Actions

Work Header

♛ Chrysoprase ♛

Chapter Text

You're not fucking that Omega are you?

Omega. What an insulting word. It wasn’t insulting because of what it defined. It was insulting because of the malice and disrespect laced behind it. The fact that an Omega was all Jungkook saw him as. Not a person with emotions, feelings—a name. A name Taehyung had said many times before and a name he was sure Jungkook heard and understood. But he was still regarded as just an Omega—just a thing to fuck. Ironically, it was just until recently that Taehyung himself had used the word in such an ignorant way. In a way to belittle someone and make himself feel superior, but things had changed. A lot of things had changed.

“That Omega has a name.” Taehyung scolded with a slight bite. He felt like he was repeating himself and getting nowhere. He’d already explained various times that he didn’t like when Jungkook used that term so offhandedly. Throwing it around like a ball that Taehyung was not willing to catch and return in his ill-informed sport. Just some whore, just some slut—just some Omega.

He could see Jungkook's reflection in the night-glazed window as he stared out into the city from his loft. The others suit was neatly smoothed and his hair groomed with precision, although currently his face didn’t hold the same pristine. It fell, dumbfounded, but then he laughed, running a hand through his silky locks, “You can't be serious, Tae. You’re not of…their class.”

Taehyung gave no response as he swallowed the anger building in his chest. Suddenly the earrings punctured into his lobes were cold and callous. He wanted to rip them out, toss them into the wind and forget about his so-called class. The earrings were a symbol of prestige, wealth, and the color identified which family you hailed from. Jungkook and himself had four piercings in their lobes, one more set plus a helix and they'd be regarded as kings. Still, the earrings itched. They felt tacky and fake, the silver irritating Taehyung's skin.

Jungkook chuckled again at Taehyung’s reserve, this time less amused and more so flabbergasted. “Wait, you're serious…you and him are…” His sentence slowly died along with the emotion in his voice, “Why…?”

Taehyung pulled his lip into a line, finally turning around to face his long time friend. Their eyes met and immediately he noticed the glossiness of Jungkook’s pupils. There was tension mixed with grief as Jungkook’s mouth dropped with disbelief, perhaps shock. Taehyung didn’t know how to answer him. He never knew why he had taken such a liking to him in the first place, but it happened—and Taehyung wasn’t about to lose him.

Why did he hold such affections for this particular person? Why? Because Taehyung had never seen something so beautiful. The scene replayed in Taehyung’s mind more often than he admitted. The first time he ever laid eyes on him.

The first time he ever laid eyes on Jimin.

♡♡♡♡♡

The first time Taehyung saw Jimin was rather unexpected. It wasn’t casually bumping into him, seeing him walking down the street, or at some reeling party—no the first time Taehyung saw Jimin, he stole his breath in a way he didn’t think was possible. His mind ceased and his heart stopped. He thought that he was looking at an angel, his wings spread far and wide as he hovered in front of his face.

Jimin floated. He floated in front of Taehyung, his body outstretched and reaching towards him with open fingers. The jewels hanging across his neck and chest glowed and shimmered with the light shinning brightly behind him. His loose white shirt was ever translucent, giving the vague definitions of a smooth and sculpted body. Taehyung lost his breath as the air became water and the boy drifted through it like he controlled it. Effortlessly and with confidence he drifted, suspended in the air by nothing more than a bar and ropes. His faded pink hair moved in slow motion, as did his whole body and the entire theater went into a dead silence.

He soared and Taehyung stared. He stared directly into the eyes of the Omega as his extended hand stole the very words and hymns from his lips. As quickly as he appeared, he swung back across the way, doing another flip into the air. Time resumed normally as sound returned to Taehyung’s ears and a quiet applause erupted. Blinking, he heard a familiar laugh besides him, a hand clasping tightly onto his shoulder.

“You look like you’re about to pass out!” Jungkook snickered, “You alright there?”

Taehyung covered his eyes, running his fingers along his face, “Yeah, I’m fine. Who was that?”

Jungkook clicked his tongue, shrugging and rolling his eyes, “I have no idea. Just some Omega. Why? You get a sniff of something you like?”

He joked, but Taehyung sighed leaning back into his chair, “No. I was just curious.”

Curious, didn't quite explain it. He was captivated as the Omega twisted and bent his body, his outfit radiating in the spotlight he was placed under. Suddenly the rest of the performance was empty, lacking of emotions, as Taehyung could only focus on the boy flying in front of him, up high and without harnesses. His act was deadly, dangerous, in more ways that just his lack of precautions; But he performed it with a solid confidence and elegance Taehyung had never seen before. His act was enthralling, although his face...his face was lacking. It lacked the same expression and power as his body.

This wasn't the first time Taehyung had been to one of these enactments. They didn't have a proper name. Despite their popularity they were simply referred to as “O-Shows”. They were trendy and well-liked, but also something you didn't talk about amongst colleagues—similar to a strip bar, but minus the nudity. It was more formal. Everyone brushed up and clad in riches, but there was another detail. Everyone in the audience was an Alpha and everyone performing was an Omega.

Every Alpha attending held some kind of status in society. Taehyung and Jungkook ranked rather high on that list as Taehyung fiddled with one of the several piercings on his ear. It gave them certain rights above others besides simply being an Alpha, but there were rules everyone with piercings knew well. Never mingle with the Jeweless. Never mate with a Jeweless. And every Omega in this performance was a Jeweless. They were simply paid—although barely, to entertain the higher class and some regarded them as strange or even clowns, nothing more than amusement to fuel their imaginations. Taehyung found little pleasure in the idea, but he still entertained Jungkook who wanted to go.

As the curtain dropped, lights brightened, and show ended, Taehyung and Jungkook remained in their seats, observing the Alphas on the main floor stand to leave. Taehyung kept fiddling with his earrings as Jungkook leaned towards him with a wide grin, “What's on your mind?” He asked.

“Nothing.” Taehyung mumbled, finally leaving the studs in his ears alone.

“Doesn’t look like nothing.” Jungkook remarked with and even wider smirk, “You still thinking about that acrobat Omega?”

Taehyung rolled his eyes, taking a final sip on the clear wine sitting on the table besides him, “No. There are plenty of other Omegas to think about.”

“You know when was the last time you've bedded someone, Tae?” Jungkook stole the remnants of Taehyung's wine and downed it without hesitation.

“Why are you asking me that?” Taehyung raised a single brow as Jungkook set the glass down.

Jungkook shrugged again, “You just haven't mentioned it recently. I figured you'd fall to a rut by now and maybe that's why the Omega caught your attention—“ he bit his lip with a small tug on his lips, “Perhaps you felt like living on the edge a bit and wanted to fuck something so...” He searched for the right word, “…unsanitary.”

Taehyung rolled his eyes again while ignoring Jungkook's inquiry. It had been some time since he last felt the irresistible urge to sink his knot into someone—although Jungkook was certainly much more vocal about all his victories. His ruts varied unlike most other Alphas who were monthly. His could come once a month or every three. Taehyung didn’t mind that inconsistency; it made his life easier to not fall to such desires, although that labeled him as peculiar to every other Alpha he ever vented the feelings to.

Jungkook frowned at Taehyung’s silence, leaning onto his knees as he glanced across the upper balcony. His eyes landed onto a figure in his own section, surrounded by various suited bodyguards. He was tall, lean, and covered in gems. His ears were filled with studs and he also attained the helix of fortune. He was among the highest of the Alpha society and everyone knew his name—Kim Namjoon.

Jungkook whistled, ogling at his blatant status, “Wow. There he is in the flesh. I hear he comes to these things a lot…”

Taehyung looked in the same direction as Jungkook, eyeing the elegant man wrapped head to toe in the most expensive of brands. People bowed merely being in his presence, his authority well above most others and on par with an emperor. Taehyung had come into contact with him once since they shared the same family name, but the contact didn’t last long and he was aloof, only speaking when necessary. He stared down into the flooding audience with a blank expression, his eyes small and almost lifeless. One of his bodyguards gestured towards him to move forward and his lips moved, but his eyes still lingered on the crowd—or maybe it wasn’t the crowd. His eyes were small, but they shinned with sadness. Sadness only Taehyung seemed to heed as he spun away, his guard ushering him forward.

He wasn’t looking into the crowd at all.

He was looking at the stage.

♡♡♡♡♡

It had been a few days since Taehyung and Jungkook saw the performance, but Taehyung couldn’t shake the image of the Omega from his head. He found himself having vague dreams of the boys face and that same scene replicating in his head. Their long lasting stare, the softness of his lips, and his face so close to his he could practically taste the breath he exhaled. It didn’t arouse him, which would explain his odd fascination a little bit more, but he felt drawn to him and his usually still heart beat ever the slightest. Even when he fucked other Omegas, he didn’t feel the same sense of fascination as he did with the performer.

He found himself wanting to see the performance again, although he could never tell Jungkook that. He could already imagine the belittling jokes he’d say, his assumptions on Taehyung’s thoughts bringing out a certain annoyance. So he decided to go alone. He watched from his private balcony, waiting for the Omega to make his entrance. He noticed that Namjoon had also shown up again, sitting neatly in his seat. He was alone, surrounded by his black suited guards, but his face was still the same. Vague, expressionless, and melancholy even while watching the perkiest of the routines.

Taehyung wondered why he came to these events if he was so downright despondent and jaded. It wasn’t until one of the more aesthetic and artistic performances came onto the stage that Taehyung perceived his face change under the soft blue lighting. The lights focused on the stage revealing a small male sitting at the head of a sparkling white piano. His hands glided over the keys like wind to chimes as he sang softly into a microphone. Dancers surrounded him, twirling long white ribbons and prancing about each other. They told a story, a simple story about falling in love—forbidden love. It was a rather common tale that you learned in the earliest of childhood, but Namjoon’s eyes ignited and the corner of his lips held the smallest of smiles.

Taehyung wondered if perhaps it was because he enjoyed the story, music, or artistry of the Omegas, but then he saw his eyes never moved. They never moved across the stage to watch the dances or the flashing images on the wall. They lingered on the man playing the piano, his words sending the entire crowd into a poetic silence. The pianist face was flat at the beginning, but as he sang the chorus about finding happiness even in the face of such obstacles, his face brightened and a smile spread across his face—and one also spread across Namjoon’s. When the performance ended, the pianist gently looked out into the crowd and then up at the balcony, directly at Namjoon. He stared at him until the curtain fell, creating a wall between them.

The actions exchanged by them made Taehyung question what they meant or implied. Surely Namjoon, virtually king Namjoon who could bed any Omega he fancied, was not looking at a lowly Jeweless. Although as the applause sounded, Taehyung knew that he was doing the same. He couldn’t deny the fact of it, but he wanted to know why this Omega enchanted his thoughts like poison. Why his face had never left his mind since that night.

A few more acts came before the one Taehyung anticipated. When the Omega’s act finally arose, Taehyung shifted in his seat, leaning forward with a sudden keenness. There were the people on the ground, playing instruments and doing odd talents, but then the ceiling opened and the Omega Taehyung had been waiting for so patiently was perched charmingly on the iron bar with the same sparkling white outfit. His face remained dreary as he traced the edges of the rope, his only security in preventing his fall. Taehyung wanted to know why he looked so sad when he was so…Taehyung couldn’t think of a proper word.

Closing his eyes the Omega swung back and forth, projecting himself into the air and gripping onto one of the other roped bars. His body twirled, cutting through the air with imaginary wings. His arms framed his body like a painting, and his legs practically waltzed him from one side of the theater to the next. Wrapping himself around one of the rods, he once again flung himself towards the audience, just barely within reach of physically touching his spectators. He paid everyone a swift visit, but once he came to Taehyung his eyes went wide as the spectacle was similar, but also vastly different from last time. The Omega’s body arched, his head was thrown back, and his thick lips parted like he was gasping for air.

Taehyung felt a lump form in his throat as a beating throbbed in his crotch. He exhaled a breath he wasn’t aware he had as the Omega locked his gaze with him, the light highlighting the sweat on his face, neck, and his shirt dangling just low enough to peak at his glistening chest and prominent collarbones. How was everyone else so calm after being approached by such beauty? Taehyung wished he could speak to him, ask him his name, but as soon as the Omega appeared he left, flying back to resume the rest of his performance.

Taehyung stared for a few moments longer, his mind and eyes blinded by the small Omega. He was a Jeweless. Taehyung was forbidden from associating with him, but he wanted to. He wanted to at least know the name of the bewitching Omega as his scent filled Taehyung’s nose like a fine and tantalizing perfume. He couldn’t rid himself of the smell. Maybe he did get a whiff of something he liked—or so Jungkook put it, but why? Why was he so drawn to the edge of the balcony, standing, holding onto the railing as he stared out at him? Taehyung’s heart pounded, louder this time, after lying dormant for so long.

This Omega, he was beautiful.

The boy sat on the bar like a swing, wrapping his leg around one of the ropes as he laid breathless against it at the performances end. The people dancing below bowed their heads low and the audience clapped, but Taehyung could only hear the repeated thumps of his chest. They rang against his ear as the pink haired Omega rested across his post. He waited to be lifted into the ceiling, staring up at the light and wiping away a stray bead of sweat. He relaxed his hand against his forehead and his eyes moved ever slightly in Taehyungs direction—although his stare didn’t last long as he finally ascended.

Taehyung backtracked to his seat, plopping down into it. His mind and focus were lost as the rest of the theaters show resumed. The act had only just finished and yet he wanted to see the Omega again.

Taehyung wanted to see him perform once more.

♡♡♡♡♡

 He was a Jewless. He was a Jewless Omega. Taehyung repeated the thought in his head as he went about his next few days. He couldn’t allow himself to see the show again. He had to cut off all connection to it, but as the days droned on and Jungkook obnoxiously spoke of the Omegas he caught in the middle of their heats, Taehyung felt the life inside of his body drain. His heart felt numb and his chest laid still. Why was he so fixed on one particular male? It was unnatural.

Jungkook surmised it was because he hadn’t mated in so long leaving his “inner animal” in a dormant state, but Taehyung was positive that wasn’t the reason. Even when Jungkook pushed him to be around Omegas of their social class, Taehyung was warm and friendly, but something lacked from the interaction. None of them were as beautiful as the floating angel back at the show. There were words spoken in his dance, emotional and expressive. He questioned in his mind what it all meant, the boys body language being more entertaining than the walls he was talking to with the other Omegas.

Jungkook didn’t understand it; he refused to as he talked with Tae about it over lunch. His cheeks were full as he point a fork at Taehyung with a sour expression, “What’s with you, Tae? You’ve been looking bleak ever since that theater show.”

Taehyung shrugged, sipping on a small cup of coffee, “I haven't been getting much sleep.” He muttered.

“Sounds like bullshit, you sleep like a rock. I know.” Jungkook teased stabbing into another fork full of food, “Are you in a rut? Don't smell like it.”

Taehyung shook his head, “No. I think I'd be less calm if I was.”

“This is true…” Jungkook mumbled, tossing more food into his mouth, “Then stop looking so sour! You’re the Kim Taehyung. You’re higher than most in this city—and you’re also friends with me. Not a bad deal, I’d say.”

Taehyung observed as Jungkook scarfed down his food like a wolf. For being so high on the social ladder, some times he acted a little…barbaric. However Taehyung ignored his faults as he hazily glanced around the room filled with other people of affluence. They chatted with smiles on their faces and laughs vibrating in their throats, but none of their eyes truly seemed happy. He recalled how Namjoon looked at the play, his dejected and gloomy aura wavering around him, but as soon as he saw the pianist, his face lit with an indescribable glee—a glee no one in this room was showing.

“Hey, Kook.” Taehyung mumbled, waiting for his friend to stop chewing on his food, “Are you happy?”

“Happy?” Jungkook laughed, “Of course I am. Why are you asking that?”

“Genuinely?” Taehyung asked again.

Jungkook blinked, making an awkward laugh, “You’re scaring me, Tae. Yes. Why are you not happy with your food? You’ve barely touched it. We can ask for something else—“

Before Taehyung could reply, Jungkook was snapping his fingers towards one of the waiters, calling them over to their table, “Hey, Omega!”

The waiter hesitated, timidly turning towards them with a slight bow as he maintained eye contact with Jungkook, “Y-yes, sir?”

“My friend here doesn’t like his food, can you get him something else—“ He turned towards Taehyung, “Tae, what do you want?”

Taehyung noticed the waiter nervously glance at him with anxious and worried eyes, like if he messed up they’d have his head for it. He didn’t particularly want anything else, but since Jungkook had made such a scene and nearly scared the waiter out of his wits, he decided to order something anyways, even if he simply took it home with him. Giving the waiter a different order, they grabbed the plate and bowed again while turning on their heel. His head hung low and Taehyung caught the slight sense of misery in his eyes as he walked away. There was a misery lingering behind them at being treated so lowly, but Jungkook resumed conversation as if nothing had happened.

Did he not notice or was he simply that consumed in his own power over others? No one batted an eye at how Jungkook addressed the waiter, but it clearly affected him in a negative way. Did only Taehyung see it? He fiddled with the earrings on his ear again, agreeing to whatever Jungkook said, but the wretch in his gut didn’t settle so well as his mind traveled to the performing Omega once again and how his face was similar, if not the same.

Taehyung wouldn’t go to see the show, but he could try his luck in another way. He had to know the Omega’s name. He had to.

He had to know why his face was so desolate.

♡♡♡♡♡

The nights had been getting colder as winter closed in. Taehyung bundled himself up in a long coat with his hood pulled forward to conceal his ears. He waited till the show was over, people flooding out of the doors before making his way inside. As he walked against the crowd, there were a few displeased grunts and grumbles, but he managed to make his way through, heading for the backstage entrance. He walked passed a staircase, glancing up at the people walking down when he caught a glimpse of Namjoon surrounded by his guards. As always, people bowed low to him, allowing him to walk in front of them He ignored their words and acts of praise keeping his eyes steadily forward. He acted as if forward was the only direction to head, but his eyes strayed just a moment towards Taehyung.

Upon seeing him, his expression didn't change, but his eyes flashed, searching and inspected his face. Taehyung thought he may say something, but his mouth remained closed and his expression idle as he persisted towards the exit. The crowd parted before him with more bows and extensions of greetings. He didn’t look back and neither did Taehyung as he pressed on. He waited just a scarce moment longer for more people to clear out before approaching the stage doors. A few Omegas were sitting outside of it and chatting among themselves, but as he approached suddenly their faces fell blank and their chatter ceased.

Two of them collected themselves and headed inside the door, leaving one behind—one who bashfully glanced around like he was begging for help. He straightened himself out and quickly fixed his bright hair trying to appear as presentable as possible in a matter of two seconds. He missed a spot, a stray strand sticking up, but he still smiled brightly, his lips forming a heart, “Ah! Hi! Uh—“ He stuttered over his words, “How can I help you?”

Taehyung knew they could sense he was an Alpha, their sudden fretting being an obvious sign of that. Still, he nervously licked his lips, his heart hammering against his chest, “I need to see someone backstage.”

The bright Omega tilted his head with a finger to his chin, “Ah, as much as I would love to do that for someone as cute as you, I’m afraid I can’t. Especially since you’re an Alpha…”

Taehyung figured as much. He scratched the side of his cheek, contemplating if he should do what he thought. It was risky, but nothing horrific would come of it. He was forbidden from mating with a Jeweless. That didn’t prevent him from talking to them, although it was profusely frowned upon. He gently tugged on the side of his hood, slightly showing the earrings punctured into his ear. He didn’t want to resort to using his status to get what he wanted, but it worked as the Omega gasped, his jaw practically dropping to the floor.

He bent over low, so low Taehyung thought he would kiss his feet. “Oh my—I’m am so sorry for my disrespect, sir.” The Omega apologized.

“It’s ok, really.” Taehyung mumbled, pulling the hood back over his head.

The Omega drew himself up, straightening out his shirt, “You—You wanted to see someone? Who is it?”

Taehyung bit his lip, “I…I don’t know his name. He was—“ The angel. The person on his mind for the past week. The one who made his heart beat again. “He was the acrobat. Last half of the show.”

The Omega immediately nodded with a closed smile, “Ah, Chimmy. Yeah he’s really something up that high isn’t he? I’d be scared out of my wits doing the stunts he does, but some times I think he likes that danger. Kinda strange—but I’m just rambling, uh…” He turned and pushed open the doors, “Be prepared for a lot of stares!”

Taehyung strolled backstage, his admittance being more than easy. Instantly he could smell all the Omegas and their distinctive scents, although none in heat. He assumed that would create issues if one were, so they had days off only when they fell to their nature. Still, they regarded him with heavy eyes, whispers, and a few giggles as he walked passed them. He knew how it probably looked, but it was all he could do to at least talk to the acrobat. His wealth came in handy for something.

The Omega escorted him through the cluttered back area. He shooed the onlookers out of the way with a quick hand and glare. “Ladies please. Stop drooling,” He huffed, “He ain't interested in any of y'all. He's here for Chimmy.”

One of the Omegas cursed, snorting into the air, “Of course. He gets all the best Alphas.”

“Yeah, but he's such a damn prude he turns them all down.” Another mumbled.

“Shame, really! I'm about to go into a heat just looking at him. He'll be stuck in a rut forever if he's chasing that one!”

Taehyung ignored the comments, although the one regarding how he turned down all Alpahs was intriguing, but he wasn't exactly here to woo him. Did he get propositioned often?

The cheery Omega turned into one of the open rooms with bright lights and various vanities as hoards of Omegas rushed about, carrying props and other objects. Taehyung’s guide put a little skip to his step as they ambled through the crowd and towards one of the many enormous and decorated mirrors. As they approached, Taehyung could smell him. He could smell him through all these other Omegas skittering about, that familiar perfume scent hitting his nose. As the crowd thinned he could see him. He saw him sitting prettily in front of the mirror, his posture perfect and straight, but he stared at himself with that same solemn look as he did with his performances.

The joyful Omega left some distance between themselves and the pink haired boy. He smiled brightly again as he gestured to him. He wanted to say something, perhaps profane, but he silenced it. “Good luck, sir Alpha!” He beamed, turning around and shooing away more lingering Omegas. What he needed luck for, Taehyung didn't know.

Taehyung slowly approached him, clearing his throat when he was within hearing range. The Omegas eyes shifted, his face slowly turning up towards Taehyung with a plain expression, “Oh,” he whispered, bowing his head slightly towards him, “Yes?”

“You don't need to bow,” Taehyung said, sitting on the stool next to the boy’s mirror. He could feel the rubbernecking of all the other Omegas in the room, but he tried his best to ignore it, only focusing on the one in front of him.

He lifted his head, his eyebrows furrowed together, questioning Taehyung's motive, “To what do I owe this honor? Jewels don't talk to Jeweless.”

“I am aware,” Taehyung said, pondering how he knew he had Jewels, “I just saw your enchanting performance and I wanted to know your name.”

“My name?” The boy repeated with a laugh, “You expect me to believe you came here only for that?”

There was a snap to his words that made Taehyung realize he was sassier than his size or face let on. “It's the truth.”

The Omegas eyes narrowed with skepticism and suspicion as his lips practically pulled back into a sneer, “And what will you do with it once I tell you? It's useless to you.”

“I…” Taehyung hadn't considered that question, “I don't know…”

The boy sat up straighter, “I saw you before. In the balcony. You weren't with your friend that time.”

So he had noticed him. That’s how he knew he was a Jewel. Taehyung didn't know why that made his heart swell against his chest, “Yeah, he couldn't come.”

“One less Jewel to entertain.” The Omega sighed, “Listen, I'm not interested or flattered. You can leave. Maybe one of the others can help you.”

He raised his head, pointing his chin towards a small group of Omegas shyly waving at Taehyung. Taehyung blinked, never quite having dealt with such upfront rejection before—and especially such sass from a Jeweless Omega to top it off. He ignored the others, returning his attentiveness towards his current conversation, “It's...it’s not like that. There is no ulterior motive.”

The boys lips fell, his eyebrows raising just a pinch higher. He stood from his chair, gathering his things, and covered himself with a thick jacket, “You really like to lie.”

