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The moment his head pops out of the shirt’s collar, Chanyeol has a gut feeling—breaking and entering an alpha house to ‘borrow’ a garment probably wasn’t the smartest idea.
 
The reason the Byun house is so easy to break into is that no one with the tiniest bit of common sense would ever try it, for fear of merciless retaliation. Then again, Chanyeol never was the brightest crayon in the box, at least when it comes to dealing with pack stuff that, even though he’s lived alongside wolves his whole life, he still can’t wrap his head around completely.
 
So there he is, standing by his best friend’s bed in his childhood room—unchanged since high school, walls decorated with baseball club flags and posters of famous pitchers. Chanyeol tugs at the hem of Baekhyun’s shirt, the one he’s just slipped on—it’s a bit loose and well-worn, softened by years of wearing it, and it has clearly seen better days, but it’ll do, Chanyeol hopes, for now. Dumbly, he shakes his head, trying to clear it from the daze that led him to do what he did, knowing it’s already too late to try and conceal it anyway, and stuffs his own shirt into his backpack. He leaves through the window, the same way he came in, and rushes through the garden and onto the street, looking left and right suspiciously, before power-walking as inconspicuously as he can to his own house, a few streets away.
 
It’s when he’s sitting on his bed a few minutes later, hugging his own chest and rubbing Baekhyun’s shirt so that his friend’s powerful scent soaks the skin of his chest, that he fully realises the gravity of his previous action. There’s no way there won’t be consequences, he thinks, frowning and worrying his bottom lip, already regretting acting so recklessly and lying to his best friend to top it all off.
 
But Chanyeol tries to rationalise. He did it for a reason. It was a desperate and stupid move, granted, but even with a clearer head and a calmer mind, he can’t think of anything else to keep his so-called ‘bashful lover’, Yifan Wu, away from him.
 
He doesn’t know how it’s possible, but apparently, Yifan, youngest alpha of the Wu pack, is after his bony human ass. And the best excuse he thought of to push him away, when Yifan cornered him earlier today, was to pretend to be dating Baekhyun, newest alpha of the Byun pack.
 
Needless to say, there isn’t an ounce of truth in this, and he’s royally fucked. Baekhyun will soon find out, it’s just a matter of time, and he won’t like it.
 
--
 
”I want you as my mate,” Yifan Wu said, pushing Chanyeol with a bit more strength than necessary against the biology lab wall. Werewolves and humans might have been coexisting for centuries in good agreement, the use of super-strength for other purposes than self-defence (such as shoving love interests into walls) was still against the law.
 
“Um, that was bold,” Chanyeol replied, caught off guard by so much confidence, “We don’t even know each other that well.”
 
“We can learn,” the tall wolf said, eyes flickering alpha red.
 
“Your red-eye mojo doesn’t work on me, Yifan,” Chanyeol answered, looking up. Chanyeol wasn’t used to people towering him, but Yifan was an exception. Still, he spoke defiantly, “and I hate to break it to you, but I’m not available.”
 
Yifan’s impressive eyebrows did a funny thing then, rising up to his hairline. Was it that unbelievable that Chanyeol was dating someone? Yifan sniffed around Chanyeol, which rude, and shook his head. He was calling bullshit already, Chanyeol could tell. “So…who’s the lucky one?” Yifan asked, challenging.
 
Chanyeol gulped and shifted a bit against the wall, he didn’t like having conversations with an alpha werewolf in an empty lab, with only his (very limited) wit and a fat penchant for telling lies too big to handle safely for weapons. “Baekhyun Byun, of the Byun pack,” he blurted out, obviously without thinking.
 
Yifan scoffed but took a step back. “You smell nothing like him,” he said simply.
 
“It’s because he’s been away at his college for weeks,” Chanyeol said, heart rate picking up. If Yifan’s fine hearing caught any of it, it didn’t make him react.
 
“Alphas never stay away from their territories for long,” Yifan stated impassibly. And that was true. Baekhyun had come back to town the weekend before and they’d played Assassin’s Creed alternatively at Chanyeol’s house all through Saturday night. But Yifan didn’t need to know that. “Next time you better come up with a more believable lie, Park, if you don’t want me to claim you.”
 
Despite the emptiness of the threat—it was illegal to claim somebody without prior consent—Chanyeol gave Yifan a sour look and escaped. A few minutes later, he found himself running across town in the direction of the Byun house.
 
--
 
Chanyeol doesn’t have to wait for more than a day before hearing from Baekhyun via a simple text.
 
From Baekhyun:
WTF were you doing in my room? Your scent is all over the place.
 
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell Baekhyun is upset. Chanyeol types several responses without sending any. He can’t think of a good lie. Before he comes up with one, though, Baekhyun texts him again.
 
Where is my Iron Man shirt?
 
Be here in ten. No bailing out.
 
--
 
“So?” Baekhyun asks, scrutinising Chanyeol. He feels small, even though Baekhyun is a head shorter than him, but his piercing gaze itself could probably make brick walls crumble. Chanyeol feels like he is one at the moment, as he’s standing in Baekhyun’s bedroom doorway after Mrs Byun, head alpha of the Byun pack, let him in. He came through the front door, this time. At least he’s got this going for him.
 
Chanyeol hands Baekhyun his cleaned shirt sheepishly (he didn’t even get to wear it to college), entering the room and standing there awkwardly. Baekhyun’s peering at him relentlessly, his expressive, questioning eyes boring into his soul. Eventually, Chanyeol sits down on Baekhyun’s wheelie chair next to his desk and heaves a long sigh, bending his head and resting it in his hands. He can’t hide anything from Baekhyun, he can’t lie to him. He’d call his bluff right away simply by listening to his heartbeat. So Chanyeol caves and tells him.
 
Baekhyun listens for a good ten minutes without interrupting Chanyeol, which is a feat in itself because Baekhyun is usually noisy and has to voice his opinion on everything. There’s a tense moment of silence once Chanyeol is done talking. When he hears rustling to his right, Chanyeol looks up and almost falls backwards when he sees a bare-chested Baekhyun shoving today’s shirt in his face. Utterly dumbfounded and dry-mouthed (Baekhyun’s recent workout is showing so nicely), Chanyeol takes the shirt while Baekhyun shrugs his denim jacket back on without a shirt underneath, and Chanyeol’s mind goes completely haywire because how frigging sexy is that? When, after several seconds of staring at Baekhyun’s defined abs he hears Baekhyun’s voice, he looks up, eyes drawing a hot path up the torso on display. Baekhyun’s lips are moving, he’s speaking but it doesn’t make sense.
 
“What?” Chanyeol asks dumbly.
 
Baekhyun rolls his eyes, his patience visibly running short. “I said, wear it!”
 
“Uh?”
 
“Stop gawking at me like that. You stole my shirt, didn’t you? Now I’m lending some to you so that asshole Wu leaves you alone. I don’t want you to come back on Byun territory reeking of him.”
 
“That’s all you have to say? I thought you’d yell at me.”
 
“What? Do you want me to beat you up for dragging me into this clusterfuck?” Baekhyun scoffs, unimpressed. “You wouldn’t survive it.”
 
Baekhyun is upset, angry even, if the tell-tale red flashing of his eyes is any indication. But Chanyeol tries hard not to smile. He knows it’s just his best friend’s way to tell him that he’s playing along, even though it costs him a big chunk of his alpha dignity. He’s not one to let his friends down, and Chanyeol couldn’t be more grateful. He remains silent, knowing that if he speaks Baekhyun will get all snappy and annoyed and will kick him out. He waits until Baekhyun has cooled down before accepting two other shirts.
 
“Wear them at school,” Baekhyun says, not looking at Chanyeol. “It should keep him away. But don’t hang around him too much, or he’ll get nosy and call bullshit on your act. You can’t fool an alpha’s sense of smell.”
 
“Thanks,” Chanyeol whispers, finally letting out that grin he’d been keeping at bay.
 
“Ugh, shut up!” Baekhyun yells, shooing him out of his room, finally running out of patience. “I’m not happy with any of this! Get lost!”
 
--
 
On Monday, Chanyeol spots Yifan when they’re attending a cell biology lecture. The hall is large enough that he doesn’t have to sit next to him, but he doesn’t care anyway, because he’s wearing Baekhyun’s shirt like an armour. It’s a strange sensation, but it makes him feel powerful, ready to endure any seductive assault Yifan has in store for him. Even though he himself can’t smell it, Chanyeol knows Baekhyun’s scent is strong against his skin, and in all honesty, he could bask in the feeling all day. He sees people turning to look at him, nostrils fidgeting, and he can only guess they’re wolves. He recognises some of them as members of the Byun pack, because he’s familiar with it, but most of them are strangers. They probably belong to the Wu pack or the Kim pack, the town being divided into three equal territories around neutral ground. Chanyeol’s college is on neutral ground, that’s why he can’t tell which pack his fellow wolf students are from.
 
Chanyeol is so engrossed in the lecture that he doesn’t notice right away that there are students on each aisle, blocking his way. At the end of the lesson, when he’s gathered his stuff, he realises he can’t get out without crossing their paths. He stands up and straightens his back, ready to face whatever crap they’re going to pull. Still, he chooses to walk towards the less threatening-looking one, a medium-sized, boyish student looking more like a weredeer than a wolf. When they’re facing each other, the boy inhales pointedly and makes a face.
 
“So you’re Byun’s bitch?” the guy asks, disdain oozing from his every pore. Chanyeol is so shocked by the stranger’s offensive comment that he can’t think of a witty comeback. Yifan beats him to it, though, striding towards the foul-mouthed wolf and working his red-eye thingy on him.
 
“Step aside, Luhan,” he orders, and the boy obeys, albeit reluctantly. Yifan turns to Chanyeol, “Excuse his language. Luhan is an undisciplined and rude beta.” Said beta, Luhan, growls low in his throat but doesn’t flinch nor does he move. “I’m here with friendly intentions, I promise,” Yifan says with an unctuous voice. Chanyeol doesn’t buy any of it but he knows better than to contradict an alpha. He nods at him curtly but stiffly. “May I walk you home?”
 
Chanyeol shrugs, “My house is on Byun territory,” he says. “I’m afraid you won’t go very far.” Chanyeol has never been so happy that his family is under Byun pack’s protection. He’d never felt it actually mattered, before today.

The walk home is an uncomfortable one, to say the least. Chanyeol is being followed by three wolves—Yifan hot on his heels, while the two others, Luhan and Zitao, as Chanyeol heard, lurk a few yards behind. They’re approaching Byun territory fast, and when Chanyeol crosses the street marking the end of neutral ground, he feels more relieved than he thinks he should be.

The three wolves remain across the street, standing and looking at Chanyeol, arms crossed in a mock-intimidating fashion. It’s more ridiculous than anything, if you ask Chanyeol, but he doesn’t linger and continues striding towards his house. “Wait!” he hears Yifan yell from behind him. He’s tempted to ignore it, but he’s never been outright hostile towards Yifan, maybe now isn’t the time to start. His life is already complicated enough as it is, he doesn’t need an angry wolf added to it.

“What do you want, Yifan?” Chanyeol asks, trying to sound as exasperated as he can, turning around to face his ‘suitor’.

Yifan hesitates for a few seconds before crossing the invisible border to Byun territory. The town’s three packs have lived in relative harmony for decades now, but an alpha walking into another pack’s territory isn’t an insignificant gesture. Swallowing around the lump quickly forming in his throat, Chanyeol stares as Yifan hurries towards him in a few long strides before stopping in front of him and sniffing the air around his upper body. He really needs to stop doing that.

“Your scent tells me nothing more than the fact that you belong to the Byun pack. You haven’t been claimed, Park.”

“It doesn’t mean I want to be claimed by you,” Chanyeol says weakly, feeling the claws of his lie closing around his lungs and smothering him. “Plus, Baekhyun and I are taking our time.”

Yifan bursts into dry laughter. It sounds gritty and nothing but sincere—Chanyeol winces. “Wolves don’t ‘take their time’,” he says, emphasising his incredulity with contemptuous air quotes. “Once they’re set on someone, they don’t give them up unless that someone has already been claimed. And you haven’t.”

“Well, hello there,” a familiar voice says from behind Chanyeol. It’s Minseok, Baekhyun’s faithful beta and right-hand man. Chanyeol doesn’t know where he appeared from, but he’s utterly relieved to see the shorter wolf. “If it isn’t Yifan Wu, alpha of the Wu pack.” Minseok’s gummy smile could turn into a snarl any second, if the fake saccharine-sweet tone of his voice is any indication.

“Minseok Kim,” Yifan nods once in acknowledgment.

Minseok comes to stand next to Chanyeol and places a firm hand on his shoulder. “Chanyeol, Baekhyun wants to see you.” He turns to Yifan, then. “Alpha Wu, if you have no business on Byun territory, please step back.” Chanyeol doesn’t know if it’s a trick of the light, but he’s pretty sure Yifan’s eyes flash red for a split second. After several tense seconds of staring between Chanyeol and Minseok alternatively, he turns on his heels and goes back to his own betas. Chanyeol feels like he can finally breathe freely for the first time in the last hour or so.

“Baekhyun isn’t going to like it,” Minseok states, heading down the street, Chanyeol trailing after him.

“Don’t tell him? Please?” Chanyeol begs.

Minseok gives Chanyeol a onceover, eyebrows raised high in evident disdain. “Uh, there’s no way I’m not telling him. An alpha from another pack stepped into our territory. This is serious business, Chanyeol. And Baekhyun would find out anyway, so you better have a good explanation for it.” Chanyeol opens his mouth, ready to serve another fresh lie to Minseok, but the wolf raises his hand, dismissing him. “I don’t want to hear it. You’ll sort your shit out with Baekhyun himself.”

--

There’s a small room in the alpha house where stacks and stacks of old registers are piling up to the ceiling, covering every surface except for the wooden desk sitting in the middle. Chanyeol knows this room. Baekhyun’s mother used to be there all the time, writing page after page of pack accountings—at least she was every time Chanyeol visited, and when he was younger he visited almost every day.

Today, it’s Baekhyun who’s sitting there, looking focused on his writing, running his lithe fingers through his brown, soft-looking hair from time to time. Chanyeol stands in the doorway for a few seconds before Minseok pushes past him and makes himself known by knocking on the open door. Baekhyun looks up, his round glasses sliding down his nose, so he pushes them back up absent-mindedly, looking a bit dazed from being interrupted in the middle of tedious work.

“Found this one with Yifan Wu on the pack’s territory,” Minseok informs Baekhyun, pushing Chanyeol towards the desk and he staggers, turning to look at Minseok dejectedly, feeling betrayed.

“But I—” Chanyeol tries to speak.

“Shh!” Baekhyun shuts him up firmly, standing up and taking off his glasses. “Thank you, Minseok,” he nods up, and just like that, Minseok leaves them alone and closes the door behind him.

Slowly, Baekhyun walks around the desk and past Chanyeol, brushing his shoulder against Chanyeol’s, and he could swear it was on purpose. When Chanyeol hears Baekhyun lock the door, he guesses it can only mean two things—either he’s going to get the earful of his life or… Baekhyun is going to do something with irreversible consequences. Or maybe both—yeah, after thinking about it, there’s no way Chanyeol is getting away with letting Yifan on Byun territory without enduring a good old lecture.

So, it’s safe to say ‘surprised’ is an understatement to describe how Chanyeol feels when he turns to Baekhyun and sees him taking off his shirt and throwing it angrily at the floor.

“Yeol,” he sighs dramatically, and Chanyeol has to blink several times and shake his head to process everything that’s happening. Try and focus on what your best friend is saying when he’s exposing his newly toned and mouth-watering chest at you. It’s easier said than done, as far as Chanyeol is concerned. “What am I gonna do with you?”

“What are you doing, Baek, why are you half-naked all of a sudden?” Chanyeol panics both because his brain is short-circuiting and because his dick is giving signs of interest and that can’t be good. He knows wolves can smell arousal. Now of all times isn’t the right moment to get all hot and bothered.

“Take off your shirt,” is Baekhyun’s only response. “I’m trying to fix the mess you created.”

“By getting both of us naked?” Chanyeol asks, but proceeds anyway, trusting Baekhyun’s judgment, for some reason. Maybe it’s also the idea of being shirtless and alone with an equally shirtless Baekhyun that makes him comply without protesting.

Baekhyun walks up to Chanyeol and looks him dead in the eye. “I’m going to scent mark you,” he says seriously. “And then, you’ll do the same to me, so that we smell like each other.”

“Uh...sure?” Chanyeol replies, with hesitance.

