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The Pragmatic Sanction

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Wonwoo rolled out of the covers of his bed, unaware that he had been on the edge of it and was forced to grab on to the bedpost behind his pillow so as to not fall on the floor. He had been doing it so many times that before he even woke up from his dreams he was already holding on to something to catch himself from falling.

 

Yet nothing could stop the unpleasant feeling of his two feet hitting the cold hardwood floor of his bedroom. And he hissed at the feeling, his legs bending as he landed.

 

He exhaled, wincing at the thought of another week of school. Wonwoo always hated Sundays because they served as a reminder that Monday was around the corner. He always talked himself into going though, nevermind his mother’s relentless scolding. He was at the top of his class and occupied the upper stratum of the social hierarchy. Being both intelligent and the fact that he was one of the school’s only omegas had compensated for his deficiencies in other areas. But the boys at his school didn’t seem to notice. To them, he was certainly not deficient in the looks department. 

 

Tip-toeing over to his mirror-stand as to not wake the rest of the house up, Wonwoo noticed the bags under his eyes and how abnormally pale his face looked. He hadn’t gotten enough sleep last night because he had been so engrossed in the latest book he was reading. Wonwoo would have thought that reading made people sleepy, but he supposed he was an outlier. 

 

The knowledge was worth it at least, he smiled, giving his reflection one last glance before gathering his clothes from his dresser. He could never understand some books in their entirety, but he was appreciative of all the little quotes he had found. Quotes were what kept people going, right? Nevermind finding them in a novel. Google was great.

 

He laughed at his reflection.

 

It was imperative that he get all spruced up he thought. There wasn’t any doubt that his boyfriend would want to be extra affectionate today considering it was National Love People day. Whatever the hell was with the name he couldn’t care less. It was just a sorry excuse for people to kiss each other. 

 

Wonwoo was sure that his boyfriend didn’t want to be kissed by someone who looked like a ghost, so he snatched moisturizer, primer, and foundation from the top of his desk and brought them in with him to the bathroom.

 

Fifteen minutes passed and Wonwoo emerged with a bronzed face, glowing more than any pregnant omega could have dreamed of. He didn’t waste time looking in his mirror anymore and rushed down the stairs, shoving his brother Jungkook to the side as he rushed to eat breakfast. 

 

“Ow! Geez Wonu, we still have twenty minutes left.” Jungkook whined, rubbing his shoulder as it hit against the wall.

 

“Don’t forget who’s driving. I have to be there early to meet with a teacher.” Wonwoo replied, not bothering to look behind him. 

 

“You mean your boyfrienddddd.” Jungkook said with a cheeky grin. His eyes crinkled just as Wonwoo’s did, suggesting to any onlooker that they were indeed brothers. But other than that, it seemed that their personalities were distinct. Jungkook was usually seen as the guy in leather who dyed his hair every couple of months. He was more of a people person than Wonwoo, going to the cinema with his friends all the time. Yet Wonwoo had the strength of being his older brother and being on a pedestal of admiration. Perhaps that was why Jungkook never pushed him back.

 

“Shut up! Mom’s going to hear you and the questions will be endless. We don’t have all day you know.” 

 

“Going to hear what?” a smooth and feminine voice rang out through the corridor connecting the dining room to the kitchen. A short woman appeared under the kitchen door frame. Her rounded face made her appear as if she was only in her thirties. There wasn’t a wrinkle in sight. 

 

However, her deep set eyes and well-defined smile did not negate the seriousness of her question. She crossed her arms, expecting Wonwoo to answer.

 

“Just that I got a D on a quiz last Thursday,”

 

“It wasn’t just on a quiz.” Jungkook muttered under his breath. 

 

“Eheh.” Wonwoo smiled sheepishly, ignoring what Jungkook had said. It wasn’t true of course, but it made him blush anyways. 

 

“Well that shouldn’t bring your grade down that much. Just don’t let it happen again.” she gritted, eyes glowing yellow. Wonwoo flinched and Jungkook’s mouth went slack in fear.

 

“Kidding! My baby is so smart, you must have been tired.” she cooed.

 

“Yeah, that was a pretty good guess mom.” Wonwoo said, feigning a grin.

 

“I’m hungry!” Jungkook pouted, climbing up onto one of the stools at the island. 

 

“Are there any waffles left?” Wonwoo asked his mother, looking into the freezer.

 

“No, but you can have this banana.” Jungkook smiled, almost gaping.

 

“Haha, you’re so funny. Where’d you get your sense of humor, Disney Channel kids shows?” Wonwoo said, leaning over the counter and moving his head side to side to taunt Jungkook.

 

“Okay Mom, now’s the time to tell me that Wonwoo was adopted because he's giving me ‘son of the Devil’ vibes.” 

 

“No, he’s your father’s son alright.” their mother chuckled. 

 

II

“Jungkook, I told you not to eat in my car.” Wonwoo said, glaring at the back of another vehicle in front of them. 

 

“God Wonu, I’m not a baby anymore. If there is anyone who should be complaining it’s me. I must have found a dozen old french fries in mom’s car from where your car seat was. Besides, these ones aren't that messy as the regular kind.” 

 

“Didn’t mom purge all the junk food from the cabinets?” 

 

“I saved this from that monster.” Jungkook replied, stern and focused as he struggled to open the bag. 

 

A second later, an incoming call showed up on the touch-screen display between them and Wonwoo pressed the accept button. He tried to ignore the crinkling sounds of Jungkook’s potato chip bag as he concentrated on the road. He spotted his best friends name before he accepted it. Just as he was about to greet him, he was interrupted by a manic onslaught. 

 

“Wonwoo! Did you finish the math worksheet? I totally forgot about it.”

 

Hello to you too.

 

“Yeah I- AHH, oh my God, Kookie, what the hell is wrong with you!?” Wonwoo yelled, jolting in his seat. 

 

His little brother’s potato chips had exploded all over him, littering his white shirt and stereo with chips and crumbs as well. 

 

“Sorry.” Jungkook winced. “It’s not like your BF will leave you because you smell like sour cream and onion. I don’t think he’ll even notice a difference.”

 

The boy on the other end of the line burst out laughing, forgetting about the urgency of his situation.

 

“Woozi if I could I would reach into the speaker box and grab your throat I would!” Wonwoo groaned. 

 

“Don’t worry, I have some deodorant you can rub on your shirt.”

 

Wonwoo could only despair, not wanting to smell like a beta either.

 

“How will I get hugged by my beloved now?” he pouted. 

 

“The same way you got railed by him the other night.”

 

“Ooo Burnnn” his brother howled.

 

“Oh my god Jungkook I would lock my bedroom door tonight if I were you. You know Wonwoo’s eyes are already like daggers.” Woozi laughed.

 

“For once, Woozi makes sense.” Wonwoo said, eyes boring holes into the windshield of the car in front of them.

 

“And that time I told you to answer the phone and it turned out that you won a coupon to Five Below.”

 

“Yeah, Below average.” he muttered. “Just kidding I love that place. And you too Woozi. If only your personality was as colorful as their collection of school supplies.”

 

Woozi decided to ignore the jab.

 

“Speaking of school can you pick me up? My mom got angry at me and she said that if I don’t start walking to school she’s gonna drive behind me the whole time beeping at me.”

 

“Alright, I’ll be there in a few. Start walking.” 

 

“Okay- oh my God- guys. Hurry. I just heard her cock her hunting rifle.” Woozi whispered, causing Jungkook to gulp.

 

“What! Get the hell out of there! We’re coming, oh my god.”

 

“Ugh I was just joking. But please get here quickly. She actually said the other stuff.”

 

III

 

Pledis High School wasn’t much to look at. Wonwoo appreciated its plainess however. At least it wasn’t a Gothic monstrosity with gargoyles hanging off its roof or a Brutalist behemoth soaring into the sky. Rather, it’s flat roof and uniform windows had a calming feeling, as if every day wasn’t a struggle. It was just school. 

 

He dropped Woozi and Jungkook off at the curved driveway outside the lobby and went to park his car in the lot. He didn’t mind the walk. He’d been wanting to meet his boyfriend ever since he had woken up. It was a silly infatuation he had with the older boy but he enjoyed being in the bliss of it. It wasn’t anything super serious, but the thought of seeing him made Wonwoo speed up his pace making a few people watch him curiously as he strode through the parking lot. It wasn’t like he was in heat or anything but the sight of an omega frolicking like a fawn in a meadow did things to people. 

 

That and some people shrugged it off as Wonwoo being eager to get to class. He was the school’s nerd, not the school T after all. But since he was one of the only omegas, it wasn’t seen that way unfortunately.

 

But being the oblivious fawn he was he ran through the doors, untouched by everyone's eyes. He had seen his boyfriend through the row of glass lining the entrance making him want to jump through them just to get to him faster. Wonwoo had to pull on the door a couple of times to get it open and he looked back to check if anyone was behind him before he bolted through the vestibule to the lobby. 

 

Wonwoo liked to think that they were the same height so he crouched slightly, sneaking up on the older boy as he was talking to a pair of his teammates. 

 

The omega narrowed his eyes and pounced on his boyfriend, digging his dainty fingers in the beta’s sweatshirt. 

 

“Boo!” 

 

The other boy didn’t even flinch as he felt Wonwoo’s fingers crawling up his back like a spider. Rather, he lifted an arm, revealing the face of his omega beneath it. 

 

An endearing smile crossed his boyfriend's face. It truly was a pleasant surprise. Wonwoo may have been too in love to notice, but butterflies fluttered in his stomach every time his boyfriend looked at him like that.

 

“Hey kitten. You’re here later than usual. Where were you?”

 

Wonwoo tried to stifle his giggling. 

 

“Alright Cheolie I get it, you don’t want to pretend that I scared you for a second. And I had to pick up Woozi, his mom was- you know.” Wonwoo said, shaking his head as he tried to catch his breath.

 

“That’s Coups-hyung to you Wonu. Plus I wasn’t scared. You’re too cute.” 

 

“Yeah he is. Ain't that right Baekho?” one of the boys in front of them said, nudging his comrade’s shoulder. Wonwoo wasn’t close with his boyfriend’s teammates but he was accustomed to their antics, especially Shownu’s.

 

“Dude, shut up.” Baekho replied, although he couldn’t hide his blush.

 

“Yeah Shownu, Wonwoo’s mine.” S.Coups growled, playfully tickling the omega. Both of Seungcheol’s friends were relieved that their captain was able to turn a possible threat to his relationship into a subject of amusement. He had barely looked at Baekho when he had warned him, rather, his focus was almost always on Wonwoo. 

 

Even if the omega was oblivious about many things he was grateful and aware that Seungcheol was a boyfriend like no other. It may have been an indication of their own immaturity but Seungcheol was Wonwoo’s world, even if it was full of rainbows and sunshine. He may not have taken love seriously, but all one could say was that Wonwoo was seriously into the older. 

 

Seungcheol’s arm wrapped around his torso instinctively as more people flooded into the lobby. Almost immediately, the bell rang, and they started walking.

 

“See ya, coach says we’re gonna be doing sprints today so don’t eat anything right before.”

 

“Alright.”

 

His boyfriend’s teammates groaned, disappearing into the sea of students being funnelled throughout the numerous hallways that branched out into the building. 

 

“You got math first right?” the older boy asked him as they walked up the stairs.

 

“It’s monday so we have home room.” Wonwoo sighed.

 

“Hey I just remembered your first class on day 1. Aren’t you going to compliment me or something?”

 

“No, but I didn’t forget you were a stalker.”

 

“Fuck you.”

 

“When we’re mated hyung.”

 

Seungcheol growled, face becoming flustered. But his expression returned to its usual calm when Wonwoo held onto the railing and leaned down to peck his cheek.

 

“Bye.” Wonwoo grinned, hiccuping as he ran up the stairs. His lithe body slipped around the corner and disappeared behind the double doors of the stairwell’s exit.

 

“See ya.” the beta whispered, not bothering to stop smiling like a fool.

 

IV

 

The hallway to the locker room was cramped and dimly lit, with only the ambient light from adjacent rooms illuminating the corridor as if it was a sewer tunnel. It was a few minutes before noon and so the windows wouldn’t be flooded with sunlight but the school’s lowest level wasn’t that well-lit anyways. 

 

Before Wonwoo and Woozi had rounded the corner, their footsteps were the only thing they had heard but now the sound of a ball bouncing on the polished cement floor echoed off the walls.

 

“Great. Mingyu’s got nothing better to do again.” Wonwoo sighed.

 

“Is that why he’s turned the hallway into his playground? I thought it was because he was still a child.” Woozi snickered.

 

“Yeah, that too.”

 

Wonwoo’s eyes zeroed in on the taller boy’s figure, sporadically stepping in all directions and in every second as he dribbled a basketball. The ball barely stayed in his hand, flying through the air most of the time. Mingyu’s green basketball jersey rippled as he moved abruptly and the hems of his shorts swung due to the amount of footwork the taller boy put into his game. 

 

Perhaps it was the only admirable thing about the guy, Wonwoo thought. If his boyfriend wasn’t the captain of the team by virtue of being a senior, Wonwoo would have imagined Mingyu being promoted to the position. He deserved it. 

 

That was, if his stupid attitude didn’t get in the way.

 

Despite being barley noticeable in the shadow of the school’s star athlete, Mingyu’s friends leaned against the wall, joking around with each other as they watched their friend.

 

“He’s got his ‘enablers’ with him too. If he pulls one of his stunts on me again he’ll have an audience. So let's not get on his bad side today please.” Wonwoo said to his friend.

 

“When are we not?” Woozi pursed his lips.

 

A moment passed until they were finally noticed. The whole ‘rat gang’ as Wonwoo called them looked up at them like a hungry pack of wolves. If only that wasn’t the case.

 

“Hey Wonu. You come here to play?” Mingyu said, cocking a brow.

 

“No, sorry. I left something in my gym locker. Thanks for offering though.” Wonwoo said softly, although the look he gave the other boy was stern. 

 

“Whatever, didn’t expect an omega to keep up with me anyways.”

 

Wonwoo blew air through his pursed lips.

 

“Don’t start with me Kim. I’m not in the mood for it today.” he replied with a tired voice. The black-haired boy simply stared ahead, brushing past the basketball player as Woozi trailed behind him like a shy kitten.

 

“Your boyfriend fuck you too hard or something?” one of Mingyu’s friends retorted, uncrossing his arms to high-five one of the boys.

 

Mingyu gave his friend a grin. Then his gaze returned to Wonwoo’s back side and he bit his lips at how curvy Wonwoo’s figure was. Why did the omega have to be taken? S.Coups was one lucky bastard.

 

Over the cackling of the boys Wonwoo heard Mingyu wolf whistle in his direction, causing Woozi to turn around angrily. 

 

Before Woozi could raise his arm Wonwoo’s hand latched onto it, dragging the shorter boy deeper into the locker room. 

 

Over the obnoxious laughter of Mingyu’s gang Wonwoo hissed at his friend.

 

“Woozi he’s stronger. He’d kill you.”

 

“Not if it’s his last straw with the dean. He’s been suspended two times already.”

 

“Yeah well you never know. Since when did Mingyu ever think about the consequences?”

 

“True.” his best friend admitted, looking down at his feet as Wonwoo got to his locker.

 

“Now let’s get the hell out of here. Seungcheol-hyung is waiting in the caf.”

 

“Yeah and Kim’s still out there guarding the door. I think Seungcheol can wait.”

 

“And we let them have power over us? Uh, no. C’mon. You know you have no respect for yourself if you let a frickin troll make us afraid to even walk past them. If anything happens Seungcheol will take care of it.”

 

“Okay but you're the one going to detention if you start anything with them.”

 

“Of course.” 

 

Wonwoo swung his black shoulder bag in front of him, stuffing a pencil he had found in his locker into one of its pockets. He ignored how menacing the boys’ shadows looked elongated on the floor. Their dark shapes contrasted uncomfortably against the yellow glow of the ceiling fixtures in the corridor making it seem as though they were about to be murdered.

 

He didn’t pay them any mind as he walked through the doorway, distracting himself with fixing the inside of his bag. Woozi took out his phone, gripping the case with as much force as someone who was pushing out a baby. The beta was just itching for a fight, but he knew Wonwoo didn’t want any trouble.

 

The black-haired omega had just strapped his bag onto his shoulder when a larger hand grabbed the band of it, yanking it off of him. 

 

Wonwoo’s blood was already boiling under the heat of their stares but it culminated into him whipping around, confronting the pure-blooded wolf with his acrylic blue eyes. They were ice-cold but searing hot, causing Mingyu’s friends to tense. But their leader remained undeterred.

 

“Give it back to me.” the omega gestured, suddenly finding the motivation to fight.

 

In response, Mingyu took sadistic pleasure in flashing his glowing red eyes. 

 

“Make me.” the taller said through his gritted teeth and fangs.

 

The low tone of the alpha’s voice struck something within him, as if it was something that had laid dormant in him since birth. The next thing he knew he had made himself smaller and was whimpering. It was humiliating. 

 

“That’s what I thought.” Mingyu grinned, cutting open the front of the bag with a large dark brown claw.

 

Did he not see the zipper with those werewolf eyes? Wonwoo internally laughed. It was all he could do really.

 

“What’s in here?”

 

“Mingyu, I’m telling you right now. S-stop.” 

 

“You gonna cry omega?” the basketball player chuckled. 

 

“It would be fucking hillarious if Jeon Wonwoo had a diary.” one of the boys said.

 

Mingyu shook his head.

 

“Wouldn’t be surprised.”

 

His callous indifference to Wonwoo made Woozi growl.

 

“Give it back to him Kim. Your stupid power might work on Wonwoo but not on me. I don’t care if you’re an alpha. You don’t even deserve to be one.” he spat, lunging at the athlete.

 

The alpha caught Woozi’s punch with his free hand, still holding Wonwoo’s bag and letting it dangle in the air. Woozi hissed in response to the uncomfortable pain in his knuckle as the taller squeezed his fist.

 

“You’re lucky I don’t use my fucking claws on you.” Mingyu growled. 

 

Wonwoo’s eyes narrowed.

 

“Let him go. I swear I’ll-” the omega was cut off by the rush of air flowing past him. It took him a second to realize even with his enhanced senses that Mingyu had thrown his best friend on the floor. Woozie’s shoes slid against the floor as his hands saved his head from making contact with it.

 

The alpha looked genuinely disgusted with his best friend.

 

“And you call yourself a beta? If I could take away your werewolf status I would. Don’t try that shit with me again or it will be your best friend next time.” 

 

Laughter however negated the seriousness of the moment.

 

“I don’t know man.” one of Mingyu’s buddies clicked his tongue. “Wonu’s looking good right now. I don’t think I want to wait til next time.”

 

“Shut up.” Mingyu snarled, giving the guy a death glare. It was borderline possessive. 

Mingyu must really want to be the one that kills him, Wonwoo thought. 

 

Sick.

 

Wonwoo knew alphas were strong but Mingyu was on a whole other level. He single handedly pushed Woozi back as if he had only been flexing his muscles. 

 

He couldn’t care less about Mingyu searching through his bag and he rushed over to where his friend lay on the ground, groaning as if someone had just woken him up.

 

“Yo I found it.” the basketball player laughed. 

 

“I didn’t know Jeon Wonwoo could draw.” one of the boys smiled.

 

“If you can even call it that.” Mingyu snickered.

 

“What is that? A stick with dots on it?”

 

“Pretty sure it's a building.” 

 

That was enough.

 

Wonwoo’s seething anger afforded him a spike in energy, enough to get him back on his feet without having to yield to the alpha. Then, in a blur, his hands clamped onto the sketchpad like eagle claws. Wonwoo let out a low growl of his own yet the boys around him only laughed.

 

“Dude, is he a cat?” 

 

“Half kitsune I think.”

 

Mingyu ignored them, staring straight into Wonwoo’s blue eyes.

 

“Back off Wonwoo, I don’t think you want this to rip.” Mingyu warned him with a derisive grin.

 

“I don’t care, you’re not worthy to see it anyways.” 

 

“Wow.” Mingyu drawled out, reaching out a hand to pull Wonwoo’s arm away from the book.

 

“I’m not letting go. I can do this all day you know.” Wonwoo gritted, avoiding the alpha’s deadly glowing red eyes. They were an omega’s weakness, especially his own.

 

Within a few seconds, the binding finally gave way and the paper tore out from it, causing Wonwoo to fall backwards onto the floor. The sudden force of Wonwoo’s pull caused the sketchpad to fall out of the alpha’s grip and clatter onto the floor, leaving another page open and exposed to the prying eyes of onlookers. 

 

“Wonwoo, you got some weird fascinations.” one of them said, eyeing a sketch of a headless Greek goddess at the helm of a ship with wings protruding from its backside.

 

“Nice job Wonu, why didn’t you share this with us earlier. Aren’t we your friends?” Mingyu asked, taking another approach.

 

Wonwoo clenched his teeth, leaping to snatch the drawing pad from where it lay open on the floor. But his speed was out-matched by the alpha’s reflexes and Mingyu’s basketball shoes slammed down on the paper.

 

“Mingyu get your fucking foot off you dick.” the omega yelled, crouching down and hopelessly waiting for the taller to raise his shoe.

 

The basketball player chuckled.

 

“Bow your head and use your manners Wonu.” 

 

“Say ‘please alpha’.” a voice added.

 

Mingyu looked at his friend and shook his head, finding it amusing.

 

“Say it.” he pressed, his expression becoming darker. 

 

Wonwoo squeezed his fists, springing off from his feet and colliding with Mingyu’s chest.

 

“You’re being a fucking asshole.” the omega yelled, aiming to catch the taller off guard with sheer ferocity but Mingyu caught both of his wrists, encircling them with his large hands and spinning Wonwoo around. They collapsed on the floor with the alpha using Wonwoo’s momentum against him.

 

Mingyu wasn’t that big of a monster, Wonwoo had to give him credit for that. The alpha’s arm protected Wonwoo’s head from hitting the floor and cushioned his fall. 

 

There was just one problem.

 

Mingyu was now on top of him.

 

If that wasn’t enough, Wonwoo could feel the alpha’s breath on his neck, traveling down his chest. Not to mention the mocking grins that the athlete’s friends were giving him. 

 

Wonwoo’s face may have been a priceless kind of shock and anger, but Mingyu continued to smirk down at him, proud of himself for still being in control. He wanted to slap himself when the thought came to him that he actually enjoyed being like this. It was like the alpha was protecting him. 

 

But the sweet and sour moment had to be interrupted of course by one of their gnawing teachers who must have been having lunch in his class while their scuffle was going on. Although Wonwoo didn't know if he could call it a scuffle. Mingyu already had beaten him the minute they made eye contact. 

 

By the time the door had creaked open Woozi and the others had fled the scene, making their position even more scandalized.

 

“What the hell is going on?” the man shouted, struggling to censor himself.

 

Mingyu -now reverted back to normal, craned his neck behind his shoulder and was about to answer but the middle-aged man cut him off.

 

“You know what? I don’t want to know. Get your asses to detention after school and if you don’t show up, consider yourselves suspended for fighting on campus.”

 

Mingyu removed his arm from out underneath Wonwoo’s head, eliciting an ‘ow’ from the shorter boy. The alpha wasn’t in a playful mood anymore.

 

“This is all your fault.” 

 

Chapter Text

The detention room was as bare and undecorated as one could imagine. Wonwoo never needed to read the motivational quotes that teachers posted around the room or the pictures of kittens and dogs with clever quips about learning. But it spruced up the room nevertheless and gave his life purpose in those long minutes.

 

At least there were windows. One row was arrayed on the left from where he sat and one was behind him. It was the late afternoon and he was transfixed by the orange hues that the sun had painted on the sides of buildings across the field and in the distance. There was always something about sunsets that made him sad, although he didn’t know why. 

 

He was watching the branches of pine trees outside dangle in the wind when his eyes fell upon the tall and built figure which looked as though it emerged from his nightmares. 

 

Kim Mingyu was the reason why he was here. He was the reason why his life was synonymous with suffering. And yet, the basketball player had the gall to say it was his fault? Please, anyone with a good conscience would know that Mingyu was a no good dirty rat. One could tell merely by one look at the guy and that stupid smirk of his. Well, except for the teachers who had a vested interest in him. Mingyu may have been that much of a deviant playboy. Although it was lazy of him to think that way and he thought twice about making such an assumption. 

 

Perhaps Mingyu deserved a second chance. Although that would be the one-hundredth second chance he had given him throughout their three years in highschool. He wasn’t even dating Mingyu and he felt like he was taking him back like he had been cheated on. Alphas could get away with that, couldn’t they?

 

Speaking of making broad assumptions. Wonwoo laughed at himself. He needed to stop, sit back, and relax. If only the urge to look at- no- strangle the alpha, wasn’t so strong than maybe he could.

 

Just as he was beginning to feel guilty for admiring Mingyu’s muscular physique, the alpha just had to turn around and catch him. Almost automatically the taller adopted a smug grin, as if he had proved himself right. Did Mingyu know he was staring at him? Well, if he did, Wonwoo wouldn’t let him have it. Knowledge may have been power, but not caring was another thing.

 

“What?” the taller boy cocked an eyebrow, careful as to not be heard by the teacher who went out into the hallway.

 

Wonwoo only glared at him.

 

“Nothing.” 

 

“Really? Because you were looking at me like I had grown two heads so I was just curious.”

 

The shorter boy snorted.

 

“Don’t flatter yourself Kim, you aren’t that interesting to look at.”

 

“You are though.” Mingyu smirked, not stopping when Wonwoo furrowed his brows. Mingyu was dating someone. 

 

How unfaithful. 

 

No hot guy was going to make him forget about loyalty and commitment. Even if the person being cheated on was a bitch.

 

“Are you in heat omega or are you always that red?” 

 

Wonwoo’s breath hitched at the remark. All he could do was glare at the alpha since he had no explanation for why he was blushing.

 

“That’s it-” he said, about to get up from his seat when their teacher came in with a loud sigh.

 

“Fifteen more minutes Wonwoo. I trust that you can sit in your seat for that much longer.” 

 

Mingyu snickered.

 

“Yeah Won, might want to tone it down a notch with the heat suppressants.” 

 

Wonwoo was going to make a retort but the teacher cut him off.

 

“If I hear one more peep out of any of you, you’re all staying here for another hour!”

 

Mingyu didn’t believe it.

 

“That means you have to stay with us for another hour too.” 

 

Wonwoo saw it as the perfect time to make an alliance, even if he hated the basketball player. He was not staying for another hour.

 

“Yeah Mr. Hong, don’t you have important things to do after school? I thought teachers had lives on the outside?” Wonwoo added.

 

The older man gulped, half insulted and half shocked by the question. 

 

“Well- I- I do. So don’t play smart with me. I’ll be leaving because I do have a life outside of school Wonwoo. Gosh has anyone ever told you that you are a nosy omega? And as for you, Mingyu, that’s why I will be telling the other teacher down the hall to come in and check on you and if they see you misbheaving they’ll make you stay until four-thirty”

 

“Four-thirty?” Wonwoo gawked. 

 

“If you don’t behave I said.” Mr. Hong replied in a stingy tone. “I thought you guys had acute hearing.”

 

The under-the-breath comment went unnoticed as the alpha had an even more derogatory one.

 

“Leave it to Wonwoo to mess this up.” Mingyu muttered, eliciting a huff of amusement from their teacher.

 

“Don’t forget Mingyu, an alpha can do as much and even more damage than an omega.” 

 

And with that, the older man left with his bag on his shoulders.

 

Mingyu craned his neck to taunt Wonwoo once again. It was his favorite pastime, even better than making out with his girlfriend.

 

Wait-

 

The basketball player turned his head to distract himself from the thought, but he found himself looking at a Wonwoo instead. 

 

Great. 

 

He couldn’t lie, nor could he prevent the thoughts from coming to his head. Wonwoo wasn’t any average omega. Well, he fit the category in regards to his biology and all that. But just by one look at him any guy would question if he belonged to the werewolf species after all. Omegas were supposed to have a warm aura to them, right? How else could they be good mothers? 

 

Where omegas had softer features on their face, Wonwoo’s eyes were narrower, his nose more straight and prominent, and his jaw and chin were more defined. Maybe it was because Wonwoo was half kitsune. It explained why he always heard Seungcheol calling the omega kitten. Sort of. He didn’t want to think it was a pet name that had come from behind their bedroom. Wonwoo doing it with another guy wasn’t something he wanted to think about. 

 

All it took was one look below Wonwoo’s shoulders, and any guy would know for sure who Wonwoo really was, or, what he was categorized as. Yet Mingyu always thought that he could tell what kind of person someone was with a simple glance at their face. Maybe that was why he was captivated by the omega. While Wonwoo’s face did not conform to his presuppositions, he knew the older boy wasn’t as cold as his eyes made him out to be. Maybe that could go the same way for him? It wasn’t like he had to be a jerk just because he was an alpha. 

 

Mingyu chuckled to himself. He’d save that thought for the future. Taunting Wonwoo was fun.

 

The basketball player shook his head, turning back to a piece of paper that he’d been doodling on. He had a more creative idea than simply insulting Wonwoo to his face.

 

It took only a couple of minutes before Mingyu had given himself the ‘go ahead’ to begin to torment his existence again. This time, it came in the form of a piece of paper which landed in his hair. 

 

“Nice shot for an alpha.” Wonwoo muttered, doubting that Mingyu could hear it even with his heightened senses. But the guy proved him wrong and smirked at him. None of the teachers at the school had any supernatural abilities, at least that was what Wonwoo thought. So he hoped they weren’t able to hear them.

 

Wonwoo turned back to the homework that he was trying to get done which seemed to anger Mingyu rather noticeably. 

 

The alpha didn’t relent, deciding that it was a better idea to throw something harder and that would make a bigger impact.

 

“Ow!” he hissed, clutching the area that Mingyu automatically guessed was his eye. 

 

The basketball player jerked up in his seat, grabbing the back of it to twist around and get towards Wonwoo, but the realization that Wonwoo was in immense pain made him freeze. 

 

“Fuck- Wonwoo! are you okay?” 

 

His alpha instincts were going haywire, but there wasn’t any time to wonder why. Yeah Wonwoo was an omega, and alphas were naturally attracted to them, but Wonwoo wasn’t just different from the average omega, he was more. And his reaction was more than what his instincts had produced. It was like his own soul - not his wolf - had caused him to react that way. Luckily Wonwoo didn’t particularly notice.  

 

It took a second for Mingyu to realize that Wonwoo’s sobbing had turned to giggles, and the omega raised his head to give him a mischievous smile. 

 

“You thought.” he mouthed the words, watching as Mingyu grunted and sat back down again. 

 

Since Mingyu started the war, Wonwoo didn’t mind retaliating. So he wrote a message on the eraser, and threw it back to its sender.

 

It grazed Mingyu’s shoulder and plopped onto the front of the desk he was sitting at. Mingyu didn’t flinch or anything, in fact, he slowly reached for the eraser, picking it up and eyeing the dark pencil marks on it.

 

“F*** off” 

 

Damn, Wonwoo has good handwriting.

 

Mingyu gave the omega a challenging grin but Wonwoo dismissed it and went back to reading his book, ignoring the sound of crumpling paper and hardworking hands coming from the other boy’s desk. 

 

The next thing Wonwoo knew, a pointy object pricked his shoulder and fluttered onto his desk. It took him a second to realize that Mingyu had stooped so low as to craft a paper airplane with a message in it. Well, what did he know? Mingyu understood aerodynamics and was literate. 

 

“You should apologize for pushing me. That was uncalled for. You have one chance to say sorry after school or else I’ll go even harder on you than I was planning to.”

 

Now why did that make Wonwoo’s spine tingle? Perhaps it was out of fear but he also felt a hint of anticipation. It made him want to annoy the alpha even more. He had never seen the athlete so devoted to a cause, nevermind his relationship with his girlfriend. 

 

Mingyu may as well have written a cut-paper ransom note because he could barely read it. 

 

Wonwoo merely whispered, hoping his voice was sharp but loud enough for the words to reach the alpha.

 

“I don’t owe you anything.”

 

It came out more like a hiss but his tone was deep and seething. Mingyu’s head to turn slightly as he said it, prompting the taller boy to smirk as he shook his head. The omega’s voice made his dick twitch but he reminded himself that he couldn’t let that stop him.

 

On the other hand Wonwoo didn’t know whether to be satisfied that Mingyu received his answer, or terrified that he could hear the alpha growl low in his throat. 

 

It didn’t sound like he got the memo.

 

II

 

Wonwoo planned to make a run for it as soon as the clock showed that fifteen minutes had passed, but Mingyu seemed to be one step ahead of him. Whether it was the scent of fear that he was giving off or if omegas were just that predictable, he didn’t know. All he could think about - the only thing his instincts had made him think about - was getting out of there as fast as-

 

He shrieked. 

 

Mingyu grabbed his shirt, letting him lurch forward slightly before coming back as if a rubber band was wrapped around him. 

 

“Let me go.” Wonwoo hissed, keeping his voice low. He wanted to think he was only keeping his voice down so that he could punch Mingyu in the face without any teachers coming into the hallway to stop them. But he remembered they had all gone home. Of course he wouldn’t admit that he liked being in the position he was in; a tiny and helpless omega caught in the grip of a large, strong, alph-

 

“You’re lucky I didn’t have my claws out.” Mingyu gritted. “I mean- I wouldn’t mind seeing you with some cut outs. Never was really into pale-skinned omegas but you look like you’d be hot with some skin showing. You know I could tear your clothes to shreds? Fuck, I’d embarrass you in front of the whole school if I wanted to. So watch who you’re talking to omega.”

 

Wonwoo tried twisting his body out from Mingyu’s grip but it was no use. All he could do was crane his neck and grit his teeth, making it look like he was some rabid animal the alpha had caught in a cage. It was then that he realized words were his only weapon of defense.

 

“I’m not afraid of you.” he said menacingly, looking up at the taller boy like he wanted to get revenge on him. If only omegas weren’t the types to be pacifists and diplomats. So much for supposedly being level-headed and agreeable. Yet he liked the feeling of inferiority Mingyu gave him, although not in it’s raw present form. Rather, he wanted someone to lead and take the reigns. Maybe if Mingyu was a little less of a douchebag he’d offer himself to him-

 

“You like being disobedient don’t you, little omega? Huh?”

 

It was at that moment that Mingyu slammed him against the lockers, holding him by the collar. He could only whimper.

 

“Do you?” 

 

“What makes you think you deserve an answer?” he retorted, wrapping his dainty fingers around the alpha’s arm, trying to pull it off.

 

Mingyu scowled harder. It was obvious he was clenching his teeth as his face became firmer and his eyes more narrow.

 

“Don’t deny it Wonwoo. I can smell how turned on you are. Maybe next time wear more perfume. You don’t want alpha’s like me getting the wrong idea, or are you just that thirsty?” he said, finally smirking.

 

“You’re messed-”

 

“Imagine you meeting with your boyfriend after this and he smells me on you? I’d hate to see what happens after that.” he snorted. “I can’t wait for him to find out you like it when alpha’s show you who’s boss. It’d hurt his little beta heart knowing he can’t give you what you really need.” 

 

Wonwoo eyes crinkled as he laughed in the alpha’s face, although it looked more like he was wincing in pain.

 

“And you really need to shut up. Alphas and betas aren’t the only one’s who protect their mate’s name and dignity, not that you would know. You treat your girlfriend like she’s a piece of meat you bastard-”

 

The grip around his collar tightened.

 

“Yeah well she’s the one getting an alpha’s cock. Can’t say the same for you. Maybe you’re just jealous.”

 

“Oh yeah, I totally am.” Wonwoo nodded, rolling his eyes. 

 

Every remark and rude gesture he made with his face was met with an even harder push by the alpha who pressed him more and more into the lockers.

 

“I’m not stopping until you apologize, Wonwoo. You fucking omegas don’t know when to give up. Bet you think you’re beta will come and save you. Well he’s not. You have to just accept that guys like me will always be better than you. It’s not that hard Wonu. It’s what you were made for. You’re just a slut.”

 

Wonwoo could only stare at him.

 

“Are you done now-” he muttered but before Mingyu could realize just how clever of a quip it was, the alpha forced him into the cold metal behind him. Wonwoo winced in pain as the door handles, grates, and locks dug into his back and for a second, he could feel wetness begin to gather around the corner of his eye.  

 

Mingyu noticed the tear drop too and froze, as if he was debating with himself whether he should go on or not. If Mingyu did have a heart it more or less surrendered to the forces of vengeance and resentment lurking within him; things his wolf wasn’t able to fight off. 

 

As Wonwoo expected, the taller boy laughed at him.

 

“Are you really going to fucking cry Wonwoo? Yeah, I get it, Not having the school’s biggest alpha cock in you is kind of hard to accept right?” 

 

He could have sunk down to his knees on the floor and begged Mingyu to stop but he remained stoic, undeterred even if the tear drop was rolling down his cheek. Nevermind childbirth, omegas could take the pain. 

 

Although he wished Mingyu could have been at least merciful enough to let him wipe his tears away, the alpha liked seeing him cry. As if his tears could wash away the other boy’s guilt.

 

“Let go of me.” Wonwoo said angrily, although it was deeper rather than sharp. There was a soft air of power to it, like a low reverberating hum of an engine combined with the venom of a snake bite. 

 

At that, Mingyu actually released his arms, his eyes becoming more tense than smug. Wonwoo had looked at him as if they were a married couple having an argument, or at least, the alpha wished they were married. Wonwoo just had to go and ruin it for them.

 

“You’re a little feisty omega aren’t you?”

 

Wonwoo merely grimaced, not even bothering to give him a dirty look as he stepped out from being pressed into the locker and walked away.

 

Of course Mingyu stopped him from leaving but it wasn’t simply because he hated Wonwoo so much that he wanted to make him suffer more. Rather, he frowned at the loss of attention the omega was giving him. 

 

“Hey, I didn’t say you could leave did I?” Mingyu growled. He was glad he released Wonwoo’s arms, letting him go and capturing him again was fun. 

 

“Can I leave?” Wonwoo asked sternly, although it was more than a statement than a question. Rather than come up with a rude remark, Wonwoo was too tired and decided to play the game. Although he was having a little fun with it by mocking the alpha. 

 

The striking white around the shorter boy’s dark pupils seemed to shine rather than glow, and he hadn’t even needed to make them turn blue for Mingyu to understand just how scary Wonwoo could be. 

 

Rather than let his smirk falter, Mingyu covered his shock and nervousness with a smirk, unclamping his hand as if the motion were automated, as if he held Wonwoo’s life in his hands and could let him go that easily. It was more of a display of power than of mercy but Wonwoo didn’t seem to notice, merely scoffing at him as he stomped away.

 

The alpha turned his head slowly to follow the other’s back getting smaller and smaller until he disappeared around the corner. All he could do was chuckle to himself. Never would he have thought that he’d actually respect an omega. If he even was capable of the act of respecting that is. 

 

However, that didn’t mean he couldn’t try and test Wonwoo’s worthiness; to try and break his spirit more than his heart. Alpha’s liked the tests to be physical but since Wonwoo was an omega…. Well, he knew the boundaries. 

 

He had to get Wonwoo back somehow. To break him so much that the omega could actually feel sorry. 

 

It went beyond mere fun and games or not-so-friendly banter. It was a price Wonwoo had to pay. Something Wonwoo had to be shown. 

 

Vengeance.

 

III

 

If Mingyu had a heart, it would have warmed at the thought of his buddies staying after school waiting for him outside. But then again, most of them were just leeches, wanting to fit in and be with the cool kids. Hanging out with them really did make them cool in the eyes of the rest of the student body. Though only he was untouchable. He was the fountainhead of it all. Even if they all decided to get up and leave him one day he’d still be the alpha of the pack. It was a sense of self and an air of pride that he had always carried with him, striking and wounding the egos of everyone around him, making them gulp not just from his stature, but from the energy he radiated. 

 

Hence why all his friends whipped their heads towards him as he burst through the lobby doors, exiting the building as if he were walking into a Wild West saloon. He had his hands in his pockets and was smirking wider than ever. 

 

The pathway out from the school’s side entrance bisected two large plots which contained flowers that the school’s garden club had planted. His friends all sat across from each other on the brick walls that served as a border, playing on their phones or playing catch with a tennis ball.

 

“Bunch of losers.” he muttered. “Can’t have fun without me huh?”

 

Jaehyun snorted as he caught the tennis ball Yugyeom threw at him with his baseball cap. 

 

“You should be grateful that we stayed after for you Kim. Some of us have lives you know.”

 

“Your lives aint nothing without me.” 

 

Yugyeom got up from where he had one leg on the wall he was sitting on, stepping onto the ground and standing to full height.

 

“You know what, Kim has a point.”

 

“Yeah, for once.” Jaehyun muttered.

 

“I mean- think about it. If Mingyu was gone our lives would be pretty boring.” Yugyeom continued, holding his chin in the crook between his index finger and thumb.

 

“And we wouldn’t have a leader.” Jungkook said from where he was sitting on the other brick wall across from Yugyeom. “So you know what, thanks Kim.” 

 

“Shut up.” he replied, knowing they liked to mock him.

 

“Gee, Kim’s pretty paranoid if he can’t even accept a compliment.” Jungkook laughed. 

 

“Cut me some slack. It’s not like you guys haven’t been trying to roast me.”

 

Jaehyun groaned.

 

“Sorry but you know what they say. When you’re at the top you get a lot of flak.” 

 

Mingyu was about to come back with a remark but the other alpha stopped him.

 

“When you’re at the top you can’t punch down either.”

 

The taller boy arched a brow, reveling in the way Jaehyun suddenly became nervous.

 

“Who says I can’t?” 

 

Jaehyun noticeably gulped.

 

“Good morals.” 

 

“Or just common decency.” Jungkook added, not at all as scared as his friend was and he wasn’t even an alpha. 

 

Yugyeom huffed.

 

“None of those things matters guys. C’mon. We could all take Mingyu if we wanted to.” he said, rolling his shoulders forward as he craned his neck to the side to loosen up.

 

“Oh yeah?” Mingyu dared him, stepping closer in an attempt to intimidate his friend into backing down. Before he could get anything else out, he noticed movement in the corner of his eye and his glare shifted from the beta’s frightened eyes to the figure moving behind the cars in the parking lot off to the right.

 

Yugyeom noticed the change and turned his head around slowly to match his line of sight up with the alpha’s 

 

It was almost like a light bulb lit up over his head with how the beta turned back around smirking at him. 

 

“What?” Mingyu snarled, shoving him slightly. If it hadn’t been for his suspicion that Yugyeom knew something he didn’t want him to know, then he might not have reacted that way. Besides, Yugyeom was tough.

 

“Nothing.”

 

“That’s what I thought-”

 

“You see something interesting Kim?” Jaehyun chimed in, leaning forward as he rested one elbow over his knee.

 

“Does it matter?” 

 

“Pshhh yeah. You couldn’t have just spent a whole hour in detention with an omega and walked out like it was nothing. Did Wonwoo grow on you or something?” 

 

He tensed at the mention of the omega’s name.

 

“What are you talking about? What’s Wonwoo got to do with any of this?”

 

“You know.” Yugyeom said, nodding his head towards the black-haired boy who emerged from a row of cars carrying a whole tray of coffee.

 

Mingyu narrowed his eyes even more, reluctantly turning his head to watch Wonwoo speed walk through the parking lot. If it weren’t for the fact that he had to shake his little omega ass like he was trying to attract potential mates, he would have proudly admitted to all of his friends that he thought Wonwoo was cute. 

 

What the hell. Why did Wonwoo have to look so fucking adorable?

 

Not that alphas every described omegas like that. 

 

“I don’t.” Mingyu retorted, annoyed. 

 

“Good.” Jungkook huffed, looking like he wanted to fight Yugyeom and Jaehyun instead. “That’s my brother in case any of you didn’t know.” 

 

Yugyeom made a soft ‘O’ with his mouth. Even though Jungkook was a dork, he remembered the other beta was capable of showing affection, even if he always complained about his brother bossing him around. 

 

“Well maybe he can tell us how detention went since Kim over here looks like he’s too in love to-”

 

“Be quiet. Honestly.” Mingyu growled, shoving his shoulder. 

 

“Yo Wonwoo!” Yugyeom called, laughing as the alpha in front of him tried to muzzle him. 

 

The omega’s tiny figure stopped moving in the distance as that black ball of hair on top of his head swiveled around, his pale and glowing skin facing them. 

 

“Yeah?” he said, pretending not to see Mingyu glaring at him. Yugyeom brought his arm back to signal for the omega to come closer. Wonwoo complied although he was still suspicious. Hopefully Jungkook could keep them all in check if he couldn’t. 

 

“You better not ask anything stupid or I’ll kill you.” his brother hissed towards Yugyeom. 

 

“C’mon. I’m not. Cut me some slack.” Yugyeom groaned, jabbing his friend before turning back to face the omega.

 

“Did Mingyu give you a hard time there? he asked, wiggling his eyebrows. Meanwhile, Wonwoo visibly scoffed.

 

“Ask your friend the big guy. It was more like the other way around.” 

 

They all chuckled from that. Well, except for Mingyu.

 

“Shut up. Don’t you have somewhere to be, little omega? I bet your boyfriend really misses you right?” the alpha snickered. “He must be some boyfriend if he’s making you get him all that coffee.” 

 

He felt Jungkook elbow him in the stomach but it was barely noticeable. Jungkook tried to hide the fact that his hits were weak under the guise that he was just being friendly. Although they both knew it was because betas were nothing compared to alphas. If only Jungkook had seen what he had done to Woozi outside the locker room. That reminded him.

 

How in the world was Wonwoo not flashing his blue eyes at him? Didn’t the omega want to rip his head off after everything? Wonwoo was probably just scared. However, now that he noticed, all he could smell from the omega was the scent of vanilla with a tinge of cinnamon, roses, and citrus. It was sweet but sharp, just like his personality.

 

“I have to go home and study thanks for asking.” Wonwoo snapped, continuing on his trek to his car which was still a distance away.

 

“Hey, Wonu. What’s with all the coffee?” Jungkook asked furrowing his brows. 

 

Mingyu smirked.

 

“Yeah, I didn’t know you had friends.” 

 

The black-haired boy looked at him as if he weren’t surprised, mouthing the word ‘wow’ rather dramatically for extra effect.

 

“It’s for me actually.”

 

“You got a test to study for or something?” Yugyeom chuckled, tilting his head.

 

“No.” Wonwoo snorted. “Maybe I just like coffee?” 

 

“Yeah, a little too much.” Mingyu muttered, eyeing the four plastic cups filling up the plastic carton. 

 

“Hey, what do you know? Kim actually cares about Wonwoo. Don’t tell his girlfriend.”

 

“Yeah, she’d be so fucking jealous.” the alpha retorted, not wanting to look at Wonwoo anymore now that they were paying extra attention to their interactions. He was just glad Yugyeom hadn’t called him out because he was staring. Although he couldn’t help but sneak a glance at the omega who luckily got out of earshot when Yugyeom decided to open his mouth again.

 

“Yeah we don’t want to make your girlfriend not let you have it tonight.” 

 

Mingyu growled, shrugging it off as he turned towards Jungkook.

 

“Isn’t he your ride?” he asked, using his head to point to Wonwoo who just plopped himself into his car.

 

Jungkook chuckled.

 

“No. I thought we were gonna shoot some hoops?”

 

“Sure but you don’t have a ride. I got to be home by sundown.” 

 

“We get it Kim, you don’t want to play because you know I’ve been practicing.”

 

“Yeah we’ll see about that when coach cuts you from the team.”

 

“How’s he going to do that?” 

 

“Because I’ll break your leg.” Mingyu snickered, nudging him.

 

“Keep telling yourself that Kim. Wonwoo got out of detention still alive so I’m guessing you’re all talk.”

 

“You won’t be saying that when I’m captain of the team next year.” 

 

Jungkook made a face as if he had just tasted something unbearably sour.

 

“Now I know why my brother hates you.”

 

“He does? I mean- he hasn’t told you?” Mingyu snorted, trying to cover up his curiosity. Even if the feeling of hatred was mutual between them, it still kind of stung to hear Wonwoo actually did.

 

“He doesn’t tell me anything. He’s probably scared I’ll tell you or something.” Jungkook chuckled.

 

“He should be.” 

 

“Hey. What’d I say back there?”

 

“Oh right, you’re his protective little brother. I forgot. Maybe hit the gym and I’ll actually back off for once.” 

 

“Dickhead.” Jungkook huffed, shoving his hands in his pockets as the rest of the group pulled themselves together and set out for the basketball court. 

 

“You still haven’t told me why you hate him so much. And I’m not talking about the fact that he’s a ‘smart ass omega’. I mean- why do you hate him? Like what’s the real reason?”

 

“You already said it. I fucking hate omega’s who prance around acting like they are something. But if you want me to give you more than that, fine. I sound like a scumbag but it’s true. He’s always laughing and smiling with his friends. I just want to wipe it off his face, honestly. No one likes an omega who’s always trying to be cute.”

 

Jungkook looked at him with skepticism, being suspicious about more than one thing. 

 

“You sure that’s all?”  

 

He shook his head and shrugged.

 

“It’s a long story.” 

Chapter Text

 

Wonwoo grumbled to himself as he jumped into his car. He wished his mother was home because he didn’t want to be the one who had to drive all the way to the basketball court on the other side of town, wasting both his time and gas for his car. Well, now that he thought of it, maybe it was just an excuse for not wanting to see Mingyu. Of course he knew that was a lie. Who didn’t want to see Mingyu playing basketball, all pumped up, sweaty, looking like a beast… shirtless-

 

He hated Jungkook so much. 

 

“Making me drive all the way across town. Who the hell does he think he is? An alpha?”

 

He jammed his keys into the ignition, furrowing his brows as it wouldn’t start.

 

“Oh c’mon! I’m not putting up with this crap anymore. Jungkook’s gonna walk next time.” he muttered, getting the engine to start finally. 

 

“He better know how to cook his own dinner too. Stupid betas. I should have dragged his ass home while I had the chance it’s just-”

 

The ringing of his phone cut off his rambling, prompting him to snap his head towards the device where it lay on the passenger seat. Jungkook didn’t know when to quit. Unlatching his hand from the gear shift, he grabbed his phone and pressed ‘accept’ fumbling with it as he held it up to his head.

 

“Yes?” he asked, although it came out more like a hiss.

 

“Can you tell me when you leave, me and the guys are gonna play another round.”

 

“Ohhh, hell no.” Wonwoo laughed. “When I get there you’re going to sit your ass in this car. You run on my schedule.” 

 

“But-”

 

“Do you want a ride or not?” 

 

“Fine.” Jungkook growled. Wonwoo could hear laughter in the background but his brother quickly covered the microphone with his hand. 

 

“I know you didn’t just growl at me. You’re so ungrateful, literally.”

 

“Whatever. Thanks.” Jungkook let out, hanging up on him.

 

“I’m gonna kill him.” 

 

II

 

Wonwoo always liked the sound of his tires rolling on the gravel. His car wasn’t at all heavy duty but it was big enough to make him feel like he was driving a minivan. Thanks to Jungkook, he felt like a soccer mom with nothing else better to do than pick up her kid. If only it hadn’t gotten realer than that. 

 

He didn’t realize how hot it had been when he rolled down his window. He assumed he would have gotten a cooler breeze with sundown but the orange rays of light hitting his arm warmed him up as the car came to a stop in one of the parking spaces next to the field. The field was surrounded by a small forest hence why there was barely a breeze. The hot orange sunlight didn’t help his skin either but he didn’t want to turn up the air conditioner. Coolant fluid was expensive.

 

It was too hot. Where the hell was Jungkook? 

 

The basketball court lay on the other end of the field, probably hundreds of yards away. Hence why they all looked like little squiggles moving around. That and he was basically blind. He was pretty sure he could see Jungkook in his white tank top running down the court dribbling the ball with a tall kid trying to get it from him. It couldn’t have been Mingyu though. The guy was wearing a tan-colored shirt and Mingyu had been wearing his green basketball jersey. Nevermind that, Mingyu wasn’t worth a penny for his thoughts. Nor was Jungkook either.

 

As much as he squinted he didn’t see anyone coming towards him? Did they not see his car? It was the only one in the parking lot for pete’s sake.

 

Jungkook better not expect him to walk all the way across the field to get him. 

 

It wasn’t like he was going to stay in the car either and melt. He already felt like a pizza, becoming all greasy and sweaty as it sat out for a while. To make it worse he already showered when he got home. 

 

Alright. 

 

He reached for his phone, clutching it between his dainty fingers. He may have dialed Jungkook’s number like an old man using a phone for the first time but from the way he breathed into the phone’s microphone it didn’t matter nonetheless. He figured his brother would have answered to tell him that he was coming or to beg for just another minute but Jungkook let it ring.

 

The kid always had his phone with him. And if he put it on silent it still would have buzzed. 

 

“Please don’t tell me you’re gonna make me walk.” Wonwoo groaned, letting his head fall back as he lazily reached for the door handle, clicking it open and dragging himself out. 

 

He was probably going to get dog poop all over his shoes considering he had to walk hundred yards through grass but if that meant he could snap Jungkook’s neck then it was worth it. Maybe it would send a message to Mingyu.

 

Speak of the devil, as he neared closer to the basketball court he realized the tall kid wearing a tan-colored shirt was really just a bronze-skinned Mingyu who thought it was a good idea to play basketball shirtless. 

 

To that pea-brained Mingyu, everything was a good idea he guessed. Hopefully picking on him wasn’t one of them and he and Jungkook could get out of there.

 

“Jungkook.” he called, maintaining one straight line of focus, staring ahead at his brother. “C’mon.” 

 

Jungkook stopped in his tracks and looked towards him all the while one of his friends - Yugyeom he believed - took the ball away from him. Jungkook looked nervous and surprised. He didn’t even look like he cared much about the ball being stolen from him. His brother was playing a bigger game. 

 

“Uhhh, can’t you stay for a few? I just gotta make a couple of more shots in and I’ll be good to go, seriously.” 

 

“No, I don’t have time for this. Get in the car or you’re walking.”

 

“My brother doesn’t have time to watch one round? It’s not like Seungcheol-hyung’s been nagging you to go out. What is it? You wanna get back home quick and bury your nose in one of those stupid books?”

 

Wonwoo arched a brow.

 

“Did you hear me? I said we’re going. Now. I didn’t walk across a field full of dog poop just to stand around and watch you pretend like you’re the next Lebron James. Now c’mon.” 

 

Jungkook let out a whimper and slouched forward as Wonwoo took his hand and dragged him off the court.

 

“Please Wonwoo, just a few more-

 

“So the princess doesn’t like getting his feet dirty? I’ll remember that next time.” 

 

He knew Mingyu didn’t just address him as princess. 

 

Jungkook tried to rush past him. The action struck him as something peculiar. Just a moment ago his brother didn’t want to leave and now it looked as though he was running away. At least he had some common sense. A battle between him and Mingyu wasn’t any place for people like Jungkook. That didn’t stop him from holding onto his younger brother’s hand, pulling him back as if he were attached to a rubber band. There was no way in hell Mingyu and all his friends were going to taunt him alone.

 

Slowly turning around, he thought of something to come back with, scoffing to himself in amusement. The snide and derisive grin on his face was his best defense against the visual attack of Mingyu’s shirtless, bronze, toned, and gleaming torso. Not to mention the drops of sweat rolling down his abs and the dark wet hair that spiked outwards over the basketball player’s forehead was enough to make him want to hold their heads together. Despite the taller boy’s handsomeness, it wasn’t enough to distract him from the smirk Mingyu was giving him, as if he already won. He felt like slapping the guy. 

 

Mingyu thinks he doesn’t like getting his feet dirty? Pshh.

 

“You would know. You practically suck Tzuyu’s toes whenever you get the chance.”

 

Mingyu’s friends' mouths fell open. Well, at least the modest ones. Jaehyun and a few other guys he recognized from earlier outside the locker room all snickered. At that point they all expected Wonwoo to be witty and dangerous. Mingyu wasn’t surprised either but he didn’t show mock amusement or try to cover for himself. It looked as though he was about to give up.

 

“Whatever.” Mingyu huffed. “And if I actually did I bet they’d smell better than yours.” 

 

“You can ask Seungcheol then if you’re interested. Not sure if that counts as dirt on me but someone like you would take anything they can right?” 

 

Mingyu smirked.

 

“Yeah, like I’d need to go asking around to find dirt on you when the whole school knows you’re just a slut for Seungcheol’s cock.” 

 

“Hey! Shut your mouth!” Jungkook growled.

 

“Tell Wonwoo to shut his.” the taller snickered.

 

“Oh please!” Wonwoo scoffed. “Like your girlfriend’s mouth hasn’t been open as long as Adele could sing a high note.”

 

“At least my girlfriend doesn’t sound like a foghorn when she sings.”

 

Wonwoo narrowed his eyes.

 

“You must be spying on me or something then if you know that.”

 

Mingyu let out a long and low growl, prompting Jungkook to grab him by the hips and spin him around, walking them out of there. At least, he tried to.

 

“Where do you think you’re going Jeon? Using your brother as an excuse not to play huh?”

 

“Anyone would use an excuse just to get away from you.” Wonwoo snorted, wrapping an arm around Jungkook’s shoulder all the while the younger kept his head down. 

 

Mingyu grimaced angrily, as if he was caught between trying to understand his sense of humor or thinking it was pathetic overall. Anyways, it wasn’t like Mingyu could do any better and the basketball player knew it. Hence why it looked as though a light bulb had turned on over his head. 

 

“Jungkook isn’t leaving until he finishes this round. Then you can have him.” 

 

“Sorry, that’s not how it works with me. Let’s go-”

 

“You’re really gonna let an omega tell you what to do Jungkookie? You could literally snap his wrist but you’re letting him walk you like a dog. That’s gotta be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen man.” Mingyu laughed.

 

“You know I can’t stay so shut up!” Jungkook barked as the both of them reached a quarter of the way across the field.

 

“You’re just trying to find an excuse to bail Kook. I don’t think the rest of the team would like to know you’re a wimp. They already think I’m the better player.” the alpha smirked, pointing at himself with his thumb. 

 

“My friends know I’m not bailing! Right guys?” Jungkook chuckled, scanning the court in search of at least one sympathetic face. Instead he only got cold stares and derisive smiles, as if they all had turned on him.

 

“Gee, thanks alot!” Jungkook shouted, giving them the middle finger. Especially Yugyeom. That was the last time he was selling him basketball sneakers with a friendship discount.

 

The beta turned around and leaned his head on Wonwoo’s shoulder, scenting his neck for comfort. It wasn’t like he was outraged or distraught, but his brother’s scent always comforted him extraordinarily so. Maybe it was because he was closer to the omega than he was their own mother. He didn’t know. Whenever he smelled Wonwoo’s sharp tangy scent he was perfectly content with living in the moment. It was then that he could just fall asleep - which he almost had when he caused Wonwoo to stumble sideways. Wonwoo always smelled like an orange creamsicle to him. He pouted, melting into his brother’s shoulder.

 

“You better make mashed potatoes and peas.” the younger whimpered into the omega’s neck, flailing around as he walked.

 

“I will.” Wonwoo smiled, reaching up with his arm that had been around Jungkook’s shoulder to pet his hair.

 

“Promise to put a lot of butter in it?”

 

The omega arched a brow.

 

“Kookie, you know butter is not-

 

“Hey loser! You aint coming to the lake if you’re just gonna dip on us like this.” Mingyu growled. Apparently he had been waiting for Jungkook to ‘come to his senses’ but the beta supposedly needed a little coaxing. 

 

“What?” Jungkook gritted, turning around with his fists clenched.

 

“Who cares, c’mon.” Wonwoo hissed, trying to tug his brother along with him.

 

“I do! I don’t want to not be invited. This is a big deal.” Jungkook said, shaking both his hands as if that would get his point across. 

 

“Last chance or you can kiss Jimin goodbye because you won’t be seeing him after this.”

 

Jungkook gulped, being at a loss of words.

 

Luckily his brother was there to speak for him. Or at least, that was what Wonwoo thought of it. Jungkook owed him big time.

 

“Knock it off Kim. No one cares about you’re stupid party.” 

 

“Obviously you do because you know about it.” 

 

“Only because you’ve been yapping about it like it’s your own house when your parents are the ones that own it.” 

 

“Sucks to be you then.” Mingyu snorted.

 

“Tragic.” 

 

The alpha raised his chin as he lifted his arms and stretched them. It probably would have had a better effect if Mingyu was wearing a shirt and had given him a sliver of his abs but since Mingyu was entirely shirtless, it wasn’t much. Except for the fact that the alpha had armpit hair. Why the hell did that do something to him. He honestly felt like going into heat right in the middle of the field. But then he reminded himself that Mingyu wasn’t the only alpha there. Of course fear didn’t stop him from losing control of his scent.

 

Mingyu sniffed the air ever so faintly, too subtly for his protective brother to notice but it was obvious to him that the alpha noticed the spike in his scent. Hopefully he wouldn’t use it against him. Though, knowing Mingyu, he probably would.

 

Out of cruel torture or perhaps condescending pity, Mingyu chose to ignore the light wave of pheremones coming off from him, deciding he’d just smirk at him instead. 

 

“You know, maybe you could save your brother if you play for him. Just one shot. That’s it.” 

 

The alpha said it like he was talking to a child, as if one shot wasn’t hard enough for him.

 

“No thanks, I don’t play basketball.” 

 

“So I guess that time Seungcheol was teaching you doesn’t count?” 

 

“You really must be a stalker Kim.” 

 

“No. Your boyfriend just likes to talk about you alot. Can’t say it’s all about how cute you are though if you know what I mean.” Mingyu winked.

 

How could Seungcheol hyung talk about something that didn’t exist? Was his boyfriend really talking about him like that? Seungcheol was supposed to be cute and- wait. Did Mingyu just call him cute?

 

“Shut up. We’re out of here.”

 

“Tell you what, I’ll leave you and your brother alone if you can score a basket. And not from the free throw lane.”

 

“Do you think I care?” 

 

“About being good at basketball? Nah. I don’t think you care about your brother’s reputation either. I think you’d like to prove yourself to me.” 

 

“To you? No. But I’ll play your stupid game if that’ll shut you up.” 

 

“At the risk of your own dignity, wow. Maybe omegas do have guts.” 

 

“Oh hush up. Maybe you just haven’t been with the right one.” 

 

Mingyu scowled. 

 

“I don’t know if it’s worth it now that I think about it. If you lose you lose against me and the hoop.” 

 

“Gosh, I didn’t even think about that. You’re right, not getting the ball in would totally ruin my life.”

 

Mingyu let out a grunt, gesturing for Jaehyun to throw him the ball.

“Just take your shot.” 

 

Wonwoo scoffed, catching the ball between his two hands and dribbling it over to the three point line. He inhaled a breath and bent his knees slightly, ignoring all of the eyes that were on him. He wished he had his glasses. No matter how much he squinted he couldn’t focus his eyes on the hoop.

 

“Don’t bend your pretty ass too much Wonu. I don’t think anyone wants to see your bones stick out.” 

 

Wonwoo let out a growl, jumping up and launching the ball into the air. He couldn’t care less, even as the ball looked to be going straight into the hoop. It was in that moment that he knew he made a mistake. If he won or not he was still playing Mingyu’s game. How stupid was he-

 

The ball hit the rim of the backboard, embarrassingly so and with an obnoxious thud it fell back down to the court, bouncing over the three point line completely off target. 

 

Mingyu winced and made a hissing sound as he scratched the back of his neck.

 

“Damn, sorry about that Won. Better luck next time right?” 

 

“You’re full of yourself Kim.” Wonwoo snorted, pushing the alpha away and storming off the court.

 

“Says the omega who thought he could shoot a hoop. At least now we know why omegas aren’t on the team” Mingyu shouted, cackling.

 

Wonwoo spun around, digging his hands into his own hips.

 

“Get over yourself Kim. Your ego is so big that if you went to a bar you’d pick yourself up.” 

 

“Real funny. If you keep that up I won’t go so easy on you next time.”

 

“Hey, watch it! Don’t forget he’s my brother” Jungkook warned, flashing his eyes.

 

Mingyu didn’t even flinch.

 

“Relax Kook, you know your brother wants it.” 

 

Jungkook’s face paled, not knowing what to make of what his friend said. All he could do was blink his eyes as Wonwoo stepped around him.

 

“Mingyu also forgets that I have claws too and I know how to use them.”

 

“You sound so fucking stupid Won. You know that mouth of yours isn’t good for anything else but sucking dick.”

 

Wonwoo snorted all the while Jungkook grabbed his shoulders to bring him towards the car.

 

“Cut it out Mingyu, seriously.” 

 

“Right, sorry. I forgot Wonwoo was a virgin. Bet he only says that to make his boypussy seem special aint that right Wonu?”

 

“Whatever Kim, we know you ain’t getting it.” 

 

Mingyu growled.

 

“You’re lucky I didn’t tear up your stupid drawings.”

 

“And you’re lucky I don’t tear up your face. Bet your girlfriend wouldn’t want to stay with you then.”

 

“Yeah right. My girlfriend doesn’t like me for my face if you know what I mean.”

 

“Right. I forgot you were the biggest dick in school.” 

 

“Thanks, I appreciate it.”

 

“My pleasure.”

“Hope you come back. I’ll teach you what Seungcheol hasn’t.” Mingyu snickered.

 

“The only time I’ll ever come back is if I’m really mad at him.” 

 

“Cause he aint giving you enough dick huh?”

 

“You’re disgusting.” Wonwoo grimaced as he kept walking. 

 

“I’ll get you back for that next time Kim.” his brother said, pointing at the alpha. 

 

Mingyu stood there, running a hand through his hair as he grinned at them. Right when Jungkook turned back around he couldn’t help but let his eyes fall down to Wonwoo’s ass. Sure the omega was on the bony side but he had to admit, at least nature was good to him in the rear end department. It was small and perky, just how he liked it.

 

If he actually loved his girlfriend he wouldn’t be thinking such things. Even amongst his own crew of alphas and betas plus his girlfriend, he still thought of himself as a lonewolf. Even if he thrived on their attention, he’d give it all up if Wonwoo could just give his attention to him all day. Looking up at him with those cold yet tender eyes, caressing his arms with those dainty fingers of his. He bet he could hold both in one hand and hold the omega’s chin with the other. Last time he got close to touching Wonwoo’s hands was when he had his hand wrapped around the other’s wrist. It wasn’t one of his proud moments, but he’d give anything only to make Wonwoo’s hands warm again. He knew how the omega always got cold. He could practically feel the ice in his veins as he held his wrist. 

 

He missed holding those hands. 

 

III

 

“Why the hell didn’t you answer your phone?” Wonwoo snapped, his voice echoing off the walls of his car. 

 

“I don’t know.” Jungkook whined, slamming his head against the backrest as he laid back. He felt tired all of a sudden as if all the exercise had caught up to him.

 

“You don’t know huh? I know you’re lying Kookie. Omega’s have good hearing too you know.”

 

“Okay okay!” the beta groaned, putting his hands up. “Mingyu told me not to answer it.” 

 

“Why?”

 

Jungkook shrugged.

 

“He wanted me to make you walk over to us.”

 

“That doesn’t make any sense. We hate each other.”

 

“I guess he probably just wanted to torture you more.” 

 

Wonwoo gaped.

 

“Kookie. If you knew that he was gonna make fun of me then why did you make me walk over?” 

 

His brother slapped his forehead.

 

“Can we just go home? I'm hungry.”

 

“Not until you tell me what Mingyu is plotting. He probably dropped that hint about the lake so he could rouse my curiosity right? Giving me only a slither of information so he can have the upperhand. If that’s what his plan was then let me tell you, it’s not working. I couldn’t care less about his stupid lake party. You can go run and tell him that. Oh and if he’s listening to us speak right now which he probably is then I hope he knows I hate his guts. You hear that Mingyu!” he shouted, stealing Jungkook’s phone from him.

 

“W-what? No! Cut it out Won. He’s not listening and he’s not plotting anything. You’re just being a paranoid omega. Not everyone’s out to get you.”

 

Wonwoo sneered at him. 

 

“You don’t understand. Mingyu’s been out to get me since middle school. Him and his gang of rats. They’re all like that. He’s made them like that, all because he hates me. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t care less. But when I don’t want to be in his presence anymore you have to respect that.” 

 

“I’ll respect it if you tell me why you hate eachother so much. I thought it was just friendly banter and teasing. I mean- I wouldn’t be surprised if you guys liked each other.” Jungkook chuckled, scratching the back of his neck. 

 

He would have slapped his brother on the shoulder if he hadn’t been driving. The only good thing about keeping their faces forward was the fact that Jungkook couldn’t see that he was blushing. The thought had occurred to him before but the way it sounded coming out of his brother’s mouth made the idea seem more whimsical than it was. Almost as if it were a dream.

Or a nightmare.

 

He gritted his teeth and tightened his grip on the steering wheel. There was no way in Hell he was ever going to consider Jungkook’s suggestion. 

 

“That’s not how respect works. I’m not going to do something for you just to make you respect my wishes.”

 

“Well it shows that you respect me, your own brother, if you tell me what’s got you so upset everytime Mingyu shows his face.” Jungkook snapped.

 

Wonwoo felt like yelling at his brother but he simply let out a breath, calming himself down.

 

“You know, the thought isn’t worth my time. I have other things to think about.” 

 

“Like what? Mingyu's lake house party?” the beta snickered. 

 

“No. Cheolie-hyung actually.” he breathed, looking up at the sunset through the windshield. At least, he wished all of his thoughts concerned his boyfriend. If only Mingyu hadn’t invaded his personal space and his own mind. 

 

It was then that his smile fell, contorting into something between pain and sadness, like he was about to cry.

 

“You think Seungcheol could keep his spot? I’m kinda betting on Mingyu now. He seems like he could steal it.” Jungkook chuckled. 

 

“I don’t want to talk about Mingyu anymore. I’d be giving him more of my time than he’s worth.” 

 

“Man, you really hate him don’t you?” 

 

He couldn’t help but smile at that. If Jungkook had been old enough and more aware way back when, then maybe he would understand. But it was no use talking to someone who had a clear affinity for his arch nemesis. Besides, it wasn’t like their rivalry was worth batting an eyelash for. He’d let Jungkook have fun with his friends. There wasn’t a need to ruin the mood. But if Jungkook really wanted to know...

 

“If ‘hate’ really is a strong word, then yes, I hate Kim Mingyu. I hope he caught that.” 

 

Jungkook sighed.

 

“For the last time, he’s not listening in!”

 

“Get back to me when you have an explanation as to how he knows I sing.” 

 

“Uhmm maybe because you were in choir back in middle school…” 

 

“Yeah but he’s a creep if he remembers my singing voice to the point that he said I sound like a foghorn. He’s the one who sounds like a dumbass when he speaks. I mean it’s just-”

 

“Wonu, the road.” Jungkook said, typing away at his phone without a care in the world.

 

“I know, I know.”

 

“Gee, you thinking about Seungcheol that much?” his brother asked, peering up at him with a sly smile from where he sat slouched in the passenger seat. It was at that moment that he wanted to stop the car and throw Jungkook out but he was going to be a nice omega.

 

“There’s a lot on my mind I guess.”

 

He tensed when he saw Jungkook’s smirk soften into a tender smile, as if his brother the teaser had turned into his brother the kind and friendly boy his mother knew him as. It made a part of him want to barf and another part want to run away. He knew it was going to be bad when they stopped at a red light but he wasn’t prepared for Jungkook to lean over and hugged the life out of him. All he could do was flinch.

 

“If you’re scared of Mingyu don’t worry. I’ll protect you.” Jungkook said, voice muffled by his shirt.

 

“Okay okay you can hug me later I’m driving.” he growled, giving Jungkook’s back a whack.

 

“Kookie I’m serious- Oh my god!” 

 

“I won’t let anyone hurt you. Promise.” the younger said, rubbing his nose into his neck. Jungkook was really crossing the line.

 

“Eww, get out of here!” he scoffed, taking his hand off the steering wheel and pushing Jungkook’s face off of him. 

 

“I’m just making sure Cheolie hyung’s scent doesn’t get rid of mine.”

 

He rolled his eyes. 

 

“Yeah, you’re such a genius. Like he so wants to smell you when he scents me….” 

 

“It’s better than smelling wolfsbane. That’s right Wonwoo, I could go there if I’m pushed.” 

 

“Ooo, I guess I’ll have to change your name to Kookie Cutter.”

 

“What? I’m not a serial killer! And plus that name is so stupid. It isn’t even scary.”

 

“What do you expect? You’re not scary at all.” he giggled, reaching over and pulling his brother’s cheeks. 

 

“You’re just like mom.” his brother muttered, not even trying to stop him. Though, if Jungkook were to be honest he liked it when Wonwoo showered him with attention. Since their mother only saw them for a few hours of the day, Wonwoo was like his second mother. Except he could get away with a lot of things when it came to Wonwoo. Not that he was going to do anything stupid tonight...

 

Wonwoo made a ‘click’ with his lips and touched his chest.

 

“Why thank you, I adore our mother!” 

 

“Yeah, that’s what you would say since she’s probably listening in.”

 

“Kook she’s an alpha. ‘Course she can hear us.” 

 

Jungkook gulped. 

 

IV

 

“Wonu, I’m hungry!’ his brother shouted from the dining room. 

 

“It’s almost ready, hold your horses or you can only lick the spoon.” he snapped, rushing into the dining room with a large white cloth napkin.

 

“I’m only wearing a t-shirt, why do I have to wear that?”

 

“Because I don’t want to have to clean tomato sauce off your shirt. It’s the worst stain to get rid of don’t you know that?” he asked snarkily, bringing the napkin over Jungkook’s head and tying it around his neck like a barber. The truth was Jungkook didn’t at all know what stains were difficult or bad or whatever. Wonwoo did everything around the house so he wasn’t going to complain. 

 

The omega did his usual ‘tiny walk’ as he skirted into the kitchen, coming back out with a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. 

 

“Did you blow on it hyung?” Jungkook pouted mockingly.

 

“You’re not Seungcheol so shut up.” 

 

Jungkook tried not to choke, not even thinking of that ever happening. 

 

“Hmmm! This is good.” 

 

“You’re welcome.” he sang, plopping himself down on the seat at the other end of the table.

 

“Oh yeah, thank you!” his brother slurped, although he couldn’t hear him since he already plugged in his headphones so he could listen to his audiobook. He also made sure to push the flower pot in front of Jungkook so the kid couldn’t see him. He hated eating in front of people which was why it took him forever to eat one bowl of pasta. It all started when he was trying to eat a forkful of it and get it all in his mouth but it fell on his face in front of everyone. So yeah, it was traumatizing. 

 

“Hyung, what book are you listening to?” Jungkook said, peering over the flower pot in the center of the table with his face stuffed like a chipmunk.

 

“Star Wars: Heir to the Empire.” he replied robotically, still fiddling with the pasta on his fork. The damned noodles kept falling down and dangling. 

 

“The one where that blue guy reconquers the galaxy after the Death Star was destroyed?” 

 

“Yeah, his name is Thrawn. He’s my favorite character- wait. How do you know Thrawn? I thought you hated Star Wars?” 

 

“I do, I just remember seeing that blue guy on Star Wars Rebels.”

 

“The Disney Channel show?” he scoffed, trying to hold back his snobbish laughter. “Ha! This is what separates you and I Kookie. I actually listen to real books and you- you watch children’s television.” 

 

Jungkook growled. 

 

“Watch it or you’ll get a face full of meatballs. Wouldn’t be the first time you had balls in your face.” 

 

“Literally shut up.”

 

“Literally?” 

 

Wonwoo groaned.

 

“This is why you’re still single, Kook.”

 

“Jimin doesn’t even know me. That’s why this party is important.” 

 

“So you can prove yourself to Jimin or those eggheads you call friends?”

 

“Both.”

 

“Whatever, just be careful. I know how pretty omegas like to play around with people. Since they’re not alphas they use other methods. You hear me?” 

 

“Yeah but-”

 

“But what? Jimin’s such an angel?” he laughed, batting his eyelashes.

 

“No- he’s cool. He just doesn’t have that face you know. He doesn’t look like the person who would mess with other guys’ feelings.”

 

“Alright, I trust you.” 

 

“W-what?”

 

“I trust you.” he replied, arching a brow. Was something not clicking?

 

“Oh- ha ha. I never thought I’d hear those words come out of your mouth. If anything, I’d be more surprised if you told Mingyu you trusted him.” 

 

“Why’d you have to mention his name?” he whined, letting his head fall back over the headrest of his chair.

 

“Just to piss you off. But seriously, you’re gonna have to let bygones be bygones. Isn’t Coups hyung bringing you to Mingyu’s party? The guy isn’t just gonna leave you alone. He’s always gonna be in your life.”

 

“Always?” he snorted. “Uhm, there’s a thing called going off to college and getting out of this hellhole. Just kidding, I love it here. But really, I just have to put up with Mingyu for a little while longer… for his sake.” 

 

“You think you live in a hell hole huh?” his brother asked, playing with his food. 

 

“No. I was only kidding. Take a joke.” 

 

“This isn’t a joke. I don’t like it when my friends are fighting.” 

 

“Kookie, I’m your brother.” 

 

“Yeah but- whatever. I get it. You want to be out of this place next year.” Jungkook growled, crossing his arms as he glared at his food. 

 

“That’s not what I meant.”

 

“Alright, but have you ever considered trying to make this place better rather than getting up and abandoning us? Maybe you are more like Dad after all.”

 

Wonwoo’s breath hitched and his fork fell onto the glass table covering, clattering until it left the room in utter silence. 

 

“Yeah, sure-” his brother continued. “The grass may be greener somewhere else. But how about you water the grass here? Huh? Ever think about that- Wonwoo.” he stopped, noticing Wonwoo’s eyes become watery.

 

“Wonwoo- I didn’t mean it. I was just mad-” 

 

“I’ll go to that stupid party if you want me to Kook. I don’t know what games you're playing or if Kim’s making you do this to pull a prank, but I’ll go. I don’t care about what you’re planning for me. It always goes over me. Everything Mingyu says goes in one ear and out the other. So it doesn’t matter. This is my last year of high school so whatever happens, the light at the end of the tunnel will be closer. And I’ll be out of here. You don’t have to worry about me arguing with your friends, Mingyu will mean nothing to me soon.” 

 

Maybe he shouldn’t have said the last part.

 

Luckily Jungkook didn’t pick up on it, looking more upset than confused or suspicious. 

 

He got up, leaving the table for his room but Jungkook wasn’t going to let him off the hook that easily. 

 

Before he could reach the corridor that led to the stairs, Jungkook pounced on him, wrapping him in a bear hug.

 

“Hyung, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you cry. Seriously.” his brother whimpered, rubbing his cheek against his shoulder.

 

“I’m not crying.” he gritted, keeping his fists balled by his sides.

 

“Oh yeah, what do you call this.” the beta asked, reaching with his knuckle to rub his eye. Between his thumb and index finger was a watery film, glistening in the light coming in from the windows just for extra effect. There whole house could be a theatre stage.

 

He scoffed, pushing the younger away from him.

 

“Whatever. Use that to clone a better brother or something.”

 

“I don’t want a better brother. I just want all my friends to get along. “Cause, that’s what you are. I care about you, and not simply because we have the same mother. Do you understand that?” 

 

The omega nodded, turning around to grant the other a view of his profile. 

 

“Then why are you still crying?” 

 

He let silence form a gulf between them, though only for a moment. It wasn’t merely because he liked being theatrical or wanted to sound needy, it was simply too hard to speak the words.

 

“I miss Dad.” 

 

He said it. He said it shamelessly as if he knew Jungkook was going to say ‘I told you so’, like he was a child who knew he was wrong but cried for its mother to correct his mistakes. Though he didn’t have any mistakes, only burdens. And not only did taking care of his brother fall on his shoulders, but Jungkook’s opinion of him as well. He couldn’t see him cry, much less feel any childish emotion such as what he was displaying now. It was humiliating but he needed to get it out of him. Jungkook was a beta. Even if the kid was younger, he could still use his shoulder right? 

 

“Wonu, c’mere.”

 

“No, I don’t want you to see me like this. Don’t look at me.” he hissed, turning back around but Jungkook whipped him back, slamming his head into his chest and patting his back. 

 

“This is when I’m supposed to say that I miss dad too but you know what, I’m gonna be strong… for you. Okay? You’re gonna get all wrinkly if you keep stressing yourself out-”

 

His brother paused, marveling at how everything clicked together. 

 

“Yeah, I guess I’ve been stressing you out haven’t I? Uhm, sorry about that.” the beta chuckled, raking his hand over his hair to calm him down more. 

 

“I don’t know how the topic of Mingyu got us here.” he snickered, shaking his head. 

 

“Right, the party.” Jungkook sighed. “I’m not forcing you to go. Heck, don’t even. I’ve probably been driving you crazy this whole week.” 

 

“Yeah, you have. But don’t get me wrong, I want to go. And not because I’m gonna drink or anything to escape and what not. But it’s time I show Mingyu that I’m a grown omega who isn’t afraid. I’m not playing his games so you don’t have to worry. Cheolie will be there with me too so it’s not like it’ll be open season.”

 

Jungkook chuckled, rocking them back and forth as he hugged him. 

 

“You don’t need to fight Mingyu to prove you’re a grown omega. Being my brother is already enough. Who knows how much you’ve had to deal with me. I’m sorry about all that, I really am. I want you to know that Coups hyung isn’t the only guy in your life that has your back.” 

 

The beta kissed the top of his head, eliciting a groan from him. 

 

“Save it for Jimin for crying out loud.” he snapped, not needing to raise his head up and look to push Jungkook’s cheek away.

 

“I’m still going to that party Koo. You’re sweet now but you’re not going to be when I spill all your secrets to Jimin.”

 

“Yeah, I’m definitely not letting you go.” 

 

Wonwoo rolled his eyes.

 

“I forgot betas liked to control omegas. You’re just sour that even my rank won’t make you less scared of me huh?” 

 

His brother snorted.

 

“Even if you could fit in the palm of my hand I’d still be afraid of you to be honest.”

 

“Shut up.” 

 

“I’m still having second thoughts now, Won. Maybe you’re right about it being senior year for you and not having to put up with Mingyu’s shit.”

 

“No, I’m not gonna put up with it. I’m going to make sure it stops.” 

 

“You know he’s an alpha right?”

 

“Yeah, that’s why I’m worried about you.”

 

“Give me a break. If I stress you out this much there’s no telling how much you’ll be stressed out at the party. I was just gonna challenge you to go one day without fighting with him. I didn’t want it to turn into a counseling session.” 

 

“Alright, challenge accepted. I won't say anything and I’ll keep my cool. Does that float your boat?”

 

“Sure, but it doesn’t say anything about what Mingyu might do. I should talk to him first and we could all hangout some other time.”

 

“Nuh uh, I’m not hanging out with the same crowd as him.”

 

“But you’re going to his party…” 

 

“Yeah but it’s not like we’re going to be near each other. There’s gonna be music, games, you know, the whole menagerie.” 

 

“Right…. But still, there’s gonna be tension.” 

 

Wonwoo could only blink his eyes.

 

“”Uhm, you’re Mingyu’s friend right? Have you seen him at parties, always getting drunk? You think there’s gonna be tension when he can’t even keep his balance?”

 

“I guess you got a point but what if he falls on top of you? I don’t think you could handle an alpha then.” Jungkoko snickered, grabbing him by the shoulders. 

 

“Handle an alpha? Wonu what’s he talking about?” a voice called from the foyer. 

 

He couldn’t believe he hadn’t heard the front door creak open. He guessed the moment with Jungkook was too savory for him to have been in touch with the outside world.

 

“Great, your man’s here.” his brother muttered, unlatching his arms and allowing him to turn around and greet his boyfriend. 

 

“Cheolie, you’re late.” he said flatly, giving the other boy a cold stare as he stood there facing him. 

 

From his scent Seungcheol probably knew he was just messing with him which was probably why the older beta didn’t stop walking towards him, holding out his arms as if expecting a hug. Eventually he had to give in and he let his boyfriend scent him.

 

It took one sniff on his neck for the older boy to growl, looking over his shoulder at his brother.

 

“Why do you smell more like Jungkook than your own self? He asked, still staring at the other beta as he spoke.

 

Jungkook smirked.

 

“Surprise.” 

 

“Gee, if I wanted to smell sweat, musk, and cheap spearmint deodorant I would have gone to the locker room. C’mon babe, I like your usual smell.” Seungcheol chuckled, letting his hands fall to the younger’s waist. 

 

“Well, you’ll like the smell of meatballs better because I made enough for a whole village.” he beamed, pulling his boyfriends hands off of him as he spun around and ran into the kitchen.

 

Jungkook couldn’t help but snort at the mention of ‘meatballs’. 

 

“Hey man.” Seungcheol said, walking over and sticking out his knuckle. Jungkook gave him a fist bump, pulling the older boy in and patting his back. 

 

“Hey, has Wonwoo been good for you.” he snickered, sitting back down at the dining room table. 

 

“Good to me? Yeah, I mean- he’s the best lay I’ve had in a while.” 

 

Jungkook narrowed his eyes.

 

“I’m kidding. We’re not at the stage yet.” Seungcheol smiled sheepishly, looking down to play with his napkin and silverware.

 

“But I was gonna say… shouldn’t you turn that question around and ask if I’ve been good to Wonwoo?” he arched a brow.

 

“Nah, I know you have. It’s Wonwoo who I’m worried about. Kid’s got a temper all of a sudden.”

 

“All of a sudden? He’s always been outraged by the tiniest things-”

 

“I’m right here ya know.” Wonwoo hissed, coming back into the dining room. “And for your information Kookie, who are you calling a kid when I’m older than you?” 

 

“You weren’t acting like you were older than me a minute ago.” 

 

“Alright, Cheolie. Sic em!” Wonwoo shouted, pointing at his brother. 

 

“I’m not a dog, Wonu.” 

 

“You are what I say you are.” 

 

“Nice try. But Jungkook’s my friend. We both have a common enemy.” 

 

Wonwoo laughed.

 

“I’m actually complimented by the fact that my intelligence is so threatening that two betas have to form an alliance to conspire against me.” 

 

Jungkook tried not to choke on his food.

 

“That’s literally every girl in our school.” 

 

“Sorry I’m so beautiful. It’s mostly the cheer squad though- what?” he asked, cutting himself off as he saw Seungcheol staring at him.

 

“Oh, I got stuck on the part when you called yourself beautiful.” he smiled, bearing his two perfect rows of teeth.

 

“Do you have to rain on my parade?” Wonwoo rolled his eyes and let out a sigh.

 

“No, I was just thinking that you really are beautiful. And smart. And funny-”

 

“Okay we get it!” Jungkook growled, munching on spaghetti. 

 

“Thanks for saving him Kook. Cheolie really looked like he was going to ripen into a tomato.” he giggled, cooing at how the eldest put a hand over his face as he went back to eating. 

 

“Oh! One last thing. You’re a good cook too.”

 

“I learned from the best.” 

 

His brother raised an eyebrow.

 

“What are you talking about? Mom’s not a good cook?” 

 

“Well, I guess you could say I learned from her mistakes.” 

 

“That’s good to know. At least all those people she poisoned didn’t die in vain.” 

 

V

 

He didn’t know why but something filled his heart when he turned on his side and saw Seungcheol with his hair slicked back, wearing a white collared-shirt and black pants with a golden buckle. He already looked like he could be a businessman but at the same time he still had that boyish charm. It made him feel young and free but at the same time he craved to be old with him, to grow up and have a life together. Seungcheol looked like he could be a father-

 

It must have been his hormones talking. He could never be that serious, ever. He was eighteen for Pete’s sake. He couldn’t even figure out what to wear in the morning much less think about the future. He hated how Senior year had only just started but it felt like college was right around the corner. It was almost as if it were the eve of a war, or an ominous twilight before nightfall. Even if the thought gave him chills, Seungcheol’s warmth enveloped him, physically and emotionally.

 

Not only did the beta’s arms always make him feel safe and secure in his embrace, but that smile… He wanted to be looked at like that all the time from when the beta proposed to him to when he was giving birth.

 

Okay, he really needed to stop.  

 

Seungcheol just smelled so earthy and rich, like a forest after it rained. Whenever they laid in bed next to each other, Seungcheol’s steady breathing reminded him of the white noise when it rained, of the water splashing on rocks, or the wind rustling the leaves. It felt so real yet he couldn’t believe Seungcheol was there next to him, as if he were dreaming. It was pure sensory overload and his mind was running a mile a minute-

 

“Babe? You good?” Seungcheol asked, opening his eyes to look down at him where he was snuggled into his boyfriend’s side.

 

“Yeah? Why?” 

 

“You’re heartbeat’s going pretty fast.”

 

Well, it’s your fault.

 

“Oh I-”

 

“You nervous about something?” 

 

Wonwoo sucked in a breath and rose his chin to look up at the older boy, expecting him not to laugh. Well, his expression was more like a warning look. 

 

“It’s about the party.”

 

Lie.

 

“Were you bickering with Mingyu again?” 

 

“Yeah, but that’s not it.” he replied, pulling his hand up and placing it on the older boy’s chest. In fact, he hadn’t even thought about Mingyu since Jungkook had brought him up. The guy was only a good cover. In reality, he was more nervous about the fact that everyone would get smashed, especially his boyfriend. And the last thing he wanted was for Seungcheol to do something stupid. 

 

“What is it kitten? You worried I’m gonna see chicks in bikinis or something at the lake?” 

 

“No!” 

 

“I’m only messing with ya. C’mere.” Seungcheol snickered, wrapping his hands around his body and hauling him up over him. 

 

“Cheolie, stop! This is a compromising position! What if Kookie comes in-”

 

“He’s not gonna. I put mountain ash in front of the door.” 

 

“Funny. Now release me you beast.” 

 

“Oh, you haven’t seen the beast yet.” the beta smirked, bringing his hands up so that his thumbs were dangerously close to his nipples. 

 

“Alright, don’t make me go all Scarlett O’Hara on you.” he warned. 

 

Seungcheol didn’t budge.

 

“Take your hands off me! You drunken fool!” he shouted, reciting Scarlett’s lines word for word from the movie. 

 

The beta burst out laughing, giving the omega the perfect opportunity to strike

 

Wonwoo’s hands clamped onto the older’s wrists, exerting enough pressure to get them to freeze up and unlatch themselves from his chest.

 

“Damn, you’re pretty strong for an omega. What’d it take you? Did you get those arms from stirring brownie mix?” Seungcheol smirked, moving fast to wrap his hands around the omega’s wrists, turning the tables on him. 

 

“You’re a jerk, honestly.” he giggled, still playing tug of war with Seungcheol to get his wrists back. 

 

“I can’t help it.”

 

“Then I won’t kiss you anymore.” 

 

“Oh really? Watch me.” 

 

The beta sat up in an instant, wrapping an arm around his back as he devoured his lips. Seungcheol let out a growl as he released Wonwoo’s mouth and leaned into his neck, letting out a warm breath against his skin.

 

“Fuck your brother. Thinking he can mark what’s mine?” 

 

“He didn’t mark me-” Wonwoo gasped, pushing on Seungcheol’s chest to get him away from him.

 

“He was just teasing you.” 

 

“Yeah well I don’t like it. Tell him to get a date and maybe he’d be less preoccupied with hovering over us like a helicopter parent.”

 

Wonwoo smiled.

 

“I think it’s sweet that he cares about-”

 

He stopped, feeling something poke his ass.

 

Seungcheol’s breath hitched too but he pretended to play it off as if he didn’t know what was happening.

 

“What?”

 

Wonwoo’s eyes narrowed. Before he could even blush, Seungcheol was smacked across the face with a pillow, buying time for the omega to get off of him and roll off the bed, squealing like a pig. He didn’t care if he got bruises on his elbows he needed to get out of there. He couldn’t even look his boyfriend in the face.

 

“Maybe tell me next time!” Wonwoo hissed. 

 

“I didn’t know! And fuck you for being hot! It’s not my fault!’

 

“Right, I forgot. Betas don’t have self-control.” he rolled his eyes. 

 

“Yeah, and I won’t be able to control myself if you don’t get back. I’m cold now thanks alot.”

 

“That’s some twisted logic. How about ‘no’?” 

 

“Come back, now.” Seungcheol gritted, going as far as to flash his eyes.

 

“Gee if you were an alpha maybe I’d be scared.” 

 

“You’re fucking dead.” the beta growled, bringing himself over the edge of the bed and stomping his feet on the floor as he landed.

 

By then Wonwoo had already made his way out of his room and was jumping down the staircase when his boyfriend reached the doorway. 

 

“Maybe if you were an alpha- you could run- faster!” Wonwoo laughed, trying not to choke on his own saliva as he heaved and tried to catch his breath.

 

“Kookie, help me!” he cackled, running around the staircase towards the kitchen.

 

“Nah, I wanna see where this goes.” Jungkook snickered from the couch, keeping his eyes focused on the video game he was playing.

 

Wonwoo huffed, pulling the sink sprayer out from the faucet and holding it up like he had a gun, waiting in ambush for his boyfriend to come around the corner.

 

“Betas really are useless.” 






Chapter Text

“You sure about going to the lake?” Seungcheol asked in that groggily morning voice of his, causing Wonwoo to tilt his head in curiosity as he walked by, setting down a fancy tray of waffles, fruit, and maple syrup.

 

“I thought you were cool with me going?” Wonwoo pouted slightly, taking a seat at the other couch across from his boyfriend. The omega didn’t look at Seungcheol much as he waited for him to explain himself. Instead, he kept himself busy by fixing the yellow dahlias while they sat in their water vase on the glass coffee table. Not to mention there were the rings of water on the other side because the beta didn’t know how to use a coaster…. Seungcheol must have been up all night drinking soda from their fridge. Jungkook was going to kill him.

