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“They’re here!” Xiumin called. Pulling the door open, he smiled as he bowed. “Hello.”
“Hey.” Chunji gave him a flirtatious onceover, gaze flickering up and down him with frank interest, then strolled into EXO’s dorm. “How’ve you been, hyung?”
“Fine.” He watched L.Joe and Changjo shuffle in behind Chunji. L.Joe looked shy, his face averted; he chewed on his lip as he set down his phone on the table near the door. Changjo, on the other hand, looked around with bright, curious eyes, smiling at Xiumin and quickly scanning the dorm, taking everything in. His gaze settled on something behind Xiumin and his smile grew. Xiumin glanced back, wondering what - - oh, Suho.
“Hello, welcome,” Suho said, bowing and shaking their hands. “Sehun-ah! Come out!” He turned to Xiumin, and he looked very earnest. “This isn’t a date.”
“I know,” Xiumin said patiently.
“You have to be responsible. You can’t interrupt and you can’t listen. Play music and turn the TV on so there are other sounds. Don’t bother them. Don’t get distracted. You have to take care of Sehun if he needs anything.”
“I know!” he exclaimed, exasperated. “It’s okay, I understand. Sehun knows what he’s doing. Don’t worry so much.”
“You all have my number?” Suho asked Chunji and L.Joe.
“Shouldn’t you listen to your hyung?” Changjo asked. “He said not to worry so much.”
“Yes,” Xiumin said. “You should listen to your hyung, Suho. You should be a more humble dongsaeng.”
Suho looked annoyed. “I-”
“Aren’t you setting a bad example right now?” Changjo asked.
“Ya!” Laughing, Chunji kicked Changjo. “Stop being a brat.”
Making an “ow” face,” Changjo turned away, rubbing his leg.
“The other members are out,” Suho explained. “Some of them have schedules. They aren’t supposed to come back here until later, after you’re gone, but if they do, they won’t interrupt.”
“I can handle it,” Xiumin insisted. “Go, just go.”
“Sehun-ah!” Suho called. “Maknae! I’m going!”
“Bye, hyung!” Sehun shouted back.
With a smile, Suho put an arm around Changjo, turning him toward the door. “Should we pick up your other members on the way? Make it a treat for your hyungs, too?”
“Hell, no,” Changjo said. While Suho laughed, he cleared his throat. “I mean, no thanks, hyung, I don’t think that they’ll want to come. They can’t come, they’re too busy. Oh, no, it’ll have to be just us.”
As Suho and Changjo left, closing the door, Chunji rested his elbow on L.Joe’s shoulder. “Your maknae too busy to say hi?”
“Sorry, Chunji hyung. I’m here,” Sehun said. As he came over to them, L.Joe smiled. When Xiumin had seen him a few minutes ago, he’d had on basketball shorts and an old tank top. Now he had on black pants and a button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Was this how he dressed for a date? That was so cute and weird. “Hi, sunbae,” he said, smiling at L.Joe like he was really happy. He’d been in a great mood all day; nothing they’d done to him had bothered him.
L.Joe blushed, smoothing his bangs out of his eyes. “Hi.”
Sehun took his hand, bowed to Chunji, gave Xiumin a smug little bratty look, and took L.Joe back to his room.
“So.” Chunji sniffed, rubbing one foot over the other. “Want to make out for a while?”
From his seat in the corner, Changjo looked around the restaurant. It was dark, with wooden paneling and strategic candlelight trying to give each table the illusion of privacy. He was definitely the youngest diner there. When they’d walked in, the host had looked right past them like, “You can’t be here on your own, aren’t your grandparents with you?”
Across the table, Suho smiled at him. In the warm glow of candlelight, Suho looked like an angel, handsome and loving. He wondered if Suho had brought him here as an equal, because he was a man now, or as a grown-up treat for a kid dongsaeng. That second thought irritated him. He wanted Suho to think of him as mature, as another adult. He wanted Suho to take him seriously. Maybe it was convenient in some ways if Suho underestimated him - - he could get away with more - - but it rankled.
