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Baekhyun sighed. He’s getting more and more worried with how Jongin is acting the past few weeks. Maybe months? He has lost track. Granted that he knows the alpha is stressed with their wedding preparations on top of his work, still it’s not like the younger to neglect his calls and messages. Jongin has always found time to reply at least once.

Another sigh escaped his lips whilst rubbing the bridge of his nose where his glasses have been perched for too long. Maybe Jongin has been having cold feet? He couldn’t think of any other reason apart from that. It wasn’t unexpected but the omega thought they were already past that stage since they mutually agreed to obey their families to be mated.

The throbbing of his head came back. Baekhyun has been feeling not quite well, probably because of stress too, and this Jongin situation in not helping him one bit.

A knock on his office door seemed to echo within the silence around him. A mop of slightly curly and fluffy hair emerged from the small crack when he asked his visitor to come in. The calming scent of the sea wafted towards him as Park Chanyeol made himself comfortable on his small couch. He felt a little guilty that his worries seemed to have melted away at the sign of his visitor but he welcomes the temporary distraction.

“What brings you here, Channie?”

Chanyeol snorted and beckoned him over. “Sit here. I feel like I’m talking to my boss,” he patted the space that he freed up for Baekhyun.

“Technically, I am your boss,” he rolled his eyes playfully. Trust Chanyeol to randomly pop into his office during working hours but those times are when Baekhyun needed some sort of break, coincidentally.

“We are partners here. You only have a little more money in this company than I do,” Chanyeol retorted as he urged the omega to sit beside him. Baekhyun humored the alpha and took the seat he was offered. “So what brings you here, again.

Chanyeol’s usually smiley demeanor turned grim. “It’s actually about Jongin.”

This perked up Baekhyun’s attention even more. “I’ve been trying to call him but he isn’t answering,” he shared.

“He was seen at the airport,” the alpha reported. “However, no one knows where he went or if he even flew out.”

More than hurt and betrayal, worry over his oldest friend won over Baekhyun. “Are you sure? He hasn’t told anyone?”

Probably sensing his distress, Chanyeol moved closer to drape an arm around his shoulders and rub the top of his arms soothingly. “We’re working on that now. I asked Jongdae to look into his activities to get some clues. Please don’t worry.”

The omega let himself be comforted by the presence of his friend. Chanyeol has that effect on everyone. His easy going personality makes him approachable and easy to confide to. Baekhyun has found himself doing that for more times than he wants to admit. He and Chanyeol met through Jongin and has just known each other for less than a year.

Yet, the alpha knows more of his problems than his own fianceé.

However, he couldn’t find it in himself to stop and build some walls. Chanyeol doesn’t deserve that after all the kindness that he has shown to Baekhyun.

“Do you think he’s running away from the wedding?”

There, the omega has finally voiced out his biggest worry. “He has been avoiding me and please don’t say that he hasn’t because you noticed it too.”

Chanyeol flinched but schooled his expression right away. There really was no going around it. “I don’t think he’s running away. I would say that he might be conflicted. If I may ask, I thought you’ve already talked things through?”

The body heat from Chanyeol is more preferable than the blasting cold wind from his office’s AC. Baekhyun’s body has made an unconscious decision for him as he leaned closer to the alpha. “We did that’s why I don’t understand what’s happening. He hasn’t really been open to me lately, unlike before.”

Their bodies shifted to find a more comfortable position. Chanyeol smelling like the ocean breeze lulls him, making him pliant. Before he could even process everything, his side is already pressed against Chanyeol’s and the alpha’s arm has wound around his waist, keeping him close.

An odd sense of calm came over him and subdued his headache but it lowered his guard and shut down his brain to mouth filter. “I miss my best friend, Channie.”

“Is there anything I can do to help?” the deep timbre of Chanyeol’s voice sent tremors along the omega’s skin. He has always liked being in the alpha’s company but Baekhyun feels a lot more than usual. It might just be the emotional fatigue.

He took the liberty to place his head on the other’s shoulder. Chanyeol feels really nice, he thought. “Can you cancel all my meetings today? I’m not feeling too well.”

“Alright,” the alpha chuckled. “Let me tell that to your secretary and then I’ll drive you home. I don’t think we have anything urgent so you might as well pack your things.”

Baekhyun has probably exhausted himself unknowingly and this short break got his mind to catch up with his body. His limbs and eyelids felt heavy. A good nap sounds perfect for him.

He felt when Chanyeol placed him carefully on the couch where he let himself sag. A few minutes later, with Baekhyun on the verge of entering the dreamland, Chanyeol came back and regarded him amusedly.

“You know, you basically own the whole building. You’re entitled for a lazy day from time to time. You shouldn’t have gone here today.”

The omega only hummed. “Felt like going,” he slurred sleepily. Thanks only to their enhanced hearing that Chanyeol was able to decipher his words. “Home, hmmm, bed,”

“Okay, princess. You better get your ass up so I can take you home or do you want me to carry you?” the alpha sounded a lot closer.

In Baekhyun’s sleepy haze, the offer sounded very appealing and so he said yes before falling under the slumber spell.

 

 

 

The moment Baekhyun slipped back into consciousness, there was only one thing that he is certain: he is in heat.

The feeling of his veins getting singed slowly, inch by inch until the burning sensation is all that he could think of. He could feel the rivulets of sweat that’s forming on his skin everywhere. He feels so hot and the desperation to kill the fire consuming him from the inside out steals away all of his focus. It is all he could ever think of, his brain barely functioning.

Baekhyun is fully vulnerable.

It’s self-preservation and instinct that drives him. He will do anything, anything, to feel any kind of relief. Heats are torture, as beautiful as what it ultimately means. The almost unbearable pain is something an omega should endure as their bodies prepare themselves to host their offsprings, the following generation.

Nature isn’t fully cruel as heats weren’t meant to torment an omega but rather it is an occasion where mates can celebrate their love and if it’s their time to be blessed, they will be given a child to nurture and raise.

