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#bts scenario
blu-joons · 2 days ago
When You Lay Down Between Their Legs ~ BTS Reaction
A smile soon appeared on his face as you laid down in between his legs, watching as he brought the controller round to rest against your chest. “Are you comfortable?”
Your head nodded up at Jin, “I’m very comfortable actually, I’ve been trying to find the right moment to get in between your legs and get a cuddle for quite some time.”
His eyes looked down at you as he found a break in his game, “you should have said, you do know that this thing has a pause button on it so I could have given you a cuddle sooner.”
“I didn’t want to disturb,” you whispered, “I know how you get about games.”
“I would never let a game get in the way of hugging you.”
Your hand reached up to cup against the side of his face, “if you didn’t have such strong and lovely legs anyway then I wouldn’t have to lay here.”
“That might be the first time that you’ve ever described me as strong,” he chuckled, “strong isn’t a word used to describe me often.”
“Don’t worry, in my eyes you are very strong indeed.”
“Can I get that in writing? Just to show the others.”
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You curled yourself into Yoongi’s left leg as soon as you settled between them, allowing your eyes to close. “Why don’t you go to bed if you’re tired for the night Y/N?”
Your head shook as his hand ran over the top of your head, “I don’t want to go up to bed without you, I’d rather lay here and wait for whenever you’re ready.”
He smiled down at you as you settled, wrapping your arms around the top of his thigh. “I’ll finish watching this episode, it can’t be too comfortable for you to lay there anyway.”
“No,” you laughed, “it’s surprisingly comfortable laying in between your legs.”
“How? Doesn’t it feel a little bit bony and sore?”
Your head shook as you tightened your grip around him, “no, they feel very comforting and safe, your muscles replace all of your bones away.”
“Muscles?” Yoongi chuckled, “not very often you praise me for my muscles, are you feeling alright? Have I done something wrong?”
“No, I’m just embracing how strong you really are.”
“You’ve definitely done something to be this nice.”
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You couldn’t help but chuckle as Hobi instantly wrapped his legs around you as you settled between his legs. “Got you,” Hobi laughed as you tried to wriggle from him.
Your hands tried to push his legs apart form around your head, “I wanted to have a nice, peaceful moment with you, and you just had to go and ruin it, didn’t you?”
He kept his legs around you, moving around the bed with you, trying to hold on. “If you were gullible enough to think that I’d let you lay in between my legs without trouble, you’re mad.”
“I should have known,” you sniggered, “you’re never this nice to me.”
“It was far too good of an opportunity to miss.”
Eventually Hobi let you go, chuckling as you struck against his legs several times. “Are you going to let me lay between your legs this time around?”
“Lay on my chest instead,” he suggested, “I want to at least be able to kiss you if you’re going to cuddle up to me.”
“You can kiss me if I lay between your legs too.”
“I’m not working for my kisses, they come for free.”
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He placed his pen and paper to one side as you shuffled up between Namjoon’s legs, smiling across at him. “And here’s the inspiration for most of my lyrics.”
Your smile instantly grew as you glanced at what Namjoon had been working on. “I don’t suppose you could be talking about me. Is it another song you’re doing?”
His head nodded proudly, turning the paper around so that you couldn’t read it. “It’s private until it’s perfect, you know what my rules are when it comes to writing my songs.”
“Not even a little sneak,” you pouted, “I won’t tell a soul about any of it.”
“Nope, even for you I can’t stretch that far.”
As your hand tried to reach out, Namjoon slammed his leg down to pin your hand away. “Stop,” you chuckled, “can’t you just read me one of the lines.”
“I told you,” he reminded you, “the lyrics are private, why don’t you lay here for a while and see if you can give me more inspiration?”
“Why should I give you inspiration when I can’t see it?”
“Just trust me, when it’s done, it’ll be magic.”
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His hands immediately cupped the side of your face as you settled in between Jimin’s legs, “you look cute,” he grinned, hovering over you so that he could study you.
