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One Thousand and One Nights

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‘Hey, what would gege think about a trip?’

 

One year after Hua Cheng's return, give or take, and their consequent reunion, the question leaves the ghost's lips, as they're sitting in the garden at the front of Pu qi temple, relaxing and just enjoying each other's company. 

Xie Lian lifts his head, which was resting on Hua Cheng's shoulder, and looks up at him ‘I think that would be a wonderful idea. Where would you like to go?’ he asks then, gazing at his husband with a sincere smile on his face.

Hua Cheng then makes a scene of thinking about it, tapping his chin with the index finger of the hand who's not clasping Xie Lian's between their bodies, but the prince of course has already seen through him. 

‘Mhmm I have this place, in a lovely town in another land. It might be a bit far, but nothing a distance shortening array can’t solve. We could spend a few days there, relax, just the two of us. And maybe-‘

 

He stops mid phrase, Hua Cheng's smile getting wider and glinting with a hint of something that makes the deity’s skin tingle as he raises a questioning eyebrow ‘And maybe..?’ He encourages, cocking his head to the side.

Hua Cheng only smiles wider and brighter ‘Maybe it could be the chance for you to pay me back. You know, for all the spiritual energy I lent you’ he smirks, nudging the other man’s shoulder with his own.

 

Oh. So that is what Hua Cheng is after. 

Xie Lian's cheeks redden despite himself.

 

‘Oh you…’ He starts, but then looking at Hua Cheng's cheeky smile, he just sighs, and shakes his head, biting back a soft smile ‘Alright. So, when do we leave?’




꧁ ∘ ∘ ∘ ∘ ∘꧂





Two days later, when Xie Lian finds himself in a rather peculiar situation, everything he can think about is ‘I should have known’.

 

Hua Cheng and him have taken residence in one of the ghost king's mansions, this one located in a foreign land, and they are planning to stay there for at least a week, tucked away together and far from heavenly responsibilities and Ghost City duties.

After their arrival, they had taken a walk around town, grabbed a bite from the food stands (Xie Lian had wanted to try foreign delicacies and who was Hua Cheng to say no to those pleading eyes?), and then finally relaxed a bit in the big drawing room.

 

Then afterwards, when Hua Cheng offers to draw a bath for them, Xie Lian gladly accepts.

Initially, the ghost had insisted to bathe together but, after Xie Lian had adamantly countered that he certainly wouldn’t be able to wash properly with him there, Hua Cheng had been forced to surrender.

 

He quickly washes first, insisting of leaving Xie Lian all the time he wants to lay back and relax in the hot water, and when he comes back from the bath he is wearing nothing but a silk red robe tied loosely around his waist that does nothing to conceal the ghost’s statuesque body.

Xie Lian's cheeks burst into flames and he has to physically restrain himself, lest he does some unspeakable thing and makes a complete fool of himself. 

But Hua Cheng is still pouting about the missed opportunity of soaking in the tub with his husband (at which the deity promises to make up for before they leave), so he’s thankfully obvious to his interior conflict and instead nudges Xie Lian towards the bathroom with a huff.

‘Take your time’ he says then, pulling the curtain closed behind him, and effectively leaving Xie alone in the finely decorated bathroom, retreating silently to the adjacent bedroom.

 

Xie Lian releases the breath he didn’t notice has been holding, smiling and shaking his head. He'll come around eventually.

Then, he gets to work.



꧁ ∘ ∘ ∘ ∘ ∘꧂





Not even two incense sticks time passes before Xie Lian climbs out of the, frankly enormous, bathtub, wrapping himself in a soft towel and dabbing at his long hair with another.

 

Normally, to air dry his hair it'd take a long time, but he has made a habit of using spiritual energy in order to quicken the process significantly and so, before he knows it, he's standing in front of the low table where he's left his clothes before entering the bath, tossing his long hair over his shoulder. Only, instead of his white, plain robes, on the marble surface lays a bundle of carefully folded white, silk clothes, which, on a closer inspection, look nothing like anything Xie Lian owns.

 

‘San Lang?’ he calls then, eyeing the bundle suspiciously ‘Where are my clothes?’.

On the other side of the curtain there is no movement and Hua Cheng doesn't answer immediately, but when he does, Xie Lian swears he can feel the mischievous smile in his voice.

‘Why gege, they're on the table’ he says easily, and Xie holds back the ' these are not my clothes' , deeming it unnecessary, since the ghost is obviously aware of the fact.

 

Sighing and shaking his head, Xie Lian nonetheless decides to take a look at the outfit Hua Cheng obviously switched with his own while he was in the bath. However, when he takes the silky material into his hands and unfurls it curiously, spreading the piece of clothing on the table, he immediately feels a deep flush rush to his damp cheeks.

 

Right away, one thing is tremendously clear to Xie Lian; if he were to put that outfit on, he would surely die of embarrassment. 

 

‘San- San Lang!’ he cries out in a flustered voice, and the answer is immediate and curious ‘Yes? Aren't the clothes I chose for Your Highness in line with his tastes?’ Hua Cheng's tone of voice is playful, but underneath the flirtatious exterior, Xie Lian can also catch the shade of uncertainty underlying his words.

 

Biting his lower lip, he surveys the exquisite clothes, his cheeks aflame and his heart beating a mile a minute. There’s pure silk, precious jewels and intricate weavings of clasps and chains, and Xie Lian trained eye recognises the fact that the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship are both superb ‘It's not that I don't like them, but…’ but how would he look, wearing those clothes?

 

What would San Lang see, were he to walk into the room with those on?

 

The silence stretches on for a few minutes, not a movement to be heard from Hua Cheng's side, but when his voice comes again from the other room, the doubt and insecurity in his words are unmistakable.

‘I- I understand if gege doesn't want to wear those clothes. I would never force him to do something that makes him uncomf-‘

But, before he can finish speaking, the noise of the bathroom curtain being hurriedly pulled aside makes him snap his head around from his position on the chaise longue, facing the window, and when his eye registers what he sees, the words get positively stuck in his throat.

 

Xie Lian is standing in the doorway, leaning against the wall with his hips cocked to the side, a cascade of silver jewels and charms littering his hair and forehead in an exotic crown of chains that drape over the soft features of his prince.

The lower part of his face is shadowed by a thin red veil, the same sheer fabric that is nestled between his dark locks to resemble a Bride’s ceremonial veil.

My bride’ he thinks for an instant.

And for a moment he is brought back, to a different time, a different place, to a dark forest and offered hands and blood raining down on the thin paper of a red umbrella.

Back then his prince had been wearing a veil of the similar shade, and he had been just as beautiful as he was now standing in front of him, but nothing could be compared to the feeling of knowing that now he would be allowed to touch and kiss and savor the perfection of the deity however he pleased.

 

For as much as that ensemble had elicited a number of impure thoughts at the mere image of his prince wearing it, Hua Cheng was definitely not ready to see it draped over Xie Lian’s lithe body.

The white silky material clings perfectly to each curve and defined line, stretching beautifully along toned muscles and creamy skin and Hua Cheng feels his head spin as he follows the flow of the fabric with hungry eyes. 

The cropped top leaves strong shoulders exposed, draped with just a few chains that disappear behind the dark curtain of Xie’s hair to clasp somewhere in the back and then reconnect with the intricate design crossing over his chest.

His arms are covered in loose dark fabric, cascading from the flex of his biceps where it’s clasped on with a jeweled silver band, all the way to delicate yet strong hands, left free of any ornaments for the Ghost King to freely feast his eye upon.

 

Xie Lian takes a deep breath, feeling himself flush under his lover’s lust-filled gaze, he finally lets go of the curtain and takes a few steps towards the chaise longue where his husband is sitting.

As he walks, each step is echoed by the tinkling sound of the numerous chains draped over the deity’s waist, and Hua Cheng can’t help but be enticed by the sway of those hips, his mind going numb every time the fabric shifts to reveal the cutouts that leave the skin of his delicious thighs exposed.

The ghost unconsciously licks his lips, leaning back against the plush pillows propped behind his back, the metallic sound of his own outfit of choice clinking against itself.

 

‘So does San Lang like the way I look?’ The tone in Xie Lian’s voice is apparently timid, but the ghost knows his lover too well for the slight playful undertone to go unnoticed.

