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#bts au
yonkimint · a day ago
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when the party’s over [Jimin x Reader]
35. Let me do it.
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TAGLIST (send an ask or leave a reply if you would like to be added):
@pb-n-juju​ @jikooksgirl19​ @halesandy​ @unadulteratedlyunique​ @bangtantruffle​ @danny-boy27​ @pineapple-hoseok​ @bri-mal​ @chimchimmarie​ @namjooningelsewhere​ @lyra0cassiopeia​ @xianav​ @mybabywearschanel​ @lovelytaes-blog​ @letmebreathepls​ @generousrunawaylove​ @jaiuneamesolitaiire​ @somelazysundays​ @sopebubbles​ @90s-belladonna​ @missmadwoman​ @secretlycrazyhummingbird​​ @curedblues​​ @ellesalazar​​ @lizzzaaaaaaaaaaa​​ @theestrangeddreamer​​ @daydreambrliever​​ @salty-for-suga​​ @joyfullyobsessed​​ @ambersaesthetics​​ @hobiismyhopeu​​ @naajix​​ @cursedblood707​​ @abc-abc1234-a​​ @xxxanimangxxx​​ @livorna​​ @diestheticu​ @justbangtanthingz​​
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bts-social-au · a day ago
Nothing Like Us Masterlist- JungkookxReader
Starting October 25th
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Pairing: Single Dad Jungkook x Small business owner Reader
Format: Social Media AU, Written AU
Genre: angst, fluff, slowburn, some mature themes
Brief summary: Jungkook always worked for what he believes in, but what matters most is caring for the people he loves. From a young age he’s been able to find the perfect balance between work and family time, always adamant that his choice is the right one. Y/n is determined to make her dreams come true, starting a business on her own is difficult but she’s always put her aspirations first. Can they help the other find what they really want in life or will they stand in each others way of what they truly need?
Warnings: Any mature themes addressed will have warnings listed at the top of the individual chapter.
Taglist: @munkey888
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blushedarmybunny · 2 days ago
On the Same Page (2) | KTH
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✧ masterlist of chapters
✧Pairing: kim Taehyung x fem reader
✧ Word count: 1.2k
✧ Genre: Angst (m) this chapter contains adult themes, don’t read if you are a minor.
A year after
Your divorce wasn’t easy, it was very public and very messy, you told your lawyer that you didn’t want any money, you wanted a quick sign of papers, but the heaven only knows that it wasn’t easy to get rid of Taehyung.
He obviously tried to get back together, his first try was only a week after you two broke up, he was refusing to go of your friends' apartment door until he sees you, you had to call Namjoon and beg him to take him away.
During the course of the divorce he tried to shut down every negotiation cession, offering money to scare away a couple of divorce lawyers and even one night before the signing of the papers you received a call from him
“I’ll give you blank check, write anything you want in there its yours, take away all my money I don’t care but don’t leave me” his tone cold as ice
“I’m gonna hang up Taehyung” you said tired, “please take care of yourself.”
The media was having fun with the situation following you everywhere and asking you uncomfortable question about your divorce, if you were a golddigger with the divorce, if is Taehyung had an affair, twitter was a fucking circus rejoicing with all the drama, even though you were having a bad time you knew that Taehyung was having it 10 times worse, his paparazzi shots looking absolutely wrecked, drinking in a bar, crying on a park, they wouldn’t leave him alone and it made your blood boil.
The boys of course got involved, a year ago when they heard the news everybody was shocked and refused to believe you were actually getting separated
“it´s not a good prank guys I know you don’t have much to do since you don´t have kids but it´s not funny” said Jimin chuckling, neither of you laugh that´s when everybody started to lose their shit.
Jimin to this day apologize for what he said and every time you assure him that it is ok, the boys took care the best they could of Taehyung, but everyone was devastated, somehow the big family broke and it was not good, the wives check up on you constantly, they send you food every week and now and then pay a visit and only if you asked they told the whereabouts of Taehyung, but not only the wives, the boys too, one by one keep assuring you that you are still part of the family and somehow they work it out, and if you ever need anything they are a call away.
The divorce was being delayed for two months now because he was flatly refusing about not giving you any money.
“Can you stop being stubborn and accept the deal?” you said to him, it was the first time in a month that you addressed him directly and not thru your lawyer.
“You are the stubborn, how come you won’t receive any compensation after the divorce this is fucking ridiculous, it´s the whole point of a divorce.” He spat with a bitter tone, even though his agency has assigned him a stylist to look like a even more expensive version of himself to contrast the broken Taehyung on the streets of Seoul, in that designer suit and immaculate hair, and make up that could hardly cover his eye bags the windows of his soul remained soulless.
You had to pretend like it didn’t affect you but you were always on the edge of a emotional breakdown every time you saw him like this
“I don´t want your money thank you” you quietly replied “It was never about that”
He slaps the table hard both lawyers flinched
“Do you want to rip apart every single part of me?” he asks “ first you abandon me giving up on our marriage, then you force me to divorce you which its consuming all my energy and sucking off my will to live, now you don´t even want me to do the bare fucking minimum and assuring myself that you would be take care of when I’m gone?!” he yells, making you back up a little in your seat
“Mister Choi tell your client that…”
“Tell me y/n, you want me to jump off the bridge after all of this? You are pressing all the buttons” he warned“ since you want to get rid of me that badly, I would just do you the favor”
“Jesus Christ Taehyung” you cried to him covering your face with both hands.
“Its more than clear that we need a break” said Mr. Choi Taehyung´s lawyer“let´s meet friday at 10”
Your lawyer grabbed gently your arm to guide you to the exit, outside the building there were already the press harassing you, but you knew that they were awaiting like vultures for Taehyung to come up, still hands covering your teary face you with much difficulty enter your car, not too behind was Taehyung exiting to the streets, a large group of bodyguards with umbrellas quickly came in his aid escorting him to the car, you order your driver to take you home.
Later that night you serve yourself a nice glass of wine and started to call someone you needed to communicate immediately.
“Jungkook” you call his name with a weak voice“im sorry if it is too late” you apologized looking at the clock 12:37 am
“Oh no it´s ok, I was actually still awake talking with Juwon” he assure to you
“Look I know it´s obvious but Taehyung it´s really not ok” you said trying your best to not lose it over the phone
“oh we’d known”Jungkook words expressed so much unprocessed feelings
“Jungkook I’m worried today he said some stuff about jumping off bridges, I’m so worried” you let out air of your lungs
“What?”Jungkook reacted – “he said that?”
“Yes, I don´t know what is happening in his mind but for fucks sake don´t leave him alone” you begged him
“I’m calling Jin right now he is supposed to take care of him this week” he quickly said “I had to go”
“ And Jungkook…”
“Thank you for paying my Lawyer I swear im gonna give the mo…”
“Hey cut that shit, you don´t have to pay me anything, you are always a friend of the family regardless of this mess, please call me if you need anything.”
“Thank you, I appreciate it, take care”
“Ok, you too”
Jungkook called you next day to inform you that Taehyung was safe and sound, but now Yoongi would be backing Jin, and his parents were informed, you thanked the heavens because if it exist somebody that could make Taehyung listed it was his mother.
You called your lawyer to tell him that you’ll accept wherever ridiculous quantity of money Taehyung wanted to pay, it was time to get it over with this once and for all.
Friday arrived and both parties sign the papers, as quick as possible like taking out a band aid, your parents and your friends stayed close with you for the rest of the week, and forbitten you to use the internet or you phone, from now on the last step was to learn how to live with the broken pieces of your heart.
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cypherhailo · 2 days ago
chapter three
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- series: champ
- pairing: boxer! jungkook x journalist! reader
- word count: 1502
- warnings: none
previous | next | masterlist
a/n: a bit lengthy update to make up for the last few weeks that i've been ia :) enjoy <3
after heading back home from the training facility, jungkook cleaned himself up and fed his dog, driving to a local nightclub he would meet his friends at. getting into the club, he kept his head slightly down, trying to hide his identity so he wouldn’t get recognized, although some people were bound to notice him anyways. after all, he was one of the most famous boxers in his country.
“jungkook!” taehyung greeted his friend with a handshake and a hug, jungkook doing the same with yoongi. jungkook put his hood down, and sat at the table with his friends. “have they talked to you about your next fight?” taehyung asked jungkook, taking a sip from his beer bottle.
jungkook cleared his throat, “no, not yet. it’ll probably be about five to six months. which is fine with me. gives me more time to rest and get into better shape.” he nods, “i know you have yours next week,” he points at taehyung, “what about you, yoongi?”
“in three months,” yoongi replied. “maybe you should start laying off the beer” taehyung jokingly responded, causing jungkook to laugh and yoongi glaring at both of them.
the continuing hors of the night the three friends sat together, participating in conversations, with the loud music booming in their ears. jungkook stood at the bar waiting for his round of drinks. he was in the middle of grabbing his drinks, when a girl tapped on his shoulder.
“hi... can i have your autograph?” she waved a small piece of ripped paper with a pen as jungkook nodded. “of course.” jungkook smiled at her. he was used to having fans come up to him almost everywhere he went. even though it got annoying, he never had the heart to say no.
“okay, who is this to?” he looked up at the young girl with a smile. “ari! my name is ari” she replied as jungkook nodded, writing the message on the piece of paper. passing it back to her, she thanked him multiple times, before scurrying off to the other side of the bar.
he was about to grab his drinks and go back to his friends, when across the bar he spotted a familiar face sitting next to a guy with brown hair.
it was y/n, and you looked beautiful. he assumed you were with your boyfriend, but seemed to be at each other’s throats. he saw you both arguing and you looked close to tears, and no one noticed because of the loud music. his mind told him to go back to his friends and act like he never saw anything, but his heart told him to go over and make sure everything was okay.
jungkook finally grabbed his drinks, and walked back to his friends, who were in the middle of discussing their upcoming fights. “What took you so long?” taehyung looked up at him, as yoongi grabbed his drink.
“just fans.. you know” gesturing to the bar behind him, “i’m gonna go to the restroom.” he said to them, quickly making his way through the busy club. he watched as you rushed outside, and the guy you were with walking over to the bar, standing next to and talking with a different girl.
he followed you outside, watching as you stood with your phone to your ear, noticing a few tears running down your cheeks. he slowly walked up to you, tapping your shoulder.
“what?” assuming it was your boyfriend, you replied without looking up, hanging up on the taxi you were trying to call. “is everything okay?” you immediately recognized that voice. jungkook. looking up from your phone, he stood next to you, looking at you with so much concern. “oh, i’m..”
“jungkook... jeon jungkook.” a middle aged man interrupted you, tapping jungkook in the shoulder, “i’m a big fan, can i get a picture?” he asked jungkook, just as he saw you slightly roll your eyes and turn back around.
“maybe later, i’m kind of in the middle of something,” jungkook nodded at the man, “stick around, i’ll find you later.” the man nodded, “sorry for interrupting,” he nodded his head and walked back into the club.
you faced jungkook again, “are you really going to find him later?” you looked up at him.
“he’ll probably get so drunk, and forget he even met me.” jungkook replied, watching you smile in response. he enjoyed watching you smile, it made you look so beautiful.
“well,” you shook your head, “how can i help you?” apart of you couldn’t help but wonder what a man like him, so well known and talented, was even bothering with you. “just wanted to make sure you were okay. i saw what happened with that guy.” jungkook replied as you chuckled.
“you were watching me?” you folded your arms. the dress you were wearing clinged onto your body, contrasting with your soft beautiful skin. jungkook couldn’t lie, he would love to run his hands up and down your body.
“well, i noticed you… and he looked like he was giving you a hard time.” he admitted and you nodded. “Yeah, well he definitely is hard work.” you scoffed, “he told me we were going out to a nice restaurant, and i didnt find out we were coming here until we got in the taxi.” jungkook nodded, “now, i just want to go home.” you told him, hugging your arms.
“i can call you a taxi, it’ll be here in a few minutes.” jungkook began taking his phone out. “i don’t need your services, i can wait for you.” you told him.
“okay,” jungkook put his phone back in his pocket, “then i’ll wait with you” noticing the small smile across your face. you told him he didn’t have to, but jungkook insisted. he seemed so much more relaxed than when you were interviewing him. he was kind and made you feel safe.
“also, i wanted to say thank you… for not twisting my words in the interview.” jungkook said as you shook your head. “yeah, not all of us do that. i wish the headline was different, but i’m not in charge of that.” you chuckled, “but, i was grateful that you let me into your home, and the absolute last thing i wanted to do was twist your words.” you smiled at him, “didn’t want you to get all up in my face.” you joked as jungkook turned to face you.
“are you used to that? having someone yelling at you like that?” jungkook asked her, recalling the ugly argument he saw you in, you shook your head. “don’t be so ridiculous, jungkook” you looked away from him. “i’ll tell you what, y/n-” jungkook took your purse, you raised your eyebrows at him, watching as he took your phone out, and handed it to you. once you put in your passcode, he took it from you and put his phone number in your contacts, and he did the same on his phone.
“i think you know that i’m in a relationship so… i don’t want your number.” you told him, as he put your phone back in your purse, and handed it to you. “i know,” jungkook nodded, “just keep it. if anyone gives you trouble or you need anything, just call me.” you laughed, “and if you're… oh, i don’t know… in the middle of a meeting?” you looked up at him, “a busy man like you wont have time to check on me.” jungkook looked at you, “i’ll make time for you>”
you could tell jungkook hid a piece of himself away when his fiancé passed away, but that piece of him was dying to come out. a man like him, so mesmerizing, shouldn't have to hide any part of himself.
“here’s a cab, y/n.” you broke eye contact, as jungkook walked over to the cab and opened the door for you. “thank you, jungkook.” you smiled at him, sliding into the back seat of the cab. you watched him as he closed the door, and stood back.
jungkook watched as you got settled into the cab. the more he saw you, or thought of you, the more interested he got. he had to move on, and he wanted to, but no one had appealed to him like you did. and he despised the idea of your current boyfriend mistreating you. he would take care of you. he would take care of you, your body, your soul.
but it was complicated. you were in a relationship, and the last thing he wanted was the media finding out he was chasing after a woman in a relationship. getting you seems impossible at the moment, but having you as a friend and checking up on you wasn't.
after giving the taxi driver your address, he pulls the taxi away from the curb and onto the street to take you home from the night that ended better than you had expected, all thanks to him.
red means tumblr won't let me tag you :(
[send ask or reply to post to be added to taglist!]
taglist: @gukkmoans @sugainpinksweater @fangirl125reader @lvstcd @j-m12344 @fan-ati--c @axurio @poguesbau @yoonabeo @mwitsmejk @zae007live @stanny-uwu @rikaxyu
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purpleyoonn · a day ago
Hocus Pocus
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From the Ethereal Universe:
Hocus Pocus
Summary: Once you found out the boys had never celebrated Halloween before, you decide to throw them your very own Halloween party, fit with spooky snacks and scary movies. You were determined to show them why Halloween was your favorite holiday.
Genre: fluff, dragon bts, soulmate au, poly bts, mafia bts
Word Count: 2k
Warnings: nothing really, mention of mafia activity, mentions of nightmares
Ethereal Masterlist
Jungkook had never thought that telling you about their lack of Halloween celebrations would ever lead to this.
You were currently ordering Jin to grab some kind of spider cookie out of the oven while Yoongi making “mummy dogs” with hot dogs and biscuit dough.
The second you had woken up this morning, you had run down to the living room, turning on your Halloween playlist and made hot chocolate for everyone. Mr. Choi had walked just walked in when you were trying to carry all the mugs by yourself.
“Ms. Y/N! Please be careful! If Master Taehyung saw you, he would not be very happy. Here, let me help.” Mr. Choi had rushed over to help you before you could kindly reject his offer. He pulled out one of the head maid’s rolling carts from beside the pantry before helping you load all the drinks onto the top.
“Thank you, Mr. Choi! Oh,” you hand him one of the mugs, “this one is for you.” He smiles, nodding to you as he takes the mug from your hands.
“Thank you miss!” You nod back before turning around to go back to the room.
“Oh! And Mr. Choi? Let everyone know they have the day off today. Including you.” You don’t even stay to see his reaction, content with pushing the small cart to the elevator. Mr. Choi watches you walk off into the elevator with a small smile on his face, your presence in the house making the atmosphere so much brighter and happier.
You had grown up celebrating Halloween with your parents, watching Halloween themed movies, and eating spooky treats in the days leading up to the holiday. The day of, you would dress in your costume before going to school, where the faculty would hold different Halloween parties for the students, sometimes even holding a little costume parade with all of the dressed up students participating.
Then after school, you would go around your small-town trick-or-treating, making sure to get as much candy as you could into your bag. When you were old enough, you would go with your friends, mainly Chaeyeon with her brother and his friends following behind you two as you went house-to-house. As you got older, and moved in with your grandparents, you began to be the ones handing out the candy, Chaeyeon helping you as you both stayed in and watched scary movies.
You couldn’t wait to start some Halloween traditions with the boys.
“Good morning boys! I brough hot chocolate with whip cream and marshmallows!” You shout, waking up the now awake men still laying in the bed as you walked through the door. Groans and moans filled the room, none of them wanting to wake up on their off day. You didn’t care. Halloween was your favorite holiday and you were going to celebrate the fall holiday no matter what.
“Noooooooo, baby.” Jimin whined, holding onto Namjoon’s waist as you tried to pull him off the bed.
“Jiminie pleaseeee! It’s Halloween!” After realizing he wasn’t going to move, you gave up yanking on his leg, moving onto Taehyung. He quickly moved away from you though, crawling onto Hobi. You tried to aim for another pair of legs but was tackled onto the bed by Jungkook, who fell off the floor when you shouted.
“What is so amazing about Halloween anyway? Like, what do you do to celebrate?” Jungkook asked you, a small pout on his lips at the thought of not knowing what got you so excited and happy.
“What do you mean? Do you guys not celebrate Halloween?” This really made you question everything.  You don’t know if you could have soulmates that don’t celebrate Halloween. Like they are dragon’s…how could they not celebrate the spooky holiday?
“Well… it wasn’t really around when we were kids…like it was celebrated amongst the humans, but it wasn’t really popular until the early 20th century when we were already “adults” in the eyes of the humans. And by then, the dragon community wasn’t involved with the human community.” Namjoon spoke, moving to the closet for a shirt. Well, you guess that makes sense.
“But you’ve been involved with the human community for decades now, why haven’t you participated?” You ask again, trying to understand.
“I don’t know, we just got used to not celebrating it, I guess.” Namjoon shrugged, not in view with a clean shirt on. Well, not on your watch. You move to push Jungkook off you, catching him off guard, falling to the floor again.
“Well, now we have to celebrate! Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I’m going to show you guys my favorite Halloween movies and make my spooky snacks I used to make with my grandparents! It’s going to be fun; I promise!” You run out of the bedroom again, this time moving to decorate the living room and get the kitchen ready to bake.
This leads you to where you are now, maneuvering yourself around Jin and Yoongi in the kitchen, listening to Jungkook, Taehyung, Jimin, and Hobi try to sing along to “This Is Halloween” from the Nightmare Before Christmas. Namjoon had snuck off to try and complete some paperwork while everyone was occupied, thinking no one would notice.
“Okay, so the snacks are almost done, the drinks are already on the cart, and…Oh! The movies!” You move to the living room, working your way through the many arms trying to get you to dance with them.
You make it to the pile of movies you had left on the tv stand yesterday. You had brought them from your apartment that you refused to move out of, despite the lack of sleep you get when you stay there.
You hold them up, trying to decide which movie to show they boys first when arms wrap themselves around your waist, bringing you into their chest.
“What are you doing baby?” You hear Jimin whisper into your ear, his chin on your shoulder as he looks at the movies in your hand.
“I’m trying to decide which movie I want you guys to watch first.” You hum, trying to make a pros and cons list in your head. Jimin begins to sway you back and forth to the music coming from the speaker when you finally decide to put on the Haunted Mansion.
You put the movie on while Jin and Yoongi finish the snacks and load them onto the snack and beverage cart, pushing it into the living room by the couch.  Everyone moves to their place on the couch while you turn off your playlist. You move to sit in between Yoongi and Taehyung when you realize that Namjoon still isn’t back yet.
“Will someone please go get Joonie?  I really don’t want him to work so much on Halloween and I want him to watch the movie with us.” You pout towards Jin, who is the closest to the stairs. He groans before getting up to go and get Namjoon. You turn to the tv, a smile on your face, glad that your pout still works.
“You are sneaky, baby mate.” Yoongi speaks, bringing you to lay your back on his chest.
“I don’t know what you are talking about.” You shrug, making him chuckle, his arms wrapping tighter around your middle.
You had just put in Hocus Pocus, leaning back onto Yoongi’s chest. The others had loved the Haunted Mansion, especially the singing head busts. That got some loud laughs, especially from Jungkook and Jimin, who continued to imitate the busts for the rest of the movie.
Hocus Pocus was not a movie you liked to watch only until a couple years ago. The movie used to scare you, meaning you stopped watching it completely. You remember having nightmares of the Sanderson Sisters taking you and taking your soul. You would wake up screaming and your mom would always come running into your room.
“I can’t believe our baby mate used to get scared of this movie.” Taehyung giggled, having just finished listening to you tell them about your nightmares and refusal to watch this movie.
“It’s not funny Tae! It used to scare me so bad.” You cross your arms, a pout on your face again at your mates teasing, Jungkook and Jimin now joining Taehyung.
“Hey! Leave her alone. It’s perfectly normal to fear witches stealing your souls to retain beauty.” Jin spoke, causing the boys to pause their laughter.
“Are you a witch then Jinnie? Is that how you stay so beautiful, you steal the souls of children?” Jimin spoke, using a compliment to cover the teasing tone. Jin didn’t seem to understand the backhanded comment, a smile on his face as he thanks Jimin.
“Aww thank you Jimi—Hey! I am not a witch!” Jin yells, now jumping from his spot to try and grab Jimin. Jimin his tackled to the ground mid laugh, Jin pushes him into the plush carpet. Jimin’s laughter ringing throughout the room as Jin tickles the man, trying to get him to take his words back.
“Boys! Can I push play now?” You ask, Jin and Jimin pausing from their place on the floor. You receive nods from everyone, now back in their seats and quiet as the movie begins.
As the movie begins, you start to tense up again, still not used to watching the movie. You squeeze your shirt in your fists, hoping you won’t get scared this time. Jungkook moves closer to you, moving you onto his lap once he notices your knuckles turning white.
“Don’t worry baby, we will protect you.” He whispers, not trying to gain the attention of the others who are already invested in the movie. Slowly, you relax into his arms, listening to the boys laugh and get excited at the movie.
Soon enough, the costume party in the town hall comes up, where Max and Danni try to convince their parents about the witches. “I’ll Put a Spell on You” starts, with Winifred singing, getting the boys even more excited.
Jimin and Taehyung get so into the song, that they move off the couch and start to dance around the room, their voices off key and more yelling as they try to sing the lyrics. Hobi soon follows suit, dragging Yoongi off the couch. Jin and Namjoon stay cuddled on the couch, along with you and Jungkook, content with watching the rest of your soulmates dance around the room, putting on a complete show.
You couldn’t seem to wipe the smile off your face, the sight of your mates slow dancing, or trying to slow dance, to Winifred’s singing was one of the funniest things you have seen so far. Jungkook’s Elmo laugh was loud as he dragged you off the couch to join the dancing, his hand on your waist and your hand on his shoulder as you danced, your feet on his because of how clumsy you were.  
Jin and Namjoon stayed on the couch, in each other’s embrace as they watched their mates, movie completely forgotten. It had been a long time since they saw their mates having this much fun that didn’t involve their business. And to know that you were the cause, made them fall even more in love with you.
They watched you as your eyes sparkled, your laughter almost louder than Jungkook’s at this point. You were holding onto Jungkook for dear life, his movement’s becoming large and dramatic as he competed with Taehyung. The movie was long over, the music from the end credits now serving as background music as you continued to dance and sing at the top of your lungs, filled with happiness and joy.
This was the best Halloween you had experienced, with Hocus Pocus now your favorite Halloween movie.
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sopebubbles · a day ago
Lisa, Jennie and Rose head cannons
21st century girl
A/n: the first chapter will come out tomorrow!!!! I'm so excited! I hope you all like this series. A reminder that I don't know anything about Blankpink, so these characters do not reflect the real people in any way whatsoever.
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Profiles designed by @yoongiofmine
Synopsis: Campus activist Yn was only looking for a one night stand with campus fuckboy Namjoon, but they're both in for more than they bargained for, with many lessons for both to learn along the way.
taglist [open]:
@halesandy @burningupp-replies @lilacdreams-00 @yoongiofmine @yonkimint @wholockian1 @lyra0cassiopeia @hobizi @bri-mal @purpletaecup @secretlycrazyhummingbird @infiresyg93 @sweetjellyfishland @lovely-joon @little-dark-empress @iknowyoualwaystae @lostbitvh @xianav @friendlywraith
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syubseokie · 2 days ago
three strikes (drabble) | knj
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three strikes
― pairing: fem!reader x namjoon (kim namjoon)
― genre: fluff, drabble
― warnings: none really. does 2015 namjoon’s infatuation with red converse high tops count? LOL
― summary: namjoon had been lost in his own world when he tripped on an uneven path and landed in front of a pair of red converse highs. strike one.
the one where namjoon meets his 2015 ideal type in 2021.
― notes: this is an edited version of my 2015 drabble ‘three strikes’.
Kim Namjoon was a romantic. In fact, he often talked about his ideal type; someone tall with a nice voice and could rock a white shirt, jeans and a pair of red high top Converse ― the last part being more important than the rest. So, when he tripped and fell head over Converse for you, he believed it be fate.
Namjoon was lost in his own world when he, in true Namjoon-fashion, tripped mid-walk, taking an accidental tumble, and landed in front of your scuffed red Converse high tops. He all-too-quickly pushed himself up from the pavement, accidentally head-butting you as you bent down to help him, and when he heard the pained “Ow, fuck!” fall from your lips, followed by the sound of your drink splattering to the ground, he wished he had tripped and cracked open his head instead.
God of Destruction, he thought with dismay, awkwardly getting to his feet.
When he had gathered his bearings, he looked over and saw you half-lying on the pavement, rubbing your chin and frowning at the concrete where the remaining contents of your drink lay wasted. His gaze travelled over those damned red shoes, your blue acid wash jeans and baggy white shirt, to your face, and when his eyes locked with yours, his breath hitched in his throat.
Strike one.
What followed after were numerous apologies and questions regarding your minor injury. Namjoon swore he must have cracked open his head, died, and went to heaven when you spoke to him. Your voice was so clear and soft that it made him want to wrap himself in cotton sheets and roll around in a grassy meadow. So far, you had managed to tick all the boxes of what he would call his ‘Miss Right’ in less than thirty seconds, and Namjoon was more than a little desperate to know your name and more.
“I’m really sorry for knocking your chin,” he mumbled shyly while nervously scratching the back of his head. “And for spilling your coffee. Is it alright if I buy you another one?”
You checked your watch, unsure, but your eyes widened when you realised the time. “I can’t do it right now” you apologised and Namjoon’s face fell a little, “I’m actually late for an appointment, but if it’s okay with you, I can give you my number so we can arrange something?”
The male was momentarily stunned until he realised your hand was outstretched, patiently waiting for him to give his phone. In a daze, he unlocked his device and waited as you put your details in. When you handed his phone back, you offered him a shy, nervous smile. “I have to go but text me. I’d really like to get coffee.”
Before he could respond, you hurried off. It took him a few moments to register what had just transpired, but when he glanced down at his phone and saw your name and number in his contact list, there was a blossoming feeling in his chest. He whispered your name aloud, secretly loving the way it sounded rolling off his tongue. Raising his gaze in the direction you had gone, he was shocked to see you standing on the corner of the street staring back at him with a shy smile on your face as you waved your phone.
Strike two.
[unknown] 15:23
hey, this is kim namjoon, we met earlier today after i almost took us both out on the footpath. hopefully this number isn’t a fake as i was hoping i could buy you another coffee for accidentally destroying the one you had today. sorry about that again, btw. let me know :)
ngl i was starting to think you weren’t going to text and i’d have to internet stalk you and remind you that you owe me a coffee. im free tomorrow at 1pm. meet you at the place we first met?
What followed were morning coffee meetups, random walks in the park, and midnight food runs. Namjoon learned you were a second year university student, so the university library was also added to the list of places the two of you frequented. He also discovered that you had spent time overseas, could speak four languages, and although you preferred R&B music, you loved to sing classic eighties and nineties rock.
The more time you spent together, the more Namjoon found himself falling deeper and deeper. Everything about you was interesting and it made him childishly giddy when you had shown an interest in his passion for writing and music.
It had happened one night when the two of you were sitting in one of the study rooms at the university library eating pizza. You were working on a presentation assignment while Namjoon was seated next to you, using your campus wifi and occasionally scribbling some words down in a notebook. You noticed that he took this particular notebook everywhere with him and you were curious about its purpose. After sneaking a peek at what he was writing and pestering him about what the words meant, Namjoon admitted that he enjoyed writing songs and hoped to one day perform them. His shy confession melted your heart and you felt pride and special that he felt comfortable enough to share that piece of information with you.
“You’re different from most guys I know.”
Namjoon’s expression was confused by your comment. “What do you mean?”
You shrugged, biting into another slice of pizza. “You’re insightful and you have your head screwed on the right way. You’re also ridiculously smart and the way you articulate your thoughts fascinates me. When you talk, I want to stop and listen to what you have to say, no matter how mundane you think it is.”
You paused as if debating your next words.
“It’s one of the reasons why I like you.”
Namjoon almost choked on his pizza when he heard you utter those words. His cheeks turned a light shade of pink, and he nervously began scratching at the back of his head. “You like me?” He asked bashfully.
“Yeah,” you replied nonchalantly. “And not in the friend-zoned way.”
That was another of the many reasons why Namjoon liked you. Blunter than an unsharpened, overused knife, your words were straight to the point but said in a way that the receiver could not misconstrue the meaning behind them. Silence ensued as your confession hung in the air. You weren’t really expecting a response; your words were simply a matter of fact. So, you finished your pizza slice and continued working.
Namjoon, on the other hand, was trying not to freak out. Whilst he knew he needed to say something, he was still stuck on processing your words.
You liked him.
You liked him.
You liked him.
Three simple words that held so much sentiment and was making his heart beat irregularly. You liked him. And not in the friend-zoned way, he chuckled internally. After a couple of minutes, when he felt his chest unclench just a little, he cleared his throat and answered with, what he hoped was, an equally casual tone;
“I like you too. And not in the friend-zoned way, either.”
A small smile starting from the corner of your lips appeared, and ever-so-discreetly, with your eyes trained on your laptop screen, your hand found its way to Namjoon’s right, and squeezed it reassuringly.
Strike three. You’re out.
a/n: hiya!
so this edited/re-written version of my 2015 drabble of the same name was inspired by bts' song 'Converse High' from their HYYH PT.1 album. back in the day, it was written in an interview that joonie's ideal type was someone tall, had a nice/good voice, and wore jeans, a white tshirt and red converses. that is most likely no longer the case, but i remember writing the original piece during a uni lecture because i had 'converse high' as my morning alarm and couldn't really get the song out of my head. it was actually one of my favourite early pieces because it was light, fluffy, and a product of procrastination. re-writing it gave me a sense of nostalgia and i actually ended up re-playing the album on loop during the re-writing process.
i mentioned in my last published piece that i have started brain-storming a mini series and i may actually spend some time fleshing that out. at this stage i am still trying to write everyday so i'm not actually sure what my next published work will be but i'm excited to share with you all!
again, thank you so much for reading my work. I’m always open to thoughts and feedback, so feel free to drop a like, reblog or send me a message!
please look forward to my other work ♡
masterlist | ao3 | twitter
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purpleyellow · a day ago
Going public
BTS 8th member
Sunny’s masterlist
“How Sehun and Sunny get outed, as well as a look into how they were able to stay hidden for so long”
a/n: Feel free to share your thoughts with me. Requests are open!💜
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part i. sm doesn't give a crap
The first headline that began the rollercoaster of emotions for ARMYs and EXO-Ls dropped on September 3rd, 2021. The news reported EXO member, Oh Sehun, has been in a long-term relationship with another high-profile idol since February 2018, the identity of said celebrity could not be disclosure by the source, yet it had said to be a female singer some years younger than Sehun and equally influential.
This news was never followed by a statement from SM, but EXO fans weren't ready to drop the subject and began speculating if it was real and who the idol could be. Blinks, ARMYs and Onces also got invested in the topic as more evidence began rising up. 
Around  September 5th, some alleged ex-SM and BigHit staff began speaking up on online forums with evidence that could tie Sehun and Sunny together.  
part ii. hybe has entered the chat
On September 7th, BigHit Entertainment puts out a statement confirming BTS's Seon Sunny to be in a relationship with EXO's Oh Sehun. It was said both idols would like to continue to keep their privacy in regard to the relationship.
Bang SiHyuk was on the edge of a hurricane, trying to tie the knots and get the news outlets he had been paying since 2019 to not expose Sunny as a taken person. With the associations and different sources coming forward that linked Sehun to the BTS member, BigHit decided to confirm it. 
part iii. d*spatch gets fed up
On September 8th, Dispatch releases a series of pictures taken in the spawn of 2018-2020. The photographs show the couple leaving their respective agencies together, at the airport, entering each other’s apartment complexes. One of them even portrayed them arriving at Sunny’s mom’s house, outside of Seoul. 
The news’ outlet confirmed they’ve been together since late 2017. And called out BigHit Labels (now renamed HYBE Labels) for not following through with their contract, which kept all the information regarding their idol a secret, as well as gave Dispatch the right to be the one to publish it after the Company saw fit.
the internet reacts to the whole thing
sunsjaykey: lmao sunny saw y'all shipping her man with other girls and released that statement herself
taetyung: since 2017???? what hannah montana 007 bullshit is this
daddadacult: did dispatch just admit they hold on to information until it’s fitting to be released?
jiminsmile: the first bts member to actually be in a dating scandal and ofc it's the girl. ffs we don't need her around if she's going to flirt around and not be professional
eldoradosupremacy: suddenly I want to go back to 2018 and apologize to everyone who used to edit them together
froghatpc: so bighit was really paying to keep everyone’s mouth shut. wonder whatelse they’ve got hidden
byunbacon: she really went for a SM senior at the start of her career. lol slut 
hopeingaround: remember when y'all said not to ship sunny and namjoon because he's older than her? well she's dating someone his age
ohvivipaws: it’s okay to be dissapointed and to take a step back after these news. your feelings are valid too, and it’s fine to be sad about him dating as long as you don’t throw hate on her
28 notes · View notes
opaljm · 21 days ago
i. legend of the lamp (m) – jjk
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➺ pairing: genie!jungkook x female reader
➺ genres/tropes: fluff; humor; smut; fantasy au; magic au; strangers to lovers
➺ warning/content tags: 18+; explicit sexual content: female masturbation (solo shower time activities, pro anal enthusiast y/n she wants it SOO bad but is very deep in denial); underwater sexual activities plz do not attempt at home you might drown (kissing, fingering, multiple orgasms, boob kink jeon makes his debut, he likes to bite and make it hurt but he also likes to kiss it better); sex in public (jungkook is an exhibitionist freak, y/n and jungkook give the ‘mile high’ club a new meaning, very mild food play, mean cocky jungkook shows up as expected, jjk's dirty talk is UNMATCHED, gross nasty jeon with the spit/licking kink, overstimulation, orgasm denial, the slightest bit of breath play/choking kink, impregnation kink is mentioned, possessive attention whore jungkook); sloppy cunnilingus with too much teeth tbh, finger fucking, there’s almost fisting but they both wimped out— there's always next time tho ;), forced orgasms, big dick hung like a fucking stallion jeon jungkook, unprotected sex but its fine cuz koo is a genie with fetus deletus powers, spanking, soft dom jk who degrades y/n like a CHAMP if it were a contest he would be winning a gold medal for it, jungkook likes to punish y/n until she can’t even think straight, standing up sex courtesy of strength demon jeon, praise thirsty competitive af constantly wanting validation jungkook, they both have a size kink let’s be real, reader has a strength kink throughout this entire fic she just wants to be manhandled and thrown around like she’s jungkook’s pretty sex doll, soft passionate sex, creampie, lovely aftercare from our cleaning fairy koo
➺ word count: 23k semi-edited but im too tired to actually do it properly :(
➺ summary: Jungkook has been serving his time as a genie for the last 2000 years, unfortunately stuck in a lamp for the last 200 years before he is woken from his slumber by a beautiful woman who somehow activates his lamp while making a wish that ends up letting him out. After eons of having to bend over backwards to make the desires of evil individuals from power hungry dictators to spoiled princesses come into fruition, he’s updated his contract to be more choosy over who the lamp allows to be his master. It comes to his great surprise that this woman was able to make the lamp work and that she only yearns to be loved and no longer be lonely. But all of the wishes he grants now have time constraints, another caveat he added to the contract, and he wonders what life would be like if he had never made that stupid rule. Because, as the week progresses, he finds himself falling deeper and deeper into her spell, pondering what it would be like if he never had to stop playing the role of her man. 
➺ author’s note: Sorry for disappearing after announcing a fic, I had a health scare which kind of had the domino effect of making me have a really shitty three weeks regarding my education and future and pulling me into a depressive episode (which yea turns out can be firmly blamed on the medication I've been taking because its a possible side effect). It's been a mess and a half but, I'm here, the fic's here (or half of it anyways). I hope you all enjoy it and leave some love 💕 Also, if I had known that all of that shit would’ve happened, I would’ve posted part one a lot longer ago, since you all know I had finished writing it a while back. I just kept holding out hope that I would be able to finish the entire fic in time but life got in the way of that. I hope that y’all don’t hold that against me too much! Part two will drop after Jimin’s birthday fic drop so I don’t fuck up that deadline as well! I’m under a lot of pressure as one of the hosts of his birthday collaboration. Please, please, please leave feedback for this story. Since it’s a two shot, your feedback is absolutely critical in helping my self-esteem about the direction of the story and flowing my creative juices for writing part two! 
This fic is a part of Namkook’s Moonrise Masquerade! Banner made by @kimtaehyunq​. Beta-read by @jimilter​ (miss girl helped out with the content warnings too we love her!), @ressjeon​, and @amourtae​ the lovely angels❣️
↳ second/final part | main masterlist
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Today has just absolutely not been your day. 
It seems like things went off to a rough start from right when your morning began. You woke up late because your alarm clock hadn’t gone off, and in your hurry to leave for work this morning, you picked out your outfit for the day half asleep as you attempted to brush your teeth and comb through the unruly mess that was your bedheaded locks of hair. When you spit out that white cloud of mint flavored foam, it got on your peach colored lavallière top, staining the silk pussycat bow. 
You ended up wearing a too tight black with gray pinstripes pencil skirt you kept meaning to donate to Goodwill, but never quite got around to it, and a silky white blouse that you had loved when you thrifted but then later had realized that the abstract black lines that made up its designs were not flowers like you initially had thought but were rather depictions of nude female silhouettes. The shirt is lovely; it’s certainly a statement piece and one that would look great on you on most occasions and would make for a darling ‘outfit of the day’ post on Instagram, however it is not exactly workplace appropriate attire for the public university where you work as an admissions counselor. 
But even with that little kerfuffle, you had not been too stressed early on in the day. Oh, if only you knew how badly the rest of the day would continue to be. As you went out the door, you smartly thought of snatching your black peacoat off the coat hook in the entryway, which could be used to cover up the sexually deviant positions the ladies on your shirt were contorted into. You ended up needing it too, after a mishap at the coffee shop in the student union left you with dark coffee dripping down your torso and making your shirt transparent as it clung to you with the wet sugariness of the shaken espresso seeped with vanilla syrup. 
Things continued to go badly during your appointment with an incoming freshman and her parents who wanted to pull her out of the university because of the trouble she had gotten into over the summer after graduating from high school. Your heart goes out to the girl after remembering how badly that conversation had gone and how despite your best attempts, neither you nor she could sway her parents’ made up minds. You weren’t even able to convince them to change her enrollment to an off-campus one where she could commute from her parents house, whereas she was previously an on-campus student with a room in the freshmen dorms. They wanted her to pay for her actions by going to community college and getting a part time job.
Making matters worse, you had almost thrown up the 6-inch Subway tuna melt you had gotten and now as you walk home, in your pinching heels, too tight skirt, and your peacoat hiding your stained shirt, to your apartment just two miles away on the far end of the glittering and bustling university village that was adjacent to one of the largest and most vibrant cities in the country, it starts to drizzle.
Normally, you do not mind the rain. Of course, your previous attitude of the rain was based on the fact that you did not have too many experiences of being wet like a drowning rat, caught in the middle of the storm without an umbrella or any sort of protection while wearing shoes that were not that slip resistant. 
You sigh as you continue onwards, wondering if maybe you should duck into the Target that you are passing to buy an umbrella. But you already know that Target will be out of stock, like it always is out of stock during unexpected bouts of rain because the students buy out the umbrellas, even going so far as to making the overpriced ones in the student store, that are in the school colors and have the school’s mascot imprinted on them bold and center, out of stock. 
When you finally do get home, you leave your wet shoes on the mat you have just inside the entrance, toeing them off and exchanging them for your fuzzy pink bunny slippers that are not only soft and dry but a huge and warm comfort to your freezing feet. You scamper your way to the opposite side of the apartment, sliding the glass doors that lead to the balcony open, and you hang your coat off of the backs of one of your iron outdoor chairs for it to dry, or at least keep it from dripping all over your apartment. 
You debate whether you should take your clothes off on the balcony too. You’re not afraid of university students seeing you; your apartment is out of most of their price ranges except for the richest of them all, but even knowing that, you don’t have a lot of fear since half of your balcony is covered in thin mesh privacy netting. The half of your wraparound balcony that is exposed to the elements is the part of it that you can access from your bedroom’s sliding doors as well. Not wasting another second, you quickly shed the offending articles of clothing off, just standing there in your fuzzy slippers and a matching black pair of Sabrina panties and brassiere from Honey Birdette. You regret your decision instantly as the transparent tulle and ribbons of lace do nothing to protect you from the blasts of wind causing the rain to drift your way but you fight through it. After letting those clothes hang to dry as well, you make your way back in, bypassing the living room to head straight for the shower. 
Your black underwear set clings to your body, you notice when you catch a glimpse of yourself of the giant mirror that takes over half the wall over your dual sink vanity. You see a figure with hardened plum colored nipples, covered in goosebumps, staring back at you. Her eyes widen from her surprise at how her body quivers even indoors and her hair is drying in messy curly tendrils around her ears. You look almost unrecognizable.
Flittering around the modern minimalistic styled bathroom, you busy yourself turning on the shower and waiting for the water to turn warm, as it always takes the pipes a moment to heat up. In the interim, you grab two fuzzy towels, one for your hair and one for your body, to throw over the glass partition of the shower since there are no conveniently placed towel racks. You also grab your fancy pink “cloud” face wash from the sink, which honestly does too little for its steep price point, in your opinion, and your A Thousand Wishes body cream from Bath & Body Works, that you had stocked up on during the summer semi-annual sale. 
By now, the water is finally hot enough and starting to steam up your bathroom a bit. You slide off your bra and step out of your panties before flinging them into the laundry hamper. Walking into the shower stall is a welcome respite after your long day. For a moment, you just stand there motionless, letting your eyes flutter shut as the showerhead jets water over you, soaking your hair completely and soothing your worn out exhausted muscles. You could pass out from comfort in the shower and that would be horrible but oh you understand now why some people are able to fall asleep in their baths. 
Your shampoo and conditioner bottles are the pump kind so you don’t need to put in too much effort to squeeze out the peony and amaretto scented ambery gold colored liquid into your cupped palm. Today is going to be a simple shower; you’re too drained to go into your whole hair routine with its scalp scrubs, serums, and hair masks, in addition to the usual shampooing and conditioning you do. When it's finally worked into your hair, making it foamy from how well you scrubbed it in, you let the shower wash your hands clean and let the suds disperse. 
Your shower gel is A Thousand Wishes scented too; you’re not the type to mix scents and give yourself a migraine when you can avoid it. Abandoning the loofah, you decide to run your soapy hands over your body for a quick clean. When your hands skim over your breasts and your long acrylic nude ombre nails catch on a nipple, instantly turning the already hard nub into a rock solid bullet, you stifle a surprised moan. Your mind whirls as you recover from the sensation. 
Even as fatigue clouds your mind, the world seems to get closer as your senses become hyperaware. Suddenly you can feel the cool stone underneath your feet that much more as your toes curl in pleasure from how it contrasts wonderfully with the warm water cascading over you. As your hands wander down your body, molding your palms against every curve and divot, the shower gel and water provides a nice lubrication, making it easy for you to slide your fingers over your body. You have to press harder to make your touches rougher, and the delicious friction that comes from those more frantic brushes make your voice catch in the back of your throat before it crawls its way up in the form of a delicious keen.
Oh, what you would do to have a gorgeous male manhandle you right now. You like it rough; you like a little bit of force that reminds you of the strength behind his muscles that you know he would never use on you but the idea that he could make your strength and size kinks come alive. Your hand now transverses over to your throat and you wrap your slim fingers around it, your long nails lightly scraping against the delicate flesh, relishing in the hold but sighing in frustration that your small weak hands can’t apply the pressure that you actually want. 
You’re single because the males you keep finding have no idea how to treat a woman in a way that makes her feel safe even when she wants to be utterly destroyed. A lot of it is based on trust and respect. The shitheads you meet? You wouldn’t even trust them to walk you home at night without angling for a kiss you don’t want to give. 
Abandoning the hand from your throat, you instead press your front side against the marble walls of the shower, pretending that it’s your lover who’s got you clinging to the damp stone and that his hands are dipping over your hips before going lower, wrapping themselves around your thighs in a way that has his thumbs pressing into the clefts of your asscheeks as he spreads them apart and the water from the shower flows into the puckering hole that is revealed. You hate the concept of anal sex but as one of your hands busy themselves in the front, plucking at your clit and fluttering across your folds as you tease yourself to the brink without any insertion, the other hand is working on your tight asshole, your thumb pressing onto it, flirting by only letting the tip of your thumb in before pulling away.
What you would do to have a big heavy cock stroke your ass, painting it with its precum, taunting the sensitive hole hidden between by pressing against it but not entering. Or for you to be on your tiptoes with your legs parted so that his cock could slide underneath, thrusting against the petaled furls of your pussy until he plunged into it from behind while you’re trapped between his warm slick body, his hard abdominal muscles and chest pressing against your back, and the cool marble, your nipples turning into stiffened peaks that are begging to be touched but finding no purchase against the slippery walls. It would feel almost claustrophobic, like you can’t move due to his delicious weight and like the only part of you that could move was your pussy, its walls clenching around him and clinging to him every time he slammed into you. 
With three fingers inside you, you can almost pretend that it’s real. Though, you know that at any moment you can move away since there's nothing actually trapping you into the position that you are in. You can’t finish though, your mind is your own mental prison, too cynical and realistic for its own good. You find yourself reaching up for the removable shower head and pulling it down. Your hand frantically clicks on the controls, increasing the water pressure. You debate if you want to do this standing up but you know that you will lose the feeling in your legs the second your explosive orgasm hits after being edged for so long. Thus, you slide down to a sitting position in your shower, your back against the wall, your legs folded up and spread apart as you position the showerhead right at your cunt, knowing that your clit will be getting the maximum pressure possible. 
You emerge from your shower ten minutes later with your legs feeling so jelly-like you have to grip at the walls to make it back to the sink to finish up your skincare routine and return the products that you had taken with you into the shower back to their original homes. 
When you feel squeaky clean and refreshed, bundled up in your favorite pajamas, a beige plaid set you had gotten as a white elephant present so they are very roomy and swamp your body, you finally deal with your wet work clothes properly and put them for a cycle in the dryer. You’ll likely have to deal with your Chinese Laundry peep toe pumps as well so that the leather doesn’t dry weirdly and make them crack in places but, that’s a concern for you in the future.
With a towel wrapped high around your head in a way that might end up giving you a receding hairline, if you don’t stop using that method to dry your hair soon, you step back into the main part of your apartment. Your eyes quickly go to the coffee table where it appears that your best friend had dropped something off while you were away at work.
There’s a bouquet of pink and white peonies that you immediately fix up in a vase with the proper amount of water, a square box covered in black matte wrapping paper with art deco style gold designs embedded into it, and lastly, a wine bottle in a gorgeous black and gold gift bag that compliments the wrapping on the box and has a matching envelope pinned to it. Before you sit back down on the plush comfort of your oat colored cloud sofa, you rip the envelope off from how it’s been stapled to the gift bag so that you can tear open the flap and get to the card inside. Reclining back, you narrow your eyes to read, having forgotten to grab your glasses from your bedroom dresser and having already taken off your contacts for the day:
Happy Birthday my darling Y/N! I hope that your 25th birthday is the most beautiful one to come so far! Wishing you nothing but blessings and good fortune on this beautiful day! Your present this year is one that surprised me as well but when I saw it, I was drawn to it instantly and the thought that it might be perfect for you abruptly flooded my mind! Can’t wait to hear your opinion on it!
Love, Safi
P.S. Don’t waste this wine by keeping it for a better day! Live in the now by cracking it open today and enjoying a birthday toast because today is just as important as whatever future occasion you’re trying to justify would be a better opportunity to enjoy the wine! (save the Sephora gift card for a rainy day though lol)
You laugh self-indulgently and look back inside the envelope where there is indeed a black $100 Sephora gift card before putting them all aside. You suppose you should listen to Safi’s advice even though today has not been a great birthday by any stretch of the words since it will be nice for you to unwind with a glass of wine. Pulling the bottle out you can see that it is a bottle of rosé, Gerard Bertrand Cote des Rosé to be precise, and the glassware is magnificent with the bottom of the bottle being designed in the shape of a rose with all its petals. 
The box lies unopened for now even if it’s your main present. You have too much of a one track mind and you immediately want to crack open the alcohol to let loose and make yourself forget about your day for just a little bit. You head for the kitchen cabinets and reach for the first drinking vessel you can grab, not too picky when it’s almost 11pm and you have to wake up at 6 in the morning. Perhaps Safi didn’t want you to drink the alcohol out of a coffee mug, in your most comfy sleepwear and a towel wrapped around your head, but it’s the best you can do at the moment. 
You nestle the bottle in the crook of your right arm, holding the mug in the same hand while grabbing the box with your left and taking all three objects out with you to the balcony. It takes you a little finagling to manage opening the sliding door but you soon make your way out where a light breeze brushes against your body comfortingly. Placing everything on the table you have outside, you head back in once more to grab your corkscrew from where it was misplaced in the junk drawer.
It’s not long before you’re back outside, sitting down and admiring the rainfall, which you are now able to appreciate since you are no longer soaking in it. It’s more of a light drizzle now and most of the clouds have dissipated, leaving only the thinnest types of stratus and stratocumulus clouds. In the heart of the city it’s impossible to make out any stars in the night sky due to the pollution and lights but you enjoy looking at the moon as you sip from your mug and let the rosé, which somehow managed to stay chilly all this time, slide down your throat. 
Your attention finally goes to the box and you carefully unwrap it, though you know that it will be unlikely that you will reuse the wrapping paper unless you take up scrapbooking again. Inside is a simple black colored cardboard gift box, and once you remove the top, you find yourself looking at a gorgeous antique looking hanji lamp though you know better than to think that Safi dropped money on an authentic Silla era lantern. You can’t even begin to imagine how much that would cost. Even still, as you turn over the rectangular structure in your hands, you find yourself musing that you would never dare to light the magnificent ornament. It was going to remain a purely decorative piece whose design and history you would appreciate from its place on one of your shelves. 
You find yourself holding it up to your face to get a closer look at all four paper sides of the wooden structure, squinting to make out the images painted on them though it’s difficult because you had forgotten to turn on your string lights and the moon is only a crescent, not providing much of a glow, so you are practically bathed in darkness. 
You scrunch up your forehead thinking of how nice it would be if you had better lighting, No sooner does the thought come across your mind, do you find yourself suddenly bathed in a luminous glow as a shooting star hurls across the inky black sky, painting it with a white blue streak of light. You have never in all of your years seen a shooting star flying across the sky so close to you and you immediately snap your eyes closed. You were never one to waste your time on wishes but maybe in between it being 11:11pm, the shooting star, and the fact that you have not made a birthday wish yet, one of them will work to make your desire come to fruition. It can’t hurt to try right? Maybe finally your deepest yearnings will come to life. 
Little do you realize, that as you make your wish, a little light is cast from the inside of the hanji lamp, warming it up with a small soft candle glow before it flickers out at the end of your wish. When you finally open your eyes and look down, of course you see nothing. That hope you had quickly vanishes as your cynicism returns and you find yourself painfully laughing in a self-flagellating way. You down the last of the wine in the mug and stand up, picking up all your things and getting ready for bed. 
Little do you know, you’ve just wildly changed the course of your life.
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While you’re asleep, a slow cloud of golden shimmery smoke begins to seep out from the lamp you placed on your dresser before sinking into bed and burrowing yourself under a mountain of blankets. 
A man emerges when the gold mist seems to have finally fully trickled out, building himself up from the cloud, becoming humanoid and corporeal. He is bare from the chest up, a golden chain around his hips marking the thing that holds him captive to the lamp and trapped under its control. His lower half is wearing loose baji brown trousers, the lower half of a hanbok that is the fashion of the Silla dynasty. It’s embroidered jeogori that’s a shiny silky white with gold embroidery is somewhere back in the lantern but he’s too lazy to get it now. Those are the clothes that he was entrapped in, so those are the clothes he is stuck in whenever he is kept inside the lamp. No one could blame him for whiling away his time in the vessel by choosing to slumber instead of waiting for himself to be let out again. 
Besides, as his gaze flickers over your modern style bedroom and he makes out a pile of clothing on top of a chair, he distinctly gets the feeling that he is no longer in the Joseon era, which was the last time he had been let out. Jungkook had gotten trapped in the lamp and turned into a genie when he was about 24, on the eve of his 25th birthday around 2,000 years ago, and has been paying for his mistake and the punishment that followed it ever since. In between that time and now though, he’s been let out of the lantern sporadically, over the centuries, every time it fell into the hands of someone who understood its power and wanted to make use of his abilities. 
But right now, his mistress is asleep and he is free, so he finds himself leaving the apartment, in search of what fashion and culture must be like in this weird modern time. He can’t escape her permanently, not when she has one wish left and his lamp in her possession, but he is free to wander while she’s not using him. It’s a little harder to define when and when she isn’t using him because of her second wish but since she’s unconscious right now it’s obvious that she cannot be requiring his presence currently. 
With nary but a thought, he’s suddenly on the streets in front of her apartment. He has no idea where he is; could this truly be Korea? Just because it’s past midnight doesn’t mean that the city is any less alive. He almost gets run over by a car, it’s impossible for him to get hurt given what he is, but his presence, with his feet over the line that separates the two lanes, spooks a driver who yells out a barrage of hateful language before manueving his gray SUV and driving around Jungkook’s body. Some of the comments are about a shirtless madman wandering the roads which makes Jungkook wince and even more impatient to get a change of clothes. They were not spoken in Korean which he won’t realize until later since he is gifted with omnilingual abilities that make him able to understand any and every language that exists or comes into being.
He wanders all the way to the shopping district where all the words are definitely not in Korean but using his mythical powers he’s readily able to translate them, understanding every language instantaneously. Whatever clothes he sees on the mannequins that he likes, he imagines them on himself and thus builds an entire wardrobe this way. His powers of manifestation come in handy giving him clothes that are perfectly tailored to fit his muscular frame which is paired with not only bulging biceps, broad shoulders, and thick thighs but a narrow waist too. He vastly prefers this power to his ability to make anything he wants be in his possession. Why not just make his own more perfect version than the store sizes of a men’s medium and large? Those cookie cutter sizes only account for his muscles but hide the rest of his body away under their expansive lengths of fabric. 
After his clothing shopping spree he sends all his creations back to his mistress’s home with a snap of his fingers and then begins his prowl for food. Genies don’t need sustenance and they can’t gain weight, though they can change their appearances if they wanted, but Jungkook loved food from his time as a human and he regularly uses his powers to let himself enjoy its taste, when he is out of his lamp, even though he can never make himself feel full.
His wanderings take him to a Korean restaurant that is open until dawn, and since food is the one thing he hates creating, he instead magicks himself the currency of this country, in this day and age, and bows to the ajumma who is working inside the establishment. He gets a table for one and orders a giant set of tteokbokki that has the maximum amount of heat allowed along with extra fish cakes and cheese, as well as three different kinds of Korean fried chicken: honey garlic, sweet and spicy, and barbeque, which are all flavors he has never heard of before, and finishes off with a clay pot of kimchi soondubu jiggae, a kimchi soft tofu stew. He only buys one beer knowing that the ajumma would get concerned over his tolerance if he had a dozen glasses.
When he’s done with all the food, he finds himself wistfully pining for the time when he was human and would have been truly able to not only enjoy but also appreciate this bountiful feast. After all, he had been born into a family of laborers, it’s why he had been able to grow so strong through hard manual work.
He finally returns to the apartment, but his work is not over. Unlike his mistress who can sleep blissfully having no idea what she had just done, Jungkook has long hours ahead of him to make her wish come to life in a way that seems believable and that she readily buys into by the time she wakes up. It’s not the hardest desire or demand he has ever had to complete but it will use a lot of his power, more than he’s used lately. And though he’s got an unexpendable amount of magic, he’s out of practice.
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When you rouse the next morning, you can instantly tell that something is different and it immediately makes your hackles rise up. It’s more than just the smell of fried eggs, apple sausages, and maple syrup permeating the air of the apartment, making its way from the kitchen into the bedroom, though you know that you live alone and have no one to cook you such an amazing spread to wake up to. 
The air feels different, like the energy of the universe had shifted somehow. None of that makes any sense and yet somehow it also does. You don’t know what you mean when you think that but there is no other way that you can put this sense of unease into words. When you open your eyes and look across the room you see a male lounging against the wall wearing a street style look with black and gray FILA joggers and windbreaker covering the length of his long modelesque body; there’s a black bucket hat hiding his blond locks. 
You let out a loud scream immediately, terrified out of your wits, and instantly pull your comforter up to your chin even if you had gone to sleep in a pair of pajamas that covered you as though you were a nun. The male narrows his eyes at the shrill sound but the look is quickly shuttered away when a small pleasant smile takes over his face instead. 
He walks closer to you and murmurs, his doe eyes shining with the twinkle of stars from a million galaxies, “Are you okay, jagiya? I’m sorry for surprising you with breakfast this morning but I missed you. I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday since I didn’t get the chance yesterday.”
“WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!” you yelp, tightening your comforter even closer around your body, wrapping yourself up like a human burrito.
“Your lover, Jeon Jungkook,” the male calmly states, his eyes peering at you, not losing their shine as he looks at you like you had grown another head and are the crazy one amongst the two of you.
“I don’t have a lover named Jeon Jungkook,” you contradict, narrowing your eyes into slits full of suspicion. And if you did, you didn’t think you would call him your lover. Perhaps, your man, your boyfriend, or even your fwb though you weren’t really the type to dabble in such meaningless romps of pleasure, but not lover.
“Are you sure about that,” he silkily purrs, using his tattoo adorned hand to gesture to your gallery wall. 
Your eyes follow its path and you’re horrified to see the most adorable couple pictures, most of which appear to have been professionally photographed though some are cutely caught candids, of you and this ‘Jungkook’ together, staring into each other’s eyes lovingly while holding each other in an embrace that speaks volumes about passion and affection. 
“Would you like to check your phone,” suggests the male as well, his blond locks playing peekaboo with his bucket hat as his head turns towards your nightstand and he nods at the iPhone that had been charging on top of it. 
You instantly grab the device, unplugging it from the white charging cord and clutching it possessively to your chest before you finally work up the nerve to see what exactly he means. You swipe down to look at your lockscreen and it’s a live photo of Jungkook squishing his face into the side of your’s, rubbing the tip of his nose into the apple of your cheek softly. Mortified, you use facial recognition to gain further access into your phone and what you see leaves you even more bewildered. Your home screen is the most aesthetic that you’ve seen it: organized by using the IOS 15 feature. It’s blush pink and cream and the background image is a digitally manipulated picture of you and Jungkook looking into the bay from your perches on a bridge at the bottom of the image as the sky melts into a creamy pink color that's been altered to match the theme of your phone. 
At this point, you’re nervously holding onto your disbelief, so it’s with trepidation that you go into your camera roll to find hundreds upon hundreds of photos of Jungkook in an assortment of scenarios, from cute date night pics with you to dozens almost identical selfies where he’s trying out a variety of facial expressions from the same angle and in the same outfits to then even the embarrassing kinds that look like you took them on the down low when you thought he wasn’t looking. None of this makes any sense. But he looks so cute and kissable. You almost want to cry helplessly at the insanity of this all. What if he was your boyfriend? Life would be so much easier then.
You leap out of bed to go out to the front of the apartment and it’s even more confusing because there’s half a dozen pairs of chunky sneakers and boots with spiked soles that look like fashionable and weaponized soccer cleats on the shoe rack that’s by the front door— all belonging to designer brands and looking slightly threatening. It is clear that those shoes belong to a male, most likely this male, and they are all neatly organized to one side while your shoes, the shoes that you remember, are off to the other end. 
“This makes no sense,” you whine, rubbing your forehead frantically. Is this what hyperrealistic nightmares feel like? It seems as though you’ve been transported to the Twilight Zone in your opinion, and you just want to desperately get out.
“Would you like to call your mother and ask her about me?” Jungkook, his voice a smooth cadence as he unhelpfully directs the suggestion to your back. He had evidently followed you out back here. 
“Your mother? We FaceTime her all the time. She’s really been pushing for me to pop the question for the last couple of months. Despite what she thinks, it’s really not that covert,” he scoffs, his lips flaring out into a pout. You note with bemusement that there is a small mole underneath the plush of his strawberry colored lower lip. How dare he have a mole in such a perfect location? Now your mind would never know peace until you dragged his lower lip between yours and sucked on that tiny chocolate chip. It’s actually deranged how your mind continuously chooses to flit between lust and rationality. 
“Jungkook?” Your voice takes on a shrill sound, “How long have we been dating?”
“As long as you want it to be.”
That doesn’t make any sense.
“Jungkook, please don’t mess around with me! How long have we been dating?” you demand more urgently. You are halfway to a full-blown panic attack and you need to calm down but nothing seems to be placating you about this entire situation.
The male walks around to step in front of you and then faces you head on. He keeps his hands to himself, crossing them while making sure that his fingers are folded and tucking into his armpits. He bends a little to look you in the eyes since he’s much taller, to peer carefully into your eyes that are slightly blown out from your constant state of shock and bewilderment. “Why didn’t it work?” he wonders.
“Well, not intentionally,” he muses, tapping a finger to his lip. God, even his hands are perfect. Each digit is long and tipped with neatly cut and perfectly clean fingernails. And they’re shiny too like he uses some type of cuticle oil. Not to mention how he’s got sexily protruding veins wrapping along the back of his hand and down to his wrist and arm.“I thought you’d be in on it. Could it be that it didn’t work on you even though it worked on everyone else in your life because you made the wish? My magic probably assumed that you didn’t need convincing since after all, this was what you wanted.”
Things make even less sense after his explanation even though Jungkook probably thought he was being helpful by providing it. Your eyes are narrowed in disbelief as you perturbedly shake your head.
“What are you talking about?” you hesitantly ask. You’re nervous because you’ve moved on from the idea that this is a hyperrealistic bad dream to the conspiracy theory that you have a crazy stalker who somehow figured out how to almost seamlessly integrate himself into your life and that he’s more than just the ordinary type of psychopath; this one seems like he’s the delusional type that thinks he has otherworldly powers. Wouldn’t that be just your luck: Jungkook is the first man you’ve been attracted to in months but he didn’t approach you like a normal person who wanted to pursue something.
Jungkook’s mouth takes on a pursed shape as he narrows his eyes at you, deep in thought; the coral red lips are scrunched together with the upper one flaring out. You can see the chocolatey brown mole right below them again and you are suddenly hit with the urge to kiss his lips until the frown is smoothed out.
“Do you have any idea what you even did last night?” he barks, his tone entirely too accusatory for your liking. One would think you had cheated on your imaginary boyfriend the evening before. He takes off his bucket hat in frustration and runs a hand through his blond locks, ruffling them. His jerky hand movements bring attention not only to the length of tattoos that encompass his arm but also its muscular veininess that had held you previously enraptured. You blink, you need to get dicked down soon. You wanted to give into Stockholm Syndrome way too easily for this man. Don’t do it, Y/N, no matter how hot Jungkook is, it’s scary that he’s in your house right now.
You rack your brain but come up woefully short. “I went to bed with only rosé as my dinner?” you hedge. You don’t think it’s that big of a deal although it’s definitely unadvisable to do. 
The male huffs, raising his right hand up before he snaps the fingers on that hand. A paper lantern appears, landing perfectly on his palm. Your eyebrows both raise because you recognize it immediately; it’s the lamp Safi had gifted you as your birthday present. 
“You made a wish for the perfect beau,” Jungkook explains patiently, “I made your wish come to life.”
“Can’t you undo it?” you push urgently. Why are you entertaining this mad man? Magic isn’t real, Y/N!
He excitedly quirks an eyebrow of his own, smirking as he takes in your look of bemusement. “Is that another wish?” he asks.
“No!” you swiftly interrupt. If you are in the Twilight Zone somehow, you need to be smart with how you navigate within this nightmare, at least until you figure out a way to wake yourself up.
“You only have one left, anyways,” he sasses tapping his plumper lower lip with his pointer and middle fingers, you’ve already noticed it’s a habit, rolling his big doe eyes, “I could kind of undo the effects of the wish by making its time constraint shorter so that it stops in the next five minutes but in my opinion, that’s just another wasted wish. So if I were you,” he says with a shrug, “personally I’d go along with it for the next ten days. We wouldn’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable but I would still be playing the role of the doting attentive paramour.”
You blink at him, your mind still sluggish from your wine hangover and terrible bout of sleep. “I only have one wish left?”
“Not the smartest of my mistresses or masters by a long stretch,” Jungkook agrees, teasing you, scrunching his nose to peer at you cutely. 
You gasp loudly, obviously affronted. Not the handsome weirdo calling you dumb. 
“Do I get three?” you question. Your mind is working on overtime today and it’s still taking you too long to understand things. You’d like to tell this Jungkook character that you graduated from the top university in the nation and have two degrees but you don’t think that he would believe you if you bragged and let that tidbit slip. 
“You do,” he nods, unhelpful as ever.
It kind of makes sense; you assume the purpose of genies is to manipulate their rulers into making all of their wishes as quickly as possible.
“Oh, you want me to tell you what your two used wishes were. Humans really are weak, aren’t they? Is your mind normally supposed to be so foggy after drinking so much?” He calls you out directly and you gasp; you suppose that genies don’t have manners. Or at least this one doesn’t, you glare at Jungkook’s untactfulness.
“I know one of them was to have you here,” as your boyfriend, you finish off in your head, too unnerved to say it out loud just in case that makes it more true, “but what was the one before it?”
“Oh! You wanted there to be light.” Fiat lux, look at you, and you thought you weren’t philosophical. 
You blink again. Nope, that doesn’t follow. You would never be so profound. What would a wish like that even mean to a genie? An increase in intelligence? For there to be less ignorant people in the world? Ah. Wait. You do vaguely remember thinking that it would be so nice if you had more light to see the markings on the lantern. But—
“I made my wish for a man on a shooting star,” you retort as a counterargument, trying to wheedle out of Jungkook’s covenant so that you’ll have an additional wish to add to your arsenal.
“Nice try,” snorts Jungkook. He’s probably listened to a thousand arguments by a thousand masters that have all tried to bargain and reason with him trying to manipulate him and exploit him for more wishes, “But I made that appear in the night sky. It was not fated to be there that night until I materialized it. It wasn’t real so it didn’t have the powers of a normal shooting star.”
“So shooting stars actually work?” 
He shrugs, “Sometimes. Wishes depend on the caster. Theoretically you can make a wish on a shooting star, a wishing well, your birthday, on a deity, etc. But you can rarely succeed at having a wish granted, much less by using the same method twice. And most people, if they’re lucky, only get to have one wish come true in their lifetime. It’s much more common for there to be no successful ones. Aren’t you lucky to have woken me up from my slumber,” he snarks, “you got three.”
“I made a birthday wish,” you faintly mutter rather dispiritedly.
He hears you anyways, “I don’t think it worked. Why not try again next year?” 
You ignore the snarkiness of his suggestion, “So you’re really my boyfriend for the next ten days.”
He nods. You squint at him, you still haven’t put your contacts on for the day and your glasses remain forgotten in your bedroom. 
“Can I ask you to do things? Like a girlfriend asks her boyfriend? Or does that count as a wish.”
“You can ask me anything. Whether or not I do anything is entirely up to me. I suppose I will be more courteous and mindful of your requests since I am playing the part of the perfect significant other. As long as it’s related to this wish, I will try my best to make it come to fruition for you. For example, if you wanted me to take you out for dinner on the rooftop of a skyscraper I probably would. If you wanted me to buy you a bunch of gifts or fill your rooms with flowers, I could do that too.”
“Why is it only ten days? I didn’t wish for ten days,” you inquire.
Jungkook smiles at you sheepishly, showing the first sign of less than suaveness. “As far as mistresses go, you’re not a selfish one but would you believe me if I told you that in the past only terrible people used to be able to draw me out of my lamp and make demands of me? As the years went by I added rules: only three wishes, no wishes have permanent effects, and only those pure of heart can awaken me, just to name a few.”
“Oh.” You don’t know what else to say.
“In ten days, your life will go back to normal. And even though you will always remember this, it will become more and more dreamlike and disconnected from reality as time goes on. One day you might even come to the decision that you had made me up and that I was a figment of your imagination. No one can hold onto the idea that this was all real for too long.”
“So for this week, everyone in my life is convinced we’ve been together for a while but next week they won’t even have known I had a boyfriend?” you conclude.
“You’ll wake up on the eleventh morning like time hasn’t passed at all; it’ll be like it’s today all over again but without me in all those pictures that stand as proof of a shared, albeit fake, history,” Jungkook confirms.
“But what will happen to you?” you worry. 
“I’ll be sticking around unless you make your third wish before then.” He looks at you hopefully but you snort in retort. “When you make the third wish, I’ll go back into the lamp and it will disappear from your life before the process starts all over for me. I’ll probably be sleeping until I’m let out again.”
“I wasn’t the one who found you,” you frown. “My best friend gave it to me as a birthday present.”
Jungkook's eyes widen marginally but you don’t catch how the genie appears momentarily unnerved, he shrugs it off to you, feigning nonchalance, “That doesn’t really matter because you were the one that was able to let the lamp open.”
You hum but say nothing. You’re distracted by the magnificent bounty of breakfast food that Jungkook has arranged on your tiny square table for four, not that you ever had to use all four of the place settings at the same time. You make your way to the dining area, edging away from Jungkook and the conversation, but as expected, the male trails after you like a lost puppy. 
“Do you have any plans for how our day should progress, mistress?”
“Please stop calling me that,” you blush hotly. You are the subbiest sub ever so it’s discomforting to hear you being referred to in such a manner even if it’s not in a sexual context.
“What would you like to be called instead?” Jungkook inquires, altruistically.
“Let’s just stick to my name for now,” you mutter, placing two fried eggs on your plate before going for the waffles. Jungkook should be glad you’re such a benevolent holder of the lamp, he says you’re pure of heart but you don’t know about all that, all you do know is, you won’t make Jungkook’s life any harder than it needs to be for the next ten days.
A light smirk paints Jungkook’s lips as he takes the seat opposite to you. “We can make our way to pet names and terms of endearment as the days progress.”
You choke, coughing and sputtering as a square of waffle gets lodged in your throat. But as your eyes water up, widening from pain and surprise, Jungkook smoothly waves his hand in a flippant manner in your direction and the waffle disappears immediately.
Gasping for air you ask, “Does this mean that when you’re finally gone I’ll be going back to choking and die a painful death?”
Jungkook scoffs, “Only the wishes I make come true for my masters have limits to them. And it’s a recent development I made to curb their usually evil desires. I’m very powerful. Everything I do has permanent effects. It’s why I’m locked up any time I don’t have an owner.”
You blink, gobsmacked. Somehow his arrogance is terribly sexy and it makes your pussy throb. 
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On the first day, following breakfast, Jungkook makes the two of you disappear and reappear in Malta for an island vacation and date. You’re in a panic, claiming that you can’t be in a foreign country without any identification, money, or clothes. But the male just rolls his eyes at your antics and reminds you just who exactly has been cast to play the role of your picture perfect boyfriend. 
You side-eye him now. He is walking slightly ahead of you to the left so that there is space left for you to walk beside him if you want to catch up but you can’t make up your mind if you want to. His blond hair is trapped under yet another black bucket hat which makes you wonder if he hates the pale color of his locks and he’s wearing a black Hawaiian shirt with white hibiscuses creating an artfully arranged pattern. His black board shorts have a 5 inch inseam and you’re wondering how it is that this thousands-of-years old mythical being dresses like an emo alt boy. Not that you know what two out of those three words mean. You assume it’s like a vibe from what the gen z college students that appear in your office tell you. Jungkook looks just like them. 
You’ve been wheedling Jungkook to reveal details about his own life but the individual has managed to remain tight-lipped thus far. He runs ahead to a street vendor to excitedly buy you a sandwich. The round leavened bread has a filling of potatoes, capers, tomatoes, and mozzarella. He hands you one of the diagonally cut slices before bringing the other half to his mouth.
You hold it in your hand bemusedly, at a loss of what to do with it. You had quite literally finished the meal he had prepared for you half an hour ago. Side-eyeing him once again, this time enviously, you sigh; you can’t eat like he does because unlike him you do not have magical powers and if he continues to feed you like this, you’ll gain 30 pounds by the end of the 10 days. And you could ask him to keep you from gaining weight but that would probably count as a third wish instead of being an extension of his boyfriendly duties.
“Are you ready to see our lodgings?” he asks, a droplet of olive oil, that the sandwich had practically been doused in, glistening on his perfectly coral colored Cupid’s bow.
You give him a look that wordlessly states ‘lead the way,’ and follow him as your walk takes the two of you before a two story condo located on the waterfront. 
“Can I ask you a question,” you start off.
Jungkook interrupts you immediately, knowing just where your head was going, “I did not make the apartment appear out of midair. It was conveniently empty and I planted a thought in the owner’s head that he had rented it to us.”
Okay first of all, that was not what you were going to ask. “Are you going to pay him?” you demand self-righteously.
“Why?” Jungkook deadpans, “The timeline will be reset soon enough.”
“I was actually going to ask you,” you tread carefully, though apparently not delicately enough because the male’s hackles start to rise and his gaze turns into one that is more filled with suspicion and distrust. You plow ahead anyways and repeat, “I wanted to ask you why you were going along with this.”
“Because it is your wish.” He says it with such simplicity, his face as expressionless as his tone.
You sigh frustratedly, “Yes but—am I making you uncomfortable? You don’t have to pretend to be my lover. I have to admit I wasn’t thinking that this would happen when I made that wish.”
“So, did you have a male in mind then?” Jungkook’s expression turns even more grim as he shutters away his emotions. His large dark brown eyes are impassive for the first time since you’ve met him and you’re starting to miss the shine of those doelike lenses.
“Well, no. But, if I wanted my fake boyfriend to be Kim Namjoon, could you do that?”
“Who is Kim Namjoon?” He sounds so affronted, unable to believe that you could prefer anyone to him. Huh. You had the feeling that Jungkook was a cocky self-aggrandizing genie but you hadn’t realized how much until now.
“My celebrity crush.”
“What is a ‘celebrity’?”
You stare at him blankly, “So you weren’t out in the twentieth century either, huh?” 
When he frowns at you, those cute lips of his curving down, you hurriedly tack on, “It doesn’t matter, anyways. I just asked because, well— We don’t have to be ‘lovers,’” you quote Jungkook from earlier on in the day. “What if we just hung out as friends for the next ten days?”
“I would like that,” admitted Jungkook. “Although I’m not sure if that actually fulfills your wish.”
“Why not?” you pout. “What was the explicit wording of my wish, anyways?”
Jungkook looks away without answering you and then wordlessly marches towards the front door of the condo, expecting you to follow. 
The inside of the two storied structure is very rustic but clean. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of clutter, which you appreciate, but you wouldn’t call it minimalistic. It had a beachy European vibe to it with furniture pieces that had probably seen their prime in design in the late 90s. You actually like the old school feel of the place; it makes it feel more authentic. The place has about four bedrooms but Jungkook tells you that the two rooms the two of you will be sharing are right next to each other. 
When you walk into the place where you’ll be sleeping tonight, you are met by the sight of a white painted metal bed frame that has a lot of curlicues making up the headboard. The bedding looks comfy and clean which is always nice and the box springs and mattress look relatively new, providing a nice height and plumpness to your bed. There’s a massive pile of shopping bags and boxes stacked against the wall and you can only wonder if your attractive genie companion had gone into the trouble of making sure you would have a variety of clothes and necessities on this trip.
As you fiddle through the tissue paper hiding the contents of a bright orange Louis Vuitton bag, you are puzzled how Jungkook is both on top of and out of the loop when it comes to the 21st century. The male is on top of fashion but not famous people and you wonder what else he knows or is woefully oblivious about. You put on a cute russet brown bikini set that looks gorgeous on your honeyed skin; there is a large gold hoop connecting the two halves of your top as well as two matching hoops on the sides of your hips. You are currently pulling on a pair of Louis Vuitton shorts with cute pockets that are lined with a gold colored zipper and are almost the exact same shade of brown as your swimming suit but covered by the familiar and iconic pattern of interlocking LV’s with flowers in white, teal, orange, and light brown, just about having buckled in the cute strappy belt that comes with it when your door is unceremoniously thrust open. 
You stand, jaw slackened in surprise, as Jungkook walks into the room looking so colorful that you blink to make sure it’s actually him. His hair is now the pinkish red color of cherries and he's wearing a yellow T-shirt that has an opened shirt that looks like a white baseball tee over it, though the fabric is more airy and lightweight; the sleeves of his yellow top are tucked into the sleeves of the white one. He’s wearing navy blue swimming trunks and you love that he turned out to be the type of male that sticks to 5-7 inch inseams rather than wearing shorts that go down super low and cover his knees like you know so many men in your acquaintance to do. It baffles you; don’t they realize how ugly it makes their outfits look? 
Jungkook snaps his fingers to make a pair of black Ray-Bans with gold frames cover your eyes to match the ones tucked into his soft red hair and you notice the multitude of beaded bracelets adorning his wrist. 
“I haven’t gone to the beach in years,” you proclaim excitedly. 
Now that you two have settled that he’s a genie and you’re his mistress who gets to call all the shots, there is a sense of calm over the two of you and this wayward situation that you’ve thrusted the two of you into. He’s not acting the role of your boyfriend. He’s just someone you’re on vacation with and it makes it so much easier to relax when you keep that in mind. 
You eagerly reach out to grab his large hand in your much smaller one to tug him along with you, back outside of the condominium so that you two could eventually make your way to the beachfront. The male gives in easily, he engulfs his hand with yours and you can feel its warm heat cupping you comfortably. You give him a happy smile and proceed to pull him along with you which is much easier said than done because Jungkook finds it hilarious to drag his feet and stand his ground on the gravelly cobblestone streets so that he can laugh at your feeble attempts at strength as you try to move him. 
Jungkook is bored at the beach. You scowl at him. He’s being a party pooper, acting like a black hole that’s bringing down your excitement and sucking it all in. He has no idea how to relax. You had told him as much when he sighed as he sat down next to you in the little area you made him create for the two of you. There’s a cute blanket for the two of you to lie on and an umbrella if you no longer want to be in the sun. You even got him to materialize some books for you (you just had to tell him the author and title) but from the looks of his displeased frown when he discovered that nearly all of the books have raunchy covers, Jungkook’s not thrilled about your little omission. 
You glower at him. The blanket is massive with enough space for the two of you, yet Jungkook sits so close beside you that you’re almost halfway to the sand as you hover near the edge of the cloth. You slip your shorts off and put it on one of the beach chairs next to the two of you before flopping down again. You turn your body around so that you are facing the beach as you lie on your stomach, your elbows propping you up so you can read the third book of the Bridgertons series. 
“God, Jungkook,” you goad, “If you’re not going to do anything, can you apply my sunscreen on me?” It’s in the little tote you have with you.
Jungkook scrunches up his face as he scrutinizes you from behind the lenses of his matching black sunglasses. You had to put yours back on your head because you couldn’t read anything with how dark they made the page appear. “Why don’t you put sunscreen on me first?” 
“Jungkook, you don’t need sunscreen!” you whine. “You’re a genie. You don’t have to worry about the dangers of skin cancer and UV rays.”
“It’s amazing how often I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he muses as he huffs at you, going into your bag to pull out the sunscreen.
Perhaps because he’s unused to applying sunscreen on, you doubted the Joseon era (which was the last time he had been out) Koreans did because you were pretty sure it was invented in the early 1940s, he squirts what feels like half the bottle on your back. You screech at the cold aqueous feeling of the liquid as it trails down your figure approaching the barriers of your cute bikini top. 
“Jungkook!” you yelp. “Untie my clothes! It’s going to ruin them and leave ugly chalky marks on the fabric, you asshole! And you’re supposed to blend it into my skin so there’s no white cast.”
Jungkook places his hand against your back, cupping the deliquescent lotion and trapping it beneath his massive palm. One handedly, he undoes the tie to your brown string bikini, leaving your back bare as the cloth protects your minimal modesty in the front only. Ignoring what you had said about getting your bottoms ruined, he doesn't remove them, though you have no idea why. There’s not anyone near you on this long stretch of the coast. Instead, he just tugs it halfway down your ass. 
He moves his body so that his knees are straddling you on either side but since he’s lightly perched on your thighs, your uncovered ass is mere centimeters away from his crotch and when he moves to make sure that his hands are covering every inch of your revealed body with the sun block, you swear you can feel something large poking you at times.
His touch is feather light as his fingertips ghost along your back making you arch into him. His finger traces along your spine, making you keen lightly as you bite down on your lower lip to keep him from hearing you. His palms knead at the knots in your body as you still at the sensations he is pulling from your body. He’s being perfectly respectful, his hands stay on the length of your back, not moving under to canvas your breasts or slip down your hips or drift along the plump curve of your ass, yet somehow you are still mindless under his dexterous palms. 
Your eyelashes flutter closed, your eyes no longer able to focus on Benedict Bridgerton’s love story, as Jungkook massages the white cream into your skin with his strong hands. The male pulls his lip between his bunny teeth as he frowns when he hears your attempts to conceal the sounds that he is coaxing out of you. 
“Jungkook,” you pant out nervously, fearing how much further this can go if you don’t put a wise stop to it now. 
“I can do my legs,” you suggest. 
“Ah okay, Y/N,” he agrees. “But do you really want to spend the whole day reading that?” 
His face is twisted into a grimace as he glares at the upside down book you half opened to hold its place. 
“What do you want to do?” you ask getting up from the blanket and grabbing the bottle of sunscreen before squirting some on your hands to go over all the areas Jungkook hadn’t gotten around to.
“Do you want to go scuba diving?”
“Have you ever gone scuba diving?” 
“Of course not,” Jungkook rolls his eyes. “But I’ll try everything once.”
He whisks you two away to the Maltese island of Comino once you’re ready to call it quits at the beach. When you’re finally with the group of people who are getting ready to scuba dive with the instructor, suiting up and paying attention to the directions so they’re safe as they start to explore the reefs, lagoons, and underwater caves, you start to panic.
“Jungkook,” you mumble, edging closer to him and tiptoeing so you can whisper into his ear. The male turns his head to look at you, moving closer and instantly stooping down so you can easily state your piece. “Jungkook, I don’t feel comfortable scuba diving.”
“I’ll keep you safe, Y/N.” God, did you wish for the perfect boyfriend or what? Maybe drunk off her ass Y/N had something going for her. Even before, you had been tempted to make things get sexual as he was running those powerful hands over your pliant body, but you had managed to barely control yourself and keep yourself from shoving Jungkook down on the sand to climb over his body. It had been so nice of him to do that for you, very boyfriend, or as Jungkook would probably say, lover-like.
“Yes, I know,” you pause, deep in thought, before you continue, “but I don’t want you to limit your enjoyment because you’re so busy looking over me, trying to keep me from accidentally killing or maiming myself. Can we like do something a little more tame... like snorkeling? I don’t want to go so deep into the water.”
He gives into you easily, it doesn’t even take him a second to think about what you’re asking from him, and he readily transports the two of you onto a boat where a snorkeling class has already began to put on their masks and flippers before they make their ways to the edge of the boat to jump off. 
After watching the humans struggle putting on the equipment for ten or even fifteen minutes each, Jungkook decides it’ll just be easier if he does it for you so you don’t have to worry about if anything was worn improperly or unsafely.
He thinks you look adorable with the giant clear goggles; your long mane of hair squishes to your skull where the straps of the mask are pressing into your head and the lenses magnify your eyes making them look cute albeit a little bug-like. He quietly commands you to stop fiddling around with the snorkel; he knows you’re worried but he doesn’t want you to mess around with the pipe and accidentally disconnect what Jungkook had correctly set up for you. You’re waddling a bit in your large black and indigo flippers, attempting to pull your shorts off and get the holes through your suddenly enormous feet. You trip and Jungkook catches you, holding you against his bare chest because he had gotten rid of his clothes as well so he would only be in his swimming trunks.
“You okay?” he softly inquires, keeping you trapped within the heat of his comforting embrace. 
