Fanfiction: This is between us (Moyuan & Bai Qian, 三生三世十里桃花)

This is between us - A Moyuan & Bai Qian short story

written by Bunny
Editors: Le and Sunintaurus
Consultants: LalaLoop and kakashi
***Disclaimer: This story is a one-shot stand-alone piece. Not associated with Ink in Water,  which is also written by Bunny. NSFW.
Bai Qian

What could be sadder than a person who wittingly spends their whole life trying to convince their heart of something their mind knows is a lie?

I can’t think of much else.

“Seventeenth, what are you doing here?” Changshan asks the moment he sees me walking into the halls of Kunlun Xu.

How long has it been since we last saw each other? At least a hundred years, I think. But he looks the same as always. The way he called out to me just now was so casual, so comfortable, as I am used to, although it doesn’t take long for him to correct himself. “I mean… Crown Princess… what brings you here?” he smiles, tipping his head down awkwardly.

I don’t like it. I know he’s teasing me, but I don’t like this kind of behavior one bit. Maybe that’s why I’ve been avoiding coming back to this place. So why did I take myself here today?

“Second Senior, please don’t call me that.” I make a face at him, and watch his demeanor relax back to what I think is normal.

From various corners of the school, my other Seniors make their way over after sensing my presence. They all look happy to see me. We make small talk and try to catch up, the way people who used to be close do when they haven’t seen each other in a long while.

But sometimes, it isn’t so easy to pretend things haven’t changed.

Or that time hasn’t passed.

“Are you here to see Shifu?” Changshan asks, handing me my tea as we sit down in the main hall together. I take it with both hands; the sudden mention of that person has them shaking, but I quickly still them. “If so, you’ve just missed him. He left this morning for some business, but did he say he would be back later today.”

I take a sip from the teacup and dab the corner of my lips discreetly with a silk handkerchief. Changshan eyes my gestures with a strange look, and I can only surmise that he’s still not used to seeing me behave this way. Since I’ve had to adapt to the Nine Heavens’ strict customs and mannerisms, we have only been in each other’s company a handful of times. Before that, the Seventeenth he knew would not think twice about wiping her lips, let alone carry around a handkerchief.

“Second Senior, I don’t mind waiting,” I tell him with a smile.

I have already decided I would see that person today. It was my one chance to leave that cage they call heaven—even at the cost of a fight with the one I call my husband. My reasons for being here feel like they’re burning a hole in my chest, but I am determined to wait for as long as I need to. There is only one person who can answer my question. Only one person who can clarify for me whether or not the things I have heard are true.

And whether or not the things he has always told me... are lies.

Changshan and the others eventually leave me to myself, and soon after, I find I am wandering mindlessly in the halls that echo my youth.

I stop by the chamber that used to be mine. The door is closed, and I am afraid to knock. Who does it belong to now? The news that Kunlun Mountain has accepted a few new disciples came by my ears several months ago. But I do not know who they are. I don’t seem to know much about what happens here these days. I really am a stranger now. Removed for a reason.

When I married Yehua, I made myself a promise that I would try to forget. That I would try to distance myself. It has all been seamless, hasn’t it?

A short walk, two hallways over, I find myself in front of another door.

It is cracked open slightly. Since I already know the chamber’s occupant is not here at the moment, I allow myself in.

Moyuan’s chamber has always kept his secrets, not unlike the rest of him. It gives nothing away. Not in the disarray of rumpled linens, or the untidiness of an over-utilized desk. Or a half-read scroll left open. None of those things. The stone walls have always stood barren. And the floor tiles clean. Every piece of furniture arranged with precise measurements that dictate the size of each gap in between. As though there are invisible lines, and if one was crossed, then the entire array would be ruined.

That is simply how he operates. I understand this.

Though I have always wondered how many other invisible lines exist in his mind, and what else they govern.

Moving closer to his desk, I admire the calligraphy he has laid out on the tabletop. It is his. The strokes I’ve etched in my brain like a permanent stain stare back at me. After a while of looking down at it, I notice the bump beneath the paper. There is the spine of a book peeking out on one side of it. Curious, I reach for it. Careful to pull it out as to not disturb any other object.

The cover is worn and faded. And I can barely make out the words on the top corner. But when I squint, it becomes clear: my handwriting.