With the last few steps Xie Lian is now standing at the foot of the velvety chaise longue that homed the splayed body of the Ghost King, looking down at him through long lashes, waiting for the praises he hopes are about to come out of the other man’s mouth.

‘Gege took my breath away the moment he stepped through the threshold...’ Hua Cheng exhales, sitting up and curling two fingers towards himself repeatedly, signaling the other man to come closer.

‘I am no poet, but if I had to find the definition of uncorrupted beauty, I would say gege is where it lies.’ he admits, licking his lips as he watches the shift of the white fabric of Xie Lian's trousers as he starts climbing on top of him.

As soon as the words leave his lips a blush spreads all across the deity’s features, reddening high cheekbones and flushing down toward his chest, gaze downcast and fingers fiddling with the jewel nestled at his bellybutton. 

‘San Lang is such a flatterer, I don’t think I deserve such kind words from you’ he whispers, boldly hiking the length of Hua Cheng’s legs until he is close enough to lower himself down on strong thighs. 

As close as he is now he can finally let his eyes roam over the expanse of the ghost’s chest, left exposed by the ensemble he had changed into presumably while he was enjoying his bath.

Despite the predominant colors being Hua Cheng’s usual ones, tones of red and black adorned by the occasional silver, the outfit almost looks like the complete opposite of the one Xie Lian himself is wearing, covering skin where his own is exposed, and instead leaving uncovered patches of skin that Xie Lian himself has clothed. 

Black fabric stretches across broad shoulders and strong biceps, interrupting just before the elbow, a crimson cape is draped over his back, connecting to the intricate design of the silver plates adorning the upper part of his defined chest, similar to the cuffs that are wrapping around his slender wrists and hands. Hua Cheng almost looks like a warrior and something familiar stirs low in the deity’s loins as he rakes his eyes on every inch of the gorgeous man before him.

Xie Lian had never been one particularly akin to the joys of carnal pleasures, but ever since his path crossed with the man that has made his way into his life and into his heart, he can’t help but find himself craving Hua Cheng.

He wants to touch, to taste, to feel the bulging of muscles and the silkyness of his skin under the pads of his fingers, to revel in the sensation of pleasure that only his lover can give him.

 

‘Hungry?’ comes Hua Cheng’s voice, the word rolling out of his lips in a suggestive tone, shaking Xie Lian from his decidedly impure thoughts. The man feels blood rushing to his cheeks and he’s about to stammer out an answer, something along the line of ‘ S-San Lang! that’s dirty!’ , when he suddenly registers Hua Cheng’s hand unhooking his veil from behind his ears, he lets it fall between them and then he’s holding up something at his mouth’s level.

 

A round, small, purple object, plump and glossy. A perfectly ripe grape.

 

When Xie Lian’s gaze meets Hua Cheng’s he’s smiling at him encouragingly, so, swallowing down his embarrassment, he leans in, plump lips parting and eyes never leaving the ghost’s face, and takes the offered grape into his mouth.

In the silence of the room the crunching sound of Xie Lian’s teeth biting into the fruit feels as loud as a lighting bolt out of blue, sending shivers through both his and Hua Cheng’s bodies.

‘Good?’ Hua Cheng asks him, taking another grape from the basket, a white one this time, and Xie Lian just nods, probably not really trusting himself to speak at the moment. Then his mouth parts expectantly and, unconsciously, Hua Cheng runs his tongue along his own lips. 

 

Not yet.

 

He feeds Xie Lian grape after grape and his prince takes them all into his mouth obediently, his lips barely parting and forcing Hua Cheng’s fingers to brush against the soft skin every time he retreats his hand to fetch another piece, an action that is becoming more and more sensual by the minute.

Xie Lian’s heart is beating so loudly that Hua Cheng can hear it in the dead silence of the room, and his hands are trembling slightly where he has them pressed lightly against the ghost’s stomach in order to balance himself in his lap, but he doesn’t dare stop nor pull away, afraid to break the heady atmosphere that has draped over them in the narrow space between their bodies.

 

But by the next time his husband is pushing another grape past his lips, something shifts.

 

Before, when the deity parted his lips to accept the round fruits, he always waited for Hua Cheng to retreat his hand before closing his mouth, and the ghost was always careful not to linger too much, too close. However this time, his lips close almost immediately, forcing Hua Cheng’s fingers to drag over them as he pulls back, causing a shiver to run down the ghost’s spine.

But when his husband meets Xie Lian’s gaze with a raised eyebrow, the deity's eyes are unwavering. 

So, Hua Cheng just smiles, taking another grape into his hand. 

 

The prince’s lips part dutifully, granting him access, his tongue poking out slightly, but as soon as Hua Cheng places the grape on the flat of it, Xie Lian’s mouth seductively closes around his fingers. 

Electricity courses through his body, and his black eye widens, meeting his husband’s warm chestnut ones. 

 

Not daring to avert his gaze, Hua Cheng slowly pries his fingers out of the deity’s mouth. He can feel the drag of warm, plush lips on his cold skin and the wetness of Xie Lian’s tongue, and he briefly wonders if, along with the sweetness of the grape, the deity can also taste him on it. 

 

He wonders, as his fingers are finally free from the warmth of Xie Lian’s mouth, whether the prince has done it on purpose.

 

Mere months prior, that thought would have never crossed his mind. 

After Hua Cheng’s return and the official beginning of their romantic relationship, it still took Xie Lian quite some time to get comfortable with intimacy, and even more to understand that it was okay for him to want things for himself, to desire.  

 

At the beginning it was all about flustered cheeks and tentative hands, about praises whispered in the quiet of the night and trembling fingers exploring each other’s skin under the flickering light of a lantern.

They barely had any idea what they were doing but nothing came easier for them than to take care of one another, of watching what a touch of their hands or a heated kiss could do to their lover, how it could make their cheeks redden and their body arch in pleasure.

And after a while, after nights spent memorizing patterns of skin and scars, after infinite hours of learning from each other, the tentative became curiosity, the fluster a newfound boldness, the want crawling all over their skin and curling at their loins as something deep within them was screaming for the other. 

A loud plea to touch, to bite, to ask for more with a broken breath. For Hua Cheng to surrender himself to his prince all over again, and for Xie Lian to allow himself to finally desire, to own, to possess.

 

Despite all the times they have been intimate together, seeing this side of his prince never ceases to spread blistering heat all over his body and send shivers running down his spine.

Xie Lian, an Heavenly Official, always his poised and reserved self, the one sporting an almost everlasting dust of innocent blush on those high cheekbones, being so openly languid with him, knowing that he is the only one ever allowed to see the deity like this, so raw and passionate, lust filling those beautiful doe eyes of his, stirs something low in his stomach.

The ghost blindly reaches to his side to take another grape between his fingers, gaze still locked with his lover, impossible for him to look away, he pushes it past Xie Lian’s plump lips and watches as sinful red closes around the bright green of the fruit, tongue darting out once again to tease at the pad of his finger.

But Hua Cheng doesn’t have the time to dwell on the nature of the deity’s actions, because long delicate fingers are closing tightly on his wrist, a hold not strong enough to hurt in any way, but firm enough to let the ghost know Xie wasn’t allowing him to go anywhere. 

There’s a glint of something crossing those warm pools of chestnut, when two fingers move from his wrist to the back of his hand to keep it in place, just as his prince’s lips part on the skin of his palm, and he licks up one long, sinful stripe towards the tip of his fingers.

It’s wet, and messy and so incredibly languid that Hua Cheng can’t help the moan that tumbles from his mouth as Xie Lian takes his fingers in his mouth and sucks around them, tongue swirling on the sensitive skin and saliva dripping on his chin.

 

Hua Cheng is completely enraptured by the scene unfolding in front of him, he can’t help but stare at his husband and finds himself unable to pry his eyes away from Xie Lian and what he and his tongue are doing to him.

His eye falls to the red of his lips, still flushed with color with the heat of his bath and something inside him is begging for him to touch .

It’s a barely-there movement but it’s enough to twist his hand close enough that his thumb grazes on the deity’s bottom lip, before dipping in to press down on the flat of his tongue.

Saliva pools around it and before Hua Chang has the chance to think about how incredibly erotic the sight is, Xie Lian is closing his mouth and biting down on he meat of his finger, eyes fluttering close for a brief moment before catching his gaze once again, dark and glazed over with so much want .