You can only squeak your reply, distracted about how his massive palms are so warm and almost entirely encapsulate your waist as he holds you up against him. There is something cool and metallic digging into your skin and your hand brushes against it. Was Jungkook wearing a waist chain? The male flinches away from your hold, stepping back instantly. 
“No need to worry about the jump or the water being too cold,” Jungkook murmurs, blatantly ignoring whatever had happened seconds ago, “I’ve got you.”
And in a flash, the two of you are underwater, surrounded by so much clean liquid that you can enjoy the greenish blue hue of the ocean and yet make out everything with such clarity. 
You frown when you notice that though Jungkook put on flippers he didn’t have a mask covering his face and making him look as distorted and ugly as you felt. It was so unfair; you have to look unattractive so you can breathe and not die submerged in the sea but Jungkook looks like a model with the water lifting his red locks and making them swirl around his head. Though he doesn’t want your eyes to focus on his waist, your gaze is immediately drawn to it, shifting their focus from the clean cut muscled edges of his eight pack, just barely able to make out the gold band that sits snugly around his bronzed skin, kept in place by the minimal flare to his hips, due to how your vision is slightly warped and distorted by your goggles. 
Jungkook reaches out to grab your hand, his long fingers wrapping themselves around your delicate wrist and he gently pulls you towards him, his lengthy legs swiftly flapping along as he propels his body around the water, taking you on his guided tour for one. Swimming side by side with Jungkook, you follow him deeper into the half submerged caves of St. Maria, your eyes taking in the mesmerizing schools of snappers and sea bream swimming around, ducking in and out of view when they travel around sandbars. You flinch into yourself, pulling away from Jungkook when you see a moray eel but the male just giggles, air bubbles releasing from his mouth as his chortles continue, his red hair a darkened burgundy cloud around his ears. He softly tugs you back to him and pursues on with the two of yours sea adventure. 
You gasp and clap excitedly when you see several cuttlefish and even a sand colored octopus, eagerly pointing it out to Jungkook, who only smiles when he notices your hand slip out of his again and then swims closer to the octopus to ooh and aah over it. Eventually, the snorkeling guide asks for everyone to come back onto the boat so that they can direct it over to a ship wreckage where you all will be allowed to go back into the sea to get a closer glimpse at the German minesweeper. 
The rusting boat is a little deeper than expected and you find yourself hesitantly waddling your legs in the water to keep yourself in the same unmoving position, while the rest of your class energetically flaps their legs to swim towards the ship, swimming further into the depths of the Maltese sea. Jungkook looks back at you from where he had gone to follow the crowd, his lips jutting out as he purses his lips, deep in contemplation. 
His eyes narrow as he looks at you consideringly though you’re absentminded in your persisting fear and have not become aware of his gaze in your direction yet. He smoothly paddles back to you, holding you with his warm palm pressed against the small of your back. You look up at him and shiver. 
Do you want me to help you? You know I wouldn't let you drown or have anything bad happen to you? You purposefully screw and unscrew your eyes shut, trying to make sense that this powerful genie possesses the ability to broadcast his thoughts into your mind because the two of you can’t speak in water. He probably has a more equipt way of dealing with that too but was choosing to exert less energy.
You nod brusquely and the male transports the two of you right by the wreckage where the rest of the class are enthusiastically swimming around and admiring the ruins of the World War II ship. Jungkook gently presses on your lower back pushing you forward to encourage you to explore the minesweeper on your own but you back up pressing yourself into his front, not even leaving an inch of space in between you. 
He looks down at you indulgently, tucking one of your wildly floating locks of hair behind your ear, as his hand moves away, it caresses the side of your cheek, making its way down. As you let out a longing sigh, he grips the underside of your jaw, tilting your chin up so he can remove the mouthpiece to your snorkel before he swoops down to capture your lips with his.
You’ve been yearning for his kiss since the moment you woke up and found your eyes enraptured by those pillowy coral colored lips, and Jungkook does not disappoint. They taste like mint chapstick and coffee as he hauls your body against his, one of his brawny arms locking you into his hold while the other works its way up while he winds his fingers through the drenched locks of your hair. As you continuously gasp in between every short kiss he slots over your lips, your hands travel across his broad shoulders and impressive back where you can feel flexing bundles of muscles beneath your fingertips. 
Tiring of the small abrupt pecks, Jungkook pulls you up, your legs instinctually wrapping around his hips as you meet him for a more impassioned kiss. You enthusiastically part your mouth, welcoming him and his tongue licks its way into that wet cavern, twining around your tongue as you both fight for control. You’re weak to the way that his lips mold against yours with its firm pressure, fitting against you perfectly. As you wrap your arms around his neck, holding on tight, Jungkook moves his hands to cup your ass, fitting you more perfectly against him. He gropes your butt fervently as your fingers snake themselves into his luscious locks. 
You can feel his curious wandering hands roving across the planes of your body as you lean deeper into the kisses, gasping when Jungkook releases you to let you catch your breath. But even then, your lips are still attached to his as he busies himself with nibbling on your plump bottom lip, not wanting to waste a single second. His fingers find themselves into the hidden space between your cheeks, gripping on them softly to spread them more apart and then he runs his index finger across the seam, traveling from your clenching asshole to your fluttering core. Your pussy gushes more and more with his every pass over it, not that he can tell with you both underwater. But surely he can sense that your clit is becoming more sensitive and engorged with the minimal simulation, eager for more. His fingernail catches on that little bud his next pass over and you moan loudly against his lips before accidentally biting down on the lower one impassionately. 
When the two of you break apart, he leans his forehead against your nape, licking over his bitten lip tasting the faint flavor of iron and sea salt. It stings a little, if he wants to be completely honest. But with a simple burst of his powers, the pain is gone and since Jungkook already has his face pressing against your neck, he uses the opportunity to dart his tongue into the shallow pools of your collar bones, lapping at them softly, his tongue moving across your throat to manipulate whines and keens out of you. Even as he does this, his focus is split and he finds himself nudging your copper colored bikini bottom to the side as he reveals your pussy folds to one of his questing hands. 
Jungkook grows daring as he nudges at your pussy with nimble fingers, thumbing your clit and pressing down hard enough to make you wail. His fingers dart across the furled petals leading to your throbbing core and he ghosts those appendages, letting you feel the sudden sensation of fullness before it’s swiftly gone like you imagined it. You’re writhing in his arms, sound travels differently in the ocean but he selfishly doesn’t want anyone to see your eyes rolling backwards as your mouth opens wide in an ahegao type expression. 
A red flush covers your tanned skin, travelling from your décolletage to your throat and Jungkook finds himself capturing your chin in his firm grasp. His thumb swipes at your lips repeatedly until you finally part them so he can shove it inside all whilst jutting two fingers in and out of your cunt deliciously. You gag around the appendage, saliva trailing down your lips and painting the sides of your mouth as you struggle to acclimate your body to the brutal and hectic pace of how he thrusts his fingers in and out your folds. 
With Jungkook’s promise to keep you safe, you don’t have to worry about sputtering and choking on salty sea water, instead you’re doing so on his thick fingers which are a pale and slim imitation to how his cock will feel in your mouth. With your focus so frayed and with him dead set on making you go mindless with lust, Jungkook turns his focus to his mouth, nipping his way down the neglected column of your throat, until he gets to your cleavage. Jungkook chooses to bite down on that golden circle connecting the two halves of your skimpy bikini, pulling at it with his bunny teeth before letting go again to have the swimwear bounce against your skin, stimulating your nipples and making them harden into beads. He kisses and tongues your breasts through the moisture resistant fabric, growling in frustration at its thickness that inhibits his abilities to inflame you even further. He nabs it between the hold of his clenched teeth and tugs, pulling at your top until only one cup is left maintaining your precarious modesty. 
With one of your breasts free from the cloth, Jungkook wastes no time to wrap his lips around it’s stiffened tip. His agile tongue swirls itself around, laving the hardened bud, and he gently nibbles at it, making you reflexively nip at his thumb. He has you wrapped around him both figuratively and literally, and he divides his attention, never forgetting to incite your pulsating pussy with forceful pumps of his appendages as he sucks on your breasts and lets you suck on the fingers to his other hand. There’s something about gagging on Jungkook’s tatted digits that has you raggedly inhaling through your nose and falling apart at the seams at all the attention your body is under. 
When you finally cum, you sag against him; your top is halfway down your abdomen and one of its straps is dangling by your elbow. Your eyes are still blown out from lust but you’ve calmed down somewhat though you're desperately trying to catch your breath, counting on Jungkook’s inexhaustible strength to hold you up beside him. You seem to be completely unaware of your surroundings and how the other snorkelers swim closer to the two of you since you are both breathless and a little disoriented from the heated kisses, and more, that followed.
Fortunately for your unsettled self, the male isn’t standing idle as you are, trying to make sense of your surroundings. He fixes your bottom so that it no longer digs into your soft curves and repositions it so that your pussy is completely covered. You float in the water and let him manhandle you like you’re his pretty doll, letting him secure up your bikini so your breasts are no longer exposed. He even reties it in the back for you before he puts your snorkel back onto your mouth. But as he does so, he bites on his lower lip, sucking his cheeks in as his eyes hold a glimmer of something that he’s trying to hide from you.
You irately raise your eyebrows at him as he finally lets out the laughter he had been holding in, in the form of a breathy chuckle. Sorry, it’s nothing, his thoughts are once again intruding your mind, it’s just I forgot you were wearing your cute goggles, that’s all!
Immediately you are still as mortification takes over your body, a frown adorning your features. And just like that, the moment is broken and you are no longer under his spell. 
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In the afternoon, you two walk around the beachfront of where your condo lies, tired after scuba diving and wanting to engage in some low level, minimal effort tourism. Well, you’re tired; Jungkook has a boundless expanse of energy. He’s like an excitable puppy who takes on everything he sees as if it’s his first life although you know it’s not. But you suppose, if you were kept in a prison regularly for upwards of hundreds of years without any idea when your next chance at freedom was, you too would make the most of every opportunity that presented itself to you. 
Jungkook claps every time you pick up something that suits you and immediately buys it for you, flitting between acting the role of a supportive best friend and a sexy sugar daddy, but you’re into it, enraptured by the duality that suits him, giving him a cute glow to his dark brown doe eyes. After you end up with too many souvenir bracelets and little knick knacks, even a little pouch to hold your phone and money, though you aren’t likely to call anyone or need to spend any money during the next ten days, you cut Jungkook off from getting you anything more. You beg off for a chance to relax, maybe even take a midday nap which isn’t something you’ve done since you were in high school, before getting ready to go to the night time date that Jungkook promises will be even more spectacular. 
It’s about 6pm, and you’re all glammed up for your date with Jungkook. He’s taking his job of wooing you super seriously. You dimly wonder whether all genies are as competitive as Jungkook, striving for a 100% satisfaction guaranteed (which he certainly had done in the turquoise water earlier in the day). You had asked him about it during one of the rounds to the small kiosks around the open air bazaar, if you got to fill out a customer service report at the end of this entire experience. The male had narrowed his eyes at you, a slandered look of affront taking over his face as he wound up his arms together tightly and pointedly stalked away from you.
He seems to have mellowed out however. You could have sworn you heard him singing lightly as he went around his room, immersed in his tasks, talking to inanimate objects like the Disney character that he was. However Jungkook is a little bit petty, and had decided to withhold the location of your date tonight from you which left you with no idea of what dress code to aim for. 
You think you did pretty well, all things considered.
Your thick locks have been washed to get rid of all the salt that clung to them after your snorkeling excursion and you have it slicked back into a sleek half up half down hairdo that doesn't have a single hair out of place. Meanwhile, your makeup features smokey eyes and dark currant colored lips since you wanted your glam look to have an edge to it. 
Your outfit is made out of the contents of the packages and shopping bags that Jungkook had lined the wall of your room with, earlier in the day. You’re wearing a skin clinging Versace mini dress with a plunging neckline that barely covers your ass and is covered in glittery burgundy colored sequins. It makes your rack look fabulous which is only being held up with some nude bra pads, sticky tape, and sheer pleas for divine intervention. Meanwhile, your ass looks scrumptious and perky like you just got a BBL on this Maltese vacation. There are long strappy black Saint Laurent heels wrapping around your legs and lengthening the limbs making you look like an Amazonian queen. Gold Harry Winston hoops adorn your ears with a slim gold chain from the brand dipping into your cleavage while an assortment of rings from Chanel and Cartier adorn your fingers and offset the gold love bracelet banging against your left wrist. To put it simply, you look like a Goddamn fucking catch. 
After making sure that every detail to your look is perfect as you gaze into the full length mirror in your room and attempt tugging on the skirt of the Versace dress one more time, you leave your room to knock on the door to Jungkook’s room that is right beside it. 
The male opens it instantly, almost like he was waiting for you to knock and his jaw slackens a little as he takes in the full, lethal, image of you in your micro mini, with the tumbling dark locks of hair falling over your shoulder and your legs looking like they would look perfect over his shoulders with the strappy sandals still on, their thin stiletto heels digging into his back as he pounded you into blissful nirvana.
Like always, you remain oblivious to Jungkook’s ravenous and coveting glances. Mostly, it’s because you are similarly distracted. His hair is no longer cherry red or the blond that you think is its default; rather, Jungkook has long cobalt colored locks that get darker towards the roots framing his face suavely. He stands in front of you looking gloriously tall as he wears a slightly loose fit dark colored blazer that reveals a white tucked in shirt underneath and black cargo joggers to soften the formal look to his outfit. His black Prada Chelsea boots make him tower over you with their giant imposing soles. He has a few earrings in and a silver chain hanging from his neck that makes you wonder if it will clink against your nude body if the night ends with another bout of heated sexual exploration. When he offers you his hand, you notice that he has a few bands adorning his fingers as well. 
You allow yourself to get pulled into his embrace. He tucks you against his chest, your bare back hitting the soft cotton of his T-shirt, the fabric is so thin that you can easily feel the heat of his body and more importantly, every hard ridge of muscle. The waist chain is there too and you have figured out that it is probably what keeps Jungkook bound under the lamp’s control. No wonder he hates it.  
His arm is securely pressed against your waist, squeezing you lightly. He’s in a good mood and you are too. You’ll just ignore the fact that he’s an immortal and that he’s not actually yours. You two can play pretend for nine more days. While you sigh and your eyes softly shutter shut in contentment, he dips his chin into the hollow of your collarbone before he whisks the two of you away to the dinner that he had planned for the two of you.
You blink in confusion as you take in the new sight. 
The sky is turning purplish blue in the evening and from the looks of it Jungkook has just taken you to an empty construction site. There’s nothing but excavators, front loaders, and a bulldozer in your vicinity. The skeletal metal outline of a partially made building explains the presence of the class 8 vehicles. 
You gingerly step out of Jungkook’s hold, walking a full ten feet away before turning back towards him. Your head is cocked and your freezing fingers are gripping your hips as you place your hands on them. “Can you kill your master?” you whisper yell back at him hesitantly, “Is that allowed?”
Jungkook rolls his eyes before he scoffs, “No, it isn’t. Not that I would want to,” he side eyes you, “yet, anyway.” 
He says it lightly as a joke, obviously, but you let out a dry laugh of, “Ha. Ha. Ha,” to match his heinous sounding cackles as you glare back at him, full of indignation as you hold your ground, extremely nonplussed. 
“Get over here, will you?” he hisses, “Our date isn’t even here; it’s over there.” 
He points to a crane on the left and you squint in the direction, still baffled. “I don’t get it.”
Jungkook sighs with displeasurement before he transports in front of you and grabs you by the waist again. Within seconds you are transported to what appears to be a dinner table attached to a crane and Jungkook has already gotten you seat belted and safely harnessed into your seat. And to your even greater surprise, his comfy blazer is covering your arms, enveloping your body and keeping you warm as Jungkook’s discernible scent of delicate florals and rich sandalwood overwhelm your senses. 
He sits next to you because the table is long and rectangular and this is the only way to be close to each other. You have to twist your body to the left to face him but you don’t find yourself minding when you notice that there is a lovely grin on his kissable mouth and a lock of dark blue hair falling into his face that he doesn’t move away. The waiters as well as the safety instructors of this sky high restaurant suddenly reappear, from wherever it was that they were hiding, to bustle around the two of you, breaking the spell you had been under, hypnotized by Jeon fucking Jungkook. 
They fill up your wine glasses with a 1967 Burgundy and water, placing two baskets between the two of you that hold a variety of French breads. Jungkook gazes into your eyes from beside you, his palm pressed against his cheek. “Anything you want to try?”
You blink, flustered, as you take on the brunt of the heat from those glowing chocolatey orbs. You don’t think you have ever been in such close proximity to Jungkook while under such a thorough perusal. Your eyes immediately slide down and you focus your attention onto the menu that had been placed before you. Almost all of it is in French. 
You happily hum when you notice there is seafood, choosing to order the Moules-frites, mussels on a shallot and white wine sauce with shoestring fried potatoes. You murmur your request to Jungkook and he calls the waiter over to tell him your desire for seafood. Perhaps inspired by you, he orders salmon en papillote with beurre blanc, sauce vierge and sauteed asparagus. It sounds fancy but it’s just salmon wrapped in parchment paper that Jungook cuts open in front of you with a side of tomatoes dressed with vinaigrette, the French white butter sauce and asparagus. 
The two of you dig into your meals vigorously and you almost forget that you’re on a date as you sigh after every bite of the scrumptious meal that brings tears to your eyes over how amazing it tastes. 
Jungkook chuckles softly next to you, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you sound so happy.” There is almost a wistful tone to his remark.
You lick a drop of the white wine sauce off your lip before tapping your mouth with a cream colored cloth napkin. “Well, you’ve only known me for about a day,” you tease. “But I love food.”
“I do too,” admits Jungkook. You knew that. You had spent more time around food and eating today than you did over most weekends that you had off. And it was always so much food. If anything, you would’ve been surprised if he had said he hated eating and that it was just a necessary task he had to partake in to continue to be alive like some of the gym bros you knew. This time the wistfulness of his tone is more evident and you easily catch it in his words. 
“You can’t enjoy food?” you inquire, sharply. You’re aghast. You could never imagine living such an abhorrent half-life. This was primarily one of the reasons that you were anti-Edward during the Twilight craze of the 2010s. You would never give up on the pleasures that came from eating to exchange it for a life of drinking only blood for sustenance.
“I don’t need to eat food to survive,” admits Jungkook forlornly, “I can’t enjoy it at all; it's just mastication for me. Like I’m chewing on sawdust covered in spices. But I still do it. It’s the only way to remind me of my humanity. And it looks so good. I can smell it but it tastes like nothing much and I can’t savor it at all.”
You quirk an eyebrow silently. This was the first hint you had gotten into Jungkook’s person. He used to be human once upon a time. You don’t want to rock the boat so you don’t hedge for more details. 
“That’s horrible,” you cry out instead, visibly livid on his behalf. “Would it help if I ate for the both of us?” 
He laughs again and pushes his salmon towards you, “Only because I know how much you adore seafood. You won’t be able to get the wine or dessert away from me though,” he warns. 
You just grin at him and he returns a lopsided one at you, his eyes crinkle at the corners softening his gaze as his dimples make an appearance for the first time. You gawk at him, mesmerized by his gorgeous features. He’s so handsome. You wonder if he was this handsome before he was a genie or if being a genie amped up his attractiveness so you would fall under his lure like a siren with her prey. Nah, with your luck Jungkook was probably born looking like Adonis. 
You two eat in comfortable company, the conversation ebbing and flowing freely. You tell Jungkook about your job as an admissions counselor and the terrible guilt you feel when you can’t help one of your students accomplish their dreams of graduating from one of the best four year universities in the nation. Jungkook oohs and aahs while also making sounds of dismay at the appropriate moments. He’s a great listener; he’s super involved in the conversation and makes you feel important as though what you’re sharing deserves to get heard. You’re not sure how much of it is an act he’s putting on for your benefit to fulfill your wish and how much of it is him going above and beyond, but you greatly appreciate it. Today might just be the best day of your life. You’ve been treated like a queen the entire time. 
In exchange for sharing your little anecdotes you beg Jungkook to share something with you to keep the repartee going. With a groan he gives into you, and animatedly chats to you about the time he had a vampiress find his lamp.
You gasp loudly, “Vampires aren’t real Jungkook!” you can’t stop laughing. It’s a good thing you weren’t chewing because you would have spit out your fancy dinner all over the pristine white table cloth.
He wags his eyebrows at you with a cocky smirk painting his lips, “Oh? Are you sure? I mean I’m a genie, Y/N. It would make sense for there to be other magical beings besides me. I wasn’t born into existence as a genie, I was created.”
“Yeah,” you murmur softly, is this your moment to ask Jungkook how it had all begun? “Jungkook, I—”
 “Monsieur, mademoiselle,” one of the servers had returned with your desserts in tow, intruding on your conversation, “crème brulée à la lavande.”
He places two leaf shaped cream colored ramekins in front of the pair of you. You hum in astonishment as you take in the delectable looking lavender infused crème brulée with the browned sugar crust and the decorative buds of lavender on top. It smells faintly floral and you just know that when you taste it, your tongue is going to be in heaven, tasting the delicate yet complex layers to the dish.
Jungkook smirks at you cockily before he spoons up a sizable scoop of the crème and pulls it into his mouth, his lips pursing around the utensil until he sucks off all the dessert on the ladeled part. He hums his pleasure as his tongue rolls around in his mouth, sucking in the taste of the rich cream and the sweet sugar that is roped through it. His eyelids turn heavy and you have to suck in a breath when you realize this is probably what Jungkook would look like if he ate you out and was savoring the taste of your juices on his velvety lush tongue. 
You’re flustered but you can’t let him have the upperhand. You pick up the little dessert spoon and tap on the sugar crust, cracking it softly before you carefully scoop some of the confection onto your utensil, making sure to get both the hardened sugar and the smooth cream underneath.
You moan around it as you close your mouth with the first bite. You’re in heaven, you’re not sure you have ever had anything that was quite as rich or decadent as this before in your life. The velvety texture of the crème brulée swamps your tongue while the sugar melts into it from the heat of your warm, lush mouth. Your senses are heightened as you can taste every single ingredient that has gone into the dish and you inhale sharply before letting out another soft moan of satisfaction.
You wrap your lips around the spoon as you twirl your tongue around it to make sure you’ve gotten every last bit of the dessert off of it before you release from your mouth with a light pop. There’s a gossamer thread of spit connecting your lip to the spoon so you quickly dart your tongue out to break it. The male next to you shudders lightly, his breath hitches raggedly as he glares at you with hard eyes that have gone dark from the heat of his debauched desires. 
“Y/N,” he warns, groaning lightly, his tongue nearly poking a hole through his cheek in his irritation.
“Hmm?” you reply with faux innocence, determined to play with fire tonight. You don’t want to get burned tonight, oh no, you want much much more than that. You want to get consumed by the flames that have Jungkook within their hold.
You continue to eat up your crème brulée slowly, savoring each and every carefully scooped spoonful. Your tongue rolls in your mouth after each bite as you try to lick up all of the cream from the crevices before you go in for the next spoon. You’re not playing up your reactions by any means; it’s so delicious and rich, meant to be relished. And Jungkook is, figuratively, eating up all of the noises slipping between your plump sugar covered lips. His jaw is tight, lips thinned into a harsh line as he heatedly glares at you.
“It seems to me like you want something else to draw out those little pathetic sounds from your throat,” Jungkook grates, “until, perhaps, they are full blown moans of ecstasy.”
You still when you feel his long sinuous fingers gripping into the soft flesh of your exposed thigh. His palm is feverishly hot against your skin and Jungkook takes advantage of the fact that you’re wearing a mini dress to push your thighs apart and slip his hand in between. 
“Ju-Jungkook,” you stammer, letting your spoon clank against the ramekin where there’s still more than half of the dessert left. Your hands go to where his is cupping your cunt through the diaphanous black mesh thong you’re wearing from Agent Provocateur, you pull at his arm and attempt to take it off but you’re unable to shake the grip he has on you as his fingers stroke lines against the seam to your cunt through the thin, ineffective barrier of your panties. The pad of his index finger runs its path up and down until your pussy lips feel swollen, the folds sensitive and inflamed, as you slowly wet the mesh material until it’s practically invisible from how drenched it becomes. 
“What are you doing?” he hisses, his tone both gruff and lethal. “Get your hands off of me.” 
Your insides warm as you get aroused from his harshness and you let your hands fall off from where they were still attempting to pull him away. You already had a flush from the wine earlier heating your skin but now the blood crawls up your chest and rushes to your cheeks for a different reason.
“Don’t you have a dessert to eat, Y/N?” Jungkook mocks, pausing his fingers’ wickedly dexterous pursuit.
“I-I,” you stutter, “Y-y-yes, Jungkook.”
Your body was turned 90 degrees so that you could face him but when he raises an eyebrow that means ‘Get on with it,’ you instantly turn back around to properly face the dinner table and pick up your spoon from the ramekin with a shaking hand. You scoop up some of the dessert into your mouth and nervously close your lips around it, hyper aware of everything that is happening around you, on the tether hooks as you wait with bated breath for Jungkook’s next move.
He pinches your clit, invoking a squeal to slip out of your mouth as your walls flutter around nothing, clenching in dismay. “Why so silent, Y/N? Aren’t you enjoying your dessert? I think I’m going to feast on you though.”
“Mmpfh,” you moan behind clenched teeth, hurriedly swallowing down the velvety cream and spooning up another bite to place into your mouth, “It’s so good, Jungkook,” you gasp breathlessly.
“Good,” Jungkook grunts into your ear, he’s halfway out his chair, his body stretching over the small distance between your seats. His chest is digging into your shoulder and he has an arm, the one whose digits aren’t currently focused on stroking you into madness, wrapped around your back so that he can slip it around the front and hold your neck in it’s grip, squeezing it lightly in warning. Your breath catches in your throat and you gulp, able to feel every cold curve of each individual metal ring on his fingers lightly pressing into your skin. 
“You want to keep eating, Y/N?” Jungkook murmurs, hot breath tickling your ear as his lips brush against it before he pulls your delicate lobe between his teeth. 
“N-No!” you protest.
“Oh?” He quips. His voice has gone low and raspy, the tenor of his tone licking flames in the pit of your stomach, causing your nerves to tingle from anticipation, “Got something else in mind for dessert, princess?”
You pause hesitantly. The words are stuck in your throat.
“Go on, Y/N, tell me what my bratty spoiled princess really wants for dessert,” Jungkook growls, removing his long nimble fingers from the wet heat of your cunt when you don’t answer him.
Your hands immediately fly down, pressing down on his to keep it trapped between your warm palms and your waxed, bare mons. “You, Jungkook. You,” you wail, “I want you for dessert.”
“I thought so,” murmurs the genie silkily. He removes his hand from your throat, his thumb rubbing circles into the delicate flesh before his fingers move away to tuck a wayward lock of hair behind your ear. He unwinds his arm from around you, choosing to grip your chin, tilting your mouth up before meeting your lips in a fervent messy embrace.
It’s more desperate than sensual, a frantic clashing of lips as your tongues tangle with each other and your teeth almost knock against each other from the brutal force of the kisses. Jungkook drags your plump lower lip into his mouth, his teeth lightly nipping on it while he sucks until it feels raw and battered. His hand is tangled into your hair and he’s gripping on those locks tightly to maneuver your head in the exact position he wants. You ignore the pain erupting from your scalp as your palms freely roam the length of his upper body, slipping under the thin cotton T-shirt he had on to rake your long acrylic nails against his warm, muscled back. Your fingers travel up to his broad shoulders, gripping them under his shirt until you leave little crescent indentations from your nails on his flesh.
Jungkook shifts his lips from yours as he leaves you gulping for air, struggling to catch your breath. “My fucking selfish princess has bitten off more than she can chew on her quest to feast on everything she possibly can,” he murmurs, his hot breath fans over your cheek before he softly nips on the plumpest part of it. When you gasp at the sting, his tongue immediately darts out to soothe the pain as he licks up the side of your face messily. “Baby, you made a deal with the devil for these wishes,” he rumbles.
Your dress barely covers your chest which hectically heaves as Jungkook trails suctioning, bruising kisses down the length of your throat on the path to your breasts. The shimmery wine red cloth is barely hanging on to you as your hardening nipples struggle to keep them in position acting as the only thing holding them in place. The slippery cloth has almost fallen down several times, and you are millimeters away from suddenly exposing your entire upper half to the birds that are flying around as you sit on your sky high dinner date.
Jungkook’s strong agile fingers pull at the fabric as his mouth finds the large exposed expanse of cleavage available to him. He gently presses his lips on your soft warm skin before he parts them to leave hard open mouthed kisses on your breasts. When he’s finally able to get a strong enough purchase on the dress that he can pull it down to your waist, he deftly plucks the nude silicon pads off and flings them into the night sky before wrapping his lips against one of your hardened peaks.
His fingers are strumming at its twin while Jungkook sucks and sucks at your nipple like he thinks that he can get it to leak if he tries hard enough. That thought makes you still. An impregnation kink? You had never thought of it before but the thought of Jungkook fucking you with the sole purpose of breeding you and making you round and luminous as you carry his children, your breasts large and your curves plumper and softer than before has your heart beating loudly and erratically in your chest.
“Hey,” he complains when he notices you've gotten sidetracked in your thoughts. He bites down on your furled bud to draw back your attention, “Where did you go? Someone’s getting greedy. Do you need more, princess? Do you need me to do more so you’ll pay attention to me?”
“I,” you stammer. But Jungkook ignores you, he uses both of his hands to maneuver your skin clinging dress over your hips and then he tucks two fingers into the thin ribboned band of your underwear, pulling it away from your heated skin until the delicate mesh falls apart from his use of force, getting ripped straight off of your cunt. His jaw absentmindedly falls open a little as takes in the sight of your glistening pussy folds. 
“Oh, baby, you’re so pretty,” he murmurs. 
He plunges his middle finger in, going deep within your core as he curls it up, pumping within you so furiously that you can hear loud squelching sounds coming from your gushing pussy.
“Jung-Jungkook,” you whine. You need more. You need to be stuffed. “Jungkook, I can take more!” The last word comes out as a scream when he suddenly thrusts his ring finger and pinky inside you too. All three digits are assailing your insides, your core tightens around them, clenching hard but it doesn’t stop his intensity as he makes a complete mess of your pussy, wetness gushing out and dripping on your seat, trailing down your parted thighs. 
He has the side of his face pressed against your chest, your stiffened tips poking harshly into his right cheek as he glances downwards at the wreckage he’s created from the fruits of his labor. Your head is bent with your chin tucked on top of his crop of dark cyan hair, your long tumbling locks of hair falling forward to hide your expression as Jungkook makes you lose your mind underneath him.
“Your clit is so swollen, sweet girl, do you want me to rub it?” He asks, turning towards your breasts, rubbing his face into them, his nose tickling the valley between them. 
“Yes, Jungkook,” you urge breathlessly, “Please.”
His thumb and forefinger pinches that little sensitive bead, rolling it in between them before rubbing it side to side in a rapid, furious pace. “Or maybe it’s still not enough,” Jungkook wonders, “Do you want my head buried between those thighs as you ride your way to release or do you want my cock pounding you into submission, baby?”
Your mouth is hanging open, you can barely think, let alone put together a string of words that will have Jungkook satisfied with your reply. “Jungkook,” you pant, “I need—”
“Monsieur Jeon?” the waiter inquires after returning.
You still immediately, your head bending even further to conceal your body with your hair though you are already covered by Jungkook’s body on top of yours.
“Yes, Pierre,” Jungkook murmurs, not moving his face away from the comfort of your breasts. You hadn’t even realized that had been the name of your server.
“If you and mademoiselle are done with your dinners we can take you back to the ground.”
“Yes, thank you, Pierre. We would appreciate that.”
“I will go inform the team,” Pierre acquises, “Would you like for me to get more wine as we make our way down?”
“I think we are fine for now,” assures Jungkook. 
When the staff finally leaves you push Jungkook off of you, straightening up your dress, pulling it over your breasts and tugging it down to cover your bottom again. 
Jungkook merely smirks, purring, “You’re changing your tune so soon, princess? I take it you don’t want for things to continue when we’re on the ground then?”
You stiffly cross your arms over your chest, using them as supports under your breasts to hold onto the dress and keep it from slipping down and making you expose yourself to all of the sky high restaurant’s crew since Jungkook had gotten rid of your bra pads.
“Did you have to do that?” you demand.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, princess,” Jungkook fibs.
You roll your eyes, “It’s not enough that every time we do something it’s in public but you’ve started to destroy my underwear too.”
“Oh relax, Y/N,” Jungkook coaxes, “Your rack is spectacular and will be doing a more than great job of holding up your dress. You have nothing to worry about. And even if you did ever expose yourself to anyone you didn’t want to, I would just erase their memories for you.”
“My hero,” you simper sarcastically, tugging on his right ear.
The male narrows his eyes at you, consideringly. His front teeth nip at his bottom lip and you know that you’ve gotten yourself in trouble again as Jungkook thinks up ways to get back at you during the descent of the restaurant. 
When you are finally back touching solid ground, you are able to messily untangle yourself from the harnesses that kept you secured to your seat. You almost fall flat on the ground when you gingerly step off the platform you two had been eating on, towards the cracked pavement of the empty lot. Your legs had turned into jelly during their time up in the air, it’s a combination of vertigo and your legs still being shaky from having you edged to an orgasm that was woefully stolen away from you.
Jungkook immediately catches you in his arms, peering down at you softly before coming to a decision. He lowers himself, bending down to wrap his arms around your back and thighs more securely, before picking you up in a bridal carry. Your breath gets caught in your throat as you stare back at him after hesitantly locking your arms around his thick neck.
“So,” he hedges, moving his face forward so that he can nudge at your plump cheeks with his nose. “Should the night end here princess?” he asks, “Or do you want the fun to continue when we get back home?”
“Yes, please,” you quietly beg.
Jungkook gently brushes his lips against your forehead before escorting the two of you home in a whirlwind cloud of gold dust before you two suddenly reappear in the hallway in front of the two of your rooms.
“Are we sleeping in different rooms tonight?” Jungkook inquires, just to check that your mind hasn’t changed within the last two minutes.
“Take me to your bed,” you softly urge the genie as you upturn your face, your nose nudging against the thin scar across his left cheek. He swiftly traipses forward, his long legs reaching his door in one effortless stride. 
His room is similar to yours except his bed is bigger, you notice with envy, and his furniture appears to be made of black colored iron unlike the white painted pieces in your room. He sets you down in front of him as he goes to close the door.
“Jungkook, babe,” you call out to his back. He raises an eyebrow as he turns to face you again. “Can you help me with my zipper? It’s a little hard for me to get it down.”
The slim invisible zipper to your deep burgundy shimmery dress is located right on the topmost part of your ass since it’s a mostly backless piece. Jungkook crowds you from behind, his massive frame enveloping yours as his long deft fingers go to zip you down. You shudder as his knuckles brush against the warm sensitive skin of your back, each touch sending a lighting bolt of attraction shooting up your spine while causing arousal to pool between your thighs. When the zipper is halfway down, resting on the swell of your ass, you step out of his hold. 
You turn around to face him as you pull down on the thin straps of the dress, letting them hang around your elbows as your bust works overtime to keep the dress up. With a twisted smirk painting your plush lips, you shimmy out of the glittery wine colored fabric, letting it pool around your Saint Laurent encased feet before stepping out of the circle of clothing lying on the ground. You lithely stalk towards Jungkook, your hair a sexy mess around your shoulders, curling into your breasts and brushing against your nipples as you make your way to the genie, completely nude since he had gotten rid of all of your underwear a while back.
Jungkook’s eyes softly shutter close as you finally reach him, his eyelids fluttering as he raggedly takes in a deep breath. You look utterly divine wearing only gold jewelry and your long strappy black heels that make your sun kissed limbs look miles long. You wrap your arms around his thick neck, pressing your heaving breasts against his hard pectoral muscles, “Jungkook?”
His hands grip onto your hips pulling your smooth crotch against his clothed one as he backs the two of you into the door. His hard pulsating cock is pressed against your slit and it makes you whimper when you shift and the zipper to his pants hits your clit. He secures his arms across your ass, pushing you up into his hold, making your toes tip because even in your heels you’re unable to be face to face with him. The man is sexily and inconveniently tall. Balancing all of your weight on your toes and Jungkook’s arms, you stretch so that your face is aligned with his and you can comfortably kiss him. Your teeth grab for his plump lower lip and pull it between yours so you can suck on that lush flesh, agitating it so it becomes red, wet, and swollen.
A subtle growl starts low in Jungkook’s chest as he pushes your body even further up and as you lose your footing you tangle a leg around Jungkook’s hips. His other hand moves up to roughly capture your jaw in its hold, locking you in position as he aggressively meets your lips back. His kisses are greedy and all-consuming; Jungkook kisses you like he’s a starving man and you are his first meal in a long time. His hand, the one that's gently hanging by your ass, starts to knead the supple flesh and your breath catches in your throat as you let out a choked gasp. His fingers are right by your puckered sensitive hole and you’re reminded of the fantasy you had had the night before he came into your life. Of a man touching and stroking you there in that forbidden orifice and working you up. 
Meanwhile, his mouth is busy; his tongue is prodding its way past your lips, slipping in and licking a torrid path in the lush cavern of your mouth. It’s agile and long, and the strong wet muscle twirls with your own, easily taking control of your mouth. The sounds slipping out of both of your lips as you continuously meet each other for more and more impassioned kisses are obscene; they’re loud wet sounds of fervent hunger that grow more frantic as the kisses persist.
Your core is clenching around nothing and it has you rutting against Jungkook’s crotch like a bitch in heat, leaving a dark damp patch on the black fabric of his dressy joggers. Jungkook stops stroking and squeezing your ass to pull your other leg around his hips until your stiletto heels are digging into his butt and you are wrapped entirely around his body like a koala. He backs away from the door, his lips breaking apart from yours so he can look where he is walking and carrying you. You are still kissing him though; your lips have trailed down to kiss and bite along his jaw and neck, you even let yourself suck on his Adam’s apple which has him gulping and your lips stretching into a smirk against the flushed smooth flesh  of his throat, as you can feel every movement underneath the delicate skin.
He carefully drops you onto the bed, taking precaution not to fall over with you and crush you underneath his weight. You stare up at him, wide-eyed as your lips part with hunger and surprise at the change in position. His large doe eyes have gone black with lust, becoming heavy lidded as they travel up the entire length of your body with lazy glances. 
He steps in between your parted legs, his hands curling around your soft meaty thighs, dimpling into them with the pressure from his fingertips. “Let me eat you out?” he asks huskily, his tenor sounding ragged and raspy.
“Please,” you beg with wide eyes shining with lust. Your legs part even more to let Jungkook see just how wet your folds are.
He sinks to his knees before you, holding down on your thighs as he lowers himself to the ground. He places a flurry of light open mouth kisses against your soft thighs as he nudges them apart and pulls you forward so that your ass hangs off the bed and he can throw your legs over his shoulders. Your Saint Laurent encased limbs spasm against his back and the pointed heels dig into his white T-shirt making him grunt as he falls forward a little. 
You let out a pained whine when you notice Jungkook manages to catch himself right before he faceplants onto your cunt. He slowly lowers his face, nose tenderly nudging at your slit before he purses his lips and kisses at your folds. He gently mouths at the petals of oversensitive and swollen flesh, softly lapping at the juices that cling to them. You let out a shrill, frenzied moan when he flattens his tongue against your core, licking long and hot fat stripes down the opening. Your fingers snake into his damp indigo colored locks, drenched from his sweat, scratching your acrylic nails against his scalp as you attempt to push him down further into your crotch. 
He slides his hands up your warm thighs making your muscles contract at the sensation before he grabs onto your hips, guiding their motion with his grip. He lets you rock against his mouth frantically, opening his jaw wide as your juices that he’s unable to capture drip down his chin. You wail, letting out a desperate sob as he buries his face deeper into your cunt licking and slurping like a man maddened from lust. His nose juts against your swollen inflamed clit as his teeth clamp down lightly on your folds and pull at them gently, making you convulse and twitch as you mindlessly shove your pussy against him. 
“Is this good, sweet girl,” he murmurs huskily, “Is this what you wanted?”
He brushes his plush lips over your clit, teasing you, tempting you until he has your laser focus drawn to what he is doing. It’s then that he starts working on that hyper responsive bundle of nerves, teasing that little bead with flicks of his tongue, hard focused snaps of his wet muscle against the overworked bud. He’s giving you everything; his mouth wrapping around your clit, his lips gently pressing against it in faux respite, his teeth nipping it to draw out cries, and his tongue manipulating it to make you turn feral. He’s got you in the palm of his hand and it makes him realize that he’s been neglecting you in perhaps the most important way.
“Is,” his tongue jabs into your core, “This,” his teeth clamp down on your clit, inducing tears to spring from your eyes, “Good,” he slurps at your arousal noisily, repeating the question.
You frantically nod in his direction before you realize he can't see your expression with his face shoved into your pussy. “Ye-Yes,” you choke out, clearing your throat that's gone rough from the constant stream of screaming that Jungkook’s been able to pull from your lips. You think it subsides him but then he tilts his head in a calculating way that’s got you freezing against him.
He pulls away to draw your attention back to his face, you glance at him with glazed over eyes that are confused yet frustrated. Staring right at you with sleepy, hooded lids, he holds your gaze as he runs his index finger up and down your fluttering core, gathering up your juices on top of his finger, using the transparent ropes of arousal to coat his finger, lubricating it before he plunges it into you. 
“Jungkook,” your legs spasm over his shoulders as you accidentally hit his back with one of your high heels. “I’m gonna c— I’m gonna COME! I can’t— I can’t take much more of THIS!” Your hips raise up from the bed as you squirm, fucking his finger into you since he hasn’t started moving it yet. 
He stares at you consideringly, “Fuck my fingers Y/N,” he raspily commands, “Fuck yourself to completion.”
You still, momentarily unnerved but Jungkook uses his thumb to flick the nail of his middle finger against your clit, which not only pulls out an embarrassing keen from your mouth but also spurs you into action, rocking your hips in fluid motions as your core takes in the entire length of his index finger.
You whine in frustration, complaining, “Jungkook, this isn’t enough!”
“I’d say make it enough,” the male responds, “If I hadn’t been tempting you all night long. Consider yourself lucky, princess.” And with that Jungkook shoves three more fingers in you, pumping them into you impressively faster and harder than he had ever teased you before, almost inserting half his hand, a centimeter into his palm as well, into the cunt he stretched out during dinner. It’s a good thing he thought to do that since you would be struggling when he finally took you. 
Your vision turns white as your eyes almost roll backwards and your teeth chatter, knocking into each other due to the violent intensity at which Jungkook was impaling your pussy with his fingers. Your thighs quake uncontrollably as you’re finally pushed to the brink. With your voice crescendoing into a needlessly long and cacophonously loud scream, you reach an earth shattering climax, slumping down onto the bed, your legs twitching absentmindedly.  
The male gets off of his knees, the bottom half of his face is still glistening with the remnants of your arousal. He stretches, his broad shoulders getting rolled back, before he one-handedly pulls off his fitted white tee in a decidedly sexy manner. Your eyes immediately shift to his bare upper half when you hear the clink of metal and you find yourself staring at, for the first time, his golden waist chain. The gossamer strands of metal are wrapped around his thin, sun bronzed waist, practically blinding you with the shine from their yellow color that glitters as it moves with every flow and shift of Jungkook’s body. 
Jungkook doesn’t let the chain hold your attention for too long, immediately distracting you as he unbuttons and undoes the fly on his dark cargo joggers. He lets the fabric hang loose around his hips as he palms his massive shaft though the black cotton of his Balenciaga boxer briefs. He rubs the bulbous tip of his cock through the thin fabric of his underwear as he toes off his imposing spiky heeled Chelsea boots. Once the shoes are off, he gently tugs on his pants, letting them pool around his ankles and stepping out of them.
He walks towards you almost nude except for the briefs that cling to his muscley thick thighs and show how pronounced his dick is as it struggles to pop out from behind the band. There is a cocky smirk painting his lovely coral colored Cupid’s bow and his nicely shaped eyebrows quirk in challenge as he steps in your direction. You groan in impatience and need as he stands in front of you, legs spread hips’ length apart. A light chuckle sounds from behind the plush lip he’s biting hard as he pushes down on the black elastic band of the underwear and his massive cock, which you have only felt against you but never seen before this moment, bounces out from the confines. He’s larger than you dreamed he could be, and you know better than to assume that Jungkook, fiercely competitive and authentic as he is, would increase the size with magic. 
Your hips are already subconsciously gyrating against the air as you take him in with a slackened jaw and numbly hanging open mouth. It’s girthy and twitching lightly, slightly bouncing as it stands proud free from the confines of pants and underwear. The mushroom tip is swollen and flushed a dark berry red. The thick protruding vein you wanna nibble on, runs along the underside of the cock and is more pronounced, becoming easier for you to see, when he holds up the shaft to rub at its bulbous head to work precum out of it, make the white viscous liquid bead from the tip. 
His cock is fucking pretty, and you want to suck on it, but a quick glance at the male reveals that he’s too impatient to let you do that now and just wants you to take him in. You can’t blame him after he’s gotten you off about half a dozen times over the course of the day without having blown off some steam himself. 
The tattoos along his arm seem to pop against his sun kissed skin as he strokes his cock which swells at the stimulation. “Ready princess?” he asks quietly.
“Please.” You beg a repetition of the one word that always finds its way easily to your lips when Jungkook is working you up. 
He guides his cock to your gushing slit, brushing the mushroom head against your folds, rubbing it into them causing his precum and your arousal to combine and mix. He slaps his head against your clit a few times before he deems you sufficiently drenched and ready to take him in. He slowly presses the round tip into your folds, hunting for your opening, his veiny hand guiding his shaft’s path. Slowly it breaches you, causing your mouth to fall open as a sex crazed look takes over your features. You moan a long, wanton sound at the intrusion, even though Jungkook took his time preparing you, it’s been more than a year since you’ve fucked anyone. With one hand still directing his cock, he uses the other to grab your hip to gently lift it up so he can palm the small of your back and push you up towards him.
You meet him eagerly, squirming as you help him get you up, throwing your arms over his shoulders and holding onto his neck with a deathgrip. He slowly moves the hand from your back to run along your hip and then your thigh so that he can wrap your curvy leg around his hip. Pulling your leg up had another advantage as well, now he can more easily enter you and he slams into you, impaling you with his cock until he is fully sheathed and your waxed bare mons meet the nicely groomed dark patch of hair on his pubic bone, your pelvises flush against each other. 
You can feel the ridges of his shaft sliding along your walls as they clench around him, letting you feel every bump and vein. “A-Ah,” you stutter as a mewl slips from your panting lips. “Jung—JUNGKOOK,” you cry out as his cock twitches within you and the tip just barely hits that elusive g-spot.
“Fuck,” he grunts before a guttural moan breaks out of him. 
“God, princess. This is what you wanted all along didn’t you. The entire day you’ve been teasing me. Tempting me with those fucking sly smiles and suggestive looks. You didn’t want a fucking considerate boyfriend you wanted a rude libertine to blow your back out. Isn’t that right—princess,” he hisses through his clenched teeth.
You’re unable to answer him as he quickens the pace, slipping in and out of you furiously, taking his cock almost entirely out with only his fat tip in you before thrusting manically again, pounding into your pelvis, battering up your insides and making you turn into a boneless pile of goo.
You’re practically drooling at this point while your eyes are shiny from the tears that come from his frantic impaling as he jackhammers into you. Your mouth is hanging open and he smacks the ass cheeks he’s been gripping onto this entire time when you don’t give him a reply.
“This.” Smack. “Is.” Smack. “What.” Smack. “You.” Smack. “Wanted.” Smack. “Isn’t it, princess?” he growls, ending off with one last smack.
“Yes, Jungkook!” you sob, “This is what I wanted!” You’re inconsolable as he continues with the frenzied onslaught of sex. 
He hauls you up even further, he had one arm hugging your lower back as the other focused on keeping your thigh firmly locked around his waist and then you’re bouncing on his cock in midair, the metal of his waist chain poking into the soft skin of your tummy every time the two of you met into the middle. It’s a good thing he’s helping you stay attached to him because with the way he is bending you over, making your back arch as he attacks your breasts and neck with impassioned bites and kisses, you would have fallen right off of him without the extra support.
He makes his way up to your mouth, peppering your skin with sucking kisses before finally reaching it and wildly attacking your lips with his in a messy frenzy of teeth and tongue. After what seems like long interminable moments, he finally releases your lips with a wet pop. There’s still a string of saliva connecting the two of you that breaks when he parts open his mouth and whispers sweetly against yours, “That’s all you had to say, princess.”
He picks up the pace as he buries his face into your neck, dead set on leaving a bruising hickey that will remain for several days. You press your lips against his crown, his blue hair tickling your nostrils as you attempt to silence your cries against his scalp. His hold on you tightens like he never wants to let you go, keeping your sweaty body clinging to his, his biceps flexing as he grips onto you and jackhammers uncontrollably, losing all signs of rhyme or rhythm, just knowing that he wants to be buried in your heat forever.
“Say you want this,” he demands. “Say you want ME!” The last word is punctuated by a brutal thrust that hits your g-spot perfectly and has you crying into his hair. 
“I want you,” you sob, “God, I need you Jungkook.” Your breasts are heaving against his hard pecs, your nipples dragging along the smooth solid planes of his chest as you struggle to get your words out.
If you could have seen Jungkook’s eyes at that moment, you would have seen how they turned reddish black, the color of molten lava as a look of pure possessiveness took over his features. But since you can’t see his face, you’re unaware of how your genie is falling for you just as easily as you are falling for him. 
The loud sounds of his balls hitting your skin resound through the bedroom and Jungkook never lets down on the pace. He fucks you into submission as you hang off of him, jellylike with no control over your spasming limbs. Jungkook takes your well timed bout of flexibility to maneuver your legs off of his thighs to hang off his elbows as he wraps his arms around your knees and has them circle behind you. This new height and shift in position has his hip rolls drag his cock through your folds in a more enticing manner, working up your engorged clit with every pounding. You almost forget that he’s no longer hitting your g-spot as you shriek loudly, your poor clit sobbing at the new brutal onslaught of stimulation. 
“Jungkook,” you keen, “God, Jungkook. I don’t know how much further I can go.”
“I’m sure you’ll keep up,” he hums meanly, as he pistons his hips again and again. You’re writhing against him, barely able to roll your hips to meet his every thrust anymore. You feel like you just ran a marathon and you’re approaching the last yard. The end is near and you can sense it with how overheated your body becomes and how you wince and whimper at every move Jungkook makes, able to feel every drag of his magnificent cock through your core down to what feels like the cellular level. Your walls keep clenching onto him tighter and tighter as well, reluctant to release him from their hold and he finds himself putting in even more effort into every snap of his hips.
“You’re almost there aren’t you, sweet girl,” he mumbles against your throat, biting harshly along the delicate skin under your jaw and pulling at it with his front teeth. You can only let out a wordless amalgamation of sounds erupt from your throat as you moan. 
“Let me take you there, princess,” he mutters, “I’ll be your guide, darling.” He bucks into you one last time and he’s almost done it. He’s sent you there to that precipice. You’re hanging on the high but you need to come down. All it takes is one pinch from his clever fingers to your bruised clit as he bites down on your shoulder and you’re there, screaming as you hit your release, gushing around him like a broken sprinkler while Jungkook soothes the abused flesh with soft kitten licks from his tongue, his cool saliva covering the tender area like a balm. 
As you hang of his body, your head sagging against his chest, arms no longer bothering to hold onto his neck, the male lets a faint smile grace his lips, holding you up with his impressive strength, gently rocking his cock into your drenched folds a couple more passes over before he explodes inside of you, painting your walls with his hot viscous ropes of white cum. 
You’re practically asleep in his arms when he’s struggling to pull his shaft out of your fluttering folds that still want to keep it sheathed in their slick embrace, warming his cock with their heat, but he persists, gently dragging it out. The amount of cum that flows out from between your thighs after that is almost obscene. 
Jungkook looks back at his bed before glancing at the mess the two of you have created and decides that the best thing to do right now would be to magically make the liquid disappear before also cleaning you two up like you two had come straight out of a shower. Once your skin is glowing and clean, he gently lays your body down on the right side of his bed, carefully making sure that your head is correctly positioned on the fluffy pillow before covering up your nudity with the silk comforter. 
He walks over to the other side and slips easily into bed, facing the ceiling as he reclines next to you, pondering something. He seems to finally come to a decision and the lights flicker off, swamping the room in darkness, as he turns over to face you and drags your body into his so that your ass is pressed against his front. Throwing an arm and a leg over your form that is loose-limbed in slumber, the male comfortably spoons you before he plunges into sleep as well. 
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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial - No Derivatives 4.0 International License
©OPALJM 2021
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jjkthclub · a month ago
The Maid of Honor Misadventures
Pairing: Jungkook / You Genre: one shot, one night stand!au, wedding!au Rating: M Warnings: fingering, oral (f. receiving), nipple play, unprotected sex, breathplay, finger sucking, thigh riding, face sitting, multiple orgasms Word count: 16.5k Summary: After meeting a handsome guy at a bar, you two hit it off quickly and have a one-night stand. After that, you expected to never see him again—well, that was until two days later and your best friend introduces you to someone at dinner.
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Marriage is a huge commitment. It’s an important decision that requires a lot of thinking. Deciding to get married means that you will have to permanently stick with your answer. It means that you have thought of everything that would follow afterwards and that you’re ready to begin a new chapter of your book with the one who makes you feel like you can conquer anything because they are not above you or below you—they are beside you.
You’ve always thought of marriage as a scary thing, something that’s out of your reach. While you are not getting any younger, you feel like you’re still not ready for such a big leap. But then again, is anyone ever ready for it?
Anyways, let’s not get sidetracked. Let’s focus on the reason as to why you’re here at a bar. You’re here tonight because your best friend called. You’re here to listen as she opens up about what happened with her and her fiancé, Jimin.
“And then we had this argument. I said something about his parents not liking me because I’m not the one they wanted him to marry in the first place and he said that it’s not true. He said that he wouldn’t even care if he gets stripped off from the inheritance because all he wants is to get married to me. And then it just went on and on until he said that if I think we’re doing this more for our parents than for us, then we should just call the wedding off.”
Blinking, you observe how Yuna’s eyebrows crease as she recounts bits of it, obvious that this fight affected her, pinched bits of her heart that’s filled with excitement over her upcoming wedding—well, what was supposed to be her upcoming big day.
“I just wanted everyone to get along,” she sighs, shaking her head. “I don’t know, I think this has something to do with my guilt because Jimin defied his parents the moment he started dating me. And because I’ll never pass his parents’ standards.”
“Look,” you start. “Your parents aren’t the ones that’s going to get married here—it’s you and Jimin. And to be honest, if they both love you, then they’re going to have to accept the fact that you love each other and that you want to spend the rest of your lives together.”
She listens and ingests your words, eventually nodding. “You’re right,” she says, wiping the corner of her wet eyes. “And Jimin is right. I shouldn’t have stressed about our parents too much and let it get into my head.”
“Let me ask you a question. Do you love Jimin?”
“Of course.”
“Do you still want to marry him?”
She smiles. “I do.”
“There you go. That’s your answer,” you tell her, snapping your fingers before taking a swig of your wine.
Yuna smiles narrowly in relief and nods with more confidence. She brings out her phone and scrolls for a few moments before her gasp startles you. She huffs, a frown taking over her features. “Great. So he went to his parents’ party.”
You wrinkle your brows. “And that’s bad because?”
“Y/N, this is the party that he didn’t want to attend because he knows that his parents would try to match him up again.”
“What? Okay, you are overthinking this way too much. That doesn’t mean he’s—” you argue, wanting to implore her to just call Jimin, wanting to proclaim that just because he went there doesn’t mean he would actually entertain it because for God’s sake, he’s engaged to the love of his life.
Yuna cuts you off when she pushes herself off from her seat. Out of the blue, she removes her engagement ring and places it on the counter. She’s grabbing her small purse, telling you that she has to go. Handing her the keys to your apartment, you ensure her that she can spend the night, telling her that you’ll catch up with her later because you want to stay here for a bit.
Now alone in this open bar, with nothing but a glass of wine in your hand, you begin to muse about Yuna and her problem.
She’s one of the most important people in your life and you’ve seen how happy she became when she started dating Jimin. They had only been dating for over ten months when she said yes to him. You thought of it as fast but she told you that she was sure of him so you trusted her and respected that. That’s really their story to tell, not yours. And to be honest, if you think about it, the number of couples who’ve been married for over thirty years but dated for only a few months is now growing. So really, it just depends on the couple and what works for them.
There’s five days left before the wedding and unfortunately, this hurdle presented itself. It doesn’t have to end easily like this. What, so they’re just choosing not to jump past this obstacle and let it trample over them? No, they can’t just toss it all out of the window like that.
You drop your gaze on the ring resting on the counter, fingers immediately holding onto it. Eyes ghosting on the delicate item, you slip it on your own finger slowly. At the moment, you’re not sure if it suits you though. It feels—
You’re suddenly startled when a couple starts making out lewdly. The girl is suddenly being slammed on the chair beside you while her boyfriend’s hand skims on the back of her thigh. He lifts her leg up, exposing her underwear. Hopping off your seat, you choose to go further down the end. For a few minutes, you sit by yourself, drinking more wine and just staring at Yuna’s ring.
Eventually, someone occupies the seat to your right. The guy lifts his finger up for a drink, dropping a couple of bills on the counter.
“I can’t believe we’re getting a live show here.”
You look at the owner of the voice who just made an accurate remark. When you take a quick scale at him, you see that his jaw is defined, his skin honey and his features chiselled and manly. Wearing a striped shirt underneath a dark blue blazer, he couples it with ripped denim jeans that hugs the definition of his thighs.
Emphatically, you are agreeing with a soft laugh. “Right?”
The stranger smiles lightly as he flits his eyes on his drink handed to him by the broad-shouldered bartender and then at you for the first time. Feeling your cheeks heat up at the painfully attractive sight, you decide to take a peek of the obscene couple to the left to see if they’re still there. Unfortunately, they still are. Torridly kissing and grinding passionately into one another.
You turn back to him and offer a suggestion. “Do you wanna go and sit somewhere else?”
The guy nods and you both make your way to a quieter, more private area in the bar, sitting in one of the empty booths. Once you’re both comfortable in your seats, he clears his throat and decides to finally start a conversation. “So. What are you drinking to?”
It’s a good question. In an attempt to mull over everything that happened tonight, you find that you’re overwhelmed with a lot of different things, mind muddled. In the end, you just say the first thing that comes to mind. “To love.”
He arches his right eyebrow up, intrigued. It’s then that you start to notice how he has piercings on his brow, along with both of his ears.
“I’m about to save the day and make two people see how much they love each other,” is what you add. This is it. This will be your mission. You’ll save the couple and make the wedding happen—simple as that.
The dark-haired man blinks before he offers his honest comment. “That’s quite… heavy. And a lot of responsibility.”
A smile crossing your features, you shrug. “Well, with great power comes with great responsibility.”
Amused, he quirks a brow up and he gnaws on his bottom lip as though to stop a smirk. “Are you trying to tell me that you’re secretly a superhero?”
“And if I am?”
“Ah, see, you shouldn’t say that. That’s dangerous because you don’t know who you’re talking to. You don’t know if they could be a fellow superhero or a villain,” he explains, playing along.
You take a sip of your wine as if to give you a push to say your next words because his stare on you alone is weakening your resolve. If you are a hero then it’s safe to say that his eyes are your kryptonite. “Sounds like something a villain would say.”
The guy laughs. “Touché.”
You join him, chanting your cheers as you raise your glasses up and bump them together. When the hilarity ebbs down, you waste no time to deflect the question back. “What about you? What are you drinking to?”
“To taking control.”
You cock your head sideways, surprised at his revelation. It’s interesting to hear this because from the get go he looked like someone whose middle name is control. From the way he is dressed and the way he carries himself with poise, he seemed like the type to lead, the type to give out orders.
“From now on, I’m taking control of my own life and I’m going to do what makes me happy,” he states resolutely, smiling in a way that emanates warmth.
“Good for you,” you tell him before doing another round of cheers and chugging the remainder of your drinks.
He scoots closer to your side, pinky finger bumping yours faintly. It’s the tiniest bit of flesh-to-flesh contact and yet the spark that shot through your nerves and the tingles that went down to your spine was palpable and unfathomably exhilarating because this might just be the most interesting and gripping conversation you’ve had with a stranger.
Just as you’re about to bask in the moment you two are having, he—much to your surprise—stops. The second his eyes discover the piece of round jewellery on your fourth finger, he hesitates. Slowly, his palm slides away silently to retract as he clamps his lips together as though he pieced something together in his head.
Wide-eyed as you caught the exact scene, you chuckle to paint some casual nonchalance and to lighten the sudden starkness of the situation. “Oh, this,” you acknowledge, closing your fist and raising it up to your chest, your other hand caressing the ring. “It’s not mine. Seriously. I’m not engaged or married or anything.”
“I wouldn’t care if you are anyways.”
Stunned, is the only word to describe you. With lips parted, the rhythm of your blinking is stuttered upon his revelation.
He cracks after a few seconds, exhaling with a soft smile. “Relax, I’m just kidding. I’m not that kind of guy.” He tilts his head as he glosses over you. “I find it somewhat hard to believe, though.”
“You find what hard to believe?”
“That you’re single.”
A scoff escapes your nose.
“Seriously, have you seen you?” he says, expressions dripping with confidence. “You’re hot. How are you still not taken?”
“You’re one smooth talker, aren’t you?”
“Did it do anything for you?” He rests his chin on his palm as he keeps his gaze fixated on you like a magnet, eager to hear your comebacks.
Sucking your breath in, you make sure to keep that eye contact intense and strong between you. Right now, his stare is boring holes through your skull. They are fierce, fast, impatient and sexy. Meant for a quiet, intimate space. Meant for the bedroom.
When you lean closer, you let him know that your eyes are equally harboring the same lusty feelings. You hum and lower your voice, almost whispering it to his face, letting your hot breath fan the tip of his nose. “Maybe you should try harder and not use flattery.”
His self-control is impeccably sturdy, his stare on your eyes and lips unbreakable and determined as though he’s up to do anything you want, up for any challenge and offer you give him. “Well. Then you’ll be glad to know that my mouth can do a lot more things other than come up with smooth talk. You up for it?”
Controlling your breathing, you flash a frisky smile. “Depends on what those things are.”
“I’m sorry, I just realized that I don’t even know your name.” He shakes his head once you’re face to face, feeling ridiculous at his first, obvious mistake. “What’s your name?”
“Do you have to know my name?” you challenge.
“It’s not imperative but for my own selfish reasons, then yes.”
There’s a teasing lilt to your hum.
Arching a brow up, he asks, “What are you thinking?”
“No names for tonight,” is your proposition, punching out the words breathily. Let’s be real—you’re horny and he’s hot. You’d be damned if you said that you didn’t want to get laid with him tonight.
His tongue swirls on his bottom lip before biting it down, a small dimple appearing on his cheek. “Okay. How about aliases?”
“Just like superheroes?”
He grins. “Just like superheroes.”
“Would Supergirl be too cliché?”
“She your favorite?”
“Wanda,” you reveal.
“Nice. I’m actually excited to watch the show when it comes out,” he says, his smile reaching his eyes first.
“You could be Scarlet then.”
“And you’re Vision?”
“Nah. Just call me JK,” he offers.
You repeat the two letters, nodding.
“Your place or mine?”
“Yours,” you say, bringing your phone out, keying a quick message to Yuna before slipping the ring off your finger and placing it inside your pocket.
JK holds his palm out. “Shall we?”
“Yeah. Let’s get the hell out of here.”
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Pressed up against his bedroom door, he crushes his lips on yours, tongues melting into each other and teeth tugging on lips. The make-out session has you intoxicated, heating up your skin and putting your senses into overdrive. Fingers threading through his locks, he nips on the skin just below your jawline, tumbling out a gasp from your lips, his tongue doing the work to smooth the area before he finds a sensitive spot on the side of your neck, leaving it with an open-mouthed kiss before releasing it with a juicy pop.
When he yanks up your shirt, he takes a sharp inhale. “You’re so fucking hot,” he rasps, taking off his blazer jacket, hurling it to the side.
You hold the hem of his shirt and pull it up, greeted by his fit and broad figure and the artwork that decorates his right sleeve in turn. Gawking at his body, you run the tips of your fingers through his abs and pecs before tracing the outline of his lips. “You’re really hot, too,” you tell him, the hotness of your breath bathing his skin.
The pad of your finger runs lazy circles on his swollen bottom lip and you make sure to look right into his eyes with a lusty smirk before you cup his face, pulling him in again for another needy kiss, your tongues swirling with each other, sending a direct shot of arousal down to your core.
Your fingers rake through his locks while your lips pepper his shoulder blade and neck with your ravenous kisses. It doesn’t take long before your hands are on his body, his hips, stomach and v-line, stroking every edge and area. When you end up cupping the dent in his pants, a satisfied groan emits his throat. On your palm, he feels huge and hard and you release a whiny moan while his chest heaves.
His fingers find the button of your jeans and you pull back to assist him, quickly shimmying down until you’re left in your underwear. Keeping his eyes on yours, his hand starts to slide down, groping your heat over the soaked fabric. Your head automatically rears back, sighing at his touch. His smirk widens as his fingers slip underneath your underwear. He motions up and down on your sticky folds, flicking your clit before he takes his hand out and slides the fabric of your panties to the side.
Finally, his index finger thrusts into you slowly and deeply like he has all the time in the world. Emitting dulcet sighs, you shift your hips forwards to meet his thrust, desperate to feel his fingers. He curls his digit inside, hitting your walls while you pant. Taking your lips again, he adds another finger, pushing into you until you’re bucking your hips and moaning against his mouth.
He keeps this up, fingers curving, repeatedly thrusting in a pace that has your thigh muscles tightening and your feet tiptoeing before he slows down and eventually withdraws so he can suck on them, watching you watch him taste every bit of your essence. The action is so erotic and sensual that you lunge forward to share your breaths with him again while tasting yourself on his tongue.
Chests flushed together, he hoists you up, hooking your legs around his waist as he carries you to the bed, never disconnecting his lips on yours. You’re dropped on the mattress softly and you scoot upwards immediately, head lying on the pillow as you begin to unclasp your bra while he works on pulling your panties down your legs.
“Fuck. Look at you,” he growls. “So fucking pretty.” Climbing up to open your mouth, his hands busy themselves in squeezing the flesh of your nipples. The kiss you share is sultrier and filthier, dominated by your tongues, teeth and saliva.
He makes his way down to your breasts, his hot mouth enveloping your nipple while his hand massages the other breast, fingers toying on the bud. He sucks and licks until it’s nice and perky, switching to the other and giving it the same treatment. Pleasured sighs leak out your lips, eyes rolling at the back of your head, your fingers lacing on his hair.
He sits up, standing on the edge of the bed to pull his pants and underwear down. His huge and thick cock stands erect and he wraps a hand around it to give it a few pumps. His thumb gives his head the occasional flick to spread his pre-cum before hovering on top of you again to take on your breasts. He makes sure to look up at you every time, watching how beautiful you look when you’re purring your moans, the sight getting him harder as he pictures how you’d look and sound like when you’re so fucked out.
His solid hands grab your thighs, spreading them wide as he finally snakes down to your core, all full of your slick. You breathe raggedly, watching him in anticipation as he inches forward, tongue slurping up a bold stripe of your folds before it lays flat on your pussy.
He laps on your clit and your gasps are broken, begging him to not stop as you lay a hand on your breast, giving it a squeeze while grinding your core on his mouth. His own groans vibrate on your skin as he eats you out and buries his tongue inside your cunt, consistently switching with taking it whole and licking on your swollen clit.
“You taste really good,” he says, tongue running over his wet lips. As much as he’d like to see you fall apart on his mouth, right now, all he wants is to be inside you. He needs to feel your warm and wet pussy around him, wants to see you come around his cock while he’s deep inside you.
Whining at the loss, he snatches your legs, folding them in half. Kneeling with his back straight up, he lines the head in your entrance, moving it against your slit, coating himself with your arousal. You release a drawled moan and his eyes darkens before pushing into you.
The stretch is delicious, with him easily gliding in from how wet you are. A gasp escapes your chest and he’s only halfway in. Relaxing your walls to adjust to him, he sinks further until he bottoms out a few moments later, your pussy wrapped around his cock.
Releasing a joint pleasurable groan, he starts with slow, consistent thrusts, holding your knees to keep your legs up in that position. He’s testing the waters with his pace. It feels good and you appreciate it and him for being a gentleman but right now you need him to move. You need him to fuck you hard, fast and senseless. You want to be left mind-blown so you tell him that he doesn’t need to be gentle with you.
With your words, the glint in his eyes shifts and he begins to move, rocking into you rapidly. He grunts lowly at your tightness while burying his cock deeper, assaulting your walls. The sound of skin slapping skin has you screaming and he buckles his hips, keeping a steady and fast rhythm in fucking you.
He moans unabashedly, voice gruff as he gets entranced from his own pleasure, relishing in the way your pussy keeps on swallowing him in with every push as though it’s made for his cock only. He cups and squeezes your bouncing tits as he smacks himself into you. His palm skims through your stomach, making its way up as his finger runs over your swollen lips before sliding in your mouth. You suck it just like how you’d take him on your mouth, keeping your eyes on him and his lips curve up, savoring the sight.
You watch as his hips slows down into gentle thrusts before he slips out of you and grips his glistening cock to run the head through your slit, nudging and circling on your clit before he’s inside you again. He presses his chest against yours and brushes his lips on yours, swallowing all your moans. Your pussy clamps down on him with every drag against your walls and you hold his arms that are flexed, your pants increasing in volume as you chant a plethora of ‘yes’, ‘fuck’, and ‘oh my God.’
His body hovering on top of you again, he maintains eye contact, lips parted as he breathes in jagged patterns. You’re then grabbing his wrist, placing his hand on your neck. He takes a hefty inhale, pupils dilating and gaze shifting. “You like that? Hm?”
Wordlessly, you nod, licking your lips as his slender fingers start to put pressure on your throat. “Tell me if it’s too much, okay?”
Again, you offer a nod and a hum that borders on a moan. The force on your throat isn’t too hard but it’s firm and secure enough to steal your breath away and have your pussy clenching on him. The sudden delve at breathplay spurs him on to speed it up more than ever, a satisfied smile gracing his lips.
The headboard slams the walls and the bed creaks as the obscene echoes of your bodies merging fills the room. Your pants are caught in your throat and your mouth is kept open as you feel the coiling sensation in your stomach tightening. He drops his fingers from the base of your neck and cups your breast, clutching and pinching your pebbled bud with his thumb and forefinger before he kneads on your clit.
Keen whimpers and expletives flare out of your chest as the pad of his thumb rubs on your nub harshly. “You gonna come, baby?” he asks, his jackhammer thrusts quickening in pace. He can feel your walls contract against his cock as he holds up your legs and places them over his shoulders.
You nod as he shoves into you relentlessly. “Fuck,” you whimper helplessly, swivelling your hips, your climax threatening to wash over you soon. “I’m so close—mmmh my God—fuck—” you croak out sinfully.
“That’s it—nngh—fuck. Come for me, baby,” he coaxes, the pitch of his moan heightening as he pants hard.
One hard thrust and you’re falling over the edge, pussy clenching tight on his cock. His biceps and his stomach tauten as he keeps on fucking you, the sparks of his climax travelling fast to his tip. It doesn’t take long before a guttural sound is pulled out from his throat and his hips stutter, blowing his load and coating your walls with his warm seed.
You come three more times after the first round. With you on all fours, him holding your hips with a bruising grip as he hits you from behind. With you riding him while he’s sat down on the edge of his bed, watching you get yourself off from his full-length mirror. Your nails would dig on his shoulders while he’d suck on your nipples intently and mark your skin possessively, feeling satisfied at his handiwork. And finally, with you sitting on his face. Your hands would hold the headboard to steady yourself while his tongue dips in your pussy, eating you fervently.
Flopped down on the bed together, you’re both a fucked out mess, panting like dogs in the summer, lightheaded and smelling like sex. Staring at the ceiling, you feel like you’re still in a trance, encircled by that post-coital elation. He’s the first to stand up, bringing you some tissues so you can clean the insides of your thighs.
Now, you’ve had your fair share of bad hook-ups where the guy would come too early or where the oral is subpar, leaving you dissatisfied by the end of the night. But this one in particular—you can definitely say that this was a good fuck.
“Well,” you speak for the first time. “That was fun.” Collecting your panties on the floor, you slip it on and gather your discarded clothes lying on the floor haphazardly.
“You’re leaving?”
“Yeah. Why?”
“It’s two in the morning,” JK returns matter-of-factly. His brows rumple together and if you didn’t know any better, you’d almost say that it’s out of worry and concern. “I can’t just let you out there on your own. It’s too dangerous.” Awkwardly, he clears his throat when he’s met with silence. “I’m just… you know, thinking about your safety,” he attempts to redeem himself.
God. How can someone be so irresistibly adorable? Is this the same guy who just fucked your brains out and who said the lewdest things while he was balls deep inside you?
“Are you asking me to stay?”
He gnaws on his bottom lip and offers a smile. “More like hoping.”
Just by the look on JK’s eyes, already, you could feel yourself spiralling and slipping the more you think about it, the more you consider his request. If you live in an alternate universe where you’re a superhero, it’s safe to say that you’d be royally screwed. Because you’re showing weakness, you’re being so vulnerable, crumbling apart with just one look.
A couple of hours with him should be fine. You suppose breaking one rule won’t hurt. “Okay,” you yield. “I’ll stay.”
He goes to his dresser to open one drawer, pulling a cotton shirt in white. Offering the article of clothing to you, you thank him meekly, swathing your body in it until it falls just above your knees. It’s baggy and soft, the scent of fabric conditioner reeling on your senses.
“There’s extra towels in the bathroom,” he gestures.
The first thing you notice are the boxes lying around just beside the bathtub. Half open boxes filled with essential toiletries. The citrus fragrance that surrounds the room catches your attention next and automatically, your eyes search for the source, finding his diffuser just below the window.
When you examine yourself in front of the mirror, you take a deep breath. It’s just for this night. You could just wake up early tomorrow, collect your things and leave without looking back. After giving your face a quick wash, you search for the towels to dry you up, finding them perfectly folded in one of his drawers, arranged by their colors.
When you come out, he’s already dressed in a grey shirt and dark pajamas, sitting up on his side of the bed, scrolling through his phone. He notices you and stares, ruffling the back of his head with a demure smile. “Sorry about the boxes.”
“That’s okay. Don’t worry about it,” you reply encouragingly, walking to the other side to slip under the covers, allowing yourself to feel cozy and warm. “Did you just move in?”
“Yep,” he says, popping the ‘P’. He wraps his arm around your hips gently and you can feel his soft breathing on the side of your neck. He’s definitely trying to cuddle you.
It’s odd though how you don’t do anything to break the closeness because you’re reciprocating it by settling on the wide expanse of his chest as the tip of his fingers trace circles on your arm in a soothing manner. Perhaps the reason is because you find that it feels comforting—calming, even.
Completely enveloped and secured in his warmth, he checks with you, “Nice?”
In your vocabulary, this is dangerous territory because it feels too intimate. “Yeah. Nice,” is what you say anyway. “Hey, are you sure it’s okay for me to sleep here?”
You hear him giggle, his fingers playing with your hair as he looks at your questioning eyes. “Of course.”
It’s just for this night, reminds your conscious. And since this is only for tonight, you might as well allow yourself to be encased in another person’s secure and comforting embrace. You might as well flout another rule since you already broke one when you decided to stay.
“You know, sometimes a simple hug could just be what a person needs the most,” you murmur while you’re in your half-asleep half-awake state. What prompted you to say this, you’re unsure. Perhaps it’s the way he’s got his arm encased around you, and the way you feel safe in someone else’s warmth.
“It’s a simple yet powerful gesture.”
“Exactly,” you return, feeling your lips twitch for a smile. “Even if the hugger doesn’t say anything and just hugs you, I think that’s already so powerful. Because, you know, you never really know what a person is going through.”
He lets himself listen to you as you impart your sentiments and once again, he can’t help but be enthralled and pulled in by how you articulate your perspective and how you make him see it. “Very true,” he agrees.
A few seconds of silence lingers as you’re unsure what to say next. You then catch a glimpse of his inked right arm, a sleeve full of intricate and beautiful art, with words, flowers and symbols reaching his shoulder blade. “Cool tattoos, by the way.”
“Thanks,” JK says, grinning foolishly. "Hey, you know, I gotta tell you that this—” he begins, turning to you, only to see you fast asleep, knocked out like a baby, snoring softly. He laughs mutedly. “—is the best one-night stand I’ve ever had.”
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The sunlight seeping through the gap of the curtain tickles your conscious, rousing you from the depths of your slumber. Eyes still closed, your hand fishes out for your phone buried somewhere underneath the pillow, gripping it hard as you squint to check for the time once it’s lit up—8:15 am.
“Shit,” you hiss quietly.
Beside you, JK is heavily asleep, left cheek squished on the pillow, long eyelashes sprawled out on his honey skin, his lips rolling out loud exhalations that cracks into snores. This would be the last glance of him that you’d take because before you know it, you’re panic gathering all your clothes on the floor, hurriedly and quietly dressing yourself up, tiptoeing out of his apartment after. You really shouldn’t have stayed the night—it’s not you to do that.
There’s a large part of you that wants to stay longer with him in that bed and a sense of sadness brewing in your belly you the closer you get to your destination and you’re uncertain as to why. Shaking your head, you shrug the feeling as just the effects of the wine you’ve been drinking last night and you let reality ground your thoughts from being in the clouds and pull you back.
Let’s check the facts again. You don’t date. You don’t do relationships—they’re messy and complicated, much like love itself. Soon enough, you will forget about him and you will go on with your life.
Once you arrive back at your place, Yuna is sat on your couch. She asks you what happened last night and just like that, you plop yourself down beside her, explaining the reason why you didn’t come home.
“Oh, by the way, where’s my engagement ring?” she asks when all of the chatting and gossiping about your tryst had culminated.
You fish for it in your pocket and hand it back.
“Thanks,” she says, though you notice that it’s not with a happy or relieved tone. It’s a weak one, the expression on her face crestfallen. Your gut tells you that something is wrong. And usually, your gut feelings are correct.
“What? Okay, listen to me. Last night, you told me that you love Jimin and that you still want to marry him. You can’t just let a small hiccup ruin everything,” you tell her after she revealed that when he gets here, she’s going to return the ring to him.
Before she can reply, the doorbell is ringing. You instantly saunter towards the door to open it. “Hey, Jimin,” you greet with a narrow smile.
“Hey, Y/N.” He nods weakly at you before you let him enter your apartment.
With a careful tone, you decide to breach the silent and awkward air as the couple just stares at each other, waiting for one another to speak. “Um… can I talk to you both for a sec?”
Leading him to your living room, you gesture for him to sit beside Yuna. Standing in front of them like you’re about to give an important presentation, you begin, clasping your palms together. “Look, you guys. This is your wedding. Are you really gonna let a single conflict stop you from getting married?”
Yuna’s eyes relaxes as she turns to Jimin and he smiles softly.
“You’re about to spend the rest of your lives with one another,” you resume with conviction, eyes flicking at the two of them. “Isn’t that the most important thing?”
After your speech, Jimin nods vehemently, turning to Yuna and winding his fingers with hers as he realizes that everything you said was correct. “Y/N’s right.”
She places her free hand on top of Jimin’s, nodding. “And you were right too, Jimin. The fight that we had was stupid because at the end of the day, I still really want to get married to you.”
“Me, too. There’s nothing more I want than to spend the rest of my life with you. Don’t forget that we’re doing this for us. We’re not doing this for them.” Jimin gently pushes a strand of hair to the back of Yuna’s ear. “So what if our parents can’t get along? They’re not the one who’s going to get married to you. It’s me.”
Yuna cups his cheek, her eyes laced with adoration and gratefulness. “I love you so much.”
He presses his forehead against hers with eyes fluttered shut. “I love you, too.” After a few seconds, he opens his eyes again and pulls back slightly. “I’m sorry I overreacted and said that we should call the wedding off.”
“I’m sorry too for reacting the way I did. I’m sorry for stressing about our parents,” Yuna returns with her apology.
He smiles. “So we’re okay, yeah?”
“Yeah. We’re okay,” Yuna nods before she dives in to kiss Jimin.
Clearing your throat and feigning a cough, you ask with an oncoming smile at the edges of your mouth, “Ahem. So… is the wedding back on, guys?”
Jimin turns to face you, cheeks blooming as he realizes he got carried away from kissing his fiancée. He nods animatedly. “The wedding’s officially back on.”
Your whole face lights up like a Christmas tree and the betrothed couple are all smiles and giggles when they stare at each other, hand in hand. Yuna begins to ask curiously, changing the subject. “Oh, wait. How was the party last night, babe?”
“I left early and went back home to sleep,” Jimin reveals. “It didn’t feel right without you there.”
She mirrors his pout, saying guiltily, “See, now, I feel bad. I wish I just went home to you last night.”
Jimin rubs the pad of his thumb on the back of her palm as a way to console her. “That’s okay, babe. We both needed to cool down.”
The next minutes are spent with the three of you laughing together, chit chatting about the wedding preparations over coffee that you brewed for them. And when they said their goodbyes and left, leaving you all alone in your apartment, did it finally sink in on you—there’s going to be a wedding in four days.
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Jeon Jungkook should be over that one-night stand already. He should be moving forwards with his life and starting to concentrate on other things like the big event that’s happening in three days. Yet here he is, moving backwards, desperately longing to return to the night he met you.
Now that he thinks about it, if he could have a superpower, he would choose teleportation. He’d bring himself back to that time where he first talked to you so he could bring up any topic that comes to mind and hear your interesting thoughts about it, so he could freely say something stupid or nonsensical and see the sight of your laughter. He’d bring himself to wherever you are now, ask for your real name and your number, text you and give you a call so he can take you out for dinner or to a movie, whatever you want.
That night with you was certainly something else—it was fun, wild, spontaneous and not to mention, hot. He just keeps on replaying that night over and over that when he jerks off, it’s you that’s on his fucking mind.
All he holds in his heart are the words you said and murmured, the details of your smile, your voice and laugh, your honeyed moans and gasps, your pretty face, a piece of your personality. And even if these are the only things that you left in your trail, he’ll make sure to keep it safe.
“Fuck this,” he huffs out in frustration, rising up from the hotel bed that he’s currently in. He feels like he’s going to lose it if he continues to think about you even more so he decides to head downstairs to the gym to blow off some steam.
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You had completely forgotten about the dinner until Yuna reminded you this afternoon—it’s the one with her, Jimin and their best man. You’ve never actually met him before, or any of the groom’s friends and family. You never really had the chance since these couple of months have been so busy that it felt like a whirlwind.
While walking with her to the elevator since you’re going to the hotel’s restaurant together, you decide to ask about lunch yesterday. Her eyes curve up with her lips as she drops the news that it turned out to be great—their parents have started to bond with each other.
She tells you that initially, there were still some awkwardness, some clash of opinions from Jimin’s father and her father but then in the middle of them having the hors d'oeuvres, Mr. Park had mentioned something about poker and it sparked an interesting conversation that led to them making plans. Meanwhile, over steak and wine, the mothers have agreed to go shopping with Yuna when she asked them for advice on what to take for the honeymoon.
When you arrive at the entrance of the restaurant, she scans the inside as she searches for them. “Oh, there they are,” Yuna announces when she spots Jimin and his best man. She points at the middle and you follow the trajectory of her finger.
Calling for their attention, she waves at them when they turn around. The moment your eyes land on the tall, dark-haired guy beside Jimin as you walk towards them, your breath hitches, pupils dilating as though they’ve seen a ghost.
Oh my fucking God. You’ve always thought that the world is small but is it really that small? Your one-night stand and Jimin’s best man—they’re one person. JK is literally Jungkook.
While Yuna and Jimin are busy greeting each other through hugs and kisses, you stare at him who’s dumbfounded and shell-shocked, his reaction written all over his face. Wearing a white shirt underneath a blue denim jacket with a silver watch on his wrist, he looks insanely handsome and neat. Your cheeks feel dangerously warm, reminiscent of the first time you saw him.
“Y/N, I’d like you to meet Jungkook,” Yuna introduces sprightly. “Jungkook, Y/N.”
He barely blinks as he stares at you, face suddenly turning pale. It seems as though he’s having a difficult time restraining his expressions and maintaining composure as he pictures the night you spent together, bodies buried into one another.
Releasing your tightened lips, you shoot Jungkook a smile, extending a hand out. “Hi.”
“Hi,” he greets with a soft register, almost trembling before he clears his throat and gains confidence, shaking your hand with a firm grip. “Nice to meet you, Y/N.”
He went along with your playing dumb act. Good, because you’re not about to reveal to Yuna and Jimin that you’ve already met. Not tonight. And certainly not two days before their wedding.
“We’ve actually wanted to do this for a long time,” Yuna starts just as you’re all snatching up the menu in front of you.
Jimin agrees. “We thought it’d be nice if the best man and the maid of honor could get to know each other before the wedding.”
Yuna says regretfully, “I just wish we could’ve done this sooner instead of two days before the wedding.”
“But we’ve just been so busy,” Jimin continues his fiancée’s sentence. She nods in agreement, pouting apologetically.
You decide to speak first and reassure them, smiling narrowly. “That’s okay, guys. It’s no big deal.”
“What matters is that we’re all here now,” Jungkook adds right away with a huge grin. He arches a brow and glances at you with a single bob of his head before looking at the couple. “Right?”
Yuna and Jimin nods agreeingly and you feign a smile before grabbing your glass of water, your throat suddenly drying up. The conversation between the four of you falls easily during dinner, with all of you occasionally clanking your glasses of champagne.
