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Wei Ying threw her keys on the hall table and toed her sneakers off against the wall and shouted, “Lan Zhan! I’m hungry, have you made dinner or shall we go out? There are tables at the ramen place,” and turned the corner to see Lan Zhan fucking some omega girl over their kitchen counter, her eyes narrowed as she looked towards Wei Ying’s voice. The girl, kind of cute if you went for the bouncy ass high ponytail dewy skin look, whined, her cheek against the counter like she couldn’t even be bothered to look up and be embarrassed about the intrusion. Lan Zhan’s right hand was spread over the back of the girl’s neck, fingers tangled in her hair, her left hand cupped around the girl’s hip, pulling her up towards Lan Zhan’s—

“Out,” Lan Zhan said.

“That’s not a strap on!” Wei Ying said, outraged. “Lan Zhan!”

“Out,” Lan Zhan repeated.

Wei Ying stared at her, Lan Zhan’s pointy tits and the swoop of her usually faultless hair falling in a sweaty tangle over her eyes and the fucking dick that was climbing naturally out from between her legs. The dick that had definitely not been there two weeks ago, when Wei Ying barged into Lan Zhan’s room without knocking to show her the good grade she’d gotten for a paper Lan Zhan said she deserved to fail because she’d left writing it until the night before, and instead caught Lan Zhan changing after a shower — fuck you Nie Huaisang, of course by accident.

Lan Zhan looked back at her, mouth a steady line of disapproval. She wouldn’t repeat herself a third time, Wei Ying knew, but perhaps in deference to the omega sprawled whimpering beneath her, she jerked her head toward the door.

Wei Ying huffed out a breath, spun around and left, shoving her feet back into her sneakers, hair whirling out behind her. The nerve of Lan Zhan! To kick her out of her own home! Granted, she was meant to be working until ten tonight, and Lan Zhan had in fact texted her two hours ago confirming when she’d be home, but the library was dead and Wei Ying’s boss had unexpectedly decided not to be a total fucking asshole, and what, Wei Ying had to announce her every move to Lan Zhan? On the understanding that otherwise Lan Zhan would be fucking random omegas on their kitchen counter? The same kitchen counter where Wei Ying cooked her meals — well, okay, mostly Lan Zhan did the cooking, but still, it was unhygienic and rude all round.

And what was Wei Ying meant to do now, just kick around until Lan Zhan was done? It was rush hour, she didn’t want to get back on the subway to go visit anyone. She sulked down to the Japanese place on the corner they liked, where she’d spied a table and thought maybe Lan Zhan would want to go with her and eat some ramen and listen to Wei Ying complain about her MIA supervisor. Wei Ying loaded her solitary bowl with chilli oil in vengeance.

It was just — she’d thought it was a rumour, that alpha women could grow their own dicks. It was a rumour that she’d spent a considerable amount of time disproving to herself. Just a week ago, they’d been discussing it in Wei Ying’s favourite bar, her and Nie Huaisang and Wen Ning and Wen Qing and Jiang Cheng crowded around a booth. Wei Ying couldn’t remember how it came up, though thank god it was after her jiejie went home, but she’d said very authoritatively, “There’s no way, there’s no way. It’s an urban myth that people have kept going because they like the porn. But have you seen the porn? It’s so fake. Harnesses that are like, two shades off skin colour! Body tape in super uncomfortable places!”

“Spoken like someone who’s seen a lot of the porn,” Jiang Cheng said snidely. Wei Ying shoved him in the head.

Wen Ning offered, “A friend of a friend—”

“This is what I mean,” Wei Ying said. “Hearsay! It’s bullshit, trust me, it’s bullshit. Like, there’s no official medical studies, even, it’s just weird gossip.”

“I think it’s fine if people don’t want their genitalia to be part of a medical study,” Wen Qing said mildly.

“How would alpha women knot, otherwise?” Jiang Cheng argued. “How are they gonna — gonna—”

“That is typical alpha chauvinist bullshit, Jiang Cheng,” Wei Ying said. “Not everything is about knotting. Some omegas,” and she looked around pointedly, drew her shoulder blades close together, sitting up tall, “don’t even want to be knotted. It’s all these outdated stereotypes, like we still think biology should control our bodies.”

“Isn’t that… kind of what biology does, though?” Nie Huaisang said, screwing up his nose in thought, and Wei Ying sighed loudly and pulled out her trump card.

“Anyway,” she said, “if alpha women had dicks, I would know, because—”

“Here we go,” Jiang Cheng said.

“—because my roommate is an alpha, and she would have told me.” Wei Ying leaned back and took a swig of her beer. The rest of the booth looked at her, unimpressed.

“You’ve known Lan Zhan for three months,” Nie Huaisang pointed out. “I’ve known her for years and I still don’t know what the fuck’s going on with her except that she’s a genuine killer. A ladykiller. You know in her undergrad she got pulled up for a warning by the dean because she was caught fucking some girl on campus and then she fucked the dean?”

“Okay, first off, you haven’t known her for years, her brother is friends with your jie, that’s a totally different situation,” Wei Ying said. “Second off, that’s a rumour, she told me it was more complicated than that.” Actually, Wei Ying had recited the entire rumour to Lan Zhan, with okay, slightly more embellished detail, and Lan Zhan had stared at her, unimpressed, then said, how boring and walked away, so Wei Ying was reading complicated from that.

That had been early on, anyway, when Wei Ying had only just moved in with Lan Zhan. When things had been terrible at home with the Jiangs and Wei Ying had realised suddenly that nothing was going to change, there was no way she was ever going to be good enough, and so it was either drag Jiang Cheng and jie away from their parents, which seemed like the ultimately selfish act, or move out herself. It had been awful. She hadn’t even known how to start looking, broke with her bullshit student adjunct job and tiny wage, no references, fuck all credit history. Then Nie Huaisang told her that his jiejie might know someone, a relative-of-a-friend, a grad student with a two-bedroom apartment in the Chaoyang District not too far from the university. It was impossibly good for the price, and Wei Ying had shown up waiting for the catch; a really creepy roommate, a poky mould-ridden room, weird requirements.

Instead there was Lan Zhan, still and attentive in the middle of the open plan kitchen/living room. She told Wei Ying to look around and see if she liked it. Everything was clean but not eerily so, the apartment was full of light and air, and it was definitely way too cheap. And Lan Zhan herself, short dark hair crisping around golden eyes, taller than Wei Ying even in her socks, a loose dark blue shirt that fell open over the straight line of her collarbone. Wei Ying made three filthy jokes and four rude comments and Lan Zhan didn’t react to any of them besides a slight compression of her lips. She seemed unimpressed by everything Wei Ying said and did, but she still said Wei Ying could have the room, if she wanted it, and by then Wei Ying was determined not just to find a room but to charm Lan Zhan, who was too handsome to be such a stick in the mud, who had to have some crack in that shining armour.

It took her some time, a lot of prodding, a lot of shameless announcements, a lot of Lan Zhan’s silent outrage and murmured how borings, but she did it. Bit by bit. Fine, most of it in a slightly more embarrassing way than she would have expected: Wei Ying getting over-invested in a bar fight about the living wage, nearly punching some smug college capitalist, looking over her shoulder and catching sight of Lan Zhan pleased and surprised behind her. Or when the university tried to skim past an alpha professor’s sexual assault scandal, and Wei Ying led a campaign against him. Wei Ying had strolled back and forth in front of his office with a megaphone reminding everyone what he’d been accused of, and glanced into the courtyard one afternoon to see Lan Zhan watching her, something that was almost a smile crooking around her mouth.