Without another word he walked off, but Taehyung bounded from his seat, following after him, “Why do you think that?”

“Because that's all your kind does.” He said, not looking back and breaking through the mass of other Omegas, “What other use does a Jeweless Omega have to a Jewel besides to sate your thirst? To fuel your self-worth?”

His pace quickened and Taehyung felt like he was practically running after him, “Omega, wait—“

At the word Omega, the pink haired boy stopped in his steps, twirling around with such speed Taehyung almost knocked into him. He stared at Taehyung for a long moment like he was analyzing every particular crease in his clothing and body. He was disgusted.

“This Omega is also a person,” He said with spite, “I have a name. One I'm only going to tell you so maybe you can show some respect. Maybe you'll remember it, but I doubt it.”

Taehyung swallowed hard at the tiny ball of fury approached him closer. His scent filled Taehyung's nose again, the smell causing his heart to beat faster and his throat close as he stared at the flawless boy. For the first time he grinned although it was more mocking than an actually sign of cheerfulness.

His pretty pink lips parted and he whispered, “My name is Jimin.”

And then he stormed off.

Chapter Text

Taehyung had messed up. He messed up big time. He didn't think as he blurted out the word that instantly set off the focus of his interest—Jimin. It wasn't the way Taehyung had wanted to find out his name, but he still learned it nonetheless. It was a gentle name, a name that fit him well, and a name Taehyung—despite what Jimin had said, would never forget.

Taehyung mused over giving up on his efforts in regards to the small boy. The embarrassment was too much to bare. Perhaps he was better off socializing with his own social class. He didn't know the concepts of the Jeweless lifestyle. He didn’t know what was deemed appropriate and what was not, much like the Jeweless probably didn't know theirs. It was all a blurry grey area that Taehyung had never dwelled in and never thought about until recently.

He tried taking his mind off the bigger picture. As usual he hung around Jungkook, attended parties, chatted with a few Omegas, drank way too much, and passed out on the floor of Jungkook's estate. Sometimes he made it to the couch—or halfway at least. Jungkook was too drunk to do anything about it so lazily threw a blanket over him, wished him sweet dreams even though Taehyung couldn’t hear him, and called it a night. He'd wake up with hangovers and that unchanged feeling nailed into his chest as he repeated the same activities. Jungkook enjoyed himself though, smiling and making friends easily, but somehow hanging around all these people covered in their inherited riches bored Taehyung. He was bored with what little was actually offered between them.

He was so bored in fact; he stared at his phone scrolling his social media at another one of Jungkook’s house parties. It wasn’t until Jungkook plopped onto the couch next to him that Taehyung remembered where he was. With a snort, Jungkook wrapped an arm around his neck and pulled Taehyung into a tight squeeze.

“Bro, what is eating you? I feel like I ask this every time we hang out. Here—“ Jungkook pushed a glass into Taehyung's hands, “Drink this. It'll wake you up.”

Taehyung sniffed the drink. The strong and bitter smell made his nose scrunch with distaste, “Last time I checked Vodka did a bit more than wake you up.”

“Don't ask questions,” Jungkook clanked his own shot glass with Taehyung’s, “Just drink. Drink the sadness away! That's what people do right?”

Jungkook threw his shot back as Taehyung stared at the clear liquid. He stared at the vague reflection of his face and his drooping features. Was he sad? Taehyung never considered it. He felt normal, perhaps slightly dismal after his incident with Jimin, but that would pass. Everything passed with time. He just needed to live a little, although perhaps not here. It was too hot in here as Omegas strode passed them with not so discreet eye contact.

All the mixing scents reeked. There were too many and it gave Taehyung the early stages of a headache. He needed to breathe. He needed time alone.

Slinging Jungkook's arm off him, he chugged his shot, grimacing at the burn, and returned the cup to Jungkook. He stood, grabbing his coat off the head of the couch and buttoned it up. As Taehyung pulled his hood over his head Jungkook ogled at him, reaching a hand out, “Hey, hey, hey where are you going? It's still early!”

“It's hot in here. I'm stepping outside to cool off.” He replied

Jungkook wiggled his eyebrows, his intoxication not so well hidden, “Why don't you just take your shirt off. Really make all the Omegas howl.” He winked at two eyeing them off to the side.

Taehyung glanced at the flirty and provocatively dressed Omegas for a moment before shaking his head, “Don't need things to get more heated in here than they already are.”

Jungkook's mouth dropped at the unintentional pun, slapping his knee with a heavy laugh, “That was a good one, Tae. Your sense of humor has improved!”

Taehyung gave Jungkook a half smile, “Maybe. But really, I'm going outside now. I'll be back.”

Jungkook didn’t protest further as the two Omegas plopped onto the couch next to him. They rubbed their noses into Jungkook’s neck, inhaling his scent. With him now thoroughly entertained, Taehyung turned on his heel and slogged towards the exit. He passed several other doe eyed Omegas on the way. They ran a hand along his arm, blew kisses, and whispered his name with sultry, almost begging, voices to garner his attention. They asked in much less formal words for him to leave his own scent on them, but as always Taehyung respectfully declined, pulling himself out of their grasps as he only wanted to be left alone with his thoughts.

Exiting the front door, he walked a few blocks down to escape the environment—and stink, of the party. The city was bright and the sky was clear as Taehyung leaned against a brick wall by a main street. He stared up at the stars and planes in the sky flying to who knows where. He breathed, his hot breath fogging around him.

When did Taehyung begin to feel this way? When did he begin to feel so separated from his community and his life? His life that he grew up in without question. It's not like he was an outcast or black sheep. He was well liked and accepted, but suddenly the overflow of reverence was unsatisfactory. He didn't feel like he was living as the same things happened day after day—but he was an Alpha. A jeweled Alpha. What was there to complain about?

He chewed on his cheek, mindlessly counting the stars when a sudden familiar scent filled his nose. He sniffed a few times, turning his head down the street towards a slightly darker, but not so dangerous part of the city. It was that same light perfume smell. It smelled like flower petals and the color pink—if smell could have a color that is, that's what Taehyung would classify it as. Pink and fluttery like a spring breeze.

He smelled that, but he also smelled other scents—other stronger and more masculine scents with a robust and stifling aroma. Taehyung knew that scent well as he leaned off the wall. He didn't see or hear them, but they were close. Confliction made Taehyung hesitate. He remembered the tiny ball of fury and how he, very aggressively, barked at him to leave him alone, but there was a tingling in his gut that made him question if that was truly the best thing to do—especially with other Alphas wandering around. Other Alphas with a burning desire to mate.

It wasn't any of Taehyung's business. He didn't know him in the slightest, but still his heart came alive against his chest and his mind blurred with a pinch of rage. He was angry at the idea of any other Alpha touching him or being near him. Taehyung knew he wasn't anything to the small male, but the churning emotions in his gut told him it wasn’t a brilliant idea to leave him alone.

“God dammit…” He muttered to himself.

Going against his brain, he followed his gut, as he lightly jogged down the street making sure his hood was still up. He followed the scents, it taking a few turns before he was lead to the opening of an alley. Three males with varying postures and expressions stood in front of it looking at a much smaller male standing just a bit deeper inside. Taehyung immediately noticed the pink hair, plump lips, and narrowed eyes boiling with rage. He was cornered by the three Alphas with single studs, but he didn't let that stop his bite as he aggressively held his ground.

“Don't you have bitches to return home to?” Jimin snapped, yanking his arm away from one of the Alphas.

“That's not a nice thing to say. Didn't your Omega mother teach you any manners? Or did she just lay on her back like you'll be one day?” One said.

“He's feisty for an Omega.” The taller, skinnier one mumbled.

“A Jeweless Omega too. Truly the lowest scum, no wonder he got no respect.” The third, pudgy one added, spitting onto the ground.

Jimin didn’t blink at the insults and kept his head high, “If I'm such garbage why are you here with your rancid knots? Anyone with a nose can smell your ruts.”

“You might be trash, but you ain't bad lookin’ for it. It's too bad.” The first Alpha said.

“We just want a little fun! That's all. Gotta respect your Alphas, right?” The taller one smirked.

The three crept closer to Jimin, him backing further into the alley. As he was about to hit the wall a fist flew through the air, planting itself square into the cheek of one of the Alphas. Taehyung had enough. He didn't think too hard on the issue, only knew that he was pissed. Pissed for the words spoken. Pissed for the disrespect. Pissed at what they were implying. He ran and he threw the hardest punch he could throw, sending the Alpha spiraling into the ground.

The other two tore their eyes away from Jimin, whirling towards Taehyung with an animalistic ferocity in their eyes. The pudgy one rushed forward hurling his own punch, but Taehyung narrowly dodged it, the side of their fist just brushing his hood and making it drop off his head. He returned the advance with a quick uppercut, knocking the Alpha senseless as he stumbled over and onto his ass. The final remaining Alpha hesitated upon seeing the earrings in Taehyung's ears, his charge promptly ending.

“He...he's a Jewel…” He gulped.

Taehyung shot them all firm glares, the two he hit rubbing the spots where he made impact. The one on the ground scurried back, tripping over his own feet to pull himself up. The sudden fear they all held in their eyes was enjoyable for the moment as Taehyung narrowed his eyes. Tucking their tails between their legs, they ran. They ran hard and didn't look back. The fear of a Jewel was more than actual prosecution—not that much would probably be taken in the case of a Jeweless.

Taehyung made sure they were gone before turning back to Jimin. His expression did little to change. He was still just as irritated as before, although more skeptical as he raised a single brow, “...Why'd you jump in?”

“They were harassing you, right?” Taehyung asked, “Or did you want that attention?”

Jimin's expression turned dry, “I had it under control. I didn't need your help.”

“Maybe,” Taehyung shrugged, “but I didn't like what they were saying regardless.”

Jimin sharply tilted his head, “That's how all you Alphas talk. Cut the shit.”

Taehyung recalled Jungkook's so called “talk” and how he regarded Omegas. It was different, although also degrading. He hadn't realized how degrading until just now. He hoped he didn't sound the same although at one point he didn't doubt that he had.

“I can't speak for all Alphas, Jimin.” Taehyung sighed. He sighed, but Jimin's face changed, faintly, but noticeable and Taehyung didn't know why until he spoke again.

“....You remembered my name.” He said.

Taehyung blinked, “Yeah, why wouldn't I?”

Now Jimin was the dumbfounded one as he stared at Taehyung unsure of what to say. It took him a moment, but finally he cleared his throat, “...Back when you first asked, what made you want to know my name in the first place?”

Taehyung stared at the ground, bashfully scratching the side of his cheek. He felt it was kind of embarrassing to admit out loud, especially for an Alpha, but he didn't want to leave an even worse impression on Jimin's mind than he already had about Alphas and Jewels.

“Well...I don't know. The way you performed was breathtaking—literally. I felt like I couldn't breathe, but you may have noticed that.” He mumbled.

Jimin chuckled, covering his mouth, “Yeah, I may have noticed.”

Taehyung's face burned red, but he continued, “Well...yeah...It was just really amazing...and I’ve never seen anyone do quite what you did. It intrigued me. So I wanted to know...It felt rude not knowing.”

Jimin's face softened, although his features were not entirely comfortable. Taehyung smiled shyly. It wasn't much, but it was a start. It was a start to getting him to come around.

“See? Not all Alphas are so bad.” Taehyung beamed.

Jimin looked Taehyung up and down, shifting in his spot before turning his head away with a pout, “So...what’s...what’s your name?”

Taehyung blinked, “Huh?”

“I asked for your name.” Jimin repeated quickly like he was afraid someone may overhear, “...I...I asked for your respect but I didn't give you any to begin with...I’m sorry.”

“Oh,” Taehyung was stumped, but his heart pounded against his chest, a feeling of warmth spreading across his body, “It's ok...I….I understand your wariness.”

Jimin looked at Taehyung with a less judgmental glower. His eyes could be considered gentle and sweet when not burning with the fire he so often displayed. It made Taehyung happy to finally not feel the hypothetical daggers stabbing into him.

“My name is Taehyung.” He finished with a boxy smile.

“Taehyung, huh?” Jimin murmured, “...Thank you.”

Taehyung crooked his head at the softness of Jimin's voice and sudden peace of his body. He eased, his shoulders less stiff and his eyes less focused. He always appeared ready to fight and on guard for the worst—at least in the presence of Alphas. Taehyung noticed the same kind of tenseness in the waiter at the restaurant and the same sorrow in their eyes. What was Jimin like when he was with other Omegas? Was he happy? Did he smile? Taehyung wished he could see that smile. He wished he could see it while he performed.

Jimin darted his eyes at the ground, unable to look at Taehyung after making himself so vulnerable. There was a slight pink to his cheeks, but he furrowed his brows with defiance like changing his expression would remove the blush.

“So why are you here anyways?” Jimin questioned.

“I was just in the neighborhood with my friend at a party, but…wasn't my speed.”

“Why's that?”

Taehyung stuck his tongue out like a panting dog, “I'm not into having my tongue dangling out of my mouth for Omegas.”

Jimin scoffed, another mocking smile twisting into his face, “What do you think you're special or something?”

Taehyung shoved his hands into his pockets, “No, but I felt suffocated. So I stepped outside.”

Jimin pulled his lip into a line. He stepped out of the alleyway and onto the sidewalk, his oversized coat making his legs look skinnier than they were. He thought for a long moment—a long, long moment staring aimlessly at the street. His eyes strained themselves like he was conflicted as the corners of his eyes crinkled. It wasn't until he exhaled that his face relaxed again.

Taehyung presented another boxy smile to Jimin’s frown. When their eyes finally met again Jimin’s were soft and glossy much like his lips. When he wasn't ready to rip Taehyung's head off, he was very youthful and boyish in appearance, but also slightly masculine with his rounded jaw.

Taehyung didn't want to keep him any longer if his business was done, although he wanted to see if he was all right to continue alone.

“I know this may be forward of me, but….do you need me to walk you home?” Taehyung offered.

Offended, amused, perhaps a snarky remark is what he expected from Jimin, but he held the same soft glow of relative innocence. “No. No that's ok.”

Taehyung nodded, pulling up his hood once again. He caught a glimpse of his knuckles and it wasn't until he saw the redness of them that the stinging sensation burned through his palm and up to his forearm. He shook them, mumbling to himself about how they'd swell later before walking around Jimin to leave. With the conversation done, he should get back to Jungkook. He felt his phone vibrate several times in his pocket, but he didn't bother to check. He knew who it was.

It wasn't customary for a Jewel to bow to a Jeweless, but Taehyung did so with a quick nod. He respected his spunk, his spark, and him as a person. Regardless of what he wore shouldn't diminish that fact—or so Taehyung thought.

“Well, I won't keep you then,” Taehyung smiled, “Stay safe, ok?”

Jimin barely looked at him, his eyes still wavering with that hesitation—that contemplation. Taehyung didn't know what it was he thought so hard about, but it was a heavy enough deliberation to keep him silent and transport him to a world of his own.

Taehyung walked away expecting that to be the end of it, the last time he’d see him, but then he heard his name called out behind him.

“Hey, Taehyung!”

He turned, Jimin glowering at him with balled up hands. They were clenched so tight Taehyung thought they might be shaking. He visibly saw Jimin swallow nervously, his mouth opening for a moment as the words were caught in his throat.

“I'm...I’ll be doing something special for next Thursdays show…” He stuttered nervously, “If you wanted to come…”

Taehyung's mouth fell as the words registered in his mind. It took a few reeling moments, but once they did his full smile returned to his face, “Yeah, sure. I'd love to.”

Jimin nodded, whipping himself around and swiftly walking away. If it wouldn’t have made a scene, Taehyung was sure Jimin would have ran, but he watched his back become smaller into the distance, disappearing completely in the night. Taehyung checked around him, making sure the coast was clear before doing a tiny jump of glee. He covered his face, embarrassed like someone was watching, but he walked forward and headed back towards the party as his phone vibrated yet again in his pocket.

Taehyung wasn't sure if he wanted to go back. His night was already fulfilled.

♡♡♡♡♡

Taehyung would certainly be at Thursday’s show, his imaginary tail wagging like an excited dog. Suddenly he felt more alive as he was more productive with his time. He counted down the days until he could see Jimin again. It was silly to be so mindlessly drawn to someone, his heart conflicting endlessly with his mind. He thought perhaps he was being ridiculous, but was it really so ridiculous to appreciate someone’s performance, their act, the way their body spoke to the audience they performed in front of? He thought that maybe he was just a senseless Alpha, but the thought of mating with Jimin hadn’t crossed his mind—that was until just now.

He quickly waved the thought away. He wouldn’t allow himself to be what Jimin had already assumed he was. He was a performer and Taehyung was an aristocrat. It was purely appreciation of his art, although the longer Taehyung thought on it, the more he questioned himself and his intentions as self-doubt plagued his mind. Jimin’s flowery scent traveled with him everywhere he went. Even in the presence of other Omegas he was drunk on Jimin’s smell. Nothing else compared.

Jungkook noticed his increase in mood, patting him on the back a few times as things between them seemingly returned to normal, but Taehyung couldn’t get his mind off the upcoming show. He felt like a schoolgirl. A love struck and hopeless schoolgirl crushing on some boy in her class. Taehyung kept finding ways to deflect his feelings as something else, but when it came down to it, he couldn’t lie to himself. It was a crush—a deep-rooted crush that he didn’t understand. He couldn’t remember the last time he had one—did he ever have one? He couldn’t recall. But he was a Jeweless…was it ok to crush on one?

When Thursday night arrived, as usual Taehyung sat in the balcony. He watched, he waited, and his heart beat increased as he knew Jimin’s act drew nearer. He hadn’t seen him before the show, he thought maybe that would be discourteous of him. He wasn’t positive where he stood, if things were ok or still on thin ice. Either way, he could appreciate him as he had before and show his support—if support meant sitting in a crowd filled with rutted males with lapping tongues. He didn’t feel quite as creepy this time since Jimin had requested his attendance, so that lessened his unease somewhat.

Again, he didn’t invite Jungkook although he was starting to grow suspicion towards why Taehyung was suddenly so busy at night. He’d brush it off as work, but Jungkook knew it was a lie since they both basically inherited enough money to last them their lifetimes and any work needing to be done wasn’t actually completed by them. He probed him about finally meeting someone that aroused him, but Taehyung brushed that off as well. It wasn’t anything like that—it wasn’t. Or was it?

Ignoring Jungkook’s nagging voice inside of his head, he knew Jimin’s act was next. He said he was doing something special, but what was it? Taehyung couldn’t think of what could be more captivating than the spectacle he already performed on the daily basis. Taehyung did notice that the piano performance was skipped over and replaced with something vastly different. He wondered if the pianist had perhaps fallen to his nature, but when the curtains drew open and lights dimmed, he expected Jimin to drift out of the ceiling like he always had, but instead chimes fed the air followed by the keys of a piano.

A blue-lit fog hazed across the floor and fell off the edges of the stage like a waterfall. The curtain rose and the same pianist played, his fingers moving quickly across the white plane with little effort. Taehyung watching how gracefully his fingers frolicked and how beautiful the sounds he created were—a sound that seemed impossible for one person alone to make. Taehyung recognized the unbelievable talent he held, but because of his status it was disregarded as nothing more than an act. An act to appease Alphas.

This time he wasn’t singing. Instead two more figures walked along the back of the stage. They were black silhouettes, but you could clearly make out the movements of their bodies. A chain connected the two, straining itself against their necks. The piano stopped and the figures stood still until small blue lights flickered across the stage. They looked like flames creating a path as a soft spot light shinned on the shadows. Taehyung immediately recognized them both, one being Jimin and the other the happy Omega that allowed him backstage.

They wore blindfolds and had thick collars around their necks where the chain binded them. Jimin was the first to move, rolling his head along his shoulders as the pianist hit the keys again. He played an altered and slightly faster tune. It was melancholy, Taehyung thought, but something cut through that sadness. A soft and gentle voice similar to the morning sunrise. It was Jimin. His lips parted and he sang. He sang with such strength in his throat it made Taehyung speechless in awe. He didn’t think Jimin could make him more dumbstruck than he already had, but sure enough, he had done it again.

His body swayed and his fingers felt along his own torso as he stepped forward, the other person following suit. Despite being blindfolded their steps matched and every action was mirrored as they weaved to each singular note. Eventually they gathered towards the middle, clasping their hands together before dramatically ripping them apart. Jimin fell to his knees as he gripped onto the others leg. He drifted his arm along the air as he his body moved seductively, yet enchantingly, across the floor.

It was a soft dance with symbolism, Taehyung comprehended. He comprehended it immediately as Jimin attempted to take his blindfold off, but the other Omega yanked his chain, pulling him up. Jimin traced his cheeks with his fingertips, touching along his body again as the other Omega came from behind and felt along his hips, burying his face into his neck with a fierce expression of desire. Jimin tore free of his hands, running towards another end of the stage, but the chain connecting them seized and yanked him back.

Jimin fell to the ground again, this time his body completely still as the other danced clawing at the collar on his neck. He gasped like he was denied of air, his once powerful steps slowly dying as they became slow and wave like. Jimin stood, his voice filling the room with authority as he released a high note. A powerful high note that made his body buckle over and the skin on Taehyung’s body rise. Conjoining their bodies again, they broke themselves apart, walking to opposite ends of the stage. They stopped once their chains jerked them, both promptly obstructed as they reached towards the ceiling—towards the light they danced under.

The music slowed, the lights faded, as they once again—and for the final time, fell to the floor. Taehyung was astonished. Astonished wasn’t a strong enough word. This was certainly something special that he was glad he was able to witness. He wondered if anyone else received the message conveyed, but as he looked around, there were nothing except slight sneers and grins as the Alphas only saw two Omegas on chains. Staring at them, Taehyung could practically hear Jungkook next to him, muttering some absurd comment about bondage—that wasn’t it. That wasn’t it all. How could they not see?

Taehyung quickly stole a glance at Namjoon who thankfully didn’t hold the same disgusting expression. His brow was furrowed and his eyes stern. Taehyung could faintly see the strain of his neck as he gulped. He could sense that a lot was flowing through his head, but he didn’t dare speak it. He didn’t dare tell them his words as a meticulous person stepped forward, kneeling before him. He put a gentle hand on Namjoon’s knee, craning his neck up at him after bowing. He had black hair and pouty lips similar to Jimin’s, but his face was more angular. Namjoon shook his head, closing his eyes at whatever they had said. He sucked in a deep breath before promptly standing from his seat and leaving, his bodyguards rushing after him.

Taehyung had never seen Namjoon leave early. He always stayed till the end. Something must have bothered him.

Jimin released one last note. One last long and soft note as the curtain closed and the crowd applauded.

♡♡♡♡♡

Taehyung approached the backstage door, the same group of Omegas sitting by it—and once again two got up and left, leaving the same bright eyed male behind. He smiled knowingly as he instantly recognized who he was.

“Oh hey, handsome!” He beamed, “Here to try again? I’m sorry last time didn’t go so well! Chimmy is…” He hummed, “He’s very headstrong!”

“It’s quite alright, it’s nothing like that,” Taehyung said, although he did come to see Jimin, but it wasn’t in the way he thought. Looking at the Omega his face didn’t compel the same aura he held on stage. He was like two completely different people. “Your performance was incredible by the way.”

The man blinked, shocked. He put a finger into his ear, twisting it around a few times before pulling it out, “I’m sorry, say that again? I may have heard you wrong, sir Alpha.”

“Your dance,” Taehyung repeated, “It was amazing…and truly symbolic. You did well on stage.”

The Omega stared at him with a slack jaw. It didn’t close even as the door creaked open and someone different poked their head out, “Hoseok, what are you—“ They paused upon seeing Taehyung. The smell of spring and pink filled the air—and Taehyung’s heart fluttered as once again that enticing scent haunted him.

Jimin fully stepped out, him in more casual clothes than before as he wore a baggy sweatshirt and tight pants. He glanced at Hoseok with a grimace. He was still stunned silent as Jimin put his hand under his chin and lifted his jaw for him. “You’re embarrassing.” Jimin mumbled.