“Don’t move, okay?” It’s an order, but Baekhyun’s voice is soft and low. Something in his pupils shifts, like he’s waiting for Chanyeol’s permission. Chanyeol opens his eyes wide and gives a small nod, not knowing what to expect. “Alright,” Baekhyun trails off, sighing a little in what Chanyeol swears is something akin to relief. He places his hands on Chanyeol’s shoulders and closes the gap between their chests. There’s literally no space left between them, and the overwhelming skin-on-skin contact has Chanyeol’s head going all sorts of hazy. It’s like he’s downed three cans of beer in one go—his legs almost give out and his vision dances, his chest feels like it’s burning outside and exploding inside all at the same time. There’s no way Baekhyun doesn’t hear and feel how hard Chanyeol’s heart is hammering against his ribcage. Baekhyun lets out a shivery breath and Chanyeol realises he’s forgotten to breathe since Baekhyun’s torso touched his.

Baekhyun gets on his tippy toes and lifts his head until the tip of his nose is touching the base of Chanyeol’s ear. He inhales sharply and starts rubbing his nose down Chanyeol’s cheek, trying to cover as much skin as possible, and repeating the process several times on both sides. Chanyeol feels all the hairs on his body stand on end and he’s certain he’s going to faint very soon if this escalates into more intimate business. The only thing keeping him conscious is the low voice of Baekhyun describing what he’s doing to him.

“Among pack members,” he says in-between short intakes of air, “it’s a common occurrence to scent each other.” Sometimes, Chanyeol feels Baekhyun’s lips moving dangerously close to the skin of his jaw, the lobe of his ear and his own mouth. Baekhyun’s breath is hot and slightly wet, and it’s stifling, yet in a very pleasant and exhilarating way. “There are glands in our noses and around our mouths where pheromones are kept. We have to rub them on our properties to mark them as ours. We’re territorial beings, and whenever something or someone is on our territory, it’s either ours, or it’s our enemy. Things changed a bit with Wolf Laws, but our instinct is still the same.”

“What does it mean?” Chanyeol manages to ask, breathless.

“It means,” Baekhyun pulls away and Chanyeol feels cold immediately. “You’re pack.”

Chanyeol’s breath hitches in his throat but he doesn’t have time to ponder over Baekhyun’s statement because suddenly there are hands on his chest rubbing nonsensical patterns. Chanyeol has a hard time trying not to stare at the way Baekhyun’s arm muscles flex and loosen in the process.

Baekhyun is thorough, he doesn’t miss any part of Chanyeol’s exposed chest—from his shoulders to the birth of his happy trail. When he goes down there—rubbing the flesh just above the hem of his boxer briefs—it’s embarrassing, because Chanyeol’s jeans do little to nothing to hide his very obvious erection. He looks up to the ceiling, not willing to cross Baekhyun’s gaze and see what’s in there.

Baekhyun clears his throat. “Your turn,” he says. “Now you have to scent me to complete the process. You just have to do the same and then we’ll exchange shirts again.”

Chanyeol nods, looking everywhere but at Baekhyun, which is a feat considering he has to literally rub his face on his best friend’s. It should feel weird, scrubbing Baekhyun’s face with his nose and chin, but strangely enough, it doesn’t. It’s an even nicer sensation when Baekhyun growls low in his throat in an appreciative way, occasionally moving his head to one side and the other to guide Chanyeol. “You’re doing well, for a human,” Baekhyun praises, a smile in his voice. Chanyeol knows he doesn’t mean to belittle Chanyeol’s human condition, he’s just humouring him. “You’re doing really well.”

When Baekhyun is satisfied with the face marking, he pushes Chanyeol gently and takes his hands in his then places them flat on his chest. Chanyeol tries not to shiver too obviously at the contact. Baekhyun’s pectorals are nicely protruding, they’re taut but soft to the touch and Chanyeol lingers a bit more than strictly necessary because he doesn’t know if he’ll have the occasion to do this again in his life, and it feels too good not to enjoy it a little.

He’s already rock-hard; it’s not like he can get any more obvious than he already is. He finally moves away from the upper part of Baekhyun’s torso to drag his palms down, following the chiseled ridges of his abs to the sinful path of fine hairs leading to Baekhyun’s bulge. Which, oh. Baekhyun appears to be just as aroused as Chanyeol is.

Chanyeol’s cock twitches painfully, a spike of arousal punching him right in the gut. He’s lucky he doesn’t cream his pants on the spot.

“It... happens,” Baekhyun explains, following Chanyeol’s line of sight. His face is flushed, but his gaze doesn’t waver. “Scent marking is very intimate.”

“Does it happen with your mum?” Chanyeol asks coyly.

Baekhyun barks a surprised, strangled laugh, and looks utterly scandalised, “Fuck, no! Yeol, if it couldn’t kill you, I’d punch you in the gut for saying immoral things like that.” Chanyeol laughs too, loudly, and the tension between them vanishes instantly.

Baekhyun picks up his shirt and hands it to Chanyeol. “Wear it to bed, sleep in it and wear it tomorrow. This way the message will finally get across that we’re an ‘item’.” He rolls his eyes, “I don’t even know why I put up with your shit, seriously.” He shakes his head as Chanyeol puts the shirt on. Baekhyun does the same with Chanyeol’s, and it’s oddly satisfying to see him wearing his clothes. Baekhyun looks great in everything, but especially in Chanyeol’s clothes.

“You’ll have to come back each time you take a shower, because since we’re not mated for real, the scent will be washed away. And we’ll have to wear each other’s clothes. All the time.”

--

It’s surprisingly easy, how quick they fall into a pattern. It doesn’t change Chanyeol’s schedule that much, to be honest, except the time of his shower. He used to have it in the morning, well, now he rushes home after school, takes a shower and shows up at the alpha house for scenting. Mrs Byun doesn’t say anything, as she opens the door every day, without fail. She merely offers him a smile and a glass of homemade lemonade, chats with him for a few minutes before returning to her head alpha duties.

Chanyeol is lucky Baekhyun’s school term is over, because he’s back in town and available. Without it, Chanyeol doesn’t know how he’d avoid Yifan’s insistent wooing. Anyway, Chanyeol usually joins Baekhyun either in his bedroom or in the accounting study, depending on what he’s doing at the moment.

Scenting is hardly a routine, at least in Chanyeol’s book. He learns new things every day, how Baekhyun is particularly sensitive in the collarbones area, how he whimpers softly when Chanyeol drags his nose slowly along the line of his jaw. Chanyeol is just as bad as hiding his reactions, though. Baekhyun, being a teasing little shit, likes to massage his chest with both hands, counting down Chanyeol’s ribs with long fingers, grazing them with blunt nails that, occasionally, morph into claws ever-so-slightly, and it sends Chanyeol’s head reeling with overwhelming want. Baekhyun also likes to rub his mouth, his mouth, all over Chanyeol’s face, often lingering on a sensitive spot right under Chanyeol’s left ear, blowing on it and scenting it thoroughly, until Chanyeol has to pull away for fear of coming in his pants.

It’s hardly a routine because, yeah, Chanyeol can’t get used to such high levels of arousal. He’s not a hormonal teenager anymore, but at twenty, he’s still close enough, and there’s just so much than his poor heart (read: dick) can take.

Once, there’s a close call. The scenting is going as usual, meaning Chanyeol is rock-hard in his pants but pretends to be casual about it, if you can ever be casual when having an erection. Anyway, they’re doing their business and it’s Chanyeol’s turn to scent Baekhyun. Usually, Chanyeol tries to mimic Baekhyun’s previous actions as best as he can, and considering Baekhyun’s reactions—soft groans, approving whimpers and encouraging nods—he’s doing the right thing. At least he thinks he is, until he decides to be bolder than usual and starts running his nose further down than Baekhyun’s jaw line and along his nape.

Baekhyun’s reaction is as strong as it is sudden. He shoves Chanyeol—who falls down on his butt—and pants harshly. When Chanyeol looks up, startled, the first thing he sees is the way Baekhyun’s eyes are glowing angry red. He’s snarling, sharp canines showing, and his claws are out, at the tip of tense fingers. All of Baekhyun’s body has gone incredibly taut, and he’s half-crouching, staring at Chanyeol with what he can only interpret as fear and surprise.

Chanyeol has already seen Baekhyun wolf out. Twice, exactly, and this is the third time he witnesses it. The first two times were when Baekhyun wasn’t an alpha yet, though, when he was still a child who couldn’t control his wolf when the full moon was approaching. However, Baekhyun is an alpha now, has been for two years, and it’s the first time Chanyeol sees him wolf out since he’s evolved. He knows that the form he’s seeing right now isn’t his alpha form but still, it’s impressive and… thrilling in a very inappropriate way.

“Why did you do that?” Baekhyun hisses around his canines, upper lip twitching.

“Do what?”

“The neck, Yeol!” Baekhyun turns his back and opens his window angrily, bending and inhaling the outside air, trying to calm down. “You can’t touch a wolf’s neck, it’s basic knowledge, even for you humans!”

“What do you mea—” Chanyeol starts off, but he’s cut off by Baekhyun turning again and glaring at him like he wants to rip his throat out with his teeth. He remembers, then. “Oh.”

No one touches a wolf’s neck.

Except their mate.

Chanyeol’s just remembered this detail. But it doesn’t explain the intensity of Baekhyun’s reaction. Is he supposed to wolf out every time someone touches his neck by accident? Scrambling to his feet again, Chanyeol takes a tentative step towards Baekhyun. He’s still wolfed out, but his eyes have regained their usual dark brown colour. His gaze is softer, too, at least Chanyeol thinks it is.

“I’m sorry,” Chanyeol says.

Baekhyun shakes his head, “I could have hurt you,” he whispers. “Yeol, you need to be more careful. You can’t just touch a wolf’s neck and get away with it. You’re lucky it’s me and I know where your loyalty stands.”

“Still, I’m sorry, Baekhyun,” Chanyeol repeats, half-apologetic, half trying to wrap his mind  around all the wolfey subtleties he’s not familiar with but still has to abide by. Because his best friend is a werewolf and he’s dragged him into an incredibly uncomfortable situation.

“We’ll have to cut the scenting session short today,” Baekhyun looks out to the fading sun outside. Chanyeol follows his gaze—the shape of the moon is already clearly visible; it’s nearly full. “Tomorrow's the full moon. I’ll be running with the pack at night. And I won’t be able to scent you, it’d be too risky. So you’ll have to forgo the shower for another day.”

“Alright,” Chanyeol nods, lips drawn in a tight line.

“Since I’m wolfed out, the scenting will be more efficient,” Baekhyun states. “Lay down on the bed. And please, please, don’t do anything, okay?” Baekhyun sounds almost pained when he repeats himself, as if he can’t bear his best friend’s stupidity and doesn’t trust his flailing body to stay still.

Chanyeol obliges, torn between anticipation and dread of what’s to come. He doesn’t have any idea of what Baekhyun is going to do, but he’s pretty sure—no, he knows—it’ll be sexy. And Chanyeol is still hard and obvious, Baekhyun is aware of it and he has the nerve to smirk when he places himself on top of him, straddling his hips. An eye for an eye.

Chanyeol isn’t innocent nor is he a prude, per se. He’s had a semi-serious boyfriend in his first year of college and he’s fooled around a bit, so he knows the things and how they work. However, nothing, nothing could have prepared him for what he’s experiencing right now.

Baekhyun is literally rubbing himself on Chanyeol, face to face, bare chest to bare chest and Chanyeol didn’t know he could get any harder until now. He’s straining against the fabric of his jeans in a mix of pain and pleasure and oh, Baekhyun’s crotch is rubbing against his. Chanyeol has to remind himself that he’s the reason Baekhyun’s doing this, that he’s helping out a friend and that it would be completely and utterly uncalled for to get off to Baekhyun ‘scent marking’ him. Baekhyun isn’t indifferent to the situation either, his erection is pressing against Chanyeol’s inner thigh, and the feeling is all the more intense that Baekhyun’s track pants are thin and leave nothing to imagination. Huffing and groaning in a totally (hot) animalistic way, Baekhyun ruts against him, smearing sweat over Chanyeol’s torso. Even Chanyeol, with his useless human nose, can smell it, and he smiles to himself. Baekhyun must have felt it, as he’s rubbing his chin on Chanyeol’s cheek, because he pulls away so that he can look at Chanyeol, stilling abruptly. Chanyeol wants to beg him not to stop, but that would be all kinds of inappropriate.

“What are you smiling for?” Baekhyun asks, panting. He sounds mildly offended.

“I’m just thinking that Yifan can only leave me alone after this.”

“He better,” Baekhyun scoffs before resuming his ministrations at a slower pace. If Chanyeol didn’t know better, he’d call Baekhyun out on the fact that he’s cuddling him. But he’s not going to spoil this moment in a million years. It feels too good and intimate and, basically, like every dream Chanyeol’s ever had about his best friend.

--

Later, when he’s home after a marginally sobering walk, Chanyeol inwardly congratulates himself for not having come apart under Baekhyun earlier. That would have made things even more complicated than they already are.

But when he’s lying in his bed at night, wide awake and agitated, he can’t help it. He sneaks his hand into his boxers and grabs his hard and already leaking member.

He hasn’t really softened completely since he came back from the alpha house—dinner with his parents was an awkward game of hide-your-boner-under-the-table and well, needless to say he didn’t linger in the living room to watch the news with them.

As soon as his grip closes on his hardened length, he shudders violently, flashes of the intense humping from earlier invading his mind. He tries to stroke himself slowly, he really does, but he physically can’t, the want coiling in the pit of his stomach has been burning for too long, making him ache for release. He’s sloppy and quick, not even bothering to apply any lube on himself, for he’s weeping so much precome. It’s like the phantom smell of Baekhyun is tickling his nose—the rich, musky aroma coming off in waves from his body as he rutted against him still overwhelming his senses. An embarrassingly low amount of thrusts in his fist later, he comes fast and hard, muffling his cry into his pillow, and shivers for several minutes before coming down from his post-orgasm high.

Guilt almost immediately replaces his orgasm-induced bliss, though. It’s the first time he allows himself to get off to memories of Baekhyun scenting him. He feels ashamed and a bit sick, but also very aware. He can’t fool himself anymore.

His feelings for Baekhyun have gone beyond simple friendship long ago.

It’s just... it took him a self-indulgent jerk-off session to realise.

And well, it means his problems have just gotten trickier in about twelve different ways.

--

Sleeping on his guilt hasn’t made Chanyeol feel any better about himself. If anything, it’s worse, because the smell of his own jizz is constantly reminding him of his mistake of last night. It’s clearly a mistake—however great it felt, it was too short and doesn’t balance out the guilt and the inability to hide it that come along. Chanyeol took the right to at least wash his hands, but there’s some dried come on his stomach that he couldn’t wipe off completely.

Which means, he’s going to have to endure a day and a half of going to college, socialising, and avoiding Yifan while wearing his own spunk as an eau de toilette. All through the day, people—werewolves—give Chanyeol generally disgusted looks as they walk past him, which makes him even more ill-at-ease than he was in the morning. His friend and fellow bio student, Sehun, keeps glancing at him with a worried frown, but thank God he doesn’t seem to have picked up the embarrassing scent.

“I’m okay, it’s just—I’m tired of watching my back all the time. That Yifan guy and his goons can’t stop lurking around and it’s driving me crazy.”

“Wolves…” Sehun says, rolling his eyes and sighing ostensibly.

He’s one to talk, though, for he’s dating one, Jongin, who’s a beta of the Kim pack. Thinking about it, Chanyeol has that sudden, unexpected pang of jealousy, which is totally uncalled for. He frowns at his own reaction and stops looking around like a deer in the headlights, trying and failing to focus on a lecture about the xenopus’ cellular development. Who cares about frogs when you can study wolves—from up close?

Chanyeol thinks he must have a guardian angel or some shit of the likes because he doesn’t bump into Yifan, not even once. He doesn’t even see him all through the day. It’s a relief as much as it’s a burden, though, for Chanyeol spots Luhan and Zitao hanging around several times, looking all kinds of obnoxious and sinister.

“Say, Sehun,” Chanyeol asks at lunch break. “How far can wolves smell?”

Sehun gives him the mother of all unimpressed looks. “Uh, how should I know?”

“Come on, your boyfriend is a wolf,” Chanyeol doesn’t want to whine, but he does anyway.

“Well, it depends. Betas can smell about a mile away, I guess?” he says, shrugging. “Alphas have a better sense of smell. But everything depends on the environment, in the end. I suppose it’s more difficult to pick up a scent in a hall full of sweaty students than it is in the woods, for example.”

Chanyeol nods. He’ll have to research this later.

After a surprisingly Yifan-free school day, Chanyeol finally walks home. On the way, he looks up wolves’ sense of smell on his phone and is so flabbergasted that he has to stop in his tracks to read. While betas can smell from a mile tops, alphas are able to pick up scents from two miles away. That’s much more than the distance between Baekhyun and himself right now. Chanyeol starts to panic. What if Baekhyun can smell the semen on him? What is he going to do about it? Will he be angry? Will he want to stop scenting him altogether?

