41: momentum, telling signs
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He lets out a shuddering, drawn-out sigh. The scent of Noah’s pheromones hasn’t dissipated hours later. It engulfs the whole of the cottage and streamlines from one room to the next. The place isn’t big, but Yang Rong had wagered that the rundown place would be ventilated enough with all the holes in lieu of windows, the cracked floorboards, the roof that’s about to topple over with one heavy gale.

His wager was incorrect. Warm-toned vanilla seeps in everywhere – through the cedarwood walls, the small cracks, the tiny openings under the door he’d barricaded one room over. The petrichor of rain only makes it more pungent. It’s not unpleasant, not at all.

The problem is just the opposite.

It is too pleasant, a stimulating aphrodisiac that drives him insane.

Yang Rong wraps his hand around his leaking cock and leans against an assembly of chairs, flipped desks and antique furniture. He’d taken off his shirt to wash – it reeked of Noah’s blood – and now he’s half-naked with his pants unzipped, sitting in a room that’s only some meters apart from the sleeping young man next door. It’s the furthest Yang Rong could get.

He hopes the thunderstorm could mute his labored breathing. Yang Rong strokes himself methodically, sliding a palm up and down his shaft, intending to hurry and get it out of the way. He supposes it should be quick and perfunctory but… around him are suspicious spills and a ragged washcloth that’s been used to wipe more than once.

He’s already dribbling precum, his entire hand slicked without needing lubricant, and his member is throbbing with uncontrollable heat. Yang Rong doesn’t recall the last time he had been this aroused, strung-high by the pheromones of an omega – and sure, he’s always had physiological needs but never this intensely.

A few quick jerks and he’s still not able to quell.

His eyes fall to his cock, heavy and flushed, unsatiated by the friction against his calloused hands. It’s not enough – not the same at all as Noah’s delicateness, not the same as those pale fingers that carry as much grace as they do brutality. Yang Rong’s palms are rough and battle-hardened while Noah’s are smooth, soft and (he easily admits) pretty.

He’d always thought Noah was pretty – from his face down to his frame, from his captivating heterochromia to his slender body littered with scars. It’s the same allure that could kill him and give him no way to retaliate (Yang Rong thinks he wouldn’t, either). Noah’s hands were wrapped around his neck, choking him with the hostility of a beast, and all he chose to do was remain at standstill.

Those cold hands, that colder face that reminds of a snowflake adrift, sweeping gazes along the way, passing by in wintry neverland, as transient as anything ethereal. Noah, such a fleeting little creature (human), rolled along the snow-frosted cliff only to be held captive by him – a shame that this thought only makes Colonel Yang more stimulated.

“…” He groans. “I’ve gone insane.”

In the quiet of the dilapidated cottage, Yang Rong’s twisted thoughts wander southward. It may be the pheromones that make him recall the shape of Noah’s hands, the way those claws dug deep into his neck, hurting but not enough to draw blood. His inner alpha wanted nothing more than to flip their positions, hold Noah in his grasps and then bite at the nape of his soft neck.

He imagines how the young man would look with his marks – they’d stand out demurely on velvet skin, deep red on almost white, his body a canvas Yang Rong would mark over and over…

His cock twitches in approval. Yang Rong is deliberately paying attention now to Noah’s flushed face, his half-parted mouth (rosy lips), the sounds he’d make – Noah’s always had a melodious voice, but even his imagination couldn’t rival hearing those stuttered moans close to his ears. His hands speed up, roughly jerking himself off to obscene thoughts. Lewd squelches, heavy panting.

The omega’s – Noah’s – pheromones are seeping in stronger and stronger. Yang Rong’s senses are sharpened tenfold. He hears Noah’s soft breathing next door, a subconscious whine, a hum that sounds more like a moan in his distortion—

A rational part of him tells it’s merely primal instinct to be led overstimulated by an omega, but Yang Rong is all too irrational right now.

“Fuck,” he breathes out, his member twitching more insistently for release. If his hands were replaced by Noah’s, if instead of his rough fingers were Noah’s pretty fingers, pretty mouth wrapped around his cock—

If Noah weren’t revealed to be an omega, would he still be consumed with such degenerate thoughts? Colonel Yang, pragmatic and sensible, finds himself perplexed.