Hoseok shook his head, “I’m..I’m sorry he just said he appreciated our dance. An Alpha…with Jewels.”

Jimin raised a brow, the corner of his lip slanting up, “Oh, really? That’s a news headline.”

“Yep. He said it with his own two lips. Hold up—“ Hoseok pulled his phone out, clicking on a few buttons before holding it up again, “Now, if you could just say that one more time, please! It would mean the world to me, honey.”

Taehyung’s cheeks burned as Jimin rolled his eyes and slapped Hoseok’s arm down. He barked at him to put it away, Hoseok bashfully accepting as he pocketed it—although reluctantly. Once that was settled, Jimin took on a more serious tone.

“Hey, Hoseok,” He said, “Do you mind…giving us a minute?”

Hoseok blinked, his jaw dropping again. He shot them both perplexed glances, scratching the side of his head as pieces didn’t fit together for him. Still, he agreed, stepping towards the door. “Ah…Sure. Yeah.” He mumbled.

He continued to mumble as he pushed the door open, the chatter of the backstage becoming loud than silent as it closed. When Jimin was certain he was gone, he tilted his head at Taehyung with a closed smirk, “So you liked it?”

Taehyung nodded, returning the grin “Yes, it was brilliant…although slightly troubling.”

Jimin narrowed his eyes, “Troubling? How?”

“Just…what it all meant. What it symbolized.”

Jimin licked his lips with a stiff nod, “So…You got it, huh?”

Taehyung glanced down, “Of course. I told you before. I appreciate your art.”

Jimin chuckled, running a hand through his shinning pink hair. Taehyung could see the distrust and doubt in his mind, but there was something else fighting inside of him. He crossed his arms, rubbing the side of his arm, “Yeah, I’m surprised they let us do that to be honest. It’s not like we told them the meaning. I think they just saw chains and blindfolds and stamped approved on it—“ His face fell, “Rather demoralizing…”

Jeweled Alphas ran the theater and over saw what the Omegas did and they regulated whatever acts they were to perform. Taehyung hadn’t heard about Omegas being able to submit their own ideas, but apparently it was wholly possible—even if they didn’t bother to read into it. Taehyung softly smiled despite the fact, “Well..It was beautiful. Truly. I’m glad I was able to witness it and I’m glad you invited me as well.”

Jimin scoffed, pulling his oversized sleeve over his mouth, “Don’t take it out of context.”

“I would never,” Taehyung gave him a considerate nod, “Your art is something worthy of praise…even if others don’t understand it.”

Jimin peeked at Taehyung behind his sleeve, his blush still evident as he knitted his brow and mumbled something unintelligible under his breath. It was…cute.

“So you appreciate the arts? More than just that made from Jewels?” He asked.

Taehyung nodded, “Yeah…I used to make paintings, but—“ He sulked, “That's in the past now.”

Jimin tilted his head at him, puzzled at his words, but Taehyung tenderly smiled again. He didn’t expect Jimin to want more of his time and he didn’t want to keep him from whatever he had to do in regards to his backstage work. His friend—Hoseok was probably waiting for him on the other side of the door anyways.

“Well…that’s all I came here to say,” Taehyung chuckled taking a small bow, “Again, I thank you for such a lovely night out.”

Jimin’s eyes shot up as his hand dropped. Before Taehyung could turn away he spoke. “W—wait.”

Taehyung raised his brow, “Yes?”

Jimin paused, biting his lip coyly, “I…Would you maybe…want to meet outside of…the theater.” His sentence turned into incoherence as his shyness peeked. He acted tough and exerted a lot of impudence, but beneath that was a timid and anxious boy. A timid and anxious boy trying to exert his place in the world.

“…Are you asking me out on a date?” Taehyung teased.

“I…I said don’t take it out of context!” Jimin blurted, “I just want to know your opinions on things…I don’t often get the chance to talk with Jewels…in such a responsive way, anyways.”

Before Taehyung could respond, another person poked their head out from behind the door. Taehyung recognized him as the piano player, although he never got to see him up close before. He appeared tired and ready to pass out, so perhaps it wasn’t the best first impression to make of him. He yawned as his eyes landed on Jimin. “Jimin…Hoseok won’t shut up back here. Can you come back?” He said.

Jimin spun around, “Can’t you handle it yourself?” He snapped.

“I would, but he keeps muttering about you.”

Jimin rolled his eyes as if he knew he would be the only one to make peace with him. “…Yeah, I’ll be back there in a second.”

“Now. Please.” The male rubbed the sides of his face, “I don’t need another headache.”

Jimin sighed, fiddling with the ends of his sweater. Taehyung laughed. “Looks like you have your hands full now but—“ He pulled out his cell phone, “I’d love to go over whatever questions you may have.” He emphasized questions with a wink.

“I don’t like how you said that,” Jimin mumbled, making Taehyung smile again.

They exchanged numbers, Jimin taking his leave and walking back stage as the pianist held the door open for him. Jimin walked in, but the other stayed in the entryway for a while as he glanced towards Taehyung with a blank expression.

“Jimin talking to an Alpha…Hm…” He slurred more to himself. He didn’t bother to talk quietly enough so only he would hear though. His hard stare lingered before he pulled himself off the wall and allowed the door to close behind him.

Taehyung wondered why he stared so long—and why he kept looking down the hall behind him.

♡♡♡♡♡

“Listen, I’m sorry for being so harsh with you when you first approached me…”

Jimin and Taehyung were strolling down a long brick paved boardwalk next to the wide and open sea. The sky was grey and the clouds were jammed against each other, blocking out the sun. The atmosphere was dreary at best, but Taehyung enjoyed Jimin’s company despite the lack of brightness and slight bitterness to the cold.

Jimin stared out at the water with low eyes, but Taehyung shook his head with a smile. “Stop apologizing for that, it’s ok. I understand.” He said.

“It’s not ok,” Jimin mumbled, “I did the same thing I said Alphas do. I judged before I got to know…”

Their pace was leisurely, Taehyung’s wider strides hanging in the air for a moment to match Jimin’s shorter ones. He groaned, knowing Jimin would never let the guilt leave him, so he decided to distract him from it, changing the subject to something more light hearted.

“Do you like the sea?” Taehyung asked.

Jimin had picked this place in particular to meet up. There was nothing to do here, not in the middle of fall anyways; the weather was far too chilly. When Taehyung suggested doing something else—a restaurant, coffee shop, maybe bar—Jimin insisted that it was all right. That he appreciated simple strolls compared to anything fancy. So Taehyung agreed.

Jimin nodded with a closed smile. “Yeah, I come here all the time to clear my thoughts,” He said kicking a pebble, “Some times I come here before work…It’s the one beautiful thing I’m allowed to see…”

Taehyung cocked his head, “What do you mean?”

Jimin became dejected. “Ah…I guess you wouldn’t know,” He murmured, “Being a Jeweless…doesn’t exactly open many doors for you…and it slams a lot in your face. Jeweless aren’t allowed to experience the same things a Jewel can, I’m sure you know that. But—“ Jimin stared happily out at the sea again, “They can’t take away the beauty of the landscape…”

Taehyung’s face fell as his eyes turned to the ground. Suddenly he felt it was stupid to ask in the first place. “I’m sorry…” He apologized.

Jimin chuckled with another soft smile, “It’s alright.”

Taehyung twiddled the earrings under his hood. He knew what power these small accessories held for him, but he didn’t consider just how much that was—and how much that took away. He never questioned the privileges he had and he never questioned his actions in relation to others. He really was no better than the rest, but he was learning. He was learning and understanding.

Jimin swayed side to side a bit, “So…You said you used to paint, right? Why’d you stop?”

Taehyung laughed, rubbing his chin, “Well…the arts are frowned upon in higher society. It’s regarded as Jeweless work.”

Jimin squinted as Taehyung continued, “I had to do it in secret most of the time...I always had a certain appreciation for it, but once my parents found out about it they burned my pieces. I got a good scolding or two, but ever since then…I’ve never painted again. I never…really felt much after that.”

“That’s awful…” Jimin whispered.

Taehyung shrugged, “Yeah, but…It doesn’t compare to anything you’re faced with—“ He chuckled half heatedly, “I shouldn’t complain.”

“Just because I have it worse doesn’t mean you can’t have emotions, Taehyung.”

Taehyung fell short of words. He didn’t know what to say, so he chuckled. “I suppose you’re right.”

He watched as the boats cruised across the water. The sails flapped in the wind and the waves brushed and foamed against the stern. He didn't particularly want to discuss his past. Not right now. He only wished to enjoy his time away from the taxing life of being a Jewel, but he knew that was wishful thinking.

Taehyung stared for a long moment at the reflecting surface when a light bulb appeared above his head and a smile grew on his face. He may not be able to escape his set fate, but maybe he could help Jimin escape his—at least for a moment.

“How far have you been out to sea?” Taehyung asked.

Jimin shot him a questioning look, “About as far as I can swim.”

“So never on a boat?”

“No. I could never afford that…”

“Do you want to?”

Jimin stopped in his tracks, Tahyung pacing a few steps ahead before halting himself. Jimin glowered at him like he was stupid, his brows tightly crocheted together. He didn’t say anything, only stared while waiting for Taehyung to explain himself.

He pointed behind him towards the docks and mass array of boats in the exquisite harbor, “I have a boat—Well, it’s a boat we can use, anyways!”

Jimin’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped, “Wait, you have a boat?” He thought about what he said more rationally, clearing his throat and turning away, “That was a stupid question. Of course you have a boat.”

“Well do you want to?” Taehyung asked again, “We can’t do it today, but I can set something up another time.”

Jimin bit his lip. He blinked a few times, refusing to look in Taehyung’s direction. Sucking in a deep breath, he laughed again with the faint remnants of a smirk, “Why would you do that for me? I’m an Omega. A Jeweless Omega. I have nothing to give you.”

Taehyung smiled, “I never asked for anything in return.”

Jimin blinked again, this time shocked as he solemnly laughed, “…Who are you?” He asked in almost a whisper.

Taehyung’s smile grew wider, “I thought you’d remember, my name is Taehyung.”

Jimin chuckled. A single laugh then turned into multiple till he couldn't hold back the beam on his face. His eyes scrunched and he leaned forward self-consciously to try and hide the glee he radiated—the genuine glee. Nothing forced. He was actually smiling and the smile warmed Taehyung's heart. He had received many smiles from Omegas of course, and he had smiled himself, but nothing quite felt like the smile Jimin was giving him right now. It was happy. It was real.

Jimin turned away from Taehyung for a moment to catch his breath, “I suppose I fell into that one, didn't I?”

“Yeah you did.” Taehyung shrugged, “But I'm glad you're smiling.”

Jimin's face dropped as he brought a hand up to his cheeks. He felt along the line of his muscles and traced it like he was unaware he had been. The realization of it shocked him. Taehyung laughed again at his awestruck expression, covering his mouth, but his smile still showed through.

Jimin shook his head, his face turning bright red, “Stop laughing!” He barked, “It's not funny!”

“No,” Taehyung snorted, “No I think it is.”

Jimin's internal scream transcended between them as he wanted to run away, but Taehyung ceased his laughing for a moment, enough time to stop the blushing pink haired male, “Hey…I hope, maybe? I can make you smile more. If you're asking what I want? It's that. Nothing else.”

Jimin's blush lessened but only slightly as his eyes widened. In Taehyung's experience when Alphas expressed sentimental feelings the Omegas would coo and bat their lashes at them, maybe nuzzle their noses into their necks. However Jimin wasn't typical and Taehyung shouldn't have expected the same response. He grumbled, shoved his hands into his pockets, and buried his face into his scarf as he stomped off ahead of Taehyung.

“What a stupid thing to say.” He mumbled, with his head low.

It caught Taehyung off guard to the point he delayed in following him. It caught him off guard, but as the smell of roses and an open field kissed by sunlight filled his nose his heart beat just a little faster and his face warmed. Jimin was trying to cover his own increasing scent with his scarf, but it failed as his happiness blossomed into the air. Taehyung beamed, hastily chasing after. Jimin might not be so quick to smile, but he brought a smile to Taehyung's face, which was also more than enough. It was more than what he asked for.

Jimin refused to look at Taehyung as he caught up with him. They walked side by side, enjoying the light and brisk air a little longer—but as Taehyung breathed in more and more of Jimin’s scent, he felt his skin grow mildly hot, fading on and off as his heart vibrated against his chest. He blinked, shaking it away, but as the feeling of discomfort and warmness spread through his body he cursed to himself.

Not now. Please not now. He hoped.

Chapter Text

Taehyung and Jimin weren’t completely bare with one another as Jimin still held up his wall against Taehyung. Occasionally he’d peek over it and speak with him, maybe throw him a bone if he was feeling nice, but rarely no more than that. Taeyhung wouldn’t consider them friends just yet, no where near the level Jungkook and him were at, but as the days passed and they talked a bit more, Taehyung could see Jimin reaching over the edge, steadily climbing over the wall he built more each day till he dangled his legs off the side. Taehyung had learned some facts about him, nothing too in depth, just basic things that Jimin was willing to part with.

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Blue.”

“Are Hoseok and you friends?”

“I suppose. He kind of attaches himself to everyone.”

“How long have you been at the theater?”

“About 2 years.”

Jimin maintained his stoic and disinterested composure, but was always the first to commence conversation with Taehyung. It made him giddy. He’d look forward to Jimin’s text messages through out the day, although when it ended up being Jungkook he’d be mildly disappointed. Jimin usually didn’t reach out to him until later in the night after his shows. That worked for Taehyung as he could hide his phone from Jungkook’s nosiness, although he always made sure to keep it faced down just in case.

After their time spent at the pier Taehyung felt a peculiar stirring course through his body. It was never consistent, but he felt his pants grow tighter any time he thought about, texted, or smelled Jimin—not that he smelled Jimin often, but it was as if his scent followed him. He cursed at himself, irritated for being so easily oscillated. How could he be sparked into a pre-rut so quickly? He hadn’t felt these arousing sensations from any other Omega in quite some time, why was his scent the one he was so drawn to? He couldn’t let Jimin know. Not when Jimin was finally opening up and trusting him. Was that foolish? Why was Taehyung trying so hard to impress him?

Taehyung unfastened his medicine cabinet, retrieving a bottle and dumping various orange pills into his hand. At first he only tossed one back, but as days went on and the rut grew worse, he tossed two, maybe three. It wasn’t recommended to consume so many, but it drowned out the aching need of his hidden hard on. He always kept the bottle inside his coat as he tried to pretend that nothing was wrong and resumed communications with Jimin as normal. The pills didn’t eliminate the rut, merely delayed it—but there was only so much delaying they could do.

They couldn’t spend too much time together—although neither bothered to ask. Jimin was far too proud and Taehyung was concerned about crossing boundaries. There would be times where Taehyung wouldn’t hear from Jimin for a while, but after their brief moments of silence, he’d get a message from Jimin asking him to come to his next performance with a fighting emoji ( (ง •̀_•́)ง) Taehyung couldn’t help but laugh at it as the literal image of Jimin’s frowning, but blushing face filled his head. Taehyung’s response was always the same—“I’d love to.”

He regarded Namjoon’s eyes on him as he heeded Taehyung’s presence more often now. He still never approached, but when Taehyung would pass him, the hard stare would linger longer and longer making Taehyung nervous. He felt the enormous pressure Namjoon radiated on his shoulders, breaking into his bones. He knew it was just a stare, a pair of eyes like anyone else’s, but he couldn’t shake the immense sense of weight they brought—the weight of power. Was this how anyone lower than himself felt?

Jimin was finally allowed a bit of free time from the theater, giving them a moment to see each other in person. They couldn’t do anything quite as extravagant as Taehyung would have liked, but spending time with him was enough—and also slightly torturous. This time they walked down the streets of the city, aimlessly staring into the random shops they passed. They had no real destination. It was hard for them to do anything together with their stances in society, but they made do and Taehyung was especially conscious to keep his earrings hidden.

Jimin would occasionally gaze longingly into the windows, but quickly drew his attention away once he noticed Taehyung’s concern. Some of them Jimin wasn’t allowed admittance and was merely permitted to dream from the outside. Taehyung didn’t realize how many stores didn’t accept Jeweless until he analyzed Jimin’s expressions. It made him wonder how little of the world Jimin had actually seen in his short life. Even though theater performers were considered the “better” of the Jeweless, they still didn’t receive the same rights as someone with a single stud did.

It was rather silent between them as they walked around a Jeweless father with his young son. The child stared with wide eyes into one of the stores filled with colorful decorations and some stuffed animals. He begged to go in, waving his tiny hands about, but his father faltered as he picked the child up and hugged him, continuing on their stroll. He apologized to his son and he pouted, persistent in his pester about going back. He asked why they couldn’t go in to which his father remained tight lipped.

Taehyung noticed Jimin’s face shift as he glared at the ground with disheartened eyes. Perhaps seeing that triggered a memory—but Taehyung wasn’t willing to ask. As he had before, Taehyung thought it may be best to divert the subject to something simpler.

“So why did you dye your hair pink?” He asked curiously, “What's your natural color?”

Jimin seemed to appreciate the question, although his expression was still heavy. “Naturally my hair is a dark brown,” He stated, “But as far as why pink...I just wanted something different, I guess. I think it turned out good for Hoseok doing it himself.”

“Hoseok did that?” Taehyung was astonished. The color was perfectly conditioned as if done by a professional.

Jimin nodded proudly, “Yeah, besides his performances he likes doing hair and makeup. He wants to do something more professional, but...you know. He enjoys doing what he can with it though.”

“Maybe I'll ask him to do my hair,” Taehyung pondered, “Perhaps I'll go an exotic color.”

Jimin laughed, “I'm sure he'd absolutely love that to be honest. He already freaked out over you acknowledging him, imagine how he'd be if you wanted him to do your hair—allowing him to physically touch you? Oh he’d lose it.”

Taehyung tried to imagine how the scene would play out. While it started well, it certainly didn't end that way in Taehyung's mind as color splattered all over and Hoseok fumbled over his words about muddling a “Jewels hair”. He’d then try to clean up the mess, but only make it bigger and worse than it already was. By the end of it, Taehyung imagined himself as a walking canvas, covered head to toe in dye. Perhaps he would leave his hair the color it was.

“On second thought,” he mumbled, “I'll pass.”

“That’s probably for the best. I like your hair dark anyways.” Jimin chuckled as they passed yet another bright and colorful store. The windows were wide, spacious and the inside was just as roomy. There were displays of chocolates and candies under soft lights as workers delicately removed trays of baked good from the large ovens. Jimin paused, staring into the store just a moment longer and Taehyung swore he looked like the boy from a few minutes ago. That same yearning and interest met with the hard slam of a door.

Taehyung had to pause his steps as he eyed Jimin. “Do you like sweets?” He decided to ask.

Jimin bit his lip, “I've always wanted to try the chocolates from here. I hear they're some of the best.”

Taehyung glanced at the bright neon sign. It was definitely a renowned shop. He'd had their delicacies a few times in his life although mostly on special occasions. Eating sweets too often wasn't deemed proper for people of his status, so they were saved for very rare occurrences and gatherings. He hadn't had them in quite some time though as Taehyung avoided most of the recent parties besides Jungkooks, but his were more so...hookup parties and nothing of grace.

Jimin narrowed his eyes, walking forward and leaving his emotions behind him. “It's just sweets, though.” He waved off, “Nothing I need.”

Taehyung stole one last glance, pondering a thought as they prolonged their stroll. “You didn't answer me on if you liked sweets or not.”

Jimin snapped his head away with a blush, “Well, who doesn't like sweets?”

“I know a few people. Jewels are really….uptight.”

Jimin scoffed.“That's putting it mildly, but—“ He avoided Taehyung's gaze, “Sweets are my favorite...I really like them. Yoongi brings me some all the time.”

“Who's Yoongi?”

“Oh right, you haven't met him,” Jimin mused, “He's the piano player if you remember.”

Yoongi. That was his name. Taehyung had wondered who he was for the longest. He finally had a title to the face of the one Namjoon took such an interest in.

“Yeah, I remember. He's the one who asked for help with Hoseok too, right?”

Jimin sighed, “The very same. He's very passionate about his work, but anything else he'd rather sleep off. He gives me his sweets because he doesn't want to get fat. He says he's not active enough to burn it off. I said he should eat them to gain some weight.”

Taehyung chuckled, “Yeah he is a bit skinny—“ as he mentioned food his stomach rumbled, “Speaking of eating...are you hungry?”

Jimin rolled his eyes as if the answer was obvious, “I can always eat, but…” Jimin twiddled his fingers, “Where would we go?”

Taehyung had ideas on where he wanted to take Jimin, but was quickly saddened at the sad reality that he couldn't. However, he knew Jeweless restaurants were more lax and lenient with their customers, as they didn't check for earrings or status. There was no need to.

Taehyung grinned, “Why don't you show me one of your favorite places?”

Jimin's jaw dropped, “What? I mean...I could...but…” He seemed shy as he contemplated the idea, “It's not...up to your standards.”

“I didn't ask for my standards,” Taehyung replied, “I want to see what you like.”

Jimin sighed, but his face became redder, “You're really dense some times…”

Taehyung laughed as Jimin huffed in agreement, telling him there was a place they could go just a few blocks away. As they walked deeper into the city, suddenly the area around them became a bit…cheaper, maybe rundown. Certainly not somewhere someone like Taehyung would venture as Jewels became fewer and the Jeweless became more. Suddenly Taehyung felt strange as he observed others outside of Jimin. Most people looked worn or tired and others appeared like they hadn't showered in days. His surroundings were disheveled and the upkeep was minimal.

There were a few Alphas sitting across the street who deliberately stared at Jimin as they passed even with Taehyung right beside him, but they redirected their gaze to a different and solo Omega who walked by. They whistled and catcalled, saying something crude and uncalled for, to which the Omega ignored it. The Alphas still pestered though, trying to shoot their chance with them. In a way Taehyung didn't see much difference from them and the Alphas he knew—although the Jewels were certainly more sophisticated in their taunting.

Jimin stopped in front of one of the restaurants. The walls were chipped and iron bars were drilled outside the windows—actually a lot of the shops and homes around here had iron bars Taehyung noticed. It was...he didn’t know the word.

“Do people really steal from here?” Taehyung asked.

Jimin hesitated before bursting out into laughter. “You really are a Jewel. Does it scare you? Are you gonna clutch your pearls?”

Jimin mocked a scared person as he grabbed for his collar, but Taehyung raised a brow in thought. “I would say it makes me more…sad, than scared.”

Jimin's amused smile fell as he shrugged, “Yeah...it is, but it's not that bad inside. You'll see.”

Opening the door, they stepped in and instantly Taehyung's nose filled with the smell of...something. Something he had never had the pleasure of smelling before. It was hot, heavy, and instantly made his chest feel clogged, but his mouth watered as he was irresistibly drawn to the strange aroma. It was invigorating as well as overwhelming as his stomach growled even fiercer.

He expected to have to wait to sit, but Jimin walked right by the front counter and took a spot in a booth. Taehyung followed him like a lost and confused puppy as he slid in after him on the opposite side. The seat was a little hard and the springs dug into his ass a bit, but he wiggled till he found a comfortable spot. Like Jimin said, the inside wasn't that bad. There were some enjoyable replicated paintings on the walls and the counters were a nice fake marble. The floor was clean and the tables kept tidy. He expected worse, but he didn’t speak it.

Taehyung could feel Jimin's amusement as his eyes kept darting around. “You look so lost.” Jimin chuckled, covering his mouth.

Taehyung snapped his eyes down towards the table. “I'm sorry...this is...new to me.” He mumbled, “I'm used to different things when going out.”

“Hm,” Jimin hummed, carefully picking a plastic menu from the side and sliding it towards Taehyung, “You may need this. It's the menu.”

It certainly didn't look like a menu. Not Taehyung's kind of menu. There were so many options and words; it almost looked like a book. He stared blankly, unsure of where to begin in the sea of entrees, but finally he was able to pick it apart and read it. Jimin's smile only grew the longer he stared at Taehyung fluster over the menu. He knew Jimin was laughing at him.

