Reaching his own house, Zhan Cheng went to lie down on his bed, staring at up at the ceiling. In his thoughts, he continued to see the face of the witch. This just … He knew that he couldn’t expect anything but he couldn’t help himself.
Well, with time, maybe this would lessen. Also, he was slowly running out of excuses to go there. Telling him about the story with the ghost today had still been logical. If he went to deliver something more in the next few days, it would still be alright as well but, after that, it would be difficult to come up with an excuse. Just the thought pained him.
He sighed and rubbed his forehead, finally turning onto his side and furrowing his brows. He should get over this already. From everything that Gongliang Ye had told him today, he didn’t think that he was open to a relationship. Even if he was, he probably wouldn’t want somebody like him. With his experience with humans and the story of his parents, he might prefer somebody related to the spirit tribe. Or even better another witch. Somebody who both knew about that world but also wasn’t exactly a spirit person. Anyway, a human was probably out of the question.
Ah, he really hated this. If only there was a way … he could just confess and then maybe have a chance. But he knew that that wouldn’t work. Although, maybe he should just tell him. Even if it didn’t lead anywhere, he at least would have tried his luck. Then he could be sure. Otherwise, who knew if he wouldn’t always think about what could’ve been if he had been more daring.
Thinking of that, Zhan Cheng got up again and started to look through the things in his house. Since he had realized that Gongliang Ye should have trouble keeping his hut warm, would bring over some furs.
He had hunted some animals himself in the past and kept the furs. They weren’t new and it might not be that special anyway but it might look more sincere. Also, he could get some better ones from the marketplace before he left. In any case, he probably shouldn’t immediately go over tomorrow. He should give it a few days so it would look as if he had only thought of that later and not planned it from the beginning. He didn’t want to be too bothersome after all.
Zhan Cheng had thought quite well but, in the end, he couldn’t bring himself to actually wait. He went out of the house the next morning, hurrying to buy some more furs and even a bundle of firewood, and then made his way over to the witch’s house.
When he arrived, lunchtime had already passed. As usual, there was the smell of herbs lingering around the house, and he could hear faint steps inside as if Gongliang Ye was moving around.
Zhan Cheng stood outside, listening intently to make sure that he wasn’t interrupting anything important like some ritual for another patient. The steps weren’t as uniform though and he couldn’t hear any chanting either. Realizing this, he walked up to the door and knocked. Then, he waited with bated breath.
Gongliang Ye glanced up from where he had been sorting through the shelf, taking stock of the herbs he would still need to gather before winter arrived, and turned to look at the door with a weird expression.
He felt like he had a good guess just who was on the other side of the door and he also felt like, after this many times of uninvited visits, he could guess that this visitor wasn’t just trying to repay his gratitude. No, this man wanted something more.
He lowered his hand in thought before he finally went over to the door and opened. He leaned in the doorway, crossing his arms in front of his chest, and gave the man an inquisitive look. “Didn’t you come by just yesterday? What brought you back so soon?”
Zhan Cheng’s ears turned red as if they wanted to make sure that Gongliang Ye knew that he had had the right idea about this visit. He nestled at the hem of his sleeve and then motioned to the bundle that was hanging over his shoulder. “Well, when you mentioned yesterday that the winter would be cold, I couldn’t help but worry about it. I noticed before that your hut was slightly cold. So I brought you some more firewood and a few furs.” He put down the firewood and then took out the furs, opening up the bundle for Gongliang Ye to see. He couldn’t help but especially show him the one he had taken from his house and lowered his head. “I hunted this one myself.”
If Gongliang Ye still would’ve needed any kind of confirmation of just what was going on with this man, then this would have been it. Now the question was how he wanted to deal with this.
To be honest, this kind of crush on him, he couldn’t quite take it seriously. In his eyes, there were only two reasons why something like this might’ve happened: The first one was that this man was mistaking gratitude for love.
What he had done for him had changed his life for the better after nobody else had been able to help him for half a year. Naturally, there would be some strong feelings there and maybe that had been too much for him to keep a clear head. Now, he felt the need to repay him, and maybe that felt similar to how he would want to take care of a lover. It was possible.