Your head shook as you jabbed both of your elbows into his legs, “I laid here to relax, not to lay here and have you being all soppy around me if that’s your plan.”
His head shook too as he offered you a wide smile, “can’t a guy just compliment his partner when he looks at her? And why do you have to such pointy elbows too, that really hurt.”
“They’re not pointy,” you laughed, “but if they get you to stop, then it works.”
“I’m never going to stop myself complimenting you.”
Your hand reached up to poke the tip of his nose, “as much as I love you, from this angle your face isn’t quite as handsome with your chins.”
“How dare you,” he sniggered, “I do not have chins, it’s not my fault you decided to lay in such an unflattering position to expose me.”
“Well, I think I look great from this angle anyway.”
“That’s all that matters to me, don’t you worry.”
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The moment that you settled in between Taehyung’s legs, he knew that you were sleepy, tucking yourself into his body. “Close your eyes,” he whispered in a soft tone.
You smiled back across at him as you allowed your eyes to close, “I’m sorry, it’s just been such a long day at work I really wanted to cuddle up to you for a while.”
His head shook as you quickly opened your eyes to look up at him for approval. “I don’t mind you laying there, do you want me to get you a pillow or something so you’re more comfortable?”
“I’m fine,” you mumbled, “I don’t think I could get anymore comfy if I tried.”
“Well, I always aim to please, even with my legs.”
You couldn’t stop yourself from chuckling back at him, “you might joke, but this is a very comfortable position, makes me feel very protected.”
“I can always tighten my legs around you if you want,” he offered, “make you feel even more protected then you already are by me.”
“Is that even possible, this grip is pretty tight already?”
“If you’re ready, why don’t we find out?”
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Your hand crawled between Jungkook’s legs as he tapped his lap for you to rest your head. “I want to play with your hair,” he smiled, lifting his arms into the air.
You did as he said, laying your head in his lap as his legs wrapped around you. “Did you really need for me to lay here so that you could play with my hair Jungkook?”
His head nodded proudly as you tilted your head back to look up at him. “I like being able to look at the smile on your face whenever I play with your hair, it’s always such a pretty view.”
“What have you done?” You laughed, “you’re becoming quite a smooth talker.”
“I’ve been taking a couple of tips from Jin recently.”
Your eyes instantly widened in horror, “taking tips from Jin never ends well, please don’t tell you he’s given you tips on how to play with hair.”
“No,” he chuckled, shaking his head, “trust me, Jin is the last person I’d take tips from to do that, I know exactly how you like it.”
“You’re the best person when it comes to my hair.”
“Just relax, and I’ll take the best care of you.”
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406 notes · View notes
httpknjoon · 2 days ago
(re)starting over again | kth; 1
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plot | after getting in a car accident, your boyfriend of four years, taehyung, forgot everything happened five years ago, which includes you.
words | 4.3k
genres | fluff, angst
pairing | taehyung x reader
warnings |  mentions of blood, leukemia, amnesia, dui, oc is a nurse
note | unedited. like, raw writing. i’ll edit whenever i can. a lot of marvel. author’s note is below.
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“i’ll be out at six in the evening.”
your eyes scanned the list, which contains the schedule and time duties of the nurses of the whole hospital. it’s currently your fifteen minute break and you are spending it on your phone, talking to your boyfriend.
“great. i’ll wait by the usual spot.”  taehyung said.
“okay.” you smiled and looked on your wristwatch. “the shop’s not open yet?”
“it’s already open since two hours ago. a little crowded actually. many students are coming since we got new pastries to serve.”
“well, maybe you should go back to work.” you quipped.
you heard taehyung chuckled, “nah, jimin can handle it. i am talking with someone important.”
you can feel your cheeks warming up with his words. although it’s been four years since your relationship began, taehyung never failed to make you fall for him just like the first time. he try his best to always put you first, above anything else.
“did you have your lunch?” he asked.
“if you consider tuna sandwich as lunch, then yes. i already had my lunch.” you replied with a sarcastic tone.
