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“When do you want to go look at places?” 

Chu Wanning looks up at his fiance, who is currently setting a mug of steaming tea down in front of him. Mo Ran always takes much better care of him than anyone in his life ever has, even though their relationship is only one of convenience.  

Who would have known that desperation and frustration in his career would lead to him meeting a man any Sub would be lucky to have?  




Their relationship had started about eight months ago, when Chu Wanning had stormed into Xue Zhengyong’s office, furious that he had been passed over for a promotion yet again, when he was clearly a better candidate with an extensive resume and list of references, had more experience, more knowledge, more research- 

“Ah, Yuheng, I wanted to give it to you, but the committee wouldn’t agree.” Head of the Oncology Department Xue Zhengyong had looked genuinely remorseful upon hearing Chu Wanning’s complaints. Chu Wanning understood, of course, it wasn’t like he was making the decision completely on his own, and there were a lot of employees in their department. Once, Chu Wanning could understand. Twice, fine, there were still better suited people. But this was the fourth time! What did these other candidates have that Chu Wanning didn’t! 

“Why? This is the fourth time I’ve been passed over. There has to be a reason!” Chu Wanning demands. The clinical research firm that they both work in isn’t that big yet. That in particular was what made it attractive to him, as a Sub - less people around meant less Doms around, meaning accidents were less likely to happen. 

He needed less accidents, after the experiences he’s had. This firm was different, and Chu Wanning appreciated that. 

He’s not so sure anymore. He wants to know why there aren’t any promotions that he’s been given, not when he’s so qualified. More qualified. Better qualified. There has to be a reason. 

Xue Zhengyong leans back and lets out a sigh, cushioning his arms. Something that Chu Wanning won’t like to hear, then. “Yes, you’re the best we’ve got in every sense of the word except…” 

“Except what?” 

“Yuheng… your lifestyle is a mess.” 

Chu Wanning stiffens. What’s wrong with living alone in a 34th floor apartment? It’s a very nice building, according to his coworkers. In fact, Xue Zhengyong is the one who helped him find that place when he decided to rent out his late adopted father’s villa and move closer to the city! What is wrong with his lifestyle? 

“What does that mean?” 

“Yuheng, you work overtime every night! You’re here every weekend! You never go to any of the company’s social events unless we force you, and when you do show up it’s always a disaster because there’s always some fiasco there!” 

Chu Wanning’s temper flares. “Those incidents are not my fault.” How could it be his fault that just because he’s a Sub- 

“I know, I know, it’s ‘stupid Doms who think that they can boss around any Sub they meet’s’ fault, but that is an issue too. If you had a Dom, people wouldn’t bother you. Your work life balance would be more in tune. We need leaders who are stable, not one step away from collapsing.”

“I am not one step away from collapsing.” 

“Oh really? When’s the last time you had a real meal?” 

“I had breakfast this morning.” 

“A drink that’s more cream than coffee and a piece of chocolate is not breakfast. When did you last sit down, have rice, side dishes, some meat? When’s the last time you ate like that?” 

Chu Wanning cannot respond. He supposes it does say something about his stability if he can’t even remember the last time he consumed an actual meal, one that was filling and warmed his belly. 

The truth is Chu Wanning doesn’t like eating alone. He used to eat with his father, and since his passing he hasn’t had a decent meal in his home since. It just feels strange to sit at a table and lay out so much food and eat it all by himself. It feels gluttonous. It feels lonely. 

“See? You can’t remember. You have to be able to take care of yourself to get a promotion. You’re brilliant, Yuheng, but you’re probably the type that needs to be taken care of since you’re not too good at doing it yourself.” 

Chu Wanning narrows his eyes. “What are you saying? That I need a Dom to be able to get a promotion anytime soon?” 

“Not just a Dom, a Dom with a claim. You’d need to get married, Yuheng.” 

Chu Wanning huffs and turns to leave. Marriage? More than that, a Dom? A claim? Submit himself to a man for the rest of his life just to get a promotion? There’s no way he could do that.  

Does it even matter? Who would want a man like him, cold, ill-tempered, ugly - Subs were supposed to be pretty things who melted at the slightest touch- 

“-heng? Did you hear me?” 

Chu Wanning turns back to Xue Zhengyong, calming himself. “Sorry, what were you saying?” 

“I was saying that if you’re looking for a Dom who’s free, my nephew Mo Ran - he’s just a bit older than my Meng-er - has been looking for a Sub to settle down with.” Xue Zhengyong looks at him pointedly. “He’s in the same kind of boat, actually. Can’t continue with his work unless he’s got a stable house, Sub, all of that.”  

Chu Wanning blinks. Is Department Head Xue really offering him a… marriage to his nephew? Does he really think he would accept? 

“I… am a man.” 

Xue Zhengyong chuckles. “That’s no issue for Ran-er.” 

“I’m quite old…” 

“Ran-er is 26, and you’re 32. That’s fine, you’re not old. Besides, if that makes you old, then I should already be in the grave, haha.” 

“I’m-” Chu Wanning stops himself. Insecure as he is, he’s not going to make his superior comfort him about his appearance.

Xue Zhengyong pulls out his phone. “Here, I’ll show you Ran-er. He’s quite a looker, if I do say so myself.” He turns the screen towards Chu Wanning. 

Quite a looker is an understatement! Mo Ran looks like he’s tall, even taller than himself, and built thick and sturdy, like a solid willow tree, from what Chu Wanning can see under the button up he’s wearing in the picture. His smile is slightly cocky, and his black hair is held up in a ponytail, bangs swept boyishly to the side of his tanned, handsome face. He has dimples . A canine pokes out of his lips. He’s got his arm swung about Xue Meng and another very pretty man in a confident manner that just screams Dom. 

Xue Zhengyong wants him to marry this man? Is he crazy? 

“I don’t-” 

“Please, Yuheng.” Xue Zhengyong grasps Chu Wanning’s hand. “He’s been looking for a while but too many people are just interested in his Dom side, so nothing so far has worked out. He even asked me for help!” 

Chu Wanning pauses. “He’s looking for anyone ?”

Xue Zhengyong nods. “Ran-er is trying to climb the ladder at Guyueye Pharmaceuticals, our sister company, but he’s insistent on doing it himself. Due to his nature as an extremely strong Dom, there have been… incidents. Kind of like with you.” He sighs. “At this point, he just needs someone to settle down with so that he can move on with his career, just like you! Don’t you think you can make it work?” 

Chu Wanning pauses. He has been presented with a rather enticing solution. A Dom, who is looking for a Sub, just for work, not a relationship… and Chu Wanning doesn't even have to go looking for him? This could mean a promotion coming at the end of the next fiscal year… 

“Yuheng? Would you like to meet him?” 

Chu Wanning thinks, unconsciously pursing his lips. “Yes, I will meet him.” 




Chu Wanning checks his phone again, making sure he hadn’t mistaken the restaurant he’s supposed to be meeting Xue Zhengyong’s nephew, Mo Ran at. It’s their first meeting, and he’s very glad that Mo Ran had apparently insisted on meeting him alone, because while going on a blind date is awkward, going on a blind date with your boss and his whole family in attendance is just humiliating. And Chu Wanning is a very proud person. Unnecessarily proud, some might say. 

The shop itself is classy, a high-end Korean-style grilling restaurant; somewhere Chu Wanning, with his penchant for dining alone, would likely never have eaten at, regardless of what reviews he hears about the wine list and cuts of meat. It just seems pathetic to sit in front of a grill by himself, and he always burns the meat anyways. 

The door shuts behind him with a soft thud, indicative of the heavy real wood it’s made out of. The hostess looks up at him, face flushing slightly as she flips a loose lock of hair over her shoulder. “Good evening, sir. Table for one?” 

“Actually, I’m here for a reservation with Mo Weiyu.” 

“Right this way, sir.” The hostess directs him towards the interior of the restaurant, which is decorated with wooden features but with delicate upholstery. It’s classy but understated, which was something Chu Wanning wouldn’t expect of Mo Ran. He was very straight forward when he texted Chu Wanning for the first time, requesting to meet him, and Xue Zhengyong had sent him the picture he’d shown him - there’s nothing understated about Mo Ran. 

Chu Wanning senses Mo Ran before he sees him, but when he’s brought to the table, the hostess bidding them to enjoy their meal, he’s nearly overwhelmed. Xue Zhengyong had mentioned Mo Ran was a powerful Dom, but Chu Wanning is almost overpowered by his aura simply sitting at the table, already sipping some wine, the stem of the glass dwarfed in his hand. He flashes a surprisingly boyish smirk as he looks him up and down, so quick that it might have been missed. As Chu Wanning slips into his seat he pours some wine for him as well - white pear blossom, how did he know? - and introduces himself. 

“I’m Mo Ran, Mo Weiyu, as my uncle has told you. I work as a Case Manager at Guyueye Pharmaceuticals.” 

 “Chu Wanning, lead researcher in the Oncology Department at Sisheng Clinical Research.”

“Yes, my uncle mentioned.” Mo Ran pauses as a waiter brings over trays laden with different cuts of meat and vegetables, their sides balanced on the edge. “I hope you don’t mind that I ordered for us, I’m sure you’re hungry.”

“Not at all.” How Dom-ish of him , Chu Wanning thinks, to feed me before I even get here.   

“Good. By the way, last weekend at dinner he said that we might be working on developing a new drug with Sisheng in the future, Chu-laoshi.” He’s laying out meat and vegetables on the grill, and the smell makes Chu Wanning’s mouth water, so he reached for his wine glass. 

“Wanning is fine, Mo Ran.” Chu Wanning replies while taking another sip of his wine. This white pear blossom wine is really good, he’ll need to ask the waiter for the brand before they leave. It’s probably more expensive than the usual brand he purchases, but the slightly smoother, sweeter taste will be worth the difference in cost. Not like he has much else to spend his money on anyways, other than his 34th floor apartment which apparently is indicative of him not having a stable home life conducive to a more stressful job that would come with the promotion he wants. 

“Wanning, then - so, what do you do for fun?” 

Chu Wanning chokes a bit. Fuck, he hopes he doesn’t have wine dribbling from his chin. “Fun?” 

“Yeah, or just in your spare time.” Mo Ran leans forward, pausing to flip over some mushrooms that are tender on the grill plate. Chu Wanning watches his long fingers grip the tongs before Mo Ran speaks again. “What do you like to do?” 

Chu Wanning has half a mind to lie - to make something up to make himself seem more interesting, for him to be more appealing, to make Mo Ran like him, choose him. But, distant as his adopted father was, Chu Wanning was raised to be honest, and lying is no way to start a relationship, so he answers Mo Ran honestly. “I like to deconstruct and rebuild things. Figure how they tick, how to make them better. I do it mostly with lab equipment, but I’ve worked with children’s toys before too.” 

“Hmm.” The waiter comes by again, this time depositing a new bottle of wine on the table, and Mo Ran orders some more meat while he’s there. Mo Ran grins wolfishly as the waiter leaves, and grabs a tender piece of pork belly with his chopsticks, reaching over to place it on Chu Wanning’s plate. “So you’re good with your hands.” 

Chu Wanning splutters, and Mo Ran laughs at him while he tries to cover his embarrassment by stuffing the slice of pork belly into his mouth. It’s thinly cut and expertly grilled to crisp perfection. The cut itself has to be one of the more expensive ones. 

Mo Ran has to be doing this on purpose. 

The rest of dinner had gone fine - they’d mostly talked about work, their hobbies (rather, Mo Ran talked about his hobbies, which include working out, gardening, cooking, baking, and a myriad of other things, the most offensive of which was ‘bedroom activities’ which was said with a sly wink that had Chu Wanning flushing), and had bemoaned their lack of progress professionally together - but Chu Wanning couldn’t be this man’s Sub. Mo Ran deserved a much prettier, obedient, and younger Sub, one who would be happy to participate in ‘bedroom activities’ - surely he’d keep looking and Chu Wanning would have to struggle to find someone else- 

“Wanning?” 

Chu Wanning startles minutely, before responding to Mo Ran. “Yes, Mo Ran?” 

“Like I was saying, I think we could go ahead with the engagement if you’re alright with it…” 

“You - what? Engagement?” 

“Yeah, the engagement. Before we get married.” 

“You… are okay with marrying me?” 

“Well, yes. Isn’t that what we agreed upon? This past hour has pretty much sealed the deal for me.” 

“But Mo Ran, you’re so young, surely there are other Subs who are willing.” 

“There are.” Mo Ran smiles at him, a genuine one that makes his dimples carve deep. “I would prefer you.” 

“Oh.” Chu Wanning thinks. This… marriage to Mo Ran will solve all of his problems, and Mo Ran will solve his own as well. This is perfect. It’s convenient. 

There’s no reason for there to be a sour taste in his mouth, at the thought of this being a sham. 

“Alright, Mo Ran. Let’s do it.” 




“Do we really need to do this? You already know my family, Wanning.”  

“It’s proper, Mo Ran. They only know me as your uncle’s subordinate, but now they need to meet me as your… fiance.” 

Mo Ran turns to look at Chu Wanning after knocking on the door of the Xue household. Chu Wanning has a bottle of wine in his arms, and his stomach is a bit unsettled. There’s no reason for him to be nervous, since he already knows the Xue family, but being with Mo Ran puts him on edge sometimes. 

Xue Zhengyong’s wife, affectionately called ‘Madame Wang' by all around her, opens the door. “Mo Ran, Chu-laoshi, come in come in!” She steps back to let them in the home. Mo Ran sweeps her into a hug.  

“Hi Auntie, sorry I haven’t been by recently. Were you able to handle the weeding alright by yourself?” 

“Oh, Ran-er, it’s fine! You can come take a look at the garden yourself.” 

Chu Wanning hands her the wine. “It’s been a while, Madame Wang.” 

“It certainly has! I can’t believe you’re here as Mo Ran’s fiance. Finally, a wedding in the family! I’m looking forward to it.” 

“Aren’t we all, dear!” Xue Zhengyong barrels in, huge grin on his face. “Mo Ran, my boy, how have you been?” 

“Good, uncle.” Mo Ran lets his uncle squash him in a hug, smiling into his shoulder. Xue Zhengyong then reaches for Chu Wanning, who backs away. 

“Aw, come on Yuheng, we’re going to be family!” 

“That means nothing, handshakes are still acceptable.” 

“Gah, fine.” Xue Zhengyong sticks his hand out in defeat, and Mo Ran snorts as Chu Wanning shakes his hand, smothering a chuckle. “Meng-er! Your cousin and Yuheng are here!” 

Xue Meng comes in finally, one arm still slipping into the sleeve of his pullover. He’s always been a handsome boy, and he’s let his hair grow out since the last time Chu Wanning saw him. Chu Wanning has always been rather fond of him, taking time to help him with his college work when his father had asked. 

“Ugh, I can’t believe Chu-laoshi is really going to get married to this guy. What’s he even see in you, anyways?” Xue Meng complains to his cousin. 

Mo Ran’s eyes glint and he punches Xue Meng lightly on the arm. “My big Dom energy.” 

“Mo Weiyu!” 

“What, it’s true!” 

“Mo Ran!” 

Xue Zhengyong and Madame Wang laugh along with Mo Ran while Xue Meng and Chu Wanning’s faces both color from embarrassment. Perhaps taking pity on them, Madame Wang ushers them into the dining room for dinner. 




“Mo Ran, you don’t have to do this.” 

Mo Ran slips his shoes off in Chu Wanning’s foyer. He’s dressed in all black, slacks perfectly fitted to his long, long legs. The button up is stretched over his muscular torso and tucked in just enough. He has a bouquet in one hand. 

“You met my family, Wanning. It’s only right that I meet yours.” Mo Ran grasps his shoulder, turning his body - why is he so strong - to look at him. “Even if it’s just a photo. Even if he’s gone.” 

Chu Wanning sighs and nods, leading Mo Ran into the small den that was supposed to be used as a study. He does have a desk set up in the room, and like pretty much the rest of the apartment, it’s a mess. Chu Wanning never has guests over and he barely spends any time in his home, so he just never saw the need to clean up, if he knows where everything is. He usually works at the table in the dining space anyways, since it’s the only table he tends to clear regularly as he eats there. 

The den also has a small table in a corner where he keeps a photo of his late adopted father, along with a vase (which is currently empty) and some incense. Chu Wanning is aware that he may not be seen as very filial, but his father was a man with no affection to spare who only took him in because he looked intelligent and needed a child. He doesn’t really have a lingering attachment to him. 

And still, Mo Ran is here. 

Mo Ran picks up the empty vase and leaves the room. He goes to the kitchen and fills the vase with water before unwrapping the bouquet and putting it in the glass vase. He returns to the den where Chu Wanning is still watching him silently, and sets the vase back next to the photo of Chu Wanning’s father. The incense is then lit, and Mo Ran bows his head in respect to the photo. 

There is no explanation for the warm feeling that is filling Chu Wanning’s chest. 




“What? The Chu Wanning with Mo Weiyu?! There’s no way!” 

Chu Wanning instantly regrets his decision to eat lunch in the company’s cafeteria for once, but he didn’t really have a choice as he didn’t have time to grab something on his way in this morning. As the weeks with Mo Ran have passed, with them planning their wedding, deciding where to move to, and how to combine their assets, Chu Wanning has come to know just how popular and well-known Mo Ran is both at Guyueye and Sisheng. 

How come I didn’t know about you, then? 

Wanning, I’m pretty sure anything aside from work never entered your head when you’re in that building. 

Well… that’s true. 

Of course Mo Ran, with his strong Dom nature and tall, dark and handsome appearance was very popular with both Subs and even other Doms. Anytime they were out, flushed faces and glazed eyes would follow Mo Ran wherever they went. 

