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Really, this is Jeongguk’s fault.

 

He’d just been on his way back to his rooms, three scrolls in hand when his shortcut through some of the sitting rooms had ended abruptly at the sight of his husband ― Jimin still isn’t used to that ― practising his swordsmanship in one of the gardens.

 

Jimin had immediately ducked beind the arch of the exit out to the garden, eyes wide as he’d taken in the sight of Jeongguk, completely shirtless and wielding his sword as he practised.

 

Jimin can see Hyunwoo and Minho off to the side standing on guard as Jeongguk follows through on his form, striking and parrying against an imaginary opponent. When Jimin had learned to wield a sword, his sisters had always practised with him, teaching him how best to defend and attack.

 

Jeongguk, however, is the Emperor and Jimin imagines his opponents have a tendency of losing to him out of fear or sheer lack of skill. Watching him now, Jimin thinks perhaps the losses were due to the latter, Jeongguk’s balance steadfast as his sword cuts through the air with a satisfying crispness. He attacks with a ferocity that sends a shiver down Jimin’s spine.

 

Jimin’s eyes rake over the hard lines of his body, muscles flexing as he strikes forward. He swallows, mouth watering as he watches the muscles in Jeongguk’s back ripple from his movements, sweat clinging to his skin and disappearing into the cloth of his pants. Unlike the usual loose cloth pants he wore, today’s are tight, clinging to his thighs like a second skin. Jimin’s heart stutters in his chest at the sight, unable to take his eyes off of Jeongguk.

 

This is the first time Jimin has seen Jeongguk shirtless, having already admired the strength in his arms from various shared meals. But like this, it is impossible to take his eyes off of Jeongguk. The curved blade of his sword glints in the noontime sun, lighter than the heavyswords carried by the warriors of Jimin’s kingdom.

 

Jeongguk cuts through the air with grace, Jimin’s eyes glued to the way the muscles in his thighs flex with his movement, to the rivets carved into his abdomen. His body twists toward Jimin, dark nipples a contrast against sun-kissed skin. Jimin can make out every scar on his body, some thin and fading, and others still fresh.

 

He is a sight to behold.

 

Jimin’s heart beats quicker in his chest, his belly fluttering like the wings of a bird. In all his youth, Jimin had never cared for the sight of any alpha, any beta. He had no interest in mating or marriage and when their wedding had first been arranged, Jimin had had no interest in Jeongguk either.

 

Things had changed. He’s been married to the Scorpion of the South for barely a month now and their interactions had consisted of shared meals and a few evenings spent sitting in each other’s company. Jimin had only heard of Jeongguk’s skill, of his well gossiped physique. Jeongguk was the fantasy of any number of people, alphas and betas mixed right in with the omegas. At first, Jimin had thought it all nonsense but then he had seen Jeongguk for the first time, and breathed in the spicy cardamom of his scent, and been left tongue tied.

 

“Your Highness?” a voice asks, right at Jimin’s ear. He yelps in surprise, nearly toppling over and dropping his scrolls. He effectively draws the attention of the one person he’d been hoping to go unseen by. “Are you alright?”

 

Hoseok blinks at Jimin with concern, careful not to lay a hand on Jimin. He’s even left a foot of space between them, too. Jimin’s cheeks redden to crimson as the burn of Jeongguk’s gaze falls on him. “Did you need help getting back to your rooms, Your Highness?”

 

Jimin just shakes his head, mortified that he’s been caught staring. He’s no better than all the gossiping omegas around the palace!

 

Jeongguk pads over to them, handing his sword over to a servant who seems to have materialized out of thin air. His face is carefully neutral but his eyes are sharp, and Jimin’s heart seems to stutter in his chest. He lets his gaze drop, unwilling to bare the smugness he knows he’ll find there soon.

 

“Leave us,” Jeongguk instructs with a dismissive wave of his hand. Hoseok disappears along with the guards and the servant, leaving Jimin alone with the wolf in the room. He clutches his scrolls tighter to his body, wishing he had just gone to his rooms or sent one of his handmaidens to fetch them.

 

Jeongguk steps through the arched doorway, sweat rolling down his skin tantalizingly, and he closes in on Jimin, forcing him to step back as Jeongguk enters his personal space. This close Jimin can breath in nothing but the alpha's scent, his back eventually hitting the wall behind him. Jeongguk corners him, bracing himself against the wall with a carefully placed hand next to Jimin's head.

 

Jimin’s eyes widen, the hard planes of Jeongguk’s body all around him. When he dares to look up, he finds only amusement on Jeongguk’s face, a satisfied smirk playing on his lips.

