His parents usually never received visitors, so when the maids were ordered to set the table with their finest china and his mother showed up in the sitting room in her most expensive dress, Baekhyun knew whoever was about to pay them a visit was of great importance.
Approaching one of his older brothers, the young omega tried to get some information. “Who’s going to come to visit us?” He asked, tilting his head in interest.
“The Parks,” his brother answered. “They followed father’s request and decided to sit down for a talk.”
“Oh, I see,” Baekhyun hummed.
The Parks were a big deal. Their territory was large, taking in wide areas all along the coast and big parts of the western forest. They were rich and strong, having some of the best hunters of the country among them.
Having the Parks as an alliance promised safety and security and as their pack was having some serious trouble with two, joined packs from the east, Baekhyun was happy to hear that the Park pack took in consideration to help them.
Baekhyun and three of his siblings were ordered to stay upstairs in their rooms when the Park’s arrived. Only the two oldest alpha brother’s were allowed to join the meeting and as his father was fast to shoo a maid to get a bottle of their best wine from the cellar, Baekhyun was sure the meeting would last quite some time.
Killing the time by reading a book, the youngest member of the family was surprised to see his mother marching into his chamber not long after the visitors had arrived. “Have they left already?” He asked, lowering his book while looking at his mother.
“They haven’t,” the mother answered as she moved towards her child’s chest of drawers. She opened the bottom drawer and pulled out some neatly folded clothes. “Put this on.”
“Don’t ask questions, change your clothes.”
Wondering why he had to change clothes, dressing up, Baekhyun kept silent and followed his mother’s orders. She smoothened the slightly wrinkled fabric with her hands once he had put on the silky gown and then tried to tame his unruly locks by roughly combing through them with a brush.
“That should do it,” she mumbled to herself as she set the brush aside again. “Let’s go.”
Following his mother downstairs, a weird feeling krept up Baekhyun’s insides. He wanted to ask what the purpose of him joining the meeting was but he didn’t dare to do so. His mother turned to him when they came to halt in front of the door that would lead to the sitting room.
“Only speak when you are spoken to. Otherwise keep quiet and behave.”
Giving a nod, Baekhyun swallowed. His mother was tense, he could feel it and he desperately wanted to know why she was in such a state, all of the sudden.
Entering the room, Baekhyun immediately had the eyes of their visitors on him. There were five in total, all alpha’s; it was easy to tell. Their pheromones were strong, clouding the omegas mind for a mere second.
His mother ordered him to sit next to his father and Baekhyun bowed his head to the visitors before quietly taking seat.
“This is my youngest,” his father spoke, placing a hand on Baekhyun’s shoulder. “Our beloved Baekhyun turned 18 not long ago.”
Silence dominated after his father had spoken and Baekhyun gazed at him, hoping to find some answers in his father’s expression to what was going on.
“Stand up for me, Baekhyun.”
The spoken request had Baekhyun turning his head to where the voice was coming from. He locked eyes with a man which he believed was about the same age as his parents. Giving a faint nod, Baekhyun eventually rose from his seat and stood up.
The alpha eyed him from head to toe several times before bringing his gaze back to the head of the house. “He is indeed a beauty,” he said. “But he’s quite petite.”
“Oh, that is definitely not to worry about,” Baekhyun’s father was fast to respond. “Baekhyun is the carbon copy of my wife and as you know, she gifted me six children, of which four are strong, healthy alphas.”
It finally hit Baekhyun. He finally figured out why he was there and what they had been talking about behind closed doors and the realization caused his blood to freeze in his veins:
His parents were offering him to the Park pack.
Frozen in spot, Baekhyun stared into the distance. Only when his father nudged his side, he sat back down. He couldn’t believe that they were actually considering giving him away in exchange for some security support.
With his head lowered, Baekhyun prayed that they wouldn’t accept his parents' offer. He wasn’t ready for that, he didn’t want it. He didn’t want to be one of those omegas that would end up with an alpha who wouldn’t love and cherish him.
He had the dream of falling in love and sharing his life with the alpha that was truly meant to be his mate. The last he wanted was to become someone’s trophy that was only meant to look pretty and bear children.
All his prayers weren’t heard and Baekhyun sucked in a deep breath when the Park alpha agreed to his parent’s offer. “I’m sure my son will be happy with this choice,” the man said. “He knows to appreciate beautiful things.”
Baekhyun’s father heartily laughed. “I’m very pleased to hear that. I know that Baekhyun will be in good hands.”
Baekhyun was allowed to leave the sitting room shortly after the Park alpha had announced agreement and as soon as the large wooden door had fallen shut behind him, he bolted out of the house.
He was falling sick and needed some fresh air. Rasping for air to get rid of the nasty feeling, the omega eventually lost his battle against nausea and threw up. Choking, vomiting what had not yet been digested from his afternoon snack, Baekhyun clutched at his stomach.
Tears were streaming down his cheeks, blurring his vision. He sank to the ground, loudly crying out. His sobbing quickly grasped attention and a couple of maids were rushing to him, trying to calm him down.
“It’s alright, young master. Try to calm down,” one of the maids spoke, rubbing his back. “Come, let me help you up. Your clothes are getting dirty.”
Baekhyun couldn’t care less. To hell with his clothes. To hell with everyone.
After the maids eventually had convinced him to get up from the dirty ground and get back into the house, Baekhyun locked himself into his room. Dropping his clothes to the floor, he crawled into his bed and wrapped himself into his blanket.
By the time he had somewhat calmed down his eyes were puffy and the sun was about to set. His siblings had tried to lure him out of his room but only when his father knocked onto his door, demanding entrance, Baekhyun left the warmth of his bed and unlocked the door.
“Dear god, Baekhyun,” his father sighed when his eyes fell onto him. “Why aren’t you properly dressed?”
Keeping quiet, Baekhyun turned away from his father and reached for the clothes he was wearing before he was asked to meet the Parks. His father closed the door and moved further into the room while he got dressed and sat down on the edge of his bed.
“Sit with me, child.”
Getting back into his bed, Baekhyun comfortably sat down and waited for his father to speak again. He didn’t know how to interpret the expression on the alpha’s face and it made him feel uneasy. “F-father, do I really have to leave?”
“Yes,” the man said, nodding his head. “And I honestly wonder why you are so upset about it. Park Chanyeol is a noble man, a strong alpha and an excellent leader. You should consider yourself lucky to be chosen to be his mate.”
Baekhyun scowled. “He wouldn’t have chosen me if you wouldn’t have offered me like a piece of meat.”
“Watch your mouth, young man,” his father growled and Baekhyun ducked his head in fear, quickly mumbling an apology. “Baekhyun, this is very important to us. If Chanyeol decides to marry you, our pack will receive the support and security we need to keep us safe. You exactly know what’s on the line here.”
“I d-do,” the young omega spoke. “But I don’t even know him-”
“What is there to know? He’s a leader and comes from a respectable bloodline.”
Baekhyun loudly whined. “No, that’s not what I mean,” he said. “I mean, I don’t even know what he is like or what he looks like. I have never met him before or have I?”
“Well, you soon will meet him and while you stay at his house you will have plenty of time to get to know him.”
“W-what?” Baekhyun’s eyes widened. “I have to live with him?”
Usually omega’s did not leave their parents house until they were married. If soon to be mates had the chance to live together before tying the knot, they always stayed at the omega’s family residence where the omega’s parents had a close eye on them to prevent any fornication.
“Yes, you will live with him,” the father said.
“Chanyeol does not randomly accept any unmated omega that is offered to him. You will have to prove that you’re worthy to be his mate. That’s why you’re going to live with him,” the alpha answered his son’s question. “Baekhyun, I want you to be at your best behavior while you’re guest at the Park’s. I want you to charm him, I want him to choose you. Do you understand that?!”
Clenching his jaw, Baekhyun tried to not break into tears again. Looking at his father with a trembling bottom lip, he faintly nodded his head.
“Do not worry too much,” the father smiled, reaching to stroke his youngest over the head. “If Chanyeol choses you, you’ll have a carefree life ahead of you.”
The day Baekhyun was leaving his family home to live with the alpha his parents have offered him to approach quicker than Baekhyun had liked it to.
A carriage was sent to convoy him to the Park residence and while the coachman and the guard, that was accompanying him for safety, were loading Baekhyun’s luggage onto the carriage’s roof, Baekhyun was kissed and hugged goodbye by his family.
“We hope to receive good news in near future,” his mother said while fixing his hair with her fingers.
“I won’t disappoint you,” Baekhyun spoke, bowing his head to his parents before turning away and getting into the carriage.
“I will sit up front with the coachman,” the guard informed the omega while Baekhyun took seat. “If you need anything or want to take a break, just let us know.”
“Alright,” Baek nodded. “Uh, how long will it take until we arrive?”
“A little over an hour,” the guard answered. “We should make it in time for lunch.”
Baekhyun didn’t dare to throw a look back at his home when the carriage started to move. He didn’t want to break into tears again. Calmly breathing in and out of his nose, he rested his head against the soft leather seat and looked out of the window, thinking of what would await him once they’d reach the Park’s residence.
While his maids packed his belongings, Baekhyun was able to gather some valuable information about the alpha he was about to meet. Park Chanyeol, leader of the biggest pack in the country was almost eight and half years older than Baekhyun and took over his father’s position as the head alpha when he was only 19 years old.
He was said to be very handsome and of impressive height and physique, an excellent rider and archer. He had led his pack into several territorial wars and never suffered a loss. Many omega’s were swooning over him but to Baekhyun he sounded nothing but intimidating.
They passed by many villages on their way and Baekhyun was amazed every time they drove through another town or he could spot some houses in the distance. The Park’s wealth was reflecting itself in every building that was standing on their ground.
The houses were neat and big, every shelter had a proper wooden roof and every street was paved, giving even the smallest village a preppy look.
Baekhyun may didn’t know Park Chanyeol but he could tell that he was taking good care of the people that belonged to his pack and were living in his territory.
Curious to see what the Park residence looked like, Baekhyun wasn’t able to hold back a gasp when the carriage passed the large private property’s gates. The manor at the end of the path looked like something Baekhyun had read descriptions of in a fairytale book.
The house was easily three times as big as Baekhyun’s home and his parents by no doubt owned a big house. Right and left two towers soar into the sky and the various chimneys that Baekhyun could spot suggested that the domicile must’ve been warm and cozy throughout winter.
The carriage came to halt in front of the large entrance door and a nicely dressed man was quick to approach the means of transport to open the door for Baekhyun. “Welcome,” he said and offered Baekhyun his hand to help him out of the coach. “I hope you had a pleasant-”
His words faded when they locked eyes and Baekhyun tilted his head in confusion. “Are you alright?” He asked, blinking his eyes.
“O-of course,” the male cleared his throat, having a flush painted on his cheeks. “My apologies. Uh, was your trip pleasant?”
“It was,” Baekhyun answered with a polite smile. “Though, I do feel a little thirsty.”
“Then follow me, please. I will have someone prepare you a drink.”
The servant led Baekhyun into the house and into a sitting room. A maid was fast to bring him some water and tea and even left him a small plate with biscuits.
“Unfortunately lunch is not ready yet,” the servant spoke. “You have arrived earlier than expected.”
“Oh, that’s fine. I’m not hungry yet, don’t worry.”
“I will leave you to yourself then,” the man said. “I will let the Master know that you’re here. He’s currently still on the hunt.”
Nodding his head, Baekhyun smiled. “Alright, thank you.”
“Please enjoy your tea. And if you need anything, just call out for Miss Jieun. She will be at your service.”
Baekhyun was left alone and he didn’t like it at all. He felt out of place and with each minute that passed, he was becoming more and more nervous. He quite literally chugged down his tea and nibbled at one of the biscuits as he waited for anyone to check up on him.
The arrival of the head of the house was loudly announced and Baekhyun listened to the hustle that was going on behind the closed door until that said door opened and a young woman in an black uniform dress entered the sitting room.
“Master Chanyeol and his father have arrived and are awaiting you in the dining room. Please follow me.”
Baekhyun was gulping on nothing as he followed the maid, walking after her through a long hallway that ended by the entrance to a light flooded dining area.
The pack leader’s father rose from his seat when Baekhyun stepped into the room, welcoming him with a friendly smile. “Welcome Baekhyun,” he said. “It’s nice to see you again.”
“The pleasure is all mine,” Baekhyun responded, politely bowing his head.
“Come, have a seat. I’m sure the journey has left you hungry.”
Baekhyun moved to where the man was pointing at and sat down.
“Chanyeol will join us shortly, he’s washing up at the moment,” the elderly alpha said. “He’s been hunting,” he then added, reaching for a silver decanter. “Can I pour you some wine?”
“Oh no,” Baek declined. “I do not drink alcohol.”
“Very laudable,” the alpha laughed. “Let me suggest to never even start drinking. It’s an awful habit.”
The alpha was completely different from when Baekhyun had met him for the first time and his cheery pheromones had a calming effect on the young omega. They started eating without the alpha’s son and even before Baekhyun realized it, he had quite a lively chat with the man.
Their conversation only stopped when the lead alpha eventually showed up, walking into the room from a side entrance. Baekhyun gazed at him, feeling immediately intimidated by this appearance.
He was taller and much broader than Baekhyun had him expected to be and his rather big eyes were so piercing, the omega wanted nothing more than to crawl under the table and hide from his eyes.
“Son, come and meet Baekhyun,” Chanyeol’s father broke the silence. “He is Byun's youngest son.”
“I wasn’t aware that Byun has more than two children,” Chanyeol said and his unexpectedly deep voice sent unwanted chills down Baekhyun’s spine.
Baekhyun almost flinched when the alpha looked at him. “I, uh, I didn’t go out much,” he said. “Father didn’t allow it.”
All the tall alpha did was hum in response. He started to eat when a maid brought him his food and didn’t look at Baekhyun again.
“Baekhyun had told me that he’s quite fond of reading,” Chanyeol’s father spoke. “Maybe you could show him the library later.”
Baek was actually excited to see the library but he was not so much excited about having it shown to him by Chanyeol. He didn’t feel good in his presence and without further ado decided to come up with a lie so he did not have to spend some time with the alpha.
Announcing that he suffered from a headache and wanted to lie down to get some rest, Baekhyun asked to be escorted to his bedroom. His plan worked but only partly. Instead of following a maid to the upper floor of the house, he followed the alpha he was trying to avoid.
Chanyeol was leading him down a hallway, all the way to the end. “This is your room,” he said while opening the door. “You have your own bath and a bell that is connected to the maids common room.”
“T-thank you,” Baek said, stepping into the bedroom.
His luggage was neatly lined up in front of the large bed and a richly filled fruit basket and a decanter with water were allocated for him.
“I will send the doctor so he can give you something for your headache.”
“Oh, there’s no need for that. I’m sure it’ll go away soon.” Baekhyun tried to look at the alpha but he just couldn’t keep his eyes on the man’s face. He lowered his head and gazed to the floor. “But thank you very much.”
“Alright,” Chanyeol said. “I have some business to do, so I will see you at dinner.”
With that the man left the room, closing the door behind him. Baekhyun let out a deep sigh when he was finally alone and ran a hand through his hair, messing it up a little.
Chanyeol was by far not what he had imagined his future mate to be and he wasn’t sure if he was able to fulfill his father’s request. They were not just different, they were worlds apart and Baekhyun knew that no matter how hard he would try, he would not make the man choose him as his future spouse.
Baekhyun spent the hours until dinner unpacking his belongings. He sorted his clothes into the wardrobe and lined up the books he brought in alphabetical order. With plenty of time to spare he then sat down and wrote a letter to his parents, telling them that he had arrived safely and that everyone had been very nice to him; so far.
He brought the letter with him to the dinner table, asking if he could send someone to deliver it to his parents.
“I will send someone your parents way right after dinner.”
“Oh, it doesn’t hurry,” Baekhyun said. “If it gets delivered tomorrow that’s completely fine as well.”
“I have mail to send myself,” Chanyeol said. “Just leave it here and it’ll reach your parents by tonight.”
“Is your headache gone?”
“I wish for you to accompany me tomorrow.”
Gazing up from his plate, Baekhyun looked at the man. “W-where to?”
“The northern coast,” the alpha answered. “The stable master will have the horses ready by the time we finish breakfast.”
The weird sound that left Baekhyun caused the alpha to raise a brow. “Yes, the horses. Why? Don’t tell me you don’t know how to ride.”
Baekhyun lowered his head. “I never got taught how to ride, I’m sorry.”
The alpha let out a deep annoyed sigh. “I will arrange riding lessons for you then.”
It wasn’t hard to tell that Chanyeol was displeased with Baekhyun not being able to ride a horse and the young omega somewhat witnessed his anger when he later the night stumbled upon the alpha voicing his opinion to his father.
Baekhyun actually wanted to head to the kitchen to steal himself one of those little custard tarts that were served for dessert but the alpha’s roars and his strong pheromones kept him from skipping past the sitting room.
“Seriously?! What am I supposed to do with an omega like that?! If he doesn’t know how to ride, he probably doesn’t know anything at all!”
“It’s nothing he couldn’t learn,” the alpha’s father spoke up in a much calmer and quiet voice. “We all had to learn it after all.”
“But that’s not the point. He should know,” Chanyeol growled. “I’m not going to make him my mate if all he’s good for is to look pretty.”
“Oh, but he is pretty, isn’t he? This hair and those eyes, stunning.”
Baekhyun blushed at the indirect comment.
“He can be as pretty as he wants, if he can’t give to the pack I won’t make him my mate!”
“Chanyeol, he’s been here for less than a day. Sure he can’t ride but that’s something he can quickly learn. Same applies to everything else. Just give him the chance to prove himself.”
A grumbled was heard and Baekhyun backed away from the room as it sounded as if the alpha was coming closer to the door. He scurried up the stairs when the door was being opened and Chanyeol stepped into the hall.
“Fine, I’ll give him the chance to learn it but should he fail Byun has to look for someone else to secure his lands.”
Baekhyun bit down his lip and quietly moved away from where he was hiding and went back to his room. He slumped down his bed and sighed deeply. He wasn’t exactly sure what Chanyeol meant when he had spoken of all the things Baekhyun didn’t know but the young omega was determined to learn whatever the alpha wanted him to learn.
He wasn’t doing it for himself but his family and he didn’t want to disappoint.
Unlike he had thought, Baekhyun had good and restful sleep. His bed was soft and his bedding had a calming fragrance to it, he felt like sleeping on clouds.
As he wasn’t home, he did not head to breakfast in his sleep wear but made an effort to put on some nice clothes. He even styled his hair to make a good impression but he ended up sitting alone at the big breakfast table.
A maid informed him that Chanyeol had gone to the northern coast and that the leader’s father was also out of the house, fulfilling some business.
With no one there to talk to, Baekhyun enjoyed his meal in silence. The bread that was served to him alongside fresh fruits, yogurt and cheese tasted heavenly. It was light and still warm, causing the butter he spread on it to perfectly melt into it.
The servant who had welcomed him on his arrival approached him when he had finished his breakfast, telling him that Chnayeol had arranged a meeting with the stable master. The stables were located a short walking distance to the left of the property and Baekhyun looked around the barn with wide open eyes, marveling over the many beautiful horses that peeked out of their stalls.
He always wanted to learn how to ride but his father had always forbidden it. He said it was too dangerous and unnecessary for Baekhyun to learn as he wasn’t to go anywhere anyways.
Therefore Baekhyun was equally nervous and excited.
The equerry introduced him to a gorgeous chestnut colored gelding. “He’s very patient and thick skinned. He’s ideal for a beginner like you.”
After learning the basics of how to approach, lead and get onto a horse, Baekhyun was finally having his very first riding lesson. And he was having the time of his life.
He quickly grasped onto the concept of keeping the heels down and arms close to his sides and he almost burst in joy when the stable master praised him for doing a good job.
They kept the first lesson short and simple. The equerry told him that he had to get used to sitting in the saddle and Baekhyun rather quickly learned what the beta meant by that. Not even an hour after his lesson had finished he felt his muscles aching.
That he did a good job with his riding lesson was already known to Chanyeol when the alpha later the day joined him for lunch. The alpha had brought smoked trout from his trip to the coast and Baekhyun had a little bit of difficulty separating the fish from its bones.
“Don’t tell me it’s your first time eating fish-”
Not knowing what to say, Baekhyun kept silent. He heard Chanyeol deeply inhaling and prepared for him to get angry again but instead of further commenting on the struggle the omega had, he simply switched their plates and gave the younger his filleted fish.
“I’m curious,” he spoke even before Baekhyun could thank him. “How does a typical day look like for you?”
“I don’t understand,” Baekhyun said.
“What do you do all day long?”
“I read or play games with my siblings,” the omega answered. “Sometimes I accompany my mother to town to look at clothes and such-”
“That’s all you do, really?”
Chanyeol hummed and chewed on his food. “How come you don’t know how to ride?” He asked once he had swallowed his bite.”Your father owns horses, doesn’t he?”
“Yes, of course but he never allowed me or my sister to ride.”
“How many siblings do you have?”
“Five,” Baek said. “Four older brothers and an older sister.”
“I assume your sister is an omega?”
“Yes, she is.”
When the alpha sighed, Baekhyun tilted his head in curiosity. “Why do you ask?”
“Does your mother accompany your father when he leaves for important business?” Chanyeol asked instead of answering the question.
Baekhyun shook his head. “No. She’s always home with us.”
“So, you have never been on a hunt before or participated in archery?”
“You’re going to learn it,” the alpha said, narrowing his piercing eyes. “You will learn how to hunt, you will learn how to draw a bow and you will learn how much power an arrow holds.”
“I don’t know in what time period your father is stuck in but in my pack everyone who’s able to walk is able to work and has to contribute to the welfare of our pack and the people that live in our territory. I don’t need a useless spouse and if you really want to become my mate, you gotta earn it.”
Breathing in the strong, intimidating pheromones of the alpha, Baekhyun broke into cold sweat. Riding was one thing but how could he possibly learn to hunt and handle an arrow and bow in a matter of weeks?
In their pack alphas and betas leaned those things from a young age on and even if he would give his best or was gifted with some sort of talent for archery or hunting, he was sure it would never be enough to impress the alpha.
Falling into a state of anxiety, Baekhyun became nauseous. An hour after lunch he vomited the first time and he wasn’t able to hold anything down but water. He skipped on having dinner with Chanyeol and his father and when he also wasn’t feeling any better the following day, the people in the house started to wonder.
Feeling sick and exhausted, Baekhyun didn’t even have enough strength to flinch when the door to his room swung open and the head of the house marched into his chamber with a serious expression.
“What is going on?” Chanyeol wanted to know and his voice was so dangerously low, it caused Baekhyun to whimper in fear.
“N-nothing,” he croaked out. “I’m just not feeling well-”
“You’ve been suffering from a headache the day you arrived here, now you vomit for no apparent reason and you refuse to see a doctor,” the man listed. “Is there perhaps something you want to tell me?”
“I’m not sure what you are meaning by that-”
“Everyone wonders,” the alpha began, circling Baekhyun’s bed. “They wonder if you perhaps are carrying and your father tries to marry you off before you start to show to keep his good name clean.”
Baekhyun gasped. “What? No. No, I’m not-” He paused, blushing a little as he looked at the tall alpha. “H-how could I be when I’ve never been t-touched before-”
“Y-yes,” Baekhyun nodded, bruning in embarrassment.
“Have you been in heat before?”
“No. B-but I just turned 18. The doc-” Baek stopped mid sentence when Chanyeol lifted his hand, signaling him to be quiet.
“What is it then? Why are you that sick all of the sudden?”