He can't hold back any longer and, taking his thumb out of his prince’s mouth and leaving a trail of saliva on to drip on his bottom lip, he finally leans down and slots their lips together, kissing him deeply.

 

Hands fly up to tangle in long hair, answering to the ghost’s need to pull his prince flush against his chest, Xie Lian moans in his mouth and that is enough for him to lose control over himself, melting against the man in his lap as wet lips slide against each other oh so perfectly.

Xie Lian’s part underneath his and Hua Cheng drinks every little needy sound that comes out of them like a man stranded in the desert, he wants more and he takes, his lover’s taste so intoxicating that anything else fades into nothingness.

 

Xie Lian starts to trail his hands down his chest and Hua Cheng does the same, almost mirroring his husband’s movements, letting his hands first rest on the curve of his hips and then, slowly, to fall on his thighs, trailing his fingers on the skin exposed by the gaps in his trousers.

 

And Gods, Hua Cheg was well aware that the outfit was scandalous on his own, but he had no idea how much seeing it draped on his lover would drive him absolutely crazy, he can’t help but keep touching him, just the tips of his long fingers skimming over everywhere they can reach, alternating between fabric and soft skin.

And every time he happens to hit a particularly sensitive spot Xie Lian is gasping into his mouth, lips stuttering their movement as the prince shakes into his arms

 

Emboldened by the reaction he is coaxing out of his lover, he lets his hand fall to the hemline of the trousers sitting snugly around Xie Lian’s hips, he allows just the tips of long fingers to dip teasingly just an inch past the hem before venturing upwards, skimming on the flat plane of his stomach, appreciating the way he can feel the way Xie's breathing falters under his touch.

When his fingers reach the bottom of the other’s cropped top, the see through fabric leaving barely anything to the imagination, the ghost unconsciously licks his lips, his eyes falling on the raised skin of Xie Lian's nipples, by now perfectly visible and hard, so deliciously tempting under the thin layer of silky fabric.

 

And for as much as Hua Cheng would love nothing more than to just rip the whole ensemble open and take them into his mouth he reminds himself that they have all the time in the world tonight.

He pulls aways slightly, taking in the delicious way his husband looks like this, trembling with want in his lap and breathing heavily at each touch of his hands.

 

So he waits, wanting to drag the teasing on as long as possible, too enraptured in drinking in every response of Xie Lian’s body to his own.

He circles the skin of his pec with the tip of two fingers, close but not yet touching where Xie Lian wants him to, and the breathing gets heavier the closer he gets and Hua Cheng is rewarded with a needy moan of complaint when the fingers trail back down towards his abs. 

He can’t help but revel in seeing his lover getting so needy, the stark contrast between this and his usually poised and contained self really a sight to behold.

‘San Lang ngh- ‘ gods the sounds he makes ‘San Lang stop teasing, touch me, please’.

Hua Cheng bites down a curse at the openness of his husband’s plea, the pit in his stomach already burning hard with desire as he feels himself straining against the material of his trousers.

Sliding underneath the hem of his top, he finally palms his whole pec in one motion, thumb grazing along Xie Lian's nipple and fingers digging into the supple flesh and Xie Lian throws his head back and groans, loudly .

 

‘I like it when gege is so straightforward’, Hua Cheng says, smiling that devious smile of his, and Xie Lian mouth falls closed, suddenly aware of the sounds tumbling out of his lips. 

‘It's embarrassing…’ He mutters a moment later, his eyes falling closed for a brief second, momentarily distracted by the way Hua Cheng's thumbs are still rubbing on the sensitive skin of his nipples, slowly, tentalisingly. 

Upon opening them again, Xie Lian doesn't avert his gaze, instead meeting Hua Cheng's bright, twinkling eye straight on, a newfound confidence glittering in his gaze.

‘But if it is for San Lang then I want to do a lot of embarrassing things’ and with that, Xie Lian's fingers teasingly trail from Hua Cheng's chest, down, caressing his firm stomach and then dipping even lower, until his trembling hand carefully comes to rest on the front of the ghost’s trousers.

A shudder courses through the entirety of Hua Cheng's body when Xie Lian's hand tentatively presses down, his smile faltering and a whimper falling from his lips before he can stop it. 

‘San Lang...May I-?’ starts Xie Lian, looking at him in the eye, his own emboldened gaze suddenly replaced by his usual shy self, he averts eyes and bends down, and the rest of the question is whispered against Hua Cheng's ear, Xie Lian's lips brushing against his pierced lobe, his warm breath warming the ghost's cold skin.

‘San Land, may I take you in my mouth?’.

 

It surely isn’t the first time they do this, but the sheer fact that Xie asks, voice low and sultry in his ear, makes Hua Cheng’s head spin, breath catching as he tries and coax his own thoughts to form a simple ‘ Yes’

And when the answer tumbles from his lips, more needy than what he intended to sound, he’s rewarded with the sight of long white fingers disappearing between their bodies, tugging at the string keeping his trousers tight on his hips.

He bends down to capture Xie’s lips again, to drag his tongue over sensitive skin, to suck it into his own mouth and swallow down the delicious moan rising in the diety’s throat. The hands on his waist falter slightly, Xie Lian losing focus upon being kissed so hungrily, but a slight roll of Hua Cheng’s hips is enough for him to finally pull the drawstring away and dip his hand lower, dragging along the familiar heat of his skin.

 

Hua Cheng's single eye rolls back and his lips part on a moan as soon as Xie Lian's grip tightens on him.

Contrary to the heavenly official, he is and never was shy in being loud , in letting his beloved know exactly how much pleasure his touch, his kisses, his voice bring him. Besides, as much as from an outsider's perspective he might look like the experienced type - being the ghost king, he surely must have had all kinds of people practically throwing themselves at him, begging him to let them be his companion for the night! - in truth, in this area his expertise was non existent. At least, it was until Xie Lian. 

Because he had never wanted to touch another, never wanted to share this , to share himself with another in the way he wanted Xie Lian to have his everything and to have him give Hua Cheng his everything in return. 

He might have looked the part, the brooding dominant type, but in reality it was really hard to say, between him and Xie Lian, who was the one who truly led their lovemaking.

 

Because despite the shyness and the inner self control always lingering in Xie Lian’s allover attitude, when it was just the two of them it was like nothing else existed.

He wasn’t the Ghost King and Xie Lian wasn’t an Heavenly Official, they were just them , hands and fingers and lips and praises whispered with broken breaths and moan rippling out of kiss-swollen lips.

He watches as Xie Lian shifts slightly in his lap, thighs caging his own as he settles down again, the new position allowing the smallest of friction as he rocks back into him following the precise strokes of his hand.

A red bottom lip gets tugged between white teeth in a poor attempt of restricting himself from biting down on the softness of Xie’s milky skin, right where that sinful outfit leaves his shoulder exposed.

But his lover knows him too well, aware of every possible thought crossing his mind at any given time, and as he feels his husband's free hand guiding his  face towards his neck, Xie Lian's inviting lips curve in a few simple words.

‘You may do it, San Lang, I want you to mark me’ and the Ghost King can’t help but moan loudly against the soft skin and comply with whatever his beautiful Xie Lian would ask of him.

 

He knows that the bruises on him are going to fade fast, being a Heavenly Officer positively brimming with spiritual power and all, but that only means that Hua Cheng will have to do it all over again, press his lips against his body, drag his teeth against the milky skin and suck until it tinges a lovely red.

He does it again, and again, his cold lips pressing against Xie Lian’s scalding hot skin, his breath getting more and more laboured the longer Xie Lian's hand moves on him, pressing, pulling, tightening and loosening his grip. 

Soft puffs of air fall on the deity’s neck when Hua Cheng leans heavily on his shoulder, his mouth falling open, and Xie Lian's other hand comes up to rest on the top of his head, long, seemingly delicate but at the same time incredibly strong fingers threading in Hua Cheng's long, sleek dark hair. 

Then, as Xie Lian's thumb suddenly swipes upward, caressing Hua Cheng's sensitive tip, the ghost lets out a strangled moan and his hand comes to rest on the deity's wrist,  gripping it softly and effectively stopping his movements.

