Street lamps and the night wind are the most appropriate companions to solitude, exponentially magnifying the painful loneliness in one’s heart.
Qi Han walked down from the third floor and descended the dimly lit stairs to the garden. His steps were too soft to turn on the sound-activated lights. His forlorn shadow was stretched very thin and long by the street lights, as if he was a ghost that had wandered for many years without finding the way home, fragile enough to disperse as soon as the wind blew.
There was still a faint light in Fu Ge’s window upstairs, and Qi Han wondered if he had finished vomiting.
He took a cigarette and put it in his mouth, his palm blocking the oncoming wind as he clicked the lighter. The scarlet flame started and fell, the thick white smoke escaping his lips and fading away.
The Alpha murmured with a wry smile: “It’s you who wanted a temporary mark, and it’s you who is disgusted. What does gege want me to do…”
Unfortunately, Fu Ge himself didn’t know how to answer this question.
After the nightmare of those fourteen days, his body had formed a stress response. Qi Han’s touch, Qi Han’s mark would make him extremely scared, and the most direct reaction was vomiting.
It was not nausea, it was the body’s unwillingness to reconcile.
It wasn’t disgust at Qi Han, it was disgust at himself.
After vomiting everything in his stomach, he finally felt more comfortable. Fu Ge flushed down the toilet, got up, stood in front of the mirror and looked at his own curved, graceful, misty eyes. This look really made him sick.
Overwhelmed by passion and controlled by the Alpha, especially after he had been injected with pheromones for a few weeks, becoming uncontrollable and desperate to get close to his enemy like a dog in heat.
He raised his limp hand and slowly placed it on his neck, squeezing it tightly.
There was a dense layer of red rash on his neck, especially near the back of the neck, where there were three bite marks superimposed on each other.
Just the slightest touch of his fingers made him shudder involuntarily.
Close your eyes, and all the details of what had just happened would come flooding back.
How sharp the Alpha’s fangs were as they pierced the back of his neck, how hot the pheromones that rushed into his bloodstream, how warm the arms that encircled him, and how embarrassed he was because of his own excitement caused by the pheromones.
Taking the brooch out of his pocket, Fu Ge forced himself to stare intently at the swirling vortex in the middle of the brooch. His fingers scratched hard against the marble countertop, the sharp sound of his nails grinding against it like a steel knife against glass, splitting his mind in halves.
Half of it was monstrous hatred, and half of it was uncontrollable desire.
As if chained and kissed at the same time, with his oxygen being cut off, he felt shamelessly happy while suffocating; as if there was a hand stroking his body, scratching those itchy places one by one.
Until at the most desperate moment, Fu Ge suddenly closed his eyes and let out a tearful cry, raised his hand and smashed the mirror.
There was a clatter, and fragments of glass fell to the floor.
A thin stream of blood wetted his fingers, and the severe pain helped him regain some sanity. The young Beta looked at the broken person in the broken mirror and said to himself: “You look disgusting.”
He broke down repeatedly in the dead of night and cleaned himself up again before dawn came, like an apparatus without any feelings.
After cleaning up the debris and bandaging the wound, Fu Ge didn’t have the slightest expression on his face when the phone was connected. The voice of the person on the other side was familiar: “Well?”
The young Beta held a burning cigarette in his fingers, raised it to his mouth and took a puff. The smoke passed through his lungs and the bitterness remained in his throat. He leaned back on the sofa and let the thick white smoke roll out of his red lips.
This sexy and decadent appearance was very different from his image of the poor little white flower in the daytime.
“Brother.” The young Beta closed his eyes, “Let’s get ready to tighten the net.”
In Fu Ge’s world, sleep was equivalent to nightmares.
During less than three hours of sleep, Mr. Bear Cub and Qi Han, dragging iron chains, jumped repeatedly through his dreams.
The body was the same but the faces were very different. In the end, the two faces merged into one in his dream and this person was pushed off the cliff by Fu Ge.
Surprisingly, as soon as he opened his eyes the next day, he saw Mr. Bear again.
To be precise, it was Winnie the Pooh.
A man of more than 1.9 metres tall in a doll costume was as big as a behemoth, cute and creepy at the same time.
Fu Ge watched Qi Han open the push-down window, first put in two long fat legs with his back turned to him, and then slowly squeeze the bear’s head in, still holding something in his hand.
At first glance Fu Ge suspected that he was seeing things.
It was so weird that he had to take another look.
The large mutant bear was stuck in the window, holding the bear’s head with his empty hand, yanking the head very rudely through the window.
Only then did Fu Ge realise that the dream was over. He opened his eyes and truly enjoyed the show. When Qi Han turned around and found that when he was awake, his body shook so much that he nearly dropped the plate in his hand.
There were freshly fried French fries on the plate, and Fu Ge could smell them.
Mr. Bear held his bear head in embarrassment. Turning away was not an option. Going back the way he came was even worse. His plush paw clenched and unclenched several times, and then he slowly walked over and half knelt on one knee next to Fu Ge’s bed.