Chanyeol breaks out in a sweat as he starts trotting home. He hopes another wall between him and Baekhyun will prevent him from smelling him. He’s not supposed to be that close, though, for today is the full moon and all the wolves gather in the woods at the edge of town to run together. Everyone knows that. Humans know better than to take a leisurely stroll in the woods at this time of month.

He never makes it to his house, though. Baekhyun is already waiting for him in front of the driveway, half-crouched and wolfed out—there are tufts of hair going from the base of his pointed ears down to his jawline, and his fangs are out, long and sharp. On top of that, he’s wearing a light blue henley that leaves little to imagination—his muscles are nicely hugged by the fabric, and they’re all bunched up in tension. Chanyeol is aware, in a corner of his mind, that it’s not exactly the moment to be ogling his best friend, but he does anyway, because he’s kind of shameless. He’s covered in his own spunk in a town inhabited by wolves, after all, it’s not like he can embarrass himself more than that.

“Hey, hi Baek!” Chanyeol says awkwardly. He knows he doesn’t have to raise his voice, for Baekhyun can probably hear a mouse’s heart beating six miles away.

Baekhyun doesn’t respond. He dashes towards Chanyeol on all fours—which, weird—and stands in front of him, red-glowing eyes catching his. The next second, he’s sniffing Chanyeol up, lingering around the belly area and well, further south. No need to say this is a very uncomfortable situation, but Chanyeol is frozen in his spot, heartbeat picking up as Baekhyun’s nose goes further down, and sweating like a bull.

“Baek—”

“Shut up!” he snarls, inhaling deeply at levels with Chanyeol’s crotch.

“Baekhyun, this is kind of embarrassing—”

Baekhyun flinches and straightens up immediately. The wolfish features recede from his face and his teeth look like human teeth again, but his eyes are still red. Somehow, he’s panting. Chanyeol wonders why. It’s not the very short run from Chanyeol’s driveway that could have had that effect on him, surely.

“What is embarrassing, Yeol, is what you did,” Baekhyun hisses, jerking his head to the side as if he’s trying to keep his wolf at bay.

“What—what do you mean?”

Baekhyun rolls his eyes and takes a step back. “You want me to say it?” he asks, tone challenging. “Fine, I’ll say it.” He points an accusatory finger to Chanyeol, “You jerked off.”

Chanyeol cringes, “Well, you know, I’m a healthy twenty-year-old, that’s something I do—”

“Without me.”

Of course without him, duh. Jerking off with a friend is like breaking a dozen laws of the bro code.

Wait, what?

Baekhyun’s expression softens slightly, “You smell shocked.”

“Uh, well I—I thought that you’d be angry at me. Or, I don’t know, disgusted. I—I really didn’t expect you to call me out on jerking off without you.”

“It’s like rejection,” Baekhyun states, looking at Chanyeol. “We’re pack. Scent marking is crucial. Especially around the full moon. And semen is like, the most efficient scent marker. And you go and jerk off on your own and waste all that semen.”

Well this is news. Everything is about as complicated to process as watching the Matrix backwards—it’s surrealistic.

“Baekhyun, you understand that I’m human and that I—I’m not used to… share… moments like this.”

“Well, you’ll have to. This semen could have been all over me right now.”

Hello, mental image. Oh, and hello, boner. How can Baekhyun drop bombs like that one and be so freaking casual about it?

“You mean, like pee?” Chanyeol asks, unsure. It’s also a way to think about something else than half-naked Baekhyun covered in his come.

Baekhyun gives him a disgusted glare, “Of course not! I’m not a fucking Labrador!” He shakes his head and snorts. “Urine is for territory marking. We don’t pee on people, that’s insane.”

Well, so is spreading your jizz all over your friend, but apparently, to Baekhyun, it’s normal.

Suddenly, there’s a howl coming from the woods. Even Chanyeol can hear it. Baekhyun instantly wolfs out and his ears perk up. He tears his henley off and tosses it to Chanyeol. “Wear it,” he orders, while sniffing Chanyeol one last time. He shivers in some kind of a full-body shake and says, “We’ll talk later, I’ve got to go.”

Then he takes off, darting away in the direction of the woods, his broad back flexing with effort. Chanyeol’s gaze doesn’t linger on his ass.

--

Even after the jerking-off incident, they fall back into their routine, and none of them bring it up. They’re as close as ever when they’re scenting each other, Baekhyun is thorough and Chanyeol is horny, but they don’t go beyond rubbing their chests against each other. Chanyeol is frustrated—he can’t jerk off because Baekhyun would know and give him the stink eye, but Baekhyun doesn’t mention jerking off together either. In other words, scenting becomes a sweet torture and Chanyeol can’t wait for it to evolve into… something else, preferably less frustrating.

But it doesn’t, and as days become gradually longer and warmer, Baekhyun loses clothes and Chanyeol his sanity. He’s starting to wonder if Baekhyun isn’t some kind of sadist or just very oblivious. There’s no way he doesn’t notice—through smell, sight and just general atmosphere reading—how much his state of undress is affecting Chanyeol. Like, in what universe is it okay to go around in relaxed-fitting ripped jeans as only clothing?

Chanyeol tries his hardest to go through the end of the term with as clear a mind as possible. Finals are around the corner, after all, and he doesn’t want to flunk them because of an obsession for his best friend’s body.

Just when he thought he was rid of Yifan, for not having seen him around several days in a row, said alpha corners him after a lecture and sniffs him all over, glaring. A quick glance to his left assures Chanyeol that any escape is not conceivable, Luhan and Zitao standing menacingly in front of the staircase which, incidentally, happens to be the only exit in an accessible radius.

“Still not claimed,” Yifan hisses, snarling. “That alpha Byun is taking his sweet time.”

Chanyeol doesn’t reply, glaring in return as hard a he can.

“Tell him I say hi,” Yifan whispers, leaning dangerously towards Chanyeol’s face, who backs away until he’s touching the wall behind him.

“Tell him yourself, I’m not your freaking war messenger,” as soon as the words leave his mouth, Chanyeol regrets them. He’s not sure the term ‘war’ is totally appropriate to use, even in a sarcastic way, to describe the tense relationship between the Byun and Wu packs. They’ve been maintaining a fragile truce for decades now, but one knows the smallest spark could revive the fire between them. Chanyeol does not wish to be that spark.

“Don’t speak about things you don’t understand,” Yifan orders, and then with super wolf-speed, before Chanyeol has time to react at all, he shoves his hand in Chanyeol’s face and drags it down, running his fingers on his forehead, his cheeks, his mouth and his chin. Chanyeol jerks his head away, shouting in surprise and disgust.

“What the fuck?” he yells, still shocked and utterly disgruntled. “Leave me alone, you freak!”

Chanyeol takes off, shouldering his way between Luhan and Zitao who, surprisingly enough, let him go.


Chanyeol is still shaken as he runs home, replaying the absurdity of Yifan’s gesture in his head and trying to make sense of it. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t figure out a reason why Yifan would do such a thing. That’s probably why he finds himself in front of the Byun house earlier than the set time for daily scenting session. Before he can nurse second thoughts, he walks through the open gates up the alley way leading to the large house and knocks on the door.

He can’t knock twice, for Baekhyun is already standing in the doorway, eyes flashing red and nostrils flaring. “Smelled you coming,” he groans, trembling with what Chanyeol assumes is repressed rage. He sniffs Chanyeol’s face, which is about 100 times more pleasant than Yifan doing the exact same thing. “He scented you, the fucking mutt!” Baekhyun spits, on the verge of wolfing out. Chanyeol can see his fangs pointing out of his mouth and his eyes haven’t quit their red hue.

Baekhyun breathes in slowly, calming down. When he looks at Chanyeol again, his fangs have receded and his eyes are back to warm brown again, “I’m going to wash you,” he says. “You can’t smell like that here on Byun territory, scenting is going to take some time.” Chanyeol nods, albeit a little too frantically—he wants to get rid of Yifan’s gross scent as soon as possible, even though he can’t smell it himself. “Shower,” Baekhyun says, ushering him through the door and up the stairs. He leads Chanyeol to his en-suite bathroom but instead of leaving him and closing the door, he remains standing beside him.

“Uh, what are you doing, dude?” Chanyeol asks. “We stopped taking baths together in the third grade.”

“Ah, just take your shower, don’t mind me,” Baekhyun says coolly, leaning against the sink and looking at his cell. “You need to be clean before I wash you,” he adds.

“Baek, you’re not making sense right now. I’m sorry I don’t have all the knowledge about wolves and your quirks but why do you need to wash me again after I take a shower?”

Baekhyun looks up. There’s no judgement in his eyes, just understanding. “Not washing in a human way. I’ll wolf-wash you, but for that I need you to be clean. It’s a bit like scenting. Just, more efficient.”

Although he doesn’t get most of what Baekhyun said, Chanyeol nods, “Alright,” he says, “Just, could you turn around?”

“Sure,” Baekhyun answers, and complies. Chanyeol is surprised, but also extremely grateful he didn’t protest, or snort, or make fun of him. So Chanyeol tries to forget that his friend is standing next to him and gets undressed quickly, before entering the shower and washing up as fast as he can. Less than five minutes later he gets out of the shower, grabs a towel at random and wraps it around his hips. Baekhyun turns to him again and steps closer—ridiculously closer—in order to smell his face. He scrunches up his nose and his upper lip twitches in mild distaste.

“As I thought, you still smell like him,” he says, shaking his head. “This isn’t good, don’t move okay? I told you earlier, I’ll perform a new form of scenting, this one is stronger and lasts longer too.”

Scenting starts as usual, Baekhyun rubbing his nose and cheeks all over Chanyeol’s face. But he’s more thorough around his jawline and the base of his ears. Baekhyun drags his nose up from under Chanyeol’s chin to his lobe and inhales there, rubs his cheek and before long, there’s something warm and wet mapping a small area just beneath his ear. Chanyeol can’t refrain from shivering all over when he realises Baekhyun’s just licked him and before he knows it, a small moan leaves his own mouth. Chanyeol clamps a hand over his lips but Baekhyun doesn’t flinch, he simply grabs Chanyeol’s hand and removes it gently, “It’s in the way,” he whispers, and Chanyeol freezes, trapped in a state of anticipation and arousal.

Baekhyun continues to lick down Chanyeol’s jaw, using the tip of his tongue in small, brief stripes and trying to cover as much skin as possible. He pauses along the way, smelling his work and nodding in self-satisfaction, before going on. Baekhyun is slow and thorough, and it’s the worst and best kind of torture for Chanyeol, who’s obviously and painfully hard under the thin fabric of the towel. He takes large gulps of air to try and cool down but it’s no use, he’s reached point in arousal that he can’t come down from. Well, that would be possible if only he was allowed to get off.

Baekhyun starts using more tongue and more pressure to cover Chanyeol’s cheeks, his nose and forehead. It should feel gross, and smell nasty, but it doesn’t. It’s pleasant, soothing in a way that Chanyeol wouldn’t have imagined. He could almost relax, if the wolf currently licking his face clean wasn’t so damn sexy and the current object of all of Chanyeol’s wet dreams.

Baekhyun braces himself on Chanyeol’s shoulders and begins to lap at his torso, leaving a scorching wet trail in his wake. He purposefully avoids Chanyeol’s nipples—at least Chanyeol thinks he does so—because he probably knows he wouldn’t be able to hold back a moan and wants to spare them the embarrassment. Chanyeol thinks it’s a very wise decision. Baekhyun stops abruptly—Chanyeol almost whines at the loss—blowing puffs of hot air on Chanyeol’s pectoral, “I could lick you like that all over, but I think this’ll do for now. You won’t have to do it in return, just normal scenting will be enough, I guess.”

When Baekhyun straightens up to look at Chanyeol again, his lips are all reddish and swollen with effort, and he looks positively ravished. He’s not the wolf, but at this moment, Chanyeol wants to eat him up whole. Then, Baekhyun just casually removes his shirt in one swift movement, exposing the toned chest Chanyeol’s been lusting after for weeks, and that just about does it.

“Baekhyun…” Chanyeol doesn’t want to sound needy or whiny, but he knows he does. “You can’t expect me to be all stoic and pretend like it’s nothing when I’m literally naked and you’re licking me all over and then you’re sticking your bare chest against mine and rubbing it and, just, ugh! Baekhyun,” he sighs, looking away, “I can’t take it anymore.”

“What do you want?” Baekhyun asks coldly.

“I—I know everything started because of me but let’s be real, it blew out of proportions and here we are, half naked in your bathroom, scenting each other like there’s no tomorrow and not being able to—” Chanyeol stops himself. “I mean, Yifan is still after me, I don’t know what I did to deserve that, but he doesn’t believe you and I are together and I don’t want to burden you any further with all that shit and well…”

“What,” Baekhyun pries, and it’s not really a question.

“We need to stop because I really need to get off,” Chanyeol whispers shamefully. Baekhyun remains painfully quiet, so Chanyeol adds, “Seriously, we’re not even together and you’re blue-balling me! I don’t know if you wolves don’t have the same needs but come on, it’s driving me insane!”

And then, quite unexpectedly, Baekhyun bursts out laughing. “You should have told me earlier!” he says between gasps.

“Uh, we don't talk about that like we talk about the weather, Baekhyun,” Chanyeol says, frowning. He’s looking at Baekhyun gaining back his breath and wiping the side of his eyes, to top it all off—which, rude. What’s so funny?

“Man, if it was just that, I could have taken care of it a long time ago,” Baekhyun chuckles. “As I told you, semen is a very powerful scent marker, we could have used it ages ago.”

“What? What are you saying, Baek, I’m afraid I’m not following you,” Chanyeol answers, truly and entirely confused.

“Well, that’s simple,” Baekhyun smiles his signature rectangle smile. “I can get the both of us off and then we can use the semen to scent mark you.”

For some reason, Chanyeol is convinced Baekhyun is missing the point by a mile but he knows better than to say anything. Baekhyun speaks with such firmness and confidence that Chanyeol finds himself trusting him with his body—they’ve been friends for years, they’ve known each other for just as long, so if Baekhyun wants to take the lead on something that will probably alter their relationship forever, Chanyeol is on board with it.

Baekhyun never sounds panicked, or uncertain, and his hands don’t shake as he redirects them downwards and pauses where the towel makes a poor job of hiding anything compromising. “You have to trust me, okay?” he whispers, and Chanyeol nods immediately. “Before I do anything, I need you to know that even though it’s going to feel awkward to you, what I’m about to do is normal and healthy. It’s intimate, granted, but if you really want to be rid of that asshole, this is going to do the trick. What I mean is, the difference between regular scent marking and semen marking is like, water gun versus bazooka.” Baekhyun smirks, “And once this is done, we’re free. Back to hanging out at your place playing old games till morning.”

“Okay,” Chanyeol replies.

“You sure?”

“Yes. I have to fix what I’ve done, somehow. And if you think this is the solution, then, do it,” Chanyeol nods, probably sounding more assured than he is, deep down. “I trust you.”

That seems to do it for Baekhyun, for something shifts in his eyes, which flash red briefly before turning serious and Chanyeol knows he means business. Baekhyun leans in slowly, brushing the side of his jaw with his chin and whispering in his ear, “Close your eyes and feel.”

It’s strange, the ease with which Chanyeol complies. Baekhyun’s sole reassuring presence makes him feel fully safe and protected, so it’s not even embarrassing or scary when Baekhyun’s dainty fingers unwind the towel from around Chanyeol’s waist and when it drops on the tiled floor in a quiet rustle, leaving him naked and exposed to Baekhyun’s sharp gaze. But Chanyeol keeps his eyes shut, shivering ever so slightly when Baekhyun’s hands leave his body, feeling oddly cold all of a sudden. Still, Baekhyun is radiating super-human body heat so he’s not far. By the sound of it, Baekhyun is also shedding the rest of his clothing, and even though he’s awfully tempted to peek, Chanyeol finds the willpower in him not to.

Suddenly, Baekhyun is all over Chanyeol, who gasps in surprise. He’s reminded about his extreme arousal when something brushes his erected cock. Something he suspects is Baekhyun’s own erection, and just the idea of it has his head reeling with anticipation. A quiet, shuddery moan escapes his lips and he feels Baekhyun nod next to his ear as he gets closer until they’re flush against each other, torsos touching, hips knocking and erections brushing each other slickly. There’s a groan and a muffled grunt and Chanyeol doesn’t know who did what but he’s not really able to think, for the entirety of his blood is pumping through his cock at the moment. He can tell Baekhyun is affected as well—he’s panting and sweating and the patterns his tongue decide to draw on Chanyeol’s shoulder don’t make sense anymore. Everything is burning-hot and wet, from Baekhyun’s saliva to his sweat to the precome leaking from both of them.

It’s all kinds of overwhelming when Baekhyun grabs both their members in his firm grip. Chanyeol gasps out loud but promptly shuts his mouth to prevent from making any more noise.