For Baekhyun’s case, his mating ceremony isn’t until after two weeks and it has totally slipped his mind to take precautions and artificial means for curbing his heat. The result is nearly devastating, if not for the smell of the saltwater that keeps the tongues of fire in him at bay.

Blindly, he followed the scent of his savior. Baekhyun’s limbs were practically uselessly heavy as he dragged them with only sheer willpower until he’s settled onto the source. He inhaled greedily and still allowed his nose to dive further into the potent scent, almost tangible.

“Baek…”

The call for his name was weak, hoarse and vulnerable just like he was. A sense of belonging made him want to hold more onto it for company during his misery. His limbs enclosed themselves around the source of his comfort which was also incredibly warm. He hummed in content, he didn’t want to move even an inch, preferably forever.

The omega jerked out of his haze when something wrapped around his waist and almost pinned him down. His mind cleared enough for him to realize that he’s on top of someone and snuggling against them and that there are arms securing him wherever he is. The next that hit him was identifying the scent, rather, who the scent belongs to.

Chanyeol.

Baekhyun wanted to move away, he’s clearly in heat and unmated and he’s also with an unmated alpha who he wasn’t promised to. At least that’s what his rational side is trying to tell him but it was easily clouded by his instincts slowly eating away his control over his body. He managed a sound and a squirm but that only made his situation worse.

His traitorous body moaned and pressed his hips down.

It was faint at first but it might’ve just been masked by Baekhyun’s own intensified scent but the moment their crotches made contact, Chanyeol’s pheromones flared at dangerous levels. Sure enough, the alpha started to buck his hips up as his rut started to manifest too. Everything started to smell and feel heavenly. Baekhyun is nearing delirious from the intoxicating stimuli enveloping him.

Another moment of clarity came to him and gave him little to nothing strength to push himself away from Chanyeol. The omega was able to lift his head and have a glimpse of the alpha with his eyes closed and his lower lip bleeding. He has been biting it for who knows how long.

“Ch--Chan…”

Baekhyun almost fell off the bed as Chanyeol shot up from the bed. He must’ve leapt off and landed by the door with a loud thud. The omega had to get his bearings right for a few moments but not before a door was slammed shut and Chanyeol’s scent getting farther and farther away.

 

 

 

Loud sobs echoed inside Chanyeol’s apartment as soon as he stepped in, fully in control of himself thanks to the suppressants his family’s doctor has given him. He could feel the dense air inside his home, certainly loaded with Baekhyun’s pheromones. It felt like every molecule in the air is trying to seep into him, make him answer to the omega’s call just a door away but his wolf was lulled into a deep, heavy sleep.

However, the suppressants doesn’t make it less heartbreaking to hear how Baekhyun is suffering through his heat. Yixing had to call around to talk to Baekhyun’s doctor before he could come and help his friend. However, he was told to come back and make sure that the omega will not do anything drastic but on strict orders that he should minimize contact with Baekhyun as much as possible.

Chanyeol decided to just stay on his balcony, overlooking the city, and maybe scroll through his SNS to pass time. He kept the sliding door that separates his living room and the balcony open to still hear clearly what goes inside his apartment. He will not let anything happen to Baekhyun under his care.

Admittedly, Chanyeol has grown fond of the omega since his father got him to work in Kim Corp first as training for his future CEO position of their own company. His father said that he needed a broader perspective than get caged inside their company when he needs to deal with people outside more often. CEO Park and Jongin’s father have been business partners for so long and the favor from the older Park was granted just over a few rounds of drinks. The alpha already knows what to expect working with Kim Jongin, being roommates back in college.

What he wasn’t prepared for was Byun Baekhyun, Jongin’s fianceé.

Baekhyun is a sweet guy with bright smiles that push his cheeks up whenever he greets everybody he passes by. His build leans towards the petite side, with skin so clear and almost shining. One look and anyone would know that Baekhyun embodies the epitome of omega beauty.

He wasn’t just that though.

The omega is a board member, representing Byun Corp in his future in-laws’ company and he does a great job. He always paid attention to every presentation and report and ask questions that needs to be discussed but he isn’t short on compliments for deserving ones. He’s a good person overall and sometimes Chanyeol thinks that Jongin is missing what’s right in front of his eyes.

He shook his head, dispelling any unhelpful thoughts prancing around his head. Chanyeol knew that he appreciates Baekhyun much more than how he should but he knows how to keep his distance. The distance that he almost crossed earlier if he completely lost control. That’s just more unwelcome thoughts, Chanyeol groaned inwardly.

The next second, the alpha has a lapful of omega in heat, stripped down to his askew button down long-sleeved shirt, with half of the buttons open, and his maroon fitted boxers. Chanyeol froze, cursing and thanking the effective suppressants he had taken. They have dulled his senses that he failed to notice Baekhyun stalking towards him but that same effect is what keeps him sane.

“Hmmm…” Baekhyun snuggled deep into Chanyeol’s neck. “You smell weird Chan. What happened, alpha?”

Chanyeol is terrified beyond his wits. This is Baekhyun who he has a stupid little crush and who is also his good friend’s soon-to-be husband. Where the fuck is Jongin when he’s needed the most? He shouldn’t even be in this picture. He shouldn’t even be with Baekhyun like this. Did he do something to deserve this torture?

Sure, he has thought of Baekhyun as his future mate instead of Jongin’s but he never acted on it. He never let that thought get out of the deep recesses of his mind. He’s working diligently and is about to help close the deal for the highlight project of the year and he’s always visiting his dog Toben to play with him every weekends.

Baekhyun wasn’t happy that he got ignored. He slapped his palms on the alpha’s cheeks to get his attention and for him to solely focus on him, the omega trapped the other’s face in his hands. He chuckles, Chanyeol has nowhere to go.

“Chaaaaaan, I missed you,” he drawled like a drunk but he doesn’t realize that. “What took you so long to come back?” he slid closer to the stiffened alpha beneath him. “I’ve been needing you. I was crying, see? You’re a bad alpha.”

