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“Are you sure?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Super sure?”

 

“Really sure.”

 

“Very sure?”

 

“Sure sure.”

 

“Credibly sure?”

 

“Chanyeol...”

 

“Super-duper sure?”

 

“Go home to your alpha.” Sehun sends the omega a long glare and a well-timed frown, meddling with some plastic ramen cups that have already been gouged and emptied, depositing them in the stuffed trashcan.

 

Chanyeol, who is draped over the small kitchen table, barely looks convinced; a worried tick furrowing his brows. “But Sehun…,” he murmurs, tracing a finger on the painted wood of the table, brows flying up when he accidentally scrapes some of it off — the consequence of buying cheap IKEA furniture.

 

“Uh,” he licks his lips and raises his torso, twiddling his thumbs. “I just. I mean.” He makes a motion with his hand, and Sehun is giving him a fine sample of a ‘don’t-bother’ glare, though his shoulders are tense and there’s a thoughtful tinge to him anyway, a hunch of doubt.

 

“You shouldn’t spend this heat alone, Sehun,” is what Chanyeol finally says, looking like an oversized puppy with how it’s early in the morning and his hoodie is rumpled, and he came in half an hour ago from the apartment next to Sehun’s. “You’ve been stressed lately, and Jongin called me again to make sure you get up in the weekend, you know?”

 

Sehun stops at this, biting his lower lip. He doesn’t show his face and looks into the sink, legs crossed and the heel of his slippers digging into the floor where he stands. “I don’t need you guys to babysit me,” he says softly.

 

There’s no menace in it. “I don’t need anyone to take care of me,” he frowns again and looks over his shoulder with the last sentence,”I don’t need love.”

 

Chanyeol rolls his eyes and lets out a long, dramatic breath.

 

“Alright, Mr. Invincible . All I’m saying is that maybe ,” his voice heightens an octave,”or it’s very likely that it’d be good if you came through your heat with some good loving and someone to take care of you?” he offers. “I mean, not necessarily loving , but like— fake loving? Like… someone who cuddles you?” There’s a pause.

 

Sehun doesn’t answer.

 

“I swear to god,” Chanyeol’s nose crinkles and he rubs a hand over his tired eyes, “you need a heat-carer , alright? Just try it for once? Your wolf is really distressed. It’s easy to see. The heat-carers aren’t supposed to love you anyway, they’re just going to make you feel good and coddle your wolf.”

 

Chanyeol raises a brow and makes the ‘hm’ face, “It’s 2015 already. Stop pretending your preening omega isn’t a part of you. Or the needs that come along with it. You’re in the whiny category of the scale of omegas anyway, as far as I can see.”

 

Sehun pouts at this and makes a small grumble under his breath. “No I’m not,” he says. “I don’t need a heat-carer,” is the final answer, like it’s been from the very first time when Chanyeol suggested it a long time ago ever since the break-through where Sehun had eaten tons of ice-cream; puffy-eyed over a bad breakup.

 

Chanyeol smiles bitterly to himself.

 

“Hmm, hmm,” he says conversationally to the wall before him; the wall who continues to pout miserably and pretend he’s a tough nut with the bunny-slippers he’s wearing, his messy hair and bags more copious than Gucci that hang under his eyes.

 

“Okay,” Chanyeol pretends he’s given up, but there’s an underlying tone saying he’s getting mischievous.

 

“But…,” there’s another pause, and Sehun does look now, squinting his eyes because whenever Chanyeol gets an idea, the latter always makes sure to go all-in. Or at least Chanyeol knows it’ll succeed one way or another, for better or worse.

 

The legs of the chair scrape over the floor when Chanyeol raises himself and goes over to fetch a pad of paper, bumping his knee on the way so that he’s grumbling once he’s sitting down again, tongue stuck out of the corner of his mouth while he clicks the pen he has retrieved.

 

He writes something down.

 

Sehun crosses his arms and pretends he’s uninterested, but when Chanyeol is looking up again, the beanstalk has leaned over and is tilting his head to peek.

 

Chanyeol slides the block of paper over the table, tapping the pen there.

 

It’s nothing special.

 

Just a name.

 

“Kim Minseok?” Sehun reads the name aloud.

 

“Yep,” Chanyeol pops the ‘p’ .

 

Sehun shouldn’t ask.

 

He knows it’s a part of Chanyeol’s plan.

 

So he doesn’t. He just tilts his head even more, nostrils flaring when he huffs again. “Okay,” he says somewhat nonchalantly, shrugging.

 

It’s silent, and Chanyeol continues to stare.

 

The clock is ticking.

 

Sehun grinds his teeth and lets out an airy sound—

 

Okay, who’s Kim Minseok?” he asks.

 

Chanyeol grins, rubbing his nose before replying, “he’s a heat-carer, a friend of Yifan’s, one in the ‘older’ league, you know?”

 

Sehun snorts. “So?”

 

“So… he’s a heat-carer. He’s not a full-time one, you know...but one who’s got it as a side-job for the neat payment. Like uh, he can get booked, sort of, for a few people. He’s a pretty down to earth guy. Good at, you know, making one feel special? Or listened to? In normal conversations, I mean. I’ve totally recommended him to another friend before, or so has Yifan, since Minseok has been in this business for almost two years. And he doesn’t bite.”

 

Sehun raises a brow at the last bit, wondering.

 

Chanyeol’s smile grows and inch and he wags his eyebrows. “Unless you ask him to.”

 

“I hate you.”

 

Chanyeol laughs till his eye ticks, and he leans back with a “you look like a sour lemon.”

 

“Go away,” Sehun says, but he’s turning on the coffee machine he’s bought to stay alive, taking out two cups from one of the shelves.

 

“Why do you still keep that thing?” Chanyeol raises a brow at the white rilakkuma mug in Sehun's’ hand.

 

Sehun frowns. “I’m not throwing it out.”

 

“It’s bad luck,” Chanyeol says, receiving no answer.

 

“Anyway, all I’m saying is that… Minseok is available, is what Yifan has told me. They’re like old classmates and kept in touch. And he’s told to be good for lonely… omegas.” A cough. An indication. “Who might need some special treatment and ‘loving’ . And stuff like that.”

 

Silence.

 

There’s some rustling and a hiss when Sehun stubs his toe from still being morning dazed, becoming a wandering zombie these days when he’s got nothing to do and the class readups are already done.

 

The coffee machine churns, and the most of the on-the-go packs have already been used — too much for a twenty-three-year-old student.

 

“If you want the number and his web page address from the company he’s from, just give me a call, right?” Chanyeol offers.

 

There’s still no reply, but a cup of coffee shoved in his face with just the right amount of milk in, the way Sehun knows Chanyeol likes it.




The days become harder to get through, and Sehun’s skin is itching.

 

His wolf is bristling inside. He can feel it, hear the thrum in his ears and how his hands grasp at the sheets at night.

 

It’s where it gets harder to breathe, just for a second whenever a row of jitter strives through and dies down again as his thighs clench and warmth coils in the pit of his belly.

 

His eyes are flashing more than the usual, a vibrant and feral blue color whenever he passes the mirror in the hallway in the mornings, and the wolf inside him gnaws at his ribs, signaling his upcoming heat.

 

Not everyone needs a partner for this.

 

Many can go without, and might never obtain one or go through time without settling down with a terminal imprint or a long-lasting mating bond. Some just don’t feel the pull, omega or not. It’s different for each individual as for what importance this subject has.

 

And Sehun would like to think that he doesn’t need one, to tell himself that he doesn’t— that he can do fine on his own. That he never wants to fall in love again, even though pining and prior loneliness during circumstances where there should have been intimacy, has left a mark.

 

A constant longing.

 

Because he has dreams. He has wishes, and knocks himself on the back of his head for exactly those reasons, for being yet another young dreamer who was brought down by reality.

 

Altogether, he doesn’t want to be dependent on anyone. He knows that the final acknowledgement is one he’s supposed to seek from himself only.

 

Even if his wolf has other ideas.

 

His subconscious mind too.




It’s tempting.

 

Right now, a week later since Chanyeol hauled in and wrote down this not special name on a piece of paper.

 

The paper that Sehun is looking at now while he sits with his MacBook and hasn’t answered Jongin’s ten Facebook messages; whining about Sehun having to go to the club with him this weekend to release some pheromones, let loose or perhaps have a rut.

 

Sehun’s gaze strays over the paper for the upteempth time, as it has done the past days again and again where the block was left right where Chanyeol put it.

 

For the first time, Sehun picks it up, stubbed nails picking at the edges of the material, and his gaze flickers over to his phone.

 

So maybe.

 

Maybe it’d be okay to give it…

 

A try.

 

There’s nothing personal in it.

 

It’s just about getting needs fulfilled, about regaining a balance within himself.

 

Other omegas do this too, after all. Alphas, betas. They all do this, sometimes.

 

Right.

 

He picks up the phone, thumb hovering over the screen, Chanyeol’s contact in view with the title 2 ’, because Chanyeol is his side chick next to Jongin. A running joke, even if Chanyeol gapes each time and changes it to Chanpup ✌, Sehun’s fave or something sugar coated.

 

‘hey so about that minseok dude...’

 

No, no that’s too casual.

 

‘you were talking about a heat-carer, right?’

 

Sehun sighs. He doesn’t want to sound eager, and not disrespectful either even if he’s prone to be pushy with good means.

 

But his knees are pressing against the underside of the table, and all he has seen under his eyelids or heard in his ears the past days has been the taunt of Kim Minseok , an unknown face, warm hands and the ghost of a kiss to the bend of his knee or down lower.

 

‘number...’ he writes then, sending the message; listens as the phone emits a swooping sound.

 

He taps some more.

 

‘please.’




He doesn’t even have to wait for long.

 

In the middle of stirring another cup of coffee, it sounds like the table rattles from the seven messages that come in a domino effect as the screen lights up.

 

Sehun doesn’t have to see Chanyeol’s face to know that the taller is triumphant– it can be seen in the way he writes and the cheeky smiley in the end text.

 

2:

 

‘so u finally caved in, huh???’

 

‘i was totally waitin for this btw’

 

‘anyway so the guy ur looking for is kim minseok right? mr macho i tell u. a real piece of hunk. tarzan taking care of an omega in need.’

 

‘ok i’ll stop’

 

‘here’s his number: xxx-xxx-xxx, and here’s the webpage: safeheat.com. just go for his name in the search bar.’

 

‘the web page is from one of the smaller companies but it’s got a good rating from the profs. they hire versatile alphas, betas and even omegas, yanno, who do this as a side-job and take fewer clients. you can demand more and a different treatment out of the average programs than had it been with a full-time worker. so it’s a lot more personal or intimate, etc.’.

 

‘i’m playin the trumpet rn tellin u ur start signal. go for it. i believe in u prince peanut!!!’

 

‘oh and i’ve already told him a bit about u, just so u know. he’s prolly expecting a call ;)’

 

Sehun stares at the phone for a long time, lips held in a tight line.

 

He writes a quick ‘thank you’ back to Chanyeol.

 

Then he bonks his forehead on the table and makes something akin to a pterodactyl screech, his cheeks heating up and a flustered face peeking at the surface of the usually limited expressions he puts on show.

 

He rubs his eyes furiously, bringing his dark bangs out of his face as he slumps a bit and sighs.

 

For a moment, he sits still and overcomes the embarrassment that is called Park Chanyeol.