“All the rooms are soundproof, silly,” Baekhyun chuckles breathily in his ear, lips grazing the lobe teasingly. “Otherwise, we’d have no privacy in a house full of wolves.” Eyes still closed, Chanyeol nods his acknowledgment. “So,” Baekhyun says, “let go.” he adds, exhaling hotly against Chanyeol’s throat.

Chanyeol doesn’t need to be told twice—he nearly shouts the first time Baekhyun pumps them. Baekhyun is surprisingly quieter—he whimpers with every upward movement of his wrist, whereas Chanyeol follows Baekhyun’s advice; he lets go entirely.

The ridiculous amount of precome makes Baekhyun’s grip slick and easy, allowing him to be fast and efficient. Chanyeol moans into Baekhyun’s shoulder, carefully avoiding his neck and his hands have relocated themselves on his back, caressing the moving bumps of his back muscles, constantly flexing and releasing with the motion. If possible, Baekhyun becomes even faster, his unrelenting fist tightening around both their lengths and working them up and down at an inhuman pace. Chanyeol gasps and pants, nearly choking on his own spit. To occupy his mouth, he clamps it on Baekhyun’s shoulder and tentatively licks a small stripe there. It’s sweet and salty and Chanyeol knows that now that he’s tasted Baekhyun once, he won’t want to try anything else. Baekhyun moans in approval, louder, and grips at Chanyeol’s ass with his free hand, pulling them even closer, as if they weren’t enough. It leaves them little to no space to move, but Baekhyun is still fast and thorough, jerking them with the same intensity until Chanyeol is sloppy, leaving too-wet trails on Baekhyun’s skin.

“Ah—Baek… I’m close,” Chanyeol whispers hoarsely between ragged breaths.

“Good, that’s good, Yeol—ah! Me… too,” Baekhyun says, voice as broken as his rhythm.

Despite Baekhyun’s uneven pace, Chanyeol is still as aroused and he feels the familiar burn coiling in his gut, ready to explode. Soon enough, he’s spilling with a broken cry, orgasm pulsing through him and against Baekhyun’s palm like a tidal wave. As he slumps limply against Baekhyun’s strong body, Baekhyun braces himself on his shoulder and pushes him away just a matter of two inches or so. Chanyeol can tell, because in the obliviousness of post-orgasm bliss, he forgot to keep his eyes closed. He’s looking at both their reflections in the mirror, peeking without Baekhyun knowing. And man, is he hot as he’s aiming the tip of his dick towards Chanyeol’s stomach and working himself fast and short. Suddenly, Baekhyun opens his mouth and Chanyeol is startled to see that he’s fanged. He groans and bends his head until it’s angled towards Chanyeol’s throat, dangerously hovering over the quickly beating carotid at the base of his neck.

Chanyeol doesn’t have time to decide if he’s freaked out or aroused again, because in one second it’s over, Baekhyun’s fangs become blunt teeth again and his head jerks away at the same moment as he’s coming hard onto Chanyeol’s belly, pumping himself a few more times until he’s empty; growling low in his throat as he does.

Chanyeol leans away, pretending he’s opening his eyes only now, but nothing could have prepared him to the look on Baekhyun’s face. His eyes are hooded and glowing red, his cheeks sporting a healthy flush and his lips, half-parted and still a bit swollen, look plush and inviting—Chanyeol is suddenly hungry for them and licks his own.

But he can’t really listen to the tell in his chest and go for them because come on, they’re a fucking mess, covered in each other’s saliva, sweat and come. Chanyeol has the intuition that he’s not taking a shower anytime soon, though. And, well, he figures he doesn’t mind.

Shaking off his dazed look, but still red-eyed, Baekhyun stares at his hand and gives his handiwork a satisfied nod. Quickly, he splays his fingers—come’s still fresh—and puts his palm on Chanyeol’s stomach, leaving it there for a little while before spreading the mess of their comes and blending them together as if he’s applying some balm. The thing is, come won’t penetrate Chanyeol’s skin, so Baekhyun grabs the towel from the floor and mops the wet remnants away until there’s just a thin, dry layer of semen covering the better part of his belly. Baekhyun wipes off the rest on his own abs with a private satisfied smile before turning around—that ass, though! Chanyeol chokes and makes it pass as a coughing fit—and washing his hands in the sink.

Silently, Baekhyun takes his shirt from a neat pile of clothes next to the sink and hands it to Chanyeol. “As usual,” he says lazily, voice still a little hoarse on the edges.

“Uh, you want mine?” Chanyeol asks, looking at the disarray of wrinkled clothes on the floor.

“Sure,” Baekhyun grabs Chanyeol’s dark blue V-neck, pats it a little and slips it on. It fits him snugly, sinfully tight around the shoulders, and if Chanyeol weren’t enjoying ogling him shamelessly, he’d be jealous that his own clothes fit Baekhyun better.

“Get dressed,” Baekhyun says as he’s struggling to put his tight jeans on—Chanyeol has died multiple deaths today, all thanks to Baekhyun and the hotness of his body, were it covered or not. “We’re early, maybe you want to study here a bit. I have some bills to sort, and it’s going to take me the afternoon. After that, we can watch a movie or play games, for old time’s sake?” Baekhyun sounds surprisingly unsure, which is miles away from his usual character, and Chanyeol doesn’t know what to make of it. He decides not to dwell on it, for fear of making the awkward, post-jerk-off-session-between-dudes silence stretch for too long.

“I’d like that,” he replies, smiling. There’s a grateful glint in Baekhyun’s eyes—they’re not red anymore—and he beams back before turning and waiting in his room for Chanyeol to change back into his clothes and leave him some kind of privacy. Chanyeol wonders what the point is, now that they’ve seen each other 100% naked and in detail, but he keeps it to himself and continues to dress up in silence.

The next two hours are spent in a studious fashion—Baekhyun at his desk and Chanyeol sprawled across the bed—where they don’t talk because they’ve never really discussed sexual matters other than the odd TMI conversation with mutual friends. It’s just something that they don’t share about. They share everything, except that. Well, now that they’ve basically exchanged jizz, things are bound to become a little different.

Out of the two hours, Chanyeol truly manages to study for about forty minutes, and then again he can’t really focus on Krebs cycle and tricarboxylic acid for more than five minutes in a row. His mind is sent wandering the dangerous areas of his memory where mental images of a debauched, naked Baekhyun are neatly stored. He keeps glancing at Baekhyun from the corner of his eye; he’s wearing the cute round glasses again, and is deliberately concentrating on his papers, probably not looking at Chanyeol on purpose. After several attempts, Chanyeol gives up and decides to study for real—which lasts approximately ten minutes before Baekhyun gets up from his chair and stretches his back, Chanyeol’s shirt riding up a little and revealing his delicious-looking abs. Chanyeol has to look away before he pops another boner.

“I’m done—” Baekhyun yawns. “I wouldn’t be against watching you play FF-X while I pass out on the couch,” he adds, rubbing his eyes under his glasses. At some point, he changed into a pair of loose fitting sweat pants and now positively looks like an elementary schoolboy. Chanyeol has trouble wrapping his head around the fact that the same guy had his dick in his fist a few minutes prior.

Instead of playing Final Fantasy seriously, Chanyeol plays several Blitzball games in a row, as Baekhyun, rolled up in a blanket and looking comfortable next to him, regularly feeds him Cheetos. It’s natural and easy, feels like the other hundreds of times they played like that, lounging on a sofa they’ve overgrown, limbs tangled but comfortable.

Before long, Baekhyun is snoring softly next to Chanyeol’s ear. Chanyeol pauses the game—he was losing this round, anyway—and removes Baekhyun’s glasses as delicately as possible. Baekhyun smacks his lips a couple times before doing some sleepy puppy-like nuzzling to Chanyeol’s neck.

Chanyeol shudders. He must be asleep, he thinks. He’d never go for Chanyeol’s neck, if he wasn’t. Which makes Chanyeol think back to Baekhyun’s strange behaviour earlier in the bathroom when he’d nearly bitten Chanyeol’s throat. At the thought, he shivers in a way that’s not completely unpleasant.

“Baekhyun,” he whispers. Baekhyun hums, breathing through his nose and tickling Chanyeol’s neck. “You hear me?” Another hum, a little annoyed this time. Baekhyun leans away from Chanyeol’s throat to rest his head on the back of the sofa.

“What…” he slurs sleepily.

“I want to know more about werewolves,” he says quietly, staring at the screen. “Would you tell me what you know?”

Baekhyun straightens slightly, probably a little more awake. “Sure. I’ll explain things to you if you want. I’ll even show you some cool tricks,” he chuckles, replacing himself in a more comfortable position (read: half on top of Chanyeol).

“Awesome,” Chanyeol replies around a mouthful of Baekhyun’s hair and blanket.

He’s not even sure Baekhyun heard his answer, for he’s already snoring into Chanyeol’s chest, breath steady except for the occasional puppy yelp that he insists on denying. Contentedly, Chanyeol turns the Playstation off with his big toe, not even bothering to save the game and mutes the TV. He settles into a relatively comfortable position, thinking, as he’s nodding off, that he wouldn’t mind sharing more than a sofa with Baekhyun to sleep in.

--

“—and we can control our shift, you see.” Baekhyun says, showing off his claws, making them grow out and recede at different rates.

They’re both sitting cross-legged on Baekhyun’s king-size, facing each other. Baekhyun’s been explaining interesting trivia about werewolves to Chanyeol but so far, he’s surprised to notice that he already knew everything. He listens dutifully, though, for more than an hour, before curiosity wins him over.

“How about you show me something I don’t already know, for once?” Chanyeol says, a taunting smirk tugging the corner of his mouth up. Baekhyun snorts and flips him two clawed fingers with a faux-pout on his lips.

“Alright,” Baekhyun replies, and Chanyeol recognises his ‘challenge accepted’ voice. Baekhyun straightens his back, extends his index finger and claws it out with a snap.

“You’re such a show-off,” Chanyeol chuckles.

“Shut up,” Baekhyun says, and all of a sudden, he snips his thumb with his claw. A bead of bright red blood oozes from the neat cut. Chanyeol freezes—he can’t really stand the sight of blood. He’s pretty sure Baekhyun heard the uptick of his heart but he doesn’t flinch at it. Instead, he brings his thumb to his mouth and sucks it clean, then takes it out with a wet smack of his lips. “Look,” he orders, shoving his thumb in Chanyeol’s face, “we heal instantly.” He’s right. The cut fades out in less than two seconds, leaving Baekhyun’s thumb as unscarred as it was a minute beforehand. Chanyeol nods, squirming in his place, a little uneasy.

“I knew that too,” Chanyeol says. “Everyone knows that. You never hurt yourself when we went climbing trees and riding our bikes. I was so jealous at the time, especially when I had to wear a cast for three weeks after falling from Mrs Jung’s tree house.”

“You used that excuse to make me do your homework,” Baekhyun grumbled.

“Which you did very well, by the way,” Chanyeol beams.

“I pitied you and your fragile bones,” Baekhyun says, chuckling.

“Whatever,” Chanyeol shakes his head, still smiling a little before looking Baekhyun in the eye. “I already knew you guys could heal fast.”

“Well if you know everything, why did you ask me to tell you about wolves?” Baekhyun sounds vaguely offended now. He’s definitely annoyed.

“Tell me about the bite.”

It’s faint, but Chanyeol can swear Baekhyun’s eyes flash red for a split-second. “Which one?” Baekhyun asks.

“What do you mean, ‘which one’?”

“Ha!” Baekhyun sounds overly triumphant. “I found something that Mr I-have-a-PhD-in-werewolf-science doesn’t know about!”

“Well, enlighten me then!” Chanyeol tries his hardest not to sound irritated.

Baekhyun straightens his back, places his hands on his folded knees gravely and stares off. “You know how everyone of us isn't born a werewolf, right?” He looks up at Chanyeol, seeking approval. “Well, there's a way to become one, and I'm sure you've watched enough werewolf films to know that it's through an alpha bite.” Chanyeol nods so that Baekhyun can continue, “Only alphas can turn humans into wolves, but as you also probably know it, it's restricted. The bite is very dangerous, and when done the wrong way, it can lead to death. That's why we're working with hunters to prevent rogue alphas from crossing our territory. The consequences could be fatal.” Baekhyun pauses, looking through the window. The trees cast their late-afternoon long shadows on the white curtains, allowing the room to remain pleasantly cool even at this time of year. “In a wolf pack, some children aren't born wolves. When they're 18, we ask them if they want to be turned or not. If they're willing to become one of us, the alpha is in charge of biting them. Only babies born in a wolf pack are offered this privilege. We don't turn people randomly.”

“You mean that if I asked you, you wouldn't turn me?”

“You want to be a wolf?” Baekhyun asks, just a tad defensively. He doesn't answer Chanyeol's question, though.

“No, just… I wanted to know, ah, nevermind.”

“We don't turn people who ask for the bite like that! Imagine if people with bad intentions asked to be turned and then used their newly-acquired powers to do harm… Everything would be out of control. That's why we have Wolf Laws and aren't allowed to turn people outside the pack.”

“I understand,” Chanyeol says, pensive.

“About that,” Baekhyun adds. “My cousin, Taehyung, has just turned 18. He asked my mother for the bite and she agreed, as head alpha. But she told me to do it. For young alphas like me, it's like a rite of passage. You're not a full alpha until you give one of the bites. I'll turn Taehyung on the next full moon,” Baekhyun states with a nervous smile.

“How do you give the bite?” Chanyeol is so curious that he can't help bouncing a little on the plush mattress.

“You can't bite just anywhere. To turn someone, you can bite either here,” Baekhyun leans over and grabs Chanyeol's forearm. “Here,” he brushes Chanyeol's side. “Or here,” he says, dropping his hand to Chanyeol thigh and pressing it gently, looking him dead in the eye. Chanyeol gulps, feeling Baekhyun’s warmth seep through his palm and spread like wildfire. He nods weakly. Baekhyun lingers a few more seconds before removing his hand.

“That was one of the bites, though,” Chanyeol says, clearing his throat. “What about the other kind of bite?” He knows what it is, but what he doesn’t know is how it works. Even though he’s pretty sure he’ll regret his question, in the end, his thirst for knowledge carries the day.

“The other one is a once-in-a-lifetime bite,” Baekhyun sighs. “The claiming bite.”

Chanyeol’s heart skips a beat and starts thumping in his chest. He doesn’t know why he’s upset, though. He reckons it has to do with Baekhyun and the fact that so far, he’s been saving his claiming bite. Chanyeol can’t imagine his own reaction when Baekhyun gives it to another wolf, strong and powerful like him, who will be able to run with him in the woods and give him pups. Chanyeol glances away, unable to focus on anything in the bedroom, looking everywhere but at Baekhyun.

“When a wolf finds their mate, they start courting them. Courtship is very formal, even though it evolved throughout centuries. But basically, it relies on instinct. There are three phases to courtship—contact, mutual trust and claiming.” Baekhyun enumerates on his fingers. “Firstly, the wolf has to make contact with their mate. They make themselves a fixture in the other’s life, help and support them. This phase can take up to several years. Secondly, they have to earn each other’s trust and do something to prove they’d give up their life for the other. Finally, when they assume it’s the right time, they offer the claiming bite to the mate. Formerly, a wolf could claim someone without their consent, but now under Wolf Laws they need the mate’s consent to do it. If the mate accepts, they receive the bite and they become mates officially.” Baekhyun raises a hand next to his neck and claws it out. He mimics a wolf’s jaw with it and, tilting his head to the side, he exposes his throat. He grazes his claws on the fine skin at the base of his neck and in a swift move, he mimes the jaw closing in on the flesh. Chanyeol starts. “Alphas mate for life, though. They don’t give the bite to someone undeserving. This decision is the most important of their life, so it’s also thoroughly thought over.”

Baekhyun stops speaking, his words hanging heavily in the air between them. After several minutes of silence, Chanyeol decides to break it, “But—if the mate refuses?”

Baekhyun lets out a faint gasp and frowns slightly before pulling himself together. “When it happens, which fortunately is very rarely, the wolf can’t claim anyone and is bound to be alone forever, fighting their instinct for the rest of their life. It is said that it drove some wolves so crazy that they turned feral, were banned from their packs and became rogues.”

“Sounds terrible,” Chanyeol says, feeling sad all of a sudden.

“It is…” Baekhyun trails off. “Every law has its downsides.” He runs a hand through his hair, making it stick up in every direction. He looks exhausted and restless; he gets up from the bed and paces, palming his face and ruffling his hair nervously. “I really need a run,” he says, exhaling loudly. “Is it okay if we resume our little chat tomorrow? I can show you some cool stuff if you come with me to the preserve’s forest. Just, not now.”

“Sure,” Chanyeol nods, brows drawn together in a frown, worrying about his friend’s sudden change of behaviour. “Looks like you could use some fresh air.”

