"Infinite Infatuation"A Samurai Champloo slash.
Jin had never been happier to see a humble little inn. A coveted piece of civilization made even more appealing by two days spent escorting several farmers and their assorted livestock to market. He wondered if the small amount of coin the farmers had advanced him would cover a bath before he had to contemplate the return trip.
His eyes wandered with the assurance of a professional over the people gathered in the common room. Tables were scattered around the plain room. A shrill woman's voice called through an open doorway. Into which a man clearly past his prime disappeared for a moment then hastened around the room with food and drink. Jin relaxed to see the usual mix of farmers, laborers, and the girls serving them. Nothing to be concerned about here.
Jin strode toward the inn keeper. A sudden flash of red coming from his left drew his hand to his daishō as he spun to face...Mugen?
Mugen's wild and familiar maniacal grin met Jin's surprised gaze. Jin waited until Mugen released his grip on his daishō before he took his hand from the hilt of his sword.
Jin returned his gloating leer with an almost apologetic shrug of his shoulders. "Fancy meeting you here."
"What brings you to our fine establishment?"
Jin just stared. Mugen wasn't exactly merchant material. Yakuza maybe, but not merchant.
"I know it's hard to believe," Mugen explained with a self-depreciating shrug, "but it's my job to keep the peace here. It's not a bad gig and it keeps me fed. Plenty of excitement on the side." Mugen punched him in the shoulder. "You?"
Jin swept the room with a puzzled glance, ignoring the sting. Idiot still hadn't learned any control. After all trouble they had been through together, he didn't understand how Mugen would find anything about this quiet village "exciting."
"I'm here for a day or two. I've got to escort the farmers back home. I don't image this place offers baths?" Jin inquired with hopeful optimism.
"Yeah, around back. Just ask Eiji-san." They wove through the groups of farmers and workmen eating and drinking. When they reached a table in the back, Mugen flung himself down on the stool in front of a plate of dango.
Mugen picked up one of the sticks and slid the last dumpling into his mouth. He shook the stick in Jin's face while chewing his meal. "A bath is exactly what I would expect you ask for first. Here have some." Mugen slid the plate in front of Jin.
"Eiji-san!" Mugen waved a stick with its three impaled dumplings at the inn keeper. "My friend would like some more of these."
An affronted shout interrupted the quiet hum of conversation that had been building since Jin entered. He turned to a table across the room where some men played Chō-Han. A man stood and pointed his finger at another. Jin had no difficulty interpreting the situation.
Mugen stood. "I'll be back."
Jin sat back and watched Mugen move with sinuous beauty at odds in a man so deadly. He could be as graceful as a dancer when he was in his element, but equally awkward without some conflict to give him poise. Jin shook his head, only Mugen would be elegant in his violence. And what was he doing noticing and admiring?
When Mugen returned, Jin set down the last empty stick and pushed back from the table. "It would seem that all the rooms have been let for the night. I'll see what-"
"Hey man, I have a room here. I'll just have them set out another futon. Eiji-san won't mind."
Jin gave him a searching stare before nodding. "I'll just go have that bath then." He stood and went out the door the inn keeper had indicated when he brought the dumplings earlier.
How peculiar of Mugen, Jin mused as he stepped out of his bath. He couldn't see the man as a peace keeper. A rabble rouser, yes, but not a peace keeper.
He grabbed a bath sheet and set to drying his hair. Gathering the damp locks into a queue, Jin tied his hair back before washing his clothing in the used bath water. He so rarely had a chance to bathe himself much less his clothing. Jin finished wringing the last of the water out of the blue bundle of cloth.
Jin slipped on the threadbare yukata hanging with the towels. He would take his garments back to Mugen's room to dry overnight.
Returning from the bath, Jin could almost get what kept Mugen's interest in this inn. The common room had transformed into a rather boisterous collection of men drinking and arguing over Chō-Han and the women plying their trade. And true to form, Mugen was in the center of it all, just as loud and brazen as always. Jin smiled and watched the man in action.
Just the threat of force Mugen embodied defused trouble before any started. Exactly what an inn keeper would want protecting his interests.
"Ronin, I'll show you to Mugen's room."
Jin turned and followed the woman. Her disheveled kimono slipped down one shoulder. Her artful attempt at seduction was nearly as worn as the faded cloth failing to cover her charms.
She lead him to the end of the hall and kneeling, slid the thin rice paper door open. The room was small and plain. A futon covered most of the floor. A stand for Mugen's daishō occupied one corner and a small chest the other. Seems Mugen still believed in minimalism.
He whirled to face a whisper of motion at his back. The woman had let her hair down and moved into the room. She kept her eyes demurely on the floor as she brazenly reached for him. Her attempt to feign modesty repelled him.
"I have not the coin. You would do better to look elsewhere."
Abandoning her coy appearance, the woman gave him a pointed glare. Jin did his best to seem disappointed, not knowing if he managed. The woman flounced from the room, pulling her kimono back up her shoulders as she went.
Jin searched the room for somewhere to hang his cloths. He finally settled for draping his kimono and hakama over the empty daishō stand.
After tightening the sash on his borrowed yukata, Jin returned to the common room. The men seemed just as rowdy as when he had left earlier. He spotted Mugen back at his table, drinking sake.