Over food, you and Jungkook learn more about each other, about the memories you both had with the couple during college. You and him talked as though this is the first time and on the topic of university, you learned that Jungkook’s major was finance. He studied abroad and decided to stay and live in London after graduation. You point out that finance had been your original choice before you settled for film studies. Back then, you chose passion over practicality, much to your mother’s dismay.
He tells you that film studies had actually been his first choice. It was the exact opposite for him—practicality over passion. All because it’s what his parents wanted of him, it’s good for taking over their businesses. When you suggested that he could still do it, he returned with a smile, said that he actually does have plans in the future to go back to studying his passion.
Yuna’s stare flits between Jungkook and you before she eyes Jimin whose lips have curved into a smirk, his brows dancing up mischievously when he meets her stare. It’s as though the gears in their heads have turned and seeds have been planted in their minds.
When you’re all patiently waiting for the third course, Yuna leans in to whisper by your side. “Can you come with me to the ladies’ room please?” Her eyes press their stare on you, widening as she tries to send a girl code to you indirectly and immediately mouthing an imperative ‘now’. When she stands up, you take it as a signal to follow her to the restroom, walking briskly to catch up.
“What are you doing?” Yuna asks once you’ve shut the door close behind you.
“Uh, hello? Jungkook’s flirting with you,” she says instantly in a heartbeat.
“What? No, he’s not.”
“Yes, he is,” she counters, her mouth opening with a grin, eyes laced with bewilderment upon seeing your flustered demeanor. “And you’re totally smitten.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are,” she quips, continuing the rally.
“Oh my God, I’m—I’m not smitten,” you insist, voice lower than usual.
“Why don’t you ask him out?” Yuna suggests frankly.
“You know I’m not into this whole dating thing.”
“That’s what you always say,” she sighs, exasperated.
“Because it’s true.”
Yes, you haven’t gotten him out of your mind ever since that night. And yes, you haven’t been able to stop thinking about the way he kissed you, wrapped you around his embrace, laughed with you and smiled at you through the small conversations in between. But that doesn’t mean anything—it’s probably just one of those caught-up-in-the-moment feelings. It doesn’t mean anything. Right?
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It’s been hours after that dinner and you’re now tossing and turning around your hotel bed, feeling restless. There’s too much on your mind that sleep is way too far from your reach. When you grab your phone from the nightstand, it lights up and reads 1:00 am on the dot.
Feeling like you need fresh air, you push the covers away and slip your shoes on, heading out of your room in your pajamas to visit the rooftop of the hotel, where you know a piece of tranquillity can be achieved.
Finding yourself sitting on the outdoor metal bench, you let your mind relax, letting the stillness of the night embrace you. You try to focus on the little things, on your surroundings. The night sky is clear, speckled with the constellation that shines brightly above. There are a few days left before winter is over, the breeze of the wind starting to turn warm as it kisses your skin. It prickles still, containing the remnants of the past, but it’s bearable.
“Can’t sleep?”
The familiar softness of a voice tickles your reverie. When you return your stare down to Earth, Jungkook stands on the side, the bomber jacket covering his upper body zipped, hands in the pockets of his black joggers. His hair is windswept, some sticking out to the sides, while his fringe is parted, revealing his forehead.
Returning with a nod, he wastes no time to take a seat beside you.
“Me, too,” he admits, prolonging his stare at you. When you meet his eyes, an inexplicable tingling warmth once again dawns inside you, settling into your skin.
Biting on the inside of your lip, you ask consciously, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
Jungkook, embarrassed with his cheeks now tinted with a rosy hue, smooths the back of his head and strays his eyes away from you, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, I just… I still can’t believe it’s you. I thought I’d never see you again.”
“Honestly? Me, too,” you admit, the edges of your lips twitching for a faint smile.
There’s a hefty air of silence that engulfs you two and he decides to glue his gaze up to the sky while you turn to observe the side of his face. It’s odd how earlier you were trying to entertain yourself, finding which star is the brightest from your observance of the night sky. Disregarding moons and celestial bodies, you were scanning and sweeping the entirety of the universe in your field of vision, seeking for which star has the brightest light, only to find it futile because you couldn’t. It seems that your answer is here.
There’s something about the roundness and expressiveness of Jungkook’s eyes that fascinates you. They twinkle whenever he blinks, as though fairies surround him every second and they sprinkle golden dust on his irises. It’s beautiful, the way he gazes at the universe and ruminates on his own thoughts, surrounded by quietness. The sight from your position is calming and peaceful.
Facing forward, you speak again, eyes pointed on the city skyline, on the buildings across the horizon. “Who would’ve thought that our lives would somehow be connected?”
“Just goes to show how small the world really is,” he answers with a relaxed register, looking at you.
He suddenly moves about when he notices you shivering, quickly unzipping his jacket. He transfers his body heat that resided on the inside of the outerwear to you when he gently placed it over your shoulders. “Here.”
Your eyes immediately land on him when you feel the weight on you, uncrossing your arms as you cling on to the collars of his jacket. A thin smile of gratitude is what you send his way before you’re doing what your instinct orders you to do. Scooting closer towards him, you hold up the jacket and nestle it over your backs, hoping it would be enough to cover the two of you.
By giving you his jacket, you knew that he had good intentions and wanted you to feel warm against the sudden harshness of the wind. But it occurred to you that Jungkook would be cold in the aftermath and cold is not a feeling that you want him to feel tonight.
Sharing his jacket was the only solution you could think of and he didn’t complain nor insisted that you have it. Instead, you both settle on being a lot closer to one another, the side of your thighs touching, shoulders nudging, arms side by side like pillars.
Jungkook’s hand wraps around your waist to bring you closer to him, warm on your skin as he protects you and guards you from the nipping breeze. If there’s one thing that you noticed, it’s that his palm never lowers down; it stays still on its spot, his grip secure but gentle.
The combination of your warmth has built a strong enough fire as though you both are camping, watching a bonfire. The blaze of the flame is more than enough to feel rested and comfortable, away from all the cold.
“Don’t you find it fascinating? It’s like fate or something. Some sort of sign from the universe. Do you believe in those kinds of things?” you ask intriguingly, to him and to the vast space.
He lets the seconds whirl by before he responds, a sense of bitterness edging in his voice. “Not really.”
“How come?”
Jungkook sighs deeply, stares back at your penetrative eyes. “Well, because I feel like what brought us together during that night wasn’t fate. It was ourselves.”
“Actually, I think it was that couple who brought us together,” is what you point out as an attempt to be light and funny. This earns you a light chuckle.
“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not disregarding fate or its existence. I just think that I sat next to you that night because I wanted to.” He shakes his head. “Sorry for being negative.”
“No, don’t be,” you reassure him. “You’re entitled to your own opinions.”
“It’s just,” he says, hesitating. At his next intake of breath, he gets the courage to be honest, to open his heart and uncover the burden that had weighed him down in the past. “All my life I felt like I never had a choice. My parents had already mapped out my whole life. They were the ones who decided which school I should go, what course I should take, what my career should be, who should I marry and what age I’d get married. And it was just so fucking tiring to feel so controlled all the time like a puppet.”
“Is that why you were drinking that night?”
From the outlook, one would think that Jungkook is someone who has control on his life and his decisions. But it isn’t the case. With his upbringing and the traditions instilled on him, control is something he had to master, something he had to channel outwardly for his parents’ satisfaction.
He does know how to take control but for the wrong reasons—it’s for the reasons he doesn’t want. He controls the things that his folks expect him to manage. Jungkook does know how to do it but it’s also for front. Because deep down, he is anything but in control. Deep down, he’s someone who has never been able to take the steering wheel and drive his own life. Deep down, it’s what he wants.
He doesn’t want anyone to drive his life for him. He wants to do it himself. And during the night he met you, that was the first step of taking control, of stepping on the gas and going on the route where there would be a lot of right and wrong turns. He doesn’t want to know where he’s going. For the first time in his life, he wants to be spontaneous. Wants to live. Wants to prioritize his own happiness for the sake of his well-being.
“Yeah. I was at Jimin’s parents’ party during that night and all I kept on thinking was how he defied his parents for his own happiness. His courage inspired me that time. Then I got into an argument with my parents because they kept on trying to set me up there so I just told them how I felt and left the party.”
He remembers the occurrence of events that night and it makes him grit his teeth, darting his eyes down to the floor. “At first, I thought that I made a stupid decision but I realized that I did the right thing because I don’t regret it. I chose myself for the first time in my life and it didn’t feel daunting. It felt liberating.”
He looks at you, realizing that he was looking for a cathartic release during that night and somehow, what he found was comfort. He found so much more when he met you. You started out as a stranger to him but you’re much more than that to him now.
“You know, out of us two, you’re the real superhero,” you offer candidly. Your eyes are filled with more admiration and respect for him and all that lives and breathes in you at this moment is hope. Hope that he’s in the direction he wants, hope that he’s happy and that there’s less agony in his mind, heart, body and soul.
Jungkook’s smile never leaves his lips even as he furrows his eyebrows and questions, “Wait, let me get this straight. Jimin and Yuna—they were your mission all along?”
“Yep,” you nod before explaining the context of that night, telling him that the couple encountered a small glitch that made them temporarily call off the wedding.
“Do you realize that there’s a wedding in two days because of you?”
“Well, it’s really because of them and their love for each other,” you counter.
“You should give yourself some credit.”
When you smile at him, he mirrors it. And for a while, you just sit together closely. For a while, you bask in each other’s presence, feeling comforted by the silence and by the thoughts you’d say out loud. And with every grin or laugh that you get to see on his face in between, you’d feel your heart hammer frantically within your chest, alarming you greatly.
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Tomorrow is the wedding. There’s officially less than twenty-four hours left before you have to wake up, get ready to be glammed up, smile for photographs, support the bride with everything, lift the long trail of her veil up whenever she goes, straighten it as she poses for her bridal portraits and be a point of contact to every guest. Less than twenty-four hours left before you go do your maid of honor duties and make sure everything falls smoothly into place. You’ll have to keep the spirits high tomorrow, especially the bride’s because you know that there would be an abundant of nerves and emotions.
The trepidation from imagining how the ceremony would go sizzles inside you. In your mind, there is the inevitable list of things that could go wrong. And although you don’t want to think about it, it still crosses your conscious from time to time. It’s better to think like this because then you could also ponder about your immediate and sensible solutions when faced with those problems.
Lying on your hotel bed, you try to distract your thoughts by watching a movie. When your phone vibrates, you pick it up and read the message from Yuna, asking if you want to go downstairs for a drink.
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“Oh, look. There’s Jimin and Jungkook,” Yuna turns to you with a foxy grin splayed on her lips as you walk further towards the open bar of the restaurant.
Surprise bleeds on your face when you see them sitting on one of the stools. Jimin’s face lights up as he sees the two of you approaching them.
“Hi, beautiful,” the blonde man greets his fiancée, placing a smooch on her cheek before turning to greet you affably.
Yuna flits her gaze between the two men. “What are you guys doing here?”
“We just decided to have some drinks before going to the mini golf room,” Jimin responds casually, peering over Jungkook who just nods. When he meets Yuna’s eyes, he gasps loudly and dramatically. “Oh, no.”
Jungkook’s brows crease. “What’s wrong?”
Jimin sets his glass down and touches Yuna’s forearm. “Sweetie, we forgot that thing that we have to do tonight.”
Her mouth goes agape. “Oh my goodness—yes!”
“What thing?” you ask, folding your arms and perking a brow up.
“We said we were gonna meet Hoseok tonight to talk about the wedding and make sure everything’s okay for tomorrow.”
“Oh, really?” you ask, drawling out the word as you catch on quickly.
“Yes,” they punctuate synchronously, acting as though you haven’t already figured out what they’re trying to pull.
Yuna clasps her hands together, smiling widely at you and Jungkook like there’s a lightbulb above her head. “Wait a minute, why don’t you guys do something together?”
“What a great idea,” Jimin adds, tone and expression obviously rehearsed.
Well, would you look at that. Turns out, you’re not spending this evening with Yuna at all. Those two really wanted to play matchmaker the moment they saw you two talking during that dinner. Especially Yuna. You just knew from the spark in her eyes and from the conversation she had with you that night. God, if only they knew the truth about you and Jungkook. Actually, if they did know, they’d probably be so chuffed about it and continue to match you up.
“I guess this was their plan all along, huh?” you turn to Jungkook after the wily couple bid their goodbyes and left.
Jungkook chuckles, bobbing his head. He offers to buy you a drink and you’re not entirely sure how much time passes because of all the laughter, stories, facts and opinions you’ve both shared with each other once the conversation sparked off.
You talked about the Wandavision episodes that you’ve seen so far, drifting off to the broad cinematic universe of Marvel after. Over cocktails, you and Jungkook discuss who is the most powerful Avenger, to which you fervidly and resolutely answered Scarlet Witch, while he says it’s Thor, contending that he’s a deity.
“Did you not see how she literally made Thanos call for back up during that scene in Endgame?” you maintain your stance passionately.
“Okay, fine,” Jungkook concedes. “But I still think that out of the original Avengers, Thor is the strongest.”
“Oh, there’s no doubt about that,” you nod and wave your hand away, agreeing like it’s a universal fact. “Okay, uh… what about Captain Marvel? Do you think she’s stronger than Thor?”
“Definitely. She could kick his ass easily.”
A bright smile graces your lips at the way he endearingly articulates his words and at the way his eyes excitedly shine. Time seems to cease around you, along with the movements of your surroundings the more you keep on talking to Jungkook like this, the more you get to know him and his personality.
He looks at you with a nervous expression after you both come down from the high of laughter and giggles. He settles his glass down on the counter as though he just drank his courage and clears his throat. “Listen, um… there’s actually something that I’ve been wanting to ask you.”
The beats of your heart sounding like the ticking of a clock, you anticipate with bated breath.
With his round eyes staring at you with sincerity, he bares his feelings and goes for it. “I really like you so… do you maybe wanna go out with me sometime? For like a proper date, I mean.”
It’s then that you decide to stop the ticking, to shut all of the alarms going off in your head. “Don’t,” you say, the word coming out as a mere whisper as your lips tremble. None of this should’ve even happened. It’s not for you. You can’t. You don’t have it in you to go through it.
Pushing yourself off your seat, you’re shaking your head, saying, “I can’t, I’m sorry, I can’t,” in one succession. You run away to rush back to your room, vision bleary from the dampness and hands shuddering from the onslaught of feelings in your chest.
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The bride sits in front of the dresser, lips parted as she bites her fingernails in apprehension. You’re kneeling next to her, trying to calm her nerves, explaining that wedding jitters are common and it’s all just because of the build-up and the anticipation, emphasizing to her that her love for Jimin should prevail against the nerves. You offer support by doing breathing techniques with her, letting her look in front of the mirror as you inhale and exhale together.
She plasters a smile and lets out a huge breath before she starts to babble frantically like a woodpecker. “What if I’m not ready? Am I ready? Do you think I’m ready?”
Over and over, you tell her to take deep breaths with you before you provide your replies, assuring her that she’s more than ready for this. “And also, don’t forget that after the wedding, there’s going to be a honeymoon in Paris,” you remind.
Yuna takes a couple of sharp exhalations as though to exorcise the nerves and jitters brewing inside her intensely. With a new, confident disposition, she is bobbing her head eagerly, holding both of your hands, saying “I think I’m ready” to you but more to herself.
“Fuck yeah. Let’s do this wedding!”
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As you watch your best friend walk down the aisle, an overwhelming bundle of feelings shoots through your veins, making you tear up. She is dazzling with the love that breathes and beats insides her. And when you turn to glance at Jimin, he is smiling even when his emotions streams down his cheeks.
“When I was a little girl, I’ve always wondered if I would ever find my Prince Charming just like in the fairytales,” Yuna commences her proclamation of vows. “And then one night at a work party, I lost a game of pool. As a result, I had to ask the first guy I saw to dance with me. I’ll forever be glad that I lost that game because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have met you. Jimin, with you, I didn’t just find my prince. I also found my soulmate, my sun, my moon, my angel, my heaven, my earth and my person. I found everything that I’d ever been looking for my whole life.”
“It still feels surreal that I’m right here in front of you saying my vows. It still feels just like yesterday, we were on our first date. As a matter of fact, our first date is something that I will never forget. We were sat outside a café and I was so nervous that I accidentally slammed my ice cream on my nose instead of aiming it on my mouth. But then you took me by surprise when you deliberately smudged your chocolate ice cream on your nose just to make me feel less embarrassed, just to make me feel better. When we laughed for five minutes straight, that’s the moment I said to myself that I wouldn’t mind laughing with this guy for the rest of my life. I want to be silly and weird with him for the rest of my days.”
“Jimin, you are the guy who approaches every cat and dog roaming around in the streets, who laughs so hard to the point where you fall off your chair, who would pout adorably for the rest of the day whenever you lose at games but above it all, you are the guy that I would choose to spend my forever with in every lifetime and in every timeline.”
She attempts to keep her voice steady, but with her tears, it proved impossible not to falter at the preceding words. “I want you to know that if we fight, then we’ll work it out. If there are obstacles on the way, then we’ll jump over it together, we’ll go into battle together. We’ll conquer every trial and we’ll make it work.” She nods and repeats the last few words. “We’ll make it work.”
Her vision watery, she sniffs and breathes through her mouth. It took everything not to rub her eyes and screw her eye make-up. After looking up, she eventually blinked it away and then faced her groom with a grin as she concluded her heartfelt vows.
“Park Jimin, I love you and I promise you that from this day forward, you will never walk alone.”
When you glance to your left and right, everyone is either snuffling or wiping away the corner of their eyes with handkerchiefs and tissues, much like you are. Yuna had let you read the first draft of her vows before and hearing the final, full-length version now is just heart-melting and moving. You have a feeling that Jimin’s would also turn you into an emotional wreck.
He takes a deep breath and begins. “All my life, I was brought up to think that I’m meant to be all sorts of things. They would say, ‘Jimin, you’re going to be CEO,’ ‘Jimin, you’ll take over the family business,’ ‘Jimin, you’re going to marry someone from this family or that family’—it’s all I ever heard. And then one night, I met this incredible and beautiful woman who asked me to dance. We danced and talked for hours until we were the only ones left in the bar and they had to kick us out because it was like four in the morning.”
“Yuna, after going on dates with you and having the opportunity to get to know you and your beautiful soul, I knew you were the one that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I knew you were the one because I didn’t care about what’s meant for me anymore. All I know is that I’m meant to be here. I’m meant to love you, to take care of you, to protect you and to grow old with you. And as I stand in front of you today, I promise that I will always let you have the last piece of mochi. I promise I won’t run away whenever you ask me to clean Yoongi’s litter box. I promise I’ll always be weird and goofy with you and most importantly, I promise that I will love you until my last breath—until the very end.”
Chewing on his bottom lip, Jimin bends his head down as the thick droplets of tears leaks out from his eyes. When he looks up again, Yuna’s hand is there, caressing his cheek and wiping them away for him. He takes another sharp intake of breath, exhaling with a smile.
“My love, I am yours today, tomorrow, forever and always.”
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Tapping the mic twice in front of you that’s perched into the stand, you display your best smile to the audience, hiding the nerves that dares to creep outwards from underneath.
“Hi, everyone,” you begin. “Let me start by talking about rainbows. A rainbow occurs naturally when the Earth is in perfect harmony. There’s a specific combination and balance between sunshine and rain that creates a prism of colors perfectly painted in a semicircle across the sky for everyone to enjoy. It’s not easy to find one but I’d like to think that Yuna and Jimin’s love is like a rainbow. I think that their love brightens and lights up their lives and has a lasting impression on those who witness it. They truly are great individuals. But together, they are unstoppable. Together, they are complete. Yuna and Jimin, you two are exactly where you should be—in each other’s arms.”
“Now a toast,” you propose, raising the glass in your hand. “To love!”
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From the way Jungkook stands in front of the mic, there are no hints of nervousness and edge crossing his face. If there are, then it’s safe to say that he masks it really well. He carries himself confidently, milking all the spotlight that illuminates down on him.
“Good evening, everyone. I hope you’re all enjoying yourselves tonight,” he greets. “For those of you who don’t know, I’m Jungkook. I’m the best man.” He shoots a glance to the couple’s table. “Yuna, you look stunning tonight and I think we can all agree that Jimin won the lottery.”
Giggles erupt at his upbeat tone and Jimin raises his hand and covers his mouth as he throws his head back and laughs, eyes disappearing in his delight. Jungkook pauses for a second, trying to rack his brain for words. Blinking, he slightly shakes his head to swipe some of his fringe away from covering his eyes.
“To be completely honest, when I was thinking about what to say for my speech, I considered sharing funny anecdotes but then I realized that not only would it be embarrassing for Jimin, it’d be for me, too. So instead, I’m going to focus on the smart moves he’s made. Firstly, he chose me as his best man,” he rests his tatted hand on his chest for emphasis. He then glances at Jimin, pointing his finger and winking playfully at his friend. “That’s very clever of him. He has great taste.”
“Next are his friendships, his relationships and rapport with people, his closeness with his family and his dedication to his career—all of which are very smart moves because it shows who he is as a person. But the smartest thing he’s done is grabbing that chance to tell the woman who makes his heart happy how he feels.” He drops his eyes on you briefly with a wistful smile before he stares into the sea of people once more. “The smartest thing that Jimin has ever done is marrying the love of his life.”
The crowd echoes an ‘aww’ as the bride and groom whip their heads to look at one another with radiant smiles before diving for a quick kiss.
“Jimin and Yuna, as you start your new life together, I want you to share your hopes, dreams and fears with one another. Be interested in each other’s personal ambitions and goals. Be weird and goofy together. Be respectful, forgiving and supportive of each other. But most of all, I want you both to be happy and healthy.”
Lifting up the glass on his right hand, he salutes with a gleeful smile, even though this time, it’s one that doesn’t reach his eyes. “With that said, let’s all raise our glasses to the newlyweds!”
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As soon as the hosts announced that it was time for people to gather round on the center to dance, the guests immediately stood up in no time. Families of both the bride and groom began to partner up, friends and other guests making their way to waltz exuberantly, rushing to join the newlyweds now after they just had done their astonishing first couple dance to Thinking Out Loud.
When most have converged on the dance floor, it has become apparent that you were one of the ones left sitting around your table. Wonderful Tonight begins to play in the background, slowing the atmosphere and romancing the air. People have begun to sway with each other, incandescent lights dazzling around them to make the moment magical and fairy-tale like.
Jungkook comes by your side, holding out his palm. “Dance with me?”
Your eyes stare at his hand, uncertainty melting in your features. When you meet his pleading eyes, you nod and let him lead you to the front, merging in with the people and finding a spot for the both of you.
Tentatively, he advances forward, eyeing you as his hands hover on your back, not touching your flesh. He takes a deep breath and releases it out to the air before his palms rest on your lower spine, your own arms encasing around his neck. You and Jungkook begin to swing gently, hips swaying side by side. His eyes are on you at all times and you haven’t had the chance to look at him, eluding them in fear of melting completely.
“Jungkook,” you manage when you’ve mustered the courage to speak, your voice still weak. The dampness in your eyes starts to irritate you as you watch him tape up a fake smile on his exterior, your heart crumbling apart.
This is not how you want to see him, especially when it’s such a jolly occasion. He should be enjoying himself, rejoicing in delight. But he’s not. His eyes are duller in its twinkle, his smiles are reserved and deflated, his movements quieter and less spirited.
He shakes his head lightly as he shushes you softly, attempting to uplift you. “We don’t have to talk about that,” he says, swallowing hardly before he speaks again. “Let’s just dance for now.”
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“You—what?” is Yuna’s reaction after you revealed to her everything that had happened with Jungkook.
You had been unusually silent when you came in to Yuna and Jimin’s house. Even when she was handing you the spare keys and guiding you to where Yoongi’s food bowls are—you’ve been asked to officially cat-sit for a few days while the newlyweds are carousing in the city of love—you were quiet. And Yuna, being your friend, voiced straight away that something was wrong.
“And then when he told you that he liked you, you walked away?” she repeats your words back when you’ve finished telling your story.
Again, you nod, sighing as you shake your head and shut your eyes, overwhelmed with emotions that are synonymous to regret.
“You should talk to him,” she advises calmly after a few moments of observance.
“What would I even say?”
“Y/N, I think you know exactly what you want to say to him.”
In perfect timing, Yoongi elegantly prances around and Yuna takes the opportunity to pick him up, carrying him sideways like a baby, patting and stroking him gently while he purrs contently.
“Do you have anything to add, you little cutie?” she asks, flicking her gaze on him and then at you.
Your eyes are pressed on the calico cat, who responds with a soft meow. In human language, that would be translated as, “Go after him, you fucking idiot!”
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“Hey,” you say, keeping your face straight and your teeth gritted to prevent you from letting your feelings seep out from your eyes.
“Hey,” Jungkook echoes. He’s stiff in his movements as he lets you slip inside his apartment. His eyes are tired, bloodshot as though he hasn’t been letting sleep get to him.
You’re not quite sure where to begin but all you know is that this is the right thing to do. You have to tell him everything that you have been feeling for him because if you don’t, it’s going to keep you up at night, it’s going to eat you away, it’s going to make you hate yourself because you didn’t take the chance. If you don’t, you’ll regret everything.
When he speaks first, you feel your heart drop. “Listen, um… I want to apologize. I shouldn’t have said what I said that night.” He takes a sharp gulp, eyes darting down to the floor before looking at you. “Can we just forget about it?”
Your heart aches as you listen to his words. Jungkook is apologizing when he shouldn’t have to. He shouldn’t apologize because there was nothing wrong about what he did. If you like someone, then you should tell that to them, right? Life is short. Sometimes, you’ve got to be forward or else you’ll just regret it. Better to do something than to not do it at all.
He was right to choose himself that night and listen to what his heart said. There’s nothing wrong in letting yourself want, in letting yourself fall, in opening yourself to another person. And yet during that night, you did the complete opposite. You didn’t face your feelings head on. Instead, you stepped backwards from it. You had convinced yourself that selfishness was wrong, that liking him was synonymous to danger.
The only vernacular you had gotten accustomed to when it came to falling was being vulnerable and open. So when Jungkook bared and offered you his heart and his feelings, when he showed his transparency, you let your fear colonize every part of you. It alarmed you how easily he had disarmed your walls so you decided to shut it all out.
There were a lot of things you said to yourself during the night you met Jungkook. All those rules you established to your one-night stand and how you don’t do this and that. But really, you couldn’t deny the truth that burned inside you.
It made you realize that certain people come into someone’s life to make them realize that it’s okay to acknowledge their feelings, that it’s okay to lower their walls down and set back those rules, shove those fears away so they can open themselves up again and see the beauty of dating, of getting to know a person and falling for them. It just so happened that the person who came into your life to make you believe again was Jungkook.
You’re throwing all those rules away because you’re now listening to your heart. You’re now taking a path that you know you won’t regret being on. You’re now admitting your truth to him because this is what people do when they like each other.
“Actually, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about,” you tell him, taking a deep breath afterwards. “I was a coward that night because I ran away when the truth is… I really like you, too.”
He blinks. “You… you like me?”
“I do. I think you’re great. You’re sweet and charming and funny and… you’re not afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve. Really, I should be the one saying sorry to you because I walked out that night instead of confronting my own feelings for you. I didn’t grab my chance when I should’ve. I got scared and thought that running away and shutting my feelings out was the answer.”
Looking at him, you continue, eyes starting to sting. “You know, after spending time with you, I realized that maybe there was a reason why fate or whatever it is in the universe that brought us back again. It’s because you’re meant to be in my life. You’re meant to stay. And… I do want you to stay.”
Jungkook steps forward and catches your hands, embracing his fingers with yours. His eyes ghosts on your every feature, drinking you in before he gently presses his forehead with yours. “You mean that?”
“Yes,” you say and nod confidently.
“Good.” He runs the tip of his nose against yours languidly. “Because I want you in my life, too. I want you to stay for a long time.”
Your palm holds his cheek, pad of your thumb smoothing the skin just beneath his eye and he captures it to kiss the inside of your hand. Your pulse quickens, heart thumping in your chest, reaching to the tips of your toes.
“So then… can I be your girlfriend?” you ask bashfully.
Jungkook captures your lips in a heartbeat, pressure soft and gentle, making you smile against the kiss. He mirrors your expression as he deepens it, your belly being tickled by all the flutters, the pitter patters of your heart spelling out his name clearly and enormously—in all caps and in bold letters.
“Yes,” is what falls out from his lips when you both pull away and you succumb to your mirth, eyes twinkling with excitement and hope—for this, for him, for the future.
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To say that Jungkook is happy would certainly be an understatement. He’s over the moon—even more than that. Why shouldn’t he be? He’s finally at that point in his life where he’s doing what he wants and what makes him feel good. He is the director and the main actor of his life and that’s how it should be. He’s never been happier and he has you to thank, along with his friends and parents. Yes, you read that right. His parents.
Before you confessed your feelings for him that day, Jungkook’s parents had visited him in his apartment. They apologized, acknowledged that it was wrong of them to be hard on him and choose his decisions for him. His mother realized that her son is his own person who is capable of making his own choices. They tried so hard to prepare him for when he takes over the businesses that they didn’t even consider his feelings, his father had admitted this to him.
When they said their apologies and asked for forgiveness, his tears started to trickle down. Jungkook himself apologized for how he acted during the night he walked out from the party. But his mother shook her head and convinced him that they should be the one saying sorry. Immediately, she closed the distance to embrace her son. Your words about the power of hugs resonated in Jungkook’s head and it’s then that he embraced her tighter.
After a moment, his dad stepped forward and placed his palm on his shoulder, his mouth lifting for a smile as he told him that they are going to support him with whatever he wants to do in his life. The most important thing for them is to see him living his best life, with a healthy mind and body. They won’t stand in his way and that they’ll make it up to him, his mother promised. Jungkook once again pulled his parents for an embrace and professed his gratitude and love.
So now, his heart is overjoyed. He feels like he has everything in the world. And, he does. He has you.
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Out of all the weddings that you’ve attended, this one would definitely be in your top five.
There are three reasons for this, the first being that the venue the couple chose is intimate and private. Jungkook had told you that Taehyung’s always been the kind of guy who’s not big on grandiosity, preferring quiet, lowkey events more so having to witness him and his bride tie the knot in their own backyard with their close friends and family around them had truly been special, moving and heart-warming.
While everyone is now partying and drinking for the reception, Jungkook went to excuse himself to go to the bathroom. On your table, you continue to laugh and talk with Jimin, Yuna, their other friends and of course, the newlyweds. Taehyung, as always, is loud and witty, his beautiful bride lovely to talk to. All of you end up cackling together as you feel comfortable around one another.
When they said their goodbyes to wander off to the next table and accommodate their guests, Jimin proposed that you all go and ‘light the dance floor up like a dynamite’—his words, not yours.
As the whole gang begins to shuffle to the center, Jungkook, in perfect timing, appears back at your side. “Dance with me?” he asks with his palm open out for you.
You don’t even have to think or hesitate because your hand is already clasping against his, fingers embracing his as a smile makes its way on your lips, excitement swirling round your belly. This, you think, is your favorite sight ever—Jungkook, with his golden grin, his bright eyes and his positive energy radiating off of him.
Fairy lights all lined up are glimmering above you, tulip petals are scattered on the grass, lanterns are lit up in every corner and different genres of music are playing in the background which takes you to the second reason as to why this wedding is in your top five. From the details down to the atmosphere, it’s all stunning, encapsulating the vibes of a classic romantic film. You can see how the personalities of the bride and groom comes through with this.
When you’ve settled on a spot in the middle, he places his hands on your hips while yours are perched on his shoulders. When you both start to sway slowly to Can’t Help Falling In Love, you flick your gaze between his eyes and lips. “So. Taehyung’s been telling me stories about you in high school.”
Jungkook groans, pressing his eyes shut. “Oh, God—which one?”
“Is it… the musical incident?” he asks cautiously, chewing on his bottom lip.
When you confirm it, a tinge of vermillion saturates his cheeks and ears. “Fuck, I’m gonna beat Tae’s ass.”
You laugh brightly.
“God,” he drawls out, brows knitted together and nose scrunched up. “This is so embarrassing.”
“It’s okay, babe. I still love you,” you tell him before giving the tip of his nose a peck.
“Really?” he asks with an adorable, innocent pout.
You nod resolutely. “In fact, I love you so much that I’m planning to buy some diapers for your Christmas present this year.”
With an unamused expression, you burst out into laughter even more. Arching his pierced brow up, he taunts, “Oh, so you find that funny, huh? How about if I do…” His fingers instantly slither to your sides, using his weapon against you. “…this!”
Instinctively, you’re flailing about, hysterically laughing and squealing when he starts tickling you, the tingling sensation surging through your nerves. Though you want to escape, your boyfriend is far too strong for you so all you could do is concede and wave your flag of defeat.
“Okay, okay, okay, I’ll stop, I’ll stop,” you say in one succession, holding onto his arms.
He eventually ceases his teasing, smiling triumphantly before you’re back to dancing joyfully. He raises your hand up and twirls you before scooping in to catch you, his palm on the small of your back. Hypnotized and entranced by your dashing partner, you feel like you’re the only ones here in this room, all the spotlights on you two.
Perhaps this is really how people feel when they find the person that they’re certain of. Everything blurs and life goes on around you but you two are the only ones that is constant, the ones that are clear in your line of sight.
“Maybe I should ask Yuna too for some of your secrets,” Jungkook says puckishly.
“I already told you all of my secrets,” you rebut, sticking your tongue out.
“Hm. I doubt it. I’m sure she has some of your embarrassing secrets.”
Gasping, you glare at him threateningly. “You wouldn’t.”
He snickers craftily. “Oh, I would.”
“Jungkook!” you exclaim, smacking his arm and he laughs heartily, swaying with you for a bit before he draws another shriek from your throat when he dips you back and bends forward to kiss you. When he lifts you back up, you give his arms a squeeze, the people’s roaring, whistling and clapping making you feel shy.
Oh, and last but not the least, the reason as to why this wedding is considered a favorite is because you caught the bridal bouquet.
(Jungkook had the garter.)
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Jungkook whips his head and sees you coming out of the bedroom, hair damp from having just showered. When he sees you wearing his shirt and shorts, a smile splits on his face. You barely wear your own clothes but who is he to complain when you look so fanciable in them?
“Hey, baby?” he calls.
Your head springs up, eyes straying away from your phone to look at your boyfriend who’s snuggled up on the couch. “Hm?”
“You wanna watch a movie?”
“Sure,” you chirp coolly with a smile, making a quick beeline to the kitchen to grab a tub of ice cream from the freezer before landing beside him, his arm all wrapped around you while you bring your feet up on the couch and fold your legs so you could feel more cozy.
He lifts the remote and clicks the play button, the black screen on the TV finally fading, replaced by the Marvel Studios opening scene. Knowing him, he probably chose one of the Iron Man or Captain America films.
Eating your ice cream contently—making sure to also feed him some—you fixate your full attention on the screen when it starts showing a footage of someone’s feet walking on grass. The camera is zoomed in on the shoes and you could see that the person is wearing chunky Fila trainers. Exactly like Jungkook’s. How interesting and cool is this that the actor is wearing the exact same pair as your boyfriend’s.
Indiscernible murmurs are overshadowed by the howling of the wind in the video. The camera then pans to the scenery—a beautiful, glistening lake on the horizon with the sky above clear and blue. Okay, this definitely isn’t Iron Man or Captain America.
“What are we watching?” you ask, setting the tub down on the coffee table.
Jungkook doesn’t give you an answer. He doesn’t really need to because the next thing you’re seeing tells you what you need to know. You’re watching you. It’s you, walking along the park while Jungkook’s hand is holding yours, his free hand holding the camera that’s recording.
This was over a year ago when you both went to the local park. You rented bikes to cycle for hours, hiked and explored the woods together before you ended the productive and fun nature day out by having coffee and sandwiches at the park’s café. The next second in the video is him calling your name. You turn around, eyes dropping on the camera before you’re giving him a smile.
The following scenes that pass by are in flashes, just like in those film viewers where you press a button and different images flickers. There are pictures and clips of you and Jungkook. Funny ones, cute ones (like that selfie of you two with Yuna and Jimin’s baby girl when you were babysitting) and even weird, random ones (like that photo of your boyfriend biting your toes).
There’s also a montage of all the food you’ve eaten and drank, all the places you’ve visited, all the holidays and special events you’ve celebrated with each other. All of these images and clips documenting the whole course of your relationship, showing the growth and the evolution, making you realize how much you’ve both blossomed. Several haircuts and colors, several seasons and holidays later and here you both are, stronger than ever, completely in love and committed with each other.
Around you, time stands still. And as you’re watching this with your mouth agog, the only thing you can feel is your heart racing in your chest, so profound that your trembling hands start to round your lips, covering it from dropping further.
Your eyes are starting to moisten at your romantic moments together, at the simple outtakes of Jungkook kissing the back of your hand during drives, of him turning around, looking at you with doe eyes and flashing a smile whenever you call him ‘lover’, at your candid moments together like when you two are just sitting on your couch, laughing maniacally or screaming feverishly while playing Jenga or Call of Duty and at your comical moments together where he catches your priceless reactions on camera.
And when the video of you and Jungkook slow dancing in the kitchen during the first night that you moved in with him appears on screen, your tears begin to heavily trickle down your cheeks. The background music he selected to overlay for that clip doesn’t help either because it just made you weep even more—Perfect. It’s not Ed Sheeran singing though. It’s Jungkook.
In that video, you’re still pulling some books out from boxes. He then came to embrace you from behind, started to trail languid kisses on your shoulder blades before you turned to face him. He held your hands and said that you two should take a break from unpacking for a bit.
You could see in the clip the way you grinned at him when he lifted your hand and twirled you round, with his shirt as your dress, before you started to sway with each other. You could see the way he wrinkled his nose adorably and giggled before he dove in for a kiss while you were dancing with no music on.
You could see the way you both stared at one another, admiring your features, both your irises whispering and saying with every blink that you’ll always have each other’s backs, you’ll always protect each other and you’ll always cherish moments like these with one another. Most of all, you could see how he’s wonderfully in love with you like the way you are with him.
The film ends and fades into nothing and you look at him with parted lips, your fingers shaking and your capability to form words all gone because Jungkook is holding an open tiny black box with a ring inside, radiantly glimmering.
“Surprise,” he says, voice breathy and soft.
Oh my God, is the only thing that’s going through your head.
“Y/N,” he begins after exhaling a sharp breath. “You might not have been in my past just like how I wasn’t in yours but that doesn’t matter because we’re in each other’s presents now and I can’t thank you enough for all the happiness and love that you have given, taught and showed me throughout the course of our relationship. You’re beautiful and kind and funny and smart. You’re just the best person I know and to me, you’re the one so… Y/N L/N, will you let me be your future?”
Excitedly, you tell him yes, nodding a million times. You cup his cheeks for a kiss, your hearts at the apex of heaven before they burst into fireworks, creating solar flares and birthing new stars in the sky. You proclaim that you love him so much after you both pull away from the kiss.
He slips the ring on your finger where it would find its permanent home. It’s a piece of his promise and a piece of yours too that creates one whole commitment from the both of you, a commitment that would be for life.
He wipes your tears with the pads of his thumb and you do the same to him. Pressing his forehead against yours, you both savor this moment—this exact moment of stillness where both of your hearts and souls have decided to spend the rest of their lives together.
“I love you three thousand,” Jungkook professes and you both chuckle gleefully.
Still stunned and unable to get over the fact that you were completely oblivious, you think damn, Jeon Jungkook sure as hell knows how to catch a woman off guard. He sure as hell knows how to prepare the most unexpected and romantic proposal and then make a woman’s heart jump out of her chest and skyrocket to outer space, shouting ‘hell yeah’ as it orbits the moon, the planets and all the galaxies.
What you thought would be just a simple movie night consisting of cuddles and kisses turned into something more. It turned out to be one of the most important days of your life where you’re expected to make a decision.
And after seeing him bring out that black box and asking you that important question, it dawns on you that it is also the simplest and easiest decision you’ve had to make in your whole life. It’s because he’s the one.
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Tonight, you are not the maid of honor. You’re not the one who lifted the bride’s long trail and assisted her, who waited for the bouquet to be thrown, who proposed a toast during the reception. Instead, you were the one that people watched, the one who married your true love, your last love and your constant love. You were the radiant bride who said ‘I do’ to the man who constantly brings your heart into a state of happiness and contentment.
As you stand beside Jungkook, preparing to enter the venue of the reception, you look at him and can’t help but beam excitedly at the fact that you’re officially married and the fact that today marks the first day of the rest of your lives. Yes, marriage is a huge commitment and you’ve always thought of it as something terrifying but you realized that as long as you’re with the right person, it doesn’t matter because you’re ready to face the crazy, the uncertain, the daunting, the emotional, the difficult and easy days with him.
Inside the venue, the host with blue hair and deep dimples commences his introduction. “Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you—Mr. and Mrs. Jeon Jungkook!”
You hold out your hand in front of your partner for life. “Ready, babe?”
Jungkook nods with a big, toothy grin, linking his fingers with yours. “Let’s get this bread!”
2K notes · View notes
mingoyeob · a month ago
oh my ghost (m) | jjk
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pairing ⇾ ghost! jungkook x reader
genre(s) ⇾ smut, supernatural au
word count ⇾ 13k
ratings/warnings ⇾ 18+ | nsfw content, panty sniffing, mutual masturbation, double penetration, ghost dick, oral, nipple play, squirting, multiple orgasms, overstimulation
summary ⇾ fresh out of college, you’ve definitely had your fair share of horrible roommates. fortunately getting your first big girl job also means finally being able to save enough money to move into your own apartment. but you must’ve forgot to read the fine print when you signed the lease because come to find out, your new place comes with an unexpected house guest. oh and did i mention all your underwear seems to be going missing.
namkook moonrise masquerade
today’s weather was perfect for the move, not too hot to the point of sweating but just warm enough that you didn’t have to wear a jacket. From the open window across the room, a steady breeze blew through just as you finish sealing up the last box, the sound of masking tape slicing through the air before you close the flap. pulling out a sharpie you wrote the box's contents on the side. mementos you scrawl across the cardboard. The sound of footsteps coming down the hallway is what had you sighing and closing the cap on the marker, turning to look at the door knowing your ex roommate would soon appear in the doorway.
“don’t forget you still have to pay me this month's rent before you leave. you are not leaving me to pay for it all by myself.” internally you groan, why didn’t i close my door.
“I know, jennie. didn’t I say I would get it to you? so obviously you’ll have it soon.” you glare at her from your spot next to your former bed, hands scurrying to hurry and finish packing up your duffle bag, “now let me finish packing so i can finally get out of here.”
she scoffs, giving you the side eye before tossing her hair over her shoulder and heading back down the hall. “fine. didn’t like you all that much anyway.”
“couldn’t agree more.” you whisper to yourself, rolling your eyes and hooking your bag across your body, struggling to balance the box in your hands.
you hadn’t even lived in the apartment for a year before you realized it was the worst mistake ever. jimin had been the one to recommend jennie to you, saying that she would be the perfect roommate for your small two bedroom apartment. but the wrong girl must’ve showed up because jennie was not the perfect roommate, on the contrary. she was rude, messy and stole your stuff (even if she refused to admit it) and every time you confronted her about it she went and told jimin who would beg you to go a little easier on her.
Since Jimin was one of your closest friends, you couldn’t help but listen to him and try to be more lenient, which obviously backfired. She thought she was immune to anything and took advantage of your good natured personality until you got fed up and started looking for somewhere new to live entirely.
It helped that you had just scored a high paying job in your field that not only came with great benefits, but also allowed you to save up enough to be able to move out on your own, no roommate needed. and after you found the perfect place it didn’t take long to sign the lease with the added bonus of being able to move in right away since the space had been vacant already. When you asked why it was empty for so long he didn’t exactly give you a straight answer, but the place seemed clean and you considered yourself handy enough to be able to deal with anything that needed fixing. whatever it took to get you out of living with jennie a minute longer.
So once your car is packed full of all your stuff, you drive off down the block not even sparing the old run down building a second glance, thankful to be leaving. immediately it was like a weight was lifted off your shoulders, you would finally be able to come home to your own house without having to deal with any nonsense.
When you arrive at your new place, keys in hand and face full of glee, unlocking the door felt like stepping into paradise. you stick your head in looking around at the empty apartment, already imagining it full of all the new furniture and decor you intend to buy once you have the money. for now all you had was a dresser and a bed that was generously donated to you by your other close friend yoongi who had upgraded to some new type of extra firm, comfort technology mattress that you weren’t entirely sure you understood but didn’t feel like asking about. you didn’t have a frame for it but you were fine with placing it on the floor for now.
The sound of your footsteps clicking against the hardwood floors echoed throughout the space and once you reach the center you spin around, sighing in contentment. the floor wasn’t real hardwood, you knew that, (probably some type of laminate) and you could see that the fresh layer of paint that no doubt was covering some type of horrible mistake and peeling drywall, but you couldn’t find it in yourself to care. it was yours and that’s all that mattered.
“home sweet home.” you whisper to yourself, chest swelling with pride and contentment.
With a clap of determination you looked over at your many boxes and decided to get started. It took you a couple hours to get most of your things unpacked and by the time you finished for the day you could see the sun starting to set from the bay window that faced opposite of the small galley kitchen. you had to shield your eyes as the rays shined through the glass pane into your eyes as you mumbled to yourself, “i’ll hang up some curtains tomorrow.”
Your night ended with a relaxing hot shower (ignoring the lackluster water pressure) followed by snuggling up into some soft flannel pajamas to keep you warm. The apartment seemed to get exceptionally cold at night and you make a mental note to ask the landlord about getting a heater installed later. Once your thoughts begin to drift off and you feel your eyes starting to get heavy, you decide it’s time to push your tasks for tomorrow out of your head and let yourself succumb to the beckoning call of sleep.
your dreams were calm and undisturbed without having a roommate to make noises all through the night and you were able to peacefully float through your dreams, comforted by images of a black haired stranger with shining doe like eyes. you didn’t know who the man was and you probably wouldn’t even remember when you woke up but in the moment he seemed so familiar.
“Who are you?” you whisper to the stranger, sitting up in your bed to get a closer glimpse at his face. you don’t remember yourself waking up but you could tell it was still night time as the moonlight cascaded through your bedroom window. The boy sat at the end of your mattress close to your feet with hands tucked in his lap looking at you with a sense of curiosity. you took a moment to gaze back at him and noticed how pale his skin looked, as if it was made of porcelain. not to mention his eyes were a bit unnerving, dark and wide like the night sky but still full of childlike innocence.
“I live here.” he says, as if it was obvious. his mouth opens as if he was going to say something before he changes his mind and closes it again. The response he gives you only confuses you more and you raise an eyebrow at him to signal for him to keep going, but he just ignores it and continues fleeting his eyes over you. The amused smile that suddenly broke out onto the boy's face was breathtaking and if the small giddy laugh that followed has your heart skipping a beat, you pretended you didn't feel it.
“What's so funny?” you ask indignantly.
“nothing it’s’re so pretty. It's been a while since someone so pretty moved into my home.” you choose to ignore his compliment, too busy focusing on the last part of the sentence. his home? What did he mean by that? The stranger didn’t give you a chance to ask your questions and leaned forward closer to your end of the bed, eyes still wide and glittering like stars. “Can I try something?”
“um...sure i mean- yeah sure.” you sputter, unsure as to why you didn’t say no. Perhaps it had something to do with how captivated he looked, like a little boy who just got a new toy to play with. Either way, it was too late to change your mind, as he was already scooting his way closer to you, face becoming clearer to you the nearer he got. you were even able to see the tiny moles that dotted his face, eyes zeroing on the one that sat just below the jut of his bottom lip.
You get so caught up in the features of his face you barely even notice his hand coming up to rest on the cusp of your cheek, body jumping at the contact. The sound of surprise you let out pull another laugh from him and he just smiles at you, tiny bunny like teeth peeking out. “I’m glad you’re here with me.” he says, voice barely above a whisper as if trying to keep a secret between the two of you.
The stranger's words has heat spreading across your cheeks and you shyly return his smile while subconsciously leaning into his touch. So soft you thought, eyes briefly slipping shut as you lose yourself in the moment. The boy lets out a small hum at the sight and rubs the pad of his thumb gently back and forth on the apple of your check. The sudden urge to return the affection is what has you raising your own hand to reach out to his face, succumbing to the curiosity of how smooth his skin must be. But your feelings of wonder and curiosity were quickly replaced with ones of horror and fear, watching as, upon contact with his face, your hand continues its path straight through, never meeting any type of resistance despite the man still sitting in front of you.
“What- what is this?!” you shout, jumping back from his grasp. “What are you?!”
Your sounds of fright has him flinching, shining smile and glittering eyes dimming as he ducks his head and drops his still lingering hand. Your head was full of nothing but questions and even more began flooding in when the boy starts fading out, disappearing as if made of smoke. Your eyes flicker back and forth around the room trying to find a trace of him as you hear his voice echo around the room, still in the same whispering tone from before.
“Please don’t leave.”
The creaking sound of floor boards is what has you jolting up from your slumber, groggy eyes opening and still full of sleep. When you turn over to check the time, the numbers on the screen read three a.m. and you groan, “what the hell?”
You hated having to pull yourself out of bed at the ass crack of dawn and you were beyond annoyed at the fact that your sleep was being interrupted, but being alone in a house as a female meant you had to be extra cautious. so any sound, no matter how minor, was a concern.
Slowly you creep to the door, hand gripping the knob before cracking it open and peaking your head out around the frame. “Hello?” you call down the hallway, ears open to see if you could pick up any sound. A couple of seconds go by as you wait to see if anything else would respond before nervously stepping out of the room in the direction of the living room.
The air somehow seemed to be colder than when you went to sleep and you were a bit worried at the fact you could almost see your breath in the air. Your hands clung to your shivering body but you were glad to see when you walk around the corner that the apartment was as empty as you left it. Still, you cautiously took your time looking around and checking every nook and cranny before giving up and deciding it was time to go back to sleep since you still had work in the morning (even though you had practically begged your boss for some time off to move in).
However, the sound of something sliding open from your bedroom has you scurrying down your hall in an effort to try and catch an intruder. You wonder what it could be only to discover that it was the sound of one of your dresser drawers opening. The top one, where you kept your underwear, was left hanging open and the materials that were once neatly folded had been disturbed and half hazardly flown back into the drawer. you rushed over to look inside and tried to return it back to it’s organized state, cursing in confusion on how it got this way.
“How the hell did this happen?!” you groan, already starting to fold everything back up and annoyed with the fact that you even had to do so. You were tired from moving and absolutely dreading the idea of having to wake up with only a few hours of sleep and still having to work all day. But you just shake your head and suck it up, tucking the clothes back into the drawer and closing it, sparing the inside one last look just in case there was still a small chance an intruder was hiding inside the small space.
Just as you turn your head around, the sight of a black shadow darting from your closet has you shrieking and falling back against the wall with a thud. “Stay back!” you scream, arms coming up to shield your face. You were scared out of your mind and afraid to even open your eyes to face the person, but when nothing happened you open them only to feel foolish at your reaction. At your feet sat a small black cat, green eyes staring up at you blankly and a piece of bright pink underwear hanging out of its mouth.
You deadpan,“hey! give that back!” you screech, reaching out to snatch it away only for it to dodge your attempt and scurry over to your bed. It seemed to enjoy the janky mattress as it took it upon itself to lay down and begin clawing at the prize it had stolen.
Cautiously you go over to lay back down on your bed, the cat not even sparing your movement a glance. You still decide to keep your distance just in case the creature wants to change its mind and decide to claw at you next. In the morning you plan to try and see if anyone in the building had recognized the beast but there wasn’t much you could do in the middle of the night.
Frustrated, you stare at the cat and raise an eyebrow, looking back and forth between it and your dresser across the room. “how did you manage to get that open, huh?”
the cat just stared back at you without a thought behind its eyes and you shake your head, “now i’m talking to a cat, definitely time for bed.” you say with a sigh, throwing your head back onto the pillow and pulling the comforter up to your chin. For a while you stare up at the ceiling, finding the dream world alluding to you before finally you fall back to sleep. Unbeknownst to you, eyes watched you from the shadows, head fixed in your direction as if it was afraid to turn away. It stood looming, before suddenly it disappeared.
The next day's temperature was not as forgiving as yesterdays but, despite that, you still clutch a large size cup of steaming coffee in your hand as if it was a life saver. Your raggedy hair and the puffy bags under your eyes basically scream sleep deprivation as you walk into the office building. Most of your coworkers can sense the bad vibes radiating off your figure from a mile away.
“Geez y/n did you get mugged on your way to work?” Jimin greeted you upon your arrival to your desk, platinum blonde head swiveling around to glance over your figure. “Or maybe fall in a ditch somewhere?”
You scoff, “Good Morning to you too, asshole.” Your sarcasm had him letting out a laugh just as you place your already half finished drink down and plop heavily into the padded chair on your side of the circular desk. “I wasn’t mugged. I mean- well technically, if you can consider a cat a mugger than yes, I was totally mugged.”
Your response had Jimin raising an eyebrow at you and he leaned back in his chair, “A cat? Really?”
“Yes Jimin, a cat!” you whisper loudly, aggravated. “First it stole my underwear then it proceeded to steal my sleep. I don’t even know where it came from but it must’ve been hell because it wouldn’t leave me alone all night.” you were struggling to keep your voice down the more you started to recall last night.
You should’ve known better than to let a strange cat into your bed but it seemed innocent enough, at least until it tried clawing your eyes out for accidentally rolling over into its spot. Technically all the spots on the bed were yours since it was your bed, but apparently the cat hadn’t got the memo and practically bullied you onto the floor. The hardwood esque flooring sure did look good but, damn, was it cold. You couldn’t have been happier when you saw the little girl frantically running around the hallway as if looking for something this morning, only to let out a cry of happiness when she saw you holding her monster of which you gladly handed over.
“Well that wouldn’t have happened if you had just stayed with Jennie,” you couldn't stop the laugh of disbelief that spill from your lips and just roll your eyes at the idea. Jimin whines and scoots his chair closer to you, “C’mon y/n! It wasn’t even that bad! I swear you just suck at keeping track of stuff, I mean just look at your desk!”
He juts a finger towards your haywire mess of mixed papers and files with a couple of miscellaneous paper clips here and there. You barely even spare him a glance as you start typing away at your computer, pretending as if he hadn’t just suggested the stupidest thing in the world. “Uh-huh sure.”
“Fine, but don’t say I never tried to help you. I did everything I could to find a roommate for you and I honestly thought Jennie would've worked out.” he says with a pout. No matter how many times you two have this same conversation about the situation with Jennie, Jimin always seems to make you feel bad about not being grateful for his help.
It has you letting out a sigh, “I know Jiminie.” you say, using his nickname to try and pacify him, “How about you come over tonight and we can watch the office, hmm?”
Jimin was reluctant to cave in and continues to pout, but finally he concedes and accepts your request, “That was a dirty trick, Y/N. You know I can never say no to the office.” His complaint just makes you laugh.
Jungkook didn’t know how long you’d be gone and in that moment he was too preoccupied to care, hands stuffed down in his pants and a familiar wad of cotton shoved harshly against his nose.
The minute you had left this morning, fresh out of the shower and a cup of coffee in your hand, Jungkook had immediately found himself back in your room snooping around and messing with things he knew he shouldn't have been. But he couldn’t stop himself from just taking a peek and since you had left your room in total disarray this morning after stressing over what to wear he didn’t feel like it was totally his fault for picking it up.
When he had first seen it, sprawled across the ground, he thought it was some type of weird string or perhaps some type of headband. It wasn’t until he had seen the distinct victorias secret label printed on the back that he realized just exactly what was in his hand. At first he was just going to place it back where he had found it, embarrassed with the fact that he had even picked up something so intimate, but when he remembered just how infatuated the cat was with the item last night he began to wonder what made them so great. That train of thought somehow had turned into him stuffing his nose into the material instead. When he first placed his nose against it, he was hesitant, but instantly the aroma had his eyes slipping shut and a groan escaping past his lips.
“F-fuck!” he moans, hips canting up into his hand as he continues stroking at himself. His member had gotten hard so fast after smelling the lingering scent of you on the thong that he had wasted no time in unzipping his pants and palming at himself. At some point, he had pulled his cock out entirely and started thumbing at the weeping head, precum making the slide even easier.
Your underwear was practically glued to his face at this point and all he could smell was you as he continues sniffing at the material, whines escaping past his lips every time he caught a particularly strong scent. Jungkook jerks tirelessly at himself, head thrown back and fingers gently squeezing at the base on every downstroke in an attempt to hold off the inevitable, but he can already feel his abs tightening with a familiar coil.
He bit at his plump red lips, barely even capable of holding in his moans, “Y/N” he groans out as he continues racing towards his climax, eyes squeezed shut in pleasure.
But just before he can reach his glorious orgasm he hears the familiar sound of keys jingling in the door, the entrance of the apartment unlocking. It has him scrambling from his spot where he leans against the wall and hastily pulling his pants up. Briefly he glances at the underwear in his hand, debating on what he should do with it before he slyly shoves it into his pants pocket, disappearing only a second before you burst through the bedroom door.
“Jimin, you better not open the wine without me!” You shout down the hallway, work heels dangling from your hand as you fling yourself onto the foot of the bed. The rest of your work day had been exhausting, all the countless calls and meetings you had to schedule for your boss had you basically itching for a drink. That was the only thing you had in mind when you drove back home with Jimin and you can barely get into your sweats fast enough.
Jimin’s first impression of your apartment was that it was small, alot smaller than he had assumed based on how much you had been bragging about it, but still it was quaint. “No promises!” he replies back from inside your kitchen, already scavenging through your cupboards to find something yummy to eat. Of course it’s empty, he thinks to himself after finding nothing and letting out a sigh of defeat. And, of course, you didn’t have a couch so he was just left to stand there awkwardly, staring into the reflective glass of the wine bottle as he waited for your return.
He quickly finds himself getting lost in his train of thought, mind reeling about all the things he had to do tomorrow at work as he hums unconsciously. But when he peeps the figure that showed up behind him in the reflection, it has him furrowing his eyebrows in confusion. Jimin hadn’t heard the telltale sign of your steps signalling your return so the sight had him spinning around in alarm, only to be met with the same empty space behind him. It has him shaking his head and rubbing at his eyes, chalking it up to his imagination and the stress from the job. When he sees you finally emerge around the corner from the hallway, he holds the bottle out to you. “Here, I don’t think I’m gonna drink much. Already going crazy as it is.”
His words just have you looking at him weirdly before you mutter out a confused okay and lead him back to your room. “Sorry I don’t have a tv yet, but we can still watch it on my laptop!” you express before letting him join you on your bed and pulling up netflix on your computer. You and him manage to get engrossed into the show quick enough, passing the wine bottle back and forth as you two laugh and become a tiny bit tipsy.
The sight of Jimin sitting next to you, so close and on your bed at that, has Jungkook practically fuming. Who was this guy? And why was he in your home? Our home, Jungkook corrects himself. He didn’t like the scene in front of him, jaw tensing and fists balling up next to his side. Finally, he decides that he needs to do something about it.
The incident with the wine bottle earlier had merely been an accident, he was just being nosey and trying to catch a glimpse at the intruder. But this time, as he once again let his shadowy figure show over in the far corner of your bedroom, he was doing it completely on purpose. And to his amusement the movement catches Jimin's attention from over on the bed, unbeknownst to you who is completely occupied with whatever is on the screen. Jungkook sees the man wipe at his eyes again as he did earlier, but instead of disappearing like he had done before, Jungkook merely steps closer, careful not to alert you.
Jimin shoots up from his spot next to you, “AH- I mean I...uh think I need to go to the bathroom!” you raise an eyebrow at his outburst before nodding and pointing him in the direction of the bathroom. He can’t get there fast enough, barely walking into the room before he practically slams the door behind him and leans against it, holding his hand to his chest.
His feet manage to get him over to the sink and he begins splashing water on his face as he tries to wrap his head around what he just saw in your room. Jimin knows he definitely saw something there, or did he? He can;t figure it out and in frustration begins rubbing aggressively at his eyes to try and set whatever had come loose in his mind straight. But when he lifts his head to take a glimpse in the mirror, he practically shits his pants at the face that looms behind him.
“Get out.” Jungkook growls.
Jimin screams bloody murder, “WHAT THE FUCK!” he yells, practically ripping the bathroom door off its hinges as he runs out and down the hall. You hear the commotion and rush out of your room, stopping him in the hallway and trying to get him to calm down. “Jimin, what the hell are you doing?!”
He just ducks around your figure and continues his way towards your front door, “Y/N I don’t know what type of sick prank you’re trying to play on me but I’m leaving. I’ll just see you at work tomorrow.” he says hurriedly, rushing out the door and slamming it behind him.
You couldn’t do anything but stare at the spot from where he had just left in shock, completely confused on what had happened. But you know Jimin had always been weird and you didn’t spend too much time mulling it over before shrugging and heading back to your room. You sigh, “More wine for me I guess.”
After that you proceed to drink yourself into a stupor, falling unconscious with your body hanging halfway off the bed and empty wine bottle still in hand, the sound of your computer still playing in the background. You didn’t know if it was the wine helping you out but not too soon after falling asleep you were already quickly drifting off to dreamland behind your closed eyelids.
“How could you let him in here?”  the same voice from the night before sounds around you. This time you were no longer in your bed, instead you stood in your empty kitchen, pushed up against the counter by the doe eyed stranger. His eyes no longer held the same curiosity and wonder they once had, but anger.
“W-what?” You stutter out, completely caught off guard by his accusing tone. “Let who in where?”
Your confusion only seemed to make him madder and he lets out a growl, “That idiot! How could you let him in?!” His words immediately makes it click, he was talking about Jimin. “This is supposed to be our home not his.”
The boy’s face is full of betrayal and you could tell his feelings were wounded. But the way he was talking was as if the apartment belonged to the both of you and last time you checked, only your name was on the lease. Your gaze is questioning as you continue to digest what he said, staring back at him and detecting the jealousy that was radiating from him. “Why do you care so much? I still don’t even know who you are.”
The internal battle showed on Jungkook's face, why did he care so much? He didn’t know why he was becoming so possessive over you, but the look on your face had him sighing. He raises a familiar hand up to your cheek, hesitating when your glare didn’t waver and hovering it there until you relax into him. His starry eyes gazed into yours, “I’m sorry.”
Your face softens at his words and you nod to show that you accepted his apology. The boy continues to look you over as if trying to memorize every feature of your face and when he seems to find what he’s looking for in them he begins leaning his head down closer. Your breath hitches in your throat at the action and you wait with bated breath as he slowly puts his mouth against yours. His lips are so cold to the touch it has you gasping, goosebumps rising on your skin, but you quickly adjust to the difference and with a sigh you begin returning the action.
It seemed like he was only waiting for your approval because as soon as you start moving your lips back against his, he begins deepening the kiss. The hand that once laid on your cheek begins moving down to grasp your neck gently, no real pressure there but the intention all the same. His other hand also finds its way to your hip, pulling you closer to his own so that you are pressed chest to chest with the counter still against your back. He nips at your bottom lip causing you to let out a hiss and giving him an opening to slide his tongue in between your lips and run over yours.
The kiss was beginning to have an effect on you and at that point you are practically chasing after his lips, straining on the tips of your toes to apply the same amount of pressure back against him. Jungkook notices you struggling and lifts you up onto the counter, setting you down and beginning to trail his lips down your neck. Immediately he begins leaving bruises in his wake, teeth nipping at any expanse of skin he can find. It has you hiccuping out small moans and gasps as your nails dig into his shoulders.
“Uh I need...please...” You breathe out, words hesitating.
“Jungkook.” he mumbles against your neck. “My name is Jungkook.”
The annoying sound of your work alarm has your eyes snapping open, chest heaving from the scare and you immediately sit up straight and begin looking around your room as if searching for something. When you finally realize you’re alone, you relax back into bed and stare up at the ceiling, trying to wrap your head around the small amount that you recall from your dream.
Raw bitten lips and soft hands trailing down over your figure flashed behind your eyelids and had you shuddering. You can't match a face to the mouth and hands that had roused such a reaction out of you and it frustrates you that you were grasping at straws trying to remember. The lingering feeling of lips on your neck sends a throb directly to your core and you can tell your skin was flushed. A deep sigh escapes you, “I need a cold shower.”
The dream stayed at the forefront of your mind the entire time you got ready even when you were in the shower, itching for relief to take yourself where the dream hadn’t. But since you were already late for work and rushing as usual, you didn’t have the time to do anything besides just wash yourself up and begin looking for something to wear. Upon opening the top dresser of your drawer to look for a set of underwear you’re met with the sight of gaps in your meticulous organization system. Not only was your favorite pair of comfortable work underwear missing but so was a thong you reserved specifically for going out. It has you tilting your head in confusion as you sweep your eyes around the room to see if they had been misplaced but with time ticking you couldn’t do much more and just chalk it up to them being in the laundry before finishing up and heading off to work.
As the next couple of weeks was spent busy with work and assignments you barely had much time to spend on yourself. However, an upside to the countless hours of labor your boss had you doing was ultimately getting a paycheck and as soon as you got your next one you began shopping to furnish the apartment. Of course you save some of it to go towards next month's bills and you get most of the new pieces from the swap meet but still it was something. Plus it looked like you were going to have to open up a savings account just to go towards a new collection of underwear as every week a new pair seemed to get lost despite there not even being that much space to hide.
“It's like they’re evaporating into thin air or something and I have no idea where they could be. I literally looked everywhere, Yoongi.” You tell your friend as two you sit enjoying a hot cup of coffee at a cafe down the street from his studio.
“Hmm well maybe that cat really liked how your underwear tasted.” His response was simply met with a face full of napkins.
Despite Yoongi’s snide remark it does have you thinking. Perhaps that kid's cat was still sneaking back into your apartment, I mean it did it once it could do it again for all you know. But you didn’t have time to get all worked up about it and just decide to buy some cheap off brand granny panties from the supermarket to get yourself by. Good thing the weekend was right around the corner and when it finally came you knew exactly what you were doing.
The sound of hot rushing water has your shoulders instantly relaxing, your hand swirling a cup of sweet smelling red wine as you stand watching the water rise. Nothing and you meant nothing felt better than when you finally sink down into the old porcelain tub, steam opening your pores as the water sloshes around your shoulders. “Fucking finally.” you mutter to yourself with a sigh, head laying back on the towel you had folded neatly behind you. Instantly it was like the weeks of stress from moving in and working nonstop melts off your bones and you feel ten times younger. You almost forget that you had done all of this to have a better life, not drive yourself into the ground.
You can’t help but let your mind drift back to the memories of the dreams you had been having almost every night. The kisses and touches from the faceless stranger quickly stirring up heat in your center. It seemed like every dream was only getting more and more exciting but just before you would find yourself trying to escalate it beyond just the sweet taste of his lips, you would wake up more frustrated than before. Your body was practically begging for it, but you just continued to push it off, shoving down your sexual frustrations for nex time. Problem is there was never a next time and you didn’t remember the last time you had an actual orgasm.
Slowly your hand begins tracing circles on the apex of your thighs under the water as you contemplate it, “Maybe it has been a long time.” you whisper to yourself finally caving in. Without a second thought your hand takes the leap, sinking down further to rub at your aching cunt that you had neglected for so long. A long drawn out sigh escapes as you feel yourself getting worked up, fingers quickly finding the bud that was nestled between your lips. It has your back arching from where it met the tub and legs spreading to accommodate your hand.
You spend a couple minutes toying with yourself just like that, one hand rubbing at your clit and the other flicking your nipples teasingly. But you know you wouldn’t be able to fully reach your climax sitting in there and decide to take it back to your room, cunt throbbing impatiently while you dry yourself off and drain the bathtub. Since it had been so long since you had indulged yourself like this, you decide to treat yourself and pull out your handy dandy vibrator. A not very big but still mighty sleek black rabbit with gold trim and over seven power settings. You don’t waste much time teasing and immediately you’re holding the toy against yourself, set to one of the highest vibrations.
“Shit!” You moan out, a laugh escaping as you already start to feel the signs of your orgasm approaching. You bite at your lip to try and conceal some of your noises, still stuck in the habit of trying to be quiet for the sake of a roommate. But it feels so good a couple managed to slip by as you pick up the pace of the vibrator, hips thrusting up to meet your motions.
You’re so distracted you don;t see Jungkook over in the corner of the room who watches intently from his spot. He had tried to be courteous when he caught you fondling yourself in the bathroom, you were a woman and you did have needs. But when he sees you pull that toy out of the small box you hid in your drawer and start holding the buzzing object against your clit he couldn’t look away. Jungkook had always wondered what you kept in there but didn’t particularly care enough to check, he was too preoccupied with stealing your underwear.
So as he continues to watch, eyes sweeping over your naked figure from head to toe as you quiver in pleasure, Jungkook can’t stop the hand that had found itself unconsciously pulling his cock out of his pants. From his spot he can see the way your nipples pebble in the open air and the point where the toy met your mound. His hand takes up the pace you held as you fuck yourself swiftly.
“A-ah feels s’ good…” you whine to no one in particular, mind conjuring up images of a man with dark brown hair and sultry eyes that sang of corrupted innocence. You didn’t know where the inspiration came from but it has you throwing your head back in welcome and exposing the apex of your throat as if asking for something. Secretly, Jungkook knows what it was you wanted and has to hold himself back from going over there and giving it to you.
“So good for me.” he whispers to himself, trying to keep the groan he wants to let out at the sight down to keep from alerting you. He just spits in his hand to make the glide easier as he starts thrusting into his hand, imagining the tight squeeze was your weeping cunt.
The buzz of the toy rings loud in the room along with the sound of your whines and moans as you continue rubbing it against your bud, occasionally slipping it down to tease at your entrance. The palm of your hand must've accidentally clicked the button on the end because suddenly kicking up to the last setting and your mouth opens in a silent scream. You can’t do much but just take it, hips raising off the bed and head thrown back with your eyes rolling back. Your legs are shaking with pleasure and suddenly the string that was holding your climax back snaps and you’re tipping over the edge.
“Jungkook!” you scream out, mind going blank and calling out a name you had never heard but still sounded so familiar. It has said man cursing and almost doubling over as cum bursts from the leaking tip of the swollen member in his fist. The pleasure ringing in your ears was too loud to hear the moans that he let out and you just continue letting the shockwaves roll through your figure, chest heaving from the effort.
When you finally come down from your high, you can only stare at the ceiling, limbs like jelly. The calming feeling of the orgasm warming you from the inside out has you smiling in content as you roll over and take a minute to collect yourself. Jungkook just continues to watch you silently, cock tucked back in and hand still covered in his own cum. His face holds a look of concentration as he internally weighs the pros and cons of the plan he was conjuring up in his mind because deep down, he knew he needed to have you.
A hand trailing up your side is what initially catches your attention, but what has you coming to was the feeling of teeth nipping at the nape of your neck. You don’t recall falling asleep but you recognize the touch and immediately know it’s the stranger that was visiting you every night. You crane your neck to catch a glimpse and meet his gaze, eyes simmering with lust.
“Don’t tease…” You whisper, voice breathy as you find yourself already starting to get riled just from the feeling of his fingers rubbing against your skin. He just smiles and places a gentle kiss on your lips, letting out a mischievous chuckle when he sees you try and chase after his mouth.
“I don’t plan to.” he says and flips you over onto your back, broad figure coming up to hover above you. Immediately his lips find your neck, his favorite place to start, and he begins trailing down to your chest all the while leaving hickeys in his wake.
All you can do is watch as he sets a torturous pace between lavishing at the swell of your breast and gently kissing the skin. When he finally decides to take one of your hard nipples into his mouth it has you letting out a whine, “Ah!” you cry, hands coming up to grip his shoulders. You feel his smile against your skin at your reaction. His smugness has you biting your lip, deciding to hold in your noises so as to not give him the satisfaction.
He notices your stubbornness as his eyes find yours and he mumbles against the mound he was still licking at, “Don’t try and fight it Y/N. I want to hear how  pretty you sound.” he says before gently nipping at the bud in his mouth making you hiss.
You want to shoot him a glare for his roughness but can’t stop your eyes from slipping shut when you feel his tongue flick over the nipple as if to soothe it. He just watches as you start to let yourself relax into his teasing, hand straying down your hip to cup your cunt. Your hips jump at the sudden touch but when he starts rubbing a fingertip up and down your slit, smearing your wetness around, you breath out a moan and toss your head back against the pillow. The slow build of pleasure he was giving you felt so good but was quickly making you frustrated.
“Please, I feel so empty.” you say and buck up into his hand. He pulls his hand away in retaliation and waits for you to calm down, which you do regrettably with a whine. When he sees you finally start to behave his hand goes back to its ministrations, this time rubbing at your clit. He continues this for a while along with alternating back and forth between both of your breasts. Occasionally his fingertip finds its way down to your entrance, dipping in just enough to give you a taste and make you moan at the stretch before pulling back and going back to the bundle of nerves. The pleasure feels so good and you quickly become distracted by the climbing climax you feel stirring in your core. It all felt so real it was hard for you to believe that you were dreaming.
Jungkook feels his heart swell at the sight of your hips grinding down on his hand in your sleep as you let cute little moans slip out of your mouth. After watching the show you put on earlier in the night, he couldn’t help but let himself sneak into your bed no matter how bad he felt about it. And you had made it so easy for him, falling asleep naked atop the covers like this. It was like you were begging him to touch you.
But he wants more of you “I just want a little taste.” he mumbles to himself, followed up by him scooting down your legs, face stopping right above your mound. His hands take up residence on your thighs so he can pull them apart as he stares hungrily at you.
Feeling the stimulation you were so desperately chasing after in your dream stopping so abruptly has you stirring in your sleep and when you feel the cool air touch your exposed cunt your eyes open, still heavy with sleep. When you realize that the hold on your legs you had been feeling hadn’t stopped with your lucidness your drowsiness completely vanishes.
“Wha’?” you question as your gaze flits down to where you feel the touch between your legs. Seeing the stranger you had been dreaming about for so long right here in front of you has your heart leaping up into your throat and you freeze. You open your mouth to protest but are silenced when you feel his tongue lick a fat stripe up from your entrance to your clit causing you to moan wantonly. The way he was using his fingers to spread your lips open had you whining in embarrassment from feeling so exposed. “Please!” you cry out, but whether it was a plea for him to stop or to keep going you didn’t know.
Jungkook can feel himself hardening at the sound of your cries, but right now the need to devour you was stronger than his need to cum. So when he doesn't hear any more complaints and your hips continue to chase after his mouth, he takes it as a sign to keep going, tongue licking up all the arousal that's leaking out of you.
The taste of you dripping into his mouth and down his chin has him letting out his own moans and in an effort to get more it delves into your hole and begins thrusting it in and out. He could feel your spongy walls squeezing down onto him and knew that you were probably getting close, especially since he had spent so long teasing you while you slept. So Jungkook decides to take mercy on you and brings a thumb up to rub at your clit, matching the rhythm of his tongue.
“Oh god!” you moan, hands gripping onto the dark mop of hair atop his head to ground yourself as your legs shake in his hold. The stimulation of being filled and having someone else finally touching you this way after so long was getting too much. And you were still sensitive from earlier when you had used your vibrator on yourself and his assault on your clit was bordering on painful. But that didn’t stop the pleasure from racking your form as your back arches off the bed and you start spiraling to your end.
Jungkook pulls his tongue away and replaces it quickly with two digits, continuing to push you closer to climax as he gazes at you in pure want. “I want to hear you say my name again.” he breathes out. He sees the confusion that flashes on your face before quickly being replaced when he gives a particular hard thrust with his fingers. “You know it Y/N, just say it for me one more time.”
You can barely register what he’s talking about and your head shakes back and forth as you so desperately chase after your orgasm. He can tell you’re heading over the edge quickly and gives one final thrust, this time curling his fingers inside you to hit that spot he knew would finish you. “Go ahead, princess. Cum.”
His command is what does you in, your body going stiff as you feel yourself cream on his fingers. You let out a drawn out moan, “S-shit! Jungkook!”. The grip you have on his hair is probably ripping out strands, but you don;t seem to care as your body is wracked with pleasure, orgasm ebbing through you. When Jungkook could tell you were starting to come down he slips his fingers out of you and maneuvers out of your hold, backing up towards the end of the bed.
As soon as you’re able to regain your senses it suddenly clicks in your brain what had just happened. The stranger from your dreams was real and he was in your apartment AND he had just given you probably the best head you’d had in awhile. “What the fuck is happening?!” You screech, scrambling upright in the bed and huddling close to the pillows as you hurriedly try to cover yourself and preserve what little modesty you had left. “How are you even here?! And who the fuck are you?!”
Jungkook just sighs, “I’m Jungkook...pretty sure we’ve been over this already.” he mumbles, rubbing at the back of his neck sheepishly. His reply has you sending a glare his way.
“Well how I was supposed to know if that was your real name or not?!”
“You’ve called it out plenty enough times for it to be real at this point.” your leg flew out to give him a kick to the thigh at his snarky response but when your foot goes right through him you let out another screech and scurry off the bed across the room.
“You- you-” Your mind can’t seem to find the right word as you point at the man, hand shaking and eyes wide with fear. “My foot just went through your leg!”
“Yeah I can do that sometimes.” Jungkook says and proceeds to turn transparent, pale skin no longer looking solid but as if you could stick your hand straight through and he would come out unscathed. “I’m a ghost Y/N.”
All you could do was stand there, mouth agape and brain going completely haywire at his words. For a minute Jungkook thinks he has completely broken you until he watches as you calmly walk over to your closet to pull out some sweats and a shirt, dressing yourself before starting to head out of the room. He was confused but still got up from his spot on the bed to follow you as you proceeded towards the front door. “Wait! Where are you going?!” he says.
You turn on the heel of your foot and just stare at him bewildered, “There is a man, claiming to be a ghost, who can turn transparent in my apartment. I am going to check myself into the psych ward because I am obviously going nuts.”
Jungkook looks at you in concern. “Y/N I’m serious! I’m a ghost, I used to live here. I don’t know how long I’ve been like this but I can assure you that I’m no longer alive.” he could see you starting to realize the seriousness in his voice, “Trust me, you’re not crazy.”
Your gaze stays trained on him as you continue to digest what exactly he was saying before you seem to finally accept his claim. It has Jungkook visibly relaxing as he lets out a sigh of relief. But now that you knew you weren’t losing your mind your sense of curiosity was sparked. “Um if you don’t mind me exactly did you get like-” you gesture wildly to his figure “-this.”
He bites at his lip anxiously, “You mean how did I die?” you seem to have realized how invasive your question had been because he saw the embarrassed look that crossed your face as you nod nervously. “I don’t..I don’t really remember. I mean I guess I do? But it’s kind of a blur and I’ve never been able to piece it together no matter how hard I’ve tried.”
The two of you stand in silence for a while, awkwardly standing in the middle of your empty living room. You didn’t really know what to say, torn between both the fear and wonder that came with having a ghost in front of you. “Do you want me to leave?”
Jungkook's question catches you off guard. “What?! No no, I couldn’t make you do that!”
“Are you sure? I mean I don’t have anywhere else to go but its not like I could die-”
“Jungkook, it's honestly fine! This was your home first!” you say trying to get him to remove any thought of him not being welcomed, “As long as you um...stop popping up in my dreams and all that.” Your words have him blushing, cheeks blooming red and eyes widening in embarrassment.
“Yeah yeah no completely valid. I’m really sorry I don’t know why I did that. I didn’t think it would escalate that far.” Jungkooks words flow out of his mouth so fast they jumble together. “I'll return your underwear too.”
That has you letting out a sound of realization as you put two and two together, “You’re the underwear thief?! I thought that stupid cat was doing it!” He just chuckles nervously and bashfully looks at the ground as he plays with his hands, hating how much of a pervert he must’ve sounded like. You giggle at his reaction, “It’s okay Jungkook. We can just put that behind us, yeah?”
His face lights up with a small smile, those bunny teeth you remember vaguely seeing peeking out from behind his lips. “Yeah that would be great.”
After the two of you talk a little more about how everything would work around here from now on, you both part ways, you going back to your bed and Jungkook going to wherever he went at night. Briefly you hope that wouldn’t be your dreams but the twinge of absence you feel at the thought has you second guessing that maybe that hope was misplaced.
Over the next couple of weeks the two of you begin to settle into a bit of a routine. He was kind enough to respect your boundaries after your talk and, much to your delight, actually returned a few of your underwear to your drawers. Jungkook even went as far as to start making your coffee for you in the morning. “I know you hate having to rush to work so I just thought this would make it easier for you!” was his excuse. You had felt your heart skip a beat when he said that, grin stretching across his face sheepishly along with a blush.
Everything was going so smooth it almost felt normal, well as normal as living with a ghost in your apartment could be. But if there was one thing you can complain about, it was the sexual tension that undoubtedly remained around the two of you no matter how hard you had tried to push it down. You could feel it when he sometimes caught you coming out of the bathroom fresh out of the shower and only covered in towel, his eyes following the droplets of water as they flowed down your skin. Or how when you got back from a run and your body was covered in so much sweat your shirt clung to every part of your chest and his gaze couldn’t help but follow your pert behind as you walked past him in those godforsaken tight exercise shorts. It was killing the both of you.
You can’t even try and calm yourself down either as you’re too paranoid that he would accidentally catch you or be spying on you from somewhere in the shadows. Him catching you in the act wouldn’t even be the problem actually, but him hearing you call his name out while you did it is what you would never be able to live down. The man was the focal point of all your fantasies at this point and there was no guarantee that you would be able to stop yourself from calling out for him in the heights of pleasure.
But as the days ticked by and you felt your muscles grow stiff from work, the itch at the back of your head telling you to just cave in and give yourself just a tiny bit of release grew more persistent. Today had been a particularly bad day, your horniness making you so antsy that even Jimin noticed judging by the weird looks he was sending you the entire time you two sat at your desks. And when Jungkook greeted you once you got home you didn’t even have it in you to meet his eyes, only squeaking out a small ‘hi’ before rushing past him. You had planned to just ignore it like you had been doing so far but that seemed to be easier said than done.
Tonight Jungkook had suggested that you guys watch something new he said was premiering tonight. And since all your new furniture had been delivered, the two of you would be able to sit and watch it on the tv at a safe distance instead of having to share your bed and huddle entirely too close over your small laptop.
The movie was actually pretty good once you start watching it and not internally screaming at being in the same room as the man who made you want to jump on his dick at any second. Your attention became completely absorbed in the screen, so much so that you forgot that Jungkook was even sitting down on the couch from you. But when the mood in the scene suddenly changes and the two feuding main characters start tearing each other's clothes off (talk about plot twist) you gulp. Suddenly you’re all too aware of how easily it would be to just scoot over and climb on top of his lap.
You try to focus your mind on anything but the moans coming from the movie but after being so pent up, just watching the shots of pleasured filled faces has your core throbbing. Images of the dreams you used to share with Jungkook run through your mind and you can’t stop yourself from rubbing your thighs together in an effort to relieve some of the ache between your legs.
Next to you, Jungkook could tell that what was happening in the movie was affecting you. He had tried to be on his best behavior these past few weeks as he was trying to make up for the bad impression he made when you first moved in. But he can see the movement of your thighs and was barely holding on to the shred of chivalry he had left. Maybe if he just offers you a little help it would be okay?
“Y/N-” he starts out, reaching a hand over to touch your leg in an effort to catch your attention. Immediately the feeling of his warm palm laying on you after so long has you letting out a small moan escape your lips, your hands slapping over your mouth the minute you realize. You shut your eyes in embarrassment and you can feel your face flushing with heat.
Jungkook opens his mouth to say something but you can’t bear to hear it. “I’m going to my room!” You say hopping up from the couch and rushing down the hallway to your bedroom, the sound of the door slamming shut behind you ringing around the apartment. You’re completely mortified by what happened out there in the living room. Were you that horny that just a simple touch had you wanting to risk it all?
Your back was pressed against the door and your mind was racing as you internally curse at yourself. But the sound of a knock on the door has you jolting up as you squeak, “Go away!”
You hear Jungkook shuffle on the other side of the door, “Y/N? Can you open the door? I just want to talk.”
“Jungkook, I’m fine! I just need a minute!” You lie and hope that he believes you. But of course, this was Jungkook, and he pays no mind to your words as he walks straight through the closed door. Fuck ghosts and their stupid nonsolid bodies. “Jungkook, I thought we talked about you not using your weird ghost powers to invade my privacy!”
“You didn’t give me much of a choice, I asked nicely.” He says while raising his hands up innocencently. You sigh exparrated and crossed your arms in irritation before turning your back towards him. “Y/N, when are you going to stop pretending?” Jungkook says from behind you.
His question makes you stiffen as you know exactly where he was heading with this. “...Pretending about what?” you say feigning cluelessness.
“Pretending that you don’t want me.” the response makes you gulp, heart pounding in your chest. You hear him step closer, “I see the way you look at me..and I know you see the way I look at you too.”  The feeling of his hand landing on your shoulder makes you gasp before suddenly you’re turned around and pulled closer to his chest, your head tilting up to look at his face. His eyes are staring deep into yours and you can see the lust swimming in them, it has you biting at your lip. Jungkooks gaze follows the movement.
“Jungkook, I…” you trail off as you get lost in his dark irises, feeling the tension in the room start to grow. “I need you.”
At that, he squeezes you tightly in response “You have me.”
Jungkook didn’t waste time before walking you backwards towards the bed, both of your hands scrambling over each other's body as your lips locked. There was so much pent up want between the both of you that you didn't even take time easing into it, teeth nipping at each other's lips and your tongues fighting for dominance. When you feel the edge of the bed knock against the back of your knees you sit down, pulling Jungkook down over you as you lay spread out across the sheets.
