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Pride of a Trash Lout

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“Your inability to act never ceases to amaze,” Cale says mildly, and Choi Han, as usual, looked like a terribly dejected puppy, woebegone expression filtering through at the realization he had disappointed his Cale-nim.

“My apologies, Cale-nim,” he says regretfully, and Cale sighs.

“It’s fine. Not like you had much reason to act where you were,” he says dryly. “I’ll figure something out. If you want to help me achieve my slacker life, acting will need to be second nature. At least, you need to be able to keep a straight face,” Cale explains to his captive audience, who nods along, enraptured as always.

“So I don’t need to act?” Choi Han says hopefully, and Cale sighs.

“You need to be able to keep a straight face. That’s not the same thing as acting,” he tries, and Choi Han’s face lightens with clear hope.

“I’ll figure something out for you,” he says with a deep sigh, and Choi Han’s face beams radiance. Taking a sip of his drink, Cale watches Choi Han go, before the door quietly snicks shut behind Choi Han.

“I shouldn’t have said anything,” Cale grumbles into his glass of wine.

Anyone else, and Choi Han would have nodded, looked a little regretful, and then promptly ignored. But because it was his Cale-nim, Choi Han immediately went into a desperate, almost puppy-like want to make him happy. If it wasn’t so annoying, Cale might have even smiled.

Instead, he allows his head to smack into the table.

“Fuck me,” he grumbles, before propping his head up into a hand. “Why is this so difficult? It’s not like he doesn’t try to act, he’s just so bad at it.” Normally, Cale wouldn’t vent in such a manner, not when Choi Han could return at any moment, but there was a very specific limit on what he could put up with, and he’d reached it.

“Is something wrong, Young Master?” Ron’s voice asks, and Cale bites down his instinctive reaction from a jump, to just the barest twitch of his shoulders.

“One of these days, I will make good on my promise to put a bell on you, Ron,” Cale manages, visibly tense. If Choi Han was an obedient bastard, Ron was a gleeful bastard, to which Cale fleetingly wished he’d gained enough bravery to strangle the butler in his sleep.

Ugh. Choi Han was rubbing off on him if he was actively contemplating work during his slacking time.

“Of course, Young Master,” Ron says, smiling politely. A glance, and Cale can sense the faint impression of the man smirking at him.

Don’t strangle the butler. You won’t survive the experience, no matter how tempting. Cease and desist, Cale. His empty bottle is removed, and almost gleefully, a hot cup of lemon tea is deposited before him.

Cale grits his teeth. Perhaps something creative would happen to Ron after all. Cale had always wondered if he could move water he couldn’t see, and it would be an interesting experiment to find out with.

The murderous thoughts fade quickly enough, and Cale instead decides to put Ron to work instead.

“Ron,” he asks, keeps his expression as flat and bored as he can. “I have a question for you.” The butler’s head tilts, but he smiles genially enough.

Well, genial for a man who could probably kill Cale fifty different ways with a bag of tea.

“Of course, Young Master. What might this humble servant do to assist?” The words were probably sincere, if Cale ignored the smirking mockery behind the deferential demeanor.

“How can you teach someone to act?” Cale asks, and he’s surprised to see a flicker of intrigue flit over Ron’s face.

“Aren’t you quite adept, Young Master? After all, you play the part of a lout quite well.”

“It’s not a part,” Cale defends, and the butler pretends to ignore his words. “Ugh. Whatever. How do you do it?”

“I don’t think my method is what the young Master really wants to know,” Ron says, and Cale glares at him irritably.

“Just answer the question,” he decides on saying, ignoring the slightly smug look on Ron’s face. It was not his problem, as long as it stayed out of his eyesight, it wasn’t his problem.

Ever.

“Is this for that stray punk you’ve picked up?” Ron asks, and Cale glares at him over his cup of tea.

“Why ask stupid questions you know the answer to?” Cale complains, exasperated.

It’s not like it’s hard to notice that Choi Han’s acting was rather sloppy. The poor thing couldn’t act if Cale hit him over the head with a brick and told him to play dead.

Actually, the brick would probably bre- what a bad metaphor for someone like Choi Han. Ugh. Fine.

If someone was going to teach this idiot to act, it would have to be him. Cale Henituse. With another sigh, Cale kisses the last of his free time goodbye, swallowing the last of the sour drink with a grimace.

“Never mind. I’ll deal with it myself. Let everyone know Choi Han and I are going to be leaving town for a month, and not to follow.”

Those creepy eyes follow him until the door snicks shut behind him too, just as it had Choi Han.

 


 

Ron pensively strokes his chin, considering his young pup with a smile. So the pup had meant it seriously, then, not merely a frustrated complaint on that punk’s behavior. Truthfully, he wasn’t sure he’d have changed his answer, if only to see the minute changes in his expression.

There was a certain delight in knowing that despite the young pup’s frustration, he would ever so subtly refrain from giving the man a piece of his mind the way he would anyone else. Chuckling, Ron picks up the finished, discarded lemon tea.

“I wonder what that young pup will come up with. I’m sure it will be… educational.”

 


 

In general, Cale didn’t tend to bother Choi Han when the man was training. Sometimes, of course, he would watch, curious as to why the man would train so hard, but he’d long since learned that very little made sense when it came to this ridiculous swordsman.

Like the fact that he was training after their - much too early - meeting.

If beating some acting into you was possible, I would have done it a long time ago just to spare myself the annoyance.

“Pack whatever supplies you need for a month that isn’t clothing, about two round-trip total,” Cale tells Choi Han, expression flat. “Just the two of us. We'll leave in a week.”

“... Cale-nim?” Choi Han says, looking bewildered. Cale sighs, turning to face Choi Han.

“Just do it,” Cale says flatly, not in the mood. Whatever it is that Choi Han sees in his expression makes the man brighten as though Cale had handed him the secrets of the universe.

Cale’s brow twitches. This goddamn man was too energetic.

“Of course, Cale-nim!” The other man practically cheers, and Cale resists the desire to shield his eyes from painfully puppy-like radiance.

Ugh. Why. Turning away, Cale can feel how Choi Han wavers, clearly fighting his urge to ask Cale something inane - and losing. He can tell when Choi Han eagerly catches up to him, towel wrapped around his neck and lean fingers holding the ends.

"Where are we going?" He asks, a bright smile on his lips. Cale wants him to dial it down. It's much too early in the day for this shit.

… It was barely past noon, but Choi Han was too much on even a good day.

"Somewhere with lots of casinos," Cale says dryly. It's but a spur of the moment choice, but upon a quick reflection, it would also be ideal. Casinos were large, spacious places, plenty of people to emulate and learn from.

And easier to hide in.

It was also much easier to coax Choi Han to a casino than a débutante ball, even if his sense of noble fashion leaned towards dreadful.

"We'll be visiting a tailor, too, before we go," Cale determines, glancing at Choi Han with an appraising eye. The swordsman shifts, cheeks flushing. "I'll pick out your things, no arguing about it, understood?"

"A-ah, yes, Cale-nim," he mumbles, looking flustered. Stopping, Cale gives him a sharp look, turning to face a startled Choi Han. "Cale-nim?" The soldier squeaks, Cale reaching out and taking a small selection of hair between his fingers. A tug bends him down, and Choi Han stays dutifully bent, gunmetal eyes pleading helplessly for his usually non-tactile liege to give him an answer.

As normal, Cale ignores him.

"Hmm… now that I'm taking a better look, your hair has a bit of a reddish tint." Cale twirls the strands between his fingers. "Not wine colored… too red for plum… ah. Mulberry. That's what this color is," Cale muses, letting go at last, an embarrassed-looking Choi Han straightening from his position.

"We'll stop by the tailor today, after you wash," Cale orders, Choi Han nodding frantically.

"Y-Yes Cale-nim!" Choi Han looked awfully flushed, Cale thought to himself, watching the swordsman practically sprint back to the training grounds to gather his things. Cale's brow twitches again.

"The hell's up with him?"

 


 

Choi Han is suddenly very glad he had a room (and bath) all to himself when he manages to return and get ready to change for his… appointment.

That single look from his liege, the careful study of Choi Han, long fingers that had twisted in his hair and made him feel as though he was made of Cale-nim's coveted gold… Choi Han shivers in the heat of the bath, a low groan escaping his lips. His hand, the traitor, quickly slides down between his legs to touch the raging hardon that had come from the mere thought of being prized in Cale-nim’s eyes.

He wonders if his liege thinks of him the way he thinks of Cale-nim. After a moment, he huffs a laugh. No, of course not. His liege had no time for such a lowly swordsman as himself. Though, that did not stop Choi Han from dreaming, from desiring.

From imagining.

Closing his eyes as he sinks into the bath, Choi Han can imagine his liege, bored and tired, reading through stacks of paperwork with a scowl. He'd still scowl at Choi Han when he arrived, too late for a casual hello, but it would lighten, just marginally at the sight of him.

"You should be asleep," Cale-nim would say, eyes warning him that Cale-nim was not in the mood for much horseplay tonight. Perhaps, Choi Han would smile, slow and feral in a way he doesn't normally, an expression reserved for his liege alone.

"I couldn't sleep," Choi Han would say, dressed sparsely in only his sleeping pants and nothing else. They both know what he wants, and Cale-nim's scowl lessens a little more for him.

"Of course you couldn't," Cale-nim would sigh, extending long fingers out to gesture for him to come closer. Obedient as ever, Choi Han would kneel between Cale-nim's soft thighs, breath hitching at the realization his liege was only dressed in an oversized dress shirt and little else.

Of course, his liege would know right away that tonight was a night he wished to indulge. Choi Han can’t resist the slightly dirty laugh that spills from his lips, shakes his head with a smile. His wonderful, clever, powerful liege was clearly beyond Choi Han, yet here he sat, ready to worship him.

Choi Han would skim his fingers over the milky white flesh, fingers creeping towards the lowest three buttons of the shirt to expose his prize. Cale-nim is easily annoyed by him when he does that, lingers on his softness rather than taking Cale-nim in his mouth right away.

Choi Han knows how this plays out, but still, he touches against that soft flesh happily. Long, pale fingers tangle in dark hair, tug his neck back. If he wanted to, he could keep from moving even an inch, and resist Cale-nim's silent order.

But it's not that kind of night, not when Cale-nim was so busy… so Choi Han docilely allows himself to be manhandled, to meet those cherrywood eyes with a lazy, indulgent grin.

He obeys the unspoken order, not really upset that his liege had cut his fun off. Three buttons are undone, fabric shifted aside to expose Cale-nim's soft cock. Slowly, he ran his tongue over that soft thigh, kissing the space where Cale-nim's legs joined, lavishing his worship there until Cale-nim’s hand pushes against his head gently, scolding him.

“Later,” Cale-nim says in annoyance. “I have work to do.” Choi Han whines softly, but nuzzles a thigh in apology. Those cold eyes warm a little, Cale-nim’s lips curl just in the slightest, no longer scowling. Not that anyone else could tell.

Choi Han was excited, delighted, even, to know that he and he alone could tell Cale-nim’s secret expressions. So he obeys - of course he does - taking Cale-nim’s soft cock into his mouth, gently coaxing him to hardness. It didn’t take long to get him hard, wet fluid leaking into Choi Han’s mouth, and he purrs, settles in to wait until Cale-nim was done, happy to warm his liege’s cock in the meantime.

He loves nights like this. Nights where Cale-nim is just a little too tired for sex, but still wants him here, playing his part of the obedient puppy dog, on his knees and worshipping -

“Choi Han?” The sound of Cale-nim’s voice shocks him out of his fantasy, and Choi Han whines lowly under his breath, cock spurting its’ cum in his hand at the mere implication of being caught. Shoving a finger into his mouth, Choi Han whines around it, cheeks flushing.

“I-I’ll be right out, Cale-nim!” He calls, and he hears an affable-sounding hum.

“Alright. Wear something that’s easy to remove, since we’ll be at the tailors,” Cale-nim tells him, and Choi Han’s traitor of a cock twitches at the idea of Cale-nim taking him anywhere, let alone somewhere as public as a tailor’s shop.

Choi Han shakes his head, blushing furiously. He needed to get a grip was what he needed, not to think about how delectable Cale-nim would be, claiming Choi Han as his own, very devoted knigh-

Choi Han whines.

 


 

“Do you like baths that much?” Cale asks Choi Han when he sees the swordsman, the man blinking at him. Choi Han turns a little flustered at the brusque question, but shyly nods his head.

“Baths were… safe, back where I was,” Choi Han confesses, and Cale hums lowly in his throat.

“Okay then. I’ll find a hotel with a good, luxurious bath for you for the trip,” he says, looking back over the road to the approaching carriage. “Remember. I’ll pick everything you wear, understand?”

Choi Han flushes a little, before smiling happily at Cale.

“Of course, Cale-nim,” he says, and Cale glares at him.

“And I’ll pre-select the outfits,” he says challengingly, only to receive another shy smile.

“Of course, Cale-nim.”

W-wha? Was he happy Cale was basically going to turn him into a dress up doll? Aigoo, what a troublesome person.

As usual, Choi Han is the first one to reach the carriage, opening the door and inspecting it for any surprises, before offering Cale his hand to help him in.

“I’m not that fragile,” Cale points out in annoyance, but takes the hand anyways. Choi Han’s expression lights up like Cale had given him the sun, and Cale amuses himself by imagining a pair of floppy dog ears and a tail, wagging whipcord fast behind Choi Han. “Hah,” he chuckles just the slightest bit, and Choi Han’s eyes brighten further.

And the imaginary tail wags faster.

It’s… surprisingly cute, Cale would admit. Settling comfortably across from Choi Han, he waits until they’re off to drop the bomb on him.

“You and I are going to spend a month training your acting skills.” Choi Han blinks, wide eyed, before looking… surprisingly eager.

“Of course, Cale-nim,” he agrees without hesitation. “If that’s what you want.” Cale sighs, but leans back against his seat. Surprise surprise, he’d thought Cho Han would have loathed to be in this position. Showed how little he knew. Choi Han’s smile was sweet as it ever was, but there was more excitement than he expected about getting dressed up.

“And,” he adds, before he can fall down that rabbit hole any further, “in order to do that, we’re going to take you to a tailor. The part I want you to play is going to take some time, so on the way there, I’ll give you some tips, see what it is that’s the problem.” Choi Han’s head tilts confusedly to the side.

“The problem?” He echos, and Cale gives a vaguely aggrieved sigh.

“I’ve seen you copy body language, I’ve even seen you fake hiding your discomfort, and your tone can change just fine to reflect a mood you don’t feel,” Cale says bluntly. “Somewhere in that, however, is stopping you from effectively using those skills together.” Choi Han looks at him in surprised bewilderment, before looking at his hands.

“So I can… act?” He says hesitantly, and Cale sighs.

“Only when you’re not trying,” he says, drier than dust. Choi Han flushes a bit sheepishly, before giving him a shy smile yet again.

“I understand, Cale-nim,” he says, and Cale rolls his eyes.

“Say that after we get you all dressed up in good clothes.”

 


 

Choi Han was used to fighting. He was, really. He’d fought monsters for hundreds of years, dealt with insane amounts of boredom, and even kept Cale-nim from danger!

Yet somehow… Somehow, he was losing to a measuring tape.

At first, it was tolerable. Of course it was, Choi Han would bear any duty if Cale-nim asked it of him, and Cale-nim had informed him this one was non-negotiable. He hadn’t really understood what a tailor meant, and right now, he could only stay where he was, frozen stiff despite the desire to snarl at others, not his Cale-nim or family daring to touch him. Cale-nim had been ushered out at first, only to come back in at Choi Han’s surprised yelp.

In his defense, being stabbed by a needle is not normal, alright?

Cale-nim’s expression, upon seeing Choi Han stripped to his underthings and looking horribly anxious, was cold. Rust-colored eyes narrow on the overzealous tailor.

“Get away from him.” Cale-nim’s tone was a sibilant hiss, the man snatching the measuring tape out of the woman’s hands. “And get me the owner of this establishment. I would like to have words with whoever decided it was alright to hire a woman who would make one of mine upset.”

… Choi Han was not going to get on his knees. The moment the door slams shut behind her, Cale-nim looks at his trembling form, frowning gently.

“Are you okay?” Cale-nim sounds worried. To anyone else, they wouldn’t have noticed at all. The barest hitch, the slightest lift of his syllables, a worried blink of his eyes - Little things. Things that could pass in less than a hummingbird’s heartbeat.

Only Choi Han could see this. This very expressiveness that only he had the perceptiveness to catch. It thrilled him to know that Cale-nim reserved this for him and their little family. None were given this secret little parcel of Cale-nim’s love. Just him.

He doubted even Cale-nim knew.

“I’m fine...” he manages, glad that she’s gone. “She made me… very uncomfortable.” Cale-nim looks him up and down, gives him an indulgent smile.

To any other, it would look like the barest hint of upturned lips, barely above his neutral expression of boredom.

“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.” Cale-nim is the one who takes the measuring tape in hand this time, kneels down to tend to the details.

Choi Han, in the meantime, is desperately trying not to have a minor aneurysm at the sight of his Cale-nim doing such menial tasks. Looping the slim material around him, holding it tight, and writing down measurements on a notebook the female tailor had discarded. He wants them to be alone. He wants to be able to reach down, grab his Cale-nim by the hair and pull him into a -

Cale-nim’s gentle fingers measuring over his groin snaps Choi Han right out of his filthy dreams, a hot blush working over his cheeks. Cale-nim ignores it, jotting down the last measurement before looping it around his waist.

“Breath in,” Cale-nim orders, and he obeys, holds the breath while Cale-nim tuts and notes something down. “Breath out,” he says, and Choi Han obeys as he should. Who would ever disobey Cale-nim when those fingers and delicate nails are skimming his stomach like an uncommitted sin? Cale-nim’s fingers move up, wrapping the slim fabric around his upper chest, right below his sternum. A small thumb digs in, marking the end of the measuring tape before returning to the notebook.

This scene will be in my fantasies tonight, Choi Han knows. If not for the arrival of the head tailor, Choi Han was relatively sure he would have died from the simple pleasures of being touched by Cale-nim.

He passes the rest of the measuring in a daze, nodding along to whatever Cale-nim says without judgement, trusting his Cale-nim to keep him safe.

The door snicks shut, and Choi Han dazedly regards an exasperated looking Cale-nim.

“I’m sorry?” He tries, and now Cale-nim looks amused.

“Do you even know what you’re apologizing for?” Cale-nim asks, and with a cough, he can only grin sheepishly back.

“Sorry Cale-nim… I don’t.” At his honesty, Cale-nim rolls his eyes, exasperated.

“Figures. Don’t worry about it,” He says dismissively, smiling in that subtle way of his that Choi Han has come to love. “I’ll be outfitting you, so you don’t dare protest what I have you hold up, do you understand?”

“Of course Cale-nim,” He says happily, and Cale-nim gives him a vaguely frustrated look.

“I don’t understand you sometimes,” Cale-nim says, and Choi Han grins back at him.

 


 

“Mmm...” Cale lifts a scrap of fabric up to Choi Han’s chest, comparing the contrast against his skin, before lifting it to his hair. Choi Han regards him in confusion.

“It… looks nice?” he tries, clear confusion on his face. Cale gives him a dry look.

“Of course it looks nice,” he says, a little annoyed that he had to repeat himself. Perhaps a different avenue would work better. “The problem isn’t that you need to look nice - you need to look ravishing.”

Choi Han chokes. Satisfied with the reaction, Cale returns to his task, putting that particular fabric in the maybe pile.

Going back to regarding the remaining fabric samples, Cale eyes Choi Han, who has remained surprisingly attentive despite being visibly uncomfortable with the whole process. The head tailor has wisely kept silent, having recognized that Cale was clearly an expert in looking good.

Or he was a sycophant. Both worked equally well so long as he remained out of Cale’s way. A hand sneaks past him, picking up a surprisingly bold color choice. For someone who only ever wore black, he could see this rich blue color actually working out quite well for Choi Han.

“Hmm… Not as hopeless as I thought,” Cale remarks, and Choi Han flushes, but looks terribly pleased with his compliment. “Continue to behave, and I’ll take you to an armor shop to get you some better protective gear,” he tells Choi Han, who beams at him.

“You’re very generous, Cale-nim,” Choi Han says admiringly, and Cale holds back a snort. Yeah right. Generous? He was just getting tired of having to look at Choi Han’s lousy clothing options. There had to be a limit to the amount of black one person was allowed to wear.

Besides, he had ways of billing this to the palace. It’s not like he was paying for it anyways.

“I don’t like looking at your clothes. You need better, clean things.” He says, and Choi Han’s smile is absolutely radiant at that, as though Cale had declared his undying love or something.

Ugh.

What a weird guy, Choi Han. Shaking his head, he turns to look at the tailor.

“I want six vests from the brocade,” he orders, the tailor hurriedly jotting everything down. “A few accent belts as well,” he muses. “Line at least one coat with - what color did you like most out of these six?” Cale gestures towards the brocade, and waits for Choi Han to make his selection - hmm.

A nice cream colored one. He was half-expecting Choi Han to point towards the black one, or perhaps the subtle dark red one. Perhaps his sense of fashion was salvageable after all.

“Gloves. Two leather, and four silk. I want one of the leather gloves to be the highest durability you can make it, don’t slack, and the other for everyday use.” A faint frown curls over his lips. “Two fingerless gloves as well, and five two-button gloves. Use… hmm.” A glance, and he regards Choi Han.

“I’d like silver...” Choi Han offers nervously, and Cale nods along.

“Silver it is. I want at least one of the two-button gloves to have jeweled buttons, ones that match his eyes,” Cale says bossily, and the tailor nods.

“Of course sir, absolutely!” The man beams radiance, and Cale gives a light frown as he regards what else to select.

“I’ll leave the style of shirts up to you, but I want at least twenty shirts, in these colors.” Cale touches his choices. In concession to Choi Han’s - mostly - nonexistent fashion sense, he stuck to black, red, and gray shirts, with a few white ones thrown in. “At least three cloaks. Two black, one in… hmmm. Blue or red, Choi Han?” He asks, and Choi Han looks up, startled from where he is admiring some of the flashier fabrics.

“I liked the plum color from earlier,” he mumbles, rubbing the back of his head and looking a little out of his depth. Cale’s brow raises. Huh. How promising. Perhaps just like the acting, his fashion sense merely needed development, like feeding an undernourished pair of pesky cats.

“Ribbons,” Cale adds. “For his upper arm,” he explains, when the both of them look mystified. Choi Han still looks confused, but the tailor’s eyes brighten in understanding. “A dozen.”

Cale glances over at Choi Han, and smiles a little meanly. He’d noticed how flustered Choi Han had been when Cale had been measuring his groin, and honestly? It was kind of fun to mess with the swordsman in a way that wasn’t likely to get himself killed. It had to be that maiden-like naivety at work.

“Add two dozen pairs of underwear to that as well. I want a… close fit.”

Choi Han turns so many shades of red, Cale is pretty sure he invented at least two new ones.

Chapter Text

When Kim Rok Soo was little, he had once played with a doll. People had teased him often about it, but even at that age, he'd mastered the art of ceasing to give a single flying fuck.

Part of that memory is the reason he stifles a smile, and regards Choi Han with some amusement. Cale had to applaud himself - Choi Han cleaned up real nice, especially with the way the slacks hugged his legs and caressed his ass like a second skin. Cale tilts his head to the side, admires it.

"C-Cale-nim?" Choi Han squeaks shyly, and Cale allows himself to run an appreciative eye over Choi Han's entire body.

Choi Han turns a violent shade of red. Cale lets a little smirk grace his features as he says,

"Nice ass."

"!!!" Choi Han could not get any more flustered than that, looking dangerously close to combustion just from those words alone. Cale stifles a laugh behind his hand, before drawing closer. "C-Cale-nim…" Choi Han whines weakly, and Cale laughs softly at the swordsman.

"Should I lie to you, Choi Han?" he asks, smirking wickedly at Choi Han when the man splutters. Chuckling, Cale takes a step back, and waves a hand towards the stack of clothes.

"Pick a shirt, vest, and gloves. We'll head back to the estate with you in your new clothes." Choi Han's face and ears are still pink, but he seems to have regained some strength to hastily do as ordered, looking at the selections warily.

Cale merely smiles at him, waits to see what he takes. Hesitantly, long fingers take up one of the nicer gray shirts, the long sleeves reaching to his wrists, left unbuttoned when Cale arches a brow, shakes his head. The vest he takes more time on, and Cale can feel an amused smile curl his lips as he realized Choi Han was treating this like an exam.

How cute of his puppy. Choi Han glances shyly at him before plucking the purple and black brocade up, hesitantly comparing it against his clothing. Cale gives a thoughtful hum, and Choi Han freezes. At Cale's nod, he shyly puts it on, and picks a matching pair of gloves. Every selection is accompanied by a shy glance, as though seeking Cale's permission.

It was…

Okay, it was kind of cute. Cale holds his hand up, and Choi Han freezes, the gloves loosely hanging from one hand.

"Not bad," Cale says, mild as butter. By the way Choi Han lit up, however, it could be forgiven if he thought he'd burst into applause. Such a weirdo. "Now let me show you how to dress up." Choi Han comes to him eagerly enough, and Cale amuses himself by imagining that same tail and ears yet again.

He wondered, would Choi Han bark if he asked him to? Mmm… best not to say anything, in case Choi Han went after him like the original Cale. Idly, Cale tugs Choi Han closer, netting himself a surprised squeak. Cale knows that Choi Han, if he wanted to, could root himself in a place like a mountain, but if it was Cale doing the tugging, he would always bend to his whims.

Cale hums, eyes Choi Han consideringly, the same way he would eye an ancient artifact. This is a more classic dress shirt, so Cale reaches up and undoes a palm-length's worth of buttons, before moving to Choi Han's sleeves, rolling them up to reach just above his elbows. Returning to the gloves, Cale pulls them on for Choi Han, long fingers closing the buttons with practiced care. These gloves run a little up his forearm, held closed by hematite buttons rather than silver.

How classy. Glancing up, Cale can see how flushed Choi Han is, his gaze skittering nervously this way and that, a quiet whimper leaving him when their gazes meet.

He really was like a puppy. With a smile, Cale ruffles Choi Han's hair, making him whine weakly at Cale. Stepping back, Cale admires his handiwork.

"Hmm…" Cale takes in the polished appearance and the awkward looking man dressed in them, and chuckles. "Follow me. We're going to find a mirror."

 


 

Choi Han is never so glad that Cale-nim was used to him being strange because right now, at this very moment, he felt like he was going to die simply from this. Cale-nim had undressed him. Granted, the context wasn't what he had dreamed, but them alone, Cale-nim's elegant fingers undoing his clothes… that was enough to make him embarrassingly hard, and feverishly glad his liege hadn't tucked in the shirt on his behalf.

If Cale-nim had, he would have died of sheer embarrassment. He carefully tucks in the tail end of his shirt into his slacks, swallows nervously. He follows Cale-nim, and sheepishly shifts from foot to foot when they stop. Expectant cherrywood eyes regard him, before their owner huffs, wrapping a delicate hand around Choi Han's upper arm and leading him to face the mirror.

… Oh.

Cale-nim had seemed to admire him, but Choi Han hadn't thought there was much worth admiring in the first place. He hadn't even realized how much of himself was hidden under his cloak, under the bulky, looser layers he wore in case of another growth spurt.

But here… He actually… he looked decent. Nothing on Cale-nim’s beauty, of course not, but he was at least reasonably handsome.

Enough that perhaps… he had a chance with Cale-nim? A shy glance, and Cale-nim gives him an exasperated look, his usual blank expression accompanied by the slightest warming of his eyes, the faintest upturn of his lips.

“Heaven’s sake.” Cale-nim’s words are laced with the faintest fondness. “Look at yourself.” He does again, though he’s unhappy to tear his eyes away from Cale-nim’s fond expression. “Straighten up,” Cale-nim scolds, and he straightens obediently. “Now, lift your shoulders a bit - a little lower than that, just about this level… good. Tilt your head up, shift your weight to one side… good boy.” Choi Han preens at the compliments, follows Cale-nim's fondly indulgent words until he’s satisfied.

The image of Choi Han in the mirror looks… confident. A few little changes in his posture and the tilt of his head made it seem as though he’d become someone else, just from that alone.

Oh.

“I look...” He trails off, and Cale-nim smiles, radiating a sense of fond pride in his indifferent expression.

“You look ravishing,” Cale-nim says fondly, and his heart jumps at being regarded so by his Cale-nim. Oh, oh, he wanted to hear it again, and a soft little noise leaves his throat as a blush colors his cheeks. His Cale-nim’s fingers softly tousle dark hair, and Choi Han lets another little noise leave him, a quiet whimper.

Thank god for whatever these pants were made of, that it didn’t show how unbearably horny Choi Han was at this moment, after being teased so by his liege.

He wanted so badly to ignore where they were, to seize Cale-nim’s lips for his own, to lavish worship on that firm, supple flesh until it was marked as his - Choi Han snaps out of it quickly, flushes and lowers his head.

“You’ll wear that on the way back to our guest rooms,” Cale-nim says, and he nods, cheeks darkening at the realization that he’d nearly lost control of himself.

“Of course, Cale-nim,” Choi Han manages around the heavy lump in his throat.

He so desperately wanted to take Cale-nim up against a wall and ravish him.

 


 

Choi Han was suspiciously quiet, Cale thinks, when the two got the rest of the clothing packed up and sent to the guest palace, with instructions that nobody was to open them. He watches Choi Han, the swordsman looking a little bereft without his weapon. With a slight sigh, Cale takes up the shabby-looking blade, frees it from the sheath to inspect it.

“We really should get you a better weapon, Choi Han,” he says, and the swordsman looks flustered, eyes widening.

“Y-you’d really give me a sword?” he squeaks, and Cale blinks, surprised that he even had to ask.

“Obviously,” Cale says with a frown. Shouldn’t it have been obvious? “Choi Han, you work for me. Honestly, I should have expected you wouldn’t have brought it up first,” Cale mutters, shaking his head. “We’ll do that when we’re away from the rest. No need for them to get jealous.” Cale gives him his weapon, and reverently, Choi Han accepts, fingers trembling a little around the sheath. “Hmm… We should get you some jewelry, now that I think about it,” Cale remarks, reaches up to run his finger over an unpierced ear. Choi Han’s face reddens violently, and he looks away, a small little whimper leaving his mouth. Ah, he must be making poor Choi Han uncomfortable. Slowly, Cale retreats, finds himself admiring the rosy hue on Choi Han’s face, at his visible embarrassment.

He liked seeing it there. It made him look so cute.

Cale blinks at his own thoughts. Cute? Where had that come from? Shaking his head, he critically eyes Choi Han, before giving a little sigh.

“I’d like anything you give me, Cale-nim,” the swordsman says shyly, and Cale breathes a small sigh of relief. He hadn’t quite overstepped his bounds after all, then. What a relief.

“We’ll do that when we’re alone,” he says easily. “There’s a few good jewelry shops near the casino I want to take you to, and we’ll outfit you with better gear soon too.”

“Cale-nim… this must be expensive...” Choi Han says, flustered, and Cale sighs. So Choi Han really was out of it when he’d charged the money to the palace. But that was fine - actually, better than fine. It meant he could use this opportunity to make sure Choi Han didn’t go to the prince’s side.

“It’s fine,” Cale says, stepping forward. “Think of it as me protecting my investment. You’re very valuable to me, Choi Han,” he says, and Choi Han’s face erupts into another blush, his face turning a very pretty shade of red at the gentle chiding.

“I-I understand, Cale-nim,” Choi Han whimpers, and Cale smiles, satisfied.

“Let’s go home for now,” Cale says evenly. “I don’t know about you, but I’m tired,” he says frankly, and Choi Han snaps to attentiveness.

“Ah, Cale-nim, you should have said sooner!” he complains, and Cale rolls his eyes, exasperated fondness in the action.

“Let’s go, Choi Han,” he sighs, shaking his head. Aigoo, why does he have so much energy?

“Of course Cale-nim!” Choi Han brightens immediately, a pleased grin spreading over his face as he happily does as his liege tells him.

The next two months is going to be so, so long…

 


 

Ron is not the only one who is surreptitiously glancing at the door to see what, exactly, Young Master Cale and the punk had gotten up to.

But he is most certainly the most subtle about it. Hans has not even bothered with subtlety, the two little cat beastmen relaxing in his arms and being general nuisances, meowing pitifully as they paw at the window. Rosalyn is minding some needlework, sewing in some runes into her cloak while she waits for their return, and Lock is fidgeting, obviously wanting to be anywhere else.

“Ai ya,” comes the irritated grumble from Young Master Cale, the pup looking irritated by the whole lot of them skulking about so obviously. Smiling pleasantly, Ron can see the way the young master twitches at his bow, eyes flicking down to see his hands and only relaxing marginally when he realizes they were empty.

Ron hides a smirk. “Welcome back, Young Master Cale,” he says pleasantly, and the pup glares at him.

“You’re all nosy,” he complains. “C’mon Choi Han, let’s get this over with so I can go to sleep, alright?”

There’s a sheepish silence from the other side of the door, everyone sensing the awkward man behind it did not want to enter. Finally, he speaks, a shy mumble of yes, Cale-nim preceding his entry.

Ron cannot prevent the way his brows shoot up his forehead to see the young punk… dressed well.

He’d always looked a little like a vagabond, scruffy - but well mended - clothes and dark colors. It had suited him, the little punk, especially with his insolent manner and way of speaking. The young master had sent over some packages, and while Ron had been mildly curious - as none of them had needed anything - apparently the young master hadn’t agreed.

Choi Han cleaned up quite handsomely, lean figure no longer hidden under a thick, bulky cloak or loose tunic. Broad shoulders led to a narrow waist, a beautiful black and purple vest wrapped tight around his chest over a gray shirt. Good quality cotton, Ron could tell at a glance. The sleeves have been rolled up to expose his forearms and stops halfway up his biceps, leaving tan skin to stretch out until it met a pair of dark gloves, held tight with beautiful hematite buttons. The slacks themselves are nothing fancy, but their crispness and stretch leave little of his body to the imagination, hugging him like a second skin.

Of course, he still wears boots. But these ones look reasonably new, fitted with shining silver clasps.

“Are you sure you brought home that punk and not a stranger?” Ron says with a sly smirk, and Choi Han straightens, an unimpressed glare crossing his features. The pup gives them both a look and groans.

“Fight on your own time, and not in that outfit, Choi Han,” the young master scolds. Immediately, Choi Han stands down, docile towards the pup as always. “Fighting in a suit is a different beast to your usual clothes, and I got you some plainer ones that you can mess around with to learn that.” With a yawn, the young master waves goodbye. “Now, I’m going to bed. Choi Han, don’t fight anyone tonight, just get changed. We’ll put you into some etiquette lessons tomorrow so you can feel less awkward. Good night.”

Before anyone can say anything, the young pup meanders out of sight, yawning.

Ron, however, has plans. “Come along, punk,” he says with a friendly smile, resting a hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Let’s get your clothes sorted out, and you into something for combat training.” He smiles a bit meanly there. Beacrox would enjoy joining the fight to come, he was sure.

 


 

It’s late when Choi Han is finally allowed to be left alone, aching and sore in places he’d not expected. There was a certain… delicacy… in moving in such tightly tailored clothes, in fighting in such a manner as to not tear delicate seams. Even then, he knew Cale-nim had planned for that, had asked for material with a good stretch, with tight stitching so it could withstand his strength.

Pulling off his boots, Choi Han finds himself laying flat on his back and staring at the ceiling, cheeks flushing a little happily as he considers the day. Aside from dealing with Beacrox and Ron, it had been fun - the little ones had watched, and while Raon had not been too chatty, he could feel the little dragon warming to him, warming to Choi Han, just as he had become fond of Cale-nim so instantly. Slowly, his mind drifts away from the time he’d spent with the others, to how Cale-nim had treated him. He flushes a bit, happy whines leaving his throat as he reaches down to palm himself with one hand, his other sliding to free him from the restrictive clothing that Cale-nim had handpicked just for him.

His clothing belonged to Cale-nim, now.

Choi Han’s breath quickens and he whimpers, a little mewl leaving his throat as he allows his wanderings to continue, to imagine the look in his Cale-nim’s eyes when he’d been admired, when Cale-nim had praised his body.

Plenty of people had told him his body was good, that he looked well-built and handsome, but Cale-nim had meant it, with that wicked little smirk that was so rare, so beautiful. Choi Han arches a little up, groans under his breath as he continues to play with himself, buttons abandoned so he could toy with a nipple instead. Pinching the nub, Choi Han gives a moan, letting his imagination run away from him.

Would Cale-nim want him like this? Needy, whining for him, on his knees and waiting? Would he want Choi Han to take charge of him?

Something told him that Cale-nim preferred to let Choi Han do the heavy lifting, preferred Choi Han be the one to deliver delicious pleasure while he himself was allowed to luxuriate in his laziness.

Mmhmm, Choi Han could already see it, the man rubbing himself with greater eagerness at his own lewd thoughts. Cale-nim liked others to do the work for him, when he could, and he can feel his cock as it pulses, so close to release he could fucking taste it. Just a little… bit…

“Choi Han?” For the second time that day, his Cale-nim is the one to call him out of his fantasy, and this time, Choi Han lets a choked noise leave his throat as he comes, rather embarrassingly, in his slacks and tightly fitted underthings. Panting, he stares at the ceiling, before recovering his wits and scrambling to grab a glass of water so as to hide the reason for his choked cry. “Choi Han? I’m coming in,” Cale-nim says, sounding faintly worried.

A hasty swallow of water, and Cale-nim enters to the sight of Choi Han’s hand covering his mouth, a bit of water leaking out from behind it.

“Ah… Did I catch you at a bad time?” He says, sounds surprisingly apologetic, rather than his usual apathy.

“N-no, Cale-nim. I just didn’t expect you so late,” he says, hoping his liege buys the lie. Cale-nim looks at him, the glass of water, and his rumpled, half-undone clothing, and frowns a little.

“You’re sure?” He says, concerned, and Choi Han wipes his mouth, gives his liege a brilliant smile that makes Cale-nim’s brow twitch in annoyance. Ah, right, too much energy for such a late hour.

“Of course Cale-nim. I always have time for you,” he answers, and Cale-nim sighs, looking at him in mild frustration.

“Fine, fine...” With a sigh, his liege comes to him, runs a thumb lightly over the corner of Choi Han’s mouth.

His heart slams in his chest and a high-pitched noise leaves him, making Cale-nim look at him with amused annoyance.

“You’re so noisy,” he complains, and Choi Han isn’t sure his brain is working at such words.

You’re so noisy, Cale-nim had whispered in his fantasies, fingers slipping into his mouth and playing with him, the man on his knees and whining -

Choi Han abruptly comes back to reality when Cale-nim’s fingers touch his face again in concern.

“I-I’m sorry, Cale-nim. Training was very difficult today.” Cale-nim gives him an exasperated look, but keeps his grumbling to a minimum, though Choi Han can only smile indulgently at the clear fondness in the words. His liege was too good to him. Better than a filthy nobody deserved. Cale-nim’s touch reminds him of what he had been doing earlier, of the cum that even now, dripped down his thighs, staining his underwear and spreading to his slacks.

Thank god he had a washbasin in his room that he could clean his clothing with before allowing any servants near it, or the gossip would be legendary.

“Don’t wear yourself out,” Cale-nim orders, and he nods immediately, a smile stealing across his face. “Tomorrow, you can train in your new clothes. I want you to feel as comfortable in them as I do, understood?” Cale-nim says, and he nods hastily, cheeks flush. Cale-nim looks like he wants to say something else, but pauses, glancing over him quickly, before a smile curls his lips. It’s a brighter smile, nothing like his faint expressions of pleasure.

“Yes, Cale-nim?” He says hopefully, and Choi Han can see how his liege fondly touches against his chest, the exposed sliver of skin. His heart beats harder.

“You look good,” Cale-nim says, and the simple statement, said without histrionics or embellishment, sends a bolt straight down his spine and a jolt of pure want into his groin. “But your regular clothes are nice too. I don’t mind if you wear the old ones when we travel somewhere.”

“... Thank you, Cale-nim,” Choi Han breathes, and his liege gives him one of his more normal smiles, a more neutral quirk up of soft lips.

He has just enough self-control to resist touching himself until he’s sure his liege is well out of hearing range, the swordsman abandoning all plans of anything resembling self-control as he hastily strips out of his clothing to enjoy the memory of Cale-nim’s touch without those restrictive fucking clothes on him.

 


 

Cale looks at his hand pensively. For some reason, despite being the morning after he had met up with Choi Han, his fingers still felt… odd. It had been nothing, Cale thought, just a little pat to Choi Han’s chest to reassure himself after hearing Choi Han choke so loudly like that. Glancing out of the window, Cale can see the puppy knight as he bounces back from an attack by Beacrox, a perfect handspring that Cale admired for the way the fabric squeezed his ass just right. Cale did rather like the eye candy, he had to admit.

“Young Master, I brought lunch,” Ron announces at the door, and Cale grimaces. More lemonade. Great.

“Yeah, sure, come in,” he sighs, glaring at the paperwork on his desk.

That damn prince. First, for daring to call him a hero, and later for foisting responsibility onto him. See, this is why he didn’t want to be here.

I hate pain, yet this paperwork seems to be more painful than having let Choi Han beat me up three months ago, he grumbles internally. Ron sets a tray of food before him, and he sighs, sets the troublesome work aside to enjoy his food for a moment.

“How is Choi Han’s training going?” He asks, glancing back out of the window. The fight’s moved away from where he can see yet again, the two off sparring somewhere else so as to destroy the training ground, rather than the pretty garden of the guest palace Cale had been moved into rather than staying in the smaller place he’d come to for the heirs’ meeting.

“That punk? He’s improving,” Ron says vaguely, and Cale refrains from shooting him a murderous look for his own sanity. “The new clothes have that young punk in a state - he’s getting more comfortable the longer he fights, of course. He’ll be ready for your little… trip, by the end of the week.” Cale ignores his smirk, eyes the dreaded lemon tea and takes it with a sigh.

He fucking hated lemon tea. Taking a sip, he wrinkles his nose a little, displeased by the tartness.

“Just ask, Ron. You’ve never bothered to wait,” he says dryly, and the man simply chuckles at him.

“I would never, Young Master,” Ron says, keeping a pleasant smile on his face. Cale bites back the acidic quip, sighs through his nose instead. What a pain.

“We’re going to a casino,” Cale explains succinctly, and Ron’s brow climbs up his forehead.

“I see. Back to your old ways?” Ron says lightly, and Cale gives him an annoyed look before he can pull it back.

“No,” he says flatly. “But Choi Han can learn a lot there.” Ron regards him with an evenness that Cale felt a little uncomfortable being under, before the butler smiles enigmatically.

“I see,” he says, and even sounds pleased by whatever he finds. “I would recommend the Stan Estate, if you wish to visit the most luxurious casinos.”

Cale frowns. He knew enough about this world from when he was Kim Rok Soo to know that the Stan Estate Casinos were horrible money sinks, and while it would teach a valuable lesson, it wouldn’t be wise to gamble there since all games ended in loss.

“Thanks for the advice - the casino that borders the Whipper Kingdom it is,” Cale says, utterly straight-faced.

Ron stares at him, and then chuckles.

Chapter Text

Well, at least I can say this, Cale thinks to himself, watching Choi Han carefully eat his dinner, Choi Han is a diligent student.

Evenings had been spent with Choi Han, slowly coaxing him into refining his manners and etiquette to what Cale considered the bare minimum of acceptable. It was a task made easier by Choi Han's willingness to be bullied by Cale's method of smacking a soft handkerchief into his face. In fact, Cale's method really seemed to amuse Choi Han more than bother him, but at first, there had been a suspicious amount of puppy-like dejection at the realization of his failures. Over time, as the transgressions became more menial - reaching too far for the salt, drinking the wrong kind of wine, swapping what hand held the knife and fork - Choi Han's expression became more and more amused, devolving into intermittent giggles prone to cracking his best attempt at a poker face.

Cale, spying an error, pauses at the sight of a small grin curling Choi Han's lips up, the man no doubt aware of his misstep, yet playfully pushing it to see what Cale would do. Cale sighs.

Punishment was only useful if it worked, goddammit. Cale gives him an annoyed look, before an idea comes to mind, the man pushing up and off of his seat to walk around, leaning over Choi Han's chair. Choi Han blinks up at him and Cale smiles sweetly, reaching out until his fingers brush the nape of Choi Han's neck.

It takes abruptly two seconds before Choi Han curses, jumping out of his seat and rubbing the back of his neck from where Cale's chilly fingers had met his nape.

"Manners, Choi Han," Cale says with a little smirk, the swordsman staring at his fingers with an expression Cale could almost call betrayed.

“I - you - what?” Choi Han squeaks at last, staring at him in sheer bewilderment. Cale’s expression cracks, and the man laughs, shaking his head at Choi Han with amusement.

“I did warn you that I wouldn’t tolerate any more misbehavior, Choi Han,” he reminds the pouting swordsman.

“Your hands are freezing, Cale-nim!” the swordsman yelps, sounding like a puppy that had licked an ice cube for the first time. Suddenly, Choi Han is in front of him, and Cale gives a startled yelp as larger, warmer hands wrap firmly around Cale’s, the swordsman tossing away all pretense of dignity to warm and soothe his hands.

“I drink a lot,” he reminds Choi Han, who scowls at him in clear upset.

“You should take better care of yourself,” he complains, and Cale sighs, wiggles his fingers free despite finding an odd sort of enjoyment in making the puppy fuss over him.

“Isn’t that why I hired you?” He says archly, and Choi Han stops. Looks at him, and then turns a mortified shade of red that makes him snort at Choi Han. “We leave tomorrow, Choi Han,” he reminds the man. “If you don’t want to rehearse your manners on the road, I’d suggest you show me that you’ve learned something this week so I can reward you with a nice weapon.”

Choi Han stares at him, something like faint disappointment in his expression, before he obediently goes to finish his dinner with Cale.

He's not sure why that expression bothers him so.

 


 

Choi Han waits until the household is asleep, just him awake, to indulge in himself, that night. He’s had enough of nearly being caught for the month, and biting at his lower lip, Choi Han wonders why he couldn’t have fallen for Lock, or Rosalyn. Someone easier to actively pine after.

He knows why, of course.

Those eyes, when they had looked at him, slumped over and nursing his sprained ankle had been… not kind. But not even curious.  He had seemed… uninterested in living, in being. That odd dissonance had been the reason he’d followed, wary of the stranger without a name, sure he was only in for disappointment.

But then… he’d been taken to a home. A warm, gentle place, with fierce protections and powerful defenders. That little scrap against Ron and Beacrox had set his blood to singing, and he’d wondered - was Cale (not yet Cale-nim) like that as well?

Having the door slammed in his face had been both a surprise and an amusement. Languidly, Choi Han traces his fingers over the sensitive shaft, humming under his breath as he does so. He’d followed out of curiosity, at first. Cale had simply left him to do as he pleased, seemingly busy on his own task, so he’d left Cale alone until he’d been requested for an… an interview.

Cale-nim had been the one to ask him if he could protect people. At first, he’d thought Cale-nim selfish, but following behind him, he’d watched Cale-nim act… kindly. It was still done without any clear care for any one person, without actual affection, but he did it. Cale-nim had given money to the people of his father’s lands, asking for bread of all things.

Some of which he shared with the two little kittens. Most of which was deposited into the mouth of a tree that was rumored to eat people.

To watch Cale-nim take that power for himself had stirred an awakening in Choi Han, a lust to understand his supposed employer.

It had become more of an obsession, by the time they were set to rescue the dragon, Cale-nim was still displeased by anything that required extended effort, easily annoyed by Choi Han himself.

It was then, he saw the first hints of the man beneath the blank, uncaring mask. It was not true apathy that stayed Cale-nim’s actions, but a fear of caring too much, of attachment. He could see how Cale-nim’s eyes would trail yearningly after the kittens, how he would allow Raon to settle in his lap for pettings whenever the pushy little dragon demanded it, his faintly fond expression whenever he regarded Lock, the beastman, struggling to learn how to read.

It was how Cale-nim would complain, yet roll his sleeves up to do what was needed, to tend to his people, to take care of Choi Han, of Lock, of Rosalyn, of his children, and even - reluctantly - Ron, Beacrox and Hans.

It was tiny minutiae like this that transformed Choi Han’s curiosity to lust, to desire.

To love.

He wanted to see all of Cale-nim’s expressions. He wanted to watch that apathy fade into hungry lust, to see him cry tears of overstimulation, to be laid out in bed, pliant after a good, hard fuck.

He wanted, even more, to see Cale-nim genuinely smile, to hear him laugh, free and unrestrained, to see him smirk at others openly rather than in secret.

And only in the deepest, darkest, most depraved recesses of his mind, did Choi Han wish he could see his liege’s expressions of true rage, of hatred, of utter despair and torment.

Choi Han wanted everything his liege could give him. He wanted to give all of these things to his liege, to make him cry in pleasure, to hold him after a devastating loss, to reassure him when he was tired, to cradle him in bed after sex. Oh, did he fucking want.

Tonight is not a gentle night - Choi Han has had a week’s worth of pent up frustration, of being teased by Cale-nim despite his oblivious liege seemingly missing every single frustrated sexual sign from him.

He cycles through his fantasies, settles on one he’d quite recently picked up since he’d gotten his new clothes.

Closing his eyes, Choi Han lets the fantasy envelop him.

This fantasy is nowhere special, simply the two of them, sitting on a balcony, eating dinner. Cale-nim is scolding him for his poor manners and he is playing with Cale-nim, making purposeful mistakes to see that flicker of frustration. The table is set only for two, a small, intimate thing. Small enough, in fact, that Choi Han doesn’t notice his liege’s plan until too late.

A soft foot presses against his groin, a teasing warning. Choi Han’s breath hitches when Cale-nim rubs him there, teasing him into dropping his fork. Rust-hued eyes sparkle with mischief, the color darkening to cherrywood hues, a teasing smirk on those soft lips.

“What’s wrong, Choi Han?” His liege would ask him, and when he opens his mouth, Cale-nim’s foot would press just a fraction harder against his groin. A warning to not speak of it aloud, to let this be their dirty little secret. The table is covered, and any servers wouldn’t be able to see what goes on underneath the fabric without being excessively nosy.

“Just startled,” he would manage, chest heaving a little, and Cale-nim’s mouth would spread in pure wicked amusement, placing his elbows on the table so he can lace his fingers together, regard him with that same hunger.

“My my, Choi Han,” he would chuckle, “You really do need to work on your manners. How am I supposed to take you anywhere?” He asks, that exquisite look on his face matched only by the feeling of Cale-nim’s foot against his crotch, rubbing gently against him until he was unbearably hard and leaking in the confines of the tight trouser pants.

At full growth, his cock is trapped, the tip right below the waistband, Choi Han unable to release the pressure to feel better. Cale-nim’s smile widens.

“Finish your food,” Cale-nim orders, and he obeys, whimpering a little as Cale-nim rubs against him, distracts him from the meal with firm, steady presses, followed by a teasing little rub of his foot, a persistent reminder that here, he was entirely at his liege’s mercy. Choi Han is typically proud of his stamina, but when Cale-nim is the one teasing him, it easily evaporates to nothing, leaving him a panting, flushed mess that he tries desperately to hide.

The fourth course ends when Choi Han comes, his cock spilling his seed in his slacks, spreading deliciously and being spread by a knowing, teasing, Cale-nim. He’s left panting and gasping for air, head hanging down as he tries to control every ounce of himself, to not fall to his knees and beg for Cale-nim to let him ravish him, to act less like a dog in heat. Cale-nim doesn’t stop, coaxes him back to hardness, and he shoots Cale-nim a pleading look. He begs in silence, but his beloved Cale-nim doesn’t answer, lazily licking a spoon clean, the pink muscle playing around the silver in a way he wished Cale-nim would treat his dick.

“Are you conceding defeat?” Cale-nim says with a wide smile, and Choi Han tries not to whimper, to resist his fate.

“I-I don’t know what you’re talking about,” He manages, and Cale-nim’s smile widens.

“Another course, then,” Cale-nim decides, a grin stealing across his lips. “I’ll make you beg,” Cale-nim promises, voice dropping in a sultry caress. “I wonder how many times I can make you come until you plead for mercy.”

Choi Han chokes on his drink.

 


 

Morning dawns foggy, Cale regarding the scenery with lazy idleness, a cup of hot coffee in his hands. For some reason, he’d woken up rather early - so early, in fact, the kittens had complained to him about being too much of a morning person. He’d tried not to laugh, he really had.

They hadn’t quite scratched him, but their blunt claws had still left little red lines. Raon, who had already been awake, had nipped at them, and to preserve the building from a fight, Cale had simply picked up Raon in his arms and absconded with the little dragon to enjoy the early morning view. The little dragon complained, but had quickly quieted when a slice of cake had been generously cut by Cale to appease his sweet tooth. It was rather cute, really. Now, the little dragon was napping off his sugar high, giving Cale the peace and quiet he had wanted to begin with.

Taking a sip of his coffee, Cale continues to regard the scenery with pleasure, occasionally reaching to gently scratch Raon on the head when the dragon whined at him sleepily for attention.

“Cale-nim?” Choi Han’s voice is soft, in deference to their sleepy little charge, and Cale smiles faintly when the man comes into view. It’s rare to see Choi Han not ready and dressed to go, hair rumpled and a sleepy look in his eyes.

“Good morning,” He says instead, and offers Choi Han a seat. The swordsman accepts both the seat and the coffee Cale offers, takes a happy sip of the bitter drink. Cale had softened the flavor some with milk and a bit of sugar to Choi Han’s taste, and he can feel the appreciation radiating off of Choi Han for it.

“When do we leave?” Choi Han asks quietly after a moment, the man tentatively eyeing Raon, wistfulness in his features. It was obvious that he wanted to pet Raon like Cale himself could, and it’s really rather cute. Cale takes one hand in his own, guides him through how to pet Raon the way he likes, and the dragon gives a sleepy noise of pleasure, leaning into Choi Han’s touch and wriggling.

The delight that blooms over Choi Han’s face is… well, Cale can admit Choi Han is cute, okay? Especially now, looking like he’d just woken up and gleefully petting Raon like Hans would pet Hong and On.

“You two get along well,” Cale says quietly, a little heartsore. Had things followed the original storyline, Choi Han would have never had this. Choi Han would have never been able to experience this kind of gentleness. The five books had never described Choi Han being allowed to have comfort, to enjoy his downtime.

A fierce ache strikes through him then, a desire to give that to Choi Han, to give him more of these soft days, of gentle mornings. It runs through him, fast then gone, leaving him startled by his own thoughts.

“Cale-nim?” Choi Han says, and he realizes that Choi Han is looking at him in worry. A blink, and Cale slaps on a tired smile, little more than a pretense.

“Just thinking,” he says, and Choi Han regards him dubiously.

“As you insist, Cale-nim,” the man says softly, clearly unwilling to argue. Cale looks away, listening to Raon grumble, the dragon taking this precious moment and demanding affection as he deserves.

Cale can feel it, the faintest little prickle of yearning in his heart.

He… he wants this moment to last forever.

Wisely, Choi Han and Raon both leave him to his contemplation, and say nothing about the tears that shimmer in his eyes.