 

“Did you get lost, my little dove?” Jeongguk asks, his other hand coming to stroke against Jimin’s cheek gently, thumb sweeping over Jimin’s skin. A shiver runs down his spine at the touch, breath caught in his chest.

 

“No,” he answers, finding his voice. Jeongguk’s eyes have softened as he looks at Jimin, the burn of his touch setting a fire under Jimin’s skin.

 

“Mmm, so you were spying on me?” Jeongguk teases, his hand leaving Jimin’s face to wind around his waist. Jeongguk’s palm smoothes over Jimin’s bare skin, his cropped shirt leaving his midriff bare, and the touch has Jimin trembling. “Did you enjoy your view?”

 

“No ― I mean, y-yes ― I ― ” Jimin stutters, face aflame and Jeongguk only laughs, leaning in even closer. Jimin’s arms tighten around his scrolls until he is sure he is crushing them.

 

Jeongguk tugs him in until their bodies press together, the flat of his palm searing hot against the small of Jimin's back. He keeps his other hand against the wall, elbow bent and bicep flexing as he leans closer. Jeongguk watches Jimin carefully, looking for any sign of discomfort but he finds none, likely only seeing Jimin’s flushed cheeks and blown out pupils.

 

His voice is barely above a whisper when he asks, “So which is it, my dove? Yes or no?”

 

Jimin doesn’t know what he’s asking, swallowing around the growing lump in his throat. “I didn’t ― I didn’t get lost.”

 

“Mmm,” Jeongguk hums, nosing along the expanse of Jimin’s neck. To his extreme embarrassment, Jimin lets out a little squeak of surprise, heat curling in his gut. His eyes squeeze shut, Jeongguk’s lips pressing a single kiss against his skin as he continues to scent him.

 

Jimin feels overwhelmed and breathless, but more than that, he’s surprised by Jeongguk’s forwardness.

 

They hadn’t even been intimate on their wedding night, all of Jimin’s tightly woven anxiety falling apart when Jeongguk had slept in his own rooms. At the time, Jimin had only been relieved, still heartbroken over the turn of his life’s events.

 

Now, he wishes something had happened, wishes he didn’t find himself trembling under the Emperor’s attention. His scent reminds Jimin of home, of the tea his mother would brew for him by hand and he finds his mind is clouded by desire. Jimin’s never felt arousal burn so hotly through him outside of his heats.

 

Jeongguk holds Jimin tighter, his cock pressing against Jimin’s groin through the fabric of his pants. His scent has sharpened, overpowered Jimin to speechlessness. Jeongguk nips on Jimin’s pierced lobe, tugging on the golden hoop. “You shouldn’t wander the palace alone, little bird.”

 

“W-why?”

 

“You might catch the eye of the Emperor. I hear he’s quite possessive of whoever he sets his sights on.” Jeongguk’s tone is playful yet dark, his intentions quite clear. His voice ghosts over the shell of Jimin’s ear, sending a shiver running down his spine.

 

Jimin turns his head purposefully, manges to look Jeongguk in the eye, swallowing down his flustered anxiety. “Perhaps I’d like to catch his eye.”

 

It’s the most daring thing he’s ever said in his life and his knees nearly buckle out from under him when Jeongguk growls, squeezing Jimin’s waist to bring them flush against one another. Jeongguk’s body has no give, hard muscle pinning Jimin to the wall behind him.

 

Jimin’s scrolls crinkle between them, completely forgotten.

 

“Be careful of what you wish for.” Jeongguk’s voice rumbles through Jimin, gravelly and deep, and while they’d never gone further then some light scenting before, Jimin wants more now. The anticipation is almost too much to bare, gut curling hotly.

 

He knows they have to wait to consummate the wedding until Jimin’s heat comes, hopefully triggering Jeongguk’s rut as well if they are as compatible as it seems. It would be a good omen for their bonding and Jimin has lied in bed praying for as much. But surely, in the meantime, Jeongguk and him could do more than just scenting?

 

Jimin’s never even been kissed before.

 

“Alpha,” Jimin breathes out, face flushing hotly as one of his hands smooths over Jeongguk’s pec to grip at his shoulder. His skin is slippery with sweat, scent engulfing Jimin entirely. He’d reek of Jeongguk for hours to come, a pleased warmth bursting in his chest at the thought.

 

Jeongguk noses along his neck, stops right at the base of Jimin’s neck before he kisses the skin lightly, as if an apology for how hard he sinks his teeth into Jimin right after. Jimin’s whole body tenses, wincing as Jeongguk soothes over the sting of his bite with his tongue, laving at the bruise he’ll have left there. He sucks against it, sending a hot jolt through Jimin’s body.

