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Winter Song

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The next day, Yuuri was in a peculiar mood.

His smiles seemed genuine, and if anything, conversation with him came easier than it normally did. Still, Victor sensed something simmering beneath the surface, like Yuuri wasn’t saying a fraction of what he was thinking. That was nothing new, but it seemed particularly pronounced that day.

When they left the arena after Yuuri’s morning practice session, he wanted to go sightseeing of all things. Stranger still, he was enthusiastic about it. “I want to remember this weekend with you,” he said. “Let’s make the most of it.”

And so they’d had a lovely day together exploring the beauty of Barcelona, discovering new tastes and smells, and indulging in a bit of shopping.

The shopping puzzled Victor most of all. Yuuri hated it. Though he didn’t complain, he looked at each storefront like it held some new kind of torture behind its doors. One would never know he was a professional athlete because he dropped into every bench and chair he could find, as if maneuvering a fitting room was more difficult than doing fifteen quadruple flips in a row.

Well, at least Victor’s stamina outshone his student’s in one thing.

But even though Yuuri dragged his feet whenever Victor pointed out a new shop, he was the one who declined any suggestion that they stop and call it a day. That was the part that had Victor puzzled.

After the sun set, he began to get nervous about the engagement ring. He knew he had to get to the jewelry store before it closed and didn’t know how to tell Yuuri that without ruining the surprise. The hints Victor dropped that he was getting tired and wanted to go back either weren’t heard or taken seriously.

Yuuri wasn’t acting like himself either. He seemed unusually distracted, so much so that he lost track of one of their shopping bags. (Victor had been looking forward to those nuts.) It was as if Yuuri was searching for something he wouldn’t name. He scanned store windows in silence and looked more and more troubled as time went on.

It wasn’t until later that Victor understood why.

He had led them through the Christmas Market on purpose because the jewelry store was nearby. It would be tricky to pull off, but he was thinking that perhaps he could send Yuuri off on his own for a few minutes while he snuck inside to get the ring.

But then Yuuri caught sight of the store, blushed harder than Victor had ever seen, and marched straight up to the window. He then announced his intention to go inside.

At long last, Yuuri had found what he was looking for, and Victor was left to watch in stunned silence while his boyfriend inspected the very same display case of jewelry that he himself had purchased a ring at the prior evening.

Even then, Victor wasn’t completely certain what was happening because Yuuri wasn’t explaining himself. Victor’s body felt full of slow-moving lightning, like he’d received a bright, hot shock that was taking its time as it traveled through his limbs to his fingers and toes.

The sales associate was also the same woman who had helped Victor, and when he realized she remembered him, he lifted a finger to his lips and pleaded with her silently not to say a word.

All on his own, Yuuri chose the same ring for Victor that he had chosen for Yuuri.

Really, it was the nicest one there. Yuuri kept saying it was for good luck, and though Victor didn’t understand much about Japanese charms, he knew they were an important part of their culture. The ring was made of gold, which held obvious meaning to Yuuri, especially here in Barcelona the day before the Grand Prix Final.

But it was also a wedding ring. It said so on the receipt.

After their conversation about making a commitment and all those jokes about marriage proposals, Yuuri understood the implications of what he was buying. He wouldn’t be blushing so deeply if he didn’t.

One thing was certain. He was a man on a mission, and he marched out of the store with unflinching determination, likely clothing himself in boldness to conceal how nervous he was. Victor lingered behind just long enough for the sales associate to hand him a little jewelry box containing the ring he’d had engraved. He thanked her with a somewhat dazed smile and slipped it into his coat pocket.

Was this actually happening? It didn’t seem real.

Even though he’d come armed tonight with plenty to say, Victor was left speechless. He’d been fully prepared to have to convince Yuuri that this was the right decision for them. Victor had also prepared himself for outright rejection because . . . well, because it was Yuuri. Endearingly timid Yuuri, who was so private and guarded that he ran from things he wasn’t sure about.

While he had been the one to bring up the subject of a commitment with Victor, proposing marriage was still a huge step to take only a year after meeting someone. And it wasn’t like they had started dating immediately after they’d danced at the Grand Prix Final banquet last year.

So to have Yuuri be the one who decided to take this step first?

Victor couldn’t believe it. It was the one thing he hadn’t prepared himself for, and it completely disarmed him.

He was quiet and shaking a bit inside as Yuuri led them to a nearby cathedral, drawn by the singing of a choir outside its golden gates. Together they ascended the steps until they were standing separated from everyone else. There, Yuuri took Victor’s right hand within his own and placed a ring of gold on it.

Victor listened carefully to what Yuuri was trying to tell him about what it represented.

Good luck. A thank you to Victor. Nothing about marriage.

Of course, Yuuri wouldn’t ask anything for himself. He might want it—the way his eyes were shining made that more than apparent—but instead of asking Victor to stay with him forever, Yuuri had instead given him a selfless gesture of love and thanks. He requested nothing in return except that Victor tell him something for good luck.

That was why the second ring was important. Victor was so happy he had it.

It was an equal exchange. A gift given and returned in kind.

An actual marriage proposal stated in words would have felt out of place because they weren’t asking each other for anything. It wasn’t a request for the other person to make a commitment or stay with them forever. It wasn’t a question at all but instead a gift of themselves. It was like saying “I do” instead of “Will you?”

When Victor took the ring out of his pocket and slipped it onto his love’s finger, Yuuri went still with surprise, not even blinking as he stared down at his own hand. His brows were drawn together in the middle, eyes wide with some nameless emotion. But when he lowered his hand and looked up to meet Victor’s gaze, Yuuri’s surprise melted into joy. He looked happy in a way Victor had always hoped he’d get to witness.

That hopeful smile revealed Yuuri had understood. Victor had gifted himself to him . . . and had accepted Yuuri’s gift in turn.

