"You live together?" Teng Rui blurted out.
"Yes," Shen Wenjun confirmed bluntly. "Is there a problem with that?"
Teng Rui gulped.
It seemed like there was no problem. Yet at the same time it seemed like there very much was a problem.
Teng Rui tried to restrain himself again, but he ultimately couldn't. He had to ask, "But… but… but you're an omega… this isn't totally appropriate, is it?"
Shen Wenjun badly wanted to roll his eyes when he heard those cancerous alpha words. "My primary sex is male. Don't get the wrong idea just because I'm an omega, alright? Friends are just friends."
Teng Rui took in these words and turned them over in his head again and again. He couldn't detect any hint of a lie in Shen Wenjun's words.
Shen Wenjun lifted his gaze to the rearview mirror. He could feel a fluctuation in Teng Rui's pheromones, as though Teng Rui were feeling some sort of doubt.
Teng Rui's thoughts had wandered. He was now wondering, Professor Shen is so haughty and aloof, and I've already asked around. Everyone says he's never had a boyfriend before. Everyone says he's staunchly opposed to spending time with alphas… could it be that Professor Shen is still a virgin?
Once that thought surfaced in his mind, Teng Rui couldn't help but blush fiercely and think, I'm a virgin too!
The inside of the car was a small, confined space.
Shen Wenjun instantly sensed Teng Rui's pheromones becoming sweet again.
All kids were like that. They had a different thought or feeling every other second, constantly changing their minds and letting their thoughts drift. It was impossible to know what Teng Rui was thinking.
But Shen Wenjun was sure it wouldn't be anything mature.
Thirty minutes later.
"We're here," Shen Wenjun said.
Teng Rui gazed out the window and saw a large sign identifying a silver-gray building as the 'Pheromone Management Institute'. The towering building looked like it was brimming over with science and ingenuity. It was the first time Teng Rui had come to such a place.
But it clearly wasn't Shen Wenjun's first time there. He didn't even need to flash his ID at the security guard before he was allowed to drive onto the compound.
He parked in the underground parking lot.
Shen Wenjun picked up the black case and briskly made his way into the building. Teng Rui hastily scampered along behind him, plucking up his courage to offer, "Professor Shen, I… I'll hold it."
As an alpha, how could he leave this sort of heavy lifting to the omega he was supposed to be caring for?
However, Shen Wenjun didn't even hesitate before he sharply answered, "Absolutely not. This is an extremely valuable device. If you broke it with your clumsy hands and feet, you would be paying with your life. It wouldn't be something trivial like you dropping a mug or knocking over some files."
Teng Rui looked like he'd been slapped. His face darkened with a red flush of shame and embarrassment.
But Shen Wenjun wasn't wrong. Teng Rui was indeed a complete klutz when he worked at the prosecutor's office. He'd only managed to make trouble for them there, while filling his own heart up with despair.
But… but if Shen Wenjun hated him so much, why did he go out of his way to bring Teng Rui with him to a place like this?
Teng Rui didn't throw a fit. He wallowed in silence and obediently followed Shen Wenjun into an elevator.
He definitely didn't dare stand in front of Shen Wenjun, so he moved to the back of the elevator. There, he could detect the refreshing sweetness of Shen Wenjun's pheromones in the air. He instinctively looked towards Shen Wenjun's nape, where his pheromone secretion glands were located.
Shen Wenjun wasn't wearing a pheromone-suppressing collar; his nape was only covered by the collar of his shirt.
The eleventh floor. The elevator doors slid open.
Shen Wenjun led the way out of the elevator, and Teng Rui followed along again. He watched as Shen Wenjun entered one of the offices without even knocking.
There was only one man in the office, who was currently operating some sort of equipment with his back turned to the door.
Shen Wenjun greeted, "Shen-laoshi."
The man unhurriedly rose and turned to face them. He looked rather indifferent at first. It was only when he saw Teng Rui that his brows jumped up slightly, showing a faint thread of interest.
"Who's this?" he asked. "It's the first time you've brought a stranger over."
His tone of voice was somewhat carefree.
