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The Temple of Transparent Sinners

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The sun was hanging low in the sky, casting rays of light across the glade. It snuck in between the gaps of leaves, cascaded down the ancient stone walls of the temple's entrance and showered the canvas of tan skin with its golden light.

There, above the entrance on the flat ledge, was a figure Sehun was all-too familiar with. With the way his robe was loosely draped around him, presenting most of his smooth upper body, it was clear why the cautious human lingering at the foot of the glade was so enthralled by him. Sehun couldn't keep the tiny, disgusted snort to himself, seeing the way the scrawny girl was ogling Kim Jongin.

It wasn't a rare occurrence. Humans were told to stay away from the temple, from the home of the very sinners they had banished. But it was hard if entities like Kim Jongin were sprawled out like that, with his taunting sun-kissed skin, plush lips begging to be sucked on, dark brown curls that were asking to be tugged on. The image of power slumbering beneath a blanket of laziness.

There were two options of what to feel at this sight. Either you were eager to prod him awake and pay for it, to give in to the cat-like grace and strength.

Or you wanted to ruin this beauty.

Oh Sehun didn't want any of it. There would hardly be a sense of achievement in claiming something that wasn't running away. There was nothing more to defile about Kim Jongin, nothing to ruin about him.

Jongin was clearly one of their finest sinners of Lust, and Sehun wasn't about to vow that he himself was entirely free of this sin; most human weren’t. And still he felt nothing but disgust at the sight.

Because Sehun hated Kim Jongin.
That's why he stepped into the glade and raised his voice against the human girl.

"You have no reason to be here."

The girl's head all but snapped around to look at Sehun, fear mirrored in her eyes as they made out the sliver of a violet mark on the side of his throat. With a soundless but pointed hand gesture, he shooed the woman off. She ran as quick as her brittle legs would take her.

Sehun only shook his head and moved towards the entrance. Of course Kim Jongin was simply waiting for him to come close enough. Because that boy never left him alone.

"You just cheated me out of a good fuck."

Sehun halted in his steps at the voice that was too soft for those lewd words.

"We are crowded enough already. Find someone else to fuck. Fuck yourself, for all I care," Sehun replied moodily, and looked up to see Jongin's head popping out over the ledge, looking down at him with those hooded eyes of his.

"Alright. So how about I fuck you?" he asked, and Sehun merely snorted. They'd been playing this game for years, and yet it didn’t seem like they’d grow tired of it any time soon.

"Not over my dead body. Not everyone's that desperate to get up close and personal with your cock," he said, wearing a carefully schooled mask of boredom. Because there was no way that he'd let Kim Jongin see that he was in any way affecting him.

"That may be true," Jongin began, and then his face was doing this pleased expression telling Sehun that he was just laying a hand on himself. "But you certainly are, and we both know it-ah..." he hummed, breaking off into a soft hum, biting his pretty lips to keep it low, and Sehun grimaced.

With the word "Disgusting" audibly lingering on his lips, he went inside the temple, leaving Jongin to himself. Ignoring the twitch he felt at the tiny mewl echoing into the entrance hall.

 

Oh Sehun was one of the few people that were born and raised in the temple. Unlike all those flawed humans that were banished as soon as a sin had manifested inside of them, Sehun was a pure-blooded representativetive of Superbia, or Pride, as it was commonly named.

It was a rare thing to have two people marked by Superbia to get along, let alone form a deep bond that resulted in a child. Children who were born without markings were traditionally sent off to live with the humans, because the temple was for the sinners alone, and laws ought to be followed.

But Sehun was born with the special mark; a thin, violet circle displaying an eye inside a sun. So obviously Sehun was special by birth, chosen to do something great. Most of the people actually ruling this place were marked by Superbia. Not because the others weren't suited to do so - except for Wrath and possibly Sloth, all the sins were free to rise in the ranks.

Maybe Superbia was the most ambitious, endlessly driven by the urge to prove themselves. And Sehun had proven himself time and time again, until he'd reached his current position, as an influential member of their council.

He dared to say he was quite pleased with his life. And yet there was this constant pricking sensation annoying him. That little thorn that had gone under his skin so far that he wasn't able to dig it out anymore, leaving him with a constant itch, and that itch was Kim Jongin's condescending, little smirk.

Sehun was, overall, a well-respected person, admired by most. As he should be - he was good at what he did, and whatever he deemed right would always meet support among the temple. People even stepped aside without him asking them to.

Only Kim Jongin would lazily blink up at him, as if to challenge him. Because really, even if he was busy choking on a dick, Jongin would still manage to somehow look down on him.

It made Sehun want to tear his hair out - not Jongin's, because that filthy boy would probably enjoy that.

 

Jongin had been sent off to the temple at a very young age, traditionally clad in a way that his mark was exposed to the world. Because at the young age of thirteen, Jongin had already engaged himself in sexual acts, causing the sin to manifest in him.

One fine spring day, he had awoken (possibly naked, but that was just Sehun's distasteful imagination) to a strikingly pink mark on his sternum, announcing that his soul was inevitably lost to the sin of Lust.

They say that unlike most banished humans, Jongin hadn't even looked particularly terrified or even sad. Other than mild anxiety, he'd radiated nothing but anticipation. But that's just what people whispered among themselves when Sehun was nearby. Everybody knew of his open distaste towards the sinner, so they watched their mouths around him.

"Wah, this month went pretty good regarding the resources and everything, don't you think?"

Sehun hummed in agreement, and Chanyeol seemed to gain even more spring to his steps.

"We totally beat the others out, did you see their faces?"

Sehun didn't ask who 'the others' were supposed to be, because it didn't matter. To Chanyeol, everyone had to be outdone - a trait that Sehun greatly appreciated about his closest friend. Chanyeol was tall, rather lanky, and full of envy.

The green sinners were all quite a handful, and when Sehun had been assigned to take care of freshly marked Chanyeol, he'd been anything but happy. Especially after finding out that Chanyeol was every bit as loud, if not more so, than the other representatives of Envy.

But two years had passed since then, and Chanyeol had changed. He was still following Sehun like a shadow, and Sehun allowed him to.

His companion gasped quietly at the figure that was lounging around the entrance are of the Ivory chamber - the room Sehun had chosen for the gracious dinner he'd arranged since their amount of perishable resources really was high this month (their team of hunters had done an excellent job, as always). With his simple, short robe and pants he looked like he didn’t care much about his appearance, but his flawless hair and skin told otherwise.

Sehun merely nodded towards the short boy with the twinkling eyes, but Chanyeol stilled in his tracks like a dog that's unwilling to follow his leash. Sehun sighed, but this, too, wasn't strange. Because while Chanyeol wanted to outdo everyone, everyone was almost synonymous to Baekhyun at this point.

"You're here too, huh? Wouldn't want to miss this event now would you?" Chanyeol asked with a childish defiance that had Sehun roll his eyes.

"I'm allowed to be here. Since unlike you, I'm an actual member of the council, not another member's pet," Baekhyun quipped back, crossing his arms.

"Yeah, but are we gonna have an abundance of crops in there? I think not, because your department's results were quite meager, weren't they?"

Baekhyun narrowed his eyes at him, and Sehun went inside without a word, leaving the two to settle this on their own. Those two were the most peculiar couple. Sinners marked by Envy could be very good with people, for they analyzed social situations, pinpointing what exactly they were envious of, in order to fiercely pursue it afterwards.

Chanyeol and Baekhyun were definitely a match in that department. They were friends, amazing friends even. And as nature would have it, they were also their biggest enemies. Permanently fighting to outdo each other, to have more friends, to be more popular.

Today seemed like one of those days where the conflict was settled with tongue and teeth, and Sehun really didn't want to witness that. With a shake of his head, he entered the banquet room.

There was a hole in the ceiling, revealing the starry sky. A faint scent of burning wood came from outside, where people were roasting meat on the top of the building. The room itself was warm; people were spread out on cushions and sat around tables, eating and telling stories. Sehun could already spot a lot of council members or their consultants. The hunters themselves were probably on the roof, grilling the meat - they usually preferred to stick to themselves.

From a corner of the room, Junmyeon waved him over, and Sehun made his way past people nodding at him or calling their thanks out to him. The table was full, but people quickly made room for them.

With a curt nod, Sehun sank into one of the cushions, when he noticed just a second too late who exactly was seated in this round. He'd been distracted by the tall figures of Tao and Yifan, but now he spotted that Kyungsoo was sitting in the lap of none other than Kim Jongin, who was leisurely nosing along the boy’s neck, shooting him a fleeting glance, before darting out his tongue to lick the undoubtedly salty skin. With a grimace, Sehun averted his gaze and instead eyed the food on the table.

It was always a good choice to stay close to Gluttons when food was involved. They had an eye for what food to indulge in. And this table held two Gluttons, one of them being a girl named Amber, who was enthusiastically dipping a piece of meat into a pot of sauce, scooping up as much as possible... and the other was the one sitting in Jongin's lap.

He really should've known without seeing it. After all, Baekhyun's consultant Kyungsoo was Jongin's closest friend - if you could call what they shared friendship. Sehun would rather call it living a mutual hobby, and that was fucking.

Being a Glutton was about indulging yourself beyond reason. And while Kyungsoo did enjoy food, he might enjoy Jongin a tad more; Jongin, the very sinner that had lured him into one of the temple's gardens one day and defiled him. Had it been any other sin, Kyungsoo might have started to despise Jongin for sealing his fate. But Kyungsoo was a Glutton, addicted to pleasure, addicted to the physical games the likes of Jongin played. In Sehun's head, that made him no better than Jongin, but at least Kyungsoo never sought any trouble.

"Your hunters really outdid themselves this time," Junmyeon threw in with a mild smile, and Sehun took the compliment with a polite smile of his own. He genuinely liked Junmyeon, who was all politeness and submission until he was pushed too far and raised hell. He hadn't seen it happen a lot, but whenever it did, spilled blood was impossible to avoid. It was definitely a method to gain respect, and Sehun gave him that - though he himself preferred not to get his hands dirty if there was any way to avoid it.

A tiny, soft sound carried over all the hustle and bustle, effortlessly reaching Sehun's ears. Maybe because he'd been subconsciously waiting for it. A side glance told him that Kyungsoo's brows were furrowed a tiny bit, a slice of fried potato frozen on the way to his slightly parted lips. Sehun's eyes flit around the table.

They had a mixed amount of attention on them. While Tao and Yifan were lost in a discussion with a female council member named Soojung, Amber looked at the couple with a mischievous grin, and Junmyeon's eyes would discreetly flit over to them once in awhile.It puzzled Sehun a tiny bit, because this wasn't exactly scandalous behaviour for one marked by Lust. It was almost innocent cuddling.

Only a while later, when Chanyeol joined their table(with a suspiciously dark bruise on his collarbone), and Yifan climbed off the bench to greet him, did Sehun get it. Because then he had a free sight revealing that Kyungsoo wasn't just sitting in Jongin’s lap. He was sitting on it. Literally... on him. He could see a sliver of the Glutton's strong, but pale thighs from where his pants were shucked down just enough-

Chanyeol and Yifan decided that now was a good idea to finally sit down again and all but squished the other people on the bench together. The couple was pressed close enough to have their sides touching Sehun's and he heard the quiet gasp as Kyungsoo was jostled. Sehun gripped his own thighs tightly.

This was happening, right next to him. He could smell the enticing scent of whatever perfume Jongin was wearing, almost nauseatingly strong over the smell of food. A side glance told him that Kyungsoo was wetting his plush lips, while Jongin was still buried in his neck, his caramel-colored fingers dancing across the plane of Kyungsoo's stomach and down, down-

"Sehun?"

He jumped visibly, head whipping around to face a smiling Junmyeon.

"Y-yeah?" he asked, clearing his throat to keep his composure. He heard Jongin chuckle, and it had his blood boiling. Unfortunately, it also heated up his cheeks.