To show that he is truly upset, Baekhyun pouted. “I want to punish you but you need to help me, please?” his mood drastically turned from playful to pleading. When the waterworks started, Chanyeol wanted to cry too. Hearing and seeing how horrible this must be for Baekhyun is tearing his walls apart. He’s so close to crumbling and just let himself be putty in the omega’s hands when someone rang the doorbell.

He doesn’t want a repeat of what happened earlier so he tried his best to hold Baekhyun by the waist so he can let him on his feet first before getting the door. It’s most likely Yixing and he can never be more thankful to the doctor than he is now. But the omega has a different idea. As soon as Chanyeol was on his feet, Baekhyun jumped on his back and clung onto him tightly.

“Please don’t go,” he whispered against Chanyeol’s clothed back.

Chanyeol almost gave in but another ring from the door kept him grounded. He resigned to just have Baekhyun on him, maybe Yixing could help pry the omega off. But Baekhyun thinks its fun to trail soft kisses on Chanyeol’s nape. The alpha’s knees was so close to giving out and they would’ve tumbled down if he wasn’t able to hold onto his wall for dear life.

He gulped, giving a herculean effort to ignore the omega who has started using his tongue instead, and reached to open his door.

“Oh dear,” was all the doctor said before he hurriedly stepped inside Chanyeol’s apartment and locked the door. “I wouldn’t know what would’ve happened if the suppressants didn’t work. He’s on the peak of his heat, Chanyeol. Are you sure this has started just a few hours back? Please bring him to your guest room.”

Having the doctor around makes it so much easier for Chanyeol to divert his focus. Yixing walks ahead of him and led them to his spare room, the one Baekhyun was just in. The door was left ajar. The air inside the room felt thicker and it was noticeably in disarray. The sheets were crumpled and haphazardly thrown blazer and work pants on the floor.

A sudden hissing made the alpha jump in surprise, even more when he saw Yixing with his hands up, in a surrendering gesture while looking past his shoulder. The doctor took a step closer and the hiss turned to growl. Baekhyun’s arms around his neck is tightening with a crushing force.

“I don’t like him, Chan,” Baekhyun complained. “Can he leave us alone?”

Yixing sighed. “Chanyeol, please hold him tight.”

Chanyeol braced himself for whatever, his hands held Baekhyun’s thighs securely but he was still pulled back by his neck. Next thing he knows, he’s lying on top of a knocked out omega and Yixing has this smug look on his face and a pen looking thing in his right hand. He quickly scrambled off Baekhyun, he wasn’t light by any means, and felt like his neck is broken.

Yixing patted his arm. “Don’t worry, you’ll just be sore. Now if you would please excuse us, I need to check up on him. I’ve talked to Junmyeon, their family doctor and he said Baekhyun probably forgot his own suppressants,” he paused. There’s an uncertain look in his eyes. “However, Junmyeon also said that Baekhyun doesn’t even want to leave his bed during his heats. It’s a surprise he’s hanging onto you like that, out and about.”

The alpha gave a look on the sleeping omega on his guest bed. “Well, I’m an alpha…”

“Probably,” Yixing mused. “I will be closer to finding out if you let me examine him though. Junmyeon is probably on his way too.”

Chanyeol went straight to the balcony to retrieve his forgotten phone. There were a few notifications but none from Jongin. So he tries again, calling his friend and let him take care of his fianceé before he does something that he will regret forever.

 

 

 

It’s been a week of no news from Jongin. The Kims have arranged for a search party quietly lest the news blows up. It will not be pretty for everyone. It has also been a week since Baekhyun has come to the office. Chanyeol has tried to get details from Yixing but the doctor is tight-lipped. Patients’ confidentiality and later on he resorted to Baekhyun is in good hands, Chanyeol just to shut him up.

Two of his friends are MIA and it doesn’t sit well with Chanyeol that he’s doing nothing. The Jongin situation already has people working on them and there’s not much that he could offer. He has already given them places which they could search for Jongin but their search were for naught. The other alpha has dropped out of the radar.

However, Baekhyun is much more accessible, although the last he’s seen him was when Kim Junmyeon, their family doctor, took him out of Chanyeol’s apartment with the help of Yixing. He could ask around for his friend’s home address, he could even pester Yixing about it, and bring him comfort food? He remembers the omega loves pizza.

It’s decided, he will visit his friend, bring him food and make him feel better.

Good thing he knows Seungwan from HR, his orgmate back in college. And so he sent a message to her with a promise that she won’t have to worry about anything. Although reluctant, Seungwan still helped him after a couple more reassurances. She wasn’t supposed to divulge such information but Chanyeol is borderline desperate.

He cares for a friend, of course.

An hour after he clocked out, he found himself in a nondescript low-rise condo near the edge of the city. He really liked the place and even contemplated asking if there are still units for occupancy. Baekhyun’s is unit 4-3 on the 4th floor, he thinks he could spot it easily. The security by the entrance has asked him for details like who is he going to visit, his relationship to Baekhyun, why is he visiting and a couple more basic questions.

He was let in after the security confirmed that nothing is suspicious with the pizza and chicken wings that be brought. A receptionist behind a marble counter has greeted him and asked him for an ID to log him in as a visitor.

“Sir, please hold on for a moment. Mr. Byun has not given an advance notice regarding your visit,” the receptionist said.

“Oh, this is a surprise,” Chanyeol smiled sheepishly. “I heard he was sick so I came to check on him.”

The receptionist returned his smile with a polite one and excused herself as she dialed Baekhyun’s unit. Chanyeol started to worry when Baekhyun didn’t answer after five rings. Was Baekhyun asleep? Or maybe he wasn’t feeling any good at all and can’t come on the phone?

The more logical answer was forgone and the alpha immediately assumed the worst. He was about to just bolt and see for himself but he heard a soft click and Baekhyun’s sleepy hello?

“Mr. Byun, Mr. Park is here at the lobby. Can we let him up?”

“Is that my Channie? Yixing lied! He said Channie couldn’t come see me! Please let him come.”

