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And We Walk After

 

Feet padded through the mud-soaked path underneath the shade of the looming oak trees, skipping past protruding roots and fallen twigs. Above him, the sky grew orange with the sun beginning to descend. Jimin figured he should have left an hour earlier to spare some energy. I’m gonna be late! His breaths came in fast, lungs catching as much oxygen as he ran, but that was the least of his concerns once his legs brought him by the edge of a vast clearing lined with wooden cabins and huts lit with torches against its pillars.

 

Residents bustled to and fro, dressed in thick furs and accessories he wished he could afford or hunt for at the very least. Yet, the child could only dream, his arms coming to wrap around himself embracing the rough texture of his worn-out clothes. There was no chance he could face an angered boar for its hide. He didn’t even know how to skin one to begin with.

 

For now, the envious thought was shoved aside bringing forth the initial reason for his visit to the village, the pack he supposedly “belonged” in. The young boy hid behind the shrubs of the various flora that bordered the houses. He darted behind each trunk and got on knees behind every bush, hiding from the eyes of the villagers and patrolling men.

 

Scents would be of no problem to him. Given that a wolf’s scent would only reveal itself once a pup has begun its first heat (for an omega) or rut (for an alpha) on its 18th full cycle, Jimin had yet to reach puberty at his current age of 7. Pups owned a certain milky smell that faded as it ages and though he has one, the musk of dirt and rain that stained his clothing did a successful work masking his scent.

 

Reaching a certain segment in the bushes where a gap between two cabins was available leading into the village proper, Jimin reached behind him to pull the hood of his brown fur cloak over his head. When the nearby guard accomplished scanning the area around the space and made a turn back, the boy leaped out of the bushes and dashed through the narrow alleyway.

 

Still under the guise of his hood, he weaved through the distracted crowd, few of which cast a curious or suspicious glance at the young pup who appeared to be in a hurry. The designated location in mind wasn’t too far from reach, but the smells of cooked meat and vegetables wafting through the windows of multiple houses left a growling stomach inside of him. Not now, we have food at home. By food at home, he pictured the stolen bread and leftover fish stocked in his shack.

 

Seconds before his mind could distract him more with the temptation of food, the distant laughter of other pups chimed into his range of hearing. On his line of sight, a circular hut stood with children of his age played amongst themselves. I’m here! And I’m right on time! Discreet in appearance and light on his feet, he made his way towards his “usual spot”- the open window that faced the side nearing the edge of the trees with empty baskets and barrels that lined the wall.

 

Jimin tucked himself underneath the window ledge, pulling down his hood as he used the barrels to cover his location from any watching eyes. Ensuring that he was secured, he brought his knees up and drew the fabric of his cloak around him, providing sufficient warmth against the incoming cool evening breeze.

 

“Come in now little ones. It’s time for some tales of old.”

 

The wavery, thin voice of an elderly woman spoke out from inside the house, followed shortly by the hurried steps of at least 10 excited pups flooding into the hut. Jimin pushed his small body closer against the clay wall, wanting to get closer to the voice he came to know for the past 2 cycles.

 

The Story Teller was her name, a known member of the pack’s Elders, her wisdom-filled knowledge of the world around them combined with the soothing grandmother’s voice has earned her the spot in many people’s hearts. May it be a newborn pup or a full-fledged wolf, she spoke of many stories not only in the safety of her hut but also in the village’s seasonal festivals. Half of the wolves also believed she could see the future of each wolf in her pack.

 

Jimin belonged in between those beliefs.

 

“Is everyone here?” He mouthed a tiny “yes” in contrast to the enthusiastic cheers of the pups from inside. Despite his absence, the old omega cooed at her audience. “Splendid. And because you all have shown this much dedication attending my sessions, I shall now tell you a special story. One could argue that it’s a prophecy not only from our pack but of all the others as well.”

 

A resounding noise akin to awe was their response. Jimin, always piqued to hear any sort of story, bit back his voice to not draw any attention.

 

“Listen closely young ones to what I will now share with you.”

 

Silence fell within the area. Such calmness made Jimin’s breathing a bit more audible to his ears and for a second, the people in the hut would hear it too. But the omega continued regardless and he listened.

 

“Once upon a time before the many packs roamed the Earth, the Moon blessed the lands with a deity that could create walking, breathing beings that shared the intelligence that of humans with the superior skills of a beast. Thus, she had created the god of all wolves or as we now call it- the alpha prime.”

 

“Born a wolf, lived like a man, the alpha prime was assigned by the Moon to create the first leaders of the different wolf packs that exist up to today using the Moon’s blessings. And because he was a god, he was immortal. Myths that say he may be roaming around the Earth at this very moment, hiding in the shadows or even in plain sight.”

 

“Unto the prophecy. Legend believes that like all wolves, the alpha prime would soon want to call someone his own. A mate to join him in union and become immortal as he. His happiness would result to eternal prosperity within the pack of which his mate belonged as a gift of gratitude.”

 

All the pups began to mutter to one another, releasing both a collective sound of excitement and wonder. The same would be Jimin’s reaction to the passage if it weren’t for him being closed out from everyone.

 

“But Story Teller, when will he look for his mate?” The pitchy, more stable voice of a female pup asked.

 

“If the Elders’ predictions are correct, his search would begin once the Moon would shine a brighter silvery-blue and lights begin to dance in the night sky on the start of Spring. At the end of the season during the annual mating ceremony, he would have made his decision then.”

 

Jimin could already picture it in his tiny creative mind of his, the vision of an event that was unlikely for the likes of him- His small, fragile body would grow into that of a young man’s build, standing in harmony with the other wolves as they wait for fate to gift them their partner for life. If lucky, he’d be with them under the Moon and its heavenly lights, anticipating the arrival of the alpha prime.

 

His dreaming lasted so long until a painful tug of his blond locks pulled him back to reality, a yelp coming out of his lips as hands pulled him away from the hut’s wall. “Look what we got here.” Another pup, this one a boy with ash brown hair and a cycle older than Jimin, said with a hint of malice laced in his speech. Through tears, Jimin could see that he wasn’t alone. 2 other boys went as companions. All 3 sneered at him. “The son of the damned mates, coming to the Story Teller’s house to bring bad luck.”

 

“Should we report him to the guards Byungho? Let him receive a warning punishment?”

 

Jimin paled, hands coming up to try and pry the bigger boy’s hand off of his hair. He knew this pack wasn’t taking all sorts of law violations lightly. The pack leader ensured that their punishments left an impression. A warning punishment was already bad as it was. Jimin couldn’t even imagine the punishment for repeated treason.

 

Byungho regarded him for a moment, eyes trailing up and down Jimin’s tattered clothes with a smirk that did not bode well for the smaller boy. After a moment of contemplation, a grin spread on the older boy’s face, the fist that balled Jimin’s hair tightening.

 

“You know what, I have a better idea.”

 

Jimin hated this. He hated when he couldn’t fight. Hated when the best he could do was to shield his bruised face and curled in on himself as the 3 boys continued to kick at his body after Byungho landed a fist on his cheek. Hated when they laughed at him fleeing the village grounds through the trees, all while tears started to drop from his eyes.

 

He hated how everyone hated him for the past mistakes he didn’t do.

 

Underneath the watchful gaze of the night sky, Jimin’s hurried steps up a small hill slowed into a tired walk, barefooted on the dirt. Turning to look over his shoulder, the warm hue of the cabins that glowed past the canopy of trees grew distant and unwelcoming. From a distance, 3 small figures approached one of the men on patrol. No doubt Byungho reported about his presence.

 

His eyes could be tricking him but setting his vision past his bullies, he could see the Story Teller looking at him through the window, her gaze despondent before disappearing into her hut.

 

Dismayed and hurt, Jimin forced himself to look away and trudged on underneath the cover of the conifers, his head bowed and hands gripping the edge of his cloak. Just as how long it took to travel to the pack, he arrived at a smaller clearing with a lone shack in shambles planted in the middle of it.

 

Stepping foot inside the building, Jimin unfastened his cloak off of himself and attempted to make himself comfortable, living only with a small chunk of food to fill his stomach, few handpicked herbs to treat his bruises, and the coarse fur that did a poor attempt in making him toasty against the night chill.

 

With his wounds smeared with crushed leaves and having eaten the remaining leftovers left for dinner, the boy allowed himself to lie on the only furs he had, tucking his legs close to his chest to make use of his body heat for comfort.

 

With wetness still trailing down his cheeks, Jimin fell asleep to the calming voice of the Story Teller and the prophecy she shared.

 

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The rest of his life nevertheless remained the same.

 

The young man, now a full-fledged wolf, worked as a gatherer as assigned by the pack’s Elders. Narrowing to specifics, his daily tasks involved the gathering of consumables of any sort (fruits, herbs, fishes from the nearby stream, and small animals) and delivering them to the village. And yet, despite his loyal commitment to the chore, it didn’t change his infamous status as the “cursed child” among the pack villagers.

 

He even assumed that he’d be treated as nothing more than a rogue wolf, only to be proven wrong once a messenger, an empty basket in hand, arrived at the day of his 18th cycle and the day after he presented as an omega (which came to no surprise to Jimin given that he didn’t care about what his secondary gender would be).

 

Starting from the moment he was given his gathering duties, Jimin carried out his work with faithful dedication. Every day, he walked the long path from his shack to the village with a basket full of various food resources. Ignoring the distasteful looks of the people around him, he kept on a face of calm indifference, focusing only on submitting the goods in the large cabin that stood nearby the Teller’s hut. In exchange for his efforts, a measly amount of food or scrapped clothing was given.

 

Not even the Chief Gatherer, another member of the Elders, showed any remorse greater than the rest of the pack towards the omega.

 

For the day, Jimin accomplished his daily quota, submitting a basket full of wild berries and persimmons in exchange for some medicinal leaves, and he made his way back the usual trail that led him back to his humble abode. On the path, a couple of pups passed by him giggling to each other playing some sort of game. Few of them paused to double-take his appearance. He could only offer a simple smile, a hand raised to wave at them.

 

And as he expected, they scampered back to the village in a hurry with a look of alarm. He should be used to this, and yet his chest was tight with accumulating dejection. He loved pups. He dreamed of having one of his own even if circumstances weren’t in his favor.

 

It was only then as he took the first step out onto the clearing on the night of his 25th cycle arrived when Jimin witnessed the prophesied phenomenon.

 

The earth and grass seemed to glow and his vision painted with swirling colors. Jimin, confused, tilted his head upward only for his eyes to widen in awe and his jaw to drop. His grip on the basket of herbs fell slack, landing on the ground with a thunk.

 

What was once a plain darkened sky with the presence of the Moon with her embroidery of stars, now presented the lands with a beaming a brilliant silver-blue, the stars overlaid by the dance of kaleidoscopic lights.

 

It’s gorgeous! For a minute, his focus drew purely on the heavenly illumination above, watching as the lights moved around the Moon. Only for his mind to draw in the realization that this event was more than an act of display.

 

After many centuries, the alpha prime had decided and was now in search of his mate.

 

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Exile

 

The wolf sped through the dense forest on all fours despite its bleeding wounds. And though the pain should be sufficient enough to subdue an ordinary wolf, shifter or not, this was nothing it couldn’t handle.

 

 

But it needed to prove something.

 

 

It already had a destination in mind like it always had for the past millennia. Every one of them fruitless and disappointing.

 

 

As the wolf was about to make a turn to the location, a shimmering ball of light glowed above it. It halted in its track and peered up. It wasn’t a ball of light like it expected, but a single white dove with feathers that seemed to shimmer under the light. It perched itself on the branches, looking down at it with beady eyes.

 

 

Are you trying to tell me something? As if the bird heard, it took off and flew north, chirping slightly.

 

 

The wolf was skeptical, but it knew better than to doubt any signs shown to him in broad daylight. More so if it came from the Moon herself.

 

 

It discarded its initial route and instead trailed the dove, leading it somewhere else.

 

 

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The pack bustled with life more than ever after the show the previous evening gave.

 

Everywhere Jimin looked were omegas and their parents fretting over the preparations of this cycle’s mating ceremony. On one side, mothers discussed trade to the pack’s various hunters, looking for exclusive deals that would give their omega child the finest furs to wear. On another, they discussed what would be the best offering to give to the alpha prime if ever chosen. In groups, alphas began to eye each passing omega, securing who they would court during the entirety of the season and to mate by the end of it. And on the center of it all, alphas and omegas alike speeded left and right, ensuring that the food was accounted for and the necessary props were secured.

 

Looking at how the omegas of the pack sauntered around the village in their comfortable fur clothing with people around them treating them with uttermost priority, more so during mating season, made Jimin more self-conscious of himself with his tattered shirt and damp pants. His shoulders bunched together and his head tucked against his chest in an attempt to make himself small and unseen from the rest of the crowd.

 

He never quite got to experience the mating season for himself. Since his first days as an omega wolf, the village Elders prohibited him from attending the annual ceremony. His duties were made null during the ending week that led to the ceremony. But in every cycle, Jimin used his lithe frame to sneak his way into the pack’s vicinity to watch the event taking place from his spot in the shadows.

 

Giving the basket stuffed with the fish he caught earlier that day, the Chief Gatherer collected his items and stayed still instead of backing away to look for an exchange of a lower value. The bearded man hummed, peering at Jimin with squinted eyes. Eyes that stirred an unsettling feeling in the pits of the omega’s stomach. Jimin directed his attention elsewhere, fingers fiddling to ease the unwanted attention.

 

The uneasy silence didn’t last long as the Gatherer let out a low chuckle, dumping the contents of the basket into the barrel beside him and returning it empty. Concern started to flood Jimin’s mind, enough for him to not retrieve the empty basket. The old alpha scoffed at the other’s hesitation. “Well? Off with you!”

 

“But it’s empty…,” Jimin said. His voice quiet yet firm, afraid of toeing the line where the Gatherer’s patience lies but brave enough to speak the unfair truth. The man scowled, burly arms crossed on his chest.

 

“So what?”

 

“How about my exchange- “

 

Jimin’s sentence trailed off into a startled yelp. The man’s hand gripped the collar of his shirt, pulling the smaller man’s body up to his toes with a growl. “You selfish bitch. The village required all the food it needs and you’re here wanting to get it for yourself.” The Gatherer dragged him out of his cabin and shoved him flat on the dirt, startling the nearby people in the process.

 

“It’s gonna be your fault if the food sources decay! Continue bringing me more resources and maybe I’ll consider giving you a tiny bit of bread.”

 

The door slammed shut behind him as Jimin got onto his elbows, pushing himself upright to stand. He made the mistake of lifting his head to see everyone stepping away from him, shrewd and afraid. From the pack’s younger, more respected omegas, they whispered to each other, goading eyes fixated on him.

 

One of them, in particular, sneered at his misery, enjoying the spectacle- an omega woman with the fairest skin and shiny ebony hair, dressed in fine robes under a creamy brown fur cloak, chatting with her friends with a snickering mouth.

 

Jimin ducked his head, tearing his gaze away from the multiple set of eyes that stared him down. From his downward gaze, his basket lied beside his feet, upturned and expectedly empty. In the middle of him bending over to retrieve it, two sets of hands tugged his arms up with unnecessary force. “What- “

 

“Stay here for too long and you’ll end up bringing misfortune to the ceremonial grounds.” Two of the guards grabbed hold of Jimin’s arms, dragging him through the crowds that continued to watch, and in the same manner the Chief Gatherer had done to him, sent Jimin out of the village with a harsh shove. “Get out of here before you end up cursing all of us!”

 

It was all the same. It didn’t matter if there were any miracles or magical phenomena. No matter the circumstances, his pack would continue to berate Jimin and use him for the sole purpose of being a servant to the rest of the wolves. And Jimin accepted this, he did for the longest time, but it didn’t help the constant pain that would flare up with every mistreatment.

 

With the sun setting on the horizon, the young omega willed his tears back as he turned away from his pack, returning to his only safe zone in the woods.

 

“I would wait a little longer if I were you pup.”

 

His steps faltered, his body responding immediately to the familiar elderly soothing voice. The crunch of footsteps approached him with every nearing second. And as what he had expected and much to his surprise, he looked behind him and found the Story Teller, accompanied with a female pup behind her, walk past the guards, heading towards him with measured steps. Her wrinkled face serene and devoid of any spite.

 

By instinct, Jimin scrambled to face the elder, stepping back a couple steps to offer a deep bow. “G-Good afternoon Story Teller!”

 

The older omega chuckled, her feet stopping before Jimin’s downward line of sight. “Please, no formalities young one. I’ve heard enough of that during the entirety of my life. Yeonghui will do.” Jimin’s shoulder flinched at the cool touch of her hand. “You may stop your curtsy now.” As if on command, his back straightened, fully taking in the sight of the elderly woman with short gray hair dressed in the Elders’ signature maroon-dyed robes embroidered with intricate gold swirls.

 

Though the Teller was a pleasant individual to be with compared to her fellow compatriots, the presence of a person with such status is much to be of concern when it comes to Jimin’s infamous case. More so as the sky continued to darken and an opportunity to off him in the unlit distance grew closer. “M-May I ask why you’re here Yeonghui-ssi?  

 

“Is it wrong for an old lady to have a brief conversation with one of her pack members?”

 

It would if it’s me. “No?”

 

“Then there’s nothing to worry about. I just came here after that commotion the Gatherer caused. I apologize on that buffoon’s behalf.” Jimin spluttered. An Elder coming to say sorry to someone like him? I would be happy but it’s strange. There must be a catch. As if she looked through glass, she continued amidst his confusion. “There’s no catch pup. Like I said, no need to be cautious.”

 

 Ah. “R-Right…”

 

Satisfied with his response, Yeonghui snapped her fingers in the air. Beckoning to her call, the timid pup stepped forward with a familiar basket in her hands, contents covered with a cloth. “I believe you dropped something.”  The girl, her eyes not making contact with Jimin, lifted the basket in front of him, prompting the latter to accept.

 

Jimin could pinpoint a faint quiver in her tiny body as she held herself, most likely fearing that he might snap at her, cursing the poor child for eternity- A story not true and based on assumption. In an attempt to soothe a part of her anxiety, Jimin got on to one knee and received the basket from her hands in a gentle manner. “Thank you,” He said, his voice soft.

 

The girl beamed, surprised at his words. Her cheeks flush as she smiled before hurrying to duck behind Yeonghui, her face wrinkling into a smile. “It’s getting late. You best be going home now. I won’t keep you here any longer.” She looked down at the girl clinging onto her. “Go on Areum-ah. What will you say to the lovely man?”

 

“Have a good night mister…”

 

For the first time in such a long time, the corners of Jimin’s lips curled into a smile, not used to genuine conversations that didn’t bombard him with hate. He cradled the full basket in his arms and gave them another low bow in gratitude, “Thank you so much Yeonghui-ssi,” Jimin said with the Elder responding with a curt nod.

 

With some weight lifted off of his chest, he turned on his heels and began to walk back to his humble shack. Not even 20 steps were made when the Story Teller spoke up behind him, her voice turned into one she uses during her stories that brought him to slowing steps until he halted.

 

“You’re a good, compassionate person Jimin, an independent being from the rest, living within an antagonistic society blinded by the past. But you’re also a wolf blessed with divine fortune that comes your way. Look into your gift and you’ll find a blessing. Use it when the time comes.”

 

Blessed with divine fortune? Jimin, with his unfortunate streak of mistreatments, couldn’t comprehend what she said even if the words that left her were clear as day.

 

But when he craned his head to look over his shoulder, neither the Story Teller nor the little girl that followed her was to be seen.

 

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♫ Grave Discovery

 

The frequent distant rustle of leaves roused Jimin awake from his sleep.

 

The lack of any sunlight leaking through the windows gave him the indication that dawn was yet to arrive, the silver-blue Moon still present in the darkened sky. The sound continued nearby, a noise he would associate with a person or an animal stalking within close range.

 

Though Jimin wasn’t a natural-born hunter with him presented with the physiques of an omega, he’s still a wolf with that sliver of instinct to protect his territory. His only safe zone.