His broad shoulders tower over you making you feel so small compared to him, but inwardly you love the feeling of being completely overpowered by the man. Jungkook breaks the kiss to pull his shirt off, tossing it somewhere in the room before he dives back down to start mouthing at the corner of your jaw. “Hmm take this off.” he says as he tugs at your top. You don’t need much convincing and slightly raise yourself to lift it over your head, Jungkook backing up to accommodate the movement. You hadn’t been wearing a bra as you normally didn’t when lounging around the apartment so when Jungkook catches sight of your pert nipples hardening in the exposed air he lets out a groan. “Y/N, I fucking love your tits.”
His crude compliment makes you laugh but it’s interrupted when he takes a bud into his mouth, his hand coming to fondle the other one. He rolls your nipple between his teeth, alternating between flicking it with his tongue and sucking on it. His ministrations has your back arching into his embrace as you let out small breathy gasps. You can feel his member hard in his jeans against your leg and reach down to tug on the waistband of the pants. “Jungkook, come on. Wan’ you.” you mumble, quickly growing impatient.
He just chuckles and pulls away from your nipple, a string of saliva connecting his lips back to it. He heeds your bratty command and pops the button of his pants, standing up briefly to pull them down along with his underwear. The sight of his cock has you squeezing around nothing. In all your dreams you had never gotten so far as to him inside you, so seeing it for the first time was breathtaking. It wasn’t big per se but it certainly was longer than average and it had girth to it that would definitely have you stretching to accommodate. A couple small veins run up the side of it and your eyes follow them up to the bright red head that had already begun leaking with precum.
It has you rushing to take the rest of your clothes off as well, tossing them to the side before looking up at him lustfully, parting your legs in welcome. His gaze instantly lands on your cunt, watching your hole twitch as if begging to be filled. It has his breath catching and he crawls his way back over you, one hand placed next to your head to hold himself up while the other trails down your side and in between your legs.
You whine when you feel his finger prod at your entract instead of what you really wanted. He let out a chuckle at that, “Sorry princess I have to get you prepped first.” he says, a digit circling around your entrance to spread your arousal. When he deems it slick enough, he finally dips his finger inside you, moving it in and out slowly, occasionally curling it up to rub at that soft spot inside you.
“uh!” hiccup moans leave your lips as you lay back with closed eyes, letting him stretch you open in preparation. The feeling of a second finger has you gasping a little, but to ease the intrusion you feel him bring the pad of his thumb up to gently toy with your clit. He feels more of your arousal leak out around his fingers and uses that to slide in a third, the stretch of your walls making his cock twitch. He continues thrusting them for a while, listening to your sounds of pleasure before he starts scissoring them inside of you.
The pace his fingers take up pushes you to the edge and the combination of his thick fingers inside you hitting your g spot and the assault on your clit was what did you in. “Jungkook!” you cry as you climax, hips bucking to meet his hand as you cum.
He watches you intently as you topple over the edge, not stopping his fingers but slowing them down enough to ride you through your high without it being painful. You can feel your high coming down and open your eyes to look at him, biting your lip at how sexy he looks over you. “Jungkookie..” you sigh, hand trailing up his abdomen.”Wan’ your cock.”
Your words have him groaning as his member lets out another drop of precum on his thigh. He wants so badly to be inside you already but he knows the minute he is, he would be done for and it would be over too soon for his liking. So instead he proceeds to pull his fingers out, stuffing them between his lips and moaning at the taste. You watch him hungrily, already feeling empty without something inside you.
Jungkook pulls his fingers out of his mouth with a pop before trailing his mouth down your torso, nipping and sucking at the skin. He mumbled against your skin, “Just want to taste you first.” His nose bumps your clit when he finds his way between your legs causing your hips to jump at the sensitivity. He soothes it over with a lick, but that just has you pushing at his head. “I’m too sensitive!” you whine, trying to shut your legs.
He tuts and holds your legs open, tongue continuing to draw circles around the bundle of nerves. “Just one more, princess. One more and I’ll give you my cock, okay?”
You hesitate for a second, not knowing if you have it in you but nod in the end, afraid if you didn’t he’d never get inside you. Jungkook smiles at your confirmation and gives your thigh a kiss then goes back to licking at your clit. His tongue trails up and down your slit, dipping in and circling around your most sensitive areas. It has you turning into a panting mess especially when he finally decides to stop teasing you and cups you entirely with his mouth, proceeding to devour you as if he was starving. You can feel the juices leaking down between your lips and know the sheets were going to be an absolute mess in the morning but you don’t care, hips riding his face as your orgasm begins to build.
“S-shit!” you squeak, gripping on the sides to ground yourself as your thighs squeeze around his head. Jungkook moans at the suffocation, pace picking up as he licks up every last drop of you. It’s the vibrations from his sounds of enjoyment that has you creaming around his tongue. This time he stops once he knows you’ve cum, not wanting to push your sensitivity too much just yet, and kisses his way back up to your lips. You taste yourself in his mouth but you don’t care as you let him kiss your already raw bitten lips.
“You were so good for me, princess. ‘m gonna fuck you now.” you moan at his words, nodding your head almost embarrassingly fast.
Your legs part around his hips as you look down between your legs, seeing his rock hard member already poking its tip at your entrance. Jungkook braces himself before slowly sliding the tip inside you, both of you moaning at the feeling. His head throws back and his eyebrows furrow as he concentrates on trying not to bust his load just from entering you. “So tight..f-fuck y/n.”
You feel the same, already feeling like you’re gonna cum just from the way he stretched you out. You swear you can feel him in your stomach and he hadn’t even gotten all the way in. Your legs find their way around his hips, pulling him in closer before finally you feel the tip of his cock sit snugly against your cervix. Above you, Jungkook’s breathing heavily and you grow impatient, squeezing your walls down on him. He growls, “y/n if you keep doing that I’m not gonna be able to last long enough to make you cum.” he complains, voice strained.
You smirk and squeeze down around him again, relishing in the strained noise he makes. “Then you better hurry up and fuck me, ghost boy.” He just sends you a glare and starts pulling his hips back. For a second you think he’s going to pull out of you completely, afraid that your teasing angered him enough to stop. But instead he thrusts back into you hard, knocking the wind out of you and making stars light up in your eyes.
Instantly he takes up a rough pace, hips snapping against yours so hard you moan in both pleasure and pain. “so- so big..” you hiccup.
He growls at your words, cock picking up the pace “you like that, yeah?”
“I love your cock- i love it- ”  you cry, using your legs around his waist to help you fuck yourself down onto his cock.
Jungkook pounds you with such speed it has you breathless and you can’t even form coherent words, slurring out jumbled words. He just continues rolling his hips against you as you fall apart beneath him “such a dirty slut. Fucking yourself on my cock like this.” he laughs as he sees you don’t even stop at his words. “I bet you wanted me to see you fuck yourself on that vibrator, huh? The way you called out my name like that as if I was the one in your slutty pussy.”
“yes- yes fuck me harder-” you sob around the words from pleasure, nails scratching down his back. “-wanna be your slut jungkook-”
He fucks you without mercy. You don’t even register when you feel his finger prod at the entrance to your ass. “Fuck you gonna let me in here, princess? Let me make you feel even better?”
You’re gasping with every thrust he gives and can’t respond, just letting out a chorus of “ah!ah!ah!”
He takes your lack of response as a yes and uses the liquid leaking from between the two of you as lube as his finger breaches the entrance. His hips falter at how you suck him in, “fuck! Princess, you're just begging for something to fill you up in there huh?”
Jungkooks asking too many questions and you don’t even know what he’s talking about. Too caught up in the pleasure of how his cock knocks at your womb with every thrust.
His hips snap forward to meet yours, rough enough to leave bruises, and he growls down at you “answer me” he says.
You can't stop the sounds of pleasure that tumble from between your lips as you answer through the fog “yes, yes, yes-” you moan “fill me up- i want your cock-” “You already have my cock princess, remember?” his hips grind against yours as he sits snugly inside. “You want another? Hmm so greedy, but since you asked so nicely.” Your mouth opens in a silent scream, eyes rolling back into your skull so you can see the white of them. His cock is already pounding inside you, so why does it feel like he’s inside your ass now too?
Both members move in tandem inside of you. As soon as one pulls back, the other one is pushing back inside. Your mind is too far gone to understand how he’s doing this but you don’t care. I’m in heaven you think to yourself, tongue lolling out your mouth.
Above you Jungkook is grunting as he continues to pound you into the mattress, face strained from the effort. He can feel his end approaching and decides he needs to get you there first so he reaches down to stroke at your clit, matching the aggressive pace of his hips.
“Too much!” you shout “‘s too much- i can’t!”
“yes you can.” he growls, each syllable paired with a thrust as he races to the edge. “Go ahead and cum princess.”
Your body thrashes uncontrollably underneath him, curses flying from your lips. Your climax is rising and burning through you and it feels so good, his cocks feels so good pounding inside you. suddenly you’re crashing down and your mouth slacks open letting out lewd, drawn out moans as you cum,
reaching his own high, jungkook moans too, his thrusts becoming shallow and a string of curses flow from his mouth as he slumps down next to you, cock slipping out of you with a squelch. You register the feeling of his seed dripping out of you as both of your holes squeeze around nothing from being empty once again. Your legs shake and you can’t even raise an arm to wipe at the sweat that drips down your face.
He sees you struggling to make yourself comfortable and pulls you close to his chest, shushing you as you reel from the strength of the orgasm you just had. You hum at the feeling, struggling to keep yourself awake.
“Stay with me?” you say, staring up at him drowsily, completely spent.
You know your hair is a complete mess and you smell sticky with sweat but that doesn’t stop Jungkook from looking down at you, dark eyes shining like stars as he whispers, “Always.”
Jungkook held you for the rest of the night and despite the temperature difference, you slept soundly. It was weird having a roommate that you couldn’t tell your friends about or tell them that you were also sleeping with him. Even harder to not be able to tell them you were falling for him. Ultimately, Jungkook was dead and eventually you would have to part ways. But for now you were going to enjoy his ever looming presence, even if that meant your underwear was going to continue to go missing.
(Jungkook still continues to blame the cat to this day)
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yonkimint · 2 days ago
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when the party’s over [Jimin x Reader]
34. A Trap
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TAGLIST (send an ask or leave a reply if you would like to be added):
@pb-n-juju​ @jikooksgirl19​ @halesandy​ @unadulteratedlyunique​ @bangtantruffle​ @danny-boy27​ @pineapple-hoseok​ @bri-mal​ @chimchimmarie​ @namjooningelsewhere​ @lyra0cassiopeia​ @xianav​ @mybabywearschanel​ @lovelytaes-blog​ @letmebreathepls​ @generousrunawaylove​ @jaiuneamesolitaiire​ @somelazysundays​ @sopebubbles​ @90s-belladonna​ @missmadwoman​ @secretlycrazyhummingbird​​ @curedblues​​ @ellesalazar​​ @lizzzaaaaaaaaaaa​​ @theestrangeddreamer​​ @daydreambrliever​​ @salty-for-suga​​ @joyfullyobsessed​​ @ambersaesthetics​​ @hobiismyhopeu​​ @naajix​​ @cursedblood707​​ @abc-abc1234-a​​ @xxxanimangxxx​​ @livorna​​ @diestheticu​
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kpopfanfictrash · 8 months ago
Ember Burning (M)
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Author: kpopfanfictrash
Creative Contributor: @baebae-goodnight​ for this MOODBOARD WOO!
Pairing: Jungkook / Reader
Rating: 18+
Genre: Fantasy / Dragon / Enemies to Lovers
Synopsis:  The dragon riders of Duret Ghal are known across the continent; fierce warriors who take to the skies on their leashed, winged beasts. You are the last Dragon Queen of Ashya, ruler of a dying species who can transform from human to Dragon at will. When a new foe emerges which threatens both Dragon and rider alike, you find yourself forced to broker peace with your former enemy. The King of Duret Ghal, and a dragon rider himself: Jeon Jungkook.
NSFW Warnings: oral (male and female), nipple play, fingering, multiple orgasms, big cock, dirty talk, hair pulling (her to him).... tattooed, man-bun jungkook who has a big sword
Trigger Warnings: somewhat graphic depiction of a shoulder injury  
Word Count: 36,079
Soaring through azure-colored sky, golden wheat fields spread out below, you could almost convince yourself duty did not exist. It was easy to pretend while disconnected from the ground – flight broke the strings which bound you to all mortal beings. You ceased to be of flesh and bone and instead became one with the air, the wind, and the wildness of flame in your throat.
The Thadal mountain range loomed ahead, its jagged peaks piercing the sky. Idly, you wondered if they truly did. Legends said Natal, who had created the world and everything in it, formed the Thadal range last of all. Exhausted by the sheer effort of creation, her hand had slipped, causing the tallest of peaks to rise higher than planned. This ripped a hole in the veil which guarded this world from the next and before Natal could fix it, magic slipped through.
It had been the dragons who slumbered in the mountains’ highest peaks who received this blessing.
Dipping a wing, you wheeled about in the air. With the sun at your back, you surveyed the splendor of your realm laid beneath you.
Ashya, land of the Dragons – of which you were Queen.
Stifling the sigh which rose at the thought, you turned from the furthest rim of the world and began the flight home. A return to duty, to obligation and to your human form, as well as the conflict which loomed on the horizon. Not to mention the sleeping King within your castle walls.
Each of these weighed upon your shoulders, replacing the freedom you’d felt in the air. As you shifted to human, donned a gown, and entered the castle, the sun had barely risen above the lip of the world.
And your true day was only beginning.
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From the thunderous expression on Park Jimin’s face, it was clear you needed to do something, and quickly.
Your choices were either to interject and stop a second war from breaking out at your table or sit back and watch while King Jungkook was pummeled into the ground by the esteemed commander of your armed forces.
Admittedly, the second option was tempting. You would so dearly love to watch the crown knocked from King Jungkook’s perfect tresses, but pettiness was unbecoming when far greater evil lurked on the horizon.
With a wave of your hand, you signaled Jimin to sit back.
The remark which had so enflamed your commander came from one of Jungkook’s advisors, a Lord Kim Seokjin you’d only met once prior. He had insinuated, in so many words, the power of your kind was nothing more than a parlor trick. Something to be taken out at parties, but incapable of truly defending your realm.
Jimin’s steely gaze remained fixed on the Lord, a thin line of steam rising from the seat where he sat. It was never wise to anger a Dragon, especially not a renowned fighter like Jimin. There was a reason he’d been named the youngest commander in over a century, and it was only partly because your people had dwindled in size since the last Dragon War.
The Dragon Wars were the reason it was truly remarkable for you to sit in the same room as King Jeon Jungkook at all. Only a hundred years had passed – barely a blink, in the grand scheme of things – since your nations had been labeled bitter enemies.
Duret Ghal, Jeon Jungkook’s nation, was home to the fierce dragon riders. Warriors who tamed the dull, vicious beasts of the mountains and rode them into battle. Their riders were human, although they fancied themselves important because they dared to treat dragons – albeit a less intelligent kind than your own – as glorified steeds.
You, on the other hand, were a Dragon.
Not one like what King Jungkook rode into battle. Duret Ghal bonded with dragons, mere animals ungifted by magic and unable to transform into humans. You were a Dragon, descended from the first magical beings blessed by the veil. Those who had shifted to the flesh of their enemy to defeat humans on their own terms.
At will, you could shift from human to Dragon with barely a thought. Beneath your smooth, human exterior lurked the scales of a dragon, and Lord Seokjin would do well to remember this while he sat at your table.
Tilting your head, you looked his way. “Would you care to repeat yourself, Lord Seokjin? The way you phrased your objection just now made it sound as though you were doubting my people.”
Although Lord Seokjin hesitated, he met your gaze. This surprised you. Few humans had the courage to look a grown Dragon in the eyes. You were well-aware of the rumors which plagued your people.
Some insisted Dragons held power beyond that of humans. This was untrue, of course. Aside from their shifting, Dragons could not use magic. It was only the offspring of a Dragon and human who could wield magic, often called gifts.
Then there was the rumor Dragons retained scales in places best left unmentioned when they transformed into humans – also untrue. Once you became human, you were nearly indistinguishable from your more stagnant counterparts. The main differences were your skin, which ran hotter, the occasional steam from your lips and hidden embers which flickered in the depths of your gaze.
Your unusual eyes were likely the source of the third rumor. Looking a grown Dragon in the eyes would result in paralysis, or worse. This was also untrue, although you liked to encourage it all the same.
It made meeting human dignitaries much more amusing.
“I am not saying Dragons are not fierce,” Seokjin said, backtracking a little. “Merely observing your numbers have diminished since the last Dragon War. Without Duret Ghal’s riders, you would be at a disadvantage against the Mor Empire.”
To this, you had no response because Lord Seokjin was right. He had easily identified your current problem – Mor continued to press upon your southern border, and there were not enough Dragons left in Ashya to defend it much longer.
To your right, Jimin scowled, knowing the truth to this as well.
It was the main reason you’d decided to meet with King Jungkook at all. The reason you considered entering an alliance with a country who’d once been considered your enemy. The Empire of Mor, a nation of humans, had recently decided to rid themselves of all dragons.
This declaration placed both your nation, Ashya, and Jungkook’s at risk.
Ashya, since you were Dragons and Duret Ghal because they rode them. The Mor Empire was led by Emperor Cyan, whose quest for dominance had consumed him since he was a child. His Empire had already gobbled up the quiet Kingdom of Mica to the west and Kindare, to the south. Now he’d set his eyes on the northern wilds.
His largest obstacle to this was the dragons. Few human soldiers could keep from shitting their pants when a great, winged beast breathing fire rose above their ranks. Ironically enough, the sole reason the Mor Empire stood a chance was because the number of Dragons had greatly diminished over the centuries.
There were two main reasons for this.
The first were the Dragon Wars – centuries of bloody conflict between Ashya and Duret Ghal. During this period, dragon riders had fought Dragons for control of the northern border. The wars had caused untold damage on both sides until a truce had been called to save you from destruction.
The second reason for your diminishing numbers were the humans themselves. In order for a true Dragon to be born, two Dragons needed to mate and continue to bloodline. When a Dragon mated with a human, the resulting child was human. Occasionally, this child was blessed with a magical gift, but not always – and they could not shift into Dragon form. Over the years, your kind had mingled with humans until there were few Dragons left.
Hence the need to align yourself with your greatest foe to protect both your people and his. You needed numbers, which Jungkook had. Emperor Cyan had declared war against all northern realms. Only the might of riders and Dragons together stood a chance against him.
It was a mission of fools though, made even more evident by the blatant ill-will around the table. Releasing a sigh, you glanced to where your most trusted advisor, Min Yoongi, was seated on your right.
Min Yoongi was not a Dragon, but a human born with a gift. He could read the emotions of those in the room and determine whether they told the truth. It was magic he’d inherited from his Dragon mother and had come in handy many times during the negotiations.
Subtle, Yoongi nodded.
You managed to stop a second sigh from escaping. It seemed Lord Seokjin was telling the truth. He truly did respect the Dragons, which made his second statement all the more troubling. It would have been easier had he hated you.
“We may be at a disadvantage without Duret Ghal,” you admitted. “But you are equally disadvantaged without Ashya. If our realm were to fall, Mor would come for you next.”
“We could have this same argument for hours, Your Majesty,” Jungkook drawled, speaking up for the first time. “And we have. I grow tired of this stalemate. What are the terms you require to sign the treaty?”
Jaw tight, your gaze shifted to the King seated opposite. Jungkook stared back at you, his gaze dark and lidded in the flickering light of the fire.
Jeon Jungkook was a young ruler, like yourself, but while your transition of power had been relatively peaceful, his had been anything but.
The former King and Queen of Duret Ghal had been slain by his Uncle, Lord Vonner, when Jungkook was only eighteen. Duret Ghal had been close to signing a treaty with Ashya at the time. In said treaty, your hand in marriage had been promised to Jungkook in exchange for unified lands.
Obviously, opposition had existed on both sides of the treaty, but things had not turned violent until Lord Vonner. He’d risen against his sister and brother-in-law, killing them both in their sleep and claiming the throne. At the same time, he had sent assassins to your land and attempted to kill your parents.
He’d only succeeded in killing your mother.
The blood of Lord Vonner’s actions had ended your betrothal, throwing your lands into chaos while your father roared his revenge. It was only once Jungkook had usurped and executed his Uncle that your land had tentatively agreed not to retaliate in force.
This had taken place nearly ten years ago, and still Jungkook was not yet thirty years of age. His youthfulness was apparent everywhere but his eyes. These had been hardened, darkened by all he had seen and done.
Looking at him now, it was difficult to place the boy you had once known.
“Use of your ports,” you answered. “Free travel for Ashyan merchants along the roads to said ports, and then usage without the current fees.”
Lord Seokjin chuckled. “You must be mad.”
A low growl left Jimin’s throat – a warning. “How ironic to hear you speak of sanity, Lord Seokjin,” he said. “When you dare to insult the Queen of Ashya within her castle walls.”
Holding up at hand, you bade Jimin to cease.
Jimin was even younger than you were, and twice as hot-headed. Admittedly, he had good reason to despise Duret Ghal. His father had been killed in a skirmish on the northern border when he was barely twelve. There was a subset of Ghalians who despised the humans who dared to love Dragons. When a Ghalian woman had fled, seeking the protection of Ashya at the northern border, a mob had fought your soldiers and Jimin’s father had died.
Still, Jimin needed to remember you had a job to do. As your commander, he was well-aware of the weakened state of your armed forces. The treaty between Ashya and Duret Ghal needed to happen in whatever way possible.
Ignoring the interaction, Jungkook merely raised a brow. “No fees?”
Although his voice remained calm, a hint of steel lay beneath the silken words. You could hear it plainly, as did Yoongi based on the way he stiffened.
“No fees,” you repeated.
Jungkook exchanged a glance with Seokjin.
“It is not possible,” he said at last. “Our nation’s ports remain the primary source of income for many Ghalians. Now that Mor has conquered Kindare, they have free access to their ports and fail to use ours. It is only the revenue from Ashya which keeps up afloat.”
“I do not ask you to forsake all payments. Merely those from Ashya.”
Jungkook’s teeth flashed in what might have been a smile but came off as a grimace.
“Ashya provides half the sales at my docks,” he informed you. “By granting your nation free trade, you cut my people’s livelihood in half.”
Somewhat chastised by this, you sat back in your seat. You had not realized Duret Ghal’s economic outlook was so dire.
When Ashya had been a land of only Dragons, the fact you were landlocked had not been a problem. You could simply fly where you wanted and take whatever with. Now though, Ashya had more humans than Dragons and you were forced to find more accommodating solutions.
Ashyan craftspeople were famed for their metalwork, in addition to textiles, but such trade would be useless without people to buy and places to sell. For years, Duret Ghal had steadily increased their tariffs, which in turn had steadily crippled your people.
Returning to Jungkook, you clenched your jaw. “And what would we need to give Duret Ghal in order for our demand to be met?”
The corner of his lip curled.
In this singular motion, you were reminded of Jungkook’s somewhat brutal reputation. After the coup of his Uncle, rumor had it Jungkook had been bloodthirsty in his quest for revenge. Lord Vonner had been put to death in the main square of their capital city, roasted alive by Jungkook’s dragon, Nemrys.
You had not faulted him for this at the time, having also lost people at the hands of Lord Vonner. It was hard to imagine the type of pain Jungkook had gone through, losing both his parents and his throne in a single blow. Despite your understanding, you knew some had disapproved. They’d whispered amongst themselves the King had lost a better part of himself on that day.
“Shares in your mines,” Jungkook said in answer to your question. “Given the current situation with Mor, we’ve had difficulty collecting on some of our foreign loans. A fifty percent share in Ashya’s mines would ease our cash flow problems.”
Your lips tightened in response.
Jungkook had managed to touch upon Ashya’s main source of riches, and a large reason for the previous century’s Dragon Wars. Much of the Thadal range fell within your borders, meaning you owned the majority of gemstones on the continent. It meant little without Duret Ghal’s port cities, however. Mor had ceased trading with Ashyan merchants long ago.
Still, it pained you to grant Jungkook access to your most coveted resource. Everything in your nature – Dragon and otherwise – went against it, but sacrifices must be made for the greater good. You’d entered these negotiations aware this might happen. Another advisor, Lord Kim Namjoon, had warned you of it beforehand and yet, you had hoped.
If you did not find a compromise soon though, Mor would overtake you and the point would be moot.
“Ten percent,” you said at last, lifting your chin.
Jungkook’s eyes gleamed. “Forty.”
Jungkook paused, then glanced at Seokjin for counsel. Bending close to the table, Seokjin scribbled something on a piece of paper and sighed. Looking at Jungkook, he nodded.
“Twenty,” Jungkook said, facing you.
You nodded, but before Jungkook could get too cocky, you held up a hand.
“In return,” you said. “All fees will be waived on Ashyan merchants.”
Jungkook stilled, a lone muscle ticking in his jaw. “I can lower the tariff to a flat rate of two and a half percent, but no more.”
The current tariffs on Ashyan merchants ranged from three to eight percent. Two and a half would benefit all Ashyan merchants, but you were uncertain if Jungkook had more to give. Possibly he was low-balling you, unwilling to show all his cards at once.
Glancing at Yoongi, you watched him slowly shake his head. No, the King was not lying.
Blinking, you returned to Jungkook. You had not expected him to show his hand so quickly. Perhaps he also tired of these negotiations. Gaze narrowed, you attempted to read the young King at the other end of the table.
His face remained blank, as inscrutable as your own. A shiver of something traveled down your spine, although you quickly pushed this away.
“We can accept this,” you said.
Jungkook nodded. “Then we are in agreement.”
Pushing your chair back, you stood from the table. “I think we have made enough progress for today. Lord Namjoon will draw up revisions for the treaty.”
Lord Namjoon nodded, near the center of the table. He was also a Dragon, although he rarely saw battle. Namjoon’s talents lay elsewhere, mainly in crafting legislation which aimed to avoid war in the first place. You could not afford to lose a mind like his to some border skirmish.
As you turned around, the skirts of your gown swept the floor. You’d nearly made it to the door when a firm hand caught your arm.
“A moment, Your Majesty,” Jungkook said, his voice low.
Going utterly still, your gaze shifted to his hand on your sleeve. Glancing up, you wished you truly had the power to turn humans to stone. It would have made these proceedings much easier.
Jungkook had dressed casually for the meeting. He seemed to have come straight from his dragon, since he wore riding leathers. He had no crown, unlike you. Amara, your lady in waiting, had insisted you add the thin, silver diadem before leaving. It lent you an air of authority, she’d said.
It seemed Jungkook could command his authority without such trinkets. The realization made you straighten, meeting his gaze several inches above yours.
“Yes?” you said, your voice frosty.
Jungkook released his grip.
A move you thought wise, all things considered. Behind him, you saw your advisors gathering their reams of paper. They chatted amongst themselves, purposefully ignoring the Ghalian retinue. All except for Lord Namjoon, who spoke politely to Lord Seokjin about a provision of the treaty.
To Lord Seokjin’s right sat Kim Taehyung, a dragon rider whose reputation preceded him. The general of Duret Ghal’s army, he had remained silent throughout the entirety of the negotiations. Based on how often he looked out the window, you got the feeling he preferred to spend his time in the sky and not amongst stuffy people.
Honestly, you could not blame him. Even if his kind of flying were a poor imitation of yours – seated astride a dragon, rather than becoming one himself.
Clearing his throat, Jungkook returned your attention to him.
“Is there something you want, Your Majesty?” you said, growing impatient. “I have a nation to run outside of these meetings, you know.”
A smile curled his lips. “I am aware.”
“So long as you are aware, then.”
You moved to walk past, but Jungkook stopped you again. Teeth gritted, you exhaled steam past your lips.
“What?” you snapped, turning to face him.
Something unreadable stole through his gaze. “We need not have these conversations at all,” he said, dropping his voice. “If you would agree to my original proposal.”
Immediately, your expression shuttered.
“Good day, Your Majesty,” you said and walked past.
This time he did not follow, falling silent as you swept from the room. Yoongi and Jimin joined your exit, the latter tossing a haughty look towards the Ghalians. Namjoon remained in the room, likely to continue his conversation with Seokjin.
As you walked away, you tried and failed to push Jungkook from mind. The offer he alluded to was completely ridiculous.
Seven months prior, Jungkook had sent a message to you after nearly a decade. He’d proposed several items, amongst which was a request to resume your failed betrothal. A list of reasons had been provided. Your nations were on the verge of war, the merger would benefit you both financially and would go a long way towards healing the realms.
Equally politely, you had declined.
It had been a long time since you’d sworn not to marry – or mate, as it were. The mating bond was a possibility for both Dragons and humans. Dragons only mated once in their lifetime, which tended to be longer than ordinary humans. Your parents had been mated to each other, meaning you’d witnessed firsthand the tragedy of their ending.
You would choose an heir when necessary, of course. You weren’t so selfish as to plunge Ashya into civil war when you died because you did not wish to mate. You’d even considered a marriage of practical alliance, one with no chance of mating, but the appropriate circumstances had yet to present themselves.
For this reason, amongst others, you had declined Jungkook’s offer.
Coming to a stop in the hall, you bade Jimin and Yoongi goodnight before continuing on your way. The sun had long since sunk below the horizon. Negotiations with Duret Ghal had taken up most of your time since their arrival in Valor, Ashya’s capital city, nearly ten days ago.
Outside your chambers, you nodded to the guards before entering. Once the door fell shut behind you, you released a sigh.
Straightening, you strode to your dresser and seated yourself at the mirror. As you removed your crown to set on its pedestal, you stared at the silver.
It was not as though you wished to be alone forever. Truthfully, you found yourself exhausted at the end of each day. It would have been nice to fall asleep beside someone and wake with them by your side. Each time you imagined the prospect though, you recalled your father’s death and thought better.
Both Yoongi and Namjoon knew the King had proposed.
Not Jimin, which was for the best. If you had accepted Jungkook’s offer, it would have taken a lot to convince Jimin to remain at his post. He had barely accepted the necessity of a treaty between Ashya and Duret Ghal.
Namjoon had been practical when he heard of the proposal, which you had expected. Lord Namjoon could be practical to a fault, known to ‘factor in’ emotional responses when making decisions. Privately, you thought him a nice foil to Jimin.
When you’d told Namjoon about the King’s offer, he had simply nodded and said it made sense. He acknowledged, of course, the difficulties such a match would present, but did not seem to think it would be a bad idea.
Yoongi had been the one who surprised you. As someone with decisive opinions, you’d imagined Yoongi wouldn’t approve of the match. Instead, he had merely suggested you consider the offer. When you had declined, Yoongi had seemed almost disappointed. It could be hard to tell though, since the Lord usually kept his emotions close to the chest.
Undoing the laces of your gown, you let it drop as you entered your bathing chambers. Amara had left heated water and oils, flickering candles set around the edge of your sunken tub. Lowering yourself to the water, you tipped your head back to rest on the edge.
Today ended only the first week of negotiations between you and Jungkook. Another week remained – you could survive this much, you reasoned. One week from now, you’d have much needed relief for your merchants, along with an ally against the looming threat of Mor to the south.
Only one more week, and Jungkook would be gone.
Ignoring the strange tingle which spread down your spine at the thought, you held your breath and lowered yourself underwater.
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Lips pursed, you stared at yourself in the mirror.
Amara hovered, pins in her mouth while tightening your corset. Your dress for the evening was a mix of old and new – although you despised corsets, this one cinched your waist tight enough for the armor-like bodice. Skirts flowed like water to the ground, brushing the floor with emerald chiffon.
Tonight, you had decided to throw a feast honoring the upcoming treaty with Duret Ghal. The event had not been your idea, but Namjoon’s. He believed it would increase the goodwill between you.
You had protested this until Namjoon pointed out there’d been little to celebrate recently. Realizing the truth to this statement, you’d reluctantly acquiesced to two events. Tonight’s feast and a ball, to be hosted their final night before Duret Ghal left.
Inhaling, your eyes watered as Amara cinched the last hook.
“My apologies,” she said, casting a sympathetic glance in the mirror.
Mutely, you shook your head, not blaming her in the slightest. It was not her fault women's fashion tended to be barbaric, more often than not. It was why you preferred to wear looser gowns, ones you didn’t need your lady in waiting’s help to undo.
Amara had been your companion ever since you were little, although you could not exactly call her a friend. You were her Queen, first and foremost. There was no one else in Ashya for you to call an equal.
“Amara,” you said curiously, glancing up. “What do you think of the Ghalian King?”
Startled by your question, Amara nearly dropped the pins she held. Her wide brown eyes stared back at you in the mirror and briefly, you wondered if she thought this a trap. Possibly you needed to work on your resting facial expressions. Yoongi said you were too harsh, but then again, hearing this from Yoongi was the pot calling the kettle black.
“You can answer me honestly,” you said, a bit gentler. “It has been a long week of negotiations and I find myself wondering what people think of the treaty.”
“Well.” Amara looked thoughtful. “I rather think those are two different questions, Your Majesty. Do you wish to know what people think of the King, or the treaty?”
She was correct, you realized. The two were different, even if they were one and the same in your mind.
“Both,” you responded.
Turning towards the mirror, Amara began to fit the bodice over your bust. It was elaborate, with swirls of silver and emerald stitched into the hard lining.
“Well,” she said, hesitant. “Of course, people think the young King is handsome.”
“He is a rider,” you said sharply.
“It is not as important to humans,” Amara reminded gently. “It does not offend so much as it does the Dragons. And objectively speaking, the King is handsome. He could smile more,” she admitted. “But this does not seem to deter from his handsomeness.”
“I suppose not.”
Seeing your expression, she laughed. “You did ask me to speak honestly, Your Majesty. The people find the King handsome, but they do not trust outsiders. Especially Ghalians. Most have a family member who perished in the Dragon Wars.”
None of this was new information, although it did irk you to hear Jungkook’s looks were a topic of conversation in Valor. It was always like this with men versus women. The moment a male monarch had a somewhat pleasing expression, people were willing to forget all manner of atrocities committed in the past.
“And what of the treaty?” you pressed.
Amara bit down on her lip. “Well…”
“It depends. Some oppose it, much as they did the treaty all those years ago. Others look forward to the potential trade gains. And still others,” Amara said, a knowing edge to her voice, “think you should accept the King’s proposal of marriage.”
Jerking upright, you prompted Amara to nearly stab you with a pin.
“Amara!” you gasped, looking down.
She blinked in surprise. “Yes, Your Majesty?”
“How… did you hear that?” you said, utterly flummoxed.
“It was only a guess.” Amara shrugged, a ghost of a smile at her lips. “Many villagers wondered if there were other reasons for His Majesty traveling all this way. They imagined you must have declined his offer, since nothing official has been announced.”
You stared at her in shock, a bit thrown by the assessment. Perhaps it had been naïve of you to assume no one would guess based on Jungkook’s elongated presence.
“I see,” you said at last. “The skirts, if you please, Amara?”
Sensing you were done with the conversation, Amara nodded and hastened to fasten the fabric. You stared at the dress in the mirror, willing your racing pulse to slow.
Your gown for the evening was emerald green; one of the colors of Ashya, along with the color of your scales as a Dragon. It had always been a source of pride for your parents, as though Natal herself had proclaimed your destiny.
As Amara arranged your train on the ground, you stared at your reflection. Most of what she said you had already known. Ashya had been divided for a long time now on how to proceed with Duret Ghal. You knew whatever choice you made, there would always be those who opposed you.
And yet, it was strange to hear some rooted for a union.
Glancing at Amara, you found yourself curious. “And what do you think?” you asked. “What is your opinion of the Ghalian King?”
Amara’s fingers hesitated on your hem.
“Me?” she said as she straightened. “I am sure I do not know, Your Majesty. I do not know the King personally, so it is hard to say.”
You nodded, having assumed as much.
“Although…” Amara hesitated, drawing your gaze back to her. “How a person treats their servants is usually indicative of their personality. Take Lord Larkin, for example,” she said, naming a wealthy noble at your court.
“What about him?”
Amara looked down. “His servants are skittish. They mostly keep to themselves at the request of their Lord. It is rumored he keeps a strict household, and his wife is inscrutable.”
Knowing what you did about Lord Larkin, these facts did not surprise you. He had an archaic mentality of most things – dutifully, you filed this information away for later use.
“What of His Majesty, then?” you said. “How do his servants treat him?”
“They seem to admire him.” Amara stood straighter. “From what I have seen, they seem to genuinely enjoy working for him and respect him. I know he has a fearsome reputation, but… perhaps it is only towards his enemies.”
“Whom we used to be,” you noted drily. “Until now.”
Her head bobbed in a nod. “This is also true.”
Despite this, Amara’s words lingered as you finished dressing. It was quite possible your feelings for Jungkook personally had clouded your judgement of him as a ruler.
There was not time to linger on this, since Yoongi arrived soon after to escort you to the great hall. You would be the last to arrive for tonight’s feast, which was customary.
Noise from the hall grew as you approached the doors. Tonight’s event would be more casual than the ball a week from now, but casual was relative since you’d been forced to wear a corset and the meal would feature no less than twelve courses.
As the doors swung open and you began to walk in, all noise within the hall ceased. Ashya’s great hall had seen centuries of celebration, along with conflict and conquest. At one point during the Dragon Wars, Valor had been briefly occupied by Duret Ghal. During this time, the banners hung on your walls had been blue and gold, instead of emerald and silver.
Entering the room with Yoongi at your side, you sensed the gaze of every inhabitant upon you. Focusing straight ahead, you did your best to ignore this. It had never felt natural to you, being the center of attention. You did so for the sake of appearances but had never enjoyed the sensation.
At least you had Yoongi, who looked handsome as usual in his formal attire. With his dark, sweeping hair and keen gaze, Yoongi would have made an excellent King consort. Unfortunately, your relationship had never progressed in this direction and frankly, Yoongi was not important enough to consider marriage without love.
Glancing your way, Yoongi caught your eye. “Is there something in my teeth?” he muttered.
Stifling a laugh, you faced forward.
“No,” you said. “I was only thinking about choices.”
Although Yoongi arched a brow, he said nothing in response. Now was not the time for an in-depth conversation. People bowed as you passed, a veritable rainbow of fabrics and colors. At the front of the hall, a table had been placed atop the raised dais. Behind it, the banners of Ashya and Duret Ghal had been strung.
High above, evergreen boughs entwined with the chandeliers, carefully spaced so they would not catch fire. Evergreens were considered sacred, symbols of Natal’s everlasting power. Although the winter solstice had not yet arrived, the air in Ashya was cold enough for them to thrive.
Your visiting guests had already arrived you saw as you approached the dais. To your surprise, you saw women traveled in Jungkook’s party. On the other side of Taehyung stood a lady with dark hair, right hand resting on the pommel of her sword.
Although both genders fought in the armed forces, it was still considered an unusual path for a woman. It was a pleasant surprise to see both men and women amongst the soldiers Jungkook had brought to greet you.
Seokjin wore robes of deep purple tonight, eschewing the colors of either nation. It was nearly as bold a statement as Taehyung, draped in the royal blue of Duret Ghal beside him. As you neared the table, both of them stood, and your gaze finally fell upon the man at the center.
Jungkook was already on his feet, a golden crown on his head in contrast to your silver.
Your gaze traveled lower, realizing he’d worn robes of midnight blue as well. His waist had been bound in a golden sash, robes flowing to accentuate his trim thighs. At his side, his sword remained hidden, a decorative golden tassel placed before the hilt. It was not the broadsword you’d seen him wear on his dragon, but a more formal rapier made for ceremonies and balls.
His gaze lingered on you as you approached, sweeping your body in similar fashion. Your skin burned each place he lingered, flames consuming you from the inside.
At the bottom of the steps you paused, and Jungkook inclined his head. His gaze remained fixed on yours the entire time.
After ascending the dais, you stood before your chair and surveyed the room. Long rows of tables and benches stared back, along with the faces of your many subjects. Taking a deep breath, you raised your chin.
“Citizens of Ashya and Duret Ghal,” you said, your voice ringing out. “We gather this evening in uncertain times. Much as Natal crafted the first light from darkness, so are better things forged in the fire of adversity. Although dark days lie ahead, I know they will only strengthen our bonds to each other.”
At your side, Jungkook listened with rapt attention. The rest of your speech was conciliatory, bland words about coming together for the betterment of both nations. Namjoon had written most of it and, in the corner of your eye, you saw him mouthing the words.
You only went off-book once, near the end.
“It is important now, more than ever, to remain united in the face of such a foe. Mor seeks to wipe us from the map – and why? It is because we are strong.” The entire great hall had gone silent, focused on your words. “We have what they will never obtain and so, they seek to destroy it. To destroy us, but I will not let them. We will not let them,” you corrected, glancing a Jungkook.
He looked at you and nodded.
“And when they do come to face us,” you said, turning forward. “We will show them exactly why they were right to fear our teeth and claws.”
A roar echoed through the hall, several shooting to their feet to vocalize approval. Turning around, you sat in your seat as gracefully as you could and arranged your gown.
Jungkook was next and once he began speaking, Yoongi leaned over.
“Nothing like a little bloodlust to get the party started,” he murmured.
You winced. “How bad was it?”
Yoongi chuckled. “They seemed to enjoy it. Lord Namjoon might not forgive you so easily.”
Glancing down the table, you saw Namjoon rubbing wearily at his temples. You nearly laughed at the sight, schooling your features to neutrality when you remembered Jungkook still spoke.
His speech was brief, which did not surprise you. During the time you’d spent in his presence, Jungkook struck you as a man with little bullshit, or patience.
Once he was finished and seated beside you, you waved a hand for the meal to start.
In the corner of the room, a string quartet began to play. Doors opened on both sides, allowing servers inside holding trays of food. As the first course was set before you – a medley of greens with spiced, mashed nuts – you reached instead for your cup of wine.
Even this strained your bodice, but you managed. One of the many perils of being a woman in power was navigating foreign dinners while wearing a corset.
“The ballroom is beautiful,” Jungkook said by your side.
Surprised, you turned. “Small talk, Your Majesty?”
He shrugged and took a bite of his greens. “You do not seem inclined to discuss important topics outside of our negotiations.”
“And what important topics would you care to discuss?”
Jungkook paused, setting down his fork to face you fully. Eyes gleaming, his lips parted, and you felt your heart start to race.
Yoongi cleared his throat at your side.
Both of you turned to stare at your advisor.
Eyebrows arched, Yoongi motioned towards the front. “The greeting line has begun,” he said.
Realizing he was correct, you sat back in your seat. Already, the line of subjects stretched down the main aisle. Lords and ladies, merchants and townsfolk, all attempting to curry favor with their monarchs. Reaching out, you gripped your wine glass to drink again. Yet another reason you disliked feasts, balls, and the like.
The politicking side of ruling had never come naturally to you, although you did practice. It meant endless hours of hobnobbing, spending time with people fawning for your favor. Still, it was important to meet with your citizens and hear their concerns. If only most of your court weren’t completely unbearable.
Inclining your head, you allowed the first two to come forward.
When they came into view, your expression softened. You had expected nobility, and instead found yourself faced with two tradespeople, by the looks of them. The man and woman had worn their best attire, immaculately neat under the scrutiny of court.
“Merchant Calum and his wife, Natalia,” said the announcer at the front.
You smiled in response to their curtsy and bow.
“Thank you for coming,” you said, and gestured for them to rise. “We are so glad you could join us tonight.”
“It is our honor, Your Majesty,” Natalia said, looking up.
“Is there something particular you came to discuss?”
Her gaze slid to Jungkook and you tried not to stiffen. Likely, they had come to see the King of Duret Ghal. It had been more than ten years since Jungkook had last entered Valor. 
“No, Your Majesty,” she said, her gaze sliding to you. “No favor to ask. We simply wished to see you in person. I apologize for my husband’s lack of speech in your presence,” she said, reaching for his hand. “He lost the ability during a fire in the mines years ago.”
“I see,” you said gently.
Looking at him, you signed your thanks for his attendance tonight. The man brightened, signing back gratitude for the invitation. His wife beamed, thanking you once more as the announcer stepped forward to hurry them on. It seemed their allotted time in your presence was up.
As they left, Jungkook glanced at you curiously. “Where did you learn how to sign?”
“Occasionally, one wishes to communicate without being overheard.”
Jungkook allowed the matter to drop but continued to look your way.
The true story was longer.
A year before your father had passed, you’d decided to join the Ashyan forces. You had called it a part of your training, but the reality had been the castle was empty and cold after your mother died.
No one had known who you were when you enlisted. You’d entered a regiment far enough away for few people to have ever walked the streets of Valor. It was where you’d met Jimin, whose parents had been Dragons of relative unknown. Under your parents’ regime, Jimin would never have been named commander.
This had been one of the first laws you overturned after your coronation – the blood laws, which had decreed only noble lines could serve in certain positions. Jimin was more Dragon than most of the realm. He fully deserved the title of commander.
While you served in the army, you’d also fallen in love for the first time. Leo had been human, from a western province so far away, it nearly fell off the edge of the map. An encounter with riders had left him without speech, so everyone in your regiment had learned to sign to communicate.
Unsurprisingly, your love had not lasted. As soon as Leo discovered who you were, things had come crashing down. When your father’s condition had worsened and you returned to the castle, your title and demands were placed on display.
Leo was ultimately forced to make a choice – a life of duty with you, or relative freedom in the western wastes. He chose the latter.
None of this was pertinent to your conversation with Jungkook though, and so you kept quiet and welcomed the next guest. A wealthier Ashyan merchant, to whom you made veiled references about lower tariffs which seemed to please him.
Once he had gone, you realized Jungkook continued to glance your way. Ignoring him, you motioned for the next group to be brought forward, but when they came into view, you stiffened. Following your gaze, Jungkook took in the two men who’d made you go still.
Lord Larkin and his son, Lord Declan – the very same nobility Amara had spoken of earlier. While you’d never liked the pair of them, your opinion had obstinately worsened based on what she’d said.
Lord Larkin bowed, silver hair shining in the candlelight above. His son, Declan, lowered his head as well. You waited a moment longer than necessary before asking them to rise.
“Lord Larkin,” you said flatly. “And Lord Declan. What a pleasure to have you both attend tonight.”
“The pleasure is ours, Your Majesty,” Larkin said with a nod. Casually, he glanced at Jungkook. “We wished to extend our welcome to the rider King, as well. It is certainly unusual to see a human seated beside an Ashyan Queen.”
Jungkook merely smiled.
Admittedly, the gesture didn’t do much to brighten his countenance. The warmth of his smile failed to reach his gaze. On the table, Jungkook tapped his long, agile fingers. You realized with some surprise they had been inked.
Tattoos were not uncommon amongst soldiers, but it was rare to see them amongst members of nobility. You found yourself curious what other marks the King bore.
“I imagine it would be unusual for any man to side beside your Queen,” Jungkook said calmly. “Dragon, rider, or any variation within.”
The implication to Lord Larkin was clear – you are not seated beside her, either. Seeming to understand, Larkin’s eyes flashed while he inclined his head.
You fought not to smile.
Lord Larkin owned two of the largest mines in the Thadal range and was integral to the Ashyan economy. It would be unwise to anger him or his family, a line you’d tiptoed around since your coronation. Especially once it became clear Lord Larkin wished to align his son, Lord Declan, to you in marriage.
For a while, you had considered the idea. Their family was powerful, in possession of both lands and titles which would enrich the crown. Lord Declan was also a Dragon, ensuring the royal Ashyan line would continue unhindered.
It had been Yoongi who advised caution. You were still young, new to the throne and with plenty of time to make an heir. Better to first gain control of your nation and consider the offers of a political marriage after. You had known even then Lord Declan was not your mate, no matter how much his father wished for him to be.
Mates were a mysterious thing in your world. They could be either Dragon or human and did not always present themselves in an obvious manner. A person could stand before their mate several times before realizing the bond.
People spoke of the signs, though. Some likened the beginnings of the bond to slow trickles of energy. Others described it as sparks caressing their skin. Still more mentioned an invisible thread which tied them to one another.
None of this you’d felt with Lord Declan, so you felt fairly comfortable saying he was not the one. And yet, you knew Lord Larkin would continue to bide his time.
“It is unusual for a male to sit by my side, you say?” you mused, sipping your wine. “Whatever do you imagine Lord Yoongi to be, Your Majesty?”
Lord Declan laughed, which prompted a glare from his father.
Jungkook tore his gaze away from the Lord. He glanced instead at Yoongi, who seemed determined to ignore your conversation while he finished his greens.
“A very pretty piece of décor,” Jungkook said at last.
At this, even Yoongi smiled. Stifling a laugh, you returned to the Lords who remained standing before you.
“He is most horrified to hear it, I am certain,” you said. “Although if His Majesty considers Yoongi’s looks to be his best asset, perhaps he is the foolish one at this table.”
Jungkook smiled at this, reaching out for a sip of his wine. He seemed more relaxed, less formal and you marveled at the change in his features.
“Is there anything else you wish to discuss?” you said, returning to the Lords.
Their time with you had been longer than the townspeople but then again, this was oftentimes the way of things. Lord Declan nodded, but Lord Larkin simply looked thoughtful, glancing between you and Jungkook. At last, he bowed his head.
“That is all,” he said. “Thank you both for your hospitality.”
Once they had left, you sagged in your seat.
“Pretty.” Yoongi snorted. “I shall have to write home and tell mother immediately.”
Jungkook laughed in response – a real, honest sound which made your heart flip in your chest. It was your first time hearing such a noise from his lips during this visit. It fractured your thoughts into a million pieces.
Rather than confront any of these pieces directly, you looked at Yoongi. “Now, there is food in your teeth,” you said.
Yoongi shrugged, lifting his spoon to fix his reflection. Returning to the waiting line, you gestured the next guests forward.
The rest of the evening passed smoothly. Most of your conversations were kept short, allowing only enough time to greet and move on. By the end of the line, your head was beginning to ache.
Collapsing into your chair, you released a sigh. The line, consumption of wine and lack of food had begun to create the perfect storm. At the next lull of music, your stomach growled in a most unbecoming fashion.
Closing your eyes, you prayed to Natal no one had heard.
“Have you eaten at all?” Jungkook asked from your side.
Opening your eyes, you wondered if perhaps the goddess was busy. Or maybe she simply didn’t care about mortal whims and petty Queens. Looking to your side, you found Jungkook frowning at your full plate.
“I have eaten some,” you said, and cut into the meat.
Before you could stop him, Jungkook had raised a palm to signal the server. “Was there a problem with your plate?” he asked, returning to you. “Or do you simply prefer to eat alone?”
Startled by how earnest Jungkook sounded, you were silent while waving the server away. The poor man fumbled a little, taking a few steps backwards before he turned around.
“Nothing of the sort,” you said, glancing at Jungkook. “The food is fine, and I do not care about eating before others.”
He seemed baffled. “Then, what is it?”
“It is my corset,” you hissed, lowering your voice. “Or have you never sat beside a woman at dinner before?”
Jungkook’s eyes widened, drifting below your neckline. Amara had done an exceedingly good job at making certain you filled out the bodice. A lone muscle ticked in Jungkook’s jaw before he looked up.
“I have sat beside women before,” he said.
“What a delight.” Reaching out, you plucked wine from the table. “I am glad to hear it is not my responsibility to teach you about the fairer sex.”
His gaze narrowed. “Corsets are not as fashionable in Duret Ghal as they are here, Your Majesty,” Jungkook said lowly. “I have never had the pleasure of removing one before.”
Gaze snapping to his, you met his darkened stare. A flicker of heat curled in your belly, making you feel even more light-headed.
Before you could respond, Seokjin asked a question and Jungkook was forced to turn away. Hastily, you sat back and faced forward again. Reaching again for your glass, you took a large sip of wine.
Amara was not wrong. Jungkook was handsome and you were no better than the many people who’d come here tonight to look at the attractive, young King. Inwardly, you cursed your weak morals.
“He is not wrong, you know.” Yoongi continued to chew on your other side. “You should eat before coming to these events, Your Majesty.”
You shot him a look. “And when I desire your opinion, I shall ask it, Lord Yoongi.”
“I thought you paid me to advise you?”
“Only under specific circumstances.”
“And what circumstances would those be?”
“When I ask.”
Yoongi laughed, setting down his fork to reach for his glass. “Will you at least send up food to eat afterwards?’
“Of course,” you said, pushing your meat aimlessly away. “This is not my first gathering, you know.”
Yoongi nodded and the two of you fell into comfortable silence. The conversation had lessened some of the tension between you and the King. And yet, you continued to be aware of his presence beside you.
On the table, his hand rested close enough for you to see. Tanned fingers entwined with black ink, his palms roughened by callouses, proof of the leather he gripped when he rode.
Jaw taut, you continued to drink from your glass of wine. Long before it was considered polite, you yearned to stand and retire for the evening. People danced after the final courses, but it was a paltry thing compared to a real ball.
Once most of your guests had begun to leave, Namjoon agreed it was acceptable for you to go. With great relief, you stood and said your goodbyes. Yoongi went with you, following you towards a separate hallway to avoid foot traffic in the castle. Halfway down the hall, you heard someone say your name from behind.
Turning around, you found King Jungkook striding towards you. His robes swished about his ankles, head held high despite the wine and the hour. As he came to a stop, you turned towards your advisor.
“You may go, Yoongi,” you said, dismissing him. “I will return to my rooms after speaking with His Majesty.”
Yoongi hesitated, then took his leave. You watched him disappear down the hall, waiting until he turned the corner before you spoke again.
“It will seem suspicious for us to leave at the same time, Your Majesty.”
Jungkook made a dismissive noise. “I am not concerned by the thoughts of people in there.”
“An odd way to think of your subjects.”
He considered you standing before him. “You have a very low opinion of who I am and how I run my Kingdom.”
“No,” you said. “Merely of the idea of you running mine.”
Jungkook blinked, taken aback by your statement, but his confusion did not last long. After a moment, he stepped forward to close the space between you.
“Is this what you think of me?” he asked, voice low. “You think I asked for your hand in marriage – why? To become King of Ashya without the difficulties of waging war?”
“It would be a practical way to go about it.”
Jungkook’s gaze scanned your features. “I do not desire to rule Ashya in your stead. Merely to provide the best solution for both our peoples.”
Standing this close, you could feel the heat from his body. His scent was a living thing, wrapping your limbs, coaxing you closer – teeth gritted, you fought the need to take a step backwards.
“That is what you say, Your Majesty.”
He stiffened. “Are you calling me a liar?”
“I believe there are things you do not tell me.”
“And what about you, Your Majesty?” Jungkook tilted his head. “You have declined my offer of marriage and have yet to give a reason.”
“Do I need to give you one?”
“I would like one.”
“I should think you used to disappointment by now,” you said. “Such is the lot of Kings and Queens.”
He stared at you for a moment, his features softened by candlelight. A feeling almost like regret stole through you, gone before you could fully embrace it.
“Do you remember the last time you visited Duret Ghal?” Jungkook asked, which surprised you.
You stared at him a moment. The suddenness of the question pushed all retorts from mind. Thus far, you had held firm to your vow not to marry by convincing yourself the man standing before you was your enemy.
Now though, he asked if you remembered.
In truth, you did.
It had been your seventeenth birthday when you last traveled to Duret Ghal. The occasion had been to finalize your parents’ treaty, as well as formally meet Jungkook as your betrothed. You had met a few times before then, as children, but it had been a long time since those days.
Duret Ghal was a land of icy wilderness, except during the summer, when harsh winter snows melted to expose greenery and cliffs. Rumors said the dragons kept their bays clear of ice, but you had gone at the wrong time of year to see this in person.
To the north of Duret Ghal lay the Irik Sea, a fathomless expanse of foamed troughs of water. Its only mountains to speak of were the famed Cliffs of Oria, which circled the capital city of Ebril. It was within these cliffs the famed dragons nested.
Ebril was situated along the coast, known equally for seamen as much as their riders. The people of Ebril were known to be craggy and sharp, much like the topography. Despite their reputation, Ebril was a city of learning. Built from the white limestone which lined its cliffs, it was occasionally referred to as the jewel by the sea.
Ebril had not been the only thing which fascinated you on that trip. You had found Jungkook equally intriguing.
He had been different then. Still quiet, but in a studious way. His hair had been shorter, as though he could not be bothered with the time it took to comb it.
Upon your arrival, you had thought Jungkook hated you. He could not seem to stand being in the same room as you for very long. Still, he had not seemed antagonistic and so, you had resigned yourself to a loveless marriage and spent time exploring the city.
One morning, you’d woke to find the day warm enough for a trip to the cliffs. Your parents had been busy from sunup to sundown, negotiating the treaty you now found yourself crafting. Back then though, you’d been blissfully free of obligation and duty.
Having never seen the Cliffs of Oria, you’d gone to the stables to secure a mount. Strictly speaking, you did not need one as a Dragon. Ideally, you preferred to fly by yourself, but your parents had warned you against shifting in Duret Ghal.
Although some things had changed since the Dragon Wars, many Ghalians still did not trust your kind. It was never a good idea to push boundaries, especially not when the treaty depended upon it.
You had even borrowed Amara’s clothes in an attempt to blend in. It had been a practical move on your part, since you’d been packed only dresses.
When you’d arrived and requested a horse from the palace stable hand, he had looked you up and down before sneering.
“You’re Ashyan,” he’d said upon hearing your accent. The word Ashyan sounded like a curse. “I heard some of your kind had come to the castle. Thought you could fly without horses, huh? What need do you have with a Ghalian mount?”
You’d been so taken aback, you blurted out the first thing which came to mind.
"If you know so much about Ashya,” you’d told him, gaze hard, “then surely you know more humans live within its borders than Dragons. Humans cannot sprout wings any more than a man like you can see reason.”
The man’s eyes had bugged, taking a threatening step forward – as a soft laugh echoed through the courtyard. Surprised, both of you had turned towards the sound.
In the archway of the stables, Jungkook had shut his book in one hand. “That was funny,” he said, looking at you.
Upon seeing the Prince, the stable hand had paled.
“Your Highness,” he said, hastening to bow.
Jungkook’s gaze slid towards him, any trace of humor disappearing. He stared at him coldly and for a moment, you’d seen a hint of the King he would become.
“I believe the lady asked for a horse.” Jungkook had spoken calmly. “Were you about to deny the request of a royal guest to the crown?”
He did not call you the princess and for a moment, you had wondered if he knew.
“Of course not, Prince Jungkook,” the stable hand had stammered and for a moment, you’d felt a modicum of pity for him.
Then the man had cast you a dark look entering the stables and you'd quickly forgotten your mercy. Instead, you’d found yourself wondering how loud he’d scream if you shifted.
Jungkook cleared his throat.
Looking at him, you’d found him lingering in the entrance to the courtyard. Curiosity washed through you, wondering if he intended for you to thank him. The idea was vaguely insulting. You could have handled one measly human.
“I did not need your help, you know,” you had said.
Jungkook had merely arched a brow. “Oh, I am aware.”
Turning around, you had considered the conversation to be over. While you stood and waited for your horse though, you realized Jungkook did not leave. After another moment, you’d turned towards him.
“Then, why did you interject?” you’d asked, suddenly curious.
Rather than answer immediately, Jungkook had crossed the courtyard. He came to a stop before you, forcing you to tilt your head back to see him. For a human, you remembered him being quite tall.
That close, you’d seen Jungkook’s eyes for the first time. They were not all brown, as you’d imagined. Instead, you saw many colors within – auburn, hazel, and a deep, burnished gold. 
Meeting his gaze frankly stole your breath away.
“You are my guest,” Jungkook had said. “And my betrothed. It is my duty to protect you.”
Looking away, you’d tried not to smile. Despite the fact you were trying not to laugh, it felt oddly wrong to be free of his gaze.
“Why are you smiling?” Jungkook had asked, confused.
“I am sorry,” you had said, biting back a smile. “It is only… well. Is that how women are raised in Duret Ghal?”
“I beg your pardon?”
Before you could answer, the stable hand had emerged with a horse in tow. Accepting the reins he gave, you’d placed a foot in the stirrup and swung into the saddle. Settling your weight, you’d leaned forward and pet the horse’s long mane.
Glancing up, you’d locked eyes with Jungkook. “You speak of women as though they need protection. I must say, it has never been something I needed or wanted,” you’d said quietly, then clicked your heels and steered the horse away.
You had not looked back as you rode from the castle, but felt the weight of his gaze between your shoulder blades the entire way. It had sent the strangest energy across your skin but once you reached the trail, you managed to push both this and Jungkook from mind.
The sea had always been a subject of endless fascination for you. Crossing the grassy plains which topped the Cliffs of Oria, you’d found satisfaction in the salty taste of the air.
After nearly an hour of riding, you’d slowed to a stop. Before you, the Irik Sea had stretched in an endless display of blue. It reminded you of the sky with its limitless potential. As soon as you thought this, you had the dearest wish to fly.
Glancing away, you realized you’d seen no other humans for miles. Quietly, you slipped from your horse and tied him to a tree.
Entering a nearby thicket, you’d changed from your clothes and placed them under a rock. When you transformed to a Dragon, it tended to shred whatever clothing you wore.
Naked as the day you’d been born, you stood under the sky and tipped your head back. Allowing the transformation to take hold, warmth had spread through your veins until – opening your eyes, you were a Dragon.
Humans referred to this as the change, but you’d never found it to be an accurate descriptor. It was not as though you changed from one thing to the other; merely shifted to a different part of yourself. You were always a dragon and always a human. To be a Dragon was to be both.
Wings unfurled, you’d bent and leapt into the sky. It always took you a moment to reorient after shifting. Your senses of sight, smell and hearing were sharper as a dragon, although some things were different.
Beating your wings against the sea breeze, you’d risen and fallen while surveying the cliffs. From this height, you’d been able to see the smaller cities which dotted the fields of the capital. Ebril shone like a star on the distant shore. Instead of flying towards this, you turned in the opposite direction. You had no desire to be seen and send their women into hysterics.
Remembering Jungkook’s words, a jet of flame left your nostrils in a wicked snort. The idea of protecting a Dragon was laughable. Wheeling sideways, you’d traveled further out over the ocean. It had been silver-green at the time, bright as the clearest Ashyan jewel.
Growing bolder, you’d flown lower and skimmed the waves with your toes. Swooping higher, you’d circled again before diving straight down. When you plunged beneath the surface, the coldness of the Irik snatched fire from your lungs. Sputtering, you’d breached the surface and shot into the air to hang there, gasping.
Then you grinned and dove again.
For the first time in months, you’d allowed yourself to have fun. Ever since you’d turned sixteen, you’d become infinitely aware of your title and duty. Your duty to marry, to someday become Queen and leave your childhood behind. You’d wondered why you needed to give up fun and freedom, all for someone else’s hand.
In truth, the idea of marriage had scared you. Riders enjoyed taming dragons, or so the legends had said. They’d taken your ancestral creatures and turned them into beasts who willingly did their bidding. You had no desire to do anyone’s bidding but your own.
After a long day of flying, you’d tucked in your wings and returned to the cliffside. Although you had told your parents where you were going, they would worry if you were not back in time for dinner. Approaching the spot where you’d left your things, you realized a second horse had been tethered beside yours.
Searching the plains, you’d immediately spotted Jungkook. He lazed in the sun at the edge of the cliff, book open on his stomach and one arm behind his head.
He did not so much as look up when you landed, although the noise from your wings must have been deafening. Dropping into the thicket, you’d quickly returned to human form. With trembling hands, you’d pulled back on Amara’s clothes.
As you exited, Jungkook remained in his same position. Upon seeing him there, you’d stopped and looked away. Perhaps he had not seen you after all.
“How was your swim?” Jungkook had asked, eyes still shut.
Your stomach had dropped.
“I can explain,” you’d said, stepping forward.
One eye opening, Jungkook had frowned. Pushing himself to his elbows, he’d surveyed you and it had struck you suddenly how beautiful he was. Brown curls and soft gaze, above a lean body.
“What do you have to explain?” he’d asked, sounding curious.
“I – well.” For the first time, you’d found yourself flummoxed. “I did not mean to take advantage of Duret Ghal’s hospitality.”
This seemed to amuse him. “Are you… apologizing for using the sky, Your Highness?”
“No. Well, yes.”
Something in your expression made Jungkook soften. Closing his book and setting it aside, he’d stood from the ground and began to walk closer. He came to a stop near enough to see the tiny mole beneath his lip.
“Some Ghalians fear Dragons, it is true,” he’d said quietly. “But you need not ever fear this from me, Your Highness. If someone asked you not to fly in my Kingdom, please consider this to be a formal revocation.”
You had stared at him a moment before arching a brow. “It could be dangerous to fly, though. I might be in need of protection.”
Jungkook had paused for a moment before laughing, his head thrown back and smile wide. It was the same laugh he’d made tonight at the banquet.
“Forgive me for earlier,” he’d said, lowering his head to meet your gaze. “It was foolish of me to imagine I might protect a mighty Dragon.”
Although he’d adopted a teasing tone, seriousness lit his gaze. You found you rather enjoyed it. Enjoyed him, against all better reason. The slightest of thrills went down your spine.
“Foolish, indeed,” you’d murmured.
In your mind though, you’d wondered if perhaps you were the foolish one.
Although the day had been nearly ten years ago, you had never forgotten it. Never forgotten the boy who’d wanted to protect a Dragon.
The answer to Jungkook’s question was a resounding yes.
Yes, you remembered. Perhaps too much.
“I remember some,” you said, fighting to keep your voice steady. “Not all.”
Jungkook paused. “I see.”
“If that is all, I shall –”
“We were to be married before,” he said, expression inscrutable. “Is the idea of marrying me now so repulsive?”
“I do not find you repulsive,” you said on instinct.
Too late, you realized you’d eliminated an answer. You did not find Jungkook repulsive, so your reason for declining was something else.
He considered this. “No?”
“I do not,” you admitted. “But I also don’t know you, Your Majesty. Our former betrothal ended nearly ten years ago. The intention was to mend a rift between two nations. The situation is different now. Now, we have a common enemy to unite us.”
“And once Mor is defeated?”
“The defeat of a mutual enemy will be enough.”
Jungkook gave you a look which plainly said, will it?
Growing increasingly frustrated, you stepped forward until you stood nose to nose. Tilting your chin higher, you fought the overwhelming tide of his cedar and sunshine.
“You asked if I remember our last meeting and I do,” you said hotly. “I also remember the carnage which followed. Do not ask from me more than I can give, Your Majesty.”
A shadow crossed Jungkook’s expression, quickly followed by anger.
“If you remember so well,” he said, eyes narrowed. “Then surely you remember it was my Kingdom, not yours which paid for the coup in blood. It took me many years to rebuild what my Uncle destroyed.”
“I did not mean –”
“I think you did,” he interrupted. Taking a step back, he allowed cool air to pass between you. Stiffly, he bowed. “Thank you for the evening, Your Majesty. Enjoy the remainder of your night.”
Turning around, Jungkook strode down the hall until he disappeared.
You remained still for a moment, staring after him and wondering what you had done. All you’d wanted to do was to steer the conversation away from your vow not to marry. Instead, you’d insulted a man who had done nothing to harm you – at one point, he’d even wanted to protect you.
Gathering your skirts, you turned and walked away. Yoongi had not waited for you, for which you were grateful. You had no doubt he’d side with King Jungkook regarding your display this evening. Anyone with half a brain would, you supposed.
Still, it was too much for Jungkook to expect you to marry him simply because you had once been engaged. You’d been right about one thing – the situation was different now. You were different now and could not afford to let Jungkook get any closer.
You’d witnessed firsthand the kind of disaster such unions wrought.
Climbing the steps to your chamber, the crown on your head felt heavier tonight than ever before.
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The sun had not yet risen when you left your bed the next morning. Donning a gown, you hastily braided your hair and slipped outside. Nodding hello to your guards, you hurried down the corridors and out a side door.
As the land of Dragons, Ashya had developed unique features attuned to their needs. One such accommodation were the sheds – tiny, low buildings with large yards beyond them. They rested on the opposite side of the stables, since horses tended to be spooked by dragons and the main purpose of the sheds was for Dragons to shift.
Entering the one closest, you shut the door and began to undress. Hanging your clothes on the wall, you strolled into the enclosed yard. Its walls were high enough to ensure no passersby saw, yet large enough to encompass an adult Dragon.
Inhaling a breath, you tipped your head back and let the shift come. Wings unfurling, you opened your eyes and set your forelegs upon the ground. Bending low to the dirt, you pushed yourself upwards and into the sky.
Soaring over the castle, you began to fly southeast of the city. Valor sprawled out beneath you, a haphazard city of cobblestone and flint. Smoke curled from the chimneys, the earliest households waking for the day.
To the east, the foothills of the Thadal mountains were covered in pasture. Sheep and goats grazed there; their wool favored by Ashyan merchants. Circling overhead to ensure all was well, you found yourself satisfied and began to climb higher.
This was one of your favorite pastimes. Flying high enough that even your Dragon’s breath froze in your lungs, crystallizing in bursts until you could no longer bear it. Then you dove, tucking your wings in to hurtle towards the ground.
At the last moment, you snapped your wings open and rode the wind.
Snorting a thin stream of smoke, you slowed as you approached the mountains. The first rays of dawn broke over the horizon, spilling their light between the rocky crags. Inhaling fresh morning air, you flew further south.
The Thadal range was truly one of the wonders of the continent. Flying between towering peaks, you did not question why the Dragon Wars had been fought for its riches. The mountains went on for miles in the east, a flight you’d only made once. It had taken you nearly a week to cross the entire range and at its end you’d found a desert similar in size to the Irik Sea.
When you had returned, your father had berated you. Your mother had died only a year prior and he had only recently managed to pull himself together. If you had died, he’d shouted, the entire future of Ashya was lost.
It was a heavy burden to bear, but one you’d shouldered after his passing. Everything you did was for your nation and people. You would be enough for Ashya and would guard against the kind of attachments which might put this at risk.
As the sun slowly rose, the tightness in your stomach increased. With the rising sun came the responsibilities of being Queen. You had a schedule to keep, meetings to attend with Duret Ghal, your advisors and a large group of nobles.
Tucking in your wing, you began to turn – only for bright, searing pain to hit you in the shoulder.
Crying out, you fought to keep stable while twisting around. Wings beating the air, you frantically searched for your attacker. Vision blurred, you scanned the tree lines below and found nothing.
A second bolt shot towards you. With great effort, you managed to dodge the strike, rolling in midair. Mid-twist, you realized a large iron bolt remained lodged in your shoulder.
Stomach curdling, you realized what danger you were in. Only Mor had crossbows strong enough to kill a Dragon. Somewhere beneath you lay a Mor patrol.
Searching the woods, you felt hot drops of blood dripping from your scales. Before you could retaliate, before you could so much as inhale, an arrow of darkness shot into your vision.
Jungkook, astride his dragon, Nemrys, laid waste to the mountain.
A great wave of fire engulfed where the Mor patrol had been. Faint screams rose from below, a final shot fired but its aim was way off, as though whomever had done so, did so out of panic.
Wings flapping, you tried to stay aloft, but to no avail. It was hard to bring down a Dragon with a single bolt, but Mor had perfected their technology over the past century and you’d been caught unawares.
Nemrys continued to torch the forest even as you dropped, struggling to stay alight. Vision turning black, you thought you heard Jungkook yell – or maybe it was your own subconscious – before you spiraled down, wings cutting through branches before you hit the ground.
Everything went dark after that.
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Groggily, you woke to the sound of your name being called.
Fabric had been draped over your torso, softer than the dirt beneath your back. As you opened an eye, you realized you’d shifted to human. This happened occasionally when you went through a great shock.
As soon as you thought this, you remembered the attack. When you attempted to sit upright, a gentle hand gripped your shoulder. Re-focusing through the haze, you realized it was Jungkook who knelt beside you.
His expression remained on your arm. A shudder of pain wracked your body, which had been covered by his cloak, you realized.
Except for your shoulder, that was.
Catching a glimpse of it on the ground, you winced and forced yourself to look away. The lower part of your arm remained unscathed, but the upper portion was in bad shape. All you could see was blood, shredded muscle, and bone peeking through.
“The arrow,” you breathed, head spinning. “Where is it?”
“Knocked loose when you landed,” Jungkook said, tight-lipped. “Which was lucky, given how large the bolt was. Had you shifted while it was still in your shoulder… I do not know what might have happened. Still…” He paused. “You have lost a lot of blood.”
Turning aside, Jungkook began rummaging through a pack on the ground. Dizzily, you glanced around the forest clearing.
“W-where is Nemrys?” you asked, your teeth chattering.
Jungkook looked back with alarm. “I left him in the clearing,” he said. “There was not enough room for him to land.”
“And this is… your cloak?”
Jungkook nodded but said nothing more. He was dressed in all leather, a broadsword strapped to his back in a pragmatic sheath. When he turned your wrist over, you let out a hiss and his gaze snapped to yours.
A war seemed to wage within him as Jungkook sat back on his heels. “You have lost a lot of blood,” he repeated.
“There are healers in Valor,” you said, struggling to sit up. “You must bring me to them.”
Jungkook gripped your good shoulder again. “You cannot shift in this state, and I fear moving you would aggravate the wound ever further.”
You glared at him from the ground. “What do you propose, then?”
Even as you spoke, it occurred to you the situation might be bad. Right now, shock and adrenaline kept the pain at bay, but it would soon wear off.
“I stopped the blood flow as best I could,” Jungkook said. “But it continues to bleed. I fear you may lose consciousness before we reach the capital.”
Panic rose, choking whatever retort you had to say. If you lost consciousness now, it would only be a matter of time before your organs began to fail. You could not die here. You would not; not on an unknown forest floor, miles away from your home.
You would not be brought down by a single Mor patrol before you even got the chance to face them on the battlefield.
“What are the options,” you said, returning to Jungkook. “Do you have a tourniquet with you? Can Nemrys cauterize my wound? I can survive the loss of a limb, Your Majesty, but I will not leave Ashya so poorly defended.”
Jungkook stared at you a moment before he slowly exhaled.
“There is another option,” he said at last.
“Whatever it is, you best do it quickly. Before I pass out and leave you to wrestle with your conscience alone.”
Suppressing a grimace, Jungkook finally nodded and rolled up his sleeves. It exposed sinuous forearms and ink which, in any other circumstance, you might have found appealing. As it was, you merely found them distracting.
Jungkook hesitated before laying his hands on your arm.
“You must…” He paused, then swallowed. “You must trust me, Y/N.”
The use of your first name was shocking enough for you to fall silent. Nodding, you stared at the sky and laid as still as you could. The pain had begun to set in; you could feel phantom tingles from your injured limb. Dull, shooting pain which throbbed in your shoulder.
At first, nothing happened.
Jungkook’s hands remained on your arm and for a moment, nothing changed. Then – a flurry of sparks skittered down his hands. They sank into your skin so quickly, you thought you’d imagined it.
In response to this, the pain flared, and you arched your back.
“Steady,” said Jungkook, calloused hands on your body. It could have been your imagination, but his dark eyes seemed to glow. “The pain will be gone soon.”
As he spoke, more and more sparks traveled down his forearms. They increased until a golden stream of light poured from his fingertips, fracturing into pieces and – healing you, you realized.
Each place the golden light touched, your muscles reknit. Blood flowed back to the wound as your skin stitched itself together. Shocked, you stared at the evidence of your wound being erased. A bead of sweat rolled down Jungkook’s brow, his color turning sallow while you stared in alarm.
“Jungkook,” you rasped, chest rising and falling. The steady stream of light continued to brighten. “Jungkook – enough.”
He inhaled and jerked back, severing the connection.
Still breathing heavily, you stared at him in shock. The forest around you seemed darker, as though it, too, missed the light. Missed the golden magic which had poured forth from his fingers.
Shakily, you pushed yourself to a seated position, one hand on his cloak to hold it in place. Glancing down, you saw your shoulder and went still. He had healed you. Somehow, Jungkook had healed you.
Experimentally, you flexed the muscles and watched the skin ripple, undeterred.
You’d heard of healing magic but never experienced it in person. Magic was rare enough for not all gifts to be born in the same lifetime. There was also the small matter of neither of Jungkook’s parents being Dragons. Only a human with a Dragon parent could inherit magical gifts.
“Explain,” you said, gaze lifting to him.
Jungkook blinked. “Excuse me?”
“Explain,” you repeated, not looking away. “How did you heal me?”
Finally understanding, Jungkook sat back on his heels. Twisting around, he rummaged in his pack for a canteen and unscrewed the cap. As he took a long sip, Jungkook stared at the forest.
His exhaustion was clear, and you felt a glimmer of regret at your words. Regret – and something else. Something warmer, which wrapped you in golden tendrils as easily as his magic.
Clutching the cloak, you stared and realized you were being unfair. First and foremost, he had saved your life. Everything else could wait.
“Thank you,” you said quietly.
Jungkook stilled.
“I do not know how, nor why you healed me,” you continued. “But… thank you for doing so.”
Setting down his canteen, Jungkook waited a moment before turning to face you. He seemed to wrestle with some inner emotion.
“You are welcome.” After another beat, he reached into his sack. “Here,” he said, pulling out a ball of clothes. “If you wish to change into my spare clothing, you may. I can wait over there.”
Once you accepted the bundle, Jungkook stood from the ground. Dusting his palms on his pants, he swayed a little before he steadied himself. Before you could comment on this he was gone, trekking across the clearing.
Silently, you unfolded the clothes in your lap.
They included a tunic and trousers, along with a leather belt to hold them in place. Scuffed boots made up the last item of the pile. Running a thumb up their side, you attempted to determine their make.
“Why do you have all this?” you asked, looking up.
Even from here, you could see Jungkook’s cheeks redden. “Nemrys and I were once trapped by a snowstorm. We were forced to camp for the night in the mountains. Ever since then, I’ve always carried supplies. Get dressed,” he said, turning around. “I promise not to look.”
Tough you bristled, you watched and true to his word, he did not turn around. Once you were certain of this, you stood from the ground and began to dress yourself. His tunic was much too large, as were the trousers, forcing you to tighten the belt to its final notch. The fabric was soft and warm though, smelling of him.
Again, you marveled at your ease of motion. You’d seen your shoulder before Jungkook had done his healing and knew the situation could have been worse. If you hadn’t bled out in the woods, you might have lost the limb. Even in older accounts of magical healing, you knew it could be dangerous work. Healing required knowledge of muscles, veins, ligaments, and nerve endings. It was simple to patch up skin – harder to make everything beneath it work again.
Whatever magic Jungkook had, it was powerful.
Once you were fully dressed, you approached him on the other side of the clearing. Jungkook continued to stare pointedly at the woods, only turning around when you tapped his shoulder. He swiftly took in your outfit, gaze darkening at the sight of his clothes on your frame.
Ignoring the possible meanings his look could contain, you cleared your throat.
Jungkook’s gaze jumped to yours. “Are you ready to go?” he said, a bit brusque. “Nemrys is willing to fly us both back.”
Your jaw fell a little. “You wish for me to ride a dragon?”
“I expect you not to undo the gift I gave. Although I fixed your shoulder the best I could, I’d prefer a healer examined you back in Valor. It would be bad,” Jungkook added, seeing your expression, “if the Queen of Ashya were to plummet from the sky after my attempted healing.”
Much as you hated to admit it, he had a point. Magic was tenuous – even you knew how complicated healing magic was.
“Fine,” you muttered. “I will ride back with you.”
When you moved to walk past him, Jungkook grabbed your arm. Bristling somewhat, you stared at his hand on your sleeve.
“What?” you huffed, looking upwards.
Jungkook met your gaze. “Before we go,” he said slowly. “There are things you should know. Things we need to discuss.”
“Such as?”
“Such as my magic,” he said, releasing your arm. “My magic, where it comes from, and what it means for Ashya.”
You stared at him, not understanding.
Jungkook exhaled and ran a hand through his hair. Dark strands fell around his face, partially concealing the worry in his gaze. Of what, or for whom, you did not know.
“Do you know the origin story of magic?”
His voice had deepened, softened a little. Something about this and his expression convinced you not to snap back. Every child on the continent knew the origin story.
“Of course,” you said curiously. “Natal ripped a hole in the veil and before she could close it, magic seeped through.”
“True.” Jungkook nodded. “In your version of the story though, only your kind were gifted with magic. This is not the case. All dragons have magic.”
The world around you seemed to tilt. What Jungkook said was impossible and yet, he seemed utterly serious. For a moment, you wondered if he’d also been hurt in the attack. Perhaps he’d hit his head in his haste to heal you.
“You are the only kind of dragon who can shapeshift,” he continued. “Other kinds of magic exist, though. There are other types of power the dragons can wield.”
“Impossible,” you whispered, finally finding your voice.
“It is true.” Jungkook’s gaze remained level. “Riders can use the magic of the dragon they’re bonded to. It is why I can heal. Nemrys comes from a long line of dragons with healing magic.”
“It cannot be,” you said, reeling from the implications. “Only the descendants of Dragons and humans are born with magic.”
“And riders, once they bond.”
You stared at him a moment, then shook your head. “We would have known. We would… we would have known if someone else could use magic. How could we not?” you demanded.
A shadow of something bitter crossed Jungkook’s expression. “I am sure you are aware there are parts of Duret Ghal which disapprove of magic.”
You did not know how this could relate to the dragons and their riders but allowed the detour to continue. It could not be worse than the sudden revelation magic was different from what you’d always imagined.
“I am aware,” you said flatly. “A ridiculous notion. Magic wins wars.”
“True.” Jungkook seemed to weigh his words. “But those born with gifts are viewed as a necessary evil by some within Duret Ghal. A tool for battle and nothing more. If these people had discovered their leaders had magic?” Jungkook shook his head. “A century ago, Ghalians would have revolted.”
Your eyes narrowed. “They would accept you ride dragons, but not that you have magic?”
A ghost of a smile crossed Jungkook’s lips.
“Humans are gifted magic when a Dragon and human mate,” he explained. “For many years, Duret Ghal considered Ashya and Dragons to be our enemy. You can understand why the idea of magic was an inherent threat.”
“…I suppose.”
“They only accepted the riders because Ghalians imagined the same thing you did – that the dragons we ride are a tame, subservient species compared to your own. It is not so.”
Unable to fathom this, you looked away at the forest. If everything Jungkook said was true, then the history of your nation – of your continent – was a lie. The Dragons of Ashya were only different in that they could shapeshift. The rhetoric you’d believed your whole life, that you were somehow more than the rest, was untrue.
The dragon riders had magic and, realizing this, you turned back.
“Why did you heal me, then?” you asked. “If the Ghalians feel so strongly about magic, surely you would wish to keep this a secret?”
Jungkook hesitated.
“We were… aware of the risk coming here. For many years, I have been trying to convince the other riders to reveal themselves,” he explained. “It was the coming war against Mor which convinced them, in the end.”
“What does Mor have to do with it?”
“Everything,” Jungkook said. “Mor has declared a war on all dragons, including those of Duret Ghal. Their technology is beyond ours. When they do come, it will be a bloody battle. If we do not fight with our full capabilities, we might fail. I will not allow this to happen.”
“And so,” you said slowly. “You healed me because… you had already decided to reveal your magic?”
An amused gleam entered his gaze. “Amongst other reasons,” Jungkook allowed. “Though you may not believe it, I rather enjoy having you around, Your Majesty. It would be a pity to waste a life such as yours.”
There seemed to be deeper meaning to his words, but you had no time to dissect it. Stepping closer, Jungkook looked down.
“We had planned to reveal our magic once the treaty was signed,” he explained. “Your injury simply moved up the timeline.”
“I see,” you said, somewhat dazed by his presence so close to your own.
Jungkook nodded, then turned to continue, but something within you kept you from moving. Staring at the back of his head, you realized the words you truly wanted to say.
“And the other dragons,” you said slowly, then stopped. “What about them?”
Paused at the edge of the clearing, Jungkook turned around. Wariness had entered his gaze.
“I do not know this is my story to tell,” he admitted. “But since you cannot speak directly to Nemrys, I can tell you what he told me.”
Jungkook glanced overhead and you wondered if he searched for the time. Or, you realized, he could be communicating with Nemrys.
You had known rider and dragon had a bond. This had been well-documented throughout history, but not much else was known beyond their ritualistic ceremony. Whether dragon and rider could converse was a controversial topic amongst historians, but based on what Jungkook said, it seemed they could.
Based on what he did now, it seemed they did.
“Thousands of years ago,” Jungkook finally said, looking down. “Natal broke the sky and magic flowed in. It entered all dragons who slept in the mountains below. The magic manifested in different forms. A line of dragons known for compassion became healers. Another line, known for passion and wildness, became stormmakers. And another, always curious, became the shapeshifters.
“Human beings were originally from the south, but as they moved north, they encountered the dragons. Wars were fought between them, bloodier than any of our recent conflicts. Many were killed on both sides, until the head of the shifter dragons decided to become human.
“There was dissent amongst the dragons as to whether this was wise. Many did not like the idea of stooping to the humans’ level, but the shifter line proceeded despite their caution. Your kind founded Ashya and lived in peace for a while.
“Over time, changes took place. Small, at first – and then larger. Some of the shifters chose not to shift, even though they could. Some decided they preferred human form over dragon. In an important conflict, the shifters sided with humans. Certain lines of dragons deemed this to be unacceptable.
“The most feared magic amongst dragons was – and still is – that of the memory dragons. These dragons, though rare, can manipulate thought, memory and perception. As punishment for siding with the humans, they took away your memory of all dragons. Stole your ability to communicate while in dragon form. Over time, your kind have forgotten what you once were.
“It was a terrible punishment. One which has not been given since. That is the whole truth,” he finished quietly. “That is the knowledge which has been kept from your kind.”
Falling silent, Jungkook allowed time for his story to sink in. The forest around you was silent as well, as though it, too, were holding its breath.
You could only stare while struggling to comprehend. If what Jungkook said was true, then you were not different from other dragons – or, you were, but not in the ways you’d once thought. They were as intelligent, as cohesive, and knowledgeable as you were. More, perhaps, if they had hidden this from you for so long.