Even when Wei Ying got sick with her annual autumn flu and forced herself out on wobbling legs for family dinner. Madame Yu insisted she invite Lan Zhan, because it turned out that Lan Zhan’s family was well known or some bourgeois bullshit, and then she spent the entire meal criticising Wei Ying for her unkempt hair, her pale face. It had been humiliating, actually, Wei Ying had almost wanted to just get up and leave, though that would be unforgivably rude. She was used to Madame Yu and she knew that it must be frustrating to take a child who wasn’t yours into your household and then watch them fail to live up to all the opportunities you gave them, but all the same she was trying her best and it was somehow especially humiliating to fail in front of Lan Zhan.

She’d tried so hard, she’d showered even though her legs were trembling and she kept switching between feverish sweat and shuddering cold. She hated how dishevelled she looked and hated how clearly obvious it was even though she’d tried, dressed nicely and tied her hair up with her favourite red ribbon.

But it was almost worth it for the way Lan Zhan took her home. Lan Zhan called a Didi and had to practically carry Wei Ying up the stairs in their building. Wei Ying’s arm crooked around Lan Zhan’s neck, Lan Zhan’s arm bent around Wei Ying’s waist. Lan Zhan got Wei Ying settled in bed with a hot water bottle and a bucket, just in case, and she wiped Wei Ying’s face down with a cool washcloth, and she hadn’t been weird when Wei Ying murmured, exhausted and feverish, “Alpha.”

She’d just touched Wei Ying’s chin and said, “Try to sleep, Wei Ying,” and the next morning she made congee with chicken and extra ginger, even though Lan Zhan didn’t like to cook with meat.

That was the other thing, when Wei Ying had moved in. She’d scented Lan Zhan immediately, the sandalwood and smoke rising off her, almost before she’d taken in Lan Zhan’s straight posture, her narrowed eyes. She’d known that Lan Zhan could tell, too. At the end, when they’d talked about the rent and Lan Zhan’s nearly finished PhD and Wei Ying’s working hours, Wei Ying had said, casual and effortless, “And you don’t mind that I’m an omega.”

“No,” Lan Zhan said.

“Because I know some alphas get weird about it,” Wei Ying said. “And I wouldn’t want it to be like… I might need the place to myself, with heats.” And I won’t help with ruts lay between them, unspoken.

“Fine,” Lan Zhan said.

It had been fine. It had also given Wei Ying the opportunity to give her friends many new smug lectures about alpha/omega dynamics, how it was ridiculous to expect such a large proportion of the population to only have a very loaded and sexual relationship with each other, how it was perfectly easy to be platonic friends. Nie Huaisang said, “Is that Lan Zhan’s sweatshirt you’re wearing?” and Wei Ying flipped him off. It looked good, that was all, Lan Zhan’s big grey rowing sweater with just a pair of tights and Wei Ying’s boots with the spiky heel, and sometimes it made random alpha assholes back off, if they got close enough to catch the scent of it. Wei Ying caught the subway with her nose drooping towards her own shoulder, soothed by the scent of home.

“It’s weird,” Jiang Cheng had said, when she first showed up in the bar wearing it. “You smell like she’s wrapped all over you!”

“You’re just not used to it,” Wei Ying said, then leaned over the table, smirking. “Or are you jealous that there’s a new alpha in my life, Jiang Cheng?”

“It’s really weird when you make that comparison,” Jiang Cheng complained. “It’s nearly as weird as when you call her gege.”

Wei Ying had laughed, thrilled with herself. “Lan Zhan was born to be my ge,” she said. “She’s a boring stick in the mud who doesn’t drink and goes to bed crazy early. She had the bad luck to be born second, so I’ve finally given her the chance to have a meimei, what’s the problem?”

Jiang Cheng mumbled something that Wei Ying was writing off as lesbophobic bullshit, and Wei Ying had another shot to celebrate her oratorical victory. She hadn’t lied, anyway, everything she’d said was true. Never mind if also the first time she had called Lan Zhan ge, just teasing, playing with how tough and capable Lan Zhan looked in her grey sweatpants, heading out the door to go for a run, Lan Zhan had looked back at her, direct in the eyes, the kind of look that felt like something shocking had happened. Wei Ying didn’t get that look very often, and now she tried it out now and then, Lan-er-gege, please help your Wei Ying with this simple favour. It didn’t have much of an impact on whether or not Lan Zhan gave into Wei Ying’s latest demand, but she always got the low wave of pleasure from Lan Zhan when she said it, a little murmur of warmth in Lan Zhan’s scent. It was worth scandalising Jiang Cheng.

Wei Ying was wearing the grey sweatshirt now, in the ramen house—with her skinny jeans and sensible shoes, thanks very much, she was perfectly work-appropriate—when her phone buzzed: Where are you?

you sent me out!!!!!!!!!!! she replied, mouth full of noodles and indignation. out of my house!! where i live!!!!

You could have gone to your bedroom

“Motherfucker,” Wei Ying said, and counted out the change for her dinner.

At home, Lan Zhan was on the sofa and there was no sign of the strange omega. Wei Ying could catch the very barest hint of a scent but only, she admitted reluctantly, because she was trying pretty hard for it. Lan Zhan must have propped the window open, and she’d lit some incense, and the apartment mostly just smelled like them. The other omega was just a slight line underneath that, mostly just the smell of sex, tangled in so close with Lan Zhan that Wei Ying felt weird about pursuing it too closely.

Lan Zhan had an arm flung out along the back of the sofa, legs kicked out in front of her, and she looked up when Wei Ying came in. She didn’t look any different from normal, didn’t look like she’d just been deep in an omega with a dick Wei Ying hadn’t even known Lan Zhan had. She was in vintage Levis that were high waisted enough they would have shown any bulge beneath, and a white t-shirt that cut in against her biceps. Not that her biceps had anything to do with Lan Zhan’s apparently not-theoretical dick. Wei Ying was annoyed and off guard. The kitchen counter, she noticed, scowling, was sparkling and spotless.

Lan Zhan’s eyes flicked up and down Wei Ying, slouching and shifting her weight in the doorway, and something quirked at the corner of her mouth. She reached down and lifted a beer out of the cool box by her side that Wei Ying hadn’t noticed. She raised it, eyebrows lifting up.

“Oh,” Wei Ying said, mollified. “All right, yeah,” and she came over to the couch while Lan Zhan knocked the cap off against the coffee table corner and handed it over to her, picked up her own steaming flask of tea and poured another cup. Wasn’t she too hot to have tea? She’d looked hot, earlier, sweat prickling on the nape of her neck, her face bent down to the omega so that her spine was a long, curving line. How long ago had that been, forty minutes? An hour? Wei Ying would still be lying on the floor panting. Where was the omega?

“You should have waited to eat,” Lan Zhan said. “There’s stew in the fridge.”

“You looked busy,” Wei Ying said, narrowing her eyes.

“Am I ever too busy for Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan said, deadpan sweetness that she knew only aggravated Wei Ying further, and ducked easily when Wei Ying went to hit her.

It was a shame. A couple of weeks ago Wei Ying had come home from an incredibly frustrating day, all the books she needed for her latest paper already on loan, a fight with one of her classmates that had ended in the teacher taking Wei Ying aside and asking with faux concern if maybe Wei Ying was approaching a heat to be so temperamental, Yanli sending her a message that was as considerate and kind as everything about her jie, except she had to uninvite Wei Ying from a dinner on Madame Yu’s instructions. Wei Ying had known that Yanli was so upset to do it and there was no point taking the low curl of misery in her belly out on jie, and so she’d had to compose an upbeat cheerful response pretending she didn’t mind at all, and that made her feel even worse, like instead the poison was curdling in her. She’d gotten home and poured it all out to Lan Zhan, who didn’t say a lot but watched Wei Ying closely and nodded now and then, when Wei Ying said, “That’s fucked, isn’t it, Lan Zhan? Don’t you agree that it’s fucked?”

