There are drunk and high people everywhere.
Young rich scions and popular celebrities are either giggling in groups around the massive house or are laying passed out on various expensive surfaces strewn artfully throughout the mansion. Seung-ho resists the urge to brush off the persistent female omegas who have been clinging onto him all night.
“You’re so tall and strong alphaaa,” one of the omegas purrs as she presses her chest desperately against his arm.
Perhaps on another night, when he isn’t so focused on his goal, he might have fucked the omega silly just to let off some steam. However, there is no way that he is going to allow himself to become distracted right now. As a rule he always needs to be in control. He can play the part, but there is no chance that an omega is going to be swaying his judgement when he is on the cusp of a major breakthrough tonight.
Suddenly, he notices a hot-headed alpha cheering loudly amidst a throng of other young alphas from the other side of the room.
“Heeeeyyyyyyyy— guesssss whaaat guys. I have a secret!” The alpha man tries and utterly fails at being discrete. His volume is loud enough to be heard from across the room and he slurs his words due to the copious drinks he has undoubtedly consumed.
“I got a hook up from one of my buddies and he gave me some of this goooood stuff. It’s s’pose to make the omegas real hornyyy— even the b-blockers aren’t gonnaaa work… it alsooo makes alphas feel damn good when you do it...whaaaddya say? Wanna try it out?”
Seung-ho briefly pats one of the omegas beside him absentmindedly, pretending to keep up the farce of being just another party guest. He keeps his ears keenly focused on the conversation amongst the alphas and he smirks when he hears the group all curiously assent to seeing what mysterious substance their friend had been supplied with.
As the instigating alpha reaches for his bag, Seung-ho glances across the room and makes eye contact with Min who is also playing the role of another guest and Jihwa who is tending the bar. As soon as the young alpha pulls out an unlabeled glass bottle filled with a light coral liquid, Seung-ho gives the signal.
“Apprehend target now!” he orders via the mike hidden under his blazer lapel.
All at once, Min, Jihwa, himself, and a storm of a dozen plain-clothed police officers descend upon the unsuspecting party.
“Police! Everyone keep your hands in the air where we can see them!”
Seung-ho stands on the perfectly manicured lawn outside of the large gated mansion as he watches all of the partygoers slowly drift out of the house as they are escorted off of the premises. It is two in the morning and everything would have been dark if not for the red and blue lights of the parked police cars flashing outside the house.
Seung-ho nods approvingly when one of his colleagues leads the now handcuffed alpha who had been the one to carry the bottled drug into the back of a police car. Undoubtedly the young alpha would be interrogated thoroughly about his drug suppliers once he is taken to the holding cells.
“Impressive work as always Inspector Yoon Seung-ho!” A saccharine sweet voice praises from behind Seung-ho.
The inspector turns to see his long-time colleague, Officer Jihwa, who has apparently already finished dealing with his tasks for the night.
“Your perception and reflexes are always so fast. It’s like nothing escapes your notice!” The officer is effusive with his compliments. Then in a quieter, more conspiratorial tone, Jihwa whispers, “With a brain like yours and your strong alpha presence, you’d definitely make your way up the ranks faster if only you’d play nice with the higher ups.”
Seung-ho rolls his eyes. “I’m not interested in taking shortcuts.”
Jihwa pouts at that. “What’s wrong with looking out for your own interests anyways? You’re not hurting anybody, and isn’t it good if everyone benefits out of it? Not everything has to be so black and white you know.”
The inspector is about to brush Jihwa off when a curious smell catches his attention. It is faint and floral, maybe jasmine, with a hint of something fresh and citrusy. Seung-ho quickly scans his surroundings trying to understand where the unnerving scent is coming from. Out of the corner of his eyes he sees a shadow dart around the front gates of the mansion a few meters away from where he stands.
“What are you looking at Seung-ho?” Jihwa asks, irritated at having been ignored.
The inspector doesn’t allow his own bemusement to show on his face. “Did you smell that?”