“And so, rider magic,” you said, a bit hoarse. “How…?”
“Ah.” Jungkook gave a wry smile. “The riders did not come until later. Call it Natal’s judgement, if you will. As time went on, some of the dragon lines grew more curious about humans. One of them somehow bonded with a human. This continued to occur until finally, the King of Duret Ghal himself became a dragon rider.”
“And the riders,” you said, trying to piece it together. “They can use their dragon’s magic?”
Jungkook nodded.
“And you speak to them?” The barest hint of wonder entered your voice. “Can you speak to all dragons?”
“Only the one we are bonded to,” Jungkook said, a bit softer.
“I see.”
He gave you a look. “I know this is a lot to take in.”
“No. Well, yes,” you said as you shook your head. “You have given me much to think on, Your Majesty.”
Jungkook’s expression shuttered a bit at the formality, but he inclined his head. “Indeed, Your Majesty,” he responded.
You stared at him for a moment, taking in the dried sweat on his forehead from the energy spent healing you. Something had changed between you, and you did not know how you could turn back.
“Thank you,” you said softly.
Jungkook glanced up. “For what?”
“For many things, I suppose. For healing me. For trusting me with the truth. I owe you a life debt, Your Majesty.”
An unreadable look passed over his face. “I imagine there will be many life debts between us before this war comes to pass.”
He was not wrong and for a moment, you allowed yourself the luxury of imagining you might face this war together.
“A fair point,” you allowed.
Glancing past him, you surveyed the clearing. Nemrys must be nearby, or Jungkook would not have gotten to you so quickly. Suddenly, the prospect of meeting another dragon held an entirely different meaning. All this time, you had assumed them to be less intelligent than your own and had treated them as such. You could only imagine how little they thought of you.
Nemrys would likely be less thrilled to have you riding him, than you would be in the saddle.
“There is another reason I healed you,” Jungkook admitted.
You glanced his way in surprise. “And what reason was that?”
Jungkook walked closer, step by step until he was barely a foot away. Reaching out a hand, he adjusted his tunic where it fell on your frame. His thumb brushed your bare collarbone and in response to this, you barely suppressed a shiver.
“You said you did not know me.” Jungkook swallowed. “It seemed a shame for our time to be cut short before I could remedy this fact.”
With that, he dropped his hand and walked away.
You stared as he left, feeling utterly thrown until he spoke again.
“Follow me,” Jungkook called. “Nemrys is impatient. Not unusual for a dragon, but he does make a good point. People will be looking for us – I was expected back nearly an hour ago.”
Glancing overhead, you realized Jungkook was right based on the sun's position. It had risen nearly above the treetops, meaning Jimin would have people looking for you soon.
Jungkook kept going as you followed, striding from the clearing you’d made when you fell. It took only a few minutes before the trees had thinned enough for you to come face to face with Nemrys on the ground.
His scales were ebony in color, dark as the night sky above during the witching hour. Only one golden eye could focus on you at a time, but the one which did remained steady as you entered.
Nemrys did not seem happy to see you, and you did not blame him. Dragons were a territorial bunch, whether shifter or otherwise. If Nemrys considered you a threat to Jungkook, he would stop at nothing to protect his rider.
As you exited the forest, Jungkook looked up. “No,” he said sharply, walking around Nemrys’ side.
Curious, you turned and realized he wasn’t speaking to you.
“What did Nemrys say?” 
A growl left Nemrys’ throat, clawing at the ground with a single, curved talon.
Jungkook sighed in response, looking skyward. He seemed thoroughly exasperated, and it was one of the most natural expressions you’d seen on him thus far.
“Nemrys asked if you wished to ride in the saddle, or have him carry you,” Jungkook said at last, looking down.
Gaze narrowed, you turned your head to Nemrys. If you did not know any better, you could have sworn his upper lip curled. To be carried by a dragon meant to dangle upside down from their claw while they flew through the air.
“No, thank you,” you said, walking closer. “Although, I do have something I wish to say to Nemrys.”
Coming to a stop before him, you looked Nemrys in the eye. Nemrys slowly blinked, as though he were extremely uninterested in whatever you had to say.
“Thank you,” you said, your voice softening. “Thank you… for telling me, through him.”
Nemrys stilled.
“And for healing me,” you added, bowing your head. It was a sign of great trust to expose your neck to a dragon. “I cannot find the words to express my gratitude.”
After a moment, Nemrys exhaled and lowered his head as well. Glancing up, you met his gaze and felt something unspoken pass between you.
“He thinks you might find the saddle more comfortable,” Jungkook said, sounding a bit amused at the side.
Lips twitching, you took a step backwards and looked now at Jungkook. Nemrys snorted again, steam exhaled past his lips. In response to whatever he’d said, Jungkook’s cheeks turned a bit pink.
“What was that?” you asked, curious.
“Nothing.” Jungkook glared at the dragon. “Nemrys said we should go.”
Nemrys snorted once more, steam rising as he hauled himself to his feet. It did not seem Jungkook was telling you the entire truth, but the importance of this faded when you saw the saddle. It had not seemed as high when you were also a dragon.
“You sit up… there?” you asked, coming to a stop.
Jungkook hid his smile. “It isn’t as dangerous as it seems,” he insisted, placing a hand on the ladder. “You just climb all the rungs until you reach the top.”
Nodding, you placed one foot in the stirrup and firmly gripped the ladder. As you began to climb, hand over foot, you found yourself holding your breath. Eventually, you reached the top and swung a leg over.
“Careful,” Jungkook called from the ground. “I still want my healer to take a look at your shoulder.”
“I have healers, too,” you grumbled, settling onto the leather.
Jungkook climbed after you, swinging his leg over to land firmly behind you. His right hand found your waist, tugging you back until your spine met his chest. None other would dare touch the Queen in such a manner but then again, Jungkook was also a King.
“I know,” he said, his breath warm on your ear. “But mine are accustomed to dealing with magical healing.”
Unable to argue, you gripped the front of the saddle. Unconvincingly, you tried to make yourself believe it would be like riding a horse. Jungkook’s hand gripped your hip, distracting enough that you nearly forgot what you were doing.
As Nemrys bent and spread his wings, you forced your eyes shut. It was a silly thing, but you’d never flown through the skies when you were not the one in control.
You felt, rather than saw, when the ground fell away beneath you. Wind whistled past your ears, the force of gravity pressing you against Jungkook’s chest. He said nothing in response, merely curled his fingers into the hem of your tunic.
One you felt comfortable, you opened your eyes against the rushing wind.
For a moment, vertigo overtook you and you felt a bit nauseous. It felt wrong to fly in your human body, with nothing protecting you if you were to fall. The feeling only lasted a moment though, before you began to marvel at the landscape beneath you.
It looked different with your human vision – as a dragon, you could see UV as well as blue, red and green. Vision as a human was softer, the mountains before you a muted grey-green. Even the air felt colder without your dragon skin.
Unbidden, you shivered, and Jungkook’s hand tightened.
“It is different,” you breathed, staring hard at the ground.
Jungkook chuckled, low in your ear. “Different for me, too,” he admitted. “I have never flown with another person before.”
Startled, you turned and found his face close to yours. You had not thought about this when you moved, but now found yourself inches away from his lips.
“Never?” you murmured, your words caught by the wind.
Again, the same shiver swept your spine, so you forced yourself to face forward. The wind continued to blow, ferocious and cold, but Jungkook managed to stay warm behind you. Eyes drifting shut, you allowed yourself a moment to bask in his presence.
Only a moment before you pulled yourself together.
All too soon, you arrived at the castle courtyard. Landing in the open space by the gates, you realized a search party had already gathered. Sliding down from Nemrys, you barely paused to give thanks before hurrying on.
Midway to the castle, you saw Jimin break ranks as he jogged to see you. Scanning your frame, his silver-blonde hair blew haphazardly in the wind. Coming to a sudden stop, Jimin glanced past you, his eyes widening when he realized you’d come from Nemrys.
Before he could speak, Namjoon skidded to a stop beside him.
“Y/N,” he gasped, lowering both hands to his knees. “By the veil, you scared us.”
Guiltily, you turned. “I am sorry,” you told him. “I am fine, though. I promise. I apologize for making you worry.”
Jimin continued to stare at Nemrys. “Your Majesty. What –”
“It was my fault,” Jungkook interrupted, striding into the circle. He came to a stop alongside you, as though he belonged there. “I saw Her Majesty injure herself while out flying and insisted on escorting her back to the castle.”
Namjoon looked at you in alarm. “Is this true? Are you hurt?”
“Only a dislocation,” you assured him. “Nothing to worry about.”
Although Namjoon nodded, Jimin continued to frown.
“A dislocation,” he said slowly, his gaze flicking to yours. “While flying?”
“Momentarily blinded by the sun,” you explained. “Hit a cliff and was forced to shift back to human.”
“And… Jungkook saw?”
Both Jimin and Namjoon glanced at Jungkook, who jumped into the story without missing a beat.
“Nemrys has excellent vision,” he said with a shrug. “Better than I, that is for certain.”
Jimin still seemed suspicious, but he eventually nodded. “We are glad to see you safe, Your Majesty,” he said. “I will go and tell the search party to stand down.”
“Thank you,” you said quietly.
Jimin began crossing the courtyard, leaving you alone with Namjoon and Jungkook. You fully intended to tell Namjoon and Jimin the truth, but now was not the right moment. Too many ears were listening.
“Is Yoongi furious?” you asked lowly. “How many meetings have I missed?”
Namjoon gave a rueful smile. “He will get over it. Your meetings for the morning have been postponed. The afternoon remains.”
“Good,” you said, stepping forward. “I will just –”
“Your Majesty,” Jungkook said, and you paused. “I did hope you would see the healer on my staff before returning to duty.”
He stood to your side, looking at you earnestly. Namjoon glanced between you; his surprise further increasing when you eventually nodded.
“His Majesty is correct,” you admitted. “I do feel fine, Namjoon, but it is better to be safe than sorry. I will have things to discuss with you after.”
Namjoon slowly nodded, seeming to understand. “Anything I need to know now?”
Glancing around, you ensured no one could hear. “A Mor patrol,” you said quietly. “Barely fifteen miles south. They were the true cause of my injury, but they are no longer a worry.”
Namjoon’s brow creased even further. “Are you certain you are alright? If it was a Mor patrol, you may have–”
“I am fine,” you cut in, quiet.
Namjoon hesitated before he nodded again. “Alright. I will have Jimin send soldiers to search the surrounding mountains.”
“Thank you. Tell Yoongi I will be up as soon as I can. And have Amara send me new clothes,” you added as you walked past. “I believe it sends the wrong message to wander around in His Majesty’s leathers.”
Namjoon nearly choked on his response while turning to leave.
“Well?” You glanced sideways, at Jungkook. “What are we waiting for?”
Turning his laugh into a cough, Jungkook began to walk forward. “Nothing,” he said.
Following his footsteps, you realized he went towards the guest entrance of the castle. Jungkook had not landed near the sheds, which made sense. Dragons and riders did not take kindly to one another. You supposed you and Nemrys now made the exception.
As you entered the halls of the castle, a draft brushed your exposed skin and you shivered. Pulling Jungkook’s clothes tighter, you considered the excuse he’d fed to Jimin.
“You said Nemrys saw me from the sky,” you said, breaking the silence.
Jungkook looked your way in surprise. “Should I have said something different? You did not seem inclined to discuss your injury out there.”
“No, you are correct. However, I now find myself wondering how did you see me this morning? Did you follow me from the castle, Your Majesty?”
Coming to a halt at the next corner, Jungkook turned sideways to face you.
His gaze flickered in torchlight. “Are you accusing me of following you?”
"Merely asking.”
Jungkook’s eyes narrowed. “If you must know, I was also out for my morning ride. I saw a Mor scout and had tracked them back to that mountain when I saw you get shot.”
“How very convenient,” you said, lifting your chin.
A muscle in his jaw ticked, stepping closer. “Is it?” he murmured. “I find it tiresome to have my honor continually called into question, Your Majesty.”
“Can you blame me?” you said. “You have kept many secrets from me, it would seem. Some are more substantial than others.”
“I also saved your life.”
“A debt I am well-aware of.”
A door creaked open down the hall.
“Oh – I am sorry,” a chestnut-haired man said, peeking out. “I heard arguing and wanted to make sure no one needed my help. Carry on!”
The man was about to duck back inside, when Jungkook held up a hand.
“Wait, Hoseok,” he said, not looking away from your gaze. “I need you to do something for me.”
The man – Hoseok, it seemed – paused halfway across the threshold. His gaze slid to yours, clearly recognizing you for who you were.
“Are you sure?” he asked slowly.
Jungkook nodded, turning on his heel as he strode down the hall. You were left with no choice but to follow, glaring daggers at his retreating backside. Something about the King made your blood boil, making you see red as you traveled in his footsteps.
“This is my healer, Jung Hoseok,” Jungkook said, coming to a stop. “Hoseok, this is the Queen of Ashya. I would appreciate it if you looked at her shoulder.”
Hoseok hesitated, glancing past Jungkook to you. After a moment, he nodded and stepped inside. 
“Of course,” he said with a bow. “Please, come in.”
Inclining your head, you walked past Jungkook to enter. The space past him was tidy, though there was not much light to see by, aside from the fireplace. Possibly the room had belonged to an Ashyan healer, although you could not be certain. You rarely traveled into the guest wing.
Once Jungkook had joined you, Hoseok crossed the room to pull open a cabinet. Rummaging around, he set several jars on the counter.
Jungkook lingered by the door, leaning a shoulder to the wall to stare at the healer.
Deciding the best thing to do was ignore him, you glanced away. One minute the King was tender, binding your wounds with the utmost of care and the next, he seemed ready to bite your head off. It was maddening.
Glancing around, you took in herbs, linen, and jars of salve. On the hearth was a fire, crackling merrily beneath a large, copper pot. The scents of witch hazel and thyme filled the room, a natural antiseptic.
“Hoseok is the best healer in Duret Ghal,” Jungkook said, by way of introduction.
Hoseok snorted. “I do not know about that,” he said as he turned around.
“Careful.” Jungkook arched a brow. “Her Majesty may take you at your word and see an Ashyan healer instead.”
Hoseok made an unbecoming sound before he looked up, stricken. “I did not mean insult, Your Majesty,” he said, a bit panicked. “It is only –”
“It is alright,” you interrupted. “None of my healers are accustomed to wounds healed by magic. I would prefer you look at my wound, regardless of what you have to say about Ashya.”
Hoseok shot Jungkook a surprised glance, who nodded.
“The Queen’s wounds were severe,” Jungkook said quietly. “An iron bolt to the shoulder while in dragon form. She crashed through the forest and shifted on impact. Had lost a lot of blood when I arrived.”
“I see.” Hoseok glanced your way, sympathetic. “I am so sorry to hear it, Your Majesty.”
With anyone else, you might have thought the words sounded patronizing, but not with Hoseok. He had an earnest way about him; you imagined he couldn’t tell a lie to save his soul.
“I would not care to repeat the experience,” you admitted.
Briskly, Hoseok scanned your body. “Left shoulder?”
Surprised, you said, “Yes.”
He nodded, rolling up his sleeves to walk around the table. An empty jar stayed behind on the counter, the flames from the hearth casting flickering light on the floor.
Hoseok stopped. “In order to evaluate your arm, I will need you to remove the tunic, Your Majesty. Is this alright?”
You nodded, then glanced at Jungkook.
Cheeks a bit pink, he seemed to take the hint. “I will take my leave,” Jungkook said, his hand fumbling for the door. “Should you have further need of me, Your Majesty, you may send Hoseok to find me.”
“Which might be rather difficult,” Hoseok observed. “Given Hoseok is currently tending to Her Majesty’s injury.”
Jungkook rolled his eyes but hid a smile as he left. The door fell shut behind him, leaving you and Hoseok in total silence. With a rueful smile, he glanced your way.
“Apologies,” he said with a shrug. “Jungkook and I grew up together, so we tend to forget our formalities when others are present.”
“We?” you said, arching a brow. “It seemed you were the only one forgetting your manners, healer Jung.”
Hoseok’s eyes widened, unsure how to respond until you laughed.
“I am sorry,” you said with a smile. “It is cruel to tease when you do not know my nature.”
Hoseok paused before throwing his head back to laugh. Eyes shining, he wagged a finger in your direction as he walked away. “You are funny,” he said, pulling out a bowl. “It is no wonder the King seems to enjoy your company.”
“Is that so?”
Hoseok seemed not to hear your question, selecting some linen to lay on the counter. “There is a partition in the corner,” he said, nodding towards it. “Fabric is laid on the stool, so you can wrap it around your midsection for modesty.”
The partition was barely more than a folding screen, but it did the trick. Stripping free from Jungkook’s tunic, you folded it neatly and placed it on the stool. Winding the fabric around your breasts, you covered them tightly and stepped outside.
Glancing up as you exited, Hoseok set down his work. “You may sit on the stool,” he instructed. “That will do for the examination.”
Taking a seat, you waited for Hoseok to come around the counter. Gently, he took your wrist and turned it this way and that. Raising your arm, he examined its mobility until he seemed satisfied. Deft fingers moved up your arm, applying gentle pressure to several key points. When you failed to react, he prodded deeper.
Aside from the occasional twinge, you felt nothing unusual. After a while, Hoseok took a step back and nodded approval.
“Jungkook did a good job,” he said as he turned away.
“Is that all?”
“Not quite.” Hoseok stepped behind his table. “I will make you a salve, Your Majesty. This will ease any stiffness you may feel from the magical healing. Magic requires a great deal of energy, some of it yours. You may feel more tired than usual.”
“Oh,” you said, a bit thrown.
You had never questioned the toll of magic before. Yoongi had never complained about using his gift to help your council.
Pulling things from his cabinets, Hoseok began to mix and measure in a bowl. He was quiet for a while, content to do his work while you watched. After a while, he cleared his throat.
“I imagine it was a shock,” he said. “To be healed in such a manner.”
You stared at him a moment, unsure how to respond.
“It was… unexpected.”
Hoseok laughed as he looked up. “That is one way to put it,” he agreed. “The first time Jungkook healed me, I screamed like the veil was being torn apart. Thought he was trying to hex me.”
“Is such a thing even possible?” you said, smiling despite yourself.
Hoseok shrugged. “It seemed as likely as a rider having magic. I am sure Jungkook told you, but most in Duret Ghal are unaware of that particular secret.”
Silent, you nodded. Jungkook had, indeed, explained to you the image of magic in his homeland.
After a moment, Hoseok sighed. “The perceptions of Ghalians have changed greatly since the end of the Dragon Wars, but some of the fear remains. There are some who, no matter what we say, will believe magic and all Dragons are evil.”
“Not those His Majesty rides, though?”
Hoseok gave you a wry smile. “They do not view those dragons as the intelligent creatures you and I know them to be. Jungkook wishes to change that,” he said. “But it will be a difficult path. One he is determined to set upon.”
“I see.” You paused. “Forgive me for being blunt, but why are you telling me this?”
Hoseok resumed making the salve. “When Jungkook first revealed his magic to me, I was upset. He had lied. Kept something important from me for such a long time. It took me a while to understand that he, himself, did not always view his magic to be a gift.”
You stared at Hoseok a moment. 
Jungkook had seemed so confident when he healed you, and had always seemed different from the Ghalians who despised magic and Dragons. It had not occurred to you his reasons for keeping his magic a secret may have also been personal.
Hoseok was right. Changing perception within Duret Ghal would be difficult. Jungkook had taken a great risk by revealing his magic to you. A risk you did not wish to examine too closely for the moment.
“Is the examination finished?” you asked, rising from the stool.
Hoseok looked up in surprise. “Oh, yes. Feel free to get dressed, Your Majesty. I will finish this salve and send you on your way.”
You nodded and retreated behind the partition. Once you were no longer visible, you allowed yourself to fully breathe. Hoseok’s words painted a different picture of the Ghalian King. Magic had always been viewed as a gift in Ashya; you should have recognized the stigma elsewhere.
Unwinding the fabric from your torso, you returned to Jungkook’s clothing. His scent was everywhere, enveloping you fully.
It made you remember the ride with him on Nemrys, his body warm and solid behind you. Closing your eyes, you pushed this memory from mind. More and more, you found yourself considering Jungkook as a man instead of your enemy, and such thoughts were dangerous.
Fastening the belt, you stepped outside and found Hoseok waiting.
“Here,” he said, handing over a jar of salve. “If you need more, please send word and I shall bring it immediately.”
“You are too kind,” you said, accepting the bottle. “I appreciate your help, healer Jung.”
“Hoseok,” you agreed with a nod.
Not wishing to overstay the welcome, you gave him a last smile and walked towards the door. One hand on the knob, you paused.
Hoseok looked up at your silence. “Yes?”
A thousand questions sprang to mind – silly, inane ones of no use to anyone. What Jungkook had been like as a child, why he’d once needed to heal Hoseok and reveal his magic. You found yourself wanting to know more, wanting to know him and again, this was dangerous.
“Nothing,” you said, pulling open the door. “Thank you again for your services.”
Hoseok nodded and smiled as you left the room. Amara was waiting for you in the hall, a fresh bundle of clothes in her arms.
“Thank Natal,” you sighed, taking the dress. “It would have caused a lot of talk had I worn the King’s clothing upstairs.”
Hiding her grin, Amara followed you inside the empty room across the corridor. Once the door was shut, she began to help you dress.
“Did you fall in a pond?” she asked innocently, tugging on your laces.
You winced while lifted your arms. “Nothing so exciting. I was caught unawares during my flight and needed to shift. My morning dress is still in the sheds, unfortunately.”
Amara nodded, finishing the final button as you turned around. “I will get it,” she said, gathering Jungkook’s clothes and the salve to exit the room.
Left alone with your thoughts, you hesitated a moment before following suit.
Jungkook had not waited for you.
You were not sure why this mattered. It didn’t – it should not and yet, you couldn’t stop the sinking feeling it somehow did. Shoving the feeling aside, you managed to seem unruffled by the time you reached your first meeting.
The day only grew longer from there.
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When people imagined the duties of the crown, they typically thought of the more extraordinary parts. Being coronated, going to war, grand marshalling parades and the like.
The reality of ruling was far less glamorous. It was one tedious decision after another, with the most minute turn of phrase sparking ire or admiration. It was sitting through meeting after meeting while you listened to weather reports, updates from mines and concerns about a two and a half percent tariff still being too high.
By the time your meetings ended, the sun had long since sunk below the horizon. Wearily, you returned to your rooms and tried to forget the day. It did not seem possible only this morning, you’d feared for your life while bleeding out in the forest.
The only thing which drove you on was the thought of shutting yourself in your chambers, sinking into a bath and closing your eyes. A wish which seemed destined to be thwarted, you saw when you entered.
Min Yoongi had seated himself in an armchair by the fire, his expression steeled like a weapon of war.
“We need to talk,” he said simply.
Coming to a stop at the table, you inspected the salve Hoseok had made. He had not given any instructions on how to apply it, and you wondered if you should have Amara find out.
“Do we?” you said, lifting your gaze to his. “Need I remind you who amongst us wears the crown, Lord Yoongi?”
“And need I remind you which of us pays the other for their counsel?”
Hiding a smile, you pulled out a chair. As much as Ashya’s stability depended on your authority, you were not above thinking yourself impervious to counsel. If Yoongi had something he wished to speak to you about, it was likely important.
“Shall I guess what this is about?” you asked. “Or, are you going to eventually tell me?”
Yoongi did not waste your time. “What happened this morning?”
“I was injured during a flight.”
He made a noise of dismissal. “Are you truly telling me the Queen of Ashya was injured on a routine flight? That you spotted a Mor patrol and became so distracted, you crashed into a mountainside and dislocated your shoulder? Again,” he said, gaze hardening. “What happened?”
Slowly, you exhaled. “The truth is far less believable.”
“Try me.”
And so, you explained. Everything. Your flight this morning, the Mor patrol which had shot you down from the sky. The way you shifted to human before Jungkook arrived to heal you. You told Yoongi about Jungkook having magic, as did all riders. You explained about the different dragon lines, how they all had magic and were not unintelligent, as you had previously assumed.
Once you had finished, Yoongi stared at you and blinked. “That…” He shook his head. “Is equally insane, but at least you are now telling me the truth.”
He had questions then – many of them, and you soon settled into a familiar rhythm. Planning for different eventualities, laying out who to tell and when. Yoongi, along with Namjoon, were your sounding boards for strategy. When you’d given all the answers you could possibly provide, Yoongi fell silent, staring into the fire.
At last, he stood and walked towards the window. Pouring whiskey from a crystal decanter, he swirled this in one hand before he returned.
“This will change things,” Yoongi said, taking a sip of his drink.
“It will.”
“If what you say is true,” he said slowly. “We have acquired an entire new arsenal against Mor. Who knows what kinds of magic lie within their rider ranks? There has not been a healer born for many decades in Ashya.”
“Some of them will be passive powers,” you warned.
Yoongi waved a hand. “It is still a gift. Still magic. In all Jimin’s plans, he has only accounted for the gifts of humans between us. That number will now double! Triple, even.”
“His Majesty only revealed his magic to me because he was forced,” you countered. “We cannot count on them in upcoming battles with Mor. He could still decide otherwise.”
Yoongi gave you a look. “He said he was planning to reveal it after the treaty was signed, yes?”
“Yes, but –”
“But what, Your Majesty?” Yoongi’s eyes narrowed. “What reason do you have now not to trust the King? What lie could you possibly have prepared for me this evening?”
Freezing in place, you could only stare. Yoongi seldom spoke to you like this. For one, you were his Queen and for another, he usually understood you better than to yell.
After a moment, Yoongi sighed and shoved a hand through his hair. He looked tired, you realized. Hoseok’s words from earlier came to mind, about how magic required new energy. You wondered how much Yoongi had used his gift these past few weeks.
“I am sorry,” Yoongi said, and looked as though he meant it. “I did not mean to sound so harsh.”
Choosing not to respond, you waited instead for him to elaborate. Yoongi rarely said things without meaning them.
Closing his eyes, the dark of his lashes dusted paler cheekbones. The veins in his eyelids were prominent, stark against the rest of his skin.
“It can be exhausting to have a gift like mine,” Yoongi said quietly. “All day, I can sense other people’s emotions, yet cannot shut them out. It can be useful, but it is also tiresome. Oftentimes, I am not sure which emotions are mine. It is especially trying,” he said, eyes opening, “when someone continuously lies in my presence.”
“Me?” you said, taken aback. “When have I lied to you, Yoongi?”
Yoongi stared into his glass for a moment, seemingly weighing the consequences of whatever it was he had to say.
“Each time you say you do not wish to marry the King.”
You went still, staring at him from across the table. Within the confines of your chest, your heart began to beat faster.
“I do not mean you are lying on purpose,” Yoongi said, then paused. “Or maybe you are. It can be hard for me to tell. All I know is your emotions are murky each time you speak, as though you are battling something inside.”
“You think… I desire to marry His Majesty?”
Yoongi considered for a minute. “I do not know,” he admitted.
“And yet, you presume to know a great deal,” you said, drumming your fingers on the table. “Why would I turn the King down if I wished to marry him?”
“I am sure I could not say.”
“Hazard a guess.”
Yoongi’s eyes narrowed. “Fine.” He took a long sip of his drink. “When you are around Jungkook, your emotions get lighter. Happier. And yet, there is sorrow as well. I do not know if this is because of His Majesty, or the idea of marriage itself.”
Staring at Yoongi, you refused to move. He was dangerously close to hitting upon something important. Something you’d worked tirelessly to hide, even from yourself.
“Is it Leo?” Yoongi asked, a bit gentler. “Do you still love him?”
Yoongi had not served with you in the army, but he knew about your former love. Early on in your reign, you’d asked Yoongi to go about certain steps to protect Leo from harm.
“No,” you exhaled. “It has been a long time since I chose my path, and he chose his.”
“Pride, then. Perhaps you do not like the idea of ruling beside someone else.”
“It is not that,” you muttered.
“Hm.” Yoongi tilted his head. “That is the truth.”
“Stop doing that,” you said with a roll of your eyes.
“Perhaps it is the idea of losing your independence, then. Or possibly…” Yoongi paused as something seemed to occur to him. “Ah.”
“What? What is it?”
“It is the mating bond, is it not?”
Going utterly still, you stared at him from across the table.
“Y/N,” Yoongi said softly. “Not all marriages occur with a mating bond. Not all loves do, either. And it is still possible Jungkook could be your mate. Humans have mated with Dragons before. It is not impossible for him to–”
Realizing what he meant then, a laugh left your lips. It sounded bitter, even to you. Yoongi thought you didn’t want to marry Jungkook because he wasn’t your mate. He thought you wanted to marry for love, when the truth was the exact opposite.
“I know it is possible,” you gasped, interrupting. “I know it is possible because Jungkook is my mate, Yoongi. I have known this fact since I was seventeen and visited him for the treaty.”
Yoongi’s eyes widened as you pressed on.
“I felt it even then,” you whispered, the words pouring out. “It was hardly anything at that age, barely more than a brush of energy against my skin, but… I knew. I knew the mating bond lay between us.”
Silence fell between you, the weight of what you’d said settling over the table. Eventually, Yoongi managed to shake himself free from his stupor.
“Then what is the problem?” he demanded. “If you two are mates, surely this is even more reason for you to accept his proposal. It must be a sign from Natal.”
Jaw clenched, you looked away. The mere thought of accepting the bond brought a dull roar to your ears, twisting your insides into knots. You could never forget what occurred after your trip to Duret Ghal, nor the solemn vow you had made at your coronation.
“I cannot marry him,” you said stiffly.
Incredulity entered Yoongi’s gaze. “But Y/N –”
“I cannot,” you said, turning your head. “Yoongi, you know as well as I do how bonds like this end. How it looks, how it feels for someone to lose their mate. I vowed when I accepted the crown it would be the only constant in my life.”
Pity filled Yoongi’s gaze as realization dawned.
“Y/N,” he said after a long moment. “You are not your father.”
The silence in the room drew as taut as a bowstring.
“It killed him,” you whispered. “The loss of my mother killed my father. You know this to be true. It may have taken him five years, but from the moment she died, he began to die as well. I cannot – I will not – do that to myself, or to Ashya.”
Yoongi stared at you a moment before he looked away.
It was a silent truth acknowledged throughout the Kingdom. Dragons had a long lifespan, but the mating bond was something other and strange. It only occurred once in a lifetime and was a love so deep, so true that to lose one’s mate was to lose oneself.
Your father had tried, at least. He’d stayed alive for you, for his Kingdom, but it had not been enough in the end. After five years of trying, he’d finally given in.
It was why you’d enlisted after your mother’s death. You had seen how her loss was killing your father and could not bear to be around for the process.
When you finally returned to accept the crown, you’d made your vow. The same fate would not befall you. You would not become your father and leave Ashya at risk. You would not accept the mating bond – which meant you would not accept Jungkook.
Even if every fiber of your being wished to do so.
Jungkook was not yet fully your mate. He needed to be aware of the bond, for one and you needed to accept it, for another. Tendrils already existed, but it was not the same thing as the full bond in place. Once you accepted, there would be no return.
“Not everyone views their mate as a bad thing,” Yoongi said quietly.
Startled, you looked up. “They are fools, then.”
He frowned at his glass. “Are we not all fools in love, though?”
“Precisely the reason I do not care to accept it.”
Smiling sadly, Yoongi lifted his drink and drained the rest. His expression shifted from resignation to thoughtfulness while he set down his glass.
“They say the loss of a mate is akin to ripping one’s heart from their chest,” he mused. “They say it is an unbearable pain, one which cannot be endured.”
“Are you trying to help me?”
He paused. “I only wonder… for such unimaginable pain, there must be unimaginable beauty before it. What could be so wonderful that to be without it would be close to death?” Yoongi shook his head. “Maybe the loss of a mate has no parallel because its happiness has no parallel, either.”
Struck by this statement, you looked into the fire.
“It is not a bad thing to want happiness, Your Majesty.”
Brow furrowed, you continued to stare at the leaping flames. It was not a bad thing to want happiness, but the mating bond had never meant such a thing to you.
Not until Jungkook. When he had arrived a week prior, you’d kept him at arm’s length for two reasons. One had been his title and Duret Ghal’s legacy, but the other had been self-preservation.
You could not miss what you did not know. Unfortunately, each passing day brought you closer together and you feared when he left, it would tear your heart from your chest.
Still, it was better than accepting him as your mate.
Yoongi stood from the table and stretched his arms overhead. Looking up, you appreciated the silence he gave you. The truth of the bond was something you hadn’t told anyone. To share it with him felt like a weight lifted.
“There are more negotiations tomorrow,” Yoongi said, returning to business. “With the secret of the riders’ magic revealed, we will need to factor this into our military discussions.”
“Agreed,” you said quietly.
Yoongi considered you a moment longer before he turned around. As he reached the door, Yoongi paused on the threshold.
“I understand your hesitance, Your Majesty,” he said quietly. “I would not blame you if you decided not to accept him. It is only for your happiness I urge you to reconsider. Not all of us are gifted with a mate,” he said simply, and walked out the door.
As the door shut behind him, you stared at the wood.
You remained seated for some time, listening to your heartbeat, and imagining it entwined with someone else’s. This was the second secret of yours only Yoongi knew.
The other was you hadn’t wanted to accept the throne at all.
When your father had died, you’d been content to stay in the armed forces, living a life of anonymity while you served Ashya. You had planned on relinquishing the crown, but Yoongi had known and convinced you to return. He’d been the one to talk some sense into you, saying if you truly wished to serve Ashya, you’d do so best in the role you’d been born into – as its Queen.
Duty had been thrust upon you sooner than it should have; yet another reason why you resented the bond. You should not have become Queen when you did. You should not have had to accept the burden so soon and yet, you had. It had been the right course and you deeply loved this nation.
It was why you refused to put Ashya through such a thing again.
And yet, you could not help but think upon Yoongi’s words. It was not a bad thing to want happiness for yourself.
After a long time, you roused yourself from the table and went to bed.
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The first time you’d felt the bond had been at the cliffs, although you had not realized what it was at the time.
It had only been later, in the middle of Duret Ghal’s gardens, you understood the gravity of what you felt for Jungkook. Or rather, what you one day might feel.
After the day you spent riding, you’d began to notice Jungkook’s presence more and more. He could usually be found in one of two places – in the palace library or out on his dragon, Nemrys. You had found yourself watching for him, somehow attuned to his presence.
Even with all this, the magnitude had not stricken you until the night of the ball. On the last night of your trip, Duret Ghal decided to celebrate both your betrothal and the anticipated treaty. No expense had been spared for the evening. Even now, you remembered the sounds of the orchestra playing, chandeliers bright above as the people laughed and danced.
At some point, you’d searched for the Prince and found him no longer inside. Curious, your search had led you out the northern doors, onto a patio which overlooked the gardens below.
Duret Ghal had been colder than Ashya, but during the summer the evening air had been pleasantly cool. Wandering away from the castle, you’d drifted amongst the flowers until you came upon him.
Jungkook had faced away from you, his hands clasped behind his back while he watched the tree above with its delicate, orange blossoms. His eyes had been closed; wayward, dark strands of hair blown over his face.
Realizing you’d intruded upon a personal moment, you turned to take your leave, and stepped on a twig. 
Jungkook’s eyes had flown open and when he saw you, he smiled.
The sight sent such simmering warmth through your chest, you’d nearly stopped breathing. White-hot energy blazed across your skin, brightening the world while you basked in his gaze.
That had been the moment you realized. Jungkook was your mate.
“I – I am sorry,” you’d stammered, turning to leave. “I am intruding–”
“Not at all.” Jungkook’s gaze sought yours in darkness. “Please. Stay.”
After a moment of consideration, you had acquiesced. The closer you moved, the more aware you’d become of his energy. Suddenly, all the wives’ tales and legends about mating made sense. The bond had been real, and you felt it for Jungkook.
Jungkook had smiled at you, then returned to the flowers. “Were you also tired of the people gathered inside?” 
“Yes,” you’d murmured.
None of the people inside had been him.
Forcing yourself to look up, you had focused on the tree. It was not a species native to Ashya; its delicate, floral scent was unfamiliar. Between its boughs, the night stars had peered down. Legends said stars were where Natal’s veil was thinnest and otherworldly magic seeped through the cracks. You liked to imagine stars held some kinship to dragons.
Jungkook had cleared his throat. “I must admit,” he’d said. “You are not at all what I imagined you to be.”
You had turned sideways to face him in the moonlight.
“Not that it is a bad thing, mind you.”
Heart racing, you you’d smiled. Jungkook had looked your way, his expression gentle in the light from above.
“It is not?” you had whispered.
Turning fully to face you, Jungkook had stepped closer. His right hand flexed at his side, as though he had yearned to reach out and touch you.
“No,” he’d admitted.
His gaze had dropped to your lips.
Your throat had gone dry. “What were you expecting?”
“I do not know,” he’d said. “I thought I might resent you. For taking away my choice to marry. For forcing me to become King before I was ready. For reminding me duty will always be greater than our happiness.”
Each word he said had sunk your heart like a stone. It had been how you’d felt at the start of your journey, but perhaps not then.
“Now though,” he’d said, and you lifted your gaze.
Without quite meaning to, you’d drifted closer. The space between you had lessened to several inches, the heat from his body near-tangible.
“Now,” Jungkook had said, barely audible. “I find myself intrigued by what the future will hold.”
Before you could respond to this, before you could say you felt the same, a shout had echoed throughout the gardens.
“Prince Jungkook!” someone had called.
Springing apart, your heart had protested the movement. You had known then exactly who Jungkook was. He was your mate, your betrothed and for a fleeting moment, the world seemed a magical place.
One month following, his Uncle had staged his rebellion.
Soon after, you’d learned what the mating bond truly meant.
The world had not seemed quite so wondrous after that.
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“So.” Jimin arched a brow. “I assume you have brought us out at this unseemly hour to do more than stare at one another through the mist, Your Majesty.”
Giving Jimin a withering look, you chose not to respond.
Yesterday had been full of meetings with little importance to the Ghalian treaty. After telling Yoongi of your vow and bond, you’d found yourself more aware of Jungkook’s presence than ever before.
Everything which had taken place over the past forty-eight hours resulted in three facts. The first being, you could not afford to spend more time in the King’s presence. Already, your façade of indifference was crumbling and would only worsen as time went on.
Second, Mor had become bolder in their travels north. It would only be a matter of time before war arrived on your borders. You needed to be prepared.
Which led you to your third point. Jungkook’s reveal of magic could turn the tide of the war; it needed to be factored into your discussions as soon as possible. Which was why you’d asked Jungkook to bring whomever he deemed appropriate to the field this morning.
Glancing around, you found Jungkook looking back. He was dressed in his flying leathers again, simple armor reinforced at the joints with lighter metal. No breastplate, his hair unadorned and a broadsword strapped firmly across his back.
He’d brought Taehyung with him, along with the woman rider you’d seen at the feast and Lord Seokjin. The last one had surprised you, since you hadn’t thought Seokjin a rider. From Ashya, you’d brought Jimin, Namjoon and Yoongi.
“We are not here to stare,” you explained to Jimin. “But to fly.”
Jimin hesitated. “With each other,” he clarified.
It was not a question but a statement, and the woman rider across the circle seemed to share in his sentiment. She stared distrustfully at the group gathered on your side.
Yoongi squinted up at the sky. “Why am I here, then?” he wondered aloud.
“To observe,” you informed.
“Scintillating,” he said, looking down.
Namjoon laughed as several other people attempted to hide their smiles. Ignoring all this, you focused instead on Jungkook’s delegation.
“I believe I have met everyone except you,” you said, looking at the woman.
“Maia,” she said, boldly meeting your gaze. “I am a rider in His Majesty’s forces.”
“One of our best,” Jungkook added, as Taehyung nodded.
Maia had large, dark eyes and short hair bound in a plait down her neck. Her features were pretty, delicate in contrast to her hardened exterior. You respected her for being in the delegation but found yourself appreciating her even more for her no-nonsense response.
Nodding once, you looked away. The pride in Jungkook’s voice when he spoke had not escaped you; nor had the way Maia glanced in his direction, as though pleased by the mention.
Jungkook was not yours to want, you reminded yourself. You’d made sure of this with the vow you continued to uphold. Still, you felt your jaw clench as you refocused on your surroundings.
“Is this a serious request?” Jimin asked in disbelief. “You truly wish for us to fly alongside the riders.”
Pointedly, Seokjin cleared his throat. “I believe it is not considered polite to question the Queen’s sanity in her presence?”
Jimin glanced at him, stunned as Yoongi started to laugh. His smile widened, eyes nearly disappearing when Jimin turned to face him, incensed.
“What?” Yoongi snorted. “That was funny.”
“Regardless,” you said, a bit louder. “There is much to discuss. His Majesty has shared information about the riders, their dragons and what they can do which may change the battle against Mor.”
Maia’s glanced at Jungkook in disbelief, and she was not the only one. Taehyung also turned his head sharply, which surprised you. You had thought Jungkook would tell his general he’d revealed his magic in the woods.
It appeared not. Seokjin was the only one who did not look surprised, examining the nails on the back of his hand.
“What the riders can do,” Namjoon said, picking up on the key phrase. “I assume you refer to something other than flying, Your Majesty?”
“I do, yes.”
When you looked at Jungkook, he nodded.
“She is referring to our ability to use magic,” he explained. “The bond which links rider to dragon allows us to do more than just ride them. It grants us access to their magic, similar to humans who are born with a gift.”
Namjoon’s eyes widened, as did Jimin’s.
Both listened as Jungkook went on to explain the history of dragons and magic on the continent. When Jungkook healed a paper cut Namjoon had on his thumb, your advisor gasped and looked on in wonder.
“A healer.” He shook his head. “Truly amazing. How large of an injury can you heal?” Namjoon asked, and you knew he was already thinking ahead to battle.
Someone like Jungkook behind the front lines, healing soldiers as they were injured, could provide an untold advantage.
“He healed me in the woods the other day,” you informed them. “A Mor patrol shot me down with a crossbow, and His Majesty saved my life.”
Jimin’s eyes widened. “It would seem we are in your debt then, Your Majesty,” he told Jungkook, seeming displeased by the thought.
Jungkook merely shook his head.
“Let us not speak of debt, Jimin,” you said before Jungkook could speak. “If we are to work together, we must stop thinking of our relationship as a ledger. Instead, we must learn to work as a unit.”
Yoongi arched a brow, clearly amused by your shifted stance.
“Hence our flying this morning,” Jungkook agreed.
Looking his way, you nodded.
This was what you’d decided after your conversation with Yoongi. Although you had not changed your mind about accepting Jungkook’s proposal, the least you could do was set aside your own differences. If you chose not to accept him as your mate, that was your decision – but first and foremost, you were Ashya’s Queen.
You had made a vow to do whatever you could for your country, and this meant working closely with the Ghalians.
“Is it only healing magic?” Namjoon asked, sounding curious. “Or are there other kinds?”
Rather than answer, Jungkook looked at Taehyung, who rolled up his sleeves. Walking out of the circle, he came to a stop several paces away.
“There are other kinds of magic,” Taehyung said, and it was one of the first times you’d ever heard him speak.
Taehyung’s voice had a deep, earthen quality. It was soothing, rhythmic and you stared at him with interest as he spread his hands.
For a moment, nothing happened.
Then Taehyung closed his eyes and storm clouds began to gather. You stared at the sky as it darkened, russet-tipped thunderheads swirling overhead. As the wind whipped his hair, Taehyung opened his eyes and you saw they’d turned silver.
A bolt of lightning shot from his palms, lighting the sky above a deep purple. He let the tempest continue until his point had been made. Then, teeth gritted, Taehyung lowered his arms and allowed the clouds to disperse. As quickly as they’d come, the clouds disappeared, leaving only mist and the rising sun.
Everyone from Ashya stared.
“His dragon is a stormmaker,” Jungkook explained. “It is rare for one of their kind to bond with a human. It has not happened within living memory.”
Yoongi was the first to regain himself. “Do all riders have magic?”
“No,” answered Maia. “It is similar to when a Dragon and human have a child. The child does not always have a gift. It is the same with riders and dragons. I, for example, have no magic.”
“Yes, but you have a dragon,” Yoongi pointed out, which made her smile.
“I do have that,” she acknowledged.
Almost sheepish, Taehyung rejoined the circle with his hands in his pockets. His gaze had returned to dark brown, but you could not seem to shake the memory of silver. It was a tremendous power you could use on the battlefield.
Abruptly, you turned to Jungkook. “How were you planning to keep that a secret?” you demanded, waving a hand. “I should think it would have been obvious once your rider started throwing lightning around.”
“Hence why we planned on explaining after the treaty,” Jungkook said mildly.
“All this time.” Namjoon finally found his voice. “Magic in Duret Ghal has been passed down by the riders, not Dragons?”
“Both,” Seokjin corrected. “Riders cannot pass on their magic to their children. It is only the offspring of Dragon and human who can be born with gifts. Like your advisor,” he said, nodding to Yoongi.
Yoongi arched a brow. You had not spoken openly about his magical abilities, but you supposed word got around.
Namjoon continued to frown. “Most peculiar,” he said slowly. “When a shapeshifting Dragon mates with a human, their offspring can inherit one of many magical gifts. Not just shapeshifting.”
“Uzza, my dragon, has a theory about that,” Taehyung offered. “He believes dragons have a more fixed nature than humans. When magic is passed down through dragons, it remains the same, but with humans… we are more fluid.” He paused, then shrugged. “Magic becomes whatever form the human is closest to.”
“Fascinating,” Namjoon breathed.
“Which is why I asked the King and his riders to join us this morning,” you announced. “Once the treaty is finalized, we will fight together against Mor. It is time we learned how to use everything in our arsenal.”
Jimin, who had remained silent throughout the demonstration, finally nodded.
Despite his personal feelings towards Duret Ghal, he would always place Ashya above all else. If the magic of the riders was something you could use to your advantage, Jimin would be the one who figured out how to do it.
Still, you knew this must hurt. You were not the only one who noticed Jimin’s reticence. Taehyung had been watching your commander from across the circle, and he now cocked his head as he took a step forward.
“You are Park Jimin, are you not?” he asked.
Jimin met Taehyung’s gaze. “I am.”
Taehyung nodded. “I have heard stories of you, both on and off the battlefield. Neither of us led our respective armies when your father was killed,” he said, a bit quieter. “But all the same, I am sorry for your loss.”
Jimin’s eyes glinted. “Sorrow does not bring back the dead.”
“No, it does not.”
Jimin stared at him a moment, until some of the anger faded from his gaze. Finally, he looked at the castle and exhaled.
“Are we to fly this morning?” he asked, returning to you. “If we are, we should probably go before the sun gets too high.”
You nodded, uncertain what had just transpired.
“We should leave, then.” Jimin turned away. “I will need to know the full capabilities of your riders. General Kim,” he called out as he walked. “Can you control the lightning, or merely call it?”
Taehyung fell into step alongside him, discussing strategy as they left the field. You watched them go, amazed Jimin had released his past so easily.
Namjoon sighed. “Must I fly as well, Your Majesty?”
You hid a smile. “If you truly wish to stay on the ground…”
Grumbling beneath his breath, Namjoon turned to follow Jimin across the field. You knew you should go as well, but something within seemed to hold you back.
“And what about you?” you asked, glancing at Seokjin. “Are you a rider?”
Seokjin grimaced. “No, Your Majesty. My mother sent me to the bonding ceremony, but all I succeeded in was falling off several dragons.”
“It is where we met though,” Jungkook said, jumping in. “I admired his honesty and wit. Enough that, when I became King, I requested Lord Seokjin be appointed to my closest court.”
“His honesty has been well-noted,” Yoongi said drily.
Maia laughed, her features losing some of their earlier tension. Yoongi glanced her way in surprise, a pleased flush spreading across his cheeks.
In the background, the steady beat of wings filled the air. When you turned, you saw Jimin in Dragon form rising above the sheds. His scales were a dazzling gold, sparkling as he flew across the morning sun.
Taehyung had joined atop his dragon, Uzza. Uzza had scales of slate grey, faded to blue along his spine and his shoulders.
As you watched them both fly, a bout of longing swept through you. Seeing a rider and Dragon fly alongside one another had not been something deemed possible before.
Their wings were swiftly drowned out by Nemrys’ arrival, who circled once overhead before landing beside Jungkook. Bowing, you kept your gaze fixed on his. Nemrys inclined his head in turn, then released a snort.
Jungkook grinned. “He wishes to know if you plan on being shot again.”
Rolling your eyes, you turned to walk away. Jungkook laughed at the sight, the sound of it echoing as you crossed the field.
Once inside a shed, you stripped quickly from your gown and laid this on the bench. Only a few days ago, you’d assumed dragons mostly unintelligent and now, one of them was insulting you. The realization made you smile.
It made the world seem wider, somehow. As though more things were possible than you’d previously thought.
Shifting quickly to Dragon form, you lifted from the ground and hovered above the sheds. In the distance, you could see Taehyung alongside Jimin on his dragon. Glancing west, you spotted Namjoon and Maia rising to join them.
Namjoon’s scales were a deep purple, a jewel-tone Ashyan miners would envy. Maia’s dragon, whom you did not know the name of, was a grey pale enough to be confused with blue. As you flew towards their group, Taehyung pointed from his dragon, Uzza.
Craning your neck, you saw Jungkook on the ground. He watched from below, wind whipping his hair as Nemrys beat his wings. Leaning down, he murmured something to Nemrys, who bent his legs and took off. Far below, you heard Seokjin whoop.
With a roar, Jimin dove towards the ground. Taehyung followed suit, along with Namjoon and Maia. Once Jungkook had reached you atop Nemrys, you joined in the show.
It was strange to fly as a group. Dragons were solitary creatures, only banding together when necessary for survival. When you did fly with others, you communicated through a combination of flame and roars, signaling what direction you were about to take.
Soaring higher, you turned your head and saw Jungkook beside you. From the back of Nemrys, he grinned and something warm bloomed in your chest. You recalled what it felt like to fly with him, against him. Something within you ached to feel this again.
This was not the time to reminisce though, so you attempted to focus on the moment at hand. That first flight didn’t last long – you were still monarchs, after all, and the day remained before you. Still, your heart felt lighter when you landed on the ground.
For a first foray between nations, things had gone relatively smoothly. Even Yoongi seemed pleased by the progress, speaking with Taehyung and Jimin as they returned to the castle. The success of today made the impossible seem possible.
Including some things you’d never let yourself imagine.
Jungkook’s face while he flew, his eyes bright and smile wide, played like a loop again and again in your mind.
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After another full day of negotiations, the treaty between you and Duret Ghal began to come together. It was a good thing, since Jungkook and his delegation would leave in the next couple of days.
Preparing for sleep that night, you reached for the jar of salve Hoseok had given you and found it empty. You’d applied it every morning and night, whenever the muscle ached, or you found yourself tired. It had helped a great deal, so now you hesitated. Flying this morning had been strenuous on your muscles.
Amara had left, gone to visit her family in the city for the evening. In her absence, you strode across your room and opened the door to the hall. You instructed one of your guards to bring the empty jar to Hoseok and ask for a refill.
While you waited for them to return, you changed into a nightgown and robe. You had just finished washing your face when a knock came from the hall. Expecting the guard returned with your salve, you strode from your chambers and pulled open the door.
You found yourself face to face not with a guard, but with Jungkook.
“Your Majesty,” you said, freezing in place. “I – to what do I owe this pleasure?”
Jungkook stared at you for a moment, then pulled a jar from behind his back. “I brought the salve from Hoseok,” he said. “I heard you were in need of more.”
“I am.” You blinked. “But you did not need to do that.”
His gaze searched yours, lingering when he dropped to your parted robe. Although you wore a nightgown beneath, you were suddenly aware of the sheer material.
Hastily, you closed the robe tighter.
Cheeks reddening, Jungkook looked up. “It was no trouble,” he said, only to pause. “May I come in, Your Majesty? I do have something I wish to discuss.”
“Ah, so there is an ulterior motive.”
Despite the humor in your voice, you hesitated. Glancing past him, you saw your guards and decided whatever Jungkook had to say, it was best to hear it in private.
“Alright,” you said, stepping aside. “You may come in.”
Surprise crossed his face, though it quickly disappeared. Nodding his thanks, Jungkook entered the room as you shut the door. You stared at it for a moment, gathering your courage before you turned around.
You’d brought many men to your chambers over the years. Yoongi had been in here only the other night, but something about Jungkook’s presence felt different. He was too big, taking up a space no one else could.
Perhaps it was this bond you felt for him, this tingling down your spine at having him so near. Your very soul ached for him, even as you denied him.
Jungkook wandered inside, taking in the décor. A fireplace took up much of the north wall, light flickering over the rug at your feet.
Coming to a stop at the table, Jungkook set down the jar.
“Why did you come?” you asked quietly.
Turning around, Jungkook found your gaze.
You realized the very real danger you were in. Not because Jungkook was your mate. He was, yes, but it was so much more than that. You genuinely enjoyed his company. You found yourself listening for his remarks when you sat by his side, trying not to laugh whenever he made a joke.
It was hard to separate the supernatural from the natural when it came to Jungkook. In a world where mates did not exist and souls were cast adrift, you thought you might have loved him even then. 
Perhaps this was the true magic of the mating bond, after all. Rather than let you wonder, Natal brought you an equal, someone who’d uplift your spirit rather than drag you under.
“You asked for additional salve,” Jungkook said again.
“I did.” You cocked your head. “A servant could have brought that, though – or Hoseok, if he chose.”
“Indeed, he could have.”
A shadow crossed Jungkook’s expression at this, gone before it could be fully realized. He took a step closer, skirting the table to come to a stop. With his height what it was, you were forced to look upwards to see him.
“The soldiers Jimin sent to search the mountains returned this afternoon,” Jungkook informed you. “They found no other Mor patrols so close to Ashya.”
“That is good to know,” you said with a nod. “We will need all the time we can to formulate a plan of attack.”
Thus far, Mor had made no overt advances against you. There had been skirmishes on the southern border, a few miles gained or lost with occasional pushes, but nothing serious. Mor’s full army remained within their own land, biding their days until they chose to strike.
It was only a matter of time before things boiled over. It made sense for Jungkook to discuss Mor’s movements with you, but he’d never visited your chambers to do so before.
“Is there something else you came here to say?” 
Jungkook arched a brow. “Is it possible I might have come simply to enjoy your presence?”
“You could have.”
“Then, what is the problem?”
“The problem,” you said, narrowing your gaze, “is you seem to be the kind of person who says one thing and means another.”
His gaze darkened. “I suppose you would know, Your Majesty.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
Rather than answer this, Jungkook turned away. Staring out the window, he seemed to consider his words before he turned back.
“You are a conundrum, Your Majesty,” he said at last.
You sniffed. “That sounds like something a man might say when he does not understand a woman.”
“You are right,” Jungkook said lowly. “For I do not understand you at all.”
This made you blink. It was your own words from the night of the feast, thrown back in your face.
“In what way?” you demanded.
“We knew each other before, and yet you pretend to be strangers. You fight so valiantly for your own kind and yet, keep them at arm’s length. You decline my proposal of marriage,” he said, taking a step closer, “and yet, you consider a political union with another.”
You stared at him for a moment, utterly thrown. “A union with whom?”
“Lord Declan.”
A laugh escaped before you could help it. “Lord Declan is not my betrothed.”
“He tells people he is.”
“Then he is a liar,” you ground out.
Jungkook paused. “Did you consider his offer?”
“I considered your offer, as well.”
“Which you declined.”
“I shall decline him as well, should he ever gather the courage to actually ask me.”
Jungkook hesitated at this, curiosity entering his gaze.
“Why, though?” he asked, a tad softer. “Why decline everyone who asks for your hand? Is there someone else? The man who taught you to sign in the army, perhaps.”
At this, your eyes widened. “How did you know?”
“Merely a guess,” Jungkook said quietly.
Looking abruptly away, he rubbed his thumb to his forefinger in an anxious gesture. You wished he would stop. The gesture made him seem far too human, far too genuine, and tempting and true.
Before you could consider the ramifications, you said, “I do not love someone else.”
You were not sure why you said it. Certainly, it would have been easier for Jungkook to think your heart belonged to another and yet, you could not bear to watch the light fade from his eyes.
Jungkook turned his head to see you. “So, it is me, then,” he said quietly.
“No. And also, yes.”
He frowned. “Clear as mud, Your Majesty.”
You laughed, although there was no humor to it. “What do you expect me to say? That you have convinced me after a week of interactions? That I am awed by your presence, Your Majesty? Is this what you seek in return for healing me in the forest? My hand in marriage?”
Jungkook looked stricken. “No,” he breathed. “Not that. Never that. I would never demand such a thing.”
Something in you softened at his sincerity.
“Then, what?” you asked quietly. “What is it?”
“I just… I wish you would tell me why.”
Unable to meet his gaze, you glanced away. It was a fair question. Jungkook had been nothing but good in the time he’d been here. It occurred to you suddenly that by choosing not to mate, you were taking away his one chance at the bond, as well.
Slowly, you turned back to face him. “I made a vow,” you said, so soft you could hardly hear. “When I became Queen, I vowed I would never marry. It is not something I can turn my back on.”
It was a half-truth, but enough for now.
Jungkook’s brow furrowed. “Why would you make such a vow?”
“Many reasons,” you said. “The main being I wish to belong only to myself and my country. Anything else, and I would do my people a disservice. When I accepted the crown, I said Ashya would always come first.”
The way Jungkook was staring at you made you feel on display, as though he saw through to your very soul and knew what you were made of.
“It is a tricky slope, is it not?” he said at last, stepping closer.
This step brought him within touching distance, the heat of his body seeming to reach out to yours. Something golden and strong brightened between you.
“What do you mean?” 
Jungkook did not look away. “Is the best version of yourself the one without help? Without support? You say you do not wish to do your people a disservice, but is it a disservice to lead while you are unhappy?”
“And you think... marrying you would make me happy?”
“Maybe not,” he admitted, his gaze soft. “All I know is the life you speak of does not sound like a life at all.”
Having no response to this, you could only stare when Jungkook took your hand in his. Lifting your hand, he kept his gaze on yours. As he lowered his gaze, his lips slowly brushed the back of your fingers.
When he released you, you found you could not move, could hardly breathe. It seemed impossible to hide your reaction when Jungkook looked up.
You wanted him. You wanted him so badly it hurt and yet, something continued to hold you back. All you could see when you looked at Jungkook was the pain in your father’s eyes when he learned your mother had died.
“I will take my leave,” Jungkook said when you did not respond. “It has been a long day, and you must be tired.”
You nodded, unable to do more than that when he turned to go.
Halfway to the door, you had the sudden urge to do something. To call out, to ask him to come back, to reveal the bond you felt strengthening between you.
In the end you did none of it. The fear of being broken was greater than your want to be whole.
Jungkook turned at the door. “My offer will stay until I go,” he said before he went.
The door shut behind him, leaving you in silence. Exhaling, you walked to the table and uncapped a decanter. Pouring yourself a glass of wine, you sat before the fire and drank every drop.
It was a long time before you managed to fall asleep that night.
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During your flight the next morning, you went north instead of south. Although Jimin had not found additional Mor patrols, your run-in with them had increased your caution. Soaring above the tree line, the sun brightening the horizon, your heart felt heavier than it had in a while.
When you finally landed and hurried inside, you were entirely alone.
For the first time, this did not strike you as such a good thing.
Independence had always been one of your most prized possessions. Your crown had stripped you of so much – your youth, freedom, and the first man you’d loved. Now though, you wondered what you’d given up by clinging to your ideals so tightly.
You did not have much time to consider it. The ball for Duret Ghal was tonight, and the day after tomorrow, their delegation would leave. You would sign the treaty in the morning and then they would be off.
Jungkook’s offer of marriage would disappear with it.
Amara had outdone herself with your dress for the evening. It was crimson in color, falling in gauzy pleats from a golden, metal bodice. Amara had dusted gold powder across your shoulders, resulting in a shimmering aura.
Red was neither the color of Ashya, nor of Duret Ghal. It was the color of fire, of passion – and of love, you realized with a twisting stomach.
Again, Yoongi was your escort and even his eyes widened as you stepped out the door.
“You are going to give someone a heart attack,” he chuckled, extending his arm.
You merely shook your head as you walked down the hall. The crown you wore tonight was gold, as well. A relic from an ancient Queen of Ashya before the colors had changed to silver and green.
“I am sure they will be fine,” you responded. “It is not as though I plan on shifting in the middle of a waltz.”
“It would certainly liven things up if you did.”
Although you gave Yoongi a look, you quickly fell silent as you approached the ball. Beyond the shut doors, you could hear muffled noises of music and laughter.
“Did Namjoon tell you about the dancing?”
Sharply, you turned your head. “No, he did not. What dancing?”
“Apparently, it is the custom in Duret Ghal for their monarch to lead the first dance.”
“I wish His Majesty the best of luck, then.”
Yoongi hid a smile. “You will need to dance also, Your Majesty.”
“Why is that?”
“Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the concept of balls,” Yoongi mused. “Typically, there is food, dancing, general merriment…”
“I know what a ball is, Yoongi.”
“You seemed confused by the prospect of dancing, though.”
“By the prospect of dancing with His Majesty, yes.”
“Now I am the one who is confused, because –”
“Fine,” you ground out as the doors began to open. “I will dance the first song with His Majesty. Nothing more.”
Yoongi grinned, patting your arm as you entered the room.
The ballroom had been lavishly decorated for tonight’s event. Taking it in, you passed over iced draperies, flowers and foliage spilling from every surface. People were gathered throughout, leaving room in the center of the ballroom for you to dance. An orchestra sat poised in the corner, awaiting your entrance to start the first song.
As you and Yoongi descended the spiral staircase, you only had eyes for the opposite side, where the delegation from Duret Ghal already stood. To where Jungkook was standing, watching your entrance.
His robes were similar to those he’d worn at the feast, although the colors tonight were black and gold. Long robes cut to mid-calf, tied in the middle by a black sash. Sigils of gold had been stitched into the fabric, with a thin chain of gold curved across his chest.
Lifting your gaze, your breath caught in your throat. Jungkook’s hair had been bound in a half-bun, the dark tresses broken only by his golden crown.
Walking closer to him under the lights, everything else seemed to fade. Despite your best efforts, something between you had shifted and now that it had, you couldn’t turn back.
You started imagining what the future would look like beside him. Not a future where you were lesser, but rather where you had support. Strength, like he had offered. Oddly enough, the image did not scare you as it once did.
Stepping onto the dais to turn around, you looked at the crowd. In your peripheral, you could see Jungkook looking at you. Ignoring him, you focused instead on your racing heart. You could almost feel it beat in tandem to his, yearning to run at the same pace.
It was not necessary to greet your guests, nor give a speech of pretty words. Instead you simply turned to face him as the music began. Jungkook held out his hand, waiting until you placed your palm over his.
Jungkook’s fingers curled about yours, leading you on the dance floor. People parted as you walked, leaving a space at the center. Jungkook pulled you to face him, placing a hand on your waist as you settled yours on his shoulder.
You looked up. Meeting your gaze, Jungkook took a step backwards to lead you in the first move.
His grip on you tightened as he led you in a spin. Jungkook was a good dancer, although this did not surprise you. By this point he could have announced he was the goddess Natal, herself, and you would have taken it in stride.
This image made you smile, unable to stop it as he swept you around.
“Why are you smiling?” Jungkook asked, his voice low.
Startled, you glanced up and wished you had not. This close, you could see everything, and it made your heart ache.
“I was imagining something funny,” you murmured.
Jungkook’s hand slid to the small of your back. Heat scalded your spine, making your head spin.
“Not about me, I hope,” Jungkook said, his lips dangerously close to your ear.
“And if it were?”
His grip on you tightened. “I would like to know the joke.”
Looking up, you met his gaze. “Does it ever tire you?”
Jungkook blinked.
Others had joined the dance at this point, entering the floor in a promenade. Multicolored skirts and robes swept circles around you, leaving you floating at the center of it all.
“Does what ever tire me?” Jungkook asked.
“This,” you said, glancing at your surroundings. “The pressure. The weight. The constant duties, expectations and never-ending loneliness of wearing our crowns.”
For a moment, Jungkook was silent, and you feared you’d overstepped. Then he exhaled, pulling you closer. His thumb brushed against the bare curve of your back.
“Every day,” he admitted.
Before you could respond, the song came to an end.
Couples stepped apart, talking, and laughing in the lull between songs. You and Jungkook stared at one another, the only two in the room as far as you were concerned. For so long, you had convinced yourself having a mate would be a bad thing.
Perhaps it was for some. For your parents, their bond had ended tragically, this was for certain. But for the first time, you wondered if keeping yourself from happiness because you didn’t want to be hurt might simply be a different kind of hurt itself.
When a hand tapped you on the shoulder, you nearly jumped.
Whirling around, you found Lord Declan before you. You stared at him for a few moments, wondering why he was here.
“Your Majesty.” Lord Declan bowed low at the waist. “Would you do me the honor of having the next dance?”
Of course – this was a ball. You would be expected to dance with others, not only Jungkook. Feet faltering, you glanced sideways but before you could decline, Jungkook took a step back.
“She is all yours,” he said, turning around.
Jungkook disappeared, his midnight-colored robes swishing about his ankles. Lord Declan closed in, forcing your attention away as the orchestra began the next song.
“Yes,” you said, trying to focus. “You may, Lord.”
Lord Declan entered where Jungkook had left off, his right hand slipping beneath yours as his other found your waist. His touch felt wrong, as though you’d put the opposite glove on your hand.
“How fortunate the first dance of the night was a short one,” Lord Declan said with a chuckle.
Startled, you glanced up. “I beg your pardon?”
“I envy your patience, Your Majesty,” he continued, oblivious to your tone. “Had I been forced to spend so long these past weeks in the presence of riders…” Breaking off, he shuddered. “Your control is exemplary.”
Had Lord Declan been a wise man, he might have noticed the heat simmering in your gaze. Or the way your spine stiffened, a lone muscle ticking in your jaw. As it were though, Lord Declan was not a smart man, and so he continued to throw caution to the wind.
You were not certain when you’d become so defensive of Jungkook, but the fact remained the Lord’s comments made you see red.
“I do not know that I would call my control exemplary,” you said, your tone deceptively light. “Indeed, my Lord, I find my courtiers often say things I find infuriating.”
Lord Declan paused, clued in by your choice of words.
“If I have said something to offend Your Majesty…”
His steps were not as graceful as Jungkook’s, nearly stepping on your toes as you turned around. Dodging the gesture, you glanced aside and realized Jungkook had not left the dance floor. Instead, he danced with Maia at the edge of the room. While you were watching, Jungkook threw his head back and laughed.
Unpleasantness curdled your stomach despite your insistence he was not yours to want.
“You have said something to offend me, Lord,” you said, returning to Declan. “Either you are ignorant or stupid, and I pray to Natal you are not both.”
Lord Declan stared, his jaw sagging a little.
“We face an enemy,” you said, voice lowering. “Our enemy is not Duret Ghal, nor is it their riders. I suggest you cease speaking such heresy before I wonder if the mines your family owns would do better in the hands of someone else.”
His eyes widened. “Your Majesty, I do not think –”
“Then we are in agreement,” you said, dropping your arms to take a step back.
Turning around, you stalked towards the edge of the dance floor, barely managing to keep your steam in check. When you glanced again at the offending corner, Jungkook and Maia had disappeared.
Driven by a mix of emotions you dared not name, you slipped beyond the courtiers and out a side door. Eyes closed, you allowed the night air to wash over you. Coming to a stop at the edge of the gardens, you opened your eyes to take in the Thadal mountains.
It was colder than it had been a few weeks ago. The winter solstice was coming, and your human skin could only protect you from so much. Still, you could not stomach returning to the party and so, you kept walking, entering the dark hedges.
You let yourself wander, following the twists and turns with nothing but your heart as its guide. When you turned a corner and found Jungkook before you, it almost was not a surprise.
The moment was overlaid with another memory, from ten years prior. The night you’d realized Jungkook was your mate and looked to the future with wonder.
He was alone again, facing away as he stared into an empty, cracked basin. The fountain had been turned off for the winter and before you could speak, Jungkook sighed.
“Were you not enjoying the party?” he asked.
Walking forward, you came to a stop beside him. “I might ask you the same thing,” you said, staring into the basin. “I saw you enjoying yourself during the last dance.”
Jungkook turned his head.
“Are you jealous, Your Majesty?” he murmured, his gaze flinty.
“Merely noting the obvious,” you said, refusing to face him. “You call me a conundrum and yet, you dance with another woman while proposing marriage to me.”
“One dance.”
“So, there has never been anything between you?”
Jungkook paused. “I will not pretend to have been celibate these past ten years. Neither should you, Your Majesty.”
Looking at him, you attempted to calm the roiling feelings within you. It was not right to feel like this. Not right to be jealous, to berate him when you continued to decline his offer.
“Am I correct,” he said, his voice low, “in thinking you do not want me for yourself, yet you do not want anyone else to have me either?”
“That… that is not fair.”
“Perhaps you know how I feel, then,” Jungkook said, his gaze hardening.
Startled, your eyes widened as he took a step closer. Coming to a stop right before you, Jungkook looked down.
“Watching you entertain other men,” he said hotly. “Watching you dance with other men, consider other men while you continue to deny what lies between us. What we are to one another. My former betrothed. And my mate,” he added, his gaze like dark fire.
Speechless, you could only stare in response.
Jungkook knew.
He knew and had said nothing this entire time. You wondered when he’d realized but lost your head entirely when he lifted a hand. Pressing his thumb beneath your chin, Jungkook tipped your head up.
Bending, he brushed your lips against his. The kiss was chaste, sweet – and wildfire erupted in response. Before you could stop yourself, your hand had fisted in his robes to drag him down. You kissed him back hungrily, fiercely as the heat consumed you.
Jungkook seemed to burn just as bright, crushing you close. His arms wrapped around you, tongue eagerly flicking against your lower lip. When you parted beneath him, he licked into your mouth. Inhaling his scent, you wanted him closer.
It was not at all how you’d imagined it to be.
You had thought once you gave in, it would feel like erasing yourself. Removing the old to make way for the new, but it was not like that at all. Letting him in only made you feel stronger.
Thumbs skimming your cheeks, Jungkook angled you upward and kissed you again. He drew a shuddering breath before he forced himself to stop.
Slowly, his eyes opened and he stared at you, his chest rising and falling.
“If you do not want this, though.” Hoarse, his thumbs caressed your skin. “I do not wish to force it upon you. You should not marry me because of a bond, Your Majesty. Nor should you because you think it’s what’s best for Ashya. I want you to marry me because you want to. Nothing more.”
When you did not respond, Jungkook’s expression began to shutter and he took a step backwards. His hands fell to his sides, the air between you turning cold.
All too late, you realized you’d waited too long. You should have said something immediately, should have done something other than kiss him like a maniac.
“Thank you,” Jungkook said. “For the hospitality you’ve shown Duret Ghal these past weeks. Whatever your feelings are for me, I look forward to signing the treaty tomorrow.”
Before you could say anything more, Jungkook walked past you and left the gardens. You were left alone beside an empty basin.
You stayed there for a while, staring at the looming Thadal mountains, and wondering how in the world you had gotten things so wrong.
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When you returned to the proceedings of the ball, Yoongi was smart enough not to ask where you had been. He seemed to know anyways, based on the look on your face.
Stiffly you stood and surveyed the dancing couples. Whenever you cared to look, you caught glimpses of Jungkook on the opposite side.
You tried not to, but this proved to be difficult now that you knew. Jungkook knew you were his mate. You knew what his lips tasted like. All of this you knew and could not forget.
It was his last words which ran again and again through your mind. Jungkook knew you were his mate and yet, he’d said nothing because he wanted you to choose him for him. It was such a foolhardy, romantic notion it made your heart ache.
Even with Leo, you had not felt this way. If you had been honest, you had known your relationship would be doomed from the start. Leo had never challenged you in ways which made you grow. You’d kept him at arm’s length, never giving him the opportunity to know your true self. 
After the death of your parents, you’d been in a dark place. You had made the vow not to marry out of an attempt to protect yourself. Perhaps you’d grown beyond needing such things.
The next time you looked, Jungkook was looking back.
He glanced away quickly, but he’d looked. The realization made you take a step forward but before you could go to him, Yoongi leaned in.
“What did you say to him when you danced?”
Surprised, you glanced in his direction. You thought Yoongi meant Jungkook but then realized he looked at Lord Declan. Declan seemed flustered, pointedly looking anywhere but at you while Lord Larkin glared from across the room.
You stifled a snort. “Only the truth.”
“Which was?”
“That like it or not, Duret Ghal are our allies, so they better start acting like it.”
Quietly, Yoongi laughed as he straightened. “No wonder his father looks as though he swallowed something sour.”
Guiltily, you looked away. “I am sorry if I caused you trouble,” you said, knowing Yoongi would be the one to clean it up. “It is only –”
“You were right.” Yoongi nodded. “The world is changing, and they can either change with the times or be left behind. I am glad you said something.”
Shooting him a grateful look, you glanced again across the room and realized Jungkook had disappeared. Scanning the rest of the ball, you spotted some of his delegation but not their King. Maia was dancing with Namjoon and to your surprise, you realized Taehyung had asked Amara to dance.
Jungkook was nowhere to be seen. Despite his absence, you forced yourself to stay until Yoongi deemed it socially acceptable for you to leave. The last thing you wanted was to put the treaty in jeopardy because you’d overlooked proper etiquette.
As the evening went on, candles guttered low in the chandeliers and guests began to thin out the dance floor. People started disappearing, traveling home in groups of two and three. Sometime around midnight, you finally bade Yoongi goodnight.
Forgoing his offer of escort, you took a side hall and exited the ball. It was a quiet walk to your chambers, a silence which did not lessen once you were inside.
Removing your crown, you set this on your dresser and stared out the window. You wondered if this was your future. A cold, lonely existence where you always ended up in your room alone.
Jungkook was right.
You kept everyone at a distance because you were afraid of being hurt. You were afraid if you let them in, you’d grant them the power to tear your heart in two. The problem was you weren’t sure how much longer you’d have a heart to give.
It already felt like a feeble, weakened thing within your chest. You didn’t know how to make it work like it should. So accustomed to your own company, you were unable to respond to true acts of friendship. This struck you as a poor kind of ruler for any nation. 
It made you wonder if the vow you’d once made held no further weight.
Now was time to decide what kind of ruler you wanted to be, what kind of person you wanted to be moving forward. Your life could still be wondrous if you so wished.
Abruptly, you turned and strode for the door.
Your guards seemed surprised to see you leave, but let you pass by with a nod. Once in the hallways, your feet seemed to know the way. Down one hall, then the next, you found yourself entering the guest wing before your mind could catch up.
Depending on stature, guests of the crown stayed with varying proximity to your personal quarters. It was not far to the rooms Jungkook occupied, the most lavish guest suite in the castle.
Outside his room, your steps slowed before coming to a stop. Jungkook did not have guards posted outside his doors. Some might have seen this as a sign of naiveté, but you saw it for what it was. A symbol of trust.
Lifting a hand, you knocked on his door.
It took him a few seconds to answer, rustling noises telling you he was within. When he swung open the door, your mouth immediately went dry.
Jungkook had changed from his formal attire to a more casual tunic and trousers. It took a great deal of effort to keep your eyes on his face, and not wander towards the ink you saw peering out from his sleeves.
Surprise flickered in the depths of his gaze, although he quickly concealed it. Leaning a shoulder to the frame, Jungkook arched a brow.
“To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit, Your Majesty?”
Any words you wished to say dried up like a stream in the desert. Finally, you managed to rouse yourself.
“May I come in?” you asked.
Jungkook paused. For a moment, you were afraid he might tell you to go. You had turned him down so many times; surely it was time for him to return the favor.
Then he dipped his head and stepped aside, allowing you entrance. Heart pounding, you slipped past him and stood at the center of the room.
His rooms were your guest chambers, so you had obviously seen them before. Occasionally you met with foreign dignitaries or visitors. Jungkook had stayed long enough though, that portions of the room had begun to seem like his own.
The black and gold robes he’d worn to the ball were draped over a partition. A trunk remained half-open beside a table, full of stacks of books. It reminded you of your visit to Duret Ghal so long ago, where he could often be found in the library.
“Would you like wine?” Jungkook interrupted your thoughts.
Mutely, you nodded and reached for the crystal decanter. Midway there, Jungkook’s hand caught your wrist.
“Allow me,” he said, moving past.
You stopped and watched him pour two glasses of wine. One after the other, Jungkook set them down on the table.
“You knew,” you said quietly. “You knew you were my mate.”
Jungkook hesitated, continuing to stare at the wine.
After a moment, he lifted a glass and took a long sip. “Yes,” he admitted. “I knew.”
“When?” you demanded.
His eyes narrowed, looking up. “When did you know, Your Majesty?”
“At the end of my last visit to Duret Ghal.”
“I knew the moment I saw you,” he said quietly.
“You – what?”
Jungkook set his wine down. “Your arrival was scheduled for shortly before sundown,” he said. “My parents had dressed me in my best clothes, and I remember being angry about it. I remember standing there fuming, waiting for you to arrive. And then you did.”
His eyes shone. “I had never seen someone so beautiful.”
Hearing him speak, your breath caught in your chest. Jungkook began to walk closer, his expression inscrutable.
“I avoided you for a few days,” he continued. “Mates are rarer in Duret Ghal and for a while, I didn’t know what I was feeling. Even once I realized, I resented the bond. It was difficult enough to accept my own magic back then.”
“What changed your mind?”
“You.” His lips curled in a smile. “You surprised me. I found myself liking you despite myself. I started to realize the bond might not be such a bad thing.”
“So… this entire time, you have known,” you said in disbelief.
“I have.” His expression darkened. “As have you, it would seem.”
Guilty, you looked away. You had and it had not occurred to you to tell him.
That was a lie. It had occurred to you and you’d decided against it, because you did not think you could stomach denying the bond to his face.
Reaching out, Jungkook took your hand. The gesture was so simple, it nearly broke you in two. Glancing down, you marveled when he brushed his thumb over your skin. Jungkook gave you space to think until you found the courage to speak.
“You know my mother was killed ten years ago,” you said quietly. “My father survived the attack, but they were mated and when she passed… he could not bear it.” After a pause, you looked up. “He died five years later, and those five years were as torturous for everyone else as they were for him.”
“I am sorry to hear that,” Jungkook murmured.
“He tried,” you said, forcing yourself to remember.
To remember the days when your father had tried to go on. He’d tried for you and for Ashya, but it had not been enough. There had been no light in his gaze, no meaning behind his odd smiles. Although only your mother had died in the attack, you’d lost both your parents.
“I know he did,” you continued. “But the pain of losing his mate was too much. Everything which had been important simply faded away. I swore after he passed the same fate would not befall me. It is why I said no to you,” you said, your grip tightening. “It is not because I feel nothing. I said no to you because you are my mate.”
His thumb continued to soothe over your skin. “And now?” he asked, wondering. “Did you come here simply to say this?”
“No. Now I find myself wondering if in an attempt to spare myself pain, I created agony of a different kind.”
Jungkook’s gaze softened. “I meant what I said earlier, Y/N. I don’t wish for you to agree out of some sense of duty, or an unearthly bond.”
A shiver went down your spine at hearing your name on his lips.
“That is not why I am saying yes,” you said, lifting your chin.
Surprise flared in his gaze. “No?”
Deciding you needed the wine after all, you tugged your hand from his and turned towards the table. Lifting the glass to your lips, you let the sweet burn fill your throat.
In the corner of your eyes, you could see Jungkook watching. Waiting.
“I am saying yes because I want this,” you breathed, turning around. “I want you. I have wanted you since the day you followed me to the cliffs. I’m scared,” you admitted, barely more than a whisper. “I’m terrified of what you might do to me. Of what I might do to you. But I don’t want fear to hold me back anymore.”
Jungkook continued to stare at you, jaw working while he thought through what to say. His fingers began to tremble, fighting the rising tide of emotion.
“We face a difficult path,” he said at last.
You nodded. “I know.”
“The history between our people. Revealing the magic of the riders. War on the horizon,” he said, taking a step forward with each reason he listed.
“Do you not want me to say yes, Your Majesty?”
Jungkook came to a stop before you.
“I want you to say yes so badly it hurts,” he said hoarsely. “But I don’t want you to accept not knowing what it means.”
“The bond scared me for a long time,” you told him. “The idea of belonging to someone. Of no longer depending solely upon myself.”
“And why is that?”
“Loss of control.” Your smile was fleeting. “The idea has always terrified me more than any enemy. I feared the bond would mean losing myself… that it would mean…”
“Giving a part of yourself away.”
Quiet, you nodded.
“Did you not think, though,” he said, reaching out. “Giving a piece of yourself away might mean gaining something in return?”
Taking your hand in his, Jungkook laid them both on his heart.
You stared at your hand, splayed beneath his on his chest. The idea had not occurred to you, and yet – perhaps it should have.
“I have no doubt you will remain independent,” Jungkook insisted. “Accepting this bond would not change that. I would not want that to change.”
“But if I were to die –”
“Love is always a liability,” Jungkook quietly said. “It is. And yet, where would we be without it? My love for Nemrys, for Duret Ghal and the riders saved me when my parents died. A world without love is not one worth fighting for.”
Ever so gentle, you brushed the curve of his hand with your thumb.
Jungkook’s grip on yours tightened.
“Yes,” you breathed. Chest practically touching, you looked up to see him. “I know all this, and I’m saying yes.”
For the first time, you let yourself look at him fully.
You had known he was beautiful, but the truth was he was nearly unbearable. Strong jaw, soft lips and eyes which burned as fierce as any Dragon. You did not look at them though, wanting to take in the rest of him first. Lifting a hand, you cupped the side of his face.
Jungkook shivered at your touch. Startled, you glanced up and met his gaze. The need you found within nearly undid you.
For so long, this had been building inside. Suddenly the idea of you tolerating, let alone enjoying another man’s company seemed a strange concept. Jungkook was your mate, someone who had never once cowered from who and what you were.
Turning his head, Jungkook’s lips brushed your palm.
“What are you thinking?” he murmured.
“I am remembering earlier. Your kiss in the garden.”
His gaze darkened. “What do you want from me, my Queen?”
The addition of the word my sent a thrill down your spine.
“You,” you said, knowing how true it was.
You wanted every part of the man before you. Wanted to know him, breathe him in, drink from his cup and bask in his light. The man who’d known you were his mate and hadn’t claimed you, but rather waited. Waited you to come to him.
Rising on your tiptoes, your hands slid to his neck and you kissed him again.
You kept your pressure light, the opposite of the searing kiss you’d previously shared. Pulling away, you savored the press of his chest, the warmth of his body and the weight of his hands. When you opened your eyes, you found Jungkook smiling.
Pressing your lips to his again, you moved a bit closer. Jungkook seemed content just to kiss, trading gentle pressure – until you pulled back, teeth catching on his lower lip.
A growl loosened from his chest, low and primal.
Sliding a hand behind your neck, Jungkook tilted your head upward and waited for you to nod. When you did, he crushed your lips to his in a kiss equally fierce as it was possessive. Breath stolen, you gave him your desire and what was left of your heart.
Warmth flooded your veins, heating you from the inside out. With limbs of molten fire, you kissed him back until his tongue swiped at your lip, demanding entrance. You parted easily for him, a whimper leaving your throat as you melded together.
Jungkook groaned, pulling close to kiss you again. His fingers traced the skin at your nape, trailing your spine to firmly cup your ass. Nestled between his legs, Jungkook allowed you to feel every inch of his hardness.
Your skin was aflame, as though lightning had zipped across it. Reduced to only sensations, you shivered at each one you felt. His thumb, fondling the dip of your waist. Your nipples, turgid against the fabric of your gown. The sharp, aching pulse which steadily grew between your thighs.
“Oh,” you gasped, head tipping back.
Jungkook kissed each inch of exposed skin you gave him.
“Is this what you want?” he murmured.
“What I want, my King,” you panted, regaining some of yourself. “Is for you not to stop.”
Lips curved in a smile, he lifted his head. “I rather think your King is more appropriate, no?”
You arced a brow. “What is the difference?”
“One implies you are my subject and the other implies I belong to you.”
“And which do you prefer?”
His gaze glinted in firelight. “Allow me to show you, my Queen.”
Barely pausing, you breathed, “And which usage was that?”
With a soft sort of chuckle, Jungkook walked you both backwards until your spine hit the wall. Bending his head, he brushed his lips against yours until you were aching. Until your need for him became fire, racing through your veins in a silent demand.
Sliding his thigh between your legs, Jungkook paused when you gasped. Swiftly giving in, he covered your lips in a kiss which seared to your soul.
Slipping your hands higher, you marveled at the breadth of his torso. Years of riding had hardened his body, making you wonder what he looked like beneath the tunic.
One hand on the wall, Jungkook’s other fisted in your skirts as he tugged you closer. Sharply, you inhaled when he yanked up the fabric, exposing your knee to the gentle press of his thumb. A moan left your lips as your head hit the wall, eyes fluttering open.
Jungkook stopped. “Is it too much?” he asked, releasing your skirts.
“No.” You shook your head. “I want more. I want you”
His gaze darkened. “Then you shall have me,” he promised, covering your mouth with his.
His kiss was rough, lips bruising as your hands found his hair. Arching against him, you reveled in the hard panes of his body. It seemed wherever you had space, Jungkook had been made to fill it.
Hand in your skirts once again, Jungkook pulled them higher to press his thigh in between. You inhaled at the contact, his muscles rigid and hard in all the right places.
Before you could do anything else, Jungkook bent and grasped the back of your thighs. Wrapping you around his waist, he kept your body close as he walked towards the bed. Lowering you to the floor, his hands remained on your waist.
“Turn around,” Jungkook rasped, and you obeyed.
Facing the bed, you felt his fingers trace over the bodice of your gown.