As he read the list of items, Taehyung found himself stumped. “I...what are...chicken fingers? They're not actually chicken fingers are they?”

Jimin's mouth fell and his face went from amused to disbelief. Whatever he wanted to scream, he had to wait as the waitress walked over placing cups filled with water onto the table. She asked what they wanted to drink and Jimin ordered a beverage Taehyung had never heard of. To avoid embarrassment, when the waitress turned to him Taehyung simply stayed with water—even though he could really go for some wine, but he doubted they served that here.

As she left, Jimin almost slammed his hands on the table, “You don't know what chicken fingers are?” He silently screamed so only Taehyung would hear.

Taehyung's face burned red as he picked at the menu. “I...I don't know what a lot of these things are...I know burgers and fries, but...what are onion rings? Is it just a ring of raw onions?”

If not for his forehead, Taehyung was sure Jimin's eyebrows would have flown off and into the wind. He tried to keep a straight face, but his chuckle erupted into a boisterous laugh—he laughed so hard he had to force his mouth shut. Taehyung's face grew hot as he adjusted the hood over his head. Suddenly he understood how Jimin felt when he laughed at him about how he had a boat among other things.

As Jimin snorted, Taehyung heeded the same increase in scent like he had at the pier. The smell mixed weirdly with the odors of the kitchen, but it was still pleasing to Taehyung's senses. He had taken countless pills before coming out, thinking for sure that would do the trick, but suddenly his leg bounced anxiously and he could feel a tingling sensation in his crotch as a light and subtle burning stroked in his chest.

Fuck. He had to take another one.

Jimin didn't notice Taehyung's fidgeting as he finally calmed himself down long enough to speak. “You're serious! You don't have these things?” He asked.

Taehyung winced, “No...I...we don't have this kind of...cuisine.”

Jimin pondered this information carefully. He tapped his fingers against the table a few times as the waitress made her way back with Jimin's drink. “I'll order for you.” He said “You're gonna eat a chickens finger, alright?”

Before Taehyung could protest, the waitress was within earshot and placing a black liquid drink on the table. It looked like poison as it fizzed and bubbled. Jimin did as he said, but as he ordered for Taehyung the waitress gave them a firm and confused look. Well, Taehyung realized this custom was the same between Jewels and Jeweless. Alphas always ordered for their Omegas. Not the other way around, but the waitress didn't question it as she put her pad of paper away and went to put the order in.

Taehyung was morbidly embarrassed in various ways, but he took the straw placed on the table, awkwardly unwrapping it and sticking it into the cup. At least he knew this much, but he’d never used straws that often in his life. Jimin did the same, sticking his straw into the bubbly contents. He took a sip, but as Taehyung tilted his head, Jimin blinked his eyes a few times before pulling his lips off the straw.

“Don’t tell me you haven’t had Coke before too?” He asked, but when Taehyung didn’t answer, Jimin slowly pushed the cup in front of him. “Ok, you have to try it.” He said.

Taehyung grabbed it, staring into it and watching the bubbles hiss until they popped noisily. He knew it was soda, but he’d never actually tried it before. His family was strictly water and tea—and on occasion wine when he was old enough. Again, sugary things were restricted from his diet and that included everything and anything even remotely laced with it.

He hesitated like the contents of it were fatal as he put his mouth on the straw and stole a taste. Instantly it was like drinking straight out of a can of syrup, his teeth shriveling from the all too sweet flavor. The liquid burned, softer than alcohol, but still bitter all the same. It was sickeningly unrefined and Taehyung pulled his mouth off the straw with a gag as he stuck his tongue out.

“That’s…are you sure that’s a drink?” Taehyung asked.

Jimin laughed, taking the cup back, “Of course it’s a drink! Stop looking so repulsed. I guess sweets really aren’t a Jewel thing.”

Taehyung took a sip of his water to wash away the taste of sugar still clinging to his lips. “I hope whatever these…chicken fingers are, are better.”

“Oh yeah, they make them fresh,” Jimin said leaning forward, “They keep a coop of chickens back there and cut off their wings then deep fry the bones. You’re supposed to eat it whole, marrow and all. It’s best with ketchup in my opinion.” Taehyung’s mouth fell in horror making Jimin laugh again and wipe away a stray tear. “Your face is priceless. I’m just fuckin’ with you.”

Taehyung puffed out his cheeks like a pouting child. “Yeah, ok. Laugh all you want.”

Jimin chuckled a few more times, staring at Taehyung with amusement. As his eyes remained locked with Taehyung’s suddenly his bemused expression fell and his eyes traced all across Taehyung’s hooded features. There was a slight parting to his lips and sense of wonder in his gaze that Taehyung tried to understand, but he found himself simply staring back, also taking in all the small and finer details of Jimin’s face. It was strange. Taehyung felt like he wasn’t in a situation of Jewel or Jeweless—even though he kept making a fool of himself, but as he looked at Jimin he felt his heart stir and a small smile crease into his cheeks. He was happy. He wasn’t sure if Jimin felt the same way, but there was a shine to his eyes that made him question what he was truly thinking.

Jimin cleared his throat, as he was the first to break the eye contact, his scent increasing even more. He clamped the sides of his neck with his hands, trying to drown out the smell, but it leaked through his fingers and fluttered into the air—a brutal smell for Taehyung as his legs squirmed beneath the table. He really needed to take that pill.

“So…anyways,” Jimin stuttered, “Can I ask you something?”

Taehyung took another sip of his water. “Of course.”

“What exactly do Jewels do for fun? I mean, you can’t eat some of the best foods, you don’t even know what soda is. You can go the theater to watch shows, but what else is there? It’s not like I see Jewels out at the local club every day.”

“Well…there are sports—equestrian riding is pretty popular, parties, museums…” Taehyung fell flat as Jimin’s face did little to change.

“Do you participate in the sports?”

“No. We usually just watch.”

Jimin bit his lip, “Seems like you all watch your life pass you by, in my opinion.”

Taehyung hadn’t considered it that way before, but as he sat on the thought longer it dawned on him how little Jewels actually did with their lives or how few hobbies they practiced. For the sake of society and appearing as higher than others, they didn’t partake in such trivial and uncivilized activities—all they did was watch and observe. Like they were some gods to the world and anyone lower was an ant to be crushed.

Fiddling with the straw in his cup, Taehyung bit the inside of his cheek. Was that why he’d been feeling so empty lately? He wanted to dig deeper, but was stopped as a plate of food was placed in front of them. He anticipated a blood-covered platter donned in questionable contents, but instead saw brown and breaded chicken cut into slivers with fries. The waitress walked away without bowing which also caught Taehyung off guard, but, again, there was no need to bow to apparent Jeweless. It was…oddly freeing.

Jimin wiggled his eyebrows as Taehyung stared at the contents of the plate. “Well?”

“I expected a slaughter, but this is much better,” Taehyung said, “I haven’t had too many deep fried foods. The name is highly misleading.”

Jimin laughed. “No, look they’re in the shape of a finger kinda? Awkwardly, but it’s still a shape. I don’t think it’s named after the shape though, I think it’s because you eat it with your fingers.”

Taehyung hesitated, holding the wrapped fork and knife in his hand as Jimin said that. So this was wrong. Setting it down, he pulled one of the pieces off his plate and ripped it apart, allowing the steam to cool in the air. Jimin shoved a few of the hot fries into his mouth before ripping into one of the hot pieces of meat and following suit. Taehyung didn’t know how he did that as his own fingers could barely touch the blisteringly hot food. It certainly smelled good and Taehyung’s stomach growled with anticipation. For the moment, his hunger overshadowed his pre-rut and he was thankful for that.

Unable to wait, he took a piece and plopped it into his mouth, Jimin stopping his own eating to watch Taehyung’s reaction. It was still too soon to bite into it as Taehyung’s tongue screeched against the hot food. He winced making Jimin chuckle, but as he chewed the juicy yet greasy white meat his mouth exploded with flavor and his nerves tickled with glee. It was...delicious!

Gulping down the first piece, Taehyung quickly took another bite into the next without hesitation. Jimin beamed as Taehyung didn’t say a word and only focused on eating.

“Looks like you like them, huh?” Jimin questioned, “Jeweless have some luxuries.”

“These are amazing.” Taehyung said. He realized his mouth was full of food and he apologized, taking a napkin and wiping his mouth. He was eating like a barbarian, but Jimin shook his head, quickly forgiving his apology.

“Why are you apologizing? Who cares? Eat.”

Taehyung was dumbstruck. His hands were covered in crumbs and his face was probably a disgrace. His inner decorum was in arms at his actions, but another hesitant bite soon turned to devouring the entire dinner—even Jimin was shocked at how quickly he ate it. He had half of his plate left while Taehyung’s was empty.

“Well, damn.” Jimin chucked, “I said eat and you really ate. I didn’t even see you chew.”

Taehyung blushed. He wanted to say sorry, but knew Jimin would scold him again if he did. He was curious at the other items on the menu, but knew that wouldn’t mend well with his stomach later. Instead he settled for trying it another time—if Jimin wanted that, that is.

Finishing up his own plate, Jimin pushed it to the side. He went to take out his wallet, but Taehyung quickly told him not to as he dug into his own pocket and felt for the money. He didn’t want to take it out, as that would give him away—also pulling out a band of money wasn’t the smartest idea in any case. Finding what he wanted, he folded it into his hand and kept it hidden in between his long fingers.

“This is on me.” He said with a wink. “As a thanks for showing me something so exquisite.”

Jimin wanted to protest, but didn’t as he put his money back into his pocket. “Ok, money bags. Sure.”

Taehyung laughed at the joking insult. “But promise me this—“ Jimin tilted his head as he waited for Taehyung to continue, “We have to come back and try the onion rings and…I want a milkshake too.”

Jimin laughed into a smile, his insult on the tip of his tongue, but instead he nodded, “I feel I’ll have more to show you than you have to show me…but—“ He bit his lip with a small blush, “Sure…I promise.”

Taehyung gave a boxy smile as Jimin stood up, going to walk out. He was always told the Jeweless lifestyle was one of abhorrence, but…Taehyung didn’t really see that. Maybe he could enjoy it given the time to understand it.

Taehyung waited till Jimin passed before cautiously slipping the bill onto the table.

He left the waitress a bill worth five hundred dollars—she needed it more than he did.

♡♡♡♡♡

After their time at the restaurant, what were once infrequent talks was now constant communication. From morning until evening, Taehyung and Jimin would talk to each other—although, sometimes Taehyung would have to cut it short for personal reasons. He’d find himself breathless, unable to cap his feverish need any longer, as he’d undo his belt and rub himself till he spilled all over his hand—and it’d continue numerous times through out the night. On his back, flipped over and grinding into his own hold, in the shower, and some times he didn’t make it that far as he held himself against a surface and took care of his aching plea.

He’d dream about Jimin’s scent. It haunted him. His eyes, his blush, and the way he moved. It made him moan in his sleep and wake up hot and bothered. He’d lay there, thinking about how he was driven so mad with lust over him—over a Jeweless. He couldn’t. He couldn’t become so attached. What was once simple curiosity turned into something more as he found his thoughts enticed every waking second about the small boy. What was it? Why was it?

Buying more, and stronger, pills he was able to continue his façade, but he knew it wouldn’t be long before he gave out—and he didn’t want to think about himself unable to keep his control.

He visited Jimin at his shows more frequently now more than ever. He was becoming addicted. It wasn’t immediately, but Taehyung noticed a change to Jimin’s trapeze act. His body still moved the same, powerful and expressive, but as he swung around and towards the upper balconies, he’d smile. As each show passed his smile would get just a tad bigger as he flew in front of Taehyung. It grew until the smile reached his eyes, scrunching them closed. Of course Jimin could never outwardly declare their friendliness, but he’d do so in small movements and gestures towards Taehyung that would go unnoticed—almost.

It was an intermission between acts when Taehyung heard someone come through the curtain behind him. It was strange since no one except Jungkook and himself were allowed in this section. Turning his head, Taehyung saw the black haired and plump-lipped male that had serviced Namjoon before when he abruptly left.

He didn't smell like an Alpha or an Omega—a Beta? Taehyung rarely came across Betas. They were considered uncommon, but they only served people like Namjoon, so it wasn't that surprising he was one, although still scarce. They were so scarce in fact, most right hand servants were lower Alphas—and Taehyung was guilty of having power over a few, although he rarely needed to call for their aid.

The Beta bowed low with a slight curtsy, “Forgive me for intruding, sir Taehyung. My name is Kim Seokjin and I serve Kim Namjoon.”

Taehyung blinked, waving a hand for Seokjin to ease himself. What was he doing here?

With Taehyung's permission he stood, straight and proper and it was only then that Taehyung noticed how broad his shoulders were. “I've come here per his request to ask you for an audience with him. If you so choose to.”

An audience? Taehyung glanced over at Namjoon who was still seated in his chair. He maintained forward eye contact, briefly talking to one of his guards, although he seemed completely unbothered by what Seokjin was doing. Perhaps he was confident in Taehyung's willingness to come as curiosity didn’t cloud his mind.

“What does it regard?” Taehyung asked.

Seokjin shook his head, “I'm afraid that I was not told.”

Taehyung couldn't think of a possible reason why he would be summoned. He had made some eye contact with him and passed him a few times, but nothing to where he'd think a discussion was needed. Did Taehyung do something wrong? Namjoon was known for his reserve and how he cherry-picked speaking only to a privileged few. Ordinarily people would call him a snob for such fastidious behavior, but for him it was considered selective—and people vied to be apart of that select few.

Upon Taehyung's hesitation, Seokjin tried to ease his nerves. “It's nothing to worry about, sir. Namjoon is kind. I stake my life on it.”

Taehyung laughed, “Oh, really? You're devoted.”

Seokjin nodded and returned an even brighter smile. “Well, yes. I would say that might be the case. Namjoon is quite the authority.”

Taehyung tapped his foot a few times as he stood, walking up to Seokjin, “Well, I can't say no to someone higher than myself, right?”

“Perish the thought,” Seokjin disagreed, “Namjoon always offers the other their choice.”

Choice. The word sounded strange rolling off the tongue of someone that served him and his every need. Did he choose to work for him? He seemed happy enough; his face filled with a closed smile and his skin clear of any sign of wear. Taehyung questioned it, but not aloud. That would ruin his etiquette. He’d never heard of someone, especially of Namjoon’s caliber, giving someone a choice.

“Well, then I choose to go.” Taehyung replied.

Seokjin smiled once again, bowing low. “Excellent, sir. If you would follow me.”

He turned on his heel, pulling the curtain apart for Taehyung to walk through and travel out into the hall. The walls were golden and the carpet was a bright red. There were various marble statues aligned along the sides and some green plants adding a splash of distinctive color to the long corridor. The people who had gathered outside to stretch their legs during the intermission all gave Taehyung glances as he walked with Seokjin. It wasn’t that Taehyung was out and about, it was because of whom he was walking with—and everyone knew whom he was connected to.

Chatter turned into gossip as the Alphas whispered to each other in hushed murmurs. Taehyung didn’t try too hard to listen.

Following the long circular hall, they finally rotated around to the other side, coming up to a curtain guarded by two extremely muscular Alphas. They formally bowed towards Seokjin who bowed back as they opened the drapes and allowing them access. Seokjin was the first to quickly step through, gesturing for Taehyung to follow. Even though Taehyung had been invited, he still felt awkward and like he didn’t belong there. He gulped, as he allowed the drapes to shut tightly behind him and lock him inside the prison.

Suddenly it was very dark as the dimly lit theater was the only source of light. Taehyung stood awkwardly to the side as Seokjin immediately trotted down the stairs and kneeled by the only occupied chair. They turned their head; their profile looking soft, delicate and their earrings shinning brightly even in the faded light. They tenderly smiled at Seokjin, saying something Taehyung couldn’t overhear, but he roughly caught the outlines of his deep voice. It was lenient. Gentle. Nothing like Taehyung remembered or how others described it.

Taehyung quietly stepped down. If he made too loud of a noise he felt he might unleash the wrath of a demon, but Namjoon remained patient and calm as he approached. He didn’t rush or hurry him; he simply waited like time wasn’t a concern of his. Seokjin stood from his spot as he endorsed Taehyung to sit in the chair next to Namjoon. He bowed once more with a smile before he left. With a flash of light the curtains then dropped and left them in darkness once more.

Taehyung stood beside the isle for a moment before Namjoon spoke to him. He chuckled, delicately stroking his chin. “You don’t need to be so anxious, Kim Taehyung. I did not call you here to bite.”

The statement did little to ease Taehyung’s worries as he hesitantly sat in the chair. He thought he might break out into a sweat sitting so close to Namjoon, but he tried to keep his head focused and not in disarray.

“I’m sorry, sir. I—“ Taehyung began, but was cut off with a wave of Namjoon’s hand.

“Just Namjoon. Please. No need for formalities.”

Taehyung swallowed to clear his throat, “—Namjoon. I’m afraid I don’t understand the meaning of this meeting.”

Namjoon’s eyes turned downwards towards the stage. Taehyung noticed how he hadn’t looked at him once. He was still and elegant, his breathing even holding the same grace. He was like a painting, always posed, every light against his skin was a delicate stroke and every color on his face was carefully mixed and blended. Taehyung understood why so many feared him, but also strived to be around him. There was a certain air of refinement and magnetism that drew you to him besides his transparent position.

“Do you really need a reason to talk to someone, Taehyung?” He asked.

Suddenly Taehyung felt rude. “No. I suppose not.”

Lately he’d been saying a lot of things that made him embarrassed, but Namjoon ignored it as he straightened his back even higher. “You’ve been here quite a lot recently. Why is that?”

“You noticed me?” Taehyung blinked. He thought that perhaps Namjoon’s stares were a trick of his mind, but he had been right.

“I notice more than people think I’m aware of—“ Namjoon blinked for the first time, “So tell me, what is your favorite act? If you’re here so often, there must be a reason.”

Taehyung’s breath caught in his throat. He could barely read Namjoon as his expression remained frozen and his voice flat. It was too upfront to be an interrogation, surely he’d be more careful with his wording if he truly intended to catch him in some act, but Taehyung had done nothing wrong so there was nothing to worry about. Nothing at all.

“I enjoy the trapeze act.” Taehyung replied honestly, “It’s…very stunning.”

“The trapeze is quite a performance,” Namjoon hummed in understanding, “A wonderful choice.”

“Do you have one you enjoy?” Taehyung asked. He had been told to excuse formalities, but the discomfort at directing him so forward still screamed in his chest.

Namjoon showed the first sign of emotion as he smiled, although minor and hardly noticeable. The curve of his lips made dimples on his face that Taehyung had never noticed before, but now that he was up close a lot of things became clearer.

“Yes, I rather enjoy the pianist and his work. His music calms me and I feel like I've returned to a nicer place.”

Taehyung tilted his head, “Returned?”

Namjoon's exhaled a chuckle so soft Taehyung barely heard it, “Having riches and the world bow at your feet is a unique experience. Everyone wants power—“ Namjoon turned his head slowly towards Taehyung as he looked at him for the first time. Gazing at him straight on was more powerful than Taehyung imagined, as he had to resist the urge to bow and get off the chair sat on. Namjoon crossed his legs, “Relax. You're too tense. I'm just an Alpha like yourself.”

“I'm sorry…” Taehyung fretted taking a breath, “What were you saying?”

“What's more important to you, Taehyung?” He inquired, “Power or freedom?”

Taehyung licked his lips. He didn't think long on the answer. It seemed obvious enough. “Wouldn't power give you freedom?”

Namjoon's soft smile returned as he leaned back in his seat. He brought a heavily ringed hand up to his cheek and rested it against it. “A thoughtful answer,” He stated with a pinch of praise, but his next words didn’t have the same admiration, “But also very ill-informed.”

People began returning to their seats as the intermission was almost concluded. Taehyung was confused on Namjoon's words, all of it feeling like a riddle met with another riddle. Was his answer wrong? Namjoon crooked his head towards the stage, watching as the stage crew set up for the next round of performances.

“Won't you stay with me for the rest of the show?” He requested, “I rather enjoy your company.”

“Ah, of course.” Taehyung said, fixing himself in his seat. It was a request, but Taehyung couldn’t shake the idea of disrespecting someone higher than him. That was how he’d been taught. His mind whirled to Jimin and how quickly he was to shoot down Taehyung for even opening his mouth—how did he do it? There was a certain respect for him to be so bold.

They sat in a peaceful silence. The lights dimmed, the crowd silenced, and the curtain pulled back as the stage turned blue and the pianist—Yoongi—played at the white piano. It was that same familiar act of forbidden love taking place as dancers in all white pranced around. Namjoon, again, never took his eyes off of the pianist. He seemed lost in his own world and his body at peace, but as he exhaled he spoke again.

“Do you see it, Taehyung?” He asked.

Taehyung took his eyes off the stage for a moment, “See what?” He saw the stage, the dancers, Yoongi playing, and the crowd. What else was there?

Namjoon closed his eyes. With his head so calmly rested against his hand he looked almost asleep. “The birds, the blue sky, the light shining onto the tall green grass blowing in the wind. Doesn’t the song make you think of…a happier place?”

Taehyung listened to the song closer trying to hear, feel, or see what Namjoon spoke off. He closed his own eyes to shut out the world around him. The melody traveled through his ears like water. He didn't see a meadow or birds—he saw an ocean. It was a vast blue ocean with a horizon of endless possibilities, the sails of the boats creating the clouds against the sky. He felt like he was floating in a sea of dreams and ideas.

Taehyung opened his eyes, but Namjoon kept his closed, fully embracing his fantasy and imagery. As the performance ended, Namjoon watching as the curtain closed and Yoongi disappear from view. As quickly as some form of glee appeared, it disappeared from sight as his eyes became shrouded with melancholy and listlessness.

“You have power as well Taehyung.” Namjoon spoke, “You hold power over the Jeweless and the Omegas, even some Alphas. The world is in your hands…”

Taehyung blinked, looking at Namjoon as the next performance began. His eyes stayed on Namjoon as once again the curtain opened along with the ceiling and Jimin descending on his roped bar. He waited for Namjoon to finish, but Namjoon's eyes wandered onto Jimin's small frame with pronounced assessment.

“We have power, but are we truly freer than they are? Are we truly free to live our lives?”

Taehyung swallowed hard as he looked back over towards Jimin who was twisting his body on his seat. He prepared to swing and Taehyung watched him soar, Namjoon's words sinking into his head as Jimin weaved in the air. He thought back to Jimin's earlier performance with the chains and what it symbolized. Just how chained the world was—just how chained they all were to the system. Were they…just as helpless?

Seems like you watch your life pass you by, in my opinion.

“A beautiful artist he is,” Namjoon whispered through Taehyung's thoughts, “I can see why you've taken a liking to him.”

Taehyung glanced at Namjoon for a quick moment, but as his eyes remained forward he didn't say more. Taken a liking to him. Taehyung's heart beat against his chest as he watched Jimin fly—fly with such hidden and powerful strength. Was his interest that obvious that even Namjoon knew? And if he did know, was he going to take action against him? It didn’t seem like it. Taehyung felt he could trust Namjoon despite their minimal conversation. After all, Taehyung was sure he regarded Yoongi with something akin to his liking for Jimin.

With another standing ovation, Jimin finished his performance—and with that applause Namjoon stood, his suit drawing out the depth of his height and sleek build. Taehyung went to stand, but Namjoon held a hand up for him to remain seated.

“This is where I unfortunately have to leave you early. I hope we can talk again, Kim Taehyung. It was a pleasure—but also…do take care.”

He stepped around Taehyung, his words feeling like a forewarning of sorts. What did he mean by take care?

With graceful steps, Namjoon climbed up the steps as Seokjin opened the curtain and Namjoon disappeared behind it.

♡♡♡♡♡

After the show Taehyung wandered backstage to once again find Jimin sitting in front of his vanity and cleaning the makeup off from his face. It was as if he expected Taehyung to visit as he perked up and smiled, but quickly discarded the showy display of affection as his face fell back to its original flat mien.

