Hi everyone - I'm hard at work on the next installment of the White Tigers series, Men of Tokyo: Sudden Heat. This one tells the story of Koji's friend Hiru and Quan Chan both of whom appeared in Sudden Bliss.
Hiru spends a weekend exploring and having passionate sex qith Quan Chan, a master White Tiger. Of course, they end up falling in love, but life circumstances seem to be forcing them apart. Will they find a way to each other? Or will Quan Chan end up with the Golden Dragon, the hottest, most alluring young man in Shanghai?
Teaser: (unedited. May differ slightly from final version)
Quan Chan slid open the soji to Hiru’s room and led him inside. They showered together and Quan Chan delighted in being crammed into the tiny shower against Hiru’s large strong body.
When they got out, he dried Hiru off and Hiru insisted on drying him in return. He accepted and stood on the bathmat, surrendering to the gentle way Hiru wiped the towel over his chest and arms, as if he were afraid of hurting him.
Turning, Quan Chan caught sight of his own reflection in the vanity mirror and caught a soft breath. The man staring back at him looked…different. His eyes were brighter even though they still appeared troubled. His face looked relaxed, the skin of his cheeks blushing and…well…radiant. Behind him, Hiru was busy at work, wiping the towel across his back, then down his ass and thighs. The soft material grazed the underside of his balls, sending a pleasant shiver through him, the promise of what was to come.
Hiru stood up again and gently scrubbed the towel against the back of Quan Chan’s head. Quan Chan smiled at Hiru’s reflection and found his gaze suddenly caught in Hiru’s shiny hair. How sexy it had been this weekend to rake his fingers through that hair. He sighed. Hiru should have had the same experience.
“What are you thinking, Quan-san? If I may ask?”
Only then did Quan Chan notice Hiru had set the towel aside and stood behind him, staring at them both in the mirror.
“You look so pensive,” Hiru added.
“I was just thinking I should grow my hair out.” For you. He studied the dark shadow over his scalp, the way he’d looked for so long. “I haven’t seen my own hair since I was fourteen.”
Hiru’s eyes suddenly widened. His large hands cupped Quan Chan’s shoulders. “Is that when you started…this path?”
Quan Chan’s gut lurched. Shit! He hadn’t meant to say that. All he needed now was for Hiru to pity him, the way Kiku had all these years. His whole body stiffened under Hiru’s touch. There was no backtracking now. Not that it mattered. After Monday, who knew what the future would hold? “Yes, Hiru-san,” he said softly. He turned, not dislodging Hiru’s hands and leaned back against the vanity. “I started when I was fourteen.”
Hiru frowned. His serious gaze searched Quan Chan’s. “Why, Quan-san? Why so young?”
Quan Chan sighed again and glanced down at his feet. Until this moment, Kiku was the only other friend he’d spoken to about his past. “It’s a long story. Do you want to hear it?”
Hiru nodded immediately. “Of course,” he said softly. “I want to know everything about you.”
Heat suffused Quan Chan’s face. Hiru’s openness always had this effect on him. He drew in a deep breath. “My mother grew up in the countryside outside of Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. When she was sixteen, she fell in love with the schoolteacher who’d been sent to teach in the schoolhouse in her village. He was young, just out of the university and was taken with her because she was so beautiful. He taught her to read classics that he kept hidden from the government. They had a love affair and she became pregnant. He was going to marry her but then, one morning, some army people came in uniforms and took him away.”
Hiru’s mouth dropped open and a look of horror infused his eyes. “That’s terrible.”
He nodded. “Yes. It got worse. My mother was determined to find him. Of course, there was no way to do so, but she was determined. She left her home and went into Shanghai. She spent hours every day in the government buildings, waiting and asking for him, begging for just enough food to keep going.” Quan Chan paused. Just speaking of it made the image rise of his mother as a young woman, pregnant and frightened, desperate to find the man she loved, the father of her child. On a bench in a sterile hallway she spent her days waiting.