“When I’m nervous or a-anxious I get sick. I don’t know why it is like that but I’ve always had it. It’ll go away soon, I promise. I-it just needs a little time-”
The alpha looked at him for a moment, then sighed. “I’ll send you the doctor, I’m sure he can give you something to calm your stomach.”
“I’m sorry,” Baekhyun whispered, head lowered. “I didn’t mean to cause trouble-”
“Forget it,” Chanyeol said. “Just speak next time. Don’t send people away when they try to help you, it’s no good.”
“I-i will. I promise.”
“Well, then stay and bed today and get enough rest. Your archery training will start tomorrow.”
The doctor paid him a visit shortly after Chanyeol had left the chamber again and Baekhyun didn’t want to admit it but he was actually glad that the alpha was so persistent with sending the medic his way. The old man administered him a mixture of different herbs and medicine quickly took effect, fighting his nausea.
His condition improved over the course of the day and when the maids served him a cup of herbal infusion for afternoon tea, he even dared to nibble on the cracker that was placed onto the saucer.
Having the quiet time he needed, Baekhyun had fully recovered by the next morning. When he entered the dining room, Chanyeol was already sitting at the table. He gazed up from a letter he was reading when the young omega approached the table. “Are you feeling better?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Then have something to eat, we will practise archery right after breakfast.”
“We?” Baekhyun carefully asked. “So, you will teach me?”
With Chanyeol being the one who would show him how to handle an arrow and bow, Baekhyun finally got to be fully alone with the alpha and had the chance to charm him.
He yet had to figure how he would do that but had read plenty of romantic novels and he was sure if the alphas in the book were to fall for oh so sweet omega pheromones, it would also apply for alphas in the real world.
But Chanyeol seemed to be a hard nut to crack. Everytime he was close to Baekhyun and the young omega was certain to have set free another wave of his pheromones, the man absolutely did not react to them.
It was frustrating for Baekhyun to get no reaction whatsoever and by the time Chanyeol ended their first archery lesson, the omega wondered if he even had somewhat of an appeal to the alpha.
“You’ve got a steady hand, I like that,” Chanyeol said while they walked along the garden towards the manor. “But you desperately need to learn to keep both eyes open when you aim for your target. What you read in books is not always true.”
Baekhyun nodded his head and hummed, cheeks warming a little. He truly tried to apply techniques he had read in books about brave adventures and he was a little ashamed that it was so obvious to Chanyeol.
Once they had reached the house, the alpha excused himself and disappeared. Baekhyun went to his chamber and freshened up, before he then made his way back downstairs and settled down in the kitchen.
He was nibbling on some gooseberries when Chanyeol’s father entered the room. “Oh, why are you sitting in here, dear? The maids could bring them to you.”
“It’s fine,” Baekhyun answered. “I like it here. It’s nice and warm.”
“Aren’t the other rooms not warm enough for you? We can turn on the fireplace if you want.”
“Oh no, it’s fine. I’m not cold, I just like sitting here.”
“Well, if that’s so, may I keep you company?”
Nodding his head, Baekhyun smiled. “Of course.”
The man poured himself some water into a cup and then sat down on the opposite of the wooden table. “So, I’ve heard you’re doing well with your training.”
“Hm, I guess I’m doing okay.”
“Oh, don’t be so modest. Mr. Lim says you’re a talented rider and Chanyeol is very satisfied with your archery skills. He said you’ve been doing great on your first lesson.”
“R-really? I thought I was doing awful-”
“No, he’s said that you’re very gifted.”
Baekhyun felt pride swelling in his chest, listening to those words. He truly thought that he wasn’t doing all too well to impress the alpha but it obviously wasn’t the case. And knowing that he actually had a real chance of winning Chanyeol over, truly lightened his mood.
“I’m flattered to hear that,” Baek spoke. “I’m still worried about the hunting though.”
“Why that?” The older alpha wanted to know.
“It’s just that I have never done it before and I know that it takes youngsters years to get good at it. I won’t be able to get good at it in just a few weeks.”
It felt good to get it off his chest and Baekhyun was close to tears thinking about the pressure that lay on his shoulders.
“Don’t worry about that,” Chanyeol’s father said, smiling softly. “There are other things you can prove yourself with to Chanyeol.”
“And that’s what?”
“I’m not sure, is there anything you consider yourself good at?”
Pursing his lips into a pout. Baekhyun hummed. “I can bake,” he said. “I know how to grind grain by hand and use that flour to make bread.”
“See, that’s something.”
“But it’s nothing special-”
“But it’s essential,” the man said. “Your knowledge feeds people.”
“Do you really think that’s enough for me to prove myself?”
The man nodded. “I think so, yes. And if my son is trying to tell you otherwise then you tell him to go and bake a bread himself.”
Baekhyun had to smile at the seriousness in the alpha’s voice. He still wasn’t entirely sure that his baking skills were something that would convince Chanyeol but the man’s words surely boosted his confidence a little.
Chanyeol’s father was pleasant to be with. Their conversation never died and moved through various topics. They talked about serious things such as the current situation Baekhyun’s father was having with east pack but also lively discussed whether oven baked chicken was better than grilled chicken.
Baekhyun felt really comfortable around the alpha and was flattered when he was asked if he’d like to accompany the older man on a ride through the nearby woods the following day.
It was his first time riding the chestnut gelding outside the fenced riding place but he really enjoyed it. Countless paths wound through the large forest and Baekhyun enjoyed the soft breeze that was swirling around his nose. Time on the horseback flew by and the young omega couldn’t believe that over three hours had passed when they eventually returned to the stables.
Leaving the horses in the care of the stable boy, they freshened up and then met to have a cup of tea. Due to the nice and rather warm weather, the house staff had set up a table on the terrace and when they sat down at the small round table, Chanyeol was already awaiting them.
“You’ve been gone quite some time,” he commented.
“Oh, I asked Baekhyun to join me for a ride,” his father said. “I wanted to show him a little of our lands.”
Chanyeol let out a hum, gazing at the young omega. “That was your first ride outside the ring, right?”
“Yes,” Baekhyun answered. “It was really fun,” he added with a smile.
“Which horse did you ride?”
“Phoenix,” Baek said. “He’s very calm, I feel very comfortable with him.”
The young alpha nodded his head along the words as he listened. “He’s yours then,” he then spoke and Baekhyun’s eyes immediately widened.
“He’s yours,” Chanyeol repeated.
“O-oh, I c-can’t accept that.”
“Think of him as an engagement present.”
Baekhyun’s mouth fell open and his eyes widened again. And while he, speechlessly, stared at the tall apha, Chanyeol’s father let out a delighted noise.
“Oh, ain’t that good news,” he cheered and reached over to pat his son on the shoulder. “Ah, I’m so excited and happy. Have you already told Baekhyun’s parents?”
Chanyeol gave a nod. “Yes. I have paid them a visit this morning,” he said. “I initially wanted to wait a while before we have the ceremony but Baekhyun’s father urged us to have it next week.”
“T-the w-wedding ceremony?” Baekhyun stuttered his question.
Chanyeol’s father shook his head. “No, the introduction ceremony,” he answered. “There will be a gathering, a party if you will, where you’ll be introduced to the highest of our pack. The main part of this ceremony will be meeting with our shaman to hear what she’ll think of you two as mates.”
Baekhyun couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t grasp onto the fact that he actually managed to convince Chanyeol to take him as his mate and he was scared. He hadn’t thought that far; never had thought that far because he didn’t think it would actually happen. And certainly not that fast.
He had made peace with the fact that he had to stay at the alpha’s house and charm him but he had only made peace with that because he was certain Chanyeol would not choose him as a mate. He thought that the lead alpha eventually would come to terms that Baekhyun just wasn’t made to be his mate.
Baekhyun had hoped that Chanyeol would come to terms and see that they were just too different to be mates and still would grant his father the help he needed to defeat the east packs, solely based on the fact that Baekhyun was a good person and maybe somewhat of a friend.
Baekhyun surely didn’t see this coming and it was fueling his anxiety. Nervous and not knowing what to do with this overwhelming feeling that was making him feel sick, he looked for shelter in the stables.
Crouching down in the very corner of the horse stall, he gently patted Phoenix when the gelding lowered his head for some attention. The mere presence of the large animal was enough to calm the omega a little.
He could only imagine what joy his parents must’ve been when Chanyeol announced that he’d marry him. His father for sure let the maids open one of his most expensive wines to celebrate the engagement.
Baekhyun could only speculate what his life as Chanyeol’s mate would look like. From what he had witnessed in the time he had been a guest at the Park’s manor, the alpha was a very busy man and barely home. He would either have to adapt to the alpha’s busy schedule and accompany him whenever he’d go or his life would be bound to the house, where he would have to stay unless the alpha wished for him to be present at events where he could show him off.
Baekhyun knew his dream of living an adventurous life was never likely to become reality anyways but he never had thought that this dream would be shattered so early into his life. He had hoped to dream for at least another few years.
Two days before the engagement party Baekhyun's parents and his oldest brother arrived as guests at Chanyeol’s manor. All morning the house staff had been busy preparing the guest rooms and a sumptuous meal they would have for dinner later and all the hustle and bustle that was going on around him had Baekhyun sweating.
Trying to calm his flattering nevers by rubbing his palms together, he sucked in a deep breath. “Why are you so nervous?”
Whipping his head around, Baekhyun looked at the owner of the house. Chanyeol was looking at him, having one eyebrow raised as he waited for an answer. “I d-don’t know to be honest-”
The alpha dropped his gaze for a mere second to look at Baekhyun’s feet and then nodded his head towards the patio door. “Come with me.”
Following the alpha, Baekhyun quickly came to notice that they were heading for the stables. “Are we going for a ride?”
“We’re going hunting.”
“Yes, maybe we’re lucky and get something.”
Saddling their horses, Baekhyun soon found himself riding alongside the tall alpha towards the forest with arrow and bow on his back. He wasn’t sure what to expect but he had to admit that he was quite excited. As he had never been on a hunt before, he could only imagine the thrill of it.
A short ride through the forest they came to halt at a clearing and tied the horses to some branches, leaving them behind to graze.
Following Chanyeol’s steps through the high grass of the meadow, Baekhyun ducked when the man suddenly came to halt and crouched down. “Are there deer?” He asked in a whisper.
“No, but pheasants,” Chanyeol said. “Come here.”
Shuffling forwards, Baekhyun crouched down next to the alpha. “Where?”
“Right there,” the alpha pointed into the field. “Can you see them?”
“Oh yes,” Baek hummed when he eventually found the almost perfectly disguised birds. They were peacefully picking the grounds, not expecting any harm to come.
“Try to shoot one.”
Chanyeol nodded. “They aren’t any different than the targets you’ve been practising with. Try to aim for the biggest one.”
“What if I miss it?”
“Then you try again,” the alpha said. “Just make sure to keep both eyes open.”
Getting in position, Baekhyun drew his bow and aimed his arrow at one of the pheasants. The arrow whizzed through the tall grass like a lightning the second Baekhyun let go of it, catching the animals off guard.
Making loud noises, the pheasants flew away. All, except one. Not believing his luck, Baekhyun let out a surprised sound. “I did it!”
“Well done,” Chanyeol praised and stood up to get the hunted poultry.
Baekhyun grinned from ear to ear, proud of himself. Sure the pheasant was sitting still and therefore was a rather easy target but given the fact that this was his first time aiming his arrow at something other than a colorful target, he couldn’t hide his pride.
When they arrived back home Chanyeol brought the poultry to the kitchen, ordering the kitchen staff to add the pheasant to the dinner menu. The cook nodded his head and took the bird away from the alpha.
“Master, our guests have arrived,” a maid informed. “They are having tea in the sitting room with your father.”
“Well, we should greet them then.”
Baekhyun had expected his parents to be over the moon to see him and he was waiting for a hug but their greeting was rather cold. They seemed to be more excited to meet their future son-in-law and quite literally ignored him.
Sad and disappointed, Baekhyun sat down next to Chanyeol’s father. The elderly alpha gifted him a smile and leaned close. “Don’t be bothered,” he whispered. “Do you want some tea? It’s my favorite, apple-lemon tea.”
The man didn’t wait for Baek to answer and leaned over to pour some of the brew into an empty cup. He picked it up from the table and handed it to the young omega. “Enjoy.”
“Thank you,” Baekhyun chirped and took a sip of the hot drink.
“Baekhyun,” his mother scowled. “Where are your manners?!”
Not exactly sure what he had done wrong, Baekhyun tensed. He lowered the cup and put it back on the saucer, gazing into the round.
“There’s no need to scold him,” Chanyeol’s father spoke. “I offered to pour him some tea.”
“O-oh, I see,” Baekhyun’s mother said.
Swallowing at the glare he was shot by his mother, Baekhyun dared to take a sip of the tea again. He felt oddly out of place and absolutely not comfortable, even though he was sitting amongst his own family.
Fortunately tea time didn’t last long and his parents and brother soon excused themselves to take a rest. Chanyeol also left to do something and Baekhyun was still stiffly sitting in his seat, not daring to move.
“Relax a little, dear.”
Setting his cup onto the table, Baekhyun turned to Chanyeol’s father. “Those people aren’t my parents,” he said, causing the alpha to laugh.
“They are just nervous,” he said. “They want to make a good impression.”
“Oh, I’m sure.”
Puffing his cheeks, Baek let out a grumble. “Still doesn’t give them the right to be so mean. They didn’t even greet me properly.”
“Like I said, don’t be bothered by it. They’ll probably be like this for their entire stay.”
Chuckling, the alpha drank some of his tea. “Try to ignore it. Go and rest a little, enjoy the quietness.”
Baekhyun followed the man’s advice and enjoyed the time in which his parents were resting to the fullest. He ran himself a nicely smelling herbal bath and let his body soak in the warm water.
Back at his parents home he wasn’t allowed to stay in the bath for all too long, so he enjoyed having his own tub at disposal. Sitting in the bath until the water was losing the comfortable warmth, Baekhyun stayed in his room until dinner time.
He wasn’t quite looking forward to sitting together with his parents again but he was hungry and excited to see what the cook had done with the pheasant he had hunted earlier in the day.
The dinner table had plenty of delicious smelling food to offer and Baekhyun sighed in relief when he found that he was seated far away from his parents. He was sitting between Chanyeol and his father, at a safe distance from his parents.
“The food looks great,” Baekhyun’s father complimented as a conversation starter.
“Please have some of the pheasant”, Chanyeol said. “It’s been just hunted this morning.”
“Oh, really? We have to thank you for your effort then.”
“You should be thanking Baekhyun,” the alpha spoke. “His arrow shot tonight's meal.”
Baekhyun’s father frowned for a second but then laughed out. “Oh, you almost got me there,” he snickered, shaking his head in amusement. “He do-” His laughter faded when Chanyeol did not show any sign of his words being a joke. “B-Baekhyun shot this pheasant?”
“He’s a talented archer,” Chanyeol said. “It’s a shame you never supported his talent.”
The older alpha cleared his throat. “W-well, we thought it would be better to teach Baekhyun other things.”
“Riding certainly wasn’t one of those things.”
Baekhyun could sense the discomfort his father was in and ducked his head a little. He was afraid for his father to snap at Chanyeol.
“It wasn’t necessary for Baekhyun to learn riding. As you may know, our lands aren’t as safe as yours, we never could have allowed him to ride in the fields.”
“You have four well educated alpha sons who could have accompanied him.”
“Chanyeol,” Chanyeol’s father took word. “It’s enough. You’re not in the place to judge how people raise their children.”
“I apologize,” the younger alpha spoke. “It’s just frustrating that Baekhyun’s talents got ignored like this. I’m sure he would’ve contributed well to your pack if he would have received the same education as his brothers.”
“Seriously, enough of this. Let’s eat and enjoy this magnificent pheasant before it gets cold. Baekhyun, since you brought it to table for us, would you like to carve?”
Baek instantly shook his head. “No, I’ve never done this before-”
“Don’t worry, I’ll show you.”
It was awkward to have everyone’s eyes on him and the knife in his hand shook from his trembling hand as Baekhyun tried to crave the cooked bird the right way. Chanyeol’s father was telling him where to cut and praised him for his work, though Baek could tell that he hadn’t done a great job. Some of the slices were falling apart and some were way too thin to even be called a slice.
But in the end everyone had some on their plate and he was happy when he could start eating.
Baekhyun had a huge thing for bread and gravy and he happily drowned his piece of pheasant with the savory sauce to then use his bread to dip it into it. Chewing on his soggy piece of bread, Baekhyun lifted his head when he heard his name coming from the other side of the table in a harsh whisper.
He looked at his mother and frowned in confusion. “What?”
“Can you not behave? You eat like being raised in a barn.”
Baekhyun gazed down at himself to see if he had blotted himself and then wiped his mouth with his napkin and only when the napkin showed no stain, he got that his mother was referring to the large glob of gravy he had on his plate.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbled. “It’s just really delicious.”
“Still, don’t be so greedy.”
Baekhyun lowered his head in shame and gazed to the side when he heard Chanyeol harshly breathing in beside him. The alpha did not look pleased and Baekhyun was somehow afraid that he’d snap at his parents again, making the situation even more uncomfortable.
He continued eating in silence, finishing his meal without contributing further into any of the conversations. He was more than glad when it all was finally over and everyone went their separate ways.
Baekhyun hid away in his bedroom until he was certain his parents and brother had gone to bed and crept back downstairs to the kitchen. He skipped over to the large cockle stove and opened it, humming in joy when found the leftovers from dinner’s served dessert. He grabbed himself one of the custard filled pastries and sat down at the wooden table, biting into it.
Cheeks full, the young omega tensed when the door to the warm room suddenly swung open and the head of the house stepped in.
“Oh,” Chanyeol voiced out as his eyes fell onto the small figure. “What are you doing here?”
Lifting the pastry, Baek let out a hum to not have to speak while he was still having food in his mouth.
Nodding his head at the answer, the alpha moved past the younger and poured some fresh water into a kettle. He lit a fire and took seat at the table while waiting for the water in the kettle to heat up. “I would like to apologize.”
“A-apologize?” Baek asked. “For what?”
“I could tell that I made you uncomfortable with what I’ve said to your parents and I’m sorry for doing that.”
“Oh, that’s f-fine. Don’t worry.”
After Baek had spoken, silence fell between them and Baekhyun let out an inward sigh when the kettle started to whistle, breaking the awkward moment. Chanyeol got up and made himself a cup of tea and Baekhyun was genuinely surprised when the man set a cup of steaming herbal tea down in front of him before then bidding him a goodnight and leaving the kitchen again.
Taking a sip of the tea the alpha had made him, Baekhyun hummed to himself. He still stood by his thoughts; they did not have anything in common and he was still not sure where all of this was going but maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing and he just had to be a little more open minded and see where it would head.
The day of the pre-wedding ceremony was a bright and sunny day. Everyone was in a delighted mood but Baekhyun was sweating bullets. He was nervous and didn’t know what to expect.
He had tried to ask the maids that helped him getting dressed what this ceremony was about and what he was supposed to do during the whole thing but neither of them answered his questions.
Once they had put him into the formal attire, Baekhyun was left alone. He was looking at himself in the mirror, letting out a faint gasp. The white silk garment was sitting neatly on his frame and was cinched in at the waist to accentuate his body.
A, with sparkling jewels studded, body harness was making his outfit seem even more luxurious than it already was and it was building a great contrast with his rosy skin, light hair and blue eyes.
If this was the garment he would be presented in to Chanyeol’s pack, he couldn’t help but wonder what this actual wedding attire would look like, if he was to be approved of by the shaman.
He turned away from the mirror when a knock on the door asked for his attention. The door opened shortly after and Chanyeol’s father stepped into the chamber, giving him a soft smile.
“Hello,” the elderly alpha responded. “You look very beautiful,” he then added, causing Baekhyun to blush.
“T-thank you,” the omega whispered. “Uh, what are you doing here?”
“I have the honor of escorting you to the ceremony room,” Chanyeol’s father said.
“Oh, I thought my father would do that.”
“Normally yes, but as I have already approved of you, I’ll be the one presenting you to the pack. And I’m very excited to do so.”
“D-do you think the p-pack will like me?”
“Of course, they will.”
“I have a question about the ceremony.” Baek nervously fiddled with his fingers. “W-what do I have to do?”
The alpha smiled. “Come, sit down with me,” he said and moved to sit down on the edge of Baekhyun’s bed. “In the ceremony our shaman will perform a ritual to determine whether you and Chanyeol are a good match. There’s nothing to be nervous about.”
“Dear, believe me, you don’t have to worry about anything. Everything will turn out just fine.”
Baekhyun sucked in a deep breath. “H-how can you be so sure?”
Chanyeol’s father smiled. “Intuition,” he said. He stood up and held out his hand for Baekhyun. “Now come on, everyone’s waiting.”
Baekhyun was beyond nervous but the relaxed and natural demeanor of the alpha was able to calm him a little. They had their arms linked and Chanyeol’s father had his hand cupped over Baekhyun’s smaller one, giving it gentle pats as they stepped towards the door that would lead them to the ceremony hall.
Before the large wooden door opened, a maid placed a hand-woven flower crown onto his head. Consisting of white lilies and baby’s breath, Baekhyun knew the headdress was implying to his purity.
Chanyeol’s father tugged the flower crown into place and then ever so gently pinched the young omega’s cheek. “Relax,” he whispered. “Just think about the nice feast that awaits us once this is over. I heard there will be strawberry custard tarts.”
Baekhyun reacted to the words with a slight gasp. “Really?”
“Yes,” the alpha chuckled. “I’m looking forward to having one, too. So, let’s get this over with.”
Baekhyun knew Chanyeol’s father just said this to lighten his mood but it was actually working and he was indeed a little less anxious when the alpha was walking him towards the end of the ceremony hall where Chanyeol and the shaman were waiting.
People were looking at him and heard them whispering but he tried to not let it bother him. He blocked the voices out and kept his eyes focused on what was set up for the ceremony.
A colorful woven rug was laid out and as he gazed past Chanyeol and the white haired lady, Baekhyun could also catch a glimpse of a copper bowl and some incense sticks.
Chanyeol’s father let go of his arm when they had reached the front and moved to sit down to observe the ceremony next to Baekhyun’s family.
Baekhyun took a deep breath and respectfully bowed his head to the shaman. He wasn’t sure if he had to but didn’t know what else to do.
When the woman asked them to take seat, Baek followed Chanyeol’s lead and knelt down next to the tall alpha. He gazed at the man, taking in his sight. In contrast to Baekhyun’s white garments, Chanyeol wore an all black attire. His shoulders were adorned by a well polished chainmail armor which was accentuating his already broad shoulders, making him look even taller and muscular than he already was.
Baekhyun drew his eyes away from him when the shaman called for his attention. He looked at her, watching her every movement. She lit the incense sticks while humming to herself, waving them around and the smoke they gave off caused Baekhyun to sneeze.
“Bless you,” she chuckled as Baekhyun slapped both his hands over nose and mouth in embarrassment.
“T-thank you,” he whispered and placed his hands back into his lap.
The shaman waved the incense sticks around a little more before she then placed them into the copper bowl. “We shall begin then,” she spoke in a calm voice. “Please give me your hands.”
Baekhyun offered her his hands and watched in wonder as she traced the lines of his palms with the tips of her fingers. She had her eyes closed while doing so and hummed every now and then, making Baekhyun even more curious.
After she was done reading only his palms, she did the same to them combined. She held onto each of their hands while Chanyeol and Baekhyun had their fingers intertwined just as she had asked them to.
Chanyeol’s hand was warm and almost completely enveloping his own small hand and it was not at all unpleasant to hold his hand.
The shaman took her sweet time with whatever she was doing while holding onto their hands and when she finally let go, she immediately moved to the next part of the ritual. Reaching into a small leather pouch, she took out some fragments of animal bones and spread them out in front of Baekhyun.