“take care of yourself. let’s eat something better later, okay? how about—”
“hey, y/n. it’s jimin. sorry for interrupting but i need your boyfriend outside. bunch of middle school kids are in the bakeshop right now. i can’t deal with them alone.”
you cannot help but to laugh when jimin cut taehyung off. you can hear your boyfriend in the background, shouting at his best friend. taehyung then got his phone back.
“sorry about that, love. i guess, i’ll go back to work now.” he mumbled, sounding annoyed. “boooooring.” 
“oh, come on.” you laughed again. “i’ll get back to work too. my break’s ending in two minutes. love you.”
“love you too. i’ll message you before i get there.”
“okay, okay.”
the call ended with you, smiling like a fool. you kept your phone back to your scrubs’ pocket. you continued the rest of the day going rounds to your young patients. you work in the pediatric unit in the hospital. almost everyday, you meet different kids with different health issues. they usually stay for a couple of days or weeks. you only have one patient who was there before you even worked in this hospital.
“you look happy today, nurse y/n.” your patient, naeun, said.
she is the patient you have ever since you got here. the little girl is suffering from a rare form of leukemia. but, you never see any loneliness from her as she was always greeting you with her sweet smile.
“i’m always happy, naeun.” you told her while checking her vitals.
“but you are smiling much wider today.” she replied.
“that’s because someone made me smile today.”
the kid’s eyes widened as her lips formed to a small circle, “oh! oh! is it your prince? the one who’s in your phone?”
the prince was of course, your boyfriend. there was a time when naeun saw you phone’s lockscreen, which is you and taehyung in a halloween party. you were wearing costumes as disney characters and taehyung chose to have the casual prince charming look. seeing this, naeun believed that you are a princess who works as a nurse who also have a prince. you don’t want to ruin the kid’s imagination. so, you just let her think that way. plus, you find it endearing.
“yes, naeun. it’s because my prince is treating me well.”
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“how’s the wedding planning?”
you looked to your co-worker and best friend, jisoo, while cleaning up things in your locker. you noticed her letting out a small smile as her eyes shined with excitement. she sat on the bench, changing her work shoes to more comfortable one.
“it feels stressful but exciting at the same time. we went to a garden yesterday for the wedding venue and it was so magical! it’s like a fairy place.” she shared. “also, yours and the other bridesmaids’ gowns will be sent out tomorrow. also, taehyung’s and other groomsmen’s suits.”
“finally! i get to wear something other than my scrubs.” you quipped, making the two of you laugh.
as you sat beside her to change you footwear too, she asked, “how about you?”
“how about me?” you asked her back, pretending that you don’t know what she’s talking about. but when she gave you the you know what i am talking about look, you gave up on acting dumb. “we’re fine. me and taehyung already talk about our future plans for a long time. so, i am not really not that eager to get married. i’m just waiting for him to pop the question.”
you gave jisoo a reassuring smile. you are not in a hurry anyway. if taehyung won’t propose any time now, it’s fine. but if he pops that question, you are already sure what to answer. you don’t mind when or where he will do it. as long as you have each other, you’re fine.
“oh, i wish i have your patience.” jisoo chuckled. 
when her phone rang, she excused herself to answer it. you also noticed your phone beeped because of a notification. it was from taehyung.
sorry left the shop a little late. i’ll be on my way :)
you replied a simple ok with a smile. gathering up your bag, you see jisoo all prepared too.
“joon’s already waiting outside. how about tae?” she asked, since she don’t want to leave you alone.
“he’s on his way. it’s fine, i’ll wait by the shed.” you told her.
you two walked out of the hospital together, waving goodbye to your other colleagues who’s still in duty. both of you no longer wear your scrubs, just some everyday clothes. you saw namjoon’s car resting near the waiting shed, where you and taehyung will meet. jisoo hugged him while you just waved at him.
“are you sure i can leave you here? we can still wait here with you. right, babe?” jisoo turned on namjoon who nodded.
“it’s fine.” you repeated. “just go home already. get some rest!”
you smiled at her. namjoon gave you a small bye before letting jisoo inside the car. before leaving, she rolled down the window and waved at you.