Another glance told him that Jongin was smiling that godforsaken smirk of his with his cheek mashed against Kyungsoo's back, who had gone back to conversing with the others as if he wasn't filled up to the brim right now.

What are you looking at?’ Jongin mouthed lowly, tauntingly, and Sehun blinked maybe two times too many before snapping a harsh 'nothing' at him, and turning back to Junmyeon.

But that awful smirk had already burnt itself into his mind. He could basically see it when he closed his eyes, and he could feel it whenever Kyungsoo made those tiny, cut-off sounds right next to him. He wasn't doing it to provoke anyone in particular - in fact, he was almost perfectly silent.

Then again, they weren't even moving in any way. Did Kyungsoo really like that? Sitting like this, being kept in place, torn open like that? Sehun swallowed dryly as he stared at the other people around the table, not really seeing them. Sehun wasn't a virgin by far, but he'd never even considered something like this to be stimulating. Probably because it ought to be humiliating, and Sehun didn't like to be humiliated. So why did Kyungsoo look so damn casual and unfazed about it, being fucked in public by someone as low as Jongin?

As if sensing Sehun's running thoughts, Jongin chose that moment to rock his hips the slightest, and the piece of bread Kyungsoo had been holding slipped his fingers and landed on the table, where Amber snatched it away with a thumbs up sent Jongin's way. It happened again - Sehun heard the way Kyungsoo's breath was caught in his throat, and giving up all pretense, he fully turned his head.

There was a faint blush dusting Kyungsoo's cheeks, and his eyes looked a little glassy, ruining the weak glare he sent Amber's way. Behind him, Jongin was resting with his forehead pressed against the Glutton's nape, eyes closed with the slightest furrow to his brows speaking of concentration.

Sehun's eyes wandered down to the hand that was resting on Kyungsoo's waist, down to where they were connected. He couldn't see anything because their motions didn't exceed grinding. Flowing, deep, filthy grinding. Sehun dug his elbows into the wooden tabletop, restlessly intertwining his fingers, hoping they would hide his expression just a little. Hoping to look casual.

He saw Jongin's lips tug into a grin, a flash of warning before he made a particularly sharp move upwards and the knuckles on Kyungsoo's waist turned white in an effort to pin him into place. The boy actually yelped, biting his lips afterwards, but not apologizing.

At this point, the up and down motion had become steady, relentless... and Sehun found himself imagining it would be him, sitting there, with Jongin in his lap, pinned into place, squirming on him, being at his mercy. How he'd arch his back into it and gasp whenever Sehun's firm grip would tell him not to tease and thrust up harder as a punishment. How he'd crack, crack, crack at the seams until the cocky smirk was gone-

Brown orbs blinked up to meet Sehun's, perfectly aware that he'd been watching all along. Sehun wanted to hiss at him, to insult him or tell him off, but that would possibly ruin the ongoing motions that were growing more and more urgent by the second.

"Soo, you're making a mess..." Jongin mumbled, and his right arm came forth, fingers glistening in the candle light. Sehun couldn't help his eyes flickering over to the fingers that had undoubtedly been in the Glutton's lap before, watched them trace his lips with deceptive grace for someone whose gaze was still fixated on Sehun as he swiveled his hips.

The plush lips parted without hesitation, and delicate fingers teasingly smeared the streak of precum around his lips before dipping inside. Sehun heard his tongue lap them clean, and he heard Kyungsoo's quiet whine of discontent when Jongin's fingers left his mouth to skidder down again.

A silent smack of lips had Sehun's attention back on Jongin again, who was still staring at him. As if he wished he could do that to Sehun, too. Rock up into him with increased pressure, like he was doing right now. Reach around to grasp the underside of his jaw, pushing the messy digits inside his mouth with more force.

Kyungsoo moaned quietly around the fingers, his own hands digging into the table. And Jongin was still looking at him, full of dark and dirty ideas as his expression twitched with a streak of uncharacteristic wickedness and he pushed the fingers far enough to cause Kyungsoo to gag as he gave him one last, sharp thrust.

Sehun saw the pleasure wash over him, saw Kyungsoo shudder, and couldn't help imagine the hot substance filling him right now. The image of his own lips being coated in it, wet and sticky, flashed through his mind, and Sehun unconsciously licked them before finally tearing his gaze away.

This bastard.

 

Throughout the whole evening, Kyungsoo kept dipping Jongin's fingers in various sauces just to lap it off, and while especially Chanyeol's eyes were glued to them, Sehun knew that Jongin's silent, self-satisfied smile was for none other than him.

He shifted uncomfortably in his seat, hoping that the slutty couple would leave first, but Kyungsoo hadn't even bothered to get up and off Jongin so far, giving Sehun images of the way Jongin's cum was possibly starting to trickle out.

Sehun still refused to get up first and let them see the wet patch on his pants he was definitely feeling. He'd never give Jongin the satisfaction. He'd never admit how much he wanted him.






Yes, the permanent prick had become an itch and was turning into a headache nowadays. Smooth muscles, soft skin, warm eyes. Jongin, Jongin, Jongin.

Oh how he wanted him. Bend him, push him, wreck him.

"Say, Chanyeol..."

The boy ceased humming an unknown tune to himself and turned to shoot him a questioning look, complete with a smile. Sehun hesitated, but showing weakness wasn't on his agenda, so he just pushed forwards.

"You never slept with Jongin, did you?" he asked, eyes trained on the hallway, specifically on the light at the end of it.

"No!" Chanyeol replied lightly, and as usual, he didn't even question Sehun's intentions.

"Why not? You're interested, aren't you?"

In response to Sehun's prodding, Chanyeol nodded, sending his messy hair to flip up and down.

"I am. Jongin is gorgeous. Who wouldn't be interested?"

His voice grew a little melancholic, a rare look on him.

"I'd never touch him, though. Because... he's too beautiful. And I could never have him to myself entirely. That's not how he is."

A small, bitter smile tugged at his lips as he stepped into the hall and turned to look at Sehun.

"I'd cut up anyone who puts a finger on him," he stated, and Sehun knew him well enough to sense truth under the thick fog of lightheartedness. The sinner turned on his heels to skip towards the piano nestled in the corner of the hall, leaving Sehun to look after him.

It wasn't silly, not at all. In a way, Chanyeol's feelings for Jongin seemed purer than the ones he harboured. Would he mind Jongin sharing a bed (or table or anything, really) with just about anyone? Probably, but only because it would hurt his pride, not because of any romantic feelings. Besides, Jongin was just as appealing as he was appalling. He'd probably find streaks of dried cum on him any day, if only he looked closely enough. Disgusting.

He shook his head to rid himself of the thoughts as he approached Yixing, who ceased his play in favor of chatting with Chanyeol. It was a clear display of affection, because Yixing didn't cease playing the piano for just anyone.

"Hello Yixing. How are you doing?" Sehun asked, in an uncharacteristically soft tone reserved only for the pianist, and the young man gifted him with an airy smile.

"Quite good actually. I've been working on this complex piece, and I almost got it."

Of course he was. No matter the day or festivity, a soft melody was carried through the temple at all times. Driven by the infinite greed to become the most skilled pianist the world has ever heard of, Yixing was spending his days in a tight routine that consisted mostly of playing the old, but quite impressive piano that had always been a part of the temple.

Whatever meager time was left he spent by either sleeping... or praying. Yixing suffered from the sin that had a tight leash on his mind. He felt dirty, and he hated it. In this abandoned temple that had once served a holy purpose, Yixing had become some sort of a priest for the very few people clinging to gods even though they'd been banished - because sometimes, no one prayed as hard and diligent as people seeing themselves on the brink of being lost. And Yixing was by far the most desperate.

"What has you two up so early?"

"Oh, we're on our way to the human village. Negotiating the offerings, things like that," Chanyeol shrugged, while Sehun's eyes trailed over the piano. He'd seen Jongin sprawled out on it before, one hand loosely playing with Yixing's hair. He had no idea how the sneaky little thing had managed to seduce conservative Yixing, of all people.

"Thanks to you, we're living a comfortable life, and no one ought to ever forget that," the man said with a gentle smile, and really, how could they have someone as pure in the heart of the sinner's temple?

It was no lie - the frightened humans would probably continue to give them offerings simply because they were terrified of them. Still, the results were most effective when they bargained with the resources they had to offer (which consisted mostly of meat and medicine, because their people had wicked skills rooting from natural ruthlessness and ambition), and exchanged them for food and clothing.

The person negotiating varied in time, but to be very honest, Sehun had never once complained about it being his turn. Because strutting around the human village and receiving looks of awe over his charisma and general fear was almost too enjoyable. Sure, there was also disgust and hate in their faces, but the fact that their fear was too high to act on it made it all the more delicious.

Yes , Sehun thought with a small, smug smirk as a mother pulled her little kid back into the house when they saw him walking down the street. This was fun.

 

He had to take back that statement a few hours later, when he waved Chanyeol goodbye at the entrance hall. Stupid humans. What was wrong with them? Why did their inept leaders have to decide to cause trouble on his shift?

He rubbed his forehead, willing an upcoming headache away. It wasn't that Sehun was easily stressed - he was just prone to headaches in times of anger.

Let's end our trade relationships.

Apparently, you guys are more than capable of taking care of yourselves.

How dare they? And to think that they had the guts to tell it to his face-

"Well, someone's all stiff."

Sehun stilled in his steps. His chamber was just around the corner, but no...

With a sigh, he turned to shoot the bane of his existence a scalding look. There, in one of the protruding parts of the building Junmyeon loved to call oriels was Jongin, sitting on a sill, foot propped up on the bench below.

The last sunrays were so strong that they had taken Sehun's attention from the person lazing around. Now said person hopped to the ground with catlike grace, stretching himself languidly.

"And I'm not talking about the nice type of stiff. More of the cramped type," he elaborated with mock-worry, and Sehun was truly tempted to strangle him. He could feel his eyebrow twitch, and the headache flaring up.

"Do you ever do anything beyond fucking and sleeping? Like, let's say, working?" he asked cynically, and Jongin only shrugged.

"Occasionally. If I feel like it."

It was infuriating, because they didn't have many sins of Lust around. Lust may easily evoke a dark and primal side in humans, but more often than not, it created sinners of other natures, like Kyungsoo. They really didn't have many tasks assigned to the very few they had, besides occasionally lounging around in the open, serving as a visible warning. People firmly believed that even looking at a sinner of Lust was a danger in itself. They were their most effective defense, in all their vulnerability - because people feared them like they feared nymphs.

Did it irk him that they saw more of a threat in laughable Jongin than in him? Maybe.

Still , Sehun told himself. If those humans were less silly, they'd know whom to fear more.

"You should really loosen up a bit. Really work those pretty muscles of yours for once-" Jongin began, but Sehun all but hissed at him.

"I get enough offers already, thank you very much."

Jongin didn't seem fazed. He usually wasn't.

"Yeah, but do you also take them?"

"Occasionally," Sehun replied, without missing a beat. "Just because I don't have sex on my mind 24 hours a day doesn't mean I'm abstinent."

"I don't think about sex 24 hours a day-"

"I heard you let someone fuck you in your sleep before," Sehun scoffed in open disdain, and that seemed to hit a nerve in Jongin, who narrowed his eyes.

"So? What's it to you? Some people are actually in tune with their bodily needs. Unlike you, who's terrified of them."

Sehun crossed his arms, and the atmosphere shifted into something they knew very well they should avoid, especially after such an exhausting day.

"I know exactly what I want," Sehun stated, voice already raising in volume, "I'm just not as much of a freak as you are. Get it in your head that there exist people who don't want you-"

He was cut off by Jongin who roughly tugged at his upper arm and all but slammed him down into the oriel's bench, before the tired, lanky boy had had a chance to react.

"You should get it in your head that you do want me!" Jongin hissed, one palm pushing Sehun's bony shoulder into the wall. In one swift move, the brunet swung himself into his lap, thick, muscular thighs framing Sehun's legs.

"I don't-" Sehun began, flailing to get the other off of him when the boy dropped his full weight on him, pressing their lower bodies together. Sehun hissed at the instant spark that made his legs twitch.