It was late and most of the other Omegas had already left to return home leaving Jimin and Taehyung mostly alone. There were a few others cleaning up, but were too far to eavesdrop on anything they could possibly say, allowing them to act a bit more freely towards one another. Leaning forward, Jimin stopped wiping the makeup off his face to get the thought he’d been holding since the shows end off his chest.

“You were with Namjoon?” He questioned with an arched brow, “What was that about?”

Taehyung ran a hand through his hair. Even the Jeweless knew who Namjoon was. “He just wanted to talk.” Taehyung said, “It was…strange though.”

“Strange how?”

“He asked me a lot of questions...and also asked about you a little and talked about Yoongi.”

“Me? Yoongi?” Jimin laughed, “Why did he ask about us?”

Taehyung bit his lip and wiggled in his seat, “I think he knows...about us talking.” Jimin blinked but Taehyung quickly held up his hand, “I don't think he really cares about it though. He talked about Yoongi as if he...well I don't know, really. I can’t tell if they’re—“ Taehyung vaguely gestured his confusion with his hands.

Jimin took a moment to dab the rest of his makeup off. Tossing the dirty tissue into the trash he stared at himself in the mirror like the first time Taehyung had seen him. “To be honest...Yoongi's been acting strange lately. I know you don't know him, but it's been bothering me and now that you mention Namjoon...maybe it makes a little more sense.”

“What do you mean?”

Jimin went to answer, but out of the corner of his eye Taehyung saw a body leap out of nowhere and wrap his arms around Jimin's small body. Taehyung instantly recognized the bright hair and heart smile as he wiggled Jimin around. Jimin squirmed his way out of the others grasp, cursing as his hair flew in random directions, but Hoseok laughed, ruffling his hair up even more.

“Another marvelous performance by the amazing Chimmy!” Hoseok announced and then looked at Taehyung, “Oh and sir Alpha is back too! Are you two getting along now?”

“Please, just call me Taehyung.” Taehyung commented. He was tired of being addressed as sir, but soon regretted that decision as Hoseok's eyes lit up. He stammered into a low bow, clapping his hands together.

“To be able to address a Jewel by his first name! I'm deeply humbled!” He exclaimed.

“Shoosh!” Jimin hushed, snapping his eyes around the room to make sure no one heard, “You know they can't know he's a Jewel.”

Hoseok sealed his lips apologetically, “Oh! Right! I'm sorry…I forgot.”

Taehyung laughed at Hoseoks worry, but Jimin seemed annoyed as he glanced up at the darkened windows. “Why are you still here, anyways?”

“Oh, you know,” Hoseok scratched the back of his head, “I just get into good conversations and can't stop. I was talking to a few of the others about possibly getting drinks afterwards because boy do I need one. Today was hoooo…rough—“ Hoseok laughed with another beaming smile, “And I walked over to see if maybe you wanted to come as well! Sir Alp—“ He caught himself, “I mean Taehyung can come as well!”

“One Alpha surrounded by Omegas?” Jimin frowned, “Talk about a harem and also the spotlight he'd be in. He’s already not supposed to be here.”

Taehyung was grateful for Jimin’s words and protest. He didn’t want to dig his own grave—even further than it was already was anyways.

Hoseok hummed. “Yeah...you might be right, but the offer still stands!”

He stared at Jimin with hopeful eyes but was swiftly brushed off. “I can't. Plus I'm tired. I'm just gonna go home.”

“Yoongi said the same thinggggg,” Hoseok groaned into a pout, “But he's still here! I think he's lying about being tired. He’s in the piano room right now practicing some new song! He never stops. I don’t think he actually sleeps, honestly. That’s why he has bags under his eyes. Does he even leave? I swear he’s—“

Hoseok prolonged his rambling until Taehyung was positive Jimin wasn't listening anymore. Sucking in a deep breath, Jimin cleared his throat loudly to make Hoseok stop his mindless chatter.

“Hoseok,” He interrupted, “I think your friends are waiting for you.”

Hoseok's jaw dropped like he had completely forgotten his original plans. “Oh, you're right! Here I am again just talking away!” He giggled shyly, “Well, I'm glad you two are getting along now! Stay safe, Chimmy!”

He waved at them as he dashed off towards the front entrance where a group of Omegas were waiting. There was a lot of chatter and then silence as Jimin and Taehyung were finally left completely alone. For how Hoseok talked about Taehyung, he certainly spoke to him as if he were a normal everyday Alpha—perhaps Omega, but that didn’t offend Taehyung like it would other Alphas. It was strange, but entertaining.

Jimin waited for the quiet to settle before returning his eyes towards Taehyung with a slight grin. He stood off his stool, running his fingers through his hair and fixing the chaos Hoseok had done before grabbing onto Taehyung's arm. “Come on,” he said, “I have to show you something.”

Taehyung tilted his head as Jimin hauled him forward without explanation. They snaked through a few odd props and boxes before coming out and onto the stage. The curtain was still pulled back and the huge theater was empty. Taehyung noticed straightaway how big and different everything looked from this angle. He couldn't imagine singing or dancing in front of a full audience, especially ones that regarded them with such scrutiny. It was faint, but Taehyung could hear the light strokes of a piano from somewhere unseen. The tune was soft and comforting, slightly different from what he heard at the show. It was fitting for such tranquility, but it was also almost sad.

Admiring all the empty seats, Jimin released his arm and twirled around on the stage a few times before stopping to admire Taehyung's gawk. “Incredible, right?”

“That's a light way of putting it.” Taehyung mumbled.

Jimin laughed, “Yeah...it took me some time to get accustomed to performing in front of such a large crowd. The first time I did I slipped.”

Taehyung wanted to ask if he was all right, but of course he was. He was standing right there completely and healthy. That didn't stop his expression from showing his shock though as Jimin went further into detail. “I didn’t get hurt, but I thought I might die from embarrassment. I got yelled at instead of being asked if I was ok, which kinda hurt more than the actual pain I was in, but I pushed through it. To be honest I thought about quitting a lot. I didn’t though. I figured this would be the closest I'd ever get to living my dreams even if I'm just viewed as some sex object but—“ he glanced at Taehyung, “It's not all bad, I suppose.”

Jimin smiled under the soft glow of the light, making Taehyung's heart race. All of his already warm features looked even more touchable in the pale spotlight. It drew out the best and strongest parts of him—and those parts made Taehyung feel weak as once again he could feel himself begin to lose control. His throat tightened and his chest constricted as he fought the urges coursing through him—the beast begging to be let out. He’d taken pills, but he had delayed the rut for a little over a week now. That was considered a long time as they were only meant for a few days, but he fought it. It took everything in his power to fight it, but why? Why didn’t he just give in?

Jimin kicked his foot sheepishly, “I don't know. I got to thinking the other day as I sat on the stage after a show and I...well…” He blushed as he fiddled with the ends of his sleeves, “I thought about how you said you had to give up your passion because of something others said and uh…” He turned his lip into a line as he wandered over to a side. He disappeared from view before coming back out. Holding something bounded in his hands, he extended it towards Taehyung.

Taehyung blinked, taking it slowly and opening the pages. They were blank slates of white. No lines. No color. Only a rough and course surface. “A sketchbook?”

Jimin's face was the reddest Taehyung had ever seen as he spun around so his back met him. “Y—yeah! I mean...this entire thing between us is a secret so...why not...try painting…and drawing again—“ He sucked in a breath to try and ease his stuttering, “I…I wanna see your art and uh…yeah…”

Taehyung didn't know what to say as he flipped through the pages again. His heart swelled and he could barely contain the smile on his face as Jimin kept his back to him with his head held high—but again his scent gave him away.

Taehyung chuckled, gently setting the book down and approaching him. At the sound of his footsteps, Jimin spun back around. His pink hair twirled with him and it was like Taehyung was beholding the same angel that stole his heart for the first time all over again. The same subtle glow and shine of his golden skin as their dark eyes met. His expression soft but also serious...and his lips…oh his lips.

Taehyung stopped right before him, looking down at the small Omega. He could feel and sense Jimin's nervousness as his skin released a potent smell—one that made Taehyung's insides rumble. Blood rushed between his legs and Taehyung’s breathing became slightly uneven, but not noticeable. Lifting Jimin's head with his fingers, their eyes were motionless, but Jimin’s were shiny, bright, and vulnerable as his lips parted just slightly. Taehyung began to imagine what they'd look like gasping and huffing with labored pants as his face flushed for different reasons. How the sweat would tickle his brow and all the sweet sounds he’d make as Taehyung had his way with him till he was satisfied. It sent a shiver down his spine and right into his groin as he frantically wanted to find out—as he frantically wanted to bury his growing knot deep into him.

He leaned in, closing the gap between them. He expected Jimin to resist, but he didn't. Instead he could hear his breathing become hollow as his scent overflowed with anticipation. Taehyung could feel Jimin's breath against his own lips, that hot, honeyed, and flowery breath of his and it made Taehyung dizzy. He wanted to kiss him—to do more than that, but…

He couldn't allow himself.

He couldn't.

Jimin was a Jeweless and he was a Jewel.

No—he was a coward.

Taehyung sighed, pulling himself off to the side and leaning his forehead into Jimin's shoulder. He let his hands drop just like he felt his heart do. Swallowing the feelings of hunger and craving bursting inside him, he tried to remain levelheaded.

“Thank you.” He whispered. And that was all he said. If he said anything more, he might snap. He might mess up.

Do take care.

Jimin stiffened under his touch. Hesitantly he wrapped an arm around Taehyung. With a light pat, he nodded. “Yeah...no problem.”

Taehyung noticed the hint of sadness in his tone, but hastily disregarded it. He didn’t want to think longer on his choice than he had to.

They stayed like that for a while. A Jewel and a Jeweless—and in the background were the soft cries of a piano blended with the tears falling onto its keys.

♡♡♡♡♡

“You've been awfully busy lately, Tae. I'm beginning to miss you.”

Jungkook and Taehyung stood in a fitting room as lower, second class, Alphas held up measuring tape to their shoulders and waists. They were currently trying on suits from one of—if not the best—designer for them. Taehyung had kept his choice simple. Black and fitted like he always had, but Jungkook was going the experimental route and testing out the vast arrays of styles.

One of the alphas marked down Jungkook’s measurements, stepping away from him with a bow.

“How does this fit, sir?” He asked, “Is it to your liking?”

Jungkook turned around in the mirror a few times, examining himself from head to toe. He seemed displeased. “Do you have something more…noteworthy?” He questioned, “I need something that’s really going to turn heads.”

The Alpha tapped his pen to his clipboard. “Would you prefer a different color, perhaps? We have a blood red that may be more to your tastes?”

“Fetch it for me,” Jungkook ordered without a second thought to which the Alpha nodded lowly and left, “Anyways, you have yet to tell me what you've been up to.”

“It's nothing,” Taehyung said, but oh was it definitely something as his wish to philander increased by the day. The pills no longer worked to full effectiveness, merely dulling his needs instead of making them invisible, but at least they softened his scent enough to where Jungkook couldn’t pick up the traces of his rut. He felt like he was on his last whims. “I've been spending time to myself.”

“Oh really?” Jungkook loosened his tie as he slipped off his shoes and sat down on one of the chairs. “Much needed rest then?”

Taehyung merely nodded as his worker asked him how he liked his own fitting. He assured them it was perfect, as all their suits were, and the color was acceptable. They weren't purchasing suits for any particular occasion. Jungkook had a habit of buying things for the sake of buying them—to have a collection, so to speak, for if the instance ever did arise for him to wear a blood red ensemble. He dragged Taehyung along on his shopping trips and Taehyung would also spend profuse amounts of money on things he didn't exactly need. He was able to—so why didn't he? But as his Alpha bowed and left them to collect more things, he felt that this was all rather pointless and selfish.

“Yeah,” Taehyung replied, staring at his figure in the tall and well lit mirror, “...Why are we buying these again?”

“What do you mean why?” Jungkook snorted, “We have money and can spend it on what we want. Are you unsure of the color? Maybe you should go bold as well. I think purple would be a nice fit for you. Like that purple suit they have on display with the black vines.”

It wasn't the color that had him so questioning. He buttoned his current suit again, tilting his head, as he checked the time on his watch—his diamond embedded watch. Suddenly the watch felt heavy against his wrist like an anchor. While it made more sense to have bought this than he was buying a suit—he had plenty of suits—he felt he didn't need to spend as much as he did on it. In little ways since meeting Jimin he felt he was blatantly showing off his social status. He already had the earrings, what more did he need?

He thought back to the Jewless father and son, a sudden pang in his gut making him want to tear the suit off even more, but he had to keep face for Jungkook.

“I'll consider it.” Taehyung sighed, “I've never tried purple before.”

Jungkook shrugged, “Why don't you try it on now? We have time. That is unless—“ He licked his lips, “Unless you have another place to be.”

“You're not going to let that go, are you?” Taehyung groaned.

“I just need to know who or what is taking my Taehoney away from me!” Jungkook pursed his lips followed by a heavy smirk.

“Taehoney?” Taehyung chuckled, “That's an interesting name. Where did that come from?”

“Consider it special,” Jungkook winked, leaning back in his chair.

The workers returned, one carrying Jungkook's new blood red suit. Before they could properly assist, Jungkook ordered them to get a size of the purple display for Taehyung. One nodded, as the other helped Jungkook out of his current attire and into his new pick. The fit and color slimed him while also bringing out the highlights in his face. He turned a few times, instantly more satisfied as he popped the collar and raised a brow at himself with a smirk. “If there's an Alpha that looks better than me, I'd like to see them.”

“Well isn’t someone cocky?” Taehyung teased.

Jungkook licked his lips with a pompous look as the other Alpha brought the purple attire back in a timely manner. Jungkook told his employee to leave for a moment—for a reason Taehyung didn't know. As he slipped off his clothes and left himself bare, he couldn't help but notice Jungkook's prolonged stare. He chewed on one of his nails, eyeing him intently and with a deep fascination. Taehyung thought perhaps maybe he was spacing out. He did that some times, although he'd gotten better about it, but this look was…different. It was almost flirty.

The purple suit was thick, but felt like silk. It brought in Tae's waist and elongated his body, making him look taller than he actually was. The black embossed vine like designs were a nice touch, making the eye travel instead of staying in one spot. Taehyung was at first wary, but he liked it the longer he admired it—and so did Jungkook.

Jungkook whistled, stepping up from his chair with a clap. “Now that's what I call an Alpha.” He said.

Taehyung rolled his eyes at the jeer, but Jungkook’s gaze never left Taehyung as he held that same emotion he did while Taehyung was changing—a certain veiled and enveloped emotion. He stood just behind him, eyeing Taehyung in front of the glass. His eyebrows rose as he licked his lips again and zealously bit the corner of his mouth. Gently leaning his head forward, he continuously examined Taehyung's figure and shape. Taehyung noticed how Jungkook’s face was abnormally close to his neck and his eyes even flashed to it for a scarce moment as he faintly inhaled.

Jungkook smirked, reaching over Taehyung’s shoulders and adjusting his tie just a little bit straighter. His breath hit Taehyung’s skin and he swore he could feel a shift in Jungkook’s scent, but it was quickly masked. Patting Taehyung’s shoulders, Jungkook let his hands rest on them as that same arrogant expression crossed his face.

“You are the only Alpha I'll let look better than me.” He whispered into Taehyung’s ear, “You and only you.”

Chapter Text

Taehyung decided to stop going to the shows as often. Things between Jimin and him had become awkward ever since the moment they shared a few days ago. Taehyung tried not to think of it, his gut twisting with regret at the thought. He took that time to see Jungkook after “abandoning” him—or so Jungkook liked to over dramatize it. It appeased him, but Taehyung found himself staring out the tinted window of their car thinking about Jimin. How was he? What was he doing? Was he thinking about him as well? It was hard to tell with the infrequent texts.

When Taehyung had free time, he flipped open his new sketchbook, tapping a pencil against the paper as he thought of what to draw. He would aimlessly doodle, filling the pages with detailed pictures of scenery or imaginary objects, but most of the time he loved to draw things that described his feelings—abstract images that could only truly be deciphered by himself. He had received many gifts. Expensive cars, watches, stocks, but this small bundle of paper was by far the best he had ever gotten. One day he would fill up the pages like a diary—one day he would show Jimin the descriptions of his heart.

It took about a week after that for Jimin to come around only sending a flat-faced emoji—his code for “Hello”. Taehyung wanted to ask how he was, if he was doing ok, but he felt his mouth water and his mind blank out. He shook his head, once, twice, three times then the sensation went away. He decided to ignore it, instead carrying on the conversation as if Jimin had never left and what had happened never occurred. They both acted as if nothing ever happened.

Do you want to go to the dock, tomorrow? He eventually asked. He had a promise to keep.

Jimin took some time to reply, but eventually Taehyung received a text that said, “I guess.” Another code. He was more excited about it than he wanted to let on. Taehyung was getting better at deciphering these things.

They met at the pier a day after that. Jimin was leaning on the railing as he gazed out at the sparkling and orange water. He wore a low sitting hat like Taehyung had suggested, covering his ears entirely. Usually, people didn’t cover them. It was like wearing a mask and it gave more reasons for cops to pull you over for no reason, but in this instance, they’d just be going to Taehyung’s private property. His presence would be enough, especially since the people manning the boat were employees of his and his parents.

“Did I keep you waiting?” Taehyung asked, stepping besides Jimin.

Jimin shook his head, “No. You're on time. I just came early to watch the water.”

“But we're about to be out on it.” Taehyung laughed.

Jimin gave him a rueful look, “Doesn't mean I can't appreciate it longer.”

Taehyung held his breath; afraid he had said something wrong as Jimin continued, “It holds possibilities. Like what if I could escape this place and be more than a source of entertainment.”

As the silence built, Jimin pulled his coat up around his face, hiding his emotions. He couldn't meet Taehyung's eyes as he mumbled, “I’m sorry, let’s get going.”

He turned on his heel, leading the way down the brick pavement. He was slowly opening up to Taehyung, blooming into something he better understood, as he infrequently dropped subtle indications of his feelings and wishes. He'd mumble something then turn away, much like he did now. Some times he'd tell Taehyung to forget it, but he knew he couldn't. It was upsetting, but also...somewhat comforting. It was comforting because Jimin was starting to feel relaxed enough around him to even vaguely express such complexities—especially to a Jewel. Taehyung just hoped he'd be able to sit down with him and fully express it.

There was trust—hidden, but trust.

Taehyung quickly caught up, Jimin's face still downcast, but he had something for him. Taehyung dug into his pocket, pulling out a small golden and shimmering wrapped package. He extended it towards him, “Here, I got you this. You mentioned you liked sweets, so I thought you'd like these.”

Jimin's eyes went wide as he spotted what was in Taehyung's hand. He stared, cautiously grabbing it between his small fingers, “Wait, you got these for me? These are…I've always dreamed of trying these!”

Taehyung laughed, recalling their adventures a few days prior, “Yeah, you mentioned that...So I thought I'd get you some.”

Jimin felt along the shiny packaging. He stared at it like if he took his sight off it, it might disappear. His cheeks turned pink as he once again buried his face into his coat, “...You're so stupid…” He mumbled.

Jimin hesitated like his fingers weren't allowed to touch the ribbon holding the foil together. He gawked at it as Taehyung giggled at Jimin’s restraint, “You wanna try one?”

“I do, but—“

“But what? I can always get you more.” Taehyung smiled, “Plus I want to see your face when you try one of the best chocolates in the world.”

Jimin huffed, finally tugging at the string on the wrap. It uncurled slowly, forming the shape of an opening flower. Neatly placed on top of each other were various colors of chocolates, all silky and smooth in the sunset. Jimin eyed them with uncertainty as he tried to pick the one that appealed to him the most. He finally plucked a pink tinted piece from the pile, feeling the texture between his fingers before plopping it into his mouth.

At first his chews were slow, but as the taste melted over his buds his chews became faster and his eyes shined with equivalence to the sun. He bounced in his spot, the taste making him overflow with joy as his eyebrows flew upwards with amazement.

“This is delicious!” He exclaimed, “They're more than I imagined!”

Taehyung chuckled. He waited for Jimin to calm down and finish the piece he was chewing before he picked up another. Jimin watched, expecting him to eat it, but Taehyung held the piece out to him with a grin, “Have another.”

Jimin turned his lips into a line pulling his head back slightly. He paused, looking between Taehyung’s fingertips then at him. Relaxing into the gesture, he extended his neck forward, slowly opening his pink lips. Taehyung could feel his breath against his skin and as Jimin tenderly bit down the brims of his lips brushed against him. He held his fingers there till Jimin pulled back, grabbing the rest of the piece with his tongue and drawing it into his mouth. His blush returned as he munched, their walk suddenly quiet as Taehyung felt his chest tighten.

He found himself staring at parts of Jimin that he hadn’t bothered to concentrate on before. His eyelashes, his small button nose, the nape of his neck. The longer Taehyung stared, the worse his chest felt as his body suddenly became hot. He thought back to the moment at the theater, how he had backed out of something he had wanted to do, and yet with each passing day he wanted to do it more. He wanted to do it now.

He let his hand drop as Jimin gently tied the wrapping back together into a tight bow. He placed it inside of his pocket, “T—thank you.” He said, “I…I really appreciate this.”

Taehyung could smell the increase in his scent, the flowery smell becoming increasingly more sweet and tantalizing. Sometimes that happened with sudden flexes in emotions, but nothing quite as strong as it was now—and Taehyung had a guess as to why that was.

He shook his head, tearing his eyes away, “No problem. I’m glad you enjoyed them…and that you smiled again.”

Jimin didn’t deny his outward happiness as he merely nodded in agreement. It didn’t take long to reach the dock, not many people lingering around as Taehyung brought Jimin around the walkway and back towards where he had told his workers to be. As they approached, one particular male dressed in a black suit leaned low with his arm under his chest.

“Master Taehyung,” He said, “Is there anything you need, sir?”

“Not at the moment,” Taehyung said waving his hand so the Alpha would relax, “Make sure tonight is kept between us.”

The man nodded, drawing himself upward, “Yes, sir. I’ll make preparations to take off now—“ He gestured towards the steps, “Do watch your step as you board.”

The male turned around with a quick spin, trotting up the stairs as he told others aboard to go to certain positions.

Jimin watched the butler, particularly looking at his ears. “He’s a Jeweled Alpha, but listens to what you say.”

Jimin said it like he was astonished to see it happen before his eyes. Taehyung fiddled with the inside of his pockets. He didn’t know why the off-handed comment made him nervous, like Jimin disapproved of it even though his tone was flat.

Taehyung shrugged, “Yeah…” was all he said as he stepped up the ladder. He extended a hand towards Jimin, helping him up. He took it, not entirely grabbing onto Taehyung’s hand, but just tight enough to steady himself—still being stubborn—still some limitation.

All the workers who caught sight of Taehyung and Jimin bowed with polite smiles on their faces as they did whatever task the head operator had told them to do. Jimin’s jaw dropped as he watched them all work diligently and treat Taehyung with high respect. Taeyhung could imagine why as he led Jimin through the mass and onto the front deck. They were allowed some privacy, another worker coming out to make sure they were comfortable. When Taehyung told them they were fine they left to resume other duties.

It took a moment for the large boat to start up, them steadily going out towards the open and orange sea. Jimin stood at the very front, staring out into the water as they traveled farther and farther. Taehyung stayed behind him, observing him from a distance as Jimin grabbed onto the railings and leaned forward slightly. His eyes went wide as he saw the water push against the boat and the large fish swim awkwardly out of the way. The wind was chilly, breezy, and it pushed their bangs all over the place.

Jimin’s smile was wide as he spread his arms against the wind. He giggled like a kid, whispering “wow” under his breath, and turned around towards Taehyung. He returned Jimin’s smile, observing how the orange light touched his skin and highlighted his features. Taehyung had always thought this, but right now with the painted waves behind him, Jimin was beautiful. He was gorgeous.

His heart hammered against his chest. He inhaled his scent, the spring field filling his stomach with butterflies. He felt butterflies, but he was also hot. He felt fiery and tingly all over as his breath became heavy in his throat. He didn't want to pant like a dog in front of him—although Taehyung was no doubt feeling very akin to one.