There at the foot of the cathedral, they stepped into each other’s arms—pausing just long enough for Victor to run his thumb thoughtfully across Yuuri’s lower lip—and sealed their engagement with a kiss.


Yuuri looked good in gold. It suited him.

Victor leaned back against the elevator wall, hands in his coat pockets, and wore a little smirk as he stared across the small space at his fiancé. Yuuri adjusted his hold on their many shopping bags and gazed timidly back.

They were alone in the hotel elevator, having just left Phichit down in the lobby and Christophe on the third floor. Victor and Yuuri had been engaged now for almost three hours and had even publicly announced it while out at dinner with their friends and fellow competitors. (Also Yuuri’s sister, whom Victor had avoided looking at for the rest of the evening. That was going to be an interesting conversation later on.)

The news was out. It was official. Victor Nikiforov was engaged to Katsuki Yuuri.

Yet somehow an even bigger bombshell had overshadowed what was no doubt soon to become a veritable scandal in the competitive figure skating world.

“So what you’re telling me,” Victor said, “is that you have no recollection of orchestrating a dance-off and asking me to be your coach if you won?”

Yuuri let his head fall back against the wall with a thud. “Can we please talk about something else?”

“Because you won, Yuuri. I have the pictures to prove it.”

Victor.”

Victor wasn’t sure if he felt like laughing or like he’d been punched in the stomach.

That night had changed his life. Yuuri had swept Victor off his feet and taught him more about life and laughter than twenty-seven years of living combined. How could he not remember that? That’s when this whole thing had started.

Did . . . that mean he also didn’t remember what happened after the banquet?

Celestino had been busy making amends with sponsors, so Victor had volunteered to take Yuuri back to his room. Actually, Christophe had been the first to volunteer, which was exactly why Victor had stepped in and gotten Yuuri out of there.

Not that Christophe was the type of person to take advantage of someone who couldn’t give consent—and besides, his partner was there at the banquet as well—but Victor had felt a surge of protectiveness that wasn’t entirely like him. He didn’t trust anyone with Yuuri except himself.

They never did make it into his room. Yuuri couldn’t find his key, so he and Victor had sat together on the floor outside and talked until Celestino could catch up with them. The fun part of being drunk had worn off, and Yuuri wasn’t doing well. He had cried. About his performance. About his dog. About embarrassing himself. He’d told Victor people kept assuming he was going to announce his retirement, and he didn’t know what to do.

Victor hadn’t known what to do either, especially about the crying. (Pat him on the back? Hug him? He couldn’t exactly kiss him in such a condition.) But when the subject of retirement had come up, he’d gotten mad. He’d told Yuuri in no uncertain terms that he had to keep going. He was too young, and Victor wanted to see him at the World Championship. And afterwards, maybe they could go dancing again and talk about the coaching thing.

Because after that, Victor had told Yuuri he was also struggling with the idea of retirement. He wasn’t convinced it was the right time to step down, but nothing felt new anymore. Motivation and inspiration had conspired together to abandon him at the same time.

Victor was burned out . . . and he’d never told that to anyone before.

Yuuri had gotten mad at the idea of retirement, too. He had told Victor that he couldn’t give up either and that he also wanted to see him at the World Championship. And then Celestino had come with a spare key, and they’d had to say a quick goodnight.

Before they parted, Yuuri had given Victor a fake cell phone number.

No one had ever given Victor Nikiforov a fake number before.

That was right around the time he began putting together what would become the Eros choreography in his head. He was a little pissed. (And also maybe a little in love.)

Yuuri never did make it to the World Championship. Victor had felt very lost about what to do after he descended from the podium. Already, people were hounding him about his next move, and he was so tired of having to reinvent himself again and again just to keep his audience interested.

He’d watched videos of Yuuri’s performances from Nationals and had found them confusing. Did he want to keep skating or not? It was like he’d given up. That had pissed Victor off, too.

But then he saw the video of Yuuri performing to Stammi Vicino, Non Te Ne Andare, and he infused in it all the passion Victor felt like he was lacking. And that had really pissed him off.

Where had this Yuuri been at the Grand Prix Finals? At Nationals? Why hadn’t he made it to the Four Continents or World Championship? He clearly had the talent needed to win.

Was the problem his coach? Did he not feel supported at competitions?

Whatever the case was, Victor had taken the video as a message that Yuuri wasn’t ready to give up, and of course, that message was meant directly for Victor because it was his routine. He’d poured his heart into creating it, and the lyrics alone were incredibly personal.

Maybe the fake phone number had been an honest mistake? Yuuri had been drunk, after all.

So Victor had packed his bags and booked a flight to Japan without realizing the person who had invited him there had no recollection of doing so. Yuuri must have thought Victor was crazy, showing up out of the blue like that.

Except it was now Yuuri who was saying, “I’m so embarrassed,” to Victor instead of the other way around.

“I don’t know why,” Victor said, his tone soft with amazement. “I fell for you hard that night.”

Yuuri’s anxious expression relaxed into the tiniest of smiles.

Victor smiled back, amused and so in love that his heart was literally aching. What a mess. But it had all ended up okay. They’d both found their inspiration to keep fighting in each other, and they were going to prove it at the Grand Prix Final exactly a year after they’d met. “Big day tomorrow. Everything we’ve been working for.”

Yuuri blew out a breath, grateful for the change in subject. “Yeah.”

“You should probably get some sleep.” Victor nodded slowly to emphasize his point. “That would be the responsible thing to do.”

“I . . . guess.”

“And as your coach, I should encourage responsibility.”

Yuuri gave him a look that said he wasn’t sure if Victor was serious or not. “Please tell me you’re joking.”

“Of course, I’m joking.” Victor punched the button for their floor repeatedly to encourage the elevator to move faster. “But just remember who tried to be the responsible one here.”

Sleep? No, no, no.

