Background: This scene took place right after Professor Shen's apartment was broken in to. This chapter is also a continuation from Chapter - Episode 23.
It’s been a long day. Going over endless documents took more than past midnight. Although the Chief was tired, he still refused to rest. The Professor had yet to voice his concern for Zhao’s health. But Shen knew he couldn’t make him stop, because once the Chief sets his mind to something, there is no other recourse. Without words, they understood each other. Their unspoken communication: the most valuable connection, their bond. The link that could not be broken, unless one’s heart was not there.
What Shen Wei could do however, was to keep the Chief healthy. He had gone just a few minutes to prepare some healthy snack, but by the time he turned around, Zhao had already fallen asleep. Shen couldn’t help but crack a smile. The Chief had finally succumbed to exhaustion. This man could sleep anywhere.
Shen Wei placed the fruit plate down and grabbed his discarded coat. Gently, he placed the jacket over Zhao. Sitting back, Shen watched Yunlan sleep, like countless times before. The first time was the car ride when Zhao first leaned against him. At first, Shen was hesitant, but in the end, he couldn’t stop himself. Nor the night of the dreamless bliss. The night, in which only Shen’s memories remained intact. To protect Zhao, he had rationalized.
His hand reached for his necklace, a familiar action whenever he reminisced of their past. From the moment they first laid eyes on each other, Shen had wanted to stay by his side. But he chose to avoid Zhao when he, Shen, realized that it was not possible for them to be together. Their worlds could not be shared. The Dark Cloak Ambassador was here on a mission, yet he was distracted, dazed by the savior of his past. If only he wasn’t so selfish, so stupefied, Zhao wouldn’t have to go through all the hardship, which Shen had vowed to keep him from harm. It was his fault, from the beginning, because he couldn’t keep his distance. A mortal’s flaw when temptation was within reach.
Just like now, Shen couldn’t stop himself as he had made his way to Chief’s side. Observing him with the same intensity of a man who could only watch from afar. No matter the depth, the proximity, their paths will eventually diverge. Yet Shen couldn’t let go, nor could he stop.
When Zhao moved in his sleep, the coat had drooped down his body. Leaning over, Shen readjusted the coat with the same tender care, but this time, Shen caught the same familiar scent from that fateful night. Like a lucid drug that took effect, the intoxicating aroma clouds one’s thought. Ignite one’s fire. His eyes closed momentarily, or was it much longer, Shen couldn’t tell. Once opened, his gaze had caught Zhao’s lips. Heart hammering, his hands clenched the collar of the coat, which still hovered over his heart’s desire. Just one kiss, what would be the harm? The Demon in him called.
While Shen was still battling his intentions, a pair of hands yanked him down. Captured, the flustered Professor gasped, “Yunlan?”
There was no response. Zhao wrapped his arms around Shen even tighter, but the Chief’s eyes remained closed. Bewildered, Shen didn’t know what he should do. He should wake him, but Zhao seemed to be having a bad dream. His brows furrowed, his eyes tightened. It pained Shen to see him in distress. What was he dreaming that would bring such a sorrowful expression? How can he take away Zhao’s nightmares?
However, it didn’t take long for the words that could pierce one’s heart to escape.
“Don’t go...,” Zhao pleaded, his body trembled when the nightmare seemed to reach its conclusion. Lips to his ears, Shen heard what he could never think would be possible. “Xiao Wei...don’t leave me…,” the Chief cried.
Once those words were registered, Shen’s heart stopped. Shen stared at the man who couldn’t possibly have remembered, but Zhao was dreaming of him. How was it possible? How could fate be so cruel?
But that’s the thing about wanting to control one’s fate, the universe will throw back ten folds the repercussion for such attempt. Destiny is never to be trifled with. Fate will not tolerate such interference. The wall Shen had tried to build, to safeguard, had crumbled from the few words that should never be voiced. Words that could make one to smile, yet brought tears.
His eyes stung, his mind delirious. Without thought, without care. Shen seized the Chief’s lips, as a single teardrop began to fall. It was not the chaste stolen kiss which he had initially intended, but a kiss of desperation, of belated longing, which immediately woke the man beneath him. Though Zhao was startled, he did not push Shen away. Instead, with the enthusiasm of one who might have risen from the dead, Zhao kissed back with the same intensity and hunger. Their kiss was lush with opened-mouth abandonment, as a sharp frisson of pleasure shook their bodies. Their feverish embrace continued until they were out of breath, forcing the Chief to break their kiss.