I fight a knot in my throat as I open the book to a random page and stare at the yellowed paper. Edges curled in with age. The lines of words written by my own hand are messy and careless. This old thing was mine at one point, and I had abandoned it. Simply an old notebook with scribbles from past lectures that were taught by him.

When did he pick it up?

Why does he keep it with him?

Why does it make me angry? Why do I suddenly feel like tearing out the pages?

He’s always been in love with you, Xiao Wu. The only one who hasn’t realized this is you.

One droplet lands smudging the aged ink into a watermark. Another quickly follows, blurring the words, and the door clicks open from behind.

I feel the weight of this rising ache inside of me drop down to my toes. My lungs seize. I know it is him. My fox senses have never failed me. From the sound of his footsteps, to the scent of him, to the way the air changes. He enters tentatively as though he were the trespasser, not me. I can feel his eyes, they run a line down the length of my back. And I hate that I am still so desperate for a glimpse of him, but it has been this way for years.

Unable to bring myself to turn around, I wait for him to say something.

“Dì-mèi [1],” he calls me.

The term rattles around inside my skull each time I hear it. Ever since the day of my wedding, I have earned this title from him. I have never known why he ever felt the need to replace the name he’s called me by all my life with something that sounds this foreign. But maybe it’s because it serves as a reminder for the both of us.

“When did you arrive?” he asks. The stillness informs me that he has stopped approaching. The distance between us is still long. I raise my hand to wipe away the wetness on my lashes, hoping he won’t notice.

“Not long ago,” I reply, turning around. “I’m sorry I let myself in here.”

His gaze catches mine like a net. Standing in the shadows, just beyond the patches of sunlight pouring in from the window, he looks so serious, almost fierce. But I know that expression. I know he sees the sheen on my cheeks. The unspoken words make me feel shaky and fragile, like blown glass. I don’t know how I manage to maintain eye contact, but I do.

“It’s been a while since you’ve visited.” The familiar soft smile now plays on his lips, but unlike the way it has always given me comfort in the past, today I hate the sight of it. He goes on to ask the customary, “how have you been? How is Yehua doing?” As though it’s perfectly normal for us to talk about these things. As though it has no effect on him.

How many times have I once let myself believe that the only one ever affected is me?

My fingernails are digging into my palm. Do I entertain him with the small talk—keep acting out this neverending charade we’ve both been playing—or is it time to pull the curtain?

“Why do you have this?” I lift the notebook in my hand and watch as his eyes move over it.

The smile fades gradually, then reappears. “Is it out of the ordinary for me to hold onto things my former students have left behind?” His answer is a question, which he delivers to me in a maddeningly neutral tone. Charming. I forget how skilled he is at returning my words to me.

“I’m afraid it is all out of the ordinary... Shifu.” I’m gripping the edge of the book in my hand so hard, I can feel the pages start to break.

Awareness, slowly but surely, shows itself on his face. From the tone of my voice, to the way my eyes have challenged his just now. I don’t think he would still be who he is if he hasn’t already figured me out. We’ve never had much need for words, have we?

He casts his eyes downward and his steps pick back up slowly, bringing him closer to me. When he stops this time, the gap between us is no more than the stretch of my arms, and the thrum of my pulse is quickening for no reason I can name. I listen as he draws a breath slowly and lets it fall on the cusp of a sigh. Heavy. As if preparing for a battle in his mind.

“Does my brother know you’re here?”

“What?” The word escapes from me in a small puff of air, barely more than a whisper. “Do you really wish to talk about him?” My tone quickly turns caustic. The question slices the air between us. Daringly, I take a step forward. Bringing our bodies to a proximity that goes beyond the invisible line I am positive his mind’s eye has drawn for me. But he does not take a step back.

“Would you like to hear about how my marriage is going?”

From where we stand, his eyes are peering down at me now, black as ink, with no light filtering through them.

“I assume it is going well.”

“You’ve always been good at assuming.” I give a bitter laugh.

He gives me nothing. His face, every feature, unmoving. I study all the angles, still precise, as though cut with the sharpest of knives and yet the overall effect itself is not sharp. From the shape of his eyes, to the tilt of his chin, he is as graceful as he is formidable. Of course, I have spent my years looking at a similar face, but how can I compare them? How do I justify that it is only ever the one in front of me now that has the ability to put me in this state.

I feel weak. I’m in panic. I’m angry with him. I can hardly calm down.