‘Your highness, careful.’ He warns breathily. ‘If you still want to do what you asked me, I would suggest you do it now". Hua Cheng whispers, head still resting against Xie Lian's shoulder, and only when he feels him lose his grip, only then, he looks up.

 

As if breathing hadn’t been hard before, the moment his eye locks onto Xie’s darkened gaze, the wind gets knocked out of him.

His eyes look hungry , and not the kind that can be easily satisfied by any of the deliciously ripe fruit still resting in the basket next to their bed.

No, there's a scorching need bubbling up under his skin and flaming his insides over and over again and Hua Cheng wants nothing more than to get burned

With a delicate hand placed firmly on his chest and one last lingering kiss left on Hua Cheng’s bruised lips, the deity begins a slow and tortuous descent along the ghost’s strong body, leaving behind a constellation of kisses, bites and teasing flicks of that sinful tongue against his most sensitive spots.

Hua Cheng wants to look, wants to keep his eyes trained to his lover, to the glistening marks he leaves on his pale skin, to the way his dark hair falls like a curtain shading that beautiful face from sight, but as he feels the heat of Xie Lian’s mouth finally surrounding his own length he can’t help but throw his head back, moaning loudly as pleasure ripples in continuous shivers shaking his body whole.

 

His soft, red lips engulf the hot, taut skin and when they close around the head, his eyes fluttering shut, one of his hands moves to grip around the base of Hua Cheng's length, firmly but not too tightly.

Xie Lian moves unhurriedly, taking his time in breaking him apart. 

His mouth is hot, so hot that even Hua Cheng's chilly skin warms up under the prince's loving ministrations. 

Xie Lian's eyes are still closed, his brows furrowed in concentration, but Hua Cheng's gaze is still on him, hypnotized by the way he’s moving, enraptured by the scandalous scene unravelling right before him.

 

Xie Lian still has one hand around him, fingers closed and gently steadying his movements, all the while the other is holding his hair back, preventing it from falling down in front of his eyes, his intricate hairstyle falling apart little by little as his hair gets tousled. 

He is as beautiful as the first day Hua Cheng first saw him, ages before. Time and adversities left their marks on him, that is something the ghost knows too well, but despite everything, he's still himself. Xie Lian, the incredible, gracious, special, gorgeous man Hua Cheng has fallen so deeply in love with, many, many years ago.

 

As he glances down, Xie Lian opens the hand that was gripping Hua Cheng around the base, letting it rest on top of his thigh and, under the ghost attentive gaze, he sinks further down, taking more and more of him into his mouth, until he can't take anymore. Only then he stops and opens his eyes, his lust clouded gaze immediately locking with Hua Cheng's.

Something more akin to a growl than a groan falls out from the ghost’s lips, and instinctively, his hand reaches towards his lover, his long, nimble fingers pushing his hair back from his forehead, under Xie's smiling eyes, and when his hand comes to rest on the back of his head, not pushing nor pulling, but simply encouraging him, that's when Xie Lian really lets himself go.

 

With a long drag of his tongue on the underside of his erection, Xie slides almost all the way off and Hua Cheng lets out a whimper when the cold air hits his sensitive skin. But the feeling doesn’t last long as the warm wet heat of the deity’s mouth swallows him whole in one swift motion. He tries his best not to buck up into him but the sensation is so overwhelming he can’t help but rock his hips up, effectively pushing deeper down his lover’s throat.

‘S-sorry I-‘ he tries, but a quick glance down at those deep golden-brown eyes is enough to let his sentence fall in the silence of the room. Xie Lian's eyes, albeit watery with the familiar prick of tears, look like they could ravish him alone, lust and hunger glazing over them as they briefly flutter close when the deity sucks hard again, long dark lashes resting on his ruddy cheeks. 

The hand on his thigh slides down, tickling the sensitive skin before cupping the underside of it as Xie Lian invites his hips to follow his movements, to raise slightly from the chaise longue and fuck into his mouth once more.

At that, Hua Cheng groans loudly, the fingers still resting on the back of Xie’s head finally sinking down in dark locks as he throws his own head back and shudders every time he feels himself hit the back of the other man's throat with every bobbing of his head on him.

 

Hua Cheng loses himself in the sensation, concentrating solely on the way Xie Lian feels around him, on the sweet drag of his tongue and the occasional feeling of teeth on sensitive skin, never too hard, never painful, and the feeling stirring low in his stomach tells him that he’s getting close. 

But he doesn't stop moving yet, and Xie Lian doesn't ask him to, instead humming under his breath and sending delicious vibrations against his sensitive skin.

Hua Cheng is teetering on the edge, feeling like a string ready to snap, what he needs is just a bit more, a little push, but when he looks down and his gaze meets Xie Lian's, he knows he's done for.

His prince is still looking at him, his gaze so full of pure, unaltered love and want, that Hua Cheng knows that if he still had a beating heart, it would have skipped not one, but two beats. 

He comes immediately after, his head falling back in a deep, drawn out moan, and Xie Lian doesn't pull off, doesn't let him go, rubbing the top of his thighs soothingly and swallowing around him, until the tremors running through the ghost’s body finally subside, and Hua Cheng sighs deeply, pulling his head up again and meeting his eyes. 

"Gege...come here".

 

He grabs Xie Lian by the hips, still shaking hands resting on the silky fabric of the outfit he had picked out himself, almost as a joke and absolutely not prepared to see it on the body of his lover. 

Xie follows his movements without a word, head still clouded by arousal as he sits back onto the Ghost’s lap, hissing when his erection presses along the taut line of Hua Cheng’s abs, left uncovered by the opening by his own incredibly provocative ensemble.

They come face to face, chest to chest, breathing still hard and bodies hot to the touch, Hua Cheng’s gaze travels from tousled hair to ruddy cheeks and finally lands on red lips, still wet and incredibly messy from saliva and his own release. If only the other Heavenly Officials could see the deity like this, breath labored, eyes filled with lust and features painted by the colors of their lovemaking, what would they think?

He lets a thumb drag on the swell of his prince’s bottom lip, briefly dipping in to graze along sharp teeth before taking a hold of Xie Lian’s chin and pulling him in a heated kiss. He languidly licks into his lover mouth while the other hand reaches around him to look for the clasp of the intricate set of chains and charms that dangle from his body, for as much as he loves seeing it on Xie, he most definitely needs him freed of it, craving the feeling of contact of his bare skin against his own.

He can already feel the needy rocking of Xie’s hips against himself, the soft whine leaving his lover’s lips just hovering a breath away from his, and pulls away just slightly, only to tilt his head forward and kiss along the column of his neck, sucking bruises on milky skin as he gets closer to the deity’s ear.

‘Your highness, if you let me, I would love to make you mine, over-’ he pauses to bite at the sensitive skin of Xie Lian’s pulse point and the other man shudders underneath him.

‘-and over-‘ another bite and another whimper rolling down Xie’s throat ‘-and over again’ he lets the last word drag out from his lips as he feels the deity’s fingers tighten in the silky material of his cape and a soft whimper brushing past his ear.

The ghost smirks slightly at his lover’s poor attempt of restraining himself, he lets his hands skim over the soft skin of Xie Lian’s exposed sides and pushes up into him in one long, single drag of his hips. ‘Would gege like that?’ He dares ask, grip tightening as the trembling body in his lap shudders at his lust filled words.

‘San Lang…’ Xie Lian whispers, his husband’s hold strong enough to forbid him from chasing the friction he so desperately needs and he finds himself whining softly against the skin of the ghost’s neck. 

‘Yes. Please San Lang, I’m yours.’ He begs, and with that, Hua Cheng takes a hold of his prince’s thighs and hoists him up in his arms, swiftly getting the both of them up from their sprawled position on the chaise longue, and starts making his way towards the luxurious bed placed on the other side of their room.

Xie Lian lets out a soft squeal at finding himself suddenly carried in his husband’s strong arms, but like every other time he had found himself in this position, he immediately relaxes against Hua Cheng’s figure, finger coming up to splay themselves on the exposed skin of his chest.

 

It had become a habit of his, ever since the first time the other man had carried him like this, in the darkness of a cave such a long time ago, to reach for the steady rhythm of a heart that doesn’t beat anymore, to look for a pulse that would never echo again in the hollow of his lover’s chest.