Of course Chu Wanning, with his crabby temperament, and his old, decrepit face would stand out next to him as wholly unsuitable for a man as splendid as Mo Ran. 

Still, he didn’t expect people at Sisheng to gossip right in front of him . At least titter about when he’s not in ear-shot! 

“I mean, I know he’s a Sub, but still…” 

“How does a cold and hard Sub like that get a Dom as strong as Mo Weiyu…” 

Chu Wanning huffs and instead focuses on his lunch. He went with a more Western-style meal today, since Mo Ran has been making him an array of foods. His fiance has really expanded his palette since they got engaged. 

“Sandwiches?” Chu Wanning questions. They’re having lunch at Mo Ran’s place, since Chu Wanning’s kitchen hasn’t been used in months. 

“Yeah, do you not like Western food? I’m trying to learn what you like before we get married.” 

“No, it’s fine.” Chu Wanning picks up the sandwich and takes a bite. It’s tasty, and pairs very well with the salad Mo Ran has also made. “Thank you.”

The sandwiches at the company aren’t nearly as good. Neither is the salad. 

His phone buzzes, a text notification from Mo Ran flashing on the screen. He opens the message, which is a simple inquiry to whether Chu Wanning has eaten lunch or not. 

Mo Ran does that. He takes care of Chu Wanning. Like an actual Dom would do to their real Sub. 

Chu Wanning sends a reply to reassure his fiance. Yes, I’m eating right now. They’re gossiping about me in the cafeteria. 

The reply is almost instantaneous. Who is? 

Just other employees here at Sisheng. 

What are they saying? 

They just can’t believe that we’re engaged. 

The next reply takes a bit longer to come. What time are you off today?

4, since you want to look at restaurants for the wedding.  

Chu Wanning stretches and looks up from his microscope at the clock on the wall and is startled to see that it reads 3:56. Shit. He packs up his station as quickly as he can, before ducking into his office down the hall to grab his bag. It’s already past 4. He’s late. 

Chu Wanning can hear whispers and gasps echoing from the lobby before he even gets off the elevator that’s tucked around the corner from the entrance. There’s usually not this many people in the lobby at this time of day so something has to be going on. 

Of course it’s Mo Ran, waiting near the front doors with a bouquet of roses and a massive stuffed teddybear in his arms. He’s wearing a suit, but his tie is missing - probably left in his bag - and he’s left the suit jacket open, and unbuttoned the shirt inside, revealing his firm, tanned chest. 

Show off. 

Mo Ran’s eyes are scanning the back of the lobby and light up when they fall on Chu Wanning. 

“Wanning!” Mo Ran strides forward, and everyone’s eyes shoot straight to Chu Wanning, who’s dressed in plain beige trousers and a button up. He feels his face heat as Mo Ran stops in front of him. 

“Mo Ran, what are you doing here?” 

“I’m here to pick you up, baobei. Here, I saw these and thought of you.” Mo Ran hands him the teddybear, which is so big Chu Wanning has to wrap both of his arms around it so he doesn’t drop it. Mo Ran leans in and shocks Chu Wanning by pressing his lips to his cheek in a quick kiss. 

“Those rumors are bullshit.” Mo Ran whispers in his ear. Pulling back, he flashes a smirk at Chu Wanning with mirth in his eyes. “Let’s go, baobei. We have to pick a restaurant for our wedding tonight.” 

Chu Wanning lets Mo Ran pull him out the door of the company building as his colleagues look on, flabbergasted. He buries his face in the back of the teddy-bear’s head, the soft fur tickling his nose. 

Did he come because I said they were gossiping about me?    

The next day when Chu Wanning goes into work the rumors are still swirling around, but this time people are aflutter about how “in love” and “mushy” and “lovey-dovey” Mo Ran is with his Sub. Ears flaming, Chu Wanning locks himself in his office to eat his lunch (which today was packed by Mo Ran).

He supposes this will convince the company executives of their relationship better. 




Now, eight months later, they’ve finalised their wedding plans - something small, only around six people, and simple, with a ceremony and dinner at a nice restaurant - but they haven’t intertwined their lives yet. And yet - Mo Ran wants to move in together. 

Right. Their wedding is next month. They’re getting married. And... married people tend to live together.

“Wanning? Are you free tomorrow?”

Chu Wanning picks up the tea made for him and takes a sip before confirming he’s free. “Did you have a location in mind?”

Mo Ran hums, leaning against the counter top. “I was thinking maybe the complex near Sisheng Clinical Research? You know, where Auntie and Uncle have their villa, but we could get a condo instead.”

Chu Wanning raises his eyebrow. “You want to jump straight to a condo?”

Mo Ran shrugs. “Why not? We can afford it, and the space would be nice. You can have a separate office which considering-” he gestures to the mess of Chu Wanning’s dining table covered in his work - “would be helpful for both of us.”

Chu Wanning huffs, but it does make sense. The complex in question is close to both of their workplaces, and has the space and sophistication Mo Ran is looking for. Plus, they know people nearby, which would help back their marriage story.

“Okay, let’s tour that tomorrow then. Is there anything else?” 

Mo Ran sighs. “Well there’s the matter of... the claim.”

Chu Wanning freezes. A claim. Of course. Because Chu Wanning is a Sub and Mo Ran is Dom. That’s why they’re getting married. Of course Mo Ran has to put... a claim on Chu Wanning.

“What did you want to... give me?”

Mo Ran hums thoughtfully. “Well, I would like you to have a collar.”

“I- Mo Ran...” Chu Wanning hesitates. His fiance comes to sit with him, putting a hand on his.

“Wanning, it’s okay. I know that that’s probably too intense for you and besides,” Mo Ran pauses, “we don’t really have that type of relationship.”

It’s true. While publicly Mo Ran is his Dom, he has never given Chu Wanning any orders. They hang out in each other’s homes, but they never stay the night. Mo Ran has cooked for Chu Wanning before, but there’s never been any orders to eat. Mo Ran has kissed him on the cheek or hand a few times, but that’s it.

Mo Ran has never truly Dommed Chu Wanning, and he can’t tell if he appreciates that or not.

“Since a collar is too much, how about a bracelet? Something simple so that it’s not so obvious what it is?” Mo Ran suggests. Chu Wanning nods. He’s going to be a married Sub, so if he doesn’t have a claim on him somewhere, their relationship wouldn’t be believable.

For his career. He’s doing this for his career.

“Should we do that tomorrow as well?”

“Ah, Wanning, I’ll select the claim myself. I’m your Dom, it’s only right that I do it.” Chu Wanning feels his cheeks heat at that.

They make a few more plans for tomorrow, and Mo Ran quickly books a tour at the housing complex for the condo followed by an appointment at the restaurant they’d booked to pick a cake flavor - he’d somehow discovered Chu Wanning’s penchant for sweets and let him decide on it for their small wedding - before Mo Ran gets up to leave. Chu Wanning sees him to the door.

“You should probably start packing and cleaning soon, since you have so much stuff. Moving will be a pain.” Mo Ran mentions as he pulls on his coat. “I’ll help you after we finish all of our appointments tomorrow.”

Chu Wanning huffs, but he’s got a point. He does have a lot of haphazardly strewn things. “Okay, I’ll start. I’m sure I’ve got boxes somewhere around here. Get home safe.”

Mo Ran leans in and presses a kiss to his forehead. “I will, Wanning. See you tomorrow.”

Chu Wanning’s face is far too thin for this.

 

 

Mo Ran has to meet his fiance in two hours, which means he has about an hour and a half to pick out the perfect claim for his lovely Sub. The Dom inside him is screaming to buy a collar - something pretty and delicate - to keep his Sub in check but - 

Chu Wanning is going to be his husband. His Sub. His claim. But only in name.

Chu Wanning had made it very clear to Mo Ran after their engagement announcement that their arrangement was only for appearances and to help them in their careers which - fair, that was what he was looking for when he mentioned it to his uncle. But that was when he’d only been out with Subs desperate to be claimed, or other Doms looking to have or be a pretty arm piece.

That was all before he met Chu Wanning. 

His uncle had explained his coworker’s situation. “Poor Yuheng, he’s more than qualified but the board doesn’t feel like an unmarried Sub is a good fit” - and Mo Ran had suggested meeting with him, because he was in the same boat. Sure, his aunt worked at Guyueye Pharmaceuticals, but neither he nor Xue Meng would ever let her try to use her position to help him. He was young and a Dom, but his single status (along with the playboy rumors) were holding him back as well. This Chu-laoshi appeared to be in the same boat, so it didn’t seem too crazy to think that maybe they could help each other out. His uncle had fished out his phone and shown him a photo of the coworker, Chu Wanning. Chu-laoshi wasn’t bad looking. This could work. 

And then he met Chu Wanning for the first time. His slender figure and long ponytail had slipped into the chair across from him and he’d poured some wine. 

Fragrant wine, fragrant meat, and a fragrant beauty. Mo Ran was very pleased with his husband-to-be after just one date.

Eight months later, Chu Wanning has only managed to endear himself even more to Mo Ran. His messiness, penchant for sweets, quiet but feisty manner - everything rips open Mo Ran’s Dom tendencies so much it hurts.

Silver would look good on Chu Wanning. Gold would contrast too much with his skin and call attention to the bracelet - which as a claim, would be something Wanning wouldn’t want to be too conspicuous. They’ve already decided on rings - Chu Wanning hadn’t wanted one at first, but after Xue Meng had pointed out that it was the easiest way to make the board remember he was now married and claimed, and to keep unscrupulous folks away from Mo Ran, he’d acquiesced. They’re both simple silver bands, which Mo Ran had ordered to be engraved with their wedding date.

He’s a Dom, but Mo Ran is a romantic at heart.

The specialty store he’s currently in has a huge variety of materials and styles of claims. He’s in the bracelet section on the first floor, but he knows the third floor has collars and the fifth floor has claims that vary in terms of their... intimate nature.

His stomach burns thinking of buying one for Wanning.

The attendant brings back the sample he’d requested, a platinum band with a clasp and inlaid mother-of-pearl, with space for one charm. Wanning blushed at the suggestion of a charm on his bracelet - I’m not a 14 year old girl, Mo Ran - but Mo Ran thinks one would suit him. A cat? A cake? A flower, maybe?

Haitang blossoms-

The platinum bracelet is perfect, it’s subtle enough that Chu Wanning wouldn’t be too shy to wear it and could be hidden under a sleeve if necessary. Chu Wanning always wears long sleeves - either it’s a button up, a suit jacket, or a comfy cardigan whenever he is at home. The button ups and suit jackets are always tailored perfectly to him - something that apparently his uncle had suggested to him to do - but the cardigan sleeves always fall over his hands till just his slender fingers peek out. It makes him so soft, so cuddly, so sweet - Mo Ran doesn’t understand how Chu Wanning could ever think he’s not the perfect Sub. 

He fills out the order form for the claim bracelet and pays, and is about to head out the door when he passes by the escalator. The upper floors… 

He tells himself that he’s just looking.  

Mo Ran gets on the escalator and heads to the third floor. He’s been here before, with other Subs who have tried to get him to claim them - somehow they always figured out that as gently as Mo Ran treats them at home, his bedroom manners make him an extremely possessive Dom. He peruses through the collars - some of them are more animal than others, with spikes, chains, and the like attached. Chu Wanning’s neck is too delicate for those, Mo Ran worries that the metal adornments on those collars would prick his skin. And unlike a platinum bracelet, a platinum collar would surely bruise his pretty skin. 

Mo Ran heads into the leather section, fingering through the buttery soft options available. Much better... but what color would look good on his husband-to-be?  

White blends in too much... black is too intense... and bright red, while complementary, just seems like it would stand out too much under Chu Wanning’s clothes.

He goes deeper into the department, where there’s more detailed collars displayed in glass cases at the order counter. There’s a deep purple one on display with a simple clasp in the back, an O-ring hooked onto the front. There are flowers engraved onto it, contrasting prettily with the dark leather. 

Hmm… 

“Excuse me.” Mo Ran calls to the sales clerk who was on the other side of the counter. He comes over, a pleasant smile on his face. 

“Yes sir, are you looking to make an order?” 

“This collar… can it be made in different colors?” Mo Ran points to the flower engraved one. 

“Yes sir, it can be fully customized for both color and material. Or, you can make a totally custom claim collar as well.” 

“Do you have the forms for those?” 

“Certainly.” The sales clerk pulls out a form from under the counter and hands Mo Ran a pen. “Just fill this out with what you’d like and we’ll place the order with the artisans.” 

Mo Ran takes the pen and peruses the form. Color should definitely be a subtle, understated red with engraving. The flowers on the display collar are rather large, but Chu Wanning suits something more… delicate. 

Haitang blossoms. He fills out the rest of the form. 

Mo Ran puts in the order for a collar claim as well. At this point he might as well go up to the fifth floor as well. It’s not like Chu Wanning has to know. 

He doesn’t have to give it to his fiance.

Yet. 

 

 

“Wanning, which side of the room do you want for your desk?”

Chu Wanning points to the solid wall on the other side of the room, where he can put shelves and additional tables for his work up. They’d thought about having an individual room each for their offices, but Chu Wanning wanted his own bedroom. They’re going to be married in name, but Mo Ran can bring whoever he wants to his bed, as long as it’s discreet. Chu Wanning ignores the twinge of jealousy he feels when he thinks of that, but it’s true. He’s a Sub, he’s Mo Ran’s Sub, in every way but the way it matters.

But individual bedrooms means that there’s only one spare room left, so they end up sharing an office. Chu Wanning would have been perfectly fine with having his workspace in his room, but Mo Ran had insisted.

“It’s not healthy, Wanning, you should separate work and home as much as you can.” 

“But I’ve been doing it just like this forever-”

“But isn’t that the whole reason we’re getting married? So that you could prove that you’re in a stable relationship and household?”

“Wouldn’t it make more sense if we... shared a bedroom then?” Chu Wanning blushes at the thought.

“No one is going to come into our house, but they are going to be able to tell if your home life is the same as before.”

“But Mo Ran-”

“Wanning.” Mo Ran gives him a firm stare, and Chu Wanning slips. He slams his mouth shut, scrambling to obey. “We’ll have our desks in the same office. Understand?”

He nodded, acquiescing.

Now he watches as Mo Ran hefts the box holding his new desk through the door, muscles bulging under the skin tight navy T-shirt he has on. Chu Wanning had offered to help, but there was really no point - Mo Ran was more than capable on his own. He sets the box down gently, and Chu Wanning notices the shine of sweat as it drips down his neck.

Well. He shouldn’t want to lick something like sweat, should he?

“Mo Ran, here.” Chu Wanning offers him a towel and bottle of water, shyly looking away. His fiance takes it gratefully, flashing his dimples.

Those dimples are... unfair.

“Are you ready for this weekend?” Mo Ran asks, leaning back on the floor.

Chu Wanning pulls some books out of a box and adds them to his shelf. “I suppose. There’s not much to get ready for, is there? The only people coming are your family and coworker, Shi Mingjing.”

Shi Mingjing. Possibly the prettiest man Chu Wanning has ever seen, and one of his fiance’s closest friends. Chu Wanning doesn’t understand why Mo Ran chose him when Shi Mingjing was right there. Why would someone want a Sub like him when Shi Mingjing is right there-

“Well yeah, but still. We’re getting married. You’re not even a little nervous?”

Chu Wanning turns to sit with Mo Ran. “It’s not like it’s a real wedding. We’re both doing it for work, you know.”

Mo Ran narrows his eyes. “I suppose you’re right.”

 

 

The wedding is small, a simple ceremony held at a local hall. Mo Ran and Chu Wanning say their vows and sign the papers with their witnesses, Xue Meng and Shi Mingjing. 

Shi Mingjing. Mo Ran affectionately calls him Shi Mei, and he always responds with a gentle smile every time Mo Ran calls his name. Shi Mei and Xue Meng left with Xue Meng’s parents for the reception. Mo Ran has his license, so he’s driving the two of them. 

Chu Wanning turns his head to look at Mo Ran as he drives, the city lights casting shadows on his handsome face as he focuses on the road. This gorgeous man is his husband now. It feels surreal. 

Chu Wanning never thought that he, of all people, would be married. Especially not to a literal walking god like Mo Ran. 

“So… we’re married now.” Chu Wanning starts. 

Mo Ran huffs out a laugh. “Yeah, I suppose we are.” The wedding ring glints on his left hand as he steers. Chu Wanning can feel the weight of his own ring on his hand. “How does it feel?” 

Chu Wanning sits back. “Strange. I don’t feel different, but I do.” 

“Me too.” 

“Mo Ran.” 

“Hm?” 

“You’re really fine with this?” 

“You’re asking after we already signed the papers?” 

“It’s not like we submitted them yet.” 

“Wanning. Wanning, look at me.” 

Their eyes meet. 

“I don’t have any second thoughts, Wanning. You’re the one for me.” 

“Mo Ran…” 

“What about you? I know you’ve had bad experiences with Doms before. Are you really alright with me?” 

“Yes. No one else would do.” 

Chu Wanning is resolutely not looking at his fi- husband - so he misses how Mo Ran’s face flushes at that. 

“Come on, let’s go eat cake and drink that wine you like so much.” 

 

 

“Wanning.” 

Chu Wanning looks up from the article he’s reading on his phone, about some type of new top-of-the-line microscope that’s being released - he wants to order one for his work. “Yes?” 

“Here.” Mo Ran walks over with a small box in his hand. It’s bigger than the one that was used for their rings, but not so big that it would contain anything more intimidating. He knows, upon seeing it, that it’s the box that holds Mo Ran’s claim on him. 