They’d built up quite a bit of sexual tension throughout the day. First at the morning practice, where Yuuri had made eyes at him while doing his little Eros-inspired twists and turns on the ice. It had reminded Victor of that final late-night practice session at the Ice Castle, which he would probably never be able to get over for the rest of his life. It was all he could do not to drag Yuuri beneath the stands of the arena and get down on his knees for him.

Then there was the shopping trip, where Victor had gotten his revenge by forcing Yuuri into every dressing room in sight just to make him blush. He’d tried on a dozen pairs of jeans that were all a bit too snug and demanded that Yuuri give a very honest and detailed opinion about the fit.

And of course, then had come the engagement. The kiss they’d shared afterward had gone straight to Victor’s head. It was perfect. Sweet and romantic . . . but also sexy as hell. Yuuri’s smaller body fit so well against Victor’s, and his mouth was hot and delicious. The cool weight of gold on his finger made the moment even better.

At dinner, Victor had thought about little else other than sex. The alcohol he consumed didn’t help. He was far from drunk, but the few drinks he did indulge in made his body warm and relaxed. And everything Yuuri did made the need for sex so much worse. The way he held his cup. The press of his lips on the rim. How he fiddled with his ring so that it caught the light, then turned his eyes up at his fiancé with a smile beautiful enough to make Victor fall in love all over again.

So no. They were not going to be sleeping anytime soon.

After they left the elevator and came to the door of their hotel room, unlocking the damn thing proved to be something of a challenge.

Yuuri dropped the card key two times, which really wasn’t his fault. Victor had molded the front of his body against his fiancé’s back and was licking kisses up the side of his neck while his fingers worked at coat buttons. The door opened on the third try, and they stumbled into the dark room with their shopping bags before dumping it all on the floor. The door slammed shut behind them.

They didn’t make it any further for some time.

Yuuri’s arms had gone around Victor’s neck, and the second their lips touched, the rush to the bed was forgotten. Victor stooped down, slid his hands just under Yuuri’s bottom, and picked him up. They’d practiced enough pair skating lifts that the movements came to them easily. They were perfectly in sync as Yuuri’s legs wrapped around him. Victor turned and pressed Yuuri’s back against the door.

Victor let him feel it there—how badly he wanted this. Yuuri was trying to get them undressed, his fingers pulling at their scarves, but he lost focus when Victor started to move his hips. Yuuri’s mouth fell open, and his head craned backwards, exposing his throat. Victor claimed it, first opening his mouth against the very base of Yuuri’s throat before working a trail of kisses up to his chin.

“My Yuuri,” he whispered against the wet skin. “Do you want to fuck me tonight?”

Yuuri let out an unfocused moan, his voice cracking in the middle.

It wasn’t often that Victor cursed, but when the occasion was right, there was nothing quite like the shock of a good expletive. That one word was all it took to refine the already sexually-charged mood into something impossibly hotter.

“Or I could take you right here,” Victor said, smiling as the pressure of his mouth forced Yuuri’s chin ever higher. “Up against the door.”

Yuuri laughed breathlessly, then moaned again at the feel of Victor thrusting against him through their clothing. “How will we get undressed?”

Victor growled, but he supposed Yuuri had a point. They were still fully dressed and hadn’t even made it out of their coats yet. It would take ripping fabric and possibly a miracle to get the job done here without an awkward scramble. That wasn’t what Victor had in mind. He wanted to take his time with this.

“Fine. The bed, then.” He lowered Yuuri to the ground and kissed the tip of his nose. “But I expect a show.”

Whenever Yuuri was excited about something, his eyes sparkled. He wore a loveable, slightly bashful expression as he removed his coat and tossed away his scarf, but there was nothing hesitant about his movements. He was flushed with expectation.

Finally, he had gotten to a place where this felt natural. There was no overthinking or second-guessing his actions. Last night, he’d given himself to Victor in a way he never had before. And it wasn’t just his body—but also his mind. The way Yuuri had smiled so peacefully as Victor took him had been the gift of perfect trust they’d been missing from the beginning.

Victor was glad he’d been patient and waited to push their sexual encounters further. With this level of trust in place, the sex was going to be more than good. This allowed him the freedom to take them even further than before and know that Yuuri would feel safe and excited about it.

They shed as much clothing as possible in those first few moments by the door, but soon Yuuri grew impatient and wrapped his arms around Victor’s neck again. With their bare chests pressed together, they opened their mouths up to each other and let their tongues loose.

The warm honey of Yuuri’s mouth did more to Victor’s head than an entire night of drinking. He was already so hard, his pants were uncomfortable, but it was Yuuri’s zipper that he went for. Victor made quick work of it and pushed the garment down so that he could fill his hands with Yuuri’s ass. Victor loved the way it clenched and moved, but if he didn’t get his cock inside of Yuuri soon, he was probably going to come just from touching him.

After Yuuri stepped out of his pants, Victor guided them in the direction of the bed. It was like a slow dance across the room. Victor leading, Yuuri walking backwards, toes dragging on the floor while they kissed.

Victor had intended to take charge tonight, at least at first. He’d imagined Yuuri might be feeling a little nervous about tomorrow and want Victor to do most of the guiding . . . but that wasn’t what happened. It was Yuuri who started pushing back against Victor’s lead. Soon Yuuri’s kisses were more pressing, and Victor found himself submitting to them.

Yes, he thought. He loved it when Yuuri took charge. So many times in the past, his kisses had felt like questions. Is this okay? Am I doing it right?

Tonight, Yuuri’s kisses said, Get on the bed.

By the time they crossed the room, Yuuri had reversed their positions. It was Victor who was pushed down onto the bed first. He laid back, his upper body still propped up on his elbows, while Yuuri undid his belt buckle and pulled the strip of leather free from the loops of Victor’s pants.

Victor swallowed, a bit stunned and more than a little turned on. He had asked for a show after all.

