THE FLESH OF A SWAN

Chapter 2

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Under the influence of those pheromones, Teng Rui gazed at Shen Wenjun with the beginnings of obsession forming in his eyes. To him, Shen Wenjun appeared as though he'd been perfected by eighteen layers of photo filters. Teng Rui felt like this man was the most beautiful person in the world. He was fascinated, captivated, and head over heels in love.

Shen Wenjun's reaction was nothing like that. He shot this clearly immature, barely half-grown college student a glare of open disgust. The boy was practically drooling.

Shen Wenjun turned and walked away in a hurry.

What kind of useless moron was that meant to be?

Shen Wenjun dropped by the teacher's lounge first. Fortunately, no one else was there. He could finally breathe. He'd already used a potent suppressant earlier that morning. He couldn't use another; it would be potentially life-threatening.

Shen Wenjun checked his watch and saw that class was due to start in just two minutes.

It was too late to ask for the day off.

Moreover, he never took days off work just because of his heat.

But he had an ominous feeling today. The alpha from earlier had been carrying a law textbook, which made it quite likely that he'd signed up for Shen Wenjun's lecture. If Shen Wenjun ran into him again, his heat symptoms would be exacerbated.

Just to be safe, Shen Wenjun called Xie Han, who immediately answered his phone.

"Do you have time right now?" Shen Wenjun asked politely. "Can you make a trip out to H Law? I'm feeling unwell. If you can, come in… about an hour or so."

Xie Han instantly understood what Shen Wenjun meant. "I'll ask for time off and head over now."

The two of them had been classmates in middle school, and they'd always gotten along very well.

In their first year of high school, Shen Wenjun presented as an omega. His pheromones were very unstable immediately after he presented, and many alphas had been drawn in by those pheromones. Those lustful creatures only bothered and disgusted Shen Wenjun.

Back then, Xie Han would walk home with him every day after school. Xie Han had also presented, as a beta. He wouldn't be affected by omega pheromones, and Shen Wenjun would feel more at least as long as Xie Han was around.

To Shen Wenjun, Xie Han was one of his life's necessities.

Xie Han was an upstanding man. Although he wasn't an alpha, he was very successful in his studies and his career. The two men knew they could always depend on each other. Whatever they needed the other to do would always be done well. No fuss, no muss.

If Xie Han said he would come, Shen Wenjun could immediately feel at ease.

He calmed his quickened pulse, picked up a textbook, and continued on to his lecture hall.

As expected, when he set foot inside that hall, he detected those overpowering alpha pheromones again.

Only fate could increase the potency of alpha or omega pheromones. Alphas and omegas who weren't fated mates could only detect an ordinary concentration of pheromones from one another.

Shen Wenjun stepped in at the sound of the bell. He breezed in like a cold wind, instantly silencing all the chatter in the hall.

He looked towards the last row, where Teng Rui was sitting. That little idiot was busy staring at Shen Wenjun, with his face flushed completely red and his eyes practically sparkling with light.

Shen Wenjun had encountered many alphas in rut who looked at him just like that.

He'd interrogated plenty of detained suspects who were the scum of the earth. Those people were the ones whose lecherous gazes could be called truly vulgar and obscene. But even under those circumstances, Shen Wenjun could keep his cool.

It was just a little hard to bear, but he could get by. He'd left home about an hour ago; the suppressant he'd injected should be taking full effect at this time.

Seeing as H Law was an extremely prestigious law school, at least eight out of ten of the students there were alphas.

The scent of Shen Wenjun's cool, sweet pheromones permeated the lecture hall, making quite a few people blush and look his way.

One student couldn't handle it. He raised a hand and said, "Professor Shen, I think you should take a suppressant… you're too… too fragrant."

The other students silently agreed.

But Shen Wenjun could only think, I've already taken a damn suppressant.

Shen Wenjun appeared to give this some thought with an emotionless expression. Then he huffed a curt laugh and coldly stated, "This is because I'm in heat. What's the matter? If you can't show a basic amount of restraint, how will you work with omega suspects in the future? Do you intend to stammer and plead with them to take suppressants like you're doing now?"