 


 

“My liege?” Choi Han whispers softly, when they’re alone. Cale-nim had helped him select the clothing to go, and right now, he was dressed in a nice red and black number, hair partially slicked back and dressed - somewhat literally - to kill.

At least now I know how Beacrox and Ron seem to have more knives than a kitchen on them when we fight…

Cale-nim turning to face him snaps him out of his thoughts, and he can see that there’s more than just his usual annoyance in those soft eyes. There’s an empty, lonely ache in them, one Choi Han wonders after, wishes he could fill.

“Yeah?” Cale-nim asks him, tone quiet and a little bored as is his usual.

“Do you want anything to go?” He says, suddenly shy about asking this so boldly. Cale-nim regards him in silence, and he can’t help but shift a little awkwardly as he waits for Cale-nim to speak.

“I’ll take some coffee,” he agrees, and Choi Han brightens a little, makes Cale-nim’s lips twitch up faintly in pleasure.

That oddness that had been in him early in the morning had faded with the fog, and while Choi Han had been content to allow his liege to work through his internal strife, Choi Han had become worried, knowing that the tears that had shined brightly in his eyes had, in part, somehow been caused by him. Raon had been worried too, the little dragon keeping his thoughts to himself until Cale-nim had left to get ready for the day.

You better keep my weak human safe, the little dragon had said angrily to him.

I’d rather die than hurt him, Choi Han had responded in kind. They had stared at each other - dragon and human, silent regard turning to agreement. Raon had rubbed against his cheek, before disappearing off to do whatever it was he did in his own time, and Choi Han had gone to get ready himself.

He returns to the carriage with a strong thermos full of coffee and some sweeter pastries for his liege to nibble on. Cale-nim is staring out the window, but easily enough turns to face him when he sees the bounty Choi Han had returned with. Choi Han can only offer a sheepish grin, and Cale-nim takes the time to regard him, the coffee, and the sweet breakfast.

“Hans?” He guesses, and Choi Han nods.

“Yes my liege,” Choi Hans admits shyly, and Cale’s eyes soften. Hidden fondness. Gentle fondness, even.

“He’s always like that. Take some of the pastries for yourself - I can’t eat them all alone.” The carriage comes with a table to set up, and Choi Han takes his time to do so, happily pouring his Cale-nim a cup of tea and smiling shyly at him. Cale-nim looks amused and exasperated.

“Share with me, or I’ll think you and Hans are trying to poison me, Choi Han,” he says. The last syllable is a fond flick, amused laughter in his eyes.

Even knowing he’s teasing, Choi Han hastily pours himself a cup of coffee, to his liege’s laughter. It’s a quiet, subtle thing, soft as cashmere and twice as pretty. He basks in it, the two of them enjoying the quietness.

Normally, Choi Han is used to the others chatting , breaking the silence Cale-nim was so fond of with their words, filling the air with life and joy.

But he can get used to this, sharing space and air with his liege, just the two of them. They don’t speak again until the thermos is empty and the city is far behind them.

“Thank you,” Cale-nim says, reaching his hand out to touch Choi Han’s cheek. “That was lovely.”

Choi Han’s breath hitches. The highest praise his actions had ever truly received from Cale-nim had been quiet, appreciative, not bad. Occasionally, Cale-nim would say good job, but that had always been more for the team, not for Choi Han alone. He tries so hard not to smile as broadly as he wants, but Cale-nim notices his reservation, and shakes his head, looking exasperated, chill fingers reaching to gently pull at a cheek.

“Smile, Choi Han,” he says. “I don’t mind when you smile.” Given his liege’s permission, he can’t help the giddy little smile that leaves him, childish and silly, but it makes Cale-nim look at him indulgently. “You’re cute,” Cale-nim says, and he flushes a little pink.

“Thank you, Cale-nim,” he says, a little flustered, but irrepressibly pleased with his compliment.

 


 

Cale is somehow not surprised to see Choi Han step out first, offering his hand out to him in open hope, and he accepts it, allowing the swordsman to gently help him down.

“We’ll get you a sword here,” Cale says, and Choi Han brightens in that puppy-like way of his, and Cale chuckles a little. “I promised you a weapon, Choi Han, and I’m a man of my word.” The swordsman looks almost… excited, but he’d clearly toned it down, trying to be considerate.

Somehow, that irked him more than when Choi Han was off acting like a squeaky toy, and he reached out to gently pinch a cheek, dragging it out much to the swordsman’s wounded squeak.

“You can be excited about this, Choi Han. Ignore me and my complaining.” Cale tells him, and Choi Han gives him a sheepishly shy smile.

“Are you sure, Cale-nim?” He says, and Cale gives him another look. With a sigh, Cale gives up.

Damned protagonist. “Choi Han, I don’t mind you showing excitement. Just don’t ask me to act the same way, okay?” Choi Han regards him pensively, before allowing a shy, eager smile to curl his lips up, more open like the Choi Han Cale had become so - reluctantly - fond of.

“Yes Cale-nim,” he says, visibly pleased. Done with the unnecessarily mushy affections, Cale tilts his head towards the weapon shop. Choi Han enters willingly enough, peering around in delight.

“Welcome, welcome!” The proprietor says, only to pull up short at the sight of them. “Ah - hello! How can I help you today?” the man asks, and Cale smiles, hand sliding up Choi Han’s back and pushing him forward.

“I recently took him in as my personal swordsman, and the blade he’s trained with is getting too old to keep up with him.” Cale says easily. “I’ve heard you’re the best in the business for blades.” The man looks at them both, visibly surprised, before a smile appears on his face, visible delight.

“I’ll be damned - it’s been a while since I’ve sold one of my swords, but if you find one to your liking, give me a holler.” His smile broadens. “I have a feeling you’ll find one that fits your liking here, lads.” Both of them watch him go, and Cale raises a brow. Choi Han, too, is watching him leave with a puzzled frown.

“Don’t smiths usually try to offer swords?” He asks quietly, and Cale shrugs, equally bemused.

“I’m as surprised as you,” he admits. “But go on. You know swords better than I do, so take your pick.” Choi Han gives him a hesitant look, but when Cale rolls his eyes at the man and waves him off, he goes like an arrow, beaming happily. It doesn’t take Choi Han very long, the man waffling between two decent looking options before looking at him pleadingly, his puppy-like expression full of hope as he expectantly awaits Cale’s approach.

It irks him a little that he’s predictable enough that Choi Han can tell he’ll come to help, but upon approaching, he can see the dilemma.

The blades are beautiful, works of art and practically functional to a degree that it’s no surprise Choi Han is having such trouble. They’re plain, save for the elegant molding on the hilt.Looking at it, Cale leans over, and smiles a little as he admires them both. Lightly, he touches the handle of one, and offers Choi Han an arch look.

“This one,” he says. “This looks more like something you would use,” Cale says, and Choi Han beams happily, takes it into his hands.

Unlike the other one, this one fits into his hands, and is about the same length as his old blade. The guard is a little wider than Choi Han’s original weapon, but Cale had noticed that Choi Han tended to guard a lot more with the base of the sword rather than with the center, so it was a better option anyways. Smiling faintly, he watches Choi Han happily give it a few test swings, the weapon singing through the air. It’s beautifully sharp and sings for him, and Cale’s smile softens a little.

“We’ll take it. No questions asked.” Here, Cale reaches out to softly turn Choi Han’s face to him. “I promised to take care of you, Choi Han,” he reminds the swordsman, hoping that’s enough.

From the glow on his face, it’s more than enough, Choi Han’s face pressing against his palm.

Cale’s heart stutters at the look, cheeks flushing a little at the way Choi Han looks at him, as though Cale was the sun and he was but a mere flower soaking up his light.

Oh. Cale realizes.

I’m in trouble.

Chapter Text

"Are you ready?" Cale-nim asks him, and Choi Han nods immediately, beaming at his liege, who gives him a faintly annoyed look.

Ah, right. Too early for Cale-nim's taste. Shyly, Choi Han draws closer, takes a seat.

"What's the first lesson, Cale-nim?" He asks shyly, and Cale-nim sits back, smiling.

"The basics of acting. Copying someone's body language, and when and why you want to do so." Cale-nim instructs him, and Choi Han obediently straightens, focusing on his words attentively.

"Yes Cale-nim," he says dutifully, and Cale-nim smiles faintly at him.

Choi Han had never had anyone try to teach him like this. The people of Harris Village had let him live among them, had treated him rather well, but they had not taught him. Not like Cale-nim. They had only taught him the very basics, the small details. How to read, how to write, basic etiquette to not offend everyone he met.

He had been a wild, feral thing, all viciousness and danger to those around him, a bomb ready to blow at the slightest indication. Cale-nim was the first to truly teach him. Not combat. Not life essentials. Simple things. Little things. How to act, how to care.

How to love. Diligently, Choi Han tunes in as his Cale-nim begins to speak.

“We’ll start with emotional mimicry. You do this well, you know,” Cale-nim praises, and he immediately perks up, blushing a little.

“Thank you, my liege,” he says shyly. Cale-nim gives him a fond look, before sliding into a comfortable stance.

“Copy me,” he says gently, and Choi Han looks at his liege, the relaxed figure, the way his thighs spread a little wider than normal, as though inviting him in. Choi Han takes the time to silently observe his Cale-nim, the utter relaxation his body provided in that pose. He knows his liege isn’t nearly as comfortable as he pretends in this pose, but he’s a very good actor for a reason. Another last, lingering look, and Choi Han carefully emulates the pose, leaning back a bit in his seat, allowing himself to spread out, take room. Cale-nim watches him cautiously try to echo the posture, and gives him a soft, affectionate chuckle.

“You’re doing okay,” Cale-nim says. His fingers reach out, and he nudges Choi Han’s legs a little, shifts him back so he rests his elbows on the armrests, smiling faintly the whole time. When Cale-nim pulls back, there’s something… something that makes his breath catch, an unguarded echo of memory that makes his cock twitch just a little bit.

Lingering desire, Choi Han hopes.

“Like this?” he says in return, feels how tense he is and loosens himself, slow and languid until he truly feels relaxed, allowing a smile to curl over his lips. His liege’s breath hitches, just the faintest bit, and a lingering flicker of want colors his eyes, there-and-gone in a heartbeat. Choi Han licks his lips, can feel a faint excitement bubble in him, turns his smile into something a little less honest, a little more predatory.

It’s subtle. He doubts Cale-nim even realizes these feelings in himself yet. Cale-nim was always the last to realize things emotionally. Choi Han knew that, loved him for it despite the aching desert it left him in, the drought that subsisted only on his Cale-nim’s fleeting acts of affection, their secret moments. Choi Han wants, so desperately, to tease his Cale-nim, to tease those fleeting moments out and make them longer, but for now, he refrains. Instead, he allows himself to luxuriate in such a rare sight; one that he would learn to drag out in time.

He wanted everything that was Cale-nim’s. His love, his touch… a smile curls his lips at the praise Cale-nim gives him, and he follows after the instructions as his Cale-nim runs him through other exercises, happy to spend time with his beloved liege.

That little look, that lingering flash of heat -

Don’t worry Cale-nim. I’ll wait as long as you need me to.

 


 

Cale’s fingers run through his hair slowly as he considers Choi Han. The bath around him is hot, steam pluming up to brush his face as he watches his cute puppy knight happily blow bubbles in the bath, hair floating around his face and looking dangerously content.

“Don’t drown,” he says with a faint smile, and Choi Han resurfaces, beaming at him.

“Of course Cale-nim,” the man says happily, though he quickly sinks back into his part of the bath, looking so content that Cale cannot resist smiling at his silly behavior. He wants to reach out and pat the top of his head, he’s being so cute.

The two weeks to head towards the edge of the kingdom is passing quickly - Choi Han is blessedly quiet when they ride, and while the lessons continue, Cale finds that they don’t bother him as much as he’d thought. It’s exactly what he wants, the quiet life of retirement, away from noisy kittens and overbearing dragons, far, far away from Ron and Beacrox, with no threats hanging over his head or deadlines to save his own skin from this or that awful annoyance of people trying to kill him. This was nice.

But annoyingly enough, he still missed the hectic people, the dangers to his quiet life.

Cale sinks a little deeper, sighing happily as he lets the hot water do its job, easing sore muscles from constantly being in a carriage. Choi Han is peering at him with poorly disguised hope.

Oh no.

“Yes?” Cale prompts warily, and Choi Han surfaces, blushing a little.

“Can I wash your hair?” he asks, and Cale blinks. He wants to ask why, but seeing how merely asking the question had flustered the swordsman, he wonders after it. Does he want Choi Han to dote on him like that? He’s not sure, but finally, he allows his curiosity to win out over his skepticism. If Choi Han was going to hurt him, he doubted it would be from that.

“Sure, I guess,” he says, can feel rather than see Choi Han’s pleasure as the man moves carefully behind him, fingers running through the red strands like a prayer.

He can’t remember the last time anyone ever treated him so tenderly, so gently, so he luxuriates in it, gives a soft, happy little sigh as Choi Han takes his time, strong fingers massaging his scalp and running through his hair, practically caressing Cale’s scalp with fondness. Cale gives a tired little groan, Choi Han fondly allowing him to rest against his body, the embodiment of strength cradling his figure like Cale belonged in his embrace.

It’s… it’s nice. Too nice, really, but he can’t resist at all, melts into Choi Han’s touch with a little moan.

“This is nice,”   he tells Choi Han, the swordsman flushing pink, but clearly pleased all the same, the darker-haired of the two wrapping an arm around Cale’s waist to pull him in closer, to allow him to lean against his chest, Cale falling into a sleepy, cozy half-daze.

He couldn’t have imagined doing this with Choi Han even a week and a half ago.

Sorry Cale-nim, I can’t. He could hear Choi Han saying apologetically. It’d be better if you don’t, is another such thought. I’m merely a guard, my liege, is the last such thought. Offering to share a bath had been pure whimsy, an offer that Cale hadn’t expected to successfully make, let alone land, and yet, here they were.

And here Cale was, beyond comfortable, dozing off against the swordsman. Choi Han’s chest rumbles in what feels a little like laughter.

“Sleep, Cale-nim. I’ll get us dried off,” the swordsman promises, and he does, inescapably content.

When his eyes open, he’s startled to find himself cradled in Choi Han’s arms, the man spooning him in a cozy, slightly possessive embrace, the two of them in nothing but their sleeping pants. Carefully, Cale pinches himself.

Feels nothing but a faint tingle.

A dream? Cale sits up, dream-Choi Han murmuring quietly but letting him go, arms falling to wrap around his waist, the man snuggling against his stomach. He presses a hand against a forehead, frowning as he tries to nudge dream-Choi Han off of him.

“Mmm… five more minutes,” the man mumbles, clings tighter. The grasp is gentle, doesn’t actually do him any harm, and he sighs, gives up.

“You’re ridiculous,” he says with a faint hint of affection, and the dream-Choi Han gives a happy whine, nuzzles his stomach.

“I’m yours,” Choi Han says happily. “I get to be ridiculous.” Cale snorts aloud at that one, reclining against the pillows and ruffling his puppy knight’s hair.

“Silly thing,” he says, smiling fondly down at Choi Han, who nuzzles him again, coaxing him down little by little until their lips can meet in a languid, slow kiss. Pulling back, Cale gives him an annoyed look.

“Mmh, I’ll wake up faster if you kiss me,” Choi Han tries, and Cale rolls his eyes, but allows himself to be reeled in yet again for more lazy little kisses, Choi Han seemingly reveling in the chance to smoother him in love.

“Aiya, you and your kisses,” Cale grumbles between them, Choi Han gleefully taking them as though they belonged to him.

“Should I stop?” He questions, and Cale gives him a flat look for that.

“Don’t you even dare,” he complains, and Choi Han’s smile lights up the room, the man lavishing his love on the sleepy, lazy redhead, who sighs and relaxes into the touch. “You’re such a puppy,” he says, when Choi Han negotiates his way into laying on top of Cale’s body, his warm weight soothing as the larger man brackets him in his embrace.

Gray eyes sparkle with pure mischief.

“Bark.” He teases, and Cale bursts into slightly startled - and scandalized - laughter. Choi Han leans in, nuzzles his neck while large, firm hands slide slowly down Cale’s sides, a little bit teasing, but a lot affectionate, the nails skimming down his ribs and waist until it reaches his hips. “What do you want today, my Cale?” He asks, smiling soft and tender for him. Cale reaches out, buries his hand in thick hair, before considering it.

Even though this was a dream, Cale couldn’t find it in himself to resist the soft attentions of his puppy knight, carding his fingers through silky hair until the man gives a softer little whine of complaint.

“Sorry, sorry,” Cale says, not really meaning it. “I don’t know. You choose,” he says, not entirely sure what Choi Han would do to him. Choi Han gives him a wicked smirk, pressing a kiss under his jaw before trailing down and tugging his shorts off to take Cale into his mouth and -

Cale wakes up with startled surprise, a quiet cry leaving his throat as he wakes up from what he’d thought would be a cute dream that suddenly became rather naughty in nature with what felt like no warning at all. His chest heaves up and down, a furious blush working down his chest.

What. Was. That? Glancing around, he finds he’s alone in his room, Choi Han’s bed turned down neatly and the curtains to the hotel balcony half-open, letting in a few slivers of sunlight.

Choi Han was probably outside then, enjoying the early morning air. He feels ready to jump out of his skin, coupled with a strange yearning to see his swordsman.

His knight.

The dream, Cale decides, is definitely to blame for his feelings. Regardless, he climbs out of bed, and is relieved to see he’s dressed in sleeping shorts and a loose nightshirt as he makes his way to the balcony. Choi Han, as he’d expected, is already there, leaning against the railing and admiring the city. He’s already half-dressed, a pair of gray slacks riding his hips and a pretty blue belt not yet fully cinched, giving Cale an excellent view of his prominent hip bones and the curve of his lower back.

Now, Cale is starting to regret taking him out shopping, if only because with these new, odd feelings, he wasn’t sure he could keep himself from getting flustered by the swordsman, especially in the clothing Cale had bought for him. This was all a situation of his own making, Cale realizes, but he can’t help himself from admiring how nice he looks. There are scars that travel the length of Choi Han’s body, memories of his experience in the Dark Forest, and Cale finds himself startled to realize that the dream he had been in had mostly captured these scars in near perfect detail.

How much attention have I been paying to him? Cale wonders, watching Choi Han just a little bit longer before he steps out.

Choi Han turns to see him, smiles softly and indulgently.

“Good morning, Cale-nim,” he greets.

My Cale.

“Just Cale is fine,” he says without thinking, and Choi Han stares at him, startled. A flush steals across his cheeks, and Choi Han looks at him with an oddness in his expression, clearly not sure what on earth had just happened. The silence stretches out, before Choi Han’s expression softens and the swordsman draws close.

“Would you like me to forget that?” He asks kindly, and Cale flushes at how well Choi Han knows him.

My Cale.

My Cale.

I want you to call me that. Not Cale-nim.

“Just Cale is fine, Choi Han,” he says, cheeks flushing at his own thoughts. “And good morning.” Choi Han watches him in curious silence, head tilting this way and that like a puppy learning something new from their master.

“Cale,” Choi Han tests the word, flushes a little the way it sounds, and Cale shivers just the slightest at the softness in his voice. The fond inflection that makes him wish he could ask to be called his Cale.

“Much better,” Cale says, managing a normal smile. Choi Han’s cheeks are a faint red, and the man leans down, lips hovering by his ear.

“Thank you, for this honor,” Choi Han says softly, and Cale isn’t sure how to respond.

“It’s past due,” he says instead, and Choi Han’s smile is faint but visible pleasure.

“I’ll bring you some coffee, Cale,” he says, and Cale can’t help the way his heart stutters at Choi Han’s subtle understanding, the way he doesn’t press the sudden change. “Do you want breakfast here, or to go?”

It startles him to realize he doesn’t care, so long as Choi Han is with him.

“Surprise me,” he says, and Choi Han smiles ever brighter.

“Of course, my liege.”

 


 

The moment the door closes behind Choi Han, he has to muffle a startled little shriek of joy against his fist, heart beating harder than a buk during festival season. He takes a moment to dress properly - pulls on a soft blue shirt to match the belt, tucks everything in properly and rolls the sleeves up to keep from sullying the garment.

What had happened?

What had happened?

Just last night, Cale-nim hadn’t indicated anything at all in their relationship changing, beyond the two having shared a bath before his Cale-nim had fallen asleep on him, and now?

He’d thought it would take weeks before Cale-nim would admit to deeper feelings, had known how slow his liege was when it came to emotional displays of affection, thought he would have to wait until they were at the casino to truly get Cale-nim to ask him such a tremendous step.

It had been enough that Cale-nim had allowed him to play with his hair, to allow him that much affection, to trustingly fall asleep in his arms.

Oh god.

Oh God.

Oh FUCK.

He wanted to fucking die on the spot. Even if it was only the result of a half-asleep Cale-nim’s request, his heart hadn’t been ready.

Sliding his gloves on, Choi Han departs the room, still feeling a bit light and floaty from the acknowledgement from his liege, the soft affection that had laced his words. After checking with the carriage driver (who is snoring loud enough to rouse the dead), Choi Han is quick to head downstairs and pack up a kettle full of coffee to bring up to his liege. He waffles a bit at the breakfast line before setting his heart upon a large plate of pancakes to share with his liege, deliberately over-serving to see if he can push his liege into allowing them to share a meal together on one plate. It’s a little fast, but at this point, Choi Han can feel entitled to a little faster in his pursuit of his liege, especially after that.

Cale-nim, you really do have the ability to make a man’s heart flutter, he thinks, carrying everything up to their room and knocking.

Cale-nim answers a moment later, looking considerably more aware of himself - and properly dressed - rather than simply in his night things and bleary-eyed.

“The carriage driver isn’t up yet,” he says, and Cale-nim gives an understanding nod, opens the door wider to let him in and sets the plate down. Cale-nim had even cleared up a table for them, which really was quite thoughtful of his liege.

“You know I can’t eat all that,” Cale-nim says dryly, when he makes to head back out the door. There’s a deep, pregnant pause that Choi Han stays frozen for, praying quietly that he hasn’t pushed his liege too far. “Grab some syrup and come back,” Cale-nim tells him. “We’ll just share this plate.” Choi Han glances over, sees a dusting of faint red on his liege’s cheeks, the flustered embarrassment, but Cale-nim does not take it back, cherrywood eyes looking at him with shy trepidation. He smiles at his liege, keeps himself from doing a stupid little dance of victory by sheer goddamn discipline, and bows a little.

“Of course, Cale,” he says, and he can see how the redhead flushes, looking away from him in embarrassed pleasure.

Closing the door softly behind himself, Choi Han looks furtively around to make sure he’s alone before doing a stupid little dance in place and rushing downstairs.

 


 

Cale isn’t quite sure what to make of Choi Han when they enter the carriage after their little breakfast together. It hadn’t been as tedious as he’d expected, the two sharing light, meaningless conversation while Cale had instructed him on the finer points of acting, and debating mildly with Choi Han over politics, of all things.

He likes the quiet, but for some reason, he cannot stand it today, and looks up from his coffee to ask something, anything, to break the silence.

“Why politics?” He asks, and Choi Han looks startled at not being the one to break their peaceful ambiance.

“Oh…” The swordsman scratches at his cheek shyly, blushing a little. “I didn’t know what else to talk about, so I thought perhaps you wouldn’t mind teaching me a little more, so I don’t embarrass you.”

… That’s surprisingly sweet of Choi Han. Cale allows a faint smile to bloom on his lips, and he gives a slightly relieved sigh, leans back.

“You’re right,” he says, and Choi Han perks up happily. “If you’re not opposed, we can talk some more now until we reach the next town. We need to stop by the jewelry store anyways - I want to get you a good watch for yourself.” Choi Han blinks, before looking down at himself.

“Do I need it?” He asks, seems a little startled, and Cale takes another sip of his coffee.

“Not really,” Cale admits, carefully picking his words with care. “But after living in the Dark Forest for so long, I thought you’d appreciate having something you can use to always keep time.” Choi Han’s eyes go wide, and Cale freezes inside.

Shit. He couldn’t remember if he’d ever mentioned it, or if that knowledge was from the book itself. It was a stupid misstep, a foolish misstep, even, that could send the carefully constructed world falling down around his ears.

It was that stupid dream - god, why and how had he made such a tactical error he couldn't breathe -

Choi Han’s silence is chilly, his expression flat and blank as he stares at his hands, a cold, almost sinister air filling the small carriage.

They’d been comfortable, quietly happy together, and Cale had opened his mouth and -

“On and Hong promised not to tell,” he says, darkly disappointed, and Cale can feel the air leave him in a rush, only for another, more chilling fear to sneak in, as fast as the relief.

“They didn’t.” Cale says, afraid for the little kittens, but more afraid of now, of Choi Han becoming so angry and pulling away from them, from him, ready to destroy the fragile little family that Cale had come to reluctantly care for. “I give you my word they didn’t say anything,” He says thickly, hesitantly reaching out, terrified and yet wanting to reassure Choi Han.

Gray eyes look at him in quiet regard, their chill darkening to black.

“How do you know then?” And Cale has to bite his lower lip.

“I can’t say yet,” he tries, Choi Han’s eyes flicking over his tense form. “I don’t want to lie to you.”

Well, he did, because there was no way Choi Han would believe that Cale was also a transmigrator without divine intervention and at least two deities. But a small part of him actually meant it, meant that Cale wanted this, wanted to be honest and forthright for once in his goddamn life to Choi Han.

Choi Han is staring at him, astonishment in his gaze, clearly aware of what it was costing him to admit that so readily.

“Cale...” He whispers, looking at him hesitantly, startled at his honesty. A swallow, and the darkness that had surrounded them both retreats for now, gives Cale the space he needs to breathe.

Slowly, Choi Han’s fingers cup his cheek, Cale staring up at him in fright, certain that his misstep would cost him everything, that Choi Han would come to realize his mistake in trusting Cale.

This would spell the end of his comfortable, painless life.

But somehow, that wasn’t what scared him the most.

What scared him the most was losing whatever this was with Choi Han, this easy comfort. This potential for something he wasn’t sure of yet.

He’d only just found it, just learned of it, how could he lose it so quickly -

A thumb sweeps lightly across his face, Cale blinking back startled tears at the feeling of comfort that radiates from Choi Han.

“You’re not afraid of me?” Choi Han asks, soft quietness, a hint of wonder in his expression.

“Of course I’m afraid,” Cale’s traitorous tongue runs away from him, but he continues before Choi Han’s expression can break again. “I don’t like pain. I want a comfortable, lazy life, and having you in it complicates things.” Why was he saying these things? Why? Had it been that dream? Had it woken something in him, or was it simply the protagonist of this world, forcing things to restore itself to a natural, working order?

An order where Choi Han and Cale were little more than enemies.

So he says it, hoping that it will keep Choi Han from pulling away. “I’m more scared of losing you than I am of anything else, right now.”

That earlier wonder blooms quickly in the swordsman’s expression, hurt flicking away and instead transforming into immense joy, Choi Han’s entire face lighting up with it.

“I understand, Cale,” he says, and something in Cale cries with relief, despite knowing that from here on, things would grow infinitely more troublesome.

 


 

Choi Han can feel how Cale-nim needs to be alone, so he offers to grab dinner from a local restaurant, can feel how Cale-nim relaxes, pure relief he tried so hard to hide from Choi Han.

“I’ll be back soon, Cale,” He says quietly, hopes that no more shocks occur tonight. Cale-nim looks distracted, nodding at him with a slightly dazed air.

He hadn’t seen Cale-nim drinking anything beyond coffee today, Choi Han thinks as he tucks his money bag away in his inner coat pocket, striding down the street to look for a good, comfortable meal for them both.

Was that why Cale-nim drank? Because it kept him alert? Because it kept his traitorous mouth from daring to say things he shouldn’t?

Cale-nim’s expressions had been frightened, honest, and openly real, the apathy stripped in the face of losing everything.

Afraid of him.

Choi Han had scared his liege into telling him such a blunt, painful truth, forced open things that were better left for later down the line, and brought him to realize that there was really a lot more hiding under his Cale-nim’s gaze than mere apathy.

His Cale-nim was more guarded than he realized, far more clever and strange than he had predicted.

Choi Han knew that he was decades older than Cale-nim, knew that there was still more that Cale-nim did not truly know about him.

But that, among everything, had been one he was most frightened of anyone learning.

The kittens had known - of course they had - since he had reeked of the Forest when he’d first arrived, and they’d confronted him on Cale-nim’s behalf, worried over their weak human, but Cale-nim… How did he know? What had happened that he had become knowledgeable about such a thing?

The people of Harris Village had accepted him because he was strong. Cale-nim too, had been that way, had valued his strength as well.

But something told him there was more to this story than what he knew.

A giggle alerts him to the sudden approach of a woman, and he turns out of pure politeness, the girl giggling and fluttering her lashes at him coyly.

“Can I help you?” He says, wondering why she wasn’t as put off by his demeanor as most were, the swordsman giving her a faint frown.

“Oh, I was just wondering if you’d like to eat dinner with me,” She says with a giggle, looking up at him with a hopeful flutter of her lashes.

“Sorry,” he says, deciding to cut her off at the pass, “Too female.” Her expression shifts to shocked surprise, and the other girls behind them twitter along, giggling in what they probably thought was a cute manner.

As far as Choi Han was concerned, they were annoying.

I should hurry and get dinner, so I can talk to Cale-nim, he thinks, turning away and striding off towards a tavern. Fuck it, something greasy will have to do. The ladies stare after him, before an explosion of noise follows behind.

“Too female?!” One shrieks in obvious surprise, quickly followed by another going, “Not fair! I want a guy as cute as him to follow me around!” And yet another giggling at her friend for her bad luck with a giggled, “A guy in a suit like that? He’s obviously taken honey. Look at that tailoring! Nobody but a rich boyfriend could afford to put him up in that.”

Flustered, Choi Han walks a little faster.

He was starting to understand why Cale-nim always looked so exasperated when he went out on his own.

For now, he would focus on getting dinner for himself and Cale-nim. All other things could wait.

Chapter Text

By the time Choi Han returns, Cale-nim is laying on his bed, staring vacantly out at the city with unseeing eyes. He doesn’t turn to acknowledge Choi Han in any way save for a thin trembling that works its way over his body.

Oh.

Oh.

His Cale-nim was still scared of him. A small, unworthy part of him that had been nurtured in the Forest croons, pleased without words of this instinctive fear, of this terror. The majority of him is unhappy to see his beloved Cale-nim so terrified of him, and he sets the food down, strips his gloves and shoes off and draws closer, sits on the bed.

Cale-nim does not stop him, there is no request for him to stay away, so he moves closer.

Cale-nim doesn’t speak when he joins him, merely trembles more when he slots into place behind him. Choi Han is careful and slow when he pulls Cale-nim into his embrace, taking Cale-nim’s freezing hands in his own.

“You’re cold, Cale,” he says softly, his breath washing over Cale-nim’s shoulder. Cale-nim’s expression hasn’t changed, stares outside still, but his trembling is easing now as Choi Han uses his body to warm his Cale-nim. He keeps the touch light, rubbing the soft hands in his own and pulling Cale-nim closer.

Part of him wants to press Cale-nim right now, to demand answers, to ask for what Cale-nim has yet to tell him.

Instead, he curls Cale-nim closer, lays his other hand against the trembling beat of a heart, and holds him close.

“I’m not going to abandon you, Cale,” he whispers softly, holding both of his hands in place with one while he keeps the other pressed against Cale-nim’s heart. “You’re my liege, I won’t walk away from you.”

The barest whisper of a hiccup. His eyes close, and he presses back against Choi Han, still trembling, still shaking.

“You can’t guarantee that. You haven’t heard what I have to say,” Cale-nim says, tone harsh. Choi Han gives a soft sigh, pulls Cale-nim as tight as he dares.

“Listen to me,” he murmurs gently, strokes his fingers over Cale-nim’s heart. “I mean it, Cale. Listen to me. You gave me a purpose. A life. Reasons not to let myself be consumed by rage and hate, to think that killing my enemies was the only way, that I could be more than just a weapon.” Softer, he continues. “I thank god every day for what you’ve given me, because I get to live.” Choi Han rocks Cale-nim a little, the man’s trembling easing as warmth suffuses his every inch. “I will never. Ever. Hate you, Cale,” he whispers, turning Cale-nim to face him.

Cherrywood eyes regard him with something close to wonder, and he places a finger over Cale-nim’s lips when they part.

“Not tonight. You asked me to wait,” He murmurs. “So I’ll wait, as long as you need to tell me the truth.” A small smile, and Choi Han sits Cale-nim up, cups Cale-nim’s face with gentle warmth.

“Promise me,” Cale-nim’s voice cracks a little. “Promise me, you won’t leave me behind.” Choi Han thinks that perhaps this explains some of Cale-nim’s apathy. Who has he lost? What has he lost to make him so terrified to lose again?

Choi Han doesn’t know, but if he finds it, his fist will be introduced to that thing’s face.

“So long as you want me, I’ll be here,” he promises, and that seems to be enough, for now.

 


 

It’s not over. It is so far from over that Cale isn’t sure if it's safe to breathe a little sigh of relief or not. He doesn’t, because at some point, he will have to tell Choi Han the truth, admit his transgressions. Instead, he accepts the food, nibbles on it. It’s hot and greasy, and Cale couldn’t for the life of him recall what it was, but it tasted good enough to eat, warm and filling. Choi Han eats with him, the two sitting together on the couch, thighs brushing.

“Cale.” Choi Han’s call of his name is quiet. “Tomorrow, you’ll take me to that jewelry store, and you’ll help me pick out a watch.” His soft breath brushes over Cale’s ear, and he shivers a little. “I was too stunned to react, back then, but I’d be very grateful to have something to keep time.” Cale feels the tiny knot of tension in his stomach loosen, and he manages a glance towards Choi Han.

Unlike what he expected, there’s a small smile on the swordsman’s lips, warm fingers casually tucking an unattended strand of hair out of the way. Those warm fingers linger on his jaw, leaving a faint burning sensation behind.

“Okay,” Cale manages, when the silence stretches out. “I’ll take you out tomorrow. We’ll get you something nice.” Choi Han’s gray eyes warm softly, and he pulls away, taking their empty plates and setting them outside of their room, the tavern door firmly sealed shut.

“Let’s get some rest,” Choi Han recommends, and helps him up. “After our trip, we’ll have to spend all day in the carriage to keep on track.” A little touch to his wrist, and Cale burns there too. He softly runs his thumb over the back of Cale’s hand. “I’ll go get changed now. Good night, Cale,” He says affectionately, and Cale’s breath hitches a little.

My Cale.

He wanted that still.

“Good night, Choi Han,” he manages, and the swordsman smiles softly at him again, fingers curling tight to pull Cale’s hand to his mouth and -

Chu

A little kiss to his knuckles. A hot blush colors Cale’s face, those gray eyes watching him and looking satisfied with whatever they find, before disappearing into the bathroom with the clothes to change.

Dazed, Cale looks at where Choi Han had kissed him, before carefully pressing his lips to the same spot.

His fingers and mouth tingle, soft yearning.

When Cale falls asleep that night, he dreams of puppies and Choi Han, the two of them living in luxurious comfort.

 


 

When Choi Han comes out of the bathroom, he can see how his Cale-nim is comfortably laid out, the hand he had kissed pressed softly against that plush mouth, and he smiles, takes a seat on the bed to admire him, fingertips skimming the tousled red. With a smile, Choi Han takes an extra blanket out of the wardrobe to lay it over his forever-chilly liege, bends down to press a kiss to his temple.

“I want to see more of this,” he whispers. “I want to see all of your emotions, just for me.” It is still too soon to spend the night within Cale-nim’s bed, but he can imagine Cale-nim in his arms better now, since he’d held him less than an hour ago. He turns so he can see that soft, heavenly visage for himself, the barest sliver of moonlight cutting across the bridge of Cale-nim’s nose.

He falls asleep to that pretty vision, inescapably pleased.

The dream that comes to him is different to his fantasies before. Choi Han knows now that he has more power than simply physical strength. His thoughts, his opinions, they matter to his Cale-nim. Cale-nim trembles before him, dressed in his shirt and little else, seeking approval in a way he would never admit to another living soul, and Choi Han smirks to see it.

“You’re so easily frightened,” he chuckles, pats his thigh invitingly. “Come. Let me show you how much you mean to me, Cale.” Cale trembles at the sight of him, but comes eagerly, settles on one leg and looks up at him with a shy eagerness that he finds so very, very cute.

Today, he is the one in charge, he is in control of Cale, his beloved, darling, easily terrified love. Slowly, Choi Han lures the skittish nobleman in, seizing his mouth in a hot kiss, Cale squeaking in surprise before eagerly joining in his kiss, sucking on Choi Han’s tongue when he dares to enter it into that hot, wet mouth.

God, did he want to eat Cale alive. “You’re so fucking cute,” he growls, yanks Cale closer to run his fingers down the soft skin, tease that tight hole. To his surprise, running his fingers around his favorite place yielded the knowledge that he was already prepared, hole slick with lube. “Oh?” Choi Han grins at the feeling that meets his fingers, all but purring at the realization that his liege was a rather dirty little thing after all. “You’re so goddamn cute,” Choi Han grins, plunging two fingers in deep, Cale crying his name in surprise.

“C-ah! - Choi Han!” His liege begs, tears welling up in pretty eyes. He gives a warm hum, nuzzling Cale’s throat as he mercilessly fucks Cale on his fingers, the pretty nobleman crying out in startled pleasure, hands gripping him firmly.

“Naughty thing, prepping yourself without my say so,” He growls, Cale whimpering as he finds that sweet spot, rubbing it with clear intent to torment. “Haven’t I told you not to do that without me there to enjoy you?”

“I’m sorr- hah - sorry!” Cale gasps between each thrust of his fingers, squirming in the absolutely most delightful of ways. “I wa-aah! I wanted you to - mmph! - wanted you to catch me,” he manages to whine in between his punishment, and Choi Han stops cold, Cale giving a distressed whimper when Choi Han dared to stop.

Oh, that little fucking -

“That’s it,” Choi Han growls. “You goddamn tease, I’m going to make sure you can’t fucking walk when I’m done with you.” Cale looks at him, at the dangerous grin on his face, and whimpers prettily for him.

Oh, he’d have his Cale screaming his name, soon enough.

 


 

They both wake at the same time. Or at least, that’s how it feels to Cale, meeting sleepy gray eyes across the room. He had never felt so content before, the dream of Choi Han and he attempting  to tame such badly behaved little puppies still playing in his head.

It turns his expression into a smile, soft and sleepy.

“Good morning,” he says hoarsely, and Choi Han gives him a fond smile in return, equally soft, equally quiet.

“Good morning, Cale,” He says, those gray eyes full of affection.

Your Cale. Call me yours.

He pushes the thought to a side, sleepily making his way up on the bed and rubbing his eyes. Choi Han sits up then too, takes his hands, much to Cale’s sleepy displeasure. He tries to tug them back, but Choi Han ignores him, rubbing warmth into them before pressing a kiss to his knuckles again.

Red dusts Cale's cheeks, and Choi Han smiles up at Cale, looking mysteriously satisfied, like a cat that got the cream.

“When do you want to go shopping?” He asks, and Cale isn’t sure how much of this his heart can take.

“After we eat,” Cale says, and Choi Han’s lips curl up into a lazy, languid smile.

“What would you like?” He asks, and Cale doesn’t know, simply shrugs.

“I trust your taste,” he says, and Choi Han smiles softly at him, leans in to press another kiss to their joined hands. Fire rushes through him, makes him flush pink.

“I’ll be back soon then, Cale,” he says softly, rubs his thumb over Cale’s knuckles, before meandering off to get dressed. Cale can’t find the strength to get up quite yet, instead leaning against the bed and watching as Choi Han debates what to wear.

“I haven’t seen you wear anything purple for a while,” Cale says, and Choi Han glances back at him, mildly surprised. Then, he smiles.

“If that’s what you want, Cale,” he says, easily pulling on a pair of black slacks and grabbing a rich purple shirt. Rolling up his sleeves, Choi Han debates in front of the mirror, before taking the cream-colored vest and donning the matching suit jacket for the slacks. Cale watches him as he hides a handful of knives on his person.

Watching him do that sparks something, a slow hunger as he realizes - yet again - how lovely Choi Han is. Last night’s dream had been something… whimsical. Soft and gentle and he’d so genuinely wanted it to be real. He could really have been there, just him and Choi Han.

But watching him now, his beautiful figure in the early morning light, fingers combing through his dark hair before he tugged on a pair of gloves, Cale can’t imagine seeing him as anything but absolutely deadly and devastatingly handsome. Choi Han returns to his side, kneels down. His gloved hand cups Cale’s face, thumb rubbing across his cheek.

“I’ll bring up a glass of brandy for you,” he says softly, and Cale’s cheeks flush.

He’d completely forgotten about drinking the last few days, and he wonders why that was. Has Choi Han been enough for him? Had he been too deeply taken in by the swordsman?

“Mmm… It’s fine,” he says quietly, Choi Han’s thumb stopping at his mouth, gently pressing down on his lower lip. “Coffee’s good enough.”

“If you insist, Cale,” Choi Han says quietly, gray eyes watching him fondly. He manages a smile even with Choi Han’s thumb resting on his lower lip, nods.

“Come back soon,” he says, and part of him hates how obvious he is, his tone shifting to a faint plea.

Choi Han smiles at him, pure indulgence in his expression.

“Of course, Cale.”

Your Cale.

The door closes behind him like a promise.

 


 

On the other side of the door, Choi Han releases a shaky breath, closes his eyes.

Cale-nim clearly still thought him angry. Part of him was, he couldn’t really deny that truth. But seeing his liege there, sleepily watching him with clear, absolute admiration in his gaze had cooled his temper some. How could he be angry when such a divine vision looked at him like he was the sun?

Guiltily, Choi Han wishes he hadn’t been wearing gloves, presses his lips against his thumb before rubbing it clean on his slacks and heading downstairs. Egg-dipped toast is in the line, and Choi Han isn’t sure what it really is, but takes a plateful anyways, assured after watching some of the patrons drown theirs in syrup and fruit. He sets them separately on a tray, carrying everything up after he was sure he had enough coffee for his Cale-nim.

Cale-nim is in the midst of getting dressed when he returns, so he quietly puts the food on a table, watches as Cale-nim slips into his slacks, the fabric hugging his every curve in a way Choi Han wished he could mimic, before pausing.

Choi Han, sensing opportunity, comes up from behind.

“Something wrong, Cale?” He asks, and has the delight of watching that pretty blush spread from his cheeks down his chest. His liege looks startled to see him, and he supposed that his liege had been truly distracted.

“Choi Han!” He yelps, looking suddenly startled. Choi Han smiles at him warmly, and he tucks a strand of hair behind an ear. “I...” The blush that spreads across his cheeks as he looks up at Choi Han is… oh, it’s lovely. With a soft smile, Choi Han reaches past him and pulls one of Cale-nim’s shirts out, pressing it into his liege’s hand.

“I like this one on you,” he says lowly, and Cale-nim turns a brighter shade of pink at his forwardness.

“I… Okay,” the man manages, wide-eyed.

It’s so easy to startle his liege, to catch him off guard. Normally, his liege was always calm, always in control. Seeing him like this, seeing him in such a state that Choi Han’s words alone can leave him breathless and blushing and in dire, desperate need of affection…

It won’t last. But Choi Han relishes in it now for it’s fleeting existence, glad he could steal these precious moments from Cale-nim.

Perhaps it is cruel of him.

But as he watches Cale-nim dress, he’s reminded of that dark place within himself that liked to see pretty things broken, and affectionately, he remembers that he’s not quite there yet. Cale-nim would give that to him, eventually.

Choi Han was a very, very patient man.

After all, it had taken him decades to meet Cale.

What was a few more weeks?

 


 

Cale’s heart hasn’t quite settled in his chest since Choi Han had suddenly appeared behind him, but he manages to enjoy his breakfast anyways.

And in the meantime, he’s figured out and settled in his head what he wanted. He still had to teach Choi Han how to act, how to be someone he wasn’t, and part of him very desperately wanted to take advantage of the chance he was given to determine what he really wanted.

He’s settled mostly back into himself by the time they’re ready to head out of the door, Choi Han making arrangements to leave a little after lunch with the carriage driver, who looks relieved to be able to take some time looking around town himself. Carefully, Cale presses a palmful of gold coins in the man’s hands when he wistfully mentions his daughter.

“Find her something nice,” Cale says, and the carriage driver stares, before lighting up and thanking him profusely. Choi Han is quick to gently get the carriage driver to back off with a smile and a reminder that time was wasting, to which the driver quickly bows and rushes out.

Carefully, Cale stretches his fingers out.

“Ow.” He complains. It didn’t really hurt, but it definitely didn’t feel nice. Choi Han takes Cale’s hand in his own, inspecting it gently. The swordsman runs his thumb over the slightly pinched flesh, bringing it to his lips.

Cale’s face immediately reddens.

“We’re in public,” He hisses, and Choi Han raises a brow, looks utterly unconcerned.

“You’re my liege,” he says without missing a beat. “I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t take care of you properly.” Cale manages to strangle the noise he wants to make into a groan of annoyance, glares at the unrepentant swordsman.

“You’re not going to budge on this, are you.”

“Of course not,” Choi Han says simply. Cale glares harder.

“Fine then,” he huffs, looks away to hide his pleasure. “I’ll get creative about getting you back, then.” Choi Han looks… amused at that development.

“Mmm. As you wish, Cale,” The swordsman teases, leaves him flustered. Snatching his hand back, he can see how Choi Han stifles a smile, that old puppy-like eagerness returning easily. It’s a front, they both know it, but it helps him settle. His puppy knight returns to tease him, now and again, a combination of being both incredibly sweet and somehow… very desirable. They walk together in silence, and Cale takes note of the shops, before finding the one he was looking for.

"Here we are," he says, satisfied. The prince had mentioned this place once, noting that the price was rather high, but the quality was nothing to sneeze at when it came down to it. He’d shown off his even, praising the workmanship as nothing short of stunning. Observing the outside, Cale can feel how Choi Han shrinks a little at the clear wealth, unused to such luxuries despite his ease around Cale and the palace.

Here, it was obvious - too obvious - that Choi Han was too inexperienced to be left alone. They’re greeted with silence, and Cale carefully drags him over to an alleyway, a hand on his wrist. A glance, and Cale notes that this must be a common place - the ground is well-worn.

“Choi Han, look at me,” he whispers. Gray eyes look at him, swallowing warily. “Look at me.” The swordsman straightens some, and he smiles. “Consider this a pop quiz,” he tells the man, and Choi Han regards him warily. “You’ve seen how I act, how I behave, who I talk to and how. Mimic it, right now. I don’t want to see you look excited, I want you to be bored. Pretend it’s just you and me.” Choi Han blinks, but he obeys quickly enough, shifting to that same confident stance, that arrogant air. He lifts his chin the slightest bit, but there’s still a hint of inexperience in there, of worry. Cale bites his lower lip, tries to come up with the words.

“Think of this as a fight,” he tries, and that makes Choi Han blink down at Cale, faint frown on his lips. “Engaging an unknown objective,” he corrects, and Choi Han’s eyes widen. “Don’t let that uncertainty take you. Never show weakness.” He gently places his palm over his swordsman’s eyes, and Choi Han takes a few deep breaths, before pulling his hand off.

Confidence glitters in them, and the look is complete. Cale skims his fingernails over a soft cheek, pats him once.

“Good boy,” Cale says with a smile. A blush dusts Choi Han’s face, and the two of them enter the shop properly.

There are only a handful of watches that line the display, each one formed in a beautiful case. They’re complicated works of art, magic and mundane clockwork masterpieces. Cale takes him to a handful, but none of them really stand out to him, and Choi Han is content to merely observe rather than state a preference.

“None of these suit you,” Cale complains. They’re much too flashy, too shiny, and will give Choi Han away at night if he wears them. But it will help him fit in at the casinos, showcase class and money. Choi Han seems distracted, so Cale allows Choi Han to drag him over to a set further back, the swordsman pulling him into a loose hug and setting his chin on Cale’s shoulder while he observes the set of watches here.

They’re still incredibly flashy, but he can see what had attracted him to them. They looked beautiful, graceful figures of dragons and wolves and phoenixes woven around central timepieces, tiny rhinestones for eyes and two round gemstones cut for maximum sparkle. Choi Han’s fingers are pressed against his waist, gray eyes flicking between each one with deep consideration.

Slowly, his fingers reach out, tapping above the dragon with an interested look. It’s a pretty, pretty thing, and part of his past as Kim Rok Soo wakes as he observes.

It had been an old memory, his childhood self watching his grandfather make delicate watches by hand, elegance personified. He was surprised he remembered the memory at all.

“Mmm.” Tilting his head, he considers it. “It’s nice. Triple axis Tourbillon to offset the weight of the dragon,” Cale murmurs, wishes he could hold it in his hands to better see. “I think I can see some constellations where the bulk of the mechanism is as a covering plate,” a fingertip hovers over the display, shifts to the black claw thoughtfully. “This here is one of two counterweights… Hmm. Black Opal? That’s an unusual choice for a watch like this. And this one here… hmm. Moissanite? It’s got a bit more sparkle than most gemstones, and it looks similar to diamond.”

Cale leans in to take a better look. “Hmm. The cuts are definitely too big for diamonds, but I like the way they made them. Rather risky to cut it like this - if even one is off, the whole thing loses its shine.”

“I have an experienced customer, I see.” The voice makes him straighten faster than he would normally, and Choi Han, sensitive to his alarm, tightens his grip, possessively pulling Cale flush against his chest.

“I’m not an expert, but watches are fascinating to see being made,” Cale says evenly, lifts a hand up to touch against Choi Han’s face gently. The hand loosens around his waist, but he doesn’t look too pleased at the suddenness of the man’s appearance.

“It’s still nice, young man, to see someone who knows what they’re talking about.” The elderly gentleman wanders behind the desk and carefully withdraws the watch, offers it to Cale with a smile. Rather than taking it, Cale gives Choi Han a significant look. The swordsman unwinds one arm from his waist to take it into a gloved hand, lifting it so Cale could see the design better on the backplate.

The detailing was exquisite, he has to admit, and Cale digs into his pocket to take out a pair of gloves himself, holding the watch when a bored-looking Choi Han offers it to him.

“The design is very detailed,” Choi Han says easily. “It’s a bit heavier than what I’m used to, and it’d be a shame to have to wear it on my off-hand.” The watchmaker gives him a skeptical look, before straightening. Choi Han had chosen well, picking gloves that would hide his lack of tan where a wristwatch would be, as well as the blade that was on his hip, settled in a higher quality scabbard than the practical one he preferred.

Cale could tell that the man thought Choi Han was a royal knight. He was nothing so lofty, but the impression was there, and Cale wanted to use it.

“Do you like it?” Cale asks, and Choi Han glances at it again, bored indifference. He’s clearly interested, but at the same time, Cale can tell he’s taken his words to heart, and is playing up his act.

“If you want to make me pretty, sure,” He says frankly, and Cale stifles a smile. “I’d prefer to have something that matches with you, if I can get it.” Cale can feel a blush cross his face at the forward-seeming words, and knows Choi Han is being bluntly honest.

The watchmaker clears his throat. “I have something… lighter,” the man offers. “I made a full set of ten, but nobody has bought them yet, since I haven’t released them to the public.” Cale hands the watch back, and Choi Han straightens.

“I suppose we can see,” Choi Han says, tone arrogant.

The watchmaker bows and hurries off, leaves them to wait.

Cale can’t hide his smile. “Well done,” he says softly, and Choi Han grins a little, pleased by the praise.

Chapter Text

Choi Han is reluctant to let Cale-nim go, but when the watchmaker comes back with a case clearly too heavy for him to carry easily, he slips free of his Cale-nim, steps forward to take the box in his hands with graceful ease.

It’s not as heavy as he would have expected, but he can see why others might have trouble with it. He takes gentle care to not scratch the glass casings, setting it down so softly that the weight doesn’t make even a single sound.

“Ah, thank you young man,” the elderly gentleman says, before taking a miniscule key from his neck and unlocking the box. His task done, Choi Han returns to Cale-nim’s side, wraps his liege back in his arms without a care for how it looks. Cale-nim glances at him curiously, but says nothing, the two watching as several smaller packages are freed as well. Gloves are pulled on, and slowly, the man unwraps each one.

… Oh my.

“That’s impressive,” Cale-nim says, quiet awe in his tone. “Turning the tourbillon cage into the centerpiece while maintaining the silhouette.” Choi Han has absolutely no idea what that means, instead carefully squeezing his Cale-nim’s waist in silent questioning. Seeing his expression, Cale-nim takes the time to explain.

“Tourbillon cages are typically round because their design is meant to offset the hindrance of gravity on the clockwork mechanisms. See here?” He tilts one watch to the side, and Choi Han obediently peers over at it. “Without a tourbillon, every time you tilt your wrist vertically, the pull of gravity changes the time count. It’s fractional, of course, every single second is still mostly on time, but after a while, you have to rewind the watch. Tourbillon cages are designed to counter that. However, the math to make a tourbillon cage not be spherical in nature without impacting the task it’s meant to do is...” A soft sigh.

“I see.” And Choi Han could. While he was not an expert when it came to such complex math, he could understand and greatly appreciate such artistry when it was given so much thought. Lean fingers reach, and he picks up the first one that had caught his eye. It was not a dragon - rather, it was a wolf, reminding him of Cale-nim’s nickname for him.

Puppy.

Placing that one back, he takes up the one next to it to inspect it as well.

This one is shaped like a phoenix, and he turns Cale-nim around, his liege giving a startled noise at the sudden action. Carefully, he brings it up to Cale-nim’s eyes, compares them.

The gemstones that connect each wire are a match, and he especially likes the wireframe feathers for how they dance in the light, their embedded gems sparking flames with their refraction. Cale-nim waits, startled surprise fading quickly to bored-looking affection, though he could feel how tense Cale-nim is where his hand lies, pressing against the small of his back.

“I like this one for you,” he says evenly, Cale-nim looking up at him with a faint smile. He sets it back, and allows Cale-nim to compare the paired watch to his eyes as well.

"This one is good, and it feels light to me," Cale-nim says, so Choi Han takes it in his hand when Cale-nim offers, tests the weight. The weight has significantly decreased, to his pleasure.

"I have no objections, if you don't, Cale." Choi Han says, smiling slightly. With a hum, Cale-nim turns around to face the watchmaker, who is watching them with every evidence of pure fascination.

"We'll take it," Cale answers for them both, can feel how possessively Choi Han holds him, how reluctant he is to let him go.

 


 

Cale's not surprised when Choi Han carefully steers them into an empty alleyway when they've completed their transaction, composed expression cracking at the frankly staggering amount Cale had just spent on him, the very prizes still at the store, to be delivered before noon.

"Tha- mmph?" Choi Han's words are cut off by Cale's hand, the redhead waiting until he's silenced to pull it back.

"Can we talk about that after lunch, when we're on the way to the last hotel?" Cale asks softly. Choi Han's eyes narrow suspiciously, but he slowly, reluctantly, nods. Cale relaxes a little, caressing Choi Han's cheek with his fingertips. "Good. There's more than a few reasons why I didn't haggle with him, and why I'm not arguing the expense." Choi Han's eyes are half-closed, the man nuzzling his fingertips like a puppy, and Cale feels a faint flush creep up his cheeks. It's actually difficult to pull away from that visage.

Oh my.