 

“I slept on it and I woke up feeling- what’s the word for it?” Seungcheol scratched the back of his neck as he looked out the window of the living room.

 

“Uneasy?” Wonwoo looked at him, getting up slowly and straightening out his already hot-ironed pants before walking back to the kitchen. 

 

“Yeah. That.” Seungcheol mumbled. Werewolves weren’t supposed to feel that way. At least not alphas or betas. 

 

“As your boyfriend it's my duty to always be by your side. Behind every strong beta is a strong omega right?” 

 

“Well-” Seunghcheol chuckled, struggling to muster enough courage to behold the cute sight of his boyfriend standing on his tippy toes as he searched for something in one of the cabinets. 

 

“I don’t think that’s the exact phrase but I appreciate it either way-”

 

“Good. Let’s meet in the back lobby after school so we can-”

 

“Wonu. Wait.” the beta growled, grabbing the pillow he’d been laying on. “I don’t want you to think you have to go. I have to go because I’m part of the team and the guys’ll give me hell about it afterwards. Plus I’ll be a loser if I don’t go- shit! Not that you’re a loser… I mean- dammit. You know what, you’re not going to the party. It’d be too much for you.”

 

“W-what? Why? Who are you to say I can’t go?” 

 

Seungcheol narrowed his eyes, wanting to reply “your alpha” but then he remembered he was just a beta.

 

“At worst, Mingyu’s gonna pick a fight with you. Even if I like you a lot- like really a lot, I’m still a beta and Mingyu’s an alpha. The apex alpha at this school if you want me to be real with you. It’s not gonna change the fact that he’d just push me aside and get to you if he was really out of control Won. You know that.”

 

“I understand. But he’s got his friends there to keep him in check. Yugyeom and Jaehyun are pretty strong. Don’t forget about them so easily.”

 

“Yeah.” Seungcheol snorted, looking away. It was hard not to. Yugyeom and Jaehyun were second to Mingyu when it came to being tough to compete against them. 

 

“Maybe they’ll manage to pry Mingyu off you after he’s sunk his teeth into your throat.” 

 

Wonwoo didn’t know why but he was blushing at the thought.

 

“Anyways…” he rolled his eyes. “Tell me the least bad thing that could happen.” Wonwoo hummed, shoving the silverware drawer closed.

 

Seungcheol arched a brow.

 

“The least? Uhm. You’ll probably see some other alphas shirtless. Maybe naked. Skinny dipping is still alive and well. Also some adultery.”

 

“Adultery?” 

 

“You know. Cheating. It happens when werewolves get drunk. Can’t control themselves and end up making out with other people.”

 

“Right. Cause’ I’d totally turn into the town crier.” Wonwoo sighed, stepping forward and poking his boyfriend in the chest with a spoon.

 

Seungcheol stood up from where he was sitting in thought and sulking, grabbing Wonwoo by the hips and staring him in the eyes. 

 

“Yeah. I don’t want you finding out and crying and gossiping about it with your friends in case you see anyone you know involved in any dirty scandals.”

 

“Well, I guess that’s another reason I should go. I wouldn’t want you getting drunk would I?”

 

Seungcheol smirked.

 

“You know just because we aren’t true mates doesn’t mean our bond isn’t strong.”

 

“I know. But I’m someone who requires assurance. And as my boyfriend I’d assume you’d oblige.”

 

Seungcheol tilted his head up and looked at him skeptically.

 

“So now you’re gonna imply I might be cheating on you so you can go to the party with me?”

 

“No. I’m not implying anything at all. Maybe you’re just projecting.”

 

“Well. Some kids smoke. And I don’t want you getting any lung problems if you go.”

 

“Alrighty then. So if me going because you’re going is such an issue, why not just stay back?” 

 

“Because-”

 

Wonwoo waited for a few seconds, watching the gears spin in Seungcheol’s head.

 

“It’s alright puppy, we still have a minute before I have to go shower.” He smiled, earning a squeeze on his back from the older male. 

 

“Being with the guys is important. It’s a ‘bros’ thing! And plus I can’t have you embarrassing me in front of the guys when they’re the ones who are going to decide if I’m captain or not.”

 

Wonwoo scoffed, trying not to be offended.

 

“Okay. At least you're honest.”

 

“B-but Mingyu’s the biggest concern Wonu. I told you didn’t I? C’mon- Dammit. I knew I shouldn’t have told you that because that’s all you’re gonna focus on and now you’re gonna hate me!” 

 

Wonwoo released a breath, freezing slightly as Seunghceol shook his body out of frustration. 

 

“If Mingyu is your biggest concern, then let me tell you... “ Wonwoo began, bringing his fingers in front of his boyfriends face and pulling out his claws. “I can handle myself.” he whispered, pointing them up, right below the beta’s chin.

 

“Got it?”

 

Seungcheol shivered slightly but nodded his head frantically. 

 

“You’re lucky I don’t just call a truce with Mingyu now and tell him you used to watch Winx Club when you were still in middle school.”

 

Seungcheol gaped.

 

“Why do I even tell you anything?” 

 

“I always ask that too.” Wonwoo pursed his lips, feigning innocence. “But then I remember I’m just that charming. And I can cook.” 

 

And with that, he walked away, leaving Seungcheol to fall onto the couch and stare at his back until he disappeared down the corridor and towards the stairs. If there was anything he should remember it was that Wonwoo was always right. 

 

“Thanks for the breakfast babe!” was the last thing Seungcheol uttered that was coherent enough before he began to stuff his face. 

 

II

 

“So I was like ‘are you talking to me?’ and then he goes ‘yeah, you’re cute.’ and then I was like “oh, stop it.” and he’s like “nah, I’m serious.” and then HE PINCHED MY CHEEK and the rest is history.” Woozi sighed, tapping his fingers against their cafeteria table. 

 

“I still can’t believe he called me cute. I was just minding my own business and he was just there- uh.” his best friend stopped, peering to his side as he saw Wonwoo staring into space. He understood the cafeteria had a mind-numbing effect to it with all of the noise but he figured Wonwoo would have paid the least bit of attention. He’d been chasing after Soonyoung for years so he guessed it was nothing new to Wonwoo then.

 

Bitch could at least try to listen.

 

“Dude! Are you even listening?”

 

“W-what? ‘Course I am dummy.” Wonwoo snickered, ruffling the top of Woozi’s head before going back to resting his cheek on his hand.  

 

“Gee, I didn’t know my love life bored you so much. Sorry I don’t have a beta to suck my toes.” 

 

Wonwoo frowned.

 

“Sorry. I’m a little preoccupied. But don’t think I forgot just how much this meant to you. I heard everything, don't worry.”

 

“Trust me Zi, we all heard it.” a voice snickered from behind them. The beta and omega both turned their heads to see Jaehyun swoop down and give them a devilish grin before strutting passed them and going to the jocks’ table. Jungkook was right behind him, breaking off from the other guy’s path and plopping himself down on a seat right next to them.

 

Woozi rolled his eyes and went back to the conversation.

 

“Hmm. What did you hear exactly?”

 

Wonwoo thought for a moment.

 

“Like how Soonyoung made eye contact with you and how you could smell his deodorant and-”

 

“Alright, I’ll let it slide.” Woozi grumbled. Everything Wonwoo said was basically right like all the other times where the same thing happened. Since the lake party was tonight he wasn’t going to push it. If Wonwoo was going he would need to stay by his side. He’d need all of the support and werewolf comfort he could get if Soonyoung was going to be there too. 

 

“What’s got your mind so worked up?” Woozi asked, sipping on fruit juice. 

 

“His boyfriend.” Jungkook snorted, eating a carrot like a crazed rabbit.

 

“No! Shut up.” the omega shot him a dirty look like he had bitten into a lemon, slapping his brother beside him.

 

“I just get nervous whenever there’s a lot of people. I feel like they’re all going to be looking at me.” 

 

“Who wouldn’t princess?” another voice laughed from beside him. He felt wind against his back just as a hand came down to poke him in the side. Before he could even identify the guy Jungkook was already on it, shoving his friend away as the kid burst out in laughter. 

 

“Fucking Yugyeom. Get out of here” Jungkook groaned. No matter how much Jungkook tried to make it look like he was on his brother’s side, Wonwoo knew it was grand theater for the kid.

 

“Wonu’s more afraid of Mingyu than other people. He’d rather talk to someone at the cash register than even be in the same room as that guy.” Jungkook said. As much as his brother tried to get an insult in every sentence he spoke, it was almost as if he wanted to ward off any potential suitors. 

 

Of course what Jungkook said was right. Because everyone knew his social anxiety was so bad he couldn’t even talk to cashiers….

 

“He’s that scary huh?” Woozi asked, struggling to get the straw of his fruit juice into his mouth.

 

“No! I just don’t like him.” Wonwoo gritted, hating Jungkook for playing on his social anxiety. “And don’t act like you didn’t wet your pants the other day.”

 

“Get wrecked.” Jungkook laughed to himself while he played on his phone. 

 

“Right. ‘Cause I totally didn’t save your omega ass.” Woozi tazed him with two fingers poking into his ribcage.

 

“You don’t even have to be an alpha to smell a trembling omega miles away.” Jungkook clicked his tongue, sounding like he was a real expert on omegas.

 

“I’m the only omega you know within a mile radius Kookie so shut up.” 

 

“Not true.”

 

“The omegas in your comic books don’t count either.”

 

Jungkook gaped, wondering what was worse, Wonwoo knowing about that or Wonwoo using it against him.

 

“So you were in my room!’ 

 

“No, a goblin was.” 

 

“You are a goblin.”

 

“I thought Wonu was a wolf?” a inquisitive voice asked, prompting them to look up at its source. Jun had appeared with Minghao. The alpha and delta were friends who were never found separated so it wasn’t a surprise to find them standing next to each other. 

 

“I’m half kitsune. How many times do I have to say it?” Wonwoo groaned, wanting to bang his head on the table as Jun and Minghao sat down across from them.

 

“So you’re a half-kitsune kind of guy?” Jun snickered.

 

Minghao arched a brow.

 

“What’s so funny about that?”

 

“Wonu doesn’t want to be associated with werewolves so he just says ‘half kitsune’ instead of ‘half-wolf.” Jungkook grinned.

 

Woozi made a look of disgust.

 

“Says the kid who got saved by a werewolf the other day.”

 

“Excuse me, I saved you with my charm. Wonwoo retorted. “And it was a bunch of wolves who were picking on me so-”

 

“Okay okay, forget that I asked.” Jun rolled his eyes.

 

“Who was picking on you?” Minghao asked, being the good and concerned friend that Jun obviously wasn’t. 

 

“The rat gang.”

 

“Who?” 

 

“Mingyu and his goons. Wounded us pretty badly.” Woozi answered for him, cringing as he rubbed his shoulder.

 

“So did you beat him up?” Minghao went on, looking at Jungkook this time. It was expected that the protective little brother of their omega best friend would have protected the most vulnerable of their ‘pack’ - or in this case, their little clique - but all Jungkook did was shake his head and sulk.

 

“No.”

 

“He’s a little intimidated.” Woozi snickered.

 

“C’mon. I’m an alpha. I’m bound to have rubbed off on you.” Jun laughed, throwing a grape at him. 

 

“I wasn’t there! And if I was…. I don’t even want to imagine. Have you seen that guy? Dude’s a monster” Jungkook frowned. “But he wouldn’t have hurt Wonwoo that badly anyways.”

 

“If hickey’s don’t count.” Jun wiggled his eyebrows. 

 

“Shut up.” Wonwoo muttered, remembering all the times MIngyu had him up against the wall or his locker. What an experience. 

 

“What Wonwoo means when he said he saved Zi with his charm is that he used his sex appeal on Mingyu.” Jun snickered, trying not to make ramen noodles come out of his nose as Minghao slapped him on the back of the head.

 

Jungkook looked unimpressed, inhaling a breath to begin talking again. 

 

“Sure, I love my brother but hate to say it” Jungkook hesitated. “You can crucify me for this, but my fear of Mingyu is like on the next level. Plus we’re bros. I can’t just start a fight with him. And there’s my chances with Jimin and… Well, he knows not to do anything to Wonwoo when I’m around.” Jungkook smiled sheepishly.

 

“Oh so that’s why you’re sitting here for once?” Minghao snorted.

 

“Huh?”

 

“Yeah.” Jun scratched his neck. “You always sit with those punks over there. Guess you’re feeling pretty sorry for Wonu now aren’t you?” 

 

“Guys.” Woozi interrupted them, giving them all dirty looks. He nodded to his side and everyone suddenly noticed Wonwoo had put his headphones in, listening to one of his books as he scrolled through his phone.

 

“Oh, right.” Jun laughed, exchanging a look with Minghao. 

 

As much as Woozi was annoyed by Jun and Minghao for exposing Jungkook so much in front of Wonwoo, he hated Jungkook more for exposing himself as a wimp.

 

“I gotta go.” Wonwoo said, standing up abruptly. “Seungcheol didn’t finish his homework and needs help on it.”

 

Jun arched a brow.

 

“Isn’t he a senior?”

 

“Yeah but idiots come in all shapes and sizes.”

 

III

 

“Hey there cutie. You’re lookin’ good today.” Seungcheol said, giving Wonwoo a look up and down as he walked into the library.

 

Suddenly Wonwoo felt naked and he made himself small, shooting his boyfriend a look before he sat down. Before he could though, Seungcheol stuck his foot out and put it on the chair.

 

“Nuh uh, you said you were gonna help me remember?” Seungcheol patted his lap.

 

“Help you with your homework, not help you get off.” Wonwoo scoffed. “Plus, we’re in public. Have humility.”

 

“I bet I’ll be the one saying that when I see you tonight.” Seungcheol smirked.

 

“N-no!”

 

“SHHHHH!” the librarian hissed.

 

“Sorry.” Wonwoo whispered back, turning to glare at the beta who was still blocking his chair. 

 

“I’m bringing my sweater just to piss you off.”

 

“In this weather? It’s gonna be like seventy-five out.”

 

“Well, I get cold easily.” he shrugged. Seungcheol retracted his foot and tackled the omega just as he sat down, eliciting giggles from him. 

 

“Let’s stick together the whole night. I’ll keep you warm.” Seungcheol said against his neck. 

 

“Well I’m already warm enough with embarrassment, so if you don't mind would you-”

 

“Alright Jeon, you’re good at math.” Seungcheol got up, handing him a sheet of paper.

 

Wonwoo simply blinked as his boyfriend maneuvered him to face the table.

 

“Okay, let’s see… What do you need help on?” 

 

“All of it.”

 

“B-but. Why didn’t you do this yesterday?” Wonwoo groaned.

 

“Cause.” his boyfriend shrugged. “I was busy with someone.”

 

“Oh. I forgot. Silly me. Omegas can get their homework done and still entertain betas and attend to their feral needs but I guess the same can’t be asked from betas.”

 

Seungcheol shook his head.

 

“No one can ask me to do my homework instead of being with you.” 

 

“And congratulations.” Wonwoo smiled, clapping his hands fast and quietly. “You just won the world's cheesiest boyfriend award. Yayyy-”

 

Seungcheol cut him off with a devouring kiss, taking hold of his waist and twisting the omega to face him. All Wonwoo could do was stare at him wide-eyed and blinking like ice cold water had been splashed on his face. 

 

“I figured that’d shut you up. I got bigger things in mind though in case you get worse.” Seungcheol leaned back in his chair. As much as Wonwoo hated eyeing his man up and down, he couldn’t deny Seungcheol looked really hot when he was man-spreading his legs. 

 

Wonwoo choked on his own spit.

 

“You’re gross. You know I told you all that shit is gonna happen till after we’re married.”

 

“Oh yeah? Then stop teasing me.” Seungcheol snickered, reaching next to him to hold Wonwoo’s side as he used his other to hand him his worksheet.

 

“Sorry that you sexualize everything.” Wonwoo rolled his eyes, not noticing how Seungcheol’s gaze lingered to the way the omega gripped the pencil in his hand. Not to mention how he licked his lips.

 

Seungcheol didn’t reply with anything, preferring to loom over Wonwoo’s arm and let him work in silence. Well, if breathing on Wonwoo didn’t disturb him either…

 

“Cheolie please don’t tell me you forgot Heron’s formula.”

 

“Huh? That’s a lake.”

 

Wonwoo cupped his cheek and turned towards his boyfriend.

 

“That’s Huron dummy. Hero of Alexandria came up with this formula to figure out the area of the triangle. But you’d have to know the lengths of all the sides though. He also invented a fountain that used gravity to propel water, he came up with the idea of a steam engine, and his name is pretty cool right?” Wonwoo smiled at him, craning his neck to look over his shoulder at a dumbfounded Seungcheol.

 

“Hello….” 

 

“Ohhh. I see.” the beta nodded, hiding his growing infatuation with the omega by staring at the piece of paper Wonwoo scribbled all over.

 

“Do you? Do you indeed?” Wonwoo arched a brow, imitating a character from his favorite audiobook. 

 

Seungcheol gulped.

 

“No.”

 

Wonwoo was going to jab him in the side but he thought otherwise, taking out a piece of lined paper from his notebook while Seungcheol leaned in closer.

 

“Wanna hear a joke?” 

 

“Not right now. Gotta finish your homework right?”

 

“Forget about that. Now say ‘yes”

 

“Okay, yes. Tell me it.”

 

“Alright. Why do omegas have pretty faces?”

 

“Just to make the rest of you feel bad?” Wonwoo tried, scratching the bridge of his nose.

 

“Nuh uh. It’s so that you got something to look at while you talk to them.”

 

Wonwoo gawked, pushing Seungcheol off of him.

 

“You should appreciate omegas more. They bring kids into this world.”

 

“Well, I wouldn’t mind appreciating you for that.” Seungcheol smiled, still laughing his butt off. Standing up, he took both of Wonwoo’s hands and made the younger boy face him.

 

Wonwoo immediately blushed.

 

“What’s gotten into you? I’m beginning to think you lured me here on purpose.”

 

“I’m just staking my claim.” the beta shrugged. “Plus, I like watching you talk about things I’ll never need in life.”

 

“Gee, thanks.”

 

“So you wanna tell me more about Huron’s formula babe?” 

 

“Heron’s.”

 

“Right. That.” 

 

Wonwoo chuckled.

 

“Let’s make a formula sheet for you.”

 

“Now hold on a second. I gotta have your number first, cutie.” 

 

It was at that moment that Wonwoo let his head fall back in exhaustion. 

 

“Since you seem to forget everything I’ll just write it on your forehead.”

 

Seungcheol went wide-eyed as he saw Wonwoo inching closer to him with a sharpie in his hand.

 

“W-wait. I didn’t mean it that way!”

Chapter Text

“I still don’t get why you invited this guy." she muttered, crossing her arms as she walked over to the sliding glass doors that separated the Kims large and open-floor planned 1st floor from the long wooden deck and stone patio outside. The lake looked just as beautiful as it was from the shore. 

 

But then there was the fact that she had to refrain from feeling a little hot as her eyes wandered to the white sands and luscious green grass above it on the beach in the cove to the left of them. They had taken the day off from school to drive up here. So not getting it on with her hot alpha boyfriend out in the open and with no one around was out of the question. She didn’t know if she should wear the marks on her waist with pride or cover them up. Her back was still a little sandy even. She’d have to tell Mingyu not to be so rough next time. No wonder he was always around that ‘Wonwoo’ kid. Mingyu probably thought male omegas could handle an alpha being rough with them. Maybe he was just testing him. Pushing him around and being rough with him because he couldn't be rough with her. Was that supposed to hurt her ego? She wasn't flattered, that was for sure. In all the pushes and shoves Mingyu gave that kid he probably touched him more than her. Not that she was counting....

 

The blush that had bloomed on her face shriveled up and died in the jaws of her infamous scowl. 

 

“Seungcheol’s going to bring that slut. I’ll bet you.”

 

“Really?” Mingyu chuckled, opening the lid to his dad’s Yeti cooler before setting it down next to the beer fridge in the kitchen. He said it like he wasn’t going to change his mind about the invitation, causing her to look at him with an even more offended expression.

 

Mingyu was surprised that his girlfriend even said the beta’s name. But it was a start. Just because Seungcheol was a good player on the varsity basketball team didn’t necessarily earn him a place in her heart. 

 

“Tell him not to take his boyfriend. He’s definitely a lightweight. Never seen him touch a beer can anyways.” she hissed. Even with no one around, she was always one to talk in a conspiratorial manner. 

 

Mingyu didn’t spare her a glance. 

 

“That’s what couples do, Chae. You invite one, they bring the other.”

 

“I don’t know how many stupid banquets for all the sports you play I would have had to decline if that was true.” she said, turning around with a disgusted expression on her face.

 

Mingyu let out a huff as he started filling his cooler with cans and bottles. 

 

“I wasn’t gonna bring you anyways.” 

 

“That’s sweet. I’m assuming with all your friends there it wouldn’t be a good idea to bring a pretty omega like me?” Chaeyeon smiled, walking towards him to clutch onto his shoulder.

 

“No. You’d ruin all the fun with your bad attitude.”

 

“My bad attitude? That’s all you have around that Jeon kid. Couldn’t you have made it specific and clear that he wasn’t allowed here?”

 

“Maybe I wanted him to come.” Mingyu smirked, crouching down and opening the ice-maker next to him. He shoveled out some ice to pour it into the cooler. His blatant disregard for the integrity of their relationship didn’t phase her. She merely gave him an unamused look. 

 

Chaeyeon knew he wanted a reaction from her but she returned a smile, brushing her hair back. 

 

“If that’s the best you can do to work me up then it’s not working. But it’s weird to think you’d be more concerned about some omega than your own teammate who you’d want to be on good terms with. Unless there’s something going on….” 

 

“Why’s it matter?” Mingyu arched his brow. “I thought we said we could fuck anyone we wanted?” 

 

“Fine.” Chaeyeon snapped. “Just don’t shove it in my face.” 

 

“Yeah, alright. Make sure to knock before you come to bed though babe. I wouldn’t want to break your little heart since you think we live in a fairy tale and that I actually love you.” 

 

“Don’t assume anything.” Chaeyeon said, flipping her hair over her shoulder. 

 

“I wasn’t. You’re easy to read.” 

 

“And don’t piss me off either!” she snapped at him again from the door. The outburst caused Mingyu to flinch. He didn’t feel so much remorse as he did anxiety about their relationship. Chaeyeon still had a few cards in her deck and not all of them were screaming at him and digging her nails into his arm. 

 

“You’re forgetting the one tiny thing in our contract, Mingyu. If ‘this” - she gestured between them - “doesn’t look real… Then we’re both screwed. Everyone will find out. Got it? So don’t mess up. And keep your dick in your pants, asshole.” 

 

“Says the real slut. Wonwoo doesn’t even wear anything less than a turtleneck while you’re out here wearing a string on your ass and you call that a bathing suit.” 

 

“I’ll change then if it offends you so much.” 

 

“I’m just upholding my end of the bargain.”

 

“Stay on your end then!” Chaeyeon gave him the finger while she slid open the door. 

 

“Fine.” Mingyu growled, clenching his teeth as his girlfriend slammed the door shut behind her, probably going out to tan in the sun. 

 

At least Chaeyeon wasn’t a heavy drinker. He could deal with anything, just not his beer cooler going empty.

 

II

“Cheolie- uhm.” Wonwoo began, hugging himself as he stepped out of the passenger seat of his boyfriend’s car.

 

“Yeah babe?”

 

Even if he instantly warmed from the nickname, he felt a chill go down his spine at the sight of all the shirtless alphas and betas walking around. Plus there was the cheer squad in nothing but bikinis.

 

It was so obvious he was Jeon Wonwoo. Only Jeon Wonwoo would stand out in a crowd, sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way. It just so happened he decided to bring his turtleneck and long pants today. He checked the weather and it said it would get chilly later on. So why not be prepared? 

 

At least it was still light out with the sun peaking theough over the forest and gleaming on the lake. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. Having a little too much fun…

 

“I feel so out of place.”

 

“It’s okay. You’re unique.” Woozi chimed in, stepping out from the backseat. Since Woozi was basically in charge of his wardrobe, makeup, and hair, he needed the beta around him at all times. Even if he didn’t necessarily listen to his advice on clothing i.e. like right now. 

 

Seungcheol tapped his non-existent ass, almost like he was reprimanding him.

 

“Shut up, you look hot. Like nerdy hot.” 

 

Wonwoo ignored him, popping the trunk open and taking out a large plastic tray he had stashed under the hood. Even if it was Mingyu’s party he would have felt bad if he didn’t bring anything. He hoped the guys liked fruit.

 

“Seungcheol can we please not hear about your kinks.” Jun said, getting out from the other side of the back before helping Minghao out too.

 

“Sorry but this ain't a family barbeque so you’re gonna have to deal with a lot worse.” 

 

“Like that guy over there who's literally wearing nothing but a leaf over his crotch?” Wonwoo gawked before shielding his eyes. He figured the crazy shit wouldn’t start until midnight.

 

“Hey, I’m over here you know.” Seungcheol chuckled, taking his hand and leading the group down a small hill of freshly cut grass beyond the tree line. He didn't know much about landscaping but he had to say, Mingyu’s family must have been rich to keep the lake looking so nice plus the grass. Mingyu didn’t even come up here often much less in the winter or fall. 

 

They were practically in the middle of nowhere but it still looked like a garden estate. He wouldn’t be surprised if he saw a few swans touch down on the water. Of course, he didn’t want to associate anything romantic with something Mingyu’s family owned.

 

“Don’t stress your ego Coups, size doesn’t matter to Wonwoo.” Jun snickered, turning his head to make sure Minghao wasn’t looking at that guy who took a dare and was skinny dipping somewhere on the other side of the beach.

 

Wonwoo craned his head over his shoulder and gave the alpha a death stare before Seungcheol guided him along through a stone pathway. Jun carried a cooler of beer with him much to Wonwoo’s dismay since none of them were of legal age. But he kept his eyes ahead, pretending in his head that he didn’t know him.

 

“Woozi, there he is.” Wonwoo whispered, causing his friend to perk up rather than slouch as he walked. 

 

“Shut up.” Woozi gritted, barely audible. They could see Soonyoung entertaining a bunch of cheerleaders as he told them a story about something none of them seemed interested in. But that didn’t mean they weren’t paying attention to his face as he swung his beer can in the air like he was already drunk. 

 

They heard a few splashes as people jumped off the dock on the other side of the shore near the lake house. The place was open but most people stayed outside, setting up chairs and camping out along the water. 

 

“Do you need me?” Woozi asked, coming up next to him. He followed his friend's line of sight, setting his eyes on Mingyu who was crouched down next to a firepit off to the side, ripping up some cardboard boxes, while the rest of his gang fooled around.

 

“No. But thanks. I got Cheolie with me.” he smiled, warming up as the other beta’s arm came around his waist.

 

“Well, in that case. See ya.” Woozi grinned, running off to join the circle of cheerleaders who were lounging on the grass watching Soonyoung make a fool of himself.

 

Wonwoo frowned slightly, knowing just how much of an omegas-man Soonyoung was. The kid needed to outgrow the phase of ‘keeping his options open’ and settle down with someone. Preferably Woozi. He just hoped Woozi knew that chances were, Soonyoung wasn’t as serious about love as he was. Even if they showed an interest in each other. Being in love with someone didn’t guarantee a successful relationship. 

 

Seungcheol took the tray he was walking with, setting it down on a table full of snacks and drinks. Wonwoo ducked his head as a frisbee almost decapitated him but Seungcheol caught it soon after.

 

The beta threw it back, earning a “thanks Coups.” from one of the boys who had been playing on the shore to the left of them. On the right, the lawn was lined with lounge chairs and kids he knew from school probably gossiping and talking shit about teachers.

 

Jun and Minghao came up around them, setting their cooler down on the grass before running inside, passed the firepit where Seungcheol’s friends had gathered to go to the bathroom and change into their bathing suits. Wonwoo remembered to bring his but he wasn’t keen on getting wet in front of Mingyu. The alpha had enough to tease him about besides the fact that his rib cage always showed when his shirt was wet.

 

“Hey man.” Mingyu called, whipping his head towards them as he got up from kneeling down at the fire pit. He had just finished tearing up the last used box of beer and threw it in the circle before jogging over to them. 

 

“S’up.” Seungcheol let out, giving the alpha a firm handshake even if Mingyu towered over him. The taller boy smirked, making sure Seungcheol saw just how slowly and playfully his eyes lingered to his omega.

 

“Hey Wonu. You’re looking nice today princess.” Mingyu breathed, wrapping his arms around him and squeezing him. 

 

Wonwoo let out a high-pitched squeak but it was muffled by Mingyu’s lifeguard T-shirt. He felt Mingyu’s baseball cap dig into his hair as the alpha lowered his head, cuddling him like a worried father. He didn’t know if he should be more concerned about Mingyu crushing his lungs or the fact that Mingyu was actually hugging him and his breath didn’t smell like alcohol. 

 

Even if Mingyu’s idiotic antics made his eyes roll, he couldn’t help but feel warm in his embrace. The embrace, although tight and suffocating, wasn’t uncomfortable. In fact he welcomed it. He hadn’t even felt this warm when Seungcheol laid next to him. It was like there was a shock of static that buzzed between them. It wasn’t painful, but it was jarring, letting him know that there was something there. But he didn’t know if Mingyu felt it too. The alpha was too busy sniffing his hair and holding his head in his chest to show it. 

 

“Alright Kim, that’s enough.” Seungcheol groaned, pushing on Mingyu’s arm which was still hooked around Wonwoo’s torso.

 

“Warm. Too tired.” Mingyu huffed, rocking the both of them side to side. Not even the force of Seungcheol’s shove could push him off.

 

“What’s gotten into Kim?” Jaehyun laughed a few dozen feet away as he rearranged some things in the fire pit. 

 

“Better watch out Coups.” Yugyeom snickered. “I think Kim’s coming after your princess.”

 

“No he’s not.” Wonwoo growled, realizing his boyfriend was helpless as he watched them. He forgot Seungcheol was there. Probably because Mingyu’s body was too big and blocked everything in his sight. 

 

He pushed Mingyu off him who pouted at his harshness. 

 

“Hey, after a whole week of school I gotta find a place to relax somehow.” 

 

“And dealing with his girlfriend.” Jaehyun muttered.

 

“Well, the place to relax isn’t my shoulder.” Wonwoo scoffed.

 

“And if you wanna relax how about you relax in hell?” Seungcheol smirked. “Light that fire over there and I’ll throw you in if you sniff my boyfriend again.”

 

Mingyu chuckled, stalking over to the beta and looking down at him with a grin.

 

“Sorry, I can’t help that Wonu’s cute. If you wanna keep him maybe you should act like he’s yours. I might just steal him someday.”

 

“Wanna bet?”

 

“Just some constructive criticism.” Mingyu shrugged, walking towards Wonwoo’s side and leaning down to whisper in his ear.

 

“Might wanna wash off that slick smell princess.” he said, looking past him.  “Maybe I can control myself tonight but I don’t think your boyfriend can take on all my friends.”

 

“I will, thanks-“ Wonwoo said confidently before stuttering and cutting himself off, realizing Mingyu was implying that he smelled like omega slick because of him. To think Mingyu would actually care. The guy had a whole harem of girls from school fawning over him.

 

Wonwoo let out a disgusted breath, pushing Mingyu away and clinging onto his boyfriend while he tried to juggle the tray he was carrying. 

 

“C’mon.” Wonwoo said, leading Seuncgheol passed Mingyu to set down the tray. 

 

“What’s that Wonu?” Baekho asked, nudging his friends.

 

“Did the princess make cookies for us?” Mingyu smirked, finding a chair around the fire pit and plopping himself down with a Bud Light bottle. 

 

“No. This is much healthier. Well, semi-healthy.” Wonwoo smiled, opening the lid to reveal an edible arrangement of all different types of fruits on wooden skewers. It was a lot of work making butterfly shapes, stars, and balls but he managed to do it with cookie cutters, crafting each skewer by hand before dipping it in chocolate. Not to mention, he added a little swirl of frosting on some. 

 

“Yo, that looks good.” Jaehyun gaped, rushing over to take one of the skewers. “I got an idea on how to repay you but I don’t think your boyfriend would like it.” 

 

Seungheol growled while Wonwoo dismissed the other alpha with a flick of his wrist. 

 

“Oh, a ‘thank you’ is fine.” 

 

“Thank you.” Jungkook said, appearing out of nowhere behind the crowd of guys that had gathered. His cheeks were stuffed full of fruit but he was able to hear him. Even if Jungkook slurred a little and stumbled, at least he remembered his manners. 

 

“Wonu, come sit with us.” Yugyeom said, raising his leg and patting the seat next to him. 

 

He clung onto Seungcheol’s arm and they walked over to the fire pit. His boyfriend was a little uneasy. If not Mingyu it was the fact that practically every guy there was shirtless and rocking a somewhat full set of abs. 

 

Wonwoo kept his eyes on the chair he was meant to sit in, knowing full well Seungcheol was watching. 

 

He let out a sigh, falling into the warmth of Seungcheol’s chest as his boyfriend stuck his arm out to cuddle him. It had been a long car ride so he was happy to finally feel his boyfriend again.

 

If he didn’t know he hadn’t been drinking, he would have sworn Jaehyun and Yugyeom hadn’t just cooed at them. They were a cute couple after all. Seungcheol was tough, sure, but he was also known to be cute and snuggly. Nothing like that bastard who was currently flirting with one of Chaeyeon’s cheer squadmates…

 

“So what are you guys up to?” Seungcheol asked, breath fanning over his hair. 

 

“Chillin’ and talking.” Yugyeom shrugged, taking a swig of beer. 

 

“About what?” 

 

“Nothing.” 

 

“Coach is having us train tomorrow so it looks like we can’t stay up here all night.” Jaehyun groaned, spreading his legs out and leaning back in his chair.

 

“Oh yeah, shit.” Seungcheol growled. “I forgot about that.”

 

“Son of a bitch can’t let us have the weekend alone.” Jungkook snorted.

 

Wonwoo’s head darted up from Seungcheol’s chest.

 

“Watch your mouth, Kookie.”

 

“Yeah Kookie, watch your mouth.” Mingyu snickered, looking over his shoulder before as he opened a cooler and got out a beer can.

 

“Did you guys have to corrupt my brother?” Wonwoo whined, ignoring Mingyu. “Kookie, drink fruit punch and water, c’mon. Don’t make mom upset when we go home.”

 

“Shut up, Wonu. You’re gonna embarrass me and mess this up.” Jungkook groaned, chugging down the beer can and giving the omega more of a reason to frown. 

 

“Kookie wants to get smashed tonight.” Yugyeom whistled. “It’s how bros pick up chicks more easily if they’re stressed out.”

 

Jungkook pursed his lips as he gulped the drink down, ignoring his friend.” 

 

“Plus, I’m not going home tonight. Mingyu said if I get lucky I can stay.”

 

“Lucky?” 

 

“Yeah.” Jungkook grinned, nodding his head towards the dock in front of Mingyu’s lake house. There at the edge of the wooden platform was a short and blond-haired boy who was lean - maybe even leaner than him - who was laughing as he dipped his toe in the water.

 

Was that Jimin?

 

“Huh? So you think I’ll embarrass you? And you are totally not staying here overnight, especially with an o- whatever he is! A mermaid?.” Wonwoo scoffed.

 

“You are kind of a mom.” Mingyu interjected, walking over and handing Seungcheol a drink. 

 

Wonwoo noticed how the alpha made it all the more known that he was what they called a “party pooper” as he gave his boyfriend the beer and not him.

 

“Have you seen us Kim, we need a mom.” Baekho replied, looking up from where he had been drawing in the sand with a stick he had taken from a tree branch. 

 

“Yeah, we’re all a bunch of misfits right?” Jaehyun giggled. 

 

“I already got one of those at home. I don’t need another one messing up my party.” 

 

Seungcheol growled.

 

“He’s not bothering you Kim, what’s the big deal?” 

 

“You know his deal. He’s an asshole.” Wonwoo hissed, glaring at Jungkook too for contributing and enabling the obnoxiousness.

 

“Have a fruit skewer Kim!” Yugyeom laughed, pointing his in the air.

 

“I’m good, thanks for asking though.” Mingyu grumbled, taking pleasure in taking the skewer from Yugyeom’s grip and throwing it into the pit. 

 

“Hey!” 

 

“My bad.” Mingyu shrugged, walking around the circle before sitting back down as if he had just marked his territory.

 

After a few seconds of calm, with Jaehyun and Yugyeom snickering about something, Jungkook staring at Jimin who was still afraid of jumping in the lake, and Baekho and some other guys occupied with their phones and playing video games, Wonwoo finally let out a quiet breath, feeling settled in.


That was, until Jun and Minghao ran past them after exiting the house, clad in their surfing suits and flower shorts. He cringed as they both squealed, running into the lake from the shore all the while hissing as they stepped on pebbles and mussel shells. The partygoers in the lake cleared a path for them, cheering and whoop-whooping as the two made it in alive. It wasn’t long before Jun and Minghao were given an inflatable beer holder to keep their drinks safe as they played beach ball with the rest of the crowd. 

 

“You wanna go in now?” Seungcheol asked softly, barely missing his ear with his lips. Leave it up to his boyfriend to make the most mundane things sound husky.

 

“Is it cold?”

 

“It’s basically summer already. ‘Course it’s not.” Jaehyun retorted.

 

“Yeah, but the water might still be cold.”

 

“It’s not babe. C’mon.” Seungcheol chuckled, trying to tug him up.

 

“Yeah what are you so afraid of Won? Are you a cat-hybrid or something? Too afraid to get your little paws wet?” Mingyu eyed him. Wonwoo instantly crumbled at the look the alpha was giving him like he was already in his bathing suit. 

 

“If they ever got wet they’d be soaked in your blood, Kim.” Wonwoo growled.

 

“Woah!” 

 

“Aye!” 

 

Mingyu laughed.

 

“The fuck? Is that supposed to be a threat?”

 

“Did I stutter?” 

 

“You usually do. Sorry I can’t take you seriously when your voice doesn’t even match with your face. You’re not very omega-like either. What even are you?” 

 

“C’mon Mingyu, it’s just Wonwoo’s dark humor.” Yugyeom shrugged. 

 

“Whatever. It’s a good idea for Seungcheol to teach Wonu here how to swim ‘cause I’m getting tired of him smelling like an omega in heat every time an alpha says ‘hi’ to him.”

 

“Oh shit!” Jaehyun fell over laughing.

 

“Hey, watch it.” Jungkook narrowed his eyes, picking off a melon ball from his skewer and whipping it at his elder who shrugged it off and laughed at him.

 

“Fuck you, Kim. C’mon Wonu. Jun and Minghao look like they could use some people to keep ‘em in check.” Seungcheol murmured, bringing him along by his arm.

 

“No, I have something to say.” Wonwoo gritted, turning around and staring down the alpha who was sitting in front of the fire pit with his arms crossed and smirking.

 

“What do you got to say princess? Do I got chocolate on my nose that you gotta wipe off?” 

 

“I’ll wipe that smirk off your face-”

 

“Wonwoo.” Seungcheol growled. “Jungkook, a little help here?”

 

Jungkook sighed.

 

“Please guys. Can we just have a romantic night out and let love bloom-”

 

“Shut up Jeon. Next time tell your brother this party is for people who actually take a hit.” Mingyu groaned.

 

“You think I can’t?” Wonwoo gaped.

 

“I bet you’d faint even before I landed a punch.” 

 

“Real funny. You know, I just came to have fun with my friends and make sure you didn’t pick on them like you always do, making Seungcheol  and Jungkook obey everything you say just because they feel like you’re a threat to their position on the team when everyone knows the team could do without you. I’m also tired of you thinking you can just steamroll me in front of everyone and get away with it. Just because I’m an omega doesn’t mean I can’t throw a punch. You think I can’t have a good time? Well you’re the one who ruins the good time for some of us. They might live in fear of you but I certainly don’t-”

 

“Wonu, he doesn’t care.” Seungcheol hissed, wrapping an arm around his shoulder as he brought them down the shore of the lake. Wonwoo craned his neck over his shoulder as he was dragged away, giving Mingyu the dirtiest look he could muster. It was all in vain though and he finally realized what Seungcheol meant. 

 

The unimpressed look on Mingyu’s face was replaced with a sadistic grin as the alpha looked beyond them, as if they were faceless shadows in a larger canvas. It was like their scuffle meant nothing in the entire swing of things. He was just a speck of dust after all in Mingyu’s galaxy. 

It was only until he heard shouts and wolf whistles coming from the circle as well as the water that he realized who it was that caught Mingyu’s attention.  

 

Don’t tell me…

 

It was her. Jung Chaeyeon. Kim Mingyu’s girlfriend who just so happened to be wearing nothing but a laced bikini as she walked out of the water like a mermaid that had grown legs. Even if there were leaves in her hair or strands of grass from the lake bottom, it made her look all the more ethereal to the men, if they even had that word in their vocabulary. Mingyu didn’t mind all of the other wolves in the circle feasting their eyes on his girlfriend, it only made him all the more prideful and conceited. As far as he could tell, the alpha just sat there with his fists clenched by his sides and biting his lips while all of the guys were practically leaning forward in their seats with their tongues sticking out. Save for Jungkook who was smiling like a fool after Jimin finally jumped from the dock. 

 

He was so caught up in staring Mingyu down that he failed to notice Seungcheol’s head shift to the left as they passed Mingyu’s girlfriend. Wonwoo had never been attracted to women but if there was an ounce of shamelessness in him he would have shrugged and actually understood why his boyfriend was looking at her like a dog wagging its tail and sticking its tongue out like it was in the hot sun the whole day. But he respected himself and their relationship enough to nudge the beta, bringing him back to reality. Though there was a pang in his chest as it took a few seconds for it to work. Chaeyeon was already well past them before Seungcheol looked at him. He probably only did it because the sex show was over. He couldn’t help but feel a simmering heat rise from his stomach as he saw a faint hint of red on Seungcheol’s cheeks. The freaking bitch smiled at his boyfriend…

 

He didn’t know what to make of it. All he knew was that if Jun and Minghao were up for a splash fight Seungcheol was going to get drowned. Either that, or he was going to tie an anchor to his boyfriend’s foot and get Jungkook to throw him off the dock. 

 

Seungcheol only gave him a sheepish smile, scratching the back of his neck before turning and running to the shore. 

 

“The water’s fine! Lukewarm actually. It’s colder in the air than it is here!”

 

Maybe you’re just warm.

 

“Great.” Wonwoo groaned. “I didn’t bring a bathing suit.”

 

For once he was glad to go swimming. He’d do anything just to have fun a way from Mingyu’s antics. But he guessed it wasn’t going to work out for him.

 

“Hey Wonwoo!” a voice called from behind them. He turned around, noticing the honey-colored bob of hair first before he realized it was Seungkwan. 

 

“You can borrow mine! I’m not much of a swimmer but Vernon made me bring it.” he snickered.

 

Wonwoo smiled, spotting Vernon too who was lugging an entire beach bag full of towels and all the things they needed for an evening on the lake. 

 

“Hey Wonu.” Vernon waved.

 

“Hi.” he said softly, clasping his hands behind his back. “Are you sure it’s alright?”

 

“Uh yeah…” Seungkwan rolled his eyes. 

 

“C’mon Wonwoo! Show us that bod!” Jaehyun laughed, voice bellowing from the fire pit. 

 

“Shut up.” he scoffed, tiny-walking over to Seungkwan who was greeting everyone he knew as Vernon set up camp. “Do you have a top?” he whispered. 

 

Seungcheol stood in the water, still getting used to it as Wonwoo set food on the grass. With Wonwoo’s back being turned there wasn’t much motivation for the beta to keep his eyes on his boyfriend. Instead he couldn’t help but let them shift towards the circle a few dozen yards away. He knew Wonwoo would kill him for it but he had to admit, Mingyu’s girlfriend was hot. Wonwoo barely ever showed any skin, much less bothered to get wet to get his body showing through his bathing suit. Seungcheol guessed he was a little starved of the sensual things Wonwoo detested. It was tough having a rigid boyfriend. Wonwoo may as well have been raised as a Puritan. He wondered if Mingyu was enough of a dickhead to share his girlfriend and not brag about it so that Wonwoo would find out. 

 

Meanwhile, Wonwoo held a pile of clothes to his chest after Seungkwan gave them to him. The omega stole a glance at his boyfriend who was watching him scurry towards the house and they exchanged smiles before Seungcheol flinched as a beach ball hit him in the neck. Wonwoo blushed, seeing Jun shouting towards his boyfriend for the ball back right as he reached the lake house deck and it made him wonder just how much they were in for if Jun suggested they play an actual game. The thought made him forget about earlier but it was only for a second, and he frowned to himself as he disappeared beyond the sliding glass doors.

 

The beginnings of love started with eye contact. But how much of a relationship could be ruined in a day? By just one unreciprocated glance? As if a piece of meat had eyes. 

 

Chapter Text

“It’s freezing!” Wonwoo cried, shivering as he stood at the edge of the shore. Wonwoo knew it was torture to step into the water and go in the long way, but he simply couldn’t conceive jumping in. Plus he hated how dark and void-like the water looked, especially with the setting sun.

 

Never in a million years would he think Seungkwan’s bathing suit would earn wolf-whistles from the guys behind him. So that was nice. But it wasn’t really helping him get in the water. It only made him blush more and he hated blushing because of his pale skin. 

 

Apparently, Seungkwan’s bathing suit was a little too tight and small on him. Okay, maybe it was really tight and small, giving him the perky ass he never had, an even thinner waist, and oh yeah, a view of his translucent abdomen and backside since the shirt didn’t reach all the way down to the shorts. It was all the motivation he needed to get in the water quickly. But he wasn’t so sure about that after Mingyu and Chaeyeon reached the end dock before his toes got in two feet deep. Why’d Chaeyeon have to be so pretty?

 

He cringed as he went into the water further, becoming self-conscious about the way Seungcheol was standing there with his arms crossed. The pack of wolves behind him weren’t letting up either, relentlessly making catcalls and wolf whistles at him. It wasn’t his fault that the sunset silhouette around him defined his figure so well. But the trepidation all went away as a scream rang out through the air above the water followed by a splash. 

 

Chaeyeon’s dark hair emerged from the tumultuous water where she had been pushed in, followed by Mingyu’s douchebag laughter. Wonwoo narrowed his eyes, scoffing it off. He hissed as he stepped in more, doing his best to ignore how Mingyu had stretched out his arms to lift his shirt over his head. He knew it was wrong to look so he closed his eyes, pretending as though the cold water was painful. 

 

“You okay?” Seungcheol asked, noticing the wince in the omega’s eyes as he turned his attention away from Chaeyeon and back to him. 

 

“Y-yes. It’s just- cold.” he quivered. He clenched his fists, not to quell the cold but out of frustration. He wished he hadn’t seen it in the corner of his eye but the image of Mingyu - all bronze and sculpted chest and abs - was stained underneath his eyelids and he couldn’t get the memory out of his head. Mingyu’s biceps had practically been bulging out ever since he saw them earlier. Plus he had been caged in by them in front of his locker a whole bunch of times. It only served to make him wonder more what’d it be like to rest his head on them and snuggle the big teddy bear-

 

That’s it.

 

He gritted his teeth, heaving in a deep breath before propelling himself forward and sliding into the water. 

 

“Woo! Yeah!” Jaehyun shouted as Yugyeom clapped his hands.

 

It wasn’t like he jumped in to prove to them he wasn’t a wimp. But he didn't mind the praise either. He forgot about Seungcheol’s treachery, preferring to swim to his boyfriend and hide his face in the beta’s shoulder since the guys behind them all cheered. 

 

“Take me out to the deep end.” he pouted, staring into the distance towards the other end of the lake.

 

“Why? You can swim.” Seungcheol snickered, shielding his face as Shownu jumped off the dock and did a cannonball. It was pretty impressive Wonwoo had to admit. He hadn’t seen the thing but the fact that the dock was far away and they could still feel the splash spoke for itself. 

 

“Let’s just swim together… alone.”

 

“But why? Jun and Minghao want to play-”

 

Wonwoo rolled his eyes, taking another breath before diving under the water to shut his boyfriend up. 

 

“H-Hey! Wonwoo.” the beta growled, rushing after him. 

 

Wonwoo poked his head up on the surface, spitting out a stream of water and wiping his hair. Just when Seungcheol thought Wonwoo was going to explain to him why he was acting so differently all of a sudden, a glob of water hit him in the face. It took him seconds to realize Wonwoo just splashed him and it was too late to retaliate as Wonwoo went underwater again, luring him further out. 

 

By the time Wonwoo stopped swimming, the distance between the lake bottom and their heads must have been about fifteen feet. They could hear the beach ball game still loud and clear but it wasn’t as bothersome like how Mingyu’s gang was behaving back on the shore. 

 

“So are you gonna tell me why you brought me out here?” Seungcheol arched a brow, reclining his head as he floated on his back. 

 

“Well, I know it’s wrong to answer questions with questions. But if you don't mind me asking, what’s so interesting about Chaeyeon?” 

 

A trickle of water could be heard as Seungcheol’s head whipped up. The beta went clearly to high alert, looking at him with furrowed brows.

 

“Are you really asking that question?”

 

“Are you really my boyfriend?” 

 

Seungcheol narrowed his eyes.

 

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

 

Wonwoo sighed.

 

“I’m questioning your loyalty if it wasn’t obvious already.”

 

“Oh, sorry that I’m not as smart as you.”

 

He raked a hand through his forehead, already becoming frustrated. 

 

“Could you please just answer my question instead of derailing the discussion?”

 

Seungcheol snorted.

 

“It doesn’t even have to be a discussion. That’s what guys do. They see someone hot and they look at them. Big deal.” 

 

“Big deal? It is a deal. Mates are only supposed to look at eachother.”

 

“I am looking at you.”

 

“W-What? No! You’re really taking the piss out of me aren’t you?”

 

“I’m not. Trust me. I’m just saying…. Sometimes betas and alphas can’t control themselves. It’s built into us. You know, you see an attractive person and you’re already pre-programmed to want to fuck them and- you know what, I’m going too far. Just know that’s reality. Sorry if you took offense to that.”

 

Wonwoo arched a brow.

 

“I don’t need a biology lesson, nor do I need an apology that isn’t a true apology.”

 

“Well, what do you want me to say?”

 

Wonwoo groaned.

 

“Do I even have to spell it? You’re not even sorry for looking at her when you shouldn’t have. And you did it in such a way I- I can’t even believe you’re acting like it’s nothing. You don’t even care. And you were so unbothered when you did it, like you didn’t even consider ‘is this wrong’ or ‘should I look away?”

 

“So? You can’t deny you weren’t looking at Mingyu back there.” Seungcheol snapped.

 

“I look away! All the time! You don’t!” 

 

“Why should I? We’re wolves! It’s called hormones!”

 

Wonwoo scoffed.

 

“Well I didn’t sign up to date a sex-crazed wolf or a walking bag of hormones. I thought you were someone who was honorable and respected relationships.”

 

Seungcheol chuckled, looking away as he shook his head.

 

“And I think you forgot that I’m only eighteen. Heck, you're younger than me and you’re already sounding like my grandma lecturing me like I’m already married.”

 

The omega frowned, moving closer to his boyfriend in the water.

 

“But- I thought marriage was something you wanted?” 

 

“Huh? I haven’t even graduated high school yet...”

 

“So? Doesn’t mean you can’t think about the future. I never thought you were incapable of having dreams and ambitions. I never thought of you as a child. I thought of you as an adult. That’s why I f-fell for you. I could have been with any other guy, you know that.”

 

“I do. And I also know you’re full of yourself.”

 

“What?”

 

“You heard me. Not only do you think you’re irresistible to every guy at school but you also think you’re above me because things like ‘love’ and ‘commitment’ and ‘honor’ are so sophisticated right?”

 

“N-No. That’s not-”

 

“I don’t care. If you’re gonna be paranoid about me catching feelings for some chick then maybe our relationship doesn’t mean anything to you because you don’t trust me.”

 

“I trust what I see. And don’t you try to gaslight me. You’re turning this on me now because I caught you ogling someone else. This isn’t about falling for other people this is about being the only person in your eyes.”

 

“Keep telling yourself that Jeon.”

 

Wonwoo scoffed.

 

“I don’t need to. What you did speaks for itself.” 

 

Seuncheol growled and swam back to shore, leaving him behind. The omega shunned him, turning his back and thinking to himself. Though it was hard to think. That was, if thinking and panicking were two different things. Maybe this was the end of his relationship. 

 

Though, the least of his worries was the fact that it would be the perfect time for Mingyu to strike where he was at his lowest point. But it wasn’t like Seungcheol would stop him. His boyfriend never defended him anyways. 

 

Heaving a sigh, he dipped his head into the water, hoping it would help him shake off the sinking feeling in his stomach. Water dripped down his hair and from his eyebrows so it was hard to see. He felt like crying too but if there were any tears that came out at least it just blended in with the lake water. 

 

For one second he doubted himself. Perhaps he was just being paranoid. But to think that his boyfriend should be excused simply because it was his instincts? That their love and commitment to each other paled in comparison to hormones and some theory about evolution? Perhaps he was wrong about Seungcheol. Yet, he had to admit, he wasn’t serious about their relationship when they first started dating, and Seungcheol was the one who was older than him. Maybe Seungcheol hadn’t grown up like he had. Hadn’t felt the connection he thought they developed. Hadn’t fallen in love. 

 

He supposed his biology teacher was right. Mates who weren’t true mates had a difficult time with fidelity, commitment, cohesiveness… It was odd to think true mates were rare. When he first learned that fact he couldn’t help but wonder, did three fourths of the marriages he had seen not work out at all? Underneath all the smiles and the titles Mr. and Mrs… was it turmoil and resentment for those who weren’t true mates? No wonder the thing between him and Seungcheol would never work out. 

 

Wonwoo giggled to himself.

 

He guessed he’d just have to accept not being happy for the rest of his-

 

“Ow-” he hissed, suddenly tensing up in fear.

 

Something had just yanked his leg…

 

He had just gasped in air and was about to scream when a splash of water erupted in front of him, revealing a full head of hair and bronze skin that shot out of the water.

 

“Boo!” 

 

This time he screamed, pulling his hand back and slapping the alpha across the face. 

 

“Mingyu!” he growled, voice becoming shaky. He didn’t know if it was just the after effects of what Seungcheol said or if he still wasn’t over the fear Mingyu caused him but either way, all he could see was red. He turned away, shielding his face out of frustration and embarrassment.

 

“Ah fuck!” the alpha groaned, holding his cheek. “What the hell did you do that for?”

 

“You s-scared me, dickhead.” 

 

“Jeon Wonwoo? Scared? I don’t believe it.” 

 

“Believe it or not, I don’t care. Just leave me alone.”

 

“What are you doing out here anyways.” Mingyu arched a brow, cringing as he took his hand off his cheek and swimming to get around and face Wonwoo. 

 

“I like to swim by myself. Calms the mind.”

 

“Oh, is the party too loud for you?” 

 

“There are a lot of things that are too loud for me.” Wonwoo rolled his eyes, finally un-shielding his face and looking away.

 

“Maybe next time we’ll have a book-themed party or something. In the library.” Mingyu snickered. “We’ll play scrabble, scattergories and… what’s those games nerds like?”

 

“If you came out here to make fun of me you can just go away.”

 

“And you can leave.”

 

Wonwoo growled, starting to swim back to shore.

 

“Fine. I will. I don’t want to be part of your nihilistic and superficial decadence and debauchery anyways-” he stopped, grunting as he felt Mingyu yank him back by the arm.

 

“I’m kidding.”

 

“Oh, well, I was kidding too.” Wonwoo huffed.

 

“What the- since when did you ever back down from a fight with me?” Mingyu smirked.

 

“What do you mean?” Wonwoo replied, fixing the hair on his forehead in an attempt to hide his blush.

 

“You say all those things about the party being nihilis- or whatever words you used, and now you take them back? Wow, sounds like you care.” 

 

“I’m just being polite. And if you don’t mind me politely asking, why aren’t you with your girlfriend. Did objectifying her get too boring for you?” 

 

“She’s with her friends.” Mingyu snorted, nodding his head in the cheer squad’s direction where they were all giggling and holding cans of fruit-flavored alcohol as they bounced up and down for the guys. 

 

“And objectifying? You mean I can’t admire how sexy my girlfriend’s body is?” 

 

“I thought you’d save it for the bedroom. If I were you I don’t think I’d want any omega looking at my boyfriend like that.” 

 

“That’s ‘cause your an omega. You’d be lucky just to get a beta to breed you. Alphas have the perk of choosing who they want to bang. Seungcheol could leave you any second for some other bitch. I’ll bet you. So I don’t blame you for being jealous.”

 

Wonwoo initially gaped but dismissed it, remembering Mingyu meant nothing to him and thus his words meant nothing too.

 

“There’s so much in that sentence…. It’s not worth my time.” he sighed, trying to hide the feeling of anguish rising in him.

 

“Whatever Won. Keep being a little bitch.” Mingyu growled, but Wonwoo was already close to the shore, thanking Seungkwan for a towel as his friend knew how much he hated how the water made everything on his body stick out. 

 

“Alright everyone, who's up for volleyball?” Mingyu shouted, climbing the ladder on the dock and standing up on it, waving towards the shore. 

 

“Me!” Jun shouted, jumping up and down in the shallow end of the lake before running up to the shore when he saw a large inflatable network of tubes and a net. 

 

Right as Seungkwan led him up the grass beyond the sand, Wonwoo made sure to get out of the way, stepping to the side as Jaehyun, Yugyeom, Baekho, Shownu, and the rest of Mingyu’s goons made their way down the beach, lugging a bunch of long tubes like they were entire trunks of trees they had just cut down. 

 

On the other hand the cheer squad vacated their corner of the lake, laughing as they raced each other to where the boys were setting up the net and anchoring the volleyball set. 

 

“You guys coming with?” Vernon asked, standing up from the blanket and brushing grass off his legs.

 

“Nah, me and Wonu will watch.”

 

Wonwoo waved to the blond boy before turning to Seungkwan with his brows raised.

 

“Where’s Woozi anyways?”

 

“Huh. I guess he disappeared.”

 

Wonwoo snorted.

 

“I hope he wasn't eaten by the lake monster- Oh my gosh.” 

 

“What?” Seungkwan gasped.

 

The older omega burst out laughing, clutching his stomach as he leaned closer to his friend and pointed towards the water. There on top of a flailing and not-so-graceful boy was a tiny head of hair and a small body which anyone would have guessed was Woozi getting a piggyback ride from Soonyoung as they went out to join the guys.

 

“I wonder if they’ll let them play as one person.” Seungkwan laughed.

 

“It’ll help Woozi with his height problem.”

 

“Can’t say the same for Soonyoung’s dick problem.” 

 

“Oh my- stahhp!” the taller snorted, shoving Seungkwan to the side. 

 

“Okay okay.” Seungkwan sighed. “Who do you think is gonna win?”

 

“Hold up, who are the captains?”

 

“Jaehyun and Mingyu.”

 

“Of course.” he sighed, using his hands to support himself as he reclined back on the grass with his legs splayed out, watching as Jaehyun and Mingyu met each other on the sidelines. 

 

“Alright, everyone line up so we can pick teams!” they heard Mingyu say, waving his hands in the air.

 

“What?” Wonwoo whispered to himself. “Why can’t they just count people or do eeny meeny miny moe so it won’t be humiliating for the last person who gets picked?”

 

“That’s how it works I guess.” Seungkwan frowned, hoping Vernon didn’t get picked last. Though it was unlikely. Mingyu and Jaehyun would want alphas on their team first. 

 

After a few minutes, Wonwoo could say that the alphas had been split evenly amongst the two teams but he couldn’t say the same thing about the betas. Seungcheol was pretty athletic so it made sense for Mingyu to pick him even if there was tension between them. Though it didn’t look like there was any now. It couldn’t have been just because Mingyu and Seungcheol were on the same team now. No. He could tell just how much Seungcheol wanted to get back at him, even taking the effort to smile at him when he shook hands with Mingyu and they patted each other’s backs. 

 

For the first time in their relationship he felt a kind of hatred rising from his stomach.

 

It was no surprise Jungkook pressured Jaehyun to pick both him and Jimin, considering they had been flirting the whole time while the teams were being formed. It didn’t take long before the crowd had been whittled down to a few people. There were, of course, a few betas left over. Mingyu and Jaehyun picked them apart, carefully choosing each one of them since things were pretty even and one wrong pick could decide the fate of their respective teams. Once that was done, a few girls on the cheer squad remained. Chaeyeon’s friends he was pretty sure.

 

From the lawn they could hear Chaeyeon talking to her friends, looking pretty stressed out of all a sudden. Mingyu’s girlfriend had already been picked to be on his team so there wasn’t any surprise there. Though problems started arising when the three remaining girls who belonged to the cheer squad knew one of them wouldn’t be able to play since it was an odd amount. Knowing how humiliating it was, they stuck together, demanding either Jaehyun or Mingyu take them as a whole.

 

Jaehyun was the first to shoot down their ultimatum, citing that if there were three more people on his side it would be too crowded and that would give the other team an advantage. So Mingyu was left with the decision, though he didn’t take it with any heavy heart. Even as Chaeyeon threw him a look for being so callous with her cheer mates, it didn’t seem to bother him.

 

“Sorry, looks like you can play next round. After I win I think I’ll retire from the league.” 

 

“Yeah, very funny!” Jaehyun snorted, crossing his arms as he waited for Chaeyeon’s friends to leave. 

 

“Whatever.” one of the girls scoffed.

 

“Asshole.” 

 

“Remind me never again to come to this guy’s party.” 

 

“Why is she even dating him?” 

 

Chayeon grew visibly angry, sinking her nails into her boyfriend’s shoulder as she leaned up against him.

 

“What’s wrong with you?” she hissed. “You’re making me look like an awful person.”

 

“Gee, thanks for caring about my image.” Mingyu smirked, catching the volleyball from Yugyeom after he and the rest of the group were done playing with it.

 

“We all know if you cared about your image you wouldn’t be such a dickhead all the time.” 

 

“Shut up. I’m tired of you complaining. You know how lucky you are to have me as your boyfriend? Mingyu whispered, gritting his teeth. “I’m the only reason every guy here wants to bang you. You see how many other sluts that are here that look just like you? Other alphas could hook up with them easy. Because you’re with me… whole other story. Everyone knows why we’re together. You don't have to worry babe. Nothing I do will ever come back to bite me. I’m just that popular.” Mingyu chuckled, reaching down and slapping her bare rear before guiding her by the waist to her position on the other side of the makeshift court. 

 

Mingyu’s team wasn’t very cohesive from the start to say the least. Probably because Chaeyeon didn’t completely have her head in the game.

 

Wonwoo actually arched a brow as Chaeyeon missed a shot, letting the volleyball go past her without even making contact with it. For once, perhaps Chaeyeon really had a heart. Or she was just worried about what those girls were going to say about her. Probably the latter but he’d give her the benefit of the doubt. He’d never expected Mingyu to date anyone remotely nice. But then… niceness never implied the quality of being a good person. 

 

But as soon as Chaeyeon forgot the affair, and with Mingyu actually investing everything into the game instead of ogling his girlfriend every time she jumped into the air to hit the ball back or bent down to get it in the water, things seemed to take a turn. As usual, the weaker players cleared a path for the alphas as they hit the ball back and forth before spiking it. It was no surprise that with their werewolf strength, each shot that hit the water caused a whole ‘splash eruption’ and a mini tsunami. Mingyu and his players made a good team when they weren’t drunk.

 

By the time the sun had reached the tip of the pine trees across the lake, Mingyu’s team led by six points, giving Jaehyun a run for his money. Jungkook and Jimin couldn’t care less, having the time of their lives splashing each other during the rounds while Minghao and Jun couldn’t be more happy to actually get to hit the ball. 

 

Perhaps their complacency earned the other team a point to catch up with them, but Mingyu made sure to spike the ball whenever it came within a ten foot radius of him. After all, he was the tallest there, and probably at the whole party, so it made sense if he was always the one hitting the ball back. If anything he could have played by himself against Jaehyun’s team. Now that Wonwoo thought about it, it would have probably been a better idea. It didn’t look like anyone appreciated being shoved out of the way or having to scurry to the sidelines as the ‘apex alpha’ bolted towards the net. 

 

Even if the game turned chaotic when the alphas kept hitting the ball to each other, shooting it over the heads of the omegas and betas who could do nothing but run in circles as the volleyball’s shadow flashed over them, the scene was somewhat calming. Sure, he was still mad at Seungcheol. And Mingyu’s stupid laughter at winning all the time got on his nerves. But after a while, he came to understand the other wolves, like a rabbit understanding why its life had to end in the jaws of a fox. It was just how boys played and talked with each other. And he’d rather see Seungcheol having fun than staring at another omega. 

 

The tumultuous waves and cacophony of splashes were calming and he sighed, eyes trained on the volleyball that was going back and forth at lightning speed. It wasn’t even a chore anymore to follow it. Eitherway, he’d rather get a headache than be forced to see Mingyu’s six pack. 

 

“Watch out!”

 

Suddenly, a large and prolonged splash reached his ears, causing his eyes to dart towards the white on top of the water that had formed amidst the frenzy of two bodies bumping into each other and falling sideways into the water. He could recognize Seungcheol’s back muscles anywhere, and his dark locks on the top of his head too before they were submerged into the water

 

Apparently, his boyfriend didn’t know where he was going and collided with the captain of the cheer squad. It was a pretty harmless blow, but nevertheless, the beta sent her tumbling back, however, not before wrapping his hands around her bare waist and spinning her around, letting him break her fall. It wasn’t like it made a difference anyways since they both fell into about three feet of water, but it didn’t help that Seungcheol had to keep her plastered against his chest.

 

“Woah!” Jaehyun laughed, clutching his stomach.

 

“Aye, Seungcheol! Don’t get too comfortable with Mingyu’s girlfriend!”

 

“That bastard’s slick.” 

 

Wonwoo could only clench his fist as he watched all the alphas tease his boyfriend. Jungkook refrained from joining in, knowing how much he would have hated him if he had. Not to mention, Jungkook wasn’t a jerk even if he was a pain in the butt to him all the time. 

 

“Hey Coups! Keep your hands to yourself!” Yugyeom snorted, eyeing the way Sengcheol’s hands came up to hold Chaeyeon’s shoulders while his legs came up to hide his arousal. 

 

“Must have a death wish.” 

 

At first, Wonwoo thought they were referring to him but it became obvious that it was Mingyu - who didn’t look too happy by the way - yanking his girlfriend off of him. Seungcheol was still blushing, allowing himself to choke on water for a second as he realized the cheer squad leader’s boobs had been on his chest, practically falling out. Wonwoo hoped he enjoyed it… 

 

“Thanks for saving Chae dude, but next time just watch where you’re going... if you don’t want any trouble.” Mingyu growled, taking Chaeyeon away. “Everyone switch up! Let’s try to prevent accidents here!”

 

Wonwoo scoffed, trying to pretend Mingyu’s leadership skills weren’t attractive.

 

“I don’t blame him.” Seungkwan laughed. “And I wouldn't blame you.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“It’s okay Wonu.” Seungkwan giggled as he rubbed his back. “It’s understandable if you snap Seungcheol’s neck after this.” 

 

“Well, first I’ll have to let him know how much he’s pissed me off.”

 

“Toying with your victim, eh? I’m not surprised.” 

 

“I’ve been nice… Let’s put it at that.”



Chapter Text

Just as they had gone into the water, Woozi was in the mood for another piggyback ride out of it, finding Soonyoung to be enthusiastically compliant with his commands. Woozi wasn’t an omega, but Soonyoung’s friends were all the more encouraged to call him a simp for letting Woozi enchant him with his tricks and bark orders at him. But Soonyoung liked it so no one actually complained.

 

Wonwoo came down the hill, meeting his best friend on the sand and handing him the towel he had left on a chair. 

 

“You’re Soonyoung right? Wonwoo gave him a full-lipped smile, turning his head to face Woozi’s new ‘friend’.

 

Soonyoung’s mouth fell open slightly, surprised that someone like Wonwoo - who wasn’t only known for being shy but was also an omega - would ask him so bluntly and straightforwardly. By nature, omegas tended to be polite and passive, only speaking when spoken to concerning interactions with strangers. But like any loyal pal, Wonwoo was more inquisitive around guys who had an eye for his best friend.

 

“Uh yeah.” the beta chuckled. “But you can call me Hoshi. So you’re Woozi’s friend?”

 

“Ehh. you could say that. Sometimes I don’t know the answer to that question.” 

 

“Ugh. He’s right.” Woozi grumbled. “Especially because you didn’t let me introduce Soonie to you.”

 

“Soonie?” Wonwoo chuckled, covering his mouth. 

 

It’d only been an hour and he already had a nickname for him?

 

“Yeah, I think it’s cute.” the dark-haired beta grinned, nudging Woozi who came up beside him. Soonyoung guessed it was his turn to be blunt now.

 

“You smell like an omega-”

 

Woozi’s head whipped to the side to throw him a dirty look. All Wonwoo could do was blink at him.

 

“N-No! I mean- you smell like an omega but a part of you doesn’t. Are you a wolf?” Soonyoung asked sheepishly, hoping Wonwoo wasn’t as quick-to-anger as Woozi was.

 

“Oh, yeah, I am. Half-breed actually.”

 

“He’s smart half the time and stupid for the other half.” Woozi shrugged. 

 

“I’m good at school just not good at choosing my friends is what he means.” Wonwoo shot back. Woozi would have embarrassed his best friend right then and there if it hadn’t been for the soft petting Soonyoung gave him on his shoulder.

 

“But anyways, I’m half wolf, half kitsune.”

 

“Ohh, so Jungkook must be half-kitsune too right? Man, that’s so funny- Ow!” Soonyoung hissed, earning a slap from the other beta. Jungkook was always known as someone who was tough, always scraping his knees on the court, getting hit in the face with the ball, anything one could imagine. It was hilarious to think Jungkook was half fox. He did always have a lot of energy though….

 

“Nah, me and Kookie aren’t related.” Wonwoo dismissed him with a flick of his wrist. “I was found in a box. I lived with foxes when I was a baby.” 

 

“Oh- that’s rad.” Soonyoung nodded, pursing his lips as he tried to wrap his head around what Wonwoo just said.

 

“Idiot. Maybe if you listened to his heartbeat you’d know he’s lying.” 

 

“Oh what? Yo! You had me.” Soonyoung laughed awkwardly.

 

“I get it, Wonwoo’s pretty face is more interesting to pay attention to.” 

 

“What?! No!” Soonyoung raised his hands in defense. “Not that you’re ugly-” 

 

“We had different dads. So no, unfortunately Jungkook and I aren’t related.” Wonwoo interjected softly, thinking it would be nice to save a stranger. “If anything Jungkook would be a bunny if he was a mixed breed.” 

 

“Oh yeah, that’s so true.” Soonyoung snickered.



“Anyone got a lighter?” they heard Jaehyun call, prompting them to turn their attention to where the alpha was standing up on the firepit and waving a hand.

 

Wonwoo’s heartbeat sped up a little. He wondered if Mingyu and his friends were going to start rolling blunts and getting high. It wouldn’t surprise him considering his ‘best pals’ Baekho and Shownu were caught suffocating themselves just to get high in their middle school bathroom. Those two were pretty rough around the edges back then. Even worse now. He’d always worry about Mingyu whenever he hung out with that crew. The last thing he wanted was Mingyu crashing on his bed smelling like a pothead and wanting to kiss him. Not that those things never happened…. Minus the marijuana. He supposed that fear was what made him into the over-anxious omega he was now.  The preppy hall monitor type of personality would always be a part of him. Forget about the common mother’s instinct in all omegas. 

 

Luckily he didn’t have to badger the guys about smoking. Jaehyun only needed a lighter for starting the campfire. He was pretty sure he’d seen some sparklers the cheerleaders brought now that he thought about it. But that better be it. Every year at a party he’d hear about some dumbass getting hurt by a firecracker. Just because they were werewolves didn’t mean they could regenerate fingers and hands for crying out loud. And as much as he hated some of those jerks he didn’t wish ill on them.

 

Anyways, it was getting dark out and cooler too. Wonwoo knew being in the same vicinity as Mingyu was torture but it wouldn’t be as bad as freezing his ass off, especially after getting out of the water not too long ago before the volleyball game. 

 

“Alright, me and Vernon brought marshmallows.” Seungkwan said to them, packing up his things as Vernon carried his bag. “You coming to the fire?”

 

“Yeah.” Wonwoo nodded, putting on his flip flops.

 

“Hey Kwannie, did you bring any sticks?” 

 

“No, sorry. I’m sure Mingyu has some.”

 

“Mingyu.” Wonwoo muttered to himself. Even saying the name put a bad taste in his mouth. “Why don’t we find some sticks for ourselves. It’s not too dark out not to see things.”

 

“Yeah, we’re nature people. We can eat marshmallows with a little dirt on em.” Woozi snorted. Internally, the beta cringed and would have vomited if he had to eat his favorite candy on a stick a deer probably pissed on but going to find sticks alone with Soonyoung was a good way to ‘form bonds’ he guessed. 

 

“Exactly.” Wonwoo replied, already on his way into the brush near the trees. 

 

“Hey Wonu! You comin’ or not?” Jaehyun shouted.

 

“Don’t be so pushy, Jae. Kid has social anxiety.” Mingyu snickered. 

 

“In a minute.” Wonwoo sang, ignoring the insult with a smile. He reached up to grab onto a tree branch while standing on his tippy toes. Using a little of his werewolf strength he pulled it off, taking his hand and running it along the branch to take the leaves out. Any normal human would have had cuts and bruises on their palm but Wonwoo smiled to himself, holding it up.

 

“Vwa-la!”

 

“I wonder if this is how excited cavemen felt when they discovered you could put marshmallows on sticks.” Soonyoung asked, snapping off a branch. 

 

“They didn’t have marshmallows, dummy.” Woozi grunted, pretending to take his stick and hit Soonyoung over the head with it.

 

They walked along the shore, trying to refrain from drawing lines in the sand because they’d be eating off the tip. Everyone's foot prints had been washed away by the water. Though not as strong as the ocean, the lake was a force of nature in itself. He wished some stupid alpha didn’t have to ruin it by having a lakehouse on it. He and Seungcheol could have had a honeymoon up here now that he thought about it. That was, if his boyfriend didn’t get bored without bikini babes being around to look at.

 

Speaking of Seungcheol, his boyfriend was idly reclined in one of the camping chairs, legs out and slouched back while he played on his phone. He could see the beginnings of a fire glow against his elder's face. Seungcheol looked as though he couldn't be bothered. But then he saw the vibrancy in Mingyu’s face, who was standing up and commanding the crowd, swinging his beer bottle around while he told a story about one of his many adventures hunting with his dad, being the one to save their team in the basketball championships last year, having the highest count for banging the most cheerleaders, or whatever meaningless trophy he had won. 

 

Wonwoo - through the horrors of listening to him - couldn’t help but find the way the alpha went about speaking attractive though. It was the art of Camp; where style was more important than substance. It was Mingyu’s smirk, his fanged teeth, the mischief in his eyes, and the air of dominance he always had, especially when he spoke and wore those stupid tank tops that showcased everything he had worked hard for at the gym. Besides lunch, Mingyu’s best subject was gym. It was probably the only class Mingyu had a perfect attendance record in. And he better. Those abs weren’t going to lick themselves- 

 

Lalalalalalala

 

He felt like squeezing his ears between his palms but he knew that would only make him look like the weird kid.

 

Wonwoo couldn’t believe what he was thinking - especially since he hadn’t even had a drink - but if he could, he might as well have done it all over again, but with Mingyu. 

 

The alpha was someone who he would want to spend his life trying to figure out and tame. Mingyu was someone who looked as though any

position below an alpha would be unfit for him, just as any mate who couldn’t hold their own against him was. Maybe it was his inflated ego, but he, Jeon Wonwoo, was that person. He’d contended with Mingyu many times, and that was what made it fun. He imagined things between them could be lighthearted and fun, but also deep. Something he’d never experienced with Seungcheol. He would have been ashamed to say that but tonight was full of bizarre happenings, so much so that it was better to get it all out now. 

 

Chaeyeon and Mingyu deserved each other but that didn’t mean they were good for each other. Mingyu deserved Chaeyeon just as much as he deserved to go to Hell and Chaeyeon deserved Mingyu just as much as she disrespected herself by dating him and dissolving her standards for men who saw nothing but a pile of flesh squeezed by a bikini. It was a Greek tragedy to be sure, but Wonwoo had never liked tragedies. While Shakespeare wrote plays about men, doomed by their own psychology, the circumstances of their birth, and fated by fortune, there he was, Jeon Wonwoo, acting like every action he took, every decision he made, mattered. Maybe if Seungcheol had seen it that way too, they’d still be together.

 

“Wonwoo! What’s with the sticks?” Jaehyun arched a brow, crossing his arms as he stood in front of the giant bonfire swallowing up more and more wood as Mingyu threw it in. 

 

“Uh oh Cheolie, you’re boyfriend’s pissed.” Yugyeom giggled.

 

“There for roasting marshmallows. You know, ‘cause we’re actual outdoorsmen.”

 

Mingyu snorted.

 

“I’ve ripped a buck’s throat out with my own teeth. You’re eating off a branch.” 

 

“Ooo burn.” Jungkook laughed, getting cut off by Jimin who slapped his abdomen.

 

“Shut up, that’s your brother.” the blond hissed.

 

“Really? I don’t know him.” Jungkook snickered.

 

Wonwoo rolled his eyes, pretending like Jungkook was just teasing him, even if the way he said it actually sounded like he was serious. 

 

Seungkwan handed him the bag of marshmallows and they shared it amongst the group while everyone unwrapped sticks from their bags and opened the graham crackers. 

 

“Thanks Boo.” one of the girls said, puckering her lips before going back to her phone.

 

Seungcheol didn’t bother to acknowledge him, and Jungkook was obviously too busy to make room for them, so he decided he’d just follow Woozi and Soonyoung who sat down on the outskirts of the fire pit, just on the border where the heat from the pit and the cool air from the lake touched. Considering there were about a few dozen people at the party, the circle was crowded with people having their own mini conversations. There were even a few people on the veranda outside the lakehouse; couples who were more romantic than their friends who just preferred to drink and makeout in the dark corners of the circle. Some were even night-swimming, though it wasn’t completely night time. It was more like blue hour, but it wasn’t his cup of tea anyways. He preferred not having his romantic time with Seungcheol getting interrupted by a bull shark who swam into the interior of the country from the ocean. Or whatever lurked beneath the lake.

 

Since things were so boring, Mingyu just had to grace his friends with a performance he put on with his girlfriend, having Chaeyeon plop herself down in his lap and splay herself across the arms of his chair while they kissed for a second. Mingyu and Chaeyeon might as well have gone into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber from Dragon Ball Z if they wanted to squeeze a year’s worth of kissing into one moment. 

 

Gross.

 

He couldn’t say the same for Jikook and Soonhoon. Yes, they were just that cute that they deserved ship names. It didn’t matter if he became the third wheel, he’d take cute snuggling and giggling over the squelching sound of lips. He didn’t know if Mingyu was sucking Chaeyeon’s face off or if he was eating a marshmallow. The marshmallow was probably sweeter. Plus it didn’t bitch at him all the time either.

 

Wonwoo retreated to his phone once he heard a beer can hiss. It was a surprise that he heard it all the way from where Mingyu was having a good time. Considering how far away he was plus the constant shouting and ‘aye’s that rang out amongst the rowdy crowd and all. It didn’t take long before he spotted Mingyu above the edge of his phone, standing behind the fire and holding up a beer can with two holes in it. Maybe he just wanted to see what would happen if he poked holes in it, maybe he was bored, but it all made sense when he held his mouth over it, gulping the alcohol down. 

 

“Yeah!” 

 

“Kim’s lost it!” 

 

Mingyu grinned, wiping the beer off his mouth and pointing to Jaehyun.

 

“That’s how you drink fucking pussy.” he growled, throwing the beer can into the fire like he hated it. 

 

Wonwoo scoffed.

 

“Do you have to be gross?” he muttered to himself, but of course, Mingyu had to hear it over everything else that was being said.

 

“What was that Wonu?”  

 

“He didn’t say anything.” Seungcheol sighed, looking up from his phone. 

 

“I said why do you have to be so gross?”

 

Mingyu grinned.

 

“Sorry princess, I forgot someone invited a fucking virgin to the party.” 

 

“I’m a proud virgin actually.” 

 

“Yo, when did Wonwoo get so bold?” Jaehyun snickered, scrunching his eyebrows like he’d always did whenever he had to solve a math problem.

 

“Dude, he’s always been like that.” Yugyeom replied, shoving his friend. 

 

Mingyu shook his head, laughing as he put a marshmallow on one of Seungkwan’s sticks and held it into the fire to taunt him.

 

“Hey, Cheolie, when are you gonna tie the knot with Wonu? He seems pretty moody.”

 

“It’s none of your business.” Seungcheol snapped.

 

“Mingyu shut up.” Chaeyeon groaned. “Have a little respect for omegas won’t you?” 

 

“I’ll respect an omega who can take a knot.” 

 

Chaeyeon blushed but that was just her physical reaction. Internally she was thinking about pushing Mingyu into the fire but realized a flaming and smoldering Mingyu would only make him look more like a Hellhound than a werewolf. 

 

“Mingyu, you shouldn’t talk about omegas that way.” one of the cheerleaders scoffed. “You don’t know how hard it is trying to swallow your stupidity, forget about your fucking alpha spunk.” 

 

“Yo, go off Jennie!” Jaehyun laughed, standing up and holding his hand out for a high five. She rolled her eyes, forcing the alpha to sit back down, defeated.

 

“I thought knots were for mating?” Lisa asked, tilting her head in confusion as she stared into the fire.

 

“Ewww, I’m trying to eat.” Seungkwan groaned, causing Vernon to blush.

 

“This is a big kids talk, Boo.” Jaehyun snorted.

 

Mingyu clenched his fists. His mind was still stuck on the question.

 

“Chae hasn’t gotten my knot yet.” he huffed, withdrawing the stick from the fire and placing the tip between two graham crackers.

 

Chaeyeon spat out her seltzer water while Jaehyun choked on air. Just from watching Mingyu say it so bluntly Wonwoo felt heat rush up to his cheeks, hotter than the fire in front of him. Mingyu’s bluntness was sharper than the dick that poked him the other day.

 

“Ohhh, so you’re waiting for the right time.” Lisa cooed, completely shameless about the conversation.

 

“No. Are you good? It means we’re not true mates.” the alpha snapped, glaring at her.

 

“Mingyu, chill!”

 

“Yeah, what’s your problem man? Go easy on her.” Yugyeom furrowed his brows.

 

“Nothing.” 

 

“Oh, so someone doesn’t like when people dive into their personal life?” Seungcheol arched a brow, looking up from his phone.

 

“At least I have a personal life. Everyone knows mine. You’re just a boring beta. Wonwoo could do a lot better you know. You haven’t even spoken to him.” Mingyu huffed. 

 

“Hey Chae, maybe next time you can lecture us about Cheolie being a better boyfriend than me ‘cause at least I give you a good dicking.” 

 

“What the f-” Seungcheol seethed, getting up angrily.

 

“Guys! Calm down!” Yugyeom shouted, trying not to laugh like the rest of them.

 

“Tell Seungcheol to quit being a fucking pussy and muttering under his breath. He can’t even stand up for himself let alone his own omega. Oh shit sorry, I forgot Wonwoo wasn’t yours yet.”

 

“Guys, c’mon.” Seungkwan sighed. “Betas have their own charms.”

 

“Not enough to get Wonwoo to let Seungcheol fuck him though.” Mingyu snickered.

 

Wonwoo stood up, wrapping his arms around Seungcheol’s shoulders as his boyfriend continued to stare ahead at the alpha on the other side of the fire.

 

“Lay off of him, Kim It’s me you have a problem with. Seungcheol’s just- mad about something that has nothing to do with you. Don’t take it personally.” 

 

“Says the omega.” he heard a voice say, but as he looked at Mingyu, the alpha’s mouth hadn’t moved. It was then that he felt cold breath against his neck and he looked to his side, seeing Seungcheol staring at him as if he hated his guts.

 

“W-What?””

 

“Oh shit. Cheolie’s gone feral!” Mingyu laughed.

 

“Fucking turned on his omega.” Jaehyun gaped. “You really fucked things up, Kim!” 

 

Seungcheol couldn’t bother to laugh along with them, staring into Wonwoo’s eyes like he hated him.

 

“You’re the one who always has a problem with everything. If it weren’t for you, me and Mingyu would actually get along but you always make yourself a target. And you know, Mingyu actually makes a good point. Maybe if you were really into me you wouldn’t be a fucking virgin.”

 

Wonwoo glared back at him.

 

Into you?

 

He couldn’t help but sneer in the older boy’s face. Relationships were more than being just ‘into someone’.

 

“Forget I ever defended you if this is how you’re gonna treat me.”

 

“Proves my point.” Seungcheol huffed, not even flinching as the omega’s warm arms left him.

 

“C’mon Cheolie, don’t be so mean to Wonu. That’s my job.” Mingyu smiled, sitting back down next to his girlfriend. 

 

“He deserves it.” the beta retorted, shoving his hands in his pockets as he watched Wonwoo leave the circle and meet Seungkwan and Woozi on the grass away from the fire. 

 

Things went back to normal, with loud music, yelling, and laughing drowning out everyone else’s thoughts.

 

“Where’s the good stuff, Kim?” Seungcheol groand, narrowing his eyes at the alpha across the circle.

 

“In the kitchen! Go easy will you?” the alpha smirked, laughing with his friends as Seungcheol set off for the lake house. 

 

Chaeyeon watched as the beta rushed into the lodge, suddenly realizing what went down. She felt bad for Wonwoo, but he was already being taken care of by his friends. Not to mention, he didn’t look like he needed much taking care of. Wonwoo had always been emotionally strong and composed in his own right, whether it be betrayal by his boyfriend or a fight with hers. But she couldn’t help but admire the strong and silent type that was Seungcheol. The shadowy figure that belonged to him as he ran through the sliding glass doors beyond the deck veranda lured her eyes in. 

 

She needed a break from the crowd anyways. And Seungcheol looked like he needed a drinking partner. 

 

“Mingyu, your friend’s upset. Aren’t you going to do something?”

 

“What? He’s got it covered.” Mingyu arched a brow.

 

“Drinking doesn’t always solve the problem.”

 

“It does for me.” 

 

She frowned, trying to grapple with the weight of that statement. It made her wonder whether agreeing to date Mingyu had caused more problems than it had solved. When she wasn’t drinking or walking onto the beach like a supermodel, it was obvious she was unhappy. But it took more focus, more attention, and care, to realize Mingyu was probably even more unhappy. Why else would he act out? He was still a child. But he wasn’t her child. He deserved someone else. Just as she did.

 

“Well, I’m going to see if he’s alright.” 

 

“Don’t take too long or else Jennie’ll have to keep your seat warm.” Mingyu smirked at her through the can he was drinking, bouncing his leg up and down for extra emphasis. 

 

“Don’t worry. I’ll be back for the twerking contest too.” she snapped, whipping around and heading towards the lodge. 

 

Mingyu sputtered on his drink and burst out laughing, looking at his friends like they were crazy for not thinking Chaeyeon was a riot. 

 

“Shit, I’m dead.”

Chapter Text

“Wonu!” Jungkook called, running towards him on the grass. Woozi and Seungkwan backed away, noticing he wasn’t stopping.

 

Wonwoo didn’t say anything, letting his knees become wobbly while he allowed himself to fall into his brother’s chest.

 

“W-What happened? Literally you guys were cuddling each other yesterday.” Jungkook gaped, looking down at him. 

 

“It’s nothing much. I’m just acting irrational.” 

 

“No you’re not-” Woozi said but he was cut off by Seungkwan who placed a hand on his shoulder. Even if the two of them thought Wonwoo was acting crazy, they knew they couldn’t speak for him. It was a shared respect they had between them. 

 

“It’ll be better tomorrow right? When Seungcheol isn’t drunk?” Jungkook chuckled, running his fingers through the elder’s hair. 

 

“Yea.” Wonwoo said weakly, trying not to sound cute but epically failing.

 

“You want me to take you home?”

 

“N-No! You gotta stay with Jimin.” he sniffled. “You know me, whenever I get sad it only lasts for a moment. I cannot get in the way of love…” he said dramatically, lifting up his head and beholding the lake shining in the moonlight 

 

“You’re so dramatic. Now I know why you like Vivien Leigh so much.”

 

“She was pretty good in A Streetcar Named Desire.” Woozi hummed. 

 

“Mingyu seems more like a Marlon Brando now that I think about it.”

 

“That explains the dynamic.” Seungkwan giggled. 

 

Jungkook stopped grinning, remembering Wonwoo could have been just masking his emotions with his silliness.

 

“Hey, you sure you’re alright? Jimin would understand if I have to go. A-And I’m sorry about Mingyu too. He’s a dick but I hope you know he’s just playing. He’s not like Seungcheol, he just has a different sense of humor. And you do too. I guess that’s why you guys butt heads a lot.” he said sheepishly, patting the omega’s hair. 

 

“I know. It’s just hard to handle two idiots, especially when one’s so honest about it and the other is so… I don’t know. Seungcheol isn’t a friend of the truth, especially when it’s his enemy.”

 

“Yeah. But that means he’s not your friend either.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Well, omega’s always tell the truth don’t they?”

 

Wonwoo arched a brow.

 

“I can’t say no to that Kookie, maybe save the flattery for JImin.”

 

“Oh yeah, that reminds me.” Jungkook smiled. “Uh, I wanted to take Jimin on a walk around the lake. To show him around. There’s a road between the trees.”

 

“Right. Just don’t get murdered by the Zodiac Killer. An evening walk on a sparsley traveled country road through a dark forest is the perfect setting for a murder.” 

 

“Got it.” Jungkook nodded, giving him a hug before running back to the fire to fetch his new ‘friend’.

 

II

 

“You okay, Wonu?” Yugyeom asked, spotting him coming back to the fire. 

 

“Yeah, thanks.” he sighed, watching the backs of Jimin and Jungkook escape into the brush and disappear beyond the trees. 

 

Seungcheol was still in the lake house he guessed. It was weird to think that the beta could be more solitary than he was sometimes. And yes, he was mentally adressing his boyfriend as ‘the beta’ now. 

 

There were still a few people on the deck chatting and mellowing for the night. He could see more people inside Mingyu’s living room and kitchen through the sliding glass doors. Now that he noticed, people were scattered all over the yard and shore, leaving the bulk of Mingyu’s gang to fool around at the fire. 

 

“Hey Kim, tell your bitch to get me another beer.” Jaehyun laughed, already slurring slightly as he held up an empty bottle.

 

“Shut up. Jun brought a cooler.”

 

“Uh oh.” Baekho said, lifting the white plastic lid up. “He’s all out.”

 

Mingyu grumbled out something unintelligible and pulled out his phone to text his girlfriend. 

 

“I heard your parents were wine-drinkers.” Jaehyun giggled. “You wanna tell me more about that?”

 

Mingyu glared at him.

 

“You’re not getting any of it if that’s what you’re thinking.”

 

“C’mon! Just blame it on Wonwoo!”

 

“No.”

 

Wonwoo gawked, stopping in his tracks as he reached the limestone cinder blocks that had been pieced together to form the circular fire pit.

 

“What? Why not? You hate me.” 

 

“Yeah but I’m not stupid. My parents obviously know you’re a goody-two-shoes.” 

 

“Exactly.” Jaehyun stuck his arms out. “P-perfect… plan.” he burped. 

 

A few of the cheerleaders recoiled at the sound but realized that anything Jaehyun did was ‘kinda hot’ and went back to giggling about him as they drank their fruit-flavored White Claws. Jaehyun would have stolen from their cooler but the humiliation would have been stronger than the alcohol. Mingyu always said White Claws were for pussies and that was the law of the land. 

 

“Hey wait a second.” Yugyeom furrowed his brows. “This guy’s parents know you?” 

 

Wonwoo realized Yugyeom was staring right at him and he pressed his back into his seat. It didn’t help that Mingyu was warning him with those grouchy alpha eyes of his either.

 

“Yeah.” Lisa gasped. “I was thinking the same thing.”

 

A guy in the crowd of boys tried to stifle his laughter. “Oh yeah? No one cares bitch.” they whispered, slapping each other’s shoulders. 

 

Wonwoo blinked a few times, trying not to catch Lisa’s second-hand embarrassment. 

 

“Yeah. They know me.” 

 

“How?” 

 

“Our parents knew each other.” Mingyu said, keeping his eyes trained on the fire. The alpha had his eyes narrowed, voice calm for once. He sounded as though he didn’t want to talk about it, but there was a gentleness in it. It was more or less consumed by alcohol  though as he took another swig from the blue can in his hand.

 

“What the-”

 

“Were you guys like- best friends cuz, there’s a spark between you two.” Jaehyun slurred, stumbling as he got up and fished his hand through one of the girls coolers. Screw what Mingyu thought. A “girls drink” was still alcohol.

 

“Sounds like a sad story.” Yugyeom hummed faintly. 

 

“Yeah, like when two best friends grow up to hate each other.” Lisa added.

 

“Shut up, we weren’t even friends.” Mingyu growled.

 

“That’s how you see it.” Wonwoo rolled his eyes. 

 

“Oh yeah? You’re the one who left Jungkook in the dark about it.”

 

“About what?” 

 

Mingyu shook his head.

 

“Nothing.” 

 

The alpha took another drink.

 

“I’ll be nice for now Won. But if you get on my nerves next time maybe I won’t be.”