"You make me sick, you know that?" Jongin breathed out, holding Sehun's hands down with effort. His brown orbs were gleaming with annoyance, and it gave Sehun a tiny speck of satisfaction, to finally make Jongin lose his temper.

"You think you're all that. You think you're better than everyone. You couldn't stand the idea of being weak."

The grip on his wrists was surprisingly strong, and Sehun wanted to fight him off, he really did. So what was this spark holding him back?

Why did it feel so terribly exciting to have Jongin sit in his lap?

"Sure, fucking around is fine, even for the great Oh Sehun. Because you think you're the one who dominates as long as you're the one sticking your dick inside someone, no? Well, I’ve got some news for you," Jongin seethed and in a fluid move, he rolled his hips to grind against Sehun, quick and hard. Sehun's breath hitched involuntarily and his fingers dug into the bench.

"It doesn't work that way," Jongin whispered against his lips as he spread his legs obscenely to repeat the motion, adding even more force and urgency.

"Just look at me. I said look at me , Oh Sehun," he demanded, and Sehun, who was fighting the strong urge to buck his hips, was too distracted to disobey, eyes flitting up. Jongin had his lips slightly parted as his whole body moved with every sharp rocking motion, but his eyes remained perfectly clear.

"Here I am, spread legs widely as I'm grinding my crotch into your lap almost desperately," he breathed out in a low, taunting voice. He leaned in until his lips brushed the shell of Sehun's ear.

"...but does it feel like you have the upper hand? I think not," he whispered, and Sehun couldn't do anything, couldn't think straight with Jongin stimulating him rougher than anyone had ever dared to, with his nose and lips almost bumping into Jongin's neck, with the tantalizing scent clouding his mind. One of his wrists was tugged and pressed into Jongin's crotch, holding it there for a long moment, and then it was all gone. In a flash, Jongin had climbed off his lap as if nothing had even happened, absently righting his hair as he looked down at a dumbfounded Sehun.

"You're blinded by your own fucking ego. You're so desperate to be respected by everyone, aren't you? And I'm the only one raining on your imaginary, little parade. Well, if you want me to respect you, then give me a fucking reason to."

With this, he turned to leave, hands almost leisurely resting on his neck as he walked off and left Sehun behind. Even the golden sunrays couldn't hide the deep shade of red staining his cheeks.

Humiliated. Jongin had utterly humiliated him. Because Sehun was uncomfortably hard now, while Jongin had forced him to confirm that he himself wasn't affected in the least.

He stormed off to slam the door to his room - but he waited until Jongin was out of hearing range.

 

 


 

"You can't be serious!"

"I warned you, we shouldn't have sent this boy," an old woman said, and Sehun clenched his fist under the table.

"How is it my fault?!" he barked, and Chanyeol was quick to lean forwards, half obscuring Sehun from the council's view.

"He didn't do nothing wrong," he assured them, half-protective, half-genuinely irked.

"You all know how shady their new leader is. The guy just prompted to cut all relations out of nowhere!"

"Yes, and this stubborn idiot probably claimed that we don't need them anyway, didn't he?" the woman asked sharply, causing Sehun to bite his lip in mild guilt.

"Well, were we supposed to show them weakness?" Chanyeol fought in his place, and Baekhyun piped up.

"But we do need them. I know that Tao needs some of their herbs for his medicine, too."

"Yeah, for that reason alone we're mutually dependant," Yifan mused, and Junmyeon had his face buried in one hand, looking defeated. Sehun didn't think he'd done anything wrong, but seeing the all-around disappointment directed at him pricked both his ego and his heart.

"What are we gonna do now?" Amber asked, fingers absently digging through the bowl of roasted nuts on the table. "Try to talk it out?"

"We can always conquer them by force," Jongup, their only Wrath-marked member proposed, and was immediately dismissed by Baekhyun.

"No way, that's useless blood-spilling. No need to risk any loss. This temple is big enough for us, no need to start conquering places."

With a scowl and a shrug, Jongup went back to etching lines into a plate of copper - a personal occupational therapy to focus his destructive energy.

"So we are aiming to talk it out. Maybe gamble a bit," Junmyeon suggested, and a general hum of agreement went through the round. Usually, assistants kept out of the discussions, but Junmyeon tended to be more active and mediating than Yifan, the actual member. Sehun was just left to watch the discussion unfold, and it irked him. Usually, their meetings were driven by Junmyeon, Baekhyun and himself. But adding proposals when the blame was still lingering on him (and unfairly so) didn't seem wise.

"So who are we going to send? Let's vote anonymously and then choose together?"

Next to him, Kyungsoo handed out pieces of paper, and Sehun was left to stare at his. It was almost a given that even anonymously, sinners of Superbia would always vote for themselves. But just this once, Sehun wasn't too sure whether he would want to take that burden. Besides, was he the right person for the job? He was allowed to write down two names. The first one was easy - Chanyeol was good at this; his assistant was just perfect for the job. But the second one... a lot of members and assistants were out of the pool without question. Definitely no one marked by either Wrath or Sloth. Not Baekhyun, because Chanyeol and him would kill each other before they got there. Definitely not Kyungsoo, because he scared the hell out of unmarked ones (or most people, really). Maybe Amber, but then again, the village people hated her. Yifan? No, he was lacking the vigour.

Sehun sighed. After a long period of consideration, he scrawled down his own name, after all. He should see it as a chance to polish his reputation. Yes. He could do this.

He was positively surprised upon finding out that the council had almost unanimously voted for him and Chanyeol, with a few stray votes going for Baekhyun and Yifan. Of course he didn't show it.

"If we send someone else, it'll look like we sent incompetent people first and are willing to back down," the old lady claimed, while others insisted that they made for a balanced team with the straightforwardness and no-nonsense attitude of Sehun and the more amicable, easily accommodating Chanyeol.

The tiny spark of nervousness? Of course Sehun wouldn't show it. He was all blank face with a hint of arrogance over being chosen. With unwavering determination, he swore to take on the task with all he had, ignoring the tinge of uneasiness in his stomach.

That day, he spent a lot of time either on the council getting advice from other members (which was always a stressful thing, especially with other Superbia involved), cooped up with Chanyeol, or checking on those he was responsible for. He felt like his head might explode from all the input, and when sleep refused to come even with the moon already more than halfway over the sky, he made a decision.

In his loose robe and with a set of freshly washed clothes, he padded down the dark, deserted hallways until he was nearing their bathing rooms. He was surprised to see light coming from them and prayed that it wasn't Kim Jongin fucking around like usual. This was truly the last thing his eyes deserved right now.

To his disappointment, one peek into the room and onto the sculptured, smooth back told him that of course, it was Jongin. To his relief, he was alone and didn't sound like he was sullying the water right now. Though maybe he'd done that already. As if on cue, Jongin turned around to look straight at him, mild surprise washed away by recognition.

"Hey."

Sehun couldn't help glaring at him, the previous embarrassment still fresh on his mind. Jongin goodnaturedly rolled his eyes and turned his back to him, leaving Sehun to hover in the doorway. He'd wanted to take a bath, and while the room was mostly an indoor pool with the exception of a few slim ledges running across the wall to easen the access to the candles (meaning that it was a big bathing area)... Jongin was already in there.

"Would you mind closing the door? It's getting cold over here," Jongin hummed lightly, and without thinking, Sehun stepped inside to close it. A few seconds passed before Jongin leaned back and turned his head to look at him upside down, blowing a few of his still dry curls out of his eyes.

"What, you're just going to stand there? Ashamed of exposing your body?" he asked, the teasing lilt already getting under Sehun's skin. "You don't have to be. You're a handsome guy, you know?"

Sehun snorted and plopped his clothes on a low bench.

"Of course I know, don't be silly," he snapped, already stripping out of his robe, with his back turned. "I was just considering whether I'd still want to enter that water."

Jongin hummed in understanding, and Sehun heard him splash around a little.

"I didn't do anything but sit in here. Even took a shower beforehand, if you must know."

The level of innocence was just shy of being faked, and Sehun shot him a suspicious look.

Jongin was resting both arms on the edge of the pool, head nestled on them to lazily look up at him. Or rather, not too far up at him.

"Stop staring!" Sehun hissed and Jongin only silently cocked his head to the other side with a silent, little smile.

Sehun stepped towards the steaming water, hesitating before his foot dipped in.

"If you touch me, I'll cut off your fingers," he warned with a side glance. "Or even better, your dick."

Completely unfazed, Jongin reverted to his original position, stifling a yawn.

"Yeah, yeah. You're gonna scratch me with those sharp fingernails of yours. Rawr."

Seeing as the target of his glares sounded too lazy and bored to deal with him, Sehun finally sank into the blissfully hot water with a sigh. There was a hot spring nearby, and leading it into this reservoir had been one of the greatest ideas yet, in Sehun's opinion.

His eyes traveled across the walls and candles, silently reminding himself to congratulate Yifan and Junmyeon on how well they kept the temple in place. Everything was spotless, thanks to the council member and his assistant's impeccable organization skills.

Next to him, Jongin swirled a finger through the water, flicking at it occasionally. It served as a perfect reminder to Sehun not to relax too much. Sehun had every right to be angry at Jongin still, who, at that moment, was making it a point to draw a couple more swirls into the water before looking up to meet Sehun's piercing stare. Misinterpreting it, he huffed out a tiny laugh.

"You can stop glaring me, I'm not intending to pounce you or anything. I've had my fill today," he stated lazily, breaking off into a stifled yawn. Sehun wrinkled his nose at his choice of words, and upon realizing the double entendre, Jongin only grinned little wider.

"I bet you did," Sehun murmured, but it lacked venom. It really was late, and the hot water was blissfully relaxing. It was strange, being in Jongin's presence, being alone with him even, without giving in to the urge of constant bickering. Why did it make him feel so... weird?

"I really don't get how you can fuck around all day," he said, more to himself than anything. To drown out the silence that threatened to expose his unspoken feelings for the other that may be less hurtful than he let on. To his demise though, Jongin took the bait.

"Why? What makes it so horrible to you?" he asked almost peacefully, and Sehun hesitated. Well...

"It's... wrong."

Jongin hummed knowingly, and it irked Sehun. Made him feel like a little kid.

"What?" he prodded with flaming cheeks he refused to show Jongin. When no reply came, he dared to sneak a glance at the other, who had thrown his head back to look at him with a shadow of a lazy grin on his lips.

"You know what I think?" he asked, tilting his head into a more comfortable position to keep his half-imploring, half-amused gaze trained on fidgety Sehun.

"I think you overestimate sex, Sehun. But at the same time, you underestimate it."

Sehun blinked, eyes flitting down to avert his gaze.

"Now what's that supposed to mean?"

Not minding his accusing tone in the least, Jongin began to elaborate.

"You couldn't see yourself with several people in the sheets, because you'd feel cheap and uncomfortable, right? That's because to you, sex comes with a lot of feelings."

Sehun didn't comment on this. He wanted to protest, because Jongin made him sound like he was weak, but he did want to hear more, too.

"That doesn't have to be the case though. Bodily needs are what they are, and satisfying them doesn't have to mean anything," Jongin stated, and the water splashed silently as he hugged his knees, chin resting on the hot skin.

"Maybe I just don't like to bare myself to just anybody," Sehun protested half-heartedly, and Jongin chuckled.

"Funnily enough, you manage to underestimate it at the same time," he continued, turning to look at Sehun, who felt restless under his gaze. Keen on distraction, his fingers kept feeling up the ridges of the tiles he sat on, using it as an anchor to keep up the eye contact.

"You do think about and during sex, but you think all the wrong things. Will this shatter my image? Will they tell people I'm bad at this? Am I making a fool out of myself? "

I don't think that , Sehun wanted to say. Except Jongin was spot on.

"You see, it doesn't work that way."