But he, he is as calm as I’ve ever known him to be. Not even a flicker of discomposure.

It isn’t fair.

“All these years, how has it felt,” I ask, “to know that I spend my days and nights with someone who shares your likeness?” As soon as the question leaves my mouth, I realize it’s a low blow. But I’m on my last straw. And we are far, far overdue for this.

There it is.

I watch as a slight ripple makes its way across the pond that has remained still for so long. But it isn’t enough. I want not only a ripple, but a tidal wave that threatens to crush everything. There is no part of this I wish to preserve.

His silence is like a siren that triggers me.

“What is it?” I try to steady my breath. “You can’t give me an answer?” The words fire from my mouth and ricochet off the walls. “Am I suddenly asking for too much honesty from you?”

Truth be told, I’m in a bit of disbelief with myself. My voice emanates from a being I barely recognize. I try to provoke him, but clearly, the one provoked is me. It seems I really can’t ever win against him. And these traitors for eyes... they’re acting up again. My face is turning red and raw as a burn, I know. But I can’t cry. I can’t let him see me like this.

Time feels stuck.

He hasn’t said a word. My body fluctuates from feeling like it’s in flames to utterly numb from the weight of his eyes.

The more I stare at him, the more the tears collect to blur my vision. I can’t bring myself to say anymore. The bulge in my throat grows. My feet start backing toward the door. I need to leave. Otherwise, I’ll fall apart.

I’m going to fall apart.

I am falling apart.

What was the point of it all? What exactly have I managed to accomplish? Confront him? What do I want to happen? Have him admit that he loves me? That he’s lied to me? Then what?

What do we do then?

Was I any more honest with my own heart? All my life, I’ve convinced myself I’ve been yearning for something completely out of my reach—that for certain, out of the infinite lives that inhabit this realm and the next one over, he is one of the very few I can never have. Who am I to call him out on his assumptions when my own were just as glaring. Who am I to blame him for our circumstances when I was the one who had taken the easy way out—allowed myself to settle for something I knew could never compare, while remaining limerent over him.

The feeling has been there for years, rising closer and closer to the surface with each passing day.

And I couldn’t admit it, even to myself, that it was him I daydreamed of, who I longed for, ached for, emotionally and physically. I know I’m betraying Yehua. But it isn’t so uncommon, is it? Living with one man while your mind is on another? Being unable to stop thinking of the one who, for one reason or another, is not the person beside you.

But is it any less despicable?


Absolutely not.

The door knob digs into my lower back and I come to a halt. I didn’t realize I had made it this far. The moment my hand reaches for the cold brass handle, a wave of energy, like a clap of thunder, folds over the room.

Moyuan has put a shield up around the chamber, preventing me from leaving.

“Honesty,” he says, in a voice that chills the air. “Is that really what you want from me?”



The setting sun plunges the room in a golden light. But it might as well be dawn, coming at last, to reveal what can no longer be hidden. Her face—perfectly illuminated—is such that everything else in my sight disappears like a dark fog. She has looked at me a thousand thousand times before, and yet there was something different in that gaze. The moment I saw it, I knew. It would all come undone today.

I watched her speak. Watched her jaw move and collected her words one by one as they spilled from her lips. I don't deserve them. I don’t deserve her tears, or her rage, let alone what it is she’s trying to disguise underneath it.

The memories we once shared feel like it’s paint being stripped from the walls.

Now she’s standing with her back pressed to the door, wanting to flee, as though in fear of me. And I think for a moment that perhaps, she should be. I’m terrified of myself. She hasn’t the slightest clue what kind of thoughts are running through my mind as I watch her rationality dismantle before my eyes. She doesn’t know the kind of callousness I’m capable of.

The last words I spoke hang in the empty space between us as I cross the room to her. Stopping only short of our feet touching.

Face stricken, she stares up at me like she wants to say something but can’t speak.

So I do it for her.

“The truth you’re asking for… it doesn’t change anything.”

I wait for the implication to register, and the wisps of hair hanging over her eyes start to tremble. “You’re right,” she says.

She takes her hands to her face. “You’re right,” she repeats. A faint smile. Her fingers curl in to shield her eyes from my sight, until all I can see are the large drops of tears sliding down the curve of her cheeks. “Tell me you don’t love me.” Her voice breaks, so she mouths the rest of her words to me in a silent breath. “Tell me I’ve made it all up... Please.”

