The first time Bai Yu noticed his scent again was a late Friday afternoon.
It was almost Summer and wearing a three-piece tuxedo in the 45 degrees dry Shanghai weather was unbearable. It was, however, for the interest of the company as he was about to greet an extremely important client. Well, possible client and/or partner, at least. Yang Rong was one of the most popular streamers in China right now and having her advertising their products could potentially raise their revenue by more than 40%. She was young, beautiful, successful and her followers had the financial freedom to buy their products. They were the prime demographic of his cosmetics company.
She also owned an investment company, and it would be killing two birds in one stone if Bai Yu managed to get her to invest in his company at a later time.
Bai Yu was glad he’d chosen the formal wear as Yang Rong stepped out of her limousine. She was dressed to impress in her figure hugging floor-long chiffon dress, a sight to behold, and Bai Yu was sure she did it on purpose. The world of business was a strangely contradictory one: you were expected to be elegant, well-mannered, likable and professional, yet at the same time be able to drink yourself to a such senseless drunk state that you almost forget your parents names, all in a bid to show off the wealth of your company but not over-do your potential clients or partners so that they are too intimidated to do business with you.
As they said their greetings and pleasantries, it wasn’t her scent that caught Bai Yu’s attention. It was the one of a quiet man standing close to her, hands full of documents, a pen and phone in one hand, another pen tucked away behind one ear and a second phone in one of his pockets.
Yang Rong stepped aside and said: “this is my PA, also my legal advisor, Zhu Yilong. Shall our negotiations bear fruit, then he will be the one to work closely with you to handle the legal sides of it.”
“Hello, my name is Bai Yu,” he said and extended his hand.
“I know who you are, I have checked your profile,” the man had said, but his demeanor was anything but confident. He’d averted his gaze as he took Bai Yu’s hand, a slight pink tint barely visible on his cheeks.
It was faint, and Bai Yu couldn’t tell at first, but he was sure of it now. Zhu Yilong smelled like the ripe, unpicked fruits of a peach tree, delicate, sweet. The pink looked good on him, Bai Yu thought.
“Oh? So you think you know all about me then?” His own voice was sweet as honey, but it was laced with an undercurrent of challenge.
At that, Zhu Yilong looked right at him and said in a painfully professional manner, with no trace of the pink that was earlier: “I know you have two sisters, one dog as a pet, like spicy food, do calligraphy and archery, also you’ve never been mated despite one long-term relationship.”
Bai Yu noticed that the pink tint was back and he had deliberately turned his face away as he mentioned Bai Yu’s lack of mate. Somehow that shyness went straight to Bai Yu’s cock, an instinct to protect him was building inside Bai Yu as he felt his lips quirk upwards; “well, that is a good start. You weren't lying when you said you did the digging."
Zhu Yilong hadn’t changed a bit.
He didn’t even make an attempt to hide the flirtatious tone of his voice, but a small cough from Yang Rong got his attention, it was then he noticed their hands were still connected and he hastily withdrew his hand.
Bai Yu said: “CEO Yang, you really got a gem of a PA here.”
He was struggling to keep his voice even, the need to touch, to claim Zhu Yilong kept rising in Bai Yu. If Yang Rong saw it, she didn’t mention it. Bai Yu found he was thankful for the small things.
“Yeah he is,” she had replied.
Bai Yu schooled himself back to his professional business persona: “Well then, CEO Yang, I look forward to hopefully a long and fruitful collaboration. Shall we proceed with the meeting?” He gestured for her to enter the building and she smiled in return.
As he followed them in he stole a last glance of Zhu Yilong before he forcefully buried his instincts.
It was only a week into their negotiations the second time it happened.
Zhu Yilong was concerned about some of the points in the contract and Yang Rong had let him visit Bai Yu alone.
Everything was going fine until Bai Yu started to feel different. His gaze kept shifting to Zhu Yilong, who looked adorably focused. His scent was much stronger this time. Bai Yu became jittery, his gaze fell on Zhu Yilong’s plush lips and he wanted to taste the sweetness. Zhu Yilong’s Adam’s Apple bobbed in sync when he spoke and Bai Yu wanted to lick it, suck on it and place open mouthed kisses on it, the way you eat ripe peaches during Summer.
Bai Yu looked at the defined muscles on his arms and wondered what it would feel like to have Zhu Yilong bound helplessly to his bed, not allowed to move unless he was given permission to. Zhu Yilong’s shirt showed just a hint of his neck, and Bai Yu couldn’t resist the urge to sink his teeth in there to claim him, make him his .
He wanted to fling Zhu Yilong onto his desk or push him up against a wall and fuck him senseless. Bai Yu, Bai Yu who hadn’t ever lost control of himself, was about to come undone without even touching Zhu Yilong or Zhu Yilong touching him .