“Gege…” Mr. Bear called out, holding French fries in one hand and his bear head with the other. A small bag of ketchup was carried in his oversized bib, looking embarrassing and funny.
Fu Ge seemed to be still angry, kicking his paw away with his toes, “What, are you going to bite me again?”
“No! How dare I?!” Winnie the Pooh shook his head. Due to excessive force when he stopped, the bear’s head tilted ninety degrees and flopped on his shoulder, as if it was his ear was talking to Fu Ge: “I was wrong, I shouldn’t have done it last night. I’ll make it up to gege, okay? There’s enough fries today.”
Fu Ge: “……”
You could only be thankful that the bear’s head was in the right position when he came in.
“How old are you pretending to be a bear to apologise?”
“No matter old or young, every bear is your bear.” Qi Han rubbed his big head against Fu Ge, banging it against his face several times like a hooligan, so it was hard to say whether he was kissing him or hitting him.
As if he finally couldn’t help but laugh, Fu Ge helplessly set the bear’s head upright and grabbed both of his ears, “Does the bear want to beat me?”
This was an obvious signal of reconciliation. Qi Han put the French fries plate aside, and the fierce bear jumped on the bed, “No, he doesn’t want to beat you, the bear wants to kiss you and hug you, can he?”
Fu Ge rolled on top of him and finally buried his face in Winnie the Pooh’s chest, squinting lazily, “It’s so warm.”
“If you like it, cuddle a little longer.”
“Okay.” Fu Ge said, raising his head, “But you’re not allowed to release pheromones, ah. I have to get up early to draw with Xiao Bao.”
“I know.” Qi Han propped the bear’s head up with one hand and said sourly: “Gege treats that kid better than me.”
Fu Ge smiled and patted him, “What are you doing, jealous of a child, ah?”
Qi Han also laughed, “No, I just want to say that I made an appointment with a photographer to take pictures today. If you like that kid, let’s take a couple pictures with him.”
“Take pictures? Why do you suddenly want to take pictures?”
Qi Han’s movements paused and he looked away, “It’s nothing. I want to make more memories and keep them for later.”
If… I have a later.
Fu Ge didn’t ask any questions, “Okay.”
When he came in, he was a bear, and when he went out, he was a human. Fu Ge said that he liked the Winnie the Pooh suit, so Qi Han took it off on the spot and left it to him.
Fu Ge put the bear’s head on the table, folded the suit, washed up and slowly finished the French fries. He deliberately took a look at the bear’s head before going out.
If there had been a camera in the bear’s head, one would have seen on camera Fu Ge’s eyes suddenly staring into the bear’s eye holes.
The young Beta looked for several seconds and let out a soft laugh, “If Mr. Bear looks again, I’ll gouge his eyes out.”
As he became more and more lucid, he would no longer confuse the eighteen-year-old Qi Han with the twenty-three-year-old Qi Han. His hatred suddenly doubled, and the few remaining shreds of pity for Mr. Bear Cub slowly, slowly dissipated.
The morning’s photo session didn’t go well.
The little model was taken out by his parents to breathe some fresh air and was unable to participate in the photo shoot. Qi Han’s original fantasy of a “family of three” family portrait was ruined.
Not only that; Fu Ge suddenly fainted as soon as the second picture was taken.
The scene was very chaotic at that time. The photographer and the patients downstairs were in a mess. Qi Han picked up Fu Ge and rushed upstairs. His arm holding Fu Ge’s legs was suddenly covered with warm and sticky liquid.
He looked down, and there were trickles of blood running over Fu Ge’s legs.
The examination confirmed that the inner cavity membrane was ruptured, and the damaged tissues that started healing due to the Alpha’s pheromones were inflamed again. It was more serious than ever before, and the flowing blood was mixed with pus.
After more than a month, Fu Ge was admitted to the emergency ward again.
“What the hell is going on! Didn’t you say that my pheromones can cure him?” Qi Han was so anxious that his face was white. He didn’t even have time to clean the blood on his arm.
Fu Ge’s attending doctor had not returned, and the expert group was now headed by the balding doctor.
“We detected that the patient’s inner cavity situation has changed. Although the damaged area was indeed slowly recovering before, more serious lesions have occurred in the epidermis because the patient is a Beta and can’t withstand the impact of too many Alpha pheromones.”
“More serious lesions?” Qi Han’s heart rose to his throat; his palms were sweaty, “Show me his new films, I want to see what’s going on inside him.”
A trace of consternation flashed across the doctor’s face inexplicably, and he quickly raised his hand to block the mouse, “Sorry, President Qi, the images have not been uploaded yet. There are many concealed lesions and it will take a while for all of the images to be completed.”
Qi Han, who had a full view of all his micro-expressions, froze.
His head was blank, and countless thoughts flashed through his mind. He moved his lips stiffly and repeated: “No… images?”
The doctor pushed up his glasses, “Correct, they haven’t been completed yet.”
