Deep in the Act
Quality Check: Isalee
First Published on Chaleuria
“You were punishing me, of course. Because I was disobedient.”
Fang Chi’s pen stabbed through the paper on which he was writing and sank into the fresh pages underneath. His heart sank. Gao Zhun had placed him in a position of dominance, which stood for absolute authority and control in a patient’s world.
“I’m just your therapist,” Fang Chi explained. “I don’t have the right to punish you.”
“No, you reward me when I do something well. If you get angry, it must be because I’ve done something wrong.”
This mode of thought was a clear symptom that an abuse of power had taken place. Fang Chi was at a loss as to what to do. Such a situation had never occurred in the course of his treatments before, because he had always taken care to avoid manipulating his patients.
“Look at me,” Fang Chi urged. He tried to peel Gao Zhun away from himself, but his efforts were in vain. Gao Zhun stuck to him tightly, as if he had taken root on Fang Chi’s body and become a part of him.
“Don’t punish me anymore in the future, okay?” Gao Zhun implored, a pitiful quaver in his voice. “The way you were just now… was really frightening.”
Fang Chi’s heart ached despite the mess it was in. What could he say? What else was there to say? He could not help but promise in his gentlest tone, “Okay.” Then, patting Gao Zhun on the back, he continued with his previous subject. “Let’s pick up where we left off. Where do I rank in your list of fears?”
“Sometimes at the top. Sometimes at the bottom,” Gao Zhun answered, his soft lips moistening the fabric of Fang Chi’s shirt with each word.
“What do you mean?” Fang Chi asked. He felt his skin begin to tingle under the dampened spot.
“When you hold me like this, I don’t fear anything even if the sky crashes down on me. But, when you ignore me, it’s even more terrifying than being forced by that man again!”
“When have I ever ignored you?” Fang Chi felt wronged and hurt. “How could I ever ignore you?”
“Last night, for example,” Gao Zhun replied with a note of complaint in his voice, “when you left even though I begged you to stay.”
Like an anxious boyfriend driven into a corner, Fang Chi rushed to explain himself. “I can’t satisfy every one of your demands, can I?”
“Then…” Gao Zhun pressed on in a daze, “what must I do in order for you to satisfy all of them?”
“I…” Realizing that he no longer had any control over the topic at hand, Fang Chi redirected the focus of their conversation. “Let’s stay on track. As I was saying, how would you place those… actions that I did to you just now?”
“Not too scary.”
Fang Chi did not believe him. “You were clearly terrified.”
At this, Gao Zhun raised his head and peered at him with reddened cheeks. “I’m not scared of you no matter what you do to me.” Then, dropping his gaze with an air of shyness, he added, “Even if you hurt me… like that man did… I won’t be afraid of you.”
A sharp pang shot through Fang Chi’s temples. Even if he were raped by Fang Chi – Gao Zhun seemed to be saying – he would never blame him.
Fang Chi’s throat and mouth went dry. “Let’s… carry on with the treatment.” Picking up the sheet with his notes, he explained, “I have written down your list of fears, arranged in the order of how much they frighten you. I want you to imagine these items one by one, from the least terrifying to the most.” He began pushing Gao Zhun back onto the couch. “Go on,” he coaxed. “Lie down on the couch.”
Gao Zhun refused. As they shifted their bodies against each other in the brief struggle, Fang Chi felt a little hardness between the other man’s legs. His expression changed, and Gao Zhun realized that he had been found out. Bending at his waist, he tried to back away, but Fang Chi grabbed him immediately and forced him to unfurl his body – revealing the slight bulge at the apex of his well-fitted trousers. “Sorry… I’m sorry…” Gao Zhun apologized in mortification.
“Go on,” Fang Chi’s voice was cold as he repeated his instructions. “Lie on the couch.”
Gao Zhun squeezed his legs together. “I… I want to use the washroom.”
“Treatment first. I’ll let you go later if you do well.”