But then Yuuri got distracted. He muttered something under his breath about condoms and wandered off half-naked in search of their bags. Letting the belt fall to the floor, he dropped to one knee to dig into the contents of his carryon.

“That was a very rude place to stop,” Victor said.

“Sorry. One second.” A few moments later, Yuuri stood with a box of condoms in his hand.

It was tempting to sigh, but Victor suppressed it just in time.

He hated wearing them but didn’t want Yuuri to feel guilty or pressured to stop using protection if that was what he needed to feel safe here. Victor had already told him he’d been tested and was clean. This wasn’t a one-night stand. They were in a committed relationship, so what exactly was Yuuri trying to protect himself from?

“Yuuri,” Victor said, striving to keep his tone mild. “I’ll wear whatever you want me to if it makes you feel safer, but I hope you realize now that this isn’t a fling.”

Yuuri had started to walk back to the bed, but at Victor’s words, he hesitated. “You . . . don’t want to wear a condom?” He sounded surprised, like the idea hadn’t occurred to him.

“It doesn’t matter what I want. I’ll wear it every time if that’s what you want. But I’m comfortable if you are. We are engaged to be married, after all.”

The statement hung in the air between them.

Victor had chosen those exact words on purpose. Engaged. Married.

He’d said them earlier at dinner, too, simply because there was a whisper of doubt in the back of his mind that Yuuri hadn’t understood what that ring on his finger meant. But even at the restaurant, Victor had wondered if Yuuri thought he was joking. Certainly the rings could serve as a good luck charm, and Victor had decided to give Yuuri a ring now instead of waiting so that he wouldn’t worry about their future during his performance.

But they were engaged. Victor was planning to marry him, and he wanted to make that clear.

And if Yuuri was thinking something different, he needed to make that clear, too.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Victor said. “This isn’t temporary.”

Yuuri still didn’t say anything. His eyes were huge and round in the dark. It wasn’t the first time Victor had wished he could read Yuuri’s mind. What could he be thinking about to make him hesitate for so long?

Victor began to feel the first real stirring of doubt when Yuuri let the condoms fall back into his bag. His eyes had gone unfocused, like he wasn’t actually looking at Victor at all but was instead staring at something in his thoughts.

“We’re engaged,” Yuuri repeated, as if needing to say it out loud to make it feel real.

The side of Victor’s mouth tugged upward into a hesitant smile—but that widened into something more hopeful when Yuuri finally came back to earth and returned the smile with that innocent, wide-eyed sweetness that made Victor’s heart start aching again.

Had Yuuri really not understood he was in this for life? Victor didn’t even have a life before him.

“Come here, baby,” he said. “I’ve been waiting to touch you all day.”

Yuuri paused only long enough to take off his glasses and socks, and then he stepped out of his boxer briefs so that he was fully naked when he approached the bed. His cock was half-hard and heavy between his legs. The shadows of the room cut across his body when he moved, and the sight of those brown eyes heating up in the dark stole Victor’s breath away. It was like watching someone’s personality change between footsteps.

He sat up on the edge of the bed and tried not to look too excited when Yuuri came to loom over him.

His hands went to Victor’s face, and the feel of a golden ring on his skin sent a shiver of pleasure through him. (Did Yuuri even realize his ring was engraved? Victor rather liked the idea that he didn’t. It would be a special message for him to discover later.)

“You know. . .” He leaned forward to drop a kiss onto Yuuri’s stomach—but that was only a distraction while he wrapped his fingers around his cock. “I can’t stop thinking about what happened at the Ice Castle that night before we left.”

Yuuri sucked in a sharp breath through his teeth. One of his hands dropped to Victor’s shoulder to steady himself.

A smile glinted in Victor’s eyes. While he would never complain about a little role reversal, it was good to remind Yuuri from time to time that he wasn’t the only one who knew how to seduce. “That felt so good . . . having you that deep. Soon we’re going to be having arguments about who gets to bottom first.”

Yuuri was getting harder and starting to pant as Victor’s hand worked between them. “I thought you said you prefer being on top.”

“Yeah, well. . .” Victor laughed quietly. “You’ve made me see the light. Now that you’ve had a taste of both, what do you like best?”

“Everything. You.”

His voice was not as bold or sultry as Victor expected, but Yuuri wasn’t timid either. Tonight, he was somewhere in between. Soft and sweet and unbelievably sexy at the same time. There was no false confidence there to bolster his nerves. No character role to slip into in order to make his actions feel more natural. The person who stood before him was simply Yuuri. Like he finally felt comfortable coming to Victor just as himself.

“We’re good together, aren’t we?” Victor lifted his chin to request a kiss.

Yuuri met it without hesitation and kissed him several times before answering. “The best.”

With a smile, Victor bowed down to kiss the very tip of Yuuri’s cock . . . and just like that, the time for conversation came to an end.

God, Victor loved this. Yuuri’s cock was gorgeous and uncut, and it was so satisfying to see him getting hard enough that the head was emerging on its own. Victor ran his tongue all over it, then pulled the foreskin back and took him in deep—all the way to the back of his throat. Victor hummed, knowing how good the vibrations would feel, and turned his eyes up to see the reaction.

Yuuri’s mouth had fallen open. Better than that, his knees came close to buckling, and he almost toppled down into the bed. Victor had to help him remain standing, one arm wrapped around his upper thighs, just below his bottom, while he gave him a very thorough seeing-to with his mouth.

After all, Yuuri had left the condoms in his carryon, and that deserved a reward.

Victor sucked him off good—moving his head back and forth, focusing this tongue on the most sensitive places until Yuuri was red-faced and gasping—but he still wanted more. Pulling away, Victor said, “Move your hips for me, baby. Don’t be shy.”

Yuuri blinked down at him. “What?”