Jihwa looks at Seung-ho in confusion. “Smell what?” No, of course Jihwa couldn’t have smelled it, Seung-ho thinks. Not when he is a beta.
Still, it is odd. Nowadays, alphas and omegas rarely release any scents in public. Most people in modern society use scent blockers.
The jarring scent that had taken him by surprise has all but faded by now. Perhaps it is just a partygoer who had accidentally ingested some of the illegal drug before it had been confiscated. Seung-ho had been quite certain, however, that they had got to the young alpha before he had had the chance to give anyone the potent liquid.
With an uneasy feeling, Seung-ho decides that he is going to have to let it go. His job is to find out more about the source of the new drug that is wreaking havoc in the city, not chasing down every unsuspecting victim. It bothers him to know that there are so many alphas and omegas who have already succumbed to the mind-altering and disinhibiting effects of the drug, but he knows that he needs to focus on the bigger picture. The only way to solve this problem is to get to the source of it.
The next morning Seung-ho arrives at the metropolitan police department exactly on time as is usual for him. As he strolls in through the front entrance, the familiar faces of his colleagues pop out from behind doors and cubicles to congratulate him on pulling off last night—or should he say, this morning’s—successful sting operation.
It is well known within the police department that Yoon Seung-ho is a rising star. He is the shining example of the ideal alpha policeman. He is smart, athletic, and word has it that he is related to the powerful politician, Governor Yoon. Seung-ho is even known for his impeccable and stubborn sense of morals. Although he is not the type to bend to senior superintendents just to curry favour, he has gained the respect of many of his juniors who are silently in awe of his unwavering values.
As Seung-ho makes his way to his own desk, he feels the tiredness of having slept only four hours last night settling into his bones. He reminds himself that that is nothing compared to his recruit days. One of the junior police officers hands him a hot black coffee and he nods back in acknowledgement.
“If you keep this up they just might promote you, Inspector Yoon. Then you’ll finally stop having to slum it with us in this dinky little office.”
Seung-ho glances up from his mountain of paperwork to see Inspector Min standing by his desk. Min wears a sardonic smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes. Even though Seung-ho and Min have worked together on more than a handful of cases to date with solid results, Seung-ho knows to keep his guard up around his alpha colleague.
Min had entered the police force a year before Seung-ho had but Seung-ho had advanced to the position of Inspector much faster than Min through his sheer work ethic and record-breaking solved case counts. From a young age, Seung-ho had learned that there is often an undercurrent of competition when two alphas work too closely together. As things stand, Seung-ho knows that Min is weary that Seung-ho might be promoted to senior inspector before he is by their next performance review.
Seung-ho forces himself to keep his expression stoic and simply replies, “I could care less about a promotion as long as we keep order in the precinct.”
Min’s countenance hardens. “You’re truly an inspiration to us all.”
About an hour later when Seung-ho is washing his hands in the men’s restroom, Jihwa enters and makes a point of locking the door to the exit behind him.
“You’re quite the big shot around the office today Seung-ho!” The officer’s smile is bright and expectant. “I knew your plan for the operation was going to be carried out immaculately. In fact, as I was passing the superintendent’s office, I heard that they got the lead we captured last night to spill some intel.”
Seung-ho’s interest is piqued once he hears this. “Oh? What did our guy say?”
Jihwa waves his hand around dismissively. “Oh nevermind that Seung-ho. The higher ups will deal with it. For now you gotta relax and enjoy the wins! It’s been a while since we’ve done anything fun together. I can think of a few ways we could celebrate…”
The beta sidles closer to Seung-ho and practically drapes himself over the taller man. He buries his face into Seung-ho’s neck and imitates the way that an omega might nose at the scent glands situated there.
“A big strong alpha like you deserves a good reward,” Jihwa murmurs.
Seung-ho tolerates Jihwa’s advances for several moments and allows the beta to lick and nuzzle at his collar coquettishly; however, he can’t help but feel a distinct lack of excitement. If he were to ask himself how this relationship—if one could even call it that—had started he supposes it had been due to his baser instincts. As an alpha, his sex drive is unmatched. However, Seung-ho has always hated the thought of not being in complete control of himself.