 

He thinks he’s dropped the scrolls, arms winding around Jeongguk’s neck as he buries his face in the crook of his neck and inhales. Worse yet is the way he mewls when Jeongguk’s hands grip him by the meat of his thighs, hoisting him up. His feet leave the ground, cock throbbing and he realises he’s wet, the sticky feeling of slick registering between his cheeks.

 

Jeongguk kisses his way up Jimin’s neck, stopping only when he’s littered kisses along his jaw as well. Jimin’s head falls against the wall, thinks he must look a sight for his Emperor, debauched yet with eyes pleading for more.

 

“You are so beautiful, my love,” Jeongguk whispers, cupping Jimin’s face in one hand. He’s wound his legs around Jeongguk’s slim waist, thinks he has become entirely desperate for something more.

 

Jimin finds himself leaning in, heart beating in his chest like a battering ram, eyes fixing on Jeongguk’s mouth ― the pretty curve of his cupid’s bow and the little mole under his bottom lip.

 

“I think that had you not been destined for me, I would have ripped you from the hands of fate myself.”

 

Jimin’s eyes widen at Jeongguk’s confession, heart leaping.

 

Oh.

 

“And what if you had lost?” Jimin murmurs, stroking Jeongguk’s neck, his belly twisting itself into knots as he takes in the expression on Jeongguk’s face.

 

“I’ve never lost in anything,” Jeongguk responds without missing a beat, his eyes hardening.

 

Jimin’s already flushed face seems to burn even hotter as he replies, “Then you should take what’s yours.”

 

Jeongguk’s shock dissolves quickly into something ravenous and then he’s lunging in, growling as he captures Jimin’s lips in a searing kiss. For a split second, Jimin’s mind goes completely blank, the scent of assam and cardamom slamming into him. He lets out a whine as Jeongguk’s tongue brushes against the seam of his mouth, gasping when his teeth nip at Jimin’s bottom lip.

 

Jeongguk licks his way into Jimin’s mouth, the kiss wet and messy but Jimin’s reeling, body on fire as Jeongguk’s tongue brushes against his own. Jimin can hardly keep up, feels dizzy, moaning into Jeongguk’s mouth as he devours him. If he’d been left to stand on his own feet, his knees would have given out.

 

He whines when Jeongguk’s hand squeezes his ass, surprised but aroused by the bruising grip, arms squeezing tight around Jeongguk’s shoulders. Jeongguk’s passion simmers down, their kiss turning lazier as Jeongguk gives Jimin a chance to breathe. He drags his tongue against the sensitive roof of Jimin’s mouth, kisses turning chaster as he pecks at Jimin’s lips.

 

Jimin’s not sure how long they stay there, Jeongguk exploring Jimin’s mouth to his leisure and allowing Jimin the pleasure of doing the same. He thinks he could kiss Jeongguk forever, the heat building up in his body steadying to something bearable as they take their time with one another.

 

If Jimin had been worried about mating the Emperor before, he finds himself content to the idea now. For all the rumours Jimin had heard of Jeongguk, he’d been dispelled of most of them. Jeongguk is patient, ardent in his desire to rule his Empire fairly and with justice. Jimin finds him admirable.

 

And well, if Jeongguk happens to have the body of a God as well, that is simply Jimin’s good fortune.

 

“We’ve ruined your scrolls,” Jeongguk murmurs between kisses, untiring of tasting Jimin’s mouth.

 

“Technically, they’re yours. I was planning to borrow them from your library,” Jimin grins, a little bashful, pulling back just enough to see the mess of them on the floor. Thankfully, they aren’t anything too important. Jimin knows Namjoon would never let him walk out with any of the royal scrolls, no matter how far up his title.

 

“Everything of mine is yours,” Jeongguk corrects, carefully stepping away from the wall with Jimin still in his arms. He doesn’t step on the scrolls or pick them up, leaving them there on the floor as he carries Jimin out to the garden. The sun is hanging in the sky, still blistering hot but Jeongguk carries Jimin to the shade of a tree, pressing kisses to his neck as Jimin clings to him.

 

They sit there together, Jimin pulled flush into Jeongguk’s lap and Jeongguk kisses him sweetly on the lips, hands stroking Jimin’s waist. “Spend the day with me.”

 

“Don’t you have duties to attend to, Your Highness?” Jimin teases, resting his head on Jeongguk’s shoulder.

 

“I only have time for you,” Jeongguk murmurs, petting Jimin’s back. His hand rubs over Jimin’s exposed skin, the gauzy material of his top a little coarse against Jimin’s skin. Jimin feels like a lazy cat feeding off of Jeongguk’s affection.

 

“Then I would love to.”