 

But Sehun can be cool about it, of course. He’ll just pretend he doesn’t know that… Kim Minseok knows.

 

Knows whatever it is that Chanyeol has told him.

 

Sehun pouts.

 

While he’s at it, googling safeheat.com, he could also choose a different heat-carer anyway.

 

But.

 

He checks the search bar first, typing in the keywords.

 

He’s not sure what it is he expects.

 

Maybe a beta, maybe an alpha. Tall height, something that Sehun likes— maybe a rowdy-looking appearance or something else. Chanyeol knows Sehun’s taste, after all.

 

Yet this profile picture is kind of…

 

Unlucky.

 

The light is exaggerated, a picture taken with flash, and the man on the picture looks unprepared— a little startled, eyebrows raised on his forehead and mouths in an o, so he barely gets to smile.

 

Bit of chubby cheeks, dark auburn hair and pale skin. He looks confused on the picture, but nothing else. With all the effects and the angle clipped together, it’s just…

 

Unlucky.

 

Sehun scratches his elbow and hmm s under his breath, scrolling down.

 

Blood type: B

 

Status: Alpha

 

Well. That’s not so bad.

 

Height: 173 cm.

 

His nose scrunches up at this, and he takes a moment to take this in. He leans back, mouth half-agape.

 

No hard feelings, really.

 

But what was Chanyeol thinking?

 

Moving on.

 

Age: 28

 

Older league, that’s right. Sehun might have a thing for that.

 

Maybe.

 

Hobbies: Cleaning, material arts, football.

 

An active type.

 

Clean, too.

 

Sehun takes a look around at the discarded ramen cups again, the dust in the windowsills and a glance at that glass of milk from yesterday he’s yet to spill in the sink.

 

Uh.

 

He scrolls further down to where the personal message is.

 

Words to clients: Communication is key. Let’s talk it through and I’ll do my best to please you as long as you can respect me too.

 

Sehun lets the words seep in, and he has got his arms crossed now, fingers drumming on his bony elbows.

 

There’s some more about Minseok and his hobbies - that he has been verified among other things. His phone number is there too, and to know more, people have to give him a call. He lives surprisingly close to Sehun, although his house number hasn’t been added.

 

Strangely enough, there’s a comment section too. There are a couple of old messages resting there, not many, just a few.

 

‘Minseok was easily approachable and the talk was casual. The treatment was good. Very steamy! Would recommend to first-timers.”

 

Sehun hunches his head back to display a fake double chin.

 

And that’s just the first one.

 

The second says ‘i couldn’t walk after that visit. lol’

 

And Sehun swallows the bile in his throat and furrows his brows, hmm ing again, a snort following suit. It’d be funny if Minseok was the one who left those comments anyway, in case he didn’t live up to the descriptions on the page.

 

Sehun is not used to this sort of deal even though it has kind of become a trend around— has become more acknowledged in the public eye. It was how Jongin met his beta, Kyungsoo, as well.

 

Sehun meddles around on the webpage to look at what other carers that are offered, but for some reason, he ends up back on Minseok’s page, not knowing why.

 

It’s just a gut feeling, even if Minseok’s descriptions are the shortest out of the lot— there’s a lot left unsaid. However, he was recommended by Chanyeol, who got him recommended from his alpha, Yifan.

 

Yifan knows Minseok, and Yifan doesn’t just befriend anyone either.

 

Sehun fidgets with his phone again, and may or may not spend the next minutes redialing the number, his palms getting sweaty. He shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask for this, really. But Minseok already knows something about him, apparently.

 

He wonders what kind of person Minseok is. Would he laugh if Sehun wants to cuddle? What if Sehun ends up asking for more than Minseok is willing to give?

 

The omega groans aloud and runs a hand through his midnight bangs, slumping on the chair. He should just get over himself already, he thinks and finally presses the green button, holding his breath while he cradles the phone up to his ear.

 

What if Minseok doesn’t answer?

 

What if it’s awkward?

 

What if-

 

“Hey.”

 

Sehun’s keeps a breath captured in his lungs, stiffening on the chair.

 

“Um-” he says after a while, croaking, and it sounds strange with the deep tune. He clears his throat - “Um, hey… my name is Oh Sehun,” he starts out. Not awkward at all.

 

There’s a brief silence, and Sehun remembers he’s ought to support the first words. He doesn’t even know if he’s speaking to the right person.

 

The other is quicker though, “Oh Sehun? Ah,” the person says, and his voice is not low but not high pitched either, just in-between with a certain smoothened edge to it, somehow comfortable but knowing. ‘ ’I’m Kim Minseok, a heat-carer from Safeheat. Chanyeol recommended me to you, right?”

 

Sehun breathes out. “Yeah,” he replies. “I mean… yes….” not sure how to go further.

 

There’s a light chuckle on the other end, not one in menace. “You want to book a session with me, right?” he elaborates on Sehun’s behalf.

 

“Yeah.”

 

“I’d normally go into deeper details regarding my clients, but since you know Chanyeol and Yifan already, let’s meet up at a nearby café to settle things. Chanyeol told me you live in the apartment next to him and all that.”

 

“Oh, uh.”

 

“Is that alright?”

 

“Yes- I mean… yeah,” Sehun nods to no one in particular, finding himself dumbfounded by how soothing Minseok’s voice is, packed to calm the jitter in Sehun’s mind.

 

“So,” Minseok says, voice inquiring. “Where do you want to meet up?”




It’s ridiculous, really.

 

It has barely been an hour since Sehun spoke to Minseok, but his mind is already starting to spur with ideas of how Minseok is in person, such as what kind of face accompanies that voice aside from the confused expression on the homepage.

 

It’s ridiculous that Sehun hasn’t been affected by anyone or any alpha for a long time, and despite feeling odd about this arrangement, he wouldn’t expect this feeling of anticipation.

 

He blames it on his pheromones and the soar of heat in his belly that amplifies itself when he thinks of getting cared for , even if it’s without feelings.

 

Even if it’s not meant to be intimate in that aspect. Even if it’s not really what Sehun thinks he’s looking for in the bitter end - but that’s okay. For being so young, he guesses he’s stupid enough to have given up in that regard already.

 

His hair is damp and the clothes he’s propping himself into is finer than the usual with a brand for design, fingers working on the buttons of his shirt. He’s even taken a shower, because Minseok suggested that they should already meet up today at one of Sehun’s favorite cafés here in the busy city, just some blocks away.

 

Sehun spends perhaps a millennium trying to part his hair the right way, but ends up getting scruffy bangs instead. He’s never really had a problem with dressing well in public, but right now he roams through countless of caps, and even sunglasses though it’s autumn— colored socks too.

 

Standing before the door half an hour later, he wears ripped jeans, a shirt and a cardigan and a simple black snapback, propping his phone into his pocket after having checked the time again. He’s not going to be there on the dot. Maybe just a minute or two late, so that he doesn’t seem too eager.

 

He takes a moment to comprehend the situation, to note how he has planned everything in his head and how the bitterness makes him do this, something he rarely would spend a nickel on back in time.

 

This is nothing personal, he reminds himself. This isn’t a date, either. It’s okay to have demands or a request, or to crave.

 

It’s okay to ask for touches or a special treatment, because it’s Minseok’s job to grant Sehun this once things are settled and a negotiation has been made regarding payment, after all.




Minseok is late.

 

Even if Sehun had wanted to be the one who’s fashionably late— had planned this trick in his head in order to not look nonchalant but submissive either, in some self-made game of power play, he’s the one who’s here on time.

 

He rubs his eyes and adjusts his seat, leaning back as he crosses his arms.

 

It’s warm in the café, and outside people pass by in a blur on bikes or in cars, some walking along the curb here at the shopping street.

 

There’s a soft play of jazz in the background, and the waiter has already been over to offer Sehun a menu, one he hasn’t touched yet because if he orders something to drink it would probably look like he’s been waiting for long.

 

He looks down at his feet.

 

This is ridiculous.

 

A tingle resounds in the café from the door abruptly opening, and some customers look up, though Sehun keeps his gaze down and rubs the heels of his sneakers into the wooden floor.

 

Hurried footsteps travel over the ground, boots that stop at Sehun’s table, followed by heavy panting and a breath inhaled before a familiar voice chimes in, crisp from running: “Hey.”

 

Sehun looks up, and he wants to look nonchalant or at least a bit bothered due to how he has waited for more than ten minutes already, but the muscles in his face never scrunch or move once his eyes frame the person before him.

 

Kim Minseok.

 

The one who looked confused in the picture on the web page, now looks a bit out of breath but firm nonetheless, eyes wide but slanted in a fine way, his hair a deep auburn and slightly rumpled hair from the weather, even if the most of it is cradled in a bun on the back of his head.

 

He’s not tall, as promised.

 

But as he’s slipping off his coat to settle down on the opposite booth chair, his arms come in view and his torso too, hidden by a long-sleeved but snug shirt, biceps bulging from simple actions.

 

He runs some fingers through his neck hair that hasn’t been styled, and his shoulders are broad and proper for his height, squaring once he leans over the edge of the table to grant Sehun a sincere and gummy smile.

 

“I’m sorry, Sehun,” he says. “Traffic was messed up and at first I wanted to drive but settled for running instead.”

 

His breathing is still a little hasty, though it evens out, “have you waited long?”

 

Sehun barely realizes how he hasn’t spoken a word yet nor greeted the other, and he perks up, shaking his head quickly.

 

“No- no that’s… No I haven’t,” he blabbers in the end, and he only does that in situations where he’s nervous or timid, resulting that he shuts his mouth again, lips thinning in a line. There’s something familiar about the face before him, but he can’t put a source on it.

 

“No, I’m fine,” he ends up saying, bitten words, crossing his arms anew to hook his hands around his elbows in a habit. He tends to come off cold due to this, so he slips out of it again and cups his kneecaps instead.

 

“I’m just glad you made it,” he amends it, voice surprisingly sincere. He doesn’t notice the arch of Minseok’s eyebrows or the change in his eyes.

 

“Well I’m here,” the alpha says with a somewhat soothing tinge to it. “So don’t worry.”

 

Sehun’s mouth goes dry at this.

 

He’s not sure why it is that he can’t take his eyes down to glare at the table instead. A thing he usually does when he’s making a conversation with a random guy and has already acknowledged the other’s presence so that the words can go on without too much eye contact.

 

This is different, though.

 

It’s first now as he’s slowly letting his guard down that he can let the circumstances seep in — notice a different but robust smell of authoritativeness that wafts in the air somewhere; closer now that Minseok has settled down and is leaning there, silent for now as if he’s inspecting Sehun, though his eyes never stray off Sehun’s gaze, but look in .

 

And Sehun doesn’t notice it.

 

Notice how his thighs clench a bit beneath the table, legs gathering to assemble instead of lazing out as long and lanky they are, or how he’s tilting his head a bit to the side, eyes still on the alpha, as if he’s making way.

 

As if he’s baring himself already, or inquiring the first step of an invitation, like he has only done one time before, but to someone he was entrusted to.

 

Minseok is still looking.

 

But for the first time in the past minutes of a strange silence with only the noise of an upcoming rainstorm pitter-pattering against the window, his gaze strays down further, outlining something - what he’s invited to glance at, and then they’re back again.

 

He wets his lower lip and eases out a breath heavier than the average, and his eyebrows furrow a bit, veins on his throat shortly surfacing like he’s tensing.