It was a very, very good thing Cale hadn’t taught this man how to seduce someone because this look… It was very combustible. His cheeks flush a little, and he has to look away from that heated, almost longing look.

“We should eat,” he says, and Choi Han pulls away, a small, secretive smile curling his lips.

“As it pleases you, Cale,” He says, tone light as he keeps Cale close to his side, that same arrogance sliding over his skin like a weapon.

One against Cale, but a weapon all the same.

“You’re very dangerous,” Cale says, his chest heaving up and down a little with faint desire.

He can’t. Not with this secret hanging over their heads, with the truth not yet given to Choi Han.

“Do  you want me to stop?” Choi Han asks, drawing dangerously close, Cale pressed against the wall by his presence alone.

This world… It was so different from the book he had read. Choi Han, especially, was darker, more dangerous, and so much more alluring to him here, unable to run away from something he both wanted and was very afraid of having.

With that in mind, Cale answers him, shivering at the way Choi Han looked at him, eyes dark and wanting so very, very much.

All he had to say was stop, and he knew Choi Han would.

“I don’t know,” Is the final confession, and Choi Han’s smile turns just the faintest bit predatory. He leans in, and Cale closes his eyes, trembling from - desire? Want? He didn’t know, and that scared him.

A soft kiss brushes his cheek, and Cale’s eyes open, almost against his will, to see Choi Han there, lips curled into a faint, gentle smile.

“Then I’ll wait, Cale. I have all the time in the world to wait for you.” The man straightens, and Cale’s knees feel weak.

Oh.

I am in serious trouble.

 


 

Choi Han is capable of self-control. Decades of living alone in a Forbidden Region had changed the boy that had entered it, leaving a monster under his skin that he tried desperately to tame, to bring to heel before it could sink its claws into everyone and everything he loved to tear them apart by his darker, less human curiosity.

That monster is awake now, chomping at the bit to take Cale-nim, seize him and break him and remake him.

Oh, does that monster in him hunger.

Cale-nim had no idea what he was holding back, how much it took to keep the kiss chaste, to leash himself from his own worst nature. He carefully pulls Cale-nim closer to him, and the two walk side by side, the silence falling between them in a combination of comfort and wariness. Comfortable, with how well they understand one another. Wary, because they both know this balance may not last forever.

Cale-nim’s confession was still unrevealed, and Choi Han knew whatever it may be, it would change their dynamic between one another.

“Cale,” He says, and the redhead obediently looks at him. “Should I pick what’s for lunch, or do you have someplace in mind?” Cale-nim looks up at him, those cherrywood eyes considering in silence as he walks through the main street with Choi Han.

“What do you like?” He asks, and Choi Han bites his lower lip a little. Decades have sent the fuzzy memories of his old childhood far from his mind, and he’d not been able to be picky about his meals while in the Forest.

(Monsters were monsters, now matter how one cooked them.)

Slowly, he shrugs.

“Spicy things,” he says, aches suddenly for the memory of tteokbokki, the chewiness of the rice cake, the heat of the peppers it was stewed in. “Rice. Some beef.” Cale-nim’s expression turns faintly exasperated, his liege back in full at his absolute non-answer.

“Why did I even ask?” He muses aloud, and Choi Han stifles a small smile.

“Sorry… I’ve never had a chance to be picky,” he says, and Cale-nim looks at him in growing exasperation.

“Aiya,” he grumbles, shaking his head. “Fine. I’ll just take you over to one that Rosalyn mentioned a while ago. The food should be good there.” Frankly, the food could taste like shit and Choi Han wouldn’t care, but he knew his liege would.

It’s not difficult to find the place, and they’re let in quite easily when the man recognizes the Henituse crest Cale-nim carries on him. Choi Han can see how eyes suddenly are on them, and he immediately shifts, pulls Cale-nim closer to himself and holds him. Cale doesn’t protest, though he does get a questioning look instead.

“I don’t like the way they look at you,” he says, and Choi Han is surprised to see Cale-nim’s expression warm with amusement.

“Funny. Here I thought they were looking at you.” Cale-nim’s tone is light and teasing, and he flushes a bit.

“Aren’t you worried about it?” Choi Han asks, wondering if his Cale-nim got jealous or if it was a waste of his energy. To his surprise, Cale-nim chuckles.

“Why would I be?” He asks, looking up at Choi Han. “Aren’t I your liege?”

Choi Han damn near trips over his own feet.

Thankfully, they’re seated rather quickly in a cozy little booth, and Cale-nim’s fingers twitch slightly, before he puts them below the table, as though restraining himself.

“Cale,” he says, once their menus have been perused and selections made, “Why did you recruit me?” Cale-nim bites his lower lip, and he hazards a quiet, “Is it because of your previous confession?”

“Yes.” Cale-nim doesn’t beat around the bush, tells him the truth without embellishment, and he sighs a little, frustrated. “I never intended to have you stay,” Cale-nim says frankly, and his heart breaks a little at the confession. “My plan, back then, was to give you everything you needed to complete your objective, and then let you go.” Here, Cale-nim gives him a vaguely frustrated look. “For some reason, you chose to stay.”

Choi Han’s smile curls up a little. “Isn’t that your hobby? Collecting strays?” He teases, and Cale-nim’s frustrated expression turns to annoyance.

“No,” he denies immediately, and Choi Han grins, leans on his elbows to open his mouth to refute that claim. “Absolutely not, I have not been collecting strays.”

“Oh? You haven’t? How did we meet Raon again? And tell me how you met the kittens, I’m simply dying to know.” It’s not a side of himself he’s used to indulging, this casual, wicked teasing that makes poor Cale-nim flustered, the man glaring at him irritably and huffing.

“It’s not a habit,” he complains, and Choi Han, grinning, opens his mouth. “Shut it, you.” Chuckling, Choi Han closes his mouth, smiling at the sight of his liege, reluctantly hiding a smile behind one hand.

“As you wish, Cale,” he purrs, gets the pleasure of watching his liege’s ears go pink.

 


 

“Now am I allowed to ask?” Choi Han says the moment they enter the carriage, and Cale sighs.

“You have no patience,” he complains, Choi Han setting the little table up in between them.

“I have some patience,” Choi Han says dryly. “I waited this long, didn’t I?” He says, and Cale has a suspicious feeling that he’s not just talking about the watches. Shaking his head, Cale watches Choi Han set down the bottle of wine he’d bought at the restaurant for him with a little bit of curiosity, before setting the boxes down on the table and opening them.

“The reason these cost half a million galleons isn’t because of them looking pretty. If it was only good looking, I wouldn’t have spent even a quarter as much,” Cale admits, and Choi Han looks him over. Relaxes at whatever he sees. Before Cale can put his watch on, strong hands take it out, and gray eyes look at him in hopeful expectation. With a bit of a sigh, he allows it, and feels how gently and lovingly Choi Han settles the pretty watch on his wrist. His cheeks turn a faint pink.

Damn that dream. He couldn’t afford to get himself tied up like this, yearning for something that would most certainly not be his once he told the truth.

“Look at the work on the backplate,” he says instead, and Choi Han obediently peers at it.

“It looks… like letters,” he says, still confused. Cale almost sighs, reminding himself Choi Han knows less of this world than he does.

“It’s magic runes, Choi Han. The cost of the watch isn’t the design, it’s the magic that goes into them.” Gray eyes widen, and a soft noise leaves his throat.

“What kind?” He asks, awe dripping from his tone. Cale gives him a little sigh, and takes the one that will belong to Choi Han and carefully puts it on his knight, the swordsman letting him do so happily.

“It can’t be stolen, for one, but that requires a bit of blood.” Cale can see the wariness, so he adds quietly, “To be allowed to imbue blood magic to craftsmanship requires an oath at the temple of the Death God. No ill intent would be allowed, Choi Han.” His swordsman obediently relaxes at the affirmation, looking at him in silent curiosity. Cale takes a moment to prepare himself.

Useful or not, pain is pain, and he hates it all.

A twist of the winding mechanism, and a sharp pain stabs his tender wrist where the back of the watch rests. Choi Han copies him without question, winces in surprise at the feeling himself.

It’s worth it, however, when the dial lights up, the eyes of the phoenix glowing from within as it recognizes him as the owner of the watch. He can see how the wolf glows on Choi Han’s, before they become inert once again.

“Wow,” Choi Han breathes, eyes lighting up with delight as he observes his watch. Cale lets him enjoy it for a moment, and then, he leans in to tell Choi Han exactly what they do.

 


 

His liege really was too generous, Choi Han thinks to himself, putting away his most expensive gift yet on the nightstand, a smile on his lips as he regards his already asleep liege. They’d finally arrived at their destination, but his liege - already very tired from the many ups and downs they had experienced on their journey, had been much too tired to do more than enter the hotel, receive the best room for them to share, and fall asleep without even bothering to undress.

With a sigh, Choi Han knows that such touch will only fuel his fantasies for the night, but he knows his liege will complain about Choi Han not waking him if he doesn’t, so instead, he allows his liege rest. Slowly, he pulls off Cale-nim’s shoes, runs a finger over that dainty ankle with some wistfulness, and wishes he dared kiss the pale flesh.

He knew it would be too much, despite his liege’s shaky confession earlier today. Fingers tremble over his belt, and he has to bite back a low whine when he eases his Cale-nim out of his dress shirt.

I like this one on you.

Oh, did he like it more off of his Cale-nim. He has to bite his lower lip, count to ten when he carries his liege from the bottom of the luxurious bed and settle him on the center, his red hair spilling invitingly on the silky black of the pillows.

Oh, how jealous he was of everything that was allowed to caress his Cale-nim. Bending over, Choi Han instead kisses his liege's temple, lingers there to breathe in the sweet scent of his liege.

I don’t care what truth you want to tell me, Cale-nim, he thinks, pulling away to undress and retire for the evening. You’re mine.

Now and forever.

I'll make you mine if it kills me.

Sleep claims him like a thunderstorm, coming fast and hard on the heels of that possessive thought.

Water.

It laps at his body, the heat a balm to his skin. He’s alone in the baths in this dreamy fantasy, gray eyes looking around for a familiar head of red hair. Cale-nim is nowhere in sight, so he heaves a sigh, pulls himself out of the bath, and dries quickly.

There’s no point if Cale-nim isn't here with him. Exiting nets him a beautiful surprise, and he groans at the sweet, lavish sight before him.

Just like before, Cale-nim is asleep, spread on the bed. Not like before, Cale-nim is bare of all but a towel, the only sign of him having ever taken a bath the damp hair that shines in the light like rubies.

“Were you waiting for me long?” He asks, voice rough as he climbs on the bed to join Cale-nim, the pretty noble looking at him with one cracked-open eye.

“Long enough to feel cold,” his liege says, closing his eyes again. Choi Han circles him, sits back on his heels as he regards the vision before him, fingers reaching out to skim soft skin.

“What do you want tonight?” He asks, and Cale-nim gives him a smile, half-hidden by pillows.

“Bruises,” Cale-nim says, and his heart skips a beat. “Lovebites, scratch marks, your teeth imprinted on my shoulder. I want all of it.” Choi Han knows it is a test. His liege hates pain. Yet... he never invites it so brazenly without genuinely wanting it.

“Do you not want me to treat you tenderly?” He asks, takes a moment to run his hand over a plump thigh, slide over a soft calf, gripping his ankle gently so he can spread Cale-nim’s legs wider. "It's been a long day."

“Mmm. A little bit of pain is fun, sometimes,” Cale-nim says lazily. “Especially when it includes your cock stuffing me full and your teeth digging into my skin.”

Nothing about the inflection changes. It’s said the same way Cale-nim would talk about the weather. Easy and lazy, nothing hurried about it.

Nothing except for his own lust. Choi Han reaches, tugs the towel off and gives a low whine at the glorious sight before him.

“You look sinful, Cale,” he says, and Cale-nim looks at him, a faint hint of a smirk curling up those plush lips.

“Do you like it?” He asks, shifts his hips so Choi Han can watch the toy twist just so with his body. “I wanted you to have fun unraveling me,” Cale-nim says, sitting on his heels. Choi Han’s eyes can’t leave the sight of the toy as it shifts within his liege until soft fingers touch his face, drawing him to look at his liege.

“Hey. Look at me,” he complains, and Choi Han obediently allows himself to be kissed. Daringly, he takes the chance to put his hands on Cale-nim’s body, skimming the flesh until he reaches those cute, perky little nipples. He rubs them lightly before pinching, his tongue pressing into that warm heat until he was licking inside his Cale-nim’s mouth. His cock is rubbing deliciously against the fabric of the towel, the heat of his liege settled lovingly before him. Cale-nim is beautiful. Glorious, even. He wants to tease him forever, taste him over and over again. Pulling back, he can see how his liege’s eyes have glazed over, pants falling from perfect lips.

Drawing his Cale-nim back in, he bites down on that soft flesh, Cale-nim giving a startled cry of pleasure.

Choi Han’s grin widens irrepressibly as he lets the monster within himself out.

 


 

Morning finds Cale sleepily drinking coffee, unwilling to crawl out of bed at such an early hour. The casinos that line the streets are still going, and he hates Choi Han for making him take the window view.

“You could have closed the curtains,” He grumbles, Choi Han looking only slightly apologetic. The rest of him seems wickedly amused instead, and Cale gives a whine when his coffee cup is pulled from his grip.

“It’s empty, Cale,” Choi Han says, grinning. “I’ll give it back, I promise.”

“You better,” he complains, half-off of the bed and not giving a damn what it’ll do to his back later. “Uuugh. It’s too early,” Cale whines, and Choi Han looks at him with fond indulgence, pouring him a fresh cup of coffee that he doses liberally with cream, sugar, and some chocolate. Choi Han has to set the coffee to a side and help him up from his position on the bed, and he doesn’t care how stupid he looks, right now.

Choi Han stifling laughter at him is a very unsubtle reminder that he probably looks like an idiot.

Does he care?

No.

Coffee!

A happy gulp, and Cale can glare blearily at the grinning look on Choi Han’s face. It’s clear his puppy knight is back in full force, and he grumbles, clings to Choi Han when the man tries to leave.

“No. This is your punishment for taking my coffee,” he says, and Choi Han allows a violent snort to leave him.

“I gave you more coffee,” he says, entertained, and Cale glares at him again.

“You took my coffee cup,” he says slowly, like he was speaking to a child. “It’s mine.” A bubble of laughter leaves Choi Han, the swordsman giving up on his freedom to work as a nice, comfortable pillow for Cale, which was only right, after taking his coffee cup.

Through his exhaustion-fueled haze, Cale knows that he’ll regret every bit of this later, but the caffeinated version of him is happy enough to rest his head on that lovely chest, eyes closing in pleasure as he puts the empty cup aside.

“C-Cale?” His swordsman sounds startled, and Cale bites his lip, keeps his head buried against that chest.

Your Cale.

Goddamnit, I want to be yours.

“Shut up. Pillows aren’t allowed to talk,” he says, and Choi Han blinks.

A laugh rumbles free of his chest, and Cale likes how that feels, likes that he can take this all for himself, can be selfish and want -

It’s temporary. Cale knows that this will not last forever. But he ignores that in favor of clinging to his Choi Han, for indulging himself in his selfish desires, for wanting something that will shatter the moment he tells Choi Han the truth.

Finally, he looks up, heart racing, cheeks flush, his decision made.

“Tomorrow will be your first assignment,” he says, and Choi Han looks down at him, smiling warmly. He won’t take this back, he won’t let Choi Han go, he can’t.

Truth or not, pain or not, lies or not.

“Tomorrow, you’ll pretend to be my toy.”

Chapter Text

Choi Han bites his lower lip, regards his liege. Cale-nim is asleep, fingers loosely wrapped and tangled in the sheets, his red hair shining in the afternoon light.

He wonders what his liege is dreaming.

He can’t imagine, but whatever it is, he wants to know, wants to ask him if he knew what Choi Han had wanted, knows how desperately he wishes to be owned.

After his liege had dropped that particular bombshell, he’d been stunned, the two of them not bothering to leave their room that day and much of today as well. Cale-nim had been too exhausted one way or another, and he’d not wanted to let his liege go after that little announcement.

Is it pretending if that’s what I am? He thinks, reaches out to stroke his liege’s hair a little possessively. He’d had plans. Such speed in achieving them had been impossible, he thought.

Of course, his liege had upended all of his careful plans as his usual unpredictable self. A smile, and Choi Han’s thumb runs over the seam of his liege’s mouth. Soft lips part for him easily, wrap around the digit without protest. He bites his lower lip, resists his desire to put something else there, instead watching how pretty his liege looks, before withdrawing his thumb.

Pretend to be your toy? Hah. There was no 'pretend' about it.

Choi Han would seize this opportunity, would service his liege, tie him ever closer, make him too dependent on Choi Han to ever let the swordsman go. Slowly, he presses his thumb to his mouth, licks it with possessive heat.

You’re too afraid of losing me, my liege. Don’t worry.

A smirk curls his lips.

I’ll make that fear nothing but a passing memory.

 


 

Cale wakes to the sight of Choi Han kneeling before his bed expectantly. He reaches out, fingers burying themselves in soft strands, and looks at Choi Han through sleep-dazed eyes.

“You’re diligent, aren’t you,” he says, stroking his fingers through that sinfully soft hair. Choi Han’s smile is angelic - or perhaps devilish - at the sight of him.

“Good evening my liege,” Choi Han greets, and Cale gives a faint scowl, tugs at the hair in his hand lightly.

He doesn’t want to be called that today.

“I’m your Cale,” Cale says coldly, and Choi Han gives a cute little yelp when he yanks at the dark hair in his hands a little harder. “Not your liege. Your Cale.”

Let me have this before it all falls to pieces.

Choi Han’s smile widens, the same dangerous gleam from outside of the watch-maker’s store returning.

“Of course, my Cale,” Choi Han caresses the words with clear, obvious pleasure, Cale’s hand sliding to cup his face in praise. There’s a faint flush, a smile on his lips at finally hearing that sweet title falling from his lips.

“Good boy,” he praises, pulls Choi Han in to lay a kiss to the corner of his mouth. Keeping him there, Cale says, “If you behave today, I’ll give you all of the kisses you want,” before letting Choi Han go, the swordsman falling back on his heels, gray eyes dazed and tongue peeking out to trace where their lips had met, corner to corner.

This was going to be a mess. An awful, glorious mess, that would upend the life Cale wanted, the comfortable, peaceful slacker dream he was working for, but right now, he didn’t care about that. What he wanted was to see Choi Han, dressed so scandalously for him, lips caressing his palm, giving in to himself, giving that dark, dangerous part of himself to Cale, in every way.

Choi Han’s chest is rising and falling, his cheeks a bit redder than usual, his smile carrying a dangerous edge. They both know this is no act, but they both play along, aiming for their own goals. Cale wonders if Choi Han really loves him, or if he wants to own him, just the same as Cale does.

Inescapably.

Maybe that is love for broken men like them. Cale sits up, and Choi Han takes the chance to settle in between his thighs, arms wrapping around his waist.

“What are we doing today, my Cale?” He asks, and the noble regards him fondly, fingers curling back into that plush softness of Choi Han’s hair.

“Right now?” He smiles. “I’m indulging.” Choi Han presses against him, arms wrapped tight around Cale’s waist. He nuzzles Cale’s stomach, tongue peeking out to playfully lick at the exposed section his shirt didn’t cover, and Cale gives a soft sigh, tugs sharply until Choi Han whines, head tilted back at his silent scolding.

"But you taste so good, my liege," he whines, yelping when Cale's other hand pinches his lower lip in chiding. "I'm sorry," he says, having recognized the chastisement without needing more than Cale's glare and pinch. "My Cale," he sighs, pouts hopefully up at him.

There's something not quite sane lurking in his eyes, a dark, greedy pleasure as though being like this, so illicitly, was feeding a part of him he had yet to show Cale.

Cale smiles, pets his hair until he's a mess, looks as though he had been doing something else with that tongue and mouth where he sat, feral and dangerously pretty.

"How dangerous you look, sitting in front of me," Cale whispers, and Choi Han smirks, expression radiating smugness. It's pure greed that leads Cale to cupping Choi Han's face, stroking it with a thumb.

"You know I'll do anything, my Cale," Choi Han murmurs, tilting his head to kiss a palm. Cale gives him a look, before allowing the intimate contact.

"Get dressed," Cale says, though he wraps his legs loosely around his back, contradicting his own words. Choi Han doesn't move, goes back to nuzzling Cale's stomach instead. Leaning back, Cale can no longer see that devil in human skin as he teases, Choi Han taking the chance to kiss what his shirt doesn't cover. It takes him a long moment to unwind his legs, to free Choi Han from his body, and Choi Han whines against his stomach.

That… that did things to him, and he has to gently press his hands against Choi Han’s forehead.

“I don’t like it when you disobey me,” he says to the air, and that makes Choi Han pause, a guilty little puppy whine leaving his throat.

“I’m sorry, my Cale,” he says apologetically, obediently sliding off to get dressed. “What do you want me to wear?” He asks, and Cale sits up, guiltily glad he can enjoy the view of Choi Han stripping down from his sleep clothes to nearly nothing, the tight, well-shaped fabric hugging his ass like a second skin.

“I should have bought you leather,” he complains, and Choi Han grins a little, glances over his selections.

“I’ll remind you next time, my Cale,” he says in return, amused by his complaints. “Mmm, I think I have something that’ll fit,” he says easily, reaches into the closet and frees a pair of pants that makes Cale’s mouth dry. “I’ve had it for some time, but never really had a chance to break it in,” Choi Han says with a little smirk, and Cale groans against the palm of his hand in longing.

There is no acting when he sits up, looks at his swordsman, crooks a finger and commands him to come without words. Choi Han, in the middle of buttoning up the tight pants he’d found, obediently wanders over.

He wants to touch all over, forces himself to be content with reaching out to pull Choi Han on his knees, the swordsman making a slightly startled noise at his sudden aggression.

“You need to tell me when you want me to stop,” Cale hisses, Choi Han’s eyes widening at his uncharacteristic display of lust. Those same eyes darken with pleasure, and Choi Han leans in with a smirk.

“Let’s not delude ourselves into thinking either of us are anything less than eagerly in agreement,” Choi Han whispers.

The madness is back in his eyes, gleaming brightly and Cale wishes he could beg Choi Han to give him mercy. Instead, he pulls on Choi Han’s hair, pulling him closer.

“You’re dangerous,” Cale whispers, and Choi Han’s smile widens.

“Only to your resolve,” Choi Han says, pure hunger, and Cale’s fingers tremble at the sight of him, before closing the gap for their very first, true kiss.

 


 

How can he resist his liege? When he hungers so prettily for Choi Han? He had wanted their first kiss to be gentler, kinder, but when Cale-nim shivers at the touch of their lips, when Choi Han tastes the sweetness of his Cale -

Well. Isn’t it only reasonable that he snaps? He doesn’t touch, doesn’t pull Cale-nim closer, but he devours his liege, sneaking his tongue into that soft mouth, plundering him and pressing close.

Rather than resisting, Cale-nim eagerly joins him, long fingers pulling his hair and angling him in the best way for their lips to mesh together.

The noise that leaves his liege is depraved and almost inhuman, and Choi Han only just pulls back in time to keep from letting himself truly unleash his inner monster.

“And you call me dangerous,” he gasps, looking at Cale-nim’s kiss-swollen lips greedily. Cale-nim looks so good like this, mouth wet and pretty, his cherrywood eyes gleaming a brighter shade of red. “You have no idea what I want to do to you, my Cale.”

Cale-nim looks wrecked just from the kisses, and Choi Han can see how utterly enthralled he is, with him, with the way he stares at Choi Han.

Could he see the monster he was hiding? Could he tell that Choi Han hid a monster under his skin? Oh, oh, if he saw and he still wanted Choi Han, it would thrill him like no other. He bites his lip, dares to dream.

Was it no wonder? Choi Han had never dared dream that he would be given such an opportunity, that he would gain such love from a perfect enigma, from a man who gave him purpose. He leans in to kiss, is stopped by Cale-nim’s hand fisting tighter in his hair, and he groans, low and quiet.

“Not yet,” Cale-nim says, eyes glittering with madness of his own. “We still have to go out, and you need to finish getting dressed up for me.” Choi Han shivers, but when Cale-nim lets go, he obediently backs off, pouting.

He’s dressed in clothes designed to kill, fabric that might have well not existed for how tightly they cling to him. Had his liege, even back then, desired him? Had he denied it under his apathy until he had spoken of something Choi Han had kept hidden?

The idea of Cale-nim lusting for him even back then makes a smirk appear on his face.

“Come here,” Cale-nim orders him, and of course, he obeys, takes a moment to look at his liege.

He’s dressed pretty today as well, long legs in tight black slacks and a beautiful corset-strung vest laced up his back with golden cords. The sleeves of the shirt are cinched tight around his wrists with leather cuffs. And of course, the watch. A perfect match, Choi Han thinks happily, kneeling before his lord without question or complaint.

“Yes, my Cale?” He asks, and he can see the faint shiver that ripples through Cale-nim at his name being used so lovingly.

Lean fingers pick up a ribbon - a beautiful, bloody red, ruby bright ribbon. Choi Han watches his liege as he kneels to be level with Choi Han, the ribbon being looped around his neck and cinched nicely.

Choi Han whimpers, and there’s the faintest hint of a wicked smile curling his liege’s mouth. He holds up a second ribbon, giving Choi Han a coy smile that he in no way believed was innocent.

“Tie it wherever you like,” he says with a smirk, and Choi Han can hopefully be forgiven for the noise that leaves his throat.

Even knowing his liege was willing to play with him like this, being given carte blanche to touch his liege’s body anywhere was almost too much, and he resists at first, that sinful indulgence, takes the ribbon and eyes his liege all over.

Part of him wants to see red all over his liege’s neck, but a more sinful part of him is the one that takes control, tying the ribbon on his delicious upper thigh, lips pressing at the knot in a kiss.

“Aren’t you naughty,” Cale-nim says with a smile, and Choi Han knows his liege loves it. “Don’t worry. I’ll let you keep getting kisses anyways. It’d be such a shame to deprive myself of my favorite things.”

Choi Han gives a whimper at that, wonders who will prey upon who, in this game of cat and mouse.

“Don’t worry, Choi Han,” Cale-nim says with a soft smile, leans down to kiss him, an act he accepts eagerly, their second kiss no less depraved and hungry than the first. His liege is dazed, but a smirk curls that pretty mouth up again. “I’ll let you loose tonight to have fun.”

Choi Han whines.

Dreams would hardly be worth it after this.

 


 

Before the world had ended, Kim Rok Soo had dated an older man.

It had been the first of many bad decisions. He’d been young and inexperienced, willing to say yes to everything despite not wanting most of it, exposed to things he hated at the time because he’d never been able to trust his partner.

It’d taken him a few partners to learn what he liked and what he didn’t.

And Choi Han… Choi Han was here, breaking all of those rules. A small part of him thinks it isn’t because it’s Choi Han, but because it is him controlling the pace, him owning his lover instead of always being forced to obey.

Though curiously, the idea of submitting to Choi Han was not unpleasant.

They exit as the nightlife of the local casinos come to life, brilliant lights flashing in the sky and nobles crowding the streets to strike it rich.

Possessively, Cale hooks a finger on the ribbon, pulls Choi Han close to him. Docile, his pretty wolf bends down to hear him better.

“You don’t leave my side tonight, and you’re not allowed to sit anywhere that’s not at my knees.”

Choi Han’s eyes turn dark, and he smiles, blooming, feral pleasure.

“Of course, my Cale,” Choi Han promises, and Cale feels another shiver of desire run through his body.

They pass by what seems to be an abandoned casino, and Cale glances at it, before ignoring it. Choi Han, still bent from where Cale’s finger holds his ribbon, gives it a look before humming.

They’ll talk about it tomorrow, not when Cale has his pretty wolf leashed like this.

They get a few jealous looks, and he arrogantly glares them down, pulling his leashed swordsman closer.

I’ll play a possessive, spoiled nobleman, Cale had explained while using Choi Han as a pillow. You’re mine, the first thing that’s been all mine. I want to own you, and you, for whatever reasons you want to use, are happy to be owned by me.

Choi Han had flushed at the description, but a grin had crossed his face at the realization he was allowed to use his adoration to the fullest, pulling him closer and offering his own, sly input.

Given my scars, few would think twice about you being a better owner than whoever held me before. And if I happen to be violently protective of my owner, then nobody will blink twice.

Cale can feel how Choi Han puts that into practice, an unhappy noise leaving Choi Han’s lips as the guards try to pull him away to scan Cale for magical devices. They have to give up and scan them together, in the end, and Cale doesn’t bother apologizing. The watches are obvious tells, magical in their very nature given their fine design, their beautiful artistry.

Together, the two devices combine to hide the nobleman’s sigil he carries, something Cale suspects may come in handy at some point.

Inside the casino is gaudy - gold drips from the railings, giant gemstones shine torchlight everywhere, and nobles fritter around, dressed like peacocks ready to crow for whatever pretty thing catches their eye.

As a toy, Choi Han was to play the part of an uneducated lover, to listen in on conversations around them.

Nobody is to ever suspect that you are more than my toy, Cale had warned. This close to the Whipper Kingdom, news was slow to arrive, so any recognition of Cale as someone in the crown prince’s confidences should still be slow to arrive.

“What should we play?” Cale asks Choi Han, after Choi Han has had his fill of staring around him, wide-eyed at his first casino. Choi Han’s head ducks, and he nuzzles Cale’s throat. “No opinion?” He says, smiling when more eyes look their way, see how he treats Choi Han, before dismissing him as too spoiled to be any fun arguing with. “That’s fine. Let’s go get some chips to play with.”

At the counter, Cale tosses a ten-million galleon coin at the man, and lets him split it into multiple denominations while Choi Han watches curiously. It will take time - few people have the cash to spare like this, and the casino clearly hadn’t expected for such a big-time noble gambler to drop by.

After a minute, Choi Han looks at him pleadingly, and he laughs, half-drunk on the pleasure of having Choi Han like this, and amusement of how well he plays his role. He frees his finger, and instead, pats the top of his head, pushes him to his knees.

The line behind them titters. He’s not the only one who has brought a pet, but he’s the first to display Choi Han so boldly, his pretty swordsman kneeling and putting his hands behind his back, a collared and leashed little thing that looks ready to fight or fuck at a moment’s notice.

After an annoying ten minutes, they’re finally free, and Cale buries his fingers in Choi Han’s hair, steadily pulls him to his feet. Choi Han sways on his feet, a grin crossing his lips as he leans in for a kiss.

Cale places a finger on his lips, stopping him. “Be a good boy and carry this for me.” Choi Han pouts at him, but docilely takes it, follows behind with puffed cheeks and a pout that has some squealing at how cute he is, dressed to kill yet making such childish faces. They walk a decent distance away, and Cale has Choi Han set it down.

A little kiss, and Choi Han whimpers happily, an eager puppy demanding affection even as he keeps a hand on the box of chips to prevent someone from pulling a fast one.

“Now, let’s start our lesson, puppy.” He says, when he finally manages to part from Choi Han, whose eyes are dancing with dark pleasure.

What follows is an explanation on poker chips and their uses, Choi Han having settled on the ground like a good boy and leaning against his knees as he explains them for his puppy.

It’s useful to do this. For one, it’s easy for Choi Han to act the part of a pretty little thing, lowers his status in the eyes of the people here, and makes him seem simple to the security that runs the estate.

For another, Cale can see who - and what - takes interest in them. The dancers are far, far too interested in his explanation to be merely entertainment, and the security guards too bored. Choi Han’s fingers curl around his calf, tap a few lines against the skin, and he ruffles black hair. He pretends boredom, looking curiously about himself, before tugging hopefully on Cale’s pants.

“My Cale,” he says, pouting, “when are we going to play a game?”

“We?” He says, amused.

“You,” Choi Han corrects, pouting deeper. Cale laughs, puts the last chip away to pinch that tempting lower lip, tugs it until Choi Han whines at him, and he lets go.

“Pushy little puppy,” Cale says fondly, but stands. “What do you want to play?” He asks, and Choi Han picks up the box dutifully, before looking around.

“Roulette?” He says hopefully, and Cale laughs.

“Sure, Roulette it is.”

 


 

There’s a certain amount of power, Choi Han is learning, in letting people believe he’s a pet. Noblewomen coo over him, and noblemen eye him and compare his strength to their guards. Some offer him bribes of freedom - those he scoffs at and turns away from, settles against his Cale-nim and ignores their pity. Some offer him what he knows to be a pittance - he fulfils his role here, looks at the money longingly before returning to his liege, bites his lower lip and pretends eagerness.

Some see his watch and ask him if he knows how to tell time.

He gushes, then, about how his Cale - oh, how sweet it was to claim him every time he spoke his Cale-nim’s name - had taught him everything he wanted, before falling sheepishly quiet and meek, looks away.

Being Cale-nim’s toy is both liberating and complex, Choi Han forever balancing on a knife’s edge to make sure he does his task to perfection.

He wants to know what Cale-nim considers a reward for acting out his part so well.

He slips, little things, now and again. Instead of pouting, he glares, before hiding his face to conceal his expression at being propositioned by such disgusting animals. Sometimes, he cannot hide his irritation when someone dares interrupt his Cale-nim. Each time, Cale-nim gently brushes his hair with his soft fingers, taps the bridge of his nose where he kneels at Cale-nim’s side.

He’s a pet, a spoiled, pampered little thing with claws.

Just… not as much danger as he truly has. Their little trifling displays of strength to try and draw his Cale-nim are pathetic.

Choi Han could probably slaughter this whole casino without ever standing up properly, leashed by his Cale-nim.

But he doesn’t.

Cale-nim had brought him here to learn acting, how to slip into other, more human forms. He’s spent so long pretending to be a monster that it startles him to realize he can be human more often than not. They leave after a few good rounds, some of the money spent on roulette, some on slots - where he’d played the part of a curious toy, pushing the right buttons when Cale-nim had directed - and a few games of poker.

It is here that Choi Han learns his true purpose.

Poker games can be rigged. The way he sits, the position he’s in, he can see everything, but of course, a stupid pet wouldn’t know to warn his master.

He’s the stupid pet, so he doesn’t say anything when the dealer changes something, when most of Cale-nim’s money is lost. Instead, he pushes up to kiss his Cale-nim when he shows visible frustration, nuzzles against his throat. Cale-nim smiles at him, relaxes every time, and wins back his money with a few clever hands.

“I’ll let you play, next time,” Cale-nim teases, and Choi Han beams, the two leaving a few million galleons poorer, but richer for the information they had gained.

Cale doesn’t talk until the doors are shut and he’s combed every inch of the room for any number of magical spying devices.

“Very good,” Cale-nim praises him, and he blushes happily, tilts his head up so Cale-nim can undo the ribbon around his throat.

His breath hitches when Cale-nim kisses him there.

“Thank you, my liege,” he says, and a flash of irritation colors his expression.

Oh.

oh.

His liege hadn’t made him call him his Cale simply because it was to fit the part. He wanted that.

“I’m sorry,” he says softly. “My Cale,” he corrects himself, and pleasure flickers in those once unreadable eyes.

“We’ll get to the rewards later,” Cale-nim promises him, kisses his nose chastely. He blushes in pleasure, and curls closer to his Cale-nim, climbs on the bed to help undress him.

“Tell me what you saw that was out of place.”

Chapter Text

“Do we start with the abandoned casino or no?” Choi Han asks, and Cale-nim gives him a small smile.

“At the moment? No, we can’t. I have a feeling that whatever’s going on there is going to be a bit more difficult to unravel than we can afford to deal with at the moment. Just the casino we were in tonight.” Choi Han’s fingers reach to undo the ribbon he placed, and Cale-nim allows him to, smiling softly at him.

“As you wish, my Cale,” He says with a smile back, before reaching out to undo the leather cuffs. As he undresses his Cale-nim, Choi Han continues. “There was at least some kind of drug trade going on - especially among noblewomen - for some sort of pills. I never saw any, but I heard a lot of things while at the roulette tables. I’m fairly sure there is a hub for them.” Cuffs undone, Choi Han takes those soft hands in his own and presses a little kiss to his liege’s wrists, gets a pleased smile from his liege for his affection.

“That matches what I saw,” Cale-nim concurs, expectantly guiding Choi Han’s fingers to the collar of his shirt and smirking at his hitched breath. “Roulette seemed to be for drug addicts to win pills for every right number called. Did you see anything worthwhile aside from that?”

“A lot of people seemed to have magical ores on hand. Nothing high quality or worth attention, but they had a lot to bargain with. I’m pretty sure that they are similarly treated as currency, though I didn’t see anyone use them to make bets.” He pops the top button open, and Cale-nim’s head tilts back, eyes closing as he reclines against the pillows, radiating pure luxurious comfort at the feel of Choi Han’s touch on his skin.

Slowly, he straddles his pretty liege’s lap, takes a little more as he unbuttons his Cale-nim’s clothes, exposing that beautiful flesh all for his viewing pleasure.

“If magical ores are used as a replacement for poker chips, then either there’s a higher class of nobles frequenting the casino, or the Whipper Kingdom has some kind of patronage there.” His liege’s breath hitches when he undoes the last button, and Choi Han cannot resist, placing his hands on that sweetly trembling stomach. Gliding his hands up, Choi Han stops when he covers each perky pink nipple with a palm. A slight squeeze, and Choi Han lets go, his liege’s eyes fluttering open to glare at him in pouty annoyance. Choi Han grins. His liege sits up, and he obediently begins to pull the shirt off. “If they’re using common magical ore, then they’re probably lower ranking mages, to some degree, at least.” Choi Han folds the shirt in half, tossing it carelessly onto his own bed before pulling back so he can work on his Cale-nim’s pants.

“I couldn’t see anything on the first floor that involved it - but there were at least two more floors above us, and I think there was a fourth - the chandelier was too bright to look near it for long.” At his hopeful pout, Cale-nim laughs breathlessly, lifts his hips up so Choi Han can remove it from his body, the man tugging it down slowly, just to tease his liege.

“Ai ya, hurry up,” Cale-nim whines, and Choi Han bends down to kiss a hipbone.

“Of course, my Cale,” He says with a smile.

“What about the slot machines?” Cale-nim asks next, and he wrinkles his nose, more interested in the swollen bulge that greets him as he pulls his liege’s pants down. When he leans in to kiss it, lean fingers bury in his hair, quiet warning.

Choi Han pouts at being denied, but pulls off his liege’s pants properly, giving him an annoyed look.

“Do we have to talk about this first?” He whines, and Cale-nim smirks at him.

“Be a good little wolf for me,” Cale-nim says, “And you’ll be well-rewarded.” Choi Han whines at that, but obeys, cheeks puffing unhappily.

“Fine...” He grumbles. “The slots are rigged. Not all of them, but the two we visited were. I think they’re designed for mages - it feels the same as when you used those magic cancellation devices,” he explains, and Cale-nim hums, wraps his fingers around the back of Choi Han’s neck, pulling him closer so he can rest in between his liege’s thighs, chest pressed against his waist. Instinctively, he wraps his arms around his liege, plants a little kiss against his liege’s skin. Cale-nim’s eyes close, and he greedily runs his fingers through Choi Han’s hair.

“Such a good boy,” he says softly, and Choi Han groans low in his throat. “Don’t worry, I promised to reward you,” Cale-nim says, and Choi Han looks at him, biting his lower lip.

“My Cale,” he whines, and Cale-nim smiles, strokes his hair, teases him softly with a thumb rubbing against his lower lip.

“Go on. Tell me what you saw,” He orders, and pouting, Choi Han obeys, wrapping his lips around the finger that Cale-nim uses to playfully tease him. Cale-nim’s breath hitches, and the finger is pressed in, Choi Han whimpering at the sudden aggressiveness of his liege. The finger is pulled free, and Choi Han whines loudly at the loss, annoyed that it had been taken from him. “Behave,” Cale-nim orders him with fond annoyance. “If you want your reward for being a good boy.” He obediently stops trying to get Cale-nim’s fingers back in his mouth and goes back to answering with a deep pout.

“Fine,” he huffs. “The slot machines seem to test for magical aptitude if I had to guess, but beyond that, nobody dared talk about anything illegal there,” He admits, and Cale-nim smiles affectionately at him. “The poker tables were where the bulk of the interesting information was,” Choi Han says, settling against Cale-nim’s chest with a longing look at those soft fingertips. He hadn’t had them in his mouth long enough to truly appreciate their slenderness, and he made his displeasure known with another pout. “The chips seemed to stand in for something else. I’m fairly sure it wasn’t people, but items.”

“Ore?” he guesses, and Choi Han shakes his head.

“No. It didn’t seem like that. Too much for ore, given how expensive they are. If I had to guess, I would assume it was like being put in for a drawing of something. I don’t think we were entered into it. We didn’t play for long enough, and I don’t think those not ‘in the know’ already can play.”

“Mmm… That’s true.” Long fingers stroke back his hair, and he groans, low and quiet at the feeling. “There’s something you missed.” Indignance flickers through him, and Cale-nim gives him an indulgent little grin. “Every single one of them wore a pin.”

Oh.

“Disruptors?” Choi Han guesses, and Cale-nim chuckles.

“Or something. Pay attention to it when we go back.” His eyes spark with hunger, and with a smile, Cale-nim offers his fingers again, teases him by tracing his lips. Choi Han has to whine before he stops, allowing him to take two of them into his mouth. A slow, deep suck, and Choi Han groans, his liege’s expression filling with hunger as he allows him to enjoy. Those soft digits wiggle in his mouth, push further in, and he can’t help his eyes closing.

This wasn’t nearly enough, but it was a start, and he can’t help following after those sinful fingers as they retreat, Choi Han practically climbing over his liege until they withdraw entirely, a pair of warm, soft lips replacing them.

With a moan, Choi Han obediently folds to his liege’s desires, hands moving to grip his hips and flip them over, Choi Han landing on his back while Cale-nim straddles his lap.

Opening his eyes, he licks his lips greedily, cheeks flushing as he looks at his beloved Cale-nim. There was so much hunger in those eyes, such greed.

His liege really was the best in every single way. 

“Anywhere not covered in clothing you can play with,” His liege says with a smile. “Okay?” Choi Han’s breath hitches at the offer, and eagerly, he allows his hands to explore.

Oh my Cale, Choi Han thinks, how lovely you are, to belong to me.

He would leave no skin untouched, no flesh unmapped by his love.

 


 

His lips on Cale's skin burn like fire, and Cale gives a faint moan. Choi Han had no restraint, had begun to lick and suck and bite every inch he could get away with, worrying bruises over his thighs that would take ages to fade. He wonders if Choi Han's fingers will leave bruises under his underwear, leaving even that place marked from his devotion.

Fingers tighten into his hair, drag Choi Han up for a filthy kiss that is teeth and tongue and shamelessness, the two of them taking from each other, gouging out scars and filling those spaces with the other. Choi Han is a wild thing, unwilling to yield to Cale's breathless pleas to stop, to let him catch his breath.

It isn't until the last mark is sucked gleefully against Cale's collarbone that Choi Han bothers to stop, and Cale knows they'll - mostly - be gone by morning. The Vitality of the Heart would have taken the lighter ones, aged the darker ones into milder bruises, and Cale finds himself annoyed at the realization.

"Filthy puppy," Cale sighs, Choi Han licking at his throat, soothing the aggravated skin in apology. He's smirking, a haze of black dancing over his skin like lightning, so Cale kisses him again, and Choi Han moans into the kiss as his clothed erection rubs against Cale's thigh.

That… that gives him an idea. Slowly, he uses the fistful of hair in his hand to pull him back and sit him on his heels. Choi Han whines at him for it, rocks shallowly back and forth to ease the almost painful pressure he was no doubt feeling. Choi Han was glorious like this, cock tenting his obviously much too tight pants.

Of course, that's when someone bangs on the door. Choi Han's expression turns truly murderous; to spare himself the headache, Cale sits up, cups his cock in a hand, and squeezes. He knows just how much he can apply before it becomes painful, and Choi Han moans, low and shameless and properly distracted.

The banging slows down, and Cale kisses the corner of Choi Han's mouth before getting off of the bed and tossing a robe over his body, not even bothering to close it beyond a messy cinch around his waist.

Yanking the door open, Cale glares.

"You have two minutes to explain why you interrupted me before I let my toy slaughter you and fuck him over your corpse."

Would he do that? No. Was he just a little pissed? Absolutely. The man cringes at pissing Cale off, and he can feel Choi Han draw up close, the swordsman nuzzling his throat.

"I-I'm sorry young master," the man grovels, and Cale's annoyance grows.

"Puppy, go get your knives," he orders, and Choi Han pulls back to do exactly that.

"W-wait!" He stills Choi Han with fingers wrapped around a wrist, tilts his head in a silent 'Well? Get on with it.' "The Lord of the Rose Casino would like to speak with you!"

… That was fast. Cale lets Choi Han go, eyes the man.

"Now?" He asks.

"Y-y-yes?"

"No." And Cale closes the door in the man's face.

A mouth presses against his shoulder, and Choi Han muffles snickers against his skin, still hard and wanting for him, body lined with taut desire.

"On your knees," Cale says evenly, and Choi Han looks at him, can hear the man desperately knocking again, and grins, sharp and filthy. He obediently sinks down, spreads his thighs open to offer himself to his liege. "Do you mind our audience?" He asks, mindful of his puppy's normal, reserved actions.

Choi Han grin turns filthy, the swordsman spreading his thighs wider, and invites him in with a look.

"I don't care, my Cale," he answers, and Cale's smile widens, reaching to pet his cute little toy. Choi Han wiggles a little at the petting, and Cale wonders how far he should go, how much he can play.

"Good boy," he says, kneeling down. "Now, if I asked you to get yourself off, to make a show for me without removing your clothes, would you do it?" He asks, and Choi Han gives a low, hungry whine.

"I could," he agrees, and Cale smirks.

"And if I wanted you to not use your hands, could you?"

Choi Han whines at him for that, gray eyes flicking this way and that as though searching for something to use. Cale laughs, bright and irrepressibly incapable of hiding how much his puppy's confusion entertained him.

"Me, Choi Han. You'll use me to get yourself off."

Cale wasn't sure he'd ever seen Choi Han look so aroused at that.

 


 

Choi Han is five seconds away from a full-blown meltdown. Oh, is he fucking hot and bothered by his liege. He had expected his Cale-nim to tease. To be told, so explicitly, that the only way for him to get off was by using his liege…

Choi Han swallows.

"Can I ride you?" He asks shakily, and Cale-nim's lips stretch into a sinful smirk.

"Did you really think you've behaved enough for that, naughty puppy?" Cale asks, and he whines, low in his throat. "I want you to get creative."

He hangs his head to hide the way he had to bite his lower lip, whimpering at the fact that his liege was willing to push him so far so soon.

Perhaps they really did know each other far better than the other gave them credit for.

"Can I sit in your lap?" He asks shyly, looking up through his lashes at his liege, who looks indulgently amused by his attempt to play coy.

"Maybe, naughty puppy." Cale grins, heat and madness blending into such beautiful, dark possessiveness.

All for him. Only for him.

The banging on the door has since quieted, and something in him stirs. He wants to know that the entire hotel is aware that he's being claimed, that he's Cale-nim's only toy. Long fingers tangle in his hair and pull - he's guided by that sinful touch to crawl along on his hands and knees until Cale-nim leads him to a beautiful armchair. It's ornate, carved wood and gold inlay surrounding plush black fabric.

Cale-nim lets him go, takes a seat and relaxes on it, smile widening.

Choi Han's breath hitches in the best way, to see his liege, robe falling open to display every single one of the lovebites Choi Han had inflicted upon his liege's shoulders and chest in glorious shades of red, the way he lounged upon that throne as though he owned it.

Choi Han would gladly give his liege any throne he wanted, if he looked like this every night, make him the king of all the empire, if only he asked.

It is entirely Choi Han's choice to bend further, to kiss those feet as a lowly swordsman like him deserves. Taking an ankle into his hand, Choi Han kisses it there too, trailing kisses up until his liege stops him from his true prize.

"If you want to earn the right to pleasure me, then you will stay on task, Choi Han." The words are sharp, but their edge is filled with lust, an affectionate little caress of his name. "Why don't you climb up onto my lap and take care of yourself?" A hint of a smirk. "Be loud and open about it too. I want to hear you cry for me."

… He was going to fucking combust.

Straddling his liege, Choi Han whimpers at how painfully hard he is, the tight confines slick from precum, reminding him of that dream he'd had, not too long ago. The stretch of his pants over his cock from the position adds a delicious amount of friction, and he has to place his hands on the armrests to steady himself. Cale-nim looks at how shaky he is, smirks.

"Let's not tempt ourselves into touching things we shouldn't," the redhead teases gently, before taking his hands and putting them up on the high, arching back of the pseudo-throne, the new position lowering Choi Han's face to be level with his liege's, thighs trembling at the position and how that leaves him awkwardly bent.

"My Cale," he breathes, shivers. Cale-nim tilts his head up, inviting his lips to descend, to ravish with a look alone, but the hand on his chest stops him before they connect.

"Remember, Choi Han," Cale-nim murmurs huskily, the flick of his tongue brushing over Choi Han's lips, "You're my dog. Make sure to rut against me like one too."

Choi Han fucking groans at that.

Decades, he'd spent dreaming of the day he would have someone who would complete him. He had thought they would be gentler, softer. A kind, soft soul to smooth over his harsh edges.

Instead, he received a monster just as wicked as he was, and so much more glorious.

He couldn't fucking be happier. His liege would ruin him so lovingly that he'd willingly go to hell, so long as his Cale-nim was the one guiding him there.

The first movement was tense and tight, a short, stuttered movement as the increase in friction. It's almost too much, Choi Han choking out a moan and begging his liege without words. Fingers turn his face, and he opens his eyes - when had they closed? - to see Cale-nim smirking at him. He was probably a complete disaster, a mess, but Cale-nim watched him with pure desire.

A grin works it's way over his face, a wild, feral thing made all the more savage for how much of him rejoices at the sight of his Cale using him to satisfy his desires.

Have I made myself too valuable to lose yet, my Cale? How much more do I have to show you of myself for us to be forever bound?

 


 

Cale can see how wrecked Choi Han is, all for him, and his heart pounds against his ribcage, a steady tempo of lust, greed, and affection flooding his system.

Softly,he brings his fingers up to skim at Choi Han's sides, watches the ripple of muscle as it tenses and relaxes, his pretty swordsman holding as still as stone, allowing him to tease, to play.

"All this strength… still because I want it to be," Cale whispers to himself.

Kim Rok Soo had never had this, never had anyone who was as strong - or stronger - than him, willing to put themselves in such a position, to be so obviously controlled by someone else. Choi Han twitches with every pass, with every touch that goes close to his sweet spots.

"My Cale…" Choi Han whimpers at him. That glorious madness was back in his eyes, insane lust hungering for him, only the thinnest thread of sanity keeping either of them from ravishing the other.

"Do you want me to command you?" At the word command, Choi Han shudders again, head dropping further, lips brushing lightly against one another.

"Please," the word is strangled through his self control, hoarse longing in it.

Cale wonders how much control it takes, to not take him where he sat. Settling his hands on Choi Han's hips, he lovingly tightens his grip, guides him into rocking against Cale's thighs. If his Choi Han was good, Cale would let him have what he clearly wanted. If not… Well, Cale had plans one way or another. A moan leaves Choi Han's throat as Cale guides him into a tortuous pace, the slick sounds of Choi Han rutting against him coupling with their harsh breathing. Choi Han was a mess, cheeks flush and hair askew, dark eyes wild as Cale teases him, keeping the pace slow and steady.

Choi Han sobs weakly, the faintest hint of tears shimmering in his eyes, and Cale gives a little sigh. Tormenting his puppy was fun, but heaven. Making him cry wasn't the reward Cale was looking for.

"Such a needy little pup," he says with a sigh, tilts his head back, tongue darting out to trace the seam of his swordsman's lips gently. They part for him, and Cale kisses his pretty knight, tongues melding together even as Cale jerks his hands forward, Choi Han crying out into his mouth as the friction tightens in the right way. The pace he sets is harsh, Choi Han stuttering at first, before eagerly rutting against his liege, helpless moans spilling from his puppy's lips. Freeing one hand, Cale affectionately kneads one hand over the front of his pants, feeling how the tight fabric has become almost sinfully damp.

Choi Han chokes, head throwing back as he trembles, sobbing his release as it crashes over him, grip tightening hard on the chair until the wood creaks.

Curiously, Cale moves his hands to unbutton his pants, lovingly tugging at it until he can see the mess he had caused. Dipping a finger under his waistband, Cale tugs his underwear down to unveil Choi Han's weeping cock.

He's still hard?

"Do I arouse you this much, Choi Han?" He asks, and the dark haired man whimpers, the cum-smeared dick leaking for him.

… That was some fucking power, having Choi Han so fucking greedy for him.

Closing his fingers around Choi Han's cock, Cale strokes him slowly, getting a feel for the girth in his palm.

What would it be like? Owning this magnificent dick all for himself. Stroking him, Cale uses his free hand to tilt Choi Han's head down, kisses him with teeth and tongue and pure goddamn greed.

Choi Han is still holding the chair, but he's gotten with the program, is rocking his hips back and forth, is moaning without shame as he learns how to jack his swordsman off, pressing little kisses to his mouth that Choi Han accepts between moans, cum dripping from his ruined pants and making a mess of the robe Cale was wearing, so beautifully ruining their composure, blurring the lines of who was truly in control.

Choi Han comes a second time with a shout, head tilting back and every muscle clenching gloriously as he trembles in place, ribbons of white painting Cale's stomach and hand. His cock softens, and Cale gives a pleased grin at the view of his beautiful puppy knight, resting on his knees and panting, sweat dripping down his face and chest, glistening on his thighs.

"My Cale?" Choi Han sounds wrecked, as though they'd gone ten rounds, rather than two. It makes him smirk, and he pulls his swordsman in for a kiss to reward him for a task well done. Choi Han whimpers so sweetly for him, sounds so cute that Cale almost devours him right there. Instead, he pulls back, nudges Choi Han into standing on shaky legs.

“We have a problem, my toy,” Cale says with a smile as the man falls to his knees, trembling. Lifting his hand, he can see how Choi Han fixates on the cum dripping from his fingers. “Look at the mess you made,” he says, tone light. “Fix it.” Choi Han stares at him, eyes wide, before he leans in to tentatively lick at Cale’s fingers, sucking on them greedily and moaning as he grows more into it, tongue slurping up his cum and cleaning his liege’s fingers far more thoroughly than he had to. Cale laughs when Choi Han is finished, a pout forming on his lips now that his treat is all gone.

At least, so he thinks. Casually, Cale allows the fabric of his robe to fall completely open, lifts up his hips, fingers toying with the waistband of his underwear.

Choi Han’s eyes immediately zero in on his actions, a low noise leaving his throat.

“Be a good puppy and take care of me now,” he orders, and Choi Han’s eyes gleam eagerly.

“Yes, my Cale,” he breathes, leaning in to remove his underwear, tongue poking out to clean his cum off of Cale’s stomach, fingers sliding down and tossing the fabric to the side. Cale can see how his knight quickly cleans him up, the pink muscle leaving behind sweet, wet trails that his breath warms lovingly before he dips his head down to run his tongue directly over Cale’s cock.