Baekhyun’s eyes flicker a faint, tired red, at least, it’s what Chanyeol has time to see before Baekhyun turns and slides his window open before gracefully leaping out of it. Chanyeol scrambles up and runs to the window, just to see the tip of a furry brown tail disappear into the woods behind the alpha house.

--

The next day, Baekhyun texts Chanyeol that a bunch of invoices have come through so he has to sort them out and document everything, and he won’t be able to see him. Chanyeol’s shoulders sag in disappointment, but more importantly, he’s worried about Baekhyun. The way he acted all upset and antsy yesterday isn’t like Baekhyun at all. Baekhyun is straight-forward and honest and always voices what bothers him. The way he ran away from Chanyeol and is still avoiding him today is highly unsettling, for it’s a first.

Chanyeol is convinced Baekhyun’s dramatic escape has something to do with their conversation about claiming a mate. Has Baekhyun already chosen his mate? If so, is he feeling guilty for spending so much time with Chanyeol. Chanyeol shakes his head. Nah, can’t be. If he’d found a mate, he wouldn’t be scenting Chanyeol on a daily basis. It just doesn’t make sense.

He supposes Baekhyun probably panicked at the idea of ending up alone and sad and couldn’t bear his own skin anymore. Chanyeol tries to think of something to do to help Baekhyun feel better, but he doesn’t seem privy enough to wolves’ thinking mechanism to come up with a reasonable idea.

These confusing thoughts accompany Chanyeol all throughout his morning, until he’s shaken out of his dazed state by a disgusted-looking Sehun. “You smell funny, dude,” he says, wrinkling his nose, “When was your last shower?” He removes the hand he’d placed on Chanyeol’s shoulder and discreetly (but not enough because Chanyeol sees it) wipes it on his jeans.

“My mum made garlic chicken and I can’t get the smell off of my clothes,” he improvises, wincing at his unconvincing tone.

“Doesn’t smell like garlic, though,” Sehun muses. “I know this smell, but I can’t place it.”

Chanyeol prays he won’t as they make their way towards the cafeteria.

“Man, why is everyone staring at you?” Sehun asks, elbowing Chanyeol as they’re carrying their trays to their usual table.

Chanyeol looks around, confused. And, indeed, everyone—werewolves, he assumes—is turned to him and Sehun. Their expressions range from astonished to mildly disgusted and Chanyeol suddenly feels very conscious of the fact he’s covered in another person’s spunk. He sits down as inconspicuously as possible and ducks his head.

Chanyeol inhales his sandwich—he wants to spend as little time as possible in a large room full of wolves smelling Baekhyun on him. It makes all the hairs on his body stand on end, and he nearly jumps out of his chair when someone slides onto the seat across the table next to Sehun.

Chanyeol eyes Jongin warily as he kisses his boyfriend in greeting. Slowly, he turns to Chanyeol, eyes wide. “Chanyeol?”

“Hi? Jongin,” Chanyeol says, bracing himself on his seat.

“So? You’ve been claimed by Alpha Byun?”

Chanyeol doesn’t know if he should be offended at Jongin’s incredulous tone or if he should enter full-on panic mode because Jongin, who’s not even part of the Byun pack, and not even an alpha, could recognise Baekhyun’s scent on him.

“Come on, don’t look at me like you’ve seen a ghost. You know what I’m talking about, right?”

Chanyeol shakes his head, eyes wide, trying to communicate but Jongin looks like he’s on a roll.

“I can smell him all over you, that’s a bit gross.”

Sehun looks frantic, staring at Chanyeol, then glancing at Jongin, then at Chanyeol again. “What? You had sex with Byun?” he yells, voice going unnaturally high-pitched. Well, it’s not like the other wolves in the room weren’t aware already. Now, even regular students turn to him, giving their group the stink eye.

On any other situation, Chanyeol would have chastised Sehun for giving his sex-appeal so little credit, but now is a dire situation that he has to escape right this moment.

“Okay, I have to go,” Chanyeol hisses, lips drawn in a tight line. “Nice talking to you, Jongin,” he adds, sarcasm dripping from his tone.

He grabs the rest of his sandwich and strides towards the exit, throwing it into the bin on his way, any appetite left for it being long lost. He decides he’ll just downright skip all his afternoon classes to go home looking for a remote cave to rent on Airbnb. Or a desert island—yeah, sounds just like where he needs to be.

He sees his dream island recede a couple million miles, though, when he bumps into Luhan on his way out. He doesn’t even bother apologising and continues running, trying to avoid looking around at the crowd of curious students. A hand grabs him and he has to stop so sharply that it feels like his lungs are expelled out of his chest.

“Nuh-uh, not going anywhere, human,” Luhan sing-songs in an insufferably unctuous voice.

“Leave me alone, I have nothing to say to you,” he shouts, trying to pull away from the wolf’s death grip.

“Oh, but you have,” he smiles brightly. “Well, not to me, exactly. But I’ll be there watching when you speak to our alpha.”

“NO!” Chanyeol yells again, struggling in vain.

“You’ll have to explain to him why you reek of that filthy alpha.”

Luhan drags him out on the back car-park where Yifan and Zitao are already waiting for them. Luhan throws Chanyeol who stumbles on a couple of yards before regaining balance and planting himself in front of Yifan. Whatever crap he’s going to pull, Chanyeol tries to appear ready for.

Yifan inhales once, slowly. His face is unreadable as he looks at his nails pointedly, before smoothing his eyebrows with his thumb in a ridiculously out-of-place fashion. Is that supposed to be intimidating?

“Well, what do we have here?” Yifan snorts. “Smells like you’re not a werewolf-virgin anymore.”

Chanyeol is seriously annoyed that everyone seems to be privy to his sex life.

“Still unclaimed, I reckon?”

“That’s none of your business, so fuck off,” Chanyeol says coldly.

“No, thanks,” Yifan tilts his head to the side. “Tao.”

Before Chanyeol has time to register what’s happening to him, Zitao swoops down on him and traps him in an iron-like cage made up of his arms. Yifan walks up to them slowly and grabs Chanyeol’s hair. He yanks his head to the side and sniffs his throat. Chanyeol’s heart is hammering in his chest, confused between fear and burning-hot anger.

“Let go of me!” he screams. “I’m not a fucking doll that you can manhandle as you please! LET GO!”

He hopes the sound of his voice will lure other werewolves to them and force Yifan to release him. But there’s no one around as Yifan puts his long fingers against the column of Chanyeol’s neck and feels it from top to base. It’s slow and extremely unpleasant, but at least, they’re not trying to hurt him—for now. Chanyeol is utterly frustrated not to be able to fend for himself, powerless in the arms of a creature ten times stronger than him. He realises how fragile his life is, how easy it would be for Yifan to just snap his spine in half.

Yifan tilts Chanyeol’s head to the other side and starts feeling him again. He frowns, and that’s the first time Chanyeol sees the semblance of an emotion cross his face.

“I was right,” he whispers. “You’re not claimed.”

Yifan lets go of Chanyeol’s head, pats his hair and smirks at him. It’s gummy and fake and all kinds of disgusting. Yifan taps Chanyeol’s cheek, who jerks his head backwards, hard enough that he head-butts Zitao in the nose and hears him yelp in pain. If it’s the last sound he hears before his death, at least it’ll be a satisfactory one. Zitao whines a little but tightens his grip on Chanyeol.

Unfazed, Yifan turns on his heels. “Let’s go to Wu territory to have a little chat, shall we?”

“OVER MY DEAD BODY!” a voice booms from the other side of the car-park.

“Baekhyun!” Chanyeol yells, feeling all the tension in his body leave him at once. Zitao is so surprised by the turn of events that his grip loosens enough that Chanyeol can free himself and run towards Baekhyun.

Each yard separating him from Yifan’s posse makes him more relieved. He dares a look behind him and sees the three wolves standing, not trying to run after him. It doesn’t slow him down, though, because the earlier he reaches Baekhyun, the better. Baekhyun opens his arms and Chanyeol crashes against him. Being engulfed in a wolf-hug never felt better.

Baekhyun pulls away almost instantly, checking Chanyeol’s face. “Are you okay?” He pats Chanyeol’s face, cards his fingers in the hair on his temples, looking genuinely worried.

Chanyeol nods, “I’m okay,” he smiles. “Now, I am.”

Baekhyun sighs, relieved, and hugs Chanyeol tight again. “Play along,” he whispers extra quietly into Chanyeol’s ear so that only he can hear him. Before Chanyeol can process or nod, Baekhyun pushes him away just enough to catch his collar and yank at it, pressing their lips together.

It’s hard and a little bit toothy at first, but it’s also the best feeling Chanyeol has ever experienced. After the split-second of surprise, he is happy to ‘play along’, slanting his lips against Baekhyun’s soft ones. Contrary to every idea Chanyeol ever had about how Baekhyun would kiss him—yeah, he thought about it, more than once—Baekhyun is gentle and pliant, opening his mouth ever-so-slightly, sighing into the non-existent space between them, sweet but needy.

It’s over all too quickly when Baekhyun pulls away, eyes shining bright red. He closes them and when he reopens them, they’re brown again and slightly glazed over. He sighs one last time, then his face hardens and he turns sharply, body angled towards their sinister audience.

“Chanyeol’s mine, you hear me, Wu?” he says, voice so low it sounds more like a growl. “Mine,” he adds, snarling. “Never touch him again.”

From where he stands, Chanyeol can see that Luhan and Zitao are both clawed and fanged, whereas Yifan is sporting his full human appearance. “This isn’t over, Byun,” he states loud enough for both Baekhyun and Chanyeol to hear, before turning and walking to a shiny, tacky Mercedes and opening it with a remote control.

They don’t wait for him to leave to take off. Baekhyun leads the way, running along the streets leading to Byun territory. It’s only when they’ve crossed the virtual border into familiar ground that Baekhyun slows down, without stopping completely. Chanyeol feels like his lungs are about to give out but he follows valiantly, panting until they finally come to a stop in front of the woods next to the alpha house. Chanyeol notices with envy, as he’s bracing himself on his own knees to be acquainted with oxygen again, that Baekhyun isn’t even breathless.

“I’m sorry,” he says faintly.

“What?” Chanyeol asks, incredulous. “What for?”

“I’m so sorry, Chanyeol,” he sounds pained, guilt heavy in his voice. “I should have known that they’d go after you but I wasn’t there.”

“No, no—don’t be sorry. You couldn’t know. And look at my face,” Chanyeol smiles, “Still as perfect as ever,” he tries to joke, but it falls flat.

“Still, they could have hurt you.”

“But they didn’t. I’m okay, Baekhyun. I’m okay because you came, who knows what they would’ve done to me if you didn’t?” This time, it’s Chanyeol who initiates the hug. Baekhyun yelps in surprise but doesn’t resist, body slack and warm in Chanyeol’s embrace. “Thank you,” he adds.

Baekhyun nods imperceptibly, but Chanyeol feels it anyway, for it’s right against his torso. “If you let me go,” Baekhyun mutters into Chanyeol’s tee, “I’ll show you something, sound good?”


So Chanyeol follows Baekhyun into the woods, walking slowly and carefully as to not trip on the odd root or stump on his way. It’s fascinating, the way Baekhyun seems perfectly at ease in an environment one would normally consider hostile. He glides silently between tall trunks, sporadically looking behind him that Chanyeol is still hot on his heels.

The canopy above them thickens the deeper they walk into the woods, casting dark shadows onto the ground. It smells like humidity and moss, and the temperature dropped several degrees. But it’s not unpleasant, on the contrary, it’s refreshing and mysterious, and Chanyeol isn’t one to refuse some Stephen King kind of thrill once in a while.

They walk like that for several dozens of minutes, and while Chanyeol has no freaking idea where they are, Baekhyun doesn’t look lost at all. Before long, they emerge into an open clearing crossed by a river lined with large blocks of granite. The sight is wonderfully green, wild grass having grown out up until Chanyeol’s hips next to the trees, then getting tamer and shorter near the river, making it look like a very nice and flowery meadow.

Baekhyun takes a big gulp of air, closing his eyes contentedly. Chanyeol finds himself mimicking the gesture. Everything feels better in this place, purer, brighter—untimely. “This is where the packs goes to run on the full moon. We like to chase each other and bathe together for hours on end,” a small smile tugs at the corner of Baekhyun’s lips, as Chanyeol observes him clandestinely. “Sometimes when I was younger, I would get so excited that I ran around the clearing multiple times and got so tired that I had to ditch school the next day. My mum would scold me but I know that deep down she was proud that her pup enjoyed running in the wild. I could see it in her eyes,” he adds, chuckling privately.

Baekhyun walks towards the rocks, choosing one with a relatively flat top. He takes off his shirt, and Chanyeol gasps. Baekhyun undressing is never getting old. Not only does he shed his shirt but also his jeans, socks and boxers. He stands naked in front of Chanyeol and smiles again.

“Told you I would show you something cool, remember?” he asks. “Well, look.”

And then he shifts. Fully.

Chanyeol can’t help wincing a little at the sound of bones rearranging themselves, but the result leaves him speechless, rooted in his spot.

Baekhyun’s wolf is about twice as big as regular wolves. His fur is a nice shade of warm, light brown, white around the eyes and muzzle, and his two forelegs are white-socked. He’s lean and slender with enormous paws and a lighter brown fur mane around a sturdy neck.

Long story short, Baekhyun’s full wolf form is a magnificent creature.

“Whoa,” Chanyeol lets out, at a loss for anything else more eloquent to say.

Baekhyun jerks his furry head to the side, and Chanyeol interprets it as ‘follow me’. So he does. Baekhyun trots around the clearing, turning from time to time to check on Chanyeol, sporting a big wolf-smile, tongue dangling from his mouth. Baekhyun’s pace becomes gradually faster, and Chanyeol tries to keep up. Before long, he’s running next to Baekhyun, feeling more free than he’s ever felt, forgetting about college, exams and vicious alphas in favour of breaking a sweat in the heart of the woods with his best wolf-friend.

His poor stamina quickly brings him back to reality, though. Two runs in one day is more than Chanyeol’s untrained body can take. He sits down next to the rock and takes his hoodie off. Baekhyun runs around him once, twice, before head-butting him in the side. Chanyeol laughs out loud, grabs Baekhyun by the neck and starts scratching him behind the ears. All animals like that, right? If the way Baekhyun wags his tail frantically is any indication, he does.

After a few minutes of this treatment, Baekhyun seems to get tired of it and disentangles from Chanyeol’s grip. He jumps on the spot before running straight to the river and leaping into it. He frolics in the water, spreading it everywhere around him and drinking from it in lengthy gulps. He then turns to Chanyeol and jerks his head again.

“No, I’m good!” he replies.

Baekhyun doesn’t hear it that way, though. He gets out of the river and when he’s next to Chanyeol, it’s too late for him to react—Baekhyun shakes himself, spilling cold water all over Chanyeol. His wolfish smile is even wider when he looks at his handiwork, meaning: a drenched Chanyeol.

“Okay, alright, I get it…” Chanyeol says, pretending to sound defeated. He undresses down to his boxers and lays his clothes on the rock next to Baekhyun’s. It’s hot today, they should dry in a few minutes. “Don’t you forget that I have opposable thumbs!” he yells before jumping without grace into the chilly water.

Baekhyun joins him, and they play for a while, spreading each other. Chanyeol even takes as much water as he can in his mouth and spits it on Baekhyun who manages to look indignant, even in his wolf form. Chanyeol laughs out loud, etching the image at the forefront of his memory, wishing to keep it forever.

A few minutes later, though, Chanyeol starts to feel cold—running water never gets warm, even in summer. So he gets out and lays down onto the grass, folding his hands under his head and looking up to the scarce clouds. Soon enough, Baekhyun comes lying down next to him, putting his big, wet head on Chanyeol’s belly. It tickles, but he doesn’t mind. He cards his fingers in Baekhyun’s soft fur and strokes him lazily. He decides to close his eyes, just for a few minutes.

He’s woken up by a wet tongue licking his face and the upper part of his torso. He smiles and opens his eyes, only to notice that it’s already dusk. His eyes focus on the dark form bent above him and when he sees clearly again, it’s to look at Baekhyun’s human smiley face. “Feeling better, sleepyhead?”

About a thousand times better, now that you’re smiling down at me, he wants to say, but settles for a low hum and a half-smile instead. Close enough.

They walk back through the woods with the help of their phones’ flashlights, even though Chanyeol is positive Baekhyun doesn’t actually need them. The way back seems faster to Chanyeol, probably because he doesn’t want his time with Baekhyun to be over anytime soon. Baekhyun insists on walking him home and when they reach Chanyeol’s driveway, Baekhyun pats him on the shoulder and walks a few steps away. Then, he thinks better of it and comes back, hugging him goodbye briefly.

“I did the scenting as a wolf tonight. It has to be efficient, but after today I hope that dickbag Wu leaves you alone.”

Chanyeol returns the hug, feeling all kinds of wistful. “I’m sure it’ll work,” he ruffles Baekhyun’s hair playfully.

