Shen Wei gasped. Hands fisting in the sheets and long eyelashes fluttering before he cried out softly, shuddering through waves and waves of rapture until he was absolutely drained. Legs that were wrapped tightly around a waist flopped onto the firm mattress ungracefully.
Zhao Yunlan lifted his head from the crook of Shen Wei’s neck and supported himself up before he crushed his other half. He looked down at Shen Wei, face flushed pink in their dim bedroom. Eyes closed, mouth slightly opened to catch some much needed air. His upper chest and neck peppered with small red-blue bruises.
“Good?” Zhao Yunlan asked, as he smiled affectionately at his husband and pushed Shen Wei’s matted bangs away from his face. There were more to the question, unvoiced. ‘Are you okay? You’re not dizzy, right?’ But Zhao Yunlan decided to hold his thoughts. Shen Wei didn’t like to be fussed, especially not during or after intimate moments.
They had just started being active again. Zhao Yunlan didn’t dare to until he deemed Shen Wei was well enough and fully recovered from his illness. It had been an issue in the past. A lovers’ spat, as Shen Wei refused to be treated like a broken diamond, an invalid.
The last few years were rough. Some days were good, some days were bad. Shen Wei was mentally strong but there were the odd times that he was so sick of being sick, he would throw a tantrum. Nobody would have thought that the gentle Professor Shen would slammed a door or threw his colourful pills and broke a vase behind closed door because he was frustrated with himself. Zhao Yunlan was the one to console him and bear the brunt of Shen Wei’s anger. If their relationship was not strong enough…
Sometimes, Zhao Yunlan thought that it was a miracle that they survived. That Shen Wei survived. They found a family, blood and non-blood related. They found happiness despite the brutal journey. Perhaps, there was always a silver lining at the end of the day, as the saying went.
Shen Wei whispered, “Marvellous.” His big brown eyes finally opening and staring back at Zhao Yunlan. Smiling. Recovering. Body pliant. He took a deep breath in. Sated.
Zhao Yunlan smiled back and held Shen Wei’s wrist. “I do like marvellous,” he chuckled. Beneath his fingers, Shen Wei’s pulse fluttered like hummingbirds. He put his face onto Shen Wei’s chest, listening for any wheeze.
Zhao Yunlan’s facial hair tickled Shen Wei’s skin and his soft laughs reverberated through Zhao Yunlan’s ear. Shen Wei stroke Zhao Yunlan’s thick black hair down to his warm sweaty back and rubbed gently in circular motion.
“I’m alright, Yunlan,” Shen Wei murmured. He knew his worried husband too well. He cupped his face and kissed his nose gently.
They both understood that Shen Wei was never going to be a hundred percent cured. He had to take several medications for the rest of his life and he would be prone to sickness compared to other people. But at least right now, he’s lucky enough to be able to live his life as normal as possible, with only a few follow up visits to the hospital every year to make sure that his blood counts were alright.
“Ok, good.” Zhao Yunlan ran a hand over Shen Wei’s slim fair hip, testing the fit of Shen Wei’s waist in the span of his large palm.
Shen Wei lost a lot of weight when he was ill and then gained it back when he was put on steroid which prevented the bone marrow transplant rejection. Unfortunately, his weight dropped again whenever he succumbed to recurrent chest infections. All the tablets that Shen Wei had to take and all the side effects that he suffered. They were not pleasant and Zhao Yunlan wished that he had a magic wand to help him.
“Hmm. We need to fatten you up,” Zhao Yunlan jested. “I’m going to ask mom to cook lots of your favourite food during Chinese New Year.
Mom was Madam Fu. The kind woman who was like a mother to Shen Wei at the orphanage and who was now happily married to Zhao Yunlan’s father. Who would have guessed that Madam Fu actually had a lot in common with Zhao Xinci. They were a match made in heaven.
Shen Wei glared despite knowing that Zhao Yunlan was joking.
“And you—,” he poked Zhao Yunlan’s belly playfully as Zhao Yunlan shoved himself up from the bed to clean them both,”—need to lose some weight.” Shen Wei pinched a flab and Zhao Yunlan shrieked.
“Hey! Be nice or I will spill to your doctor how many times we are going to do it this week,” Zhao Yunlan retorted and made a dramatic pause, counting his fingers,”—as part of your exercise routine.”
Shen Wei laughed as he sat up slowly and stretched.
“You are so shameless, Yunlan.” He dug carefully under their rumpled sheets for Zhao Yunlan’s boxers. When he found it, he threw it directly at his husband’s face.
“Shameless?” Zhao Yunlan caught it easily and wiped himself with the item nonchalantly. “Well, I’m afraid I am. Hahahaha!” To prove his point, Zhao Yunlan wiggled his hip.
Shen Wei shook his head and snorted. His floppy hair stood up in multiple directions, ruffled by Zhao Yunlan’s hands and their activity moments ago.
“It will be my new year’s resolution to grant you a view of a cheese grating six pack,” Zhao Yunlan declared loudly as he stood up in his birthday suit and patted his tummy.
Shen Wei laughed at Zhao Yunlan’s shenanigans and threw him a small pillow but missed. Zhao Yunlan’s reflex was as good as it was when he was a police officer.
The office life was certainly more sedentary than Zhao Yunlan’s previous job in the task force. A few years of frequent meetings with his father’s business partners and clients involving fine dinings and alcohol didn’t really help either so it was no surprise that his flat stomach was not so flat anymore.
“Make it eight packs.” Shen Wei said and grinned before he was tackled down and tickled hard by a giggling Zhao Yunlan.
They were probably going to be late for the family’s Chinese New Year dinner.