 

“I didn’t know ‘nice’ was in your vocabulary.” Wonwoo sighed, twisting himself in his seat so that his legs dangled over the armrest and he was laying across the side. 

 

Mingyu looked up to glare at him but his face instantly softened as his eyes came to rest on Wonwoo’s languid figure. It made him drowsy, and he was an alpha who could take a dozen shots of tequila and still be able to walk. There was just something about Wonwoo’s profile, glowing orange in the fire on one side, and moon white on the other. The moon was right above him anyways, over the lake. It was a full moon. That explained it. No wonder he wanted to get up and throw Wonwoo in the lake and then rescue him and kiss him. Wonwoo deserved it. But he was also someone who he didn’t want anything bad to happen to, not ever. Maybe that’s why he suddenly felt a growing hatred for Seungcheol. He always hated him. But now, as he gazed at the omega’s face, he found another outlet for all of that pent up anger he had in him. Finally.

 

“Mingyu, you good?” Baekho asked, leaning forward in his seat. The group around the fire pit had quieted down, with only the crinkle of candy wrappers and the buzz of text messages making up most of the background noise that wasn’t the crackling of the fire. 

 

Luckily, Wonwoo didn’t catch him staring, but the relief was outweighed by annoyance. For once couldn’t he just look at Wonwoo without anyone else making him seem like he was insane to even do so? 

 

Baekho and the rest of them were watching him like curious puppies, wagging their tails and breathing heavily as they waited for their leader to respond with something. He wasn’t in the mood to pick on anyone, but he had to. Jaehyun had already roused their suspicions. He could see it on their face. They were on the verge of finding out-

 

“Yeah, why?” he spat, getting up angrily and fetching the stick he had placed by the fire pit earlier. 

 

“Dude, you were zoning out. And you haven’t even drank five bottles yet. You that wasted? Or are you just that in love?” Yugyeom wiggled his eyebrows.

 

“The fuck you talking about?” he growled, craning his neck to the side as he glared at his friend.

 

“Don’t worry, Kim. Chaeyeon will be back soon. She’s a nice girl aint she?” Baekho laughed. 

 

Mingyu turned back to the fire, crushing the beer can in his hand after drinking the last of it. He was relieved to know it wasn’t Wonwoo they were talking about. But still… maybe they were just playing with him, trying to get him off their tracks.

 

“Hey, let’s play truth or dare,” Lisa smiled, breaking away from the group for cheerleaders to speak to the circle as a whole.

 

“Lisa-” a girl with a slightly deeper voice hissed, yanking her friend's arm. “You’re gonna embarrass me.”

 

“It’s just truth or dare. He might not even play.” 

 

Mingyu grunted to himself as he blocked out the girls’ chatter. Maybe everyone else was an idiot but it was obvious Lisa’s friend Jennie had a major crush on Kai, who, by the way, he let come to the lake house. Even if they weren’t on the greatest of terms, with Kai running his mouth about him not being as great a basketball player he touted himself as, Chaeyeon still pressured him to invite him because of a favor she owed Jennie and- It was just a mess. Sometimes he wished he could just have a hot girlfriend without all the extra trouble. Well, except if that trouble was Wonwoo. Which reminded him….

 

“I’ll play truth or dare so long as people follow through with the dares I give them.” Mingyu said bluntly, rearranging a few pieces of the logs in the fire with his stick.

 

The movement caused embers to fly into the air, making Wonwoo look even more beautiful behind them as he stirred and turned to look at him. They made eye contact but it was dead and soulless. It wasn’t really a challenge per se, just a quiet acknowledgement. 

 

“I’m in.” Yugyeom raised his hand.

 

“Me- too.” Jaehyun slurred, raising his drink.

 

“Count me out.” Wonwoo laughed, nimbly getting out of his seat and going off to see what his friends were doing. He might have stayed with the boys just to observe them. They were indeed fascinating. But he wasn’t in the mood to see Jaehyun get more wasted than he already was. 

 

“No one even asked you if you wanted to play.” Mingyu narrowed his eyes, burning a hole through his back as he left the circle. 

 

“Mingyu, be nice.” he heard Lisa whine, but he couldn’t really give a crap about it. They could lecture and nag Mingyu all they wanted but it only made him out to be more of a child, disregarding their parent’s incessant begging. 

 

Being fond of their omega friend, the girls at the campfire were saddened at Wonwoo’s leave-taking. He’d always been a tongue-biter, never saying anything when most of them would go off on one of the boys for being insensitive douchebags. If not that, they were simply demoralized that Wonwoo would let an alpha win without much of a fight. But it was Wonwoo’s prerogative, even if the only omega who could keep Mingyu in check was gone. 

 

Wonwoo could feel a dozen eyes on him but he brushed it off, spotting six bodies laid across the grass where he was headed. A pair of knees shot up in the air that belonged to Seungkwan as he pointed at the stars. Now that he thought about it, there was one good thing about Mingyu’s lake house. Without all the city lights they could see the night sky perfectly. If only Seungcheol could see it with him…

 

Jun and Minghao were lying down too on their blanket. The delta was running his lithe fingers through his alpha’s hair. They were just sitting there, passing the time, as if they had just gotten done with a picnic. 

 

Considering he was omega, it was a surprise that Jun, Vernon, and Soonyoung didn’t ‘hold out’ as long as him. It was weird to think he could put up with Mingyu’s bullshit longer, but at the end of the day he liked it. Vernon was too calm, always wanting to go somewhere peaceful. Jun was too bubbly. And Soonyoung was too nice about everything that he wouldn’t dare to dish out what Mingyu’s gang gave him. They were more or less all too eager to follow their partners who sought to let the dream-like state that alcohol induced kick in as they laid on the grass.

 

Just as he sat down criss cross applesauce, an awkward revelation hit him. He was the only one there without a partner. And he was supposed to be one of the most good-looking omegas in their school? Call him conceited but he thought a guy would have come up to him by now and hit on him.

 

Maybe Mingyu had a hand in it. Just to make him look like a fool.

 

It didn’t matter. He wasn’t going to seek comfort in another body. He’d always slept alone. He was used to the cold. 

 

“Wonu. Where’s your sweatshirt?” Woozi arched his brow.

 

“Yeah, it’s chilly.” Seungkwan shivered. All Wonwoo could hear was his muffled voice as the shorter boy snuggled into Vernon’s chest. 

 

“I forgot to bring one. And shoot- I forgot where I put my sweater….” 

 

Jun looked up from where he was rubbing Minghao’s shoulder. 

 

“I’m pretty sure Seungcheol brought a coat-” he paused, remembering. 

 

“Oh, right. I forgot.” the alpha chuckled nervously, spinning his head back around to busy himself with taking care of Minghao who was falling asleep. 

 

“Asshole.” Woozi cursed.

 

“Ow!” Soonyoung yelped, jolting as the other beta squeezed his wrist like it was a stress ball.

 

“Sorry. Seungcheol made me do it.” 

 

“Guys.” Wonwoo groaned. “It’s all said and done.”

 

“Well I haven’t finished what I was gonna say. Much less finish what I was gonna do.”

 

Soonyoung gaped, struggling to restrain Woozi as he twisted his body around and made punching motions in the air.

 

“Woah, hold on, babe.”

 

“Babe?” Wonwoo laughed. 

 

“Don’t change the subject.” Woozi snapped, blushing as he sat on Soonyoung’s lap. 

 

“Well, Seungcheol is my boyfriend.”

 

“Well, you’re my friend. So I will be your ambassador in these matters.” 

 

“More like an assassin.” Soonyoung snorted.

 

Wonwoo crossed his arms. 

 

“You experienced what happened with Mingyu. How do you think you’ll fare against Seungcheol?” 

 

“Please, we’re on the same level.” Woozi scoffed. “Mingyu was the exception. He’s the ‘apex alpha’ remember?” 

 

“Sure. But since you're my friend too, I have to worry about you.” 

 

“And I’m flattered, but the truth cannot be flattered or cajoled.” his friend said pompously, raising his chin up at the stars as if it were his destiny to beat up Seungcheol.

 

Soonyoung on the other hand still looked stuck on something he had said.

 

“Wait. What’s this thing with Mingyu? You have a fight or something?” he asked, breathing against Woozi’s ear.

 

“Just a little skirmish.” 

 

“Meaning, Woozi was sent flying down the hallway.” Jun added.

 

“When?” Soonyoung gaped, almost on the verge of growling.

 

“I don’t know. Time is hard to tell.”

 

“Especially when you’re knocked out.” Jun laughed.

 

“You’re relentless.” Minghao counteracted, ripping up a few blades of grass from the lawn and throwing it in the alpha’s face.

 

“What is this dude’s problem anyways.” Soonyoung furrowed his brows. “I thought he was cool. Why do you all take his bullshit?” 

 

“I don’t. But some people want me to. That’s why they fight for me. While others… back out. You know, to say it politely.” Wonwoo shrugged, nodding his head towards the lakehouse. Where the hell was Seungcheol anyways?

 

“It makes me think though, guys. What if we all just formed our own pack.” Seungkwan said wistfully. 

 

“To beat up Mingyu?” Wonwoo fake gasped.

 

“Are you serious, he could snap all our necks before any one of our bodies hits the floor.” Jun mocked, surprising everyone with his humility and admission. No matter how goofy and dorky he was, Jun was still an alpha.

 

“I have to agree on that one.” Vernon chuckled, sitting up as he held Seungkwan’s head in between his legs.

 

“Eh. That’s part of it. But we could do other things.” the honey-haired boy said. 

 

“Like what.”

 

“Camping… I don’t know. Stuff that packs do.”

 

“Ooo, like potluck dinners.” Soonyoung perked up.

 

“Hunting.” Jun growled. He could already taste the deer.

 

“I had something nobler in mind.” Seungkwan chuckled nervously.

 

“What is it?” 

 

The younger omega inhaled a breath, sitting up straight and on alert. 

 

“Forget that I said noble. Let’s just say it’s interesting.”

 

“Tell us.” Wonwoo groaned, splaying himself on the ground and begging.

 

“Well, okay uhmmm… How should I put this?” Seungkwan looked up to the sky, placing his pointer finger on his bottom lip. Finally mustering up the courage to speak and gather his thoughts, he looked at them like they were his interrogators. 

 

“SomeonefoundadeadcowintheforestbackinJaseog.”

“A crow?”

 

“A cow.” Seungkwan sighed. 

 

“What’s this got to do with anything about being a pack?”

 

“Okay okay, I know what you’re thinking but it’d be cool to check it out right?”

 

“What’s so interesting about a dead cow. Plus it sounds creepy with the way you said it, geez.” Jun laughed.

 

“Exactly. We could be one of those ghost hunter groups, but for aliens.” Seungkwan hummed, proud of himself for coming up with the idea. 

 

“Aliens? We already have witches and vampires in Jaseog, what’s so interesting about aliens?” Woozi laughed at him. Mockery was simply an escape out of the ominous weight that stayed with him in his mind from Seungkwan’s statement. 

 

“How are you even sure it’s aliens? It was probably just some dumb messed up kid.” Wonwoo furrowed his brows. 

 

“Maybe. But I don’t think some kid or angry neighbor could mutilate a wild cow to the point that all the blood in its body was gone.” 

 

Wonwoo couldn’t help but gulp.

 

“Uhm, it’s totally believable. That’s what’s supposed to happen. The cow bleeds out. Case closed!” 

 

“Do you know what a mutilation is.” Minghao asked him with a serious tone in his voice, looking past his alpha. 

 

Wonwoo shook his head, looking more like a curious cat than a dumb teenage boy.

 

Seungkwan sighed.

 

“I’m saying the blood was gone. The grass wasn’t even red. Actually, I heard the Kim’s said that there wasn’t even blood or any signs of a trail from the cows hooves that indicated there’d be a fight or anything. No broken branches, no bloody leaves-”

 

“Just a dead cow…” Wonwoo breathed, not liking it one bit.

 

Jun shook his head, forgetting about the cow.

 

“You said the Kims? Are the police suddenly handing cases over to werewolves?” he laughed.

 

“They found it on their property. Didn’t tell anyone I guess. I heard it from my dad.” 

 

“So it was a threat.” Woozi said blankly, lowering his chin and staring at Seungkwan, waiting for an answer.

 

“Maybe.” 

 

They all turned towards him, even Minghao who was drifting off into sleep. (Ghost stories were his bedtime stories.)

 

Meanwhile, Wonwoo could only gape at them. Being stared at by his friend group was incriminating enough. He almost felt like turning himself in from their collective attention.

 

“Huh? You think it was me?”

 

“No!” Woozi rolled his eyes. “But you gotta admit. The Jeons and the Kims always had a rivalry.” 

 

“Yeah, but remember guys, this wasn’t ameuter work.” Seungkwan pointed out. “If it was obvious who did this, I wouldn’t have brought it up. But I thought you guys wanted some mystery.” 

 

“Hmmm. How ‘professional’ was the kill?” 

 

“Eyes cut out completely. No blood at all. Incisions all over the body. Perfect angles and precise sizes. Almost like someone took a laser cutter to the thing and sucked all its blood and guts out.” 

 

“Show me.” Wonwoo scoffed, reaching for his phone.

 

“There aren’t any pictures. That’s why we gotta check this place out.”

 

“Or we could just leave it up to whoever’s investigating…”

 

“Yeah, like the Kims have their own detectives.” Woozi scoffed.

 

“They have the money for it.”

 

“Sure… But still.” Vernon jumped in, running a hand through his hair. “We’re not crime fighters. There’s plenty of other wolves who could do the same job and better. We should just stay out of the way.” 

 

Seungkwan didn’t like that answer.

 

“C’mon. Wonu? What about you? You have to have some motivation to do it obviously!” 

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Just in case it isn’t aliens, you’d want to make sure a war doesn’t break out with your family and the Kims right?”

 

“A war.” Jun snorted. “What? They got nuclear weapons now?” 

 

Wonwoo sat up like he had just been electrocuted.

 

“On second thought…”

 

“No!” Woozi barked. “Just voice your concerns to your mom. She’ll convene a pack meeting and we can discuss it. We don’t have to go undercover.”

 

“I wish I had as much faith in adults as you did.” Seungkwan smiled.

 

“Well, I don’t think adults are stupid enough to want a war.”

 

“Stupid? I was thinking more along the lines of evil. Not stupidity.” 

 

“What- you think Wonwoo’s pack has a double agent or something? Or one of the members will hide the evidence?” Woozi arched a brow.

 

“It’s possible.”

 

“Won. Don’t tell me you actually believe this.” 

 

Wonwoo clutched his chin.

 

“I don’t know my pack well enough to make an informed statement. You know it’s not just blood relatives that are in it. There’s a lot of people I don’t keep tabs on-”

 

“People who won’t let a ‘war’ happen over a dead cow found on their rival’s property.” Woozi growled. 

 

“Forget about a ‘war’. It’ll be fun.” Seungkwan whined. 

 

“Yeah, nothing exciting happens in Jaseog anyways.” Jun added.

 

“Please, Hansolie.” Seungkwan pouted. “We’ll have two alphas with us, a delta, two betas, and two omegas. That is, if you don’t go, you’d be half the alpha I thought you were.” 

 

Vernon arched a brow.

 

“Dang, I like it when you get intimidating. I’ll think about it.”

 

“Yay! Wonu? What about you?” Seungkwan perked up, waiting for his answer.

 

“Isn’t it on the Kim’s property though?”

 

Seungkwan scoffed.

 

“C’mon. Their forest preserve is like a thousand acres. They won’t know or smell us.”

 

“I don’t know. Mom would be pissed if I do something stupid. What if it’s not the cow but us that starts a war?” he laughed, trying to not sound hysterical.

 

Before anyone could assure him that his concerns were unwarranted, a debauched voice rang out in the air, bouncing off the wall of pine trees behind them and echoing over the lake.

 

“What’s this about the Kim’s?” Jaehyun slurred, stumbling over to them. His disgruntled body made a dark silhouette to the orange fire behind him, yet Wonwoo could somehow still see the blue of his Bud Light can.

 

“Nothing. Just planning our next vacation.” Seungkwan laughed faintly. 

 

“Yeah, but I don’t think you- can go camping on the Kim’s property.” the alpha burped, stopping at the edge of their little group circle.

 

It was then that Wonwoo realized Jaehyun was wearing nothing but a towel around his waist. The weird thing was, his hair was still dry and his feet weren’t soaked or had grass on them. Maybe it was just something only a drunk Jaehyun would do. He was friends with that idiot Mingyu after all.

 

“We’re fine. But thanks for the advice.” Vernon chuckled.

 

“S-Still not okay. That’s- that’s trespassing.” Jaehyun huffed, wobbling from side to side.

 

“Thanks Officer Jung, but if you don’t mind me asking, what are you here for anyways?” Woozi snapped.

 

“I got a gift for the one and only- you know who I’m talkin’ about.” he snorted. “Mingyu’s princess.”

 

“Who?” Wonwoo arched his brow. Chaeyeon was still in the lake house.

 

“You know- th’ lil cat! What are you ‘gain?” Jaehyun laughed, stumbling backwards. “Lil fox or something?”

 

“Yeah? What of it?” Wonwoo retorted.

 

“Well-” Jaehyun burped, throwing his beer can on the lawn somewhere and bringing his hand back to the knot on his towel.

 

“Mingyu wanted me to give you this so-”

 

They all gasped. 

 

‘It’ was the first thing Wonwoo registered, unfortunately, not even processing the fact that a naked Jaehyun had just thrusted his pelvis in his face and shook his dick like a sprinkler. 

 

Wonwoo choked on his own spit, reaching his hand out to push Jaehyun away by his chiseled abdomen but since his eyes were closed and his head was ducked, he had no idea where his hand was going until he was pressing his palm into Jaehyun’s manhood for a second. He didn’t know what was worse: Jaehyun’s dick being the first one he’s ever touched or the fact that Mingyu’s whole gang were laughing and shouting obscenities at them. The cheer squad more or less gasped and whispered ‘oh my God’s, but it was humiliating just the same.

 

He fell backwards onto Seungkwan’s blanket and shielded his eyes with his hands, kicking his feet out in an effort to get Jaehyun to go away. The alpha gave up eventually, laughing and stumbling sideways but even in his drunken stupor, he wasn’t completely out of it enough to realize Woozi wasn’t as much as a damsel in distress as Wonwoo was.

 

“I’ll fucking kill you for that Jung, c’mere.” Woozi growled, getting up and sprinting forward. The alpha let out a laugh, tying his towel back around his waist all the while making a run for the firepit. 

 

Before the alpha could even steady himself, Woozi was already on his back, tackling him to the ground.

 

“Hey! Woozi chill out!” Baekho shouted, getting up from his seat by the fire.

 

“Dude, let em’ go at it. This party needs a fight.” Mingyu snickered, crossing his arms as he watched the action.

 

Jaehyun giggled the whole time Woozi banged his fist on his back muscles, turning him over and punching him across the face. It wasn’t until the third punch actually hurt that he went into full alpha-mode, catching both of the beta’s wrists while his werewolf fangs came out.

 

Before Jaehyun could even reach up and tear Woozi’s throat out with his teeth, the shorter boy was already being yanked off the alpha by Jun and Vernon. A sober Jaehyun would have backed off since he knew not everyone liked his joking attitude all the time, but a drunk Jaehyun was in the mood for a fight. His wolf always had been. He was still an animal, human face or not. Werewolves were driven by instincts. And he was out for blood. 

 

Right when Jaehyun went in to take advantage of the opportunity of Woozi being restrained, Yugyeom and Kai caught him, holding him by the arms and wrapping theirs around his shoulders. All the beer he drank made him look feral but Wonwoo guessed it was just the way both of the other alphas’ hands were creeping up his neck, applying more pressure everytime Jaehyun struggled. 

 

“Are you okay?” a soft voice whispered, and he turned to see the dirty-blondish girl from earlier, crouching down and staring into his eyes with the most blatant innocence he had seen in a person. He recognized her as being on the cheer squad but that was about all that there was to identify her. He was pretty sure her name was Lisa but he wasn’t going to embarrass himself even more by taking a guess. 

 

“Yeah, thank you. It’s just shock. Nothing else.” he smiled.

 

“That’s crazy. I would have murdered him.”

 

“I’d be more concerned for Woozi over there. He’s got courage but I think having an alpha come back at you like that would scare the hell out of me.” 

 

Lisa laughed, guiding him away from the chaos and into the dark of the night where Mingyu’s friends and party goers weren’t taking pictures and posting it on Snapchat. 

 

“You sure you’re good. I mean- I’ve had dick in my face but not like that before.”

 

Wonwoo felt like fainting. 

 

“Oh-” he laughed. “Uhm, yeah. I think I’m good.”

 

Lisa nodded, swallowing something she looked desperate to say.

 

“Hopefully your boyfriend gets out here. I’ve been waiting for Chaeyeon too.” she smiled, though it was more nervous than cute. 

 

“Really? I tune out a lot. I guess time flies by fast. I wonder what-”

 

“Wonwoo!” Seungkwan called out to him, rushing from out of the cluster of people to get to him. Lisa took the chance to scoot out of there to give them some space but the desperate expression never left her face.

 

Chapter Text

“Wonwoo!” Seungkwan called out to him, rushing from out of the cluster of people to get to him. Lisa took the chance to scoot out of there to give them some space but the desperate expression never left her face.

 

“Can you believe that? How in the world are you here and not beating his ass?” Seungkwan hissed. But then his thinking mind regained control over his anger and he realized his question was delusional.

 

“Yeah, props to Woozi” Vernon chuckled, waving the beta over to them as he emerged from the crowd as well with Soonyoung having an arm wrapped around him looking more tired than Woozi was. 

 

“I’m just glad no one got hurt over a stupid prank. Well, no one that wasn’t a dickhead.”

 

Woozi stalked slowly towards them with the usual unimpressed look on his face.

 

“If you don’t want me to beat him up Jeon then you gotta beat me to it.” 

 

Wonwoo shook his head, brushing past Vernon and Seungkwan. 

 

“Thanks. Seriously though.” he laughed, patting Woozi on the head as he hugged him. “I hope Soonyoung got to learn something too.” 

 

“I did.” Soonyoung let out, still hyperventilating over the fact that his new friend - the cute beta - was actually a psycho. 

 

“Okay, Zi. You earned your peace and some alone time. Wink wink.” Wonwoo giggled, slapping the beta’s shoulder.

 

“Stop.” Woozi said shakily, trying to hide his blush as Soonyoung looked endearingly at him.

 

“It’s what we’re all thinking.” Seungkwan interjected, earning a thankful look from the older omega.

 

“Yeah, c’mon love birds. You could prove that two betas can get along under the sheets.” Jun snickered from behind them, earning a glare from Minghao. 

 

“Jun!” Wonwoo growled. “Life isn’t all about sex.” 

 

Jun stared at him.

 

“Life is because of sex.” 

 

Alright, someone had to catch him because he was going to faint for real.

 

“I can’t with you guys.” Wonwoo groaned. “I’ve probably seen more dicks and boobs today than you guys have ever seen and I’m not even straight and I’m basically a Victorian virgin. Now can we get out of here before-”

 

“Hey Wonwoo!” an angry voice shouted. Wonwoo looked up the small green incline of grass that led to the area around the fire pit where Mingyu was standing like an alpha commanding an army of savage werewolves.

 

“That happens…” 

 

Jun and Vernon went on guard, but they were more subdued compared to him. He had to give them that. No wonder the stereotype of omegas being emotional and prone to outbursts was a stereotype. He practically pushed Vernon and Jun out of the way to make a defiant stand against the alpha, silently threatening to get him to come down the hill and face him. It seemed to work anyways. Maybe Mingyu was finally going to finish him off once and for all.

 

“You mind telling me what’s wrong with your freak friend? It was a fucking dare, man! Tell him to chill out!”

 

“Tell him to? Don’t you start with my friend! Start with me first dickhead! I don’t think you’d like someone to shove their dick in your face.”

 

“Yeah? Well, I’m not a fag like you.” Mingyu growled, causing everyone in the group to suddenly recoil. Save for the hybrid omega who shook his head at the taller’s childish comebacks.

 

Wonwoo merely scoffed at him, looking at Woozi to silently tell him to calm down. They weren’t facing a drunk alpha this time. This was Mingyu. Unlike Jaehyun, Mingyu punches were coordinated and precise.

 

“Listen, say everything you want to me. Just don’t come after my friends when they’re the ones protecting me from yours.”

 

“Right, ‘cause you always need protection. You’re the one making yourself a target, like I said.” the alpha narrowed his eyes more, stepping forward and clenching his fists by his sides.

 

“And you’re making yourself out to be a douchebag.” Wonwoo spat back, not budging an inch as Mingyu towered over him.

 

“Whatever. That’s not the point as to why I’m angry. Maybe if Seungcheol actually had guts he’d put Woozi in his place, and you in yours. But I forgot, he’s not an alpha. Can’t even keep his own omega in line.”

 

Former omega.” 

 

“Oh, sorry to hear that.” Mingyu grinned, pushing forward and causing Wonwoo to stumble back.

 

“C’mon dude, leave Wonwoo alone.” Jun whined.

 

“He didn’t do anything. It was your stupid friend.” Vernon added, pushing Seungkwan back to protect him.

 

Like I said -” Mingyu gritted. “Maybe if Wonwoo wasn’t a sour omega bitch, and actually played truth or dare with us, he wouldn’t always be the loser nerd we’d pick on.”

 

“Gee, at least I’m saving some other loser nerd the trouble.” 

 

“That’s the thing. You’re the only one here. And only because Seungcheol brought you. Plus your little brother Kookie said you could come. How’s that working out for you by the way? Forget Woozi here. You think they would have come to save you? You think Jungkook would miss out on getting omega boypussy for your sorry ass? Just like your alpha friends here can’t even stand up to me?”

 

Before Mingyu could even smirk, Jun and Vernon were already next to him, making Wonwoo’s heart swell with warmth. Meanwhile Seungkwan, Soonyoung, and Minghao were all struggling to hold Woozi back.

 

“I wouldn’t bet on it.” Vernon snapped.

 

“You can’t take the two of us.” Jun whispered, glaring at the taller alpha.

 

“Oh yeah, come at me then.” 

 

Vernon furrowed his brows, wondering how stupid Mingyu could be to be picking fights with alphas, especially two of them at once, but he didn’t hesitate any further, knowing just how much Wonwoo meant to Seungkwan. Wonwoo didn’t deserve Mingyu’s shit anymore. It was time to put Mingyu in his own place for once.

 

Sucking in a breath, Vernon went for the kill, sticking his arm out to sock Mingyu across the face but the fist-on-cheek collision never came. Rather, his fist was caught in the taller alpha’s palm. 

 

Mingyu caught his punch like it was a baseball and his hand was a glove. The alpha’s palm felt even tougher than leather. How many concrete walls had Mingyu punched out of anger for his palm to feel like he’d just punched a brick?

 

Jun initially gulped in shock but stepped forward nonetheless, trying to shove Mingyu away and release his friend but the so called ‘apex alpha’ didn’t even budge. He merely pushed back against Jun’s chest and shoved him to the ground on which Jun banged his head. It was so quick and hard it was like Jun had been shot out of a cannon, spiraling towards the ground all the while witnessing Vernon’s arm bend in unnatural ways with his bones making cracking sounds.

 

It was then that Mingyu had the audacity to speak while staring directly into Vernon’s eyes. With the amount of anger in his eyes, Mingyu was acting more insulted than threatened. 

 

“Thanks for taking the first shot. Now I got an excuse to fucking kill you.” 

 

Vernon lashed out again, this time in defense. But his second fist was caught once more, with Mingyu’s claws coming down to both crush and dig into the blonde’s knuckles, drawing blood.

 

“S-Stop! Don’t hurt him! Please!” Seungkwan cried.

 

“Mingyu!” Wonwoo growled, quivering and paralyzed, All he could do was stand there, letting Mingyu’s words sink in that he had made himself a target. And now everyone else was paying the price.

 

The crowd that had gathered around Jaehyun a little ways across the lawn had no qualms about moving locations, shifting towards them like dots on a coordinate plane and swarming around them. Most of them took pictures with the flash on, broadcasting the fight to their social media audiences while others cheered and rooted for Mingyu, holding up their drinks and whoop-whooping.

 

Amidst the gasps and giggles of some of the cheerleaders admiring his strength and the ‘aye’s of his buddies from school who were supporting him, Mingyu didn’t expect to feel a tug on his shoulder and arm, especially not from Yugyeom.

 

It was clear the beta wasn’t going to let his friend do whatever he wanted so easily. Plus he owed it to Jungkook that he’d save his brother. But whatever gallant reason he carried with him and held up as his flag, nobility and bravery were not enough to stop the alpha in front of him from punching Vernon in the face as he stood there, vulnerable and defenseless with his fists stuck in Mingyu’s claws. Seungkwan and Wonwoo caught the blond alpha before he could fall on his head or break his neck, but Mingyu wasn’t so concerned about reveling in his victory as he was addressing his friend behind him.

 

Yugyeom tugging on him felt like a feather tickling him and he turned around, annoyed.

 

“What’s gotten into you?” Yugyeom growled, glaring up at him as he tried to get a grip on his shoulders.

 

Mingyu scowled, yanking the beta’s hands off of him.

 

“Stay out of my way. This is between me and Wonwoo. Eeryone wants to be a hero today huh?” he shouted, turning towards Wonwoo’s group. Just as he finished his sentence, Jun had already gotten up and lunged towards him, aiming to take him down by the waist like in tackle football. Jun hadn’t even gotten close to head-butting Mingyu in his abdomen before the taller alpha caught his torso, lifting him up off the ground and throwing him sideways into Woozi who was about to sink his claws into his arm. 

 

Mingyu heaved a breath.

 

“Anyone else wanna try and save little omega Wonu here?” 

 

“I can save myself.” Wonwoo growled, digging his shoes in the grass before he sprinted towards the alpha.

 

Maybe he shouldn’t have announced himself and gave Mingyu time to prepare, but if there was one pro about omegas it was that they were fast. Not to mention the kitsune in him was literally burning for a fight.

 

Mingyu let out a grunt as Wonwoo leaped onto his chest, kicking off from it and flipping in the air. Before he could land behind the taller boy and strike him from the back or neck as he descended towards the ground, Mingyu was all too slick, grabbing his ankle in mid-flight like it was nothing and slinging him towards the ground. Wonwoo was lucky that the alpha didn’t use his claws, but he would have rather gotten some cuts than get a concussion. His paper-thin and feather-light body fell splat on the ground as if he was a glob of jello. He was sure there was a crater in the grass beneath him that bore his impression, but he didn’t have time to ask ‘where am I’ or ‘what happened’ as Mingyu was too quick and eager to sweep him up and carry him bridal style away from the scene of knocked out alphas and their emotionally distressed boyfriends.

 

Prince Charming probably was more gentle with Sleeping Beauty but Wonwoo wasn’t going to complain. He took whatever he got, looking up at Mingyu’s face with curious innocence. Yeah, he wasn’t totally in his right mind. But he was warm. The alpha flung him down on the ground pretty hard so he expected his friends to cut him some slack for snuggling in with the enemy.

 

In spite of the smirk he wanted to punch off of Mingyu, he couldn’t help but admire the alpha’s chiseled face and the way he looked like a dark knight in his semi-transformed form. His claws dug into his back, and his red eyes scared him slightly. But he liked how Mingyu carried him. It was like the alpha kept him close to his heart like this, claiming him for himself. 

 

They reached the side of the cove where the lake house faced from the shore. That was when the alpha’s gang of friends began cheering him on and howling. If Wonwoo wasn’t insane he would have thought the guy was taking him to his bedroom or something, especially with how his friends were rooting for him like he’d caught the best piece of meat. Wonwoo wished. 

 

It was too soon to judge, seeing that Mingyu had missed the steps to the lake house veranda. Some people on the deck gaped at him, probably envious of him. Others tensed, realizing before he did what Mingyu was going to do to him.

 

Seungkwan caught on to it as well, but he was held back by Baekho as he tried to stop him. The younger omega screamed from across the shore, suddenly awakening him from his lovesick slumber. That was when Wonwoo realized where Mingyu was taking him. 

 

From atop the shiny metal dock, the dark green water of the lake looked as though it was a swamp that could swallow him whole. The rivets and floorboards creaked under Mingyu’s feet as they got out to deeper water. The journey to the edge of the dock seemed like it was taking forever, and the shaking of it paralyzed him. All he could do was look up at Mingyu, pleading to him with his arms that he wrapped around the alpha’s neck. His legs struggled to break free but Mingyu’s claws made it painful to resist. All he could do was tuck his head into the alpha’s neck, sobbing.

 

“Stop! Please! Y-You were hurting my friends and I- I couldn’t let you.” Wonwoo growled, banging his fist against the taller’s shoulder before it was restrained. 

 

Mingyu looked down at him, bringing his face close to his hair so much so that he was almost nuzzling him like they were mates. 

 

There was a reason Mingyu always thought of himself as the ‘apex alpha’. Sure he was the strongest in Jaseog let alone in their highschool. However, there was more to being an alpha than strength. True alphas were known for their character. Great alphas were known for their leadership. But ‘apex alphas’ were known for having no weaknesses. And the omega in his arms was a weakness. Where Vernon and Jun were weak because of their partners, Mingyu didn’t have anything to tie him down. Except now. And the lake was a remedy to that problem.

 

Mingyu had already given up Wonwoo to Seungcheol years ago, but his wolf hadn’t. There was still a bond and he needed to break it. He needed to conquer his wolf, break the barrier of the supernatural, face his greatest fear just as Wonwoo would do now. 

 

“You don’t like playing truth or dare huh?” Mingyu chuckled, not even sparing him a glance as a man would do to the pictures of his ex-wife before burning them.

 

Wonwoo froze, gasping in a breath as he looked down at the water as Mingyu brought them closer to the edge. If he wasn’t so afraid of the dark murky water he would have gone wide-eyed at the fact that Mingyu didn’t sound like his usual cocky self. His tone was as dark as midnight, cold like the water, laughing at him like the waves on the lake. 

 

“I’ll play- just stop!” 

 

A flash of white crossed his pupils and all he could see were the memories in his head blurring past his mind’s eye. He saw through the crowd on the shore, eyes set on the firepit, glowing but with no bodies to warm. It hadn’t changed a bit save for the beer cans littered around it. It was the place Mingyu told him about the man who died in the lake, a serial killer who had been shot by police. He wished he could have remembered Mingyu’s laugh as he snuck up on him and scared him, but all he could hear was the alpha’s dark chuckle. 

 

In the corner of his eye he saw the front of the lake house, resembling the facade of a forest lodge or tavern. He hadn’t been inside it for a long time, hadn’t felt it’s cozy and humbleness until now, where he fully appreciated it just as much as he felt nostalgia for the past. Why now? Why did he suddenly miss Mingyu even when he was in his arms? If Mingyu wasn’t a werewolf he would have called him a sorcerer. Playing on his feelings like this. Exploiting his deepest fears. Mingyu wasn’t subtle. He didn’t have that voice of reason in the back of his head. At least, he never stopped to heed its calls. 

 

The alpha could see the gears turning in his head but thought nothing of it, stopping at the end of the dock.

 

“You think you can run away all the time? Hide under a rock? You’ve been fucking stupid about everything, Wonu. I thought you omegas were supposed to be in touch with your emotions?” Mingyu smirked. 

 

“Not so soft and empathetic now, huh? It’s time you learn you can’t reject me and then run away, always coming back to tease me. Funny to see Seungcheol dump you and go for better omega pussy but you haven’t gotten it in your head yet- that maybe” Mingyu gritted, lifting him up higher. “Maybe you see everything wrong with the world just to keep yourself all high and mighty, princess. Wouldn’t let Seungcheol touch you, huh? I could smell your fucking slick Won, but you always try to hide it, find some way to distract your friends from the truth. Always arguing with me because you want to find some reason to hate me but you can’t. Right Wonu?”

 

“None of that’s true- W-What are you doing?” Wonwoo’s face contorted into sheer terror as his body told his brain that Mingyu was lifting them in the air. Mingyu simply stared ahead, ignoring the pressure of Wonwoo’s glistening eyes on him.

 

“Well, if I haven’t shoved it down your throat enough yet, maybe a nice dip in the lake can finally wake you up. It’s time for everyone to see who you really are, Wonu.” 

 

Through the petrified look on Wonwoo’s face, a dash of confusion glimmered in his eyes. There was no time to question Mingyu what he meant by that. All he knew was what the alpha was going to do.

 

“W-Wait! M- Gyu!” Wonwoo grunted, kicking his feet as he felt his body going up in the air, over the alpha’s shoulders. He banged on Mingyu’s shoulders, grabbed his wrists, and tried to kick his chest but the alpha barely twitched.

 

“This is my dare to you Wonu. I dare you to go night swimming.” Mingyu snickered, not even sparing him a remorseful look before he inhaled a breath and threw him into the water. 

 

“Have a nice swim!” 

 

His ears popping was the first thing Wonwoo felt as his body plunged into the water, bringing large pockets of air with him as his arms and legs flailed about. He couldn’t see anything but dark green water, save for the artificial orange light coming from underneath the roof of the lakehouse and the soft glowing dock lights. The waves on the surface construed everything in his vision, making him all the more manic as he clawed his way out of the murky water. 

 

Mingyu couldn’t tell if Wonwoo was crying or if it was the water dripping from his hair, but the gasp of breath he took as he reached the surface made him look more panicked than exhausted. 

 

“S-Someone-” he choked on water. The wind had just begun to act up, causing a few large waves to engulf half of his face. 

 

“Jih-” he coughed, splashing the water. He finally managed to stabilize himself and hurried towards the shore where Woozi and Seungkwan were running to meet him. 

 

Water trickled against his ears and for moments he could hear nothing but a high-pitched ring in the water if the laughter from the mob wasn’t too loud. Jaehyun and Baekho ran on the dock to congratulate Mingyu, snickering and shouting ‘ruthless!” 

 

Wonwoo tried to keep his focus on the frantically scrambling Woozi and Seungkwan but his vision was distorted by the water falling over his eyes and the waves that made him have to close them everytime they battered against his face. Everytime a rogue wave would submerge his face completely, he’d feel a shock and the blankness of his mind would flash back to the memories of the campfire years ago. How dark and distorted Mingyu’s face had gotten when he told him that stupid legend. It was like lightning struck under his vision everytime he was forced to confront the darkness of the lake when the water splashed over him. He told himself he was only a few dozen feet away from reaching the shore, but it wasn’t enough to stop him from hyperventilating.

 

Though perhaps, the cruelest joke Mingyu could have pulled, hadn’t been taken out from under his sleeve yet. The next thing he knew, a slimy hand grabbed his leg and tugged on him, pulling him under.

 

He screamed but it was instantly drowned out by the water flooding his mouth. He gurgled like he was choking to death, thrashing around like a seal in the jaws of a shark. 

 

The hand and the fin attached to it came up from the depths to grab him once more, this time, landing on his hip and tearing his shirt. The clawed thing snipped at the drawstrings around his waist, tugging his slacks off before clawing at his underwear. It pulled him under again to get to his shirt, not caring if he got scratched just so it could rip the fabric apart. He felt slime coat part of his body which glowed white in the water, causing everyone on the shore to gape. 

 

“Mingyu what the fuck did you do?” Baekho laughed, shaking his friends shoulders.

 

“Yo, did Kim plan this?” 

 

For once Wonwoo was glad he was in the water since the waves distorted his naked figure and washed his tears away. He was no longer petrified, letting the creature have its way with him while onlookers watched, entertained. Just as he thought he’d become a caricature of some tentacle hentai comic, webbed hands lifted him up and threw him out of the water. 

 

He cradled himself as he landed on the grass, spat out by the ocean and left to be eaten by seagulls. 

 

It was obvious why everyone still stared at him, taking pictures, laughing, whispering… Even if they should have recoiled at the sight, they couldn’t help but be intrigued by his protruding ribcage, his tiny waist which had abs only because he was so thin, and most of all his sickly paleness.

 

“Have fun skinny-dipping Wonu?” Mingyu snickered from the dock. “I knew you wanted me to join you but I thought I’d let my buddy have some fun first.” 

 

“Fuck, Kard got him all slimy. I wanted to have a go at him since you weren’t gonna.” Jaehyun slurred.

 

“Yeah man, I wouldn’t even care if you gave him to us as leftovers.” Baekho added, licking his lips.

 

Mingyu arched a brow.

 

“You guys are fucking sick if you want to bang some anorexic omega. Not so hot now is he?”

 

“Doesn’t mean his boypussy isn't still tight.” Jaehyun burped.

 

“I like real pussy. You guys are a bunch of fags, honeslty.” Mingyu laughed.

 

“You’re all sick fucks! I’ll kill you next time, Mingyu!” Seungkwan growled, pointing at the alpha where he sat on his knees, crouched over a shivering Wonwoo. Vernon and Jun were still clutching their heads and groaning in pain but Wonwoo was still more important to them. They stumbled as they got up and rushed over to support their friend.

 

Wonwoo made himself small, hiding his face from his tormentors. Through the cracks of Seungkwan, Minghao, and Woozi’s bodies huddled around their friend, Mingyu could see Wonwoo holding himself with Seungkwan’s picnic blanket over him. Even with grass in his hair and pieces of leaves from the lake splattered over his cheeks, he was the prettiest thing he had ever seen. It was probably because Wonwoo was so fragile - despite everything he tried to make himself out to be - that kind of Wonwoo was beautiful. 

 

Mingyu’s alpha instincts were going haywire, trying to overthrow the douchebag in his head. But it wasn’t his biology that wanted to go comfort Wonwoo the most. He really wanted to do it, to say sorry and make Wonwoo forget it ever happened. Maybe even tie an anchor to his foot and have Wonwoo push him off the dock. He felt like doing anything. And this wasn’t his wolf. It was the child in him that Wonwoo once knew. It came back. And it wanted Wonwoo back.

 

He sprinted off the dock, earning pats and playful shoves from his friends but he pushed them aside, even knocking them down if he had to. Thanks to his height he could see over Wonwoo’s friends’ hunched bodies, but he could only see the tremble of Wonwoo’s back, and the nervous tick in his head. He’d probably broken the omega. He knew Wonwoo was made of glass- 

 

He shook off any distracting feelings, keeping his eye on the small omega on the lawn. Wonwoo wasn’t that small when he stood up, but he looked to have lost everything he had when he arrived. His shoulders were hunched, his chin was down… The blanket that came up to hide his milky skin now cloaked his face and delicate profile. He looked like the grim reaper dressed in white. 

 

Before he had even made it halfway across the lawn, Wonwoo was fighting his friends, wrestling himself away from their tender touches and soothing whispers of ‘it’s okay’ and ‘we’re here’. It was the worst thing anyone could have said to an omega who wanted to be left alone. 

 

Mingyu stopped in his tracks, sliding on the grass as the blanket around Wonwoo fell to the ground, bundling around a blur of dark orange. He would have thought he’d seen Wonwoo’s pretty feet, or his smooth legs, but he only caught a glimpse of something small and furry, leap out of the nest that the blanket had created when it fell. His eyes weren’t glowing an angry red anymore, and he was too stunned to use them. He was left with his normal human eyesight as he tried to follow the tiny animal scurrying across the grass and into the bushes. 

 

“Wonwoo!” Woozi yelled, trying to chase him but the animal was too fast. 

 

“Wonu.” Mingyu whispered. His arms went slack against his sides. His ears had already tuned out the idiotic laughter of his friends behind him, honing in on the sound of rustling bushes and leaves as he imagined Wonwoo’s dark tiny paws running through the thicket. 

 

Apparently, Woozi wasn’t as focused on gaping at the bushes where Wonwoo had escaped. He was much rather turning to glare at him, claws out, and eyes glowing a yellow that was brighter than the sun. 

 

“Mingyu.” the beta growled, raising his voice as he stalked forward, lifting his hands to sink his claws into his face. Soonyoung and the others didn’t have to stop their friend. Mingyu was already on it, evading the strike and pushing Woozi to the ground like he was an inflatable tube man at a car dealership.

 

Mingyu didn’t have anything to say. No sarcastic remark. Nothing. His mind was too occupied with the creature that Wonwoo had turned into, and much more importantly, where he was going. The woods could be dangerous at night, especially for a fox. 

 

He inhaled a breath, shredding his clothes off with his claws before transforming into a black-furred wolf about as large as a human. The transformation was so powerful it tore his leather belt and ripped his clothes into tiny pieces, scattering it about all over the grass. He disappeared in a blur, carving a hole through the brush. Whereas Wonwoo had leaped through leaves and crawled under branches, Mingyu was coming for him in a one wolf stampede. 





Chapter Text

The rustling of leaves and the shaking of tree branches ahead of him stopped, though it wasn’t that noticeable as his own tracks made the same noises. Only his were louder considering his size and ferocity.

 

Since Wonwoo was still in hearing range, he reckoned the omega wasn’t far. He was probably only two-hundred yards away, accounting for the speed of the average fox plus the distance he put between them before Mingyu began to chase after him.

 

How did Mingyu know this? He wasn’t sure Wonwoo would like to know all the details but he might have hunted similar animals with his father. Hunting was a Kim family tradition and one of the only ways he could achieve his fully recognized alpha status. But Wonwoo managed to never see it that way, even when they were friends the omega would always call him a ‘puppy’. Wonwoo knew what he was doing when he called him that. The omega was never fond of how Mingyu saw hunting as a sport and not a necessity for wolves. So he guessed he deserved the disrespect. If he could even call it that.  

 

Having tracked dozens of deer in his youth, finding Wonwoo wasn’t that hard. He continued to go straight, stalking through the thicket slowly as if sneaking up on his prey. He didn’t know why he didn’t just barge through the bush and catch the omega off balance while he could. Wonwoo wouldn’t have had enough time to gain any speed or distance advantage since he was close now. But still, he didn’t need the omega running away from him again. 

 

It was funny to think that minutes ago he told Wonwoo to his face that all he did was run away. It hurt him even more knowing he was the reason. 

 

Mingyu didn’t want to revert back to his human form because then he’d have to apologize and he wasn’t good with feelings, words, nor even saying ‘I’m sorry’. Hopefully Wonwoo still liked it when he licked him. A lot of things hadn’t changed with the boy who was still as beautiful as ever, even prettier than he was when they were in middle school. Wonwoo was always serious but he was also cute. No wonder he was born half kitsune. The kid always wanted to cuddle with him, preferring him over his own brother. If that wasn’t the highest honor he didn’t know what was.

 

Mingyu’s heart swelled with pride, not knowing exactly if it was because of all the fond memories or if he was because he picked up on a strong fume of Wonwoo’s scent right as he cleared the thick brush, coming up on a patch of grass in the forest before the entrance of a small cave. 

 

Eitherway, he stood tall on his hind legs, lifting his chin up and howling. It was what his wolf always wanted to do, as if it were calling his mate. But a true mating call would have compelled Wonwoo to come scurrying out of the tunnel and into his chest scenting him. Of course, that didn’t happen. But he didn’t let it devestate his morale, seeing the howl merely as an announcement of his arrival before he started trudging across the grass and towards the entrance to the small cave. 

 

He wasn’t lying when he told Wonwoo he could smell his slick when he first came to the party. The lake may have washed it off twice but the scent came back, probably like how the slick came back. Except, it only happened when omegas were in heat and Seungcheol wasn’t stupid enough to bring an omega in pre-heat to a party full of alphas… Nor would he be unaware of his own boyfriend’s heat cycle, right? 

 

Mingyu didn’t have much faith in the beta, especially because of what he did right after he bullied Wonwoo around. But he couldn’t care less about the guy’s whereabouts. Seungcheol was finally out of the way. This was his chance. Not that he needed an opportunity to steal Seungcheol’s omega. He was an apex alpha for crying out loud. One tap on the guy’s shoulder and he’d be out of the way faster than a squirrel running out of the way of an eighteen-wheeler. 

 

Mingyu sniffed the air before ducking his head under the natural stone arch of the cave entrance, reveling in the scent of the omega burrowed inside like he was his next conquest. The sweet smell seemed like it could last forever in his nostrils, like he could bury his face in Wonwoo’s neck and never leave his side for another slut again. If only the past didn’t have anything to say about the future.

 

He couldn’t help himself, wagging his tail and sticking his tongue out. The wolf heaved breaths as the intoxicating smell filled his nostrils even more. Mingyu’s eyes glowed red, not only so he could see but so he could intimidate the omega-kitsune hybrid who was now backed against the wall into flashing his eyes in return. 

 

Mingyu hadn’t seen those blue eyes in days, when Wonwoo hated him. The omega probably still did but this time, especially with the way Wonwoo tried to stand his ground against him. The fox kept his paws together in front of his head, looking like he was about to pounce like a cat. Heats were supposed to make omegas docile and emotional. But this was the opposite. That only meant one thing he supposed. Wonwoo had more control over his instincts and fox form than he had over his own wolf form. 

 

He had to give Wonwoo credit but it made him question even more if the fox was even an omega. It definitely was Wonwoo alright. The same Wonwoo who respected himself enough to refuse the biggest and baddest alpha, marrying into one of the richest families in Jaseog, even if he’d miss out on having nine pups all at once. Mingyu was definitely not taking his virginity, especially not in his wolf-form. 

 

If there was anything he could say, Wonwoo sure got emotional, clawing at him with his tiny paws and signaling him to stay back. To no avail.

 

Mingyu let out a growl and bore his teeth, taking in more of that sweet smelling slick while at the same time registering the threat Wonwoo was trying to pose to his snout and eyes as the omega swiped his tiny claws close to home.

 

The foxed squealed and made a high-pitched bark, making it seem like he was calling for help or was in pain. It only riled Mingyu up, prompting the alpha to snap his jaws and scare Wonwoo into submission. It ended up working with the omega leaping back elegantly on its toes like a cat, blue eyes glowing even brighter and more beautiful. They were like pearl marbles, soft, yet luxurious. The cave around the fox was anything but, coated in scratch marks from other wild animals, dirt and wet leaves on the ground, plus spider webs and vines hanging all over. If the urge to mate Wonwoo wasn’t so intense he would have scrambled out of there after his head plowed through the first round of cobwebs but the omega was worth it. He needed Wonwoo to know he loved him. Still loved him.

 

Wonwoo got the memo that Mingyu was smelling his spiked and sweet scent, but it was clear the omega was still in full control, even if he had transformed. That was what distinguished them. Whereas Mingyu transformed and became mostly an animal - not that he’d ever been completely human with his behavior - when Wonwoo transformed, he’d always maintained his calm elegance, and was probably even more better-tempered than he was as a human. The omega always had more discipline than he did, though it wasn’t entirely his fault. Being an alpha, especially the strongest alpha to be born in centuries, came with a price. But Wonwoo never held it against him, even when he became a true beast sometimes or crossed the line. Wonwoo cherished that part of him. At least, he used to.

 

Now it was like Wonwoo was completely rejecting him. Mingyu didn’t blame him. He hated himself too. However, all that mattered was Wonwoo, not his own self-contempt or pity. Wonwoo needed to know that he was sorry, even if an apology meant nothing coming from a stupid alpha like him. 

 

Mingyu stopped growling and barking, and soon Wonwoo followed suit, letting the silence permeate between them except for Wonwoo’s distressed whining and his own exhausted breathing. He didn't know why he felt so tired all of a sudden. He’d only ran a quarter mile. Maybe he was tired of his own antics, of having to tease Wonwoo and bully him just to get his attention. He was tired of revenge because in the end, anger burned quickly, leaving him to be a worn out shell of a dog, barking at Wonwoo and never licking him or showing any love. 

 

There was another part to it too. The way Wonwoo looked at him through those ice cold eyes filled him with self-loathing, like he failed him. He knew he could outcompete any other alpha that tried to take Wonwoo from him, but at the end of the day his strength, speed, and bark didn’t matter. He supposed he was just learning that now, but it was a shame he had to learn it in the mud of his own defeat. 

 

Mingyu let out a mule, stretching his legs out and setting down his head so that it fell with a ‘humph’ on the cave floor. His ears came down to rest against his head, and his tail curled up against his stomach. Wonwoo had always accepted him in his most barbaric and degenerate form, maybe he could accept him now in his defeated form as well. His sadness was the only thing he could be sincere about to the omega. Every other emotion had been just a front for years. His wolf had been howling inside forever, but he let out a whimper, not fully comfortable with begging for Wonwoo’s forgiveness just yet. In the end he was still a wolf, even if he felt the jet black fur on his body begin to recede and his canines retreat into his jaws.

 

The fox on the other hand tilted its head at him curiously, stepping back further on its tippy toes. As soon as Mingyu fully transformed back into a man, the orange-furred creature’s scent spiked from anxiety, as if he had suddenly become naked instead of the naked man in front of him.

Mingyu’s tongue was practically still hanging out of his mouth as he was still caught up in the omega’s pheromones, but his eyes told him Wonwoo wasn’t human anymore. He wasn’t something a jock could stare at or Seungcheol could ogle. Perhaps Wonwoo’s fox form did him a favor. Where Wonwoo looked humiliated that Mingyu had seen him like this; in his most vulnerable and primal state - too afraid to be seen in terms of person to person interaction because people were cruel after all - Mingyu could finally see the beauty of his sunset-colored fur coat, the narrowness of his countenance, the sharp eyes, and triangular jaw. No wonder Wonwoo was a fox. The fox was nature’s aphrodite. 

 

He bet if the elder transformed back he’d be roasting him nonstop with his sharp tongue wit. Mingyu was lucky. But he wasn’t sure that would ever happen, he doubted Wonwoo ever wanted to return to his human form, not after what he did to him. 

 

It surprised him to see a submissive glint in Wonwoo’s eyes though, like a pet being domesticated. The older boy bowed his head and made himself small as he pressed his side against the wall and bore his light-colored stomach. Wonwoo curved his body so that his head stuck out, bearing his neck, while his tail came out on the other end as if beckoning Mingyu to come closer and snuggle him. Of course, that was only because Mingyu still smelled like a wolf. 

 

Wonwoo seemed to regain control over his body, following after Mingyu in letting his bushy tail retract into his back while his legs lost their dark color, becoming longer and smoother. Where Mingyu had been a mass of bronze skin and muscle laying splat on the cave floor, Wonwoo transformed back to his refined and dignified state, turning into a boy again with his body laid out across the ground as if he were some nymph or siren, relaxing on the edge of a cliff as he lured the alpha’s eyes towards the ‘S’ curve of his body. He looked stunning. Like Alexandre Cabanel’s The Birth of Venus was being painted in front of him.

 

It was lewd and Mingyu felt like a libertine just being there to witness the transformation. Wonwoo might as well have had little angels flying around him, tooting their horns to wake him up. It certainly woke him. But he kept staring. They were both naked for heaven sakes. Fuck it. The both of them could throw shame out the window. 

 

Wonwoo didn’t even need eye shadow or his jet black hair to make himself dark and alluring. The absence of light in the cave only revealed what he needed to see to know he was there. It was a good thing too, otherwise Mingyu would have had to think about old ladies naked or Jaehyun puking to make his boner go down. It was already rubbing up against the mud just at the sight of Wonwoo laying there, frantically curling himself into a ball to cover himself.

 

“M-Mingyu.” he gasped, clutching his head. Wonwoo sounded like he had just woken from a dream and didn’t know where he was.

 

“Yeah?” he said bluntly, lifting his bare chest up a little to stare the omega in the eyes. It was bad enough he looked like an Adonis who escaped from the museum. It was worse that the alpha’s musky pine scent was flooding the cave, competing with the omega’s own sugary citrus smell. It was a never ending cycle of heat pheromones and teenage hormones.

 

“Why’d you have to follow me here? Y-You know you’re naked?”

 

Mingyu gawked slightly, completely caught off guard by the way Wonwoo blatantly chose to ask that question over all of the other things he could have said to tell him off. If Wonwoo was playing that game, he could play too.

 

“Nothing you haven’t seen before.” Mingyu smirked, letting his eyes drift down to Wonwoo’s hips which were so milky and luminous in the moonlight coming in the tunnel, showing up beautifully against the stone cold gray wall. They peeked through the cover of his legs and knees, pronounced and curved like he had been modeled from diamonds. 

 

There was no doubt that he didn’t enjoy the thought of getting Wonwoo all hot and bothered but at the same time he hated how Wonwoo’s heat had to hit just as he wanted to apologize. How could he give a sincere and thoughtful apology to someone who looked ready to be pumped full of his cum, take his knot, and be bred with a whole litter of pups? It was the first time he had ever had the urge to just mount the omega right there and make it up to him by giving Wonwoo the family he always wanted. He heard it was all the elder talked about with Seungcheol. Just remembering that sparked jealousy within him. In a way he wished Wonwoo and Seungcheol were still on good terms because he wanted so badly to just breed Seungcheol’s own boyfriend and then have Wonwoo explain to the beta that he got knocked up by an alpha, and not just any alpha, but the apex alpha who was bigger, stronger, and better than him in every way.  Even if he didn’t have a knot yet, or thought of Wonwoo in those terms, he didn’t doubt it ever came across his wolf’s mind. 

 

He also heard Seungcheol wanted to wait, and even then, only have two kids. He could give Wonwoo more. They could go nonstop. Forever. All Wonwoo needed to do was dump the asshole. But it didn’t look like it’d be that easy. Wonwoo was still looking at him like he despised him, like he would have preferred dating Jaehyun over him .

 

“I’m not in the joking mood right now. I- I don’t know why you can’t l-leave me alone.” Wonwoo hiccuped, already preparing to break down. “Why d-do you h-hate me so much? You literally are trying to make my life hell, I get it! You don’t have to try so hard and follow me. I already know I’m just a loser omega, you don’t have to constantly remind me.” he growled, turning his back it was facing him as he tucked his head into his arms and rested his head on the cave wall.

 

“That’s not why I’m here.” Mingyu gritted, balling his fists and flashing his eyes. Wonwoo whimpered, looking away as to not get caught in the scathing heat ray radiating from the alpha’s red eyes. 

 

“Oh-” Wonwoo laughed mockingly into his arm, squishing himself against the cave wall. “I know you told me you could smell me, but don’t flatter yourself thinking I’m in this current state because of you. It’s just my own misfortune that my heat might be coming. A-And that you’re here.” he spat, curling himself up more.

 

“Don’t think I lured you here. That’s what you alphas always think. Just because I’m a fox doesn’t mean I always have a trick up my sleeve. This isn’t another one of your wild hunts. I’m a human being. Not a rabbit or a deer. But I can’t say the same about you. You- You’re an animal!” he sobbed, dragging his long fox claws against the dirt, slow and tantalizing. It was what Mingyu wanted to do to the omega’s clothes if he had any.

 

“Maybe I am an animal. Fuck- Wonwoo.” he chuckled, clutching his head. “Look at you. You’re fucking hot just laying here, waiting for me to knot you.”

 

Wonwoo’s breath hitched and his head shot up to look at him with an expression of disgust.

 

“W-What are you saying? I dont- I don’t know whether I should be afraid of you or angry that you’d insult me and threaten me in the same sentence.” he hissed, breathing heavily. His eyes began to water, the brown orbs darting all over Mingyu’s face in an effort to detect if there was any semblance of playfulness. But the alpha wasn’t joking.

 

“What, you don’t think an alpha could want you? You don’t think your good enough to carry my pups?” 

 

“Shut up! Stop talking like that!” Wonwoo growled, flashing his blue eyes.

 

Mingyu was undeterred, dragging himself closer on the cave floor to get to the omega who was unleashing waves and waves of pheromones. What finally did it for him was the sound of a trickle. He could hear the slick practically gushing from between Wonwoo’s legs. Wonwoo always sucked at lying. Telling him he didn’t think this was hot? 

 

“If you came here to insult me even more than just go away! I’ve had it with you!” 

 

“No.” Mingyu gritted, inching closer to the omega. “I didn’t come here to do any of that. I- you smell good and-”

 

“Great. If that’s an apology I’ll accept it.” Wonwoo barked, burying his head in his arms which muffled his voice. 

 

Knowing Mingyu, that was his apology.

 

The alpha simply narrowed his eyes. Why did Wonwoo have to make everything so difficult? Sure, they knew each other for years but they still didn’t understand each other. Maybe alphas and omegas were just cursed to live in their own worlds. 

 

“Shut up Wonwoo- you’re so fucking annoying.”

 

“You established that.”

 

Mingyu shook off Wonwoo’s response, looking down at the dirt as if he was praying. He hated Wonwoo even more for having to make him explain himself but he felt invincible whenever he was around the elder. Like he could do anything and Wonwoo would never crucify him for it. 

 

He inhaled a breath, trying to steady his voice.

 

“B-But I like it.” he frowned, desperately wanting to place his hand on Wonwoo’s waist and force him to look him in the eye.

 

“I- I like you.”

 

“W-What?”

 

Mingyu growled.

 

“Do you have to make me spell it out for you? So fucking full of yourself!”

 

“Huh? Is this some kind of sick joke?”

 

“N-No! I’m being serious! Why else would I follow a fucking nerd like you if I didn’t think you were cute and really pretty and I don’t know-”

 

He was cut off by the sound of skin against skin and although he wished it was the wet sound of Wonwoo’s cupid bow lips against his, it took him a few seconds to realize Wonwoo had just slapped him on the cheek. And it stung. He couldn’t really care about the tingling feeling on his face. Just from the look of hatred Wonwoo gave him, those narrow and ice cold eyes… It hurt. 

 

Even if he knew he deserved it, his reflexes kicked in and it felt like his wolf was under attack. He’d been rejected again , and he was fed up with it.

 

Something snapped inside him and he began to transform again, but this time he felt his werewolf form slipping through. He could feel his fangs protruding from his gums, the claws coming out of his fingers, the fur returning on his body. He couldn't help but snap his jaw, biting on thin air. Even if he hadn’t done much, it was enough to scare Wonwoo further against the wall, causing the omega to tremble in fear.

 

Mingyu hesitated with himself at first, allowing for his transformation to slow down and reverse but his wolf continued to fight him, telling him they needed to claim the omega fast before any other alpha got to him. He knew it was stupid, but his wolf was an animal. It was governed by biology and evolution, not respect for some new age concept of human dignity. 

 

It was then that the moonlight fully showed through the cave tunnel, alerting him that it was full moon. He began to feel his control slipping away, succumbing to the pale white light. A powerful alpha, conquered by the curse of the moon. Even if he was back in his human form, it didn’t mean his urges were under control. It became evident when Wonwoo transformed partially to get a slight edge on him to make his escape. The fox-omega hybrid swiped across the air with his clawed toes, trying to strike at his face to no avail. Mingyu ended up catching the pretty little foot, wrapping a clawed hand around it and pulling the omega towards him. 

 

He could have let his mouth water at the sight of Wonwoo spreading his legs for him, but he was much more interested in looking into those blue eyes of his which looked back at him with pure annoyance. It wasn’t the agitation Wonwoo always showed whenever Mingyu called his name or chose to tease him. It was the fact that Mingyu could smell just how aroused he was from their confrontation. Perhaps in the clash of their spirits, Wonwoo had lost something. He had lost ground to him, as well as his stubbornness. But if anything, the loud trickle of his slick and the sweet aroma that slapped him in the face told him that Wonwoo liked losing to him. Wonwoo was wrestling with him. The struggle was essential. Without struggle, Wonwoo would never be able to come to terms with his alpha and himself. It was better to struggle to love someone than to love someone blindly. And Wonwoo was strong, even if he was letting Mingyu manhandle him.

 

The force that he yanked Wonwoo’s leg with was so intense the omega was temporarily stunned, sliding on the dirt and under Mingyu’s naked and muscular mass, arching over him like a true werewolf about to devour its prey. But that wasn’t all what Wonwoo was to him, and the alpha relaxed his shoulders, lowering his head to growl against the side of Wonwoo’s cheek as the omega let out a frightened whimper. 

 

The both of them were at a loss of words; Wonwoo being too stunned and shocked to move while Mingyu was too stunned by the elder’s beauty.

 

Mingyu brought his sharp jaws down to the omega’s neck, subtly inhaling the black-haired beauty’s natural scent. It was like Wonwoo had been frolicking in a meadow and had fallen into a bed of flowers instead of dirt like where they were in now. 

 

The alpha grunted, clutching Wonwoo’s head as he began to grind up against him, thrusting his hips forward. Wonwoo cringed, even if he couldn’t stop the blush on his cheeks. The shade of pink only made Mingyu growl more, pleased that the omega was receiving him so well and pliantly. It was a good thing Wonwoo didn’t wear blush to school or else this kind of stuff would happen everyday. He wouldn’t be able to control himself. That was irrelevant now.

 

Mingyu continued thrusting his hips, grinding his arousal against Wonwoo’s taint, not caring if he completely missed the mark sometimes or threatened to breach it on others. Wonwoo moaned either way, holding his muscular and prominent shoulders with cold hands. Ever since the fox had seen Mingyu in the tank top he had on, it was all his fox spirit had wanted to let the alpha do to him. 

 

But who was Jeon Wonwoo anyways? Was he a fox or was a human? Or maybe- just maybe… he had a soul that transcended such mere physical forms of being. Even deeper than his personality, lay his morals. And just because Mingyu was the hottest and baddest alpha in town didn’t mean he was going to throw away everything, cast off those he loved while embracing those he hadn’t even known, like the alpha on top of him. Or in this case, thought he knew. Was he going to compromise his integrity for a boy who probably forgot his middlename?

 

The omega’s blue eyes were enough of an answer, and he sank his claws into Mingyu’s shoulders, growling at him to get off. Yet the alpha didn’t care, snapping at him in retaliation with open jaws, roaring him into silence. At least, that’s what Mingyu thought he could do and get away with, but the omega continued to writhe under him, squirming and trying to find a way out.

 

Even if it wasn’t as painful as drawing blood, Wonwoo hoped the blunt force of his knees against Mingyu’s abdomen would do the trick. He just couldn’t stand to hurt Mingyu anymore, like he did all those years ago. There wasn’t any time for hesitation though. Closing his eyes, he brought his leg up, kneeing Mingyu in the abdomen. 

 

Wonwoo could only hiss. Mingyu didn’t even budge, still scenting him and grinding on him all over. It was when he felt something long and thick graze his thigh did he realize the situation had become more dire than he thought. Mingyu had always been a puppy, douchebag or not, but he didn’t think he’d become this feral. Never would he have believed anything that came out of the alpha’s mouth until he felt the thick piece of meat rub against him. Mingyu was still in his human form. So it couldn’t have been… They couldn’t have been… 

 

“N-No- Stop! Get off me!” he growled. 

 

Mingyu didn’t respond, not looking as though he had fully processed his words. It didn’t take much however for the alpha to understand Wonwoo didn’t look so welcoming anymore, but he continued to thrust, wanting to get off and release on Wonwoo fast as if to mark him before he could escape. Wonwoo obviously wasn’t going to just lay back and take it, kneeing Mingyu’s abdomen again and again, trying not to blush as he felt the alpha’s rock hard chiseled sick-pack. 

 

He was getting a hunch that his efforts were all in vain but he was having trouble thinking of a way to escape. Meanwhile, Mingyu looked hungrier than ever, leaning down and smirking at him before going in for his neck. This couldn’t be happening. Oh wait, he could believe it. Alphas would do anything when they smelled omega slick. Typical.

 

Luckily, it was all he needed for his brain to get a kickstart. Gritting his teeth he moved his hands down to Mingyu’s forearms, holding onto the alpha as he kneed Mingyu’s pelvic bone. It was a good thing for Mingyu’s sake that he didn’t nail his ‘family jewels’ because then he wouldn’t get to breed him with pups like he touted that he would but Wonwoo wasn’t so preoccupied with that thought as he was getting the hell out of the cave. 

 

Wonwoo hissed as his knee hit the bone and he took his leg back, rolling out from under the alpha as the larger man groaned in pain, clutching the area below his abdomen. Mingyu could deal with a broken pelvis. 

 

It was then that Wonwoo began to revert back to a fox with his body shrinking and a luxurious and colorful tail springing from his tail bone. Transforming was the only way he could get out quick enough and run through the bushes. Mingyu knew this too however, and had the audacity to grab his tail, eliciting a squeak from the omega who was caught in mid-transformation. 

 

Wonwoo was thankful he hadn’t shifted under Mingyu, otherwise he would have been crushed. But having his tail yanked and frazzled was uncomfortable if you asked him. Mingyu didn’t care (shocker), bringing him back against his chest. 

 

This time their naked bodies were meshed together, with the taller boy clutching his chest and stomach as they both sat up on their knees. Maybe he would have calmed down if Mingyu whispered into his ear sweet nothings or if he kissed his shoulder and rubbed his stomach. But all the alpha did was pull out his claws, holding them against his lower torso as if he was holding his abdomen hostage.

 

“Mine.” Mingyu gritted, releasing a hot breath against his neck. “Gonna fill you with my pups. Fuck you until you can’t walk. You’ll smell like me no matter how many showers you fucking take. You hear that omega? Can’t wait to see the fucking look on your boyfriend’s face when he smells my cum inside you- all round and full. Dirty little slut.” 

 

Wonwoo let out the weakest noise, shivering as Mingyu’s mouth inched closer to his neck. He wanted to slap himself for scoffing when really he was much more than annoyed with the alpha’s antics.

 

“D-Don’t do this Mingyu. You have a girlfriend! W-What about- Chaeyeon.” he gasped. His eyes split a few tears, thinking back to the time he told Seungcheol they’d wait for each other to show how much they were in love.

 

Love. 

 

This beast behind him didn’t know anything about love.

 

Wonwoo growled, jabbing his elbow back and hitting Mingyu in the chest. Apparently, the bout of anger gave him enough strength to make it hurt. That was, to induce enough pain, even for an ‘apex alpha’. 

 

He took his opening, scrambling to climb up the small slope of the tunnel. There were a few roots he could grab onto to pull himself up. 

 

Wonwoo dragged dirt and dust along with him but he didn’t care, pretending as if Mingyu had vanished behind the dust cloud he was making. If only that were the case. The taller boy grabbed his ankle, then his waist with his other hand, hauling him back and restraining him on the cave floor. 

 

Mingyu was so dead. He was going to make sure Jungkook, Vernon, and Jun apprehended him and nailed him to a pole on the Jeon clan’s property, only to then be publicly castrated. Mingyu just had to splay himself out on top of him, making sure his omega ass was raised and his back was curved, just so he could admire his omega body as he pinned down his wrists and legs. He felt like a specimen Leonardo Da Vinci would draw. He figured Mingyu had the same idea, if only the alpha could actually think rather than just stare at him like a greedy businessman being served an omega in a cloche with an apple in his mouth. 

 

“I couldn’t give a fuck about Chaeyeon.” Mingyu grunted, reminding him that he wasn’t in some knid of sex fantasy.

 

“You’ll regret this Mingyu, much more than I will!” Wonwoo gritted with every syllable, trying to wrestle himself away.

 

“I said I don’t give a fuck about her. Not now, never have, never will.” the alpha roared. 

 

“Well, screw you! I’m not gonna help you cheat!” Wonwoo whimpered, trying to shake off his tears as he shook his head in defiance. He could care less about Chaeyeon right now too, considering an alpha was about to penetrate him as he spoke. The worst part about it wasn’t the loss of feeling he was experiencing in his arms and legs but the fact that he could feel Mingyu’s breath on his hair and the sound of his voice right above him. It took a second for the numbness to go away in order to realize the alpha was prodding at his entrance. 

 

That did it. 

 

With the last ounce of strength he had, he called upon his fox spirit, unleashing a wave of celestial light which radiated from his body. The orange flame-like curls of energy heated his body so much Mingyu practically jumped off of him like a cat in water, allowing him another opening for escape. He crawled towards the tunnel exit, looking like a flaming car wreck as he strutted across the floor. If only Mingyu wasn’t so bold, nevermind tolerant to pain. Sometimes he hated that Mingyu was a powerful alpha. Any beta that dared to touch him while his fox spirit was free and surrounding him would have lost all their fur on their arm. 

 

Mingyu only suffered a minor burn though. His fast-paced healing took care of that. A few seconds of pain was worth it for Mingyu if he could stifle the kitsune’s fox spirit. And he succeeded. 

 

The orange light around Wonwoo’s body dissipated, like waves of flames crashing against Mingyu’s bronze skin. Wonwoo’s aura disappeared like embers from a fire, floating up into the air and blinking out. Mingyu had basically suffocated it, enough to make his fox retreat back into his body.

 

The worst part was the position they landed in. Mingyu wasn’t so focused on bringing him back to sit on his knees and rest against his chest. As a matter of fact, Mingyu caught him in the midst of crawling which meant it was the perfect time for the alpha to mount him, positioning his hips at the omega’s rear while he secured his waist and torso, holding Wonwoo against his throbbing arousal.

 

The omega released a torrent of slick at the friction around his rim, soaking the alpha’s gorging manhood and eliciting a growl from him. Mingyu inhaled the scent, urging him to take a clawed hand and catch the slick pouring from the fox’s hole and taste it. But he couldn’t, not when Wonwoo was struggling like hell and he had to keep his back arched for him and in place. 

 

“Where do you think you’re going princess?” Mingyu growled. There wasn’t even any ounce of playfulness in his voice, just darkness.

 

“Mingyu- Stop!” Wonwoo yelped, feeling something cold fall on his skin and slide down to his hole. He reluctantly whipped his head back, causing his eyes to widen in horror as saliva leaked from Mingyu’s sharp canines and onto his rim.

 

“You gotta stay still for me, babe. ‘Else I can’t knot you and give you the pups you always wanted. How’s that sound? Huh? You want me to fill you up and make you all round and full with my cum babe?” Mingyu arched a brow, smirking at him with those red eyes. The alpha leaned over him to get closer and scent his back and neck.

 

Wonwoo was trembling underneath him but somehow Mingyu kept still, acting as though nothing was happening.

 

Mingyu grinned, feeling another spurt of slick come out from Wonwoo and splash against his abs.

 

“Fuck- feel that Wonu? You like that? Am I making you feel good princess? Remember what I said, okay babe? Stay still because we want to make sure my cock gets in there nice and deep so I can give you a litter of pups. You want that right Wonu?”

 

“N-No.” Wonwoo sniffled, letting his head hang from his shoulders as if he knew he couldn’t win anymore.

 

“But it’s what you were made for. Why do you think our parents let us see each other so much? Huh? They knew that one day… I was gonna breed your slutty hole. Knock you up with my pups. See?”

 

“I don’t! I- I don’t want to be here anymore.” he whimpered. Mingyu ignored his crying, bringing his hands from where they were dangerously close near Wonwoo’s neck to the omega’s toothpick-thin waist.

 

“Fuck.” he groaned. “Your waist is so fucking tiny. You were made to take my knot. Doesn’t it all make sense now?”

 

Wonwoo closed his eyes shut as the pressure on his hips began to hurt. 

 

“It doesn’t. You’re not making any sense.” 

 

“Love isn’t supposed to make sense. Just accept it! Now open up your pretty hole for me babe and fuck yourself on my knot!” 

 

“No!” 

 

Mingyu roared right into his ear, clutching his stomach and squeezing his torso. 

 

“I’M YOUR ALPHA!” 

 

Wonwoo fell against the floor and covered his ears, trying to wish the nightmare away. He shook his head, almost mocking the demon.

 

“Alpha.” he snorted. “My alpha is my moral code. And I will not cheat on my boyfriend so you can get you off!” 

 

Mingyu huffed.

 

“Funny.” he chuckled darkly, running his clawed finger through his hair as if he were some beautiful and exotic wild animal.

 

“You’re so pretty.”

 

“P-Please don’t do this Mingyu. I know- you’re a dickhead sometimes but I know you’re not evil and- c-cruel.” 

 

“You don’t know me anymore Wonu.” Mingyu said, almost in a whisper. The alpha got up slightly and rolled the omega onto his back so he could stare him in the eyes. Wonwoo’s head fell limply to the side as his eyes darted down to the place where they were about to be connected, too ashamed to make eye contact.

 

“Keep it up Wonwoo.” Mingyu snickered, wiping away a tear from the fox’s eyes. “If you keep crying it’s gonna make me cum faster.”

 

Wonwoo cringed.

 

“You’re disgusting.” 

 

The remark caused Mingyu to scowl, prompting him to lower his head and open his jaws. Wonwoo’s breath hitched at the sight and he turned his head away, shaking in fear as he felt Mingyu exhale on his collarbone. 

 

“I think I wanna fuck you like this. I want you to look at me while I fuck yor brains out and use you as my cum dump.” Mingyu chuckled, looking down at the omega’s pale and tiny waist which would soon be burdened with carrying the whole future of his pack. Wonwoo always wanted kids. Mingyu wanted his own pack. It was plain and simple.

 

Before Mingyu’s smirk could deepen, his werewolf hearing picked up on something. The softest whimper. 

 

It wasn’t teasing or taking the piss out of him. The whimper didn’t even rile him up like Wonwoo had been doing prior. It was much more genuine. He didn’t need to look into Wonwoo’s eyes to know it, but he did. The omega lifted his cheek from the cave floor slowly, mustering the courage to stare at him with those blue eyes.

 

“Gyu.”

 

Mingyu’s face fell as if a revelation had just come over him. 

 

What was he doing here? Why were they naked?

 

The alpha’s eyes widened and he propelled himself back, still looming over Wonwoo but looking down at him as if he just killed him,

 

“W-What?”

 

“Please- can you please just let me go. I- I won’t tell anyone about this. I couldn’t care. Please- believe me. I won’t- I-”

 

“Fuck.” Mingyu cursed, sealing his eyes shut and clutching his head with a hand.

 

“Fuck- shit! I- What the fuck did I do-”

 

“I’m in heat.” Wonwoo said, trying to hide his watery eyes. “It’s affecting you.”

 

“Go!”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Go! Get out of here! I- I can’t- I can’t control myself!” 

 

Wonwoo blinked rapidly, still not knowing what was going on.

 

“Gyu- I can help-“

 

“What did I just say?” Mingyu roared angrily, growling at him and lunging forward. “Get out of here before I fucking kill you!” 

 

Wonwoo gulped and nodded, scooting back on his arms and legs like a crab before twisting around and climbing up the tunnel and out of the cave.

 

As soon as the omega-fox hybrid transformed once again, as evident by the small rustling noise of paws on leaves and fur against the brush, Mingyu climbed out as well.

 

What came out of the cave was much more monstrous than the man who had almost forced himself on Wonwoo, and much more of an animal than the wolf he had transformed into when he chased the omega. What came out of the cave was a full-fledged werewolf beast, carrying itself as if the ground was not enough to support its weight.

 

Mingyu couldn’t haved lived with himself if he had gone any further. And in one last breath he howled. The old Mingyu would never have done what he had almost done just then. But then again, the old Mingyu had known shame and remorse. 

 

As he narrowed his red eyes at the moon, he realized something. The old Mingyu had to die. That was when he roared.

Chapter Text

 

He woke up again… And it felt the same as always. As if a monstrous and beastly alpha hadn’t just attempted to knot him. His quilt was soft and shined white in the late morning sun. Birds chirped and their shadows fluttered past the blinds. It was the perfect time to just lay in bed and think. 

 

His head was pounding. Usually aches were reserved for heats but it was also a side effect of taking heat suppressants. Hence the flimsy package of pills and the glass of water next to his bed. What would he do without Seungkwan and Woozi? Nevermind Jun and Vernon. They weren’t even mated but they could still keep their noses away and boners down even when an omega was practically leaking slick in front of them. He knew he shouldn’t compare alphas to betas. There was a difference in the thresholds of control each rank had. But still… If Chaeyeon went into heat could Seungcheol even keep his pants on? 

 

Wonwoo didn’t want to think about him right now. That no good, lowlife, degenerate- He should stop before he’ have to wash his mouth out with soap. 

 

His sheets were all wrinkled by the time he was trying to get rid of him in his head.

 

Wonwoo couldn’t help but let his mind drift to Mingyu and everything he did and said. 

 

Knotting? Was he serious? Scratch that. Mingyu was just drunk. Both on beer and his omega pheromones. Come to think of it, he was lucky he even made it back. If it weren’t for the moment of hesitation that the alpha had plus his strength of character in that second, he would have never gotten back to Woozi and Seungkwan, nevermind the poor and unfortunate Soonyoung who had to drive them all home and have his backseat soaked.

 

Forget about that, if there was one big question that eluded him, it was Mingyu’s knot.

 

Wait- Did he just think about another guy’s dick?

 

He couldn’t stop the blush from forming on his cheeks and he tugged the covers over his face, even if he was alone in his bedroom. He’d be able to face Soonyoung Monday at school and not even bat an eyelash but Mingyu… He’d rather die. 

 

Those kinds of things - or knots, shall he say - were only for omegas, not to mention, true mates. And there was no way in hell they could be compatible let alone even be normal mates with each other.

 

Now, that reminded him, didn’t Mingyu say he and Chaeyeon weren’t true mates? Or did he zone out and hear something incorrectly? If he was right, it would have explained why Mingyu was so adamantly uncaring and callous about the subject of Chaeyeon, not even thinking about her as he harassed him. It was kind of weird though. Mingyu and Chaeyeon had been together for a while. To think Mingyu would ever waste his time with her if it wasn’t worthwhile....

 

But then again, Mingyu was a spiteful human being and probably dated Chaeyeon just to piss him off. Yes, he was aware of Mingyu’s resolve. The alpha would do anything to make his life miserable. 

 

At least he could agree with himself that Mingyu was petty and had a knack for using others and hurting their feelings. That probably explained why Mingyu “confessed” to him in the cave. It was the cherry on top of the ice cream of cold-heartedness. When did he ever not take Mingyu’s word with a grain of salt? To think he’d stop now, simply because Mingyu had looked at him with those puppy dog eyes for once….

 

Anyways, Chaeyeon didn’t seem so hurt after her little skirmish with the alpha. He’d heard she’d gotten frisky with one of his friends while all of the chaos was going down. But it wasn't like Mingyu ever cared for that matter. As long as Chaeyeon didn’t get STDs Mingyu was cool with it. 

 

Annoying him was probably Mingyu’s favorite thing to do. It probably even outranked making out with his girlfriend.

 

It was open season for any werewolf when it came to Mingyu’s girlfriend. Of course, when he wasn’t busy using her to get off. 

 

He jumped slightly as his feet hit the cold floor and he strutted over to his dresser like a ballet dancer to fetch his clothes. He didn’t even want to look at himself in the mirror of his bureau; he was just that afraid and disgusted by himself. 

 

G.W.F. Hegel, a 19th century German philosopher, had once theorized that self-consciousness was the result of the subject’s recognition of other subjects. In other words, men were self conscious because they became aware of other men. Furthermore, human beings perceive themselves through the eyes of others. 

 

Even in the corner of his eye he could see his own pale legs sticking out from under his loose and thin soccer shorts. He wondered how pale he would have been in the moonlight, splayed out for all those people to see. If Seungcheol had been there to witness it, he probably wouldn’t even want to be with him anymore. Who wanted a scrawny pale omega anyways? The secret had been out.

 

Besides Mingyu, Matthew - or whatever his name is - was next on his list. Maybe he could train Jungkook to sic him or something. He’d have him pluck his slimy scales out one by one-

 

The sound of movement downstairs interrupted him. It was a good thing too otherwise he would have crushed his glass cologne bottle in his hands. He couldn’t have his whole body smell like an omega trying not to be an omega in heat.

 

Wonwoo sprayed himself with a little bit of the mint-scented concoction before squeezing himself into a loose cotton shirt that was close to being see-through. He tried to tie most of the buttons but he went to fix his collar as he ran down the stairs, not caring if he was dressed appropriately for a robbery or an intruder. Woozi told him Jungkook had stayed over Mingyu’s lake house and would be back later the next day since it was kind of a far ride. He just hoped it was his idiot brother and not a robber. 

 

Stealth was supposed to be an omega thing, but it certainly wasn’t a Wonwoo thing. He practically thudded down the stairs like a buffalo, sliding his hands across the railing making it sound like a subway train was approaching the station. He was more than loud enough for whoever was laying on his couch to stick their head up, granting him an evil eye.

 

Wonwoo stopped on the last step, freezing as if he had just been paralyzed by a stun gun.

 

“What are you doing?”

 

“Trying to sleep.” the gruff voice mumbled.

 

Wonwoo huffed, treading carefully across the living room carpet.

 

“Oh, I see.” he chuckled mockingly. “If I may be so bold, do you mind telling me why the hell you’re here in my house?”

 

Seungcheol didn’t respond, keeping his head flat against the couch pillow while the rest of his body was covered by a thin blanket.

 

“Seungcheol, you better answer me. Now.” the omega gritted, coming around and standing at the other end of the space between the couch and the glass coffee table.

 

“Answer me!” he growled.

 

Seungcheol groaned, trying not to get a boner at the sight of Wonwoo in the shortest of shorts. 

 

“Would you lay off Wonu, it’s too early for this shit.” 

 

“Lay off you? Don’t break into my house and expect to get the royal treatment.” 

 

“Never bothered you before.” the beta said, voice muffled by the pillow.

 

“That’s because what happened yesterday never happened before. Or did it? Was I simply too naive enough to realize-”

 

“What you call love is what’s naive. Your view of the world is too. A lot of messed up shit happens. Alphas and betas aren’t always gonna be looking at the same person all their life. It’s an omega fantasy. A jealous and selfish one too. There’s more to life and there's more things that happen other than guys checking out girls. You don’t need to hover over me all the time.”

 

“Well, maybe what I thought about you was wrong too.” he swallowed. “Now get out.” 

 

“Why? This is when you’re supposed to forgive and forget.”

 

Wonwoo laughed, stomping over to the front of the couch.

 

“Maybe we live in different universes but I’m pretty sure in this one, in order to be forgiven you have to apologize first. And that’s not even all of it. You have to know why you’re apologizing in the first place.”

 

Seungcheol exhaled.

 

“I know why but I disagree. So, forgive me for disagreeing. Couples aren’t always going to get along you know. That another of your omega fantasies?” Seungcheol snickered.

 

“No. But you disagree on the fundamentals that are the foundation for a stable relationship. This isn’t me liking chocolate ice cream and you liking vanilla. This could be the end of us.”

 

“I don’t think so.”

 

“It’s not a matter of thinking or not, you have to want me to stay with you. And even then there’s a thing called self-improvement that you betas don’t know about. I think you should-” 

 

“Will you excuse me?” Seungcheol breathed out, though it sounded more like a growl. The older boy rolled onto his back and lurched upward.

 

Wonwoo let out a squeak as he felt strong arms wrap around his waist, pulling him down on top of the elder. His heart beat rapidly and he couldn’t calm down his breathing, especially not with Seungcheol looking so smugly at him.

 

“When you said this could be the end of us. I knew you were wrong. You’ll always come back to me.”

 

Maybe if he didn't figure out the difference between naivete and loyalty.

 

Wonwoo narrowed his eyes. 

 

“That’s what you think. Now can you let me go?”

 

“No.”

 

“I’m not in the mood for games. You know- you know I’m very upset.” he sniffled, wrestling his arm away from the beta’s chest and covering his eyes with it.

 

“Fuck” Seungcheol cursed. “Please don’t cry. Wonu, why the hell are you crying? Worse shit has happened to you. I’ve never seen you cry because of Mingyu. Why me-”

 

Wonwoo stopped quivering, raising his head up to glare at him.

 

“Don’t you see it?”

 

Seungcheol squeezed his eyes shut, bringing a hand to hold his forehead. Wonwoo really cared for him he guessed. It was kind of an honor.

 

“Fuck. I-I’m sorry.” he groaned, not having the guts to look at his omega in the eyes.

 

“You’re lucky I don’t hate you.”

 

“You should. I- I fucking deserve it.”

 

“No! Don’t say that. I’d never want to hurt you. You’re a good person- I know it. Please don’t think I hate you.” Wonwoo shook his head, falling against his chest and rubbing his face in the cloth of his tank top.

 

“I want you to. You’d be in the right if you did.” the beta chuckled, rubbing the younger’s back.

 

“I don’t.” Wonwoo mumbled, making a soothing circle on the beta’s exposed upper chest with his fingers. 

 

“I love you, hyung.”

 

Seungcheol’s face tensed but he opened his eyes, trying to process the words. He didn’t have much luck and he gave up, preferring to hold the omega close to him and stare up at the ceiling. 

 

He wished he could have been as happy and on the verge of tears knowing the omega loved him. But all he could feel was guilt.

Chapter Text

“Mingyu!” his mother raised her voice as soon as she stepped in the door, holding it open while she rested her other hand on her hip.

 

“What?” he snapped, still feeling exhausted.

 

“Don’t you talk to me like that. You’re lucky I let you sleep in like this. You’re even more fortunate to have friends like Jaehyun and Yugyeom who took you home after you went on a rampage. How could you get yourself into so much trouble, Gyu? Just because you have a higher tolerance to alcohol doesn’t mean you’re completely impervious to it. You should know better-”

 

“I get it!”

 

“Excuse me?” she hissed.

 

“Won’t happen again.” Mingyu snorted, raising his hands in defense. 

 

“See to it that it doesn’t. I don’t think you want your mother to drive up there next time and embarrass you in front of your friends. Though I think losing all your clothes and turning into a beast is bad enough. Where was Chaeyeon during all of this? Some girlfriend. I thought she was supposed to be your anchor.”

 

“She was busy.”

 

“With who?” Mrs. Kim crossed her hands, causing Mingyu’s nostrils to flare. 

 

“Yes, I went there Kim Mingyu. I think you need to keep an eye out for her just as much as you need to watch yourself. How stupid could you be when there’s a full moon out? The least you should be doing is getting drunk!” 

 

“Alright! Fuck, Mom! Why the hell do you have to be like Wonwoo?” 

 

“Well, out of all the things I could do and say to you just for using foul language in this house, Mingyu, let me just say this, you’re lucky to have caring friends. Forget about alcohol. It’s power you’re drunk on.” 

 

“Thanks, did you get your psychologist license yet?”

 

“Oh don’t play games with me, Mingyu. It dosn’t take much to figure you out. I’ve tried my best with you for years but I guess you’ll just have to explore the big world out there and learn from your mistakes. That is, after you stay here in solitude for a while.”

 

“What’s with the fancy language? Am I grounded or something?” 

 

“I know being grounded doesn’t mean much to you but this is different.”

 

“How?” Mingyu growled.

 

His mother’s eyes glowed red.

 

“Watch who you’re talking to.” she said darkly, walking over to his closet to busy herself with rearranging it. 

 

Mingyu gulped and sat up straight, watching his mother’s movements.

 

“You know how dangerous transforming was last night. If they saw you-”

 

“They didn’t. I was out in the woods.”

 

“Doing what?”

 

This better be good.

 

“Nothing. I was angry- It was nothing.”

 

She laughed.

 

“Gyu, no one who wasn’t angry out of their mind could turn into a ten foot tall werewolf. What made you so angry?”

 

“Nothing.”


“Nothing?”

 

“Someone.”

 

His mother scoffed.

 

“C’mon Mingyu, do better than that. Was it Chaeyeon?”

 

Mingyu shook his head and grinded his teeth, trying to hide the fangs protruding from his gums.

 

“It wouldn’t be the first time something crazy happened this week I guess.” Mrs. Kim sighed, walking towards the large window pane on the side of his room, pushing the curtains away to let the light in. 

 

“What are we gonna do about it?” he asked, pulling the covers off and getting out his clothes.

 

“We? There is no ‘we’. You’re grounded.” 

 

“What? Mom! There’s something fucking dangerous out there killing animals!” 

 

“Lower your voice this instant.” she hissed. “I’m not discussing this with you when you’re out of control. I think you need to work on your anger, Mingyu.”

 

“Thanks.” he gritted, turning to stare out the window where his mother had just left. 

 

“Hey.” she said softly, grabbing the doorknob. “I’m an alpha too you know. I might not be blessed with your genes but I got this covered.”

 

Mingyu scoffed to himself and sat on the edge of his bed as he put his socks on. 

 

“Grounded.” 

 

Since when did he ever follow the rules? 

 

II

 

“You lied to him, didn’t you?” Sehun asked in a whispering voice, sensing the vibrations of her feet as she came down the stairs. The sharp but tired sound of his voice no longer boomed as it had before the “phenomena” on the preserve started to happen. 

 

The tall, dark, and handsome beta stood in front of the large glass pane window at the end of their spacious and decorative parlor room with his arms crossed and an unimpressed look on his face. For a man who wasn’t a day over fifty-one, he had aged well. The only reason Hyuna was still with him. Well,  it was a  part of the reason. Now that he was older, Sehun always wore a sweater vest which she hated. Sure the color looked like barf and the material looked itchy as hell. But it was mostly because it reminded her that she was getting old too. 

 

“C’mon. Like you never fibbed to your son?” she huffed, picking up a pile of clothes she left on one of the arm chairs and began to fold them.

 

“I’ve never withheld valuable information from my son. You know that. I don’t like waiting. Especially not with all the shit that’s been going on around here.” he growled.

 

“Mingyu doesn’t need to know. Not yet anyways. I bet he’s barely even seen Wonwoo. They’re in ‘different classes.”

 

Her husband gave her a look before returning to his brooding.

 

“Besides….” Hyuna exhaled, laying down Mingyu’s basketball jersey which she had freshly washed and placed onto the backrest of Sehun’s armchair. 

 

“Wonwoo is so shy and sweet. You remember him.” she smiled. “The chances of them ever crossing paths is low.”

 

“You mean ‘peacefully’ crossing paths." Sehun corrected her. “Those kids hate each other.” 

 

“And that’s why I’m holding off on telling Mingyu.” Hyuna raised her chin, holding up an old shirt that belonged to Minseo.

 

“Telling him what, noona?” another man’s voice rang through the hall. If it wasn’t a fact that Mingyu was in the shower upstairs she would have scolded her brother for talking so loud. 

 

“About the arrangements we’ve made with the Jeons.” Sehun said grimly, not looking too happy about it.

