make you feel my love (hyunjin/chan)
Chan’s life, once empty, grew bright again when he met Hyunjin. But their meeting was more complex than one might think, their history more layered than they can bear to remember. There is love here, of course. But always where there is love, there is also grief.
I would advise you to read part 1 first, but it isn’t wholly necessary for your understanding of this work.
“But it is not blood that makes a vampire. No. It is the wanting.”
— Cecilia Tan, “The Tale of Christina”, Dark Angels: Lesbian Vampire Stories
Pairing: Hyunjin/Chan, Hyunjin/Chan/Felix
Characters: Bang Chan, Hyunjin, Felix; other skz member cameos
Genre: smut, vampires, horror, angst, romance, tragedy, i would call this plot with porn i think
Warnings: major character death, brief nongraphic mention of suicide, blood, violence, mild gore?, poor decision-making lmao, d/s dynamic, breathplay/choking, bdsm and general rough treatment, overstimulation, threesome, spitroasting, unhealthy attachment styles like no one in this work is 100% mentally stable and that is ok <3
Length: 21k (AJSKNSKJKS I DONT KNOW)
you can listen to the official playlist here! you can find my meta of red lights here!
just a reminder that this is .... dark. if the first part was haunting, then I would call this closer to horrifying. also, again, please suspend your disbelief re: the minute details of vampire biology. I don’t know how they can come if they’re dead.
Chan’s life was full once. He had been young once. He had friends, a family. He cared deeply about things; he cared deeply about everything. There was life everywhere he turned.
Now, if he lets his vision unfocus even a little, it seems like everything slips into grayscale. There’s a chasm in his mind that yawns wide. It threatens to swallow him whole. Worse, though, is his apathy. One of these days, he is sure he will let it.
He knew it would be this way; he knew what he signed up for. He knew he was lucky to have the choice. His mother had not been so lucky. The same vampire that had killed his father had turned her while she struggled and screamed. She told Chan later she thought he had plans of making her his new wife. But once she recovered, she ambushed him and fled back to their home, where Chan had begun to grow restless with worry.
They grieved his father together. She didn’t tell Chan what had happened at first; she simply said they were attacked and that his father had died to save her. Later, though, when Chan began to question her odd habits, she broke down and told him the truth.
“You will grow old,” she said softly, “and I will stay the same.” She gave him a sad smile. “I always feared having to bury you. It is a mother’s greatest fear, that she may have to bury her children. I did not imagine it would be like this.”
“It doesn’t have to be,” Chan said slowly. “You could turn me, and then neither of us will have to bury the other. Ever.”
So it had been a choice, completely and wholly his own. But at the same time, it had been no choice at all. How could Chan abandon his mother to the loneliness of immortality; how could he force her to watch him grow old and die; how could he leave her all alone? Even then, without having experienced it, he could feel the horror of that kind of existence, the lingering dread.
He started keeping detailed records as soon as he recovered from the bite. It became his most prized possession—a bound notebook full of close friends: their likenesses, sketched by a local artist; their habits; the things he loved the most about them. If he was to live forever, he wanted their memories to live with him. He refused to let time steal this away from him.
They managed to hide it for a while. But a few years passed, and people began to talk. It was not so obvious on his mother; age had already cemented itself in her features before she had been turned. Chan, though, was young. People expected to see change, and when none came, they became suspicious.
“It will have to be like this,” his mother said. “We will never be able to stay in any one place for long.”
Chan knew, though knowing made it no easier. They made their excuses to acquaintances. They had distant relatives in the north; they heard of opportunities there; staying in that house without Chan’s father felt wrong, somehow. People accepted their reasons easily. Chan wasn’t sure if they were good liars, or if some people were secretly relieved to see them go, to be free of their mystery.
Before they left, though, he gathered his two closest friends and sat them down to tell them the truth. Changbin did not react much—Chan had a feeling he had already begun to catch on—but Jisung flinched away at the sight of his sharp canines.
“Please don’t be afraid,” Chan said, itching to reach out to him, though he knew it would do no good. “I will never hurt you.”
After his initial shock, though, Jisung accepted the truth quickly. They said their goodbyes, and Chan promised to visit as soon as it was safe.
“It probably won’t be for a while,” he said. “I need to wait for people to forget about me.”
“We won’t,” Changbin said fervently. “We won’t forget.”
And so for the next few decades, Chan and his mother moved from town to town, traveling thousands of kilometers. They mostly fed on wild animals; neither of them had a particular interest in human blood. They met a few other vampires on the way, and it was always good to set down the act for a night or two and trade stories. There was kinship in shared tragedy.
Finally, Chan decided to go back to his hometown. It had been long enough that most people would not recognize him. Still, he had to travel under the cover of night, which offered extra security.
It had hurt to leave them; somehow, it hurt even more to return. Changbin and Jisung had both married long ago and raised children—children who were, by the time Chan made his way back, older than he had been when he left. Changbin and Jisung were old—by Chan’s estimate, nearing the ends of their lives.
They stared at him in wonderment; he stared back in longing. Their faces had changed in the intervening years; Chan wished he had time to update the sketches in his record book.
“You’ve lived well,” he finally said.
“You,” Jisung said softly. “You’re exactly the same. Not a hair out of place.”
“There’s something comforting,” Changbin added, “to see you unchanged.”
“You’ve both… grown up,” Chan said, studying them. “Is it wrong to say I’m proud of you?”
They smiled at him then, and the tension in the air was broken. They spent a few hours talking, but Chan could feel sunrise approaching. Though both Jisung and Changbin offered to let him stay, he refused. It would be dangerous, for one, but something told him he should return to his mother.
So he bid them both farewell, saying he would come back in a few months, as long as nothing came up, and ran off into the night.
When he returned to his new home, he found it in flames. His mother’s dismembered and burning corpse was there to greet him in the doorway. For a moment, he froze, panic seizing his body. But then he remembered his record books, and he scrambled past overturned furniture and shattered glass. Luckily, whoever had done this had no interest in the journals buried at the bottom of a dresser drawer; they were untouched and unharmed. He gathered them up and fled from the burning house, collapsing in the yard as he watched the flames in the doorway swallow his last glimpse of his mother whole.
He wanted to grieve, but he knew sunrise was not far away, so after a moment of sitting in the dew-damp grass in shock, he dragged himself to his feet and, still clutching his record books, started to run.
He ran and ran, out into the wilderness, through thick forest and undergrowth. As the sun had just begun to peek through the trees, he stumbled upon a cave and took shelter inside.
With shaking hands, he opened his record book to a fresh page. He kept pieces of charcoal tucked away in pockets in the binding, and he extracted one. The sketch of his mother was crude and shaky, but it was all he had. No one else would be able to do it for him.
The grief settled in quickly. His mother was gone, and the life he had become a vampire to save her from would be his reality. After Changbin and Jisung passed, Chan would be truly and completely alone.
When his drawing was done, and notes on her character scrawled beneath, he set his things down and wept.
He let himself sit listless for a day. But when night came again, he knew he had to do something. He certainly couldn’t sit in that cave forever. First, he hunted for food, and then he began to track the vampires that had ransacked his house and killed his mother.
He found them rather easily; despite how well they covered their tracks, it only took a couple months of searching. He took them down easily, too; they didn’t suspect he would come after them, or maybe didn’t think he would be able to. He reclaimed his stolen possessions, and took a few other valuables, and traveled until he found another town a suitable distance away.
He bought a small plot of land there and settled in as best he could. He needed little, and the things he took from the other vampires were enough to sustain him for quite some time. Once he had established himself in his new home, he finally made the journey back to his hometown to visit his old friends.
It was the end of winter; it had been a particularly harsh one. Though Chan had only been away a half a year this time, everything had changed.
Changbin and Jisung had both been taken by that season’s illnesses. Chan was too late.
He returned to his residence in a sort of grief-stricken daze. Who now could Chan even speak to, let alone care for? Everyone he knew was dead. Briefly, he considered letting the sunlight take him, but something else still burned in him. His life had been torn apart by selfish murderers. That did not have to be true for everyone else.
He got into contact with branches of local vampire government. He became a sort of bounty hunter; he would track down rogue, troublemaking vampires and bring them in; or, when he was asked, kill them where he found them. It was not easy work, nor was it enjoyable, but it was satisfying. The money was good, but Chan mostly did it because it kept him going. It was a reason to stay.
This went on for a century or so. Things changed. The world grew around him. He bought a few more residences around the country to make his work easier. He got used to this sort of existence—cooperating with others, but always lonely. It wasn’t so bad. His life had a purpose.
But during the day, he would pore over his old journals. His actual recollection of the people that had once been in his life was growing faint. He only really remembered remembering them. Still, it was better than forgetting entirely. He traced over the lines of the drawings with his eyes, meticulous, committing and recommitting them to memory. He repeated their names to himself when he was getting ready in the evenings. Han Jisung. Seo Changbin.
He convinced himself that the loneliness would grow familiar. There was no point in letting others into his life when eventually he would return to this, anyway. Something would happen; one way or another, one of them would leave, and only the loneliness would remain. It was better to resign himself to it now than spend years trying to outrun fate.
Still, though, Chan longed for a warmer life. He missed companionship bitterly. He watched the humans he mingled with jealously, coveting the fullness of their days, the sweet bright flare of their mortality. He felt foolish for it, but the yearning wasn’t something he could will away. It was something that resided deep within him. Maybe, in the end, it was all he was.
Eventually, he was called closer to his hometown to deal with a particularly troublesome vampire. He’d been too brash, killing too many humans and terrorizing local towns. Humans are growing suspicious and restless, and most of the local vampires would rather someone got rid of him before he became too conspicuous. Chan was known for his expertise and his efficiency, so he was asked to tackle the case.
He watched the vampire for a week or so. He kept a relatively uneven schedule, going out occasionally in the night to feed and retreating into his mansion in the day. Chan stayed at an inn nearby, waiting.
Curiously, he seemed to have some kind of human pet. The human never left the house; Chan wasn’t sure if he was bound there, either by physical restraints or magic, or was simply too scared to leave, but he caught glimpses of him through the window. It seemed like the vampire viewed him as some kind of prize. Chan had a feeling that when the human began to age, or when the vampire found a more interesting toy, he would be quick to kill and eat him.
He didn’t harm the human until the ninth night that Chan watched him. He heard raised voices, and then saw the vampire dragging the human through the house, and decided he had to step in.
Swiftly, Chan broke through one of the lower level windows and made his way to the upper floor. His presence shocked both of them into silence. The human stared at him in mute terror while the vampire recovered from his surprise. Chan had to tear his gaze from the human’s face, stunned for a moment by his beauty. He could see why the vampire had chosen this human to keep.
“Let the human go,” Chan said softly.
“His kind will not take him back,” the other vampire said. “They will call him mad.”
“Maybe. That does not make him yours to kill.”
“Why are you here?”
Chan sighed. “There are some who have deemed your actions irresponsible. I am here to put a stop to them.”
“Ah.” The vampire tightened his hold on the human, who squeaked in fear. “A fight, then?”
“If you insist,” Chan replied.
The vampire did something Chan did not expect. He sliced open the human’s stomach and threw him across the room, then paused, waiting to see how Chan reacted.
The smell of blood filled Chan’s head, but he brushed it away. He would kill the vampire first, and then try to save the human. Without thinking twice, he charged at the vampire.
It was not a difficult fight. Chan had a feeling that this vampire was relatively young. He dismembered him quickly, backing him against a hallway window. He smashed the window open with a closed fist and hurled one of the vampire’s legs to one side, then tore off the other and sent it sailing in the opposite direction. Finally, he kicked the vampire’s screaming torso out the hole in the window as well, watching it crumple on the ground below.
The horizon was tinged yellow and orange. He would be dead soon enough.
Chan turned back to the human, who was gurgling softly on the floor.
Blood poured out of the wound; Chan could see that the vampire had cut him quite deep. Fear clouded the human’s eyes, but he must not have had the energy to shy away when Chan drew near.
Chan had been trained in basic first aid in the intervening years after his mother’s death, but even a skilled doctor could not fix this wound. He hesitated, wondering if the human was still conscious.
But then he spoke. “Who are you?” His voice was faint and weak. He blinked his shining eyes—he really was beautiful, Chan realized. Even for a human. It seemed like such a waste.
“Don’t speak,” Chan murmured, running a hand alongside the wound.
The human didn’t listen. “Is he gone?” he asked.
Chan nodded. “He will be dead soon. Don’t worry.”
“You must be a vampire, too,” the human said.
Chan nodded again. “Do you want me to save you?” he asked softly.
Tears filled the human’s eyes then. “Yes,” he whispered. “Please, it hurts.”
“I can save you,” Chan said, “but that will hurt too.”
He thought the human nodded, but his eyes had glazed over again. Chan was left with a choice.
He hesitated for one second. But the human had asked, and he was fading quickly. So Chan bent over him and bit over the artery that was jumping in his neck.
The little blood he did ingest in the process revitalized him, which was just as well. The fight, though quick, had been somewhat taxing. He pulled back, wiping his mouth on his hand, and watched as the human went terribly, terribly still.
After a pause, so long that Chan thought for a moment he may have been too late, the human’s wound began to seal. It did not even leave a scar behind; the human—well. Chan could no longer call him that. The new vampire would no longer bear scars but the one on his neck, to show how he was made.