 

“Sehun,” he says, and the omega snaps out of the strange bubble that has fastened itself around them, blinking his eyes and form startling while he bids a “yeah?”

 

“Ah-” he continues, “I just, uh, spaced out, I guess.”

 

“Sorry.”

 

Minseok only smiles, back to arching one brow in a somewhat playful manner, and now he leans back in a more relaxed posture.

 

Sehun doesn’t understand what just happened. Or why it feels like he just held a conversation containing a million words without opening his mouth - with a face he’s never seen before.

 

He ends up crossing his arms again, outwitted.

 

“So,” he clears his throat, adjusting his cap. “Chanyeol might already have said some things about me?”

 

“Ah,” one corner of Minseok’s mouth ticks in a smile. “It’s not like that. He just said you were looking for a heat-carer, that’s all.”

 

“That’s all?”

 

Minseok’s eyes dart up. “He said he wanted me to take care of you, of course. But that’s a part of the treatment I’ll put into the session for you.”

 

Something soars down Sehun’s spine at these words. His wolf is getting eager though his human side scoffs, and he looks out at the street as if to seem a little disinterested. Maybe he should question what programs are available.

 

Minseok is faster though.

 

“Chanyeol told me you want to be cared for and that your wolf needs coddling and extra attention, and I’ll make sure to give you just that.”

 

He leans forward then, fingers tapping lightly on the table. “In this matter there’s no specific program. Once you’re in heat, I’ll give you whatever you want.”

 

Sehun’s adam’s apple bobs, and when the waiter decides to come over and ask if Sehun and the newcomer might be up for deciding what to order, his mouth feels like cotton as he murmurs a small “cola, please”.

 

Minseok orders some coffee and regards Sehun again once the waiter has left.

 

“Do you-” Sehun stumbles over the word and takes a deep breath, “do you tell all of your customers this? Is this- is this like the ultimate service that comes with being a half-time worker with fewer clients, or?” because he hasn’t heard about this wording, and he took his time earlier to browse the internet, looking up what these sessions might entail. This wasn’t described anywhere.

 

It’s always planned dot by dot unless one asks for something spontaneous, but not many heat-carers are up for that.

 

Minseok shrugs, a light grin following suit. “Who knows. Now it’s about you, Sehun. Depending on what you need, I’ll accommodate within reasonable means.”

 

Sehun squirms. “We… we haven’t even introduced ourselves to each other yet...”

 

The elder laughs, and it’s a pleasant sound. “Ah,” he scratches his nape. “Sorry about that. Since you might’ve read my webpage, I thought you wouldn’t need to know more, caus´ I’m verified and all,” he looks up. “In addition, I’m pretty good at reading people I guess, so I easily know who I’m sitting in front of within minutes.”

 

The omega squints at this, grimacing slightly. ‘I easily know who I’m sitting in front of within minutes’ he repeats in his head, and this can’t be good.

 

“Oh,” is what comes out of his mouth, even if he’d want to amend his earlier muteness or cold facade, or the one currently protruding. “Well, um.”

 

He adjusts his seat and shifts his gaze from looking at the table to Minseok from time to time. “I’m Oh Sehun, and I’m twenty-three years old. Status omega… most likely in the whiny degree, is what Chanyeol likes to tell people.”

 

He shrugs, “I’m primarily majoring in dancing and music in college. I took a year off where I danced only and participated in projects, and now I’m picking up my studies again. I live alone in an apartment not so far away from here.”

 

“What about you?” Minseok asks.

 

“What about me?”

 

“Yeah. Who are you?”

 

When Sehun seems to struggle with the question, Minseok elaborates: “how would you describe yourself?”

 

“Clingy,” the younger replies as the first thing, sudden.

 

He amends it. “I used to be. Now... I don’t know. Most people often think I’m cold at first, or mysterious, or that I don’t speak because I know better.”

 

He looks up, “actually, I’m just… I don’t know. I don’t really… I don’t always know what to say. Though I’m lively when you get to know me. I mean- you’ll have to… you’ll have to warm up to me.”

 

He continues, because Minseok doesn’t tell him to stop.

 

Because Minseok’s gaze never veers, he nods and says “yeah?”




“I have a lisp, although I’ve become better at keeping it back now, and-”

 

Sehun stops amidst it, stiffening.

 

There’s a wave of embarrassment chiming in from having blabbered— how he has talked nonstop for the past minutes. It’s been awhile since he’s done this ‘ritual’ .

 

The one that reminds of a first date.

 

He wonders if Minseok does this with every client, or listens this attentively.

 

Minseok perks up. “And?’ ’ he asks.

 

But Minseok doesn’t need to know all of this, does he?

 

The waiter has already been here, and the elder is in the middle of taking a sip of his coffee, but stops since Sehun has ceased talking.

 

“And,” Sehun shrugs, grabbing the cola he has barely touched, “and that’s it, I guess. There’s… there’s not much more to tell,” he murmurs.

 

The alpha doesn’t look convinced, but he doesn’t pry further and only nods.

 

“What about... you?” Sehun asks when silence fills in.

 

Minseok looks up when he has downed another mouthful of his coffee, one hunch left due to how much time they’ve spent in the café so far with just Sehun rambling ahead and Minseok asking questions.

 

“Me?” the alpha repeats, raising a brow, as if he hasn’t expected a question like that.

 

Sehun nearly rolls his eyes, but answers with a smile. “I’ve exposed my ass the past minutes, so…,” he clears his throat at the choice of words and makes a grimace, clearing it with a “I mean it’s your turn, that’s only fair,” and looks down, his palms getting clammy again.

 

This isn’t dating, after all.

 

But Sehun has the right to know something about Minseok as well, considering the circumstances. Even if this is just about a service.

 

Just a bit if this is supposed to work, Sehun assumes, though his gaze flickers up and down a few times, just to see that Minseok is looking at him with a surprised expression that then turns mellow.

 

“Kim Minseok,” the elder says, looking out of the window for a second as if he’s contemplating what to say.

 

“Twenty-eight, fitness instructor and part-time heat carer,” he says, simply. “I live in a pretty small house here in the city. Big fan of soccer, skilled in Tae Kwon Do and a bit of fencing. Generally athletic or active, I guess. Pretty good at math, too.”

 

Sehun stares for awhile, but nothing more comes.

 

Minseok drums a rhythm on the table with a closed hand, knuckles digging into the wood when he stops, shrugging.

 

A curve rises at one corner of Sehun’s mouth, and he leans back this time, softly tapping a hand against his own cheek.

 

“Who are you?” he asks, mirroring Minseok’s earlier interrogating mode, a little cheeky.

 

“Who am I?” Minseok repeats, squinting his eyes.

 

“How would you describe yourself?” Sehun says, and at this, Minseok lets out a small chuckle and looks down at his lap, hand sliding down from the table, realizing what Sehun is doing.

 

He looks up seconds later, and there’s something different in his eyes.

 

Sehun doesn’t know what kind of heat-carer the guy before him is, but something tells him that this isn’t a part of the program.

 

“Mundane,” Minseok says.

 

He looks ahead, head tilted a bit. “Confident but average in many aspects,” he adds.

 

Shrugging again. “Shy, a little introverted, but courageous and hardworking.”

 

His smile has history as well. “Life gets better when you start respecting yourself and giving less of a rat's ass about what other people think or say.”

 

There’s a pause. “Though I do have my moments of weakness as well.”

 

Silence fills in, and Minseok stops there, mouth dry.

 

Sehun doesn’t know what to do with these words, so he clears his throat and murmurs “we all do, right?”

 

He tries to ease the strange atmosphere that has seeped in; the one that makes him feel like something binds them, a same sort of experience, one he can’t define but one that looms in his stomach and makes a knot shape in his throat.

 

The momentary vibe leaves his wolf rustling inside, and his thighs gather a bit, something within him wanting to reach out for reasons unknown; to soothe and wiggle up next to the the alpha before him.

 

Minseok’s shoulders are squared for a moment, tense, and he has got one hand on the table again, this time with it being dangerously close to Sehun’s, fingers stretching over the wood, their fingertips almost touching.

 

“We’re all a little uncertain when it comes to other people based on earlier experiences,” he murmurs, and the words tune out.

 

Nothing is said, and Sehun knows he shouldn’t fill it in with something he has rarely told anyone else.

 

“Yeah, I get you. I mean, I’ve been insecure a lot as well, after-” he makes a motion with his hand, lips puckering, “a bad breakup that I’ve sort of come over now… even if it left a pretty big mark, you know? But right now I’m mending and I’d… I mean it’d be great with an alpha looking after me. Or someone…,”

 

He swallows thickly. “Who could look after me during my heat.”

 

Minseok gets a thoughtful, unfathomable look in his eyes.

 

“What happened?” he asks, voice a hush.

 

Sehun feels himself stiffen, and a pang of jitter settles in his heart and makes his tongue feel thick in his mouth.

 

There’s a palm on his hand then, light but present - putting an imaginary blanket over his shoulders.

 

Minseok looks like he realizes something,

 

“Sehun,” he says, his voice entering another tune, far smoother and more professional; no trace of the earlier emotions there.

 

“Regarding the service, is there anything you want to add for now?” his smile is gummy, and the scene changes.

 

For a moment, it had seemed like things had become personal.

 

Then it’s gone again, and Sehun is confused, because Minseok is but a mere stranger.

 

But Sehun feels a pull, and he regrets this already; something nagging the back of his head upon the realization of knowing that he wants to know more, wants to spill his own secrets as well for someone he has only spoken with for an hour and a half. The same thing that happened in the past— a whimsical, far-fetched interest that got too deep on his own behalf but not on the other’s.

 

He’s already getting clingy, and for a service worker.

 

This is ridiculous.

 

Isn’t it?

 

His shoulders sag a bit and his fingers gather on the middle of the table, thumbs twiddling.

 

Minseok withdraws his hand as well.

 

“Um,” Sehun says.

 

“Take good care of me?” he looks up, prickling ensuing along his cheeks.

 

Minseok stares, mouth agape, like he has something to say, and Sehun’s thighs clench beneath the table but for a different reason this time; for the musky pheromones shortly crowding him, just a whiff.

 

“Don’t worry, Sehun,” the elder says, his voice warm.

 

“I’ll take good care of you.”




An agreement has been made.

 

Meaning that as soon as Sehun feels any sort of indication in his own demeanor, warmth between his legs or his wolf’s impatience, he’s ought to call Minseok or send a text message, since Minseok will be available most of the time with his flexible schedule.

 

They ended the meeting at the café by writing down their addresses to each other’s houses, sealing a deal and a brief discussion about payment where Minseok, strangely enough, said it could wait till later on but that it wouldn’t be too expensive, considering that Sehun isn’t all that wealthy and mostly lives on instant noodles.

 

And Sehun doesn’t know when his heat will kick in, though it won’t be long. The first thing he does when he comes home is to give his apartment an all-rounder cleaning.

 

He sheepishly tucks his hair in a towel, because even though he might dance a lot and work hard in that matter, it’s exhausting and mentally draining to clean, according to himself, and he grumbles in the middle of the night where the clock strikes two and the apartment is finally spotless.

 

He’s doing this out of courtesy, of course. Nothing else.

 

Taking into account that Minseok prefers a clean, comfortable room over a dirty one. And Sehun is grateful just for the fact that Minseok apparently won’t charge much for the service, for his openness and general warmth and for the promise he has given.