"So--tell me--what are you doing here?" Mugen handed him a cup of sake.
Jin found himself recounting the minor jobs that he had taken along the way, and listening to Mugen’s accounts of his fights here. As the conversation wound down, he discovered that most of the patrons had left and they were both a little drunk.
Jin found being with some one he could pretty much trust comforting after all this time. They weren't exactly brothers, but brothers-at-arms. Mugen would cover his back, even if only so he could be the one to kill him, as he so often said, but never acted upon.
They stumbled back to Mugen’s room, holding each other up. Mugen still trying to make some point as his feet kept tangling in Jin's. Jin caught Mugen as he fell and slammed into the wall under the other man's weight. They stood there for a moment with Mugen leaning into him, breathing unsteadily into Jin's ear. The other man's breath tickled his ear and sent a shiver down his spine. With a lurch, Jin thrust the drunk back on his feet and set them both in motion again.
They stared nonplussed at the single futon in the room. The woman--in spite?--had never set out the second futon. Mugen, not the most stable at times, roared with laughter. Jin wasn't sure that he found anything funny in the situation.
"They must think you are my woman," Mugen gasped out between ridiculous guffaws. He slumped to the futon and waved his hand feebly in the air. "Must be the hair!"
Jin looked haughty and sniffed, "As I recall, the last time we were in a place like this. I satisfied four women and you didn't manage one."
"What?!" Mugen roared.
He swung one leg out and swept Jin's feet out from underneath him. Even drunk, Jin managed to land gracefully on the other end of the futon just out of Mugen’s reach.
"I can go longer than you any day of the week," Mugen insisted.
"Care to prove it?"
Mugen looked disconcerted for a moment, then shot back with, "All the women are taken at the moment. It's just you and me."
If he had thought that would end the argument, he had sadly underestimated their long standing pissing contest as well as the will of his opponent. With an inflexible look on his face, Jin said, "You're on!"
Mugen nearly panicked at that point. His mind looped on But we're both men! while his body froze in place for a moment too long. Jin pounced on him and reached into his pants before he could do anything. Then the well worn rivalry set in and he helped himself to whatever Jin sported under his yukata.
Both men gasped as their hands closed around the other's cock. The mutual stunned looks would have been comical under different circumstances. They hardened in each others' grasp. Mugen recovered first and with a hell bent look he began to pump Jin's growing erection. Not one to allow Mugen the upper hand, Jin promptly returned the favor.
In very short order, both swordsmen were moaning and panting for breath, as hands moved seductively over heated flesh. At first, they were somewhat awkward in their movements. Before long, they discovered a rhythm that promised dark pleasures neither had experienced before.
The hot skin covering Jin's cock felt smooth as silk over steel. The shaft grew moist in Mugen's hand, the loose skin covering the head sliding with every stroke. The unmistakable scent of sex filled the air.
The friction of Jin's callused fingers on his shaft made Mugen desperate in more ways than one. His balls drew up close. He wouldn't last long at this rate. He had to cum, but if he did, he would lose. He had never found himself in this kind of quandary before and knew he had to do something. And do it fast.
Mugen settled on leaning in and kissing Jin, knocking his glasses off in the effort. The initial shock of the kiss took the edge off for both of them. Mugen could actually see the goose bumps standing up on Jin. He didn't know if he should feel gratified or disgruntled by this. No longer in danger of blowing, he could take the time to focus on what they were doing.
At first Mugen's hand just slid up and down Jin's shaft, then he began to implement some of his favorite moves. Mugen pushed Jin's foreskin down, ran his thumb over the swollen edge of the crown and into the indention on top of the head. Jin shuddered and let out a breathtaking groan as Mugen smeared Jin's precum over the head of his cock.
Jin's yukata fell open, allowing Mugen to watch in fascination as he worked Jin's rod. The cock in his hand was, if possible, even larger than his own with a deep red head and surrounded by remarkably little body hair. He stared beguiled at the drops leaking down its length as the cock pulsed in his grip. Jin began to thrust into his hand.
He must have smirked in anticipation of his victory, because suddenly Jin's hips stilled. Mugen found himself on his back under Jin. He gathered himself to throw Jin off, when something intensely hot and wet covered the head of his cock.
Mugen just lay there trying to breathe and get the strength back into his limbs. Jin sucked lightly on the head of Mugen's cock. A velvety tongue caressed him, flicking around the edge of the crown and into the slit on top. His body began to tremble. He wouldn't--couldn't--stop it this time. The mouth holding him prisoner did amazing things, the likes of which he had never experienced before. He began to think that maybe, just maybe, he had been rash in taking the prettiest girl that time and leaving all the others to Jin. The women had obviously known their trade.
Jin grimaced at the sharp taste in his mouth. Why had those women behaved as if this were something to be sought after? Mugen tasted bitter, but he had to admit not as bitter as losing to Mugen. So he gathered his resolve and tried to remember some of the tricks the courtesans had used on him.