“Finally,” the Chief smiled tenderly, the joy in his eyes was that of someone who had found his most treasured person. “You’re back in my arms again.”
It only took a few seconds for reality to crash. Realizing too late how a moment of weakness had destroyed his efforts of keeping his distance. Shen instinctively pulled away, but the Chief grabbed his arm, and yanked him around. Zhao wrapped his arms around Shen’s front, with Shen seated between his thighs. Still scarlet from his earlier shameless action, Shen tried to struggle, but the man behind him was not having it.
“Hey now…,” Zhao’s hot breath coaxed against his ear, nearly making Shen shivered, “why are you always like this? Stop running, will you? And don’t even think of erasing my memory again,” Zhao warned, his grip tightened.
Shen turned pale, his struggle ceased. “Yo-You knew? How?”
“I touched the hollows, and I have your powers,” the Chief replied, his fingers laced between Shen’s, preventing him from escaping. “You should know by now your magic won’t work on me.”
“But, why didn’t you…,” Shen turned to face the Chief but met with the serious expression of a man who had been wronged. Wordlessly, Zhao pressed his forehead against Shen’s. The Professor could feel their body began to relax, molded comfortably, as their noses touched. Lost completely within this silent world which was their own; their eyes met after a brief moment of shaken undeniable emotional attachment, beyond words of mortal men.
The Chief gave a heavy sigh. “Because I wanted to see how long you’ll hold back,” Zhao finally said. “Exhausting wasn’t it? Pretending it never happened? Tell me, was it worth it?”
His painful eyes bore into Shen’s, who could only lower his head in shame. A moment later, Shen still struggled to reply, “I...I...”
“I don’t know why you keep hiding things from me,” the Chief continued, his voice softened, “but I trust you have your reasons.” Zhao chuckled bitterly before his pained words exposed, like freshly opened wounds. “However, that night was ours, don’t you think you’re being too cruel?”
Shen’s head shook. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. Yunlan, I...”
“But you did hurt me. You tried to take away what was ours.”
Shen tightened his grip on the hands that held his. He couldn’t defend himself if he wanted. Never had he been placed in such a situation, where he was called out for his deceitful ways. Though his intention was for the Chief’s benefits, Shen had never thought his action was the true cause of Zhao’s suffering.
Just like the night of the half moon, the Chief’s eyes had softened. “If you’re sorry, then stay with me tonight.”
Speechless, Shen Wei could only stare back at the man, who could read his thoughts without fail.
“Shen Wei, I promise I won’t do anything untoward,” Zhao smiled, his hand rose to brush back Shen’s fringes. “You’re still skittish after what happened between us, I could tell. Your place was ransacked today. Stay the night. Every night if you like.”
“Stay,” Zhao whispered, his voice lowered in tantalizing softness, “I’ll only have nightmares without you around. Besides, I’d was cheated on my morning after. I didn’t get to see you next to me when the morning sunrise hit. I don’t think it’s fair that only you get to watch me when I wake up.”
Zhao had woken before the rise of dawn. As though his body knew, he had to wake before Shen could make his escape. Luckily for the Chief, his Professor had never left his side but had remained sound asleep next to him, with an expression of contentment. Shen never let go of his hand, even as he slept. Turning to his side, the Chief stared at the man who was reluctant to stay the night before. It took all of Zhao’s charm and persuasion. He even insisted that Shen had to sleep on the inside; a ridiculous extra measure when they both know the Black Cloak Ambassador could use his magic if he had wished to leave.
As the sun rose, Zhao continued to gaze at his unmasked beauty, whose eyes fluttered open because of the sunlight. Still re-adjusting to the brightness, Shen turned his head but was met with the Chief’s teasing gaze. Zhao held back his smiled when Shen’s expression turned from confusion to startled.
“Morning,” Zhao agreed, as he lifted himself up with his elbow, he stared down at Shen.
“Morning,” Shen echoed.
For most of his life, Zhao had never truly wanted anything or anyone. Attachment, affection, would only lead to one’s suffering. Since the loss of his mother and the broken bond with his father, Zhao had resigned to exist alone. Although he had a large crew of underlings, he had always kept a distance from them, using his humor and aloft personality as a shield. Yes, he would protect them at all cost. As the chosen Guardian, he would never stray from his duty.
However, with Shen, he had lost his composure many times over. With Shen, he couldn’t be patient, nor even think straight. His Professor, Shen Wei was the only person who could shatter Zhao’s image, which he had maintained his whole life. Rarely would he succumb to anger. Rarely would he shout. How could a person, who had entered his life for such a short time, make the Chief want to die for him?