He had a burning desire. A desire that had been boiling into him for the past few weeks that he feverishly suppressed, but he felt he no longer could. He'd taken pills and feigned that anything was wrong. He tried to deny his instincts for him. He didn't want to hurt him—he didn't want to hurt Jimin. Nothing good came from a Jewel and Jeweless relationship, but somewhere Taehyung hoped, perhaps his desire making him naïve.

There was a low growl in his throat that he swallowed, the water's surface thankfully silencing it. Taehyung stepped forward, not positive what face he was making as he approached Jimin's back. Once he was within range he wrapped his arms around the small males body, leaning his chin onto his shoulders. He felt Jimin go stiff and his scent increase immediately making Taehyung hum with delight. If he could bathe in this aroma, he would.

Jimin wiggled, his breath coming out as a huff, “Tae...What are you doing?”

Taehyung turned his head into Jimin's neck. He inhaled deeply, running the tip of his nose across his skin, “Why do you smell like flowers? It haunts me…”

Jimin's body was solid as Taehyung nuzzled his face into his neck. He could feel Jimin's heartbeat grow faster, matching his own lustful one. “F—flowers?” He questioned, “Why does that haunt you?”

“Because…” Taehyung gazed up at him with hooded eyes, “I can't get it out of my nose or my head. I dream about it—your scent. It's intoxicating.”

Jimin wiggled loose from Taehyung's arms, drawing himself away. “Tae...are you…?”

Taehyung bit his lip as he stared at Jimin. His lips, his skin, everything making his body burn. He had many ideas and images running through his head, but he had to block them out. He had to remain calm.

When Taehyung didn't answer, Jimin gazed downward and nodded, “That explains a bit. You...You suffered through a rut for me...and didn't try anything.”

Taehyung closed his eyes, “I'm sorry…”

“Sorry for what? You have nothing to be sorry for.”

But Taehyung did. He was sorry for being the way he was. For being privileged and using that privilege to his advantage. For seeing Omega’s as nothing except objects for so long and sometimes he wasn’t sure if his mind was completely clear of such teachings. He wasn’t sure if he saw Jimin for what he was—a person or if he was attached to him for other reasons. He had many reasons to be sorry.

“I'm….no better than any other Alpha…” He stated.

“Tae…” Jimin whispered, “You...you’re so much more than just an Alpha...a lot more…”

Jimin gently reached out to stroke Taehyung's face. He shuddered under his touch, putting his own hand over Jimin’s. He gripped onto it tightly, rubbing his face against it. His heart hammered against his chest and his crotch hankered to be appeased, but he couldn't for several reasons. He knew this. He couldn't mate with a Jeweless. He couldn't. Even after he felt alive after so long he couldn't...Jimin made him feel whole...but he….

Jimin inched forward. His hand guided Taehyung's face, tilting his own head closer to his. Their lips were dreadfully close and Taehyung remembered the cowardly act he had done before. Would he do the same now? No. No, he couldn’t look away from the angel resting in his gaze. He wouldn’t allow the light to leave him once again.

Jimin brought them closer, craning his neck as he placed his lips onto Taehyung's. It was a solid and firm kiss, one that made Taehyung growl behind his lips as a beast tried to rip its way out of him. He didn't think as his mouth moved across Jimin’s, returning the sudden embrace. He was consumed; Taehyung wanted nothing more than to press into him, hearing Jimin’s gasps and moans as he clawed into his back.

He was kissing a Jeweless. He loved a Jeweless. He wanted to mate with a Jeweless.

There were so many things running through his head. How he should stop. Cut this off now. How he should have never entertained this idea in the first place. But there was another very strong part of him that wanted to keep going. To keep exploring despite what was deemed appropriate. He remembered the faces of all Jewels and how none of them were happy, none of them showed happiness, but with Jimin he smiled. He felt that same happiness like he did back when he painted—Jimin was his art. Was he willing to let that go again?

Taehyung pressed harder into Jimin, spreading his lips with his own. His mouth filled with Jimin's air as he slipped his tongue into his mouth. Jimin whimpered into it, meshing his tongue together with his. Taehyung felt across Jimin's chest, another satisfied moan entering his mouth.

He felt Jimin's own body heat rise, his scent becoming stronger and stronger and flooding Taehyung's senses. He felt blinded and like he was drowning, but in the best way possible. His lungs and mind were suffocated but he wanted more of it. He wanted more of this drug like smell as his arousal peeked through his pants.

Jimin softly gasped against Taehyung's lips upon feeling the lump. Bashfully he pulled away, his face the reddest Taehyung had ever seen. He licked his lips hesitantly with a certain nervousness. “I...I’m sorry. I shouldn't...have kissed you.”

Taehyung tilted his head, “Did you want to?”

Jimin sighed, turning his lips into a pout as he looked away. “....Yes….”

“Then why are you apologizing?”

Jimin shook his head, “Because...because this...us...it's illegal, Tae. We can't and—“ he looked down between them and at their legs—particularly Taehyung's growing hard on, “You're in a rut...you know what happens to Jewels who mate with Jeweless…”

Taehyung breathed, calming his raging nerves. There had been very few reports of it, although more instances probably occurred, of Jewels mating with Jeweless. It was never pretty what happened to either of the parties. Neither was spared the torture and neither ever came back the same afterwards.

Jimin pulled himself further away. He ran his hands over Taehyung's chest with a heavy breath as he walked around him and towards one of the seats. His scent was still raging, or perhaps it was Taehyung's heightened sense of smell that made his body numb. He dug into his coat pocket, taking out his bottle and throwing back more pills. Of course they wouldn't help immediately, but he hoped they'd work post haste.

Jimin watched at Taehyung put the bottle back in his pocket. Deciding it best to not approach Jimin too much closer, Taehyung sat on the floor of the boat with his back against the gates. He closed his eyes and tried to think of other things, the sound of the waves, the occasional gust of wind, maybe the rumble of the engine. Perhaps he shouldn't have done this so soon.

“...I'm sorry.” Taehyung whispered again. He thought Jimin wouldn't hear it, but his ears perked up.

“It's ok, Tae. Really...I…” He trailed off, tapping his fingers against the seat a few times. He buried his face into his oversized clothing—he always did that when he was nervous or embarrassed. “We haven't known each other long but...I…I like you. A lot.” He turned his face away.

Taehyung laughed, opening his eyes to the sky with a smug grin, “Oh you do, now? Your scent reeks of infatuation you know.”

Jimin gasped, covering his face, “That's not fair. Alphas don't give off the same scents as Omegas…”

Taehyung laughed again, but his smile dropped as he realized the predicament he was it—the really shitty predicament. There was no good way to go about this and his mind swirled with distress. He shouldn't have pursued Jimin. He shouldn't have stepped in with the three Alphas. He shouldn't have brought him here, but if he didn't where would he be now? Probably just as miserable as he was before. Did he really regret any of this or was he just scared?

A spineless Alpha. That's what he was.

Jimin stared out at the sea with soft eyes, “Tae. Thank you for taking me out here. This is truly unbelievable...and I wouldn't have been able to do it otherwise...but I know what you're thinking. I'm thinking the same thing.”

Taehyung finally looked at Jimin, his heart still pounding against his chest, but at least the blood flowing to his crotch slowed. He didn't feel as uncontrollable.

“What are you talking about?” Taehyung asked.

Jimin pulled his jacket around his neck tighter. He hesitated with his next words as his eyes became slightly glossed, but he blinked it away.

“I...I don't think we should see each other anymore.” He whispered.

Taehyung sat up, his heart beating for a much different reason now. Petrified. Panicked. Dejection. He was losing him and not because either of them wanted to, but because it was for the best. He couldn't accept it—but he also didn't know what to do. Why was the world like this? Was this his fault? Because he didn't control his rut? How awful.

Did he protest? Or did he keep his silence? Taehyung was lost for words as the silent breeze stole them and dragged them into the seas shallow depths. Of course he wanted to spend time with Jimin. He was just starting to understand him. Why did it hurt so much?

“If it's because of this, we can take a break until I'm out of it,” Taehyung suggested, “We can make this work, right?”

Jimin smiled at Taehyung's efforts, but shook his head, “You might be able to control your ruts, but there's no changing a Jewel and Jeweless. Besides I…” he trailed off, shaking his head, “Nevermind…It's for the best Tae…let's just...enjoy the rest of the day and then go our separate ways after.”

Taehyung stared at the deck with heavy eyes. This isn't how he planned things to go, but he should have expected it. Suddenly he remembered the burning, his pictures in flames, and the faint flicks of warmth from it. He felt like everything was burning around him slowly turning into nothing as his body felt numb. What was this?

He stared at the ground as Jimin's shadow hovered over him. Taehyung didn't realize until he stooped down that Jimin was so close. He took Taehyung’s hand in his, pulling him in closer and embracing him into a tight hug. He buried his face into Taehyung's neck, snuggling along his nape. He absorbed his scent with a soft intake, his body trembling against him. Taehyung returned the gesture, lightly running his nose along Jimin's skin.

He memorized it, etching it into his memory—although much like Jimin's name, he knew he'd never forget. Not when a smell could entice him so.

He absorbed the moment, but as the smell of flowers and sunlight filled his mind, there was another even lighter smell mixed in with it. Something sweet, sugary, and addicting. It wasn't strong, but enough to make Taehyung struggle and bite his lip.

Jimin was experiencing his own problems too—nature taking hold of both of them.

He was about to fall into a heat.

♡♡♡♡♡

Taehyung sat in a black-lit room, the splashes of neon colors shining brightly under its dark rays. Jungkook and him were in their own private area, a table placed in front of them with two wine bottles, cigars, and lighters. There was little more to the room besides the wall of mirrors behind them—although Taehyung particularly didn't want to look at himself right now. There was a subtle bass echoing from outside, but loud enough to feel the vibrations even in here.

Ever since the boating incident, Taehyung hadn’t heard from Jimin since. He found himself drawing more into his sketchbook, the scribbles being just as chaotic as his mind was. He would check his phone, again, and again, and again, but nothing was there. He couldn’t go to the shows. He couldn’t talk about his anxiety and thoughts to anyone, especially not Jungkook. He was stuck in an imaginary cage, the birds singing a tune of happiness to cover his silent crying.

Jungkook was worried about his distance—or perhaps tired of him being so depressed. He offered to take Taehyung to another one of his sources for entertainment, but Taehyung didn’t know if this would help him. After much persuasion though, he agreed.

Jungkook sat with his legs crossed and hands resting on the arms of the chair. Taehyung was sure Jungkook had been to this place numerous times before since he sat like he owned it. Taehyung was a bit uneasier, unable to find a comfortable way to sit. He wasn't into the idea of an Omega brothel, but he needed to rid himself of his feelings somehow. Nothing would change sulking around—still, this felt like betrayal.

Jungkook ran a hand over his chin as he glanced at Taehyung, “Why do you look so tense?” he asked, “Relax. It's a brothel. Not an execution. You've been to these things before.”

It felt like an execution and it had been quite awhile since Taehyung had paid to be courted—quite some time. Taehyung eased, leaning back in his chair and crossing his own legs. “Perhaps I've forgotten the atmosphere.”

“Hm,” Jungkook played with his bottom lip. He smiled, his bright canines shining in the dark light, “I can't wait to see you remember. You'll be using my best concubines.”

Jungkook's smirk was cocky and almost grating. Taehyung sipped on his red wine, feeling slightly intoxicated as the room swayed. His best concubines. His. He talked about them as if he possessed them. It left a bad taste in Taehyung's mouth that he tried to wash out—then again, he was about use them too. Did they want to be used?

It wasn't long until the door opened and two scantily dressed Omegas walked in. They wore a slight covering that was quickly slipped off at Jungkook's immediate command. Underneath they wore fishnets with garter belts and heels that made them a few inches taller.

Jungkook seemed eager, his legs spread and his arms welcoming, but first he allowed Taehyung to pick which one he wanted. Wanted. He stared at them, each having extremely different features and assets, but neither were what he wanted. He wanted someone else, but he couldn't keep thinking that.

“Him.” Taehyung pointed to the one on the left. He was shorter than the other and wore bright orange compared to the others bright red. They giggled as Jungkook clapped his hands with a smug grin. “Well then, looks like I get you again.” he said to the other Omega.

They laughed, twirling around and strutting over with confidence. Straightaway, Jungkook’s pick climbed over him, directing his gaze before leaning down and placing their lips on his. It was fast and the reaction immediate as Jungkook forcefully kissed back and grabbed a handful of the Omega’s ass.

Taehyung stared at his own who was a bit less direct, perhaps not knowing what Taehyung was into. He played cute as he trotted over and carefully laid across Taehyung's lap. They crossed their legs over him, using their hands to feel along Taehyung's jaw. “I've never seen you before,” He said, “Kook usually keeps us to himself, but he's willing to share with another Alpha. You must be special to him.”

The Omega's fingers traveled up to Taehyung's lips, carefully brushing across them. Taehyung could smell their arousal—as well as the one currently kissing along Jungkook's neck and unbuttoning his dress shirt. Taehyung hadn't taken any of his pills today and the growing smell of their slick made his skin crawl with excitement—but it still wasn't what he wanted.

The Omega tilted his head into Taehyung's neck, nuzzling his nose into his scent. “You're excited,” he giggled, “What are you into? I can do anything you want.”

Taehyung stiffened as the Omega licked his sensitive neck. He kissed his skin several times, using his hand to run through Taehyung's hair. Taehyung could feel his crotch growing harder with each touch and breath. He heard Jungkook moan beside him as his Omega readily lapped up the precum dripping down his cock, a low “fuck” mumbled under his breath.

The aromas made Taehyung feverish with need as his skin grew hotter and hotter. He could scarcely sit still as the Omega maneuvered over him, straddling him, and tilting Taehyung's head back then kissing him on the lips. He tasted the Omega's breath, but it wasn't the same. It didn't taste like the sugary pleasure he became so used to. It tasted almost acidic. This isn't what Taehyung wanted.

What did any of them want? Was it this?

The Omega kept kissing him, grinding his crotch into Taehyung's stiff shaft. He could scarcely feel the beginning of his slick dripping down his legs and onto Taehyung's pants. His hands dug into the texture of the chair. It was only a damp outlining, but the sensation was all the same. He wanted to be drenched in it—he wanted to be drenched in the wetness of an Omega.

“No need to be so shy,” The Omega cooed, pulling on Taehyung’s tie.

They slowly undid his shirt, kissing along his collarbones. They paid acutely close attention to their grinds against his cock, rubbing their lubrication all across his clothes. With a gentle touch they led Taehyung’s hand, placing it on the bare skin of their ass. Displaying a sly smile and using more direction, they distributed Taehyung’s fingers to trace their dripping slick.

“You’re already so aroused,” The Omega huffed, leaning in closer, “Your smell…it’s making me so wet—“ Their hands trailed down to Taehyung’s belt buckle, swiftly undoing it, “Do you mind if I get a little greedy?”

Taehyung stared into their eyes, clouded with yearning and need. They unzipped his pants, exposing him to the air. They wiped some of the slick onto their fingers, before stroking it against Taehyung’s shaft. A shaky moan forced its way through his lips, the burning of his crotch feeling so good after such little relief—oh god did he want it. Oh god did he want to turn this Omega over and fuck them across the chair till it was covered in fluids.

He could hear the moans from Jungkook and his own Omega. Their progression was much farther than his own, Jungkook’s head thrown back as the Omega rode him. He wanted that same satisfaction. He could have that same satisfaction, but…he felt blurred, his consciousness on a very thin line. He forced himself to focus instead of giving in. No matter how horny or deep in a rut he was, his mind wouldn't allow him to fuck any other Omega. It just wouldn't. He wanted one and only one Omega. Neither of them were that one.

Taehyung pulled away from their grasp, the Omega squeaking at the sudden revulsion, and roughly pushing them off of him. He swept in a breath as he stood and practically ran out of the room, barely able to put himself away. Jungkook snapped his head forward from the head of his seat, exiting his moment of bliss.

“Tae!” He called after him, but Taehyung didn't respond as he stumbled down the hallway. He ran into one of the bathrooms, locking it before isolating himself in a stall. He put his hands between his knees as he breathed, his arousal over the top and his nails burrowing so deep into his head he thought he might puncture it. He clenched his jaw and gritted his teeth. He wasn't allowed to see Jimin again. They had called it all off. Why was he still stuck on him? Why didn't he take care of this rut when he so easily could? Instead, he was being tortured by no one except himself.

It was ridiculous, but...he loved him. Was there such a thing as love between an Alpha and Omega—a Jewel and a Jeweless?

When Taehyung's heart stopped beating so fast he leaned up. He didn't know how he was going to explain his actions to Jungkook, if at all. It was probably better if he didn't.

He stared at his phone, wishing to see a message from Jimin but when there was none, he fell back over between his knees. He wanted to text him. He wanted to talk to him...he wanted to mate with him and only him. Why did it hurt so much?

For the first time ever, Taehyung found himself crying in a bathroom stall. He found himself crying in his cage with the birds singing over him.

♡♡♡♡♡

The next day Taehyung felt lost. Jungkook had called him numerous times, but he didn't answer. He didn't feel like having that talk with him just yet. He had nowhere to go and even less to do as he walked about his loft. He didn't have to clean, someone came every day and did that. He didn't have to go out, there was nothing to buy. The only person he felt he could speak to was Namjoon, but that would require going to one of the shows.

After being so afraid of him, ever since their talk Taehyung had begun to question Namjoon's intentions, especially with the way he spoke and gazed at the piano player. Taehyung didn't think too hard about it, shrugging it off as a deep appreciation, but that was him refusing to look at it for what it was. Namjoon was a lot like Taehyung and he knew that. Namjoon knew that and that’s why he called him over. He felt comfortable with Taehyung because of their similar situations.

They both loved Jeweless.

Taehyung ran a hand over his face as the information sunk in. What was there to do? What did Namjoon do? Surely he experienced the same things, but he always appeared so calm, so at peace. Did they mate?

Taehyung paced the floor when his phone went off. He stopped. He was perplexed it even dinged since he had blocked Jungkook's number till he settled himself down. Strutting over he picked it up, but as he read the name his heart sped and stopped at the same time. Opening the message a little too quickly, he read what it said.

Jimin: Tae.

Jimin: I'm sorry. Can we talk?

Taehyung wasted no time in replying.

Tae: Always.

Another immediate response.

Jimin:...On the phone I mean.

Taehyung rubbed the bottom of his chin. This was bad. He knew this was bad, but he couldn’t stop himself. He hadn’t heard Jimin’s voice in what felt like eons and at this point he literally craved him in every way possible. He stared for a long time at the screen, his brain combating with his emotions. He knew once he hit that button, it was all downhill from there. Once he hit that button, he knew there was no going back. His life would forever be something to hide and a secret no one could know.

He was scared, but he was done being a coward.

He clicked the button.

It rang a few times, Jimin probably having the same complicated conflictions as him before picking up.

“Tae…” He breathed into the phone, “Tae, I’m sorry…”

His voice was tight and words shaky like he was restraining something deep in himself. Taehyung could tell from the unsteadiness and slight breathlessness to his speech what was happening. He could feel his stomach tighten as that same beating sensation throbbed inside him. However much he tried to control it, he knew it would be no use right now, especially behind closed doors. Still, he tried to give Jimin—and himself—the benefit of the doubt and asked instead of assume.

“What is it?” Taehyung managed to spit out, “What’s wrong?”

“Tae…my skin,” Jimin repeated, “My skin…it’s so hot…”

Taehyung fell silent, unsure what to say. He hoped that maybe the conversation would end, but he knew it wouldn’t. He didn’t know why Jimin had called him when they had made it perfectly clear what was to be of them, but perhaps Jimin had fallen to temptation and the ability to reach him was all too simple. Taehyung had called him when he could have ignored it. It was both of their faults what happened next.

With Taehyung’s silence, Jimin rustled on the other end of the phone sucking in a deep breath. “Why are you being quiet?” He asked.

“Because…” Taehyung bit his lip. He bit it so hard he thought he’d pierce the skin, “Because I want to fuck you so bad…”

“…How badly?”

It was only two words. Two simple words that made Taehyung want to make a mad dash out the door and into Jimin’s room, but he restrained himself, although the growing bulge in his pants he couldn’t prevent. He fell silent again as his throat closed, Jimin shuffling on the other end once again. “Tae…I want you…I’m so hot…I can’t stop—I can’t stop feeling this way. My legs feel weak and my heart won’t stop pounding. I need you.”

“Jimin…” Taehyung breathed through clenched teeth, “Jimin we can’t…”

“I know….” He mumbled, “I know, but I wish we could. I want no one else…I haven’t gone outside. I’ve just been in bed…wishing you were here. I…all I’ve been thinking about is you—“ Jimin gave a short laugh, “Funny, isn’t it? How I tried to push you away and now I can’t get you out of my head…Your scent…it’s intoxicating to me too.”

Taehyung was shocked at Jimin’s words. He never imagined he would hear them, but there they were, ringing inside his ears like a bell. He wished he were laying there in bed next to Jimin sharing sentimental, but also passionate moments through all of his heat. Every moment Jimin needed him, he would be there. Taehyung hadn’t felt like this for anyone before, the saliva in his mouth literally pooling at the thought of Jimin’s naked body like some crazed animal. Him drenched in sweat and his ass dripping with lubrication, needy and yearning for him. He wanted to cover Jimin in his scent, marking him as his own—cover him in the scent he craved.

“…Tae…can you talk to me?” Jimin sighed, “Whisper to me...with that sultry voice I love…”

Taehyung hesitated, feeling along the collar of his shirt and lightly pulling on it. His mind was a spiral of images and thoughts, but they all lead to one and only one thing. How much he was falling to his instincts and inducements right now. Any straight line of thinking was thrown out the window and he could only concentrate on relieving his growing irritation and hardness. He knew what Jimin was asking. He was in the same position as him, aching, longing, and needing, their bodies eager beyond comprehension. Taehyung couldn’t see him, but that didn’t prevent him from giving Jimin the image of him being there.

“…What are you wearing?” Taehyung asked steadily.

Jimin seemed to think this over. “…A white shirt and pink underwear…”

“Take it off.” Taehyung demanded.

There was a rustle on the other end of the phone, Jimin obediently doing as he was told.

“Now what?” Jimin asked once he settled.

Taehyung closed his eyes. “Run your hand across your chest, your collarbones, your nipples…Play with yourself. Imagine your fingers are mine as you dig your nails into your skin and pull across it.”

Jimin released a heavy sigh and a soft moan a few moments later. Taehyung immersed himself in every breath Jimin took and every slight change in pitch he made as he touched himself for him. His own skin became hot, much too hot to keep his shirt to be on any longer. He quickly unbuttoned it and tossed it onto the floor, backing himself against the door bathroom door. It was the closest surface to him, his body agonizingly faint and erratic.

“Tae…” Jimin breathed, “Tae, I’m so wet already…and you’re not even here…please…please fuck me…”

The pleading in Jimin’s voice made Taehyung grunt with frustration that he couldn’t. That he couldn’t go out and brace his body against Jimin’s, sinking himself into him until he could sink no lower. He wanted to feel just how wet he was against his hard cock and the tightness of his walls, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t do that as the earrings burned against his ears reminding him of the world and the hierarchy they lived in. All he could do was this—this endless game of teasing.

“How wet are you?” Taehyung asked trying to keep himself planted in the room.

“Soaking…It’s thick. I feel it on my legs and the sheets…”

A low growl erupted from Taehyung’s throat, “…Are you on your back?”

“Y—yes.”

“Turn over. Put your ass in the air and slip your fingers into yourself.”

There was another shuffle on the line as Jimin switched his position. There was silence and then a low muffled moan as Jimin inserted his fingers, Taehyung returning a moan of his own as his body burned. He couldn’t take it anymore. His rut was excruciating and his cock tender, it already leaking pre-cum against his pants at the image of Jimin so breathless—so dainty, petite, and expectant with his round rear waiting for his powerful thrusts.