At first, Jin just sucked on Mugen's cock, but soon Mugen was thrusting and making him gag. Jin wrapped his hand around Mugen's cock to limit his depth and let Mugen do as he wanted. It sure made things a lot easier for him and guaranteed Mugen would lose it and the bet. Once Mugen's cock no longer pressed the back of his throat with every thrust, Jin's eyes quit tearing.
Jin ran his fingers over the balls pulled up tight to the other man's body. The panting and gasping immediately took on a more urgent note. Encouraged by these developments, his fingers further explored the body under him, stroking the soft skin behind the sac. Mugen began to buck in earnest.
Mugen could feel the lust coiled in his belly slowly unraveling. He pushed up on one elbow to watch himself sliding in and out of Jin's mouth. That mouth would fill with him on his up thrust, and hollow out as Jin sucked hard on his downward motion. Saliva glinted wetly down Mugen's length. He had never seen anything that turned him on so much.
Mugen lost control and thrust raggedly several times. Mugen came in a shuddering rush as deep into Jin's mouth as he could force himself.
Jin choked, then coughed and gagged. He spit as much of Mugen’s bitter seed out of his mouth as he could.
He had won, but just what had he won? He was still hard and unsatisfied, while Mugen lay there in a boneless heap with the most ridiculous sated grin on his face that Jin had ever seen.
"I win! Now to claim my prize."
Mugen just lay there, blinking blankly as he watched without comprehension. Jin gathered as much of Mugen's seed as he could and rubbed the cooling liquid on his erection. Had Mugen been capable of coherent thought at that point, he might have tried to get his lax joints to take him out of harm’s way. But Mugen was too busy enjoying his delicious orgasm to think of anything else or notice that his pants had been pushed down around one ankle.
He did however, notice when Jin pushed his legs further apart and something wet and firm pressed against his entrance. Mugen tried to sit up and push Jin off him. He had difficulty moving even though his brain had been jolted awake. The other man pinned his hands down to either side of his face and pushed firmly in. Mugen felt himself stretched and gasped half in pain, half in... Surely not pleasure?
"You're taking that busido thing too far," he gritted through his clenched teeth.
Jin gave a breathless half laugh, "Not busido. I told you I was claiming my prize." He continued to press his way in. "I won," he panted. "Now let me..."
Mugen had no intention of allowing him to do anything. The combination of almost pleasure and the discomfort of trying to fight in this compromising position held Mugen powerless to stop Jin. Mugen sighed with relief when the shaft sinking into him stopped moving. He could feel the ronin's hips against his ass and every shudder and twitch within his walls.
The stretch was uncomfortable, but a little pain could be good. The tattoos on his wrists and ankles had hurt much more. He'd always been a bit of an endorphin junkie, so he was pretty sure the rush he'd get from this would be good. With that drunken thought in mind he decided to just go with it. Too late to do anything about it anyways.
Engulfed by Mugen's wet heat, Jin rested on the hard angular body beneath him. Tremors ran through his own body, alerting them both to his need. Jin's heart pounded in his chest and he could feel the corresponding thumping in Mugen's breast. Harsh breaths caressed the side of Jin's neck.
Mugen's body embraced him in a dark velvety vice, clenching in waves. Eyes closed, lost in the sensations, Jin lay atop his prize.
When Mugen’s body relaxed, Jin wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Was Mugen just trying to catch him off guard and turn the tables on him, or did the other guy actually like this? Jin pushed up on his hands and experimentally loosened his grip on Mugen's wrists. As Mugen continued to lie there, relaxed and somewhat expectant, Jin released him and began to move.
As the cock inside him pulled back, Mugen noticed a strange almost ticklish sensation as the pressure receded. He wriggled, staggering them both with the unexpected response. Two of the most wanton moans either of them had ever heard escaped their lips.
They stared dumbfounded at one another until Mugen’s eyes drifted shut in the sexiest expression Jin had ever seen.
He immediately thrust back in. Jin felt himself move over something inside as Mugen’s walls clamped down on him with the best grip he had ever felt. Those women had been good. They even had some amazing tricks, but nothing to rival this. Jin had found the heaven he had been looking for. Judging by Mugen’s reaction, he had too.
Jin settled down to a steady rhythm as Mugen wrapped his legs around Jin's waist. Which of the women here had he learned that from? The steady in and out seemed to have quite an effect on the man under him. Every thrust was met with a groan and an answering upward swing of Mugen's hips. Every retreat with a breathless sigh and another clenching of that wondrous heat encasing Jin. Drop after pearly drop trickled down Mugen’s straining, trembling cock to pool in the hair encircling it. The reddened tip flaring with every clench of his passage.
Jin ran one hand up under the shirt covering Mugen's chest straining beneath him, fingers gliding over one taunt nipple. The gasp and clenching grew even stronger. Enthralled at the effect on the man under him, Jin shoved the shirt up, exposing both pink buds, and rubbed, pinched and tugged on them.
"I... I can't... Oh, fuck!" Mugen reached down and began to jerk himself off. Too close to wait any longer, he had to cum. And he had to cum, NOW! He couldn't understand how Jin could stand to just keep going like that.
Watching Mugen jerk himself off was just too hot. Now even Jin felt the urgency mounting as his hips slammed into the other man. Jin's balls pulled up tight and he could feel it building, getting ready to explode out of him in a delirious rush.