Feeling reminded of the last time Jongin had said this, Sehun slid away a few inches with a wary look that had a knowing smirk flash up on Jongin's face - but it left just as quickly. It seemed like Jongin really didn't intend to do anything naughty right now. Sehun vaguely wondered who had been able to satisfy him that good.

"Physical needs are pretty interesting. They force a deeply hidden, primal side inside ourselves to surface. In order to fully enjoy yourself, you need to accept that they're a natural part of you. You need to let go of all those worries your ego has burnt into your brain," Jongin all but explained in a patient tone. It seemed like as long as Sehun didn't lash out, neither would the other.

"You need to find someone who accepts your needs, too, in order to forget about those worries. Sexual wishes are all about trust. It doesn't really matter what your wishes look like."

"So you're saying I should put my full trust in someone and at the same time not worry about them exposing me?" Sehun asked incredulously, and with a small laugh, Jongin stretched his limbs.

"Some people can't do that - treating their physical needs separately. If they put so much faith in someone to handle their body, they inevitably develop feelings. It's not strange at all, so I don't blame you for not getting behind the idea. I don't expect you to understand someone like me. We're basically from opposite spectrums of thinking."

With a barely concealed yawn, Jongin rose to his feet and climbed out of the bath tub. There was probably not a single part of his body Sehun hadn't seen yet, but for some reason, he still stopped himself from staring.

"I was just really irked about the way you look down on preferences you don't share or deem 'strange'," Jongin nonchalantly continued, and Sehun silently listened to the other toweling himself off behind him. "I choose more carefully than you think. And those people trust me with their wishes. Just because you wouldn't like or dare exploring these areas, doesn't make them something to look down upon."

"Well. Kyungsoo doesn't seem to value discretion all that much," Sehun blurted out in a childish attempt to both grasp at straws and jab at the tacit boy he'd seen in an all sorts of situations with Jongin before. All lax from the hot bath, Jongin didn't even bother to jab back at him.

"For your information, it wasn't Kyungsoo who's shown interest in touching people who are asleep. Also, Kyungsoo is different. Or rather, we're both very much alike."

The fondness in his voice was evident, and Sehun didn't like it. He had no right or reason to feel even slightly possessive over Jongin, but he did.

"It does feel good to have someone you can forego protection with, too," Jongin added, and Sehun whirled around at the teasing tone, only to see Jongin smirking down at him, now wrapped up in a loose robe. "Makes it a lot more... intense , to be honest."

Sehun grimaced.

"I didn't need to know that, thank you."

"Oh my, you didn't really think I'm silly enough to let people fuck me raw?" Jongin added in mock-exasperation, reveling in the discomfort he could cause Sehun, whose ears were burning red by now.

"I never even cared, okay? The amount of diseases you may or may not have is nothing that's keeping me up at night!" Sehun argued, realizing he'd stepped into the verbal trap just a second too late. Jongin grinned like a sleepy cheshire cat now.

"Sure it's not. I can imagine you have other images to keep you up at night."

Sehun angrily splashed water at him, but Jongin had already taken a step back and was halfway through the door when Sehun called after him.

"It wasn't Yixing, was it?"

Jongin stopped in his tracks, to shoot him a funny look.

"What was Yixi-oh. That . You do seem hung up on this idea, are you discovering it for yourself?"

"Definitely not," Sehun disagreed immediately, but his curiosity was too strong to block Jongin any further. "I just can't get over the fact that you seduced our priest, so anything seems possible at this point."

"What? I never slept with Yixing though."

At Sehun's pointed look, Jongin only shook his head.

"I mean it. He doesn't like men that way."

"I thought you're everyone's type," Sehun threw in, in order to cover his embarrassment over the false assumption. With a chuckle, Jongin slipped into his sandals.

"Not everyone is as conceited as you," he said almost goodnaturedly, and it puzzled Sehun.

Why didn't he get angry? Not even a little bit?

"Don't take it to heart," he had the nerve to add, one hand already on the door frame, "I know you're not completely horrible. I see it in the way Chanyeol has grown on you."

"He didn't grow on me, he just got less annoying," Sehun argued back immediately, and Jongin nodded almost patronizingly.

"Yes, of course. You keep telling yourself that."

And while Sehun did fume when Jongin slipped away and into the dark hallways, it was a different feeling than usual. Sehun wasn't really internally cursing him out or trying to blank out the delectable way Jongin's skin had glistened, dipped in water reflections. No, for a rather long time, Sehun was just... thinking .






Sehun wasn't upset. He was furious. But more than that, he also felt genuine dread pool in his stomach as he staggered back to the temple alongside Chanyeol, bathing in the late, golden sunrays.

"What are we gonna do... we failed again," Chanyeol muttered in bitter disappointment at himself.

"It's not our fault. It's that horrible excuse of a leader," Sehun retorted, though he, too, felt miserable and stressed. Their meeting with the village's head had been a disaster. Not only had it been fruitless - the whole atmosphere in the village had seemed different. More hostile.

"Something is definitely off about that guy," Chanyeol hummed and Sehun could only grumble.

"Something with his head , probably."

"What are we gonna do though," Chanyeol repeated, and Sehun had no energy or will to snap at him for being whiny. The temple came in sight and to both their relief, no one was awaiting them.

"You're back."

Internally cursing for his premature celebration, Sehun looked up and for the source of the voice. It was much softer than the one of any of the council members though. Minseok. There, hidden between the advances and the plants climbing up the temple, sat Minseok, one leg dangling off a balcony-like structure, the other propped up leisurely.

"Doesn't look too good, does it?" Minseok asked. Chanyeol almost fell over in shock when a fourth person landed behind them with a soft thump.

"They want war."

Wherever Luhan was, Minseok wasn't too far either, so Sehun didn't bother showing a reaction as dramatic as Chanyeol. If only one of the two hunters was in sight, Sehun had nothing to fear, and this security was deeply ingrained into his body and mind. He turned to exchange a curt nod with the blond hunter, who was cleaning his palms on a dirty pair of pants.

Sehun's eyes grazed the familiar sight of the handmade longbow on his back dangling slightly from the impact. Then his eyes automatically sought his bright orbs that were devoid of their usual, mischievous sparkle.

"A war?"

"A fight. A confrontation. Call it whatever you will, but they're planning to attack us. That's why everything has been funny lately," he said, an unhappy frown tugging at his otherwise delicate features. Neither Luhan nor Minseok looked threatening if you went by their faces, but there was no sinner in the temple who wasn't aware of the fact that they were both equally deadly.

Prodding a sinner marked by Wrath was silly in itself - provoking someone who wore weapons with him at all times, weapons he was trained to use , was unheard of.

"What makes you think so? Did you snoop around again?" Sehun asked, but it lacked venom. Even Sehun wasn't delusional enough to believe that he had the two fully under control, but he was definitely the closest to an authority person.

Luhan shrugged, and the way the branches cracked behind Sehun told him that Minseok was joining them, too.

"That guy is stirring trouble. Whispering nasty stuff. Tempting them to draw their laughable weapons," Luhan scoffed, one hand resting on his hip, absently feeling along the holders of his knives. Not that he used them much - that would be Minseok's part.

"Do you want us to get rid of their head?" Minseok asked almost easily, a faint smile tugging at his lips. Sehun looked them up and down, considering the offer. There was a reason that he was in charge of the hunters - most of them were loyal to him, for one reason or another. And Minseok was very much capable of literally taking heads, short knife or not. Minseok may be prone to rage, just like Luhan, but Sehun had no doubt that the deadly duo could take the problematic leader out without drawing direct attention to themselves. However...

"No."

Luhan casually slung an arm around Minseok's shoulders, who only cocked his head in question.

"You sure?"

Sehun nodded.

"Thanks for offering, but I feel like this would cause a different type of trouble. Keep me updated on what they're doing though, will you?"

Minseok shrugged, while Luhan allowed himself a disappointed pout, but begrudgingly relented as well. No matter how tempting the prospect may be, the blond would never forget the way Sehun had taken him under his wings when he was new, fiercely snarling at anyone who dared bossing him around.

"Fine. If that's what you want," Minseok offered with a thin smile, already dragging Luhan away by his waist. Neither Sehun nor Chanyeol asked where they we're headed to - Sehun, for one, didn't care much for he trusted them more than the rules that had been set up for them. Meanwhile Chanyeol avoided talking to them altogether. He'd seen them in mid-hunt before and deemed it wise not to anger them in any way.

When they were out of hearing range, Chanyeol broke the silence.

"Okay, but-"

"Don't ask what now , Chanyeol," Sehun finally snapped in irritation, "because I don't know, okay?"

The taller one shut up immediately, and with a sigh, Sehun sank to the single stub of a tree they'd had to remove years ago, face hiding in his palms.

The humans wanted to not only break off relations, but also attack them. Sehun could put an end to this any time, but what would the humans do if their leader was lost? Wouldn't it cause more chaos?

The responsibility was heavy, and Sehun was unreasonably angry over the fact that it was him who had to make this choice. But at the same time he knew it was the right thing to happen, because a lot of people relied on him, and he would not let them down, goddammit!

"Chanyeol."

"Yeah?" the other asked almost carefully, but Sehun was done lashing out at him, fleetingly thinking that maybe Jongin's previous words were true, after all. Maybe Chanyeol had never changed, and maybe he himself had.

He looked up at him with a half-smile and took the outstretched hand.

"We're not gonna solve this on our own this time," he declared, and Chanyeol nodded obediently. "Not this time. The stakes are too high. We... we should decide on this together."

We need the others. We can't do it alone .

The realization pricked, and it caused Sehun a headache from mere stubbornness and anger. But it was the right thing to do.

 


 

It was already dark outside when Sehun padded down the deserted and dimly lit hallways. He wasn't exactly in a hurry, mainly because he was lacking the energy and his head was still pounding.

They had told the council everything. The discussions had been heated, and yet they led nowhere. Sehun was so frustrated. Lately, everything was going down the drain. His life had been going so well - now the whole temple was in danger and people were still tempted to point fingers at him.

And then there was Kim Jongin. Who had gone from daily, mild nuisance to an almost permanent presence in his life. It was like Jongin wanted to rub him the wrong way and got more and more creative in how he went about it. Though the talk they’d had the night before, in the bathing room, had almost been amicable… Sehun shook his head to get rid of the imagery. Jongin had ridiculed him. He'd went from flat-out fighting him to mild-mannered, placating smiles and Sehun didn't know which was more infuriating. Yes, there was the whole issue with the council, with the villagers, and Jongin. Why was it always about Jongin and the elegant curves of muscles, smooth and taut under bronzed skin-

He stilled in his tracks when he heard it. Rhythmic, almost melodious moans and low huffs coming from the room to his right. The door was wide open and inside, everything was pitch black. Usually, Sehun would wander off with his nose wrinkled in disgust. But this wasn't just anyone. This was Jongin. He knew this voice. Of course it was fucking Kim Jongin.

Pressed against the wall, Sehun listened to him, to the way his little moans were cut off as the air was pressed out of his lungs in a tight rhythm. His voice rose in pitch and it was as arousing as an actual touch, if not more so. The huffs and quiet groans were becoming more urgent as whoever was on him reached his climax. And Sehun could imagine Jongin being sprawled out, lips parted prettily, skin glistening like they had in the bath, and it was probably madness overcoming him, but he couldn't hold back anymore.
Before he knew it, he'd slipped out of his shoes and snuck into the room. It really was pitch black, but the laboured breathing gave away Jongin's location. His feet probingly carried him towards the source of noise, until his toes bumped into something soft. Cushions. He heard Jongin whimper ever so slightly as a slick sound filled the air, and a body was falling into the cushions audibly.

Swallowing hard, Sehun crouched down, knees on the cushion as he reached out. Slowly reached into the darkness until his fingers touched something that felt like a torso. The muscles twitched beneath his fingertips, but no protest was voiced. So that was what his skin felt like? It was sticky from a thin sheen of sweat, and yet it had Sehun craving for more, so he daringly ran his palm up and down his side, faintly feeling his ribs and the outlines of his muscles. With a low hum, Jongin leaned into the touch, and Sehun was anxiously waiting for him to realize that he was not whoever had gotten him into this state in the first place. He didn't.