Gao Zhun obeyed. With slow, drawn-out movements, he lay down and tilted his body to the side, shielding his crotch with his hand. After surveying him from head to toe, Fang Chi swept aside Gao Zhun’s hand and pressed down on his hips, once again exposing the odd tent between his legs. Gao Zhun buried his face in his hands, and piteous murmurs spilled through his fingers again and again. “I was wrong… I was wrong…”
Fang Chi remained unmoved. He stroked down the entire length of Gao Zhun’s legs and grabbed one of his ankles. “Begin with the lowest-ranking fear. Recall how I ‘punished’ you just now and describe it for me.”
Gao Zhun was quaking all over now. “This… this feels really strange.”
“This is part of your treatment,” Fang Chi replied, standing near Gao Zhun’s feet and staring straight at his crotch. “Hurry up.”
Gao Zhun had no choice but to force himself to start recalling: Fang Chi’s hands were sweaty as they clenched around his wrists, their grip strong and powerful. Then they ravaged his body with the roughness of a violent criminal, yanking up his shirt, squeezing his thighs… Gao Zhun’s breath quickened. Arousal stirred and throbbed through his veins as if he had fallen into a lurid wet dream.
The bulge began to swell. Fang Chi stared at Gao Zhun’s tightening trousers, tracing the clear outline of Gao Zhun’s member as it strained against the fine, expensive fabric. Right before his eyes, it lifted its timid head, tentative and unsure at first. Then, it sprang upward until it stood erect between Gao Zhun’s thighs, boldly twitching with excitement from side to side.
Gao Zhun sought Fang Chi with frantic eyes. When he saw the brazen way in which Fang Chi was staring at his crotch, his erection hardened further even as he was consumed with utter shame. “I’ve done what you asked.” He begged Fang Chi, “Let me go to the washroom, please…”
Fang Chi refused again. “What is happening?” he asked, pointing to the bulge at Gao Zhun’s crotch.
Gao Zhun covered himself with his hands. “I don’t know…”
“Remove your hands,” Fang Chi ordered. Then, he stroked up along Gao Zhun’s legs and moved those hands out of the way.
It was too much for Gao Zhun to bear. No longer able to contain himself, he began rubbing his body against the couch. Writhing gently, he gazed at Fang Chi with glassy eyes full of desire. “Save me… save me, please…”
Fang Chi relished the view before him. This was a body that would allow him to do as he pleased – a body that he could possess in an instant, whenever he wanted. “Have you developed a sexual desire for men?”
Soft, broken hums spilled from Gao Zhun’s lips as he suppressed his desire to moan out loud.
Fang Chi repeated himself, “Do you feel sexual desire towards men?”
Gao Zhun was forced to admit, “Yes…”
Gao Zhun gritted his teeth until they chattered. “You know who…”
Instead of responding, Fang Chi took out the list again. “Let’s go a rank higher. Now, try to imagine you and Justin together.”
At this, Gao Zhun stretched out his hand towards Fang Chi. “Can you hold my hand?” he asked, a thin, pearlescent sheen of sweat on his brow.
After giving it some thought, Fang Chi took that hand into his own. “If I were to leave one day, what would you do without me?”
Gao Zhun tightened his fingers in panic. “I won’t let you go.”
“I was referring to the day when you recover,” Fang Chi replied with a smile.
“Then I shall never recover or get well,” came Gao Zhun’s flustered confession.
“You won’t think this way once you’re well again.” Fang Chi fondled the hand with a faint caress, a sense of loneliness hanging about his lowered lashes. “One day, you will no longer need me.” Just as Gao Zhun was about to say something, however, Fang Chi cut him off. “Go to the washroom,” he said as he released Gao Zhun’s hand. “We’ll leave when you’re ready.”
This was supposed to be happy news for Gao Zhun, but he could not bring himself to feel any sense of happiness now. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” Fang Chi looked exhausted all of a sudden. “I’m just overthinking things. As I always do.”