The bland Beta for Qi Han was just like a bowl of porridge; or not even a porridge, but barely a cup of water to use when one was thirsty.
A month after their reunion, this was the definition Fu Ge had come up with to describe himself.
“Your clothes are too thin.” Qi Han said, straightening his suit.
Only then did Fu Ge look down at what he was wearing. A pale blue V-neck cardigan on his upper body was fine for September when it was still warm, but underneath he was wearing only a pair of sudden khaki shorts, his exposed knees covered in dust from the floor.
This was ugly and not suitable for being taken out.
Qi Han should be subtly reminding him of this, Fu Ge thought.
“I was in too much of a hurry to go out, so I grabbed some random clothes.”
“What’s the rush?” Qi Han raised his hand and rubbed his cheek.
“Mmm…” Fu Ge closed his eyes and rubbed against Qi Han’s palm clingily, flattering him bluntly: “I was in a hurry to see you, sir.””
Qi Han drew a tissue and slowly wiped his fingers clean, before turning to step over to the window and push it wide open.
The process was done with a standard movement of his arm and elbow but even such a simple motion was filled with a sense of pressure.
As the smell slowly dissipated, Alpha pheromones were carried to the centre of the booth with the wind. Fu Ge’s shoulder-length hair was swept back behind his ears. Qi Han casually caught a strand and asked, “Is it cold?”
Fu Ge shook his head, “I don’t feel it.”
Qi Han’s palm slid over his cold neck, confirming that he was slowly losing his sense of temperature.
“Next time if you don’t wear the right clothes, don’t ever go out again.” His face was unpleasant and gloomy.
Tonight’s event was arranged by a group of half-baked “friends”. They said it was to catch up, but in fact, it was for sharing resources.
Qi Han had always hated this kind of occasion. If it weren’t for the repeated invitations from the youngsters, he wouldn’t have taken the time to participate. It had been nearly an hour since he left the table, and the juniors were still waiting for him in a disciplined manner.
While leading Fu Ge through the corridor, Qi Han ran into an old acquaintance.
An Omega with heavy make-up, wearing two cat ears on his head, walked over quickly, holding a wine glass, his shiny eyes full of surprise, “How come you have time to come here?”
Qi Han didn’t answer, glanced back at Fu Ge and said to the Omega, “Find him clean clothes, something thicker, do you have something?”
Only then did the Omega notice the person who had been keeping his head down. His eyes flickered, looking up and down, and then he said, “Yes, yes, are your clothes okay? Last time you stayed overnight, you left them. I took them to dry clean and stored them well.”
Qi Han let out a “hmm” and said, “Thank you for your care.”
He released his grip on Fu Ge and left without giving any explanation. Fu Ge watched his back disappear in the dimly lit corridor. When reaching the corner, Qi Han threw something into the trash can. Fu Ge stared for a while before he recognised that it was the tie that had been tied around his neck just now.
In just two minutes, the soiled tie and the lover who couldn’t be taken out both found a place to go.
The man in front of him was very beautiful but there was a depressing deadness all over him; like a piece of beautiful rotting wood. That was what the Omega thought the first time he looked at Fu Ge.
“Pretty gege, how long have you been with President Qi?” he asked tentatively.
Fu Ge froze at the question, not knowing how to answer, and only thanked the Omega as he opened the door and invited him in, “I’m sorry to trouble you.”
Fu Ge always felt cramped in front of strangers. He thought he would leave after changing clothes and find a hidden corner to wait for Qi Han to finish his business, but to his surprise, as soon as he entered, the Omega in front of him dropped to his knees.
“Gege, I know it’s offensive for me to do this, but I really have no other way, please help me!”
The little Omega grabbed Fu Ge’s shorts and cried so abundantly as if the dam was broken. Fu Ge looked at his eyes sluggishly and thought to himself that the Omega seemed to be really made of water.
“Get up first and say what’s going on properly.”
“No! I won’t get up until gege agrees!” The Omega was hugging his legs like a koala, tears flowing down his face, his intention being that if Fu Ge didn’t agree, he would wait for Qi Han to come back. Then, with one standing and the other one kneeling, let’s see who was more pitiful.