“Choose one,” she said, looking at the young omega.
Baekhyun gazed down at the bones and eyed them before eventually reaching to pick up one of the fragments. He didn’t know why but the little bone reminded him of an hourglass due to his shape and it looked the most appealing to him.
He handed it to the shaman and her response to it caused him to frown in confusion. She let out a delighted chuckle and glanced at Chanyeol for a moment, twirling the bone between her fingers.
“I have reached a verdict,” she spoke, rising to stand. “And I give my blessing for these two to pursue the act of marriage. I see a bright future laying ahead of them. A future full of love and devotion. If-”
The sudden ‘if’ caused Baekhyun to tense up. He looked up to her, waiting for her to continue.
She lowered herself again, kneeling back down in front of the betrothed couple. “If you’re willing to work for it,” she ended the sentence. “The future I see for the two of you is bright but it has to grow and it can only grow when you devote yourself to work for it. Do so and you won’t regret it.”
Baekhyun’s heart was thumping and not in a good way. Her words were what he was afraid of and it was fueling his anxiety. He knew that a possible marriage and its success was based on hard work but he just didn’t know how he would make that work.
Yes, he had proven to be a good rider and an acceptable archer but a lifetime at the side of the leader of a pack as large as Chanyeol’s surely asked for more than just that and Baekhyun wasn’t sure if he was able to step up to that plate even if he wanted to.
He was pondering over how he would make it work and how his life would turn out if he would fail and with every minute passing, the situation seemed to get worse and worse.
His father approached him at the gathering after the ceremony, pulling him aside into a quiet corner.
“You’ve got to make this work, son,” the man spoke in a low voice. “Today went well but given the shaman’s words, Chanyeol could still call off the wedding. Use today’s gathering to charm everyone you meet. The more people that approve of you, the better.”
Holding his breath, Baekhyun gave a nod. He had hoped for some consoling words but what was he thinking; his father had set him on the quest and was expecting good results.
“And put on a smile.”
“O-of coure, father-”
Watching his father walk off to talk to some people, Baekhyun took the chance to skip away. He needed some time alone and made his way to his room, pacing around the chamber while trying to get his anxiety under control.
A knock on the door had him flinching. “Y-yes?”
“It’s me,” Chanyeol’s deep voice came through from outside the room. “Can I come in?”
The door opened and the tall alpha stepped in. “Are you alright?”
“You hardly touched your food and you disappeared without a word.”
“Oh, I’m s-sorry about that,” Baek breathed out. “I’ll c-come back downstairs in a minute.”
“You don’t have to, if it makes you uncomfortable.”
Baekhyun gladly wanted to take the chance and stay hidden in his room but he knew it would disappoint his father. “No, it’s fine. I, uh, just came here to take this off,” he said and tugged at the jeweled body harness. “But I don’t know how-”
“Turn around, I’ll help you.”
Turning his back to the alpha, Baekhyun gazed into the mirror that hung above the dresser he stood in front of and looked at the reflection. He was stunned by their difference in size. With Chanyeol standing so close behind him, he looked extremely small and slim.
The alpha’s scent was tickling his nose and the touch against his back as Chanyeol fiddled with the clasp of the body chain caused a shiver to run down his spine. He let out a shaky breath when the man’s fingers merely streaked along the back of his neck.
He meant to turn back around to face the alpha once the harness had slipped off his torso but Chanyeol stepped closer, caging him between his large body and dresser. The broad chest pressed against the top of his back and shoulders and the warmth that it was emitting caused Baek’s breath to hitch.
Strong pheromones filled the air, starting to cloud his mind and make his knees weak. He felt his body temperature rising and palms getting sweaty and Baekhyun wasn’t sure why the alpha, all of the sudden, was putting him in such a situation.
A faint gasp escaped his throat when Chanyeol’s hands sneaked under the fabric of his shirt, touching his heated skin. It was overwhelming. “S-shouldn’t we w-wait with t-that?” Baek asked, hoping that Chanyeol would stop his actions.
“If we follow traditions, sure,” the alpha spoke. “But the wedding is not for another month and we run the high risk of you going into your first heat anytime soon and you don’t want your first time to be while having no control over your mind.”
The deep voice in his ear and large, rough hands against his skin were turning Baekhyun putty. Arousal was creeping up his insides as Chanyeol unbuttoned his silk shirt and it freaked the young omega out. He had never been intimate with someone before and having his body react like this even though he had no deeper feelings for the alpha was beyond him.
Baekhyun was completely bare before he even realized it. A loud gasp made it out of him when Chanyeol’s hand slipped between his legs and a finger was pressed against his wet entrance. His back arched when the digit was pushed into him; the strange yet not unpleasant feeling was catching him off guard.
Shuddering, Baekhyun bit down his bottom lip and let out a suppressed moan when a second finger entered him. Chanyeol was breathing against his neck, thrusting his fingers at a steady pace.
Baekhyun was in utter bliss by the time the alpha pulled away again. Harshly breathing through his nose, he tried to listen to the noises that happened behind him and just as he was about to turn his head, Chanyeol grasped onto his hip with one hand.
He tensed and loudly moaned when the alpha’s cock entered him, putting an indescribable pressure on his sensitive walls. Bracing himself onto the surface of the wooden dresser, Baekhyun let his head hang forward as Chanyeol’s length pushed further into him.
And almost ironically, the flower crown that was depicting his purity slipped off his head, falling to his feet as the Chanyeol took that purity away from him forever.
Baekhyun had never really pictured how his first time would be but he had thought that it would be at least a little more romantic and loving. Chanyeol, per se, was gentle with him but it was nothing that Baekhyun wanted to repeat.
The lack of feelings between became even more clear and it hurt the young omega. If this was how it would be from now on, with his body just responding to the alpha’s touches because of his pheromones, Baekhyun wasn’t sure he was able to go through with the marriage. How was he possibly able to live a life and give himself to a man he shared no deeper feelings with?
After the unexpected get together with Chanyeol, Baekhyun’s feelings were all over the place. He was frightened of the future that awaited him and anxious that someone was able to tell that he was no longer as chaste as he had been before he stole himself away from the gathering.
And right the second he had put foot back into the banquet hall of the Park’s manor, his mother was by his side. “Where have you been?”
“I w-was upstairs, taking off the chain.”
“Why?” She asked, putting on a frown. “They dressed you up to make a good impression, it’s not very polite to just take it off.”
“Chanyeol said it’s fine.”
He heard his mother breathing in. “Well, if he said it’s alright, then it’s fine. And now go, Chanyeol’s father was looking for you.”
Nodding his head, Baekhyun scurried away from her and went to find Chanyeol’s father. He eventually found the man sitting in the kitchen, away from all the hustle and bustle.
“Oh, there you are, dear,” he smiled. “Have a seat, can I pour you some tea?”
“Can I also offer you a strawberry tart? I noticed that you were not having any earlier.”
“Oh, yeah. I wasn’t that hungry,” Baek said.
“Are you sure? You seemed a little distressed after the ceremony,” the alpha pointed out. “Tell me what’s lying on your heart?”
Wrapping his fingers around the warm tea cup, Baekhyun deeply sighed. “I’m worried-”
“Worried about what the shaman said?”
Gazing at the elderly alpha, Baekhyun gave a shy nod. “Yes-”
“Baekhyun, there’s nothing you have to worry about. What she said, does mostly apply to my dear son and not you.”
“I’m not so sure about that-”
Chanyeol’s father let out a chuckle. “Dear, you are a delight. You are smart and have already proven yourself to be hard working. And on top of that you’re stunningly beautiful, you should lay back, calm down and let Chanyeol work for it.”
“I’m still worried,” Baekhyun confessed, lowering his head a little.
“Baekhyun, look at me.”
Swallowing, Baekhyun lifted his gaze. “Yes?”
“If you don’t want any of this, you don’t have to do it,” Chanyeol’s father said. “Nobody is forcing you to marry Chanyeol. You have the right to refuse to marry him. I would deplore it, because I’d really like to have you as my son-in-law but I’m not the one to decide that. Nor is my son; it’s your choice alone.”
Baekhyun was at the verge of crying. He didn’t have a choice, that was the problem. He was here, having an engagement party because his parents decided so. If he would have had a choice to begin with, he would not have agreed to leave home to live with an alpha that was a complete stranger to him; let alone to marry him.
Biting back his tears, Baekhyun forced himself to smile at the elderly alpha. “I-it’s all fine,” he said. “I’m just nervous, it’s a b-big deal after all.”
Chanyeol’s father hummed in agreement. “Yes, it certainly is. But I can promise you that you’ll have a life full of comfort and possibilities if you decide to become part of our family.”
Baekhyun had no doubt to disbelieve the man’s words. He had been a guest at the Park’s house for only a little while and his life had already improved a lot from the one he was living at home. He learned how to ride and hunt, something he would never have if he wouldn’t have been sent here. And he knew he’d have the chance to learn so much more if he was to stay and marry Chanyeol but was that really enough in exchange for a life without love and affection? He wasn’t all too sure.
The days after the engagement ceremony Baekhyun was feeling all blue. His life was getting closer and closer to having a complete turnover and he didn’t know how to stop it.
His mood lightened a little when his parents and older brother’s left the Park manor to return home. With his parents constantly breathing down his neck, he was under a lot of pressure and having gained back the ability to move around the house without his mother and father pushing him to do things he absolutely wasn’t comfortable was a great relief.
He was taking the new found freedom to saddle his horse and to get to know the area. Chanyeol and his father were out for business and as he therefore didn’t have to meet either of them for lunch, he took his sweet time exploring.
A winding path along the edge of the woods led him all the way to the town that lay south west from the Park’s manor. Riding along cobblestone streets he came across a little mill and a couple of men in a heated discussion.
“He’s your worker, so it’s your responsibility to find a replacement,” the man, Baekhyun easily identified as the miller, growled at the other male while having his hands balled into fists.
“Oh come on, I’m just asking for a favor here!”
“I can’t leave the mill alone and you know that.”
Listening to their snarls Baekhyun soon found out that the smaller of the men was the baker of the bakery that was located only a stone’s throw away from the mill. And that their quarrel was about the baker’s helper who had not come to work, leaving the bakery without freshly ground flour and the baker without a helping hand.
Getting off his chestnut gelding, Baekhyun carefully approached the two angry males. “Uh, excuse me,” he called out to get their attention. “I happened to overhear your conversation and I’d like to offer my help.”
Miller and baker eyed the omega and tilted their heads almost in sync. “You want to offer your help?” The baker eventually asked. “Excuse my words but you don’t really look like someone who could help with my problem.”
“Well,” Baek cleared his throat. “I might not be able to carry flour sacks but I could support you in the bakery.”
The baker frowned a little. “Do you know your way around the stone ovens?”
“Yes,” Baekhyun nodded. “Full loaves need an hour to bake placed centered on the stone, everything containing grains and seeds shall slowly bake in the back for about two hours and pastry needs to bake in the front of the oven where the heat is lowest.”
“Impressive,” the baker mumbled to himself and Baekhyun showed a proud smile at the words. “Well, I’d be a fool to not take your offer, so I’d appreciate you helping me out. Thank you.”
“It’s my pleasure.”
Baekhyun had a lot of fun helping out at the bakery. Supervising the two large stone ovens at the front of the bakehouse, he had his hands in a large wooden bowl, kneading some smooth dough for a batch of sunflower seed loaves.
That the future spouse of the pack leader was helping out at the bakery quickly made it’s round after a guest from the ceremony party had spotted him sorting freshly baked buns into the large wicker baskets in the sales room and people were coming by to catch a glimpse of him, doubling the bakers sales in only a couple of hours.
By five in the afternoon all baked goods were sold and the baker closed the shop and let the fire in the stone ovens die away. “I can’t thank you enough,” he spoke while wrapping one last warm loaf of bread into a linen sheet. “You did save my business.”
“You are most welcome,” Baekhyun responded. “I had a lot of fun.”
“I hope you’ll join my humble business again some time. You’re more than welcome to do so,” the baker smiled and handed the young omega the wrapped loaf. “Take this home with you. It’s still warm, you can enjoy it for dinner.”
“I will, thank you very much. Have a good night.”
Getting back onto his horse, Baekhyun made his way home. He arrived at the manor a little after sunset and the welcome was not as warm as he thought it would be. Chanyeol stood tall in front of, glaring at him with a deep frown on his forehead. “Where have you been?!”
“I-” Baekhyun was taken aback by the growl. “I w-was down in t-town-”
“And why does nobody know about this?! And why do you come home after sunset?!”
“I was j-just going for a r-ride. I l-lost track of time-”
The alpha and the pheromones he was emitting scared Baekhyun. Not able to hold back his emotion he broke into tears. Hiccuping, he hugged the loaf of bread to his chest and hurried away from the intimidating alpha, hiding away in his bedroom.
The room to the chamber fell shut with a thud and just as Baekhyun sighed to have escaped the nerve-wrecking situation, Chanyeol sighed as well as he came to realize that he might have chosen the wrong approach to talk to the young omega.
Pinching the bridge of his nose, he deeply exhaled and decided to not go after Baekhyun right away. It was obvious that he had scared the younger with his rough demeanor and that he needed some time to calm down before he was to approach him again.
Deciding to sit down in his study to read some of the letters that had arrived over the course of the day, Chanyeol went to get himself a bottle of wine first. As he passed by the kitchen he overheard some of his house staff talking about Baekhyun.
“No, I tell you, I have seen it with my own eyes,” one of the maid enthusiastically said. “He was there, apron and all, helping out the baker. He was kneading dough and selling baked goods.”
“Unbelievable,” the cook whistled.
“I have heard that the baker was very pleased with work and even asked him to come back some time,” another maid added to the conversation.
“I wouldn’t have guessed that he’d be so keen on work like this. I mean, the work of a baker is tiring and physically demanding. And the little Byun surely doesn’t seem like he’s familiar to heavy manual work.”
The three servants continued their tattle but Chanyeol decided he had heard enough. He needed to have a word with Baekhyun and that sooner rather than later. Heading for the omega’s chambers, he knocked onto the door and waited for the soft voice to grant him permission to enter the room.
The scent of warm water and herbal infusion tickled his nose when he stepped into the room, telling him that Baekhyun had just run himself a hot bath. “If this is a bad time, I’ll come back later,” he said.
“N-no, it’s fine,” Baekhyun spoke, though he didn’t sound sure at all. He was still giving of strong, anxious pheromones, so the alpha decided to make his visit as short as possible.
“I am here to apologize,” he began. “I’m sorry for raising my voice, that was not right of me. I should have given you the chance to speak.”
“No, it’s not. I have wronged you and I’m sorry for that,” Chanyeol repeated his apology. “I have heard that you chipped in to help the baker today, that’s very nice of you.”
“Y-yes,” Baek nodded. “That’s why I came h-home so late.”
“I figured that,” the alpha said. “But please give notice when you leave the house the next time or take one of the servants with you.”
“Why?” Baekhyun carefully asked, hoping that it would not upset Chanyeol.
“You don’t know the area yet, you could easily get lost. And-” The alpha paused for a mere second. “You are an unmated omega, you could run into danger because of that. I don’t want to bad mouth the alpha’s in my own pack but I know what young, loutish alpha’s are capable of and I don’t want you to get harmed in any way.”
Baekhyun had not once spared a thought of that when he decided to take Phoenix for a ride earlier. He was just so happy to finally possess the freedom of moving around without restrictions that he completely forgot about the possible dangers that lay within the people he could cross paths with.
And he finally understood that Chanyeol’s irritation of him returning home after dark was not based on possessiveness or compulsive control but genuine worry. “Is t-that why you were so angry with me?”
Baekhyun could see Chanyeol clenching his jaw. “Yes,” he then answered, giving a nod. “And again, I apologize for that.”
“It’s alright,” the omega said. “I should have thought about that myself, I’m sorry too.”
“Alright, let’s forget about it. Just make sure to let me know where you’ll head next time.”
“I promise,” Baekhyun said.
Chanyeol gave him a nod. “I’ll leave you be then. Enjoy your bath.”
“Thank y-ah,” remembering the loaf of bread he had brought home, Baekhyun hurried to get it from his bureau. “I have made this at the bakery today,” he said, holding the wrapped loaf out for Chanyeol to take. “Uhm, m-maybe you’d like to have some.”
Taking the bread, Chanyeol gazed at it for a second. “I’ll put it away, we can have it for breakfast. I’m sure father would like to have some, too. But you haven’t had dinner yet, you should get something to eat when you’re done with your bath.”
“Oh, I’m actually not hungry. I snacked on a lot of bread while being in the bakery.”
“I see. Well, in case you shall start feeling hungry, there will be stew waiting for you.”
Baekhyun felt a lot lighter after Chanyeol’s visit. He was actually afraid of facing the alpha after he had growled at him earlier but Chanyeol explaining his concerns and sincerely apologizing to him eased his fear.
If the alpha always was this considerate about his missteps and always this genuine with his apologies, Baekhyun could well understand why his father had so highly spoken of him as a leader.
Taking his bath to wash away the hard day of work that had been lying behind him, Baekhyun’s exhausted mind and body lulled him into a deep sleep that ended in the early hours of the next morning, a little before sunrise.
The house still lay a sumbler when he made his way down the stairs to the kitchen, not even the staff was up yet. Entering the kitchen he found a fire gleaming on the stove and the kettle that stood atop the hob was warm, just as it had been used to boil water.
Frowning to himself, Baekhyun looked around and tried to listen for any noises but he couldn’t pick up any sounds other than the crackling of the dying fire. Pouring some of the hot water into the cup to make himself a cup of tea, Baekhyun left the kitchen again.
On quiet feet he made his way to the library and grabbed himself a book. Reading through the first chapter of the novel, he flinched when the rather loud neigh of a horse broke the silence he was sitting in. Getting out of the velvety wing chair, Baekhyun stepped to the window and gazed outside.
Narrowing his eyes to get a better view of the shadow figure that was coming towards the manor, he soon came to identify said figure as the head of the house. Chanyeol was not sitting on top of his black horse but walking right beside it.
He was having a boar on his shoulders while the horse was carrying the body of a stag that was securely tied to its saddle. Baekhyun watched as the alpha unloaded the hunted game, giving his horse a loving pat and a treat for the work it had done before he walked it over to the paddock to unsaddle it.
He wasn’t sure why but Baekhyun was surprised to see that the alpha would leave the warmth of his bed in such early hours to go hunting. With the status he held as the leader of such a large pack, he had thought that Chanyeol wouldn’t bother about hunting his own food.
Baekhyun’s own father never did such a thing. He never went out to hunt his family’s food and Baekhyun wasn’t even sure if his father was even able to do so. He couldn’t recall seeing his father holding some sort of weapon ever and the same applied to his brothers.
They were all said to be well trained but Baekhyun had never seen one of them shooting an arrow or wielding the swords they were bearing. Nor had neither of them ever been to a battle. Even with the trouble they had with the eastern pack, they never went to support the alpha and betas that were defending the borders of their territory. They were always in the shelter of their home and Baekhyun slowly came to the conclusion that his family wasn’t as mighty as he thought it was.
Deep in thoughts, Baekhyun snapped out of the trance when a large shadow suddenly cast in front of him. Lifting gaze, he loudly shrieked in shock. Chanyeol was standing on the other side of the window, looking at him.
Stunned, trembling at the fright that shot through his bone, the thick hardback book slipped out of his hold and fell, hitting two of his toes with the edge of its spine. Face twisting in pain and cried out and sunk down to the floor, grabbing onto the throbbing toes in hope it would ease the pain.
Trying to not bawl his eyes out, Baekhyun sat back and looked at his foot. The toes right next to his hallux were hurting and much to his distress started to form a bruise. “Ow, ow, ow-”
He turned his head and blinked his teary eyes when the door to the library opened and Chanyeol stepped in. “What happened?”
“I dropped my book and it fell onto my foot,” Baek answered, trying to not whine in pain.
The alpha walked up to him and crouched down to take a look at the injured digits. His brows furrowed at the sight of it. “I’ll go and get the doctor.”
Baek gasped. “W-what?! That’s not necessary!”
“It doesn’t look good, they might be broken,” Chanyeol spoke while straightening his back again.
Baekhyun took a seat in the wing chair after Chanyeol had helped him back to his feet and waited for the alpha to return with the family’s doctor. The medic brought his doctor’s case and thoroughly examined the bruised digits, eventually confirming the alpha’s initial suspicion. The toes indeed were broken.
Showing off his creative engineering skills, the elderly man crafted a little splint for Baekhyun’s broken toes and fixed it with a bandage. “It’ll take a while for the bones to heal, so please try to not put any weight on the ball of your foot and the toes for a while. For today I recommend you to move as little as possible and use an ice pack to cool it. It’ll reduce the swelling and help with the bruising.”
Baekhyun nodded his head. “Alright, thank you.”
“Do you want me to leave you some medication for the pain?”
“No, I’m good. I guess-”
“Please don’t hesitate to call me in case the pain increases,” the doctor spoke as he packed up his bag.
Baekhyun felt like a burden and he didn’t like it at all. All day long the maids popped in on him, asking if he needed anything and whenever he moved someone was quick to help him, even if he was just leaning forwards to pour himself a little more tea.
Huffing in annoyance, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes for a moment. He listened to the birds chirping and blinked his eyes back open when he perceived the sound of footsteps coming from his right.
“Hello my dear,” Chanyeol’s father greeted him with a bright smile. “Look, I brought you something.”
“What is it?” Baek asked, sitting up.
“I was down in town and the baker has heard of your little injury. He’s sending this with best wishes for a quick recovery.”
Baekhyun was handed a little wicker basket and when he pulled away the cloth that was put on top of its content, he let out a slight gasp. The baker had sent him a total of four fruit tarts and one was looking better than the other, topped with rich colored berries and powdered sugar.
“Oh, now those look very delicious,” the elderly alpha spoke as he glanced into the basket.
“Do you want to have one?”
“No, those are yours. Enjoy them.”
“But I would like to share,” Baekhyun smiled. “Please have one.”
After a maid had brought them plates and forks, they enjoyed the sweet treat and Baek hummed at the first bite. The tarts were light and fluffy and the variety of fresh berries added just the right amount of sweetness to the taste.
“Very delicious,” Chanyeol’s father commented, praising the work of the baker.
“Very,” Baek agreed, nodding his head.
“Oh, this reminds me. I very much enjoyed the bread you have made, it was very good.”
“Thank you,” the omega chirped, happy that his bread was appreciated.
“If you ever feel like baking some more, just let the cook know and he’ll provide all the ingredients you need. You’re free to use the kitchen as you please.”
Baekhyun smiled. “I will take advantage of that, thank you.”
“I’m looking forward to that,” the alpha said, returning the smile. “But for now you have to focus on getting back on your feet first. Quite literally,” he added with an amused chuckle.
Baekhyun deeply sighed at the words. “I’m already sick of sitting around,” he confessed, pursing his rosy lips into a pout. “It’s so boring.”
“If you like I can keep you company,” Chanyeol’s father offered. “Would you like to play a game?”
“What kind of game?”
“A card game, perhaps?”
“I don’t know any.”
“Well, that’s not a problem. I’ll teach you how to play.”
What started out as an extremely boring day, took thanks to his future father-in-law a very pleasant run. Baekhyun had great fun learning how to play the cards and once he completely had the hang of it, he and Chanyeol’s father turned the game into a little fun gamble.
By the time Chanyeol joined them for dinner, Baekhyun had perfected bluffing and was beating the elderly alpha in an exciting neck-and-neck race. “Ha, victory!”
“Oh, blimey!” The alpha grumbled, putting his cards down. “You’ve got me again.”
Baekhyun flashed him a proud grin while he gathered the cards together to put them all back into their case.