 

Grabbing the stone knife that he crafted weeks prior, he crept his way to the entrance of his home and creaked the door open, stepping out to investigate the noise in the middle of the night. Unmistakably, the rustling wasn’t a figment of his imagination as it was accompanied by the sound of crunching beneath a person’s feet. Jimin held the knife in front of him in a defensive stance, pointing the jagged blade toward the direction of the sound.

 

From a distance, the faint silhouette of man drew closer, his movement unsteady and limping. Is he injured? And yet, Jimin kept his guard up, knife still raised. Wounded or not, a random wolf encounter in the wild shouldn’t be taken too lightly, more so if it was a packless alpha or was feral in a worse scenario.

 

Much to his too good of a prediction, his guess was right. With each step that approached closer to him, Jimin picked up the intense woodsy-like scent of fresh tobacco and freezing rain. Alpha. There was no mistaking that type of scent. The information didn’t help Jimin in the slightest, not when a strange alpha would be walking to an isolated unmated omega. 3 more staggering steps turned to 2 until the wolf emerged from the shadows.

 

And Jimin faltered, awestruck. He was young, most likely around Jimin’s age. His hair was wavy ebony, done into a small bun behind him. He was donned in thick furs and his melanin skin scarred yet alluring.

 

Though despite his strikingly handsome look, Jimin paid more attention to the wounds that inflicted the poor wolf- His temple bled, red painting one half of his face. A copious amount of blood soaked one side of his waist, the man’s hand pressing against the area.

 

The alpha’s breathing was ragged and his eyes narrowed in pain, but as he took notice of Jimin’s presence, he whispered a couple of words before his body gave, collapsing on the forest ground.

 

“I mean no harm.”

 

Whether those words were to be trusted or not, Jimin set aside his cautious nature and without hesitation, rushed to help the injured wolf. With careful movements, the omega took hold of one of the man’s arms and slung it around his shoulder, hauling the body to stand with extra effort. Skies, he’s heavy!

 

Somehow, Jimin managed to drag the alpha’s body into his shack, laying it on the only pelts he had. Using the available knowledge he had about the art of healing, Jimin began his work, proceeding to remove his heavily muddied fur cloak and peel off his inner furs until he was naked from the waist up, revealing the fresh, jagged claw marks that marred the skin of the right side of his waist to the center of his toned abdomen with a couple more on the area below the left armpit.

 

Reaching for his water jug, he rinsed the wound free of excess blood and dirt off of his body, while he dampened a piece of cloth to clean the one on his head (luckily, that one wasn’t as serious as the others). He scanned his shelves for the appropriate leaves and other herbs, crushing, blending them to create a healing cream to smear on his wounds, eliciting a hiss from the alpha.

 

Using a clean strip of fabric, he wrapped it gingerly around the young man’s lower torso. 

 

Jimin let out an exhale as he finished treating the wolf’s wounds, sitting back on his rear to view his work. The alpha’s breathing turned steady, the furrow of his brows gone, and the bleeding slowed near to a halt. Holding the edge of one of the few furs he had, he draped it over the unconscious wolf.

 

He brought his hand to the man’s head, stroking his hair as if to provide some comfort in the middle of his sleep. Jimin sat against the wooden wall of the building, keeping an eye on this stranger he willingly brought in.

 

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♫ The Rose and Thorn

 

Behind closed eyelids, the beaming rays of the sun’s first light stirred Jimin awake, only for his back to ache for a minute from sleeping against the hard wall of the shack.

 

He brought his arms up to stretch the muscles of his arms and upper body, relieving a portion of the cramp. In the process of stretching his legs, however, his foot stopped short dully hitting something. “Hmm…?” With groggy eyes, his vision landed from the tip of his toes trailing up somebody else’s leg and torso, until his eyes connected with the stranger’s watchful ones.

 

One second later, Jimin jolted awake. “O-Oh! You’re awake!”

 

The stranger didn’t respond, opting to narrow his eyes in suspicion and looking away to scan his surroundings before peering his head down to look at the bandage around his waist. “Whose pack is this?” He said, his croaked voice low yet commanding.

 

“Gwan pack…”

 

“Where are the other wolves?”

 

“Erm… in the village n-nearby.”

 

The other man clicked his tongue before he responded with a single nod of his head. He attempted to stand, his elbows ready to prop him up, however his body has yet to obey him when the alpha cursed in pain, flopping back against the furs. “Damnit…”

 

“You shouldn’t get up yet. Your wounds are still healing.” Jimin said with a calm voice, getting onto his feet unlike the other man, heading over to the small furnace. “For the meantime, you should rest.”

 

“Resting won’t do me anything good if it means time will be wasted with me doing nothing.”

 

“It won’t be any better if your injuries start to bleed again and you’ll end up dying somewhere else without someone to help,” Jimin said, keeping his voice soothing and neutral. Getting aggressive over a simple fuss won’t help the situation in any shape or form. I don’t even have enough aggression to begin with.

 

The alpha was smart to accept the fact he wasn’t in the right condition to move as he settled to lean back against the wall with a disappointed huff. At least he listened. Going over his limited catalog of plants and after lighting the furnace beside him, he mixed in the appropriate herbs into a clay kettle filled with water before leaving it hanging over the flames.

 

“Are you the healer of the pack?” The alpha spoke again, this time with a tempered voice.

 

I don’t even know if I’m even considered to be in the pack. But Jimin kept those words to himself, shaking his head with a wistful smile. “No. I’m just a local omega in a little house in the woods.”

 

A minute or two flew by when Jimin unhooked the kettle from the fire and pouring its contents into a cup he grabbed nearby. With a heated cup in hand, he approached the alpha with hurried feet and slowly offered the other with the drink. “Here, it’s a special tea. It will fasten the recovery process. I didn’t leave the kettle boiling so it wouldn’t be too hot to drink.”

 

As expected, the stranger didn’t take the cup from his hands, examining the liquid with slitted eyes. The omega sighed before bringing the cup to his lips, taking a small sip. “There… it’s not poison. If it was, then I might as well die first.”

 

The alpha hummed in consideration with a cocked brow. Eventually, he did take the beverage off of Jimin’s heated hands and started to drink it for himself. A subtle growl reverberated in the small space of his shack. Whether it was Jimin’s or the stranger’s, he should find food for them to eat.

 

Unfortunately, his food supply had either run out, got spoiled, or was stolen by a random wild animal lurking about between the trees. The villagers weren’t too kind to spare him any edibles in recent days, offering only furs and worn-down items for him to collect and use. He peeped the basket that stayed in the corner of the room, the cloth from the Yeonghui still draped over it.

 

He retrieved the basket and peeled off the cover, only for Jimin to drool and let out an involuntary sound of delight.

 

Stuffed inside were a variety of food that included 5 sliced pieces of meat neatly wrapped in bamboo leaves, 3 short sticks of bread, 3 apples, a block of cheese, and a couple of spices contained in tiny vials. Though the temptation of eating everything constantly crossed Jimin’s mind, a rational side he takes pride in, convinced him to store them in a safe spot for the meantime.

 

Shuffling through its contents one by one, his sight caught glance of something shimmering beneath all the food. Carefully shifting each aside, he plucked out the strange item- A silver necklace with a gleaming dove pendant dangling from its chain.  Was this Yeonghui’s gift? Wearing it now would be unnecessary. He stored the accessory underneath a loose wooden panel and returned to the food.

 

He obtained 2 of the bread inside and returned to his spot near the alpha. Unlike the hesitation earlier with the tea, the alpha took the food offering and began to munch on it. Jimin followed suit in a second. “May I assume that now is the appropriate time for introductions?” The young man rose a hand, gesturing for him to continue. “Okay then… My name’s Jimin.”

 

“Jungkook.”

 

“Don’t you have a pack to go back to? Maybe that was why you were in a hurry moments ago?”

 

He shook his head, eating the last bite of his bread. “Rogue. The previous pack I joined were nothing more than obnoxious brutes squabbling over territory and the number of omegas they can fuck all in the name of establishing foolish ego.”

 

Jimin choked at the bluntness of Jungkook’s sentence, recovering shortly with a tiny sip from his cup. “So, you just left?”

 

“Yes. Half from my own will and the other half coming from the wise decision to retreat an unbeatable fight.”

 

Jimin didn’t say anything, waiting for a continuation with eager eyes. “… Meaning?”

 

“Their heads were too big and it ended up with all pack members outnumbered, mauled, and eaten by savage wolves and nearby bears. Warned them. Never listened.” The omega could only nod, mouth opening into a silent “ah”.

 

“In that case, you got those wounds from the attack yes?”

 

“Not fully. I was partially injured with the encounter, only to be wounded again by another.”

 

“Woah, you’re a real tough wolfie to make it through two dangerous fights huh?”

 

Jungkook rose a brow. “Wolfie?”

 

The omega blinked before his face warmed significantly, remembering the word he said seconds ago. Wha- “I-Uh…”

 

“You keep asking me questions and yet I have yet to ask you myself omega.”

 

Jimin flushed, his cheeks hotter with every word Jungkook said. It didn’t help either that with the alpha now conscious and treated, his tobacco scent became more prominent in the air around him. “Ah, I didn’t realize. Sorry, go ahead.”

 

“Packs keep their wolves together and here you stay isolated from the rest,” Jungkook said, his gaze piercing Jimin’s. “Are you really part of the Gwan pack or are you lying to me just to seek a better reputation for yourself?”

 

I kind of am. It’s just that I don’t feel as if I am part of them. And Jimin couldn’t give two shits about being a showy omega wolf for the alphas to pick and claim for their own. What he wanted was decent respect for him as his own being. But again, he didn’t say those things out loud. How could he? To a stranger he just met?

 

“I am part of the Gwan pack, but my bond to the other wolves isn’t exactly… the same with the rest- But It’s fine! I’ve been holding up for myself quite well over the years!” Jimin said with the most optimism he could muster.

 

Jungkook continued to stare at him, his expression unreadable. If he wanted an explanation, the alpha kept it to himself. “I see. I can tell that it is true you’ve learned independence judging from your expertise in the field of healing.” He touched the fabric that covered his wound. “I never felt better before.”

 

Jimin sat there, cheeks flaming and his eyes widening. The sweet scent of peaches permeated the room without him wanting to release it. A compliment? From an alpha no less? Kind words were near foreign to the omega and his wolf, already numb with the hate he received. And even if Yeonghui did express empathy, the same abstract idea coming from an alpha sent little flutters in Jimin’s heart. But he shouldn’t hope too much. “O-Oh I-It’s nothing.”

 

At this, Jimin saw the corner of his lips curl. “I take it you’re not used to compliments, are you?” Jimin shook his head admittedly. “That’s unfortunate. Did someone teach you?”

 

“No. Self-taught.”

 

“Impressive.”

 

“T-Though in the first time I tried to heal myself, I accidentally caused rashes on my skin instead which scared off even the bigger predators. I was like some red-skinned monster,” Jimin giggled as he brought his arms up, mimicking a bipedal beast. “I even had these inhumane noises that went well with my look- Oh my, why did I share this?” He said as he palmed his face with both hands and whined. “Ah... please forget that! I often forget I ramble too much when I become happy.”

 

“It’s fine. I appreciate your honesty. And to be frank, there’s no need to be sorry for expressing joy.”

 

Jimin peered through his fingers, catching sight of the alpha leaning his head back against the wall with an amused raise of his brow and the tiny curl of his lips. Amidst his embarrassment, the omega continued to smile, lowering his hands away from his warm cheeks. “Ah well… thank you. I do aspire to be the village healer someday you know.”

 

The stranger stared at him for a moment before he replied. “I see that.”

 

Draining the tea to completion, Jungkook set down the cup beside him. “The sun’s still high up. I must be holding you back from your daily obligations.”

 

With how the village responded with Jimin, especially the Chief Gatherer, it would be most likely they would want his appearance less present, more so with the upcoming festivities. “Oh no, it’s okay. They temporarily halted my tasks since everyone would be preparing for the mating ceremony.”

 

Jungkook tilted his head in confusion. “Then… why aren’t you a part of- “

 

The sound of subsequent knocking interrupted the two wolves’ conversation, each rap becoming louder than the last. Jimin shared a look with the alpha before responding to the person outside with a sigh. “I’m coming.”

 

A panting, young boy with dark hair and eyes, too young to determine whether he was an alpha or omega, stood before Jimin upon first opening the door. “A-Are you Jimin-ssi?”

 

“That is me. Why are you here?”

 

The boy glanced elsewhere, his hands fidgeting. “Elder Gatherer says you have to bring the pack a couple of things for the ceremony. And uhm…,” he said with a look of concern on his face. “He wants it doubled. Said whatever bad luck you might have brought to the village would be gone if you made up for it…”

 

“… What?”

 

Doubled? What does he mean by doubled? Jimin, on an ordinary day, would bring more than enough in his basket (under the deal that the Elder would gift him with a better exchange). To hear that they suddenly weren’t contented with what they had made Jimin worry about the consequences if he didn’t meet the raised requirements.

 

“And he said you should start today or else…”

 

Jimin gulped. Today?!

 

The boy took a few steps back, head remaining slightly bowed... “I-I should be heading back now. That’s all I have from the Chief Gatherer.” It was only when Jimin stopped thinking about the task proper did he notice that the child was thin and frail, bones evident under the skin. Among many others, why send this poor child here?

 

“Wait,” Jimin said, ducking back inside of his shack to pick up the remaining bread and an apple before returning to the door. He knelt and offered the food to the child. “You must be hungry and probably tired from walking all the way here.”

 

The boy stared at the food with genuine surprise, reluctant to accept them. “I shouldn’t- I mean you need it too, don’t you?”

 

Jimin chuckled. “It’s alright. I can manage.”

 

At this, the boy smiled a shy yet wide smile as he received the bread and apple with slow hands. “Thank you so much.” He gave Jimin a deep bow before walking away with a slight skip in his steps.

 

Jimin shut the door and lightly banged his head against the wood. “I could tell that this was odd for you.” Jungkook’s voice said behind him to which the omega responded with a nod. “I was correct then about you having an obligation to fulfill.”

 

“Unfortunately.” Jimin groaned as he went to empty the basket, putting its contents on a small table. “Now, I can’t watch over you and make sure you don’t exert yourself and open your injuries.”

 

“I assure you I can watch over myself omega.”

 

“Still~” He grabbed hold of its handle and went to grab his flimsy fur cloak from the rusty hook beside the door. “I’ll try to come back home early. You better stay resting alpha, I wouldn’t want to return seeing you bloody again,” Jimin said with a pointed finger in contrast to his lips being puckered into a small pout. “You can eat some of the food on the table if you’re hungry.”

 

Jungkook merely shrugged his shoulders as he adjusted himself on the furs. “You go do what you have to do Jimin-ssi.”

 

⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅∙∘☽༓☾∘∙•⋅⋅⋅•⋅⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅

 

Evening came when Jimin returned to his humble shack, tired and hungry, legs aching from the walk he endured all day.

 

Jungkook remained sitting the way he was hours ago, head leaning sideways against the wooden shelves, unfocused gaze watching the Moon through the window as if in deep thought. At the gentle shut of the door, the alpha immediately drew his attention toward Jimin.

 

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t aware that the berries were scarce this season. Or perhaps some stingy creature snagged them before I did.” Jimin said with slight misery in his voice. “But I managed to make amends, gave them to the village people, and- “Despite his sluggish state, he put a smile on his mouth and rose his arms. “Ta-da! I’m back!”

 

A familiar rumble echoed in the tiny space. “Right dinner! Hope you ate something earlier- Not that I’m forcing you! It’s a recommendation see- I uh…”

 

“I haven’t eaten anything but it’s not necessary for me.”

 

“Ah, that just means I have to put more effort into making our meals then.” Jimin hung his cloak and began to prepare the meat. Just as he reached for the slices, his knees trembled making him lean his weight on his hands that caught the edge of the table. His heart sped and his breath came in short. Now’s not the time to be like this. Come on, not in front of the guest.

 

“You need help.” The alpha spoke from behind, followed by the sound of shuffling and faint grunting. Immediately, Jimin pushed himself off the edge and urged the man to stay where he was with a light push on his shoulder.

 

“No! It’s okay! I’m fine! I just had to relax for a minute.”

 

“You entered your house on the brink of collapsing, your knees wobbled, and I could hear you panting. Clearly, a minute of relaxation wasn’t enough.” Jungkook said, eyes focused on Jimin’s with a stern look. 

 

“I know what you’re about to suggest and I have to say no…” His voice came out unsure and quiet. Unlike the other wolf, he couldn’t hold his gaze any longer, the unwelcoming licks of embarrassment sweeping over his consciousness.

 

“I had a whole day of doing nothing but sit still.” Jungkook took hold of both the omega’s hands and drew them away. “If you are not aware, I have to be active not only to ensure my body does not lose vitality, it’s to hasten the regeneration process as well to our lupus blood. If you intend to keep me sitting here, you’ll see to it that you will slow my heal rate at the same time of your constant state of being fatigued.”

 

The sentence that left his lips and the firmness and sincerity that accompanied it made Jimin’s chest constrict and his heart skip a beat, a feeling he associates with hunger or fatigue. Yet unlike that common sensation, this one in particular was strange. In a good, eye-opening way.

 

“How do you know that what you say is factual?”

 

“I watched my previous pack’s healer advise this to their patients, supported with personal experiences of my own due to my former position as a hunter.”

 

“I-I see... ” He replied with a soft voice, returning to where the meat and furnace lay, already picking which spice to use and plants to add to the food. “I brought you here in my shack and it is my responsibility to aid in your recovery after all. Perhaps, a bit of an activity isn’t much of a bad idea… ”

 

“Looks like you have much to learn aside from dressing wounds omega.”

 

“I see that now alpha. No need for reminding.”

 

“Until I’m fully recovered, I will help you and that’s final. Just tell me what it is you’re looking for.”

 

Guess it couldn’t be helped. He does make a point. And so the omega nodded, walking back to Jungkook with hands that held a plate of cooked meat and cup of water. He settled them before the alpha and Jimin made himself comfortable as he sat on the side of the house where he woke up from, expression conflicted.

 

Jungkook took 2 to 3 bites of his food before pushing the plate toward Jimin. His mouth was ready to say ‘no’ but the squeeze of his empty stomach said otherwise. Whatever rejection he wanted to say left his mind. “Eat.” The alpha said and so Jimin followed.

 

After their short (a bit awkward as Jimin would add) dinner, he was more than ready to let the rest of the evening fly by, even if it meant him having to endure another day waking up with a backache. The winds were chilly for this night in particular, with the omega ending up pressing his limbs against his body for warmth. He ended up with a sheet of fur after asking Jungkook for one, giving up his altruistic spirit even for a night. 

 

⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅∙∘☽༓☾∘∙•⋅⋅⋅•⋅⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅

 

The Forest Grand

 

Work was done faster and more efficiently with the extra hand. Thanks to Jungkook and his suggestion to split the job, Jimin didn’t end up deadbeat and on the brink of death at the end of each day despite the heavy task he was given with.

 

It took him a few more hours of consideration whether making his guest do his workload would weigh heavy in his conscience. Come morning where his body wasn’t complaining did his mind considered that gathering materials wouldn’t be too stressful nor was heavy work like hunting. With his options weighed, he let the alpha help him in his obligations.

 

And for the past 4 days, things ended up better than what Jimin initially expected.

 

Jungkook did well on his own, searching out into the woods or down to the river to look for whatever the omega asked him for, sometimes accompanying him and sometimes splitting up. Middays during their afternoon meals, Jimin let his sights land on the alpha in front of him, gauging for any negative reactions or facial cues of pain. Fortunately, the other showed no signs of such.

 

At the end of each day, the two met at the clearing where they filled the basket full of the resources Jimin needed.

 

Even if he was grateful for the help, he admitted that this unwritten contract between him and Jungkook started to become awkward, for the alpha to do what he’s asked to do only to head back to the shack-like the way it was from day 1. The other didn’t bother to engage in any sort of conversation with him, not because he secretly hated him (an assumption), just that he was too focused on work.