Cale’s head tips back, a low groan leaving him at the sweet sensation. Wet lips press open kisses up and down his length, coaxing his cock into being fully upright, the head dripping clear liquid over Choi Han’s lips. Cale reaches out, strokes dark hair reassuringly when he hesitates.

“Come now, Choi Han,” he says softly. “Don’t be shy. Isn’t this what you’ve been begging me for?”

Choi Han gives a soft, faint moan, mouth slowly wrapping around the tip and suckling tentatively. The feel of such warm lips around his dick is fucking incredible, Cale will not lie. The feel of him, of his sweet mouth, is enough for Cale to really enjoy, to relish the sensation that he’d craved. Eyes closing, he allows Choi Han to explore him slowly, tongue laving over the head before he begins to bob his head up and down, happy whines leaving his throat as he learns how to pleasure Cale.

Cale is very, very liberal with his praise, running his fingers through dark hair and tugging him this way and that to teach him what Cale likes and dislikes. Choi Han is a fantastic fucking study, and he wonders if Choi Han has wanted this, wanted him from the beginning.

He’ll have to ask, when he knows Choi Han won’t be able to leave him. He’s yanked out of his idle musings by Choi Han, the man doing something fantastic with his tongue and throat, swallowing around him in such a way that Cale arches up, a cry of pleasure leaving him as he fists both hands in Choi Han’s hair and buries himself in that warm mouth to the hilt.

Stars burst in his vision when he slumps down, Choi Han coughing as he pulls back, clearly not having expected that reaction. A glance, and he can see cum dripping from those swollen lips, the swordsman’s hands cupped under his chin as he licks his lips, cleans his fingers and leans in to suck Cale dry.

“Fuck,” Cale breathes, feeling pleasantly boneless. “C’mere,” he manages through his post-orgasm haze, his puppy crawling up to happily take a kiss from his lips. “Such a good puppy,” Cale murmurs between kisses. “My absolute favorite toy, how can anyone be so good...” The praise is light and quiet, fingers stroking at whatever skin he can reach as he lets his exhaustion take over.

“My Cale?” Choi Han is looking at him hopefully, and he smiles, bone-deep laziness in the expression.

“Yes, my darling Choi Han?” He asks, and he gets the pleasure of watching Choi Han redden for him.

“I want to take a bath with you,” the swordsman says, sheepish, and Cale laughs aloud.

“Don’t expect me to stay awake, puppy.” Long arms loop around a neck, implicit invitation, and Choi Han brightens.

He’s awake long enough to watch his puppy strip free of his clothes, to carry them to the bath, and for the warm water to reach his chest before he falls asleep, satisfied by the end of the evening.

 


 

Choi Han can feel how his liege drifts off sleepily, a content little noise leaving him every time Choi Han runs his hand through the damp red strands, their bright hues making him smile.

They’d gone so far, but even so, they hadn’t yet gone all of the way. Cale-nim was still holding some of himself back, and it excites him that this was his liege’s idea of holding back. Would it be the mysterious confession that would bring them closer? Was that secret the reason his liege was refraining?

A smile, and Choi Han dips his head to kiss, to caress, to love his sleeping liege, before washing them both, fingers exploring every nook and cranny of his lord. There is no need for dreams tonight, Choi Han thinks with a grin. Who would need a dream after such decadence? He lifts his liege out of the bath when he’s done, carefully towels him dry, before laying his bare form out under the blankets. Choi Han makes sure to clean up the signs of their debauchery, content with watching his liege’s peacefully sleeping face now and again to make sure the signs of his cleaning up aren’t disturbing him.

The pants are utterly unsalvageable, so he pouts and tosses them in the trash, glad his liege would take him shopping later. He had liked the way his liege had looked at him, the way he’d commanded him to come closer with those hungry eyes.

When he’s done and everything is as clean as he can bother with, Choi Han hangs a Do Not Disturb sign outside of his door, making a note that the man from earlier was gone. He grins at the idea of having been heard, of making the man lust after his Cale, closes the door.

“Thank you, my Cale,” he says softly, kissing the back of Cale-nim’s neck. They’re so close to becoming one, to the two of them never being able to leave each other. What would it take, to get that tortured confession from his Cale-nim? No number of assurances would help. Choi Han himself had been terrified to admit to anyone his origins within the Forest for fear of hatred, of revilement. How could he dare deny his liege’s feelings for what was clearly bothering him? Even so, the possessive monster in him will not be stopped.

He will have his liege. He will assure his liege that his loyalty will not waver despite whatever may come their way.

Can’t you see, my Cale? I only exist because of you.

Chapter Text

Waking up naked next to his puppy was rather nice, Cale thinks sleepily, feeling the warm weight of Choi Han’s lean figure pressed up against him, warm breath spilling over his shoulder. Under the blankets is nearly blistering, with someone like Choi Han cuddled up against him like he was a pillow.

His puppy is deeply asleep, black hair still messy from their late-night shenanigans (or early morning. Cale was pretty sure they’d gone to bed a little before dawn, but he’d have to check with Choi Han.)

“Sometimes,” he murmurs, fingers stroking soft hair, “I feel like giving it all up for you. You make me feel like I could go my whole life without telling the truth, and you’d be okay with that.”

Choi Han doesn’t stir, and continues to dream his sweet dreams. Cale hopes it’s about him. Stroking his fingers through soft hair, Cale watches his puppy, watches him as he dozes, body shifting as the shadows outside of his window move, centering himself against Cale to sleep on his stomach. He continues to pamper his puppy, inescapably content to simply be, to bask in the quiet of the morning.

He likes this, this sweet quiet after the fun of last night. It could be an addiction, a delight. Something to come back to after dealing with annoyances, a way to be welcomed home without the pests of the world around them. He pets his puppy, and relaxes.

It doesn’t take too long for Choi Han to wake. An hour, ten minutes. Cale doesn’t count the time, instead watches as his nose scrunches a little, his stomach nuzzled by that sharp nose, lips caressing his skin slowly, as though he was a sweet prize.

Cale loves it, loves this.

A soft hand through softer hair, and bleary gray blinks up at him, his puppy blinking sleep out of his eyes. He reaches out, thumb rubbing under each pretty eye with a soft smile.

“Good morning, my puppy,” He says, getting the pleasure of Choi Han yawning cutely against his stomach, before pushing himself up for a sleepy kiss.

“Good morning, my Cale,” he murmurs sleepily, rubbing his eyes. “Have you been up long?” He asks, and Cale laughs softly.

“I enjoyed it, puppy. You’re very cute when you’re sleeping.” He smiles at the blush that colors his cheeks, dips his head down to kiss that cute nose.

Today was different from last night, more indulgent, more sweet. The worst of their sexual desires have been met, and they can simply indulge in this, bask in this new equilibrium. Choi Han buries his head in Cale’s stomach, radiating embarrassment.

Just because he can, he pets his puppy’s hair. A soft smile curls his lips, and he pulls Choi Han up to kiss him.

“My Cale?” He asks, head tilting to a side.

“Don’t worry,” Cale says softly. “Let’s get dressed.” Choi Han brightens at that, obediently slipping out of bed and stretching out. Every scar is on display for him, that powerful body lean and taut, the Adonis of this world.

Someday, Cale was going to worship Choi Han the same way Choi Han had worshiped him, last night. Kiss every scar, memorize their placements. It would only be fair to treasure his puppy’s successful life.

“Can you wear red?” He says hopefully, looks at him with slightly pouty lips. Cale laughs a bit, looks indulgently amused.

“Why?” He asks, even though he’s already planning to, just for his cute puppy.

“I like when you wear red,” Choi Han admits. “Especially when you wear the vest that clings to you, the one with the red ribbon lacing on the sides. It makes you look like sin on vacation.”

Cale splutters a laugh.

“Excuse me?” He snorts, Choi Han blushing. Ah - his swordsman hadn’t meant to say that, he’d bet money on it.

“W-well you do,” he says, flustered. “The ribbons make you look like a present for me to unwrap,” he whines, rubbing the back of his neck and looking away.

Oh… how naughty of his puppy.

“I’ll wear the vest, just for you,” he promises, gets the pleasure of seeing him beam like he used to, before the darkness within had been let out.

He likes how his puppy can so effortlessly switch between both. Standing up, he kisses Choi Han, simply because he can, slides a hand over the back of his neck and holds him in place until he’s satisfied.

“What a good puppy,” he says softly, and Choi Han lights up, a bright beam flicking over his face. “C’mon. You can dress me today.” The two of them wander to the closet, and Cale picks out his things. He hadn’t bothered with leather before, but today, he wanted to give his sweetheart puppy a show, so he pulled out a pair of the deerskin leathers, the black-dyed fabric shining in the sunlight. Choi Han’s expression brightens further at the sight, obvious arousal on his face. A bit of debate, and Cale settles on the white blouse that exposes his back. He pulls out some leather arm cuffs and his favored wrist cuffs as well, before finding the vest.

“Come on. Put this on me,” he teases, and Choi Han, in the middle of putting on some of his combat training gear, immediately scrambles to do so, looking so adorably attracted that he can’t resist. When his puppy comes close, he cups that face in his hands, pulls him in for a kiss before letting him go.

Choi Han takes a second to reboot, face flushing a bright pink as an adorably dopey grin crosses his lips and he helps Cale into his clothing. A questioning look, and he blushes at the realization that Cale would be going without underwear, just for him. He’s gentle when he slips the leathers on, has Cale sit while he kisses the top of one bare foot, then another as he puts his liege’s shoes on.

“Such a sweet toy,” Cale sighs, and Choi Han beams happily up at him.

“All for you, my Cale,” he says, smiling brightly. He does seem a little confused about the shirt at first, before Cale directs him, the fabric opening in several odd places. It was a hassle to get on alone, but Choi Han visibly vibrates with pleasure at the realization of what it exposed. He carefully ties the neck closure with a perfect little bow, before slipping Cale’s arms into the billowing sleeves. There’s a nice little cut there too, so Choi Han takes the armbands and tightens them around his elbows, controlling some of the ballooning in a way he liked very much. Gentle fingers close the sleeves at his wrist, before snapping on the leather cuffs to each wrist. A kiss to his hands, and Choi Han happily puts his watch on his right, before looking at the vest a little quizzically.

“It’s easy to modify, puppy. You don’t think I’d put on this vest just to cover up my back when this is going to be yours to touch, do you?” He asks, smiling warmly. Choi Han blushes for him, and he laughs. “Oh, my puppy. You’re too cute.” He shows Choi Han how to remove segments, leaving only the lacing on the sides and a two-inch band across the lower bottom.

Choi Han whimpers so cutely for him, and Cale grins, glad to see his puppy acting like the good boy he was.

Reverently, Choi Han laces the vest up, the ribbons hanging on his hips and dangling just below his ass. Obviously, Choi Han liked having the reminder of where to look. Standing up, he’s amused enough to spin on one foot, showing himself off for his puppy.

Of course, someone bangs on the door and ruins their fun morning. Cale’s expression sours, and Choi Han glares at the door.

“Please let me kill them.”

“Not if I do it first,” Cale snarls, storming to the door to yank it open. “What is wrong with you?” Cale asks, irritable. “Puppy, get your knives. I want one.” Like before, Choi Han immediately does so, and Cale doesn’t bother calling him back when the hotel owner sniffles pitifully.

“Please, the Lord-”

“The Lord can go fuck himself,” Cale says, ignoring the horrified sound the man makes. “My toy is in need of good clothes to wear at the casino, and you are in my way. Move.” The man quails at his expression and Choi Han, smirking darkly, is more than happy to wrap an arm around Cale’s waist and draw him close.

“My Cale, do you need me to get rid of him?” He asks sweetly, and Cale gives a soft sigh, reaches up.

“Don’t leave blood on your - oh. He’s gone.” Cale says mildly, the two watching the hotel owner’s retreating backside with amusement. Choi Han is happy enough to nuzzle him, lips tugging at an earlobe hopefully.

“Think we can jump out of a window, avoid the crowd downstairs?” He suggests, and Cale almost groans agreement.

“Quit that, puppy,” he says, though he allows a faint smile - practically invisible to anyone else - to cross his lips.

“Of course, my Cale,” he says with a soft smile, obediently padding behind him, eyes flicking over every possible threat as he should, occasionally looking at his back to admire the pale skin. A soft sigh at his puppy's antics, and the two descend down the steps together.

Neither of them are expecting to see the flamboyant spread of people, dressed in what looked like roses and bearing gaudy, annoying fans that reek of perfume. Choi Han actually pulls up short and coughs, before ducking against Cale’s back to hug him close.

“I knew we should have jumped out of the window,” Choi Han mutters in Cale’s ear, and he stifles a snort. He liked this. Liked to hear the wicked edge of Choi Han’s tongue, to hear the playful annoyance that colored his words like honey in tea.

“I like this bitchy side of you,” Cale says with a faint smile. “Show it to me more often.” Choi Han’s eyes sparkle at that.

“Of course my Cale. Whatever pleases you.” A chuckle, and Cale allows him to pull back as the dancers stop their extravagant display to reveal -

Oh.

Ugh.

This was probably the Lord of the casino the hotel owner was talking about. It’d be troublesome to ignore the man, but it’d also be a problem to listen to the man. Choi Han looks down at him, head tilting in question when he stays in place, calculating his options.

“Let’s go, darling,” he says to Choi Han, hooks a finger into the pretty ribbon around his swordsman’s throat. He trots along dutifully after his master, ever docile even as they pass the crowd without a second look.

“My dear -” Choi Han turns with a snarl, teeth bared in irritation at the man who dared to call his Cale their dear, only stopping when Cale tugs him gently back down to press his mouth against Cale’s shoulder.

“Watch your tongue,” Cale says flatly. “And get out of my way. I’m busy.” The man draws closer instead.

Some might have called him pretty, with wavy, long blond locks, limber figure, and expensively tailored clothes that probably cost a pretty penny. He’s pouting, and Cale gives an annoyed sigh.

“Puppy.” Choi Han immediately looks at him eagerly, an adorable wagging puppy tail flicking through Cale’s mind.

“Yes, my Cale?”

“Do you think you could break something for me?”

The man freezes.

“Without question, my Cale,” he says happily, and Cale gives the man an annoyed look.

“When I say I’m busy, I mean it. My toy and I have plenty of places to go, and you are not convincing me to go back to your casino. If you want my patronage, please. Fuck. Off.” His piece said, Cale strides off, glad he’d taken the time to pick something that had left him looking like sin on vacation.

(He loved how expressive Choi Han was with his words, now that he no longer feared Cale’s disappointment.)

Choi Han is dressed nicely too, but rather plain - making it clear to all exactly what happened to his outfit last night, by the knowing twitters of the hotel patrons. The Lord - or whatever his name is, because Cale didn't recognize him from the series - stares after them.

When they step outside, Cale pulls Choi Han down further, presses a little kiss to his temple.

"What a good boy," he praises, and Choi Han beams, clearly delighted by the praise.

 


 

Watching them go, Laure can see how possessively the boy's toy clings to him, gray eyes brightening at the kiss like a simpleton.

His teeth grit.

"Kick them out." He says, and the hotel owner cowers.

"I-I can't, my lord…"

"Then refund him his money for what he paid and kick him out!" Laure snaps, which makes the man shrink even further.

"That would be nearly a billion galleons sir… he paid for a month in the Blooming Suite."

Laure chokes.

"A month? Is that boy mad?" He wonders aloud, the pretty redhead laughing at something his toy was saying.

"... You did just try to kick him out, my Lord…"

Laure sighs through his nose, pinches it. "Find me everything you can about that boy. I want his name, his age, any lovers aside from that demonic toy of his - all of it. And ban him from the other casinos."

The man quails at that, clearly unwilling to piss off that many owners by bypassing them and going to security, but he slinks off, defeated.

How dare a mere boy try to threaten him?

 


 

Choi Han can feel his Cale-nim slow down, shoots him a questioning look.

"I have a feeling things are going to be a mess now," Cale sighs, and Choi Han raises an eyebrow, kissing his temple gently.

"Should I kiss you better?" He offers with a smile, and Cale snorts fondly at him.

"Let's get you in some clothes I like," Cale says with a smile. "And if you behave, I'll let you do what you like at any of the casinos tonight."

They pass by the empty casino once again, and Choi Han glances at it again, wondering what was so interesting about it that he couldn't leave the place alone.

Thankfully, there's a tailor close by, and Choi Han endures the fussy touching, pouting the whole time at his Cale-nim, who looks amused by his displeasure rather than annoyed.

"I can measure you just fine, puppy," he says, eyes dancing even as he keeps his expression neutral, "But trust these ladies to know how to take care of you." A wink, and he blushes, flustered by the action.

"Of course, my Cale," he grumbles, looking away from those beautiful eyes while they dance merrily at his discomfort.

"Remember puppy, I'll reward you well for good behavior," Cale-nim says with a little laugh. Choi Han perks up, wonders what he thought good behavior really was.

So he puts up with them, just long enough to get dressed again and happily get his Cale-nim back in his arms, all for him. Ducking his head down, he nuzzles Cale-nim's throat with a soft whine.

"Such a good puppy," Cale-nim praises, scratches his fingers lightly over his scalp, kisses his forehead. "Why don't we get you some jewelry? You'd look so good with a collar," Cale purrs into his ear, and he squirms a little at the amusement in his liege's voice.

"My Cale," he whines, Cale-nim smirking at him in amused affection. "Don't tease here…" he begs, and Cale-nim's nose gently taps against his temple, visibly fond.

"You're so cute," Cale-nim laughs, before eying the tailor. "I do hope you aren't trying to kick me out because of that puerile little 'Lord' from earlier. It'd be a shame to have to go to a town over and give them a few hundred million in galleons." His tone is light, playful.

But the tailor freezes. Cale-nim laughs, low and sweet.

"So he decided to try and play hardball, didn't he?" Cale-nim says, amused. Sliding out his badge, he watches the man goggle at the Henituse sigil. Choi Han could practically hear his Cale-nim's smug thoughts.

It was good to be the son of a count that held favor with the emperor. A little kiss, and Choi Han pouts into his Cale-nim's neck.

“Does that mean I don’t get to have any leather?” He whines, and Cale-nim lovingly pets his head.

“Don’t worry, my puppy. I’ll make sure you get the best. If it isn’t here… well. Poor thing will have to find a new job, I think. What will people say, hearing he turned down a noble on the word of a merchant?” Choi Han grins against Cale-nim’s neck, before pulling free and looking at the man with a wicked grin.

“I wonder,” he says happily, “What the crown prince will think of his recommendation, refusing us service.” He can feel Cale-nim’s laughter, hidden as it was, trembling along his svelte frame, bubbling in every word as the terrified tailor squeaks.

"How mean, puppy. Disappointing the crown prince? That's bold." Cale-nim leans in to kiss Choi Han’s mouth, and he presses his Cale-nim closer, caressing the sliver of skin he can reach before the two pull apart.

“I-I’m sorry, my liege,” the tailor quivers before them, as he should. “W-we’ll gladly take care of your lover as you desire.”

Lover. A word they hadn’t used yet. He can see how Cale-nim’s eyes widen just fractionally, a flicker of want and guilt dancing in his gaze before it’s gone. Choi Han nuzzles Cale-nim gently, before he speaks.

“I’m not his lover,” Choi Han says, seeing the slightest shade of disappointment in those beautiful cherrywood eyes. “I’m my Cale’s toy,” He stresses the last word, and Cale-nim shivers slightly, expectantly, at his words. “Nothing more, or less.” Curling Cale-nim against him, he relishes in cradling his beautiful liege, the fact that they can display themselves like this, so openly.

Oh, all his liege would need to do is ask, and he’d fall to his knees and -

“W-we’ll gladly make your toy what he desires, Lord Cale,” the tailor says, shaking, and Choi Han grins.

“I like this one,” Choi Han says, nuzzling Cale-nim. “Can we convince the prince to bring him back with us?” He asks, and Cale-nim laughs.

“Let’s see what clothing he has for you,” Cale-nim suggests. “Come. Let’s get you dressed in something that fits you better.”

Delightedly, Choi Han trails after him.

 


 

“Hmm...” Cale likes the idea of his puppy wearing leather, but he hadn’t been quite so prepared to get to see him in it, the man wiggling a little as the final fitting is stitched around his body. He’d already ordered a half-dozen of regular leather, but he’d wanted something a little more supple to cup Choi Han’s exquisite ass.

The final material was a fine, delicate deerskin, the material heated and molded to fit, leaving nothing to the imagination. His underwear had been replaced with a skimpy little thing, which Cale had enjoyed watching him blush and change into, the tailors in the room swooning.

And this perfect man was all his. Crossing one leg over the other, Cale smirks at his puppy, the man shimmying a little as he looks at Cale mournfully.

“Remember puppy. The better you behave today, the more likely I am to reward you tonight,” He says.

One of the tailors turns a violent shade of red, has to hand her needles off to a more stable-handed woman and Cale watches her dive out of the room, smirking wider. Choi Han is in full puppy mode, blushing pink at every insinuation, playing with his hair in embarrassment. Oh, how pretty his toy looks, when he’s being spoiled like this.

“Pick out some of the new clothes,” Cale tells him when they’re finished with the fitting. “But especially wear that.” Yanking Choi Han close, he adds, much lower, “And you better not wear anything under it, puppy. Keep things equal, hmm?”

Choi Han’s face erupts in a brilliant blush. They’d played with each other before, but never so publicly, where their every word was heard, and Cale liked that Choi Han was into it, clearly delighting in how much Cale was indulging himself.

The best part of this was, none of this was unexpected. After all, he was the trashiest son of a count in all of the western continent. What he saw, he took. Leaning in, Cale presses a little kiss against his mouth, before letting him go.

Leaning back, Cale relaxes to enjoy the show that will await, thinking back to earlier.

He’d known he’d have to show his noble badge eventually, but he’d - perhaps foolishly - hoped it wouldn’t be so soon. A week, he’d thought. But the fact that the Lord of the Rose Casino had so pretentiously thrown his weight around to try and stop Cale from completing his business had been very annoying. Few didn’t recognize Cale’s family, and he was a little worried about getting back to the capital. He’d have to take pre-emptive measures to make sure his vacation with Choi Han wasn’t interrupted in the slightest.

(Acting lessons, technically, but only technically.)

With a scowl, he glares at his tea and reclines back, crossing one leg over the other as he regards the space where his Choi Han would come out.

“Is something wrong, puppy?” He asks casually, props a head up in his hands.

“N-no, my Cale,” he says, sounds a little embarrassed. “I’m coming out.” Long fingers pull the curtain aside and -

Oh my.

Choi Han looks divine.

Or perhaps, demonic is the better word. He’d pulled on a tight-fitting, short-cropped turtleneck rather than a dress shirt, the red fabric dark enough that he could have mistaken it for black if it wasn’t for the sunlight shining on him. It’s beautiful, how it hugs every inch of his chest and arms, leaves his stomach bare and free for viewing.

Piercings. My puppy is getting at least one fucking piercing.

His watch is where it belongs, and a silver chain belt is slung low on his hips, more accessory than practical.

But those pants…

Bless those tailors.

The black shines beautifully, glinting flickers of mahogany on the backlight where the sun did not directly fall, left so little to the imagination Cale could recognize his puppy definitely didn’t have on any underwear. Glittering silver ribbons lace up his calves and thighs, tied off at the bottom in a complex knot. He’s wearing a pair of shorter boots today, their silver buckles matching the ribbons perfectly.

“Good god I want to eat you alive,” Cale says, and Choi Han blushes a bit. He reaches out to his puppy, and obediently, Choi Han comes to him, falls to his knees and looks up at him worshipfully. “You look so good that it’d be a shame to take this off you right now,” Cale murmurs lowly, dips his head down to kiss that plush mouth. When he pulls back, he asks, tone even, “How many of these can you make?”

“With what’s on hand in this color or others?”

“In a dark red, one in white, and a natural color. And this one, of course,” He says. The woman regards him, looks at how Choi Han sat before him, obedient and clearly already heading into a flustered mess, and nods.

He likes her. She doesn’t ask stupid questions.

“I’d say ten by the end of the week if we go by memory. If we do a fitting, then fifteen.”

“Letting him go isn’t an option. I’ll take the ten. Give me the price so I can pay it.” Here, Cale gives a grin. “I have a toy to display, and I want to make the most of it.”

The woman looks amused. “I’ll ring that up for you then sir. Would you like me to empty the room?”

“God, please.” He groans, and the tailor gives him an amused smile, ushering everyone else out and closing the door behind herself when she was done. “Fuck and you say I look like sin on vacation, Choi Han. I should be applying that to you.” Choi Han blushes, but the edge of a cocky smirk curls his lips up as the more dangerous side of him comes into play.

“Then we match, don’t we?” He purrs, and Cale doesn’t resist, pulls him in to kiss him breathless.

Choi Han really was his best match. He’d let this man go over his dead fucking body.

Chapter Text

“Oh my.” Cale-nim says, looks deeply amused.

They’d taken their time, meandering about the shops, relaxing and chatting and having fun like they had all of the time in the world to play.

Choi Han was the most lusted after man in this town, he would bet money on it.

And why wouldn’t they be, with the crown prince sitting in the central room, sipping himself a damn fine cup of tea while he waited for them?

(Even though he hadn’t been in Korea for a long, long time, Choi Han could tell when people made a proper fucking cup.)

The prince, of course, takes one look at them, dressed in clothes designed to make Satan himself blush, and damn near fucking chokes on his damn fine tea.

Of course, he’s as good as Cale-nim when it comes to acting - nobody even notices the sudden change of expression but them, and Cale-nim’s expression fractionally changes to wicked, horrible, no good amusement.

It’s a good look on his liege, the pleasure of vengeance.

That was always fun. Obediently, Choi Han follows behind his Cale-nim and kneels down, a mere servant, while Cale smiles and bows.

“It’s an honor to see the shining sun of our empire greet such lowly subjects,” Cale says with a smile, lips curved up in a perfect reflection of his amusement, his lips dripping honey. Choi Han doesn’t say a single word, stays in his position until the prince coughs. Cale-nim’s fingers ruffle his hair, and he obediently looks up, smiling as docilely as he feels like behaving.

Which isn’t much, but he won’t make his Cale-nim apologize for his actions, at least.

“... I didn’t realize I was interrupting a lover’s getaway,” Alberu coughs into his fist, and Cale-nim pets Choi Han, the man looking back down and closing his eyes to better pick out the shocked conversations around them.

“Hardly an interruption if the crown prince himself is coming to greet us,” Cale-nim purrs, playfully seductive. “Why don’t we talk somewhere a little quieter?” His liege says, and the prince stands, adjusts his jacket. Choi Han opens his eyes, content to watch his liege saunter away, the prince taking one look at his back and turning bright red.

Choi Han’s grin curls his lips, and he has to muffle a laugh at the view of the prince choking on his own spit.

“Y-yes, that would probably be for the best,” he says, and Choi Han waits until they’re both nearly gone to stand up.

Cale-nim only glances back once, and presses a finger to his lips, before gently crooking it and calling him forth.

He’s not stupid, he knows whatever will have to be said must be done in private, but he was free to join after he had ensured their privacy from physical sources. When a handful of busybodies begin their creep up the stairs, Choi Han allows an irritable snarl to leave his lips, making all of them jump.

“If any of you dare try to listen in on my Cale’s private discussions, we’ll see if the Crown Prince is willing to pardon murder,” he threatens darkly.

In the silence, Choi Han gives a satisfied smirk at their sudden retreat.

Much better.

 


 

“Ah… What’s going on here?” Crossman asks quietly, and Cale carefully holds his hand up, keeping him from speaking further until Choi Han’s dark threat is issued.

“That’s better. Come along,” Cale murmurs. “Choi Han will be up in just a moment, and we can explain better.” Turning on his heel, Cale leads the way up, doesn’t bother to play subtle and goes outright for playful seduction, the prince choking at the sway of his hips.

… No, of course Cale wasn’t getting revenge for all of the paperwork that man had saddled him with. He wasn’t that petty.

… Okay, he really was that petty.

So sue him.

Choi Han catches up to them quickly enough, before ducking ahead of them and doing a quick scan of the room and outside, checking for any eavesdroppers before letting them in.

“Do you want me to stay, Cale-nim?” He asks, perfect formality.

It’s funny that Cale had once thought Choi Han couldn’t act. The prince relaxes at his sudden change from plaything to his more typical demeanor, takes a relieved breath at the return of the actual Choi Han he expected.

“I’d rather you not. Too many people will be trying any number of tricks.” Cale says evenly, catches the flicker of dark eyes as Choi Han regards Crossman with a somewhat annoyed look.

“I understand, Cale-nim. Can I afford to leave the hallway to you and the prince, or should I keep an eye on it as well?”

“I’ll take care of the hallway,” Crossman says, clearly relieved. “Outside is more important.” Choi Han looks between them, but doesn’t move until Cale nods his agreement.

“Be careful,” Cale says in warning - the only open endearment he can make with this annoying prince in the room. Choi Han brightens regardless, aware of his caution and still happy with the careful, affectionate love Cale gave him, even if it was in such minor increments.

“Of course, my liege,” he says cheerfully, and he’s gone.

A touch, and the prince seals the door, looking at him expectantly.

“Tea?” Cale offers. Choi Han had gotten some on their first day here while he’d been sleeping, and he rather appreciated the forethought.

“Tell me you have alcohol to go with it,” Crossman says, rubbing the bridge of his nose, and Cale smirks.

“It’s me. When do I not?” He asks, and the prince makes a face at him, but concedes the point.

“Fair enough. Might I ask what on earth you two are doing here?”

“Legitimately? Or our cover stories?” Cale asks, setting up a pot and lighting the fire with deft fingers. The prince relaxes further at the words, and Cale internally sighs. So this was political. Damn. The prince likely couldn’t have a debauched degenerate around him for his own safety.

Once he was emperor, all bets were off, though.

“Cover stories, please,” he says, before accepting a small snack - my goodness, was his Choi Han thorough - and relaxing into his seat.

“I’m bored, rich, and looking for somewhere to break in a new toy I rescued from another nobleman.” Cale says bluntly. The prince’s cheeks turn red, and he looks away, flustered.

“And the official?” He asks, when he’s dislodged the snack from his throat.

“Acting lessons,” Cale says. “Choi Han is very good at his job, but I need him to be able to play parts he might not be familiar with. We discussed what we would be doing ahead of time, using my public reputation to help form our cover stories.” The prince is still embarrassed, but he’s calmed down some, looking him over. “Do you have a problem with our cover?”

“... No. I just wasn’t expecting to...” He gestures, and Cale looks down.

Oh. He’d completely forgotten he was wearing  clothes to make god himself feel tempted.

(He really, really liked Choi Han’s turns of phrase.)

Combined with Choi Han’s racy appearance, it was no surprise he was so flustered.

“Do you want me to put on a coat?” He teases, and the prince becomes even redder.

“Please,” he says, a hand laid over his face as he vibrates with pure embarrassment. With a snort, Cale goes to do so, closing the coat so he at least looks presentable.

“I’m sorry for interrupting, but one of my people mentioned they’d seen you, and well… I’ve had my eye on that casino for a while.”

“Which one? The abandoned one? Or the Rose Casino? Because as far as I can tell, whatever’s going on with the empty one is well out of my range of abilities without either an invitation or divine intervention,” Cale admits frankly. He’s already embarrassed the poor prince enough for one day, so he skips floating around the subject and dives into the heart.

He doesn’t mind Crossman, but he really isn’t happy to see him, especially since it was cutting into his time with Choi Han.

“One’s abandoned?” The prince sounds genuinely surprised, and Cale raises a brow. “I haven’t been here in person, but none of my people reported an abandoned casino.”

Oh no. That spelled trouble.

 


 

Choi Han enters into tense silence. Sliding the door shut, he takes a quick glance between them. His Cale-nim was in a coat - good idea, he didn’t like the fact that the prince was allowed to see so much of his Cale-nim anyways - and the Prince was looking deeply unhappy.

Business then. That in mind, Choi Han offers his services.

“Should I prepare to commit murder or break into an office?” Choi Han asks, tilts his head.

Cale-nim’s unhappy expression cracks into an amused smile, and the prince, too, looks entertained.

“He’s funny,” Alberu says, chuckling. “The second, I’d think.” Choi Han grabs a coat out of the closet and dons it quickly, the prince relaxing at his gesture of politeness, before sitting next to his Cale-nim. “I was in the process of informing your liege of the particulars in this area,” he says, and Choi Han relaxes, leans back. He didn’t think Alberu would try to challenge him for his liege.

“Is it as bad as we guessed?” Choi Han asks, and Cale snorts.

“Worse. You were half-right that they weren’t trading people. Unfortunately, we forgot to include living  things in general.” His Cale-nim looked tense and angry, so Choi Han winces, knowing it will be bad.

“Beastmen?” He guesses. “They’re not humans on a technicality, and people still abuse that, don’t they?”

“Cat Beastmen are the most popular, but there’s also non-mammalian beastmen as well in the mix.” His voice trembles in barely controlled fury. Choi Han closes his eyes, feels that ever-familiar simmer of rage.

“Are you sure homicide isn’t a good option?” Choi Han asks, when he’s calmed down some. He wishes, so badly, that he could caress his liege, kiss his temper better.

“Believe me, Choi Han, I’d be happy to, but they’re not the only ones.” The prince leans in, making sure he’s caught Choi Han’s eyes.

“I would be happy to let you, but unfortunately, there’s a greater problem. Rumors have started to circulate about a potential dragon egg as a prize. Even if it isn’t real, or an advertisement to bring in customers, the Crown must investigate. The eggs themselves are dangerous enough as they are, but with enemy mages within the kingdom, it’s much too dangerous to leave such a potential item to chance.”

“Where would you take it, if the rumor is true?” Choi Han wonders, and Cale-nim gives a hum.

“Likely? The elves’ village. They would have the best security, and raising a dragon whose magic might be defined or damaged by the abuse the egg was surrounded by will likely be easier. There’s no human mage that can safely raise a dragon egg in this day and age, especially if it hatches with powers that are naturally malicious.” The prince looks surprised, but after a moment nods agreement.

Choi Han grimaces.

“Fun,” he sighs. “I assume you’re not staying, then, Your Highness?” Choi Han guesses, and the prince gives them both an unreadable look.

“Normal people would have run screaming,” he muses, faint wonder in his tone.

“Not a single damn person in this room is normal,” Cale-nim says dryly, and Choi Han gives an unabashed grin of agreement.

“Cale-nim is right, Your Highness. A dragon is hardly the most dangerous thing here. If they’ve gone so far as to harvest a dragon’s egg, then it’s not unlikely that they’re also holding monsters in cages, and who knows what they’ve done to them.” A small shrug. “I’d not be able to live with myself if I didn’t help.”

A flicker of affectionate fondness in Cale-nim’s eyes before it’s gone, his liege returning to business as he regards the prince.

“We can do whatever work you need. It’ll require a more subtle touch, but Choi Han and I need to work on that one way or another. Won’t hurt to get an early start.”

The prince looks at them both in concern.

“Are you sure? I am the one tasked to do this - you two can go anywhere safer, if you want, to complete your objective.”

“We’re already here. If you came and we left, you’d be treated with more suspicion than if we stayed. If you visit us, we’ll be considered valuable commodities. And besides.” Cale-nim’s smile is amused, tinted bittersweetly. “We’re your loyal subjects.”

“You two could get tortured.” The prince says, looking somewhat pained. Cale-nim doesn’t look phased.

“I don’t like pain, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. Letting a madman get his hands on a dragon egg would be insane enough that nowhere is safe,” Cale-nim says evenly. The idea was deplorable, and Choi Han wishes he could dare scowl at his Cale-nim for daring to suggest such an awful thing. The prince looks horrified enough for the both of them, so he lets it slide.

“You should be more worried,” the prince says, and Choi Han agrees, but says nothing, knowing his liege wouldn’t want him to offer his opinion when he would more or less ignore it in the face of a bigger threat. His liege was always so reckless.

“As opposed to the worry that I would feel, knowing that the entire continent could come under fire from a malicious dragon?” Cale-nim says dryly, and Choi Han muffles a snort.The prince glares at him for that.

“Why aren’t you upset?” He asks, and Choi Han shrugs a bit.

“My liege might be a bit flippant, but he’s essentially correct. There will be nothing and nowhere that is safe should a dragon be able to break free of their captors. I’d rather us be here, where we can at least try to stop the damage, rather than bury our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist.” Choi Han admits. “Either way, I promised to follow my liege anywhere, and I’ll keep him safe, as is my duty.” The prince gives a resigned look at them both.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” he grumbles, and Cale-nim shrugs.

“We do what we have to. A long, healthy life only works if there’s a place to live a long and healthy life.” A faint shrug, and Cale-nim leans back. For him, the matter was closed. Alberu, looking pleadingly at him, meets no help.

“Where my liege goes, I do.”

Alberu groans.

“You two are going to make me go grey,” he grumbles.

“Your fault for making me some kind of hero of the nation,” Cale-nim says flippantly, before turning to Choi Han. He can see the unhappy exasperation, and silently, Choi Han modifies his thoughts.

His liege would never be happy as the king of the world. But perhaps, he’d be very, very happy being able to make Alberu jump to his every whim, to make sure he was always a priority without the petty attachment of feelings…

Yes… His liege would like that very much.

But first. There were words that needed to be had with his reckless liege.

 


 

Choi Han was off thinking something troublesome again, but Cale doesn’t mind. When his sweet little swordsman put that quick wit to work, he was capable of incredible feats that would often surprise even the most agile of chessmasters.

“Is there anything else? You stay much longer, and people are going to think something’s… going on, between the three of us.” Alberu turns a bright red, and the prince stutters something that he supposes would be a reasonably polite excuse before making his way out of their room, the door slamming shut behind him.

Cale’s smile drops. Ugh.

He’d completely forgotten. How could he have forgotten?

The Birth of a Hero had a spinoff. A single book, not very long - or popular. Kim Rok Soo had ignored it, not interested in the prince given his dislike of how he had manipulated Choi Han.

He was starting to regret that ignorance.

He’s quickly distracted from his irritated musings by that very same swordsman, who was already stripping off his coat, looking flustered and greedy for him, a pretty, perfect, deadly toy.

“What do you want, my puppy?” Cale asks, and Choi Han drops to his knees, nuzzles his stomach.

“I want to suck you off,” he says frankly, and Cale’s cheeks heat a little. “I want to worship you,” he continues, ignoring Cale’s startled expression. “I want to love you and caress you and make you all mine. I want you to never leave my sight, to never be touched by others and be treated as you deserve.” His eyes are gleaming with hunger, with annoyance, something the prince - or he - had said, making Choi Han’s possessive hunger rise once more.

“What’s upset you, my puppy?” He asks softly, and Choi Han looks up at him, smiling deviously.

“Upset me?” He says, smile dropping and an expression of anger - fury - flashing over his face. “You. You dared say that you would be willing to endure torture for that prince. Nobody is allowed to cause you harm. You, especially, shouldn’t allow others to touch you in that way. No one should dare dream to mark your skin but me.” His voice seethes with possessiveness, the dark-haired swordsman glaring at him. Choi Han brackets him in, and Cale gives a surprised yelp when Choi Han surges up, his sweet puppy replaced by a very, very unhappy wolf. His legs are awkwardly pushed up, wrapped around his swordsman’s waist, the contortion just slightly more uncomfortable than he liked.

And somehow, he couldn’t find it in himself to care.

“Choi Han,” He murmurs, pulling his swordsman closer, arms wrapped tight around his neck and caressing his face with a fingertip, lips pressing against a soft mouth that yields for him, despite his anger. “You know how much I despise pain from anyone who isn’t you, don’t you?” He says soothingly. Choi Han doesn’t smile, but something in his wild wolf calms at the affirmation of affection.

And while he was saying these words mostly to calm Choi Han down, he was surprised by how much he truly meant them, how much he would resent pain caused by others, yet would invite it in this dangerous, feral monster he’d come to desire and love.

He supposes it’s a stark contrast between the Cale of before this lovely journey, and the one that had submitted all but his deepest self to Choi Han, his wild, vicious, feral wolf.

Perhaps, if he was able to make that confession, that truth he so feared, he would be able to claim the right to call Choi Han his lover, rather than his toy.

Choi Han had denied it for him in that store, and as he had, Cale had felt a sharp, stinging pain that had lanced through him.

He wanted that. Lover.

I’m your Cale, now. I want to be your lover too. Own me in every way that matters, Choi Han.

“How about it?” Cale says softly, reaching out to kiss him. “Let me show you how much I love it when it’s you, and you alone, who makes me hurt.”

Dark eyes search his expression, search the soft smile he holds, the want in his eyes, how relaxed he is despite the uncomfortable position, and his wolf stands down, settles him more comfortably in his lap.

“We aren’t leaving the hotel tonight,” Choi Han says, voice low and irritable, and Cale smiles at him.

“If you want,” He answers in kind. “Do you want to punish me?” Cale asks, soft as a feather.

Choi Han’s eyes turn dark at the implicit offer.

“Will you let me punish you?”

“Yes,” he murmurs without hesitation. Choi Han shudders, the movement felt across every inch of his body.

“Am I allowed to ruin you?” He asks as well, and Cale gives a soft laugh, slow and hungry and unbearably, undeniably, already ruined.

“No.” Surprise colors his face, and Cale smiles, slow and hungry. “You’re allowed to unmake me. Nothing you do could be considered ruin.”

Choi Han leans in, and the kiss, when their lips meet, burns.

 


 

Alberu is sitting in his carriage, expression thoughtful at the sight he’d witnessed. He did feel a little guilty, spying on them like this, but at the same time, he’d known something was up, that there was more to this than what they were saying.

“So, my red-haired hero is in love with his knight.” A hum, and the prince smiles.

It was rather cute, actually, to see how they had covered for one another, seamless perfection.

He was rather jealous, in fact. He didn’t need to listen any further, shuts off the device with a shake of his head.

They had, in their odd way, tried to protect him. At the very least, Cale was aware of the risk their debauchery could pose to him, and had given him a plausible excuse to give to those who balked at their actions here. But if they were acting on an imperial order…

Alberu chuckles a little, considering his options as he thinks back to the interesting display those two had offered. Choi Han had bent the knee so effortlessly before him at his liege’s direction, further proof that the two were effortlessly bound together by more than mere duty and honor.

The door of his carriage opens, and one of his spies climbs in, looking nervous.

As he should.

Alberu’s foot slams against the wall of the carriage, a dark scowl curling his lips as he stares at the hotel owner of the very place Cale and Choi Han were residing in.

“I do hope you have a good explanation for your actions. I had to find out from my two best men that a casino in this place was abandoned ages ago?” His snarl is dark, and the man cringes, the fool realizing his error immediately. “And what is this about you running tasks for that conman that runs the Rose Casino? Should I suspect a rat? ” He hisses.

The owner quails ever further.

It looked like Alberu would have to get… messy, after all.

 


 

Deep within the empty casino, a bell chimes.

It can feel it. The power of two strong sources, defying a predestined fate, reshaping time. Dust vanishes from wooden counters, tiles polish themselves to gleaming gold, and vintage bottles restore themselves to perfection.

They must have them. They must have those who would defy destiny.

They are owned by a force greater than mortals may know, may care for.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the empty casino begins to wake.

It has been a long time since it has felt the need to offer games to worthy players.

A hundred and fifty years, to be precise.

The Samsara Casino was very happy to wake once again, to unleash its chaos upon the world.

Chapter Text

“Haaaah...” Cale whines lowly, back arching down as Choi Han’s fingers relentlessly tease him. He’d expected that Choi Han would have simply fucked him brainless already, bitten and marked him, but instead, Choi Han was going the full mile, cleaning him up and now, finger fucking him with deliberate presses of his fingers into Cale’s body, teasing out his sweet spots to torture him later.

Where the hell did Choi Han learn this? Where in the fuck had he learned this? Had there been others before him?

Jealousy burns in his skin at the thought, despite knowing it was absurdly hypocritical given his own history as Kim Rok Soo. He wanted to be Choi Han’s first, Choi Han’s only, and he wished he’d never been touched by anyone else.

He wanted all of himself to belong to Choi Han alone.

Long fingers jab at his prostate again, and Cale gives a startled cry, Choi Han’s fingers lacing tight in his hair and bending him back.

“What are you thinking about?” Choi Han asks darkly, and Cale whimpers when those skilled fingers push deeper into him, milking his prostate in a way that makes him tremble.

“I wish I’d never been with anyone before you,” he whispers, and Choi Han’s gray eyes watch him with hungry desire. “Wish it was just you, teaching me to love sex.”

Choi Han dips down, his wolf pressing a rough kiss against his lips, the two sharing a messy, unrefined, absolutely filthy kiss, all possessiveness and heat and hunger that burns down Cale’s resistance, sends him whimpering into the kiss, opening his mouth further so Choi Han’s tongue can taste every part of him, pleasure him until there’s nothing left but Choi Han in his mind and his heart.

He wants it all, wants it so badly -

Choi Han pulls back, and oxygen rushes back in, Cale slumping over the edge of the bathtub, trembling and whimpering weakly like he was supposed to. Long fingers stretch and press, tease and toy, and Cale isn’t sure how much longer he can resist, how much more he can hold out before he comes without having been fucked properly.

“Please...” His voice is a bare whisper. “Choi Han, please, god, do something.” Choi Han ignores him, pushing a third finger in and wiggling them experimentally.

He couldn’t tell - was Choi Han that big? Would Choi Han be that deep within him that such extensive preparation was necessary? Or was his wolf playing with him, toying with his body to torment him until he burst? Whatever it was, he falls back against the tub, fingers clinging to the edge.

The water’s gone lukewarm, and he knows it will soon become absurdly cold.

He still doesn’t want to stop. He wants… he wants Choi Han to keep playing with him, wants Choi Han to bury himself deep in Cale, wants Choi Han to torment him.

All of these things tangle in his head, nothing but choked whines leaving his lips as he tries to articulate his thoughts, his broken sobs, his begging pleas for Choi Han to fuck him. Choi Han stops as his body draws close to orgasm, and he gives a small cry of disappointment, bending over the edge of the tub and sobbing, hair plastered to his face as Choi Han regards him with something close to wicked amusement.

“What do you want?” Choi Han asks him, smile wide and predatory, as though asking a question he already knew the answer to.

Cale can barely think beyond the loss, the lack of fingers in his body, the cold water lapping at his thighs, the radiating heat that is Choi Han behind him, not touching him but so close.

“You, please, god, you, don’t do this I want you to fuck me so badly please I’m begging you -” His words are quickly swallowed up by a mouth, his body forcefully turned and that warm, sinful mouth plundering his own. Choi Han does not kiss him so much as he devours Cale, hands cupping Cale’s ass and squeezing it affectionately, their cocks pressed together and leaking over each other’s stomachs shamelessly.

Choi Han is smiling at him, which is both a good and not good sign. His wolf is very expressive when he wants to be, and that purely predatory smile was not convincing him that Choi Han was going to fulfil Cale’s desires to be as well-fucked as he hoped he would be.

Choi Han carefully picks up him, dries him off, and he whimpers when Choi Han regards him, pushes him onto his knees.

Only for Choi Han would he bend, and he does, soft and fluid as he hopefully looks up, mouth opening in want. Choi Han laughs at him.

“That’s a reward, not a punishment,” Choi Han says, and he whines, stays as he is until Choi Han pushes him down, the redhead now on his hands and knees. The world is a little hazy, Cale breathing in the scent of the air, hearing Choi Han’s laughter as he pushes further, until Cale is pressed against the floor, shoulders and face on the tile, ass up like a bitch in heat.

Ah… This was embarrassing. He pants and gasps, cock twitching at the demeaning pose, the obvious want Choi Han was displaying.

“You’re so cute when you’re like this, my Cale,” Choi Han murmurs, fingers sliding down stretch his asshole again, Cale whimpering when they hold still, rather than diving deep and prodding his sensitive prostate. “I want to see you like this more often, wet and greedy for me, dripping juices and begging me for what you want.” Choi Han’s eyes are delighted at his debauched state, and he hopefully wiggles his ass, begging without words for what he wanted. The fingers retreat, and before Cale can complain, his hand descends, smacking the flesh once in warning.

“Ahh! C-Choi Han, please...” Tears drip down his face, the stinging pain melding with the impossibly vicious pleasure, Cale sobbing intermittently as his body reminds him that yes, yes, this was what he signed up for, why wasn’t Choi Han giving him more of it.

He wanted more, he needed it, the pleasure and desire, the need for his possessive wolf to fill him up, to make him inescapably his. He wants it. He wants it so damn badly he feels like -

Cale’s eyes roll up in the back of his head as those fingers plunge in deep, back arching and a low moan tearing it’s way free.

“Do you like this?” Choi Han teases, and he can’t gather the breath to snap at him, to demand more, to plead for something close to mercy. Cale gives a small sob, trembling legs spreading out as he slumps, nearly horizontal after that cruel assault on his body.

Choi Han had barely fucking done anything, and yet Cale was already a mess.

This is bad…

“You’re so cute, my Cale,” Choi Han murmurs possessively, pulling him up and pressing a kiss against his lips, his smirk widening. “So easy to tease, to toy with, to spread open and make you cry.” A smile, and Choi Han sits him up, fingers pulling free as he moves to kiss Choi Han, only to be stopped by the hand on his shoulder. “Ah-ah, my Cale. This is a punishment,” he reminds him, and Cale groans low in his throat.

He was going to get Choi Han back if it damn well killed him, if he didn’t do his job and fuck Cale stupid.

 


 

Those beautiful eyes close with annoyance, and Choi Han can practically hear his liege’s whining. It’s so cute. So very, very cute.

Choi Han was going to eat his liege alive. With a grin, he hefts Cale-nim up and over his shoulder, the man yelping in surprise and then wiggling in protest, though he quickly gives up at the overall effort he doesn’t want to expend.

“I should fuck you out on the balcony,” Choi Han muses aloud, and Cale-nim squeaks, squirms in earnest. “I’d bet you would cry, wouldn’t you, my Cale?” He says with a smile, squeezing his thigh affectionately. “Could you keep quiet if I fucked you there?” Looking at his liege’s red face, Choi Han smiles wider. “Oh, I don’t think so.” Pulling open the closet, Choi Han regards the contents with a smile. He takes out the widest ribbon he can find before closing the door and tossing his Cale-nim on the bed. “Hold still,” He purrs, Cale-nim whimpering around the ribbon as it’s used as a makeshift gag, the man kissing his sweet liege with an amused smile.

“Mmph, mm!” Cale-nim wiggles when he ties his liege’s hands as well, before picking him up and depositing him on the throne he’d used to make Choi Han rut against him. Grabbing his liege’s bound wrists, he lifts Cale-nim’s arms up over his head and hooks him there, leaving him in an obscenely uncomfortable position, back arched just so and his body trembling for Choi Han. Cautiously, he tugs the ribbon off, gives a little kiss to his mouth.

“Are you worried?” He asks, looking at his liege directly. He wanted to punish his liege, torment him, make him cry and see that pretty face twist up with tears as he utterly demolishes his liege’s stamina. He wants to mark him and bite him and leave bruises that last for more than a day.

But he’s obedient to his liege and will not force him.

Cale-nim gives him a half-maddened look, pushes up to kiss him, filthy and hot, no reservations or restraint. When he pulls back, those beautiful eyes are set in a glare.

“Either you fuck me now or I take revenge for you stopping at the fun part,” Cale-nim threatens darkly, his cherrywood eyes a dark, beautiful hue of wine-red. Flickers of madness dance in him, and Choi Han smiles at the sight, kisses him once more before silencing him with the ribbon.

“As you command, my liege,” Choi Han breathes across those soft lips, before dropping to his knees and taking his liege into his mouth, hand sliding up a thigh to bury two fingers into Cale’s wet heat.

His liege goes taut, back arching and a muffled scream leaving his throat, that lascivious figure twisting left and right as he sucks on the sweet dick in his mouth, fingers pumping in and out as he torments his liege, pressing against his prostate with every thrust of his fingers, tonguing the sensitive underside of his liege’s dick, the barest hint of teeth dancing over the flesh as he buries Cale-nim’s dick to the hilt, swallowing around him shamelessly.

Cale-nim’s body is shuddering, tears working down his liege’s face, dripping onto his pretty chest and sliding over those perky pink nipples. He looks so good, so smooth and delicate like this, as though he was a doll, ready to be broken and mended by Choi Han’s care. A few hard sucks, and Cale-nim comes for him, cries his name and squirms weakly as he massages his liege’s prostate.

He won’t fuck his Cale-nim until he’s too spent to cum again, fuck him in that hazy euphoria of post-orgasm bliss, the edge of painful and too good for words.

Pulling his fingers free, he regards Cale-nim, reaches up to pinch his cute pink nipples, tugging and pinching them experimentally. Cale-nim goes taut, head slamming back against the plush chair, sobs choked out through the makeshift gag so loud he can’t help but grin. He wants to bury his liege in this pleasure, pulling one hand back to replace it with his mouth, licking at the sensitive nub as he pulls on the other one harder. Cale-nim twitches, cock stirring back to life rather quickly when Choi Han bites gently on the nipple in his mouth, tugs it back with slow, easy intent, happy to torment and tease him relentlessly until he gives in to Choi Han. Letting go, he can see how his liege looks, tears already dampening the gag, but a brilliance in his eyes, fire and madness blending with desire.

He smirks at the sight.

“You’re usually so chatty,” He says softly, tugging on the spit-slicked nipple with a grin, squeezing a little harder to see those beautiful eyes roll up into the back of his head, a choked sob leaving his mouth and sweet frame trembling eagerly. “I love this, though, gagging you so you can’t be such a greedy, lazy slut for me.” Tugging again, Choi Han lets go, sees the ring of teeth marks with some pleasure. “You said we would go and get some piercings. I want to get some for you, right here.” Taking both nipples in hand, Choi Han pinches them, before twisting his fingers, just a little bit.

Cale-nim chokes on air, head hanging down as he struggles for breath, and Choi Han lets go with a laugh.

“Oh? Was that too much?” He grins, tilts his liege’s head so he can see the glazed over look, the pleased, pleasure-drunk expression. “Your stamina is so low, my liege. I really should fix that,” he says, Cale-nim whimpering at him cutely. “I can’t even imagine how you’ll survive bouncing on my cock if this is enough to wipe you out,” he murmurs into an ear, Cale-nim shuddering at his words. He traces the bite marks on Cale-nim’s left nipple, before humming. “Mmm… the other one doesn’t look like it had enough fun… I should make sure they match,” He muses, leans in to kiss it, before sucking it into his mouth and closing his teeth around the pink nub. A quick, hard bite, and then Choi Han rolls the flesh between his teeth, Cale-nim’s strangled cries music to his ears.

He would have to be careful he wasn’t wrecked instead. Pulling free, he admires the way his teeth have imprinted on that beautiful flesh, before trailing kisses up to his Cale-nim’s throat and biting down, hard enough to leave a bruise that would last for much longer than a day. He didn’t like that his marks had disappeared so quickly, hated the fact that something would make Cale-nim look fresh and fuckable to anyone but him.

Letting go, Choi Han says, “I’m going to mark you every day, if that’s what it takes for your body to memorize me, to know you’re never allowed to go anywhere without my love imprinted on your skin.” He slides his hands up, grips his Cale-nim’s hips and squeezes the flesh there, as strong as he dares to, teeth sinking into every square inch of skin, pressing down until they bleed, lapping up the damage he makes without care or concern, his Cale-nim whimpering and sobbing around his gag, hips gyrating back and forth as he tries to get some friction, to soothe the ache of not having Choi Han in him yet.