Mo Ran sits next to Chu Wanning and hands him the box. He takes it with trembling hands. 

“I hope you like it.” 

He opens the box.

Inside is a bracelet, made of a shiny metal that he quickly identifies as platinum, and it’s inlaid with an ivory-like material. “Mo Ran, it’s beautiful. A plain one would have been fine.” 

“No way, only the best for my husband.” Mo Ran winks. “I’m glad you like it.” 

“What is this anyway?” Chu Wanning rubs his finger over the ivory-material. “I hope you didn’t get me illegal ivory in this.” 

“It’s mother-of-pearl. Isn’t it nice?” 

“Hmm.” Chu Wanning rolls up his sleeve and takes the bracelet out of the box. It really is a very nice claim. 

It would look very pretty on a different wrist. Chu Wanning clasps it onto his own. 

 

 

Chu Wanning has never lived with another person before. Well, granted, he did live with his adopted father, and he did live in a dormitory but - he’s never had someone in his space before. His old home had been fairly large and he’d only ever met his father for meals, and in a dormitory he’d been lucky enough to be able to pay for a single room - using the bathroom was always a quick affair and he’d use his insomnia to his advantage to shower in the middle of the night. So he’s always been left alone in his living situations.

Not so anymore.

Even though they have separate bedrooms, the rest of their space is shared. Chu Wanning has his desk against a wall, mostly so he could put up a huge corkboard and tack things onto it as he worked. Mo Ran had elected to have his desk facing the window, with a view of the rest of the city. It’s strange, to Chu Wanning, who has only ever worked in silence in his home, to hear the tapping of someone else’s keyboard and the ring of a different phone, a deep timbre answering whoever called the line. Occasionally, he does retreat to his room to work, curled up on his bed with his laptop open on his knee, blue-light glasses perched on his nose. Because it’s the only room in his house where Mo Ran isn’t.

And his husband is truly everywhere. There isn’t a single inch of their common space that hasn’t been touched by Mo Ran’s (big, firm, gentle but somehow rough, well-veined) hands. Mo Ran had been the one to select most of the furniture - Chu Wanning doesn’t care much for style, more for practicality, so his previous apartment had been decorated in almost solid gray and white tones - but Mo Ran had insisted on making their “house a home”. Chu Wanning had told him to bring him options and then they’d choose, so each piece in their living room and dining area is meticulously chosen and most definitely assembled by Mo Ran. The sofa is a buttery soft leather, in a warm shade of tan, decorated simply with a few throw pillows and a cozy knit blanket that Chu Wanning secretly uses because it’s very soft and smells good. Mo Ran and Chu Wanning watch the news together there in the evenings, on either end of the sofa. 

Chu Wanning loves those evenings. He never thought he’d enjoy living with another person but here he is. 

Even sharing an office isn’t too bad. They don’t look at each other during work, so unless one of them has a phone call or meeting they mostly work in companionable silence, with the scratching of pencils from Chu Wanning’s side or the rhythmic typing of Mo Ran’s keyboard a gentle background noise. 

Living with Mo Ran means Chu Wanning actually has a routine, and he’s noticed that it has affected his life in several ways. He feels more energetic, less tired, and actually eats his meals because he feels hungry. Every night, Mo Ran bids Chu Wanning good night and presses a kiss to him somewhere, usually his hand or cheek, before waiting for Chu Wanning to slip into his room. 

It’s overwhelmingly sweet. Chu Wanning doesn’t get it. 

The only truly hard part of living with Mo Ran is their bathroom situation. The only available condo with three rooms in the complex had just one bathroom, but they both really liked the complex that they toured. It has an included fitness center and pool, which Mo Ran had wanted, and it also has a late night mail room, which Chu Wanning wants for his last minute projects. So they’d compromised, accepting the condo because how often are they going to try to use the bathroom at the same time? 

A lot. The answer is a lot. 

They’d only been married for 3 weeks when Chu Wanning woke up from an ill-timed evening nap feeling gross and sticky, and had decided to take a shower. The rest of the apartment was dark, so he figured that Mo Ran wasn’t home yet. He ambled to the bathroom and opened the door only to be greeted by the bright bathroom lights and steamy hot air. 

“Wanning?” 

Mo Ran steps out, toweling his hair dry. His clothes are hung up on the towel rack, damp from the steam. 

“Sorry, but some drunk manager spilled beer on me so I had to hop in as soon as I got home… Wanning?” 

Chu Wanning is frozen, because his husband is naked. Which, he was just in the shower so of course he was naked but dear god. 

Mo Ran is built . Chu Wanning has felt his husband’s torso somewhat before, from hugs and holding him close while on crowded public transport, but wow. The man is cut, and has water rivulets running down the valley of chest and over the individual dips of his abdominal muscles which lead to a deep-V crevice which lead to- 

Is it humanly possible to have such a large pe-

“Wanning?” 

Chu Wanning tears his eyes away from his husband’s down there, backing up against the closed door. Mo Ran finally seems to notice he is fully nude, and whips a towel around his waist and tucks it in. “Sorry, Wanning, I should’ve done that first.” 

“It- it’s fine. I should have checked.” He whirls around and slams the door shut behind him, running back to his room. Chu Wanning locks the door and slides down to the floor against it. There’s heat not just in his face now but also in his stomach, and it pools lower and lower, until shamefully, he pushes a hand into his pants and makes himself come to images of his husband’s body. 

 

 

“You’re wearing that again?” 

Chu Wanning pauses. He has a meeting today with some investors, so as much as he only cares about the research he’s required to look somewhat presentable. Today he’s put on a suit, which he knows is tailored to fit him - Xue Zhengyong made sure of it. 

“What’s wrong with this? It fits.” 

“I know it fits, Wanning, but it’s so… simple.” 

“I like simple. What’s wrong with simple?” 

“Nothing, nothing. But a plain black suit doesn’t fit you.” 

“We can’t all dress like you, Mo Ran.” Mo Ran, who wears tight fitting button-ups that are tucked into slacks that look painted on to his muscular legs, but also wears T-shirts that barely seem to contain his ample muscle and soft hoodies, and infuriating grey sweatpants that always outline his… you know. 

“Wanning-” 

“I’m going to be late. I’ll see you tonight.” Chu Wanning leaves, not because he wants to avoid the conversation but also because he really is about to be late if he misses the next train. 

Mo Ran is home when he gets back in the evening, meeting having been drawn out into a dinner meeting because investors are so unwilling to part with their money unless they’ve got some alcohol in their system. Xue Zhengyong had at least been nice enough to order the white pear blossom wine that Chu Wanning almost exclusively drinks, but the rest of their party had gotten wasted off of whisky, which smelled terrible. 

There are shopping bags on the counter, but Chu Wanning thinks nothing of it. If Mo Ran wants to buy new clothes he can, it’s not like either of them are lacking funds and their bank accounts are separate. He goes to take a shower, not noticing Mo Ran eyeing his suit with disdain. 

Chu Wanning is abruptly woken the next morning by a knock on his door. He never locks it, so he just mumbles “Come in.” 

Mo Ran steps in with the shopping bag from yesterday. “Hey, Wanning. Get up and try this on.” 

Chu Wanning pushes himself up. It’s only ten minutes before his alarm is set to go off, so he can’t be too mad at Mo Ran, but still. Ten minutes is precious sleep! “What?” 

“I went shopping for you yesterday, I think this will fit you. Try it on.” 

“Mo Ran, I told you, my clothes are fine. Why do you-” 

“Wanning.” Fingers grip his chin and his face is turned up, and Mo Ran stares deeply into his eyes. “Try on the clothes.” 

Something settles deeply into Chu Wanning’s body, and he finds himself getting up and opening the bag. Surprisingly, it contains one of his own creamy white button-ups, but there’s a vest in a lovely chocolate brown shade. It’s expensive, clearly made of wool and has thick knit patterns on it. The pants included are fitted trousers, in beige. 

Chu Wanning doesn’t know what possesses him to undress in front of his husband, but he does. Mo Ran watches as he puts the clothes on, which must not suit him at all. 

“Tuck in the shirt.” 

Chu Wanning listens, the Dom aura Mo Ran lets out not letting him go. 

“Let me see.” 

He turns to Mo Ran. His husband lets out a hum of approval, an appreciative grin on his face. 

“It looks really good, Wanning. You should dress like this more often, these colors suit you.” 

“They do?” 

“Yes. Here, come on.” Mo Ran grabs his hand, and pulls him out the door and across the condo, into Mo Ran’s own room. Chu Wanning has only been in it a few times, but Mo Ran has a full-length mirror in the corner, and he positions Chu Wanning in front of it. “See? You look perfect.” 

Chu Wanning doesn’t respond, because he’s too busy looking at his reflection. Not at the clothes (which do look good on him, Mo Ran really knows how to shop), but at his face. 

He’s flushed, red smattering across his cheeks and neck, even reaching his ears. His lips are slightly parted because he’s breathing harder, small huffs leaving his mouth. But most noticeable of all are his eyes. 

His eyes are glazed over and unfocused, emptily taking in his reflection. He notices Mo Ran watching him over his shoulder and forces himself to turn to face him. 

“Um, Wanning, why don’t you sit at the table and I’ll make you breakfast before you leave for work. Okay?” 

Chu Wanning nods and allows himself to be led to the table. His shoulders are pushed down on and he sits. 

“Wanning, I’ll get changed and be right back, okay?” He nods again. “Good boy.” 

Mo Ran leaves and Chu Wanning shakily exhales. He brings his hands to face and squeezes his flaming cheeks. 

So that’s what it feels like to be Dommed. 

 

 

Mo Ran sits heavily on the edge of his bed, hands clasped. Fuck. Chu Wanning looked so good when he entered subspace, so soft and pliant and willing- 

He’s such a pretty Sub. 

Mo Ran is so hard. 

Well, the pretty man currently waiting to be fed breakfast cooked by his hand and is wearing clothes he picked out is his husband after all. There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to him, Mo Ran tells himself as he palms his dick. 

There’s nothing wrong with it at all, he thinks as he comes down from what might be the fastest orgasm of his life. Embarrassingly fast. It’s just that Chu Wanning is so good .  

He likes Domming his husband. And his husband likes being a Sub. 

This was not what they signed up for. 

Fuck. 

 

 

“Yuheng. Hey, Yuheng!” 

Chu Wanning turns around and sees Xue Zhengyong waving at him. “Department Head Xue. Did you need something?” 

“Aiya, Yuheng, you can call me Uncle. You’re married to my nephew, after all!” 

“Absolutely not. If you don’t need anything, I’m leaving.” 

“Ah, wait wait wait! Come to my office for a minute, I’ll be quick.” Xue Zhengyong steers them around the corner, where his office is situated. Being a Department Head has a lot of perks, but Chu Wanning thinks that the office is one of the best ones. It’s in its own hallway away from the elevators, meaning it’s very quiet and no one ever passes by it. He’s envious. 

Xue Zhengyong closes the door behind him, and Chu Wanning sits in front of the desk. He waits for the other man to take a seat before leaning in. “Well?” 

“Well Yuheng, I just wanted to tell you that I think your plan worked. Good news, right?” 

“Plan? What plan?” 

“You know, the plan,” Xue Zhengyong gestures. “With my nephew?” 

Right. The plan. The marriage plan. The marriage plan that is absolutely not a real marriage where Chu Wanning and Mo Ran like each other and Sub and Dom for each other. That plan. 

Still, this is exactly what he wanted. “It worked?” 

“Well, nothing is set in stone yet, but we’ve already started looking at year end reviews. And of course you’re in the pile, but there was discussion about how you’ve cultivated a better work-life balance and actually have meals and whatnot so, I think whatever you and Mo Ran have got going on definitely worked.” 

“So I’m getting a promotion?” 

“Again, we have to discuss it with the board. But I think this is the best chance you’ve had yet.” 

Chu Wanning hums, pleased. A promotion means no longer having to jump through hoops to try and research promising new theories, he could just allow them himself. He could help so many people with a promotion. 

“Thank you, Department Head Xue.” 

 

 

“What the hell are you eating?” 

Chu Wanning jumps when he hears his husband’s voice echo from the doorway to his bedroom. He’s a barely visible figure outlined in black, since Chu Wanning didn’t bother turning any of the lights on in the main room since it was late. He ended up staying late at the office, too excited at the prospect of a promotion to do much else but throw himself into his work. He ended up back home at almost midnight, so he just didn’t turn the lights on and simply got a pack of instant noodles from his room to make for dinner. Mo Ran always kept the kettle full, after all. 

“Um… instant noodles?” 

Mo Ran sighs and rubs a hand across his face. “You know, you can just wake me up to make something for you.” 

“I can’t do that.” 

“Yes, you can. It’s a weekend. Also, I’m your husband and your Dom. I’m supposed to take care of you.” Mo Ran walks into the kitchen and they both flinch as he turns the lights on. “Let me make you something to go with that. We have some sausages in the fridge.” 

“Mo Ran, you really don’t have to.” 

“I want to, Wanning. Please let me. Here, bring me your noodles.” 

Chu Wanning brings Mo Ran his cup of noodles while his husband pulls out some sausages, green onion, and some spices and sauces. He slices up the sausage as Chu Wanning watches, and takes out a pan and heats it with some sesame oil. Then with some chopsticks, he picks the noodles out of the cup and drops them into the pan and starts frying them. Eventually the spices and sauces are added, and the sausage is cooked too. 

“A bowl, Wanning.” Chu Wanning hands him one. Mo Ran tips the noodles into it and sprinkles some of the onion onto it. “Here. Go sit and eat.” 

Chu Wanning finishes his dinner as Mo Ran cleans the kitchen. It’s delicious and it warms him to think about Mo Ran wanting to feed him. 

“Wanning.” 

“Yes, Mo Ran?” 

“I’ll be in charge of meals from now on too. You need to eat.” 

“I eat!” 

“Not as well as you should have. I mean, you’re older now, you need to watch what you eat.” Mo Ran laughs. 

“Making fun of me because I’m old, I see.” 

“I’m kidding, Wanning. But still, instant food isn’t good for you. I’ll cook for you.” 

“I can help, too.” 

“No, all you have to do is eat.” 

“But-” 

“Wanning.” Mo Ran levels him with a glare, Dom aura pressing down on Chu Wanning. He lets it wash over him, a shiver running down his spine. “You’ll eat what I prepare for you.” 

“... Fine.” 

 

 

Mo Ran doesn’t know where his relationship with his husband is going. It was simply meant to be a roommate-like relationship, aside from the whole being legally married thing. Mo Ran was specifically permitted to bring home ‘partners’ discreetly by his husband. But he hasn’t been interested in anyone since meeting Chu Wanning. 

Wanning fascinates him. The man is gorgeous, though his harsh personality makes him difficult to deal with at times. Still, Mo Ran can tell that Wanning is a kind person who cares about others a lot. He seems to think that he’s a burden on Mo Ran. He’s the most unaware Sub Mo Ran has ever met. 

Any Sub would know that Doms love to take care of their Subs. It isn’t just sex. The stronger the nature of the Dom, the more their protective, caring instinct makes itself known. Mo Ran’s Dom is particularly strong, and while all his previous partners enjoyed that in the bedroom, many of them found his desire to care for them in all aspects of their life overbearing and annoying. 

You’re like a mother hen, Mo Weiyu. I don’t need a mom, I want a boyfriend. 

Honestly, Mo Weiyu… you’re annoying. 

I’m sick of you. 

All you’re good for is sex.  

Chu Wanning is different. He never paid attention to Mo Ran’s Dom nature before they were married, and Mo Ran thought that was how their relationship would continue for however long they were married. But the man is such a disaster of an adult - how is he this smart but he can’t cook or do laundry - that before long Mo Ran found himself taking care of Chu Wanning. 

And Chu Wanning likes it. 

He lets Mo Ran choose his clothes. By now, pretty much his whole closet is clothes that Mo Ran has picked out for him. Mo Ran wanted to buy them all too, but Chu Wanning wouldn’t let him do that. 

“Just say which ones I should get and I'll pay for them. I can’t let you buy everything for me when there’s no need to. 

No there is a need, I want to take care of you, rely on me, Wanning. “Alright.”  

Wanning looks so good in off-white colors. He’s pale and soft, so creams and beiges and shades of brown are perfect for him to wear. Chu Wanning himself likes the colors blue and white, so there are some pale blue button ups mixed in as well. Mo Ran rather likes them paired with brown. 

Chu Wanning has been eating at home a lot more too. Sometimes when he’s late and there are no leftovers, he’ll knock shyly on Mo Ran’s door to ask for a quick dinner. Mo Ran is absolutely ecstatic when he does so, because being relied on by his Sub is the best feeling a Dom could ever ask for. He preens when Chu Wanning asks for a specific dish again and files it away into the ‘food that my Sub Wanning likes’ folder in his brain. 

Even their daily evening news watching has been affected. Mo Ran knows that Chu Wanning loves the knit blanket even though he won't admit it. Chu Wanning will settle into his side of the couch and watch the news, and everyday Mo Ran gets up, gets the blanket, and tucks him into it. He looks very cute, all snuggled up in the blanket. 

Mo Ran loves it. His Dom nature has never been this satisfied in his life, and they’re not even fucking. Usually this much calmness required several rounds of very dominant sex, with the effects only lasting a couple of days. But now he feels so grounded and happy all the time? And all he has to do is cook for and dress up and cuddle his husband? It’s perfect. 

He knows Chu Wanning likes it too, because the man slips into subspace much more easily now. His eyes glaze over quickly when Mo Ran kisses him goodnight, or makes him a particularly tasty dessert. 

Maybe… this marriage is meant to be. 

 

 

“And then I was like- oh, welcome home, Wanning!” 

