Everyone at the prosecutor's office felt sorry for the new intern.
Although Shen Wenjun was infamous for his acerbic tongue, and although most people at the office had learned that lesson the hard way, it was still terrifying to see someone scolded from morning to night.
Rumor had it, the new intern was Shen-laoshi's little fan. He'd apparently asked his relatives to pull some strings and get him an internship with Shen Wenjun.
As a result, he got plenty of opportunities to disgrace himself. He was scolded until he must have felt lower than a dog.
However, it had to be said that this Teng Rui was truly careless. He made countless mistakes immediately upon his arrival, which was why he would be scolded. Shen Wenjun wasn't going out of his way to scold people for no reason, after all. His scathing remarks were always targeted—
"How is it even possible for you to make this many mistakes while typing?"
"That isn't where the case files go. Where do you think you're putting them?"
"You can't even recite the law? How on earth did you get into college?"
Teng Rui had been nervous right from the start. When he was scolded, he got even more nervous. When he got more nervous, he made more mistakes. When he made more mistakes, he was scolded more harshly.
By the end of the first day of his internship, he'd practically been scolded into a fugue state.
If Shen Wenjun's pheromones hadn't been so alluring, Teng Rui really wouldn't have been able to take it. He would have teared up and left, never to return.
Teng Rui couldn't count up how many teachers had accused him of being an utter ignoramus throughout his life, but Shen Wenjun was far and away the harshest of them all.
But, most likely because of their 100% compatible pheromones, Teng Rui saw Shen Wenjun through incredibly thick rose-tinted glasses. The more he looked at Shen Wenjun, the cuter Shen Wenjun seemed to him. Even when Shen Wenjun scolded him, Teng Rui could only stare blankly and think, Why does his voice sound so good even when he's scolding someone? Why does his expression look so adorable?
Teng Rui was already beyond saving.
Naturally, Shen Wenjun also smelled a dizzyingly appealing aroma emanating from Teng Rui.
But the more alluring that scent was, the more Shen Wenjun resisted and rebelled.
He thought of himself as an omega who would never be led around by the nose by his base instincts.
What kind of joke would that be? Just because Teng Rui's pheromones were compatible with his, he was supposed to go along with these divine orders and fall for Teng Rui? What about their academic backgrounds? Their personalities? Their work and life habits?
He and Teng Rui absolutely weren't a match, were they? If it weren't for their compatible pheromones, Shen Wenjun never would have looked twice at Teng Rui.
After staying cooped up inside his office all morning, Shen Wenjun took a break for lunch.
Teng Rui held his own lunchbox and surreptitiously drifted back and forth in Shen Wenjun's vicinity, cautiously eyeing the vacant seat beside him.
Shen Wenjun gave him an indifferent look out of the corner of his eye. It was a look which seemed to state, If you dare sit next to me, be prepared to perish on the spot.
That look was too fierce. Teng Rui was scared enough to shiver before meekly backing away on trembling legs.
A currently-popular urban romance idol drama was playing on the television.
The gist of the plot was that some rich little alpha, who was already set to be married to someone appropriate for him, suddenly ran into his fated omega—a poor little pauper. It was essentially a Cinderella story. The boy and girl got on like a house on fire. They loved each other ardently and refused to part.
Currently, the scene playing out on the television was an exchange of tooth-rottingly sweet dialogue:
"Before I met you, I didn't know what true love was. Little Yu, I love you!"
"But I'm not good enough for you…" Sniffle. Sniffle. Sob. "I can't be with you…" Sniffle. Sniff. "It hurts so much, but I have to leave you. It's what's best for you…" Belligerent sobbing.
"No! You can't leave! Without you, my life will never be complete!"
Shen Wenjun was so disgusted that he had to roll his eyes. Fortunately, he'd already finished his lunch by then.
Teng Rui scooted over and cautiously asked, "Shen-laoshi, what do you think of that?"
"Even if the man is only engaged, there's a price to be paid for breaking that contract," Shen Wenjun stated. "If I were his fiancé, I would hire a team of lawyers to sue. I could definitely negotiate a substantial sum as compensation."
There was nothing Teng Rui could say to that.
They got back to work, and Teng Rui was scolded all through the afternoon.
By the end of the day, Shen Wenjun was so thoroughly bothered that he'd started to feel faint. Fortunately, his monthly heat had already passed. Teng Rui's presence wouldn't cause him to overheat the way it had a few days ago.
At four in the afternoon, the alarm Shen Wenjun had set earlier went off.
He got up.
Teng Rui instantly stood as well, following his every move and step like a needy dog.
Shen Wenjun stilled and turned around. "Don't follow me. This has nothing to do with you."
"Where… where are you going, um, sir?"
"I'm off work," Shen Wenjun said.
"Ah?" Teng Rui stared blankly. "You get off work this early?"