 

So Sehun will treat Minseok good as well - within reasonable means.

 

Within the service and agreement that they have made, only, and so Minseok will do in return.

 

With the text message sent to Sehun from an unknown number some hours earlier -

 

’Just call me if you need anything, Sehun.

 

-                KM.’




It’s ridiculous though.

 

How Sehun wakes up on his bed only a few days later with soaked sheets and sweat beaded on his forehead, a shaky gasp making its way out of his mouth the exact moment his eyes open in a whisk.

 

His adam’s apple is bobbing, and before doing anything else, his blazing eyes shut themselves tightly as he murmurs a ragged “fuck,” under his breath.

 

It’s not supposed to come a few days after the agreement is made, because it’s embarrassing, it’s stupid, it’s attention-seeking and too much of a request already.

 

Sehun doesn’t want to pry.

 

According to the scale he has created in his head, it would be the most profitable if his heat came a week later; to let the deal sink in and to let both Minseok and him dwell on the conversation they had.

 

If Sehun calls the heat-carer now, he might just look too eager.

 

Or it might just look as if Minseok himself has triggered Sehun’s heat,

 

The musky smell radiating from the elder’s body back in the café,

 

His lean body and the way he carries himself, humble but secure,

 

His voice that isn’t deep but not light either, just right, smooth and soothing,

 

His hand that laid atop Sehun’s for a brief second, but just enough to give Sehun an idea of how it’d feel running down Sehun’s inner-thigh, between his legs in a gentle caress.

 

And Sehun is gasping on the bed right now, turning onto his side with his feet digging into the crumpled sheet beneath. His duvet is twisted around his form, a blanket that he’s hugging tightly, as he feels his wolf prowl from the inside and rustle his ribs, demanding attention.

 

An inhuman noise sprouts up his throat, clenching through his gritted teeth.

 

His eyes are aching with the feral glint protruding; his legs twist around, gangly body writhing on the bed as the growl turns into a whimper, because he’s only got one thing on his mind.

 

One name.

 

Slanted eyes, auburn hair, a gummy smile, sheepish jokes and sweet words.

 

The person who’s usually been behind Sehun’s eyelids disappear for awhile, gone and faded, replaced by someone else. Almost too easily, just for now.

 

It’s something that Sehun barely notices with the heat coiling in the pit of his belly, though it’s almost laughable how easy it is to turn it upside down, for how long Sehun has pined for a certain face, only for it to almost be replaced in a few days.

 

He feels how slick has gathered between his inner-thighs when he moves again, making him clutch the duvet tighter and his hips arch.

 

Yet that’s all he does.

 

It can wait for another day. Then he’ll give Minseok a call, he thinks, feeling airy in his head.

 

The start of a sob builds as one hand travels down between the duvet and his stomach, beneath his boxers to relieve the heat, just for a moment.

 

He doesn’t want to pry.




Someone is knocking on the front door.

 

A person has been here before that, though, but the person barged in without further notice; that being Sehun’s neighbor who had been standing in the door.

 

Voice loud and concerned; grabbing Sehun by the arm to find him in a current state of curling into a fetal position on the bed.

 

There had been a phone call, and Chanyeol murmuring a “for fucks sake, Sehun…,” while draping a wet cloth over Sehun’s forehead as Sehun continued to cramp on the bed, whimpering at some of the cold droplets sliding into his ears.

 

Currently, the smell of another omega doesn’t do much to him, so he has barely opened his eyes but only tries to turn his head once in awhile.

 

However, there’s someone else knocking on the front door, twice to make Chanyeol hop off the bed and sprint out in the small hallway.

 

Hushed talking appears a room’s distance away, Chanyeol’s deep voice and another whose voice is far softer.

 

It’s fragrant.

 

It’s strong, the new scent tinging the air in the apartment, making Sehun’s insides churn for a second.

 

He stiffens on the bed, his eyes opening and torso wrenching up, though he has to lie down again due to the throbbing in his head, a lack of water and Chanyeol who has done his best to help an unwilling, stubborn omega in heat.

 

“You can go now,” he hears close to the door, followed by the thunk of a bag being dropped on the wooden floor that creaks in response.

 

“Will he be okay?” Chanyeol questions, and peeks his head in for a brief second, and Sehun is still snuggling into the blanket, panting feebly. “He’ll need water from having sweated so much. Food too. And also—”

 

Minseok comes in behind the taller, his stance a bit tense but the look on his face calm, “yeah, don’t worry, ‘yeol. His wolf is just stressed,” he says, giving Chanyeol a little nod and a smile.

 

Chanyeol shifts a bit - “do you know how the stove works and all that?”

 

“I’ll figure things out. I’ll give you a call if I’m in doubt,” the alpha says.

 

The other nods, noticing a tension in the air and the way Minseok’s hands clench into fists.

 

Chanyeol’s gaze goes to Sehun again before leaving, first giving Minseok a friendly puff and a low and private “thank you.”

 

Minseok nears the bed to sit down, and in the background, the bang of the front door being shut reverberates in the apartment.

 

The moment Minseok puts a hand on Sehun’s forehead, Sehun’s eyes open again, brown before but then a vibrant blue as his nostrils flare and the omega takes in the new presence.

 

His voice is clogged, barely getting out: “Seok…,” he says, and his fingers fumble away from the duvet and closer to Minseok, tugging in the alpha’s shirt.

 

Sehun’s forehead is burning up, and this heat is a harsh one intensified by hormones and a raised stress level.

 

“I’m going to get you a glass of water, okay?” Minseok says, and he’s still wearing his jacket, but takes it off now, wearing nothing but jeans and a shirt otherwise.

 

Sehun’s grip turns tighter, “No…, no… you have to stay,” he murmurs, but he’s still bewildered - eyelids fluttering and hips arching again as another row of warmth flows through him and makes him bury his face in the mattress.

 

First thing is to make sure that the omega is okay, comfortable and ready for mating, and Minseok figures he can’t go anywhere with the vice grip on his shirt.

 

So Sehun is to let out a woozy sound as he’s embraced and picked up bridal style, Minseok who lets out a soft harrumph as he maneuvers the taller around in the apartment and into the kitchen, even if Sehun is still caught in the duvet and some of its length slides over the floor.

 

He’s placed on the kitchen counter where Minseok stands between his legs, looking for cups nearby, almost knocking one down with how Sehun is leaning down to snuggle his face against the side of the alpha’s throat.

 

Minseok kisses Sehun’s temple in response and lets the omega snuff around.

 

He lets him get a good whiff of the elder, lets Sehun get used to the musky smell and slowly anticipate more and more, the fever going away and a positive reaction showing; that he has a mate to spend the heat with.

 

And it’s not easy detaching the omega or making him drink something.

 

Sehun grows annoyed and even growls defiantly at the other, turns his head when Minseok tries to bring a cup on his level and let him have a sip.

 

Sehun’s fingers are busy and travel elsewhere, hands fisting the back of Minseok’s shirt possessively.

 

“Drink,” the alpha orders after enough consideration, and has to let go to grab Sehun’s jaw, albeit softly, and guide him, tip his head and the cup as well.

 

Sehun abides, this time.

 

Once he’s gotten a taste, he downs it in one go, some droplets trickling down his throat and chest. He’s wearing nothing but a pair of boxers that cling to the bend of his knees, the rest exposed and slickness smeared between his spread thighs, cock flushed.

 

“More,” he says afterwards, smoothing a hand down Minseok’s waist, breathing hard and licking his lips while he finally seems to gain a bit of focus, just enough to follow the other’s motions with his eyes as Minseok turns on the kitchen’s faucet.

 

It’s eerie in the apartment, save for the city’s background noise seeping through and Sehun gulping down another glass of water, wheezing in the aftermath, not even bothering to dry the water around his mouth or what else he’s spilled.

 

His mind is blurred with the haze of the first tough phase of the heat, but he can sense it - see a source of comfort before him for the days to come, and that’s all that matters.

 

He says things—

 

He begs, and he starts nosing down Minseok’s shoulder again because he can’t help not to, even if he knows that had he been completely sober and serene in his head, he’d never say something as ‘please’ , especially to a face that makes his heart fly up in his throat already.

 

However, he’s grabbed by the chin again so that he’s looking into Minseok’s eyes, those that flash a vibrant amber for a second just as Sehun’s go blue, a domino effect but also power play as Sehun’s wolf forces itself to calm down.

 

He stills on the counter, throat restricting.

 

“What do you want, Sehun?” Minseok asks, calm and controlled, but with a hand caressing the other’s inner-thigh, getting a trickle of juice on his thumb.

 

A vein tracks over the alpha’s temple, and the setting of his jaw is the only thing giving away how affected he is by the other’s pheromones and the invitation within. His stance is different, what he’s putting on for show, because though there’s a tension between them that isn’t supposed to be there, he’s still on duty.

 

He goes through the verse that a heat-carer is ought to about the service; well-knowing as for how one is supposed to handle omegas of different kinds. Though perhaps not this one.

 

Two sentences in, and a gurgle bubbles up Sehun’s throat, voice raspy and the tone inquiring, “you,” he says.

 

Inching forward, he bumps their foreheads, looking down and letting their nose tips brush. “Please,” he murmurs, voice suddenly soft, lisp getting through, the rest cut off.

 

“I just want you,” he whimpers, says something else too he doesn’t catch, and that's where Minseok takes action, albeit slowly, tucking some strands of hair behind Sehun’s ear and cradling his face.

 

“Do you want me to take care of you?” Minseok whispers, letting his breath fan over Sehun’s mouth, tracing his thumb along a lower lip.

 

“You want my knot?” he’s playful, but collected at the same time, and his hair is tousled from Sehun’s hands having slid through it a few couple of times, different and middle-parted than when it’s in a bun.

 

There’s a croak.

 

A gulp and a mellow “yes” as Sehun nods for the last time, before Minseok lets him have it -

 

Before Minseok clashes their lips and lets Sehun ease a frantic breath into his mouth, Sehun opening up immediately to let the alpha probe a tongue in and shortly collide their front teeth until a new angle makes it easier to deepen the kiss.

 

It’s peculiar to Sehun—

 

The treatment and the way it’s done, because it’s not what he’s used to.

 

It isn’t selfish.

 

Minseok creates his own pace, but listens to the omega at the same time to mold what’s best for the both of them; for what makes Sehun’s in- and exhaling speed up and slow down to deep heaps as a rough palm slides over his inner-thigh, and fingers shortly circle the skin around his bared entrance, boxers tugged all the way off.

 

He’s drenched, and two digits slide in with ease followed by a wet squelch, pressing in till Minseok’s knuckles touch the underside.

 

The alpha sounds content with a hum somewhere in the back of his throat,

 

“You’re taking it so well already,” tender but with an undertone as he starts thrusting them in and out, feeling how the younger clenches hard around them.

 

Sehun, who spreads his legs to flatten out on the counter until the back of his shoulders touch the wall and his neck is bent.

 

He’s looking at the elder through his eyelashes, barely able to comprehend the situation but dissatisfied when the fingers leave.

 

Seconds later, there’s a breath of air simmering between his legs, hands grabbing his thighs and lifting them up over Minseok’s shoulders, Sehun’s lower back lifted up -

 

A lingering kiss to the underside of his sack, and a breathless “I’ll treat you so good,” where something wet travels down to the puckered rim to flicker over the wet area.