Privately, he wondered what Sehun and L.Joe were doing and what it was like to do that stuff in EXO’s dorm, but he wouldn’t bring it up. Suho treated Sehun and L.Joe’s sex life like a government secret, like whatever happened behind closed doors was sacred. Besides, he had to be careful how many times he brought up sex; Suho was usually easy-going for the first few and then started to get tense about it. So instead he asked, “How was Hong Kong? How was the festival?”
“It went really well. Such a big crowd! It was great to see so many fans.”
They talked about festivals for a while, and where they’d performed for the biggest crowds, and the frustration of visas and passports and unexpected delays. It was nice, being in this quiet corner, just the two of them, paying attention only to each other. Changjo felt like he’d won something every time Suho laughed. He liked hearing Suho’s stories. It was good to know that even EXO had to deal with the same complications and headaches of travel as the rest of them.
After they began to eat, Suho asked, “You shot a video in Hong Kong, didn’t you? ‘I Wanna Love?’”
He nodded. “You know it?”
“Of course I know it. I’ve seen all of your videos.”
He grinned, testing. “Yeah? What do you remember about it?”
“Everything,” Suho said confidently. “I remember C.A.P.’s braids and Chunji’s pineapples, and you dancing in the middle of the street in that big coat. Why wasn’t there more footage of that?” he chided. “I wanted to see more. You danced so well.”
“You remember too much! Why do you remember so much?” He felt flattered and taken by surprise.
“Of course I remember. When it opens and you start the whole video saying, ‘I love you,’ your fans must have been so happy. Angel has to love things like that.”
“Other members said it, too,” he said, happy and embarrassed. “I just said it first.”
“Did someone else say it?” Suho smiled at him, teasing. “I didn’t see anyone else but you.”
L.Joe was fascinated by Sehun’s room. It was so normal. It was a little messy, with three beds and fan art on the walls. It looked like the room of any successful idol.
During his first visit here, with the rest of Teen Top, he hadn’t been in here with Sehun. He toured it again, taking everything in. He wasn’t self-conscious this time; he wasn’t embarrassed about seeming too interested. He touched the framed fan drawing on the wall. He touched the clothes hanging in the closet.
This nice, youthful room was where his dom lived. Where his owner dressed and slept. He wished that he could stay here. Stay like a pet. Sleeping at the foot of the bed or in a cage on the floor, available whenever his owner called to him. He’d never admit that to anyone else, but it felt good to admit it to himself, to be honest about his desires, to feel so connected and sure of what he wanted.
Sehun’s voice was matter-of-fact behind him. “Television.”
For an instant, L.Joe froze, feeling caught. He’d looked forward to this, he’d fantasized about it, about being dominated on Sehun’s turf. But now that it was here, was he ready? Could he handle it?
But even as his doubts rose up, they dissipated. He was turned on, the heat of his need evaporating his uncertainty. Facing Sehun, he went down on his knees without being asked, kneeling right there in the middle of the floor, his hands behind his back. “Sehun-ah,” he said, and it came out like a moan. He was ready for this; he needed it. He wanted to be used and disciplined and embarrassed right here, where Sehun lived. He craved it. “Sehun-ah, please.”
Sehun laughed like it was a great joke. His eyes twinkled with happy amusement. “You’re so cute when you’re desperate. Crawl to me.”
L.Joe couldn’t help it; he glanced at the door. He knew that it was locked, he’d watched Sehun lock it, but he still had to double-check, to make sure. But it was okay. No one would come in. No one would interrupt; no one would see him like this. Feeling shy but wanting to please, he moved onto all fours. His head down, he crawled toward Sehun, not rushing, wanting to seem obedient.
“Has it been too long since our last session?” Sehun asked. “Are you deliberately testing me or did you forget everything I taught you? Do you even care what I want from you, or is this all about you and what you want?”
Shocked, embarrassed, L.Joe felt horrible. He’d disappointed his owner! He hated letting Sehun down. “I’m sorry, Sehun-ah.” Cringing, he shifted lower, closer to the floor.