The hesitation was unsurprising. Victor had gone down on Yuuri several times now, but it was always one-sided with just a passive reaction. That was what last night’s sex had been like as well: passive. Considering how new Yuuri was to these experiences, it was understandable that he was still holding back while he let himself get used to things. But his inexperience was turning into competence very quickly, and it was time for him to leave some of that timidity behind.

“Come on. Fuck into me.” Victor smiled rather wickedly as he tongued at the join of Yuuri’s head to the shaft. “You know you want to.”

The naughty word must have helped inspired the right mental image because Yuuri’s fingers slid into the silk of Victor’s hair, and his hips began to rock. Holding Victor’s head still, Yuuri fucked his mouth for the first time.

There was something very freeing about being claimed like that. Victor closed his eyes, relaxed his throat, and concentrated on the slide of that beautiful cock between his lips. It was true that he did enjoy being on top, but he also craved this—letting his partner find pleasure through use of his body, feeling desired and adored and filled up, being worshiped with every gasp and stroke. It felt and tasted good, too.

And Yuuri did it just right. This wasn’t just about fucking. There was no grab for power here. The hands on Victor’s face might be firm, but they also belonged to a person who loved him. They were kind. He felt treasured, like he was the only person in the world capable of bringing Yuuri that kind of pleasure.

But even though Victor had specifically asked for this, Yuuri had still surprised him by going through with it. What else would he be willing to try tonight?

Yuuri never pushed too deep—not surprising, because that just wasn’t the type of person he was—but claiming Victor’s mouth in such a way had a significant effect on him anyway. “Vicchan. . .” He barely got the endearment out before his legs went wobbly, and he collapsed down on top of him.

Victor’s arms were ready to catch him. Together, they fell back onto the bed and rolled onto their sides. Yuuri was just a bit too high, which required Victor to inch upward to meet him. With a knowing smirk, he pushed Yuuri’s bangs out of his face and said, “Too much?”

Pausing just long enough to catch his breath, Yuuri opened his eyes and fixed Victor in place with a look that could have melted sand into glass. He rolled into a sitting position, pushed Victor onto his back, and a breath later, had him straddled.

Yuuri pinned Victor’s arms to the mattress and said, “Not even close.”

Well, then.

Apparently tonight was going to be a rehearsal for tomorrow’s short program. Yuuri’s Eros was about to set the room on fire, and Victor could not have been more pleased that he was going to be engulfed in the flames.

Yuuri began to move, rubbing his naked body against Victor’s partially-clothed one. He was still wearing his pants, though the top button had come undone and the zipper was slowly easing downward. Victor gasped at the unexpected sensations and let his head fall back onto the mattress. Then there was nothing to do but feel the weight of Yuuri’s body rubbing against his arousal.

If there was one thing Yuuri knew, it was how to dance. He could move his hips in ways that evaded the average man. There was often something feminine about him. Though he was still very much a man, another side of him emerged when he let it. A fluidity that eased one way before flooding back to the other.

Victor was in heaven.

When Yuuri released his hands, his arms didn’t move from where they were on the mattress. Victor just laid there and basked in the feeling of Yuuri moving down his body, first encouraging his chin higher before claiming Victor’s throat with his mouth. He craved this. Needed it. Having his neck kissed and licked. The gentle scrape of teeth. The push and pull of fingers on his nipples.

When Yuuri moved down even further to close his mouth over a nipple, Victor’s hips lifted off the mattress. With a warm, gentle hand, Yuuri fondled Victor’s pec like a breast while he suckled and teased the other . . . and Victor was about to come unglued. He hadn’t even had his cock touched yet.

He had always known this kind of confidence and sexuality was simmering inside of Yuuri. The way he danced made it plain to see there was a treasure beneath that timid shell. Victor adored the shy part of him, too—loved making him blush and encouraging that sweet smile to emerge—but this was a thing of rare beauty.

This was the Yuuri that only came out for Victor.

There was another slide downward and then Yuuri was easing Victor’s zipper apart and burying his nose in his neatly trimmed pubic hair. The feel of hot breath spilling across his skin had Victor cursing in Russian because he’d forgotten all the English he knew.

Yuuri let out a soft moan as if nothing brought him more pleasure than pulling Victor’s cock out and giving it a good suck. The sounds he made . . . the look on his face . . . it was all unbelievable. As Yuuri went down on Victor, he looked like he was drawing a cool drink of water down into a parched throat. Victor could see and hear how much his lover enjoyed it, and that multiplied his own pleasure a hundredfold.

But it was too good. Too hot. The twist and turn of Yuuri’s tongue too clever.

Victor lasted less than a minute before he was pushing against Yuuri’s shoulders. If he didn’t stop, Victor was going to come in his mouth—just like he had at the Ice Castle, oh God—and he wasn’t anywhere near ready for this to end.

Yuuri sat up on his knees, wiped his chin, and gazed down at his handiwork. Victor panted beneath him—nipples hard and wet, his cock pink-purple at the tip and glistening with saliva. His entire body tingled and smarted with love-bites.

“Roll over,” Yuuri ordered quietly.

Victor felt a pang of nervousness as he did as he was told. Which one of them exactly was the inexperienced person in this relationship? Because it certainly didn’t feel like him tonight.

And then his eyes opened wide with shock because Yuuri had hoisted Victor’s hips into the air. He was up on his knees now with his arms and face down on the mattress. Though Victor was still wearing his pants, Yuuri slid them slowly down, revealing Victor’s ass inch by inch before the garment was pushed to his knees.

“Shhh,” Yuuri said, his palm rubbing circles on Victor’s lower back. “Just relax.”

Relax? Where was the fun in that?

Victor rather liked this rougher side of Yuuri. Just because he wasn’t boneless and drooling beneath him didn’t mean he wasn’t enjoying himself. The rising tension was part of the fun before the release.