Hearing how excited Baekhyun is upon seeing him gave Chanyeol butterflies in his stomach. It’s ridiculous and he blames it on his stupid crush on the omega. Whatever, he came to cheer up Baekhyun, regardless of his feelings.

Also, he needs to talk to Yixing.

“Mr. Park, the elevators are on your right. Mr. Byun said he will be expecting you ASAP.”

It didn’t take him more than a ten seconds and he’s already at the lift, humming softly and content that he will be seeing Baekhyun soon, after a week.

The lift opened at the 4th floor leading to a hallway. He stepped out and noticed right away that the odd numbered units are on the left and the even ones are on the right. A few steps was all it took and he is standing outside of Baekhyun’s door.

His immediate reaction was growl at the offensive door blocking him from his mate, mate, mate, mate, mate.

 

 

 

Baekhyun came to from the most peaceful sleep that he has had ever. He feels light and well-rested. A drastic turn-around from his past week. His heats usually go peacefully and trouble-free but because of his lapse in memory, he forgot to take his suppressants and experienced a full-blown heat without his mate to help him.

Maybe whoever watches over him took pity on him because of his week-long agony and decided to snuff out his heat just like that.

A smile bloomed on his lips as he stretched his limbs, they feel sore but nothing that he couldn’t handle. His stretching was accompanied with a long content moan and when he released the tension, his body curled and slightly rolled to his side and bumped into something sturdy.

The feel of warm and softness snapped his eyes open. It didn’t feel like he bumped his wall.

Besides, his bed is placed in the center of his bedroom, a few paces away from any wall on his sides.

And he’s met two familiar orbs looking straight onto him, wide with shock.

Baekhyun was stunned into silence as bits and pieces of what happened hours back came to him. No wonder his heat was gone. It was indeed snuffed out, sated, by none other than this tall alpha with dark curly hair right beside him in his birthday suit.

However, it wasn’t until Chanyeol’s eyes shifted away from his and focused on a spot somewhere lower than Baekhyun’s face. The flash of something dark in those eyes alerted Baekhyun, his hand coming up to where the alpha has been staring and sure enough, he could feel teeth indents on his skin. He hissed at contact as the wound is still pretty raw.

If the omega is to put things together, their nakedness, the mark, and him feeling like a newborn baby, it wasn’t hard to figure out what had happened.

He and Chanyeol are now mates.

“Baekhyun, I’m…”

Fuck it, Baekhyun growled and let his instincts take over some more. What more could he lose? “Please shut up,” his voice was barely a whisper, his throat feels course. The omega then slid closer to the alpha and relished the warmth and the scent enveloping him that make him feel right at home. “Let’s sleep some more and deal with this later.”

 

 

 

Baekhyun woke up to something smelling sour. Nose scrunched, he buried his nose onto his pillow to get the smell away from his awfully sensitive nose. It helped too little so the irritation rose up exponentially. He shot up from his bed and regretted his life choices as everything in his vision swam in spirals and his head throbbed. However, the putrid smell came back to his consciousness enough to make him gag and fled to his bathroom.

As he shut the door, the scent was muted and his mind cleared. The queasiness went away, thankfully, but his eyes were glaring at his bathroom door.

So whatever was causing that god-awful smell was just inside his room?

Since he’d rather fix himself up than get his nose attacked, he turned towards his sink only to gasp as he saw the marks littered across his collarbones and the big ass bite… mark on his neck.

Heat.

Chanyeol.

Mate.

A groan escaped his lips and soon enough came the knocking on his door. “Baek, are you alright?”

“Y-yeah,” he croaked and opened the faucet just because. As the water flowed unhindered to the drain, Baekhyun slowly registered that he was just in heat and now there’s Chanyeol right inside his room and now he’s sporting a claim mark. He’s mated. He’s mated outside of his supposed mating ceremony. He’s mated to Chanyeol and hr is not Jongin.

A sudden thought clicked inside his head and it made his mood turn… sour.

Wolf scents not only serve as some sort of identification but it’s also a good mood indicator. It’s especially more apparent in between mates, where their mind, body and soul are tied together. Positive moods generally makes one’s scent stronger and more potent while negative moods on the other hand may dull the scent or even twist it in an unpleasant way.

There’s no other reason for Baekhyun to get affected by that sour smell if it wasn’t coming from Chanyeol. That could not mean anything good.

He remembers the strong urge to hug the life out of the alpha the moment he stepped inside his apartment and how pleased he was when Chanyeol rushed towards him and gave him a tight hug. He couldn’t remember any hesitation in the alpha’s eyes as they locked with his as their lips met halfway. Everything felt easy, natural.

Did he regret their mating? Did he hate it? Does he hate Baekhyun?

Baekhyun’s problems doesn’t even end there. He was supposed to get mated with Jongin, who has still been MIA. A lot of things are riding on that union, mostly between their parents and for business, and with the given circumstances, everything is fucked up.

At this point, he’d rather go back to his week-long suffering from heat than deal with his current cards. They’re so shitty and he couldn’t see a way out where he will win.

He turned the faucet off and decided that a shower is in order.

 

 

 

As he stepped out of the shower, Baekhyun noticed a few things. First, his room is clean. His bed was made with fresh, fabric conditioner smelling sheets and his floor was empty of anything that shouldn’t be there. He quite remembered having left a few pieces of clothing here and there. Second, there was no trace of the sour smell that was enveloping him from before and there is no sign of Chanyeol. Third, there’s a smell of food coming from his slightly open bedroom door.

Did he take that long and much too distracted to not notice how these happened?

His growling stomach raised protest before he could think even more. Defeated, Baekhyun dragged his feet outside of his bedroom and towards the food. He first saw Chanyeol, clad in his work pants and nothing more. His eyes then turned to a couple of plastic bags on his table and the stack of microwaveable containers inside them. There were also 2 thin brown boxes on one side.

He smells chicken and pizza.

His eyes went back to Chanyeol’s, who was then looking at him with pursed lips and unreadable eyes. This is a Chanyeol that he has not seen before and he can’t say that he likes this.