Pulling back, Choi Han admires the view, kisses the last mark he’d left, before pulling away from his liege entirely, kneeling back down to suck that sweet cock in his mouth again, filling that empty space that ached for him with his fingers, plunging them in deep and stroking the velvety walls as they tremble for him, Cale-nim sobbing and shaking in his grasp, unable to escape, and unable to move a mere inch from where his left hand still holds him still, fingers pressing deep bruises into his skin.

This time, Choi Han doesn’t stop sucking on his Cale-nim when he comes, working at his prostate relentlessly and milking everything out even as he bobs his head, ignoring the way Cale-nim trembles, glancing up only to see that bite-riddled chest and those tear-filled eyes full of want and desire and passion for him. He loves how wrecked his liege is, loves how much it makes him shake, how much it makes him cry and break into pieces.

And he hasn’t even gotten to the fun shit yet. Cale-nim cums a second time, and then, nearly seven and a half minutes later, a third time.

Aww… only three times? Choi Han can’t help the slightly dirty grin that crosses his face at that. Choi Han could easily go for longer, especially given his intent to demolish his liege’s stamina in punishment for his foolishness, his recklessness.

He loved it already, loved how he could imagine the sweetness of his Cale-nim’s body clenching tight around him. Lifting Cale-nim’s hands up, he turns him around, his pretty body facing away from him and ass presented so delicately, like a fine treat for him to indulge in. Kneeling down, he bites one soft cheek, Cale-nim giving a choked little noise at the feeling. Grinning, Choi Han peppers that soft flesh with bite marks to match his chest, relentlessly worrying the skin of his thighs and leaving bites so deep that blood oozes from the punctures caused by his teeth.

His liege has slumped down, and a quick inspection makes him grin, cum dripping from his weeping cock.

“Did you come just from me biting you here? Do you like that?” He says, smile widening at the realization of his liege’s naughty indulgence. A slightly pained, sweet whimper is his answer, and he kisses the bloody bite, licks at it and caresses it fondly with his fingers. “Don’t worry, my liege. I’ll give this all back to you, make sure you can’t resist even a second.” Pulling away, Choi Han admires the wet tears on his liege’s face when he buries his hand in that soft red hair and yanks his head back, observing the tear-stains as they slide down his cheeks. Fondly, Choi Han licks over one trail, the salt tingling on his skin. He liked the taste of his liege, and especially with the tears that dripped down his cheeks.

“You’re so cute, my Cale,” Choi Han chuckles, letting his grip on that soft hair go, before turning Cale-nim back around to see his flushed face, the way that rosy blush dusts over his entire body, dancing over the skin in a sweet caress. A quick nuzzle, and he kisses his Cale-nim’s nose, a moment of gentle tenderness before he gives in to his Cale-nim, indulges in the madness within them both.

He takes a moment to grab some oil, before returning to his liege. Excited eyes follow his every movement, a hint of trepidation and worry combined with delight. It’s not hard to lift up his Cale-nim, settle his liege on his thighs and observe him.

He wants to see - no, he wants to hear - what his liege has to say, so he takes off the gag, his liege coughing but looking so well-fucked already that he can’t help the way his inner monster purrs at the sight.

“I want to choke you.” He says the words bluntly, does not dance around them, because he’s much too impatient for that, much too greedy for that. Choi Han gets the pleasure of Cale-nim’s dazed eyes meeting him, a tongue poking out to lick at chapped lips.

Then.

A smile. Slow and feral, curling his lips up slow as his eyes fill with ravenous hunger.

“Make sure you do it like you mean it,” Cale-nim whispers, rough and quiet. “I want to see stars, I want to ride the edge of blacking out. Don’t choke me unless you’ll choke me like you’re killing me.”

Choi Han’s heart stutters at the words, the monster he kept leashed there straining against his carefully composed cage, hands trembling as he runs the back of his hand down that lovely face.

“You’ll put your life in my hands,” he says, soft and quiet. Yearning.

Hoping.

Wanting.

The silence stretches, Cale-nim regarding him with something close to amusement and want, a hunger for Choi Han and the monster he leashed within, the beast scratching against his ribcage, begging to be let out, to take over his skin and take Cale-nim for his own.

“I meant what I said, Choi Han,” Cale-nim murmurs softly. “Unmake me.” Leaning in, he presses a kiss to those soft lips, conveying the sweetness he would cut out in mere moments.

“You don’t get to take this back. You’re mine. All of you, no matter what it is, belong to me, when my hands go around that pretty throat of yours.” Cale-nim smiles at him, eyes sliding shut with pleasure.

“Does that mean you’ll take my soul too?” Cale-nim asks him, and the carefully constructed cage around his monster splinters.

In answer, Choi Han wraps the ribbon back around his mouth, ties it tight. Those eyes are half-lidded as they look at Choi Han, eyes glittering with twisted joy, their constant back and forth, complex weave of trust and fear.

Cale-nim -

No. Cale - would be his.

Choi Han’s smile, when he gives in to the worst of himself, is ruinous.

 


 

Cale can see how Choi Han’s expression changes, how the possessive wolf of his swordsman changes into the relentless monster, how utterly it transforms him, smile widening as his sanity is thrown to the wayside, fingers digging into his hips hard enough to bleed, to smear over those strong fingers that uncork the lubrication. He can’t look away from the madness as it comes to life, little crackles of black dancing sparks over his skin, flickering around the edge of Choi Han’s eyes as he slicks himself up, only a small amount to ease the way, nothing to make it hurt less.

Choi Han is meticulous, hands securing under Cale’s thighs, the thick, blunt head nudging at his entrance. A slow press, and Cale groans at the faint teasing, a light push breaching the tight ring of muscle before retreating. It feels like forever before Choi Han finally, finally, pushes the head in, the burn making him moan against the gag. He wanted Choi Han to go harder, to go faster, oh god.

Of course, he doesn’t, slides in slow until he’s buried to the hilt, makes sure Cale can feel every inch of the glorious cock that would punish him.

He’s dizzy, breathless, even. How could he have ever predicted this? How could he have predicted that his Choi Han, his beautiful, deadly swordsman, would have been this much of a pillar in his life in less than a month? Cale couldn’t even remember what they were like before as he rests in Choi Han’s lap, warming his cock as the swordsman presses his forehead against Cale’s shoulder, eyes closed and low moans leaving him.

He could hear his Choi Han’s composure breaking, his beautiful monster ripping gleefully out of his carefully-constructed human shell. Cale experimentally clenches around Choi Han, and the swordsman groans, black sparking along the spine, dancing over his hair, and flickering in his eyes like firelight when he looks at Cale, a sort of feral, almost rabid, gleam in them.

“You’re so impatient,” Choi Han murmurs huskily, sitting back and placing one hand on his thigh, gripping it tight enough for bruises. The other wraps long fingers around his throat, each and every single finger curling firmly around the flesh, thumb rubbing over his Adam’s apple. The spread of his palm covers the back of his neck, fingers pressing against his carotid artery, the stinging feel of one of Choi Han’s bitemarks flickering in his senses as he touches there.

Fingers carefully, so gently, tighten around his throat, little increments, gray eyes flicking up to see how much he can give, how much he can take. Cale can feel his head getting fuzzier, getting dizzy and spinning like a top at a festival, his breathing labored past the gag, wishes so desperately for another kiss, but he can’t.

It’s like he’s prey, drowning in gray eyes that gleam so viciously, a hunger and rage in them that he finds so precious. The world is falling apart around him, little cracks of glass closing in on the edges of his vision, heart racing as the prey instinct in him activates under his predator’s teasing, his monster watching the light leave his eyes as he smiles -

Air rushes back in, Cale choking and whining around his gag, wriggling slightly in delayed arousal and need. That hand on his thigh tightens, lifts him up, the slick sounds of Choi Han’s dick in him obscenely wet and indulgent. Cale’s head tilts back as the grip returns, the two of them angled up so Choi Han can fuck him to his heart’s content.

Had he always felt like this? The slick feel of Choi Han in him, the deadly hands that caress his throat like a kiss, the feeling of terror mingling with absolute desire, with the want to be owned by this monster of a man, this wolf who was perfectly poised to rip his heart out?

Choi Han could kill him, right here, and he would be happy.

But he knows that Choi Han won’t, closes his eyes as the world spins again, his swordsman picking up the pace, their bodies meshing in a wet, lewd slap of flesh, in the way he suddenly can’t breathe again, skin prickling with the desire to run, to stay, to let his Choi Han have his way until he becomes utterly ruined, becomes nothing more than an offering for a mad god.

Suddenly, fire races through him, that excellent dick rubbing up against his over-sensitive prostate, Cale crying out around the gag, back arching as he trembles, the world going dangerously dark before that iron grip releases, air flooding his system and making his already dizzy head spin further. He might as well have drunk pure alcohol, Choi Han his drug of choice, his addiction that filled him up so wonderfully, so beautifully.

That composed movement stutters, skips a beat when he lets teary eyes meet Choi Han’s gaze, gray having deepened to black, his monster - lover, lover, you know you want him to be - grinning back, hips jerking up to press them flush, hand tightening around his throat like a promise.

A hundred times, a thousand times more, the world darkens and cracks like a mirror hitting the ground, before it repairs itself with the rush of air, goosebumps crawling over his skin and Choi Han’s beast of a cock filling him over and over again in loving reminders of how much he was owned, how much of his life balanced on Choi Han’s affectionate mercy, the joy of knowing he was the only one who would ever see the true demon that Choi Han hid and -

Orgasm rushes through him hotly, Cale’s scream of pleasure still very audible past the gag, the hand around his throat seizing his hair and pulling him back just a little more, the force of his thrust in making his back bend beautifully.

The fire under his skin has grown hotter, sparks thrown over his flesh with every thrust in, Choi Han’s hand returning to its rightful place around his throat, squeezing him with maliciously affectionate intent.

The haze of black has gotten stronger, and had he been in his right mind, perhaps he would have felt fear.

Instead, all he can feel is a drug-like euphoria.

 


 

Choi Han can see how Cale’s eyes glaze over, how he trembles, gaze flickering wildly through anger and joy, pain and pleasure, absolute, overarching insanity.

His cum stains their skin, and Choi Han groans, thrusts harder into Cale’s tight, wet heat, spilling his seed in that beautiful body for the first of many times.

The second time, Cale is absolutely losing his mind, overstretched, stuffed to the brim with him, eyes shining as he moans Choi Han’s name through the gag, rolling his hips greedily and sobbing as Choi Han buries him in the sensation of being owned to the absolute fullest.

The third, Cale’s starting to cry, tears pouring down his cheeks as he squirms helplessly for mercy, the combination of multiple orgasms and his meticulous choking setting his nerves on fire, his aura creeping over his flesh to lovingly lap at Cale’s skin.

The fourth, he’s given up any pretense of humanity, black sparks dancing over them both, Cale whimpering weakly at him and squirming, skin glistening with sweat so obscenely that even the devil would have looked away from his liege.

The fifth, and he lets go when Cale finally shakes his head, sobs muffled through the gag, tears pouring down his face as he cries at his Choi Han.

Pulling free with a wet squelching noise, Choi Han watches the liquid drip down those soft, plump thighs, the bruised and marked skin still vividly red, sparkling flickers of black lingering where he had bitten Cale into submission, drawing little droplets of blood that he leans in to lick.

“You were so good,” Choi Han murmurs softly, pulls Cale off of the throne and back to the bath, emptying it one-handed as he peppers little kisses over Cale’s face, his bound arms loosely wrapped around Choi Han’s neck.

Cale is unresponsive beyond his labored breathing at first, trembling softly and eyes closing as he holds Choi Han close to him, the gag still on his face and keeping any noises he wants to make very quiet. Once the water’s hot enough that his liege won’t freeze, Choi Han takes a rag and dampens it, cleans his liege firmly but thoroughly, kissing his face here and there as he murmurs praise, his pretty eyes still wine-red and glazed over. Pulling the gag, Choi Han listens to the musical little breaths that grace his ear as he finishes cleaning Cale, before pulling him in for a kiss.

Even as out of it as Cale is, he responds, tongues tangling together in an affectionate caress, his fingers dancing up and down Cale’s spine as he internally croons at the rightness, cleans himself with a fresh rag while Cale clings to him.

There is no monster kept separate, not after this, not after being looked at and loved by Cale in his entirety, after his beautiful liege had given it all to him, all but that last secret. Cale is too far out of it to say such a truth tonight, but if he’s right - and he will be right - that truth will belong to him tomorrow.

Lifting Cale, the two step into the bath together, Choi Han plugging the base of the tub, taking the most luxurious soap he can find, the sweetness of rosewood mingling with a light, musky scent that would so lovingly complement his liege’s natural earthy smell. He rubs it into his liege’s skin, Cale looking at him through devoted, glassy eyes, breathing soft and shallow.

The bruises on his throat are not fully developed yet, and Choi Han grins, knowing it will be visible to everyone tomorrow. He can’t wait to see how beautiful they are on his liege’s skin. He can see a faint glimmer of his power, his aura sparkling beautifully over that throat that had trembled for him, moments from death and loving it.

They sit in the bath together, Cale relaxing happily against him and giving a soft moan when he runs his fingers through that soft hair.

“Time for bed, my Cale,” He says, the redhead nodding against his chest but only able to cling to him desperately, unwilling to let him go. He chuckles and kisses his temple, dries Cale off and carries him to bed. Cale refuses to let him go, so he laughs, falling into bed with his spaced-out liege, the soft murmurs that leave his lips making him smile.

He stays up late, stroking his Cale’s hair, leans in to kiss him now and again.

“You have no idea, do you?” He murmurs fondly. “What you’ve forged in me.”

Chapter Text

Cale looks at himself the next morning, Choi Han’s arms wrapped around his waist, the swordsman happily content and nuzzling the back of his neck.

He recalled every moment of that night. The vicious, wild, utterly insane pleasure Choi Han had gotten from fucking him that way, from holding Cale’s life in the palm of his hand, and he smiles, fingers touching the mark he liked most.

The touch of Choi Han was indelibly burned into his skin, and when his fingers brush over it, he can feel the lingering traces of Choi Han’s power.

It burns lovingly under his skin, sets him ablaze in pleasure, of want and possessiveness.

He’d seen how Choi Han had ripped apart that barrier, his attempt to stay normal and human and sane worked away by Cale himself, his tight control now unraveled and possessive monstrosity gentled into a happy, cuddly swordsman.

He loves this. He can feel how lips kiss at the base of his neck, right below the bruises, and he sighs softly, takes one hand to gently run his swordsman’s calloused fingers down Cale’s bruised throat.

“This isn’t going to go away anytime soon, is it?” Cale asks, his voice husky even to his own ears. Choi Han nips at his shoulder, and he lets it happen, knowing it’s just his natural possessive streak rising up.

“It damn well better not,” he growls, and Cale smiles, indulgent affection.He didn’t want it to happen either, but he had to ask if Choi Han had made a deeper impression on his skin than the last.

“I like it,” he says, letting go of Choi Han’s hand to thread his fingers through that soft, silky hair, guiding Choi Han’s mouth to kiss the flesh he had marked as his own. “If it goes away, give me a new one somewhere else.” He runs his hand down to touch the edges of the bruise-prints on his hips, and then the one on his thigh.

The ones on his hips would disappear by morning. The one on his thigh would last as long as the grip on his neck, the thought thrilling and exciting him.

Having Choi Han forever imprinted on him would reflect his soul well.

Choi Han allows him his silent inspection, Cale turning to face Choi Han, pulling his monster into a kiss. Choi Han pulls him flush, their naked forms meshing perfectly together as they indulge and breathe one another in.

“You look so good,” Choi Han breathes when they part, “Marked by me.” Cale simply smiles, stretches on his toes to kiss Choi Han’s nose. He peppers light affection, Choi Han receptive and happy with every little kiss.

“I owe you some answers,” Cale murmurs against his lips. “I’ve been very selfish, haven’t I?” Choi Han kisses under his ear in turn, hums softly.

“Given your selfishness means I get to own you, I think it was okay, this time,” Choi Han answers with a soft smile, nose resting against Cale’s temple. “I want to cuddle you in bed while we talk.” Cale gives a breathy little laugh, allows himself to be affectionately bullied into the bed, Choi Han straddling his thighs and turning him into a pillow.

Mmh. This felt good. Choi Han plays with his hair, and he carefully takes that strong hand in his, squeezes it.

“Don’t,” Cale says softly. “When you treat me like this, it makes me feel like I could never tell you the truth and you’d be okay with that. I don’t want that. I want to be honest with you, Choi Han.”

Gray eyes blink, but their owner’s mouth curls into a smile.

“I’ll stop for now,” his swordsman promises, and Cale looks at him, kisses his lips gently, before pulling back and slipping into Korean.

It’s been months since he spoke it, since he’d touched the language of the motherland.

“You’re not alone, Choi Han my darling.”

Gray eyes go wide as coins.

 


 

Of the many secrets he had thought his beloved Cale could have had, he hadn’t anticipated, hadn’t expected, hadn’t dreamed it would be that.

Has this all been a joke? A lie? Has he been played with? He dismisses the thought, but the rage stays, cannot simply shut those feelings of as he pins his beautiful redhead down, the only one who he could ever love, and says,

“Please don’t you dare be joking with me, Cale. Don’t you fucking dare-” His anger is cut off with a soft kiss, tongue poking out to trace the space where his lips had parted.

“Shh, my love. I’m not done yet.” those pretty cherrywood eyes look at him, affectionate love in them, softness he craved and had wanted in his darkest moments. He quiets, watches his Cale, heart pounding. “I did not share your bad luck upon arriving here. I merely replaced someone who already existed, took their body for my own. My life before had been painful. I’d lost so much.” Fingers dance over his scars, look reverently upon them. “I left Korea scarred and bloody, my heart wrapped up in so many locks it felt like I’d never love anything, anyone, ever again.” A soft sigh. “You were meant to hate Cale, the boy I replaced, and I didn’t want that. I wanted to live the life of comfort and luxury I had been denied by the war that took over our homeland.” A little kiss to his nose. “I didn’t mean to save anyone. I was selfish. I only wanted to be remembered as a good person.”

Cale’s eyes are soft as they look at him, and Choi Han shakes, a groundless sort of fury in him, of anger and rage that this perfect person, this one, all for him, could have been missed if he’d been slightly less curious, slightly less -

Those soft fingers touch his cheek, draw his gaze to that of his Cale, who looks gently worried over him.

“We could have been together this entire time,” he chokes. “Do you have any idea how alone I’ve felt? How much of myself that I let become a monster simply so I could survive? So I could keep living?” Choi Han’s head hits Cale’s chest, his body shaking violently from the overwhelming rage.

How dare the Cale of the past try to avoid him? 

“I was afraid,” the simple, blunt, unassuming way his Cale says those sweet words quiets some of the rage in his head, and he slumps against Cale’s chest.

“Of me?” he asks, slipping back into the common tongue. Cale’s eyes turn soft, long fingers dancing over his hair in a caress that makes him wriggle a little.

“A little. I was afraid that I would hurt you, the same way I’d hurt when my other friends, my family back in Korea, died. By the time I came here, I had nobody. I had nothing at all. I was retired, living alone in an apartment where I was basically the only tenant.” A small, sad smile.

“I was so, so afraid to love again, and then leave you with my heartbreak. Even more, I was afraid to get attached.”

“You seemed fine with Raon and the others,” He says, and Cale pulls a face.

“I only helped out the kittens because they were useful. I didn’t think much of them before. And Raon was going to forcefully mature himself into a full-grown dragon and destroy half of the countryside if I didn’t stop him.”

Excuses.

“You might as well admit you’re the closest thing those kids are going to have to a father,” Choi Han says practically. “We can be married and have three adorable adopted children then.” He wanted that. To see his lovely Cale, working quietly at whatever his heart desired, the little ones crowded in his lap. He wants to press kisses to their heads, hear them whine when he kisses Cale hello.

Cale had already acknowledged and loved the monster. Would he love the young boy Choi Han had killed to survive as well?

Cale’s face flushes prettily, and he looks away with a sigh.

“Must you insist on such affection?” He complains, though he does press a little kiss to his temple in gentle understanding of what it meant to him.

“Yes.” He answers, point-blank. Cale gives him an embarrassed smile, before sighing and leaning in to kiss him. Choi Han happily lets him, before a thought comes to mind.

“What was your name? In Korea. We can use it together, just the two of us.”

Cherrywood eyes go wide, a flush stealing across his pretty face. “You want...” he sounds a little choked up, startled as though the idea had never crossed his mind.

“I own every part of you,” Choi Han reminds him with a little kiss to his jaw. “Name and all.”

“Oh.”

The word is said softly. Tremblingly. His Cale’s eyes are beautifully round, the slightest hint of overwhelmed, utterly in love tears shining in his gaze, and the very statement punches the breath out of Choi Han’s lungs as he bears witness to such vulnerability.

Cale swallows a few times, blushing pink.

“Rok Soo. Kim Rok Soo.”

Choi Han smiles. “Kim Rok Soo,” he says, tasting the words on his tongue, relishing in the heft of it, the weight. He likes how his tongue flicks to the top of his mouth with the r, the soft curl of breath around Soo, and the warm, wondrous pleasure of his family name.

He grins, suddenly.

“I guess we can call the kids by my last name, since we're going to be married, then.”

He’d never seen his Cale blush so hard or so quickly.

 


 

They’re out again, Cale still feeling a little flustered and off kilter from before, from when Choi Han had easily claimed him as his husband without hesitation or reservation. He’d loved it, though he’d been so embarrassed he’d shoved Choi Han’s face into the pillow, much to his lover’s laughter.

Lover.

He’d been shy about asking, about softly pleading with Choi Han to call him his lover, only to be surprised when they were getting dressed for the day.

Choi Han had been the one to stop him, to turn him around until he was pressed against the door, his lips meeting against Cale’s in a searing, possessive kiss.

“Outside, nothing will have to change. I’ll still be your toy, you’ll still be my master.” He murmured lowly in Korean, Cale’s cheeks flushing at the memory. “But within these walls, you’re my lover, and I’m yours. When I’m not off being your monster, of course, my Cale.”

He’d not been able to settle down since. His heart was racing entirely too fast, his breath hitching a little at how softly, easily his lover had affirmed their relationship. His eyes close slowly, mouth parting in a soft smile as he relaxes against Choi Han’s grip, his sweet monster observing the piercings with dark pleasure.

“You’ll get piercings if I do, right?” He says slyly, and Cale grimaces. He still didn't like pain, unless it’s his lover’s hands doing it, but the idea of Choi Han playing with his piercings was enough to make him sigh through his nose and nod.

“Only because you asked me, darling,” Cale says evenly. Choi Han perks a little at his neck, imaginary tail wagging eagerly.

It’s so cute. He relaxes when Choi Han nuzzles him, the two parting after a moment so they can receive their piercings quickly. Choi Han’s more adventurous, pierces his navel and ears, curling over the shell of his ear.

Cale’s happy enough with the basic piercings, though he’s distinctly uncomfortable when they touch the places meant for Choi Han alone. He’s incredibly pleased by the end result, and he especially likes how the piercings look on Choi Han, especially in the clothes he’s wearing, showing off the glittering jewel that rests at his navel and draws attention to the sculpted muscle of his stomach.

Once they’re outside, Cale pulls him close, hips pressed to one another.

“I like that look on you,” Cale murmurs, pulling his lover - what a thrill - into a kiss, lips caressing him sweetly. Choi Han responds eagerly, tongues tangling in eager desire, unwilling to let the other go for even a second. He can feel the cool metal of the piercing on Choi Han’s tongue, and he gives a soft whine, curling up closer despite the eyes on them both.

“I like this one on you. Being so lewd and cute in public, my Cale,” Choi Han purrs affectionately, nuzzles his throat.

He kisses his lover so greedily, so eagerly, that Choi Han laughs, hands running over his skin as he teases and caresses and plays with his liege, nuzzling him when they part.

“People are starting to stare, my Cale,” Choi Han says breathlessly, and Cale gives him a lascivious grin.

“Give them a show,” Cale says simply, pulls him closer as he presses a kiss to that tempting neck and laughs at the light growl that leaves his possessive monster.

How could he have imagined Choi Han would have taken this poorly? How could he have ever imagined that their life would change or become any different just because his beloved Choi Han knew a truth he had craved for so long?

Choi Han is the responsible one for them both, pulls him away so he can get on with what they’re supposed to be doing.

“You’re no fun,” Cale says with a pout, and Choi Han rolls his eyes, smiling fondly.

“I don’t want anyone to see what belongs to me, my beautiful Cale,” he says simply, and Cale’s cheeks flush a bright red at his forwardness. It’s not fair that his lover can so easily pull such embarrassing lines off without even blushing at least a little bit, and he pouts, cheeks puffed.

“You’re possessive,” he says with a little pout, and Choi Han grins.

“You’re mine. I better be possessive,” Choi Han says with amusement, nuzzling him some more. “Now come along, unless you want me to really go ahead and take you back to the hotel to fuck you some more.”

The people nearest to them turn pink, a few noblewomen squealing at his words, as well as a few men looking their way with raised brows. Cale flushes slightly, but allows Choi Han to part from him, the man taking up his usual rearguard position.

Their arrival to the local government office raises some brows. Cale’s reputation in this town is already less than stellar - after all, he’d publicly insulted the richest man in town, and then had the prince visit him. He was successful at becoming the lout that people had known him as at home, and Cale leans in, smiling when the man’s eyes go down to the ribbon-laced blouse, stares at the pale skin of his chest until Choi Han pointedly cleared his throat with a glare. The man jerks his eyes up, mortified.

“I want access to your records. All of them.” The man quails.

“I-I can’t do that my lord - only a government official can access them.” He says, visibly terrified at denying him. As he should, with Choi Han lurking so dangerously in the background, gray eyes turning dark at hearing that his Cale was to be denied what he wanted. Cale leans in, smiling.

“Do you think I care?” He says pleasantly. “That money-grubbing blond bitch isn’t even noble. He’s not anyone worth the time of day. I want to know how in the hell he got his hands on that fucking casino. So either you help me, or I have the prince sign an imperial order to do it.” His smile widens at the man shaking in his shoes. “Well? Get on with it.” He orders, and the man scrabbles, handing him the keys and letting them both into the back with obvious, visible terror.

The two enter the room, and Cale gives Choi Han a significant look.

“My love,” he says gently, Choi Han perking up happily at the title. “Please do me a lovely favor. Keep pests out.” Choi Han bowed obediently, and began to patrol while Cale took a look around the records room.

Hmm… if he was a pathetic lout, where would the important files be? He quickly approaches the catalog and flicks through it curiously before finding the information he wanted.

Ugh. Work. He had to walk across the large room, entering the correct aisle and humming as he flicks through the files.

That was when he heard a commotion.

 


 

“Get out of my way!” The blond man shouts. Choi Han raises a brow, arms crossed over his chest as he gives the man an unimpressed look.

“I don’t obey orders from anyone who isn’t my Cale,” he says simply, and the man’s face reddens, a hand coming up to shove him. “If you value your hand not being snapped off of your body, don’t fucking touch me.” The hand freezes in descent, and the blond pest scrambles back. Behind him, the clerk looks panicked, as though he’d not expected this.

A glance at the blond, and Choi Han dismisses him to study the clerk. He was trembling - delayed fear, likely worried that Choi Han would think that he had called the man to alert him. Fidgety posture, eyes flicking towards him and then to the ground - no, the man wasn’t responsible.

“Why are you here?” He asks, tone blank and flat, and the man just about loses his mind at his blatant disrespect.

“Why am I here? Why am I here?! Because you and that bitch master -” Choi Han’s blade teases the underside of his throat as Choi Han’s eyes narrow, lips curled into a vicious snarl as he glares at the man.

“Apologize,” he hisses coldly. “My Cale is a noble son of the Count of Henituse, and has been the salvation of me and many others. I will let nothing and no-one dare to commit harm to my Cale, whether it is slander or otherwise. If you want to keep your ability to speak, apologize.”

A familiar, warm hand touches his arm. “That’s enough, darling toy.” The weapon does not descend or retreat, eyes narrowed in a glare as he observes the pathetic man. “I said enough.” With a disgusted look at the pest, Choi Han obediently sheathed his blade, looks lovingly down at his liege, feels the faint flush on his cheeks with some worry, offers him a quick, gentle kiss that Cale takes greedily without shame. “Shh, my lovely weapon,” he murmurs fondly, Choi Han giving him a shy smile. His liege turns to face the man, smiling wickedly in the way he’s come to love.

“Laure Rousseau, disowned bastard son of Almira Evans and Damien Rousseau, owner of the Rose Casino,” Cale notes dispassionately. “First of six bastards, killed one and then ran away from home to escape charges of murdering a possible heir. Incapable of using magic. Thirty seven years old, natural hair color is brown, eyes are also brown, but you hired someone to use dye magic to look blond-haired and green-eyed. Supposedly bought a noble title from the Whipper Kingdom, before realizing it meant jack-all without magic.”

Choi Han whistles quietly. His liege was very good at getting information, it seemed, and he grins viciously, kisses his liege’s neck, Cale laughing softly at his affections.

“H-How dare you, that information is classified!” He splutters, and Cale rolls his eyes.

“Not to me, or I wouldn’t have been able to read it,” he says mockingly. “Well? Isn’t it nice, realizing what a mistake you’ve made? I’m most displeased with you for your attempt to bar me, a noble, from what is rightfully mine.” The man snaps out of his shock, storms closer with murder in his eyes. Cale holds Choi Han back, fingertips brushing lovingly against his skin, and he backs down.

“This is my city, you jumped up noble whore -” Choi Han is about to move, when Cale shakes his head, smiling sweetly.

The crack of a hand to a face sends Rousseau to his knees, and Cale snaps a kick out, leaving him sprawling. With a smile, Choi Han circles around to place his foot on the man’s spine, digs it in to convey his displeasure. Cale kneels down, long fingers curling around the man’s face and digging.

“Poor, poor uneducated little brat,” Cale says with a smile. “Remember. I’m the noble here. That means, whore or not, I outrank you in every way that matters. You’re nothing but a pathetic wretch, a plaything for me to tease. I’m being nice to you today because I’m sure losing the status of the top dog is very upsetting to you. But I won’t allow that to slide if you continue to behave like such a brat. I have no qualms about ripping you apart where you stand and taking that pretty casino to be mine.” Standing, Cale dusts his hands off with a smile. There’s specks of blood on his fingers, and Choi Han frowns.

“He doesn’t deserve to have his blood drawn by you,” he complains, and Cale laughs softly at him.

“Let’s find somewhere to clean up then, my pretty toy. I’ve found what I needed, so I don’t feel the need to go ahead and come back. Thank you very much for cooperating with us, my love. If you ever need a new job, I’m sure my father will find somewhere for you.”

Choi Han didn’t need to look at his lover to know that he was probably lying in that sweet way of his, meant to recruit a potential asset. He looks mournfully at the prone figure below him, before raising pleading eyes up at him, begging without words to be allowed to deal with the pest, even if only for a moment. Cale holds his eyes, before feral pleasure curls his lips into a smirk.

“Once.” He says fondly, and Choi Han grins, flips the man onto his side to deliver a swift, bruising kick to the man’s ribs.

Laughing, Cale saunters out, Choi Han hot on his heels as he does so, pleasure running in his veins at the very feeling of serving his beautiful, devastatingly cruel liege.

 


 

“Wish I broke something,” Choi Han mutters against his throat, and Cale laughs softly, lips kissing his throat and snuggling close as his possessive puppy desires.

“You’re so touchy,” He laughs softly, Choi Han kissing his skin and running his tongue lovingly up his throat, the marked flesh stinging gleefully at the feeling of his injuries stinging his body.

“God, I love the sight of you, bruised and so pretty for me,” Choi Han says instead, and Cale moans a little when Choi Han brazenly reaches out to touch his thighs, a flash of pain striking up his body from where he lovingly teases him.

“You’re torturing me,” Cale hisses, and Choi Han grins vividly.

“Consider this my version of punishment for not telling me about the truth sooner,” Choi Han murmurs, fingers gripping at the flesh and making Cale cry a little.

“Are you going to punish me tonight too?” He asks breathlessly, and his monster grins widely back at him.

“Oh no. You’d find that much too fun. I’ll figure out something very creative.”

Oh dear. That was ominous. Choi Han lets him go, fingertips pressing hard against his hidden handprint, and Cale whimpers.

He was really running the risk of forgetting himself every time he brought his puppy out for a walk.

“Dangerous little puppy I have,” Cale sighs softly, and Choi Han grins wider.

“Worshipping you is so fun, especially where people can see,” he says, and Cale blushes a bright red.

Chapter Text

Cale can feel Choi Han’s disgust, but when he glances over, his beautiful monster is easily hiding it in a smile, docile little pet’s pleasure. He presses a kiss to his mouth, taps his nose in the softest way he can dare, before eying the bouncers with disgust.

“Are you really going through with this?” Cale says, unimpressed by the towering figures. Why should he be, when Choi Han was the strongest man in the world? A laugh, and he allows Choi Han’s to wander indiscriminately as he speaks. “I can make life rather difficult for you, you know. Barring a noble heir’s access to a place without permission from the royal family is a crime, after all.” He’s sweet-tongued, makes them both sweat.

“It’s not their fault,” Choi Han chips in darkly, smiling at them in a malicious way they immediately cringe from.

Smart boys.

Smarter than their master, at least.

“We can’t have fun if they keep us out, puppy,” Cale says dryly, feigning annoyance.

“I know,” he pouts, nuzzles Cale’s neck some more. “But it’s not their fault their boss is such an impossible little twit,” Choi Han says reasonably. Someone behind them snorts violently, and Cale allows an amused smile to curl his lips. My, his lover was vicious tonight.

“I suppose we can go elsewhere,” Cale says, hand against his face, before tugging his puppy’s hand as it inches down his waist, thumb lightly working under his waistband. “Behave, puppy,” Cale warns, and the grin against his throat is anything but reassuring.

“Yes, my Cale,” He says, and the two of them walk away, smug with the show they’d put on. “Do you think anyone’s going to walk away from here?”

“Not in the slightest,” Cale says truthfully. “But that’s not really the point. A casino only works if faith and trust is involved in the system. I can guarantee you that a lot of players are going to be paying attention to what goes on in the casino tonight, especially when the so-called Lord makes his move and tries to keep us out of other casinos.”

“That’s really so important?” Choi Han asks, puppy-like curiosity. Cale chuckles.

“Imagine that you and I have just met, and while I’m nice to you, you understandably don’t trust me. That’s how most people, including nobles, view a casino. It’s new, but not trustworthy, something novel and exciting.” A faint smile.

“I suppose you represent the casino?” He guesses, and Cale nods, amused by the eyes staring at them as they leisurely walk together.

“I do. Now, imagine that when we’re getting together and we’re friends, I say something that offends you. The first time is fine. Not fine, fine, but you just brush it off because I didn’t mean it, and you know that.”

“But it happens again,” Choi Han guesses, following the explanation with some curiosity. “So I lose trust in you.”

“That’s right. Now, if it doesn’t happen again, I’m sure you’ll ignore it, leave it be.” The two take a moment, and Cale happily orders a snack for them to share. The hot-baked pie is a hint of savory seasoning, and by Choi Han’s expression, he can’t quite identify the spices. “Cardamon, some clove, and some rosemary.,” Cale says with a smile, guessing his curiosity with ease.. “Remind me sometime, I ought to make you tteokbokki when it’s just the two of us.”

Choi Han chokes a little at that, buries his head in Cale’s shoulder. Cale knows how much that means to him. He loved his Choi Han so much. So, so much.

“I love you, my Cale,” he says, when he’s regained his ability to speak. Cale merely smiles and offers him another bite that he eagerly accepts.

“Now, back on topic, puppy,” he says with a smile. “So far, their little ‘Lord’ has been composed. By denying him his initial audience, you saw the show he put on for us. It was an attempt to woo us to his side, to make him seem more prestigious to the people who came to his casino. Joining him would have given that man a disproportionate amount of control over how we were viewed, which is difficult to fix, once it’s been established.”

“That and he was annoying,” Choi Han adds, just to be cheeky. Cale laughs, a smile on his lips at his puppy’s teasing.

“Oh, definitely. First interrupting our first time playing with each other properly, and then that spectacle in the hotel? Ugh. Caving to him then would have been even more humiliating,” he complains grouchily, allows Choi Han to steal another mouthful.

“Is it usually this easy?” He asks, and Cale snorts.

“No. Normally, to rattle someone this badly, I’d need to have done more work on them. He’s just pathetic.” The two stop at another casino, and he turns to kiss his puppy, Choi Han turning him around to squeeze his ass as he kisses Cale, the nobleman giving a surprised moan at his deviousness. He can’t help the laugh that leaves him, smiles at his devious, devious little puppy affectionately.

“Let’s go play, okay?” Cale murmurs, and Choi Han grins wildly back at him.

It was always fun to play with his beloved Choi Han.

 


 

Security tries to stop them only once. Choi Han’s smirk twists just a little, and they cringe back from him, having likely heard of what he’d done to that bastard who thought he could control his Cale, and the smile on his lips widens in pleasure.

“Are you following that fool too?” Cale says mildly, relaxing into his hold like a kitten. He liked how confident his Cale was in his arms, how safe he felt. “This really is a shame,” he murmurs. “What would your owners say, I wonder, if they found out you were turning down such a highborn noble?” He keeps his smile angelic, and Choi Han allows his smirk  to become more vindictive, uncaring about how frightened they looked of him. “This must be a theme, if people obey that little twit so easily,” Cale-nim sighs, and someone behind them laughs.

“Are you having trouble, Lord Cale?” the man questions, and Cale eyes him. Choi Han’s grip tightens on his lover, though Cale doesn’t show even the slightest sign of discomfort at the punishing grip. He didn’t like how this bastard looked at his Cale, and it wasn’t an act when he glares at the man. How bold of him, to call his lover by his first name. He doesn’t like it.

“Easy, my pretty little monster,” Cale murmurs softly. The man hears it regardless, looks fascinated.

“I have no intention of harming your lover… Choi Han, was it?” The man asks, and he glares, irritated.

“I guess,” he spits out after a moment, able to admit he wasn’t acting at that moment. He really didn’t like this guy.

“Please watch your tongue, sir,” Cale says, sweet respect. “As you can tell, my toy isn’t in a pleasant mood.” The nobleman backs up, and Choi han carefully lets his lover go, tense.

“Again, I meant no disrespect. I’m merely one of the dealers for this casino,” he says, and Choi Han looks at him suspiciously. “I know that the Mistress of the Sunbloom Casino was looking forward to making your acquaintance if you patronized the establishment. I’d be happy to go get her if that would calm your toy down.” 

Choi Han blinks, surprised that he had used his preferred form of address in his act.

“I’ll wait,” Cale says generously. “But if I’m out here for longer than fifteen minutes, she’ll have to answer for her negligence.” The man bows, and he relaxes at last, though he hovers near his lover warily.

“You need to work on your control, my puppy,” he murmurs, kissing his nose while chiding Choi Han,. He droops a little, whines. Cale laughs softly at him, nuzzles his nose with fond affection.

“I’m sorry, my Cale,” he apologizes quietly, pouting at disappointing his Cale so quickly. “I’ll be better,” he whimpers, and Cale kisses his nose again, soft laughter.

“I know you will, my pretty monster,” he murmurs against his mouth, pulling him in for another kiss that he relishes. A throat is cleared, and they obediently pull back to face the amused dealer from earlier.

“I’m to escort you to the Mistress of Sunbloom personally,” he says with a smile, before giving the two bouncers a dark look. “And we’ll look into hiring smarter men to guard our doors,” he adds, glaring.

… He’s mildly improved in Choi Han’s esteem, but not by much and not very highly.

“You’re so open, my cute puppy,” He teases softly, kisses his cheek before sauntering in, swaying his hips in the way that made part of Choi Han want to slam his liege up against the wall and fuck him right there. Instead, he docilely follows after, ever obedient puppy to his love’s will. They’re escorted up two floors, and Choi Han takes the time to finally look around.

This place has understated elegance in contrast to the unrefined gaudiness of the Rose Casino. It is all clean glass and smooth marble, the lights crisp and clear stones shining over one another their beauty.

“See? This is what a true casino looks like, puppy,” He says with a smile. “Be sure to remember it. The Rose Casino may have glitz and glamour, but the Sunbloom has grace.”

“I see you’re familiar with such locales, Lord Cale.” The woman who approaches is a beauty. Her dark skin is highlighted by her pale hair, and he wonders if it’s dye magic or natural. She wears a dress that looks like it’s made of water, and pale lips curl up into a smile.

“It’s always good to be aware of the known powerhouses in a region,” Cale says simply, and that’s it. The woman smiles at him, clearly charmed by his words, though she doesn’t seem convinced.

“I understand that perhaps you two are familiar with more gaudy displays of affection, but that isn’t allowed in my casino for any amount of money,” she nods at them, and Choi Han looks down, blinks at the realization he was holding his lover in a possessive embrace. A pout curls his lips, and he obediently lets go, gives a small whine at the action.

She looks amused at his reluctance, and so does Cale, who smiles at him with a soft affection he simply was too greedy for.

“We can behave ourselves,” Cale says evenly, though it’s clear he’s more amused than chastised. “Isn’t that right, puppy?” He asks, and Choi Han gives a disgruntled nod.

“As you will it, my Cale,” he says, and the woman looks amused.

“If you want to be so brazen, join one of our closed door poker games,” She suggests. “You two can do whatever you please there.”

“We’ll consider it,” Cale says with a polite smile. “I’d rather get a better understanding of your casino first - get to know the rules before we unintentionally break one.”

“As opposed to intentionally breaking them?” She says, and Cale smiles sweetly.

“He didn’t exactly deserve much better,” Cale says frankly. She raises a brow.

“Do I?” She asks, and Cale looks her over.

“You look like a woman who is very dangerous to cross without excellent reason,” Cale deduces at last, and she smiles, amused.

“You have quite the silver tongue,” she compliments, and Choi Han looks away, petulantly. He doesn’t like other people complimenting his Cale, and it shows in his tense posture, his trembling frame. “Enjoy your time here,” she says, and Cale takes his hand in a soft, subtle, and sweet way, curling their pinkies together and lightly tugging him away.

Very good, puppy,” he praises, and he manages a shy smile, follows behind his Cale obediently.

“Thank you, my Cale,” he says, head tilting down as he recalls their conversation from before.

 


 

(Two hours earlier)

“Did you get everything you were looking for?” He asks, and Cale shakes his head, looking a little amused.

“No. The idiot was faster than I thought he’d be. I only had time to research him and the Mistress of Sunbloom Casino.”

“What? She’s not pretentious like that bastard?”

“She’s different to him in a lot of ways,” Cale admits. “Her pretension isn’t wealth or overwhelming presence. It’s subtler than that, enough that if we go there tonight, I want to be on our best behavior. Pissing off one Casino master? We can live. But two? Three? There’s forty-two casinos, and some of them are likely to be working together. We can’t afford to anger all of them, no matter how satisfying.”

Choi Han concedes the point with a sigh. “Sorry, I couldn’t resist.”

“Oh, it’s not like I didn’t want to break a few of his bones myself,” Cale says, ignores the apology and kisses him instead, Choi Han leaning in eagerly and caressing his lips with his tongue, asking for entry. Cale doesn’t let him, pulls back instead much to his disappointment. “She’ll not let us do this in her casino unless we pay obscene amounts of money for a private room,” Cale says with a sigh. “I think we’ll want to play up some kind of divide.”

“I’m possessive,” Choi Han says with a shrug. “You’re mine, after all, my only liege, and I don’t like the idea of others claiming your affections for even a moment. Even though we’ve become so obscenely close, I want you all for myself,” Choi Han says, leaning in to loom over Cale, his lover smiling in amusement.

“You’re so cute when you’re possessive,” Cale laughs, and he smiles at his lover affectionately. “Lover’s quarrel? Or are you looking for a way to keep my affectionate nature to myself?”

“You flirt like you breathe, and I don’t like that,” Choi Han growls, and Cale grins at him, smile widening.

“Do I?” He teases, and Choi Han glares at him.

“Yes. Too much. I hate it,” he admits honestly, Cale chuckling fondly.

“Alright then, my love. I’ll try to behave myself for you, okay?” He asks, and Choi Han scowls.

“No you won’t. We’ll have to play the part of arguing lovers. Or at least, visibly discontent,” Choi Han adds, when Cale shoots him an amused look.

“So you’ll be my unhappy little puppy?” He asks, teasingly. Choi Han pulls his lover close, nuzzles him gently.

“Oh no. I’ll be your dangerous little monster,” he corrects, and Cale smiles sweetly.

“Oh, that’ll be fun, if you plan on that. I’ll make sure to reward you if you behave,” he promises, and Choi Han grins.

“I’ll look forward to it.”

 


 

Choi Han really was a quick study. He slipped into his roles so fully, so entirely, that he easily believed himself to be that persona, and he could understand why his perfect monster found acting so hard at first.

He wondered how much it took for him to resist, how much Choi Han had restrained his monster to appear human. Now that he let it free, he was able to express himself much more openly, to play parts that he’d never considered until Cale had shaped him.

He had the perfect reward planned, and he was more than happy to lavish it upon his beautiful swordsman, the weapon that was poised to kill anything that he didn’t like.

“Come along, my Han-ah ,” Cale teases, and Choi Han trips over his own feet, scrambling so beautifully like the puppy he was, eager delight blooming in his eyes and sparkling pleasure in him.

Choi Han knows his place already, slips into his role and leans against Cale’s chair when he takes a seat at the blackjack table.

It’s only a handful of people, and other than their curious glances at his and Choi Han’s rather… risque attire, they make no comment. They’re dressed more elegantly, more extravagantly, and he knows what they’re thinking.

He’s a jumped up noble boy drunk on power.

That’s what he wants them to think, wants them to imagine that he and Choi Han are little, useless miscreants with a penchant for trouble and a lack of respect for the rules. Together, they stay silent and wait until the end of the round.

A slim stack of chips are placed, and Cale looks up, smiles.

When no hand is served, Cale merely waits. It’s not polite to keep a guest waiting, but the dealer ignores him. So he patiently waits until the round is over.

And he’s not served again.

He lets it go on, sees the hint of smirks as they ignore him, as they pretend he doesn’t exist.

“How rude,” He says, after the fourth hand. Choi Han is looking up at him, his cute little puppy tilting his head in confusion as he watches Cale allow such disrespect, before settling at the realization that he’d been biding his time.

“Do you treat all guests like this?” Cale asks, and they sneer at him, though keep quiet. The dealer, too, ignores him. The dealer moves to deal a new round, and Cale snaps his fingers, a silver barrier appearing between the cards and the table, the glossy blue rectangles bouncing off of the shield before hitting the floor. Undoing the shield, Cale raises a brow.

“Exactly how rude are you?” Cale says, “To ignore a paying customer? Perhaps I don’t fit your standards of noble chastity, but a proper dealer would serve cards to every person at the table.” The dealer’s expression is shocked, and the nobles too, gape at him. The deck is shuffled again, and this time, he’s served a set of cards. He waits until the others have made their bets and smiles a bit meanly. “I fold. I don’t have time for this idiocy.” Blowing a kiss, he watches the dealer turn red at the blatant provocation.

Well… at least he wasn’t being too mean.

Chapter Text

Choi Han trails dutifully after his Cale, watching his annoyed displeasure with a faint smile. His liege really was too cute. He lowers his gaze to admire his liege’s ass, yearns to touch and grope him as if they were alone.

The treatment hasn't changed between the last six dealers, and he can feel how his Cale is becoming fed up with it, though he seems resigned to it. His Cale should never feel that way, he thinks angrily, but he doesn't react, stays close, leaning against his liege's chair and looks up at him, all but waiting for his liege's signal.

"Oh puppy," His Cale sighs. "Aren't they so short-sighted?" Cale asks with a fond smile. "The Mistress invites us, offers us her place, and they pull this?" A little laugh, and the dealer's hands fumble. "Put those beautiful eyes to work and find me that dealer from earlier. I want a proper game before going home." Choi Han wrinkles his nose. Why his liege insisted on such a man, he wasn't entirely sure, but he obeys with a slightly petulant pout, standing up and looking around dutifully. Upon spying his curiously blue-black hair, Choi Han takes his Cale's fingers between his own, happy to lay a more visible claim on his lover.

“It’s such a shame,” Cale says with a sigh, waves his hand in a goodbye. “So many fun things here, but so many pests too.” He’s not particularly impressed, and says so.

“Their disrespect of you is getting on my nerves. Incredibly so,” Choi Han says, disgruntled. “I know we promised to be good, but I hate that you’re letting them do this.” Cale gives him a smile, touches his fingers to a cheek, and Choi Han can’t resist following after that lingering touch, before pouting as his Cale gives him a faint, warning look. He scowls a little, and out of the corner of his eye, he can see how some nobles turn to look at them, interested in their little squabble.

“It’s okay, Choi Han,” he says with a smile. “Imagine what you’ll do to them when it’s all said and done. You can tell me all of your fantasies about it tonight.” Some of the nobles’ eyes go wide, and a few look worried. Choi Han’s possessive love is already well-known. The marks on his Cale’s skin, his own clinginess, his irritation with the lack of touch - it’s easy to see how he chafes at the bit yet obeys his liege because he loves him.

He loves his liege like he’s a king, not merely a trumped up, pathetic noble boy. Struck by inspiration, Choi Han catches his liege’s hand and kisses his fingertips.

It’s neatly done. Pristine noble manners, one noble greeting another, but done with such love and affection that those nearby watching blush.

“I will show the world how much I love you, My Cale,” he says, knowing he doesn’t have to.

They gather little kisses that way, gentle touches when they win a round, the dealer - Antoin, who is remarkably more competent than any dealer they’d put up with before - is setting up a set. Cale, like before, opens his case, gathers a reasonable amount.

“One more round before you can join in, my lord,” he says, and Choi Han gives him an irritated look. He didn’t belong to his Cale. A little possessively, he moves closer, glowering. His Cale’s hand pats the top of his head, a soft smile on his lips.

“I can wait,” he says kindly, smiling sweet as sugar. Choi Han gives his lover a betrayed look at that, and he sees how the dealer’s eyes light with curiosity.

 


 

“Report,” Nadine says, when her two most intriguing guests leave at last. Antoin bows - as he should - before answering.

“They’re being careful, my lady. They’re polite so long as they’re treated politely. The dealers that you mentioned did treat them poorly, and the boy - Choi Han - strongly disliked how his liege was treated. He was always close to violence, especially when we did things he disapproved of to his lord, but he’d calm down every time Lord Cale patted him.”

“Do you think he’s dangerous?” She asks, and her second in command grins wryly.

“Check the outside surveillance - he’s probably still out there.”

Curiously, she complies.

The first thing she sees is blood, splashed on one of the screens. The second is Choi Han himself, a sadistic smile curling up his lips and blood dripping from his fists. The color is slightly grainy, but Nadine likes the magical upgrade - the magicians of the Whipper Kingdom had done excellent work.

“Call my Cale a whore again,” he challenges viciously, smiling wide and unhinged. “Go ahead. I’m sure there’s something left of you that can speak,” Choi Han says, half-laughing as his chest heaves up and down.

“Puppy?” they hear, and the viewing expands to show Lord Cale, looking down at the bloody and broken nobleman with disgust. “Oh, you vicious thing,” he sighs, looking fondly irritated. “How many times have I told you not to play with your food?” A little laugh, a fond look. “My greedy thing, don’t you know how hard it is to resist you when you get so obsessed over me?” He caresses Choi Han’s face, wipes the blood off with a thumb.

“He called you a whore,” Choi Han spits, looks just on the wrong side of madness.

“He’s not the only one. But he’s beneath you, my lovely toy. They all are. Remember the Crown Prince’s promise, my Han-ah,” the redhead pulls him closer. “When he ascends, you’ll have your pick of prey, and I’ll show you the best way to deal with them.” A kiss, and Choi Han melts, the dangerous aura that curled around him fading. “Now, finish playing with him and let’s go. I promised you a reward for putting up with all of this today, my beautiful monster.”

Choi Han beams at him, leans in to kiss his mouth.

“I’m sorry, my Cale. I’ll be done in just a moment.” Cale laughs at him.

“Go on then. I’ll watch. I promise a good prize if you can make him explode.” Lord Cale’s smile is sweet as sugar, and looks up, up -

Right into the camera’s direct view, smile curling into a vicious little smirk as he wiggles his fingers in hello.

Those malicious gray eyes light with pure joy, and the video actually cuts out from whatever the boy did, crackling before fuzzing to gray.

“The alleyway?”

“Nothing I could see. The fight started out of view of the camera, but the body he dragged was definitely human. We went to the scene, but the blood was mostly gone except for some specks. Whatever magic Lord Cale has on hand cleaned up the scene very well.” Antoin says dutifully.

“A sadistic noble and a possible serial murderer...” Filling a pipe, she taps her lips with the tobacco tin once she’s finished. “He’s much more dangerous than I thought...” Her smile widens. “It’ll be fun, trying to match wits with this one,” she says, chuckling.

Antoin looks at her nervously for it.

 


 

“Where on earth did you find a monster?” Cale asks Choi Han, the two of them having dumped the body a ways back.

And if the Rose Casino suddenly had a monster problem, well, nobody would know the cause but them.

“I’m surprised too,” Choi Han admits with a boyishly cute grin. Choi Han hauls Cale around with such little effort that he relaxes into his lover’s grip, knows his Han-ah would never drop him. His jump easily brings him to their hotel balcony, the swordsman balancing with such delicacy that Cale is almost breathless watching his perfection in motion. “I was actually going to go just beat up one of those nobles that insulted you, but the monster was skulking around the trash, and well...” He grins a bit wider. “No use missing a good opportunity, right?”

Cale laughs.

“You’re right.” His smile drops a little. “Though I am worried. That’s another sign agreeing with the prince’s evidence that someone may be trafficking monsters.”

“Or a gladiator ring,” Choi Han adds, opens the door with a little bow, a teasing little smile on his face as he does so. Cale snorts at him for the silliness, ruffles his hair.

“Or that.” Sauntering in, Cale looks at his lover when he enters. “Now, strip and get ready to have fun. I promised you a reward and I fully intend on delivering.” Choi Han grins slightly, before darting in bravely for a kiss, lips meeting in a blend of heat and sinful pleasure that leaves him trembling despite it’s briefness.

“Of course, my Cale,” he breathed against Cale’s lips, before he was gone, eyes dancing with pure joy. Cale holds a hand to his lips, cheeks flushing in the slightest at his gentle teasing.

“You’re dangerous,” he murmurs to the quiet room. “So very, very dangerous to me.” He shakes his head a little, before going to get changed. He has his own plans, so he strips down, glad he’s clean. Choi Han comes out a moment later, toweling his damp hair dry and coming up to pull Cale back against his chest, lips pressing against the back of his neck.

“Don’t tease, my puppy. Tonight’s about your reward. Now go and wait on the bed for me,” Cale orders. Choi Han’s mouth curls into a pout, but he obediently slinks to the bed, tosses the towel into the laundry basket.

“Fiiine,” He grumbles, flops onto the bed and puts his hands behind his head. “I want to know what this surprise is,” he complains, and Cale gives him an amused look.

“Stay there until I get back. Did you prep yourself?”

“You said to get ready to have fun,” Choi Han says, pouting. Cale can’t resist that cute pout, so he leans in to kiss it, nibbles on his lower lip fondly until Choi Han whines softly at him for it.