 

Hun frowned, entering the room through the archway.

 

“I was under the impression that the decision was made under unanimous agreement. I figured over time everyone would have come to accept it. But you still don’t like the idea?” 

 

“I don’t like the idea, for Wonwoo’s sake. I’m beginning to think my wife over here doesn’t even know our son. Not to mention, what he’s capable of doing….”

 

“And that’s exactly why he’s grounded.”

 

“Oh noona, it couldn’t have been that serious.” Hun chuckled. 

 

“It was. I heard about the party, more than the both of you did. Yugyeom told me everything. How the poor boy was thrown into the lake by our son, in front of everybody! Wonwoo is a fighter if he’s been taking all of this crap Mingyu’s been dishing him. If anything is true in this world we live in, it’s that.”

 

Sehun looked even more pissed, itching to butt in.

 

“And that’s why I’m against this whole thing. To hell with all of us for not seeing it from the start. Ever since he came home upset that day- you remember dear. That was the day he swore his revenge.” he growled, pointing towards Mingyu’s room upstairs through the ceiling.

 

“Don’t ‘poor Wonwoo’ me. You saw it coming too.” 

 

Hyuna raked a hand through her hazelnut locks.

 

“And this will fix it. We just need more time for things to get settled.”

 

“Both in love and war.” Hun quipped, putting his hands in his pockets, staring out into space. With the recent string of wild cattle killings on the preserve, everyone in the back of their heads was wondering who their next foe could be. 

 

“I know.” Hyuna said softly. “Once the investigators are done with their work and we have answers, we’ll move on with the wedding.”

 

Sehun choked on air.

 

“You can’t be serious. They’re not even done with high school yet.”

 

“I am.” Hyuna narrowed her eyes.

 

Hun let out a breath, resting his body against the doorway. He couldn’t help but admire how his brother-in-law could stand up for so long, staring out the window. Ever since the second mutilation, the alpha’s mate hadn’t taken his eyes off the green grass plains outside, as if he would be privileged enough to witness something jump out of a sci-fi book and come to life. It was the first time he ever had gotten antsy, never mind grumpy. Mr. Kim wasn’t the alpha of course, but he had a reputation to uphold as a man. A fearless man. Competing against his wife who had been stoic during countless crises. While Hyuna coped with her stress in secret and tried to prevent her jitters by folding clothes, Sehun could only stare out the window, not bothering to hide that intense expression of his in the reflection of the glass. His sister's reaction was to be expected. It was how Hyuna coped with her stress. But Sehun? He could smell the fear emanating off of him. 

 

“These are strange times.”

Chapter Text

Monday rolled in quickly for Wonwoo. With his friends being all too gracious and understanding, they didn’t ask him any questions when he showed up at school. As if nothing had transpired over the weekend that they should be worried about.

Seungcheol had driven him to school of course, so it wasn’t a surprise that no one would dare to take him aside or bring up the events of Friday night, not when Seungcheol was giving each one of them a look as they entered the lobby. It was clear he wasn’t going to allow any mishaps today and for that Wonwoo appreciated it. But for the love of God, could they not all look at him as if they were attending a funeral? Yes, they were back together. Big deal!

“Wonwoo.” Woozi gritted, coming up next to him as the rest of the group followed behind them.

“Yeah?”

“So, I guess everything went fine and dandy over the weekend?” the beta smiled, making sure they knew just how annoyed he was.

“Yeah, it did.” Seungcheol let out, guiding Wonwoo by his back so they could walk faster.

“Good. Well, maybe next time you go crying to us tell us ahead of time that you’re gonna get back together with the enemy.”

Wonwoo scoffed, turning around.

“Everything's fine Woozi, please, believe me. It was all a misunderstanding. Cheolie didn’t mean it. He- he gets it now.”

“Get’s what? That he isn’t good for you? That he doesn’t deserve you?”

“Fuck off.” Seungcheol growled. “I already have to deal with Mingyu today picking on my boyfriend. I don’t need you nagging me either.”

“Nagging? I’ll do more than just nag. I’ll mess you-”

“Okay that’s enough Zi, c’mon.” Soonyoung grunted, pulling the shorter boy back by his shoulder.

“Don’t worry Zi, I didn’t fuck his brains out yet if that’s what your worried about.” Seungcheol laughed, earning a shove from Wonwoo.

“You’re gross, stop. And don’t talk to my friend that way.”

“Sorry.” Seungcheol mumbled.

“He’s more than just gross, Wonwoo!” Woozi huffed. “He’s turning into Mingyu 2.0.”

“Yo, Cheol’s got a lot more to learn if you’re gonna call him that.” Baekho laughed from the other side of the lobby before going back to fooling around with his friends.

“Mingyu wouldn’t know guilt, shame, or remorse so I think that’s a little bit of a stretch.” Wonwoo sighed, giving his best friend a sympathetic look before walking down the hallway with his boyfriend. They could be going through the worst of crises and somehow it would always revolve around Mingyu….

They were all still on the first floor and were just about a dozen feet away from Seungcheol’s woodshop class when it hit him.

“See you later.” Wonwoo sang, albeit a little timidly. He gave the beta a peck on the cheek before waving lightly and stepping backwards towards the way they came from.

Seungcheol blinked his eyes, looking dumbfounded at him as he stood in the middle of the hall.

“Huh? I’m walking you to class first.”

“Ehhh, sorry. I have to do something and it will probably make you late.”

“Is it in the library?”

Wonwoo scoffed.

“No, don’t guess. That’s so rude.”

“Gee, sorry.” the beta snorted. “What’s got my omega so worked up?”

“You.”

Seungcheol choked on air.

“Just kidding.” Wonwoo smiled sheepishly, secretly taking pleasure in his ability to rile up his boyfriend.

“But really, I have something very important to do. Bye.” Wonwoo grinned, waving super fast before dashing off down the hall.

Seungcheol let his arm fall to his side since the other one held his books, standing frozen between lines of students walking past him. He knew it was “rude” to assume Wonwoo was ditching him for something to do with reading or the library but it was a good guess. Wonwoo might as well wear a piece of paper taped to his back spelling “NERD” in big bold letters.

So long as Wonwoo wasn’t running off with some other guy….. He could afford the omega some freedom. After all, Wonwoo had kept him on a loose leash. With minimal supervision.

II

“Hey, look who showed up.” Jaehyun snickered, looking at him between his feet which were laid on his desk.

“Cheol’s got some balls being here.” Bambam clicked his tongue, scooting away from the vacant teachers desk where he had just got up to sharpen his pencil.

Seungcheol made eye contact with Mingyu almost instantly who was sitting in the center of one of the long tables in the middle, connecting two other tables so that it made half a square which all faced the teacher. Where was Mr. Jeong anyway?

“The fuck you talking about?” Seungcheol chuckled, moving to shove Bambam before he got to sit down. All Mingyu could do was stare at the wall with his arms crossed and back, laying lazily against his chair. He looked like he didn’t have a care in the world while at the same time looking like he could murder someone.

“Kim’s pissed.” Jaehyun announced to the class, eliciting some laughter to some of the other guys who were on their phones or getting their work stations set up.

“We get it Jung, no need to tell the whole school.” Yugyeom groaned, chewing on some gum to calm his nerves.

“What’s the problem? Chaeyeon give you an STD?” Seungcheol snickered, earning a pat on the back from one of the guys while Jaehyun shot up and laughed in his face with him.

“Yo, chill!”

“Don’t talk about women like that, Cheolie.” Bambam whined in a high-pitched voice, mocking the cheerleaders.

“Funny you should mention Chae.” Mingyu grunted.

“Aww, he has a cute nickname for her.” Jaehyun giggled, running past him and earning a push from the taller alpha which sent him colliding with a chair.

“What’s the big deal? I still don't get it.” Seungcheol shrugged, taking off his backpack.

“Chaeyeon. You. Lakehouse.” Yugyeom answered, tapping his pencil against the table. “I mean- you gotta be a dumbass not to see it.”

“Yeah, Kim over here might be a little slow but he ain’t stupid.”

Mingyu clenched his fists. “Shut up, it’s not important.”

“Seems like it is to you.” Seungcheol laughed faintly. He quickly lost his voice as Mingyu turned to glare at him,

“Shut the fuck up.”

“Ouch.”

Mingyu growled.

“I did your mom the other day.”

“Wow, nice comeback.”

He would have been scared shitless by the look on Mingyu’s face if not for the kid who poked his head into their class.

“Hey! Yugyeom, I’m your dad!”

“Shut up.” the beta growled, hiding his head in his arms.

The whole class burst into laughter, forgetting Mingyu was practically drawing lines in the wood with his claws.

“Anyways.” Jaehyun inhaled, trying to catch his breath. “You gotta admit. Chaeyeon disappears for half the night. You disappear… And you’re in the same house....”

“So what? I was taking a shower.” Seungcheol said, looking extremely exasperated while his voice rose an octave.

If Mingyu was catching any lies it didn’t look like it. But then again, it could have been the greatest of miracles that Mingyu was holding himself back from ripping his throat out with his teeth.

“Is that why Kim’s pissed?” Bambam asked. “Cheolie’s running up the water bill huh?”

“No. Everyone shut up!”

“Okay okay!” Yugyeom breathed. “Geez.”

Mingyu felt like snapping all the pencils in his case before moving on to throw desks out the window. His wolf was basically melting him from the inside. Why the hell did Yugyeom have to bring up Chaeyeon and Seungcheol being in the lakehouse together? So what? There were a bunch of people in there making out, doing it, digging through the alcohol… whatever.

He swore, if Seungcheol cheated on Wonwoo… He’d kill him.

III

Wonwoo was out of breath by the time he caught up to his best friend who had gotten to the third floor. Luckily, Woozi, being the independent spirit he was, had shooed away Soonyoung who wanted to walk him to class. Right now he was only in the mood for talking to his best friend so he was glad he didn’t have to ask the other beta to leave.

He caught his breath and rested his hands on his knees, getting Woozi’s attention.

“Are you good?” Woozi asked, turning around to rest a hand on his hip just as most of the people in the hallway went into their classrooms.

“Yeah.” he sighed. “I just had to say, thanks again for putting up with me last night.”

Woozi huffed.

“If I had been an alpha I think you would have been worshipping me and Soonie on your knees.”

“I know, that’s why I’m grateful you guys are betas. Jun and Vernon seemed to keep it cool though. But that’s not the point.” he chuckled sheepishly.

“I don’t want you to think I’m suddenly loyal to Cheol and that I’m putting my crush on him above my friendship with you. My loyalty’s been shaken.”

“Understandable. But I would be doing more in response to gossiping to your friend.” Woozi teased.

“Gossiping? I’m venting.” Wonwoo groaned, resting a hand on his forehead while he slouched to one side.

“Same thing. Point is, I would’ve slapped your man in the face for disrespecting me like that.”

“Well, you know me, Omegas have a thing called a mild-temperament.”

“Which means you don’t have the guts I guess.”

“Mean.” Wonwoo gaped, giving the beta a cold shoulder and shunning him.

“I’m just trying to keep it real. You see now I’m goin’. That guy you call your boyfriend just showed his true colors to you and he didn’t even need a drink to do it. I don’t care if he’s nice and buys you cute and sappy little things, or feeds you and drives you around. There’s more to people than their personality. Sure he can be nice and funny. But since when did we ever measure someone’s character like that? When have we granted evil people pardons because they told us how pretty we looked or told a funny joke? There’s something deeper and darker in all of us and Seungcheol proved it. Do you want to be with a man like that? He’s not even a man. He’s still a boy. You just try not to see it because the little child in you isn’t ready for the responsibility that comes along with actually choosing a good man to be with, let alone bear the burden of loving someone rather than just blindly being loyal.”

“Zi-” Wonwoo gaped. A choked laugh escaped his mouth as if someone had just impaled him with a sword.

“Where’s all this coming from?”

Woozi sighed.

“Life experience. But that doesn’t matter. If you want the sparknotes version of what I’m trying to say it’s this: A philosopher once said ‘learn to value yourself, which means, fight for your happiness.”

Wonwoo nodded slowly, letting the words sink in.

“Okay…”

“Now I’m not saying punch the living daylights out of people who cross you. I’m just saying, stand up for yourself.”

The omega inhaled a breath, raising his finger.

“Noted.”

Just as Woozi thought Wonwoo would run away in overwhelmed embarrassment, the taller boy stuck out his arms as if he were some action figure soldier.

“Uh, what are you doing?”

“Uhm, it’s called a hug.” Wonwoo cringed, not even looking as though he had faith in his own actions.

“So are you gonna give me some sugar or not?”

Woozi sighed. The both of them hated showing affection. Unless it was to Sungcheol and Soonyoung respectively. But still, they were like two positive magnets repelling each other.

“Fine.” the beta grunted, shivering as he felt Wonwoo’s cold arms come over his shoulders while he squeezed the omega’s spiny torso.

“Much better.” Wonwoo smiled, patting Woozi’s back.

Chapter Text

2006 - Elementary School

 

“Okay everyone, you all should be done with the pendant of your necklace.” Mrs. Gwan said, clasping her hands behind her back as she walked the aisles between their tables. 

 

Mingyu’s table was as chatty as ever, probably more than the table with a bunch of cheerleaders for their little-league football team. But that was besides the point…. He couldn’t have Baekho and the rest of them messing this up. They only had ten minutes left until class ended. 

 

“Boys, are you ready to go on to the next part or do you need more time fooling around?” Mrs. Gwan crossed her arms as she loomed over them, scrutinizing Eunwoo’s handiwork with those beady eyes of hers. 

 

“Uh- no ma’am.” one of his friends shook their heads, keeping his hands by their sides. Eunwoo and Baekho followed suit, not wanting to be accused and sent down to the principal’s office for pushing and shoving their friends. 

 

A warm smile replaced the indignation on Mrs. Gwan’s face as she came around and spotted his craftsmanship. It wasn’t woodshop class but Mingyu had made it seem that way with his impressive carving and polishing. Especially considering ten-year olds didn’t have the steadiest of hands and couldn’t draw within the lines. 

 

“That’s very nice, Mr. Kim. Especially the design. Your mother will love it.” 

 

Mingyu shrunk at the compliment, but kept himself from making himself any smaller under the pressure of his friends who were glaring at him in envy. Just because his heart got all gooey didn’t mean that he wasn’t destined to be the alpha of his little pack. 

 

“Thank you.” Mingyu nodded, avoiding eye contact as he focused on putting a piece of black twine through the hole he made in his pendant. Little did she know. 

 

“Show off.” Baekho snorted, pouting in his seat. He made sure Mrs. Gwan was away before he snapped his pendant in half between his fingers. He hated art class. 

 

“Shut up and don’t talk so much next time.” Mingyu growled, kicking the leg of Baekho’s chair. 

 

“Get wrecked.” Eunwoo giggled, hunching over his desk as he tried his best to carve ‘M.O.M’ into his pendant. 

 

“Fuck you.” Baekho retorted, shocking everyone at their table. Even if they were the delinquents of the fifth grade, it was still pretty uncommon at their age to hear the ‘F word’. It was one of the prime reasons Wownoo didn’t want him hanging out with that kid. Not to mention he had bragged about carrying a knife with him in his backpack.

 

He was pretty much desensitized to the shock that Baekho caused their friend group, allowing him to focus more on tying his pendant’s two strings in a knot while the rest of his friends continued to fool around. He couldn’t wait for the bell to ring. And not because he hated art class. Every other day when Wonwoo didn’t go with him from school to his house, he’d walk Jungkook home. So he’d have to get to Wonwoo’s cubby before he left school with his brother. Jungkook and his friends usually dragged him along to get home quick so they could play video games. 

 

Obviously he would have gone home with Wonwoo too if he could, but being the future alpha of his pack obliged him to spend half the week doing ‘alpha stuff’. That usually meant spending hours in combat bootcamp, scent-tracking, leadership training, rallying the pups.... the whole menagerie. 

 

There was no time to lose. He nodded to Mrs. Gwan as he made his way out the door. She didn’t bother to reprimand him for running, figuring that he earned the right to break the rules for the day. 

 

Before all of the kids could spill out in the hallway, he’d already made his way to the stairwell, pushing and manhandling a bunch of fourth-graders aside as if he was herding a group of lazy pups. It was training all over again. 

 

By the time he got to Wonwoo’s cubby - a tall and vertical storage space made of birchwood - the omega’s friends had already swarmed it like the paparazzi waiting for Britney Spears to finish eating so they could lick her spoon. Mingyu could only wait for Wonwoo to get out of geometry or whatever class that brainiac took. Since his mom hadn’t bought him a phone yet, he had to stand rather awkwardly outside of the ‘blockade’.

 

Seungkwan spun around upon smelling the presence of an alpha. While overly-enthusiastic and bubbly, Mingyu didn’t have to exert much effort in tolerating him.

 

“Hey Mingyu! You got here quick.” Seungkwan held his cheek, wondering where the alpha’s class had been for him to have made it to Wonwoo’s cubby in less than two minutes. 

 

“Yeah, my class is right down the hall.” Mingyu shrugged, shoving his hands and the necklace he had made in his pocket. 

 

“Ohhh. That was super fast.” 

 

Vernon, all cool and collected, stepped out from behind his honey-haired friend and waved in acknowledgement with a blank face.

 

Mingyu nodded at him before extending his hand and fist-bumping the other alpha. 

 

“S’up.” 

 

Besides Mingyu, Vernon was the only kid in Wonwoo’s friend group not to have a superhero or cartoon plastered on his backpack. By now, they were more interested in brand names than Captain America. 

 

“Hey Mingyu, Wonu should be here in a minute.” Woozi snickered, He couldn’t see Mingyu without imagining a dog wagging its tail whenever Wonwoo was around. 

 

“Yeah, he’s always late ‘cause of that Seungcheol kid.” Jun remarked over the giggles Minghao was giving him as the delta stuffed him into an empty cubby and began tickling him. 

 

“The sixth-grader?” Seungkwan’s ears perked up.

 

“Yeah. We saw them talking when the bell rang.” Minghao answered for his best friend all the while fighting off Jun’s counter attack.

 

Mingyu tensed at the revelation, already wanting to throw the necklace he had made into the wall and shatter it. But that was his wolf speaking. The rational part of his mind told him to wait. 

 

Noticing the turmoil written all over his face, Woozi walked over to him. Making sure he was being subtle about it. 

 

“Hey. Don’t worry.” Woozi whispered, jabbing him in the arm. “And quit looking like such a wimp. You got this.” 

 

A small smile formed on Mingyu’s face and he took Woozi’s hand, giving it a firm shake. 

 

“Thanks.” 

 

Two seconds hadn’t passed before Wonwoo appeared around the corner, clutching his textbooks and folders to his chest. The mob around his cubby split into two to allow him room. He looked pretty tired having to carry all that weight from one side of the building to the other, but he looked all the more happy to be with his friends again. 

 

“Hey, Won.” Jun patted him on the head while Seungkwan flocked to his omega friend and hung onto the side of his cubby. 

 

“Hey.” Wonwoo said breathily, letting his books fall to the floor in a loud slap. 

 

“Gee, how many smart kid classes are you taking?” Jun laughed, eyeing his pre-algebra textbook.

 

“Can’t tell. You’ll make fun of me for it.” Wonwoo hummed, not stopping the smile from creeping up on his face as he knew Mingyu was watching him intently. Just because alphas were all about violence, sports, and doing stupid things on skateboards, it didn’t mean they couldn’t appreciate an educated omega. He hoped Mingyu was impressed with him. The only reason they didn’t have as many classes together was because he thought being in the advanced ones would make him look more intelligent in the alpha’s eyes. It better have worked. He wasn’t laboring over his desk every night breaking his fingers on calculators for nothing. 

 

“I- I wouldn’t make fun of you.” Mingyu chuckled, scratching the back of his neck as he inched himself closer. 

 

“Oh, I know that, dummy.” Wonwoo smiled back, flicking him on the forehead before dropping to the ground to rearrange the binders at the bottom of his cubby. 

 

“Ah! Can’t you accept a compliment without hurting me.” Mingyu groaned, gazing at him even more intently as he laughed in pain.

 

“Sorry, you’re just one big bull’s eye to me.”

 

“Woah.” Jun laughed, coming around the omega to place his hands on Mingyu’s shoulders.

 

“Dude. Are you gonna take that from an omega?” 

 

“No.” the taller alpha mumbled, wondering what Jun had in mind.

 

Woozi instantly perked up as if a lightbulb had appeared over his head.

 

“Oh- we’ll let you two fight then. C’mon guys.” Woozi signaled to them, already making his way down the hall in hopes that they would all follow him. 

 

Lucky for Mingyu, they did, granting them some “alone time”. 

 

Finally.

 

Seungkwan was cute and all. And Jun was funny. But he preferred asking Wonwoo out without a chorus of “ooo”s going on around them. The alpha waited until the last of Wonwoo’s friends had disappeared behind the entrance to the stairwell down the hall. Even if they were still honing their skills in auditory perception, Vernon and Jun could probably listen in. Not that Vernon would ever do that. But Jun might. 

 

“So.” Mingyu broke the ice, twisting his right foot a little. It wasn’t surprising that he was still a bit anxious. He wondered if Seungcheol seemed more confident than him. 

 

“So.” Wonwoo smiled, hiding his face as he lowered his head further. Mingyu was beginning to think the omega was rearranging imaginary binders and textbooks. He had been in his cubby for a while now. If the thought of Wonwoo being nervous too didn’t make his chest swell with glee, he didn’t know what could. 

 

“I made this for you.” Mingyu said softly, pulling out the necklace from his pocket. 

 

“My mom already got a bunch of stuff for Mother’s Day. So-”

 

“You’re giving me the left-overs?” Wonwoo eyed him, standing up in an almost confrontational manner. 

 

Mingyu stepped back a little, frightful of those dark brown eyes that made every alpha in school want to look at them forever and at the same time never see their soul-piercing orbs pupils ever again.

 

“No- I-”

 

“Just kidding. But really, I feel bad.” Wonwoo shrugged. “I feel like your mom would really like this. You know. ‘Cause you’re her son.” 

 

“Yeah, but you’re my best friend.”

 

“Aw. That’s nice.” Wonwoo replied shyly, bunching his arms together in front of him which made his shoulders look narrower. Wonwoo was tall for a fifth-grader, never mind an omega. But that was just the omega hormones spurring his growth process. When Mingyu looked at him though, Wonwoo was a slim and petite little thing. No wonder he could always pick up Wonwoo three feet off the ground whenever he and the other guys had weight-lifting contests. Of course…. he hated it whenever another alpha spent too much time trying to lift the omega up and beat his record. 

 

Anyways, he was getting off track. Now was a moment to cherish for the rest of their youth. A benchmark in their elementary school lives. He couldn’t mess this up. 

 

Wonwoo admired the wooden pendant without touching it, keeping his hands behind his back to try and lessen Mingyu’s nervousness. Omegas were taught that a submissive stance would help make an intimidated alpha feel better in control and regain their confidence. 

 

“Woah. It’s beautiful. Did you draw that wolf?” 

 

“I carved it from memory.” 

 

“Carved it? From memory?”

 

“It’s what I look like when I’m shifted.”

 

“Oh, so you look at yourself in the mirror a lot?” Wonwoo giggled, bringing his hands back around to cover his mouth.

 

“No. There’s a lot of ponds in the forest where I train and hunt with my dad. You should know.” Mingyu smirked, clutching the necklace in his hand.

 

“I see.” Wonwoo inhaled mockingly, letting his eyes fall on the carving of a wolf again. It was brown so it must have been red oak. The detail was insane. Mingyu must have chipped a piece of wood from a red oak tree in the forest and bought it in to work on. The Kim Preserve was the only place nearby that those trees naturally grew.

 

“Here. Take it.” Mingyu held out his hand, letting it dangle by a black thread.  

 

“I- this would look cool on your mom-”

 

“No, it’s yours. I mean it.”

 

Wonwoo sighed to himself, feeling inadequate for never having done something of this caliber for Mingyu before. But he was all too eager to take the necklace and claim it for himself. It came from Mingyu after all. And it looked just like his wolf. It was better than a locket. 

 

Mingyu opened his mouth to speak again, trying to not get caught up in the Wonwoo’s reluctant expression.

 

“And, I think you’d look pretty with it. I mean- prettier.” Mingyu raised his voice a little to correct himself. As embarrassed as he was, Wonwoo ignored the red on his cheeks, lowering his head slightly so that the alpha got a good view of his dark and luscious locks, swirling on the top of his head.

 

Mingyu stopped himself from babbling any more, taking the honors and draping the necklace around Wonwoo’s neck. It fell around the back and curved down his chest, ending in the wolf pendant the size of a small jigsaw puzzle piece. 

 

“It’s so cool.” Wonwoo cracked a grin, pinching the piece of wood between his fingers. His smile was contagious, spreading to Mingyu who almost choked on his own spit as Wonwoo ran up to him and wrapped his arms around his neck.

 

“You’re like- the coolest person in the world.” he chuckled, tucking his face in Mingyu’s neck. 

 

Mingyu didn’t take the compliment lightly, smiling ear to ear.

 

“I want you to always wear it so you can be reminded of me.” 

 

Wonwoo sputtered.

 

“We’ll see each other everyday.” 

 

“Maybe once. But not all the time.”

 

Wonwoo tilted his head a little, gazing up at him with a devious smile. 

 

“I forgot the word for it, but you’re always thinking of me. Aren’t you?” he giggled. 

 

He was right. But Mingyu didn’t mind calling himself obsessed. 

 

“I am. Always.” Mingyu narrowed his eyes, not caring if it was embarrassing. “We barely have any classes together. And even if we do, I- I still miss you. After school- It’s kind of tough not being with your best friend. And online video games don’t count.” 

 

Wonwoo could practically hear the pout in the alpha’s voice.

 

“Alright alright. But I’m taking it off in the shower.” 

 

“I’ll allow that.” Mingyu huffed, adopting the tough guy attitude. Even if he was unsure about Wonwoo’s promise, he felt his legs become wobbly at the way Wonwoo ran his fingers along the black twine and adored the pendant with doe eyes. 

 

“Just- if you come over. Watch out for Beomgyu. He’ll yank it off.” 

 

“Yes, sir.” Wonwoo saluted him. 

 

Mingyu crossed his arms, raising an eyebrow at him.

 

“I mean, yes, alpha.” Wonwoo closed his eyes and curtsied. 

 

That still didn’t work, prompting Mingyu to put an arm around him and guide him to the lobby. 

 

Before Wonwoo could do anything more ridiculous, his wolf howled at him inside reminding him….

 

“Oh yeah, Wonu.” he said, stopping them and turning the omega to the right to face him. 

 

“Hmm?” Wonwoo inclined his head, holding onto his backpack straps. 

 

“There was- uh something. I was wondering….” 

 

Do you wanna be boyfriend and boyfriend?

 

“I can’t, Gyu.” Wonwoo whined. “My mom said I have to stay home to make sure my stupid brother and his friends don’t burn the house down.”

 

“No!” he groaned. “That’s not what I was gonna ask. I wanted to know if- if you wanted to hang out and get pizza tomorrow? I earned fifty-bucks shoveling snow this winter. So I can pay for you.”

 

Wonwoo shook his head.

 

“That’s your money though. You’re too nice to me.” he giggled, hoping Mingyu was going to spend the money on all his friends and not just him.

 

“I wanna spend it on you. Mom told me you got all fours on your report card so you deserve it.” 

 

Wonwoo blushed, muttering a ‘thanks’ as he nudged the alpha’s shoulder.  

 

“Is Baekho coming?”

 

“No. It’ll just be you and me. No one else.”

 

“Alright. That sounds cool. But I’d feel bad if our friends couldn’t come. Why not celebrate with them. I can pay-”

 

“No. My money. My rules.” 

 

“Fine, but it sounds like a date though.” Wonwoo scrunched his nose and smiled as he got in Mingyu’s face. 

 

“What else are we going to do besides get pizza. Are we gonna walk in the park? So romantic.”

 

Mingyu was caught off guard a little.

 

“Maybe- I mean- you could think of it like that. I also was thinking we could get ice cream and go to the rink-”

 

“WONWOO!” a loud voice roared from the exit to the stairwell.

 

“It’s my brother.” Wonwoo groaned, running a hand through his hair which always managed to make Mingyu drool at the sight. 

 

Wonwoo was too fixated on the voice coming from the stairwell to notice that Mingyu was enamored with him. 

 

It wasn’t long until the figure of Wonwoo’s ‘little bother ’ rounded the corner, appearing like a demon in his nightmares waiting for him at the end of a dark corridor.

 

“We’ve been waiting forever! Are you coming with us or not?” Jungkook growled. 

 

“Leave us alone for a minute. Go play in the street with your dumb friends.” 

 

“Fine, I’ll just tell mom you committed child neglect-”

 

“I’m coming. Gosh!” Wonwoo barked at him, turning around to give Mingyu an apologetic look. 

 

“I’ll meet you in the lobby tomorrow after school. Like always.” 

 

Mingyu’s wolf jumped with joy inside but he was having a hard time smiling on the outside with Jungkook acting like a brat. 

 

The alpha took his necklace in hand and looked up at him. 

 

“Wanna bet Jungkook gets run over on your walk home?”

 

Wonwoo shook his head.

 

“I hope.” 

 

Chapter Text



Woozi had just texted him begging to know where he was. It looked like Soonyoung was acting all lovey-dovey with him and too cute that Woozi needed his omega presence to calm things down. The group chat was still alive and well considering all the memes and gifs Seungkwan and Jun were sending with the occasional input from Vernon and Minghao. It was funny because he knew they were all sitting at the same table but still texting each other… What had this generation come to? He felt like an old soul, born in the wrong century. Sure there were injustices and diseases back then. But he could risk getting cholera and typhoid if it meant getting to see Tchaikovsky play in the concert hall rather than see a Tik-Toker pointing at imaginary thought bubbles in the air while dancing to songs that would have been background music for advertisements at best. He swore, some day things were going to change-

 

He slowed down a little in the hallway as the striking of a few chords hit him in the face like the school’s drafty air. There wasn’t anyone around in the white-walled corridor, just him and the music… 

 

Of course the hall wasn’t that busy. It was one of those short cuts he knew to get to the cafeteria fast, running between the atrium and the auditorium. The music was something he could have sworn he heard a while ago, but it was just as clear as if he were wearing headphones. Weird. 

 

Compelled by the urge to investigate, he stopped at the side entrance to the black box theater on the right, peeking his head in. There at the base of the amphitheater in the auditorium, sat a boy at a large and sleek-looking piano. He looked like one of those pianists who played at hotels and restaurants, not really looking like he owned the place but he wasn’t that invisible either. The way the stage light shone upon him made him look ghostly.

 

The boy sat with his back facing towards him at the door while his body moved with the rhythm, jerking slightly with every new note. His head darted up and down every time he had to reach to the left or right, but it was all done in a very slow fashion, like everything was programmed, the confidence in his own muscle memory allowing him to relax and take it slow.

 

“Woah.” Wonwoo breathed, clutching the side of the small exit door with both hands as if he were peeking around a tree. Apparently, the small awed gasp alerted the boy at the piano who whipped his head around to look at him. His nimble fingers abruptly stopped playing, leaving him with a void of agonizing dissatisfaction. 

 

Shoot.

 

“Uh- hi.” Wonwoo smiled lightly, waving his hand quickly.

 

“Hey.” the boy grinned, looking like he had just discovered a bottle of beer in his dad’s fridge. Now that he saw his face, the kid could have passed more for a bad-boy kind of goth than a piano player. He didn’t smell like a wolf either. What was he?

 

His smile nonetheless told him to come in and he stepped onto the black-matted basin at the bottom of the amphitheater, all of a sudden noticing the marks in the ground from the tap shoes of the school’s dance club.

 

“I know it’s obvious but since I don’t have anything else to say and this is kind of awkward but…. You play piano?”

 

“Yeah. I’m pretty good huh?”

 

“Oh. So you’re one of those.” Wonwoo scoffed.

 

The boy’s face darkened slightly, as if he had just been caught.

 

“One of what?”

 

“A narcissist. But now that I think about it, you’re one of the few people I’ve met who has a right to be proud and arrogant. I like piano music so I hope that makes me a certified judge.”

 

“Nah you don’t need to be a judge. I’d prefer hearing feedback from my classmates than an actual judge.”

 

“Your welcome.” Wonwoo smiled, clasping his hands behind his back as he came around the piano.

 

“So are you practicing for a concert?”

 

“Nah. I just saw this piano and I wanted to play.”

 

Now that the guy mentioned it, Mr. Shin must have had the piano moved into the auditorium to practice for the school's upcoming ‘theater production’. That was his way of saying ‘play’ but ‘play’ was too elementary for him. Anyways, it was nice to hear the grand piano was in good working condition.

 

“I’ve heard the song before. What’s it called again?” Wonwoo pursed his lips, bending slightly to rest his elbow on the piano to hold his chin up. The boy pretended not to take in his arched figure too much, running a hand through his hair to distract himself. Wownoo couldn’t help it that he looked like a glass figurine that belonged on the shelf in someone’s mansion. Sometimes it was his mere body more than his posture that made it seem like he was flirting. The guys in their school had always said that looking at him was the equivalent of being cut simply by looking at a sharp knife. But the boy didn’t appear phased.

 

Snickering, he straightened his posture.

 

“I’ll play it again. Try to guess.” 

 

“Okay.” Wonwoo hummed, narrowing his eyes as he stared up at the curtains in front of them. 

 

The boy started slowly, moving forward as the notes spiraled down to a lower sound. He felt his mind swirl like he was looking down a spiral staircase, feeling every thought evacuate, fleeting into darkness. The music was devoid of any spirit. It was decadent, classy, and elegant, but there was no substance. It wasn’t pathetic, nor was it epic and grand. It was simply meant for decoration, hence why it sounded like hotel or restaurant music rather than a military march or a jolly dance. It made him feel nihilistic… Like all hope was lost, but it wasn’t heavy nor tight around his chest. It was like he could sigh in relief as he heard the music, relief that he no longer had responsibility and was liberated from everything. Everything meaning his morals and his integrity which was like the leather vest and chains that mental asylum inmates were wrapped in. It was like he was emerging from a nightmare, lucidly sitting on a couch and staring at the wall. Like he had just broken up with Seungcheol. 

 

If anything rang true, it was the fact that he didn’t know what love really was until he wasn’t in it anymore. This was not heartbrokenness nor was it the fantasy of a naive little girl. This was the cold, clinical, sterile, and antiseptic truth. Brokenness would have caused him to resent love. And infatuation would have caused him to become obsessed with it. But now, because he felt nothing, he was able to analyze the meaning of love like a scientist dissecting a frog on a cold hard table. 

 

That was enough.

 

“Dominique’s Theme’ right?” Wonwoo asked, interrupting the piano player’s movements. 

 

“From The Fountainhead?

 

“Max Steiner. 1949.” the boy grinned, stopping with an enthusiastic push away from the keys.

 

“I forgot I saw the movie. The book was better, though I did love the music. But only on certain occasions and when I was in the mood.”

 

“Such as?” the boy arched a brow.

 

“You know, on the nights where you feel lonely but it’s a good kind of loneliness. Like nothing else matters. Just you and a book to read.”

 

“Makes sense. But I can’t say I’ve ever felt like that with this song. You’re kind of a deep thinker though. You write an essay in your head about this song beforehand or something?” he chuckled.

 

“No. I just feel strongly about a lot of things. It comes to me.” 

 

“Huh.” the boy thought, shrugging. “That’s pretty cool. I also play the organ. But I don’t think the song would have sounded as good on that.”

 

“Yeah, organs make me cringe.” Wonwoo laughed. 

 

“Really? You strike me as the spiritual type. I figured you would have liked the sound.”

 

“Maybe. If they’re history wasn’t so embedded in paganism.”

 

Something flashed across the other’s eyes as he stood up to face him.

 

“How so?”

 

“They were used way before the Christians as part of pagan rituals. Don’t get me started on the animal sacrifices.” 

 

“Well, that’s creepy. But hey, maybe you could do a ritual with me sometime?” the guy wiggled his eyebrows, leaning against the piano.

 

“Uh no thanks.” Wonwoo replied mockingly.

 

You’re not my type.

“I have a boyfriend anyways.”

 

“Right. I forgot you guys were monogamous.”

 

“You guys?” Wonwoo arched a brow.

 

The boy saved himself from making any more mistakes.

 

“Christians. The Christian moralist part of you seems to outweigh the omega in you. Am I right?”

 

Wonwoo tensed.

 

“How’d you know-”

 

“Your knowledge of the organ suggested as much. And the values expressed in your analysis of the music. If you’re wondering how I knew you were an omega? Easy. You don’t look like most boys.”

 

“Well. I knew that.” Wonwoo replied, exasperated. He didn’t know whether to be impressed or creeped out at this kid’s analytical skills. 

 

“I still don’t get how you guessed my religion.”

 

The boy snorted, nodding his head at his neck.  

 

“Oh.” Wonwoo sighed, looking down at his cross he wore around his neck. “For a second I thought you were a stalker.”

 

“Stalker? What if I was just a psychic?”

 

“You look more like a male witch.”

 

“Trust me, I’m not.” the boy laughed. “Oh and by the way, I’m Jiyong.”

 

“Wonwoo. But you probably already know that huh?” 

 

“Shut up.” Jiyong snorted. 

 

“Just kidding. But I gotta go.” the omega said wistfully, pretending to slouch as he walked away. “I’ll see you around and hopefully we have classes together next term.”

 

“Same. See ya.” Jiyong waved, throwing his backpack around his shoulder and leaving through the other exit.

 

Wonwoo puffed his cheeks as he took in a breath, remembering he was late for lunch. Woozi was going to kill him.

 

II

 

“So do you know how to hack into the school Wi-Fi or not?” Mingyu growled, holding up the ‘school nerd’ by the collar. Even if it was dark in the vacant classroom Mingyu had shoved him in, the frail boy still thought the alpha’s face looked as menacing as ever. Not wanting to piss off Mingyu anymore, he nodded his head frantically.

 

“Y-Yeah. I’ll do anything. Seriously. Just let me go.” he yelped.

 

“Shut up.” Mingyu silenced him, letting him drop to the floor. 

 

The boy hissed as his feet made contact with the ground. Being held up higher than the chalkboard made for a harsh fall, but what Mingyu was going to do to him would be harsher if he didn’t compose himself quickly. 

 

“Alright. I need you to send this to everyone in the school.” Mingyu said, shoving a thick piece of paper into the other’s hands.

 

“A picture?” 

 

“Yeah, that too hard for you?” the alpha narrowed his eyes.

 

“N-No. It just seems like a small time crime for an ‘apex alpha-ha-ha-haa.” he cried out and raised his hands in defense as Mingyu grabbed his collar.

 

“Just shut up and do it. Send it to everyone.”

 

“Everyone?”

 

Mingyu gritted his teeth.

 

“Everyone.” 

 

III

 

School lunch was surprisingly tasty at their school. For middle school and elementary, it wasn’t so good. Middle and elementary school students weren’t expected to complain and if they did they weren’t taken seriously. Now that he thought back on it he was glad to be in high school. Maybe it was tougher and there was more work, but at least the teachers treated him as a human being. Well, some of them did.

 

He finished scooping chicken noodle soup into a styrofoam container on his tray. Of course he couldn’t forget the saltine crackers or the plasticware either so he grabbed those things too, crinkling them in his hand before shoving them in his pocket. Woozi had been patiently waiting for him at the table across the room so he tried to make it quick, spinning around on the balls of his feet with his tray in hand. 

 

Just as he finished his 180 degree turn, two large hands stuck out towards him, pushing the plastic slate against his chest. His tray flipped over, spilling hot soup over him. If it had solely been an accident with someone bumping into him maybe he would have hissed in agitation and told the kid to be careful next time. But as his eyes met Mingyu’s he more or less growled, staring up at the alpha angrily as if he had just been betrayed.

 

“What’s your problem.” he growled, fanning himself as the hot liquid ran down his chest. 

 

For a second Mingyu’s face tensed as he saw the blue glow in Wonwoo’s eyes.

 

“Watch where you’re going.” Mingyu huffed, pushing past him to get his own bowl of soup. 

 

“Dickhead.” 

 

“Look! Jeon pissed himself.” Baekho shouted from across the room, earning snickers and whispers by everyone who turned to watch him stand there like a fool with hot soup running down his pants.

 

“No I didn’t.” Wonwoo said tiredly, grabbing a pile of napkins and wiping up the mess by his feet.

 

“Shut up dude.” Shownu shoved his friend playfully. “That’s not piss it’s slick.” 

 

“Ayeeee. Kim’s got the omega touch.” Baekho snickered.

 

“You think he’s a squirter?” he heard some kid ask, causing his face to go beet read as he was still on the ground.

 

“Chill. I got a girlfriend.” some other guy replied, causing the table in the corner to erupt in laughter.

 

“Bet she doesn’t leak slick like Wonwoo.” 

 

“Dude, I bet you anyone would if Mingyu got close to them.”

 

“Yeah, ‘cause every omega is head over heels for a douchebag right?” one of the cheerleaders snapped. 

 

Wonwoo tuned them all out, trying to drown his thoughts with the rest of the cafeteria chatter. Luckily, everyone went back to their own business. Save for one person. He clenched the napkins in his hands as he spotted another hand reach down, coming out of nowhere to help him clean things up. It wasn’t until he spotted the leather jacket and the fiery hair in the corner of his eyes did he snap his head up in surprise.

 

“Hey, sorry about that.” Jaehyun nodded his head over to where Mingyu and a few of his friends had gathered at the self-service counter. Even if it looked obvious who he was apologizing for, Wonwoo knew what he was apologizing for as well. It was kind of awkward being face to face with the guy whose dick he had shoved in his face. But it had been a crazy week so he was going to give the alpha the benefit of the doubt. 

 

“It’s okay.” Wonwoo smiled, chuckling. “Thank you.”

 

“You don’t owe me any thanks. I know what I did was stupid. So... It’s awkward to be talking to you but I put you through more than just awkwardness and I hope I didn’t hurt you or anything. I know we aren’t really friends and you know me just because of your brother but- we should hang out. I’ll make it up to you.” 

 

Wonwoo’s mouth opened in surprise but nothing came out for a few seconds. He watched the fiery-haired alpha continue to scrub the floor like no one else was around him. Jaeyun averted eye contact with him with a rigid discipline almost as if he had been trained to. But no amount of training could hide the blush on the other boy’s cheeks. It was so cute.

 

“I understand.” Wonwoo replied confidently, trying to stop grinning. It’d be the second time someone asked him out today. Not that Jaehyun was even asking him out… Yeah, he was full of himself. He needed to stop thinking everyone had a crush on him.

 

Pull it together Wonwoo. For Pete’s sake.

 

“But I don’t think Seuncheol would like it. He’s kind of territorial.”

 

“Really? Didn’t look so to me last Friday. Why the hell are you still with that dickhead anyways?” Jaehyun snorted, throwing his napkins away. The alpha stuck out his hand, pulling him up as if it was just a casual favor but really the younger looked at him like he was his date.

 

Wonwoo smiled, shaking his head in frustration.

 

“The same reason why I’m talking to you. Except calling you a literal dickhead would make more sense and be way funnier.”

 

Jaehyun gawked at him.

 

“I swear you didn’t just make a stupid pun.” 

 

“I did.” 

 

Jaehyun let the unimpressed look on his face fade into another blush. The alpha just stared at him with the gentlest gaze he ever saw, the gentlest any alpha had been with him for a while. That was, in terms of his high school years. Unfortunately the moment had to be ruined. 

 

“Hey Jung, the fuck you doing? You’re gonna catch cooties if you hang around with Wonu.” 

 

“Fuck off. You owe him an apology by the way.” Jaehyun growled, shoving his hands in his pockets which caused his leather jacket to come out like a cape. It was very alpha-like and heroic, especially considering standing up to Mingyu in a serious way was a death wish. He had to admire Jaehyun now. Maybe he wasn’t that bad of a kid. Unlike a certain someone….

 

“Apologize for what? Being in my way?”

 

Wonwoo bit his tongue.

 

“There’s no reasoning with him. I’m going to sit with my friends. I’m really  late.” he sighed, rolling his eyes.

 

“Thanks again.” he added sheepishly, sticking his hand out and patting Jaehyun’s shoulder. The alpha stared at him expectantly, internally smirking at the idea that the omega thought he could get away so easily.

 

Jaehyun grabbed his wrist, hoping he could bear a memorable impression.

 

“We’re gonna hang out whether Cheol likes it or not.”

 

“Okay but I’m bringing my friends. And you’re the one who has to treat us.”

 

“Definitely.”

 

“You’re not gonna ask how many people I’ll bring?” 

 

“No. I figured imaginary friends couldn’t eat or actually do anything.” 

 

Wonwoo pushed on his chest.

 

“Shut up. Now I see why you and Mingyu are best friends. And why I’ve never been associated with you before.” 

 

“Well, you missed out on a lot of fun. And a lot of heartbreak and sob stories. So I guess that was a good thing.” Jaehyun grinned, still holding onto his wrist and warming it with his hand.

 

“Heartbreak and sob stories? What do you mean?” Wonwoo giggled.

 

“The ‘apex alpha’ over there is the biggest cry baby. Since I’m like- his closest friend, I have to put up with everything. That means I had to sit through his temper tantrums about you and what you guys used to have and all that shit.” the alpha snickered. 

 

“W-What? We didn’t have anything.”

 

“The rampage he went on the other night says otherwise.”

 

Wonwoo tensed. How much did Jaehyun know?

 

“Wha- I don’t know what you’re- forget it. I think you’re just pranking me now. If Mingyu’s so angry with me - and obviously, he is - I don’t know why you’d put yourself in harm’s way.” Wonwoo crossed his arms.

 

“You really don’t have faith in alphas, do you?” Jaehyun chuckled.

 

“Life experience.”

 

“You mean your history with Kim?”

 

“Whatever you say.”

 

“Jung! C’mon!” one of Mingyu’s friends said, whipping his hand to get his attention.

 

Mingyu stomped up to them, looking like a bouncer who was going to escort him out of a club.

 

“Fuck off, Jeon. Quit asking my friend for dick pics. Didn’t you already see enough?” 

 

Wonwoo scoffed.

 

“Aren’t you going to say sorry?”

 

Mingyu laughed, having a better idea.

 

“Nah, ‘let me make it up to you’. You know, actions speak louder than words right?” Mingyu smirked, mocking his friend who he had overheard earlier. 

 

“You got some stains on your shirt.” the taller boy snickered, reaching forward with a napkin and rubbing his clothing.

 

“No I don’t- What the heck! What’s your problem? You literally ruined it now.” Wonwoo groaned, pushing Mingyu’s hand away once he noticed the alpha had dabbed ketchup all over him.

 

“Fuck outta here.” Jaehyun growled, shoving Mingyu back.

 

“Dude, c’mon.” the taller boy laughed, trying to stop giggling. “You’re not allowed to sit at our table if you’re gonna hook up with Jeon over here.” 

 

“Fine. I don’t care. I’ll gladly hook up with him. I bet he’s a better lay than Chae.” Jaehyun smirked.

 

Something in Mingyu changed. An overwhelming amount of rage expressed itself in his bright red eyes and teeth that began to show but that all stopped when the alpha looked down at the omega beside his best friend. Wonwoo simply stared at him, taunting him with that blank look on his face. 

 

Wonwoo was so dead. The kid probably enjoyed holding ‘the secret’ he had revealed to him in that cave a few days ago. Wonwoo knew he could use it as leverage and ruin him with it. But he was too good for that huh? Wonwoo always took the ‘moral high ground’ because that’s what he was, a goody two shoes and self-righteous omega. Who did he think he was? He wished he went through with it that night in the cave and just knotted the omega. Fuck some sense into him. 

 

Mingyu clenched his teeth and stopped his claws from completely coming out.

 

“Stay out of my way next time. I don’t even wanna see your face around here anymore.” he spat, pointing straight at the omega.

 

Jaehyun glared at his friend, watching Mingyu join up with his friends before disappearing into the sea of faces in the cafeteria. Before they could even rekindle their conversation, a disgruntled Woozi appeared behind them.

 

“Where is-” Woozi was about to say impatiently before he was cut off by the sight of Wonwoo standing in the middle of the walkway soaked in what looked to be chicken noodle soup. 

 

“Wonwoo? What the hell happened? And oh my God- is that blood!?!? 

 

“It’s ketchup.” 

 

“More importantly, why is he here?” Woozi gritted his teeth, not caring if it was rude that he was pointing to the alpha next to him.

 

“His name’s Jaehyun if you didn’t know. And… he’s buying us ice cream tonight. He feels really bad about the other day.” 

 

“He is?”

 

“I am?”

 

“Yeah. Right?” Wonwoo smiled. 

 

“Oh, yeah. Sorry, you seemed a little skeptical back there.”

 

“Gee, if you thought Wonwoo was skeptical, try and get to know me.” W oozi huffed. “I’m still watching you.”

 

“Great. Now I have to worry about Mingyu and a beta.” 

 

“You pissed off Mingyu?” Woozi blinked. “Well, I guess I’ll change my mind about you after all.”




IV

 

Even with everything that happened earlier in the day, he had to have been the most excited for Seungcheol’s basketball practice. He hadn’t seen his boyfriend ever since the morning. Nor did he see Jungkook who happened to be too ‘tired’ and ‘wasted’ out of his mind to get up and go to school. He just hoped Jimin wasn’t a bad influence. Or the other way around. Yeah, that made more sense.

 

Anyways, he couldn’t help but let his thoughts wander back to Jaehyun. What was his deal anyways? Sure he looked like the devil incarnate with his reddish-brown hair, those glaring eyes, and the constant grin on his face. If anything though, he was cute. But as much as he wanted to move on and start on a fresh page with someone else, Jaehyun didn’t seem to click with him. No amount of misery or disillusionment with Seungcheol from time to time could ever make him cheat. Not that he wanted to anyways… Even Mingyu held a small, tiny, minute, insignificant - he could go on and on - place in his heart but he’d rather fight the alpha rather than admit it. That didn’t mean he’d ever be disloyal, neither in his actions or his thoughts. Jaehyun might have been cute and charming, but his possible motivations stuck out to him most. If anything they could hang out once, but it’d have to be with his friends as well. It still felt weird to even agree to hang out with the guy.

 

He’d have to ask Seungcheol for permission. Even invite him too. It would show how loyal he was and how much he valued the beta’s opinion. Maybe then Seungcheol could reciprocate. 

 

He cringed to himself as he walked down the hallway towards the gym. His own thoughts sounded spiteful, like he hated his boyfriend. Was this what wives felt like whenever their husbands didn’t listen to them? He was finally starting to get why they were all miserable. But he’d rather be miserable than end up like Mingyu-

 

Wonwoo stopped, hearing the piano in the auditorium tick. Who the hell was in there now? He figured everyone had left since it was after hours. Obviously, it wasn’t Jiyong. The sound emanating into the corridor was less refined and was choppy, sounding as though an amatuer was playing the piano. 

 

Seeing the time and knowing Woozi was waiting for him in the gym, he would have shrugged it off and sprinted down the hall. Yet the piano beckoned him, luring him like a shiny crystal orb. 

 

Whoever was in the auditorium needed a strict piano lesson. It sounded awful and broken, like nails against a chalk-

 

Oh.

 

Wonwoo arched a brow, peering around the door.

 

Some girl was bent over next to the piano whose hood was open and sticking up in the air. She clutched the side of it with one hand while she leaned into the soundboard cabinet, sticking her head in as if it were like a couch that she had lost something underneath it. Her other hand strutted out, and disappeared under the hood, like she was tweaking something small that she needed to get a closer view of and handle delicately. 

 

He recognized her strawberry blonde locks anywhere and casually walked onto the stage.

 

“Rose?”

 

There was no response from his classmate. Just her continuous plucking of the strings of the piano. Of course, he wasn’t an expert in the medical field but her condition looked rather catatonic, save for the small and detailed movements of two of her fingers. Everything else was still, even the air around them which was being pierced every few seconds with the shrieking piano notes.

 

“Rose.” he sang, swinging his arms a little as he was getting restless. What on earth was she doing? 

 

The tune - if he could even call it that - got louder as he walked closer. He swayed from side to side as if he were entranced, not from the groovy harmony, just from the sound. 

 

If he were to guess correctly, Wonwoo was pretty sure she was playing a super slow version of what Jiyong had been playing. ‘Dominique’s Theme’ he recalled. But it didn’t sound classy and elegant as before. And not because Rose was a bad player per se. Just from the plucking of the strings, one by one, every few seconds… It sounded haunting. As if something was bound to jump out of the piano cabinet like a deranged jack in the box that had come to life.

 

“Rose. Are you okay?” he chuckled faintly, trying to mask his nervousness. It seemed to be his laugh that woke her up, causing her to jump and hit her head on the raised hood of the piano.

 

“Ah-” she hissed, clutching her scalp. “Huh?” 

 

“Uhm. You seemed kind of out of it there- just now. I was wondering if you were like sleep walking or something.” he titled his head, still studying her as she looked around, not even knowing where she was.

 

“Oh, yeah- yeah I’m good. Thanks.” 

 

“Okay. Well, you sounded really good.” Wonwoo beamed, pushing up on his tippy toes and clasping his hands behind his back.

 

Rose smiled but she looked more confused than bashful. Her head darted down to the innards of the grand piano, still caught in a daze.

 

“Thank you. I- I was teaching myself I guess. Getting to learn the piano inside and out.” she breathed, beginning to walk past him. 

 

Nice pun.

 

“Alright. See ya.” Wonwoo waved, keeping a concerned eye on her before she disappeared around the corner. 

 

This day was full of weirdness.

 

Chapter Text

The coach’s whistle dominated the already high-pitched sound of the squeaking basketball shoes against the floor. The athletes who were sliding across the glazed maple wood nearly fell over each other as they reached for the hoop. Mingyu of course was decimating the ‘B team’ which Jungkook had the misfortune of being on. For some reason, Coach Kang enjoyed putting the weakest links all together whenever they scrimmaged. Weakest links being the youngest on the team. And not just that, but he went extra hard on them. Seeing no difference between a scrimmage and a real game. Wonwoo didn’t know whether it was tough love or the obsession with making Jungkook into the man he failed to be which made Coach Kang go extra hard on him.

 

Jungkook had to have been the best player on the ‘B’ team. Probably even better than an alpha on his best day. It was his brother, after all, who kept his team afloat whenever the coach wanted to play with them like chess pieces or use them as punching bags. But come to think of it, athletes weren’t as noble nor as intelligent to even be part of a chess game. It was more or less a kind of primitive boxing match or a rough and tumble chicken fight that they played. Jungkook was the rooster.

 

Eitherway, it didn’t mean seventy-five percent of the ‘B team’ weren’t attractive. Minus Jungkook because thinking his brother was hot was gross. But besides that, he couldn’t say the other twenty-five percent were ugly. Every guy had his own uniqueness. It was just that his omega senses always went off whenever he was in the same room as jocks who were all hot and sweaty. He owed it to Jungkook to stay in the hot and stuffy gymnasium but couldn’t they have played basketball outside? Mingyu’s musky pine scent had him on the verge of closing his legs and holding them together. Next thing they’d know, he’d be leaking slick down the bleachers. Slick had always been called the alpha’s drool of omegas….

 

It must have been an after shock of his heat the other night. Suppressants didn’t always fully kick in, especially on an empty stomach. He could thank Mingyu for spilling his soup. Bastard. 

 

Grumbling to himself as Mingyu rushed passed him, dribbling the ball, he made his way up the staircase to the bleachers, spotting his best friend and his accomplice. The nerve. How could Mingyu make his day so miserable and then ignore him like that?

 

Why was he complaining anyways? It was a blessing not having to speak to that jerkface. 

 

“So, where are my peanut M&Ms?” Woozi sassed him, resting a hand on his hip as he watched him sit down. 

 

“Uhm, you never asked. They sell them here?”

 

“Yeah, silly.” Woozi booped him on the nose. “I texted you.” 

 

“Ohhh.” Wonwoo nodded, whipping out his phone to check. “I forgot, I was in the auditorium for something.”

 

Soonyoung, who was sitting on the other side of his best friend, peered out from behind Woozi with an arched brow.

 

“You auditioning for something?” he chuckled. 

 

“No. I had a weird run in with that girl Rose. You’ve had classes with her right?”

 

“Yeah? What about her?”

 

“Well, actually. I’ll just say it was weird. I don’t want to embarrass her.” 

 

“Okay okay. I see. But enough about your escapades, you have failed your assignment so now you will have to pay a tithe to me.”

 

Wonwoo laughed mockingly.

 

“Okay Father Lee, I didn’t know we were in medieval times.”

 

“We are, and you will get a medieval punishment if you don’t give me the money to buy my snacks.” 

 

“I thought you just wanted M&Ms?”

 

“I did, but since you’re paying…”

 

“Fine.” Wonwoo groaned, taking out his wallet. 

 

“Soonie’s getting something too.” Woozi snickered, brushing past him on the walkway between the rows of seats.

 

“Thanks dude.” Soonyoung snickered, patting him on the head as he followed his ‘friend’ down the aisle between the benches.

 

Gee, he hadn’t realized how soft Woozi had got. Not until Soonyoung came into the picture. Woozi would have never booped him on the nose or even called him ‘silly’ unless it was to show Soonyoung he could be cute. That had to be it.

 

Wonwoo laughed to himself, leaning forward and holding his head up by his cheeks as he tried to spot Jungkook and his boyfriend.

 

“Babe!” Seungcheol said, a little out of breath getting off the court and  running up the stairs to get to his row.

 

“Hi.” Wonwoo said bluntly, trying to hide his smile. His sweater paws hid his hands which were firmly pressed on his knees and frozen in place as Seungcheol came to stand over him, swooping down to pick him up.

 

“Oh my- Cheol- stop!” he laughed, banging his fists on his boyfriend’s shoulder.

 

“What? I’m just showing my love for you. Can’t a guy be happy to see his boyfriend?”

 

“Yeah, just be more sophisticated when you express it. Like I’ve always said.” Wonwoo rolled his eyes, resting in the beta’s arms as Seungcheol sat down and set him upon his lap like he was sleeping beauty. 

 

“Whatever. I’m gonna express myself to you however I want.” Seungcheol growled, nuzzling his neck.

 

“Gah- seriously. Get your snout away from me.”

 

Seungcheol scoffed.

 

“Where’s my peanut buttercups anyways?”

 

Great, not this again.

 

“I thought I was your buttercup?” the omega said innocently, looking up at him all the while he had his arms wrapped around the beta’s neck.

 

“You are. But you won’t let me eat you.”

 

“Maybe when you put a ring on my finger.”

 

“Oh, so you don’t trust me?”

 

“It’s a safeguard. Plus, if I didn’t think so fondly of you I would have slapped you for being so dirty-minded.” 

 

Seungcheol chuckled, leaning over him to kiss his forehead. 

 

“I won’t ever stop making you blush Wonu, you know that.” 

 

“I didn’t sign up for it though. And I didn’t come here to get suffocated. Where the hell is your coach anyways? Get back to your team.” he groaned.

 

“Break time isn’t even over.” another voice said amidst the clanking of feet against the bleacher’s staircase.

 

Jungkook held up his water bottle over his mouth so that it was standing up completely in the air, allowing for him to gulp the water down in a matter of seconds. Wonwoo tensed as his brother stood near him. It wasn’t like this was the first time they had seen eachother since Friday. It was simply on his agenda to make sure he didn’t know what had happened with him and Mingyu. At least now Jungkook seemed unassuming but if anything, the Jeons were known to be inquisitive. 

 

“Hey Jeon, where’s your boyfriend?” Seungcheol asked the omega’s brother all the while rocking him in his arms. 

 

Jungkook took his last gulp and then began to tap his bottle against his shorts as he processed the question. It was clear the youngest was eyeing the position Wonwoo was in, prompting him to cower in Seungcheol’s arms in embarrassment.

 

“Uhm, he’s in school. Though I don’t think I’d want him here with you around. Could you quit suffocating my brother while you’re at it?” Jungkook teased, flipping his empty water bottle in his hand. 

 

“He’s my boyfriend before he’s your brother. So no.”

 

“It’s okay, I don’t mind.” Wonwoo said in a muffled voice. He soon fell into a fit of laughter as Seungcheol began poking his waist and tickling under his arm.

 

“Alright see ya, I’m gonna go throw up now.” 

 

“Bye.” Wonwoo laughed, squirming in his boyfriend’s grip. Apparently Mingyu caught sight of them, giving Seungcheol a dirty look. Peeking through the ruffles of Seungcheol’s jersey, he could see Mingyu glaring at him over the top of Jungkook’s head as his brother made his way down the steps. The alpha looked ready to crush the basketball in his hand but quickly shunned him when they made direct eye contact. 

 

Wonwoo knew he should have been giggling and smiling up at his boyfriend but he couldn’t help but deflate in Seungcheol’s arms, resting his head on his shoulder while he stretched his legs out across the beta’s lap. He wished Seungcheol was Mingyu. The old Mingyu.

 

Wonwoo shook his head as he buried his head into his boyfriend’s bicep.  

 

“I cant believe my little Kookie’s in a relationship.”

 

“Me neither.” Seungcheol chuckled, looking down at him to caress his cheek with his thumb. Though the gesture was more out of flattery than sincerity, Wonwoo could feel it on the elder’s thumb. As much as he burrowed into the beta’s jersey, closed his eyes, or relaxed, he couldn’t get warm. As if Seungcheol was just a cold corpse. Like he was dead to him. 

 

He brushed it off but jerked up, sitting up straight on his boyfriend’s lap.

 

“What- What is it?” Seungcheol tensed.

 

“I just remembered something.” Wonwoo breathed, giggling a little to suppress his embarrassment. 

 

“Hey Choi! Get your ass down here!” Coach Kang shouted, almost on the verge of blowing his whistle. 

 

Seungcheol lifted him off by his hips, setting him down gently like he was about to tell him to ‘wait here’ but the beta only smiled, grabbing his hand.

 

“Tell me later. I’ll see ya.” 

 

“Okay.” Wonwoo smiled, lowering his head as Seungcheol gave him one more warm look before turning around and trouncing down the stairs bisecting the sections of the bleachers. The loud squeaking of basketball shoes resumed once again, leaving him to drown in his own thoughts. 

 

If not for Woozi coming back from the snack stand, he probably would have slumped over and sulked. Thank God for him. Even with his bitch face Woozi always lit up his day.

 

“Won.” his best friend called to him, walking through the rows with his hand stuck out. 

 

“We got you something.”

 

Wonwoo clutched his heart.

 

“Ohh, how sweet. You bought me a gift with my own money.” he smiled, graciously taking the hot plastic cup of ramen noodles. 

 

“Zi really put his heart into it.” Soonyoung snickered, pushing the shorter boy slightly before they sat down together.

 

“Uhm yeah, only Wonu can call me that.”

 

“Huh? Why can’t I?”

 

“Cause you’re not there yet.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“You got to put a ring on his finger first.” Wonwoo answered for him, hiding his giggles in the cup of noodles he was digging into.

 

“Oh, I see.” Soonyoung nodded. “So when we tie the knot can I call you anything?” 

 

Woozi almost barfed up his peanut M&Ms at the sight of Soonyoung wiggling his eyebrows at him. Wonwoo blushed too and he wasn’t even part of the conversation.

 

Geez, does everyone who knows Mingyu have to be so dirty-minded?

 

“Why, what do you have in mind?” Woozi tilted his head rather snidely.

 

Soonyoung smirked.

 

“I was thinking ‘slut’ or ‘bitch’, whatever I feel like calling you when you're under me.”

 

“Oh boy-” Wonwoo choked, falling over onto his best friend who was already swinging his fists at the other beta.

 

“You’re so- gross-” Woozi gritted, slapping Soonyoung’s shoulder while the taller boy laughed. 

 

Wonwoo snorted in his sweater paws, trying to keep himself composed as he watched the two fight. It sounded like he’d have to keep an eye out on Soonyoung more than Jimin. Woozi was going to stay holy. He swore his life to it.

 

“Gosh, I have to get this on camera.” Wonwoo smiled, pulling out his phone and logging into Snapchat. The screen went dark as it loaded but soon he could see Woozi digging his fingers into Soonyoung’s neck. He was about to press ‘record’ but a notification dropped down from the top of his screen, making a loud ring. Normally, he would have pushed it off the screen to check it later but Woozi’s phone, followed by Soonyoung’s did the same. He arched his eyebrow, wondering if it was a group chat he didn’t know he was in but then a flurry of rings sounded out through the entire gymnasium where people were scattered about on the bleachers and the sidelines.

 

“Huh?” Woozi said to himself, pulling his phone out of his pants while Soonyoung took his from his blazer.

 

“Yo! The fuck-” Baekho laughed from the other side of the room while his friends on the sidelines nodded their heads toward him. 

 

Mingyu shared a cocky glance with him as he was in the midst of running with a basketball. He should have known that behind that sculpted and handsome face was the capacity for undeniable cruelty. That knowing smirk degraded him as he sat there, making him miss the old Mingyu even more.

 

Somehow… someone had gotten a hold of his school yearbook photo from his last year in middle school. It just so happened that picture day took place during one of his acne breakouts, not to mention when he was wearing braces which were basically some kind of torture device in his mouth. It was one of those really bad acne breakouts, really bad... Mingyu knew how much he hated how he looked back then. He didn’t have to open up to the alpha about it all those years ago but he did. And that was what hurt most. 

 

He should have ripped Mingyu’s dick off while he had the chance. 

 

Apparently everyone else was getting the same text, gaping with the same shock and surprise. And laughing at his photo with the same humor and malice, now indistinguishable from each other.

 

Mingyu nodded his head at him as if he had the nerve to ask him “what’s up?”

 

Wonwoo smiled hysterically, shaking his head in mocking disbelief. 

 

“You would know.” he mouthed to himself, crossing his legs as he shut out all of the whispers that had begun to circulate the room. 

 

You would know.

 

II

 

“What the fuck did you do?” Jungkook growled, shoving Mingyu back on the basketball court a minute after their coach blew his whistle. If it weren’t for the fact that Mingyu hadn’t noticed the younger glaring at him, he wouldn’t have budged. But he let Jungkook have the upperhand if it made him feel better.

 

“What are you talking about?” Mingyu laughed, playfully slapping Jungkook’s hands away which stuck out to push him again.

 

“You know ‘what’! Don't give me that shit, Kim.”

 

“I literally don’t, dude. Chill!” 

 

Wonwoo clenched his fists as he walked down the staircase to get to the basketball court. Where the hell was Seungcheol when you needed him? He figured his boyfriend would have been in and out of the locker room quick. It’d already been five minutes. It wasn't like he had to shower or anything. They weren’t going on a date! Well, originally they were supposed to go home and relax but he was going to ask if they could get ice cream. It didn’t look like happy times were ahead of them now though…. 

 

“Mingyu, c’mon. That was a cheap shot.” Jaehyun interjected, walking up to them and snapping him out of his frustrated daze. 

 

Speaking of ‘dates’ they were all supposed to hang out after practice. He wondered if Jaehyun remembered. The guy had been bugging him about it ever since he got his phone number at lunch. They all sat together too so it wasn’t like they had inducted a stranger into their secret society. Even Woozi had a good impression of him.

 

Woozi…

 

The last thing they needed was a hot-head firing everyone up, nevermind a head-shaped dent in the floor that matched Woozi’s skull if he ever pissed Mingyu off that bad. 

 

A loud squeak of shoes against the polished wooden floors hit him like a slap him in the face, bringing him back to reality. By the way Jungkook’s body was flung back, falling into the arms of Jaehyun and Yugyeom, it was obvious he had just made an unsuccessful attempt at shoving Mingyu again. Taking on the apex alpha was sort of reflexive. The harder someone tried to hit the guy the harder someone would be sent flying back. It was something Jun and Vernon learned, but then again Jungkook was his brother. And if that meant anything, it was that the omega got all the brains in the family and the beta was left with the brauns. If only he had more of it. Or at least, it could have gone somewhere else other than his thick skull. That was probably something Mingyu should never punch, even if he was the strongest alpha. 

 

“Hey! Knock it off!” Wonwoo shouted, realizing that the pushes and shoves Jungkook was coming at Mingyu with could easily escalate into a brawl. With all the more urgency, he brushed past the mob of sweaty jocks and pushed away the athletes that had gathered around the little skirmish. He swore it made them look like there was a chicken fight going on. It was Coach Kang’s plan all along. 

 

“He’s the one starting it! Come get your little brother.” Mingyu barked, pitifully slapping Jungkook’s arms away like he wasn’t worth the sweat. 

 

It was obvious Jungkook was adding more to the trouble than Mingyu was already causing, but the fact that Mingyu was taking joy in sewing chaos really made him want to strangle the guy.

 

“Yo Mingyu, don’t humiliate the kid.” Baekho teetered, giggling into his palm while his other hand held a basketball.

 

“C’mon man, chill.” another one of their teammates said, wincing as Mingyu stuck his palm out, holding Jungkook’s head as the beta swung at him with everything he had.

 

Wonwoo growled. That did it for him. 

 

He shoved his brother’s tormentor out of the way, and like Mingyu, Baekho only stumbled to the side since he was caught off guard. In any other moment if he had noticed the skinny omega approaching, any beta let alone an alpha wouldn’t have budged. But Wonwoo didn’t care, leaving his pride with the dignity Baekho had left. 

 

“It’s obvious you’ve always had a problem with me, Kim. Not with Jungkook. You sent everyone that picture of me, I know you’re trying to rile me up. I get it. So what do you want? You have my attention.” Wonwoo muttered, placing his hands on Jungkook’s shoulder and arm as he jerked forward to try and scare the alpha in front of them.

 

Mingyu didn’t flinch, keeping his eyes on him instead. 

 

The alpha’s smirk faltered though and it became clear that he was desperate to come up with a response. Mingyu could only gape at him, blinking his eyes as he tried to keep up their staring contest.

 

“That’s all you're gonna ask? Not how I got the pics? You’re not gonna kick my ass or anything?” Mingyu snickered, still not believing that Wonwoo was as level-headed as he usually was. 

 

“I figure I don’t need to ask where or how you got that photo-”

 

“Probably jerks off to it every night.” some guy in the crowd sneered, earning a shove from Jaehyun.

 

“As I was saying…” Wonwoo snapped, ignoring the slight blush creeping up on Mingyu’s face. “If you can do something like this, make a fool out of me to a gym full of people, get my brother to fight you, and get me to come confront you, then there’s no point in knowing how you got that picture because there’s probably a lot more you can do to me, and it will be a lot worse. So bring it. I dare you. And… as much as I would like to kick your ass, I won’t.”

 

“Why?” Mingyu huffed, crossing his arms. “Maybe I’ll give you a free pass to punch me. How’s that sound?”

 

Wonwoo scoffed.

 

“I don’t take handouts. Especially from alphas.” 

 

“Bet you wish you could take a knot.” Mingyu smirked, poking at the memory of the cave that still lingered in the back of his mind. 

 

As much as Wonwoo wanted to hiss at him and tell him to shut up with a pathetic wave of dismissal, the violent tendency in every emotional omega yearned to express itself. Actions did speak louder than words. They would speak louder.

 

Bringing his hand back, Wonwoo whipped it past Mingyu’s view, slapping the alpha across the cheek. 

 

“Oh shit.” Baekho chuckled, still holding his palm up to his mouth.

 

Jaehyun’s breath hitched while Jungkook went wide-eyed and gaped, confirming everyone’s suspicions that he was actually a bunny hybrid.

 

Gee, if only Woozi were here to cheer him on, 

 

Wonwoo hummed, not caring one bit that Mingyu looked mad as hell.

 

“Thanks for the free pass.”

 

Mingyu clenched his fists, trying to hold himself back from picking Wonwoo up and taking him wherever…. Preferably the cave again.

 

“That wasn’t a punch. But I deserved that.” Mingyu huffed, not at all sounding as though he understood humility and how to be humble. He was more or less taking pride in his ability to still look like a champ even if he just got slapped by the school nerd. 

 

“Glad you understand.”

 

Mingyu snorted.

 

“You omegas don’t even know how to throw a punch. Not to mention, run from an alpha.”

 

“When have I ever run from you?” Wonwoo narrowed his eyes, not giving in. He knew where Mingyu was going with it, but he was up to the challenge and wasn’t going to back down like the little omega the taller always liked to call him.

 

Mingyu looked like he was thinking for a moment, still smirking at him but in a way that showed he didn't have all of his chess pieces in the right formation at the right time yet. 

 

“I could give you an example, you know, an instance I remember. But I won’t say it for the sake of keeping your dignity intact. Omegas are all about being pure and all that flowery shit. Empowered and never accepting lower standards right?” Mingyu asked him with a shit-eating grin.

 

“Sounds a lot like Chaeyeon.” Wonwoo laughed, letting his head fall back.

 

“What’d you say about my girlfriend?” Mingyu growled, feigning anger. It sounded more like he was acting for the school play as he stepped forward and lowered his head to glare at him.

 

A protective arm came around Wonwoo’s back, and as much as he appreciated Jungkook being next to him he didn’t break the staring contest between them.

 

“I’m just saying. She doesn’t seem so pure if she’s telling the cheer squad about the dick sizes of everyone in this room.”

 

There were some on Mingyu’s team that went pale in the face while others burst out laughing, slapping each other on the backs. It only made Mingyu’s scowl grow more while Jungkook elbowed his brother. Even an enraged beta knew when to lay off the verbal attacks. 

 

“And on another note, Chae wouldn’t be your girlfriend if she didn’t accept a lower standard. What do you gotta say to that?”

 

“The fuck are you talking about? I’m the apex alpha.” Mingyu growled.

 

“Yeah, and there’s other things that actually matter. Like not being a dickhead. I mean, that shouldn’t even be an issue. But for you it is. Don’t even get me started on morality and being a good person-”

 

“I won’t.” Mingyu snapped, not wanting to hear Wonwoo’s presentation on what was wrong with him.

 

“So what did you call me down here for?”

 

“I didn’t.”

 

“The picture says otherwise.”

 

“Maybe I just wanted to piss you off.” Mingyu shrugged. 

 

Jungkook clenched his teeth, lurching forward restlessly. Luckily, Wonwoo was there to stop him, yanking him back with all the omega strength he had.

 

“I had enough of you picking on my brother.” Jungkook snapped, bearing his fangs.

 

“Yeah Kim, bang him already why don't ya!” Baekho laughed.

 

“You can cut the sexual tension with a knife for fuck’s sake.” 

 

“Shut up!” Mingyu roared, keeping eyes glued on the way Wonwoo was rubbing Jungkook’s shoulder, trying to calm him down. Why the hell did he feel jealous all of a sudden. The two were literally brothers…. 

 

“Kookie, calm down.” Wonwoo hissed, though it was more like a whisper as the omega caressed his back. “There’s no use in getting worked up. He’s playing a game.”

 

“One you're losing by the way.” Mingyu said bluntly.

 

Wonwoo paid him no mind, scratching the area behind Jungkook’s ear. It turned out werewolves were just like dogs and Jungkook smiled, melting as the omega’s fingers scratched an itch he didn’t know he had. 

 

“Get out of here.”

 

“Huh?” the beta arched a brow. “You’re crazy. Why the hell do you want me to leave?”

 

Wonwoo turned towards the alpha slightly with a blank expression.

 

“You obviously want to talk to me about something.”

 

“No, I don’t. Talking isn’t for alphas.”

 

“Well, it’s not like you can beat me up. I’m not an alpha.”

 

“Oh? I didn’t notice.”

 

“Yeah, so do you want to talk to me or not?”

 

Mingyu snorted, exchanging a few glances with his friends.

 

“You wanna go make out in a closet or something?” Mingyu smirked, not believing the omega was offering him an olive branch of peace. 

 

“Sure. Anything that’ll help you get over your anger issues and turn you towards more meaningful things than making my life miserable.” Wonwoo pursed his lips.

 

“Whether it’s meaningful or not doesn’t matter to me. I think it’s fun. But to each his own.”

 

Wonwoo didn’t even laugh in derision at him.

 

“Fine. I’ll talk to you. But you gotta promise you won’t break down and cry or try to get in my pants like last time.”

 

The slanderous statement earned a scoff from Wonwoo who ignored the ‘what the fuck’s and the chuckles coming from everyone around them.

 

“That’s only in your point of view. Which is, by the way, blatantly self-flattering. But believe what you want if it makes you happy.”

 

Mingyu shrugged before raising his chin to bark orders at the rest of the team.

 

“Alright, practice is over! Get out of here!” he said nonchalantly, leveling his head to look at him once more as they waited for the gym to clear out. Wonwoo felt a shiver go up his spine at the power in the alpha’s voice. No wonder Coach always made him second-in-command.

 

While all the other guys flooded out to the back lobby of the school or went into the locker room, Jungkook stayed behind, glaring at the alpha.

 

“You’re not gonna make me leave, Wonu.” 

 

“I wasn’t planning on making you do anything.”

 

Jungkook ignored the snide remark.

 

“Thanks, by the way. Now I don't have anyone standing in my way to fight you.” Jungkook warned, earning a pinch from his brother.

 

“Just go! Find Woozi and tell him I’ll catch up with you guys. Ice cream. After school. Remember?”

 

“C’mon, Jungkook.” Jaehyun said, stretching out an arm and guiding the beta outside the gym.

 

“Nothing’s gonna happen to him.” the alpha whispered, knowing Jungkook was listening. 

 

Wonwoo looked over his shoulder to smile at the fiery-haired boy, taking no notice of the glare Mingyu gave his fellow alpha werewolf. 

 

Mingyu would have stayed occupied with the question on what Jaehyun was doing with Wonwoo’s friends if not for the sweet-smelling omega in front of him. He’d never forget that scent from the other night. It smelled like home. 

 

Which reminded him….

 

“Why didn’t you call the cops on me?” Mingyu demanded, stepping forward to intimidate the shorter boy. 

 

“If you think you can taunt me like this, trust me, I play hard.”

 

Wonwoo arched a brow.

 

“W-What? I have no idea what you’re talking about. Maybe try beginning with something simple like… you hate that I’m smarter than you. That would be easier to argue with you on-”

 

“Do you ever shut up? Why are you always babbling whenever you talk to me? Answer the damn question.”

 

Wonwoo stared at him with a blank face, trying to look stoic when it was obvious he was at a loss for words.

 

Mingyu chuckled, turning his gaze away from him.

 

“I get it. You have the moral high ground. I bet that’s why you haven’t called the cops on me yet. You feel bad for me don’t you?”

 

“I think you deserve everything that’s coming to you.”

 

Woah.

 

That came out of nowhere.

 

Mingyu whipped his head at him, eliciting an arrogant smile from the omega. Wonwoo knew he had earned the respect of the alpha. In this particular instance.

 

“Really? You always wanted to pity me because it makes you feel superior to me. Like you aren’t an omega, huh?” Mingyu smirked, getting closer and closer until he had backed the omega into the wall. 

 

“You’re obsessed with me.” Wonwoo snorted, pushing against Mingyu’s chest. “Why would I even call the cops? I have Kookie for that.”

 

“Right. I forgot Jungkook is there to always fight your battles. But that’s not the point. Point is, I did all those things to you Friday night and you’re acting like it never happened.”

 

Wonwoo laughed faintly.

 

“I have no clue where you’re going with this.”

 

Mingyu scowled, having so many things to go off on Wonwoo for. Surely, the omega had more to say about him. But while Mingyu did beat around the bush and liked to tease, at some point he had enough. 

 

“Was I that bad Friday night?” Mingyu whispered, still glaring at him but his voice had become softer.

 

“Bad?” Wonwoo laughed hysterically. “You freaking threw me into the lake, and that wasn’t even all. You beat up all my friends-”

 

“Not that! Forget about that.” Mingyu snapped. “Was I that bad? In the cave… 

 

Wonwoo gaped, and this time it was he who didn’t know what to say.

 

“You almost raped me.” he sputtered.

 

“So I was bad then. Otherwise, you would have wanted it. My knot isn’t enough for you huh? Fucking greedy omega.” Mingyu growled.

 

Wonwoo cringed, shielding his eyes as Mingyu caged him in with his arms.

 

“This has nothing to do with your stupid knot. Alphas never stop talking about their own dicks, do they? Maybe I didn’t want it because one: I’m waiting with Seungcheol till he puts a ring on my finger. Two, you’re in a relationship, I’m in a relationship. And three, who the heck has sex in a cave?”

 

“Real wolves do. Real wolves don’t believe in marriage. There’s just what the alpha wants. And what the omega needs. That’s it. That’s nature.”

 

“Well, I’m more than just an omega.”

 

“Really? ‘Cause you seemed pretty into it the other night. Leaking slick like crazy.” Mingyu smirked, stepping forward again. They were so close to the point that Mingyu’s lips were almost on top of his. It was at that moment that Wonwoo furrowed his brows, swerving around the taller boy to get to the exit a few dozen feet behind them. Just beyond the double doors he caught a glimpse of the back lobby. If he could only get there before-

 

“Where do you think you’re going?” Mingyu growled, stopping him with an arm clamped around his wrist. It wasn’t long before the alpha pushed him back against the wall, just short of the double door exit. Too bad the locker rooms only had one exit, otherwise the team would come through the gym again and stop Mingyu. But that wouldn’t be happening. 

 

“Mingyu- just tell me what your problem is and we can drop it, drop everything. Get on with our lives. There’s got to be more interesting things out there that isn’t making fun of my school picture-”

 

“What’s more interesting is fucking you and fucking that stuck-up look off your face.” Mingyu snapped. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Ever since you forgot about me. Revenge sex is pretty hot.” 

 

Wonwoo pretended like he wasn’t fearing for his life, keeping his chin up high.

 

“Oh, so the other night wasn’t you actually caring about me. It was you wanting to get off because you’re just a horny- messed up dog.” 

 

Mingyu’s claws came out, aimed below his chin. Wonwoo closed his eyes, almost feeling the prickling sensation of them.

 

“You’re right, I did want to get off. But you’re not all you make yourself out to be. You’re just a slutty omega whose body I could have used and thrown away after like a fucking condom.” 

 

“That tells a different story than what actually happened. I vaguely remember you saying all that crap about knocking me up. That doesn’t sound like you were just horny. I’d say you had an acute case of puppy love.” Wonwoo giggled, still keeping his eyes closed as Mingyu tightened his grip on his collar.

 

“So you do remember everything! But you haven’t ratted me out yet? I bet you liked all of it huh? You were practically begging to be bred Wonu. Omegas don’t leak that much slick if they aren’t ready to be knotted.”

 

Wonwoo scoffed.

 

“How would you know that? Cheating on Chaeyeon much?” 

 

“I actually get laid unlike you.” Mingyu grunted, pressing him into the wall more. “But if you really want me to flatter you, I’ll tell you one thing…. You were the only omega I’ve ever made squirt. Kind of an honor. Guess you like me that much huh?”

 

“Like’ isn’t in my vocabulary. I’m not a freshman anymore.”

 

“Right. I forgot you were better and more mature than all of us.”

 

“I am more mature. I’m the one who wanted to talk, but you’re too busy doing other things.” Wonwoo gritted, trying to keep his pride as Mingyu’s manhood was practically bulging from his shorts and digging into his abdomen.

 

Mingyu ignored him, staring into his eyes as if he were a predator, trained to break and scare his enemy before devouring them.

 

“So what’s with Seungcheol then? You know, since you don’t ‘like’ him.”

 

“It’s none of your business, really.” Wonwoo said bluntly, titling his neck as he felt Mingyu’s face get closer. “But if you really want to know… He’s the one I love. And there’s nothing you can do about it.”

 

“W-What?”

 

“I love Seungcheol!” Wonwoo shouted, turning his head to the side completely as he couldn’t stand to look at Mingyu anymore.

 

Mingyu hid his shock and hurt with a scowl, closing in on Wonwoo's neck which the omega had so graciously bared for him.

 

“But you still haven’t told anyone about what happened.” he said darkly, trailing his eyes along the shorter’s collar bone. As much as he wanted to forget what the omega told him, he held onto it as much as his claws began to dig into Wonwoo’s sides.

 

“You aren’t worth my time.” Wonwoo hissed, hiding the cringe on his face from the pain with a spiteful look.

 

Mingyu flashed his eyes, but Wonwoo slid out by pushing against his arms and stepping to the side. The omega was not at all intimidated, flashing his own blue eyes just the same. 

 

The taller had to admit, he was a bit stunned. If Wonwoo could have escaped that easily…. That meant he must have been playing with him. This whole ‘talk’ was just to get a rise out of him, wasn’t it? To make him say stuff he could blackmail him with- or something! Foxes always were plotting. They had to. Where wolves could survive through brute strength, foxes had to think. And scheme.

 

Wonwoo was flirting with him all along. To think he actually loved Seungcheol when he willingly allowed himself to be captured. Could this game get any more crazy? Were they really playing cat and mouse? Or fox and wolf? As much as Wonwoo prided himself on being no-nonsense, he was just as guilty. He had to have known what he was doing.

 

They didn’t exchange any words, just glares. 

 

Mingyu looked more shocked and annoyed while Wonwoo craned his head over his shoulder as he made his escape, seeing if the alpha was going to chase him. But the taller never moved an inch, watching him silently as he slipped through the double doors of the lobby. 

 

It was obvious Time liked to torture him. He deserved it anyways. All he could do was stand there, remembering that time Wonwoo left him.

 

“He’s the one I love. And there’s nothing you can do about it.”

 

Maybe there was.




Chapter Text

“Why do I smell him on you?” Jungkook growled at him once they were all settled in Soonyoung’s car. 

 

“Yeah, you reek.” Woozi groaned, opening the backseat window. 

 

Wonwoo brushed it off with a faint smile.

 

“Uhm, Mingyu’s an athlete. And athletes sweat a lot.”

 

“Yeah, no. We’re talking about the fact that it smells like he scented you.” 

 

“Oh that. Uhmmmm, well, we made up. And, he gave me a hug.”

 

“The fuck.” Woozi whipped his head towards him, looking like that shape-shifting reptile chick from Star Wars giving him a dirty look.

 

“That wasn’t Mingyu, that was an imposter.” Soonyoung snorted.

 

“No, it was him. Mingyu was just drunk on Wonwoo’s pheromones.” Jaehyun snickered from the front seat.

 

Woozi slapped the back of the head rest.

 

“You alphas are all the same.” 

 

“Sorry.” Jaehyun snickered, high fiving Soonyoung who was trying to focus on driving. 

 

“Okay okay, we still haven’t gotten a decisive answer though.” Woozi said, turning back to his best friend.

 

Wonwoo crumbled under the weight of his friend’s searing stare, nevermind the scowl coming from his brother next to him. 

 

“What happened?”

 

“Yeah, smells like he humped you.” Jaehyun giggled, falling against the dashboard while Soonyoung struggled to keep his hands still. 

 

“Shut up, no he didn’t. I just learned a lot of things…” 

 

“Like what.”

 

“Can’t tell. Patient confidentiality.”

 

“Right. I forgot Mingyu was one of your insane patients.” Woozi groaned, staring out the window. 

 

Wonwoo pursed his lips, giving his best friend a sad pout.

 

“Hey, where is this ice cream place anyways?” Soonyoung inclined his head at him in the rearview mirror. Just below it, Wonwoo could see Vernon’s car with Seungkwan, Jun, and Minghao throwing a party inside it. He swore he could feel the vibrations echoing from Vernon’s stereo system. Kids these days…. 

 

“Keep going up the street, take a right, and then you’ll find it. Jun and Vernon have been to this place too so you can follow them.”

 

After a few minutes they turned into the parking lot which was relatively empty. Usually kids their age flocked to this place later in the evening so it made sense that there was no one really there. It was a sigh of relief for him too. He hated crowds. 

 

“I’m so glad no one’s here.” Wonwoo blurted out, hopping onto the asphalt of the parking lot before skipping onto the curb and walkway which lead to the entrance.

 

“Yeah, I could tell you were socially anxious so I figured this place would float your boat.” Jaehyun snickered, grabbing the door for him. 

 

“Gee, thanks.” Wonwoo rolled his eyes, walking inside. “So, since you know that I actually am socially anxious, you can order for me. I hate cashiers.”

 

“No problem. What do you want?” Jaehyun replied nonchalantly, whipping out his wallet. 

 

Wonwoo gaped at him, forgetting Jaehyun said he was going to pay for all of them.

 

“N-No!” he chuckled, pushing the alpha’s wallet down. 

 

“Huh?”

 

“You’re not paying.”

 

“Why?” Jaehyun arched an eyebrow, digging out a one hundred dollar bill.

 

“Because, you’re too nice. Seriously.”

 

“And I’m serious too. Now tell me what you want.” Jaehyun glared at him, teasing him nonetheless.

 

“Okay okay, uhmm, I’ll get…” he began, turning to look up at the menus hanging from the ceiling. He squinted his eyes as he scanned the print, trying to decide on all the flavors. 

 

“Oh my God.” the omega gaped.

 

“What is it?” 

 

“I forgot they had coffee here.”

 

“You want coffee and ice cream?” Jaehyun asked, not really caring either way.

 

“The heck-” Seungkwan cringed. “Wonu, are you preggers?” 

 

“That’s literally what all omegas are like. It’s not surprising.” Jun laughed. “Good luck, Jae. Next thing you know Wonu will be asking for pickles and ice cream. Cravings are insane.”

 

Jaehyun gulped, looking beside him at the omega who was too lost in thought about if he wanted decaf or extra caffeine. Mingyu was crazy not to see it. Wonwoo looked so pretty when he was deep in thought. The fact that Wonwoo would ever be pregnant was too cute of a sight. Nevermind the omega carrying his pups. Jaehyun couldn’t help but blush, trying to get rid of the image in his head. 

 

Did Wonwoo’s friends hate Seungcheol that much? They barely even mentioned the guy, let alone get between him and Wonwoo’s flirting. Pshh, if they could even call it that. Wonwoo was just being nice. And ‘nice’ was something Jaehyun hadn’t known for years, at least, not when he was in Mingyu’s gang. But still, there was a spark between them that Wonwoo never had with Seungcheol. 

 

Then there was Mingyu…. And there was definitely something going on. There wasn’t even a faintest of a spark between Mingyu and Wonwoo, but the wood and leaves were dry. Dry enough to cause a forest fire. 

 

II

 

“Hmmm. Seungcheol is missing out.” Seungkwan smiled between gobbling down his ice cream.

 

“Hmmm.” Wonwoo agreed, not really thinking much of it. Seungcheol told him that he had planned on meeting with one of his teachers about his “homework situation”. Rather than actually learn, the elder preferred letting him do his homework so they could spend more time together. It was safe to say his math teacher was most likely puzzled at the fact that the perfect scores on his homework didn’t match up with the number of ‘F’s he got on the quizzes.

 

Besides academics, Seungcheol had some family matters to work out. Nonetheless, his boyfriend gave him the all clear signal when he had asked if it was okay to bring Jaehyun along with them. He couldn’t have been happier that his hyung was okay with it. But it was all too easy….

 

Huh. Maybe betas weren’t as territorial as alphas. 

 

Jun and Jaehyun had practically squashed him in the booth they sat in, not caring if they were pressing on the places Mingyu had grabbed him. He bet they could still smell Mingyu’s alpha musk on him but if they knew what was good for them they wouldn’t pursue the question. 

 

“So good.” Woozi breathed, stuffing his face full of ice cream. He took more spoonfuls than could melt in his mouth. 

 

Since Wonwoo was the one being treated, he chose the booth by the window. A nice cushiony thing that had warmed up with the sun shining in through the wide glass panes. It was a nice break from Soonyoung’s cold and hard leather seats. 

 

“Thanks Jae.” Wonwoo said politely, moving his foot to the side to kick Jaehyun in the ankle. It was payback for last Friday.

 

The alpha winced, but grinned nonetheless. 

 

“You’re welcome.” 

 

“Ooo, kiss.” Seungkwan bounced in his seat, earning a nudge from Vernon who was blushing more out of embarrassment. 

 

“Here, let me help you guys.” Woozi stuck out his spoon, aiming to dab some ice cream on Wonwoo’s lips with the intention of making Jaehyun kiss it off him.

 

“Shut up.” Wonwoo whined, pushing his friend’s hand away. “You’re so weird. Jaehyun’s just being nice.” 

 

“Gee, so all I am is ‘nice’ to you?” Jaehyun wiggled his eyebrows, getting a soft punch to the stomach.

 

“Maybe you’d be more if you kill his boyfriend.” Woozi sang, trying his best to plant the seed in his head.

 

“Piece a’ cake.” Jaehyun clicked his tongue, smirking at the omega next to him.

 

“Guys, we’re not here to kill Wonwoo’s boyfriend. Remember? We have some important business…” Seungkwan gritted, all the while smiling like he was hiding something.

 

“W-Wait. You sure you want to talk about it now?” Vernon asked, nodding his head towards the other alpha at the table next to Wonwoo.

 

“Oh- oops. Uhm. So, you guys are all ready to go to the club tomorrow night?” Seungkwan smiled sheepishly, prompting Vernon to spit out his water while Wonwoo choked on his coffee.

 

“Yo- what? I didn’t know your friends were actually cool.” Jaehyun snorted, shoving his face into Wonwoo’s.

 

“They’re not.” Wonwoo shot him down, arching his brow at Seungkwan.

 

“Yeah, what’s with the change of plans-” Jun said but Minghao instantly cut him off with two fingers pinching his throat.

 

“Okay, what’s really going on?” Jaehyun narrowed his eyes, not buying the acts they were putting on.

 

“It’s nothing. My friends are just being idiots.” 

 

Seungkwan put on a frown and sighed. “Sorry, ‘clubbing’ is codeword for when someone dies… Yeah. There’s been a death and we didn’t want to ruin the moment by saying we had to go to a funeral.” 