Sehun moved, stepping around him. He wanted to rub his face against Sehun’s long, bare feet and beg for forgiveness. Hands gripped the waistband of his track pants and Sehun jerked them down, snatching his underwear down, too, exposing him. Shocked, he gasped, and Sehun smacked his ass. The jolt made him jerk away and he whimpered, recognizing the cue, arching his back and popping his ass upward. “Show it to me,” Sehun ordered in a cold, hard voice, and L.Joe whimpered again, forcing his spine into a deeper arc. “You know what I want, you know what I’m here for, so show it to me.”
“Yes, Sehun-ah,” he panted, gazing upward, craning his neck. He had to get everything else exactly right, he had to make up for this.
Reaching down, Sehun had something in his hand. A bone. A white plastic toy dog bone. “Open,” Sehun commanded.
His - - no - - he - - humiliated, uncertain, L.Joe opened his mouth. Sehun pushed the bone between his lips, and he gently closed his teeth over it, gazing up, watching Sehun’s expression for cues. Was this right? Was this what his owner wanted?
“Go from this bed to that one and back,” Sehun said. His face was stern. “Keep going until I tell you to stop.”
L.Joe began immediately, wanting to demonstrate obedience. He didn’t think about it, didn’t question it; he just did it. Unhesitating, servile obedience was a pleasure to him, a relief. It was easier not to ask himself whether he liked this or what he got out of it or what it meant; it was easier just to do it and let Sehun be in charge.
He focused on crawling, going back and forth across the room, moving slowly but steadily. He concentrated on keeping his back arched and his ass up; that was his priority, that was what Sehun wanted. As he crawled, his ass twitched, swaying from side to side; the more he tried to hold still, the more aware he was of the movement. His track pants bunched around his knees, hindering movement, but he couldn’t take them off or pull them up; he just kept going, crawling, back and forth, back and forth. His cock was hard, but being achingly aroused was part of being near to Sehun.
He held the bone between his jaws. It kept his mouth open, and he’d begun to drool, saliva dripping from the corners of his mouth. He couldn’t swallow enough to stop it, and he couldn’t drop the bone or wipe his mouth, so he just kept going, mewling with embarrassment as drool slid down his chin.
He’d crawled back and forth, pacing the length of the room, too many times to track when Sehun spoke again. “Here.” The sudden snap of Sehun’s fingers made him jump. Hurrying, he went right to Sehun, stopping only inches away on his hands and knees, his head down in humble submission. It felt so good to submit to Sehun’s will, he whimpered, so turned on that he had to struggle to hold still and not hump Sehun’s foot.
“I’ll let you look around the room,” Sehun said. “This is where I live and sleep, and you should be familiar with your owner’s den. Find three things that you like, and bring them to me. Go.”
At Sehun’s command, “Go,” he immediately began to move. It was an order, and he was an obedient pet. Once he was crawling away, his ass in the air, he tried to absorb Sehun’s other words, turning them over in his mind. Find three things that he liked. He liked everything that belonged to Sehun; how could he choose?
He had to get this right. He toured the room on his hands and knees, craning to see from his low vantage point. He liked this pet’s eye view of the room; it felt good to be in an inferior position.
He had to be careful, because Sehun didn’t live alone, and he didn’t want to choose someone else’s things. He wanted whatever he selected to be one hundred percent Sehun’s. Like he was. He knew which nightstand was Sehun’s, and he looked it over carefully. Three rings, a couple of scraps of paper, lube, skincare products. He wanted to choose the lube, because he wanted Sehun to use it on him. The rings were black and silver. Leather and silver. Intrigued, he moved as close as he dared, his nose almost brushing the nightstand. He’d never seen rings made of leather and silver before. It looked like a thin strip of smooth, black leather twined around a silver band. Each one was subtly different. So sexy. He wanted to see them on Sehun’s hand. Carefully, he picked one up, and then he crawled back to Sehun.
Sehun put a hand down, and he placed it on Sehun’s palm.
“Good pet. Go get two more things.”
