaking so much precum that his hardness is clearly outlined through the damp material of his robe. Bai Qi leans close enough that he knows the boy will be able to feel his breath against sensitive skin. He looks up at him from under his lashes. "What do you say?"

The fire in Fu Hongxue's blood is burning him from the inside out. He can't stop his hips from rocking uselessly, the slight pressure of his robe against his engorged erection a torment which only drives his arousal higher. Sweat is running down his throat, his heart is beating a crescendo, and he doesn't know how much more he can endure without getting to come.

And now Bai Qi is kneeling at his feet, his pink lips parted like an offering. He pokes out his tongue to lick at them and Fu Hongxue's body knows exactly what it wants - his hips thrust forwards and his cock presses right up against Bai Qi's mouth. Bai Qi says something that could be "All right," and then grabs Fu Hongxue by the hips, hands firm and strong. He nuzzles wide-mouthed at Fu Hongxue's cock through his robe, spit mixing with sweat and precum.

His mouth finds Fu Hongxue's cockhead and Fu Hongxue bites his lip so hard he draws blood as his orgasm blasts through him, his spend soaking into his robe. He slumps back against the wall, head spinning and heart beating out of his chest. Bai Qi is still leaning face first against his body, breathing him in. He makes a little movement of his head and his cheek rubs against the line of Fu Hongxue's cock. Fu Hongxue realises with shock that he's still hard. He groans aloud and shimmies his hips, chasing the pressure, even as pleasure from his climax is still pooling in his limbs.

Bai Qi chuckles, the same low laugh Fu Hongxue had heard when he'd been caught watching him hungrily the night before. He thought he'd felt lust then, but it's nothing compared to the arousal that's consuming him now. He's covered in his own come, and still he wants Bai Qi's hands and mouth on him more than he's ever wanted anything before. Bai Qi stands and pulls up his robe, tugging it roughly over Fu Hongxue's head so it hangs from his shoulders, tangled around the chains confining his wrists. Fu Hongxue is left bare, sweating in the torchlight. Bai Qi runs a lazy finger up the mess coating his cock and Fu Hongxue thrusts forward into the touch.

Bai Qi squeezes one hand around his hip, pinning him effortlessly against the wall. He loops the thin chain attached to his other wrist around Fu Hongxue's cock and draws it slowly up and down. Fu Hongxue moans at the cold slide of metal over his hot skin. Bai Qi teases him with the chain, pulling it tighter around the swollen skin and then releasing him until drops of precum are falling steadily onto the metal. He unwinds it and then runs the circle of his fingers up Fu Hongxue's cock, rubbing the slickness into his skin.

"You've got a sizeable problem there, boy."

"My name is Fu Hongxue," he grits out. It might be foolish, but he feels like the man who's taking his virginity should know his name.

"So, Xiao Fu. Let me see what you taste like."

He licks his finger and his eyebrows go up. He pulls his finger out of his mouth with a wet pop that makes Fu Hongxue's cock leak even more. Then he pinches his fingers together and something passes between them, like a fast yellow spark.

He drops swiftly to his knees and snakes out his tongue to lap at Fu Hongxue's cockhead. Then he licks his lips, considering. "You're sweet like honey," he says. "They got you with chrysanthemum nectar poison, so this" - he smears his lips wetly over Fu Hongxue's hardness again - "has a while to go. But that's okay; we have all night."

He grins wolfishly up at Fu Hongxue and then sucks him straight into his hot mouth.

With just one taste of Fu Hongxue, Bai Qi's force of Penglai is starting to renew itself. He's never had his mouth on someone with such strong yang energy before and he's going to enjoy every moment of it. He slides his hands around the high globes of Fu Hongxue's behind and encourages him to fuck his mouth. He's a fast learner - his hips piston forward, forcing his cock down Bai Qi's throat in just the way he likes to be used.

The earthy-sweet taste, the burn in his throat, is making his own cock twitch. Much more of this and he could easily finish untouched. He squeezes his hand around the base of his cock, fighting back orgasm. When he comes, he wants it to be all over Fu Hongxue's pretty skin. Above him, Fu Hongxue is making desperate grunting noises and his cock is swelling inside Bai Qi's mouth, the taste of him getting stronger. Bai Qi can feel saliva and precum drooling from his stretched lips. Fu Hongxue lets out a wail, his hips pump forward, and his come floods Bai Qi's throat. Bai Qi swallows as much as he can, drinking him down and feeling golden Penglai energy flood through him. As he pulls off with a slurp Fu Hongxue's spend runs down his chin and he chases it greedily with his tongue.

