The bedroom reeked of Ming Luchuan’s pheromones, and Xia Wennan was soon drowning in them.

He’d wanted to have a good time, and a good time was had, but it came at a cost—his nape was bitten by Ming Luchuan once more.
There were no glands there.
Ming Luchuan’s sharp teeth penetrated his flesh, drawing blood and injecting his pheromones once again.

At that moment, Xia Wennan’s entire body was ruthlessly pinned to the bed; he didn’t even have the strength to struggle.
He lay on his stomach, fingers tightly clenching at the bedsheets.
A while later, he felt Ming Luchuan gently turning him over, drawing Xia Wennan into his arms.

Xia Wennan’s entire body was drenched with sweat, and he lacked the energy to get up and shower.
There was an illusory moment where he thought his sweat smells like Ming Luchuan’s pheromones—as if he was marinating in it again.

Having been exhausted already, Xia Wennan thought that he would fall asleep in no time, yet his weary mind refused to let him doze off.
He turned over in Ming Luchuan’s arms and lay on his side, his head angled to look up at Ming Luchuan.
“Are you a dog?”

Ming Luchuan had already closed his eyes and was carding Xia Wennan’s slightly damp hair with his fingers.
“Mm.”

Xia Wennan was somewhat taken aback.
“You’re really a dog?”

“What’s the problem?” Ming Luchuan’s deep timbre rang out.

“How could you bite someone like that? Don’t bite me next time,” Xia Wennan quietly grumbled.

Ming Luchuan opened his eyes.
“It’s instinctive.
I can’t control it.”

“How about we buy you a muzzle to cover your mouth with? The kind that people use when walking their dogs.”

Ming Luchuan’s face immediately darkened.

“It really hurts when you keep biting me.” Xia Wennan also felt wronged.

“Must you really talk about this now?”

“Why not? Should I bring it up in advance the next time? Would there be any use?”

“No,” Ming Luchuan retorted coldly.

Xia Wennan sighed.
“Then can I wear a turtleneck sweater?”

Ming Luchuan was visibly agitated.
“If you don’t have anything else to say, you can shut up.”

“Then what do you want to talk about?”

Hearing Xia Wennan’s question, Ming Luchuan’s tone slightly warmed.
“What do you remember?”

Xia Wennan took a look at his expression and cautiously uttered, “Nothing.”

Ming Luchuan withdrew the hand that was carding through Xia Wennan’s hair.

Xia Wennan rolled over onto his stomach, his arms crossed in front of him, chin pillowed on them.
“Disappointed?” he asked.

“Take your time,” said Ming Luchuan.
“You’ll remember.”

“What if I never remember?” Xia Wennan hypothesised.
Ming Luchuan’s words came to mind: It’s pointless to invest in unreciprocated feelings.
He thus said, “Will you give up on me?”

Ming Luchuan didn’t respond to his question.

Xia Wennan added, “What if I don’t remember, but still fall in love with you?” After saying that, he waited for Ming Luchuan’s answer with bated breath.

This time, he had to wait quite a while.
Ming Luchuan dropped his head and pressed his forehead to the crown of Xia Wennan’s head.
Immediately after, Xia Wennan felt Ming Luchuan licking at the wound on his nape, stopping the bleeding from the wound that had yet to scab over under his warm, wet touch.
It was both painful and ticklish, and Xia Wennan’s neck instinctively shrank back.

“Wennan,” Ming Luchuan called his name, his voice deep and stifled.

“What is it?” Xia Wennan asked in a whisper.
Afterwards, he paused, realising that Ming Luchuan’s voice was loaded with emotion, or perhaps it was just his answer to his earlier question.

*

When he went to work the next morning, Xia Wennan stuck a band-aid over his wound.
Despite the fact that it didn’t conceal anything, the wound hurt, and he only hoped that it could heal a little faster.

He locked himself up in his lab first thing in the morning, even requesting his laboratory colleagues to bring him lunch.
He knew precisely the kind of Xishui Hall he desired, so the next step was to develop the perfume he envisioned with his own two hands.

Xia Wennan’s entire lab team began to get busy, and working overtime became the norm.
Countless natural and synthetic fragrances were blended and adjusted endlessly by Xia Wennan’s hands before they were combined with the pseudo-pheromone extract.
Semi-finished products in test tubes would constantly be found on the laboratory counter, which were vetoed by Xia Wennan time and time again.

On one of the busiest days, Xia Wennan worked till the middle of the night and simply decided to sleep in his office.
When he stepped out of the lab, he unlocked his phone that had been set to silent mode, and was greeted by two missed calls, both from Ming Luchuan.
He tried calling Ming Luchuan back as he walked, and just as he opened the door to his office, he found Ming Luchuan sitting inside.

Xia Wennan covered his chest.
“You scared the living daylights out of me.”

“Why haven’t you gone home at this hour?” Ming Luchuan was perched on Xia Wennan’s chair.

The hour was very late indeed.

Xia Wennan yawned.
“I just finished up, I don’t feel like going home.”

Ming Luchuan paused.
“You’re not coming home tonight?”

Xia Wennan headed to the lounge.
“Nope, I don’t feel like moving.”

“Tomorrow’s Saturday.”

“So?” Xia Wennan took off his lab coat, opened his wardrobe, and discovered that he didn’t have a change of clothes.
He’d have to wear this coat again the next day then.

Ming Luchuan followed him to the doorway of the lounge.
“You don’t need to go to work.”

“Wow.” Xia Wennan wanted to go straight to the bathroom to take a shower.
“Are you or are you not a capitalist? You’re not even going to take advantage of my free labour?” He walked over to the bathroom door, debating whether to close it as he shot a look towards Ming Luchuan.

Ming Luchuan had his hands in his pockets.
“I haven’t seen you at home for half a month.”

“Now you’re just exaggerating.
Don’t we go to work together every morning?” Eventually, Xia Wennan opted against closing the door.
He looked at Ming Luchuan and felt faintly aroused, so he extended an invitation: “Would you like to shower together?”

Ming Luchuan walked over to him.

“Here’s your heads-up,” Xia Wennan began, “my wound has barely healed.
You’re not allowed to bite me.”

Ming Luchuan said, “I told you, I can’t control it.”

Xia Wennan offered him a hand, then cast a gaze around the lounge.
“Hold on, I’m going to see if there’s anything I can stick to my nape.”

The shower cubicle in the lounge’s bathroom was significantly smaller than the one at home.
Xia Wennan’s entire body was virtually pressed to Ming Luchuan’s.
When he craned his neck, Ming Luchuan’s kiss descended upon his lips, as if he had no control of himself in this narrow space.

A moment later, however, Ming Luchuan let go of Xia Wennan.
Xia Wennan was on the verge of suffocation, gasping for air as he rested his head on Ming Luchuan’s chest.
He stayed in this position for a long time without moving an inch.

It was only after Ming Luchuan lowered his head did he discover that Xia Wennan’s eyes were shut—he was seemingly fast asleep.

Ming Luchuan reached out to turn off the water.
With one hand propping Xia Wennan up, he grabbed the towel that had been hung nearby, bundled Xia Wennan up, and carried him outside.

He set Xia Wennan down on his bed and dried his hair and body for him.

Xia Wennan awoke drowsily.
When he saw Ming Luchuan, he lifted his hands and hugged his shoulders, emphasising, “No biting.” After that, he dozed off again.

Ming Luchuan laid down next to him, drew the blanket over them, and lightly nipped Xia Wennan’s earlobe while holding Xia Wennan in his arms.
He licked at his canines, then shut his eyes and followed Xia Wennan to sleep.

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