“May I?” he asked, his voice shaky.
“Please,” you whispered.
Carefully, Jungkook began undoing the laces and hooks. As the fabric was loosened, exposing your skin to his gaze, you closed your eyes. His fingers skimmed your shoulders, sliding the fabric lower until it hit the floor.
Bared to his gaze, you felt your breath hitch. Cool air played over your skin, perking your breasts, and drifting between your thighs. The gown was sheer enough to necessitate you wore no undergarments beneath it, leaving you naked before him.
“Y/N.” Jungkook sounded hoarse. “Please… please face me.”
Slowly, you did so as you opened your eyes.
Jungkook stared, his eyes dark as night. Jaw tense, his gaze slowly dragged down your body. You felt the intimacy of it as he trailed your throat, lingered at your breasts, your ass, and between your thighs.
When he finally returned to your face, the heat between you was scorching. Throat parched, your body felt one with the fire.
“Now, you,” you murmured.
Without looking away, Jungkook lifted a hand to begin undoing his tunic. Once it was loose, he pulled this overhead in a single motion. As it hit the floor, his hands went to his trousers. With bated breath, you watched him remove the laces.
Swallowing once, you stared at his chest bathed in soft firelight. Swirling dark lines stretched across his shoulder, encircling his bicep, and traveling to his wrist. You saw words and symbols but had no time to peruse. Later, you promised yourself. Later, you’d worship the ink with your lips and tongue.
A dark smattering of hair trailed from his abs, disappearing into trousers he undid with deft fingers. Once these had been pushed to the floor, you found another reason to swallow.
You were not what anyone would call shy, but something about this felt more intimate than it ever had. Baring yourself to Jungkook meant more than just sex. You’d accepted the bond, accepted what lay between you and acknowledged him as your mate.
Seeming to understand, Jungkook took a step closer as he bent his head. His hands slid to your waist and he kissed you gently.
When he pulled away, you saw vulnerability in his gaze.
“Y/N,” he said.
You marveled at the sound of his name on your lips. “Jungkook,” you returned, and watched him smile.
Bending again, his lips found yours as his hands skimmed your body. You settled between his legs, feeling slightly light-headed from the press of so much skin. Jungkook’s hand slid lower, gripping one of your thighs to wrap around him. He gave the same treatment to the other, twisting you around to lay on the bed.
Pressing a knee to the mattress, Jungkook crawled forward and bent his head. Lips soft, he began to kiss down your body. Your hands gripped his back, trailing to find the twin dimples nestled at the base of his spine.
When Jungkook’s mouth brushed your breasts, he paused. Instead of giving in and devouring you whole, he slid a hand between your thighs and found how wet you were. Gaze lidded, he looked up as he cupped your sex. A single finger slid over your silken entrance.
Lifting the same finger to his lips, Jungkook leisurely tasted you. When he pulled his finger out, you saw it had been licked clean.
Growling in approval, Jungkook bent and closed his lips over your breast.
“Oh,” you gasped, arching beneath him.
Your nipple was already hard, peaked with desire. Jungkook sucked on it eagerly, pulling your breast taut before he raised his head. Moving on to the next, his thumb remained behind to skim over your nipple.
He continued with this sweet torture until you’d had enough.
“No more,” you gasped, curving a hand beneath his jaw.
Releasing your breast, he lifted his head. “I want to taste you,” Jungkook breathed. “I want to know what it’s like to have you fall apart on my tongue.”
Easing yourself onto your elbows, you slowly spread your legs.
“Do your worst, Your Majesty,” you said, gaze glinting.
Jungkook grinned, lowering himself to the sheets. His mouth was hot, open as he kissed your waist, your belly and lower. You did not know where to look – his entirely naked ass, or his dark head of hair before your dripping sex.
Dragging his nose up your thigh, Jungkook deeply inhaled as he centered himself. Lowering his head to your sex, he gave a tentative kiss. Even this sent a sweeping shudder through you. It took nearly everything you had not to moan like a maiden in heat.
Opening his mouth, his tongue swirled once and you nearly dissolved. Liquid heat pulsed through you, cumulating between your thighs in a sinful wave. Worshipping you with his tongue, Jungkook tore moans from your lips, one after the other.
Swiping his tongue in another slow circle, he coaxed your body to arc from the bed. With a throaty chuckle, Jungkook looked up. Hair mussed and lips wet, he looked like something divine.
“Do you want more, my Queen?” he asked lowly.
“Yes,” you exhaled, unable to look away.
A devious smile spread across his lips. Lowering his mouth, Jungkook resumed his ministrations until you were gasping his name.
“Oh,” you groaned, broken as he continued to eat you out.
Gripping your thighs, he pushed them further apart to better get at your sex. Legs splayed on the bed, you framed his broad shoulders as you reached for his hair. Another growl left him as you fisted your hand in the strands. Hips rising and falling with the motion of his mouth, your head fell limply back on the bed.
“Yes – yes,” you said, chasing the sweet pleasure with your hips.
You hardly knew what you were doing as you moved, never having felt this way before. Jungkook seemed equally entranced, his eyes snapping open to meet yours above. The bottom half of his face was wet with your juices and while you should have felt modest, instead you felt righteousness. Intoxication. Possession.
This was your body which made him look like this, half-feral with need as he ground into the mattress. “Yes,” you gasped, gripping harder as your legs started to shake. “Yes, Jungkook.”
Pleasure built from within, threatening to drown out everything but the man between your thighs. Slipping a finger to your entrance, Jungkook drew lazy circles over your sex. His tongue moved in quick, agile motions against your swollen clit.
“Come for me,” he panted, lifting his head.
Your lips parted when his finger slipped in. Gripping his hair, your hips bucked against him as he added another and curled. Crying out his name, you came hard and fast around his hand. You think you said Jungkook, amongst other things, as you went limp on the mattress, your hands falling to the sheets.
Jungkook slowly relented, gently kissing your hip, your chest and all the way up your throat. Smiling softly, he settled beside you to drape an arm over your waist. Chest rising and falling, you stared at him in wonder.
You’d often wondered what the mating bond felt like. If something would snap into place and all of a sudden, your mind would belong to someone else. Whatever you’d imagined, it had not been this. This felt as natural, as right as when you flew.
Tracing a circle on your inner thigh, Jungkook looked up. “Do you want more?”
His other hand parted your legs, cupping your heat to show you what he meant. Inhaling softly, you reached down and encircled his wrist with your hand. Jungkook went still.
“Yes,” you murmured. “But not like that.”
His eyes lightened. “How, then?”
“I want all of you. Inside me,” you said. “I take the potions monthly.”
The potions were a trio of liquids sold by most apothecaries throughout the continent. They did everything from preventing pregnancy to protecting against diseases and easing your monthly flow. Arching a brow, you glanced pointedly at the headboard.
Smiling softly, Jungkook retracted his hand. Pushing himself upwards, he shifted to seat himself against the same headboard.
You could not have imagined a more beautiful sight. With mussed hair, his skin dark with ink and flushed with arousal, Jungkook was artwork himself. Lifting yourself to your knees, you positioned yourself over his thighs and lowered your gaze.
His cock was impressive, although you had already known this. He would be the largest you’d ever taken, that was for certain.
Reaching down, you wrapped your hand gently around him. Gaze half-lidded, Jungkook stared as you dragged your hand upwards. A hiss left his lips, though he held himself back.
“Careful,” he warned, shifting his hips.
Brushing your thumb across his head, you spread already-leaking fluids down his hardened shaft. Lowering your body, your mouth slid over the reddening tip. With a flick of your tongue, you relished his soft moan of approval. Next, was a swirl, before you slid off with a pop and began to move your fist.
“This is not your first time,” Jungkook observed, breathing heavily.
“Neither is it yours, Your Majesty.”
Bending again, you took him all at once in your mouth. Gasping his chuckle, Jungkook’s hands skimmed your torso to land on your rear. For a while, the only sounds which filled the room were the sloppy sounds of you sucking.
“It is not,” he panted, fingers digging into your ass. “And yet, I cannot help but be envious of all who came before me. Of all who’ve known the sweet pleasure of your lips on their cock.”
Removing him from your mouth, you looked up.
“There is no need to be jealous,” you said, rising onto your knees. Not looking away, you swung a leg over his hips. “You are the one who has me now.”
Something proud, almost territorial entered his gaze.
Gripping you by the waist, Jungkook pulled you even closer. “Do I?” he murmured, lips brushing your throat. “My Queen. My betrothed. My mate,” he breathed, nipping the skin.
A not unpleasant shiver ran down your spine. Reaching beneath you, you gripped his cock to position at your dripping entrance. Still, you did not take him inside.
Realizing Jungkook awaited an answer, you nodded. He had you.
“Then tell me,” Jungkook demanded, looking into your eyes.
Lowering yourself, you felt his tip brush your entrance. “You have me,” you whispered. “My King. My betrothed. My mate.”
With each word, you took him in deeper. Jungkook sat upright, right hand cupping the back of your neck to bring you closer. Clasped to his warm, damp skin, you sank down on his cock.
“That’s it,” he murmured, hot in your ear. Other hand gripping your ass, he lowered you even further. “You can take more of me, can you not?”
You could and you did, not wanting to wait any longer. Hands digging into his back, you kept your chests pressed together as you sank even further. No matter how much you took, there always seemed to be more to give. Jungkook’s cock stretched you open, making you work to fit all of him inside.
“Oh,” you whimpered, gripping him tighter.
Jungkook grunted and stroked the side of your neck with his thumb. “There you go. Take all of it. All of me,” he exhaled.
A now-familiar shiver swept your spine as you moved. The last inch pushed you past your limits, but finally you felt him bottom out. For a moment, you could not breathe from the feeling of fullness. Of rightness. Of completeness.
Him sheathed inside you felt indescribable, only improved when Jungkook shifted his hips and finally moved.
“Oh,” you gasped, eyes flying wide.
“Y/N,” he groaned.
Lifting yourself higher, your nipples brushed his chest as you eased yourself down. Jungkook’s hand remained on your spine, rolling your hips as he thrust from below. Kissing him slowly, you bit down on his lip and took him in deeper.
Jungkook began to move, spearing you with his cock as you spread your legs. His kisses became harder, more desperate as a steady thrum of power built in between you. Soon it was your hips chasing his, not the other way around.
Lowering his head, Jungkook caught your breast with his mouth. Lips parting, you began to fuck him harder as you slammed your hips down. His tongue teased one rounded breast, switching to the other while his thumb flicked the first.
Dropping onto his length over and over, you marveled at the feel of him moving inside you.
“Jungkook,” you moaned, head thrown back in ecstasy.
His hands seemed to be everywhere. Clasping you to him, skimming your torso, flicking your pebbled nipples as the wave of pleasure built. Toes curling beneath you, you panted from the effort of trying not to come.
As though he could sense this, Jungkook began speeding up. Clasping you to him, he thrust into you harder, filling you with each languid roll of his hips. As your lips found each other, the strange tide of longing crested into a wave.
Winding your fingers into his hair, you tipped your head back and bared your neck to his teeth. Jungkook scraped them up your throat, whining his approval as you rode his cock. Hands gripping your ass hard enough to bruise, his hips moved even faster as he sought completion.
With his dampened skin pressed to yours, his scent began to envelop. Each moan he gave you was freely taken. Each sound you made, he swallowed whole. You were not sure how long you existed in this state, simply reveling in the pleasure from each other’s bodies.
On the edge of release, you felt the bond between you tighten. It was difficult to tell where one of you ended and the other began. Slamming your hips down to his, Jungkook was equally fierce, plunging inside you.
“I cannot hold on much longer,” he gasped.
You nodded, stroking his temple with a sweat-slicked thumb. “Together.”
Jungkook nodded, lips seeking yours in a question you answered. Hips quickening, limbs tightening, you let yourself fall into the release he offered. As you came undone, it was Jungkook you held onto. Somewhere within the bright haze of your pleasure, you felt Jungkook release as well. Thick, hot spurts of cum painted your insides white. 
You reveled in it, trembling at the idea of a future where he’d do this again. Where he’d whet you with his seed, stuffing you full in the hopes you might bear his child. The notion made you whimper, squeezing with your walls as you felt him begin to leak out. 
Although your breathing slowed, the haze of joy lingered. The mating bond became almost visible, shining crystal-clear in what had previously been darkness. It stayed with you; humming and golden, and fearfully strong.
Lifting your head, you met Jungkook’s gaze.
He had not become someone different. Neither had you and yet, something between you had changed. It was still Jungkook beneath you, inside you and with his arms wrapped around you. Now though, you knew what he was to you. Your mate. You had chosen him, and he had chosen you.
Based on his expression, you knew he felt something similar.
One of your hands slid down his chest and settled over his heart. Beneath your palm and warm skin, you felt his heart keeping pace with yours.
“Oh,” you murmured, eyes shining.
Leaning forward, Jungkook brushed your lips with his. Clasping your hand in between you, he rested his forehead to yours.
You knew obstacles lay ahead. You knew but somehow, they all seemed more possible with him by your side. With him as your partner, your mate, your betrothed.
Opening your eyes, you met his gaze and smiled.
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© kpopfanfictrash, 2021. Do not copy or repost without permission.
Author’s Note: Thank you so much to everyone read this long! I hope you enjoyed :)
Character Ask Game found here
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gukyi · 9 months ago
love me or we both go down | kth
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summary: after going through with an arranged marriage to please his parents and secure his inheritance of the family business, kim taehyung thinks he’s got it all figured out. he doesn’t. apparently just being married to you isn’t enough, not when everybody and their mother can pick up on the fact that the two of you absolutely loathe each other. but taehyung wants his inheritance one way or another, so he decides that desperate times call for desperate measures: the two of you need to fall in love, and you need to fall in love fast.
{enemies to lovers!au, arranged marriage!au, rich kids!au}
pairing: kim taehyung x female reader genre: fluff, angst, smut (i know, crazy right?) word count: 32k warnings: oral sex (m & f receiving), fingering, penetrative sex, multiple unprotected sex scenes (they’re married y’all), fat cock tae, tae has a wife kink, lots of praise, alcohol consumption (but they’re safe), minor character death (not explicit), mentions of heart attack, slow burn like there is no tomorrow a/n: hello and welcome to the fic everyone, literally everyone, has been waiting for! i am so, so, so excited to share this with you all, especially because none other than rose @kinktae​ helped me write the smut, and i am literally forever indebted to her. you all better go spam rose with all the love and support you can because this fic would not be here without her and i love her so much. 
also, to all my readers who aren’t comfortable reading smut, please know that the smut in this fic is not imperative to the storyline, and you skipping past it will not affect your reading experience., enjoy!
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Never in your life have wedding bells felt so ominous.
The sound of them is akin to the sound of strings, of a single piano note in a horror movie, right when the film opens and someone random is about to die on screen for the sake of proving to the audience that this is, in fact, a horror movie. Make no mistake about it; these wedding bells spell doom for you, too. And the most horrific part about them is that just like that poor, helpless soul in the movie, there is no way for you to escape your fate either. 
With only seconds left to go before you have no choice but to promise yourself to the man waiting at the other end of the aisle, you desperately try to think of any last-ditch efforts to get out of this. Many, if not all of them, are utterly useless. 
Feigning sudden illness won’t work, because then your parents will just reschedule the wedding to a later date. Running away is fruitless. Where will you go? The parking lot?
If only you had a lover out there in the audience somewhere that could object to the marriage when the officiant says, “Speak now, or forever hold your peace.” A knight in shining armor that could whisk you out of the venue and off to a new life, far away from here. Too bad all of the people you’ve dated before hate you now. 
Maybe getting married isn’t such a bad thing after all. Instead of having relationships with multiple people who will eventually despise your existence, you only have to have a relationship with one. And the feeling, as has always been, is mutual. 
You bristle as your assistants do some last-minute prepping, fixing your sleeve and adjusting your necklace and making sure you don’t trip on your enormous train. They flutter around you like a swarm of well-meaning but ignorant butterflies complicit in the agenda of your family. None of them have said a word to you about the wedding ever since you arrived at the venue, choosing to talk more about things like the weather. Not that you were ever under the impression they had been hired to entertain you. Maybe they were told to not engage you, just in case you try to conspire with them.
As if they could be of any use in your wildly unrealistic escape plans. 
The truth is that, unless you were to drop dead on this marble flooring right now, you’re getting married. Whether you like it or not.
The doors open. 
You’ve attended red carpets, galas, award shows, and balls. You’ve had hundreds of cameras flashing in your face, the bright light capturing each and every centimeter of you. You’ve had paparazzi waiting outside the restaurants you eat at, the stores you shop at, desperate to catch a picture of you in sweatpants without a drop of makeup on. You’ve been on dates with ex-lovers that looked at you like you were a piece of meat with a credit card. And yet, for some goddamn reason, walking down the aisle in a white dress the size of Pluto, with the rest of your life waiting for you at the other end, makes you feel fucking transparent. 
Face resolute, you clutch onto your bouquet so tightly the flowers feel like they’re about to pop right out of your grasp. Determined not to look at anybody in the audience, you stare straight ahead, right into the eyes of your future husband.
Kim Taehyung, for someone you have seen multiple times drunk off his ass with hickies dotting his neck and jawline, cleans up pretty well. For someone getting married, at least. He dons a simple black tuxedo that still probably costs more than the average car, his caramel brown hair is pushed back off his forehead, and his expression is firm and still. He most certainly has had an equally expensive team prepping him, but they haven’t done too bad a job. The silver lining is that he doesn’t look any more thrilled than you are to be doing this, right here, right now. But to his credit, this is definitely the best he’s ever looked, as far as you’re concerned. 
When you reach him, he offers his hand out to you, a hand that you only accept for the sake of professionalism. The bouquet in your hands is handed off to one of your bridesmaids, and the two of you take your position at the front. Your train drags along the aisle, draping over the few stairs you had to climb to reach the altar, this satin trail behind you that cements you to the floor. It may as well be a ball-and-chain. It’s about as heavy as one, anyway. 
This is the longest you and Taehyung have ever held eye contact. Not that you’re really keeping track of how long the two of you have met each other’s gazes, but if you had to make an educated guess, this would definitely be the victor. Most of the time you end up sneering at each other ten seconds in, but to be fair, those other times you were also not getting married. To one another. In a ceremony attended by hundreds of people. And cameras.
There can be no sneering here. 
“Don’t you look nice?” Taehyung whispers, loud enough so only the two of you can hear. He has that drawling, sickly sweet tone to his voice, the one that you hate because it makes him sound like he thinks he’s so much better than everyone else. “Surprised they were able to makeup that scowl off your face.”
This, of course, brings on a hearty scowl only he can see, your backs both facing the rows of attendees. “How much concealer are you wearing to cover up all of the hickies on your neck?” You quip back easily. It’s not like the two of you are going to pretend he doesn’t waltz around at every club or bar or private venue he can find, looking for his next treat. 
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Taehyung grins, and if you weren’t standing in front of hundreds of people about to get married, there’s no telling what next you would do.
The two of you would probably go on like that for another ten minutes if it’s not for the officiant, who coughs once he’s ready and opens the book in his hands. Next to you, Taehyung straightens, hands clasped together at his front, and lips pressed into a neat line. You do the same. There will be no giggles, no laughter nor smiles, nor any genuine emotion at this wedding. This is a wedding for the sake of politics, for economics, for security, and anyone in attendance would be a fool to think otherwise. Especially you. 
“Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, loved ones, and esteemed guests,” the officiant bellows, listing off as many groups of people as he possibly can in an effort to both include and compliment every person in the audience, “We are gathered here to celebrate the wedding, and future life, of Taehyung and Y/N…”
Taehyung turns to you, grinning in that god-awful way, the way he does when he feels like he’s got something over you. And sure, you can’t think of any punishment quite as bad as this, but what’s Taehyung got to smile about? He’s marrying himself off to a woman he hates, kissing goodbye his days as a free-spirited, heartbreaking bachelor, and promising what may very well be the rest of his life to loving you. That is not cause for celebration. 
But perhaps, to him, your suffering is enough to bring a smile to his face. 
Your vows are, to put it simply, total bullshit. Your family hired someone to write yours and there’s not a doubt in your mind that his family did the same thing. This nonsense talk, this complete and utter garbage that spews from your perfectly-glossed lips, shit about how you promise to love each other until the end of your days, how you promise to take care of each other when you’re sick and accompany each other at every event, every gala, every ball. Shit about how you promise to look only at each other, promise to uphold your family traditions and become a dependable spouse. 
The words don’t belong to you. But the thing is that this marriage was never yours anyway. 
When the kiss comes, there’s a part of you that thinks maybe you should have psyched yourself up a little more for this. When Taehyung pulls you in, placing a stiff hand on your lower back as he brings you towards his chest, your stomach turns and shivers run down your spine. The feeling of his hand on your body, the breath from his lips brushing against your own, are enough to keep you frozen in place. 
He smiles at you, almost as if to ask, “Are you ready?”
And you squeeze your eyes shut, almost as if to respond, “Let’s do this.”
When his lips meet yours, there is almost nothing. Nothing runs through you, nothing explodes, nothing strikes. But when he pulls away and cheers and applause rings out throughout the room, there is something. A little heat, a remnant of a flame, left on your lips. A little sting, just to remind you it happened. 
The entire hall is cheering but nothing about this is worth celebrating. The fact of the matter is that you and Taehyung will never love each other the way that you are supposed to. 
“Ugh, finally.”
The elevator doors haven’t even properly opened by the time Taehyung is loosening his tie, tugging it off over his head as he stretches his head back and runs a hand through his perfectly-styled hair. As he rakes his fingers through his caramel locks, the hairspray and gel loosens, strands falling down by the side of his face, framing his temple.
“Don’t sound so relieved,” you huff out, deciding now is as good a time as any to start getting undressed yourself. Reaching down to lift up the hem of your reception dress, you tug off your heels, already feeling lighter on your feet. Who cares if Taehyung is watching you pull off your stilettos like a defeated movie heroine? You don’t think you can walk another step in those shoes. “We still have to live together, you know.”
“Don’t remind me,” Taehyung says gruffly, brushing by you roughly as he stomps out of the elevator. “I’m just glad the fucking night is over. I swear, seeing that fake-ass smile on your face made me want to gouge my eyes out.”
You storm after him, refusing to be the helpless damsel in this situation. “Oh, like you didn’t also have that exact same fake-ass smile on your face. It almost made me think you were actually enjoying yourself tonight.”
“I was only enjoying the fact that I know you hate this just as much as I do.” It’s perhaps the only thing you will ever be able to empathize with him on. Mutually relishing in the other’s destruction. Taehyung fumbles with the keypad to the door to the penthouse for a moment before you hear the lock click, the door sliding open as the entrance lights flicker on. 
The reason Taehyung’s penthouse is so clean is because he’s never lived here before. Neither of you have—Taehyung’s parents bought it just for the two of you. And as much as you absolutely despise the idea of having to live with him, at least it was not you who paid for your place of residence. 
You can tell Taehyung’s never lived here before because it’s actually quite nicely decorated inside. The ceilings are high and the sleek velvet curtains are pulled open, revealing a shimmering skyline. The furniture is modern and functional, and the whole damn place smells brand new. You’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of entering the place Taehyung lived in before now, and it looked nothing like this. The furniture was worn and stained despite the live-in maid, the house reeked of five hundred different spices that wafted from the kitchen to the living room, and the bookshelves were covered with comics, graphic novels, and old textbooks. 
If it weren’t for the fact that you and Taehyung are rich kids in their twenties that hate each other, you might have actually thought the place looked… homey. 
You don’t have time to be impressed by the interior design and architecture skills of whoever designed this place. Right now, all you can think about is tugging yourself out of your airtight reception dress and passing out on the nearest bed. Which, hopefully, will be as far away as possible from Taehyung’s bed of choice. 
“How many bedrooms does this place have?” You ask, shimmying along the floor so you don’t trip over the hem of your dress. From the looks of it, you can see one giant hallway to your right and a massive, double-sided staircase leading up. 
“Enough,” Taehyung grumbles in response. The hazy stupor from all of the fancy champagne is starting to wear off for the both of you, leaving behind two grouchy, begrudgingly-married individuals who want absolutely nothing to do with each other and have no problems making that known. Whatever golden light of the evening that was making Taehyung at least a little bit more attractive than usual has faded, and now you see him for what he really is: an unceremoniously tired man in a suit. “You want upstairs or down?”
You gaze up at the marble staircase in front of you, then back down at your too-long dress. “Down.” The last thing you want is to trip in front of the man you have to see, every day, for the rest of your life. 
“Fine by me.” Taehyung’s halfway up the stairs by the time he turns back around to say something else. “I’ll see you tomorrow, I guess?”
“Yeah.” There’s no point in being hostile now. The both of you are too exhausted to mean anything by it. Besides, what else can you say? Everything to complain about has already been complained about. At least the two of you managed to wrestle out from your parents the stipulation that you would not be going on a honeymoon together. Now that would have been your worst nightmare. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
It’s as good of a goodnight either of you are going to get. Taehyung heads up the stairs and disappears around a corner, and you start wandering down the hallway. All the bedrooms look the exact same other than different colors on the walls and bedsheets, but they all look serviceable to you. Clean. Empty. Far away from wherever Taehyung is. 
You pick the one at the very end of the hall just to be as much of a diva as possible, and don’t even bother drawing the curtains before tugging off your dress. It’s past one in the morning, and you’re so high up you don’t think anyone will be able to see you anyway. By the time you’ve stripped naked and are tugging up the too-tight sheets tucked into the mattress, your legs are about to give out beneath you. The bed could be made of rocks for all you care. Anything to lie down on is fine by you. 
Sleep comes fairly easily to you tonight. Once your head hits the pillow you can already feel yourself drifting off, eyelids fluttering shut, but you don’t sleep quite yet. Not before you can think about how this is your life now, sleeping in a foreign bed in a foreign place with a foreign husband upstairs. This is what you will be living in now. Now and forever. 
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Living with Taehyung is, in both the best and worst ways possible, like living with a roommate that doesn’t give a shit about the fact that they live with another person. It’s good, because you and Taehyung hardly see each other and speak even less, which was pretty much the only thing you were asking for when it came to living with him. But it also sucks, because whenever you do happen to cross paths, Taehyung acts like you don’t exist, barely sparing you a hello or even that tight-lipped smile you send to drivers on the road when they let you cross the street. 
Not that the two of you ever engaged in energetic conversation before you got married. But at least the two of you would acknowledge each other, even if only to shoot a glare and a scowl the other’s way from opposite sides of a hotel ballroom. Maybe it’s just because it’s him, but you did always find yourself actually relishing in those little interactions with Taehyung. In this strange, twisted way, it seemed to provide some sort of continuity to your ever-changing life. Like no matter what happened, at least you would know that the two of you would always despise each other. 
To be frank, right now you’re not sure if Taehyung even remembers he got married at all.
Nights have been a lot more sleepless since your wedding day. After two weeks, the reality of it has finally started to settle in. This is your life now. And ever since you realized that, your bed has felt much less comfortable. 
“But the place is nice, right?”
You look around the living room from where you’re sat on the sleek, white suede leather couch, eyes glossing over the bookshelves, the floor-to-ceiling windows, the draping velvet curtains. From here, you can see the entire city skyline, flecks of gold from the windows of skyscrapers against a navy blue background. Slowly, as the moon creeps over the sky and the clock gets later and later, those lights will soon begin to flicker off, one by one. 
“Yeah, it’s not bad.” Nothing to write home about. That is, if home were a place other than here. 
“That’s good. At least you don’t live in, like, a total dump or anything,” Victoria says on the other end of the line. “How’s Taehyung?”
His name alone elicits this deeply-exhausted sigh from your lips, like it’s been ten years since you married and every day has felt worse than the last. “Fine.” You can’t really complain about anything yet, considering that you hardly ever see the man. 
“Just ‘fine’?” Victoria sounds skeptical. 
“Yeah,” you draw out the word, as if trying to convince yourself of its truth. “I mean, it’s like he doesn’t even live here. I barely see him. And when I do, we don’t even speak to each other.”
“That’s good though, isn’t it? You hate him.” Victoria says it like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. And in a sense, it kind of is. 
“I mean…”
“I know that your life hasn’t exactly… gone the way you had planned, but isn’t this your best case scenario when considering everything?” She asks. “If Taehyung is as distant as you say he is, isn’t it almost like you never married him in the first place?”
As if on cue, you hear footsteps coming down the stairs, heels clicking on the marble as they make their way to the entrance. You whip your head around to find Taehyung, all dressed up in loose, flowy slacks and a flowery silk button-down, strolling down the staircase as he scrolls through his phone, paying you zero attention whatsoever. 
He notices you briefly when he reaches the bottom, meeting your eyes with his own. He offers this measly, unenthused half-smile your way before he grabs his wallet and some house keys from the table by the entrance, opens the door, and vanishes off into the night. 
If you hadn’t been in the living room, you probably wouldn’t have even realized he left. Not that you being present as he’s planning on leaving would have stopped him anyway. This is the sixth night he’s done this in the past two weeks. You could stand by the door and stare him down as he emerges from his bedroom, all dressed up for something you’re definitely not invited to, and he would offer you that same goddamn smile and walk out the door without even blinking. Who he was before you got married and who he is now are no different. Not even a ring could change that. 
“I guess,” you tell Victoria. At least Taehyung hasn’t turned into a helicopter husband. “I don’t know. Maybe I just wish that I didn’t have to deal with him at all.”
Wish you could turn back time. Wish you could worm your way out of an arranged marriage before it was too late. Wish you could go back to the way things used to be. 
You and Victoria talk for another couple of minutes before she regretfully has to end the call, citing both her beauty sleep and an 8AM meeting tomorrow morning as her reasons for hanging up. The moment you put the phone down, you sink back into the couch cushions, staring out the windows at the world below you.
Here’s the deal. What Taehyung does in his free time is none of your business. But also, it’s totally your business, because you are his spouse. A spouse who is an equal amount in the public eye as he is. What he does and does not do has a direct impact on what you do and do not do. 
It’s no secret that when you catch Taehyung sauntering down the stairs looking like a Gucci runway model, it’s not because he’s planning on catching a movie with a college friend and then playing video games for four hours on a couch in a basement. He is going out. To clubs, to parties, to exclusive events that he’s been invited to by his equally-rich friends, all of whom are acting like he’s the same bachelor he’s always been. 
And maybe that’s the real problem with your whole marriage—other than the glaringly obvious issue that it’s a marriage wholly unwanted by the two parties involved in it. Despite the ring on his finger, Taehyung is going out and pretending that nothing in his life has changed while you’re trapped at home, desperate to save you and your family’s reputation by keeping as low a profile as possible. You would give anything to march around the city all day, flashing middle fingers at paparazzi as you shop at your favorite high-end stores and frequent your favorite clubs. But you can’t, because your family’s fortune and influence is on the line. 
And apparently, Taehyung’s isn’t. 
It sort of makes you wonder why it was even Taehyung you ended up marrying anyway. His family isn’t any richer or more powerful than yours. Your spheres have always been sufficiently separate. What was it about him, and perhaps more importantly, his family that drew your parent’s eye? And what was it about marrying you that prevented him from saying no? Money? Prestige? Influence?
You suppose you’ll never know. But whatever mystical force that convinced Taehyung to agree to this must not be as important to him as your reasoning is to you, because it’s become exceedingly apparent that Taehyung does not care that he’s married. He doesn’t care about the ring on his finger, he doesn’t care about his public image, and he most certainly doesn’t care about you.
Perhaps you were naive for thinking this, but you actually believed marriage might tone him down a little. Might age him into a real adult with real world obligations. Instead, it’s only given you a firsthand look into who Kim Taehyung has been and always will be: a selfish rich kid.
You don’t bother waiting around in the living room until he gets back, but you are still awake by the time you hear the door creak open. Taehyung makes no efforts to hide his return. You can hear him chattering loudly on the phone as he stumbles up the stairs, can tell from his gait alone that he is most certainly wasted. You don’t want to know what he did tonight. You’ll probably be able to figure it out anyway when you wake up tomorrow morning and check your social media. 
What were you thinking, marrying him? That he would change? That he would suddenly become someone that you could rely on? You had no choice when you said, “I do,” but you were at least hoping that maybe one day, one day in a long, long time, the two of you would finally see eye to eye. Maybe there would even come a time when you would genuinely love him. How foolish. 
You close your eyes and try to imagine a world where you have married someone you love, someone who loves you back.
Not unlike the many nights preceding it, tonight is sleepless. 
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Unlike your marital status and general disposition, one thing that hasn’t changed about you is your love for extravagant events. Call you conceited, but there is something so much fun about putting on a fancy, expensive dress that you love and getting your hair and makeup done before going to an exclusive gala and posing in front of five hundred cameras. 
Actually, now that you think about it, maybe your wedding could have actually been pretty good, considering it let you do all those things. It’s a real shame there happened to be a storm cloud in the form of Kim Taehyung there to ruin it. Otherwise, you think you would have rather enjoyed that day. 
Tonight is the first event since your marriage where you and Taehyung are both required to show up and act like a happy married couple. Which would probably be a lot easier if you and Taehyung had exchanged more than ten words over the past two weeks. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but there was a part of you that thought you could use your arranged marriage to actually cultivate some sort of meaningful relationship between the two of you. So events like these wouldn’t be such a drain on both of you. 
When Kim Taehyung comes down the stairs, he actually doesn’t look too bad. You don’t know why this sort of thing keeps catching you off guard—like you don’t expect him to look that good whenever you see him. The problem is that you can’t even chalk up the surprise to him wearing tailored clothes or having his hair done. He just looks… good. 
Well, you suppose you do have to look at him every day for the rest of your life. It’s a good thing he’s attractive. At least he’s not sore on the eyes. 
Taehyung and his unfortunate attractiveness aside, the two of you don’t say a word to each other as you join up at the entrance, grabbing any last-minute items like house keys, chapstick, and whatever dignity you have left to spare. You send forced smiles and tight nods each other’s way in the elevator, staring straight ahead in the lobby of your building as the car pulls up to the front door.
By the time the two of you sit down in the back of the limousine, the built-up tension between the two of you is so thick you’re almost positive that even the chauffeur can feel it through the closed partition. 
If you were any more idyllic, you’d probably spend the drive over to the gala staring out the window and imagining yourself in a different life, on a train to nowhere, flowers in your hair and a journal in your hands. Or perhaps you’d be the CEO of your family’s company instead of having that responsibility passed down to a husband you don’t even want, sitting in an office at the top of a skyscraper overlooking the city. Anything. Anything but this.
But the idyllic part of you died when you realized that fantasies like that are nothing but distractions and that daydreams are for romantics and optimists and losers. 
“What’s our plan for tonight?”
Taehyung scoffs. “What do you mean, ‘what’s our plan’?”
You frown. “Well, we’re married, so we at least have to act like it, don’t you think?”
“Isn’t standing there and smiling enough?” Taehyung asks, an unimpressed eyebrow raised. 
You bristle. Maybe that sufficed for your wedding, but there was so much going on it was easy to distract yourself from the gravity of it all. But this event is not about you. It’s not even about either of your families. It’s about someone the two of you are, at best, distantly connected to, through work, through fame, through power. Which means that though the focus will not be on you, there will still be eyes looking your way. Eyes watching your every move. 
“Do you think it will be?” You challenge. Doesn’t Taehyung realize that things are different now?
Taehyung’s lips curl downwards. “What do you expect us to do, shower each other in kisses? We don’t even sleep on the same fucking floor.”
“Maybe I just expected you to act less like a stranger and more like a husband!”
Taehyung sighs. “Don’t.” The word is clipped, short. “Don’t tell me you actually want to be married.”
“I don’t.” It’s a response that you hardly have to think twice about. “But we are, and nothing can change that.” Unfortunately. But it’s a fact that you and Taehyung have both had to grapple with over the past few weeks, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that you are more aware of it than he is. If Taehyung could have his way, he would ignore you for the rest of his life and keep partying with the rest of his bachelor friends until he keeled over and died. 
He huffs next to you, eyes staring straight ahead. You don’t think the two of you have met each other’s eyes in a week. Maybe more. They’re starting to feel as soulless as your marriage itself. “Whatever. What do you want me to do?”
“What do you think?” You cross your arms over your chest. “Just act like you don’t hate me. Can you do that?” The way Taehyung’s behaving right now, you expect that will be a challenge for the both of you.
“Only if you can. I’ll even hold your hand to prove that we love each other.”
The idea of holding Taehyung’s hand makes you want to implode. The mere thought sends shivers down your spine. But it’s better than nothing, and that’s good enough for you. At least you won’t have to kiss. 
The rest of the ride there is silent. You drive to this gorgeous mansion just outside the city, bathed in lights hidden amongst the bushes, illuminating both the architecture and the enormous fountain that sits in front of it. In a house this size, you imagine you could probably go your whole life without ever having to come across Taehyung. It actually makes you consider investing in a home that big. 
Taehyung helps you out of the back of the limousine, a cold hand clasping your own as you rest your palm against his. You can feel the way his fingers hesitate as yours make to intertwine with his as you walk towards the entrance, smiling at whatever camera flashes you encounter on your way. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were holding hands with a ghost. 
The moment you step inside and are ushered out of the door’s view, Taehyung’s grip relaxes on yours. For a moment, you think he’ll actually spend the rest of the night like this, a gentle hand wrapped around yours, but then he pulls it away entirely and shoves it back into his pocket. Oh. You frown quietly to yourself. So that’s how tonight’s going to go. 
You don’t make an effort to reach out towards him again. 
For an event concerning people you don’t know a damn thing about, everyone sure seems to know things about you. Other than greetings, you don’t think anyone’s said anything to you about anything other than your recent marriage to Taehyung. Every conversation is punctuated by a Congratulations! you do not feel that you have at all earned, considering you and Taehyung could barely look at each other on the way here.
Maybe Taehyung was right. All you really can do is stand there and smile.
“Oh, don’t tell me… Y/N, is that you?”
The champagne swirls around in the flute between your fingers as you turn towards the sound of your name, looking up to see a familiar face headed your way. 
Kim Seokjin is nice enough. He’s terribly handsome and got a flawless smile, but you know better than to trust those pearly whites of his. The sight of him alone is enough to make your body tense up. There was a reason you had explicitly told your parents not to invite him to your wedding. 
“Seokjin, what a surprise to see you here,” you say, forcing a smile. “I thought you were supposed to be in Switzerland right now.”
“Change of plans,” Seokjin grins back in that awful, awful way, the kind of grin that makes you feel like he’s looking right through you. “I came back early. It’s a shame, though, I missed your wedding.”
You shrug. “It was a humble affair.” It wasn’t. And you’re positive that Seokjin knows it wasn’t an accident that you didn’t extend an invitation to him or his family. 
“Ah, I see,” Seokjin says, nodding his head. He turns to Taehyung next to you, who is making no effort to hide how wholly uninterested in this conversation he is, and holds out a hand. “You must be Kim Taehyung, then. I’m Kim Seokjin. Congratulations on your wedding.”
Taehyung shakes his hand firmly, the air between the three of you growing unbearably palpable. 
“Seokjin’s father is the VP of News Daily,” You explain, eyebrows raised as you try to signal to Taehyung what exactly it means when Seokjin is speaking to the two of you. “And his mother is a popular journalist for the city’s post.”
Seokjin grew up in the world of media, and it seems he’s picked up his parent’s affinity for sticking their noses in places they don’t belong. You know he’s not talking to the both of you out of the goodness of his heart. 
Seokjin laughs, his hand waving away the mention of his parents. “Oh, please. That’s them. I’m just a bored socialite like the rest of you.”
You resist the urge to scoff. 
“Marriage treating the two of you well?” He changes the subject to what he really wants to talk about: you. 
“Of course,” you say quickly, preventing any hesitation on your end. Your empty hand reaches towards Taehyung’s, fingers searching for his between the two of you. But his refusal to join hands does not go unnoticed by you nor Seokjin, who is eyeing the space between your bodies with an eyebrow raised. “It’s just been—well, it’s just been difficult to adjust to a new life. That’s all.”
If you were to describe the face of a non-believer, it would be the exact expression on Seokjin’s face. “Perfectly understandable,” he says, that same toothy smile lacing his features. “But it must be nice, you know, to marry someone you love.”
“I couldn’t be happier,” you say, almost challenging Seokjin to say something even more inflammatory. He must know that all you’re trying to do at this point is save face. Love? Ha! As if. 
“And Taehyung?” Seokjin motions to your husband. 
You can feel the way Taehyung is stiffening beside you. “I suppose we are both lucky and unlucky in many ways when it comes to who we love.”
It’s enough of an answer to get Seokjin off your tail. For now. He bids the two of you a tense goodbye before sauntering off to go poke his nose in someone else’s business, fish for drama, a thread of a rumor he can pick apart with nimble fingers. You wonder if anybody actually likes him. 
The moment he disappears from earshot, you grab Taehyung’s wrist tightly and pull him close to you. “What the hell was that?” You hiss into his ear. 
“What?” You can’t tell if he’s playing dumb or if he really is that dense. 
“You!” You exclaim. “Kim Seokjin is the one person who could easily expose how fake this marriage is and you pull away from me? Right in front of him? You can’t even hold my hand for two seconds, that’s how much you hate me?”
“Who cares what he thinks?” Taehyung says. “He’s just another media rat. No one will even remember we were here tomorrow.”
“But if you keep acting like this, people will start to notice! Why can’t you just act like you don’t hate me, for one night? Is that so bad? Is it that torturous, to spend one night with me?”
“Do not turn this on me,” Taehyung orders harshly. “You’re making a scene. Come on.”
You don’t have time to shout at him for bossing you around like you’re a toddler throwing a tantrum before he drags you out of the venue, the two of you finding a back door to the building that leads outside. The cold air blows against your body, goosebumps popping up against your skin, but you find that the chilly night provides quite the respite after practically overheating indoors. Taehyung makes fire rush through your veins but at least the air can cool you back down. 
Nevertheless, your conversation is not over. It’s just been moved to a more private location.
“You do realize that our marriage isn’t going to suddenly go away, right? That we’re going to have to keep doing this for the rest of our lives?” You remind him, eyebrows raised. There’s a part of you that genuinely thinks he’s completely forgotten that your marriage is permanent.
“Oh, and not holding hands for five minutes for this one event is totally going to change the course of our lives, isn’t it?” Taehyung fights back.
“Don’t act like you did the right thing,” you spit out. “You don’t have to pretend in front of me. I know you don’t give a shit about our marriage.”
“What marriage is there to even give a shit about? Just because we had a wedding and signed some documents does not mean there is a real marriage between us. Look at us,” he motions between the two of you like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “We hate each other. Is this what you would call marriage?”
“But at least I’m trying to get past that!” You exclaim. “You make it seem like being as miserable as possible is some sort of badge of honor. Do you actually want to spend the rest of your life hating the person you married? Or do you want to grow up and try and move on?”
Taehyung frowns. “What I want is for the person I married to stop acting like they’re doing me such a huge favor by pretending to care about us. Especially when all they really care about is their family’s goddamn reputation.”
“No,” you tell him sternly. You are doing him a favor. He just can’t admit that he actually needs help from you. “You are putting zero effort into this. What am I supposed to do?”
“Let it go!” Taehyung shouts. “Maybe one day we’ll actually start getting along, but right now it’s obvious that neither one of us can stand the other. I don’t need you to do favors for me. I can handle it myself.”
You look away, rolling your eyes. “Doesn’t look like it to me,” you mutter to yourself. 
Taehyung cracks. “Fine. You want me to pretend that I actually care about us? I will.” Thank God. Maybe now the two of you will finally start seeing eye-to-eye. “But make no mistake about how I feel about you,” he spits. “Getting married to you ruined my life.”
You stare straight at him and his eyes are swirling, so obscured in the darkness of the night that you might even think he doesn’t have a soul at all. His pupils bore into yours and for once, for once in your goddamn life, after so many years of staring each other down at debutante balls, so many years of witty refrains and snarky insults hurled each other’s way, it feels like the two of you might actually snap. 
Then, a camera flashes.
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Trouble in Paradise! would be a suitable title for the front page of the city’s biggest tabloid… if anything about your life with Taehyung could be considered paradise. Unfortunately for the both of you, that is not the case. 
You don’t need to keep reading the rest of the trashy article on the front page of the daily tabloid to know how much trouble you’re in, nor do you even have time to scroll beneath the terrible photo of you and Taehyung literally shouting at each other before you hear your phone ring. 
You don’t even bother saying hello to whoever’s on the other end. You know it’ll go in one ear and out the other. 
“I assume you know why I’m calling,” your mother’s harsh tone spits from the other end of the phone. There’s no doubt in your mind that she’s standing in the middle of her office, snapping her fingers at her fifteen secretaries as they partake in the worst damage control your family’s had to deal with since your cousin two years ago was caught with a mistress outside a high-profile restaurant. 
“Can I take a wild guess?” You’re about to be scolded into the next century, so you might as well enjoy your last few moments. 
“Don’t get cheeky with me,” your mother warns. “Care to explain why you and your beloved husband made the front page of the Daily Post today?”
“I know,” you sigh, a hand coming up to rub at your temples. It’s eight in the morning, you’ve barely looked at your phone, and you haven’t even brushed your teeth yet. It feels like you’re still asleep, and most certainly lack the energy to deal with this right now. 
Your mother, on the other hand, thinks otherwise. “You know? You know, and you still go out and do this? For everyone to see?”
“We tried to take our argument outside,” you begin to explain, but your mother isn’t having a single word of it. 
“The fact that you thought it was even appropriate to have an argument in a public setting at all astounds me, Y/N. We raised you better than that.” There’s no need for you to even see her face. You’ve grown so used to that disappointed frown over the years that it’s burned into your brain. 
“Maybe you should have thought about that before marrying me off to a man I barely know so I could be someone else’s problem instead of yours,” you bite. 
“We did this for your own good,” she hisses back. “You are married because we love you, and we want you to succeed outside of this family.”
“Then why do you care what the tabloids print about me?”
“Because being married does not mean you are no longer a part of this family,” your mother informs you sternly, lips smacking together. “Your marriage reflects on all of us, and you know that. What will people think of us when they see how terribly behaved you are?”
“Everyone acts like that, and you know it.” How could your mother preach good behavior when everyone, everyone you know, is just as spoiled and entitled as you? There’s no such thing as being altruistic when it comes to people like you. Being genuine, and good, and pure—that will get you ruined. 
You can hear her breathing into the phone when your mother responds, “But not in public, and that is the point. We expect better from you.”
“If you were so worried about me behaving so badly, then why did you even marry me off anyway? You knew that I didn’t want to. What did you think would happen?” It’s a question you wouldn’t have dared ask three months ago. Hell, even a year ago, when it was first revealed you were to be engaged, you wouldn’t have dared open your lips. But things are different now. You’re married to a man that hates you just as much as you hate him. He is making no effort to improve your relationship and seems hellbent on despising you forever. There is no way to get out of it. And if your parents really foresaw all of that, then what was the point in the first place?
“Your grandmother.”
Your mouth shuts. 
“You know she wanted to see you married before she passed,” your mother says, words clipped and biting and harsh. “She cares about you. She wanted to make sure you’d be taken care of.”
“I don’t need anyone to take care of me,” you mutter to yourself like a petulant child. In a way, you sort of are.
“If you want to stay in her will, I suggest you change that mindset.”
You freeze in your tracks. The will?
“Is that a threat?” You ask, positively dumbfounded. Are you being coerced into staying in this marriage because of your grandmother’s will?
You can hear your mother laugh, that muted, knowing chuckle of hers. “It was the deal all along, remember?”
Vaguely, you do. You remember fighting your parents tooth and nail over getting married until your grandmother revealed it was her dream to see you wed. You remember the look on her old, wrinkled face, that soft, sad smile that said she knew she didn’t have much time left. You remember agreeing, because how could you deny her? You remember her promising to remember what you’re doing for her. 
“You’re kidding.”
“I’m not.”
“That’s the end of this conversation, Y/N. You fix things with your husband or you’re out of her will. She’s made that clear. I expect you’ll make the right choice.”
She hangs up. 
There are a lot of ways to describe how you’re currently feeling, and you most certainly had an expensive education that would provide you with plenty of the vocabulary, but you think the most appropriate words for the current situation would be: you’re fucked. 
At least the feeling is mutual. 
Hardly two minutes after your mother’s brutal phone call, Taehyung comes storming down the stairs, hair still mussed from the night prior, his own phone clenched tightly between is fingers. Even from where you stand in the middle of the living room, you can see the way his eyes are glinting with anger, the veins popping out from his skin. 
“I just got off the phone with my parents,” Taehyung begins, not even bothering to spare a ‘good morning’ your way, “and they are fucking furious about last night.”
You shrug. “Join the club,” you mutter, arms crossed in front of you. What, does Taehyung really think you got off scot-free?
“Don’t act like this means nothing to you,” Taehyung says as he approaches you, footsteps calm despite his demeanor being anything but. “You’re the one who’s so obsessed with keeping up their family’s perfect reputation. You’re the reason we’re even in this mess in the first place.”
“What do you mean, ‘I’m the reason’?” You ask, astounded. Like he’s totally absolved of all blame and just an innocent third party. “You are the reason we went outside. You are the reason we had that argument, because you refuse to accept the fact that we’re actually married and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
“Right, because holding hands is really gonna show all those people how in love we are. I bet your parents are so thrilled right now.” Taehyung drawls. 
“It’s a start!” You shriek. “God, you’re just so—so infuriating! You can’t accept that this was your fault, too. You just have to turn everything against me and you always, always have to get the last word. It’s like you think you’ll die if you don’t.”
“Like you’re any better,” Taehyung huffs back. “You think I’m the villain because I don’t want to pretend to be in love with someone I’m not in love with. You act like us not holding hands is going to ruin our lives. It was one event! One! It’s obvious we hate each other, so why even try?”
“What, do you expect me to just sit around and do nothing? To act like everything’s fine? Like I’m happy?” As if. This marriage is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. “While you prance around the city with your rich boy friends, going out to clubs and parties and pretending that I don’t exist? Is that what you expect from me?”
Taehyung laughs, this loud, disbelieving sort of noise, like he’s never heard such nonsense before. “Just because we’re married doesn’t mean the rest of my life has to change. Am I not allowed to enjoy myself with my friends? Or are you determined to keep me chained to your side for the rest of our lives?”
“What I want,” you punctuate every word, “is for you to stop acting like you haven’t got stakes in this, too. You think I don’t know how your family works? What being married to me means for you? Because I do. And I know that if we were to divorce, it would be you who would get the short end of the stick. Make no mistake.”
That’s enough to shut Taehyung up for a good few seconds. And it shuts him up, because he knows it’s true. Taehyung’s family may have a little more money, a little more power than yours, but you’ve got a family intimately more connected with the media. One phone call and Taehyung may have a rather messy, rather public breakup to deal with. 
“You wouldn’t,” he says, calling your bluff. 
“Are you sure about that?” You say, sticking your ground. You would never really divorce him, of course, but he doesn’t need to know that.
“I am,” Taehyung says firmly. “Don’t think I don’t know what being married to me is in it for you. What is it? Money? Power? Your father’s CEO position?”
“That’s none of your business,” you snap quickly. Maybe you’re more transparent than you thought. Bristling, you straighten your shoulders and turn back to meet his eyes. “Regardless, it seems we both have a reason to stay in this marriage.”
“It seems we do,” Taehyung agrees with a thin, contained smile. “Then I suppose we can reach some sort of agreement.”
“As in…?” Your interest in piqued. 
“I’ll stop going out with my friends if you stop picking fights with me all the time,” he says economically, like he’s killing two birds with one stone. 
“Only if you agree to also act more like my husband when we’re in public,” you tack on, because you just can’t settle for anything less. 
“Public only,” Taehyung specifies. 
You scoff. “Like I’d even want to pretend to be your wife when we’re in private.”
“Good. It seems we’ve come to a deal.”
“What’s in this for you, huh?” You prod, just to be annoying. Taehyung’s right. There’s a reason you’re not divorcing him the second you get the chance. But there must be a reason why he’s not doing the same thing. 
“Does it matter?” He challenges, a single eyebrow raised. “My life is just as awful as yours.”
Fair enough. 
“Do we have a deal?” Taehyung asks, holding out his hand, that sneaky, devilish grin lacing his features. 
Taking his hand in yours and grasping it firmly is the easiest decision in the world. His palm presses against your own, hot hand meeting your cold skin, and it feels like the two of you are finally finding some sort of balance. You look up into his eyes, burn your gaze into his pupils, watch them glint in the white ceiling light of the living room. 
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For two people raised on the values of reading the fine print and making educated choices when it comes to business deals, you and Taehyung sure haven’t worked out any of the intricacies of the deal the two of you agreed to. Unlike those business deals your parents constantly agreed to, however, knowing all of the stipulations and provisions of your strange, strange agreement with Taehyung may prove more harmful than helpful. 
Like right now. 
“Wait, we don’t have to be by each other’s side the whole night, do we?” Taehyung asks you, eyebrows furrowed in a knot, as you sit in the back of a big, black van on your way to a mutual friend’s twenty-first birthday bash. 
“There are going to be a lot of cameras there,” you respond. 
“Yeah, outside the entrance to the damn club. You know they won’t be allowed in, so who cares?” Taehyung rebukes. 
You huff out a little sigh, not wanting to get into an argument when you’re literally minutes away from your first public appearance since the whole tabloid debacle from three weeks ago. You and Taehyung could both do with being a bit more relaxed than you normally are when you’re around each other. 
“Hasn’t Clarissa invited hundreds of people? They’ll all notice if we aren’t together,” you remind pointedly. The girl whose birthday party you are attending is an heiress who grew up on the money of two people with a monopoly over the current artificial intelligence market and has millions of followers on social media. There will be notable people there. And people will know the two of you, as well. 
Taehyung rolls his eyes. “That’s the point, Y/N. There’ll be so many people, no one will even care. It’s her twenty-first birthday. Do you think people are going to be sober?”
You purse your lips together. He’s got a point. “How about when we are together, we hold hands. But if you see a friend or something then feel free to say hi.” Taehyung can be afforded that luxury. Especially because the chances of him not bumping into someone he knows is exceedingly low anyway. 
Taehyung nods in agreement. “You too. But I won’t leave you unless I know you’re with someone you’re close with.”
“You don’t have to stay, I’ll be fine,” you say with a small chuckle. What, is Taehyung suddenly worried, or something?
“Yeah, but it would be in bad taste if I left you with someone you didn’t know well. Or alone. Just wanna make sure you’re taken care of.” He shrugs nonchalantly, turning back to look out of the window on his side of the car. 
You don’t really have anything else to say to that. You’re sure you can handle yourself if you’re left alone for a few minutes while Taehyung says hi, but you actually find yourself rather appreciative of his resolve to look after you. Or, at least, make sure someone else is looking after you. It’s quite… chivalrous. Strikingly out of character for the Taehyung you’ve become well-acquainted with over the past couple of months. 
By the time you arrive, it’s obvious that Taehyung was right about there being so many people you two practically don’t even exist. Other than the herds of camera crews waiting outside the joint, photographing everyone that steps out of a black car to see what they’re wearing and who they’ve come with, no one seems to be paying you any attention. And in a way, that sort of nonexistence, that anonymity, it’s refreshing. Your entire life you’ve felt like all eyes were on you, like there was constantly a spotlight above your head, but here, the party centers around someone else. 
Despite that fact, Taehyung keeps his promise. He keeps himself pressed closely against you when there’s not enough space for you two to stand side by side, and he makes sure to have a hand gently intertwined with your own as you weave your way through the dozens of bodies in the room. He doesn’t say anything, of course, always looking up and forward instead of beside him, where you stand, but you find that you’re actually quite relaxed with his presence. He spots a bit of a clearing near the back of the first floor of the club, where a whole bunch of leather couches are pressed up against the brick walls, where the two of you can take a breather. 
“Damn, Clarissa knows a lot of people,” you say when you finally settle down, happily plucking a martini from a tray held by one of the many caterers wandering through the venue. 
“I doubt she’s even spoken to half of them,” Taehyung comments. “She and I have maybe spoken once… three years ago.”
“It was enough to get you invited, wasn’t it?” You point out with an eyebrow raised. 
Taehyung nods, chuckling a little. “Touché,” he says, clinking his own cocktail glass against yours. 
You take a swig of the drink, letting it wash down your throat. You’re not exactly sure how else you’re supposed to survive the night. “You must enjoy this, huh?” You muse, looking up at Taehyung from where you’re seated on the couch. He’s standing next to you, looking around the room with a distant gaze in his eye. 
“Enjoy what? The drink? It’s nice,” Taehyung says, having another sip. 
“No, I mean this,” you say, motioning toward the crowd. “The clubbing, the dancing, the drinking. I’ll bet that if you could do this every day for the rest of your life, you would.”
“I’m honored that you think so highly of me,” he deadpans. 
“Just making an observation,” you say, holding your hand up in surrender. “I mean, isn’t this what you used to do every weekend before we got married? Get wasted and party? Wake up in someone else’s bed the next morning? Muscle your way through the week just so you could do it all over again?”
Taehyung shakes his head, a knowing grin on his face. “Looks like someone keeps up with her tabloids. Let me guess, you would scroll through all of those trashy articles on your phone whenever you woke up so you could see what your future husband was doing?”
“I could have never even met you and I would know that that’s exactly what you do,” you say, even though you definitely did do those things before your engagement was announced to the public. “You’re a heartbreaker, Kim Taehyung. I don’t need to read a tabloid to know that.”
“Well, you must be quite the lucky girl, then,” Taehyung comments. “You seem to be taking up so much of my energy that I don’t have the time for that anymore.”
You place a sarcastic hand on your heart. “I didn’t know you were always thinking about me. I’m touched.”
“Don’t get used to it,” Taehyung huffs out, making the two of you both shake your heads as you chuckle to yourselves. First civil conversation you’ve had with each other in a long while, even if there may have been a few blows exchanged. 
The privacy doesn’t last long. Soon after, a huge crowd of people that could honestly still pass for teenagers herds towards the back of the club, all of them wanting to take pictures with each other. You and Taehyung do your best to stay out of the way, but one of the girls recognizes him from the Elle photoshoot he did about a year ago and begins to strike up a conversation with the both of you about your recent marriage. If she was paying attention to anything the tabloids leaked three weeks ago, she doesn’t mention it. Taehyung smiles and happily answers all of her questions, and even offers to take a picture of the group for them. The conversation ends before the two of you even catch her name. 
You’re standing by the line of buffet tables laid out against the staircase leading up to the second floor, no doubt as crowded as this one, when the opportunity for you to speak to someone other than Taehyung finally presents itself. 
You’d recognize that voice anywhere. You turn around to see Victoria barreling towards the both of you, not even caring when she accidentally spills a bit of her piña colada on the floor as she does. 
“Hey!” You exclaim excitedly. “I didn’t know you’d be here.”
“Are you kidding? I’m pretty sure Clarissa invited everyone on her, her best friend’s, her best friend’s cousin, and her best friend’s cousin’s dog’s contact list,” Victoria says with a laugh. “It’s nice to see you. I feel like you’ve been holed up in that big ol’ penthouse for weeks.”
“Damage control,” you remind her succinctly. Victoria knows enough that that’s all the explanation she really needs. 
“I don’t know if the two of you have ever met formally,” you say, thinking back to your wedding, where Victoria spent most of her time schmoozing with your parents (who love her) and didn’t even engage with any of the people who Taehyung’s family had invited. “Taehyung, this is Victoria. Victoria, Taehyung.”
“Pleasure,” Victoria says in that loud, unabashedly forward way of hers, holding out a friendly hand. Taehyung smiles back curtly, taking her hand and shaking it gently, so as not to spill any more of her drink. 
“Mine as well. I remember you were at our wedding.” Oh? So he does know her?
“That I was. Oh, I miss that day. The food was excellent. Tonight’s isn’t too bad either. Hope you’re doing well, the two of you. It’s nice to see you getting along,” she says, always the observer. 
Taehyung’s eyes widen a little when he picks up what Victoria is not-so-subtly putting down, but you place a hand on his upper arm to calm him. “It’s okay,” you tell him. “She won’t say anything.”
“My lips are sealed,” Victoria adds. 
“If you wanna go spend time with some of your friends, you can,” you say, giving Taehyung a nudge. He looks positively helpless standing in between the two of you as Victoria out-extroverts him. 
“Alright,” he says hesitantly, even though you know he’s already spotted at least ten people you’re sure he’d want to spend time with over you. “I’ll come find you soon, okay? Don’t go too far.”
You nod, and Taehyung disappears off into the crowd. Not two seconds later, you hear someone else call his name in a familiar tone. 
“I thought you said you hated him,” Victoria points out as the two of you watch his caramel brown hair makes its way throughout the crowd. 
You take another sip of your drink. “I do,” you say. 
Victoria looks at you like you’ve just told her you’ve sworn off custard-filled doughnuts. 
“What?” You ask, feeling suddenly defensive. 
“Nothing,” Victoria singsongs. “It just doesn’t look like that to me.”
“We just need to keep up a good appearance in public, that’s all. You know how mad my parents got when the tabloids leaked all that shit a few weeks ago,” you explain. You’re not sure what all the fuss is about. Taehyung said he would do these things. And he did. That was him upholding his end of the deal. This is you upholding yours. 
“If you say so…” Victoria says, not looking at all convinced. “I guess I’m just surprised that—that you two seem to be getting along so well. Maybe you being married isn’t going to be the worst thing after all.”
You stare back out into the crowd, scanning the top of people’s heads for Taehyung’s familiar locks. In the dim light of the club, you have a difficult time finding his, squinting your eyes slightly as you look around, but eventually you spot him, dancing happily with some old friends of his you recognize. He looks like he’s having a good time. And that makes you feel like maybe, just maybe, this might end up alright. 
“Yeah,” you say, though with the pounding of the bass and the alcohol already rushing through your veins, it doesn’t really feel like your voice belongs to you. You look back at Taehyung, knowing exactly where he is now, and you smile. Just a little. “I guess he’s not so bad.”
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You never do get a chance to meet Taehyung’s friends that night. By the time he joins back up with you and Victoria he’s by himself, a little more drunk than when he left, and ready to go home. And for once, instead of fighting him, instead of insisting you stay an hour more just to make sure you’ve done all of your rounds, you let him take you home. 
Taehyung has been spending a lot more time at the penthouse lately. Perhaps his family’s business happenings are slow, or perhaps he’s actually starting to get more comfortable with inhabiting the same space as you, but he has definitely found himself quite the rhythm in that house of yours. He even comes down to the first floor rather regularly. 
When he’s home, Taehyung is a lot quieter than you thought he would be. Granted, you don’t exactly know what you were expecting in the first place, but it certainly wasn’t him ruminating in one of the home offices while the Beatles play softly on the stereo, nor was it him reading a book in French in one of those big old grandfather chairs in the living room. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think he was still absent in that old way of his, ghostlike and silent, like he was occupying the space instead of truly living in it. 
But you do know better, and even though Taehyung is just as noiseless as he used to be, the house already feels a little bit fuller. 
Perhaps the reason you’ve become so keenly aware of his presence over the past few days is because of the notable fact that Taehyung has indeed held up his end of the deal, and no longer goes out with his friends in the evening. Or at all, for that matter. Which strikes you as rather odd, because he’s the epitome of a social butterfly, a thousand contacts in his phone and a whole group of friends he regularly spends time with. Maybe his parents told him to tone down the public appearances, too. And that’s understandable, but don’t they know Taehyung? Can’t they see how much he thrives on social interaction? It almost makes you feel… bad for him. 
To remedy this, you suggest he invite over his friends. Just for a few hours, you swear you won’t mind. 
“Seriously?” Taehyung looks positively shocked when you tell him he can, standing in the doorway of the office he seems to have designated as his own. 
“Yeah, why not?” You say with a carefree shrug. Besides, you’ve never met his friends anyway, and now seems as good a chance as any to introduce yourself. You are his wife, after all. “Unless your parents say you can’t. But it’s not a problem for me.”
“You… don’t mind if I have my friends over for a bit? Honest to God, we’re probably just going to play FIFA for three hours straight,” Taehyung says like it’s some sort of warning. Like the idea of him and his buddies from college are going to sit in the living room screaming at the television, leaving you alone to do literally anything else, is somehow bad. 
You laugh. “It’s fine, really. Call them. I’d actually quite like to meet them.”
Taehyung picks up his phone almost instantly, as if you’ll change your mind in the next five minutes so he better get them over soon, and already you can see the way his face is lighting up, the way his eyes crinkle as he chats to his friends and the way his lips curl upwards when they crack a joke back. Isn’t it obvious? He feeds off of the energy of others. Who are you to deny him such a simple pleasure?
As it turns out, Taehyung’s friends actually end up being quite nice anyway. 
He invites over three, because four people is apparently the perfect number for a hardcore game of FIFA on his Playstation, and they are all very handsome men you have never met before. You suppose like attracts like, after all. 
“You must be Y/N,” says the first one you see when you open the door to let them in. He doesn’t look a day over twenty-one—in fact, he could probably still pass as a college student—and has rather long dark hair that drapes over the sides of his face, covering the edges of his big doe eyes. “I’m Jungkook. This is Jimin and Hoseok.”
“Nice to meet you all,” you say, stepping aside so they can enter.
The shortest one, Jimin, grins in response, and Hoseok, behind him, gives you a wave. It’s refreshing enough as is, not having to exchange formal greetings and shake each other’s hands like you do with everyone else. Hoseok even gives you a bit of a nod, too.“You, too,” he says. “We’ve heard so much about you.”
Oh, have they, now? Interesting. 
“All good things, I hope,” you say awkwardly, forcing a small smile as Taehyung comes bounding into the room, ears perked up at the sound of his friends’ voices. 
“Definitely. Thanks for having us over. We didn’t wanna intrude on the sanctity of your new place,” Jungkook says, gesturing vaguely to the house as a whole. He’s got this excellent, genuine grin on his face, the kind that people who are just happy to be alive always wear. 
Already he’s said enough to charm the shit out of you. Who knew Taehyung’s friends could be so… friendly? “Please, you’re welcome any time. I was just thinking Taehyung was getting a little lonely.”
“There he is!” Jimin shouts excitedly when he spots Taehyung behind the two of you, looking a lot more casual than he normally does when he’s alone with you, having abandoned his usual silky button-down and wide-leg slacks for a loose shirt and some sweatpants. You didn’t even know he had those things in his closet. 
“Hey, everyone’s here!” Taehyung exclaims, just as happy. He squeezes past you to give the three of them a big hug, and it almost makes you feel like you’re intruding on something you shouldn’t be in. Even though this is literally your house. 
“Nice place you got here,” Hoseok comments, eyes drifting around the living room. “Very minimalist, I like it.”
“Sure hope you don’t spill anything on those nice leather couches of yours,” Jungkook says. 
“Yeah, unlike Kook, who has spilled tomato soup on every shirt he’s ever owned,” Jimin jokes, earning laughs from Taehyung and Hoseok and a punch from Jungkook. 
“Moved after we married,” Taehyung says simply, shrugging his shoulders. It’s an easy enough explanation for why it doesn’t look at all lived in. Here’s hoping none of them realize you sleep in different bedrooms. 
“Yeah, congratulations on that, man,” Hoseok says, giving Taehyung a celebratory nudge in the shoulder. “Who’d have thought, out of the four of us, Kim Taehyung would be the first one to settle down.”
The way Taehyung’s body tenses up at that comment does not go unnoticed by you. 
“Seriously, I would have never guessed,” Jimin adds on. “You’re showing us a new side of yourself, Tae. But I’m happy for you.”
Normally, you’d probably take offense at such blatant insinuations that your husband was a former playboy, especially from his equally noncommittal friends. But truthfully, it’s not like you were blind to Taehyung’s transgressions either. And what matters most is the fact that since it was announced publicly, you are the only woman he’s been seen with since your engagement. 
“Me too. You seem to really like her. I’m glad,” Jungkook pipes up, sending a smile your way. You definitely feel like you don’t belong in this conversation. “I think the two of you will be good for each other.”
“Yeah, I hope so,” Taehyung says with a nervous chuckle. His eyes quickly shoot your way, the two of you meeting gazes, your hesitant expressions matching. At least the two of you are on the same page. “Alright, alright, enough,” Jungkook says. “Who’s ready to get their ass kicked in FIFA?”
“You’re on, Jeon. But when I win, you owe me a five-star dinner,” Hoseok challenges. 
Hoseok, Jimin, and Jungkook immediately crowd towards the couch, and you take that as your cue to leave. But before you can disappear down the hallway, you and Taehyung look awkwardly at each other, hands tied. It’s not like you can say anything to them. 
The truth is that, sometimes, it’s easy to forget that not everyone else knows that your marriage is just for business. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are still people out there that believe you marry for love. 
Isn’t it crazy to think that you used to be one of those people, too?
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“Hey,” Taehyung says when you meet up at the bottom of the stairs again. 
“Hey,” you respond. 
“You look nice.”
You scoff a little to yourself. What, are you exchanging compliments now? “Thanks,” you say, looking him up and down. “You’re not so bad yourself.” Like he ever is. 
“I knew you had taste,” Taehyung teases, and it’s the sort of comment that would have earned him a melon ball to the face back when the two of you were teenagers at a debutante ball, but today only earns him a roll of your eyes as you join hands. You don’t have anything big tonight—just a small dinner to celebrate some sort of business accomplishment for your family, which means that all you have to manage is not ending up in some sort of food fight by the end of the night. 
“I didn’t have a choice, did I?” You retort easily as you get into the car. 
You don’t normally speak a lot on the way to events. Not that you ever did, but even as your relationship has slowly faded from pure hatred to attempts at compromise, you both seem to relish in being able to stare out of your respective backseat windows and into the city that surrounds you. Just out of curiosity, about halfway through the ride you look towards Taehyung to see what he’s up to, and find yourself genuinely surprised to see him leaning against the window with his eyes closed. Is he sleeping? A couple more minutes of gazing at him tells you he is, because his body has gone lax and his breathing has evened out, soft snores leaving his mouth. This ride can’t be longer than twenty minutes. Has he not been sleeping well? Up in that enormous second-floor bedroom of his?
He’s awake by the time the car parks outside the restaurant, this fancy name brand steak place that was chosen solely because the biggest beneficiaries of your family’s new business deal are two sixty-year-old men whose entire diet consists of beef and beer. No cameras tonight, just a small family affair. You and Taehyung hold hands as you enter the restaurant and are led to the private room in the back anyway. 
You and him are seated on the far end of the long, rectangular table, alongside all of the other adult children dragged along to celebrate something that has no effect on their lives. But it’s nice, because the space alone prevents your parents from actively speaking with you, and you and Taehyung can stay in your own little bubble, only chiming in for a toast when necessary. 
“What are you going to get?” He asks you, the two of you gazing at the menu. No matter how fancy this place is, all the options seem to boil down to steak, steak, steak, steak, and caesar salad. Classic. 
“Oh, so you actually care now?” You counter, an eyebrow raised in amusement. 
Taehyung laughs. “Aren’t I supposed to?”
You narrow your eyes at him suspiciously, wise to his usual shenanigans. It’s hard to tell if Taehyung really means what he says, or if it’s all for show. But perhaps he’s asking because he’s genuinely curious, since no one else seems to be paying you any attention. 
“The choices on this menu are simply overwhelming,” you say, motioning to the six options in front of you. 
“I know, I’m so torn,” Taehyung jokes, making you huff out a little giggle. At least he’s still got that same sense of humor. 
You both end up going for a pretty classic steak dinner, which neither of the two of you finish because the damn portions are the size of your head. Dinner is, in and of itself, absolutely mindless, all of your parents talking about things that don’t concern you whatsoever, leaving you and Taehyung to your own devices as you desperately try to make the night go by faster. 
At one point, you notice Taehyung’s foot brushing up against yours, the leather of his loafers brushing against the toe of your patent heel. Thinking someone of it, you push back, foot nudging his back to his own chair. It’s not a second later that Taehyung retaliates, the two of you dancing around each other underneath the table. 
If the two of you were any younger, or perhaps any less resigned to your fate, there’s no doubt in your mind you would be attempting to get Taehyung to fall off his chair in an effort to do the same to you. Footsie means war. But when the both of you know that, at the end of the day, you’ll still be going home to the same place, and waking up the next morning in the same house, it doesn’t feel like this is a battle.
It’s just life. 
Eventually, you meet Taehyung’s eyes with a hesitant smile, shoe pressed against his, stuck in ceasefire. And for once, he doesn’t have that devilish look in his eye, that smug little grin on his face that tells you that he’s going to make you regret whatever it is you just did. He’s just smiling back at you, all pink lips, having found real fun in the little things. 
And that makes you happy. 
The rest of the dinner is uneventful, which, in your book, is about as good as a dinner can go. You cheers to the future of your parents’ relationship with their newfound partners and say a quick goodbye to them both, hurrying out of there before they can ask you any questions on your relationship with your husband. But you don’t spend the car ride in silence on the way back. 
Instead, you say, “Have you been sleeping well?”
The question seems to catch Taehyung off guard. He was already getting in position to take a power nap on the ride home, head pressed up against the window of the car. 
“Have you been sleeping well?” You repeat. “I noticed you fell asleep on the way here.”
“Huh? Oh, yeah, I guess,” he says, a hand scratching the nape of his neck. “I mean, it’s been hard adjusting, I suppose. But I’ll get over it.”
Hard adjusting? You’ve been together for nearly three months now. Three months worth of sleeping in the same penthouse bedroom, on the same soft-as-a-cloud mattress, underneath the same weighted blanket. And he’s still having trouble? 
“Oh. I mean, I just wanted to ask because you seem really tired lately.”
“I got a lot on my plate, what can I say,” Taehyung says with an empty smile, forcing a chuckle. “I’ll be fine, seriously. You don’t have to worry about me.”
“Isn’t that my job?” You remind him. “I am your wife.”
Taehyung doesn’t say anything to that. He just lets out an audible breath, the kind you let out when you’re amused and have something snarky to say, but don’t have the energy to get the words off your tongue. 
The rest of the ride is pretty quiet. 
When you get home, you place your house keys in the bowl by the entrance and take off your shoes, just about ready to take a hot shower and collapse in bed, when Taehyung’s voice stops you. 
“Hey,” he begins, almost hesitantly. You look back at him inquisitively. “I was thinking, maybe, if you wanted, we could start sleeping in the same bed?”
You scrunch your nose up. Not in disgust, but in surprise. In bewilderment. What brought this on, all of a sudden?
“Really?” You ask, because you can’t help yourself. “I thought we liked the separate bed thing. Gives us privacy.”
“Yeah,” Taehyung says with a shrug, “but—I don’t know, it’s stupid. I just thought, you know, since we’re married and all. And it’s been three months.” He looks about two seconds away from backtracking, from shaking his head and going upstairs before you can say anything else. 
“Alright,” you say quickly, nodding your assent. Taehyung’s eyes widen when he hears the word, like he had completely expected you to shut him down the moment he made the suggestion. “If that’s what you want. We can try it.”
“You sure?” He asks, that same hesitant smile from earlier lacing his features. It’s strange. He almost looks… sweet. Nervous. 
You grin back at him. “Yeah, I am.”
Taehyung lets you grab some of your toiletries and your pajamas from your designated bedroom before you head up the stairs together, towards the bedroom he’s claimed for himself. Funnily enough, this is the first time you’ve been in his room. Three months of living together and you haven’t dared step foot on the second floor. 
You don’t know what you were expecting when he opens the door to let you inside. Maybe a room that screamed ‘Taehyung’ a little more than this one does. One that looks like an actual human has been living here. But other than one of his classic silk button-downs draped over a chair, there’s not a shred of evidence someone has actually been sleeping here. You could honestly be fooled rather easily that the shirt, too, is just decoration. 
“You can pick a side,” Taehyung says casually. He grabs his own sleepwear—an old t-shirt and some sweats—and heads into the bathroom to change. 
You wonder why Taehyung has had such a difficult time adjusting. This room is about as lavish as a bedroom can get. And yet. 
Sitting down on the left side of the bed, you begin to remove your own clothes, unzipping tonight’s dress and stepping quickly into your pajamas, hurrying to make sure Taehyung doesn’t catch you half-naked. How funny is that, you think to yourself. You’ve been married for three months and you still can’t bear the thought of Taehyung seeing you without a shirt on. 
When Taehyung comes out of the bathroom, hair all messy and clothes all casual, he grins lazily to himself. “I sleep on the right anyway,” he comments mindlessly. 
Within twenty minutes the both of you are about as ready to pass out as you have ever been, the only lights still on the ones on your respective nightstands. 
“Goodnight,” Taehyung says, reaching an arm over to switch his off. 
“Goodnight,” you tell him, turning off yours as well. And all of a sudden, the room is shrouded in darkness. 
You fall asleep instantly. 
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When Taehyung wakes up the next morning, the first thing he says to you is that he hasn’t slept that well in ages. 
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“You slept together?” Victoria shrieks, so loud you actually have to move your phone away from your ear as you punch in the code inside the elevator for access to your floor. 
“We did not sleep together,” you emphasize. “Okay, well, we sleep together, as in, in the same bed. But we are fully clothed. And not the slightest bit interested in doing anything other than sleeping.”
“I thought you said you liked having your own space,” Victoria points out. “When was the first time you—uh…” she pauses to find the right words, “shared a bed?”
“A couple weeks ago. It’s really not so bad, I don’t know why you’re so hung up over it,” you say, lips pursed. You squeeze the phone between the side of your head and your shoulder, hands full of shopping bags, the string of the handles burning your skin. Maybe you should look into getting a personal shopper. 
“I’m hung up over it because, for the longest time, you have sworn off Kim Taehyung. Called him dead to you. Insulted him every chance you get.” 
You scoff. You don’t need reminding of how much you hated him, how much you can’t believe you have to spend the rest of your life with him. “It’s different now. We’re married. And he said he wasn’t sleeping well. I felt bad.”
“He wasn’t?”
“Enough about him,” you say, shutting her up. You don’t feel like talking about him with Victoria anymore. “Word through the grapevine says that your parents are actually thinking of letting you start your own company?”
It’s enough to distract Victoria. For the rest of the ride in the elevator, she talks animatedly about a new streaming service her parents are considering letting her launch, under their parent business, of course, but it’s her own company nonetheless. And you’re proud of her. Proud she could do something your parents would never dream of letting you do. Proud she could make that happen. 
You push open the front door with the side of your hip after entering in the security code, phone still snug between your ear and your shoulder, when you hear Taehyung call out your name. 
He comes into view from the kitchen, which surprises you because you have, on multiple occasions, made fun of how much of a disaster chef he is, especially because he’s admitted to you he’s not a very good cook. 
“I made brownies,” he says, holding out a plate of the chocolate treats in front of you. Instinct has you dropping your bags on the floor by your feet and reaching out, but you eye him first, suspicious. 
“I have to go,” you tell Victoria, hanging up before she even gets a chance to object to your sudden departure. “You made these?”
“Yes, I did,” Taehyung says, rather proud. 
“And the kitchen is… still standing?” You ask, skeptical. 
Taehyung frowns at you, clearly unimpressed. “How bad of a chef do you think I am?”
“Pretty bad,” you admit with a shrug. 
Taehyung pouts sadly to himself for a moment. “These are good, I swear. Nothing weird in them like vegetables or anything either. I used a box mix.”
“No wonder they look so nice,” you comment snidely, hesitant hand reaching out to grab one. They feel like brownies. So that’s good. 
“Hey, I was the one who had to crack the eggs and shit. Three eggs! And not one eggshell in the bowl!” Taehyung says, clearly very pleased with himself. 
You laugh at his enthusiasm, taking a bite. It’s good. And exactly what you needed after a long day of shopping. “I’m proud of you. They taste good.”
“I knew you wouldn’t doubt me.” Taehyung grins.
“They’re really good, actually,” You amend, genuinely surprised. And the best part is that you can count at least ten brownies left on that plate, which means that you get at least five more. Which, if you had any less self-restraint, you would probably eat all at once within the day. 
“I’m glad you like them. They’re all for us, you know. No one else to share them with,” he says.
“Honestly, I’m probably going to finish them by tonight. You’ll have to make more tomorrow,” you say sheepishly. 
“We can make some together,” Taehyung suggests. 
“I’m looking forward to it,” you respond. The words come off your mouth easily, tumbling from your lips without you having to think about it. You aren’t saying them because you have to. You’re saying them because you want to. Because baking with Taehyung doesn’t actually sound too bad. Especially if it means more brownies. 
“You’ve, uh, you’ve got something,” Taehyung says, gesturing vaguely to the side of his lip. 
“Oh, I do? Yikes,” you say, a little embarrassed. Your hand comes up to wipe at the left side of your mouth. “Is it gone?”
“Wait, here, let me do it,” Taehyung says, reaching out towards you. He presses his palm against the side of your face, cradling your cheek and jaw in his enormous hands, and all at once it feels like your skin is on fire. 
Your body freezes up at the touch, at the way his thumb swipes at the corner of your mouth, right against your lips, wiping away nothing but a goddamn brownie crumb. You look at him, look right at him, how can you look anywhere else when he’s right in front of you like this, and it feels like you are caught in his gaze, a rain droplet trapped on a web, a bee stuck in its own honey. His big, brown eyes sparkle from the ceiling lights, a chocolate sky that mirrors the food he just made for you. He looks at you and his eyes are so soft, so open, so happy to be looking right back at you. God. 
“There,” he says, a moment too late. 
“Thanks,” you stammer out, speechless otherwise. 
You both stand there, looking at each other, wordless expressions drawn all over your faces, no idea what to do next. 
After a while, Taehyung breaks the silence. “Do you wanna order takeout tonight?”
“Okay,” you nod, still a little breathless. Taehyung smiles before retreating back to the kitchen, leaving you standing in the entranceway, shopping bags abandoned by your side. 
You look over to where he’s vanished. There’s a part of you that wishes he hadn’t left. A part of you that makes you want to see him again. 
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Phone calls from your mother are never good. The last time she called… well, you know how that went. So when you see her contact information light up your home screen, it’s only instinct that you feel your heart rate spike. 
“Hello?” The voice that comes out doesn’t even sound like yours. 
There’s no good way to put what comes next. Your grandmother has died. Heart attack. The paramedics got there too late. It was over before it even started. 
For a moment, for a split second, it feels like everything is frozen. Like the world has come to standstill. Your mother’s voice echoes in your ears, suspended in time, the words turning into stone as they crash onto the floor. And when they do, it is as if everything comes back to life. 
Truth be told, you don’t know how long you stay there, sitting on the edge of the left side of the bed, your phone resting lifelessly in the palm of your hand. It feels at once like an eternity and only a second in time. You spoke to your grandmother two days ago. You had promised that you and Taehyung would visit her soon. How can this be happening?
Your phone buzzes relentlessly in your hands, condolences pouring in from every person in your contacts, sorry’s and heart emoticons and If you need anything, I’m always here’s filling up your screen. There’s a part of you that vaguely registers your mother, alongside some of the other members of your family, trying to call you. But nothing can seem to shake you. 
“Y/N? You still up here?”
You hear Taehyung before you see him. Hear his voice, hear his footsteps, hear the door creak open as he enters your bedroom. Slowly, almost sluggishly, you twist around to look at him, the mere act knocking the wind out of you. Or maybe you were already breathless. 
“Hey, you alright?” Taehyung knows instantly that something is wrong. 
“My grandmother died.” The words sit heavy on your tongue. There’s no point in not telling him. He’ll find out soon enough. He’s… he’s family, isn’t he?
“What?” Taehyung freezes in place. “I—I’m so sorry to hear that, Y/N. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” you say, voice weak but steady. You blink up at him, once, twice, three times, and then suddenly you feel tears running down your cheeks. 
Taehyung doesn’t say anything else. He rushes to your side and sits himself down on the bed next to you, arms wrapping around your body. And you don’t think about the fact that it’s him, about the fact that this is the closest the two of you have ever been. You just let yourself be engulfed in his frame, let yourself be enveloped in his hold as the tears stream down your skin, little hiccups jolting your throat. You close your eyes and press yourself into his arms, head resting against his chest, and wish so desperately that so many things about your life were just a little bit different. 
It must be at least five minutes before either one of you dares to move. Your phone begins to rattle incessantly, that familiar and insistent buzz that the both of you are hard-pressed to ignore. 
“I think you should answer that,” Taehyung whispers into your skin, lips right by your forehead. 
“Yeah,” you sniffle, sitting up next to him and wiping the remnants of wetness by your eyes. Well, Taehyung’s seen you cry. There’s no going back now. “You’re probably right.” You look down at the phone. It’s your father. 
“I’ll be downstairs, okay? Unless you want me to stay,” he offers, looking hesitant. 
You shake your head. “No, it’s—it’s okay. I’ll be fine.”
“Call me if you need me,” he makes you give him a nod of understanding before he finally gets up, hands slowly removing themselves from your skin, leaving little sparks in their wake. Remnants of warmth. Suddenly, you feel much colder. Hardly a minute later he’s out of the room, and you can hear his distant footsteps as they make their way down the stairs. 
Sighing, blinking, and swallowing all at once, you pick up. 
The call passes by in a blur. Your father says the will will take at least half a year to be executed, but that the funeral is already being planned. Your grandmother had hoped you would eulogize her. You agree, but you have no idea what you will say. He says Taehyung is invited but does not need to come if he cannot make it. He says a lot of other things too, about your mother, about your cousins, about your aunts and uncles and your poor grandfather, who passed five years ago, but you can’t even remember them moments after he’s said them. 
When he hangs up, the tears on your cheeks have dried, patches of them left along your skin. You head to the bathroom, getting off your bed for the first time that day, and try to wash away everything that has stained the morning. A part of you doesn’t even want to bother, just wants to slug downstairs and eat as much sugary cereal as you can get your hands on, but you can’t go down there looking like this. Looking so helpless. 
By the time you reach the kitchen, Taehyung is already standing there, on the opposite side of the counter island, a big stack of pancakes in front of him. They look mouth-watering. 