“I’m home. I didn’t know Xue Meng and Shi Mingjing were coming over.” Chu Wanning toes off his shoes and puts them on the shoe rack (a rule that Mo Ran has put in place, which, admittedly, has helped him with getting out the door on time) and places the grocery bags on the kitchen counter. 

“Sorry, Chu-laoshi.” Shi Mingjing apologizes. “We should have asked first. Right, Mo Ran?” 

“Yeah, sorry, Wanning, it was kind of last minute. I should have texted you.” 

“It’s fine, you don’t have to tell me that your friends are coming over.” 

“We’re not friends!” Both Mo Ran and Xue Meng yell at the same time. Shi Mingjing chuckles, his delicate laugh echoing into the kitchen. 

“My only friend is Shi Mei!” Mo Ran exclaims, draping himself across said man’s lap. He smooths a hand across Mo Ran’s hair. 

Chu Wanning’s heart sinks. 

“Chu-laoshi, help me. Hang out with us!” Xue Meng tries to wave Chu Wanning over. 

“Sorry, I… have some work I really need to finish. So I’ll be in the office.” 

“Oh should we move to your room then, A-Ran?” 

Oh, now they have nicknames for each other? 

“No need.” Chu Wanning cuts in. “I’ll use headphones. Just stay out here.” 

“I’ll let you know when dinner is.” Mo Ran says as Chu Wanning shuts the office door behind him. He sits at his desk and opens his laptop. 

He can’t focus at all. 

Mo Ran comes and tries to get him for dinner, but he refuses saying he wasn’t hungry. He won’t look at Mo Ran, because he’s afraid Mo Ran will use his Dom glare to make him eat and Chu Wanning doesn’t want to eat with them. 

He doesn’t want to see Mo Ran and Shi Mingjing together. 

“Alright, Wanning. We’re going out to get some drinks. There’s leftovers in the fridge, so eat before you go to bed.” 

Chu Wanning attempts valiantly to focus on his work after he hears them leave. They’re going out for drinks, and alcohol can make anyone lose their inhibitions. If something were to occur between Mo Ran and Shi Mingjing- 

Chu Wanning drops his head on the desk. Why does he care? He told Mo Ran that he could do whatever with whomever, so why does he feel so awful seeing Mo Ran with Shi Mingjing? Pretty, gentle, and kind Shin Mingjing who is definitely an obedient little Sub that Mo Ran would Dom so good, there’s no way Mo Ran’s Dom is satisfied just by Domming Chu Wanning. 

He gives up after another to go to bed. It’s around 2:30 in the morning. 

Mo Ran is still not back. 

Chu Wanning falls asleep fitfully around 4 in the morning, his husband still not home. 

 

 

“Wanning. Wanning!” 

Chu Wanning finds himself shaken awake by a hand on his shoulder. He blinks his eyes and the bleary colorful shadow in front of him morphs into the figure of his husband as the sleep clears from his eyes and head. “Mo Ran? When did you get back?” 

“Like twenty minutes ago. We missed the last train and were super drunk so we crashed at Shi Mei’s place, and none of us woke up until 2 hours ago. I made them food and we ate before I left. Why are you still in bed? In your work clothes?” 

Chu Wanning looks down at his body, and Mo Ran is right - he’s still wearing the clothes he worked in yesterday, since he came home and went straight into his home office. Then he went straight to bed, depressed. But he went to bed around four in the morning… “What time is it?” 

“Almost 3 p.m.” 

“What?” Chu Wanning grabs his phone off the side table. It is, indeed, the afternoon of the next day. “I can’t believe I slept so long.” 

Chu Wanning’s stomach growls and he flushes. Mo Ran freezes and looks down at him. 

“Wanning.” 

“Yes?” 

“Didn’t I tell you to eat yesterday?” 

“Yes.” 

“And did you?” 

“No…” 

“When’s the last time you ate?” 

“Um, lunch yesterday.” 

Mo Ran takes in a heavy breath. “So, you haven’t eaten anything for 24 hours?” 

“I guess not.” 

“Wanning.” Mo Ran grabs his chin and forces Chu Wanning to look at him. “You didn’t listen to me.” 

“I’m sorry, I just-” 

“I told you to do so because it’s good for you.” 

“I know, but-” 

“Come Wanning, let’s eat.” Mo Ran pulls his husband out of bed and takes him straight to the kitchen, depositing him in his usual chair. “I’ll make some congee.” 

Chu Wanning’s stomach continues to growl as Mo Ran cooks, and he’s beginning to regret not eating before sleeping. Soon enough, Mo Ran finishes up the congee, and it’s only now when he speaks again. 

“Wanning, you haven’t eaten for a while, so eating too quickly will upset your empty stomach. Take your time eating this.” Mo Ran lets his Dom aura roll around the room and Chu Wanning feels the order to eat slowly wash over him. “Wait for it to cool. I don’t want you to burn your mouth again either.” 

That had happened the last time Mo Ran made congee. 

Chu Wanning sits in the chair, hands on the table in front of him. Mo Ran finishes dishing the congee he made into a bowl, and sets it in front of him with a spoon. Chu Wanning resists the urge to immediately begin shoveling it into his mouth.

Mo Ran said to wait. He’s listening.

Mo Ran sits in the chair next to him, observing him. He’s letting his usually restrained Dom aura exude off of him freely, almost daring Chu Wanning to disobey his order to wait. Daring his Sub to not listen to his Dom, daring him to disappoint him and want punishment.

Punishment. Chu Wanning should not be wanting a punishment.

The steam continues to rise off the congee, and the fragrant smell is making his mouth water. Mo Ran is such a good cook, and Chu Wanning has been so well fed even since they got engaged. He’ll never be able to eat anyone else’s cooking again, let alone his own abysmal fare.

The congee smells so good. Chu Wanning wants to eat it.

Mo Ran hasn’t released his wait order yet. Mo Ran ordered him to wait to eat - you always burn your mouth because you eat the food too hot, Wanning - and he has to be obedient. He has to listen to him. He’s a good Sub.

Chu Wanning snatches up the spoon and shoves some congee into his mouth. He’s about to go for a second mouthful when a broad, tanned hand grips his wrist tightly. He freezes, and slowly turns to look at Mo Ran.

“Wanning, I told you to wait.” Mo Ran has a glint in his eye, something indicative of him about to put Chu Wanning in his place.

Chu Wanning shivers in anticipation.

“Wanning, you understand that you disobeyed me.”

“I... understand.”

“So you understand that as your Dom, I have to reprimand you.” 

Mo Ran has never done that before, but he supposes it’s necessary. “I understand.”

“Good.” Mo Ran stands up. “Stay there. Do not eat.”

Chu Wanning keeps perfectly still as Mo Ran goes to his room, and can hear him rummaging around in a drawer. Mo Ran comes back out with two pairs of... fluffy handcuffs.

“Mo Ran-”

“Wanning. Sit .” Mo Ran forces some of his aura on Chu Wanning, and he slams himself back down onto the chair, senses screaming to obey. Mo Ran takes his left wrist and deftly removes his claim bracelet from it before snapping a handcuff around it. He brings the arm back down beside Chu Wanning before snapping the other cuff around a chair leg. Chu Wanning’s heartbeat speeds up as Mo Ran does the same to his right hand, securing both of his arms to the chair legs, making him unable to get up. Mo Ran stands back.

“Hmm... not enough.” Mo Ran reaches out and Chu Wanning subtly flinches, but all he does is caress Chu Wanning’s chin, gently cupping his face. He leans in and presses a kiss to his husband’s forehead, which Chu Wanning eagerly responds to, pressing into. Mo Ran releases him but continues holding his chin, lifting his head to inspect his neck. Mo Ran narrows his eyes before releasing him.

“Mo Ran?” Chu Wanning is confused. What’s not enough? “Is something... wrong?”

“Yes Wanning, something is wrong.” Mo Ran pulls Chu Wanning’s chair out and turns it to face him. He then pulls another chair out across from him before sitting in it. They’re facing each other. “You didn’t listen to me. I gave you an order, Wanning.”

“I-'' Chu Wanning looks away. “I’m sorry.”

“Good.” Mo Ran reaches out, gently stroking Chu Wanning’s hair like a luscious cat, tucking a stray strand behind his hair. “But, I still have to teach you.”

Chu Wanning watches as Mo Ran picks up the bowl of congee and spoon. It still smells mouth watering, with delicate pork slices and a scattering of scallions on top. Mo Ran spoons some up and blows on it, cooling it down a bit, and then brings it to Chu Wanning’s mouth.

“Shameless!” Chu Wanning bites out. How dare Mo Ran? He is an adult, a whole 32, almost 33 years of age, and bad as his habits may be he is perfectly capable of feeding himself! He clamps his mouth shut and turns his head away, refusing to take it. So what if he broke Mo Ran’s order? That doesn’t mean he has to put up with this sort of humiliat-

He doesn’t see it coming when deft fingers reach out and pinch a nipple, the pain making him gasp. With the gasp, Mo Ran shoves the spoonful of congee into his mouth. He’s about to spit it out but then he sees something flash in Mo Ran’s eyes, and he makes the decision to chew instead.

It’s delicious. It’s perfect. Goddamn it.

“Good, Wanning. Have you swallowed?” Chu Wanning nods. “Show me.”

He obediently opens his mouth, showing his husband that he’d swallowed the mouthful of congee. Satisfied, Mo Ran gathers another spoonful and brings it to his mouth again. Chu Wanning is about to turn his head again when a flash of pain on his chest - the other nipple, this time - makes him gasp out again. He rushes to shut his mouth but Mo Ran is faster, and manages to make him take another mouthful. He chews and swallows, and without even an order, opens his mouth to show Mo Ran that he’d swallowed.

Mo Ran pauses, before breaking into a satisfied smile. “Wanning is so good for me.” He leans in and presses a quick kiss to his cheek, before gathering another spoonful. “Here, have some more.”

Chu Wanning continues to eat the congee, taking each carefully proffered mouthful and savoring it, before showing Mo Ran that he had swallowed each bite. Mo Ran’s pleased aura is rolling about the room, and Chu Wanning can feel himself sinking, the joy of pleasing his husband effectively pleasing him as well. He finally swallows the last bite, and Mo Ran takes a napkin and very gently wipes his mouth.

“You’re so good.” He murmurs, and Chu Wanning preens. He was good. He was good for Mo Ran, for his Dom, for his husband. “You’re so good for me, you know, Wanning?”

Chu Wanning sits boneless in the chair as Mo Ran releases the cuffs from his wrists, letting them drop with a clank to the ground. He brings the left hand to his mouth and presses a light kiss to it, massaging the marks left on the skin from the cuffs.

“How was it, Wanning?”

Chu Wanning hums. He can’t focus on anything, just sitting in the back of his head with a subtle pressure on his right wrist now as Mo Ran massages it. He feels... good. He feels... different. Mo Ran has never actually done a scene with him until now, usually it’s just small things around their home, but this...

Is this how claimed Subs feel all the time? Why was Chu Wanning ever so opposed to being claimed...

“-nning? Wanning, baobei, are you alright?”

Chu Wanning lazily turns his head to look at Mo Ran, who is staring down at him with some concern. Once he realizes Chu Wanning is still just in subspace, though, he relaxes.

“Wanning, you were so good, you did so well.” Mo Ran caresses his cheek and drops another quick kiss to his forehead. “You deserve a reward. What do you want?”

“A reward?” Chu Wanning blinks. He already feels amazing. Mo Ran will give him a reward, too?

“Yes, what do you want? I can make you something sweet, or I can go to the pastry shop a block over and get some osthmanthus cakes. Or do you want some boba? Whatever you want, you deserve it.”

“I deserve it...” Chu Wanning pauses. He deserves a reward. Mo Ran says that he does. Chu Wanning can take something he wants?

“Then I want...” Mo Ran leans in, eager to give his husband something he wants. “... a kiss.”

“A kiss?” Mo Ran drops another one to Chu Wanning’s forehead, chuckling. “I’ll give those anytime, what do you really want, Wanning?”

“Not... there. Here,” and Chu Wanning brings one of his hands shakily to his lips, pressing down into the plushness. “A kiss here.”

Mo Ran freezes. Anyone else would laugh at him - who hesitates to kiss their own husband - but he and Chu Wanning are different. Their marriage is just something for appearances - even if they have slipped a bit into their Dom and Sub roles, they’re not fully committed as a married couple. They haven’t even done any sexual scenes yet.

Not that Mo Ran wouldn’t want to do that. He very much would be down to have a scene like that. Or not even a scene. He very much would like to have sex with his husband.

But Chu Wanning is a timid, evolving Sub, and Mo Ran would never make him do a scene like that, not so early on. So now that he’s asking for a kiss... can Mo Ran hope their relationship is changing?

“Wanning... are you sure?”

Chu Wanning frowns. Was he not good enough? Is this too much to ask? “I- if I don’t deserve it-”

“No no, Wanning.” Mo Ran grips both of his hands assuringly. “You were so good. You deserve a kiss. I’m happy to kiss you, if you’re sure.”

Chu Wanning nods.

“Then, let’s move to the couch.”

Chu Wanning goes to stand up, and finds his legs buckling. Mo Ran’s arms shoot out and grip him around the waist, and before he can even thank him, Mo Ran has lifted him into his arms.

“Mo Ran!”

“What, baobei? Scared? I won’t drop you.” Mo Ran is way too strong for his own good, and though Chu Wanning is a full grown, heavy man, he easily carries Chu Wanning to their buttery leather couch, sitting down with him on his lap. “Besides, this is your reward. Let me do this.” Mo Ran still has him wrapped in his arms, but they turn their heads at the same time, lining up their noses.

“Mo R-”

There are lips on his, suddenly. Mo Ran kisses him ever so gently, like Chu Wanning is fragile - he supposes he is, right now. He feels like he could break, splintering like the fine china Madam Wang keeps in the dining room for display. His breathing picks up, harshly, and his husband huffs out a laugh. Chu Wanning is about to pull away when Mo Ran murmurs against his lips, “Wanning, open your mouth.”

Chu Wanning parts his lips hesitantly, and starts a bit as something wet slips into his mouth. Mo Ran confidently twines his tongue with his husband’s, coaxing Chu Wanning to do the same. He presses forward, sealing their lips together as their tongues dance with each other.

Minutes go by as they kiss, Chu Wanning held sideways in Mo Ran’s arms. His neck is starting to crick, and Mo Ran, sensing a change in his Sub, releases his mouth. Chu Wanning is panting, his face flushed and lips slick, looking every inch a pretty debauched Sub. Mo Ran feels his dick stir, but he holds himself back from thrusting against his husband’s ass. Chu Wanning looks like he feels so good right now, and he doesn't want to shake him out of that state.

“Mo Ran...” he sighs, and Mo Ran feels his chest clench. Who wouldn't want this man as a sub? Who told him he wasn't meant to be one, that he wasn't soft and pretty, not like a good sub?

Chu Wanning is such a strong man in his daily life, seeing him brought to his knees like this would make any Dom preen. Mo Ran?? Mo Ran feels himself becoming more and more obsessed with his husband as the days go by and he breaks in his Sub just a bit more.

Mo Ran pulls Chu Wanning closer to him, holding him tight against his chest. His husband relaxes against him, mellowed out and blissful after submitting. He presses a kiss to his temple (Chu Wanning doesn’t notice) and slips his arms underneath his husband’s lithe body. He carries him to the bathroom, seating him on the rattan chair Chu Wanning has placed in the corner while he fills up the bathtub. He opens the cupboard under the sink, and finding it devoid of anything other than necessary toiletries, hurries back to his own room before returning with a container of bath salts.

Chu Wanning is still boneless in the chair in the corner, eyes closed, so Mo Ran busies himself with preparing the bath. He pops open the salts, and the light fragrance of haitang hits his nose. The bath salts had been quite expensive, custom made just to Mo Ran’s order - the scents available in store had just felt... too strong, cloying, to suit Chu Wanning. His husband is not a small man by any means, but there is something... delicate about Chu Wanning. Mo Ran sees it in the bend of his wrists underneath a loose cashmere sleeve, the shell of his ear as he tucks his hair behind it, slipping out of his ponytail, the sliver of his tongue as it darts out from between his lips, catching a stray drop of soup that Mo Ran has prepared for him. Haitang scent belongs to Chu Wanning as much as Chu Wanning belongs to him-

Mo Ran blinks, shaking himself out of that train of thought. He pours a capful of the salts and shakes it into the heated bath water, turning off the faucet when the tub is full enough. Steam rises from the water - he doesn’t know how Chu Wanning can stand to bathe in water hot enough to boil eggs in - and he turns towards the man in the chair.

Chu Wanning is starting to come back to himself now, and he opens his eyes to look at Mo Ran. Mo Ran finds himself smiling slightly at the softness on Chu Wanning’s face, and kneels in front of his husband.

“Wanning.”

“Hm.”

“The bath is ready. Do you need help undressing?”

Chu Wanning is about to hum assent when his tender-addled brain picks up on the word “undressing”. Undressing? Help? Who is going to help him?

A hand shoots up, slower than his usual reflexes, and he closes his fingers around the tanned hand about to reach for his buttons. Mo Ran stills. Chu Wanning forces out, “I can... do it myself.”

Mo Ran lowers his hand. “Alright, Wanning.” He reaches behind himself to the floor and scoops up the container of bath salts. “Don’t soak for too long. Good night, baobei.” He exits the bathroom, shutting the door behind him with a click.

Chu Wanning strips off his shirt and trousers, tossing them onto the chair he was previously occupying. He pulls off his underwear as well, and pulls the hair tie out of his hair, letting his long ponytail release like an inky river, cascading down his back. He lifts one foot and touches a toe to the water.