Shen Wenjun despised this little cretin and didn't want to tell him that it was his birthday, so he only gave a vague answer. "No, I don't normally get off at this hour, but I have a prior engagement today. What, do you have a problem with that? Be careful to respect personal privacies."
Teng Rui shut his mouth like his lips had been sewn shut. He didn't dare speak again.
But Teng Rui continued to follow Shen Wenjun. He took a deep breath, mustered up all his courage, and blurted out, "Shen… Shen-laoshi…"
Shen Wenjun was beyond annoyed. "Yes? Is there something else?"
Red-faced, Teng Rui asked, "Can… can I have your phone number?"
Without the slightest bit of hesitation, Shen Wenjun retorted, "Why should I give you my phone number?"
Teng Rui should have been too terrified to insist. But he was thick-skinned and hard-headed, so he persisted, "Be… because we're fated mates. Even… even though you don't seem to like me much yet, I… I like… like you. I think we should get to know each other, at… at least as friends…"
Shen Wenjun breathed two low, short laughs. He approached Teng Rui with an intimidating aura radiating from his form. With each step he took forward, Teng Rui took one step back, until he'd backed into a wall.
Shen Wenjun pointed one finger at Teng Rui and stated, "If you dare breathe one damn word about being my fated mate to anyone, I'll beat the living hell out of you."
Teng Rui clapped a hand over his own mouth. He blinked at Shen Wenjun like a kicked puppy, then resignedly mumbled, "…but I just want your phone number."
Shen Wenjun sneered. "You say you like me? What do you like about me? You're experiencing a dopamine rush due to our compatible pheromones, that's all. Are you an animal? You can decide you like me based on our pheromones alone? Do you even know me? You don't know anything about me, and yet you have the audacity to say you like me."
Teng Rui was too scared to even squeak. It was a long while before he managed to stammer, "Y… you… you're pretty."
For a second, Shen Wenjun was genuinely shocked.
Then he pinned this little idiot with a scathing glare and snapped, "Shallow!"
Teng Rui's face grew even redder, but he desperately argued, "Why can't I like your appearance? Why is it so despicable to like what's on the outside more than what's on the inside?"
Shen Wenjun wanted to scold him some more, but his cell phone suddenly rang, interrupting what would have become a one-sided barrage of insults. Shen Wenjun fished out his phone and checked the screen.
It was Xie Han. When Shen Wenjun answered, Xie Han asked, "Little Jun, are you off work yet?"
Shen Wenjun decided to let Teng Rui live to see another day. He suppressed his anger and answered, "I've taken the rest of the day off. Come pick me up."
With that, Shen Wenjun couldn't be bothered to waste any more time on Teng Rui. He left to gather his things.
Teng Rui had earned himself a fierce scolding, and he didn't even have Shen Wenjun's cell phone number to show for it. He was left feeling pretty dejected, with his head hanging low.
When Shen Wenjun left, Teng Rui couldn't contain his curiosity. He had to know who was coming to pick up Shen Wenjun. He sneakily crept out and followed Shen Wenjun to the front of the building just in time to see the tall, handsome man who'd come to Shen Wenjun's classroom that one time.
Teng Rui was crushed. Was this guy really Shen Wenjun's boyfriend, then? Shen Wenjun really already had a boyfriend? But… but Teng Rui was Shen Wenjun's fated mate! Their alpha and omega pheromones were a perfect match!
One's fated mate was supposed to be their destined love, their one true love. All preceding relationships were supposed to be nothing more than practice, right?
Seeing Teng Rui standing in the doorway, dumbstruck, the security guard came over and asked, "What are you looking at?"
"Who's the person who just picked up Shen-laoshi?" Teng Rui asked.
"His friend, Xie Han," the security guard said. "He comes to see him all the time."
"A friend?" Teng Rui echoed, with a healthy amount of skepticism. "Not a boyfriend?"
The old security guard confirmed, "Not a boyfriend. Shen-laoshi doesn't have a boyfriend, and besides, Xie Han isn't an alpha. He's a police officer, a beta."
Teng Rui felt himself come back to life.
In the car.
When Xie Han arrived to pick Shen Wenjun up, the first thing he noticed was Teng Rui lurking and watching from not too far away. But Shen Wenjun didn't seem to be concerned about it, so Xie Han didn't ask right away.
Once Shen Wenjun got into the car, Xie Han's intuition told him that there was something up with that boy. After a while, he did ask, "Who's the kid following you? Crew cut, looks around twenty. About 185 centimeters."
Shen Wenjun calmly answered, "Teng Rui. A law school student who came out for an internship."
A law school student.
Definitely an alpha.
Alphas who became infatuated with Shen Wenjun were a dime a dozen. Xie Han had seen so many of them throughout the years. It was nothing out of the ordinary.
Then Shen Wenjun added, "He's the one I told you about last time. My fated alpha."