There are many reasons to love Wei Ying. Lan Zhan thinks of them often, with fervour, has lists and charts and pages of notes detailing every sweet thing Wei Ying believes is wrong with him, that Lan Zhan sees perfection in. Wei Ying is brilliant, yet he is gullible. He is strong-willed, yet naive. He trusts too easily, gives the wrong people his entire heart and soul, and it burns him in the end. Lan Zhan would never, could never dream of hurting him in such a way, no matter how beautiful he is when he cries.
It’s just after one in the morning when Lan Zhan climbs the fire escape, slides from one balcony to another, then shimmies across the side of the building to get to Wei Ying’s apartment.
It’s a terrible neighbourhood; not a single security camera in sight, and no one who would bother to follow up on the sight of a hooded man breaking into someone’s home. But Wei Ying refuses to move further away from his ungrateful, undeserving family, so there are still some lessons he must learn the hard way.
Lan Zhan slides the balcony door open slowly, slips inside, and shuts it behind him. He removes his shoes and leaves them by the door.
The apartment is dark, and quiet save for the muffled sounds of television coming from down the hall. It is of no consequence; Wei Ying cannot sleep without it on. He needs the noise, the constant stimulation, or else his thoughts become too loud to bear. Alcohol helps as well, but he often overindulges, uses it like a crutch.
A used wine glass sits in the kitchen sink, waiting to be washed in the morning. Lan Zhan picks it up in a gloved hand, pours the last few red drops into his mouth, and grimaces around the taste of something dry and cheap. He sets the glass back down, exactly where it was, and takes slow, measured steps down the hallway.
The building is weak and old, with creaky floors and rusty hinges. Wei Ying decorates his home with his own artwork and framed diplomas, trophies of his achievements, and brings the dreary space to life with photographs of family and friends. The space feels warm and inviting, and Lan Zhan can imagine it full of laughter and spirited conversation. People taking comfort in Wei Ying’s company, who have no idea the gift they’re being given.
The first door on the left is the spare room Wei Ying keeps as a home office. The door stays locked, though it would not be difficult to open. Wei Ying is precious about his work and would undoubtedly realize if someone had tampered with it. As well as Lan Zhan knows him, he suspects the passwords on his computer are much more elaborate than he could hope to guess. Besides, he has no interest in sifting through Wei Ying’s personal projects. Lan Zhan allows him to keep these secrets, for now.
The next door on the right is the bathroom. Lan Zhan enters it, flips the light on, and goes into his medicine cabinet. There are a number of prescription pills lined up, but Lan Zhan carefully selects two, then dumps the capsules into his palm to count the pills out.
Both bottles have one less than the night before.
Once he is satisfied, he replaces them and sets them back on the shelf. He switches the light off before heading further down the hall, stopping just in front of the final door.
Lan Zhan puts his hand on the knob, turning it slowly, minutely, until it opens and he’s able to push the door open a scant inch at a time.
Wei Ying’s bedroom is bathed in the dim light of the television, and his body is slumped in bed, hair wild, snoring lightly.
Lan Zhan allows himself a moment to enjoy this scene, the view private and uninhibited, before he turns the TV off. He doesn’t need the light anymore, he is able to navigate his way around this room in complete darkness, if he must.
Eleven steps to the window, where he pulls the curtains shut. Seven steps to the dresser, where he can unlock Wei Ying’s phone, deleting messages and dating app notifications as he wishes, blocking contacts as he pleases. Four steps to the bed, where Wei Ying’s sleeping form waits for him, loose-limbed from a cocktail of prescription strength muscle relaxant and sleeping aids.
He should not be taking them with alcohol. Another mistake he refuses to learn from.
Lan Zhan removes his gloves once his eyes adjust to the darkness, so he can feel Wei Ying’s skin as he strokes his face and pushes wayward strands of hair away, still wet from a shower. Relaxed in sleep, under hazy moonlight, he looks painfully, charmingly young. His plush red lips are parted invitingly, begging for a kiss. Lan Zhan may oblige him later, if the temptation becomes too much to bear.