When she’d finished, Lan Zhan said, “That’s a bad day. Do you want to watch a movie?”

“No,” Wei Ying had said, frustrated. “I want to — I want—” but she hadn’t known what she wanted. She didn’t want Lan Zhan to soothe her, she didn’t want to go out to a bar and surround herself by noise, she didn’t want to sit stewing in the quiet. After a worryingly short time their apartment felt like a sanctuary to Wei Ying, but sometimes she herself didn’t belong there. She only made things worse, like she was the one wrong thing in the whole beautiful place. That night she’d been restless and knew she was being unreasonable. All the same she demanded, “Fix it, Lan Zhan! Fix everything!”

“Can’t do that,” Lan Zhan said, all her attention so solidly on Wei Ying that Wei Ying felt it like a touch, a hand to the back of her neck.

“Ughhhh,” Wei Ying had said, twitching, and given Lan Zhan a playful little shove, saying, “what good are you, then,” or the shove was meant to be playful, but she knew it had a nasty edge. Lan Zhan didn’t move, didn’t even rock back on her heels, but she did reach out and shove Wei Ying back. A neat, solid touch, her whole hand folding over Wei Ying’s shoulder before she gave a deliberate push.

Wei Ying had stared at her for a second before she launched herself at Lan Zhan, trying to tackle her to the ground, scratching Lan Zhan’s arms, hurling herself against Lan Zhan’s chest. Lan Zhan gave back just as good as she got, and the two of them went staggering across the living room.

Wei Ying hadn’t wrestled with someone since she was eleven, when Madame Yu told her she was far too old to still be getting into physical fights with Jiang Cheng. She’d been surprised at how good it felt, trying and failing to get Lan Zhan into a headlock, laughing breathlessly but viciously pleased, too. They’d stumbled about for maybe five minutes before Wei Ying managed to trip Lan Zhan up—stupid long legs, whose way were in they in now—and Lan Zhan caught a fistful of Wei Ying’s shirt on her way down and brought Wei Ying crashing to the floor with her.

They’d wriggled about for a few minutes more before Lan Zhan got Wei Ying on her stomach, wrist wrenched up behind the small of her back, Lan Zhan sitting astride her waist and bent over her ear. This close Wei Ying could hear that Lan Zhan was panting just slightly. Her scent was stronger than usual, it felt like a blanket that was packing Wei Ying down, keeping her pressed against the floor.

“Feel better?” Lan Zhan said, voice low in Wei Ying’s ear.

“Yeah,” Wei Ying admitted, and Lan Zhan let her up and made her dinner.

It was probably for the best that Lan Zhan didn’t just wrestle with Wei Ying to solve every one of Wei Ying’s problems — she’d had some wicked bruises the next day that she hadn’t even noticed happening at the time, purple blooming on her elbow and hip. Full of restless energy and the memory of Lan Zhan’s hand on the back of the omega’s neck, though, she was disappointed when Lan Zhan ducked the blow.

After sex Lan Zhan might be slower, her reflexes not quite as sharp, she should be a little lethargic and languid. Maybe Wei Ying would have been able to get the upper hand. Maybe she’d be able to shove Lan Zhan flat on her back and settle back against Lan Zhan’s hips and see if she could feel anything, the hint of anything. Although probably Wen Qing would have some things to say about groping her female roommate to see if the alpha dick rumours were true. Wei Ying sighed.

“Fine, fine, maybe I overreacted a little,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it! I didn’t know you had a girlfriend, Lan Zhan!”

Lan Zhan’s gaze cut away. “I don’t.”

“Of course, of course, I forgot you’re such a ladykiller,” Wei Ying said. “That poor omega. Did you just toss her out into the cold? It’s winter, Lan Zhan!”

Lan Zhan was too well-mannered to yawn but something about her expression suggested it, a slight glaze in her eyes when she looked at Wei Ying. “She’s in my bedroom.”

Wei Ying gaped. “Lan Zhan!!”

“She wanted a rest,” Lan Zhan said. Only Lan Zhan would sit like this on the sofa after she’d been fucking a girl like that. Wei Ying had a sudden flash of it, the omega’s mouth all bitten and pink and open, her cheek resting against the counter, the dazed way she’d stared at Wei Ying. As though she hadn’t even registered that there was another person there, as though she couldn’t think about anything that wasn’t Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan’s big hands on her hips and Lan Zhan’s dick sliding inside her, those sharp, demanding thrusts.

Lan Zhan was sitting next to Wei Ying straight-backed, the old perfect posture, her hair clean and soft, her skin clear. Had she had time for a shower, Wei Ying wondered. How close had she been when Wei Ying walked in? How long had she lasted after Wei Ying left?

“Doesn’t she have her own home,” Wei Ying grumbled, as though she hadn’t been telling off Lan Zhan a moment ago for kicking her out. “Wouldn’t she be more comfortable there?”

She was getting more prickly the more she thought about it. Lan Zhan’s room was plain and comfortable; a desk in the corner, some prints on the walls, her bed taking up most of the space with its deep wooden base and the luxurious white bedding, always faintly rumpled like an invitation. When Wei Ying went in to bother Lan Zhan while she was working, she usually perched on the corner of Lan Zhan’s bed, or lay back to sprawl out, careful to keep her legs dangling off the bed and her feet on the ground as though that would stop it from being completely inappropriate. Now she could imagine the strange omega curled right in the centre of it like Wei Ying never had, dozing on Lan Zhan’s pillow, breathing Lan Zhan in and leaving her own scent all over Lan Zhan’s bedroom so Lan Zhan would notice it afterward. Maybe Lan Zhan would go in later and wake the omega up, slide behind her, nuzzling at the omega’s neck, the brush of her mouth against the omega’s shoulder. Slide right back in before the omega was even properly awake, so she came back to consciousness gasping and full.

Wei Ying switched on the TV and started switching aimlessly around channels, frowning hard at cooking shows and dance battles. She knew that her displeasure was roiling off her in waves, the rough scent of her anger high in the air. Lan Zhan didn’t react, just sat untroubled beside her; if anything, Wei Ying thought she was faintly amused, which didn’t do anything to settle Wei Ying’s mood. She narrowed her eyes and kicked her feet up on the coffee table, something she knew Lan Zhan hated.

“I hope you made enough stew,” Wei Ying announced. “Your friend will want some soon. Most people get hungry after sex, Lan Zhan, she’s probably going to take a nap and wake up hungry. She better not eat my snacks. They’re for me, Lan Zhan, you know I get hungry when I’m working. I have so much reading to do tomorrow, if she eats my French biscuits I’ll have to murder her, and then who will you have left to fuck?”

“I’ll find someone,” Lan Zhan said. “Put your feet down.”

“Lan Zhan! That’s a very disrespectful way to talk about someone you slept with! Even if she’s not your girlfriend, you should still treat her with kindness—”

“Wei Ying.”

Wei Ying scowled and removed her feet. “If I smoke tonight, I am going to want some Pocky,” she said darkly. “If your omega eats my Pocky we will have some serious trouble on our hands.”

“Not my omega,” Lan Zhan said. “Would you like me to roll for you?”

“Oh,” Wei Ying said, and allowed herself to be lifted slightly out of her temper. “Yes, thank you, gege.”