The problem was that, after a while, he would realize that it wasn’t the same at all. The feelings but vanished and might even be replaced with resentment. He would feel that he had been tied down by somebody because of a matter that he had long paid for.
The other possibility was that this was just the lure of the unknown. He knew that for humans, in the best of cases, he was seen as exotic. He was their possibility of having a taste of the forbidden fruit: Not as dangerous as a full member of the spirit tribes but still someone that could give them a hint of what it would be like to embrace such a person.
If that was the case, then this matter didn’t need to be worried about. It was fairly easy to resolve. As soon as this man had found out what he wanted to know, he would leave.
Unfortunately, giving it a try would be troublesome if he misjudged the situation and the reason was the former instead. Because then, Zhan Cheng would have rather complicated feelings about leaving. This kind of human was usually like that.
Not knowing what to do, Gongliang Ye could only wordlessly look at him, waiting for some kind of hint as to what to expect from him.
As a result, Zhan Cheng became self-conscious. Maybe this gesture wasn’t appreciated? Maybe Gongliang Ye felt that he was a bother by coming over so often? He tightened his grasp around the bundle and lowered his head further, not sure how to tide things over with the witch.
In the end, he could only give some kind of explanation again. “I’m sorry. I know you said that you don’t need any help or anything I just … I thought maybe … you could still need this. I’ll leave if … if …” Even after trying, he still couldn’t bring himself to say it.
Gongliang Ye still wasn’t sure about this matter but he stepped to the side, letting him into the house. In any case, no matter what it was, that would be the first step.
Zhan Cheng looked up, astonished. He hadn’t expected this but naturally, it was very welcome. Just staying for a few minutes would be great. Yes, just that. He really didn’t expect anything else.
He excitedly stepped inside while the witch closed the door behind them and motioned for him put the bundle on the table.
Meanwhile, Gongliang Ye leaned against the counter, giving him yet another look. To be honest, he wouldn’t be averse to trying things out. While he didn’t believe that there was any chance that things could last no matter what Zhan Cheng’s reason was for being interested in him, it was still nice not to be alone all the time. It had been a very long time since he was last touched by another person. So, he really wouldn’t mind it if he got a chance to enjoy himself.
Zhan Cheng wasn’t quite sure what to make of Gongliang Ye’s gaze but he also didn’t know how to approach the topic that he had originally wanted to bring up. Confessing his feelings … well, he had done that before but the last time had been a few years ago and the results had varied wildly. With the witch, there was really no saying what would happen.
On the other hand, Gongliang Ye had enough of waiting for some kind of sign. Since this man wouldn’t talk about it of his own volition, then he could only prompt him a bit. Or, well, considering his behavior so far, he would have to prompt him a bit more.
Thinking about it, he finally tilted his head, making his hair spill out over his shoulder. “Mister Zhan, be honest with me: Running back here several times, bringing me things, offering your help, wanting to tell me about the things you find out … What is the real reason for that?”
Zhan Cheng looked at him, clearly startled. Apparently, he hadn’t been as discrete as he thought he was. Now, that begged the question as to how to answer this. He hesitated, wondering if maybe he should just pretend that he was still grateful or worried or something. But in the end, he couldn’t bring himself to do so.
He lowered his head but then glanced up, watching Gongliang Ye. He still felt that this witch was special and he knew that it was unlikely that anything would happen. But since he had already asked, why not give it a shot? In any case, after today, he wouldn’t have had another excuse to come here anyway. So he might as well tell him. Then if he threw him out … he would just be in the same situation that he would have been in anyway. While if he didn’t … well, he didn’t dare to think about that.
Zhan Cheng gulped, and rubbed his hands on his sleeves, hoping that he didn’t seem too embarrassing. “It is … well, I’m not quite sure how to say it.”
“Just say it outright. I’m an understanding man.”
Zhan Cheng nodded faintly and couldn’t help but steal another few glances. “It is just that … I mean …”
Gongliang Ye tapped the side of his counter, wondering just how long this man wanted to continue like this. Couldn’t he get it out with already?