Under him, Mugen came, spattering his own belly with more of his seed. "Fuck yeah!"
Mugen's hand kept moving for several more strokes as he continued to pump his essence onto himself. His passage clenched with every spurt, forcing the orgasm out of Jin. With an inarticulate cry, Jin gave several more broken thrusts before stilling.
Head hanging, Jin gasped raggedly like he would never get his breath back. Jin lowered his forehead to Mugen’s before slumping limply onto him.
Jin tried several times to roll to the side, but was unsuccessful. Mugen unwound his legs from around Jin's hips and eased them both over onto their sides. Jin slipped out of Mugen with a groan. Mugen's groan rose to meet his in the still air of Mugen's room.
They lay there, half on each other, trying to calm their breathing. They were both so relaxed that they couldn't have moved away from one another even if that had been their intent. They lay, clothing in complete disarray, on a futon that had been torn apart by the throes of their passion for one another. Finally Jin gave up trying to regain some semblance of order. He opened his yukata and spread it over them both. Mugen hardly acknowledged it in his drowsy state. And they both sank into sleep.
Chapter Two: The Morning After
Jin rubbed his nose in drowsy annoyance. What was that aggravating prickle? He swiped at his nose again, vaguely recognizing the feathery touch of hair. The novel sensation left him momentarily confused. Had he forgotten to bind his hair after his bath last night?
Something—someone?—shifted, crowding the heavy heat that pressed along his side even closer. For a moment his mind refused to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. With a rush, albeit maybe more of a lurch, the flood gates opened and Jin stiffened in shock.
Half-buried under the warmth of his bedmate, Jin considered his options. Unless he wanted to fight his way off the futon, he might as well relax and enjoy the toasty comfort of the bed.
Mugen's head rested on his shoulder, one arm thrown across Jin’s chest. The thin yukata trailed half off their bodies, exposing some interesting parts of his lover. His what?! Surely he hadn't just thought of Mugen as his lover? Just how much sake did he drink last night?
How did he feel about taking his pleasure with Mugen? While surprised he had chosen Mugen, Jin found he wasn’t repulsed by what they had done together. But this did not mean he wanted or needed a lover. Much less a rogue like his former comrade. Bushido allowed for, and even encouraged, taking a male lover, but Jin wasn’t sure he wanted anything formal just yet with that yōkai. And even though he clearly should be in the teaching role, Jin doubted Mugen would just lay back and accept his role.
With sinuous cat-like grace, Mugen stretched against him, almost assuredly rubbing himself down Jin's entire length on purpose. Some wanton kami sent to temp a man, desire personified and given life.
Warm moist lips found his throat and began moving with more purpose as they came closer to his own. Jin half turned towards Mugen. As their lips brushed, he looked into a languid pair of eyes. His lover's eyes. There! He did it again.
This time, when Mugen kissed him, he got goose bumps for a completely different reason.
Mugen began slowly rocking his hips, rubbing his morning wood against Jin's thigh. Jin realized he was in a similar state. A warm hand on his far hip pulled Jin onto his side, allowing Mugen to rub against his groin. The jolt they both felt when the heads of their cocks rubbed against one another was almost too much to bear.
They both set to rocking their hips, lips meeting in lazy kisses. Jin found how good it felt to kiss surprising. Last night had been his first kiss, and that one had been... Well, it hadn't been like these. Soon the kisses grew more insistent, hungry. A tongue trailed across his lips and gained entrance when he gasped as Mugen’s fingers traced his nipple.
Once again, Jin froze. What was Mugen thinking? What was he doing? The warm wet slide of the other's tongue in his mouth had Jin poised to push him away. Until he stopped to pay attention to what Mugen was doing to him.
Jin ceased trying to push Mugen’s tongue out of his mouth with his own. Instead, Jin admired how good Mugen’s exploration felt. The drag over the roof of his mouth, along his teeth, and over his now responsive tongue, had him joining in the divine play of tongue on tongue. To his dismay, Jin became aware that the whimpers he heard were his. He tried to stop, but soon realized that would mean breaking off the kiss. And he wasn't ready to do that.
Fingers dug into well muscled backs as they both drove to completion. Pulsing almost in unison, they coated their bellies with their mixed seed. Mugen's face burrowed into his neck, and lips attached themselves to the bend of his neck. If he was this talented with his mouth, what wonders could he work lower down?
Mugen moved his face from Jin’s neck and looked smugly at his handiwork. Only then did Jin realize that he had been marked. A small flash of annoyance warmed his blood, as he thought how best to repay this insult.
When they finally pulled apart, Jin gazed in dismay at the mess at their groins. It would seem that his bath had been short lived.
Seemingly thinking the same thing, Mugen rose and flung a yukata around his shoulders. Mugen flashed him a saucy grin. “Come on! Last one to the bath has to clean up this mess.” With a sweeping gesture, he indicated the bedraggled futon, the weapons thrown every which way, and the knot of discarded clothing.
Jin snatched up his clean clothing from the daishō stand where it lay on its side, now across the room next to the small chest. He followed Mugen out of the room, knotting the obi around his own yukata.
