The lotuses swayed in the breeze, the water cool when Li Xiayu dipped his bare feet into it. Behind him, in the grand and stately home of the Jiang, his father and older brother were in negotiations - the Li Sect was small but wealthy, and so they were invited to the Lotus Pier often. Li Xiayu's presence at such things was superfluous at best. He was just turning nineteen and was the spare to his older brother - not nearly as charismatic, or talented in his cultivation, or attractive. Sometimes it stung, listening to his father praise his older brother's talents while never mentioning him, but it let him sneak out of boring negotiations.
Li Xiayu looked down at the further pier, less hidden amongst the flowers. Yunmeng Jiang disciples were diving in and out of the water, laughing and eating lotus seeds. They were stripped to the waist, skin tanned golden, the muscle underneath long and lean. Li Xiayu was fishbelly pale, and the sickness that plagued him as a boy left him skinny and unable to gain muscle. He wanted to run up to the laughing Yunmeng Jiang disciples and join them, but he didn't move. He looked down at his hands, folded in his lap.
There were heavy stomps on the pier, and his father barked, "Xiayu!"
Li Xiayu stumbled up to his feet, flushed at being caught shoeless and with his outermost robe off. Beside his father, his older brother was the picture of a dignified sect heir. Behind them both was Sandu Shengshou.
He had seen Sandu Shengshou before, of course, but never dared to talk to such a powerful man with such an infamous temper. He stood tall and sharp, broad and handsome and tan from a lifetime on the water and at war. Li Xiayu could see his physical strength flexing under his fine violet clothes, and imagined his spiritual strength was even greater. Li Xiayu looked at him for only a moment before looking away, unable to handle Sandu Shengshou's sharp, penetrating gaze.
"Slacking off," his father growled, before turning to Sandu Shengshou and apologizing profusely. "Apologies, Sect Leader Jiang, my younger son can be a bit impulsive..."
"It's fine," Sandu Shengshou said, dismissive. "He's young yet, running around is far from the worst thing he could be doing."
His father's face twisted, and Li Xiayu knew that it wouldn't be the end of it.
Li Xiayu sat quietly beside his father, the banquet in full swing. They sat towards the front, right next to Sandu Shengshou himself. The dishes and the wine were both neverending, but Li Xiayu couldn't taste any of it. No one was paying much attention to him anyway; instead all eyes were focused on Li Richu as he laughed and charmed the guests around him. Li Xiayu looked up at his father from the corner of his eye, and saw him looking at Richu with unrestrained paternal pride. Li Xiayu then looked past him, to where Sandu Shengshou sat as the unchallenged lord of Lotus Pier.
He was staring back at Li Xiayu.
Li Xiayu startled under the force of Sandu Shengshou's stare. He shrank back from it - did Sandu Shengshou know what he was thinking, when he looked between Father and Richu? What he felt? It must seem so petty to a man who had seen war, the sullen whines of a spoiled second son. Li Xiayu looked down, ashamed, at his barely eaten food. The only person paying attention to him was Sandu Shengshou, and the weight was almost too much to bear.
His father drew the Sect Leader into a discussion of...something. Li Xiayu didn't pay attention to it beyond taking it as a chance to escape, vanishing out of the banquet hall and into the crisp, clean air. The lanterns gave distant light, illuminating the endless swaying lotuses. They made Li Xiayu smile, and he crept closer to them, crouching down to touch the delicate petals. He rubbed them between his thumb and forefinger, trying not to think of the laughter coming from the hall behind him.
"They die when you pluck them."
Li Xiayu twisted his head around to see Sandu Shengshou standing there, arms folded behind his back. He was backlit by the lantern light, dressed in richly textured purples, and so handsome Li Xiayu thought him an immortal for a moment before sense returned to him.
"Sandu Shengshou," Li Xiayu said breathlessly, straightening up to greet him properly. Sandu Shengshou taking a step forward.
"The lotuses start to wilt the moment you pluck them," Sandu Shengshou continued, ignoring Li Xiayu's greeting. He was staring intently at the lotuses. "They don't last long when they leave the water."
His voice was strange and distant, like he wasn't talking about lotuses at all.
"I wasn't going to pluck it," Li Xiayu assured quickly, drawing his hands close to himself. "I was just admiring it, I swear. I would never pluck one of your lotuses without permission, Sect Leader."
Sandu Shengshou snorted, looking down at Li Xiayu. The flickering lanterns highlighted the sharp angles of his face, full of shadow and fire. Li Xiayu felt very small, and the banquet hall laughter sounded very far away.
"No," Sandu Shengshou said, voice very low. "You wouldn't, would you, Xiayu?"
Li Xiayu exhaled, eyes wide. He was looking at Li Xiayu unlike anyone else ever had. There had been boys who had kissed him tentatively and touched him with fumbling hands and then left him alone in the barns and fields, unable to look at him again.