Lan Zhan reached forward for the grinder and the papers and Wei Ying tried to get comfortable on the sofa, tried to focus on Lan Zhan doing her a favour and not the omega asleep in Wei Ying’s apartment. Wei Ying could roll her own joints, of course, had been sneaking off to get high with Jiang Cheng since she was fifteen, but there was something very luxurious about Lan Zhan rolling them for her, and something soothing about zoning out and watching Lan Zhan’s long fingers, light and sure of themselves. Once Wei Ying had seen Lan Zhan roll a joint one-handed, holding a cup of tea in the other one, her gaze focused on the film they were watching, frowning and distracted and not even paying attention to how impressive it was. She was still idly trying to work out how to make Lan Zhan repeat the trick.

Even trying to be good, Wei Ying wasn’t that surprised when she heard Lan Zhan’s bedroom door open and light footsteps come out towards them. She knew she was broadcasting back off scents, knew that she’d made a beeline for Lan Zhan’s side when she came in, knew that she was too territorial about this apartment. It still felt like a miracle that she’d found it, that she lived here with Lan Zhan, and she just couldn’t control herself.

When the omega girl put her head around the door, cheeks pink, her lips were parted like she was doing her best to unobtrusively breathe through her mouth. Even that wouldn’t be enough to miss the fuck off, get out threat in Wei Ying’s scent. At her actual appearance, Wei Ying narrowed her eyes, something like a growl building in her throat, leaning forward with her weight ready to jump to her feet.

Lan Zhan looked sharply at her and Wei Ying sat back with a sigh, pressing her back against the cool leather of the couch. Lan Zhan handed her the joint like an offering and said, “That wasn’t a long rest.”

“I know, but I better get a move on,” the omega said, coming across the floor, darting a nervous look at Wei Ying. “My roommate freaks if I’m out late.”

“Roommates can be demanding,” Lan Zhan said. Wei Ying narrowed her eyes.

“Right,” the omega said, with a little laugh, and then she was there, her hand tentative on Lan Zhan’s shoulder, acting as though Wei Ying wasn’t sitting right there glaring daggers at her. “Well… I had a great time.”

Lan Zhan tipped her head back on the couch, lazy. She reached up with her big hand and drew the omega down by the back of her neck, kissed her slow and thorough. The slick flash of tongue. Wei Ying felt sick but she couldn’t look away. Was Lan Zhan biting the omega’s lip? Yes, she was, slow and sure, drawing the omega’s bottom lip into her mouth with her teeth. The omega had both hands on Lan Zhan’s shoulders now, like she needed to balance or was just taking the chance to feel Lan Zhan up, and she made a weak little noise and then stumbled back when Lan Zhan released her.

“Phew,” she said. “Well. Goodnight! Text me!” Her gaze darted back to Wei Ying. “Um, nice to meet you!”

“I’ll tear your throat out,” Wei Ying said, in a low, dangerous voice.

“Sorry?”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan said.

“Nice to meet you too,” Wei Ying said, glaring.

“I’ll walk you out,” Lan Zhan said, standing up.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying said, and nothing else. Lan Zhan slanted her another cool look, something tight and disapproving about the line of her mouth, and Wei Ying slumped further into the sofa. She didn’t look up, even at the sudden sweet rush of the omega’s scent, pleased and flirtatious. She worked hard to keep her head straight, avoiding the temptation to sneak a peek and see if Lan Zhan had put her arm around the omega, if she was leaning into Lan Zhan’s side. She didn’t move at all, in fact, not when the door closed behind Lan Zhan, and not when it opened again, ten minutes later, and Lan Zhan came back in.

Lan Zhan took her seat back on the sofa. They looked at each other for a moment. Wei Ying was holding the joint Lan Zhan had rolled for her, and all the anger had gone out of her, left her dull and crumpled.

“All right, Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan said.

She leaned forward and took the joint, raised it to Wei Ying’s mouth so that Wei Ying had to part her lips and accept it, fingers going up to steady it. Lan Zhan cupped her hands around the joint and lit it, and Wei Ying obediently took a huge drag, making Lan Zhan nod once like she was pleased. Wei Ying held it, feeling her lungs burn, then let it out. She blew a smoke ring. Lan Zhan scoffed low under her breath and sat back against the sofa.

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying said, lazy now. It wasn’t just the weed, which was still curling through her. Lan Zhan rolled nicely, not too much tobacco, strong enough to get her out of her head without being overwhelming. The omega was gone, and now Wei Ying was sure that all of Lan Zhan’s attention was on her. She could tell from the way Lan Zhan was watching her. But she wanted to show how okay she was with everything, how cool she was, how Lan Zhan didn’t have to worry about her demanding roommate, so she said, “Isn’t it a pity not to drink, at a time like this? You should have,” and she laughed, croaky around the smoke in her throat, “a post-coital whiskey! Like all those alpha romance novels! You need a smoking jacket and a glass of whiskey.”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said.

“Or at least,” Wei Ying continued, pausing for another drag, “at least you should have a beer or something, Lan Zhan. I’m not pressuring you, obviously I respect that you don’t drink, I’m just saying, it looked like you were — you were putting in the work, ge. Shouldn’t you get to unwind?”

Lan Zhan gave her a lazy, comprehensive look that made Wei Ying stare back at her, lips parting. “Ah, ahh,” Wei Ying said, hesitating, uncertain what was going to happen, Lan Zhan watching her like she knew exactly what Wei Ying was thinking when even Wei Ying wasn’t sure of that, and then Lan Zhan reached out and took the joint from Wei Ying’s fingers and raised it to her own lips.

Wei Ying relaxed. She beamed. “Oh, good,” she said, and settled in a little closer. She and Lan Zhan never touched, really, not unless Lan Zhan was putting her somewhere out the way while she was cleaning, or Wei Ying was grabbing Lan Zhan’s arm and trying to make her walk home faster, or Lan Zhan caught tight hold of Wei Ying’s wrist and steered her in the right direction at the supermarket when Wei Ying was getting distracted by all the discounted chilli oil — well, fine, they touched a decent amount. They didn’t cuddle, unlike Nie Huaisang and his roommates, who seemed to sleep in puppy piles as far as Wei Ying could tell.

But on the rare occasions Lan Zhan got high, she’d touch Wei Ying differently. Like she didn’t notice she was doing it, fingers folding over Wei Ying’s knee, or a hand resting on Wei Ying’s shoulder, her fingertips grazing at the line of Wei Ying’s neck. It was — it was distracting. Usually Wei Ying’s mouth got dry when she was stoned but when Lan Zhan touched her like this her mouth seemed wetter than was proper and she knew her scent was doing embarrassing things.

One time she’d given into her instincts and flopped onto her back, belly up. Lan Zhan just gave her a considering look and then touched Wei Ying’s forehead, running her fingers along Wei Ying’s hair to stroke the tops of her ears, not even normally a sensitive spot, but everything had felt so good that Wei Ying had just lain there panting under the light brush of Lan Zhan’s touch. Wei Ying loved getting high with Lan Zhan.

It was easier to talk, too, and now she could say the thing she’d been thinking on repeat all night, let the words fall easily out of her mouth. “Lan Zhan,” she said. “Lan Zhan, I didn’t know.”

“Wei Ying has to ask me a question if she wants me to respond,” Lan Zhan said, with another slow inhale.

“That you had.” Wei Ying licked her lips. She was flushed. “Lan Zhan, you’re always telling me not to be so shameless, how can you ask me to say shameless things?”

“Didn’t ask,” Lan Zhan said, joint hanging from the corner of her mouth. “You wanted to tell.”

“Yeah,” Wei Ying mumbled. “Ahh. Lan Zhan! I thought it was only a myth that alpha women had — that you could grow — that you had your own—”

“Try not to hurt yourself,” Lan Zhan said. “It’s not a myth.”

