Shen Wei was, by any measure, a patient man.
Waiting ten thousand years to be reunited with the love of one’s life had a way of instilling patience.
He was also a strategic man. The Black Cloak Envoy had mastered strategy long before Kunlun stumbled into his life.
It was true that Shen Wei hadn’t needed to be as patient or strategic lately – Ye Zun’s rehabilitation, the Dixing renaissance, these things had made his life less complicated, with more time to focus on being Professor Shen and Zhao Yunlan’s husband.
But, when a situation warranted it, Shen Wei could easily develop a plan to deal with it, then wait until the perfect time to strike.
For instance, Zhao Yunlan might decide it would be hilarious to take advantage of his husband’s unfamiliarity with modern technology by texting Shen Wei “noods,” or photos of himself eating noodles. Had he been aware that naïve, smitten Shen Wei might end up telling a student all about his lovely husband sending him “noods”? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, something needed to be done in response.
Not immediately, of course. First, Shen Wei had to endure a very awkward conversation with Jiajia where she tried to explain the university’s sexual harassment policy to him until the confused embarrassment on his face convinced her to look at his phone. After she stopped laughing, she explained the prank Zhao Yunlan had pulled.
“Nude photos? On a phone?” Shen Wei had asked her, blinking a few times as he tried to make sense of what she’d told him. “People really do that? No, don’t tell me more. I just hadn’t realized.”
It left Shen Wei with a lot to think about during his commute that evening. After a lifetime of trying to stay covered and concealed, it was hard to fathom sending actual nudes. Then again, if Zhao Yunlan was the one doing the sending… Shen Wei shook his head and tried to mentally plan out his lecture for the next day. He still needed to figure out what to do about Zhao Yunlan’s prank before he got lost in an erotic daydream.
Shen Wei’s dear, sweet, wonderful, awful, maddening husband must have told Da Qing what he’d done, as the cat couldn’t contain his laughter when Shen Wei arrived home that night. Of course Ye Zun wanted to know what was so funny, which led to even more teasing. How had Ye Zun learned about nudes before Shen Wei? On second thought, maybe it was better not to know.
All the while, as Da Qing and Ye Zun kept cracking up at Shen Wei’s expense, Zhao Yunlan watched, as if expecting Shen Wei to lose his cool, to give a reaction. Well, he wasn’t going to get one.
Shen Wei, master of the mask, put on his most serene smile and began crafting a plan.
“This has all been very enlightening,” he said, rising from the dinner table, “but the excitement has gotten to me. I think I’ll go to bed early.”
Zhao Yunlan waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
Zhao Yunlan’s face fell.
It took all of Shen Wei’s self-control not to kiss the frown off his husband, but this was war, even if Zhao Yunlan might not yet know it.
War is hell. For all involved.
The next two weeks pushed Shen Wei close to his breaking point. Never in their relationship had he and Zhao Yunlan gone this long without having sex. Resisting Zhao Yunlan’s advances had been easy enough at first but things became harder (full pun intended) as the days passed by.
Still, Shen Wei held firm.
(He held very firm. Often in the shower before work, the bathroom door carefully locked as the spray of water concealed the sounds he couldn’t hold back.)
Exhaustion, a headache, late meetings, wanting to spend time with Ye Zun – Shen Wei worked through all the excuses he could think of to thwart Zhao Yunlan’s endless onslaught of advances.
There was the hug from behind while Shen Wei was cooking, Zhao Yunlan pressing into him, grinding against Shen Wei’s ass until Ye Zun made a comment about kitchen hygiene and Da Qing complained about being hungry. Shen Wei silently thanked them, then took his own frustration out on the vegetables he was chopping.
Stuck in traffic during their morning commute, Zhao Yunlan rested his hand on Shen Wei’s thigh, then let it edge closer to where Shen Wei’s traitorous cock was starting to call for a ceasefire to the recent hostilities. Fortunately (or maybe not), the cars in front started to move and Zhao Yunlan needed both hands to drive.