He remembers the way he felt Hua Cheng’s breath hitch at the sudden touch of his hand, afraid of what kind of truth his long fingers might have found out underneath his cold skin. But even back then, even before Xie Lian had been able to put a name to the butterflies in his stomach, he knew he couldn’t care less about the nature of the man holding him tight against his solid frame, the same man he had grown so close to so quickly, the same one that had protected him from the start, for even longer that he knew at that time, standing in the dark barely a breath away from one another.

 

His husband’s heart might have been dormant for centuries, but if it still held the ability to beat, Xie Lian knew it would be a sound reserved for him and him only.

 

The deity’s fingers press closer to the supple flesh of the ghost’s chest just as he carefully lays him down between the sheets as if it were the most delicate of fine porcelain, and positions himself between his thighs.

 

Hua Cheng takes his time in undressing him, and not because he’s worried about ruining the beautiful clothing, he'd rip it off with his teeth if he wanted to, but that isn’t his plan. 

Bringing his hand on the back of Xie Lian's neck, he unclasps the silver collar holding his top close. 

‘Arm's up’ he says then with a smile, and Xie Lian complies, his cheeks colouring as though that's the first time Hua Cheng had undressed him.

 

But no, he thinks, reminiscing, the first time it hadn't been that easy. He had been embarrassed, so embarrassed, that it took hours of gentle kisses and soft caresses over clothes, before he felt comfortable enough taking them off.

Logically, he'd known he had nothing to be embarrassed about with Hua Cheng, the ghost had seen him at his worst and still thought the world of him, something that still amazed Xie Lian to this day, but still. Fortunately, Hua Cheng hadn't been in a rush. After all, he had waited for him for eight-hundred years, what were mere hours in comparison?

Xie Lian realizes he has spaced out for a moment only when he feels Hua Cheng's hands trailing on his ribs, slowly pushing the thin, silky top up and over his head, leaving the deity’s chest bare and exposed to his scorching gaze. 

Hua Cheng's lips curve into a smile, his hands coming to rest on his waist, thumbs caressing the deity’s white skin, and it's a moment before Xie reciprocates the smile.

‘Is San Lang going to undress too?’ He asks, in a sudden display of boldness, hands resting on the top of Hua Cheng's, and the ghost chuckles, shaking his head minutely ‘In a moment. First, it's gege's turn’ he replies.

Having said this, Hua Cheng leans down, pressing their lips together in a sweet kiss.

 

Xie Lian sighs softly into his mouth, breath hitching every time those long fingers skim across the sensitive skin of his nipples now exposed to the ghost’s hungry eye.

Hua Cheng lets go of his lips just enough to whisper a soft ‘Your highness, lift your hips for me’ as he is reaching for the waistband of his silky trousers, there are chains and clasp all over in an intricate design, and they all rustle as the item of clothing gets dragged lower and lower, uncovering the planes of smooth, creamy skin that are Xie Lian’s long legs.

Looking down at the deity underneath him, Hua Cheng takes a gulp of air he doesn’t need as he realizes his husband is wearing nothing else underneath the light trousers, and he’s lying there underneath him finally bare of any garment and accessory, the only color on his otherwise white figure are the red of his lips and the dark brown of his hair, now splayed on the pillow like an untamable cascade of melted chocolate.

The sight is nothing new for Hua Cheng, but despite that, every time he is rewarded with the beautiful body of his prince it feels like the fist, want pooling low in his belly and arousal fogging his mind leaving behind only the need to touch, to taste, to own.

He is about to give into his own temptations when a delicate hand comes to rest on the side of his arm, tugging at the material of the upper piece of his outfit and Hua Cheng glances up towards Xie’s face.

‘My turn is over, San Lang, now you. It’s only fair after all’. There’s a playful smirk blossoming on ruby red lips as Xie Lian speaks, eyes glittering with lust as they rake over the entirety of his lover’s figure.

Hua Cheng chuckles, raising his hands in surrender as he leans back on his feet and starts to peel off the material of his cape.

‘My my gege, showing such impatience now?’

 

If it wasn’t for the perpetual flush dusting the deity’s features, the teasing tone of the ghost’s voice would be enough to tint those cheeks an ever deeper shade of red, chestnut eyes darting down to feast on the expanse of strong thighs being revealed slowly as Hua Cheng inches the material of his trousers lower and lower.

As soon as the item of clothing drops to the floor next to the pile of expensive silks and jewelry, warm hands are back on his skin, pulling him towards a defined chest as Xie Lian claims his lips again in a heated kiss. 

Now finally deprived of any more fabric between them, their bodies slot together like two pieces of an intricate puzzle, skin burning on skin and lips pulling soft whimpers from each other’s mouths. 

Teeth bite down on defined collarbones as his prince throws his head back on the pillow, sinking long fingers in the black mane of his hair and pulling tight enough to elicit a low growl from the back of Hua Cheng’s throat.

‘San Lang...’ Xie Lian says his name like a prayer, the most sinful of pleas moaned form the holiest of lips and it makes Hua Cheng’s head spin with lust. 

It’s followed by a needy rocking of hips against the toned muscles of his abs as the Ghost keeps tracing his invisible path down the deity’s chest, possessive bitemarks blossoming over milky skin, glistening under the warm glow of the lanterns.

‘Can gege wait just a bit more? I promise to make you feel good’ Hua Cheng whispers back, words ghosting over the jut of the deity’s hipbone as he slides lower, arms circling around his hips as he kisses the soft flesh of the inside of Xie’s thighs. His prince is shivering, the amber of his eyes clouded with want as he bites down on his already kiss-swollen lips.

‘And you know I always keep my promises’.

 

Xie Lian nods, not really trusting himself to speak, the sight between his legs really too much to withstand without being overwhelmed by mind-numbing pleasure, and he's rewarded by one of Hua Cheng's most beautiful smiles, one of the sincere ones, reserved for Xie Lian and Xie Lian only. 

Nodding, the ghost leaves one last bruising kiss on his beloved hipbone, teeth biting gently into the milky skin, before sliding lower, regarding Xie Lian's length hungrily but making otherwise no movement in that direction. 

Pushing gently on the back of his thighs, Hua Cheng encourages him to pull them towards his own chest, spreading them slightly and holding them in place, and he's thereby presented with the most delicious view. 

Because Xie Lian is flushed all over, from the tip of his nose down to his toes, all soft, warm skin, but here, in the most secluded part of himself, he's nearly feverish, so much that when Hua Cheng presses closer, brushing his cold lips on the sensitive skin of his inner thigh, so close to where he wants to be but not daring yet, a strangled moan escapes the deity’s lips, prompting him to look up. 

'San Lang…' Xie Lian breathes out, not a warning, but a sweet plea, rolling down from plush lips, and when their gazes meet, Hua Cheng can do nothing but smile sweetly at him.

'May I?' he asks, because even when it's something they've already done, and even when the answer is obvious, he always does, and Xie Lian nods, lip getting caught between teeth and eyes squeezing shut for a moment.

'Please' he begs. 

 

With a last mischievous smile to his prince, Hua Cheng finally lowers his head down, his strong hands cupping Xie Lian's soft cheeks and delicately parting them, not hesitating in burying his face between them. 

The first time they did this, Xie Lian's had gotten so flustered that after just one drag of Hua Cheng's tongue on that incredibly sensitive place of his, he had immediately shooed him away, nearly kicking him in the face in the haste, and hadn’t wanted to have anything to do with it for days. At least, not until Hua Cheng had proposed to Xie Lian that he tried it on him first, so he could see how pleasurable that act could be from the giving side. 

It speaks volumes on how well that tactic worked seeing how now, when Hua Cheng drags the flat of his tongue over him, from the lowest point all the way up to his perineum, Xie Lian barely moves, only allowing himself a long, deep inhale. From where he's pressed against the deity's body, Hua Cheng smiles. 

From that moment on, he alternates long, hard drags of his tongue with soft, lingering kisses, holding Xie Lian's body up effortlessly and reveling in the pleasure-ridded noises coming from his beloved.

His fingers are twitching where they are splayed on his stomach, digging into his skin, but when Hua Cheng dives deeper, his tongue adventuring further, a loud moan falls past his lips and his hands trail down, sinking into the ghost’s glossy hair. 