“Jimin,” Tae finally gave in, unbuckling his pants, “Jimin, I want you so bad…I want to taste your moans against my tongue, feel your nails in my back, spread your hot slick against my thighs, and see your sweating skin.”

Jimin hummed in agreement, his breaths burning against the speaker. Taehyung pressed himself harder against the door, bracing his legs as his hand stroked his with a furious pace. He spread the slickness all over his cock, imagining the copious droplets as Jimin’s lubrication instead of his own. It wasn’t the same, he knew that. He knew Jimin’s would be thicker, sloppier, and smell that much sweeter, but the fantasy was enough to drive him mad. He’d never succumbed so easily and fast before. He was a bit tidier with his work, and definitely didn’t become so hot and bothered as hastily as he had now, but Jimin did something to him. Jimin made him feel whole.

Jimin moaned into the phone, “Tae…what does your cock feel like? What would it feel like inside of me?”

Taehyung chuckled through his labored breaths, a slight sweat breaking on his brow and his bangs hooding his face. “You wanna know what my cock feels like? You want my knot in you?”

Jimin hummed again. “Yes…Yes I want all of you…all of it…let me have it Tae. Please…”

Taehyung’s head fell back as he worked his hand faster, “Put in three fingers and pump faster—as fast as you can. That’s what it feels like.”

There was a slight pause and then another breath, another moan, as Jimin worked himself looser. Taehyung could hear the tautness of Jimin’s throat, the image of his stomach contracting and his ass clenching against his fingers sending Taehyung into a tizzy. He could hear Jimin’s work, the messy and wet slaps against his skin making Taehyung’s mouth fall and steady moans flow out. He thought he could see the heat from his breaths as the yearning shielded his eyes. It wasn’t enough. This wasn’t enough to sate him. He wanted to feel it. He wanted to feel it splash across his skin.

“Do you like it?” Taehyung asked through his labored moans, “Do you like how that feels?”

Jimin whimpered, the soft creaks of his bed screeching under him as his body could barely contain itself. “Yes….yes….”

At Jimin's repetitive whines, Taehyung felt his shaft enlarge towards the bottom, creating a hard and painful knot. It surprised him, but also made him feel light headed as his legs could barely hold him up anymore. He could rarely, if ever, get to the point of a knot, but here he was. A phone placed against his ear, his body thrown back into a door, with the hardest throbbing in his crotch. He wanted more—no, he needed more. He needed more, his instincts rampant inside his chest and tearing it apart. This was worse than torture, but he'd have to take it. He’d endure anything for him.

“Tae…” Jimin whispered, “Tae do you feel it?”

“Feel what?” Taehyung grunted.

“Do you feel my heat? Do you feel how hot I am?”

Taehyung imagined himself on top of Jimin, pushing into him, feeling the heat from inside his body, feeling the soft inside of his walls. Taehyung’s mind and body grew numb as his crotches sensitivity progressively built with each of his strokes.

“Yes...yes I do, Jimin.”

Jimin whimpered louder, his voice muffled by some unknown factor to Taehyung—probably pillows, as the push of his fingers rang louder across the speaker. Taehyung couldn't contain himself as his gut clenched and a wave of pleasure showered over him like a ripple. It took its time reaching his head, it falling back and the loudest moan he'd ever emitted escaped his lips. As the orgasm hit, his hands became drenched in his cum, his cock twitching in his hands several times before slowly calming down.

His own orgasm blocked out the one Jimin produced, a disappointment to Taehyung, but Jimin’s heavy panting was enough gratification. They stayed silent, both breathing heavily, unable to speak. It felt nice to feel some relief from his ongoing rut, but his chest still hankered for more. Much more. This wasn't enough.

Not by far.

Chapter Text

“Do you need me to come with you, sir?”

“No. I'm quite fine.”

Taehyung exited the car he rode in, standing outside a massive mansion. He had seen many, but none quite as grand as this one. Their whites painted walls were fresh and the outside plants tidied and pristine. A large chandelier hung outside the doorway, the arched ceiling echoing Taehyung’s footsteps as he approached the mahogany door.

It was a great house—one certainly belonging to someone such as Namjoon.

Once was not enough when he spoke on the phone with Jimin the night prior. They remained on the line with each other, moaning and whimpering over several sessions. Little else was said. Taehyung didn't want to dig the hole any deeper than he already had. He didn't want to think of the possibility that after he hung up, he may never be able to speak to Jimin again. He just wanted to hear his voice, his breathing, the words he said. Maybe Jimin felt the same, letting the call continue even through the tranquil silence.

“What happens after this?” Jimin asked once they couldn’t continue longer.

“...I don't know.” Taehyung responded honestly.

“I'm sorry…”

“For what?”

“…For being a Jeweless.”

“...”

Taehyung pondered Jimin's words until the morning. He didn't know what to say.

“It's not your fault.”

“It's how you were born.”

“There's nothing you could do.”

They were empty words Jimin had probably heard a million times. He wished he were better with them—better at expressing and knowing what was right to say. He could merely sit in silence, not resenting him, but rather resenting himself for being born into a position that made their lives how they were, but he had little power to change it.

After finally hanging up, Taehyung called one of his many contacts, requesting a meeting with Namjoon in private. He knew he would remember him and sure enough Namjoon got back to him immediately, accepting the offer. So here he was, standing outside the door of the famed Alpha.

Taehyung's bodyguard and driver stood outside the car, watching as Taehyung approached the entrance. He was prepared to ring the bell, but the door swung open, a familiar face greeting him.

“Welcome, sir Taehyung.” Seokjin greeted with a bow, “We've been expecting you. Please come in!”

Taehyung strode inside, glancing around like it was his first time in such an exquisite place. He knew many people would kill to be where he was now, standing inside Namjoon's estate worth more than many of their entire net worth—hell, the rug he stood on was probably worth more than his attire.

It was a lot more minimalistic than Taehyung expected. Simple paintings with small potted plants and statues, two staircases that led up to a higher level, and a domed ceiling accented by windows that let in the sunlight. Taehyung predicted gaudy flaunts of his money, but there was no such thing. Only the minimum to make a place what one would call home.

Seokjin shut the door behind them, stepping besides Taehyung. “I'm happy to see you again! When we received word of you wanting to visit, I was a bit surprised.”

“Why was that?” Taehyung asked.

“Well, I suppose most people are afraid to reach out and do so! Unless Namjoon directly asks himself, we don't receive many visitors—“ Seokjin twiddled his fingers, “and even less get accepted.”

Taehyung recalled Namjoon's picky nature. He really didn't like to mingle with many Jewels it seemed.

Seokjin smiled wide, gesturing towards the stairs. “Now if you want to follow me we can—“

“That's quite alright.”

Another voice echoed in the entryway, both of them looking up and into the balcony. Namjoon sauntered around the railings, running his fingers across them. He began walking down the stairs, his steps graceful and his suit casual, but still classy, emphasizing his dark eyes. Slowly he approached them, his gaze never leaving Taehyung.

“When I received a call so late, I did not expect it to be you, Taehyung. It must be important to desire a private meeting at my estate.”

“Yes. I suppose it is,” Taehyung, balled his fists, cutting to the chase, “I want to know about the piano player. Tell me about Yoongi.”

Namjoon stopped in his tracks. His eyes narrowed ever slightly, but he remained calm, keeping his eyes locked on Taehyung. There was evident shock in his expression, Seokjin’s eyes darting towards Taehyung with skepticism, but Namjoon coolly smiled.

“An interesting request. I would ask why, but your face tells me everything I need to know,” He continued his descent down the stairs, fixing a stray strand of hair, “Jin, bring our guest some hors d'oeuvres. Let no one else except yourself into my room and if anyone dare listens, remove them from the property at once. They will not be permitted back.”

Seokjin bowed again, unquestionably obeying Namjoon’s orders, “Understood, sir.”

As Seokjin left, Namjoon motioned for Taehyung to follow him down one of several halls. Many of the doors were open, the rooms wide and spacious, but also empty except for a few knick-knacks here and there. Wide windows showed the outside gardens and fountains, the bright light making the white walls even brighter. Taehyung was impressed by how spotless everything was—like nothing had ever been touched by human hands.

Namjoon led him into one of the larger, fuller rooms, the walls bordered by bookcases filled to the top with novels. There were some scattered on the wooden desk near the window and others stacked on the floor. It was well lit and cozy, a few chairs and a couch placed about the room, an unlit fireplace on the other side.

Namjoon closed the door, stepping around Taehyung as he approached his desk. He ran his fingers over one of the books, cracking open the hardcover and gazing at the first page.

“Do you read, Taehyung?” He asked.

“Not usually.” He answered genuinely. Taehyung may have spoken to Namjoon before, but he was still unused to his way of speech.

Namjoon chuckled, flipping to another page, “I suppose there is no need for nobles to read when we can get someone else to do it for us—“ closing the book he eyed Taehyung once again, “Much like books, I'm particularly good at reading people. Ever since our first encounter, you've been fighting with yourself. Why is that?”

Taehyung swallowed the lump in his throat. Suddenly he felt very uneasy as Namjoon stared at him, waiting for his answer.

“I like to think I'm good at reading people as well,” Taehyung said, “That's why I came to you. We share the same battle—“ at this Namjoon tilted his head slightly, “I saw how you look at him and I saw you leave during their new performance. What is Yoongi to you?”

Namjoon fell silent, his face glum. He contemplated his answer as the door opened, Seokjin carrying a tray of tea and other small dishes of food. He didn't say anything and acknowledged neither, gently setting the silver plates on the table. He bowed after completing his task, promptly leaving the room to them once again.

Taking his eyes off Taehyung, Namjoon circled his desk, sitting in one of his chairs by the fireplace. He rested his head on his hand, staring out the window and into the field. Taehyung took this opportunity to sit in the chair opposite of him, quietly settling himself.

“I suppose there is no mincing words now is there?” Namjoon whispered. He reached forward, preparing himself a cup of tea, “Yoongi is...he's special to me. More than anyone else.”

“Are you lovers?” Taehyung asked.

Namjoon smiled. It was happy yet wretched smile. “I wish we could be…”

Taehyung's heart dropped. “What do you mean?”

Namjoon slipped a small amount of honey into the cup, gently stirring it into the steaming beverage. “I still have my status and Yoongi is still allowed his freedom. If we were to become a mated pair, surely the world would know immediately, would it not?”

Taehyung tore his gaze away, staring at the spread out treats on the table. Namjoon was a much higher status than him. The amount of eyes constantly judging him were innumerable compared to Taehyung. Where he could get away with certain things—like beating up a few Alphas, Namjoon would have been under much scrutiny by now. If he had relations with a Jeweless, Taehyung could only imagine the uproar.

Namjoon picked at the helix on his right ear. “Your sudden interest in my affairs has me curious. Do you perhaps hold affection for the trapeze artist?”

Taehyung stiffly nodded, surprised he remembered that detail. “...More than that.”

Namjoon chuckled. His laugh was more to himself than at Taehyung. It was a laugh that showed his admiration for Taehyung being so forward. “I surmised as much. What is his name? I only know of Hoseok aside from Yoongi.”

Hoseok seemed to make himself known. “His name is Jimin.” Taehyung said.

“Jimin…” Namjoon leaned back in his seat, “I'll commit it to memory.”

While Taehyung was happy to provide Jimin’s name to someone—especially since he agonized over finding out, he was curious about something Namjoon didn’t tell him or make evident.

“Can I ask how you and Yoongi met?”

Namjoon took a sip of his tea. “It was a long while ago,” He sighed, “It was at one of the many engagements I'm forced to go to as a noble. I don't care for such things, but for once I was thankful for it—“ He thought back further on the memory, “There was entertainment, a bunch of Jeweless Omegas prancing about, hoping to catch the attention of a Jewel, but as I wandered the halls, I heard a sound like saccharine from one of the rooms. It called to me and that's when I saw him, playing the piano under the casings of moonlight. He didn't heed me as I sat down and listened. Many passed by, sipping their luxuries and not noting the beauty he created. I listened the entire night feeling like for once...I didn't belong to the hierarchy.”

Namjoon set his cup in his lap, still staring intently at the contents. There were more thoughts going through his head that he wasn't expressing, a calm silence waving through the room. “Once almost everyone had left, I talked to him. He didn't see me as a Jewel. Actually he was quite shy, but not because of who I was. He was embarrassed that I actually listened to him. I asked if maybe he could play for me again some time...that’s when he said he worked at the theater.”

Taehyung watched as Namjoon placed the tea to the side, another sad smile on his lips. He didn't need to explain anymore. The rest was history.

“I see…” Taehyung whispered.

“I've never told that to anyone except Seokjin,” Namjoon murmured, “He's my most trusted retainer. It feels good to have someone else I can speak to.”

Taehyung was suspicious about Namjoon's faith in him. “How do you know I won't give you away? Why are you so casual about this? I did just show up on your doorstep.”

“Like I said,” Namjoon professed with a small smile “I’m rather good at reading people. You're a good soul, Taehyung.”

Taehyung grinned. “Thank you—“ he leaned forward, his heart beating nervously. “Can I ask you…one more personal thing?”

“I believe this entire conversation is personal.” Namjoon laughed, “But continue. I will try my best to answer.”

Taehyung bit his lip. “How do you deal with the ruts? I assume you two have never mated.”

Namjoon's face showed the most expression Taehyung had ever seen. Suddenly his perfect face wasn’t so faultless. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, leaning back into his chair. “No. We have not. Although, close…”

“Close?” Taehyung asked, but Namjoon shook his head.

“It's not something to discuss.” He said firmly, ending the topic there. He looked upset, perhaps heart broken. “From your smell, it's safe to assume you're in one right now, are you not?”

When Taehyung nodded, Namjoon looked away from him. It scared him how tense the air suddenly became. He began to not want the answer as Namjoon held his tongue and bit his cheek. It looked like it pained him. He crossed his legs and covered the bottom of his face, trying not to let his emotions get the better of him.

“Regrettably, I have no easy answer.” Namjoon whispered, “It is illegal for us to mate with Jeweless and yet we all have urges to abide to. There's no changing that, as much as you try to resist—as much as I have tried...we all have to give in at some point.”

Taehyung blinked, tilting his head trying to process what he was saying. “Wait, so do you…”

Namjoon didn't dare look at Taehyung. “When I can't control it any longer, I have other Jeweled Omegas. Of course they are unaware of my true feelings, but pleased all the same...they're happy…At least one of us is.”

Taehyung was stunned silent, unable to imagine doing something like that even though he came close just the other night. He could never imagine any other Omega other than Jimin. He couldn't imagine being forced into a situation that made him so calamitous and disgruntled, but relieved him all the same of the welling pain. It would hurt not only himself, but Jimin as well. Was there any other way without consequences?

Namjoon picked at his lips, his eyes slightly glossy after telling Taehyung his secret. If not for his trained nobility, Taehyung was sure he would have cried.

“When I asked you which do you want, power or freedom, is your answer still the same?” Namjoon asked.

Taehyung leaned over, taking one of the sweets from the tray. He twirled it between his fingers, remembering how Jimin’s face burst with delight from the mere sight of something as simple as chocolate. Power took and power stole. Power wasn’t necessarily evil, but it wasn’t something capable of emotion. Power is an imbalance in the system. It doesn’t create smiles—not real ones—and like the platter of sweets, when you take one, what pieces will collapse in the spread because of what was taken?

“...I think,” Taehyung whispered, “I'm going to take my freedom. Regardless of what others tell me.”

Namjoon kept a straight face, the corners of his lips twitching into a smile. He reached for his tea, taking another sip.

“At least one of us is…” He whispered back.

Taehyung gazed at Namjoon, a single tear falling from the other’s eye. He didn’t say anything about it.

♡♡♡♡♡

Jimin sat backstage, fiddling with a string on his outfit. He hardly heard the lively people behind him prepping for tonight's show. Taking heat suppressants made him drowsy, but he felt like his mind was entirely elsewhere and his body a shell. He wished he could have withdrawn from tonight's performance, but he was a main act. Unless he was mortally wounded he couldn't miss a scheduled day.

He thought back to the phone call last night—the memory alone making his body sensitive. Jimin wouldn't say he regret it, not at all, but he wished he would have thought about his decision longer. He let himself give in to invitation instead of allocating his urges like normal. Taehyung was different. Jimin had been approached by many Alphas, but none quite as appealing as him.

He wasn't sure if it was his scent, his appearance, or even his dumb boxy smile Jimin loved, but loathed to admit. He found himself losing control of the one thing he had in life—himself. It was easy to deny anyone else what they wanted from him, but it became progressively harder the longer he knew Taehyung. He never wanted to call things off with him, he wished that kiss could have lasted longer, led to other things, but Jimin knew nothing good would come of it.

Taehyung was vulnerable and loved him, Jimin loved him too, but he had to be the hard stop to all of it. One of them had to be even if Jimin had crossed that line—he just didn’t know if he was as resilient as he thought.

“What are you thinking about, Chim? You've been quiet.”

Jimin didn't look up as Hoseok sat down besides him, leaning on the vanity. He waited for Jimin to respond, but Jimin didn't know what to say.

“It's nothing.” He mumbled. “I'm just tired from heat suppressants.”

“Ohhhh that time?” Hoseok sighed, “You have my sympathy, but—“ he tapped his fingers on the surface, “I've known you long enough to know when something isn't quite right. This is gloomy even for you.”

Jimin stopped messing with the string of his shirt to meet Hoseok’s stare. He was primed, makeup finished and immaculate as always, but he appeared more serious than normal.

“...Is it that Alpha?” Hoseok whispered.

Jimin bit his lip. Hoseok wasn’t an idiot, despite what others on the team may have thought. Jimin never spoke of his relationship with Taehyung. Hoseok already knew Taehyung's status and kept the secret. He may have yakked a lot, but he would never break someone's trust. What was one more secret among friends?

Jimin nodded. “Yeah…”

Hoseok's face didn't change. “I guessed as much. You've been way too happy lately then suddenly you're like this and in heat. There's only two ways this could have gone.”

“...I intended to call it off, but...” Jimin sighed, staring at his feet again, “I called him last night. He didn't come over, but...we uh…we had phone sex.”

A small twinkle shined in Hoseok's eye. “Oh that's fun! I've never done that before! Honestly it sounds kinda hard…”

Jimin faintly smiled at Hoseok's change in tone. He may have been a goofball, but he knew what his actions were doing. He knew how to make a room brighter. Jimin appreciated him being so accepting and open of the situation.

Hoseok hummed to himself, returning to his sterner posture. “...So, you don't want to give him up?”

Give him up. Just hearing the words made Jimin's heart ache. It hurt when he turned Taehyung away, told him they shouldn't talk to each other again, and it hurt to play with his emotions because Jimin couldn't figure out his own. He knew how strongly he felt, he knew how much he was driven to be besides him, but no one else could know. It made him confused.

Jimin somberly shook his head,. “No. No I don’t. He's the first Alpha to see me as who I am…”

Hoseok sucked in a deep breath, unsure of what to say to his friend. They both knew it could never work. It was impossible. Getting rid of the person was easy, but disposing of the feelings was even trickier.

They sat in silence, the other Omegas laughing and prancing around happily. Jimin wished he could do the same. If he never met Taehyung would he be among his colleagues? Or would he be empty like he always was, wondering why he felt like nothing, but an object. Taehyung didn't make him feel that way. He made him feel like he was alive, not just some stringed marionette.

Hoseok's eyes followed someone walking by, his usual smile returning. “Oh hey, Yoongi!”

Yoongi.

As usual Yoongi didn't say anything, merely nodded as he sipped on some coffee. He always woke up right before work, his eyes heavy and strides sluggish. Jimin sat up straighter, watching Yoongi disappear down the stairs below the stage. He always practiced a few songs before the performance in his private room, rarely mingling with the other Omegas backstage.

Jimin remembered how Taehyung had mentioned Namjoon referring to him and also the scant few times Yoongi had asked about Namjoon as well. There was a certain time Yoongi was scarce, even more so than now, as he worked hard on songs—songs he said were for someone important to him, but couldn't say who.

Pieces fit together in Jimin's mind, him hastily getting up. He almost tripped over himself, Hoseok reaching a hand out to stop him, but Jimin quickly bolted away. “I'm sorry, Hoseok! I'll be right back.” He called back.

He didn't wait for Hoseok's response as he ran through the crowd and after Yoongi. Why didn’t he think of him sooner? He descended some stairs, taking a sharp right before standing outside the locked door. Quickly pounding on it a few times, he waited for an answer. When none came, he rolled his eyes. Just like Yoongi.

“It's Jimin! Open up.” He declared.

There was an awkward moment of standing, staring, then a swing of the door. Yoongi judged him with squinty and tired eyes. He didn't appear in the mood to talk to people, but when did he ever? Jimin and him had their small talks, although nothing more than an acquaintance was established between them. Jimin assumed he was the most tolerable one out of the crew, considering Yoongi actually opened the door.

“What are you hollering about?” He asked.

Jimin huffed, pushing his way passed him and into the room. It wasn’t terribly big, but had a piano in the center and recording equipment off to the side. Wires were spread all across the floor making it hard to walk. Jimin had never stepped foot inside before—Yoongi never invited anyone in, but he didn't spare the time to sight see.

“I need to talk to you.” Jimin said, careful to not stumble over the mess

Yoongi clicked his tongue, surprised at Jimin's intrusion as he closed the door. “Well alright, what about? This is unusual for you.”

Jimin turned his lips into a line. He didn’t have time to beat around the bush. “Have you...have you ever been with a Jewel?”

Yoongi blinked, his eyebrows furrowing. “Why are you asking that? You know we cant—“

“I know Namjoon knows your name.” Jimin blurted, “Why would a Jewel care to know your name, especially him, if you didn't mean something?”

Yoongi blinked again. His shoulders tensed and he chewed his lip. He looked like he had nothing and yet everything to say, but how did he say it?

“...How do you know that?” He whispered.

Jimin sucked in a breath, his eyes getting slightly watery. “Because...I love a Jewel too.”

Yoongi stared at the ground, mulling something over in his head. He shook it, waving a hand in the air with a mocking smile.

“Nothing good comes from loving them,” He said, “They take everything, even your heart, and leave you with nothing. It's best to forget about…whoever it is, if you haven't already.”

Jimin held himself steady. Yoongi’s words hit him like an arrow, but he refused to let it knock him down. There was more to this story than Yoongi wanted to tell.

“But you haven't forgotten about Namjoon.” Jimin stated, “You still write songs to him. I hear you practicing. Every night.”

Yoongi's mouth slightly parted. He didn’t know how to react to being called out so bluntly. A rage boiled over inside of him, his teeth clenching. “Leave.” He mumbled.

“I'm not leaving. I need to know how—“

“Leave. I'm not going to repeat myself again.” Yoongi whispered.

Normally, Jimin would have obliged. He was stubborn, not willing to fight hopeless battles with other stubborn people, but he also wanted to know answers. He knew what Yoongi felt better than anyone else, but Yoongi also knew what Jimin was undergoing as well. The difference was how they handled it—how they faced their fears. Yoongi seemed to run from his, and Jimin did too, but he didn’t want to anymore.

“Yoongi,” Jimin sighed, “Talk to me. I understand—“

“No. No you don't!” Yoongi cut him off. His eyes were teary and his jaw tight. "You don't understand anything I'm going through!"

"Talk to me so I do." Jimin implored.

Yoongi hesitated, his anger sizzling down. He closed his eyes, exhaling deeply. Turning away, he walked around the studio and towards one of the tables littered with score sheets. Picking at one of the corners of them, he hunched over it.

"...I enjoy making music…” He began, his voice soft yet trembling, “It's one of the most influential forms of art. I can control how people feel with the sound I create. Will they be sad? Will they be happy? Maybe I will create a memory they’ve long forgotten—“ Yoongi flipped through the various sheets, staring at each one, “I can control others emotions and yet I can't control my own. I can't control who I care for...even if it's a Jewel. I've been trying to forget, but...all my songs…"

Jimin stepped towards Yoongi. He observed his fists ball against the sheets and a droplet fall onto them. Jimin wavered for a moment, unsure if he should approach closer, until Yoongi released a smothered sob.