Instead, he felt a hand fumbling around until it got a hold of Sehun, all but pulling him on top of him. Sehun inhaled sharply and only narrowly avoided causing a sound. He couldn't reveal himself, not now that he finally got what he’d been craving so badly.

Jongin appeared to be desperate for Sehun to touch him, judging by the way he all but arched himself up, silently begging for friction. Even through his clothes he could feel that the boy was almost painfully aroused.

"Come on..." he murmured into the darkness, and Sehun had never heard him so helpless. Eager fingers were sliding his clothes down his shoulder, pulling at the robe without any finesse. Giving up on that, his determined hands rested on the back of Sehun's head, pulling him down just as he rolled his hips up.

"Play with me, won't you?" he breathed against Sehun's forehead, and he snapped.

I can play with you alright.

He buried his face in the hot skin, sinking his teeth into what had to be his jugular, and Jongin gasped quietly.

"Yeah. Keep doing that," he murmured breathily, fingers buried in Sehun's hair, and while it was an encouragement, Sehun bristled either way. He wanted to push Jongin, push him as far as he could go. They'd play by his rules.

He sat up between the other's legs, shrugged off his robe and dove right in to press their bare torsos together. It felt good, much better than expected, and now he also felt the wet patch where Jongin was rubbing against his stomach. In a firm movement, he pushed the other's legs apart as wide as he could, until he felt the muscles tense and twitch in protest under his fingertips. He nosed his way down, not without leaving more, hard bites whenever he saw fit. A trail of hair scratched against his cheek and then he felt a very hard organ that was positively dripping.

Please , Jongin murmured. Please, please , all over again as Sehun nosed his way up and down, leaving fleeting brushes of lips in his wake. Jongin had a very distinct, heady scent, and there  was another musky scent lingering in the air, reminding him that Jongin had just been fucked by someone. Someone who was very much present. The realization gave him a certain thrill.

Whoever it was might have managed to reduce Jongin to this - but he'd be the one to completely ruin him. He began to nip at the hot flesh, eliciting more whiny kitten noises as one of his hands trailed down the soft skin Jongin’s inner thigh. Jongin was obediently keeping his legs spread at this point, even as a shiver racked his body when Sehun's fingers clumsily prodded his sensitive rim in the darkness. It felt wet and sticky, and instead of being disgusted by the idea of a stranger's cum, Sehun felt a rush of excitement as a certain idea overcame him.

He pushed his index and pointer finger inside up to the second knuckle not too gently, feeling the slick coat his fingers. Reaching up, he blindly felt along his body with his pinky, until he'd located a pair of plush lips. Jongin didn't need further instructions and obediently parted his lips, whimpering around his fingers whenever Sehun teased with his tongue.

Jongin slung his free leg around him, just as another palm was grazing Sehun’s side without warning. With an annoyed groan, Sehun pulled out his slick-coated fingers to swat at the stranger's hand. The message was taken with a breathy, amused huff. No matter how thrilling, this could be just about anyone, and Sehun's senses were completely focused on Jongin right now.

He hiked his other leg up as well, placing it on his shoulder and absently shoving the cushions a little farther below the other's back. Rough and thoughtless fucking were two different things altogether, and Jongin obviously shared his sentiment, since he felt his fingers fumble around until he found Sehun's hand resting next to him, and pushed something into it. A condom. Of course. Sehun had worn those before, but there was no way he'd be able to apply it in the dark, so he momentarily let go of Jongin's legs and tugged at his wrist to lead it down in a meaningful manner.

The air shifted as Jongin evidently sat up to skillfully roll it down as if he'd done so countless times before, and  the moment his searching fingers grazed him, Sehun couldn't help twitching, couldn't help gasping when the tight rubber enveloped him. It really had been a while. Slick fingers were dancing down his length, and Sehun dearly hoped it were Jongin's.

The warm presence before him came closer, and a hot, wet stripe was licked up his chest, tracing out the veins on his throat. He shivered, and suddenly he felt so... inferior and submissive. And maybe he liked it. But he shouldn't, because it was Jongin arching into him, begging to be fucked. So he placed both hands on the other's shoulders and all but shoved him down into the cushions, earning himself a surprised, needy gasp that melted into a drawn-out moan when Sehun began to push inside without much of a warning. He didn’t mind being too careful; Sehun figured Jongin was already quite loosened up from his... previous activities. Still, he wasn't loose , either, and the tight sensation had Sehun pulsing and Jongin squirm, helpless fingers squabbling until they rested on his back.

He felt Jongin’s ankles cross on his back, pushing and urging him in deeper, and he imagined Jongin's eyes to be closed in concentration, like they did when he was trying to deepthroat someone. With a wicked grin, Sehun granted his favor and pushed into him, up to the hilt just to keep pushing, to make him feel just how deep into him he could reach. Jongin actually whimpered, ankles loosening for a second. A tiny crack in his polished, experienced demeanour. He didn't waste any more time and dragged himself out slowly, one hand firmly gripping Jongin's hip to control the pace, even with the other clamping around him tightly.

Whenever he pushed in, the other groaned breathily, and Sehun liked that sound. He could listen to the sound alone and get aroused, but it was even better when he was the one dragging those moans out of him. He put a little more force into his movements when he felt Jongin's right leg being lifted off his shoulder. His fingers confirmed that it was the stranger holding his leg up, and Sehun wanted to hiss at him, but when he twisted his leg down, the change in angle caused Jongin to actually yelp.

Even Sehun wasn't sure he'd ever heard Jongin's voice climb this high, and the higher it did, the sharper the spark it sent down his lower regions. It was thrilling. Jongin was really losing it for him.

Sehun was suddenly feeling so light, yet still very eager to push the boy further. Leaning forward, he buried a hand in Jongin’s sweaty locks and tugged not too gently, getting rewarded with a guttural moan. Oh, how he'd love to talk to him right now, or maybe even see him. It was obvious that Jongin was out of it, by the way his moans had turned into a hitched string of ah's, and Sehun felt daring enough to reach down and palm his throat.

Jongin not only let him, he even placed his own palm over it, pushing down encouragingly. It wasn't something Sehun had ever done before, but he'd heard of it, seen it, and for some reason he felt like doing it now.

So he pressed down, only a little at first, then more and more, until the moans were left cut off in the air. His, his, his . Jongin was his right now. He thrust in hard and felt Jongin's reaction getting stuck in his throat. When fingers tapped his wrist, he let go, and the other sucked in a deep breath containing a faint moan.

"Okay," he breathed out, swallowing hardly which led to a short cough. Sehun was distracted enough to not have a chance when Jongin’s leg slid off his shoulders, hooked behind his thighs and all of a sudden, his back met the cushions, and the heat around him stayed pressing. Warm and slippery thighs were encasing his own and, hot, laboured breath fanned his lips.

"You're good. But now it's my turn, sweetie."

Sehun had had people ride him before, but he knew that none of them could compare to Jongin, and the complete darkness was reducing his senses to feeling and hearing.

And boy, Jongin had stamina. It was like the third person had never even touched him. His hands felt around until they were located on Jongin's thighs, and the feeling of the muscles flexing was almost as addictive as the feeling of hot push and pull.

It was getting increasingly hard not to make a sound now, because there was nothing for him to do but take it. Take what Jongin was giving him, and that was a lot. Whenever his fingers dug too deep into his thighs, attempting to hold or move him, Jongin would swat at them, take a hold of his wrists and slow down until Sehun was twitching, squirming, and tempted to whine. But he didn't leave him hanging.

As soon as Sehun relented, orderly placing his hands at his sides, the minx continued. His mind was probably delirious by now, but Sehun felt... good in a way that wasn't just linked to his impending orgasm. He felt taken care of. If he let go, Jongin wouldn't let him fall, like he himself might have done. That's why when he felt fingers skidding up his chest until a palm came to rest on his throat, he didn't freak out.

Sexual wishes are all about trust.

He could see that now, really feel it. Did he trust that boy grinding in his lap not to strangle him in the dark? Call him insane, but he did. He felt a thumb feeling around, pressing down on a certain spot that cut his air supply off, and it hurt a little.

If it wasn't so dark, his vision would probably spot. Or maybe it would soon do so, anyway. He inhaled sharply when the pressure loosened, only to have it cut off again right away.

It was very strange, this pressure pushing him down, caging him in. It had the pleasure build up with no way of release and... Sehun didn't like it. He felt too distracted and the lack of oxygen was dimming the pleasure in a way. So he placed his own palm over Jongin's, tapping it just like the other had done before, hoping he'd get the hint.

To his relief, he did, and while Sehun gasped for air, breath hitching every time Jongin languidly ground into him, Jongin hummed. His fingers all but danced around his throat and up the side of his face.

"Not into it, hm?"

There was no way he could verbally reply, but instead of taunting him, Jongin rolled his hips in an especially lewd fashion while his knuckles brushed against his cheeks, as if soothing the discomfort he'd caused, or checking for tears. And in that moment, Sehun was far too gone and really, really trusted him. So he led the other's hand up until it touched his hair.

Try this instead , was the unspoken suggestion. Jongin didn't hesitate a second and his fingers buried in his hair, fisted it and tugged. Hard. Sehun actually groaned this time, it came too fast for him to comprehend or stop it.

It spurred Jongin on, gave his movements fresh vigour, and Sehun felt the fingers dance through his hair before yanking at it again, without warning. Now this brought a certain thrill, and he was so carried away and needy that he arched into the warmth that was meeting him halfway.

"Good, yeah?" Jongin’s slightly hoarse voice hummed into his ear, fingers returning to cradling the back of his head like a pet done good. Instead of replying, Sehun nodded faintly, and reached down to place a hand on Jongin's erection. The reaction was immediate and Jongin clamped down tightly around Sehun, groaning into his ear.

"Come on," he whispered, urging Sehun to sit up with a palm on his back. Confused, Sehun followed suit and he was shifted until his back was resting against a wall. Oh. That was comfortable, and like this he could finally place two hands on Jongin's slim waist and sharply thrust, while keeping him in place.

"Yeah- like that, come on," Jongin encouraged him quietly, panting somewhere against Sehun’s collarbone. Sehun heard the stranger move around and evidently settling behind Jongin, judging by the way two hands were placed over his on Jongin’s waist. Instead of swatting at them, he allowed them to proceed. Clammy fingers urged his away from Jongin's waist and down to his erection.

Jongin keened at the touch, moved into every stroke, muttering more encouragements under his breath. Sehun attempted to put at least one hand on his waist, only to find the stranger holding him already, keeping him in place, further egging the squirming boy on and adding to the pressure Sehun felt with every thrust.

He was really just chasing his release now, and Jongin did the same, roughly grinding back on him and into Sehun's hand as hard as his trembling muscles allowed him to. Just when the pleasure was about to peak, Sehun felt a hand in his hair, yanking until the side of his throat was bared, and held it there. It sent Sehun over the edge, fingers tightening around Jongin who followed suit, diving in to nose around until he found the side of his throat and bit down hard, muffling a desperate moan.

For a blissful few seconds, time seemed to slow down. Sehun felt floaty and there was the vague feeling of something slick coating his fingers, a dull pain on the left side of his throat, excruciating warmth radiating off the body on top of his.

And then his senses slowly sharpened, and their movements ceased until they came to a halt. Whatever the third person in the room was doing, they couldn't hear it over the sound of their own laboured breathing.

Slowly, Sehun's common sense stirred. He'd fucked Jongin. He had actually done that. And Jongin didn't know, mustn't know. Definitely not. Not to mention that he had rudely interrupted his intermezzo with whoever it was. Long story short - he should probably leave. Not exposing himself would be optimal.

Surprisingly, Jongin didn't show resistance at all when Sehun motioned him to get off. In fact, the other appeared to be rather boneless now, gracelessly plopping down next to him - Sehun would have liked to indulge in the thought that he did that, but he could hardly deny the existence of the third person or the fact that Jongin did ride him good.