For the first time in months, Zhao Yunlan asked Shen Wei to drop by SID headquarters in the middle of the day to look over evidence. It soon became clear that Zhao Yunlan had something on his mind other than a case, as he closed the door to his office before pulling Shen Wei into his lap.
“We’re out of chairs.” Zhao Yunlan’s breath was hot against his ear and Shen Wei was tempted to give in and let Zhao Yunlan finish unbuttoning his shirt until Da Qing’s laughter echoed through the door, reminding Shen Wei of why he was in this fight.
“Hasn’t it been a while since Zhao Xinci stopped by for a surprise inspection?” Only his quick reflexes saved him from falling to the floor as Zhao Yunlan practically shoved him out of his lap.
Sharing a bed complicated matters, but Shen Wei did his best to persevere.
“Why are you wearing those pajamas?” Zhao Yunlan asked the first night Shen Wei put on the thick flannel ones he’d bought for a camping trip. “Actually, why are you wearing pajamas at all? You’ve slept naked since…”
“Then let your husband warm you up.”
“Fine. You can get me another blanket.”
Dark energy helped Shen Wei stay cool under the excessive layers of fabric, but it did nothing to stop his unconscious body from curling around his husband while they slept, his dreams full of visions of wet lips and the glide of slick bodies and the pretty noises Zhao Yunlan made when Shen Wei thrust into him.
Shen Wei had always been the first to wake, and that was all that saved him from being discovered each morning as he regretfully disentangled himself from Zhao Yunlan.
Not much longer, he reminded himself as one week of celibacy began approaching two.
Zhao Yunlan’s discreet attempts to adjust his jeans, the longer time he spent in the bathroom each morning, the way he kept licking his lips as he stared at Shen Wei’s fitted suits – those were all signs that Shen Wei’s valiant sacrifice would pay off.
Being director of the SID had considerable benefits, or so Zhao Yunlan claimed. The pay was better than that of a regular police chief, there was flexibility in scheduling, and the dress code was relaxed.
The benefits came with a price. A few times a year, Chief Zhao had to endure the mixing and mingling at dinner meetings held by the Xingdu Bureau. There was little learned at such functions – they mainly presented opportunities for the eager and ambitious to suck up to and schmooze with those who outranked them.
For Zhao Yunlan, these were especially uncomfortable events, the disgusting ladder climbing compounded by his father’s presence. Shen Wei knew this because his husband always complained about them well in advance, the whining giving Shen Wei the information he needed to implement the final piece of his revenge plot.
Getting the house to himself proved surprisingly easy. A few casual suggestions in front of Guo Changcheng at SID headquarters meant that Ye Zun and Da Qing had been invited out for a night of socializing.
“You’re up to something,” Da Qing had said when Shen Wei assured Ye Zun it was fine to stay out past midnight. “I don’t know what it is, and I don’t want to find out. We won’t be back until after noon tomorrow.”
The solitude afforded Shen Wei time for research, putting Zhao Yunlan’s lessons on navigating the internet to use as he searched on his phone for what he needed to know.
Following the guide he found online, Shen Wei adjusted the lighting in the living room, then chose his outfit with care. Clothing taken care of, all that was left to do was wait for the time to strike.
7:05 – SW: How’s the meeting?
7:06 – ZYL: Awful. I miss my sweet sexy husband 💕
Shen Wei found himself clutching the phone to his chest, the sudden surge of affection for Zhao Yunlan threatening to undermine his resolve.
7:07 – ZYL: My husband knows how to cook. Look at this – it’s awful.
Attached to the last message was a photo of some rather sad looking noodles.
7:08 – ZYL: But I got to send you noods again 🤣🤣🤣
Nothing, Shen Wei decided, tasted sweeter than revenge.
7:09 – SW: Maybe I’ll have something waiting for you when you get home 😉
7:09 – ZYL: You’re too good to me.