Chanyeol took seat at the table, eyeing his father. “You taught him how to gamble?”
“I did and as you can see I was very successful at it, Baekhyun’s good. He beat me five times in a row.”
“You should play him for money then, next time.” Chanyeol said, gazing at Baekhyun.
“Don’t give him ideas,” Chanyeol’s father protested. “I’d end up a broken man.”
“Then perhaps you should do something different tomorrow.”
“I’m sure Baekhyun is open to any ideas.”
“Oh yes,” Baek nodded along. “I am!”
“I will have to go to the northern coast tomorrow, perhaps you’d like to join me?” Chanyeol asked, directing his question towards the young omega.
“But I can’t ride at the moment-”
“We can take the carriage,” the alpha said.
“Oh, you should do that,” the alpha’s father spoke. “The northern coast is beautiful and on the way there are many flower fields, I’m sure you’d enjoy seeing them.”
“But wouldn’t it take longer to get there taking the carriage?”
“That’s fine,” Chanyeol said. “As long as we leave in a timely manner, we’ll be back before the dark.”
“If it’s really no trouble then I’d like to join.”
“Alright, I’ll let the stable master know to prepare the carriage then.”
Chanyeol’s father had a satisfied grin plastered on his face and it caused his son to roll his eyes. “Behave,” the man spoke. “I’m still your father.”
Not getting what it was all about, Baekhyun tilted his head in confusion and watched the two alpha’s exchanging glances. He broke into a giggle when the older alpha smacked his son over the head after Chanyeol had rolled his eyes at him again.
It was delightful to see that Chanyeol, though he was a strong and imitating man and leader, was still a child to someone and got treated as such when he misbehaved.
The following morning, right after having a hearty breakfast, Baekhyun was comfortably seated in an open carriage and ready for the little journey to the northern coast. He had never been to the coast before and he was excited to see the ocean.
He had read about it in books and had seen paintings of waves rolling onto the shore and he was bursting in joy, entirely grateful to Chanyeol that he was finally able to experience it himself. He couldn’t wait to have the fresh sea breeze hitting his face.
For a while the carriage rolled along the bumpy path of a forest and Baekhyun dozed off while listening to the singing birds; the movements of the carriage quite literally rocked him to sleep.
He got woken up by Chanyeol and he blinked his eyes open to the sight of endless fields of colorful flowers. Rubbing his eyes in disbelief of what he was looking at, Baekhyun’s mouth fell open. “Oh wow!”
Never before he had seen such large fields of flowers, it was as if he was looking at a painting. In the distance he saw a herd of deer jumping through the colorful meadow and the flowers moved in the wind, swaying gracefully from side to side.
Baekhyun was enthralled by the beauty Chanyeol’s lands held and with every step they got closer to the coast, it was getting better and better. Leaving the flower fields behind, they made their way past grazing herds of horses and Baek couldn’t help but squeal at the sight of young foals chasing each other around the green meadow.
The sound of the rushing of water was heard even before the sea came into sight and Baekhyun took a deep breath to inhale the fresh salty air, trying to make himself tall in his seat to gaze over the edge of the hill the carriage was rolling up.
It was pure magic to him and it felt as if time was standing still when his eyes finally fell onto what he had always dreamed of to see. The sea was endless, meeting the sky in far distance, fusing into one big blue screen.
To their right, large cliffs were rising into the sky, while grassy dunes softly smelted into a white beach to their left. The peaks of rooftops started to show the closer they rolled towards the ocean and Baekhyun broke into a smile at the sight of the little town that lay there, right where land and water met.
Chanyeol’s arrival in town quickly spread word and the townspeople came to greet as they came to halt next to a neat looking timbered house. The alpha got out of the carriage while Baekhyun stayed seated. He wasn’t sure whether he was supposed to get out as well and even if he wanted to, he pretty much couldn’t.
The bandage that was wrapped around his foot to hold the splint on his broken toes in place was so thick, that he couldn’t fit into any of his shoes. Chanyeol had carried him to the carriage earlier the morning and he was quite embarrassed about it; after all, all that was injured were his toes. He could have gotten to the carriage on his own, walking on his heel but the alpha refused to let him get his feet dirty.
He moved in his seat to catch a glimpse of the people that were talking to the pack leader and flinched a little in surprise when the crowd was suddenly looking at him, tilting their heads in interest.
Chanyeol caught on the sudden interest that lay on the young omega and stepped aside to give them a clear view. “This is Baekhyun,” he introduced him.
“H-hello,” Baek shyly chirped, waving his hand at the people.
The people started to whisper to one another and one particular hushed comment caused him to blush. “I have heard him to be pretty but I have not expected him to be that beautiful.”
Shyly lowering his head, Baekhyun gazed away from the crowd. He knew very well that his appearance always sparked interest. The combination of his light blue eyes and silvery white hair was rare and people were fascinated by it but he couldn’t handle any comments or compliments about it; it flustered him.
Chanyeol turned to him, stepping a little closer to the carriage again. “Would you like to have something to drink?”
“Some tea would be great,” Baekhyun nodded.
“Alright, then come.”
Baek clenched his jaw when the alpha held his hand to him, he didn’t want to attract even more attention but there wasn’t much he could do. He took Chanyeol’s hand and stood up, stepping to the edge of the carriage entry.
The people watched in wonder when their leader wrapped his arms around the small omega and lifted him up, carrying him towards the patio of the timbered house. An elderly lady was quick to approach them when Chanyeol helped Baekhyun to sit down.
“Master, can I bring you anything?”
“Some tea, please. And perhaps something to snack on,” he told her, before turning back to Baekhyun. “I’ll have to go and meet someone but it won’t take long, I promise.”
“The coachman will be right there in case you need him,” after he had spoken those words the alpha went his way, leaving Baekhyun alone.
Awkwardly sitting in the white rattan chair, Baekhyun chewed on the side of his thumb. This was not what he was expecting when he had agreed to accompany Chanyeol.
“Here’s your tea, young master.”
The voice of the elderly omega pulled him out of his thoughts. “O-oh, thank you,” he smiled at her as she placed a teapot and a cup on the table next to him. “That’s some very pretty china,” he commented, picking the white porcelain cup up to inspect it.
“Oh thank you,” she smiled. “My son made them. He works in the porcelain factory.”
“That’s so nice,” Baek said. The cup was beautiful, having a gold rim and a delicate flower pattern painted to it.
“Can I interest you in some butter cake, I just have made some.”
“Oh, yes please.”
The slice of butter cake she brought him was still warm and melted on his tongue; it’s taste was heavenly and well complimented the black tea that was served alongside.
“Do you like?”
“I love it, it’s very delicious.”
The female smiled. “That’s nice to hear, I’ll pack you some for your way home.”
“Oh, thank you so much,” Baek said, wiggling a little in joy over the nice offer.
“May I ask about your injury?”
“Ah, silly accident,” Baekhyun answered her question, lifting his injured foot. “Two of my toes are broken.”
She twisted her face a little. “That sounds painful.”
“It is but it’s getting better already.”
He was glad for her to keep him company and he had a pleasant time chatting with her, he completely had lost track of time and was surprised to see Chanyeol when he came back from the business he said he had to go after.
“I’ll tell the coachman to get the carriage ready and then we can leave.”
“Oh, alright,” Baek nodded. “Uhm, may I use your lavatory?” He asked the lady once Chanyeol had left again.
“Of course, dear. Do you need help going there?”
“No need, I’ll manage.”
“Alright,” she hummed. “It’s right through there, on the right. You can’t miss it.”
Walking on his heel to not strain his toes and hurt himself wasn’t exactly the easiest but Baekhyun made it work, at least for the way into the house. On his way back outside he tripped over one of the wooden steps and ripped the bandage on the edge of it.
The torn fabric unraveled, becoming loose and started to slip off his foot. “Oh no-”
“What happened, dear?” The elderly omega looked down as Baekhyun started to fiddle with bandages. “Oh, how did this happen?”
“It got caught on one of the steps.”
“I’ll go and get my son. He’s in medical training, he surely can help,” she said. “And then I’ll pack you some of the cake.”
She hurried away to get the son she had mentioned and only a moment later a young alpha with a little medical kit showed up. He showed Baekhyun a friendly smile. “Hello.”
“Hello,” Baek responded. “I’m sorry for the trouble.”
“Don’t worry,” the alpha chuckled as he crouched down in front of the chair Baekhyun sat in. He reached for the omega’s foot and carefully took the damaged bandage off and put it aside.
Opening his medical kit, he then pulled out a new, clean rolled up gauze bandage, he applied it, securely wrapping around the injured foot. “I haven’t seen you here before. Are you new in town?”
“Oh no, I’m not from here.I’m just here for a visit,’ Baekhyun answered the question.
“I see. That’s too bad.”
Baekhyun’s breath hitched when the young alpha slipped his hand up his calf, giving it a squeeze. Strong, musky pheromones tickled his nose, making his head spin a little. “Ah-”
“I dare you to move that hand an inch further.”
Out of nowhere Chanyeol’s deep voice broke through the silence that had fallen between Baekhyun and the nice lady’s son and the young alpha in front of him was quick to jump to his feet at his leader’s angry voice.
“M-master,” he brought out, lowering his head in fear. “I didn’t know he was with you. I-I’m deeply sorry.”
Baekhyun was still a little woozy from the strong pheromones and sucked in a deep, audible breath to clear his head. He shuddered a little when he was completely back to his senses, frightened of how a simple touch and pheromones were able to turn him helpless.
“Are you alright?” Chanyeol asked him, still looking pretty upset.
Baek nodded, clearing his throat. “Yes.”
“Alright then, let’s go.”
The young alpha’s mother brought him a little basket with the cake she had promised him and apologized for her son’s mishap as she had become aware of it after running into her flustered child on her way out of the house.
She wished them a safe trip home and waved them goodbye as the carriage started to roll down the cobblestone towards the gates of the little town to exit it.
Baekhyun was rather sad to leave the ocean behind but he knew that he was going to visit again and it provided him satisfaction.
The journey home along the flower fields seemed to be longer than the way to the coast and the young omega was more than happy when the Park’s manor was finally in sight because even though he had some cake and tea at the coast town, he was feeling hungry and his stomach rumbling.
Much to his delight dinner was served immediately and Baekhyun dug into a hearty stew and freshly baked bread.
“How was your trip?” Chanyeol’s father asked as he poured himself some wine. “Did you like the coast?”
“Oh, it was great. The town is so beautiful and it was great to see the ocean,” Baek exclaimed with sparkling eyes and a bright smile. “And the flower fields are breathtaking. I have never seen so many flowers in my life!”
“They are stunning, aren’t they?” The alpha agreed. “You know, the flowers for the floral arrangements for the wedding will come from those fields.”
“Oh,” Baek voiced out. “Will they? T-that’s nice-”
The wedding was approaching with big steps and Baekhyun was absolutely not ready for it. He was still hoping for Chanyeol to change his mind but the chances for that to happen were dwindling with every day passing.
Soon everyone around him was busily working on the preparations for, what everyone was calling ‘the big day’, and there was nothing he could do about it. He helplessly watched as his soon to be father-in-law was discussing the seating arrangements with the staff that was in charge of welcoming the guests and lifted his arms when the tailor twirled around him, taking his measurements for the wedding attire.
Everything was happening so fast that the day the wedding was held arrived without him even realizing it. His parents arrived way too early in the morning and Baekhyun felt anxiety crawling up his insides the second his mother pulled him aside to have a word with him.
“Baekhyun,” she let his name roll over her tongue in a serious tone. “Please don’t ruin today with any of your little panic attacks.”
Baekhyun sucked in a breath and watched her placing a little velvety box onto his dressing table. He frowned when she opened it and pulled out a sparkling piece of jewellery that didn’t make any sense to him. “What is that?”
“This is a body chain,” she said while walking up to him. “This part goes around your neck, while this part goes around your middle,” she added, holding the jewellry against his body for explanation purposes. “You will wear this beneath your garments.”
She looked at him, narrowing her eyes a little. “I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what happens once the festivities are over, have I?”
Swallowing, Baek flushed a little. “N-no,” he spoke. “I know-”
Of course he knew. Once they had spent an appropriate amount of time with their guests, it was expected for them to consummate their marriage. While in some packs that meant for the newly weds to mate, in other’s it meant for them to breed. Luckily Baekhyun was not bind to the pressure of conceiving an offspring as he hadn't experienced any heats yet.
“With you not yet being able to bear Chanyeol a child, you have to make sure to still be as appealing as possible,” his mother said, causing him to grimace. “Baekhyun, it’s important that he marks you tonight. He’s got to claim you, do you understand?”
“Y-yes,” Baek breathed, trying to fight the sick feeling in his stomach.
“Whatever he wants you to do, do it. Your father and I want to see you with a mark on your neck tomorrow morning. You know what’s on the line here, don’t disappoint us.”
A wedding was supposed to be a happy and joyful event but Baekhyun was feeling none of it. Nothing was able to cheer his mood. Not the stunning wedding attire he was dressed in, nor the breathtaking venue that was decorated with countless flowers.
All eyes were on him when he walked down the aisle towards the altar, where Chanyeol was waiting alongside the shaman that had performed their engagement ceremony. The alpha was dressed in an all black attire, the only dash of color was given by the red rose that was attached to his shirt.
Baekhyun knew about the meaning behind it. Chanyeol’s red rose combined with the white rose in his floral headpiece symbolized unity, signifying two things coming together as one.
Baekhyun only half heartedly listened to the shamans words and almost missed the part he had to repeat after her, vowing to the tall alpha that he would cherish him for all their remaining years and though he had always dreamed of his first kiss to be different, his heart skipped a beat when Chanyeol kissed him, sealing their marriage in front of everyone’s eyes.
The guests cheered and clapped their hands when they stepped into the banquet hall after the ceremony and Baekhyun for the first time was officially introduced as Chanyeol’s spouse. The alpha led him across the room to the table they and their family would sit at during the celebration and unlike he had expected, Baekhyun wasn’t embraced by his parents but his father-in-law, who tightly squeezed him.
“You look absolutely stunning, dear,” the alpha smiled. “And I couldn’t be happier to have you as my son-in-law.”
“T-thank you,” Baekhyun responded to the words, flushing slightly.
“You’ve got to call me ‘father’ from now on, you hear. I don’t want to hear you calling me anything else but that.”
“Alright,” Baek smiled. “Father.”
“That’s my child,” the elderly alpha hummed in delight and gently patted the young omega’s cheek. “Now have a seat and enjoy the festivities.”
Everyone was having a great time. People were eating and drinking, happily chatting and dancing to the music that was played by a small music ensemble. Baekhyun’s parents were busily chatting with people Baekhyun had never before seen and his siblings were enjoying the unlimited alcohol, leaving him sitting alone at the large table.
Poking the half eaten slice of layered cake on his plate with a fork, Baekhyun looked up when Chanyeol sat down beside him. The alpha had left the table right after he had eaten the served main course and left anybody in wonder of where he had disappeared to.
Gazing at the alpha, Baek raised his brows when Chanyeol held out a little black box to him. “Here, this is for you.”
“Uh, t-thank you,” Baekhyun carefully took the box and opened it, gasping at its content.
Within the box laid a necklace whose shimmering pearl pendant was pierced by a delicate and lavishly decorated arrow.
“The arrow is the symbol of our pack,” Chanyeol spoke. “Which you are now part of.”
“And the pearl?” Baekhyun curiously asked.
“It’s from an oyster I fished at the sea. It shall symbolize your adoration for the ocean.”
The omega was genuinely touched by the gesture and wasn’t sure how to respond to the words. “Thank you,” he breathed out. “I r-really like it.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” Chanyeol said, showing the hint of a smile. “Would you like me to help you put it on?”
The necklace had a perfect length, falling into a v shape and reaching a little past his collarbones and Baekhyun absolutely adored his gift. He had never been given such a personal gift before and it fluttered him that Chanyeol had put a genuine thought into it.
The celebration of their wedding dragged on and Baekhyun wasn’t sure if he was grateful for it or not. On one hand he hoped for it to be over soon so he was able to escape the curious glances of the crowd, on the other hand did he hope for the reception to never end as he feared what was laying ahead of him once he was alone with the alpha.
It wasn’t all too far into the evening when Baekhyun started to feel fatigue washing over him. He covered his mouth with his hand while letting out a long yawn and stole himself away from the table to find a quiet corner for himself.
But as people were scattered all over the open rooms of the manor’s ground floor, he eventually made his way upstairs. Approaching his bedroom, a maid stopped him in his tracks. “Oh, young master,” she called out for him. “We have already brought all your belongings to the master bedroom.”
“T-the master bedroom?”
“Well yes,” she nodded. “As you and master Chanyeol are to share a chamber now we thought it would be more convenient to have all your possessions there.”
“O-oh yes,” Baekhyun uttered. “You’re right. T-thank you very much.”
“You're most welcome, young master.” She bowed her head and smiled before rushing off, heading downstairs with an armful of clean napkins.
Sucking in a deep breath, Baek turned on his heels and made his way towards the door at the very end of the hallway where his new bedroom was awaiting him. Carefully opening the door to the master bedroom, he peeked inside the chamber.
Chanyeol’s scent was present, sending a shiver down Baekhyun’s spine as he finally took a step into the room. The room was bright and double the size of his old bedroom. A large canopy bed was standing close to the big bay windows and he quickly spotted his books lined up in a little shelf right next to the windows.
Curiously inspecting the chamber, Baekhyun found his clothes hanging next to Chanyeol’s in the closet and all his herbal bath infusions in the lavatory by the bathtub. Hearing the door to the room opening, Baekhyun stepped out of the bathroom to see who had entered the room.
It shouldn’t have surprised him, nonetheless he let out a faint gasp when his eyes fell onto the other occupant of the room. “Ah-”
“What are you doing here?” Chanyeol asked.
“Oh, t-the maid has brought all my belongings here be-” “I know that,” the alpha interrupted. “I meant, why are you here and not downstairs?”
“I was feeling tired and just needed a moment to myself.”
“I see,” Chanyeol hummed. “Well, if you’re tired you don’t have to come back downstairs, go to bed instead.”
“C-can I?” Baek asked, words full of hope. “Really?”
“Of course. You don’t have to force yourself to stay awake.”
“Oh, thank you.”
“Though,” Chanyeol voiced out. “There’s something we should get over and done with before you go to sleep. Please, turn around.”
Nervously swallowing Baekhyun turned around, facing the tall alpha. He heard Chanyeol’s steps on the wooden floor when he moved towards him and flinched a little when the alpha’s large hand was placed onto his face, covering his eyes.
Putting gentle pressure into his hold, Chanyeol tilted his head to the side and Baekhyun’s heart started thumping when he felt the alpha’s warm breath against his beard neck. In the blink of an eye Chanyeol had hacked his fangs into the omega’s flesh, biting down the delicate skin.
Baekhyun tensed and cried out at the sharp pain, only to gasp a moment later when the ache faded and warmth started to spread through his body. Chanyeol’s scent was filling his airways, causing his head to spin.
The tension in his body subsided and he trembled as he started to feel hot all over. A moan escaped him when Chanyeol released his neck, leaving a pulsating bite mark. Pulling the hand over his eyes away, Baekhyun turned around to face the alpha; his now mate.
Looking at the other, Baekhyun brought his hands to his chest and curled his fingers against the fabric of the black shirt. Suddenly, he was longing for the alpha. “A-alpha-”
Chanyeol stared down at the younger, stunned by his flushed face and strong, sweet pheromones. With every breath he took, the more he inhaled the omega’s alluring scent, the more he could feel arousal creeping up his insides.
Baekhyun had his head tilted upwards and yet was caught in surprise when the alpha grabbed him by the nape and crashed their lips together. The kiss was messy and the feeling of a tongue slipping into his mouth was getting straight to his head.
The practical need for skin contact caused them to claw at each other’s clothes. Being the physically stronger one, Chanyeol was fast to rip the silk fabric off of Baekhyun’s body and as the younger fell backwards into the sheets of their now shared bed, he couldn’t help but growl at the sight of him.
An ever so delicate body chain was decorating the otherwise bare body and the part that was sitting around the omega’s middle was putting a particular emphasis on his tiny waist.
His bite had caused Baekhyun to have a heat-like reaction and the scent that was coming off of him was driving Chanyeol crazy. In the far back of his mind he knew the omega was inexperienced and had to be handled with care and gentleness but he was starting to lose control.
Baekhyun yelped when the alpha latched onto one of his nipples, biting down the sensitive nub. He arched into the taller, grasping a handful of his hair.
Letting go of the rosy nipple as Baekhyun tugged at his hair, Chanyeol sat back and started to remove his own clothes. He had the younger’s hazy eyes on him and closely watched the reactions to him undressing himself.
The alpha was buff, having broad shoulders and defined muscles. Baekhyun’s breath hitched at the sheer sight of his muscular abdomen and his eyes grew wide when Chanyeol tugged at the waistband of his pants, pulling them down. The alpha’s cock was standing proud and Baekhyun shuddered at the thought of having those inches inside him once again.
He loudly moaned when Chanyeol eventually pushed into, causing his body to experience an extreme wave pleasure. His senses were as awake as they had never been before, every touch was electrifying and every of the alpha’s thrusts was putting such a sweet pressure on his walls, it had him sobbing.
Baekhyun was soaking wet, he knew. Every of Chanyeol’s movements was accompanied by a loud, obscene squelching sound and if it wasn’t for his heat driven state, the young omega would probably have felt embarrassed. But for the moment he could not have cared less, he wanted more and he didn’t want it to end.
Rutting into the younger, Chanyeol pulled back when he had hit a sweet spot that made Baekhyun cry out in pleasure. He was looking down at him and let his eyes wander to where their bodies were connected, growling at the sight of it.
The top of his thighs were covered in slick and the sheet beneath Baekhyun’s bottom were soaked, building a visible contrast to remaining dry fabric. He thrusted back into the warm cavern, watching his length so easily disappearing into the small body. It drove him crazy.
Leaning back over and resting his weight on his forearms, Chanyeol picked up his pace. His rough bucking had Baekhyun moaning and clawing at his toned upper arms. He loudly whined when the alpha pressed a flat tongue to the fresh bite mark, the wet muscle caused the wound to burn for a mere second.
Chanyeol didn’t stop rolling his hips, not even when the omega started to tremble beneath his large body. The tight, clamping walls were helping him to chase his sweet peak of pleasure and only when he had reached the blissful release of his heated body as yearning for, he sat back up.
Heaving his eyes gazed at the worn out omega and the tip of his tongue darted over his bottom lip whilst he was taking in the alluring view of Baekhyun laying in the tousled sheets. body glistening from the sheen of sweat that was covering his skin.
The flush on the younger’s cheeks reached all the way down to his chest and the bottom part of the jeweled body chain was splotched with drops of Baekhyun’s cum. Moving his eyes back up, Chanyeol let them briefly rest on his face, the pouty lips and hooded blue eyes.
The flowers that were pinned to Baekhyun’s hair were falling apart, losing petals and blossoms that seemed to melt into the soft, white stands. Chanyeol caught on a rose petal that was ever so slowly falling when the omega moved his head and his breath hitched when it eventually came to halt, resting beautifully against the delicate neck right above the fresh claim mark.
Chanyeol couldn’t control the growl that slipped past his lips as his gaze lingered on his mark and inhaled Baekhyun’s sweet scent. A wave of pride and possession was washing over him. “Mine.”
In the following weeks after becoming Chanyeol’s spouse and mate, Baekhyun had a lot of adjusting to do. While the alpha’s scent and presence was soothing and comforting on one note, sleeping right next to him night for night was still making him anxious on the other.
Baekhyun was longing for the alpha’s attention and affection but the lack of feelings and emotions between them had him dreading any physical contact.