He blindly fumbled around for his robe, and didn’t give up before he found his undergarments as well. He didn’t bother to actually put them on, but leaving them behind was definitely not an option. Jongin didn't say a word, though he did hear him breathing heavily. Sehun felt relieved that he wasn't leaving the other alone in the darkness after going rather rough on him. The other person would surely keep him company.

Sehun had no idea what had gotten into him, but instead of leaving immediately, he reached around the darkness until he felt Jongin's shoulder, and knelt down. His fingers felt the slightly sticky skin up until he had cupped his cheek and leaned in to place a kiss on his lips. Their first kiss. Funny, how it was so unlike their whole encounter before. It wasn't violent, bruising or impatient. Just a soft, almost careful press of warm lips against Jongin's plush ones.

Jongin didn't resist, didn't try to initiate anything. He just took it, and it left Sehun wondering. Even as he was slipping out of the room, mindful not to step into the light, he was still... wondering .

Hours later, when he awoke at night, the question was still crystal clear on his mind. Whether Jongin had pressed back against his lips, just that little bit.






The next day, Sehun's fingers had felt the dark bruise before the mirror revealed it. Right in the center of his mark. A dark spot placed with uncanny precision, and Sehun felt wary.

He got the confirmation when he met Jongin awhile later, with Kyungsoo in tow. Jongin's eyes had lingered on the bruise he sloppily tried to hide. He'd smirked. Because apparently, Jongin knew very well, after all. And judging by the way Kyungsoo was drinking in his figure with new-found, albeit only mild interest... he, too, knew what had happened. Only then did Sehun remember Jongin's words, and he wanted to smack his forehead for being so stupid.

It feels good to forego protection for once.

The night before, in that dark room... he'd felt it himself. It was definitely not the slick used for lubrication, it had to have been Kyungsoo's cum. Oh my god, he'd touched it. He'd done it with Jongin and Kyungsoo knew .

Sehun spent the entire afternoon reflecting on his mistake and internally cringing in embarrassment. It wasn't even about Kyungsoo having sort of witnessing the whole act, but rather, the fact that Sehun couldn't deny how helpful the other had been.

He wanted to think that he was fantastic in bed - at least nobody had ever complained before - but it was obvious that Kyungsoo knew Jongin inside out (quite literally), and whenever he'd interfered, it was merely to guide Sehun. To tell him how to handle Jongin, how to wreck him.

It was this simple realization - that Sehun was no natural match for someone as experienced as Jongin, that had him silently blushing throughout the whole day. Still, it wasn't like Jongin hadn't enjoyed it, right?

He was doing it again, thinking more with his ego than reason. Wasn't that his nature though? Or was he just making excuses?

Sehun ruffled his hair with a groan, and got a sympathetic look from Junmyeon. He had the decency to feel bad about it, since diligent Junmyeon was probably assuming he was mainly concerned about the villagers being incited against them. Junmyeon certainly was, for he kept bustling around the deserted council room, restlessly checking on their resources and schedules, mumbling things about possible shelters inside the temple. Sehun was mainly acting as a moral support to keep the guy from going insane at this point, while his own thoughts were scattered all over the place. He didn't feel too bad about that one - there was another meeting with the villagers scheduled and he'd already completed all the preparations in case of an emergency. There was nothing to do for him at this point.

"Sehun, would you help me sorting this-" Junmyeon began when the door flew open, causing both of them to flinch as Chanyeol tumbled inside.

"Sehun," he began, gasping for breath, and Junmyeon looked just about ready to start an evacuation all on his own.

"Yeah?"

"It's Jongin. Jongin is in trouble and I thought maybe you could help him," he huffed out, and while Junmyeon exhaled barely audibly in relief, Sehun all but jumped to his feet.

"What's wrong? Is he sick?"

Chanyeol shook his head, and it took Sehun everything not to rattle the poor boy until he'd spit out the words resting on his tongue. Sensing his impatience, Chanyeol himself began to drag unresisting Sehun out of the room and down the hallways while trying to catch his breath.

"He's doing it with this guy..." Chanyeol began, now evidently unsure of how to voice his concern. "And it looks really bad."

Sehun stilled in his tracks, inevitably causing Chanyeol to stumble at the sudden halt.

"You're calling me because Jongin fucks around in public? What else is new?" he unhappily demanded, arms crossed over his chest. This really wasn't something he'd like to see right now. His best friend whined and tugged at his sleeves insistently.

"It's not like that! He hates it, and the guy is hurting him!"

The mask of indifference crumbled almost instantly.

 

Sehun pushed through a few spectators, following the sound of dull moans. The small crowd had formed in the middle of a hallway, and he saw a small number of familiar faces fleeting by, but paid them no heed. He forced himself to the front, pushing aside people whose complaints died when they realized who he was.

The sight squeezed the air out of his lungs.

At first he barely saw Jongin, who was positioned on the ground, wedged between the wall and the stranger's body, robe barely clinging to his sweaty frame while he was being rhythmically guided up and down on the other's lap. His back was so obviously chafing against the stone that it must be showing already, but those worries evaporated when Sehun shifted to the side to actually see Jongin.

He was bleeding out of several cuts on his arm and thighs, where blood stained the robe and made it stick to his legs. The small cuts criss-crossed up his arms, a few stray ones scattered around his shoulder, and probably on his back, as well, judging by the way Jongin flinched whenever it rubbed against the wall. The guy was all but pounding into him, one elbow propped up on a wall, and Sehun saw the tiny blade he held, blinking in the light-

"Wait."

Just when he'd been about to jump the duo, someone had grabbed his wrist harshly, and Sehun whirled around. It was Kyungsoo.

"He's holding a blade. Be careful if you don't want to hurt Jongin."

"Why didn't you stop this, what's wrong with you?!" Sehun hissed, and Jongin seemed too far gone to even register them, which was highly concerning.

"It's a thing," Kyungsoo calmly said, but Sehun didn't even look at him, too enraptured by the silently gasping male. "It's called knife play. He usually only lets Yifan do it to him though. I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to work like this."

This was a thing? Really? Sehun incredulously looked from Kyungsoo back to Jongin, who kept his eyes shut and brows scrunched together. He looked nothing but pained .

"I think he's cutting in the wrong places though. As far as I know, you stick to thighs and arms-"

Sehun wasn't even listening anymore as he took a step closer than any of the spectators dared to.

"Hey," Sehun stated, only to be ignored. He felt his brow twitch in annoyance. "Hey you. Stop it!"

"Fuck off, we're busy!" the guy grunted, leaning in to lick a stripe up Jongin's neck, and Sehun wanted to vomit.

"I said fucking stop it ! Nobody wants to see this-"

"He likes to be seen though, so shut up," the man argued, delivering another thrust that had Jongin biting his lips. He still wasn't saying a word and his expression told Sehun that he was just waiting for this to be over already. This was definitely not the face he made when he was pleased, Sehun was dead certain about that.

He stepped even closer to wrap his hand around the wrist holding the blade, pressing down hard. The man hissed in protest, and Sehun heard a concerned hum go through the crowd around him.

"Fucking cut it out!" the guy yelled, and his thrusting had subdued to hard grinding. But it wouldn't cease completely, because this pathetic person was too drunk on pleasure to care about anything at this point. "The slut gets off on this!"

"It doesn't look like it though," Sehun icily said, squeezing his wrist harder until the fingers around the blade loosened, and it fell to the ground with a dull ping. For the first time since he'd entered the scene, Jongin opened his teary eyes to shoot him a dazed look. It only fueled his anger. Without any more need to be careful, he bent the guy's arm arm until he was howling in discomfort.

"Who do you think you're talking back to, huh?" he hissed lowly, and pushed just that much farther to elicit an actual scream. He held his arm in the unnatural position as he knelt down to tug at the other's hair with his free hand, forcing him to meet his eyes.

"If I tell you to fucking back off, you just do it ," he said, in a slow and dangerously calm manner. Recognition finally washed over his eyes and they widened, pupils contracting into a sober state.

"Okay. Okay, okay, I get it," he whimpered, weakly struggling in his hold. Sehun let him struggle for a little longer, just to make a point, before he let go abruptly, causing the guy to fall to his backtumble, and Jongin to grimace at the motion.

"Then get lost. Now. Don't even consider ever touching him again," Sehun said darkly, staring him down with crossed arms. The guy unceremoniously pulled out with a slick sound, masking the tiny gasp of Jongin. The dazed boy instantly steadied himself on Kyungsoo, who had rushed to his side and made sure he didn’t hit his head as he gracelessly slumped down against the wall. Sehun shot the spectators an unimpressed look.

"Show's over! Scatter - I don't want to hear any noise on this entire floor for now, am I clear?"

People didn't even dare complaining - an angry Sehun was a dangerous Sehun. No one would want to anger the supervisor of Minseok or Luhan.

He waited until the last footsteps had faded and no one but Kyungsoo and Chanyeol were left before he inhaled deeply and looked down at the bundle of misery on the ground. Never had he seen Jongin so... out of it. He'd seen him in both dominant and submissive positions alike, but never this detached. By now, he was regaining focus, but his brows remained furrowed and his gaze unreadable. Had he lost that much blood?

"What was that all about?" Sehun snapped at him halfheartedly, and Jongin just glared at him.

"It's none of your business." Both his voice and gaze were actually scalding in a way they usually didn't, catching Sehun off guard. But as it was Sehun's nature, he reacted to stubbornness with even more stubbornness.

"None of my business, my ass!" he barked at him, fiercely meeting Jongin's gaze. "You're letting yourself get fucked up like that and expect me not to care?! "

Jongin seemed actually taken aback for a second, and Kyungsoo angrily glanced up at him.

"Stop it-"

"Oh, now you're helping him!" Sehun instantly snapped at him, "what stopped you before? Huh?"

Kyungsoo's eyes flit to the floor, before meeting his again.

"It was his decision. He didn't call for my help."

Sehun pinched the bridge of his nose, trying hard to stay calm.

"So you'd rather let some asshole cut him open."

"Leave us alone, Sehun," Jongin piped up surprisingly, voice a little gruffer than usual. "I know what I'm doing, so stay out of it."

"Yeah, but did that guy know what he was doing? You think I'm a complete idiot?!"

"Coincidentally yes - yes, I do!" Jongin yelled, and Sehun snapped.

"I wasn't the one letting a guy abuse me while dangling a damn blade over my head!"

"He didn't abuse me - to your information, Kyungsoo was right and I gave him my consent!"

"Oh yeah? So why didn't you take it back upon finding out that you fucking hate it?!" Sehun asked, completely exasperated by now. That was violation, goddammit. Someone had used Jongin's body for their own, sick pleasure and not only disregarded his needs, but flat out hurt him.

Instead of a verbal response, Jongin shrugged. He just shrugged.

And to think about how easy it would have been. A simple call for help would have moved enough people in the crowd to put a hold to it. But Jongin apparently just didn't care.

Sehun could only stare at him in disbelief. "Just... how little do you value yourself, huh? How little ?"

"Sehun-" Chanyeol piped up, but Sehun shrugged him off, taking another step that had him right in front of Jongin's feet. There were tiny droplets of blood staining the floor, and Jongin's eyes that shimmered with mild confusion beyond a thick layer of frustration.

"You think you're so smart and have it all separated so well? Don't make me laugh!"

He knelt down and reached out before Jongin could react, pushing his unmarked shoulder against the wall.

"I mean, sure, if that's how it is for you. But you should at least fuck someone who doesn't hurt you," Sehun began, feeling up Jongin’s upper arm and grazing his collarbones, when Jongin swatted at his hand.

"Don't touch me!"

"Oh, why not? I thought 'body and mind are separate' - as long as you get off, it doesn't matter how you feel about me, right? It didn't matter just now, either!" he grunted, wrestling Jongin's hand away, and he saw Kyungsoo rushing forward, Chanyeol holding him back... and a flash of fear in Jongin's orbs. No more games, no pretense. Just genuine fear .