Still, they’re in his house. He strutted towards his fridge to rummage for something to eat. There is food right there and they smell great but with the tension so thick between him and Chanyeol, Baekhyun’s not sure if he can touch them. He vaguely remembers them actually. Chanyeol has brought those bags and has placed them right where they are before shit has gone down.

There wasn’t much to see apart from a few bottled water, two cans of beer, half block of butter and four eggs. Eggs it is then.

Baekhyun has already started beating the eggs when he felt the alpha move behind him, coming closer and closer each step as his scent becomes stronger. He was only able to confirm his suspicions when he noticed the sour undertones in Chanyeol’s sea breeze scent. Instead of calm that he usually feels whenever the alpha is around, the omega is frustrated. They’re already in a bad situation and this silence is not making things easier.

“Don’t you want to eat the wings and the pizza?” Chanyeol asked while Baekhyun still has his back facing him. “Do you want anything else?”

The omega knows he’s being petty by not answering or even acknowledging that the heard the question but he couldn’t help but want to give himself this. He feels bad because of the overall situation they got themselves into but mates are mates. He’s not a particularly clingy person but deep within him, the pull and the want to be with his alpha is getting stronger by the minute. They’re newly mated and yet they’re not back on his bed and cuddling. They’re standing in his kitchen, four awkward feet apart.

The quiet returned as the eggs started to cook in the pan. Baekhyun’s not much of a cook but he has made himself eggs since he started living by himself and the process is almost muscle memory, giving his brain a lot of juice for thinking.

Baekhyun was snatched out of his trance when the stove clicked shut. He could see his eggs turned dark brown where it’s in contact with the pan and the smell of almost burnt food. His nose has been attacked the whole day.

“I’ll take care of this. Please take a seat,” Chanyeol mumbled from behind him. The alpha is almost pressed against his back, his arm stretched and his hand is on the stove knob. Baekhyun barely nodded and let Chanyeol do as he pleases. He just wants to stay cooped up in his room and maybe all of these is just a bad dream he needs to wake up from.

The omega sat in front of the laid out wings. There are five containers with different flavors and all he can name are the honey, barbecue and spicy ones. They made his mouth water. Not long after, his eggs on a plate is placed in front of him and Chanyeol took the seat beside him. The fluffy yellow in front on him paled in comparison to the glistening sauce on the wings not far away.

“Baekhyun, we need to talk,” Chanyeol tried again. When he received no reply, he sighed tiredly and carried on anyway. “I know you are upset and you must think that I took advantage of you. I’m sorry.”

Baekhyun finally reached for a piece of chicken, honey. He’s not sure what to say. If he says that Chanyeol didn’t take advantage of him at all, that would mean that he admitted defeat, that he doesn’t mind being mated to him. If it turns out that Chanyeol doesn’t want them, he’s got everything to lose right then.

And so he remained quiet.

Chanyeol has probably had enough. He took the greasy wing from Baekhyun’s fingers and pulled him firmly off his seat until he scrambled for balance on the alpha’s lap. The omega’s chest started pounding hard as he met Chanyeol’s stern gaze. Baekhyun couldn’t dare to look away with the fear of displeasing the alpha. His legs were protesting at their uncomfortable perch outside of Chanyeol’s legs but he’s not sure if he can move them without upsetting the other.

Maybe their mind link is stronger than he expected because Chanyeol wiped his hands on a piece of tissue before he held Baekhyun at the back of his thighs to guide him closer to him and for him to shift his weight away from his legs. The alpha’s touch ignited some other memories in Baekhyun that he’d rather not revisit. Yet.

But it doesn’t help that Chanyeol is still wearing nothing to cover his upper body.

“Fine,” the alpha grumbled. “I’ll do the talking first. I’m sorry if you felt like I pushed myself onto you. I never thought my instincts will ever take over me like that but that is not an acceptable reason. I’m not trying to find any excuse for what happened but I’m going to take responsibility of you, Baek.”

Baekhyun’s eyes that were looking at his fisted hands between their bodies was turned back towards Chanyeol’s and the look he had seen there was enough to jerk his tear ducts. “I’m sorry about how things happened but I’m not, and will never be, sorry that you became my mate.”

Those words worked like a miracle for the omega. Suddenly he felt bonelessly tired but relieved as he let himself fall on his mate and place his chin on his right shoulder. Chanyeol’s amazing smell is back and he couldn’t help but nuzzle onto the alpha’s neck to get more of it.

“Hmmm, me too,” he murmured dazedly but truthfully against the warm skin on his lips.

 

 

 

The first person who knew about they new mates, unintentionally, was Dr. Kim Junmyeon. The doctor has been constantly checking up on Baekhyun since his heat was still showing no signs of decline when it has been a week already. And so when the omega failed to answer his text messages and his calls, he decided to pay him a visit only to be met with Baekhyun in bed hair and smelling differently.

Everything clicked inside the doctor’s head and kind of demanded to be let in and know the whole story, for the sake of Baekhyun’s well-being. The mates awkwardly relayed the story to the patient doctor but they eventually finished after almost an hour.
“I guess it can’t be helped,” Junmyeon concluded. “People finding their true mates is quite rare and there hasn’t been any comprehensive study on how one would know that they’ve met their best pair. It wasn’t quite what it says in old stories that it’s practically love at first sight. Did the two of you notice something that might have been a sign?”

Baekhyun and Chanyeol looked at each other, not sure on what to say. Chanyeol knew that he has developed a fondness for the omega but he couldn’t say for sure if it was right off the bat. Baekhyun knew that he felt more comfortable around Chanyeol but he didn’t give it much thought, given that he knew he was already promised to Jongin, even if the latter is more absent than present in his life the past months.

Junmyeon cleared his throat to get their attention. “You don’t have to answer that. I’m just merely curious as I haven’t dealt with a couple like you two are. I don’t see any reason for Baekhyun to worry about his health,” and then he turned to look at Baekhyun warily. “As a friend, Baekhyun, you might want to tell your parents right away…”

The doctor was cut off by frantic knocks on Baekhyun’s front door followed by a scent from somebody they have been looking for more than a week.