 

Sehun nearly bumps the back of his head hard into the wall behind him, jolting on the counter and nostrils flaring, a lewd expression marring his face while Minseok goes down on him.

 

The elder laps his tongue over the puffy hole, letting the tip catch and then slide in between warm walls until his nose touches the perineum.

 

He curls his tongue inside, making Sehun’s stomach flex and the muscles roll under the skin, feet twisting on Minseok’s back, a boyish voice filling the small kitchen.

 

Sehun’s torso is held up with the help of one of his elbows dug into the hard counter beneath him, while his other hand has found a way down to Minseok’s hair again, pulling lightly, urging him on— too impatient, because Minseok makes sure to take his time in this regard - has the audacity to withdraw and trail slow, open-mouthed kisses and a hickey down one thigh.

 

Returning, he sucks a wet patch on the skin around the hole, nose nudging into the sack; his chin and bits of his cheeks unabashedly covered in Sehun’s slick.

 

Obscene noises come from the actions where the alpha flicks his tongue tip over the pinkness again, tracking the frame and having it flutter at the sensory.

 

In return, the lower part of Sehun’s abdomen is tensing.

 

Not much is needed before his dick is twitching, cockhead swollen as cum leaks; not in spurts but droplets down the shaft and into his belly button due to how spent he already is, for how long he’s been waiting and how sensitive he is everywhere; his orgasm slow compared to the usual and like heat crawling up his legs.

 

He’s been rigid all the while, lungs deflated in the long moment where he doesn’t breathe and his toes spasm.

 

Minseok raises himself then, levering Sehun’s legs down, licking his lips where the transparent lube is plastered, eyes a permanent, hungry amber now.

 

The omega is like a sack of marbles, easily carried again and huffing out a surprised, though dazed noise as Minseok lifts him.

 

Guiding the both of them into the bedroom, the alpha almost bonks Sehun’s head into the doorframe due to the latter’s height.

 

Minseok laughs and says “careful,” though it’s strained due to the tension rising between them, while the younger grumbles and snuggles his face into the juncture of the other’s shoulder, feet getting cold.




It’s not a copious bedroom, but the bed is big enough for two.

 

A creak resounding in their ears, bed jolting since Minseok finds himself pushed into the sheets all of sudden, as if Sehun has sprouted energy anew upon entering the room.

 

He’s crawling over Minseok the moment he’s put down on the furniture, catching the elder with a hand on the wrist.

 

His eyes flash a brilliant blue, intensity clear and a deeper shade within; a certain urgency he shouldn’t have for a service worker and a kiss pressed to the latter’s lips.

 

Fingers twist in Minseok’s shirt again, on the front while Sehun positions over him, sitting on his lap, right where there’s already engraved a soaked spot on the alpha’s crotch from when they had been pressed together in the kitchen and the lubrication had gotten all over the fabric.

 

Now stained with cum as well from Sehun aligning their fronts, trying to get as close as possible.

 

The kisses are open-mouthed - just as frantic as before though mostly from Sehun’s side, while Minseok only seems to slow down, making the omega rut against him impatiently.

 

The alpha makes up for it though, the moment his hand travels down lower to squeeze one of Sehun’s ass cheeks, bringing them together while his lips follow the curve of Sehun’s throat, imprinting a timbre growl there that has Sehun short on breath and his hips jut in reflex.

 

It’s almost like Minseok is enjoying it,

 

Sehun blearily thinks, noticing that Minseok responds every time another feeble whimper eases out of Sehun’s mouth, but also how Minseok’s touches are firm but careful at the same time; an interesting combination that turns maddening the more it goes on.

 

How Sehun can feel himself want to beg; to mash his face against Minseok’s crotch just to get more of that musky scent, somehow excited to feel that,

 

It’ll pay off.

 

He can get to whine as much as he wants to, beg and scratch— peck Minseok, be a nuisance and knock things over or try to push the progress, all the while still knowing in the back of his mind that he’s going to get it anyway, and Minseok is going to be thorough.

 

Minseok will ease all the tension out of Sehun….,

 

He’ll suck the last droplets until Sehun’s cock is flushed and hard, dribbling cum so slowly because it’s been pent up until it has to release.

 

Somewhere, Sehun can feel that Minseok loves it, loves the attention and the eagerness, the brattiness and the facade play in-between where Sehun originally played uninterested.

 

It makes Sehun all the more riled up, till he’s rolling his hips, making Minseok’s pants damp for how he grinds like he can’t get enough.

 

All the while, Minseok watches from beneath, eyes half-lidded but attentive; one hand on Sehun’s thigh with a possessive grip that says he’ll stay as he drains but nurses Sehun at the same time and watches the scene unfold,

 

Just the way Sehun has needed for so long.




It’s impressive,

 

Infuriating, almost.

 

How they haven’t gone to the last stage yet, even if it’s already four days ahead out of the usual five, though this heat might last less.

 

Sehun’s theory hasn’t turned out to be a joke.

 

And Minseok drags it out.

 

He touches, he fondles, he nuzzles and he cradles Sehun’s body again and again, but with no sign of further interaction that turns to knotting, marking and the final satisfactory.

 

Dark blotches and spots are scattered along the omega’s inner-thighs -

 

Some down his spine, a few to the bend of his knees and hickeys on his abdomen and some on his pale chest.

 

Love bites, tongue drag, a hot breath on Sehun’s ear and a murmur about the promise of mounting, even if Minseok’s holds it back.

 

Minutes and even hours spent cuddling, rutting and then times where the younger has passed out tired and spent, only to find himself wrapped in the duvet again and with a warm body next to his own.

 

Breaks of eating, with Sehun trying to divert it to something else and a hope of further intimacy, as if he hasn’t already gotten enough, can’t get enough, where the alpha has to be a little stricter, smiling through it nonetheless while cooking dinner or making sure Sehun gets something to eat.

 

Showers that almost end up with a heart failure or a broken limb for the floor being slippery and Minseok trying to scrub a clingy omega clean.

 

Sehun who continually drags himself back and forth on Minseok’s lap whenever he gets the chance, one time on his knees and burying his face in the curl of the pubic hair at the base, looking up through his lashes again with a pouty look that almost wins the elder over.

 

A sort of push and shove back game from both parts.

 

Resistance but comfort in the oddest way that makes Sehun all the more eager, full before he even should be but still hungry enough to never rest unless his knees tremble and his eyelids drop.

 

And it’s strange how Minseok’s eyes never stray.

 

He gazes, he observes, and he talks to Sehun, doesn’t laugh when the younger’s lisp surfaces in the dazed state.

 

He makes sure that there’s contact, all the way through.

 

He’s not perfect.

 

He’s not the one Sehun has ever thought he’d have in mind or spend a heat with.

 

But he’s everything Sehun needs him to be.

 

And finally, Minseok’s front aligns against the omega’s back as the both of their knees and shins dig into the mattress of the bed.

 

Sehun on his elbows and kneecaps, lowered a bit; his stomach nearly touching the sheets as well.

 

His eyes closed as he presses back with only a whisper from his lips for how his voice has already been thoroughly spent, even if he’s never too loud, mostly rasp and hitched groans.

 

Minseok hovers above him, kissing the back of Sehun’s nape when he leans further up and his cock slides against the split between Sehun’s ass cheeks with the movement, the cockhead swollen and a strong scent tinging the air.

 

“What do you want, Sehun?” he asks like he did the first day, voice throaty, just as spent.

 

A shaky breath fills the pause -

 

“You,” Sehun answers, repeating it because the second half is choked.

 

This time, his mind is clearer, and so are the additional words.

 

There’s an aim.

 

“Seok,” he murmurs, “Want Minseok,” he says, head hanging.

 

“Please,” he presses back again, nose runny and tears springing to the corner of his eyes.

 

Sensitive.

 

Clingy.

 

Needy.

 

He doesn’t hold himself back, this time.

 

There’s no reason to.

 

“I want your knot.”

 

His breath stutters.

 

Words changing, riled up and eager;

 

“I want your love .”

 

“Please,”

 

“Minseok.”

 

And Minseok gives it to him, as promised.

 

He removes himself a bit to stand on his knees only, one hand perched on a buttock before him, spreading the both apart. His other hand has grabbed the base of his cock to guide the head down the split, watching as Sehun’s hole flutters once the crown nudges there.

 

Pressing in, he watches the broad shoulders before him hunch, and Sehun relaxing for once.

 

Stilling to feel the moment.

 

Of Minseok thrusting in, the pace at minimum until he’s fully sheathed inside and the walls smother around him, hipbones touching the back of Sehun’s cheeks.

 

He keeps it there, and sees how Sehun arches his ass up, looking over one shoulder now, bangs clinging to his forehead where sweat beads.

 

Eyes a scorching blue though his pupils swallow the most of the irises.

 

Their eyes locking in a mutual gaze.

 

Sehun’s hand darting backwards, supporting his torso with one elbow, while the aforementioned goes back, palm facing upwards, his fingers twitching. Searching.

 

Because a hand finds his own, fingers interlocking and Minseok guiding it up again, intertwining it from the back to rest their hands next to Sehun’s head.

 

He hovers over the omega despite differences in size, the action making him press in harder, making Sehun need to arch his ass up even more so.

 

Their knuckles turn white for how hard they clutch.

 

And Minseok draws back till the rim clenches around his cockhead, before he slams in with one hard thrust, easing out a deep sound from the back of his throat.

 

Resulting to Sehun lurching up a little higher on the bed, a groan seeping through his teeth, now lying flat on his chest, and his other hand splayed out so that Minseok grabs that too, palm resting on the back of it.

 

A lewd sound of skin on skin fills the apartment and goes through the corridor, no loud moans but short draws of air, grunting and rustling as a pace is settled.

 

Minseok rolls his hips just the right way for Sehun’s eyes to turn in their sockets; nose scrunching up in reflex every time the he’s rammed into.

 

They keep their hands linked, pace solid at first and just enough for the moment not to be over too quick, with an amount of pressure that makes Sehun shiver at the friction, skin sticking sometimes and a pungent smell of pheromones settling in the air.

 

The scent from before that’s been rousing his wolf the past days is strengthened, filtrating the room, swarming Sehun’s nostrils till his small groans come out more choked than before.

 

“More,” he says,

 

Please , Minseok. More -”

 

His air passage is restricted as he’s turned around, rustling ensuing; a shadow hovering above him.

 

He’s been turned around so that he’s lying on his back, and bent in half till his knee-caps hit the space next to his own face on each side, the position putting a weight on his lungs, making it harder to breathe.

 

It’s Minseok who’s huddled impossibly closer until Sehun is nearly curled into a ball; Sehun resting the bend of his knees on Minseok’s shoulders, his stomach scrunched and cock bobbing from the position.

 

Their faces come closer the more the alpha leans forward, eyes brimming with a rich bronze, finding Sehun’s hands again, this time so that their palms are aligned, pulses thrumming against one another.

 

The arrangement makes the penetration go far deeper, till Sehun feels like it goes up to his stomach, short on breath and tears running into his ears when the thickness inside him expands; Minseok’s thrusting going from fast to slow and torturous as the scent of mating lingers between them.

 

Sehun wants to close his eyes, blink the tears away, but he can’t keep his eyelids down for longer than a few seconds.

 

They stay up, caught in the heavy gaze on him,

 

Of Minseok who stares right back.

 

There’s that something in them, like back in the café.