 

“Okay.” Jaehyun cringed. “Now your friends are just weird.”

 

Seungkwan scowled.

 

“Thanks for the condolences. Jerk.” 

 

“Oh, you don’t know how much weirder it can get with these people.” Woozi interjected, feeding Soonyoung some of his own ice cream.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Woozi.” Wonwoo gritted, clenching his fists under the table.

 

“Nah, c’mon. Tell me.” Jaehyun persisted, leaning forward.

 

“Since I’m the spokesperson for the group. I’ll say it.” Seungkwan sighed, not at all sounding reluctant as he should have. The topic they were about to discuss was just so juicy the omega couldn’t hep it.

 

“No, don’t say anything Kwan. He’s Mingyu’s buddy. Are you good?” Woozi stopped him, reaching his arm beside him in an effort to get Seungkwan’s attention.

 

“But he can be extra muscle. ‘Case something happens.”

 

“Extra muscle for what?” Jaehyun grinned, feeling proud that all those fitness training sessions he’d subjected himself to finally paid off.

 

Wonwoo sighed.

 

“Have you ever been on the Kim’s preserve?”

 

“Yeah? Place is going crazy with all those freaky cow killings.”

 

The whole table blinked at him like he was  a fox barging in on an underground nest of baby rabbits

 

“Wait- Forget I said anything. You weren’t supposed to know that. But I mean- I vaguely remembered you talking about it at the party…”

 

Seungkwan narrowed his eyes.

 

“Killings as in the plural sense? We were only aware of one.”

 

“Shit.” Jaehyun groaned. Mingyu was going to kill him. 

 

“Look, I know if I came along with you, you’d have three alphas. But that won’t make a difference. Forget about the creepy shit going on. Mingyu will kill all of us if he finds us on his family’s property.”

 

Wonwoo snorted.

 

“You make him sound like some old man who hates kids.” 

 

“Yeah, well, old man or not, he’d kick all our asses.” 

 

Jun cracked a grin, remembering that time Mingyu beat up his best friend because of something small and stupid. Jaehyun certainly made a name for himself pissing off the apex alpha.

 

“You would know.” 

 

“Exactly. That’s why I’m out.”

 

“You were never ‘in’ in the first place.” Wonwoo scoffed.

 

“Good, because I want Mingyu to know I had no part in this whatsoever. Why the hell do you even want to go see a dead cow? You gonna eat it or do some Satanic ritual or something?” 

 

“No!” Seungkwan gawked. “We’re ameuteur detectives, trying to stop a pack war. Or at least… a potential one.”

 

Jaehyun crossed his arms.

“Alright Scooby Doo, have at it. But I’d pick a better crime to investigate. Maybe you should check out why Wonwoo is still with that douchebag Seungcheol. You know, just for that, Wonu’s on my Most Wanted List.”

 

Vernon and Jun burst out giggling.

 

“Yo....” Jun shook his head.

 

Vernon reached over the table, high-fiving the other alpha.

 

“Yeah, my man’s slick.”

 

Red enveloped Wonwoo’s face but only because he was so angry. 

 

“Aren’t you guys supposed to be my friends?”

 

“Yeah, and that’s why we’re endorsing Jaehyun as your next boyfriend.”

 

“No thanks.” Wonwoo spat out the imaginary food in his mouth. “Maybe ice cream was a bad idea. I knew you weren’t ‘alpha’ enough to actually help us.” .

 

Jaehyun swallowed audibly, caught between wanting to make it up to Wonwoo and not wanting to die from Mingyu’s claws. 

 

“I’m just saying, it’s a bad idea.”

 

“Then we’ll suffer the consequences without you. And as a matter of fact, before you start calling my boyfriend a douchebag, maybe you should think about Friday.”

 

“Wonwoo- c’mon. I said sorry.” Jaehyun groaned.

 

“Actions speak louder than words.” Wonwoo sang, shunning him.

 

“Alright alright.” Jaehyun muttered, pulling out his phone. Wonwoo noticed the screen flicker on and he turned his head back around, curious as to what Jaehyun was up to.

The alpha tapped on his phone’s ‘Map’ icon, moving his fingers on the screen and expanding it. 

 

“I’m pretty sure this is where they found the first cow, a little ways in the forest.” Jaehyun said bluntly, not liking the idea of giving away all the information to people who weren’t even in the Kim pack. But as he watched Wonwoo’s delicate lashes come down while his hazelnut eyes zeroed in on the spot he tapped on the screen, it was worth it. 

 

The rest of the table leaned forward, hunching over to see a red dot that popped up, marking the crime scene. 

 

“That’s kinda deep inside the preserve. Who finds a cow in the middle of the forest?” Jun asked, tilting his head.

 

“The Kim’s go on hunts in the forest. It’s a family thing.”

 

“Great.” Wonwoo laughed. “It just goes to show how bloodthirsty they are.” 

 

Jaehyun shook his head, ignoring him.

 

“The second one is right… here.” he said, pinpointing the second crime scene. “It’s off of the road a little bit. Going deeper into the preserve. One of the Kims was driving by and saw it in the meadow.”

 

“Geez. Imagine just driving by minding your own business and seeing a mutilated cow?” Minghao laughed, trying to play it off cooly even though his whole face gave it away that he was a little spooked. 

 

“And the second killing… It’s the same?”

 

Jaehyun nodded.

 

“That’s what Mingyu told me. It’s like someone stuck a syringe in it, drained all it’s blood, then chopped it up faster than a butcher. Mingyu said his uncle was driving by before and everything seemed fine. The preserve has a lot o f wildlife. Wild Jeju cattle pass through the preserve this time a year and use it as a rest stop. So it wasn’t like anything was different. All the animals were doing their own thing. But the next time Mingyu’s uncle drove by... bam! Cow’s dead near the road. Hooves pulled off. Tongue missing. Eyes cut out-”

 

“Okay.” Seungkwan winced, trying not to throw up.

 

“We can do the rest of the investigation, thanks.” Wonwoo smiled, hoping his ice cream and coffee stayed down.

 

“Alright, just don’t get caught. And if you do, don’t say a word about me. Or else you’ll have two alphas going after you.” Jaehyun smirked.

 

Wonwoo crossed his arms, unamused. Where was Seungcheol when he needed him? It wasn’t like he loved it when his boyfriend got jealous, but it could have helped reassure him if he did.

 

“Gee, I don’t think my pack would like that.” Wonwoo laughed breathily, reclining in the booth.

 

Jaehyun leaned in closer, prompting Wonwoo to look down at his lap where his legs were crossed.

 

Your pack?” he asked, grinning. “You’re an omega.”

 

“A very valuable omega if I might add. Not that I’m bragging.”

 

Jaehyun snickered.

 

“Yeah, obviously. You're the son of Jeon Eunbin, the most intimidating alpha in town-”

 

Wonwoo gave him a look.

 

“What? Sure Mingyu is like- really tough and strong. But you gotta admit, your mom is kinda scary.”

 

“He’s got a point.” Jungkook shrugged, typing on his phone. Wonwoo guessed it was Jimin who was on the receiving end of his brother’s barrage of messages. Jungkook didn’t really have much in common with any of his friends but they always liked to take him out with them.

 

“C’mon, Jae. She’s nice and kind.” Wonwoo smiled sheepishly.

 

“Do you even know our mom?” Jungkook snorted. “That dent in the wall is from that time she bashed dad’s head against it.”

 

“Uh yeah, because he deserv- nevermind.”

 

Jaehyun arched a brow.

 

“It’s kind of weird how I’ve never heard of your dad much. Your mom that much of an alpha?”

 

“What do you mean?” he giggled nervously.

 

“Well, you know how Mingyu’s dad is a beta.”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“He’s saying that your mom overshadows your dad because she’s the dominant one.” Woozi snickered.

 

“I didn’t know there had to be dominant one’s in relationships.” Seungkwan said, raising his chin with a huff.

 

Wonwoo pretended not to be insulted by the implicit meaning behind Jaehyun’s statement, focusing on what Seungkwan said to steer the conversation away from his dad.

 

“I mean- it’d be kind of nice to just sit back and let the alpha make the decisions for you.”

 

“Puh-lease, I don’t want no alpha making decisions for me. I’m my own person.” Seungkwan snorted, making Vernon blush.

 

Wonwoo laughed. 

 

“To each his own.”

 

Jun arched his brow.

 

“So if Mingyu was your husband, would you submit to him?” 

 

“No.” he sputtered, looking at his friend with disgust. “I’m just saying, a noble, heroic, and strong, masculine alpha, is like the epitome of man. The worthy conqueror of my heart, spirit, and body.”

 

Seungkwan clapped slowly, just to rub in his disdain for those who betrayed their own secondary gender.

 

“Great performance. Ever try out for a Shakespeare play?”

 

“Thanks. At least try to hide your bias.” Wonwoo rolled his eyes.

 

“Ooo, cat fight.” Jaehyun laughed, reaching down to poke him in the sides.

 

“Oh my G- Jae- stop! You’re so weird!” Wonwoo gasped, trying not to giggle as he jumped in his seat every time Jaehyun tazed him.

 

“It means he likes you.” Seungkwan smirked.

 

“Yeah, no. I’m in a relationship.”

 

“Not for long.” Woozi muttered 

 

“Huh? Please, let’s keep the prophesying to ourselves. We’re investigators, not theorists.”

 

Woozi snorted.

 

“You don’t need to be any of those things. You just need eyes to see all the ‘BS’ between you and Seungcheol. Am I the only one here whose gonna ask where he is?” 

 

“I stopped asking a long time ago.” Seungkwan laughed.

 

“C’mon this is serious.” Jun said, making everyone’s eyes go wide. ‘Serious’ wasn’t in his vocabulary. 

 

“Exactly…” Wonwoo crossed his arms. “And we’re at an froyo- ice cream- whatever-it-is-parlor. Supposed to be having fun…. Anyone else wanna complain about my boyfriend?”

 

“Uh, this isn’t a complaint. I just got a question.” Jungkook said, raising his hand. “Why’s everyone turning on Cheol anyways? He’s a good guy.”

 

“Yeah, you would think.” Woozi shrugged. “Betas get more leeway since they aren’t raging and hormonal alpha playboys. But this aint that.”

 

“Then what is it? You find something on his phone?” Jungkook chuckled. 

 

Saying Seungcheol was a jerk was one thing but implying he was a cheater? Wonwoo wasn’t having it.

 

“Guys, can you lay off?” he groaned. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

 

“Fine.” Jungkook raised his arms up in defense, going back to distracting himself with his phone. Deep down the beta wanted to probe more of his brother's mind but not in front of a large crowd, much less his friends.

 

“It’s your prerogative I guess.” Woozi said plainly, slightly disappointed but also frustrated that he wasn’t spilling anything to Jungkook. The kid would ultimately destroy Seungcheol if he knew the whole story. Forget about Mingyu. Jungkook should have known better too, running off with Jimin when he knew Wonwoo was going to be left as a vulnerable target for Mingyu and his gang? He could forgive Jaehyun for his ’ridiculousness’, but he wouldn’t forgive Mingyu until he had his head. That and Seungcheol’s balls. 

 

“Thank you.” Wonwoo sighed, taking one last bite of his already melting ice cream.

 

“Well, now that we’ve softened you up…” Seungkwan said, looking at Jaehyun. “Mind giving us a pic of the places on the map you remember the cows were?”

 

Jaehyun tensed, knowing he was going to regret it. 

 

“Aight. I’ll take a screenshot.” he said, tapping away at his phone with his thumbs. “Is everyone here going?”

 

“Why do you wanna know?” Seungkwan chuckled.

 

“Duh. So he can bring backup.” Woozi snorted.

 

“Nah. Mingyu could take all of you without any help. There’s a reason he’s called the apex alpha.”

 

“I can testify to that.” Jun raised his pointer finger. He was still sore from Friday night’s scuffle.

 

“That’s the name he calls himself. He hasn’t earned the title.” Wonwoo retorted.

 

Jaehyun clicked his tongue, shrugging to himself while he opened up the messaging app.

 

“Wonu, what’s your number?”

 

“Wonu?” Jun snorted while the rest of them laughed. 

 

“Hey, I hope you aren’t hitting on my brother.” Jungkook grinned, only partially joking. 

 

“For the screenshots…” Jaehyun eyed them. Though the blush was evident on his face. 

 

“Oh- yeah. Here.” Wonwoo laughed, handing the alpha his phone. 

 

“Honey, if it really was for the screenshots he would have asked for my number.” Seungkwan scoffed.

 

“Exactly.” Jaehyun smirked, keeping his eyes on Wonwoo’s phone, shocking them all with his casual admission. Well, Wonwoo wasn’t all that shocked. For years he had only known Jaehyun through his membership in Mingyu’s crew. What would have been shocking was if his advances were actually genuine. And from what he could gather, Jaehyun was just being a playboy as always. It really wasn’t a threat to his relationship with Seungcheol. Nor was it worthy of his boyfriend fussing over. If only Seungcheol really cared….

Chapter Text

“Yeah, sorry. Something came up with family so….” Seungcheol chuckled, reaching behind his head to stretch his arms as they walked towards the cafeteria. 

 

“Wait what? What happened?”

 

“Nothing bad. My mom wanted me home early to help with dinner. My grandparents and cousins were coming over.”

 

“Oh really? Never met them.” Wonwoo pouted, making sure his boyfriend got the hint. Even if he was acting somewhat playfully, he didn’t want his actual anguish of never having met Seungcheol’s family go unnoticed. 

 

“Someday, when my family isn’t a mess you can meet them.”

 

“I can meet them? Uhm, excuse me. As your boyfriend, I have to meet them. It’s my duty as your future mate, right? And it’s your duty to always be transparent with me.” Wonwoo teased.

 

“Transparent? I don’t think you wanna know everything that I do each day if you know what I mean.” Seungcheol grinned, making a fist with his palm and stroking the air as if he were rolling dice. 

 

“Ewww. I don’t. What are you even doing with your life if you're jerking off all the time. Disgusting.”

 

“Relax, you’re always on my mind when I do it.”

 

“I don’t want to know that either. Don’t make me complicit in your sinfulness.”

 

“Jerking off is a sin? No it aint.” Seungcheol snorted, grabbing the other side of his waist. 

 

“Lust is a sin. And you can’t jerk off unless you lust. So…”

 

“But it’s lust for you. I thought that’d boost your omega ego. If you weren’t so sexy I would probably be watching omegas make out with each other instead of thinking of you.” the beta teased, stepping in front of him and getting in his face.

 

Wonwoo’s face paled. That was even worse. 

 

“No, it’s a stain on my ego. A dirty, smutty, stain.” Wonwoo giggled. “Besides, you can keep it in your pants ‘till you marry me, can you?” he smiled, wrapping his hands around his boyfriend’s neck.

 

Seungcheol hated it when Wonwoo batted his eyelashes. They were beginning to make him feel like a dick. Wonwoo was beautiful. So much so that he’d be an idiot to go behind his back to see someone else. But he was an idiot.

 

“So, if I were to get down on one knee and propose to you right now… Would you say yes?”

 

“Ehh, we’re kinda a little bit too young.”

 

“Kinda a little bit too young?” Seungcheol arched his brow. Of all the worlds circling around in the omega’s mind, Wonwoo always knew what to say. It cracked him up.

 

“That makes no sense.” the beta snorted. “Did you ever learn grammar?”

 

“Oh hush.” Wonwoo scoffed, stepping in front of his boyfriend to strangle him. 

 

“But…” he continued, thinking for a moment. “I am really flattered you’d want to get married so young. Do you love me that much?” 

 

Seungcheol rolled his eyes, wanting to kiss that smug look off Wonwoo’s face.

 

“Nah. I just wanna bang you sooner.” 

 

Wonwoo choked on his own saliva, burying his face in the beta’s chest in shame.

 

“Did your mother ever teach you decency?”

 

“Oh, so now I’m indecent? I thought I was charming?”

 

“Pshh, yeah. You’re so attractive when you talk about banging omegas-”

 

“No, not omegas. Just you.” Seungcheol said sternly, cupping his face.

 

“Right.” 

 

“You’re an ungrateful bitch.” Seungcheol huffed, prompting the younger to giggle. 

 

“See! You are indecent. Rule number one: never call an omega a bitch.”

 

“What’s rule number two?”

 

“Never let a clown beta try to play you.”

 

“Ok I get it. You don’t need to quote Nicki Minaj.” Seungcheol groaned, cutting his boyfriend off before he got to the ‘sexual’ part.

 

“I’m not quoting, I’m rapping!” Wonwoo scoffed, flailing his arms about.

 

Seungcheol cringed.

 

“That wasn’t your rap, this was Nicki Minaj’s. All your other raps sucked-”

 

“Huh?”

 

“What?”

 

Seungcheol raised a brow as Wonwoo craned his neck over his bicep, looking through the doorway into the auditorium they were standing outside of. For a second he thought he pissed off his boyfriend but Wonwoo’s attention was diverted elsewhere.

 

“What’s going on?” Seungcheol asked, chuckling. 

 

“Oh-” Wonwoo yelped, giving the elder a sheepish smile.
“Nothing. I figured someone would be in the auditorium. I caught two people playing the piano the other day.”

 

“Who were they?”

 

“Rose and Jiyong.”

 

“Maybe they were ghosts.”

 

“Huh? Why do you say that?”

 

“Never heard of them.”

 

Wonwoo’s face fell.

 

“Uhm, Rose is the smartest person in my grade. And Jiyong is a nice boy. You’ve bound to have seen him around.”

 

“Hold on. Correction: You’re the smartest person in your grade.” 

 

“Whatever.” Wonwoo rolled his eyes, hating the flattery. He went to turn around and continue walking but Seungcheol stopped him.

 

“Wait. Who’s this Jiyong?” 

 

Wonwoo could detect the foul taste on his boyfriend’s mouth. Seungcheol said the name like it was an alien one. 

 

“He’s nice.” he flailed, not liking how Seungcheol looked jealous. “He kind of looks like a punk though. Only a little bit. He’s sort of goth. But he wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

 

“I didn’t know you had a thing for goths.” Seungcheol muttered, dismissing him and walking forward. Wonwoo watched him, flabbergasted, unaware that Seungcheol was teasing him as always.

 

“What are you- I don’t-”

 

“It’s okay. And hey, he can play the piano too huh? More power to ya.” 

 

“Shut up. All I did was say hi and say he had some skill. If anything I’m the one who’s supposed to be angry. Maybe your memory isn’t as fresh as mine but I remember last Friday when-”

 

“Yeah yeah, I remember.” Seungcheol groaned. “I’m kidding.”

 

Wonwoo’s facial expression softened but he was still riled up.

 

“It’s still big deal to me.” the omega scoffed. This time he didn’t say it in a whiny puppy dog voice. He meant it. And werewolves didn’t just possess the capacity to understand words, but they had one-hundred times the ability to pick up on tone of voice. Seungcheol knew he wasn’t kidding around anymore.

 

“Nah. It isn’t a big deal/ It’s a guys thing.”

 

“You mean a beta thing…”

 

“Betas and alphas. All of ‘em” Seungcheol shrugged, knowing full well that Wonwoo was fuming. The older boy noticed the scowl on his face, giving him a sheepish smile.

 

“Alright babe, look. Here’s the thing. If an omega leaves you for an alpha, they’re just done with you. It shows that they really hate you because omegas can fake orgasm only for so long. But if an alpha or beta cheats, it’s their hormones and sexual urges. Omegas aren’t crazy sex beasts like betas an alphas, which makes it even worse if omegas cheat. If they cheat it means they got tired of you and no longer feel obliged to stay. When an omega who’s being chased by a pack of alphas stays with a beta it’s the biggest compliment. So you can imagine what it would be like the other way around... if that omega cheated.”

 

“Makes sense.” Wonwoo pursed his lips, leaning his head on Seungcheol’s shoulder. “Who knew you were such a deep thinker.” 

 

“I’m also a deep feeler.” Seungcheol said huskily, maneuvering the omega to stand in front of him so he could hold his body more easily. 

 

“Shut up- we’re in public.” Wonwoo gritted, trying to wrestle himself out of the beta’s grip.

 

“No one’s here. Unless those ghosts you saw yesterday return.” 

 

“They weren’t ghosts.” he grumbled, wrapping his hands reluctantly around his boyfriend’s neck. Normally he didn’t encourage this kind of behavior in public so he dug his fingers in a little as punishment. 

 

“Sure.” 

 

“I’m serious-”

 

♬♩♭♬

 

“What the heck was that?” Seungcheol arched his brow, whipping his head toward the entrance of the auditorium.

 

“A piano…” 

 

“No shit. But it proves my point. There’s a ghost.” Seungcheol huffed. 

 

“Something probably fell inside the piano trunk or something.”

 

“The ‘piano trunk’?” the beta snickered. 

 

“Whatever the thing is! Maybe a chord snapped. Or maybe there’s a mouse infestation.”

 

“Or a poltergeist.” 

 

“Really?”

 

“We’re wolves Won. Crazier shit has happened in this town.”

 

Wonwoo tensed, remembering something. He retracted his hands from the back of Seungcheol’s neck, adopting a curious frown as he did so. 

 

“What are you doing? Are we ghost hunting now?” Seungcheol laughed, watching as the omega tiptoed through the doorway.

 

“No. But I’m pretty sure that book of sheet music wasn’t open last time I walked by.”

 

“Maybe someone played the piano and flipped through it.”

 

Wonwoo arched a brow but kept his eyes ahead on the piano as he walked towards it.

 

“I thought you were supposed to be the paranormal investigator here? Now all of a sudden you think I’m the one who’s crazy?”

 

Seungcheol huffed.

 

“Never made any of those statements but okay.”

 

Wonwoo swallowed, brushing off Seungcheol’s comment. His pupils were already shrinking as he came under the stage lights. They were warm. Too warm. Now he knew how it felt to be a participant in a televised debate or a performer constantly under those damned lights….

 

He didn’t think about much of them as he spotted the small cushioned bench in front of the keys of the piano, sat on the base of the amphitheater as if it were fit for the Queen of England. It looked more for decoration though.

 

There was no need to wonder how comfortable it was as he plopped himself down on it rather naturally, having no need to feel around or make a map of his surroundings with his senses. It was as if he were being guided by some separate entity that inhabited his mind. Perhaps his own intuition or the fox spirit that dwelled in him. It was beyond his comprehension, what he was doing with his fingers. And his frown deepened while Seungcheol’s eyebrows reached new altitudes. 

 

 

“What are you doing?” the elder asked, shoving his hands in his pockets. If he were in his wolf form - not that he could actually shift - his ears would have perked up at the sound of the piano playing as Wonwoo’s thin fingers pressed down on one of the keys. The omega sat on the bench with his back straight and taut like someone had electrocuted him. But at the same time it looked as though he was more relaxed than he had ever been, completely engrossed in the piano.

 

 

“What song is this?” Seungcheol asked. He knew full well Wonwoo had only pressed down on two keys. Not to mention it didn’t even sound like a song. Wonwoo was indeed a rookie piano player, but this went beyond being a ‘good boyfriend’ and applauding Wonwoo for his talent. His question came more or less from concern. 

 

“It’s not a song.” Wonwoo snorted. “I’m just trying to see…” 

 

“See what?”

 

“Hold on.” Wonwoo growled, narrowing his eyes even more as he stared at the piano keys as if he were counting his own fingers. “Five-hundred forty-six point seven five divided by…” 

 

“Uh, where’s the math coming from?”

 

“Would you please- ugh!” Wonwoo groaned, pressing down on the key under his finger like a crazed lunatic ringing a doorbell. 

 

“Breaking the piano isn’t gonna help you.” the beta crossed his arms.

 

“C-minor is… five-hundred forty-six point seven five divided by two equals what-” Wonwoo asked himself, snapping his fingers. “So that’s five-hundred forty-six point seven five divided by two equals two-hundred seventy-three point three.”

 

“What’s C minor?” Seungcheol tilted his head, not understanding anything that was coming out of Wonwoo’s rambling mouth at all.

 

“Two-hundred seventy-three point three.”

 

“Yeah, I don’t know what that means…” 

 

“It’s the pythagorean comma for C minor.”

 

“The what ‘comma’ now?”

 

“Pythagorean. Remember?”

 

“Oh, that guy you told me about?” Seungcheol smirked.

 

“That guy?” Wonwoo snorted. “He’s more than just a guy. He was a mathematician and a philosopher. Not to mention the founder of a crazy cult.” 

 

“So what do these numbers have anything to do with him?”

 

“I’ll show you.” Wonwoo hummed, jutting up from the bench and whipping his phone out. “This is a screenshot of the map Jaehyun gave me where he remembers the dead cows being found-”

 

“The what? Jaehyun? Dead cows?” the beta narrowed his eyes, grabbing onto the younger’s wrists as he tried to steady him. “The fuck is going on-”

 

“Shhh! This auditorium echoes!”

 

“I don’t care. What the hell are you doing with Jaehyun? Sexting?” Seungcheol growled, causing Wonwoo to stop fighting against his grip. The question was valid and genuine to be fair. But the last part was just plain ridiculous.

 

“No! He’s helping me a solve a murder mystery.”

 

“And you’re totally not having an affair.” Seungcheol scoffed.

 

“You’re an idiot. We made an ‘alliance’. He gave us information about what’s been happening on the Kim preserve.”

 

“I don’t care what’s happening-”

 

“Well you should! This could escalate into a pack feud-”

 

“Whatever’s happening… it doesn’t matter. There won’t be a feud. You justy like sticking your nose into everyone’s business. And Jaehyun likes sticking his nose into omega’s necks.” 

 

“Funny. But this is serious!” Wonwoo growled.

 

“You take yourself too seriously, that’s what.”

 

“Oh really?” Wonwoo huffed, lifting up his phone. “The song that I heard being played on the piano… It’s in C minor. The pythagorean comma for C is two-hundred seventy-three point three. Split those numbers up and you get the coordinates of the Kim preserve. Twenty-seven and thirty-three. In fact-” 

 

Wonwoo strutted back over to the piano, tapping away on other keys.

 

“D has a frequency of two-hundred eighty-eight hertz. Think of it as Twenty-eight, eighty. Those coordinates are still on the Kim preserve. E… Five-hundred forty-seven point eight hertz divided by two… So that’s 27, 39.”

 

Seungcheol’s brows were probably stuck with how high they kept rising. Eitherway, Wonwoo wasn’t wrong. Pinching the screen he could seen the second dot, pinpointing the second dead cow on the map. Twenty-eight, eighty. Those were the coordinates.”

 

“I’m not seeing a pattern though. What if it’s just a coincidence. It’s not like this song is unique. ‘D’ is a commonly used musical note.”

 

“And someone specially tuned this piano.”

 

“Wonwoo-”

 

“There were two people playing the same song on this piano the other day. Maybe they were trying to tell me something….” 

 

“Or lure you into a trap.”

 

“Ah, so you do believe me?”

 

“No!”

 

“Well if you think this is all just a coincidence there’s only one way to find out.” 

 

“Could you do it without dying? I have no idea what’s going on with these dead cows but all I know is that it sounds dangerous.”

 

Wonwoo gave his boyfriend a puzzled look.

 

“Me? Don’t you mean we?”

 

“Nuh uh, I’m not going to the Kim preserve to go hunting for dead cows, especially if it’s the Kim’s preserve. They’d crucify me. I’d rather go hunt Jaehyun and any alpha who thinks they can take what’s mine.”

 

“Wow you’re so brave.

 

“Thanks.”

 

Wonwoo slapped his forehead.

 

“We’re not going to be alone. My friends are coming too.”

 

“Right now?”

 

“I’ll call them up.” the omega smiled, extending his hand and gesturing for his phone.

 

“No. You still have school. And I have basketball practice after this. I won’t be able to be your bodyguard.”

 

“It’s not like I need you as my bodyguard.” Wonwoo grunted, wrapping an arm around his boyfriend’s neck as he leaped towards his chest, flailing with his other arm as he tried to take back his phone. It didn’t matter how ridiculous Seungcheol was acting. Or how goofy the position their bodies were in with his own knee rubbing up against Seungcheol’s dick. All those things aside, there was a pang in his chest that he didn’t know if he should address or just dismiss. It wasn’t like their relationship was on the greatest of foundations at the moment. But he’d address it anyways.  

 

“Why can’t you miss practice?” he asked, albeit in a tone of defeat. Seungcheol wrapped his hands around his waist in a sympathetic gesture, setting him down lightly back onto the stage.

 

“Why can’t you postpone?”

 

Wonwoo scowled. 

 

“Whatever. Just give me my phone back so I can call some real alphas.”

 

Seungcheol didn’t even flinch at the remark, staring at him blankly.

 

“So you can hook up with Jaehyun?” 

 

“Jaehyun’s not even a part of this.”

 

“Anyone who thinks they can hit on my boyfriend is.”

 

“Oh so helping means ‘hitting on’? Okay. Believe what you want.”

 

“You don’t even care what I think!” 

 

Wonwoo clutched his head. Doing mental math was much easier than arguing with his boyfriend.

 

“Don’t start with me. You know I care! Why is it that when I ‘care’, you call it making an accusation-”

 

“We already went over this. Chaeyeon doesn’t count!” 

 

“Gee, what if Mingyu found out?”

 

Seungcheol smirked.

 

“Go for it. He doesn’t give a shit about her. Not like I do for you.

 

Wonwoo shook his head, letting his shoulders slouch. If only he wasn’t so uncertain about the beta’s statement. All he could think about now was Mingyu and the cave…

 

Wonwoo chuckling to himself. He could still feel the warmth of Mingyu’s body on top of his. He felt so guilty for missing it.

 

“You would know, wouldn't you?” 

 

“As your boyfriend it’s my job to know everything. And it’s clear you’ve been keeping shit from me. This is the first time I’m learning about all the stuff that’s been going on and you didn’t even bother to tell me until now?” Seungcheol growled.

 

Wonwoo frowned.

 

“I was caught up with everything that’s going on-”

 

Seungcheol wasn’t in the mood. He was already stressed enough from all of the unrelieved tension between them. Something that Wonwoo had failed at relieving for a while now. 

 

He scowled at the omega, holding out his boyfriend’s phone.

 

“I don’t care. Just go.” 

 

“Fine.” Wonwoo snapped, snatching his phone and brushing past him.

 

“You’re not gonna slap me or yell at me more?” 

 

The omega spared him a glance over his shoulder as he reached the door of the exit.

 

“I was waiting for you to do that for once.”



Chapter Text

3:00 PM

 

“What do you mean you can’t do it today? This is important!” Wonwoo hissed, tugging against Seungkwan’s backpack strap. Their last class had just gotten out and they were walking to the lobby, much to everyone else’s curiosity. Having two omegas walking in the hallway together wasn’t only rare but it was a field day for the alphas and betas who thought they could get away with looking at them when their boyfriends weren’t around.

 

“We have to respect everyone else’s schedule, Won.” Seungkwan said calmly. “We settled for tomorrow, remember?”

 

“I’ll just remember next time when there’s a breaking news story, we’ll wait to report on it because it didn’t align with our plans.”

 

“We’re not news reporters. This is an investigation.” Seungkwan scoffed.

 

“And it just got spicier.” Wonwoo clenched his teeth.

 

“How?”

 

“I think I found out how we can find the third cow.”

 

Seungkwan gaped. 

 

“What?”

 

“The piano in the auditorium… There’s something up with it.”

 

“Yeah, it’s old and decrepit.”

 

“Not that. ” Wonwoo groaned. “It’s connected to what’s been happening. At least the events around it are.” 

 

“What events?”

 

“I’ll explain on the way there. We have to text the others first and tell them-”

 

“Woah woah woah, let’s wait until tomorrow.”

 

“If we wait we won’t catch those guys from murdering the third cow.”

 

“The third? What’s your obsession with threes? Did you really find all of the commas for every note on that piano? That’s a lot of math.”

 

“No, ‘course not. Three is a significant number. The Trinity, Pythagorean triples, musical triplets… shall I go on? Anyways, we got to get going-”

 

“No.” Seungkwan grunted, yanking his friend back. “We can’t just rush into this. We’ll need Seungcheol too. Where is he anyways?”

 

“Nowhere.” he rolled his eyes, turning to watch the rest of his classmates cross the street to get to the parking lot where all their cars were.

 

“Huh?”

 

“Let’s not talk about him.” Wonwoo said sheepishly.

 

“I’d prefer to talk about that then dead cows right now.”

 

“Seriously. You were the one that brought the whole topic up Friday.” Wonwoo whined, slapping the other omega’s arm. He may or may not have wanted to go to the preserve more than ever now just to piss his boyfriend off. That and getting captured by Mingyu and a platoon of werewolves might have been one of his fantasies. 

 

While he was daydreaming about getting cuffed and violently thrown into the back of Mingyu’s pick up truck, Seungkwan was looking at him, unamused.

 

“I knew from the second you came down the hallway something was wrong. Call it omega intuition or whatever. I’m just saying, we can put our ‘investigation’ under the rug for now. Your love life is more important.”

 

“Well, I might not have a love life now that I think about it.”

 

Seungkwan jabbed his side.

 

“Don’t say that.” he snapped. “Now’s the time to go and fix it. Forget about the cow thing.”

 

Wonwoo ran a hand through his hair, pondering what his friend just said.

 

“I think you underestimate this ‘cow thing’.”

 

“We can wait for tomorrow. Mingyu will be having too much fun bullying your brother at the court tomorrow to realize we’re up to something. We’ll have the whole preserve to ourselves.”

 

“You forgot about his family.”

 

Seungkwan snorted.

 

“A few hundred werewolves aren’t enough to cover the acres of land they own. Alpha ears or not, they won’t hear us for miles.”

 

“I hope you’re right. But still, now that I think about it, I don’t know what’s worse: the Jeon pack being blamed for killing the wildlife on the Kim preserve or us being caught on their land.”

 

“True. But if we do get caught then I don’t doubt Mingyu won't save us.”

 

“What?” Wonwoo balked. “If anything he’d be the first one to execute us himself. With his bare hands…” 

 

“Right. Because he totally isn’t sweet on you.” Seungkwan snickered, leaning on the staircase railing.

 

Wonwoo looked away, pretending to search through the crowd to find Woozi and the others when really it was to hide his blush.

 

“I don’t even know what you’re saying.”

 

Seungkwan laughed, holding his own cheeks. No matter how ridiculous it was the thought of Mingyu and Wonwoo finally getting together was the most satisfying thought Seungkwan’s mind could imagine.

 

“I can’t believe I even said it either. Now lets get the gang together since you’re so adamant about going today.”

 

Seungkwan could have sworn in that moment, the way that Wonwoo’s face turned into a sly smile made his resemblance to a fox uncanny. Wonwoo looked so proud of himself.

 

“I’m glad you came to see reason.”

 

II

 

“What’s this about trespassing on my pack’s land?” Mingyu growled, shoving Jaehyun into a row of lockers. 

 

The shorter alpha gaped, dropping his gym bag splat on the floor in surprise. 

 

“W- How the fuck did you find out? I mean-”

 

“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Is this what I think it is? You grow a soft spot for Jeon so much that you’re gonna betray me?” Mingyu grinned, though his tone didn’t sound so amused. As usual it contained every ounce of threat and menace.

 

“No! I was just doing them a favor!”

 

“Them? So this isn’t just Wonwoo acting like a lunatic?”

 

“I said too much, man.” Jaehyun winced, raising his hands in self defense.

 

“No, keep talking.” Mingyu growled. It came out low in his throat, barely audible to a human but ear-drum-shattering to an alpha. It sounded like Mingyu could devour him if he moved closer. 

 

“What do you want to know?” Jaehyun gulped. 

 

“Everything.”

 

Jaehyun chuckled. 

 

“Uh, it’s kinda hard to give information to you that way. I need specific questions. But if this is about Wonwoo-”

 

“This isn’t about anyone. This is about protecting my pack.” 

 

“What? You think they’re out to get your pack. They’re legit a bunch of dorks going to check out cow carcasses.”

 

Mingyu grabbed the shorter’s collar.

 

“Carcasses you told them about.” 

 

“Nuh uh. Seungkwan already knew about it.”

 

“How?”

 

“I don’t know! Geez, cut me some slack!” Jaehyun groaned. His pleas echoed throughout the locker room, earning a few laughs from the guys in the other aisles changing into their shorts and jerseys.

 

“Where are they going first?” the taller gritted, tightening his grip on Jaehyun’s collar.

 

“I don’t know!”

 

Jaehyun could have texted Wonwoo and asked of course. But unlike Mingyu he wasn’t a total douchebag. If anything it made up for what he did Friday night. At least he hoped it would.

 

“They’re probably going to pick the fresh one.”

 

“The fresh one?”

 

“The cow that was just killed.” 

 

Jaehyun arched an eyebrow.

 

“What?” 

 

“We found another one. This morning. My mom’s best guess was that it happened last night. Scavengers haven’t even touched it. Not a single fly either. I don’t know what to make of it- Why am I even telling you this?” Mingyu groaned, releasing his collar and clutching his head.

 

“Tell Wonwoo. He wants to help.” 

 

Mingyu shook his head, smirking to himself before he flashed his red eyes.

 

“I’ll tell him alright.

 

III

 

“Tonight’s a full moon. And you know what that means.” 

 

 

“Wolves go on rampages. Yeah, I’m familiar.” Seungkwan chuckled, clutching his textbooks and holding them against his chest.

 

 

“You know what else? Crazy shit happens. Like the Satanic kind.” 

 

Seungkwan’s breath hitched as he stared at the dark-haired boy sitting at the piano. He was clearly unamused.

 

“Don’t believe me? Just read the news.”

 

 

“Oh, I believe it. Your choice of dress isn't stopping me from believing you either.”

 

Seungkwan wasn't wrong. The boy's clothes had a lot of... character.

 

“Cause I’m goth? Oh right.” the boy snickered, looking at himself in the reflection of the black piano polish. His entire figure was illuminated in a purple haze, like some neon purple light was pulsating between him and his reflection. She had seen this boy before. He was familiar. Like a specter no one else had a memory of who she had seen in broad daylight.

 

His face could still be seen in the black polish. The fuzz on his cheeks, the shimmering darkness of his eyes, everything…. 

 

Rose narrowed her eyes, not being able to decipher any more words through the laughter. The veins in her neck grew more prominent like she was struggling to concentrate.  Her jaw tensed as she leant further into the diaphragm of the piano. 


Rose tried plucking the same string faster and with more energy, but there was nothing. All she could hear was a high-pitched hollow sound, like someone was taking their finger and tracing the rim of a wine glass. 


She moved onto other strings and plucked them. Still nothing. Just squealing. The stretched and distorted squealing of swine .

Chapter Text

Hey guys, authors note. Total disappointment right? I'm such a terrible person. LOL.

 

Anyways, I always thought this was a childish cliche and trashy fanfic but I think my writing style has improved and I’ve been able to juggle a bunch of ideas without messing up the plot haha. My Defiance’s Anthem fic feels like a cringey disaster now and I want to rewrite it but omg I have so much schoolwork UGH. But thanks for staying tuned you are all amazing EEEEEEEEE. 

 

I have so much to say about school. I spit on snooty English teachers, their elitist circles, and their snobby vocabulary. They are philosopher wannabes but they’re stuck with theorizing about about fancy words with no substance rather than actual meaningful things. BUT ANYWAYS. I didn’t update yet because I had to fill in the gaps between two chapters I already wrote. I forgot I had to add something in to connect the plot so sorry about that. Ehehehe. School also has been tough on me oh well. 

 

I’ve written so much tension and angst between Mingyu and Wonwoo and I’ve had these chapters in reserve for so long now. I completely forgot how slow the development between Mingyu and Wonwoo is but I promise we will get to the fluff! But before that….. We’re going to have to get through all the creepy supernatural stuff and the war against the lurking evil that is on the horizon. Hehehe. 

 

Teen Wolf has been a major inspiration for the basic supernatural stuff for this fic BUT I’ve made sure to read a bunch of books on the paranormal to help give me ideas. A lot of the creepy/thriller/mystery stuff I have written and have in reserve is based off the book “Hunt for the Skinwalker” which is filled with all things creepy that allegedly happened in real life. But Mingyu is an apex alpha and he’ll have Wonwoo by his side so they’ll totally stomp any evil that threatens their pack! Yayyyyy.

 

I don’t want to scare you guys into thinking this fic is going to be scary and all that. They’ll definitely be a lot of fluff and romance too hehe. I plan to make this fic into a bunch of parts. Part 1 will be a lot of thriller and mystery. I plan for other Parts to cover pack infighting/civil wars, invasion from other packs, werewolf hunters, vampires etc. I’m so excited AHHHHHHH 

 

I also got back into my Star Wars phase and I posted a fic I had in my drafts. Mingyu is Darth Vader (normal face under the mask) and Wonwoo is Grand Admiral Thrawn. PLEASE CHECK IT OUT EEEE. I know you guys probably don't like Star Wars but I CAN MAKE IT WORK!!!! It’s called “More Than Mere Men.” 

 

: )

 

Also I updated “All My Children” for Minwon Day!!!!!!!!!! I had these fics all in reserve and saved for a day where I can’t update my main fics lol.

 

My friend jooniesgukkie is a great writer too please check her out shes AMAZING EEEEEE *tears hair out from excitement*

 

You can also find spoilers in the comments thanks to you guys who told me HAHAHA. I'm a chatter box oops ehehe. I also love to talk to you guys. I feel so bad for not reaching out to more people on twitter but I never forget you and I always try to like your posts because I want you guys to know I haven't just cast you off. I also pray for you guys every night. I really wish we all lived in the same neighborhood but this is cool too because I made a lot of friends through fanfiction gosh lol.

Chapter Text

The coincidence was unsettling, but Mingyu didn’t let it bother him. It just so happened that when Kai came into the gym through the double doors - tardy and nonchalantly as ever - he could see Wonwoo and his crew through the exit, sauntering across the white tile floors of the back lobby. What sent chills up his spine was the way Wonwoo turned to look at him with those brown doe eyes of his. No matter how narrow and full of malice they became, he could still see the white scleras peaking through, paralyzing him where he stood. 

 

“Yo, Kim!”

 

“Dude, watch out!” 

 

His head vibrated like one of those old cartoon characters stopping last minute and wobbling on their toothpick legs. Next thing he knew, an orange ball appeared in his periphery and went from flying in the air to bouncing on the ground next to him.

 

“Show off.” Kai muttered, whistling to himself as he walked by to get to the locker room. 

 

“Hey numbnuts? You got rocks packed in there or something?” Baekho shouted from the other end of the court.

 

Jaehyun came out of nowhere, scurrying up next to him to grab the ball.

 

“Trust me, Mingyu would have flinched if he didn’t have a boner for Wonwoo.” the alpha smirked.

 

Mingyu’s face paled and he looked down. Just to make sure….

 

“Shut up.” he growled, pulling his jersey down for ‘extra cover’.

 

It wasn’t until Jaehyun saw the taller alpha go back to staring beyond the double exit doors that he finally got it.

 

“C’mon, let Wonwoo have some fun with his friends. Why do you have to go ruin everything for him?”

 

Mingyu turned away from the shorter boy, not bothering to hide the fact that he was annoyed.

 

“Wonwoo can go play detective anywhere else that isn’t my family’s land.”

 

“Anywhere huh? I don’t think playing detective in your pants counts.”

 

Mingyu blushed.

 

“I wasn’t thinking that!”

 

“You were thinking something!”

 

“Yeah, about ripping Jeon’s throat out. With my teeth…” 

 

“Woah. That’s kinda graphic. Leave me out of it.”

 

“Then don’t bring it up.” Mingyu growled, grabbing a basketball from one of the bins. He practically slammed it against the floor as he bounced it, though he didn’t know why he was acting so irritable. He hated Wonwoo so very much but at the same time he wanted to know what the kid was up to. There was more Jaehyun wasn’t telling him, but he wasn’t going to cause a scene. He’d just have to wait.

 

“So you’re actually going to leave Wonwoo alone for once.” Jaehyun arched a brow, dribbling his own ball behind him as they got in line with the rest of the team. If Jaehyun knew any better he wouldn’t push it….

 

Mingyu could see Seungcheol whip his head towards him in the corner of his eye, though it wasn’t threatening nor alarming. It was like they had captured the beta’s attention as a barely audible and miscellaneous sound caught a dog’s. He couldn’t help but wonder… if Seungcheol wasn’t going with his boyfriend, how much did he even know exactly anyways? What was stopping him? Coach? 

 

The senior’s record wasn’t that great. Seungcheol was definitely a friend of skipping practice. Probably to go makeout with Wonwoo or bother him during his studies. But that was besides the point. Seungcheol could afford to miss another practice. So why hadn’t he? 

 

Must’ve had a tiff with his boyfriend or something then.

 

The blank stare on Seungcheol’s face was more than enough of an indicator of something wrong. 

 

As they got closer to the free throw lane in front of the hoop, he could feel the heat of anger rising with the hairs on his neck, searing his back with a hot tingling feeling. He couldn’t help but clench his teeth, dribbling his ball harder and harder like it was a stress ball. Basketball had always been therapy for him after all. Ever since Wonwoo-

 

He wasn’t going to get into it. But the fact still remained. What the hell was Seungcheol still doing here? The fucking beta should have gone with his boyfriend. He didn’t know if the guy had eyes but it didn’t take a genius to know Wonwoo wasn’t the strongest omega out there. Heck, back when they were kids he remembered having to hold himself back from hugging Wonwoo all the time or else he’d break every bone in his fragile body. 

 

Mingyu hated omegas for their weakness. What was the whole point of evolution if nature permitted the weak to thrive? For beautiful flowers to be stomped on? What was the evolutionary purpose of having a heart anyways? Wonwoo sure knew how to break it. 

 

Still, that didn’t mean he was going to let the omega and his idiot friends get themselves in trouble. 

 

“Yo, Mingyu.” Jaehyun groaned. “Are you good?”

 

“Huh?” he snapped, craning his head over his shoulder.

 

“You seemed pretty out of it a second ago. You sure Wonwoo’s scent hasn’t gotten to you?” the other alpha snickered, covering his mouth.

 

“Fuck, it’s all I can smell. Still.” Baekho snorted, laughing from the line on the other side of the court. 

 

“Shut up.” Seungcheol muttered. Despite his bulky appearance what came out of the beta’s mouth was nothing but a mewl. 

 

Mingyu glared at him, more disappointed than annoyed. Wonwoo sucked at picking boyfriends. Who was this guy anyways?

 

Pathetic.

 

He would have snapped Baekho’s neck if it weren’t for all the potential witnesses in the room.

“Hey, where’s Jeon?” BamBam asked, strutting between the two lines to get to the center of the free throw lane. If they all hadn’t been worn out by yesterday’s practice they would have stopped him. Though cutting the line was never an odd occurrence really. They were all going to the same place anyways. Coach usually had them dribbling and shooting for the first half of practice. That was, when he wasn’t taking up the other half yelling at them and barking orders. 

 

“Why do you wanna know?” Yugyeom chuckled, waiting for BamBam to wrap up his dramatics at the hoop as he swung from the net.

 

Mingyu wanted to know too. Jungkook was so dead if he was involved in Wonwoo’s ‘conspiracy’. If he caught a scent of Jungkook on the preserve he swore it would be all out war. Though he had to hand it to Yugyeom. Even if he hated Jungkook, Yugyeom’s loyalty to his friend was… well, admirable. 

 

“Jeon’s with the other losers probably.” Baekho huffed, resting his hands on his hips as he watched Yugyeom take his shot after Bambam. 

 

“How much manpower does Won think he needs?” Mingyu narrowed his eyes, glaring at the hoop while he accessed his imaginaton.

 

“Yeah, Woozi’s enough.” Jaehyun nudged him, laughing.

 

“Maybe enough for whatever’s out there killing animals. But not enough to stop me.” 

 

“W-What?” 

 

“Nothing.” Mingyu growled, getting out of line and sprinting towards the free throw lane.

 

“The fuck-” Baekho yelped, wobbling on his legs as Mingyu pushed him out of the way with one arm while his other shot his basketball into the hoop.

 

“Hey Kim! Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Coach Kang shouted, grabbing his whistle.

 

“Something came up. See ya!” Mingyu called back, bursting out the exit doors. 

 

“Who does that guy think he is?” Seungcheol grunted, going for his shot at the hoop as soon as Mingyu ran out of earshot. Jaehyun drowned out his complaints, still stuck on the fact that a raging alpha was now on his way to rip Wonwoo’s throat out. 

 

“Some team player.” Baekho laughed. “Ditching us to go get some head from his girlfriend probably.” 

 

All Jaehyun could do was gulp.

 

Wonwoo was totally screwed.

 

II

 

“Ahhh, I don’t like this.” Seungkwan drawled out, clutching his hands and resting his head on Vernon’s chest as the blond boy guided them off the dirt road and onto the fading green grass of the meadow. 

 

Soonyoung had parked his car on the circular path that branched off from the main dirt trail. In broad daylight it would have stuck out like a pink flamingo on a bland landscape in the middle of nowhere. But since it was getting darker and darker with the sun going down, it blended in with the dark green forest in the distance as well as the tall grass surrounding it.

 

“Do not tell me you’re having second guesses.” Jun huffed. “This was your idea!”

 

“Yeah, but I didn’t expect the sun to be going down so early. I thought we’d have more time!”

 

“Kwannie, it’s fine.” Vernon murmured, kissing the omega’s forehead. 

 

“Remember, we’re doing this for the glory of science!” Jun said with exasperation, galloping down the shallow slope that brought them down into the meadow.

 

“Nah.” Vernon snorted. “We’re doing this for the glory of being dumb kids.”

 

Woozi huffed. 

 

“I second that.”

 

“I third.” Jun bounced in the air, landing at the base of the slope.

 

“So you really think you found something? A pattern maybe?” Woozi arched his brow, grabbing Wonwoo by the shoulder. 

 

While Wonwoo opened his mouth to try and explain himself, Woozi continued.

 

“I just realized this was a life and death situation. You’re telling me there was no deliberation? No one questioned the efficacy of your crazy theory?” 

 

“I did.” Seungkwan smiled, raising his hand. “But you know Wonwoo…”

 

“So we could end up like all those dead cows…” Jun whistled, staring blankly ahead.

 

Wonwoo rolled his eyes.

 

“Seungkwan might. Traitors die first.”

 

“Traitors?” his fellow omega scoffed. 

 

“Anyone who doesn’t agree with my brother is a traitor. It’s nothing new.” Jungkook snorted.

 

“Well, it doesn’t matter anymore. We have Vernon and Jun here with us so I hope that ‘allays’ your fears.”

 

“Gee, thanks for the shoutout.” Jungkook crossed his arms, earning a butt on the shoulder from a giggling Soonyoung. 

 

“Aww, you poor things. Always being left out.” Seungkwan teased.

 

“Now I see why Seungcheol isn’t here with us.” Jun remarked on the group infighting, though not before getting slapped by Minghao for not keeping his mouth shut. 

 

“Yeah, Seungcheol’s pretty serious about basketball right?” Minghao smiled sheepishly.

 

Jungkook arched a brow.

 

“Nah, he’s the opposite. I always had to do the extra work whenever he was a no show. I figured he would have missed practice for you?” Jungkook inclined his head, turning towards his elder brother. All Wonwoo could do was glare at Jun, but that wasn’t going to solve anything.

 

“He had... second thoughts.” Wonwoo sighed, having taken in a tank full of air just to admit that his boyfriend chose not to come with them.

 

“Second thoughts?” Jungkook snorted. “Only omegas have second thoughts.”

 

“Hey!” Seungkwan whined, getting smothered with hugs and kisses from Vernon as he dragged him along.

 

“I mean, I may be the exception.” Woozi began. “Generally speaking though, betas don’t have second thoughts. They’re born to jump into things. And most importantly, protect their mates- not that you guys are mates.” he chuckled nervously.

 

If Wonwoo hadn’t been so angry his eyes would have bulged at the sight of Woozi being anxious for once. He had proved time and time again that anyone would shit their pants whenever he glared at them.

 

“Zi, you’re not helping.” he gritted.

 

“Your friend’s job isn’t to cover for your ass all the time, Wonu.” Jungkook groaned, coming up behind him and strangling him. 

 

“And your job isn’t to annoy me.”

 

“Alright, fine. But I’m just saying I’d suck as a brother if I didn’t-”

 

“Probe into my private life?”

 

“You know what I mean.” Jungkook groaned. 

 

“Okay Wonu, just because Kookie tried to eat you in the womb doesn’t mean you have to hold a grudge on him.” Seungkwan sighed.

 

“Funny. But we’re not twins.”

 

“You hate each other like you are.” Woozi scoffed.

 

Wonwoo rolled his eyes.

 

“Does this look like I hate my brother.” the omega grinned awkwardly, bringing himself to wrap his arms around the beta like a giant squid suffocating a whale. 


Woozi could only rest a hand on his hip and watch the two. Wonwoo’s teeth looked like they could chip off from the pressure with which he was clenching down on them. Wonwoo looked as stiff as a twig while Jungkook tried his best to reciprocate. Though he wasn’t very successful. 

 

“Of course it doesn’t.” Woozi laughed lightly, throwing away every ounce of honesty he had. 

 

“It’s obvious you’ve never hugged anyone before.” Seungkwan remarked, resting all of his weight on his right foot while he placed a hand on his hip.

 

Jun broke out in laughter.

 

“It’s probably why Seungcheol-”

 

Wonwoo wasn’t going to let him finish, pushing off from Jungkook and leaping onto Jun ‘claws out’. 

 

Jun lurched backwards, catching Wonwoo by his armpits as the omega wrapped his hands around his mouth.

 

Everyone sputtered and laughed, save for Minghao who could have melted his way to the earth’s core if he just stood there and kept quiet.

 

“Get off my boyfriend, Jeon.” Minghao growled, yanking the omega by the back of his shirt. Despite the violent wobbling of his legs Jun breathed a sigh of relief, sheepishly smiling as Minghao tried to compose himself. If the delta hadn’t ‘saved’ him they would have stayed in that compromising position….

 

“Yeah Jeon, save the antics for Seung-”

 

“Don’t.” Minghao snapped, pointing his finger at him. 

 

“Got it!” Jun chuckled sheepishly, scratching his head. Who would have thought slow and sluggish Wonu had all that energy and bite in him?

 

“Thanks Hao. Sorry ‘bout that.” Wonwoo laughed nervously, running to hide behind his brother as they continued further into the interior of the meadow. 

 

Woozi let a few moments of calm silence go by, relegating the task of finding whatever it was exactly that they were looking for to his best friend. 

 

“So you really think you found something interesting about that piano?” he pressed again, crossing his arms. Hopefully Jun wouldn’t interrupt them this time. 

 

Soonyoung looked down at Woozi in curiosity. Circling an arm around his waist, grinning. Woozi was someone who had a lot of ‘firsts’. And this was one of them. His first “dumb teenager” investigation which might just end up in them getting killed. Maybe clawed to death by Mingyu’s pack.  

 

Woozi hadn’t scoffed or demanded to know anything for that matter in an interrogating way. But now that Soonyoung thought about it, Woozi wasn’t an idiot. There were common sense betas. They all were walking into this blindly and Woozi knew it was wise to be patient. Especially when their lives could depend on it.

 

Wonwoo craned his neck back to look over his and Jungkook’s shoulder, granting him a confident nod. 

 

“Hmm. I believe so. What would you call it? An algorithm?” he tilted his head, looking up at the orange horizon to think. 

 

“Oh yes, I remember now. So basically I was tuning the piano in the auditorium… yeah, long story.” Wonwoo shrugged, ignoring how everyone’s eyebrows went up. “All I had to do was take the fifth to the twelfth power, then subtract seven octaves, to get the Pythagorean comma of each note. But I only got the commas for three notes. I got a little preoccupied….”

 

Minghao turned to Jun, making sure he wasn’t going to say anything stupid.

 

“I know what you mean.” Seungkwan hummed, walking up to Wonwoo to pat his fellow omega on the shoulder. 

 

“I don’t.” Woozi chuckled. “What do musical notes have anything to do with what’s been going on out here?” 

 

“Shhh!” Soonyoung hissed, grabbing the other beta’s arms and shaking him. “Keep your voice down. We might not be alone.”

 

Woozi rolled his eyes. 

 

“Right, ‘cause whatever is killing these cows totally can’t see us for miles. Have you noticed there is no tree cover around us?”

 

Soonyoung growled

 

“Whatever, but if it’s a bear that we are dealing with then trust me, I’ll run faster than you.”

 

Seungkwan raised his finger, leaning into Woozi’s periphery.

 

“I don’t think it’s a bear. Or else those cows would have been torn to pieces and completely consumed.”

 

It was at that moment that Wonwoo swore he could hear Jungkook and Jun’s teeth clattering. And they definitely weren’t freezing.

 

“Alright Soonie, we’ll promise to be cautious. Right, Zi?” Wonwoo smiled, making sure his friend got the memo.

 

“Yup. I promise. Only if you care to enlighten all of us about the rest of your ‘interesting’ story.”

 

Wonwoo nodded.

 

“I guess I should start with the piano-”

 

“Yeah, what made you think of a piano as helping you solve a murder mystery.” Jun snickered.

 

“Well… There seemed to be a big emphasis that the universe had placed on the piano in the auditorium. It was like I was being lured there. First it was this ‘Jiyong’ kid. He was quite the charmer. And then there was Rose. You guys know her right?”

 

They all nodded, impatiently that was. It was obvious they all wanted him to stop digressing and continue.

 

“Well, Jiyong was playing this song I heard before and I thought he was pretty good at it so I went to talk to him. He was an interesting character and I’m sure once we learn more about what’s going on more things will reveal themselves and come to make sense. On the other hand, Rose had opened up the piano soundboard and had been plucking the strings when I had come in the room again. I always thought of her as the quiet and reserved type. She definitely wasn’t ‘weird’ I would say. But that day changed my perspective. There was something odd about both of them. Not to mention they were playing the same song.”

 

“You mean the same notes?” Woozi tilted his head.

 

“Right. I forgot to mention that she wasn’t actually playing the piano. She was plucking the strings. And it sounded exactly like the song that Jiyong kid was playing. But she wasn’t looking at the sheet music….”

 

Jungkook snorted.

 

“Isn’t she a banshee or something?”

 

“You mean a bandit?” Seungkwan arched a brow.

 

Jungkook slapped his forehead.

 

“Bruh. What have you been smoking, kid?”

 

“Hey! I’m older than you!”

 

“Well I rank higher-”

 

“Jungkook!” Wonwoo growled, getting in his brother’s way and squeezing his cheeks. It may have been embarrassing to be ‘mommed’ by his own brother but at least it was better than being strangled. 

 

“Yo, maybe if Wonwoo gave as much affection to Jungkook as he did to his own boyfriend he’d- Gotcha!” Jun laughed, catching Minghao’s wrists as he went to slap him on the shoulder. 

 

 “Nice try.” 

 

Steam practically came out of Minghao’s ears and he shoved Jun towards a patch of tall grass, wrestling with him along the fringe of the towering vegetation. 

 

Their whole “pack” might as well brawl with each other now that Jun and Minghao got the ball rolling.

 

“Does this look like affection to you?” Jungkook gurgled out, trying to sound coherent as his omega brother squished his cheeks.

 

“You’re not ever going to get Jimin to marry you if you talk down to omegas.” Wonwoo scoffed, releasing his brother. 

 

Jungkook huffed.

 

“Seungkwan’s two inches shorter than me. I am talking down to him.” 

 

“Why you little-” Seungkwan began but was instantly shut up by Vernon’s hand which came over his mouth. 

 

“Okay everyone, we better get back on track before the sun sets-”

 

Apparently no one was ever going to manage to finish a sentence. Not with Jun screaming like an adolescent girl. 

 

“What! What is it?” Minghao laughed, crouching down to get a better look through the tall grass that he pushed Jun into.

 

“Guys…” Jun quivered, rustling a little as he tried to steady his breathing. “I found something.”

 

“The third cow?” 

 

Wonwoo’s breath hitched, and he splayed out his arms behind him as he scurried towards the patch of tall grass. 

 

“No.” Jun said quickly. It was impossible for anyone to have missed the tremble in his voice.

 

“Minghao, what is it?” Seungkwan asked slowly, hugging himself. 

 

“I- I don’t know. Jun! You better not be playing a prank on us!” Minghao growled, standing at the edge of the patch and staring into it. The grasses waved and curled in the wind, like an underwater sea anemone. The shade between the reeds couldn’t have been more ominous. 

 

Wonwoo went to say something but his attempts were halted by the sense of fear that overwhelmed him. It must have been the same thing Jun was experiencing at that moment which made him too frightened to move.

 

Minghao was a delta. He was supposed to have an acute sense for danger. If anything was behind that patch of grass, he should have known it by now.

 

Odd.

 

“Jun, come out!”

 

“Please.” Minghao added softly, laying off the tense rhetoric. 

 

“Okay, I’m moving back slowly.” Jun said, narrating his own actions. Whatever could scare an alpha had to be taken seriously. Even if Jun was the most unserious person they knew.

 

It was at that moment that they all heard more rustling as Jun got closer to the edge of the patch. Finally the brunette head of hair they knew belonged to Jun broke from the wall of grass, followed by his arms and legs which he used to crabwalk backwards. If anything however, they weren’t prepared for the black-furred snout and elongated jaw coming out behind him, open, and drooling from it’s pink gums and white teeth bigger than a shark’s jaws. Nor were they ready to see menacing red alpha eyes, glaring at them.

 

It was enough to send Vernon into action, leaving Seungkwan’s side and leaping towards the slope that led into the patch of tallgrass. Jun scrambled backwards, giving the other alpha enough space to land. The blond touched down in front of him, flicking his claws out from his fingers and bearing his teeth. None of them had time to react before Vernon unleashed his roar, flattening the reeds of grass behind the wolf creature. It must have been about the size of the average human, perhaps a foot larger in length. And with its size came strength. But that didn’t mean it didn’t have to dig its claws into the ground to keep his balance as Vernon roared at it. Jun let out a growl, regrouping with the other alpha before rebounding and getting into a fighting stance. It didn’t deter the wolf but at least he could feel confident in creating a solid wall of alpha muscle. 

 

“Is that even a wolf?” Jungkook huffed, bawling his fists and stepping forward in a defensive stance. Even if he was a couple dozen feet behind Jun and Vernon, someone needed to protect his brother.

 

“I don’t even know.” Wonwoo clutched his head. “Let’s just get out of-”

 

“Vernon! Don’t. Move.” Seungkwan interjected, holding his hands forward as if it would escalate the situation. 

 

“Too late!” Jun yelped, rolling out of the way as the wolf pounced, leaping into the air and soaring past them. 

 

“Shit!” Vernon cursed, clutching his shoulder as one of the wolf’s claws scratched him as it flew by. The unknown animal quadruped landed on the incline, digging his claws in the grass to get a grip and readjust his position to make another attack jump. 

 

“Vernon!” Seungkwan shouted, fighting against Jungkook’s grip as he caught him before he could do anything foolish. 

 

“I got it!” Vernon groaned, flashing his red eyes as he backed away from the fast and agile beast.

 

Just when it returned to the air, pushing off from its hind legs and going in for the kill, Minghao intercepted it mid air, kicking it in the underside. 

 

It was a direct hit to the gut, protected only by fat and fur. Even if it softened the blow, Minghao’s kick was still enough to send it sliding across the grass. 

 

“No, I got it.” Minghao hummed, landing gracefully on his feet. 

 

“Yeah! Fuck him up!” Jungkook whistled, taking his hands off Seungkwan to act like a rowdy and obnoxious football fan. 

 

“Get in there and help him!” Seungkwan hissed. 

 

“Who even is this guy?” Wonwoo stepped forward, wanting to get a better look. 

 

“I don’t smell a scent.” Vernon growled, still struggling to deal with the stinging sensation on his shoulder.

 

“It’s an alpha. It has to be. That thing isn’t healing.” Jun nodded towards the blond, although he only glanced at the cut. One more second of his attention diverted away from the creature could have been fatal. 

 

“Pshh.” Woozi scoffed, breaking free from the long sleeves around his arm as he bulked up. “I’ll give it wounds that’ll never heal.” 

 

No.

 

“It has to be Mingyu.” Wonwoo whispered to himself, remembering the black-furred wolf from days ago. The same beast that confronted him in the cave that also-

 

He wasn’t going to go there. All he knew was that he was mad as hell. Did Mingyu really think he could get away with attacking his friends? Nevermind MURDER. If anyone was going to end up dead it would be him.

 

“Hey, Mingyu! If you really want to scare us it isn’t working!” Wonwoo huffed, putting his hands on his hips.

 

“W-What?” Seungkwan sputtered. What Wonwoo said alone teetered on the edge of insanity. But the way he nonchalantly said it bordered on a whole other level. They were all about to die and here Wonwoo was, putting his hands on his hips like he was talking to his husband who came home late and now his dinner was cold.

Something changed in the creature’s demeanor. The primitive rage that had manifested itself in the deep growls that the wolf had made now transformed into something more sinister. It’s eyes narrowed, as if it had been ‘caught’. But that wasn’t all. The wolf knew exactly what they were saying, as if it had been masking its intelligence with a barbaric curtain that had only stayed closed until now. Now things become serious. The creature wasn’t playing around. They knew it wasn’t just a “normal wolf”, prowling the preserve. 

 

Letting out a snort, it began to run towards Jun, charging him with full confidence that it could tear the alpha to shreds. Quick and swiftly.  

 

“Jun!” Minghao grunted, knowing he wouldn’t be able to get to his boyfriend in time. 

 

Jun responded in kind, retracting his clawed hand to get some momentum. But it appeared he wouldn’t need it.

 

Woozi turned out to be quicker, even in his bulked-up form. The beta managed to give the creature a knuckle sandwich in the face. To no avail. The futile move only angered the thing, catching its attention like the nuisance of a tiny fly to a human. 

 

“Woozi get out of here.” Jun growled, springing towards the wolf and kicking it in the side as it clawed at the beta.

 

“Go!” Vernon yelled, swiping at the wolf. The blond's claws went deep enough to draw blood, but from a quick look at the damage inflicted on the beast he could tell he’d only made a surface-level strike. The creature was already planning his retaliation even before Vernon landed the attack, standing on its hind legs for a few seconds to claw his right arm. 

 

“Ah! F-” Vernon hissed, trying not to swear. 

 

Jun stepped in, protecting his friend from a follow-up strike. The taller alpha went to throw an uppercut at the wolf who was still standing slightly thanks to its hind legs. He totally missed, prompting the creature to crane its body around so that its legs were facing him. One kick was enough to send Jun falling on his back. With Jun helpless on the ground and neutralized, the creature could now deal with the beta nuisance on its other side. 

 

Woozi tried to hold his ground but the sheer weight of the beast grabbing onto his arms with its claws and pushing him back was too much. Not to mention its snapping jaws were already pretty intimidating. 

 

Minghao did his best to grab at the thing’s tail but it was quick to sense the danger, turning back around to swipe at the delta. 

 

“I think it’s rabid!” Jungkook shouted. “Try walking away from it!”

 

“Nah! This thing wants us dead!” Jun chuckled nervously, clutching his stomach where the animal had kicked  him. 

 

Jungkook looked towards Soonyoung who was getting ready to jump in,

 

“Soonie. Watch Wonu for me, I’m going in.” Jungkook huffed, grabbing the collar of his jersey. 

 

“W-What? I was gonna help-”

 

He had to prove himself to Woozi somehow…. 

 

“I got dibs!” the younger beta laughed, not caring at all about the disappointed look on Soonyoung’s face. Instead, Jungkook sprinting towards the patch of tallgrass.

 

“Jun! I need your back!” 

 

“H-Huh?” 

 

“Duck!” 

 

“Just do it!” Wonwoo growled, clutching his face. He didn’t know what his brother was up to but all he knew was that it was their only chance. 

 

“Please please please come back alive.” he whined, clasping his hands. 

 

Jungkook smirked, ignoring everyone else's dumbfounded faces. He let out the biggest roar, closing his eyes shut and clenching his fists as he tore his shirt apart and transformed.

 

“Mingyu, if that’s you get ready to see the ultimate slam dunk!” he snickered through his fangs, running up Jun’s back and jumping off from his shoulders, jettisoning himself ten feet in the air with his ‘werewolf propulsion’. 

 

“Kookie you’re a beta! You’re gonna get killed!” Seungkwan yelled.

 

Jungkook was already in the air, descending towards the animal who could do nothing but gape at him with its jaw hanging open and searing red eyes widened. 

 

Of course he could have just stomped on the thing as he landed it on, but elbowing it in the skull was better. Just like a WWE wrestler. 

 

Jungkook was a big fan. 

 

The beta came down elbow first with his torso curved and out of the way of the wolf’s teeth and claws. Not that the animal was even prepared to make a counterattack. Jungkook simply was too fast and creative. Even for an alpha.

 

It was like the ground had quaked when the creature’s head made contact with it. Nevermind Jungkook’s elbow colliding with  its skull. The beta sprang to his feet almost immediately, knowing he was vulnerable with the wolf lying right next to him. The creature didn’t even have time to recover himself before Jungkook grabbed it’s thick and furry tail, flinging it 180 degrees towards the wall of tallgrass where it came out from. The creature’s legs collapsed as they tried to get a grip on the grass with its body making a soft thud on the ground.

 

If Jungkook didn’t have yellow eyes Wonwoo would have sworn he was an alpha. His brother’s lion’s roar was more than enough to scare the hell out of him. The beta’s demonstration of his power was overkill. A good kind of overkill though considering they themselves would have been killed without his brother. But something in the back of Wonwoo’s mind told him Jungkook had only one with his quick-mindedness and ingenuity. If his brother had simply gone in there looking for a one-on-one fist fight, the creature was sure to have killed him instantly. 

 

“Yo, nice job!” Jun laughed.

 

Vernon smiled faintly, hoping the creature got the message and was warded off. 

 

“If only Jimin were here.” Wonwoo scoffed. Though the snarky grin on his face betrayed the happiness he felt at being alive.

 

The wolf let out an annoyed but faint growl, struggling to stand up on its four legs properly. The hit to its head had shaken it up alright. 

 

“Get back!” Vernon shouted, making sure everyone was out of the way. 

 

The animal shook its head as if it had just come out of water and wanted to dry itself off. Poor thing. It probably had a concussion. 

 

“Mingyu… You’d get out of here if you knew what was good for you.” Wonwoo huffed. He’d never forget the cuts Vernon got on his shoulder and arm. Mingyu had gone too far this time. He was lucky he was getting out of this alive. 

 

The thing merely snapped at him, stalking backwards into the tall grass before scurrying away. Though ‘scurrying’ might not have been the right word. The creature wasn’t some mutated chipmunk or sewer rat. It was some kind of wolf. And it dragged its paws like each one was a sledgehammer.

 

“Solie!” Seungkwan whimpered, running towards the blond alpha before any of them could even release a sigh of relief. 

 

“Right.” Wonwoo said to himself, hurrying over to their friend. “Are you guys okay?” 

 

“Yeah.” Jungkook hummed, raking a hand through his hair. The action made his biceps flex and suddenly Minghao and Seungkwan had to try and forget the image of Jungkook being shirtless. 

 

“Uh, Kookie, you’re not the one bleeding or experiencing abdominal pain….” 

 

“Damn, okay. I see how it is.” Jungkook scoffed.

 

“And put a shirt on! Geez!” 

 

“A thank you would be nice.” the beta grunted, crossing his arms as if it would cover his torso enough.

 

“Thank you.” Wonwoo nodded, composing himself. “I’m just glad everyone’s still alive.”

 

“Awww thanks.” Jun grinned, blushing as Minghao stood up on his tippy toes to kiss him. 

 

“So…. This means we’re going back right?” Seungkwan laughed nervously, cursing the sun for not already setting. So long as it was still out Wonwoo wouldn’t be giving up. 

 

“What? You’re the one who came up with this whole thing!”

 

“Yeah but I wanted to go check out a dead cow, not look for trouble!”

 

“Everything on the Kim preserve is trouble.”

 

“Well, that’s why we’re leaving.” Seungkwan shunned him. “Vernon’s still hurt. Those nasty cuts aren’t healing.”

 

“They’re not nasty.” Vernon groaned, embarrassed. “I’m fine!”

 

“Oh hell no! We’re going mister and that’s final!” 

 

“What! Why!”

 

“A wild animal just tried to eat us!”

 

Vernon scoffed. 

 

“That wasn’t a wild animal. It attacked us because it doesn’t want us on the preserve. Doesn’t want us finding something.”

 

“That’s more than a good enough reason to get out of-”

 

“C’mon, Kwannie. We’ll leave when the sun sets. How much longer do we have to go ‘til we’ll find the third cow?”

 

“We don’t even know if we’ll find it or if there is a third cow!”

 

“He’s got a point.” Jun chuckled sheepishly. 

 

Minghao huffed.

 

“I think we should keep going. Whatever we’ll find it’s got to be important enough for a werewolf to try and stop us.”

 

“We don’t know what that thing was.” Seungkwan dismissed him, staring out into space with a frustrated expression. 

 

“I thought Mingyu was ridiculous before but- what if he’s something else?” Minghao asked, glancing around them in search for any sign of agreement.

 

“Are you saying he’s involved in some sinister plot?” Wonwoo laughed, eyeing the delta as if he were crazy. “He can’t even spell ‘Mom’ backwards let alone kill someone.”

 

Woozi eyed him for a moment, wondering where all his friend’s intelligence had gone.

 

“That’s what he has you thinking. Who knows anyways? Maybe he’s fooled all of us enough into thinking he’s a dumb kid when really he’s a snake.”

 

“Wolf, actually.” Jungkook huffed. 

 

Wonwoo laughed mockingly.

 

“Funny. But we can’t discount anything right now. Not when there’s something out here killing cows.”

 

“Killing and mutilating them.” Jungkook added.

 

“Great! Don’t remind me.” Seungkwan hissed. “This is all my fault.”

 

The omega’s frown deepened further as they continued on their trek through the meadow which - thankfully - was still illuminated by the sun.

 

“Aw c’mon, Kwannie. Have some faith in your man. He’s a tough alpha.”

 

“Tough and stubborn. This is so unlike you to completely disregard my opinion.” the omega snapped, still pouting as he turned his back away from his boyfriend.

 

“It’s your opinion.”

 

“And you should respect it!”

 

Vernon sighed. 

 

“I do, but sometimes I value my opinion too.” 

 

“Well, look at it like this. It isn’t just my opinion. I have gut instincts. And my gut is saying we should get out of here before-”

 

“What?” Wonwoo growled, loud enough to cut them off.

 

“What is it? That thing isn’t back again right?” Jun quivered.

 

“No.” Wonwoo sighed. “I don’t see the cow anywhere. There was a pattern I discovered with the musical notes and coordinates of the previous killings!” 

 

“It must have been just a coincidence then.” Jungkook shrugged.

 

“Well! Looks like there was nothing mysterious after all.” Seungkwan smiled, not caring that he was interrupted. “It was probably just that old feral wolf who was playing with his food.” 

 

“Old feral wolves make messes when they eat.” Woozi retorted. “Isn’t that what caught your interest?”

 

“Y-Yes but-” Seungkwan groaned. “We know it’s Mingyu now  so... wa la! Case closed!” 

 

“If that thing was Mingyu then it wouldn’t have left.” 

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Pshh. he’s an ‘apex alpha’ remember? With that kind of strength, there’s no point in attacking and running away. You saw Vernon and Jun fight him at the party. They were completely obliterated-”

 

“Hey!” Jun growled.

 

“Oh shush.” Minghao rolled his eyes, resting his head on the alpha’s shoulder before giving Woozi an apologetic look.

 

“Anyways. Mingyu could have finished us off if he wanted to.”

 

“Yeah, but then he’d have blood on his hands.” Jungkook chuckled. “Plus, I don’t know if you know the guy, but I know him well enough to say he’s not the serial killer type.”

 

“Never said he was.”

 

“Then why are you making him out to be some kind of sadistic criminal? You think he was just ‘playing with his food’ back there?”

 

“No. I think whatever that animal was, it didn’t want us walking any further.” 

 

“Oh, so it must have been a nice and good-intentioned spirit creature r-right? The guardian of the preserve!” Seungkwan smiled, trying not to look deranged as he glared daggers into Woozi’s skull. 

 

“Maybe.” the beta shrugged.

 

Wonwoo turned around from where he was surveying the meadow, having only spotted a prairie dog chewing on a few leaves in the distance. He wondered how far they had strayed away from the car. He could see the heat ripples rising from the road far away, outlining the faint dirt path they had come through the forest on. Pine trees surrounded them on all fronts but appeared only as a short wall protecting the swamps, ponds, and patches of open land that littered the Kim Preserve. Even if they strayed further away, the dark greek forest on their left was the closest to their position. Suddenly looking more ominous than when they had driven through it.

 

“I guess Kwannie’s right. The sun’s almost already set anyways.” he sighed. 

 

“Wait!” Vernon raised his hand, taking it off his still slowly healing wound. “Remember the first cow killing? Jae said it was in the forest somewhere.”

 

“Yeah, I dropped a pin on my phone’s map where Jae said it was.” Wonwoo murmured, taking out his phone to check and see if he still had the screenshots Jaehyun sent him.

 

“No! Don’t encourage him.” Seungkwan hissed. 

 

“We didn’t drive all the way out here for nothing.” Vernon grunted.

 

“If we bail or not, I don’t mind either way. Just don’t break up because of it, please.” Wonwoo sighed.

 

“I’m down.” Jun shrugged. “So long as we won’t be saying that animal again.” 

 

“Same.” Minghao laughed. “And hey, we won’t be out in the open or as vulnerable.”

 

Seungkwan scowled, looking around at everyone elses faces. 

 

“Fine. But when I don’t see my shadow anymore, we’re leaving.”

 

Wonwoo tilted his head, still trying to process the riddle Seungkwan gave him when the rest of the group burst out giggling. 

 

“Gee, Kwannie. If you hadn’t suggested we go on this trip I would have thought you were afraid of your own shadow actually.” Jun snickered.

 

“C’mon guys. If I were an omega I don’t think I’d want to be out at night either. Who knows what kind of monsters would want to eat you.” Vernon smirked, turning to scent Seungkwan’s neck.

 

“Gah- stop it.” Seungkwan groaned. “Hurry it up, will you? Let’s just take some pics and get out of here. We can investigate away from the crime scene.”

 

“Anyone bring clothespins? I might need them for my nose. Who knows how long this cow’s been out here dead.”

 

“It was fresh when the Kim’s found it.” Jungkook interjected, remembering Seungkwan’s story at the party.

 

“Hopefully it hasn’t been eaten out by bugs or shit.” Woozi muttered, kicking a pebble as they headed back to their cars.

 

It took them a shorter amount of time to get back to their “convoy” than it had getting out into the center of the meadow. It was probably because Seungkwan was so eager to leave that he speed-walked so fast they all had to put a little pep in their steps to keep up with him. 

 

They closed the doors of Soonyoung’s and Vernon’s cars behind them as they got back on the road, venturing slowly into the thick of the forest, leaving the rolling grasslands in the dust of their tires.

 

Where the dirt road around the preserve and cutting into the meadow was all smooth and sandy, the path leading into the forest was more or less a treacherous pass. The tips of rocks jutted out through the cold and wet dirt, accompanied by tree trunks sprawling out and crossing the road to connect one half of the forest with the other. 

 

Pine needles fell from the trees on occasion whenever the wind picked up. Wonwoo swore it was like some kind of gargoyle-like creature was going to flap their bat wings above them, ready to prey on them with it’s claws. It felt like that kind of night. Even if it was still sunet. Sometimes the orange sky was more creepy than a purple one. 

 

The place would have been prettier if not for all the crooked shapes that the branches made as they curved and crossed over one another. 

 

Wonwoo reminded himself to look back down at his phone so that Soonyoung wouldn’t have to keep checking up on him. He knew the beta had to keep up a stern and rigid appearance in front of Woozi if he was ever going to get his respect. But he couldn’t help but feel sympathetic for him. This place was getting creepier by each minute that the sun was going down. He had to hand it to Soonie for keeping his cool. Plus, it wasn’t like Jun or Vernon were sitting still in their seats either. He could see them in Vernon’s car behind them in the side mirror shaking like poor little things. But alphas liked roller coasters so it must have been a craving for thrills kind of thing. If Seungcheol hadn’t been such a douchebag and came along with them, he probably would have smothered himself in his boyfriend’s chest by now. That was, if his nose wasn’t buried enough in his phone. 

 

“We’re coming up on it.” Wonwoo said plainly, squinting his eyes a little as the blue dot that signaled their location started to rapidly approach the red pin he had dropped on the place Jaehyun said the first cow was found. Hopefully the carcass hadn’t decayed much. Otherwise the whole trip would have been for nothing. 

 

Jungkook instantly sat up at his warning, squishing his legs together like he was going to pee his pants.

 

“I guess I’ll get out first. You guys wait behind me.”

 

“Huh? Why?” Soonyoung asked, still keeping his eye out for anything on the road.

 

“This is it. Right off the side here.” Wonwoo murmured, holding up his digital map. Soonyoung spun the steering wheel to the left, easing the breaks as his car bent downwards slightly as they turned off the road.

 

“He thinks we’re scared.” Woozi scoffed, looking out the window as the trees began to still once they came to a full stop.

 

“N-No. I’m just being a gentlemen.” Jungkook smiled sheepishly. “And, you know… if something does happen it’ll be safe to say I volunteered first.”

 

“How gallant.” Wonwoo groaned, ducking his head as he pushed the side door open. 

 

“Kookie’s a big boy.” Jun stuck his head out from the passenger side of Vernon’s car. He said it in that dumb jock type of voice but they all laughed nonetheless. If only Jun could always be their comic relief in times like this.

 

Jungkook set his feet down first, giving into his instincts to check and make sure the ground wasn’t quicksand. Who knew what kind of horrors were on the Kim preserve.

 

The gravelly sound of Vernon’s car rolling down the small slope of dirt and rocks was drowned out by the high-pitched chirping and squawking of birds hiding in the thicket in front of them. They were invisible megaphones, blasting a cacophony at them in deterrence. As if they knew what they would find in the forest was a secret only they knew as nature’s neutral observers. The wall of tree trunks, thick and thin, looked like one of those backgrounds to a grand nature painting, or an exhibit at a zoo. The air was humid, soiled with the smell of dirt and leaves. Wonwoo would have liked to call it calming and bask in nature’s serenity, if only the ground wasn’t soaked with the blood of a cow. Or lack thereof. 

 

“How far is ‘a little ways into the forest?” Seungkwan pinched his chin, huddling close to Vernon as recounted Jaehyun’s words. No matter how guilty Jaehyun was by his association with Mingyu, nothing would make him disagree that they wouldn’t need more ‘alpha backup’. 

 

“I don’t know, I didn’t ask.” Wonwoo shrugged, crossing his arms as he hopped further down the slope, sliding towards the beginnings of the brush at the base of the first trees. 

 

“I’m guessing a few hundred feet. Not far.” 

 

Woozi hummed, reaching to pull a tree branch back to allow the group through.

 

“Hey, Wonu. You bring your dad’s sword to chop up all these branches?” Woozi drawled out, making sure to rub it in his face.

 

“No. That’s for decoration, dummy.” Wonwoo scoffed. “Plus it’s dishonorable to use a ceremonial weapon for such menial work.”  

 

“It’s not like we were gonna dissect a cow carcass.” Vernon snorted, extending a clawed hand to swipe at the leaves and brush in their way.

 

“It should get better soon.” Wonwoo remarked, keeping his eyes dead ahead. He cringed every time Vernon and Jun clawed their way through each patch of leaves, hoping there weren’t any thorns. Vernon had enough damage done to him. 

 

He kind of wished he took his dad’s sword from its casing. It wasn’t like his old man needed it. His dad liked to think of himself more as a wolf who used his claws than a kitsune who used a sword anyways. He ducked his head as a branch Jun was holding swung back in place almost decapitated him. Luckily, omegas reflexes were quick enough for him to evade the branch. But he couldn’t say the same for Jungkook who got a bushel of leaves in his face.

 

“Hey! Watch it!” 

 

“Shhh.” Seungkwan hissed.

 

“Yeah, you’ll scare the aliens away.” Jun snickered.

 

“Or you’ll do the exact opposite and have them come bearing down on us if you don’t shut up.”

 

“Who knows what’s out here anyways.” Wonwoo sighed, whacking a few leaves out of the way.

 

“Maybe if you asked Rose or that Jiyong kid for more information we would have been prepared.” Seungkwan hummed. “I can’t say all omegas are patient and reasonable, can I?”

 

Wonwoo granted his friend a sorry look, but what could he do about it? He knew Seungkwan was curious and bent on investigating too, he just didn’t want anyone to think he was willingly leading them to their doom. Sure, the cow story he told was a cool camp fire story. But the last thing he wanted was for a story to become true.

 

“I looked everywhere for Rose, trust me. Lisa said her last class was math but she wasn’t there.”

 

“And what about that other guy?” Jungkook asked, crossing his arms as he twisted his body around shrubs and branches.

 

“Must have gone home early I guess.”

 

“Well, if anything happens we know who’ll end up dead meat.” Woozi snorted. “Whoever filled Wonu up with all this garbage about musical notes and coordinates is going to get it.”

 

“It’s not garbage. And I came up with it all by myself. Rose and Jiyong simply provided the clues. They don’t know anything about dead cows or stuff like that. I’m guessing.”

 

“How do you know? One of them had to have been sending a signal to you. Subliminal messages.” Woozi nudged him.

 

“I- I like to believe in the goodness of humanity.” Wonwoo smiled, trying not to cringe at his own words. 

 

“It doesn’t matter.” Seungkwan interjected. “We should have rescheduled until we found them. Haven’t you all realized this could have been a trap?” 

 

“One that you set when you told us to come here.” Jun snorted.

 

“And I told you I have second thoughts. That thing’s probably full of maggots anyways.”

 

Wonwoo turned around on his heel, ready to wag his finger at his friend if not for the faint rustling of leaves coming from a few feet away, muffled by the brush.

 

“Your dead bodies’ll be full of ‘em if you step any further.” a growling voice warned, coming through the thicket.

 

“Mingyu?” Wonwoo’s breath hitched, craning his neck to see Mingyu glaring at him through the crevice between two tall bushes. If he hadn’t looked so handsome the glass casing on creep-o-meter would have shattered from the needle going to high and he would have already been running for his life. There was just something about the alpha at that moment that made him look like he wanted to kill them and leave their bodies to rot in the forest where no one would find them. 

 

Their whole crew flinched and jolted backwards at the sight of the ‘apex alpha’. Even Seungkwan pulled a branch back, just in case he’d need to release it once Mingyu was chasing after them. It was all in vain though anyways. Mingyu wasn’t just hard headed when it came to academics.

 

Wonwoo couldn’t help but inhale a massive breath, harnessing the heat rising to his cheeks.

 

“You have some nerve coming back here! Thinking you can scare us?” he snapped, clenching his fists by his sides.

 

“And you have some nerve thinking you can trespass on my land.” Mingyu retorted.

 

Wonwoo pretended not to be offended by the alpha’s arrogance.

 

“It’s not your land.”

 

“Maybe not yet. But I’ll own it once I become pack alpha.”

 

“Oh really? Shouldn’t you be training or hunting with your dad then? Mr. soon-to-be-pack-alpha?”

 

“I don’t know.” Mingyu shrugged, ignoring how Wonwoo called him ‘Mr.’ and ‘alpha’. He didn’t know why but a wave of pride swelled in his chest. Chaeyeon might have gotten him aroused from those exact words but Wonwoo saying it was more than that. 

 

Mingyu shook it off.

 

“Protecting my pack is a higher priority. Especially when little shits like you are running around killing animals for fun.” 

 

“You think we’re the ones killing cows? You’re the blood-thirsty monster here. Not us.”

 

“You know what? I am bloodthirsty. Thirsty for the blood of anyone who thinks they can walk on the Kim’s preserve and get away with it.” Mingyu growled, flashing his eyes and whipping out his claws. 

 

“Wonwoo! Get back!” Woozi said in a slow and frustrated voice, yanking by the arm and letting Jun and Vernon block Mingyu from getting to him.

 

“We can do this again if you want. Like at the party. Or you can hand Wonu over and no one else gets hurt.”

 

“M-Mingyu-” Wonwoo chuckled, calling out to him as he struggled against Woozi. “We can settle this like adults, right? I-I’m sure there is a diplomatic situation-”

 

“Shut up!” Mingyu growled. “I hate it when you use big fucking words you fucking prick.” 

 

The taller alpha roared, clutching his head with both hands. 

 

Vernon and Jun nodded to each other, unfettered by Mingyu’s attempted intimidation. The both of them brought their feet behind them in a fighting stance before lifting them up and nailing Mingyu’s abdomen with their heels.

 

Wonwoo should have kown two alphas weren’t enough to topple the King of alphas. Vernon and Jun had basically given their feet to Mingyu to grab onto for that matter. The taller was quick to capitalize on their mistakes, wrapping clawed hands around their ankles and flinging their bodies into each other. Vernon and Jun groaned as they were caught in a mid-air collision, falling splat on the ground. 

 

Jungkook flashed his yellow eyes, silently thanking Mingyu that he allowed Jun and Vernon to keep their dignity. But formalities were over. Now his time to fight finally came. He didn’t have any excuses now. Mingyu had tormented his brother enough.

 

“Back off Kim. We weren’t here to harm anyone.” he growled, keeping his hands calmly by his sides. 

 

“Don’t tell me what to do. Especially on my land, beta.” the alpha seethed through his teeth. Mingyu hadn’t fully transformed yet but he could hear the soul of the animal inside him seeping through his fangs. Mingyu sounded like some dark specter, the ghost of a werewolf, the harbinger of doom….

 

Wonwoo would have let his imagination pump out more adjectives to describe the alpha but that would have only wasted precious brain cells.

 

“Fine then. I’ll fight you, Kim” Jungkook huffed, jerking forward without any loud roaring to announce his attack. He didn’t think he had it in him to roar as loud as before. That fight with the creature was draining enough.

 

It wasn’t long before Jungkook’s fist was in the air and Mingyu had stepped aside, letting it pass by as if it was some misfire. 

 

“Nice one.” Mingyu laughed, pushing the beta’s second fist away from him and evading his attack once more.

 

“Brothers over best buds.” Jungkook retorted, closing his eyes as he unleashed everything he had, rattling off every punch he could throw. He kept his head low, not wanting to see his friend get hurt. But the image of Wonwoo getting hurt was more profound and haunting. So much so he’d beat Mingyu to a bloody pulp before he could lay a hand on Wonwoo. 

 

Though it seemed like he wasn’t having any luck. His fist had never made contact with any flesh or bone, not even once in that flurry of punches. 

 

“Best buds?” Mingyu snorted. “What do you think this is? A two-sided friendship? You’d be nothing if I hadn’t allowed your sorry ass to join my gang.” 

 

Jungkook stopped attacking, too frozen in shock to even process the smirk on the taller’s face. Mingyu had told him a lot of things. Personal things. And to learn that had all meant nothing….

 

“Fuck you! Now I see why Wonwoo hates you! You fucking asshole.” Jungkook growled. His eyes flared a searing yellow and his claws threatened to cut the skin of his palm. 

 

“Relax. I’m just messing with you, bro.” the alpha snickered.

 

Mingyu’s cockiness had bought Jungkook some time to pull his fist back to gain some momentum, enough so that when he punched the alpha in the gut it sent him stumbling back.

 

“The fuck-” Mingyu groaned, too dignified and stubborn to clutch his stomach. 

 

“He’s down! Get Vernon and Jun, let’s go!” Seungkwan called them, waving his hand like a lunatic. 

 

“I’m not down. I’m just getting started.” Mingyu grinned, stomping towards the beta and ignoring Minghao and Seungkwan who crouched down to tend to the two alphas he had just knocked out and were lying on the ground.

 

“You’re strong when you’re angry, Kookie.” Mingyu snorted, using that ‘special’ name of his. He reveled in the way it sparked more hatred for him in the beta.

 

“Don’t call me that.” Jungkook gritted, running towards him again, hoping his speed would enhance the strength of his punches. 

 

Mingyu crushed all that hope when stopped the beta’s fist in his palm, not even flinching at the sting. 

 

“Seems like all that anger went to waste, huh? You wasted it all on one punch and now you can’t even land a good hit.” Mingyu laughed. Stepping aside once again as Jungkook aimed for his face. The force of Jungkook’s failed strike was so much that he stumbled out of control, almost crashing into a tree. 

 

“Seems like your anger is back.” Mingyu snorted behind him. 

 

Now Jungkook was really mad. 

 

He ignored the blood dripping from his palm as his own claws sunk into it, choosing to focus on that moronic voice that decided to try and humiliate him. Jungkook waited for a few seconds, mapping out the ground behind him and pinpointing his target. It took just one breath before he was spinning around and lunging at the alpha, hitting him square in the chest. 

 

If Mingyu had been a beta, his fist surely would have crushed his chest cavity and damaged his lungs, but if anything, all the taunts Mingyu had thrown at him and jabbed him with turned out to be true. Mingyu had a right to be cocky. Anyone who didn’t even wince in pain as his fist met their chest had a right to be. He could practically feel the blood pumping in Mingyu’s veins and the tremors of anger, all aftershocks of the alpha’s transformation. At least… his partial transformation. Jungkook heard the legends. Apex alphas could transform not only into wolves or semi-human creatures, but into monstrous beasts. And if Mingyu was this strong as a semi-human…. he didn’t want to see the beast side of him. 

 

Jungkook wasn’t going to let that happen. Nor was he going to allow some jerk from school he once called a friend, come in and take his brother away. 

 

“You wanna play that game huh?” he laughed in a mocking manner, if only to mask the defeat in his voice. He shook off the feeling of dread in exchange for his newfound confidence. Even if it was of the naive kind. 