The three inside Baekhyun’s home shared a look but it seems like Jongin is impatient as he banged harder on the front door with a desperate call for Baekhyun’s name.”Baekhyun! Baekhyun, please open the door! Please!”

Something in the other alpha’s voice kind of scared the omega, unconsciously leaning closer towards Chanyeol for… what? Support? Comfort? All that Baekhyun knows is that his body seems to know better what he needs.

Junmyeon rose from his seat, probably sensing his worry. “I’ll talk with Jongin. It seems like it’s an urgent business. You two can go back to your room, Baekhyun. I’ll call for you if needed.”

Chanyeol need no telling twice. He wrapped an arm around his mate’s shoulders and pressed him closer to his body as they headed towards Baekhyun’s bedroom. As the door clicked shut, they heard the front door open and Jongin’s heavy steps as he stepped in.

If they pay enough attention, they would be able to eavesdrop with what Jongin and Junmyeon are talking about on the other side of the bedroom door. However, Baekhyun doesn’t feel interested mainly because panic is starting to creep under his skin. He went straight to his bed and slid right in the middle and crossed his legs.

His alpha was right behind him and scooted close. The omega was pulled into his warmth once more and calm washed away the nerves. Baekhyun doesn’t know much about true mates but this feeling, this connection that he feels with Chanyeol is almost… magical.

Baekhyun felt lips land on the top of his head. “Don’t stress over it. I’m sure Jongin will understand.”

However, the sound of something breaking rattled the mates and the alpha moved to put himself in between Baekhyun and the measly door that separates them from what is going on outside. Then came the angry yelling from Jongin.

Before the omega could make sense of what he was mad about, his worries were directed to his doctor, not knowing if he got hurt by whatever it was that broke, most likely because of the other alpha right outside. “Chan, we need to check on Junmyeon.”

“This is so unfair!” Jongin boomed and probably everyone in the building heard his outburst. Shortly after, it was followed by broken sobs, so melancholic that even Baekhyun felt his throat close up and his eyes to water. Most likely Jongin is exuding too much of his pheromones. With a whine, the omega buried his nose on Chanyeol’s back, now covered with one of his bigger hoodies.

Everything turned silent, sans the sobs wracking through Jongin and Baekhyun just wants to get out of his room and pull his best friend into a hug to keep him together. His cries seem like he is breaking with each of them coming out of him.

It was barely a whisper but the mates have caught the words that pierced the quiet.

“Junmyeon, I almost killed myself and my true mate because I fucking put my family first over him. Did you know the physical pain of denying yourself of the person who was meant to be with you? Who holds half your soul and mind? I left because I know I need to stop leading him on. I know I shouldn’t have let any connection happen between us but there was only so much I can do. He’s the most beautiful person I’ve ever met and I’m the luckiest but no. I played the good son.”

“I left to tell him that he deserves to be happy with someone he can be with. I just had to say goodbye, I owe that to him, at least. But did you know what happened? Did you know that his body suddenly went into a forced heat just to get me to stay? To prove to me that we are meant to be together?”

“Kyungsoo suffered and I wasn’t able to do anything because I decided to protect my family’s damn honor. And then I come here knowing that I did all of that for nothing?! I-I left him still even though I know that he needs me the most right now. He could very well be dying because I know I am. The pain of your mate’s rejection grates at every cell in your body that you wish you just wither away. Kyungsoo told me about it, his pain is so tangible that it seeps into me.”

“Did you know what he said before he asked me to sedate him? He would gladly take the pain because he is doing it for me. He may not be able to be with me as his omega, at least he can say to himself that he did something for me, even if it means that he has to let me go. I’m such a horrible person.”

The alpha’s weak voice had Baekhyun pressing himself against Chanyeol. His lament and remorse drip on every word he has said. He tried to imagine if he was in Jongin’s mate shoes, but he couldn’t. His head started to hurt at the thought that Chanyeol will leave him.

His alpha gathered him in his arms and kissed him on the top of his head. There were still no words exchanged but knowing Chanyeol is holding him close was more than enough for Baekhyun to calm down. Jongin was still sobbing outside and Junmyeon seems to be murmuring something to him, probably trying to comfort the other alpha.

The awkwardness then settled after a few minutes and then guilt. Baekhyun let his heat control him and went ahead and got mated. Technically, he is still engaged and after everything, it turns out that he cheated with one of his fianceé’s close friends.Because of his carelessness, Jongin’s sacrifice were all for naught.

“Baek,” Chanyeol whispered as he cupped the omega’s face. Baekhyun didn’t realize that he started to cry until the alpha ran his thumb under his eyes. “Why are you crying?”

“I… I feel sorry. I… Jongin has done his part while I failed. It cost him his true mate, Chanyeol. I feel sorry to Kyungsoo. I couldn’t even imagine the magnitude of pain he is in while I had the easy way out,” the omega choked out a broken sob. “I feel like a monster.”

“Jongin, wait!” Baekhyun and Chanyeol turned towards Junmyeon’s panicked voice. “I don’t think you should leave in your state.”

There was a scoff. “What? Should I stick around and congratulate them and give them my best wishes? I only came here to beg to Baekhyun to cancel the wedding and I don’t need to do that now.”

“Shouldn’t you talk about this with your families…”

“I don’t fucking care anymore!” Jongin laughed bitterly. “They can disown me for all I care. I don’t need their stupid company and their stupid money. I only need Kyungsoo.”

Jongin’s scent started to fade after the loud bang the front door made. Chanyeol and Baekhyun exchanged wary looks. They’re going to face their families and the Kims on their own.

 

 

 

The meeting was inevitable after Baekhyun’s parents heard that he hasn’t been coming to the office for almost two weeks. Plus, the Kims have already decided to give a reward to whoever could give an information on Jongin’s whereabouts. They can no longer prolong the stalling, besides, there are people from the media who has started to get interested when they have heard of the absence of Baekhyun and the rumors about Jongin’s disappearance so close to their supposed wedding.