7:10 – SW: Indeed. But since you refuse to pay attention to the meeting you can help me prepare for one. What do you think of this outfit?
The first shot was easy – a bathroom mirror selfie, nothing notable about it apart from the fact that Shen Wei was far too overdressed for a quiet evening in.
7:11 – ZYL: Stunning as always Professor Shen. You know I love it when you do the jacket and the vest 😍
Excellent. That was the reaction Shen Wei had been hoping for. He moved back to the living room, stripping off the jacket before positioning himself on the sofa.
7:15 – SW: What about with only the vest?
The second photo he sent was innocent enough – nothing scandalous about it unless one knew that Zhao Yunlan had a thing for sleeve garters.
7:15 – ZYL: 🔥🔥🔥
7:20 – SW: You’re right. I’d better lose the vest. It’s too hot.
Okay. Now he was moving into suggestive territory – nothing so extreme that Zhao Yunlan would get into trouble if prying eyes caught a glimpse of his phone, not yet, but Shen Wei’s clothes were still more revealing than anything he would wear in public. The rolled up sleeves weren’t that racy by themselves, but with Shen Wei reclining back against the sofa, the top three buttons of his shirt undone, there was no way this look could be interpreted as a simple inquiry about wardrobe planning.
7:21 – ZYL: Holy shit, Shen Wei! I wasn’t talking about the vest 🌶😘
7:24 – SW: Oh. You meant the shirt then.
The accompanying photo required more bravery than Shen Wei had realized. The shot was good – he was glad he’d read up on proper lighting techniques – but to send an image of him lying on his back, shirt unbuttoned and untucked, his trouser fly undone and open – well, he could only hope that Zhao Yunlan had the good sense to keep his screen hidden at this point.
7:26 – ZYL: Fuck you’re hot. Made me drop my phone and Minister Gao almost saw. So maybe stop for now? There’s 2 more hours of this shit and I still have to give the SID report. Standing up. Where everyone will see that I have a noticeable problem!!! Just hold on. I’ll be home soon.
Shen Wei sent the last photo fifteen minutes later. He wanted to say it was to lure Zhao Yunlan into a sense of safety to make the final blow hit all the harder. In reality, he struggled to get the pose right and figure out the timer on the phone’s camera, but finally he had it.
It was a tasteful photo, but still pornographic by any standard. After stripping off the remainder of his clothing, he’d propped the phone against a stack of books positioned between his knees, so that the camera was angled up his body. The lighting accentuated his face, his chest, his thighs. And of course, centered perfectly, his cock, fully erect, his fingers wrapped around it.
Staring at it, he almost didn’t recognize himself. He hesitated for a second, then typed out a quick message and hit send.
7:41 – SW: You said to hold on…
Five minutes passed, then ten, then twenty, but no response seemed forthcoming. Was Zhao Yunlan angry? Did someone see his phone? Had Shen Wei gone too far with the last one?
The longer he waited, the stronger his anxious uncertainty grew. Unsure of what else to do, he pulled on his trousers and shirt. Was it ridiculous to do up the buttons since he was home alone? Maybe. But it made him feel less vulnerable as he considered the mess he’d made of the living room.
Cleaning was calming. He would neaten up, take a hot shower, and then… well, he’d know how bad the damage was when Zhao Yunlan made it home.
He was almost finished tidying when he heard the slam of the front door, followed by keys being tossed on the end table.
“Zhao Yunlan, is that…”
Shen Wei’s question was cut off as Zhao Yunlan crashed their lips together, managing to kick off his boots and shrug out of his jacket as he kept walking forward, backing Shen Wei toward their bedroom.
The clothes in Shen Wei’s arms fell to the floor, forgotten, as he reached for Zhao Yunlan instead. For days he'd held back, restraining himself before he could touch Zhao Yunlan as he pleased. Finally free, he let his hands wander, lingering when Zhao Yunlan made appreciative groans in his mouth.
It was good, but it wasn't enough. There was still fabric separating them. Shen Wei found the hem of Zhao Yunlan's shirt - why did the man always have to wear pullovers, even to formal events?