 

The village didn’t mandate him to bring resources every 7th day, leaving Jimin doing whatever he wanted to do- fix his house, find food for himself, and a couple more.  At the end of the week, however, Jimin started to open up communication with the young alpha.

 

It started short and stiff with questions such as “how are you holding up?” or “any good spot?” were general, plain, and were just formal, given that Jimin didn’t know who this man was aside from being a rogue. Though with time and dedication, their conversations during breaks and rest days started to flow more smoothly after each of Jimin’s attempts.

 

He started to avoid unnecessary topics and questions and started to talk naturally, opening up to Jungkook about some details he learned throughout his life from his observations about the various flora and fauna around his surroundings to his various trial-and-errors in his self-education about healing. Occasionally, he would peep at the other man to see if he was somewhat listening.

 

To his surprise, Jungkook ended nodding or humming to each of his words, his body facing the omega unconsciously eager to hear more of what Jimin had to say, even if he was busy doing something else such as stoking the flames of their bonfire or munching on a piece of fruit.

 

Eventually, Jungkook started to join in the conversation, speaking about what his life was before the attack and other trivial information he picked up when he was still a growing pup. Jimin listened to his stories with all wide eyes and open ears, facing toward him with or without a steaming cup of tea in his hands.

 

In the middle of it all, both men brought a sense of joy and euphoria in their words, Jimin bursting in full-body laughter and Jungkook with a small smile on his lips. They talked all day from the moment they woke, to the gathering of what was needed, to even the darkest points of nights where the dark, once-silent building was illuminated with a single candlelight and was filled with uplifting conversations of each other’s tales.

 

After Jungkook walked into the clear that night, he forgot how miserable the pack he not-so belonged in was, even as he walked into the village bypassing each staring individual. He forgot their harsh, redundant words that lashed at him. Gone was the judgment and bitterness of the villagers. All that filled Jimin’s head was the comforting image of the mysterious alpha, his calm voice, and his alluring scent of forest and rain.

 

And with every thought of him, Jimin’s heart fluttered and his cheeks warmed a significant amount.

 

What are you doing to me alpha…

 

⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅∙∘☽༓☾∘∙•⋅⋅⋅•⋅⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅

 

♫ Sociopath

 

This day was one of Jimin’s worse with the omega coming home with semi-torn clothes, an empty basket, and puffy eyes as he limped on his good leg.

 

A delivery of plums was dropped off at the Gatherer’s house in exchange for ragged scraps of fur. Nowadays, he no longer dwelled as much as he did on the unfair trade, his mind settling with finding ways to make things work with the things he had and thoughts that directed back again to Jungkook.

 

And he couldn’t wait to see his guest again, chat about the little things and bits of knowledge he picked up in each day he had to fulfill his obligations.

 

His vision was short-lived as he neared the entryway of the village, a pair of arms grabbed his waist from behind and pulled him into the crevices between the houses with excessive force. A hand reached to cup his mouth, muffling the startling screams he let out.

 

In the dark, Jimin tore himself away from the unknown man’s grip, facing his abductor, to his terror did not come alone. Two other men stood behind the alpha in front of him, all with disgusting grins on their faces as they cornered him back against the wall.

 

The bitter scent of ash and oakmoss flooded the air, pungent enough for Jimin to gag inward and cover his face. “How lucky for me to spot such a convenient omega along the way.” The man said, his face unnervingly close. “Or should I say unlucky?”

 

“I’d say it’s a fair catch Byungho.”

 

Byungho. His heart dropped, sweat beading down his back even as his body shook from the chill of the breeze. Memories of his childhood came rushing in, ones that feature an arrogant boy and his lackeys who bullied him outside of the Story Teller’s hut, the teenager with his friends, cast Jimin a malicious, predatory gaze ever since he presented as an omega.

 

Now he’s here- the same ash brown-haired boy, now taller, bigger, and much more corrupt with how he and the two other blocked all possible exits he could take while they kept their line of sight focused on Jimin.

 

“Listen here bitch, I’m feeling rather excited right now and I don’t exactly have the patience to woo some better omega around here,” Byungho said with a finger reaching to brush Jimin’s locks, sending a shudder down the latter’s back. One heartbeat, it clicked. The pungent scent of arousal. Impatience. He’s in pre-rut.

 

“Given that you’re not exactly regarded with anyone, nor does anyone actually care about you…”

 

With a snap of a finger, his companions drew closer, chuckling as they grabbed his arms and forced him to lay with his back on the floor. The omega thrashed and screamed, legs kicking and arms flailing in the attempt to release their hold from him. Byungho sniggered, crawling over him with his nose pressing against his neck.

 

No! No, no, no! A clawed finger began to tear at his shirt, ripping the seam from the collar down until his chest. At the same time, another hand began to untie the string that held his pants together.

 

In the corner of his eye, a figure stood within the walls of their cabin. The Village Healer. Jimin locked his eyes onto her watching gaze and attempted to scream for help, only to fail when someone slapped him as a warning.

 

The lady, much to his expected misfortune, shed away from the scene and turned her back against him. The Elder, whose sole purpose was to help heal and assist the wounded and hurt, backed away to avoid being involved.

 

No… N-No! No! I refuse to stay here like this! The wolf inside him barked with ferocity, urging Jimin to attack, flee, to do anything other than lie and accept submission. As the men that held his arms grinned in excitement and with Byungho distracted with his filthy touches, Jimin saw an opportunity when a lackey’s bare wrist came close to his mouth in the process of choking him in a headlock.

 

Drawing out his canines, he bit down against the man’s wrist as hard as he can, piercing through skin as blood spurted out of the wound. The alpha cursed, freeing one of Jimin’s arms in the process. The omega proceeded to use his free hand to claw at the other man’s face, slashing at his face, enough for his grip to loosen enough for Jimin to draw both his arms away from them.

 

“What the- “ Byungho’s words cut short by a kick on the chest, sending him back a distance away from Jimin. He scrambled onto his feet and made a run for the entrance.

 

He yelped when someone grabbed his ankle, making Jimin stumble to the dirt. He clawed at the ground as his body was pulled back. Tears filled his eyes as he looked around, pleading for anyone to help him. But all everyone did was stare and ignore.

 

“You really are a stubborn bitch of an omega huh?” The alpha sneered, dusting his shirt free from the dust on Jimin’s feet. With another snap of a finger, the two men drew Jimin until he stood.

 

A heavy punch on his abdomen made the omega whimper in pain, coughing as another was delivered on the same spot. Yet another jab was sent to his face, throwing Jimin onto the ground, his eye swelling from the hit.

 

And just as before, he curled himself close on his side as feet began to kick at him that seemed to never end. His body throbbed in pain, his leg numb, and his one eye now shut.

 

They tossed Jimin out the village entrance themselves after they had their fill. His basket landed beside him, empty. The guarding men did nothing, watching as the omega reached for his basket and stand on shaky legs. His vision was blurry, wet with unshed tears as he limped his way back, wincing with every step he took.

 

This wasn’t the first time he got harassed but the amount of hurt he received remained the same nonetheless. With no one to comfort him, his only solution to this was to go home, treat whatever wound he had, and lie on scrapped furs letting out the tears he held back.

 

But this wasn’t the same as those days. Arriving at the edge of the clearing, Jimin stopped, hiding behind the tree. Jungkook was sitting in front of his door, his head leaning against the wood. He was waiting for Jimin to come back.

 

At the sight of the alpha, it sparked a warm feeling in him. Something foreign. Something gentle, yet powerful that made his eyes water. Like a child finding solace in a world of hate.

 

Someone who made Jimin laugh and smile when others didn’t. Someone that arrived, even for a moment, to provide him speckles of life in his bleak, miserable place. A friend.

 

He peered down in his ripped clothing and hid his swollen eye, stifling back another sob.  I shouldn’t show up like this. Jungkook doesn’t want to see him in this state. After all, the healer shouldn’t be the one coming to the injured for help. It didn’t sit well in his conscience. He doesn’t deserve to see him like this.

 

Drawing the hood over his blotchy face, he circled past the clearing and made his way down to the stream. He stripped off of his cloak and let himself sit on the pebbles, rubbing his neck and wrists excessively with the cool water in hopes of getting rid of the scents that marked his body.

 

Though it worked in some capacity, Jimin could still smell that stubborn moss scent around him, engulfing him with the memory of his assaulter’s touch on him. Frustrated, the omega grabbed a pebble beside him and threw it to the body of water.

 

Nothing’s working. Not a single good thing in my life works forever if it’s me.

 

He bit his lip and bunched his knees together, burying his face in his hands.

 

♫ Forget 

 

“Jimin-ssi,” The omega gasped, pulling his hood up to hide his face before turning around to see none other than Jungkook standing atop the incline, his face bearing a mask of neutrality at the sight of him lounging by the stream. Skies. Under the light of the Moon, the alpha never looked more striking, more ethereal, his aura casting the mysterious pull that drew him to heal the man in the first place, even with the wrapped bandages that circled his torso. “Is something wrong?”

 

“W-Why would you say that?”

 

“You went here, rather than the shack as you normally do,” The alpha said, heading towards Jimin’s direction that prompted the latter to avert his head away from his gaze.

 

“Do you assume that just because I went to sit here means that there’s something wrong?”

 

“No.” The faint sound of feet settled beside him, followed by a light grunt. Through the corner of his eye, Jungkook sat close-by, not too close to him yet not too far either, facing straight onto the water’s surface. “But you underneath your hood and failing to hide yourself from me led me to assume something is wrong.”

 

Jimin said nothing, no excuses left to defend himself.

 

“I’m gonna ask again,” The other said, his voice assertive and direct. “Is something wrong? You don’t have to pull down your hood if you’re uncomfortable. A brief statement will suffice.”

 

Jimin toyed with the fabric of his clothes, embarrassed. His wolf whined, wanting him to talk to Jungkook. After all, he did ask for an explanation... He swallowed his insecurities down and willed himself to speak. Besides, words might not be enough for the morning that could explain his bruises.

 

Sighing, he took hold of his hood and pulled it down, having enough courage to face Jungkook. The alpha remained expressionless, his gaze taking in the swelling of Jimin’s eye down to what Jimin could be the harsh redness of his neck where his scent gland was. “I- There was- It was nothing really. I got clumsy and fell somewhere down the path.” He faked a smile. “See? I told you- “

 

“You’re lying.”

 

His heart stopped for a second, his smile faltering. “W-What?”

 

“You’re distressed. I can smell another alpha on you. You came here to try and wash off the scent.” Jungkook said, his voice bordering into a growl. “That’s why you didn’t want to head back to your shack.”

 

The omega couldn’t handle facing him anymore, shame coursing through every inch of his being. He snapped his head in the opposite direction, hiding his face again. His hands went to pull the ripped seams of his shirt together. “I’m- I’m sorry- “

 

“Jimin…” It was odd. The tone of his voice was authoritative but at the same time comforting. A deadly blade poised to attack but not at him. “Did someone touch you?”

 

At the question, his lips wobbled as he fought to keep his emotions at bay. Silently, he gave a small bob of his head.

 

“I may be intruding, but you never explained why you’re out here living by yourself or why they give you harsh tasks unfit for one,” Jungkook said, his voice careful. “You were… never really part of the pack, were you?”

 

The omega contemplated, biting his lips as his fingers fidgeted with the cloak’s fabric.

 

“Hey…” The alpha’s soft voice said with a gentle hand resting on top of his shoulder. He glanced at it, his gaze traveling towards Jungkook under his hood. He remained at arm’s length, but his torso now faced the omega. “I apologize for being direct like this. It’s just, seeing you come back and having to keep up a happy face doesn’t make me… us feel right.”

 

In the middle of his short breaths, Jimin’s heart began to beat harder, a different rhythm from the one he associated with fear or paranoia. Us. He and his wolf were concerned for the omega. The need to help clear from the way his tobacco scent wrapped around him like a hug.

 

Finding the steadiness of his voice, Jimin said. “I am part the pack, it’s just… I’m treated differently from the way they treat among themselves.”

 

“Everyone calls me the “cursed son” of the Park bloodline. Every member of my blood has dealt negative effects onto the pack- my parents murdered several wolves in time of desperation and scarcity, my father was a tyrant who ruled this pack, and my mother cheated my dad with various alphas.”

 

“Ever since then, the pack has never received any grace or blessings from the Moon, nothing but prolonged suffering came their way. Their only solution tied to my bloodline, thinking that their bad doings disgraced the goddess. So they did what they had to do. The current Gwan Head Alpha executed both my parents a cycle after I was born.”

 

“After realizing that I existed, I just know that their first decision was to kill me. Stop the line from continuing. I guess they kept me alive as some sort of payback for what my family did to them all these time, to revel in my suffering.”

 

“They toss me here once I walked and talked and hide me from everything and everyone, only going back once I serve them, labor-wise or,” He paused, arms coming to hug himself as a shudder rippled through him. “Like what just happened to me…”

 

Silence. Nothing but the faint rush of water was his reply.

 

Humiliation coursed through him, all the more reason to just get up and run away.  “Skies, I’m such an idiot for telling you this… this mess. I’m sorry I have to go.” He nearly slipped getting up with his hood drawn over his blotchy face. “Please forget this ever happened.” He turned, planning to get lost in the woods until-

 

Omega wait.”

 

Jimin froze in his steps, a shiver running down his back, his body reacting to the deep, husky tone in an instant. Did he use his- Alpha voice. No alpha ever used that tone outside of desperate situations or a rut. It’s an unwritten law amongst all wolves. So why did Jungkook-

 

“Jimin don’t. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.” The omega reluctantly looked behind him, unconvinced. “I asked for an explanation, and you gave me one. If you had run away, you wouldn’t be able to hear how much I appreciated your honesty.”

 

Jungkook stood with slight effort, grunting from the pain in his torso, and approached Jimin with steady, cautious steps. “All I can say about this is that,” The alpha rose a patient hand to take hold of Jimin’s hood, before pushing it back, drawing it down, revealing all of the omega’s face to him, “You shouldn’t be judged and treated the way your bloodline did to them in the past.”

 

“You are your own person, your own wolf. And they should start seeing you as such because they’ll never know how pure-hearted you are.”

 

He never knew when his sight went blurry and his cheeks lined with tears, but Jimin couldn’t hold it in any longer, his heart too weak and overwhelmed. He sobbed in front of Jungkook, bringing the back of his hand to cover his mouth in a weak attempt to hide himself. He’s never used to receiving compliments, but maybe now he’ll get to hear them even if it was temporary.

 

Jimin tried to calm down, wiping his never-ending mix of tears and snot away, but his figure continued to shiver, unable to cope with what’s happening to him. Through misty eyes and clogged breathing, Jungkook still stood before him, patient. The mellow scent of petrichor lingered close around the alpha. With a sniffle, Jimin said with lowered eyes.

 

“M-May I hug you?”

 

The other man sighed and opened an arm with nothing much to say. Jimin moved closer and closer until his face was in contact with Jungkook’s broad bandaged chest, the other gently curling his arm on Jimin’s back. He made sure to not press himself too close, afraid of touching the wounds underneath the fabric. Tipping his toes a bit, he tucked his chin over the alpha’s shoulder, facing directly at the latter’s scent gland.

 

In Jungkook’s hold, the omega’s small cries and tremors turned to whimpers, his body relaxing at the comfort of the wolf’s touch. His scent is so strong here… Without thinking, Jimin inched his face closer until his nose grazed the tip of Jungkook’s skin. The alpha tensed, his body stiffening. This came unnoticed as Jimin continued to nose the patch of skin, purring. So nice…

 

“Jimin-ssi…”

 

He blinked, his head clearing and his composure returning. He peeked at where he was facing before pulling back with a squeak. “Oh my- I didn’t realize!” He scented an alpha, a guest among others. Other than their privates, the glands of a wolf are the most intimate areas where others get to touch. Jimin blushed profusely, his cheeks warming.

 

“It’s alright,” Jungkook said. “Though if I were to suggest, I should be the one scenting you and not the other way around.”

 

The omega stared at him with owlish eyes, his cheeks getting hotter at the statement. “W-What?”

 

“If I scent you, you’d be able to walk through the village without having to worry about any other alpha approaching you inappropriately.”

 

Though the idea made his wolf bark with delight, more than enthusiastic to be covered in the man’s scent, Jimin spluttered as he shook his head. “E-Erm… That’s too much- I-I mean… I appreciate the gesture b-but I d-don’t know…”

 

“I see. Are you not ready yet or are you not used to being scented?”

 

“Both,” Jimin said with a pout.

 

“Well, I can’t have you be exposed to the same incident. May I at least scent your cloak? It’ll help ward off unwanted attention.”

 

The omega nodded, nervous and equally excited to bring the alpha’s scent with him during his short travels to the village. If it weren’t for his anxious demeanor, he’ll be more eager to flaunt his scent to others.

 

“That’s settled then.” Both men drew away from each other. “Let’s head back, it’s getting late. Since you arrived late, I made both of us dinner.”

 

Jimin gasped, swatting an uninjured area around Jungkook’s shoulder. “You shouldn’t have! You’re my- “

 

“Guest. I am aware,” Jungkook said nonchalantly. “Though I did remember you saying, I can help myself whenever you’re away.”

 

Jimin huffed. “You have a point.”

 

“Come on now.” Jungkook cocked his head in the direction of the shack before walking back. But as his back began to recede with every step, Jimin considered one more thing in his mind as his fingers continued to fiddle with each other. After a deep breath, Jimin called out.

 

“W-Wait!” Jungkook halted, looking behind his shoulder. “Can I- And you can reject of course just going to say it, but uh…” He paused, unsure if he should dismiss it or proceed. He went for the latter. “Can we… share the bed? It’s just for tonight don’t worry!”

 

“It’s just something that can make me feel better.”

 

As easy as it was, Jungkook gave him a single nod of his head, laying out a hand to gesture the omega to follow.

 

Later that evening, Jimin had curled himself against Jungkook, finding the alpha’s warmth soothing underneath the furs draped over them. The moonlit night was quiet, everything silent except for the omega’s contented purr and the alpha’s subtle hum.

 

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Humdrum Days

 

Another week flew by and Jimin brought the Chief a basket full of trouts and shiners he and Jungkook got from the nearby stream. The sun began to set into the horizon. In a few minutes, everything would turn dim and another night would arrive. All that was left for him to do was to go back home.

 

On the way, a shadow disrupted his peaceful walk, darting past the path he was on and into the trees. It wasn’t humanoid judging. A deer maybe? It was slim but maybe it’s just my eyes tricking me.

 

However, after a couple more paces, a shrill scream rang throughout the woods, scaring the birds to fly away. A rational choice that Jimin made when it came to scenarios such as this would be to hurry back and block his door shut. And for a second, he decided to ignore the sound and move forward.

 

“Help me!" Jimin stopped. The voice sounded familiar, the pitch high and frantic. Like that of a scared pup.  “Somebody please help me!”

 

It clicked. He heard this voice before. The same voice of the young girl that trailed behind Yeonghui and had given him his basket.

 

Areum. The said basket fell from his hands as Jimin bolted into the trees, following the shadow that crossed his vision. He panted as he ran, skillfully dodging past the roots and bushes. I’m not gonna make it in time in this form.

 

“Anybody please help me!” Determined to save the little girl, his body began to shift. His face elongated into a snout. The shaggy brown fur cloak enveloped his body, and claws protruded out of his fingers and toes. In his wolf form, his smelling grew acute and with its help, he detected the faint smell of milk and plum from a mile away.

 

The sun fully set the time he found Areum and her chaser. Jimin found the pup cornered in a cave, shivering in fear with her hands shielding her face as the creature drew close. At close distance, he found it to be a feral wolf (an ordinary animal, not a shifter as Jimin observed) that chased the poor girl into this location.