'San Lang...San Lang!’ his name from the deity's mouth sounds like a prayer. 

That's only one of the many names he has, but this one was created especially for Xie Lian, and it belongs to his beloved as much as he himself belongs to him. 

Lost in the act of giving his prince pleasure, it takes him a moment to realise that he's finding little to no resistance, Xie Lian's body exceptionally pliant and open under his prying lips and inquisitive tongue. Moreover, his prince's skin tastes different than usual, a sweet yet slightly spicy scent taking over his senses, but when he suddenly realizes that his lips are coming off slick and glossy, all the pieces fall into place.

'I see gege has been enjoying himself without me in the bath' he says, raising his head and meeting the deity's gaze, who's coincidentally looking down at him.

Xie Lian's mouth curves into a bashful smile and Hua Cheng nearly moans out loud at the sacrilegious image that he presents. Xie’s plump, spit slick lips are impossibly red for how long he has been biting on them and his feverish body is flushed all over. His eyes dropped down to half-mast and hazy with pleasure, but they're still filled with so much love that Hua Cheng feels drunk on it.

'I used some oil, in the bath...I wanted to surprise San Lang- ah

 

Xie Lian's voice breaks on his name as it rolls down his lips when the ghost presses a curious finger where his tongue has just been. Hua Cheng smiles, his lips pressed against the deity's thigh, as he looks up 'I love it'. 

 

Brushing his fingers through his hair, still mindful of Hua Cheng's eyepatch, Xie Lian looks at him under hooded eyes and spreads his legs wider, causing the ghost's nimble finger to sink even deeper inside of him 'San Lang' he says then, pleading, and Hua Cheng has to close his eye for a moment to recollect, his body burning up yet again despite his recent release.

But Xie Lian doesn't need to say anything else, because what he needs, what he's asking Hua Cheng to do, it's as clear as day to him. So, after smiling up at him and nodding imperceptibly, Hua Cheng lowers his head again.

 

His lips press yet again on Xie Lian's feverish skin, in the exact same place where his finger is sinking inside the deity's body, and when he parts them and his tongue pokes out to join his prying finger, a shudder goes through Xie Lian's body and he wails.

 

A chuckle leaves Hua Cheng's lips, and the vibrations do nothing but add to the mind numbing pleasure the prince is feeling as the ghost's long, expert finger and silver tongue play him like the most exquisite of musical instruments. 

 

A finger soon becomes two, slipping easily inside Xie Lian's eager body, finding little to no resistance as the slick oil eases them inside, and Hua Cheng can't help but let his mind wander, a strikingly accurate picture taking form inside his mind. 

 

His Xie Lian naked and dripping wet, delicious skin flushed from the heat of the water, kneeling inside the marble bathtub with his back bent, one arm out to support himself on the edge while the other is reaching back, fingers pressing deep inside in the same place where Hua Cheng's own are in that moment. 

The expression he's wearing is much similar to the one he's making now, brow furrowed and cheeks flushed, but his lip is caught between his teeth, in a valiant effort not to make any noise, not to let Hua Cheng hear.

 

But now, Xie Lian's lips are open, and he's not holding back on the noises, moans and cries of pleasure tumbling out of his lips. He knows how much Hua Cheng likes hearing him, has learned it with time, with praises and gentle coaxing, as he has accepted that there's nothing embarrassing in showing his pleasure, in letting himself go and ask for what he wants. Because Hua Cheng always had and always would do his utmost to satisfy his every wish and desire.

 

So, when the fingers playing him are up to three and Hua Cheng crooks them in that way that drives Xie Lian absolutely insane, his body sizes up, pleasure branching out through him, and a loud wrenched moan falls out of his mouth. 

His fingers inadvertently tense where they're nestled through Hua Cheng's sleek strands, but the sharp pain does nothing to soothe his arousal. If anything, it only makes it grow deeper.

 

'San lang, stop, stop' the command comes suddenly, but Hua Cheng's movements immediately still, his hand locking in place, still pressed close to Xie Lian's body.  

Looking up, running along and caressing flushed skin and a shivering body, the ghost's gaze meets the prince's. 

'Is gege okay?' He asks, no daring to resume his actions until he has made sure his beloved is good.

 

Xie Lian immediately nods, a smile blossoming on his tortured lips, loosening his grip on Hua Cheng's hair 'I'm... more than okay, San Lang. Maybe too okay' he says then, his cheeks reddening even more if possible, and when Hua Cheng follows his gaze down he understands what his beloved means. 

Unconsciously licking his lips, wanting nothing more than to have a taste but still respecting Xie Lian's request, he rests his head on his inner thigh and looks up, unmoving, waiting.

 

The deity takes a number of long, deep breaths, and Hua Cheng does the same, even though he doesn't really need to, synching his rhythm with Xie Lian's. Their gazes stay locked the whole while. 

 

Hua Cheng's patience is finally rewarded when, after one last deep inhale, Xie Lian nods once, and gently pats him on the cheek, smiling and caressing it sweetly 'Come up here, San Lang'.

And really there is nothing that Hua can do besides complying to his prince’s request, following the broken plea as if under the strongest of spells.

Their lips find each other again, tongue laving hungrily against one another as Xie tastes himself on the ghost’s mouth along the syrupy-sweet of the oil he used.

Xie Lian’s arms cling to his back, nails digging into the firm flesh of Hua Cheng’s shoulder blades, dragging upwards until they sink back into the pitch black of his lover’s hair, one finger getting caught into the string keeping the black eyepatch still in its place.

Tugging slightly at the small ribbon, Xie Lian breaks the kiss, peering down at his husband’s face and curving a single digit underneath, right where the fabric dents the swell of a sharp cheekbone.

‘May I?’ He asks gently, knowing full well the answer to his question, as Hua Cheng would never deny any request of his, but that has become their way of letting the other know they were still respecting each other’s insecurities.

The ghost nods slightly, a silent nudge for Xie to proceed, and the deity’s fingers slide under the material, removing the eyepatch in one smooth movement. It doesn’t get discarded carelessly like the other clothing they've shed tonight, but instead the ribbon gets winded around Xie Lian’s long fingers and placed on the wooden side table next to them, and Hua Cheng’s heart swells in seeing the utmost regard his prince has for this terribly fragile side of his.

Warm hands are back against heated cheeks, effectively pulling the ghost’s attention back towards the deity laying underneath him, they cradle his face in the most delicate way, a stark contrast with the labored rhythm of their breathing and the haste of their want. Thumbs press into the skin as Xie Lian tilts his head upwards, enough so he can deposit a featherlight kiss over the barely visible scar running along his right eye, a slightly jagged line just shy of his lash-line where his eyelid has been sewn closed.

It’s so soft and intimate and it’s something that that the deity never fails to takes his time and do every single time the would lay together, no matter the heat of the moment or wherever they are or what they are doing, the moment his nimble fingers pry away the cloth, they’re followed by a soft press of lips against skin, Xie’s silent way to remind him the words he said the first time Hua Chang had allowed him to see him at his ultimate truest self.

 

‘You’re beautiful, San Lang’.

It hadn’t been easy, so used to that being a part of himself he wanted to keep hidden for so long that the thought hadn’t even crossed his mind until the trembling body straddling his lap had asked in the most timid voice if he trusted him enough to let him take it off.

It hadn’t been easy, letting the only person Hua Cheng had been completely enamored with for eight-hundred years see him at his worst, unveiling the ugly scar of a choice he would never regret, but that marred his features for the rest of his eternity.

It hadn’t been easy but Xie Lian had kissed every inch of skin surrounding it as he untied the knots both in his hair and in his heart, with steady fingers and soft praises, whispered a breath away from his lips.

It hadn’t been easy, but as with everything they had faced together, knowing Xie Lian loved him more than anything was enough for him to surrender himself completely.

 

The deity never ceases to amaze him with how much love and care he would reserve for Hua Cheng, and he never stops taking him by surprise even after a year of being together as lovers.

And just as the thought crosses his mind he feels the other man’s hands take a hold of his hips and push upwards, twisting their bodies until his back hits the soft silk of the covers and his eyes stare at the beauty in all his glory of Xie Lian slinging a leg across his waist and place himself fully on his lap.