Next to them, Chen Xing was quite disgusted with this doctor, “What can I say, are you able to be any less efficient? People lose consciousness an hour ago and the examination has not been completed. By the time your results come out, the patient will heal himself!”
As he said that, he stood up and was about to check the doctor’s computer. As one of the major shareholders of the hospital, he had full authority to do so.
“Give me the mouse, I’d like to see what you guys are doing, why so slow—”
“Chen Xing!” Qi Han grasped his hand, pressed him back into the chair and said, “Don’t mess around.”
“Sorry that I made you watch the joke.” Qi Han looked at the doctor.
“It’s okay, the emotional excitement of the family members is understandable.”
Qi Han’s shoulders relaxed, and his bloodshot eyes darkened, “Do you have any new countermeasures for the situation of my lover?”
The balding doctor pondered for a long time, “Yes, but it’s rather risky.”
“Is it risky for him or for me?”
“For you.” The doctor said tactfully: “This is very difficult for the family.”
“It’s okay, you can say it straight away.”
The doctor seemed to be surprised by his joy, and habitually pushed up his glasses. The light in his eyes was completely obscured by the lenses, and his face looked quite embarrassed.
“The patient is a Beta. Because of his gender, he may never be able to accept your pheromones well. In the long run, not only will the previous damage be beyond repair, but there will be more new lesions. So after discussion, we agreed that the most effective way is to transplant glands and make him an Omega through surgery.”
Qi Han frowned, closed his eyes tightly and continued the next sentence in his mind: but we don’t have glands.
The doctor said at the same time: “But there have been no donated Omega glands available nationwide for nearly five years. This is the problem you need to solve.”
His fingers were so cold that they became numb. Qi Han slowly rubbed them and said, “I see.”
Next to him, Chen Xing stormed up and kicked his chair, “What the fuck are you talking about!”
Furious, he even dragged Qi Han out, his whole body trembling with anger and shock as he spoke incoherently.
“Don’t say you want to do it! Don’t be fucking stupid! You can’t possibly not know what that doctor means, gland donation is already rare, there may not be one case in decades, what can you do if the hospital doesn’t have them? You can only go to the black market to buy them!”
Qi Han kept his eyes downcast; with his arm propped up on the railing, he exhaled and said, “I know.”
“You know and you still agree? Are you crazy?!”
Chen Xing was so angry that tears and snot burst out of his eyes and nose, and his trembling finger pointed at Qi Han, “Last year, just last fucking year, the fucking bill has passed, strictly prohibiting the sale of glands. If caught, one will be shot on the spot, and one’s descendents deprived of political rights for life. Now is the strictest time, do you want to be the fucking example?!”
If Chen Xing knew these things, how could Qi Han not know them? He had begun to have suspicions when the doctor said that there were no images of Fu Ge’s lesions and he had already thought of this step even before the doctor proposed that glands needed to be implanted.
Chen Xing was going crazy, red-eyed and clutching his shoulders, “Brother, you are my brother, I beg you not to be stupid, don’t you know what a big deal this is?”
“Yes, you have made a great contribution to the Chamber of Commerce since you took office. Everyone can see it, but the gland trade is now a fucking giant minefield! Not to mention if the evidence is conclusive, even if there’s a slightest hint, the Chamber of Commerce will not be able to protect you.”
Chen Xing’s lips trembled as he choked and squeezed out the words: “You are just twenty-three this year, brother… don’t you want a great future?”
“All your efforts will go up in flames. The name ‘Qi Han’ will stink. You will be nailed to the pillar of shame forever. In the next ten, twenty, or even fifty or one hundred years, as long as someone mentions the sale of glands, your name will be dragged out and your corpse repeatedly flogged.”
“Even your dad, the scientist who made countless contributions, will be disgraced.” Chen Xing sobbed and covered his eyes, “Brother Han, don’t be stupid, okay?”
And Qi Han’s expression remained calm from beginning to end.
He wiped the blood off his arm to make sure it was animal plasma and managed to smile, “It’s good that he isn’t bleeding.”
Chen Xing looked at him, “What?”
Qi Han said: “I’ve been wondering why he didn’t want the USB flash drive I prepared.”
He compiled all the evidence and gave it to Fu Ge. With those things alone, he could be sent to prison or even sentenced to death, but the young Beta seemed to have no intention of using it.
Only now did Qi Han realise that it wasn’t that he couldn’t bear to use it, it was that he couldn’t be bothered with it.
He wanted Qi Han to completely fall into the mud from the clouds and continue to be condemned for years after his death.
Chen Xing was stunned, “What the hell are you talking about?!”
Qi Han narrowed his eyes, said nothing else, turned and left.
The Alpha’s tall, slender figure from behind was beautiful like jade, vigorous and heroic, slowly disappearing in the dim corridor.
At the age of twenty-three, his life had just begun, and it was about to be brought to an end.
I have imagined hundreds of endings for myself, but what my lover has prepared for me is more tragic than any of them.