But the hand on his lower back was difficult to resist. The warm pressure of it was soothing, and soon Victor was all but purring into the sheets. He couldn’t see Yuuri from this position, which made his other senses hyperaware. Like the feel of Yuuri’s cock nudging the back of his thighs. The cool absence of his hand when it fell away from Victor’s back. The sound of the lubricant bottle popping open.

They’d left it on the table by the bed last night, and thank goodness for that. Victor didn’t think he’d be able to handle being left by himself on the bed again.

This was the kind of moment that would always require patience and focus, regardless of how heated things had become between them, and Yuuri didn’t rush it. His slicked-up fingers first teased Victor’s entrance, taking time to spread a generous amount of wetness around, before putting gentle but firm pressure where it counted.

Victor’s fingers tightened around the sheets, and he cursed in French.

He still couldn’t remember any English. What country were they in again? He had no idea.

Because then Yuuri’s fingers were opening him up, and until that moment, Victor hadn’t realized how badly he’d needed something to clench around. He was wound up tight tonight, far more than usual, and it took Yuuri a little more time than normal to get three fingers working inside.

Yuuri,” Victor whined into the sheets.

“Shhh,” Yuuri said again, still gentle. “Almost there.”

He waited until every thrust inside of Victor was easier than the last. There was another moment of whining when the fingers left him, but Yuuri made it up to Victor a moment later when his cock replaced them.

And oh. Yes.

Victor closed his eyes, even as his mouth opened wide.

Yes, this was exactly what he needed. Not an orgasm—but to be penetrated. Opened up around Yuuri’s cock.

The head was swallowed right up, but he had to push and rock his hips to make room for the rest. Victor was not making this easy on him tonight, simply because his need for it had made him tighten up. But though the friction was almost too much at first, the stretch and burn began to feel good.

By the time Yuuri had worked all the way inside him, Victor had finally relaxed into it. Only then did Yuuri begin to move in earnest, and Victor sighed happily into the sheets as he was jostled back and forth.

Now this was a vacation.

Yuuri gave him a proper fuck. Hands on Victor’s hips, holding him still. Skin slapping against skin. It wasn’t gentle nor was it too rough. It was that sweet spot in the middle where it rubbed just right. His cock was thicker than Victor’s own with a very pleasing length. Without a condom on, Victor could feel the heat and glide of it so much better.

He let Yuuri know how much he approved of what he was doing with a stream of praises. “Yes, baby . . . that’s just what I like. . . you feel so good when you . . . oh . . . fuck.”

As Victor’s knees spread further apart on the mattress, he could only hope he was speaking the right language. But really, who cared? The sounds he was making were easy enough to understand.

And Yuuri wasn’t exactly quiet himself, which was a bit of a surprise. He wasn’t loud by any means, but every now and then, a little sound or phrase in Japanese spilled from his lips. He had always been quiet during sex, preferring to stifle his moans against Victor’s shoulder rather than let them fly free. Tonight, it seemed he was having difficulty holding it in.

Well, that was interesting. Victor wondered what it would take to hear more.

It was around that time that he started thrusting backwards . . . meeting Yuuri’s strokes . . . making them strike harder.

But just as Yuuri’s labored breathing truly began to shift into something that had tone and clarity, he stopped moving with a broken gasp. His hands were a little sweaty where they gripped Victor’s hips. “I-I think I need to put a condom on.”

Victor blinked. Like hell he was going to put a condom on.

He sensed the problem. Yuuri’s thighs were shaking against his own. It was the first time he was experiencing sex without that thin barrier of latex between them and probably hadn’t realized how much more intense the feeling could get. “Too sensitive?”

There was no answer at first until Victor wiggled his butt, and Yuuri let out a yelp of dismay. He pulled completely out of Victor and had to sit back on his heels and put his face in his hands until he calmed down.

Victor smiled as he turned to look at him, understanding all too well how his lover felt. He took advantage of the brief pause by removing his pants fully. After casting them onto the floor, he said, “I think it’s time you learned the best part about switching. We can last longer if we take turns.”

When Yuuri’s hands fell away from his face, he looked relieved to see Victor looming over him, ready to take over. Yuuri was trembling with exertion, but when Victor touched him, he let himself go soft and lifted his face up for a kiss.

Victor didn’t give it to him immediately. Drawing closer, he slid one arm around Yuuri’s lower back, tangled the fingers of the other hand into thick, black hair, and carefully lowered him down to the bed.

There, Victor kissed him.

And as much as he loved having his lover on top of him, he also needed to feel this. The way Yuuri’s tender little mouth opened up to him. The way his thighs spread to allow Victor to move between them. They hadn’t kissed nearly enough tonight.

This was the part of being on top that Victor enjoyed. It wasn’t so much about who was doing the penetrating. The part he liked was knowing he could make this good for Yuuri—that he could guide him through a pleasurable experience and keep him protected from anything that would make him uncomfortable. Victor found great satisfaction in giving his partner the kindness and respect he would want to receive himself.

He kissed Yuuri for a very long time, filling his mouth up with his tongue and letting his fingers comb through that silken black hair again and again. Victor’s weight was fully on top of him, but Yuuri didn’t seem to mind. His legs had gone around Victor’s middle so that no matter which way he rolled, Yuuri came with him.

Victor’s ass felt incredible—well-tended and used in the very best of ways—but it was time to return the favor. He broke away from the kiss just long enough to stretch his fingers toward the bottle of lubricant. When Yuuri let out an impatient whine, Victor laughed and said, “Patience, my little katsudon.”

He took his time getting Yuuri nice and loose with the help of three well-lubricated fingers, but even that didn’t quell the little sounds and looks of frustration. Yuuri’s brow was pinched in the middle, and he was drawing in every breath deep into his stomach, like he did during a challenging workout. His cock was as hard as ever where it rested on his stomach. “Please . . . I need it now.”

It was the first time Yuuri had pleaded with him during sex. A smile spread Victor’s mouth wide before he leaned down to kiss the wet pout of Yuuri’s lower lip. “All right. You’ve waited long enough.”