Baekhyun jerks away from his embrace and pouts, “I’m not a dog, Park!”

“Sure, but you make a pretty convincing wolf.”

Baekhyun tilts his head to the side, “Do I need to warn you on dog jokes?”

“No need,” Chanyeol raises his hands and shakes his head, chuckling. “Goodnight Baek, and thank you again.”

“Ah don’t mention it,” Baekhyun replies, looking mildly embarrassed. “See you tomorrow, loser.”

When he kisses his mother goodnight as she’s watching some late-night talk show on TV, she tells him he smells like wet dog and he almost bursts out laughing then and there. Instead, he goes straight to his room and crashes into bed, fully intending to sleep for twelve hours straight.

 

--

--

 

The next few days are spent in a studious way as far as Chanyeol is concerned. Students are given a full week off in order to cram for the upcoming exams. The college’s library is always full at that time of year, and Chanyeol needs his peace and quiet to study. More often than not, peace and quiet come in the form of the clearing by the river and wolf Baekhyun by his side. For a week, Chanyeol brings his big backpack with him to the clearing, full of his notes and snacks to last him the day. Usually, Baekhyun shifts as soon as they're away from prying eyes and leads the way. Chanyeol is pretty sure, after a couple days, that he'd be able to go there by himself.

While Chanyeol reviews his notes in the shade of an old elm at the edge of the clearing, Baekhyun runs around, adding new markers to his territory. Well, basically he's pissing all over the place, but Chanyeol promised not to look, so he doesn't. Sometimes, Baekhyun leaves the clearing and runs in the woods for hours, probably doing the same. Chanyeol remembers that when Baekhyun had become the alpha, he explained to him that his duty was to check the territory, mark it and make sure there was enough game on it for full moon hunts. He believes he's doing just that, but he doesn't feel lonely, knowing his alpha friend is somewhere around.

Baekhyun always seems to know when Chanyeol can't take a single more minute of studying. It's like a sixth sense. Whenever that happens, Baekhyun emerges from nowhere and head-butts Chanyeol in the back or on the side, coaxing him into getting up and having a swim. It becomes a ritual of sorts—they swim and play in the water for a while, then they lie together to dry (and that's Chanyeol’s favourite part, when Baekhyun is relaxed and on the verge of falling asleep, he nuzzles him like an overgrown puppy and wags his tail anytime Chanyeol scratches him behind the ears or under the chin.); after that, they eat the snacks Chanyeol brought together before Chanyeol packs his things again and they leave.

Baekhyun always shifts back to his human form during the journey back, appearing naked in the woods and reaching for the clothes that Chanyeol has in his bag. He dresses up quickly and in silence, then leads the rest of the way.

Human Baekhyun has been surprisingly quiet lately. Chanyeol asked him multiple times if there was something bothering him, but he dismissed it every time with a fake-sounding excuse about some accounting worries or turf discussions. Chanyeol doesn't believe him, because while human Baekhyun looks perpetually upset by something, wolf Baekhyun is happy and cuddly, and they're the same person inside.

On the night before finals, Baekhyun walks Chanyeol home as usual. Instead of waving goodbye like he's been doing for a week, though, he walks up to Chanyeol and presses him in a hug.

“Don't flunk it tomorrow,” he says to Chanyeol's torso, squeezing him a little tighter.

“I won't,” he replies, returning the hug and smiling lazily. “I had a great study buddy.”

Baekhyun punches him in the gut, but there’s no strength to it. His hand remains next to Chanyeol’s stomach, and starts gripping at the fabric of his shirt. There’s something akin to desperation in the way Baekhyun clings to him, and Chanyeol can’t figure out what makes him that antsy.

“Let’s trade shirts one last time,” Baekhyun says, tugging at Chanyeol’s. “For good luck.”

They do, except that it seems forced, and there’s something so definitive and resigned in the stiff line of Baekhyun’s shoulder that Chanyeol doesn’t know what to make of it. They say goodbye to each other, but it’s tense and sounds unnatural. Without further ado, Baekhyun takes off, running inhumanly fast and away from Chanyeol’s house. He notices that he’s headed towards the woods and not the alpha house, but decides not to ponder over it.

When Chanyeol goes to bed that night, Baekhyun’s sad face keeps popping up in his mind and prevents him from sleeping. He promises himself that after his exams, he’ll do everything he can to cheer him up.

--

Chanyeol breezes through the finals. Well, he’s far from being stupid, and he studied hard to get where he is, so it would be the expected result that he passes.

He can already feel that a lot tension has left his shoulders. However, he will be perfectly able to enjoy his holidays once the issue with Baekhyun’s behaviour is settled.

Just as he’s leaving the college to walk to the alpha house, he’s properly kidnapped by Sehun and Jongin, who insist they go get dinner at some barbecue joint downtown to celebrate the end of exams. Chanyeol isn’t unsociable, and he assumes he can use the distraction.


“I’m so sorry about last time,” Sehun says, sounding just slightly apologetic. “I didn’t even know you and Byun were an item.”

“Uh, we’re not,” Chanyeol answers. “I lied to Yifan Wu because he wouldn’t leave me alone and told him we were dating. Which we aren’t, actually. We’ve been best friends for years, though, so that’s why it was convenient.” Somehow, even if it feels great to share the secret Baekhyun and he have been carrying for weeks, it mostly feels like betrayal towards Baekhyun. Chanyeol squirms in his chair, uneasy.

“I’m sorry to counter what you’ve just said,” Jongin chimes in, “but I would never go to school covered in Kyungsoo’s come.” Jongin laughs it off, face scrunching up in a mix of disgust and amusement.

“Ew,” Sehun adds helpfully, chuckling along.

“Actually,” Jongin says, turning serious again, “Even when you don’t actually smell like him, you smell like him anyway.”

“What,” Chanyeol is confused. “Well, that’s normal, I’m wearing his—” Chanyeol cuts himself off to look down at his chest. He’s wearing his own shirt; he wore Baekhyun’s on the first day of finals, but today, there’s nothing belonging to Baekhyun on him. He even had a shower in the morning. “Do I really smell like Baekhyun?”

“That’s a bit more complicated than that, actually. He’s an alpha, so of course his scent is powerful. But on you, it’s different. You smell like you, and you smell like him. You smell like your scents have mingled to create a new one. You smelled that before he started scent marking you or whatever. You’ve smelled like that for a long time.”

“Wait—what does that mean?” There’s the beginning of a thought nagging him, but he doesn’t want to start nurturing it without the opinion of another wolf.

“You know, there’s that rumour among werewolf students,” Jongin says, not answering Chanyeol’s question. “That the newest Byun alpha has chosen his mate…” he trails off.

“And?” Chanyeol asks, knee bouncing with nervousness under the table, gut clenched so tightly he knows he won’t be able to stomach any of the grilled meat sizzling noisily on the hotplate.

“Well, we all know it’s you.”

His first reaction is to deny. There’s no way, it’s not possible, really. Baekhyun would have told him something, right? He’d have at least hinted at something.

“How do you know it’s me? Our scent could be like that just because we spend a lot of time together?”

“You don’t get it, Park. You’re not a wolf.”

Chanyeol frowns—Baekhyun would have never treated him with such condescension.

“Has he started courting you yet?” Jongin asks, probably more to fill the silence than because he actually cares.

Chanyeol thinks back to the explanation Baekhyun gave him about the three steps of wolf courtship. Make themselves a permanent fixture in the mate’s life—well, they’ve known each other forever, of course Baekhyun is a permanent fixture in Chanyeol’s life. But then again, Baekhyun accepted Chanyeol’s stupid idea of posing as couple just to help Chanyeol out. He went out with him when Chanyeol needed a quiet place to study. It’s like all the puzzle pieces are coming together one by one, allowing him to discover the bigger picture.

“We’re together all the time, how could I know that he was actually in the process of some intricate wolf ritual? I mean, we were together all of last week and he never made a move.” Chanyeol argues, frowning. “Even if he’s overly cuddly in his wolf form, I can’t really consider that as a form of ‘courtship’.”

“Excuse me?” Jongin asks, looking genuinely interested all of a sudden. “Did you say ‘wolf form’?”

“Yeah,” Chanyeol nods. “We went to the woods and while I studied he went around doing his alpha business, in wolf form.” He shrugs, looking at Sehun stuffing his face with meat, looking utterly bored.

When he turns to Jongin again, his eyes are wide and he’s gaping. “This is big, dude,” he says. “He showed you his wolf.”

“Uh-huh, is that something unusual?”

“Man, that’s the ultimate proof of trust. He trusts you enough to show you how he is, in and out.”

“His pack see his wolf every full moon, I’m not that special.”

“No, you don’t understand,” Jongin speaks quickly, sounding agitated. “You’re human, Park. Wolves never show their animal form to humans. Except in dire situations or…  when they’re their mate!”

Chanyeol freezes. So it’s true. It’s true that he’s Baekhyun’s mate. Now, there’s no doubt about it. Everything makes sense, everything is clear and bright. So bright that it makes him dizzy and his vision unfocused.

Chanyeol pulls his wallet out of his back pocket and throws a few notes onto the table with trembling hands. “I’ve got to go,” he says, getting up from the upside down bucket he used as a seat.

“Wait!” Jongin calls when Chanyeol is about to leave the restaurant.

Chanyeol huffs, but he goes back to the table. “What?”

“What are you going to do about Wu?”

“Why, what about him?”

“Don’t you get it? Why he is after you?” Jongin sighs. “I don’t want to sound like an asshole, but I’m not sure you check the criteria for alpha bait. Byun is one in a million.”

Then it hits him. Of course Yifan doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Chanyeol. He just pretended he was after him because he smelled Baekhyun on him. He used him to taunt Baekhyun, to provoke him into a fight. Yifan doesn’t need Chanyeol as a mate, he needs him as bait to lure Baekhyun into a trap, to fight him.

Running out of the barbecue joint, Chanyeol pulls his cell out from his backpack to text Baekhyun, but he finds out Baekhyun beat him to it.

Don’t move, don’t do anything reckless. I’m coming

Chanyeol wants to scream when he checks the time Baekhyun sent the text—a little less than an hour ago. But god knows that with super-speed and super-strength, a lot can happen in that span of time.

To Baekhyun:
Where are u?????

Not expecting a reply, Chanyeol starts running as fast as he can towards Byun territory. Maybe Baekhyun’s betas will know something.

When he reaches the alpha house, he bumps into Minseok who’s going out at the same moment.

“Where’s Baekhyun?” Chanyeol asks, panting.

“I don’t know, why?”

“He’s in danger, Minseok, and he didn’t answer my text. I’m afraid he’s been dragged into a fight against Yifan Wu.” He inhales sharply, heart hammering against his ribcage. “Minseok, please tell me you have another way to contact him.”

Minseok nods, then he wolfs out and, arching his neck, howls towards the sky.

There are several seconds of excruciating silence before a faint, yet unmistakable howl echoes beyond the trees.

“Follow me!” Minseok orders, and he runs into the nearby woods.

Chanyeol knows this route. He’s taken it back and forth several times the week prior. He’s pretty sure they’re headed to the clearing. It would make sense—an open space, away from curious human eyes.

Chanyeol is glad he’s familiar with the journey, because he knows when he has to jump over a fallen trunk and duck his head to avoid crashing it against low branches. Even if he’s not a wolf, he’s fast enough to keep up with Minseok.

But a few minutes into the run, they’re stopped dead in their tracks by Luhan, who came ahead of them.

“Hello, Minseok,” he whispers, his signature smile showing sharp fangs.

Minseok wolfs out instantly. “Luhan,” he snarls. He turns to Chanyeol, “Go,” he yells at him, “I’m dealing with this one.”

Then, they hurl at each other. Chanyeol can’t stay to watch, but from the roars and yelps he hears behind him, he assumes they shifted into their full wolf forms.

He runs on automatic mode for several more minutes. His legs are killing him, his lungs are on fire and there’s dark spots in his vision but he doesn’t stop, he’ll run until he dies if needed, but he can’t abandon Baekhyun, not when he’s been selfless and supportive and ended up in this situation because of him. He can’t deal with the guilt, he can’t deal with the idea his best friend, his mate can be hurt by his mistake.

When he arrives at the clearing, it’s already dark, but he can perfectly discern two pairs of glowing red orbs moving on the other side of the river. Not even bothering gaining back his breath, he runs towards them blindly, screaming in a nonsensical language, making his presence known.

The two wolves, fully shifted, turn to him. He assumes without any doubt that the huge black wolf in front of Baekhyun is Yifan. Baekhyun growls loudly, and runs laterally to place himself in front of Chanyeol, turning his back to him and facing Yifan. The moon isn’t full, but it’s large enough to cast its faint, bluish light on the three of them. In the dim glow, Chanyeol can make out a dark, glistening liquid running down Baekhyun’s side and he can only guess it’s blood. Whose blood it is, he doesn’t know, but the mere sight sends his guts roiling with panic.

“Baekhyun are you alright?” he asks, desperately.

As only response he gets a loud sound between a bark and a roar. Baekhyun’s fangs clash when his jaw closes, and he snarls at Yifan, growling and roaring, as if he’s challenging him to attack first. Chanyeol takes a better look at Yifan. He’s taller than Baekhyun, but he’s thinner and probably less muscular. When he takes a couple of steps back, to take a run-up, Chanyeol notices that he’s limping. Well done, Baek, he thinks, heart filling up with pride and consequently running wild. Baekhyun startles and turns sharply to Chanyeol, looking alarmed.

“Baekhyun, no! WATCH OUT!” he shouts, panic striking its peak and sending him running forward.

Yifan uses Baekhyun’s distraction to swoop down on him, jaw closing in on Baekhyun’s shoulder in a sharp and swift move. Chanyeol can hear the gut-wrenching sound of bones breaking and Baekhyun yowls in pain. He jerks his head to the side once, twice, three times, before dislodging himself from Yifan’s maw. He doesn’t even wait for him to fall back on his forelegs before aiming for his side, running into him with all his strength like a ram. Yifan loses balance and falls on his side, struggling to get back to his paws on his injured leg. Baekhyun takes advantage of his position to keep him on the ground by pushing him with his forelegs and pressing the weight of his upper body on him. Yifan strives to release himself, but Baekhyun is stronger. Yifan roars and hits one of Baekhyun’s forelegs with the side of his head, which makes him stagger a little, and he bites his paw. Baekhyun howls again, but he maintains his position and manages to bite Yifan’s side deeply before retreating a few yards, opting for a defensive stance.

Chanyeol is aware that both wolves are wounded, and that the next strike could put an end to the fight. Baekhyun shoulders are heaving, he’s hurt and covered in blood, but visibly ready to take a blow and counter-attack. Yifan, on the other hand, is limping and unbalanced, but the fire in his eyes is deadly. All the energy he has left comes from the depths of his hatred. There is no doubt about it—he’s going to kill Baekhyun, or die trying.

The thing is, Chanyeol won’t allow that. Without thinking of the consequences, he runs forward and joins Baekhyun, caressing his bloody muzzle and looking him in the eye. “You trust me, I know it.” Baekhyun’s eyes flicker, but he nods tiredly. “So,” Chanyeol says confidently, “Leave him to me.”

He can see the glint of panic in the red glow, but he doesn’t care. He’s got a plan, sort of, and it’s bound to work if Yifan isn’t too far gone in his blood lust and still able to think. Which is a long shot, of that he’s aware, in a corner of his mind.

He doesn’t mind. He’s ready to give his life for Baekhyun. He’s never been so sure of anything.

“Hey Yifan! It’s me!” He yells to the snarling black wolf. “Isn’t it me you wanted? Well, I’m here, now. But you know what? You can’t attack me. You can’t, because I’m human, and there are laws against wolves hurting humans.” He clenches his fists and stands, straightening his back. He can still hear Baekhyun breathing heavily behind him, whining from time to time. “But if I’m not mistaken, you’re not really after me, right? RIGHT?” He shouts, booming voice echoing against the line of trees surrounding the clearing. “So, if what you really want is to hurt Baekhyun, to defeat him just to boost your fucking alpha ego, well, you’ll have to kill me first and cope with the consequences.”

Yifan’s eyes flash bright red, burning with hatred-fueled power. He roars, long and loud, but Chanyeol forgets to be afraid. “COME AT ME IF YOU DARE!”

Chanyeol becomes painfully aware that he bargained his life and Baekhyun’s on basically nothing, when he sees Yifan bracing himself on his four legs, flexing them and preparing to jump. Chanyeol takes a shaky breath, probably his last, closes his eyes and waits.

He waits, and waits again, but instead of dying in atrocious suffering, torn into strips, he hears the neat sound of an arrow ripping through the air and planting itself in its target, namely Yifan, as Chanyeol sees when he dares check out with one eye.

“Hunters,” he whispers, running towards the two strangers, crossbows at the ready.