The instant their bodies slot together again they both groan in unison, chasing the long awaited friction by grinding wantonly against each other, the skin rendered smooth and slick by the mess of oil and saliva pooling between their thighs. 

‘San Lang...please, I need... I’m ready I-‘ words falter on his lover’s red lips, lust clouding his gaze to a point of no return as he pushes his hands down on the Ghost’s chest and grinds down one more time, whining loudly.

Hands find purchase on the curve of Xie’s hips, lifting him enough so that the deity can angle himself to finally take a hold of his erection and align with his entrance, Hua Cheng can’t help but suck in a broken breath as he feels the tight heat engulf him slowly, just past the tip, as he watches his prince’s head lull forward with whimper.

‘San...San Lang’ his name is moaned over and over again, a slow litany deeply laced with pleasure, hands blindly searching for something to hold on to as Xie Lian finally sinks down his length in one slow, fluid motion.

They both cry out, finally connected fully, still for a moment in the heat of their room as Xie takes his time to adjust to the sensation of being so full it’s almost overwhelming, his head tucked in on his chest and the long hair a chestnut curtain falling messily over his reddened features, the intricate hairstyle long disheveled by tugs of needy hands.

‘Is gege feeling good?’ One hand tucks a long lock of hair behind Xie Lian’s ear, enough to reveal ruddy cheeks and parted lips curving around the smallest of “ Yes ” before the deity anchors his hand in the middle of his chest and lifts his hips, sliding almost all the way off before rocking back down again, following a staggered, messy rhythm as soft whines and low moans erupt deep within his flushed chest.

Hua Cheng struggles to keep his gaze on Xie, fighting back the pleasure that coaxes his eye closed, but the sight that’s unfolding in front of him is absolutely one he doesn’t want to miss.

The prince, his prince , looks even more beautiful in complete abandon, enveloped in the thick veil of lust as he keeps moving on top of him. From his closed eyes, long dark lashes fanning on reddened cheeks, to soft lips parted and bitten raw after the hunger of their kisses, to his flushed chest, glistening with sweat under the warm glow of the room, all the way to trembling thighs, muscles flexing at each rocking of hips. 

He wants to reach out and touch him, drag his fingers along the most perfect of features and soothe the feverish heat, but he almost can’t bring himself to taint the godly image before his eyes.

But as if reading his brooding thoughts, Hua Cheng feels his lover’s hand desperately search for his, hips stilling for a moment as he tugs them towards himself, splaying their intertwined fingers on the defined curve of his pectorals.

Xie’s skin is burning, chest rising and falling along with his labored breath as the deity keeps his hands firmly in place as if trying to make him understand that that’s where they belong, directly on his heart.

‘You may touch me San Lang...’ his voice is hoarse, words dragged in between heavy breaths as he guides the ghost’s hands along the expanse of his chest, his abdomen, low on his his groin and circling his thighs and then again up to cup over his backside and once again over his chest, steadying them over the pulse of his heartbeat. 

‘Always. Whenever and wherever you may want to, I’m yours.’ He whispers.

 

And so Hua Cheng allows himself to touch, to feel the bulging of muscles as his lover keeps riding him, hands tracing the sensual curve of his spine as he arches his back to better his angle, to imprint his hands on his side as he pushes him down on his hips and he grinds back into him to try and find that sweet spot that makes his prince lose his mind completely.

He pulls Xie towards him, sitting up so he can finally reach down and tongue along the jut of his collarbones, saliva mixing with the sweet taste of the deity’s skin as he follows the curve to the hollow of his neck and bites down over and over again, leaving bruises and soothing them immediately afterwards, his mouth a paintbrush over the canvas of his lover’s body. 

His hands splay on Xie’s lower back, guiding the messy rocking of his hips against him, shivering every time the sound of their skin touching reaches his ears, mixed with the broken noises and whimpers tumbling down from his lover’s lips. There are praises and curses and his name whispered as if it were the sweetest of poetry and Hua Cheng feels drunk, head spinning and senses overflowing with everything that is Xie, his smell, his touch, his voice.

Their bodies move together in harmony, as though they’re practicing a hectic dance duet, pushing and pulling, reveling in the pleasure they each could give and receive, and the whole time Hua Cheng holds on to Xie Lian as tightly as he can, as though he is the only thing anchoring him to this world. No, Xie Lian knows that is exactly the case.

As delirious as that makes him feel, he really is the reason Hua Cheng soul remains in this world. It’s not anger, nor regret that prevents it to lay to rest, but from the start, it has always been pure, unaltered love and the desire to protect Xie Lian, to be there for him when no one else was, to give him all the love and devotion he truly believed he deserved.

It took some time for Xie Lian to remember, to realize that Hua Cheng had always been there for him, from the very beginning, where he had been there for him first, saving his life, but even before that, love had already been blossoming in his heart for him, for his San Lang. So, when all the pieces had fallen into the right places and he had connected the dots, how could he not devote his life to this person who had done the same for him first?

‘Dianxia- Dianxia…’ Hua Cheng whispers his title like a prayer against his neck as he buries his face in the crook of it, no longer cold lips brushing against heated skin, and Xie Lian feels a shiver coursing through his body as he throws his head back and his mouth opens on a sweet moan. 

He has always been weak to hearing Hua Cheng call his title, from the very first time, especially when he does it in the heat of the moment during their lovemaking, because hearing it in Hua Cheng deep, husky voice, it’s like being swept by the tide, wave after wave of pleasure bringing him closer and closer to the metaphorical shore.

‘San Lang- San Lang, I’m close’ Xie Lian’s lips brush against the pointy tip of Hua Cheng’s ear as his words leave them in a breathy whisper, and this time is the ghost’s turn to shiver, as his grip tightens on Xie Lian’s waist, fingers and the tip of black polished nails pressing into his creamy skin, and the prince knows he’s going to leave marks.

He hopes they’ll take a long time to fade.

‘San Lang, are you-?’ he speaks again, teeth catching on a pierced earlobe and tongue running across the edge of it, until he’s sucking on that same spot his lips had brushed against mere moments later. 

Hua Cheng’s hips stutter and the deep moan that leaves his lips it’s immediately echoed by Xie Lian, as the most sensitive place inside of him is reached by his husband's deep thrusts. 

The ghost doesn’t answer verbally, too far gone for words, but as he feels Xie Lian tighten around him, a broken gasp escapes him, and he suddenly draws back, meeting his prince’s pleasure ridden eyes.

In one smooth, practiced move, Hua Cheng pushes himself forward, one hand on Xie Lian’s lower back and one behind his head, and lowers the both of them on the bed, covering his prince’s body with his own, almost towering over him. 

Xie Lian’s legs immediately and instinctually cross at the small of Hua Cheng’s back, pulling him closer and deeper into him, and his eyes nearly roll on the back of his head as pleasure crashes in waves all across his body, every place where his and Hua Cheng’s bodies touch burning feverishly.

A gentle caress to his cheek brings him back to the present moment, and when his eyes focus again, Xie Lian’s is met with his husband's adoring gaze and soft smile. Because even in the heat of passion, even in the midst of the dirtiest lovemaking they can manage, there’s something that never changes, and that’s the way Hua Cheng looks at him.  

As though he is the one holding the stars and the sky in his hands, as though he’s the beginning and the end of everything. 

As though, everything in the world could die and rot, and he wouldn’t care, as long as Xie Lian’s was in his arms.

‘San Lang’ his prince says then, lips curving into a soft smile and his eyes turning into small crescents, pushing one hand up and brushing it against his lover’s cheek, reveling in the way the man cocks his head to the side, chasing his touch ‘San Lang, please... more’

As soon as the words leave his smiling lips, Hua Cheng nods, and immediately complies. He starts slow, hips rocking back and forth, as Xie Lian meets his thrusts in kind, fighting to keep his eyes open and locked into Hua Cheng’s. But they’re both so close, so tense, like a bowstring ready to snap at any moment, and their pushing and pulling quickly turns into a punishing pace that has them moaning each other’s names as their hands meet and their fingers intertwine.

Hua Cheng’s free hand runs down Xie Lian’s body, and when his fingers close around his length his mouth falls open and a choked gasp tumbles down the deity’s lips.

‘San Lang, kiss me. Kiss me, please’ it’s a barely there whisper, forced out in between broken breaths but of course the ghost has heard him, every word reverberating through his chest as soon as the sweet plea is out of his prince’s mouth. 