Victor hoisted one of Yuuri’s legs over his shoulder and moved into position. But when he pressed the tip of his cock to Yuuri’s entrance and worked it open with gentle thrusts, not even that soothed his frustration. Victor silenced Yuuri with his kisses, but this did little to suppress the sounds that rose up from him as Victor moved deeper inside.

It was an easy slide—nice and smooth. Victor had been so focused on Yuuri that the feel of being fully inside him caught him off guard. God, he was tight. No wonder Yuuri had wanted a condom.

Victor gave it to him slow for several very enjoyable minutes, murmuring endearments and praises with every thrust, loving the way his ring caught the city light from the window and shone even in the darkness. But soon it became apparent that Yuuri wasn’t going to be satisfied with gentle love-making tonight. He looked frustrated, and he kept matching Victor’s downward movements with upward strokes in an attempt to speed things up.

Well, if he wanted to lead, all he had to do was ask. Victor knew better than to hold Yuuri back when he wanted to dance.

Victor hugged him to his chest and pulled them both up into a sitting position with Yuuri straddling his lap. Victor’s cock had slipped out of place while they resituated themselves, and Yuuri looked almost mad about it. He gripped Victor’s shaft by the base and sank back down on top of it, letting out a sigh of relief as it spread him apart.

Yuuri’s own cock was nudging Victor’s stomach—hot as fire and leaving a smear of pre-come wherever it touched. The change in position left Yuuri free to take what he wanted. He put his hands on Victor’s shoulders, closed his eyes . . . and started to bounce.

Mouth open. Back arched. Chest pushed out. Lost in another world.

Victor stared at him, absolutely awestruck by the way he was moving.

Yuuri had a beautiful sexuality—innocent still but truly starting to blossom now. The visual display alone was much more detrimental to Victor’s control than the sex itself.

The prior times they had made love had been wonderful but were nothing compared to the freedom of this. Their first time was understandably reserved. Victor had done most of the guiding and was happy to do what he could to make that experience a positive one for Yuuri. The next morning had been better, with Yuuri more familiar with what to expect and not as tense. They began to get into a groove at that point, but they were still learning each other’s bodies and what they liked.

In Hasetsu, they’d managed to have sex only twice. Once snuggling in bed in the early hours of the morning, the only time Yuuri could be convinced that no one in the house was awake except them. Victor had hugged Yuuri’s body against his own and made love to him from behind. Lying on their sides in the narrow bed, they had coupled that way, snuggled up together with Yuuri’s cock in his hand and Victor moving in slow thrusts. It hadn’t felt bad by any stretch of the imagination, but Yuuri hadn’t been able to relax. Victor didn’t ever want sex to be an uncomfortable thing for them, so he’d made it a quickie and apologized after.

Even though Yuuri had assured him he’d wanted it too, Victor hadn’t tried it again, but was glad when Yuuri initiated the encounter at the Ice Castle a few days later. Not only did it help get them to find that comfortable place again, but having Yuuri bend him over that barrier had long been a fantasy.

And as wonderful as last night was, Yuuri hadn’t really been an active participant. He’d simply let Victor do what he wanted with his body, but that wasn’t anywhere near as satisfying as this.

This was good.

Yuuri opened his eyes to gaze down at Victor, and he smiled breathlessly before hugging him close for a kiss.

He truly belonged to Victor now . . . and he seemed to know it. It wasn’t confidence fueling Yuuri’s movements tonight. It was security. He had a ring on his finger, the solid foundation of a future together beneath him, and he finally felt free to just be himself. It was the sexiest thing Victor had ever seen.

But then Yuuri started making those little sounds again, and Victor changed his mind.

No, that was the sexiest thing he’d ever seen—the way Yuuri’s mouth went lax before a moan escaped him.

Victor started cursing in French again. Or maybe it was English. Possibly Japanese. He couldn’t think straight anymore because Yuuri was fucking himself hard now on Victor’s cock.

There was an edge of desperation to it. It was apparent that Yuuri had some pent-up energy or frustration or something that he needed to work out. He was obviously in need of a good pounding and was still not in the right position to get the job done himself. Though he might have demanded the leading role, Victor knew what he really needed and took pity on him.

Ignoring the dirty look Yuuri gave him when he was interrupted, Victor lowered him back down to the mattress again but this time, stayed up on his knees. Victor put his hands on Yuuri’s hips to keep him still, and proceeded to thrust into him with steady, decisive strokes—hard enough that the bed began to move beneath them.

Yuuri forgot his frustration—and absolutely lost it.

He tried biting the back of his hand to keep quiet, but it didn’t work. The sounds came out anyway. Victor had never heard anything like it—somewhere between a moan and a sob. Something had released inside of Yuuri. A lever or valve, and all of the pressure was rushing out of him.

Victor wasn’t exactly quiet himself. This was precisely the way he’d wanted to fuck Yuuri into the mattress last night, and it was even better than he’d hoped for because Yuuri was loving it.

But now Victor was the one getting overstimulated. He could feel the orgasm already building in the base of his abdomen and let out a gasp of frustration. He didn’t want to stop but also wasn’t ready for it to end.

“I’m close,” Yuuri panted beneath him. “Vicchan, please.”

Victor’s eyes blinked open in surprise.

Really? Yuuri was going to come just from being penetrated?

At once, Victor stopped what he was doing and pulled out, ignoring the cry of protest that came as a result. No way was he going to miss having Yuuri come inside of him for the first time without a condom on. If there was one thing Victor was going to be selfish about tonight, it was that.

Yuuri was so distressed by the loss of contact that he was trembling. “Why did you . . . ?”

Victor shushed him gently. “Settle down, baby. I’m going to make you feel so good. Just a little while longer.”