 

Unfathomable, but full of tales and words that are yet to leave his lips.

 

They’re strangers, but there’s strings stitching them together.

 

Sehun has never believed in love at first sight.

 

He doesn’t know if this is it, either.

 

But it’s the very beginning,

 

And he’ll accept it right now while he’s still in the haze.

 

Blurt it out between vulnerable whimpers and his hands that grasp at Minseok’s -

 

Harder and harder for when the alpha grounds against him, their breaths mingling and a wet but almost loving kiss pressed to Sehun’s lips as the knot settles, stretching him open and plunging in for the last time before it’s stuck.

 

And finally, his eyes close, a prolonged moan seeping out; wolf no longer prowling at his ribs but satisfied for now, his cum spurting down his own stomach and over one collarbone from the angle.

 

Heat thudding madly in his chest, mouth agape and tear tracks running down his cheeks.




They stay like that.

 

For how long, Sehun doesn’t know.

 

It’s only minutes later that the position changes and he can draw in one big, big breath that makes his head lighter, before the exhaustion protrudes, his limbs aching.

 

But there’s a warm body next to him, behind him since Minseok’s still inside him.

 

There’s an arm thrown over his waist, holding him close.

 

A mouth against the side of his throat, teeth scraping.

 

Tempting, even if nothing happens, and Sehun’s eyelids drop, staying down.




The sound of pots clanking renders Sehun out of his slumber.

 

A dulled “ah,” and a little hiss from the kitchen, sounding cute rather than loathsome.

 

He doesn’t recognize the voice.

 

Brain feeling mushy, he rubs his eyes and blearily looks up at the ceiling, where it’s dark except for a few stripes of light cast over the room from the window where the roll curtain stands half-assed.

 

He stays there, trying to make his mind cooperate with himself.

 

The bristling from within is gone, and it’s strange waking up -

 

feeling content.

 

There’s no burn in his stomach, slick between his legs or a hunger in his chest.

 

Yet there are thoughts in his mind the moment something clicks in his brain, and he remembers.

 

“Seok?” his voice is groggy, barely coming out.

 

It’s not loud enough to be heard, and the morning radio in the kitchen continues to run with a fresh pop song filling the silence, save for the noises of a running city outside.

 

Sehun’s throat feels raw, like it’s been grated.

 

Upon moving, his bum aches, and he wheezes a small ‘ ’oh god,” when he removes the cover to see his body adorned with marks.

 

From his ankle to the back of his ass, to the underside of his bicep and the hollow of a collarbone.

 

He smells…

 

Alpha, all over himself.

 

A certain side within him preens, against his will as he holds the duvet up to his nose and takes a whiff.

 

Alpha.

 

He leans down and nudges his nose against one of his pillows.

 

Alpha.

 

Over his forearm lightly.

 

Alpha.

 

Only startles when he hears a knock on the door that’s already open.

 

Jolting, his head whips up to grant a look at Minseok standing there, who’s wearing nothing but a pair of buttoned down pants; the elastic band of Calvin Klein underwear showing over the edge.

 

A toned stomach comes in view, plus a dark happy trail coursing down from his navel.

 

“Morning,” he says, voice light.

 

His eyebrows curve, almost as if he knows.

 

Probably caught Sehun sniffing around.

 

He doesn’t say anything about it though, or notes that Sehun’s face is like stone, the only thing giving the omega away being the color rising on his cheeks and down his throat.

 

“I’m making breakfast.” Minseok points a thumb backwards and over his shoulder, “It’s omelet.”

 

“Want some?”

 

Sehun stares, mouth opening and closing.

 

“I went out and bought some coffee too. Not instant. This is the good stuff,” Minseok winks.

 

There’s still no answer.

 

Sehun might as well be a little too flabbergasted, noticing a matching scatter of hickeys on Minseok’s torso, a pink splotch peeking up from the boxers too.

 

“Come out when you’re ready, alright? I’m making a cup for you now, ‘Seok style.”

 

The alpha turns around, but first after smiling warmly to the other, almost as if to say...

 

Don’t worry.

 

As if he knows that it’s just what Sehun will do.




It takes more than ten minutes before the omega manages to drag his butt out of the bedroom.

 

Only happens after he’s put on a pair of boxers and a worn t-shirt from last week, stepping out in the corridor in order to peek into the kitchen.

 

The days come as a blur to him, something that quickly passed but remains an episode he feels might’ve dug under his skin to stay.

 

He doesn’t remember all of it -

 

But some things slowly come back.

 

Amber eyes—

 

’I want your knot,’

 

Warm bodies,

 

’Please.’

 

A mouth straying places lips have never been before,

 

’I want your love,’

 

Fingers intertwining,

 

‘Minseok.’

 

A small cough makes Sehun’s entrance clear, and the elder turns around from where he’s standing before the stove, flipping an omelet.

 

“Coffee's ready for you,” he says, jutting his head in the table’s direction.

 

He must be tough, wearing no shirt and using the stove, Sehun thinks for a moment, reminded that he himself will get awry if he as much as stubs a toe.

 

He says a terse “thanks” in response, chair legs scraping over the floor when he takes a seat.

 

The table has already been decked. Sehun takes his cup of coffee, doing his best not to feel anything upon seeing that it’s been poured into his favorite mug, the one with a white rilakkuma design.

 

Next to the coffee, there’s a glass of juice, and a basket with bread.

 

There’s all kinds of accessories Sehun didn’t know he had, plus the bread knife he got from his grandmother a long time ago that should be lying in the bottom of a drawer.

 

Sehun sucks his bottom lip in.

 

“Thank you,” he says, more sincerely and into the mug he’s lifted in his hand, cradling the drink almost as if to hide his face behind it.

 

Minseok doesn’t react at first.

 

His head turns after some seconds, once, twice, before he actually looks at the other, like he doesn’t think the words are for him in the first place.

 

“Thank you?” he repeats.

 

“Oh,” he nods to nothing in particular, realizing. “It’s nothing.”

 

“Just,” he flips the omelet for the last time, looking it over, checking the golden color, “doing my job.” An airy sound, “yep.”

 

He puts the pan on the table on one of the dish mats, taking a seat as well.

 

“How’re you feeling?” he asks the very moment their eyes meet.

 

When Sehun struggles with the question, he adds: “better?”

 

To which the younger nods, looking down into the mug while taking a sip.

 

His eyebrows twitch, tasting the coffee and a new edge on his tongue. It’s stronger than the usual.

 

Richer in flavor, a warm course down his throat.

 

“Good,” he says.

 

Minseok looks up from his meal. “Good?”

 

Sehun clears his throat, “the coffee… it’s good.”

 

He stares into the mug again, doesn’t see the smile directed at him.

 

It’s silent afterwards, only the tinker of their forks and knives.

 

There’s a point, halfway through a piece of omelet, where Sehun looks up from behind his lashes - a thing he finds familiar, somehow.

 

Observing the man before him; Minseok.

 

His tousled morning hair, deep auburn. Rich in color.

 

Warm eyes, much better in person than what they’re like in the picture on the website.

 

Princess-like lips held in a thoughtful pucker, smooth looking skin and curved brows.

 

Somehow, Sehun thinks that no picture would suffice.

 

Could contain this.

 

And it scares him, because he doesn’t know this person.

 

But he wants to.

 

And when Minseok looks back again, their eyes keep meeting, and it’s always Sehun who looks away first.

 

Stranger love, he guesses.

 

But not really.

 

“I’m sorry if,” he starts, playing with the handle of the mug, “I might’ve said something stupid.”

 

He adjusts his seat, frowning. “During the heat… and so on.”

 

Minseok takes a sip of the orange juice he’s poured for himself. “It’s common,” he says.

 

“Your wolf was stressed, resulting impulsive behavior and an urgency that needed to be fulfilled,” it’s eloquent - a matter of fact.

 

“You know you’ve slept for a whole day, right?” he cocks a brow. “Your heat probably ended while you were still asleep.”

 

Sehun’s eyes bug out. “I slept for more than 24 hours ?”

 

Minseok nods. “Yeah. You fell asleep in the evening during Saturday,” he makes a motion with his hand, the clock-goes-around thing, “and now it’s Monday morning. Chanyeol has already contacted one of your teachers those… five or six days ago and signed you off until you’ve fully recovered.”

 

Sehun gapes. “Then… what’d you do? While I was sleeping?”

 

“I kept you warm,” Minseok says. Simply.

 

The omega glares.

 

“And,” Minseok relents, the smile skewed, “I watched a bit of television.”

 

He raises a finger, “but I cleaned you first, and cleaned the apartment, plus I shopped groceries. I mean - you’re a growing boy, Sehun. Why’s there only discount ramen boxes in the closet and expired milk in the refrigerator?”

 

“A growing boy?” Sehun huffs, “I’m twenty-three .”

 

“Right,” Minseok is smirking, “and yet you barely know how to stock your kitchen to survive.”

 

“It’s called saving money !” is the reply, “and what do you mean you cleaned the apartment? I stayed up till midnight just the other day-” he amends it, “just the other weekend and did an all rounder.”

 

Minseok leans back, tonguing the inside of one cheek. “There was a spider web in the corner of the living room. And worn socks under the couch, and dust in the window sill.”

 

“I like having my socks there,” Sehun fires back, “and the spider web keeps me company!”

 

“With bugs?”

 

“Yeah, well at least spiders don’t scold me for buying instant ramen.”

 

They glare at each other for long.

 

Then, Minseok smiles big enough for his gums to show as he laughs, shaking his head, returning to eating his omelet again.

 

“What?” Sehun croaks, eyeing the other carefully.

 

“Nothing,” Minseok murmurs between a bite.

 

There’s a pause.

 

“Hey,” he says.

 

“Can I ask you a question?”

 

His face is suddenly serious, the tone careful.

 

Sehun stills. “What is it?”

 

“The breakup you talked about in the restaurant…” Minseok twirls the fork in his hand.

 

“Is the name of the guy Kunwoo?” he asks.

 

Sehun’s throat bobs. He leans a little back, crossing his arms, cupping each elbow with a hand. “How’d you know?” he murmurs.

 

Minseok doesn’t move. His gaze is soft. “You mentioned him. While you were in heat, I mean.”

 

A stone molds in the pit of the omega’s belly. His lips thin in a line. “All the way... through?”

 

“No,” Minseok shakes his head, “only in the beginning.”

 

“By the end of the day, you always had my name on your lips,” he smiles, and Sehun rolls his eyes, running a hand through his own bangs, murmuring a “Minseok, I swear...

 

There’s another moment of silence though. Minseok who’s still looking at Sehun.

 

“What happened?” he then asks, like he had done back in the café, voice a hush.

 

“Why do you want to know?”

 

“Curious.”

 

Sehun uncrosses his arms and drums some fingers on the table. “Well,” he says after a while.

 

He doesn’t stiffen like he did a week ago.

 

He sighs instead, and figures; to hell with it.

 

“Kunwoo was my childhood friend.”

 

His gaze strays, fixating on the rilakkuma mug. “We grew up together. Lived in the same neighborhood and all. We danced together, and…,”

 

“And I had always…,” his eyes defocus, “I had always looked up to him. He was sort of my role model. You know, from when I was a kid. He’s a year older too.”

 

“Eventually,” his voice becomes a murmur, “I fell in love with him.”

 

“I crushed on him for a long time. For years, even, before anything happened. He had dated many people in-between. Though at last he saw me,” his fingers stop drumming.