Fu Hongxue is still mostly hard, cock flushed dark red. He's slumped back against the wall, fine tremors running through his body. Bai Qi gives his cock a final lick and Fu Hongxue moans desperately. He must be getting oversensitive now, but he still needs more.

Bai Qi gets to his feet, feeling more energised than he has in days, and pads across the cell. Behind him, Fu Hongxue lets out a broken imprecation.

"Don't worry," Bai Qi says. "I'm not done with you yet."

He pours water from the pitcher and drinks deep. Fu Hongxue's eyes track the movement, huge in his flushed face. Bai Qi refills the cup, walks back over to him and holds it up so he can drink. Fu Hongxue swallows greedily, drops of water spilling from his lips and down his throat. Strands of his sweaty hair are plastered across his forehead. Bai Qi smoothes it to one side and their eyes meet. The cup falls to the floor as Fu Hongxue plunges forward, to the very limit of his chains, and kisses Bai Qi on the mouth.

His lips are cool from the water, rough and eager. Bai Qi falls into him and they land back against the wall, the long line of Fu Hongxue's naked body against his. Bai Qi's trapped cock rubs against Fu Hongxue's hip, and the shock of lust makes his knees go weak. He bites at Fu Hongxue's lips and the boy groans into his mouth. Bai Qi runs his hands down Fu Hongxue's sweat-slick sides and fumbles between them to release his cock from his trousers. He wraps both hands around their cocks, pulls on them together in a slick glide, precum mingling. Fu Hongxue is panting hotly against the side of his mouth, and Bai Qi can feel his heart racing, echoing his own thundering pulse. He jerks them both frantically, feeling liquid fire spread outwards from his hand to fill his body, feeling Fu Hongxue start to shake. He sticks his tongue into Fu Hongxue's mouth and squeezes their cocks together urgently and Fu Hongxue jolts and falls apart, spurts of come pulsing feebly from his exhausted cock. The hot slickness of his spend coating Bai Qi's skin tips him over the edge and he falls into orgasm with Fu Hongxue's musky scent in his nostrils and stars dancing behind his eyes.

He slumps against Fu Hongxue, presses his face into his sweaty throat and fights for breath. Fu Hongxue is hanging from his chains, panting like his soul is trying to escape his body. Bai Qi glances down to see that the boy's reddened, sticky cock is finally going soft. Fu Hongxue's knees wobble and he whimpers as the iron clasps at his wrists take his whole weight. Bai Qi breathes in deep, summons what he can of his force of Penglai and nudges it towards the shackles. The clasps part, releasing Fu Hongxue's wrists with a soft snicking sound, and Fu Hongxue drops downwards. Bai Qi grabs at him as he falls and they land tangled around each other on the cell floor.

Fu Hongxue gasps for breath, wide-eyed. "How did you do that?"

Bai Qi flicks the tip of his nose. "Never you mind."

Fu Hongxue nods towards the sturdy cell bars. "Can you do the same to them?"

One pair of locks is one thing, but strong metal bars and a whole dungeon full of guards is another when his force of Penglai is only just beginning to return. "Not without rest." He pushes at Fu Hongxue's shoulder, urging him down onto his meagre pile of bedding. "Get some sleep."

Fu Hongxue bites his lip, looking furiously uncertain. Then he catches Bai Qi's wrist, giving it a sharp tug so that Bai Qi finds himself sprawling out on top of him. Fu Hongxue winds his arms around him, burying his face in his hair. Bai Qi lies rigid for a moment, then decides that Fu Hongxue, even covered in sweat and come, makes a better pillow than the scrap of cloth he'd been using for the purpose on previous nights. He lets himself go limp.

Fu Hongxue strokes a hand up and down his back, like Bai Qi is a large cat he's trying to gentle. It feels… good. Bai Qi tries to remember the last time he'd been held by someone, and gives up. Fu Hongxue smells muskily vital and he's radiating yang energy and breathing slow and deep against Bai Qi's ear. Warm tingles of orgasm are still running through Bai Qi, mixing with the wisps of force of Penglai multiplying within him. He can feel his strength returning with every moment that passes.

He's had more than enough of this dungeon, this backwater desert town. By tomorrow iron bars won't be enough to hold him, he's getting out of here, and - Fu Hongxue sighs in his sleep and one of his hands tightens reflexively on Bai Qi's shoulder blade - after tonight, it looks like he won't be going alone.