“Finally,” he continued, “she needed to find work. There was no other way to survive. She didn’t want me to die inside of her from malnourishment so she went searching for work. She found work in a brothel, doing laundry and cooking for the women there. They gave her a bed to sleep in so she could carry me to term.” He looked down again before continuing. “Shortly after she had me, the brothel owners threatened to put her out on the streets unless she started taking customers. She needed to bring in money if she wanted to be able to stay there with a child. She was trapped.” Quan Chan’s heartbeat had risen as he spoke, feeling his mother’s grief as his own. “She didn’t want to be wandering the streets with a child to feed and she didn’t want to give me up, not only because she loved me but because I had come from her union with my father.”
“Oh, Quan-san.” Hiru’s voice was heavy with pain.
Quan Chan decided to continue before Hiru could say more. Pity was unbearable to him, and had been his entire life. “My mother made me go to school when I was little, but when I got older, I wouldn’t go. I’d sneak out and run around on the streets, looking for food.” He omitted the part about getting beat up a lot of the time. “But when I was fourteen, I stumbled upon the White Tiger temple. It had been established a few years earlier, in a neighbourhood close to my mother’s brothel. The men there took me in. They gave me food, clothes, a warm clean bed and meditation. I’d been there ever since when Kiku came along years later.” He fell silent and looked into the other man’s eyes.
Hiru was staring back at him, his dark eyes misted over. “Quan-san,” he said against softly, his hands still resting on Quan Chan’s shoulders.
“Please, Hiru-san, don’t feel badly for me. I’ve had a good life, better than most of the people living out there in the world. My mother is happy now. She’s married to a kind man, a professor at Fudan University who fell in love with her when she still worked in the brothel. She fell into her circumstances out of love for my father and she’s been a wonderful role model for me. Because of her influence, I have friends like Kiku and Ryu and Koji. All the men here.” And now…you.
One of Hiru’s hands went to Quan Chan’s cheek and cupped it. “I don’t feel badly for you, Quan-san,” he said. “It’s just…when you were speaking, I was picturing you as a boy on the streets and wishing I could have been there to help you.”
Before Quan Chan could answer, he found himself being pulled into Hiru’s arms. A strong warm embrace surrounded him. He yielded, allowing Hiru to hug him close. “Thank you, Hiru-san,” he breathed against the muscle of Hiru’s chest. Damn, the man made him feel so…safe.
Hiru’s hand moved across his back, partly caressing in a comforting way, partly exploring, enjoying the muscles there. Fingertips pressed into the ridge of muscle along Quan Chan’s spine and Hiru’s thick dragon nudged his as it filled and hardened.
Quan Chan released a long, deep sigh. How beautiful it was simply to enjoy this embrace, to feel accepted and desired without the difficulties he’d experienced with Kiku. Of course, he and Kiku had experienced great pleasure with each other, but there had been the damned visions, and then, when Quan Chan had come to stay here, his love affair with Kiku was painful for Ryu. Quan Chan’s conscience had never been clear around Ryu and even though Ryu had eventually befriended him, there had always been an undercurrent of tension between them. Many times, Quan Chan had thought to back away from Kiku, but could never do it. He’d been powerless to stay away from Kiku, desperate himself for the comfort and sensuality Kiku was capable of giving.
Would he be as powerless now, when the circumstances might demand he leave?
He closed his eyes and palmed Hiru’s broad back. This sure as hell wasn’t the time to think of such things, not when he had this magnificent, virile, passionate man in his arms.
Turning his face slightly, he brushed his lips over Hiru’s pectoral muscle. Hiru let out a soft groan and his fingertip agitated against Quan Chan’s skin. Hiru’s large dragon was thick and hard now, pressing with insistence against Quan Chan’s lower abdomen.
Quan Chan let his hands slide down Hiru’s back and over his hips, seeking those perfect, hard ass cheeks. His tongue found Hiru’s nipple and licked back and forth, pulling short hard breaths from Hiru as the small disk tightened.
Pulling back, he smiled up at Hiru’s flushed face. “There are advantages to having practiced as long as I have, Hiru-san,” he said, his own voice low and husky.
Hiru didn’t answer. His lids were heavy over his eyes and he stared down at Quan Chan, breathing heavily. His hands stroked small, agitated circles across Quan Chan’s back and his dragon twitched again, as if reminding him to give it attention.
Well, that was precisely what he intended to do.