 

Just as the animal was about to pounce, Jimin lunged forward and stepped in front of Areum, teeth bared. The wolf snarled though it was visibly confused based on the way it reared back and began to assess its new challenger. Jimin took in the creature and noticed how big it was. An alpha. Jimin’s form was smaller than the other’s, but choosing to abandon the pup or save her, he would go for the latter.

 

Jimin stood his ground, growling as he stepped back until his hind leg bumped against Areum’s knee. Areum-ah, he said to the pup through the use of his mind. Get on me. Jimin lowered himself as the little girl scrambled to latch onto Jimin’s back, tiny hands grabbing hold of his fur and her legs bracketing on the sides of his body.

 

The wolf did not like what was happening and began to bark at the two, threatening Jimin to drop his prey. However, he kept his eyes locked with the animal, growling at it as he inched his way further towards the cave entrance.

 

Soon as his paws hit the first touch of soil, he fully turned around and began to sprint away from the wolf that began to chase after him. The creature barked behind them as proof of its relentless pursuit to take down Jimin and snatch the pup away from him. With the girl whimpering on his back, Jimin pushed through and used all the energy he had to run as fast as he can to his shack.

 

It was no easy feat. The animal was quick to catch up, its biting jaws nearly catching Jimin’s tail. His breathing grew more ragged, pants coming out more frequently than before. If speed wasn’t the only answer, he needed the wolf to lose its tracks. Re-route his path, maneuver around the trees and bushes to confuse the creature.

 

The sun had fully set when Jimin nears the clearing, but the one thing he observed from his tiring run was the lack of aggressive snarling and barking that the feral wolf gave them. Did it give up? Saw another, bigger prey to catch? But Jimin wasn’t cocky in the slightest, opting to be safe than sorry. He burst out of the trees and slowed down into a brisk jog.

 

What awaited him was Jungkook pacing in front of the shack’s door, his attention now turned to the approaching wolf carrying a small pup on his back. Jimin gave the ill-lit forest one last glance before lowered himself, allowing Areum to slide down his back, crying.

 

Tired, he shifted back to his human form, on his knees and elbows panting in exhaustion. “What happened?”

 

“This… This pup was cornered by a wild beast…,” Jimin said in-between his breaths, lifting his head to see the little girl clutching onto Jungkook’s leg as she sobbed. The alpha’s hand caressed her hair as means to comfort her. Jimin could have cooed on sight if it weren’t for the ache in his muscles. “I-I had to get her out of there…”

 

His breathing eventually evened out and made a move to stand. Jungkook reached out to offer a hand, allowing Jimin to get onto his feet with lesser struggle. Immediately, he bent down and picked Areum into his embrace, stroking her back to help her calm down. “Let’s just head inside.”

 

Cessura

 

It didn’t take long for the Areum to fall into a deep slumber. All it took was a small portion of food and water into her shivering body and a warm, gentle hold of the omega that led to the pup leaning her face against Jimin’s neck, finding comfort in his vanilla-peach scent as Jimin brushed her brown hair. Jungkook sat across from them by the window, watching both him and the pup with intent, sneaking glances outside to check for unwanted guests.

 

She squirmed around, adjusting herself in his embrace. “Jimin-ssi?” He hummed quietly, acknowledging Areum’s tiny voice. “You’re not so bad mister. Everyone says you’re a bad wolf but, “She yawned, snuggling closer against Jimin’s neck. “You’re nice...”

 

He smiled with faint warmth in his cheeks. “That’s sweet of you to say Areum-ah. Thank you.”

 

“Do you know any lullabies Jimin-ssi?” Areum said with a whisper, to which the omega replied with a light bob of his head. “Can you hum me one? Mommy always hums me to sleep…”

 

“Sure. Anything for you.”

 

With closed eyes, Jimin began to hum a slow melody, his voice mellow yet ever-present in the silence of the night. He wasn’t sure where he remembered hearing this song, but in the crevices of his mind, a memory of a woman resonated with him, her soft chords tugging at his heart just as his own did with Areum’s.  It was slow and steady, a harmonious stream of high and lows, a sweet melancholic tune from his distant past.

 

Just as he nears the end of his song, Jimin opened his eyes slowly to peek at the pup sleeping in his arms, cheeks smooshed on his shoulder with a contented smile on her face. He huffed, continuing to cradle the girl. Is this what it feels like to hold a pup this close?

 

“You’re… quite good with pups Jimin-ssi.” He gasped, his gaze focusing on Jungkook sitting before him, the alpha’s attention fully drawn to him. “She likes you.”

 

“Ah, it’s just... I love them in general. I can’t help but bend to their will, you know?” Jimin said, his voice quiet to not disturb Areum. “Makes me wish I had one of my own…”

 

“You would be an amazing mother- Attentive, responsible, nurturing…. and…,” Jungkook faked a cough. “You have a beautiful voice as well. It’s… comforting.”

 

Jimin’s face heated significantly, lips parted in surprise. Jungkook’s gaze directed elsewhere yet his cheeks were tinted a faint pink, the back of his hand resting on top of his mouth. As if he felt shy admitting it.

 

He giggled in tiny fits, his vision disappearing for a moment as his eyes closed in happiness. Opening them through tiny slits, Jungkook stared at him with pink-tinted cheeks. “Thank you but you’re flattering me too much. That’s self-taught too mind you.”

 

The alpha let out a breathy chuckle. “Quite smart and skillful for you to learn all these things by yourself. You sure you don’t have anything else you wish to show?”

 

“Hmm… Tomorrow we’ll see,” Jimin yawned, his eyes closing as sleep came for him next. “After all, I’m full of surprises Jungkook-ssi.”

 

In an almost whisper, the alpha replied. “I’d say I have a handful of them as well.”

 

Minutes before falling into unconsciousness, a thick warm layer of fur draped over Jimin’s shoulders, enveloping both the omega and pup into a warm cocoon. The faint dim light of the candle behind his eyelids faded into black, its flame blown out.

 

“Sleep tight Jimin-ssi.”

 

Within the morning’s first light, Areum returned to her mother’s care.

 

Jimin had woken up to the woman’s cries outside his shack, calling out for her daughter with a desperate voice. Jungkook was nowhere to be seen when the moment came, and though the young man wasn’t present, the pup in his arms was.

 

Areum had skipped out of the door, a hand clasped with Jimin’s as the two approached the maternal figure ahead of them, the pup crying out her mother.

 

To no surprise, the woman had gasped at the sight of the omega following the little girl, knowing of his infamous reputation within the pack. However, Areum had told her mother otherwise, that Jimin wasn’t some fleck of disease or a walking disaster waiting to happen.

 

Jimin had stood there, listening to her explain how he saved her from the scary wolf beast and how he took care of her all night.

 

Needless to say, he was given two more people that no longer saw him through the eyes of others, but as Areum’s new friend and as a respected omega. The pup bid goodbye with a hug and walked away with a wave.

 

A heartfelt Jimin responded to her with his own.

 

Later that day as Jimin sorted through his herbs, the woman and a group of 6 children came to visit him one of which was Areum. He recognized them as the same group who played around the village. The same ones who ran from him in fear and alarm.

 

The woman explained that this was her means of showing gratefulness and apologies towards Jimin for all the years she scorned him merely at his sight. All of the children were the pup’s younger siblings, all of which were very close with Areum. Each had a small token in their chubby hands- handwritten letters, a small trinket of sorts, a flower, and a fresh slice of bread.

 

At the end of the afternoon when the sun had begun to set, all pups came swarming around the omega with joyful hugs and a string of pitched “thank you’s” and “sorry’s”. Overwhelmed, Jimin’s eyes filled with tears, choking into a sob as the pups welcomed him into their arms.

 

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Jungkook stood in the shadows of the trees, gazing at the small crowd of children around Jimin.

 

His chest tightened and a smile formed on his face, endeared as he watched him, the lonely omega who isolated himself, tearful as he played with the pups for the first time in what was the duration of his life. By making himself known now would only interrupt the touching moment.

 

I’ll come back later. In his hand held the handle of a basket, one belonging to the person that stood in the clearing of his small, ransacked yet humble shack.

 

He let his eyes rake over Jimin and his beaming smile before heading back into the forest, his heart beating fast as his smile remained fixated on his face.

 

He deserves this.

 

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Himitsu 

 

A week remained before the annual mating ceremony would commence.

 

The village was lively and bustling with energy, people streaming down the path with mindless chatter as they prepared themselves for the event. Ever since Jungkook suggested blanketing him with his intense tobacco scent, he received odd looks from the wolves that crossed him, including Byungho and his companions.

 

The mating season for the Gwan pack, similar to the ones of others, was structured to have a sense of progression in terms of finding a wolf’s mate, differentiating themselves from their animal counterparts. For the past weeks starting at the beginning of spring, unmated alphas began planning in preparation for the upcoming weeks- deciding which omega was most likely their best candidate and what gifts to give during the second part of the season.

 

Nothing official happens yet until the ceremony, so unmated individuals were prohibited to do anything intimate until the last day of the season.

 

Given how several alphas began to communicate more and more to the different omegas of the pack, having engaged conversations and the subtle exchange of gifts, it wasn’t too long until the annual ceremony would arrive, because currently, it was the time where wolves began to court with one another.

 

Though he could tell that half of the omega population were hesitant to reciprocate, knowing that the heavenly lights curtained over the Gwan pack, signifying the coming of the alpha prime. After all, the pack omegas never anticipated the arrival of the wolf god.  

 

Jimin never got the chance to take part in any of these ceremonies, not with the Elders actively preventing him from joining the ceremony to avoid “trouble” by stationing guards around the village. However, the omega was a curious wolf, constantly eager to at least see whatever was happening nearby. He hid behind trunks of trees or if he’s lucky, underneath the veil of the houses’ shadows, and watched the pack celebrate the mating ceremony, witnessing two wolves professing their willed commitment under the watching, guiding light of the Moon.

 

Throughout his past 7 cycles as an omega, he would be lying if he said he wasn’t jealous watching two people find love with the support of everyone around them, jealous that they get to be happy like this and not him when he did nothing wrong just as they did nothing wrong. He’d recall every night when the event was done and the villagers retreated to bed with their torches were blown out, he’d walk to his shack with a sad wilting heart, his wolf distressed as he was.

 

Normally, he’d be dejected even before the ceremony began with every trip back from the village. Yet, he wasn’t this time. Watching everyone flirt with one another didn’t send little pangs of envy as much as before.

 

He didn’t understand why or how it happened.

 

But with the day finished and his work done, as Jimin returned, stepping into the small clearing around his shack, he could see why his mind was elsewhere. His gaze immediately landed on the young alpha stretching in front of his humble home with his back facing him, muscles rippling for Jimin to see. Sensing his arrival, Jungkook turned and rose a hand in greetings with a brief smile on his face.

 

The omega’s heated face grew hot, raising a hand to wave back at him as the alpha walked over to him.

 

“Hi.”

 

“How are you so far?” Jungkook said, his eyes scanning Jimin’s body. “No one’s been touching you recently?”

 

Jimin nodded with enthusiasm, followed by the furrow of his brow and crossing of his arms. “Hey, I should be asking you how well you’re doing right now. You’re the one with the gashes.”

 

“Ah, the recovery is going at an impressive rate. The pain is near to none whenever I move, reduced to tolerable, dull throbbing,” Jungkook replied with a shrug. “Seems like you’ve done your job well Jimin-ssi.” 

 

Jimin smiled a bashful smile, his eyes closed from the expression. “Give yourself some points too. You’re the one who said doing light work would help in the healing.”

 

The alpha huffed an airy chuckle. “In the case of bonus points, you should give yourself additional credit too.”

 

“Oh? And why is that?”

 

“Because you’re the one who provided the healing atmosphere for my wolf to rest in.” Jimin stared at Jungkook, the latter looking at him with thoughtful eyes. “After all, there are other requirements for my holistic recovery, including your bubbly talks, delightful giggles, your cute… soft hands, and fingers… “

 

As his voice trailed off at the end, Jimin blanked out in the middle of his sentence, the warmness of his ears and cheeks still present, fuming hotter. “Y-You think I’m cute?”

 

Jungkook didn’t reply, though Jimin took his lack of response as a compliment. He was blushing a dark shade of pink, his gaze now focusing elsewhere, and his hand laid over his mouth as if he said something he wasn’t meant to say out loud. A mixed scent of sweetening peach and earthy rain wafted in the air. The smell of joy and mild embarrassment.

 

Jungkook cleared his throat, still unable to look at Jimin. “What I’m saying is that I’m doing well. It’s only in a matter of time before I’m able to head out into the wild again.”

 

With those few words, Jimin’s shy smile faltered, his heart throbbing painfully in his chest. Right… He’s just helping to heal faster and get out of here. It was a selfish thought, but Jimin wished that Jungkook would change his mind about being rogue and just stay, be with him forever.

 

But he was in no position to say such things. Not when Jungkook was a free spirit, and he a shackled wolf.

 

“Your scent turned sour. Is something wrong again Jimin?”

 

He snapped out of his dreary reverie and willed himself to smile, forcing his scent to flourish. Denying the alpha of nothing happening won’t convince him, but he can lie. “It’s just every time I visit the pack village, I get a bit envious when the omegas there get to be courted with gifts and pleasant talks with the alphas.”

 

Jimin could be mistaken, but there was the slight bitter shift of tobacco released into the air. He glanced at Jungkook to check, but the alpha remained neutral. Though for a moment, the alpha tongued the inside of his cheek. “Is that so?”

 

Pushing through with his lie, Jimin nodded.

 

“Forgive me since I don’t want to be that type of person, but I’m sure you are aware that the alphas in your pack show little to no respect for you. Given your reputation.” Having accepted this fact, Jimin nodded again. “Besides, the variety of courting gifts has become too repetitive and common for you to appreciate it.”

 

“I don’t know. Personally, the amount of thought and intention put into the giving of the gift is more precious than the gift itself. Dare I say romantic~”

 

The sentiment struck some visceral reaction from the Jungkook, given the alpha has his brows raised and head cocked to the side. “Going with what you said, the mere act of someone handing you presents would make you happy?”

 

“That is correct.”

 

Jimin wasn’t sure why he had to clarify a simple opinion, but there was something calculative going inside the strange man with the way his brows would furrow without being angered or upset or when he pressed his lips tight. He’d go so far to believe that perhaps he considered doing the gesture with the omega he chooses.

 

A part of him believed he considered giving him gifts. No, don’t think idiotic things Jimin. You’re smarter than that.

 

But then Jungkook made it hard for Jimin to think otherwise.

 

Patchwork

 

There were things the alpha did that were ordinary- picking out herbs from greenery surrounding the clearing, adjusting minor misalignments around his shack, bathing in the stream (to which Jimin refused to envision due to the whole ordeal of Jungkook being naked), and the like. However, there were recent occurrences where the alpha did other things that surprised Jimin.

 

In a surprisingly good way that created a swarm of butterflies in the pits of the omega’s stomach.

 

And for the past 5 days after their odd conversation, Jimin woke to find himself on his bed every night instead of his back against the wall, bundled with furs that were supposed to be for Jungkook to use. Strange. He doesn't recall ever moving from his spot. The alpha was nowhere to be seen until late afternoon when Jungkook arrived, inviting him to strange places out of the blue.

 

Jimin trusted him, believing that Jungkook wasn’t like any other alpha he met. He followed the young man through the dimly lit woods, past towering trees and moss-covered stones, before being greeted with the most breathtaking scenery he never thought he could see in his life.

 

Late noon during the first day, he found himself atop a cliff that provided the view of the land, the sun setting down to give light to a beautiful palette of warm and cool colors underneath the passing clouds. A lone, blooming cherry blossom tree stood in the middle, pink leaves swaying from their branches. Mellow winds brushed stray strands of Jimin’s ash blonde hair with him reaching to tuck them behind his ear, only for Jungkook to do it first. A gentle stroke that sent not so gentle pangs to his chest.

 

The alpha led him to sit underneath the shade of the spring tree. He followed suit not too long after. Jimin sat in silence, in awe with the sight that beheld him. Chirps sang above him, and there on the branches was a single magpie singing a little song. “Like what you see?” Jungkook said.

 

“It’s amazing.”

 

The little lone bird continued its gentle melody, hopping branch to branch causing the pink leaves to drift away from their branches and fall steadily onto Jimin’s blond locks. He smiled bright picking at the leaves on his clothes. But then even with the wonderful sight, the bird’s chiming chirps popped his bubble of joy. “Poor magpie though, why’s it all alone?”

 

“I’ve heard from others that it has been abandoned by its family in this tree for some time now. Even though it should have perished, the tiny thing continued to thrive in its nest, constantly singing in hopes for its family to come back.”

 

“Oh that’s sad,” Jimin said with genuine concern, his head leaning against the trunk to peek at the creature above. “It’s really unfortunate for it to long something that’s no longer there, alone.”

 

“Are you sure it’s alone?”

 

Another chirp replied to the singing tune of the one above them and Jimin brought his gaze down beside his leg. On his thigh was another magpie staring at him with a small tilt of its head. “Hi there bud.” He rose an index finger, letting the bird hop onto it before raising it at face level. “I didn’t see you.” Jimin stroked the bird’s head with a gentle finger. It trilled, contented.

 

“You should fly now. Your friend is waiting for you up there.” Bringing his hand high, the magpie flew, joining the songbird among the leaves.

 

In the same moment, after he gazed at the pair with joy in his eyes, the alpha gave him his first gift.

 

A midnight blue feather with a gloss of green that dangled on a silk string, its dark colors contrasting Jimin’s bright hair. “Strong with purpose, yet light at heart. Able to bend, yet does not break. The lone magpie reminded me of someone and I couldn’t resist...”

 

Jimin kept it close to him, his heart fuzzy and warm. Later that day, he chose to let the token hang from the strands of his blonde hair.

 

It was an exchange. Where Jungkook had given him his gift, Jimin did the same. On the second day when the alpha offered to assort Jimin’s catalog of plants that lined the outside of his shack, the omega invited him to the meadow not too far from where they stayed with one sentence and a tug of his wrist.

 

“Where are we going?”

 

“You’ll see~”

 

It was there when Jimin let Jungkook sit on the grass with confusion as the omega fetched for his own present- A flower crown made of bright blue forget-me-nots that adorned Jungkook’s head shortly after, the petals glowing stark against his ebony hair. The alpha looked at Jimin with wide eyes, slightly parted lips, and dusts of pink on his cheeks as Jimin beamed with delight.

 

“Jimin you didn’t have to-“

 

“Shush. You’ve been so nice to me all these time that you made me want to give something back.” The omega tucked a stray strand of Jungkook’s dark hair behind his ear. “Besides, with how black and dark your hair is, it makes the flowers shine around your head.”

 

The alpha didn’t say anything, but the redness of his cheeks and his returning smile was enough of a response for Jimin.

 

On the third day, Jimin fell ill, overridden with fits of sneezes and coughs. Jungkook stayed with him for the whole duration of the day, ensuring that the omega received enough care to recover from his sickness. The alpha cooked and prepared his tea (under the instruction of Jimin), repeatedly pulling the furs over the smaller boy’s body. Jimin whined that day, complained about how he shouldn’t be in this condition with Jungkook still under his roof.

 

“What bad timing~. Why are you even doing everything I should be doing? I’m very much capable of brewing tea myself.”

 

“Sure, but your skin is hot and your frame clearly shaking. You’re in no condition to work right now. Just lie down and rest.”

 

“But you said doing light work would hasten the recovery of a wolf…”

 

“I did, but I also do recall that the recovery was intended for wounds, not illnesses. Now do be quiet before I force myself to sing you to sleep.”

 

“Wait you sing?”

 

“Be quiet.”

 

But Jimin did sleep, his colds causing him to pass out momentarily. But when he woke up, the day had transitioned into night. Jungkook knelt before him and offered a hand for him to take. Jimin was led outside his door and Jungkook bested him yet again with another sight that bestowed before his eyes- a dance of fireflies fluttered about within the boundary of the clearing, their warm yellow glow lighting the area like stars on earth.