Quickly, efficiently, Lan Zhan strips down, setting his clothes in an orderly pile on a nearby chair. He wishes for nothing to separate them, wants to feel every bare inch of Wei Ying that he can get. In the dead of summer, Wei Ying sleeps nude, but autumn is beginning to roll in and Lan Zhan finds him in loose boxers. They’re easy enough to slip his hands under and move aside.
Lan Zhan lowers himself onto the bed and pulls the covers away, settling behind Wei Ying.
He doesn’t stir.
Lan Zhan rests his arm over Wei Ying’s middle, presses a soft kiss to his earlobe, the nape of his neck, the back of his shoulder.
Still, he sleeps on.
With gentle maneuvering, Lan Zhan pushes Wei Ying onto his stomach, positioning him in a way that keeps his arms comfortable and allows him to breathe. Lan Zhan is always gentle with him. Wei Ying should appreciate the effort.
Lan Zhan hooks his fingers into the waistband of his boxers and pulls them down, over the swell of his ass, down his legs, and tugs them off entirely. It’s always a sight to behold, how his waist can be so small when his full, round cheeks fit so perfectly into Lan Zhan’s large hands. Lan Zhan leans down and gives them each a kiss, then parts them to reveal the small, enticing pucker between them. He swipes a dry finger over it, pleased to see it so tight. Wei Ying has earned Lan Zhan’s tenderness tonight.
On the nights when Wei Ying is already loose and open, Lan Zhan’s mercy runs out.
He settles between Wei Ying’s spread thighs and dives in, licking over clean, warm skin, tonguing at his hole. Oh, the noises he would make, how sweetly he might call Lan Zhan’s name as his body opens up for him. Lan Zhan’s cock stiffens at the thought of it.
He pushes one spit-slick finger in with ease, meeting no resistance. Wei Ying is so pliant and easy in sleep, as if silently encouraging Lan Zhan’s pursuits. Lan Zhan is more than happy to give Wei Ying’s body what it wants.
He reaches into the bedside table drawer, where he knows a tube of lubricant will be waiting. Cautiously, he rolls Wei Ying back onto his side, a position he favours when he’s feeling especially affectionate; it lets him hold Wei Ying close, to kiss him, to touch him and bring him to climax alongside Lan Zhan.
Wei Ying always pants and clenches so gorgeously when he comes, but never wakes.
Lan Zhan almost wishes he would.
Shattering the silence of the dark room is the squelch of slick liquid, and Lan Zhan’s deep, reverent inhale before he pushes into Wei Ying’s hole.
Lan Zhan doesn’t wait. He can’t. Wei Ying’s body is searing hot inside, begging for Lan Zhan’s cock, sucking him in further. Lan Zhan shoves himself in deeper, until the supple flesh of Wei Ying’s ass is seated firmly against Lan Zhan’s hips.
He takes relish in this moment, in the connection of their bodies, and the way Wei Ying shifts in sleep, arching his back like a plea for more. Lan Zhan holds Wei Ying’s hip in place, keeping him still as he withdraws and thrusts in once, twice, three more times. He builds a steady pace, allowing himself to feel every inch of his length carve a space into Wei Ying, where he belongs, where he deserves to be. Lan Zhan has to bite his lip to stifle his moans. Nothing has ever, nor will ever, feel so divine.
Wei Ying is slender and graceful, with miles of soft skin to explore. Lan Zhan’s fingers graze over his nipples, his throat, his meaty hip as he fucks into him with abandon. Occasionally, he reaches for Wei Ying’s soft, small dick, toying with it and cupping it in his palm. Wei Ying’s body naturally responds to Lan Zhan’s touch, quickly filling out with each caress. Wei Ying’s breathing picks up, stuttering in his chest, until he releases a sleepy groan and bucks into Lan Zhan’s hand.
But he is patient, plants soothing kisses into Wei Ying’s hair until he settles down. Lan Zhan will not let Wei Ying find his pleasure yet, not until Lan Zhan has had him at least once.