Zhan Cheng felt that the witch was becoming impatient so he gulped again, finally forcing himself to just face it. “I have feelings for you. I … I mean not like just gratitude but … ro… romantic feelings.”
Gongliang Ye raised his brows at that. “And you’re sure that it is not gratitude that you just mistake for something more?” He pushed off the counter and then took a few steps to stand in front of Zhan Cheng, giving him a deep look.
Zhan Cheng gulped again, completely unable to form a coherent thought with the witch right in front of him. Gratitude … there was certainly some of that as well but it had absolutely nothing to do with that.
Gongliang Ye saw the expression in his eyes and gave a faint smile in response. “Well, seems that I thought too much.” Well, this was good as well. In that case, why hold back?
Without an explanation, he reached up and encircled his neck, pressing their lips together.
Zhan Cheng was startled but he instinctively reached out, hugging the witch around the waist. He couldn’t believe what was happening. But … it seemed to be real. After confessing his feelings, they hadn’t fallen on deaf ears. The other party actually wasn’t uninterested as he had thought but might even requite his feelings.
It was still hard for him to believe but since Gongliang Ye was the one who had taken the next step, he didn’t question it. He hugged him tighter, deepening the kiss.
Gongliang Ye sighed in response. It had really been too long. A wonder he still knew how to do this. He continued to hold onto him tightly but then realized that if he didn’t do anything, this man wouldn’t dare to go any further and stop at kissing him. How could he be satisfied with that? Since there was finally an opportunity, he had to grasp it tightly and make the most of it. Thinking of that, Gongliang Ye reached out and opened his belt, flinging it to the side.
Zhan Cheng was even more startled when he realized what was going on but at that time, the witch had already opened his belt as well and let it follow his own. And when he looked into his eyes, there was a seriousness there that he never would’ve expected.
Zhan Cheng couldn’t quite believe it. He didn’t even dare to touch him but the witch was already considering further.
Looking at the ground that was a hard and cold wooden floor, he grabbed the furs that Zhan Cheng had draped over the backrest of one of the chairs and threw them down before pulling at the man’s shoulders.
This was so unmistakably an invitation that Zhan Cheng had nothing left to say. He knelt down and helped him spread out the furs. His fingers sliding over the soft surface, a jolt went through his body. In a moment, he would touch the witch’s skin like this.
He pushed the robe off his shoulders in a frenzy and reached out, cupping Gongliang Ye’s cheeks. The witch had already gotten naked but he didn’t even dare to look. His body brimmed with excitement but he tried to hold back, giving him a lingering kiss first.
He had fallen in love with this man. He didn’t want him to think that he was just interested in taking him. He wanted more than that and he hoped that Gongliang Ye would want the same.
The witch had long taken off his own robe and pressed closer while they kissed, their naked skin touching, silently promising more.
Zhan Cheng closed his eyes in ecstasy. He had hardly dared to think of even hearing the witch say that he requited his feelings. This … it was still unbelievable to him. He slowly continued to kiss him while he pushed Gongliang Ye onto the furs, both to reassure himself that this was real and also to show the witch just how much he meant to him.
When he lay down on top of him, his body seemed to tingle, making him drown in anticipation. His hands at Gongliang Ye’s cheeks trembled, wanting to start to explore that tempting body beneath him already but he forced himself to hold back, to first savor this kiss for as long as he could and not give the wrong impression.
Gongliang Ye didn’t have the patience to accommodate Zhan Cheng’s worries. It had been a long time for him and now that the chance was at hand, he wouldn’t bother waiting. He didn’t stop to kiss him, his tongue engaging the other man’s while he guided him between his legs. He wrapped one of them around his waist as soon as Zhan Cheng was close enough, wanting to make sure that he wouldn’t suddenly pull back. Since he had started, he should go through with it.
Zhan Cheng stopped in surprise. He had worried he might be going overboard but … the witch seemed even more eager than he was. He gulped and then, all reason was thrown out of the window.