As the wound finished sealing, the new vampire blinked open his eyes.
There was no recognition there; the fever had set in already as his body fought to reject the venom. It was a long process, and an unpleasant one, and Chan knew humans would soon come looking. They could stay here for this day only, and then Chan would have to carry the vampire he made away, deep into the wilderness. His mother did the same for him when she turned him, took him away from people so that his screams would not alert their neighbors.
As the new vampire convulsed on the floor, Chan moved back to the window to check on the other vampire. His body was smoking; soon it would catch flame, and nothing would be left of him.
That night, Chan traveled quickly into the woods, trekking deeper and deeper until he was sure they would not be found. He went toward the sound of water, and discovered a cave hidden behind a waterfall. The roar of the waterfall would mask almost anything else.
For a week, the new vampire writhed and screamed as the venom took hold. Chan left him tied to a rock while he hunted, bringing back animals to feed both of them while he waited for the fever to come down.
After seven nights, the new vampire was cool to the touch. Chan sat beside him, waiting for him to wake.
When he finally did, he recognized Chan immediately. “You,” he said once he’d taken in his surroundings. “You’re the one who saved me.”
“Yes,” Chan said. “I—”
But the new vampire plowed ahead. “My name is Hyunjin,” he said brightly. “Thank you for taking care of me. What is your name?”
“Chan,” Chan said. “And you’re welcome. But—”
“That bad vampire,” Hyunjin interrupted, “he said he wanted to turn me and keep me there forever.” He rubbed his neck over the bite scar. “I didn’t think he would actually do it. I wish he had just killed me instead, but I’m glad you were able to kill him and get me out. At least I did not have to spend an immortal life with him.”
The realization was horrifying. Hyunjin had not wanted this. Perhaps the pain had been so great that he had not known what Chan was asking him; at any rate, it seemed that Hyunjin had misremembered his turning. Chan was not in a rush to correct him. It would do no good. He needed Hyunjin to trust him so that he could help him adjust to being a vampire. He owed him that, at least. After a few weeks, they would part ways and it would never be Chan’s concern.
“He deserved to die,” Chan chose to reply. “I am sorry… about your turning, though. If you did not want it, it must be a shock.” He meant it genuinely, but Hyunjin brushed the comment off.
“It isn’t your fault,” he said.
Guilt stirred in Chan’s chest, but he pushed it away. “Ah, are you hungry?” he asked. Hyunjin blinked, and then nodded. “When the sun sets, I will show you how to hunt.”
After eating, Chan offered to take Hyunjin back to his closest residence. He intended to let him stay for a few weeks while he adjusted, telling Hyunjin he didn’t mind the company. In reality, he felt he owed the boy for damning him to this life. Extending his hospitality was the least he could do.
Hyunjin adjusted quickly. He was a fast learner and despite being faced with what Chan knew was a rather wretched existence, seemed to remain positive. He asked Chan about his work, eyes glowing with interest when Chan explained how he had started down this path. Over the next month, they grew to know each other quite well, and Hyunjin even accompanied him on a few more minor jobs.
An obsession found a home inside Chan during this time. It started small, but grew quickly, blooming and dripping its sweet toxins, so potent Chan was worried Hyunjin might be able to sense it. He watched Hyunjin out of the corner of his eye, drinking in the sight of him whenever he could get away with it. He was radiant. Most vampires settle into some kind of otherworldly beauty—a trick of the venom, to lure their prey closer and coax them to let down their guard. But for those who had already been attractive in life, the venom only amplified these features. Chan only caught glimpses of Hyunjin when he was alive, and already had found himself taken by his appearance. Now, though, he was breathtaking. His long black hair fell in gentle wisps, brushing his shoulders; his eyes were dark and shimmering; his lips red and thick.
But he was out of reach; he had to be out of reach, because how could Chan have him without first telling him the truth of his creation? It would be wrong to do so; it would be a great stain on their relationship that would only fester and grow. And Chan knew that if he told Hyunjin the truth, he would leave him immediately. It was better to keep it a secret for a little while longer, and then let Hyunjin leave him on good terms so that he wouldn’t have to carry around a resentment that big. At least now, he thought the culprit was dead and taken care of. He would not have to contend with the gratitude he thought he owed Chan.
After a little over a month, Hyunjin would have been able to live on his own, but he stayed. Chan worried that perhaps he felt trapped at his house the way he had with the other vampire. He didn’t wish to imply that Hyunjin was unwelcome here—he most certainly was not—but he didn’t want him to stay out of obligation.
“You can,” Chan said haltingly one day, “you know, go wherever you like. You don’t have to stay here. I’m not… him. I will not keep you here.”
Hyunjin turned his beautiful eyes on Chan, and studied him for a moment. At last, he replied, “What if I wanted to stay?”
A war began in Chan’s mind. On one side, his craving for company and his fear of isolation screamed their approval. He liked Hyunjin, more than he would care to admit. He filled Chan’s days and nights, warmed him. Though they were both dead, he had brought life back to Chan’s existence. Losing that felt worse than anything in the world.
But it was wrong, all wrong. Chan turned him when Hyunjin had not wanted him to, and he didn’t know. It wasn’t fair.
But Chan was weak and a coward. And it had been an accident, he told himself. Surely Hyunjin would understand if he told him—or perhaps he would never have to tell him. And besides, he liked Hyunjin so much.
While Chan was coming to this conclusion, Hyunjin had stepped closer. “What if I wanted to stay,” he repeated, “here, with you? Help you kill the bad vampires like the one who hurt me?”
“Oh,” Chan said quietly. “You can, if you want.” He saw doubt flicker across Hyunjin’s face, and he took a breath. “I mean, I would like that,” he amended. “I would like it, if you stayed.”
The doubt was gone; Hyunjin was smiling, beautiful and blinding. “Good,” he said softly. A pause. “What if I wanted to kiss you?”
Something close to warmth spread across Chan’s skin. His fingers twitched at his side. “I would like that, too,” he said.
Hyunjin was taller than him, and Chan had to tilt his head up to meet his lips. Hyunjin took Chan’s face in both his hands and kissed back, tongue and teeth eager, and Chan realized it had been decades, maybe longer, since somebody had touched him.
“I want you,” Hyunjin whispered. He sounded like he was begging. Why, Chan wondered in the back of his mind, would Hyunjin beg? He should never have to beg for anything. Least of all from Chan.
“Then you will have me,” Chan replied immediately, and Hyunjin let out a sweet moan. Chan thought he would do anything to hear him make that noise again.
He found it wasn’t difficult. Hyunjin was just as eager, it seemed. Chan brought him to his bed, seldom used, and lay him down on the soft mattress. He undid the buttons on Hyunjin’s shirt, and the first press of his lips against Hyunjin’s skin had him whining, high and demanding. Some kind of dark arousal flared in Chan; he wanted to pluck Hyunjin like a rose and crush his petals to dust in his palms, the sweetness of the scent clinging to him wherever he went.
He didn’t know how to say it, though, so he undressed both of them swiftly instead to keep his hands busy. Hyunjin’s fingers fluttered over the sheets, catching hold of Chan’s wrists when he was within reach.
“Kiss me again,” he demanded. Chan crawled up the bed so that their bodies were aligned, bending over him to kiss deep into his mouth. When they broke apart, Hyunjin was looking at him in reproach. “You can hurt me. I’m not afraid.”
Swallowing, Chan fought to reply. “I don’t wish to hurt you.”
“Yes, you do,” Hyunjin said quietly.
They held each other’s gazes for a moment, and then Chan sighed. “Yes, I do,” he whispered.
“You can’t scare me away,” Hyunjin said. “I want it. I want you.”
Chan cupped his cheek, running his thumb over Hyunjin’s pretty lips, now glossy with spit. Hyunjin opened his mouth, flicking his tongue out over the pad of his finger. Chan sighed involuntarily, head already swimming with lust. “You’re beautiful,” he breathed out. “Do you know that?”
Hyunjin blinked up at him slowly. “Am I?” he asked.
“Thought so from the moment I first saw you,” Chan admitted, running his hand down Hyunjin’s body and letting it come to a rest at his waist. “I had a lot of other things on my mind then—dealing with that other vampire, trying to get you out safely—but I remember thinking you were beautiful. I—” The words caught in his throat. “I have thought it again, many times, since then.”
Hyunjin let out a soft sound of appreciation. Chan wondered faintly if Hyunjin knew he was good-looking and was simply fishing for compliments, but he couldn’t fault him for that, either. He would be happy to tell him, over and over, no matter how many times he asked.
“I know, especially to you, the time we’ve known each other is like a fraction of a breath, but I also know I am rarely wrong when I think I want something,” Hyunjin said softly. “Did you think about me, like this?” he asked, plowing on before Chan could even wrap his head about the question. “I thought about you.” His words were like electricity sparking across Chan’s skin. Suddenly, his thoughts were filled with dark images of Hyunjin mouthing his name in a moment stolen alone; he imagined Hyunjin watching him the way he had been watching Hyunjin—furtive, wanting.
The last of Chan’s restraint crumbled, and almost subconsciously, his grip on Hyunjin’s body tightened. “Yes, I thought of you,” he whispered. He held Hyunjin in place, moving down the bed a little so that he was situated between his legs. “I thought about how you would sound if I touched you like this—” He ran a finger up the length of Hyunjin’s cock where it lay half-hard against his inner thigh. Hyunjin gasped in surprise. Chan brought his hand to his mouth, taking two fingers between his lips.
Strictly speaking, preparation was not necessary for a vampire’s body—it would hurt for a moment, and then the body would give way—but Chan wanted to do it, just to watch Hyunjin fall apart from his hands alone. Or perhaps simply because it felt necessary. There was no need to remind either of them that they were just two dead things playing at life.
“Or,” Chan continued, pulling his fingers back out of his mouth and reaching down to pet over Hyunjin’s entrance, “if I touched you like this.” Hyunjin shivered, giving a breathy sort of moan. Anticipation made him tense, so Chan met substantial resistance when he first pushed his fingers past his rim. But after a moment, Hyunjin relaxed around him. His thighs twitched as the pads of Chan’s fingers brushed past his prostate. Chan looked up at him and found Hyunjin’s eyes staring back, glassy and slightly unfocused, and all the more beautiful.
“It feels like it’s been forever for me,” Hyunjin said softly. “Though in reality it’s only been a few years.”
“He never?” Chan asked. It hadn’t really occurred to him—rarely would a human survive an encounter like that—but now that the thought of it was in his mind, somehow it made him angry.
But Hyunjin was shaking his head. “No. Though I imagine he might have gotten around to it after my turning. But you were there, so it doesn’t matter.”
“I see,” Chan murmured.
“How long has it been for you?” Hyunjin asked. “Since someone has touched you?”
Chan blinked at him calmly. “I don’t remember,” he said honestly. He would have to check his records to be sure of the exact number. “Centuries, I think.”
Sadness bloomed across Hyunjin’s face. “That’s terrible,” he said. “Come closer, then. Where I can reach you.”
Chan couldn’t say no. He slid his thighs under Hyunjin’s hamstrings, pressing so close that the head of his cock brushed the heel of his hand where it was still buried inside Hyunjin. Hyunjin pulled him forward with one hand, stretching the other down to cup Chan’s cock. He squeezed softly, and Chan moaned low against his lips. For a moment, he forgot what he’d been trying to do, too lost in the feeling of Hyunjin’s hand on him, delicate fingers wrapped snug around him.
Hyunjin strained upward to catch his lips, and the scrape of his teeth brought Chan back to himself. He muffled his moans in their kisses, pumping his fingers in and out, slow at first, and then faster when Hyunjin began rocking his hips.
Hyunjin had started moving his hand, too, smearing Chan’s precome along the whole length of his cock as he pulled and twisted his wrist. Chan’s other hand trailed up and down Hyunjin’s body, taking hold of his hip, then coming to rest on his ribcage. Hyunjin circled the fingers of his free hand around Chan’s wrist, tugging.
Chan broke the kiss, brow furrowed. “What?” he asked.
“Here,” Hyunjin said, tugging again. Chan let him guide his hand up, up past his chest and clavicle until it was hovering over his throat. The look he gave Chan was pleading. “Here, hyung.”
Chan closed his hand around Hyunjin’s throat, thumb covering the bite scar over what was once his pulse point. He shifted a little to get the position right, and then squeezed. Hyunjin was giving him tiny nods of approval, so he kept going until he was sure it hurt. But Hyunjin had been right—Chan wanted to hurt him. Arousal grew steadily inside him as he watched Hyunjin’s eyes roll back in his head, his hand falling away from Chan’s wrist, landing limp on the bed at his side.
“Would it please you to know I thought about this, too?” Chan asked. It was true—he had imagined taking Hyunjin in his hands and wringing him dry in this way. Hyunjin wheezed softly; Chan had a feeling that if he were able, he would cry out. “Did you think of it? My hands around your throat?”
Hyunjin gave a minute nod, blinking rapidly. Chan could see tears gathering there, but Hyunjin was smiling. He looked dazed and blissful, and pride rushed to Chan’s head, a roar of emotion. He had done this—he had given this pleasure to Hyunjin. And it was only the beginning.
He realized he was thrusting into Hyunjin’s hand now, at the same pace that he was fingering him—fast and a little erratic. That must be why the arousal rose fast and steady inside him, why his head swam, why he felt a gathering in his stomach. Clumsily, he squeezed a third finger in beside the other two. Hyunjin’s jaw dropped open, chin crowding Chan’s fingers.