“Good boy,” he praises, before pulling back to go and get ready.

Choi Han is still waiting for him when he gets back, his hand loosely wrapped around his cock, lazy fingers stroking up and down to keep himself hard. Cale smiles, sits at the end of the bed, watching his beautiful swordsman.

“We’ll see how well you follow orders, tonight puppy.” Choi Han looks at him, fingers slipping free from his cock as he spreads himself out on the silky duvet. His skin is pale, scars cutting over his skin and muscle visible. Reaching out, Cale strokes his stomach fondly. “Good boy. Stay like that for me.” He simply skims his fingers over his swordsman’s body, tracing a line up to dance over ribs and tenderly follow the cords of Choi Han’s neck, his gray eyes wide and pupils blown out.

“Tonight, I’m going to spoil you,” he says simply.

 


 

Choi Han trembles at the words, breath soft and short, only his absolute obedience to his beloved Cale overriding his desire to rut, to fuck him stupid. His fingers twitch, and he can feel his cock stir from the warmth above it. Cale pays it no mind, thumb rubbing over his cheek.

“Look at you,” he says softly, fondly. “Don’t you see how strong you’ve become? How powerful and lovely you are? I remember how thin you were, when you first came to me. I could see your muscles so clearly. You’d been so dehydrated and I hated that. I hated it for reasons I didn’t dare to think about, my Han-ah. But now, with me, you’ll get all the water you could ever need, all of the food you can eat.” He leans in, kisses Choi Han, who whimpers and squirms at the affectionate act.

His Cale… He loved his Cale so much, loved the way he was so gentle with his words, how he took care in picking them.

“Ah-ah. Don’t speak, puppy,” he says, finger pressing to his lips. He falls obediently silent, his lover winking at him, those beautiful red strands falling about his face. Excitement flickers across his spine at the sight.

His hair was longer now, a tangible reminder of the time they’d spent together.

He’s thrown out of his thoughts by Cale lovingly moving in, kissing a scar with soft affection.

“I love how strong you are, my puppy. My sweet, perfect Han-ah, my beloved, my weapon and my protector,” Cale says softly, peppering light, fleeting kisses to every scar he can reach, slowly going down, pausing at Choi Han’s hips. He uses a hand to rub his thigh, close to the cock he could feel weeping his love for his liege. He affectionately squeezes Choi Han’s thigh, and he moans.

“Spread your legs for me, just a little bit,” Cale murmurs, and what can he do but obey? His thighs open obediently, and he watches his lover kiss slowly down his leg, tease and toy and love him.

“You have so many scars,” Cale teases him when he reaches Choi Han’s ankle, and he squeaks, surprised when his liege lifts his foot, presses a kiss to a scar he’d had there since he was a child. “Even here, my beautiful lover.”

His face floods with heat.

Not just from the kisses, or from his words, but from the way he so lovingly reciprocated. He knew that to kiss one’s feet was meant as an act of devotion, had done so for his liege because he knew his place, to serve him in such a way, but yet… his liege had done so for him with no reservations, kissed him there because he wished to.

He wants to speak. But Cale’s eyes are sparkling with mischief, the order he’d teasingly given beating a reminder against his heart.

His other foot is kissed, Cale pressing little kisses up Choi Han’s calf, up his thigh, his scars caressed and praise whispered to each one.

He’d never felt so powerful before, so loved. Cale is kneeling between his thighs, face flush, smile on his lips, and he allows himself to be bullied gently, thighs widening at Cale’s gentle touch, before his lover lowers himself to kiss the tip of his dick.

Choi Han can’t help himself, gasps a little at the feeling, moans and arches his back. That kiss does things to his dick, making him almost cry from the tenderness.

“I love you, my Choi Han,” he says with a fond smile. His breath hitches, a blush coloring his cheeks. “My beautiful monster.” Another soft kiss, and Choi Han whimpers quietly.

“You’re so good, puppy. I’ll do something fun for you if you stay quiet until I’m done,” he says. Choi Han obediently nods, gets himself a beaming smile. Cale takes his time, tongue slowly curling over the tip of his cock and lapping at his precum as it drips down, his tongue trailing over the underside, carefully sucking the sensitive space that joined his cock and balls. Choi Han has to press a fist to his mouth, fights his whimpers as he begins to slide his tongue up, reaching the tip once more before he wraps his mouth around the very tip, pushing slowly down, taking Choi Han’s cock inch by inch as though it was a luxury, a prime pleasure.

He sucked Choi Han’s cock like it was candy, and he wonders, a little dazedly, what it would take for him to coax his lover into eating one of those long lollipops in public for him, just like this.

He wants to appreciate how those sweet lips stretch over his cock, how cherrywood eyes glimmer with amusement. He’s teased by such an exquisite mouth, with that tempting touch, that lovely little flick of tongue over his tip, the way Cale affectionately fondles him until he cries out, a shuddering gasp as his orgasam rushes through his body, back arching helplessly.

“Oh my god,” Choi Han manages dumbly, makes Cale’s eyes dance at him. His mouth is firmly closed, and Choi Han sits up at his playful gesture. A swallow, and Cale opens his mouth to show what’s left, a hot blush working across Choi Han’s cheeks. Another swallow, and he has the pleasure of watching those swollen, perfect dick-sucking lips close and his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down, before that soft, perfect tongue cleans his lips off, a naughty smirk curling his lips. “I want to eat you alive so badly right now,” Choi Han admits, and Cale laughs at him.

“You’re such a sweetheart, Han-ah,” he says, amused. “But that’s not for tonight. As I promised, you’re going to get your reward.”

A blush, and Choi Han can see how his lover’s lips lick in teasing temptation. Looking at that smile, he swallows nervously.

 


 

“A-Ah!” Choi Han whimpers, Cale’s tongue plunging in deep, his beautiful swordsman falling apart under his tongue, cock bobbing from the force of his body’s shudder, dick dripping profusely while Cale edged him with nothing more than his tongue, eating his lover out with voracious affection. He’d kept Choi Han from coming with the careful application of his touch, squeezing the base gently to stave off the impending orgasm he could sense his puppy was near.

Choi Han slumps on the bed, panting heavily as he tries to regain his sense of equilibrium, tears working down his cheeks as he moans helplessly for his lover, begs for him to provide him mercy Cale had no intention of giving his cute lover. Pulling back, Cale judges his handiwork, before smiling sweetly and replacing his tongue with his fingers.

“How cute of you,” he murmurs. “Begging me for more, just like the cute, naughty puppy you are.” With another light laugh, Cale leans in to kiss his mouth, to caress his tearstained face, his lover’s face so very, very cute as he cries quietly at Cale’s teasing.

“Have I been mean to you, puppy?” He asks, and the swordsman whimpers a little, ashamed yet so flustered and needy that it was cute enough he would let it slide.

“N-no, my Cale,” he whimpers, and Cale smirks.

“Puppy, I don’t like you lying to me,” he chastises lovingly, giving him a significant look. “Don’t lie to me again. Now. Be honest. Am I mean to you?” Choi Han looks away, mortified, his cheeks blushing red.

“I like it when you’re mean to me,” he mumbles, and Cale’s brow rises with amusement.

“My,” Cale drawls, looking amused. “Such a naughty thing, aren’t you, Choi Han?” He teases, a smile on his lips. “I think my puppy deserves a reward for his honesty.” He can see the teary-eyed smile that makes him feel a little guilty, but he leans in, kisses his puppy’s cheek before sitting back.

“Aren’t you excited puppy?” He asks with a smile. “You’ll get what you want at last,” he says, spreading Choi Han wide with his fingers. “I’m going to finally fuck you.” Choi Han releases a heavy breath, lips parted to whine softly in open arousal, eyes wide and pupils blown open as he shivers, Cale’s hands skimming over his chest and down, down, down, to that beautiful piercing.

“Y-yes,” his voice cracks. “Please, give it to me, Rok Soo.” Hearing his real name does something to Cale, sets a fire in him and makes him groan softly as he leans in, kisses his naughty puppy and then bites.

He cries against Cale’s mouth, but the end result is so worth it, to see that plump lower lip reddened and his cheeks flush.

“You’re so cute,” Cale says with amusement, before spreading the fingers still in Choi Han. Choi Han chokes on a cry, arching up even as he squeezes the base of his lover’s cock, keeps him from coming with ease. “Don’t worry. I’ll reward you well puppy.” He pulls free, reaches over to the nightstand to grab the slick oil, wrapping his hand around his cock and adding just enough oil to keep things from being too painful. He doesn’t want to linger on his own pleasure, so he lets go as soon as he’s hard, and Cale leans in to kiss him.

Eagerly, Choi Han reciprocates, a little sob leaving his lips.

“Such an eager little thing,” Cale teases with fond affection, before he lines himself up with Choi Han’s twitching asshole. He’d tormented his lovely puppy a little too much, he thinks. But god, he couldn’t stop if someone paid him to. Pressing the head of his cock against Choi Han’s entrance, he closes his eyes and pushes in slowly.

Choi Han’s mewls and cries are a beautiful backdrop of noise to the wet, slick sounds of him penetrating his beautiful swordsman for the first time, of Choi Han’s wet mouth cursing in a spread of filthy epithets cursing god, calling his name, and even in one rather memorable case, cursing in Korean as he trembles, trying to allow his liege full control.

He’s tight, a sweet pleasure that he’s enjoying way too much for his own sanity, but Cale can’t find it in himself to give a damn beyond filling his sweet puppy to the hilt.

Choi Han is gasping, wiggling in that cute way of his that makes Cale moan low, the redhead leaning in to press their hips flush, Choi Han whimpering at the sensation. He was so, so deliciously tight even with the preparation that Cale had done, that Cale can’t help himself, sliding back a little to see the tears that come to his cute lover’s eyes.

“W-wait, please, hold still I’m begging -” Choi Han’s voice cracks, and he smirks.

“Don’t you like it when I’m mean to you?” Cale purrs, snapping his hips forward so both of them moan in pleasure. “God, that feels so fucking good,” Cale pants, Choi Han shuddering and clenching deliciously around him as he blushes, shy and greedy and begging him with those pretty, cute whimpers.

“Y-yes...” Choi Han whimpers softly, and Cale smiles fondly.

“Such an honest little puppy,” he teases, hands sliding up to hold under Choi Han’s knees. “Now, don’t break on me,” He warns, before pushing forward, relishing in the slick, delicious heat of his sweet Choi Han, feeling every single whimper from his lover as he shifts, angling for that spot that Choi Han had used against him during his punishment, to allow him to cry and scream and beg for pleasure that he deserved.

“I- Ah! Please, there, again, do that -” Choi Han devolves into wordless cursing, his beautiful, trembling, viciously powerful swordsman controlling his infinite strength as delicately as he could, trembling fingers reaching out for Cale, who laughs, a little drunk on this, on having Choi Han wrapped around him, of his beautiful swordsman begging him, the pretty tears as he was given such decadent pleasure…

Choi Han gives a startled cry, tightening around him in the most delightful of ways before he came, white splashing across his chest before Cale leans in, allows Choi Han to kiss him, feeling his pretty swordsman’s fingers tremble across his back, tears dripping down his face and so beautifully tight around him that it was little more than pure sin.

Cale comes to his lover’s kisses, gasping out praise and calling his sweet Han-ah’s name.

 


 

Choi Han blinks his eyes open sleepily, his body heavy but content, Cale caressing his face with a smile.

“You’re a cute little puppy, when you’re sleeping,” he chides, and Choi Han turns red, looks down with a bit of shame.

“I’m sorry, my Cale,” he mumbles, only to feel a hand slide under his chin and kiss his mouth.

“What for? I had a fun time with you last night,” Cale says with a smile, planting another kiss on his nose. “Buuuut. If you want to make it up to me, then tonight, since it’s your turn, you better blow me good.”

Choi Han’s eyes light, a slight grin crossing his face.

“It would be my pleasure, my Cale,” he says, pulling his redheaded lover close and kissing his mouth.

Chapter Text

Choi Han is so very, very irritated with his Cale right now. He could have spent the morning cuddling his lover, and here he was, off doing a task for that damned prince instead.  Huffing, Choi Han climbs up, fingers reaching to crush yet another surveillance device to pieces with his fingertips.

“Wish you could be here with me,” Choi Han grumbles quietly.

“Oh, believe me, I wish I was with you now too.” Cale’s voice is exasperated on the other end of the magical communication device that he’d gotten from the prince. “But you scare people, my sweet little monster, so the separation is necessary.” Choi Han huffs, annoyed that he can’t even argue about it, knows his beautiful liege is taking a break from playing with the foolish nobles that dared approach him while he was alone.

“Make it up to me later,” he complains, hears soft laughter.

“Would you like me to put in work and ride that lovely cock of yours until we both can’t move?” Cale teases, and Choi Han groans quietly.

He’d absolutely love that.

“Oh, I’m tempted to make you work for me. But I do love you enough still to do the hard work for you, Rok Soo,” he grumbles, and Cale’s laughter is just a little breathless.

“I love it when you use my name,” Cale says softly, and he smiles, hops from his perch to  drop to the ground with ease. “How many of those little pests have you taken out?”

“About two dozen. As you’ve asked, I only took the ones that led back to the Rose Casino.”

“Very good, my puppy,” Cale praises him, and he beams happily, pleased at the affection in those lovely words.

“Thank you, my Cale,” Choi Han says, frowning a little as he climbs up another building, following the trail of energy he can faintly sense. “Sorry my love, I’m going to have to go dark for a bit. I think this might be one of the ones the prince’s intel was talking about.”

“Alright my sweet monster. Follow it wherever you must. I’ll be waiting for you.”

Choi Han gives a happy hum, before tapping it twice to shut the device down.

“Now, where do you lead, you little pest?” Choi Han murmurs, observing it from a distance. It was good magical work - very subtle.

But so was the Ancient Power his beautiful Cale used. Having gotten quite familiar with it last night, he’d quickly picked up the unusual shimmer that came from that odd power. He circles it a few times, frowning thoughtfully. It’s a slow dispersal of mana, bleeding into the air like a perfume, as though coming from no discernable source.

He has to be much slower approaching this one, and considerably more stealthily than the ones planted by the Rose Casino.

(Fucking amateurs. Choi Han could cast better surveillance magic than that and he’d never cast a spell like that before.)

Slowly, he reaches out, fingertips only just brushing the material, testing how alert it was. It buzzes faintly, alarmed, but doesn’t switch on.

Good.

His fist cracks and shatters it with a forceful application of his black aura, digging through the mana until he finds the tiny thread that directs the magic back towards its source.

There you are, he thinks with a satisfied little grin, following it back to…

What the hell?

 


 

“You’re absolutely sure?” Cale asks him, and he watches his puppy pace the length of their room, his beautiful, feral form pacing in clear annoyance.

“Absolutely, my Cale,” Choi Han agrees angrily, fingers still wrapped tight around the thread. “All of these lead back to the abandoned casino.”

“Could you get in?” Cale asks, and Choi Han scowls.

“Not easily,” he admits sullenly, looking rather annoyed. “The surveillance is good - it’s intent based, and each one’s intent is slightly different. I’d need to be capable of either incredible redirection magic or your apathy to pull it off,” he grumbles. Cale gestures for his puppy to come closer, and of course, he does, that faint glint of madness in his eyes disappearing as his temper abates, eyes closing in the next moment.

“That’s fair enough, puppy. I’ll work with you on some redirection magic, but apathy is a bit harder for you,” he says with a soft smile, leans in to kiss his nose. Choi Han gives a happy whine, looks up at him hopefully. “No. We both agreed to delay the sex until we could figure out what was going on here. This place is ruining our vacation, and we’re both feeling something strange coming from that casino.”

If it had been Cale alone, he wouldn’t have given a damn. Choi Han being disturbed…

He’d survived at least fifty plus years in the Forest of Darkness, and nobody could do that without an immaculate sense for danger.

“You’re right, my Cale,” Choi Han sighs, runs a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry. I should have pushed that first day.”

Alarm spikes over spine, shakes his heart to his bones and sparks terror in his soul. Immediately, he turns on Choi Han, who looks startled at his sudden change.

“No, neither of us needed to push.” Before him, the hotel room blurs, turns dark as the unmoving lumps before him, their bodies his fault, his sins. “We did what we could with the intel we had - pushing forward was what killed them -” Cale’s breath hitches, words stuttering to a halt. Choi Han is up in moments, wraps him up in a loving hug and kisses the back of his neck.

“You’re shaking,” he murmurs against the back of Cale’s neck.

“I-I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” he whispers, shaking hard against Choi Han’s chest, his lover turning him around and wrapping his arms firmly around his body. A soft touch, and he yields his body, arms curling up to hold his lover’s neck in his embrace. Choi Han carries him to their bed, humming a soft lullaby he remembered from childhood, before everything went to hell.

"I’m here, my sweet Rok Soo." Choi Han murmurs reassuringly in Korean, strokes his hair back. Cale can't help it, tears blurring his vision as he hiccups. How had his Choi Han known that hearing those words would break open his resistance? “You’re safe, you’re here with me, we’re not in the danger zone, my Rok Soo...”

The murmuring went on for a while, but Cale couldn’t remember a single bit of it, only able to remember the softness, the affection of his Choi Han, and the soothing whisper of sound from his kisses as the brush over tear-stained lashes.

It’s nearly three in the afternoon when Cale wakes up from his sudden blackout, staring at nothing for a long moment until he recovers his clarity.

“Rok Soo? Are you here?” Choi Han’s words are worried, so soft that he almost feels like he’s imagining them rather than hearing them.

“How long have I been out?” He asks, unwilling to slip into the common tongue, to lose that barren comfort of a home he no longer lived in.

“Nearly eight hours,” Choi Han says quietly. “Do you want me to ignore it? I can wait, my Rok Soo.” The consideration - just like before - is too sweet, makes him cry this time, clinging to his lover desperately. “Rok Soo? Love, please, answer me, you’ve worried me so much-”

“Don’t you dare!” Cale nearly shrieks at him, Choi Han’s hands gripping him tighter from the surprise. “Stop being so fucking understanding, stop - stop pretending that it’s okay that I hide these things from you!” Cale’s chest heaves up and down, cheeks flushing with his anger as he suddenly becomes outraged, torn between crying at his perfect consideration and screaming at him for his impossible kindness. “It isn’t fair,” he whimpers, collapsing against Choi Han’s chest when his lover pulls him back into his lap from where he had nearly leapt out of it, face wet with tears and shame.

“I don’t want to lose you, my wonderful Rok Soo. My lover, my only constant, my perfect match,” Choi Han croons, caresses his face and kisses him slow. “I don’t want to take more than you can give me. I don’t want to break the one thing in this life I would preserve for eternity.”

Choi Han was honestly too good - no, too perfect - for a broken thing like him.

But Cale - no, Kim Rok Soo - would refuse to let him go. He was too selfish.

“Are you sure?” He says warily. Choi Han dips his head down, kisses him softly.

“I’m here if you want to tell me, but I will not force you, my Rok Soo.”

 


 

Korea, unknown location, six weeks before Kim Rok Soo’s retirement

 


 

“Dammit, Rok Soo, what are we supposed to do?” Moon Tae-yong yells, ducking his head to avoid getting it snapped off. “I swear to god, once we all get back to base, I’m fucking ripping a new one into intel! Third misreported mission in five weeks!” Rok Soo shoves his head down, glaring at the battered barrier as he calculates, mind running wildly.

It was bad enough that the intel had come up short. But this was too many times for it to be mere coincidence. This time, even the fucking floor plan was wrong.

“If anyone’s going to wring a neck, it’s me,” he says, unwilling to brook any arguments, to which his team snorts.

“Let us watch!” the team choruses, and he can’t help his smile, fleeting as it is.

“Get back alive, pests,” he says, and they all choke back laughter. Another explosion, and Rok Soo curses.

“Fuck!” their sniper jumped over the barrier, slamming back-first against the wall, a nasty smear of blood under one eye and hands shaking around his rifle. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t get him to come back with me, he was bleeding so badly -”

“Kim Gun Min, stop that,” he says sharply. “You’re alive. We can’t afford to lose anyone on this mission.” It was already a disaster, anyways, and he could only work on getting his team back, if not rescuing any civilians. “I’m sorry, I’m calling it. We’re going to have to fall back. We’ve damn near gotten our heads ripped off because of this!”

He’s not - he can’t lose another team, he’s already lost too much.

Hauling his sniper up, he gruffly orders, “Hold on. I’m getting you home.” Shaking, his sniper complies, the team evacuating through the side door.

“Dammit, they’re everywhere!” Tae-yong curses, the younger man using his ability to haul a dropped pillar up from the ground. “I swear to god, this mission is cu-”

“Don’t finish that. Keep moving.”

He should have fucking turned this mission down. Hell, he’d have reason to, he’d not had a proper day off in months, it was to absolutely no surprise that things had gone so poorly if he was so busy trying to keep up with this shit -

Another explosion and Rok Soo curses.

“Fuck! Deflect, Yeo Dong Ju!” He snaps, and a shimmering gray shield diverts the rubble aside, sends it ricocheting off and leaving them unharmed.

“Good,” he says shortly. “Jin Ha Rin, take point. Gu Min, use Insight. I want you keeping an eye out for any danger.”

“What about civilians?” Their newest member asks, swallowing. It’s silent for a long moment, before Rok Soo sighs.

“Unfortunately, that’s a halcyon dream. We’re going to have to put the survival of the team first. We can’t do search and rescue if we’re dead.”

The words cast a pall over the group, but nobody dares argue.

It was already obvious that they would have to abandon any chance of rescuing anyone. They could handle a few Grade Threes, a single Grade Two with enough luck to walk a tightrope.

Grade Ones were far out of their pay grade - too far for any of them to even attempt.

“We need to move,” Rok Soo says quietly. “I promised to bring you home to your families. Don’t make me a liar.” His team shares some odd looks at that, but they obediently head off, the six of them quickly ducking through the ruined hallways as quietly as they could without sacrificing too much speed.

They’re close. Enough so that even Gu Min was starting to relax, before a plaintive cry tears through the night air, stiffening every single man’s spine. Kang Hyun freezes.

Shit.

“That’s a kid.” Kang Hyun’s voice is small. Rok Soo grits his teeth, reaches out to haul him up and away.

“We can’t be sure of that.” He says firmly, though he knows his men can hear the crack in his voice, the way it wobbles. “We need to leave.”

“That’s a kid,” Kang Hyun protests, and Rok Soo shoves him harder.

“I’ve already issued the order. Move it,” he bites out, the older men obediently doing as he said and turning to go.

“Are you serious? We’re going to leave a kid out here on her own?” Kang Hyun protests, and Rok Soo glares.

“We can’t trust it’s not a monster right now. Not with how intel’s gone, not with how all of us are too tired to put up with this. Drop it, Kang.” Hefting up Gu Min, Rok Soo jerks his head, and they march on in silence.

Explosions rip through around them, the snarl of monsters and the occasional smattering of gunfire echoing as they make their way through.

“Alright you guys, we know the drill. Pair off and get to the rendezvous point. Everyone goes through, I’ll not leave any of you behind.” With a nod, they begin to file through the narrow gaps to the main safe zone.

The protections had been failing here for a while, and it had been breached before the final evacuation had gone through, leaving the city to collapse from within as monsters surged in from outside.

This mission had been a last Hail Mary, an attempt to try one last recovery effort for any survivors.

They’d be lucky if anyone was alive, after this swarm.

Yeo Dong Ju looks at him, then at Kang Hyun significantly, a silent question. Rok Soo looks at the rookie again, before wincing and nodding.

“We’ll go first rookie,” the second oldest of them says, hand gripping around his arm tighter than a vice.

As though summoned, the child’s cry tears the sky open again, all of them warily looking up for any monsters that might have come, lured by the sounds of suffering.

Kang’s eyes glint, and Rok Soo isn’t fast enough to stop him, the boy tossing off Dong Ju’s hand and disappearing back into the buildings.

“Motherfucking - all of you, go! Bird up in five, regardless of whether or not we’re back!” Rok Soo snaps, and he can hear their acknowledgements, can feel Gu Min pressing his backup revolver into his hand. Snapping the safety on, he stows it in his empty holster before running after the idiotic rookie.

Last time I let anyone pick who replaces a teammate even if it’s temporary, he complains internally, jumping over an overturned pillar and ducking under tangled wires.

“What the fuck,” he hisses, when he can’t see any sign of Kang anywhere.

The piercing cry of a scream precedes a horrible, strangled choking noise, and cursing, Rok Soo runs towards the noise, desperately hoping that his stupid rookie hadn’t gotten himself killed.Jumping, Rok Soo can feel the world accelerating on him, Instant kicking in to bring him to the room in time to witness his rookie - his responsibility - choke on the claw through his throat.

The world grays out, tilts on its axis in a dangerous wobble.

No, no, not again, not this not his teammate, not his people, he couldn’t -

The monster looks at him, a child’s scream leaving its throat and morphing into the familiar scream of Kang, his rookie, his stupid fucking rookie -

It finds its head lopped clean off of it’s shoulders, both bodies hitting the floor with a wet thud. The ground shakes, earth trembling under the force, and the last thing Rok Soo remembers seeing is the flicker of helicopter blades as the bird loses control, spiraling down to crash into the building and destabilize the ground below him.

Rok Soo doesn’t remember hitting the ground.

 


 

“I was the only survivor,” Cale says lifelessly. “Again. I’d lost everyone. I guess it was God’s way of telling me that I’d gotten too comfortable. That he was punishing me for my sins.” A wet, shuddered gasp, damp lashes brushing against Choi Han’s neck. “Losing two teams in less than a year in between… It was no wonder they benched me. I wouldn’t have trusted me either, with luck that cursed.”

Choi Han says nothing, runs his hand through Cale’s red hair, soothing his lover silently. He had seen so much of his lover, of his liege, but this…

Even the monster in him could not feel pleased at the unravelling of this particular pain, croons within him to soothe, to tend to his beloved Cale.

“I know that this will not do much,” Choi Han murmurs, cupping his face in both hands, cradling him with loving affection. “But look at me, please.” When his Cale looks at him, he presses a soft kiss to tear-damp lips, does not coax them open, keeps it soft and chaste and very, very gentle. “You are not to blame.” When Cale squirms away, he carefully tightens his grip. Not enough to bruise, not enough to injure. Just enough to hold him still. “You are not to blame, Kim Rok Soo. You were not able to verify the information, not because of a lack of skill, but because of their negligence. You were never responsible for their mistakes, for their failures.”

Cale shivers in his hold, thick tears sliding down over his cheeks, fresh despite the rain of them that had poured over his shoulder during the tale.

“I was supposed to bring them back home. It was my job as their team leader. I promised them.” Cale’s eyes shine miserably, and Choi Han leans in, Cale’s eyes scrunching shut at he carefully kisses each closed lid, runs his thumb over tear-dampened cheeks, presses forehead to forehead.

“It was your responsibility, but what others do to compromise that is not your fault. You’re mine, Kim Rok Soo. You told me once, that you trusted me more than anything in this world. You gave me your life, your love… you wrapped my hand around your throat and told me to kill you and trusted I wouldn’t.” Choi Han tilts Cale’s head up, makes him look directly at him. “You tried to protect your people. You prioritized their safety above everyone else’s. You gave them a chance to go home, you went after your idiot rookie, you fucking did everything to save them from themselves. You are not guilty of losing them, Kim Rok Soo.” A soft stroke of his thumb, and Choi Han leans in to whisper, much softer,

“You didn’t fail your hyungs.”

Cherrywood eyes snap open, head jerking up as he opens his mouth, closes it, and Choi Han knows his guess has made its mark.

“How did you -” He presses a thumb to trembling lips, stills him.

“You’re the one who said you’d lost important teammates before. I know how people feel about that, about losing those they care for. The only people who would have impacted you so strongly would be those that had been the closest thing you’d come to finding family.” His eyes soften as he kisses Cale again, feels him shudder softly against his lips.

“How can you say I didn’t fail them?” Cale begs him for an answer, begs him for clarity, for anything to fill the empty gap within that was clawing at his insecurities, dragging him down. Choi Han pulls him closer, kisses him sweetly again, nothing more than a gentle caress of lips.

“Because you did what they would have. Try to save your team. Tried to take care of them. Put them above your own survival. How could any hyung ask for more than that?” Choi Han leans in to gently kiss once more, to caress and soothe. “More importantly, do you think they would have asked you for more than that?”

Cale’s expression cracks, a yawning gorge of painful hope, terror, and almost bitter pain searing through his gaze, pulled open by Choi Han’s carefully selected words.

“I’m scared I failed them,” Cale says distantly. “It’s what I’m most afraid of. Dying and facing them. Facing losing them a second time. A third. Hearing them say that I’ve failed them.”

Choi Han carefully strokes back those red strands, dipping his head to kiss him once more.

“Oh Kim Rok Soo,” Choi Han murmurs softly. “If they dared do so to you, I would rip them apart where they stand. You have done everything to protect your people.” He runs a thumb over that soft, full cheek. “Your hyungs would be proud. So proud of you.”

Cale cracks in half, and Choi Han pulls him close to allow his liege to cry, lancing the bitter pain of a loss he should have never been forced to feel.

God, Choi Han thinks coldly as he pulls his lover close to soothe him, you better fucking hope you’re immune to a sword through the ribs, because I’m fucking coming for you, you bastard.

Chapter Text

Cale’s fingertips touch against Choi Han’s skin, looking up at him in silent adoration.

How could he have been so lucky? How could he have been blessed with this absolutely perfect, impossibly understanding, god of a man? Straddling Choi Han properly, Cale leans in for another kiss. He keeps it chaste, the same as his lover had, eyes closing and body relaxing as the last of the tremors fade, the last of his terror of telling the truth turns to ash, his beautiful swordsman kissing him back, just the softest brush of lips, the gentlest little touch of tongue, a little swipe that makes him gasp, Choi Han chuckling indulgently against his lips as he blushes.

“I love you,” Cale says suddenly. “I know I call you my Han-ah, and I tease you, but… I really love you, Choi Han,” he says, receiving the pleasure of seeing his lover smile softly.

“I love you too, Cale. Kim Rok Soo,” he murmurs quietly. “You’re mine. Just as I am yours.” Pulling Cale flush, Choi Han joins their lips in a soft kiss again. Cale happily accepts it, his heart feeling less burdened, one more lock on his heart peeled away by the key that was Choi Han.

“Become my knight,” Cale says to him, Choi Han blinks, surprised. “I want to go through the formal ceremony, the paperwork, to make you mine in every way. Legal and not,” Cale admits with a blush. Choi Han’s smile widens, joy curling his lips up into a cherubic expression.

“Marriage might be a bit harder to pull off in secret, my Cale.” Choi Han jokes lightly, and Cale hums happily, pulls him in for another chaste, lingering kiss.

“If - and when - we’re ready to marry, we’re damn well doing that in public,” Cale says firmly. “I’m going to marry you, and everyone will know you’re mine.” He says firmly, Choi Han’s smile growing brighter.

“I love you too,” he chuckles, before pulling Cale towards him, their bodies pressed flush, the beat of his heart soothing Cale further, before he kisses that soft, plump mouth again, just because he can.

“Let’s go to bed,” Cale suggests, Choi Han giving an agreeable hum as he lifts Cale up, carrying him to the bed and settling down with his body in an affectionate little curl, the possessive part of him rising now that he’d learned yet another secret from Cale.

He’s happy to allow it, content with his particularly obsessive lover, with the one man he’d never be able to deny.

 


 

Choi Han is the one who wakes up first from their nap, the evening sun sliding slowly down the horizon, Choi Han fondly looking at his Cale while his lover sleeps contently away, eyes closed as he eases away the last of his agony and that terrible memory. He wondered, were the men who treated Kim Rok Soo as their dongsaeng proper hyungs to him? Had they protected him the way that his beautiful soul deserved? He hoped that they had, even though Cale had lost them, because he deserved to have happy memories of his life with his friends.

Choi Han himself remembered only vague impressions of childhood. He only vaguely remembers the foods of home, the fried squid his mother would make him as a treat for passing an exam, his grandmother’s tteokbokki for dinner once every other week, the rich flavors of stuffed dumplings his father would steam.

It was times like this he wished he could cook, hoped that Cale would indulge him and make him that tteokbokki soon. He wanted to taste a little bit of home… as soon as he could.

Cale wakes up slow and quiet, cherrywood eyes opening and looking at him with indulgence in them, easy affection and love he can’t help but adore.

“Good evening, my Cale,” He greets with a smile, and Cale smiles back at him, soft and lazy.

“Good evening,” he greets back, lazy smile on his face, so much more like his Cale than before. “We should get ready to head to the Casino,” he remarks, and Choi Han rolls his eyes.

“Must we? I’d much rather we stay home tonight, snuggle and enjoy.” He says, pouting.

“Don’t lie,” Cale says with a fond smile. “You’re worried about me.”

“I would have thought that was obvious from the fact that I haven’t tied you up to the bed and fucked you stupid,” Choi Han says reasonably, and Cale grins at him, amused.

“I like cuddling,” he admits, “But it’s a bit too sweet for us to do all of the time. At least, not without something fun in between,” Cale gives him a sly smile, and Choi Han perks up, looking at him with open curiosity.

“That’s not why I decided to comfort you,” Choi Han says, biting his lower lip with a blush. Cale smiles at his stubborn lover, leans in to kiss his mouth with a soft amusement.

“Oh I know,” he agrees. “You did it because you love me, darling. But… I want to show you my appreciation, to remind myself that I’ll never have to worry about that again.” A little kiss to his nose, and Choi Han blushes darkly. “I promised you a reward, my puppy, and I distinctly remember that you once threatened to fuck me on a balcony sometime.”

Choi Han’s cheeks turn red, and he flushes a bit at the idea of getting to take his lover where he wanted.

“There’s no point if we’re not doing it somewhere to get caught at,” Choi Han murmurs, fingers skimming Cale’s neck. The mark that he’d made there was starting to finally fade, little kisses and gentle nuzzling despite his hunger and want.

“You’re willing to let people see me?” He teases, and Choi Han smirks wide.

“No. But I do think that the Mistress of the Sunbloom Casino owes us for daring to restrict our affections with one another in her casino.” He grins as he dips his head lower.

“How do you feel about really making her understand our feelings on the matter?”

Cale looks at his innocently eager expression, the barest hint of a naughty smirk curling his lips, and he starts to laugh.

“Alright puppy… I think I have just the place for you.”

 


 

“Fancy ass place,” Choi Han remarks, Cale visibly admiring the way his newest pair of leather pants hugged his body, the black contrasting in perfect color of his skin. He’s shirtless, body on display and a thick red ribbon wrapped tight around his throat like a leash. He’s dutifully led past the staring collection of strangers to the front desk, no line in sight.

“How much for a night in the Queen’s Lodge?” Cale asks casually. The woman stares at him, takes a look at Choi Han, and opens her mouth to - well, whatever, his lover clearly doesn’t care. He shows her his noble sigil with a smug grin, watches her almost swallow her tongue. “I’ll ask a second time. How much?” She looks helplessly at the senior clerk, who rolls her eyes, all annoyance.

“The Queen’s Lodge is three million galleons a night. So unless you’ve got that cash on hand -” Cale lazily slaps the money onto the counter, before tugging his lover upstairs.

“Put it under Cale Henituse,” He calls, waves a goodbye. “It better be open for me before I get there!”

The first girl was quick enough to recover, scrabbling to get the money counted while a bellhop dives for the magical communication, leaving the two to saunter upstairs, Choi Han chuckling quietly behind him as he pulls his lover up, the darker haired of the two more than content to allow himself to be dragged around like a toy on a leash.

Choi Han liked it when he was commanding like that, even if he’d later take Cale apart with his lips and tongue and give him a fantastic fucking dicking down later.

“Tada!” Cale says cheerfully when the bellboy opens the room for him, hands shaking and a blush on his face because oh my, look at how predictable they were becoming. He tips the bellboy a wink, who turns even redder and squeaks a greeting before scrambling away at Choi Han’s flat glare, the swordsman seizing his naughty lover and sinking his teeth into the soft, tender flesh of Cale’s neck in warning.

The high, breathy moan that leaves Cale is glorious - true showmanship that has the bellhop really putting some speed under his shoes to get away from them. Cale’s moan dissolves into pleasured giggling, a soft, high noise as Choi Han digs his teeth in deeper, licks and sucks the flesh under his mouth until it’s bruised, perfectly so from his love.

“Don’t get cheeky,” Choi Han grumbles irritably, and Cale laughs at him, pulls free to kiss him in slow, lingering pleasure. A flick of his wrist, and the shield blooms to life, pushing against the doors to close them at his direction. “You belong to me, not the other way around, tonight.” Cale looks up at him with a fond smile, kisses his mouth and caresses him with a smile.

“As you wish, my beloved puppy,” Cale says with amusement, a grin on his lips as he leans in to kiss Choi Han again. With an annoyed growl, Choi Han yanks him closer, digs his teeth in hard when he kisses Cale, making his lover yelp as he showcases his irritation with his flirty nature.

“I’ve told you before, I don’t like it when you flirt,” he growls the last of the words possessively. Cale laughs softly at him, the ribbon pulled tight around his throat.

“So then what are you going to do about it? I’ve set you a pretty stage, puppy. I’ve given you a room for the night that’s finer than the one we’re in now. Why don’t you add some bite to that devilish bark of yours?” He teases, Choi Han growling at the blatant teasing as he hauls his lover up to leave handprints as he wraps his hands around a slim waist, kissing him so fiercely that Cale actually squeaks, surprised. It’s quickly folded into a moan, Choi Han taking his time in plundering that filthy mouth, tongue licking at every inch until he needed air.

Cale looked beautiful like this, expression dazed and cheeks flush, chest heaving up and down.

“I run the show tonight,” Choi Han says coolly, lowers Cale to the ground and watches him stumble on his feet with some amusement. “Which means you strip for me.”

A glitter of naughty amusement curls in Cale’s eyes, and Choi Han can feel appropriately suspicious when Cale steps back, long fingers reaching for the blouse’s strings, fingers dancing over the material until he undoes the red ribbon, twisting it between his fingers before he winks and ties it around his throat, a little present.

Choi Han’s cock twitches within the tight confines, interest stirring his body’s reaction.

And then… Cale strips for him. One button at a time, head lowered and lashes fluttering playfully as he eases his shirt open, flicks his pierced nipples with a cute little moan. His body had healed in nearly record time, and Choi Han can only guess his shield had been involved somehow, leaving his perfect little nipples bare and free for viewing as he slips out of the shirt, toys with his trouser pants with a sly grin. Choi Han swallows dryly.

That fucking minx…

Cale is deservedly smug when he’s done, his pretty pink cock half-hard and thighs still glistening from when he’d prepped himself earlier for their fun. Choi Han pulls him close, hefting Cale up to lick and suck on a pretty nipple, teases the piercing with his own, Cale’s breath hitching attractively above him.

“I love this side of you,” Choi Han says with a grin. “This naughty, sex crazy deviant. No man can satisfy you like I can, can they?” He pulls back when he’s done, observes how the soft pink has reddened under the force of his lips, the contrast between the one he had abused and the one he hadn’t impossible to ignore. “You’re so eager, so slutty, I love it.” Cale’s cheeks flush, and he grins, moves on to the other pretty nipple and works it until it’s as red and swollen as its’ twin.

“Choi Haaaaaan,” he whines, the raven-haired man looking up with a grin. “C’mooon, you said we’d go outside for the fun part!” He complains, and Choi Han laughs.

“Sure, sure, fine,” he grumbles teasingly, takes the ribbon off to loop it through those two tempting rings, giving him his own little leash to coax Cale around with. Cale yelps when he tugs at the ribbon, his nipples pulling and making him look incredibly lewd as he whimpers, following Choi Han’s pull, moaning at the sudden assault. Tiny beads of precum weep from the slit, and Choi Han kneels down, keeps the ribbon hooked on his finger while he licks the pretty little head, sucks on it until Cale cries for him.

“C-Choi Han!” The crack on his name makes him smile, lick the pretty pink tip one more time before pulling back, a satisfied smirk on his face for getting his uppity liege into such a position. “Mmh… please...” The sight of those perfect cock-sucking lips parted in a pout was just so tempting…

 


 

“Uh… Mistress Nadine?” Antoin’s cheeks are red as fire, the man looking ready to combust. She looks up from her pipe, raises a brow at him. “I found why your esteemed guests aren’t at the casino tonight.” She gets up, walking to the desk to take a look, the video resuming once she had.

The dark-haired man - Choi Han, she recalled - was looking rather fine, sitting comfortably against a chair, his hand on a familiar head of red as it bobs -

Oh my. A hot blush colors her cheeks, even as she has to fight a grin back at the sheer audacity it took to do that.

“Did they rent out one of my rooms to fuck on the balcony?”

“The Queen’s Lodge, ma’am,” Antoin says, face flaming with embarrassment. She laughs, a mixture of amusement and indulgent pride at their nerves.

“I see that they didn’t take my restriction on public displays of affection very well,” she says, Antoin shooting her a look that clearly stated no, really? Choi Han looks their way, smirks and waves a lazy two-fingered salute, blows them a kiss before he wraps his fist tight in the bright red hair and shoves him down to the base.

Nadine feels herself blush. “Turn off the surveillance, Antoin,” she says, and he gratefully complies. “Those boys have some nerve,” she says with a chuckle. “Dangerous or not, I think I could come to like feisty personalities like that.”

 


 

Cale gasps for air when Choi Han finally allows him to pull free, tears gathering at the corners of his eyes, even as he glares blearily at Choi Han for his actions. It was only partly for show - Cale hadn’t expected it, but he’d be damned if he could argue with the results, cock practically dripping from the harsh treatment. He wondered if Choi Han could talk him right into an orgasm at this point, before shivering a little.

“Oh? Are you cold, my Cale? Do I need to warm you up?” He says with a smirk, Cale giving a whimper as Choi Han’s fingers run through his hair. “Haaa… look at you, acting like a dog in heat, playing my bitch.” His smile is wide, pleasure in his every action as he pulls Cale up on his lap, a kiss tangling their tongues before Choi Han happily pulls him back. “Well?”

“Y-yes… I’m very cold,” he admits with a shy blush, squirms eagerly in his lap, makes the swordsman laugh softly before leaning in to kiss his mouth all over again. “Please warm me up?” He asks, and Choi Han laughs again, hauling his pretty lover up and carrying him to the outdoor tub.

“Maybe we should move here,” Choi Han murmurs. “Ditch that prissy bitch’s casino for this one, where I can fuck you on the balcony every night, and stuff you full of cock for everyone to hear, so everyone knows you’re little more than a place to rest my dick, and you’re still above their low-born asses.”

Cale’s face is a bright red, visibly looking flustered at his sudden teasing.

“You’ve gotten possessive,” he whimpers, Choi Han’s grin widening.

“Of course I have. I now have you, Cale. I want everyone to know who owns you, and who owns me.” Cale flushes at his possessive words, cheeks turning an attractive little shade of red at his teasing.

“I love you too,” Cale mumbles, mortified despite himself. And a little bit of delight, though he’d fiercely deny it later. “And you’re being mean, Choi Han,” he pouts, swollen lips drawing Choi Han’s gaze to his soft lips, the swordsman licking his lips

“Oh? Am I?” Cale’s eyes go wide, an involuntary squeak leaving his throat as he’s unceremoniously picked up to be carried into the bath, the redhead giving a startled cry when Choi Han’s fingers bury themselves deep within Cale’s well-prepared asshole, the noble clinging to him and giving a startled squeak. It doesn’t take long before he’s moaning helplessly, soft and quiet, though they’re not as loud as Choi Han hopes, by his disappointed look. “Ah-ah, my Cale,” he says with a smirk. “You’re the one who insisted I be mean to you, my love,” he reminds Cale, the redhead blushing harder. The water splashes around their thighs as Choi Han leisurely takes a seat, Cale straddling him again as he finds himself relentlessly teased.

“You’re going to torment me, aren’t you?” He asks between gasping breaths, and Choi Han smirks.

“Of course I am. You’ve been such a naughty thing, letting other men touch you and play with you without my permission. You deserve what I’m going to do to you.” Choi Han allows Cale to whine a little, before burying his fingers back in Cale, drawing out a distressed yelp. “This perfect ass is mine,” Choi Han reminds him firmly, before kissing his lips once more, Choi Han watching Cale’s expression as he looks dazed from Choi Han’s teasing.

“Oh...” Cale can feel how his blush spreads down his chest, nipples tingling at the feel of Choi Han’s fingers tugging on the ribbon he’d tied to the rings, head tilting back as he groans, unable to resist as Choi Han pulls them, Cale whining louder for him as he follows the pull, hovering precariously with his hands resting on Choi Han’s shoulders. “Aaah!” He cries, tries to moderate himself, but Choi Han is relentless, tugging at his nipples and playing with his walls, rubbing all of his sensitive spots, driving him up the wall. “Choi Ha-aaaah!” His head lolls back, and he groans shamelessly, cheeks blushing a darker shade of red as he tries not to be too slutty. He can see the line at Sunbloom, can see the curious head looking their way, but at the same time, he’s going absolutely mad with desire, the absolute control Choi Han was showing giving him more reason to whimper and beg, to be as noisy as his knight and lover and toy demands of him.

“You know… I planned on spoiling you, but you just couldn't resist making me mad at you,” he chuckles, gray eyes watching Cale as he tries not to squirm too hard in Choi Han’s grasp. “Just for that, I’m going to make you ride me, do you understand?” He says, and Cale’s face flushes a dark red.

Aigooo, he’d really walked into this one, hadn’t he…

 


 

Choi Han gives him a small, satisfied smirk, watching Cale pout at him for making him do the work, even as he eagerly spreads himself with a hand, twitching deliciously whenever Choi Han tugs on the ribbon tying his nipple rings together.

“I like this,” Choi Han says with a smile, Cale’s head ducking down as he blushes. “Fucking you in the bath. It’s only been a few days since we did that, and somehow, it feels like a lifetime.” A low laugh, and he can feel the tip of his dick press against his Cale's entrance. Cherrywood eyes glimmer, and he pushes down, holding Choi Han’s dick firmly as the tight heat begins to wrap around him. Looking up at Cale again, he can see the faintest smirk of challenge. Steadying himself on Choi Han, Cale sinks down, inch, by agonizing… fucking… inch. It feels insanely good, and Choi Han tugs on his little makeshift leash, Cale giving a cute little cry of pleasure, but he doesn’t speed up, takes his sweet damn fucking time to sink to the hilt, to fill himself up with Choi Han’s dick, leaving him cursing under his breath.

“If we’re going to fuck like animals where anyone can hear us, I’m not going to be the only one they hear,” Cale says, eyes glittering with brilliant amusement, pulls himself up to gently push himself back down, moans dripping like water from his lips. Choi Han bites his own lip, knows that Cale will do just about anything to get him to moan, and won’t give his spoiled lover that satisfaction.

The pace is maddeningly slow, a slick slide of heat that makes him groan softly in pleasure, body shivering at every single movement, Cale’s walls constricting around him in the most sinfully delicious of ways.

“You’re such a fucking tease,” Choi Han growls, only receives a coy smile from Cale in return, the redhead licking his lips playfully.

“Am I?” He teases softly, tongue slipping free to lightly lick at those plump, swollen lips. Lips that had been sucking his dick not more than two fucking minutes -

He knows it’s conceding defeat, but he can’t give a damn when he lets go of that pretty little ribbon to seize his lover by his hips to bury himself to the hilt, Cale giving a startled cry as he’s forced to take Choi Han all in one go. His hands are trembling , but there’s a glint of pure satisfaction that he cannot allow to stand.

“Naughty boy,” Choi Han growls irritably, Cale’s tear-filled eyes looking at him desperately as he smirks widely back. “I was giving you a chance to be good, and here you are, needing punishment.” Lifting Cale up, Choi Han can feel how his lover squirms desperately, whimpers as he roughly resets the pace, fingers digging deep.  “I’m going to make you scream my fucking name and you’re going to love every goddamn motherfucking second, ” He says, smirk widening. Cale’s head is bobbing up and down, eyes glazed over and cheeks flushing, whimpers spilling from his lips as he tries to adjust to the brutal pace Choi Han has set, the ribbon bouncing up and down with every slap of skin on skin, water splashing around them in lewd reminder of what they were doing and exactly where they were doing it.

“I’m going to die,” Cale gasps, cheeks red from holding back his screams of pleasure, trembling, and Choi Han gives him a laugh, pulls him in for a kiss even as he doesn’t slow down, doesn’t stop, Cale’s eyes rolling back into his head when his orgasm hits him like a fucking hit to the solar plexus, Cale allowing a truly sweet little cry at his torment to sing through the air. He’s still hard as fuck, and he slowly lifts Cale up, hears him whimper as his overstimulated body quickly feels the pleasures of Choi Han ravaging him, his once restrained whimpers spilling into moans, and then more eager cries of his name, the volume going up as Choi Han fucks him harder, coherency lost in the sweet heat of being taken.

It was so good, a drug-like euphoria of claiming what was his, and he can’t help but bite back a grin against Cale’s shoulder - getting a startled little mewl that does things to him.

There wasn’t going to be a single patron in the whole of this casino who wouldn’t know what they did last night, Cale’s singing cries music to his ears, their indecency spilled out for all to hear and witness, if they were curious enough.

It’s this thought Choi Han comes to, Cale trembling in his lap as he gives into his urge to bury himself deep, to spill his love within Cale in a way he would have a hard time getting rid of.

“We’re going to move into this room, aren’t we?” Choi Han murmurs, knows that in this state, Cale will deny him nothing.

“Keep fucking me,” Cale manages dazedly, voice a little raw, but sounding incredibly clear-headed despite that. “Convince me with that cock of yours that I want to stay here.” Choi Han laughs, then pulls him into a kiss.

“Aren’t we just a perfect match?” He asks, Cale laughing helplessly against him. “Come morning, not a soul in this town won’t know we own each other,” Choi Han says, pleased by the idea, while Cale touches his face with a fingertip.

“Then make me scream louder,” Cale says, a challenge in his smile that Choi Han was more than happy to accept.

Chapter Text

“Oh look. We’re popular, aren’t we?” Cale says, grinning at Choi Han when they’re greeted by a round of blushing faces and mortified shuffling.

They’d moved everything over early that morning after Cale’s throat had recovered some, and well… he’d worn the marks with pride, the dark bruises on his hips, the soreness from his nipples being tugged and teased, all of it had left him running a high that really left his head in that soft, floaty space he’d found himself in with Choi Han. Every single person who frequented the Sunbloom Casino, and most notably the bouncer, whose face is a brilliant shade of red at the sight of them.

“Good evening,” Cale greets with a light smirk. “Letting us in?” He asks, and the bouncer does so, far too flustered to give him his usual rigmarole. “Mmh, I like this treatment,” Cale purrs, sauntering past him and into the casino. Choi Han glares irritably at those that dare gape at his lover, their eyes immediately looking away in mortification when they meet him. Cale laughs sweetly, turns back to his puppy to pull him in for a soft kiss.

“C’mon puppy, I want to have fun today,” he says, light chiding. Choi Han droops a little, but obediently follows after him, looking a little despondent at disappointing him. Cale doesn’t let him stay too down, offers his hand so Choi Han can gently lay a kiss to his fingertips, their familiar greeting inside this affection-starved place.

“I’m sorry, my Cale,” he apologizes dutifully, and Cale chuckles.

“No harm done, puppy. I know how protective you are. Now c’mon. Antoin is over there, and I want to see if he heard our little show last night.” Choi Han scowls at the man, but obediently follows, Cale sauntering through the casino as though he owned it.

Antoin takes one look at Cale, then Choi Han, before lighting up like a firework, the blackjack dealer swallowing in flustered mortification. Choi Han’s smirk widens at that.

“My Cale… I think we should try our luck at the slot machines tonight,” he says, leaning over Cale’s chair so that the redhead can lean back against his seat to get his lover within his view. “I don’t think he’ll be very useful as a dealer tonight.” Cale looks at him, eyeing the dealer like he was a fun toy. Choi Han, ever possessive little puppy that he was, bristles a bit at the way he looks at Antoin, before heaving a little sigh of defeat and allowing Cale to do as he wishes, aware that his lover was simply teasing Choi Han.

“I suppose he’ll be much too flustered to do his job, now that he knows what we do when we leave,” Cale grins, the man’s flush crawling back up his cheeks as the blue-haired man coughs into his fist. “Two days, Antoin. Then I’m coming back here to play, you got it?” He asks, standing up to touch his fingertips to the dealer’s lapel.

“Thank you for the reprieve, Lord Cale,” he mumbles, and laughing, Cale saunters off, Choi Han carrying his box of chips dutifully as a good toy does.

“Oh, I’m sure the anticipation will be worth the wait,” Cale says breezily, getting the pleasure of watching Antoin choke on his spit at the playful teasing. “Be good~” He laughs, humming as he walks away. “I must say,” He laughs when his puppy quickly follows him, as though shielding his body from naughty eyes, “I quite like this attention. So much better than the disdain, or the pathetic notion that they were above me.”

“It only took scrambling half the casino’s minds to do it,” a familiar voice interjects, and Cale turns to face Nadine, who is giving them both an amused look, the woman crossing her arms and pushing up her bust.

Given their preferences, it didn’t do much.

“Ah, your rules simply said not in the casino,” Cale says with an amused smile. “It’s not our fault you didn’t specify your hotel was off limits too.” Choi Han hovers behind him, and he gives his lover an amused smile.

“... That’s true. Did you really have to be so loud?” She says dryly, and Cale shrugs.

“Did you have to watch?”

Her face turns red, and Cale gives a smirk.

“I wouldn’t blame her, my Cale. You’re much more attractive than anyone else in this room,” His puppy says loyally, and Cale laughs, flapping his hand in teasing amusement.

“You’re so precious, my puppy,” Cale says fondly, touches his cheek before giving Nadine an amused look. “We’re not really the kind to restrain ourselves, Mistress Nadine. We respect your rules while we are here, and we appreciate your kindness to make this casino hospitable for us, but we aren’t happy about being unable to fully express ourselves. Now, we’ll play a few games, and be done for the evening. I can even promise we’ll be on our best behavior.”

“You mean, if I don’t mind hearing you two fuck each other’s brains out at night,” Nadine guesses dryly. Cale smiles brightly.

“Your words, not mine,” Cale says slyly, and Nadine sighs, shakes her head.

“Spare me please. I like to sleep sometimes too,” she says, handing him a small key. “VIP rooms are on the second floor and up. Feel free to be hedonists up there, and please. Quit tormenting my staff, they need to be able to do their jobs.”

“If you insist,” Cale says cheerfully, taking the key and winking at her.

Score for him.

 


 

“Given our show, Nadine isn’t going to want a repeat performance,” Cale had told Choi Han that morning, after his body had healed enough to speak. “Normally, I’d have to pay a premium on top of the usual rate to access the VIP floors. VIP floors are much too expensive for my tastes, so it’s simply easier - and considerably cheaper - if we manage to find a way to get her to give the key to us, as a ‘treasured’ guest. Our little show last night isn’t just for fun, but it gives us a strategic advantage to use her to get to any inside deals. Sunbloom isn’t just a hotspot for criminal activity, like the other ones, but it is where the smarter ones are likely to hang out. Nadine’s not a pushover, and she’s just as likely to work for the prince as she is to work against them.”