Sandu Shengshou was not a boy. His hands were rough and calloused when they touched Li Xiayu's cheek, fingers curling around his jaw. Li Xiayu looked down, unable to match the intensity of that stare, dark eyelashes spreading across his flushed cheekbones.
"Xiayu," Sandu Shengshou murmured. "Look at me."
Li Xiayu shook his head and said, "I-I...Sandu Shengshou, I-"
"Shhh," Sandu Shengshou soothed. "It's alright."
He bent down and kissed Li Xiayu.
Li Xiayu gasped, mouth opening, and Sandu Shengshou deepened the kiss, cupping Li Xiayu's face and tilting it up to him. Li Xiayu clutched at the sleeves of his robe, eyes slipping shut as he surrendered to the passion. He was trembling when Sandu Shengshou pulled away.
"Come," Sandu Shengshou ordered, wrapping his arm around Li Xiayu's waist. Li Xiayu leaned into his warmth, the strength of his body, and shuddered as he was led down the walkways of the Lotus Pier. Beneath their feet were the gently rocking planks, and then the ebb and flow of the lake. The Sect Leader's quarters were far from the banquet hall, silent except for the movement of water. Sandu Shengshou opened the door, and led him inside.
There were a few lit candles, and the room felt dreamy as Li Xiayu walked through it, coming to stand in the middle. Sandu Shengshou put his sword right next to the bed, before coming to stand behind Li Xiayu, big hands settling on his waist. Li Xiayu was painfully aware of every sharp jut of skinny bone beneath his clothes. Sandu Shengshou moved Li Xiayu's hair to the side to kiss his neck.
"Sect Leader," Li Xiayu murmured. Sandu Shengshou straightened and gripped Li Xiayu's chin to make him look at him.
"Wanyin," he corrected sharply. "Call me Wanyin in here."
"Wanyin," Li Xiayu repeated. Sandu--Wanyin's face relaxed, just a little.
"Good," Wanyin said. He moved with familiarity, reaching up and undoing Li Xiayu's hair so it tumbled in a cascade down his back. His hands were so warm as they stripped Li Xiayu down to only his transparent, innermost layer.
Li Xiayu's hair spilled across the bed as he was pressed down upon it, Jiang Wanyin kissing him fervently. Li Xiayu grasped at his broad shoulders, wrapping his legs around Jiang Wanyin's waist. He flushed at the amount of skin he was showing - even during those youthful fumblings he was mostly clothed.
Jiang Wanyin pulled back, one knee on the bed and the other foot planted on the floor. He looked so solid, so unmovable, and Li Xiayu felt like he was going to snap it half from him simply staring. Jiang Wanyin pulled off his own clothes, tossing the violet silk robes aside like they were rags; his was powerfully built, made to swim in the lakes and rivers of Yunmeng, and his bronzed skin was covered in scars. Li Xiayu reached without thinking, wanting to touch the scars there.
Jiang Wanyin gripped his wrist - not enough to hurt, but enough to warn - and pressed it down against the bed.
Jiang Wanyin bent down and kissed him again, and Li Xiayu found the action mooring - he knew what the Sect Leader wanted, in that moment. They moved further up the bed, Li Xiayu's head laid on a pillow. Jiang Wanyin pulled the tie keeping Li Xiayu's inner robe together and pulled the robe apart, revealing Li Xiayu's nude body completely. He squirmed under Jiang Wanyin's scrutiny, feeling like every flaw was on display.
Jiang Wanyin bent down and pressed a kiss to Li Xiayu's throat. Li Xiayu sighed, tilting his head back as Jiang Wanyin kissed him all over, showcasing his greater experience once more. His tongue licked across Li Xiayu's nipple and the feeling was so unusual it made Li Xiayu gasped and then giggle. Jiang Wanyin smiled against his skin, the prick of his stubble scratching him, and took Li Xiayu's nipple fully into his mouth.
Li Xiayu writhed on the bed, tossing his head back and forth, never having touched his nipples before. Jiang Wanyin pinched the other with his calloused fingers, and Li Xiayu whimpered, covering his face with his own uncalloused hands. He felt Jiang Wanyin's chuckle shaking through his body, and Li Xiayu's flush spilled down to his chest, red and hot. Jiang Wanyin kissed down Li Xiayu's body, gentle as the touch of a feather, and Li Xiayu shook, his feet kicking out against the satiny bedding. Jiang Wanyin gripped his thighs and pulled them fully apart, making room for him to bend down and take Li Xiayu's cock in his mouth.
Li Xiayu gasped as he was engulfed in warm, wet heat. He had done this, but never had it done to him, and the feeling was overwhelming. He clutched at the sheets, Jiang Wanyin using his superior body weight to keep him pinned down and helpless. His head thrashed back and forth, his cries soft and helpless. A wet finger gently rubbed against his tight hole, and Li Xiayu flushed deeper - he had certainly never done that before. The thought of Sect Leader Jiang Wanyin, the great Sandu Shengshou, taking his virginity fully made Li Xiayu bite his lip, daring to look down.