“Bai Laoshi? Bai Yu? Are you okay? Xiao Bai?” The nickname surprised him, but it did pull him out of his trance.
“I’m fine,” he said and forced his instincts back once more. “Now, let’s see, what other things were you wondering about?”
Zhu Yilong looked at him with an expression Bai Yu couldn’t decipher.
A week had gone by after their meeting and there had been no progress on the negotiations.
Bai Yu was restless during office hours.
During nights he dreamt of plump lips, sweet peachy flavor and big eyes that looked like they contained the universe.
It was the first time in many years Bai Yu had woken up in the middle of night, his cock achingly hard against his boxers, a wet pool visible through the thin fabric.
He groaned, but caved in the end and done as the stalker he felt: he searched for Zhu Yilong’s social media profiles on his phone. Unsurprisingly, they were all business related, Zhu Yilong always struck him as a man who was more career focused than anything else. In most of his pictures he wore light colored simple shirts with a tie, his hair was swept to the side and those eyes stared at Bai Yu through his phone screen.
How long has it been? Almost a decade since that day at the beach during the school trip. It was almost Summer, but the overwhelming, sticky heat hadn’t set in yet. They had played in the water all day, soaked up the sun and the fresh breeze.
His scent was still the same as then.
At one point, when Bai Yu splashed water on Zhu Yilong he’d swam closer to splash back. As they were floating on the waves they laughed, the way only youths with no dirty past to be ashamed of or worry about what life would throw at them could laugh. And then, Bai Yu had pulled him close and just kissed him.
Zhu Yilong still smelled of ripe, sweet peach, innocence wrapped under a blanket of wonder, despite that he had lost some of that carefree look on the outside, and Bai Yu would do anything to taste him, touch him. Feel those arms around him.
Bai Yu was 18 again, on that beach, and he jerked himself off to the laughter and smiles of a certain PA.
Of course, Zhu Yilong knew he was going to meet Bai Yu. As Yang Rong’s PA and legal adviser, he was the one who handled all the correspondence since the first request came in.
White Space Cosmetics.
It wasn’t difficult to find out who the CEO was.
He had kept his identity hidden on purpose. Bai Yu was an alpha after all and Zhu Yilong didn’t want to give him any more advantage than he already had and Yang Rong agreed. She allowed him to send all emails under her name.
He didn’t tell her the real reason.
Zhu Yilong suspected Bai Yu scented him at the meeting, and he was surprised Bai Yu didn’t just grab him then and there.
He looked at the picture in the wallet he was holding in his hand, and sighed.
They looked so young then.
Zhu Yilong wasn’t surprised at all when the call from Bai Yu came. After all, they still had business to do.
They were back in Bai Yu’s office a Thursday afternoon, sitting opposite each other at his office desk. Zhu Yilong had a frown on his face while Bai Yu had put his glasses aside, fingers pinching the bridge of his nose, eyes closed.
“Long-ge, this is kind of over my head, my legal team drafted this, maybe we should speak with them?”
Zhu Yilong looked up at him, blinking. Was his ears deceiving him or did he hear Bai Yu just call him Long-ge? Just like…
“Xiao-Bai, I’m surprised you don’t have a legal PA at hand to deal with these meetings in the first place.”
The man waved him off; “you know me, I live by the old saying, you have to do it yourself if you want it to be done right.”
“I do know you,” Zhu Yilong replied quietly and their eyes met just then, his heart skipping a beat.
Bai Yu’s scent smelled like trees, of distant memories of a forest full of forget-me-nots on the ground, and it took him back.
|| flashback ||
“Long-ge, for you!” Bai Yu reached out to him, palm open and facing upwards against him.
Zhu Yilong had looked at him in surprise: Forget-me-not.
He blinked. Did Bai Yu even know what they represent?
Bai Yu had playfully stuck it in his ear and he had smiled, his heart stuttering.
|| flashback end ||
It seemed like old habits die hard.
It was a month into negotiations and they were in a meeting room with the legal team when Zhu Yilong passed out. Bai Yu rushed to him and caught him just in time so he didn’t fall off the chair and hit his head on the floor, drawing the attention from the other alphas of his legal team.
He should have called off the meeting the second he smelled the change in Zhu Yilong’s scent. Bai Yu saw how they were all a little bit unfocused, some even shifty in their seats, several pairs of eyes stealing glances of Zhu Yilong. They all knew: Zhu Yilong wasn’t mated. And Bai Yu knew what they were thinking, he could see it, smell it.
It made the hair in his neck raise, Bai Yu almost bared his teeth, he wanted to growl at them: “ stay the fuck away!”