Chan released his throat in favor of wrapping his hand around Hyunjin’s cock. Hyunjin gasped in breaths, eyes wide, convulsing when Chan touched him. “I’m close,” he forced out, hoarse. “Are you?”
Chan managed a stiff nod, too focused on keeping his eyes open to reply. He wanted to see it, wanted to watch Hyunjin unravel in his hands. Hyunjin held his gaze, eyes half-lidded, pretty lips parted in a moan. And then Chan felt wetness across his hand, and looked down to see pearls of white splattered across Hyunjin’s stomach and chest.
Hyunjin’s hand tightened around Chan’s cock. “Now you,” he whispered. It sounded like a demand, which amused Chan in the back of his mind. Did Hyunjin think he would refuse?
When he came, he felt it everywhere. There was something nice about having more than just his own hand and his imagination. Hyunjin watched him hungrily as Chan groaned and shook and spilled into his palm.
They caught their breath for a moment. Chan watched the shadows of the candle flames dance and flicker on his walls. He hoped Hyunjin wasn’t yet sated; he wanted more still.
He was in luck. Hyunjin was already whimpering softly, squirming beneath him. “Chan,” he whined. “Fuck me.”
Chan smiled, pulling his fingers out with a wet pop. “You want that?” he asked, just to tease.
Hyunjin gave him a reproachful look, and Chan remembered thinking that he should not have to beg for anything. He took it back now; Hyunjin looked sweet when he was pleading, lower lip pushed out just a touch, eyes round and hopeful.
“Please,” Hyunjin said in a very small voice.
Chan pulled away from him slightly, resting one hand on his hip. “Turn over, then,” he said.
Pleased at having gotten his way, Hyunjin obeyed with a smile, rolling over fluidly, drawing his knees up beside his chest and curling over his thighs, resting his head in the pillow of his forearms. He watched Chan over his shoulder as Chan positioned himself behind him.
Chan lined himself up with Hyunjin’s entrance, hands splayed across his lower back to keep him still as he sank in. He was tight, despite the prep, and Chan groaned softly at the feeling of Hyunjin around him. His body held him soft and snug; Chan dug the pads of his fingers into Hyunjin’s skin as he bottomed out.
Hyunjin moaned openmouthed, unabashed. “Oh, fuck,” he breathed out. “Feels good.”
“You too,” Chan replied. “Such a nice body.” He meant it—he admired Hyunjin’s little waist, his long, lithe legs, the line of his spine, the delicate bones of his hands. Hyunjin preened, blinking slowly. “Ready?”
“Been ready since I saw you,” Hyunjin huffed, and it was all the encouragement Chan needed. He rolled his hips against Hyunjin, gritting his teeth at the way Hyunjin arched his back, lovely moans spilling freely from his lips.
Their refractory periods were much shorter than a human’s, but they still needed a little time to recover, so Chan kept his pace slow at first. Hyunjin still moaned appreciatively with his every movement. “You’re so loud,” Chan chided, tongue slow and heavy with pleasure.
“Can’t help it,” Hyunjin said, unapologetic. Good. Chan didn’t think he would tire of hearing him.
Slowly, the sensation went from something sharp to a duller, more constant thrum under Chan’s skin, and he started thrusting faster. Hyunjin’s cries increased in pitch and volume, but Chan didn’t care. His property was large, his neighbors distant. There was nobody to hear but him and the gathering night outside.
Chan reached forward and grabbed a fistful of Hyunjin’s long, dark hair. He tightened his fingers, satisfaction running thick and heavy through his body when Hyunjin gave a dry, choked sob. It took him a moment to realize Hyunjin had said something.
“What was that?” Chan asked.
“Harder,” Hyunjin repeated, insistent even though his voice was weak and broken. Chan had to admire his tenacity, he supposed as he started fucking him rougher. The bed shook, and Hyunjin sobbed, but Chan knew he didn’t have to stop.
For a moment then, none of it mattered. Chan didn’t feel like a vampire, eternal and exhausted. The blanket of melancholy that seemed to usually smother his life receded somewhat. Even the guilt about the secret he harbored from Hyunjin was no longer so heavy. His own breath filled his ears; beyond it, the rhythmic slap of skin on skin, and Hyunjin’s voice. Nothing else mattered. For those few minutes, Chan forgot his despair, his dread. He almost could have convinced himself that he was alive.
Hyunjin let Chan fuck him into the mattress, pliant beneath his hands. He cried, but between breaths he still begged for more.
“Don’t need to be greedy,” Chan said, struggling to keep his voice even. “There’s always next time.”
“Next time,” Hyunjin said dreamily, like it had only just occurred to him that this was not going to be a one-time occurrence. “Alright. Next time. Promise?”
I think I would do anything for you, Chan wanted to say. Anything you wanted. “Promise,” he said instead.
“Faster,” Hyunjin said, now that that was settled. “I want to come.”
Chan did his best to pick up the pace. Hyunjin shifted, reaching his arm down between his body and the sheets to touch himself. He dissolved into whines when Chan changed the angle of his thrusts, clenching down around him. Chan growled low in the back of his throat, leaning over Hyunjin, turning his head to the side with the hand that was still in his hair, and kissing along his sharp jawline. He could feel the muscle working there under his lips. He could feel tears, could taste the salt of them on his tongue. Hyunjin twitched beneath him.
“Gonna come?” Chan asked softly. He hoped the answer was yes because he knew he wouldn’t be far behind.
“Yes,” Hyunjin gasped. “Fuck, please don’t stop, I’m so close.”
Chan grunted into his skin, finding it in himself somehow to go faster still, and Hyunjin wailed, spasming around Chan’s cock as he came. He was still shuddering through the aftershocks when Chan felt the tight coil of his own arousal release, spilling deep inside Hyunjin’s body. He sank his teeth into the skin of Hyunjin’s shoulder, moaning as his hips stuttered to a stop.
He released Hyunjin’s hair, smoothing it down; one of Hyunjin’s hands had found his cheek. Chan pulled out somewhat gingerly, rolling off Hyunjin and onto the mattress beside him. Hyunjin turned onto his side, lethargic but determined, leaning close so he could kiss Chan. Chan drew him to his side, kissing back.
Gradually, the kisses grew sporadic, and then they relaxed into the pillows. They lay there like that in the dirty sheets for a while, Hyunjin curled against Chan’s body. They weren’t resting, exactly—just processing, Chan concluded.
A few minutes passed. Then, Hyunjin cleared his throat. “After that vampire killed my family and took me away to live with him,” he said softly, breaking the silence. “I thought that was it. That was going to be my life—just him, for the rest of forever. It terrified me—that sort of loneliness.” Chan looked down at him, and saw him staring back. “But now he’s dead, and I have you. I’ll remember this now, whenever I feel hopeless.”
“I’m glad I found you,” Chan whispered earnestly. “I was quite alone.”
Hyunjin smiled. “I’d like to stick around a while longer, if you’ll have me,” he said. “Then neither of us will have to be alone.”
“I’d like that,” Chan said. He didn’t know why he was hoarse. But Hyunjin didn’t say anything about it.
Later, when Hyunjin had gone to hunt, Chan looked over his record books. He hadn’t shared them with Hyunjin yet—he didn’t want him to find the pages about his turning. He ran his fingers over the dried ink, fanned them over the edges of the page. He could have destroyed these records. He could have burned the pages that told of what happened that night, and written a different version of what happened—the version that Hyunjin believed. Then he could show Hyunjin everything—he could tell him his entire life story. Hyunjin could see the drawings of Chan’s mother, his friends, his home. And over time, Chan, too, would forget the truth. Without the real record to remind him, the memory would fade into nothing. They could be happy.
He almost did it, hand poised to tear the first page out. It would have been so easy. But Chan didn’t deserve easy. It was one thing to offer Hyunjin the simple answer; Hyunjin didn’t need to suffer any more than he already had. Chan could not free himself of the responsibility. It wouldn’t be right. He would carry the truth of Hyunjin’s turning for the both of them, the heavy weight of a lie. It would be his punishment for what he had done, what he would continue to do. It didn’t make it right, but at least it was something Chan could live with.
He heard Hyunjin at the door, and moved quickly to hide his journals.
“Caught a deer,” Hyunjin called. “Come down, it’s still warm.”
“Just a moment!” Chan replied, guilt searing through him like venom.
And so Hyunjin became a permanent fixture in Chan’s life. He became an equal partner in his cases; soon, the vampire community knew both their names. They were respected and renowned. Though neither of them took particular delight in the killing, Chan knew he at least took some joy in the acclaim. They were doing good, and they were doing it together. In this way, many years passed.
Chan kept his records secretly, sneaking away to scribble down the days’ events. It wasn’t all too difficult—they knew they had forever with each other if they wished, so when they weren’t working a case, they would spend time alone. Hyunjin liked to dance, and would do so for hours at a time. Sometimes Chan would join him, but he didn’t love it the way Hyunjin did, so mostly he left him to his hobbies and took the opportunity to add more detail to his notes.
They didn’t spend all their free time apart, though; they couldn’t bear to. Eventually, Chan would stash his journals away, and Hyunjin would tire of dancing, and they’d meet in some common space—maybe the kitchen, or the living room. There was no rush to it; they’d wait for the other to arrive, patient, placid. And then, the sweet rush of happiness at seeing the other, to find they were, still, somehow, not alone.
“Hi,” Hyunjin whispered, taking Chan’s hands in his. “What were you doing?”
“Reading,” Chan lied, pulling him to his feet, tugging him close. “You?”
“Dancing,” Hyunjin said. “As usual.” He ducked his head and pressed his nose to the hollow of Chan’s throat, kissing just beneath it. A pause. “Can I tell you something?”
“Of course,” Chan said, smoothing a hand down his back.
“I love you,” Hyunjin said, raising his head and looking Chan in the eye.
“Oh,” Chan said softly. The words dug their way under his skin, burrowing in the tough muscle of his still heart. Hyunjin loved him. “I love you, too.”
Hyunjin’s face softened into a joyful smile, and he kissed Chan, all teeth. “If I must live forever,” he whispered, “at least I can do it with you.” He pulled away just a bit, so Chan could see his face, could see his eyes sparkling. “Chan,” he said, his tone reverent. “My savior. My love.”
Chan tightened his grip on him. “Hyunjin,” he murmured. “You saved me. Do you know that?”
Hyunjin smiled. “Good thing I did,” he said gently. “You’re worth saving.”
No, I’m not, Chan thought, but he just kissed Hyunjin instead before he could find the sadness in Chan’s eyes.
But after that, it was even easier to ignore the truth, to bury under every I-love-you, and try to forget.
But some things are impossible to forget. Chan realized that even if he had torn out the pages of his records, he would have remembered their events with stunning clarity, anyway. How could he forget, for longer than a few moments at a time, the fate he had affixed onto Hyunjin? How could he forget that he knew the taste of his blood?
The world changed, and they changed with it. With faster modes of transportation made available, they no longer needed so many residences; they sold a few of the older, seldom-used properties and worked out of just a couple of houses. They continued their work. They continued loving each other. The horror of their pasts faded into the background of their minds.
Contrary to some beliefs, vampires do not take mates. Their relationships work in the same way a human’s would. The only difference is that marriage is a silly prospect to them—just another set of legal papers they would have to continue to update and forge—so Chan and Hyunjin were never married. But Chan knew if they were not immortal, and if it were acceptable, they would have been married long ago. As it was, they were in a long-term partnership with no end in sight. That was all either of them needed to know.
Decades slipped by them. There were rough patches, especially at the beginning, when Hyunjin was still settling into vampire life. Some days he’d come to Chan, shaking and tearful, begging him to help him remember pieces of his human life that had begun to slip away from him. Chan soothed him through it as best he could.
“It’s natural to forget,” he said quietly, holding Hyunjin close. “I don’t remember a lot of things, either.”
“I don’t want to forget,” Hyunjin mumbled.
“If you’re scared, you can write things down,” Chan suggested. “I do, sometimes. But you also have to trust that your mind will retain the things that are truly important.”
“What if one day, I forget who I am?” Hyunjin asked in a small voice.
“I don’t think that will happen,” Chan said, “but if you do, I’ll be here to remind you.”
Hyunjin’s eyes shone, and Chan’s guilt came knocking again. He did his best to push it aside.
Their work was steady, easy with the two of them. Sometimes they were joined by others for larger, more complex cases; sometimes it was just the two of them. But they were always together; when others called on them for help now, it was never just for one or the other. It was Chan and Hyunjin, Hyunjin and Chan. Are you and your partner available for a case? people would ask. We’ll pay double.
But even in all the goodness, the acceptance, the acclaim, there were rumblings of distaste in their community. Whispers were passed around, that they were doing it for power, that they were greedy and self-important.
“There are some that think you have been allowed to feast on your own pride for too long,” one of their acquaintances, Lee Minho, told Chan one day. “With your notoriety, and the money you make, there are some that feel your power is too great to be unchecked.”
“We don’t do what we do for power.” It came out angrier than Chan had intended, but he was bristling with fury. How could they? He, and now Hyunjin, had kept vampires and humans alike safe for centuries. How dare they question their intentions; how dare they be so ungrateful?