Warm from Sehun’s praise, he crawled away. He looked under Sehun’s bed, but there was nothing there. He crawled over to the closet. So spacious. He studied the shoes in racks on the floor. Could he tell which were Sehun’s? He could! He recognized that pair of black sneakers, and the pair beside it, and the white pair next to that. Eyeing the racks, calculating and guessing and straining his memory, he mentally marked off which section of the rack was Sehun’s. If he was right, then in among all of the expensive, barely-worn shoes, Sehun had a pair of beat-up, worn-out, decrepit tennis shoes. He wondered how old they were. They couldn’t be that old; Sehun was still growing. This had to be Sehun’s go-to pair, the shoes Sehun slipped on thoughtlessly, the ones Sehun grabbed just to have something on. They were right on the front edge of the rack, ready at hand. Oh! Suddenly he remembered seeing them by the door when he’d come over before. He remembered glancing at them and wondering whose they were, since EXO tended to dress in chic fashions and up-to-date labels.
This was something that Sehun used carelessly and took for granted. Something that had been a part of countless minor, forgettable moments in Sehun’s life. Envious, L.Joe took the right shoe, since Sehun was right-handed. He crawled over to Sehun, and Sehun laughed. “Hyung, something so ugly?”
Saliva dripping from the bone in his mouth, he nodded.
“Okay.” Sounding amused, Sehun took it from him. “Go ahead, one more thing.”
Only one more. He had to choose carefully. Looking around the room, he felt overwhelmed by his choices. It was a profound experience to be in Sehun’s territory at all. Then his gut clenched, and he knew what he wanted. He crawled over to the bed and picked up Sehun’s pillow. Keeping it off of the floor, he crawled back carefully, in a slow shuffle, and then he handed the pillow up to Sehun.
“Good pet.” Sehun crouched in front of L.Joe, setting the shoe on the floor, the pillow across his lap, the ring on his beautiful, long, slim finger. On his left index finger. L.Joe wanted to kiss his perfect hands. “Since this is your first time here, we’ll do something special. Of the things that you chose, you can smell one, lick one, and keep one. You can’t change your mind, so be smart.”
Keep one?! He could smell one? Lick one? He wanted to lick all of them! He could keep something that belonged to Oh Sehun? He already had his precious, precious collar, but that was something that Sehun had bought just for him. This would be something that Sehun had selected and bought for himself, a personal possession, a part of his life.
Overwhelmed, L.Joe whimpered. He stared at the pillow, at the ring, at the shoe, and he couldn’t decide. Each one was so different; each one was important in a unique way. Full of excitement, panicked at the thought of making the wrong decision, he became agitated. He wanted to smell both the shoe and the pillow, he needed to lick all three of them, could he really keep something of Sehun’s? Ecstatic and miserable, he whined, shifting, pawing at the floor.
“Hyung, you’re a mess.” Sehun’s affectionate tone soothed him a little. When Sehun touched the bone in his mouth, he relaxed his jaw, and Sehun took it from him. Realizing how much his jaw ached, he worked it a little and licked his lips. “Take your shirt off and wipe your face with it.”
“Yes, Sehun-ah.” He did as he’d been told.
“It’s a hard choice, isn’t it? Ask me to choose for you.”
He licked his lips again. Hopeful, he looked up as far as Sehun’s chest. “Please, Sehun-ah. Will you please choose for me?”
Relieved, he hummed. Having Sehun take easy command of the situation felt like bliss. “Thank you, Sehun-ah.”
Snapping his beautiful fingers, Sehun pointed at the shoe on the floor. “Smell it.”
Immediately, he thrust his face into the shoe. He inhaled deeply, over and over again, sniffing it all over. It smelled like something he was unfortunately very familiar with, the old sweat and dirty feet of an active nineteen-year-old. But this was Sehun’s scent specifically, and he drew it deep into his lungs, savoring it.
Before he was ready, Sehun picked the shoe up and set it aside. Not finished with it, he followed it for a couple of inches, still sniffing. But if Sehun didn’t want him to have it anymore, then he couldn’t have it, so he put his head down, submitting.
Sehun stripped the case off of the pillow. At the sight of the naked pillow, his heart beat faster. Sehun was so good to him and knew him so well. The case would be washed soon and, for all he knew, might go on other pillows on other beds. But the pillow itself was Sehun’s, and would stay on Sehun’s bed, and would support Sehun’s head night after night. After a long day, Sehun would come back to this pillow, would snuggle up to it, would spend hours on it. It was an intimate, regular part of Sehun’s everyday life.