(Because of how they hugged his arms and shoulders. Because Shen Wei once confessed that he found it hot how Zhao Yunlan flaunted ridiculous rules of decorum.)
Shen Wei fumbled with the shirt, trying to work it up Zhao Yunlan's body, his task complicated by the fact that he was still being marched backward. Zhao Yunlan shifted his arms to get them through the sleeves, breaking off the kiss only long enough for Shen Wei to pull the shirt over his head.
He had missed touching Zhao Yunlan. He didn’t realize how badly until he was free to let his hands wander, savoring the feel of exposed skin and the enthusiastic sounds Zhao Yunlan made in response. Shen Wei’s shirt constricted around him as needy fingers dug in, pulling it tight. He reached for his buttons, but Zhao Yunlan swatted him away, taking over the job instead.
There was some graceless fumbling but soon his shirt was open, Zhao Yunlan’s hands just as eager as his own to touch and explore. They had somehow made it to the bedroom, which was a good thing because Shen Wei was pretty sure Zhao Yunlan wasn’t far from abandoning the bed for the floor (not that he was opposed to such things).
Shen Wei turned his attention to Zhao Yunlan’s fly, deftly undoing the button and the zip so he could palm Zhao Yunlan’s erection through his briefs. Zhao Yunlan stumbled forward, clinging to Shen Wei’s shoulders in a way that was both endearing and arousing. Shen Wei wrapped his arms around Zhao Yunlan to steady him, softly laughing as he trailed kisses along Zhao Yunlan’s face.
Zhao Yunlan groaned and tried to thrust forward, stumbling again.
In all his fantasies from ancient Haixing, Shen Wei had imagined Kunlun as the perfect lover. And in reality, Zhao Yunlan was, just not in ways younger Shen Wei had considered.
There was nothing more perfect than having his arms full of the chaotic force that was his husband, wanting him so much that he tripped over his own feet.
“You have tortured me for two fucking weeks,” Zhao Yunlan growled. “And now you’re laughing at me.”
The grip on Shen Wei’s shoulder loosened, then there was tight pressure along his waist as Zhao Yunlan shoved his hand down Shen Wei’s trousers. Fingers curled around his cock and Shen Wei whimpered, his own legs failing him, causing him to topple backward until the bed caught him.
“Serves you right,” Zhao Yunlan said, following him onto the bed. “Not letting me touch you for days. See if I ever let you out of this bed again.”
Shen Wei reached for the lamp, but Zhao Yunlan caught his hand. “Please let me look at you.”
His next kiss was gentle, even as his fingers weren't as they struggled with Shen Wei’s fly. Shen Wei lifted his hips to help as Zhao Yunlan tugged at his trousers, pushing them down to his knees
“Shen Wei, you’re not wearing underwear.” Zhao Yunlan’s eyes were wide and he licked his lips, then shook a finger at Shen Wei. “That’s it. You’re never wearing underwear again. I expressly forbid it.”
“Says the man who’s still overdressed.”
Zhao Yunlan laughed and began stripping the last of his clothes while Shen Wei kicked his trousers all the way off. He sat up to slide out of his unbuttoned shirt, but Zhao Yunlan stopped him.
“Leave it. I like Professor Shen’s nice shirts. I hope he sends me many more photos of him wearing them. Or not.”
The look on his face left Shen Wei flooded with embarrassment, affection, and desire. Unsure of how else to cope, he grabbed Zhao Yunlan, pulling him down so that their bodies were flush, cutting off any further commentary with a kiss.
Finally. After weeks, two agonizing weeks, there was the comforting press of Zhao Yunlan’s weight bearing down on him, arms holding him tight as Zhao Yunlan kissed him back with the same intensity. It felt like something Shen Wei couldn’t quite put into words, almost like coming home.
And that made sense. Because Zhao Yunlan was home - a home that promised there would be no more endless years of lonely longing, a home that through sheer force of will built a family around Shen Wei, filling his life with more love than he’d ever thought possible.