Walking through the deserted common room on the way to the baths showed them to be only ones up at this hour of the morning. He should have been surprised that even the inn keeper and his wife appeared to still be abed. Judging by last night's crowd and how late they seem to have been up, Jin suspected the pair rarely woke with the sun. He had to admit he was just as glad no one saw him disheveled from Mugen’s embrace.
Near the doorway, stools and buckets lined one wall of the lean-to. Thin bathing sheets and yakata hung on hooks above them. In the far corner, a large wooden tub squatted on a raised platform over the fire pit. Brushes, washing cloths, and soaps filled nearby cubbyholes. There were even some scented ones. Last night, exhausted, Jin had not taken time to notice all the details of the room.
The fire for heating the bath had been banked. Jin set to stirring the flames back to life while Mugen gathered some towels and got the tepid water from the bath into buckets for them. Once the fire was going well and steam was just beginning to rise from the bath, Jin slipped out of his yukata and turned to take his turn with the soap.
A soapy gleaming Mugen lounged in all his glory on his stool, just now pouring the water from his bucket over his head to rinse the lather off. He shook his head sending water flying. Obviously he had not just contented himself with cleaning off, for he was rampant once more. Jin blushed furiously and used the excuse of dodging the flying droplets to avert his face
He settled on a stool and began to perform his ablutions with his back to the drifter. The sharp scent of the soap cut through Mugen’s musky scent on his skin. He brushed the dried flakes of their seed off his belly. More caked the sparse curly hairs lower down.
Jin pointedly ignored the other man as Mugen sauntered past. He knew it was always a little iffy to turn his back on Mugen, but right now Jin just didn't think that he could turn around and be faced with what was surely on a level with his eyes. His face burned even hotter with that vision in mind.
Fingers brushed the nape of his neck, then wandered up to release his hair from its band. Soft hair flowed down his back as Mugen’s fingers continued to comb through the midnight mass. With a sigh, Jin’s eyes drifted shut. He leaned back into his lover's hands, as Mugen washed his hair. He couldn't remember the last time someone had done this for him. His parents, all those years ago?
Soon those breathtakingly gentle fingers continued down his shoulders, spreading the soap over his body. Mugen’s fingers brushed his nipples, showing him exactly what the other man must have felt the night before. He didn't have to look down to see just what state he was in. Clearly bathing would never be the same again, he thought with a touch of concern for how he might react in the future.
Maybe he shouldn't have been so concerned, this was Mugen after all. Mugen upended the bucket over Jin's head, then dashed to the tub to scoop up more water and fling it at Jin, laughing like an idiot the whole time. The guy couldn't resist turning rinsing off into a water fight.
Jin pushed his sodden hair from his eyes before blinking them clear of water. Once he could get his bearings and move without falling, he went for the hellion. What kind of child was he dealing with? He wondered if anyone had ever taught Mugen proper etiquette for anything. Somehow he doubted it.
Grappling Mugen around the waist only got him in close enough to ensure that they both got soaked. "Hey! Cut that out! We have to save some for soaking in!"
He watched Mugen consider his argument, before glancing around to see just how much water was on the floor instead of in the tub. "Alright, you got me. I'll stop, but only if you get in, too," he smirked.
Mugen dropped his arms around the ronin's waist and pulled him close sharply. The ardor that the water fight had dulled returned rapidly. He swiveled his hips lightly, and Jin had to admit that he had a good idea. A very good idea.
With a knowing chuckle, Mugen stepped into the tub pulling Jin in after him. Jin stood there, puzzled. There wasn't really room for two men in this thing.
Mugen turned and sat down, placing his eyes on a level that had made Jin uncomfortable earlier. Then with an almost malicious gleam in his eye, Mugen leaned forward and drug his tongue up the underside of Jin's cock, tracing the throbbing vein. Jin's knees buckled so rapidly that he barely had time to grab the side of the tub in both hands and sit down on it with a decided thump.
Barely restrained sardonic glee flashed across Mugen's face, before he lowered it once more over Jin's straining member. Warm breath blew over his shaft, making him squirm with anticipation, but disappointingly no return of that delicious warmth. Instead the tongue trailed over the skin of his inner thigh. Mugen’s lips settled firmly where Jin’s thigh joined his body. The tongue stroked his delicate skin as Mugen pulled it into his hot mouth. A hint of teeth scraped him. What was Mugen doing? He leaned forward for a better view, just as Mugen pulled back revealing another mark glowing darkly against pale skin.
Before he could get angry, Mugen changed tactics yet again and stopped teasing him. The mouth that he had been fantasizing about lowered ever so slowly onto the crown of his cock. Pleasantly surprised, Jin found the reality was even better than he had hoped. He’d been on the receiving end before, but this was far better than anything any of those women had ever done. Everything with Mugen had been better and Jin wasn’t sure he liked that.
Mugen’s hot mouth sucked him in and out, the lips rubbing over the edge of his crown while the tongue explored the slit at the top. He could do nothing but grasp the tub with all the strength he had and tremble violently. Mugen’s hands gripped his hips to help steady him. No wonder Mugen had given up so easily last night. He wouldn't last any time at all himself.