 

Jimin never saw the insects live but he longed to be surrounded by them, and for him to finally witness their gathering was something out of a miracle, given fireflies were uncommon in the vicinity of the Gwan pack. He forgot his body was unwell that night, distracted by the countless light bugs that flew around him. He let his heavy feet move him to the center of it all, twirling and swaying just as the light bugs did. He brought up his hands in the shape of a cup and allowed a couple of them to rest on his palms, beaming with yellow glow.

 

He thought the scene was enough, Jimin received his second gift that night.

 

In Jungkook’s outstretched hand was a slender armlet, silver in color, engraved with a delicate pattern of swirls and edges. “This was made by a friend of mine. It’s blessed to help guide you and others out of trouble. It didn’t fit me but I’m sure it’ll fit yours.”

 

“D-Don’t be silly now. I’m sure it’s something too sentimental for me to take. It’s pretty so you should instead give it to your ma-“

 

“Just take it. My decision is final.”

 

Jungkook appeared flustered than he was annoyed- the inability to look Jimin straight in the eye as he handed the gift, the nervous press of his lips, and the mixed scent of pride and the subtle hint of anxiety. Conflicted with his feelings, he took the accessory and held it, the material surprisingly warm in his hands.

 

And ever since then, he regretted making that lie. What was he doing to himself? Jungkook’s been doing the most for him, giving the best gifts he could ever wish for. And for what? To satisfy a selfish request that wasn’t even meant to be true? What did that end up with? Jungkook taking pity on him by giving him gifts that weren’t supposed to be for him.

 

Jimin knows the alpha was going to leave soon, returning to the wilderness he was meant to wander on. Meeting his true mate out there waiting for him. Foolish. How foolish of you Jimin. It wouldn’t surprise him if the alpha was merely putting on a show just for the sake of being polite.

 

He shouldn’t have set himself up like this, should have told Jungkook the truth instead of putting himself in this one week of sunshine and happiness when it meant he would face the familiar bleakness and numbness of the weeks to come.

 

That night when Jungkook was asleep was also the same night Jimin cried with silent tears, the feather in his hair now heavy and the armlet in his grip now cold to the touch.

 

⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅∙∘☽༓☾∘∙•⋅⋅⋅•⋅⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅

 

Forgotten

 

Afternoon arrived and it won’t be long until 2 days remained before spring came to a close.

 

“It’s been a while since we last checked your wounds. How are you feeling?” Jimin said, his chest heavy, unable to look at the alpha preparing his furs for the travel to come.

 

“I’m feeling well. In prime condition just as the time before I was injured.”

 

It was getting hard for Jimin to let go of his feelings, even with the number of attempts he tried distracting himself with other thoughts that didn’t involve the alpha. It never worked, his mind was as stubborn as he was, always drifting back to pictures of onyx hair, subtle smiles, and toned melanin skin. “That’s great Jungkook-ssi. Let’s peel off your dressings then.”

 

He nodded and sat in front of Jimin. The latter gulped as his hands reached out and took hold of the fabric, grazing a patch of skin. With careful precision, he unwound the cloth covering his torso.

 

Sizable scars now lined across areas of where old claw wounds used to be, adding to the collection of smaller scars around his upper body.

 

“You said you’re feeling well, and I can now confirm that you are indeed correct,” Jimin said, a tiny sound of half-hearted excitement coming out of him. Jungkook remained still, showing no signs of joy or enthusiasm.

 

The omega forced a chuckle out of his system, standing to dispose of the used fabric. “Guess that means you can go now. You’re free!”

 

Wood creaked behind him followed by the sound of footsteps. “It would seem so.”

 

“There’s still time you know,” Jimin said, fetching for his black furs. It’s spotless. He must have cleaned it during his free time. He’s that eager huh…  “I mean, you still have a couple of days left before mating season ends. With how skillful and handsome you look, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a mate out there without any trouble.”

 

The alpha didn’t respond.

 

Staying true to his nature as a host to his guest, Jimin walked Jungkook out of his shack and onto the clearing.  “This is where I drop you off.” He said. “If you want to visit the village, just follow the path I walk on every day. If not, then you can head off anywhere I suppose.”

 

Neither decided to move or talk, afraid of what’s to come.

 

But this was the deal- Jungkook stayed with him for the duration of his recovery until he’s fully healed. And with the contract over, both parties should have no problem with it. It has to be done.

 

Jimin held back his emotions and turned to face Jungkook for the last time, mustering enough courage to look at him in the eye. “This is farewell then…”

 

Jungkook remained silent, contemplation evident on his tightened lips and creased brows.

 

Don’t go. “Thank you for helping me all these weeks… for the gifts and…” His eyes welled, chest constricting painfully. “For being my only friend who has always been with me through my ups and downs.”

 

“Jimin…”

 

Every memory of his time with the alpha flashed through his train of thought- the first talk, the daily banter, the shared smiles and laughter, that night by the stream, the time at the cliff, the fireflies… everything.

 

“Please…” Please stay with me. His breath was shaky, tears threatening to spill but he willed himself to smile through it. “Please leave before I become selfish and ask you of things you don’t deserve.”

 

Stay.

 

The alpha stood there, hands balled into fists. A few heartbeats later, he gave in and nodded. Jimin hoped he changed his mind, wishing nothing more than for him to give in and scoop the omega into his arms one more time. “If you wish…” He let his piercing doe eyes take in Jimin one last time before turning away, his head bowed. “Goodbye.”

 

In a blink of an eye, he was gone. Just like that, Jimin would never see him again. Never feel his comforting presence after a ruthless day.

 

Tears flowed down in his face as he turned on his heels and hurried back to his house, quickly shutting the door behind him. His legs collapsed under him and he allowed himself to burst into silent sobs, hands in his hair.

 

It’s for the best.

 

⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅∙∘☽༓☾∘∙•⋅⋅⋅•⋅⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅

 

♫ Sensual Seduction

 

How long has he cried for? Everything was dark, the sun long gone replaced with nothing but the light of the Moon.

 

Jimin lay on his scrapped pile of furs, curled against the pelts staring into nothing but the wooden walls, dried tear stains marking his cheeks. His stomach growled but he refused to eat. No candles were lit, leaving him to bask alone in the dark.

 

In a matter of days, he’d be working alone once again. He’d be coming back to his lonely shack without anyone waiting for his return. Some parts of him hated how he grew dependent on the alpha, always needing his presence to function, yet other parts of him didn’t regret having such strong feelings for the wolf.

 

He couldn’t explain how it happened, but Jimin missed having him around. He missed his serious face, his scent of tobacco and rain, his sculpted body. His body grew warm, too warm for comfort. Outside of his sudden longing, his body became heavy and sluggish.

 

Thoughts of Jungkook played in his head in hopes of quelling his numbness, but with every vision, impure images of bare, heated skin flashed in his mind. With every second, he felt those hands grip his hips and lips kissing every inch of his body, licking from the base of his neck down until his tongue dipped in between his legs.

 

Jimin whimpered, slick beginning to drip and soak his clothes and furs. His wolf barked at him, restless and pacing within him aching for its alpha to tend to its needs, his clothes now stuck on his sweat-drenched skin.

 

Stuck in a daze, all he could think of was nothing but filth- visions of Jungkook above him, sweaty and focused, thrusting himself into the omega’s heat over and over again until he could hear himself whining for more.

 

His omega howled for Jimin to do something and so he did.

 

With his body running on hazy desperation, he got up on wobbly legs and wretched the door open. He stumbled outside, his knees buckling few steps into the open. The evening breeze was colder against his burning skin, making the omega shiver.

 

“Alpha…” He said, weak and quiet. His eyes brimmed with tears as he called for him again. “Alpha… P-Please come back…”

 

He knew his cries for help were useless with the alpha now miles away from him. Yet, he couldn’t help but hope for a miracle he’d return, maybe for just one more night. With a bowed head, Jimin let his tears drip onto the dirt below, trembling and sobbing mixed with the arousal leaking out of him from behind.

 

Footsteps crunched nearby, its volume growing louder as the figure drew closer. The unmistakable scent of fresh tobacco and petrichor becoming ever more potent with every step. Until those steps stopped before him.

 

“Jimin-ssi…”

 

He gasped. Jimin looked up in an instant and there he was. Standing against the moonlight was Jungkook, looking back at him with a hint of concern and lust dripping from his piercing doe eyes. All form of decency left his thoughts as the omega pushed himself off the ground and threw his arms around the alpha’s shoulder, tucking his face on the crook of his neck, muffling his sobs.

 

A gentle hand settled on the small of the omega’s back.

 

“I’m s-sorry for asking you back. I know I’m being selfish b-but,” Jimin said in between his hiccups. “I n-need you Jungkook-ssi. P-Please stay. Please please please…,” He pulled him closer, unwilling to let him leave. “I need you. I promise I’ll be good, and I’ll make it up for you, a-and…”

 

“Shhh calm down,” Jungkook said with a hushed voice, stroking his back to soothe the smaller wolf.  “It’s okay. I’m here now.”

 

“S-Scent me?”

 

The alpha responded with a single nod before diving to press his lips against the omega’s neck, nuzzling the swollen area, nipping the skin, and letting his tongue graze the gland.

 

Jimin’s cries dwindled into tiny whimpers and hiccups. His arms remained locked around Jungkook, urging the alpha to continue. His crotch pressed close against his, the slightest movement causing Jimin to gasp with sensitivity. His body started to burn, his mind beginning to get hazy as slick started to dribble out.

 

He shivered, knees threatened to buckle when the alpha growled, detecting the potent scent of peach and vanilla emanating from the omega. What once was a gentle touch on the back turned into a tight grip around his waist. “Omega…”

 

Jimin’s vision blurred, breathless whimpers escaping his lips as he rubbed his clothed erection against the alpha’s hard thighs. “N-Need alpha… please-“. His words trailed off into a gasp as he felt a hand grip his hair from behind, pulling his head up to expose the pale column of his neck.

 

Jungkook dove straight to press his face against the omega’s gland, pressing kisses and nipping at the skin with a low growl causing Jimin to let out a pitched moan. His hands fisted the other’s hair, his dampened crotch humping the alpha’s thighs with fervor. The bigger wolf dragged his tongue up the length of his throat, kissing the underside of Jimin’s jaw up to the tip of his ear. He drew back by a few inches until his face hovered before Jimin’s, his breath warm and close. 

 

The omega licked his lips before pulling Jungkook’s lips to his own with a desperate whimper, wrapping his arms around the alpha’s neck. In a matter of seconds, Jimin could focus on nothing else than the steamy mess of lips and tongues, pulling away to breathe before they were back on each other again. The alpha’s hands went to grip his petite waist, occasionally dipping lower until they squeezed his ass, making the omega squeak in surprise.

 

“Alpha please...,” Jimin whispered in between kisses, raising one leg to the side of the alpha’s hip. Jungkook caught the hint and wasted no time before he brought his hands to hold the omega’s thighs and carried him up, allowing Jimin to wrap his legs around Jungkook’s waist. The latter pressed him against the wall of his shack before parting the smaller boy’s lips apart to slip his tongue inside.  

 

Jimin whined as the alpha began to roll his crotch against his, hard. Slick began to drip through the fabric, spurring the alpha to continue with a tempted growl. His mind went dizzy with the spike of Jungkook’s intense scent of tobacco blocking out any other scents around them.

 

Jimin felt the world move around him behind shut eyes and breathless kisses, his body weightless in the alpha’s arms. Out of the blue, his back collided with the furs on the floor. The alpha crawled over his burning body until his face was above Jimin’s, his eyes hooded and his irises crimson red. In an instant, their lips connected once more, his back arching and their crotches pressed against each other.

 

Letting their primal instincts take over, both men began to claw at their clothes, shedding the material off themselves until both lay bared and naked.

 

Everything was hypersensitive and his body trembling under the mercy of the alpha. Jungkook pulled back with a single string of spit between their tongues, and he began to find interest in sucking the expanse of his neck once more. His hands roamed, calloused palms and fingers stroking every inch of Jimin’s skin. “You’re so needy omega,” Jungkook said against the other’s scent gland. “Are you this desperate for alpha?”

 

Jimin let out a whine, biting his lips when the alpha slowly stroked the inner side of his thighs, “Y-Yes ah… only f-for…!” He moaned when his hands thumbed at his nipples, arching himself to seek the same touch. “Stop teasing- mnn~” He cast one arm over his eyes as Jungkook latched his mouth onto one nipple with his hand flicking the other.

 

“So sensitive pup…,” Jimin believed he went crazy as tears started to form in the corners of his eyes, his breaths coming in short bursts as the alpha continued his ministrations, a repetition of his tongue drawing wet circles around his areola and nipping canines. Combined with his fingers toying with the other nipple, the omega laid squirming, pleasure building up in the pits of his stomach, his arousal leaking onto the ground. “Wonder how long you last before you come for me.”

 

Jungkook left one peck and drew back. Jimin whined until the other returned to kiss him messily on the lips, pushing his tongue in. The omega whimpered with his body jolting at every feather-light tap and touch of his fingers against the side of his burning body. The alpha huffed, dotting pecks from the corner of Jimin’s lips until the latter felt his breath hot against his ear.

 

Present for alpha.”

 

The omega froze, his body quivering at the commanding tone of the alpha. He quickly turned to his stomach with a whimper before getting onto wobbly knees, pressing his chest against the furs, and perking his ass in the air, exposing everything to the other. Slick dribbled out his hole in large quantities, down the sides of his legs, forming a small puddle below him mixing with the pre-cum.

 

A guttural noise was heard from behind him, deep and guttural that made him hide his face underneath his arms. All of a sudden, warmth enveloped him entirely followed by the nearing growl by his ear. The alpha had climbed over him, his cock hard and flushed right above the crack of his ass. Jimin yelped, his body quivering when he felt those digits smooth over his sides, teasing. “Look at you… becoming a mess already. I haven’t even started yet little one…”

 

Jungkook let his tongue lick the tip of his ear, before giving it a light bite. “Who’s to say how you’ll become once I’m done with you.”

 

 A mewl escaped Jimin’s lips as he felt the alpha’s hand engulf his drooling cock. “Ahnn… ah hah- ahh!” He jerked as the other thumbed at the slit. “P-Please… ahh no m-more… n-need…”

 

“Need what omega?” Jimin whined as he felt those frustrating fingers skim over the curve of his ass, tracing the slick around his winking hole. “Tell alpha.”

 

“Mnn~ need… n-need your… ahhh~” Moans replaced words as he felt the alpha’s tongue drag itself up the length of his slick-coated thighs, up and up until his lips kissed the ring of muscle circling his opening. Jimin’s breathing caught in his chest, gasping as he felt the wet muscle dip into him, the alpha’s hands gripping his thighs apart to make room for his lips to suck.

 

“Ah hahh mnn…!” Jimin jerked his hips against Jungkook’s face as the latter’s rough hands returned to stroking the short length of his cock. Gradually, he quickened his hands the more his skillful tongue reached deeper into him, devouring every drip of arousal that leaked out of his hole. And the more Jungkook continued to eat him with fervor, Jimin moans pitched higher with every passing second, the burning pleasure in the pits of his stomach growing more and more.

 

“A-Alpha ah! W-wait wanna mnn… w-wanna… ahh! Ahhhh!”

 

Jimin tossed his head back with tightly shut eyes, crying out as his cock released white ribbons of cum onto the dirt beneath him. His ass spurted more amounts of slick, coating the Jungkook’s lower face. Even as Jimin’s head slumped back onto the ground, his breath coming in short intervals, the alpha only growled with satisfaction as he continued to lick every bit of juices he produced from his orgasm.

 

The omega whimpered in oversensitivity. “Haa hah… alpha… please…”

 

Jungkook hummed, leaving one more kiss on his winking hole before bringing his head up the omega’s back. The smaller wolf slightly opened his glossy eyes as he turned his head as much as he can, a weak whimper escaping past his lips, wanting the alpha’s face close to his. Jungkook nuzzled the space behind Jimin’s ear with a low rumble before proceeding to press his slick-drenched lips against Jimin’s parted ones, slipping his tongue inside to tangle with Jimin’s. A taste of bitterness and sweetness was what Jimin got from the alpha’s mouth, making him moan regardless.

 

Just then, Jungkook adjusted himself over Jimin, mounting him with his toned figure completely hovering over his body. Jimin waited impatiently with bated breath, sucking in air sharply as he felt the tip of the alpha’s cock against his rim. “I’ll ask you again omega, what do you want?”  He asked, husky and breathy.

 

“Need…y-you~”

 

“What do you need omega?”

 

His cheeks burned hot up the tip of his ears and down his neck, whining out of embarrassment. More slick leaked out of him from shame, a bigger puddle forming around his knees. “Don’t w-wanna mnn… please…“

 

“I can wait all night pup. I won’t do anything until you tell me what you want.” Jungkook said, his voice deep and rough beside the omega’s ear. The latter trembled and whimpered, twitching at each teasing brush of his hands on his scorching body. His cockhead remained in position, the tip dipping an inch inside his loosened hole. The alpha huffed and leaned down to suck more marks on his neck.

 

With one flick of his nipple and a single stroke of his cock, Jimin sobbed as his hips jerked backward. “I-I need y-your knot inside me, fill me with c-cum, fuck me ‘t-till I can’t think of anything el-“

 

His head tossed back, eyes flying open and his mouth crying a silent scream as Jungkook rammed his length into his heat with no ease, bottoming deep inside of Jimin. “Alpha- ahh! Ahhh ah ah…!” Words were left unsaid, replaced with cries of pleasure as the alpha pistoned in and out of his ass.

 

“So tight fuck…,” The other said with a growl, latching his canines onto Jimin’s shoulder. His orgasm caught him off guard with the omega gasping for air, pink cock shooting another round of cum. “That’s right…hng… so good for alpha.”

 

Jimin lay shaking on the dirtied furs, lips ajar and drooling, panting and whimpering with oversensitivity as Jungkook continued driving himself in and out of his ass, the sound of squelch becoming more prominent as his slick making the glide smooth and much more pleasurable. The alpha lapped at the bite mark before proceeding to nip at his gland before leaving more bruises on unmarked sections of Jimin’s shoulder. “Haah… unh… ah ahh… Ahhh!” Jimin yelped, breathing becoming frantic as his hips bucked against the other’s hips once his cock pressed against that sensitive spot within him, his toned torso flush against Jimin’s back.

 

Jungkook’s thrusts turned erratic, occasionally grinding his cockhead against the omega’s prostrate in slow and deep strokes in the middle of his session. “N-No more hah… p-please too… t-too mu- ahhh~” With one rough lick of the alpha’s tongue on his neck, he lay pliant, letting the alpha use him for his desires.

 

“Shit… I’m close pup…,” Jungkook whispered in between his grunts, his hips moving at an irregular pace. Jimin couldn’t say anything, his mind clouded and hazy as he felt something bulbous smack against his rim. He was at the brink of losing conscience but he mustered one tiny whimper, puckering his lips into a pout, asking for a kiss. The alpha heeded in an instant, locking his lips with Jimin’s, bringing them into another passionate kiss.

 

Jungkook parted back a few inches and groaned, ducking his head onto the smaller man’s nape once his knot locked himself inside of the omega’s heat. A couple more seconds of grinding and Jimin whined in return as he felt a warm stream of cum shoot inside him, seemingly never-ending as yet another round shot itself into his womb. And another.

 

The alpha nuzzled himself on the crook of Jimin’s neck, planting small comforting kisses as Jimin let himself pass out in exhaustion.

 

His sleep never lasted for long, not when he felt his cock harden and pure, unadulterated arousal building in his belly. His body remained in the same position the moment he fainted, face down, ass up, the same girthy length dragging itself in and out of his puffy rim with reinvigorated speed.

 

Jimin stirred half-awake, moaning and drooling as he attempted to reach behind him to seek some form of anchor to reality. A harsh growl was his response, a hand grabbing a fistful of his blond hair and tugging it back until his back was pressed against the alpha’s chest. A pained whimper bubbled out of his mouth, followed by a hiccup as the wolf pounding into him panting near his ear.