He didn’t expect Fu Ge to just hand him a tissue, “Then can you please kneel a little farther, my shoes are getting wet from your crying.”
The Omega was in a daze, looking at Fu Ge like a silly deer, forgetting to put away the eye drops in his hand.
He looked quite naive and comical in this way, like a fat cat particularly good at scuffling that Fu Ge happened to meet when he was sketching.
Fu Ge looked at the thing in his hand, “Is this brand of eye drops any good?”
The Omega saw that he had been found out so he didn’t pretend anymore and broke the jar, “I don’t care! You must help me beg President Qi to take me away, otherwise I’ll die tonight! It’s my eighteenth birthday today, and my boss had to do some kind of gimmick of sacrificing my first night to hype up the price for me. I ended up getting picked up by some big bosses who like to play rough. If I’m really taken away by them, I’ll definitely be played to death!”
He actually cried out as he said that, truly scared when he thought about it.
“God damn my boss, that bitch! Haven’t I made enough money for her, she’s pushing me into the fire, I just differentiated three months ago, I’m still, I’m still a virgin! I don’t want to accompany those pigs… Gege, please help me… please save me…”
He didn’t have much hope that the man in front of him would really help him, he just acted in a flash of inspiration after seeing Qi Han. Even if he couldn’t be taken away, he had to create a bit of chaos and at least to hide tonight.
He didn’t expect Fu Ge to suddenly lean down and press a tissue to the corners of his eyes with a sigh, “Don’t cry, he doesn’t like people who cry all the time.”
The Omega was stunned for a moment, and then heard him continue, “You can change into something simpler. Clean young boys are more to his liking.”
Now the Omega was completely confused, “You, you don’t mind? You really want to help me?” Were all lovers so chill about everything nowadays?
Fu Ge wondered, “Didn’t you beg me to help you?”
“But, are you willing to give him to me? That’s Qi Han! The youngest president of the Chamber of Commerce in the capital, the dream Alpha of God knows how many people!”
Fu Ge blinked, “He wasn’t mine to begin with.”
“You, you don’t like him?”
“Stop fooling around! You’re not even a challenge.”
The Omega pulled Fu Ge to sit on the chair and suddenly stretched out his hand to pinch Fu Ge’s face, with a bit of hating iron for not being steel mood: “You look so beautiful, how can you have no sense of competition? I’m a green tea bitch here to grab your man! Don’t you understand?!”
The system of integrating information in Fu Ge’s head was always lagging behind. When he finally reacted to what green tea bitch meant (someone who looks sweet and innocent but is scheming and dishonest), the Omega had already switched the topic, “Gege, otherwise you can take me away, you are Beta, you and I will not suffer! Hey, do you have money?”
“No and no.” This time Fu Ge reacted quickly, shaking his head repeatedly to free his face. He added in a very small voice, “I don’t have any money. The taxi money is all paid on arrival…”
The Omega pouted, “Also a broke guy, ah.”
Fu Ge looked at the corners of his eyes that were red from crying and asked, “Is it true about being sold?”
“Yes.” The Omega subconsciously shivered a little, his fingers gouging the back of the chair. “In fact, in my line of work, there has to be this day. I have long been mentally prepared, but… It would be nice if it was a day later. I haven’t even had a birthday yet, my mom is calling me tomorrow, if I… if I can’t answer…”
Fu Ge raised his hand and touched his forehead. The Omega pursed his lips and his eyes filled with tears, the kindness of a stranger breaking his defences instantly.
“I really don’t want to… I’m afraid to die…” He turned his head to lie on Fu Ge’s lap, rubbed his cat ears against him and asked in a very small voice: “I saw it the other day, a young boy was carried out of those big bosses’ room, covered in blood, gege, do you think I will become like that too…”
Fu Ge couldn’t answer him. After being quiet for a long time, he stood up suddenly and picked a plain white shirt from the open closet, “Put this on, I will help you talk to Sir.”
The Omega’s tears were still hanging on his eyelashes but his stretched hand shrunk back halfway, “I’m not going to steal from you, you’re too stupid. If I pretend to be pitiful, are you going to give me all your boyfriends?”
Fu Ge couldn’t quite understand the meaning of his words, so he was silent for a while and then said, “He’s not a boyfriend. He doesn’t like me. We broke up.”