It’s scalding.

Mo Ran drew it perfectly.

He steps in, submerging both of his feet. He then kneels down and gently sits, so as not to make the water run over the edges of the white porcelain tub. Chu Wanning relaxes into the bath, hair fanning out on the tub edge behind him. 

Wait. What was it that Mo Ran had said to him as he left? What had he said as he said good night?

Good night, baobei.

Baobei? BAOBEI? He must be hearing things, right?

But no, he’s not mistaken. Chu Wanning can definitely recall at least three different times that night Mo Ran had called him “baobei”. Was something wrong with him? Had he not been ready to release the order? Was Chu Wanning pushing him with his needs? Or was he not paying enough attention to his husband’s needs?

Mo Ran only married Chu Wanning for his job. Chu Wanning only married Mo Ran for his job. There was never supposed to be any more between them, and yet Mo Ran has been kind enough to answer Chu Wanning’s suddenly, forcefully awakened Sub needs. But Chu Wanning is only now realizing that while Mo Ran has been dutifully fulfilling his needs, that have been rising one after another, been letting Chu Wanning dictate what scenarios he’s okay submitting in.

But what of Mo Ran’s needs? What has Chu Wanning done for Mo Ran, as a Dom?

What has he done for Mo Ran to call him “baobei”? Unless, that endearment... wasn’t for him...

A soft, pretty face flashes through Chu Wanning’s mind, one that was present in both the first picture he ever saw of Mo Ran, as well as at their small wedding ceremony.

Chu Wanning dips his head under and comes back up, leaning back against the tub. The warmth of the water he’s soaking in can’t drive away the slightly sick chill that’s settled in his bones.

 

 

Mo Ran shuts his bedroom door behind him before flopping down onto his bed, cheeks flaming.

Baobei? BAOBEI?? Is he serious?? He’s been calling Chu Wanning baobei all evening as if-

As if, that’s what they’re relationship is based around. That they’re in love with each other and have cute pet names for each other like couples that are in love do. Like they’re- 

Fuck. 

He’s in love with his husband, isn’t he? 

His husband who he married so that they could get promotions at work. The husband who isn’t technically a husband, his husband who is the only Sub he’s ever met who likes it when he takes care of them outside the bedroom. 

His husband who he hasn’t been in the bedroom with yet. 

Fuck. 

 

 

Something has changed, between the two of them. 

Mo Ran continues to Dom Chu Wanning, but instead of the obedience that he always showed previously, now, on occasion, Chu Wanning will act out. There are no repeats of the handcuffs incident (to Mo Ran’s disappointment), but Mo Ran has had to punish Chu Wanning with a ban of sweets and making him eat slowly. But he’s still more good than naughty. Mostly because Mo Ran has a new way to reward him. 

He thought the kiss was a fluke, just a one-time thing, but when Chu Wanning came home on time for a whole week Mo Ran had asked what he wanted as a reward. He’d joked about kissing Wanning again. 

But Wanning had flushed and asked if that was alright, and Mo Ran just had to grasp his husband's waist and hoist him on their table and kiss him over and over again, for an hour. 

He presses kisses to Wanning’s lips when he leaves for work, when he comes home, and when he says goodnight. Chu Wanning eats it up. He loves spoiling his little Sub, who is so happy with a kiss from his Dom. Seeing Chu Wanning happy makes him so satisfied. And for many weeks, it’s enough. 

The side of Mo Ran that Doms in everyday life is very happy. The side of him that Doms in the bedroom is growing restless. 

But Mo Ran has already committed himself to Chu Wanning. Since realizing his affections for his husband, he has no desire to bed anyone else. He’s 26, but he’ll make do with his hand. 

For now. 

 

 

“Wanning, Wanning!” 

Chu Wanning is curled up on his end of the couch when Mo Ran comes home. It’s winter, and he’s tucked under the knit blanket that he likes so much. The news ended an hour ago, but he has nothing to read and his work is done for now so he’s watching some gameshow. It’s rather entertaining even though he has no idea who any of the celebrities playing are. 

“Mo Ran, how did it go?” Today is the day Mo Ran is supposed to get the feedback from his year-end review and learn whether he got the promotion he wanted or not. 

Their entire marriage has been in hopes of getting something out of today. 

Mo Ran sits next to Chu Wanning, drops his briefcase and grasps his husband’s hands in his own. Chu Wanning’s hands are dwarfed by Mo Ran’s and the contrast of Mo Ran’s tan skin and Chu Wanning’s pale ones make a pretty picture. 

But that’s not important. Chu Wanning is desperately hoping for the best. 

“Well?” 

Mo Ran breaks out into a huge grin. “I got it.” 

Chu Wanning can’t help himself and smiles as well. “Good job, Mo Ran. I know you worked hard for it.” 

Mo Ran isn’t paying attention, because his husband just smiled and he’s beautiful when he smiles. Chu Wanning doesn’t smile much, but Mo Ran loves taking care of him so well that he lets a small smile sneak out. It lights up his face. 

Chu Wanning really doesn’t realize how good-looking he is. Mo Ran wants to keep him all to himself. 

“-nt? Mo Ran?” 

“Sorry, Wanning, what did you say?” 

“I was asking if there was anything you wanted. As a congratulations.” 

Mo Ran squeezes his hands where they are still being held. “I’m happy now, though. I have you, and I have the promotion.” 

“There must be something you want.” 

“Well…” 

“Tell me, Mo Ran. I said anything, after all.” 

Mo Ran contemplates it, before leaning in and putting his mouth next to Chu Wanning’s ear. He whispers into it and then pulls back to look at his husband’s face. 

Chu Wanning’s face is red from listening to him. 

“We don’t have to if you don’t want to.” Mo Ran moves to get up.  

“Wait.” Chu Wanning doesn’t let go of his hands. “If that’s what you want, then… I’m okay with it.” 

“Are you sure?” 

“You do so much for me, Mo Ran, as a husband and as a Dom.” Chu Wanning looks up at him and brings his hand to his face, and Mo Ran’s fingers automatically curl to cup his cheek. “Let me do this for you. And… I want to. I mean, we’re married. It’s fine if we do.” 

Mo Ran grins. “I’ll take a shower. Go wait in my room.” 

 

 

Chu Wanning is sitting in the middle of Mo Ran’s bed, hugging his knees. His husband is in the shower, and now he unfortunately has time to think about what he just agreed to. 

“I want to have our wedding night. What couples usually do.” 

Chu Wanning is grateful that Mo Ran is gentlemanly enough to not straight-up say “I want to have sex with you.” That would definitely have shaken him. 

It’s not that Chu Wanning is opposed to the thought. Ever since the first night he accidentally saw Mo Ran naked, he has imagined his husband dozens of times and brought himself to completion every time. The front wasn’t enough - Mo Ran was so inhumanly blessed, there’s no way he wouldn’t use it. 

His husband is very attractive. Of course Chu Wanning has masturbated to thoughts of him. 

Chu Wanning hears the shower shut off and he tenses. Maybe Mo Ran will want to get right to it? Should he take his clothes off? 

Chu Wanning peels off his sweater and tosses it to the other side of the room, away from Mo Ran’s bed. He pauses for a second before unbuttoning his trousers and pushes them down his legs and throws those as well. He’s sitting in just his underwear, but that’s embarrassing too, so he yanks the covers up over his legs as Mo Ran enters the room. 

He has a towel slung over his hips, and the V under his abdominal muscles is as prominent as ever. Chu Wanning notices that he’s dried his hair which is considerate. He looks pleased to see Chu Wanning already undressed. 

“Oh? So eager, Wanning.” Mo Ran crawls up the bed to loom over Chu Wanning. “I didn’t know you were so horny.” 

“Mo Ran.” Chu Wanning curls hands over his husband’s bare shoulder, which seems to please him. He leans down to press a kiss to Chu Wanning’s lips and Wanning returns it eagerly, allowing Mo Ran to slip his tongue into his mouth. They make out for a few minutes, something they’ve done before, and Mo Ran can feel his husband relax. He moves his lips down, pressing light kisses to Chu Wanning’s throat. Wanning’s skin is soft and fragrant, and it’s easy to suck kiss marks into his pale complexion. Little haitangs bloom across Chu Wanning’s throat when Mo Ran pulls away. 

“Mo Ran.” 

“Hm? Yes, baobei?” 

 “I just thought I should tell you that… this is my first time.” 

Mo Ran gapes. No one has tried to seduce this ethereal man before? Even though he looks so seductive, aroused like this? A damn shame. 

“Wanning…” 

“I just wanted you to know. I… I still want to do it.” 

Mo Ran kisses his cheek. “Of course, Wanning. I’ll be gentle.” 

Mo Ran gets up, and pulls the covers off the bed. So Wanning wasn’t completely naked under the blankets. It doesn’t matter, he will be soon enough. 

Mo Ran let’s the towel around his waist drop, and sure enough, his husband’s eyes zoom straight to his crotch. Chu Wanning’s eyes widen as he lays eyes on it. Mo Ran knows Chu Wanning has seen it before, but his reaction isn’t a surprise; many of Mo Ran’s previous partners have been awed by the size of his dick. 

“Um, Mo Ran.” 

“Don’t worry baobei, it’ll fit.” 

“If… if you’re sure.” 

Mo Ran reaches out and grasps Chu Wanning’s waist, pulling their bodies together. He reaches his hand down and grasps him through his underwear. Wanning muffles a gasp into his chest. He gives one, two pumps, while his husband squirms. Releasing his cock, Mo Ran slides the same hand into the waistband of Chu Wanning’s underwear and grabs it and pulls it down. Chu Wanning’s cock pops free, already hard and dribbling a bit. 

“Mo Ran…” 

“Shh, Wanning, don’t worry. It’s not embarrassing at all. Here, I’ll touch you.” 

And finally, finally , Mo Ran has his hand on Chu Wanning’s dick, the skin soft and velvety, squelching as Mo Ran twists his hand in short, quick strokes. Precum spills over Mo Ran’s hand. Chu Wanning pants into his neck as he arches his back as the arousal builds and builds inside of him. 

“Mo Ran, Mo Ran, I- it feels-” 

“Come, Wanning, baobei, go ahead.” Mo Ran encourages. What a good Sub his husband is, still seeking permission to come. Chu Wanning shudders as he finally releases, semen spurting in white threads on Mo Ran’s hand and abdomen. 

“Good boy, you’re so good. It felt good, didn’t it?” 

Chu Wanning barely manages to nod and he rolls onto his back, ponytail astray. Mo Ran sits up and his husband’s eyes follow the planes of his body, honing in on the droplets of white that are sliding down his abdomen. 

“There’s… you know, on your stomach.” 

Mo Ran looks down and laughs. “So there is.” Then, to Chu Wanning’s amazement, he swipes a finger over one of the drops, catching the semen on his finger, and brings it to his mouth. 

“Mo Ran, wait-” 

Mo Ran licks the cum off his finger, sucking it noisily. 

“Mo Ran!” 

“What, Wanning?” He smirks. “It was delicious.” 

Chu Wanning rolls over and buries his face in the pillow on Mo Ran’s bed. What is this man even doing? How could he just eat something that came from Chu Wanning’s body without any thought at all? 

“Wanning.” Mo Ran nuzzles into his husband’s shoulder. “Are you done?” 

“You haven’t… yet, though.” 

“I can take care of it myself.” 

“No!” Chu Wanning sits up, facing Mo Ran. “I can do it. Just… go slow.” 

“Alright, Wanning. Can you lie back down?” 

Chu Wanning follows his instructions as Mo Ran reaches over to the night stand on the right side of his bed, opening the drawer. He takes a bottle out and Chu Wanning blushes to see that it’s a bottle of lube. Mo Ran grabs the pillow from beside Chu Wanning’s head and lifts his hips to slide it under. 

Mo Ran leans in and presses a kiss to Chu Wanning’s chest, lips brushing lightly over his skin. “Okay?” 

Chu Wanning lets out an exhale. “Yes, I’m okay. Stop asking.” 

Mo Ran chuckles. “Alright.” 

The sound of the cap of the lube popping open is loud in the silence of Mo Ran’s room. He squirts it out onto his palm and sets the bottle aside, pressing his hands together to warm it. “Baobei, lift your legs up.” 

Chu Wanning pulls his legs up to his chest, blushing at the exposure that he’s suddenly facing. Mo Ran is overly focused on his lower region, which is just as pale and smooth as the rest of Chu Wanning’s body. For a man with basically no beauty regime, he sure is smooth and plump all over.

Mo Ran reaches the pointer finger of his right hand out and brushes it over the furled hole that is exposed between the cheeks of Chu Wanning’s ass. He clenches involuntarily. 

“Wanning, I’ll start now.” Slowly, he pushes the finger into his husband’s body. It slips in with little resistance, and Chu Wanning lets out a sigh that doesn’t seem uncomfortable.  

“Wanning, have you done this before?” 

The other man’s face colors, but he nods. “By myself, sometimes.” 

The Dom side of his that was raring to go berserk at the thought of some other man having touched Chu Wanning calms down, pacified with hearing Chu Wanning admit that he touhces himself. “Oh? Watching something?” 

“No, I don’t watch that.” 

“Then… thinking of something? Or… someone?” Mo Ran punctuates his question with the press of another finger into his husband’s body. Chu Wanning tenses up slightly, before allowing the entrance to relax. 

“Maybe.” 

“Hmm. Who?” 

“Not telling.” 

“Wanninggg.” Mo Ran whines. It’s not effective though, since he’s still fingering Chu Wanning’s ass. 

His Sub glares at him. “Are you going to put it in or not?” 

Mo Ran laughs. “Such an impatient Sub. Fine, baobei, I’ll put it in since you’re so desperate for it.”   

“I am not.” Chu Wanning protests as Mo Ran slips a condom on. “Don’t just say whatever- ah! Mo Ran!” 

Mo Ran presses past the entrance of Chu Wanning’s hole, stuffing his husband full. Wanning is tight, and his insides are incredibly hot as it sheaths Mo Ran’s cock. Mo Ran bottoms out, and holds himself back from thrusting because Wanning is breathing shallowly. 

“Wanning? Baobei?” Mo Ran leans down and kisses his forehead. “Can I move?” 

“Mo Ran. Mo Ran, I’m so - I’m so full.” Chu Wanning releases his left leg and caresses his belly. “You’re so big inside me.” 

“Fuck, Wanning.” Mo Ran buries his face in the other man’s neck, sucking another mark into it. “You can’t say things like that. I can’t hold myself back if you do.” 

“You don’t have to, M-Mo Ran.” 

“Here.” Mo Ran grabs Chu Wanning’s left hand from his stomach, and makes him release his other leg, then brings both his hands up to Mo Ran’s shoulders. “Hold onto me here. Don’t worry about scratching me.” Mo Ran waits for Chu Wanning to tighten his hands on his shoulders and then he uses his own hands to press the other man’s legs open. 

Mo Ran thrusts, and the fingers on his shoulders tighten as Chu Wanning lets out a gasp. He increases the strength of his own grip on Chu Wanning’s legs and starts up a rhythm of thrusting. The sound of skin slapping skin resounds throughout the bedroom, and the grunts and moans from both of their mouths add to the erotic symphony that echoes in the space. 

“Mo Ran, oh!- Mo Ran!” Chu Wanning scrabbles at his back, nails scoring down his shoulder blades. The Dom side of Mo Ran is very pleased at finally having his Sub at his mercy, writhing in so much pleasure that he loses control of his hands and legs. Mo Ran sits back on his knees and jackhammers away, slamming his dick into Chu Wanning with squelching lube sounds at every thrust. Chu Wanning’s hands fall from his shoulders to the bed, and he looks debauched and overstimulated as his hands twitch beside his head. 

“Fuck, Wanning, you’re so good for me.” Chu Wanning moans. “You like that, Wanning? Like being told how good and obedient you are, how much of a good little Sub you are?” 

“Yes, Mo Ran! Ah! I like it!” Chu Wanning spasms again. “There! Right there!” 

“Here?” Mo Ran adjusts his positioning inside Chu Wanning, and continues nailing him right there, forcing Chu Wanning to cry out even louder. “Are you going to come again?” 

“Yes, Mo Ran, I’m coming!” Chu Wanning orgasms for the second time that night, except this time he comes untouched. The semen is shiny on his stomach as his torso heaves for breath, but he’s quickly becoming overstimulated because Mo Ran is still thrusting into him.  

“Mo Ran, I can’t-” 

“You can, baobei. You can take it.” 

“Mo Ran, please!” 

“I’m almost there, Wanning, you can do it.” Mo Ran gives another one, two, three thrusts before he’s able to push himself over the edge as well, spilling inside his husband’s body with a low moan. 

He manages to catch himself from collapsing on the exhausted Sub laying underneath him, and pulls his cock out. He gets up and throws out the condom, tied shut - damn, he came a lot - before returning to his room. Mo Ran rummages through his dresser and pulls out an old T-shirt, and brings it over to the bed and begins wiping Chu Wanning down. 

“Mo Ran…” 

“Yes, Wanning?” 

“Earlier you… nevermind.” 

“Wanning?” 

“It’s nothing, Mo Ran.” 

“Here, I’ll carry you to the bathroom.” 

“I can walk. It’s not like I’m in subspace right now.” 

“Are you sure you can walk?” 

“Of course I can.” Chu Wanning sits up and swings his legs over the side of the bed and goes to stand up. His legs promptly give out and he collapses back onto the bed. 

Mo Ran laughs at him. “See? I told you. Let me carry you.” 

“Is that an order?” 

“I can make it one if you’ll let me carry you.” 

Chu Wanning seems to contemplate it, before holding his arms out to be picked up. Mo Ran’s heart squeezes at the cute sight. “Fine, take me there.” 

