Waking up in a strange bed was shocking enough but waking up naked was beyond the pale. Unless bathing, the Master of Jingyun Temple never wore less than his inner robes. He pulled at the blanket to cover his shame while he searched for his clothes but it wouldn't budge. Turning over, he came face to face with a smiling Qing Ming.
"There you are."
That was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard Qing Ming say. It wasn't like Bo Ya could suddenly appear through a portal. At least Qing Ming was still wearing a light robe and lying on top of the blanket even if he was scandalously sharing the same bed. What had happened between them? If only he really could create his own portal and make a quick escape.
"Where are my clothes?" He was glad he sounded calm but wasn't proud of the way he was clutching the blanket to his chest like a wronged maiden, under the circumstances 'maiden' being far too close to the truth for his liking.
Qing Ming gestured to where his clothes were neatly folded at the bottom of the bed, so close and yet so far. He couldn't get to them without exposing himself, not with Qing Ming lying on the blanket.
"If you would just leave—"
He crossed his arms and tried to look menacing rather than embarrassed. He knew he hadn't succeeded as Qing Ming struggled not to laugh at him.
"Have you no sense of propriety?"
Qing Ming couldn't hold back the laughter any longer. "Says the man who shamelessly stripped in front of me."
"The Master of Jingyun Temple would never—"
"I haven't even mentioned the kissing and groping—"
There'd been kissing and groping with Qing Ming and he couldn't even remember it? "So you took advantage of me—"
"Your hands were all over my arse while you tried to find my tonsils with your tongue."
If Qing Ming didn't stop laughing at him, he was going to throttle—
Qing Ming was foolishly resisting when he knew how much Qing Ming wanted it, wanted him. He wrapped his hands around his throat and drove him back until he fell on to the bed.
He glanced over at the still smiling Qing Ming, noticing for the first time the red marks on his throat. He reached out but dropped his hand before he could make contact. He didn't deserve to touch Qing Ming ever again. He thought he might be sick.
Qing Ming slowly and carefully laid a hand over his. "Nothing happened, Bo Ya."
How could Qing Ming stand to touch him?
"Do you remember the demon that attacked us at the river?"
They were taken by surprise. He pushed Qing Ming out of the way and was spat on by the demon before he cut its head off.
"What else do you remember?"
He was feverish by the time Qing Ming got them back to his home, stripping his leathers off to try to cool down. Qing Ming's voice sounded like it was fading in and out from a great distance as he coaxed Bo Ya into drinking a cup of tea that smelled like chrysanthemums and tasted like iron. He threw his drained cup, pleased when it shattered loudly against the wall, and started hunting his prey, hunting Qing Ming.
"Why didn't you fight back?"
"I didn't want to hurt you. It wasn't your fault a lust demon spat on you." Qing Ming's hand tightened on his. "So I asked you to strip for me to try to slow things down."
Pleased Qing Ming wasn't resisting him anymore, he practically ripped his own clothes off, standing proudly naked, his cock never having been so hard.
Why couldn't he remember anything after that? Was his guilty conscience blocking the memories? "What did I do to you, Qing Ming?"
"Nothing. About then, the tea kicked in and you blacked out. I hadn't thought I'd made it strong enough to render you unconscious."
"What was it supposed to do?"
"Restore your lost inhibitions." Qing Ming got up from the bed. "Judging by your panic on waking up naked in my bed I'd say the tea was very effective on that front." Qing Ming sounded tired and discouraged, no longer smiling at him.
"Why did you stay the night with me?"
"To make sure you were all right. No, that's only partly true. I had a strange notion that when you woke up fully yourself again, you might still want me..." For once, Qing Ming wasn't meeting his eyes. "...As I've long wanted you for my very own."
So much for having the iron control of a master, his heart beat so hard he felt sure Qing Ming could hear it. He'd been raised to believe that to want was a weakness. Yet here was the one thing he'd ever dared to want, ever dared to dream of having being freely offered, Qing Ming for his very own.
"No need to worry, Bo Ya." Qing Ming stretched his arms above his head. Bo Ya's breath hitched at the perfect outline of Qing Ming's body through his thin robe backlit by the morning sun, before he picked up his outer robe and started to pull it on. "Contrary to what you've long believed about me I'm neither wanton nor unable to control my desires. If that were true, well, it's been eight months since we fought the serpent, we've been drunk together many times since then and I would have said or done something foolish long before this. Just forget I ever said anything and our friendship can go on as before."
"No." He threw the blanket to one side and crossed the room naked, peeling Qing Ming's outer robe back off him, pushing the sleeves down to trap his arms as he wrapped his around him and kissed him. His first kiss — he refused to count anything he'd done to Qing Ming under the demon's influence — was a little awkward at first, too much saliva and teeth but no one mastered anything the first time, not even a Jingyun Temple Master. As in everything else, Qing Ming proved the best partner, adjusting the angle between them until their mouths slotted together perfectly. For the first time, he understood why lovers and poets put so much stock in such a foolish trifle.
A master required thorough study of any new subject. As he towed his very willing partner back towards the bed, he knew Qing Ming could be relied on to teach him as well how to fit everything else together perfectly. Later, he'd be able to build on his new found knowledge, certain Qing Ming would approve.