He does enjoy the unique compatibility of having sex with omegas, although their pheromones always make him weary. Even though most of the omegas he has previously encountered do use scent blockers, he can never completely let his guard down enough to fully enjoy the sex. Seung-ho knows that he has good self-control, he has always held himself to the highest standard, but on the off chance that an omega does go into heat, he does not want to test his restraint. Which is why he has made use of Jihwa’s interest in him. It’s mutually beneficial really. He knows he is good in bed, and around a beta, he knows he can relax.
It just annoys Seung-ho that a nagging feeling in the back of his mind tells him that fucking Jihwa just isn’t all that satisfying.
Seung-ho senses the irritation swelling inside of his chest, but before he can decide whether to encourage Jihwa or to push the beta away, he feels his phone vibrating in his pocket. Jihwa’s brows furrow in confusion as he too hears the repetitive vibrations. Seung-ho pulls the interrupting device out to glance at the caller ID and grimaces when the name ‘Yoon Seung-won’ appears on the screen.
“Will you answer that?” Jihwa asks, carefully gaging Seung-ho’s mood. He knows that Seung-ho has a testy relationship with his political family.
Seung-ho stares at the screen with an intense look in his eyes before he presses the button to decline the call. The inspector feels a bitter taste rise in the back of his throat. The call from his younger brother has effectively diminished any remaining libido he might have had just moments before.
He ignores Jihwa’s call of “Yoon Seung-ho!” as he brushes past the beta officer and let’s himself out of the men’s room.
Only a few seconds behind Seung-ho, Jihwa also rushes out of the restroom once he has adjusted himself. His face is red with embarrassment as he glances this way and that down the hallway trying to track down which direction Seung-ho had gone.
Inspector Min, who has just rounded the corner, raises a condescending eyebrow when he sees Jihwa’s flustered state. “Honestly Jihwa, you’re like a lovesick dog when it comes to Yoon Seung-ho. Anybody who didn’t know better would think you’re an omega with the way you’re so hung up on him.”
Jihwa glares at Min. “Don’t you dare call me an omega. I’m not one of those sluts who loses their minds and raises their skirts after one glance from an alpha.”
Min laughs and holds his hands up in a mock apology. “Alright, alright, I know as a beta you can’t be swayed by our pheromones anyways. You’re just so enamoured by Seung-ho that it makes me wonder if it’s because he’s a Yoon.”
Jihwa has the decency to look a little sheepish. “Well it just makes sense doesn’t it? My old man is the superintendent general and if Seung-ho would just let my father help him get into the upper ranks, imagine the influence his family and mine would achieve in policy and law!”
Min wears a plastic smile and his grip is so tight that his knuckles nearly turn white, yet Jihwa remains oblivious to it. “Well, you know the obstinate Yoon Seung-ho would sooner mate an omega than succumb to nepotism. God knows why, when he stands to benefit the most from it all.”
Jihwa is so repulsed by the image of Seung-ho paired with a member of the fairest sex that he cannot help blurting out, “But Seung-ho would never mate an omega!”
Min nearly sighs at Jihwa’s simplemindedness. “My point exactly. Why don’t you invest your resources someplace where you’re more likely to get returns, my friend?”
In the afternoon, Seung-ho is called to a briefing about a new case that he is to be involved with. It is not entirely unfamiliar to him as it has to do with finding out more information about this new liquid aphrodisiac that has begun to overwhelm the city’s drug trade.
Sergeant Kim provides information to the small room full of a dozen police members.
“...through the new lead which was apprehended early this morning, we have identified the criminal group that is behind the sourcing and distribution of the drug.” Sergeant Kim updates the team.
He reads from the official assignments list provided by the higher ups. The group of Seung-ho’s colleagues, including Jihwa and Min, are all on edge awaiting their roles. It appears as though no one is surprised when it is determined that Seung-ho will be the one to go undercover.