Mo Ran scoops him into his arms and preens as Chu Wanning tucks his head under his chin. 

 

 

“Mo Ran?” Chu Wanning’s husband is nowhere to be seen when he arrives home. He’s actually early today because Mo Ran wants to take him out to dinner. They’ve been married for almost 9 months now, and Mo Ran has been insistent on doing more “coupley” things together. 

Their relationship has changed so much from when they were first married. Chu Wanning would never in a million years have thought that anyone would want to Dom him, and yet, here he is, with a caring Dom. He also could have never imagined sleeping with somebody and yet - here he is, having sex with his husband. 

Not a lot. Not always. In fact, Mo Ran has only asked to have sex two more times since that first time. Chu Wanning’s face is far too thin to ask for it himself, and he supposed Mo Ran could always find partners other than him if he wanted to. They haven’t talked about that. 

Chu Wanning wants Mo Ran all to himself, but he doesn’t know if Mo Ran feels the same about him. How funny, for them to be married and not sure about being exclusive to each other. 

“Mo Ran?” Chu Wanning knows he’s home, since his shoes are on the rack. There’s a thud from Mo Ran’s room, alarming Chu Wanning. 

He bursts into his husband’s room, fearing that he’s hurt himself. “Mo Ran, are you okay?” 

Mo Ran is positioned… suspiciously. He’s leaning against his dresser and has one hand behind his back. “Wanning! You’re back! I thought you’d be late.” 

“I texted you that I got a half day today. Did you not see it?” 

“No, I did. Sorry, I was just distracted.” 

“Oh.” So something was occupying Mo Ran’s mind. Maybe a pretty man with a gentle voice and slender wrists… 

“Yeah, sorry. Are you ready to leave?” 

“Let me put my bag away and change.” 

Chu Wanning exits the room and goes back to his, leaving Mo Ran in his room with his secrets. 

 

 

Mo Ran lets out a breath as Chu Wanning leaves his room. The box he’s hiding behind his back is heavy, because the shop he ordered the custom claims from was very high-end, which means their larger goods ship in wooden boxes. He places it back on the dresser and opens the box again. 

It’s the collar that he had ordered months ago, finally created and in his possession. The dark red leather carved with haitang blossom engravings is exquisite and would set against Chu Wanning’s skin beautifully. The leather itself is soft, and the company was thoughtful enough to line the inside of the collar with a soft satin, so that it wouldn’t chafe his Wanning’s delicate skin. The buckle on the back and O-ring on the front are a deep gold. He could easily attach a leash to it, or loop his own fingers through the ring to pull his Sub close. 

The smaller package that he’d managed to slip into his drawer is still unopened, so he takes it out to open it. The packaging on this is much more subtle, a plain black box that wasn’t the intricate bracelet or collar box. Inside is a claim device he never thought he’d find himself buying. 

A chastity cage. 

Mo Ran doesn’t know what possessed him to go upstairs to the fifth floor of the claim shop that day, but he was already on a roll from ordering a custom collar for Chu Wanning. Upstairs were claims that were more intimate in nature; harnesses, male and female chastity devices, cuffs, other bondage goods, anything a Dom would want to sexually control their Sub. Mo Ran wandered the aisles, since he didn’t know what he was looking for. Some of the chastity cages look painful, they’re so small. He moves on to the next display. The ones in this case are more… beginner friendly. There’s a very cute pink one. With a little lock on it. 

He ordered it. And now it’s sitting on his dresser. 

Mo Ran shuts the box and tucks it back into his dresser, placing the collar in its box beside it. He grabs his jacket off of his bed and heads out, ready for dinner.  

He’s so relieved that Chu Wanning didn’t see the other claims he ordered that he doesn’t notice the sullen expression on his husband’s face. 

 

 

Maybe he’s just doing this because they’re married. 

Today, Chu Wanning is at one of his favorite cafes after work, which, incidentally, Mo Ran had introduced him to. Mo Ran has been busier ever since he got his promotion, so he isn’t home in time to cook everyday. It only took one day of Chu Wanning attempting to make dinner for the both of them for Mo Ran to request that they push back their dinner time or for Chu Wanning to go out to eat. 

It’s been a while since Chu Wanning ate out this regularly. Mo Ran was very particular with his orders, so Chu Wanning ended up eating at home most days, and taking a homemade lunch with him to work. Even if there are leftovers, he doesn’t like eating at home. 

The truth is, Chu Wanning doesn’t like eating by himself. Even though his late adopted father was not a very affectionate man and did not involve himself overly in Chu Wanning’s life, one of his house rules was that they were to eat meals together. If his father was home, Chu Wanning always ate with him no matter what. He grew up conditioned to eat with other people, even if there was no conversation or socializing at the meal. 

It’s the biggest reason Chu Wanning never bothered to go home to eat before he was married. He doesn’t like sitting at a table by himself and having a whole meal. It felt wasteful. It felt gluttonous. It felt lonely. 

Maybe Mo Ran can tell that he’s lonely and feels bad for him. Maybe that’s why he kept Domming Chu Wanning, even though that was never a part of their original arrangement. Chu Wanning doesn’t want Mo Ran to force himself for him, he wants Mo Ran to want to Dom him, to want to sleep with him, to want to- 

Oh. 

He wants Mo Ran to want him in every way he wants Mo Ran. 

He wants Mo Ran to love him. 

Chu Wanning put his head in his hands. He can’t believe this. He really fell in love with his own husband-of-convenience. 

Fuck. 

 

 

There’s a knock on the door to his office that startles Chu Wanning out of his daze. He’s been thinking about Mo Ran almost non-stop since his revelation in the cafe that he has romantic feelings for his husband. Luckily Mo Ran had still been at work when he got home, having eaten dinner at the cafe, and Chu Wanning was able to go to bed without having to face his husband with the now mortifying realization that he loves the man. 

He loves Mo Ran, and he doesn’t know how much longer their marriage is going to last. 

Mo Ran already has the promotion that he wanted from Guyueye Pharmaceuticals. If Chu Wanning gets the promotion that he wants… would they stay together? 

He’ll have to freak out internally about this all later though, because right now there’s someone knocking on his door, interrupting his internal turmoil. “Come in.” 

The door opens and Xue Zhengyong sticks his head in the gap through the door. “Yuheng. Are you busy?”

“No. Do you need something?” 

“Not right now, no. Can you stay late this evening?” 

“I have to let Mo Ran know, but yes I can.” 

“Ah, look at you, young love. Letting your hubby know you’ll be home late.” 

“Department Head Xue…” 

“I got it, I got it. Anyways, I need you to stay late because the board wants to talk to you today.” 

Chu Wanning sits up straighter. “Do you think…” 

Xue Zhengyong nods. “I do. It’s an important evening, Yuheng. Be at the meeting room on the 7th floor at 6.” 

 

 

Chu Wanning waits impatiently for the train doors to open. He needs to get home, to tell Mo Ran that he finally got the promotion that he’s been working his ass off for. This is the promotion he’s been pissed about being passed over for for years. This is the promotion he went and got married for. 

He doesn’t know how this will change his relationship with Mo Ran. He loves him. He doesn’t want to end it here. Maybe, since Mo Ran clearly enjoys Domming him, and they’ve had a relationship in the bedroom as well, maybe… Mo Ran would like to stay with him. 

Chu Wanning picks up his pace walking back, eager to tell Mo Ran everything. He’ll tell him about the promotion, then he’ll tell Mo Ran how much he likes being his Sub, and then he’ll tell Mo Ran about his feelings. 

Chu Wanning would not consider himself a particularly brave person but he has to tell Mo Ran. This is his chance. He has to say it. 

He feels like his legs can’t take him to the apartment fast enough. The shadow of their housing complex looms in the distance and he feels his heartbeat pick up in anticipation. Maybe he should get something to celebrate. The flower shop is coming up. Chu Wanning decides to duck in for a bouquet and a bottle of wine, just like how Mo Ran had done for him. 

 

 

“Mo Ran! Mo Ran I-'' Chu Wanning stops in his tracks. He nearly drops the bottle of wine that he’s holding by the neck. The flowers tucked under his arm are about to be crushed. 

Shi Mingjing is here with Mo Ran, and he’s got his hands loosely fisted in his husband’s collar. Mo Ran’s buttons are loosened, exposing his chest. He only dresses that way when he’s trying to impress somebody. 

Mo Ran’s hands, on the other hand, are cupping Shi Mingjing’s elbows, long fingers spanning the width of his pale arm. They’re sitting very close together and their position is very intimate. 

Chu Wanning feels his stomach drop straight to the pits at the sight of the two of them. They do suit each other so very well, Mo Ran with his strong, handsome physique and Shi Mei with his gentler, softer beauty. 

Hell, if Mo Ran likes him, then he might as well tell him that he got the promotion so there’s no reason for them to stay married anymore, is there. 

“Chu-laoshi! The flowers!” 

Chu Wanning startles as Shi Mingjing comes up to him and takes the bouquet from him. He doesn’t know flower language like Mo Ran does - I learned it from Auntie -  so he just got what he thought was pretty, which turned out to be a bouquet of cosmos and lilies. A few of them are crushed, but most of them are still intact. 

“Wanning.” It’s Mo Ran who is in front of him now. “What is it? Why the wine and flowers? Did something happen?” 

“Yeah, it did.” Chu Wanning won’t look at his husband. Mo Ran doesn’t know. 

Shi Mingjing looks at them from where he’s arranged the flowers in a vase pulled out from somewhere. Great, he even already knows where they keep the vases in the kitchen. He washes and dries his hands before heading to the shoe rack and grabbing his sneakers off of it. 

“You two look like you need to talk about something important so I’ll be going now. Bye A-Ran, bye Chu-laoshi.” He leaves, quietly shutting the door behind him. There’s a soft click as it auto-locks. 

“Come sit down, Wanning.” Chu Wanning mechanically takes his shoes off and replaces the empty space on the rack that Shi Mei’s shoes were just occupying. He allows Mo Ran to take his work bag and the wine from him, setting both on the table. Mo Ran then takes his hand and leads him to the couch. 

Mo Ran is so gentle to him but it hurts. Because it’s not like he cares for him any more than that. 

“Wanning?” 

Chu Wanning had a plan 15 minutes ago. He doesn’t anymore. 

“Wanning, what’s wrong?” 

“Nothing is wrong, Mo Ran. Actually, I got really good news today at work.” Mo Ran stays quiet, letting him gather his thoughts. “I… got the promotion.” 

Mo Ran is stunned for a moment before he seizes Chu Wanning’s shoulders in excitement. “What! That’s great! I'm so happy for you.” He squeezes the thin shoulders under his hands, excited. “So that’s why you bought flowers and wine.” He goes to pull Chu Wanning in for a hug but his husband puts his hands on his chest, stopping him. 

“Wanning?” 

“What was Shi Mingjing doing here?” 

“We were just hanging out, Wanning. He’s one of my best friends.” 

“Then… why were you sitting so close together?” 

“We were watching a show together.” 

“Why were you so… close, then? Why were his hands holding your shirt and why were you holding him?” 

Mo Ran narrows his eyes. “What do you think was happening, Wanning?” 

“I don’t know…” 

“Wanning, you do know. Say it.” Mo Ran uses his Dom aura to force a truthful answer from Chu Wanning. 

“Kissing! I thought you were kissing!” 

“Why would I be kissing Shi Mei-” 

“Because you like him!” 

What is this man talking about?

Chu Wanning pushes Mo Ran away and sits back. “Don’t think that I didn’t notice the way you talk about him and behave around him. You’ve always liked him.” 

“No, you’re wrong.” 

“How am I wrong? And even if you don’t like him, there must be someone else out there who you like.” Chu Wanning snorts. “It’s not as if you like me .” 

Mo Ran freezes. Did… did Chu Wanning find out? Is this his way of rejecting Mo Ran in some cruel and unusual roundabout way? He doesn’t even want to acknowledge that Mo Ran’s feelings are real? 

Bullshit. Mo Ran is many things, but he’s not dishonest. 

“I don’t like anyone else, Chu Wanning. We’ve been married for months. Have I not been Domming you constantly? Haven’t you been happy as a Sub?” 

“You’re only doing that because we live together and it’s convenient for the both of us, not because you actually want to.” 

No! No! This wasn’t part of the plan at all! 

“You think I’m Domming you out of obligation? Chu Wanning, I had sex with you. Several times. Do you think I’m someone who would do that out of obligation ?”

“If you really cared about every person you’ve had sex with, it wouldn’t have taken your uncle to actually find you a Sub and a spouse.” Chu Wanning lashes back. 

Mo Ran’s hands tremble with anger. “You don’t know anything about the people I’ve had relationships with in the past.” He stands up. “I can’t believe you’d say things like that. Maybe we should consider when and how to dissolve our marriage, now that we’ve both got the promotions that we want.” He stalks back to his room and slams the door. Chu Wanning actually hears the lock click, and Mo Ran has never locked his door before. 

Chu Wanning slowly picks himself up off of the sofa, and grabs the wine and his work bag off the table where Mo Ran had placed them before trudging off to his own room. He closes the door softly, locking his as well. 

The bag is dropped on the floor and wine is deposited on the dresser before Chu Wanning flops face down onto his bed. He just took his anger out on Mo Ran and revealed all his insecurities to him in the span of 5 minutes after he’d just decided to be honest about his feelings to his husband. 

He’s so stupid. There’s no way to salvage this. 

 

 

Mo Ran paces in his room. Why the hell would Chu Wanning say all of those things? How could he even think that Domming someone was such a light practice that it could be done out of simple obligation?  

Maybe because Chu Wanning is a Sub, he doesn’t really understand what effects Domming actually has on the Dom themself. Mo Ran, as a particularly strong Dom, has an almost excessive desire to control and care for his Sub. In the bedroom many of his past partners found it attractive and responded very well to it and the aftercare, only to get irritated when Mo Ran would try to cook for them or wash their hair in the bath. 

You’re too sticky. I don’t need that. 

The only thing I need you for is sex. I don’t want to be Dommed any other time.   

Mo Ran has been claim shopping with many Subs, and they were all excited the first few weeks. By the end of the relationship, however, Mo Ran is pretty sure most of them are relieved that they dodged a bullet not being claimed by him. 

Mo Ran was never fulfilled by those past relationships. Sexual Domination only provided a temporary comfort to him, and it was never enough to sate the beast that resided within him. What he really needed was to take care of someone, not just sexually, but in a true sense where they fully relied on him. 

Chu Wanning was such a mess when they first met. Mo Ran could tell immediately that he was a very intelligent man, but couldn’t take care of himself. Mo Ran has been taking care of Chu Wanning ever since the first glass of wine he poured for him at the restaurant where they met for the first time. His Dom had been purring in satisfaction after Chu Wanning had agreed to their engagement that night. 

And somehow, they’ve ended up here. Mo Ran was just waiting for Chu Wanning to get his promotion, that way they could have this conversation on equal footing. Mo Ran wanted to confess his feelings and ask Chu Wanning if they could have a real relationship together. He supposes that’s a moot point now. 

He can’t help the tears that slip from his eyes. He really thought Chu Wanning might want him afterwards too. Meanwhile his husband has such negative assumptions about Mo Ran, even though Shi Mei had been arguing with Mo Ran about confessing to Chu Wanning sooner. That was the only reason he’d been grabbing his collar - he was about to throttle Mo Ran. 

Mo Ran flops onto his bed, pulling the covers over him. He’ll think about this tomorrow. For now, he wants to mope. 

 

 

“Yuheng.” 

Chu Wanning feels Xue Zhengyong’s concern over his appearance in his stare down at him, but he doesn’t have the face to look at his husband’s uncle after their massive fight. He knows he looks like shit, since he couldn’t sleep and his sweater left imprints on his face after he laid on his sleeve all night. Mo Ran still made him breakfast this morning, left on the table, but Chu Wanning couldn’t bring himself to eat it after chewing him out the day before. 

Now it’s 11 in the morning and he’s starving. He should have swallowed his embarrassment and eaten it. 

“How can I help you, Department Head Xue? I’m rather busy today.” 

“Yes, I can see that… but I just came to drop this off for you and Ran-er.” He hands Chu Wanning an envelope. 

“What’s this?” Chu Wanning opens the envelope and pulls out an invitation card. “An invitation to the annual gala?” 

“Yep, you’re expected to show your face this year.” 

“I don’t know if I can-” 

“They’re going to publicly announce your promotion at the gala, Yuheng. I’m afraid you have no choice but to attend. And you have to bring your husband with you.” 

“Why must I bring Mo Ran with me?” 

“They’re announcing his promotion too.”       

Chu Wanning groans and puts his head in his hands. Stupid corporations and their stupid corprate events and their stupid hierarchy and status rules. He does not want to talk to his husband about this.  

Mo Ran is waiting for him when he gets home from work. “Hey. Welcome home.” 

“I’m home.” Chu Wanning is impressed, frankly. He doesn’t know if he’d be able to keep his face so straight if he had just been yelled at for 20 minutes the day before. “I’m assuming you also got an invitation?” 

“Yes, my boss gave me one today. Auntie also came by and told me that the two of us have to attend together.” 

“Hmm. I wonder why.” Chu Wanning fishes in the refrigerator for a snack. 

“I made osmanthus cakes the other day. Top shelf.” 

Chu Wanning glances back at Mo Ran. “Thanks.” 

“Anyways, I think it’s because they’re still suspicious about the circumstances of our marriage. They probably think that it’s not real, and want to catch us out at the gala.” 

“But they’re right, it’s not real.” 

“Really?” 

Chu Wanning turns to look at Mo Ran from where he’s putting the osthmanthus cakes back into the refrigerator. “Really what?” 