"I try making different sounds...but somehow they all describe my love for him…"

Yoongi's tears sprinkled the table, more cries leaving his throat. Jimin felt his own emotions bubble over, tears of his own threatening to stain his cheeks. This could be him—crying over Taehyung and unable to escape the feelings he developed for him. Constantly running, but getting nowhere. He took this moment to comfort Yoongi, putting a hand on his back. Suddenly he felt so small when before he seemed so intimidating.

"Yoongi…" Jimin whispered.

Yoongi wiped his tears away with a sniff. "...It’s for the better...Jewels and Jeweless aren't meant to be. That's why we're separated. It's just how things work. I don’t know your situation, but…I don’t…see how it can work. Not with how things are.”

It's just how things work.

It's how Alphas are.

What would a Jewel want with a Jeweless?

Jimin stared at the table as Yoongi leveled himself. There was a system they abided to, stereotypes they accepted, and everyone played their part—including Jimin. He thought perhaps he was rebelling against it, leaving himself closed off and unapproachable, but he was wrong. He was chained down more than he wanted to admit. The question was, did he allow himself to continue to be?

"...I'm not going to ask what happened between Namjoon and you," Jimin said, "I understand your situation and hesitations, but—“ Yoongi looked up at Jimin, his eyes slightly red and brows raised. Jimin swallowed hard, "I'm not going to keep being held on a leash. I'm not just some object. I’m not…just some Omega."

Jimin patted Yoongi on the back a few times before standing straight and adjusting his shirt. There was a knock on the door followed by Hoseok's voice, asking where they were. Neither answered, Yoongi wiping his eyes again and clearing his nose. He met Jimin’s eyes with sternness.

“What…do you plan to do?” Yoongi questioned, “You can’t exactly take down the government. This isn’t some action movie.”

Jimin chuckled, shaking his head. “Of course not…and I don’t know, but I know…I know I’d rather be locked in a cell having done something for me, rather than obeying the way my life was written out for me—“ He gave Yoongi a soft smile, briskly turning away, "I'll cover for you until you recover. We still have a show to put on tonight."

Yoongi was wide eyed as Jimin walked away. He sniffled again, collecting himself as Jimin reached for the knob of the door. Before he could turn it, Yoongi stopped him.

"Hey." He said.

Jimin turned around, puzzled.

"I may have been harsh,” Yoongi said, “But…I really hope it works out. I'm sorry."

Jimin smiled again, wide and toothy. "Thank you, Yoongi. You as well."

And with that, Jimin walked out the door.

♡♡♡♡♡

Taehyung waited. He waited as patiently as he could backstage in Jimin’s personal room, tapping his foot. He had been here often enough he knew the layout like the back of his hand, but that still didn’t make him any less nervous. He was anxious and fretting as he pulled on his ear lobe, feeling along the smooth studs. He knew this wasn't a good idea. He knew what would happen if he was caught. He knew the consequences of his actions and possible downfalls, but still he came as lust, love, and instinct drove him over the top. Jimin drove him crazy, mad, and there was only one-way to settle it.

“Do you plan to mate with him?” Namjoon had asked.

Taehyung thought on the question for a long while, but his answer was absolute. Even though he had answered it, he thought about it in the car as he gazed up at all the high-class buildings, five-star restaurants, and extravagant fashion and jewelry in the store windows they passed back to his home. His driver played some old classical music, something his parents liked. Taehyung realized he really didn’t care for it—any of it.

He ambled around his empty loft, touching the small statues he had and admiring the paintings on the walls. Sitting down at his desk, he flipped through his sketchbook, reminiscing the drawings he created and the feelings behind them. At the end of it all, he was left with one question—what was happiness?

Checking the time, he prepped and groomed himself, but as he did he felt eager. He popped open his medicine cabinet, holding the orange bottle of pills in his hands labeled “Rut Suppressants.” He considered taking more, further making himself unstable, but he sighed, putting them back on the shelf. He didn’t need them.

And then he went to the theater.

He could practically smell Jimin’s scent lingering in the waiting room, Taehyung’s desire burning against his chest. How much longer did he have to wait? No, maybe he should go. He shouldn't have come. This was improper. He didn't even tell Jimin he was coming. He had to leave, but before his frenzied mind could allow him the choice, the door opened and they froze, their hand glued to the handle.

Taehyung immediately locked eyes with him, his fair face and glossy lips instantly making him dizzy, but he had to control himself.

“...What are you doing here?” Jimin whispered so low Taehyung barely heard it over the intoxication of Jimin's heat radiating off his body. It was certainly subdued, but not enough. Taehyung’s eyes glazed over him. From his soft, boyish, face down to his lean and toned legs. His heart began beating way too fast.

“Undoubtedly.” Taehyung told Namjoon.

“Jimin…” Taehyung snapped his mind back to the here and now, “I—“

It took all of his effort to put one word in front of the other, his mind in shambles. Before he could finish his sentence, Jimin shut the door behind him, running towards Taehyung and leapt into him. He wrapped his arms around Taehyung's neck, pressing his lips to his. Taehyung was shocked, but it quickly disappeared as he slipped his tongue into Jimin's mouth, feeling against its soft sides. He pushed the smaller into the door, lifting and supporting him against it. Jimin stared down at Taehyung through his tousled pink hair, leaning in for another deep kiss.

The smell of Jimin's heat quickly grew as his body aroused with hunger—a hunger that could only be fulfilled from an Alpha like himself. They moaned into each other, not requiring words to convey how much they both yearned for this moment. Their bodies were sweltering and Taehyung didn't want to delay in bending Jimin over and fucking him till he ached.

“Tae…Tae…” Jimin moaned between pants, unable to get what he wanted to say out, “Tae I've been waiting…I’m sorry…I’m—“

“I know,” Taehyung growled, “I'm here now. It’s ok.”

There was no conversation to be had. They both had come to the same ultimate conclusion. They were willing to risk everything for each other.

“Mmm…” Jimin licked along Taehyung's lips, savoring every bit of skin he tasted, “I'm so horny, Tae...It hasn't stopped. I need you. I need you to mark me. Mark me as yours—“ Jimin used one of his hands to press Taehyung's fingers firmer against his pants. He could already feel Jimin dripping through his clothes, “Please...don't make me wait any longer.”

And Taehyung didn't plan to. He bit Jimin's bottom lip, roughly nibbling on it as Jimin’s hot breaths hit his face. It smelled the same as his scent—like a fluttering happiness and sunlight. It was sweet and lusciously tormenting as it stirred Taehyung's ravaging insides. The deeper he inhaled, the worse they raged as his cock already pressed firmly against his pants, waiting, and begging to be used.

Jimin dug his nails deep into Taehyung's shoulders, dragging his fingers along his strong biceps. His heat was so strong, so needy, so tender that every little touch Taehyung gave against his skin made him moan, every little kiss made him twitch, and every little sound Taehyung emitted made him that much wetter.

Jimin leaned his head back against the door as Taehyung eagerly pressed his lips to his nape, greedily sucking on his skin then biting it till it bruised. Jimin gasped with a shudder, his body twitching under Taehyung's aggressive nips. He wanted to bite deeper, pierce the skin with his canines. The urge was sensational, his mind on auto pilot as he purely reacted instead of thought.

Taehyung didn’t know what was overcoming him, he only knew that he had to—he had to do it. Jimin bent his head forward, also grazing his teeth against Taehyung’s neck. He shuddered. An instant high surged through him as Jimin’s lips sucked on the delicate parts of his skin. Jimin was the first to clamp his teeth into Taehyung’s neck, piercing it. Taehyung’s breath hitched as a bizarre wave of emotions and impressions flowed through him. He breathed heavily, his teeth seconds away from piercing Jimin as well.

He had heard about bonding. It was as rare as finding a four-leafed clover, but when made it was an unbreakable pact that acknowledged someone as theirs and theirs alone. One couldn’t force it; even some marriages didn’t have them. It was something purely left to instinct and the repressions of the mind, only emerging when the souls felt a connection so strong they wanted to connect on a deeper level than physical—soul mates, so to speak. Most people had given up on the idea of it, but it existed. It was true.

Taehyung sucked in a breath as he repaid the bite, a soft whimper humming through Jimin’s clamped lips. The places they bit burned, but not with pain, it was an unexplainable pleasure, their minds wiping blank. It was a feeling surpassing an orgasm, Taehyung’s knees exceedingly weak and Jimin’s fingers buried intensely into Taehyung’s back. They deeply inhaled, holding their breaths as the sensation rushed through them, stealing their breaths away. It wasn’t until the feeling was over that they breathed, releasing their hold.

Taehyung stared into Jimin’s eyes, both of them breathless as if they had fucked several times over. He could feel the wound burnishing, a small mark tattooed in its place. It matched Jimin’s, both of them healing in a similar way. They were bonded—mates for life. Was this why Taehyung had felt so drawn to Jimin in the first place? Was this why any other Omega made him feel so empty? He just needed to find Jimin…

“Tae…” Jimin breathed, blinking like the didn’t know what he did, “What just happened…?”

“We’re bonded,” Taehyung grinned, “We’re meant to be.”

Jimin’s eyes went wide. “I thought…that didn’t exist. I thought that died out.”

“I didn’t either…”

“We’re bonded…” Jimin repeated, “We’re bonded…”

He cut himself off, reaching forward and taking Taehyung’s lips back against his own. This time the kiss felt different. It felt whole, connected, like every touch was suddenly all the more sensitive. Jimin’s back arched and his hips threw themselves forward, gently rocking into Taehyung's body. They grinded against him, pleading and shivering for him. Taehyung smirked against Jimin's lips, the boy so breathless and aroused. His moans were perky and high, like at any moment he'd succumb to an early orgasm simply from his touch. It made Taehyung's heart race as his eyes flashed with greed.

“Humping me before anything has even started, huh?” Taehyung slowly licked his lips.

“Mmmm…I can't help it….Tae….”

Jimin's begging pleased him. Taehyung supported him off the wall; Jimin whining as he leaned forward and wrapped his legs around Taehyung's body. Burying his face into Taehyung’s neck, Jimin inhaled deeply, his arms wrapped around the Alphas neck and his hands caressing his hair. He shook as his hips pressed firmer against Taehyung's own, feeling the outline of his cock. He grinded harder against it, his breaths turning into panting.

Taehyung could feel how rigid Jimin's heart was beating against his chest. It matched his own, both of them deprived of something they required. Spinning around, Taehyung brought them over to an empty vanity Jimin did his makeup on. He set him down, quickly undoing his buttons. Jimin shamelessly followed suit, reaching for Taehyung's belt buckle. They both undressed each other, practically ripping them off, until both of them stood naked in the room.

Normally, Taehyung would take this moment to admire the small details of his courtships body, but the hardness of his cock was excruciating and hot, needing to doused in Jimin's slick to cool it off. With Jimin’s clothes off, the smell he emitted was ten times worse and Taehyung thought that just for a moment he blacked out as a beast consumed him. He could see the liquid dripping down his toned legs, his entrance more than ready to take everything Taehyung had to offer.

“Turn over.” He growled.

Jimin rolled, but it wasn't fast enough as Taehyung grabbed a fistful of Jimin’s hair and pushed him forward onto the surface. Jimin shuddered, another moan escaping his lips as even more liquid glopped down his legs from stimulation.

“Oh, you like it rough?” Taehyung asked, yanking Jimin’s head back.

Jimin gasped, his mouth hanging open in front of the mirror, his lips becoming puffy and lustrous. He breathed like he was choking. Choking on Taehyung's scent, choking from his intense heat, choking on the spit lathering his mouth. It was such a pretty and desperate look—a look Taehyung wanted Jimin to memorize as he pressed his cock inside of him for the first time.

Jimin wiggled, pushing his hips back into Taehyung, “Tae...I can't take it...I want you so bad...I want you. Please.”

Taehyung could feel the warmth billowing off Jimin’s body. If his body was this warm, he could only imagine how burning up he was on the inside. Keeping one hand on Jimin's head, Taehyung used the other to hold the shaft of his cock, leaning himself in rather forcefully. When the tip entered, Jimin gasped unable to catch his breath as Taehyung pushed in till he was halfway. He threw his head back, biting his lip and closing his eyes.

“Fuck…” Taehyung exhaled.

His cock throbbed, Jimin's lubrication doing little to calm it. His ass was scorching, blisteringly, hot, but soft and pleasing as his walls clamped against Taehyung. He was tight. Much tighter than Taehyung had imaged and that tension increased as Jimin clenched against Taehyung's movements.

Sucking in a breath, Taehyung sluggishly pulled his hips back followed by gradually pressing himself back in. He repeated this movement of slow thrusts, Jimin responding more than positively—In fact he was the first to ask for more.

“Tae...faster...fuck me faster. I don't want to wait…”

Taehyung laughed with a sneer, “Greedy little thing aren't you?”

Releasing Jimin's head, Taehyung latched onto Jimin's hips. With a steady increase he did as Jimin requested. He pushed himself into Jimin as far as he could go, spreading him, feeling him, caressing him. The noises made were sloppy, wet, and loud as each time Taehyung thrust his cock in it came out a little wetter and whiter. He pumped hard and fast till his hips slapped against Jimin, clapping against him and leaving a red imprint.

Jimin threw his head into the table to attempt and silence his moans, but it was no use. He was noisy—super noisy, his moans short, but heavy.

Soon, Taehyung fell into bliss as he slid in and out of Jimin with ease. His breathing was ragged, panting. He leaned forward, hovering over him, pressing his face into Jimin's neck. He sucked on the healing mark, his teeth grazing it and Jimin shuddered under him. His moans hitched whenever Taehyung lapped his tongue across the wound, it behaving like a second pleasure spot.

Taehyung huffed, certainly reaching his limit too fast, but he had been fighting himself for so long. His body was ravenously consuming the pleasure. It over stimulated him.

"You feel so good…" Taehyung slurred into Jimin's skin, "You're so wet…"

Jimin whimpered in response, his body practically convulsing under him. "Tae…Tae…" was all he could force out.

Between Jimin's moans, his inescapable scent, and the slick dripping down Taehyung's legs, Taehyung could barely control himself as he thrust harder and harder into Jimin. He could feel himself enlarging at the end of his shaft, moaning when he grew more and more into a knot.

He found himself lodged inside of Jimin, Jimin's body arched and his head thrown back at the sudden insertion. He jerked a little, but Taehyung held him in place with a growl. He was lost to his animalistic side, anything else disappearing from his mind, and all he could focus on was relieving himself.

"This is what you wanted, right? You take it so well…" Taehyung sighed.

"Mmmm…" Jimin moaned, “Yes…Yes, I love it.”

Taehyung reached forward, wrapping his fingers around Jimin's neck. He forced it back, Jimin's neck strained to look forward and into the mirror again. He watched with a slack jaw as Taehyung pounded into him, Taehyung also watching through his bangs, them hooding his eyes and vaguely concealing them.

It was such a pretty sight. Jimin wasn't something to be owned, Taehyung knew that, but seeing himself control Jimin's body—making him whimper, drool, and plea was something Taehyung enjoyed witnessing. He enjoyed seeing his stomach tighten on the verge of an orgasm, his throat bob against his fingers, and his hands dig into the table. It was beautiful.

"Tae…" Jimin whimpered again, his voice slightly strained, "Tae...I feel so good…I…"

Taehyung brushed his lips against the mark again, earning another moan and stream of liquid down his shaft. Taehyung could feel Jimin's slick seep out of him faster now. He was slowly cumming all over Taehyung's skin. Every time Jimin’s stomach clenched, more oozed out, the feeling hot, tingling, and making Taehyung lose his bearings on himself.

He wrapped his fingers around Jimin's throat tighter, Jimin gasping under his grip.

"That's it...cum all over me…" Taehyung whispered, "Cover me in your scent."

Jimin whimpered like he didn't have a voice. Taehyung was close. He was so close as he plunged his knot into Jimin as far as it could go, spreading him even more. Their deep huffs turned into sharp intakes as Taehyung quickened his pace even more. With each breath their moans grew higher and higher.

There was something strange that happened that Taehyung couldn't explain. Like when the bond was made, his mind fazed to white, and his surroundings escaped him. He felt a connection to Jimin that could never be replaced. His heart felt so full, so complete, and so happy it may burst. It was a feeling he'd ever be able to describe. It was a high he had never experienced.

With a final thrust, Taehyung felt himself cum, his mouth hanging open as his hair stuck to his skin. It felt so pleasurable; his cock twitching and cumming a little longer than usual. He released Jimin's throat, his head instantly falling to the table as he breathed in deep, shallow gasps. Their bodies eased, Jimin relaxing against the vanity and Taehyung holding himself up with his arms. They were both sweating and slightly glossed under the light.

Jimin swallowed hard, catching his breath, “That was…”

“Incredible…” Taehyung finished.

“…We’re bonded…” Jimin said again.

Taehyung felt across the spot where Jimin had bit him, the wound already scabbed over. It was hypersensitive and suddenly he recalled why they learned never to touch a bond mark if seen. He almost didn’t believe it. It had happened so fast, so impulsively, it felt fake, but as he stared into the mirror, examining the small brown mark against his honey colored skin, he saw it—and when he looked at Jimin he felt it. He was the one.

It took some time for Taehyung’s knot to die down before he could pull out, thick and stringy slick stuck to his skin. Jimin collected himself, rolling over with a smile on his face. He seemed content, happy, the most relaxed Taehyung had ever seen him.

He wanted it to stay that way.

Taehyung never thought he’d find a suitable mate, especially not a bond, but as he stared into Jimin’s eyes, he knew it wasn’t fake.

Their feelings were real. His happiness, this is what it was.

♡♡♡♡♡

Similar to their situation on the phone, they couldn't rid themselves of their thirst for each other in person either. Jimin had called Hoseok, asking him to cover for his absence backstage to which Hoseok was blind, perhaps ignorant, when he immediately responded—“Anything for you, Chim!” It was such undisputed faithfulness that Taehyung was surprised. He didn't know how good of a secret keeper Hoseok was, but he hoped well enough until they could make their way out.

In that time of seclusion, Taehyung and Jimin kissed each other frequently, breaking free only to breathe. Jimin gripped onto him, his face tactless and lips hungry. Once enough time had passed, Jimin well worked up once more, he begged Taehyung to fuck him again, harder, faster. He didn't have enough—and neither did Taehyung.

They managed to wait until the theater was closed, slinking into the darkness and out into the night. Taehyung avoided his car, his skin covered in Jimin's scent. He called his driver, telling him to leave, and that he would ride with an acquaintance back to his loft. Jimin said it wasn't a long walk to his apartment. He lived alone and it was small, but they'd be free to do as they pleased and for as long as they wanted.

Taehyung had never been to a Jeweless’ home. Much like the restaurant he didn't know what to expect. The outside of the property was careless. There were no valets, no elevators or domestics waiting to greet you, merely flickering lights and shambled staircases that creaked when you stepped on them. They climbed the stairs, Taehyung grabbing Jimin's hand before he could get his keys out. He pressed him into the door, kissing him on the lips as his heart beat faster and stopped all over again.

He couldn't believe he was doing this. Never in his life did he think he would hold such affections for a Jeweless. Never did he think he would be in contact with one outside of entertainment, but there was no difference. There was no difference in their mortality due to their social status. He was upset it took him this long to figure it out.

“Tae…” Jimin whispered, softly pulling on Taehyung's collar, “Thank you…”

“For what?” Taehyung asked.

Jimin couldn't help but laugh. “For coming to the show the first time that you did—and all the times after.”

Taehyung frowned, deeply kissing Jimin again, “Oh, joking are you?”

“No, I mean it…I'm...i'm glad I met you. I'm glad you were persistent. I'm also glad Hoseok sucks at his job and let you backstage.”

This time Taehyung laughed, thinking back at just how love struck he was—in denial, but love struck. It was shameless…and he wouldn't change a thing.

Jimin nuzzled against Taehyung’s neck, running his bottom lip along the new mark on his skin. Taehyung moaned, Jimin reaching behind his back and twisting the knob of his door. They tripped into his apartment, laughing as they nearly fell onto the floor. Taehyung didn't take too much time to examine Jimin's living space, merely let Jimin lead him to his bed as they stripped each other naked. They felt across each other’s bodies, inhaled each other’s scent, and kissed every crease of their form. They mated over and over and over again. With how thin the walls were, Taehyung was positive his neighbors heard every creak and shift of their actions, but neither cared. Neither cared as they were left breathless and glossy eyed in each other’s presence. They were a mated pair—a bonded mated pair. Nothing was more powerful than that.

It wasn't until dawn broke, the sun blithely peeking through the blinds, that either felt tired. They laid under the sheets, Taehyung gently stroking Jimin's hair with a smile. He refused to look at Taehyung's face, his cheeks pink and lips a slight pout, but that only made Taehyung laugh. Even now with both of them marked, Jimin remained ever reticent.

“Why do you look like that?” Taehyung asked, his voice groggy and sleepy.

Jimin nibbled his lip. “I just...I don't know—“ He finally glanced up at Taehyung. “This seems too good to be true…”

Taehyung slowed his strokes as Jimin reached forward, cupping Taehyung's cheek. He held it for some time, before his fingers traced his skin and up to his ears, feeling the jewelry between his fingers. He had never bothered to touch them before, but now he was staring at them with intensity.

“Did these hurt when you got them?” He asked.

“I don't remember to be honest.” Taehyung said, “We get them months after we're born when the skin is thick enough to pierce.”

Jimin rubbed his thumb over the smooth gems. “They’re lively and green. What are they?”

“They’re Chrysoprase,” Taehyung smiled, “Supposed to mean joy and happiness or something…or so my parents told me.”

Jimin rolled his eyes. “Of course, an unknown gem, but…I suppose it fits you…”

“Oh?” Taehyung wiggled his eyebrows, “Why is that?”

Jimin’s face burned red. “B—because…um…well…you’re not…like any other Alpha…you’re like a hidden….gem…” his voice went silent towards the end. Taehyung loved when it did that.

“I’m like what?” Taehyung teased, “I didn’t quite hear you.”

“Stop it!” Jimin scolded. He continued to stare at the earrings in Taehyung’s ears. “Can you take them out?”

“I'd have to have surgery. They’re implanted in the lobe.”

“So what happens when…” Jimin fell silent again, but this time Taehyung didn't like it. He knew where his mind was going.

Taehyung used his hand to grasp Jimin's, lacing their fingers together. “Don't worry about that…” he whispered.

Jimin gripped onto Taehyung's hand tighter. “How can I not?”

Taehyung knew it was a possibility now. He knew that doing something as stupid as marking each other would inevitably lead to its consequences. He didn't want to think about it. Not when the moment shared between them right now was so perfect.

Jimin's eyes became shiny, tears brimming in the corners. Taehyung hushed him, using his thumb to wipe under his eye. “Have I told you you're beautiful?” He asked.

Jimin laughed, covering his mouth. “Stop…but...yeah I think you have. A few times tonight at the least.”

Taehyung smiled, bright, wide, and boxy as Jimin wiggled closer, burying his body into Taehyung's. He heaved in his scent, wrapping his arms around him as he nestled his nose against Taehyung's chest. Taehyung pulled him closer, their legs laying across one another. He wanted to remain in this moment. He wanted to hold Jimin in his arms till they were blue. He wanted to smell the fields, the flowers, and the beauty of Jimin's fragrance—to feel his touches and kisses. He wanted to hear his thoughts and words, but there was a crushing reality placed on both of them. Their happiness was, and would be, short lived—but how long did they have?

Taehyung recalled his first conversation with Namjoon, how he talked about seeing pastures of green and seeing the sun in the sky against the blue clouds. Taehyung began to understand it easier as his mind was transported to a different place, different atmosphere, and different sense of being while around Jimin. He could understand why Namjoon loved hearing Yoongi’s songs so much.

There was nothing quite like the high of feeling solace.

Taehyung held Jimin close until he heard his subtle snores, cute and light. Taehyung was agonizingly tired, but he couldn't close his eyes. He didn't want this moment to end. He stared at his shadow long and hard, the twinkle from the jewels on his ears reflecting against the walls.

He couldn’t sleep because he was haunted by his own demons.