“Lick it,” Sehun said, holding it out.
“Oooohhh, yes, Sehun-ah, thank you.” He licked it, and when Sehun didn’t immediately pull it away, he licked it again. He ran his tongue over and over the soft, cloth surface, nuzzling against it, sucking it into his mouth. He licked as close to Sehun’s hands as he dared, and then he licked in long, bold stripes, back and forth, trying to cover as much of the pillow’s surface as he could. It wasn’t as pungent as the shoes, but he could smell Sehun here, and he moaned ecstatically. Letting him become so familiar with this pillow was one of the most generous things Sehun had done for him, and letting him leave his mark on it was a huge gift. When Sehun moved it out of reach and tossed it carelessly onto the bed, he moaned again, undulating, too turned on to hold still. “Thank you, Sehun-ah, thank you.”
“Now, this.” Sehun held his hand up, and L.Joe eagerly followed the motion, whimpering excitedly and staring at the ring. “Be a good pet for me, and I’ll let you take it when you go.”
“Yes, Sehun-ah. Thank you, Sehun-ah.” Hopeful, determined, he licked his lips, unable to take his eyes from Sehun’s hand. He’d be the best pet he’d ever been.
After they left the restaurant, Suho took Changjo to a jeweler’s shop. Wondering what they were doing there, Changjo wandered from case to case, admiring all of the bling.
“Let me see your watch,” Suho said, holding out a hand.
“What for?” Slipping it off, he handed it over.
Instead of answering him, Suho looked it over, then approached the counter with it. “We’d like to have this engraved, please.”
He hadn’t expected that, and he smiled, liking it. When the clerk asked what they wanted, he watched Suho’s face, curious. This might tell him a lot.
Suho said it right away, calmly, like he’d had the answer prepared. “‘For the precious creation, from your guardian.’”
The clerk raised his eyebrows and gave them an odd look, but wrote it down and went away with the watch.
Changjo nudged Suho with his elbow. “I think he’s making assumptions about us.”
“Ah, maybe.” Suho’s expression suggested that he didn’t really care, which made Changjo wonder. “Let’s go shopping while we wait for them to finish.”
They went shopping, and Suho bought him anything he asked for. He asked for too many things, just to see what would happen, and Suho got all of them. Loaded down with bags, they went back to pick up his watch. Suho gave it a close look, really examining it, then approved it and paid for it. Then Suho put it on him, clasping it on his wrist. Suho took care of him in so many ways. He couldn’t imagine that it would be any different if they were dating. Well, there’d be sex, he assumed. But other than that, Suho couldn’t treat him any better. He wondered if Suho realized that. Was it a sign of how generous and caring Suho was overall, or a sign of how much he specifically meant to Suho?
They went back to EXO’s dorm. No one else was in sight, and Suho seemed exasperated that Xiumin was having sex instead of sitting up keeping watch. Changjo didn’t think the fact that Xiumin and Chunji had snuck off to bone was irresponsible, so much as inevitable.
He and Suho played around in the kitchen, making a fancy, messy sundae. They each had their own spoon, but Suho fed him here and there, anyway, and who was he to complain? Eventually, Xiumin and Chunji showed up, not at all apologetic. And then after that, Sehun and L.Joe walked out, Sehun looking powerful and smug and trying to be discreet about it, L.Joe looking shy and vulnerable and flustered.
While everyone said good-bye, Changjo hugged Suho. Smiling at him, looking super affectionate, Suho cupped his face in both hands. “Work hard and be humble. Tell your fans that you love them and listen to your hyungs.”
“I will.” He hugged Suho again, and Suho made a pleased sound, hugging him back tightly. “I love you, hyung.” He wanted to see if Suho would say it back to him in front of witnesses.
“I love you, too.” Suho rubbed his back, then pulled away. “Tell C.A.P. that I’ll call in a few days to arrange another date.”
“Sure,” Chunji said. “Xiumin hyung, good-bye, I love you,” he said, kissing Xiumin’s hand.
“Yes, darling, I love you, too,” Xiumin said, cupping Chunji’s face and kissing all over his cheeks.