“This marriage isn’t real to you?” Mo Ran crosses his arms where he’s leaning against the couch. “It’s real to me.” 

Chu Wanning’s heart squeezes seeing the expression on Mo Ran’s face. “I- I didn’t mean it like that.” 

“How did you mean it, then?” 

Chu Wanning can’t respond to that. 

Mo Ran sighs. “We’ll go to the gala together, but afterwards I think we need to have a serious discussion about what we’ll be doing from now on.” 

 

 

“Ready?” Chu Wanning knocks on the door jamb of Mo Ran’s bedroom door. He’s already dressed, wearing a smartly pressed tuxedo. The gala tonight, hosted by their city’s organization of pharmaceitcial and clinical research companies, is a strictly black tie event, so black tuxedos or suits is pretty much the uniform of all men who will be in attendance. Mo Ran had selected a cream shirt for him to wear underneath weeks before their fight, and Chu Wanning sees no reason to ignore a perfectly good outfit. 

Mo Ran looks dashing as always in his suit. He’s gone for his classic style with an open jacket and his shirt unbuttoned, though not as much as it normally would be. The shirt he’s wearing is a dark royal blue and sets his tan skin off very nicely. 

“Mo Ran, it’s a black tie event.” 

“Wanning, you know as well as I do that these events are way too stuffy to wear full suits to.” 

“I’m wearing one.” 

“That’s because you’re stuffy, Wanning.” 

“Mo Ran!” 

“Don’t worry about me, I showed up at the gala last year basically wearing this, and no one threw a fit. It’ll be fine this year too.” 

Probably because they enjoyed the eyeful you gave them , Chu Wanning thinks. Well, he’s enjoying it too, so he can’t blame them.      

“Okay, I’m ready. Let’s go, Wanning.” They grab their coats and head out, Mo Ran swinging the car keys around on his finger. 

“Are you sure about driving? We can take a taxi.” 

“It’s fine. Let’s go.” 

The drive is quiet. Chu Wanning and Mo Ran haven’t exactly made up, but they’re not yelling at each other, so the silence isn’t unbearable. They’re pulling into the museum parking lot when Mo Ran finally says something. 

“Wanning.” 

“What, Mo Ran.” 

“You should be careful, tonight.” 

Chu Wanning huffs. “Careful of what?” 

“Uncle told me, you know. Of the problems you’ve had at galas in past years.” 

“That was before. I have you now, plus,” Chu Wanning lifts his left wrist, where the claim bracelet Mo Ran gave him sits, clearly visible, “I have this. Who's going to bother me if I have this? Our marriage was pretty public, too.” 

“I know, but there's always some dumbass who's looking to push his luck at events like these. Just promise that you'll be careful and if anyone is bothering you you'll come find me. Actually, just stay with me the whole time.” 

“Mo Ran, I'm not a child. Besides, you have to talk to the higher-ups.” 

“Wanning, please.” 

“Fine, fine. Let's go in before we're any later.” Chu Wanning hops out of the car before Mo Ran can even unlock his seatbelt.

The gala has always been held at the city’s science museum, which is swanky and luxe for a building that looks at least two hundred years old from the outside. It’s been decked out to the nines tonight, with banners of all the attending organizations tied to every railing, and investors and partner non-profits also trying to put out some advertising with tables and booths. Most people are here to shmooze, even though it’s technically a charity benefit.

There are glittering stacks of champagne placed nearby tables laden with food. Smaller, fancy French hors d'oeuvres are carried around by servers dressed in immaculately starched uniforms. Chu Wanning’s stomach rumbles slightly, though only heard by himself, and he regrets his decision to not eat an actual meal before coming to the gala. Little shrimp and finger sandwiches aren’t an appetizing meal to him. 

At least the champagne is bottomless. And free. 

“Wanning, wait here.” Mo Ran steers Chu Wanning over to a pillar beside a gently glowing fish tank that’s near an emergency exit. The area is considerably less crowded than the rest of the mingling floor of the gala, and Chu Wanning feels his cheeks warm at the thought of Mo Ran specifically bringing him to a less crowded place. “I’ll go get you something to eat.” 

“I don’t really like finger foods.” 

“I know, I know. But I’ll find something.” 

Mo Ran leaves Chu Wanning and blends into the crowd, though his height still makes visible above the heads of most of the other attendants.


“Chu-laoshi!” 

Chu Wanning turns his head at the call of his name and is greeted by Xue Meng waving at him, his mother and father right behind him. The family of three walks toward him and Chu Wanning pushes himself up off of the pillar he’s leaning on to greet them in return. 

“Xue Meng, hello. Department Head Xue, Madame Wang.” 

“Look at you, Yuheng! I’ve never seen you so relaxed at a social gathering before! I guess having Ran-er around is good for something, huh?” 

Chu Wanning huffs. “Please, you act like I was always a complete wreck at all of the previous galas.” 

“Maybe not a wreck, per se, but you definitely always looked overly stressed out! Some might even say constipated!” 

“Dear!” Madame Wang interrupts her husband before he can humiliate Chu Wanning any further. “That’s enough. You know it’s not Chu-laoshi’s fault that those events stressed him out.” She turns her kind smile onto Chu Wanning. “I had a hard time too, before I married my darling.” She affectionately curls a hand around her husband’s cheek, giving him a soft smile which he returns.  

Xue Meng pretends to gag from beside them, but there’s no real heat when he rolls his eyes. Chu Wanning knows that the couple in front of him have always been openly sweet with each other and have no qualms about public displays of affection, even in front of their adult son. 

“I knew I recognized that mushy couple ambshing my husband from somewhere.” 

“Ran-er! My boy.” Xue Zhengyong turns and firmly claps his nephew’s shoulder, probably realizing a hug would upturn the plate of food and flutes of champagne the younger man’s hands are occupied with. “Ah, look at that. He’s thoroughly tamed Yuheng through his stomach.” 

“Ah, uncle, not just through his stomach.” Mo Ran winks as Chu Wanning sputters at the implication of the other ways Mo Ran has ‘tamed’ him. How could he say something like that in front of his uncle and aunt! 

Xue Zhengyong and Madame Wang seem to find it amusing, but Xue Meng is giving his cousin a disgusted look. “You’re gross, Mo Weiyu.” 

“What’s gross about being honest? Here, Wanning.” Mo Ran hands him the plate of food,which he takes in one hand, automatically reaching to grab a flute of champagne as well. “I got some  hors d'oeuvres that I think you’ll like. I know you think cocktail shrimp and finger sandwiches are gross and not classy.” 

“I never said that.” Chu Wanning grumbles, but he picks at the food on the plate. He picks up what looks like a peach on a slice of bread. “What is this?” 

“It’s a crostini made with goat cheese and grilled nectarines. I tried one, it’s good. The fruit really balances with the cheese, try it.” 

Chu Wanning delicately takes a bite, and the fruit bursts on his tongue, juice spilling over. The bread is just toasted enough to not be soggy and the soft cheese also blends well with the rest of the flavors in his mouth. 

“Yuheng, Ran-er, we need to get to the board members, so we’ll leave you two to it.” Xue Zhengyong and Madame Wang turn away, Xue Meng already striding ahead no doubt to get some appetizers and drinks for himself. “Don’t forget, they’re announcing your promotions today so you need to stay till that at least, okay?” 

“We understand, uncle.” The couple walks off and Mo Ran takes a sip of his champagne. “Is it good?” 

“Yes.” Chu Wanning takes another bite of the crostini. “How did you know I would like it?” 

Mo Ran chuckles. “How long do you think we’ve been married?” 

“Not long enough for you to say that.” 

“Ha, I suppose. Still, Wanning,” Mo Ran continues while gazing into the crowd, “I know you.” 

“You don’t. Not that well.” 

“I do. Which is why I’m very confused as to why we had that fight.” Mo Ran finishes off his champagne. If he’s driving home, he has to consume whatever alcohol he wants now, not later. “I don’t know why you’d say all those things. That’s not you.” 

Chu Wanning feels the hot burn of anger in his chest once again, but pushes it down. They need to have this discussion, but tonight is important. “We can talk about this later.” 

Mo Ran sighs. “I suppose.” 

“Oh, A-Ran! Chu-laoshi!” And here comes the source of so much of Chu Wanning’s anger. “Xue Meng said you were over here.” 

“Shi Mei.” Mo Ran greets his friend. “I thought you had a date for tonight.” 

Wait. A date?

“I did but I don’t know where he went. That’s not important right now, Dr. Jiang is here! We have to go say hello to him.” 

“Ugh, that temperamental old man? Why hasn’t he retired yet?” 

“You say old, but he’s younger than both of Xue Meng’s parents. You know that, right?” 

“So he just looks like that? Damn.” Mo Ran looks arounf but there are no servers to take empty flutes near their isolated corner of the gala. “Wanning, would you-” 

Chu Wanning holds out his hand and Mo Ran deposits the flute into it, his eyes focusing on his husband’s delicate fingers wrapping the stem. “Go. I’ve met Dr. Jiang before and he does not like to be kept waiting.” 

“Thanks, baobei.” Mo Ran heads off with Shi Mei, leaving behind a furiously blushing Chu Wanning. 

Baobei? Why is he calling me that? We just fought and Shi Mingjing was right there.

 

 

The gala is in full swing now, but there really are no servers coming by the area where Chu Wanning has tucked himself, so he squares his shoulders and makes his way into the crowd. He finds a server who takes his empty plate and flutes away from him, but he can’t spot anyone he knows in the sea of dark colored fabrics. Feeling uncomfortable, he spots the sign for the bathrooms across the hall and slowly makes his way through the throng of bodies towards it. 

As he arrives at the hall leading to the bathroom the screech of a microphone being turned on assaults everyone’s ears. Chu Wanning ignores it as someone starts announcing, “Welcome to the 17th annual-” 

Luckily, the bathrooms are pretty empty now that the mingling and drinking stage of the gala is over. He turns on the sink at the very end and runs the water as cold as he can stand it, before cupping some and splashing it onto his face. Chu Wanning looks up at the mirror as it drips from his face, some short hairs he couldn’t brush into his ponytail plastered to the skin of his forehead. The redness of his face has decreased somewhat, but his ears still look like cherry tomatoes. 

Mo Ran didn’t exert his Dom force on Chu Wanning earlier, so it’s not the leftover vestiges of subspace. Maybe the champagne was stronger than Chu Wanning thought. His stomach is empty except for a few pieces of crostini, after all. 

The door bangs open behind him and he flinches slightly at the noise. He ignores whoever comes in, though, as they’re clearly somewhat inebriated, going by the force at which the stall door is closed. And the mumbling. 

Chu Wanning splashes water on his face one more time as the other person flushes and comes to wash their hands. He grabs a paper towel and pats his face dry - rubbing will inflame your skin, Wanning, pat it - not noticing the presence next to him until he removes the paper towel from his face. 

“You’re Chu Wanning, aren’t ya?” The drunken man says next to his ear. 

Chu Wanning jumps back, but he’s at the end of the counter and there’s a wall behind him. The man has him cornered between the wall and the counter. “Get away from me.” 

“Relax, relax. Don’t you know who I am?” The man leans in close enough for Chu Wanning to smell champagne and shrimp on his breath. Disgusting. 

“No, now leave me alone.” 

“Come on, you must know me. Everyone in oncology at Sisheng does.” 

Chu Wanning finally actually looks at the man harassing him. “You- you’re the salesman from Rufeng Technologies.” 

“That’s right.” The man actually pouts at Chu Wanning, as if he’s hurt that Chu Wanning doesn’t remember him. “I’ve hit on you so many times when we were out, how could you forget me?” 

Chu Wanning would forget him because the man would try to use his Dom aura on him, and only Xue Zhengyong stepping in most of the time would make him stop. He always dreads schmoozing with Rufeng Technologies because this man is always there, and he always eyes Chu Wanning with a lustful glint in his eye. 

Chu Wanning has seen lustful looks before, and they always make him ready to tear his skin off. The only one that he’s never felt like that is with Mo Ran. 

He tries to push the man away. “I’m a married, claimed, Sub, you know. Trying to Dom me won’t work.” 

The man only presses down on him harder. “You know, there’s rumors that that isn’t true. That you two just got married for work and that you’re still an unclaimed Sub.” He licks his lips like a wolf preparing to devour his very scared prey. “I wonder if that’s true.” 

“No, stop- Mo Ran! Mo Ran!” Chu Wanning calls out for his husband, but the bathroom is isolated and the booming of the speakers with whoever outside is speaking is too loud for anyone to hear him cry out for help. “Stop!” 

The man grips Chu Wanning’s chin hard enough to bruise and forces him to meet his eyes. Chu Wanning closes his eyes in the hopes that no eye contact will work. He prays that it does. 

“Kneel.” The order washes over him and Chu Wanning feels tears come to his eyes as his body slowly drops down the floor, hands on his knees as he’s forced to obey this man’s orders. Water from the sink has splashed onto the ground and soaks his slacks. 

“Ha, I was right! He hasn’t fully claimed you. That bracelet means nothing .” 

Chu Wanning can’t breathe. He’s so frightened that his body isn’t listening to him. Mo Ran has given him orders before too, but they’ve never been this… harsh. Never been this forceful. He never felt upset following them. 

Because he wanted to follow them. He wants to submit to Mo Ran, and listen to him, and please him. He wants that with Mo Ran. 

He doesn’t want this. He doesn’t want this. 

Chu Wanning hears a zipper being pulled down and bows his head, lips trembling but kept shut. He can’t let this man, this, other Dom, touch him. He promised Mo Ran he wouldn’t let it happen. 

“Su-”

“Chu-laoshi?” 

Chu Wanning whips his head up towards the door, where Shi Mingjing is standing. The bathroom door is swinging behind him. Clearly neither of them heard it open. The younger man’s eyes widen as he realizes what’s happening in front of him. 

“What the hell are you doing? Get away from him!” Shi Mingjing rushes over and pushes the man away from Chu Wanning roughly, knocking him against the counter. He kneels beside Chu Wanning. “Chu-laoshi, are you okay? Chu-laoshi!” 

Chu Wanning looks up at him blearily. He can’t respond, the other Dom’s order still holding him still. Shi Mingjing seems to realize this and curses, surprisingly. 

“Chu-laoshi, if I give you an order, will you listen? Just so we can get you out of here.” 

Chu Wanning nods. 

“Okay. Stand.” 

Chu Wanning’s legs unfold and force his body back up to standing position. Shi Mingjing pulls an arm over his shoulder and supports Chu Wanning’s weight as he tries to bring him to the door. They’re almost to it when it bangs open. 

It’s Mo Ran. 

“A-Ran! Help Chu-laoshi.” 

Mo Ran rushes to the two of them, fitting his hands under Chu Wanning’s arms and lifting him towards his body. He holds him as Chu Wanning remains still. 

Release.” Shi Mingjing let’s go of his order and Chu Wanning’s body relaxes against his husband’s. 

Mo Ran glares at Shi Mei. “You Dommed him?” 

“I had to! That guy,” he points at the drunk man from Rufeng Technologies, “had an order on him to kneel.” 

Mo Ran’s eyes narrow and he moves to set Chu Wanning aside, probably to go beat the crap out of this bastard who just touched his Sub when a shaking hand fists itself on his suit jacket. 

“Wanning?” 

“Mo Ran, don’t.” 

“He was about to force you, Wanning. I’ll kill him.” 

“I’m fine. Can you just… can we leave?” 

Shi Mingjing nods. “There’s an alternate exit down this hall that the catering is using. I’ll let the others know what happened.” 

Mo Ran scoops Chu Wanning up into a bridal carry. Chu Wanning, whose mind is too muddled to protest, allows him to quickly walk down the hall and out the back door, where thankfully no staff are gathered, and to their car in the parking garage across the alley. Mo Ran deposits Chu Wanning in the passenger seat and puts his belt on for him. He walks around to the other side of the car and gets in, then backs out and starts the drive home. 

Mo Ran lowers the windows of the car, and the cold air helps Chu Wanning relax and come back to himself in a matter of minutes. Luckily he wasn’t in full subspace, so his recovery is quick. He looks over at his husband. Mo Ran’s hands are gripping the steering wheel so tightly the pressure is making his skin turn white. 

“Mo Ran-” 

“What did I tell you?”

“M-Mo Ran?” 

“What did I tell you before we went in there, Wanning? What did you promise me?” 

Oh. Mo Ran is furious.  

“I-” 

“Wanning.” Mo Ran’s voice is a deep rasp. “You’re in for it.” 

 

 

The door is barely locked before Mo Ran has Chu Wanning shoved up against the wall of the foyer, hand gripping his chin tightly. Chu Wanning shrinks against it, screwing his eyes shut to ignore the dark pools of fury swirling in his husband’s eyes.

“What did I tell you?” Mo Ran demands, voice little more than a husky growl.

Chu Wanning presses his lips together so tightly they turn white from the force. He’s never been afraid of Mo Ran but now?

Now?

This isn’t fear of being hurt by Mo Ran. He’s afraid of the disappointment Mo Ran will feel because of him. The disappointment that will radiate off of him because Chu Wanning wasn’t a good husband.

Wasn’t a good Sub.

The hand on his chin squeezes even tighter, turning painful, and it forces a choked gasp from Chu Wanning’s mouth. His eyes fly open at the same time, and this time, he’s paralyzed in his husband’s gaze.

“What did I tell you, Wanning? What did I say?”

Chu Wanning hesitates before slipping out, “You said... you said not to leave your side.”

“I did.”

“You said... to be careful.”

“I did.”

“You said... to come get you.” Chu Wanning finishes. The fingers gripping his face twitch at the admission of this last part.