Teng Rui was extremely conscious of all the men Shen Wenjun came into contact with. He closely studied the other party. This man was very tall, at least 1.9 meters in height. He had a well-built physique as well, like that of a male model. Broad shoulders, narrow waist, and a pair of long, long legs. He wore a white lab coat over a black wool sweater and a pair of jeans. A pair of slim, gold-framed glasses sat across the bridge of his nose. He exuded an aura of intellect that seemed only skin-deep.
He happened to look a bit like Shen Wenjun… and they seemed to be around the same age as well.
Shen Wenjun furrowed his brow. "I'll tell you later. Analyze the data collected by the police first. Aren't you very keen to have your research recognized by the scientific community?"
The man he'd called Shen-laoshi stuck both hands into his pockets and shrugged, then jerked his chin at the black case. "Alright, bring it here."
"Then… what should I do?" Teng Rui asked.
"Find a chair and sit down," Shen Wenjun said. "Don't wander around, and don't touch anything."
Teng Rui wilted like a puppy whose owner had tied it to a tree at the side of the road, with orders to sit and wait. He could only pitifully utter, "Oh."
He waited for two hours.
In such a quiet and serious place, Teng Rui didn't feel like he could read novels or watch TV on his phone. What if Shen Wenjun came back and caught him? He would surely call Teng Rui childish and immature again.
So, instead, Teng Rui took out a book of notes on law that he always kept with him these days. He flipped it open and started to memorize new clauses.
After Teng Rui carefully reviewed nineteen pages, Shen Wenjun finally returned with that other man.
Teng Rui had studied so hard that he'd studied himself into a daze.
He was called up and yanked over by Shen Wenjun.
"Here, this is him," Shen Wenjun said. "To put it in popular superstitious terms, he's my 'fated' alpha."
Teng Rui was completely caught off-guard when he was introduced like he was Shen Wenjun's boyfriend. He immediately went red in the face.
Shen Wenjun had repeatedly warned him not to tell anyone about their connection. Teng Rui hadn't even told his own parents! And he definitely hadn't told any of his friends. He was afraid his alpha friends would try to steal Shen Wenjun from him, so he hadn't dared breathe a word of this to anyone.
The researcher nodded and breathed a soft laugh. "Oh, so you're my little sister's husband, huh?"
"Huh?" Teng Rui blurted out, dumbstruck. "You… uh, sir…"
He was at a loss for words, and his tongue felt like it was tying itself into knots. He had no idea how to address this person all of a sudden, and had even slipped into overly formal speech.
Shen Wenjun aimed a swift kick at the researcher. "Sister my ass. I'm your little brother, and this guy is just someone whose pheromones are compatible with mine. He's not my boyfriend. Don't go labeling him for me."
The researcher laughed as he deftly dodged the kick. "Alright, alright. But isn't this kid pretty cute? At your age, isn't it nice to have such a young and adorable alpha fall for you? Mom will be overjoyed when she hears about this. She worries all day and night about your lack of a boyfriend."
"It's not nice at all," Shen Wenjun snapped without hesitation. He stiffened his expression and continued, "Stop messing around. You were the one who wanted to collect some data. That's why I brought him here."
The researcher lifted his hands in surrender. "Okay, okay, okay. When are you going to mellow out? If you keep up this bad temper of yours, even your fated alpha will be scared off. Then who could possibly tolerate you?"
Nonsense! Shen Wenjun thought. Xie Han says I have an adorably honest disposition!
Teng Rui, meanwhile, was experiencing some wild ups and downs in his mood. These adults had him stumbling around in the palms of their hands.
But before Teng Rui could fully sink into despair, the researcher turned to him and smiled with his eyes. "Oh, we've been neglecting you again. My apologies," he said cordially. "I'm Shen Wenjun's older brother, Shen Wenhao.
"Come along now. I'll take a sample of your pheromones while you two are here. It's my first time encountering a case like yours in real life."
Originally wanted to write out the case, but didn't have enough brain cells. Really couldn't think of anything. Gave up. I'll just stick to the romance!