Some wars are never meant to be fought, I know this. Just as I know, there is no honor in someone who tries to fight a battle they’ve already surrendered long ago. I know these principles better than anyone. And yet—

I reach for the hand that she’s using to cover her face, braiding my fingers in between hers as I guide it aside. Her cheeks are red and swollen, soaking in more tears. She lets out a small gasp in between her sobs as my thumb caresses the delicate skin beneath her eyes, wiping away one wet streak, and then another. All my willpower is crumbling. I lean forward and down, until her scent encircles me, until her breath bounces against my skin. I let my lips rest on the very last spot my thumb has touched. “Is that really what you want to hear?” I ask, drawing back just enough to look at her eyes. “Then I don’t love you.” I kiss the corner of her mouth. Her hot tears are slipping onto my cheeks. She runs her fingers to the collar of my robe and makes a knot with her fist. “I don’t love you.” My hand cups the side of her face, fingers tangling into her hair. “I don’t love you.” I collect her mouth with mine.

The moment I close my eyes, my brother’s face appears in my mind and the implication of what I’ve just done drills a hole into me.

My lips release from hers. But I’m as good as paralyzed—the sound of the ragged breaths she takes is enough to make me lose all of my good judgement. I’m looking into her eyes, willing her to put a stop to this madness—to keep me from doing what I want—and yet she has my face in her hands now, leaning in further, pushing my deliberation to the wayside as her lips draw against the edges of mine.

There is nothing gentle about it.

After all this time, it isn’t possible to kiss each other gently.

We kiss like drowning people dying to breathe. Like our lives depend upon it. Like this will all be taken from us at any second. She’s gripping my shoulders and pulling me to her, pressing her lips to mine so hard she’s shuddering in my arms. And I know it’s unforgivable. But even still, I want to kiss her till it hurts. Till we can’t think. Can’t breathe. I’m swept up in some kind of burning whirl of madness, drowning in the heat of her lips, the pressure of her tongue, the warmth inside her mouth, the smell of her hair. I want to drink up every taste of her. Every little sound she makes. Every hot and rapid breath. My senses dilate on the touch of her small fingers pressing into the back of my neck, and suddenly, the feeling surges. I want to do more than just kiss her.

I wish I could file the thought away like some shameful secret. But I can’t hide its manifestations. The blood is hot in my face. My heart is racing. Desire coils into me like a snake. Until my entire body, my mind, have been taken over by eccentric panic and urge. I don’t even know if I’ve ever had any virtues to begin with because I can’t call upon a single one of them right now.

All I seem to know is greed.

Dear gods, I think, allow me this one thing and I’ll gladly take myself to hell for it.

I should know better than anyone, to try and call upon the gods.


Bai Qian

I know how he feels.

He’s thinking about the day when we’ll both regret this. He’s thinking about the number of excuses we don’t have for what we’ve just allowed ourselves. He’s thinking about the hope that doesn’t exist for us.

But his insistent mouth continues to draw apart my trembling lips.

And I know how he feels—it’s so good it hurts.

Of course, there is shame. How can we not be ashamed of ourselves? But shame is an emotion after all, like any other. It neighbors desire, anticipation, the palpitating thrill of the forbidden. And it functions a lot like pain. To keep us from doing things that would otherwise kill us.

Until there comes a time, when no amount of pain is enough.

Our hands and lips are fumbling breathlessly for one another. We seem to have lost our minds. There is a twisted part of me that feels a sense of victory for it—for getting him to this point. It’s the kind of satisfaction you get from breaking something unbreakable. This is a man who has always been able to keep a tight lid on his emotions. Isn’t that what got us into this mess in the first place? But now, his defeat is apparent. In the way he’s pulling me to him. In the way he’s kissing me like he’s starving for me. But when I see the pained expression etched on his face each time our lips part, I know that he’s feeling more guilt for every touch we take from each other than I ever will.

So I kiss him back more desperately to help us both forget. My head tilts further and my mouth slides against his—tongue eager and clumsy, wanting to be fully drenched in the taste of him. It’s not easy to hold back. Honest to god, I don’t know how we ever did it before.

The space that I’m squeezed into between his body and the door behind me keeps growing smaller. I feel his heat enclosing all around me. He’s got me pinned entirely in this cage he’s made, and truthfully, I can’t help but savor the feeling of being trapped by him. My insides feel like they’re made up of a million feral butterflies, ready to devour their way through me.