Chunji squirmed away, laughing. Suho laughed, too. Changjo couldn’t believe how easygoing he was tonight. What was going on? Something had changed; something was different.
On his way out of the building, he thought it over. He and Suho had been close, and then he’d messed up and Suho had cut him off. Now that Suho had let him back in, things were even better between them. He was precious to Suho, and Suho didn’t care who knew it. Since when was Suho so relaxed about personal relationships? If Suho was just happy to be close again, that was terrific, but he wanted to know if anything else had helped to put Suho in such a good mood.
In the van, Chunji nudged L.Joe. “Did he say anything about Infinite?”
“Infinite?” L.Joe repeated. He kept rubbing his hip. Did it hurt? Had Sehun done something to him? Did he have something in his pocket? What was it? “No, why?”
Chunji shrugged and didn’t answer.
No way had Chunji not meant something by that. Chunji didn’t talk about Infinite casually. “What’s going on with Infinite?” They’d been at the festival in Hong Kong with EXO; Suho had mentioned it over the phone and at dinner tonight.
“Nothing,” Chunji said. He turned his head to look out of the window.
Chunji wasn’t going to talk any more about it. Changjo furrowed his brow, trying to remember what Suho had said. Some passing remark about how Infinite was there and it was nice to get to know sunbaes, something about how incredibly talented and hardworking the 2010 sunbaes were and how hard EXO would work to live up to their standards. He’d taken it as Suho’s usual flattery; he hadn’t thought any more about it. There had been something else. Something like, “And so handsome! Chunji, L, our Changjo, so many handsome sunbaes debuted that year!” He couldn’t pick up anything from that. Maybe it meant that Suho liked the way Chunji and L looked, but everyone liked the way they looked. They wouldn’t be very good visuals, otherwise.
EXO and Infinite had been getting closer, lately. Not only in Hong Kong, but before that, too. Had they started screwing in Hong Kong? That explained why Chunji was pissed off, but it didn’t explain why Suho was in such a good mood. Unless Suho was just happy to be arranging more orgies. Or unless Suho was getting laid, too.
He tried to picture Suho turning down every single member of Teen Top and then jumping into bed with Infinite. It didn’t make any sense. Suho was very private, but not completely unpredictable.
Changjo decided not to overthink it. He’d just keep his ears open. Then again, he always did.
Resting his chin in his hand, Baekhyun looked into the dressing room mirror. In the mirror’s reflection, Suho was on the phone, nodding and smiling. To no one in particular, Baekhyun asked, “What’s up with that?”
“With what?” Chanyeol asked, standing behind him.
“Why does Suho hyung get the guys nobody else can have?”
In the mirror, Chanyeol looked surprised. “Suho hyung has guys?”
“Like Changjo. Everybody was like, ‘The maknae’s off-limits, hands off,’ and Suho hyung was all over him. Now L sunbae will barely talk to anybody, but he’s best friends with Suho hyung.”
“Changjo isn’t off-limits anymore,” Chanyeol said. “If he is, I’m in some real bad trouble.”
“L sunbae can’t be that great,” Baekhyun decided. “He’s decent-looking, I guess, but we’re all idols, aren’t we? I mean, I’m around good-looking guys all of the time. Suho hyung’s handsome, and I have to look at him every day, whether I want to or not.”
“I think that I want things because I can’t have them, sometimes,” Chanyeol said. “It makes it more appealing.”
“I think that Suho hyung likes collecting strays,” Sehun said from the next chair. “He just wants to take care of L sunbae because L sunbae needs to be taken care of. Sunggyu hyung and Woohyun hyung don’t need him.”
“He’s a successful sunbae, he’s an idol and an actor, why does he need a daddy?” Baekhyun asked.
Chanyeol grinned. “I’ll play daddy for him, if he wants.”
“Oh, are we role-playing?” Lay asked, looking up. “I’ll play.”
Suho lowered his phone a little, frowning. “Members! Let’s behave.”
“Sorry, hyung,” Baekhyun said. He sighed, his gaze drifting. Oh, Chen and Kai were changing. He shifted in his chair, watching.
August 9, 2014
by Matthew Haldeman-Time