Yuuri’s arms were limp at his sides, and his legs looked useless. There was no way he was going to be able to get up on his knees again and take the lead, so Victor straddled him instead. After a bit of maneuvering, he lowered himself down onto Yuuri’s cock.

It was thick and hard as a rock. Victor could practically feel Yuuri’s pulse beating inside him through it, and the shock of sinking down onto its length stole his breath away for a moment. No wonder Yuuri was complaining at the loss of this. There was nothing quite like it. Victor had been joking earlier, but now it seemed like they really were going to start having arguments about who got to be on bottom.

“I’m not going to last,” Yuuri whimpered beneath him.

Victor put his hands flat on the bed to support himself while he leaned down to offer a reassuring kiss. “I’m looking forward to it.”

“But I wanted to come with you inside me.” Color burned high and bright on Yuuri’s cheeks, but his vision had gone unfocused. His eyes were half-lidded like his mind was already floating away again, lost to the pleasure.

“Next time. I promise I’ll make it up to you.”

Still, he felt a bit guilty for robbing Yuuri of something he really wanted, so Victor rolled them onto their sides. He might not be able to give Yuuri his cock, but he still had hands. Victor reached an arm around Yuuri’s body and managed to get a few fingers in deep enough to give him a good stretch. Thank goodness he had long arms. “Is that better?”

Yes.” Yuuri began to move, faster with each second—thrusting his cock forward into Victor’s ass and fucking himself back against the fingers. It took less than thirty seconds before Yuuri was coming with such intensity that he was shouting.

It was really quite amazing, the way he broke.

The powerful waves washed Yuuri far out to sea. Victor held him through it, watching his face carefully while he drifted. The aftermath burned slow and long, and Yuuri was left shaking afterward, his temples damp with sweat. Victor soothed him with kisses until he calmed, all the while aware that something warm had spilled inside of him.

Victor smiled. Perhaps it had been greedy of him to demand this, but he couldn’t bring himself to regret it when Yuuri’s cock slipped out of him and left a kiss of wetness on Victor’s entrance.

The condoms had been a nice warmup to get Yuuri comfortable with sex.

This was so much better.

Victor pushed Yuuri’s hair away from his sweaty forehead. “Well, that was very nice. Do you want me to come inside you, too?”

Yuuri gave a drunken nod. Victor’s fingers were still moving inside him, and Yuuri was breathing and sighing in time with every thrust. He needed help rolling over but got up onto his knees without being prompted. He put his head down on the mattress and said, “Will you please do it hard? Don’t hold back. I promise I’ll tell you if it’s too much.”

Would he?

Victor found his own legs were a bit wobbly as he took position behind his fiancé. A trickle of come ran down his inner thigh when he put his hands on Yuuri’s hips. Again, his engagement ring glimmered golden in the darkness.

Victor had never taken him in this position before—with Yuuri’s ass poised high in the air, practically begging to be fucked—but he’d wanted to from the beginning. It would have been too tempting to pound into him with all his strength, and Victor had been trying so hard to take his time and let Yuuri warm up to this.

Did he really understand what he was asking for?

Victor hoped so. Not only was Yuuri’s trust important here, but for this to work, Victor had to trust Yuuri, too—that he was telling the truth that he would say something if it got to be too much for him to take. Without trusting his partner, Victor would never truly be able to let go. They were both taking a leap of faith here.

He slid inside in one, easy stroke, and that was all it took before his vision went white. He gripped Yuuri by the hips and gave him what he’d asked for—hard enough that the bedframe started banging into the wall.

And good lord, the sounds Yuuri made.

Even after he’d already come, he was still begging for it. His spent cock was leaking all over the sheets, and his knees kept sliding further apart on the mattress until Victor hauled him back up again and held him in place.

The switching helped him last longer than he expected. He’d been close to climaxing twice now, and the build came slower this time, even though the pace kept quickening.

This enabled him to give Yuuri a very thorough pounding, and the longer it went on, the more they both let go. Every time Yuuri said the word Yes, Victor gained confidence that his lover wanted this just as much as he did. He hadn’t even been aware of how much he’d been holding back until it all came slipping through his fingers.

Letting out a cry, Victor hauled Yuuri back up for the fourth time and slammed into him hard. It wasn’t going to be long now. Not with Yuuri making those sounds. . . not when he was begging for it. . .

Victor tilted his head back, breathed his fiancé’s name, and lost his mind.

The orgasm pulled from deep inside him and pulsed out in wave after wave. He was left with a feeling like he was floating and falling at the same time. When he finally became aware of his surroundings again, he was shaken, senses muted, and he had to steady himself by holding onto Yuuri.

Once the ringing in his ears dimmed, Victor withdrew and watched his semen trickle out of his lover. And just like that, he changed his mind yet again.

Because that was the sexiest thing Victor had ever seen.

Yuuri turned his head on the mattress, licked his lips, and smiled. “Mmm. . .”

Victor tried and failed to form words. It took him a few attempts, but when he finally caught his breath, he said, “Good?” Even though the word Yes had been spoken in this room more than a dozen times in the last few minutes, there was still a part of him that needed confirmation.

Great,” Yuuri said.

After Victor dropped down beside him on the bed, Yuuri rolled onto his back. Their legs were entangled, their vision hazy. They had pushed the two twin beds together yesterday to make a bigger one, but the movements from the sex had moved them slightly apart. Victor was aware that a chasm had opened up beneath him, and they could very well fall through the crack between the beds at any second. He was too far gone to do anything about it.

“Wow,” Victor said.

“Yeah,” Yuuri replied. “Wow.”

Together, they panted and stared at the ceiling.

“That’s it,” Victor said in Russian. “That’s the only word I can remember. I think I just forgot how to speak English. What am I even saying now?”

What language was he speaking? Had Yuuri just miraculously taught him Japanese? Victor didn’t even know what continent he was on anymore.

Yuuri nodded without comprehending a word his fiancé said. “Wow.”


To be continued