His grip on my waist is holding me to him like he’s afraid I’ll try to run. But what he doesn’t realize is that I fear the same. I fear he’ll come to his senses and push me away, so I cling to him. I wrap my arms tight around his neck and slide the full length of my body against his, until I get to notice all of the things I’ve never noticed before. Things people only notice when they’re this close. The feel of his muscles pressing against me through his clothes, the way his chest tenses, his uneven breaths against my cheek.

My whole body is on fire. I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. It becomes apparent, even as I try to block it out, the unbearable ache that’s building between my legs. I squeeze them together to try and quell it, but the movement only makes it worse. Suddenly, I can’t think of anything anymore other than this blind madness. I want to stop myself, but I can’t hold still. My hips are finding their way against his, moving imperceptibly at first, hoping he won’t notice, but soon he’s pushing into me and the friction makes me whimper into our kiss.

That’s when I feel it. His sex rising against my thigh.

I’m barely able to wrap my head around what’s happening. The sudden knowledge is making me so flustered, I pull away from him. I press my face against his shoulder, and my mouth tries to swallow but can’t find enough saliva.

This is a natural progression—the product of what we’ve been doing to each other—but it’s almost as though I’m unable to convince myself that he could be just as aroused as I am. Even with all of our clothing between us, I am sensing every measure of him. It’s a chaos of sensation that I’m unable to process. And I can’t help but feel ashamed of the thoughts pooling in my mind. My eyes look up to see that he’s staring at me. And in that brief instant, for the first time, we were finally looking at each other, no longer able to pretend that what was happening was not happening.

“Do you wish to stop?” I sense his hesitation magnified in every raspy breath that falls against my lips.

Is it possible to stop?

The image of my own lust and longing stares back at me in the black of his eyes.

Would we be able to go back to the way we were?
I’m finding that the only words I know how to say are, “please, don’t.” Murmuring into the gaps between our mouths, I’m begging him, “please, don’t stop.”

Moyuan takes my lips again and my pleas are muted as his hands come to do my bidding. Fingers grasping for the ties of my gown, hooking under the sash that’s wrapped around my waist, pulling on the silk until it tears. When the front of my gown falls open, he pauses to take me in. But I’m impatient, I reach for the edges of his robe, clumsily trying to push them over his shoulders, until my wrists are seized by him.

His eyes are so dark and intense, I’m trembling. Holding both of my hands in his iron grip, he places his lips on mine softly, then dips down, following the cords of my neck, to my collarbone, to the curve of my breast.

It’s only a whisper of a kiss but my skull feels like it’s collapsed in on itself. It’s the light brush of his mouth against my skin at a place where I’ve never imagined he would go. It’s my mind suddenly learning a thousand new languages. And when his hand comes to touch me, I shudder. He takes a nipple in between his fingers, pinching slightly before his lips are brought to glide over the points that have been made taut by his fingers. The sudden pleasure makes me cry out so loud that I fear we might be discovered. He’s squeezing my wrists tighter to remind me, but he’s not bettering our situation when he takes the entire bud into his mouth, continuing my torment.

I’m wet between my legs, every muscle feels tender from prolonged arousal and I can’t calm down. My brain can't formulate a single coherent thought, it’s consumed with the thought of him. If I don't touch him soon, I think my cells will tear themselves apart.

“Please…” I breathe out, desperately, trying to shake my hands loose, but his hold on me is far too strong.

His mouth soon withdraws from my flesh, leaving a sheen of his saliva glistening on my skin as he looks up at me. I’m too embarrassed to say another word. But I know he knows what I’m begging for because the next thing I feel is his free hand in between my thighs, moving through the fabric of my gown. My legs part eagerly for him. Waiting, as he slowly pulls aside the thin material covering me, and slips his fingers whisper-soft in between the folds of my sex.

“Oh god.” My exclamation tears out on a ragged breath.

His mouth soon comes to suffocate my cries but I can’t help but moan into him as his fingers sink in deeper. I imagine the way his hands look—recalling the way I used to watch him play his zither in the past. All the times that he would be trying to teach me something, and instead of absorbing anything, I would be staring at those hands, wishing to be the instrument plucked by them. How many times have I stolen pleasure from the mere thought of him? My teacher; my brother-in-law; the object of my constant fantasy. My flesh is slick and swollen under his touch, I’m so aroused I can hardly stand it.