Jongin lunged for his face, blindly scratching him across the cheek.

"I said don't touch me !"

Sehun retreated his hand immediately, as if he'd been burnt. For a few seconds, Jongin just stared at him with wide eyes and labored breathing, as if he couldn't quite believe what was happening right now.

Sehun stared back unfazed, not even attempting to soothe the burning marks on his cheek.

"See?" he said slowly, almost softly, tilting his head as he intensely gazed into the wide, confused orbs. "You, too, have some pride and dignity left. And you should. You really, really should."

With this, he got to his feet, the back of his hand absently rubbing over his cheek. Chanyeol was already padding after him when Kyungsoo quietly commanded his friend to get some bandages, and Sehun let him. He had to get away. Mostly in order to give Jongin distance, but also for selfish reasons.

He'd meant to take that step, meant to put a crack on the perfect surface that was Jongin. Not out of pure spite, but to make him understand. But seeing him actually break hurt even more than expected. Sehun chewed his lip as he kept rubbing his cheek, making it sting even more. A pitiful attempt at redeeming himself.

 


 

 

 

 

The next day, the cuts on Sehun's cheek had inflamed and had gone from itching to straight up burning. He hadn't slept all that well either, with Jongin's expression boring holes into him whenever he closed his eyes. They, too, were slightly red now, just like his cheek. He rubbed them with a low groan.

The sunlight was way too bright on this early day. He really wanted to go and search for Jongin, check up on how he was doing (even though he had no clue about how to justify himself in front of him), but duty came first. And Sehun's duty was to quickly check up on the hunters first.

He was about to slink down a narrow path at the side of the temple, when he noticed the figure hovering around the entrance area. Oh. Another addition.

It was painfully obvious with the way the young girl was clad in flowing robes that revealed a tanned shoulder - and the strikingly orange circle on it. She looked terribly scared. It seemed like the villagers had just abandoned her there. She was standing in front of the gong newcomers were supposed to hit and alert the temple of their arrival, trembling fingers reaching out and withdrawing right after.

It wasn't Sehun's place to care about newcomers anymore, but old habits died hard, and the girl looked like she'd stand there until someone accidentally found her. Soon, the group of watchmen and hunters they'd sent out would be back, and they might scare her even more. With a sigh, he decided to approach her.

She flinched violently when the rustling of Sehun's robe revealed his presence.

"You're new. Let me guide you inside."

Bright, nervous orbs blinked up at him, and even though the girl was downright terrified, Sehun couldn't help thinking back to Jongin as he led her inside the temple. How to him, Jongin's gaze had had that much more of an impact on him. He went out of his way to carefully grasp her shoulder, and even though she tensed up, she was way too scared to complain. They walked through the main hall, serenaded by the distant piano melody and took the stairs to the left. There were barely any people around this early in the morning, and Sehun doubted that Jongdae was already up and working.

"You will be registered first," he calmly stated, gaining a silent nod in response. "You'll have to answer some questions. It's no more than that. If the person responsible is awake, that is."

He didn't get a verbal response, but that was alright because he hadn't expected one. What did surprise him, however, was the soft response he got when rapping on a certain, closed door.

"Come in?"

Inside, he found a rather awake Jongdae sitting at his desk, looking like he was actually about to work. As a sinner of Sloth, staying as a useful part of their society was tedious, to say the least. Unlike many, who turned to substances altering their mind, Jongdae preferred to give in to his nature. He was allowed to, because he filled a crucial position in their system.

"Morning Sehun," he mumbled lazily, chin propped up on his palm as his other hand played with a pen. He was clad in a loose robe that revealed a generous part of his chest. The fabric was almost white from how little dirt he got on it - he rarely left his room, after all.

"You brought a newbie along?" he continued, breaking off into an unabashed yawn that stretched his curled lips.

"Yeah. Can you register and classify her?" Sehun asked, gently but firmly pushing the girl to the front until she orderly stood in front of the desk with a lowered head. She seemed afraid Jongdae might eat her up any second - as if he'd ever go out of his way to try and catch her. With a nondescript hum, Jongdae rustled through the sheets of parchment on his table for a prepared form.

"What has you up so early?" Sehun asked casually, and the other shrugged.

"Oh, nothing in particula-" he began, before cutting himself off to shift and look beyond the table.

"You should get yourself a cushion. Go easy on your knees. They're still not healed."

Before he could help himself, Sehun had bent down to look beneath the desk where he found a figure sitting in between Jongdae's legs, head resting on his inner thigh - Jongin. He glanced up to meet Sehun's gaze fleetingly, but his eyes quickly flitted away and he took the cushion that Jongdae had previously wedged in between his back and chair. The white robe was particularly loose, and Sehun swore he had seen a suspicious glimpse of skin. Not to mention how swollen Jongin's lips looked-

"Alright, please give me your name and the sin that has had you banished," Jongdae calmly asked, and Sehun snapped out of it, trying to follow the interview, even though he did take a few steps to the side, to keep an eye on Jongin. Through equally harmless and probing questions, Jongdae was the one who decided which work people were most suited for. He rarely made mistakes.

Usually, Sehun liked to witness the process, liked to get a good feeling about their newest addition. But this time, nothing could possibly distract him from the fact that Jongin was down there, huddled at Jongdae's feet, hiding from the world. From him.

He was annoyed at the fact that Jongin had sucked their infamous Sloth sinner off, even though he'd had such a bad experience just yesterday - but it probably meant that he was very comfortable around Jongdae. And that was the actual thing irking him. Just a few weeks ago, he would've simply called Jongin a slut for sitting at someone's feet like a pet, nose almost buried in Jongdae's crotch. He was even leaning into Jongdae's hand that would occasionally card through his hair.

Now Sehun was just... jealous. Jealous over the fact that Jongin sought comfort and safety and had found it in someone that wasn't him. That someone like Jongdae managed to calm him in a way he couldn't.

Sure, he had been harsh yesterday. Sure, if it had been him, he wouldn't have sought out the guy scaring him, either. Still, that didn't mean that it hurt any less. Jongin was pointedly averting his searching gaze as he nuzzled up and down Jongdae's inner thighs, looking nothing but peaceful.

"Alright, then. Give me some time to think it through," Jongdae announced, shifting his papers to shoot her a lazy, but genuine smile. "Meanwhile, you can take a seat on the cushions over there. When Junmyeon wakes up, he'll show you around and to your room."

She seemed too stunned to remember being frightened.

"That's it? Aren't you gonna... you know... won't there be a ceremony?"

"A ceremony?" Jongdae asked with a tilted head. "Like a celebration?"

This idea appeared to be even more absurd to the girl, who viciously shook her brown curls.

"No! Isn't it customary... for newcomers to be punished? For falling into sin? I was told that I should quickly lose my innocence before coming here, or else it would hurt a lot..." the girl trailed off, and Sehun snapped back to it, looking at her in alarm.

"Who said that?"

The girl fidgeted under the attention, but finally gave in.

"The major," she mumbled, fingers wringing in her lap, "he told me he was doing me a favor and..."

"Fuck," Sehun muttered at the immediate flash of anger and disgust. "This fucking asshole."

He drew the girl close by pulling an arm around her. She was so tiny in his hold, and the way she'd been tripping along made so much more sense now.

"Don't you worry about anything," Jongdae softly said, always aware of implications and moods lingering in the air.

"If anyone ever touches you without permission, they will pay," Sehun firmly said, waiting for the terrified girl to look up at him before continuing. "You tell them you're one of mine, and it should be enough to drive anyone away."

Unsurely, she nodded, and Sehun could see the shy trust gleaming in her eyes.

"Actually..." she began hesitantly, eyes flitting between both Jongdae and Sehun, "when- yesterday, when we... did that. On his back, I think I saw-"

A dull gong resounded through the temple, and they all stiffened. This was not the one outside though. It was the one for emergencies. Sehun didn't have to guess what was going on. He pushed the girl towards the cushions, not even sparing her a glance.

"Jongdae, stay put, people are gonna seek shelter here later."

He was already halfway out of the room when Jongin appeared next to him, looking mildly disturbed, but determined to follow him.

"Stay behind, Jongin-" he huffed out while rushing down the hallways.

"Are we being attacked?"

"Just go and assist Junmyeon and the others-"

"So what can you do that I can't, huh?" Jongin argued right back at him and Sehun groaned, though he didn't bother complaining even further. Most people were being ushered inside the temple, but there were a few ones like Sehun, who wanted to get a look at the situation. Yifan stood at the entrance, attempting to hold Jongin back, for he wasn't a member of the council, but Sehun wordlessly dragged him out with him.

Outside, a mob of people had gathered with an obviously hostile intention. All of them held weapons, though only the first few rows seemed to have actual objects designed to cause physical harm. Most of them looked like angry farmers. They looked pitiful, at best.

Sehun quickly scanned both sides for familiar faces. A few council members were unsurely lingering alongside him, not sure how to handle this situation. He saw Yifan joining them, even though he seemed torn between fight or flight, and both Soojung and Jongup, who angrily stared the mob down. Yixing was hovering in the entrance area while Chanyeol was next to Kyungsoo - upon seeing Sehun, he inched closer to him.

At the sidelines, he spotted both Minseok and Luhan, the latter already having an arrow ready to pierce anyone who made a wrong move. Most of the other hunters weren't back yet and those who were were probably scattered around to remain unseen. Still, having those two served as enough of a warning to let the mob hesitate.

"What's going on here?" Sehun asked into the crowd, and he heard people mumble and shift. They outnumbered them by far, but they had grown to fear sinners for decades, and it seemed like the fear was rooted too deeply to overcome it that easily.

"Why do you want to attack us all of a sudden? We didn't cause you any harm!" Sehun called out, and despite both Jongin and Chanyeol tugging at his arms, he refused to back down and hide. He wore his pride like a shield, and he knew it was enough for those frightened, insecure people.

"We want our children back!" a guy called from the back, and Sehun couldn't help openly scoffing.

"The ones you kicked out, you mean? The ones you're terribly afraid of right now?" He tugged a helpless Chanyeol beside him by his upper arm. "Like him?"

The murmuring grew in volume, and Sehun tilted his head with open contempt.

" Now you want them back? Maybe you should ask yourselves why on earth one would return to a place that brought them nothing but sadness and abuse? That abandoned them, even?" He heard some of his own people reprimand him, but it was too late. The words sparked a wave of protest, and Luhan was sharply moving his bow to switch targets.

"Calm down and lower your weapons!" Sehun barked, and if it weren't for his sheer presence, he might have been ignored. "Don't be stupid! If you get too much spilled blood on your hands, you'll end up being marked yourself!"

It was true. Usually, murder would result in a mark of Wrath, but there was no guarantee that anything coming close to it wouldn't result in the same. They must have had known the risk, but getting blatantly confronted with it seemed to do the trick. Just when Sehun thought a crisis was averted, another sharp voice was raised.

"Don't listen to him! Take them back by force!" Sehun was no fool. He knew that voice.

"Stop hiding behind your people! Step forward and talk to us!" Sehun barked, and a movement ran through the crowd, who was all too eager to expose their major - a middle-aged man with an expression of barely concealed anger. He stepped forward with his chin raised haughtily. Sehun felt himself get ticked off at the display of defiance, an almost natural reflex. But he took it in stride and merely cocked his head at him.

"What's the meaning of all this?"

"It's the end of your reign, simple as that - we will no longer serve a bunch of people that are criminals!"

"Criminals you banished yourself?" Sehun asked right back at him, trying hard not to show any emotions.

"It had to be done. Punishments are necessary. But that doesn't mean we'll let those beneath us reign over us!" the man yelled, and vague agreement went through the crowd.

"So you're gonna do what? Kill all of us? I thought you want those so-called criminals back? You're not making any sense," Sehun countered swiftly, fueled by anger. The major stumbled over his words the slightest bit.

"We're- we'll only execute those who never were a part of us. The others will receive a trial."