The heavenly grip of Mugen’s mouth continued to work the head, while a hand rubbed up and down Jin’s length. The combination was both distracting and the stuff of dreams. Wet dreams! He wanted to thrust, but could only manage small rolling motions with his hips. So good!
Amazingly he hadn't slumped into the tub with Mugen or fallen over backwards in a heap on the floor. If this went on much longer, he was in serious danger of doing just that.
Mugen could feel the cock in his mouth swelling even more, the bite of Jin’s essence bitter on his tongue. He realized that he only had a moment in which to decide whether to swallow the fruits of his labor or let it fall into the bath with him. Neither was exactly appealing, but then a third option came to mind.
When Jin came, Mugen caught as much in his hand as he could. As Jin started a slow slump into the bath, Mugen eased him around facing the other way.
Jin gratefully held onto the edge, but that didn't last as a suspicion of what Mugen intended intruded into his sex-hazed mind. He wanted to do whatever it took to avoid what was coming, but he had done the same thing to the other man last night. He couldn't just say that's too much. Trapped by his own conscious, Jin stood as still as he could, waiting for Mugen.
Or he had thought he knew what would happen. A wet hand drew across his ass, parting the cheeks. He braced himself for the invasion of his body, and let out a gasp of surprise. Instead of Mugen's dick pressing into him, a tongue glided over his tightly clenched bud. His body went slack with relief. A second swipe of that tongue had his spent member reevaluating its condition. That amazing sensation got even more intense as Mugen circled the ring of muscle, probing wetly. With a soft exhalation, his body surrendered.
He could only concentrate on the delightful things Mugen did to his body. Soon he was almost painfully aroused and pushing back into the other man. Jin wanted what the rogue promised. Nearly ready to beg for it, he thrummed with need.
Mugen stood and rubbed Jin's seed onto his twitching cock. This time Jin did not tense up when the head of Mugen's cock pressed into him, doubtless too turned on to resist.
With a rapturous sigh, Mugen sank into Jin’s yielding body. He stood there for a moment before pulling Jin the rest of the way back onto his shaft. The tight wet heat enfolding him pulsed with every erratic beat of Jin's heart. Jin continued to grip the edge of the tub, while Mugen first pulled him back and then pushed him forward on his cock.
Jin couldn't decide which he enjoyed more, until Mugen shifted slightly and on the next thrust sent sparks flying behind his closed eyelids. The groan that tore from his lips alerted the other man to the significance of that spot.
Mugen made it his goal to find that spot again. A few more thrusts and he nailed it again. Jin's head snapped back suddenly. The ragged sounds coming from his mouth music to Mugen's ears. Adjusting his angle, Mugen found that he could continue getting a similar response out of Jin with every thrust.
Jin pushed up on his hands and back into Mugen, meeting every thrust as hard as he could. Something in him refused to let him beg "Harder..." like those women had. He was a man and could take what he wanted just as well as Mugen could.
Mugen took up a litany of "Oh, yeah! Oh, fuck! Oh, fuck yeah!" in time with every thrust.
Jin was getting so close. It would take so little for him to cum. Mugen had to be nearly there as well.
Jin took one big shuddering breath and shoved back for the last time. He clenched down hard on the cock inside him as he came. He continued to clench rhythmically as his cum pulsed out into the bath water.
His lover spiraled after him, pumping moist heat and filling Jin. Mugen kept thrusting through their orgasm, drawing it out as long as he could. Trembling in all his limbs, Mugen ceased to move and slumped forward, draped over the ronin's back, driving him down against the rim of the tub.
When the edge of the tub pressing into him became painful, Jin straightened, dislodging Mugen who sank happily back into the water. Mugen reached up and pulled him down into his lap. Jin leaned back against him, resting his head on a still shaky shoulder. They stayed like that, soaking up the warmth of the bath until they could hear the inn beginning to stir with life.
Chapter Three: Returning Ronin
Jin gently shook the pouch of coins before securing the small bundle inside his sleeve alongside a special vial he had purchased earlier in the day. His payment for escorting the farmers to market and back would get him a few much needed supplies, but he would require another job soon.
Barely more than a group of extended families clustered around a cross-road, this village didn’t boast much in the way of amenities. Their entire surplus already sold at market. If he wanted more than a bit of rice, Jin would have to return to the larger town where he had found Mugen.
Mugen... Just what was he going to do about Mugen? The man was trouble, with a capitol T, looking for a place to happen. They had settled into an uneasy truce while traveling together that later morphed into a hesitant friendship. Probably the only friendship either of them had ever had. When they had parted ways, Jin had never expected to see the rebellious man again.
He found himself inexplicably pleased—more pleased than he would have admitted if anyone had asked him—to find his old comrade. Jin shook his head. Now if he could just quit thinking of the rogue as his lover...
Jin strode down the main road, really more of a dirt track, glad to be once more on his way. The few cramped houses dropped behind him in his rush to be quit of this place.
He had more than enough of these peasants laughing and talking behind their hands when they thought he wasn't listening. He was glad that they had obviously not realized who had given him that mark, and even more pleased that they did not know about the other one hidden under his kimono.
All the resentment toward Mugen that he had pushed down came smoldering back to life. The high collar of his kimono didn’t hide the rascal’s brand, making him a laughing stock. He would find some way of repaying Mugen.