Next to changes he had to deal with within the walls of his homes, the young omega had to adapt to being somewhat of a public figure now. As the pack leader's mate he had to deal with little tasks and although those tasks were not requiring much effort, Baekhyun did not feel all too comfortable in his new role.
A thing he came to like very much though, was that Chanyeol gave him the opportunity to experience the training every youngster in the Park pack was given to become a sustainable member.
Next to refining his archery skills, Baekhyun learned close combat and how to handle sword and dagger in one on one lessons with the most patient teacher there ever was; his own father-in-law.
The elderly alpha was quick to offer himself as Baekhyun’s mentor and the omega couldn’t have asked for any better person to teach him. Chanyeol’s father was very passionate and always praised Baekhyun, lifting his mood when he wasn’t able to follow an order right away.
“Well done,” he said, patting Baekhyun's shoulder after he had successfully sliced an apple in half with the blade of his sword without damaging the straw dummy's head. “Excellent handling of the sword.”
“Thank you,” Baek beamed as he lowered the heavy sword. His breaths were quick and his cheeks were flushed from the physical strain.
“Come dear, let’s take a break and have some refreshing beverage. You deserved it.”
Sitting down at the patio, shielded from the sun by a parasol, alpha and omega enjoyed some cooled drinks and sliced fruits. Leaning back into his chair, Baekhyun looked at his palms.
Hours of holding onto the rough sword handle had caused his hands to blister and he sighed softly, hoping that they would not start to hurt all too much.
“Ah, you’ve got blisters, hm?” The elderly alpha mentioned. “Unfortunately that happens when you’re not used to holding a sword for a longer period of time. We should not cancel tomorrow's lesson and give your hands the chance to recover.”
“Did you have blisters when you first started learning sword fighting?” Baekhyun curiously asked.
“Oh yes,” Chanyeol’s father laughed. “By the end of my first lesson I had my hands put into medical wound wraps.”
“So, you’re going easy on me?”
“I am not, believe me. But back in the days when I was your age, things were different. There wasn’t much of an instruction. We got handed a sword and had to figure out ourselves. Sometimes someone would even lose a finger or worse.”
Grimacing, Baekhyun let out a pained sound. The imagination of losing a limb to the blade of a sword was horrifying. “B-but you managed to get out of training without injuries, yes?”
“I did but that was probably not because I was a good swordsman.”
“I was the son to the pack’s leader, everyone I had to practise with only gave half of what they were capable of.”
Baekhyun hummed. “Well, that’s not good in terms of practising but I guess that's what saved you all your fingers, right?”
“I guess you are right with that,” the alpha heartily laughed, patting down his own thigh in amusement. His laughter soon faded into soft snicker before it eventually completely vanished and Baekhyun raised a curious brow when the alpha leaned close to him. “I just remembered something,” he said, voice soft as he whispered. “You want to get in on a little secret I know?”
Baek was quick to nod his head and only moments later was following Chanyeol’s father inside the house, all the way to the alpha’s study. Chanyeol was not at home and wasn’t expected to return until the early evening, nonetheless Baekhyun felt weird standing in his private room without asking for consent.
The leader’s parent on the other hand strutted straight to the large oak desk that was building the center of the room and went to open one of its drawers. He took out a wooden box and placed it atop the desk. “Come here, take a look.”
Stepping closer, Baekhyun watched the man opening the box to reveal what was treasured inside it. To light came a dagger whose pitch black handle was studded with sparkling, blue gems and it’s well polished, golden blade had the Pack’s symbol engraved into it.
“Oh, it’s beautiful.”
“It’ll be yours.”
Baek gasped. “Mine?”
The alpha nodded. “Every member of the pack is given a customized dagger once they complete their combat training.”
“But I haven’t completed my training yet.”
“I know but I thought knowing that you’ll receive it may motivate you a little.”
Baekhyun was stunned. He couldn’t believe that he was to actually be given such a beautiful piece of weaponry once he would finish his training. He didn’t know much about swords and daggers but he knew that they were expensive; he had heard his father complaining about it a lot whenever he had to purchase a new sword for one of his older brothers.
And given the fact that this dagger did not only have a gold blade but gems studded into its handle, made it very clear that it was high in price. Which flattered Baekhyun a lot because Chanyeol did not have to spend money on him for something like that. Even if it was tradition, a simple dagger would have done its deed.
After having seen the dagger, Baekhyun got lost in thoughts. He hadn’t really thought about it before but it now became clear to him that he was taking for granted the luxurious life he was living as Chanyeol’s mate.
He never had to cut down on anything and was given everything he was asking for. Back at home with his parents he was not allowed to eat an entire basket of strawberries or two tarts during tea time. His baths were limited to two a week and he always got scolded if he tried to snuck a little extra meat onto his plate.
At the Park’s manor he was living like a king and that surely came with a price. Day in day out Chanyeol was spending money to maintain his comfortable way of life and though Baekhyun knew that the alpha was a wealthy man, having a fortune in his back, he suddenly felt bad for not being more considerate of that.
As there wasn’t much he could do to show his gratitude, Baekhyun decided to prepare a meal for his mate and father-in-law. After letting the cook know that he did not have to cook anything for supper, Baekhyun headed to the market in town to buy some ingredients.
The pouch full of money he had tied to his belt was rattling with every step he made and the young omega was excited to spend his diligently saved money on something with a purpose. Originally he had saved up to buy a series of books but as Chanyeol already had them in his collection, he didn’t have to spend the coins.
Holding onto his basket, Baekhyun stepped into the butcher's shop, where he was greeted by the butcher's friendly smile. “Good day, young master,” the man spoke in his raspy voice. “What brings you here?”
“I would like to buy some ribs, you have some left. Either pork or beef is fine.”
“Oh, I’m sorry but the last ribs have been bought not long ago. I could offer you a nice piece of brisket, though.”
Pursing his lips while humming to himself, Baekhyun gave the hunky man a nod. “That sounds good, I’ll take it.”
Baekhyun had never made a brisket before but the butcher had some great tips on how to cook it without drying the meat out and he gladly took notes of it. With the large piece of meat securely wrapped into some paper and stored into his basket, Baekhyun spared the greengrocer and the fruit vendor a visit and then headed back home to start his little cooking adventure.
Making a marinade for the brisket and making sure it was thoroughly coated with it, he put it in the oven and used the time to prepare some dough for a little loaf of bread to serve alongside the meat and vegetables.
Chanyeol, as well as his father, were surprised to hear that the day’s dinner was prepared by the omega and they were already sitting at the dining table when Baekhyun brought out the dishes.
“I’m sorry,” he apologized while setting the board with the roasted brisket down the table. “It took a little longer than I thought.”
“That’s absolutely fine,” Chanyeol’s father said. “Shall we help you with anything?”
“Oh no, please stay seated. I just have to get the vegetables and bread.”
Hurrying to get the rest of the dishes, Baek plopped down his chair and let out a deep sigh. Nothing of his food had burned or seemed to be undercooked, so all he was hoping for was that it would taste as good as it smelled.
“How do we get the honor of you cooking for us?”
“I wanted to show my gratitude,” Baekhyun answered the question while shyly gazing into his lap. “I know it’s nothing special but I hope you’ll like it.”
“Well, it does smell very delicious,” the elderly alpha said, emphasizing his words with a loud hum. “What have you made for us?”
“Oh, it’s a marinated brisket with roasted vegetable and garlic butter bread.”
“Garlic butter bread?”
“Yes, it’s minced garlic and herbs mixed into melted butter and then spread onto the bread. I thought it would go well with the meat.”
“Well then, let us dig in before it gets cold.”
The two alpha’s ate well, clearly enjoying their meal and it had Baekhyun’s heart swelling with pride. He flushed a little when Chanyeol complimented him, praising him for having done a good job and when Baekhyun fell into the soft sheets for their bed later that night, he was happy that his little gesture was so well received.
He knew it wasn’t much but he hoped that it was able to show that he was actually appreciating the life he was living at the manor.
The months were slowly passing by and the early winter was bringing the first gusts of icy cold winds, making staying inside the whole day much more appealing than spending a single minute outside.
Life for Baekhyun was going good. He had successfully completed his training, he was to experience the pack’s annual fall hunt where he was able to show off his great archery skills and he had gotten a lot more comfortable with the tasks he had to do.
He also had gotten into his first heat and he absolutely hated it. The lack of control he had over his body was frightening and although Chanyeol was gentle with him, taking good care of his needs, Baekhyun didn’t want to experience it any time soon again.
During those four days of intimate physical contact with the alpha, Baekhyun got painfully reminded that he and Chanyeol shared no feelings; at least no mutual feelings.
Baekhyun had no explanation for it but he had started to develop romantic feelings for the head alpha and it freaked him out. Chanyeol was as distant as ever and yet Baekhyun felt his heartbeat quickening and knees buckling whenever the alpha was near.
He would catch himself staring at the alpha, scanning his handsome features and he would also occasionally space out and daydream about them going on romantic rides and sharing sweet kisses while sitting in the fields.
It was all bittersweet and whenever he would receive letters from his mother, it would get even worse. In all the letters he opened his mother was barely asking about his well being, all she was interested in was whether he was finally expecting a child or not. The pressure she was putting on him caused him to have sleepless nights.
And it wasn’t that he hadn’t spent a thought on that topic before, ever since he had become Chanyeol’s mate but with them not having any real connection he was dreading to face the challenge of having a baby. He didn’t want to bear a child to a man who didn’t love him even in the slightest way.
Holding a letter of his parents in hand, that had just been dropped off by a mail carrier, Baekhyun played with the thought of just throwing it into the fireplace and watching it burn to ashes; he didn’t want to get upset by his parents words yet again.
The deep sigh he let out was overheard by a maid that was approaching him and she had worry in her voice as she spoke. “Are you alright, young master?”
“Oh yes, I am. Don’t worry,” he smiled at her. “Uh, do you need anything?”
“I was coming to inform you that master Chanyeol had the tailor drop off a parcel for you.”
“Yes, I have put it into the sitting room.”
She followed him as he made his way to the sitting room to check out the parcel that had arrived for him and stood slightly behind him as he opened it, ready to take the paper he tore off of it. They both gasped as a beautiful piece of fabric came to light.
Reaching to pick it up to see it in full, Baekhyun’s mouth fell open. The piece of cloth that had been sended to him in Chanyeol’s order was a stunning dark blue colored winter cloak with soft, white fur lining and matching delicate white embroidery.
“Oh, it’s beautiful, isn’t it?” The maid whispered while she admired the cloak as Baekhyun tried it on.
“It is,” Baek agreed, running his hands down the soft fabric. The cloak was fitting nicely and its hood was the perfect size, flatteringly sitting on his head.
“That color suits you very much, if I’m allowed to say so. It compliments your hair and eyes very well.”
“Oh, thank you very much,” he smiled at her, truly thankful for her kind words.
“Shall I bring it to the cloakroom for you?”
“Actually, I was about to take advantage of the sunny weather and go for a ride, so I’ll keep it on and head out right away. In case Chanyeol comes home before me, please let him know.”
“Of course, young master. Enjoy your ride.”
His new cloak was keeping Baekhyun exceptionally warm on his ride. No matter from what side the wind was blowing, he didn’t freeze at all. He let the reins loose and gave Phoenix the opportunity to get some energy out, galloping across a snow covered field as long as the gelding pleased.
He discovered a new path that led along a shallow creek and followed it all the way to a little, frozen lake. Some deer were grazing the bark of some trees on the other side of the lough and Baekhyun watched them for a while, making his way back home when the sun started to set.
Halfway through the journey home, the weather suddenly took an unexpected turn. The wind picked up and soon Baekhyun found himself caught in the middle of a raging blizzard. Losing proper sight of the way, he confused the paths at a junction and cluelessly headed in the wrong direction.
The icy wind was blowing directly into his face, making his eyes water. The path was becoming more and more uneven and his gelding started to stagger as it was becoming difficult to see where he was setting his hooves.
To relieve his horse, he got out of the saddle and took the reins, leading Phoenix along the snow-blown path. Squinting his teary eyes to see where they were heading, Baekhyun screeched when the ground under his feet suddenly disappeared and he fell down a small mound; along with the chestnut steed.
Crashing to the ground, falling face first into the snow, Baekhyun winced in pain. An unpleasant ache was shooting through parts of his body and he cried out when he pushed himself back to his feet.
His tears of pain turned into tears of distress and panic when his eyes fell onto Phoenix. The horse was struggling to get back onto his feet and when he finally did, he was putting no weight onto one of back legs.
With the sun being gone it was hard for him to tell what kind of injury the gelding had sustained and all he could hope at this point was that they somehow would make it home or find shelter to hide until the blizzard was gone.
Luckily for him, Baekhyun eventually made it home. It took long and he was freezing and exhausted when he finally spotted the manor, still frightened about his beloved horse. His arrival was loudly announced and Chanyeol came running towards him, grabbing his shoulders to look at him.
“H-he’s hurt,” Baekhyun cried out before the alpha had a chance to say something. “He n-needs help-”
“They will look at him, now go inside and calm down.”
“N-no, I-” “Baekhyun, there’s little you can do right now. Please go inside.”
His father-in-law wrapped an arm around his shoulders and pulled him along, while Chanyeol headed towards the stables with the equerry to check on the injured horse.
Baekhyun was shaking all over when, tears still streaming down his cheeks when he was ever so gently pushed to sit down the chaise lounge by Chanyeol’s father. “Dear, it’s all going to be fine,” the alpha spoke in a calming tone.
“B-but he’s not putting weight onto his leg,” Baek cried.
Chances of the horse’s leg being broken after sudden fall were high and everyone knew what was to happen to the gelding if that really was the case and Baekhyun feared that the animal wasn’t to survive the night.
“Come on dear, let’s get you out of the wet cloak. You need to warm up.”
The young omega soon found himself wrapped into a wool blanket, with his feet resting in a bowl of warm water and cup of tea in his hand. The doctor was there to assess his injuries and to treat his visible wounds such as a cut on his cheek and laceration on his elbow. For the aching spot on his thigh the medic left him an ice-pack but as he was still freezing, Baekhyun set the cooling aid aside and decided to use it some time later.
When Chanyeol returned from the stables an hour had passed and Baekhyun nearly jumped to his feet when the alpha stepped into the sitting room. “Is he alright?”
“He is, don’t worry. He’s lost one of his shoes and injured the hoof, that’s why he’s not using it. It’ll take some time for the wound to heal but he will fully recover.”
Baekhyun deeply sighed. “Oh, thank god.”
“What about you?” The alpha asked, narrowing his eyes while inspecting the bloody cut on the younger’s cheek.
“You look tired, go to bed and get some sleep. You can visit the stables first thing in the morning when things have calmed down again.”
Baekhyun didn’t want to but he nodded and eventually went upstairs to get some sleep. He was desperate to see his horse, making sure he was really okay but he knew that Chanyeol was right and it was better to visit the gelding when he had recovered from the shock of the fall.
Crawling into the warm sheets and snuggling into his pillow, Baekhyun eventually was overcome by fatigue and fell asleep but his sleep was anything else than peaceful.
When Chanyeol joined him some time later, the omega was tensed and emitting distressed pheromones. His full lashes were fluttering against the top of his cheeks, telling the alpha that he was having a bad dream.
Reaching out, he gently stroked Baekhyun over the head and pushed some of the white strands that had fallen into his face away. He hushed him in a calm voice when Baekhyun startled awake from the touch. “It’s just me. Try to calm down, it’s all good.”
Baekhyun tried but he had a hard time calming down, fighting the shock that was sitting deep in his bones. He let his eyes flutter shut and deeply inhaled the alpha’s calming scent.
He expected Chanyeol to remove the hand from his head but instead of retrieving it, he let it wander to the back of his neck and pulled him forwards. Baekhyun’s breath got caught in the back of his throat when their lips met and Chanyeol ever so gently kissed him.
It was their first kiss that was not born on lust and sexual desire and it caused Baekhyun’s heart to thump in his chest. He didn’t want it to end and tilted his head upwards to deepen it.
He sighed in delight when Chanyeol complied to his action, eventually turning the kiss into a more intimate one.
Baekhyun did not know when the kiss ended. He was drunk on the feeling that it set free in his stomach and he drifted off into sleep with hope of him and Chanyeol to have finally taken a step closer to a more loving relationship.
But when he awoke the next morning nothing off the innocent intimacy they had shared the night before was left. Chanyeol was acting as if the kiss had never happened and it hurt Baekhyun.
He was trying to get closer to the alpha, trying to figure out if the kiss had the same meaning to Chanyeol as it had to him but the man was keeping his distance.
Baekhyun was frustrated with his behavior but there was little he could do. A couple of days later he still hadn’t gotten anywhere with his attempt of figuring out whether they finally shared some mutual feelings but he saw a chance coming when Chanyeol asked him to accompany him to a gathering in the town hall.
They arrived at the location in a carriage as it was snowing and whilst entering the establishment, Chanyeol was the perfect gentleman. He helped him out of his cloak, poured him something to drink and introduced him to some important members of the pack.
The evening was going great and Baekhyun was engaged in some very interesting conversations, hoping to impress his spouse. He was in a cheery mood but that quickly changed when he spotted an omega ogling with Chanyeol, shamelessly presenting himself to the alpha.
He approached the table his mate was sitting at, deeply frowning at the unwanted company but other than budging and walking off, the pretty omega sat down right beside the pack leader and continued to talk to him.
Balling his hands into tight fists Baekhyun growled at the other and waited for Chanyeol to finally send him away but he waited in vain. The alpha was showing no intention of telling the stranger to leave and it hit a nerve.
Bottom lip quivering and eyes watering, Baekhyun stormed off. He grabbed his cloak and hurried out of the building, into the cold, snowy winter night. Strutting along the empty streets, he briefly stopped in his tracks when he heard Chanyeol calling his name.
Deciding to ignore the alpha, he continued to walk. He wanted nothing more than to get away from him.
“Baekhyun,” the alpha called again and this time his voice sounded much closer than before.
It caused Baekhyun to speed up a little. He was blindly running through the streets and alleys, turning around every corner that was coming his way. “Go away!”
“Baekhyun, stop. Where on earth are you going?!”
Soon the cobblestones under his feet changed into uneven ground and Baekhyun found himself heading straight towards the woods. His pulse was racing as he tried to keep running at a fast pace and for quite some time he was able to keep a good distance between himself and alpha.
Only when he slowly ran out of energy, Chanyeol finally caught up with him. “Let me go!” Baek growled when the alpha grasped him by the wrist to stop him.
“What on earth are you doing? Why are you running away like this?!”
Baekhyun kept his mouth shut but his flowing tears were clearly showing his discontent.
The alpha let out a sigh and pulled the younger along a little further into the wood until they had reached a little hut. He opened the huts door and pushed Baekhyun inside, locking the door behind them.
Baekhyun stood frozen near the door while Chanyeol fiddled with some matches, trying to get a fire going in the fireplace. Once the fire was lit, its flickering flames dipped the little hut into a faint light.
There was a table with some stools and a bed standing in the corner and as the space was the hut wasn’t that big, the room heated up quite quickly.
Chanyeol rose back up from his crouched position by the fireplace and took a step towards Baekhyun and he was deeply frowning. “Why did you run away?”
“As if you would care for the answer,” Baekhyun mumbled, jaw clenched and hands once again balled into fists.
“If I wouldn’t care, I wouldn’t ask. So, answer me. Why did you run away?!”
“I w-was clearly upset with that omega being there b-but you chose to ignore that-”
“What if I wanted you to stand up for yourself and show dominance?”
Laughing out at the words, Baekhyun shook his head. “As if. You don’t care about me-”
“Yeah so? How do you know?” Chanyeol grumbled, visibly upset by the words.
“Because you just use me,” Baekhyun cried out with tears streaming down his face. “You don’t care about me, you don’t care about my feelings. I’m just here to please you. You don’t love me-”
“I’m trying,” Chanyeol responded with a frustrated groan. “I’m trying,” he then repeated in a much calmer and softer voice.
Baekhyun watched him running a hand through his black hair and slightly shuddered at the pheromones the alpha was emitting. Chanyeol was showing vulnerability.
“I’m really trying,” Chanyeol spoke. “I just don’t know what to do with all these feelings. I never felt like this before, for anyone.” He let out a breathy laugh. “God, I’m really trying to give you what you need, what you deserve but I’m just so overwhelmed.”
Swallowing, Baek ran a tongue over his dry lips. “Y-you love me?” He sucked in an audible breath when the alpha gave him a nod.
Chanyeol took a careful step towards the younger, closely watching his reaction. When he was sure Baekhyun was okay with his approach, he took yet another step. Once he was standing in front of Baekhyun he reached for his face and cupped his cheeks.
“Yes,” the alpha answered and pulled him into a loving kiss.
Baekhyun was melting away. The kiss and the knowledge that Chanyeol, after all, was sharing the same feelings as him was too good to be true.
Kissing, lips nipping at lips and bodies pressed closely together, with desire for physical contact rising, Chanyeol ever so carefully pushed the omega towards the bed and for the first time in his life, Baekhyun was to experience the blissful pleasure of love making.
Chanyeol was holding him close the entire time, caressing and kissing his skin and whispering sweet nothings into his ear. Taking advantage of the warmth of the hut, they stayed until the morning sun was rising again, enjoying one another’s company.
Laying in the man’s arms, Baekhyun traced a finger along his jaw. “Can you say it?” He asked, waiting for Chanyeol to respond.
The alpha did not open his resting eyes as he parted his lips. “Only when you say it, too.”
“I love you,” Baekhyun chirped without hesitation, causing Chanyeol to quietly chuckle.
“And I love you,” he eventually replied, sealing his words with an ever so sweet kiss to the omega’s rosy lips.
After finally having confessed their feelings for each other, Chanyeol and Baekhyun’s relationship blossomed. They spent more time together and just as every other couple that was experiencing the peak of flourishing feelings, they were seeking one another’s affection.
Their physical relations occurred whenever they were feeling the need and so it wasn’t unusual for the housestaff to knock on the chamber door while sounds of pleasures were coming from the inside of the room.
Baekhyun was not faced by the sound against the wooden door and did not stop his movements as he was sitting atop his mate, bouncing up and down his length.
“What?” Chanyeol responded to the unwanted disturbance with a breathy voice.
“I’m sorry master,” the voice of a servant was heard. “But the members of the defence committee are here and they demand to see you.”
Chanyeol groaned loudly. “Tell them to wait, I’ll be right there.”
Baekhyun climbed off the alpha and yelped when Chanyeol tackled him to the mattress, pinning him down. “What do you think you’re doing? We’re not done yet,” the man growled into his ear and Baek moaned when he slipped back into him, thrusting into him with a slight force.
The next time the servant knocked onto the door Baekhyun was still lying beneath the tell alpha, humming as a mark was sucked into the skin of his tummy. Chanyeol lifted his head and sighed. “Alright, I’m coming.”
Rolling to the side, Baek watched as his mate got up from the bed and went to dress himself. He raised a brow when Chanyeol reached for his rope, holding it out to him. “You want me to come with you?”
It was powerplay, the omega knew. Baekhyun had no business with the defence committee but Chanyeol loved showing him off and even more so he loved the reaction other alpha’s were having to him; especially when he was reeking of Chanyeol’s possessive scent.
Holding onto the younger’s hand, he pushed the door to the sitting room open. “I apologize,” he said to the six alpha’s. “I had some duties to fulfill.”
The two youngest alphas of the group immediately lowered their heads to hide their flushed faces.
“What brings you here?”
“Master, two packs from south have joined together and are on the march to attack the southern borders,” one of the present alpha’s informed.
Chanyeol furrowed his brows together. “How strong are their forces?”