 

“He finally saw me.”

 

“And I was so happy, because… it was the best feeling. Getting noticed. Being noticed. Being loved by the person you’ve dreamt of for years.”

 

“I was head over heels. My first love…, my first boyfriend…, an alpha, and someone who had been my friends for so many years.”

 

“I just,” he takes a breath, “I just didn’t see that,” some fingers scratch a spot behind his ear instead, “he wasn’t as great a guy as I had always thought of him being.”

 

“Even if we were together for...  so long, things only became worse. I was drugged on infatuation and the idea of love during the first years, because I had sought his attention since always.”

 

“We moved to different cities since we both went to college. Him first, then me. Everyone around me saw what he did to me. Ignored calls, lonely heats, sex just for sex, even when I still lived in my hometown.”

 

“I wouldn’t wonder if,” his voice turns thick, “he’s ever cheated on me.”

 

“But I couldn’t see it. I was the only one who didn’t see it,” he massages his nape, eyes distant.

 

“And one day, a year and a half ago, I think— he just…”

 

There’s a pause.

 

“He messaged me.”

 

“Told me to leave him alone.”

 

“I craved too much. I was clingy.”

 

“Annoying. Desperate and too sensitive, even if… at that point, we hadn’t texted for a month, and last time I saw him was more than three months ago. And I had only messaged him twice, to ask if he was doing okay.”

 

Sehun closes his eyes, and his hand runs over his face, pinching the brink of his nose instead. “So he broke up with me, just like that.”

 

“After we had been together for more than four years.”

 

“Of course I thought: how could I let him do that?”

 

“I let him play me like that. I—” he gulps.

 

“I was so stupid.”

 

“In the end, I guess it was all my-”

 

“It’s not your fault,” Minseok interjects, voice sharp, surprising the omega.

 

“That he treated you that way,” it becomes softer, adjusting to the conversation, and the alpha shifts a bit on his chair.

 

“That he made you feel like you did. Ignored you or took you for granted.”

 

He tilts his head, another filter surfacing in his eyes. “You might’ve been vulnerable, but I bet he knew what he did.”

 

“And he didn’t give a single damn.”

 

“And if he did,” his chin butts down a bit, face hard, “he didn’t do enough to fix his own behavior, or deserved you in any matter.”

 

Sehun is speechless, eyes glazed and mouth agape.

 

Minseok sighs.

 

“Sometimes, when it comes to exes or past friendships, you’ve got to realize that you’re not the only one who’s wrong or have done wrong, even if it’s in a case where they accuse you.”

 

“You have to look at mistakes or wrongdoings in a different light. Because here’s the thing; while you take yourself in consideration, and try to develop yourself; they don’t,” he leans forward, eyes never veering. “I know that type. They mend their behavior by neglecting and passing the blame solely to you.”

 

The corner of his mouth ticks for a moment, “and that’s a grade A shit thing to do.”

 

“Compared to him, you’ve learnt something. You try to be your best. You tried to be the best for him and accommodate to his means and rules.”

 

“He didn’t, when matters came to you.”

 

He finishes: “And that’s the difference.”

 

The radio still scratches in the background, a softer song.

 

“No, I,” Sehun picks his fork and plays with a chunk of omelet, “I guess you’re right.”

 

“But,” he stabs it, “it still hurts.”

 

“No matter what I say, or no matter how many times I tell myself that I tried to do my best.”

 

“Because,” he twists the fork, “no matter what I did, it was never good enough.”

 

Minseok observes the act. “Well,” he blows out some air, “I know what that feels like.”

 

Sehun looks up.

 

“You do? I would’ve thought of you as a true ladies’ man. Cooking, cleaning, good looks,” he lists, raising a brow. “A real pussy magnet.”

 

His good-natured cheekiness comes back.

 

Minseok smiles, though it’s worn around the edges. “Not so sure about that,” he says.

 

“A gentleman's man, then?” Sehun offers.

 

Earning him another chuckle.

 

“No, I…,” the alpha shrugs. “I was married some years back.”

 

Sehun nearly chokes on the cold piece of omelet he’s put in his mouth -

 

“Married? But you’re only… twenty-nine?”

 

“Twenty-eight.”

 

“Close enough.”

 

“I don’t know. I was in love. Much like you were, the same story. I had had lovers before that, though.”

 

His brows scrunch - “But when I was twenty-two, near your age, I met this girl. This beautiful girl at a festival. Who sung like an angel and looked like one too. Kind, gentle, playful…, and all that great stuff a guy in love would think,” he grimaces, like he’s against the very words.

 

“Her name was Subin.”

 

It’s Sehun’s turn now, “what happened?” he asks.

 

Minseok sighs. “She cheated on me. Barely a year after our marriage.”

 

“And it’s stupid, isn’t it? You always think it’s so foolish in the aftermath. But I was young and in love. We got married seven months after we met, because I thought...,” he smiles, but there’s no humor in it.

 

“I thought she was the one.”

 

“I was prepared to grow old with her, was what I thought. Children, family, and all that stuff.”

 

“Although it didn’t take her long to lose interest.”

 

He bites his lower lip. “So while we were married, she dated a guy behind my back. They had sex on our bed whenever I had a night out. In our kitchen. Everywhere. In our apartment, which I paid for.”

 

He shrugs again, almost like he wants to push the memories off. “They weren’t even discreet. I caught them one night because I had my suspicions.”

 

“And you know what she said?” he looks at Sehun.

 

Sehun holds his breath, waiting.

 

“You’re just not enough,” for once, Minseok breaks the eye contact,

 

“You don’t give me enough spice , she said.”

 

The smile is faded. “It sounds stupid, right. But she said exactly those words. Like it came straight out of a movie.”

 

“I’m normally not a pushover,” he says. “I brush off other people’s comments because only those who matter get to have a word about me, but—”

 

“It stuck with me,” his face hardens.

 

“The words swarm around my head too often. Not when I’m at work or when I’m with friends. It’s when it’s midnight and,”

 

“The bed is empty, and there’s only me. And her words.”

 

“Because I loved her.”

 

“Even if it turned out she only had a short-lived crush on me, and the adrenaline rush from the words ‘forever ’ and ‘till death does us part’ .”

 

He rests a hand on the table, nails scratching the edge, barely noticing that some of the paint comes off. “I quickly realized that I didn’t need people like her in my life. I didn’t need the uncertainty, even if it’s still there, though things became better when we got divorced and she moved out.”

 

“Sometimes, I think that If I could, I’d want to rewind time. I’d wish I could go back and tell my younger self not to get married, or to believe in love at such a young age.”

 

He smiles though, and this time, it’s genuine. “But I know for sure that what I felt was real at the time. And I can’t take that back, now. I can’t deny it either.”

 

“For some, it could’ve turned into ‘forever’ . Love in a young age isn’t always invalid, either. It all depends on the individuals and on the relationships. I learnt something from it. I remembered my own worth, too. And I don’t want to take those lessons back.”

 

“And really. You can go around with the same people for years or engage them to be important roles in your life, but still wait for a miracle between you or something better. And then you can meet new ones who you’ll be so much better off with in mere hours; since the treatment is different, and so is the respect that they show you.”

 

He shrugs, again.

 

“Some heartbreaks or cracks will never mend,” he says. “But… bits by bits, you can overlay them with new experiences. Or new people who will treat you right - or who will treasure you.”

 

His hand finds the glass of juice, lifting it up, almost to cheer. “And if this didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be who I am today. And though I might not completely like myself right now or what I’ve been through; I won’t ever be able to imagine a Kim Minseok in year 2011 who didn’t get his heart severely broken.”

 

“And that’s final.”

 

The food must be cold now, for how long they’ve been talking.

 

Minseok takes a sip of the juice, and Sehun is still just taking the words in. Chest feeling lighter.

 

“I can’t believe she said you didn’t give her enough spice,” he suddenly spits though, looking incredulous.

 

The alpha nearly chokes on the juice, holding a hand in front of his mouth, “what?”

 

Sehun looks rather offended now, with a dull reminder, a throb of pain in his ass, that indicates enough spice to satisfy him for days.

 

“You’re spicy as fuck,” he scowls to no one in particular. Perhaps at the idea of someone cheating on Minseok.

 

Boring?

 

If Minseok’s boring, Sehun is a walking wad of plain paper, he thinks.

 

“Now,” Minseok is smiling again, “I’d say the spice doesn’t only regard sex, alright?”

 

“But still,” Sehun is quick to fill in. “I don’t get it,” he murmurs, letting go of the fork to have it clank on the plate.

 

“There’s so much I don’t understand either,” Minseok says. “People I’ll never understand and people who’ll never understand me.”

 

He continues: “But you will find people who can. Or you’ll find people who’re willing to learn. You, yourself, have to be one of them in the first place. Get to know you, and what you want. Because that’s where the journey starts, most of the time.”

 

Sehun puckers his lips, “you sound like a middle-aged teacher who’s been out climbing mountains on a spiritual journey and finally found a pot of gold by the end of the rainbow.”

 

“And you,” Minseok points, “sound like a brat.”

 

Sehun can’t deny that, so he merely shrugs nonchalantly.

 

The silence that follows isn’t heavy.

 

Somehow, the stranger-ness and cloud putting them on two pages has faded.

 

Just at the start.




“I don’t want your money.”

 

“What?” Sehun grimaces, “but you…,”

 

Minseok bunts the sheepish wad of money away, giving the other a disbelieving stare. “Let’s just say this was a foretaste.”

 

“A foretaste? Aren’t you booked up?” Sehun shuffles on his feet, leaning against the doorframe in the bedroom, watching Minseok slip into his jacket.

 

“There was one,” Minseok murmurs, thoughtful.

 

He side-eyes Sehun. “But she isn’t as good as leaving claw marks like you.”

 

Sehun frowns, “Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?”

 

“Who knows,” Minseok adjusts the jacket, zipping it up. “It’s just a job, after all. I’m kidding though - I’ve only got you. For now, you’re my priority. Clingy omega,” he sticks out his tongue.

 

“Who…,” Sehun clears his throat, “who says I’m booking you again?”

 

Another pause.

 

A mutual gaze.

 

“Just a feeling,” Minseok replies, picking up his bag.

 

“You’re so cocky all of sudden. Where’d the gentleman’s man go?” Sehun follows him to the corridor.

 

Minseok just smiles, and it’s strange -

 

Sehun who feels his insides rustle.

 

A need to reach out again.

 

Maybe tug in Minseok’s sleeve.

 

‘Stay a little longer.’

 

He’s so clingy, he thinks, sighing. His wolf is getting upset.

 

But…

 

It’s okay.

 

This time, it’s okay.

 

“Well, you’re good at what you’re doing. Let’s leave it at that,” he finally says, canting his chin.

 

This catches the other’s attention. “Yeah?” Minseok prompts. “The best in town?”

 

“Hmm,” Sehun strokes his chin in a considering gesture. “Maybe the best around the block, but that’s all.”

 

“Sehun.”

 

Sehun grins, and he expects a shove, but instead, the elder stops in the corridor, turning around all of sudden.

 

He drops the bag on the floor and starts rummaging it.

 

“What?” the omega comes closer, curious.

 

“Here,” Minseok says, raising himself.

 

There’s an object curled in his hand, propped in front of Sehun as it’s held out.

 

A cup.

 

Rilakkuma cup, akin to Sehun’s own, but a brown version.