“I don’t agree, you understand,” Minho said calmly. “I’m just letting you know. You need to be careful. You and Hyunjin both. There is unrest, and unrest often leads to violence. I would hate to see something happen to either of you.”
“What do they want from us, then? A share of our pay? They can have it,” Chan said.
“I’m afraid it won’t be that simple.” Minho sighed, brushing his hair back. “Some are saying you should no longer be allowed to, ah, practice.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Chan said.
“To be fair, it’s not just you. Other older bounty hunters have been targets as well. A few retired actually, just last month, after increasing pressure. I’m sure you know Jaebeom and Jinyoung.” Minho waited for Chan to nod before continuing. “And more notably, one of their friends, Jackson, refused to cooperate.”
“What happened?” Chan asked.
“He got into a fight with some locals of the town he was living in for a case,” Minho said. “They killed him.”
“What?” Chan stared at him, but Minho wouldn’t lie. Not about something like this. “So they’re doing the very thing they’re condemning us for? Does no one see the hypocrisy?”
Minho spreads his hands. “I guess not. I’m halting my activities until they decide what they want me to do. I’d advise you to do the same.”
“I’m not going to let some power-hungry insurrectionists tell me what I can and cannot do,” Chan said. “Our work is legitimate. I will continue working until I am unable.”
“And if they kill Hyunjin? What then?” Minho asked.
Chan froze. His own death, he could contend with, he supposed. But Hyunjin’s—that was crossing a line. And even the idea that he would have to leave Hyunjin alone was enough to give him pause. “Well,” he said, trying to sound brave. “At the very least, I will continue working until those who disagree voice their concerns to me directly.”
Minho nodded slowly. “I suppose that’s the best I can do for you, then. Good luck, Chan. Stay safe.”
Chan told Hyunjin once he got home. A line of worry appeared between his brows. “Maybe we should do like Minho, and the others,” he said.
“But our work is important,” Chan insisted. “I don’t want to give it up at the first sign of danger. That would be cowardice.”
“I know, but—but what about what happened to Jackson?” Hyunjin asked. “If we push it, there may be no place for us.”
“I’d rather try and fail than give up,” Chan said.
Hyunjin nodded, taking his hand. “You know I will stand by your side.” He stared at Chan intently. “But promise me, if things start to look bad, that we’ll back down. I don’t need the work we do. But I need you.”
“I know,” Chan said softly. “I promise.”
Their confrontation didn’t come for some time. They kept working, completing a few more cases. Chan had a feeling it was because of their reputation that people did not come knocking on their door—many of these people were afraid of them. An angry pride reared its head inside of him. They should be afraid. Chan was likely older than all of them. He had seen things worse than any of their nightmares.
But eventually, the dissent grew from rumbling to something too loud to ignore. A member of a local branch of law enforcement, accompanied by a couple of vampires that Chan did not recognize, showed up on their doorstep not a few hours after sunset.
“We’ve let you run wild long enough,” the policeman said, holding up a hand when Chan opened his mouth to object. “It is not that we are ungrateful for the work you have done. But things are changing. Your role is no longer useful to us, and some are concerned that you may be using it to gain political and financial power. They have brought their concerns to those who hold public office, and we agree that it is in the community’s best interest that you either retire completely, or hand over a portion of your assets and await further instruction.
Hyunjin touched Chan’s arm, looking at the vampires across the table. “May we speak about this in private, please?”
One of the vampires stood, and the rest were quick to follow. “We will leave you tonight,” the policeman said. “We will return tomorrow, and we expect an answer. Please have one prepared. We’d rather not make things unpleasant.”
“Fine,” Chan said through gritted teeth. “You know where the door is. See yourselves out.” He watched their retreating footsteps with stony anger, unable to move for fear of doing something rash. He could barely feel Hyunjin’s hand where it still lay on his arm.
“That was a threat,” Hyunjin said as soon as they were gone. “Chan, we can’t. I know it’s important to you—it’s important to me, too. But I think it would be best if we cut our losses and got out. We can find other things to do! I want to try gardening.” He sounded desperate. “Chan, look at me.”
Chan turned his head, fixing his stormy gaze on Hyunjin. He softened immediately. Hyunjin looked scared and sad and unsure, but he clung to Chan’s sleeve all the same, pretty fingers balled tight around the fabric. “I don’t want to sit around waiting for them to tell us how we will fit into their new idea of society,” he said quietly. “I don’t want anything to do with any of them. Besides, I worry that it won’t be safe, even if we comply.”
Hyunjin nodded. “I agree,” he said quickly. “Why don’t we—sell all our other residences, pull our money out of savings, and buy a big, beautiful house somewhere out in the middle of nowhere? There people won’t bother us, and humans won’t be likely to stumble by, and we’ll be able to live in peace.” He shook Chan’s arm a little. “Together.”
It was a difficult thing, but Chan knew he didn’t really have a choice. He’d rather ensure Hyunjin’s safety than fight a losing battle. “Okay,” he agreed. “We’ll start looking tonight.”
“Thank you.” Relief flooded Hyunjin’s voice, sweet and warm. “I love you.”
Chan pulled him close so he could kiss him. He closed his eyes tight, letting Hyunjin’s taste soothe him. “I love you, too,” he whispered.
It was almost a relief, in a way, to withdraw. Chan was not going willingly. He had fought to stay in this world, and now he was being asked to leave it. But at least he had come out of it with something. He had Hyunjin, however dearly bought, and that was enough. It would have to be.
They found a beautiful mansion in a secluded clearing at the heart of a thick forest. No one would come looking for them there, and the isolation was enough to put worried minds to rest. Hyunjin bought plant seeds. Chan packed his record books underneath stacks of clothing. They sold their other houses, gathered their belongings, trimmed the edges of their life.
It was alright at first. Hyunjin tended his garden, danced. Chan made copies of older record books that had begun to fade. He could keep them digitally now, which was all the better. Easier to hide when they all lived on the same device, and harder to destroy. He and Hyunjin hunted in the forest—it was full of animals, plenty to live off of. The house was everything they could ask for—countless rooms, glass with UV protection so they would not have to keep their curtains closed in the day; beds and floors sturdy enough to withstand all the things Hyunjin and Chan did on them. They were happy.
But they were not fulfilled. At least, Chan was not. He missed having a purpose beyond loving Hyunjin, as sweet as it was. What was there left for him to do? He kept record of their days, though it hardly mattered anymore. Nothing happened. They had no visitors; even Minho stopped coming by after the first couple of years. They received no news, too concerned about what venturing back out into the world might bring.
Some days Chan would find himself in a panic, realizing he could not remember certain things. He would frantically search through his files for the answer, and sometimes he would find it. But most times, he would not; he would skim until his eyes burned, not even sure what exactly he was looking for, just knowing that something, somewhere was missing. There were cracks forming in his mind that turned into fissures.
He hid it from Hyunjin; admitting something was wrong would require revealing all his record-keeping, and he certainly couldn’t do that now. The one thing his mind, fraying as it was at the edges, would not let him forget was what he had done to Hyunjin all those centuries ago. It was almost a blessing, in a way; something to hold onto. When he found himself overwhelmed by all the things he had lost, he would soothe himself by listing the things he knew.
One: he had turned Hyunjin without knowing he hadn’t wanted it, and lied to him about it ever since. Two: they could never leave this house and reenter society, at least not for many, many years. Three: He loved Hyunjin and he would never leave him.
Hyunjin, at least, seemed to be handling the isolation well. Though Chan could see that he, too, was losing pieces of himself, at least he seemed content. His garden blossomed. He took to painting as well, and soon their walls were covered in his art. It was lovely—at least one of them was happy, still, and Chan loved to see Hyunjin happy—but the monotony only sped the deterioration that Chan could feel encroaching on every minute of every one of his days. He knew Hyunjin would not understand that, and a new kind of loneliness took root in Chan’s stomach. While Hyunjin was satisfied fucking Chan and pursuing new hobbies and busying himself with household things, Chan wanted more. And he would never have it.
It wasn’t all bad, of course. Hyunjin’s beauty became no less alluring with the passage of time. They had long grown comfortable with each other; they knew their ways around each other’s bodies as well as they knew their own. Chan hardly had to think about what he was doing anymore. It came to him naturally, just how loving Hyunjin came naturally. It was easy; it was right.
“Chan,” Hyunjin whined, trying to lean in close for a kiss.
“Hyunjin,” Chan replied evenly, holding him in place and keeping his lips just out of reach. “You said you were hungry.”
“The nights are growing longer,” Hyunjin replied. “The sun hasn’t even set. We can wait.”
“We can after we get back,” Chan tried again, but already he knew it was a battle he would not win.
“But I want to now,” Hyunjin said, pouting. His pouts were always dangerous. Chan always wanted to punish him for being pushy, but he also wanted to give him whatever he was pouting so hard for.
Chan sighed, and dipped his head forward, swift so Hyunjin wouldn’t see it coming, and snagged his offending lower lip between his teeth, then kissed him roughly. Hyunjin let his body melt into Chan’s, making a noise of satisfaction.
“Let’s be quick, then,” Chan said.
“I love you,” Hyunjin said breathlessly. Chan didn’t need to look at him to know he was smiling.
They were in a dining room, but that hardly mattered. Chan cleared the table behind Hyunjin and lifted him up onto it, kissing him in between to stop him from complaining. Hyunjin lay back against the sturdy oak, hair fanning out softly behind his head. He lifted his hips obediently when Chan tapped them so that he could pull his pants off.
“Good,” Chan murmured, almost reflexively.
Hyunjin let out a happy sigh while Chan started working on his own pants. “Can I have your mouth, before you fuck me?” he asked.
“Yes,” Chan said softly, eyeing Hyunjin’s cock as he let his pants fall to the floor. He bent over him, kissing a trail down from the seat of his belly to the tip of his cock before taking the head in his mouth. One of Hyunjin’s hands found his hair.
“Fuck,” Hyunjin whimpered tightly when Chan hollowed his cheeks. “So good, feels so good.”
Chan only hummed, taking Hyunjin deeper. He knew he had been the one to say they needed to make it quick—and he was right to say it—but he couldn’t help but take his time. Hyunjin shuddered, biting back moans like he liked to do when he thought it was too early for him to make too much noise, and Chan swallowed carefully around his cock, surrounded by his scent. Time was slower like this; the quietness of the house was not so stifling. Chan breathed in, slow, then drew himself up and off of Hyunjin with his exhale.
“Chan,” Hyunjin complained.
He looked so pretty, sprawled out on their dining room table, nice shirt now full of wrinkles, crumpled up around his ribs. His dark eyes followed Chan’s every movement. Chan clenched his jaw so he wouldn’t smile, tilting his head. “You don’t want me to fuck you?”
“Oh,” Hyunjin said, like he was just remembering. Maybe he was.
“Open,” Chan said, and Hyunjin did, tongue pushing his lower lip down to protect Chan’s fingers from his teeth. Chan pressed his fingertips against the roof of his mouth. “Close. Get them wet for me.”
Hyunjin looked up at him intently as he swirled his tongue around his fingers, batting his eyelashes, trying to take him deeper. Chan let him; if he needed it, Chan wouldn’t be the one to refuse. Eventually, he released Chan, coughing wetly.
“Don’t hurt yourself,” Chan said impassively, bringing his hand down to Hyunjin’s entrance. “We still have to hunt.”
“Doesn’t hurt,” Hyunjin replied, voice raw. Chan flicked his gaze up at him, eyebrows raised. “After we’re done eating,” Hyunjin continued, unfazed, “Will you choke me on your cock? We haven’t done that in a while. I want it.”
I want it. It was like he knew Chan wouldn’t say no. “I couldn’t tell,” Chan said drily, twisting his fingers inside him. “Yes,” he added, when he realized he hadn’t given his answer.
“Thank you,” Hyunjin said dreamily. Chan knew he was already imagining it. He let Hyunjin carry himself away with his thoughts while he lined himself up with his hole.
He didn’t bother warning him, just pushed his cock in nice and slow. Hyunjin arched off the table with a surprised moan. “Oh, fuck,” he slurred. “Fuck fuck fuck, Chan.”
Chan liked it when Hyunjin swore. It was like a metric of how well he was doing. Four fucks in one breath meant he left him just tight enough for it to hurt. He bottomed out and paused, running a hand over Hyunjin’s stomach, down past his hips to his soft thighs. Hyunjin spread his legs a little wider, maybe subconsciously trying to take more of Chan, or maybe just trying to goad him into moving.
Chan moved. It really was supposed to be quick, after all. They were good hunters, but he’d rather not risk being out near sunrise. Hyunjin wailed, clenching down like that would help.
“Hurts?” Chan asked, not slowing.
“Mm-hm,” Hyunjin said, nodding, “but it’s g-good.”
Chan made an affirmative noise, rolling his hips smooth and steady, letting Hyunjin spasm and cry out and eventually settle back down against the table as his body gave way to the harsh pace Chan had set. His cock bobbed against his stomach, slick still from Chan’s spit and the precome that leaked out drop by drop with every one of Chan’s thrusts. He watched Hyunjin’s face twist up with pleasure, watched him scrabble against the table. He always got spacey when he was forced to come fast, eyes wide and empty. Chan could only wonder what he was thinking.