Maybe Zhao Yunlan realized that Shen Wei’s emotions were about to overwhelm him, or maybe he was simply too wound up after weeks of being pushed away. Whatever the reason, he shifted his body, positioning himself between Shen Wei’s thighs and… Shen Wei broke the kiss, gasping as Zhao Yunlan’s cock brushed against his own.
Zhao Yunlan laughed, stilling his body against Shen Wei’s.
“I don’t know, Shen Wei. It’s been a long day. We should probably both sleep and try this again later. Maybe in two weeks?”
His laugh became a whimper as Shen Wei thrust upward.
“As if you could last two more weeks.” He meant to sound stern but Shen Wei couldn’t keep the smile out of his voice, not with a naked Zhao Yunlan lying on top of him.
“Maybe not, but I could try.”
“Or, you could move.”
“Bossy. You think that just because you’re a distinguished professor and some big-name Dixingren you can order me around. You can, you know. I like it when you tell me what to do.”
“Then why aren't you moving?”
“You said I could move. You didn’t say I had…”
Shen Wei rolled his hips upward again and Zhao Yunlan made a noise that left Shen Wei with no choice but to do it a third time.
“Fine, fine. How about like this?”
Then it was Shen Wei who was no longer able to speak, his words replaced with a whine that Zhao Yunlan rewarded by repeating the slow drag of his cock against Shen Wei’s. It wasn’t possible to hold still, not when Zhao Yunlan was teasing him like that.
This wasn’t exactly how Shen Wei had planned for the night to end. The two of them in bed, yes, but doing something far more elaborate than frantically thrusting and grinding into one another. But sometimes simple was best.
Simple meant there was no need to worry about preparation or technique or getting things perfect. Which meant there was also no need to worry about getting things wrong.
Shen Wei could rock into Zhao Yunlan, matching his pace, returning each of Zhao Yunlan's thrusts with his own. He kissed Zhao Yunlan's mouth and face and neck, gasping out how much he loved the man, how much he'd missed him, wanted him.
He ran his hands along Zhao Yunlan's shoulders, down his spine, past the dip of his lower back, then on to his hips, Shen Wei's fingers digging in as Zhao Yunlan moved faster. All Shen Wei wanted was to stay lost in the sensation of hot skin and the glide of bodies, slick from sweat and precum.
Zhao Yunlan sped up, his movements no longer as deliberate and controlled. His mouth was against Shen Wei's, open in not quite a kiss, his breath hot on Shen Wei's face.
Shen Wei loved it when Zhao Yunlan started to come apart, his bold demeanor melting into something more desperate.
Zhao Yunlan could have had a wide choice of lovers. Instead he chose Shen Wei - not the Envoy, not Professor Shen, but Shen Wei himself, without the mask or the title. The fact that Shen Wei could make Zhao Yunlan completely lose himself… it was almost overwhelming, even after all the years they'd been together.
Shen Wei knew he was getting close, that he wouldn’t be able to hold out much longer, not with how Zhao Yunlan was moving now, the perfect pressure with the frantic pace. It only took a few more thrusts and he was done for, groaning out Zhao Yunlan’s name as his climax spilled between them.
“Ah, Shen Wei, yes, like that. You’re so pretty when you…” Zhao Yunlan’s rambling words got cut off as his own body stilled, his cock pulsing through his orgasm as he collapsed panting on top of Shen Wei.
“I could fall asleep just like this,” he mumbled into Shen Wei’s shoulder when he finally recovered.
“No, because I won’t let you. You need a shower and so do I. Come on. After we wash off, I’ll heat up food for you.”
“You cooked for me?”
“I remembered the last Xingdu Bureau dinner. They really do need to hire a new caterer.”
“Shen Wei, what did I ever do to deserve you?”
“More than I could ever tell you. Even if I had ten thousand years to try.”
“Why did you keep pushing me away?”