Choi Han dutifully follows after his lover, looks around with curiosity as he does, Cale’s finger hooked in his ribbon as he saunters upstairs, the key vibrating a little but allowing them to pass without question. Turning, Cale takes his ribbon off, before threading the key through it.

“Looks good on you, puppy,” he says fondly, steps close to kiss him, slow and sweet. “Now c’mon. Let’s go play some slots.” Choi Han obeys, happy to be allowed to caress and cling to his Cale once more, fully slipping into his possessive role and staying indecently close.

Choi Han settles happily between Cale’s thighs, rests his head on one even as he closes his eyes, allows his hearing to spread to the floor around them, a perfect spy.

“- He really has no shame, does he? I can’t imagine what kind of torture he must have put that boy through to make him so obedient -”

“Look at how cozy they are with each other - after last night, I’m surprised that redhead can walk, let alone -”

“Did you get the product?”

“Obviously! Do you know how hard it is to get these flowers out of the Whipper Kingdom?”

“- Fourteen pounds of magic stones isn’t much, especially with the new mine -”

“Did you find it?”

“Are you kidding? The casino’s been abandoned, I’m not stepping foot in there even if someone says there’s dragon eggs hiding in it!” Choi Han’s focus is immediately grabbed, and he nuzzles against Cale’s thigh, a sign he’d gotten something. He focuses deeper, more fully, on the sounds, humming softly.

“Yeah, I get it, but it’s a dragon egg. You have any idea how much cash we can extort out of those bastards in the Whipper Kingdom? They’d pay absolute fucking top dollar to get it, and if we report it to the prince, we can get double the payout!” There’s an irritated snort.

“You think I’m going to risk ruining my life for a small payday? And yes, it’s small. The risk of my life isn’t worth it.”

“But -”

“No, Andrew. I’m not dying for your shot for glory.”

Choi Han opens his eyes, a little frown on his lips.

“Can you please cheat, my Cale?” Choi Han whispers quietly against Cale’s thigh. He feels his Cale look down at him, a faint frown on his plump lips. “I need a reason to look around,” he murmurs, and Cale hums acknowledgement.

“A novel way to convince me to use my skill for nefarious purposes,” Cale teases fondly, before pulling him up. “Kiss me for luck, puppy,” He orders, and he kisses his lover obediently, before resettling down and focusing on the pair he’d heard arguing. “Thank god this one isn’t digital - I don’t think the shield can generate an electrical pressure to stop it otherwise.” Pushing a coin into the slot, Cale calmly lowers the bar and concentrates. Obediently, he stops nuzzling his liege, allows him to concentrate fully on the game.

As the lights flash and begin making noise, Choi Han can hear several people start buzzing excitedly as he uses the shield somehow to slow the turning dials, each one slowing down and running in a perfect triple seven jackpot.

 


 

“How in the hell -” Antoin looks over at Nadine, is surprised to see his boss looking at them thoughtfully, rather than angered by the blatant cheating.

“Can you tell they were cheating?” She asks, and with a scowl, he shakes his head.

“No, Nadine.”

“And somehow, they must have, because those machines aren’t allowed to give more than one jackpot every three days,” she murmurs. “The question is… why now? What reason would he have to cheat, when he knows we’re likely to catch him?” The white-haired woman observes him, watches how Choi Han protectively guards his lover while he accepts his prize, gray eyes scanning every inch of the room and zeroing in on two patrons in particular. He seemed to be analysing them, piercing them with his gaze when one of them looks much too eager for his liking - or hers.

A quiet murmur, and Choi Han disappears into the crowd, somehow melting into the throng as though he was any other patron, Cale laughing gaily as he allows eager admirers to surround him.

“We can’t figure anything out about how he cheated - find Choi Han,” she orders Antoin, the dealer nodding as he quickly toggles screens, follows the two men he’d been looking at until they stumble out of the casino.

“That could have been us!” One of the men whines. “See? Why should a jumped up noble trash like him get all of that money!”

“Shh! Didn’t you hear? That guy you’re calling trash has that dog of his off his leash! I sure as hell ain’t getting killed because you said something he didn’t like!”

Black energy rolls across the screen, causes it to fritz a little, before it clears up, the man in question appearing as though made out of smoke.

“I’ll like you a lot less if you don’t answer my questions.” Gray eyes are cold as ice, the swordsman slamming his hand against a chest and making the unfortunate sap choke in surprise. “I heard you talk about a dragon’s egg. Where is it.”

“A drag-” Nadine sucks in a breath. That, she felt, was a worthy reason to cheat.

“God preserve us,” Antoin mutters. “A dragon egg? Here? In a place as corrupted as the Golden City?”

“We don’t know what you’re talking about,” The second one says smoothly, and more black ink pours from Choi Han, a malicious smile curling up his lips.

“Oh, I hate it when people lie to me,” the man says with a chuckle, stalking forward with a vicious smile. “You’re going to tell me what I want, or I’m going to start removing pieces of your body. One at a time.” Gray eyes flicker red with madness, a malicious pleasure in his expression that makes Nadine shiver, even as removed from the scene as she was. “Talk. Or I start lopping off limbs.” he lifts a hand, and she can see how it coalesces in a thin blade, makeshift but dangerous enough to do as he said.

“You’re mad! We don’t know anything about an - urk!” Red splashes over a face, a precise, thin line showcasing his control and deadly precision.

“Stop, stop!” The first one says, looking panicked, and for good reason, given that Choi Han’s fingers wrapped tightly around the man’s throat, lifts him up with a vicious smile. “It’s just a rumor, okay? There’s been rumors about dragon eggs being in the abandoned casino! The Whipper Kingdom pays huge money for them, we really don’t know if it’s true though, we swear!”

“Who told you this rumor?” Choi Han hisses, fist tightening around his prey.

“Some guy! All we know is that he works in the Rose Casino sometimes as a dealer, and he part-times at their bar! That’s it, we swear!”

“Describe him.”

Nadine gives Antoin a speaking look, and the man quickly hurries to write it down, the two listening to the garbled description with matching frowns.

“Keep that screen on record. I want to see what Lord Cale is doing right now.” A nod, and Antoin obeys, showing Cale cheerfully spending the money without care, a handful slipping into roulette, a handful into a few lost games of poker, bleeding the cash into the casino once more.

“He has no intent on keeping any of it. What would a man who is rumored to hoard money like they were his children dare spend it all?” Nadine wonders, and Cale, in the middle of a blackjack game he was currently winning, looks up at the screen, smiles, and shakes his head.

Choi Han materializes behind him, looks pristine and comfortable, returns to his place as a toy and pet for Cale, the redheaded noble smiling and patting his lover on the head with a smile for his return. Rubbing at her forehead, Nadine gives a groan.

“The prince looking in on them wasn’t simply a show of power after all, was it,” she grumbles under her breath, looking at the redhead and his dark-haired lover. “There's something going on in the Golden City, something we haven’t heard about yet, and when the prince found out about it, these two were the ones he sent.”

“Mistress?”

“I want to know everything about those two. Absolutely everything. There’s no way that this boy’s reputation is as purely negative as it is. He’s done something, committed a great service for the prince somehow, and I need to know exactly who I’m dealing with.”

“You think he’s important?”

“One of those two boys are, and given that little display of power, and the fact that Lord Cale used me to get a free pass to the VIP floors, they’re not as stupid as they’re pretending either.”

“As you command, Mistress.”

 


 

“Tell me I didn’t possibly burn our ability to get into Sunbloom for no reason,” Cale says firmly, and Choi Han gives him a worried look.

“The rumors about the dragon eggs coincide with the surveillance devices, and the Rose Casino is where the rumors are coming from.”

Cale heaves a sigh. “Sonofabitch.”

“I might be able to get in still, but it’ll take some work with makeup and dressing up.” Choi Han offers. “I’ve not worn the initial wardrobe you bought me - everyone’s only seen me in the clothes you bought for me. We can make use of that, and I can take off the redirection from the watch. So far, people have only noticed it was a normal watch. The change in style should be enough to hide me.”

“Are you sure you can pull it off?” Cale asks him softly, and Choi Han gives Cale a smile.

“Do you think I can?”

“Honestly… I’m not sure. I’ve taught you, certainly, but most of what we’ve done so far is simply act out what we want, do as we please, not fit the roles of people we aren’t,” Cale admits, and Choi Han gives him a soft, understanding smile.

“I understand, my Cale.” He does, too, no puffing himself up, no open indignance. He genuinely understood Cale’s worry. “But trust me. You’ve had faith in me for my combat skills, for my honor and my integrity. Please allow me this.”

Cale closes his eyes, lips curved into a faint smile, reaches out to kiss his lover’s mouth and hold him close.

“If you can’t impress me tomorrow morning, you’re not going anywhere.”

“Of course, my Cale.” Choi Han's lips gently touch his cheek, and he sighs.

Aiya. That prince owes me his finest fucking wine for this bullshit.

Chapter Text

Choi Han’s insistence was not a surprise, Cale realizes early in the morning, after Choi Han had given him a loving kiss and shooed him out to go eat breakfast. So far, Cale had done much of the subtler heavy lifting, picking and choosing what acting Choi Han was to do, most of it violent and taking his natural, native maliciousness into account.

He’d likely realized that, and had planned to find a way to be allowed to do something much more subtle, more against the grain than this, but the concession was likely something he appreciated greatly, if for no other reason than he could provide more of himself into his roles, to prove himself to Cale.

Sipping at his - definitely not lemon - tea, Cale relaxes against the high-backed chair. It wasn’t that sinfully fun throne, but the clean, glossy aesthetic and the light purple hue of the fabric he sat on was rather exquisite, he would admit.

Taking a little pastry, Cale reviews what they've learned so far.

The abandoned Casino was key - it had exceptional surveillance, and likely had a presence in the other casinos, but the rumors of abandonment were not mere rumors. The prince had provided them some intel later, that had proven the casino had been empty for at least a hundred and fifty years - at least as long as Choi Han had been in the forest. The correlation worried Cale, just from that.

It - or whoever ran the casino - must have been blessed with a long life as well, and apparently, the land was once a temple for the death god, something that confused him as much as it intrigued him. He’d thought that sacred land was rarely repurposed, so why…

A cough, and Cale abandoned those thoughts, looking up.

“Almost done?” He asks, smiling as he sits up.

“I’m coming out, my Cale,” Choi Han confirms, and Cale watches expectantly.

… Oh. A blush works over his face as he looks at the confident, almost sensual figure his lover cut in the ensemble he’d selected for the day.

He’d taken the time to mess with his hair, even, the lengthened strands having been meticulously groomed to fall around his face in sharp shocks of black, the faint mulberry hue hidden by the way it framed his fair features. Cut as it had been, the ends had a little bit of curve to them, sticking up at odd angles and giving him a boyish youthfulness to his overall silhouette.

He’d taken the time to line his eyes with red kohl, the red rubbed into his skin and giving him a sleepless look, a thinner black liner sharpening his eyes and making the lovely gray hue pop. Most of the earrings had been replaced with the other jewelry they’d bought, dangling chains and glittering gems, Choi Han smiling in an almost elusively sinful manner, his lips shining from a light gloss.

He’s gone for a subtle, desaturated color palette, softer reds and darker purples, a crisp white shirt swallowed up by the black and red brocade, a soft butterfly pattern shining in the flickering sunlight outside of their window. The slacks were a striking white, his left leg hosting a dagger in a clean dark brown sheath.

That alone was stunning. He was absolutely passing the test in this alone. But of course, his lover had learned his sense of over the top from Cale, so of course, it wasn’t the end. He’d worn the white jacket to the suit slacks as well, leaving only a faint sliver of the brocade to peek out from underneath, before donning one of the few short capes Cale had bought him to go over the top. It wasn’t really a proper cape, only short enough to cover his shoulders and to the middle of his waist, disguising his lovely silhouette just enough to make him look like someone else.

He’d picked a pair of fingerless gloves instead, and the watch gleams beautifully in the light, a perfect accent piece.

“God, you make me want to eat you alive.” Cale says dazedly, only to flush as he realizes he’d spoken aloud. Choi Han’s grin makes him blush pink. As he tries to recover, Choi Han strides closer, kneels down to take his hand in his own, lips pressing against Cale’s knuckles softly.

“Shall I take that as a compliment or a threat?” Choi Han asks, grinning vividly, and Cale blushes.

“You’re such a tease,” he mutters, looking away from Choi Han and his devastating beauty.

“Says my beautiful Cale,” Choi Han says, smirking. He stands up before taking a comfortable seat across from him.

Choi Han has never been a proper noble. While he’d learned his manners and etiquette from him and Ron, he’d rarely utilized it outside of that one time that he’d gotten his watch.

But now… one leg crosses over another, noble arrogance as Choi Han reclines in truly graceful ease and comfort, a little smirk on his lips as he winks at Cale. Almost lazily, Choi Han lifts a hand to his face, tips Cale a playful wink.

“What do you think, my love?” Choi Han asks, and Cale’s cheeks turn even greater pink.

“I think you’re trying to get me on my knees for you,” Cale admits, and the arrogance that colors his features turns slightly fond.

“I don’t have to even ask? My, you’re certainly greedy for me today,” Choi Han teases, tongue flicking out to lick his lips. He looks… he looks devastating, viciously beautiful, almost violently so, a noble’s grace and careless disregard in those beautiful eyes. His other hand lifts, an elegant smile on his lips as he adds, “What must I do to satisfy you, my love? Shall I pet you and call you mine?”

… Oh my god.

“... You pass. Fuck, alright, you win,” Cale gasps, blushing pink. “Don’t make me climb you like a tree and fuck myself on your dick before you’ve even gone out to do surveillance.”

Choi Han’s lips stretch into a naughty smirk.

“Consider this payback, my love.”

This time, Cale whines.

 


 

Choi Han takes a moment to be himself, balancing on the balcony and hovering just the slightest as he watches his lovely Cale, the man having chosen to stay in for the evening, bare legs swinging in the air as he reads a book to wait out Choi Han’s mission in grouchy silence. Looking over at the surveillance he knew Nadine and Antoin controlled, he presses a finger to his lips.

“Don’t give the game away, okay?” He says, before jumping down to land in the alleyway and disappearing into the city. Humming, he straightens his clothes and slips into the throng of nightlife that surrounded the city. He had no money on him, but that was no matter, easily resolved by a few quick pickpocketing tricks.

Bumping into a man, Choi Han murmurs a sly apology, thumbs quickly through the wallet and leaves it empty on the floor as he slips the coins into a pouch near his breast pocket. It takes him three tries before he gets enough cash to get a decent - reasonable - amount for a first-time casino goer, though he’ll hardly use any of it beyond ferreting information out. Straightening himself up, Choi Han arrogantly walks closer to the doors, cants one hip to his side as he waits to enter.

“Name?” The man says boredly, barely even giving him a glance over, more interested in the giggling couple behind him.

“Arsene,” he drawls, slips the new identity on like a second skin, buries himself in the personality of this dangerous, charming man with easy grace. He’s waved in, and he strangles back the desire to grin and laugh at how easily he’d been allowed to enter the casino. There’s power in anonymity, he supposes, waiting patiently in line yet again to get his chips. He can feel eyes on him, but they aren’t his precious Cale’s, so he ignores them, only occasionally glancing around to give coy smirks to those who dare to meet his eyes.

Every time, the women twitter excitedly and blush, while the men glare and huff, looking away in mortification. They’re truly too easy to tease, to play with, and he laughs when a couple ends up bickering after he’d tipped the girl a wink.

“How much are you looking to get?” The clerk asks, and he counts out a clean hundred thousand. “First time here?”

“Yes sir,” He says easily. “Heard it was a good place to strike it rich,” Choi Han drawls, gets a laugh.

“Looking for money?”

“Some fun. Money’s the benefit.” He looks at his watch, can see how the clerk zeros in on the expensive design, knows the man is looking at him with more interest. “Anywho, how long will getting the chips take? I’m waiting on a lady friend, and meeting her here? Bit of a buzzkill.”

“Ah - sorry, sorry, here you are.” He accepts his box of chips, tips the man a smile and a coin for his trouble, before wandering away.

He had no idea how often he was going to be here, and while he’d learned enough from watching his Cale play, he wasn’t willing to waste money. Blackjack it was.

He toys with his watch, keeps track of his cards with a careful, practiced eye, and isn’t too surprised to see that he wins the first few rounds.

The dealer’s eyes narrow, however, and he merely smiles guilelessly, folding gracefully out of the game and looking for something else to play.

For hours, he bounces around aimlessly, casually playing this or that game, careful to lose a few rounds before his easy wins give him away. But most importantly, he keeps an eye on the players. He needs to look like he’s interested in scoring a quick buck, so his gaze follows those who win gems with avarice in his eyes, a sly smile curling his lips as he keeps them in his sights.

Once the betting game is over, Choi Han - no, Arsene - has not won a prize, yet his pockets are full of glittering gems, little prizes, the dark-haired swordsman liberally redistributing them into the pockets of others, just for a little chaos.

Once he’s done having fun, Choi Han finds himself at the bar.

“Good evening,” He greets the bartender, only gets a distracted nod. When a waitress passes by, he quietly asks for a quick snack, finds his hands full of a rather fancy shrimp cocktail. It’s not what he’d been hoping for, but idly, he takes a shrimp and begins to munch, dipping it in the sauce as he looks around, thinking back to his Cale’s lecture.

“There isn’t a noble who doesn’t know their alcohol,” Cale had said a bit grumpily. “A bartender can give you a straight drink, but they don’t tend to like that - in the Rose Casino, they get paid by the complexity of the drinks. Stick to simple mixes, the exotic drinks are too liquor heavy for you to handle right now.”

“Heavy?”

“If you’re not a frequent drinker, the next day you will be miserable not just from the hangover, but from the difference in your body’s ability to process what you see, feel, and hear. For now, make sure you eat something first, and then ask for an Alexander, or Dark and Stormy. Sound confident, and don’t change your choice when you’ve decided - the bartender will hate you. Both of those will suit your tastes, and you’ll be able to nurse a drink like that - they’re designed to be savored, and nobody will be able to call you out on drinking slowly, since these are more dessert drinks than typical down ‘em and run.”

Once he’s done, he hands the drink off on a passing tray and flags the bartender. The description doesn’t match his target, but he refuses to be dissuaded. Cale had warned him that staking out a bar was not as simple as some might have made it seem, and he’d likely have to visit several nights in a row.

Once the man arrives, he gives him a smile and says, very bluntly, “May I have an Alexander? Just the one, for now.” The bartender gives him a curious look but obediently grabs the required materials, gets to mixing.

“You seem new,” the man notes, and Choi Han smiles.

“I am. Arsene, at your service, sir,” he says.

“Jonathan,” The bartender says amused, “at yours. Like chocolate that much?” He asks, and Choi Han merely pulls a face.

“The food sucks, so I want something sweet to get rid of the taste,” he answers, gets a laugh from the man as his drink is set before him.

“The casino isn’t really known for her food, I’ll give you that,” he agrees. “If you want some good food, you’ll want to go to Julia’s bar right across from mine,” he says with a smile. “She’s got the best bar food in the house, though that’s not saying much.” Choi Han snorts.

“No chance for a dessert?” He jokes, and Jonathan laughs again.

“I think that the dance halls are more likely to have that, if you’re willing to let a girl climb into your lap - though you don’t seem the type.”

“Desperate and thieves aren’t anyone’s type unless you’re degenerate,” he mutters over the rim of his drink, and Jonathan snorts.

“I like you kid. I’ve got another guest, but give me a holler. You seem fun.” Choi Han nods idly back, gives him a smile.

“You got it boss.” Tipping his drink, he salutes the man and sips at his drink, listening to the conversations around him.

“What do you think of the cutie in white?”

“Oooh, I’d not approach him, he seems dangerous -”

“I love this place! Drinks are always so good here, and the women are even better!”

“Sir, someone’s going to slap you sometime if you keep acting like that...”

“So, have you heard the story about the dragon’s eggs?”

… that was fast. Taking another sip, Choi Han listens steadily.

“Yeah, I have. Don’t believe it though. Dozens of people have broken into that casino over the decades, and nobody’s ever even seen something worth more than maybe a dozen coppers.”

“Yeah, but everyone’s really been moving on the whole thing with the kingdom getting attacked, you know? It wouldn’t surprise me if the Whipper Kingdom is making its move to get a piece of the kingdom while the emperor is distracted by the princes fighting for the line of succession.”

“He’s not that stupid. Besides, the current Crown Prince was here last week, he’s got an eye on any rumors with dragon eggs, I bet.”

“Ah… excuse me,” A girl says shyly, and Choi Han pulls out of his deep contemplation, turns to face the girl with a raised eyebrow. “What are you drinking?” A critical look over, and Choi Han has to admit - she’s cute. Short black hair, cute green eyes, and a decent-looking figure, he could admit that the Choi Han of old might have been interested.

“An Alexander,” he says mildly, the girl brightening at his implicit offer to accept a conversation. She takes a seat, and at Choi Han’s raised fingers, Jonathan walks over. “Get this lovely lady the same as what I’m drinking, please. On me this time, in case you don’t like it,” He offers courteously, and the girl turns a little pink, Jonathan giving him an amused look.

“O-oh, I’m sorry -”

“Don’t worry about it,” he says, guessing what she’s about to say, “Consider it a courtesy. I’d hate to recommend a drink to a pretty girl that she doesn’t like, but she’s stuck paying for.” Her face reddens at that. “Getting married tomorrow?” he guesses, and a surprised look crosses her face.

“That obvious?” She asks, looking sheepish, and he snorts.

“There’s a ring on your finger, you came with friends, and you’re looking to make conversation,” he says with a dry smile. “I don’t need to be a trained investigator to see the signs, sweetheart.” Jonathan sets the drink before her, and she accepts it with a blush.

“Heh… sorry. I’ve just been hit on so much tonight with free drinks and guys offering me money I just immediately felt like you were one of them.”

“Don’t be, sweetheart. Your husband to be must consider himself a lucky man.” She looks deeply flustered at his compliment, and he takes another sip, humming his pleasure as the chocolate and velvet feeling slides over his tongue. She sips at it, brightens at the flavor, and immediately sips away, beaming.

They chat for a while, and Choi Han learns quickly that her name was Irene, she was only just turning twenty-two, her husband was an incredible lout (worse than his and Cale’s reputation combined, which took some doing), and she couldn’t hold her liquor worth shit.

“Why are you marrying this man if you don’t love him?” He asks reasonably, after a while, the girl’s hiccups stop from sheer surprise at his question. “He has money, sure, but money won’t do much for you if he beats you to death.”

“You know,” she sniffles, accepting the handkerchief he offers, “You’re the first person who says I shouldn’t marry him.”

“I’m a hedonist,” he deadpans.  “If it’s not going to feel good, and it’s not fun, why bother? You sound smart, you look pretty as hell, and I’m sure those girlfriends of yours are just as eager to get away from here as you are.” Looking away, she quietly admits,

“I’m property to him. I’m a non-magical citizen of the Whipper Kingdom, and he has my collar key. If I escape, they can find me anywhere.” Choi Han finishes his drink, and smiles.

“And what happens if he can’t attend the wedding? Like… hmmm. He’s in jail?”

She stares at him, then at her drink, and starts to giggle.

“I think,” she hiccoughs with laughter, “that would be very hard for him to walk away from.”

Choi Han winks at her, pleased. “Leave it to me, my lady. I can’t do anything for that collar, but I can get you what you need.”

“Thank you,” she says, and he grins back at her.

“Consider this my absolute pleasure.” With a wink, he stands up and saunters away.

Time to make trouble.

 


 

Antoin is leaning against the wall, the minutes ticking to sunrise as he waits, his eyes scanning in front of him as he waits for the return of Choi Han. Honestly, from surveillance, the man was probably capable of jumping from roof to roof, but somehow, Nadine thought he’d return on the ground, rather from the rooftops.

“Good morning,” A warm voice murmurs, and he jumps, startled by the - hoo. When Nadine had said he was hard to recognize, he hadn’t realized she’d meant it so literally, the sleek figure standing in front of him with a hand on his hip, a grin on his lips.

“You’re a hard man to catch.”

“Arsene,” Choi Han says with a smile. Antoin’s brow shoots up at the name, looking curiously over his fair features.

“Arsene?” He questions, curious. Choi Han simply smirks.

“An old inside joke,” he says easily, and Antoin frowns, much too curious about the name choice.

“Right… Arsene. Might I trouble you to come inside?” He asks, and the man checks his watch. It’s a beautiful thing, glittering black and red gems and a smooth, luxurious-looking design he wished he could afford.

“What are your reasons?” He asks, and Antoin swallows. He really doesn’t want Choi Han to smash him into a wall…

“The Mistress would like to request your cooperation in removing a threat to the city.” Choi Han’s head tilts silently, looks at him with a silent regard.

“Why do you wish to speak to me so badly?” He asks, quietly forbidding. “My liege is considerably more well-versed in handling threats.”

“You can talk to your liege, but we thought you’d prefer your alternate identity to have some credence to it.” Those unsettling gray eyes watch him, before he smiles slightly, moving in. He steps back, a little startled, as Choi Han leans in, a slow smirk curling his lips up as he pins Antoin to the wall.

“Aren’t you thoughtful?” Choi Han purrs lightly, pressing him up against the wall with a saucy grin. “Should I kiss you and say thank you, my dear?” He asks, Antoin’s face turning bright red at the teasing.

“I - huh - wha?” He squeaks, and Choi Han rolls his eyes, amused.

“I’m just fucking with you,” Choi Han says dryly, looking up. “And fucking with my lover,” he says with a grin. “I’m looking forward to what he’s going to do with me tomorrow.”

“... I absolutely didn’t need to know that,” Antoin says faintly. Choi Han’s grin is absolutely filthy, and he blushes brighter.

“Well, shall we go?” Choi Han asks, steps back with an expansive stretch of his hands. “I’ll indulge you, this one time,” he says, and Antoin wonders if his face will ever go back to normal again.

“You’re a sadist,” he says distantly, and Choi Han smirks widely.

“Oh, you only just realized?” He laughs, Antoin’s face turning bright red at the teasing. “I would have thought two nights ago was more than enough proof of that.”

… Nadine owed him booze. More booze.

 


 

“You look rather dashing,” Nadine compliments, and Choi Han - ah, yes, Arsene, which was quite a lovely name, she thought - bows to her, eyes sparkling with malicious pleasure.

“I appreciate the compliment, Lady Nadine,” he says, leans against the desk she sat on with a cocky smirk. He looks good, dangerously so, and she wonders if this is actually what the boy is like, or if like before, this was an act he and his lover enjoyed putting on.

“I’m going to spare myself the trouble,” She says dryly, “Are you actually acting as yourself here, or are you still playing a role?” She asks, and he smiles serenely.

“I’m a lot of things, Lady Nadine,” Choi Han says, eyes glittering in a malicious smile. “And none of the things I’ve shown you are entirely false.” She stares at him. “I’ll grant you that I’ve never been so open, but I am - willingly and fully - my Cale’s dog, his toy, his weapon, whatever he sees fit.” A slow, almost devious smile. “I have always been that way, Lady Nadine.” A touch, and his fingers lightly tilt her head up, makes her meet his eyes with a sly smile. “Cale saved my life, gave me purpose and a home that is beyond anything you could dream of.” His smile drops.

“If this is a ploy to try and win my allegiance from the man I love, you’ll die even if we have to abandon our work. Understood?”

She swallows and nods, scraps that part of her plan immediately. She preferred not being dead very, very much. Choi Han’s smile returns, clear pleasure.

“Good.” He pushes off of the desk, lazily taking a seat, all arrogance and cool confidence. “So. What is it that you want?”

Her first thought, after the stunned disbelief, was to demand respect, to insist he give her what she was due.

Her second, is to look at him properly, to recall the careless ease he controlled his aura, the reek of despair that had filled the alleyway once he was done.

This man could slaughter us, and he’d do it with a smile.

“A dragon egg here in the Golden City is a recipe for disaster. The only thing it can learn here is corruption and malice,” she says nervously. Choi Han looks at her, smiling slyly.

“I see. You want an alliance? To win the favor of the crown prince?” Choi Han asks, and she grimaces internally. He was sharper than she’d thought.

“I want to live to see another day, and a dragon in this city is not going to let that happen.” Choi Han hums at him, looking amused, before he relaxes, laughing softly.

“Oh, you’re very clever, Lady Nadine. But I’m not a fool, and I don’t believe you’re nearly so altruistic. You wouldn’t run a casino if you were. You want something. Whether or not that’s the crown prince’s favor, the ear of Count Henituse, or money,” Choi Han says flatly. “I know this song and dance well, Lady Nadine. You don’t become the lover of a man like my liege without it. Be honest, Lady Nadine.”

She bristles a little at his clear disbelief, before growling irritably under her breath. How dare he -

“What does it take to convince you!” She bursts out angrily. “I like living! I don’t like the idea of a dragon carrying the ability to corrupt a living soul, or worse! I’ve lived my whole life here, I have people here I promised to take care of - and I don’t want that -” She falls silent at his smug look.

Oh shit. He’d caught her off guard, and like an idiot, she fell for it.

“Now you’re being honest,” He says with a satisfied smile. “You see, I don’t trust anyone who remains so composed at a threat like that - call me crude, rude, whatever you want - but I’m not going to trust someone on their word alone.” He looks her over.

“What do you want?” She asks.

Choi Han smiles. “Your full name, my lady. Let’s see what the prince says about you, hmm?”

Chapter Text

“This is torture,” Cale hisses at Choi Han, who ignores him with an innocent smile, greeting the crown prince politely as he sneaks through their window with a bow.

(Seriously, what was it with them and windows? Was it a protagonist thing?)

“I greet the shining sun of our empire, the most beloved and handsome man to grace our presence.” He greets without even a change in his expression, the blonde prince twitching at his cheerful address.

“Can you please stop doing that? It’s really creepy.”

“Thank you for the compliment,” Cale says without a second thought, making Alberu give him an aggravated look. Choi Han quietly snickers at his expression, the swordsman practically sparkling.

They’re dressed in decent clothes, Cale a little reluctantly, since he’d planned on seducing Choi Han the moment his lover came back from his mission, only to be foiled by the prince asking to come by and fill them in some more in person.

Choi Han, the bastard, had agreed chipperly, making Cale itch to punish that man, to tie him up and wrap his fingers -

With a forced smile, Cale takes a seat. “How can these humble servants aid the shining sun of our empire?” Cale asks sweetly, Alberu giving them both unimpressed looks as Choi Han preps a pot of tea.

“I’m just here to ask how the investigation was going - as well as bringing some information Choi Han asked for on a woman named Nadia Verlise, and a girl named Irene Callows.” Cale masks his surprise with the ease of long practice, looking at Choi Han with a slight frown. “While I’m here, I want to ask - why ask about a Whipper Kingdom native? Miss Irene appears to be a slave from there, so I can’t imagine how you ran into her unless you found the gladiator tournaments.”

“I met her at the bar in the Rose Casino,” Choi Han says, loosening his tie and setting his cape on the chair. “She said she was marrying Baron Pierre Ainblume, and he held her collar key.”

“Where is the man now?” Cale asks, and decides to get the annoyance over with, leaning back into his seat. Choi Han grins at that, gives a happy sigh as he sits down, takes a sip of his tea.

“He was found stealing palm-sized rubies and hiding them in his casino guest room,” Choi Han says sweetly, serene as a snowball in winter while he pulls his gloves off, sets them aside. “Very amateur of him,” Choi Han says, graceful and expression so innocent butter couldn’t even think of melting.

Cale shares a glance with Alberu and they collectively agree to ignore it, though Alberu’s lips are twitching a little violently at the corners. Cale will express his own amusement later, after he’s punished Choi Han for his insolence.

“She seems fine. Her background could make her a valuable scribe, so I’ll likely be taking her back with me, if only to see if Miss Rosalyn is willing to try and reverse engineer the slave collar. It’ll be a useful ace in the hole,” he admits. Choi Han smiles, pleased. It was a very good thing, Cale agrees, and the prince would gain a further advantage against the other princes.

“She’s a charming girl,” he agrees, and Cale resists the urge to glare at his lover for daring to look at anyone.

He had to punish Choi Han as it was for his showing early this morning, playing with a man who wasn’t him, teasing a man who wasn’t him. Bastard.

Cale was going to punish him for delaying their fun together. Creatively.

“And Nadia Verlise?”

“Mistress Nadine, of the Sunbloom Casino,” Choi Han says evenly. “She had her second in command approach me about forming an alliance to deal with the potential threat of a dragon in the city.” Alberu raises a brow, as does Cale. “Antoin was trying to convince me that she was asking for me alone for the sole purpose of an alliance, but I think she was planning on trying to recruit me away from you.” Choi Han scowls, and Cale only allows himself a little frown rather than the angry scowl that was threatening to bloom over his lips.

“I see.” Alberu murmurs, looks between them.

 


 

Alberu had a headache, just dealing with these two. It wasn’t enough that he’d had to hop over - via a teleport scroll, of all things - to do a rush job on the background checks Choi Han had requested, but now he had to deal with the complicated matters that involved these two men and the sticky tangle they’d embroiled themselves in to disguise their ‘acting’ lessons. Frankly, if they weren’t as good at procuring intel for him, he’d have long since kicked them out. But their unorthodox methods - and their even stranger relationship - had already yielded more information than he’d have ever gotten alone.

Even if they did cling to each other like he’d clung to Mr. Chew, his stuffed dragon toy as a child.

“Nadia Verlise, age thirty-six, is very distantly descended from Dark Elves - very, very distantly,” Alberu adds, when both boys look at each other in surprise. “The fact that her hair and eyes are natural and are lighter suggests that she may not even be aware of such a lineage, as is her obsession with material possessions. She’s territorial, considers the Golden City her home, and her casino and hotel especially are her domain. She was an escaped Whipper Kingdom native, and has some skill in manipulating mana, though only enough to detect magic and not much more. She’s smart - she was able to win a scholarship to the imperial academy though she had to abandon it when she was forced into the Rose Casino as a dancer. She worked odd-jobs at the casino until she turned twenty, which then she managed to win the Sunbloom Casino from the original owner via a game of cards, as well as keeping his son, Antoin Danvers as her second in command.”

Holding up a hand, Alberu adds dryly, “I looked into Antoin as well, before you two ask.” Sitting back, he sighs and continues, “Antoin Danvers, age twenty-three, was born in Roan Kingdom and groomed to inherit the Sunbloom - formerly Queen’s Dream - Casino. He actually did attend the Imperial Academy and graduated with honors. He specialized in card based magic, and he carries a deck of runes and tarots that he reads for special guests. He’s stronger than most when it comes to dispelling illusory magic, and he handles the majority of security while Nadine handles the business side of things.” A little smile, and Alberu adds, “My father tried to recruit him before, but Antoin turned him down, citing a need to return home and care for his ailing father, who was killed from a poison Nadia - Nadine - administered to him.” He gives the boys an exasperated look. “Honestly, I could swap your names out and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference,” He says dryly.

Cale gives him a sweet smile. “Well, isn’t that promising?” Cale says, eyes dancing. “Perhaps then, we can work with them, don’t you agree?” He asks, and Alberu grimaces at him for that.

“Maybe with some bribery,” He mutters.

“Or a good threat,” Cale says reasonably. “I’m fairly sure we can work an understanding out with her - Nadine isn’t stupid, and a dragon with the ability to manipulate malice and corruption is just asking for the whole city to go up in flames.”

With a sigh, Alberu concedes the point, leans back and rubs a hand over his face.

“I’ll grant you both that,” he agrees, groaning under his breath. “It’ll be a mess.”

“A glorious one,” Choi Han says easily, spreading his hands out with a little smirk. “But if this works, you’ll win an incredibly important ally. I know you have people in the Rose Casino, but the Sunbloom has a reputation like no other. It would be a boon to your reputation if you could claim the most respected Casino in the empire was your ally.” His smile is sweetly unreadable, his eyes dancing with a viciousness he wasn’t sure was real or fake.

… What in the hell was Henituse teaching this punk!?

 


 

Cale has to stifle a slight smirk at the sight of Alberu’s well-disguised frustration. The days of his Choi Han being able to be manipulated like a marionette was over - Choi Han wouldn’t accept that from anyone.

A little shiver makes him swallow when Choi Han’s eyes meet his, the dark-haired swordsman giving him a cheeky smirk.

Not even from Cale himself. It was honestly, truly breathtaking, how sharp his Choi Han had become with a little guidance. He knew so little about Choi Han before he’d entered the forest, but he could see, with great ease, what kind of person Choi Han would have been if he had stayed in Korea. Would he have been like Kim Rok Soo’s hyungs? Would he have been a strong leader? A savvy one? What power would he have had?

Cale has a distinct feeling he’ll learn about it soon, which sends a strong thrill up his spine. Perhaps that made him rather foolish, being so excited about it, but he really couldn’t help himself, having his sensual lover command himself with such grace and ease. It really, really wasn’t fair, that Choi Han had taken the little Cale had taught him to mercilessly control the scene, control the room, put Crossman in his place, and yet somehow, somehow he was still yielding control to Cale in a way that made it very clear he didn’t have to, that it was only because Choi Han was feeling generous.

It was… it was such a turn on.

He really couldn’t wait for Choi Han to be left at his mercy tonight. He had plans for what he was going to do, and some experimenting last night would really provide him with incredibly indecent fun.

“Alright,” Crossman says with a sigh, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “So you agree that she’s a viable ally?” He checks with them both, and Cale nods along with Choi Han, smiling guilelessly. “I’ll take your word for it,” He says, sighing heavily. “I’ll approach her on my own, so you two keep yourself occupied until then, yes?”

“I’m sure we can find something,” Cale says smoothly, Choi Han nodding agreement with his lover.

Honestly, Cale was going to have to remind his stubborn, beautiful, dangerous swordsman who he belonged to, who really owned who in this little game. Even though he thoroughly loved it when Choi Han rebelled, when Choi Han took charge of him, he would have to do this, if only for himself, to tease and torment his lover for the teasing and torment Choi Han had subjected him to all. Night. Long.

“Speaking of,” he adds thoughtfully, “You wouldn’t happen to have some paperwork on hand for officially nominating a knight to formal service, would you?” Cale asks. “It’s long overdue, and I’ve not had the time to start the work until now.”

Crossman gives him a curious look, before deciding to - rather visibly - not ask.

“Sure, sure. I’ve got some,” he agrees, the two sharing a pleased glance. Crossman looks between them, stares, and then decides to ignore them both.

“Both of you are fucking mad,” he mutters under his breath, before standing. “I’ll go talk to this Nadine woman, suss out her motivations for myself, and get back to you tomorrow afternoon. I’ve got enough reports about what you two have been doing to not want to witness it for myself.” Choi Han’s eyes light with wicked humor, Cale snorting at his flustered look as well.

“Aren’t you bashful,” Choi Han says dryly, eyes dancing with wicked teasing even as the prince drops the paperwork before them, hurriedly doing his best to get as far away from them as possible before they say anything further.

“Our poor prince,” Cale agrees, smile widening. “I bet he wants to -”

“Goodbye!” Alberu yelps, the door to the balcony slamming shut behind him.

Cale muffles a snicker. Once he’s sure Alberu is gone, he turns his gaze to his wickedly smiling lover, a scowl curling his lips up.

“You.” Choi Han gives a surprised yelp as he finds his hair roughly seized in a hand, the swordsman forced to his knees before Cale, the redhead glaring at him.

“Ah - Y-yes, my Cale?” He gasps, visibly surprised by his sudden roughness. Cale tightens his fist in those soft, silky strands, his expression shifting from irritation to anger. He gives a cute little yelp when Cale yanks at it, soft gray eyes tearing up a little.

“You fucking tease,” he hisses, doesn’t care how it looks, how unhinged he probably seems. “Do you have any idea what kind of torture I’ve been planning for you since you dared to use me like that?” Choi Han looks at him, cheeks flushing and a naughty grin curling his lips.

“Oh, my Cale, I simply couldn’t resist,” he purrs, rolls his hips up temptingly at Cale, leaving the redhead to growl at him irritably, fingers digging into his hair and yanking his head back, elicits a yelp from his beautiful, devastating swordsman.

“Oh, you’ll learn,” Cale says coldly, Choi Han whimpering at how Cale’s smile darkens in a subtle threat of violence.

 


 

Nadine isn’t expecting to see the Crown Prince himself, sitting in her office and happily sipping a cup of tea a nervous-looking Antoin had clearly provided for the man.

“Nadia Verlise. My men have some rather… interesting things to say about you.” He says, tone mild as butter. She swallows, anxiety clawing up her throat.

“Good things, I hope,” she says, and he smiles serenely.

“That’ll depend on this chat we’re about to have,” he says, the silver-haired woman shivering at the genial threat in his tone.

“I… of course, your highness,” she manages around the lump in her throat.

Those boys were proving their danger over and over again, it seemed. She sits down nervously, Alberu accepting the refill to his tea.

“Lady Verlise, you and I are going to have a little chat about these rumors that linger in the Golden City, and you, my dear, look to be quite promising as an ally.” She swallows nervously, fingers fiddling with the hem of her dress.

“I understand, your highness,” she says, bows her head.

She’d really gotten herself thrown in the deep end, hadn’t she?

Chapter Text

“A-ah...” Choi Han gasps lightly as the last knot is tied neatly around Choi Han’s chest, accompanying the dozens of ribbons and knots that held him firmly in place, subservient to his lover’s will.

Cale hums as he admires his work, a smile blooming over his lips at the sight of Choi Han so delectably trussed up. He’d taken his time on his puppy’s rig, had carefully designed it to systematically tighten and loosen based on how he moved, if he wriggled the wrong way or if he spread his thighs out, each action tightening or loosening segments to ease any physical pressure he might have felt, or to reduce any numbness that static, unmoving ribbons might cause.

Cale had promised to torture Choi Han, and oh. How he fully intended upon it. But torture was never fun if his puppy couldn’t feel safe, so he indulged himself, took the time to use his knowledge as Kim Rok Soo to create a perfect rig that would handle his beast. He stands up, pulls back to Choi Han’s confused whine, plucking the sheaf of papers the prince had so kindly left for him off the table and sauntering over to the desk, where he had made sure to put Choi Han in perfect view.

He looked so good like this, tied up in bright red ribbons, bare of anything but his piercings, cock bobbing with his every breath as it glistens and weeps for him, the flush of his lover’s face as realization dawns, Cale smugly taking a seat to start on the paperwork. He wasn’t much a fan of it, of working, but to use it simply to punish his puppy? Oh yes, that suited him very well.

The only sound that fills the room is the scratching of a pen, Choi Han’s soft, ragged breaths a beautiful accompaniment while Cale ignores his lover, writes away and fills all of the legalese, humming happily.

“C-Cale…” Choi Han hiccups after a few minutes, and Cale looks up. He’s pouting, tears welling up on those soft lashes and a small frown on his lips as his lower lip wobbles a little. “I’m sorry, please, please, don’t do this…” Cale stops for a moment, puts his pen down and stands up, deliberately places his hands flat on the desk to stand and saunter over to his whining puppy.

“Oh? What are you sorry for, my puppy?” He asks, runs a thumb over a spit-slick lip. Choi Han blushes bashfully, his swollen cock twitching and begging for attention he had denied it so far.

“I didn’t mean to flirt...” he whines, and Cale smiles a bit meanly.

“Oh, I’m not mad about that, puppy.” He could pretend to be, but that was not why he was mad. Reaching down, he strokes Choi Han, gets a strangled noise of pleasure at the sensation of his hand sliding up and down that beautiful piece of flesh, squeezing it in all of the right places to have Choi Han panting and begging him, sobbed whines drawing him closer and closer to his release until -

Cale stops, pulls his hand back, and Choi Han muffles his shriek of disappointment in Cale’s shoulder. He pulls back, makes Choi Han look at his precum slick fingers, and licks them, Choi Han’s head lowering and bobbing slightly as he whines, mouth open and begging for him like a dog.

His cock looks so close to release - the head has darkened significantly, prominent veins visible and easily teased by a thumbnail, and Cale wonders if Choi Han has the control to resist even a little teasing kiss to the head.

He gives Choi Han several minutes, just to be sure, his puppy wriggling in his restraints, sobbing softly.

“I ought to get you a muzzle. One of those pretty decorative ones with spikes all over, just to keep you cute and quiet,” Cale remarks, Choi Han’s teary gray eyes looking at him in silent pleading. He spreads his thighs wider, swollen cock begging for him, dripping and wanting.

“C-Cale...” he gasps breathily, begging him - begging him - to please stop teasing.

“Now be a good puppy, and think about what you’ve done wrong, mmkay?” He teases, stands up to finish his paperwork, sucking his fingers clean of any excess precum and going back to work.

Choi Han whimpers, tears dripping down his face, his perfect little attack dog helpless for anything but Cale, his immense strength no use for complex knots and tangled ribbons that can strangle him if he pulls too hard.

They both know, however, that Cale would stop if he asked. That if he truly wished for it, he only needed to say stop.

“How tall are you again, Choi Han?” He looks up, smiles, and flicks his fingers. The shield glimmers, just for a moment. “Tell me what I want and I’ll pleasure you.”

“A-ah...” Choi Han’s face is deeply flushed, the puppy’s cock twitching in interest as he wiggles a little, shamelessly displaying himself as he stares at where the shield had been.

“Puppy.” He says, and Choi Han snaps back to himself, flushing violently.

“A-A hundred eighty centimeters, m-my Cale,” he whimpers. Cale smirks.

“Convert it for me, puppy. I want feet and inches, if you want your prize.” Cale teases, Choi Han panting desperately and wiggling harder against his restraints.

“F...Five feet...” He gasps, after a long moment, “A-and… t-ten inches, my C-cale,” he moans, Cale smiling lightly.

“Such a good boy,” Cale says, and he flicks his finger out, the shield blooming into place, pressing his cock firmly into place between the cool, magicked metal, and the heat of his body. Choi Han can’t help but release a high-pitched squeak, crying out Cale’s name as he squirms, desperate to receive greater friction and sweet release.

“C-cale! I-I… oooh, that feels so good,” Choi Han moans, shameless and inescapably lewd as his cock drips clear fluid on the silver metal of the shield, Cale licking his lips at the sight. However, he’s not so unrestrained as to abandon his plan, so he returns to his task, filling out what he knows of Choi Han’s physical measurements and physical ability while his puppy ruts against the shield, the soft metal having curled the feathers around the sharp edges to allow his puppy to rut freely without pain, his sobs a sweet elixir to pass the time.

“It feels good, doesn’t it, puppy?” He asks, and Choi Han nods, tears dripping down his cheeks, hiccuped sobs and wide eyes as he grows ever closer to release -

The shield vanishes, and Choi Han gives a distressed cry as he’s denied yet again, Cale frowning over a tricky bit of the application.

“I’m sorry!” Choi Han wails in Korean, his pretty, tear-stained face all but begging to be caressed, to be slapped and his body to be scolded in the way he would best remember. “I’m sorry my Kim Rok Soo, I’m sorry, I’ll behave myself, I promise please, please please please, if I don’t cum I’m gonna die-” Cale abandons his paperwork to cup Choi Han’s face in his hands, pulls his head back at an uncomfortable angle so he has to see Cale.

“Do you know why I’m angry yet?” Cale says evenly. Tears pour down Choi Han’s face, the boy hiccuping at him, begging for release and all but wailing for Cale to please sate him, to please satisfy him. “Neither of us will get what we want until you apologize for what I’m actually angry about, puppy.” Letting go, Cale turns away, resolutely goes to his desk and goes back to work. “I’ll let the shield come out to play, but you’ll have a hard time finding release if I make it go away every time you get close. Think about it, my puppy. Do you want me to torture you so, when I could get on to the fun stuff? Or will you cry for me, beg until you think I’ll cave?” He looks at Choi Han, raises a brow. “You of all people should know best how stubborn I get.”

Choi Han shudders, whimpers weakly for him, pathetic little puppy begging for treats he hasn’t earned. The shield reappears after a few moments, his puppy returning to his pathetic rutting, whining for him, begging him for answers he won’t give, waiting for his puppy to figure it out himself.

He’s a bright little thing, his puppy, though it takes him losing the shield a third time before his puppy answers, cute little hiccups dripping from his lips.

“I’m sorry my Cale,” he manages at last, looking up at him with obvious tears. “I shouldn’t have made the decision to meet the Crown Prince without your approval first,” he sniffles, and Cale smiles fondly at his puppy, walks closer to him.

“Then you understand? Do you swear not to usurp your master?” He croons, Choi Han nodding frantically as more tears slid down his face.

“Y-yes, yes, I promise! I’m yours, your obedient puppy, your toy, I promise, I swear, I’m yours I’ll be a good puppy, I’m your dog, please, please, I don’t want to ever disobey you again! Please, please, I’m so close,” Choi Han whimpers, his beautifully flush face so perfect, so sweetly begging him for release and pleasure.

“You give me your word?” Cale says, smirking a little, and Choi Han nods, sniffling pitifully and looking so desperate for him, for his touch.

“Yes! Please, please, just let me...” He’s a mess, whimpering and whining, begging and sobbing for him.

Cale laughs, soft and gentle and teasing as he strokes his puppy’s face.

“If we ever do another, proper orgasm denial for you puppy, I’ll have to make sure you can handle it,” he teases, leans in to kiss that begging mouth, his puppy whining into the kiss, tongues tangling with one another with a soft tenderness, kissing each other while Cale caresses his sobbing puppy’s face, soothing him gently. Pulling back, Cale falls to his knees, fingers tucking a strand of hair out of the way as he takes Choi Han’s cock all in one go, swallowing around his engorged length, Choi Han giving a beautiful cry as he allows his release to overwhelm him, cum spurting down Cale’s throat as he swallows around his puppy’s hard, swollen cock. Cale takes a moment to keep that firm, twitching length in his throat before pulling back, licks his lips and looks up at him with a soft, amused look.

“I’ve barely done anything to you puppy, and you’re already so wrecked,” he chuckles, standing up. “Come. You’ve left me rather needy, and I have work to finish.” He tugs lightly at a few ribbons, and they slip free, allowing his puppy freedom to walk, the complex rigging tightening around his powerfully muscled thighs and over his chest, pinching his nipples and making him mewl, cock throbbing back to full hardness. The gemstone on his piercing glitters red in the lights of the hotel, and Cale hums fondly, thumbs the piercing to get Choi Han to moan for him again.

Cupping the firm flesh of his lover’s chest with both hands, Cale runs a thumb over one nipple and lets his finger press against it, the boy squeaking cutely for him as he slowly rubs circles, teasing the nipple until Choi Han whines desperately at him.

“Haha, sorry puppy. You know how much I adore to tease you, my Han-ah,” he murmurs, leans in to kiss, to caress, to tease his puppy until he whines pathetically against Cale’s mouth.

“My Cale...” he breathes, cheeks flushing in desperation.

“Did you think that I was going to stop teasing you?” Cale asks, smiling wide as he looks at his puppy, the ribbons wrapping around his flesh, the leashed power that answers to his will. “Come, puppy. Maybe if you behave I’ll spank you and fuck you stupid instead of torture you.”

Choi Han moans.

 


 

Choi Han can feel how delicately the ribbons press against him while his Cale arranges him, the man breathing shallowly through his nose to better smell the luxurious scent of his lover’s arousal, eyes half-closed and desperately trying his best to not lose himself again, to break in half like the desperate, absolutely mad puppy he was.

Ribbons tighten his arms behind his back, loosening the ribbons around his legs to let him sit down, like the good puppy he was, Choi Han whimpering softly.

Every time. Every goddamn time he thought perhaps he could win over his beautiful Cale, could make the man yield to him, he would pull something like this. Always, he would leave Choi Han a wriggling, slutty, helpless mess, unable to conceive of a thing where his liege did not own him in such intrinsic, almost ritualistic ways. His mouth meets the fabric that covers Cale’s clothed cock, Choi Han obediently nuzzling the hard bulge, only to be pulled back.

Cherrywood eyes are dancing with wicked delight at his desperation, and he whines, squirms against the hand tight in his hair.

“I have work to do, puppy,” He warns, and perhaps, he can be forgiven for the high-pitched squeak that leaves him, the words of his very first fantasy on the day that they’d started their journey together, that had made them what they were.

Cale looks down at him, smirking. “Can you behave for me puppy? Warm my cock and keep me satisfied until I’ve made you my knight?”

“Yes, god, please, yes, let me warm your cock I promise I’ll be a good puppy, I just want to -” his babbling is cut off by affectionate laughter, Cale undoing his slacks and unveiling his cock, all for Choi Han. Leaning in, he immediately presses a kiss to the head, welcoming it without any shame, refusing to stop until long fingers curl in his hair and pull him back, gentle chiding. He stares up, wide-eyed and sinfully, lustfully admiring his liege, cheeks pink and flush.

“As good as it is to see you petting my ego, my cute puppy, I said warm my cock, keep it satisfied, not make me cum. If you do, you’ll be going to bed high and dry,” Cale scolds, Choi Han whining at him, before obediently taking the slick cock in his mouth and burying himself to the hilt, breathing in his beloved Cale’s scent.

Amused, he realizes that he really is a dog for his liege, so helplessly in love with his liege’s scent, with the prime dick that only he was allowed to suck, all for him, just for him. Nobody else could have this, could experience this pleasure, and he hazily drifts, the scratch of a pen accompanied by his Cale’s idle musings, the scratch of sharp nails fondly patting his head, making him whine sleepily around the cock in his mouth.

A swallow, and he finds his hair lovingly stroked, playful cherrywood looking down at him every now and again before returning to work.

He’s hard as a rock, unable to move, unable to think, flying high just from this, from his Cale, from being owned and put in his place, half-dying from this pleasure, from his love and -

A little pat pat, a scratch of nails, and he looks up into amused eyes.

“Go on, puppy,” Cale says, smirking. “I know you’re hungry.” His eyes widen, swallows around the hard length in his mouth, whimpers cutely for his liege. “Make me moan, make me feel good, and perhaps, you won’t be punished any more.”

Choi Han needs no other encouragement, pulls back to lave the head of the only cock he’ll ever suck with his love, suckling and moaning and cock at attention for his lover’s touch, despite knowing he won’t get it if he doesn’t make Cale moan right now. He pays attention to the head, teases the sensitive underside, deepthroats that delightful cock. He presses open-mouthed kisses to the length, sucks hard on the tip, tries everything he can to break his master’s cool.

Before, he had his lover moaning his name, tugging at his restraints, and making him cry.

Now, Cale is smiling, serenely teasing him with soft little headpats, eyes sparkling mockery as he watches Choi Han desperately try to fulfill his lover’s pleasure. A soft laugh, and he finds himself pulled back, mouth wet, cock dripping his saliva, Choi Han too dazed to even think.

“My eager, greedy, desperate little puppy,” Cale teases, Choi Han whining up at him, desperate and unable to understand what he was doing wrong. “Don’t you understand, my lovely little puppy?” He asks, smiling. “I’m in control now,” he murmurs, Choi Han’s dazed brain finally making the connection. “See what a difference it makes? How much control changes one’s pleasure?” He says, and Choi Han nods, tears sliding down his face as he tries to take that sweet cock back in his mouth, panting desperately.

“Now, how about I teach you to suck cock the way a good boy does?” Cale teases, and he cannot fucking nod fast enough. “Good puppy,” Cale says, smiling.

 


 

Choi Han was going to make him lose his fucking mind. It had taken all of Cale’s self-control, his tightly leashed discipline, to keep a straight face, to maintain his neutral expression, to tease and play with his puppy without losing control and begging for more like a slut.