But Zhao knows he would. For Shen, Zhao would gladly lose his soul. Damnation be damned!
The Professor by now, couldn’t handle the intense gaze Zhao was giving him. Feeling self-conscious, Shen nervously licked his lips. Little did his Professor know, his action had broken the Chief’s patience. Without warning, Zhao swung his body over Shen’s. Lowering his head, the Chief intended to capture his prize, but Shen had turned his head, avoiding his lips. Undeterred by his Professor’s resistant, instead, his mouth rained kisses along the side of Shen’s neck.
“Yunlan,” Shen gasped in surprise, his hands against the Chief’s chest.
“Hmmmmm…,” Zhao murmured absently, as the Chief took in Shen’s morning scent. The mixture of morning breeze and citrus never failed to stir his passion.
“You said you wouldn’t,” Shen reminded, while Zhao had started to trace his tongue along the sensitive spot behind Shen’s ears. The Chief felt the hands on his chest clenched. Neither push nor pull, his Professor was right where he wanted him.
“That was last night,” the Zhao answered simply, as he began to nibble on Shen’s heated earlobe. God, he wants to eat him whole.
“You tricked me....,” Shen breathed unsteadily.
“You tried to remove my memories,” Zhao accused His professor, who must have reigned in his senses, because he started to push at Zhao, forcing the Chief to pull back. But Zhao was not one to give up without a fight. Capturing Shen’s wrists, the Chief held them above his head. Staring down at his prey, the Guardian smirked. “It’s payback time,” he declared before drawing his head down and seizing what was his. At first, his Professor stiffened, but it didn’t take long for Shen’s resistance to diminish under Zhao’s guidance. The velvet sweetness of a reserved man, who flowered beneath his touch and his kiss. Shen Wei, the beauty who couldn’t possibly be anyone else’s but his.
As Shen’s body calms, Zhao released his steely grip. He began caressing him until every muscle yielded to his touch. When he felt Shen's wrapped his arms around his body, the Chief impatiently tugs at Shen’s clothes, reaching for the button of his pants.
“Wait! Yunlan!” Shen’s hand caught his with a deadly grip.
“Can’t, you know how it is with men in the morning. If I don’t get any release I’ll be grumpy all day. I might take it out on the crew. You, Professor Shen, should take one for the team.”
Instead of yielding, his head shook in virginal denial.
“Why are you suddenly timid. As recalled, you were more passionate that night. At some point, you tried to eat me alive,” Zhao teased, which were the wrong choice of words, because his Professor turned crimson, then froze like a frightful doe. “Hey now, don’t tense up. How do you expect me to come like this?”
Now he remembered why virgins aren’t his cup of tea. Fear makes a poor bedmate. The Chief realized it would take more than one night of passion to wear down his shy beauty. Though Shen obviously desired him, his hesitation since the beginning was evident. He always withdrew whenever Zhao came near. Zhao had to practically mislead him to join SID. For whatever reason, Shen Wei had become more reserved since that night.
Zhao could use his wiles, he could seduce him, but it wouldn’t be right. Because this is Shen Wei. He would have to learn to be the patient one for once. God knows how much Shen endured for staying with him. Growling in frustration, the Chief climbed off Shen’s delectable body. His body turned halfway towards the door, with one knee up, as the other leg touched the floor.
“Fine, I’ll let you go today,” the Chief said grudgingly. “But you have to do something for me.”
Shen Wei by now had risen to a sitting position beside him, straightening his clothes before he spoke. “Wh-What do you want?” his Professor nervously asked.
“Stop running away, and I mean it,” Zhao narrowed his eyes, without even a hint of tenderness remained. To get his point across, the Chief had to be ruthless, even to his beloved. “You should know by now, I’ll only chase after you. In the end, you’ll still be back in my arms. Why give us the runaround when the outcome will be the same?”
After a short silence, the Professor lowered his head in resignation. “I won’t run.”
“Good,” the Guardian responded, his iron self closed in. Lifting Shen’s chin, his gaze regarded his Professor’s meekness, with unwavering challenging demand. “I wouldn’t expect any less from the Black Cloak Ambassador.”
Author's note: I apologize for the delay! Currently, I am a bit short staff within the editing department, because I have too many ongoing fanfics and original works. Yes...even my editing staff want to curse me for taking on additional writing projects...(#^.^#) But I can't help myself when Professor Shen and Chief Zhao are my favorite OTP of 2018!!
Anyways...thanks everyone for reading! ~ MiniOrchid (*^^*)