“I did. And what,” Mo Ran gets off of him, but pulls Chu Wanning’s face close to his, away from the wall, “do Subs who don’t listen get?”

Chu Wanning remains silent. He’s reckless, but he knows that Mo Ran doesn’t want an answer. An answer would just get him in even more trouble.

Mo Ran leans in close, putting his lips right next to Chu Wanning’s right ear. His breath puffs against him, and Chu Wanning shivers. Mo Ran notices, and he blows harder, this time the smell of champagne across his breath making it to Chu Wanning’s nose. It’s fragrant, even coming off of someone’s breath. He trembles again as Mo Ran’s lips brush his ear as he speaks.

“They get disciplined .”

Mo Ran pulls Chu Wanning into his room, hand clamped around his wrist in a vice-like grip. He pulls Chu Wanning through and pushes him onto the bed. Chu Wanning pushes himself up, glancing up at Mo Ran.

Strip.” Chu Wanning flinches as the command washes over him, but can do nothing to resist; Mo Ran doesn’t usually force commands, but he’s doing it today. Impressively, his hands don’t shake as he unbuttons his tuxedo jacket, slipping it off with the coat he’d forgotten to take off. His nimble fingers undo the button-up and then pull off his undershirt as well, before undoing his pants and sliding them off. He can’t help but bundle them all together before tossing them in a corner, like he did the first time, and he doesn’t notice Mo Ran softening slightly at the sight of his husband being messy and sitting in his underwear. He looks up at Mo Ran, who narrows his eyes in a glare. Chu Wanning finally slides his briefs off, nimbly letting them drop to the floor. His hands sit hesitantly between his legs, covering him slightly.

Mo Ran stalks over to his dresser, Chu Wanning watching him like a hawk. He opens the second drawer from the bottom, withdrawing a black box and another heavy looking chest. After setting them both on the dresser, he opens the black one, the lid set on the surface with a soft thud. Velvet, then.

Mo Ran pulls out a pink chastity cage and Chu Wanning feels his face heat up. His husband marches back toward him, and Chu Wanning scoots away on the bed, rumpling the sheets.

“Mo Ran, no, I can’t-”

Freeze.” Chu Wanning stops abruptly, the command harshly bitten out. “ Spread your legs.”

Chu Wanning tries to resist, but Mo Ran’s command sinks into his bones and he curls his hands under his chin in embarrassment as his legs slowly slide open, revealing his cock. Mo Ran smirks before reaching out to grasp it gently, and Chu Wanning’s breath catches at the touch. Mo Ran drops the lock for the chastity cage on the bed and brings the ring to his dick, slipping Chu Wanning’s balls through before easing his dick through as well. The cage is slipped on next, and Chu Wanning doesn’t have time to contemplate how Mo Ran knew which size cage would fit him before the lock is secured and his cock is locked away in a sturdy cage.

“Mo Ran-”

Mo Ran doesn’t respond, instead pulling Chu Wanning up so he’s standing. The lock on the cage jingles softly, and Chu Wanning flushes at the sound. Mo Ran sits heavily on the edge of the bed before looking up at Chu Wanning again.

“Wanning. It’s time for discipline.”

Chu Wanning tries to pull out of his husband’s grasp, but Mo Ran has always been stupidly strong and he can’t move a centimeter. He can feel Mo Ran’s irritation growing as he’s pulled again, this time until he’s sprawled across Mo Ran’s lap. The trousers he’s wearing scrape against Chu Wanning’s nipples, and he feels a slight tingle from the sensation. Chu Wanning squeaks as a large, warm hand smooths down his back, trailing down his spine, until Mo Ran’s hand is resting on his ass. He cups the cheek gently, before taking a finger and swiping a nail across. Chu Wanning jolts from the sensation, a sharp trail of fire stinging on his warm ass. Mo Ran massages it a bit more before the hand is taken off of his skin. Chu Wanning doesn’t have time to think befoare a sharp crack echoes through the room and his ass is smarting. 

“Mo Ran, what-” 

Another slap on his other cheek this time. Chu Wanning’s face heats up even more as he twitches, nipples brushing against Mo Ran’s leg. 

“Quiet, Wanning. I’m disciplingn you, since you’re a Sub who can’t listen.” 

“Wait-” Chu Wanning’s plea is cut off with a cry as Mo Ran spanks him again, the sting smarting more than before. 

“No. You will learn. You didn’t listen to me.” 

Mo Ran spanks Chu Wanning again and again, ass red and bruised. Mo Ran can see his hand-print on both cheeks etched into his husband’s skin again and again. His cries no longer have any pleas or words in them, just aroused exclamations as he’s punished. 

Mo Ran knows Chu Wanninf is enjoying it. Even though he can’t get hard, his cock is still dribbling out of the cage that he’s put him in. The precum is staining the very expensive suit pants that he’s wearing but he doesn’t care. He’ll buy more pants. Seeing Wanning like this is priceless. 

“Mo Ran, Mo Ran, please.” The pause in his spanking means that Chu Wanning has the chance to speak again. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I should have listened to you.” 

“Hmm.” Mo Ran slides his husband off his lap and helps him stand. Chu Wanning is still as Mo Ran manhandles him. 

He’s so beautiful like this, in nothing but his claims. 

Not all of them. 

“Wanning, if you’re truly sorry, will you do something for me?” 

“Yes, Mo Ran, anything.” Chu Wanning is so eager to please his husband. The feeling of joy that’s niggling in the back of his mind is tempting him so much. This is so different from the other few times they’ve had sex, without much play. 

“Then…” Mo Ran stands up and turns to his dresser. He opens the other box that’s sitting on there, made of a heavy wood. He opens it. Chu Wanning gasps, hands flying to cover his mouth when he sees what’s inside it. 

It’s a gorgeous leather collar, exquisitely engraved with flowers - haitang blossoms. The leather is a lighter red, and even without touching it he can tell the leather is soft and expensive. The buckle on the back is gold as is the large ring on the front. 

There’s no way Mo Ran bought this ready-made. It had to have been custom. 

“I had this made for you.” Mo Ran admits. “When we got married.” 

Chu Wanning looks at his husband. He’d bought these claims so long ago? For him ?  

“Mo Ran…” 

“Will you wear it?” 

Chu Wanning looks at his husband’s face, and sees Mo Ran looking so hopeful and eager. This man wants to truly claim him, to protect him and care for him. That’s why he’s doing this. 

“Yes.” Chu Wanning looks determindely into Mo Ran’s eyes. “Claim me, Mo Ran.” 

The smile that breaks across Mo Ran’s face is breathtaking, even in the dimly lit room. He steps forward, unbuckling the collar. Chu Wanning can see that the inside is lined with a soft looking fabric, and is touched by how thoughtful Mo Ran is.

The fabric presses against his throat as Mo Ran wraps the collar around his neck. He tucks one end of the leather into the buckle, pulling it tight. “Is that too tight?” 

The restriction feels delicious around Chu Wanning’s throat. “No, it’s fine.” 

He hears the prong of the buckle push through the leather, and then it’s tucked back into the strap to hold it down. Mo Ran steps back, fingering it softly. “Wow.” He reached behind Chu Wanning and tugs out his hair tie, letting his ponytail spread around his head in a waterfall.  

“Mo Ran.” Chu Wanning grabs his hand still touching the collar. “Give me an order. Tell me to kneel.” 

“Are you sure?” 

“Yes. Please.” 

“Alright, Wanning.” He takes a deep breath. “Kneel.” 

 

Wanning feels his legs give out and he almost collapses, legs splayed. Mo Ran looks down at him. His husband is biting his lips, probably unused to the feeling of subspace coming on so quickly. He’s looking at the bracelet Mo Ran gave him. 

“Wanning, look up.” Chu Wanning immediately meets his gaze again. “I’ll give you another order, okay?” His husband nods. 

Mo Ran unbuttons his shirt, and slides it off. He quickly removes his pants and underwear next, hard cock bobbing in front of his stomach. He brings it in front of Wannng’s face. 

“Wanning, suck.”   

Chu Wanning eagerly opens his mouth and laps at the head of his husband’s dick, licking up the streak of precum that have leaked out already. He moves his mouth down from the head over the bottom of the shaft, laving his tongue over the velvety soft skin, emulating what Mo Ran has done for him before. He licks the shaft in long strokes, up and down. Mo Ran’s dick is so long simply bobbing his head isn’t enough. He goes back down to the base, and sucks at one of the balls hanging there as well. 

Mo Ran groans as Chu Wanning goes for it, face buried between his legs. His small tongue kitten-licking his cock is almost too much for Mo Ran. “Wanning, put it in your mouth. 

His husband immediately comes back up and promptly stuffs it in, valiantly sucking it like an oversized ice cream. Chu Wanning can only make it about half-way down without gagging, so he bobs his head back and forth and brings his hands up to stroke the rest of Mo Ran’s length. 

Mo Ran watches Chu Wanning eagerly suck his dick, his eyes glazed over as he does so. He’s breathing hard out of his nose, unwilling to take a break to catch his breath. What a good little Sub. Mo Ran is about to come. 

“Wanning, I’m coming. Make sure you drink it, okay? I’ll reward you if you do.” 

Chu Wanning picks up his pace, and Mo Ran moans as he feels himself reaching the edge. He reaches down and grabs his husband’s head, holding him in place as he comes in his mouth. “Fuck, Wanning.” When he’s sure he’s done, he releases Chu Wanning’s head. His Sub sits back and coughs slightly. Mo Ran kneels next to him, gripping his chin and tilting it up. 

He kisses Chu Wanning deeply. “You were so good, baobei, fuck. Here, I’ll let you come now.” Mo Ran looks down at Chu Wanning’s caged cock, only to see white dribbling out of the slit of it. “Wait, did you come?” He unlocks the device and pulls it off to see more semen inside. “Wanning, holy shit.” 

“Mo Ran?” Chu Wanning blinks at him, the glazed look in his eyes faded a bit. “Was I good?” 

“Yes, baobei, you were so good.” Mo Ran kisses him again, twirling their tongues together. “What do you want?” 

“I’m tired.” 

“Ok, baobei. I’ll carry you to your room.” 

“No can I- can I stay here? With you.” Chu Wanning shyly looks away. 

Mo Ran gapes at him. “You want to sleep with me?” His husband nods shyly. 

Mo Ran picks him up and sits him on the edge of the bed. He finished taking off the chastity cage and wipes off Chu Wanning with his discarded suit pants. Then he removes the bracelet, and finally unbuckles the collar, resting it on the side table. He helps Chu Wanning lift his feet onto the bed, sore from kneeling for so long. 

“Roll over.” Chu Wanning does, and Mo Ran rummages in his dresser before returning with a jar of ointment. He rubs it into Chu Wanning’s ass, who hisses at the initial sting before the cooling sensation sets in. 

“I was rough on you. Sorry, baobei.” 

Chu Wanning looks at Mo Ran over his shoulder. “No, you were right. I should have listened to you, as a Dom, and as a husband.” 

“As long as you understand that, baobei.” 

“Why do you keep calling me that?” 

“What, baobei?” Mo Ran chuckles. “Why do you think? Surely you’ve heard it before.” 

“Yes but… only with parents. Or… or lovers.” Chu Wanning buries his face in the pillow. Mo Ran stops his massage of his husband’s ass. 

“Aren’t we lovers?” 

“What?” 

Mo Ran moves to sit next to Chu Wanning’s shoulder, bending forward to speak into his ear. “Am I not your lover? Do you… do you not want to be?” 

Chu Wanning lifts his head to look at him. “Mo Ran…” 

“I’ve never claimed anyone else because they hated how I Dom. They hated how I would want to take care of them in every aspect of their life, how it was always more than sex for me. I’ve been called overbearing, clingy, annoying… I’ve had people tell me they only wanted me to the sex.” 

Chu Wanning softens. “Oh, Mo Ran…” 

“But you’re different. You, you let me pick clothes for you, and you let me feed you, and tuck you into blankets, and you wake me up to cook for you, and you listen to me.” Mo Ran pauses. “You know when you’re good and bad. And the sex with you… I've never been this happy in my life. My Dom has never been this happy.” Mo Ran leans in and presses a kiss to his husband’s shoulder. “Wanning, you’re the only one for me. No one else can make me as happy as you make me. I… I love you.” 

Chu Wanning’s breath catches. Mo Ran… loves him. 

His husband who he’s in love with… loves him. 

“Mo Ran.” Chu Wanning rolls over, ignoring the stinging of his skin when it meets the fabric. “I… I feel the same.” 

Mo Ran gazes at his husband. “You do?” 

Chu Wanning nods. “No one has ever taken care of me the way you do. I like eating your food, and being wrapped up in the blanket, and wearing the clothes you pick. I like that you know what food I like and what wine I prefer. I like that we can go somewhere and you know what to get for me.” 

Chu Wanning sits up, and grabs Mo Ran’s face with his hands. His husband's face is flushed and warm, and he’s smiling softly. 

“Mo Ran, I love you.” 

“Wanning. Oh, Wanning.” Mo Ran crushes their lips together and they kiss until Chu Wanning’s neck hurts and his lungs are screaming. Mo Ran pulls back for just a second to roll over him onto the bed, bringing Chu Wanning’s body on top of his, sparing his sore ass. They kiss, and kiss, and kiss, for what feels like hours. Chu Wanning looks at the clock on the nightstand when Mo Ran releases him. 

Twenty minutes. Still fine. 

“Wanning, sleep.” Mo Ran pulls the covers over both of them, leaving Chu Wanning lying on his chest. Chu Wanning settles his head on his husband’s plush chest, drifting off as he hears a whisper of “I love you, Wanning.” 

 

 

The sunlight streaming through the window lands on Chu Wanning’s face, forcing him to finally open his eyes. The room around him is unfamiliar and he bolts up. It’s Mo Ran’s room. 

Right. He was here last night. And… all that happened. 

He’s still naked, but he’s not going to walk across the condo nude, so he grabs Mo Ran’s discarded duit shirt and puts it on, buttoning it up. The shirt is long enough to cover his crotch, so he doesn’t bother with pulling on underwear. He goes to the kitchen.

Mo Ran is there, spooning congee into two bowls. He smiles at Wanning as he comes in. 

“Good morning, baobei. I made food.” 

Chu Wanning sits in his chair, and Mo Ran sets his bowl down in front of him. They eat in companionable silence for several minutes, until Mo Ran breaks it. 

“Wanning.” He looks up at Mo Ran. “I love you.” 

Chu Wanning chokes briefly on his congee, forcing himself to swallow. “Mo Ran! You can’t just say that.” 

“Why not? It’s true.” Mo Ran takes another mouthful. “I love you.” 

Chu Wanning sighs. “I… I love you too.” 

Mo Ran gapes at him. 

“What? Isn’t that what you wanted me to say?”

His husband buries his hands in his face and groans. “Wanning, if you say things like that I can’t handle it! You have no idea what you do to me.” 

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Chu Wanning finishes his breakfast. “Where’s my bracelet, by the way?” 

“In my room. I’ll go get it.” Mo Ran gets up and brings Chu Wanning’s claim bracelet back to the table. He lifts his left wrist and allows Mo Ran to snap it on.  

Mo Ran sighs. “I guess the bracelet is enough.” 

“Mo Ran?” 

“Nothing, Wanning. Never mind.” 

Chu Wanning coughs. “You know, Mo Ran, I… I think the collar is beautiful.” 

“You do? I had it custom made, thinking of you.” 

Chu Wanning blushes. “I wouldn’t mind wearing it.” 

Mo Ran gasps. “You’ll wear it? Full time?” 

“Only around the house! But I’ll wear it for you.” 

“Wanning, wait.” Mo Ran runs back to his room and re-emerges with the collar in his hand. He picks up Chu Wanning’s hair and has him hold it up himself. Chu Wanning lifts his chin as the collar is once more wrapped around this throat. He lets his hair down once it’s secured. The O-ring rests against his collarbone and the restriction is a comfort around his throat. 

“You’re beautiful, Wanning.” Mo Ran cups his cheek. “Thank you.” 

“You’re my Dom, Mo Ran. Make me remember it.” 

“Oh you-” Mo Ran hungrily kisses his husband, ignoring the rest of his breakfast. 

They do not eat again until dinner. 

 

 

“I’m home, Mo Ran.” Chu Wanning lets the door fall shut behind him, the autolock clicking. He toes his shoes off and places them on the rack, and then quickly unclasps his claim bracelet and opens the chest that sits on a small table beside the shoe rack. He places the bracelet in its spot and pulls out his collar, buckling it in place on his neck. “Mo Ran?” 

“Baobei.” 

Chu Wanning turns. His husband is fresh out of the shower, towel barely tied around his waist. Water drips down the canyon of his chest, the valley of his abdominal muscles, lower and lower until- 

“Wanning. Strip.”

Chu Wanning drops his bag and quickly pulls his clothes and underwear off, leaving them in a heap on the floor. He steps toward his husband. 

Kneel.” Chu Wanning goes down in front of his husband, hands on his knees, like a good Sub. 

Mo Ran smiles wickedly. “Present.”   

Chu Wanning immediately turns around and leans forward, bringing his chest to rest on the floor. He turns his head so that his left cheek is pressed against it as well. Then, he reaches both of his hands behind him to his raised ass, and grabs his cheeks and spreads

There’s nothing but the sound of his breathing in the room for a few minutes before he sees a flash of white out of the corner of his eye. A thud as his husband also kneels behind him. The swish of the slide of skin as Mo Ran kneels over him, hot body pressing down into him. He kisses Chu Wanning’s cheek, a small Welcome Home and I Love You wrapped into one gesture.

“Good, baobei.” 

Chu Wanning goes under.