“Alpha Wu challenging Alpha Byun,” one of them says, snorting. “I wouldn’t have done that.”

Baekhyun! Chanyeol stops and turns back, running towards him. Instead of a wolf, there’s a naked boy, covered in his own blood and the blood of his enemy, severely wounded on the shoulder, the hand and the side of his stomach. He’s unconscious, and Chanyeol is alarmed to notice, not healing. He unzips his hoodie and takes it off, covering Baekhyun’s still body, before lifting him up carefully. He’s not exactly light, but Chanyeol couldn’t care less. He’d carry him up to the top of Mount Everest if he had to.

“Why isn’t he healing?” Chanyeol asks one of the hunters who has joined him to check on Baekhyun.

“Wounds caused by alphas take longer to heal. He’ll live, don’t worry; he’s a tough one,” he pats Chanyeol’s shoulder amicably. “Take him to the alpha house, we’ll take care of Wu.”

Chanyeol looks over at Yifan’s long body, in human form, also wounded, with an arrow poking out of his back. “Is he… dead?”

The hunter shakes his head, “Nope. But he’s gonna have a good night’s sleep.”

Chanyeol nods, and continues walking to the edge of the clearing, carrying Baekhyun’s limp but still warm body. On his way back, he meets Minseok who apparently got out of the fight with Luhan unharmed, except for a yet-to-be-healed angry-red scratch on the forehead. Without a word, he takes Baekhyun from Chanyeol’s arms and puts him over his shoulder, before taking off swiftly with a last sour glance at Chanyeol.

Once he’s alone in the dark, cold woods, Chanyeol falls down to his knees and grabs his head in his hands. He runs his fingers in his hair several times, the weight of the consequences of his thoughtless behaviour crashing down on his shoulders.

He realises, shaken by dry sobs, that because of him, the only person he has ever loved almost got killed.

--

When Chanyeol comes to, it’s morning already. He’s sitting uncomfortably in an armchair next to Baekhyun’s bed, holding Baekhyun’s good hand the same way he’d held it the night prior, when he joined him in his bedroom. He can only conclude that Baekhyun hasn’t moved or woken up since.


Contrary to his beliefs, Mrs Byun had let him into the house, looking more worried about him than angry. ’He’s upstairs,’ she’d said, and Chanyeol had taken the stairs two by two to find Baekhyun lying in his bed, cleaned up and bandaged, sleeping in apparent peace. Minseok was standing by the bed, looking down at his alpha. Then, he’d glanced up at Chanyeol, sighing. ’I’m going home,’ he said, ’Take care of him, he needs you.’ Then he’d pat Chanyeol’s shoulder, squeezing it tightly in a form of silent warning before leaving the room.

Baekhyun looked pale and his breathing was slow, but at least he didn’t seem to be in pain. The wounds under the bandages hadn’t soaked them through with blood, proving that they were probably already healing. Chanyeol had sat down next to the bed and bent over to observe Baekhyun’s sleeping face, removing his fringe from his eyes. ’Please heal soon,’ Chanyeol had whispered next to Baekhyun’s ear. ’I can’t stand seeing you hurt.’ Settling in the armchair, he’d grabbed Baekhyun’s hand and squeezed it gently. ’You’re no fun when you’re quiet, Baek.’ He chuckled softly, ’I want you to yell at me ASAP. Plus, I just got Yojimbo in Final Fantasy and I don’t want to invoke him without you. So, you know, you have to wake up so that I can show you.’

Chanyeol had waited in silence, feeling Baekhyun’s weak pulse beat in his thumb, the dull rhythm lulling him to sleep. ’I’m sorry,’ he’d murmured before falling asleep.


Baekhyun doesn’t wake up for the whole morning.

His mother comes in to change his bandages but Chanyeol stays beside Baekhyun the whole time. “Can I help?” he asks.

Baekhyun’s mother looks at him gratefully, “Sure. Can you hold him up while I clean his shoulder?”

Chanyeol looks at Baekhyun’s mother while she’s tending to her injured son. She’s a great leader, Baekhyun can be proud to be an alpha under her jurisdiction. “You’ve been good to him, you know,” she says, startling Chanyeol.

“What? With all due respect, Mrs Byun, I almost got him killed last night. I don’t see how any of that is ‘good’.” Chanyeol shudders when the large bite mark under the shoulder bandage is revealed. It’s visibly healing, but it’s still pink and swollen. Mrs Byun dabs it with a funny-smelling ointment.

“What I meant is that you never treated him differently when he became an alpha. People, even wolves, tend to change their attitudes towards alphas. Some fear them, some don’t want to have anything to do with them any longer. Some others see them as hierarchy and can’t act natural around them. Alphas can be very lonely but Baekhyun wasn’t, thanks to you.”

Chanyeol ducks his head, feeling shy all of a sudden.

“And the hunters told me you protected him with your life,” she adds, wrapping a clean bandage around Baekhyun’s shoulder. “That was heroic, Chanyeol. A little bit reckless, granted, but heroic nonetheless.” Chanyeol coughs in his fist, embarrassed.

She changes the two other bandages in silence, focused on her task. When she’s done, she tucks Baekhyun back into bed and looks at Chanyeol who’s standing on the other side of it. “You’re like him—fearless,” she states, sounding dead serious. “You’ll be a great mate to him.” Chanyeol assumes this is the closest to a blessing that he’ll get, but if Mrs Byun is going to be his head apha, he’ll take it with gratitude.

With this, she turns and leaves the bedroom. Chanyeol flops down in the armchair, taking Baekhyun’s hand in his again and, ignoring his rumbling stomach, starts playing on his phone one-handed.

Minseok comes in later in the morning, carrying a tray with sandwiches and two glasses of water. “Thought you might be hungry.”

“Thanks,” Chanyeol says, grabbing a turkey finger sandwich and promptly stuffing his face with it.

“So I spoke to the hunters,” Minseok says, sitting down on the edge of Baekhyun’s bed. “Seems like you put yourself between Baekhyun and Wu.”

Chanyeol nods, glad his mouth is otherwise occupied and conveniently prevents him from speaking.

“Thank you,” he adds. “He could have killed you both, but thank you anyway.”

Chanyeol ignores his comment, only accepting the thanks with another nod. “What will happen to Yifan?” he asks, once he’s swallowed his mouthful of sandwich.

“For all I know, he’ll be demoted from his alpha rank. He’ll also be judged and probably exiled. He won’t bother you or Baekhyun again, that’s for sure.”

“Oh. Good.” Chanyeol answers. Everything sounds surrealistic and a bit anticlimactic. “But… who will replace him?”

Minseok’s face hardens, “Luhan will be the next alpha.”

“Oh, Luhan…” Chanyeol repeats. He doesn’t really like the guy, but he assumes he can’t be worse than Yifan.

“You can go home and rest, if you want,” Minseok offers. “I don’t mind staying here.”

“No!” Chanyeol nearly yells. He shakes his head, then adds, softer, “No, thanks. I want to stay.”

“Alright,” Minseok nods. “I’ll be downstairs if you need me.”


Baekhyun wakes up late in the afternoon. Chanyeol has been dozing on and off when he feels Baekhyun’s hand squeezing his gently. He starts and straightens up, checking on Baekhyun.

“Hey!” he says, beaming. “Baekhyun, you’re awake!”

Baekhyun lets out a tired hum, wincing a little when rearranging himself in a straighter position. Chanyeol adds another pillow behind Baekhyun’s back, peering at his face, searching for any signs of pain.

“How are you feeling?”

“Like a freight train hit me in the face?” Baekhyun groans, voice hoarse from sleep. “Water.”

Chanyeol smiles so wide it hurts. “I see you haven’t quit your bossy ways,” he says, taking a glass from the tray and helping Baekhyun drink from it.

“How long have I been sleeping?” Baekhyun asks once he’s done drinking.

“About twenty hours,” Chanyeol says, taking a glance at his watch. “That’s not much, considering what you’ve been through.”

“I’ve seen worse,” he rasps out. The lie is blatant, but Chanyeol finds it cute.

“No need to play tough guy with me Baek, I’ve seen you in action, you’re plenty impressive already. Yifan thought he could fuck you up, but you taught that douche a lesson.”

“What happened after I… passed out?”

Chanyeol tells him the little that he knows, and Baekhyun listens quietly. He peeks under his bandages and frowns, looking dissatisfied. That’s somewhat understandable, for someone who’s used to healing instantly.

Before long, Mrs Byun and Minseok arrive, all smiles. Mrs Byun gives her son a careful hug and ruffles his hair. Chanyeol supposes she’s the only one who can get away with that. It’s time to replace his bandages, so the three of them engage in light conversation, while Chanyeol sits, staring at Baekhyun making falsely-annoyed faces at his mother but wincing for real when his injuries are tended to with the same smelly concoction. He glances at Chanyeol, from time to time, and his expressions soften. He smiles at him briefly, privately, before turning to his nagging mother and complaining, for good measure.

“Chanyeol, you should go home and rest,” Mrs Byun says when she’s done tying the last bandage on Baekhyun’s hand. “I think Baekhyun will be safe with us too,” she adds with a rectangular smile not unlike her son’s.

Chanyeol thinks he could use a good night’s sleep, but he’s not sure. He glances at Baekhyun, who’s looking at him. “Is that okay?” he asks him.

“You’re coming back tomorrow, right?”

Chanyeol nods frantically, “Of course!”

Baekhyun smirks. “Well, okay, then. And take a shower, you stink.”

“Baekhyun! That’s not nice!” his mother chastises him, while Minseok is giggling, hiding his mouth behind his hand.

“You’re just too polite,” Baekhyun retorts. “You can smell it too.”

“Well, I’ll be seeing myself out, then,” Chanyeol says, getting up from the couch and stretching his back. “See you tomorrow.”

--

Once showered, though, Chanyeol can’t sleep. His mind is reeling with everything that happened in the last 24 hours. First, he found out that he was Baekhyun’s mate, and he’s strangely totally on board with the idea. Then, he nearly got Baekhyun and himself killed in a werewolf battle. That’s a lot to take in.

So he gets out of bed and turns his laptop on. He’d meant to research it for a while, after all, and now that he’s directly concerned, he reckons it makes sense.

He types ‘werewolf mate + human’ in the Google search bar. There are a bunch of books on the topic as Amazon says, but he ignores them. He dismisses the ‘three steps of werewolf courtship’, and ‘how to seduce a werewolf when you’re human’ links too, and scrolls down. He ends up on the adult-rated blog of a human male who decided to (very graphically) describe his mated life with a male werewolf. Chanyeol braces himself, because he’s aware he knows very little on the subject and is probably going to get his mind blown.

There’s an article about the changes to the human’s body that claiming provokes which holds Chanyeol’s attention. He swallows nervously and clicks the link.

WHAT THE BITE DID TO ME

When you’re a human claimed by a werewolf, the bite will provoke a number of physiological changes to your body so that you can adapt to the werewolf lifestyle.

Firstly, you’ll be bonded via scent. That’s something you can’t really feel, because you’re human and your sense of smell isn’t as fine as wolves’, but you’ll become more aware and receptive to pheromones. Your scent and your mate’s will blend, until there’s only one scent on the both of you. It will tell other werewolves that you’re an item and consequently, werewolves won’t try to hit on you. This change is not something you can pinpoint, but you’ll definitely feel the consequences of it. You’ll be able to tell when your mate is close, thanks to the pheromones present in the air.

You’ll also be entering a period of heat, once a month during the full moon. This is the most drastic change you’ll experience, but fear not, it is an excellent one. Heat can be different depending on people, but there are certain things that you’ll be bound to feel. When heat hits you, you’ll feel as if the bottom of your stomach is burning—

Chanyeol stops reading, breathing in and out, shaking his head. He doesn’t know if he wants to continue reading. All these changes - he’s not sure he wants to experience them. He wants to be Baekhyun’s mate, there’s no doubt about that in his heart, but he wonders if he’ll still be himself once all the changes have taken over his body.

He decides to scan over the rest of the article, pausing on words like ‘slick’ and ‘nearly feral behaviour’ and later on, his eyes are literally blocked on the word ‘knot’.

Chanyeol shuts his laptop.

So, it’s not a legend.

Werewolves do have knots.

He closes his eyes and runs his hands in his hair repeatedly, legs twitching under his desk. So, that means… Baekhyun has a knot? Nah, that’s not possible, he laughs nervously, and the sound is sharp and loud in the quiet stillness of his bedroom.

He has to check it out. Who knows, maybe this guy is just a prankster and writes fake articles. He opens his laptop again and looks it up. He soon finds out that werewolves actually have knots, and his Safesearch feature being deactivated, he sees a whole lot of them in the image section. Even though the sight of strangers’ penises isn’t exactly his favourite one, he’s fascinated by the way the skin at the base is stretched into a translucent, shiny one, around the swelling of the knot. He wonders how Baekhyun’s would look like, and regrets it instantly.

Unintentionally, he clenches his ass, imagining something that big going up there and a little moan escapes his mouth. He looks around him in utter shame, even though he knows he’s alone and that’s stupid—his parents have been asleep for a while, no one can hear him.

When he’s managed to calm his nerves a little, he continues reading about werewolves knots, and, one thing leading to another, he ends up, on purpose or not, on a werewolf porn site.

Internet rule 34. If it exists, then there’s porn about it.

It feels like his first Internet porn escapades—forbidden, exciting and extremely arousing. That’s the perks of novelty, but it’s also nerve-wracking and he feels like a voyeur. He winds up jerking it to a video of a tall human being knotted by a slightly shorter werewolf and comes embarrassingly fast—the fact that he may or may not have thought about Baekhyun doing the same to him having probably been the catalyst of such a quick release.

Ashamed but satisfactorily sated, he takes another shower, nearly rubbing himself raw to get rid of any particle of semen. He doesn’t want all the alpha house to smell it on him tomorrow.

After that, he sleeps like a baby.

--

Chanyeol visits Baekhyun at the alpha house the next day and a couple more days after that. He’s feeling better, but his wounds haven’t healed completely yet. He’s already restless and wants to go out, but his mother won’t let him, so Chanyeol takes the playstation and the TV upstairs and they play games together for hours on end. More like, Chanyeol plays and Baekhyun watches, and it almost feels like their old days again.

One day, as Chanyeol’s game character is climbing up a campanile in fifteenth-century Florence, Baekhyun breaks the silence abruptly. “Thanks for coming,” he says, voice low, “to save me.”

Chanyeol pauses the game. He’s not seeing the top of that freaking tower anytime soon, he thinks wistfully.

“Well, technically, you came first,” Chanyeol argues. “Just, it was that scumbag Yifan luring you into a trap. So, I should be the one thanking you. And apologising, but I’m afraid it’s not remotely enough, considering you nearly died to protect me.”

Chanyeol is looking at the screen, trembling a little, the possible consequences of his acts still triggering anxiety peaks from time to time. From the corner of his eye, he can see Baekhyun sitting up and getting closer to the chair he’s sitting on. He reaches out to him with his good hand and pats him on the forearm. Chanyeol puts the controller down.

“And you protected me too,” he says louder, and Chanyeol turns to look at him. “You would have died for me.” The red flicker in Baekhyun’s eyes indicates that they’re both aware hie last sentence is full of meaning.

Chanyeol decides it’s time to push it a little further, “How long have you known?”

Baekhyun isn’t stupid, he gets it, but it wouldn’t be like him if he didn’t make it difficult for Chanyeol. “What,” it’s obviously not a real question.

“That I’m your mate.”

Baekhyun timidly drags his hand down to Chanyeol’s, who promptly intertwines their fingers. “I’ve liked you for years. You were special to me long before I became an alpha. So when i turned 18, it was no surprise to me when I saw you and my wolf was like, ‘MATE!’.”

“Why didn’t you make a move on me? Why didn’t you at least hint at it? You know how dense I can be, sometimes.”

Baekhyun snorts, “That’s one word for it. I would go for ‘fucking oblivious’.”

“But you really didn’t tell me anything. I dated people, I fooled around…”

“Yeah. And that hurt a fucking lot. I tried doing it too, but it never felt right. I don’t know how long I would have stood on the sidelines. Probably not much longer, knowing me and how bold I can be.”

“But it took us a hostile alpha fighting you and a near-death experience.” They both chuckle, Chanyeol shaking his head at his own stupidity.

“Tell me about it,” Baekhyun sighs. “That was some rite of passage!”

“Baek, there’s something that’s been bothering me for a while—why were you so upset on the week before finals?”

Baekhyun frowns and pouts a little before answering reluctantly, “You seemed pretty happy to spend time with wolf me, like, I was the friendly dog you never had. So I didn’t shift back until I really had to.”

Chanyeol laughs out loud, slapping his thigh with his free hand. “You know how stupid that sounds, right? You were jealous of yourself, Baek!”

“Oh, shut up!” He tries to sound offended, but there’s no venom in his tone, and the corners of his lips curl upwards eventually.