Someone snickered, making the boy who'd spoken go red in the face.

Shen Wenjun didn't back down from the subject. He stepped out from behind the lectern and took off his overcoat.

Under his coat, he wore a white dress shirt with a stiff collar and a black vest. His tie was tied with a simple Windsor knot. On his lower body, he wore black, straight-cut slacks. From the audience's perspective, he simply looked too good. His limbs were perfectly, elegantly proportioned. He had long legs, and a slim waist.

Even among alphas, Shen Wenjun's height of 182 centimeters wouldn't have been considered short.

He leisurely strolled towards the seated students.

His fresh, sweet, and alluring pheromones intertwined with his cold, haughty attitude. The scent was like an exquisite wind, winding through a fine mist of snow. It was entirely too enchanting. But the students all thought of the scornful words Professor Shen had just spoken. They were determined to resist this bewitching scent, for the sake of their dignity as alphas!

Professor Shen was clearly dressed conservatively. Not even the base of his throat was exposed.

Shrouded in that alluring scent of an omega's heat, Shen Wenjun passed through the rows of infantile alphas seated in the hall.

"I know many of you are full of arrogance, and many of you look down on omegas," he stated with a severe expression. "But in truth, being an omega is not without its merits. Even omegas in heat have ways of making their condition work for them in the workplace. For example…"

Every set of eyes in the lecture hall followed his movements.

The students' hearts all thumped loudly, erratically. They all waited with awe and anticipation for Professor Shen to walk past them.

No one was more anxious than Teng Rui.

Other alphas couldn't handle Professor Shen's pheromones. How could Teng Rui? Those pheromones were a hundred times more potent to him, alright?

Teng Rui felt dizzy. His vision blurred. His breathing had grown rapid and uneven, and his face had gone thoroughly red. The drum of his heart beat so fiercely that it felt like his pulse would soon explode inside his chest.

When Shen Wenjun stopped beside Teng Rui, Teng Rui's whole mind went blank.

Of course, Shen Wenjun wasn't completely unaffected. He felt a feverish heat come over him as well. But his ability to resist those effects was much stronger than the young Teng Rui's.

Shen Wenjun stood tall and looked down at Teng Rui through slightly hooded eyes. "Your name?"

Teng Rui jerked his head up, like his jaw had been hooked by Shen Wenjun's icy gaze. His mouth was dry as he stammered, "Teng… Teng… Teng Rui. Teng as in the Pavilion of Prince Teng. Rui as in 'rui li', meaning sharp."

"Age?"

"Nineteen… but… but twenty by the traditional system."

"Education history?"

"I attended XX Elementary, XO Junior High, and OO High. My college entrance exam scores were XXX."

"Relatives?"

"I'm an only child. My parents are still alive. My father is a civil servant, and my mother is a doctor. My… my family owns two residences. One in the second ring, one in the fifth. And we have a car. A 400,000 yuan car."

Whatever Shen Wenjun asked, Teng Rui obediently answered.

Finally, Shen Wenjun asked, "Any criminal history?"

Teng Rui tensed up all over, like a board of petrified wood. He frantically shook his head. "N… no… none!"

Shen Wenjun gazed at him intently. "Really?"

Teng Rui's dizziness intensified. His head swam with muddled disorientation. In his confusion, he ashamedly confessed, "…I once stole an adult's ID to get online at a net cafe when I was still underage."

Shen Wenjun smiled.

Hot damn.

That was all Teng Rui could think. He stared dumbly at Shen Wenjun and the slight smile he wore. It was like the dead tree in his heart had suddenly erupted in full bloom.

Shen Wenjun straightened and swept his gaze around the hall. "You see? I've encountered many blockheaded alphas like this during interrogations. They'll tell you anything you ask."

Raucous laughter filled up the hall.

Shen Wenjun returned to the lectern while this laughter persisted, then continued his lecture.