It was a tiny slip up, but Sehun had a knack for spotting other people's weaknesses. And he liked to prod around until the tiny cut became a gaping wound.

"A trial, yeah? Then what? You forgive half the sins and execute the other half? You think their families will be better off if their child is dead instead of banished? And that killing only their grandchildren is alright? You think they'd be happy?"

The man wasn't making sense, and he knew it. And by the way his people hesitated, they knew it, too. They were angry and driven by the urge to see the ones they'd once lost. But it wasn't nearly enough to cause a riot.

The major stomped with his feet, and that's when Sehun knew he'd won this game.

"Shut up! We're going to take back control and then we'll find a solution!"

Sehun merely scoffed at his words and rolled his eyes. That's where Superbia lured him into making a grave mistake – feeling way too victorious way too early.

"It's none of your business how we'll proceed after this!" the man yelled angrily, "because filth like you won't be around to witness it, anyway!"

With this, he jumped forward with an object blinking in his hand, up the few stairs and towards Sehun, who was taken by surprise and didn't react in time. Everything happened in a flash - people screaming, someone tugging him back, a shadow lunging forwards.

And then there was Yixing, clutching the knife the major had stabbed into his abdomen.

And all hell broke loose.

"Yixing!"

People started to move in a flash, and Sehun knew by the guttural screams that Wrath had snapped. He saw Yifan tackle down Jongup, who had darted towards them, and he heard Luhan's agitated yell.

"Hold them back! Nobody attack anyone !" Sehun said as he rushed to the front to save Yixing. The boy was coughing, trembling fingers still wrestling with the knife's handle, and without thinking, Sehun placed a foot on the majors chest to kick him off with all his strength. Yixing cried out in an unnaturally high pitch when the blade left his body, and Sehun was quick to catch him and place him down as careful as possible, one palm covering the wound. The attacker stumbled down the few stairs with Soojung all but flying after him, one foot crushing the wrist that was still clutching the knife, before knocking him out cold with deadly aim.

A feral cry from his right had Sehun whirl around to see Chanyeol desperately attempting to hold back Minseok while Jongin and Luhan were rolling on the ground, wrestling for control over the bow.

A hand joined his over the gaping wound and he looked up to see Kyungsoo shooting him a firm, reassuring look. Sehun took his chance to scramble to his feet, a fleeting glance wandering over the shell-shocked crowd, over the silently bleeding boy on the ground and the vicious way Luhan was clawing at Jongin, who kept glancing at Sehun in panic.

Things were spiraling out of control. He had to do something, had to make a decision, now -

He jumped down the stairs and towards the crowd, which shirked back in concern, as if Sehun was the one wielding a weapon.

"Give me those ropes!" he barked, completely ignoring the sharp objects pointed at him. A scrawny young boy complied without thinking, handing a bundle of ropes over to Sehun, who hastily threw them towards Chanyeol. "Tie him up!"

He received cries of outrage from the hunters spilling through the entrance to help hold their leaders in check, villagers staring in utter disbelief. But this was the only reasonable thing to do - once a sinner of Wrath snapped, there was no getting to them anymore. Right now, getting Wrath under control was the most important thing to do. Sehun had no time to waste, and so he impatiently demanded more rope, which, this time, was granted without question.

"Carry Yixing to Tao. Lead everyone marked by Wrath to Jongdae!" he ordered, not even bothering to check whether his people followed. Instead, he stalked over to the source of problems, who was still unconscious, with a foot pressed to his throat. Sehun knelt down beside him and tapped Soojung's calf until she caved in and took a step back.

What had the girl said? Something strange on his back? Sehun heaved the boneless man into a sitting position and unceremoniously ripped down his robe to reveal bandages. Many, many bandages and a red circle half poking out of them just on top. Sehun grabbed the bloody knife and cut them open to reveal not only a mark of wrath, but seven marks in total. Seven circles, all lined up over his spine. An uproar went through the crowd, but no one dared approaching them, as if the mere sight of the markings was dangerous. Seven. He'd seen two marks before - on Tao actually - but seven? That was... unheard of.

He dully heard the exclamations of shock among both sides, and with one hand still grasping the knife, Sehun just kept staring at the marks. Could one really fall into all of the sins alike? Could anyone be that tainted?

Before he could open his mouth, the circles grew faint. At first, he thought his eyes were playing tricks on him, but even upon roughly rubbing his thumb over them, they only seemed to become fainter. All of them. They were... fading.

"What is this?" he muttered to himself in sheer disturbance when seconds later, the man's back was blank and unblemished again. They were gone.

The red one had been added last, judging by the way it had poked out from under the bandages; he'd probably acquired it during the rage fit against Sehun and the way he'd hurt Yixing. The red mark had completed the seven deadly sins... and now they had disappeared. The crowd had gone dead-silent.

No one seemed to know what to do. People were starting to shuffle around to get a good look, but Junmyeon wasn't around to be the voice of reason, and no elderly council member was eager to take charge. Everyone was waiting for Sehun to make a decision. Technically, all sinners were theirs to judge and punish. But this one was unmarked now.

"Did you see that?" he asked, and while Soojung next to him agreed, Sehun's eyes were set on the crowd of villagers. He received a few unsure nods in return. "All of you?"

Sehun got to his feet, pulling the unconscious man up with him. Chanyeol wordlessly jumped over to assist him, wide eyes flitting from the man to the crowd. Sehun shifted until the man's back was presented to the temple and the people crowding the foot of it.

"I want all of you to take a good look at it," he commanded, determined voice carrying over the silent glade. "This man went from wearing all the marks to wearing none. I don't want to hear anyone deny that when this is over." Then he turned and threw the man to the crowd's feet.

"Take him away. Do whatever you want with this man, as long as you don't forget to charge him for violating women," he said with determination, and the soft voices of protest from behind were swiftly subdued by a scalding glare. Challenging a Superbia in front of others was plain stupid to begin with, but this was also an important matter in general and Sehun was responsible. He would not let anyone question his authority now.

"But he was marked! We saw it! S-so he's one of yours now!" one of the men in the front row shakily said. He visibly cowered under Sehun's gaze.

"And now he isn't marked anymore. To us, it looks like you're the tainted ones now. We may have fallen for one sin, but how do we know that among you, there aren't plenty of people like this guy?"

Sehun stared him down expectantly, but the man knew no answer to that. Of course he didn't. He halfheartedly nudged the pathetic figure on the ground.

"You came here to make a change? Reach out to those you rejected? Fine. We'll discuss that. But not right now and certainly not with weapons involved. Now take him out of our sight. Now!"

He didn't expose any weakness and stood perfectly still, staring after them until even the last villager had left the glade. That didn't mean he wasn't feeling the tentative fingers grasping his upper arm.

 




It was silent in the main hall. At this early hour, when the sun still shone through the eastern windows, no one was up yet.

Pale fingers fleetingly brushed the pretty keys. White, white, black-

"Is he going to be alright?"

Sehun flinched at the sudden voice, but had enough self-control as to not press a key. It wasn't his place. A look over his shoulder told him what he already knew - it was Jongin, with his loose robe and messy curls... and concerned eyes. Funny how a few weeks earlier, Sehun would have refused to see any emotion beside want in them. Now that he knew, the worry seemed so obvious.

"Yixing will be fine. It was a deep wound, and he won't be playing for a while, but he'll live."

He heard the other breathe out a "That's good," and soon a hand joined his on the piano, caramel-colored fingers standing out against the white keys. He, too, didn't press any of them and ran his nail over them instead, causing soft clicking noises where white turned to more white. Sehun watched him while listening to the quiet tumult that were his thoughts.

"So all the sins together make a normal human, huh? What a pretty story..." Jongin mumbled, and Sehun only replied with a non-committal hum. After a few moments of aimless key-trailing, Jongin spoke up again.

"Did you hear about Kyungsoo? He's with Chanyeol and Baekhyun now." Sehun raised brow, even though his eyes remained glued to the elegant fingers.

"Both of them?"

"You know how competitive those two are. I'm not even sure who Baekhyun is envious of, to be honest, but Soo is certainly entertained."

Sehun hummed again, unsure what to make of this information. Why would Jongin tell him this?

When he still got no reply that was to his satisfaction, the sun-kissed fingers crossed the line and came to a rest above Sehun's hand. It was such a small gesture, but the skin contact set something off in him. He felt Jongin look at him, and swallowing bits of his pride, Sehun returned the gaze, baring the mixed feelings reflected in his eyes.

"What you did out there... was amazing. I used to think you were all talk, but you actually aren't," Jongin admitted, voice surprisingly soft. He licked his lips in a fit of nerves before the next words tumbled out of his mouth. Sehun couldn't recall a moment where he'd ever seen Jongin this genuinely nervous.

"The day before, too. You wanted to help me. And I think you did, even though I didn't get it at that time. Just. From now on..." He inhaled slowly, before meeting Sehun's eyes, putting in an obvious effort to speak slow and clearly. "You earned my respect. You really did."

In a fit of feelings Sehun couldn't grasp, he reached up to let his fingers run through Jongin's hair - and Sehun felt a dash of insecurity. A real fear of getting rejected, and it felt different from usual. Like it wasn't about him , but about... Jongin.

The feeling was slowly put out when Jongin not only let him, but closed his eyes to lean into it just a tiny bit. "You wanna fuck me now, because you can't say thank you like a normal person?´"

And the spell was broken. Sehun tugged at the strands in retaliation, and Jongin whined, even though he barely made an effort to escape him.

"You know, I figured your hair-pulling game to be better than this. You already need some practice on the choking stuff-"

"Oh my god, shut up! I do not want to fuck you," Sehun protested, and Jongin grinned, with his eyes still closed.

"Good. ‘Cause I'm not in the mood."

At this, Sehun couldn't help smiling a little himself. He ceased the tugging in order to cup the other's cheek. Jongin's eyelids twitched, but he kept them close with his eyebrows scrunched a tiny bit.

"Okay. I believe you," Sehun said quietly, and why was his voice dropping like that? He was supposed to speak loud and clear, not quiet and... vulnerable. "I called you a slut a lot, didn't I? I'm taking it back. You're one of the most innocent sinners in this temple."

Jongin didn't laugh, but his deep, brown orbs blinked up at him, only to flit close again when Sehun leaned in to press their lips together. Careful, as if he wanted to really feel the way his plush lips molded against his, stretch out the sensation. This time, Jongin did respond with a tiny bit of pressure on his own. And salacious Jongin, who he'd seen in all positions imaginable, doing unspeakable things without any shame, was resting his hands on Sehun's lower arms with caution now, fingers grasping the fabric hesitantly, shyly even. Sehun tentatively nipped on his lower lip and he heard the other's breath hitch.

Another gentle, but lasting press to his lips, and Sehun withdrew just enough to break the touch. He felt Jongin's slightly ragged breathing and couldn't help but chuckle.

"What's with the great Jongin?" he whispered, and Jongin swallowed audibly when their lips brushed fleetingly. "You've kissed a million times. How can such a chaste kiss get you worked up like this?"

"I decide which kiss is special and which isn't. Body and mind, Sehun," Jongin only whispered back, and it had Sehun's heart rate speed up instantly. He was still too dazed to react when Jongin darted out his tongue to give Sehun's lips a kittenish lick, complete with a hum that suspiciously sounded like a moan. Startled and slightly flustered, Sehun broke away.

"I thought you weren't in the mood?!" he asked, wiping his lips with the back of his hand (and maybe discreetly cool down his burning cheeks). Jongin grinned.

"I'm not. Just fucking with you," he said airily, albeit mildly breathlessly, and Sehun knew he was gone for those shiny eyes. Still, he would surely not back down that easily, and soon they were bickering again.

It was funny, Sehun thought to himself as he swatted at Jongin's wandering hands without venom. Funny how Jongin seemed to wake all those other sins in him. Greed, Gluttony, Envy, Lust or even Wrath.

 

Actually, he couldn't wait until Sloth would teach them how to comfortably enjoy the moment. Together.