“A couple of hundreds.”
Baekhyun was suspecting bad news to come when Chanyeol went silent for a mere moment and he shakily exhaled when the alpha ordered his pack members to gather together an army to defend their territory.
“Y-you are not going, are you?” Baek asked when the men were gone, following Chanyeol to his study.
“I have to, I’m their leader.”
“But-” Biting down his lip, Baekhyun let out a faint whine. He really didn’t want his mate to go into a battle from which he might not return.
“Love, I have to go and you know that. It’s my responsibility.”
Baekhyun was becoming anxious while Chanyeol moved around the manor, preparing to leave for the territorial war against the other packs.
He tried to stay calm and tell himself that things would turn out just fine as Chanyeol was not only an excellent archer and swordsman but also in advantage of his army being double the size of the enemy. Nonetheless he knew that Chanyeol, as their leader, was a main target and it frightened him to know that he might get seriously injured.
“How long will you be gone for?” Baekhyun asked the painful question while stepping towards the alpha.
Chanyeol was fiddling with the clasp of his armor, tightening the leather strap. “That’s hard to say. A few days or maybe a couple of weeks.”
“I-if you’ll be gone for longer, can you write to me?”
“Of course,” Chanyeol smiled, cupping the younger’s cheek. “I’ll write to you as much as I can.”
Baekhyun kissed his mate goodbye and watched with tears in his eyes and a heavy heart as Chanyeol, with a sword on his back, mounted his horse and rode off into war. A war of which no one knew how long it would last and who would get out of it as the winner.
Chanyeol kept his promise of sending letters his way and though the lines he had written to Baekhyun were full of love and encouragement that everything was going well at the front, the omega knew that it was a lie. In the letters Chanyeol sent to his father, he was speaking the truth of how difficult it was to defeat the invading packs and it caused Baekhyun to have sleepless nights.
To keep himself busy and his mind off his mate and the dangers he had to face, Baekhyun volunteered to work at the bakery. The hard work was distracting and often helping to tire him out, so he would at least find a few hours of restful sleep.
It was yet another early morning in which Baekhyun arrived at the baker’s little shop, directly going to fire the stone ovens. Stacking the thick logs, he lit them and went to wash his hands once the flames had properly caught onto the wood.
With clean and dry hands, Baekhyun then went to work on the doughes. The baker joined him a little while later, bringing along a cup of tea for him. “You really don’t have to come in so early,” he spoke while binding the strings of his aprons into a knot.
“It’s alright,” Baek hummed, hands kneading the smooth dough. “I don’t mind it. Shall we make some more of the cranberry scones today? They got sold out quite quickly yesterday.”
“That’s a good idea. Would you like to make them?”
Baekhyun tried to pile up the work to keep himself busy a little longer than the day before. He hadn’t gotten a letter from Chanyeol in a while and it drove him crazy. He desperately wanted to read through the lines of the alpha’s written words and his imagination on why he had not received any letter in some time was running wild and fuling his anxiety.
He was afraid that the lack of response from the alpha was because something at the front of the territorial war had gone wrong. Not getting any new information or sign of life from Chanyeol was eating him alive.
Baekhyun buried himself in work, worked double as fast as he had the day before and by the early afternoon hours, he could feel himself running out of energy. The baker forced him to take a break and while he sat down to drink some of the fruit juice he had been given, Baekhyun closed his eyes and listened to his surroundings.
The birds were chirping, singing their songs and the little group of goats that were roaming around the millers property were bleating from time to time. The town was busy and Baek cracked his eyes back open when things around him suddenly got hasty around him.
Setting his drink aside, he got up and went to the front of the bakery. “What’s going on?”
“The troops are back.”
Eyes widening, Baekhyun let out a breath. “Chanyeol-”
Grabbing his cloak and swinging it over his shoulders, hastily tying in the front so it wouldn’t slip off his shoulders, the young omega ran as fast as his legs were carrying him towards the town gate.
People had come together at the news of their fighting troops returning home, building a large, tight crowd and Baekhyun had to push through them if he wanted to make his way to the front.
He could hear Chanyeol’s deep voice talking to his people and it brought tears to Baekhyun’s eyes; oh, how much he had missed hearing the alpha’s voice.
The pack leader was standing tall in front of his members, informing them about the victory over the southern pack and triumph of having not lost a single soldier; everyone had made it out alive.
When Baekhyun had finally managed to push past the last rows of people, he threw himself into his mate’s body, cutting him off mid sentence. “Thank god you’re home-”
The people around them had let out surprised gasps at the sudden interruption but were smiling and cooing when Baekhyun buried his face into Chanyeol’s chest and the alpha embraced his mate, pressing a gentle kiss to the crown of his head. “Yes, I’m home.”
Baekhyun did not let go of the taller and spare the younger his undivided attention, Chanyeol shortened his speech and dismissed everyone, telling them to raise their glasses in honor of every brave pack member that had fought for their safety.
“Love,” he softly spoke and waited for Baekhyun to lift his head. “Shall we go home?”
“Where have you left your horse?”
“Oh, I don’t have it with me. I came on foot.”
To not make the younger walk all the way to their home, Chanyeol helped him into the saddle of his horse and then took seat behind him. Baekhyun was comfortably leaning against the alpha’s chest as the black stallion carried them along the streets of the town and up the path that led to the manor.
Chanyeol was heartily greeted by everyone and tightly embraced by his father. “Welcome home, son.”
As the alpha was exhausted, everyone granted him space to settle back down at home and Chanyeol was quick to excuse himself to his chamber. Baekhyun followed him to their room, helping him out of his armor.
“Shall I run you a bath?”
“Oh, that would be very nice.”
Making sure that his mate’s bath water had a pleasant temperature to it, Baekhyun poured some of his favorite herbal infusion into the water to help Chanyeol relax a little more. Once Chanyeol had sat down in the wooden tub, Baekhyun grabbed a wash cloth and gently rubbed it along the board shoulders and toned arms.
A delighted sigh made it to his ears and he gazed at the alpha, smiling as he saw that Chanyeol had closed his eyes to fully enjoy the treatment he was receiving. After rubbing down the skin, Baekhyun grabbed himself the little dipper that was laying near and scooped some of the warm water up to pour it over Chanyeol’s hair to wet it.
He rubbed his hands over the soap to create foam and then started to wash the alpha’s hair, taking his sweet time to rub his fingers along his scalp to clean it.
Chanyeol hummed every now and then and chuckled a little when Baekhyun eventually rinsed his hair, completing the shampooing. “Five more minutes and I would have fallen asleep.”
“You should lay down and get some sleep,” Baekhyun said while he reached for a towel and used it to gently dry the man’s black locks.
Before Chanyeol eventually laid down for some rest, Baekhyun applied some ointment to the battle wounds that were decorating the alpha’s upper body. One large wound in particular had Baekhyun’s face twisting as it looked very painful.
“How did this happen?” He asked, gently moving the tips of his fingers along the wound on the man’s upper arm.
“I made the encounter with another man’s sword,” Chanyeol answered. “But it’s nothing to worry about, it doesn’t hurt anymore.”
Baekhyun hummed at the information and continued to rub the ointment into the healing injury until it was fully absorbed by the skin.
Once he was done and Chanyeol moved to lay down to get some sleep, the young omega left the room to give the man the quiet he needed and spent the rest of the day reading a book and taking a little ride back to town to purchase some baked goods as dessert for dinner.
Chanyeol slept through the hours without any disturbance and was peacefully laying on his side when Baekhyun later the day stepped into their chamber to wake the alpha for dinner. Slowly sinking down in front of the bed, Baekhyun reached out to stroke the sleeping man over the head. “Darling, dinner will be served soon, it’s time to wake up.”
Stirring awake from the soft touch and even softer voice, Chanyeol rolled from his side to his back and blinked his eyes open. “Is it that late already?” He asked, voice deep and raspy from sleep.
Dinner was accompanied by a lot of chattering. Both Baekhyun and Chanyeol’s father were curious to hear what had happened at the southern borders but the more the alpha spoke and the more Baekhyun got to hear, he started to feel unwell.
He came to realize that he wasn’t as aware of the danger Chanyeol had been in as he thought he was. Coming to learn that his mate was close to facing death multiple times during the battle was making Baekhyun feel sick.
The longer the conversation continued, the quieter Baekhyun got. He eventually excused himself from the situation and went upstairs to try and calm his flattering nerves down. It didn’t take long for Chanyeol to show up and when the alpha approached him, he wore a worried expression.
“What’s wrong, love? You’re all pale all of the sudden.”
“It’s nothing,” Baek smiled to show that he was okay. “Hearing you talk about this whole fight just made me realize again how dangerous it was.” He let out a deep exhale to keep his voice from shaking. “I missed you a lot.”
“I missed you too,” Chanyeol replied and reached out to envelope Baekhyun’s small hands with his. “Have you received my letters?”
“I have,” the omega nodded. “Thank you.”
“It was my pleasure,” Chanyeol smiled. “Father has told me that you worked hard almost every day at the bakery.”
“Oh, Yes, it helped me to distract myself.”
“Why did you need to distract yourself?”
Baekhyun was already pretty clear, anxious pheromones, nonetheless the alpha asked the question.
“I-” Baek’s voice cracked a little and his blue eyes filled with tears. “I w-was just so a-afraid you might not c-come back-”
Embracing this mate, Chanyeol rubbed a hand over the small of Baekhyun’s back and buried his nose into his soft hair, inhaling his scent. He held him close until the younger had calmed down again and pulled back when Baekhyun’s tears had dried.
“Love,” he spoke. “Something like this can happen again and I might have to go into battle again but I promise, that I will always come back to you.”
Before Baekhyun was able to respond to the words in any way, Chanyeol pulled him into a kiss. The man had both of his hands in his hair and his fingers gently combed through the white strands while he nipped at his lips.
Being separated for longer than they cared for, they quickly started to long for more than a simple kiss. Baekhyun deeply sighed at the first contact of their naked bodies and he was quick to wrap his legs around the alpha’s waist once he had his length buried inside him, afraid to lose any of the mind blowing friction.
Baekhyun was needier than usual, putting his desire for more into mewls and whines and in the action of fingernails deeply digging into the flesh of Chanyeol’s arms. “Not enough-”
Bucking into the younger quicker and with a little more force, the alpha soon came to find that it wasn’t doing much to please the omega. Coming to a halt when Baekhyun whined again, Chanyeol grasped him by the chin and turned his head so they would face each other.
“Not enough?” He asked, looking at Baekhyun’s flushed face.
The omega bit down his lips and shook his head. “N-no-”
He didn’t know himself, couldn’t describe why he was so needy or what he was even needy for. All he knew was that his body was longing for more pleasure than it was receiving at that very moment.
Chanyeol licked his lips and picked up again, thrusting into the omega, slow but deep. He watched Baekhyun’s face twisting in pleasure and leaned down to kiss his slightly parted lips. He had figured out what his mate wanted and he was more than happy to give it to him.
The body above him seemed to have become a little heavier and only when Baekhyun arched into Chanyeol’s movements, he noticed that the alpha was nearly laying on top of him. His thrusts were slow but they were reaching deep, putting a sweet pressure onto his throbbing walls.
Moaning, Baekhyun pressed his head into sheets beneath him when the pulsating inches inside him seemed to grow. Grasping at the fact that Chanyeol was about to knot him to comply with his needs, Baekhyun gasped loudly.
The feeling of the knot stretching him out even more and eventually locking them together was clouding his mind. His body reacted to the blissful pleasure by reaching its peak and Chanyeol pinned him down when Baekhyun started to shudder, trying to keep him from any movement that could potentially hurt him.
Having overcome their highs, enjoying the aftermath of the electrifying feeling a climax brought with it, they shared some kisses. Chanyeol was pushing away some of the hairs that were stuck to Baekhyun’s forehead and the omega softly hummed while curling his fingers against the back of the alpha’s head, playing with the thick locks.
Brushing their noses together, Chanyeol deeply inhaled Baekhyun’s sweet scent. All of the omega’s anxious pheromones had been replaced by calm, neutral ones and he was taking in as much as he could of it. His scent was addictive, he couldn’t get enough of it.
“Your hair has grown a lot,” Baekhyun after some time spoke, breaking the silence that lay between them. He had brought his hands from the back the the front of Chanyeol’s head and curled one of the strands around his finger.
“I guess it’s time for a haircut then.”
“No,” Baek mumbled while pursuing his lips into a pout. “I like this a lot, you look very nice with longer hair.”
“Well then,” Chanyeol said, smiling softly before he leaned in to steal another kiss from his gorgeous mate. “If you like it, I’ll keep it.”
Once Chanyeol had come back from the territorial war and Baekhyun no longer had to fall asleep alone, the omega overcame his restlessness and was able to sleep through the nights again.
To make up for the time he had been gone, Chanyeol granted himself a little time off from his duties as the pack leader and spent some quality time with his spouse. He once again took Baekhyun to the ocean and the flower fields and he surprised Baek with a trip to the large library in the eastern town, where they spent an entire day looking and reading through the pages of old books.
From the trip to the market town in the west they returned home soaking wet after getting caught in the middle of a heavy rainstorm and while Chanyeol got away with nothing but wet clothes, Baekhyun was punished with a cold.
Struck down with a heavy fever, the omega was spending the days in bed, sleeping. And although the doctor was there every day to feed him medicine, Baekhyun didn’t seem to get any better.
And this worried Chanyeol. He was spending a lot of time sitting by his mate’s bed, wiping the sweat off his hot skin and it pained his heart to see the younger one in such a condition. Every hour he gently slipped a hand under Baekhyun’s head to help him lift it, so he could drink some fresh water.
Baekhyun wasn’t really responsive to the things that were happening around him, only whined in pain when it was time to change him out of his damp, sweaty clothes into dry and clean ones.
After having placed a cold wet cloth onto his forehead and tugging the blanket that was covering his body into place, Chanyeol left the room and headed to the sitting room to have a chat with the family doctor. The medic was sitting in the armchair, having a cup of tea with Chanyeol’s father.
“I am worried,” he voiced his concern and sat down.
“I wish I could tell you that I wasn’t but I am truly worried as well,” the doctor spoke. “He’s been sick for long now, that’s fairly unusual for an omega that age and health.”
“His fever hasn’t gone down even a little?” Chanyeol’s father asked.
Chanyeol deeply sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Isn’t there anything we can do? A different medicine or perhaps you could examine him again?”
“Unfortunately there’s little I can do. The medicine I’ve been giving him is the best I have to help relieve his fever.”
“But why isn’t it working?”
“I don’t know. It seems that his body is weakened and needs its time to heal. We can only give it time.”
Chanyeol was absolutely not satisfied with that answer but he knew that there was little he could do other than giving it time, giving Baekhyun all the time he needed to heal.
It took another three days before the younger’s condition showed somewhat of an improvement and his fever finally went down a little. It still wasn’t completely gone but Baekhyun had regained full consciousness and was able to sit up and drink on his own.
He was incredibly pale which made his fever flushed cheeks stand out even stronger and he was feeling sick to his stomach, refusing to eat anything the maids brought him. Hoping to have a little more luck in getting the omega to eat, Chanyeol took the tray that was prepared for the sick and brought it to him.
“I’m not hungry,” Baek instantly wailed when he spotted the bowl of steaming soup on the tray and made a face.
“I can hardly believe that,” Chanyeol said. “You haven’t eaten in days.”
“But I’m feeling queasy.”
“That’s surely because your stomach is empty. Come on, love. You don’t have to eat all of it, just a little. Do it for me.”
Very reluctantly Baekhyun gave in and started to eat the chicken soup. It was delicious and actually made him feel much better once he had managed to eat half of the bowls content.
“Well done,” Chanyeol praised him and handed him a glass of water to drink. Setting the bowl away, he gazed out of the window for a moment. “Would you like me to open the window? It’s nice and warm out today, I’m sure some fresh air will be good.”
“I would rather go outside,” Baek pouted as he watched his mate opening the bay windows. A soft breeze was coming in, twirling around his nose and he could hear the birds happily singing their songs and a horses neighing in the far distance.
“The doctor said you should stay inside for a little longer, you’re still too weak.”
“I know what the doctor said.”
The snarky remark caused Chanyeol to raise a brow in surprise. Moving to sit back down by the bed, he reached for the younger’s hand. “Love, I know you’re bored but please rest a little more. You’ve been sick for very long, we don’t want you to get worse again.”
“I know,” Baekhyun mumbled. “I just hate sitting here all alone all the time.”
“Would it make you feel better if I would stay here with you today?”
“But don’t you have work to do?”
“I do,” Chanyeol nodded. “But that can wait. So, what do you say?”
Nodding his head, the omega smiled. “I would very much like it if you’d stay with me.”
“Alright then. What would you like to do? Would you like to play a game?”
Shaking his head, Baekhyun pointed at a book that was resting on his nightstand. “I meant to start this book a while ago, would you read it to me?”
Making himself comfortable in bed, with his mate snuggled close, Chanyeol started to read. Halfway through the third chapter, Baekhyun had fallen asleep against his side but instead of taking the chance to leave the room and get some work done, Chanyeol kept his promise and stayed put, gently caressing Baekhyun’s back until the younger woke back up from his nap and announced that he was feeling a little hungry.
In the remaining days until Baekhyun’s fever had completely subsided and he was no longer feeling weak and shaky on his legs, Chanyeol kept his omega company as much as he could. Sometimes they would play a card game, sometimes Chanyeol would pick the book back up and read and sometimes they would just lay in bed, cuddle and talk until Baekhyun would drift off to sleep.
Baekhyun was more than happy that he was able to leave the bed again but he came to notice that he wasn’t doing as well as he thought he was doing. He quickly ran out of breath doing the bare minimum and sometimes he would feel dizzy and it always took time for the vertigo to fade again.
Not feeling good about having to deal with those unpleasant symptoms, Baekhyun consulted his mate. Walking into the alpha's study and making himself comfortable in the man’s lap, he opened up to him about his concerns.
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” Chanyeol was, eyes reflecting worry as he spoke.
“I thought it was because I was sick for so long and couldn’t do anything,” Baekhyun said. “But it’s not going away.”
“I will call the doctor in so you can have a word with him,” Chanyeol said and then called out for a servant to express the wish that he'd like them to get the family doctor to visit the manor as soon as possible.
Wrapping an arm around his omega, Chanyeol pressed a kiss to his temple. “I’m sure it’s all good and there’s nothing to worry about.”
The doctor came to visit Baekhyun in the early evening and hearing the omega describing his symptoms he decided to thoroughly examine the younger. He took a blood and urine sample, suspecting that Baekhyun might have had an infection rather than a simple cold and it therefore took so long for him to come around and let the couple know that he would visit again the next day once he had examined the taken samples.
Baekhyun was anxious to learn about the outcome of his examination and whether he really had suffered from an infection and he was quick to rush to the front door when a maid announced the medics arrival the following morning while he and Chanyeol were having a late breakfast in the garden.
“Have a seat,” the doctor told him as he sat down himself and thanked the maid for pouring him some tea.
“Could you find out what’s wrong with me?” Baekhyun impatiently asked. He nibbled on the side of his thumb while waiting for the doctor to speak.
“I could and I have some good news,” the elderly man smiled. “You are not suffering from an infection. Your fever was caused by a simple cold.”
Chanyeol sighed. “That is good news.”
“Then what causes these symptoms?” Baekhyun wanted to know. “And what can I do to make them go away?”
“Well, that’s hard to tell. Other than trying to take things a little more easy and slow, there’s nothing much you can do.”
“What? Why?” Baekhyun frowned in confusion. “Will they ever go away?”
“They could be gone by tomorrow but in general I would say that they’ll be gone in about seven months.”
Chanyeol was first to grasp the meaning behind the words and gasped. “No,” he breathed out. “Are you sure?”
Showing a smile, the doctor nodded. “Very sure,” he said. “Congratulations, you’re having a baby.”
Baekhyun brought a hand to his mouth and stared at his mate with wide open eyes, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Was he really having a child? Was he really carrying Chanyeol’s baby?
The doctor started to explain that the intensity of his fever and the long recovery was because his body used all its energy to protect the growing fetus but Baekhyun wasn’t really listening. He was in shock and couldn’t quite wrap his head around the unexpected news.
He didn’t notice when the medic left, only snapped back out of his contemplative state when Chanyeol rested his hands on his thighs and gave them a slight squeeze. The alpha had knelt down in front of him and was looking at him with soft eyes.
“I-” Baek breathed out. “I’m a little confused. W-we haven’t-”
Nodding his head, Chanyeol took the word. “I think it was the night I came back from the southern border,” he said. “We may have bred without realizing it.”
“Ah-” The night was coming back to Baekhyun’s mind and he was sure that Chanyeol was right with what he said. That night wasn’t the first time the alpha had knotted him but something about that night was different and it might really have been that they were subconsciously breeding.
Chanyeol pushed himself up on his knees and pressed his forehead against the omegas. “Are you afraid?”
“No,” Baekhyun honestly answered and closed his eyes. He breathed in, immediately taking notice of Chanyeol’s pheromones. They were subtle, almost as if the alpha was holding back but Baekhyun could tell that he was feeling joyful. “You are happy,” he whispered and felt the grip Chanyeol still had on his thighs tightening.
“I am,” the man responded.
Leaning back, Baekhyun looked at him. “Me too,” he said while he let his lips curl into a soft smile.
Chanyeol kissed and embraced him, finally letting his happy pheromones free and as Baekhyun inhaled them he was overcome by emotions. He cried out and tightly grasped onto Chanyeol’s shirt while bawling into shoulder, weeping for joy.
He was having a baby and as unexpected the news were, he couldn’t have been happier. He was excited for the time that lay ahead of him and could only imagine how much the fruit of their love was to enrich their lives.
The news of Baekhyun expecting their first child spread like a wildfire. From everywhere within the borders of Chanyeol’s territory the people of his pack sent their best wishes along with sweet presents as congratulations.
The wife of the chief of the little coast town sent a freshly baked butter cake and the baker showered Baekhyun with his most favorite treat, strawberry custard tarts.
Baekhyun was happy that everyone was so nice and supportive of him carrying the potential next leader of the pack and yet he wasn’t looking forward to one particular visit: the attendance of his parents.
He knew his mother would lecture him with dos and don’ts, would smother him with her excessive right-in-his-face presence and only seconds after she had set food into the Park’s manor, he hid away from her and his father.
Sitting under Chanyeol’s large oak desk, with a book in his hands, he tensed when he heard the door to the alpha’s study opening. He listened to the heavy steps that were coming towards him and relaxed when Chanyeol’s deep voice was calling out for him. “Baekhyun?”
Putting his book away, he pushed himself up on his knees and peaked over the edge of the desk. “Yes?”
The tall alpha let out an amused chuckle at the sight of his mate’s head popping up from behind the edge of the tabletop. “What are you doing? Everyone’s looking for you.”
“If you mean my mother by that, she’s the reason I’m hiding here.”
Circling around the desk, Chanyeol sat down in his chair and held out his hand to the omega. Baekhyun immediately took it and let himself be pulled up and into his lap. “Why are you hiding?” He asked, wrapping a secure arm around the smaller.
Baekhyun huffed and puffed his cheeks. “She’s nagging my ears off,” he complained. “Don’t eat this, don’t drink that. Be careful with this, be careful with that. Bla bla bla.”
“Maybe she wants to share her experience with you,” Chanyeol said. “She knows the deal after all.”
“She’s not trying to help,” Baek grumbled. “She’s lecturing me. She’s doing that on purpose, I hate it.”
Chanyeol let out a chuckle when the younger let his head fall against his shoulder, deeply sighing. He rubbed his thigh and gave it a gentle pat. “Don’t let her bother you.”
“That’s easier said than done.”