They booked the Japanese restaurant that Jongin has been recommending to them quite persistently. At least there would be some connection to the alpha as they come clean. They haven’t heard from Jongin since he has left Baekhyun’s place and even though they are worrying about the alpha, they have their own problems to deal with. Besides, Jongin is most likely with his true mate. Nothing would’ve gotten in his way to get back to Kyungsoo.

The first ones to arrive are the Parks, who have no clue as to why their son has asked them to come to dinner with the Byuns and the Kims and talk about something that is not about business. However when they saw and smelled both Baekhyun and Chanyeol, it didn’t take them too long to realize what’s the news.

Mr. Park’s shock was apparent. “How did this happen?” He turned towards his son with an unreadable expression. “Care to explain, Chanyeol?”

After they greeted Chanyeol’s parents, the mates both have their heads bowed but their hands are clasped together tight under the table. Baekhyun gave his alpha’s hand a reassuring squeeze that boosted Chanyeol’s courage. They’re already there and it’s a no turning back point. “I’ll explain when the Byuns and the Kims arrive, father.”

Mr. Park acquiesced and took the seats on their son’s right side. Baekhyun timidly shot them a look and caught Mrs. Park’s eyes on him. She gave him a warm smile that settled his nerves quite a lot. He returned the gesture, hoping that this day wouldn’t be so bad.

The few minutes of waiting were silent. The tension rose when the Kims arrived earlier than Baekhyun’s family. Jongin’s parents and her eldest sister, Jungah, came. Mr. Kim and Mr. Park greeted each other while Mrs. Kim and Jongin’s sister were both looking at Baekhyun with confusion. Mrs. Kim’s gaze turned to Chanyeol and she pursed her lips in a thin line.

However, Jungah sighed and rubbed her temples. “This is messed up. I’ll call Jongin,” and she excused herself before her mother could even utter a word. Mr. Kim has heard her daughter’s words and looked at her wife, incredulous. “She has been talking with Jongin?”

Mrs. Kim sighed in defeat. “It seems so. Maybe this is why she was so against the public announcement,” she then looked at Baekhyun. “Does Jongin know about this?”

“Yes, auntie,” Baekhyun replied, his hand unconsciously tightening around his alpha’s. That was then that Mr. Kim has caught up and gave his friend and his friend’s son a sharp look, “You knew about this?”

Mr. Park shook his head, “We only found out today too. We’re waiting for Baekhyun’s parents before they tell us the whole story.”

“Your parents don’t know about this yet, Baekhyun?” Mr. Kim walked towards his wife and took the seat beside her. Everything is relatively calm and the omega thinks it’s because the Kims are more concerned on Jungah and her apparent knowledge of her brother’s whereabouts. “No, uncle. We planned to tell everyone today.”

“Is this the reason why Jongin has left?”

Jungah came just in time and answered in behalf of the new mates and her brother. “Jongin left because he needed to say goodbye to his true mate before the wedding,” she’s frowning deep. “I’m not sure what happened with Baekhyun and Chanyeol but Jongin is taking care of his omega right now. His omega… didn’t take the goodbye well both physically and emotionally.”

Mrs. Park gasped and all heads turned to see her clutching on her husband, a pained expression marring her face. “That’s… horrible.”

Jongin’s mother looked very much worried. “Have you met Jongin’s true mate? Are they well? Do they need help?”

“It’s Kyungsoo,” Jungah confessed. Mrs. Kim seemed to recognize the name as her frown deepened. “They’re managing.”

Baekhyun turned towards Chanyeol. The alpha leaned closer to whisper, “We knew Kyungsoo back in uni and he and Jongin had always been close. I guess I should’ve known then.”

The omega felt a little betrayed. “And you didn’t tell me this earlier?”

Chanyeol looked guilty. “Sorry. It has slipped my mind.”

But then Baekhyun also realized something. “Jongin has never mentioned him to me, at all.”

The alpha pulled him by the waist as he sensed the dip in Baekhyun’s mood. “You can Jongin can talk when things get better.”

“Honey, I need to check on Jongin and Kyungsoo,” Mrs. Kim stood from the table and squeezed her husband’s shoulder. “I think you need to talk to Baekhyun’s parents about calling off the wedding.”

Jungah gave Baekhyun a nod before she headed towards the exit, with her mom following her. Mrs. Kim looked back before she was out of hearing range and looked Baekhyun in the eye. “I’m not upset at you, Baekhyun,” Jongin’s mom smiled a little. “And I’m sorry that your supposed arranged marriage with my son brought us all here. You shouldn’t feel burdened with being with your true mate.”

Baekhyun couldn’t help the tears as he ran towards the woman who has treated him as a son and welcomed him in her arms. Everything she gave Jongin, Baekhyun will receive as well. Jongin has been joking about him being the actual son of his mom at times and hearing her words relieved the omega of all the stress that has been weighing him down.

Mrs. Kim patted his back gently. “It’s okay, Baekhyun. Your parents will understand as well. Yours and Jongin’s happiness comes first, alright? Now I have to find him and see if he is indeed taking care of Kyungsoo like he should.”

The omega stepped back, a bright smile donning his lips even with his cheeks wet with tears. “Thank you so much, auntie. I love you.”

Mrs. Kim reached out to caress his head. “I love you like my own son, Baek. Of course, I’ll only want what’s best for you and knowing that it’s Chanyeol, I’m glad.”

Speaking of the alpha, Baekhyun was a little startled when he felt his arm around his waist and his side pressing against the omega. “Thank you, auntie. We really appreciate your kind words.”

“Oh, hush, you two,” Mrs. Kim waved them off playfully. “I better go and see Jongin.”

Baekhyun’s phone pinged. It is a message from his mother that they’re just outside and waiting for their car to reach the entrance. He looked up and met Chanyeol’s eyes. They’re clear now and happier. The acceptance from Jongin’s mom was one obstacle down. Baekhyun could only pray that she’s right, his parents will take their news as easy as she did.