 

Eyes burning brightly, and arms warm from the friction of gliding through the air, Jungkook continued to punch as hard and fast as he could the bulking chest of the towering alpha.

 

“Quit being an asshole and fight me!” Jungkook roared. “You can’t just fucking throw away our friendship and then stand there- Y-You think this is funny?” 

 

“Jungkook!” Wonwoo shouted. “Get out of there! He’s tiring you out! He’s gonna-”

 

“Time’s up.” Mingyu smirked, grabbing the beta’s shoulders and raising him high into the air. Jungkook caught a full glimpse of Mingyu’s face, shrouded in darkness from the leaves of the trees blocking out the orange sun. The contorted facial expression. The sharp and curved ears. The sideburns and the mane of fur that shrouded his jaw. Was this what death looked like?

 

“Mingyu- don’t hurt him! I’ll go with you!” Wonwoo said, yanking his hand out of Woozi’s grip. 

 

“Mom’s gonna kill us.” Jungkook groaned, still suspended in the air by his shoulders. Arms and legs limp. It was like Mingyu was his puppet master. 

 

Jungkook eyed his brother walking towards them, wondering why they had gone through all this trouble if Wonwoo was just going to give into Mingyu’s demands. It wasn’t like the alpha was going to “do” anything to him. At most, Mingyu probably wanted to rat him out for revenge. But still, Wonwoo would probably never see the light of day if their mother found out Mingyu had caught him snooping on the preserve. 

 

“Wonwoo! Don’t! We got this!” Woozi said firmly, running along the side of the trail and jumping onto the side of a tree, hanging onto one of its branches. Once Soonyoung did the same, he went in first, springing off from the bark and propelling himself straight through the air to get to the alpha still holding up his friend’s brother. 

 

“You better think twice about ratting Wonwoo out-”

 

Woozi let out a muffled groan as Mingyu lugged Jungkook at him with his two hands, slamming them both against a nearby tree. The alpha did the same with Soonyoung except his back didn’t have a human cushion like Jungkooks. And that was the end of that.

 

“C’mon Wonu.” Mingyu snickered, turning his sights away from his handiwork to look back at the omega. “Quit hiding behind your friends and-”

 

Where the hell did he go?

 

“Where is he?” Mingyu roared, snapping his head towards Seungkwan and Minghao were subtly helping their boyfriends get away from all the fighting. The two alphas must have had concussions.

 

“We- he-” Seungkwan spluttered, trying to get something out but at the same time not give away his friend’s location.

 

“We don’t know.” Minghao snapped, narrowing his eyes.

 

“You’re lying.” the alpha growled, recognizing the shift in the delta’s heartbeat.  It didn’t matter though. Mingyu wouldn’t have enough time to give Minghao a knuckle sandwich anyways. Not when his omega was on the loose.

 

Wait. Did he just say-

 

His thoughts were cut off by the familiar sound of rustling in the bushes, like little paws scurrying across leaves. Mingyu glanced around the area one more time, laying his eyes on a pile of clothes that had not been very carefully set on the ground.

 

Of course.

 

“It’s the aliens!” Jun yelped, still delirious as Minghao dragged him up the trail.

 

All of a sudden, as if whatever was behind the bushes had been listening to Jun, a ear-piercing cry rang out, bouncing off the trees. Not long after, a furry animal the color of an oak leaf sprang in the fall, sprang out from hiding with its battle cry.

 

“Fucking fox.” Mingyu growled, wincing as it bit at his leg. As much as he wanted to stomp on it that thing was his omega. He crouched down and tried to catch it in his arms but it was too fast, scampering into the shrubbery on the other side. 

 

Two could play at that game. He could transform after all. But that meant he’d come back naked…. 

 

He still couldn’t believe Wonwoo actually bit him. It was already healing anyways. Perhaps it was just the shock. Wonwoo sure was a fighter, even if his bark was worse than his bite. If Wonwoo thought he was going to chase him like last time then he was out of his mind. This wasn’t some mating ritual. 

 

“Come on out and actually keep your promise this time! Do you want me to snap Woozi’s windpipe? ‘Cause I can.” Mingyu warned. Though it was only a bluff. Sure he had beaten Wonwoo’s whole crew up, but that was only with his fists. Cuts made by apex alpha claws would have taken centuries to heal. Speaking of which, he didn’t remember cutting Vernon’s shoulder or arms…. Had he fallen into a thorn bush or something? 

 

What was he doing? He was supposed to be finding Wonwoo.

 

Mingyu growled, spinning around in case Wonwoo tried to sneak up on him. Who knew if Wonwoo would actually come out of the bushes naked just to catch him off guard. He blushed at the thought, knowing Wonwoo wasn’t like that. 

 

“C’mon! I’m serious!” he whined, ready to pluck his eyebrows out if that could de-stress him. Then it hit him. Of course wonwoo wasn’t going to respond. He was a fox for fuck sake. 

 

“If you’re not going to come out then I’ll make you.” Mingyu gritted, squeezing his eyes shut as he felt his body begin to transform. His shirt had just about ripped from the change in his body’s proportions, and he hadn’t even grown the first speck of black fur before Wonwoo came back out and latched himself onto his back. 

 

He could hear the omega’s teeth clattered against each other as the fox’s jaw snapped open and shut, trying to get a bite out of his ear and hair. 

 

“Get off.” Mingyu huffed, reaching over him to grab the foxes torso and throw him off. He was careful not to crush the rodent’s little body, but he wasn’t in the mood to get his ear chewed off anytime soon. 

 

Apparently Wonwoo’s clever trick had stopped him from transforming.  

 

“You always knew how to attack someone’s weaknesses.” Mingyu smirked, standing back up to his full height. 

 

Wonwoo curled his tail and bent his front legs. Mingyu would have thought it was a mating position if Wonwoo hadn’t been facing him. But anyways, he wasn’t going to let this fight go on any further. 

 

“Come at me.” he taunted the fox, relaxing his shoulders and welcoming the fox to attack. Mingyu even crouched down, leveling the playing field. 

 

Something flashed across Wonwoo’s bright blue eyes. Anger perhaps. Or resentment. Eitherway, no one wanted to be pitied or looked down on, just as Mingyu was looking at him. But then again, he was a fox. He supposed this was how nature ordained it.

 

Mingyu smiled, resting a hand on his knee while his other was splayed open, almost as if he expected Wonwoo to rest his paw on it. Though it was only in his dreams.

 

The tiny orange-furred animal leapt off from its hind legs, returning to the air, it’s chosen domain of fighting. Mingyu held his arms up, crossing them to make an ‘X’ that would protect his face from Wonwoo’s claws.

 

Of course he could have reached into the air and grabbed Wonwoo by his neck. One swat of his hand would have sent the fox flying into the tree next to them. But he wanted his prey alive. If anything, the way he caught Wonwoo resembled nothing like how a predator dealt with its prey. It was more or less how an alpha handled its mate, roughly but with all the more love. 

 

Wonwoo had managed to sink his clawed paws into Mingyu’s arms as he landed, holding onto the alpha’s wrists while he snapped his tiny jaws at Mingyu’s face, hoping to take off his nose or gouge out his eyes. Mingyu wasn’t letting him get close though. The alpha merely smirked at him as the fox narrowed its eyes and strained its muscles as it tried to wiggled itself over the ‘x’ of Mingyu’s arms. 

 

Finally, Mingyu had grown tired, grabbing the fox’s side to flip it on its belly so he could cradle it. ‘Cradling’ may have been putting it nicely though. The headlock Mingyu had the fox in said otherwise, but that was only because the threat of Wonwoo biting his finger off was still very present. 

 

“Let him go! He won’t be able to breathe!” Woozi snapped, still holding his head from where he had hit it against the tree. 

 

“Tell him to stop trying to bite me!” Mingyu grunted, really wishing he could run his hands through Wonwoo’s fur rather than have to squeeze the life out of him. 

 

“Wonu, quit struggling.” Seungkwan shouted, looking over Vernon’s shoulder as he led the alpha towards the road. 

 

“I don’t want to hurt you.” Mingyu said, wincing as Wonwoo kicked against his arm. He had reverted back to his human form in order to reduce his chances of actually breaking the fox’s bones. But that came along with letting his guard down and actually feeling pain for once. 

 

“Let him go, Kim. Fight’s over. You win.” Woozi spat, running his hands along the bark of the tree behind him so he could feel around and stop himself from falling as he stood up. 

 

“You gonna hang my brother up on the wall as a trophy?” Jungkook grunted. “Use him as a rug?”

 

Mingyu turned his head to give Jungkook a dirty look, reminding himself that it was Jungkook who was still barely conscious and had his ass flat on the ground. 

 

“Shut up, beta. You won’t be in any trouble with my pack if Wonwoo takes one for the team.” 

 

The fox stopped fighting, looking up at him with a pissed off expression. Wonwoo only made eye contact with him to get his attention, using his cute little snout to point at a patch of tall bushes off to the side of the clearing they were in. 

 

“Ready to talk now, huh?” Mingyu raised a brow, walking over to the place Wonwoo was pointing at. Even if Wonwoo had tried to bite his ear off, he wanted to savor the feeling of having the fox in his arms. Alphas were supposed to be warm, but Wonwoo’s fur coat felt even better than being under a blanket. The smirk on his face was only to distract Wonwoo from the pink rising to his cheeks. Luckily it was just about dark out, with a few patches of yellow and orange left on the horizon behind the trees. 

 

Mingyu stopped in his tracks before the bushes, realizing how stupid he was. Wonwoo was the enemy. What the hell was he thinking? Letting himself get attached to a nerd in a fur coat? He bet if he left Wonwoo alone in the forest like this some other wolf would have come along and gobbled him up like it was nothing. And Wonwoo was going to carry some bastard’s pups one day?

 

It shouldn’t have been what he should be thinking about at that moment. Especially when Wonwoo wasn’t Wonwoo anymore and was just a fox in sheep’s clothing. Ever since that night in the cave he couldn’t stop thinking about pups and-

 

“H-Hey!” Mingyu growled, furrowing his brows as Wonwoo fought to break free once again. 

 

“I was gonna let you down gently but suit yourself.” he huffed, making his hands and arms flat and tossing the fox into the bushes. He remembered Wonwoo’s clothes were right on the ground behind him so he picked them up, not bothering to dust them off as he threw them into the thicket as well. 

 

“Here.” Mingyu grunted, flinging the clothes in the air and over the bushes. “And hurry it up.”

 

Seungkwan sighed, watching the big bad wolf glare holes into the vegetation.

 

“Do you have to take him?”

 

“I’d rather be arrested.” Wonwoo hummed to himself through the leaves, ignoring how loud Mingyu’s breathing hitched. 

 

“But thank you for letting me keep my modesty. I appreciate it.”

 

“Sure whatever. I didn’t know being modest meant wearing turtlenecks all the time.”

 

“C’mon Mingyu.” Jun laughed, still delirious and exhausted. “We all know you wanna see Wonu in a crop top.” 

 

“I have a girlfriend.” 

 

“Doesn’t mean you don’t wanna.” 

 

“Since when did morality ever stop you?” Woozi rolled his eyes. The beta was itching to poke at Mingyu as much as he could before he took Wonwoo away from them. 

 

“Why do you want to take him away from us so badly anyways. Take us all together. We’re all complicit in this.” Minghao interjected, keeping them focused on the dire matter at hand.

 

Mingyu thought hard for a moment, hating how good Minghao’s point was.

 

“Too many people to carry.”

 

“Carry?” Wonwoo arched a brow, still getting on his shirt behind the bushes. 

 

“We’re all willing to go and face whatever you have planned for us. We know your mom isn’t an evil woman. Unlike you.” Minghao shunned him, helping Jun walk up the small slope they came down from.

 

“Wonwoo was the one that organized this whole thing.”

 

“And how do you know that? Was Jaehyun your mole?” Woozi tilted his head with all the sass he could muster. If he was going to succumb to the wounds Mingyu inflicted on him he was going to go out with a bang.

 

“You’re the one who lured us here! Just to get Wonwoo in trouble!” Seungkwan said, not even sure that he believed in what he was saying.

 

“Are you guys going to keep bickering or are we going to ask the real questions.” Jungkook groaned, eyeing the cuts on Vernon’s shoulder and arm. It didn’t matter if Mingyu had developed a soft spot for Wonwoo. He was still armed and dangerous. He wasn’t going to forget that c reature that attacked them back there. Whatever it was. 

 

Mingyu couldn’t be trusted.

 

“You know…” Jungkook continued as he sat up. “The big questions. The reason why we came here in the first place-”

 

Just then he was interrupted by the distant but loud sound of a howl, as if the full moon was already out and begging to be howled at.. 

 

“What’s that?” Wonwoo asked, dusting his clothes off as he stepped out from the bushes. Mingyu tried not to let the omega’s beauty get in the way, snatching his arm before focusing on where the sound was coming from.

 

“It’s my pack.” he said bluntly. 

 

“We got to go. Now.”

 

“W-Wait. I thought you were going to take me to the alpha and call my mom or something. N-Not take me into danger!” he squealed, squeezing his head as if he were about to faint. 

 

So the omega did have a good sense of hearing.

 

Mingyu shook his head and grinned, grabbing Wonwoo by his waist and hoisting him over his shoulder. 

 

“W-Where are you taking my brother?” Jungkook growled, struggling to stand still on his feet.

 

“He’s fine. Don’t worry.” the alpha grunted, running up the slope past Jun and Minghao and hopping onto the dirt road near the two cars. 

 

“Wait! Take me instead! I was the one who organized this! I came up with everything, didn’t Jaehyun tell you?” Seungkwan called to him, earning a look from Vernon.

 

“Hey, he’ll be fine.”

 

“Yeah, Kim won’t hurt him.” Jun laughed, almost falling asleep against the side of the car.

 

Woozi and Soonyoung were helping Jungkook up the slope as well. All the younger beta could do was stare at Mingyu’s back and his brother’s falling arms as the alpha brought him off into the distance, towards that incessant howling. Whatever had happened, it sounded like their pack leader had died. God forbid that would ever happen. But still. Whatever was going on it had to be serious. Serious enough to put a look of concern on the face of an apex alpha. 



Chapter Text

"Damn, that’s gross.” Mingyu cringed, trying to let the feeling of disgust take over in place of the chills that went up his spine as he made eye contact with the wild bull on the ground who in fact had no eyes to stare at him back with.

 

“It wasn’t vampires? You know they’ve had a vendetta against us for a while now.” Wonwoo heard a smooth female voice say. The sound of it had washed over him. Nothing else could’ve soothed the tingling sensation of the hairs rising on his neck.

 

The entire animal had been drained, sucked of its blood. It lay there, deflated. Not even staining the grass with fluid or guts. Just a faint imprint around the fading yellow patch where it’s two-thousand pound weight had settled. At least with vampires there would have been evidence of teeth marks but there were none. Of course, that didn’t mean anything right now. Who knew? The places where there would have been teeth marks from vampires may have been torn off with the rest of the organs and limbs. But as far as Wonwoo knew, vampires only drank blood. And if they wanted a steak they could have gone to the supermarket. 

 

“I don’t see any bites.” another man said, kneeling down to hold what was left of the cow's jaw delicately with his nimble hands. 

 

“If there were any bitemarks, they might have been removed. As you can see, parts of this animal have been skinned.”

 

Mingyu used his free hand which wasn’t wrapped around Wonwoo’s legs to comb his hair back on the top of his head, wincing at all the thoughts racing through his mind.

 

“Gutted.” he said, cringing as his uncle Hun lifted up the cow’s hind leg, showcasing the area its utters would have been. 

 

“What would vampires want with a cow anyways?” Wonwoo heard another male voice say, almost in a humorous tone. Humor was in short supply for the Kims nowadays. 

 

“Do they actually think we raise cattle here? If we were ordinary farmers, sure, killing our cows would ruin us and the farm financially. But they wouldn’t know that, surely. So there must be some other motive.” Hun frowned, switching knees after his left one got sore from leaning on it too much.

 

“They’re sending a message. They have to be.” Mingyu breathed, looking around at his other pack members for their reactions. 

 

“It’s not scaring me. If anything I’m pissed. I don’t know about you.” the female said.

 

“Maybe it’s a declaration of war.” 

 

“A lot of other creatures have qualms with our pack, you know.”

 

“Yes… but how do we know this wasn’t done by a wolf?” 

 

“A wolf would have been sloppy.” Hun interjected, narrowing his eyes. “The skin has been perfectly cut. Not even a butcher could accomplish this kind of precision.” 

 

“Are there any marks on the ground?” Wonwoo asked, still facing away from the group from where he was perched on Mingyu’s shoulder, ass in the air like he was presenting. 

 

It was then that Mingyu’s pack members looked up, albeit a little caught off guard. Something so wacky and crazy had happened no one had time to point out the fact that Mingyu was carrying someone on his shoulder. 

 

“Mingyu, would you mind, son?” Hun raised a brow. His uncle’s forehead wrinkled more than it ever had when he eyed him like he had grown another head. 

 

“Oh- sure.” Mingyu grunted, trying to mask his opposition to introducing his pack to an ‘outsider’.

 

“Wonwoo?” the female tilted her head in curiosity. “Is that you?” 

 

“Yeri?”

 

Mingyu growled.

 

“I forgot you two knew each other.”

 

“How could I forget Mingyu’s valentine?”

 

“That was in middle school.” Mingyu groaned. “Can we focus now?”

 

“Sorry.” Wonwoo smiled sheepishly. “What I meant to say is that we should check for craters.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Something may have lifted the cow up and done surgery on it. And then dropped it back down.”

 

“What can pick up a one ton cow?”

 

“Aliens?” Yeri’s eyes widened.

“I was thinking top secret military spy helicopters. But that works too.” Wonwoo hummed, resting his chin on his fingers. 

 

Mingyu didn’t think the omega’s jokes in themselves were as funny as his desperation not to scream and run away. Just from the constipated look on Wonwoo’s face, Mingyu could tell he wanted to puke. Omegas weren’t built to handle ‘messy’ situations. But he wasn’t going to lie. A dead cow carcass was one of the most disturbing sights he had bore witness to. Especially one that he could not immediately explain through scientific inference or common sense. 

 

It wasn’t just an ordinary kill. A young fawn hit by a car. Or a buck shot by a hunter. The cow in front of them was like a hybrid between a partially-skinned carcass hanging in the butcher shop and a perfectly intact farm animal. There were no signs of a struggle. No hoof marks or piles of dirt kicked up. Just a limp carcass which became like a rug of fur more or less with all of its insides sucked out. And no, there wasn’t some blatantly obvious hole gaping out of the cow’s body. With a little searching, Hun had found the place on the cow which had experienced the most trauma. The rectum was where everything had been ‘extracted’. Mingyu wasn’t unfamiliar to hearing stories about deer and horses on the preserve falling ill or dying of old age and having their body eaten from the inside by mealworms and flies. But not this quickly or clean-cut. 

 

The tongue had been lacerated. Cauterized by some hot instrument. Scissors would have been too sloppy, even still, and wouldn’t have left a searing mark like the one Hun had found when he inspected the mouth. 

 

If there were any scavenger birds around, none of them would have been able to pluck out the eyes. They would have had to wait for the other predators to finish eating to have their own fair share. But there had been no other predators detected in the area. Or any sign of them for that matter.

 

Only one ear remained with the other being snipped off for no apparent reason. 

 

The tail had been removed, along with the utters. Wonwoo didn’t want to get started on the cow’s left cheek, but he couldn’t help it when Mingyu and his pack members rolled the wild bull over on it’s left side. If missing eyes were bad enough, a missing face was worse. The lips had been removed, making it look like the bull was smiling at them from the grave, with its square and yellow teeth showing where it’s cheek was supposed to be. Forever would the image be stained in his memory. The kind of pain the creature would have been put through if this had happened while it was still alive, was inconceivable. So far there was no evidence that it had been executed quickly and painlessly. There were no bullet wounds or stab wounds to the heart. It had been picked apart one by one. Having no tongue to scream.

 

Wonwoo’s heart sank as he looked down at the body. It’s mouth hung open, still in shock at its fate. As much as he hated Mingyu and his guts, whoever was doing this to the Kims were going to pay. There were children who lived on the preserve as well…. It was his duty as an omega to protect them. No one should be terrorized like this.

 

Mingyu’s uncle seemed to have known what he was thinking, taking him by the shoulder and leading him away while the pack’s physician arrived to inspect the body. 

 

“Forgive us for not taking you away sooner. Omegas should not have to bear witness to such things.” Hun said with a slight wetness to his voice.

“Sorry about that.” Mingyu caught up to them, reclaiming the omega by his shoulder and leading him to the road. 

 

Even if the apology was directed more to his uncle, Wonwoo accepted it nonetheless, crossing his arms in silent acceptance of the hand travelling down to his waist. He supposed it was the least he could do to show forgiveness for Mingyu’s ‘discourtesy’. 

 

“Is this where I get my mind wiped now or-”

 

“Shut up.” Mingyu grumbled, leading him up the small incline to the dirt road where one of his pack’s vehicles had been parked. 

 

Now that Wonwoo thought of it, there weren’t any tire tracks either. Just the fresh one’s Hun’s truck had made when he had been called to the scene. He guessed that top-secret military helicopter theory really did seem feasible…

 

II

 

“Can someone tell him to put me down?” Wonwoo snapped, gesturing for anyone in the room to confront Mingyu and say something.

 

“Nah, I think Mingyu likes keeping your ass super close.” Woozi snickered, earning a petrified look from Soonyoung. No one could blame the other beta. They were in the “wolf den” of the Kim pack after all.

 

“Gyu, I think Wonwoo is able to walk now honey.”

 

Wonwoo gulped as he was set down in front of Mrs. Kim. it felt like he was meeting the Queen of England with how the room around them was set up. Thick red and tasseled curtains were bundled on the sides of each tall window in the room. And boy were they tall. Freshly washed too. Not to mention the antique chairs and the rugs. He hoped everyone had taken off their shoes. Mingyu’s mom probably worked hard to keep her living room clean. Speaking of Mingyu’s mom….

 

“H-Hi, Mrs. Kim. Nice to see you a-again.” he smiled, bowing his head at her. It was nice for Mingyu to have his mom around or else Wonwoo wouldn’t have bothered to lay off the alpha so easily.

 

“Wonwoo!” Mrs. Kim laughed, extending her arms. “You’ve grown into such a beautiful boy. No wonder my son carried you all this way.”

 

“Mom. I have a girlfriend.” Mingyu gritted.

 

“Right. Don’t remind me.” his mother said under her breath.

 

“Please! Sit down.” she exhaled, dusting off the imaginary dust on her couch so the omega could sit down.

 

“Mingyu? Do your friends want anything to drink or eat?” 

 

“They’re not my friends.” Mingyu huffed, grabbing Wonwoo’s waist once more.

 

“Wait- What are you-” Wonwoo yelped, letting out a loud ‘umph’ as Mingyu set him down on the couch, albeit impatient with how awkward and slow he had been to respond to Mrs. Kim’s request to sit down.

 

The older woman ignored their contentious moment, surveying the crowd at her living room entrance. Woozi was unfortunate to have her eyes fall on him first. 

 

“Oh uhm, we’re Wonwoo’s friends….”

 

Mingyu got back up from where he had crouched down to lower Wonwoo onto the couch, fixing his shoulders and glaring at them.

 

“Well? Aren’t you gonna explain why you’re here or are you gonna throw Wonu under the bus?” 

 

“I didn't know you cared if I was thrown under the bus anyways.” Wonwoo laughed, looking up at the alpha. 

 

“Doesn’t matter to me.” Mingyu shrugged. “I just thought I’d give your friends the equal opportunity to humiliate themselves.”

 

Wonwoo crossed his arms and his legs, shunning the alpha by looking out one of the large and ornate windows of Mrs. Kim’s posh living room.

 

“Why am I not surprised you’re still a dickhead? Even when you’ve got me where you want me?” 

 

Mingyu had just about plopped himself down on the couch to sulk when he realized they weren’t in the locker room or the cafeteria when the words had come out of Wonwoo’s mouth. His mother hated foul language….

 

He gulped, whipping his head to check on his mother’s reaction. All she did was smile, bending down to retrieve a platter and thermos from the coffee table. 

 

“I’m glad to see you’ve met so many people in high school, Wonu. When you were little you were always so shy.” Mrs. Kim giggled.

 

“Coffee anyone?” 

 

“Yes please.” Wonwoo bowed his head shyly, taking the mug gracefully as if he had gone to Princess Charm School and learned how to receive a ritual cup of tea.

 

“Me too, please.” Seungkwan jumped slightly, waddling forward to take a mug. 

 

“That’s not explaining yourselves.” Mingyu growled, wondering why his mother wasn’t threatening to call the police on them already. Was Wonwoo really that special to her? Did she actually remember him from all those years ago?

 

“I also made cookies!” Mrs. Kim sang, dancing with her platter over to the raised hands that sprung up from the sofas and chairs surrounding the coffee table.

 

“Hmmm. Give us a minute.” Jun mumbled in response to Mingyu, stuffing his face and not caring if Mrs. Kim would have to stick a vacuum between the cushions from all the crumbs falling from his mouth. 

 

“Getting punched in the gut makes you hungry.” Jungkook licked his lips, ready to betray his brother’s cooking any day for Mrs. Kim’s cookies. One taste and he completely forgot about the menacing werewolf ‘guards’ perched in the corners of the living room, behind the stairs, and stationed by the door. Mrs. Kim hadn’t even acknowledged them. In fact it was Mingyu who stationed them there. It was added protection….

 

Jungkook arched his brow, eyeing the way Mingyu and Wonwoo kept sparring with their eyes.

 

Meanwhile, Mrs. Kim was busy frowning, spinning around to confront her son across the room who hadn’t even jumped at the smell of cookies. He looked as though he much rather preferred having a staring contest with Wonwoo.

 

“Mingyu! You didn’t tell me there was a fight! Was it those Bangtan kids again?”

 

“Who?” Wonwoo perked up.

 

Mingyu must have gotten in a fight with his drug dealers or something. Steroids weren’t cheap.

 

“None of your business.” the alpha huffed quietly, not putting any effort in responding to him compared to dealing with his mother. 

 

“Mingyu, don’t be rude. Wonwoo has a right to be curious. He’s such a kind omega. Isn’t it endearing?  If anything it’s you that should be explaining. Keep your basketball rivalries on the court and off the preserve, would you?” 

 

“It wasn’t them. It was these guys thinking they could break into the preserve and get away with it.”

 

“Alright hun, I understand you’re angry.” Mrs. Kim sighed, turning to face the rest of the group. “Please excuse my son, he’s very territorial. But I am aware that all of you were on our property for quite some time now.  Would any of you care to explain why? Usually people would call that trespassing. But don’t worry, you’re not in trouble. I’m just curious” she laughed, nervously glancing around the room all the while hoping it wasn’t going to be an all out war between her son and Wonwoo.

 

Mingyu huffed.

 

“You don’t need to ask them. They’ll lie about it anyways. They’re here because-”

 

“Mingyu, I didn’t ask you, honey.” Mrs. Kim smiled, refraining from bonking him over the head. 

 

“Fine, let ‘em talk then.” the alpha smirked, whipping his head towards Wonwoo. Almost immediately, the omega’s breath hitched, caught off guard by the amount of attention he was receiving from everyone in the room. Even Mrs. Kim who raised her brow at the way Mingyu was smirking at their guest, granted the omega her unbridled attention. What was he going to say? Your son is a douchebag?

 

“We heard about the cows showing up dead on the preserve so we…. How do I put this?”

 

“We wanted to check it out for ourselves!” Seungkwan smiled brightly, hoping his outburst had saved his friend the embarrassment. 

 

“It was all my idea ma’am. Really. If anyone’s a dissident omega it’s me.” 

 

Vernon let out a snort, nudging his boyfriend’s shoulder. Meanwhile Mingyu couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

 

“Jaehyun told me it was all Wonwoo’s idea. He’s the one who organized it. Jaehyun even thought he’d go along with you.” Mingyu said to him. And so the ‘glaring contest’ commenced.

 

“What a snake.” Jun growled. Here they were thinking Jaehyun wasn’t actually a bad guy….

 

“Boys. I don’t want to be domineering but could we please keep the harsh rhetoric to a minimum. We aren’t going to make any progress bickering with each other.” Mrs. Kim said, shaking the thermos in her hand to see how much coffee was left. 

 

Mingyu sputtered.

 

“I caught Wonwoo trespassing on the preserve and you’re mad at me?” 

 

“Mingyu- I’m not mad! Quit being so sensitive.” his mother snapped. “What’s got you so angry?”

 

“I told you already. Seeing Wonwoo in school is already enough. The last place I wanna see him is on my land.”

 

Mrs. Kim laughed.

 

“You’re not the pack alpha yet, sweety. Besides, you owe Wonwoo an apology for being so rude. That’s not how alphas are supposed to treat their omegas.”

 

Wonwoo ignored what might have been Mrs. Kim’s slip-of-the-tongue. That didn’t mean that he had almost choked on his own spit when she said that. Mingyu’s mother didn’t look as though she had processed what she had said, elegantly and confidently taking a seat at the other end of the living room in a chair fit for a queen. 

 

He cleared his throat, fiddling his fingers as he tried to think of something to say that wasn’t awkward. As much as Mrs. Kim’s grace, superior rank, and aristocratic aura intimidated him, he couldn’t help but feel more under pressure by the growling alpha a few feet away from him. Why was Mingyu’s self control so attractive? It probably took Mingyu years to train himself to not to rip him apart at first glance. But if looks could kill…. 

 

His eyes darted back to Mrs. Kim and he almost crumbled under the weight of her endearing smile. He sat up awkwardly, reaching over his chest to scratch his neck.

 

“Uhm, if it’s anyone who needs to apologize it’s us. We were just acting like dumb kids-”

 

“When do you not?” Mingyu muttered, shunning him. 

 

Wonwoo’s eyebrow twitched.

 

“Still talking!”

 

Mrs. Kim broke out chuckling, sipping on a cup of coffee. It was weird for her not to have intervened but something told him she wanted to see how it played out.

 

To see if he was a worthy omega for her son.

 

“Anyways-” he laughed faintly. “You know us teenagers. Always getting into trouble.”

 

“By trouble he means me.” Mingyu huffed.

 

“Yeah I do actually.” Wonwoo retorted. “I can’t believe how you could just sit there all smug knowing you hurt my friends and my brother pretty badly.”

 

“What did you do?” Mrs. Kim gritted. A gasp would have been more ladylike but she was definitely more angry than surprised her son could do such a thing. Alphas always had excessive amounts of testosterone so it was no wonder he had turned everyone into a punching bag.

 

Mrs. Kim couldn’t help but feel a wave of concern wash over her. The cuts on Wonwoo’s friend Vernon, specifically on his shoulder and arm not to mention the agonizing way Woozi, Jungkook, and Soonyoung sat made it obvious Wonwoo’s friends weren’t the victors of whatever scuffle had occurred between the two. How could she be so stupid not to notice?

 

Growling, she swung on her heels to face her son with her skirt twirling behind her. 

 

“If you laid a finger on your m- classmates…”

 

“I didn’t do anything that wasn’t necessary to stop them.”

 

“Stop them from what? They’re just teenagers like you.”

 

“You don’t know that.” Mingyu retorted. “They could be the ones killing all the cows on the preserve, ever think of that? And you’re letting them have coffee in our house. Do you not realize how insane you are?”

 

“Mingyu!” she snapped but was interrupted by the scoffs of her guests.

 

“We’re not the ones killing cows. We’re the ones trying to find out what’s going on since word hasn’t gotten around yet.”

 

“And there’s a reason it hasn’t. It’s none of your business.”

 

“It is if you start blaming my pack for killing cows. I know it doesn’t sound noble to you but that’s why I went along with Seungkwan’s crazy idea.” Wonwoo shrugged. “What if your pack thought we were doing it? I don’t think you’d want to meet me on the battlefield.” 

 

Mingyu hated himself for internally blushing at that. He bet he could break all the bones in Wonwoo’s body in less than a few seconds but the mere thought of Wonwoo having the confidence and conviction to say those words to him made him fall even harder.

 

“Gee, thanks for throwing me and my ‘crazy idea’ under the bus .” Seungkwan stuck his tongue out. Mingyu awoke from his trance at the sound of the omega weeping as Vernon fed him a cookie.

 

“Yeah-” Wonwoo scoffed, ignoring Seungkwan and giving the alpha an “are you serious?” look. 

 

“I wouldn’t be so quick to point fingers. We saw you where the third cow showed up. You attacked us. Vernon, show him.”

 

“It’s still healing.” the blond said, raising his arm and twisting his body to show his shoulder.

 

“Slowly.” Wonwoo added.

 

“W-What? The fuck are you talking about? I was in the woods waiting for you to show up the whole time- I mean-“

 

“Stalker.” Woozi said with a pop of his lips at the end.

 

Wonwoo narrowed his eyes.

 

“You were also in the grasses waiting for us to find the third cow too, isn’t that right? And then you attacked us! Don’t try to deny it. I know your stinky fur coat when I see it.” He huffed, crossing his legs and looking somewhere else. Neither one of them could hide the blush on their cheeks. 

 

“I never transformed once that day!” Mingy growled. “Except when I needed to ‘cause you were giving me shit.” He mumbled. 

 

“Are you saying we have a rogue on our property?” the regal and feminine voice from earlier returned, directing their attention to the woman who stood in the living room looking more like the headmistress to a prep school than the soccer mom Wonwoo had always known. She looked like she wanted to hit the both of them with a pointer. 

 

Wonwoo lowered his head out of respect for Mrs. Kim, taking his time to think about what he had seen. 

 

“I don’t know about a rogue. But it was big. It wasn’t a normal wolf.”

 

“Bigger than the average human.” Woozi added. “It had to be an alpha.” 

 

“I don’t know what to tell you.” Mrs. Kim frowned. “I listened to Mingyu’s heartbeat and he’s definitely not lying.” 

 

Of course she was ecstatic that he was telling the truth. Wonwoo wasn’t lying about what he had seen either. But now there was a bigger question. Who or what was on their property and did this have anything to do with the mutilations? 

 

“I’ll tell you boys if the pack finds anything tonight on their scheduled patrols. In the meantime, let me see if I could get your friend some ointment for that nasty wound.” Mrs. Kim winced, getting up and wiggling her fingers as she watched one of her pack members come over to the blond and open up a first aid kit. 

 

Mrs. Kim anxiously paced the living room carpet as if preparing to deliver a speech. If what Wonwoo had seen was indeed a rogue wolf, not to mention the death of another cow on the preserve, it seemed as though it was time to come clean. This was the moment that she had been preparing for. Ever since Mingyu and Wonwoo had seen each other, she had known. 

 

“Now boys-“ she began anxiously, clasping her hands. “I think it’s best I enlighten you about something-“

 

“I’m here!” another female voice gasped, blowing out the words like a bull horn. 

 

“Mom?” Jungkook gaped, slamming down his coffee mug on the table next to him and sitting up straight. 

 

Wonwoo’s eyes widened from where he was looking over the couch. As soon as the woman made eye contact with him he ducked for cover. Mingyu couldn’t help but snort. Wonwoo was cute when he was scared.

 

“I’m so sorry.” Mrs. Jeon breathed, ignoring her son’s shocked state.

 

“I came as fast as I could”

 

Mingyu smirked, prompting Wonwoo to look at him incredulously. 

 

“What did you do?” he gritted. 

 

“Nothing.” Mingyu snickered, opening his hands to show he had no part in this. What he did do however was steal a glance at one of his packmates who was standing staunchly against the wall like the rest of the ‘Kim pack werewolf platoon.’ The chandelier in the grand lobby of the Kim mansion hadn’t been turned on yet, but the golden lighting from the living room flooded into the foyer. It was more than enough for Wonwoo to spot the black-cased cell phone in Jonghyun’s clenched hands. The beta narrowed his eyes at him, daring him to say something. But Wonwoo didn’t want to say anything, deciding to stick his tongue out instead. 

 

“Woah, that’s not very omega-like.” the alpha smiled, resting both his arms on the couch’s backrest behind him. From all the ‘physical activity’ Mingyu had done that day, it was no surprise he was hit with earthy musk when the alpha opened his arms. Could Mingyu get any more manlier?

 

Nevermind that. Gosh!

 

“You’re so rude, you know that?” Wonwoo hissed. “My mother is an alpha and you’re not even going to show an ounce of respect? She’s-

 

“Very upset.” a female voice finished for him, causing Wonwoo to gape and sit up straight. 

 

“Eunbi.” Mrs. Kim cooed, extending her arms. “It’s quite alright. Wonwoo and the gang were just curious-”

 

“And if curiosity killed the cat it will kill the fox just as well.” Mrs. Jeon huffed, though it came out muffled in Mrs. Kim’s hair as the two hugged each other. 

 

“Oh don’t say that-”

 

“I’m so ashamed. Truly. My Wonwoo is usually so quiet and reserved. I never expected he could be of the ‘silent killer’ type.” she sneered, resting her hands on her hips. His mother bowed slightly as she stalked over to him, waiting for a logical explanation as to why Jonghyun had made it sound like they were about to call the police on her son for trespassing.

 

“Mom.” Wonwoo whined, looking at Jungkook for help.

 

Before the omega could even sputter out a syllable to her, his mother’s eyes darted towards the alpha a few feet away from him. As a mother she would have been very protective of her son who - at the moment - was being devoured by the eyes of a tall dark and handsome alpha, brooding next to him. But she composed herself, tilting her head slowly and without the usual sass she gave her son all the time. 

 

“Mingyu, it’s so nice to see you again.”

 

Mingyu choked on the air, not expecting the alpha of the Jeon pack to set her eagle eyes on him. His own mother had a reputation for being strict, even if she was really warm on the inside. Mrs. Jeon on the other hand…. He could say she was soft but on the spicy side. Sweet but also packing a punch. As noted from the time he broke a window at Wonwoo’s house. 

 

Normally he would just shrug and let out a huff any time a high-ranking werewolf or druid addressed him. However, Mrs. Jeon was more than a diplomat or a pack official. It wasn’t out of mere cordiality that she smiled at him. There was a genuine kindness that radiated from her warm crinkling eyes and skin, compelling him to jolt up and stand at attention. Heat swelled inside his chest at the honor he felt knowing she remembered him. 

 

“Nice to see you again too, ma’am.” he said quickly, bowing the most an alpha could ever bow to another alpha. It was Mingyu’s way of paying respect to the woman who had baked cookies for him and did arts and crafts with him when he was only a little boy. He could argue and bicker with Wonwoo but the mother of his soulmate was the matriarch in his heart. 

 

“Aww, how sweet. I’m so sorry about my son. He can be a pest.”

 

Mingyu chuckled nervously, keeping his hands by his side like a scared nutcracker. 

 

“N-No, he’s fine. Part of it was my fault.” 

 

Something twinkled in Mrs. Jeon’s eye and she turned to face her longtime friend.

 

“You’ve raised an honest and humble young man, Yuna.” she laughed, invoking the other woman’s nickname. 

 

“That’s putting it a little too politely.” Wonwoo muttered, still not forgetting how Mingyu had one of his goons call his mother on him. He still might have been a little shocked that Mingyu would take the blame for something. Albeit partially.

 

“You watch your mouth, Wonu, and take after this kind gentleman here.” his mother gestured to Mingyu. She watched her son for an extra second, wondering if he had any more wise cracks to make. 

 

“Perhaps you’re being too harsh, Eun. I’m not the only one raising a pack of wolves.” 

 

“Alright, I’ll give you that. But omegas should know better. You’re going to be a leader, Wonwoo. I’ve seen you’ve already taken up the position, huh?.” Mrs. Jeon sighed, scanning his friend’s faces.

 

Wonwoo furrowed his brows. Was she being serious? Maybe she was just trying to humiliate him. It was bad enough that he got all his friends in trouble but to make it sound like he had been given the wrong werewolf status at birth? That wasn’t a mere slip of the tongue.

 

“W-What? I’m not an alpha in case you haven’t noticed, Mom.” he crossed his arms, mouthing the words ‘is she crazy?” to Jungkook across the room.

 

“I’ve noticed a lot of things, Wonu. Don’t underestimate your mother. And don’t underestimate yourself either. Omegas are just as important as alphas to a pack.” his mother replied softly, assuming her son would know by now the importance of his own rank.

 

“Yeah, but how does that have anything to do with leading one?”

 

Mrs. Jeon inhaled a breath.

 

“Helping to lead a pack is one of the roles of an alpha’s mate.”

 

“Huh?” Wonwoo balked, pushing himself off towards the edge of the cushion he was sitting on, head whipping to Vernon and Jun. “Are you auctioning me off to some alpha? What is it? An arranged marriage? Jun and Vernon aren’t single in case you didn’t notice. They bathe in Hao’s and Kwannie’s scents.”

 

“I know that, silly.” Mrs. Jeon growled, starting to get annoyed that her son wasn’t getting it yet.

 

“Then who’s the alpha that I’m supposed to be mated to? If it’s some old guy then-” he stopped, sneering at the thought. “Look, I don’t mind marrying into money but I’m not marrying some old guy.”

 

“Wonu!” his mother groaned. “Do I have to spell it out for you? If I weren’t so patient I’d think you were stalling.”

 

“Or maybe I have no idea who or what you’re talking about. I have a boyfriend too. Just putting that out there!”

 

Mrs. Jeon jerked forward to shout something but Hyuna stopped her, grabbing her wrist and resting a hand on her arm.

 

“I’ll take care of it.”

 

The other alpha female crossed her arms, stepping aside.

 

“Be my guest.”

 

Mrs. Kim hummed, and nodded in thanks.

 

“Wonwoo…” she began, trying to contain her smile. “What your mother means is that soon you and my son will be married.”

 

Mrs. Kim said the last part slowly, laying it on lightly and with a breathy voice. There was a twinkle in her eye as she struggled not to blurt everything out all at once, like a surgeon operating with the utmost precision and under a great amount of stress. This was a delicate matter after all. But if anything, they’d need an explosives expert more than surgeon because Wonwoo and Mingyu were ticking time bombs. 

 

Obvious as always, Mrs. Jeon on the other hand couldn’t contain herself and giggled, clasping her hands together as if she was already witnessing their wedding right before her eyes. 

 

“Isn’t it wonderful?” she laughed. “Kim Mingyu, alpha of the Kim pack. And my baby Kim Wonwoo, alpha’s mate, beloved omega!”

 

Mrs. Kim gave her friend a sharp look and brought her hands to her skirt, praying for the awkward laughter and blushes from their sons to come sooner so the awkwardness could stop,

 

Mrs. Jeon sighed wistfully. It was as if she expected both boys to gasp and blush at each other before thanking their mothers for everything. Sadly, it turned out she miscalculated. 

 

Mingyu gritted his teeth, looking at his mother as if he hated her guts. 

 

“This is a fucking joke.” 

 

Chapter Text

“M-Married… to him?” Wonwoo’s breath hitched. He was already on the verge of breaking into hysterical laughter.

“For once I’m with Mingyu. This has to be a sick joke.”

“Yeah.” Seungkwan interjected. “I don’t know if you guys took chemistry class in high school but there’s no chemistry between them.”

“And if there was it’d be a lab accident.” Woozi said, not surprised that Mingyu and Wonwoo had gotten the hell away from each other. Who knew what kind of explosion would rip through the house because they were too close together?

“Mingyu isn’t good at chemistry anyways.” Wonwoo ran a hand through his hair, ignoring the glare his mother sent him. It was a punch to the heart that he remembered all those times he’d help Mingyu with his science homework and projects. Good times.

Mingyu scowled at him right back.

“And you aren’t good at not being a bitch all the time.”

Mrs. Kim gasped, jabbing her finger at him.

“Watch your mouth young man! Do I need to wash it out with soap?”

Wonwoo laughed at the alpha’s ordeal, glad that Mingyu’s mother was finally seeing how profane and reprehensible her son could be. He just had to add a little of his own fire.

“Making out with Chaeyeon is enough of a reason to do so.” he hummed, staring Mingyu right in the eyes.

“Shut up, Jeon. The most you’ve ever done with Seungcheol is kiss him on the cheek. Don’t talk to me about my own private life.”

“I wouldn’t talk about your private life if it wasn’t shoved in my face all the time! No one wants to see you shove your tongue down Chaeyeon’s throat when we are trying to get to class.”

“Oh yeah, huh?” Mingyu shouted, standing back up. “Don’t talk to me about private lives. You don’t have one! And being captain of the chess club doesn’t count as interesting. I don’t know why any alpha would want to ruin their own life and marry you.”

Wonwoo laughed.

“Wow! You can’t take the fact that an omega is actually giving your shit back to you. So you know what, go off on a temper tantrum if that makes you happy. Slinging names and cursing at me isn’t very effective! But I get that it’s how you operate.”

“I never gave you any shit. I’m just saying! No wonder your fucking boyfriend is thirsting after my girlfriend. And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, Seungcheol isn’t the type to rub one out and wait for the real thing. Trust me, I know him more than you do.” the alpha smirked.

“I don’t care! You don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“And you don’t know your own boyfriend. You’re just a desperate omega who’d take anything even if their boyfriend found some other pussy to fuck.”

“I’ve certainly taken a lot of shit from you. So I wouldn’t say I have a loyalty issue or an insecurity. I think you’re just jealous that I’ve found true love while you’re stuck with some chick leftover from your one of your one night stands.”

“Fuck, don’t even go there with me, Won.” Mingyu growled. “She’s prettier than you. You’re fucking ugly. We’ve all seen it. Remember?” he laughed, looking around at the omega’s friends.

Wonwoo instantly seized up and crossed his arms, instinctually shielding his torso.

“All fucking pale skin and bones. When’s the last time any guy got a boner for you? Fuck! Seungcheol might actually be in love with you, I’ll give you that. Anyone who can look at you without not wanting to throw up is in love. I’d rather kill myself than marry you.”

“Mingyu! Shut your mouth!” Mrs. Kim roared, but not even an alpha’s voice could make him yield.

“Not until my ‘future mate’ learns his place when he talks to me. I’m an alpha!” he shouted at the top of his lungs, pointing to himself with his thumb.

“And aren’t you supposed to behave like a polite omega, Wonu? Isn’t that how a proper relationship is supposed to work out?” Mingyu retorted, shaking his head before storming off to leave the living room.

“Oh well. I see. You really got me there, Gyu. You and your extensive vocabulary that you have in your arsenal. Really knocked me down to size. Good job, dude.” Wonwoo said, using his favorite voice to mimic the way the alpha spoke to his friends.

“Maybe get Mingyu to have a proper relationship with his girlfriend before you start dumping him on me, Mom. I’d appreciate it. I have enough problems to deal with. An arrogant little prick isn’t one of them.”

“Who are you calling little?” Mingyu growled, turning around at the archway. “For a second I thought you were talking about your stupid boyfriend who can’t even stand up to me without pissing his pants. What do you call him again? Cheolie?” he snickered.

“Yeah no thanks. If Won’s gonna call me some stupid name like Gyu bear then I’m good.” the alpha raised his arms up, still finding it funny how someone who was the opposite of ‘cute’ could be called such a name.

“I only give nicknames to people who are actually worth it. So don’t worry.”

“Damn.” Vernon cringed, hissing at the heat of Wonwoo’s comeback.

“Something’s gonna happen.” Jungkook narrowed his eyes, watching Mingyu carefully.

“Boys, we can handle this through diplomacy. Mingyu, please sit back down. The first thing you’re going to do is apologize this instant for saying such awful things! You’re lucky I’m not going to kick you out of this pack for embarrassing us like this!” Mrs. Kim said, keeping her chin up.

“Gee, I wish the diplomatic method was something Mingyu used whenever he had a problem with me. Usually he resorts to pushing me and my friends around thinking it’ll scare us. That is, when he isn’t grunting and growling and not using his words.”

Mingyu’s scowl deepened even further, looking like he was ready to turn him into a punching bag.

“Yeah, ‘cause words are your weapons. You’re always trying to break me with them. You make jokes about me with every chance you get! Ever consider the idea that you’re just as guilty as I am for saying all this mean shit about me? Always making me feel like an idiot. You don’t know everything that’s wrong with the shit that comes out of your mouth!”

Wonwoo looked disgusted.

“Oh so I’m mean? You brought it onto yourself!”

“And you brought my fucking fist.” Mingyu cursed, releasing a half-choked out sob as he tried to throw a punch. He ended up swinging and missing, falling forward lazily like he’d drank a dozen shots before regaining his balance.

“Mingyu!” Mrs. Kim screamed, utterly horrified that her own son, would even dare to harm an omega, much less their own future mate.

“It’s alright Mrs. Kim. Don’t worry.” Seungkwan rushed to her side while Woozi tried his best to hold onto her shoulder softly to calm her down. Mrs. Kim held a hand to her mouth, already on the verge of tears.

Wonwoo refrained from shouting that Mingyu had proven his point about always getting physical with him, but he wasn’t going to be cruel, deciding to receive Mingyu in his arms rather than let him stumble into him.

He swallowed, trying to stand strong as Mingyu’s bulky weight crashed into him. At first, Vernon and Jun swarmed him, thinking Mingyu was going to knock him out. They stayed standing around them for a moment, making sure Mingyu’s hands didn’t leave Wonwoo’s torso for his neck.

“I’m sorry.” Mingyu shook his head, clenching his teeth as he buried his face into the omega’s shoulder.

“It’s fine.” Wonwoo whispered, reaching up slowly to run his fingers through the alpha’s hair. His hand and arm were shaking violently but his whole body settled down as he felt the warmth of Mingyu’s large and strong body seep into him.

“Wonwoo-” Mrs. Jeon sputtered, almost making a run for her son before Jungkook held her.

“Mom! It’s fine. He’s got it covered.”

“Please let it be all over. I don’t want to hear anything more that they have to say. Please- You’ve all said enough.”

“It breaks my heart.” Mrs. Kim swallowed, trying to keep her tears in. “Please don’t say anything more. I’m sure your friends don’t want to hear it. We can’t stand it.”

“To think your children hate each other….” Mrs. Jeon sniffled.

“We don’t.” Wonwoo replied sharply, turning his cheek to her. “I guess a lot of our anger is misdirected.”

“Well direct it somewhere else. It could kill someone!” Mrs. Jeon growled, glaring at the alpha standing over her son.

“It’s time you get it out of your system. We’ll leave you two to sort this out. We have all evening.” Mrs. Kim sighed, turning to face her female comrade and bringing her hands up to her wrists to comfort her. She would have second-guessed herself about leaving Wonwoo alone with an apex alpha if it had not been for the truly apologetic look on her son’s face. He hadn’t even given her those puppy eyes before when he’d done something wrong. It was incredible.

Wonwoo frowned, hating how devastated both their mothers looked. Not only was it heartbreaking, but it must have been humiliating to believe so firmly and confidently in an idea only to have it thrown back in their faces. This wasn’t their fault. They didn’t deserve to have their sons making them miserable. It had to end.

He stopped caressing the back of Mingyu’s hair, looking over his left shoulder to smile at his friends before looking over his right and clearing his throat.

“Uhm, Mom? Mrs. Kim? I think Mingyu’s need some fresh air. Do you mind if we go outside?”

“N-No but the both of you have to promise me you won’t say anything stupid or hurtful.” his mother snapped.

“We won’t.” Wonwoo smiled sheepishly, bowing his head towards Mrs. Kim shyly and awkwardly. He forgot she had been standing there the whole time while he bashed her son.

“Mingyu?” Mrs. Kim called. “Are you going to answer Mrs. Jeon?”

The alpha raised his head up no higher than a centimeter before letting it fall back down onto the omega’s shoulder, letting out a huff. Wonwoo made the first step, guiding Mingyu with his arms wrapped around his shoulders towards the back door of their estate, letting Mingyu slouch and wobble the way he wanted, just as long as they got out of the living room. He had to be careful about the alpha stepping on his feet but all in all Mingyu put in his own effort to step with him, not wanting to let go of his torso.

“Mingyu! Don’t make what Wonwoo said anymore truthful by not using your words.” Mrs. Kim scolded him, still holding onto the fact that he hadn’t promised Mrs. Jeon that he wouldn’t start anymore fights.

“Awww, it’s fine Eun. At least he isn’t rattling off curse words.” Mrs. Jeon giggled through her tears, suddenly falling hard for their two sons' display of affection for each other. It really negated everything bad that had transpired before.

Mrs. Kim scoffed.

“The least he could do is acknowledge you. Show some respect for his mother in law.”

The other pack alpha rested both her hands on her shoulder and granted her an amused smile.

“C’mon. Let’s let them have their moment together.”

All Mrs. Kim could do was gape at her, realizing all of the scenarios that could play out with the two of their sons outside together and alone.

“I’ll have JR and Jongdae stand guard in case Mingyu tries anything-”

“I got it.” Jungkook chuckled, saluting the two of them as he ran off to follow the couple.

“C’mon.” Jun snickered at the couch. “He just wants to watch them kiss.”

The entire living room shook with laughter, causing Mrs. Jeon to slap her forehead, caught between sniffling and laughing along with them. She didn’t know how Wonwoo ended up with such comedic friends. Jun was definitely a character.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Kim had her eyes trained on their sons’ backs, waiting until they left through the sliding glass doors to the patio outside.

“We were wrong. I thought this was going to work.” she hissed, hushing up and bringing Mrs. Jeon away from the crowd in the living room.

“If true love won’t bring them together then the circumstances will. I know there are a few in my own pack who won’t be coddled and cajoled into our new alliance. Even to the point of resisting an order from their alpha. Everything depends on those two now.” Mrs. Jeon said gravely, wiping her eyes with a tissue as they retreated into the kitchen.

“We’ll explain everything. We just can’t blurt everything out at once. We’d break them if we did.”

Mrs. Jeon sighed, holding her cheek so that she didn’t have to keep her head up as she thought.

“They’re adults now.”

“Barely. And that doesn’t mean they’re mature.”

“Of course. But I think if we lay it out to them…. They’ll understand. The proof is in the pudding.”

Mrs. Kim narrowed her eyes, thinking back on the terms of agreement both their packs had accepted ten years ago. They didn’t have to think of ‘external threats’ in hypothetical situations anymore. Nor in the theoretical. The threats were real and in the now. The proof wasn’t in the pudding.

“The proof is on the preserve.”

Chapter Text

Wonwoo chuckled to himself awkwardly, hoping to mask his embarrassment as he almost fell down the steps to the Kim family’s patio outside. They had just gone through the back door when his foot missed a step thanks to Mingyu’s bicep blocking his view. Luckily, the alpha was one step ahead of him, catching him by the thigh. 

 

“Where do you want to sit?” Wonwoo asked, desperate to look anywhere else than the alpha’s puppy dog eyes. He tried his best to hold onto Mingyu’s shoulders as he stood on one foot, but the taller boy remained in control of things. Even if he was still slumped against him.

 

Setting his other foot down properly would have been sufficient for Mingyu to redeem himself as a gentleman, but the alpha just had to yank him up by his thigh and turn him onto his back so he could carry him. 

 

“What are you- put me down! Why do you always have to carry m-me?” he stuttered, hugging Mingyu’s chest because he really hated heights. Even if he was only four feet off the ground. 

 

Mingyu didn’t say anything, keeping his head down. It wasn’t so much out of shame that he did so. It was more out of humility and duty. Wonwoo would have found it endearing if the thought in the back of his head didn’t tell him that the alpha was only doing it because they were going to be married and had to live with each other. They might as well start fresh on good terms, right?

 

Wonwoo grunted, trying to keep still in the alpha’s clutches.

 

“Next time you do this, I’ll kill you. And I don’t care if we both go down.”

 

The alpha snorted, turning his head to the side to nuzzle his neck. It was the only time since he had first gotten to the Kim mansion that he’d seen Mingyu smile. But the alpha was too afraid to show it, squishing his face in with his shoulder. 

 

Wonwoo felt like cooing but then again he knew how much Mingyu would have hated it. 

 

Alas, the alpha finally set him down on a porch swing, having walked across the Kim estate’s large backyard lawn for what felt like hours. 

 

Settled underneath a willow tree, a bench was suspended in the air by two white strings attached to a thick rope wrapped around a large tree branch. Rather than have a hooded roof or cabana, Mingyu’s family took advantage of the tree cover, deciding to keep the swing open-air so it didn’t feel so stuffy and cramped. The bench jolted a little as the alpha set him down in it, but he steadied it once he got on, not spending more than one second apart from him. 

 

Mingyu instantly returned to suffocating him in a hug, causing Wonwoo to fawn at him. 

 

“Here.” Wonwoo said, shaking off leaves and pollen from a pillow which was laying next to the wooden railing. “My bony shoulder isn’t the best place to rest.”

 

Mingyu so badly wanted to tell Wonwoo that every inch of his body was beautiful and soft but he didn’t have the guts to. The most he could do was let his head collapse onto the pillow on the omega’s lap and stomach. Wonwoo made sure to lay back, propping Mingyu’s head up while he ran a hand through his hair. His other hand returned to the alpha’s broad and muscled shoulder, reaching further to rub circles on his back. Mingyu jolted slightly at the feeling but welcomed it nonetheless, prompting Wonwoo to seriously wonder if Chaeyeon gave him scalp massages. Belly rubs were a much appreciated ‘treatment’ among alphas as well but he didn’t want to be too condescending to Mingyu today and treat him like a dog. 

 

What he was doing with Mingyu’s hair and back was enough to worry about. Especially where Chaeyeon was concerned. 

 

“Seungcheol’s gonna kill me for this.” Wonwoo chuckled, looking somewhere else and away from the black tufts of hair on Mingyu’s head. Alpha’s always had a mass of thick dark hair on them, much like a lion’s mane. But he was way too flustered to be self-consciously aware of himself petting the beast whose head was bigger than his lap. Not to mention that cute nose that looked like a beak and that square chin of his that poked him in the stomach. 

 

Wonwoo giggled when Mingyu let out a growl at the mention of his boyfriend’s name and it took him his all to stay still and not panic. Mingyu’s arms had drifted below his shoulders, coming to rest on his lower back like he was hanging on. Though it was only because he wanted the omega closer. All this time Wonwoo couldn’t see his face, so he didn’t know if Mingyu was genuinely angry or still sulking. Lifting his elbows up, he allowed the alpha to reach around his back more and pull him closer, shielding his face from him.

 

“Woah.” Wonwoo laughed light-heartedly. “What’s got you in a mood, sour wolf?”

 

Mingyu snorted, letting out hot air from the crack between his mouth and the pillow. 

 

“Are you mad?” Wonwoo winced, stopping his gentle caresses on the top of Mingyu’s head. The lack of motion from his fingers seemed to be enough to piss Mingyu off. That’s for sure. 

 

The big bad wolf shook his head, taking his right hand off Wonwoo’s back to catch his wrist as it was in retreat. The omega gulped, letting Mingyu revel in the touch of his flawless, smooth, and dainty fingers as he observed them. The alpha probably thought he was gross. His fingers were so bony, cold, and clammy all the time. Clammy only whenever he was around Mingyu’s earthy pine scent.

 

Mingyu allayed his fears by bringing his wrist back to the top of his head, grunting as he meshed their bodies together more once his hand circled around his back again.

 

“You’re not gonna show your face huh? And here I thought I was the ugly one.” Wonwoo snickered, scrunching his nose as he scratched Mingyu’s scalp.

 

“Shut up. M’not ugly.” the alpha murmured, secretly heartbroken that Wonwoo still remembered that he had said that about him. 

 

Mingyu shook his head and squished his cheeks against the small pillow. Just as Wonwoo thought the alpha snapped at him simply to shush him so he could fall asleep, he heard the faintest of sniffling and the little vibrations from it too. For someone so loud and gigantic as Mingyu, he sure knew how to make himself quiet as a mouse. 

 

“Huh?” Wonwoo perked up, hoping Mingyu wasn’t actually crying.

 

“Please don’t tell me you’re still stuck in that moment we had back there. I know you were just angry. I mean- my face is really punchable so I understand-”

 

“No!” Mingyu groaned, squeezing him tighter. “That’s not- I wouldn’t. If I hurt you I- I couldn’t live with myself.”

 

“Mingyu-”

 

“I don’t wanna hear it.” the alpha shook his head. “Just know that I’m sorry. I mean it. I’m sorry, Won.” he swallowed, clenching his teeth and fists like he wanted to rip his own hair out. 

 

“It’s fine. And I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have egged you on. I can stoke the fire sometimes.”

 

“Yeah, but I’m an alpha. I’m supposed to be better than that. I’m supposed to protect you not hurt you.”

 

“That’s Seungcheol’s job.” Wonwoo blushed, eyes darting to the trunk of the willow tree next to them.

 

“I don’t care. He doesn’t deserve you. I don’t deserve your kindness either. And don’t think it’s ‘cause you’re some dumb omega who doesn’t stand up for yourself. You’re the only person I know who can take the shit I give you and give it back. And you know, I’m actually glad our moms made this deal- I mean-”

 

Mingyu’s abrupt pause came with wide eyes from the both of them. But Mingyu’s were more or less from the shock that he had even brought himself to admit it. 

 

He had to cover it up. What the hell was he thinking? Wonwoo looked like he was going to laugh at him.

 

“I mean- If it was going to be anyone I’ll have to marry, I’m glad it’s you.” 

 

Wonwoo gaped, slapping his cheeks with his hands and looking like a fish out of water. 

 

“We’ll ahll be…” 

 

Why did his internal voice have a southern accent?

 

“Awww, I didn’t know you could be so sweet. No wonder why you wanted to come out here alone and-”

 

“Would you shut up?” Mingyu growled, covering his mouth. “That little shit you call a brother is probably listening.” 

 

“Okay.” Wonwoo surrendered with a blank face. His voice came out a little muffled. “Could you please take your dirty sausage fingers off me.” 

 

“Whatever. Guess you’re not getting a ring from me.”

 

“I never needed one. Your apology is better.” Wonwoo smiled, acting really pleased with himself.

 

Mingyu’s eyes went wide and he let his face fall splat on the pillow once more, deciding he wasn’t going to give the omega more ammo to kill him with.

 

“Hmmm. And since we’re making ‘retractions’, I might as well take something back too. Now what did I say that was actually a lie?” 

 

Wonwoo narrowed his eyes and tilted his head as he stared up at the evening sky.

 

“You are an arrogant prick- Ow!” he hissed, cringing as Mingyu squeezed his back. “Fine. Fine. Maybe you are an arrogant prick but you aren’t little. Happy now?”

 

Mingyu nodded, nuzzling his nose into the back of his hand where it lay in front of the big ball of fluff that was the alpha’s hair. Wonwoo’s scent made him sleepy, knowing that the omega was safe and sound beside him.

 

“Well, since I am going to be the alpha’s mate someday, my first decree will be to execute Jonghyun for calling my mom.”

 

Mingyu tried to keep his laughter in, clutching the fabric of his shirt on his back.

 

“No, really. I am pretty mad that you had him do that. But since I can’t execute you, someone’s gotta pay.”

 

“Savage.”

 

Wonwoo’s breath hitched. He was dumbfounded, not knowing whether he should take it as a compliment or shake the alpha and ask what he had done to the real Mingyu. Mingyu never complimented him….

 

“Anyways, not to rain on your parade but in case you haven’t noticed, the both of us are in relationships. So our mom’s conspiracy won’t work. Unless they drug me and strap me to a bed-”

 

Wonwoo was cut off by Mingyu growling into the pillow on his lap, making his legs and hand heat up from the alpha’s hot breath. 

 

“Oh, so you’re back to not using your words again, puppy?” Wonwoo inclined his head. His eyes twinkled and he giggled slightly, but it faded into a sheepish chuckle as he realized Mingyu wasn’t laughing with him.

 

“Don’t call me that.”

 

“Be grateful I wasn’t calling you a dog.”

 

Mingyu sulked.

 

“Least dogs are actually cool and can sniff out bombs and bite peoples legs off. All puppies can do is eat their own shit.” 

 

“Which is what you do everyday whenever you talk to yourself in the mirror.” Wonwoo snorted, taking both of his hands to cover his mouth to contain his laughter. 

 

Good one, Wonu.

 

Mingyu huffed at the loss of Wonwoo’s scent being right near his nose but he smirked as he looked up at him.

 

“I don’t know if you need glasses but I’ve earned a right to look at myself in the mirror. What? With this handsome face?” the alpha smirked, pointing to his face with his thumb.

 

“Not handsome enough to keep Chae interested though-” Wonwoo muttered, stopping himself when he realized Mingyu’s head was over his lap. Curse his wit.

 

“I mean- She’s had her legs up in the air more than an airplane. Oh wait, you probably still like her- you know what now, I’ll just shut up.”

 

“No, it’s fine. Everything you said is true. Like always.” Mingyu grumbled, burying his face back into the pillow.

 

“I take back everything I said.” the omega groaned. “Please don’t let my wittiness hinder our progress as potentially-compatible mutual beneficiaries of an arranged marriage.”

 

Wonwoo winced.

 

“Please.”

 

“Progress? If you think I’d trade my smoking hot girlfriend for a twig like you then you’re better off just staying with Seungcheol. Not to mention the sexy as fuck blowjobs I get every-”

 

“Oh my- would you cut that out?”

 

“Cut what out?”

 

“Your dirty mouth. I thought all the time you spent grounded with your mother would have made you into a gentleman. A gentleman who didn’t insult his betrothed!”

 

“C’mon, I didn’t say I wasn’t going to marry you.” Mingyu smiled sheepishly. “I just said I wasn’t going to willingly.”

 

“Yeah, ‘cause I’m all pale skin and bones. Understood.” Wonwoo hummed, granting Mingyu the benefit. He crossed his legs and gave Mingyu’s head a jolt as he moved the pillow up. The slant caused the pillow to become steeper and tougher to rest one’s head on. It certainly got on the alpha’s nerves.

 

“That’s not true! I just said that to work you up.” Mingyu sighed. “You’re actually pretty when you get all mad and serious.”

 

Wonwoo choked on Mingyu’s audacity. Which… Mingyu should have been doing himself.

 

“Which one is it? Or is this another one of your games. Like when you beat up all my friends just for us to find out that you were gonna be a tattle tale and rat me out?”

 

Mingyu hummed.

 

“I guess that was a game.” he snickered. “You’re right. I should have just kidnapped you and ran off with you. Jungkook may be a fast runner but he wouldn’t have caught me.” 

 

“Your obsession with carrying me is so messed up. Don’t think I forgot about the time you threw me into the lake.” Wonwoo punched him in the shoulder. His whole body shook as he tried to compose himself. It was like he was telling a dirty secret. That was it. He thought nothing else of it. But the same didn’t go for Mingyu. The alpha didn’t even say a word. Mingyu merely clenched his fists, hating Wonwoo for bringing that up.

 

The movement of Wonwoo's embarrassed giggling had caused something in Mingyu to awaken. Like how the singing of Sleeping Beauty had completely enamored Prince Philip. They had been close for about five minutes now, soaking up each other’s warmth. But the vibrations in the omega’s stomach, the nervous shaking of his leg, and the sound of his voice…. How could Wonwoo not be breaking down already? After everything he put him through?

 

The closeness was too real. Wonwoo’s presence was suffocating. The movement of the omega’s dainty fingers felt like spiders crawling up his scalp. Was this  Wonwoo’s plan for revenge? Lure him into warmth and comfort and then attack? 

 

That’s what he did last time.

 

Wonwoo was an emotional manipulator. Always bringing up old wounds-

 

No, that’s ridiculous.

 

Wonwoo was going to be his mate. If the omega did anything- he’d- he’d be biting his own tail. But that’s all Mingyu was. An extra appendage. 

 

“Oh, I see how it is, Mr. Grumpy. I’m just joking.” Wonwoo laughed. “We’re cool, right?”

 

“Whatever you say.”

 

“Mingyu-” Wonwoo began, but he cut himself off. “You know me. I guess humor’s just a way for me to get over things. Not that I’m funny- just- you know…”

 

“I don’t know. I’m just a dumb alpha.” Mingyu snorted. 

 

“Well, I take that back too. I’m sorry.”

 

“You still meant it.”

 

“No I-” Wonwoo started but ended up growling to himself. “Talk about me bringing up shit from the past!”

 

“Woah, I didn’t know goody-two shoes could swear.” 

 

“You aren’t the most holy person around here anyways.”

 

Mingyu lifted his head up and glared at him.

 

“Why? ‘Cause I have a better sex life than you?”

 

“I don’t have a sex life.” Wonwoo scoffed.

 

“Explains why you’re so moody all the time.”

 

Veins were practically forming on Wonwoo’s forehead but he stopped himself from continuing the endless bloodbath of mudslinging and name-calling. 

 

“Alright, thanks for the tip. I’ll work on it.” 

 

“Huh?”

 

“I said, thanks for the tip. I’ll work on it.” Wonwoo eyed him, putting a hand on his hip while the alpha continued to arch his brow at him.

 

“That’s not what you’re supposed to say.”

 

“Oops, I forgot to say that I’m sorry for always opening wounds from the past.” 

 

“That’s not- You’re supposed to say I’m a liber- lab- lober- I don’t know! You’re a walking dictionary! You figure it out!” 

 

“A libertine, lothario, licentious, libidinous-”

 

“Yeah yeah yeah, that’s what I meant.” 

 

Wonwoo’s smile turned devious.

 

“I think you meant thesaurus. Not a dictionary.”

 

Mingyu flashed his red eyes, causing Wonwoo to flinch.

 

“I should have known you were a dumb alpha who just wanted to fight.”

 

Mingyu’s snorted, wondering where that Wonwoo had been

 

“That’s what I’m talking about. I missed the old you.”

 

“I didn’t. I liked having a few minutes of serenity and repentance.”  

 

“English.”

 

“You’re such a dummy.” Wonwoo muttered. “I thought you would have liked a change for once.”

 

“So you care about what I like?” Mingyu smirked, sitting up more but only to lean towards him more. 

 

“No- I- Get off me, pervert!” he squealed, giggling and kicking as the alpha clutched his waist. 

 

“Woah woah woah, I’m supposed to protect you remember? I’d never act perverted towards you.” 

 

“How can you protect me when you can’t even protect yourself?” Wonwoo tilted his head, reveling in the dumbfounded look on Mingyu’s face.

 

“Huh?”

 

Wonwoo didn’t bother to give the taller an answer, reaching up with a finger to flick his forehead.

 

“Ow! Bitch!”

 

Wonwoo gasped.

 

“You can’t say that to an omega!” 

 

“I just did.” Mingyu growled, laughing as he played tug of war with Wonwoo’s arms. The alpha let go of his wrists and went on the attack, using his fingers to jab and poke his sides.

 

Wonwoo closed his eyes shut and winced as if he was being tazed, letting out a laugh. It was more subdued and slower than the average laughing-fit but it made Mingyu’s eyes crinkle even more as he listened to the omega. His omega.

 

 Wonwoo squirmed and tried to slap his hands away but it was no use, Mingyu was too strong. The most the omega could do was leave a pink mark on Mingyu’s arm as he slapped it but it vanished instantaneously, leaving the alpha’s pulsing veins to remain behind as his arms stretched out to grab him.

 

“What are you- Get your hands off me, seriously!” Wonwoo chuckled, curling his body up. “I’m literally being tazed!”

 

Mingyu grinned.

 

“Where’s your boyfriend now? Thought he was supposed to protect you.”

 

“Are you making fun of me?” Wonwoo arched a brow, catching Mingyu’s wrist in his hand where it was about to nudge his hip.

 

“Gee, what gave you that idea?” 

 

“You’re so dead.” Wonwoo growled, propelling himself from his side of the bench to push Mingyu off but the alpha pushed back against his shoulders, putting a check on his power.

 

“Woah there. Take it easy, princess.” 

 

“That’s it. Three strikes and you’re out.” 

 

“You actually know something about baseball? Wow.”

 

Mingyu didn’t have time to laugh as Wonwoo’s eyes were already glowing orange, drawing the alpha into them while the rest of his body became enveloped in a flaming sheen, illuminating the grass and the tree trunk next to them with an orange glow. 

 

He let out a grunt as Wonwoo overpowered him. The omega only needed a second to do so, succeeding and pushing him off the bench. Mingyu wasn’t going down that easily though, taking Wonwoo with him in the process. The alpha’s body made a thud against the grass, prompting Mingyu to laugh as his head smacked against the dirt. He hoped he could laugh off the embarrassment of being caught off guard by an omega. Kitsune. Fox. Or whatever his future mate was. 

 

Wonwoo came crashing down on his chest, squeezing most of the air out of his lungs even though he weighed less than a feather. Mingyu didn’t want to admit it but the real reason all his breath was stolen from him was the sheer beauty of the omega on top of him, incinerating the patch of grass around them with his orange aura. Was this what nuclear radiation felt like?

 

“What? Fox got your tongue?” Wonwoo smiled, tilting his head. All Mingyu could do was gape. Could this kid get any more sly? 

 

“The only reason you got me like this was because you caught me off guard.”

 

“Sure.”

 

“So are you gonna get off me now or am I gonna have to tell Seungcheol that he should fuck you cowgirl next time?”

 

Wonwoo’s breath hitched, doing everything he could not to gush slick over Mingyu’s crotch which by the way was poking him from behind. 

 

“You’re so gr-” he was about to say but he ended up swallowing what he couldn’t finish, letting out a humph as his back hit the ground. 

 

“Who’s caught off guard now, huh?” Mingyu smirked, flexing his arms which blocked him in on both sides of his head. 

 

Wonwoo growled.

 

“I’m not surprised at all that you’d stoop this low.”

 

“Hmm. One thing’s for sure… I kinda miss the view now. But omegas always look great when they’re under you.”

 

“Get off me you creep.” Wonwoo furrowed his brows, wiggling so he could move his arms up to cross them over his chest. 

 

“What are you going to do? Nibble me to death, omega?” Mingyu chuckled, getting closer to his face. Perhaps if it had been just that, Mingyu wouldn’t have come off as so menacing and scary, but his eyes were glowing red and the tips of his fangs were just starting to peak out from his regular human teeth, It was like Mingyu was growing bigger and bigger as he loomed over him. 

 

Wonwoo simply stared up at him, waiting for his energy to spike anytime now. Mingyu kept up the smug grin for a few more seconds, liking how the soft orange flames around Wonwoo made his dark eyes and hair come out. With his thumb and forefinger he reached out towards the side of Wonwoo’s face, catching a short strand of hair that belonged to the beautiful vixen laying still below him. He only had a few more seconds to feel its silky smoothness before his whole hand felt like it had caught on fire.

 

“Ah- fuck!” Mingyu cursed, taking his hand back. “What did you just-”

 

Mingyu jumped off of the omega like he was a dog who saw a spider, landing on his hands and feet away from the fox.

 

“It’s called fox fire. I’m not just an omega.” Wonwoo hummed, sitting up and letting his arms support him as he laid back on the grass. 

 

“Obviously. But you almost burnt my dick!” Mingyu narrowed his eyes, blowing on his hands before lowering his head to check underneath. 

 

“Oh- Uhm. Is it- I mean- are you okay?” Wonwoo smiled sheepishly, secretly hoping Mingyu would never be able to have sex with Chaeyeon ever again. EVER.

 

“I’m fine. Didn’t know you cared about my dick so bad though. But I get it. Gotta make sure the family jewels are safe right? If we’re gonna get married, we might as well have a few pups.” 

 

There were alot of things Wonwoo could have said and called the alpha but he decided he was going to have a little fun with Mingyu. Even if it was getting exceptionally dark out. It was a good thing too. The blush on his face was hotter than his own kitsune foxfire. 

 

“Married? You’re funny. You can’t marry what you don’t understand.”

 

“I don’t need to understand.” Mingyu huffed, standing up slowly like a werewolf about to howl. In the darkness of the wide open backyard he could see the alpha’s eyes glowing stark red, burning for him.

 

“I just want to catch you.” Mingyu grinned, breathing through his fangs.

 

Wonwoo gawked at him as he scrambled backwards, crab-walking just like he had done in the cave.

 

“Mingyu- what’s going on?” 

 

“Nothing. You just smell good.” 

 

“Uh, that wasn’t the answer I was looking for.” Wonwoo laughed shyly, wobbling as he got up from the ground. He’d have to get past Mingyu if he wanted to run back inside the house. On the other hand, there was a big tree behind him that he could escape to. Not that it would do him much good. But it was all he had. He might as well make a run for it. 

 

“Good, I don’t care if it wasn’t the answer you were looking for. Now get back here. Don’t you wanna cuddle some more?” he smirked.

 

Wonwoo scoffed as he reached the thick trunk of the oak tree, touching all over it to find a branch.

 

“Do you have to sound like a creepy stalker?” he laughed.

 

If he was going to die tonight he might as well have fun. 

 

“I do? Sorry. But I probably sound like that to you ‘cause you never had a guy hit on you before.”

 

“I wouldn’t call this hitting on.” Wonwoo raised his voice as he began to climb up the tree. His foot slipped on the bark, causing it to chip a little. But causing a little pain to a tree wasn’t on his mind at the moment. Not when he slid down the trunk of the oak and fell on his butt. 

 

“Cute.” Mingyu chuckled, standing behind him with his arms crossed. The alphas bronze biceps were practically bulging and ready to tear out of the cotton fabric of his sweatshirt. 

 

“Oh, you wanna see cute?” Wonwoo arched his brow.

 

Mingyu snorted, ignoring the question and shoving him against the tree trunk. 

 

“I want to see you underneath me, screaming my name.” the alpha growled next to his ear, warming up his hips with his large and rough hands. 

“M- Gyu? What’s gotten into you? Stop-”

 

“You smell so fucking good.” Mingyu said darkly, burrowing his face into his neck and inhaling his scent. 

 

Wonwoo clenched his fists against the bark behind him, hoping he wouldn’t light the tree on fire with his aura. He tried his best channeling it but he felt it actively resisting the barriers he had put up with his mind. He felt like he was going to explode.

 

Mingyu stopped scent-marking him, lifting up his head to look at him with a confused glare. Seungcheol’s scent was faint anyways from having neglected his omega for so long. So scenting could wait. In the meantime, Mingyu’s eyes became dark except for the thick ring of neon red circling his pupils. An angry red.

 

The alpha’s breath ceased to hit Wonwoo’s neck as he pondered for a moment. Did his slick really smell that bad?

 

Just when Wonwoo felt like fainting, Mingyu bore his fangs and grinned at him.

 

“I’m an apex alpha. If you think your foxfire will hurt me then you’re wrong.” 

 

“Yeah, well- you’re not the apex alpha in my heart so you can leave me alone now!” Wonwoo sputtered, not knowing if he should stay shocked that his aura wasn’t even burning Mingyu’s skin or if he should get angry. 

 

“Really? You ever get this wet for your Cheolie?” Mingyu chuckled, meshing their foreheads together while his hand reached down to press a finger against his entrance. 

 

Both of his legs jolted at the pressure and for a moment he felt like a puppet on wires. This time he decided he was going to get angry, so he bore his fangs, showing the alpha he had a set of sharp teeth just the same.

 

Mingyu didn’t do anything so much as laugh at his pathetic attempt of intimidation. 

 

“Fuck, how is my dick going to fit in that tiny mouth of yours?” Mingyu snickered, still wrestling with him. 

 

“Same way I’ll bite it off.” Wonwoo snarled, letting his fox spirit consume him and take control. 

 

Mingyu stumbled backwards as the orange flames surrounding Wonwoo swirled into a creature of light, boasting two ears and the face of a fox, though it was only the shape of one. It was composed of nothing but flames but it hit him like a brick wall, searing his arms as its scalding hot claws dug into them. 

 

The alpha clenched his teeth as he dug his feet into the ground. The thing fighting with him wasn’t the same fox that Wonwoo was. It must have been his fox spirit. It didn’t have a scent. Not even its own consciousness perhaps. Unless Wonwoo wasn’t controlling it.  It was tough to believe Wonwoo had any control when he was busy fleeing, scurrying around the tree trunk to hide from him. 

 

Mingyu flashed his eyes and broke his arms free from the fox spirit’s hold, clawing at it as if he could tear it to shreds. Apparently he was successful and he blasted right through it, leaving it to dissipate like sparks and embers twinkling before burning out. 

 

“I’m not in the mood to play hide and seek, Wonu.”

 

“I’m not in the mood to get knocked up by a feral alpha!” Wonwoo snapped back. His voice came out muffled from behind the tree but Mingyu didn’t need his acute sense of hearing to know where the omega was. Wonwoo was stupid if he though he could hide from him. Not when the omega was leaking slick like crazy. Any alpha in a five mile radius must have smelled it by now. If that was the case. Mingyu had to claim him. Mark him as his territory.

 

Now.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

- 7 Years Earlier   -

 

 

 

 

 

“For someone with legs the size of palm trees you’re so slow.” Wonwoo laughed, holding onto the trunk of the oak tree in Mingyu’s backyard while his other hand rested on his hip. 

 

“Least I’m not a coward. All omegas are good at is running away.” Mingyu pouted, crossing his arms and kicking a pebble across the yard. 

 

“My mom says omegas are really important.” 

 

“Important for what? Cleaning your room?” Mingyu snickered, walking up to him. 

 

“No.” Wonwoo scoffed, crinkling his nose. He let go of the branch to turn and walk around the tree trunk. 

 

“Omegas are good at being mothers. And cooking. My mom said that sometimes she wished she was born as an omega because then she’d be a good cook and we wouldn’t always have to hold our nose when we eat her food.”

 

Mingyu grinned at that, causing Wonwoo who was peering behind the tree trunk to giggle at the small gap in the alpha’s teeth.

 

“But then she wouldn’t be as strong so she wouldn’t be able to protect us.”

 

“Exactly,” Mingyu chuckled, flexing his arms. His father had bought him a whole set of gym equipment and he had been bragging all week about how he was going to be the next Dwane The Rock Johnson.  

 

“That’s why alphas are the best.”

 

“Maybe the best at being jerks.” Wonwoo retorted, grabbing a clump of grass from around the tree and throwing it in his face.

 

Mingyu closed his eyes and swatted the earthy-smelling blades away from his eyes, mouth, and nose, spitting out the ones he inhaled. 

 

“That was a cheap shot. No fair. You can’t blind your opponent.”

 

“Kitsune don’t have to play fair, Gyu boo. When will you learn?” Wonwoo smiled, pushing up his glasses as he hung like a koala off a tree branch. 

 

“Don’t call yourself an omega then since you’re actually a fox.” Mingyu grumbled, rolling his eyes before leaning against the tree.

 

“You’re gonna fall and hurt yourself you know.” he wore a scowl on his face, looking up at the skinny boy struggling to get back to the base of the branch. 

 

“I’m five feet off the ground. Same height as you are. It’s fine.” 

 

“Don’t bring my height into this. My mom says alpha’s take longer to grow than omegas.”

 

“That makes no sense.” Wonwoo craned his neck towards him. “How are you supposed to protect us then?” 

 

“Alphas have to protect their mates. And you’re not old enough to be my mate.” 

 

“Well, I’m mature enough. I read my mom’s entire anatomy book she used in college.” 

 

And you’re thirteen years old….

 

The look on Mingyu’s face was priceless.

 

“Was it werewolf anatomy? ‘Cause I bet you don’t even know what a knot is.” Mingyu sighed, trying to fight back a smug grin. All in all he had to be fair to Wonwoo who was an omega who couldn’t even say the word ‘dick’ without blushing. His younger brother, Jungkook, though was a potty mouth. That's for sure. 

 

“No. It was human anatomy. But it’s the same thing. We just have claws and sharp teeth…” Wonwoo chuckled nervously, remembering the time Mingyu lost control on a full moon. 

 

“It’s not the same thing. You also forgot about all the other shit we have to go through besides “puberty”. 

 

Wonwoo eyes widened.

 

“Hey, watch your mouth.”

 

“Sorry.”

 

“And don’t remind me about puberty. I’m getting sick and tired of hearing your voice crack every time you get excited about the latest video game coming out. Fortnite is stupid.”

 

Mingyu huffed.

 

“Well, you sound like a robot all the time!” 

 

“Only when I’m with other people.” 

 

He didn’t stop seething until a few seconds later when he finally realized what Wonwoo had meant. The omega was too busy trying to maintain his grip on the branch so he was glad he couldn’t see the blush on his face. But still. A little warning would have been nice before he made those kinds of remarks. He hated when Wonwoo thought he was whipped enough for him to say those things and get away with them. He wasn’t ‘soft’.

 

“Thanks, I guess.” Mingyu mumbled, watching as the omega struggled. 

 

“Now let’s get back to how badly you want to be my mate.” he smirked, not even wincing as Wonwoo gawked at him and lost his grip, falling splat on the soil below the branch. 

 

“Maturity as a good topic for a conversation.” Wonwoo breathed, trying to not look like he had just been humiliated.

 

“Funny. But now that I think about it…. I was gonna ask. Are you okay?” 

 

“Pshh, yeah. The ground’s soft.”

 

“Oh really?” Mingyu arched a brow, stepping up to him and reaching a hand down to help him.

 

“Yeah.” Wonwoo nodded, not thinking much of it. “Thanks.”

 

Mingyu’s grin faltered as he saw a few rocks on the ground where Wonwoo had gotten up from. That had to hurt. Turning back to look at the omega it was no wonder why Wonwoo’s eyes were a little watery. 

 

Even if they were the same height, Mingyu still prided himself out of being bigger than the omega. Being an alpha didn’t mean squat at the moment. As Wonwoo’s friend it was his duty to comfort him. 

 

“Hey.” he smiled, opening his arms a little so Wonwoo could give him a hug. Knowing Wonwoo, he wasn’t so certain he’d give in.

 

“I don’t need alpha’s charity.” Wonwoo sniffled. 

 

“Alpha’s huh? What happened to just Mingyu?”

 

“I thought you wanted respect? I’m calling you alpha. There. Now be grateful.” 

 

“Damn. Guess I won’t be getting any sugar from my best friend today then.” Mingyu playfully sighed, scratching his head. 

 

“You know what I mean.” Wonwoo scowled. “You don’t want me to ruin your big tough guy image.”

 

“What? You think your brother will see us and tell my friends?” he chuckled, knowing Jungkook wanted to be in their crew so badly he’d blackmail them.

 

“No, I was thinking more about your pride than your self-consciousness.”

 

Mingyu’s breath hitched at that, feeling the burn from Wonwoo’s words. But then a smile rose up on his face and he stepped forward as if it was nothing, circling his arms around his friend’s skinny torso.

 

“You’re more important than any of that shit.” 

 

Wonwoo froze up like a germaphobe being touched by a little kid who had just picked his nose. It only took a few seconds to pass though before he melted into the hug, resting his cheek against the alpha’s shoulder. The muscle on Mingyu’s shoulder was bigger than the last time they hugged like this. Scary big. Mingyu was growing into a beast that could snap his neck anyday if he pissed him off enough. Hopefully that wouldn’t happen. Mingyu had so many promises to keep and debts to pay him back on anyways. 

 

“Guess I out-foxed the fox today, right?” Mingyu snickered, bearing his canines looking down at him. 

 

“Assh- You did all that just to get me like this?” Wonwoo frowned, seriously hoping Mingyu wasn’t playing with him.

 

“Yeah, and it’s pretty sweet.”

 

Wonwoo’s mouth formed a soft ‘O’ and he tightened his arms around Mingyu’s shoulders.

 

“Oh, good. That’s what I want to hear.” Wonwoo hummed, snobbily going back to hugging Mingyu for a few more seconds and patting his shoulder like a good doggy. 

 

“So now what? You hungry? My mom said lunch will be in forty-five minutes.”

 

He sure loved Mrs. Kim’s chicken nuggets.

 

“What time is it now?”

 

Mingyu brought his Rolex watch up to his face for a closer look, eyeing how fast time had passed.

 

“11:25. We got thirty-five minutes.”

 

“Thirty-five minutes for me to show you how important omegas are.” Wonwoo huffed, shunning him.

 

“Oh yeah? How you gonna do that? My mom is a pretty good cook.”

 

Wonwoo’s eyes opened like the eyes of a fish out of water and he turned to observe the tree. 

 

“Race you to the top.”

 

“The top? The top’s not strong enough to hold me. I’d snap that tree in half.” Mingyu chuckled sheepishly. 

 

Wonwoo smiled.

 

“I forgot your dad gave you that gym equipment only a little while ago.” he said, reaching over to pinch the younger’s cheek.

 

“Hey! Quit it!”

 

“Drink more milk and lift some weights and maybe you won’t have cheeks to pinch.” 

 

“Says the one who can’t even beat me in arm wrestling.”

 

“I won once!”

 

“I let you.”

 

“Ugh fine. Let’s see who wins!” Wonwoo laughed, jumping onto the tree trunk as if his arms and legs had suction cups.

 

Mingyu growled.

 

“I told you-”

 

“Okay fine! Race you to the fifth branch.”

 

“You’re on.” the alpha said smugly, keeping his eyes straight ahead.

 

“Do you need me to count for you?” Wonwoo asked in a pouty voice, looking down through the gap between his thigh and stomach. To anyone else Mingyu looked annoyed but he was really just trying not to blush at how cute Wonwoo looked squeezing the tree trunk.

 

“Shut up. You got a head start.” Mingyu grunted, slipping a little while he pushed off from his feet one by one. 

 

“Maybe, but it’s nothing an alpha can’t handle right?”

 

“I don’t think any alpha could handle you.” Mingyu snorted, grabbing onto a little nub in the bark and pulling himself up so that he was eye level with the omega. Wonwoo stared at him directly, wondering if he should reach to shove Mingyu’s shoulder  but he thought twice about it. The last thing they needed was Mingyu falling and breaking all his bones. Much less getting torn apart by his mom. 

 

“Thanks for the compliment.” Wonwoo laughed faintly, clenching his teeth as he pulled himself up. 

 

“Surprised you actually took it.”

 

Wonwoo narrowed his eyes at him and reached over to nudge him, earning a shove from the alpha on his shoulder,

 

“Hey!”

 

“Watch it!

 

“You watch it!”

 

“I don’t need to, I’m already here.” Mingyu snickered, looking up at the fifth branch his hand was holding onto while his feet set foot on the fourth below it.

 

“That doesn’t count.”

 

“Someone’s a sore loser.”

 

Wonwoo clenched his teeth and closed his eyes shut, letting his foxfire give him an extra boost on the little branch he had his foot on. Apparently it was a bit too much and the branch snapped as he pushed off from it, leaving him to dig his hands into a small hole into the tree that a racoon probably lived in. 

 

“Oh dear.” he said to himself, hoping a rabid animal didn’t come out and bite his fingers off. 

 

Mingyu smirked as he looked down at him, standing on the fifth branch in all his alpha glory. 

 

“I forgot you had that in you.” he laughed, crouching down and extending his hand. The alpha’s palm was a few feet away from the hole he had his hands in, but he was pretty sure he could make it…. 

 

What was he thinking? 

 

Wonwoo let out a scoff, closing his eyes again and attempting to pull himself up. Maybe he could climb up a little higher so that his feet could step into the hole and then maybe-

 

“Damn, you are a sore loser.”

 

Wonwoo growled. He didn't care if this was Mingyu’s mom’s favorite tree. He wanted to burn it down with his foxfire. If only he could actually control it. 

 

“Okay fine!”

 

“Fine what?” Mingyu crossed his arms.

 

Wonwoo turned his head the other way, trying not to get nauseous as he stared at the ground. 

 

“Can you help?”

 

“Help what?” Mingyu tilted his head.

 

“Forget it! I’m leaving.” Wonwoo groaned, trembling a little as his foot slipped on the bark. 

 

“W-Wait! I’m sorry! I was just playing with you!” Mingyu laughed, holding his stomach. 

 

“Well, I don’t like it.” 

 

“C’mon. You’re not gonna get all emotional on me now, right? You’re such an omega.”



Wonwoo’s head whipped towards him, reading to shoot laser beams from his eyes. 

 

“What did you just say?”

 

Mingyu ignored him and leaned his hand on the trunk next to him.

 

“I thought I could hang out with you because I thought you were one of us. But I guess not.”

 

Wonwoo so badly didn’t want to give into what Mingyu had said about him but he couldn’t help but rub his eye with a free hand, not caring if Mingyu was going to make fun of him for it or tell his friends. It was about time the kid betrayed him. They had it too good for all these years.

 

“Fine. I get it. Bye.” Wonwoo laughed to himself, hoping it wouldn’t hurt if he fell to the ground from where he was. 

 

“Yo, chill!” Mingyu shouted, reaching down and grabbing his hands. 

 

“Huh?”

 

Mingyu didn't answer. He was too busy using his alpha strength to pull him up onto the tree branch. 

 

“W-What?” Wonwoo sputtered, wobbling a little on the branch before he spun around to hug the trunk of the tree. Just because he wanted to beat Mingyu at climbing trees didn’t mean he was totally immune to the fear of heights. 

 

“It’s pretty nice up here, right?” the alpha grinned. It was the same cheesy grin he’d always put on whenever he got in trouble with his ‘favorite omega’. 

 

“Mingyu! If you could do this the whole time then- Ugh!”

 

“Yeah, sorry about that.” Mingyu scratched the back of his neck. “But I liked seeing you all angry and tsundere. Sometimes all your cuteness makes me barf. I needed a break if you know what I mean.”

 

“I’m neither of those things.” Wonwoo huffed. “You bring out the worst in me.” 

 

“Least I’m the only one who sees you as a human.” 

 

“Yeah right-” Wonwoo laughed. He wanted to cry because Mingyu was so sweet. But then he remembered...

 

“All you see me as is an omega.”

 

“I was just playing with you, dummy.” Mingyu groaned, grabbing his waist and yanking him off the tree trunk. “C’mere. I think you need a hug.”

 

“Right, ‘cause I’m so emotional too. I forgot.”

 

“You’re not gonna let me live that shit down, are you?”