“Oh,” Wei Ying said. Her voice came out smaller than she meant.

She’d just — she’d been so sure it was a rumour, like when a boy at school told her that some alphas also had thorny barbed dicks, like cats, or that her heats meant she would go out on the street begging any alpha who passed to fill her up. (She was still indignant about that. Wei Ying was very well behaved in her heats! Mostly she just wanted to be in smaller and smaller places, a flat, a room, a bed, where she usually went quite still, her lips just parted, her eyes faintly glazed. Her skin was always hot, shuddering. Wet everywhere, and the insurmountable feeling that she was waiting for something. She’d only ever had one really bad heat, actually, her only one in this apartment, which she put down to being in an unfamiliar environment and away from the scent of family. Lan Zhan had gone home to visit her brother and uncle for the week and Wei Ying had prowled around the place like an animal in a cage, spent four hours sitting panting on the floor outside Lan Zhan’s closed bedroom door, near yowling with loneliness.)

When you searched alpha women dick + urban myth plenty of stuff came up to prove her point, which Wei Ying had been citing to her friends in bars ever since. It wasn’t a surprise; there was plenty of misinformation out there about alphas and omegas. Wei Ying tried not to pay this particular misconception too much mind, although sometimes she guiltily thought about it, the idea of it, wondering what it would be like. Her stomach squirming. Not often, though, just in idle moments, like when she was bored out of her mind because Lan Zhan was making her help prep dinner and she was zoning out watching Lan Zhan use her sharp chef’s knife to slice up the vegetables, or very late at night, when she touched herself to get to sleep, too lazy for porn, the image of it flashing into her mind right before she came.

She’d just always assumed it was more alpha chauvinist bullshit, the same kind of idea that lay behind the assumption that every omega was gagging for knot, just waiting for an alpha to come along and roll them over. And it kind of leant into the idea of an alpha woman as the ultimate threat, too, subversive even amongst alphas, dangerous and out of control. Wei Ying had had beta girlfriends who panicked when an alpha guy walked past, let alone an alpha woman, even when Wei Ying had told them that she didn’t like men.

She tried to hold both herself and the people she dated to a higher standard now. She didn’t let herself fall for the old narratives. She moved in with an alpha and held her own, made it clear that she wasn’t a toy to be used. She tried not to think about the way Lan Zhan looked at her sometimes, early in the mornings or late at night, like Wei Ying was prey in her own home. She tried not to think about wanting to be caught. She dated betas, and had a decent amount—fuck you, Nie Huaisang—of considerate and nice sex.

“I told everyone that it was a lie,” Wei Ying said, when she realised she hadn’t spoken for too long. Her voice came out rough, scratched up. Probably just the weed. “Told them that my roommate was an alpha and she would have told me.”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said, eyes hooded. Also the weed.

“Ah, Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying whispered. She let a rough breath out and tried to gather herself. “Still! On the — on the kitchen counter! That is communal space, Lan Zhan. That was very rude.”

“Sorry,” Lan Zhan said, sounding not very sorry at all. “I cleaned up afterward.”

“It’s the principle of the thing!” Wei Ying scolded. “How could it be worth the shame of being caught! Being caught by your innocent and undeserving Wei Ying! Lan Zhan, you have a bedroom! How could you take the risk?”

“It’s good,” Lan Zhan said. “Get a girl up on her tiptoes.” Her hand moved slowly through the air, sketching out an arc. “The angle.”

“Oh,” Wei Ying said. Her mouth was wet again and Lan Zhan was looking at her.

“Didn’t know you were going to be so rude,” Lan Zhan said slowly. “Poor A-Li.”

Poor A-Li,” Wei Ying mimicked immediately, and then jolted upright and shuffled hastily back to the far corner of the couch, though that wouldn’t necessarily protect her from Lan Zhan’s long arms if she really wanted to reprove Wei Ying. “Sorry! Lan Zhan, I’m only teasing! Just playing! Don’t be cruel!”

Lan Zhan’s eyes were narrowed and disapproving, and Wei Ying’s cheeks were hot. She let out a breath and tried to explain. The weed had relaxed her enough that she could say it without feeling too pathetic.

“Lan Zhan, it’s — I know that even though you’re an alpha and I’m an omega, we’re friends and we understand each other and I value our friendship a lot, and that’s what I want! And I hate it when people say alphas and omegas can’t be friends, that there’s too much — biology in the way, that our instincts are always going to mess things up for us.” A horrible thought occurred to her, one that she’d successfully repressed since the Win Lan Zhan Over campaign of her first month living in the apartment. “We are friends, right?”

“Foolish,” Lan Zhan said. “Yes.”

“Right,” Wei Ying said, relieved. “So that’s how I feel and I really think it’s fine most of the time. But it’s… obviously I don’t have to agree with those people who say that instinct gets in the way to acknowledge where they’re coming from. And some of their points are — basic fact. They just take it to the wrong conclusion. But I don’t — it’s hard — I don’t like it when you touch another omega, my body doesn’t like it.” She paused, staring at Lan Zhan with pleading eyes, willing Lan Zhan to understand.

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said.

“And obviously I know that’s unreasonable of me and I would never ask you to stop,” Wei Ying said. “I want you to be happy! You’re extremely handsome, Lan Zhan, of course you should be fucking whoever you want. But I just, I don’t like it, and I,” and she paused, “Lan Zhan, your bed is going to smell just like her. And I know — I know you got her scent out of our communal spaces and I really appreciate it, and it doesn’t matter what your bedroom smells like because that’s your bedroom, I won’t even be in there, but I just know that your bed is going to smell like her and it — it really freaks me out.”

She stopped. She was almost out of breath, and she hadn’t planned even half of what she’d just said. She stared at Lan Zhan, whose expression was unreadable, her face as unmoved as ever.

“Are you done?” Lan Zhan said.

Wei Ying could feel the flush crawling up her chest, her throat, her cheeks. “Yes.”

“Okay,” Lan Zhan said. “Well, you can sleep in my bed tonight if you want. And then it will smell like you.”

Wei Ying’s lips parted. Her whole mouth had filled with saliva. She wanted it more than she had ever wanted anything.

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan said.

“Okay,” Wei Ying said, hurried. “Okay, yes. Thank you.” She leaned forward and stubbed out the joint.

“You’ve only smoked half of that,” Lan Zhan said.

“But I’m tired,” Wei Ying said. “It’s made me tired.”

“Then you should go to bed, Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan said.

 

Wei Ying brushed her teeth and washed her face and went to skip her toner except Lan Zhan wandered in with a toothbrush in the corner of her mouth and her eyebrows raised and Wei Ying hurriedly patted it on. She drank a big glass of water, frosty cold and sobering her up a bit, along with the tepid water splashed on her face. It hadn’t been that much weed anyway. Just enough to make her conscious of the way her fingers felt scrubbing restlessly at her neck, to make her feel very solidly in her body, like her skin had shrunk and was keeping her close. She peed. She stole some of Lan Zhan’s good serum and put her moisturiser on a little slower. She did everything in weird bursts of speed then dawdling, not sure what she was waiting for, but Lan Zhan was still tracking back and forth between the bathroom and the kitchen, alternating between her skincare and watering the plants. So Wei Ying went to bed alone.

She’d been in Lan Zhan’s room plenty of times, inviting herself in to complain or wheedle some of Lan Zhan’s attention. Usually Lan Zhan would be sitting at her big wooden desk under the window with her laptop and a stack of books. Sometimes she would be working out, stretching before or after her run or doing pull ups on the bar she’d installed over her doorway, because Lan Zhan was a ridiculous alpha jock. Once Wei Ying had come in to find Lan Zhan doing push ups with her backpack on, which had seemed ludicrous: “For shoulders,” Lan Zhan had explained, glancing up at her. Her fringe was in her eyes, always with a little wave to it when it got sweaty, like when Wei Ying had seen her with the omega earlier today.