“Look at me,” he commands, taking his fingers out of me slowly.

My face is turning crimson red from the eye contact, but he’s forcing me to maintain it as he runs the back of his digits along my silken lips, circling my clit, before dipping back in to take me again. The way he touches me, it’s with the kind of dexterity I never doubted he would have; I’ve dreamt it too many times. But even still, knowing makes me resentful. I can’t help but think of the women these hands have given pleasure to in the past. How many? But how do I even justify my right to be jealous? I can’t. Just as I can’t mute out the sounds he’s drawing out of me even as I try to resist. A slight shift of his weight, and he pins me tighter against the door so I’m burying whimper after whimper into his shoulder as he keeps going. It’s too much. I’m spilling over. My body jerks and trembles.

Suddenly, he withdraws his hand and I’m throbbing, crying out in protest.

His other hand finally releases my wrists, and I realized I’ve forgotten that they’ve been bound by him this whole time. The skin stings a little, my veins are still pulsating from being constricted, but I can’t seem to feel any real pain.

I feel intoxicated. Like I’m drunk off of something and I haven’t even had a sip of wine. He adjusts my body in his arms and sets me back leaning against the door for balance. I’m having to press my thighs together against the pounding ache that he’s left me with. And with eyes glazed over, I stare at him as he sheds his clothes.

The body unwrapping before me is not like the one I lie next to every night.

A part of me always knew that, but to see it makes my heart constrict. There is a reason why they call him the God of War. His form is marked relentlessly. I wince at the sight of all his scars, but all I want to do is press my lips to every one of them. I want to kiss every part of him. I want to feel my skin against his. I want him to have me. I want to do with him every unspeakable thing we’ve ever denied ourselves of—

My feet are lifted from the ground so swiftly, my head spins. His arms are hooking beneath my thighs and hoisting me up, flat-back, pressed to the door. Legs straddling him on instinct. Now I really can't breathe. I’m gasping. He is between me. Every inch of him pressed against where I’m aching. We stop to look at each other and it all becomes too much to hold in.

His eyes are searching mine again, jaw firm, brows heavy with the weight of our indiscretion on his heart, and I’m terrified that he’ll change his mind and tell me this is where we stop. I never want this to stop—this fear mixed with ecstasy. My whole being hums with longing for him. Everything feels raw. Everything that follows is a blur.

“You completely undo me, you know that?” His whisper is so soft, I almost think I’m dreaming the words. I feel his hands cradling me, lifting me up, drawing my thighs apart. And with his lips pressed firmly to mine, he lowers me down ever so slowly. Filling me so fully, my mouth falls open in shock.

I watch his eyes glass over in emotion looking at me, and I can’t control what’s happening anymore. I feel the tears string down my cheeks—I feel an orgasm taking over my body—right there, without moving another inch. My mouth cries soundlessly as my muscles clamp down, contracting around the length of him. And when my head tips back, finally, it slips out of me.

His name.

For the very first time.

Like a prayer.

My toes curl under. Hands and feet slowly going numb as the wave of sensation pulses through me. It never seems to crest. I know he knows what’s happened because he’s holding me to him, looking at me with so much tenderness it puts a stake right through my heart. I kiss his lips softly, and when our tongues start to tangle up again, the movements begin. Ever so sweetly at first. He eases our bodies into a comfortable rhythm. I revel in the way it feels to have him inside; never the intrusion I’ve felt with others, but like something that was already a part of me. It is only when the strained expression shows on his face that I come to realize he’s reaching his limit.

He’s been trying to hold back from doing what he really wants. And I wish he wouldn’t. I press my mouth fiercely to his and tell him with the press of my tongue, go ahead. Take from me. Take as much as you need.

The air starts to ripple from his energy, I can feel it rising against the edges of mine, almost frightening in its magnitude. He lets out a throaty groan and his hands move under me. My hips are yanked up, and it’s pain he merges with pleasure as he’s inside of me to the hilt. I’m digging my fingernails into his back, unable to fathom that it was him who was doing this to me.

When he releases my lips this time, he drops my feet back down and turns me around to face the door. I stagger. His arm loops beneath my breasts, pulling me back, flushed to his chest as his hot breath hits my ear.