Even without the livestock to slow the return, the farmers had taken two days to arrive back at their village. However, without that hindrance Jin might retrace his route to the inn in one, admittedly long, day. He wanted to avoid another night in the open, if he could.
A band of bandits roamed this area unchecked. In fact, the villagers’ fear of the outlaws had offered him employment for the past few days. The villains took what they wanted and weren’t above harming the peddlers and other travelers they waylaid. He did not relish the thought of coming into contact with them on his own. His weapons alone were enough to draw their unwanted attention.
The now empty fields surrounding the handful of dwellings dwindled rapidly. The pathway cut through the man-made clearing that kept the forest at bay. Anything that might have given cover to outlaws or oni had been painstakingly removed.
Jin set a brisk pace, determined to be clear of the nearby stretch of woodlands before the sun set. Lingering along the way only encouraged trouble. He steadfastly refused to admit to any other reason that might prompt a speedy return to Mugen’s inn.
He crossed the farmland rapidly. Pausing to admire the trees, like gaily clad geisha in all their autumn splendor, Jin adjusted his daishō. With nothing to interfere with drawing his sword, he stepped from the bright sunlight into the cool shade of the forest.
Sunlight dappled the trail, scuffed and marred by the recent passage of a dozen men and their livestock. Hoof prints lined with a thin film of water pocked the dark moist loam. The green scent of gently decaying plants rose up with every stride Jin took. On the previous trek, the odor of the animals had masked this soothing smell.
Resisting the temptation to linger, Jin struck out for Mugen’s inn. He didn’t intend to end his day still within the forest’s grasp. One man, even armed, would draw more interest than the same man had while traveling with a group of peasants.
Loping and walking by turns, he made good time traversing the wooded path. He had begun to think that the worst of the journey was over, when he heard a slight rustle in the surrounding undergrowth. Pretending to be unaware, Jin continued on his way, listening intently for the unknown to give himself away again.
The man must have realized his mistake, because no further sounds interrupted the drowsy chirping of the haru-dori as they settled in for the evening. Had the man given up on ambushing him or did he just place his feet with more care?
Jin followed a bend in the trail and found his answer awaiting him.
Ahead, three ruffians blocked his way. They were armed with cudgels and a motley array of padded and leather protective garments. He could tell by the way the men held themselves they were merely a rag tag collection of bullies and indigent ne’er-do-wells. Jin put his hand to his daishō, loosening it in its sheath.
"None of that," the central figure warned. "There's no need for violence. Just give us those swords, and whatever is in your sleeves."
No violence, indeed. Standing there doing his best to look all intimidating. Did the man actually expect anyone to believe him?
Reserving part of his attention on the man hiding behind him, Jin drew his daishō and charged the three in front of him. He did not have time for this.
The men had obviously only dealt with farmers or the occasional lone traveler so far. They stood too close to one another to fight effectively, hampering each other’s movements. The looks of surprise on their faces as he bore down on them were an amusing mix of stunned disbelief and horrified comprehension. The ruffians didn’t even have the sense to flee.
Jin didn’t worry about finesse, merely cut them down as they attempted various defensive stances. He grunted as one of their staves connected with his hip. That last desperate attempt did not check his forward motion and his daishō came to rest in the third man. Jin allowed himself to stumble as the man fell, dragging his blade with him.
There was a sudden loud thrashing from behind him. Jin whirled ready to defend himself, but the unseen man was bolting for safety.
One of the downed men chuckled hoarsely before spitting blood. "He's gone for the rest. You will follow me soon."
Surrounded by the lifeless proof of his encounter, Jin took stock of his situation. The unseen man had gotten away and even now no doubt alerted the other members of his band to Jin’s presence. He didn’t have long before they would be hunting him.
Jin hurried with all the speed that his hip would allow. He could manage a stiff jog for short stretches before he had to drop into a limping walk. Maybe he could still escape the bandits. Even though he had nearly reached the end of the forest the road seemed to stretch on forever.
Sharp pain seared through him with every step, overwhelming the throbbing ache in his hip. He had to walk longer and longer each time before he could manage to pick up the pace again. Jin began to fear that he might not make it back to the town after all.
Even though exhausted, he must not stop until he was safely at the inn. If those outlaws caught him, there would be nothing for Mugen to do but avenge him. A thought that he did not relish for several reasons.
Up ahead, Jin saw the bright golden glow of sunlight not filtered through layers of leaves. Nearly free of the forest, Jin broke into a lope. He wanted out, and he wanted out now.
Jin cleared the woodlands while the sun was still in the sky, although not by much. Soon it would be dark, and he couldn’t continue to jog at that point. He could see the rising smoke from the cooking fires in the distance. A quick glance over his shoulder showed that the pursuit was either delayed or not forthcoming. He rather hoped it was the later, but feared it was the former.
Hastening over the open road, his footfalls stuttered in staccato bursts. Jin forced himself to cover as much ground as he could. Only dropping into a walk when he could no longer bear the pain and picking up the pace again as soon as possible.
Darkness fell and he still had a ways to go. Jin slowed to a walk. He couldn’t risk quickening his pace until the rising of the moon could afford him enough light to see the terrain by.