“Make me!”

“Sure. C’mere.” Baekhyun tugs his hand and Chanyeol lets himself be dragged on top of Baekhyun’s comforter. He places his knees on each side of Baekhyun’s body and bends a little. Baekhyun grabs him by the neck with his bandaged hand and tugs him the rest of the way down.

Baekhyun is smiling wide when they kiss, so their teeth clash a little, but it’s okay, really, because Baekhyun pulls Chanyeol down even closer, chuckling against his mouth. “I like you so much, you idiot,” he whispers before clamping his lips against Chanyeol’s and finally, finally they’re kissing for real, drinking each other’s air like they’ve been deprived of it for ages.

“I like you, too,” Chanyeol says before planting wet, open-mouthed kisses on Baekhyun’s mildly surprised pout. It’s doing funny things to his heart, the way Baekhyun is hungry for him, the way his lips follow Chanyeol’s whenever they part for air. Baekhyun kisses like he scents—he’s thorough and doesn’t miss a square inch of Chanyeol’s face. He starts with his eyelids, then his nose, his cheeks and the corner of his mouth, and then his lips again. He drags his nose down Chanyeol’s jaw line in a familiar, well-oiled motion and stops when his mouth is just shy of touching his throat. He inhales deeply, “You smell so fucking good,” he says, voice hoarse and needy. “I want to claim you so badly.”

“Do it,” Chanyeol says, looking at Baekhyun, dead serious. His eyes glow bright red but he shakes his head. “Why not?” Chanyeol asks, a bit loud and desperate.

“As much as I want to, we can’t now,” Baekhyun scrunches up his nose. “You know, there are immediate consequences. And well, I’d rather not cope with them when my parents are downstairs.”

Chanyeol thinks back to the research he did a few days ago and flushes. “You mean—”

“Uh-huh. Instant heat.”

“Wow,” Chanyeol says eloquently.

“So, maybe we can keep kissing for now, and the next time your parents are out of town…” Baekhyun trails off, a mischievous smile playing on his lips.

Chanyeol nods, cheeks still a bit warm, and kisses the smile.

 

 

 

-----
BONUS / EPILOGUE

 


Chanyeol tries to remain casual as he waves his parents off on a Friday night—they’re going to the coast for the weekend. As soon as the door is closed, Chanyeol beeps Baekhyun. He knows it won’t take long for him to run the few yards between their houses, but even though he’s been preparing for what’s to come for weeks, the imminence of it makes his nerves reach unprecedented levels.

He paces for a half minute before the shrill ring of his doorbell pierces the silence and he jumps like a three-year-old in front of a jack-in-the-box. He opens the door and Baekhyun bolts inside, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt and using Chanyeol’s body to push the door closed. He reaches around to lock it and immediately attacks Chanyeol’s lips, insatiable.

Baekhyun kisses him rough and hard for a few minutes, Chanyeol responding just as eagerly. They have to part for air eventually, and Baekhyun lets out a low, throaty growl, “I’ve missed doing that,” he sniffs Chanyeol’s neck, then licks it, sucks at it and even grazes his teeth against it, making them both shudder.

“Baek, you’re not gonna claim me in the entryway, are you?”

“Let’s go upstairs,” he groans and drags Chanyeol behind him. As soon as they reach Chanyeol’s door, Baekhyun shoves him against it (apparently he has a thing for pinning Chanyeol to doors, but Chanyeol won’t call him out on it in a million years). He reaches out for the upper buttons of Chanyeol’s shirt and starts undoing them feverishly. He kisses him, too, and tries to do both at the same time. Seeing how multitasking while horny is inefficient, he steps back and looks up at Chanyeol, “Sorry,” he says, and then he rips Chanyeol’s shirt open, buttons popping off and bouncing against the hardwood floor of the corridor. Chanyeol kinda liked that shirt but he’ll live without it, especially if it means that Baekhyun starts kissing and licking down his bare torso and making him effectively lose his mind.

“Beautiful,” he whispers against Chanyeol’s flushed stomach. This is new, the praise and the compliments. Chanyeol can’t say he’s indifferent to it, for it makes his dick twitch with interest. He’s already half-hard, erection pushing against the thick fabric of his jeans. Baekhyun is gonna nag him for wearing such tight trousers.

Baekhyun gets up again, dragging his hands up Chanyeol’s chest and placing them on his shoulders, until they’re stuck in his now useless shirt. “Off,” he says, and Chanyeol complies, throwing the torn fabric onto the floor.

“Yes, that’s better,” his smile is almost feral, and Chanyeol swears his canines are just a bit longer and sharper than they should be.

Still backing onto the door, Chanyeol reaches for the handle blindly and turns it open. He stumbles backwards, barely avoiding falling down by holding onto his desk chair. Baekhyun is all over him again in the blink of an eye, fumbling with his belt buckle and pushing him towards the bed at the same time. They fall down on it in a mess of eager hands and lips. Chanyeol drags himself up the bed until his head touches the headboard, Baekhyun follows him on all fours before straddling his hips and working his belt open.

“You’re way too dressed, Baek,” Chanyeol says, head jerked backwards and looking up at him through his lashes, throat exposed provocatively.

Baekhyun takes the bait and leans down, smelling Chanyeol’s throat deeply and straightening up again. “Alright, alright,” he says, smirking, before getting rid of his own shirt the same way he did Chanyeol’s.

After that, they messily undress each other down to their boxers, managing to kiss in between each piece of clothing they lose. Groins pressed together, they keep kissing, adding tongue and teeth; it’s sloppy and needy but also the most arousing thing at the moment. It seems like Baekhyun can’t get enough of Chanyeol, he’s resumed licking and nipping him all over, careful enough to never break skin, but hard enough to leave multiple red marks.

“I want to mark you as mine, I want to scent you all the time,” he chants, kissing Chanyeol’s pectoral before lapping at his nipple. Chanyeol moans and brings his hands to Baekhyun’s hair, running his fingers through it and tugging from time to time, when it’s too much and not enough at the same time.

Baekhyun rubs his whole body on Chanyeol’s, moving it in the sexiest kind of waves and ducking his head to kiss down Chanyeol’s throat. At that moment, Chanyeol fists a handful of hair and shoves Baekhyun’s mouth against the base of his neck, where his carotid is pulsing at a skyrocketing rate.

“Claim me,” Chanyeol orders in a breathy moan.

Baekhyun freezes on the spot, panting. Chanyeol can feel the air blown onto his neck like all the sensors of his body have relocated there, he can feel all the hairs on his body stand on end when Baekhyun’s lips move against his skin, “Sure?” he asks uselessly. Still, Chanyeol is grateful that Baekhyun cares about his permission so much.

“Do it, Baekhyun.”

“Oh, fuck, I’ve been wanting to do that for so long,” he says, kissing the spot he’s been talking against.

Chanyeol feels Baekhyun’s blunt teeth shift into fangs and the next second, they break his skin as Baekhyun bites him.

Chanyeol’s back arches up from the mattress, lifting Baekhyun up, but he’s still attached to Chanyeol’s throat and won’t let go. It doesn’t hurt, but the feeling is unknown and exhilarating. It’s like his blood was traded with fire; it’s coursing through his veins in a million burning waves, reaching every part of his body with each pump of his heart. A few seconds later, the feeling recedes, leaving him tingling all over, strangely relaxed. Baekhyun lets him go, leaning back to look at him. His eyes burn red, and it’s like the same fire that ran through Chanyeol’s body earlier is now dancing in his pupils, fierce and alive.

Chanyeol brings his hand to his throat, patting the place where Baekhyun bit him. It’s numb, but he can’t feel any bite marks nor any blood there. Baekhyun puts his hand over Chanyeol’s and ducks his head to kiss him gently. “Now you’re mine. And I’m yours.” He smiles against Chanyeol’s slightly parted lips.

“I love the sound of that,” Chanyeol smiles too, lazily. “I love you.”

Baekhyun nuzzles his neck contently, huffing through his nose like a true puppy. Chanyeol cards his fingers through the fine hair at the base of Baekhyun’s neck.

He’s pretty sure he could fall asleep if only he wasn’t bothered by the warm buzzing roiling in his abdomen. The warmth doesn’t stay warm for long, though, it morphs into a burning-hot feeling coiling at the core of his groin, making him break into a sweat and gripping at the sheets desperately.

“Baekhyun, I think it’s happening,” he rasps out, arching his back again, spasming at the same pace as the hot waves shaking his body. He’s now painfully hard, his erection straining the elastic of his boxers.

Baekhyun rolls over and leans his head on his hand, elbow resting on the mattress. His eyes are wide, fascinated. He’s hard, too, and there’s a large, wet spot marring the front of his underwear.

Suddenly, Chanyeol feels something warm and wet slide down the cleft of his ass and he immediately brings his hands there, feeling the slick soak his boxers through at an impressive speed. His breath is ragged, and he feels like he’s breaking into a fever, for he shudders and cold sweat runs about everywhere on his body.

“Baekhyun… Ah! Baekhyun, please…” he begs, needy and incoherent.

Baekhyun pats his cheek and removes his wet fringe from his forehead. “You’re okay, it’s perfectly normal to feel that way.” Even through the red veil cast on everything by his heat, Chanyeol can see Baekhyun is far from indifferent to the situation. His breathing is short and and hissing, but even though he’s clearly aroused by the situation, he puts himself to the background on favour of soothing Chanyeol. “You’re entering heat.”

“I know! Baekhyun! Remove them,” he squirms, rubbing his ass against the mattress and Baekhyun looks like he understands, for he rushes down the mattress and kneels down between Chanyeol’s spasming thighs. Baekhyun tries to pull the boxers down but Chanyeol is so restless that he opts for tearing them with his claws. Baekhyun gasps, then lets out a loud breath, sounding a bit shocked. Chanyeol’s erected member springs free and he moans loudly. Relief is brief, though, because the ball of white heat clawing at his insides feels like it’s about to explode.

“Please, I need you—I need you to do something, Baekhyun…”

Baekhyun nods, and leans down between Chanyeol’s parted thighs. He keeps them open and still for some time, observing Chanyeol’s exposed and leaking entrance. He inhales, whimpering softly, clearly affected. “That scent,” Baekhyun rasps, “It’s like I could come just from smelling you.” Before long, he brushes a finger against it, and it’s like lightning strikes him. He gasps, losing his breath and his sanity. His hole flutters, clenching against nothing, but the message comes across clear as day, for Baekhyun slides two fingers in easily, and the heat seems to cool down immediately. Baekhyun curves his fingers and scissors them, making Chanyeol whine in pleasure, begging for more. Baekhyun proceeds, adding another finger and repeating the process, pressing his free palm flat on Chanyeol’s stomach whenever he arches his back too high.
 
“You’re so wet, that’s amazing,” Baekhyun says, sounding dazed.
 
“I really need you, now,” Chanyeol hisses when Baekhyun takes his fingers out of him.
 
“Okay,” he replies, placing himself above Chanyeol and facing him. He plants a wet kiss on his lips and, bracing himself on a hand, he uses the other to line himself up. Just the tip of Baekhyun’s cock against his hole has Chanyeol trembling all over, grunting with want. Baekhyun pushes in, slowly, but it’s like heat has made Chanyeol loose and pliant. Baekhyun’s dick basically doesn’t meet any resistance as it slides in, deeply and fully. He bottoms out with a contented sigh, ducking his head and peppering Chanyeol’s face with small kisses. “You’re taking me so perfectly,” he whispers, sounding surprised and amazed.
 
He remains still for a few seconds, leaving Chanyeol time to adjust to the thickness of Baekhyun’s cock. It’s filling him up so nicely, as if it was meant to be there in the first place. “Now, move,” Chanyeol orders, but it sounds more like a plea.
 
So Baekhyun does. He starts thrusting slowly first, but it’s not enough, Chanyeol needs more friction. He ruts against Baekhyun, demanding. Baekhyun speeds up, imposing a fast, unrelenting rhythm, and there, that’s better. Chanyeol jerks his head to the side, moaning loudly into the pillow, gripping the sheets on his sides. Baekhyun attacks his exposed neck, still thrusting into him, licking and sucking it, probably leaving a myriad of little bruises.
 
Baekhyun’s pace picks up once again, at super-human speed, this time. Chanyeol has never experienced sex with a werewolf before, but now he realizes that the rumours are true. All of them. It’s not just a question of stamina or speed, it’s the way the mates mould their bodies together to fit each other, responding to each thrust perfectly, reaching out to each other like they can’t survive without their better half. He’s pretty sure Baekhyun’s teeth shift a little when they graze his collarbone, and he arches into it, happy to leave him total and unrestrained access.

It’s so overwhelming that his senses seem to all short-circuit at once and he comes with a broken cry, completely unannounced and untouched. Baekhyun grabs his cock, pumping it through the last waves of his orgasm, milking him dry.
 
He pulls out with a grunt and promptly flips Chanyeol over, tapping the side of his ass, “All fours,” he utters. Chanyeol is spent but he gets on his hands and knees anyway; he knows that they need to change positions soon, or things will become uncomfortable for the both of them. Baekhyun is quick to enter him again, and resumes ramming into him at excessive speed. Chanyeol can’t believe it himself, but he feels his dick grow hard again. It’ll take longer this time, but he’s so ready to come a second time.
 
“It’s coming, I can feel it… ah!” Baekhyun growls. Chanyeol knows instantly what Baekhyun is talking about. The thought itself makes his dick fill up.
 
And then he feels it. Baekhyun’s member starts swelling at the base, stretching Chanyeol’s entrance and straining it. There’s some kind of sting to it, but it’s not unpleasant. It’s like it’s meant to be there, and Chanyeol feels as if he’s waited all his life to feel that perfectly full. He even clenches around the knot, securing it in a reflexive movement. Baekhyun gasps and whines, ducking his head against Chanyeol’s shoulder, spasming over him and releasing a first load of come. He moans, long and low, then breathes raggedly in Chanyeol’s ear.
 
“Oh! Chanyeol… ah!” Baekhyun’s legs give out as he comes again, collapsing onto Chanyeol’s back, shaken by short convulsions. The knot is still there, though, pulsing against Chanyeol’s inner walls.
 
“Baekhyun,” Chanyeol says, voice muffled by the pillows. “You’re crushing me.”
 
“Oh, sorry,” Baekhyun says, panting again but relocating them in a spooning position. He wraps his arms around Chanyeol’s chest and presses a kiss on his spine.
 
Chanyeol smirks to himself before moving his ass around, creating friction and thus making Baekhyun shout in surprise. He accompanies Chanyeol’s movements with short thrusts, for he’s still stuck inside him and doesn’t have a great leeway. Before long, Baekhyun comes again, whining after the third time and sounding spent.

“This is incredible, Yeol,” he says, “I’ve read and watched a lot about knotting, but the real thing sure is something else. And it’s fucking tiring,” he adds, chuckling. Still, one if his hands slides down Chanyeol’s torso to grab his dick and pumps it a few times. Chanyeol is barely paying any attention because all of his focus is located downwards.

Chanyeol closes his own hand over Baekhyun’s and leads their rhythm, languid and lazy. Their movement is passed on to their hips, though, so Baekhyun moans too, chanting Chanyeol’s name. Chanyeol comes again, biting his bottom lip and groaning. He clenches his ass in the process, surprising Baekhyun into coming again. “Ah!—What? How...?” He breathes harshly, sounding utterly astonished that he was able to come a fourth time.
 
After a long time of heavy breathing, he says “I think I’m done,” before nuzzling Chanyeol’s nape. “I wouldn’t be able to move to come another time, anyway,” he adds, yawning loudly.
 
“It’s going to be such a mess when you pull out, though,” Chanyeol muses.
 
“Shh, we’ll think about that later.”
 
Chanyeol takes Baekhyun’s hand in his and interlocks their fingers. He brings it up and kisses his knuckles. “I’m glad I’m your mate.”
 
Baekhyun kisses his shoulder. They stay like that for several minutes until Baekhyun’s knot deflates completely. He pulls out and, well, the mess can’t actually be avoided.

Even if they’re exhausted, they drag themselves into the shower, scrubbing each other sleepily, and change the sheets. Before long they’re lying in clean sheets, limbs tangled and foreheads touching. Baekhyun’s hand slides down from Chanyeol’s back to his ass and kneads there.
 
“I know how and where I’m going to spend all my free time, now,” he chuckles, slapping Chanyeol on the ass and eliciting an indignant cry from him.
 
“Like that, or riding me into oblivion,” Chanyeol says.
 
“Sure,” Baekhyun nods. “As long as you buy me some lube.”
 
They smile at each other. Baekhyun leans in to kiss Chanyeol sweetly. “Love you,” he says tiredly. Chanyeol kisses him again before pulling away and ruffles his hair, messing it up in the perfect replica of a bird’s nest.
 
Baekhyun yelps, outraged, “I’m not a dog!”
 
 
 
 
 
FIN