His relationship with them is good but he can’t say that they’re close. His brother and him, yes, but there has always been a wall between them and their parents. They are not really strict per se but Baekhyun knows that they have certain expectations on him that he has to somehow live up to. Coming from old money, their family name comes with a reputation and it’s kind of implied that every member of the family should uphold it.

That’s where the pressure on Baekhyun comes from.

When his mother came into view, looking relieved that he’s still alive, maybe he will put more trust into Mrs. Kim’s words.

 

 

 

Baekhyun’s lying spreadeagled on Chanyeol’s bed, exhaustion catching up on him. He could feel exactly where the bed cover gives way to his weight and his nostrils filling up with Chanyeol’s scent. They just came from the meeting with their parents. As expected, the Byuns were shocked when they found out about Baekhyun getting mated.

His father went all red in his face. For one moment, Baekhyun thought that his father will slap sense onto him and say something about him being careless but Chanyeol’s mother spoke up about them being true mates. Realization dawned on Baekhyun’s parents and the tension palpably dissolved after that.

The omega tried to keep up with all the chatter and discussions but he was more than content to be relieved that no drama had ensued after their revelation. He leaned most of his weight on his alpha who had to drag his chair closer to him to make him more comfortable. The food was great and their parents continued talking while the mates ate quietly. Their eyes met from time to time and shared small smiles throughout their meal.

They parted with a good mood. Baekhyun was mildly scolded for asking Junmyeon to keep things secret regarding his condition but his mother gave him a warm hug, wishing him nothing but happiness. His father’s farewell was a little awkward, the older Byun feeling quite bad with how things has happened but before he let go of his omega son, he gave him a reassuring pat on the back and told him not to worry about anything.

Plus, he’s excused from work until he deems that he is ready to go back.

“Care to share?” Chanyeol asked as he joined Baekhyun. The omega scooted a bit, still wasn’t enough room for the alpha to lie down. However, he didn’t mind when he felt some of Chanyeol’s weight on him as the alpha pinned him down with his long limbs. He turned his head to the right and was met with Chanyeol’s curious ones, waiting for him to say something.

“I’m still trying to wrap myself around what has happened. We’re free, Chan,” as the words left his lips, a smile bloomed on Baekhyun’s face. It is real; their parents already know of them and they didn’t try to break them up and the Kims said nothing to spite him about the called-off engagement.

Baekhyun’s world spun as Chanyeol scooped him up and laid him on top of him. Their noses are touching and their eyes simultaneously closed, just… feeling. Baekhyun’s arms moved until he has a firm grip on the alpha’s shoulders. Chanyeol’s soothing scent flared a little bit, bringing a momentary haze in Baekhyun’s mind. He couldn’t help but nuzzle into the alpha’s neck and just breathe him in.

If Chanyeol smells amazing to him before, he’s downright addicting to the omega now. They stayed like that for minutes until the taller broke their silence.

“Baekhyun, can you be honest with me?”

Baekhyun opened his eyes and shifted to he can see the alpha. Chanyeol’s eyes are both scrunched shut, his forehead creased into a frown. “What do you mean, Chanyeol?”

He then opened his eyes and they’re full of worry and anxiousness. “You already know that I wanted you as my mate but how about you? Do you?”

Baekhyun felt bad. He remembered the past few days and know that he has been quite selfish. When Chanyeol went home a few hours after Junmyeon had left that day they acknowledged their new bond, he has not been exactly a good mate. Chanyeol checked up on him a few times a day and he would reply but he himself wouldn’t be satisfied if he was in the receiving end of his messages.

He admits that he has been a mess but he should’ve considered how Chanyeol felt in this whole ordeal. Baekhyun may have become quite complacent when the alpha has said that he wanted them to be mates. It was supposed to be a mutual effort but he hasn’t been doing his part. If he would be honest, a big factor as well is his inexperience.

He and Jongin may have been engaged for quite some time but their relationship has never gone beyond friendship. Jongin is important to Baekhyun and the omega can also say that Jongin cares for him but it wasn’t in a romantic sense. However with Chanyeol, things have been different.

But that doesn’t really count as an excuse, he muses.

The alpha has slowly but surely placed himself in Baekhyun’s life. He’s a friend, that’s all he could see him as given that Baekhyun is supposed to be mated with someone else. Deep inside, he knew that whatever Park Chanyeol is for him, he wanted to be with him too many times than necessary and longer than how it should have been.

The signs were there but life has cast a filter on their eyes. At least, they can now see each other clearly.

“I’m sorry if I hadn’t said anything but I do like you as a mate, Chanyeol,” Baekhyun gathered enough courage to bring his face up and kiss the alpha on his lips. Just a quick peck but it was enough to make his face burn. “I like you.”

Chanyeol was taken aback momentarily but a big smile curved his lips up. They tingle from the kiss that Baekhyun gave him. He can smell how nervous the omega is and he shouldn’t. “Baek, you know that I don’t mind if you kiss me, right?”

And so Chanyeol felt for his chin and tipped it up for another peck, a bit longer this time

Baekhyun whined, embarrassed, andjus wanted to melt into Chanyeol. Kissing Chanyeol feels as addicting as his scent and the way the craving bubbles inside the omega is not so healthy. He felt his body shake from the rumbling in Chanyeol’s chest as the alpha laughed endearingly. “We’re mates and just to put it out there, I really, really like kissing you.”

A small memory tugged at Baekhyun’s consciousness and it did not help his sudden urge to keep kissing his alpha. Chanyeol did say he likes his kisses. He has said it multiple times when they kissed during his heat.

Those thoughts flooded his mind without his consent and it was too late to stop them when his scent started to kind of expose him. He felt the alpha tense beneath him and relax the next second. “Are you shy, Baek?”

The omega felt a little confused with the question but he answered truthfully, “uhm, yes.”

Chanyeol hummed. “Since we’re free, do you want to celebrate it?”

Baekhyun pushed himself up, still puzzled. “Okay? How are we gonna celebrate?”

The last thing Baekhyun saw was a smirk that kick started his heart to overdrive before he got lost in the ocean of sweet kisses and fiery passion.