“…I’d need to apologize later,” he says, looking helplessly at his engorged length. “Perhaps he’d really kill me…”


The deluge has faded into a light drizzle, but the gray clouds do not disperse. Trickles of rain come down from rooftop to open windows. In mid-afternoon, the sound of soft breathing fills the old, dusty cottage. A small fire flickers in the center of the room. The firewood is thrown rather haphazardly on the wooden planks, and the fire itself is contained rather poorly – right on a makeshift rack, withstood upright only by some flimsy household metals.

A safety hazard for sure, if not for the black-haired man keeping watch. He seems to be in heavy contemplation – or daze, what with the way his eyes are locked onto an empty corner of the room. It is unclear what he’s seeing. His body is languid against the wall. Unmoving.

Upon closer inspection, there is a light tinge of pink on the tip of his ears that indicates the slightest bit of fluster. The colonel had changed into a black tee shirt, though it’s a bit tight on his frame (not his size) and his muscles are accented for display. The plain cotton shirt somehow looks designer on him but perhaps he has always borne the aura of a runway model, the rugged yet refined kind – how such a contrast is possible, Colonel Yang’s always been strangely attractive.

Disregarding the fact that his hair is tussled, the black locks sticking up in every direction, his bangs brushed backward but not neatly. He’d messed with it more than a few times – and he’s itching to do it again, his hand now raised in tandem. A fidgety habit.

A soft whine snaps him out of unknown reverie.

He raises his head to the young man on the other side. Noah is a few meters away from the campfire, lolled in deep sleep on the floor. Two jackets cover his bare body, but he’s bearing a crippling fever, the flush not fading from his cheeks. His eyes are scrunched in discomfort.

With a low sigh, Yang Rong gets up and walks over to him. Very slow, very hesitant movements – quite unlike the man himself who is poised and assured in nature. He crouches down and leans in to check the young man’s temperature. Even his warm hands are cool when against Noah’s scalding forehead.

Noah shifts, his eyelashes quivering noticeably. The campfire illuminates him in hues of orange-red, complementary with the rosiness of his face. His mouth is slightly parted in sleep and he’s letting out low whimpers. Yang Rong caresses his temple cajolingly. The young man unconsciously leans into his touch, rubbing softly on his hand.

He murmurs something inaudible, something that Yang Rong doesn’t quite catch. His voice is susurrus to the colonel’s ears, muted by the backdrop of crackling firewood, drizzling rain and flowing wind.

“What is it?” he leans down to ask. “What do you need?”

Noah doesn’t hear him – the colonel is filtered out as background noise in still-dissipating heat. With his eyes still closed, Noah rubs against him, beckoning “come closer” (unspoken) and Yang Rong easily obeys (tacit).

Except… the latter is at a loss when the silver-haired young man holds onto him and doesn’t let go. Noah clings onto his arm like he would a soft pillow, burrowing his face into it without a thought.

“…” Yang Rong stares stupefied for a whole minute. Noah is starting to get comfortable, pressing his lips – chapped but still soft – against the firmness of his skin and sighing in appreciation. The colonel can only remain in resignation, watching as the young man takes advantage of him with no concern for his feelings – and his feelings are complicated, judging from the small twitches by his browbone.

A minute turns to five and the young man shows no signs of letting go. His fluffed silver bangs, specked in warm orange light, pools onto the floor underneath. Yang Rong has a sudden inclination to curl an index finger on the tuft by his ears. It’s wispy, graceful, soft as snow. The colonel plays with him out of self-satisfaction, watching as Noah nuzzles into his palm.

The young man’s breaths even out as Yang Rong fondles his ear. Noah refuses to let go – seems all too cozy in his grasp, a stark contrast from the person he is when awake and sober. Milky, dewy skin, neat eyebrows, long lashes curled at the tips… The mellowness is not indicative of his personality at all.

Perhaps it’s why Colonel Yang is drawn to study him. There is as much pensiveness as there is restraint, the fluster turning more into complication on his noir features, an unknown flicker of something more. It is at this angle that he can look at Noah so closely and make out every individual eyelash that almost outlines down his cheeks. Yang Rong can also see the vulnerability on his face.

“You are really pampered,” he murmurs. Then more pensively, a question directed to only himself. “What should I do with you?”