 

“As your best friend, I won’t.” Wonwoo smiled, though he still lacked the courage to look at him. They weren’t completely hugging but the alpha’s arms had found their place around his torso. 

 

“Well, I’m glad you’re doing your job. And you know, being emotional isn’t a bad thing. It’s kinda cool how you always act strong and unaffected by all the shit that happens in your family and at school. But it’s also nice to see you like this.”

 

“Like what? A mess?” Wonwoo snorted, crossing his arms.

 

“Like you trust me enough. I guess, enough that you know I wouldn’t actually try to hurt you.”

 

“But I do.” Wonwoo perked up. “It’s my fault though. Stupid hormones.” 

 

“Nah, I think you care too much about what I say.”

 

“Too much? You’re my best friend. And not because our moms forced us to play together.”

 

“Yeah, it’s a miracle.” Mingyu mocked, poking him in the side.

 

“It is! I’m serious! God brought us together.” Wonwoo nodded, looking him in the eyes.

 

Mingyu breathed in a sigh.

 

“Well, I guess I should thank the Lord.”

 

“You should. And you better mean it.” Wonwoo hissed, slapping his shoulder for behaving so nonchalantly. 

 

“Ow! Okay Jesu-”

 

“And don’t say his name in vain!” 

 

“Shhhhhhhhh-” Mingyu winced, stopping himself from swearing. “I didn’t know kitsunes were this strong.”

 

Wonwoo muffled his giggle with his hand, plopping himself down on the branch. Mingyu followed suit, letting their legs dangle from the branch. 

 

“Wonu!” Jungkook called to them from the patio door, holding it open for Minseo as she came out too. 

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Your friends are here.” Jungkook murmured, going back to playing on his iPod their mom bought him for Christmas. 

 

“Hey!” Woozi waved from the sliding door of the patio, whispering to Seungkwan and ushering the rest of their crew outside. 

 

“Hey Zi.” Wonwoo grinned, waving shyly at Jun and Minghao who were the school’s “famous couple”. The most they had ever done was hold hands. Seungkwan and Vernon were still just friends, even with how much they flirted. 

 

“Hey look!” Jun shouted, pointing at them like he was proud of himself.

 

“Mingyu and Wonu sittin’ in a tree…” 

 

The whole gang caught on quickly, smiling at each other.

 

“K.I.S.S.I.N.G.”

 

“Please! Cease this obnoxiousness!” Wonwoo groaned, hiding his face in Mingyu’s neck. Only that made him blush more. Mingyu didn’t even know what ‘cease’ or ‘obnoxiousness’ meant. Seventh grade English class was… subpar. 

 

“First comes love! Then comes marriage! Then comes a baby in the baby carriage!” 

 

“Then comes my fist in your guys' face.” Mingyu grunted, retracting his hand from where it was around Wonwoo’s torso. Wonwoo hated how they got cold towards each other whenever their friends were like this. But it was a growing pain they would have to endure. The blush on Mingyu’s face redeemed him though. Until the dumbass finally mustered the courage to ask him out, Wonwoo would be waiting until then…. 

 

“Hey!” Seungkwan waved his hands at them, jumping up and down on the grass. 

 

“We’re gonna play manhunt pretty soon. We’re picking teams.” 

 

“Mingyu’s on mine!” Wonwoo perked up, whipping his head towards the other boy.

 

Their group of friends all raised their eyebrows at Wonwoo jumping out of character. 

 

“Sheesh Wonu, you don’t need to be so possessive over your mans. It’s manhunt not spin the bottle.” Woozi eyed him, wandering around the base of the oak tree. 

 

“That’s not why I want Mingyu on my team, dummy.” Wonwoo snickered. “He’s a slow poke. And you know what they say when you’re being chased by a bear? All you have to do is run faster than the slowest person.” 

 

“Damn, that’s dark. You don’t want me to be on the other team? I thought you liked it when I’m the one who catches you?” Mingyu smirked.

 

“Yeah, Wonu literally smells like a perfume factory whenever we play manhunt. And that’s not even when Mingyu catches him.” Vernon chided, earning a push from Seungkwan who knew just how embarrassing an omega’s scent could smell when an alpha was actively seeking them out. 

 

“I hate you all.” Wonwoo mumbled, letting his hand latch onto Mingyu’s face so he could push him away. 

 

“You can’t hate what you never loved.” Jun barked at him, giving him a playful middle finger. 

 

“Hey! He’s not old enough to see that shit, Wen.” Mingyu retorted, covering both Wonwoo’s eyes.

 

“I’m the same age as you!”  Wonwoo hissed, fighting his friend’s large hands off like a cat being fussy with its owner.

 

“Yeah? Well I’m an alpha. I gotta protect you.” 

 

Wonwoo was going to respond but Mingyu’s smug face melted all of his defenses away. He sure loved the alpha’s confidence. In a town full of anxious and awkward teenagers, Mingyu most certainly stood out. He forgot how rare of a person he was. So Mingyu could have this moment. Their moment. 

 

“Alright, so Vernon’s the other team captain?” Minghao asked, bringing the rest of the group in while Mingyu and Wonwoo watched the mess unfold below.

 

“Wait, who’s the first?” Jun arched a brow.

 

“Mingyu.”

 

“No fair!” Seungkwan whined. “Mingyu always gets to be the captain.”

 

“Hey Kwannie, if it makes you feel better you’ll be my first pick.” Mingyu snickered from the tree branch.

 

Wonwoo gaped at him. 

 

“I thought I would be?” 

 

“Ooo, Wonu’s mad!” Woozi laughed.

 

“Hey Vernon, watch out. Mingyu’s comin’ after Kwannie.” Jun shoved the blond, shaking his shoulders like he was preparing him to fight. 

 

Mingyu ignored the rabbel below the branches, turning to look at his best friend.

 

“You’re not gonna be my first pick, Nonu. You’re on Vernon’s team. You’re gonna be my prey, remember?” 

 

“Why do you have to say it like that?” Wonwoo clutched his head, trying to stop the dirty images from forming in his mind.

 

“I like it when my omega at least acts as if he knows who his alpha is.” Mingyu grinned, reaching over to run a hand through his black locks. 

 

Please stop.

 

Cease this - whatever it was - romance.

 

He was going to die. 

 

“You’re delusional. We’re not even in the same pack.” Wonwoo retorted, watching as their friends bickered about some trivial thing.

 

“Oh yeah? What do you call this?” Mingyu gestured at their friends, looking pretty offended.

 

“Uhm. A dysfunctional clique of adolescents?”

 

“No. This is my pack. I’m clearly the most dominant alpha here.”

 

“Sure.” 

 

“And you know what that means?” Mingyu eyed him. A devilish grin formed on his face as he inched himself closer. 

 

“What? Do I have to be your servant now or something?” Wonwoo rolled his eyes. 

 

“W-What? No!” Mingyu chuckled. 

 

“Since you’re my best friend- well- You’re the ‘alpha’s best friend’, the most highly respected member of my pack besides me.” he nodded, puffing out his chest. 

 

“See what I did there? You’re like the alpha’s mate but cooler.” 

 

“I’m honored, your royal dumbass-ness.” Wonwoo smiled, bowing his head. 

 

“Shut up.”

 

“Oh, sorry. Did I offend you, alpha?”

 

“That’s more like it. But royal sexyness works too. That’s what every chick at school calls me now.” Mingyu smirked. 

 

“No. I’ve appeased your ego enough today.” 

 

Mingyu went to stand up on the branch so that he could make his way down, holding out his hand to help him up.

 

“Well, maybe you can appease it a little more and run as fast as you can from me once we start the game.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Cause you gotta make it hard for me to catch you. ‘Else it’s not fun.”

 

“Alright alright.” Wonwoo sighed, letting the alpha lead him towards the tree trunk before they climbed down. 

 

“Just don’t transform into an actual wolf this time, if you could. Thank you.” 

 

Mingyu shook his head. 

 

“Bet.”

Chapter Text

 

 


7 Years Later

 

 

 

“Where do you think you’re going, omega?” Mingyu chuckled, stalking around the trunk of the tree.

 

Wonwoo didn’t respond, pulling himself up by a tree branch. His legs were still in reach of the alpha below him making his ankle become easy prey to the clawed hand that wrapped around it. 

 

“Ow! Let me go!” Wonwoo growled, kicking at Mingyu’s face with his other foot. “It’s like you want Jungkook to come out here and maul you to death.”

 

Mingyu snorted, catching the sole of his foot.

 

“No one gets hurt if you just surrender, Nonu. I’m all for doing things the easy way.”

 

Wonwoo laughed as if he wasn’t about to get knotted by a werewolf.

 

“You know what else is easier? Waiting until we get this arranged marriage over with. Tell you what, I won’t fight you if you want me that badly. Just hold your horses.” he gritted, saying the last part with a little extra umph as he tried to kick the alpha in the jaw.

 

“Nah. I can’t wait that long.” Mingyu smirked. “And having an omega fight you while you’re trying to knot them is kinda hot now that I think about it. Guess that’s why I didn’t stop when you told me ‘no’ last time. If you knew anything about alphas and how much we want to fuck, you wouldn’t have mentioned marriage in the first place.” 

 

Before Wonwoo could even scoff and come back with the usual witty remark, he was being pulled down from the tree like he was the alpha’s lost kite.

 

Wonwoo inhaled a breath as he slipped into Mingyu’s chest, looking anywhere else besides Mingyu’s red glowing eyes. He pushed against the alpha’s chest and shoulders a little but he didn't want to provoke the beast anymore. Not when every time he struggled the arms around him grew tighter. 

 

Mingyu smirked at him as he trailed his hands up his back and down to his hips.

 

“This is just like all those times we played manhunt.” he chuckled, nuzzling his neck before going to kiss his collarbone.

 

“Mingyu! Stop!” Wonwoo said sharply, meaning it when he said it. It wasn’t that he didn’t like it. But there was still a bigger issue at stake here. Mingyu needed to wake up….

 

“This is wrong.” 

 

Mingyu stopped his movements along his neck and glared at him.

 

“Then why do you smell so good? How can you be this wet for me if this was all wrong?”

 

Wonwoo closed his eyes, wanting to give the alpha the benefit of the doubt.

 

“Cause it is. If right and wrong are measured by how horny people get, then your parents wouldn’t be married. If it wasn’t wrong that every time an alpha got turned on by an omega, then people would be cheating all over the place. There’d be no true love. You’d really settle for that? Is that what you call being in love? You being stuck in a rut for the rest of your life? Me being stuck in heats? Never knowing what’s beyond the urges in our bodies or the stupid hormones that make us like this? Don’t you want to know someone’s actual soul?”

 

“I-” Mingyu shook his head, trying to shake off his wolf’s control that it had over him. 

 

“It’s not wrong if we both want it.” the alpha growled, flashing his eyes even brighter while squeezing his waist. Authority and obedience were always ploys to distract from something that was immoral. It hadn’t been the first time that thought had crossed Wonwoo’s mind.

 

“It’s not something I want.” Wonwoo replied calmly, albeit a little sad. What he ‘wanted’ never entered into the equation of his future. But if Mingyu was going to listen to reason, he’d play on those terms.

 

“You’re forgetting about Chaeyeon. And Seungcheol.” Wonwoo laughed faintly. Never would he dare to actually think about Chaeyeon as if he cared for her. But he wasn’t going to participate in this madness. He wasn’t going to be Mingyu’s humping-post either.

 

“We’re not the only ones who have feelings, Gyu.”

 

Mingyu’s determined look faltered and the red glow in his eyes faded away as he was brought back to reality. 

 

“Maybe don’t smell so good then if you want me to stay with Chaeyeon.” he huffed, slouching his shoulders.

 

Wonwoo gaped at him, bending his knees and tilting his head a little to see the alpha’s eyes. He thought it was the wolf inside talking when really it was Mingyu who stared back at him, displaying those oak-colored pupils of his.

 

“You scare me.” Wonwoo let out, stepping back as Mingyu released him. Wonwoo clasped his hands behind his back and danced a little on his feet as the alpha ran a hand through his hair, still trying to figure out what the hell just happened. He looked off into the distance, gazing into the darkness of the rolling hills on the preserve. 

 

“I mean, after three years. I wouldn’t blame you.” 

 

Wonwoo nodded, pursing his lips. Yup. He didn’t mind waiting for that apology. 

 

“Sorry about… what I did back there? I don’t know what came over me. Forget about everything I said. Except the part where I said you smell good. ‘Cause you do. But you can forget everything else.”

 

Gosh, okay.

 

“Wow, thanks for the compliment. But you know I won’t let you live any of this down, right? So you better stop picking on my friends and being mean to them.” 

 

“And what about you?”

 

“Oh, I never cared about your antics. I know who you are on the inside.” Wonwoo breathed, still trying to compose himself. 

 

On the other hand, Mingyu tried his hardest to swallow what Wonwoo had just told him.

 

“Wow. You’re so brave to say that.” Mingyu looked at him like he was fighting between laughing in his face and thinking really hard.

 

“Maybe your friends wouldn’t have to get hurt if you just did what I said for once. Maybe don’t trespass on my family’s property for starters.” Mingyu shrugged, beginning to walk back to his house.

 

“Right. I’ll try that next time. If you ask nicely. I won’t go all fox on you.” Wonwoo gave him a sly smile, shoving his hands in his pockets. It had suddenly gotten chilly, causing the hair to rise on his neck and a wave of coldness to shoot up his spine. But it didn’t feel like the usual ‘cold wind’. He felt it crawling under his skin.

 

“Just don’t say anything about this to anyone. Please.” Mingyu asked, sliding the door open for him.

 

“I won’t. I might hate you but I’m not a snake.” 

 

“Good. Cause I’ll rip your throat out with my teeth if you do.” 

 

“Excuse me, Mister! Mrs. Kim gasped from the kitchen. “No one is ripping anyone’s throat out!”

 

Mingyu snorted and slapped the small of his back.

 

“Yeah, Won. Chill!”

 

“Oh, so we’re back to the old Mingyu now? I kinda missed the new you. I guess you could call it the old old you but-”

 

“Is ‘yes’ a good enough answer for you.” the alpha sighed, brushing past him and bringing his arms behind his head.

 

“Forget about what Wonwoo wants from you. We need to chat about the “old old you” that he saw.” Seungkwan cooed, holding his cheeks in excitement. 

 

“Yeah, you didn’t sit in that tree did you?” Jun snickered, remembering the good ole’ days.

 

“Jungkook did you see it?” Seungkwan blinked, sipping coffee from the mug Mrs. Kim brought them as Jungkook wobbled through the back door. 

 

“Nah- I-” Jungkook winced. “I guess it was too dark out. ‘Couldn’t see anything.” 

 

Wonwoo narrowed his eyes at him. If they were deceiving him, he’d say Jungkook had an acute case of bedhead. 

 

Did he fall asleep outside?

 

Forget about that.

 

“Were you watching us?!” Wonwoo growled. He really wished he had learned how to flash his fox eyes. The omega icey blue was cool too but orange would let everyone know he was angry.

 

“Ooo, kissy kissy.” 

 

“Vernon, quit it.” Wonwoo hissed at him, remembering the rest of his friends were still caught up in mocking him. He nudged Jungkook who was still blinking the crust out of his eyes and scratching his head before he sat down next to the annoying blond.

 

“No, Solie. Don’t listen to him.” Seungkwan snickered. “You have a right to ship any couple you want.”

 

“We’re not-” Mingyu began but his brain was already on the verge of exploding, “Can we just talk about what you wanted us here for?” he groaned, glaring at his mother through their grand kitchen archway.

 

Mrs. Kim put down her wine glass on the counter, signaling to Mrs. Jeon that it was time to be interrogated by their sons. If anything however, they were surprised they took the marriage contract so well. Or at least, mellowed into it. 

 

Her flats tapped the floor as she walked, displaying the grace and elegance of a princess who was suddenly thrust into the limelight of being a ferocious alpha. Mrs. Jeon didn’t take as heavy a burden onto her shoulders, pushing her hair back and gulping down all the wine she had left in her glass. She’d need it. 

 

Anyways, Mrs. Kim returned to the middle of the living room, clasping her fingers in front of her stomach. Even the power of an alpha to heal from wounds and their horse-powered metabolism wasn’t enough to remove the small bump of extra mass left over from having two children. Wonwoo couldn’t help but quietly sigh in adoration, beholding Mrs. Kim’s figure. She was someone he aspired to be. She made being a “baby factory” and “mother” have pride in its own name. 

 

“But it’s what you were made for. Why do you think our parents let us see each other so much? Huh? They knew that one day… I was gonna breed your slutty hole. Knock you up with my pups. See? You were made to take my knot. Doesn’t it all make sense now?”

 

Wonwoo gasped slightly, as if he choked on air a little or if he had been waking up from a nightmare. His hand clawed slightly at his chest but it wasn’t enough to get the whole room’s eyes on him. His mother gave him a stern look, going back to what Mrs. Kim was saying about his friends not exactly being “family” but they were still worthy of hearing the news about their marriage and the current crisis’s circumstances. Mingyu slowly turned to look at him with his hands behind his head, biceps flexing, and his leg laid over his knee as if he couldn’t give a s ugar h oney i ced tea about anything. The taller boy raised his eyebrow at him a little bit but turned back to paying attention to his mother, shaking his foot a little like the testosterone-filled alpha he was. 

 

Wonwoo swallowed his breath this time and clamped his legs shut as he felt slick run down the inside of his thigh before getting absorbed into his pants. Luckily they were light beige so any stain would be less visible. But still… A very feral alpha was sitting not too far from him. Just how much was Mingyu actually in control of himself? One second the alpha wanted to knot him and the other he wanted to rip his throat out. 

 

Why did this have to happen now?

 

It was like his body was crying out for the alpha who was so close yet so far at the same time. This was unbelievable-

 

“And so I wanted to tell you two that this decision wasn’t made lightly.” Mrs. Kim lowered her head out of respect.

 

“These are our children’s lives that we are talking about. So we get it. You’re not chess pieces we’re messing around with.” Mrs. Jeon added.

 

“But for the sake of our pack’s safety, we’re going to need you guys to play King and Queen if that makes sense. 

 

Mingyu snorted.

 

“Really great analogies.”

 

Wonwoo tried to refrain from laughing, managing a polite and restrained demeanor as he raised his hand. He couldn’t care less if Mingyu rolled his eyes at him and thought he was a teacher’s pet. 

 

“Uhm, respectfully ma’am, I kind of still feel like a chess piece now that you mention it.” Wonwoo said shyly.

 

“I know honey, but you’ll understand why this contract is crucial. I’ll explain everything.” she said eagerly, tightening her fingers together.

 

“Go ahead, mom. Explain away.” Mingyu shrugged, playing with the zipper on one of the couch’s pillows.

 

Wonwoo narrowed his eyes at him, desperately wanting to reach over and slap his wrist for being so disrespectful but if looks could kill then the look Mrs. Kim was giving Mingyu would have meant the alpha would be dead before he could punish him. 

 

“So-” Mrs. Kim exhaled, relaxing her shoulders. “You all know about the ‘strange occurrences’ happening on the preserve? I presume you would since you are all such curious children.”

 

All of them chuckled, appreciating the fact that Mrs. Kim had a humorous side to her intimidating personality. 

 

“Yeah. My bad.” Wonwoo scratched his ear, making himself small under the alpha female’s smile. 

 

“It’s quite alright, dear. It would have been impossible not to find out. Not when we’ve had our fourth wild cattle murder. Or mutilation I should say. Normally we wouldn’t bat an eyelash at wild animals showing up dead in our territory. There’s all sorts of illnesses and predators. Not to mention the fact that we aren’t a farm. So there isn’t any financial gain in killing livestock that we don’t have or care for since we aren’t herders. But it’s still a major problem.”

 

They could all agree on that.

 

“Now Wonwoo, as you might remember - having been on the scene of the crime…” Mrs. Kim chuckled, inclining her head towards him. “These killings are blood-less. There’s no sign of a struggle. No tire tracks or animal footprints. No dirt kicked up. Their organs have been extracted with more precision than any surgeon I have seen use and work with. It would take a high-powered vacuum to remove all that blood, plus their organs, stomach, and chest cavity. All conducted in a timeless and quiet manner. So much so that whoever is doing this has eluded our senses and our scheduled patrols. Could this be a scare tactic? Perhaps. But whatever we are dealing with, it is malevolent. A being beyond morality. Someone who could perform a gruesome murder in a matter of minutes and get away with it without us picking up any scent or sound. And so you can see why this would provoke desperation from us; to unify our packs. Never in a million years would we think these kinds of things would be happening on our preserve. But this is exactly what we were planning for when we betrothed you to one another all those years ago. It’s things like these that make people into chess pieces, that call them to duty, to fulfill their noble purpose. This is what calls alphas, betas, and omegas to do what they are meant to do. To fight and protect.” 

 

Wonwoo swallowed, nodding his head slowly as he focused on the way Mrs. Kim’s delicate eyelashes softly touched her cheeks. Yes, her speech was powerful and bone-rattling, but the way she ended it told all to him. What her face revealed was that despite being the head-strong alpha and role model of the Kim pack, she had always had that second-mother kind of presence in front of him. As if she could get angry and determined to a level of obsession, but would always come back as a loving and understanding person. Maybe marrying Mingyu wouldn’t be so bad after all. Having Mrs. Kim as his mother-in-law would be a blessing. 

 

“I understand.”

 

“And we’d be here for back up.” Seungkwan leaned forward, looking between him and Mrs. Kim. 

 

“Yeah, as reinforcements. We’ll all be part of the pack too.” Jun nodded, wrapping his hand around Minghao’s knuckle. 

 

Wonwoo let out a breath as he smiled, nodding in acceptance. His mother looked proudly at him for having formed such a strong group of friends, for giving them all a second home wherever he was. That was the charm of an omega. Better yet, an alpha’s mate. Mrs. Kim looked pleased as well, giving his friends a small curtsy. 

 

“You’re all so sweet.” 

 

Wonwoo grinned uncontrollably, glancing over at Mingyu to see what he thought about his friends joining them. Not that Mingyu was ever so keen about marrying him and giving up Chaeyeon. But the alpha couldn’t help but chuckle before hiding his face and looking somewhere else as he raked a hand through his hair. Classic Mingyu. 

 

“I like it when my omega at least acts as if he knows who his alpha is.” 

 

“You’re delusional. We’re not even in the same pack.” 

 

“Oh yeah? What do you call this?” 

 

“Uhm. A dysfunctional clique of adolescents?”

 

“No. This is my pack. I’m clearly the most dominant alpha here.”

 

Wonwoo giggled to himself while Mrs. Kim was still giving her thanks to his friends for volunteering their help. Though she made sure to tell them that they were better off focusing on school than dealing with the menace on the preserve. That could be left up to the stronger and more senior members of the pack. Including Mingyu who so desperately wanted to crack some skulls and rip some throats out by the look of it. Mrs. Kim brushed it off as apex alphas having a lot of energy to burn. Wonwoo fully embraced it. Having a few more punching bags would ease the pressure off of him and his friends.

 

However, as Mrs. Kim spoke he couldn’t help but let his eyes fall on Mingyu’s tired profile as the alpha flicked the dangling zipper handle of the pillow with his index finger. For once he looked like a normal teenage boy. The only thing was that there wasn’t a cell phone in sight. Funny. 

 

“Something on my face?” Mingyu said gruffly. His voice was drowned out by the laughs and loud smiles from Mrs. Kim and his mother who were entertaining his friends. 

 

Wonwoo eyes widened and he instantly turned to look the other way, shaking his head. 

 

“What? Nothing wise to say to me, Jeon?” Mingyu smirked, lifting up his head to study him.

 

The alpha raised his chin up higher, gesturing for an answer, but all Mingyu could see was the back of Wonwoo’s head. 

 

“Hmph.” 

 

Mingyu snickered to himself, lazily slipping further down the backrest of the couch. As much as he wanted to be rude and pull out his phone just to text his girlfriend or Jaehyun, his eyes were stuck on the stupid over-sized shirt draped around Wonwoo’s torso. More specifically, it was weird how it all fell and bundled at the omega’s waist. Though the tight parts of the shirt  showcased all the sharp points and prominent bones on Wonwoo’s back, somehow, the omega always managed to cover it up, even back when they were in middle school. Food had always been something he had pestered Wonwoo about since they first learned how to pump their legs on swings. But to any other alpha it wasn’t obvious as it seemed to Mingyu. Heck, his own mother was probably too busy working to notice. It didn’t mean he found Wonwoo ugly. But the giant t-shirts and pants he wore were just so ridiculous to the point he had to smile.

 

“Cute.” 

 

If Wonwoo had his fox ears out they would have perked up immediately at Mingyu calling him cute but he merely turned around to glare at him before facing Mrs. Kim again. For some reason, Jungkook was making his way over while his mother and Mrs. Kim were informing the rest of their friends about how a unified pack would work and what the protocol was for initiations and other procedures. It was the perfect time for Jungkook to plop himself down next to him without drawing any attention. Almost immediately Jungkook reached over his two legs to grab the inside of his brother’s thigh, getting a yelp to come out of Wonwoo’s mouth as he hoisted him into the air and onto his lap sideways. 

 

Mingyu’s eyes flared just from the sight of Wonwoo’s stick-figure body being picked up so easily by his dumbass brother. Didn’t Jungkook already have a boyfriend? Why’d he have to get so territorial over his damn brother?

 

He practically glared at the beta the whole time their mothers were talking while all Jungkook did was rock his brother back and forth a little on his lap, nuzzling the side of his head and warming him up with his hands. 

 

“You okay, bro? This guy bothering you?” Jungkook asked, shooting a dirty look at his teammate.

 

“No. Stop acting so weird.” Wonwoo mumbled, clutching his forehead and leaning forward so he could focus more on his mother than his brother who was rubbing his back and biting his shoulder like it was a dog bone. It wasn’t until Jungkook noticed that Mingyu was eyeing the outline of his brother’s back and overall figure that he threw a pillow at him.

 

“What the f-” 

 

“Eyes off, perv.” 

 

“Jungkook.” Wonwoo gritted, elbowing his brother in the stomach. 

 

“Hey, I’m just doing my duty.” Jungkook snickered, puckering his lips and pecking the side of his head with a big sloppy smooch. 

 

“Ah- Hey!” the beta growled, poking Wonwoo in his side. “No pinching.”

 

“Maybe if you kept your hands to yourself you wouldn’t get hurt.” Mingyu crossed his arms. 

 

“How could I not keep my hands to myself when my brother is just so cute and huggable?”

 

“Yeah, I’m sure my bony body is the perfect plaything for you.” Wonwoo rolled his eyes, earning a snort from the alpha behind him. 

 

“Don’t talk like that about yourself. That’s what happens when you listen to this guy.” Jungkook retorted, nodding his head towards Mingyu. 

 

“As much as you want us all to know that I’m the bad guy and you want little Wonu here to know you’re here to protect him, don’t try to trick me into thinking Wonwoo’s not on your lap just to keep it warm for Jimin. So shut up before you start getting on my nerves, dude.”

 

Right as Jungkook was about to come back with something witty, Wonwoo grabbed his chin and made him face their mother who was shooting a look straight at them. 

 

“As I was saying, Jungkook.” their mother seethed. “Why don’t you pay attention? This marriage isn’t just a thing involving two people. It’ll affect you too. Our packs’ destinies are at a crossroads now. And there are so many threats that you kids don’t know about and can’t imagine that if you aren’t fully in the game then we’ll all lose it. We don’t have time to fool around and we don’t have time to be at each other’s throats. You hear me?”

 

Jungkook looked like a bunny being interrupted eating a bushel of carrots as he nodded his head and pursed his lips. What made Wonwoo laugh even louder inside was how Mingyu shot straight up when she looked at him. The alpha looked scared shitless, folding his fingers over each other as he sat up like a good boy. Their mother always had that effect. Politeness and respect for Mrs. Kim’s sovereignty over her own son went out the window when it came to Mrs. Jeon ending the foolishness between them.

 

“Yes ma’am. My bad.” Mingyu lowered his head, prompting Mrs. Jeon to give him an understanding smile. 

 

Mrs. Kim scoffed at the fact that her own son didn’t give her that much respect but she went back to nodding and smiling as her friend explained how her pack could add to the Kim pack’s number of sentinels and patrolmen who guarded the particular points of interest on the preserve and walked its borders. Besides the night patrols and the Kim estate’s security force, The Kim pack’s Reserve Corps was already pretty large. Divided into nine squads each having five members, they were dispatched to locations far away or close to escort the pack’s druid emissaries on diplomatic missions, or retrieve special herbs, supervise bank transactions and the like. Combined with the Jeon pack, the Kim-Jeon alliance would be a formidable force. If only everyone in both packs were compliant…. That was the concern in the back of Mrs. Jeon’s head.

 

Growing bored, Wonwoo looked over his shoulder to giggle at the alpha, not knowing if the red on his face was due to anger or if he was just blushing. Eitherway, Mingyu scowled at him and sat back against the couch, completely done with all his shenanigans.

 

Mingyu laughed to himself.

 

And they call you shy and quiet?

 

If Wonwoo sitting on Jungkook’s lap wasn’t enough, the blood cells in Mingyu’s eyes almost burst when the omega himself snuggled into his brother’s chest. Wonwoo did it like he wanted his scent to stick to Jungkook’s shirt. Like that would make him jealous. The only thing that ticked him off about the whole skinship between Wonwoo and his brother was the fact that their stench would be all over the couch and he’d have to get it washed before he ever sat on it again. The last thing he needed to smell when he was making out with Chaeyeon was Wonwoo and that idiot. If this was how Jungkook was going to play then he better get ready to understand why he’s on the “B team” whenever they scrimmage. 

 

“Mingyu! Are you listening?” Mrs. Kim hissed. 

 

“What!?” Mingyu groaned, balling his fists and stretching out his legs like he was ready to fall asleep. 

 

“I said, apologize to Wonwoo right now. I want you two to show each other some love.”

 

Why did he cringe when his mom said it like that?

 

“But why?” Mingyu pouted.

 

“Because I said so!” 

 

“And if things are going to work out smoothly we need to let bygones be bygones. Clear the air.” Mrs. Jeon sighed, unimpressed with how slow her own son was going as he took his sweet time getting off Jungkook’s lap. 

 

Mingyu wanted to laugh out loud at how stupid their parents sounded. As if a simple apology would get them through the rest of highschool without tearing each other’s throats out, much less staying married and not getting divorced. He guessed that was what having a bunch of kids was for. A part of him didn’t mind that idea. Wonwoo’s belly all plump and round, carrying his pups; the future of his pack…. 

 

He shook his head, trying to imagine the cranky old lunch lady at school barfing on his food so his boner would go down.

 

Mingyu got up from the couch and fixed his shirt, walking lazily towards Wonwoo as he day-dreamed about putting him in a chokehold. He wished he could have fantasized more if not for the son-of-a-bitch move by Jungkook to nudge his brother’s leg and cause him to stumble forward. Mingyu could only put his hands out, catching him between his arms. Wonwoo was lucky he was there to save the day. Why did he even trust his brother anyways?

 

“Easy there, princess.”

 

Wonwoo took his arms out of Mingyu’s grip and crossed them over his chest, eyeing him like he had just tried to hit on him.

 

“So?” 

 

“M’sorry.” 

 

“What?” Mrs. Kim smiled. If she clenched her porcelain-like teeth even harder they would break. 

 

“He can’t hear you honey.”

 

“I said I’m sorry.” Mingyu growled at her, taking his hands back.

 

“Hey, don’t apologize to me.”

 

Mingyu slapped his forehead.

 

“Do you all mind?” 

 

Everyone’s eyes widened and they just decided to look away. The really obnoxious ones like Jun and Jungkook whistled their own tunes as they pretended not to watch the two get soft for each other. 

 

Mingyu’s eyes glossed over Wonwoo’s legs as he raised his head back up, forcing his eyes to stay focused on Wonwoo’s and not his waist which he so desperately wanted to hold and wrap his arms around. Wonwoo looked at him without any emotion, but behind those eyelashes there existed a kind of understanding that didn’t need to be proclaimed to him or shouted to the world. Wonwoo didn’t need to sob on his shoulder to tell him everything was going to be okay. He simply nodded, reaching out to ruffle his hair. 

 

“Sorry about being such a pest.” 

 

“Huh? Why are you-”

 

Mingyu didn’t want to get into it any further in front of their family and friends so he just let it go. He didn’t need to know why Wonwoo was apologizing. He just needed to get out of there fast. But not before snatching Wonwoo’s wrist and pulling his dainty fingers off his head.

 

“Would you stop that?” 

 

“Still waiting on that apology.”

 

“I already gave you one.” Mingyu growled. 

 

“Yeah, but I like seeing you being all nice and soft.” the omega giggled. “I mean-”

 

Mingyu already had enough, yanking him by his wrist and pulling him into his chest.

 

“I’m sorry . You happy now?” the alpha said against his cheek, looking down at him as if he had a knife to his throat. 

 

“Ask your mom.” Wonwoo retorted, but it was only to hide the blush on his face and his rapid heart beat. Mingyu could have scratched his butt before taking his hand and semi-hugging him but the alpha still smelled like pine and the great outdoors. It didn’t matter if Mingyu was the scariest alpha he knew. He still felt safe whenever he smelled that scent.

 

“Much better.” Mrs. Kim hummed, causing Mrs. Jeon to stifle her giggles with a hand over her mouth.

 

“Oh-kay!” she clasped her hands above her chest, twisting her body a little and twirling her skirt. “Now that the past is behind us, time to talk about the baby arrangements and-”

 

“WHAT?” Mingyu and Wonwoo shouted. Mrs. Kim’s mere mention of a baby had Wonwoo shoving Mingyu away and falling back onto Jungkook’s lap like he’d catch cooties if he didn’t get away fast enough. Maybe catching ‘cooties’ wasn’t the right word for it. More like catching the alpha’s jizz.

 

“She’s just pullin’ your leg.” Mrs. Jeon snorted, dismissing their reactions with a flick of her wrist. 

 

“Better be.” Mingyu mumbled, not knowing if he should be more offended by Wonwoo’s callous rejection of him or the fact that his mother thought he’d leave Chaeyeon just to knock Wonwoo up. 

 

Mrs. Kim thought twice about reprimanding her son, pursing her lips when she looked at them. Clasping her hands she surveyed the living room, waiting for everyone to settle down.

 

“We do have important things to talk about.”

 

“Like how there’s some serial killer on the preserve and yet I’m still grounded?” Mingyu snorted.

 

“Well, you’re our secret weapon, Gyu. We don’t want anyone to find out we have an apex alpha in reserve. Eliminates the element of surprise.” 

 

“That’s if whatever is out there actually has a problem with us or just the wild cattle. I’m pretty sure it’s aliens.” 

 

“Or the rogue wolf I talked about.” Wonwoo interjected, looking at Mingyu like he had caught the alpha with his hand in the cookie jar. “And yes, I know you said the killing was bloodless and there were no tracks. But still! What was a mutant wolf doing on your property without your knowing about it?”

 

“Is that a question for me?” Mingyu arched a brow.

 

“Obviously, I can’t be rude to Mrs. Kim.” Wonwoo rolled his eyes. “Plus, you’re the one with the strongest nose here.”

 

Jungkook burst out laughing. 

 

“If Kim had the strongest nose he’d wear more deodorant.” 

 

“Shut up.” The alpha mumbled. “And I wouldn’t know. What if it was just one of my packmates playing around with you. I know you “city wolves” like to go out for ice cream and play tag with each other but here we actually go hunting and do wolf stuff.”

 

“So attacking my friends is doing wolf stuff?” Wonwoo snapped, whipping his head around and gesturing for Vernon to lift his arm.

 

“I didn’t attack your friend!”

 

“I never said you did.” Wonwoo whispered, narrowing his eyes. “But try to be a little more aware of who’s on your property since you’re so territorial about it.”

 

Mingyu gritted his teeth but sealed his lips shut, almost as if he was going to zip them closed and throw the key away. 

 

“Fine. I’ll be on the lookout more next time…. If I’m not grounded.” 

 

“You won’t need to be.” Mrs. Kim said softly. “Yeri and the others are already investigating the area where you said you were attacked. Close to where the fourth cow showed up.”

 

“The fourth? I thought it’d be the third?”

 

“We found the third days ago. You’re still using Jaehyun’s outdated intel.” Mingyu snorted, loving the offended look on the omega’s face.. 

 

“I guess I got the order messed up.” Wonwoo furrowed his brows, reaching into his pocket and pulling out his phone. “Can you show me on this map where you found it?” 

 

Mingyu’s breath hitched, amazed that Wonwoo actually ignored his insult for once. He internally shrugged at Wonwoo’s idea, deciding to play along and take his phone from him.

 

“Here.” he murmured, handing the omega his phone back.

 

“I’ll test this out tomorrow.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Nothing. I just have a new method of investigating, ya know.” Wonwoo hummed, making himself small.

 

“Nuh uh. You aren’t doing any more investigating. ‘Case you forgot, my mom said my pack is already on it.”

 

“You’re pack doesn’t have my brother in it so they’re missing out.” Jungkook snorted.

 

“We’re fine without you though.” 

 

“Alright boys, that’s enough.” Mrs. Jeon rolled her eyes. Mrs. Kim looked curiously at Wonwoo, knowing it wasn’t all just banter that had gone on between him and her son. There was an old saying ringing in her head. The fox always knew something they didn’t. But that thought could be left undisturbed for now.

 

“Wonwoo, I want you to know that I haven’t taken anything you have said with a grain of salt. Trust me, my pack is looking into it and we will find this “rogue wolf” and whether or not there’s a connection to the killings. In the meantime, I’d say it would be best if you and your friends stayed here for the night. We don’t want any more funny business going on in the preserve.” 

 

“Might want to watch out for Mingyu too.” Seungkwan snickered, though it came out muffled in Vernon’s chest.

 

Mrs. Kim chuckled. 

 

“I’ll take a look at those cuts Mr. Chwe. Mingyu, please show Wonwoo and his friends to their rooms.” 

 

“B-But we only have-”

 

“We have enough guest rooms.” Mrs. Kim sighed, resting her hands on her hips.

 

“Dibs on the couch!” Jungkook snickered, snatching the blanket that had been draped over one of the cushions and pulling it over himself.

 

“Jungkook! Where are your manners?” Mrs. Jeon hissed, standing in the corner of the room. Suffering in silence. She tried her best not to let her claws dig into her palms, but she hated how she felt like they were all a waste of space right now. 

 

“It’s totally fine if Jungkook needs the space. The guest rooms can be a little stuffy for a werewolf. Plus the beds are a little small…” 

 

Wonwoo didn’t want to know why his friends started blushing and looking at each other. The least they could do was respect Mrs. Kim’s home and not get their scents all over her sheets. 

 

“Thanks Mrs. Kim!” Jungkook smiled, bouncing his head on one of the couch pillows and resting his arms behind his neck. Jungkook looked like he had already fallen asleep even before the rest of them could make it to the stairs.

 

“Kookie, you have to be the laziest kid I know. You have to get washed up! Don’t think you can just roll around on that couch and treat it like your pigsty. And don’t get me started on the dirt on your face!” 

 

“Oh right, about that…”

 

Wonwoo turned on the second step of the staircase to shoot him a look. Mingyu had already apologized for heaven’s sake!

 

Well, maybe not to Jungkook...

 

“Uh, right away ma’am!” Jungkook laughed sheepishly, scooting through the foyer to the other end of the estate’s great hall where Mrs. Kim was standing outside the bathroom, having flicked on the light for him 

 

“I know your mother can be cruel and make you use your finger to brush your teeth but  we have spare toothbrushes in the drawer next to the vanity. Oh, and there are washcloths on the shelf. Heck, feel free to take a shower!” Mrs. Kim laughed. 

 

Jungkook bowed his head and said “thanks Mrs. Kim” to her before running in. Wonwoo guessed he was too tired and just wanted to go to sleep as soon as possible. Fighting Mingyu wore you down but getting beat up by him was another thing. 

 

“I’ll suspend all nighttime activities and keep the patrols on alert.” he heard Mrs. Kim whisper to his mother as they retired to the kitchen to continue their discussion. 

 

“Goodnight Kookie.” Wonwoo said quietly, hoping his voice echoed enough through the high-ceiling foyer to where Jungkook was without causing Mingyu to turn around and glare at him for being loud.

 

“Goodnight Jungkook.” Seungkwan whispered, tip-toeing up the stairs and giggling as Vernon poked him. 

 

“Goodnight.” Jungkook replied, though it was muffled by the toothbrush in his mouth as he came out of the bathroom. 

 

“Goodnight.” Mingyu said, deliberately making himself sound like a preppy middle school girl, waving his hands around and frolicking down the hallway.

 

“You’re such a wise guy.” Wonwoo sneered, crossing his arms. As much as he wanted to jump onto Mingyu’s back and strangle him he decided that peering into all the rooms in the Kim Mansion was more interesting. 

 

“I can’t believe I’m sleeping over at your house. What’s it been? Four years?” Wonwoo whispered to himself, but Mingyu didn’t care if it was or wasn't. The alpha turned around and gave him a warning look, nodding to all of his friends behind him.

 

While Wonwoo was getting overly curious with Mrs. Kim’s taste and style of decor, Mingyu stopped at one of the doors along the second floor hallway, slamming it open so hard that it smacked the wall on the inside. 

 

“Yo, Wen. You and your boyfriend sleep in here. Each room has a bathroom so don’t wet the bed.”

 

“Thank you, kind sir.” Jun grinned, inhaling a breath and doing some jogging exercises as he took Minghao’s hand and dragged him inside. Even if Mingyu wasn’t the greatest of “hotel managers” Minghao bowed to the alpha just to show respect. Though he was careful not to pay too much respect considering the boy he had thrown into the lake a few nights ago was his friend.

 

Mingyu didn’t think much of it as his eyes were already set on the door across the hall.

 

“Chwe, you and Seungkwan go in here.” he said, digging a hand in his pocket and pushing open the other guest room’s door. 

 

Vernon mumbled a “thanks”, sulking as he followed a spastic Seungkwan into their room for the night. 

 

“Oh my gosh, the view’s amazing.” Seungkwan gasped, taking in the great plains of the meadow illuminated by the moon. Mrs. Kim always made sure to wash all the windows even if no one really used the guest rooms. The preserve was a sight that couldn’t be ignored. 

 

“You think we’ll see any more cow murders from here?” Vernon snorted, throwing his phone onto their bed. 

 

“And it’s so spacious in here too.” Seungkwan ignored the blond’s wise crack, giggling at the way his voice echoed off the walls. 

 

“Make sure to wash up too. I don’t need my mom doing extra work wiping your body oil and dandruff from the sheets.” Mingyu barked, stretching his arms and clasping his behind his head.

 

“I don’t have dandruff! My hair is all luscious locks and honey-”

 

“Yeah, that’s great. Goodnight!” Mingyu waved, reaching into the room to grab the door knob and pulling the door shut behind him. 

 

“Probably the only thing Mingyu’s ever done that I will applaud.” Woozi grinned, stumbling a little as Soonyoung bodied him. 

 

“I already got cheerleaders to clap for me so I'm good. But anyways, don’t roll around in the sheets too much. Cum stains are hard to wash out. I should know.” Mingyu smirked, holding the door open for the two betas. Wonwoo narrowed his eyes at the alpha who may or may not have been fishing for a reaction from him. Arranged marriage or not, the fox inside him at least regarded it with respect.

 

“Gee, this place is kinda nice.” Woozi exhaled, flicking on their bedside lamp. That was the greatest compliment the alpha would ever get from him. 

 

“Yeah, don’t ruin it.” Mingyu rolled his eyes.

 

Woozi had just begun to take his socks off when he realized Wonwoo hadn’t come into the room with them.

 

“Hey!”

 

“What now?” 

 

“I figured there’d be two beds.” Woozi narrowed his eyes. “Where’s Wonu gonna sleep?”

 

“With Mingyu. C’mon.” Soonyoung hushed him, tugging at his arm. 

 

Wonwoo refrained from blushing as he heard Jun release the loudest snort from the next room over. The walls were pretty thin in this place.

 

“What? No, dumbass. I got an extra room. Unless all three of you guys wanna share the same bed.” Mingyu snickered.

 

Woozi blinked, realizing the idea of an omega sleeping in the same bed as his beta would not be a good idea. For Sooonyoung’s sake.

 

“No! I mean- It’s been such a long day…. I’m kind of tired. And you know, me and Soonie are kickers if you know what I mean.”

 

“I get it.” Wonwoo sighed, not bothering to question how Woozi knew Soonyoung kicked people in his sleep. 

 

“Yeah, so-” 

 

“Goodnight!” Mingyu rolled his eyes, shutting the door in Woozi’s face. 

 

“It’s okay, I know what you mean.” Wonwoo said, not caring if Woozi could hear him through the wood. Wherever his room was it better be the Royal Suite. 

 

“Here it is. Mi casa es su casa.” Mingyu smirked, extending his hand to show him a gray-colored wall with a single painting on it at the end of the wide corridor. 

 

“Uhm, this is the bathroom.” Wonwoo said, arching a brow. 

 

“No, you're right next to the bathroom. Pretty convenient right?”

 

It was then that his eyes fell to the small chaise lounge chair positioned along the wall between the doors to the linen closet and the second floor’s bathroom. 

 

“You’re serious?” Wonwoo arched a brow, looking ready to punch a hole in the wall.

 

“Yeah. There’s no other guest rooms left. Unless you wanna sleep in the attic.”

 

“No!”

 

“Hey! Could you keep it down! We’re tryna sleep!” Jun shouted from down the hallway, unashamed that the light in his room was still on. Wonwoo brushed off the alpha’s complaint, turning back to give Mingyu an unimpressed glare.

 

“So this is classic Kim hospitality?” 

 

“I don’t even know what that means.”

 

“Whatever. I’m not sleeping on that thing. It only has one pillow and there isn’t even a blanket.”

 

Mingyu snorted, pushing him aside to get to the linen closet on the left. 

 

“How ‘bout a towel?”

 

Wonwoo looked at the white piece of cloth as it was held out in front of him. If Mingyu hadn’t appeared so serious he would have laughed at him. But he wasn’t in the mood for fun and games anyways. It had been a long day. Too long for him to be putting up with this.

 

“Fine.” he mumbled, snatching the towel from the alpha’s grip and swinging it through the air as he sat down on the chaise. Mingyu gaped at him, not expecting the omega to actually give in to the bullshit he was giving him. If not that, he melted inside at the way Wonwoo curled up into a ball and tried to find the most comfortable place to sleep on the lounge chair with a towel over him. 

 

“Cut the crap, Won. I was just kidding.” 

 

“Too late. I’m comfy.” Wonwoo gritted, rolling over to shun him.

 

Mingyu let out a sigh as he reached for the omega’s torso, using his large hands to forklift Wonwoo into his arms.

 

“No, you’re not comfy.” he grunted, letting Wonwoo’s head hit his chest as he picked him up. It wasn’t like he was going to complain that Wonwoo was on the verge of ruining his shirt with his drool but at the same time he was wondering if the omega in his arms was even the real Wonwoo. The real Wonwoo would have slapped him in the face or bit his arm to get out of his grip. Though to be fair, he did look a little wiped out from the day’s events. Their petty feud wasn’t worth the extra calories. Come to think of it, had Wonwoo even eaten dinner?

 

Mingyu shrugged to himself, hoping his mother’s cookies could hold Wonwoo over for the rest of the night. She’d better make a big breakfast for them tomorrow though. The last thing his mate needed was an empty stomach. Especially when he was going to be the alpha’s-mate of his pack and carry his pups.

 

As soon as Mingyu brought him into his bedroom he stopped at the side of his bed, wondering if he should just throw Wonwoo onto it and get out of there or actually bother to wash him up and get him dressed into something more comfortable. Eitherway, he couldn't believe what he was thinking when the image of Wonwoo as his mate popped up in his head. Sleeping in the living room with a farting and snoring Jungkook was probably better than having to look at Wonwoo’s cute and dumb face-

 

He was getting off-topic. 

 

Letting out a low growl, he began to shake Wonwoo in his arms like a ragdoll, prompting the omega to furrow his brows and swat the air. 

 

“What?” Wonwoo mumbled, extremely irritated. 

 

“Get cleaned up.”

 

“Why? Can I just stay here. S’warm and smells good-” Wonwoo smiled, letting his eyelashes touch his face as he snuggled into Mingyu’s chest. That was, until he realized the pillow he was laying on was kind of hard, harder than an old and fancy French cushion. Plus the fact that the chair’s armrest had a sprinkling of hair on it and felt unusually muscly….

 

Wait.

 

His eyes shot open faster and wider than Squidward’s after he realized Spongebob was in the same bed as him. That was all he needed to shriek and jump out of Mingyu’s arms like salmon flopping around and trying to escape from a grizzly bear. 

 

“Quit all the dramatic shit and just get cleaned up. You’re not getting in my bed all dirty and gross.” 

 

“I’m not getting in your bed at all. I’d rather breathe Jungkook’s B.O. then smell Chaeyeon’s perfume.” 

 

“I’m being nice to you. Don’t let your jealousy get in the way.” Mingyu snorted.

 

“B-But I kick in my sleep. Oh, and I drank a lot of coffee a while ago and you know what that means....”

 

Mingyu gave him an annoyed look, walking over to the bathroom attached to his room and holding the door open.

 

Wonwoo crossed his arms and walked in calmly, wondering how many times Mingyu and Chaeyeon showered together. For a teenage boy Mingyu had a pretty five star hotel-esque bathroom. It reminded him of a casino hotel in Las Vegas, if he dared to ever step foot in one.

 

“Wow, it’s so nice.” Wonwoo said to himself, looking around.

 

“There’s a toothbrush still in its package in the bottom drawer.” the alpha snorted, walking over to his closet and digging through it for something.

 

“Do you have an extra shirt? Mine’s all dirty. And there’s holes in it…. Thanks, by the way.”

 

Mingyu chuckled, turning to his bureau and fishing out a T-Shirt and sweatpants, not really caring if they had tomato sauce stains on them and were wrinkly. Or whether they were folded neatly. His mother had been banned from his room because of Chaeyeon so his clothes were going to have to go without being folded and ironed.

 

“Yeah, I forgot how much you got acquainted with the ground while I was taking care of your friends.”

 

Wonwoo spat out the toothpaste in his mouth and turned on the sink, trying to block out Mingyu’s annoying voice. As soon as he was finished, he tiny-walked over to the door and peeked through the gap, spotting the pile of Mingyu’s spare clothes on the floor.

 

“Could you toss me those?” he pointed at them, sincerely believing Mingyu would do so out of the kindness of his heart.

 

“Why? You naked?” 

 

“No. I just didn’t want to get toothpaste on my shirt.”

 

Mingyu eyed the smooth milky skin on Wonwoo’s shoulders and arms, wondering what Wonwoo was so afraid of. If he was still stuck in that moment from the party then he wasn’t going to apologize any more for it. Not that he needed to in the first place…. Still though, he felt like an asshole. But there wasn’t any point in stopping now.

 

“You can’t change in front of me? Is that it? How the hell did you survive three years of highschool gym class?” 

 

“I’m an omega in case you forgot. I have the luxury of not seeing your gross armpit hair and having to smell your B.O.” Wonwoo snapped.

 

“Dang.” Mingyu laughed, picking up the pile of clothes and walking over to the bathroom door. “I guess you’re right about that but my pits aren’t the only thing that’s hairy if you know what I mean.”

 

“Amazing, Chaeyeon really likes cavemen. I see.” Wonwoo smiled hysterically, snatching the clothes from him as soon as Mingyu’s arm came through the gap between the door and the doorframe. 

 

Mingyu ignored the remark, going back to digging through his closet.

 

“It’s amazing how  lazy you are that you couldn’t put your shirt back on just to come out here and get clothes.”

 

“I like being taken care of.”

 

“Well, a lot of guys are already lined up to do that if Seungcheol would just step out of the way. You’re missing out.”

 

“Are they the same guys that all laughed at me Friday?”

 

“I didn’t say they respected you.” Mingyu snickered. 

 

“And Seungcheol doesn’t?” Wonwoo asked earnestly, genuinely curious as to what Mingyu thought. Even if he was the King of the Idiots he was still an outsider looking in. That was the best kind of reliable person.

 

“You’re his mom basically. He has to respect you.” the alpha snorted, taking out an air pump and hooking it up to a deflated sack of wrinkled plastic. 

 

“Enough about my boyfriend. I’m tired.” Wonwoo grunted, bursting through the doorway and stumbling right as he saw what Mingyu was up to. 

 

“Gee, th-thanks.” he stuttered, eyeing the inflatable blow-up bed Mingyu was currently pumping with air.

 

“For what?”

 

Wonwoo gaped at him, not knowing what to say. No wonder Mingyu was so bad with his manners. No one had ever been polite to him probably.

 

“Thanks for setting this up. It’s way better than that stupid chair you had me laying on.” Wonwoo chuckled shyly, tapping the blow up bed with his foot.

 

“What? No. You can have my bed.” 

 

 “Nuh uh.”

 

“Is this about Chaeyeon again? Or me? ‘Cause trust me. I only jerk off twice a week.” 

 

“Eww. Keep your lustful activities to yourself.” Wonwoo cringed. He wasn’t going to lie, the idea that Mingyu was thinking of other people much less doing things with other people made his heart shrivel up. Not that he wanted to do those things with Mingyu. Not until they were mated anyways…. 

 

What was he thinking?

 

“So are you gonna hop in or what. I’m sick and tired of looking at your pale ass.” 

 

“Okay fine. Get off my back.” 

 

Mingyu grunted as he lifted up the inflatable bed and pushed it against the wall. 

 

“Is this how long it takes to put you to bed?” the athlete arched a brow, snickering as Wonwoo curled up into a ball on his mattress. Mingyu reached over him to grab a pillow from the headboard, eyeing the way Wonwoo was struggling to think clearly. Cows, arranged marriages, Mingyu suddenly not being a complete jerkoff…. It was too much.

 

“Well, this isn’t home sweet home.” 

 

“Oh, you want me to carry you again, princess? I was sure you would have fallen asleep in my arms.” Mingyu laughed, smirking at him as he fluffed up his pillow and dropped it on the end of his inflatable. 

 

“No. if anything, we have to pray.”

 

“What?”

 

“My mom used to do it every night with me. So I gotta do it with you too.” Wonwoo hummed, flipping off the covers and leaning forward to reposition himself on his knees. Omegas had always been the most spiritual. It was common in most packs that the pack mother would sit the family down in the living room to pray once a day. But Mingyu was fortunate enough that his mom never forced that kind of stuff on him. It was his loss though.

 

Mingyu looked at Wonwoo as if some witch or sorcerer had put a spell on him to make him into a little kid again. Here Wonwoo was talking about his mom and all that stuff they used to do as kids. He couldn’t remember the last time he even did the sign of the cross. Their pack had a church on the preserve but it was relegated to being a historical site rather than a haven for those who worshipped. The only time he’d gone to the church was because his mom forced him to participate in the “activities” those preppy church kids always held. If Wonwoo was going to be like that then Mingyu was ready to bail.

 

“Do you wanna start us off?” Wonwoo asked, taking a peek at him.

 

“I figured you were gonna do that.” Mingyu shrugged, laying back and putting his hands behind his head like he always did. 

 

“Alright, but you have to take this seriously.”

 

“I am. Listening to you is taking you seriously.”

 

Wonwoo snorted.

 

“This isn’t about me. This is about God. Now show some respect.” 

 

“Fine.” Mingyu scowled, sitting up and imitating the way Wonwoo sat on the heels of his feet, trying not to lose his balance and fall sideways. 

 

He listened to Wonwoo rattle off a few things he didn’t remember. Something about the names of the father, son, and some Holy Spirit. It was kind of calming if you asked him, even if he was desperate to fall asleep. But he stayed still, lowering his head as Wonwoo had. Whatever that was for, he didn’t know or care much about. If Wonwoo would quit bothering him for the rest of the night he’d do anything just for his appeasement. 

 

“Please watch over all of our friends and family. The Kims and the Jeons. Seungcheol and his family. Jun, Minghao, Soonyoung, Woozi, Vernon, and Seungkwan…. Please watch over all of the people who are sick and less fortunate, who don’t have families like ours. Please watch over all of our classmates at school, and the teachers….”

 

“Even if they suck at teaching.” Mingyu muttered. 

 

“And please watch over all of those who follow you in your footsteps, lead all souls to heaven, and please help those who are in most need of your mercy. Grant that, on the day you come through the clouds of heaven, bearing thy cross as a sign of triumph and thy scars as pledges of love, that I may show thee my cross and my scars, and in return, be privileged to hear from Thy own lips: Come ye blessed of my Father, into the kingdom which has been prepared for you from all eternity. Amen.” 

 

“Are we finished now?” Mingyu groaned. 

 

“Well, don’t you have anyone to pray for?”

 

“I don’t know. Chaeyeon and I are probably going to Hell. What’s the point?”

 

Wonwoo snickered, clasping his hands and closing his eyes.

 

“And please watch over Mingyu and Chaeyeon. Amen.” 

 

“Finally.” Mingyu sighed, falling back into his blow up bed. “And you do this every night?”

 

“Yeah, but I made it short this time. Not everyone has attention spans like mine.”

 

“Or knees.”

 

Wonwoo instantly blushed.

 

“It’s called mortification. Though we need a kneeling bench to do it properly.”

 

“Like those ones at church that make you feel like you just had knee surgery?” 

 

“Yep.” 

 

“Yeah, I’m good with just a bed.”

 

“Okay, but don’t get mad at God when you find yourself in Hell.”

 

Mingyu groaned, rolling on his side and pulling his blanket up and over him. 

 

“See you there then. You aren’t the most innocent flower I’ve picked.”

 

Wonwoo’s breath got caught in his throat and he peered over the edge of Mingyu’s bed, narrowing his eyes at the alpha.

 

“What?”

 

“I think you know what I mean. And I think you know you’ll have to shower tomorrow before you do anything with your boyfriend.”

 

Wonwoo backed away from the edge and rolled over to the other side, not wanting to entertain any of Mingyu’s ideas which were becoming foreign to him.

 

“You assume too much.” 

 

Mingyu laughed.

 

“Guess I struck a nerve there. Sorry about that. I was just pointing out the fact that we had a lot of fun today, wouldn’t you say?”

 

“You did. Beating up my friends. So leave me and Seungcheol out of it.”

 

“Oh, I see. Someone’s a little touchy.”

 

“I could say the same thing about you, literally.” Wonwoo yawned, turning on his side so that his back was facing the alpha who was looking up at him from where his inflatable bed was next to him on the ground. 

 

“Guess that’s why Jungkook got so jealous. He must have smelled me on you.” Mingyu smirked, running a hand through his hair. 

 

“Props to him. And now your bed will smell like him.” Wonwoo smiled, puting in the extra effort to writhe and wiggle himself under Mingyu’s sheets so that his scent could rub off on the mattress. 

 

“You have a death wish?” Mingyu arched his brow, chuckling as Wonwoo instantly stopped his antics. 

 

“Honestly, it’s weird that your brother actually gets jealous of me. How does he and Seungcheol not hate each other? Seungcheol literally drools on you.” 

 

Wonwoo sighed.

 

“Cause Seungcheol protects and takes care of me. Jungkook and I owe it to him, even if Cheolie can be a knucklehead sometimes.” the omega yawned again, letting the lids of his eyes come down with the heaviness of gates to a medieval castle. Mingyu was still confused.

 

“Protect you from what?”

 

Wonwoo didn’t respond. The rise and fall of his upper body was accompanied by air flowing out through his nose in a soft kind of white noise. He looked so fragile with how sharp his torso dipped into his waist and how his T-Shirt looked like an extra-large on him, flowing down his back 

 

“Oh.” Mingyu let out, staring at the omega’s back as if he had got the answer to a math problem wrong. He slapped his forehead in frustration and turned on his back, staring up at the ceiling like he actually believed in God for just once, wondering why the LORD hadn’t slapped some sense into him or gave him a sign. The answer was so obvious now. 

 

If none of the cow killings had happened, he wondered just how urgent this “marriage” would be for their parents. Would they still be on with it so soon? Would they even had bothered to bring it up? If he was going to be honest, if none of this shit had been happening now, he wouldn’t count on his mother and Wonwoo’s to have brought them together so quickly. No matter how delusional his mother was, even she knew it could never work out on its own. There’d always need to be a threat for that type of marriage to work. Precisely because in war time, it wouldn’t be a marriage, it would be a contract; a treaty. And without the external pressure, the politics of it all, and the moral obligation they had to fulfill to achieve victory for their packs, there’d be nothing to throw them into a relationship, much less hold them together. Was that what all there playdates were for? To soften them up? 

 

Mingyu chuckled to himself, realizing just how convenient it was for Seungcheol to come into the picture. Seungcheol was just a place-holder. The only reason Mrs. Jeon kept him around was to appease Wonwoo, giving him the false sense of freedom and choice to love who he wanted. Mrs. Jeon wasn’t a stupid woman. Seungcheol was the boy who Wonwoo would get out all of his flaws, inadequacies, and inexperience with, a catalyst for the omega’s growth and development. It was a brilliant idea. When a threat came to their packs, the last thing they would need in a pragmatic marriage was for “relationship issues”. Seungcheol already sucked as a boyfriend so much so that when Wonwoo and him were pushed into a relationship, Wonwoo would have nothing to complain about. 

 

He had noticed so many things that were wrong about Seungcheol at the lake house party but he wasn’t going to bother to rub it in Wonwoo’s face. Not that that was his concern. More importantly, he wasn’t going to try to upset him. Even if it was an unofficial and unspoke agreement between them that they wouldn’t be at each other’s throats anymore, he’d still honor the armistice. Honor was a big deal in the Kim pack. So was decency. But this went beyond those things. His wolf inside him didn’t want to ever see a tear in Wonwoo’s eyes and no matter how much he laughed at himself he knew, in the back of his mind, it was what he felt too. 

 

Feeling at peace with himself, his body persuaded him that it was time to hit the hay and he closed his eyes, drifting off at the sound of his future mate’s steady breathing. 

 

Detecting that Mingyu’s heartbeat had steadied, falling to a slower rate, Wonwoo made the effort to clench his fingers slightly on Mingyu’s pillow.

 

Dear God, please do not let me get in the way of Mingyu and Chaeyeon’s relationship. It isn’t their fault we were arranged to be married. And please do not think that my allegiance is to just my pack, just to Seungcheol, or just to myself. Not my will but Yours be done. Help me keep this in mind. I ask that you remove the resentment I may have for Mingyu. Give me the eyes to see and the heart to bring myself to love my enemies. For in my love for others, I know you will be with me. Amen. 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Wonwoo kicking the covers with his feet was the first thing he heard after he was rudely woken up by the restless omega. He knew Wonwoo wasn’t a snorer so it must have been his sleep-talking. Ever since they were kids Wonwoo had done it a lot whenever they fell asleep together watching movies or on top of each other in the car. So it wasn’t like he had been spooked to hear that soft and deep voice humming and making tiny sounds as Wonwoo tried to find a comfortable position. What did start to cause his spine to tingle was the erratic heart beat and the omega’s breath hitching. It was like a torrent of gasps were escaping Wonwoo’s mouth, not out of desperation for air but out of shock. 

 

“Seungcheol!” Wonwoo breathed, eyes still closed by his brows furrowed as if he was struggling to understand.

 

“I didn’t- I didn’t do anything with him-”

 

“Huh?” Mingyu perked up, genuinely concerned with what was going on. 

 

Wonwoo didn’t respond, only gripping the comforter over him tighter. 

 

“Wonu?”

 

The omega merely let out a strained whine, kicking his feet more before he turned on his side and covered his face. 

 

Mingyu hissed at the cold air hitting his skin as he pulled his blanket off of him but the feeling dissipated as he climbed into his bed next to the omega, holding his forehead as he fought with himself over whether or not he should comfort the elder. 

 

“Wonu? I’m right here. It’s Mingyu. Not Seungcheol.”

 

Wonwoo’s eyes crinkled a little as if he had gotten frustrated. A second later he was swatting at the alpha albeit unknowingly, like his primitive instincts were telling him to keep the taller away. 

 

“N-No, he’s gonna think I cheated-” Wonwoo hiccuped, still not quite conscious. 

 

“What?” Mingyu snorted. “I wish. He doesn’t deserve to own you.” 

 

Wonwoo didn’t show any ounce of comprehension, still caught up in the raving fantasies of his sleep. 

 

Mingyu looked down at where Wonwoo’s head had sunken into his pillow, a little annoyed that Wonwoo had to be such a deep sleeper.

 

“C’mon, wake up.” 

 

The alpha placed his hands on both of Wonwoo’s hips but he could evoke nothing but a small dry cough. It was then that he pulled the shorter boy towards him, rolling him on his side to face him. Wonwoo’s mouth fell open as Mingyu shook him harder, but he ended up collapsing onto his shoulder and snuggling into the alpha’s warmth. 

 

Mingyu guessed the tables had turned this time with Wonwoo burrowing into him instead of being repulsed by him like earlier. As much as he had an affinity for the omega’s motherly nature, it felt right to have his future-mate tucked in the crook of his bicep and chest. Mingyu’s right hand caressed the indent of Wonwoo’s waist while the other stayed at his hip. Even if the omega was crushing it with his entire one-hundred forty pounds. 

 

He let out a small ‘ah’ and bared his teeth as Wonwoo shifted on his hand, but the boy in his arms released a content sigh, smiling into his chest. The movement took the pressure off his palm and he moved it to Wonwoo’s lower back so that he was holding the omega against him. Wonwoo didn’t seem to mind, unconsciously inhaling the alpha’s scent. Mingyu would have stayed awake just to hold him and rub his back but since he was feeling just as tired, he decided a forehead kiss would do the trick. And so he gave Wonwoo a peck below the dark and short curls of his hair, rolling over the plains of his smooth skin. 

 

“G’night.” the alpha whispered, tucking Wonwoo’s head under his chin. 

 

II

 

The first thing Wonwoo noticed as he woke up was the hard slab his cheek was squished against. He wasn’t forgetting the pool of slime his face was caked in either. It was the cold and most cringe-worthy feeling too, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the rush of embarrassment that washed over him as he recognized a familiar pattern of his “pillowcase” that was Mingyu’s shirt, bundled up and tossed on the edge of the bed. Which by the way, was not underneath his cheek anymore…. 

 

Wonwoo gaped like a fish out of water and instantly sat up, pushing off Mingyu’s body with his hands. If only there had been a blanket over the alpha though, it would have saved him more embarrassment if his hand hadn’t been on top of Mingyu’s drying rack abs. Curse him for being so warm-blooded. Just because alphas got hot didn’t mean they always had to be shirtless! 

 

Right when he was about to scream a “manly scream”, the alpha sat up after him, sealing his mouth shut with the palm of his hand. 

 

“Hey, your friends are still sleeping. Don’t be rude.” Mingyu huffed, ignoring the dirty look Wonwoo was sending him. 

 

“Wha- What time is it?” 

 

“I don’t know.” Mingyu murmured, swinging himself out of bed and reaching to grab his phone from the bedside lampstand. 

 

“7:00. Earliest I’ve ever woken up. Thanks a lot.”

 

Wonwoo was hoping his question would have distracted him from the matter at hand but Mingyu would always bring him back to it.

 

“Sorry.” he sighed, pushing his hair away from his forehead. 

 

“Tell that to my morning wood. Go take a shower or something. I gotta rub one out.” 

 

Wonwoo’s breath got caught in his throat like the life had been choked out of him.

 

“No. I need to get my clothes first and- oh wait, I don’t have any….”

 

“Alrighty then. You asked for it.” Mingyu smirked, getting back into bed and putting his hands on the waistband of his basketball shorts.

 

Wonwoo saw what he was doing - in the corner of his eye! - and snatched a pillow from the headboard and threw it at the alpha, running around the bed and towards the bathroom.

 

“You’re so messed up.” Wonwoo glared at him, twisting the doorknob. Before he could get inside and figure out what he was going to do with the clothes situation, Mingyu had sprang from the bed and latched onto his wrist, tugging him back to the warmth of his comforter.

 

“Hey, come back here.” Mingyu snickered, throwing him down onto the bed. “Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.”

 

“I didn’t even wake up on a bed if you want to get technical.”

 

“Well, I’m not complaining. You’re pretty cute when you sleep. Drool included.”

 

Wonwoo gawked at him.

 

“It’s a bad habit of mine. Anything else you have an issue with?”

 

Clearly, Jeon’s not listening.

 

“No.” Mingyu grunted. “Go get showered and dressed if you want to so badly.”

 

“Thank you.” Wonwoo hummed, jumping off the bed again and tip-toeing to the alpha’s en-suite bathroom. 

 

“So I can borrow your clothes right?” 

 

“Sure. Just turn them inside out or something so Chaeyeon doesn’t see ‘em.”

 

“Huh? Why?”

 

“You’re goody little two shoes ass is going to school, right?”

 

“Shoot, I forgot!” Wonwoo hissed to himself, running towards Mingyu’s closet and throwing all of his clothes onto the floor like Daisy throwing all of Gatsby’s shirts from his mansion’s balcony. 

 

“Do you have anything that doesn’t make me look like a douchebag or a slob?”

 

“No, but you should try Minseo’s closet since you’re such a princess.” 

 

“I heard my name!” Minseo peeked her head in, snickering at the way Mingyu was playing on his phone while Wonwoo went through her brother’s closet like it was the Great Library.

 

“Oh, h-hi Minseo.” Wonwoo chuckled, waving to her shyly. 

 

“What are you guys up to? Something Chae would be mad about I’m hoping?” she giggled. Mingyu sneered at her. The extra bubbly personality she was ‘wearing’ today could only be explained by the fact that it had been years since Wonwoo had been over their house. 

 

“If you don’t have any scent-deodorant. Maybe.” Mingyu shrugged, not paying her any mind as he tapped away at the game on his phone.

 

Wonwoo pretended to barf. 

 

“He gave me his bed last night but then he took it back so whatever comes out of his mouth isn’t my fault.” he said to her, hooking a black polo shirt and blue nylon training pants over his arm. 

 

Minseo covered her mouth to stifle another giggle. 

 

“And he’s letting you borrow his clothes too? You’re some VIP.”

 

“I got cum all over his.”

 

Wonwoo spun around and glared at the alpha, not knowing if he was going to faint like a Victorian virgin at the thought of what Mingyu said being true. Or, you know, die from embarrassment that his sister was there.

 

“I’m never sleeping over here again. It’s not you Minseo, it’s your brother.”

 

“I get that a lot from my ex-boyfriends.” Minseo smiled. “Say, I think you need a little something to spice you up.”

 

“Say what now?” 

 

“I’ll be right back, go get showered!” 

 

“Yes ma’am.” Wonwoo nodded, shooting Mingyu a dirty look before he disappeared behind the door.

 

III

 

“So… When you found this. Did you have in mind that I’d look like Android 17 or did you just realize that now?” 

 

“Who the fuck is Android 17?” Mingyu arched one eyebrow, trying to distract himself from how hot Wonwoo looked by amping up the difficulty level on his video game.

 

“Ugh! You obviously don’t watch Dragon Ball Z.” Minseo rolled her eyes, swaying on her feet as she looked Wonwoo over for wrinkles or stains.

 

“You watch it too? I thought you were- nevermind.” Wonwoo snickered, eyeing Minseo’s preppy clothes, the lip gloss, the light dusting of blush on her cheeks… Yeah. 

 

“You thought I wasn't a loser? Your mind could not possibly comprehend that I could be cool and watch Dragon Ball? Well, no. You’re wrong, honey. DBZ is for everyone to enjoy.” Minseo whispered, looking at him like she was his mother. But then her sparkly eyelashes fluttered and he was reminded that she was still one of the ‘pretty girls’ at school. 

 

“However…  I mostly watch it because Future Trunks is so cute!”  

 

Wonwoo made an ‘O’ with his mouth, taking in the fact that this was the only time he had ever seen Minseo act like a geek. Unlike her usual persona she put up while she was with her friends.

 

“He is. That’s so true.” Wonwoo’s nose scrunched as he laughed. He covered his mouth when his laughs turned to giggles not wanting to bear his teeth for too long. All Mingyu could do was growl at him, but he didn’t know why.

 

Wonwoo gulped a little at the possessive look on the alpha’s face. For a second he wondered if Mingyu was just annoyed that his sister liked him more than her own brother but there was something else to those eyes. 

 

In reality, Mingyu didn’t take too kindly to the idea that his omega could think a cartoon character was hotter than him.

 

“Well, I’ll make sure to return the scarf. Oh, and I’ll be back with your clothes too.” Wonwoo turned to Mingyu, smoothing out the wrinkles in his pants. 

 

The black short-sleeve polo shirt felt soft and breathable on him. The pants were cool and silky too. The cherry on top was that his collarbones were covered by an orange handkerchief Minseo gave to him which settled over the bit of his chest and collarbones that were exposed, forming a diamond of silky smooth skin for any alpha to drool over and want to mark. 

 

On the back of his neck, Minseo tied the bandana into a bow which pointed out like sharpened butterfly wings, making it look aesthetically pleasing to those with a taste for colorful things. The tips of the bow were like orange spikes jutting out behind his charcoal black hair. It made Wonwoo look like a pretty boy and a cold-blooded killer at the same time. Or just a twink if you asked him. No wonder Minseo made him wear that stupid scarf or whatever it was. Her generation practically lusted after his ‘type’.  

 

Mingyu could only nod and swallow as Wonwoo waved to him and went off to fetch his friends, but that little ounce of shock and awe turned into boiling rage as Minseo winked at him like she knew what was going on. He was about to grab the doorknob before the door shut after her, but on second thought, showering would cool him off. Cold water would also deal with the tent in his shorts too. Considering he was an apex alpha, it was like the Big Apple Circus had moved in under his pants. He doubted no one could really blame him. But still... He wasn’t about to go downstairs and be made fun of for thinking Wonwoo was the sexiest omega alive.

 

IV

 

“Hey, kiddo. Up late as ever, huh?” Mr. Kim chucked, setting his coffee mug down at the kitchen table.

 

Mingyu’s brows furrowed as he trotted down the stairs with his backpack hanging off one shoulder. They still had fifteen minutes to get to school if he went over the speed limit.

 

“Dad? When did you get here?”

 

“Came in at nine last night.” 

 

“Huh? We went to bed at- oh…. Yeah.” Mingyu replied, assuming he and Wonwoo must have gone to bed earlier than usual. He guessed comforting scents could do that to people. The scent of the one he loved….

 

“Yeah, you always hit the hay pretty late.” his father continued. “Must’ve been a rough day yesterday. I heard it was eventful. No wonder why you’re up so early. Got a goodnight’s rest?” 

 

“I don’t know if that’s the reason why he slept so well.” his mother smiled, coming to the table to set down a plate full of food for her husband as he read the newspaper. She tilted her head towards the omega who was being scolded by his mother in the living room for getting his clothes so wrinkly. 

 

Mingyu followed his mother’s eyes, spotting a mellow-looking Wonwoo who was simply too soft-hearted to not take the punishment of having to listen to Mrs. Jeon rant about being a good guest and not taking advantage of their hosts. He assumed she was referring to the clothes Wonwoo had on but to be honest, Wonwoo looked good wearing his clothes. Being too big for him, the clothes made him look cute, even if he had that resting bitch face on all the time. 

 

Just then, he realized his mother was looking at him and he blushed. 

 

“M-Mom, that’s not why I slept- Forget it.” He growled, stomping to the kitchen cabinets and snatching a few granola bars and an apple for himself. 

 

“I couldn’t agree with your mother more now that I think about it.” his father chuckled. “Been years since I last saw that kid. He’s grown up to become quite a looker, eh? He’s pretty polite too.” 

 

Mingyu felt like clenching his fists until his palms bled but he thought twice about it, not wanting to end up with crushed granola all over the floor. He didn’t have any yogurt to put it in either.

 

“Not to mention, you break up with that Chaeyeon girl yet?”

 

“I already told him. Don’t be so callous with our son’s feelings.” his mother growled. “Young love can be very tender!”

 

“Can you keep it down.” Mingyu groaned. For the first time he actually wanted to be at school. Despite the laughter in the living room from all of Wonwoo’s friends, he didn’t doubt Jungkook or Woozi were listening in. 

 

“You’re not a kid anymore, Dad. The last thing I need is for some rumor to spread around ‘cause of these losers we have in our house. Can you just stay out of my business-

 

“Wonwoo!” Mr. Kim stood up, not caring if he cut off his son in favor of greeting the omega who entered the kitchen.

 

“Why haven’t you left for school yet? Jungkook told me you had an excellent attendance record.” the older man chuckled, nudging Wonwoo on the shoulder. 

 

“He probably wants another one of those snacks we have in the cabinet that all the kids love. You’ll need your energy for class.” Mrs. Kim smiled, skirting off to fetch the cereal bars from the massive pantry built into the wall. . 

 

“Oh- that sounds great Mrs. Kim but I was just wondering if Mingyu wanted to carpool with us? Woozi’s boyfriend has enough room in his car-”

 

“No thanks.” Mingyu muttered, brushing past him. He couldn’t stand to look at the omega any more. Not when he was wearing his T-shirt and pants. He looked like he’d just walked through a field of clotheslines. Sure, Mingyu was a size above him but with Wonwoo wearing his shirt it could have passed as an XXL. It was too cute. 

 

Both his parents looked at each other with utter shock, clearly more offended than Wonwoo was.

 

“Aww, how sweet of you, Mingyu, to offer to drive Wonwoo instead.” Mrs. Kim gritted her teeth.

 

“Real funny, but-”

 

“Very sweet.”

 

Mingyu clutched his forehead and turned to Wonwoo.

 

“When’s Kwon leaving?”

 

“Right after my mom pulls out. She’s blocking everyone in.” Wonwoo admitted shyly.

 

“Well, it was nice seeing you again, kid. Don’t bust Mingyu’s balls too much.” Mr. Kim grinned, patting the omega on the back.

 

“Dad….” Mingyu growled.

 

“Woah, don’t go apex alpha on me yet. I need to be alive so I can walk Wonu here down the aisle at your wedding.” 

 

“Hunnie, I laid it down lightly for them. Don’t ruin it.” Mrs. Kim reprimanded him.

 

“Right. Like laying it down lightly was even possible.” Mingyu muttered, already heading out of the kitchen in hope that his presence would intimidate Soonyoung into getting his car started faster.

 

Wonwoo gave the married couple a faint smile before turning to follow the alpha to the living room, though not before Mr. Kim called out to him.

 

“Hey, kid!”

 

“Y-Yes, sir?”

 

“Welcome to the family.” 

 

Wonwoo’s breath hitched as he was a little caught off guard but he bowed right away nonetheless, hoping his actions demonstrated that it was an honor to be inducted into the kindest and warmest family he knew. 

 

“You coming or what?” Mingyu snapped, standing at the archway between the living room and the foyer with his arms crossed. 

 

“S-Sorry. Bye Mr. and Mrs. Kim.” Wonwoo waved, nodding a ‘thank you’ to their son as he held open the door for him. 

 

Mrs. Jeon came out of the bathroom across the hall, having done her makeup and prepared for work. She was a little flustered from the pressure of applying all her needed products in such a short period of time but she smiled to her best friend and her husband as she peered around the living room archway. 

 

“He’ll be back.” she breathed, a little worn out from trying to make herself fit into Mrs. Kim’s pantsuit which she hadn’t worn in decades when she still worked. 

 

“And not just to return Mingyu’s clothes.”



“If his curiosity doesn’t kill him that is.” Mrs. Kim giggled, walking off to see her best friend to the door. “Tell him to forget that job offer at the cafe.”

 

“It’s going to be hard. You know him. Always loved coffee.”

 

“More than pups?” Hyuna raised a brow. 

 

“Good Lord, no! But he might not like how it isn’t a ‘real job.” Eunbin sighed. “Kids these days.”

 

“If you love motherhood, it isn’t a job. Trust me.” Hyuna said softly, taking her friend's hands and clasping them together.

 

“I should know for myself.” Eunbin snorted, pushing her purse’s strap further up her shoulder.

 

Beep beep.

 

Eunbin jumped like a dog hearing thunder at the sound of a horn blaring behind her. 

 

“What in the world-”

 

“Ma! C’mon!” Jungkook shouted out the window of Soonyoung’s car all the while reaching over the beta’s shoulder to honk the horn.

 

“Oh can it! I’m coming!” she growled, hustling down the steps. “I’ll see you soon!” she waved to her friend, blowing her the loudest kiss.

 

Mrs. Kim waved at her back before blowing a kiss to her son as well.

 

She could see Mingyu slouched against the window in the backseat of Soonyoung’s car, totally oblivious to how Wonwoo was being squished between him and his brother. No matter how much she wanted to slap some manners into Mingyu she thought it best to leave it to Wonwoo to knock some sense into him. Plato had said that love did indeed lead to wisdom after all.

 

V

 

“Do you have to lick your fingers like that?” Wonwoo eyed his best friend who may have been putting on an inappropriate performance for his boyfriend. It was pointless anyways since the beta already happened to be driving and couldn’t afford distractions. But his best friend was relentless. 

 

Woozi ignored him, closing his eyes as he continued to gobble up the glaze from his fingers.

 

“Mhmm. So good.”

 

“Yeah, I don’t want to die in a car crash please.” Jungkook added. Though it wasn’t like he wasn’t any quieter than Woozi. He was just munching on his donut rather than sucking the sugar off his fingers. 

 

“Shut up, Wonu. Tell that to your man behind me. Soonyoung couldn’t turn up the radio loud enough ‘cause we’d still hear him.” Woozi snapped

 

Wonwoo gave Mingyu a sheepish look but the alpha didn’t think much of it, too busy stuffing his face with a chocolate covered donut with sprinkles. Even if Mingyu was probably the most ungrateful brat ever he kind of liked seeing the alpha happy and treating him. If that meant spending all of the money he earned in the summer on a box of donuts and coffee then so be it. 

 

“Why’d we even go get donuts anyways. You care that little about your attendance?” Mingyu snorted, cheeks still full of donuts. 

 

“No, this is my way of saying thanks.” Wonwoo shrugged. “And don’t forget Soonie. He’s driving us.”

 

“Thanks Nonu.” Soonyoung grinned, giving him a thumbs up.

 

Somehow Mingyu took it as a competition for showing how grateful they were and wanted to make amends to his ‘reputation’. 

 

“Yeah, thanks princess. At least I know you can do your job and feed me.” 

 

“Try saying that next time with Seungcheol in the car.” Jungkook dared him, and for a second, the two shot laser beams at each other with their eyes. 

 

“I still can’t believe it.” Wonwoo said plainly, dozing off as Soonyoung swerved into the lane next to them. 

 

“Believe what.” Mingyu raised a brow, looking at him like he was grossed out.

 

“Oh, nothing.” Wonwoo said wistfully, suddenly realizing how close they were sitting beside each other. The prolonged eye contact wasn’t helping either considering his whole future life flashed before his eyes. He could see himself trying to not burn food in Mrs. Kim’s kitchen all the while their kids were running around not caring about the boiling oil on the stove and the chef’s knife he cut himself on and- Oh look, Mingyu wasn’t even going to bother to help him, deciding to go out and bring home the tenth deer they’d have for dinner or go to the bar to drink with his dumb friends.

 

What a nightmare dream. He’d do anything just to have a family of his own, even if Mingyu would have to knock him up for it. It sounded nice on paper but he knew it wouldn’t ever happen. Not if his heart wasn’t still with Seungcheol. 

 

In Mingyu’s face he could see the alpha he’d become someday, inheriting the spirits of his mother and father. He chuckled inside at the thought. He could see it. Mingyu, the cocky block head of the pack who sunk his teeth into poor innocent animals and also liked reading the newspaper and sipping on coffee every morning. The domestic life sounded like heaven.

 

Besides that mole on Mingyu’s cheek, Wonwoo couldn’t help but fall for that smirk. If it wasn’t possible that he could hate Mingyu’s face any more than he had already, he might as well just fall for it. It wasn’t completely unnoticeable that Mingyu shared in the same predicament. If the words “I want to knot you” coming out of the alpha’s mouth wasn’t enough, nothing was.

 

“We’re here!” Woozi said over the munchkins Soonyoung gave him. It was almost like his best friend was pregnant and Soonyoung was just there to feed and appease him. 

 

“Huh?” Wonwoo said to himself, feeling his phone start buzzing fanatically.

 

“Probably your boyfriend.” Jungkook snickered, hopping out at the same time Mingyu did. The two wolves held a staring contest for a few seconds over the top of Soonyoung’s car but it held only as long as it took for Wonwoo to get out on Mingyu’s side. Sure, Mingyu was a douche 99.99 percent of the time but he actually bothered to help Wonwoo out and close the door behind him all the while the omega looked at his phone like he got a message saying his credit card had been stolen. 

 

“You’re welcome.” Mingyu muttered, earning a jab from Jungkook. 

 

“I’m right aren’t I?” his brother asked the elder, getting poked in his side by the alpha next to him. No matter how much Jungkook hated Mingyu for the sake of his brother they’d always be buddies in some ways.  

 

“Shhh.” Wonwoo told him off, putting his phone up to his ear and flicking his wrist to shoo him away. 

 

“And thanks.” he said to the alpha before putting his phone back next to his ear.

 

“Where are you?”

 

“Outside the back lobby. We’re walking to the doors right now.”

 

“Who’s we? Please don’t tell me you brought your friends to school to cockblock yourself again….”

 

“School is a place of learning. There’s no point of cock-walking blocking whatever-”

 

Before he could get out the rest of what he was going to say, Mingyu snatched the phone from him.

 

“Who is this?” the alpha growled, pretending like he hadn’t overheard their conversation with his acute hearing. 

 

“Mingyu? The fuck you doing with Wonwoo’s phone?”

 

“Making sure idiots like you don’t bother my princess.”

 

“What!” Wonwoo basically screamed, reaching to reclaim the device despite Mingyu holding him back by his head.

 

“Give him back his phone, Kim. And leave him alone.”

 

“He gave it to me. Nonu doesn’t want to talk to your lame ass.”

 

Wonwoo swiped his phone back from the alpha, pushing him away by his bicep. 

 

“Sorry about that. Mingyu was just being an idiot.”

 

“Where are you anyways? And how did Mingyu get your phone?”

 

“Soonyoung parked far away. He drove all of us.” 

 

“Unlike your lousy boyfriend.” Woozi rolled his eyes.

 

“Alright, I see you.” Seungcheol hung up, walking to the glass doors and holding it open for the omega as he approached. 

 

“Thanks.” Wonwoo breathed, shivering a little from the school’s air conditioning. At least Pledis Highschool had it. It was the only thing keeping him from wanting to go to some prep school in the summer. 

 

Seungcheol let the door swing into Mingyu’s face but he caught it with his hand. No matter how much Seungcheol pissed him off thinking he could just take Wonwoo away from him after everything that happened yesterday he cleared his mind, holding the door open for the rest of Wonwoo’s friends who gawked at him for being so polite. He wanted to snap at them and tell them to hurry it up but he remembered the deal he made with Wonwoo not to be ‘mean’ to them anymore. Besides, he couldn’t be seen hanging out with dorks anyways. 

 

“Yo, Kim!” Jaehyun called from the other side of the lobby, making sure Wonwoo was out of earshot. By the time he stepped inside Wonwoo was already making his way up the stairwell while his friends sauntered into the cafeteria to fill their stomachs with something healthier and not just settle for donuts. Mrs. Kim was a great cook but she wasn’t used to seven werewolves acting like baby vultures waiting for their mother to regurgitate their food .

 

After surveying the lobby, Jaehyun made his way over to his crew albeit a little agitated that he couldn’t be the one to walk Wonwoo to class. 

 

“Where’ve you been, dude?” Yugyeom asked, taking his knuckle and jabbing his chest. 

 

“Jae almost shit his pants when he saw Wonwoo.” 

 

“Yeah, but it’s not my fault Kim had to go ruin my chances of friendship with him. We just got onto a good note with each other!” Jaehyun said, exasperated. 

 

“I don’t care about breaking oaths to secrecy or keeping promises. He was on my pack’s land and it was my duty to kick him out.” Mingyu retorted, still giving Seungcheol a dirty look as he took his princess up the stairwell.

 

“Still. Made me look like a dick. He thought I wouldn’t say anything.” Jaehyun mumbled. 

 

“Your loss. If you thought Wonwoo was going to ditch that beta for you then you should have thought twice.”

 

Jaehyun glared at him.

 

“That’s not what this is about. This is about being a decent person. Something I haven’t been whenever I have to give into your shit.”

 

“Who’s saying you have to?” Mingyu raised his brows, daring the other alpha to speak.

 

“We’re friends, right?” 

 

“Yeah, there’s that. But I thought you took my shit because you wanted to stay on the team?” 

 

Jaehyun chuckled to himself and shook his head. 

 

“Whatever. Wonwoo’ll rub off on you soon enough and maybe you won’t be a dick like I was.”

 

Mingyu felt like shoving the weaker alpha into the wall but Baekho interrupted him.

 

“Speaking of Wonwoo, what the fuck were you doing coming in with him at the same time? Is he sucking your dick or something in the parking lot?” 

 

“Dude, shut up.” Yugyeom laughed, trying to blink away the tears forming in his eyes. 

 

“And where’s Jungkook? Kid looks like he hates your guts now.” 

 

Mingyu recovered from the blush on his cheeks and stared at Baekho with a solemn expression. He could be honest about the whole ‘marriage’ situation but he remembered he was talking to a group of teenagers here who’d break their jaws just from laughing so hard at him. Yeah, he was just going to pull a classic Mingyu move this time. 

 

“It’s complicated and I’ll tell you all the details later. But here’s the deal….breaking news everyone! Our mission to ruin Wonwoo’s life is completed.” 

 

“Huh?”

 

Mingyu smirked.

 

“We’re getting married. I don’t need you guys to make his life a living hell anymore.” 

 

If they had the guts to fall backwards and crack their heads open they would, but they felt more like suffering from face freeze and oxygen loss.

 

“What did you say?”

 

“Me and Wonu are gonna tie the knot.”

 

“Yeah, uhm, that’s great.” Jaehyun chuckled, feeling a little faint.

 

“Awesome man, I’m proud of you.” Yugyeom held his shoulder, ready to puke on him. Who knew his best friend’s brother was going to be married to his other best friend.

 

“Cut the shit, guys. What’s really going on?” Baehko growled, not liking the fact that none of Mingyu’s answers plus his behaviour made any sense or was adding up. First there had been radio silence. And now Mingyu and the omega they teased and bullied for three years walked in with him like they had gone out on a date? 

 

“Like I said, I’ll tell you all the details later.” Mingyu said quietly, though his soft voice couldn’t mask the menace whispering through his elongating fangs. Something vibrated in his ear and he turned to look over his shoulder to see the familiar sheer leggings, black leather shoes, and pale legs wrapped in a few black straps like a birthday present all for him. If the slow thud of Chaeyeon’s shoes wasn’t enough to tell him that it was her walking down the hall, it was the abundance of sexual magnetism she had, pulling all of his energy to her. It was nothing new seeing her in that kind of an outfit. The waist-high short shorts, the crop top, and the sweater paws…. He turned back around, trying to get the dirty image of Wonwoo wearing all those things out of his head. 

 

“Don’t tell anyone about it. If you do I’ll beat the shit out of you.” he growled. “And if you lay a finger on him I’ll kill you.” 

 

Baekho flinched slightly, knowing it was directed towards him. After all, he had been in the hallway with Mingyu when he messed up Wonwoo’s stupid drawing. He wondered how keen Hyungsik would be on ending their campaign against the omega. He’d been one of those kids who wasn’t necessarily popular or liked by the guys. But Mingyu thought he was funny and inducted him into his gang. So calling off the war on Wonwoo wasn’t such a great idea when terrorizing students was all Hyungsik lived for. There were rumors the guy got himself held back a few grades just to ruin people’s high school lives. He shivered more at that thought than from Mingyu glaring at him. 

 

“Gyu Bear.” Chaeyeon’s ‘sweet’ and soft voice called to the alpha, causing Mingyu to turn around and walk towards her. Mingyu fought the urge to not to remember back to all the numerous times she had used that same voice to call him “Daddy.” 

 

“S’up.” he replied, running a hand through his hair as he walked up to her. 

 

“Why haven’t you been answering your phone?” she said quickly, pursing her glossy lips and clasping her hands behind her back.

 

“You call me?”

 

“Texted. A dozen times….” 

 

“Oh, that? I don’t have time to try and type on a little screen like you do. Call me and maybe I’ll pick up.”

 

“But you have time to hangout with those losers.” Chaeyeon narrowed her eyes, inclining her head towards the cafeteria. I’m not even going to ask what you were doing with the Jeon kid. I’m just happy he seemed to pass you off like how you’ve done to me.”

 

Mingyu let out a grunt.

 

“I forgot you were both omegas.”

 

Before his girlfriend could even scoff, he took her by the waist and led her to the cafeteria, taking the long way around to get to his class. 

 

“Don’t worry your pretty little head, babe. I didn’t forget about you though. I had a lot of stuff come up. That’s all.” he shrugged, grinning at a group of sophomore girls who he caught staring and giggling at him. He always liked walking through the cafeteria and all the attention they got as a couple. He didn’t mind the stares at his girlfriend either from the rest of the basketball team or any of the other hotshots in their school. It made him feel more powerful just to be ‘dating’ someone so wanted and desired. 

 

Mingyu was just about to wave at one of the JV basketball players he’d been training who was walking by when a sharp tingle ran up his arm. Chaeyeon was still staring ahead, face practically cloaked by her dark long locks. Tilting his head down to see his hand, he flinched as Chaeyeon dug her manicured nails in further.

 

“Wouldn’t it be so funny if you actually cheated on me with that nerd?” she laughed, stopping them in their tracks and turning to place her hands on his chest.