His love for Wei Ying is a selfish one, after all.
Lan Zhan mouths at the skin behind Wei Ying’s ear, shamelessly whispering his name, spilling deep inside Wei Ying until he feels milked dry. He does not pull out, gritting his teeth through the oversensitivity of Wei Ying’s delicately fluttering walls. Lan Zhan knows he will harden again quickly at the mere thought that Wei Ying will carry his seed in him tonight, as though it might take root: a primal claiming, a secret that only Lan Zhan and Wei Ying’s body will know.
This time, Lan Zhan moves with purpose, grinding deeply against the spot inside him that makes Wei Ying’s cute little dick dribble wetly into Lan Zhan’s hand. Even in sleep, Wei Ying is restless and eager, twitching around Lan Zhan’s cock and making small noises of want. He licks a stripe up Wei Ying’s neck, where his skin is hot and flushed. It is nowhere near as satisfying as sinking his teeth into his tender flesh and marking him up with blood and fire, but it is satisfying enough for now. He makes many sacrifices for Wei Ying.
Lan Zhan can tell when he’s close, feels it as Wei Ying’s muscles clench, sees it in the way his eyebrows draw together as he whimpers. Lan Zhan drinks these precious moments in, when Wei Ying’s pleasure is so evident and desired, and only Lan Zhan can provide it. The long lines of Wei Ying’s body pull tight like a coil and he turns his head just enough for Lan Zhan to be able to lick into his mouth, tasting cinnamon toothpaste. But Wei Ying does not kiss back, does not awaken, just comes with a soft sigh into Lan Zhan’s palm. Lan Zhan brings his hand to his mouth and cleans it with his tongue, lets all the flavours of Wei Ying tip him over the edge, adding a second load into him and painting him like a masterpiece from within.
Wei Ying’s body sags into the mattress, as if falling into an even deeper sleep. It’s painfully endearing, how little he can take, how easy it is to tire him out. Lan Zhan holds him, pouring all of his tenderness into each touch and stroke, savouring the seamless way their bodies fit together. This is how Wei Ying should always be held. This is how they should be. No one knows what Wei Ying wants and needs, more than Lan Zhan.
It is a shame to part.
Lan Zhan accomplishes the cursory clean-up in a handful of minutes, dresses again, and pulls the covers securely over Wei Ying. His eyelashes flutter as Lan Zhan drops a kiss onto his forehead, so Lan Zhan resists the urge to steal a kiss from his mouth. Before he leaves, he turns the TV back on.
He slips back out through the balcony, climbs his way back down to the ground, and walks three blocks to get to his parked car. He holds off until morning to shower, to keep the warmth of Wei Ying’s body pressed into his own, and falls into a deep, dreamless sleep.
Twelve hours later, there is a knock on Lan Zhan’s office door. “Come in,” he says steadily, though his pulse picks up.
The door opens.
“Hey!” Wei Ying says, a cheerful but nervous greeting. “I’m really sorry I’m late. I was out with some friends for lunch and it ran long, I wasn’t paying attention to the time.”
Something bitter burns in the pit of Lan Zhan’s stomach. “It’s alright, Wei Ying. No need to apologize. Have a seat.”
Wei Ying brightens, shutting the door behind him and curling up on the loveseat at the other end of the room. He winces when he sits down, but says nothing about it. Lan Zhan rises from his desk with a pad of paper and pen in hand, takes a seat on the armchair opposite him, and clicks the pen open.
“How was your week?” he asks.
“Okay. Uneventful,” Wei Ying hums. He twirls his hair with his fingers; one of the four ways Lan Zhan has catalogued that shows he’s being dishonest. But Lan Zhan cannot prod, cannot force Wei Ying to divulge more than he wants to. So he waits, patient and understanding, until Wei Ying heaves an exaggerated sigh and continues. “Ugh. Fine. My week was shit. I’m behind on work and I’m fighting with my brother again.”
“One thing at a time,” Lan Zhan says, making a note in quick, neat strokes. “Tell me about work.”