 

“When did…,” Sehun takes it, and it’s completely new - surface shiny and no grim coffee spots in the bottom.

 

“While you were asleep.”

 

Sehun looks up. “This is… sudden. I don’t know if I should be creeped out right now or just… I don’t know. Is this also a part of the service?”

 

“Well,” Minseok tilts his head. “Let’s just say it’s a bonus.”

 

And Sehun finds that he’s still smiling, even when the door is closed and Minseok takes the stairs down.

 

Sehun, who stays in the kitchen to peek out of the window, watching the alpha’s frame walk over the parking lot until he disappears in one of the cars, driving away.




Minutes later, the omega is still holding the mug in his palm, turning it around to look at it.

 

His gaze strays to the mug still standing on the cheap IKEA table, due to how they got an extra cup of coffee even after they had eaten breakfast, delving into other subjects.

 

It’s shabby, and the print on the front is almost gone. The cherry on the inside isn’t red anymore.

 

Sehun picks it up and compares the two mugs.

 

The radio is still running in the background; some new, foolish love song from a trending boyband, ‘Love Me Right’ or some other pompous title, blues and too many electronic noises.

 

Sehun opens the closet, slowly.

 

He places the brown rilakkuma mug where the white one used to stand.

 

Subsequently throwing the second mug in the trashcan, wondering.

 

How easy it suddenly feels to let it go, though it’s been in his possession for many years.




Later on, as he’s sprawled out on his couch, catching up on the news, he gets a text from a known number:

 

MANseok:

 

‘Thank you for the talk, Sehun.

 

If you need anything, just give me a call.

 

-                Strict Guy’




And a second text but from another number, the day afterwards as he’s drinking coffee from his new mug, phone buzzing next to him while he’s simultaneously trying to eat cereal.

 

2:

 

‘so i got a message from tarzan saying u came thru it in one piece!’

 

Chanyeol , Sehun thinks, picking the phone up to look at the message.

 

He squints his eyes, typing back a reply. He might as well be honest.

 

‘yea. thank you so much for recommending him, btw. ‘

 

‘thank you, chanyeol.’

 

And a little praise, since Chanyeol took care of Sehun before Minseok came over.

 

‘you’re a good friend.’ Sehun adds.

 

Chanyeol is usually quick to reply.

 

This time, it takes more than ten minutes.

 

Sehun is done with his breakfast when another text arrives.

 

2:

 

‘what he… hte fuk… the fuck… what the heck… the hel…. what the fuck did he do to you?’

 

Sehun glares.

 

He texts back; ‘never mind. i hate you.’

 

And leaves the phone on the table as he takes a shower.

 

Coming back, there’s a domino row of text messages there, the usual Chanyeol routine.

 

2:

 

‘so are u two dating now or what??’

 

‘i’m gonna be rly disappointed if u aren’t’

 

‘i think i’ve done cupids work good honestly’

 

Sehun stares, towel still bound around his hip.

 

‘what’re you talking about?’ he texts back, taking a seat again, uncaring that water cascades down his chest, his hair still wet.

 

Chanyeol’s reply is quick.

 

‘u srsly don’t recognize him??’

 

‘yanno that dance show ur class arranged half a year ago and all, musical and stuff’

 

‘u could invite like 5 ppl or smth but u didn’t know who to invite other than the usual getup, so u told us to just take with us whoever was free and all’

 

‘minseok was there. u even dragged me 2 the side n said he was a hunk aftr introductions. u nasty’

 

‘but ya i know he tends to blend into the bk sumtimes.’

 

Sehun leans back, staring stiffly into the air.

 

And Chanyeol?

 

He just goes on and on.

 

‘it’s actually pretty funny bc he wasn’t much into his job as a heat-carer n was thinking of retiring after he had been in it for like almost 2 yrs. he’s a prof tho n he doesn’t lose his cool easily or goes into it w/ personal interest yanno?’

 

‘but when i mentioned u one day like a few weeks ago n talked about u needing a heat-carer, he was like ‘ sehun?? ur friend we saw at the musical??’ and i was like yea and like told him that u were still recovering after a bad breakup w/ kunwoo and all n gone zombie mode again-again. which he prolly already knew about, but whatever. in return i already knew minseok’s bk story n shit so’

 

‘then i was like ‘oohhhhh’ bc i connected hte pieces’

 

‘mutual attraction is a beautiful thing ain’t it’

 

Sehun is gripping the phone.

 

‘so basically you’ve been playing matchmaker?’ he replies, and waits for the answer.

 

2:

 

‘basically.’

 

‘but like i told him abt u and he offered it himself. he wanted to help u out but also get to know u so i actually didn’t do much anyway lol. i just gave him instructions for how he’d win u over.’

 

Sehun is deft to write;

 

‘what’d u tell him?’

 

2:

 

‘not much tbh’

 

‘i just told him to make you forget kunwoo’s name’

 

‘and to get rid of that shitstain of a bear cup’

 

‘i’m tellin u it means bad luck to store things from horrible exes’

 

‘BAD SEX N PiMPLES EVERYWHERE’

 

‘it’s gone right’

 

‘the mug is in the trash’

 

‘i swear if i come over n see that teddy stare me down again i will draw desperate methods aight’

 

Chanyeol sends another message three minutes later -

 

‘sehun??’

 

Because Sehun is just sitting there, letting things click into place.

 

His thumb hovers over the locked screen.

 

Unlocking it then to type.

 

‘you’re the worst’ he writes.

 

‘<3’ .




A whirring of machines churns in the background, save for the blow of the air conditioner cooling the room.

 

Minseok pulls in the collar of his muscle shirt, breathing out heavily, raising a hand to wave at the row of people behind him who’re equally as spent, if not more, “10 min break,” he says, leaving the spinning bikes.

 

He walks through the fitness studio to the other end where the water machine stands, wiping sweat off his forehead with the back of a gloved hand while picking a plastic cup in the other.

 

“Hey,” a familiar, hush voice says, and Minseok turns his head.

 

Zitao stands behind the desk where the registration computer is, raising a brow and pointing a thumb over his shoulder at the small wardrobe section for staff members.

 

“Someone’s been calling you like five times already. Your ringtone pisses me off,” he says, pouting, even if there’s no menace in it.

 

“Caller’s ID says Marshmallow,” he looks intrigued, following Minseok with his eyes.

 

“Finally started dating again, is that it? You never list your contact with nicknames,” he taunts, and Minseok pokes Zitao in the hip. “That,” he says, “is none of your business”.

 

It’s said with a smile though.

 

Zitao leans against the counter, “naw,” he hums, “I like some good gossip every now and then.”

 

Minseok huffs, “I bet you do.”

 

Just then, the phone starts vibrating again, in Minseok’s hand once he’s rummaged his bag, and IU’s Marshmallow song blares from the speaker.

 

“Tell them they caught a grump disease,” Zitao yells after the alpha, and Minseok waves a flappy hand in the beta’s direction, leaving the room.




“You’re really sly, you know that?” are the first words spoken into Minseok’s ear as he stands outside the main building.

 

‘‘Ah,” he replies, something in the undertone, “Chanyeol’s a blabbermouth as always, isn’t he?”

 

He nods to some of the bypassers coming through, serving a greeting too before returning to the phone call.

 

“Nothing new under the sun,” Sehun says.

 

There’s a pause.

 

“I can’t believe you knew.”

 

“Knew what?” Minseok asks, a lump commencing in his throat.

 

“About Kunwoo. I mean...,”

 

“I didn’t,” Minseok says.

 

“I didn’t know anything, really. Chanyeol told me that you went through a bad breakup that still haunted you. Didn’t go into details other than to mention the guy's name and that apparently, he was a dick.”

 

“And that you’ve been a caveman ever since.”

 

“I’m not a caveman....,”

 

“Not all the time, at least.”

 

“But why’d you… I mean. Why didn’t you just... Why didn’t you approach me outside work?”

 

“Sehun,” Minseok bites his lower lip, “I’m not invincible.”

 

“I get insecure too.”

 

“I saw a chance to get to talk to you and be with you without it being awkward. But now I guess it kind of looks like I came to be your shining knight or someone who’d want to intrude your life with a hammer slammed on the front door to sweep your worries away and replace someone else’s spot. And that’s… that’s not it.”

 

“It’s more than that. Really,”

 

He takes a deep breath. “It’s much more than that.”

 

Sehun sounds like he’s about to say something, but nothing comes.

 

So Minseok continues:

 

“And on the way, I found out we had some things in common, so things skyrocketed and I know I might’ve been a little too eager.”

 

“I know that I’m not supposed to bring up feelings during work or take advantage of the position like that. I haven’t done it before, and I know. I know I shouldn’t have done that. It wasn’t meant for me to take advantage of your state. I found I could help you somehow, and I just…,”

 

“I found that our wolves were compatible... I couldn’t help myself and I dragged it out rather than actually doing my job in the first place, even if I agreed while knowing how I felt. You’re sweet, Sehun. You’re funny and thoughtful, and even if you’re sensitive or feel insecure, it’s okay. We all are, somewhere.”

 

“And I’m-”

 

“I’m just…,”

 

“I’m nervous.”

 

“And I’m sorry.”

 

He sounds genuine.

 

“Chanyeol and Yifan tend to talk about you like worried parents, so I already knew some stuff about you before I even met you, but not in details. Then I saw you dance at your musical months ago. And you were kind of really… beautiful.”

 

There’s a cough.

 

“You didn’t see me, though. And I was shy, so I left it like that, anyway.”

 

“But you stuck with me, somehow. Like a far-fetched dream.”

 

“Until recently where Chanyeol mentioned you and how stressed you were again, and that you needed a heat-carer, possibly…,”

 

He breathes out.

 

“He and Yifan laid out ‘a plan’ , even if I’ve actually already sent a message to the heat-carer center about retiring, though they’re yet to put my profile down.”

 

“And taking into account that it’s been awhile since I last felt interested in anyone other than for a first date or a one-night stand, I decided to try it. Try to reach you, somehow.”

 

“Really,” he continues, sighing.

 

“I don’t get crushes easily. Back when I experienced my first real love, things got bad.”

 

“And I know this might be too early to say. Or kind of creepy.”

 

There’s a pause.

 

“I don’t mean no harm but,”

 

he cradles the phone closer,

 

“I think you belong with me.”

 

He amends the words quickly - “Or I mean -”, voice thick –

 

“If you still…, I mean, I understand if you don’t want to see me anymore, but...”

 

“But if I haven’t screwed this up too badly,”

 

“Then I’d…”

 

He clears his throat.

 

“I’d like to ask you if you want to go on a date with me.”

 

“Outside work, you know…”

 

“If you want to.”

 

It’s silent on the other end.

 

Minseok shuffles his feet, scraping the heel of a Condi shoe against the tiles beneath.

 

“If you…,” Sehun starts, and his voice is shy but determined at the same time.

 

It almost sounds like there’s a hint of laughter laced within.

 

‘‘If you promise to treat me good…,”

 

“Then yes.”

 

A cough, “I mean yes . I want to go on a date with you.”

 

Another, “I mean …, we should go on a date.”

 

“Soon, possibly.”

 

“Tomorrow, latest.”

 

The corner of Minseok’s mouth twitches.

 

“Sehun,” he says.

 

He breathes out, and a smile takes over his face, affecting his voice.

 

“I promise I’ll take good care of you.”