He kept fucking him, fingers digging into his thighs, letting his lust take over his brain. The table creaked beneath them, but Chan knew it wouldn’t break. He wouldn’t have done this here if he thought it might. His orgasm built inside him. He could feel it like a pulse.
“Chan.” Hyunjin was struggling to focus on him, but Chan could tell it wasn’t for lack of trying. “I’m gonna come if you don’t slow down.”
“Good,” Chan said quietly. “Come, then.”
Hyunjin whimpered; it wasn’t the answer he wanted. But Chan was close, and he wanted to see Hyunjin come first. He wrapped a hand around Hyunjin’s cock, smiling when he sobbed. The noise became a scream as he came, shooting streaks of white across his stomach, hips twitching.
Chan released him, bringing his hand to his mouth to lick it clean, rutting into Hyunjin roughly to get himself off. He hadn’t even swallowed the last of Hyunjin’s come when he was coming too, deep inside Hyunjin’s body. He realized he’d dug his nails into Hyunjin’s skin, and forced himself to let go as he came spinning back down.
“Okay,” Chan said when he’d recovered enough. “Let’s go.” Hyunjin just groaned softly. “You asked for it,” Chan said, pulling out and reaching up above Hyunjin’s shoulder for a napkin to clean them with. “I said we should wait until after.”
“Give me a minute,” Hyunjin complained.
“You said you were hungry,” Chan reminded him, getting dressed and then offering a hand to Hyunjin. “Come on, baby.”
Hyunjin sighed, taking his hand and pulling himself up, hopping off the table and right up into Chan’s space to give him a kiss. “Where are my pants?” he asked.
“Here.” Chan waited for him to zip them up before nodding towards the doorway. “Let’s go.”
They ran out into the night, splitting up once they hit the trees. Chan sprinted, perhaps a bit faster than what was reasonable, relishing in the feeling of the cold wind on his skin. The leaves were turning; soon, it would be winter, and with the season would come shorter days and longer nights. After a summer of spending far too many hours indoors, the change would be welcome, even if the snow would make prey scarce.
He picked up the trail of a family of rabbits, and followed it, catching them quickly. Rabbits in hand, he picked his way back towards the house, trying to find Hyunjin.
He found his trail quickly, following his footsteps in the undergrowth. He’d gone towards the water, and suddenly Chan came to a clearing. Hyunjin was there, skin glowing in the moonlight reflecting up from the stream beside him. He was bent over a still figure.
“Hyunjin,” Chan said slowly. “What is that?”
“I found him like this,” Hyunjin said, not taking his eyes off the human, Chan could see now as he stepped closer. A young man, around the age Hyunjin had been when Chan turned him. “What should we do?”
Chan came up beside them, carefully setting the rabbits on the ground and crouching beside the human. He was still alive; Chan could feel his warmth as soon as he drew near. “He must have gotten lost hiking or something,” Chan murmured. “Or…” He glanced down. “His leg is broken,” he said. “He must have tried to get close to a water source. Maybe passed out from the pain.”
“We can’t just leave him,” Hyunjin said.
“We don’t have another choice. We can’t—what, take him to the nearest town? He probably won’t survive the journey, anyway.” Chan shook his head. “The wolves will get to him soon enough. If he’s lucky, they’ll strike while he’s still out.”
“You know how to fix broken bones,” Hyunjin said. “We could help him.”
Chan looked up at him, frowning. “And what happens when he wakes up? What happens when he starts asking questions?”
“We’ll just heal him up and send him on his way,” Hyunjin said, like it was that simple. “It’ll be fine. Please, Chan. I feel awful just leaving him to die.”
“What happens if he wants to come back and thank us? Or tells his human friends about us?” Chan pressed.
“We can keep up the act,” Hyunjin insisted. Chan pressed his lips together, thinking. “You would’ve done it, if it was me.”
“It was different, when we met,” Chan said delicately. “A different lifetime.”
They were silent for a moment. The rabbits had gone cold.
“We’ll figure it out.” Hyunjin brushed some blonde hair back from the human’s face. Chan noticed then the freckles dusting his cheeks. “Please, Chan.”
He knew they shouldn’t. But it had been so long since they’d seen another person. It couldn’t hurt, could it? Hyunjin was right; they could simply paint themselves as eccentric recluses; once the human was healed, they would offer to help him find his way back home, and tell him not to worry about thanking them. If they made it clear they didn’t want to be disturbed, he’d probably just let it be, right?
“Fine,” Chan said, picking up his rabbits. “But when he’s healed, he goes.”
“Thank you,” Hyunjin said, eyes bright. He picked the human up, cradling him in his arms, and followed Chan as he turned and headed for home.
Once they were inside, Hyunjin laid the human out in one of the downstairs bedrooms. He drained a rabbit while Chan got to work resetting the human’s leg and making a splint. Hyunjin cleaned the dirt from his face and hair.
“Tomorrow night,” Chan said, “I will go into town to get some food. He’ll want to eat when he wakes, I’m sure.”
Hyunjin nodded. “I’ll stay to watch him,” he agreed.
The human stayed asleep through the entirety of the day, and once evening came again, Chan gathered up some money and left Hyunjin to tend to him.
The town had changed since Chan had last seen it. It had been years at least; the last time he’d ventured out was to get a laptop and a WiFi router. The buildings were taller, sleeker, and there were more people. Though it was rather late, maybe around midnight, many humans were out, filling the streets and the bars.
Chan ducked into the first grocery store he found, gathering whatever caught his eye into a basket and hurrying to pay. He didn’t want to be away long, and as soon as he was finished paying, he rushed back out into the night.
But the house was still and dark, just as he’d left it, when he returned. As he slipped off his shoes, however, he heard the low murmur of voices.
He almost went straight to the bedroom, but realized it would be odd to come up with so many groceries, so he went first to the kitchen to put things away. He transferred their stash of blood to the bottom drawer, swept dust off the counters. He tried to make it look lived-in, though he knew it was silly. The human wouldn’t be able to come up the stairs on his own.
Finally, with nothing left to do, he made his way back downstairs, where Hyunjin was speaking.
“…in the forest?” he was asking.
“I’d gone for a walk.” A voice that Chan had to assume belonged to the human. It was odd—the voice was low. From the human’s delicate features, Chan wouldn’t have guessed it. “I wasn’t looking where I was going, and fell down a huge ravine. And when I stopped moving, I realized there was something wrong with my leg. So I—oh!”
Chan had rounded the corner and come to a stop in the threshold of the bedroom. “Hello,” he said softly, trying not to spook the human, who was now sitting up against the headboard. Hyunjin sat in a chair beside him, and had turned at the sound of Chan’s footfalls.
“Felix,” Hyunjin said, “this is my partner, Chan. I told you he’d be back soon. He’s the one that fixed up your leg.”
“Thank you,” Felix stammered out.
Chan smiled. “You’re welcome,” he said. “Though I wouldn’t call it fixed quite yet. You’ll have to heal a bit before you can move about. Do you want us to call the hospital? We weren’t sure—I mean, I figured I could probably stabilize you on my own. Besides, it’s hard for vehicles to get out here. So we thought we’d ask you.”
Felix shook his head. “They’d probably have to airlift me, if that’s true,” he said. “Too expensive. I mean,” he added quickly. “I don’t want to overstay my welcome. I can go if you want. But I’d rather just call a taxi or something.”
“You can stay, if you prefer,” Hyunjin said. “Chan isn’t a doctor, exactly, but he knows what he’s doing.”
“Is that alright?” Felix asked meekly.
Chan nodded. “We don’t mind. We don’t get a lot of visitors—by choice, of course, but if one happens by, we won’t turn them away.” Felix looked at him quizzically, but Chan decided to change the subject. “Are you hungry?”
“Oh—um, yeah, I am,” Felix said, blinking.
“I can get you something,” Chan said. “Some soup?”
“Soup is good,” Felix agreed. “Thank you.”
“Of course.” Chan turned and left, happy to be gone.
As he retreated down the hall, he heard Hyunjin ask, “So what do you do, Felix?”
They quickly fell into a routine this way. One of them would stay with Felix most of the time while the other tended to the house, to meals, to whatever they liked. They usually tried not to overwhelm him with their presence; rarely would the two of them stay together in the room for long.
It didn’t give them much time together, except for a few hours at night while Felix slept. They spent this time rearranging the house, trying to hide signs of the truth, or hunting, or heading into town for more food. Chan even bought a car, though they didn’t use it, realizing it was suspicious that they wouldn’t have one. No human could make the walk in under a few hours.
Felix seemed somewhat wary at first, but quickly opened up to them. Chan found himself laughing around him, like he hadn’t in a long time. Felix shared stories about his life, and Chan and Hyunjin got to know him very quickly.
He seemed dissatisfied with the world when he spoke of it. From his telling, things seemed horrible and mundane. Chan was almost glad for their solitude, away from all the troubles Felix described. Poverty was rampant, it seemed, and overpopulation was threatening the entire planet. Felix spoke of his own worries in a detached manner, as if he had long since grown accustomed to them.
His family was all gone, all in different ways. His father had died in a plane crash when he was nine; his mother and one of his sisters had been taken by a deadly virus a few years afterwards. His other sister drank herself to death to drown her grief. Only Felix remained, juggling multiple jobs, too busy for friendship, too poor for happiness. In a way, he said, it was a good thing he’d fallen that day. It wasn’t like he had much going for him, anyway.
“He doesn’t have anywhere to go,” Hyunjin said to Chan one night. “Can’t we keep him?”
Chan did feel bad for him, of course. And besides, he liked Felix. He was sweet, and funny. But he knew that wasn’t enough of a reason. “The longer he stays, the more likely it is he discovers the truth,” he said. “And he’ll run screaming back to the humans, and we will be done for.”
“But what if he doesn’t?” Hyunjin wheedled.
“You would keep him, as you were kept?” Chan asked. It was harsh of him, he knew, but he didn’t know how else to get through to him.
It worked, at least. Hyunjin flinched and fell silent. He did not speak of it again.
So Felix healed, and Chan and Hyunjin pretended to be normal. It was a problem for another day, they both decided. Tomorrow, we’ll think about it. Tomorrow, we can worry. Tomorrow after tomorrow came and went.
They bought crutches for Felix, and a medical boot, so he could hobble around without assistance. He seemed happy to crutch up and down the halls, careful to keep weight off of his leg. Weeks passed. He started exploring; Chan would find him on the third story, or maybe the first. He went out to sit in the snow on the first day after a night of storming.
“Come on!” he called to Chan and Hyunjin, who lingered in the doorway. “It’s soft!”
Chan shook his head. “It’s slippery, Felix,” he said. “Come back inside.”
Felix frowned, but did as he was told, dusting the white powder from his hands as he stood.
These sorts of awkward conversations started happening with more and more frequency.
”What’s your favorite food?” Felix asked.
“Oh, ah, I like jjajangmyeon,” Chan said quickly.
“You’ve never made it,” Felix said, sounding puzzled. “Actually, I haven’t seen you eat at all.”
“I do eat,” Chan defended uncomfortably.
“You must,” Felix mused, half to himself. “To keep a physique like that.”
“He asked me what it is we do,” Hyunjin told Chan one day. “You know, to afford this house and everything, since we look so young. I panicked and said I sold my art, and that you worked remotely trading stocks. I don’t think he bought it.”
Chan sighed wearily. “Well, he’ll be off the crutches in a week. Maybe we can convince him to leave.”
He tried to do it gently. If things were different, he would never dream of asking Felix to go. When he wasn’t asking uncomfortable questions, he was a delight to be around. The house felt warmer with him in it. Chan found himself fixated on him when he talked, his hands dancing in the air. He grew to know the sweet curl of his lips when he smiled, the low rumble of his laugh, the lines of his eyes.
“Felix,” Chan said casually one evening. “It’s been a delight to get to know you, but—I mean, you’re almost healed, and we just—wouldn’t want to keep you from your life, you know.”
“You want me to leave,” Felix said. His words cut through the room like a knife.
“It’s not that, we just—”
“It’s alright,” Felix said quietly. “I know I’ve intruded on your lives. Something—is different, about you two. I’ll go.” He drew a breath. “But first, I want you to answer a question. Can you get Hyunjin, please?”
Chan turned to stare at him. “What?”
“Please,” Felix repeated. Chan had never seen him so serious, not even when he had explained his past. His eyes were clouded and distant.
“Alright,” Chan said, not knowing what else to do.
Chan brought Hyunjin back to the dining room, where they sat opposite Felix at their table. Felix was studying his hands where they were clasped in his lap. After a few long moments of silence, he looked up.
“I just want you to answer me honestly,” he said. “Please don’t try to tell me I’m crazy. You can—you can even kill me after you answer, I just want to know.”
“Why would we kill you?” Hyunjin asked.
“You’re not human, are you?” Felix blurted. “Not anymore, anyway.”
The silence was heavy. Hyunjin stiffened beside Chan. They could hear the tick of the clock down the hall.
When they didn’t reply, Felix pressed on. “I think you’re vampires,” he said, “which I know sounds nuts, unless I’m right. And you’re sitting there staring at me like that, which I think means I’m right. I—I promise I won’t tell. I swear. No one would believe me anyway. And I don’t have anybody to tell! I just—I just want to know.”
Chan exchanged a brief glance with Hyunjin, and then sighed. “Yes,” he said quietly. “You’re right.”
Felix’s jaw dropped. “Really? I mean—that’s it?”