 

“You triggered my rut, you sly minx...,” He said with a grunt, each word punctuated with a forceful thrust, eliciting a pitched yelp from the omega. Jimin felt rough hands tweak his nipples that caused him to sob before biting his lip, hard. “Look what you’ve done to me…,” His thrusts paused, the tip pressing against his prostate. Jimin let out a pathetic whimper, weakly pushing his ass against the man’s hip, seeking stimulation.  

 

Jungkook’s hands skimmed down his waist at a sluggish pace while his lips bit and sucked every unmarked patch of skin he could find. He found a grip onto Jimin’s hips and after slight adjustments, the alpha bucked his hips up with an intensity that caused the omega to scream in sheer pleasure, his member reaching deeper depths inside of him as he slammed into him faster than before.

 

He hooked his arm around Jimin’s throat, plastering the smaller wolf’s body against his chest, bouncing the omega on his cock like a weightless ragdoll. Jimin went slack in his hold. His eyes rolled back and his tongue lolled out, gasping for air with each thrust.

 

“Ah ah ah…,” He couldn’t think anymore, not with the large cock driving into him causing him to moan out like a dumb toy. He never felt fuller as he was, feeling the lengthy member deep inside his womb.

 

“Do you feel it…,” Jungkook whispered hotly into his ear, grasping Jimin’s limp hand and bringing it to his abdomen where he could feel a prominent bump right above his erection. His head lolled down, glassy eyes trying to focus.  “So deep, so warm,” He began to stroke his tummy. “Would make such a perfect breeding vessel for my pups…”

 

At the mention of children, Jimin let out a loud moan, slick dripping more profusely around his member. “Yeah? You like that don’t you? To be mine, mine to cherish and breed… over. And over-“Jungkook planted their hands firmly on top of the lump. “Again.”

 

And the bigger wolf rammed up into him again, pressing their hands down on that spot at the same time.

 

Jimin came instantly with a silent scream, his body rigid as white ribbons stained his stomach, chest, and the underside of his chin. He fell limp against the alpha’s hold, all parts of his body shutting down even as his hole continued to get abused.

 

He blacked out yet again as the pleasant feeling of warm cum flooded into his tummy in numerous rounds, inflating his tummy by the lot with Jungkook’s knot settled snuggly into the omega’s heat, preventing any of the cum from leaking out.

 

It all was numb from there.

 

Jimin couldn’t sense anything around him anymore, what time it was, or what rational things his body usually needed. His head was in the clouds, fuzzy and blank, with every waking moment to his shallow dreams. All he could think about was Jungkook inside him, Jungkook covering him with his firm body, Jungkook littering him with dozens of bites and love marks.

 

He’d find himself standing, pinned against the wall with Jungkook pounding into him with the same vigor, squelching noises echoing into the empty air with each thrust into his already sloppy, cum-frothing hole.

 

Another time he’d find himself waking up with a cock shoved down his throat, a hand in his hair controlling his head movement as the alpha thrusted into his mouth. Jimin gagged, but his urge to please was his main priority. He hollowed his cheeks and let the alpha use him as he wished, tears, snot, and drool streaking down his face.

 

In his sleep, Jungkook had maneuvered his quivering body onto his lap, bracketing his legs around the alpha’s narrow waist, positioning the omega over the mushroom head. Jimin wailed awake as the other pistoned up into his heat, piercing and bouncing him on his cock with ferocity. He snarled with every plunge, biting into Jimin’s shoulder. He blacked out not too long after with the alpha still pounding into him.

 

The last thing Jimin could remember with his hazy mind on the last day of his heat was him on his back, thighs pressed on his shoulder with Jungkook grinding deep into him, his knot forming outside of his gaping rim. His warming body was numb and dirty, bluish-purple marking every part of his body, from bite marks to hickeys, to bruises where the other’s hands had a grip on. His tummy was stretched, swollen pregnant with loads of cum dumped into him endlessly by Jungkook’s heightened libido.

 

The omega’s cock was now soft under his inflated stomach, having orgasmed countless times during the duration of his heat, bobbing uselessly to the steady thrusts Jungkook gave.

 

His hips became erratic once more, his pace now irregular and desperate. Jimin could tell Jungkook’s rut was ending too based on how his aggressive fucks turned mellow and slow, his desire to breed fading to an extent. Everything was too raw, the drag of his cock against his walls bordering painful, but even if it did hurt, he wanted to please the alpha until the end.

 

Jungkook’s leaned down to nuzzle his nose against Jimin’s bruised neck, growling as he chased his orgasm with every hurried thrust. In contrast to his previous bites and harsh grips, the alpha now placed gentle kisses on the omega’s bruised skin, his hands now stroking his sweaty body with light movements as if to provide a soothing presence after such primal intercourse. He purred a deep purr, lapping at his abused scent gland.

 

Jimin’s eyes welled with tears, a sob ripping out of his ruined throat, overwhelmed at the sudden affection Jungkook was giving him. The latter pulled back after one more peck before bringing his head up to Jimin’s. The omega eyed the alpha hovering above him and turned his head away the second after as he let out another sob, fresh tears rolling down his flushed cheeks.

 

He felt the alpha cup his cheek, wiping away the wetness on his face and nudging the omega to look at him. Jungkook hummed, bringing his lips down to press against Jimin’s. The kiss wasn’t as hot and desperate as it was before with the clash of teeth and tongue. It was slow and passionate, lip locked and open for their tongues to meet, both wolves welcoming the warm sincere love underneath all their lust.

 

With three more thrusts, the alpha let out a final groan, head slumping on the crook of Jimin’s shoulder as his knot locked him inside the omega, releasing his last loads of cum into the small wolf’s womb, some trickling past the knot in copious amounts and onto the soaked furs, Jimin’s tummy having no more space to hold more of the alpha’s release, and his hole abnormally gaping even around the bulbous base.  Jimin whimpered as his cock tightened one last time, squeezing its last cum.

 

The air around them fell into complete silence, save for their harsh pants of exhaustion and the faint chimes of crickets outside the shack. The room smelled of sweat, sharp petrichor, and sweet peach, all the more providing the two with an intimate bubble for themselves.

 

Jimin’s heart raced and his lungs struggled to stabilize his breathing, tiny mewls pitching through his mouth from the effort. With closed eyes and a pained whimper, he felt his body moving to his side with the knot still locked inside him, an arm draping over his and pulling him flush against the alpha’s neck, right by his scent gland.

 

Jimin used all the remaining strength he had to move his head to nuzzle Jungkook’s neck and plant his own kisses on the other’s skin with a grateful purr. The alpha rumbled in contentment, pressing his lips on the omega’s sweaty hair with his hand stroking his backside with gentle movements.

 

His mouth betrayed his clearing mind the last time and with a hushed voice, he said 3 simple words before falling into a peaceful slumber.

 

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♫ At Dawn

 

The inky blackness of the night bloomed into a midnight blue, the sun now waiting right below the horizon to paint the sky with hues of orange and bright blues.

 

Jungkook felt someone stir beside him, waking him up in the process. He glanced to his side to see that the omega now faced away from him, his body curled and knees tucked close to his chest. His shoulders shook, quiet sobs filling the empty space. His chest throbbed, his inner wolf howling with sadness, the urge to care for its omega rising within him.

 

“Jimin?” Jungkook said, his voice quiet. He reached out a hand and placed it on the smaller man’s shoulder. The gesture only made the other sob harder, curling more into a defensive, vulnerable position.

 

Was there something he did wrong? What happened that made Jimin uncomfortable like this? Jungkook tightened his lips, his mind working on what he should do to ease his turmoil.

 

He shuffled closer to Jimin until he was flush against the other’s back, his nose grazing Jimin’s nape. He wrapped an arm around the omega’s waist, his hand settling on the now-small pouch of his cum on Jimin’s abdomen. “Why are you crying pup?”

 

“It’s… It’s nothing.” Jimin said, hesitant and shaky. “’M just really moody after my heat…”

 

“You’re lying, aren’t you?” Jungkook said, kissing the omega’s neck.

 

“N-No ‘m not…”

 

“Can I see you then?”

 

The boy remained still, his hiccups slowing to a stop. It lasted for a couple more seconds, reaching a point where Jungkook wondered if Jimin fell asleep, ignoring his statement. And he was fine with that. If it made him comfortable, then so be it.

 

But Jimin complied to the alpha’s request, turning to his other side with a fallen expression, his gaze cast away looking elsewhere. Jungkook’s heart ached at the sight of the other’s sullen look with puffy eyes and stuffy nose. Jimin’s hands clenched from where it lay. “There… happy now?”

 

“What’s wrong?” Jungkook asked quietly, reaching to cup Jimin’s full cheeks, swiping the tear streaks with his thumb.

 

The alpha needed to know what’s on his mind, why he decided to close himself away from him. The response was the light quiver of Jimin’s bottom lip and fresh tears streaking down his face. His wolf whined with worry. The omega’s scent was sour, unlike his formerly honeyed vanilla from earlier. “Jimin-“

 

“I’m scared.”

 

Jungkook’s breath stilled. “I’m scared that when I wake up in the morning, the furs are cold and you’re no longer there with me. I’m scared o-of what will happen to me once I’ve come to accept that you were g-gone. I’m scared of knowing that I’ll be crying again and again and no one will hear me…”

 

“With my heat done...,” Jimin continued, his eyes shining with tears and his voice weak and shaking. “You have no reason to stay anymore…” 

 

His last word ended with a choked sob, bringing his hand in an attempt to cover his face, failing to cover his trembling lips as he cried silently.

 

The alpha wrapped an arm around Jimin’s waist and pulled him into his embrace, letting his scent blanket the omega with comfort. The latter hiccupped against Jungkook’s shoulder, his cries slowing into small whimpers.

 

“Be still now love…,” The alpha brushed Jimin’s hair and pressed his lips on his forehead. Underneath his touch, the boy shivered. “Everything will be okay.”

 

“Sleep.”

 

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Nod

 

Warm sunlight streamed through his window, casting faint shadows around the humble shack.

 

Chirps of birds chimed from outside, rousing Jimin from his cozy slumber. The boy scrunched his face and stirred. He opened his eyes with blurry vision, half-blinded by the brightness of the sun. He sat upright, the furs draped over him pooling at his wait. He winced at the dull ache of his lower body, every muscle complaining.

 

Jimin rubbed his eyes free from crust and with a clearer vision, he sucked in a breath at the sight of his skin in broad daylight. His shoulders and chest littered with shallow bite marks, every inch of his pale skin dotted with dark red hickeys, and purplish bruises bloomed in the area of his hips, waist, and thighs in the shape of fingerprints.

 

He skimmed over each mark, remembering the past two nights they spent fucking like wild animals. At the thought of Jungkook, he numbly looked over to his side only to find no one lying next to him. As expected. His eyes welled up with unshed tears, unable to cry anymore. What else would he be hoping for?

 

Nearby a damp piece of cloth lay on the ground beside one of his clay water jugs. At second thought, his body was free from the stickiness of their body fluids. Jimin’s cheeks warmed by a little and he huffed an empty laugh. He wiped me clean… how thoughtful.

 

With a bit more effort, he got up with the ache between his legs and started to move.

 

Tonight was the annual mating ceremony, the village most likely at peak excitement knowing the alpha prime would be visiting, but Jimin never felt more indifferent.

 

He couldn’t bear stalking in the shadows of the trees and seeing the sight of wolves coming together with joy and prosperity while he remained alone, now with an alpha who gave him false hope and left. If Jimin couldn’t think his life was playing a joke on him, he believed so now. Added with the visual of the god of wolves picking a lucky wolf as his mate… Jimin just couldn’t.

 

With everyone preoccupied with the ceremony, there was no need for Jimin to drop by and do his usual job. No one wanted to see him roaming around and ruining their mood. He remained static at home, cleaning and sorting what needed to be tended to, devoid of any emotion. Oftentimes, he also fiddled mindlessly with the feather on his hair, wanting to go back to the cliff with Jungkook.

 

In the middle of his mundane chores, Jimin’s head spun, having him grab onto the nearby table to steady himself. His stomach acted up, clenching painfully. He barely ate anything for the day and yet he felt bloated and dizzy.

 

Jimin cupped his mouth and rushed outside and ran behind the building as soon as something rose in his throat. He hunched over and vomited his few bites of food onto the grass. Jimin groaned and heaved, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

 

“Damnit…,” Jimin muttered, heading back inside to clean his hands and drink some water in hopes to ease his sudden nausea.

 

 Suddenly, someone was knocking on his door.

 

Jimin stiffened, his heart beating rapidly in his chest. Was he scared? Or merely nervous? The fool inside prayed it must be the alpha coming back once more, but Jimin was done allowing his fantasies to override his senses. Another side of him thought of a messenger or a village guard, wanting him to do another job that benefits everyone but him. Worst case scenario would be if it was Byungho coming back to ruin him again. The thought sent chills down his spine.

 

However, he shoved any fearful thoughts aside and took a deep breath as h smoothened his raggedy shirt and patted his pants. He reached for the knob and opened the door.

 

“My my my, look who we have here?” 

 

Before him stood the Story Teller, Yeonghui herself smiling, dressed in her maroon robes and her gray hair done into a neat bun. She had the same peaceful air around her, wrinkles and all. Jimin had found the elderly to be quite the odd Elder out, but for her to walk all the way here was strange. He found two alpha guards standing post not too far from her, safeguarding her trip here.

 

“Yeonghui-ssi, good afternoon! What brings you here?” Jimin said with a forced smile and with much chipper in his voice as he could muster.

 

The Elder chuckled. “Why are you forcing yourself to be cheerful? I wouldn’t take your mood changes as an insult little one.”

 

Jimin dropped his smile and rubbed the back of his neck, bashful. “Right uh… thank you.”

 

“Oh?” Yeonghui hummed with curiosity, leaning close to inspect Jimin closer. She took one sniff and she rose a suggestive brow, giving a cheeky laugh. His cheeks and ears heated with embarrassment. “Looks like you have made yourself quite busy these days.”

 

“Ah n-no, it’s not like that.”

 

The elderly woman smirked with her brows raised. “Uh-huh. Alright, if you say so.” She said. “Speaking of being busy, I’m sure you are aware of tonight’s special event, correct?”

 

Jimin did know, but he preferred not to. “Yeah. I’m… aware.”

 

“Planning to come and watch the festivities again pup?” Yeonghui said with a lowered voice, not wanting her guards to eavesdrop.

 

He paused for a moment. In the past, he would have said “yes” with no hesitation despite leaving with bittersweet emotions. However, he didn’t feel that same eagerness as before. He looked away.  “I… I don’t think I’ll be joining tonight. I’m… feeling unwell.”

 

The woman cooed. “Is that so?” She clicked her tongue. “That’s a shame. I guess I have to inform the young fellow who told me to give this gift to you of the unfortunate news. It has a little note attached to it too but oh well.”

 

“Wait.” Jimin stilled, returning his gaze towards the Elder. Seeing her again, he hadn’t noticed her hands were behind her back, holding some sort of package. Impossible. There’s no way.  “Who told you- “

 

“He didn’t give me his name- Strange man with his tied dark hair and dark clothes, but at this point, I’m just delaying our conversation.” She brought forward the object in front of them. It was square in shape, wrapped in layers of leaves held together by a long piece of twine. A rolled-up paper was tucked right underneath the knot.

 

“Mmm, he must really have taken much interest in you for him to send you a gift covered with lotus leaves topped with a message,” Yeonghui said, humming. “You don’t see those kinds around here. I assume he must be from another pack.”

 

Jimin reached his arms out and gingerly received the bundle. It was soft and weighed lightly in his hands. “T-Thank you Yeonghui-ssi.”

 

“I have to go back. A meeting is to be held in a short while and my presence as an Elder is needed.” She said. “Oh, I’d reconsider going to the ceremony if I were you Jimin. You’ll be missing many things tonight otherwise.”

 

The Story Teller gave him a slow nod of her head in farewell, turning to walk alongside the alpha guards on the way back.

 

Jimin closed the door behind him and settled himself on the pelts. He placed the bundle in front of him and detached the small paper. Unfurling it, he read the note with low expectations.

 

Jimin

You must be upset once you’ve woken up without me by your side and I deeply apologize for my abrupt departure. But undoubtedly, you have caught my interest and I have fallen for your courage and never-ending compassion. I’ve never felt this way with someone else but you. Not a day has passed, and I already miss you. You are a strange wolf, one as strange as me.

I wish to see you one last time at your village’s mating ceremony, at the trees that line the huts. I am aware that you long to join the event just as the other wolves do, and I want to help you fulfill that dream. I sent you one last gift, furs that are everlasting and mystifying. They suit you far more than any other.

Hope to see you soon.

- Jungkook

 

Droplets landed on the page. Jimin wasn’t even aware that his cheeks were wet with tears. He didn’t know whether to hate the alpha for claiming a spot in his heart or to continue to long for him and his subtle ways of loving. But no matter the thoughts that flood his head, Jimin needed to attend and see Jungkook once more.

 

For the last time.

 

He rolled the note and set it aside. Jimin darted his attention to the gift itself and tugged at the loose end of the twine. With the string undone, the leaves fell apart, revealing the object within. Jimin gasped, eyes widening and his heart beating fast in his chest.

 

The pure, snowy fur cloak from a white wolf.

 

White wolves, may it be a shifter or an animal, were considered to be myths around these lands, alongside black wolves. All wolves were commonly born with different shades of brown and grey or a mix of both. Never once a wolf was born with a silky white pelt. No one was also born as a black wolf because everyone knew that that color only belonged to the alpha prime himself.

 

And for Jimin to receive the furs from a supposed mythical creature felt like he must be in a vivid dream yet to wake.

 

He brushed the cloak with his own hands and sighed pleasantly at how soft the texture was, the fur thick with a perfect balance of silky and fuzzy. The omega stood, bringing the furs up. It was just his height with the edge reaching Jimin’s shins.

 

Jimin fastened it around his body and reveled in its warmth. His wolf howled with sheer joy at the new coat, yipping at Jimin to wear that instead of his scrappy brown cloak. Never in his life did he wear clothing this luxurious and extravagant. He wrapped himself into a hug, feeling every stroke of his fingers against the pelt.

 

From a distance, the echoing boom of drums and the ecstatic cheers of the villagers alerted his attention. The sun began to set, painting the skies with darkened hues, giving emphasis on the blazing glow of the Gwan Pack’s festivities beyond the trees.

 

The ceremony has begun.

 

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The English Affair 

 

The moment of celebration radiated from the village- the loud cheers of the crowd, the beat of the drums, the stomach-growling smell of meat and spices contributed to the overall joy of the festivities.

 

Though it was an exciting thought to partake in the delights, Jimin stayed at his usual hiding spots between trunks of the trees, watching his fellow wolves enjoy while he stood watching from the sidelines. But that wasn’t what he came here for.

 

Jungkook told him that he’d come to fulfill his wish.

 

Now Jimin stood in the border of the village, oddly feeling overdressed in a location that wasn’t within civilization. It was strange, getting glimpses of the omegas, male and female, walking with the rest, dressed in their finest fur cloaks or coats, styled hair, enhanced scents, an accessory or two added to enhance their beauty- bracelets, earrings, headdresses and all. Yet placing their outfit next to his was… incomparable.

 

Somehow, the simplicity of a single iridescent feather dangling from his hair, a silver armlet around his bicep, the pure white of his cloak, and a simple necklace felt more extravagant than puffier coats and bedazzling jewelry. Maybe Jimin was reaching too much but his ideas mattered more than asking from another’s.

 

He never meant to go all-out with his looks, but if he would grant his last time with the alpha before their farewell, he would make it worth it by at least looking his best.

 

Jimin waited patiently, sitting atop a boulder as he spent his time watching the liveliness of the village. He could see Areum with her siblings happily playing with the other pups, dressed in cute little furs. At the edge of the village was a building larger than the other houses known as the Hall and in front of it was an elevated stage where all the Elders sat in a line of 4- The Chief Gatherer in emerald green robes, the Village Healer in wine violet, the Story Teller in maroon red, and the Head Alpha himself clothed with golden yellow robes underneath his prized bear furs and teeth necklace.