Apparently the apprehended alpha from the house party was a regular client who had bought various drugs from his dealer over the years and was responsible for spreading and popularizing it amongst his rich and famous social circles. Under this morning’s thorough interrogation, the suspect had spilled a few names on his suppliers which were familiar to the police department.
The briefing documents organized by the superintendents say that this new information has helped the initial investigations to link together people who have already been under their radar for years. The evidence thus far seems to indicate that this is all the work of the largest criminal syndicate operating within the city; the Imoogi.
Seung-ho had been chosen because of his extensive involvement with the current case and the high ups thought that he would fit the profile of the undercover identity that they have created for him. Being that he is an alpha in prime physical condition and has extensive weapons training, he would perfectly suit the role of an ex-mobster from a now disbanded gang. The rest of the team is appointed as Seung-ho’s support and back up while he takes on the mission from the frontlines.
Right as Sergeant Kim is about to conclude the short case introduction, a knock is heard at the meeting room door. When one of the team members answers it, there is a junior officer from the community response division waiting there and he has a young man in tow with him.
As soon as the door had been opened, Seung-ho’s nose had picked up on a faint but oddly familiar scent. Seung-ho discretely inhales and is confused by the fresh jasmine and lemony perfume that seems to drift towards him. He glances around the room but nobody else seems to have noticed the slight change in the air.
The community response officer appears nervous as he says, “Sorry to interrupt your briefing everyone. I brought Mr. Baek Na-kyum here with me. His work in investigative journalism has allowed him to develop valuable connections on the ground. Although he is a member of the public, Mr. Baek is interested in helping out with the aphrodisiac drug case and my division supervisor wants you to hear him out.”
A wave of murmuring ripples through the team. It seems preposterous that a member of the public could find out about a top secret case that was just introduced. Sergeant Kim’s brows are furrowed in consternation but he trusts that his colleagues from community response must have had a good reason to think that this young man would be relevant to their case.
The young man is dressed in long baggy slacks that don’t fit him properly and a thin trench coat which he is drowning in. He has a worn messenger bag slung over his shoulder which seems to be bursting open with papers.
“I’m Baek Na-kyum, sirs!” The young man says brightly to the room full of cops. Some of the alpha policemen eye his slight physique with disdain. They are certain he is only a beta and therefore hardly worthy of their consideration. Meanwhile, Jihwa rolls his eyes at how naive the young man appears. Even though Jihwa is not an alpha, he knows that with his family connections he is miles above any of the other basic betas out there.
“And what information are you here to report?” Seung-ho cuts right to the chase. He does not want to entertain anybody who is a waste of his time.
The journalist initially falters at the alpha policeman’s curtness, but he pushes on. “I actually want to join your undercover investigation. I’m really invested in finding out more about this new drug as well.”
Jihwa cannot help but laugh. “Why in the world do you think we would let a random beta off the streets help out in an official case—not to mention a journalist? Is this a joke?” He looks around at his colleagues with an expression of mixed hilarity and disbelief.
Most of the alphas in the room begin to snicker at the naive beta journalist. Na-kyum stares at the leering faces around the room with wide eyes. The only ones not laughing at the newcomer are Sergeant Kim, who looks on grimly, and Yoon Seung-ho, who is standing stiffly amongst the crowd.
Seung-ho is quite certain at this point that he is not hallucinating. The sweet scent is mild, but definitely layering over the room. He senses his heart rate picking up and his hackles rising as the fragrant smell gives rise to a feeling of euphoria dancing along the edges of his consciousness. The hairs on the back of his neck stand on edge as he desperately tries to dampen the instinct to seek out the source of the intoxicating scent.
With a sickening start, realization dawns on Seung-ho. Despite not seeing a single female omega in the room, he realizes that someone must have allowed their powerful pheromones to permeate the air. He has to bite down on his jaw to prevent a growl from rising past his throat. The inspector is furious with himself. The urge to claim is maddening.