“Hey,” he says softly. “Thought you might want something to cheer you up.”
“Did you make these?” You ask, a little endeared. That was thoughtful of him. 
“Yeah. They’re still warm,” Taehyung says. He holds out a fork. 
You grin. 
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The funeral is a week later. It sucks in every way that something can suck. But not in the same way your wedding sucked, or even the announcement of your engagement. It sucks because it’s a funeral, because you have to stare down your grandmother’s casket when a part of you still doesn’t even believe that she’s gone. Because everyone there is so sad, so melancholy, dressed in all black and looking down at their feet. Because everyone is so sorry for you, so sorry for your loss, everyone has nothing but condolences to offer you. What will those do? They won’t bring her back. They won’t change things. They won’t make you feel even the slightest bit better. 
Taehyung comes. He comes because he offers, and because you want him to. You want someone whose hand to hold. Want someone to smile at you when you’re speaking in front of your entire extended family and trying not to cry. You want someone who is familiar, and warm, and there for you. 
And most of all, you want someone who won’t keep the conversation going when you get home. 
“Do you wanna order Chinese?” He asks, coming into the living room, where you have been sulking on the couch ever since you stepped foot inside the door. 
“That sounds nice,” you force out. 
“Okay. Your usual?”
“Yes, please.” You don’t bother asking how Taehyung already remembers what you like to order when you’ve only gotten Chinese twice in the last three months. 
“I’ll call them.” He disappears off into the kitchen. 
What you do appreciate about Taehyung is how he has defaulted to food as a comfort measure, and how the thought alone genuinely brightens you up a little bit. You don’t know each other very well—still, after three months, you couldn’t even say his favorite color—but he is doing his best, and he is trying his hardest. In some ways, you were unlucky to marry him. To marry someone you didn’t love. To be forced into a union you had no say in, with someone you had so much antagonistic history with. 
But in some ways, your luck has changed. In some ways, marrying him was perhaps the best thing that could happen to you. Taehyung is snarky, a little devilish, and absolutely full of himself, but he is not thoughtless. He is not heartless. He has proven that he is willing to put in the work. That he can grow to care. To change. To compromise. And isn’t that the luckiest thing you could have gotten?
“I’m sure you’re probably sick of hearing people tell you they’re sorry for your loss.”
His voice breaks your reverie, carrying throughout the wide open space of your living room. He’s grinning honestly where he stands, slowly making his way over to you. 
“Kind of, yeah,” you admit. “It’s not going to bring her back. Most of those people probably don’t even mean it.”
“Don’t say that,” Taehyung says, sitting down next to you. “I’m sure they do.”
You look at him skeptically. 
“I mean, they’re sorry for your loss because that loss is causing you pain. And that sucks,” Taehyung explains, albeit a little less eloquently than you thought he would. “I know it sucks for me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t like seeing you sad,” Taehyung says honestly, shrugging to himself. 
You scoff a little to yourself. “I would have thought my downfall would be the exact thing the great Kim Taehyung would wish for himself.”
“Maybe a couple of years ago.”
You narrow your eyes. 
“Okay, maybe even a few months ago,” Taehyung admits with a laugh, making you smile, ever so slightly. “But it’s different now. I like it when you’re happy. When you’re snarky and funny and a little evil. Seeing you like this… I don’t like the way it makes me feel.”
“That’s called empathy,” you point out. 
“I’m trying to tell you that seeing you sad makes me sad, stop being a smartass,” Taehyung chides, and that really makes you grin. “There. There’s that smile I was looking for.”
“You’re so annoying,” you say, even though there’s no malice behind it. You give him a little push, palms of your hand pressing lightly against his shoulder as you roll your eyes. 
“Only for you,” he promises. He manages to grab a hold of your wrist as your hand meets his torso, pulling you into him as he wraps an arm around your torso. You gasp a little at the sensation, head falling against his body, fitting snugly in the crook of his neck. He gives your side a comforting rub. “I’m sorry today was so shitty.”
“It was,” you agree. “But Chinese food will make it a little bit better.”
Taehyung looks positively scandalized. “What? ‘Chinese food will make it better’? But not your loving, doting husband?” 
You pretend to think for a little bit, tilting your head up to the sky as you tap your chin with your finger. “Okay. Maybe that, too,” you cave after a bit of waiting, just to be extra bothersome. 
“That’s what I thought,” Taehyung says proudly, looking down at you, eyes sparkling. You can feel his grip tighten as he presses you against his body, letting you rest your head on his side. It feels like the longest hug ever, like you’re wrapped up in a weighted blanket. Only it’s not a blanket. It’s Taehyung. It’s your husband. 
He’s your husband.
“Tomorrow will be better,” he says, and it sounds a lot like a promise. 
You nod against him, letting your eyes drift shut. Things are pretty awful right now. Your grandmother’s dead. The funeral was the saddest family event you have ever attended. You have no idea what’s supposed to happen next. 
But he’s right. He seems to be right a lot these days, actually. 
Tomorrow will be better.
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Taehyung lets you sleep in for the next few days. Next several days, actually. Every time you wake up it’s close to noon and your husband is nowhere to be seen, the right side of the bed cold to the touch. It’s nothing to be worried about, though, because you can still see the noticeable dip in the bed from where he lies upon it, sinking his weight into the mattress. Taehyung’s an early bird and you’ve been having fitful nights ever since your grandmother passed. 
Today, you pull yourself out from underneath the covers around noon, sluggish and still tired, squinting as the near-afternoon light streams through the enormous windows of the bedroom. Taehyung must have thought to keep the curtains open today. 
You pull on the first casual clothes you see in your shared closet, some wide-leg sweatpants and a drapey t-shirt, and trudge downstairs like a raccoon to a trash can, hoping to fish through the kitchen cabinets to find something to eat. 
Taehyung is, as far as you can tell, nowhere to be seen. You can’t seem to hear him anywhere, and a part of you wonders where he’s at when you stumble upon the note left on the granite counter. 
Had a meeting downtown, be back around 1! There should be smoked salmon and some cream cheese and bagels in the fridge. 
You chuckle to yourself as you read his flowy handwriting, amused that he thought to let you know of, of all things, the available breakfast foods in the kitchen. You check the clock. It’s nearly noon. Which means you have just over an hour of the house all to yourself. 
Having the house to yourself for five minutes is infrequent enough as it is, let alone for a whole hour. So often is Taehyung around, somewhere, holing himself up in one of the dozens of rooms or mindlessly wandering down the hallways. And for how much Taehyung is present, the funny part is that you still have no idea what he gets up to most of the time. Despite your voluntary abandoning of the separate bedroom rule, the two of you are still firm proponents of the sanctity of your personal spaces. There are rooms in the penthouse Taehyung has never been in, rooms filled with your clothes and makeup and accessories for when stylists come over before an event. A sewing room that you had specifically asked your parents for, because a part of you never let go of that childhood dream of being a fashion designer. 
And there are rooms in the penthouse that you have never been in. Rooms with dark wooden doors that have always been kept closed, that you have never stepped foot in. It’s not that you aren’t curious as to what Taehyung gets up to. He could have a goddamn evil lair in one of those rooms and you would be none the wiser. But you don’t go, because he doesn’t go into your rooms. Because you two, despite all the vows you have broken, promised each other you wouldn’t.
An hour to yourself is almost a good enough excuse for you to head back up to the bedroom and take a nap. Not that you don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, or that you even had a fitful night last night—hell, you woke up near noon today and already you want to go back to sleep—but what else is there to do when he’s not around? What new freedoms have suddenly been given to you?
You head back upstairs, much less groggy after that delicious bagel of yours, when you catch a whiff of what smells like wet paint coming from down the hallway. It’s potent and immediately invades your senses, prompting you to wonder if that has always been there, or just magically appeared. Maybe you were so sleepy earlier, you didn’t notice it. 
Well, you notice it now. Unable to help yourself, you start to wander down the hallway, towards the source of the smell. God, it stinks. It takes you back to those days in middle school, when you would spray paint projects inside a tiny little classroom, have to step outside for fifteen minutes while you cracked the windows and aired it out. It gets stronger the further down the corridor you go, like a thick, smelly cloud stationed firmly within the walls of the penthouse. And then you realize where it’s coming from. 
It’s an art studio. 
A very messy art studio, you amend to yourself, as you peek inside. The door is wide open, and all of the windows are popped too, but the extra air circulation doesn’t seem to have made a dent in the scent. And all over the floor, the walls, and the tables are canvases covered in paint, denim jackets and pants and shirts with these wide, unafraid brushstrokes. Open cans of spray paint lie discarded on the hardwood floor stained with splotches of red, yellow, and green. 
Is this what Taehyung does in his free time? Is this where he goes, this bright, sunny room at the end of the second floor hallway? Is this what he is making?
You look down in awe at the clothes resting on the floor, splayed out to maximize dry time. Abstract faces, landscapes, and words are painted onto the backs of jackets, the fronts of old white t-shirts. What hasn’t made it onto the clothes has been put on canvases instead, blurs of color mixed together in this purposeful pattern, confidence emanating from every stroke, every dot. It’s not art in the way that the gorgeous landscapes of Monet, the picture-perfect portraits of Kahlo, the messy, unplanned splatters of Pollock are. It’s art in a different way. In a Taehyung way. 
Who knew he loved it so much? 
You almost feel like an invader encroaching on his territory when you lean down to start cleaning up some of the mess, throwing out empty spray-paint cans and tossing out grey paint water. You don’t dare touch any of the work, don’t dare try to move it. You do what you can, washing out the brushes resting in the water and cleaning up the wet splotches of paint on the hardwood. Over time, the thick scent of still-wet paint slowly fades, disappearing out the window as the fresh afternoon air seeps in. And you stand there, in a room full of art, in a room full of pieces that Taehyung has undoubtedly poured his heart into creating, and you smile to yourself. 
That’s how Taehyung finds you ten minutes later, peering into the room after declaring that his meeting had ended early. 
“Thought I’d find you in here,” Taehyung says with a grin as you jump at the sound of his voice, eyes widen when you turn around to see him standing by the door. 
“Oh, hey,” you say sheepishly. “I didn’t hear you come in.”
“Maybe because this is the farthest room in the house from the front door,” Taehyung teases lightly, coming up behind you. “I see you found my studio.”
“I know I’m not allowed in here,” you admit. 
Taehyung scoffs. “Who says?”
“Didn’t we both agree on that?”
He shrugs. “Sort of. I think we just reached an unspoken understanding we wouldn’t invade each other’s personal space. But it was not in the fine print, no.”
“The fine print of what?”
“That deal we made.”
Right. That deal you made, four months ago, That deal, where the two of you agreed to pretend to be in love with each other during public appearances so you wouldn’t get burned at the stake by your families. Where the two of you agreed not to interact with each other otherwise because you hated each other so much. 
“Oh, yeah,” you say distantly, feeling naive for already forgetting about it. It doesn’t seem to have slipped Taehyung’s mind whatsoever. 
“It’s okay, I don’t mind that you’re up here,” Taehyung says, interrupting that piercing little voice in the back of your head that is asking you why on earth you forgot about that deal in the first place.
“Yeah, I—” You scratch at the nape of your neck, trying to find the words to say. “It just smelled like paint, so I wanted to see what you get up too. And it’s this, apparently.” You motion vaguely to the entire room.
“You sound… surprised,” Taehyung muses correctly. 
“I guess I am,” you surmise. “I’m rather impressed, too, actually.”
“Really?” It’s Taehyung’s turn to sound surprised. 
“Yeah,” you tell him honestly, looking into his eyes. “I—you know, I just came in here because the entire hallway smelled like wet paint and I wanted to know why. But I didn’t know you loved art so much.”
“There’s a lot you don’t know about me,” Taehyung points out. 
You suppose that’s true. You don’t know his favorite color. His favorite song. His favorite book. For a long time, you didn’t know what he got up to on his side of the penthouse. You don’t know how he met his friends. What he studied in university. Who he has loved in the past. Who he loves now. You don’t know why he does the things he does, and why he doesn’t do the things he doesn’t do. 
But you do know his Chinese takeout order. 
And you do know his hobbies. Well, one of them, at least. 
Who’s to say you can’t learn more?
“Well,” you start with a smile. “I’m your wife, aren’t I? Shouldn’t I begin to learn?”
Taehyung picks up what you’re putting down instantly, grinning in response. “Only if you’ll tell me things about you, too,” he requisitions. 
“I will,” you promise. It’s the easiest one you’ve ever had to make. 
His face is light, bright, bathed in the rays of the afternoon sun. His eyes shimmer as they meet yours, golden flecks more pronounced like this, in this gorgeous, open space, daylight streaming through the windows. Looking at him makes you feel like you are surrounded by warmth, makes you feel like the sun is opening its arms out to you. He has always been gorgeous. Beautiful. But looking at him like this, standing in the middle of a room filled with all the things he loves, a yellow halo surrounding him—he is ethereal. 
Taehyung smiles. “Then I will, too.”
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The hand-holding comes naturally tonight.
The funny thing is, actually, you don’t need to hold hands at this gathering. It’s not an event. Or a public appearance. It’s not even a business dinner. It’s your aunt’s sixtieth birthday party, reserved exclusively for family. Isn’t that strange? That Taehyung is, technically, family now?
For so long you had vowed to stay as far away from him as possible. Vowed to stick it to him whenever and wherever you could, do anything you could to get on his nerves, rile him up. Vowed that when you, one day, took over your family affairs, you would never, ever invite him. Make it known that he wasn’t to be a part of your life. And yet, here you are. Clinging to him despite being well-acquainted with—loved by, even—every other person in the room. Holding his hand like a goddamn lifeline. 
To be fair, Taehyung doesn’t look a hair out of place here. Dressed relatively casually, a smart sweater with a collared shirt underneath it, he smiles warmly at all of your relatives and presents your aunt with a beautiful and very expensive scarf the two of you had commissioned from a designer in Italy, which she absolutely loves. She pinches his cheek and proceeds to wear it for the rest of the night. 
“Damn,” you murmur to yourself as you wander around your aunt’s house, hand wrapped around his arm. “This place hasn’t changed a bit.”
“When was the last time you were here?” Taehyung asks. 
The question actually makes you think for a moment. “I don’t know, maybe five years ago? Last couple of birthdays I was overseas or in school. Had to send her a card.”
“Bet your parents were real pleased with that,” he jokes, making you both laugh. At least you two will always be able to share your experiences of domineering and influential parents with each other. 
“Oh, I’m sure. Just as pleased as they were when they realized how much we hated each other.” You expect that little jest to elicit a laugh out of Taehyung as well, but he just smiles tightly, huffing out a breath of acknowledgement. 
“Eh, it’s not like that now, is it?” He offers up. 
“I suppose not,” you muse, sitting down together on her ancient grandma couch in the living room. No matter how rich your family gets, she’ll never get rid of this thing, that’s for sure. 
One thing you’ve picked up over time is that, for every second Taehyung spends basking in the spotlight, he spends an equal amount of time lingering by the wall, watching the rest of the world turn without him. He’s an observer. He is one by nature, feeling an irresistible pull to understand humans in a way only artists could ever do. He sits down next to you and watches your family in an environment where they can relax, where they can feel comfortable and be casual with one another. 
Very seldom have you ever brought friends to events like these. Small family affairs. But Taehyung isn’t a friend, is he? No, he’s your husband. He belongs here just as much as you do. 
“My family seems to really like you,” you point out. Not that anybody has ever harbored as much disdain for him as you. Your parents called him respectable and polite when they told you you were to be wed. Your grandmother had said he was a dashing young man. He doesn’t exactly have to reach far to be loved around here. 
“That’s my job, isn’t it?” He replies snidely. 
“Oh, just take the compliment,” you say with a roll of your eyes. Taehyung always has to be so difficult. “I’m surprised you aren’t nervous as hell. Last boyfriend I brought to meet my parents was shaking in his Louis Vuitton shoes.”
“Last boyfriend, huh?” Taehyung’s interest has been sufficiently piqued. “And, uh, how many of those have you had?”
You narrow your eyes at him suspiciously, smile twitching on your lips. “Wouldn’t you like to know, Mr. Heartbreaker.” Pretty rich of Taehyung to be asking you such a question when he’s probably had more girlfriends than you can count on both hands. “Not as many as you’ve had girlfriends, that’s for sure.”
“Guess I’m a lot different than all those trashy guys you’ve dated, aren’t I?” He asks, an eyebrow raised as he looks at you. 
“You are?”
Taehyung nods assertively. “Well, yeah. First of all, I’m your husband. Second of all, your parents love me. Third of all, you love me, too.”
You scoff. “Don’t humble yourself. You don’t know me that well.”
“Speaking of which,” Taehyung says, eyes wide as he points to you knowingly, “how about you tell me a little fact about yourself? It’s my job to learn about you, isn’t it?”
“That is my line, watch it,” you sneer, pointing back at him. You wrack your brain for a fact that you can tell him, something more exciting than your favorite color but less weird than one of those terrible icebreaker exercises you had to do in college seminars. Something that has pertinence to who you are. Who you’ve become. “Alright. I used to want to be a fashion designer when I was little.”
Now that catches Taehyung off guard. “Really?” He says, genuinely intrigued. 
You shrug. “Yeah. I learned to sew when I was really little. Been tailoring and hemming clothes all my life. But I always wanted to design my own stuff.”
“Is that what’s in your room?” Taehyung asks. “A sewing machine?”
“Wow,” Taehyung says. “I didn’t know that.”
“Isn’t that the whole point of this exercise?” You say, just to be smart. 
Taehyung shakes his head, eyes rolling. 
“What about you?” You ask. You can’t imagine what he’ll say. Astronaut. Veterinarian. Or, if he really wants to surprise you, a business executive. 
“A museum curator.”
It is an answer that simultaneously surprises and doesn’t surprise you at all. 
“Fitting,” you muse. “You could have put your own art on display.”
“Pretty sure that’s, like, super unethical,” Taehyung reminds you. 
“So? You’re rich. Start your own museum. Put your own art on display. Live your dream,” you amend. “It shouldn’t be holed up in that studio of yours forever. It deserves to be seen.”
Taehyung smiles at you. “You think so?”
You nod. “Of course. You create beautiful things, Tae.” It’s the first time you’ve ever called him that. And that is not lost on Taehyung, either.
“Thank you,” he says softly, blinking as he looks at you. He doesn’t say anything else. He doesn’t need to.
Later that night, when everyone’s gotten a few drinks into their systems and Bruce Springsteen is playing low on the stereo, Taehyung disappears off towards the bathroom, no doubt because of the excellent soup that was served that night. All by your lonesome, you feel a little stranded, surrounded by your old relatives dancing on the hardwood floor of the dining room, your other cousins too young to actually spend time with. 
In the commotion, your mother comes up to you, swirling a rather large glass of red wine in her hand. 
“Where’s Taehyung?” She asks. 
“No wonder you were alone,” she says with a hearty laugh. “The two of you have been glued to each other’s sides all evening.”
“He’s my husband,” you offer as an explanation. 
“I know, I know,” she says, shaking you off with a smile. Your mother is a lot more casual once she’s had her fill of wine, no doubt her favorite, Bordeaux. A lot more loving, too. “You really made your grandmother proud, you know? She loved you so much.”
“I know,” you say, trying not to get choked up at the mere mention of your grandmother. 
“She was so happy to see you with Taehyung. It made her feel safe that you would be taken care of,” she continues on, barely paying you and your swimming eyes any attention. “She would be so happy to see you with him now, too. How much you love her.”
“I miss her,” you hiccup out, trying to compose yourself. Nothing kills a birthday party like some sad sack crying over her deceased grandmother. 
“I know, darling,” your mother says, calling you by a nickname she has hardly used ever since you turned eighteen. She squeezes you tightly, a small hug of comfort. “I miss her, too.”
Someone calls your mother’s name, distracting her as she wanders off to your uncle, who is asking what the best way to cut the three-tiered cake on the dining room table is. She bids you a goodbye before disappearing towards the kitchen, no doubt ready to make the cutting of the cake an affair all on its own. 
Taehyung comes back soon after, spotting you instantly as you stand around in the living room. 
“Hey,” he says, noticing the wet shimmer of your eyes. “You alright?”
You nod, feeling better already now that he has returned. Now that he is by your side. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
“I hope those tears aren’t because you missed me,” he says, wiping away a stray one that has escaped from your eyes. You close them as his thumb brushes against your upper cheek, your eyelashes, opening them only when you’ve felt his touch vanish from your skin, leaving little sparks in their wake. 
“No,” you say. But the night makes you honest, and a couple of drinks, even more so. “But I’m glad you’re here.”
Taehyung smiles. “Me, too.”
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For all those days you have spent together, never have you and Taehyung had a night in. Which isn’t necessarily completely surprising, considering how many evening events the two of you have had obligations to attend, considering your differing work schedules and meeting times. Considering that, for a very long time, the two of you had no desire to spend any time with each other at all. 
But tonight, there is nothing on your calendar. No galas, no dinners, no meetings, no schedules. There is only Taehyung, who has spent the entire afternoon up in his studio, inhaling spray paint fumes and doing what he loves. And there is only you, who has spent the entire afternoon wondering what the hell you’re going to do tonight when there is nothing else planned. 
You knock on the door to his studio, catching him right as he’s finishing up another piece. This one is a single flower, painted in broad, confident strokes, bright green and red and sunflower yellow decorating the canvas. 
“Hey, what’s up?” He asks, turning around to face you. 
“Wanna order takeout tonight?” You suggest. 
Taehyung grins. 
Thirty minutes and your favorite Chinese food later, you and Taehyung have settled onto the couch, trays of dumplings and noodles and rice in front of you, an unfunny movie playing in the background. 
You can’t remember the last time the two of you sat on this couch together. Maybe that night you had made the deal? Perhaps not even then. It wouldn’t at all surprise you if you found out that this was the very first time you and Taehyung have sat together on your couch, in your living room, in your house. So often is it occupied by others—Victoria, who sometimes comes over to ooh and ahh at your closet, Jimin, Jungkook, and Hoseok, who sit on this couch and play FIFA like it’s their job, your mother, when she wants to make herself at home in a place that doesn’t belong to her—but never you. Never you and him. 
“This is kinda nice, isn’t it?” You ask, swallowing a bite of dumpling. 
“Chinese food is always nice,” Taehyung responds over a mouthful of cold noodles. 
“Not that,” you say with a sigh, “this. Sitting together. Watching this shitty movie.”
“It’s not that shitty,” Taehyung tries to reason. On screen, the main character is getting pied in the face during some weird college fundraiser. “Okay, it’s a little shitty. But it’s good background noise, right?”
You nod halfheartedly. “I guess.” Silence. You take another bite of your dumpling, not really sure how to continue the conversation. “We don’t really get to do this a lot, you know? Sit and eat dinner and watch a movie together. Like a date.”
“We’re on a date now, are we?” Taehyung muses, eyeing you snarkily. 
“Isn’t that what this is?” You retort. 
He shrugs. “I suppose it is.”
“Tell me another fact about you,” you request, looking over to him where he sits on the opposite side of the couch. 
“About what?”
Taehyung pauses, ponders for a moment. But he could never say anything wrong. Not when there is still so much you don’t know about him. Still so much you want to learn, so much you want to commit to memory. For so long you have stared at the planes of his face, the curve of his nose, the twinkle in those dark brown eyes. Those you will always remember. But what about who he is? What he loves? Those are things you still don’t know. 
“The very first time I met you,” Taehyung begins, “I asked Jimin what your name was.”
“When was that?” You ask. Despite you being someone who has spent the better part of the last several years vowing never to give Taehyung the time of day, you sure don’t remember when it all started. 
“That debutante ball,” Taehyung remembers fondly, “when we were fifteen. I asked Jimin what your name was because I wanted to ask you to dance.”
“Shut up, no you didn’t,” you say with a scoff. 
“It’s true. You were standing there in that poofy white dress and I wanted to ask you to dance,” Taehyung points out. The fact that he even remembers what you were wearing is shocking. 
Who knew. Who knew, back then, that you would one day grow up to marry him. 
“And what did I say?” You demand more. 
Taehyung laughs at the memory. “I came up to you, and I asked you if you wanted to dance, and you said, and I quote, ‘Who are you?’”
“No,” you say, aghast at your own behavior. Were those really the first words you ever said to KIm Taehyung?
“You did. Don’t you remember?”
You think back. Think back to every year you have ever known Taehyung, every year you have spent scowling at him from across ballroom floors, making some snide remark as you pass by each other in the hallway. Every year you have spent cursing his existence, willing him away from you so he could bother someone else. Every year you have listened to rumor after rumor of girlfriend after girlfriend. You think back and somewhere, somewhere in there, in those dusty corners of your brain and cobwebbed boxes of your heart, is that first memory of Taehyung, too. 
Of him standing there in some generic black suit, black hair swept over his forehead, shoes too big. Of him coming up to you, trying to be as suave as a fifteen year old could be. Of you saying to him, instead of a hello, or even a what’s your name, “who are you?” 
Of him saying—
“And you said, ‘your dream come true’.” Like a dam bursting open, the memories flood back to you all at once. “I remember that.”
Taehyung laughs out loud at the thought of him saying something so cheesy. “Unsurprisingly, you didn’t want to dance with me.”
“You were so—” you begin, but you don’t have the words. Don’t have the words to express how you felt about him that night. Don’t have the words to express how you feel about him now. Thinking about this, talking about it, it is a bridge. A bridge between what was then and what is now. A bridge between who Taehyung was and who you were and who Taehyung is and who you are. “—so unthinkable. I couldn’t believe you had come up to me and said that. I couldn’t believe you had the audacity. But something about that night made me remember you. Made me remember your name.”
“You thought about me after that?” Taehyung asks. “Is that what you’re telling me?”
“There is something about you that is unforgettable,” you say, honest and real and true. What else can you tell him? The truth is that you have always thought about him. Whether you liked him or not. 
You finish your dinner and place your trays on the end tables next to you, stacking your empty bowls and plates on top of one another as the movie rumbles on in the background. 
“It is kind of a shitty movie,” Taehyung admits after a while of being wholly unenthused. 
“Yeah,” you agree. “But it’s good background noise.”
Taehyung laughs at your little mockery, warm and deep and from his belly. You look at him. He feels so far away, on the other side of the couch. Feels like he’s miles apart from you. You have spent countless nights clinging to his harm, hand gripped tight in his. And sitting like this, a full couch cushion of space between the two of you—it isn’t enough anymore. So you inch closer. 
And closer. 
And a little closer. 
Until you’re pressed up against his side, legs touching as they rest neatly in front of you, backs stick straight as you stare at the television. 
Taehyung holds his arm up. An open invitation. 
Without asking, you lean into him, resting your head in the crook of his shoulder, in the space right underneath his jaw. You pull your feet up onto the couch and curl into his frame, pressing yourself against him. He is warm and firm and inescapable. He smells of coffee and paint and Chinese spices. He wraps his arm around you and pulls you in, as if there were any other place you’d rather be. 
You sit like that for a while. Wrapped up in each other. Lazing around on the couch as the stars twinkle above your head. The movie ends and the two of you don’t even bother skipping the credits, letting them and the cheesy 80’s pop song play on, a distant soundtrack. 
“I never thought any of this would happen,” you breathe out. 
Taehyung looks down at you curiously. “What? This?”
“All of it,” you admit. “Us. Getting married. That stupid tabloid picture. My grandmother. This. It’s all so new.”
“New things will happen all the time,” Taehyung muses aloud. “We can’t help when things change.”
“You don’t have any regrets?” You have plenty. Regrets that you’ll never become the CEO you wanted to be in college. Regrets that you’ll never become the fashion designer you wanted to be as a little girl. Regrets that you will come to resent this marriage, resent Taehyung more than you have in years past, all because you had no choice. Regrets that your grandmother couldn’t see you now. Regrets that there were so many things in your life you could have changed, but didn’t.
“I thought I did,” Taehyung tells you. “I wanted to spend more time with my friends. I wanted to major in art in college. I didn’t want to marry you. I know you didn’t want to marry me.” He looks down and you look up at the same time, eyes locking, inches apart. “But looking back on it, I’m happy where I am. With what I have.”
“I never thought it could ever be like this,” you say, words falling off your tongue before you even ask them to.
There’s no need to elaborate. Taehyung understands. He understands that, half a year ago, you both would have thrown yourselves into a volcano before holding hands with each other. He understands that getting over your hatred for each other seemed like an absolutely insurmountable task. He understands that you had never wanted to marry each other, that you couldn’t believe you would have to spend the rest of your lives with each other. 
And he understands that now, things are different. 
“I’m glad things happened the way they did,” Taehyung begins. “I’m grateful for us.”
You press yourself impossibly closer to him, feel his grip tighten around you. Like this, you can hear his heartbeat. Hear it thump like a drum, steady and firm and unwavering. His heart beats against his chest and you wonder. 
You wonder if he can hear the way yours beats for him, too.
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There were lots of things that made your night in together special. But one of them is the glaring fact that you don’t get them very often. That their infrequency makes them all the more valuable. 
This has become blatantly obvious to you, because right now you are not spending a night in together. Right now you are stuck at a gala that you have to attend for the sake of business, drinking thin flutes of champagne and mingling with people you barely speak to. 
The one good thing about nights like these is that Taehyung looks positively gorgeous in suits. He sort of always has, but you’d never admit that to his face. At least not until now. And as his wife, you are lucky enough to have a front-row seat. 
“I can feel you staring at me all the way from over here,” Taehyung deadpans as he helps himself to a chocolate-covered strawberry from the buffet table. 
You’re too obvious to have any shame about it. “What can I say, I like the view.”
“Hard to believe I was the once the one being shouted at for being inappropriate in public,” Taehyung says with a shake of his head. He bites into the strawberry and eats it all in a single go, tossing the stems into a bin nearby as you join back up in the heart of the crowd. 
“It’s only inappropriate if other people hear,” you tease, letting him guide you, hand intertwined with yours, towards an empty corner where the two of you can snuggle up to one another in (relative) peace. 
“I don’t think the champagne was very good for your filter, Miss Y/N,” Taehyung hisses into your ear, warm breath tickling your skin. 
“Don’t you mean Mrs. Kim?” You pose, an eyebrow raised. 
That seems to do something to Taehyung. It’s not very bright in here, with it being nighttime and all, but even still you can see the way his eyes darken. See the way his lips curl upwards, feel the way his grip on you tightens. It sparks something within you. Something deep in the pit of your belly. 
Something that makes you want more. 
You test the waters. “Mrs. Kim has a nice ring to it, don’t you think, Tae?”
Taehyung looks about a moment away from losing control. But instead of slamming you against the wall in front of all of these people and giving you what you really want, he growls out, low and powerful, “Home. Now.”
He doesn’t need to tell you twice. 
You hail your car outside of the venue and it’s all the both of you can do to not jump on each other right then and there, in the backseat of this giant black van, overcome with want, with need, with everything in between. Taehyung’s leg bounces impatiently the entire ride back, and the feeling of your hand pressed against his doesn’t seem to be calming him down. He pulls you close to him in the backseat of the car, a hand resting on your thigh. You eye him carefully, as if challenging him to be any more daring. He grins. 
Home cannot come soon enough. The two of you tumble out of the backseat and into the elevators, where you mash the top floor button after entering in the security access code, desperate and shameless. The ride seems to take hours, and the heat that surrounds you practically smothers you, covers you, fills up your lungs and chokes you. 
There is nothing left by the time you reach your door. The moment it slams shut behind you Taehyung presses you up against the back of it, pins you against the wood as he hovers over you, eyes tracing your lips. 
“Tell me something,” he demands. 
“A fact. Something I don’t know.”
It doesn’t take much thinking. “I want you,” you breathe out, watch it hit his skin, watch the way his eyes glint in the light of the entranceway. “Please, Tae. I want you.”
It’s enough for him. 
This is not the first time you and Taehyung have kissed. The first time was nearly five months ago, in a chapel, at an altar, surrounded by hundreds of people. It was so unfun that you seem to have eradicated the mere thought from your memory. But you remember that feeling from that day. That feeling you got when you pressed your lips against his, cemented your marriage with a kiss. That heat. That sting. 
Kissing him now—that feeling has returned tenfold. When his lips meet yours, it feels like fire is rushing through your veins, setting alight every nerve it passes, unforgiving and relentless. His enormous hands come up to cup your jaw, fingers pressing against the skin of your cheeks as they pull you close to him, keep you trapped in his hold. This is not the first time you and Taehyung have kissed but it feels like it is—it feels like there is a lotus blooming on a lilypad in your heart, it feels like you have been struck by lightning, it feels like nothing else you have ever felt before. It feels brand new. 
Pressing back against him, he slowly releases you from the cage he has created against the door, spinning around so the two of you can tumble up the stairs and into your bedroom, unable to resist sneaking in pecks here and there as you make your way upstairs. Every step you take you stop, giggle as he presses you against the railing just so he can steal another kiss from you, put his hands all over your body. It’s a wonder the two of you even make it into your bedroom at all. 
When you do, however, all bets are off. Taehyung presses you against the still-made bedsheets with a glint in his eye and a growl on his lips, pupils blown wide as he stares down at you, at your body.
"Aren't you a sight? Laid out so pretty for me," he purrs, robbing a breath from you.
It's a tone you have yet to hear from him. You find yourself growing impossibly hot under his stare, burning with an uncharted desire.
You can hardly wrap your brain around it. Here you are, craving the man you had spent the better half of your young adult life loathing. Maybe it’s the champagne; maybe it’s the way his fingers are running slowly up the length of your clothed torso. Whatever it is, your stomach does flips, unfamiliar to the way your body preens under his touch.
"Don't let it go to your head," you tease, simply because you could.
Taehyung hums disapprovingly, pressing kisses into your neck as he grabs one of your thighs and wraps it around his waist, riding your dress up in the process.
You sigh, exposing your neck further for him as he paints bruises into your neck. It feels like just yesterday you had called him out at the altar for his habit of sporting the very same marks you were soon to wear.
Perhaps you should have thought twice about letting the man you had married purely under business pretenses press his hips against your clothed center, but as he rolls his into yours, your mind falls blank, silencing any and all reservations you should have.
Whimpering, you beckon his mouth back onto yours, tongue meeting his wantonly. 
You feel his fingers creep up the outside of your bare thigh, thrilling you in the most primal way. Reaching the band of your underwear after what felt like entirely too long, he runs the pad of his thumb against the lacy fabric.
 You could scream. He is doing this on purpose. He must be. Surely he knows how badly you were aching for him? For him to fill you– whatever the manner may be.
You let out a whine before you can help yourself, frowning as Taehyung looks pleased with himself, confirming his knowledge of your prolonged pleasure.
"What's that? Did you say something?" he mocks, looking cruel and yet strikingly gorgeous as he smirks above you.
"God, you're irritating,” you huff, hips jerking up against his as he pulls at the band of your underwear, the elastic snapping back into the flesh of your hip. "Just fuck me already."
He tuts, clearly unimpressed by your impatience, "Now, where is the fun in that?"
Your eyes flutter shut as his fingers suddenly snake their way between your thighs. Mouth falling ajar, you grip his shoulders as he runs his middle finger against your clothed slit, trailing up and down your warmth. To think he was still dressed while he was touching you like this...
"No... I think I'll take my time with you," he says.
You mew against his hand, arousal forming against his long digits' ministrations. You have to hand it to him. Taehyung knows what he’s doing. The life of a bachelor has seemingly served him well.
You aren’t usually vocal in bed, but the way he’s purring words of filth to you, breath hot against the shell of your ear as he tells you how hot and slick your pretty pussy felt against his hand, has you gasping and sputtering, your own fingers wrapping around his wrist.
The fabric of your panties provides a friction that toys the line of pleasure and pain, making you thrust up to meet his motions, your humility slipping from you.
Taehyung watches you intently, cock growing hard under the constraints of his dress pants. You look better than he could've imagined, eyes watering and body shivering under his touch, his fingers soaking with your arousal. He can only imagine what you'd feel like with his fingers fully buried into you, rocking them against your velvety walls.
He lets out a groan of his own, turned on by the idea of you fucking yourself onto his fingers, whimpering out his name in ecstasy.
There’s this part of you that faintly recognizes that Taehyung has done this plenty of times before. Plenty of times with plenty of other lovers. But there is a different part of you, that part that bursts with light and hope, that reminds you that he was never married to those other ones. That his allegiance lies with you. And that thought, knowing that deep within you, he is yours, makes your jaw fall slack, pretty noises tumbling from your lips and your thighs clamping around him.
You were close, closer than you care to admit. Every touch against you is careful yet deliberate as he reads the signs of your body, the way it keens and arches into him, offering you words of encouragement as your climax finally hits.
"That's right. Good girl. Let go for me," Taehyung coos, eyes dark and focused on your writhing form.
You cry out into the familiar space of your shared room, head thrown back as you ride out the high, letting it wrack your body, send jolts throughout your veins.
You barely have time to catch your breath when he presses his mouth back onto yours, kiss still as eager as it was when you both first entered your home. You are alight with satisfaction as he pulls away to press a trail of kisses against your jaw.
"I want—f-fuck," you stutter as he finds your already hypersensitive clit once more, rolling his thumb over your now soaked panties in tantalizing circles, "want to make you feel good, too."
Admittedly, this fantasy had crossed your mind once or twice, brought on by the way he carried himself in a suit and the way his large fingers wrapped around the champagne glass; confident, collected, and entirely charming. Who are you to shy away from a man like him? He certainly has always been rather good-looking. 
He pauses his motions, pulling his hand back to sit on your waist. Your dress is of the finest, most delicate satin, and after tonight's activities, completely wrinkled. You can almost hear your stylist's cries of dismay. Whatever. You have a steamer. And why focus on the dress when it’s obvious the two of you are focused on what lies underneath it?
"Yeah." You nod, skin still burning from your past climax.
Helping you back up, Taehyung stands. You lick your lips as you sit back up on the edge of the bed, watching intently as he unbuckles his belt, audibly hissing as his pants fall to his ankles, cock visibly straining against the fabric of his underwear. Thank God you don’t have to stand. With the way your thighs still felt weak and how your husband looks like a goddamn Adonis towering above you? Your legs surely would give out underneath you if you rose.
Brows furrowed, Taehyung palms over himself briefly before pulling down the waistband of his underwear, his painfully hard member slapping against his torso.
Your eyes widened on instinct. While the last thing you wanted to do was help inflate Taehyung's already large ego, you were certainly impressed at his size; thick and girthy, his tip red and shining with precum.
He couldn't help but smirk, thoroughly pleased by the way you stared at him unabashedly, chest rising and falling heavily.
"Open up for me," he orders.
And who are you to deny a request from your dear husband?
Your pretty lips wrap themselves around his engorged tip, all remnants of lipstick long gone by now. Taehyung hisses, a hand finding the side of your jaw as you run your tongue against the underside of his cock.
"Fuck, you're so pretty," he grunts, fighting off the urge to grip the back of your head and fuck your throat. As much as he'd love your have you choking and drooling all over his cock – and boy would he – he lets you set your own pace, not wanting to overwhelm you.
It doesn't take long for you to sink your mouth further down, however, clearly set on making Taehyung feel as good as you could.
A low moan erupts from his throat, digits pressing into your jaw in request to take more of him in, which you happily oblige.
You had your eyes trained on him, completely obsessed with the way he panted through pink lips, hissing slightly every time your tongue rolled over his sensitive tip.
Lolling his head to a side, his eyes meet yours, gaze primal and wolfish as he watches the way you worked his cock.
"Doing so good, love. Doing so fucking good for me,” he murmurs.
You hum against his skin at the sound of the sudden pet name, an unfamiliar feeling fluttering in your belly. You push aside the feeling, focusing instead on the way he grunts at the new sensation you had just given him.
Giggling, you pull off his cock, opting instead to press a kiss against his leaking tip, making sure to hold his eyes as you run kitten licks against it.
"God, you're such a tease." He shakes his head in disbelief. 
He looks so good above you, shivering and cursing out praises on how good your mouth feels, how well you take his cock. Running your tongue along the length of his shaft, you become certain that this is a display you can’t imagine yourself ever getting tired of. But you have all the time in the world, right?
"Y/N,” he gasps suddenly, hips jerking towards your face. "Love, I'm gonna-- gonna cum."
"Cum in my mouth, please." Your voice was pleading and desperate. Taehyung had never heard such words spoken more sweetly. 
"Fuck's sake."
You let out a yelp in surprise as his fingers work their way through your hair, bringing your head back down onto his cock. You relax, though, when you feel the hot ropes of his cum hit the back of your throat, your hands finding purchase on his thighs as you do your best to swallow it all down.
Pulling yourself off him, you let out a small cough, eyes watering slightly as you hadn’t managed to prepare yourself with a breath before his release. His large palm runs across the top of your head as you caught your breath, expression flickering with something unfamiliar. Could it be... fondness? 
Your heart stammers at the thought as you stand, slowly stepping out of your dress, letting it drape off of your figure. Taehyung looks absolutely gobsmacked, pupils dark as he gazes at you, eyes unabashedly raking your body. He’s shameless. 
You both are. 
Slowly, you step towards him, fingers reaching out towards his shirt, carefully undoing the buttons as you gaze at each other, expressions unreadable. 
"Tae?” You ask innocently, blinking up at him. “Fuck me?" 
Your polite request makes Taehyung chuckle. 
"Please?" You bring your bottom lip between your teeth, eyes blinking up at him adoringly for good measure. You reach the last button, let his dress shirt drape open. He brushes it off himself, stands there for a few seconds just to let the way you’re ogling his toned chest go to his head. At least he’s good-looking. 
He sighs, probably contemplating some clever rebuttal, but eventually decides against it as his cock is already twitching back to life.
"Alright, love. Turn around. On your knees for me," He orders, making your stomach flip.
To your surprise, you are hardly in place when the warmth of his large hands finds the soft of your tummy, pressing you back into his chest as he pressed a peck to the back of your neck.
You squirm in his hold, whining as that same hand of his grabs hold of your breast, long digit rolling your nipple between their tips. You can’t help but press your ass back into him. His cock feels hot and heavy, pressing against the back of your thigh, making your pussy clench in anticipation. 
You want him.
You want him so bad that you don't know what to do with yourself, shuddering as his free hand runs along the side of your ass, leaving scorching hot trails on your skin wherever he kneads into your flesh. He's touching you everywhere – everywhere but where you need him the most, and the arousal that drips down your thigh mocks you.
"Dammit, please!" You exclaim, running out of patience.
"Please what?" He says, an eyebrow arched.
You shiver, committing the way his middle finger traced your pelvic bone to memory forever.
You puff out a frustrated breath, nearly at your wit's end. "Please fuck me, Tae."
Taehyung pauses, grip on your breast and hip tightening as he lets out a moan. You let one out yourself as you feel him readjust, cock pressing against your slick entrance.
"Fuck, you sound so pretty when you say my name," He grunts. "Okay, baby. I'll fuck you. Begging so nicely for my cock."
You let out a squeak as you're suddenly pushed down onto your hands, back arching as he pushes his fat cock inside your heavenly cunt. He's thick, so thick, that you instinctively grip the sheet underneath you, fingers curled around them tightly as if it means to hold onto your sanity.
Taehyung lets out a shaky breath, angling your hips up so that you could take more of him.
"You feel—feel so good," he admits above you, and suddenly you wish you could see him. See the way his bangs stick to his damp forehead—see the way his tongue swipes over his bottom lip wickedly.
You let that thought go, however, as he thrust into you, making your jaw fall slack and eyes flutter shut. Profanities roll off your tongue unabashedly, helpless under the way his thick member pulls out of you, only to slam back into you.
You weren't expecting this. The way he stretches you out further than anyone had before. Your pussy clenches around him, reveling in the sweet, sweet burn.
He digs into the flesh of your hips, holding you steady as you mew and cry out, pushing your hips back in time to his, trying your best to meet his movements.
"Tae... fuck, fuck, fuck—"
He was filling you to the brim. Filling you tight and deep.
God, the way he was panting behind you was music to your ears. His cock pulses every time you call out his name, voice muffled and buried as you had your head pressed into the mattress, hair messy and bouncing with every hard thrust.
"S'good! Fuck... so, ah, big..." you cry out.
You feel drunk. Intoxicated off this beautiful man and the way he makes you feel a way only he can.
You nearly let out a sob as the rough pads of Taehyung's fingertips suddenly reach around you and find your neglected clit, rolling light circles on the soft and swollen bundle of nerves skillfully.
You are a mess, whimpering and drooling into your expensive sheets, and he filled every inch of you, leaving no place undiscovered. Your high nears, stewing on low heat somewhere near the pit of your belly, waiting for a chance to erupt and wash all over you. Taehyung must be close to, you realize, as his thrusts began to slow down, slamming into you roughly as if chasing after his high.
"Gonna take this load? Huh? Gonna let me cum inside your pretty little pussy?" His voice is straining, as if trying to breathe evenly but merely moments from falling apart.
If only you could formulate an intelligent response, but instead, you are a blubbering wreck, thighs shaking as they threatened to give out underneath you. But somehow, Taehyung knew. He had you. Quicking his motions against your delicate pearl, he could tell you were close too, and he was going to make sure you got there.
Suddenly, you're crying out and convulsing, tears brimming at the ends of your eyes as you feel Taehyung empty into you, collapsing onto his hands as well.
You feel his hot breath against the back of your neck as he pants, breath growing more and more even as the two of you regain control of your bodies and minds.
Pulling out of you, he plops down beside you, and for a moment, the two of you hold each other's gazes, eyes speaking in ways words never could.
Finally, after what feels both like an eternity and just a moment, you work up the courage to say something, moving closer to him as you place a hand on his chest, cushioning your chin as you rested on top of it.  
"Psst," you beckon, voice hushed.
"Yeah?" His voice is husky and tired.
"I’m grateful, too."
"I’m grateful for us, too."
Taehyung's gaze is soft, and it lingers on you for a second before the sides of his mouth curl up tenderly. He grins down at you, eyes drifting shut. You feel him squeeze you closer, pressing you against his skin. And then, you hear his breathing steady, see his lips part slightly. 
You lean into his chest, eyelids fluttering. “Thank you, Tae.”
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Not unlike the many other mornings you have awoken in this bed, when you open your eyes as the morning sunlight streams through the windows, Taehyung is nowhere to be found. The sheets on his side of the bed are flipped aside, revealing that soft outline of his body from the night before left imprinted into the sheets, a dip in the mattress where he slept. You had fallen asleep all wrapped up in each other, tangled up like vines, but must have separated sometime during the night. Distantly, you register Taehyung’s voice outside, notice his phone missing from his bedside table. He must be on an early morning call. 
You check your phone for the time. Ten o’clock. 
A late morning call, then. 
Still basking in the afterglow of the night prior, you slowly inch your way out of bed, shivering as you pull the covers off you and scoot your legs around so they hang over the edge of the bed. You rub at your eyes until you faintly remember you did not take your makeup off last night, and when your hand comes away covered with black streaks and flecks of mascara, you wince to yourself. There goes five hundred dollars worth of a skincare routine. 
After washing yourself up and applying as many serums as you can to your skin, you wrap yourself up in one of his button-up shirts, the torso so wide that it drapes over you. The tips of your fingers peek out from the ends of the sleeves, and you cross your arms lightly over your chest as you make your way to the door, ready to entice your husband back to bed for round two. What? It’s Saturday. 
You peer around the door to find Taehyung standing a few feet away, facing away from you. He’s shirtless, and as his wife you have absolutely no problems ogling him, the toned curves of his back, the muscles in his arms. He’s always been a looker. You just finally have an excuse to look for yourself. 
You approach him quietly, not wanting to interrupt nor broadcast your sex life to anybody on the other side who may be listening. Already, the idea of crawling back in bed together sends goosebumps along your skin, makes you giddy with anticipation. You’re just about to tap him on the shoulder, lips curled upwards in suggestion, when he says—
“And my inheritance? That’s secured now, right? Because I said I would pretend to be in love with her in public—?”
And it is as if Medusa herself appeared in this room, turning you to stone as your heart thuds to the floor, a hollow, empty noise. 
You don’t hear the rest of Taehyung’s conversation. You don’t even hear the sound of your own heartbeat. This terrible, aching sound rings in your ears, silencing everything in its wake, drowning out even the sighs of your own breath. It is as if you have been frozen solid. As if you have been shot in the stomach. You stand there, feeling absolutely nothing, and all you can do is brace yourself for what is to come. Taehyung’s words were the knife but his next actions will be its removal, leaving in its wake an irreparable wound. 
He turns around, casual and cool, voice still hushed. As if you were still asleep. As if you hadn’t heard anything at all. But when he twists his body and sees you standing there, staring back up at him, lips parted in shock. 
“I’ll call you back,” he tells whoever was on the other side of the line, looking more panicked by the second. He opens his mouth so he can explain himself, but you don’t need him to. You’ve heard everything already. 
“I should have known,” you say, feeling angry and betrayed and sad all at once. “I should have known it was all an act.”
“Y/N, wait, let me explain—”
“What is there to tell me, Taehyung? What are you going to say? That you didn’t mean it? That you thought I wouldn’t find out? That last night was just a one-off?” You demand. The heat from your veins hasn’t left. Still, it simmers through your blood, burning you up from the inside out. “That you didn’t want to lie to me?”
“It’s not like that and you know it,” Taehyung says defensively, brows furrowed. “Just give me a chance to explain myself.”
“Explain yourself? How you pretended, every day and every night, just so you could get some more money in your bank account? So you could make sure you would get your father’s business when he died?”
Taehyung bites back easily. “Don’t act like you weren’t also faking it at some point. I know you were almost removed from your grandmother’s will.”
Your tongue is bitter at the mention of your grandmother. As if Taehyung ever even knew her. “My grandmother has nothing to do with this.”
“Really?” Taehyung challenges. “So you wanting to stay in her will was just a little bonus, right?”
“Don’t,” you say sharply. “It’s different.”
“Different how?” Taehyung spits. “Because right now, to me, it looks pretty similar to what I’ve done.”
“My grandmother died months ago,” you remind him. Her will is no longer the question. It has been written, settled, and executed. There was no reason for you to continue playing along once she took her last breath. No reason—unless you wanted to. “Meanwhile you’ve been keeping your inheritance a secret from me this entire time.”
“We made a deal,” Taehyung says. “A deal that said we would both act happy and pretend to be in love because we both had things we needed to worry about. Family things. Money things. You were a part of this, just like I was. You pretended, too.”
“Well, maybe I stopped pretending!” 
You can’t take it anymore. All this anger, all this emptiness, it’s been bubbling up inside you ever since you heard those first words come out of his mouth. It spills out of you all at once, an eruption from your lips, your heart’s doors bursting open. You have held his hand tightly in your own. You have pressed your lips to his. You have laid yourself bare in front of him. What is there left to protect? What part of you has not already been stained by him, by his touch, by the feeling of his fingers against your skin?
The hallway is silent, but you can hear your cry echo down the corridor. Hear the way it bounces along the walls before fading away. 
“Maybe I stopped pretending,” you repeat, softer this time. You blink and already can feel the streaks along your skin, the tears falling from your eyes. “Did you ever think about that?”
“Y/N, what are you talking about?” Taehyung looks like he’s in disbelief. Like he cannot believe the words you are saying to him. 
Well, that makes two of you. 
“Can’t you see, Tae? Can’t you tell?” You ask, the nickname falling from your lips before you can even help it. You must remind yourself to change that, later. “I’m in love with you.”
They are words you have never said to someone before. Not even your old boyfriends. Words that you always knew you would reserve for someone special. Someone who would touch your heart and make it their own, someone who would leave imprints of their fingers against your chest. Someone who would brighten you up from the inside out, leave you bursting with light. 
Ironic, that Taehyung has become that someone. When he is the one person you never thought could. 
When he has proven, time and time again, that you two just cannot mix. Oil and water. Pastel and acrylic. Satin and silk. 
“You don’t have to say anything,” you spit out quickly, before Taehyung has a chance to respond. “I know it doesn’t matter to you.”
“Y/N, yes it does,” Taehyung begins, desperate and pleading. “I know you heard what I said, but I swear, it stopped being an act for me, too. Things are different now, just like you said.”
“Don’t. Please.” You pull away as he reaches out towards you. Faintly, you remember that it is his shirt you are wearing. Remember that no matter what you do, he will always surround you. “Please, Tae.” You have nothing left. You can’t bear to look at him, but where else will you go? You cannot believe the things he’s said, the things he’s done, but where else would you go?
“I love you, too,” Taehyung says, and a part of you wants so badly to believe him. 
A part of you wants so badly to ingrain those words into your head, carve them into your heart, let him wrap his arms around you and promise that everything will be alright. But things are different now. Just like you said. You and Taehyung are not the same people you were six months ago. Or six weeks ago. Or even six minutes ago. You are helpless and he has proven that he does not care. 
“I have to go,” you say, looking away. You don’t think you could handle turning back to him again. “Please, Tae.”
“I’m sorry,” Taehyung says, and he reaches out once more but you are not there to meet him halfway. Were you ever?
“I know,” you whisper back.
You duck into your bedroom and pack a suitcase of everything you need. Being here is suffocating. Being with him is like setting yourself alight. 
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Victoria has no questions when you show up at her door later that day, suitcase by your side and this ridiculous bottle of Merlot in your hands. You had picked it up on the way over. You sort of figured you might need it. 
“You don’t wanna talk about it, do you?” Victoria asks. 
“Tell me about your streaming service,” you hiccup in response.
Victoria is happy to oblige. She even tells you that she still hasn’t picked a CFO, and that the position would be open for you if you ever wished to take it. 
Funnily enough, what will become of you once your father retires and passes along the company is the furthest away from your thoughts. 
You remember being so worried about that. Being so worried that, once they married you off like every good daughter should be, you would be absorbed into your husband’s life, cut out of your family’s. Your father would choose a cousin, an uncle, or even a friend to take after the business, bestowing upon you a thoughtful inheritance but nothing more than that. All of those years of schooling, finance in college, your MBA soon after, would be wasted, just so you could hang on the arm of your husband for the rest of your life. 
It’s thoughtful of Victoria to think of you for the position. She knows just as well as anyone else that you would be an excellent fit. And if things were just a little bit different, you would be jumping at the offer. 
But your future career plans are on the backburner, along with the rest of your life. 
All you can really do, right now, at this very moment, is wait for things to change. As they always do. 
“Don’t you have an event tonight?” Victoria asks about three days into your stay. She’s given you her favorite (her words, not yours) guest bedroom and an enormous closet to match, despite you only coming over with a carry-on’s worth of clothes. 
You scoff to yourself. “Like I’d want to go to anything with him.”
“Have you even called your parents?” 
“No,” you say, not even caring about the repercussions. There’s no doubt in your mind that they’ll be ringing you soon. And when they do, maybe then you’ll finally work up the courage to tell them what really happened. Tell them that you can’t go back there. Not yet, at least. 
“I’m sorry that this happened to you,” Victoria says as she hands you a bowl of vegetable soup, homemade from a couple of days ago. You nod to yourself, sniffling as you curl into the couch cushions and wish they would absorb you whole. 
There’s no need to ask her what she means by ‘this’. Everything. From your engagement to the marriage, from those tabloids to the deal, from your grandmother’s death to now. It has all been unfair. Life is unfair. And while you’ve always known that, it has been particularly cruel to you as of late. 
Still, when you wake up sometimes, you can still feel him tracing over your skin. Feel his lips hovering over yours, breath fanning out over your cheeks. You turn over and expect to see him lying there, on the right side of the bed, sheets mussed as they cover his figure. You wake up and for a brief moment, for that split, split second, there is peace. And happiness. And love. 
And then there is nothing. 
“Yeah,” you sigh. “Me, too.”
Maybe he really does love you. Maybe things really did change. But you have always been a pragmatic person, always let your head guide you rather than your heart. The secret’s out. Taehyung had an inheritance he needed to secure. You were his path to doing so. Those things haven’t changed. No matter if his feelings did. 
“Hey, look at this,” Victoria says, brows furrowed as she holds out her phone in front of you, revealing a livestreamed interview from the event tonight. 
You peer over. 
It’s Taehyung. 
Of course it’s Taehyung. Who else would she be showing you?
He stands in a clean-cut gray coat, draping over his figure, black dress shirt and slacks underneath, belt wrapped neatly around his hips. He holds his hand up in a wave and smiles politely to the cameras, to the reporters, letting the flashes wash over him like waves in the ocean. 
“Mr. Kim! Mr. Kim!” Someone calls. “Where’s your wife?”
Oh, God.
Taehyung grimaces a little, pursing his lips. “My wife won’t be joining me tonight.”
“Can you tell us why?” They shout. 
“Sorry, no more questions. Thank you for asking though. She’s well,” he says, quickly ushering himself along, entering the venue so no more reporters can bombard him. When he disappears, the livestream immediately moves on to the next guest, but you hardly pay them any attention. 
“Huh,” Victoria says aloud. 
Indeed. Taehyung’s response strikes you as rather odd. Why would he tell the public that? Why not make up a lie, say you’re sick, or you’re overseas, or you’re just late? Why simply tell them that you won’t be there? Surely, Taehyung is just as aware of the consequences of arriving at an event without you as you are. There’s no doubt that his parents will be in contact with him soon, too. No doubt that this will leave a stain on his family. His image. It might even threaten his inheritance after all.
So why not lie?
You frown to yourself, nose scrunching up in confusion. You don’t like where this train of thought leads.
“You okay?” Victoria asks when she sees the bewildered expression on your face.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” you say. Just completely befuddled. It escapes you, why Taehyung wouldn’t just make up some sort of excuse as to reasoning behind your absence. Why he would even show up at the event at all. Certainly, going to the event without you is worse than not going at all. It prompts questions. It spreads rumors. 
Later that night, you get a call from your parents, demanding to know why you weren’t there with him. You say you got sick. You plead with them not to question anything. 
You wonder what happens next. You and Taehyung still have two more events this week. A dinner and a ball. What will you do then?
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Taehyung goes solo for the dinner. You suppose you could have predicted that, considering his apparent willingness to arrive alone for the first event, too. He hasn’t made any efforts to contact you and for once, you’re glad for his silence. Not that you even know what he would say to you, anyway, but at least he isn’t begging you to come back to him. 
The sad truth is that if he did, if he got down on his knees right in front of you and willed you to come back home, you probably would. He has always been impossible to resist. Even when you first met him, when he sauntered up towards you and told you he was your dream come true. You didn’t know it then. But he was. He was everything you would ever want. 
Why would he lie? 
Why would he do that?
You can’t wrap your head around it. What is he getting out of it by telling the truth? By admitting to the paparazzi, to the reporters and the cameramen, that you won’t be there with him. That you will not be joining him. Nothing, certainly. His parents must be furious. His inheritance may be on the rocks. His image might tank. 
So then, why do it at all?
Could it… could it be?
Is it true?
You have loved Taehyung for a long time. Longer than you probably even care to admit. You have always held your head high at events, spoken loudly and without fear, but being with him made you feel safe. Secure. You would hold his hand and know, know that he was holding yours, too. It grounded you. It soothed your worries. 
Does he really love you back?
Taehyung smiles politely and laughs when he needs to at these events, but he doesn’t look the same. Even through the screen you can see those bags under his eyes, that spark that has faded. You hardly recognize him. He looks so lonely, without someone by his side. So distant. 
When you know the dinner has ended, you almost pick up the phone and call him. 
Instead, when the ball rolls around, you ask Victoria if she’s got a spare dress she can lend you.
 Kim Taehyung, for someone you have seen covered in paint splotches, wearing old college hoodies, and fresh out of a restless night’s sleep, cleans up pretty well. For a married man, at least. 
You wonder what the past few days must have been like for him. If they have been as empty as your own. Wonder what it was like, riding alone in a big black van to this hotel ballroom, no one to tease, no one to laugh with, no one to hold. No one to poke him awake if he accidentally fell asleep. No one to make sure he’s okay. 
Taehyung stands right outside of the entrance, waving politely to all of the paparazzi, smiling as the cameras flash, giving them the time of day for a moment before he heads inside and muscles his way through another event without you. 
Or so he thinks. 
You spot him just as he opens his mouth, ready to repeat those same lines all over again.
My wife won’t be joining me tonight. She’s well, though.
And maybe it’s just because you haven’t seen him in nearly a week. Maybe it’s just because he is about to lie to those reporters once more, ready to face whatever consequences come his way. 
Or maybe it’s just because you miss him. Miss him terribly, have been missing him terribly. Being away from him was necessary, but that didn’t make it any less unbearable. Not getting to hold his hand, see his smile, meet his eyes. You and Taehyung may not have always liked each other, but you saw him every day regardless. He became a constant in your life. Not an if, but a when. If everything went to shit, you always knew he would still be there. 
And there he is. 
“Wait! Taehyung!”
Taehyung’s eyes widen as he hears your voice, gaze darting around wildly, mouth parted in surprise. He looks around desperately, scanning the crowd, meeting the eyes of every single person in front of him until he finally looks to the left, sees you rushing up towards him, hiking up the skirt of your dress as your heels tap against the sidewalk. 
And when he spots you, sees you running up to him, his body relaxes, a weight lifted from his shoulders as he beams back at you, relieved and thankful and filled with joy, all at once. And you know, then. 
You know that everything will be okay. 
“Sorry I’m late,” you say sheepishly, cheeks burning as he looks at you, takes in every inch of you, breathes you in and lets you fill him up. 
Taehyung doesn’t respond. You reach out to hold his hand but he grabs your wrist and pulls you in, presses you against his body as he presses his hands against your cheeks, palms burning as they meet your skin, and he kisses you. In front of all these people, he kisses you. 
And goddamnit, you will kiss him back. 
It feels like lightning, like a thunderstorm, like the waves of the ocean are crashing against your heart. It feels like fire, like flames are licking at your veins, sending sparks through your blood. It feels like home. 
You and Taehyung ignore the shouts of reporters, the flashes of cameras, the honks of the cars on the other side of the road. When you part, he presses his forehead against yours and lets the tip of your nose meet his. And you smile. 
“Don’t be alone any longer, Mr. Kim,” you whisper, loud enough so only he can hear. 
“When I’m with you, I never am, Mrs. Kim,” he murmurs back. 
You wonder what those tabloids will be saying about you tomorrow. 
The rest of the night finds the two of you pretty much inseparable. You wrap yourself around his arm and for the first time in a long time, he presses his hand against the small of your back, keeping you close. Like he’d ever lose you again. 
One of your least favorite parts about attending balls used to be the dancing. As a young and eligible bachelorette, you would always have to lock hands with another, let him awkwardly guide you along to the music as you made the worst small talk imaginable, forcing laughter and smiles whenever he said something he thought was particularly funny. 
But, like so many others, things have changed. Things are different now. 
The waltz comes on and you and Taehyung are the first to reach the center of the ballroom floor, letting him rest his hand on your waist as you press yours on top of his shoulder. Let him twirl you around the room as the orchestra plays in the background, a soft, sweet, light little melody that carries you along. 
“I missed this,” you say softly. 
“I missed us,” Taehyung corrects. He pauses for a moment, swallowing hard. “I’m sorry for not telling you about my inheritance.”
“I’m sorry for storming out. I should have listened to you.” you respond easily. You both have plenty to apologize for. But night is darkest right before dawn. 
“I should have said something,” Taehyung says with a shake of his head. “But I was just so—so worried that something would go wrong. And I didn’t know how to explain how I felt about you. I acted in the beginning, too, but then things changed.”
“They always do,” you muse with a grin. 
“I couldn’t believe I had you,” Taehyung admits. “I mean, look at you. You’re gorgeous. And funny. And true.”
“Go on,” you tease, even though you do nothing to hide the smile inching its way across your face, the heating of your cheeks, the simmering of your skin. 
“Oh, shut up. You know what I mean.” Taehyung rolls his eyes. “I just—I felt something for you I couldn’t explain. I still can’t.”
You don’t have to prod any further. You know. Deep within your heart, you know. There is love blossoming in his to match the garden that has bloomed in your own. The flowers that have sprouted in the ashes. He has them, too. And when those petals open and the light streams in, he will know. He will know, too. 
“You make me crazy,” you tell him, whispering gently into his skin. “But I’m a better person when I’m with you. I know I am.”
“I meant what I said, that night,” Taehyung says. Makes you wonder which night he’s actually talking about. “That I’m happy that things have changed. That things happened the way they did. I’m grateful for us.”
“I am, too,” you say. And you are. 
You rest your head against his chest as you dance together, swaying back and forth to the beat of the drums, to the strums of the violins, all wrapped up together like ivy, like vines. Those, too, sit in that garden of yours. Keep you tethered to his side, keep him close to yours. He holds you in his arms and he smiles, because he knows, too. Knows that that garden in your heart will soon have a matching one in his. A mirror image of who you are. Who you’ve become. 
Things change. They always will. But so long as he is by your side, and so long as you are by his, you know. Everything will be okay. 
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It's different, this time, when Taehyung presses you into the mattress. 
There is no rush. Because now you know for certain that all the time in the world is yours. He is yours forever. You are his.
The two of you are a mixture of tangled limbs and shared breaths, the feverish, irrepressible need to give yourself to each other nearly tangible. He breaks the kiss suddenly, and you’re about to break out in protest. That is, until you see him unbuttoning his shirt.
Inspired, you wiggle out of your own clothes, eyes locked on Taehyung's soft torso and the idea that you had married such a beautiful man, inside and out.
Looking back, you wonder if that was always inevitable. If you and Taehyung falling into each other had been written in the stars from day one, sealed as your fate from the moment he came up to you at that ball when you were teenagers. He was going to be a part of your life no matter what. Whether or not you ended up marrying him. But having him like this?
It makes it all worth it.
"Do you like what you see?" That old cocky smirk of his makes an appearance.
You raise a brow, choosing to omit a response as you unclasp your bra, letting it fall from your chest.
Taehyung swallows.
"Do you?" You tease.
His response comes in the form of bites down your necks and licks down your chest, stealing your breath from you. 
Your clothes are somewhere dispelled beside your passionate bodies, growing cold beside the way your two hot bodies warmed one another.
"You are so beautiful," Taehyung praises, fingers coming up to cup your breast, bringing it up to his mouth.
You mewl, wrapping an arm around his shoulders as his tongue toys with your pert bud, teeth grazing it ever so often just to hear the broken gasp that'd always follow. 
"And so sensitive too," he giggles, making you pout. His hands are gentle as if every touch means something. As if you mean something—no, everything—to him. And the most wonderful part is that he means everything to you, too. 
"Shut up." You roll your eyes playfully, gasping as his palm comes down the side of your thigh suddenly in warning. You bite down your swollen bottom lip at the gush of arousal that dampened your underwear in response.
"Watch your tone, love. Of both our positions, you are in the most compromising one." He reminds you. It isn't a threat, and while usually, that kind of tone would thrill you, you couldn't help but want his mouth back on yours already.
"You talk too much." You flop back onto the bed with a sigh. Taehyung watches with interest as your pretty tits bounce in consequence. Extending your hands out towards him, you give him a pouty look. "Just wanna kiss you."
"Is that all I am to you? Just a pair of lips for you to mack on? I've got news for you, sweetheart, there's a brain behind these ravishing good looks." He scoffs in feigned offense, sitting back on his heels.
You giggle.
It seems as though even during the most intimate of moments, Taehyung still found a way to be, well, Taehyung. At least that hasn’t changed. 
"Whatever, pretty boy. Why don't you come over here and put that mouth of yours to good use?" You purr, making his eyebrows raise in surprise.
"Oh? I don't remember you being this assertive when I was pounding you into the mattress last time."
“What, I can’t have a little fun as well?” You tease, grinning as you look up at him, raking your eyes over his figure. 
"Wanna have fun, love?," He murmurs into your ears, hands gripping either of your plush thighs. "Then spread those pretty legs for me, and I'll show you exactly how much fun you can have."
God, you love this man.
You oblige eagerly, breath quickening as he helped you press your knees by your chest, leaving the wet patch in your underwear on full display. 
"My pretty little wife." He sighs dreamily, making heat rush to your core.
Taehyung's cock stood loud and proud, a hot reminder of where the night would eventually lead to. Seriously, how did you get so lucky? You must've been a saint in a previous life, you decide right then. Or at least, the stars have chosen to be rather kind to you in this one.
"Gonna take these off," he mutters, mostly to himself, tugging the ruined fabric over your ass and down your legs, with your help, of course.
Despite your usual display of confidence, lying beneath your husband, spread out like this, has you feeling vulnerable and slightly insecure. But that insecurity vanishes, however, as he lets out a soft moan, fingers moving to spread your glossed lips apart.
"So fucking pretty, baby. Gonna make you feel so fucking good," he groans, leaning down to press his face near your most intimate part.
Pressing a tentatively lick against, his eyes flicker up to yourself, curious to see if you’re okay with him proceeding. And, well, it’s not like you’re going to say no, are you?
Embarrassingly, you rut against him, making him laugh as you drown in your own mortification.
"Need it that bad, huh?" He coos.
"Yes, please."
The rest of your plea is lost in a moan as Taehyung finds your clit, wrapping his pink lips around the sensitive muscle and giving it a generous suck. Your hands are in his hair before you can think to stop yourself, tugging at his scalp deliciously as his mouth makes its way with you.
Thank goodness for this apartment belonging to just the two of you as the noises that tumbled from your lips surely would've left a roommate blushing.
You're panting, begging for more even though you aren't sure how you'd even handle more. It comes as a delight and slight surprise as fingers suddenly slip inside, wasting no time to rub against your velvety smooth walls, curling themselves inside you.
"Fuck, Tae!" you cry out, eyes squeezing shut.
It was pure reflex. Up until now, you had been watching Taehyung intently, completely consumed by the way his mouth moves against you. How his tongue flicks against your needy clit cruelly. It just felt too fucking good.
You're so wet, positively dripping down his chin as he runs his hot muscle up and down the length of your pussy, devouring you like he hadn't eaten in months, and you were his first meal.
Taehyung’s nothing short of addicting, completely and utterly intoxicating, and you slip further and further to your demise with every lick he takes, every press of his tongue against your clit.
He has a hand pressed against the lower half of your torso, feeling the way you jerk and squirm as he makes a mess of you. You’re close and you know it, too, if not by the way you’re calling his name over and over again, then by the way your thighs tremble, hardly even strong enough to stay up.
"Let go for me, love. I've got you." He sounds so sweet, so angelic, despite how filthy what he was doing to you was.
His words are the push you need, and, like a rubber band that has been stretched past its limit, you finally snap, back arching off the bed as you come with a cry. White fills your vision, and your mind goes blank, only sounds of blissful static filling your ears.
His fingers hold up your quivering legs, mouth pressing kisses onto your pussy encouragingly until you simply can't bear it any longer, pushing his mouth away as you stutter out words of sensitivity and overstimulation.
“I’m going to have to request more of that throughout this marriage.” You manage to say once your vision and breath come back to you.
Grabbing one of your hands, Taehyung brings it to his mouth.
“All you need do is ask,” he replies, making you laugh as he presses a kiss to the back of your hand, always a gentleman
Not long after, you find yourself pressed against Taehyung, tongue running against his as he presses his hips into yours. He isn’t coy about his want for you, rolling his cock against your already sensitive center. Warm precum leaks onto your lower abdomen, and suddenly, all you can think about is having him inside you again.
You don’t even need to ask. Hitching your leg around his thigh, he knows exactly what you’re seeking, lining up his leaking cock with your swollen entrance.
Pressing into you, he buries himself to the hilt, groaning out as your warmth envelopes him. You moan out so prettily for him, feeling tight and full with your first orgasm only minutes ago.
“You okay?” he hums, kissing your cheek.
You nod, ears warm at the intimacy of the moment. In many ways, this is nothing like your first time together. You are face to face, eye to eye, heart to heart. Between your bodies could be found more than just desire, but commitment. Devotion. Love. 
“I love you, Tae.” You gush, sighing out as he begins to rock into you.
He falters slightly at your confession but recovers quickly, intertwining his hand with yours and pressing it by your head.
Faintly, you realize. 
That was the first time you had ever told him that.
You look up at him, expecting some wide eyes or even a bit of a nervous tilt to his lips, but all you are met with is a glow. He beams down at you, and your heart swells. 
“I love you, too, Y/N,” he whispers, but you hear the words in your ears loud and clear.
Soft noises fill the room as the two of you become one—hearts synchronizing with one another in silent promise.
It was a promise unlike the one you had made to each other that day at the altar, for this one was real. This one was true.
You shutter with every thrust of his hips, your abused clit finding itself in the crossfire of Taehyung’s passionate motions.
Whimpering, you cling to him, overwhelmed and emotional, like your heart was about to burst. Taehyung lights a fire in you, sends lightning straight through your core. Every word, every smile, every kiss, every touch, they send shivers down your spine, tingles throughout your skin. It’s like you’re falling in love with him all over whenever you see him, whenever his deep brown eyes meet your own.
You remember being so afraid of love that you broke up with all your old boyfriends because of it. Because you couldn’t commit, because you were worried about your career, because they just didn’t give you that spark. But lying here pressed against him, against your husband, you aren’t afraid. Wrapped up around him, tangled up in him, you know. 
Between messy kisses and words of adoration, you find yourself growing closer and closer to your release. Brows furrowed and neck flushed, you come with a soft whimper of his name, coaxing his own orgasm out of him. He lets go inside you, painting you with his seed in a way that pleases you to no end.
Hand still in yours, he gives it a squeeze, pressing a kiss onto your damp chest, right over where your heart beats for him.
“I love you,” Taehyung says again when you meet his eyes, firmer this time, louder. Like he’s worried you didn’t believe him the first time. 
“I know,” you say with a giggle, the words going straight to your head—and your heart. 
Taehyung scowls. “What, no ‘I love you’ back? Is that what I’m hearing?”
“Well, only because you want one so badly,” you tease, pressing a quick kiss to his round button nose. “I love you, too, Tae. Always will.”
“I think I knew, then,” Taehyung says with a fond sigh, nostalgia overcoming his expression. “That first time we met. I knew you would be mine, one day.”
“You got lucky,” you scoff slightly. “But I’m glad things happened the way they did.”
“You’re my dream come true, Y/N,” he says. 
“And you are mine,” you murmur.
As the two of you drift off, all twisted up in each other, so mixed up you can’t figure out where you end and he begins, you think back to that night. That ball. 
“Who are you?” You ask, nose scrunched up in distaste. Before you stood a boy you had never met before, wearing shoes that were too big for him and a suit that was a touch too small. 
He grins at you, running a hand through his perfectly-styled hair fringe swiped neatly over his forehead, and he says, “your dream come true.”
And so it was. 
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don’t forget to message me! ~ and don’t forget to message rose!
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darkestcorners · 20 days ago
polarity | 02 yandere!jungkook au
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pairing: yandere!jungkook x reader {f}
genre: yandere
warnings: 18+ , toxic relationships, unhealthy and obsessive behavior, smut, mentions of mental health, manipulation, blackmail, cheating,
word count: 13.2k
summary: Your best friend’s new boyfriend becomes infatuated with you...
Parts: 01 l 02
tag list:  @min-nicoleee  @moekoi02  @mawwnsterr @1-in-abillion , @envyvyvy  @brutallysour00 @mwitsmejk  @e-uph0r1a  @lolalee24 , @sunshyngal  @kyuinfpt​
A/N; This chapter was foul in so many ways. Anyways, thank you guys so much  all the support and comments on the first part! I’m sorry I couldn’t reply to any of them (this is a side blog i made impulsively to post that fic and i didn’t think it would get as much attention as it did ) so yeah i’m sorry i cant directly reply to comments. i’m not sure if i’m making a final part yet, im kinda debating if i should end it like this but you guys let me know your thoughts?? hope you enjoy:) also I apologize if anything looks funky, my computer is acting up 😍
The situation unwrapping in front of you felt like a fever dream. You could feel tightness in your chest at the sight of your friend’s eyes on you. You were sure she couldn’t have been thinking something inappropriate, I mean truthfully it would be insanely out of character for you to begin with. However, you almost considered telling her everything right in that moment, pleading her for forgiveness and to get you away from the psychopath that sat next to you. But Jungkook’s warning rang inside your head, serving as an ugly reminder of the consequences of what your impulsive actions would bring. The worst part was how much you believed him, your mind racing with possibilities on just how wrong things could go.
You couldn’t help but think this was entirely your fault. If your feelings for Eunji hadn’t been so obvious then maybe you would have never been in this situation. You couldn’t begin to explain exactly how observant Jungkook was to have noticed the way you acted around her immediately, it was almost humiliating how easily he had wrapped you around his finger. Another part of you wondered if Eunji truly didn’t realize how you felt about her or if she had simply ignored it. The latter was mortifying to even think about, you couldn’t handle that embarrassment.
“Jungkook gave me a ride.” You didn’t realize you had been holding your breath, your voice trembling. You knew it didn’t sound convincing at all, your face probably giving away the distressed state you were in. A small part of almost hoped your friend didn’t believe you.
“I saw her walking home from the cafe, she looked upset so I offered to give her a ride.” Jungkook interjected, his voice holding the same concern it did when he had asked you if you were okay moments ago. It deeply concerned you how someone could put on a different facade so easily.
A look of understanding crossed Eunji’s face quickly followed by pity. 
Right, she probably already suspected how the job interview had went. If only she knew that was the least of your worries now.
“That was sweet of you, babe.” She said, eyes focusing back on you as she gave you a small smile. “ You’re soaking, Y/n. We should go inside and get you out of those clothes.”
It was then you had barely noticed Eunji’s attire. She wore a dark colored dress that hugged her figure nicely, her perfectly styled hair and makeup made her look even more stunning than usual. It was clear he was picking her up for a date, a thought that once would of made you envy Eunji’s lover but now you only feared for her instead. It looks like you had been right all along, your friend did have shit taste in men. 
You nodded, eager to get away from the man next to you. You still felt like you were about to pass out and your legs didn’t feel like they were attached to your body anymore. 
“I hope you feel better, Y/n.” Jungkook stated softly but you didn’t even dare look his way. You were sure you would break down if you did, his mere presence made you feel suffocated. The image of the charming guy willing to help you was long gone. 
“Thanks.” You replied, quickly unbuckling your seatbelt and just about stumbling out of the car. You barely noticed it had stopped raining. The sky was still filled with dark clouds, the chilly air hitting your face and making you shiver even more in your damp clothes.
“Babe I’m sorry , Y/n gets a little worked up in public.” Your friend explained as you stepped behind her. She had her body leaned inside his car, back facing you but you didn’t need to know the look she was giving him. The scene reminding you of what a parent would sound like when their child embarrassed them. You felt a ting of betrayal at the realization your friend had probably vented to Jungkook about your issues numerous of times before.
“Don’t worry, she shouldn’t feel bad about it.” You heard Jungkook say in response, he sounded so genuine and understanding that you really wondered if what he saying was something he believed or just a part of his twisted act.
“Make sure she gets out of those clothes before she gets sick.” He added in a more worried tone as he caught your gaze once again, sending you a tight lipped warm smile. 
What an actor, if you weren’t so petrified at the moment you would of complimented his skills. 
“It’s okay, I can change myself. You go on.” You persisted, knowing you were trying your hardest not to shed tears. That would soon change once you got to the safety of your room, you needed to get away from her before your emotions got the best of you. 
“Are you sure? Let me walk you to the door at least.”Eunji said as she studied your face, her hand coming to squeeze your shoulder. You shook your head despite her sweet action, you really didn’t deserve her.  “No really,  I don’t want to make you late for your date.” You assured, already starting to take a step back. “ I’m fine.” 
Eunji stll looked hesitant but she nodded. 
” Alright, text me later. Love you.” 
You had been avoiding Eunji as much as you possibly could. It had been a week since the car incident, the horrible memory haunting you every moment of the day. Some days you wondered if you had just imagined it all, it didn’t even sound real in your head. There was many times you had come close to telling your friend everything and praying she would believe you but the crippling fear stopped you everytime.
 Besides, you felt as if you it would even more unbelievable now that so many days had passed, why would you randomly admit that to Eunji? She would question why you wouldn’t have said anything right away. It sounded like an obvious lie. It sounded exactly like what Jungkook had threatened you with. As much as you didn’t want to admit it, you knew how cornered you were. You had dug yourself into an even bigger hole by remianing silent this whole time.
 Most of your days now consisted of being tucked away in the small library a few streets down from your apartment building. You avoided spending much time in the apartment, fearing you would run into Jungkook knowing how much he came over to visit your friend. You had also avoided hanging out with her anywhere, giving her the excuse that you were studying hard for your upcoming exams. Of course she didn’t question you much, you were the type to indulge in studies a lot of the time and she knew you didn’t like going out much. That much had been easy but still, you felt as you were completely separating yourself from her life and you were lying if you said it didn’t hurt you. 
Some part of you was convinced that if you managed to disconnect yourself from her life as much as possible, Jungkook’s sick fascination with you would disappear. You figured it must be some type of kink he had, perhaps he just enjoyed being a cheater and having another girl on the side, even if that girl was his girlfriend’s best friend.
Of course you had also just considered contacting the police but what type of evidence did you even have? Jungkook was wealthy, it would be idiotic to even think you could go up against him in a courtroom. And what did you even have to defend yourself with? Your word? It meant nothing. The thought of having to go through with a police report alone made you panic. You didn't even want to imagine the look on Eunji’s face if she found out you wanted to press charges against her beloved boyfriend. After saying all those nice things about him just a week ago? She would think you were bat shit crazy. 
You couldn’t say you would even blame her, you weren't even sure you would believe yourself if you were in her shoes either. The thought Eunji turning against you was something you couldn’t seem to accept.
  Losing her wasn’t an option.
“Miss?” You looked up from your textbook . The voice came from a guy standing next to you, you had made sure to find the most reclusive spot in the library which hadn’t been that hard to begin with, the place was pretty small and fairly empty most of the time.
“Sorry, we’re closing soon.” He gave you a regretful smile, it sat pleasantly on his handsome face. Your face heat up in embarrassment.
“Right, sorry I lost track of time.” You began to gather your things in a swift manner, shoving everything inside your bag as you took a quick look at your phone. It was indeed getting late, you wondered how long you had been in here just staring blankly at a textbook , knowing damn well you hadn’t studied one bit.
“You’ve come here a lot this week, haven’t you?” The boy asked curiously and you noticed the name tag on his shirt. Hoseok.
“Yeah, just studying for some exams.” A lot was probably an understatement, you’ve practically lived inside this place for days now. It’s no wonder the workers had taken notice already considering there was hardly anyone else here.
“You must be a diligent student then.” He grinned, flashing his perfect teeth. You might have taken some interest in the attractive boy in front of you if your mind wasn’t so preoccupied with horrifying thoughts that seemed to eat at you every second of the day. 
“I guess you can say that.” You gave him a nervous smile and stood up, scrunching your hands up into a fist. Another nervous habit you couldn’t seem to break. You wondered if Eunji was back home yet. She had mentioned she was making dinner tonight and wanted you to join her, a thought that would have once been more than appealing you but now just made you sick to your stomach. The guilt and fear of it all didn’t let you relax around her.
“Well, I’ll look forward to seeing a pretty girl everyday now. Have a nice day.” The boy, Hoseok, commented. The grin still on his face before he walked off and you were left at awe at his words. You were unable to hide the smile that formed on your lips but you quickly shook it off and headed out the door. The sun was starting to disappear but at least it wasn’t raining today.
The walk was short for the most part but you had tried your best to walk as slowly as possible in order to buy some time, letting your eyes get distracted at all the shops you passed by. But at last, it was time to go home and you silently prayed you could get just a bit of good sleep tonight. You were convinced you were starting to look like a walking corpse, the bags under your eyes still visible after coating them was some concealer this morning.
 Before you knew it , you were inside the apartment elevators and you pressed your floor number, eyes scanning over the screen that displayed the increasing numbers. The doors finally opened and you rushed down the long dimly lit hallway, stopping right in front of your door.
As you slid the door open, you instantly saw Eunji sitting behind the kitchen counter, she turned head at you and gave you a bright small.
“Y/n! Come join us! “ Us? You knitted your eyebrows at her words and felt your stomach drop as you stepped closer, Jungkook’s figure coming into view. He was stood right across from your friend at the other side of the counter. He wore a simple black button shirt, sleeves rolled up once again to his elbows as they usually were, his black jeans completing his all dark attire. It displayed his large built more. He looked more his age today, and like the son of a wealthy business owner. It somehow made him look even more intimidating. 
“Jungkook made dinner, you came just in time. It’s delicious.” Eunji bragged as the strong scent of chicken hit your nostrils, you had been hungry just a few seconds ago but now your appetite was nowhere to be found. Jungkook’s eyes fell on you , taking in your whole figure that still stood by the door.
This is exactly what you had been dreading. You officially had the worst luck, if maybe you had managed to stay longer anywhere else then maybe he would of left before you arrived. You knew you were being ridiculous. You should of known this going to happen sooner or later, although it had happened a lot sooner than you expected. It was stupid of you to think you could avoid him forever, they were a couple after all and you knew how fond of him Eunji was, clingy even. For gods sake, she thought you were fond of him as well. Words couldn’t describe how much you regretted ever approving of him and even telling her that you liked him.
“Y/n?” Eunji asked with a chuckle, staring at your unmoving stance. Jungkook raised an eyebrow at you before he pushed a plate of food at the end of the counter.
“I made you a plate, come sit.” He stated, his tone light as if finding your stiff state humorous. But you knew better.
“I-I’m not really hungry, I just ate.” You blurted out, giving them both a sheepish smile and patted your stomach in an attempt to look more convincing. You watched Jungkook’s stare turn unwelcoming in a matter of seconds, his eyes picking you apart. It was obvious in that moment that he knew you had been trying to actively avoid him all week.
“Really? You told me you hadn’t ate when I texted you.” Your friend asked, frowning a bit. 
You wanted to bash your head against a wall. 
You had told her that earlier while you were still at the library when she was  checking up to see if you still wanted to eat dinner with her.