Wei Ying had made an attempt at teasing her, and taken the backpack off to examine it—“Just four textbooks! Lan Zhan, are you feeling tired?” Except teasing Lan Zhan never worked very well, and somehow she’d ended up sitting cross-legged on Lan Zhan’s back while Lan Zhan finished her set. Wei Ying had been breathless and embarrassed the whole way through it, feeling the muscles of Lan Zhan’s back moving beneath her thighs, talking because she couldn’t make herself shut up: “Lan Zhan, you’re such a show off! When I fall off and hurt my head you’re going to be in so much trouble—”

“So don’t fall off,” Lan Zhan had said, voice only a little strained. Wei Ying shook her head, laughing.

“Lan Zhan,” she said. “You really are the weirdest person I know,” and Lan Zhan was too preoccupied to even give her one of her hard flinty looks. When she’d finally finished Wei Ying hopped nimbly off and Lan Zhan rolled onto her back, arms splayed at her side, eyes closed. She’d been out of breath and smiling a little, at the corner of her mouth. So Wei Ying supposed even the great Lan Zhan could get her dose of exercise endorphins.

What she’d never seen, not ever, was Lan Zhan in bed. Lan Zhan woke up earlier than Wei Ying and she wasn’t the type to laze around in bed. Wei Ying had had whole conversations with Lan Zhan while in bed, curled up under a mountain of her covers while Lan Zhan leaned in the doorway and said “Mn,” when Wei Ying, her head under the pillow, still half-asleep despite having called Lan Zhan in to pay her some attention, asked, “Lan Zhan, are you still there?” But she’d never seen Lan Zhan in bed, let alone asleep. What would it be like? Would Lan Zhan sleep with perfect posture, flat on her back with her hands folded over her heart? Wei Ying could feel a nervous bubble of laughter rising in her throat.

Lan Zhan’s bed was unmade, of course. The omega had left the big white duvet pulled back and rumpled, and there was a dent where she’d been. There was also a long black hair on one of the fat pillows. Wei Ying narrowed her eyes and then went and fastidiously picked it up with her thumb and forefinger. She carried it to Lan Zhan’s window and tossed it out into the cool night.

She felt better after that, with the window cracked, even though she could still smell the other omega, see her outline in Lan Zhan’s bed. She felt practical and cheerful: it wouldn’t last. She climbed out of her jeans and took her bra off from under her shirt and draped them both neatly over Lan Zhan’s desk chair. She’d thought about putting on a fresh shirt to sleep in, but that seemed to defeat the point. Wei Ying had showered this morning and she was wearing a pink t-shirt that was small around her arms, hemline just under her navel, clean as of this morning. Now it just smelled like Wei Ying’s day, her plain deodorant, the library stacks, a little fresh sweat from the subway ride and the heat that had broken out on the small of Wei Ying’s back when she walked in and saw Lan Zhan and the omega.

Wei Ying got into bed.

As soon as she was in there she let out a gusty breath, rolling over and burying her face against the pillow. She breathed in hugely, felt the skin on her back stretch with the expansion of her lungs. She pulled the covers up to her neck, then over her head, so that for a moment everything was hot and close. The air was thin, the light dark red and hazy, just the warm scent of Lan Zhan all around her. She rolled over, kicked her legs with pleasure. She turned again, pushing the pillows aside and nuzzling around the sheet, taking sharp breaths in through her mouth. She was leaving little spots of wet on Lan Zhan’s sheets, her lips printed against the fine cotton, but she didn’t care. She wiggled her toes, pushed the blankets off her face, lay spread-eagled taking up as much space as possible.

Lan Zhan came into the room. She’d already slid out of her clothes and she was wearing a white ribbed cotton singlet that clung to her tits, showed the dark hair at her pits, and plain dark underwear. She had that look on her face that would have been blank disdain on anyone else and meant that Lan Zhan was quite amused. “And?”

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying said happily. “This bed smells just like you.”

“She was only in here for half an hour,” Lan Zhan said.

“Yeah. Yeaaaah.” Wei Ying burrowed deeper into the bed. She could smell her, the strange omega, A-Li, who-the-fuck-ever. A faint hint of creme caramel and pleasure, but it was nothing compared to the scent of Lan Zhan, winding over and around Wei Ying, possessive as though it was pleased to see her. Wei Ying could feel her own scent growing stronger in response, leaking onto the sheets below her. She felt so good.

She turned back over, pressed her face into the pillows. She wanted to be deeper; she got up on her knees, shoving her face down hard so there’d be a pillow crease or something else silly across her cheek. That felt good, though, like that with the blankets draped over her and Lan Zhan’s gaze on her as she moved about the room, put her watch on the shelf, put her phone on to charge. Wei Ying widened her legs, something pleasant about the burn in her thighs. She made a small noise against the pillow.

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan murmured.

Wei Ying turned her cheek to the side, watching Lan Zhan cross the room, the tawny hair on Lan Zhan’s legs, the long line of her calves. She was so tall. “Guess I didn’t need to worry,” Wei Ying said, in that weird, far off voice that didn’t quite seem to belong to her.

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said, like a question.

“Doesn’t — doesn’t smell like her. Smells like. Ah, Lan Zhan. Smells like you.”

“That’s not what you wanted,” Lan Zhan said. Wei Ying peered up at her, enquiring, and Lan Zhan stood by the side of the bed, giving Wei Ying a long, interested look, her gaze raking up and down Wei Ying so that the covers felt unnecessary. “You wanted my bed to smell like you.”

“Ah,” Wei Ying said. “Right.”

Lan Zhan took hold of the blankets and drew them back, slow and sure, unveiling Wei Ying in her little t-shirt and her plain black underwear. All of Wei Ying’s breath shuddered out of her. She kept her cheek pressed to Lan Zhan’s pillow, felt herself freeze, like some small animal caught in a beam of light. Lan Zhan dropped the blankets at Wei Ying’s ankles and then she ran her big palm in one easy, hot line from the nape of Wei Ying’s neck down to her ankle.

It was overwhelming, that touch. Wei Ying barely had time to process the easy clasp of Lan Zhan’s long fingers around her neck before she was gasping as Lan Zhan’s hand smoothed over Wei Ying’s spine, down the crease of Wei Ying’s ass—she squeaked, not enough time to protest, just enough time to instinctively lift her ass into Lan Zhan’s touch—and then slipping towards Wei Ying’s inner thigh. Knuckles grazing Wei Ying’s pussy, almost as if by accident, except nothing about this long, hot touch could be accidental. Down the back of Wei Ying’s thigh, the curious brush of Lan Zhan’s fingers against the soft hollow at the back of her knee. That should have been less intense after the easy way Lan Zhan touched Wei Ying over her underwear but even the big clasp of Lan Zhan’s hand around her calf made tiny, breathless noises break out of Wei Ying.

“Getting there,” Lan Zhan said.

“Fuck,” Wei Ying said, panting. Her hips were nudging back into the empty air, little twitches. She was aching inside. Her thighs were slick, her underwear damp. When had that happened? When Lan Zhan touched her? When she said Wei Ying could sleep in her bed? When Wei Ying had walked in and Lan Zhan had looked her directly in the eyes and told her to get out?

“Also said you were tired,” Lan Zhan said.