Showered and fed, they had returned to the bedroom, Zhao Yunlan curled against Shen Wei.
“You really don’t know?”
“No clue. At first I thought you really were tired – you work too hard, Shen Wei. After a few days, I wondered if you were mad at me, but you didn’t seem upset and you kept cooking for me. I considered that you were tired of me as a husband, but you didn’t seem like you wanted me out of our bed. You don’t look sick – I’m not an expert on Dixingren diseases, but I figured Ye Zun would notice if something was off. And then you sent those pics tonight and…”
“Right. You sent nudes and…”
“No. You sent me noods… with the bowl of noodles, two weeks ago. When I was at work. I told Jiajia. I even told her they were nice noods and…”
“I did. Because my husband, the man I have loved for over ten thousand years, the man I trust above all others, did not bother to explain to me the difference between noods and nudes. Stop laughing.”
“Sorry, sorry,” Zhao Yunlan said, clearly not sorry. “How did Jiajia take it?”
“We had a moment that can only be described as awkward, but eventually we sorted it. No thanks to you, I might add. Then I got home and Da Qing and Ye Zun were laughing about it. I remembered the upcoming Xingdu Bureau dinner and, well, you know the rest.”
“You seriously planned out tonight two weeks ago? Shen Wei, that’s very cunning of you.”
“You do remember that I used to be a general?”
“Of course. But you’re not supposed to turn against your husband.”
“He seemed happy enough in the end.”
“Fair point. Anyway, you more than got your revenge. You sent the final one right as I made it to the podium to deliver the SID’s report.”
“Why were you looking at your phone then?”
“I needed my notes. Instead I got nudes. The meeting got the most succinct report I’ve ever given, then I got the hell out of there. My lie for tomorrow is that the noodles made me sick.”
“Those were some sad noods you sent me,” Shen Wei said. “Mine are better.”
“Oh I agree. My husband’s nudes are the best. I am the luckiest man in all of Haixing.” Shen Wei hugged Zhao Yunlan tighter. “You have to send me more.”
“I… all right.”
“Really? You? Who won’t leave the house with his shirt untucked? You will send me nudes? Regularly and not part of some revenge plot?”
“Yes. On one condition.”
“Anything you want. Just name it.”
“You have to send me nudes. Not noods. But nudes. We can trade.”
“You drive a hard bargain, Shen Wei, but I accept your terms. Although maybe we should negotiate appropriate times to send them.”
Shen Wei laughed, “Appropriate timing is suddenly important to you? I wonder why that might be.”
“No reason. Just wanted to be considerate of my wonderful, beautiful husband.”
“Good. Now let’s get some sleep. I need to be up early enough to collect the trail of clothes we left in the living room before Da Qing and Ye Zun get home.”
“Fine. I’m exhausted anyway. Just gotta do one thing first.” As Zhao Yunlan shifted in his arms, reaching for something on the nightstand, Shen Wei pressed a kiss to his cheek and closed his eyes.
The sound of Zhao Yunlan’s camera caused them to snap open.
“There. I’m setting that as my phone background.”
“You will not. Someone might see.”
“You’re right. I’ll set it as my lock screen. That way they’ll definitely see.”
“I won’t. I can even delete it if you want. But look at us, Shen Wei. We look good together.”
“We do,” Shen Wei said, marveling at the image on Zhao Yunlan’s screen. “Maybe instead of deleting it, you could send it to me instead?”
“There. Sent. Which means you now owe me a photo.”
“Which I will provide later,” Shen Wei said, grabbing the phone from his husband’s hand, depositing on the nightstand before turning out the lamp. “Now sleep. Neither of us have to work tomorrow and it’s been a long two weeks. I have plans for you.”
“I like how you think, Shen Wei.”
There was a quick press of lips against his own, then Zhao Yunlan settled his head back on Shen Wei’s chest.
Would their life together always be like this, a jumbled mess of laughter and lust and love? Shen Wei certainly hoped so.