“Broke up? When?” The Omega didn’t want to interfere with the relationship of honest people, that would be too unseemly.
“I don’t remember, I just heard about it, it seems to be a few years.”
“…You, you just heard about it? You weren’t present when the break-up happened?”
The Omega suspected that Fu Ge was joking, but his expression was very serious, and he recalled it for a long time before replying honestly: “I should’ve been present.”
After all, from what Qi Han was saying, it seemed like he was the one who caused the break-up.
“Oops, whatever! If you broke up, then you broke up. I won’t steal President Qi from you anyway, just help me escape tonight!”
Yelling that, the Omega grabbed the shirt from Fu Ge and jumped on the bed to change, only then noticing the two grimy bruises on Fu Ge’s knees.
“What’s wrong with your knees?” He grabbed a packet of wet wipes and tugged Fu Ge towards the bed. “Let me wipe them for you, gege.”
Fu Ge was caught off guard by the tug and propped himself up on the bed to get up, “No, I’m fine.”
The Omega’s hand awkwardly stopped in mid-air, “Do you think I’m dirty here? I’ve never had any customers, and no one else has been in this bed before! Before, when I said President Qi spent the night here, I was deliberately trying to make you angry, in fact, he was just drunk, had a glass of cold water in my place and left.”
Fu Ge was stunned for a moment, then sat down again, “You are not dirty.”
Eighteen years old, tender, cute, a little crafty but also honest and generous, such a boy was clean no matter what he did for a living.
Fu Ge curled up the corners of his mouth and thought to himself, it is me who is unclean.
“Did you have a cake for your birthday?” he asked.
“Nah, just had a scare.” The Omega winked wryly, “Is gege going to buy it for me? Don’t you have no money?”
Fu Ge flexed his fingers and tapped the Omega on the forehead, “Do you have any paper? Some thicker one.”
“Yes.” The Omega gave him a piece of cardboard and watched as Fu Ge folded it in half. His fingers moved quickly, and in the blink of an eye the cardboard turned into a delicate double-layer cake.
“Holy shit! You’re a magician, right? Your hands are too deft.” The Omega was stunned.
Fu Ge put the small cake into his palm, pinched the cat ears on top of his head and said reverently, “Happy birthday, I wish Mr. Cat to be safe tonight.”
The Omega pursed his lips and his eyes reddened again, “Thank you, now I have had a coming of age ceremony of sorts.”
Fu Ge didn’t understand his obsession, “Is coming of age that important?”
“Of course, when you’re eighteen, you can’t say you’re a kid anymore. It’s only once in a lifetime. Didn’t gege have a coming of age ceremony? It’s a little old-fashioned.”
His heart seemed to be suddenly electrocuted; Fu Ge shook his head and looked at the far wall in a daze. After half a minute, he finally said, “I did.”
“My coming of age ceremony when I turned eighteen was an extremely rough love affair.”
“That was the first time I experienced the joy of fish and water.” (idiom for “sexual intercourse”)
The Omega was dumbfounded and subconsciously grabbed him, “Wh… What?”
Fu Ge looked ahead blankly, as if haunted by the memories.
“My Alpha had a sudden rut period. In order not to hurt me, he chained himself to the bed and tricked me into going out on a trip. When I came back, he was already on the verge of death, his whole body was covered with blood, the rope was cutting into his flesh, and the corners of his mouth on both sides were cracked by the iron bite stopper.”
The Omega couldn’t help but bare his teeth when he thought about it, “That must have hurt.”
Fu Ge said, “I was heartbroken and all I wanted to do was rush up to him and comfort him, but a Beta without pheromones can’t comfort a high level Alpha…”
“It almost cost me half of my life that time. I passed out from the pain, but I was willing. Even if I was a Beta, I could calm my Alpha properly.”
The Omega smiled sweetly, “Isn’t it true that people who love each other are willing to endure pain for each other?”
“Yes, every bit of pain he gave me, I suffered gladly. But you’re wrong about one thing.”
Fu Ge’s smile froze on his face.
“It is true if two people love each other, but he didn’t love me.”
“He wasn’t even in rut, he was just putting on a botched show so he could torture me to his heart’s content for a legitimate reason.”