“Noo,” Wei Ying said. “Lan Zhan. Lan Zhan, why did you, why did you touch me like that—”

“Wei Ying is in my bed,” Lan Zhan pointed out, as though that was all that mattered, as though Wei Ying was just part of the linen, just another thing that belonged to Lan Zhan. Lan Zhan’s hand was on her face, swiping the hair out of Wei Ying’s eyes; Wei Ying turned her face, nuzzled into Lan Zhan’s palm. Darted out her tongue, a tiny, kittenish lick, just trying her luck.

Her luck didn’t hold. Lan Zhan slid her palm around, caught a handful of Wei Ying’s hair, and pressed her down against the pillow, close and tight so that it hurt Wei Ying’s nose and it was hard to breathe against the cloth. Wei Ying whined and struggled instinctively, and Lan Zhan’s hand tightened, her scalp burning. Wei Ying went limp.

“Good girl,” Lan Zhan said.

“Hngh,” Wei Ying said, into the pillow.

“Bedtime,” Lan Zhan said. She released Wei Ying. She turned out the light. She slid into the bed. She lay flat on her back with her arms by her side, as though Wei Ying wasn’t still panting in child’s pose beside her. Lan Zhan closed her eyes.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying said. “You’re — Lan Zhan, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me right now.”

“This is how I sleep,” Lan Zhan said, without opening her eyes. “I offered for Wei Ying to come sleep in my bed with me—”

“Lan Zhan!!”

Lan Zhan opened her eyes. Wei Ying’s eyes were adjusting to the dark and she could see the line of gold, the full mouth. “How does Wei Ying sleep?”

“I,” Wei Ying said, helpless. She’d never felt so out of her depth, so desperate. She wasn’t sure when things had tipped over, couldn’t track anything, as though she’d spent the whole evening running towards Lan Zhan’s beckoning fingers and now she was here, right in the palm of Lan Zhan’s hand, and Lan Zhan wasn’t doing anything with her. “On my side.”

“Show me,” Lan Zhan said.

Wei Ying huffed out a breath and toppled onto her side. She turned her back on Lan Zhan deliberately, shoulders hunching, ready to set up a sulk so loud that Lan Zhan couldn’t ignore her, and then Lan Zhan moved. A quiet rustle through the sheets and Lan Zhan was curved around her, her chest pressed to Wei Ying’s back, her knees hooked into Wei Ying’s knees, her mouth hot against Wei Ying’s hair, one arm lifting Wei Ying up to slide underneath her neck and the other hooked around her side, her hand pressed flat to Wei Ying’s stomach. And her hips were pressed tight against Wei Ying’s ass, their whole bodies linked together in one long line, forcing a low, rough noise out of Wei Ying.

She was shivering uncontrollably in Lan Zhan’s arms. She jerked several times, helpless little ruts back against Lan Zhan, searching for friction, so wet that she could feel it on her thighs, was glad she was on her side and not making a wet spot on Lan Zhan’s mattress, although that felt tragically inevitable. Lan Zhan’s arms tightened around her, holding her close and tight, and Wei Ying panted, felt Lan Zhan’s mouth against the crown of her head. It was like she was entirely wrapped up in Lan Zhan, her whole body shivering and alight with the way Lan Zhan was touching her. She could even—

“Hngh,” she said, rocking back, because she could feel the hardness against her ass that was Lan Zhan’s dick, could feel the solid and hot weight of it, thick and nestled between Wei Ying’s cheeks even through two layers of cotton. She couldn’t think, could barely speak, mouth open and drooling against Lan Zhan’s forearm. It was like this was exactly where she was meant to be.

It wasn’t like that at all, Wei Ying thought suddenly. It was where she was meant to be. Lan Zhan should not have any other omegas in her bed. Lan Zhan should not be fucking any other omegas over their kitchen counter. If Lan Zhan was going to have an omega, if Lan Zhan was going to give someone her mean hands and her hot mouth and her dick, that omega should be Wei Ying!

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying said, furious.

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said.

“Lan Zhan, why are you sleeping with other girls?” Wei Ying demanded. Lan Zhan shuffled Wei Ying around in her arms for a moment, rolling Wei Ying in under her armpit while she moved fussily about, adjusting the sheets or something, but Wei Ying didn’t care, she was alight with outrage. “Why are you giving other girls your — why are you making other girls yours? Why do you want some other omega? She wasn’t as pretty or as funny as me, Lan Zhan, and you already spend all your time with me anyway!”

“Do I want some other omega?” Lan Zhan said mildly.

“You shouldn’t bring omegas home when I’m here!” Wei Ying said. “You shouldn’t be fucking any other omega whether I’m here or not! You should have me, Lan Zhan, I’m your omega,” and Lan Zhan pulled Wei Ying’s underwear to the side and pushed her big dick into Wei Ying in one slick, hot rush.

Wei Ying was gone, she was nothing, her head wiped clean and her body fizzing and the only real thing left was Lan Zhan opening her up inch by inch, the deep push of Lan Zhan’s dick into her and the endless slide of it out. Lan Zhan didn’t toy with her, was done making Wei Ying dangle, and she fucked in ruthlessly, tipping them over so that Wei Ying was on her stomach, legs spread, gurgling around how wet her mouth was. Lan Zhan caught her underwear in her fists and ripped it apart, disentangling it from around Wei Ying’s thighs, fingers swiping around Wei Ying’s clit, through her folds, feeling where Wei Ying was stretched around Lan Zhan.

Wei Ying choked. Lan Zhan made a low, interested noise and then caught her hip and winched her up higher, onto her knees. Wei Ying’s head flashed white, dark, white. Her neck was weak, head rolling forward.

Lan Zhan’s hands spanned the points of Wei Ying’s hipbones, digging into her thighs, lifting her so that her knees weren’t touching the mattress. Nothing was real except the way Lan Zhan was filling her up and the keening noise that Wei Ying realised after a moment was her.

It hurt, being held up like this, the muscles in her stomach tensing and jumping, Lan Zhan’s dick turning her inside out. Felt like it was messing with her insides, making room for itself, throbbing and growing with every pathetic noise Wei Ying made, not sure if she was begging or sobbing. It was too much, it was everything, her toes curled up tight against the sheets, her hair falling sticky over her wet face, tears and saliva making her feel as sticky there as she did between her legs, her slick everywhere, felt like Lan Zhan was shaking it out of her.

“Lan Zhan,” she said, tearful. “Lan Zhan! Lan Zhan, you have to be nicer—”

“Do I,” Lan Zhan said. Her voice was even somehow.

“Alpha,” Wei Ying said. Moaned, her mouth falling hot around the syllables. “Alpha, please. Please, please, I’m yours, I’ll be so good—”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan said, and put Wei Ying back onto her knees, folding down onto the mattress. There was a fine tremble running through her inner thigh and she was dizzy with the way Lan Zhan had been holding her up but she felt a little steadier, able to give back, to be good, and she started jerking her hips back, pushing into Lan Zhan’s thrusts, rocking up to meet that endless fuck.

“Thank you,” she said, breathless, “ah, gege, thank you, thank you — ah, hng, Lan Zhan, no, what are you—”

Lan Zhan’s hand had drifted up from her hip, a big, blunt finger rubbing circles around her rim. Wei Ying squeaked, hole clenching down, feeling it twitch around nothing. She’d never, not ever, not even on her own, and she said, “No, Lan Zhan, it’s — you don’t need that—”

“I don’t?” Lan Zhan said, like she was curious, and slid her finger inside, a slow, steady rock as inexorable as her dick. Wei Ying scrambled against the bed, blunt nails scraping against Lan Zhan’s nice sheets, a steady whine that racketed up into rough panting as Lan Zhan made a low, pleased noise and pressed another finger inside.