Baek Na-kyum stands his ground and says, “I know my forte is not in physical combat, but I know that’s not what you need in an undercover operation anyways. I can contribute something that will definitely throw the gangsters off guard—“
“Oh, stop it with your exaggerations!” Jihwa interrupts him. Something about the journalist rubs the beta officer the wrong way. Even though they are both betas, Jihwa knows that the man in front of him is inferior to him in both strength and station. “A police case is not child’s play. Missions require rigorous endurance. What could you possibly offer with that weak, untrained beta body of yours?”
Na-kyum takes a deep breath and wills his shaking hands to still. He cannot believe he is doing this, but he reminds himself that this investigation is worth it.
“It’s exactly as you have said. The gang members would never suspect a weakling to be involved with the police,” Na-kyum retorts. “Yes, I am not as strong as an alpha. In fact not even a beta… but you can throw the gang members off your scent if you include an omega in your team.”
There is a stunned silence that fills the room. Suddenly the jeers and chortles stop. All the cops in the room stare at Na-kyum in disbelief.
“An omega…” Seung-ho can no longer contain the snarl that he unleashes. Of course. Now he sees it. The soft cheeks, the delicate nape. Undoubtedly there are gentle curves hidden beneath the journalist’s wretchedly oversized, ill-fitting clothes. And god. That maddening scent.
The other alphas in the room finally begin to take interest. Most of them have never met a male omega before. There might be one in several thousand, and most male omegas know well the need to hide their sex. The world is not kind to those who are different. Especially if they are deemed weak, fragile, and easily objectified.
Even though Na-kyum takes pheromone blockers, it does not stop the alphas in the room from fantasizing about having something rare and delectable in their grasps. There is a reason after all why omegas are often discouraged from pursuing alpha dominated fields.
“But aside from being an omega, I also know the streets well.” Na-kyum says. “I often brush shoulders with establishments where local crimes take place as part of my work.”
Something vicious stirs inside Seung-ho’s chest. For a moment the inspector almost allows his alpha to take over. His dormant instinct senses the presence of a potential mate and to have other alphas in the same vicinity drives the beast within him crazy. The primal need to compete and show his dominance is making him nearly vibrate beneath his skin.
It’s Sergeant Kim’s somber voice that snaps Seung-ho back into reality. With great self restraint, he wills his vision to clear. Seung-ho realizes that the entire room is looking at him expectantly and it unnerves him to wonder if they had all sensed his momentary lapse in control.
“What do you think we should do with him?” Sergeant Kim asks him.
Seung-ho’s reflex would have been to say absolutely not. There is no way that he would think taking on an omega is going to work. Especially not this omega. Seung-ho appraises the journalist, who to his credit does not shrivel under the inspector’s usually intimidating glare.
Seung-ho isn’t blind. He has to admit that the omega is pretty. His skin looks luminous and healthy. His mouth, soft and pliant. And those eyes—they seem to draw out Seung-ho’s alpha as easily as nectar draws forth bees. The sane and human side of Seung-ho is beyond irritated with these unbidden feelings.
Before the inspector can firmly refuse however, his inner alpha picks up on the slowly mounting scent of hunger and desperation that the other ravenous alphas are releasing. The adversarial smells are nauseating and Seung-ho can’t help seeing red.
“Fine,” Seung-ho growls. Aggression seems to rise up from somewhere deep inside of him. His voice is loud and channels his full authority. “The omega will work with me .”
Seung-ho allows his alpha scent to roll off of him in waves and he smirks in satisfaction when he sees the other policemen recoil in obedience to his superior pheromones. The other alphas look at the journalist reproachfully, disappointed that another stronger alpha has already set their gaze upon the deliciously enticing omega.
When Seung-ho’s nature has been calmed with the knowledge of his temporary triumph, he turns his attention fully to Na-kyum. He swallows roughly as he inhales another lungful of the sweet citron perfume. It takes him a moment to clear his head of covetous inclinations.
“Follow me Mr. Baek,” he orders the journalist. “We’ll debrief in the case room.”