Jiang Wanyin was staring at him, eyes dark and burning. The candles flickered and danced, the shadows shifting and swirling across their bodies. Li Xiayu tossed his head back, overwhelmed as Jiang Wanyin pressed in a second finger. Jiang Wanyin moved so smoothly and elegantly, radiating power and strength, and pressed his cheek against Li Xiayu's. He had stubble, Li Xiayu thought, rough against Li Xiayu's own smooth skin.
"You've never done this before?" Jiang Wanyin asked, and Li Xiayu nodded. "It's okay, just relax..."
Jiang Wanyin crooked his fingers, and a shock of overwhelming pleasure made Li Xiayu cry out, clutching at Jiang Wanyin's shoulders. Beneath his hands, Jiang Wanyin's muscles flexed, continuing to rub and press against the electrifying spot. Two fingers became three, and the stretch made Li Xiayu dizzy, another strange pleasure adding to his overstimulation.
"That's it," Jiang Wanyin murmured into his ear. "That's it, you like that?"
Li Xiayu nodded feverishly, hiding his flustered face in the crook of Jiang Wanyin's neck. Jiang Wanyin seemed to enjoy this, his ministrations becoming harder, faster. Li Xiayu shivered, tears pricking at the corners of his eyes; Jiang Wanyin kissed all over his shoulders. Li Xiayu realized he was crying in earnest now, whimpering hiccuping sobs, his body twisted up into knots.
"W-Wanyin," Li Xiayu begged.
"It's alright," Jiang Wanyin assured. "Let go, it'll help you relax..."
Li Xiayu was wound tighter and tighter, and then he snapped, coming untouched. His vision whited out and he slumped against the bed, panting and shuddering as he tried to calm down. Jiang Wanyin withdrew his fingers and stroked Li Xiayu's hair, devesting him of his sweat-soaked inner robe and tossing it aside. Li Xiayu clutched at him, desperate for his warmth, and Jiang Wanyin cuddled close, drawing Li Xiayu's legs around his waist.
"You're so beautiful," Jiang Wanyin whispered. Li Xiayu felt him, big and hard, against his hip, and whimpered at the thought of it inside him. "You're being so good."
Li Xiayu wrapped his arms tightly around Jiang Wanyin's neck, hiding his face against his shoulder, and sobbed as Jiang Wanyin pressed inside. He was so big, the stretch so strange yet so alluring. Jiang Wanyin moved slowly, not in any hurry, and nuzzled at the corner of Li Xiayu's jaw. Li Xiayu felt completely enconsed in Jiang Wanyin, surrounded by him fully, the rest of the world fallen away.
Jiang Wanyin started to move, then, and Li Xiayu cried out, nerves sparking with desire. His movements were gentle but insistent, and Li Xiayu could feel his held-back strength coiled up in his muscles. Li Xiayu let his head fall back on the pillows, gasping, and Jiang Wanyin kissed his throat, thrusts increasing in speed and power.
Li Xiayu was growing hard again. He realized this a daze, only able to focus on the face of Jiang Wanyin above him. His teeth were gritted, sweat dripping down his brow and grunts rumbling in his chest. Li Xiayu reached up and touched his cheekbone, right underneath his eye.
Jiang Wanyin caught his wrist gain and pressed it down against the bed.
His thrusts increased in power, rocking Li Xiayu up and down the bed. Li Xiayu moaned, eyes slipping shut. Jiang Wanyin gripped Li Xiayu and stroked him in time with his thrusts, and Li Xiayu arched his back, tossing his head back and forth.
"That's it," Jiang Wanyin murmured. "Come on, that's it."
Li Xiayu let go, and this orgasm felt like a full-body shudder, the feeling rolling down from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. He clenched down tight around Jiang Wanyin, and Jiang Wanyin ground his hips down, thrusts becoming slower and deeper as he built up to his own orgasm.
Jiang Wanyin tossed his head back as he came, filling Li Xiayu with a breath-stealing warmth. Li Xiayu touched his stomach, his own golden core pulsating as Jiang Wanyin's yang energy coarsed through his body. A sudden sleepiness came over him, body wrung out.
Jiang Wanyin withdrew, and slipped off the bed to get a wet cloth to clean them both up, discarding it in a dirty washbasin afterwards. He pulled the covers over both of them, arranging Li Xiayu's limp body so his head was on Jiang Wanyin's chest and Jiang Wanyin's arm was around Li Xiayu's back, pressing him close. The room was silent except for the sounds of breathing and the rush of water, almost enough to lull Li Xiayu to sleep.
"The brighter the fire, the faster it burns out," Jiang Wanyin murmured. Li Xiayu blinked and looked up, but Jiang Wanyin was not looking at him.
"Huh?" Li Xiayu asked.
"When it becomes overwhelming, remember that," Jiang Wanyin said. Li Xiayu followed his gaze across the room to the far wall, where a flute rested on a rack - ink black, with a dangling red tassel.
Li Xiayu was still staring at Chenqing when Jiang Wanyin snapped, and the candles all went out at once.