 

The JV player he was going to wave to gave him a grin and skirted around them, leaving Mingyu to stare down at Chaeyeon like she had taken the day’s only sunshine away from him. 

 

“Yeah, who would want to fuck a virgin when I have you.” Mingyu snorted, letting the marks heal on the back of his hand as he guided Chaeyeon towards the exit.

 

She was clearly not impressed however, flipping her hair in his face like she hadn’t known he was next to her. 

 

“Don’t piss me off any more than you already have. I want to look like a couple for once instead of your bitch.” she snapped at him, offended by the reference to the fact that she wasn’t as pure as Wonwoo was. 

 

“You want a cute and soft little wuss for you to boss around? Go try Eunwoo or Soonyoung. You got what you asked for when you came crawling to me.” Mingyu muttered, slipping his hand off her waist as he ran up the closest stairwell. 

 

Chaeyeon tried to stop the tear forming in the crevice of her eye, especially because there were students walking towards her on all sides at the hallway intersection. But in the end she was more mad than heartbroken. She didn’t even have a heart to break. She’d given it to every man in hopes that someone would return it. She had given up something so sacred long ago that every time she was with a man she’d end up smaller and more disoriented. Lost. And that was before Mingyu. 

 

In the end, she was more envious and resentful than depressed and demoralized. Pretty soon she wouldn’t be craving the attention of a lovesick puppy but revenge and the dead body of an omega, speared on her acrylic nails. Wonwoo was a magnet to every stock and bond she had invested in. And she couldn’t help but notice the stairwell Mingyu took led to Wonwoo’s first class that he had. Wasn’t having Seungcheol enough? That was already a heartbreak for her; a pang to the chest. As soon as Seungcheol knew he’d see Wonwoo again the omega would be back in his clutches. And her use to him would have dried up. 

 

Was that what was going to happen between her and Mingyu too? 

 

She couldn’t stand idly by.

 

Chaeyeon laughed to herself as she pushed through the door to the bathroom, finding a place to fix her makeup. Oh how great it would feel to sink her nails into that omega’s neck and tear out his throat.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

“Hey.” Seungcheol said to him in a subdued voice, making sure no one had followed them up one of Pledis High’s many dark and stale-aired stairwells.

 

“I know this’ll be the second time I apologize but I’m sorry for being such a jerk to you.”

 

Wonwoo squinted his eyes and looked over his shoulder beside him.

 

“What did we argue about again?”

 

His boyfriend blinked for a second, but then what Wonwoo would have described as a ‘cocky grin’ appeared on Seungcheol’s face, stretching his lips for a mile. 

 

“Beats me. But I still missed you. Even if it hasn’t been twenty four hours yet.” 

 

The things he could do in less time than that.

 

“Thanks for all the flattery. Still isn’t going to get me to my class quick enough.” Wonwoo smiled, taking Seungcheol’s phone from his pocket to check the time.

 

At first, Seungcheollooked like he had just seen a ghost watching Wonwoo press the power button on his phone, but the omega merely gave it back to him after a quick glance. Having seen nothing. Relieved, Seungcheol let out an internal sigh, hoping he had turned on the do-not-disturb feature and hadn’t given Wonwoo any reason to leave him for good right then and there. 

 

He chuckled to himself, pretending to find Wonwoo’s joke funny.

 

“Why are you here late anyway? And why the heck do you look like Android 17? Nerd.” 

 

Wonwoo gave his boyfriend a sheepish smile.

 

“Excellent questions. I made Soonyoung stop for donuts. We all slept over Mingyu’s house and I wanted to pay for breakfast. Oh, and his sister had this really nice looking hanky I could wear-” 

 

“Mingyu’s house-” Seungcheol gaped at him, instantly cut off by the loud slap Wonwoo made on his forehead.

 

“No time to explain. Got to get to class quick.” Wonwoo heaved, running up the stairs. 

 

“Hey! Wait! You’re forgetting something.” his boyfriend groaned, eyes alternating between the steps and Wonwoo’s tantalizing figure making a dash up the spiraling levels of stairs. 

 

“You’ll get it later.” 

 

“Yeah but I wanna taste of those donuts you had.” Seungcheol huffed, tightening the straps of his backpack before he leaped onto the railing next to him and jumped across the stairwell shaft. His hands caught onto the cold cement of the third floor’s set of steps and he dangled there for a second before hoisting himself up on the railing and doing the same trick again, this time leaping across the well and grappling onto the fourth floor’s steps. 

 

Meanwhile, Wonwoo wasn’t paying him any attention, more or less used to his boyfriend’s werewolf antics. It didn’t matter if it was an alpha or a beta. Jocks treated everything like it was their jungle gym. 

 

There was another thing about his boyfriend though. Seungcheol didn’t just have strength, he also had guts. Wonwoo had to admire him for that at least, considering he wasn’t the biggest fan of heights or splitting his head open on the cement stairs if he fell.

 

No matter how fast foxes were, Seungcheol landed in front of him, hopping down from the fourth floor railing to catch him between his arms. 



“Hey! No wolf powers in school.” Wonwoo hissed but Seungcheol smiled at him, leaning in for a kiss.

 

“And no PDA either-” he protested but his voice was muffled and swallowed up by the beta’s lips. Wonwoo wished it had just been a peck because he felt more guilty for having an alpha so close to him as time went on. The guilt far surpassed the level of discomfort and repulsion he had towards his boyfriend, but he let Seungcheol feel him up a little thinking he was going to stop. Of course he didn’t stop, thrusting his tongue into his mouth, making love to the whole of it. Seungcheol practically vacuumed his soul from him and wasn’t showing any signs of stopping. 

 

“Seung-” he tried to speak, grabbing onto his boyfriend’s shoulders

 

“Stop.” 

 

Seungcheol allowed himself to be pushed away by his chest, leaving him to admire the flushed look on Wonwoo’s face and his rosey red lips he had marked with his teeth. The beta’s smirk faltered however from the look of disgust on the omega’s face. He figured Wonwoo would have been keen on embracing their first makeout session but didn’t expect it to be entirely one-sided. 

 

“What’s gotten into you?” 

 

“What’s gotten into you? Mingyu’s dick crawl up your ass and die?” Seungcheol snapped. 

 

“What does he have to do with anything- I-I was just being nice.”

 

“I can smell him all over you. Is that being nice? Forget to use your scent-blockers, Wonu? I figured Mingyu would have had some near the pack of condoms next to his bed.”

 

Wonwoo gaped at him, thinking about flicking out his kitsune claws but his arms never lifted themselves up to try it. He guessed he wasn’t as angry as he was shaken. To think Mingyu had been his bully all these years and yet... behind his own boyfriend’s cute cheekbones and inviting eyes was undeniable cruelty fostered in a beta who hadn’t even shoved his tongue down his throat until now.

 

It was the inside that always mattered. And that was how Wonwoo always judged people. It was one of the reasons he hadn’t gouged Mingyu’s eyes out or incinerated him with fox fire. But almost everything circled back to Mingyu. Just like right now.

 

He took a sharp inhale right before the bell started ringing, making him want to cover his ears but he kept eye contact with his boyfriend who looked like he was putting all the puzzle pieces together.

 

“You smell like you’re…. I can smell it.” Seungcheol cut himself off, not wanting to say the words. 

 

“Could you save me the embarrassment? I said I would explain everything later.” 

 

“Don’t you think I deserve to know right now? As your boyfriend? Someone who pledged to save himself for you and wait until you were ready?”

 

Wonwoo gulped down the breath of air stuck in his throat, backing up to get to the door. 

 

“I didn’t do anything bad. Mingyu just freaked out and I was there to calm him down.”

 

“But it wasn’t a full moon. So why would he need to calm down unless he freaked out ‘cause of you’. Like how I might ‘freak out’ right now.” Seungcheol smirked.

 

“W-What’s that supposed to mean? Are you mad? I swear I didn’t-”

 

“I don’t care about his scent! Did you go into some kind of heat last night? Did you allow him to take you?” Seungcheol whispered, cupping the side of his face. 

 

“No I- None of that’s true-”

 

“So you didn’t use him for your heat?”

 

“I wouldn’t ever!”

 

“Really? Then why are you wearing Mingyu’s clothes? You get cum stains on your old ones? Don’t get me started on the fucking slick smell coming off you. I couldn’t hold off all the wolves that would come for you because of that, Wonu.” Seungcheol chuckled. 

 

“Slick smell? M-My body must be- My hormones-”

 

“Don’t blame it on your hormones when you wanted it. You’re practically begging for an alpha’s cock right now.” Seungcheol growled, reaching down and between his legs to press a finger into him. Wonwoo gasped from shock and relief as a trickle of slick ran down his thigh. Not wanting Seungcheol to see him in such a state, he grabbed the beta’s muscled arm and yanked it off of him, retreating towards the stairwell exit. 

 

“This was a bad idea.” Wonwoo quivered, pushing against the door to get it open. Seungcheol rushed towards him but the omega stumbled out into the corridor, making a run for his class. He knew his boyfriend had guts but he suspected the beta wouldn’t come into a room full of people with him. 

 

Wonwoo could just about taste freedom when he crashed into a brick wall. He didn’t even have time to register what hit him when a strong bronze-muscled arm stuck out and caught the side of his torso, pulling him up in a flash. 

 

“Mingyu-” Seungcheol growled, clenching his fists which had fallen to his sides to show that he wasn’t going to challenge the alpha today. The beta looked more or less mad that the taller boy got to his omega faster than he did.

 

“What’s wrong?” Mingyu asked earnestly, giving Wonwoo a solemn look before glaring at his boyfriend.

 

“Nothing.” Wonwoo said quickly, looking down at his feet while the alpha’s hand ran down his arm and took his hand. 

 

“Get your hand off my mate. You’ve touched him enough.”

 

“Doesn’t mean you can touch him either.” Mingyu snapped, maneuvering Wonwoo to his side so he could get closer to the beta. 

 

“He only gets wet for me, Kim. Next time I smell him on you I’ll kill you.”

 

Mingyu smirked.

 

“Try something more realistic.”

 

“I’ll tell your parents that you stole my omega. I’ll ruin your life. You won’t ever become the pack alpha with your reputation ruined.” 

 

“Real funny.” Mingyu growled, wanting so badly to tell Seungcheol that Wonwoo was his omega but he opted to simply pretend to be insulted as he picked up the man by his collar and walked towards the door to the stairwell. Once he kicked it open, Seungcheol only had a second to protest before he was flung against the railing, almost falling over it. But Mingyu wasn’t a murderer. 

 

“Seungcheol! Believe me, nothing happened. Mingyu and I are friends now.” Wonwoo pleaded.

 

“Don’t push it.” Mingyu muttered. 

 

“Forget it. You can let him knot you for all I care.” Seungcheol spat, jumping onto the railing and letting his hands catch the edge of the tiled floor as he slipped down to the third floor and out of sight.

 

“Pussy.” Mingyu snorted, letting the door slam behind them. All he could do was laugh to himself. Never in a million years would he restrain himself from beating Seungcheol to a bloody pulp right where he stood. But he supposed he had learned a few things from Wonwoo. Maybe patience. Or maybe he needed to keep an act up for him. It wouldn’t look good on his ‘alpha resume’ to have killed a beta and then apply to marry his widowed mate. He shrugged it off, turning to face the omega quivering near the doorway.

 

“Where are you off to, princess? Aren’t you supposed to be in class?”

 

Wonwoo craned his neck to look down the corridor. His math class’s door was already shut meaning the teacher wasn’t accepting any stragglers. 

 

“I was. But I got tied up in all that relationship stuff.”

 

“I know what you mean.” Mingyu said bluntly.

 

“But then you saved me. So thank you.” Wonwoo nodded, resting a hand on his hip as he tried to awkwardly slip by. 

 

“No problem. But your class is that way isn’t it?” the alpha eyed him, pointing down the opposite direction of the hallway.

 

Wonwoo wasn’t stupid, obviously. 

 

“Yeah, I was about to freshen up in the restroom.”

 

“Now that you mention it I’m begging you. I can smell him on you now.” 

 

“Right away-” Wonwoo said, saluting him. But before he could trot along to the restroom like a fawn in heat, he stopped and turned to look at the alpha with a raised eyebrow.

 

“And why is that your concern again?”

 

Mingyu’s breath got caught in his throat.

 

“Oh, uh- Gotta make sure my bride doesn’t smell like another wolf.”

 

“We don’t even know when the wedding is. Besides, I know you still hate my guts.” Wonwoo chuckled. 

 

“I just like competition.” Mingyu shrugged, blowing him off. 

 

“Well, I got to leave school early after this. I can’t make it to math class anyways. So see you-”

 

“What? Why?”

 

“Doctor’s appointment.” 

 

Mingyu scowled at him.

 

“Don’t lie. You suck at lying.” 

 

“It’s personal!” Wonwoo hissed in a quiet voice, not wanting to cause any teachers to come out into the hallway and yell at them. He reached the restroom door to the ‘little omegas room’ and opened it just as Mingyu came up next to him, leaning against the wall.

 

“I’ll wait here ‘till you get out. I got nothing to do today anyways so whenever you’re ready.” 

 

“Ready for what?”

 

“To leave dumbass.”

 

“But… You didn’t drive your car.” Wonwoo said slowly, wondering again if the guy outside the bathroom was really the kid who hated him for three years.

 

Mingyu’s eyes bulged at the realization and he banged his fists into the wall behind him.

 

“It’s okay.” Wonwoo perked up. “You can drive mine. I left it here yesterday.”

 

“What about Jungkook?”

 

“He’ll be at the basketball court later so I’ll pick him up then.” 

 

He really hoped whatever kind of “heat” he was going through wouldn’t last that long.

 

“Is that enough time for you to get all your stuff done? Whatever it is.” 

 

“Yeah. Having no life gives you a lot of free time.” Wonwoo growled, slamming the door.

 

“C’mon, I was kidding.” Mingyu groaned, deciding to just brood against the wall as he waited for the omega to come out.

 

Minutes passed with Wonwoo drying himself off and rubbing hand sanitizer between his legs and everywhere just to make himself smell really bad. It was worth it if it meant not being attacked by an alpha. Then came the foundation he had in his backpack. Just to cover up the incessant blush on his cheeks. The pink on omega’s cheeks that heats gave them was one of those ‘sexual indicators’ that they were ready to be bred.

 

He shivered. 

 

“Are you done pouring makeup on yourself?” Mingyu nudged the door with his foot. 

 

“How’d you- nevermind.” Wonwoo rolled his eyes, forgetting that Mingyu had a good sense of smell. 

 

Ripping off a few shreds of paper towels, Wonwoo wiped the sweat from his forehead. Apparently, werewolf evolution knew that alpha’s liked the drenched hair look on omegas so sweating on his forehead was a bonus if not for the fact that it cooled him down. He still didn’t know how any of this was happening. It wasn’t even the right time for his heat to strike. It’d probably been the fifth incident this week, not counting waking up to a wet bed or having to explain why his pants were soaked to his mom. He’d get bouts of the heat which usually came to being warm and faint but this was different. Without putting on makeup he would have looked like a girl in a Renaissance painting with how pale he was and the blush on his face. 

 

“I look like a vampire.” Wonwoo fake cried, coming out with his head down. 

 

“Hey, they’re pretty sexy.” 

 

Wonwoo stopped acting, lifting his hand to swat at the alpha’s shoulder.

 

“Keep it up and I won’t let you drive my car.”

 

“Then don’t fish for compliments.” Mingyu retorted, taking his wrist and throwing it off of him like he was a spec of dust.

 

Wonwoo could only stand aside as the alpha walked to the stairwell with his hands in his pockets like he was some delinquent skipping school. Oh right, that’s exactly what he was doing. Though maybe they could cite their betrothal as an excuse. He was Mingyu’s ‘future mate’ after all and like a good alpha he had to take care of him. That was, if driving him home fell under that category. Looking at the tall and handsome mass of muscle that was Mingyu he didn’t mind if the alpha took care of him in another way….

 

“You want me to carry you or what?” Mingyu snapped, but there wasn’t a malicious undertone to it. Just his usual snarkiness. 

 

Wonwoo stopped his fawning and sprinted to the stairwell door to catch up, bowing his head as the alpha held it open for him. 

 

“So about my car….” Mingyu scratched the back of his neck, for once looking like the little boy he knew all those years ago when the alpha cheated on a game to beat him or got caught going over the five-second rule. Wonwoo hated himself for finding it cute. 

 

“If I left it at my house then I wouldn’t be able to drive home. Unless you drive me home but then you’d have to drive yourself. And I don’t think you’re good to drive.” Mingyu chuckled, feeling his forehead.

 

Wonwoo let out a relieved breath as the alpha’s large palm rested on his skin, pushing his head back slightly with how strong he was. He welcomed the touch nonetheless, feeling ready to fall asleep standing up and leaning on it for support. 

 

“Wonu?” Mingyu tilted his head, grinning at him.

 

“I guess this proves my point.” 

 

“Gotta pick up Jungkook though.” Wonwoo sighed, not wanting to do anything but go back to sleep in Mingyu’s bed again.

 

WAIT WHAT?

 

His eyes opened wider than a fish struggling to breathe and Mingyu took his hand back like it got burnt. 

 

“What?” Mingyu growled, annoyed that Wonwoo had to ruin their moment with his stupid smartass brain, coming up with ideas out of nowhere. 

 

“What’s your plan?” he asked, sounding breathless from the beginnings of his heat.

 

“What’s yours? It’s your car.”

 

“I don’t know. You’re the alpha. Think of something.” 

 

Mingyu eyed him with something that was a mixture of a proud and cheeky smile, wondering if the omega was serious or not.

 

“Maybe I should just stay at school and find someone else to drive you home-”

 

“No!” Wonwoo groaned. “Don’t bother them. You have nothing to do at school anyways.” 

 

“Ouch.”

 

Wonwoo frowned slightly, reflecting on what he had said. But the fact still remained. He couldn’t let Mingyu find out that he wouldn’t be able to survive his heat without the alpha’s presence.

 

“C’mon.” he rolled his eyes.

 

“I’m guessing you don’t mind hitting the sack at my place? My mom said she was gonna wash the sheets-”

 

“I’m not sleeping in your bed. I’m not even tired-” Wonwoo yawned, hiding himself from Mingyu’s teasing gaze soon after. 

 

“I wish my mom didn’t have to work. And Jungkook won’t be home anytime soon…. Is it okay if I stay at your house? Your mom won’t be busy right?” 

 

Mingyu blinked at him, realizing where Wonwoo was going with this. Wonwoo would only ask for his mom if it was something to do with omega stuff. In that case they needed to get home quick. Whatever spicy-smelling lotion Wonwoo put on his body was being replaced by a powerful honey-sweet stench. It made him sick. So much so that he wanted to bury his nose in Wonwoo’s neck and mark him. 

 

Wonwoo caught the alpha drooling over him, prompting Mingyu to turn away and scratch the back of his neck again.

 

“Maybe being in the same car isn’t the best idea.” Wonwoo said bluntly, clutching his head as it began to ache more sharply.

 

“We’re the only one with an infirmary that could help you.”

 

The omega flinched at the coolness on his skin as they got outside, suddenly noticing how Mingyu was now hustling them into the parking lot. So the alpha knew now and he hadn’t run for his girlfriend? He remembered Mingyu hadn’t mated with Chaeyeon yet but he would have assumed he’d flee to the protection of her scent. It would have been the only thing anchoring him from going after other omegas in heat.

 

That was a nice thought.

 

“I don’t think you guys would know how to deal with a fox hybrid.” Wonwoo’s jaw shook slightly as he spoke, remembering the infirmary building on the preserve where Mingyu occasionally took him whenever he had gotten too rough with him.

 

“I’m not one-hundred percent wolf either.” Wonwoo said, stepping off the sidewalk curb and onto the black asphalt. He looked towards the alpha for any sign of comprehension on his face. But there was nothing. Only determination.  

 

“Just shut up and tell me where your car is. I forget.” 

 

It was a lie. Mingyu could have located the vehicle in less than a minute with how strong Wonwoo’s scent was coming off of it. It was still where he left it before he and his friends went off to trespass on his land.

 

Wonwoo took out his keys and signaled his Toyota Rav to unlock its doors, causing it to beep. It was enough to have Mingyu find it in an instant with his werewolf hearing, opening the door for him and ushering him in the backseat. Only God knew how close they’d need to be for a full-scale heat to strike, spurred on by his close proximity to an alpha. The weird thing was that he had been around a bunch of alphas all week and nothing close to this had happened. Weird.

 

 “Damn, your mommy buy this car for you? It’s sick.” Mingyu laughed, running his hands along the wheel and playing with the touch screen in the center. He remembered that Soonyoung’s car was nice but Wonwoo’s car was so- well… Wonwoo.

 

“No. I had a job in case you forgot. And we’re a little short on time.” Wonwoo gritted his teeth, burning his palm on his seatbelt as he gripped it. 

 

“Shoot, how could I forget that you messed up my order and I had to tell your manager.” Mingyu smirked, looking at him in the rearview mirror.

 

Wonwoo slouched into his seat, not wanting to remember. 

 

“It wasn’t like you had to. You were getting on my nerves that day so I thought you were due for a little payback.” 

 

“And look where that got you.” 

 

“I know.” Wonwoo muttered, looking the alpha up and down while he not-so-carefully swerved into lanes and dodged through cars. 

 

“It’s not like I ruined your life though. The Jeons are loaded too. Aren’t they?” 

 

“Yeah but we don’t flaunt our wealth.” 

 

“Sucks for you. Chaeyeon knows how to appreciate it. Probably why she hasn’t left me yet.” Mingyu shrugged, chuckling to himself. “Have you seen all the shit I buy her? If a cup of water ever becomes as valuable as diamonds during the apocalypse then I’ll just trade Chaeyeon in for a whole swimming pool.”

 

“Not surprising that even during the end of the world you’d still treat your own girlfriend like a mannequin.”

 

“Dang. Lay off me, Nonu.”

 

“Must be my hormones.” Wonwoo shrugged, placing a hand on his forehead if only that could cool him down. He laid back in his seat as he watched the alpha drive from the front, albeit holding onto the car door handle for his dear life. 

 

Something about Mingyu driving him around made him feel all soft and gooey inside. Forget about the tiny drops of slick between his thighs. He didn’t want Mingyu to crash because he was too busy being distracted by the sweet aroma. Not that he was flattering himself. It was just that he knew how powerful a weapon slick was for omegas and how evil they were simply for using it to seduce powerful alphas in exchange for protection or wealth.

 

Gee, all of this slick talk was bringing him back to the old days of wolves and foxes.  

 

Wonwoo couldn’t agree with what he said earlier. The idea of them in the same car wasn’t the best idea but it wasn’t like the school nurse could protect him from a building full of alphas and betas. Nor was the hospital the most “omega friendly” place on earth. Hospitals were for humans, needles the size of trees, and getting cut open. With that thought, he couldn’t wait to see Mrs. Kim or whoever would be treating him. It wasn’t like he needed to be sedated to be operated on or anything. And besides, he better get familiar with the Kim pack if he was marrying into it. What better bodyguard to protect him was there besides an apex alpha?

 

Wonwoo laughed faintly, wiping away the moist locks of hair over his forehead. 

 

“What’s so funny.” Mingyu growled, glaring at him through the rearview mirror. “I wasn’t gonna let that guy cut me off.” 

 

The omega looked out the window next to him to see some guy with his window down giving them the finger but they had practically left him in the dust with how fast Mingyu was driving. 

 

“Hey, I’m not about to give birth so you don’t have to go over the speed limit, Mr. Speedy.”

 

“Yeah, but the longer we stay in this car the more I wouldn’t be able to control myself, princess. It reeks in here.”

 

Wonwoo scoffed, about to pounce on the alpha when he realized Mingyu was actually complimenting him. Sort of. He smelled that good, huh?

 

“Okay, drive as fast as you like.” Wonwoo sighed, hoping that the “my boyfriend is in heat.” excuse would work on a police officer if they got pulled over.




~ II ~




“Wonwoo, honey? I’m going to need you to keep your legs closed.” Mrs. Kim said to him in a hushed voice. He doubted any of the infirmary’s personnel and patients passing by hadn’t heard her with their enhanced hearing, but he did what he was told. 

 

As soon as MIngyu had carried him through the door with an anxious Mrs. Kim in tow, one of the staff had rolled a wheelchair up to him so that the scent glands between his thighs and on his ankles wouldn’t be fully exposed.

 

It was a big sigh of relief for Mingyu too since he wouldn’t have to focus so hard on controlling himself with the scent glands on Wonwoo’s wrists being so close to his face. It also meant saving more energy on protecting him from other alphas. Wonwoo did after all have to hold onto his neck when he was carrying him. 

 

“Mrs. Kim, I don't want to be a bother. If someone needs this wheelchair-”

 

Mingyu kicked the footplate on his wheelchair causing it to shake and startle the omega but it instantly shut him up, even if it earned him a glare from his mother.

 

“What my son is trying to tell you is that he’s going to be taking care of you. And that means not lifting a finger.” 

 

“Hmm.” Wonwoo nodded shyly, keeping his head lowered as all the werewolves and various other “species” eyed him as they walked by. Though not before nodding in respect to their alpha.

 

What was he doing anyways, acting so pathetic? Mrs. Kim was probably ashamed of him for not acting like the omega heir that he was supposed to be.

 

Wonwoo fixed his posture, no matter how sleepy he had become. Regaining his confidence he turned towards the alpha of the Kim pack, saving the image of Mingyu glaring at him in the back of his mind. Mingyu probably was expecting him to have more questions and protest more but that could wait. 

 

“Could you- if you don’t mind- define what ‘taking care of’ means?” Wonwoo treaded carefully with his words, not wanting to sound too demanding to his mother-in-law. Future mother-in-law.

 

“He’ll keep you safe.” the woman smiled, running her soft fingers through his hair. It may have looked like she was trying not to be patient, but internally, Mrs. Kim couldn’t compose herself. Sehun would have been scolding her right now for even wondering what her grandchildren’s hair would be like after touching Wonwoo’s fine and silky dark locks.

 

Mingyu merely turned the other cheek to them, teenage boner brain not completely understanding the bond between mother-in-law and omega.

 

“Who are we waiting for?” Wonwoo asked, trying not to fall asleep as Mrs. Kim continued to scratch his scalp for him. 

 

“Is he gonna see a nurse first?” Mingyu turned to look at her, genuinely curious.

 

“Wonwoo here gets special treatment.” Mrs. Kim smiled, refraining from pinching her son’s cheek at the obvious relief on his face that his mate got dibs on the doctor. Wonwoo was too humble to smile though, thanking the pack alpha by the smile on his face. 

 

“Dr. Yejin Nada is the chief medical examiner for our pack. She was one of the primary engineers of protonine hexapirine.” 

 

“Those heat suppressants that make you smell like a beta?” 

 

“A powerful birth control pill too. Preventadryl is the name of one of the brands.”

 

“Probably made a lot of money off it too.” Mingyu snorted.  

 

Wonwoo swallowed audibly, still stuck on the birth control part.

 

“That reminds me. I have to make sure we have enough funds in the vault to keep paying her like this.” Mrs. Kim laughed, catching his wheelchair before it slipped out of her grasp.

 

They stood off to the side in one of the main hallways of the infirmary, still waiting on that room to open up where they could examine him.

 

Mrs. Kim’s pack went the extra mile to make sure they had enough rooms specialized for omegas. That included designated x-ray machines, birthing pools, anything they could imagine for such a small population. But Mingyu could think of something they didn’t have. When Wonwoo became the alpha’s mate, he’d make sure they’d have a waiting room just for omegas. It was getting ridiculous with how many times he’d have to glare at beta medics and technicians walking by who were ogling Wonwoo. And it wasn’t even because of his scent! Wonwoo was just that hot he guessed.




~ III ~

 



“Bring him here.” Dr. Nada said to the two alphas waiting by the doorway as her assistants prepared the room. She spread a sheet of thick exam table paper onto the turquoise leather cushion, just in case Wonwoo’s slick problem got any worse.

 

“How are you feeling Wonwoo?” Mrs. Kim asked with an edge of concern in her voice. “Are you able to walk or do you want-”

 

Mingyu cut her off by picking him up and laying him gently onto the leather recliner, eliminating the need for a stepping stool which the doctor was about to place next to it.

 

“Thanks.” Wonwoo chuckled, lowering his head in embarrassment. 

 

“I can walk, I'm just a little light-headed.” 

 

Mrs. Kim smiled.

 

“Well, you didn’t need a doctor to tell you that.” 

 

“Mom. Please.” Mingyu grumbled, crossing his arms and leaning himself against the wall near the door. 

 

The low growl he let out caught the attention of the chief medical examiner who eyed him curiously.

 

“I’m afraid your son will have to wait outside until I’m finished with his friend. Preferably at the estate.”

 

“In other words, Gyu…. Doctor Nada wants you miles away from here.” Mrs. Kim laughed, shooing her son out the door with a flick of her wrist like he was a fly.

 

“Bye” Wonwoo waved at him sheepishly from where he lay on the examination table, looking like he had been bed-ridden for weeks now. 

 

Besides the pained expression on his face at the prospect of having to leave his future-mate, Mingyu’s wolf clawed at his insides in an attempt to rebel against his mother and get him to stay. To put it nicely, Mingyu managed to win over the wolf for once, knowing it was what was best. He closed the door behind him with a heavy thud, not wanting to be tempted anymore by Wonwoo’s sweet-smelling scent. 

 

Once the sound of Mingyu’s footsteps disappeared down the corridor, Mrs. Kim walked over to the examination table where she oversaw Dr. Nada who was taking Wonwoo’s temperature. 

 

“Now, I called your mother to tell her that you were here and she gave us permission to prescribe you any meds you needed once we find out what happens to be the issue here.” 

 

Wonwoo nodded as the doctor beside him took his temperature twice, using a mouth thermometer this time rather than a forehead one to get a more accurate reading. 

 

“Temperature is a little over 98.6 but you should be fine.” the doctor told him, lifting up his arm with a delicate hand to wrap a black nylon cuff around it. She spoke in a smooth and calming voice, though it was a little faint and breathy. He didn’t know what was colder, her demeanor or the leather under the paper he was sitting on.

 

“Is he in pre-heat Doc?” Mingyu’s mother asked, taking his hand in a sympathetic gesture. 

 

“Unfortunately, it’s uncertain now, Madame.” leaving the work of pumping the blood pressure cuff to one of her assistants while she walked over to the monitor screen electronically wired to it. 

 

“Blood pressure is showing a sharp decline but it’s high. I suspect it already reached its peak when Mr. Kim was here.” 

 

At that, the assistant, a young and lean man, let the blood-pressure guage go to zero and unwrapped the cuff from his arm.

 

Dr. Nada returned with a syringe, not bothering to warn him. 

 

“How big of a fan of needles are you?” Mrs. Kim asked sheepishly, trying not to cringe as the good doctor appeared over him armed with a spike that rivaled a European broadsword. 

 

“This shouldn’t hurt, so long as I extract it fast enough.” 

 

“Uhm, what’s that for?” Wonwoo asked shyly, already feeling the stab of pain just looking at the sharp point. 

 

“Before I can draw your blood, my assistant will have to inject the area with a special serum that will keep your body from healing. It’s a safeguard in case your skin and muscle tissue reform and grow around the needle while the injection is still taking place.”

 

“Oh, that’s good to know.” he hummed, letting his head fall back as he braced for impact. He was more shocked that the assistant’s needle looked even worse than the doctor’s. Were creatures never needed needles, medicine, and all those things unless something was wrong with them in the supernatural sense.

 

“Don’t worry, Hon. You’re doing better than Mingyu. He’s a total crybaby when it comes to needles.” 

 

Wonwoo’s smile was reduced to a wince once he caught sight of the shiny metal point in his periphery. But he closed his eyes, trying to imagine that it was only Mingyu annoying him and poking him with a pencil whenever they got detention. 

 

“Administer the stimulant.” Dr. Nada said in a clinical tone, watching Mrs. Kim and Wonwoo’s interaction with the utmost curiosity. Like werewolf relationships were something to be studied in a zoo.

 

Wonwoo gave the best smile he could even though he knew the worst was yet to come with the guy looming over him wiping his arm with alcohol. It was already stinging and making his nose flare from the smell. Maybe if he was good-looking it wouldn’t be as painful….  

 

While the assistant secured his arm with a thick rubber band that cut off his circulation, his superior approached the table. Her soft steps barely making a sound on the polished white tile floor. 

 

Dr. Nada didn’t take the time to narrate her movements for the sake of his comfort, replacing her assistant to poke at his arm. 

 

“Hang in there, Wonu. The Doc’s just fishing for a vein. You think we’d find one with how skinny you look.” Mrs. Kim chuckled, ruffling his hair.  

 

“Hope she finds a big catch.” he gritted, fighting the urge to yank his arm away. 

 

“Found one.” the woman replied, working with her assistant to attach the needle to a winged set of tubes and chambers that looked more complicated than the chords behind his TV.

 

“So, will I have to come back after this?” Wonwoo asked, trying to take his mind off his life force leaving his body into a bag that looked like liver bought from the butcher shop. 

 

“Only if the medication I prescribe fails to quell your micro-heats. Of course, there are possible risks that it might disrupt your heat cycle more than the micro-heats have. It depends on the formula.”

 

“Okay, sounds good.” 

 

Dr. Nada sealed his “donation” while one of her other assistants, a female, rushed to take the other end of the tube from her colleague and insert it into a hole on top of a plastic-looking ovoid box he instantly recognized as a blood analyzer. There was a smaller oval located in the center, containing a tank of turquoise water. A solvent or some kind of chemical that would better help the machine analyze the number of white blood cells or platelets he had among other things. He turned his head away right as the liquid started to become pink, cringing as the male assistant plucked the needle from his arm. 

 

“Analysis shows a spike in glucose levels as well as fatty acid oxidation. Something that cannot be sustained for a long period of time without omegas losing a dangerous amount of weight.” 

 

“How long?” Wonwoo asked in a tiny voice, keeping calm and clasping his hands over his chest as if he were a therapy session.

 

“When was the last time you ate?” 

 

“This morning….”

 

Dr. Nada narrowed her eyes.

 

“Just as I suspected. Glucose levels and the oxidation rate do not spike unless omegas have been deprived of food for some time. But I presume it hasn’t even been three hours since your last meal.”

 

Wonwoo nodded.

 

“It must be because of your son. With the amount of alphas at his school, Wonwoo was bound to have experienced symptoms before now. Yet it was only until Mr. Kim came close that-”

 

“I know.” Mrs. Kim smiled, grinning at the monitor screen on the other side of the room. As much as she wished Wonwoo had been hooked up to a heart monitor during the time Mingyu was in the room, it was already obvious to her what the case was. Turning to Wonwoo, her wide smile softened into a knowing look, almost prideful that Wonwoo was putting the pieces together in his head albeit keeping it to himself. She’d honored their mutual agreement by not saying anything either, focusing all her attention on Dr. Nada who was handed a small piece of paper; the receipt to one of her machines.

 

“I believe I know the appropriate medication to stop your micro-heats, Mr. Jeon. Until we uncover the real root to your problem.”

 

“Micro-heats?” 

 

“Yes, small instances of a heat that are brought on by contact with an alpha, as Mr. Kim’s presence has demonstrated. A micro-heat has the possibility of developing into a full-fledged one with sustained contact, but not if you are taking the correct proportion of medication.” 

 

“Uhm, are you sure that it could be any alpha?” Wonwoo asked shyly, bringing himself to sit up despite the aches in his limbs.

 

“I’ve been around a bunch of alphas today. You remember, Mrs. Kim, right?”

 

She nodded slowly, thinking back to Jun and Vernon. 

 

“Peculiar.” Dr. Nada whispered to herself. “Perhaps the computer’s diagnosis was incorrect with there being something that the AI hadn’t accounted for.”

 

“More information is needed then.” Mrs. Kim said, looking at him. “Tell us everything, sweety. When’s your heat supposed to hit?”

 

“Sometime in January.” 

 

“So you’re off by a long shot.” Mrs. Kim chuckled, going back to thinking about what the issue could be.

 

Dr. Nada studied him closely.

 

This omega could be defective.

 

“How often do you experience these symptoms. And what are they?” she asked, walking gracefully over to a small podium in the corner of the room to flip open her computer.

 

“Well, I usually wake up to a wet bed. This happens every other morning starting from last week.”

 

“Do you recall the specific day that started?”

 

“Friday morning.”

 

“Ugh, the day my son had that party.” Mrs. Kim rolled her eyes, earning a smile from the omega. 

 

“That’s when it got worse, actually.” Wonwoo said, playing with his fingers like he had broken Mrs. Kim’s glass figurine collection. 

 

“And the symptoms are all the same?” Dr. Nada continued, albeit a little annoyed by the sidetracked conversation.

 

“Y-Yes.” Wonwoo nodded, curling his fingers around the edge of the examination table.

 

“Then your biological processes must be compromised.”

 

“Does he need new medication Doc?” Mrs. Kim frowned, looking between the younger female and her son’s future mate. 

 

“Surgery?” Wonwoo winced, not liking where this was going.

 

“The medication I’ll give you should do for now. I was reluctant at first to give it to you because it may have hindered your heat cycle, but that is precisely the outcome we desire. A moratorium on your biological clock which will grant us enough time to understand the ailment that is interfering with your reproductive process. Unfortunately you will experience bouts of drowsiness, fatigue, and arrested cognition. That includes an increased frequency of dreaming, distraction, and restlessness. All common symptoms. Omeganine is a concoction of scent-blockers, anticholinergics to stifle sweat and natural lubricant production, and antihistamines to stop redness.”

 

“Right, we don’t want any alpha’s getting the wrong idea that you put blush on so make sure to take those meds, dear.” Mrs. Kim smiled, pinching his cheeks.

 

Wonwoo grew flustered at all the talk about heats but for one thing…. he was grateful that Dr. Nada used medical terminology instead of getting down into the nitty gritty. Nature was gross.

 

“So…. take the pills each day and wait to see what happens?” Mrs. Kim inclined her head, doing the extra work of asking the questions for her future son-in-law so he didn’t have to feel more anxious than he already was.

 

“Correct.” Dr. Nada nodded, fetching her keys from her pocket.

 

“In the meantime, I will get to the bottom of your ‘condition’, hopefully in enough time for yours and Mr. Kim’s wedding.” 

 

“Of course.” Wonwoo smiled sheepishly, watching as the doctor unlocked one of her stainless steel and glass cabinets and placed an orange bottle under one of the pill dispensaries. 

 

“This should do for now. Ten tablets. Take two a day. Preferably in the morning after you have eaten something. The first few days you should refrain from driving. With how random your heats have become there may be ‘surprise reactions’ due to the erratic nature of your chemical makeup. Your body may not foster complete control until a few days on.” she said, handing the orange bottle over to him and making sure that he popped the two pills into his mouth.

 

Wonwoo nodded as he finished swallowing, reaching out to shake her hand.

 

Dr. Nada took it and bowed her head, stepping aside so that he could hop off the examination table.

 

“Gosh, I forgot to ask. Are you okay to walk, honey?” Mrs. Kim asked, coming forward to catch him.

 

“I’m fine, thank you Mrs. Kim. Since I’m not allowed to drive, I can just tell my brother that he’ll have to walk home and then call my mom for a ride.” 

 

He could already imagine the pissed off look on Jungkook’s face but it beat getting into a car accident. He felt a little tired. Just a little. But he better play it safe.

 

“And thank you all so much for taking care of my darling Wonu.” Mrs. Kim gave her most charming smile to the assistants in the room, catching them off guard slightly by the warmth in her voice.

 

“Yes, alpha.” they all bowed, evacuating the room to give them space. 

 

“Congratulations on your marriage, Mr. Jeon.” a girl carrying sanitizing equipment said in a timid voice, curtseying to him as well. As much as Wonwoo wanted to fawn over her adorable shyness, he bowed to her in return, giving her a small wave.

 

“I will see you soon to conduct more tests.” Dr. Nada added. “Forgive me for prolonging your anxieties. We will find a solution quickly once we have the right materials and equipment prepared. Good day.”

 

“And you as well. Thank you.” Mr. Kim nodded. 

 

The female alpha soothed his shoulder as she brought him back to the lobby of the clinic. Wonwoo couldn’t remember much as Mingyu brought him in, but now he could see how much Mingyu’s pack adored his mother. Everyone they passed and saw in the hallways nodded to her and went as far as bowing to her even if it clogged up the already busy traffic. He couldn’t remember the Kim pack being this big either. Sure the Jeon’s had multiple families incorporated in one pack but it was like the Kim preserve had a whole city on it. Walking through the atrium of the infirmary ended in being confronted with the skyline of tall luscious pine trees scattered about through a maze of buildings and structures, all which had been erected over the years since Mrs. Kim had become the alpha. What used to be a small establishment of cottages around a pond had become a jungle or labyrinth of lodges, stone towers, taverns, and an array of cabins forming grids that rivaled the geometry of New York City. Not to mention the futuristic glass structures housing a gym, a new library, and a massive greenhouse; architecture that couldn’t even be found in Seoul. All thanks to Mrs Kim’s husband who by no means was her sidekick. Now Wonwoo was jealous. 

 

“Just to be on the safe side, I’m forbidding you from being around any alphas. But until your mother gets here we’ll have to find something to occupy you.” she chuckled, looking around. 

 

“Where’d Mingyu go?” he asked shyly, a little hurt that the alpha had disappeared. 

 

“He’s an alpha, remember?” 

 

“Right.” he laughed, not at all finding it funny though.

 

“C’mon. I have the perfect idea. You might as well get acquainted with the little ones while we’re here. The nursery doesn’t have any alphas. In fact they’re banned from ever holding pups with those hairy arms.” Mrs. Kim laughed, leading him down a narrow concrete path to a cozy-looking cabin tucked away from the busyness of the town square. 

 

“Nursery?”

 

“Your pack doesn’t have one? I figured with all those fertile Myrtle’s you have in your family Mrs. Jeon would have commissioned one!” 

 

“I guess they’re all good at multitasking.” Wonwoo shrugged, heaving a sigh at the fresh air hitting his face and filling his lungs. The pine trees scattered about plus the forest surrounding them really helped to get rid of his head ache. 

 

Mrs. Kim laughed.

 

“Oh Wonwoo, you crack me up!” 



~ IV ~

 

The nursery was more spacious than he would have thought. It reminded him of a cute little daycare center except that it had enough room to fit all the kids in Jaseog, werewolf and human. The fact that it was disguised as a cabin was just to make it look quaint and homey.

 

“Hiiiii, Misses Kim!” the children greeted the pack alpha as she walked in with him. The girl he had recognized yesterday as Yeri hugged him in surprise, fetching a hand sanitizer bottle and squirting some of the gel into his hands. Werewolf biology or not, children were still full of germs.

 

“Hello everyone!” Mrs. Kim gasped, holding her cheeks at all the smiling children. “What are you all up to? Giving Yeri a reason to quit her job?” 

 

“Auntie.” the girl grumbled, making herself small as soon as the kids started giggling at her. 

 

“We were just doing some arts and crafts.” one of the girls across the room said. Jisoo by the looks of her nametag. 

 

“Oh how wonderful! I wanted to introduce you to Mingyu’s friend, Wonwoo. Mrs. Jeon’s eldest son.” 

 

“Nice to meet you.” Wonwoo bowed, trying to hide the flustered look on his face as the kids looked as though they were suddenly noticing him now. But if one thing was universally true across human and wolf populations it was that their kids had short attention spans. Judging by the looks of it, he didn’t have any reason to worry. The pups were already picking their noses and staring off into space as the adults chatted. Then there were the stragglers like the one who waddled up to his leg. 

 

“Up!” the little boy barked at him, looking at him with big doe eyes. Wonwoo would have fainted from how cute his bowl cut looked on him. And for a second the little one reminded him of Jungkook when he was only a toddler. But that was all in the past. Kookie was a monster now.

 

“Wonwoo, honey. It’s alright.” Mrs. Kim smiled, nodding her head to the child. “His name is Jinwoo. He’s teething but he won’t bite.”

 

“Oh, right.” he chuckled, crouching down to pick up the little pup.

 

“Gosh, you're heavy.” 

 

Jinwoo burst out laughing, patting his forehead.

 

“Mhmmmm bababa.” he giggled, squishing his cheeks.

 

“Hi, Jinnie.” Wonwoo said, trying to get out the words despite the fact that his lips were being squished too. 

 

“Wow, he’s the quietest kid here usually.” Yeri remarked, putting her hands on her hips. “Mingyu should thank you Auntie Hyuna for pairing him with an omega who's good with kids.”

 

“Good with kids? Pshh.” Wonwoo laughed, but it was stifled by Jinwoo jamming his fingers in his mouth.

 

“That’s enough, Jinnie.” Jisoo groaned, giving Wonwoo a sheepish smile as she tugged the toddler out of his arms. 

 

“Nonu. Play?” one of the older pups yanked on Yeri’s sleeve, earning a pat on the head from her.

 

“As long as we aren’t holding him up from anything important.” 

 

“Oh, sure.  My mom isn’t picking me up until later when she gets back from work.” Wonwoo clasped his hands in front of him, not at all bothered that he’d be missing school. He had straight A’s anyways. 

 

“She should be here a little after three if I’m correct.” Mrs. Kim said, checking her watch.

 

“Man, you have the whole day to spend here.” 

 

Wonderful.

 

Wonwoo gave his best smile, trying not to cringe as a little girl came crawling up to him and gave him a block covered in spit.

 

“Is this for me? Thank you.” he chuckled, handling the green-colored piece of wood with only a few fingers. What was the point in hand sanitizer anyways? It wasn’t like werewolves weren’t immune. Unless there were some hybrids here….

 

“Ellija” Jisoo crouched down to the girl, tucking a strand of her charcoal black hair behind her ear. “No no no, we don’t put things in our mouth except food. And blocks aren’t food.”

 

“Wa wa!” she shouted, pointing her tiny finger towards the double-handled jug of water sitting on the counter where a sink was. 

 

Gee, how much water did these kids drink? Wonwoo thought to himself as he walked over to the counter, fetching the water bottle and handing it to the little girl.

 

“Werewolves get hot quicker than humans.” Jisoo said, snickering.

 

“Oops. Did I say that out loud?”

 

“No worries. These kids never fail to amaze me.” 

 

Mrs. Kim laughed. “That’s what I always said about you!”

 

Wonwoo smiled, watching as Ellija gulped down the water.

 

“Mrs. Kim.” An urgent voice broke the giggling of children, coming from the doorway.

 

“Yes? What is it Jonghyunnie?” 

 

Wonwoo’s mouth fell open a little seeing Jonghyun, Mingyu’s pack mate who called his mom on him, step into the room clad in black and wearing a utility belt with a walkie talkie attached to his shoulder.

 

“We got an intruder on the other side of the preserve. Near the outskirts.” 

 

“An intruder?” Mrs. Kim’s brows furrowed. “A man? Or an animal?”

 

“Nothing like the guys have ever seen on a patrol. It’s something in the sky. Hovering over the trees.”

 

“A drone?” Yeri asked, trying to keep the kids around her occupied by building a tower made of leftover popsicle sticks.

 

“Some kind of light. Like an orb. It’s freaky. Has the whole patrol scared shitless.”

 

“Tell them I’ll be there.” Mrs. Kim sighed, giving Yeri a look.

 

“I’ll lead you to them.” Jonhgyun replied, stepping to the side to let her through. 



“Wonwoo, are you fine being here for a while. Those men at the border are probably spooked for nothing. I’ll be back in no time.”

 

“Yes, Mrs. Kim. Take care.” Wonwoo said earnestly, really hating the idea that harm could come to his future mother in law. Though it wasn’t like the whole preserve had been put on high alert. The Kim’s owned acres of land that went on for miles into the forest, across great plains and rolling hills. Whatever was terrorizing her patrol men had to have been a thirty minute drive away. Mrs. Kim couldn’t be back ‘soon’. He just hoped it was nothing. It couldn’t have been a big deal if she wasn’t closing down the nursery as a safety precaution.

 

Mingyu’s mom waved goodbye to them before stepping out of the room in her heels. She was bound to have training boots brought to her. Heck, he heard some female alphas let the claws on their feet grow so long they could slice through steel.

 

Wonwoo watched Mrs. Kim’s back disappeared around the doorway as her men escorted her out, muttering a few words on their walkie talkies to the disturbed patrol men on the other end of the line. The voices of their comrades was probably what was still keeping them sane. 

 

Narrowing his eyes a little, he concentrated on breaking through the static sound on Jonghyun’s radio down the hallway, deciphering a few words from the patrol men on the other end of the line.

 

“Jong**** I don’t know **** to tell you. I **n’t describe **.”

 

There was a pause.

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s watching us.”

Chapter Text

 

 

 

“Mr. Jung, there will be no passing of notes in my class.” Mr. Cheon said from the green chalkboard, eyeing him above the rims of his thick spectacles. There was a slither to his voice, enough to make Jaehyun hunch his shoulders and go back to looking over the stupid lab they were going to be doing. Mr. Cheon got off his case when it looked like he actually cared about what they were learning at least. 

 

It didn’t matter to Jaehyun whether he took the class seriously or not though. He’d gotten into chemistry simply by taking the entrance exam. Even with how many biology classes he skipped. For most of the class he just sat back in his chair counting basketballs going in a hoop and when the teacher asked him what the percent error of their experiment was, he’d rattle off the first number that came to him. He was right ninety-nine percent of the time…. 

 

“Man, fuck this.” Jaehyun whispered to himself, causing his friends with werewolf hearing to laugh. No one else on the basketball team had the IQ big enough to be in chemistry but he’d made some friends with some of the geeks he thought were ‘cool enough’. 

 

Chemistry class was mostly composed of vampires and pixies. The former possessing a predatory intelligence and the latter a tendency to want to tinker with things as if everything were an applied science. Even if it meant having a record in being the species that had the most lab accidents. 

 

And then there were the occasional druids-in-training who had to complete certain requirements in the sciences if they were to ever earn an apprenticeship with a true ‘wise oak’. 

 

“Is something funny about the entropy of compounds?” Mr. Cheon snapped, spinning around from where he was drawing a diagram on the chalkboard.

 

“No sir!” Jaehyun shouted, saluting the teacher and mocking him. 

 

His friends who didn’t have the same guts as he did to piss off Mr. Cheon all laughed along with the rest of the class who were more or less composed of shy and introverted kids who occasionally found Jaehyun to be funny. 

 

“Keep quiet, Mr. Jung. You have one strike left.” the teacher warned him. 

 

“I try, sir.”

 

“Try harder.” Mr. Cheon sighed, going back to the board.

 

It was at that moment that the strawberry blonde girl in the desk in front of him turned around and craned her neck to give him the evil eye. 

 

“Some of us actually recognize and appreciate that our parents don’t pay taxes for us to be frequently disrupted by your antics.” she hissed, making sure the teacher didn’t hear her. Of course, everyone around them did.

 

“Ooo.” 

 

“Fuck.” 

 

Jaehyun narrowed his eyes and looked at her for a moment, maintaining eye contact like the sly devil he was.

 

“You’re Rose, right?” 

 

“Yes.” she dismissed him, rolling her eyes.

 

“So… if you don’t want to be disrupted by me, why don’t you get into physics? Since you’re so serious about ‘education’.”

 

Rose scoffed and turned around, making sure her strawberry blond locks slapped Jaehyun in the face who had been leaning in to intimidate her.

 

“Damn, sorry bro.” one of his friends snickered, going back to jotting down the teacher’s notes.

 

Jaehyun got an idea, scribbling a few words onto a piece of paper he tore off from his notebook. Once it was crumpled up enough into a small-sized ball of scrap, he threw it in his friend’s direction, diagonally across the aisle of desks.

 

His friend Namjoon opened it up and silently laughed at him, turning down his request. Rose seemed to have noticed that the other boy was taking a glance at her now, and she turned her neck to ward him off with a glare but he found it more adorable than threatening.

 

Namjoon threw the piece of paper back at him before Mr. Cheon had turned around to fetch a note sheet from his desk. Jaehyun felt like wiping the sweat off his forehead from how obvious his friend was being. He could care less about Cheon. But Rose definitely knew something was up by now.

 

He’d save beating up Namjoon for not doing what he asked for later. Right now, he only had a few minutes before the lab started. 

 

Tearing out another piece of paper, he re-worded his original message, trying to make it more legible for Rose’s ‘taste’. 

 

Once he had condensed it into the size of a pea, he aimed it over Rose’s shoulder. But it was just his luck that it got caught in her hair, prompting her to cringe at him like he’d shot a spitball at her. 

 

Jaehyun felt his desk shake and he jolted up when Rose used her heel to kick the leg of it, causing Mr. Cheon to check on them.

 

“Is everything alright, Mr. Jung?”

 

“Yeah- uh- werewolf reflexes.” Jaehyun said, not knowing what else he could say. The class shrugged it off, unable to afford any distractions since their grades depended on it. 

 

“Next time, I’ll kick you out of your seat.” Rose warned, going back to trying to focus. She had to admit, Jaehyun was probably the best-looking guy in their grade. Next to Kim Mingyu. But he was even more of a douchebag so that was minus five points for him.

 

“Wanna bet?”

 

Jaehyun received no answer, but it was a mistake on Rose’s part not to. It only made him more eager to get her attention this time. 

 

Tearing out half a notebook page, he tried to be the quietest he could, writing the same message this time and tossing it underhand onto Rose’s desk. It landed with a soft thud onto the cheap wooden finish, too slow to evade Mr. Cheon’s hawk eyes.

 

“Mr. Jung. This is the last straw!” the teacher yelled at him, making his way towards Rose’s desk to read the note and embarrass him in front of the class.

 

Jaehyun gulped, but Rose was the one doing the real swallowing. She snatched the piece of crumpled paper in her hand and stuffed it in her mouth, giving Mr. Cheon a sheepish smile as he approached her. She might die from ink poisoning but in the end she’d be sacrificing her life for a handsome alpha.

 

“Rose!” Mr. Cheon balked at her, clenching his fist at the fact that she had foiled his plot. 

 

“What’s he gonna do? Stick his hand in her mouth?” a kid on the other side of the class snickered.

 

Clearly more embarrassed than the ‘weird girl’ who had a ball of paper in her mouth, the teacher backed off, eyes darting between the both of them.

 

“You and Mr. Jung, detention! Now!”

 

“Where the fuck are we supposed to go?” Jaehyun snorted.

 

“Do you want an F for the lab today Mr. Jung? I’ll fail you both.”

 

“But-”

 

“Nope!” Mr. Cheon held up a pale and skinny finger. “The supply room needs to be cleaned and organized. That will be your job for the rest of the period.”

 

“Beats doing this stupid lab.” Jaehyun muttered to himself, nodding to Namjoon before he exited the aisle and went out the classroom door.

 

“I expected more from you Rose. I’m disappointed you decided to protect a delinquent.” Mr. Cheon said, finally calming down. He watched as the alpha’s back disappeared around the corner.

 

“How the hell did he get into my class.” he wondered aloud, voice full of venom.

 

“The same reason I’m still stuck here I suppose.” she said with a smile, getting up and spitting out the piece of paper into the wastebasket next to the teacher’s desk. Hooking her peach crossbody purse around her shoulder, she trotted out the door on her flats as she held her books close to her chest. 

 

Everyone knew how smart Rose was. It was only because of some careless error or perhaps, deliberate toying with his students that Mr. Cheon hadn’t allowed her to move up to AP chemistry with the seniors. But that was a matter for another day.

 

After a brisk walk into the corridor outside, she was intercepted by a brooding Jaehyun who had been leaning against the wall, apparently waiting for her to come out.

 

“Thanks. Back there.” the alpha said slowly, nodding towards their class.

 

“It was nothing.” she said, subtly raising her eyebrows at him. “What are you doing here? We’re supposed to be going to the supply room.”

 

“I forgot where it was. And… since you’re the hot science nerd, I figured you’d know where it’d be.” 

 

“Lucky for you, I do. Thank you for being a gentleman.” Rose inclined her head, shoving her books into the alpha’s chest. The weight was nothing on Jaehyun but he collapsed under the heaviness of her gaze. Tired of the taste of paper, she reached in her bag and popped a peppermint altoid into her mouth, closing her rose pink lips slowly like she’d taken a bite out of an apple. One second she was the weird girl who suffered from head twitches sometimes and another second she was the high school diva sashaying in her skirt down the hall. 

 

“The fuck did I get myself into?” Jaehyun gawked at her, slouching down the wall as his legs gave way. 




~ II ~




“This is my first detention.” Rose said, taking in a breath as they stepped into the cramped supply room. It was only meant to be a backup storage space for the closets that all the science teachers primarily used built into their classrooms. But this one was overflowing with microscopes, towers of styrofoam containing beakers and test tubes, as well as an array of carts lined with textbooks. There were three aisles of shelves for books and boxes. They were all dimly lit, with a hint of sunlight coming in through the foggy and stained windows lining the wall on the right. Another hallway was behind it, but the age-old and yellow curtains had been pulled down.

 

“It’s alright. There’s a first for everything.” Jaehyun snickered, flicking the lights on and slipping behind her.

 

Rose stood by the door, beholding the decrepit shelves and the mess that the faculty had neglected for ages. 

 

“You handle all the books. I got the test tubes.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Alpha. Super strength? Hello?” she hissed at him, shaking her hands as if to prove she wasn’t crazy.

 

“Right.”

 

“And I don’t need to earn more detention if you happen to break the microscope lenses.”

 

“Good point.” Jaehyun sighed, kneeling down to start picking up all the hardcover textbooks that probably weighed five pounds each. 

 

“I’m guessing you should put all the matching textbooks onto one cart and then move them out of the aisles.” 

 

“Yes ma’am.” the alpha nodded, smirking at her as he picked up a whole stack of them and laid them splat on the cart. 

 

“Just don’t break anything.” Rose scolded him, sauntering off to the aisle with the windows. She was in the midst of figuring out what she was going to do first when the intercom buzzed, making a static noise as a voice was patched in.

 

“I have a really big feeling that you actually want us to get caught.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Something came up with your family? Really?” a young feminine voice laughed. “That’s the reason you haven’t been with your boyfriend? He isn’t a dumb kid, Cheolie. I always make sure to wash your scent off me. ‘Apex alpha’ out there has a strong nose if you didn’t notice.” 

 

“I thought Mingyu didn’t care about you?”

 

“That’s what it looks like all the time. But I know he does. You’ll see how jealous he gets when I do this.”

 

Chaeyeon let her hand slip under the waistline of Seungcheol’s jeans while she buried her face under his chin. Seungcheol only needed a little more nudging until he wrapped his arms around her, hands travelling under her skirt, and kissing her forehead. 

 

“Wonwoo doesn’t get jealous.” Seungcheol said, sounding breathless but hungry.

 

“He’s up there on the moral high ground too much to be like that.” 

 

“Wonwoo’s on Mingyu’s dick.” Chaeyeon snapped, letting one of the beta’s hands come up to play with her hair while her dark eyelashes fluttered at him, luring him to tell her more.

 

“Let’s be honest.” one of her fingernails played with the button on Seungcheol’s flannel that covered his tank top.

 

“If we were honest, I’d be dead. And I don’t know which one of them would kill me first.” Seungcheol chuckled, devouring her mouth in an instant. 

 

“Probably-” she breathed between the kisses. “Probably Mingyu.” 

 

“So he only cares when his arch nemesis is fucking his girlfiriend behind his back?”

 

“It’s sick, right?” Chaeyeon grinned.

 

“It’s messed up. But who are we to talk when we’re in a fucking janitor’s closet?”

 

“You know me. I have a knack for making messes.” she smiled, bending her knees. 

 

Rose flinched at the sound of a zipper being undone, but the worst part was Cheyeon’s voice being replaced by low groans and a gurgling sound.

 

“Hey. You alright?” Jaehyun asked, peering around one of the bookshelves. He looked tired and worn out from carrying a dozen stacks in a matter of minutes but he was refreshed from seeing her flawless and out-of-this-world beauty. 

 

“Yeah, I thought I heard something. Maybe a rat eating at the intercom wires.”

 

“Wouldn’t surprise me.” Jaehyun chuckled, scooting back into the aisle as he stocked a cart with more books.

 

Rose laughed a little, deciding to fetch a broom that was tucked away in a corner, deciding that handling microscopes demanded too much effort and concentration not to break them. As she began sweeping up piles of styrofoam bits and furballs from the old and moldy carpets, she heard the voices of Seungcheol and Chaeyeon again. For a minute she felt like she was eavesdropping, but her self-consciousness faded as she was sucked into the world of passionate and fiery romance as the sex scene raged on, blaring to her ears through the intercom speaker.

 

“What’s your excuse now? You know, when you walk out there and explain things to him…. ”

 

“I don’t have one. I’m just angry at him.”

 

“Well, what if you took that anger out on me?”

 

“I will.” Seungcheol growled, picking her up and holding her against the wall. 

 

“Your boyfriend won’t be here to see you limping when you walk out of here.” he smirked, using enough force to almost tear her skirt.

 

“Oh, why?” Chaeyeon pouted, a very flirtatious pout. She looked at him as if she had just been denied her sweet sixteen. 

 

“He’s going to be chasing Wonwoo’s ass tonight on the preserve. Wonwoo said something about cow killings.” 

 

Chaeyeon’s eyes stopped glistening, and the wetness around them dried up, taking no more enjoyment in Seungcheol’s rough ministrations with her bra and skirt.

 

“I heard about them.” she said softly, massaging the back of his neck. “Is- is Wonwoo the one doing all of it?”

 

“No. Are you kidding? Fucking twig couldn’t kill tiny and defenseless Boo Seungkwan even if he wanted to.” 

 

“I mean, he is a fluff ball.” Chaeyeon giggled, eyes betraying her pearly white teeth and smile. Her mind couldn’t help but be occupied with the knowledge that Wonwoo would be on the preserve tonight. With Mingyu chasing after him.

 

“Wonwoo also told me he found a clue. Something about the ‘third cow’ that will end up dead. I have no idea how he knows about it ‘cause he’s not a banshee, but he did some math problem with that old piano in the auditorium and somehow the numbers for each note of this song he played matched up with the coordinates of the cows. It was pretty freaky. Plus there was this girl he talked about. She and this other guy were involved somehow- I’m not sure.”

 

Chaeyeon cupped his face, brushing a strand of his dark hair away from his forehead. 

 

“Wonwoo- What’s Mingyu going to do about him? Did anyone say-”

 

“I don’t know. We have basketball practice soon but he might skip. Jae’s been trying to talk him out of going after Wonwoo.” Seungcheol said, already tired of hearing his boyfriend’s name. The whole reason he was with Chaeyeon now was to wash away bad memories.

 

“I hope nothing bad happens.” Chaeyeon said, putting on the perfect performance with her eyes. 

 

“I mean, as much as I fucking hate that guy I wouldn’t want to see him torn limb from limb.” she laughed, voice muffled against his neck. 

 

There was a small pause when Seungcheol didn’t respond, staring blankly down at her cleavage.

 

“And you aren’t going to do anything about it?” Chaeyeon looked up at him earnestly. Almost like it was a test.

 

“No. He’ll have his friends to protect him. He told me he was going with the whole crew.” 

 

Chaeyeon’s lips parted in a smile, shaking her head.

 

Mingyu would have a field day with them. 

 

Rose gasped, stumbling back a little and having to hold herself against the bookshelf behind her.

 

“What? What happened? Did you see that rat?” Jaehyun panicked, more for her sake than for his.

 

He came around the shelf, eyeing her up.

 

“Rose?” 

 

“What?”

 

“Did something scare you?” 

 

“No- I- remembered something. I forgot to do something that I really needed to do.”

 

“Need help? I’m a pro at ditching school-”

 

“No!” she shook her head, still grappling with the revelation that Seungcheol and Chaeyeon had an affair. Maybe they still had one….

 

“I’m good. Sorry it was just- my mind is weird.” she said quickly, regaining her breath.

 

Her powers weren’t simply a burden in regard to the weight of knowing whether or not someone would die. Or the fact that anything, any parcel of information relayed to her by her extra senses that she came across was related to death. But the responsibility of passing on the truths revealed to her. That was the heaviest burden.

 

Was exposing an affair even her responsibility? So far, her “duties” as a banshee didn’t include reporting on melodrama and soap-opera type events. Unless it was all part of the grand scheme of things.

 

Perhaps someone’s grand scheme.

 

Chaeyeon’s?

 

Or someone else?

 

In the midst of the smoke coming out of her ears from how hard and fast the gears in her head were spinning, she felt an itch on the back of her neck, prompting her to scratch it.

 

A second later, a small white ball fell onto the carpet near her feet. It wasn’t an ordinary spec of dust or debri from the ceiling that usually rained down on them. Curious, Rose picked it up, opening it with her nails.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                  Call me

822-781-3694

    Jae

 

 

 

Chapter Text

NOTE: I should say that I am going to try and tone down the hardcore supernatural stuff and focus more on the meanie high school drama that began in the first chapters of this fic. I tried not to get off course from the feel and "vibe" of the first few chapters but with the conflict on the horizon and and the arranged marriage its pulled me in a bunch of directions so hopefully I can return to the classic meanie romance full force. hehe

 

 

 

 

“Can you say thank you Ellija?” Jisoo asked, bringing him back to reality. She played with the little girl’s hair as she continued to gulp down the bottle.

 

“Thank.” she got out a word, inhaling through her nose as she drank the whole bottle.

 

“That’s a really nice name.” Wonwoo said, collapsing his hands and resting his chin on them as he sat down on the alphabet rug they were on. 

 

“Ellijabeseu is her full name. ‘Elizabeth’ is the English translation.” 

 

“A Kim could never have a bad name!” Yeri said from across the room where she had gone off to help pick up some cars and trucks so no one would slip on them. 

 

“Maybe not. But they can still have a bad reputation.” Wonwoo snorted, watching as Jinwooo came back to him with a pile of puzzle pieces in his hands and began to put them together on the rug next to him. 

 

“You must be talking about my little cousin.” Yeri giggled, walking past him to get to the big refrigerator in the kitchenette that the room had. 

 

“He’s not so little now.” Jisoo rolled her eyes. “Sure he grew up but he’s still a pain.” 

 

Yeri had to agree, not bothering to hide the grin on her face as she took out a few teething rings.

 

“I remember when he was little how he’d knock down everyone’s buildings that they made out of blocks. Kid was so angry that he couldn’t get his own tower to go taller than a foot.” 

 

“That’s so Mingyu.” Wonwoo held his face, believing it but at the same time not believing it.

 

“Yeah, he was a terror!” Jisoo balked. “I can’t believe you have to marry him. You aren’t dating anyone right?” 

 

Wonwoo gaped at her, confounded that she had come out of her quiet shell and became so gossipy all of a sudden. And then there was the fact that she knew about the wedding…..

 

“Uhm, unfortunately, yes. But everything’s fine.” he smiled sheepishly, making himself small.

 

Jisoo clutched her heart, opening her mouth but nothing came out.

 

“I’ll pray for you.” she said, oblivious to Ellijiabeseu who was tugging on her ear. 

 

“Just talk to us if you need any help, okay?” Yeri said, walking by again. “Mental or practical.” 

 

Wonwoo nodded, though he wasn’t sure if Yeri saw him since she was busy with plopping teething rings into a bunch of the kids’ mouths. 

 

“Believe me, being cousins doesn’t mean Mingyu’s immune to my criticism.” she said, picking up a book from the floor and tucking it away in one of the book shelfs. 

 

Wonwoo gave her a polite smile, though he was much more distracted by the white light coming in from the panoramic window facing the bustling “village” square outside. Through the leaves of the trees blowing in the wind, and over the rooftops of cabins and cottages he could see the stone tower occupying the center of the crowdedness. An old church. The place he and Mingyu would probably be married. He didn’t know why but he felt like going there and sitting in the nave where all the pews were. He could do that for hours just contemplating. Maybe imagining what their wedding might look like…..

 

“Uhm, Wonu? Might want to be careful there.” Jisoo said to him, nodding towards Jinwoo who was gnawing on his finger. “His teeth are coming in.”

 

“Oh.” he stuttered, looking around in desperation.

 

“I’ll go get you a ring.” 

 

By the time Jisoo dug one out from the freezer, Yeri was calling all of the pups to sit on the alphabet rug in a circle with each of the pups picking a letter to sit on. There were twenty four in the Korean alphabet so there were only a few spots open that hadn’t been chosen. He decided to sit in the corner out of the way slightly but still in reach of a few kids in case they needed anything. Now that he thought about it though, it was crazy how there were eighteen kids in the room and only two caretakers. He remembered Jisoo telling him something about volunteers being homeschooled since this was their daily life. So it was no surprise most teens their age had chosen public school over being a volunteer to eighteen needy pups. He was lucky he was in the toddler section. Down the hall was supposedly the infant section where the caretakers were older, highly trained, and had a vast knowledge about everything concerning babies. Some of them were even off-duty midwives. The Kim’s didn’t like hospitals of course. Especially Mingyu. 

 

His heart constantly shriveled up during reading time however, when on the other side of the wall he heard the same baby crying over and over again every few minutes. The sound caused all of the pups to scratch their heads and look at Yeri with concern, knowing one of their pack mates were upset. It was even worse for Wonwoo though. Embarrassingly so. It was like that baby was his own. Jisoo was about to see if he wanted to take a few of the pups outside to play in the playground when the crying stopped. Thank goodness. It was like he had just given birth and didn’t know where his baby was. 

 

“And they lived happily ever after.” Yeri slapped the book closed, proud of herself for getting through Sleeping Beauty without crying. 

 

“Okay kids, I think our picture frames dried.” Jisoo said, skirting over to the drying rack near all the tables that were covered in glue and popsicle sticks. 

 

“I’m on lunch duty.” Yeri said, making a run for the stove in the little kitchenette. 

 

“Wonu? You up for helping me or do you want to see what the kids did?” she asked, looking over her shoulder as she washed her hands.

 

“Uhm. If it’s cooking we’re talking about then count me in.” he chuckled, stepping in her place to wash his hands as well. “What’s on the menu?”

 

“Ramen noodles.” Yeri sang, getting out a pot. 

 

“Sounds pretty easy. Are you sure you need help?” 

 

“Well, I’m not the greatest of cooks but it’s my turn today so I-”

 

“I got you.” Wonwoo saluted her.

 

“Thank you. But if you are a great cook as you say you are then here. Have fun.” Yeri snickered, shoving a wooden ladle in his hand. 

 

“Right. But I would appreciate an assistant to show me where everything is.” 

 

“On it.” Yeri nodded. “So all the pots, pans and cutting boards, are in here….” she said, opening a tall cupboard at the end of the kitchen. 

 

“Pantry’s next to the closet by the door. Knives are locked away in that cabinet. You just lift up that little hook thingy. So yeah. You ready?”

 

“Yes.” he hummed.

 

“Great. Here’s my apron. I trust you won’t burn the place down?” 

 

“I won’t ma’am.” 

 

Yeri rolled her eyes. 

 

“Just for making me feel like an old lady I’ll be the harshest critic for your food.” 

 

Wonwoo grinned as he looked down into the pot while filling it up with water. It was obvious Yeri was Mingyu’s cousin. Banter ran in the family. 




~ II ~




“Oh my gosh. It’s been forever since we had vegetables.” Jisoo gasped, squeezing herself next to him to wash her hands which were covered in glue. 

 

Yeri’s scoff could be heard a mile away.

 

“We don’t have the time to not eat the frozen crap!” 

 

“Crap! Crap! Crap!” Jinwoo belly laughed, falling on the floor.

 

“Oh shoot.” Yeri slapped her forehead. ”His mom’s gonna kill me.”

 

“Shoot!” Jinwoo teased her, rolling around on the alphabet rug.

 

Wonwoo stifled his laughter with a hand but it didn’t help since he had just finished chopping up onions and now he felt like crying. 

 

Luckily he could wash his hands right after since he was done cutting up the carrots and garlic while softening up the peas in the microwave. He took his cutting board and his knife and pushed all of the carrots, garlic, and onions into the boiling pot of noodles, dipping his ladle in to stir it after. He decided to do a favor for the kids and not drop a stick of butter into the pot to salt it since it was already pretty salty. At least the peas he poured in balanced it out. 

 

Wonwoo let it cook for a few more minutes before the water could all evaporate, leaving the broth behind. Jisoo was more content with smelling the soup than getting out of the way as he lifted up the lid, causing steam to fly in her face. 

 

“Smells delish.” Jisoo hummed. “Mingyu is so lucky. Where’d you learn how to cook?”

 

“My amazing mother.” Wonwoo shrugged, more concerned about how Mingyu would like his cooking than burning himself on the metal pot. The kitchen was pretty hot already before the noodles had even started cooking so he was susrpised he hadn’t fainted yet from the after effects of his ‘micro-heat’. He guessed it was a good thing Mingyu had gone off somewhere. He didn’t need to be causing Jisoo and Yeri more problems when they were already dealing with toddlers.

 

“You deserve a rest after this.” Yeri came over to him, taking Jisoo’s place as the younger girl grabbed a stack of styrofoam bowls and was clearing the tables of any popsicle stick debris. 

 

“I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed before but I can see it now. I smell it if you want me to be exact. Dr. Nada gave you something for your heat, right?” 

 

Wonwoo almost spilt the soup.

 

“I’m not- that’s not- I’m fine.” he smiled. It looked more like a cringe though.

 

“I’m Mingyu’s cousin. I can tell a lie.” Yeri retorted. “You need a break. I don’t know why my crazy aunt would bring you here if those meds could make you drowsy.”

 

“I guess she wanted me to meet the pups. I’m gonna be the ‘pack mom’ right?” 

 

“Don’t be so enthusiastic about it.” she snorted, taking the ladle from him. “Go sit. I’ll be with you in a minute.” 

 

“Yes ma’am.” Wonwoo sighed, flinching as Yeri threatened to hit him with the spoon. 

 

“Thank heavens, Wonu. You’re just in time. These kids run ya down.” Jisoo said, stretching over the table to give one of the pups a new fork after he dropped his onto the floor. “Now keep ‘em distracted.”

 

Wonwoo’s eyes turned into crescents as he smiled at all the pups who were kicking their feet in excitement. They were practically drooling at the smell of the ramen noodles coming from the kitchenette. The funny thing was that they thought he was going to start feeding them since the smell was most potent on his apron which he forgot to take off. But Yeri surprised them as she came over with the big pot, scooping noodles into their bowls while Jisoo scolded them on using their manners. 

 

“Seok Hwee! You can’t eat yet!” Jinwoo said, getting the words out through all the spit flying out of his mouth. “Grace! Remember?” 

 

“Very good, Jinnie. Seok Hwee honey, you wanna start us off?” Yeri inclined her head, finishing off the pot of soup by pouring the last of it into Jisoo’s bowl. 

 

“Okay.” the little boy said, clasping his hands together. Wonwoo felt like melting in his chair at the pup's chubby cheeks and pouty lips as he bowed his head and closed his eyes. He looked like a miniature Mingyu to be honest.

 

“Bless us, and these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Amen.”

 

“Amen!” Jisoo cheered, taking Ellija’s hands and clapping them for her. 

 

“Nice job, buddy.” Yeri ruffled his hair. Seok Hwee instantly curled up in his chair at all of his friends who were clapping for him. By now he was just eager to fill his tummy. 

 

“And thank you Mr. Jeon for cooking for us!” Yeri said to the pups, making sure they knew who to show their appreciation to. None of the pups fell short, bowing their heads to him before rubbing their hands together and digging in like little monsters.

 

Wonwoo nibbled on the carrots and peas that stuck to the sides of his styrofoam bowl while the rest of the kids at the tables tried their best to use chopsticks and forks to pick up a bunch of noodles to no avail. Some pups even resorted to their hands or brought their utensils over their mouth so noodles wouldn’t go all over the place but they only ended up falling splat on their faces. A few minutes passed with Jisoo and Yeri wiping kids faces off and making sure they didn’t choke. Werewolf pups were infamous for having eyes bigger than their stomachs. 

 

Wonwoo waited a few more minutes until the room descended into laughter and silliness, with Jinwoo almost starting a food fight and Seok Hwee almost falling out of his chair. Yeri and Jisoo took the moment to eat what they could, knowing how much free time they’d have left. Wonwoo hated himself for souring the moment and taking up their time, but all he could think back to was Mrs. Kim.

 

“Guys? You don't think that intruder thing is serious, do you?” he said calmly, staring at his food.

 

“If it is, Mingyu better get his ass there instead of brooding around.” Jisoo muttered, making sure none of the pups were paying attention. 

 

“He’s a brooder? I thought he was more of a trouble-maker?” Wonwoo arched a brow.

 

“Without his friends? Oh, he mopes around.” Jisoo said, stuffing her face.

 

“That guy should be in school right now. I don’t know why he’s getting in your business. I thought you two hated each other.” Yeri laughed.

 

“Huh? What do you mean? That’s crazy.” Wonwoo chuckled, picking at his orange handkerchief nervously. 

 

“Mingyu told me. ‘Course I don’t believe him though. You’re too cute together.”

 

“How would you know?” Wonwoo snorted, not aware if he was being too defensive.

 

“I remember yesterday, Wonu. Gyu bear seemed really fond of carrying you everywhere. He didn’t even let you walk to his house with us.”

 

“Well, yeah…. I was an intruder. He couldn’t let me off the hook that easily.”

 

“His favorite intruder.” Jisoo laughed, almost getting noodles to go out through her nose.

 

“Are you guys the sisters I never had?” 

 

“No. But we could be your bridesmaids.” Jisoo fluttered her eyelashes. “So long as I get to have the bouquet!”  

 

“If Mingyu’s even nice enough to buy me flowers.”

 

“Forget about that. He’s still dating that witch.” Yeri growled, forcing herself not to poke a hole through her bowl with her fork.

 

“What’s her name again?” Jisoo asked. “Chae something is all I know.”

 

Yeri put a finger on her lip as she chewed, trying to remember as well.

 

“Chaeyeon. Super popular. Cheerleader. Pretty. And a whole bunch of adjectives I can’t say in front of children.” 

 

Wonwoo stopped Jisoo before she could add onto the ever-increasing list of negatives.

 

“Forget about the wedding. There won’t be anyone to organize it if Mrs. Kim doesn’t come back alive. I honestly feel like going to the border just to see if she’s okay.” he frowned, playing with his food. 

 

“Honey, if she was in trouble she would have howled by now. And besides, we got a whole army of werewolves to save Big Mama. So don’t worry your tiny tush.” 

 

Wonwoo growled.

 

“It’s not tiny-

 

“Okay okay, enough you two.” Yeri sighed. “If we don’t hear any alerts from Seunghun woe samchon-” 

 

Yeri couldn’t even finish her last sentence before the telephone rang from the other side of the room. It was an old beige-colored phone attached to the wall. Wonwoo watched as Yeri got up and pulled it out of its socket, twirling the long cord with her finger. Wonwoo hadn’t felt this much suspense since listening to his audiobook two nights ago but from what he could read on Yeri’s face, it wasn’t anything dire.

 

After slapping the old telephone back into its place, she came back to the table flipping her hair behind her shoulders like it was her usual business. 

 

“Auntie’s fine. But the whole intruder thing is confidential. Sorry Won. But hey, I don’t know what’s going on either. All Auntie said was that you should stay put here. Don’t think you have to stick with us and get drool all over you from these monsters. Mingyu also told me you were a book nerd. And I’ll have you know we have two libraries here.” 

 

“Don’t go to the old one. I swear it’s haunted.” Jisoo whispered. 

 

“Both are pretty comfortable though. It’s a perfect place to spend the rest of the day and you can wait there for your mom. You brought your backpack with you right? You can catch up on school work too.” 

 

“Right. I hadn’t thought about that.” Wonwoo hummed, feeling a pang of guilt rise to his chest.

 

“I couldn’t leave you guys behind like this? You need an extra hand!” 

 

“Please, we deal with these runts everyday.” Jisoo told him, turning to grin at one of the pups. 

 

“If you insist, I guess I would like to catch up on school work. I’m not just handed academic awards for nothing.” he chuckled, ignoring the scoffs from both the girls. 

 

Wonwoo got up to throw away his plastic bowl, making sure to do as much as he could to clean up and make it easier for both of them. He was just about to rinse the pot out with hot water when Yeri slapped his wrist, looking offended.

 

“Our future pack mom isn’t going to be cleaning for us.”

 

“Yeah, Mingyu would have our throats.” Jisoo gulped, straightening up her posture and placing her hands by her sides like he was some general she had to stand at attention for.

 

“Thanks for helping out around here, Won. Congrats on the marriage.” Yeri snickered, putting everything into her bow to him as did Jisoo who more or less enthusiastically added a little arm action as if she had just conducted an orchestra.

“My queen!” 

 

Wonwoo blushed scarlet red, wishing Jisoo was a guy so he could bonk her on the head. 

 

“You’ll be missed. But I’ll see you at my wedding.”

 

“We’ll see you around before that!” Yeri shushed him, ushering him out the door. 

 

“Bye guys!” Wonwoo waved to the pups, earning whines and pouty faces at the fact that he was leaving.

 

“Bye Wonnie!” Jinwoo waved back. “Come back next time!”

 

“I will. Promise.” he smiled, letting himself be pushed out the door.

 

“It was nice to meet you.” Wonwoo bowed to Yeri and Jisoo who giggled at him. He hadn’t straightened back up yet when the door slammed behind him, leaving him alone in the corridor while Yeri and Jisoo’s giggling grew faint as they went back to attending to their duties. Maybe they had been abrasive but in the end he knew he wouldn’t have been able to get out of there alive with all the pups if they hadn’t thrown him out. 




~ III ~




The Kang Library - or the ‘Old library’ as it was commonly known - was Wonwoo’s cup of tea. It was exactly how he envisioned a college library to look like, except that there were few visitors, much less any kids. He supposed that was because the new library had all the new computers so there wasn’t any screaming. Nor was there the obnoxious and rapid thud of shoes against the floor. He was sure the library’s patron, Kang Jinhee didn’t intend for the building he had funded to become a jungle gym for werewolf pups anyways. He recalled Mr. Kang to be a stern and elusive individual who never seemed to have time for small talk, pleasantries, or things that didn’t pertain to business or pack politics. Not that he had ever been part of the Kim pack. Mr. Kang had established himself to be Mrs. Kim’s advisor not to mention Mingyu’s uncle Hun’s closest mentor. He hadn’t heard anything about the wealthy businessman since his parting with Mingyu coincidentally. But how could he forget the mysterious alpha/financier when his bronze bust was put on a pedestal? It was impossible not to see if one came into the foyer through the large medieval wooden doors. Then again, most teens his age were preoccupied with their phones and probably wouldn’t have noticed. It was a good thing too. Mr. Kang’s bronze eyes had the tendency to follow people. Not to mention that cold, dreary, and grim face of his. A perfect face to match the mood of the library-

 

“Jeon Wonwoo?” a parched but joyful voice asked. It was the kindest tone he ever heard, prompting him to crane his neck and see an old wrinkled woman looking at him as if she had just finished baking an apple pie. How could he forget her? The librarian who always gave him saltines whenever he and Mingyu came to play on the computers. It was crazy because the place had a “no eating” rule but she always kept a packet in her office. 

 

“H-Hi.” he struggled to get out, barely managing to not wave at her awkwardly either. He bowed his head and clasped his hands behind his back as she made her way over to him. Her gray skirt flowed with the heaviness of cloth made for royalty but her kind smile detracted from the intimidation factor.

 

“I haven’t seen you in years.” she said, striding up to him like he was an old friend despite his age and bowing. 

 

“Nice to see you again.” Wonwoo bowed again. This time he did it slowly, but it didn’t take away the anxiety he felt knowing Madame Nu was waiting for him to stand up straight again. 

 

“I doubt you missed this place much. Not after they moved all the computers to that glass box of a library Mr. Kim designed.” she laughed, guiding him by the shoulder for a second as she turned them towards the great hallway bisecting all the aisles bookshelves. It was more like a concourse with a skylight overhead, shining down on all the bare tables that used to have computers and books and them. It looked much cleaner than before with glass casings for small exhibits centered on each of the birch wood surfaces. 

 

“I missed it alot.” Wonwoo laughed faintly. “But I’m not as into computers as I am into books now. Mrs. Kim took me to visit the nursery but I ended up coming here.”

 

“Werewolf pups weren’t my cup of tea either. I thought my whole life would be surrounded by them until I came here.” the older woman chuckled, gesturing to all the bookshelves lining the high-ceilinged concourse. The place looked like a museum or a  medieval castle turned historical site. 

 

They began to walk forward with Wonwoo a step behind the librarian, looking down every aisle as they strode across the polished checkered floor. He could remember every detail all of a sudden. The smell of books but also the open-air feeling he got under the skylight. The echoes of footsteps and the white noise of the wind outside brushing against the glass pains above them…. It was too much to take in. Luckily Madame Nu did most of the talking for him. 



“As you might have known, there is more knowledge of the supernatural here than anywhere else in the world. Every supernatural being who visits Jaseog is asked to contribute to the library in some way. The monks here copy every book they come across from travelers.”

 

Wonwoo’s mouth fell open, wondering why no one ever told him why he had seen so many strangers in the library when he was little. He remembered reading in some long forgotten history book that the ancient Library of Alexandria did the same. 

 

“Gosh, I didn’t know that.” he hummed. “My mother was really fond of this place so she would have known more about it than I have cared to learn.”

 

“Of course. Your mother stopped visiting around the same time you did, I think. But I always remembered you. Mingyu’s best friend. He didn’t have as powerful an affinity as you had for reading and knowledge though.” the older woman laughed. 

 

“Yeah, that sounds like an accurate description of him. My mom said there were even some books in here that were forbidden to be read?”

 

“Oh yes, we keep them in a secure location. The Book of Shadows, The Teachings of Don Juan, The Blue Equinox, Aradia, The Key of Solomon, and The Charge of the Goddess. I’d continue if I had more time but you get the picture. They can only be read for apologetic purposes, a way to form counterarguments.”

 

Wonwoo nodded, thinking of a few books he could list as bordering on the extremes of the supernatural. Nevermind ethics. Lingering on the edge to the point where Satanism was. 

 

The Jeons hadn’t had much contact with the witches of Jaseog considering they weren’t a major supernatural presence in the area so the burden of forging alliances with them rested on the Kims’ shoulders. But that didn’t mean witchcraft was welcomed on their territory. Nor was the occult and the New Age movement. Those things were off limits. Especially when the church lay at the heart of the preserve. It kept all witchcraft, sorcery, vampirism and any manifestation of the demonic at bay. Werewolves couldn’t even transform on the premises. Not that they hadn’t willed to. They simply were unable to. A remarkable feat considering the building was built in Jaseog, the magnet for anything supernatural. 

 

“Beyond these doors is the vault they’re stored away in.” Madame Nu said, gesturing towards the circular hatchway bolted up with thick stainless steel doors. It must have been a newer feature of the old library. Wood burned easily and wasn’t as strong as metal after all. Come to think of it, the hatchway looked more like a bank vault than a storage room in an innocuous library.

 

“Seems like a waste of space to me.” Wonwoo hummed, realizing only a second after that he spoke out of term.

 

“I mean-”

 

“It’s alright, dear. I thought that as well. What’s also behind those doors are the library’s data banks. They contain information and records on all werewolves, bitten and born.”

 

“Like their birth certificates?”

 

“Of course. The Kim pack would never pass up the opportunity to rescue orphan pups or turn juveniles away from crime and give them better lives. Not to mention the danger of rogues. With the information in the vault, the pack can conduct investigations into werewolf incidents and track down dangerous and feral wolves. Those captured and dangerous weres are taken off the streets are kept in the detention center deep underground.” 

 

A dungeon?

 

Wonwoo swallowed. 

 

“Interesting.” 

 

“You can’t blame Mrs. Kim. She’ll do whatever it takes to protect her pack and the town.”

 

“Oh, I don’t blame her.” he smiled, scratching his neck. “So, can we go inside? Or is there a virtual tour of the vault?” 

 

Madame Nu touched her cheek and laughed.

 

“The vault’s only for high-ranking members, dear. Even I haven’t been inside and I’ve been around longer than this vault has.” 

 

“That’s crazy.” Wonwoo whispered to himself, making eye contact and giving a small wave of acknowledgement to a man approaching the steps of the vault. 

 

“Good afternoon, Mr. Douma.” 

 

The blond middle-aged man nodded to her before sinking his claws into the access panel, causing the vault doors to spiral open. The stainless steel had been cut into three wedges which spun and withdrew into the walls before closing behind the senior werewolf who looked to be no older than fifty.

 

Wonwoo caught a glimpse of what was inside but it was only a depressing gray tubular corridor of sparkling lights that went on forever. Forbidden knowledge was calling out to him from that abyss. He felt like licking his lips. 

 

“I suppose I should get back to my duties as librarian. Those bookworms are just begging for me to get rid of them.” she smiled, patting his shoulder. “Oh, it was so nice to see you again Wonwoo. When you’re married I will make sure to commission a marble bust for you to be placed in the great hall. I think I’ll name a building after you! You’re so sweet.” 

 

“It’s okay ma’am, really.” Wonwoo chuckled, allowing himself to be pulled into a hug. Being the elegant and refined woman she was, Madame Nu restrained herself from pinching his cheeks.

 

“But it's nice to see you too. Have a nice day, ma’am.” Wonwoo bowed. Madame Nu bowed in return before spinning around to go hunt for those bookworms. He remembered seeing those wooden tables lying about in a bunch of places around the library but his legs weren’t tired yet so he thought it’d be alright to browse the history section. Mrs. Kim’s motto was a pragmatic one after all. He’d gotten to know all the pups at the nursery because he “might as well have”. There wasn’t any difference now. He might as well learn the history of the pack whose heir he was going to be wed to. Mingyu would appreciate it. 

 

He smiled to himself as he tiny-walked down one of the dimly lit aisles in the middle of the history section, letting his feet scrape the carpet as he shuffled across it. There was no sense in making himself feel organized and disciplined in his thinking so he didn’t feel pressured to pick out the first book alphabetically. Besides, the book he did pick was all about a cartographer’s rendition of the Kim preserve. And it wasn’t just any map - or set of maps - contained in the book. Just flipping through the pages he was astounded by all the details and dimensions of the drawings. Sure the cover art was pretty and a lot of work looked like it went into laminating it but the maps themselves showed an array of precise details like altitude, electromagnetism, and-

 

Radiation? 

 

“What kind of map is this?” Wonwoo whispered to himself, counting all the squiggly lines and scanning the dots and ‘X’s  splattered on the page. 

 

“Trespassing on our land again, Nonu?” a mocking voice asked a few feet in front of him. He slapped the book shut and jumped a little, still registering the sound and where it came from. He looked up and peered through the crack in the row of books he had made when he took out the one about maps and he was instantly greeted with the view of a narrow and pouty mouth. And that signature sculpted chin. Whoever he was, half of his face must have been stolen from Adonis. 

 

“Mingyu?” he gasped, running out of the aisle to swing around and get to the other side. Apparently he wasn’t fast enough and ended up colliding with Mingyu’s chest. It would have been softer if Mingyu hadn’t crossed his arms and basically elbowed him in the face but he supposed being caught in the alpha’s arms wouldn’t do him any favors either. It wasn’t like he wouldn't feel less guilty about Seungcheol still being his boyfriend.

 

“I figured you would have gone back to school?”

 

Mingyu snorted.

 

“How the fuck is this ever going to work out if you don’t even know me?” 

 

Never in a million years would he ever go back to school if he had the chance to skip the whole day.

 

Wonwoo turned to look the other way, ignoring the intimidating presence the alpha had as he loomed over him.

 

“Forget about the stupid wedding. You’re the one who brought me here so I wouldn't call that tresspassing.”

 

“Obviously. But since I don’t get a-”

 

“Thank you.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“I forgot to thank you.” Wonwoo said bluntly, fully bowing so that his body bent into a ninety degree angle. 

 

“If you hadn’t taken me to your pack’s infirmary I probably would have died.”

 

“Okay you’re exaggerating-”

 

“Only because I don’t want you to think I’m ungrateful.” Wonwoo pouted, slouching himself against a bookshelf.

 

“Man, you care about what I think?”

 

“I care about my image.” the omega hummed, raising his chin.  

 

“Classic Nonu. Always giving in to those omega stereotypes. You don’t have to bow and kiss the ground I walk on. At least I wouldn’t expect you to.” 

 

“I’d rather be a stereotypical omega than an ungrateful bitch.” he muttered, crossing his arms while still staring into space down the aisle.

 

“Alright. I think I broke you. C’mon.” Mingyu said, wrapping an arm around his middle and turning him around.

 

“Where?”

 

“To sit down. Jonghyun told me about you and the pups.”

 

Wonwoo gasped, not even bothering to entertain the question as to how Mingyu knew. He had already connected all the dots in his head. 

 

“That reminds me. Did you fight that intruder off? Your mom went to the border to-”

 

Mingyu put a hand over his mouth, smirking as Wonwoo melted at the warmth of his palm. 

 

“She told me to stay here and do my homework.” Mingyu nodded to the table next to them. If Mingyu had left it would have been obvious he was in the library. The whole table had been littered with eraser shavings, pencil marks, and crumpled up paper. 

 

“And you let her go with just a patrol?” Wonwoo hissed, taking a breath of air. “You’re an apex alpha. You took down all my friends-”

 

“Would you shut up? We’re in a library. And if she was really in danger she would have told me. It was probably some little shit flying a drone scaring some animals. I wouldn’t want to be him if you asked me.”

 

“I hope you’re right. Otherwise you’re a big weenie for not helping your mom or protecting your future mate.” Wonwoo scoffed, shunning the alpha. 

 

“I could go there now if that’d make you happy.” Mingyu grunted, pushing him down ont