He felt like he had walked forever. In fact, he had walked most of the night. When he saw the welcoming glow of the inn in the near distance, without sign of pursuit, he dared hope.
Jin finally stumbled, disheveled and limping, through the front door of the inn. The few remaining patrons gave him a less than warm welcome. All conversation stilled and he was the object of every hostile stare in the common room.
Mugen turned from the man he had been talking to and looked at him with some surprise. "You look like shit."
Jin sank onto a bench with a pained grunt. "They look worse," he muttered darkly.
Mugen barked out a laugh. "Of course, they do..."
After eating what Mugen could scrape up at this late hour, Jin wobbled back to Mugen's room. He pointedly ignored any offers of help that might have been forthcoming. His muscles had tightened up in the short time he had sat to eat.
Jin slumped down on the futon with his hand pressed to his hip. Pealing his kimono and hakama off revealed a nasty purple bruise covering much of his side, hip, and continuing down his flank. Mugen let out a low whistle of admiration.
"Get me some sake and salve," he gritted out between clenched teeth.
Mugen just nodded and left the room.
When Mugen returned, he offered Jin the sake and set about applying the salve.
Jin gulped several cups in quick succession, trying hard not to betray how badly every touch hurt. Finally, it was done and he was numb. He didn't know if that was due to the salve or the sake. And just then he felt too wrung out to think about it.
He leaned against Mugen, and with a heartfelt sigh, allowed himself to relax. He’d returned, safe and alive, something that he hadn't been sure of earlier in the day.
Now that he didn’t need to drive himself, reaction set in. He was thankful the sake blunted it, but that only made another part of his reaction more pronounced. He had heard that surviving a life or death situation was often one of the best aphrodisiacs. Now he found that in his case it was true.
Mugen chuckled warmly and looked pointedly down at his lap. Jin followed the direction of his gaze, mildly surprised to see just how aroused he was. His cock strained, dripping precum from its swollen tip.
"Well… What do you want to do about that?" Mugen waved in the general direction of Jin's groin.
Jin blushed furiously. Don't ask such questions!
Mugen's hands wandered down Jin’s naked body, brushing places that affected him in ways he would never have suspected. The way he reacted to having his nipples stroked was no real surprise any more, but his navel and flanks were uncharted territory. Mugen’s gentle touches had him trembling and sighing in no time.
By the time those talented hands reached the destination Jin had in mind the whole time, the other man's name had slipped through his fervent lips more than once.
Mugen leaned forward and sealed those lips with his. His kiss was surprisingly gentle, not the usual battle that they engaged in. Light butterfly touches on the roof of his mouth and tongue.
Jin moaned and increased both the depth and heat of the kiss, his turn to explore the other's mouth. Mugen chuckled at his new found ardor.
"You really want this. I'll try to do it without hurting you."
"Just do it!"
Chuckling once more, Mugen eased Jin back onto the futon. Mugen began to remove his own clothing. He was somewhat hampered by Jin's awkward attempts to help. But Jin soon gave up, instead stroking any exposed skin he could reach. That also slowed things down a bit, but Mugen didn’t complain.
Once the last of Mugen’s clothing was gone, it was abundantly clear that he was in no better state than Jin.
Taking care that the bruised hip was uppermost, Mugen maneuvered Jin onto his side. Then he moved in close and took both of their cocks in his hand.
Jin clutched him close, murmuring his name. He attempted to move his hips, but with a small cry of pain stopped abruptly.
"Shhh… I've got it." Mugen stroked Jin's back until he relaxed once again, and then went back to pleasuring them both.
His hand slid easily up and down their shafts. The gleaming drops seeping from their cocks smoothing the movement. Jin tried to help, but the pain of reaching down was too much. So he wrapped his arm around Mugen and burrowed tightly into his warm body.
Jin’s mouth sought the rogue's neck. He nibbled on Mugen’s collar bone, and sucked on the pulse point before moving higher up. Jin licked the edge of the other man’s ear, dipping his tongue in to explore before nipping the lobe. He amused himself by playing with the dangling blue stone earring. When he tugged on the hoop holding the stone, Mugen arched against him and gave out such a groan that Jin gave it another tug to see if he could get the same reaction again. If anything, Mugen’s groan was deeper and ragged, filled with more longing than any one sound should be able to convey.
Mugen's hand moved faster and began a twisting motion over their crowns, wringing a deep moan from Jin. Mugen pumped his hips, pushing the head of his cock over Jin's and dragging the edge back down the length of him.
Jin’s body shuddered and shook with desire. He could feel the hunger building in him, looking for an outlet. He held off as long as he could, just letting the fierce heat burn him until he had to find release or burn up with his need.
Pressing his face firmly into his lover's neck, Jin bit down to keep from screaming Mugen's name as he came. The semen pumping out of him with every stroke of Mugen's hand made it impossible for him to release his grip upon the other man. In fact, he found his jaw tensing more with every pulse.
"Oh… Fuck yeah!" Mugen yelled raggedly as he came.
Dimly Jin realized that a little pain seemed to have a positive effect on his lover. He would have to explore that in more depth later when he was capable of logical thought once again.