 

Time passes and the stars dotted the sky with the full Moon slowly making her rise above the land. The drums began to beat a different rhythm, indicating the next phase of the event. The eligible alphas were to gather at the gates in their hunter gear for the village’s traditional hunting portion of the ceremony. They were given time in the form of 5 booming drum beats to hunt animals and skin them off of their pelts to present to the Elders. The alpha with the most praise-worthy prize gets to choose their omega mate first.

 

The eligible omegas, on the other hand, would sit on given logs in a circle surrounding the huge ceremonial torch at the center of the village while they wait. It would be there when other members of the pack begin to give them tokens and gifts as a form of a blessing of good luck.

 

One by one, individuals started to part among themselves, the alphas leaving to change into the right outfit, the omegas claiming a spot on the logs, while the pups and older wolves humbled themselves to continuing whatever they wished to do.

 

The further the event progressed, the more fidgety Jimin became. Where is he? The ceremony’s about to begin. The cold wind blew at the lone omega. Shivering, Jimin pulled his cloak close around him, seeking warmth.

 

A twig snapped nearby.

 

Jimin acted immediately, hopping off of the big rock to turn and locate the source of the sound. Leaves crunched beneath feet. He hoped it was Jungkook, arriving just in time before the main event. With another gust of wind, the scent that entered his lungs wasn’t that of fresh rain and earthly tobacco.

 

But the bitter tanginess of oakmoss and ash.

 

It happened faster than he could comprehend. Out of the blue, hands grabbed both of his arms, forcing him on his knees, holding him down upright despite Jimin struggled to free himself like last time. He bravely took one look at the men responsible.

 

He recognized them- 2 out of the 4 village guardsmen that patrolled during the night of the mating ceremony. A low chuckle echoed from a distance, 2 figures coming around a tree trunk dressed in full hunter gear.

 

Byungho.

 

“You know, I figured you’d be the type to be fascinated with whatever the pack’s hosting. Seasonal festivals, blessing rituals, mating ceremonies…,” He said. “Always the stray wolf longing for what we have, but can’t.”

 

The alpha stooped low and place his hands on his knees to face the omega. “And for such curious eyes, one doesn’t have to think too much and know where the best spot is to view events from afar. And oh my~ what do we have here?” He held Jimin’s cloak, brushing the soft fur with awe.

 

“A cloak made out of rare material. What. A. Win.” With a snap of his finger, his companion hurried over to unfasten Jimin’s cloak and pulled it away from the smaller man. “I knew you’d be a thief as well, sneaking up on unsuspecting rogues and snatching their shiniest treasures.”

 

“No! No I didn’t steal that! H-He-“

 

“Oh? Do you expect me to believe an alpha would take interest in you for him to give you such a lustrous courting gift?” Byungho laughed. “Silly little omega. Your lies are weak as always.”

 

Jimin growled, still trying to get himself loose from the guards’ clutches, but the other man couldn’t care less. Byungho yawned and passed the fur cloak over to his companion. “Give this to Kyungmi. My lovely soon-to-be mate would love to flaunt her beauty and elegance with the finest of furs and who am I to disappoint?”

 

“As for you…,” He spared one glance at Jimin.  “Guards, hold him in the cells for the time being. Little bitch deserved it for all our misfortune. I have to start prepping for the hunt.”

 

His body was hauled up. “No! N-No! I didn’t do anything!” He writhed against their hold with desperation, hoping he could free himself like he did last time. Silently, Jimin prayed to the Moon hoping Jungkook would come and help him get out of this mess. “No! Let me go! I haven’t done anything to you!”

 

“Guards, my father would pay you handsomely if you could shut him up.”

 

“Wha-“

 

A blunt hit to the temple was the last thing Jimin felt as his consciousness fell into the void.

 

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Outsider

 

He awoke with a gasp.

 

Jimin lied on his side, his knees tucked close to his chest. It didn’t help when the cold surface of his armlet pressed uncomfortably against the side of his chest. His vision was blurry, the room spinning around him, and his ears ringing. His mouth was gagged with a strip of fabric. My head…! A scratchy sensation grazed his skin at the intention of getting up. Rope restrained his wrists behind him, the rough texture already digging tight.  His ankles were bound together too.

 

Where was he?

 

The omega kept his breathing in check in an attempt to calm down and assess his surroundings despite his troubling situation. The damp stench of stagnated water and soggy wood was the first thing he noticed and the pungent smell made his nose scrunch in disgust and his eyes watery. The place was dim, only lit with a single torch by a staircase leading up to the only entryway of the room. He shifted his head to the side and on the walls were metal chains built into the panel, designed to hold trespassers and violators in.

 

Jimin was in a cellar.

 

“No… no no no I can’t be here…” Jimin squirmed around, trying to free himself from his binds. A pained whimper left him with an attempt to fumble with the well-tied knot, tugging hard in the process, further adding to the raw, rash pain around his wrists. His shoulders ached from the strain. Why couldn’t they just shackle me instead of using these ropes? It must be at Byungho’s sadistic request.

 

Beyond the doors, the drums bellowed a beat followed by the animate noise of cheering crowds. How long was he out for? Did he fell unconscious throughout the entire ceremonial hunt?

 

That meant Byungho and the other village alphas must be returning at this moment, about to show off their prize and claim their mate.

 

But his fur cloak… Jungkook waiting for him-

 

Jimin had to get out of here, find a way to snatch the furs away from Byungho’s soon-to-be mate and sneak away to meet the alpha.

 

He squirmed around, finding a good angle where his fingers could properly grasp the loose end of the knot. Seconds fly by and he managed to grab hold onto the ends of the rope. He tugged at it, only for the ropes to tighten harder, causing Jimin to whine with pain and frustration. Damnit Damnit….

 

All of a sudden, the door to the cellar creaked open. Footsteps descended into the room. His breathing picked up, coming out with anxiety-ridden whimpers. Skies, they’re gonna kill me! Maybe, if by some miracle, managed to skillfully untie the rope, he can make a break for it!

 

A figure came into view and to Jimin’s surprise, he didn’t expect him to come visit.

 

It was the dark-haired boy he met weeks ago that sent him the message about his doubled tasks. He used to look sickly, always panting, skinny, and pale. Now, the pup seemed to glow healthy, full of life- His hair had a nice sheen, his body now fleshed out, and even under the poor lighting, his skin now colored with melanin. His scent was more prominent- apples with faint hints of milk. He was dressed in festive clothing, much like the other wolves wore, and in his hand was a sharp knife.

 

He’s gonna kill me. Jimin tried to scuffle back, muffled noises of panic growing louder and louder with every step the pup took toward him.

 

“Jimin-ssi it’s okay! It’s okay I’m not gonna hurt you!” The boy said with a hushed voice, bringing his forefinger to his lips as a gesture to be quiet. “Trust me with this mister.” Jimin wearily looked at him with a hint of doubt on his face. His body stopped thrashing, but the light rush of adrenaline continued to course in his veins, small tremors racking his bound figure. He stopped before Jimin.

 

And kneeled.

 

The pup took off the gag and maneuvered himself over the omega and took hold of the rope secured around his wrists. In a minute, it gave way and fell flat on the dirt. Jimin sighed and brought his hands forward, gently rubbing the irritated, red skin with a sigh of relief. Immediately, the pup began working with the one around his ankles.

 

“W-Why are you doing this? This is dangerous- what you’re doing is dangerous. This would upset the Elders for helping someone like me.” As much as Jimin wanted to be free, having someone innocent to break him out was the last method on his mind.

 

“I know this would upset them but they can’t really do much…” With one more slice of the blade against the material, the rope snapped and crumpled onto the ground, freeing the blond completely. “If one of them directly asked me to free you.”

 

What? “An Elder wants me freed? Wha- who would-“ Jimin stopped, cutting his question short. Yeonghui. The Story Teller was the only person of power who actively treated Jimin as he was one with the pack.  She was the only person to even bother making friends with the most infamous wolf in the village.  She knew about his captivity in the cellar most likely due to the reports of the guards.

 

“Why you though?”

 

The young boy gave a thoughtful smile, averting his attention elsewhere with an almost bashful expression. “Actually uhm… She asked another pup to do the job, but he looked really… scared…,” He peeked Jimin through his lashes, careful with his words in case the older got offended. The latter smiled and mouthed an “it’s okay”. “So, I volunteered in his place instead.”

 

“Why?”

 

The pup pouted and fiddled with the handle, a faint blush forming on his chubby cheeks. “Because you gave me food that day when I was sick and hungry, and I just wanted to pay back the nice gesture by helping you mister.”

 

Jimin’s eyes filled with unshed tears, sniffling as he swiped them off before any could escape. “You shouldn’t have but… thank you.”

 

The boy returned his sentiment with a shy nod, scrambling to get onto his feet. He offered him a hand.  “Come on! We need to hurry or else those scary guards will catch us!”

 

Jimin bobbed his head with agreement and took his hand.

 

Just then, the horn bellowed a deep, booming roar, all the cheering crowds and noise of excitement dwindling into silence. This was unusual for the horn to be used. More so during a celebration, opting to bang the drums instead.

 

The horn was only rarely used whenever another ally pack would visit to settle disputes or form agreements, but even then, the horn was lighter and curt, never lasting more than a full minute.

 

This one was deafening and lasted far more than necessary. Whoever was visiting now must be of absolute importance.

 

It clicked in Jimin’s mind, and his breath halted.

 

“W-What’s happening?” The boy whimpered, clutching onto Jimin’s shirt.

 

“The alpha prime has arrived.”

 

Even at the mention of the name, a chill crept up his spine and goosebumps prickled his skin without having to see the wolf itself. The reality of the situation was something he should have expected and anticipated, cautiously optimistic at watching a myth come to life before his eyes. Yet, the sweat beading on his temple and the rapid beat of his chest said otherwise.

 

The omega shook his head and brought his attention to the pup clinging against his leg. “Come on, we have to get out of here,” Jimin said.

 

“I’m a bit scared.” The child replied with a quieter voice.

 

“What’s your name?”

 

“Kiwoo…”

 

“You’re a brave pup Kiwoo. I know the big wolfman may be intimidating, but as long as we keep quiet, he won’t hurt us.” The boy furrowed his brow with a small pout, unconvinced, but with a deep sigh, he nodded. Jimin ruffled his hair and took hold of his wrist, lightly tugging him forward.

 

 “Let’s get out of here, yeah?” Jimin said with a whisper. Kiwoo looked at the older with determined eyes and followed him up the cobble stairs. “Hurry, while everyone’s distracted- “

 

One step on the stone and the cellar doors swing open.

 

Jimin sharply sucked in a breath, staggering back a couple steps with a hand splayed in front of the pup and shielding him from whoever was coming.

 

“Well if it isn’t the cursed son. Never thought I’d find myself talking to you.”

 

A young woman’s voice echoed in the damp room, sultry and deceivingly alluring. Jimin coughed, pressing the back of his hand against his nose in the hopes of blocking out her strong scent of roses and cherry. Two unfamiliar men stepped into the space, standing apart to provide a wide gap for the figure to walk through.  

 

He recognized her. The unmistakable fair complexion and unnatural beauty of the village’s darling. The same woman who stood with her companions, laughing while Jimin was covered in dirt and dust from being thrown to the ground by the Chief Gatherer.

 

Around her petite frame was the pristine white fur cloak. Kyungmi. Byungho’s chosen omega.

 

She stopped herself on the foot of the stairs, moving two steps forward with a casual stride, jewelry sparkling tiny glints off of the torch’s lights. She swept her gaze over his body and let out a huff of laughter. He shouldn’t be this scared or exposed, but with how her aura radiated off from her appearance and demeanor, it was hard for him to feel otherwise.

 

“For someone who’s not exactly welcomed here, you really have the nerve to show up in our gatherings? Look at you, dressing up in shambled clothing to a mating ceremony, and for what? To get some alpha to show off their prize for some dirty omega boy?”

 

Jimin remained silent, keeping a firm eye on Kyungmi while hiding the pup behind him.

 

“But oh? Would you look at this? A fur cloak made out of the pelts belonging to the mythical white wolf. Quite a treasure don’t you think?” She said with such airiness in her pitchy voice, twirling and brushing the fuzzy cloak.

 

“That’s… mine.”

 

“Not anymore it’s not.” She replied immediately. “It’s not even yours to begin with, you thief. And though it weighs a little, I’ll be honest, this cloak is mine now. With the alpha prime approaching, he wouldn’t be able to resist my enchanting charms and elegant beauty.”

 

“Why did you come here? To show how superior you are to me just like the rest of you all are?” Jimin said.

 

Kyungmi cackled, hovering her hand before her lips. “Oh no no no. I came here to put an end to the curse you bestowed into this pack.”

 

“I didn’t curse any of you- “

 

“Of course you did! Ever since your rotten bloodline disgraced the Moon goddess, our pack’s been struggling through hell and back. Stillborns, wilting crops, and dwindling luck overall. With the prime coming to visit, I’m sure that he’ll never pick any of us with you around.”

 

With a snap of her fingers, the 2 men stepped forward, leading Jimin and Kiwoo to step back further.  

 

“But if I kill you here and now, not only will the curse be lifted, fortune returning to my father’s pack, but I will bring eternal prosperity to everyone by having the alpha prime choose me as his mate.” Kyungmi grinned. “I’m sure no one would even be concerned about you gone. My father included.”

 

“Oh and you, little brat.” She said, pointing at Kiwoo who remained standing behind Jimin, cowering in fear. “How about you get out and I’ll pretend you never engaged with this filth in the first place. I’m feeling a bit generous.”

 

Jimin felt the pup shake his head against the small of his back, his fingers tightly clutching the end of his shirt. He can’t let him be involved in any of this. Freeing him from his binds was enough involvement this poor pup had to go through.

 

He turned his back toward Kyungmi and kneeled to face Kiwoo’s teary eyes. He cupped the boy’s cheeks and gave a small smile. “Hey, you have to leave. It’s better to not watch whatever’s going to happen from now on.”

 

“I-I can’t leave you Jimin-ssi… You d-don’t deserve to be- I-I mean the Story Teller told m-me to-“Kiwoo sobbed, rubbing his eyes free from tears.

 

“Hush shh shh, it’s okay. It’s okay. But what’s not okay is you having to see something you’re not supposed to see.” Jimin said, continuing with a whisper. “I’ll be alright.”

 

“Skies, would you hurry up?! The alpha prime does not wait all night!”

 

“I’ll… I’ll find my way out okay? Just tell Yeonghui- I mean the Story Teller that you did a good job and you go out there and enjoy the rest of the night.”

 

“B-But- “

 

Kiwoo yelped as one of the men carried the sobbing pup away from the male omega and slung him over his shoulder, walking back upstairs with the boy protesting loudly as he flailed his fists against the man’s sturdy shoulders.

 

As the cellar doors slams shut, Jimin stood upright and clenched his fists, facing Kyungmi and the approaching man once more with a dull expression.

 

One that is braced, ready to take what’s coming next.

 

 

⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅∙∘☽༓☾∘∙•⋅⋅⋅•⋅⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅

 

Under the beam of the Moon, every wolf fell into hushed murmurs and whispers, their full attention facing the lone figure approaching the masses from a distance. The man’s gait was steady and measured, with every step seemingly sending light tremors on the earthy ground beneath them. He bore darkened gray hunter garbs, draped over by a cloak thick with obsidian black furs, a wolf head serving as its hood covering the majority of his face in shadow save his mouth. The air around them filled with sharp tones of rain and earth, overbearing scents even those of power.

 

The Elders stood from their seats, equally stunned at the alpha prime’s sudden appearance, though Yeonghui did show less surprise than the other 3, already expecting his visit to the village.

 

The Head Alpha rose his head high as he walked down the stairs of the stage and stopped at the center of the crowd. The mysterious wolf stopped in his tracks a few feet away from the pack’s leader.

 

“All hailed god of wolves, the alpha prime, we humbly welcome you to the small village of the Gwan Pack.” He bowed deeply, the crowd behind him following suit with equal courtesy. The visiting man remained quiet, returning the gesture with a stiff nod.

 

“May we ask what brings the alpha prime here?”

 

“Tonight is this pack’s mating ceremony, am I correct?” The wolf said, his voice resonating deep and clear, his alpha voice on default.

 

The Head Alpha gulped, clasping his hands together to ease their shaking. He cleared his throat. “I-Indeed.”

 

“You’ve heard the stories told to you time and time again.” He placed his arms behind him, leaning himself on one hip. “You know what I want from this place.”

 

“Yes! Yes, how foolish of me.” With two claps, all the eligible omegas stepped forward, one by one forming a curved formation fronting the god. The alphas, however, remained lined at the side, getting onto one knee with their head bowed. The rest of the crowd huddled themselves away from the candidates. Mothers held their pups close and the older folk were wise enough to stay still and not interfere.

 

Once someone superior is to choose, all others must bow to prove their obedience and respect.

 

“Lee Chinsun. 23- “

 

“Yang Bonhwa. 22- “

 

“Hak Eunkyung. 25- “

 

One-by-one, an omega presented themselves in their most prized furs and accessories, bowing a graciously the hope they pleased the prime with their appearance, sweet tones, and momentous achievements but with each display, he only seemed to grow bored and disinterested, his eyes fixating elsewhere around the village center rather than the speaking omega in front of him.

 

The Head Alpha took notice of the god’s unpleasant expression, so did the families of the ones who presented. Collectively, the wolves of the pack grew uneasy in fear of disappointing him like many others before theirs.

 

By then, nearly every eligible omega lined themselves before the god with uncertainty and anxiety. “Is this all you have to show me?” The prime asked the man beside him with an irritated edge in his tone.

 

“N-No of course not- “

 

“Are there any others you are keeping away from me hm?” His voice was calm, but the sharpness of his statement sent each individual into a state of fear, nervously looking at each other with slight accusation as if to find who dared to hide from the wolf god.

 

“I’m certain that there is one more who is yet to appear, but I’m unsure where- “

 

“There she is!” Someone in the crowd called out, a loud murmur growing amongst themselves as they parted to give way to the arriving wolf. A slim, beautiful omega with dark hair slowly sauntered on the provided path. Her eyes were lowered, bringing the look of a shy and innocent flower. She held a fan to her face, the other holding her skirts with every step forward. At that moment, almost everyone commented and praised the omega.

 

“She’s lovely!”

 

“So pretty…”

 

“She’ll be chosen I’m sure of it.”

 

“Of course she will.”

 

The woman stopped a few feet away from the two men in front of her, folding the fan gingerly before holding her skirts and bowing a neat 90 degree. “Gwan Kyungmi. 24. Daughter of the Head Alpha of the Gwan Pack. I’m not deserving to be in the presence of such being but I possess many qualities that fulfill the ideal omega: Intelligent, resourceful, responsible, and many more.” She dared to raise her head to look at the god with fluttering lashes. “I aim to please.”

 

The older man watched as his daughter gave one last bow before falling in line among the omegas who stood in envy of her. His lips pulled into a prideful grin, knowing that he and his mate have prepared her well to stand out among the rest, standing out in both looks and qualities that attract even foreign packs.

 

And just as he rose his chin high, confident that the alpha prime would undoubtedly pick his daughter, he caught sight of the alpha’s reaction that sent a chill up his spine- the god was stiff, his body tense almost shaking, his hands were clenched in fists, his mouth pressed tight, and under the shadows of the wolf hood, he could’ve sworn his eyes glowed red.

 

The Head Alpha tore his gaze away from the rigid deity and signaled the drummers to initiate the next phase of the ceremony. A rhythm of drumbeats thundered throughout the village as the winds gushed with intensity, blowing out every flame of all the torches that lit up the area. The crowd murmured with more hushed voices, both scared and excited at what they were about to witness transpire.