He reached down, preparing him in a rush, all the while giving him frenzied kisses and exploring his body with the other hand, trying to touch every inch of naked skin as if to map this body in his mind.
Gongliang Ye eagerly stretched his body toward him. He only regretted that he hadn’t known beforehand. He would have known a thing or two he could do to make things easier. Now, it had to work like this.
Well, regret wouldn’t get him anywhere. Instead, he reached out, his thin fingers grasping onto Zhan Cheng’s manhood and pleasuring him.
Zhan Cheng took a labored breath and hurried with his preparation. He didn’t think that he was that big so this should be enough. In any case, he did not want to wait any longer. He pressed against Gongliang Ye’s body, looking into the witch’s face to see how he was faring. He only saw anticipation in his features though.
As if Gongliang Ye could read his thoughts and knew that he still had doubts, he reached up and wrapped an arm around his waist, making him inch closer. The tip of Zhan Cheng’s manhood pierced into him and made him close his eyes in satisfaction. He moved his hips, wanting to envelop him further.
Zhan Cheng remained like this for a moment to make sure it wasn’t too much. But then, he couldn’t hold back any longer. Being buried in the witch’s body, his sanity seemed to dwindle. He started to thrust forward, pushing deep into the other body before he pulled back. He tilted back his head and groaned, his hands grabbing onto Gongliang Ye’s behind to pull him even closer onto him. After that, everything turned into a blur.
He opened his eyes and started to pound into him, his hands roaming over his body and his lips finding the other man’s again. He entangled him while looking into the other person’s eyes. Seeing the passion in those pupils, Zhan Cheng’s thrusts quickened. He reached down below, grasping onto Gongliang Ye’s manhood and stroking it in a quick rhythm that matched his own.
The witch groaned and pushed closer, not thinking either. There was only the urge to continue left in his mind. He clung to the man’s shoulders, his nails digging into his skin. He shifted his legs, holding onto his waist more tightly, and changing the angle their bodies met at.
They both groaned and Zhan Cheng let go of his lips for a moment, his hot breath spraying Gongliang Ye’s face. He looked at him, observed the faint markings on the skin that made obvious at a glance that he wasn’t human.
He couldn’t help but wonder how they felt and reached out, brushing over them with his thumb. To his surprise, there was not much to feel. The skin there was slightly rougher than on the rest of his body and there were some spots that seemed to lie deeper. But otherwise, he couldn’t find a difference. The skin was still warm, still pliable. It felt good.
Gongliang Ye’s narrow eyes had closed during sex. But feeling that he was touched like this, he opened them and stared at the man on top of him. “Don’t … mind that.”
Zhan Cheng had thought he wanted him to stop and was already pulling back his hand until the rest of his words hit him. “I don’t.” His voice was breathless, even more so than Gongliang Ye’s. He wasn’t sure if he should be embarrassed about that but he just thrust into him again and cupped his cheek again. “You are beautiful.” He really meant it.
Gongliang Ye gave him a mocking look. “Am I?” He reached up to his face, his bony fingers accurately brushing over the scar on his nose. The markings were one thing. For a man who liked the exotic beauty of a witch, they were exactly what lend him some charm. But his scars were different.
Zhan Cheng didn’t know what to say. If his words were not believed the first time around, they wouldn’t by the second either. He stayed silent and just let his actions speak, thrusting into the witch’s body even more forcefully.
Gongliang Ye groaned beneath him, driven to the edge of the climax. He let go of his own face and instead reached up again, his fingers grabbing onto Zhan Cheng’s hair. He pulled his head down, kissing him fiercely.
The touch and the witch’s seductive expression fired Zhan Cheng up. His movements picked up speed, sweat started to cover his whole body until finally, Goangliang Ye came with a drawn-out groan. Seeing him release, Zhan Cheng’s own desire reached the highest point as well.
Having released himself, he held tightly onto Gongliang Ye, not wanting to separate just yet. He merely turned them around, coming to lie next to him on the soft fur while he held him in his arms.
Their breath was heavy, filling the small hut. Neither of them said a word and slowly, Zhan Cheng drifted off into sleep, a smile on his lips.