“Yeah but I got something on the way, you know how stressed I’ve been with school.” You reasoned, heart beating faster by the second. You really needed to go to your room.
“Yes but can’t you join us for just a little?” Eunji asked, glancing back at her boyfriend. “ I mean it’s a bit rude not to , Jungkook made an extra plate just for you.”
“I agree, it’s quite rude not accept my offer.” Jungkook said in a  playfully upset tone as he pouted. The sight would have been cute and amusing if you didn’t know the true character hidden underneath.
You were trapped. 
“Okay.” You sighed, completely defeated. You supposed it was better that your friend was here, knowing Jungkook couldn’t do much with her present. You slowly walked forward and took a seat next to Eunji, staring down at the plate of chicken and rice, with some type of pasta on the side. It indeed did look appetizing and you forced yourself to temporarily ignore the situation around you as you picked up your fork in hesitation.
“It looks good.” You complimented, voice so low that you wondered if either of them had heard you but Jungkook’s heavy stare and smile that came afterwards was enough confirmation that he did. He almost looked normal again, the sweet boyish smile back on his face and eyes twinkling at you.
“Right? I didn’t know you were such a good cook, babe.” Eunji expressed. “ My cooking looks even more embarrassing now.”
Jungkook smirked in response but he looked distracted, his attention had shifted to you entirely and he started to look fairly bored at what your friend was rambling about. You yourself had blocked most of it out but due to a completely different reason. You ate in silence, hating how good the food actually was. It was probably the first decent meal you have had in a while, you didn’t have much of an appetite lately.
“So, how’s studying been going?” Eunji asked as you swallowed the last bit of your food.
“Pretty good.” 
“You look tired, what exams are you studying for?” Jungkook chimed in and you met his scrutinizing stare once again. You were starting to think he could see right through every one of your lies.
“Psychology, and for an English course too.” You lied, adding a bit more volume to your voice. You hoped it didn’t leave any more room for questioning. 
Jungkook stared at you, seeming to contemplate your answer before nodding.
“Y/n is a bit of nerd. Although, lately she’s been focused on her studies more than usual.” Eunji commented, raising a an eyebrow at you in suspicion. “Maybe the library isn’t where you run off to all day? Meeting with someone perhaps?”
“No, none of that.” You forced a laugh, trying to sound as casual as ever.
“Of course not, it would take a miracle for you to actually get with someone.” 
It was the same playful banter you had shared with her as always but you noticed the how Jungkook narrowed his eyes slightly at your friend’s last comment, shoulders slightly tensing up. You awkwardly shifted your gaze back down to your plate.  
The tension was so thick in the air you could feel it.
Did Eunji feel it too? You hoped she did but you knew your friend wasn’t the best at noticing social cues. You wished for once that she would be as observant as her insane boyfriend, maybe then she would have noticed how uncomfortable you were. 
“Well if you guys will excuse me, I’m going to the bathroom real quick.” Your friend announced hopping off her seat and leaning over to give a quick kiss to her boyfriend and you turned away, not even thinking you could stand the sight of them displaying any kind of affection anymore. 
Your heart sunk at the sight of her disappearing down the hallway and you almost called out to her to come back. This night truly couldn’t be worse.
“What kind of ice cream flavor do you want, baby?” Jungkook asked casually once Eunji was completely gone. You watched as he lazily opened the freezer, eyes trailing over the tattoos covering his built arms. You couldn’t believe what you were hearing.
“Don’t call me that.” You snapped in a low whisper, turning your head towards the small hallway. 
“She can’t hear us.” He assured taking out the two tubs of ice cream and setting them on the counter, effortlessly opening the lids.
“I don’t care.” You said and you watched his head tilt as he stopped his movement. He sighed and let the spoon fall from his hand, you flinched as  stepped closer, leaning his upper body over the counter. A loud gasp left your lips as he grasped your chin, his grip wasn’t painful but the sudden action made you nearly stumble off your seat.
“Don’t be like that, you won’t like what I’ll do if you keep that attitude up.” He whispered, his thumb brushing over your lips. “You’ve already upset me with how much you’ve been avoiding me.”
You swallowed, your breathing starting to quicken. You were still hoping he hadn’t taken notice in that and simply did think you were doing some intense studying.
“What?” He asked, eyes taking in your reaction as he tilted your chin up even more, forcing your eyes to meet his.
“Did you really think I believed that studying lie?” He asked, a smile slowly forming on his lips. “Cute.”
You struggled against his grip, tears already starting to form. You hated how sensitive you were , the anxiety building up in your stomach wasn’t helping either.
“What do you want from me?” You demanded. He almost looked offended that you had even asked that, eyebrows knitting together.
“What do you mean?” He asked, his tone genuinely coated in confusion.
“I want you of course. Why would you even ask that, Y/n?” He said it as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. It sent chills down your spine, if anything that had left you even more confused. You let out a choked sob that you had been holding in for days now, the reality of your situation was sinking in.
“Shh, don’t cry baby.” Jungkook hushed you, quickly wiping away the tears that fell down your face. “Everything is fine.”
Everything was far from fine but you forced yourself to stop in fear of Eunji hearing you, quickly wiping off your tears. You took a deep breath, hoping it would calm your heartbeat that felt as if it was about to jump out of your chest. You felt hot and sweaty, it was getting hard to normalize your breathing.
“Calm down, you’re getting worked up.” Jungkook pulled away, reaching over  for a glass of water that sat on the counter and swiftly bringing it over to you as he made his way next to you. He guided the cup to your lips as took you took hurried sips. You felt his hand brush over your hair, in what you assumed was an attempt to comfort you but all you felt was fear.
“Y/n, you have to calm down. “ He whispered, breath hot against your ear as his hand continued to caress your hair but you heard the slight warning in his tone. He didn’t want you making a sudden scene.
What the hell was taking Eunji so long in that bathroom?
“Where’s your phone?” He asked, eyes traveling down to where your bag sat beside you.
“Why?” It was stupid of you to even ask, clearly knowing why he wanted it. He raised an eyebrow and wordlessly reached over to get your bag, you watched in silence as he dug through it, instantly finding it and taking the device out from the front pocket.
You wanted to protest but you shut your mouth, eyes following as he typed away, you made a mental note to actually lock your phone next time as you dumbly realized you didn’t have a passcode set up. Once he was done, he set your phone back down in front of you and walked back around counter, returning back to scooping up the ice cream.
“Now, what flavor did you want?” He asked again. He looked so sweet, sounded so domestic.
He truly was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
“Strawberry.” You mumbled, staring down at your hands. You heard him shuffling , scooping out the ice cream and setting it into a bowl. In that same moment, you heard Eunji emerge from the bathroom, her footsteps getting louder as she walked down the hallway.
“Oh! Ice cream!” She beamed, eyes lighting up at the sight of Jungkook making the dessert. You wanted to scream at her for help, so oblivious to who she had invited into her life, into our home. But as always you kept silent, flashing her a smile as she sat back next to you.
Jungkook continued to torment you throughout the weeks, harassing you through texts messages and demanding you communicated with him. It felt as if you were in an actual horror film at this point. You felt paranoid every time you stepped out of your apartment, expecting him to just pop out of any corner. You knew he was keeping tabs on you, his stalking was a constant reminder of how much control he had over you. You couldn't even deny it anymore, he slowly had become your shadow and you were growing afraid of how far he was willing to take this little sick game of his. You thought that somehow this could be some type of mind game he was purposely torturing you with to fulfill some kind of revenge. But you couldn’t figure out his motive, why would he dislike you that much? You had barely known him. You kept your mind on that theory in order to distract it from the exact opposite thought that lingered your head. Because if it wasn't a revenge plot, it was certainly the opposite and you weren't sure which was more terrifying. 
To make things worse, in the midst of all this your friend only seemed to grow more obssesed with Jungkook by the day. She would talk about him at every chance she could with you, about how amazing and perfect he was. How she had never met someone like him before. 
The other night she had even confessed to you that she might be in love with him.
In any other case, this news would of absoulately broken you. The insane amount of jealousy would have ate you up because despite your friend having had plenty of past relationships, you knew she had never actually came close to falling deeply in love. It caused that ugly emotion to settle within you once again, that Jungkook of all people would be the one to ivoke those emotions in her.
Life was indeed cruel.
But your own selfish jealousy didn’t even matter at this point, the deep concern over her own well being was what worried you most. You couldn’t let Eunji fall in love with that psychopath.
You soon realized how hard it would be to get yourself out of this situation. You had successfully refused to face time or call Jungkook, claiming that Eunji would hear you from her room. It was in fact very possible, you knew how nosy your friend could be and you more than anyone knew how thin these walls were with the visits Jungkook made to her room. You couldn't risk it, what excuse would you give? There was no reason why you should be talking to Jungkook on the phone or why he had your number to begin with. Any other times, you had simply used the excuse that you were in class and couldn't pick up his calls. However, escaping Jungkook wouldn’t be that easy, it was clear to you he was growing tired of all it. 
His passive aggressive texts were enough of a warning. 
From Jungkook: I’m a patient man, baby. But don’t test your luck too much.
You stared down at the text, not even wanting to find out what he meant by that.  Instead of replying, you shoved your phone back into your bag and focused your attention back to the textbook in front of you. You shut your eyes briefly, letting out a long sigh in frustration. If you thought you were drained before, it was nothing compared to now. You felt like you were starting to lose some of your sanity.
Why couldn’t he just leave you alone?
“You don’t look so good.” You blinked up at the familiar voice, the same cute library guy stood in front of you. Hoseok. A curious expression on his face as he raised an eyebrow at you.
Considering you didn’t even bother to hide your eye bags anymore, you could confirm you indeed didn’t look so hot these days. 
“Uh, yeah just tired.” You smiled, pointing towards your textbook.
“Still studying for those exams?”
“Not really but I need something to distract myself with.” You admitted, biting the side of your lip. You didn’t even know why you had said that, it wasn’t like you were going to tell him why you were so stressed. “ Yeah you know, it’s just my best friend’s crazy boyfriend who’s obssessed with me won’t stop harrassing me all day. Same old same old.”
“What’s got you so worked up?” He asks with a chuckle and turns to take a seat in front of you. The books in his hands that you assumed he was on the way to arrange somehwere in the library were long forgotten as he placed them on the table beside you.
“You know, just life.” You lied with a shrug, well it wasn’t exactly a lie. Your life was pretty shit at the moment.
“Right,” Hoseok grinned but before continuing. “Well, instead of distracting yourself with such boring stuff, why don’t we grab coffee sometime?”
Was he asking you out? You instantly felt your cheeks warm up. Life was truly playing a sick game with you. The first time someone manages to show interest in you after a while, it has to be when you’re dealing with such an insane situation. 
“Coffee?” You repeated as he nodded slowly, staring expectantly. 
“I think-”
You stilled as you heard the voice behind you that had cut you off. That voice.
It couldn’t be.
You slowly turned your head and let out a curse. Jungkook was making his way towards you, his expression disclosed no emotion at first but as soon as he approached you, a sickeningly sweet smile took over his lips. 
“Baby, you didn’t answer my last text. Are you ready to go?” He asked casually as he stared down at you, you felt his hand brush the back of your shoulder as he gave it a light squeeze. From an outside view, this looked like a normal couple interaction and your eyes shifted over to Hoseok’s more than confused look. His questioning gaze shifted from you to the man behind you.
What the hell was he doing here? And how did he even find out where you were in the first place?
“You have a boyfriend?” Hoseok asked, sounding dissapointed but also slightly offended. He was probably wondering why you didn’t mention him last time you were here when he flirted with you. You knew how it made you look and you felt a small wave of embrassment wash over you. 
“Sorry, who are you?” Jungkook demanded, his tone flat. He was glaring daggers at the guy and Hoseok immediately took his warning and lifted himself off his seat.
“Sorry man, didn’t know she was taken.” Hoseok lifted both his hands up in defense and swiftly picked up the books that he had left on the table before turning on his heel.
“Wait-” You started but Hoseok was long gone, he had practically speed walked away from you two and turned a corner, getting lost down the many book aisles. 
“If you’re done mingling with library boy, we better get going.” Jungkook stated, clear annoyance coating his tone. You stared back up at him in disbelief, not knowing what could of possessed him to pull that scene.
“What are you doing here?” You hissed, flinching back away from him and causing him to drop the hand on your shoulder.
“Picking you up, we are going to my place.” He replied, not seeming phased by your hostile reaction to him. “I’m cooking you a special dinner.”
The way he could act so nonchalantly about this was astonishing to you. He was treating your relationship as if it was the most normal thing in the world and as if he wasn’t quite literally cheating on your best friend.
“I can’t go today, I have class in a couple minutes.” You reasoned with a softer tone, hoping he would take the bait and leave. It was naive to assume  that because he instantly let out a low chuckle and rolled his eyes.
“Baby, I know your schedule. Why would you even bother lying to me?” You gritted your teeth at his words. It had been dumb of you but you had to give it a shot at least.
“Let’s go.” He helped you pick up your textbook and took your bag as you stood up. The action was so gentleman like that you again conlcuded he would of been the ideal boyfriend in another lifetime. Preferably one where he wasn’t absolutely demented. 
You followed silently behind him as he opened the door of the library, motioning you to go first. You didn’t even bother giving him a glance as you walked outside, the sun was about to set and it coated the sky in beautiful orange hues. You caught sight of the familiar black vehicle parked right in front of you. Jungkook’s shoulder brushed yours as he made his way over to it, opening up the passenger door and raising an eyebrow your way. Your legs wobbled as you hopped inside, the flashbacks of that day already starting to flood back into your mind. You didn’t want to be in this car with him again but luck was not on your side today. It hadn’t been since you met him.
Before you could prostest otherwise, Jungkook leans over and clicks in your seatbelt for you.You tried not to jump when the door closed beside you and your eyes were glued on him as he strided over to the other side of the car and got in. You decide to ignore him the entire drive, turning your head completely towards the window.  His presence unsettled you more each time you saw him. If Jungkook was upset by this, he didn’t showcase it. The drive was a good 40 minutes long and that wasn’t exactly shocking considering the fact that you knew he lived a good amount of distance from your apartment building. 
The area you were in now was admittedly much nicer than your own and you forced yourself to not gawk at the luxurious buildings and cars that surrounded you. Jungkook drives into an underground parking lot and before you know it, you’re walking into a brightly lit elevator that takes you about 12 floors up. The long luminous hallway made you feel nauseus and lightheaded all at the same time.
Jungkook opens the door for you and you force yourself to hold in a gasp at the sight in front of you. This apartment, or more like penthouse was another irritating reminder of Jungkook’s wealth. The dark lacquired marble floors and painted black walls seemed to mock you. The ceiling was accented with silver light fittings that displayed a gorgeous chandelier upon entrance. 
When Eunji mentioned Jungkook was rich, you didn’t imagine he was this loaded.
“It was my mom’s idea, I’m not a big fan of chandeliers. Too flashy.” Jungkook commented when he caught sight of you staring up at it. He locks the door behind you before setting your bag on a wall mounted coat rack next to him. 
He leads you down the hallway that reveals his equally extravagent kitchen with more black and white details accompanied with rows of dark wooden cupboards. Your casual clothing and worn out converse looked pathetic against this scenery. 
“Why are you doing this?” You felt like you had asked this question a hundred times now, not only to him but to yourself.
Jungkook turns over to you, looking mildly suprised you had finally decided to utter a word to him. ”I thought I was clear the first time.”
“I just don’t get it, why would you even pick me over her?” You wondered genuinely. He had everything with her.
Jungkook would admit your lack of self-esteem was a great advantage for him but he still found it a great shame that you didn’t think highly of yourself. It almost made him angry that you couldn’t see what he saw in you. Sure, your friend was attractive and fun and she had been a nice fuck but there was something about you that entranced him. Perhaps it was the lack of self awarement you had , how you truly didn’t notice the impact you had on people. Your secluded nature only left him wanting for more, you had an aura that was completely desirable to him. Your uninterested behavior and nervous glances that refused to meet his only seem to fuel him more.
He found it all so endearing in a way and he wasn’t used to not getting what he wanted. After all, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But Jungkook knew you weren’t just temporary fun or a simple play thing he would soon want to get rid of. No. He was utterly obssesed with you, he didn’t even want to think of you ever slipping away from him. In his head, he had found his ideal lover, and like any other raised rich boy, he didn’t plan on ever letting his favorite prized possession go. You were his to keep and flaunt, his to take care of and love.
“Why do you find it so hard that someone would prefer you over her?” Jungkook asked, a curious look glinted in his dark eyes.
You fell silent at that.
“Is it because of your little crush on her that you haven’t gotten over?” He questioned again, this time sounding bored almost. He walked over to his stove, already starting to prepare dinner as you stood stifly near the kitchen island.
“It’s not just a crush.” You argued, I love her. Jungkook glanced back at you, a dark look coming over his face.
“For your sake, I hope it is.” His voice was deeper now. “I’d hate to see you so heartbroken over someone who doesn’t even deserve it.”
You knitted your eyebrows at his words.
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t you realize the way she treats you? She doesn't care for you as much as you think she does.” Jungkook added carefully as if he was the one who was afraid to upset you now. His words struck you and you felt your heart grow heavy. What was he even talking about? Of course she cared about you. You had been through so much together, made so many memories. 
This had to be part of his sick game and you wouldn’t let him get to you.
“She does care about me.” You stated firmly, not being able to hide the sudden anger that took over you in that moment. You watched Jungkook take in your reaction, a sour expression forming on his face as soon as the words left your mouth. His whole demeanor stiffened.
“Maybe, ” He tilited his head to the side as if considering your words before he continued. “ But she sees you as a burden. She’s told me about how much she wishes you were just normal and didn’t let your anxiety disorder rule over your life.”
His full attention seemed to be focused on the  vegetables he was chopping up on a cutting board but he sneaked a quick glance your way.
 “About how inconvenient it is to be friends with someone who can’t do simple things and let loose, someone who’s always so afraid and nervous.” 
His words felt like a stab right in the chest. You shook your head slowly, not wanting to believe him for a second.You knew Eunji , she would never say those things about you. He was just trying to pin you against your best friend. That has to be it , you couldn't be so naive to fall for his lies.
 “You're lying.” You accused, eyes watering as you tried to swallow down the lump that formed in your throat. You hated how easily he got you, the power he possessed to make you feel so helpless. You watched his face twist with concern when he caught sight of your teary expression and he rushed over to you, pulling you towards him. 
“Baby come on, I didn’t mean to make you cry.” His regretful tone made you actually believe him for once, his hands coming to push your head against his chest. He held you tightly as you sobbed, at this point you weren't sure if you just crying over what he had told you or because of the whole situation in general. 
His comfort was the last thing you wanted but in that moment you didn't care that it was him, you pushed your face further against and gripped his shirt. This is exactly what he had wanted, you thought. To have you this vulnerable for him, you hated yourself even more for giving in. 
“I’m just telling you the truth,” He muffled into your hair. “Cant you see I’m the one that actually cares for you? You don’t need a friend like her.” 
What he said only brought more tears and he hushed you, leaving a gentle kiss on the top of your head.
“Shh, it’s okay.” You felt that lightheaded feeling return but this time it lingered and completely took over you, your vision went blurry and the last thing you heard before you fell into complete darkness was Jungkook calling out your name repeatdly in a panicked tone.
Your eyes squinted as you stared up at a beaming bright light. It made you groan but it slowly diminished and your eyes soon adjusted to your surroundings again, the blurry effect lasted for a few seconds making you feel disoriented. When your vision finally cleared, your eyes focused on a tall figure standing a few feet away and your brain quickly registered who it was.
“Good, you’re awake.” You heard Jungkook say as you heard the sound of faint rustling and plates clicking against each other. You slowly lifted yourself up, barely noticing you had been lying down on a beige leather couch. 
“Dinner is ready.” He announced as you saw him walk over with a tray full of food. The smell of condiments hit your nostrils and you now were fully seated up on the couch. A pounding headache greeted with your new found position.
“What happened?” You mumbled as he sat the tray on your lap. The food on the plate looked incredibly delicious and your mouth practically watered. The only thing in your stomach was a bannana you had ate in a hurry on your way out this morning. 
“You fainted, it must be because you’re not eating enough.” Jungkook scolded, handing you over a pair of chopsticks. 
Yeah, because of you, you thought bitterly.
“What time is it? I told Eunji I would be home early today.” You brought the food up to your mouth, pausing for a second to inspect it as if you would even be able to tell if he had added something to it to begin with. Jungkook noticed your hestation and sighed.
“It’s not poisoned, Y/n.” He sounded greatly insulted that the thought had even crossed your mind. You didn’t know why, it was as if he hadn’t noticed he possessed all the traits of a literal serial killer.
You chewed slowly on your food as you watched Jungkook lay the top of his hand against your forehead, seemingly trying to tell if you had a fever. Once he was satisfied that that wasn’t the case, he dissapeared down the hallway and you quickly took the time to hurriedly shove the food into your mouth. You wanted to leave as soon as possible. The conversation you had before passing out still lingered in your head and you wished it had all been nothing but a nightmare.
“I texted Eunji that your visiting your aunt for dinner.” Jungkook stated as he walked back into the living room and your eyes widened.
“How do you know I have an aunt that lives in town?” 
“Well I didn’t until now, thank you for telling me that baby.” He grinned as he typed away on your phone and you inwardly cursed. This little fucker.
“Jungkook,” You started slowly, trying your best to keep your voice steady and calm. “This game of yours needs to stop.”
Jungkook lifted up his head at your words , pausing for a second before finishing whatever he was typing on your phone and letting it fall on the couch beside him.
“What game?” He asked and you didn’t hear any mocking in his tone. He had to be messing with you , right?
“This.” You explained, waving your hands around you. “Is this some sort of weird kink?”
Jungkook’s perplexed expression seemed to deepen and you grew more nervous by the second.
“Baby, this isn’t a game or a kink.” Jungkook replied, practically scoffing towards the end of his sentence. You stared blankly at him, not believing him. 
Well, more like you didn’t want to believe him.
There had to be a way out of this.
“I-I don’t want to do this anymore,” Your voice cracked, you were pleading him at this point. Your eyes begging for him to listen and find some sort of empathy for you and your state. He couldn’t actually think you could keep doing this for much longer, did he? You tried to convince yourself this was just another asshole who found pleasure in having some scandelous affair.
“I can’t do this to my best friend, please.” Your hands gripped the edges of the metal tray he had given you and shakily put it aside from you, Jungkook’s eyes followed your every move intently. Like a predator watching his prey make a poor attempt at an escape.
“Please, I won’t say a thing about us to her. She wont know anything but you have to leave me alone.” You rambled on, your mind frantically searching for every reasonable thought imaginable to grasp on. “I can’t keep doing this to her, i-it’s insane. We can’t keep doing this to her, it’s wrong.”
Jungkook was silent for an uncomfrotably long amount of time. Just watching you, his expression stoic. Not revealing any bit of emotion or even a hint of what he might be thinking.
“Baby,” He drawled out mockingly. “ Did you really think that would change my mind?”
“I thought you had realized by now that I dont want your friend, I want you.”
His words brought even more frustration. You felt like tugging your hair out and screaming “but why!”. It felt like a broken record at this point, you couldn’t believe you had gotten yourself into this situation. You were sick of feeling so helpless.
“I can just report you to the police, you know?” You were running your mouth now, no thoughts went into what you were saying next. You were too angry to even think clearly. “This is harrassment and stalking. A crime! You could go to prison for this! “
Jungkook looked amused by your words, as if he was biting back a laugh.
“So why dont you?”
“What?” Was he serious?
“Go on, go file a report against me.” Jungkook shrugged, raising one singular eyebrow at you. He was daring you to do it.“ You would need some credible evidence on your side. I wouldn’t reccomend the texts between us, you seem rather too compliant in them.”
His tone was daunting, as if he was actually giving you legal advice on the matter.
“But if you’re really going to, just make sure to let me know beforehand so I can notify my mother.” 
It took you a second to understand what he was implying.
“Your mom is an attorney?” You asked in defeated whisper. He looked completely estatic at your reaction and his next words held nothing but menance in them.
“The best in the city, some would even say in the country.” He confirmed as he nodded in feigned innocence. 
You were utterly fucked.
The way his demanor had completely shifted to the same condescending man he had been in the car that day was completely terrifying to you. He knew the power play you two had, he knew your position in society was no match for his. The worst part is that he was right in thinking that way, you were nothing compared to him in the grand scheme of things. Money and status was what determined how much power you possessed and you had neither. You were naive but not that naive. You knew that even if you did try to fight and file a report against him, he would still come out unaffected. 
Isn’t that the way things always went? The wealthy always had connections, they always had a loop hole to get them out of even the worst of crimes. They were untouchable. 
And Jungkook had no problem reminding you of your place.
You knew you needed to act quickly.
After that what happened with Jungkook, you were convinced you couldn’t get out this situation in the normal and rational way. If Jungkook refused to leave you alone and keep your best friend around in order to control you then you had to figure out some way for Eunji tol eave him. The thought itself sounded ridiculous but what else could you do? You were running out of options.
A part of you considered you should just admit you had been hooking up with her boyfriend and throw yourself completely under the bus. But you couldn’t bring yourself to ever admit to that sort of lie. The thought of having to sacrfrice your own friendship for Jungkook to leave both of you alone was infuriating to you. 
This was your childhood best friend, the love of your life.
All those memories of you together, all your time shared together and your unbreakable bond would be thrown to shit in a matter of minutes. You would lose her forever. You knew Eunji would never forgive such a thing, who would? If that was your plan, you might as well prepare your suitcase and a final goodbye. You knew she would kick you out and never want to see your face again.
Your feelings for her being so one sided all these years had been enough pain for you to deal with, you had already lost her in that sense, you couldn’t lose her all together.
No, that wasn’t an option.
There had to be another way.
Eunji was your best friend, you know that meant something to her. It must of meant as much to her as it did for you, if you confessed that you absoultely hated Jungkook and didn’t seem him as good fit for her, she would had to believe you. 
She had to, wasn’t it a sort of girl code to always believe your best friend over a dude? I mean it had never come to that before considering you didn’t involve yourself much in her past relationships. You had expressed dislikement towards a lot of them, most of them, but it was never anything severe for her to take it so seriously and break up on the spot with them. Plus, you were a firm believer in people needing to learn on their own when it came to bad relationships.
Not to mention, none of her past partners had been completely obssessed with you. This was a one of a kind case and you knew she wouldn’t be expecting this behavior from you. it was out of character for you to ever suggest or demand for her to break up with her partners. You had been careful of that before for the same reason of not wanting her to suspect you had feelings for her and were acting out of pure jealousy.
None of that mattered now, you thought.
You would have to become the overprotective and overbearing friend that she would have to believe.
You heard the front door click open and held your breath, watching as your best friend strided in with her usual cup of coffee in one hand and her school bag in the other. She seemed startled when she noticed you, taking a small step back.
“Oh, you’re home.” Eunji exclaimed with a smile, taking a glance at her phone. “Shouldn’t you still be in class?”
“Ended early.” You replied simply and she nodded, throwing her bag on the couch. 
“Eunji, I need to talk to you.” You blurtd out, instantly feeling your heart start to race. “It’s about Jungkook.”
There was no point in stalling, if you gave it more time you know would chicken out and not say anything. Eunji looked up at you with a questioning gaze as she slowly closed the space between you two. 
“What’s wrong?” She asked, knitting her eyebrows. She held the plastic cup of coffee tightly in her hands as she waited for you to speak and you could only imagine what was going through her head. She was probably expecting you to tell her he was cheating on her with some other girl and although the thought of feeding her that crap was tempting, you knew that was a quick way for Jungkook to completely expose the two of you.
“I,” You began, eyes shifting towards anywhere but her face.” I think you should break up with Jungkook.”
Eunji stared at you, her pretty features scrunched up in confusion. She let out a giggle but it quickly died on her lips when she noticed you weren’t joking.
“What?” She demanded in an incredulous tone. Her eyebrows furrowed as she shook her head.
“Why would you say that? Are you feeling okay?” She asked before you could say something else. She took a step back as if to examine your state.
“Eunji, I’m fine.” You waved off, wanting her to stay focused on the topic.” I just don’t think Jungkook is who he claims to be.”
“What do you mean?” Eunji questioned, waiting for you to elaborate.
“I-I just think he isn’t the right person for you,” You concluded, making sure you sounded as sincere as you possibly could. You didn’t know how you were going to make this believable but you needed to. 
“I don’t like him, he gives me weird vibes.”
Eunji still held that same puzzled look on her face.
“Y/n, what the hell are you talking about? Just a month ago, you told me he was the first guy you ever approved of being with me. You said he sounded perfect for me.” Your friend argued and you cringed because she was right. You knew how contradicting you were being, it sounded suspiscous and you didn’t know what you could say that would convince her otherwise.
“I know what I said,” You tried to reason.” But I take it back, after getting to know him more, he just seems off.”
“Getting to know him more?” Eunji repetead in a patronizing tone and she shook her head in disbelief. “You barely spend any time with him at all, last time he came for dinner, you couldn’t wait to go running back into your room.”
You felt yourself shrink more and more at her words. If only she knew.
“Exactly!” You argued back, no longer caring about sounding reasonable. “ I don’t want to spend time with him because I don’t like him! Something is off about him.”
“Alright,” She nodded, coming back to step closer to you until you were eye to eye with each other. “Then tell me what is ‘off’ about him?”
“I-I don’t know, he just doesn’t seem genuine. I think he’s playing with you.” 
Eunji stepped back once the words left your mouth. She stared silently at you, her eyes were becoming glossy and you knew your words had made some sort of impact but you feared it wasn’t the one you were hoping for. She scoffed and let her head fall, her gaze now on the floor.
“Are you jealous?” 
Your entire body froze.
“What?” This couldn’t be happening.
“ I mean, I get it.” She shrugged dismissively. “ I get that you never had an actual relationsip and I know it’s hard for you to form relationships with people but it doesn’t have to be this way.”
You replayed her words in your head about ten times and still couldn’t believe she had said that. You shook your head at her.
“What? No! This is not me being jealous of your relationship.” You denied. God damn it. How did it even get to this point? Suddenly you were reminded of Jungkook’s words that day in the car.
“An attempt to sabotage her relationship because she can’t fulfill her own love?” 
“Are you sure? Because I’m not mad if that’s the case. I told you I can help you find someone, you can even go back to therapy.” Her words stung more than you were willing to admit. Did your friend really think so low of you that you would try to sabatoge her relationship because of your own selfish reasons and your mental health?
You didn’’t know what to think at this point.
“Eunji, I know you think you’re trying to help but this is not the case.” Your tone was firm, and you tried your best not to lash out at her at this moment.
“I’m coming to you as a friend and as a friend, I think Jungkook is bad for you.” 
“A friend?” Eunji questioned. “A friend wouldn’t tell me to break up with my boyfriend and give no explanation as to why.” 
“I gave you an explanation!”
“Having a bad vibe? Really? Are we in high school?” Your friend mocked as she glared at you. 
“Please, I care about you and you need to trust me.” It was your final attempt , you knew you had to say the right thing if you had any chance of still convincing her. “You need to believe me, I’m your best friend and you have barely known this guy for a few months.”
“Trust you on what? A bad vibe?”
“Why won’t you believe me?” You knew it was a mistake to get emotional but you couldn’t help it. You were exhausted, you needed her to believe you. It was the only way out of this without you getting hurt. 
Without her getting hurt.
“I’m your best friend, not him. How could your four month relationship with him mean more than ours? We’ve known each other practically our whole lives.” You knew how hurt you sounded and you could only hope it would persuade her to consider your words but the more you stared at your friend, the more disconnected she had seem to become. 
“Y/n, chill out you’re starting to sound like a jealous girlfriend or something.” Eunji muttered and the look she was giving you was enough to shut you down completely. 
She was looking at like you had officially lost your mind. She sighed and walked back over to the couch to grab her bag before making her way to the door.
“I’m going out, we can talk again when you cut this bullshit out.” 
The loud bang of the door shutting was enough for you to fully break down. You fell to the cold wooden floor, bringing your knees up to your chest as you tried your best to breath through your uncontrollable sobs. You gripped your hair, letting out a load yell of frustration. 
“ Would she believe that her best friend has been secretly in love with her for years and is trying to sabotage all her relationships just so she can have her to herself?”
It was sickening. The way Jungkook had been right about your friend doubting you. It was all sickening. You hated him, despised him for being right. 
How could of he had been right? You felt the biggest sense of dissapointment wash over you, but it was quickly repaced with utter rage. 
It was the worst feeling of betrayal you had ever experienced.
You took a deep breath as you wiped away your tears, shakily lifting yourself off the floor. You couldn’t be this weak. 
You were sick of feeling like a victim and being treated like one.
You pulled out your phone, quickly scrolling through your contacts until you found who you were looking for. 
To Jungkook: We need to talk.
Perhaps your friend had been right, maybe you had officially lost your mind. You would admit the idea was insane but you were desperate. You had contemplated it over the past night, coming up with every reasonable conluscion possible. In your two years of studying Psychology, you had come across topics that were similar to what you thought you were experiencing now. Intrigue and captivation, the state of someone being so attracted to somebody and lust driven that it forms into a obsession. Obviously, this behavior wasn’t normal but what you did know was that Jungkook didn’t know you enough to be obssessed with your character. Intrigued? Maybe. Fascinated? Likely but not obssessed. No, his obsession had to be linked to a more shallow part of yourself. 
Your appearance. 
Any other time, this thought would of been laughable to you and it still kinda was. You didn’t consider yourself ugly or severly unattractive but you didn’t think you were anything special either. However, beauty was indeed in the eye of the beholder and you knew this, you had studied this behavior and the ins and outs of attraction. You knew Jungkook had to have found your appearance attractive to some extent, he had admitted it. And now, you knew had become obssessed with you the moment you met him in that cafe, you knew it. You had brushed it off but now that you looked back at it and replayed the memory countless times in your head, you were sure it had begun there. That must of meant he had to have formed this weird fixation on you with a superficial lense on.
While Jungkook was far from your average normal guy, he was still a guy. Meaning his obssession had a lot to do with lust. It was normal for a guy his age to be lust driven, obviously not to the extent you were coming up with but Jungkook wasn’t exactly normal. His upbringing must have had a lot do with it, he was born into one of the wealthiest families in the country, of course he had an ego and expected everyone to bow down at his feet. He wasn’t used to not getting what he desired right at that moment. 
And what if that was all it was?
What if Jungkook’s interest in you was simply a temporary temper tantrum over not getting to play with his favorie toy. The thought disgusted you but it made sense, you clearly had no interest in him and had never shown him the slightest bit of attention. What if he just thought of this as some sort of game of cat and mouse? What if the only thing he wanted was to sleep with you and then drop you immediately after that? After getting what he wanted, there was no reason to keep you around, the chase would come to an end.
The more you thought it over, the more it made sense. Jungkook had issues, that was clear as day but why would he become utterly obssessed with a average college girl who didn’t have much, if anything, to offer him at all? He was the son of a CEO. It just didn’t make sense. This ‘obssession’ of his could only run so deep. You knew Jungkook wouldn’t have given you a second glance if you had met him in any other circumstance. 
The forbidden and tabboo aspect of you being his girlfriend’s best friend had to be the main motive for his behavior.
Even if he himself wouldn’t admit it. He wasn’t exactly the most self aware person.
The sound of the door swinging open in front of you almost had you flying backwards against the wall. To say you were nervous was a beyond understatement.
“Baby come in.” Jungkook looked more than pleased with your arrival, his round eyes lighting up. After sending him that text, he had practically begged you to come over and despite him insisting on picking you up, you had managed to dodge that bullet by claiming Eunji was still home.
“What did you need to talk about?” You heard him ask behind you as you walked inside, you knew you were going to regret doing this but it was the only way.
Instead of answering him, you turned around and didn’t think twice before closing the space between you two and connecting your lips to his. Your hand gripped the back of his neck, pulling him closer towards you. Jungkook was caught off guard to say the least but it didn’t take him long to recover, his hands quickly made their way around your waist and he gripped you closer to him. You felt your breasts brush tightly against his chest as he continued to deepen your kiss, you felt so out of place that you practically let him do whatever he wanted.
The kiss wasn’t anything like the last one you had shared, it was practically child’s play in comparison. The passion Jungkook possessed had every part of your body on fire, it was a feeling you were so unfamiliar with and you hated how you had to experience it with him of all people.
You forced yourself to get rid of all of your repulsive thoughts of him, you had to play your part. The physical aspect couldn’t be hard, Jungkook was conventionally a very attractive guy but still, you couldn’t deny the great shame that filled you at every passing second.
This was Eunji’s boyfriend.
Yes and she didn’t believe a word you said, you reminded yourself in order to keep your head out of your guilty thoughts. You couldn’t let your better judgment ruin this.
Jungkook’s mouth continued to work against your own, his kisses becoming desperate and you only encouraged him as you ran your fingers through his dark locks. He groaned against you before breaking your lips apart for a mere a second to give you a questioning gaze.
You knew what he was asking, he didn’t know what had caused this sudden change in behavior in you but you had a feeling it wouldn’t matter either way.
“I want you,” You whispered, never believing you would ever say those words to anyone other than the girl who had just stormed off with your broken heart in her hands a few hours ago.
You didn’t know how you were going to pull this off if you were being honest with yourself, you had little to no experience in the bedroom and you knew Jungkook was about to realize that. It’s not that you should care what he would think but you still couldn’t help the insecure feeling at the thought of any sort of judgement being shown to you. The last thing you wanted was to lay there bare with practically a stranger but you knew you needed to do this despite it being the most out of character thing you would ever be doing in your life.
“Are you sure?” Jungkook panted against you. A part of you was surprised Jungkook had asked you that, you would have assumed he was beyond having basic morals but it seemed like he still had a few left.
You nodded eagerly and a sultry smirk took over his handsome face in return and you just about yelped when he practically dragged you down his long hallway and into another enormous room. You could only assume this was his bedroom, there was a few picture frames of a very familiar looking young boy that resembled him on the walls. A graduation picture also stood on his nightstand.
Your eyes explored the walls of his room as you felt his lips suck on the side of your neck, you let out an involuntary moan when you felt the tips of his teeth graze your skin. His room seem to fit the rest of the theme of his house, equally dark with some band posters covering the wall in front of his bed frame.
You felt your back hit the silky sheets of his bed and his hands instantly worked on unbuttoning his pants. You gulped as you studied his hurried movements, your eyes practically bulging out your skull when you caught sight of him.
He was huge.
He sighed quietly into the air, his hardness sprinting up against his stomach at the action.
“What’s wrong, baby? You look like you’ve never seen a cock before in your life.” Jungkook chuckled when he caught a look of what you assumed was a mortifying expression on your face.
You hadn’t up close before.
You felt Jungkook’s hands grip the side of your thighs, raising your skirt up further. His mouth continued to leave kisses on your lips, cheeks and neck. His hands came to lift up the ends of your shirt and you let him pull the the piece of clothing over your head. You instinctively came to cover your chest, feeling beyond uncomfortable with the exposure.
“Baby, it’s okay.” Jungkook whispered to you, his eyes holding nothing but adoration as he slowly pried your hands away from your chest. His eyes filled with desire as he took in the sight of your little piece of clothing that was left covering your breasts.
“You’re absolutely beautiful.” The way he had said it made you truly believe his words. His finger tips played with the top of the straps before they completely traveled behind you and unclipped the bra in one quick motion.
You let out a small gasp at it falling off your chest. Jungkook looked practically in a trance as he brought his lips down to your breasts, taking your nipple into his mouth and sucking. Your toes curled at the action, your body was betraying you in every sense of the word. You had never felt this type of pleasure before in your life.
“Jungkook..” You pant, your head was complete mush as he continued to violate your breasts, his wet mouth sucking on one while his other hand worked to knead the other.
You felt Jungkook’s hand travel further down your body until he reached the top of your skirt and he tugged harshly, easily slipping it off. You could feel your heart beat so rapidly against your chest, every doubt was returning to you in that moment. Were you really about to do this?
Jungkook seemed to notice your distracted state because you felt him grip your chin, forcing you to look up at him.
“What’s wrong?” His dark eyes studied you, searching for the cause of your unfocused behavior.
“N-nothing , I’ve just never done this before.” Solid save. Your hands practically trembled against his bare chest as you admitted it to him and you saw his eyes widen for a split second before a new domineering emotion coated them.
“Nobody has ever made you cum before?” Jungkook voice dripped in pure lust as a smirk formed on his lips, eyes trailing down your every curve. Then intensity of his stare had you a new feeling settling in your stomach, it felt like you were drenching down there.
It should have repulsed you but you couldn’t even bring yourself to feel guilty at this moment, you were too overstimulated to think straight.
“Nobody has ever fucked you before, baby?” Jungkook’s tone was a mixture of teasing and serious, his face came down to yours as his lips brushed the side of your ear. You felt the heat of his body heavy on you.
“So pure and untouched, and all mine “ He whispered roughly into your ear before playfully biting the top of it and you let out a gasp at his action. You didn’t know how to feel about his comment but your mind didn’t even get to fully process what he was saying because you soon felt his hands on the top of your last piece of clothing, you stared down as he pulled them down your legs. Not missing the chance to leave kisses on your inner thighs.
“I have to open you up,” He explains, his digits prodding at your entrance.
You nod in antcipation and watch as he slowly slides them. Your eyebrows furrowed as your mouth falls open, he keeps them pressed, knuckle deep inside of you. You hear him hiss as he moves his fingers which causes you to whimper even more in return.
“You’re so tight,” He says breathlessly and your hips roll against his hand. He drags his fingers in and out, curling them in ways that causes your wetness to pool. Your body burns with want, craving a release and already tasting it. Jungkook brushes his mouth against your already swollen lips as he slides in another finger, the feeling causes you to moan and squirm underneath him.
Jungkook continues to brush his lips down your neck, trailing down to your collarbone and once again taking your soft nub around his tongue. The mixture of sensations races your climax and you try your best to swallow down your moans. Your hands are shaking again as you curl them against his biceps.
“I’m gonna cum.” You cry and Jungkook hums against you, pressing his hand flat against the top of your pubic bone and curling his fingers up.  Your back arches at the overwhelming sensation and Jungkook knows he has found that spot.
“Come on baby.” He groans in low rasp, urging your release and you gasp out, hands scratching against the sheets as your eyes roll back. He drags his fingers out, a trail of wetness dripping onto the sheets as he does. You can’t help but stare as you watch him duck down, his tongue capturing your cum as he laps at your sensitive flesh. He cleans you up and his moans against you alone nearly send you over the edge again.
You try to control your breathing as you watch him pull away, grabbing a condom out from his drawer that’s beside the bed. He tears the packet open, and you watch as he rolls the silky latex onto his hard length. His dark eyes are back on you instantly as he presses his body against yours again.
“Look at me,” Jungkook orders before you see his eyes soften for a moment at your skittish gaze . “Please,” He adds.
His thumb comes up to brush your cheek, and you feel your stomach dip at the unexpected tender action. He gives you a small smile before you feel the head of his cock along your clit and you gasp, your gaze leaving his momentarily to glance down. His jaw is clenched as he slowly begins to push into you, and he pauses slightly whenever you make any sort of high-pitched noise. He seems cautious of your sensitivity but you urge him on, he swallows as he presses fully into you.
The action causes a burning sensation but you force yourself not to react, Jungkook watches your expression intently as he thrusts his hips forwards, causing you to let out a whine.
“It’s okay,” He assures you with a firm kiss to your cheek, your skin feels sticky. You are sure you can feel his pulse as his hips start to move against you and your hands grip his arms tightly. He grinds his hips more roughly this time and your mouth falls open letting out a silent breath.
“Fuck,” He pants as he starts rolling his hips and creating a faster rhythm, you cry out again as the feeling of his cock pressed deep within you starts to feel so good that your vision begins to feel hazy. His focused gaze on you only adds to your pleasure.
“You’re such a good girl for me.” He rasps as he drops his head to the crook of your neck, letting out a moan. His hips move constantly against yours, the top of your head hitting his bed frame repeatedly.
“Jungkook!” You cry out as you feel his thumb press into your clit, your body instantly jerks and tenses at the sensation and your head falls back, scrunching your eyes close in pleasure.
“Cum for me baby.” He grits his teeth as your thighs shake around his hips and cum hard, he calms your quick breaths as he takes your mouth into his and he releases right after you with strained moans.
“I love you.” You ignore his words but your eyes are not able to away from his invasive stare.  He was looking at you with such sincerity and raw emotion, it almost frightened you. Still, you made sure to not even show the slightest bit of a response to them.
Jungkook looked unreal in that moment, his dark locks were coated in slight sweat and some strands managed to stick to his face. His lips were swollen and his skin looked vibrant, it shocked you how insanely good someone could look during this. 
You felt yourself throb around him, your legs still feeling as if they are trembling and you feel him slowly pull out of you. He kisses you again, swallowing every last whine and wimper that leaves your lips. You lay there in complete bliss and it takes you a good while to come back to your senses and realize what exactly you have done.
You turn your body, feeling Jungkook shift beside you and tug you to his side. You press your thighs together, still feeling the wetness in between them. A sickening reminder of your complete disloyalty. The guilt comes quick and it stays with you, not letting your mind be at peace even for a moment.
This has to work.
Now that Jungkook had gotten what he wanted, he has to leave you alone. He had to forget about you, for the sake of your and his own relationship, you hoped this is the last you will be seeing of him. Your eyes stare blankly at the ceiling of his bedroom as comfortable silence settles between you two and soon you hear his steady soft breaths on your shoulder, you glance over to him and see his eyelids closed shut.
He looked so peaceful sleeping, so innocent. If only that was the case, you wished for it to be the case so badly. His arm was still wrapped tightly against your waist and you figured you would be stuck like this for who knows how much longer, you turn your head and let your eyes travel around his room again. This time taking your time to take every detail in.
Your squint your eyes as you notice something on the right corner of his ceiling, a small, insignificant red light flashing. You knit your eyebrows together and lift your head up a bit more, attempting to take a better look at it.
Your heart sinks as you realize what you’re staring at.
The small camera was pointed directly towards his bed, the angle captured both your figures perfectly. The dark device was placed in a spot where it blended in with the equally dark painted walls.
It was hard to notice it all unless you were paying extra attention and that’s when it hit you.
You had severely underestimated how far and deeply Jungkook had planned all of this.
You had underestimated his intentions, the lengths he would go. Despite your efforts to psychoanalyze him, you had let your own bias opinions overlap with the reality of the situation.
The camera had been recording everything.
The sound of your phone notification going off made you wince, you glared down at your bag that was on the floor at the side of the bed. You carefully reached down to it and picked up your phone, your finger opening up the new text message.
From Eunji: Hey, I’m sorry about everything I said. I think you might be right about Jungkook. Can we talk?
935 notes · View notes
noteguk · 9 months ago
bad influence: collection
Status: ongoing
All stories are written out of chronological order. Please do not copy, repost or translate any of my works. I only post here on tumblr. 
The drabbles are part of the main storyline!
↳ more lore about the bad influence couple can be found under the “bad influence” tag! 
↳  spotify playlist // all texts // chronological order // bi extras
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— summary; in which you know Jungkook is a bad influence on you, but you can’t avoid falling for him every time.
— contents and warnings; pwp, badboy!jk x goodgirl!reader, car sex, dirty talk, fingering, hair pulling, breast play, jk has a big dick and an attitude, unprotected sex (condoms are your friends), jk being kind of a douche, use of the word “slut”, cum eating, creampie, cockwarming, possessiveness, he slaps her ass like once, enemies to fuckbuddies pretty much
— words; 4.5k
→ drabble one: first meeting 
→  drabble two: mid-sex arguments 
— summary; in which staying late to volunteer at a self-help meeting was the best decision you made in a while. 
— contents and warnings; the endless adventures of badboy!jk x goodgirl!reader, public sex (in a church…), dirty talk, fingering, degradation (name calling) but also praise, unprotected sex, clothed sex, creampie, cum play, there is a window and also reflections, rough sex, cockwarming, jk being a lil shit because that’s his main personality trait, jk smokes (only mentioned), enemies to fuckbuddies: dawn of the first day 
— words; 8.2k
→ drabble three: hickeys 
→ drabble four: calming you down
→ drabble five: jungkook’s bday bj
→ drabble six: be quiet
— summary; in which you have to deal with some strange emotions for the first time.
— contents and warnings; smut, angst, fluff, the endless adventures of badboy!jungkook x goodgirl!reader, enemies with benefits/enemies to lovers ;), mutual pining, huge trigger warning for feelings (I know, gross), jk smokes, jealousy, a bit of possessiveness, the oc is Confused and Angry over nothing, Jisoo would trade jk’s soul for one corn chip, the oc gets shamefully drunk, vague mention of drugs (no use), mean arguments :((, the smut warnings include: dirty talk, unprotected sex (don’t be dumb), oral sex (female receiving), grinding, fingering, cockwarming, edging, multiple orgasms, begging, overstimulation, praise, dom!jk x sub!oc, breast play, creampie, orgasm control/denial  
— words; 19,6k (don’t mention it)
— summary; in which Jungkook finally learns how to behave. Kind of.
— contents and warnings; pwp, smut, badboy!jk x goodgirl!reader, enemies with benefits/enemies to lovers, brattysub!kook x dom!reader, actually more of a switch!kook/switch!reader, the oc is kind of a demon with teasing because payback is a bitch, bondage, edging, dirty talk, begging, oral (m receiving), female masturbation, cockwarming, unprotected sex (don’t be dumb), creampie, stuffing, Taehyung makes a cameo, terrible use of the two wolves meme I’m so sorry
— words; 7,2k
→ drabble seven: nerves 
→ drabble eight: night drive
→ drabble nine: pregnancy scare 
→ drabble ten: slow 
— summary; in which your little secret starts to get out of hand.
— contents and warnings; smut, sprinkles of fluff and angst, mutual pining, the endless adventures of badboy!jk x goodgirl!reader, enemies with benefits/enemies to lovers, smoking, mentions of alcohol, mention of vomit, jk and Jisoo are mortal enemies, Taehyung gets his eureka moment, and for the smut warnings: dirty talk, spit kink, dom!jk x sub!reader, breast play, rough sex, mild possessiveness, grinding, so much kissing, oral (fem receiving), cum eating, spanking, manhandling, bondage (using a belt… anyways so-), unprotected sex (don’t be dumb!!! this is fiction), very vague corruption kink, creampie, cockwarming (no one is surprised), praise, degradation makes a comeback (+ use of the word “slut”), the long awaited return of jk being mean, orgasm control/denial, oc kinda cries out of frustration but she’s having a good time, they are in love but are too dumb to realize
— words; 16,7k
→ drabble eleven: home
→  drabble twelve: sexting 
→ drabble thirteen: almost
→ drabble fourteen: sidetracked 
— summary; in which the two of you finally make it official.
— contents and warnings; gross fluff, a bit of angst, smut, badboy!jungkook x goodgirl!reader, enemies to lovers, honestly emotionally constipated idiots to lovers, so much mutual pining, cinematic parallels, cute dates, a spark of jealousy/possiveness (mostly playful), the return of car sex, dirty talk, breast play, dom!jk x sub!reader, fingering, spitting, oral (female receiving), cum eating, semi-clothed sex, unprotected sex (don’t be dumb!!), a fuckton of praise kink bc jk is going through it, another glimpse into the demon that lives inside the oc lol, begging, mentions of marking (hickeys), creampie, cockwarming (you already know), jk is whipped and he’s not even hiding it anymore, it’s official ladies!!!
— words; 18,4k
→ drabble fifteen: tribulation
→ drabble sixteen: too much, too little 
→ drabble seventeen: payback 
→ drabble eighteen: hold your breath
→ drabble nineteen: [redacted]
→ drabble twenty: feels like summer
— summary; in which you two can’t run from your problems any longer.
— contents and warnings; smut, fluff, a disgusting amount of angst, badboy!jungkook x goodgirl!reader, enemies to lovers, (not so) secret relationship, arguments, smoking, they take a break, everyone is sad, jisoo feels betrayed, more cinematic parallels to the previous parts, FINALLY the L word, two smut scenes!, dirty talk, breast play, so much kissing, soft sex, oral (m receiving), deepthroating, fingering, pet names, praise kink, 1 single spank, unprotected sex (don’t.), creampie, sentimental cockwarming lol, one (1) mention of “daddy” but more mockingly than as the actual kink, anyways this goes downhill really fast but it has a happy ending so hang on!!
— words; 23,7k
6K notes · View notes
sopebubbles · 2 days ago
Jin and Jungkook head cannons
21st century girl
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Profiles designed by @yoongiofmine
Synopsis: Campus activist Yn was only looking for a one night stand with campus fuckboy Namjoon, but they're both in for more than they bargained for, with many lessons for both to learn along the way. taglist [open]:
@halesandy @burningupp-replies @lilacdreams-00 @yoongiofmine @yonkimint @wholockian1 @lyra0cassiopeia @hobizi @bri-mal @purpletaecup @secretlycrazyhummingbird @infiresyg93 @sweetjellyfishland @lovely-joon @little-dark-empress @iknowyoualwaystae @lostbitvh @xianav @friendlywraith
26 notes · View notes
tteokggukk · 3 months ago
waiting game → jjk
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– fic type: social media au
– pairing: jungkook x reader
– genre: soulmates au, ex-friends to lovers, humor, crack, fluff, angst, slow burn
– warnings: explicit language, characters are still idiots (what’s new)
– status: ongoing
– updates: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10 PM KST/9AM ET
sm permanent taglist: @boraength @rageyoudamnednerd​ @gaeguuliii​ @justbangtanthingz​ @maknaechu
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in a world where everyone finds a unique connection to their soulmate once they turn of age, y/n can’t seem to figure out her clue. after desperately staying up all night to find one, y/n decides to rest and write down her list of groceries on her arm, ultimately giving up on finding a clue along with the whole idea of soulmates. that is, until jungkook wakes up to a whole list of poorly written ingredients scribbled all over his own arm.
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→ parts
note: links may not be working on mobile so refer to the masterlist for upcoming/previous parts!
character profiles
prologue (teaser)
one | don’t forget the eggs
two | here lies this conversation
three | when he???
four | spin the wheel
five | no backing out
six | still have a soft spot
seven | so u wanna go places
eight | in a friendly platonic way
nine | sweetie pls stop lying
ten | sucks on u for unfollowing
eleven | the power of jungkook’s mouth
twelve | you outshine shrek
thirteen | swedish or shiatsu
fourteen | caught in 4K
fifteen | make your own destiny
sixteen | do you wanna eat ramen with me
seventeen | defective flynn and mean rapunzel
eighteen | ✏️ back to square one
nineteen | something stupid
twenty | always going to be you
twenty-one | give him a chance
twenty-two | a long wait
twenty-three | return from the war
twenty-four | missing: jeon jungkook
twenty-five | flamin’ hot girlfriend
twenty-six | ditching soulmates
twenty-seven | sept. 3, 2021
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↣ all rights reserved © 2021 tteokggukk. please do not repost. translations/modifications are not allowed.
1K notes · View notes
personasintro · 5 months ago
bad word | kth drabble
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⇢ 𝒔𝒚𝒏𝒐𝒑𝒔𝒊𝒔; one of the kids in your class curses and you make it your responsibility to break it to her dad, luckily you know him better than your co-workers
⇢ 𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒓𝒆: fluff, smut, dilf!taehyung
⇢ 𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔: protected sex, explicit language, age gap; taehyung is 35 and reader is 28 (although their age is not mentioned in the story, just the age difference of 7 years), mentions of smut, slight biting
⇢ 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕: 6.4k+
𝒂/𝒏: commissioned anonymously! this was supposed to be 4k but here we go again, another proof that it's a challenge for me to write something short haha
𝒎.𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒕 | ☕️ | © 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒐 (𝒏𝒐 𝒓𝒆𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒕𝒔 𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒅)
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“You're doing amazing, Jihoon.” you praise the little boy, patting the top of his head as you glance at his coloring book. The coloring is a little bit off, actually a lot, but you can't really tell him that, can you? He seems to be encouraged by your praise, your heart beaming when he looks up at you and gives you a grin, his two front teeth missing.
You praise other kids at the table, somehow content how silent the room is. Well, apart from the occasional squeals, laughs and toys crashing down the floor every few seconds, but that's just something you got used to very quickly. Now it's just a noise you can listen to without having the need to go somewhere quiet. However, headaches make an occasional appearance once you get back home, the place empty from all the kids noises and their presence. You can't say you hate it though, you actually miss them a lot.
You wouldn't do this job if you didn't like kids. And these particular amazing and cute kids that you get to see five days a week somehow sneaked their way into your heart, so you easily have grown attached to them. You could not see them for one week and feel like they’ve grown too quickly. Not for nothing people say you can see the real time passing by on kids. It's true.
Making your way back to the teachers table, you reach for your bottle of water as you join your co-workers, having a heated conversation while kids have their own play-time without you interfering.
“No, no, no. Mr. Kim has to be the first. Hands down.” Sara says, shaking her head while your other co-worker Katana just chuckles mumbling something along the lines “You've got a point”.
“What are you guys talking about?” you ask them, opening the bottle while taking a few gulps.
“Just ranking the hottest daddies. Kim, Ivy's father is definitely and successfully holding the first place.” Sara waves her hand as if she's talking about weather and not about one of the kids' fathers that is in this very same room.
You choke up, a few droplets of water spilling down your chin as you quickly wipe it with the back of your hand. Katana and Sara burst into laughter, enjoying your sudden and shocked reaction while you glare at them.
“Y/N agrees for sure.” Katana smirks, causing you to frown at her.
“Don't you guys have something else to do?” you mutter, closing the bottle as you feel your heart racing, eyes silently searching for Ivy who's playing with one of the dolls putting them into a kids stroller.
Your heart softens at the sight, her pigtails still successfully holding, the ones you made her once she woke up from her nap time. She always asks you to do them, she can be very persistent when she wants to.
“Loosen up, Y/N. It's not like you don't think Mr. Kim is the perfect dilf out of all daddies here.”
Your head snaps towards Sara, eyes bulge out as you feel your whole face flash while your co-workers laugh at your reaction once again. Your heart beats harshly against your ribcage, feeling their eyes on you as you straighten yourself and clear your throat. Just as you're about to say something, Katana cuts you off before you even have a chance, her eyebrows lifted confidently. Maybe you should be happy they're continuing with the conversation rather than laughing at your reaction and finding you being more frustrated and red with each passing minute.
“He has someone. He clearly isn't with Ivy's mother,”
That's true. Ivy's mother is coming to pick her every second week and it's quite known they're not together. It's not like Ivy's father hides it and besides, Ivy's mother likes to show her frustration towards her ex-husband at every occasion and she definitely doesn't mind if she's doing it in front of her kid's teachers or in the kindergarten her kid is going into. This is definitely not the place to voice out her annoyance towards her kid's father, especially not in front of her even though it seems Ivy has her own little bubble and luckily, doesn't put too much attention to whatever her mother has to say whenever she comes to pick her up, trying to discreetly speak not so fondly about her ex-husband. However, you know better.
Her ex-husband is a very friendly and polite man, loving his daughter like no one else. It warms everyone's heart whenever he comes to pick her up, not because he's handsome or a perfect dilf as your co-workers named him (which to be honest you don't know how to feel about it). Maybe that's why she seems so envious of him because he has a perfect relationship with their daughter. Well, at least that could be one of the other reasons for sure.
However, as soon as those words leave Katana's mouth you feel yourself getting tense all over again as you stare at her with a neutral look. Sara frowns, seeing displeased by the new information and how Katana sounds so sure of herself.
“How do you know that? Has he told you anything?”
Would it be too awkward if you just stepped away from this conversation? Why out of all time, one of the kids can't do something that would require your whole attention and presence? Just like on purpose, there's a complete calm yet cheerful atmosphere in the classroom.
“No,” Katana snickers, “But a man like him has to have someone. I mean, take one look at him. He can't be single.”
You shake your head at her statement, even though partly you'd agree if you didn't know any better. Sara sighs, mumbling a few words of how unfortunate it is that every hot man is either married or dating someone. Not going to lie, you're not blind and it's hard to resist Taehyung's charms. That's what his name is. Kim Taehyung. It sounds nice even in your head. But not even once you were thirsting about him so publicly, especially not in a classroom full of kids even though they can't hear the conversation that's been clearly going on way before you made your way here.
Luckily, someone up there has listened to your silent pleas when two of the kids start to bicker, your clue to turn around and leave from the conversation as you assure Sara and Katana you got it. By the time you kindly explain to the kids bickering isn't nice and give them the pep-talk, Sara and Katana have separated and are playing with other kids.
Later in the day when a few of the kids have already gone home and got picked up by their parents, you're closing the classroom's door while bidding goodbye to one of the kids and their mom. You're opening your mouth, ready to talk to Sara (since Katana already went home because there's no need for the three of you to be here when most of the kids went already home) but before you can, the usual chirpy and soft voice calls out something you'd never expect you'd hear again.
You and Sara stare with wide eyes at each other before you glance at the four year old Ivy, her brows furrowed as one of the toys she was trying to reach fell down on the floor with a loud bang. She seems completely oblivious that whatever she said is bad, her small and neaty hands picking up the toy as she glares at the poor plastic pink car for dolls.
“I got it.” You mouth to Sara, seeing her finger pointing between her and you, her silent way of asking who's going to deal with it.
“Ivy, honey,” you call out to the little girl, her round eyes glancing at you as she sits on the wooden stool taking the car with her as she sets it onto the table where her dolls are sitting.
Should you tell her something? She seems oblivious to the curse word that so freely let out her small mouth. Reminding her and trying to explain to her that she shouldn't be talking like that would just put more attention to it. However, this is not the first time you've heard this word because the same thing happened yesterday. You've no idea where she heard it from, well the most likely option is that she heard it at home. But you also know her father is very serious about language around kids, especially around his own kid to be precise. You mean… stuff like that can happen to anyone. People often curse before they realize they did it, it happened to you a lot – not in front of kids or in your job though.
Did he and his ex-wife maybe get into an argument? Maybe one of them cursed and Ivy obviously heard it.
“What did you say just a moment ago?” you ask her, letting her think about it. Okay, if she doesn't remember you'll let it go and act as if it didn't happen. But if she--
“Fuck,” she shrugs innocently, your eyes widening once more as you look around to see if any of the kids heard her. Luckily, they haven't.
Sara stands nearby, not really hearing your conversation but she definitely heard the word “fuck” coming out of Ivy with no problem. She stares at you, somehow looking both worried and amused at the same time as you take a deep breath.
Oh, fuck. She's not even your kid and you feel your palms getting sweaty. You don't want to cross any lines or interfere with the way she is being raised, you know not many parents appreciate when one of the teachers gets involved. However, it's your job to explain to her certain things when it directly happens in the kindergarten and in front of other kids. The last thing you need is one of the kids to hear her and repeat it after her.
“Ivy, you can't say that word. It's naughty and nice kids don't talk like that,” you start, seeing her tilting her head slightly at you as she thinks about your words for a moment. “I thought you're a nice kid.” you tell her softly, purposely saying it knowing she's always determined to prove that she's nice whenever her dad comes to pick her up and mentions ice-cream. Or even if he asks one of you, the teachers, if she was nice. Ivy is usually the first one to respond which always makes everyone laugh.
She's a good kid. Polite one too. She treats other kids nicely and always shares her toys. So naturally, you're even more surprised to hear her saying such a word that definitely shouldn't belong to the dictionary of a four year old.
“I am!” she insists, frowning as she pouts slightly.
“Well, nice and good kids don't talk like that. It's very naughty.”
“Sorry.” she mumbles apologetically, looking down at her lap.
“I don't want to hear you saying that again, okay? You're a very cute and pretty lady.” you tell her, trying to lighten her sour mood as you tap her cute round nose.
She giggles, nodding as you chuckle at her. “Okay.” she tells you softly once she calms down.
Half an hour later, close to the closing time, Sara informs you Ivy's mother is coming to pick her up as she just parked her car. It doesn't faze you, it's pretty usual for her to come pick up her daughter at this hour. However, even though she's not very nice towards her ex-husband, having bitter remarks which are usually muttered underneath her breath but you – or Sara and Katana – always hear them. She's not trying to mask it that much, even though she thinks she's being sleek with the whole act “I hate my ex-husband”. But she's not a bad mom. She comes this late because she owns a boutique but whenever she sees her daughter, an almost identical copy of her father, she always has a warm smile on her lips. She's nice towards teachers (which obviously includes you as well) and you've never really had any trouble with her.
That can't be said about Ivy's father though.
You know your daily task is to fill up parents about their kids' day and how they behaved, but before Sara can make her way towards the door and open it, you catch her wrist and glance at her nervously.
“Don't say anything about what Ivy said today, please.”
Sara looks a little taken aback by your request, not hiding a mere confusion and probably wonders why are you even asking this of her. It's pretty usual you'd tell whichever of the parents would pick up the kid, the truth. The last time Ivy said clear and soundable “fuck”, you brushed it off after talking to the girls. But now that has happened a second time, you'd usually just have to say it to the parent.
“Are you sure? She should probably know about this.” Sara says, voice quiet and confused.
“Yeah, she should. But she'll just blame Ivy's father for it and the poor kid already listens to that every time she finds something against him. I think her dad will explain this stuff to her better, Ivy listens to him more. We can tell him next week when it's his turn to pick her up.”
Sara is not surprised to hear your reason, she can easily tell the difference of the two parents as well. She's very attentive and knows, even though Ivy loves both her parents, she's way more cheerful when her dad comes to pick her up and he's actually the one that is more strict. Ivy is just a kid and even though she has a good heart and is raised well, she has her own tantrums sometimes. You, Sara and Katana were witnesses to him putting her back in her place whenever she threw a tantrum in the dressing room with his deep and stern voice.
“Okay, I think you're right.” she nods, agreeing with you but before she can say something else, Ivy's mother opens the door and greets you before she calls out to Ivy.
The little girl runs to her and hugs her long legs before she lets go and goes back into the room, cleaning up the toys she played with just a few seconds ago and putting them back to their place. It makes your heart bloom with softness and warmness and when you look at her mother, you see the same look in her eyes as she waits for her daughter, taking her small hand into hers when she finally makes it back to her mother.
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The apartment smells delicious when you enter the spacious entryway, a silent curse leaving your mouth as soon as you take off your shoes and step onto a wooden toy that makes your foot ache. Putting away your thin jacket onto the rack, you make your way through the house, following the little rumble sounds and amazing smell of food that makes your mouth water.
You smile as soon as you see him, standing with his back while stirring something on the pot. You make your way towards him, hugging him from the back as he slightly jumps from the sudden touch but smiles once he looks down and sees it's you.
“Hey, love.”
Heart warming at the pet name, you let out a soft “hi” before he turns around and kisses you on the lips, cupping your cheeks for a moment.
“Ivy?” he asks in assurance, causing you to chuckle as you lean against the kitchen counter, seeing him still wearing one of his work attires, a light blue button-up and black slacks.
He must've come home and straight went to prepare dinner for the two of you.
“Hyerim picked her up.” you answer, seeing him nod even though he already knows the answer to that. He's just in his dad's protective and caring mode, he needs assurement.
“Good, how was your day?”
So you chat, watching him cook as he refuses your help whenever you offer yourself. Once the food is ready, you move to the dining room with a few crayons still sitting on top of the table messily as he apologizes and quickly puts them away.
“Sorry, didn't have enough time to make this place clean.” he apologizes, but it only makes you chuckle because he's acting as if you're not spending your free time here every second week.
Throughout the dinner, you talk and eat in a peaceful silence – something you've grown used to as well. Sometimes you wonder how it'd feel like with Ivy's presence here, considering it feels like she is here but in reality she isn't. Her drawings are attached to the fridge and around the house, clearly making her dad a proud one. And her toys are almost everywhere, even though they're neatly placed in the living room.
It makes you miss her, knowing she is probably having a great time with her mom because apparently, she never complains and always talks fondly whenever she comes back home. It only makes you think of what happened today, wondering if by now the little girl didn't listen to you and already said “fuck” again, this time in front of her mother.
“Taehyung?” you ask softly, putting down your fork as you glance at your boyfriend who's just putting a bite into his mouth as he hums in response, eyes set upon you.
“Did you and Hyerim fight by any chance recently?” you ask him, seeing his brows furrowing, the same way like Ivy did today.
“No,” he answers, looking a little puzzled as he thinks it through for a second before answering more confidently. “No, I told you we haven't fought in months. I think she prefers talking behind my back and in front of Ivy's teachers.” he jokes a little, the corner of his lips curving to a slight smirk.
It makes you chuckle and look down at your plate, obviously knowing you're the reason why he knows all of this in the first place. As much as Sara and Katana daydream about him, they wouldn't go as far as telling him such an uncomfortable and private thing, even if it includes him as well. It's impolite.
Perks of him being your boyfriend, so you can tell him anything you want.
You nod along his words, reaching for the glass of wine as you take a decent sip before he keeps his eyes on you, a silent curiosity and interest crossing his face. “Is there a reason why you're asking? Has she said something about me again?”
“Ah, no. She was actually very polite this time...” you trail off, avoiding his eyes for a moment and you've no idea why.
Maybe it's the way he's staring at you with his dark eyes across the table, or the fact that he looks so hot and stern all of a sudden while he analyzes the way you're acting. Obviously, a few months of dating him, he already knows when there's something you're not telling him.
“Come on, love. Tell me, I'm not gonna bite. At least not now.” he smirks, laughing when you exclaim his name and start laughing too, momentarily hiding your face with your hands as you feel the heat rushing to your face.
“Alright,” you breathe out once you calm down, looking him in the eyes. “Ivy said 'fuck' today.”
Taehyung's brows shoot up in surprise, opening his mouth slightly. “She said what?”
“Fuck,” you tell him, even though you know he heard you the first time. “One of the toys fell when she was trying to grab it. I talked to her but obviously, I thought you should know. I didn't say anything to Hyerim, we both know why…” you tell him and he nods, understanding that Hyerim might've overreacted and just put more blame on him than it's necessarily.
“I don't understand… I don't curse in front of her, neither does Hyerim. We're both very careful about that.”
“You never know, it might've slipped. It doesn't really matter who's to blame for this, but she can't speak like that. Thank god none of the kids heard her. This is actually the second time she said it, the first time she said it was a few days ago.”
“What? Why didn't you tell me?” he asks, surprised, not sounding accusingly at all.
“I wanted to tell you in private and since you had Ivy last week, there was no time. I wasn't about to discuss it in a dressing room where other parents were.” you explain.
Taehyung nods understandably, giving you a slight smile in appreciation before he looks a little disappointed by the news as he sighs. “I'll talk to her when she comes back from Hyerim. Where could she possibly hear it from? I don't understand…”
You shrug, not sure what to answer as he thinks about it for a moment, deciding that he has no answer for that and just lets it go for tonight. Shaking his head, he continues eating while you do the same, a casual talk filling the dining room once again while throwing knowing and flirtatious glances at each other.
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You often think about what you did in your past life to deserve such a man in your life, to have that privilege of snatching not just one of the hottest men in the world but also the kindest and most attentive boyfriend. It was one year ago when you started working at the kindergarten where you're working till this day. You had been working there barely for a week when a new three year old started attending kindergarten for the first time. You can still remember the way Ivy's big eyes were full of curiosity and fear at the same time, her both hands clutching her father's big one. He stayed for a few minutes, lingering close to the wall as he watched his daughter playing with toys and drawing him a picture. Despite his fond eyes that were filled with nothing but love, you could see him looking worried just as equal as Ivy when the door of the classroom full of other kids opened.
The only difference is, that he waited until his daughter wasn't watching him and was too occupied while drawing him a picture of butterflies, house and other random things that the three year old could think of.
And despite you working there barely a week, you already encountered similar situations with other parents as well. You're not going to lie, he did look slightly intimidating from the moment you first saw him. It's not like he was expressionless or coldly looked around himself, he was quite the opposite. One of the kids brought him a toy and he crouched down to the kid, ruffled his black hair and thanked him with a cute boxy smile which later on, you found Ivy has a very similar smile.
So you approached him, listened to him as he explained that he's probably overreacting but ever since she was born, he was with her most of the time and now is the time for her to come here, so he can work and she can finally attend kindergarten like every other kid. Ever since then, you both chatted a lot whenever he came to pick her up. Nothing too serious and you never crossed any boundaries, especially when he informed you Ivy's mother will pick her up every second week. Later on, when he came to pick up Ivy one day, you assumed they're married but busy to come together to pick her up. You assumed they just came to an arrangement to take turns.
You were surprised – okay, maybe even pleased – to hear that they've been divorced and separated for a year already. You kept your reaction low, just nodding in understatement. You remember the way he subtly smirked at you when you shyly looked away.
Somehow over the months, you both became close – friends maybe. He'd always talk to you about his day while waiting for Ivy to tie her shoes because “she's a big girl and she can do it alone”. Ivy's words, not her father's. He went along with it, taking that time to lean against the kids lockers while chatting to you whenever you had the time.
Until one day he finally grew some balls – Taehyung's words again – and finally asked you out. And the rest is a history, bringing you back to present time as you've been dating for five months now.
Taehyung's broad shoulders and the way he's eye-fucking you is definitely worth of not thinking about history, but get ready for present. He cockily smirks at you, standing above you while you're sprawled on his bed completely naked while he takes the last article of his clothes which happens to be boxers.
Oh, you're definitely lucky.
If only Sara and Katana could see you right now, they'd never believe you've been dating this man the whole time they kept talking about him, or more like thirsting over him. He's more than that though.
There are many things you appreciate about Taehyung, being mature is one of them. Him being older than you, seven years difference to be exact, makes him more mature than any of the boys you were dating previously. There weren't that many but even if there were, you know no one could compete with Taehyung.
Even your friendly and blunt co-workers can't keep their eyes off him whenever it's his turn of the custody. Even when it's not, they talk about him on a daily basis. And apparently giving him a nickname that has been sticking to him for a few months now.
Taehyung is in the middle of rolling a condom down his length when you giggle amusingly as your eyes scrunch. He chuckles, even though he glances at you in confusion wondering why the hell you're giggling all of a sudden.
“What?” he asks, breathing out a chuckle as he glances down at his length and gives himself a few testing tugs. As much as he wants three more kids (apparently – it's something he spilled when you had a date night at his house while drinking lots of wine), you still have a long way to go until you go that route.
“You know that Sara and Katana call you dilf?” you giggle, covering your mouth with your palm while Taehyung's eyebrows shoot up in shock.
For the first time since he has slowly led you to his bedroom and pleasured you with his mouth until you were begging for him to stop and let you breathe for a second, he looks quite shocked and taken aback. It's only now that you see the back of his neck flash as he sheepishly rubs it with his hand.
He's no stranger to the names of your co-workers, he hears about them all the time. However, it's the first time you revealed the nickname they gave him, even though he knows they're thirsting over him. Something you spilled that time on your date night.
But Taehyung is not caught off guard for too long, hovering over you for a second as he pulls you closer to the edge of bed, hands on your ass as he lifts it up. His length pokes you right into your clit causing you to stop giggling as you moan.
“Dilf, is it?” he hums, causing you to nod while silent pleas of him filling you up resounds from your mouth. In times like these, you can barely function and control yourself at the same time.
Taehyung listens to you, guiding his thick length into your wet and tight hole as he enters you with a slow yet shallow thrust. You groan, mouth opening and eyes shutting, falling apart from the single feeling of him stretching you out. You missed him. It's been something over a week since you got to have some alone time with him, which includes a lot of sex of course.
“Do they know this dilf gets to fuck you?” he hums against your neck, causing you to realize he's hovering over you once again as he gently bites into the crook of your neck, slowly thrusting in and out.
“Ah, fuck,” you moan out once he pulls back, grabbing you by your thighs as he hoasts your lower body up to his liking. It's just a matter of seconds before he starts fucking you just like he promised a few minutes ago when you entered his bedroom.
His thick length brushes your wet and tight walls, hitting all the right places as you can't keep your moans silent. Taehyung's eyes are focused on your breasts that bounce with each thrust he makes, eyes glancing down at your stomach to see it bulging thanks to his length inside you.
“Shit, love. You're killing me.” he groans, the sight being one of his weaknesses as it ushers him to pound into you even more.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, Tae…” you whimper, feeling yourself getting close as his nails dig into the meat of your thighs. But the pain is nothing but pleasing and arousing you even more.
Soon enough, you're falling apart and cumming around his thick length that makes him groan, making it harder for him to move inside you. But somehow he does, pounding into you and following you a minute later while he spills into the condom.
Both breathing heavy, you're not surprised when Taehyung falls down on you as you hug him closer while he peppers your neck and chest with kisses. He slowly slips out of you, groaning at the feeling as he forces himself to stand up and dispose of the condom. He tells you he'll be right back, bringing one of his shirts that he without a doubt found in the bathroom. He cleans you up, tossing it down the floor you scoot further to the bed, finally laying down onto his soft pillows. He cuddles to you, tossing a duvet over your naked and warm buddies as he nuzzles to your neck.
“I want to tell Ivy,” he suddenly mumbles, his hands slowly rubbing your stomach under the duvet. “About us, about you.”
That makes you surprised, your heart skipping a beat and causing you to feel excited.
Ivy doesn't know that you're dating her father. It's something you respected from the moment you felt things between you and Taehyung aren't just about the casual talks between a parent and a teacher. From Taehyung's positions, it definitely makes sense that he didn't want to break it to his daughter that he's dating one of her teachers. You both wanted to make sure you're very serious about each other before he breaks the news to her. It makes sense. You're her teacher and even though it won't affect your work or can get you into trouble, you didn't want to be introduced to her as her dad's girlfriend just yet. No one knows about your relationship, that's one of the reasons.
Ivy is a sweet kid but she's still a kid and she would obviously spill the news. You both can't expect the four year old will keep your relationship a secret before you decide to just announce it to the world. You don't know how Hyerim, Taehyung's ex, will react to the news. Even though you don't care that much about her because she has nothing to do with Taehyung, not anymore – she's still Ivy's mother and probably won't have a pleasant reaction.
There are a lot of things you and Taehyung had to think through before you came to the conclusion that this is nice and you want to be in each other's life like this. Your parents know about Taehyung, and so does his parents know about you. But telling Ivy means that you'll be openly dating and it no longer will be a secret, in other words it’s a bigger step than telling your or Taehyung’s parents. This means Sara and Katana will find out eventually too, however you're not worried about that.
They might feel embarrassed that they've been thirsting about your boyfriend this whole time, but it'll be finally your time to laugh at them and see them frustrated.
Taehyung isn't scared of Ivy's reaction, the reason he didn't tell her about the two of you isn't about that. She loves you. Apparently, she talks about you at home too and according to Taehyung, you're her favorite teacher. Teachers shouldn't have a favorite kid but they always do. Your favorite kid is Ivy. Not because you're dating her dad, she's been your favorite from the moment Taehyung went to work and left her there for the first time alone. She came up to you and clutched to your hand, talking to you sweetly as she drew you a picture. The first one she drew in a class was already took by Taehyung as she made sure she gave it to him before he had to depart.
“Are you sure?” you ask, not hiding the smile in your voice that makes Taehyung smile as he kisses your collarbone.
“I've been sure for quite some time,” he tells you softly, “I don't want to hide anymore. She loves you, I love you and I want to spend my time with both of you. I want you to be here when she's home too, I want my both girls here.”
Your heart softens, heart blooming with love and warmness as your fingers play with Taehyung's dark wavy hair.
“I'd be more than happy about that,” you confess, “I feel like it's the right time too.”
Taehyung agrees, lifting his head off your body as he looks at you and purses his lips, silently asking for a kiss. You chuckle, finding him cute and different than from the man that pounded you into his mattress just a moment ago. You kiss him, letting your mouths mold together for a few minutes until you're forced to pull apart to properly breathe.
“I know where Ivy heard the bad word.”
The bad word. That makes you chuckle as you turn to him with an interest in your eyes. “Really?”
“Yeah,” he nods, smirking a little. “From you.”
You open your mouth. “Excuse me? I don't curse in front of her.”
“Uhm, it might not have been completely in front of her, but you know when you curse the most.”
“No, tell me.” you tell him, narrowing your eyes at him.
“When we have sex.” he smirks, causing your mouth to open.
“You remember the last time when we had sex? I called you over after we both couldn't sleep, Ivy was in her room sleeping back then,” Taehyung starts, causing your heart to stop for a moment as a horrific expression makes a way to your face.
Like Taehyung said, it was one of the nights when you texted and couldn't sleep, the texts becoming slightly explicit and needy which caused Taehyung to call you over. It was the first and only time you sneaked to his house while Ivy was in it too, supposedly soundlessly sleeping in her room while her father fucked you in his own. He assured you she's sleeping and you had to sneak away the next morning before she woke up, like a damn teenager.
You both acted like teenagers that night to be fair. The whole sneaking thing had its own spice though.
“Apparently, the little lovebug was awake or we must've woke her up.” Taehyung says, laughing as he seems amused by the whole situation.
“But--how do you know? Maybe she heard it somewhere else, this doesn't mean anything.” you tell him, not believing your own words too.
Taehyung raises his brow at you, “Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck,” he starts mimics you from that night when he took you from behind, your face heating up right away as you slap him in the chest. “You know how I know that?” he asks, voice amused and cocky which makes you roll your eyes.
“Spill it out.” you tell him, ready to hide behind the duvet but he gently takes it away from you and keeps his hold onto it.
“She asked me the next morning who was at our house. Apparently, she heard some noises.”
Okay, now you certainly look mortified. Taehyung laughs, enjoying the way you squeal in embarrassment.
“And you're telling me that just now?” you exclaim, repeating his words from earlier as he laughs with eyes scrunched shut.
“Well, telling you over a text or in a kindergarten with a bunch of parents and kids around wasn't the best option. I forgot to tell you, to be honest.”
“Oh my god,” you groan, rubbing your forehead in embarrassment. “What did you tell her?”
“That she must've had a bad dream.” Taehyung chuckles causing you to laugh.
“And she believed that?”
“Does it matter?”
No, it doesn't.
Taehyung suddenly cuddles you again, leg slouched over your own as his mouth is on your collarbone against, slowly making his way down to your breast as he starts sucking your nipple. You gasp, looking down at him as he keeps his attention to your nipple before he looks up with a smirk.
“Look at you, teaching my kid a bad word and you haven't even been introduced as my girlfriend.”
“It wasn't on purpose.” you gasp, whimpering when he gently bites onto your breast, chuckling lowly.
“I know,” he adds, assuring you that he's not mad or putting a blame on you. It was your both's fault. If you just waited and weren't horny like teenagers, this wouldn't have happened.
He lets go of your nipple with a loud plop, staring you in the eyes while his hands move down your stomach. You already know where this is heading, soon feeling him between your legs. But before he fully touches you where you're aching for him the most, he licks his lips and bites into them before a loving gaze makes its way to his eyes.
“Good thing I love you.”
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soft4gguk · 3 months ago
to build a home | chapter one
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pairing: Jungkook x reader. ceo!jk + dilf!jk x nanny!oc
genre: strangers to lovers. angst. loads of plot. eventual smut
word count: 6.8k (y’all need context okay)
warnings: oof. oof. buckle up. angst, loads of angst! (im sorry), touches on subjects such as: depression (hints), postpartum depression, abandonment, mild prescription medication talk, loads of jk crying :(, loads of crying baby :(, swearing
author’s note: hi! this is a very self-indulgent storyline that sort of came to me and I just had to put thought into paper. well, I ended up really liking the plot and my mind started going places and now it’s all I can think about. i do have to say it’s going to be a bit of a slow burn but! not like this chapter though – this chapter had to be informative to set the context. my mans jk did not suffer for nothing! i hope cute baby / loving dad jk made up for all the angst in this! also! It’s gonna get sexy, ~sexy so just u wait! also! I don’t have a set schedule but this story is coming to me in heavy bursts of inspiration so I might be whipping chapters left and right (cross ur fingers). also! (the last one, promise) I hate Ira too :)
This is a work of fiction. Please respect the members and their privacy. x
Chapter One
The digital clock on the console of his car marks six thirty pm on the dot. It makes Jungkook’s gaze shift to the sky – a synchronicity so perfect the sun begins to set right upon his eyes. Spring is easing into Summer and he can’t wait for the longer days and shorter nights the hot season bestows.
“We need one last look-over the contracts to finalize. I think the visit this weekend will finally see us wrapping this up. And then inauguration one month from now.” Seokjin’s voice fills the enclosed space of Jungkook’s car, a slight echo to his voice coming from the speakers.
“Sounds good, hyung. Good work.” He tells his cousin, right hand and the COO of his company.
“Hey, is Ira coming this weekend?” He asks. His question leaves Jungkook wondering. He assumes she will.
“Haven’t discussed it yet, could be good for her though. We can make a getaway of it.” He replies, head already swimming with ideas of how refreshing a family trip could be for the three of them.
“Alright, kid. Send my love.” Seokjin says, making him let out a light chuckle, before the line goes silent.
In the road ahead, the sun resumes its steady descend. His home comes to view at the very end of the street, the colours of the sky dancing against the sleek white walls. It’s been a long day and he’s tired. Now more than ever, with the inauguration of the new addition to his chain of hotels nearing, he craves the grounding feeling of being home – two familiar faces awaiting. One full of unconditional love.
He parks his cls next to hers, the sleek white shade contrasting against his black one. Grabbing his phone and keys from the cup holder, he exits the car, climbing the steps to his front door and inserting the code that unlocks it.
Home. He takes pride in the need he holds for it, how much he craves it, how much he wants to be the backbone of the one he built. The idea of family gets morphed when you’re brought into an immeasurable amount of wealth. His parents, although good intentioned, lacked the warmth he so badly wants to install in his own roots.
He wants his daughter to grow up in a house that doesn’t look like a showroom, a distinctive smell swarming its spaces, one she’ll hold in the back of her memory until she has kids of her own. Home, never lacking the coziness a touch of love can bring a space, no matter how vast. He wants her mother to be ha