“Alright, if she really bothers you that much, how about you accompany me for a little ride?”
“I didn’t know you wanted to go on a ride.”
“I wanted to go hunting but I can do that tomorrow morning,” the alpha said. “So, what do you say, we can also pack something to eat and have a little picnic.”
“Oh, that sounds heavenly,” the omega loudly hummed. “Let’s do that.”
Set on spending the afternoon outside, Baekhyun went to change into some different clothes while Chanyeol packed a satchel with food and a bottle of freshly squeezed juice; not forgetting to put in a sweet treat for his expecting mate.
Ready to head to the stables, they happened to bump into Baekhyun’s mother and Baekhyun let out a whiny cry as she blocked the entrance way with her body. “Where are you heading to?”
“Out,” was all Chanyeol said to answer her question.
“Oh, don’t tell me you think of getting on a horse in your circumstances?!” She harshly breathed while eyeing her son. “Baekhyun, you can’t do that!”
“W-well, it’s dangerous for the child, of course! What if you fall off the horse?!”
Deeply frowning, Baekhyun clenched his jaw. “I’m not gonna fall off the horse!”
“You’re putting this child purposely into danger!”
“I am not!?” Baek huffed in anger, churning out some strong pheromones to display his frustration over his mothers words. “Why would you say such a thing?!”
“Because you’re acting irresponsibly!”
Chanyeol took a step forward when he inhaled another waft of his mate's pheromones. “Alright, that’s enough,” he spoke, letting out a deep sigh. “As much as I can understand your concern, Baekhyun is fully capable of deciding whether he thinks going on this ride will be harmful or not and to get this delightful conversation to an end, Baekhyun’s had a talk with our doctor on what and what not he could do and riding falls under a category that is completely safe for him to do. So, if you’ll excuse us now, we’d like to go our way.”
Baekhyun couldn’t hold back the smug grin that spread over his face as he pushed past his stunned mother, following Chanyeol outside the house and towards the stables. Skipping in his steps, he hugged the tall alpha around the arm and beamed at him. “Thank you.”
“You're most welcome,” Chanyeol chuckled. “I’ve got to admit, your parents are not exactly pleasant to talk to.”
Pursing his lips into a pout, Baekhyun let a hum rumble in the back of his throat. His parents surely were not easy to talk to, especially when they wanted to get their way and if even Chanyeol was acknowledging that, it must’ve meant something.
“But enough of your parents, let’s forget your mother’s little outburst and enjoy the day. I know the perfect spot for our picnic.”
Baekhyun was excited to see where Chanyeol was about to take him and after mounting their horses, he rode alongside the alpha towards the woods. They trailed along an uneven path that eventually ended a small glade.
The meadow was surrounded by tall trees and next to the many chirping birds that were singing their songs, Baekhyun could make out the sound of a rippling beam. “Oh, it’s beautiful,” he smiled, looking around the area.
Following suit and getting down from his horse just as Chanyeol did, he grabbed the gelding's reins and led him along towards the stream. The two horses immediately went to have a drink from the crystal clear water and then nibbled at the rich green grass, calmly grazing as Chanyeol unpacked his satchel, unfolding the thin linen sheet he had brought.
Baekhyun settled down on the sheet and helped unpacking the bag, letting out a happy sound when he noticed the little strawberry tart the alpha had packed for their picnic.
Enjoying the togetherness while the late summer sun shone down on them, Baekhyun played with Chanyeol’s hand as he had his head rested in the alpha’s lap. “We should do this more often.”
Chanyeol watched as the omega pressed his much smaller hand against his own, comparing their sizes. “I have been quite busy, haven’t I?” He spoke. “I didn’t have much time for you.”
Baekhyun tilted his head to gaze at the older. “That’s fine,” he smiled. “I just meant that I’d like to spend more time with you like this, away from home. Whenever we’re home, we get interrupted.”
Wrapping his fingers around Baekhyun’s hand, Chanyeol brought it up to his mouth and pressed an ever so gentle kiss to the small palm. “I promise to take you away more often from now on.”
“And what if it rains or is too cold?”
“Then I’ll wrap you into a blanket and we’ll take the carriage up to the mountains where we can spend time alone at the cabin.”
Baekhyun’s eyes started to sparkle at the words. “You have a cabin in the mountains?”
“Yes, right atop the mountain pasture.”
“Oh, I can’t wait to see it,” the omega chirped in excitement. “Is it far from here?”
“It takes about two hours to get there, it’s not all too far away. Father used to take me there when he wanted to get away from everything to have a break.”
“That sounds fun.”
“It was. He and I used to chase the mountain goats along the meadows,” Chanyeol said, fondly smiling at the memory. “One year, father got buttheaded by one of the billy goats. He couldn’t sit properly for a few days.”
Baekhyun heartily laughed at the story. He could totally imagine this happening to his father-in-law. Still smiling, he gazed at Chanyeol. “We have to do all those things with our baby,” he then said. “I never went to other places or had funny adventures with my family.”
Looking down at the omega, Chanyeol returned the smile. “Alright,” he nodded while he brought his hand to Baekhyun’s still rather flat stomach, gently rubbing it. “We will. I will even let myself get buttheaded by a goat.”
Baekhyun giggled as the alpha spoke, churning out some delighted pheromones to emphasize his joy over the words.
“But first,” Chanyeol said, still rubbing what hopefully soon would turn into a bump. “This one here has to grow and until it's here, I’ll take you all the places you want to go.”
“I want to go to the mountain cabin next,” Baek exclaimed and though he had to wait for a while for the trip to be finalized, he was head over heels when Chanyeol eventually took him to the mountains.
Winter had taken over, covering the mountain peaks and pastures in a thick blanket of soft snow that was sparkling in the sun.
Peeking out of the carriage’s window, Baekhyun gasped at the sight of the wooden cabin. He had expected the cabin to be small and inconspicuous but it was standing tall in front of a row of large bushy pine trees, having a roofed veranda and a small barn with a firewood shed next to it.
He opened the door to the carriage when Chanyeol hopped down from the coach box and gazed around the area, tugging his cloak into place to keep cold air away from his neck. Chanyeol helped him out of the carriage and escorted him along the snowbound path to the cabin.
“I’ll start a fire right away but leave your cloak on for a little longer.”
Nodding his head, Baekhyun gazed around the space. “It’s beautiful,” he commented while looking at the sitting room. A chaise and wing chair were facing the large brick fireplace Chanyeol was about to start a fire in and a large fur rug was rounding off a picture, giving it a very cozy feel.
“I’m glad you like it,” the alpha said while arranging some wood logs to get the fire going. “The bedroom is upstairs and the lavatory is next to the kitchen. If you want to take a bath, let me know so I can prepare warm water for you.”
Baekhyun hummed. “Maybe later. I’ll make some tea, do you want some too?”
While Baekhyun was busy in the kitchen, putting a kettle onto the stove and Chanyeol went back outside to take care of the horses, the crackling fire in the fireplace was warming up the log cabin.
Taking off his cloak and putting it away, Baekhyun brought the tea to the sitting area and sat down on the chaise lounge, waiting for the alpha to join him.
The baby under his heart moved, causing him to flinch a little. Only recently he had come to notice the unborn's movements and slight kicks and he still had to get used to the unusual feeling.
“Are you not feeling well?” Chanyeol asked when he joined the omega, catching him deeply sighing while rubbing his small bump.
“No, I’m all good. I’m just still not used to the kicks, they still startle me.”
Softly smiling, Chanyeol picked up the tea that was prepared for him and took a sip of it. The memory of Baekhyun startling awake in the middle of the night when he first felt the baby moving was still fresh to his memory. It was adorable to witness Baekhyun coming to the conclusion that the wired, sudden feeling in his stomach was coming from the baby he was carrying.
“What would you like to have for dinner later?”
“There’s a fire pit outside, right? Maybe we can roast something on the grate?”
“How about the pork loins we brought? And some vegetables?”
“Oh yes, that sounds good.”
Baekhyun devoted himself to baking a little loaf of bread while Chanyeol, later the day, was standing outside the cabin on the veranda, supervising the pork loins on the cooking grit. The alpha did not want him to stand outside in the cold, so he kept himself busy inside.
He set the table and lit some candles, sitting down at the little wooden table when Chanyeol brought the cooked pork and roasted vegetables inside for them to eat. “Smells delicious,” he loudly hummed, ready to dig in.
They enjoyed their meal, planning on what to do the following day and the alpha suggested they take a stroll to a nearby waterfall that he remembered to be usually frozen during winter time and Baekhyun was fast to agree.
He had never seen a waterfall before, let alone a frozen one and he was beyond excited to see it. Seeing it exceeded every expectation he had, he was awestruck. The frozen stream and creek were surrounded by willow trees, who's equally frozen branches were sparkling in the sun.
They wandered around the area until Baekhyun started to complain about his feet starting to hurt. Making their way back to the cabin, Chanyeol prepared a bowl of warm water for the omega to soak his feet in.
Having come to a stage where his physical condition was starting to lack, Baekhyun was exhausted and feeling tired, letting out a long yawn while he moved his feet through the pleasantly warm water.
“You should go upstairs and take a nap.”
The idea of having a little sleep sounded heavenly and Baekhyun nodded his head to Chanyeol’s words. “In a bit, the water is actually really soothing.”
Baekhyun let the water of his foot bath cool down before he then went upstairs and crawled into bed for some rest. He fell into a deep slumber and awoke to Chanyeol having lit the little oil lamp on the nightstand.
Rolling from his side to his back, he stretched out his limbs and whined softly. His legs were feeling heavy and his feet were still hurting. “Chanyeol-”
The alpha appeared in the doorway only moments later. “What is it, love?”
“My feet hurt,” he wailed, answering the question.
Chanyeol softly chuckled at the pouty face. “Would you like me to rub your feet?”
Baekhyun unraveled himself from the duvet while Chanyeol went to get a tub with cream from the dressing table. The alpha knelt onto the bed by the omega’s feet and started to rub the lotion into the sole of one of his small feet and parts of his calves, gently massaging it.
Chanyeol watched Baekhyun leaning his head back while sighing softly and it had him smiling. The day the doctor confirmed that Baekhyun was expecting he had a long and thorough talk with the medic.
He wanted to ensure that Baekhyun was getting through the months and different changes, being as comfortable as possible. An omega as petite as Baekhyun was running the risk of having discomforts with a growing bump and Chanyeol wanted to know how to be able to help his mate in case such discomforts were to occur.
Continuing the massage, he was abruptly pulled out of his thoughts by a foot that had been sneaked between his legs, teasingly pressing down his crotch. Lifting his gaze he met Baekhyun’s hooded eyes.
The omega bit down his bottom lip and curled his toes against the fabric of Chanyeol’s pants and he couldn't help but shudder at the low growl it caused to roll off the alpha’s tongue.
Letting go of the leg he had been massaging, Chanyeol wrapped his fingers around the slim ankle of the foot that was still comfortable resting against his crotch and lifted it up. “Getting nautghy, are we?”
Baekhyun’s breath hitched when Chanyeol pressed a kiss to the sole of his foot. He then let his lips brush along his ankle all the way to his ankle where he eventually bit down the flesh to leave a mark.
Chanyeol had him naked in the blink of an eye but instead of kissing and fondling him, he returned Baekhyun’s teasing. He was running his lotion covered hands all over his body, making sure to press down every sweet spot long enough to tickle out whines and mewls.
Baekhyun’s body was heated from arousal and he was desperate for the alpha to touch him where he needed it the most. He was wet and ready for Chanyeol to take him; the sheet beneath his bum and thighs was soaked with his slick.
“P-please stop-” He breathed and Chanyeol indeed stopped the motions of his hands and looked at him. “I d-don’t like this-”
“Oh, I beg to differ,” the alpha remarked with a smug grin. “You seem to like it very much.”
The next move of his hand ended right between the young omega’s legs and Baekhyun shamelessly spread his legs to invite him even further; he knew Baekhyun longed for a more, a more intense feeling.
Baekhyun let a loud moan escape his throat when finally got what he was aching for. He grasped onto the sheets when Chanyeol pushed into him and arched into the touch as much as he could. Every thrust of the alpha was sending sparks through his entire body and it didn’t take long for him to reach his climax.
Chanyeol watched him shuddering as the ultimate peak of pleasure was washing over the younger, drinking in the sight of Baekhyun biting down his fingers as he tried to suppress the volume of his moans and cries.
He got to his own release with Baekhyun tightly clamping around his shaft and he couldn’t keep his eyes off the omega, even as he pulled out and sat back, breathing through the aftermath of his orgasm.
Baekhyun’s skin was glistening from the mix of lotion and sweat, making him look like a figure portrayed on an expensive piece of art.
Baekhyun caught his mate silently staring down at him with soft, slightly hooded eyes. “I-is something wrong?” He carefully asked, breaking the silence.
“No,” Chanyeol shook his head, lips slowly curling into a smile. “You’re so incredibly beautiful.”
The sudden, unexpected compliment caused Baekhyun to blush. Chanyeol laughed when he tried to hide his flushed face behind his hands and he whined into the kiss the alpha pressed to his lips after pulling his hand away from his face.
Chanyeol settled down next to him and they kissed, enjoying the closeness and warmth of their bodies until Baekhyun’s loudly growling stomach interrupted the peace. The alpha threw his head back in amusement, causing his shoulders to move as he heartily laughed.
“I’ll go and prepare something to eat for you,” he spoke and pressed a last kiss to Baek’s rosy lips before he rolled out of the warm bed to head downstairs.
Baekhyun followed him a moment later, wrapping himself into the robe he brought. He was a little weak in the knees and had to steady himself as he was making it down the wooden stairs.
He stepped into the kitchen where Chanyeol had put on a kettle onto the stove and was cutting some of the bread they had left from the day before. Moving over to the alpha, he wrapped his arms around his naked torso and buried his face into the warm back.
Putting the knife down, Chanyeol turned in the younger’s hold. “All good?” He asked, stroking one of his round cheeks.
“Yes,” Baek chirped. “I love you,” he then said, pursing his lips to receive a kiss.
“And I love you.”
The cold winter months had made room for spring to come and while outside the Park’s manor nature started to bloom, inside the house it was Baekhyun who was blooming. Happy and carrying a healthy glow with him, he waddled along the manor, always on the look for something to snack on.
He had developed a healthy appetite for anything that he could hold onto while moving around the house and it was too adorable to watch him making his way from one room to the other; the housestaff couldn’t help but coo every time they saw him.
The baby under his heart had grown, bulging out his stomach to a stage where he was no longer able to fit into his own clothes. Chanyeol had gotten him an entire new wardrobe but the young omega found it much more comfortable to lounge in his mates clothes rather than his own, new ones.
Chanyeol’s shirts were still sitting loose on his frame, giving him plenty of room to move and on top of that they smelled heavenly, carrying the alpha’s comforting scent.
Having a piece of cheese in his hand, Baekhyun waddled along the hallway towards his and Chanyeol’s bedroom. He was feeling a little tired and wanted to rest until Chanyeol would come back home from a meeting he was attending down in town.
The door to the guest room swung open as he passed by the room and he couldn’t suppress a sigh when his mother stepped into the hall with a frown on her face. She and his father were back for a visit as Baekhyun’s father, now part of Chanyeol’s pack, was also attending the meeting in the town hall.
“What?” He asked her as she eyed the piece of cheese in his hands.
“Watch your tone, young man,” She snarled. “You may be the mate of a strong pack leader now but I’m still your mother.”
Biting his tongue to keep himself from snapping back at his mother, Baekhyun kept quiet and waited for her to speak again.
“You really should watch what you’re eating.”
“Why, because it’s harmful for the baby?!”
“It’s harmful for our waistline,” she said. “Have you taken a look at yourself.”
Gasping in shock at the words, Baekhyun’s mouth fell open. “Excuse me? What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Baekhyun, you’ve got to watch your appearance. Only because you’re carrying a child at the moment doesn’t mean you can let yourself go like this. If you can’t keep a proper appearance Chanyeol will, sooner or later, lose interest in you.”
“Nonsense,” Baek grumbled. Chanyeol, day in and day out, was telling him how beautiful he was and knew the alpha wouldn’t speak those words if they weren’t genuine.
His mother shrugged her shoulders. “Well, if you say so. But you’re right, there’s something even more important you’ve got to worry about.”
Baekhyun furrowed his brows when her gaze dropped to his baby bump. “What?” He asked, genuinely confused. “What do you mean by that?”
“Oh child,” she said, deeply sighing. “What I mean is that you should pray for this baby to be an alpha, of course.”
“Chanyeol may rule his pack in an unconventional way where he equals alpha, beta and omegas but do you really think that he wants his heir to be an omega? No pack leader wants their first born to be an omega.”
“I’m s-sure Chanyeol wouldn’t m-mind-”
“How do you think the pack will react if you give birth to an omega?” Her face was getting darker and darker as she spoke. “Do you think the pack will accept their future leader to be an omega? If you give birth to an omega, the area of Park’s being the leader for all this land will come to an end and you wouldn’t want that, wouldn’t you?”
Baekhyun was sucking in a shaky breath. He was at loss for words to respond.
“There’s a lot at stake here,” his mother continued to speak. “If you give birth to an omega there’s only a few things Chanyeol can do.”
“A-and that’s w-what?”
“He could turn to another omega to bear him a heir but as the pack has such an open view on you that’s out of the window. So, there’s only one option left.”
Baekhyun subconsciously brought a hand to his belly, he was afraid to hear what was to come next. “N-no-”
“This has been done for centuries, my dear child. First borns to leaders that were not alpha’s would vanish.”
“B-but, you can’t determine a baby’s type right away. Their scent has to develop first-”
His mother nodded. “Yes, that’s what makes it so gruesome.”
“But p-people would know if-”
“Of course they know. The child of a leader does not simply die but people turn a blind eye on it. Nobody wants to turn their leader against themselves, so they keep their mouths shut.”
“T-that can’t be true,” Baek brought out in a whisper. He was pale and feeling sick; his mother’s words shook him to the core.
She took a step forward and placed a hand on his cheek. “My dear child, I’m just trying to protect you. I don’t want you to get hurt,” she said. “I was lucky to have my first son being born as an alpha but that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be just as lucky.”
“I-” Slowly backing away from her, Baekhyun deeply exhaled. “I n-need a moment to m-myself-”
He hurried to the master bedroom and locked the door behind him once he had shut it. Rasping for air as he tried to not vomit from the anxiety that was taking over him, he broke into tears.
Never before he had heard of such a gruesome and disgusting thing. He tried to think of any other explanation why all first borns to a leader were alphas but he couldn’t, he simply couldn’t.
Crying his heart out until his eyes were red and puffy and he had no tear left to cry, Baekhyun curled up in bed and tried to fight the unsettling feeling that caused his heart to thump and head to spin.
He flinched when the doorknob rattled as Chanyeol was trying to get into the room and quickly jumped to his feet to unlock the door for the alpha. The tall man wore a puzzled expression when he finally could enter his chamber.
“Why did you lock the door?”
“Uhm, I d-” “Have you been crying?” Chanyeol was fast to interrupt when he noticed his mate’s swollen eyes and eventually caught up on his distressed pheromones. “Love, what’s wrong?”
Baekhyun started to shake. He had the opportunity to tell Chanyeol what his mother had told him but he was afraid of the answer. He was afraid that it all was true and he actually had to fear losing his baby if it wasn’t born the way they wanted it to be. “I-”
“Has your mother been bothering you again?”
Reaching out for the smaller, Chanyeol gently rubbed his shoulders. “Don’t let her get to you, alright? Not all she speaks is truthful.”
“I’d hug you but some of the elders smoked during the meeting and I don’t want you to get nauseous.”
“Oh, i-it’s fine,” Baekhyun said, trying to smile.
“Would you like to take a bath with me before we have dinner?”
Chanyeol’s presence was able to calm him down but when he climbed into the tub with the man and the alpha placed both of his hands on the round of his bump, Baek was on the verge of crying again.
His mother’s words were right in his ear, scaring him. And he knew he could get somewhat of a closure if he was to simply tell Chanyeol and ask if all this was true but he just couldn’t. It was as if his tongue was tying itself into a knot when he opened his mouth to address his fears.
“I t-think I don’t want to have dinner-”
“If it’s because of your mother I have good news. She and your father won’t join us for dinner, they got invited to one of the elder’s homes and will spend the evening there.”
“Oh, I see. Well, that’s alright then.”
Baekhyun was skittish throughout the entire evening. Though he was feeling hungry he barely touched his food and when his father-in-law asked him if he wanted to join him for a little card game, he was quick to reject the elderly alpha.
The solution to his problem couldn’t have been simpler. He just had to open his mouth and talk but he just couldn’t get himself to do so.
By the end of a sleepless night, Baekhyun had come to the conclusion that he’d try and calm down first before he would seek a word with his mate. And maybe Chanyeol was right and his mother’s words were not entirely truthful.
He was desperately hoping for it.
Something was wrong, Baekhyun could feel it. He was restless, pacing around the manor, trying to figure out what was going on but he just couldn’t. Maybe it was the horrendous thunderstorm that had been going on for hours that was unsettling him or maybe it was the lack of sleep as he wasn’t able to find a comfortable position to rest in during the night.
Whatever it was, it annoyed him and it took a toll on his mood. Huffing, he shuffled from the sitting room towards the staircase, slowly making his way up the steps. With a hand in the back for support, he strolled down the hallway towards the master bedroom.
As there was nothing much to do for him, he decided to take a nice, relaxing bath. Collecting some fresh clothes, Baekhyun cursed to himself when he accidentally dropped one of the clothing items and it fell to the floor.
Picking things up had become insanely difficult over time and everytime he had to bend or crouch down, he felt like bursting into tears. As much as he loved carrying his baby, helping it to grow, he couldn’t wait for his body to go back to the stage it was before he was expecting. He dearly missed being able to move freely and without exhaustion.
Deeply inhaling, Baekhyun slowly bent his knees to get down. He let out a triumphed noise when he got hold of the fabric but the sound faded into a gasp when a sudden sharp pain shot through his lower abdomen.
Dropping the cloth again, he brought a hand to his stomach and slowly straightened his legs again. Harshly breathing through his nose, he moaned when another wave of pain caused his insides to cramp.
The doctor had warned him about pains like that, telling him that those cramps were nothing to worry about as they were purely a sign of the baby slowly turning and the labor approaching but when he felt a warm substance running down the inside of his legs, he knew something wasn’t quite right.
Struck with panic, Baekhyun hurried out of the room. “C-chanyeol-”
The first to catch on his distressed cries of help was a maid that was coming out of one of the rooms with a pile of the fresh linens in her arms. Gasping, she rushed towards the crouching omega, calling out for help. “It’s going to be alright, young Master.”
Gasping for air, Baekhyun cried out in pain. This wasn’t right, this wasn’t supposed to happen. His baby wasn’t supposed to be born for at least another 8 weeks and it frightened him. He knew, it was too early for that.
Chanyeol was there in the flash of a moment, carefully helping him back to his feet. “It’s going to be alright, love.”
“It’s too early,” Baek sobbed, holding onto the alpha for dear life.
“Try to calm down, love. It’ll be fine.”
Chanyeol was just as stunned as his mate but he tried to keep his calm to not unsettle Baekhyun any further. Whatever was about to happen, he had to keep a cool head and be there for the younger.
The doctor rushed into the chamber only moments after Chanyeol had helped the omega to lay down and got straight to examining him. He quickly confirmed that Baekhyun indeed was in labor and ordered the maid that was standing in the doorway to get a bowl of warm water and fresh towels.
Baekhyun was crying through the cramps his body had to deal with, clawing at Chanyeol’s hand for support. “P-please don’t leave me,” he moaned in pain. “I c-can’t do that a-alone-”
Chanyeol sucked in a breath and gazed at the medic. Alpha’s were usually not present during birth; for a good reason.