The students quieted down and diligently took notes. Besides Shen Wenjun's voice, only the sounds of turning pages and the scritch-scratch of pens and pencils could be heard.

So, even if someone tried to be very quiet about it, Shen Wenjun still heard right away when the sound of an opening door broke the calm. Shen Wenjun lifted his gaze and tracked the sound to the door at the back of the hall—

Xie Han walked in, greeting him with a smile and a wave.

Shen Wenjun seemed to find a pillar to lean on as soon as he saw Xie Han. He was much more relaxed after Xie Han's arrival. No longer overly tense, no longer on edge with nerves.

Xie Han found an empty seat in the back row. He just so happened to slip into a seat near Teng Rui.

After sitting down, Xie Han checked his watch and saw that there were only three minutes left of Shen Wenjun's class.

The hall was filled to the brim by a heavy tide of pheromones, but Xie Han didn't feel anything at all.

Xie Han inadvertently caught sight of Teng Rui's sweat-drenched face. Out of the goodness of his heart, he lowered his voice and whispered, "Tongxue, you should go to the infirmary, shouldn't you?"

He offered Teng Rui a tissue.

Teng Rui accepted the tissue and wiped at his brow. "Thank you… I… I'm fine."

Xie Han more or less understood what was happening. This boy must have been drawn in by Shen Wenjun's pheromones. Xie Han had seen this sort of thing plenty of times in the past. Ever since Shen Wenjun presented, countless alphas had lusted for him and wished to mark him. But their pursuits had all met disgraceful ends; not a single one had succeeded.

The bell signaling the end of the class finally sounded.

Just as Xie Han got up, he heard a few neighboring students whispering about Shen Wenjun.

"Fuck, Professor Shen is just too sexy. His pheromones are too good. I'm about to nut."

"He isn't even wearing a collar, and his neck is so perfect and pristine. Never been marked by an alpha. All I could think about was marking him."

"I'm a bit scared of him. I still prefer cute and gentle omegas."

"I can't imagine what kind of alpha would be able to mark him."

Xie Han had always heard others talking about how good an omega's pheromones could smell. But as a beta, he couldn't detect them at all. Sometimes, he felt a bit envious. Exactly what did Shen Wenjun's pheromones smell like?

Shen Wenjun gathered up his teaching materials and draped his overcoat over his arm. Then he made his way towards Xie Han.

Teng Rui felt like he was losing his mind. He panickedly thought, Wh… what do I do? He's not coming to ask me to spend his heat with him, is he? I… I don't have any condoms with me. Do I go buy them now? Did I bring enough money? How do men do it with men, anyway? I… I… I'm still a virgin, I don't have any experience, can I even do it well?!

Teng Rui had just been about to stand when Xie Han stood from the seat one down from him, blocking his line of sight.

Shen Wenjun didn't even look at Teng Rui. He only handed his coat to Xie Han.

Xie Han helped him carry his coat and books like he'd done it countless times before. "Let's go."

Teng Rui looked like he'd been struck by lightning. He remained rooted in place, stupefied, helpless to do anything but watch the two men leave.

A nearby student whispered, "Shit, is that Professor Shen's boyfriend? They look good together… damn, I'm jealous, but good for him."

As soon as Shen Wenjun slid into Xie Han's car, a heavy suit of armor seemed to fall away from him. He seemed defenseless now, his whole body going slack.

Shen Wenjun leaned against the passenger's seat and hit the switch to lower the seat to a horizontal position. As the seat slowly reclined, Shen Wenjun tipped back his head as well. His lips parted slightly, and a long-restrained gasp slipped out.

In Xie Han's eyes, this sight was akin to that of the son of god lying prone on an altar to offer himself to the devil. A pure, captivating sight.

Shen Wenjun crooked his fingers and loosened the knot of his tie. His lashes swept low over his eyes as he cast a glance at Xie Han and breathed, "Hurry."

 

Author's Notes:

I decided to let the friends be a little more than friends.

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