And for as much as Hua Cheng would love nothing more that to be able to watch his lover come undone underneath him, drinking in every inch of flushed skin and lips curling beautifully around a loud moan, he can’t deny Xie Lian anything, so, picking up his maddening rhythm even faster, he bends down and lets his husband capture his lips in a messy kiss.

Lips slide against each other and the deity’s fingers find purchase once again between long strands of onyx hair as Hua Cheng pushes in and out of him one last time before a deep mewl rises from the prince’s chest and crashes on bitten lips as the mind numbing pleasure wave of his orgasm finally hits.

There are countless breathless whispers of his name and soft praises and an infinite number of “I love you” s being said but Hua Cheng can barely hear them over the relentless shower of kisses he is leaving upon every inch of glistening skin he can find underneath him, slowly steadying the pace of his hips before coming to a halt all together, afraid of sending the deity on the edge of oversensitivity and ignoring the loud protest of his own erection still painfully hard. 

When Xie Lian’s breath finally finds some resemblance of steady rhythm once again, he is about to remove himself as to not weigh on him any longer, but a strong hold of long, slender legs and a squeeze of the walls around his erection is enough to stop the ghost dead in his track and glance down at his husband with a questioning look and an apology already on his tongue.

‘San Lang you haven’t...’ he lets the question fall between them, eyes already filling the gaps for him as they roam to the place where their bodies are still connected as one.

Hua Cheng clears his throat, head spinning and thought hazy with the pleasure still biting his insides and raises one hand to gently caress the flushed skin of his lover’s cheek.

‘I thought gege might be too sensitive to continue, I don’t want to risk hurting you, I can wait’ he explains, thumb grazing over red lips that stretch in a soft smile under his touch. 

‘Nonsense’ and with that he drags the tip of his tongue over the pad of the ghost’s thumb and bites down gently on the meat there as he punctuates his intentions with a slow roll of his hips that has Hua Cheng see stars.

A pale hand finds purchase on the back of his neck and he is dragged down into another hungry kiss as the other splay on the small of his back and encourage him to resume his movements, hips slowly picking his rhythm back up, and for as much as something inside him would love to ask one more time just to be sure, the words Xie Lian whispers low over his lips are enough to convince him.

‘San Lang, come for me.’

And it’s all it takes for Hua Cheng to bury himself once more deep into the tight heat of his prince and desperately chasing his own release, feeling it peak and erupt all at once inside him, white hot pleasure rippling down the length of his entire body. 

Xie Lian coaxes every last moan out of him, having stopped not even for a second touching him, kissing him and pushing his body against his own, too enraptured by the beauty of his husband reaching his orgasm.

Feeling his arms about to give out after the strain of their position, Hua Cheng slides out of him with a hiss, Xie Lian moaning softly at the loss of contact, and falls down next to the deity on his side, one arm automatically reaching out to tug the warm body against his own as close as possible, burying his face in his husband chest, as if trying to make up for the lost connection between them. 

Eye closed, he can feel a hot breath on his face and the sensation of plush lips depositing kisses on the high of his cheekbones, the bridge of his nose, his forehead.

‘San Lang is always so beautiful’ Xie says, tucking wild hair behind a pointy ear to free more space for him to kiss and touch, and Hua Cheng can’t help but smile, blushing at his husband’s words as he holds him even tighter, legs tangling together between the tousled sheets, his lips pressing where his heart is beating steadily. One kiss turns into two and soon after Hua Cheng is leaving a trail of butterfly kisses all over Xie Lian’s chest.  

Although it may seem random, the path followed by Hua Cheng is a specific one. The first time he’d done it, Xie Lian hadn’t thought much of it, but since it was something his husband usually did when they happened to lay together devoid of their clothes (which was, admittedly, pretty often) in the end, he had asked, and the answer had shocked him to the core. 

‘I’m kissing your scars, gege’ he had said with that powerless expression Xie Lian didn’t like seeing on his face, and before he could point out the fact that there wasn’t a single scar on his skin, Hua Cheng had continued ‘Although your scars have long since faded, I remember where each one of them was, Your Highness’. 

Xie Lian hadn’t said anything about it since, simply enjoying the attention as he’s doing right now, his hand finding his place at the back of Hua Chang head, a fond smile taking shape on his lips. 

‘I must thank gege for indulging me tonight’ Hua Cheng whispers against the soft skin of Xie Lian’s neck, but the flush that travels up his chest and establishes itself on his cheeks at his husband’s next words has little to do with the closeness and a whole lot to do with what he says.

‘Gege was so confident, so... bold’  

Groaning in embarrassment, Xie Lian tries to hide his blush by pressing his forehead at the top of Hua Cheng’s head, but the ghost is quicker, and the deity finds himself face to face with his teasing husband instead, who’s grinning widely at him.  

‘You know, I love this about you’ he says, brushing the tip of their noses together, hand running on Xie Lian’s back, the brush of his fingers sending ripples of sensations up and down his spine ‘One moment you’re full of confidence, all sorts of profanities falling from your lips, while the moment later you blush exactly like the first time we kissed’ and well, hadn’t Xie Lian already been burning up before, Hua Cheng’s statement would have done the trick. 

Urgh , San Laaang” he moans, pushing forward into Hua Cheng’s arms to hide his embarrassed expression in the crook of the ghost king’s neck, accompanied by his amused but fond laugh ‘Please stop teasing me’  

Hua Cheng’s chuckles, pressing a kiss to Xie Lian’s temple, and the long, happy sigh the deity lets out doesn’t go unnoticed ‘As you wish, my prince’.  

Xie Lian shakes his head at the obvious mischief laced into Hua Cheng’s voice, but his lips curve into a smile and a moment later he finds himself pressing kisses along his lover’s neck and up his jaw with those same lips, physically unable to stay still when pressed against his husband’s body. 

The ghost king hums, his arms pulling him impossibly close and his eye closing basking in the attention, but when the deity reaches one pointy, pierced ear and can’t resist playfully nibbling at it, a gasp escapes from his lips.

He pulls back slightly, his eye falling open again, only to meet Xie Lian’s own gaze, the blush on his cheeks giving no indication of leaving anytime soon.

‘Careful gege. Unless you plan on going again immediately, I suggest you refrain from doing that’ Hua Cheng says a moment later, and his expression is so serious and the hunger in his eye so obvious that Xie Lian feels a shiver running down form where Hua Cheng’s cold hand had been placed on his cheek, all the way to the tip of his toes. 

Trying to disperse the tension that had been created in the span of a couple of seconds, Xie Lian scoffs and playfully swats Hua Cheng’s shoulder, tucking his flushed cheeks into the hand cradling the side of his face, hiding from his husband’s warm gaze.

‘Calm down, San Lang! We’re not in a rush. Let's take our time’ he says, smiling fondly, that smile that he knows his husband can’t resist. 

In fact, Hua Cheng’s expression immediately softens, and as he brings his other hand up, running his knuckles on Xie Lian’s soft cheek, his eye gradually bends into a half crescent ‘You’re right, my love’ he says, smiling widely when plush lips brush against where his pulse point would be ‘We have all the time in the world. Forever.’

Forever

It’s just a simple word, seven letters that mean everything to them, to two people who had spent more than a lifetime of lost hopes, shattered dreams and hurtful memories, chasing the feeble meaning of happiness only to find it in each other’s arms.

It hadn’t been easy, and eight hundred years is a long time to spend reflecting on your choices and mistakes, on looking back to over analyze everything only to ask yourself what you could have done differently or whether the path you’re on is leading somewhere.

But in the end, it was. It was leading on an unpaved road in the middle of a copse of maple trees with the sound of wooden wheels and rustling hay, the smell of old paper and steamed buns surrounding them and eyes meeting each other again for the first time in too many years.

Xie Lian closes his eyes as Hua Cheng bends down to kiss softly at rosy lips, both of them spent and glowing in the aftermath of their passionate and unrelenting love. And they know, soon they will have to deal with the mess they’ve made of the sheets and blow out the lanterns for the night.

But not now. Now they hold each other close, bodies tangled together and fingers splayed on heated skin, whispers of promises and love hanging between them as their eyes look at their own personal forever staring right back at them.