“What else would you want us to say?” Chan asked.
“I just—I don’t know, it seems like kind of a big deal,” Felix said. “And I mean—you don’t want to eat me? Why didn’t you, when you found me in the woods?”
“Ah,” Chan said, “no, I’ve never really enjoyed drinking from humans. My father was killed that way.”
“You had a father? No, of course you did. I’m sorry,” Felix said in a rush, shaking his head. “Um, so if you’re not going to eat me—or, um, kill me—can I—can I stay?”
“Stay?” Hyunjin echoed. “You don’t want—to go back?”
Felix spread his hands. “I told you, there’s nothing left for me there. I’m sure my old apartment has already been cleared out and sold to someone else. People probably think I’m dead by now. If they haven’t come looking, they won’t. I don’t have a family, or friends. I hated my life there. Here—it’s different. I don’t have to worry about so many things, I don’t have to deal with people I don’t like. And—and there’s you.” He was looking at Chan when he said it, faintly embarrassed. “If you—if you still want me to go, I’ll go. And I meant it, I won’t tell anybody. Just—I wouldn’t mind staying.”
“We chose to save you,” Hyunjin said slowly, giving Chan an imploring look. “We made you our responsibility. I’m sure it’ll be alright, right?”
“I can be useful,” Felix added before Chan could reply. “I mean, I can go out during the day, you know? And I can, like, clean and stuff. I’ll stay out of your way.”
Chan held up a hand to stop him; he had a feeling Felix would just keep talking until he turned blue if he didn’t. “Alright,” he said. “But you’re not a prisoner here, okay? You may leave when you wish. Just—as a favor to us, please don’t mention anything about us, to anyone.”
Felix nodded quickly. “I understand,” he said.
And so Chan’s life changed once again. Now that they no longer needed to hide it, having Felix around was easy. He danced with Hyunjin, went with him to tend to his garden. He helped Chan cook, teaching him recipes he’d learned in the time he spent living alone.
“I’ve never had access to a nice kitchen, or a fully-stocked fridge,” he admitted. “I only wish you could try what I make.”
Chan smiled at him. “I can’t digest it,” he said apologetically. “But it always smells good.” Felix beamed at him in response.
There was the lingering question, of course, of what would happen as Felix aged. He had expressed no desire to be turned—and Chan wasn’t sure he would agree to do it, even if he asked—but it was inevitable. Felix would grow old, and eventually die, and Chan and Hyunjin would have to bury him.
But, Chan reminded himself, that wasn’t now. Now, Felix was full of life. Winter had turned to spring, and soon it became summer, and Felix spent time outside, never straying far beyond their yard. Chan would watch him from the window as he picked wild flowers and chased birds on his freshly-healed leg. He’d come back tanned and smelling of honey, presenting his haphazard bouquet to the both of them. “A handful of sunshine, for you,” he said. “Look, feel the petals. They’re still warm.”
When summer gave way to autumn again, Felix helped Hyunjin harvest pumpkins from his garden while Chan gathered firewood. That evening, Chan taught Felix how to make a fire without a match or a lighter while Hyunjin sketched in an armchair.
“Now you try,” Chan said, blowing it out before it could catch.
He watched over his shoulder as Felix dutifully rubbed the stick between his hands. “Like this?” he asked.
“Faster,” Chan said. “Good.”
It took much longer than Chan’s demonstration, but eventually he got it to light. Chan snatched up the burning stick, nearly whittled all the way through, and used it to light the wood stacked in their fireplace. “That was so cool!” Felix gasped, watching as the flames grew.
Chan grinned. “You did very well,” he said warmly.
When he hugged him, Chan glanced over Felix’s shoulder and caught Hyunjin watching them intently. He smiled, and Hyunjin smiled back.
Felix’s birthday passed, a gentle reminder that he was growing older. But it was alright. He was young still; he had another sixty years at least, and these last few months seemed to have passed slower than usual. Sixty years felt like eternity. Chan went out late the night before while Felix was sleeping to buy him a cake. After he blew out his candles the next morning, Felix coaxed both of them into trying just a tiny taste of the frosting.
“A little bit can’t hurt, right?” he wheedled. “I eat things I can’t digest all the time. C’mon, it’s sweet.”
Chan closed his mouth around the prongs of the fork Felix was holding out to him, tips just barely covered in icing. It really was sweet.
The weather turned stormy. Felix still liked to take walks around their yard, even in the rain, and neither Chan nor Hyunjin stopped him. One day, it began storming very suddenly, and Felix burst through the doors a few minutes later, soaked through to the bone and teeth chattering as he struggled to free himself from his jacket.
“Here,” Chan said, hurrying down the stairs to help him. “Hold out your arms.”
They got his outside layers off and Chan took them to the laundry room while Felix went to run himself a hot shower. When Chan came to check on him, he found him burrowed under the covers, still shivering.
Chan dug around for a thermometer and coaxed Felix to take it. It came back reading 37.9.
“I’ll get you some tea,” Chan said. “Honestly, I’m surprised this is the first time you’ve fallen ill.”
He brewed some chamomile tea, and brought it back down. Felix waved him away as soon as he received it. “You’ll catch it if you come too close.”
Chan laughed. “I am impervious to sickness, silly,” he said. “Do you want another blanket?”
“Oh,” Felix said meekly, wearing a self-deprecating smile. “Yes, please.”
Chan sat with him until he finished his tea and his eyelids had begun to droop. He took the cup and switched off the light. “Get some rest,” he said quietly. Felix was already half asleep, nestled under the covers. “Goodnight.”
He almost bent down to kiss his forehead, aborting the movement so suddenly the mug nearly slipped from his hand. Feeling awkward, though thankful that Felix hadn’t seen, he slipped from the room as quickly and quietly as he could.
Though Felix hadn’t witnessed it, he felt strange around him afterwards whenever they were alone together. It was odd—he only now began to notice how long Felix’s eyelashes were, how soft his hair. He spent many hours sitting at his side, watching over him as the cold ran its course. There was a tug in his stomach when he looked at Felix now. If it wasn’t a loaded thing to say—because he didn’t mean it like that—Chan would call the feeling hunger.
It didn’t help that Felix just seemed to be a naturally affectionate person. He liked to give hugs, and he didn’t like to be alone. Even after he recovered, Chan thought he seemed a little more clingy. If he wasn’t with Chan, he was with Hyunjin—Chan passed the ballroom one day to see the two of them dancing together, nose to nose. Surprisingly, this didn’t spark jealousy in Chan. Instead, what he felt was curiosity.
The first snow fell. It had been over a year since they found Felix in the woods. They went out after the moon rose at Felix’s request for a snowball fight. Chan had never laughed so hard in his life, even when Felix accidentally caught him in the lip with an errant throw. After Felix bade them goodnight, Hyunjin and Chan went out to hunt.
“You know,” Hyunjin said quietly as they strolled back towards their home. “I really quite like him.”
Chan blinked. “I do, too,” he replied, not sure exactly how Hyunjin had meant it.
“I think he likes us, too,” Hyunjin continued as Chan unlocked their back door.
“I’ve gotten that impression as well, yes,” Chan said.
“Would you want to—maybe—I mean, I know it’s not conventional,” Hyunjin said, following Chan up the stairs to the kitchen. “But...” He gestured towards their fully-stocked fridge. “We’re already here, you know?”
Chan nodded slowly. “But what if we’re wrong? What if he doesn’t want it?”
“We’ll just… suggest it. Gently. I really don’t think he’ll say no,” Hyunjin said. “Maybe in a couple nights—just, before he goes to bed, ask if he wants to stay instead.” When Chan hesitated, Hyunjin leaned in. “You can’t pretend you don’t want him, Chan,” he said softly.
And so Chan agreed. They set things up, changing the sheets in one of the bedrooms so Felix would have something clean and soft to lie on. They both offered to help make dinner with him, sipping at wine glasses of fox blood while Felix ate. Chan could tell that Felix knew they were up to something, knew they were stalling. He ate slowly, leaving pockets of silence for them to speak up, but Chan wanted to wait until he was done with his dinner before he tipped his world on its head.
Felix stood to put his dishes in the sink. “Thank you for sitting with me,” he said. “I think I’ll head to bed?”
“Felix,” Chan said softly, “would you—and you can say no—would you like to join us, tonight?”
Felix turned, looking back and forth between the two of them, surprise painted across his face. He was blushing, Chan noticed; the warm redness had risen to not just his face, but the skin of his neck as well. “I-if you promise you won’t break me,” he managed after a moment, eyes wide.
Hyunjin laughed quietly. “We know how to be gentle, Felix,” he said.
Chan stood. “Is that a yes?” he asked, holding out his hand.
“Yeah, yes,” Felix stuttered, reaching out to take it. He giggled sweetly when Chan pulled him close. “I’ve been thinking about it, actually,” he admitted as Hyunjin stood, too, coming up to his other side. “But I—I wasn’t sure you’d even want me.”
Hyunjin leaned in, dark hair framing his face and creating shadows that sharpened the angles of his features. “Why wouldn’t we want you?”
Felix blushed harder, if it was possible. “I don’t know,” he whispered.
“I’m glad we can set that straight, then,” Hyunjin said, dipping his head and stealing a kiss.
Chan was happy to let Hyunjin seduce Felix a little as he guided them down the hall to the room they prepared. It was a short walk, but by the time they reached the bed, Felix was already sighing, his grip on Chan’s hand tight.
Chan pried himself free and closed the door behind them—not that it mattered, but there was something to be said for the enclosure. Anything that existed outside of this room didn’t matter, and they could be free of distractions.
Hyunjin had already laid Felix down on the bed; Felix clung to his neck while Hyunjin kissed him, one hand already exploring under Felix’s shirt. Chan took his time lighting a couple of candles before joining them.
Felix reached out to him as soon as he felt the bed dip; something lunged from Chan’s stomach to his throat at the gesture. He took Felix’s outstretched hand and kissed it.
Hyunjin pushed himself to the side, crawling up to sit next to Felix’s head. Chan bent forward and caught Felix’s lips with his own. Felix turned to him easily, moaning softly when Chan gave him a gentle nip. He shifted on top of the sheets, hips twitching. Chan had a feeling he wasn’t even aware of it himself.
“What do you want, baby?” Hyunjin asked Felix when Chan released him.
Felix blinked his eyes open; they were glazed and over-bright. “Uh,” he said softly. “I don’t know, what do you want?”
Hyunjin laughed, running his thumb over Felix’s spit-slicked and kiss-bitten lips. “I think I want your mouth.” Felix whined in the back of his throat, tongue poking out to chase Hyunjin’s finger. “Do you want that? Want to suck my cock?” Felix nodded. It was cute, Chan noted, how quickly he struggled with words, how easily he grew pliant in their hands. “What about Chan?”
“Want Chan, too.” He sounded frustrated for a moment, but then his face cleared, giving way to delight. He turned his sweet eyes on Chan. “Will you fuck me?”
The same wave of wanting rose in Chan again and he struggled to reply. “Of course,” he said. He stroked Felix’s soft cheek. “Let me get some lube.”
He rummaged around in the drawer of the bedside table while Hyunjin and Felix got each other out of their clothes. Chan found Felix’s hands on his waist when he turned, tugging at the hem of his shirt. He let Felix undress him, let him press wet, open-mouthed kisses to his chest and stomach.
“I’ve been wanting to see your body,” Felix said breathlessly.
“And?” Chan asked. “What do you think?”
“Come closer and maybe I’ll tell you,” Felix said, pulling Chan towards him.
Hyunjin was the one to arrange them on the bed; he sat back against the headboard, Felix on his hands and knees with his head in Hyunjin’s lap, and Chan behind him. Hyunjin threaded his fingers through Felix’s hair, tipping his head back when Felix closed his mouth around his cock. Chan watched the way Hyunjin’s throat moved as he swallowed down moans, mesmerized for a minute before remembering he was supposed to be prepping Felix.
He knew he was going to have to be much more careful with Felix than he was with Hyunjin, but Felix only moaned, muffled by Hyunjin’s cock, when Chan pushed his first finger into him. If anything, it was Chan who was surprised. Over the years, he’d forgotten the feeling of heat on his skin. Felix was warm, warm all over. Chan’s breath caught in his throat.
“Is it too cold?” he asked, pausing to gauge Felix’s reaction.
“Mm-mm,” Felix said, sounding insistent. He gave a tiny shake of his head; Hyunjin huffed out a breath.
Chan opened him up slowly, making sure there was very little resistance before adding another finger. Felix rocked back against his hand, head bobbing rhythmically between Hyunjin’s thighs. Hyunjin kept his hips very still, hand in Felix’s hair to help guide him.
“Baby,” he said when Felix took him deeper, “you’re going to hurt yourself.”
“Mm-mm,” Felix argued.
“You asked us to be gentle,” Hyunjin reminded him.
Felix pulled off quickly. “I asked you not to break me,” he said, indignant. “I can take it. I’ll tap your thigh if it’s too much.” He tipped forward, pressing his nose into Hyunjin’s stomach. “Want you to fuck my throat.”
Hyunjin pet Felix’s hair. “Alright,” he said. “I just don’t want to hurt you, that’s all.”
“You won’t,” Felix said with a note of finality.
The room filled with wet noises; Chan was on four fingers now, and Felix was doing his best to take Hyunjin’s entire cock in his mouth, base to tip. Hyunjin gasped, thighs trembling, and Chan caught his eye.