“You’re mine,” he whispers, the length and level of his arousal brutal as he slides into me from behind. “All mine.” I cry out from how good it feels. I push back against him, wanting to feel more. With one dominating thrust after another, he forces me to take him deeper. Even though my body feels raw from everything he’s already done, I haven’t a sense of wanting him to finish. It’s a feeling I’ve longed for. My own body feeding his pleasure. I almost want him to hurt me, and I’m confused by those desires—is it because I can’t let myself forget? Is it because this love hurts so much on the inside that I want to feel it just the same on the outside? Pain etched to my flesh, without any restraint. Succumbing to him entirely. I press my forehead against the door in front of me and clasp my hand over my mouth to muffle it because I’m on the verge of crying out his name again. When another orgasm births at the base of my spine, his hand comes to my cheek and he forces my chin up and around so that I'm looking right at him.

I wonder, were we never gods to begin with? Maybe we are not even humans.

Half-crazed in a lust this ferocious, I feel no better than an animal.

And animals don’t know sin, do they?



I drink in every tiny detail.

Her lips are red and swollen. Cheeks flushed with heat, breathless and glowing, lit from the inside—she looks exquisite. She has never looked so beautiful to me as she does at this moment. That’s not to say she hasn’t always been beautiful, but it’s a kind of beautiful that’s almost too painful to bear because it’s not been mine to touch. Not even mine to look at. And yet, here we are.

Bodies knotted, to the point where I can’t determine where I end and where she begins.

She looks at me with love.

I want to devour her. I want to drink up every last drop of her blood. Consume her. Melt her into my body so we’re one creature. I want to pull her apart and study her piece by piece. Then have her beg me to put her back together.

My sanity is like sand slipping in an hourglass.

We’ve crossed every last line between us, and I know that I shouldn’t have allowed it. Something must have snapped in half in my brain. Maybe I’ve always been this despicable. Or maybe this is just what she does to me.

I lace my fingers between hers and press our hands to the door.

She leans back, until her bare back is glued to my chest and the way our skin feels adhering to one another is almost too much for me. I know I can never get enough of this body. I love it without restraint. I brush her hair away from her neck and stare mesmerized at the sweat pilling, sliding down on her skin. Watch as her eyes close, her lips part, and the side of her face collapses against the door as I take her. The sight of her surrendering to me robs me of all my composure. I’m frightened of hurting her, but I can’t contain myself. And every time she whimpers, I want to do worse. I take up her mouth and swallow every single sound she’s willing to give me.

It’s sickening, how much I enjoy it.

The depraved part of my mind entertains the thought of doing this to her forever. Spending an eternity joining our bodies, until we’re simply one beast with two heads and eight limbs, in love with only ourselves.

But I know better. Know better than to wish for anything more than this very moment—her body writhing, trembling acutely in my arms. She’s finally at the edge, ready to fall. And with possessive pleasure, I watch her. Watch as her orgasm shows itself on her face, through every breath, through every moan. And it’s everything I need to spiral down the same course. I bury my face deep in the soft curve of her neck, breathing out words that I don’t deserve to say, and let all of my turmoil mix in with her sweetness.

If time was ever on our side, perhaps it would have stopped then.

Stop at the moment she looks up at me with that smile. Stop at the moment the sweat is still running between us. Stop at the moment I feel the enormity of this love unable to swell any larger. Stop at the moment I think that maybe my whole life, every stumble, every fall, every bit of pain, existed just to get me here. Just to get me to her.

But it doesn’t stop.

Time will never stop.

So that we don’t get to forget: the happiness we stole, which was never meant to be ours, will inevitably be taken from us.

“Crown Prince, please slow down!”

There, on the other side of the door, their voices are pouring down the hall. I hear the sound of my brother’s footsteps tumbling like a boulder. Louder and louder. Closer and closer. Its destructive force slashing against our naked bodies, tearing the smiles from our faces, and extinguishing all the light around us. Bai Qian turns and grips me in fright, her arms reach around my back, face pressed against my chest as though wanting to merge her body with mine and be forever hidden. And for a moment, I cannot react any more than simply clutching her to me.

“Dà-gē [2],” he calls out, delivering the word to me like a knife held at the base of my throat.

With only this slab of wood separating our indecency from his eyes, I can hear the hate so thick in his voice, it drips.

“Please open up this door.”


[1] Dì-mèi (弟妹) - Sister-in-law
[2] Dà-gē (大哥) - Elder brother, eldest brother