I’m from Hong Kong. Without going into a lot of history, Hong Kong was a former British Colony and in 1997 we were returned to China but remain an autonomous territory of China. As loathed as I am to admit at having any similarities with Indigo Young (keyboard player & know-it-all), at times I feel as confused and annoyed by Chinese practices as him. Though I’m less whiny about it.
Anyway, ever since I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a singer. My father tried to push me into our family business but I’m not cut out for it. My sister, on the other hand, is great at it. She’s super smart but still loving and kind. When I came out to her she simply hugged me as I sobbed then showed me her collection of Yaoi—I think that’s the right English word for manga about two men together.
I’m a fundanshi which is the Japanese word for the male equivalent to a “rotten women” someone who loves Yaoi. I love the artistry and the beauty but what Yaoi is to me is hope. Hope that someday I’ll be in a place stable enough in my career where I can find a good man and we can love each other. But for now, I’m married to the music.
Speaking of music… Fanservice is part of the cost of fame. Musical television shows are set up with a premise of the bands in some sort of competition with each other but really it is just to see the bandmates do suggestive things that excite their fans. Kissing for exposure, Jin calls it.
Z. wanted to share an exclusive excerpt that takes place during Made in China’s appearance on a Korean TV Show. Made in China is playing Suck Blow… and not the type any of us prefer.
Exclusive Excerpt from The Temple of Heaven:
Tian Di got into his lead singer mode. He kept his eyes down and shifted from foot to foot as if he were nervous. Staring at the ground, he hoped to appear shy as they stood waiting in line for the silly game of Suck and Blow to start.
It wouldn’t benefit his career for fans to figure out sucking face wasn’t the only thing he liked sucking. To say he had an oral fixation wouldn’t be an exaggeration, and if he didn’t need to protect his voice, he’d probably smoke three packs of cigarettes a day or suck—but this was China, not LA.
Tian Di pieced together the information as the MC explained the game rules. “The band able to suck and blow the best....” The MC waited for the crowd to “oh” and “ah.” “Um, suck and blow the most cards wins.”
The wise guy gave his oversized whistle a blow, but the only translation Tian Di received in his ear piece said, “Begin.” As if he couldn’t have figured out what the shrill sound popping his eardrums meant.
Some members of Symmetry sat out the game to keep the teams even. They bounced around the stage and rallied the crowd.
Styx leaned over and with the necessary suction, picked up a card, then shifted it to Jin. Jin slowly pursed his lips and blew away the queen of hearts before he planted a big kiss on his boyfriend’s lips.
Nice! Way to pull the attention to Made in China.
Styx blushed and his hand fluttered to his mouth as if the lip press were a big surprise to him. Styx must have decided to ham it up, because he shrugged to the audience, and then he and Jin shared a quick smile. The audience ate the affection up.
Damn, Styx and Jin fit together like puzzle pieces. Tian Di’s heart clenched. He coveted the deep connection they had. Each touch, look, and kiss they shared served only to remind him of everything he lacked in his life. A couple of years ago, exchanging blowjobs with a fanboy would have been more than enough to satisfy him, but now... he was lucky to be flexible.
He had never been so long between men. He wasn’t picky. Young and old, Tian Di found reasons to enjoy whoever offered to spend time with him. Though things had changed over the last year. The last guy he’d been with, while skilled, left him feeling empty afterward.
He could barely believe it, but he craved more than casual encounters. Maybe living with people who really loved each other highlighted how fleeting and inadequate the passing pleasure had become. He twisted his ring to remind himself of his goals.
Styx sucked, latching on to the eight of spades, and turned toward Jin.
The audience got louder as Jin tucked his fingers into Styx’s belt loop and tugged him close. Jin grazed his lips across the card as if he were kissing Styx, and then he turned to blow the card to Indigo’s lips.
Indigo sucked the card away from Jin, turned toward the camera, and wiggled his eyebrows. He grabbed Tian Di’s waist.
Tian Di tossed his hair over his shoulder.
The audience sighed.
Indigo glared at him.
Whatever. Tian Di tilted his head to the left and pursed his lips in the best pout he could manage so he could receive the playing card from Indigo’s lips. He ignored the angry daggers Indigo threw.
Tian Di sucked the card against his mouth. He could see Styx and Jin working on their next card.
Stepping back, Tian Di bumped into Li, who steadied him. “Come on. Give me a card! Symmetry is winning.”
The scoreboard displayed two to zero.
Tian Di blew the card to Li who sucked the card and got it into the basket. They scored a point.
Jin passed the next card to Indigo, which he transferred without incident to Tian Di.
Wanting to build the drama, Tian Di turned nice and slow, giving the camera big eyes, and even fluttered his lashes. He leaned toward Li and couldn’t prevent the ace of diamonds from falling to the floor, causing him to plant his mouth on Li’s.
Li’s lips were soft, his kiss thorough, though mechanical. The kiss held affection but lacked passion. It appeared to be nothing like the kisses Li exchanged with Indigo.
The crowd clapped and stomped their feet, unaware there was no chemistry between them.
Putting a hand over his mouth, Tian Di playfully batted at Li.
Li’s eyes flashed amusement.
The onstage monitors showed young women had jumped out of their seats, screaming like they’d won the lottery. Some hugged the person next them, and a few even started to cry.
Success. That was what this game was all about: fan service.
The game continued, and after half a deck of cards, even Styx appeared to relax and get into the spirit of silliness. He dropped the card right as Jin sucked, and their lips touched. He clung for a moment.
Tian Di was sure when the program aired, there’d probably be hearts around their heads at every mistake, which would be shown in slow motion. He was good with the games... right?
For fuck’s sake, was this worse than blowing your way to the top? At least with a suck fest, once the guy in charge shot off, Tian Di could rinse out his mouth and put the incident out of his head. But these damned pictures would be following him throughout his career... however, this show would be enabling that career, so he needed to deal. He had to keep his eyes on the prize.
Thank you for letting me share a bit about The Temple of Heaven with you.
Many hugs, Z.
The Temple of Heaven’s Blurb
Music is Tian Di’s life and his love, and he’s made plenty of sacrifices. His career is finally taking off with his band, Made in China, and he’ll continue to put music first... until he meets Jordon. Then insta- lust becomes insta-love and a commitment to the future—no matter how difficult it might be.
Jordon lives in a bubble constructed by his overprotective older brothers, who are so controlling that they’ve kept him from dating. A talented artist, Jordon managed to keep his success with a Japanese manga publisher a secret from his family, but now he fears discovery. It’s easier to let his brothers handle everything, but Jordon has reached his limit. He’s ready to draw some boundaries so he can be his own man and face all the challenges that come with that.
Their families and careers aren’t the only obstacles. Jordon must accept his identity as a gay man who doesn’t top or bottom. Fortunately, Tian Di—and his special talents—help Jordon open up to his sexuality in an erotic adventure that spans Japan and China, and with love, luck, hard work, and open minds, will end in a happily ever after.