“How does it feel?” he asked, massaging Felix’s prostate with his fingers just to make him whine.
Hyunjin dropped his jaw open, moaning softly. “He’s so good,” he murmured, lovingly resting one hand over the base of Felix’s skull. “He’s so warm.”
Chan removed his fingers so he could slick up his cock. He trailed a fingertip down the length of Felix’s cock with his free hand, smiling when he shivered, the muscles in his shoulders bunching up. “He’s so hard.” Felix whimpered around Hyunjin’s cock.
Hyunjin laughed softly, looking down at him. “He just likes to tease,” he said. “He always gives you what you want, in the end. Chan is good like that.”
Chan didn’t reply, just lined himself up with Felix’s entrance and pushed in. Felix seized up around him; he pulled off of Hyunjin’s cock, coughing dryly. “Oh, fuck,” he gasped.
Chan stopped moving and ran a soothing hand down his back. “Are you alright?” he asked.
Felix made an incredulous sort of noise. “I’m getting fucked by two of the most beautiful people on the planet, I think; of course I’m alright,” he stuttered out, adding, “holy fuck,” like he couldn’t believe Chan would even ask. “As long as you keep moving, I’ll be okay.”
Chan pressed his lips together to hide a smile. “Just checking,” he said, pushing his hips forward again. Felix took Hyunjin’s cock back into his mouth, and Chan bottomed out. With his worry for Felix gone, he could actually focus on feeling him. He was warm and wet around Chan; he almost swore he could see the heat rising off of his body. A thin layer of sweat gave a slight gleam to his back; his skin looked like honey in sunlight, rich and shining and sweet.
He opened up around Chan, too; soon, he was moving with ease. He bent over Felix’s body, kissing the knobs of his spine as he rolled his hips forward and back. It was all he could do to keep himself in check, to not be too rough. Felix took him so well, the sweet clutch of his body making lust cloud Chan’s mind. He tried his best to keep a steady rhythm, cradling Felix’s body close to his own.
Felix drooled on Hyunjin’s cock, letting out a steady string of low moans. Hyunjin was arching away from the headboard, knees bent and toes curling. His breath hitched—he would come soon, Chan knew—but before Chan could even say anything, Felix wailed, shaking and spasming around Chan’s cock, releasing Hyunjin so he could cry as he came, untouched.
“Sorry,” he gasped out. “Just felt so good, and I couldn’t—”
“Don’t apologize,” Chan said.
“Think you can come again?” Hyunjin asked.
“Yes,” Felix said immediately, “just give me a second—fuck!” The pitch of his voice curved up into a squeal as Chan pulled out.
“Sorry, baby,” Chan said. “I just thought Hyunjin should get a turn.”
“You’re already covered in lube,” Hyunjin pointed out.
“I know,” Chan replied placidly. “Come here so I can prep you while Felix catches his breath.”
“Oh,” Hyunjin breathed out. He extracted himself from underneath Felix, moving to the side and then walking down the bed on his knees to meet Chan.
Chan pulled him close, kissing him soundly. “You looked so good,” he murmured against his lips.
“So did you,” Hyunjin replied.
Chan gave him another kiss, and then turned him around, tapping between his shoulder blades to get him to bend over. Hyunjin went willingly, curving towards Felix, who had rolled over onto his back to watch.
“Hyunjin,” Felix mumbled, reaching out to cup his jaw.
“Hi, baby,” Hyunjin whispered. “Did it feel good?”
Felix nodded, startling when Hyunjin stiffened as Chan pushed two fingers in at once. “Did I do good?” he asked. He stroked his thumb over the muscle in Hyunjin’s jaw.
Hyunjin nodded, a little unsteady. “Almost made me come,” he said.
“Next time,” Felix said.
Chan made quick work of it, opening Hyunjin up efficiently and a little roughly. He was still achingly hard, and he didn’t want to wait if he didn’t have to. As soon as it was easy for him to pump his fingers in and out of Hyunjin’s body, he withdrew. “Think you’re ready, Felix?” he asked, pinching Hyunjin’s hip when he made a noise of complaint at the loss of Chan’s fingers.
“Yes,” Felix answered over Hyunjin’s gasp of surprise.
Chan squeezed some lube out onto his palm, reaching forward and wrapping his hand around Hyunjin’s cock. “Move closer to Hyunjin, then,” he said. “Spread your legs.”
Felix did as he was told, trembling, while Chan stroked Hyunjin a few times to spread the lube.
He let Hyunjin get settled first, watching as he pushed into Felix’s body with a moan. Felix was still loose, Chan was sure, but Hyunjin took his time anyway. Once he bottomed out, Chan spread his ass with one hand, using the other to guide his cock into Hyunjin’s hole.
“Oh, god,” Hyunjin forced out. Chan didn’t have to see his face to know how he looked—eyes squeezed shut, mouth open and jaw locked, pink tongue almost poking out between his teeth. “Oh, fuck, I can’t.”
“Can’t what?” Chan asked, bringing his hips back and then thrusting in again. Hyunjin cried out, nearly crumpling on top of Felix.
“I’m already—already so close, I don’t—it’s too much,” Hyunjin stammered. Chan could hear a slight waver in his voice.
“Come if you want,” Chan said impassively. “Felix and I will just use your body when you’re done.”
Hyunjin moaned, arms shaking. Felix brought a hand up to Hyunjin’s cheek. “He’s mean, isn’t he?” he commented.
Hyunjin nodded. “So mean,” he whimpered as Chan pushed into him again and again, each thrust rougher than the last. Chan knew that his movements were causing Hyunjin to rock in and out of Felix, so there was really nothing he could do to stave off his orgasm.
Chan fucked him fast and cruel, happy that he didn’t have to hold back now. Hyunjin buried his face in the crook of Felix’s neck; Felix wrapped his arms around his little waist and blinked up at Chan over his shoulder.
“Touch his chest,” Chan said to him. “He likes it when you play with his nipples.”
Felix nodded, pulling at hand between their bodies. Hyunjin convulsed with a moan. “Sensitive,” Felix murmured, pressing his lips to Hyunjin’s shoulder. “Gonna come?”
“Yes, fuck,” Hyunjin whined. He was shaking, and Chan could see the tension in his neck as he strained against the inevitable. A few seconds later, Hyunjin cried out as pleasure wracked his body. He rutted into Felix, panting.
Felix let out a quiet moan. “Fuck, it’s so wet,” he whispered. Hyunjin was still coming, body twitching between them. Felix’s eyes fluttered shut, eyebrows pinched. “‘M so full.”
Chan groaned in the back of his throat, the sound rumbling down through his chest. Hyunjin had gone limp beneath him, weak from his orgasm. Felix rubbed his back slowly; the sight of the two of them tangled beneath him sent a shock of desire through Chan’s body.
“He’s crying,” Felix announced. He sounded sympathetic, but not worried.
“He likes dramatics,” Chan replied. Hyunjin sobbed in protest. “And he knows he’s a pretty crier.”
“You like it when I cry,” Hyunjin managed, lifting his head to make sure he was heard. Felix giggled airily.
Though Hyunjin sobbed and complained, he never once asked them to stop. Once he’d recovered a little, he reached down to stroke Felix, all while Chan continued to fuck him, chasing his own release. The three of them rocked together like that, Hyunjin still crying softly into Felix’s shoulder, and Felix’s breath picking up as the minutes stretched on.
“Does it hurt?” Felix asked Hyunjin.
“Y-yes,” Hyunjin hissed. “I like it, though.” Chan glowed with pride. He wasn’t sure what it was, exactly, but he liked that he could show Hyunjin off to Felix; he liked that he could share with both of them. He tightened his grip on Hyunjin’s hip.
Felix nosed at Hyunjin’s neck, impressively calm. “I think I’m gonna come again,” he said quietly, flicking his gaze up to Chan.
Chan grit his teeth. “I’m close,” he said. “Let me see you come.”
Felix nodded, shifting beneath Hyunjin. Chan could feel his arousal creeping over him, and he watched through heavy-lidded eyes as Felix threw his head back, little body twisting in the sheets as he came. Hyunjin kissed along his neck, arm pumping steadily as Felix panted out moans.
The sight of it was enough for Chan; he felt his body tighten, and then he was coming, too, soft moans escaping his lungs with every breath as he slowed to a stop inside Hyunjin. He slumped over as he came down, unlocking his fingers where he had been clutching Hyunjin’s waist.
A few beats of silence passed between them. Chan could hear Felix breathing, could hear the way his breath was slowly returning to normal. He shifted accidentally and Hyunjin winced.
“Ow,” he complained quietly. Chan groaned and pulled out as swiftly and gently as he could. Hyunjin yelped anyway; Chan had to press a few fingers to his lips to stop himself from moaning when he saw his come leak out of Hyunjin’s hole.
Hyunjin flopped to the side, pulling out of Felix in the process. His hair was a mess, but he was smiling.
Chan sat back on his heels, looking over the two of them, a smile spreading over his face, too. “Are you happy?” he asked them.
Felix opened one eye, nodding. “We can do it again, right?”
“I hope so,” Hyunjin said.
It was easy, opening their relationship to Felix. Chan and Hyunjin both adored him, and he settled into his new role in their lives quickly. It felt natural, almost. Of course they had Felix; of course he had them.
They waited a few months to have a conversation about what it would mean, and when they did, Felix surprised them.
“I know it might be selfish of me,” he said, “but I don’t want to be turned.” He looked back and forth between them. “I know that means you’ll—you’ll have to lose me, but I don’t want it. Is that—is that okay? I mean, can you forgive me?”
“There’s nothing to forgive,” Hyunjin said. “This isn’t a life I would ever want to force upon somebody.”
“It’s alright,” Chan added. “We won’t have to worry about that for quite some time, anyway. And I want you to be happy, Felix. We both do.”
“Okay,” Felix whispered. “I just—it’s not that I don’t want to be with you. I—I love you, both of you.”
Happiness, a new achingly sweet sort that Chan had never felt before, pierced him through his chest. “I love you too, baby,” he said softly.
“Love you,” Hyunjin echoed, wrapping Felix in a tight embrace. “We’ll just have to make use of the time we have.”
We have decades, Chan thought as Felix pulled him into the hug. Decades. It feels like forever.
Things were more exciting around the house, that much was certain. It wasn’t always all three of them together; Chan and Hyunjin still spent time alone with one another while Felix slept; other times, when Hyunjin was busy, Chan would take Felix into his lap and let him ride him until he couldn’t come anymore, until he was weak and shaking and teary-eyed. He also knew that Felix and Hyunjin spent plenty of time alone without him, but it didn’t matter. At the end of the day, they loved each other. And they had time.
Years passed; they celebrated Felix’s birthday each September. The seasons changed, and changed again. Hyunjin’s garden grew. They fell into a comfortable rhythm, maintaining the house and keeping each other company. Chan found he didn’t even miss his work so much anymore. Things here were good, and while he still resented the way he and Hyunjin had been pushed into this life, he knew he wouldn’t change it now. They got Felix out of it, and that alone was enough.
One particular day, he found himself alone. The house was quiet, and he assumed Felix and Hyunjin were keeping each other company elsewhere. That was fine; he was in the middle of checking over their air systems after a winter of keeping the heating on high so that Felix wouldn’t catch cold. He circled through the attic, dusting the vents, and then made his way down to the fifth floor, then the fourth. He snaked through spare bedrooms, planning to pause in his study to look a few things over before continuing.
But when he stepped through the door, he saw Hyunjin standing at his desk. Worse, he saw him holding one of his old journals.
He looked up when he heard Chan enter, and Chan saw that his eyes were red-rimmed and frightened.
“Hyunjin,” Chan said, unsure what to do.
“What is this?” Hyunjin asked quietly, holding up the journal.
“I… I keep records,” Chan said weakly.
“I see that,” Hyunjin said. His voice was shaking. “Is it true?” he whispered.
“Is what true?” Chan asked, hoping in vain that he was asking about something else, anything else.
“It wasn’t that other vampire that turned me,” Hyunjin said, and Chan’s heart plummeted straight down to the first floor. “It was you.”
“I did it to save you,” Chan said. “I—I asked you, if you wanted me to save you, and you said yes. I didn’t know—if I had known—”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Hyunjin flung the journal aside, striding across the room until they were just inches apart. Pain was all Chan could see in his eyes; it rolled off him in waves—hurt and betrayal and anger. “Why did you never tell me?”
“I didn’t—I thought it would be easier,” Chan said. “You believed it was him when you woke up, and I didn’t want to tell you the truth because at the time I thought—I thought you would be in my life for a few weeks, and then I’d never have to worry about it, and by the time it became clear that that wasn’t the case, it felt too late to tell you.”
“You did this to me,” Hyunjin whispered.
“Hyunjin,” Chan pleaded. “I’m sorry.”
“You lied to me!” Hyunjin shoved him aside, storming out of the room. After a moment of stunned silence, Chan hurried to follow him.
“I’m sorry,” he repeated, nearly tripping as he rushed down the stairs after Hyunjin. “I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to hurt you. Hyunjin, I’m sorry!”
Hyunjin kept walking until he reached the first floor. He stopped at the bottom of the stairs and looked up at Chan, who froze where he was on the landing. “What else have you been keeping from me?” he asked. His voice was raw. “Centuries, Chan. Centuries we’ve been together. I love you. You said you loved me! How could you keep something like this from me?”