Unlike their expecting mates, they did not have an emotional bond to their child. What their mates experienced during the months of carrying the unborn, an alpha was experiencing the moment he first held his child.
Before birth the feeling towards their own children was neutral, it had to develop first and though it happened quickly once the babies were born, during the actual birth the unborn was a threat as it put their beloved mates into distress and pain.
“Love, I can’t stay,” Chanyeol whispered into Baekhyun’s ear. As much as he wanted to support the younger and grant him his wish, it could end badly if he was to lose control.
“No,” Baekhyun cried. “P-please-”
Squeezing his eyes shut, the alpha held his breath. He had strength and willpower but he had never been in a situation like that, he didn’t know what to expect but if Baekhyun needed him to be there, he’d get a grip on himself and his natural instincts and get through it.
“Alright,” he eventually breathed. “I’ll stay. I’ll be right here.”
“D-don’t go away-”
“I won’t, I promise.”
Knowing Chanyeol would be there, not leaving his side, Baekhyun relaxed a little. He let his eyes flutter shut and took a deep breath. The pain in his body shifted, he started to feel the strong pains lower and deeper in his abdomen and he knew that things were about to become even more straining and exhausting.
The voices around him faded into the background as his body demanded his full attention and all his strength. Blood was rushing to his ears and he could hear his own pulse thumping in his eardrums.
Every wave of strong pain was pulling at his limits but Chanyeol being by his side made things more tolerable. His scent was soothing and the hand on the back of his neck, that ever so gently massaged his nape was comforting.
Chanyeol on the other hand had a little more trouble. Baekhyun’s panting and moans of pain were hard to endure. He had his forehead pressed against the omega’s shoulder, fighting his nature to put an end to Baekhyun’s agony.
Having his eyes squeezed shut, Chanyeol listened to his surroundings but he wasn’t able to make any proper sentences. His mind was spinning, he slowly but steadily was losing it and he let out a deep sigh of relief when it was finally all over.
All the tension fell off his shoulders, the second Baekhyun’s pheromones changed from stressed to relieved and the choked cry of a baby filled his ears. He lifted his head and turned it to the side, catching the first glimpse of his newborn baby and it took his breath away.
The little infant was squirming in the doctor’s hands, having it’s tiny hands balled into fists and it was the most beautiful little human Chanyeol had ever seen. “Love,” he whispered to Baekhyun’s ear. “He’s so beautiful, thank you.”
“H-he?” Baekhyun raised his head from the pillow, letting out a shaky exhale. “It’s a boy?”
Baekhyun was still processing the current event and how his body went from being in almost unbearable pain to his muscles going lax in just a blink of an eye. From one second to the other all the ache faded, leaving behind nothing but vague memories.
He was bathed in sweat and exhausted, almost too tired to hold his head up to look at his son. Tears pooled in the corners of his eyes when the doctor placed the baby atop his chest and he got his first inhale of his sweet scent.
Chanyeol pressed a kiss to his sweaty temple, whispering something he couldn’t catch up on. He was so tired, he let his eyes fall shut to get a moment to himself but quickly dozed off into a deep slumber.
When he came back to his senses, his baby was laying in its cradle peacefully sleeping. The chamber lay in silence, nothing reminded of the fact that only a couple of hours earlier a baby was born within its walls.
Sitting up, Baekhyun sighed softly. His body ached a little, almost as if he was having sore muscles. He leaned forwards to peek into the cradle and bit down his lip as emotions were taking over him. Chanyeol was right, his baby was so, so beautiful.
He reached for the little boy and picked him up, carefully cradling in his arms to not wake him up. As he was looking at him, he couldn’t help but remember the words his mother had told him while he was still carrying.
“Pray that this baby will be an alpha.”
Baekhyun was scared he might lose his baby. The boy had its father’s pitch black hair but he was small and delicate and though that may was because he was born earlier than expected, Baek feared it was an indication of him being an omega.
He hadn’t had a chance to talk to Chanyeol yet, hadn’t had the strength to voice his fear and now it might have been too late for that.
Holding onto his baby, anxiety was taking over and Baekhyun broke into tears when Chanyeol entered the room, startling the alpha with his sudden outburst.
“L-love, what’s wrong?” Chanyeol came to halt in his steps when Baekhyun churned out some warning pheromones. “Baekhyun?”
“D-don’t take him away from me-” Sobbing, Baekhyun gently tightened the hold he had on his son.
Frowning, Chanyeol shook his head in confusion. “What are you saying? Why would I take him away from you?”
Not able to form a proper sentence, Baekhyun only hiccuped. His shoulders were shaking and to not unsettle the younger even more, Chanyeol stayed put. “Love, calm down a little,” he spoke, hoping that his pheromones would help Baekhyun to calm down and dry his tears. “Tell me what’s upsetting you.”
Looking at the alpha, Baekhyun sniffled a little. “I’m scared-”
“I know, I can tell,” Chanyeol said. “But why?”
“W-what if-” A shaky breath escaped the young omega. “What if he’s an o-omega?”
“What about it? Why would it ma-ah,” as realization of why Baekhyun was scared set in, Chanyeol let out a low growl. “Oh, I can’t believe it!”
Swallowing his anger, the alpha dared to take a step closer to his mate. “May I come over to you?” He asked, patiently waiting for Baekhyun’s answer. When Baek nodded, he moved towards his mate and baby and sat down on the edge of the bed by Baekhyun’s side.
He reached out and gently stroked Baekhyun over the cheek, smiling at him. “Love, I won’t take him away from you.”
“No, of course not. I don’t know what kind of flea your parents have put into your ear but you’ve got nothing to worry about. This boy, no matter what, is first in line to take over this pack one day,” Chanyeol spoke. “If he wants to, of course,” he added with a soft chuckle.
Baekhyun felt the tension falling off his shoulders at the words. “I’m sorry,” he apologized, gazing at his mate.”I was just so scared.”
“There’s no need to be sorry,” Yeol said. “But I would like to remind you that you’ve got nothing, absolute nothing to worry about. Nobody is going to take him away from you.”
“O-okay-” Baekhyun sighed when Chanyeol leaned over to press a gentle kiss to his forehead. “Have you had the chance to hold him yet?”
“I have,” the alpha nodded, smiling as he gazed at the sleeping baby. “I’ve spent some time with him while you’re sleeping. How are you feeling, by the way?”
“I’m good,” Baek answered. “I’m exhausted but good.”
“That’s good to hear. You’ve done a very good job, I’m proud of you.”
The praise had Baekhyun flushing a little. Chanyeol laughed when the omega’s round cheeks tinted.
“Father has asked if he could bid you a visit, he’s dying to take a look at his grandson.”
“Oh, of course,” Baekhyun said. “He’s more than welcome to.”
“Good, I’ll let him know then,” Chanyeol hummed. “I’ll have to leave for a while but I’ll be back for dinner.”
“Where do you have to go?”
“Delivering the news of our son’s birth to your parents,” was the answer.
“Can’t you send someone else over there to tell them?”
“I could but I want to have a word with them.”
“B-because of-” “Yes,” Chanyeol cut in before Baekhyun was able to finish his sentence. “It’s not sitting well with me and I want to address it.”
“Alright,” Baek nodded. He didn’t want Chanyeol to go but he knew wouldn’t be able to convince the alpha to stay. “But be careful the weather is really bad today.”
“I will,” Chanyeol said, kissing his mate and newborn goodbye before he left.
Chanyeol’s father came to visit a few minutes after the alpha had left the room and Baekhyun broke into a chuckle at the joyful noise the elderly alpha made when he laid eyes on the baby. “Oh dear, look how beautiful.”
Baekhyun was enjoying a cup of warm lemon tea his father-in-law had brought for him while the alpha was cradling his grandchild. He was calm and watching the man holding his baby in his arms was making him feel warm around the heart.
“I am not going to lie,” the alpha spoke, looking up from the baby. “I was hoping for him to take after you.”
Baekhyun laughed at the words. “Yes, why?”
“I don’t know, to be honest,” the man also laughed.
“How was Chanyeol when he was child?” Baekhyun asked, genuinely curious.
“Oh, he was a troublemaker. Let’s hope this little one here only takes after him in looks.”
“He was a troublemaker, really?”
“You’ve got no idea,” Chanyeol’s father groaned as he remembered the days his son was still a child. “One couldn’t get a hold of him. He’d run off and roam around the woods and if he was about to get scolded, he’d hide in the stables, squeezing himself between the hay bales so no one would find him.”
Baekhyun excitedly listened to the stories his father-in-law told about his mate and it made him curious about his own child and whether the boy would take after him or Chanyeol when he was older and able to explore the world.
Leaving his baby in the care of his grandfather, Baekhyun took a bath before Chanyeol’s return and declined the offer to have his meal in bed when a maid dropped by, telling him that dinner was in the making; he wanted to have dinner together with his family.
Chanyeol had managed to make his trip to Baekhyun’s parents and back home without getting caught in yet another rainstorm but when he sat down at the dinner table, his mood was just as gloomy as the weather outside.
“What is troubling you, son?” Chanyeol’s father asked, pouring his son some wine.
“Nothing,” Chanyeol uttered. “Talking to Baekhyun’s father just isn’t the easiest.”
Baekhyun pursed his lips into a pout at the words. “I’m sorry.”
Humming, Chanyeol shook his head. “It’s alright, don’t let it bother you.”
“That’s right,” the elderly alpha took the word again. “Today is not the day to be in the doldrums.” He reached for his crystal glass and raised it. “Let us celebrate the birth of your son, the most beautiful child there’ll ever be.”
“Cheers,” Chanyeol agreed to his father’s words, taking a sip of his wine.
“Now,” the older alpha voiced when he lowered his glass again. “Though I’ll probably stick to calling him by a sweet moniker, may I know the actual name of my grandson?”
Baekhyun’s cheeks rounded as he smiled. He threw a quick glance at the sleeping infant, that was resting in its bassinet, and then exchanged looks with his mate, before answering the burning question.
Sehun was blinking his heavy eyes, desperately trying to stay awake and Baekhyun smiled to himself as he rubbed his sleepy baby’s round tummy to get him to doze off a little more quickly.
Once the little boy had fallen asleep, chest slowly rising and falling from his calm breaths, Baekhyun left the bedroom, quietly closing the door behind him. He went downstairs, looking for his mate and eventually found Chanyeol sitting behind his desk in his study.
The alpha had a deep frown on his face as Baek stepped further into the room and he didn’t even look up from the paper he was reading, indicating that something was off. “Darling,” softly calling out for the man, Baek reached out and touched his neck. “Are you alright?”
Finally putting the paper down and looking up, Chanyeol smiled at the omega. “Oh hey,” he responded. “I’m sorry, I haven’t noticed you.”
“That’s fine,” Baekhyun said, circling around the chair to take seat in the alpha’s lap.
“Where’s our offspring?”
“Taking a nap.”
“Oh, it’s that late already?”
Baek nodded his head. “Yes, it is. What happened that you’re so caught up in thoughts?” He asked, curling a strand of the alpha’s black hair around his finger.
“I have a little problem with your father and I’m not sure how to deal with it yet.”
“What’s the problem?”
“It seems that your father has not used the financial support he’s been receiving from me in the way it was intended,” Chanyeol spoke and the frown that had just disappeared returned to his forehead.
Tilting his head in confusion, Baekhyun hummed. “What exactly does that mean?”
“He’s been using the money to finance his own pleasures. Just recently he has purchased customized swords and daggers for himself and your brothers.”
“And how do you know that?”
“Word made its round and it sparked my curiosity as your father has commissioned the best blacksmith in the land and a jeweler to stud the handles with gems. And as I know his assets and income, I also know that he’s actually not able to just make such an expensive purchase.”
“And now you believe that he has alienated the money you have given him?” This time it was Baekhyun who frowned, not quite believing what his mate was trying to say.
Though his father had his quirks, he was a good leader. It was hard to believe that he would use the money that was supposed to support his pack and land to please his own desires. Furthermore it was also hard to believe that he would carelessly play with Chanyeol’s trust.
Sensing the omega’s mixed feeling about his words, Chanyeol reached for a paper that lay on his desk and showed it to Baekhyun. “I have received letters from members of your father’s pack, telling me that they still haven’t got the support they are in need of,” he spoke and watched as Baek took the letter. “The roof of the doctor’s office is still not repaired because the carpenter and thatcher have not been paid and I have given your father the money for that months ago.”
Reading through the letter, Baekhyun swallowed. It broke his heart to learn that his father was actually such a greedy man; a man who would shovel the money he was handed to do good deeds into his own pocket. “I-”
“I know it’s not what someone would want to hear about their own parents, I’m sorry.”
“No,” Baekhyun said, putting the letter back onto the tabletop of the oak desk. “I’m sorry. I should not have questioned it to begin with. I know you would never accuse someone of something if you wouldn’t have any evidence.”
Chanyeol showed his mate a thankful smile. “I’m glad to hear that.”
Resting his head on the alpha’s broad shoulder, Baekhyun let out a deep sigh. “What are you going to do now?”
“Well, knowing your father he’d probably come up with an excuse for why the money has not been put to good use yet, so there’s little I can do for now.”
“I know that he used to keep track of his expenses in a little notebook,” the omega mentioned. “Would it help if you were to take a look at it?”
“That actually would help a lot but I can hardly ask your father to give it to me, can I?”
“What if I was to get its content?”
Chanyeol gazed at the younger when Baekhyun leaned back to look at him. “If you were to get its content?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Father keeps it in the drawer of his desk at home,” Baek said. “What if I would take a look at it and copy what is written in it?”
“That’s very nice of you but I don’t want you to get involved, this is about your own family after all.”
“But you are my family too,” Baekhyun uttered. “And I know that this will bother you if it won’t be solved, so let me help you.”
Thinking for a moment, Chanyeol rubbed his hand over Baekhyun’s thigh. “That really is a nice gesture of y-” “Just let me do it,” the omega cut it. “What’s there to lose? I’ll go there, I’ll copy his notes and you’ve got the evidence you need to confront him.”
It took its sweet time to convince the alpha of his idea but Baekhyun eventually got him to agree to his plan. Mounting his horse he, accompanied by a guard, made his way all the way to his parents house.
Upon his arrival at his family home, Baekhyun was greeted by the housestaff. “Welcome, young Master,” one of the servants greeted whilst respectfully bowing to him. “We haven’t expected you to visit today. Unfortunately, nobody’s home.”
“Oh, that’s fine,” Baek told her, walking his horse over to the trough to grant him access to some fresh water. “I’ll just have to leave something. Please bring my company something to quench his thirst.”
Baekhyun couldn’t believe how lucky he was. With nobody being home, he had plenty of time to go through his father’s note and even could look for some more evidence that would help Chanyeol with this sensitive matter.
Sitting down in his father’s study he looked for the little notebook and found it exactly where he had predicted to find it. And with his father being a creature of habit, he had neatly listed every penny had received and spent.
It disturbed Baekhyun to read that his father was spending his spouse’s money like a child in a candy shop. Instead of putting the money to good use he spent it on weapons, thoroughbred horses, collectables and artwork.
By the time the young omega had finished copying months of written entries, he was so angry, he could feel his blood boiling. Folding the papers that contained the valuable information, he put them into his satchel and headed back outside to make his journey back home to his mate and baby.
Just as he was about to mount his gelding, his parents' carriage rolled onto the property. “Baekhyun,” his mother called out for him, waving her hand. “What are you doing here, child?”
“Yes,: his father nodded to her words. “You didn’t tell us you’d visit.”
“Well, I didn’t plan to come but something came up. I’m actually about to leave.”
“Wait,” his mother said as he got out of the carriage with the help of a servant. “Stay and have a cup of tea with us.”
“No, thank you. I’m really not in the mood to have any kind of drink with you.”
His father deeply frowned and stepped towards him. “You better watch your mouth, son.”
“And you better watch who you betray,” Baekhyun snarled at his father.
The alpha was clearly taken aback by the words and his angry frown turned into a confused one. “What are you talking about?”
“Oh please,” Baekhyun scoffed. “Did you really think you could spend Chanyeol’s money on your own nonsense without him noticing it?!”
Both his parents gasped in shock and looked at one another.
“I can’t believe you two,” Baek continued. “Chanyeol has given you this money to help this pack economically grow and you just waste it on your own pleasures. I’m so ashamed of you. Since when have you become so greedy? And so mean,” he added, rage slowly building up inside him.
“What do you mean by mean?” His mother huffed. “We’re not mean.”
“Oh, you’re not?! Then explain all those hurtful and pressuring words I had to endure ever since you decided to offer me in exchange for money and security support?!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You’re not? Well, then let me remind you of how you urged me to charm a stranger while I was staying at his house, or how you made me believe that he would leave me for another omega if I wouldn’t watch my appearance? And, for the love of God, let’s not forget when you scared me by telling me that I’d lose my baby if it wasn’t born as an alpha! You only did all those things because you were afraid that Chanyeol would stop giving you money!”
“Of course we have, look at yourself. There was no guarantee that Chanyeol would really have taken you as his mate!”
Mouth falling open, Baekhyun stared at his parents. “W-what?!”
“Baekhyun please,” his father said. “You truly are beautiful and the epitome of a submissive omega but you’re by no means suitable for an alpha like Chanyeol. We had to make sure you’d impress him.”
“You had to make sure I would impress him?! He didn’t marry me because of your weird and inappropriate actions. Our marriage is not your accomplishment,” Baekhyun roared in anger. “I can’t believe you really went this far because of greed! Have you even once thought about the pack's safety and well being while making this evil plan?!”
“Baekhyun, you’re stepping out of line. We’re still your parents, show some respect.”
A wave of aggressive pheromones hit him but they didn’t affect Baekhyun the slightest. If Chanyeol had taught him one thing well, then it was to not get intimidated by an angry alpha’s try to wear him down.
“Yes, you might be my parents but I think you’re the ones who should show me some respect,” Baek breathed out. “I’m no longer the insignificant child you can push around as you please. I’m the mate to an alpha that is not only superior to you, I’m the mate to an alpha that can take away the social status you love so much. So, unless you want to lose your precious status, you better start thinking of how you treat me in the future.”
“You wouldn’t dare to do that.”
“Try me,” were Baekhyun’s last words before he finally mounted his horse and headed home, leaving his stunned parents behind.
He was fuming, heart thumping as he let the unpleasant encounter pass in review but the longer he thought about it, the more it started to hurt him. Knowing that his parents had acted the way they did for their own benefit only was paining him.
When he arrived back home at the Park’s manor and Chanyeol stepped out of the house to greet him, he broke into tears. Throwing himself into his mate’s arms, Baekhyun cried into his chest.
It took him the whole day to recover from the heartbreaking event and he was grateful for Chanyeol giving him space, not asking pressing and unwanted questions. By the time they went to bed, he had completely calmed down and his mate was fast to pick up on his relaxed state.
“You’re feeling better?”
Baekhyun hummed and ran his fingers through the alpha’s black locks, savouring the feeling of the kisses Chanyeol set along his naked stomach and chest.
They were laying in bed, enjoying the soft breeze that was coming through the open window and made the white curtains move as if they were dancing.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Anything,” Chanyeol answered and moved upwards to look at the younger. “What is it?”
“When you agreed to marry me, did you do it because you benefited from it?”
Showing an ever so soft smile, the alpha shook his head. “No.”
“Then why did you take me as your mate?” Baekhyun pushed the question. “We had absolutely nothing in common. I can hardly believe that you agreed to let me stay with you because your father said I was a suitable mate.”
“Well, that’s true,” Chanyeol said. “I did not agree to meeting you because my father thought you were a suitable mate for me. In fact, I only let my father meet with yours because the offer of combining our lands had great benefits for me. I had no interest in you whatsoever, even though your father had offered you to me.”
“T-then what made you change your mind?”
Chanyeol was softly stroking his hair and Baekhyun could hear his heart thumping as he waited for an answer.
“When my father came home and he told me about you, I knew I had to meet you.”
“Ever since I had reached adolescence, I used to visit the shaman. I was always seeking her advice and asked if I should go through with the ideas I had in mind and she always encouraged me to follow my heart. Never had I asked her about love until my father started to push the topic onto me,” Chanyeol said, pausing for a moment right after he spoke.
“Father wanted me to settle down with someone from our pack but none of the omega’s I had met appealed to me,” he continued. “When asking the shaman for help and if she would see what the future would hold for me in terms of love, she told me that there was someone out there for me who would enrichen my life if I was just patient enough to wait for them.”
Baekhyun let out an audible breath. “A-and you think that someone is me?”
“I know it’s you,” Chanyeol smiled. “Because when I asked how I would know whether someone was meant to be my mate, she told me to look out for the one with hair as soft and white as the clouds and eyes as blue as the sky.”
A soft gasp slipped past Baekhyun’s lips.
“When father returned home the day he had met you, I knew you were the one the second he described you to me.”
“B-but there are plenty of omega’s out there with white hair and blue eyes-”
Chanyeol laughed softly at the younger’s puzzled face. “Are you not convinced? Well, then let me tell you this. Do you know why the shaman laughed when you picked out the bone at our engagement ceremony?”
“Because I picked the exact same one just the night before when I had visited her.”
“You did?” Baek asked.
“Yes,” the alpha nodded. “She asked me to pick one and I did, I picked the same, small bone you did.”
“Couldn’t have this been just a coincidence?”
“Maybe. Shall I guess why you picked the bone instead of all the others?”
“You picked it because it reminded you of an hourglass, right?”
“R-right,” Baek gasped. “I did!”
“I did the same,” Chanyeol said while chuckling softly. “And we didn’t take it because it was the smallest one. We took it, because we spent a thought on how its shape looked appealing to us. You can call this another coincidence or fate.”
Watching as the alpha’s lips curled into a smile, Baekhyun brought a hand up and traced a finger along his jaw. “So, you really chose to wait for me?”
“And though we’re so different, you chose to spend the rest of your life with me?”
“I did,” Chanyeol nodded. “You know, there is a name for it.”
“For people like us,” the alpha said but before he could finish his sentences, telling Baekhyun, the soft cry of their baby interrupted him.
Baekhyun didn’t have to move as his mate was fast to get up to fetch the whining baby from his cradle. He carried the little boy over to their bed and sat back down, leaning against the headboard so their son could comfortably rest against his chest while he rubbed his back.
Baekhyun scooted closer and stroked Sehun over the head, hushing him by softly humming. He watched their son falling back asleep against his father’s chest and smiled when the boy let out a deep sigh while his full eyelashes slightly fluttered against the top of his chubby cheeks.
“So, you were saying?” He asked, looking at Chanyeol once the baby had fallen back asleep. “There’s a name for people like us.”
“Oh right,” Chanyeol voiced out. “It’s anima mate.”
“Anima mate?” Baekhyun repeated while slightly frowning in confusion. “What does it mean?”
His frown vanished when Chanyeol leaned close and pressed a loving kiss to his lips. “It means soulmate.”
Baekhyun hummed in response to the words and let his eyes fall shut for a moment. “I like that,” he then spoke, leaning in for another kiss. “I like you being my soulmate.”
Chanyeol quietly laughed and rested his forehead against the younger one’s, gazing into his deep blue eyes. “I’m glad to hear that.”
Softly giggling as Chanyeol rubbed his nose against his, Baekhyun snuggled even closer. “I love you.”
“And I love you.”
They maybe were of different personalities and it may have taken them a while to realize and confess their feelings for each other but they brought out the best in one another and the love they now shared was so deep and faithful that it was unshakeable.
And the bond that was binding them together was so strong that against all the odds Baekhyun was to agree that they indeed were anima mate.
And lovers for life.