He had to remind himself that Zhu Yilong wasn’t his, but when he passed out Bai Yu couldn’t control himself anymore. He cradled Zhu Yilong in his arms, barked orders and was ready to tear apart anyone who dared to come close to him.
Later, when Zhu Yilong opened his eyes, it was in his own bed, It was Bai Yu’s feral eyes looking back at him, a pair of arms possessively around his waist. Eyes wide, he remembered how he’d passed out in the meeting room, how Bai Yu had rushed to him and how Bai Yu had cradled him in his arms when he was clear enough for a second.
When he blacked out again, he dreamt of that day by the sea, when Bai Yu had pulled him into his arms and kissed him while they were floating on the waters, how happy Bai Yu had looked, how content Zhu Yilong himself had felt.
He was feverish, he had gone into his heat unexpectedly. That’s why Bai Yu had gone feral, to protect him from the other Alphas on his team. The thought sent shivers through his spine.
He was hard and wet, and he needed Bai Yu.
Zhu Yilong tried to wriggle himself a bit out of Bai Yu’s hold, but it was no use. He willed his own emotions to even out, and whispered: “Xiao-Bai, I’m here, I need you.”
When Bai Yu didn’t respond, he kissed him instead. It still took a few moments, but Zhu Yilong felt it the moment Bai Yu came to himself, because he promptly withdrew his arms and back as far away from him as possible on the bed, half in shock. Zhu Yilong couldn’t find it in him to protest, even if he felt the disappointment fill him.
“Long-ge, I’m.. I’m sorry.”
“What are you sorry for? I need you, Xiao-Bai,” Zhu Yilong whined, arms stretching out to pull Bai Yu back in.
“No, Long-ge, you’re in heat, you’re not thinking clearly. I should leave.”
Bai Yu didn’t make any attempts to get up though and Zhu Yilong made his move instead. He straddled Bai Yu’s lap, hazy eyes desperate.
“Xiao-Bai, please, I need you.” Zhu Yilong pleaded, and he bent down to kiss him, hard, bruising.
Something clicked in Bai Yu and he flipped them around.
Bai Yu had spent a day fighting off Zhu Yilong’s begging, mostly using his own toys to help him when he finally gave in and fucked Zhu Yilong the first time.
It was another day before Bai Yu allowed himself to come inside Zhu Yilong and knot him. Just as Zhu Yilong had Bai Yu’s name on his lips, Bai Yu sank his teeth in the juncture between the neck and shoulder, marking him as his .
Four days later Zhu Yilong was out of heat. Bai Yu was still sleeping when he woke up and went into the kitchen. It was a mess, there were take out boxes littered everywhere, and he decided they could clean up later and he went shopping for a hot pot feast instead.
He hadn’t gone far outside the apartment when his phone vibrated. It was Bai Yu.
“Long-ge, where are you?” his panicked voice coming through the speakers.
“Relax, I’m fine, I’m shopping, I’ll be back soon.” He waited a few seconds for Bai Yu to adjust and then smiled when he heard the shift.
“Be careful.” was all he said.
That night, they cuddled under the covers, and Zhu Yilong finally found the courage to ask: “What happened, back then?”
Bai Yu was quiet for a moment, as if making up his mind. Then he drew a breath and said; “Long-ge, you have always been a very driven career type. My family wanted me to settle down with a more, uh, traditional, omega.”
Bai Yu didn’t say it, but Zhu Yilong understood.
“Someone who would give them grandchildren.”
“ I… yes.”
“Then why didn’t you?”
“I never cared about it. Your passion is one of the things I love about you, Long-ge. I just.. was too much of a coward to confront my parents then.” Bai Yu’s voice was quiet, solemn and void of any playful vibe.
Zhu Yilong found that he missed it. He poked at Bai Yu: “No, you were young. We both were.”
He continued: “Speaking of which, I guess I’m in a rather big conflict of interest when it comes to this deal now. I better have Yang Rong jie find someone to deal with this account.”
Later, Bai Yu quietly said; “I would have mated with you back then, you know.”
Some time after the deal was finalized, they were taking a late night stroll in a public garden one evening when he saw them, a few Forget-me-nots on the sidewalk. Bai Yu bent down to pick one, then stretched out his hand: “For you.”
Zhu Yilong blinked, then he smiled. He took it, put it behind his ear and did a little swirl: “how do I look?”
“Perfect!” Bai Yu was grinning, eyes transfixed.
Zhu Yilong laughed, then stopped. Bai Yu followed his movements as he pulled out his wallet, opened it and gestured for Bai Yu to look inside. His breath hitched. There, on a corner of the picture, Bai Yu saw it. There was almost nothing left of it now, simply because of the age of it, but it must have been very well preserved and maintained.
It was the Forget-Me-Not from the forest behind their school yard.