“Oh, fuck,” Wei Ying said. “Fuck, fuck—” she was so tight there, but she could feel herself getting wetter, making a slick home for Lan Zhan wherever Lan Zhan wanted her. Then Lan Zhan pushed both fingers in again and stroked them against the thin wall of skin so she was touching her own dick, as though she was rubbing herself through Wei Ying’s hole, through her pussy, and Wei Ying was sobbing and coming and she couldn’t take it and she was taking it, taking it for Lan Zhan.

 

Lan Zhan spanked her after that, her big palm folding almost entirely around Wei Ying’s asscheek, her dick still hot and heavy inside. Leaning back on her heels, teasing Wei Ying with shallow little fucks and then the heavy strike of her hand. Wei Ying didn’t get to say no, Lan Zhan reminded her, her voice a low, pleased burr, so satisfied that it made aftershocks rain through Wei Ying’s body. Wei Ying would be good and take what she was given.

It was so embarrassing, being hit like this, the steady smack of Lan Zhan’s hand and the way Wei Ying could feel her skin heating, going a hot, brilliant pink. Lan Zhan paused and Wei Ying panted weakly against the sheets and thought it was over, but Lan Zhan was just turning the lamp on so that she could see better. She was pleased with what she saw: she made a low, happy noise, a little throb of satisfaction in her scent rolling out around Wei Ying, and she leaned forward and shoved Wei Ying’s shirt up until it was tangled around her neck. Wei Ying’s nipples were dark and hot, pointing at the mattress, and Lan Zhan palmed her breast, rough and hard, making Wei Ying whine.

“Good,” Lan Zhan said, and went back to hitting her.

Wei Ying heaved out huge breaths, face hidden against her folded arms from shame, until Lan Zhan reached with her other hand and caught Wei Ying’s dishevelled ponytail, dragged her back by it so she could watch Wei Ying writhe and beg between each heavy slap. She was held by Lan Zhan in every direction, Lan Zhan’s fingers clenched in her hair, Lan Zhan’s hand sending stinging slaps against her ass, pinned on Lan Zhan’s dick. Only her mouth was empty. She filled it with Lan Zhan’s name.

Somewhere in there the pain sank into Wei Ying and stopped shocking her, just threw her further into her body, each splintering second like a gift. Her head fell back, her back arching, face turned blindly up to the ceiling. Lan Zhan’s hand paused, only for a moment, and then she was easing out of Wei Ying, leaving her whimpering and empty, pleading for more.

It was only a moment. Lan Zhan flipped her over onto her back, dragged her t-shirt off completely, tugged her own singlet off as an afterthought, and slid back home, Wei Ying’s legs up around Lan Zhan’s hips, arms wound around Lan Zhan’s shoulders. Their tits brushing together, Lan Zhan’s mouth at her neck, and then it was like they both suddenly realised what was possible from this angle and they were kissing, hot, heavy kisses, Lan Zhan’s tongue stroking into Wei Ying’s mouth. Kisses that felt like they were lighting Wei Ying up from the inside out, making her shiver and moan into Lan Zhan’s mouth, and Lan Zhan’s fingers rough on her breast, squeezing and twisting her nipple, and then oddly soft against her face, stroking along her jawline.

“My Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan murmured. “My omega. Good girl, good Wei Ying.”

“Lan Zhaan.” Wei Ying couldn’t close her mouth. She shuddered through it, the heavy knock of Lan Zhan’s dick, the deep stretch in her thighs. “Gege.” The hum of pleasure all through Lan Zhan, her shoulders and chest. “I — I need it.”

“I know, baby,” Lan Zhan said.

“Need it,” Wei Ying said. “Need your dick.”

Lan Zhan made a low, approving noise.

“I want — I want your knot,” Wei Ying said. “Please, I need it, please.”

“A-Ying,” Lan Zhan said. She sounded amused, pleased with both of them. “You have not earned that yet.”

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying said, and she was about to gather herself to protest except Lan Zhan pushed up until she was sitting in front of Wei Ying, and then she bent Wei Ying’s knees to her shoulders and fucked her so hard Wei Ying couldn’t think, couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything but take Lan Zhan’s dick and beg. Lan Zhan gave her that, at least, came in a hot rush inside her, a deep spill that made Wei Ying keen and clench down around Lan Zhan’s dick. The sure swipe of Lan Zhan’s thumb over her clit, while Lan Zhan’s mouth was still open, her hair hanging in her eyes, and Wei Ying splintering, fracturing around Lan Zhan, giving her everything, over and over, as many times as Lan Zhan demanded it.

 

Grey dawn. Wei Ying wasn’t sure what had woken her, the heavy ache in her thighs, the strange new sting in her — her hole, harder to think here in the bald light of day. Maybe just the unfamiliar feeling of being in Lan Zhan’s bed, or the hot, close pressure of Lan Zhan wound around her back. Wei Ying closed her eyes for a moment, drifted back into the easy hold Lan Zhan had on her. But no, none of that had woken her. She had to pee.

She extracted herself, feeling very tragic about the whole thing, from under Lan Zhan’s arm. Lan Zhan stirred a little but didn’t wake. “Worked so hard, gege,” Wei Ying whispered, staring hungrily at Lan Zhan’s face, the long eyelashes against sharp cheekbones. She pressed her hands to her face. She wanted to crow, leap about the room, cackle with laughter. But she was also quite curious about what would happen when Lan Zhan woke up and found Wei Ying in her bed, and she didn’t want to ruin it. She slipped out quietly to the bathroom.

On her way back she picked up her phone, already sure she wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep but uninterested in getting dressed or abandoning Lan Zhan’s bed. She climbed back under the covers as gently as she could, eased herself back until she was against Lan Zhan’s chest, Lan Zhan’s head bowed, her breath soft on Wei Ying’s neck. Wei Ying reached for Lan Zhan’s hand and pulled it back over her, arranging herself cheerfully under Lan Zhan’s arm. She was so sore. Lan Zhan would have to make her a big breakfast as an apology for sure. Then probably take her back to bed. Kiss her slow, say sorry all over, kiss Wei Ying’s face and breasts and — ahhh, when would Lan Zhan wake up? It was nearly five a.m. already!!

Wei Ying tried to distract herself on Weibo but everything was boring, nothing was as good as this, her alpha draped over her. She opened the camera app instead and stared, open-mouthed and pleased, at her reflection there. She hadn’t paid proper attention in the bathroom, hadn’t glanced in the mirror, hungry to be back in bed, but here… Her lips were swollen, her hair a disarray, dark circles under her eyes: how long had Lan Zhan let her sleep, two hours? Three? There were bite marks, purple and red and harsh, dotted across her throat, her chest. And Lan Zhan’s handsome face turned in against her shoulder, her arm holding Wei Ying secure. Wei Ying cooed to herself. She could feel something hovering above her, sweet and beckoning. Maybe it was a heat. She was so warm and used.

She took a photo without thinking, then another, and another, widening her eyes for the perfect selfie. She would send this to Nie Huaisang, she thought, satisfied. Or maybe Jiang Cheng, really ruin his morning. She started flicking through the camera roll, picking the best one. In all of them she looked wrecked, lovely, smug, with Lan Zhan’s sleeping face tucked perfectly against her. She paused, considering, on the second-to-last, where there was a very tasteful hint of her cleavage. She swiped onto the last one, her chin tilted up a little so the bite mark on her throat was at its best. Behind her, a glimpse of gold. Lan Zhan’s eyes just open, watching her and the camera.

“Ah,” Wei Ying said, startling. Lan Zhan’s hand tightened on her hip.