 

Cast in darkness, the Moon rose high above them all, beaming her brightest light illuminating the village with her enchanting silvery-blue rays. A small beam of light concentrated over the center where the alpha prime and his chosen mate would stand underneath, granting them immortality and their pack eternal blessings.

 

The alpha prime stepped forward under the light, composed and measured. He said with an eerily calm voice. “The name I will be calling is not my final decision. The Moon knows all as much as I. Only through her luminescence will the true calling will unfold.”

 

“But I intend to make this quick. My patience is wearing thin.” Though this should be expected, the laced growl in his sentence did not send good news to the Head Alpha or any of the wolves of the village.

 

“Gwan Kyungmi. Step. Forward.”

 

The crowd mumbled in agreement as the omega walked forward, an almost expectant smile growing on her porcelain face in contrast to Byungho’s and the other disheartened, jealous omegas. She stepped a foot and then another until she was under the Moon’s ray.

 

The alpha prime rose a hand. As Kyungmi closed her eyes, waiting for that hand to hold hers-

 

She felt her throat constrict, clogged tight that led to her suffocating. Her eyes flew open, gasping for air as she clawed at her neck as if to remove the cause of her suffocation. She collapsed on her knees, tears leaking out with the lack of oxygen. She struggled to look up and saw the god’s hand curled in front of her.

 

What once was a calm blue hue turned red, the celestial being greatly displeased. The crowd gasped in fear. The omegas shuffled back in terror and the alphas stiffened while still stationary on their knees, afraid to move. The older man could only watch with panic-stricken eyes, frozen in place. What had he done wrong?

 

“Where did you get that cloak omega?”

 

His voice was quiet and icy, resonating straight into the souls of every individual who heard him. His hand lightly loosened enough for Kyungmi to splutter out decent words. “T-The alpha who c-courted me g-gifted me this.”

 

“Name.”

 

“Y-Yoo Byungho…”

 

Immediately, the alpha prime tilted his head towards the group of alphas, focusing on the one wolf with ash brown hair, a predatory glint pinning him deathly still on the spot. “Very well. I will deal with you later.” No one knew whether he meant Kyungmi or Byungho. Or both.

 

“Head Alpha Gwan-“The man beside him turned rigid. “Are you certain that these are all the eligible omegas in your pack?”

 

“Y-Yes! I’m certain of it!”

 

“You are lying.”

 

“N-No-“

 

“I said bring every eligible omega, even the ones you keep locked out.” He enunciated his command drawing every syllable that sent dread to the leading alpha. “Unless… you dare refuse my request.”

 

“O-Of course not! Guards!”

 

The surrounding guardsmen hurriedly rushed out of their stations, splitting into two groups- most of which ran out the gates and the fewer three who went in the directions of the Hall’s cellar.

 

This Creed

 

Moments past and the guards that went into the cellar returned, dragging with them a near limp body. The crowd backed away from them, watching with curiosity and shock. The men brought the body before the two alphas, placing him on the dirt.

 

The god turned rigid, every muscle in his body tensed and his heart beating rapidly within him.

 

On the ground was a young man with blonde hair, his face swollen and cut, skin marred with bruises, and his clothes tattered. A single feather hangs from his locks and a silver armlet circled his bicep. His breathing was shallow and labored.

 

 “Jimin…”

 

His wolf howled with agony and the voice that commanded everyone at his feet disappeared in an instant. It wasn’t right. Forgetting everything else, the mumbling of the people fell into deaf ears and his vision tunneled to the man before him. The alpha prime knelt forward and picked his beaten figure into his arms. “Wake up now little one.”

 

His one good eye fluttered open, gaze hazy and weak. At the sight of the deity, Jimin whimpered in fear, his frail form trembling despite his injuries. Wetness gathered in his eyes. “I-I’m s-sorry.” He said, tiny and weak.

 

Jimin felt numb. He couldn’t move his limbs, all battered and broken. His consciousness faded in and out of existence, even when he felt harsh hands pulled him up and dragged him somewhere. But to wake up and see what looked to be the alpha prime in his black furs was the least of his wishes.

 

He could see now. They must have brought him here as a sacrifice to the god to appease him.

 

And in all honesty, if that was what his fate was, then so be it. He may have lived a terrible life, but at least a small fraction of it was spent with joy with a rogue alpha that made him the happiest omega he could ever be.

 

He shut his eye again, bracing for whatever gruesome intentions the alpha prime would bestow to him. A gentle thumb that wiped his tears away was not what he was expecting. “Jimin, look at me.”

 

How did he know his name? Jimin looked once more and saw the other draw his hood back, revealing the person underneath. Tears surged up from within and the omega whimpered, almost crying.

 

“Jungkookie…”

 

The alpha prime raised his body towards him, leaning his head to press his nose against the omega’s neck. The latter sobbed in pain, weakly breathing in the rain and earthy scent he missed so dearly. “’M s-sorry… didn’t meet y-you- “

 

“Hush now. It’s alright.” Jungkook said with a whisper, cradling him as much as he can in this position.

 

“Alpha, I greatly apologize for interfering but what is happening?”

 

“Silence.” Jimin winced at the sudden authoritative tone the other barked at what sounded like the Head Alpha, his scent briefly spiking in intensity.

 

Just then surfacing through his countless wounds, he moaned in pain, tucking his head on Jungkook’s shoulder as he mustered enough strength to lift his hand and press it against his tummy where the source of his greatest pain resided. This action didn’t go unnoticed by the alpha and the latter was very much aware of the implication.

 

With a shaky voice, Jimin voiced out one word that pushed Jungkook off that edge.

 

“P-Pups…”

 

He snapped.

 

The world blared red, the Moon reflecting off of the god’s anger. The ground shook and thunder roared the heavens. The villagers cried in distress, holding onto one another as means to stay upright. The pups huddled close to their family, scared. The Elders held onto their chairs with a tight grip, bracing for dear life in case the floorboards beneath their feet gave in.

 

Jimin whimpered within his hold, hiding his face away. The alpha held him tighter, nudging the smaller man’s head close to his neck.

 

Who did this?” His teeth were bared, every word laced with a nasty snarl as he snapped his head at every individual who stood before his presence, including the eligible wolves and the village Elders, all of which flinched at first eye contact, their hands flying to shield their faces by instinct.

 

The omega carried his growing pups. His offspring in the womb of a wolf of pure heart and compassion. To see him beaten on the brink of death, the sight of all the ugly bruises that painted his skin, the sound of his sweet, melodious voice now faint and breathless, the thought of his children perishing with their mother…

 

“I SAID WHO!”

 

“I-It was K-Kyungmi and Byungho’s idea to trap him in the cellar!” One alpha among the candidates, one of Byungho’s friends, cried out, the words almost forced out of his mouth out of sheer terror and panic. He had his head bowed onto the dirt with his hands and knees as if begging for mercy.

 

“T-The Head Alpha permitted me to do so! I-If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be doing…!”

 

His hand shot forward, curling in itself, and in an instant, the mentioned omega and alpha grasped their throats, gagging and choking, desperately clawing for air. The surrounding candidates stepped away from them, afraid that they would be next. The man next to him collapsed, nails raking his neck. They fell onto the earthy ground in a heap of tears and purpled faces.

 

Jungkook growled, tightening his fists. Unacceptable. Unacceptable. Unacceptable-

 

In the Stillness 

 

“Alpha…”

 

A quiet voice chimed beneath him and the alpha immediately directed his attention to Jimin who stared up at him with glistening eyes. “Please… that’s enough.”

 

“They hurt you. They put our pups in danger.”

 

“Revenge is the weak pleasure of a narrow mind.” He brought a trembling hand to the god’s cheek. “Death is not always the answer, so please… stop. You’re scaring me.”

 

The alpha prime clenched his teeth, waging a war with his wolf- to make them suffer in prolonged agony or to abide and listen to the omega he holds dear. In the end, his outstretched hand fell slack, withdrawing to overlap with Jimin’s. The strangled wolves gasped for air, their breathing erratic as they struggled to get up on their hands or feet. The bloody hues of the Moon transitioned back into its calm silvery blue.

 

“As you wish omega…” Jungkook murmured for the omega’s ears only.

 

Jimin mustered a small smile, his eyes fluttering shut as a tear slipped past. “Thank you...,” he whispered before falling unconscious, limp against the alpha’s warm chest. The god’s breath hitched for a second and his heart frozen still. Merciless bloodshed was on the horizon if worst was to come, but the beaten man was still breathing, shallow but there.

 

Jungkook breathed in Jimin’s weakening vanilla scent, pressing a kiss against the crown of the latter’s head.

 

Footsteps approached him and the alpha prime snapped his head up, a growl bubbling in his throat, only for it to not escape him at the sight of Yeonghui offering him the white fur cloak. The old woman must have taken it off from the sniveling Kyungmi while Jungkook tended to Jimin.

 

“What had transpired tonight has done wrongfully not only to you but to this young man for the entirety of his life.” She carefully stepped forward with the alpha prime’s approval, fastening the cloak around the omega’s shoulders, hand lingering to softly brush Jimin’s blond hair. “It would be better if he were to be brought to a better place.” 

 

Jungkook gave a curt nod in agreement. With one last look of sincere wishes, the Story Teller bent down and bowed before moving out of the Moon’s beaming light.

 

The god secured the young man in his grip with a hand resting under his shoulder and the other under his knees. He got up on one knee before standing upright, carrying Jimin with him. He collected his bearings, fixating his gaze to everyone kneeling before him.

 

“It is final. Park Jimin is the mate of my choosing. Immortality shall be blessed upon him.”

 

The light illuminated brighter around the two of them and hearing the god’s proclamation, Jimin glowed a faint sheen that covered his whole body. What once were broken, cut, and beaten now stitched together. The ugly bruises that swelled and covered him in shades of purple and gray faded into nothing, making way for flawless skin. His breathing returned to normal, able to sleep like he would in a serene night. His rough, torn clothing was replaced with fine silks, all in the interweaving colors of silver and white. 

 

Healed from his wounds, Jungkook took a moment to glimpse at his mate- fairer skin, full cheeks, pink plump lips, silkier hair, and peacefully closed eyes, free from suffering. He huffed in satisfaction and pressed a firm kiss on Jimin’s crown

 

“Alpha prime, with my utmost respect, what shall befall onto this village given you have chosen your partner in this pack?” Yeonghui said, her hands clasped in front of her and her head ducked into a small bow.

 

“After what had happened, not only for tonight but for all the times before, it doesn’t seem fitting for the Gwan Pack to be given any blessings from me or the Moon above,” Jungkook said, the faintest hint of a growl present in every word.

 

“You have not only failed in treating one of your own pack members as your own but proceeded to harass and abuse him to no ends. Such act is not deserving of eternal fortitude, may you be a wolf in power or a common villager.”

 

The crowd shifted in shame and fear, turning to look at one another with accusatory eyes, most of which directed towards the direction of Byungho, Kyungmi, and the Elders. The Head Alpha was on his knees, his gaze fixated on the dirt, unable to confront the god’s sharp, judging eyes.

 

Yeonghui curtly nodded, accepting of what’s to come to her and her fellow wolves. “We understand alpha prime.”

 

“However…,” He spoke again with a lessened edge to his voice. “There are the few who have shown equal compassion towards my mate. You know who you are and to that, I show my deepest gratitude.” The god bowed. “May you and your bloodline live a prosperous life.”

 

Among the murmuring mess of wolves, Areum peeked through the folds of her mother’s skirt just as the woman placed a hand on her hair with a drawn-out sigh of relief, followed by those belonging to her siblings.

 

Kiwoo stood close by a few feet behind the masses, placing a fist on his chest as he sobbed in gratitude.

 

Yeonghui smiled, returning the deity’s movement with her own. “I’m sorry I couldn’t do more.”

 

“You’ve done enough.” He said. “As for the rest of you, the pack shall be cursed by the Moon herself with my approval as punishment resulted from the mistreatment of my mate. Resources shall be scarce and your winter harsh, devoid of supple sustenance.”

 

“B-But alpha prime w-we-“

 

You dare defy me?” The god sharply turned to look at Head Alpha Gwan, patience thinning on the verge of snapping. With the omega unconscious, there would be no one to stop him from committing massacre. Go on. Voice your complaints. Do you wish to continue and give your people more labor?”

 

The Elders cowered underneath his glare, their bodies completely hunched on the ground on their knees and outstretched hands above their heads. “N-No. We accept our punishment alpha prime.”

 

“Very well. With no further opposition, I’ll leave you all be.”

 

The thick pelts of his cloak shifted around him, covering every inch of transforming figure until a large black wolf stood in place of the human form he used seconds prior. Jimin remained asleep, lying atop the canine’s broad back with his grip tightly clutching onto the animal’s furs. Jungkook craned his head to look back one last time with glowing red eyes.

 

At the wolves.

 

The Elders.

 

Byungho.

 

Kyungmi.

 

Areum and her family.

 

Kiwoo.

 

And Yeonghui.

 

“Farewell.”

 

Areum, her siblings, and Kiwoo weaved their way in front of the crowd, stopping to stand by Yeonghui’s side waving their arms in the air with tears in their eyes. “Goodbye Jimin-ssi!” “Be happy mister!” “Bye-bye!”

 

“May you live in happiness pup,” Yeonghui said.

 

In his dreams, Jimin smiled against the wolf god’s furs.

 

Bidding one last howl of departure, the black wolf sprinted into the depths of the woods beyond.

 

⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅∙∘☽༓☾∘∙•⋅⋅⋅•⋅⋅⊰⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅⋅•⋅

 

Airy Fairy Heart

 

Jimin awoke to a soft breeze caressing his cheeks under the cloudy day.

 

Or it seemed like it was a cloudy day…

 

Everything was blurry at first, squinting open to see nothing more than bright light partially obscured by the greenery of the many trees that somehow moved past his line of sight. A pair of strong arms latched under his back and knees, holding him up above ground. Tiny speckles of pollen flew about here and there, a few passing over him that allowed a tiny sneeze to fully rouse him up.

 

“You’re awake.”

 

The omega lolled his head against the voice’s broad chest, smiling tiredly. “Good morning Jungkookie…” The alpha glanced downward with a smile of his own, huffing. “Good afternoon.”

 

It took him a few seconds before Jimin noticed the odd setting they were currently on. He didn’t recognize these trees or where this footpath led them. Even the land formation and animals seemed unfamiliar to him. The sudden urge to wander about filled him with the want of exploration.

 

“Can you put me down?”

 

“Your body still needs rest.”

 

Jimin puffed his cheeks, squirming about within the other man’s hold. “I’m fine and so are my feet. So would you please?”

 

Jungkook had no response if his blank look of concern didn’t count as an answer. All of a sudden, Jimin’s legs were lowered until his bare feet made contact with the dirt. “See? Nothing to…!” His words remained in his throat when his knees wobbled and buckled with two steps, only managing to stay upright thanks to Jungkook by his side.

 

One minute in and he was aloft in the same position once again in the alpha’s hold. He crossed his arms and pouted. “Alright fine! Maybe I’m still feeling a bit fatigued.” In the corner of his eye, the other man smirked, amused. “S-Stop staring at me like that!”

 

“Why shouldn’t I be able to stare at my beautiful mate Jimin-ssi?”

 

His cheeks flushed, warming immensely at the new label. “W-We aren’t even- I mean, we haven’t given each other-“

 

“Marks? Oh do not worry omega,” Jungkook leaned to press his nose against his scent gland, rumbling with eagerness as he grazed the tip at the skin. “I will mark you and make you mine again after our consummation.” 

 

Jimin whined, wrapping his arms around the alpha’s shoulders while focusing on not wetting his new trousers with slick, his legs tightening together. “Mnn… not now~”

 

He chuckled. “I’ll stop.”

 

Jungkook pulled back and returned his focus to the dirt path ahead, leaving Jimin to his thoughts once more. As much as he felt contented the way he was, many questions riddled his mind. “Hey, where are we going? I don’t remember heading down this particular path…”

 

“We’re going to my pack at the east. There you’ll be more welcomed by the wolves, fulfill your dreams of being a healer, and raise a family of our own.” Jungkook said without breaking his attention on the path.

 

The omega smiled thoughtfully at the vision, faltering slightly at the image of his old shack, of the children he befriended, and of the kind Elder flashing in his mind. “What of my friends at the village? I… haven’t said my goodbyes.”

 

“They have bid you farewell with grateful hearts. Yeonghui believed you will live a better life out of the Gwan Pack. Excluding her, Areum and her family, and Kiwoo, the pack is doomed to fall. If my mate wishes for mercy, then I will let time do my deeds.”

 

The omega nodded silently, reaching to his sides, and pulled the edges of his white fur cloak closer around him, mindlessly fiddling with its fuzzy strands. “Alpha prime huh? Never thought I’d be carried by such a presence.”

 

“I did mention I had surprises of my own, didn’t I?”

 

“You did,” Jimin mumbled, but he didn’t know why his chest felt heavy.

 

Jungkook picked up on his omega’s sudden shift in scent. “Why the sadness little one?”

 

“It’s just,” Jimin’s voice wavered, tears springing in his eyes as his betraying, intrusive thoughts taunted him up to this day. “Why me? I don’t get it. I’m no one Jungkook. Just why did you settle for a nobody like me?”

 

A firm press of the god’s lips cut him short from his sentence, stifling his sobs. Drawing back slightly, Jungkook pressed his forehead against Jimin’s. “Why do you doubt me? Doubt yourself love?” The omega whimpered. “Skies, I wish you knew how much of a wonderful person you are. Would you believe me if I say you are talented, brave, and enchanting?”

 

“The enchanting part may be a bit exaggerated…,” Jimin mumbled, eliciting a chuckle from the other.

 

“Perhaps. Though given your new status as my partner, I would say it fits you nicely.” At this, the omega giggled and held the alpha’s neck close to his face, purring against the other’s scent gland.

 

“Hmm… what were the chances of you finding me alone in the woods?”

 

Jungkook peered down and caught glimpse of the silver-white dove penchant that hung around the omega’s neck. “Let’s just say the goddess brought me to you.”

 

“Seems mean for the Moon to send you to me badly injured.”

 

Jungkook chuckled. “Those wounds are not fatal for me. It served more as a test than an actual life-or-death situation.”

 

The blonde let out a gasp, a faux look akin to betrayal clear on his face. “You mean to say you were putting up an act?” Of course, a god would be able to regenerate faster than normal.

 

“You may put it like that.”

 

Jimin smacked the alpha square on his chest with the back of his hand.  If it was anyone else, he would have regretted doing that, but Jungkook merely huffed with a smug expression. “Bad wolf.”

 

“We’re almost there.”

 

Jimin pulled back to look at the path ahead. Lining the lone path were a row of fruit-bearing camphor and blooming camellia trees, glowing with the display of its pink flowers. The dirt road itself trailed out into what appeared to be a clearing just through the 2 towering evergreen trees with branches that intertwined above the entry, though he couldn’t tell what lies beyond at first glance with how bright the entryway was. “Why is it so shiny? Is it sacred?”

 

Jungkook flashed a quizzical look. Jimin reconsidered his word choice in fear that he made the deity upset at the light-hearted comment, but the other was more amused than insulted. “It is my birthplace. Were you expecting something else from a god’s home?”

 

Jimin spluttered. “N-No of course not! I just didn’t think it would be this flashy.”

 

“Don’t worry. The brightness only peaks at the gateway. The rest of the land is fairly illuminated.”

 

Drawing closer with every step, the smaller man held onto the alpha tighter. They stopped before the wall of light. Beyond it, the blond could pinpoint the faint sounds of voices. It wasn’t anything suspicious or mysterious. If anything, it was no different than the sounds of pack members having a conversation with one another, accompanied by other ordinary noises that were common in busy villages.

 

“Are you ready Jimin?” Jungkook said, holding the blond closer to him. The latter pulled his cloak tight around him and gave a solid nod. And as the alpha prime finally step one foot into the blinding light, Jimin quietly said what his heart ached to tell for the longest time…

 

“I love you.”

 

The alpha prime smiled and planted a kiss on the crown of his head. “I love you more.”