Choi Han was very, very good. He knew what Cale liked best, he was more than capable of finesse and technique and skill, even as dazed and fucked out from his punishment as he was.

It took all of Cale’s considerable skill in scamming to outwit that sweet, powerful lover he had for even that short amount of time, that puppy who sought his pleasure with unerring ability, his insistence on lavishing his love on Cale impeccable.

But Cale wanted to teach him a lesson, to make sure that such tormenting teasing like before would never happen again.

He’d nearly jumped his puppy in front of the prince, had almost lost control, and this time, he would keep it even if it meant half-strangling his beautiful monster to do it.

This time, he slowly coaxes Choi Han through the motions, teaches him how to properly give a blowjob, not that hasty, rushed - yet sinfully talented - showing that his lover had given him before.

“That’s it, my monster,” he purrs, half-groaning when Choi Han quickly figures out the rhythm of bobbing his head up and down with his swallows, when he learns how to let his tongue flutter gently on the sensitive underside of Cale’s cock, how he wraps his lips around the head and flicks his tongue over it, a butterfly’s heartbeat of speed to tease out moans and half-bitten cries, teaches his puppy how to properly take Cale apart.

The punishment had been divine, had been a masterclass in his lover’s control, and he knows - next time, his wolf will be armed with the knowledge of what exactly would destroy Cale, what would make him crumble into the mold of the wanton, desperate slut, what would peel apart every layer of his resistance and make him beg.

He looks forward to that next time. At a familiar twisting sensation, he yanks at Choi Han’s hair, his puppy pulling back at his unspoken order to let Cale’s seed splash over his face, mouth opening so he can get the most of his lover’s thick, cum in his mouth, ribbons of white perfectly draping over his face, some caught in his hair, some over his nose and cheeks.

He looks impossibly erotic. Divinely erotic, even. Cale is left panting, Choi Han’s gray eyes meeting his own as the two share a moment of dazed pleasure. After a moment, Cale pulls his puppy up to kiss him, tugging on the ribbons to allow him freer movement, Choi Han so pretty and devastating for him and him alone. His cock slides over the fabric of Cale’s slacks, impossibly hard despite the torment he’d put his sweet puppy through, and Cale kisses his puppy once more, before tilting his head to one side and taking a single, deliberate lick over his own cum.

He wrinkles his nose a little. The flavor is different - too different, really - for him to really enjoy it the way he does his Choi Han’s, the heady, musky flavor mellowed by the faint sweetness. His is nowhere near as delicious.

Even so, he uses his tongue to clean his puppy, before pulling back, eyes the blush on his puppy’s face as he smiles, pets him affectionately.

“Look at you, puppy. I wouldn’t even need to fuck you to get you to come for me. Would my words alone do it for you?” He teases, Choi Han whining desperately for him, his perfect slut, his little whore, perfect and beautiful and so, so greedy. He reaches out, digs his fingers lightly into the skin near Choi Han’s ribs, hears a choked cry as he smiles.

“Do you know what I think about, when you pull out that part of yourself you tried so hard to hide from me?” He asks conversationally, helps him up, leads him to the bed they’ve yet to make their own before shoving him on it, Choi Han falling backwards with a squeak. He’s a good puppy, obediently crawls to the middle and lies down, flat on his back.

“N-no, my Cale,” he says, and Cale smiles at that.

“Arms up, while I tell you, my desperate little lover,” he purrs, Choi Han obediently does so, Cale retying a few loose ribbons to tighten the rigging to ladder his arms together, tie them to the bedposts. He pauses at the slightly overwhelmed expression, runs the back of his hand down Choi Han’s face.

“What do you want, my puppy?” He asks, wondering if he’d pushed too far in his pursuit of his lesson. “Should I stop for you, Choi Han?” The use of his lover’s name makes him shudder, a full bodied thing, gray eyes refocusing on him, the evidence of overwhelmed tears fading quickly.

“No...” He whispers, Cale leaning in to hear him. “I want it… please, give it to me.”

“Of course, my puppy,” He says softly, kisses him slow and sweet, just this time because he’d really been such a good little puppy, had kept his monster fully tamed so Cale could have this, could train him into being a better, stronger, proper wolf. “No… puppy isn’t the right term for you anymore, is it?” He chuckles, strokes back his hair. “My beautiful wolf, my perfect monster, oh, how lovely you look, tied up but only because you want to be.”

Cale was under no illusions. Choi Han was impossibly strong, incapable of being held by something as flimsy, as delicate, as ribbon. Yes, they would make life inconvenient, yes, they would stretch until they snapped over his perfect, beautifully scarred skin.

But it was always a polite thing, concession after concession, his wolf collared and muzzled and made lame by his own volition.

“How much you give up for me,” Cale murmurs lovingly. “I’ll make it worth every second, my pretty wolf.”

Choi Han merely whines for him, soft and delicate, so very full of longing. His beautiful wolf settled, Cale fingers the ribbons around his throat, making him twitch shyly.

“My pretty wolf,” Cale sighs, sits on his thighs, watches him hopefully look down at Cale, the redhead smiling. “Do you know what I got for you?” He teases, reaches out to pull a toy into his hands, watches how his puppy fixates on it, staring helplessly and whimpering with clear want.

“Yes,” he whimpers. “Yes, please, I want it,” Choi Han squirms a little, looking at him with a dazed desire.

Cale smiles wider, twirling it with a hand.

“Such a good boy,” he croons, leans in to kiss, Choi Han whimpering at him, greedily kissing back, breathing heavy from the potential fun ahead, squirming slightly. "You've earned your reward, my darling wolf."

In Cale’s hands, made of sleek wood, is a wooden paddle.

Chapter Text

It’s beautiful, Choi Han thinks dazedly, gaze resting firmly on the sleek instrument as Cale easily climbs off of him, considers the position he’s in with a little smirk.

“You know, it’d probably be easier to spank that plump ass of yours if I had you facing down, but then I’d miss seeing your pretty face when you cry for me.” Cale leans over him, and Choi Han whines, wet and desperate, begging so much for Cale before his lover kindly leans in to kiss him. “So loud, my pretty wolf,” He teases, caressing his face with his free hand, before looking thoughtful. “Actually… that might work,” He says with a grin, after he’s finished considering. “Legs up, puppy,” he orders warmly, Choi Han lifting them with a groan at how lewd he must look, bound and trussed up, cock hard and drooling from the anticipation.

He can feel his own precum on his stomach, can feel how much there is, sliding down his sides to pool on the silky sheets. He’s a mess. An absolute mess, and he loves it.

Cold metal touches the back of his calves, and he yelps, the flutter of feathers as the shield settles bright wings around his legs, exposing his ass for his lover, who looks quite satisfied with the action.

“M-My Cale...” He whines desperately, cock twitching greedily at how lewd he must look, how utterly sinful he was, displayed like a prize whore.

“Yes, my wolf?” Cale questions fondly, stops what he’s doing to give him his full attention. He can feel the chill of the hotel room, the tingling flicker of feathers from the shield itself as it teases him under Cale’s discretion.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbles, cheeks flush. “I’m sorry I delayed this.” Cale laughs at him, leans in for another kiss and caresses him, a light grin on his face.

“Oh, it’s worked out well, my pretty wolf. After all, I’m going to give you what you’ve earned, now.” The promise makes his breath hitch, his cheeks flush, and a moan to bubble to his lips. Oh, he’s so obviously desperate. Anyone with eyes could tell how much he ached for Cale, for his hands, for the wooden paddle that had yet to strike him. The shield pushes his legs up further, wings wrapping around bound legs a little tighter to keep him still while Cale ducks back down to view him, spread so indecently. He blushes, pleased at the feeling of being on display.

He’s expecting the sting of wood, the biting feel of being spanked, and instead, he receives the light touch of a fingertip against the back of his knee, Choi Han giving a surprised moan as that light, teasing nail skims down from the back of his knee, over his thigh, curving down to rub the flesh between his cock and his twitching hole.

“I should have bought more toys to use on you,” Cale complains. “Could you imagine? If I had a good plug to put in you, to stuff you while I used this paddle to spank those lovely cheeks red?” Choi Han groans at the description, feels how Cale uses one delicate, dainty hand to cup his balls, to fondle them with teasing intent. His breath quickens at the feel of a firm touch lovingly pressing down on his balls, squeezing just enough for him to feel, but not enough to hurt, gentle encouragement that makes his already weeping cock push more fluid out, the clear liquid dripping onto his stomach.

“I’d love that,” he says dazedly, as Cale continues to explore, leisurely affection. He touches that delicate flesh again, runs his finger down to Choi Han’s well-prepared hole, two fingers slipping in without warning.

Choi Han squeaks, high-pitched surprise, as his liege forgoes politeness, buries them deep and stretches him open, hips bucking slightly as Cale torments him.

“I bet you would, naughty little wolf,” Cale laughs, pushes his fingers in as deep as they can go, stretching and scissoring them until he’s sobbing, so close to the edge that he damn near topples right off of it.

“C-Cale! Please, oooh, my Cale, you’re driving me crazy please,” he isn’t aware of when he slips back into Korean, mewling whimpers matched by a deep thrill at being able to speak his native tongue so freely with his lover.

“Do you think begging will get me to play with you sooner?” He teases, and Choi Han looks at him, teary-eyed and squirming like a slut, eyes wide and mouth half-opened to let whines pour from his lips like water.

“If I beg, will you spank me until my ass is red?” Choi Han whines, and Cale looks at him, indulgent amusement as he pulls his fingers free from Choi Han’s asshole, leaves him keening at the feeling of emptiness.

“Slutty little wolf I have,” Cale chuckles, leaning against his legs with the aid of the shield as it holds him still. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” He asks, slips back into the common tongue without a single hesitation. “I’ll give you a chance to beg, since it means so much to you, my slut.” Choi Han groans low, cock bobbing as he obediently articulates what he wants.

“P-please,” he whimpers, chest heaving up and down. “Please use the paddle on me, spank my ass and make me cry, please. Can’t you see how close I am, just from you owning me?” Choi Han gasps, Cale’s eyes obediently drifting back to his weeping cock, to how much it drips for him. “Please, please, spank me and make me cry, I want to be claimed by you so badly, please, please, please,” His rambling is stopped by a gentle finger to his lips, one he instinctively tries to take into his mouth before Cale pulls away, eyes dancing at his obedience.

“Slutty wolf,” Cale sighs, a little laugh leaving his throat. “Alright. You’ve earned your reward, begging so cutely for a spanking.” Choi Han gives an excited little squeak, Cale laughing at him for it.

“Thank you, my Cale, I can hardly wait,” he breathes, and Cale’s eyes dance mysteriously.

“Oh, in that we’re both in agreement.” Cale promises, grinning. “Now, let’s get to the fun, my wolf.”

Choi Han shivers in delight.

 


 

Cale hefts the paddle in his hand, gauging the weight while he looks his beautiful wolf over. The sight of him will never fail to send shivers up his spine, but now, what had once been fear had turned to almost unhinged lust, impossibly delighted pleasure, indecent want. Never could he have imagined being allowed to spank this beautiful man’s ass, to torment his lovely body until he cried, but he gets that now, gets to torture and pleasure his wolf in such a way as to make him cum himself utterly senseless.

Finally, he stops dallying, lifts the paddle slowly, watching how Choi Han whines, frustrated at being unable to see. He brings it down, a sharp, quick movement, only to stop, mere inches from impact. Choi Han whines loudly at him, and he grins.

“So sorry puppy,” He says, anything but. “But I realized something needed to be done,” Cale teases, puts the paddle down.

The room they’re in has two mirrors, both of which are on wheels - convenient - and quite wide, so it shouldn’t be difficult to - ah, yes. Perfect. Casually, he moves two of the mirrors to give Choi Han a much better view, his wolf’s eyes fixating on the mirror, and the nearly perfect view he has of what’s to come.

“Isn’t that better, my sweet monster?” He teases, and Choi han nods frantically, visible delight in his expression.

“Y-yes! Thank you, thank you,” he whimpers. “Thank you for thinking of your greedy monster,” He moans, and Cale laughs fondly.

“Only for you, my beautiful monster. Juuuust for you.” Picking up the paddle again, he swings it lightly, teases his puppy with several almosts, his wolf’s whining getting louder at his blatant teasing.

“C-cale, please, I’m begging you, please spank me, hit me, make it - Aah!” Choi Han’s body jumps when the paddle hits at last, a satisfying, meaty smack as it impacts his ass, gray eyes rolling up a little to the back of his head as he pants, mouth open and begging wordlessly.

“Wasn’t that worth the wait?” He teases, Choi Han gasping for air as he attempts to recover from the sudden assault on his body. Cale chuckles a little, before allowing the paddle to descend again, Choi Han’s sweet cries rippling in the air as Cale takes his time, alternating each hit, how hard he hit, and where, tormenting his beautiful wolf with steady, unrelenting affection, each movement sure and affectionate. After ten solid smacks, Cale stops, much to his puppy’s distressed confusion. He slides his hand over the reddened skin, lovingly massages the skin.

“M-my Cale?” He moans, head shifting positions to look at him directly, rather than through the mirror.

“Now now, my sweet monster,” He says, smiling. “I promised I’d take good, good care of you, and that means treating you right. What kind of master would I be if I didn’t?” the guess is yet again rewarded with Choi Han’s cock twitching in interest.

“I...” His eyes have glazed over, his wolf breathing hard as he does so, seemingly lost in his own mind. “My Cale,” He says a little weakly. “My Cale,” he groans. “God, yes, please, I’ll be yours, please,” he gasps, and Cale laughs at him fondly.

“No hesitation, hmm?” He teases. “It doesn’t matter what I do to you, you don’t listen to your body.” Choi Han gives him an incredulous look, and Cale grins a little, knows Choi Han desperately wants to call him out for that one.

“My Cale,” he says, indignant, and Cale laughs freely, leans in to kiss his beautiful wolf.

“Be good for your master,” he orders firmly, and Choi Han shudders, folds back into sweet docility at his words.

“Yes, my Cale,” He sighs, pouting. Smiling sweetly, Cale leans in to kiss his mouth, uses a hand to play with perky nipples until he whines.

“Remember, Choi Han,” He whispers lovingly. “I’ll let you punish me, if you’re good. Then you can take all that frustration out on me.”

Gray eyes light, and his wolf wiggles, delighted by the idea.

“Yes Master,” Choi Han breathes, eyes dancing. That done, Cale returns to his task, takes the paddle in hand again. Choi Han is durable, but even so, there was still a slight redness, so he moves the paddle up, playfully resting it against the flesh directly below the back of Choi Han’s knees.

“Tell me if it hurts,” he says firmly, and Cale stares at Choi Han, raises a brow when he looks a little stubborn. “I mean it, my monster. Or I’ll tie you up and leave you like that for the rest of the night.” Choi Han huffs at him, but obediently nods.

“Yes my Cale,” He says grumpily, wiggling in place. “I’ll tell you if it hurts in a way I don’t like.” Cale beams at him, leaning in close to kiss and caress once more.

“Good wolf,” he says affectionately. “Now, let’s have some fun.”

Choi Han’s breath hitches.

 


 

It feels so, soooo good, to have Cale’s loving touch accompany the smack of flesh, the sting of wood, his hands softly caressing him after each and every hit, fond concern and worry as he tends to his lover.

Cale had been the one to call himself Choi Han’s master. He loves that, loves how confident his Cale has become, no longer simply staying back, allowing the others to take his credit, his due. He regretted that he had needed to call the Prince in to do it, for his Cale to seize his power with both hands, but he loved this. He’d loved it all, being used, his lover’s willingness to deny him pleasure, the firm, beautifully shaped body of his Cale when he controlled Choi Han almost better than any sex they could have together.

He could get off to Cale controlling him alone.

Being his liege’s, warming his cock, being denied orgasm and his master, lover, his Kim Rok Soo using him to reach his own pleasure -

Oh! Oh how much Choi Han loved being owned by the man he now called his.

Another smack brings him out of his wandering thoughts, and he can’t help the low moan that tears free, squirming desperately in his restraints as his lover uses him, turns him into a personal whipping boy, the hits coming faster, his cock spurting out precum with every hit, the pleasure mingling with pain further and further until - 

Nothing. Choi Han gives a stifled cry, back arching, body squirming, but his restraints don’t let him, the ribbons holding him fast and the winged shield pinning him securely. He slumps, the whole back of his legs stinging beautifully, his lover’s hand gentle running over the abused flesh as he struggles for air, to beg for more that Cale will clearly not give him.

“Let me go get the lotion,” Cale says gently, moves over to kiss his mouth. Choi Han whines at him, whimpers and mewls, trying to move, to finally, finally cum, and Cale notices with a little smirk on his lips as he watches. “Oh. I didn’t intend to deny you this time,” Cale says, amused. Lovingly, Cale bends down, tongue sliding over the head and tasting him. The silky, plush heat of his Cale’s mouth, contrasted with the suddenly cold room was simply too much.

Choi Han comes with a shout, hips jerking a little to push himself further into that warmth, Cale riding out the motion with fluid ease, swallowing around his orgasm without a single care for how Choi Han whined, tears sliding down his cheeks. He looks at Cale, watches him suck on his cum, tongue lapping at the tip still in his mouth, the bob of his Adam’s apple as he swallows, the way his eyes close in pure bliss, a low, pleased hum escaping his throat.

“Mmm. Tasting good, as always,” Cale says with a soft sigh. “Good little monster, aren’t you?” He asks, and Choi Han whines for him, trembles as he comes down from his high, the delayed pain finally hitting him as the adrenaline fades out. His arms are starting to hurt in a way he really doesn’t like, the position of his legs burning from the stretch, and he gives a low noise. Cale looks at him understandingly. “Well, my monster?”

“I hurt… all over,” he mumbles, admits that his lover was right after all, his body trembling. Smiling, Cale presses a little kiss to a fever-hot thigh, his lips cool against the intense heat he feels radiating off of himself.

“See, my wolf? I knew you would feel it. We’ve done some rather extreme things, but this really was our first experience together,” He says, fond chastisement. The shield falls apart, dissolving into light and letting his legs hit the silky sheets. Cale then gently moves him, undoes the ribbons tying him to the bed, and then.

Cale begins to take the ribbons off. There are thin red welts all over, dark red lines that Cale tuts at, presses little kisses to, rubs lotion against. They sting wonderfully when Cale’s hands pass over them, a wonderful little bite of pain quickly soothed by Cale’s clever hands. Once all of the ribbons are off, Cale looks him over, sighs softly.

“Master?” He says, drowsily looking up at Cale’s face. There’s a bit of obvious pleasure on Cale’s face, but most of it is consumed with worry for him.

“You’re much too dazed for a bath, puppy,” he says, patting the top of Choi Han’s head, leaving him a bit disappointed. “Don’t worry. Just stay here. Your master will take good care of you,” he promises, leans in to kiss him, Choi Han dazedly responding as he’s firmly kissed and caressed, those perfect fingers tending to him with gentle affection. Cale disappears from his sight, before returning with a large pile of towels. “Lift up your legs, just a little bit,” Cale murmurs, Choi Han’s body resisting even that simple movement, though he can hear his Cale’s soft, exasperated amusement in his words

“Oh, you really are extra fucked out if you’re making me do work, my wolf,” he says with a laugh, and Choi Han whines an apology that Cale ignores, the man settling the towels beneath his body. He doesn’t notice it until it’s nearly too late, twitching in realization as the damp sponge touches his skin. The water is nice and warm, makes him moan softly in pleasure as Cale gently wipes him clean of his own sweat, tends to him with fondness.

“Roll over,” Cale orders, and he does, weakly moving over on the towels. The stinging has moved on to a very strong burning sensation, and the water cools it down, before Cale rubs in some lotion, the burn dulling to a faint ache under the skilled hands of his Cale. “Such a good wolf,” he murmurs, kissing his way down Choi Han’s spine, light, fleeting things that remind him that he hasn’t serviced his lover more than once, can still see the tightness of Cale’s slacks.

He manages a little whine, and Cale, glancing at him, smiles and shakes his head.

“Not tonight, my wolf. You’ve done enough.” Cale tells him, and Choi Han whines, despondent that he can’t provide for his lover, who chuckles fondly. “Now now, don’t you dare. You can barely move, can’t you?” He says with a smile.

“But… I want to see you feel good,” he slurs, pushes up a little before Cale’s long, lean fingers push him back down, hand cradling his head as he does so.

“Behave, puppy, and I’ll give you another reward,” he promises, Choi Han’s eyes drifting closed at the touch.

“Mmkay,” he mumbles happily, Cale laughing softly at his pleased tone. The damp cloth comes back, and when Cale is done, he’s off in that same floaty pleasure in his brain from before, eyes closed and mind drifting on a cloud of hazy feathers and Cale’s scent. It feels like mere seconds after he’s closed his eyes that he has to wake up again, Cale smiling down at him. The towels are gone, and so are the first few layers of bedsheets.

“Ready for your reward?” He asks, and Choi Han gives him a sleepy little nod. “Good boy,” Cale praises him, taking a seat. When Cale moves him, he notices dazedly that there’s a tiny stack of books on the bedside table.

That’s when he notices - Cale’s not dressed. And his cock has softened, likely because he’d masturbated without Choi Han to watch. He pouts a little, and Cale laughs at him.

“Don’t be so distressed my little wolf,” Cale says, taking a seat on the bed. “Can you move?” He asks, and whining, he does so, crawls until his head is on Cale’s thigh. “See? You’re such a good boy,” Cale praises him, makes Choi Han’s smile reappear, sleepy and dazed. “Since you did so well, I have a fun little reward for you.” He looks at Cale, slow realization settling as he looks at the soft cock, a small whine leaving him as he happily opens his mouth, allows Cale to move him into taking his lover’s dick into his mouth, lips closing around the hot, gently pulsing warmth. He can feel Cale’s heartbeat on his tongue, and he gives a sleepy moan at the sensation, eyes closing again as he swallows.

A soft little pat of fingers on his head, and Cale chuckles lightly at him.

“I’m going to read for a little bit, okay my wolf? I’ll pull out after an hour or so, that way we can go to bed.” Choi Han whines an acknowledgment, sinks deeper into the warm, floaty feeling his Cale had given him, and that’s the last thing he remembers.

 


 

Cale glances down at his wolf, watches his dangerously content little wolf as he drifts off in his little world of euphoria, softly content and so, so happy as he relaxes, the last of the intense evening melting into hazy pleasure and sweet dreams.

Opening his book, Cale begins to read, keeps a firm hand on Choi Han’s head, long fingers stroking the dark hair as he does so, enjoying the quiet end of the evening with his sweet, docile wolf.

Chapter Text

Choi Han is feeling positively mellow the next morning, waking to the sight of his Cale, a book on magic runes dangling from his fingers, hair flowing from the pillow in rivers of red. A little smile, and Choi Han pushes up to kiss his Cale, lifting himself from his lover’s stomach to kiss him lightly.

“Mmmh...” Cale’s nose wrinkles cutely, and Choi Han smiles at the sight. He fetches the book before it can fall, and slips out of bed, settling the sheets around his sleeping lover. “Choi Han... don’t let Raon try the kimchi...”

Choi Han bites back a little laugh. His lover was dreaming about them in Korea? Or had Cale decided to cook in this dream?

Softly, he says back, “I’d hate to introduce him to tteokbokki. He might cry.”

Cale whines a little at that, head rolling to one side. “Mmmh, no, definitely not. We don’t have yogurt and honey on hand either,” He grumbles, Choi Han’s smile widening as he kneels by Cale’s bedside, all thoughts of freshening up disappearing. He wants to enjoy this.

“Maah, Rok Soo,” Choi Han teases, “Maybe we should cook something milder for their first time. Bulgogi, perhaps? I bet Hong and On would like that.”

“Of course they would… it’s meat,” his Cale grumbles, though it’s soft from fondness. “Do you want something, Han-ah?” He questions, and Choi Han’s heart skips a beat. Even if it was a dream - Cale was most definitely calling him Han-ah in a more public space, with the children.

“I love anything you make, Rok Soo,” He says softly, leans in to kiss his nose. Cale gives a happy, sleepy moan.

“Mmh. Okay, okay. Tell me what you want - aside from me, Han-ah,” Cale says, already amused and knowing him so well, even in that pretty dream.

He wishes he was in it too. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had bibimbap,” Choi Han says, struck by a sudden ache and desire to simply… simply be.

It’s been a long time since he was allowed to be Choi Han the boy, not Choi Han the weapon, or the monster. Does Cale dream of them being together? Does Cale dream of them living softer days? Sweeter dreams? Does Cale wish for a more domestic life to combine with their hedonistic lifestyle? Choi Han hopes, so, so desperately, that he does.

“Mmh… Choi Han?” He blinks at the sight of sleepy cherrywood eyes looking at him in fond amusement.

“Good morning, my Cale.” He gives his lover a shy smile, leans in to kiss him. Cale accepts with a tired hum, kissing him deeply until he’s breathless, almost gasping for air.

“How do you feel, my Han-ah?” Cale asks him, and he smiles warmly, pleased at the quiet consideration.

“I feel… I feel great. Less stressed, definitely.” Choi Han admits, smiling at his lover. Cale gives him a pleased little smile.

“Good. I’m glad that you’re feeling better.” Sitting up, Cale bends down to kiss him again, before stretching himself out.

“I was going to take a bath, but I wanted you to join me,” he says a little bashfully. Cale looks at him in amusement, pulls him in so he’s resting between Cale’s legs, mouth pressing against Cale’s stomach.

“Is that so, my Han-ah?” He chuckles. “Alright then, pushy little wolf. Let’s go take a bath.”

 


 

He’s surprisingly clingy today, Cale thinks, watches Choi Han as his lover blows bubbles in the bath again, a reminder of their first shared bath together, his overwhelming joy.

“Choi Han,” Cale says, waits until those gray eyes settle on him. “Come.” Choi Han does without complaint, wraps his arms around Cale’s shoulders, pulls him so he sits on his wolf’s lap. “Tell me, did you have a good dream?” Cale asks him.

“No dreams,” Choi Han confesses quietly. “But I slept very well and very deeply, my Rok Soo.” Cale smiles at him.

“Would you like to hear my dream, then, my wolf?” He asks, and Choi Han immediately perks up, just as he thought his lover would.

“Can I?” He says, imaginary tail wagging and ears at attention. Cale laughs, runs his fingers through damp hair.

“Sure, my Han-ah, I’ll tell you.”

 


 

It’s early summer, the three children taking advantage of the heat to splash in a lake that Cale had so kindly spent the time to look for. It’s just them, Cale having taken the chance to seize a day alone to relax, play a little with the children, and kiss his Choi Han.

“Cale, Cale, look!” Hong says eagerly, holds up his hands to display the flower. It’s a pretty thing, one of many lake flowers that line the lake’s edge. “I want to put it in your hair, can I?” He asks eagerly, and Cale chuckles.

“Sure, sure,” he says, kneels down so the little boy can do exactly that.

“Stupid Hong,” Raon complains, swoops in. “If you put the flower like that, it’s going to fall out!” He complains. “Strong Choi Han! Come help!”

A deep laugh cuts off Hong’s protest, Choi Han striding closer to see the flower. Peering at it, the swordsman smiles.

“It’s a beautiful flower, Hong,” he compliments the boy, who preens. “And Raon,” he says, gentle but stern. “Don’t be so mean. We know you mean well, but Hong was doing his best.”

Raon shuffles a little guiltily.

“Sorry Hong,” he mumbles, and Hong’s pout vanishes.

“It’s okay! Just don’t be so mean next time!” He says cheerfully. “Can you help, Choi Han?” The boy asks hopefully, and with a smile, Choi Han takes the white flower from the boy’s hands, presses a little kiss to his forehead.

“Of course, Hong,” He says fondly, before tilting his head to one side. “Raon, why don’t you go get me a ribbon?” He asks, and the dragon immediately bobs up and down.

“Okay Strong Choi Han!” He says, flying off to do exactly that, before returning with a bright green ribbon. “On says we can use this one, but she wants to see,” Raon reported grumpily, makes Choi Han laugh.

“That’s fine. We can show her when we go to make lunch.”

“You’re not cooking, are you Choi Han?” Hong says nervously. Choi Han gives a mock scowl.

“No respect these days,” Choi Han says dryly, making Cale laugh sweetly at the byplay.

“I wonder who they learned it from,” Cale says dryly, and Choi Han raises a brow at him.

“Oh, I wonder,” he says back, just as dry. “C’mon, head up so I can get this in.” Obediently, Cale tilts his head up, shivers at the feel of Choi Han’s fingers as they lovingly run through his hair, the ribbon braided in behind his left ear.

He’d grown his hair out, the silky strands reaching down to the middle of his back now, and Choi Han takes care to tuck the flower in between the dip, snugly tightening the fabric and hair until the flower is nice and snug, less likely to fall out to any movement.

“There,” He says, looks satisfied. Cale touches his fingers to the flower, smiles up at him.

“Thank you, Han-ah,” He says fondly, and both of the boys immediately look away when Choi Han moves in for a kiss.

“Ugh! Grown ups kissing is still so gross,” Hong complains. Choi Han rolls his eyes, and in conspiratorial Korean, he says,

“Should we feed them some kimchi?” He says, grinning. Cale swats his arm for that, scowling fondly.

“Choi Han... don’t let Raon try the kimchi...” He warns. His lover grins wide, looks boyishly mischievous.

“I’d hate to introduce him to tteokbokki. He might cry,” Choi Han says teasingly, the two’s heads bouncing back and forth.

Cale smacks his arm for that, mock-scowling. “Mmmh, no, definitely not. We don’t have yogurt and honey on hand either,” he complains.

 


 

Cale is pulled out of the recollection by a bashful little grin, his wolf looking at him with a sly little grin.

“Actually… jagiya -” Before Choi Han can speak another word, Cale’s hand is over his mouth, staring.

“What did you just call me?” Cale asks, and Choi Han looks at him, a little blush working over the tips of his ears, sliding down to scorch his cheeks and crawl down his neck. Choi Han had definitely not intended to say those words aloud.

“I… I called you my jagiya,” He mumbles, cheeks aflame as he looks away, only looking back when Cale pulls his face back, makes him look squarely in Cale’s eyes.

“Choi Han.” He says firmly. Choi Han gulps a little, nervous. “Call me that again.”

“My jagiya,” He whispers.

“Again.”

“My jagiya,” Choi Han says, a little more confidently, a little more happily.

“Again, Han-ah,” Cale says, slightly overwhelmed with the clear love and care Choi Han took with the words, rolling it around on his tongue.

“I love you, my Kim Rok Soo. My jagiya,” Choi Han says, proving he was a horrible, no good, wicked lover, and at the same time, he was the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful man he’d ever have the grace to fall in love with.

Cale whimpers.

“I love you,” Cale says, torn between pleasure and embarrassment. “I really, really love you.”

Choi Han’s face erupts into an even hotter blush at that.

“And then you have the nerve to call me bold,” Choi Han mumbles, looking happy and embarrassed.

“Should I not?” Cale says with a softer, fonder smile. “You’re the one who called me jagiya first,” he says, a little smile on his lips as he leans in to kiss his lover.

“If I’d known you’d react so strongly to it,” Choi Han admits meekly, “I’d have probably said something sooner.” Cale laughs at him, pulls him in for a hug that his wolf reciprocates.

“Let’s get out of the bath. Fuck everything else. Alberu’s not coming by for hours, and I want to do something we haven’t tried yet.”

“What’s that?” Choi Han asks, looks eager.

“Nothing sexy, if that’s what you’re wondering,” Cale says with an amused grin. “We don’t get to do domestic shit often, and I want to change that. If you’re going to insist on calling me your jagiya, then we better live up to that.”

A warmer smile.

“I’m going to make you tteokbokki.”

 


 

Choi Han bites his lip, watches his love quietly cook, humming away as he simmers the food in the sauce, looking so beautiful, so disheveled.

Cale had stolen his dress shirt, the material too large and slipping off his slim frame, legs bare and fully available for viewing - a fact Choi Han was taking shameless advantage of. They had a small kitchen in their suite (an upgrade from the one in the Rose Hotel) and it was stocked with all manner of ingredients.

Including just enough spices for tteokbokki.

Cale had admitted that the recipe was his own personal modification to the traditional recipe, spicier than what most people would enjoy, but Choi Han didn’t care. He loved spicy foods, missed them so fiercely, that he honestly would eat a whole Carolina Reaper pepper whole.

The look of faint horror he got from his beautiful Rok Soo for the admission was a little laugh-worthy, he would admit later, unable to stop from laughing himself silly when he saw that expression.

“Can you actually eat one of those?” Cale asks him later, stirring the rice cakes so they don’t stick. He’s serving up a good plateful, and Choi Han shrugs.

“Probably. It takes a lot of heat for me to notice it,” he admits meekly, and Cale gives an understanding hum.

“I understand, my wolf,” he says. “Though for my peace of mind, let’s uh… not test that, okay? I don’t want to kiss you if you eat something that hot.”

Choi Han grins, pretends innocence. “Would I do that to you?” He asks, and Cale glares at him.

“Yes.”

… His lover knew him well.

Chapter Text

“... What is that?” Alberu asks the moment he comes in, eyeing the tteokbokki with curiosity.

“Not for you,” Cale says firmly, and Choi Han feels a pleased flicker of joy at how quickly his lover denied him the chance to take a bite. “I mean, unless you like things so spicy you’ll cry with every bite.”

“... I’ll pass this time,” the prince says hastily, and Choi Han preens a little, smirks at him over his tteokbokki before taking a smug bite. The heat sears down his throat and he gives a little sigh. “I’ve finished speaking with the Mistress of Sunbloom. She’s a valuable ally - you two were wise to go here first. She’s very quick on the uptake, and had several valuable experiences that she was able to provide in regards to this location.”

“That’s good,” Cale says easily, sets a plate of beef and rice before the prince. “Nothing spicy,” he promises, when the prince eyes it dubiously. “This was simply something for you to eat so you don’t feel left out,” he says, smiling sympathetically. Alberu pulls a face at him, before turning to Choi Han.

“How willing are you to continue going to the Rose Casino?”

Choi Han wrinkles his nose. “I’d not be thrilled by it,” he admits openly. “But I’ve already started this, and unless you have some ability to look like the persona I’ve created, it’s likely for the best I keep doing this, at least for now.” Another bite, and he adds, “Unless, of course, we can come up with a good reason for me not to.”

“I will need an entry to the Rose Casino. It’s non-negotiable at this point,” Alberu confesses, the prince taking his first bite of beef and giving a delighted noise. “My goodness,” he mumbles. “Tell me you have a recipe,” he says, looking pleadingly at them. Cale snorts.

“I’ll write one for you, prince,” Cale says, takes his own bite of teokbokki. He’s frailer than either man, so his skin flushes immediately, a soft bloom of color, but he seems perfectly pleased by the dish.

“Thank you,” he says, and he even sounds like he means it. “I do have some ability for disguise, but unlike your physical ability to be a chameleon, mine is magical in nature, and can be noticed if I use it for too long.” Choi Han smirks at his slightly embarrassed expression, and Cale grins at him from across the food.

“Right, right. Magic isn’t good enough for this,” he agrees with a smirk, and the prince bristles, before grouchily looking away.

“Unfortunately...” He sighs, rubs a hand to his face. “I don’t know how that will affect your overall plans, though, and I will have to take a more active role in the investigation, if I want it to go anywhere. You’ve done what you can, but that doesn’t mean that you know what exactly to look for,” he points out.

“He’s not wrong,” Cale says, when Choi Han raises a brow. “We’ve been working off of relays and dead drops for the last few days. We may have witnessed more than we realize and missed a clue.”

“I get it,” Choi Han says with a sigh, rubs a hand through his hair. “I’ll work on the Rose Casino.”

“If Nadine is in on this, we can probably get access to fully private VIP rooms. A few days of ‘breaking’ the rooms in, and you can use it as an exit point as Arsene without anyone being the wiser. You won’t be able to do much work - an hour, maybe two, but that’s enough to meet a few faces, get some intel collected, and get back.”

“I’ll be taking a room here as well,” Alberu says. “Nothing so luxurious or lavish as this, but fitting for my status all the same.” He eyes them both. “And as much as I hate to say this, you two won’t be able to tone yourselves down around me.”

“Hate to say it?” Choi Han interjects, amused. “You should be grateful we show so much of our bodies to you.” Alberu chokes on a piece of beef for that one, and Cale sighs, leans over to gently thump him on the back to help him dislodge the meat.

“Don’t kill Crossman,” Cale says sternly. “The work isn’t worth it.”

“Wh- huh?” He says, thoroughly bemused. Cale continues as though he hadn’t spoken.

“But we can do that. If anything, we might have you stay with us a few nights, as a… hmm. I guess we could call you a voyeur, hmm?” Cale says, smirking while the prince chokes on air this time, face reddening for him.

“I - what - no - I definitely -”

Choi Han sits back and grins, more than happy to allow his lover to be the one to throw the prince off guard.

 


 

“Back again?” Jonathan asks him, and Choi Han gives him a smile.

“Mmhm. Dark and Stormy, this time, if you’d please,” he says, and the bartender nods.

“You got it,” he says agreeably, Choi Han leaning against the counter. “How are you liking the casino, Sir Arsene?”

“It’s just Arsene, Jonathan. Sir makes me sound respectable,” he says with a grin, takes a seat. As he sits, he takes care to shrug the mask of Arsene on more firmly, settles the name around his own with ease. He was Arsene, not Choi Han, in this establishment, and he was a thief.

As such, he was anything but respectable, given he’d fucked with a lot of shit and rigged a half-dozen slot machines on the prince’s orders. Jonathan takes one look at his smirk and snorts, hands him his drink.

“You look like a man up to no good.”

“Isn’t that every man at a casino?” Arsene says, smirking, and Jonathan laughs at him, amused.

“You’re funny,” he says, and Arsene shrugs, spreads his hands wide.

“Most people say I’m an asshole,” he says, tone dry as dust.

“Oh, that’s a given,” Jonathan agrees, amused. “So, I heard that nice girl you helped out got snatched up by the prince. That your plan all along?”

“Did she? She certainly was quick to move on,” Arsene says, allows himself to sound pleased. “She was a charming girl, very clever.”

“Seems the prince really does take all types,” Jonathan says, and Arsene looks at the drink, takes a moment to swirl it and sniff at the aroma. It’s slightly bitter, compared to the mix Choi Han had drunk with Cale earlier that day. Drugged? Most likely.

Shame he was immune. A sip, and he watches Jonathan relax.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he says mildly, a little amused.

“Aren’t you one of the prince’s men? Like those two that were here?”

“Two… I only arrived a few days ago, so you’re going to have to be more specific about who you’re talking about.”

“The redhead and his lover - you know, the ones that fucked on the balcony to Sunbloom? Those two are shameless,” and off Jonathan goes, telling Arsene allll about Choi Han (that fucking toy) and Cale (the trash master of Henituse.)

Funny though - Choi Han couldn’t sense malice, as though he was simply performing a role, not actually speaking his mind about them.

“You don’t sound convinced,” he says, curiously. Jonathan looks at him oddly for that. “Yeah yeah, I heard you, the toy and his trashy master are the worst. But you sound like a recording when you say it, not a person.” A little shrug. “Just saying.”

Jonathan looks at him, before looking at the drink he held in his hands, and then back again.

“You’re dangerous,” he says, and Arsene takes a smug sip.

“Everyone’s dangerous.” He puts his glass on the table, tips the bartender with a single gold coin. “And if you’re going to drug me, try something a little harder, Jonathan. I think I’ll pick a different bar next time. No offense meant.” Jonathan stares at the coin, and doesn’t move until Arsene is out of his direct view, the man taking the coin with a baffled expression.

If the Rose Casino knows what you did two nights ago, chances are high they’ll want to interrogate you. Expect them to drug you, and order a Dark and Stormy. The majority of the drugs that they’ll use will interact with the Dark and Stormy, and the drink will smell bitter. It’ll taste the same, but the smell will change.

The prince’s advice was sound, it seems, and he takes care to amble aimlessly through the crowd, keeping an eye - and ear - out for tails. The drug isn’t working the way they want, but it’s working on him, making him feel a little hot under the collar.

Maybe Cale would consent to suck me off tonight, even if we don’t do anything else, Choi Han thinks, tugs a little at his cravat to loosen it, gives a little sigh.

He blends in fairly well here, though he lacks the garish, peacock-like coloring of the majority of clientele. A quick dip of his fingers into a pocket, a slight elbow to someone’s side, and the hook of his foot around an ankle allows him to steal a mask like what the rest are wearing. However, before he can put it on, he can smell a faint, overly sweet scent.

Damn. There went that option of disguise. Speed and stealth it was, then. A quick movement, and Choi Han disappears into the crowd, his disappearance eliciting shouts from those who had chosen to follow him.

But monsters were harder to escape, so a mere handful of humans was nothing to him, the swordsman disappearing from the floor of the casino entirely.

 


 

“You say you got this off of one of the casino patrons?” Cale says, carefully watching as the prince pried it apart, exposing a thin, hollow needle attached to some kind of depository.

“Several people had similar masks,” his lover confirms, Choi Han watching with every evidence of fascination. “I made sure to use my Aura to break any magical protections, but I’m still quite concerned as to what it is.”

“If you two will be quiet for a moment, I can figure it out. The tweezers, please.” Crossman’s voice is distant, so Cale gives him the tweezers, and the two remain silent as he cautiously pries the needle free, drops it in a small vial. They both keep quiet as the prince continues to work, cautious actions slowly unearthing the bright pink sac from the back of the mask face.

That too, is dropped in a vial.

“Sorry about that,” he says, heaving a sigh. “I didn’t want to break anything.”

“Understandably,” Choi Han says, Cale echoing him easily as he leans against the table, eyes it with healthy curiosity. While he personally would rather not get involved, they’d gone too far for Cale to back out, fallen too deep.

To think he’d tried to avoid this troublesome fate. Figures.

With a sigh, Cale tunes back in, watching the prince as he grabs a box, lifting it up onto the table. “You carry an alchemist’s distillery on you at all times?” He asks, amused.

“It comes in handy,” the prince defends. “I’ve been poisoned very often in my life, and I have no intentions on letting it happen to myself again,” he complains, both of them looking at each other warily.

“I have never felt more glad that my father never was one to make me compete with my brother,” Cale says, incredulous.

“You would have likely won anyways Cale-nim,” Choi Han says easily, his ever loyal wolf. Cale gives him an affectionate look, wishes he could kiss his loyal wolf for his stalwart affection.

“If I wanted, I suppose. Never really the point.”

He’d seen a notebook filled with the previous Cale’s scribbles, and while he’d not read it then, he regretted not reading it now. Perhaps, if he had, he’d have a greater understanding of the body he’d occupied, of the strange boy who even now, he wore over the spirit of Kim Rok Soo.

“Alright you two. Brace yourselves. This is going to be nasty.”

Both of them share a glance, before grimacing.

“Oh, this is going to be fun,” Cale says, wincing. “Alright, lay it on us.”

Chapter Text

The prince grimaces, before rubbing the bridge of his nose. “This is an inhibition remover. On it’s own, that wouldn’t be particularly dangerous, if obviously not recommended for such a locale, but the second one that’s mixed with it...” A frown. “I can only describe it as a loyalty elixir. It makes patrons associate strongly with a location, and the more positive their experiences, the more loyal they become.”

“If someone was under the influence of that drug,” His Cale says warily, “and won a jackpot, would that count?”

“It would. The rush of winning, the joy of it, that  would be a strong enough hook to keep a customer loyal, I believe,” Alberu says with a frown. “Combined, however, these two make for a very dangerous street drug - an illegal one, in fact.”

Choi Han can see how his lover frowns, worry over his beautiful face as he looks at the vial. He inches out a little, closer to his Cale, who rests a hand on his thigh, silent reassurance.

“Can it be ingested?”

“Frequently,” The prince agrees. “It’s not fatal, so in theory, every drink could be doused with it. It has no effectiveness in food, thankfully, but drinks remain suspect.” Cale grimaces, and Choi Han looks at his liege, a little frown of worry on his own face as he looks at the vial.

He’d drunk that. Was that what had made him feel so very aroused? Is this why he couldn’t take his eyes off of his lover?

“It’s addictive, isn’t it. Enough so that going to another casino, even for a few days, is unbearable. Given the behavior of the people around us, it’s not just like he’s dosing people lightly. The mask had a decent supply, enough to be dangerous to people around them.”

“Y-yes, you’re right,” he says, surprised, and Choi Han scowls. How dare he doubt his beautiful liege? Cale gently touches his shoulder, the contact making him shiver weakly, and he unhappily subsides. “I’m sorry - few nobles ever have such a deep, intimate understanding of drugs without using them.”

“I hate thugs,” Cale says simply, plump pink lips curling into a smirk. “And other trash. I took some time to understand how they worked, so I could disrupt their workings in my territory.”

“Diligent of you,” Alberu compliments, and Cale rolls his eyes. “But yes… they are all strongly addicted, and dismantling this ring will not be easy.”

“People get violent when they think they’ll lose everything they love,” Cale murmurs, and Choi Han looks at his lover worriedly. “The city could go up in flames if the casino is dismantled, and the drug removed.”

“Does that mean we’ll have to find a cure first? Surely there’s a way to slowly purge it, even if we hijack the supply and exchange it out.” The prince eyes him, then Cale, before looking amused.

“Just sit back and watch you two reach conclusions that take me hours,” he says with a sigh, shakes his head.

“Having another person to bounce ideas off of is in general quite helpful,” Cale says, amused. “We’ll need some time to figure out where the supply is coming from, and what, exactly, we should aim for. We don’t want anyone getting too close to us, and it’ll take some careful maneuvering. Choi Han will have to be the one to do the final infiltration, but we don’t have any good stealth abilities for a deeper infiltration.”

The prince looks between them, before nodding.

“I’ll take a look,” He says firmly. “And we can start tomorrow on working out what’s going on with the abandoned casino.” Standing, the prince gathers everything and bades them farewell.

Thank god. Choi Han was going to burst if he was forced to spend any more time with that man with the heat running in his veins.

 


 

“Well, now that the prince is gone...” Choi Han muses, “Might I ask you for something, master?” He says, a soft flicker of want in his gaze. Cale looks at Choi Han, raises a brow.

“Hmm… ” He says, before giving Choi Han an amused look. “I suppose, my Han-ah, that I can indulge you,” he says, and Choi Han blushes a little, tugs at his clothing and gives him a cutely pleading look.

“I want you to suck me off,” he says, and Cale gives a startled little laugh.

“Oh, is that all, my wolf?” He asks, pulls him closer to caress him, to kiss him. Choi Han goes very willingly, whimpering at his touch. “The drug is affecting you, isn’t it, my darling wolf?”

“Y-yes, my Cale,” he groans. “All I can think about is you, Cale.” Cale laughs softly, pulls him up to kiss him, hand sneaking down to cup the hard bulge in his palm, relishing in the way he mewls into Cale’s mouth, a needy, greedy little slut.

“Silly little wolf,” Cale murmurs. “Of course I’ll suck you off. You’ve been such a good wolf for me, my lover.” Choi Han shivers at his words, and he obediently strips down, his body quivering in eager expectation, cock springing up from the confines of his slacks to slap against his stomach. Cale laughs at him, at his eagerness, and he leans in to kiss right under that sensitive cockhead, Choi Han giving a shameless noise of pleasure. “Go get washed up, my greedy wolf,” Cale orders, and Choi Han happily goes off to obey his whims, Cale watching indulgently as he does so. Leisurely, Cale strips down, stretches out now that he’s fully bare, lazily wandering past the desk and looking around himself to see what would be best to spice up their evening.

His eyes land on the mirror, and with a grin, he drags it over to behind his desk, angles it just so while he waits for his lover to return. Bending over the desk, Cale gives a little yelp of surprise when warm arms wrap around his waist, a hot, thick cock rubbing between his thighs slyly, leaking clear fluid all over. He hadn't even noticed when his wolf had arrived, despite facing the mirror.

If he'd been anyone else, Cale would have been embarrassed.

“Oh my, Choi Han,” He groans, allowing his wolf to nip and bite and lick at his throat. “You’re certainly eager, aren’t you?” Cale gasps, his wolf nuzzling him, cock oozing more between his thighs, makes them slick.

And isn’t that an idea? He kisses his wolf, who happily kisses him back, talented tongue licking into every inch greedily.

“Choi Han,” He says, his lover looking down obediently at his hungry words. “Why don’t you fuck my thighs, mmm, my wolf?” Choi Han makes a choked noise, cheeks reddening at the suggestiveness of it. “I’ll still suck you off, don’t worry about that. But I want -” Choi Han shudders at that, “-to feel you there.”

“Of course, Cale,” he says, pupils blown wide and eyes wide, cock leaking profusely over his thighs.

With a grin, he presses his thighs together briefly, gets a startled little moan from his beautiful wolf.Choi Han reluctantly lets him go when he pushes his lover, grinning cheekily when his lover looks more alertly around them, whimpering cutely when he sees the mirror on the other side of the desk, displaying them and their debauched, bare forms.

“Do you think you could fuck me in such a way that you can see what’s going on, my wolf?” He asks, and Choi Han nods rapidly, making him laugh. “Then go ahead, my beautiful lover,” Cale murmurs, pulling him in for a hot and heavy kiss.

Had it been any other drug, Cale would have tied Choi Han down, and refused to let him have his way with Cale. But he trusted his beautiful wolf to be capable of reason, and his obedience was absolute, if he was allowing Cale to call the shots right now.

“My Cale,” Choi Han whimpers a little, and Cale looks at him fondly, offers him a little kiss. “My Cale, my Cale, I want to try something with you,” he nuzzles Cale’s shoulder, and the redhead lets him.

“What is it, my Han-ah?” he asks fondly, watches Choi Han as he allows the drug to give him the ability to unwind. His dick is so hard, so greedy, and Choi Han looks at him with such want that Cale can’t help but enjoy the way he whines for him, begging and crying like the sweet, vulnerable little toy he was.

“I want to fuck you against the mirror,” he says weakly, and Cale sucks in a little breath.

“Oh, you’re so dangerous,” He says, shaking a little. “My dangerous lover, my beautifully dangerous lover. Yes, god, you can do that my love.” He says, and Choi Han makes a delighted little noise, pulls him in close to kiss him hard, nibbles his lower lip.

Cale moans into the kiss, his wolf’s hands roaming freely over his skin, fingers digging into Choi Han’s shoulders, the two lost in their passionate actions to devour one another.

Choi Han hefts him up, shoves him up against the mirror, and Cale squeaks, forced to cling to it.

“I’m going to put you to work, my Cale,” Choi Han murmurs against the shell of his ear, making him groan and shiver slightly. “Tie you up, pin you down, make you work for me.”

“Aaah,” Cale groans, cheeks hot and flush at his dark, teasing words. “You’re going to make your precious lover work?” He gasps, and Cale can feel how Choi Han grins against his back, nuzzles him briefly.

“Of course I am,” he says, laughing against Cale’s skin. “I love it when you work for me, my Cale.” Cale gives a little moan, feels how Choi Han leans against the mirror as well, pushing it experimentally until he’s sure that it will not budge. Cale finds his body lifted onto the desk, hands gripping the top of the mirror more securely, kneeling on the wood and pressing his thighs tighter together with a little laugh.

They were so indecent, weren’t they? Was this what it felt like, to constantly have to work out months of sexual frustration? To be forced to work together without any outlet for their needs? He’d wanted Choi Han for so long, had denied himself those pleasures, and now here he was, taking Choi Han without any semblance of shame or modesty. Cale laughs, head tilting back as Choi Han’s cock slides between his tightly pressed thighs, kisses liberally dropped against his skin, little nibbles and licks, light kisses and cuddles. Cale looks down after a moment, can see the head of Choi Han’s cock peeking out from between his thighs, Cale’s own cock bobbing with every breath.

God, he wanted so badly to be fucked right now. Choi Han slowly moves, and the feel of that hard cock sliding between slick thighs was enough to make him moan, tremble as he watches it disappear between his legs, clear fluid dripping down his skin. Choi Han, too, groans greedily, nuzzling him and nipping at his flesh, little bites that leave delicious pleasures behind.

“So good,” Cale murmurs, head tilting back as he relishes this, relishes the feeling of Choi Han using him for his pleasure. He closes his eyes as Choi Han begins to pick up the pace, slick, wet noises filling his ears, little moans leaving his lips as he allows himself to relish in the sensation. His cock is dripping with precum, the liquid sliding down his length and smearing itself over his balls as he moans, the sensation incredibly delicious and utterly enjoyable. He loves this, he loves it, the way they treat each other, the way they enjoy the pleasures of the flesh with one another’s bodies, Choi Han happily rutting between his thighs, the faint burning sensation of skin against skin dulled by their slick juices.

“Cale,” Choi Han groans against his back, “You feel so good, so slick around my cock. Every single part of you feels so good, like you were made for me and my cock to enjoy,” He murmurs shamelessly, hands moving from his hips to rub against his nipples, Cale whimpering. The steady, relentless motion of Choi Han’s cock hadn’t abated, and Cale wonders how on earth he still has so much self control in the face of this overwhelming pleasure, of this absolute sin.

“Isn’t it the same for me?” He groans, head tilting back. “You’re mine, you know. Every delicious inch of you. Made to fuck me, to love me, to spread me open and fill me up with your love,” Cale shudders, gives a moan when Choi Han begins to move again, a little faster, a little less coordinated. The tip of his cock brushes against Cale’s balls, and the redhead can’t resist another groan, the thick length that lovingly rubbed against his thighs and teasing his cock impossibly good. It was as though he was the one drugged, the one in dire need of the mounting pleasure that was filling him to the brim, ready to make him burst from the pleasure alone. Choi Han nuzzles his throat, teases his nipples, every inch of him is tormented and pleasured and it’s all too much, too delicious for Cale to last, the softer, slighter man clinging desperately to the mirror.

Choi Han is looking at him in a way that makes him a bit nervous, when he looks up, head tilting to a side.

“Did you prep yourself, my Cale?” He asks, and Cale manages a dazed nod. Of course he did, he’d planned on welcoming Choi Han with his body as soon as the prince - A moan is forcefully ripped from his throat as long, lean fingers plunge into his slick hole, spread him wider and torment him shamelessly, Cale’s eyes rolling up into the back of his head as that stimulation brings him to orgasm.

His thighs close tighter in response to the sudden, delicious stimulation, and he can feel Choi Han too, the swordsman groaning as he cums himself, white splattering over the mirror, the two left panting and a little stunned.

The night wasn’t even half-over, and yet, he was ready to burst.

“Ah...” Choi Han was panting, and Cale couldn’t help the smile as his wolf sheepishly pulls his fingers free, the noble clenching uselessly around nothing to keep them in. “My Cale… I’m sorry,” He murmurs, and Cale laughs a bit.

“What for, my love?” He asks, and Choi Han blushes. “It felt so good, having you use me like this.” A squeeze of his thighs, and Choi Han groans when Cale uses a hand to rub against the tip of his cock, teasing him over and over until more precum splashes over his palm, Choi Han giving a startled moan. “If you feel like you’ve disappointed me, then let’s work on that. Make it up to me with your body.”

Choi Han’s sheepish expression shifts, embarrassment turning to eager want.

“Of course, my Cale,” he says, a smile blooming over his lips as he nuzzles Cale’s skin, nips at it again. "Whatever you desire."