“Please,” Chan said, walking toward him on shaking legs. “That’s it. That’s all, I promise. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” He’d reached the bottom of the stairs now. He held out a hand, tentative. “Please.”
Hyunjin smacked his hand away. “How can I forgive you? How can I trust you?” He’d raised his voice; his eyes were wild. “I can’t believe I spent all these years not knowing. Betrayed by you, betrayed by my own mind! I wish I had never met you! I wish you had let that vampire kill me!”
“Hyunjin.” Chan tried to take his hand, but Hyunjin grabbed him and yanked him to the side. Chan stumbled, caught by surprise, and when he looked up, Hyunjin was stalking toward him, one arm raised.
Chan ducked, narrowly missing the blow, scrambling to the side. But Hyunjin followed. He was crying now, and it was all Chan could do to fend off his fists as Hyunjin wept and tried to hurt him. He wondered if he should even be defending himself; after all, Hyunjin had every right to be angry. It was all Chan’s fault, all of it. Chan closed his eyes, putting up an arm as Hyunjin reared back.
But the blow never came. Chan heard a sickening crunch, and a sharp gasp. His eyes shot open, and landed on the figure doubled over beside him. But it wasn’t Hyunjin.
“Felix!” Hyunjin cried.
“Please stop fighting,” Felix said, voice impossibly small as he crumpled to the floor.
Chan’s ears were full of ringing. Panicked, he dropped to Felix’s side, gingerly rolling him onto his back. Felix wheezed wetly, and Chan took in the unnatural concavity in his side.
“No,” Chan said, running a hand along the wound. “No, no, no.” He looked up at Hyunjin, who had collapsed onto his knees a few feet away, staring in wide-eyed horror, then back down at Felix.
“It’s okay, Chan,” Felix whispered.
“I,” Chan said, shaking. “I can save you.”
“No,” Felix said weakly. He coughed, and blood spilled over his lips. One of his ribs must have punctured a lung. “I don’t want it.”
“Felix,” Chan mumbled, desperate. “Please.”
“I don’t want it,” Felix repeated. His voice was so thin. “If you turn me, Chan, I will never forgive you.”
Chan drew in a sharp breath. “Okay,” he whispered. “Okay, I won’t.” He leaned close, taking one of Felix’s hands in his. Tears stung at his eyes, blurred his vision.
“I’m sorry.” Hyunjin had crawled closer; he took Felix’s other hand. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you. Why did you step in?”
“Didn’t want to see you fight,” Felix said. He blinked slowly. “Not your fault,” he added. “You couldn’t have seen me coming.”
Chan searched inside himself for anger towards Hyunjin, but found none. Maybe he didn’t have the space for it. All there was was hurt and grief and longing; he gripped Felix’s hand tight and knocked his forehead against his shoulder.
“I love you,” Hyunjin was whispering. “Felix, baby, I love you. I’m so sorry.”
“Love you, too,” Felix replied. “You and—and you, Chan.”
“I love you,” Chan mumbled, and then he was crying, tears falling fast and hard. “Felix.”
“Hey,” Felix said, He coughed again, a terrible wet noise. “You made me so happy. You—you know that? I was happy here, with you.”
“You made us happy, too,” Hyunjin said.
Felix drew another shaking breath. “It hurts,” he whimpered.
“Don’t talk, then,” Chan murmured. “It—it won’t hurt for long. It’ll be okay.”
“Chan,” Felix said softly.
“Baby?” No reply; the silence stretched on for a few beats too long, and Chan realized he could no longer hear the labored rattling of Felix’s breath. He reached up to check for a pulse in his neck, but felt nothing.
Hyunjin let out a terrible scream, but Chan barely heard him. He clung to Felix’s hand.
A finite amount of time seems like infinity when you don’t have to confront the end of it. Chan had pushed the ending away, refusing to worry about it, sure that he wouldn’t need to. It felt like forever. It felt like eternity, until eternity only existed in the time it would take for Felix’s hand to go cold in his own. He thought they had so much time. They were supposed to have so much time.
“I love you,” Chan repeated. He knew Felix couldn’t hear him.
He sat back, and saw Hyunjin still bowed over Felix. The reality of it began to settle into his skin. It was just the two of them again. The little pocket of joy Felix had given them was gone, leaving them with next to nothing.
“Hyunjin,” Chan said. Hyunjin didn’t reply. “Hyunjin?” He touched his shoulder gently, but still got no response. Carefully, he reached over Felix’s body and lifted Hyunjin off his chest.
His eyes were closed, like he was sleeping. His face still had a healthy pallor, and Chan quickly realized he must have passed out. Good, he thought. Reality is going to be hard for him to bear.
Chan, with nothing else to do, carried Hyunjin to one of their rooms and laid him in bed. He wrapped Felix’s body in a white sheet. He cleared Felix’s old room, putting his trinkets away. He cleaned out the fridge, shelved clean dishes. They wouldn’t need them again. He prepared for Felix’s funeral and waited for Hyunjin to wake up. He did not cry. If he kept moving, he thought, maybe the grief wouldn’t hurt as much.
Hyunjin stayed unconscious for three days. A deathly sort of silence settled over the house. It felt wrong, in a way, to stay there, Chan thought—death had no place here, in the house where he and Hyunjin and Felix loved each other. But at the same time, it was fitting. Felix had brought warmth and happiness to this house. It would only make sense that all the good things would leave once he was gone.
Chan happened to be at Hyunjin’s bedside when he woke. Confusion clouded his face, but he recognized Chan right away. “What happened?” he asked hoarsely. “The last thing I remember, I think I was trying to find you.” Chan froze. “What is it?” Hyunjin asked. “You look troubled.”
“Hyunjin,” Chan began. “I think you’re confused.” He pushed Hyunjin’s hair off his forehead, an old habit to check for illness. But Hyunjin was cold as ever under his fingers. “Felix, he... you…”
Hyunjin frowned lightly. “Felix,” he said. “Who is Felix?”
He doesn’t remember, Chan realized, his thoughts racing. It was happening all over again—Hyunjin had forgotten, and Chan was left with a choice.
“Nothing,” Chan said quickly. “Do you remember why you were trying to find me?”
“I think I wanted to hunt,” Hyunjin said, taking the distraction. “I was hungry.”
“Are you hungry now?” Chan asked. “I can bring you something.”
“Please,” Hyunjin said.
“One second.” Chan gave him a swift kiss on the forehead and then withdrew from the room.
Hyunjin didn’t remember any of it. The last few years—gone, wiped from his memory, or shoved in some locked box in his brain. Chan wished his mind were half as merciful. If he could forget it all, he thought he would.
Fine, he thought to himself as he dug out a frozen bag of blood and put it in the microwave to thaw. I’ll just leave it be. I’ll lock down my files and burn my old journals and make sure he never discovers them. We won’t have any more visitors, and that’ll be it. I will carry it, so Hyunjin does not have to. At least he’ll be spared the pain. It’ll be better this way.
Chan’s heart felt heavy in his chest. He brought the blood to Hyunjin in a cup, watched him drink.
“So—what happened?” Hyunjin asked.
“Oh,” Chan said, “I found you unconscious in the foyer. I’m not sure.”
Hyunjin handed the empty cup back to him. “Maybe I was just really tired,” he suggested. He didn’t seem too concerned.
“Maybe,” Chan agreed. “Why don’t you rest some more? I’ll just be doing some chores. The sun just set, too; I might go hunt. I’ll be back in a few hours.”
Hyunjin had already closed his eyes. “Alright. Don’t be too long.”
Chan gathered up all his journals. He’d long since transferred all the data; he’d just been keeping them as a backup. But it was clear now they would do more harm than good. He gathered Felix’s body from where he’d carefully arranged him in the freezer. As quickly and quietly as he could, he slipped out the back door.
He sprinted, just in case Hyunjin was looking out the window, not slowing until he reached the trees. Luckily, finding a place would not be hard. He rediscovered the same clearing by the stream, the place he had first seen Felix, some months ago. He had been planning to take Felix there on the next year’s anniversary of their meeting.
He reached the clearing easily, setting first Felix’s body, then his journals, down on the ground. He gathered some wood, dry from the summer heat, then built and lit a pyre, using his journals to help grow the flames.
Finally, he picked up Felix’s corpse. He had begun to thaw, though only a little. It felt wrong to see him so cold. Felix had always been warm.
Chan lay Felix down in the flames and stepped back quickly, using a bit of his magic to make the blaze stronger. Even with his power, it would take hours for the body to burn. He would have to hurry home before the sunlight became too strong.
For the first time since Felix’s death, Chan allowed himself to weep. His shoulders shook with it; he watched the flames blur in his vision as the fire destroyed the beautiful shell that once held the boy he had loved so sweetly, so fiercely, so selfishly.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered. He didn’t know what else he could say. He didn’t know if Felix could hear him. In a way, he hoped he couldn’t. He hoped he was already resting.
Eventually the flames died, having run out of fuel. Chan swept the ashes into a simple metal box. He dug a grave, small and deep. It was easy work, with his supernatural strength, and only took a few minutes. He laid the box gently at the bottom, then covered it quickly. The sky had grown light; he would need to catch something and return soon.
He did not leave a marker; Hyunjin might find it. Instead, he committed the spot to memory, determined to write it down once he got back. Another thing he must never forget; another thing he must carry.
He found two rabbits, killed them, and headed for home. The sun was on the rise; any longer, he realized as he stepped back inside, and he may have been in danger. But it was no matter now. He went to the kitchen, drained the rabbits, stored away the blood. He cleaned dirt from under his fingernails.
“Chan?” Hyunjin was in the doorway, wrapped in a blanket. “You were gone for a while, are you alright?”
“Yes,” Chan said, turning. “Just got a little distracted.”
Hyunjin stepped closer. “You smell like burning,” he said.
“The sun is up,” Chan said, gesturing out the window at the pale yellow light. “I nearly got caught in it.”
“You should be more careful,” Hyunjin said, coming closer still, so that Chan had no choice but to open his arms to him.
“I’m alright,” Chan replied softly, rubbing his back.
“I’m glad,” Hyunjin said. “Come rest with me.”
Chan curled up with Hyunjin in his arms, blankets a soft shield around them. They didn’t speak; Hyunjin traced patterns into Chan’s arm while Chan absently stroked Hyunjin’s hair. The sun continued to rise outside, flooding the room with rich light.
The warmth didn’t reach Chan, though. It may as well have been bleak and grey. It felt like there was a stone in his chest—no, not a stone. A hole, a black void, one that had been easy to ignore when Felix was here to fill his days and nights, when his proximity to life had been so close it was almost like he had been alive himself. He had forgotten the loneliness, the muted terror, the gaping dread; he had even forgotten the wanting, the craving inside of him for something more, something he could never have.
He knew that forgetting what had happened would not lessen the chasm, but at least it wouldn’t hurt as much. He envied Hyunjin—a bitter spike of emotion that pierced their love like a spear, twisted it, soured it like old blood. His ignorance would not keep him sane, but it would keep him content. Chan would be driven to a different kind of madness.
It’s the same now as it was then. Hyunjin has not remembered it. Chan has forced himself not to forget. He skims his records, keeping the truth of it fresh. The pain is sharp, but the blade has dulled over time. Chan knows that soon, resignation will replace the grief.
He finds himself scanning back to his first entries. He drinks in the pictures of his friends, his mother, hungry. Things were simpler, even then. He wishes he had been killed with his mother in that house. He would not have so much tethering him here, now. Now, there is no escape.
He hears familiar footsteps down the hall and quickly closes everything out, picking up the book on his desk and turning to a random page.
“Chan,” Hyunjin says, and Chan looks up, pretending to be startled. He crosses the room to him as Chan puts the book down; Hyunjin kisses him chastely. “Oh,” he says when he pulls away. “You look sad.” His eyebrows pinch as he strokes Chan’s cheek with his thumb.
Chan closes his eyes. “It’s nothing,” he says gently, so light he nearly convinces himself. “Just missing you.”
He leans in, kissing Hyunjin’s stomach over the fabric of his shirt, reaching out to wrap his arms around his waist so he can pull him into his lap. Hyunjin laughs breathily, letting Chan situate him, letting him place his limbs.
At least there’s this. At least Chan has this. It is twisted and wrong, but it is all he has. Even after all these years, he is hardwired to find comfort in familiarity. And it’s alright, really. He loves Hyunjin. Doesn’t he? He’ll do anything to keep him, anything to protect him. That’s love, isn’t it? He loves him, or at least remembers loving him—and, really, what’s the difference in the end?
For one moment, Felix’s sweet, bright eyes flash through his mind, and the nauseous tug in his stomach is back; the sick, dizzying wanting and bittersweet affection. It’s different from the way he feels about Hyunjin; this he knows with a final certainty. With Hyunjin, the connection is a habit now, ingrained in him; he knows his role and he plays it to perfection, every time.
It doesn’t matter. He cares less and less about what is right—who will judge him for it, anyway? There is nobody left in this world that can. He pulls Hyunjin’s shirt open and mouths over his chest just to hear him moan. The spark it lights in him is dull, but he does not care about that, either. What matters is that this is what he has, and it will have to be enough. It is enough.
He’s almost sure of it.
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