“text me when you get home!” she yelled as they got away.
alone in the well-lit shed, you sat on one of its bench. you looked at your watch, it’s ten minutes past six. you thought that taehyung may be close now since the shop is just a twenty minute drive to the hospital. although it’s not that far, he does not want you walking alone. so, he still picks you up. sitting there, you just watched on whatever passed by you. people, cars, and the dark sky with the moon glowing. since you’re still in the hospital’s waiting shed, you can see two ambulance leaving. it lets out a loud siren with its swinging red lights. after a few minutes, you felt a cold blow of wind, making you hug yourself. reaching for your bag to get your cardigan, your phone rang. it’s your boyfriend.
you accepted the call, “hey, love. i’m here in the usual—”
“hey, y/n. it’s sungho from the paramedic team. taehyung just got in an accident.”
you immediately stood up, dropping your bag that was on your lap. your throat ran dry. you felt your heart beating much faster than you had seconds ago.
“we have him right now with us. we’re on our way to the hospital.” sungho ended the call.
you tried to stay calm since that is what you were trained to do. but failed after you saw two ambulance coming back to the hospital. you picked up your bag and ran back to the hospital. you see other nurses you know waiting by the emergency room. julia, one of your friends, looked at you, surprised and confused by your teary expression.
“taehyung!” you cried when you saw your boyfriend on a spinal board from the ambulance, with no signs of awakeness.
you paused when you witnessed blood coming from his forehead. you tried to go near him, calling him, but as they moved him to a bed to the emergency room. everything happened quickly that you ended up standing there in shock while tears are rolling down your cheeks.
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“here, eat something.”
jisoo handed you a paper bag but you just shook your head, rejecting the food. you’re calmer now but still in shock. it’s been two hours since you saw taehyung being pushed to the emergency room. it took minutes before you moved on the spot you were at a while ago. julie kept you company after she aided the other patient. she tried to calm you and messaged jisoo about what happened. next thing you know, your best friend is hugging you. now, you three are waiting by the emergency room. you and jisoo sat on the cold, metal row of chair while namjoon stood on the other side.
“maybe you should go home first, i’ll go with you. namjoon can wait here for taehyung.” jisoo assured you but you just shook your head again.
“i... i can wait. i’m not hungry. i don’t feel like sleeping too.” you answered, almost emotionless. but a single tear rolled down your cheek again. “there’s a lot of blood from his head, jisoo.”
your best friend felt sorry on how stressed you are. she hugged you and whispered it will be okay over and over. she pat your back gently to calm you again. 
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“how are you, love?”
no one answered when you got in taehyung’s private room. it’s been four days and your boyfriend is still unconscious. there’s a bandage wrapped around his forehead. he also had small scratches and wounds on his face. fortunately, no bones were affected. only his head. the doctor said that he may possibly wake up any moment. the driver of the car crashed on taehyung’s car was drunk and speeding by a red light when it happened. the guy is currently in police custody.
since almost everyone in the hospital knows the of you, your other co-nurses are willing to take cover of your duties. you spent those four days taking care of taehyung, just in his room. jimin took over their bakeshop during daytime and drop by the hospital at night to let you take a rest. jisoo and namjoon would bring food time by time and stay for a bit after their works.
“hello, y/n.” jimin greeted you, just walking out the comfort room. he checked the time. “it’s still early. did you even sleep?”
you tried to smile, “i tried. i can’t. so i thought of just staying here.”
“oh, okay. i’ll go get some coffee. do you want some?” he asked.
“no, i’m fine. thanks.” you replied.
jimin left the room, wearing his cap. once again, you tried to talk with taehyung. you heard that talking can help to wake him up. you told him about your day. it’s not really eventful since you got nothing to do. but to go back home and hospital. 
“i miss you, love.” you tried not to cry, biting your inner cheek. “please wake up.”
you ended up napping, resting your head on taehyung’s bed. you slowly opened your eyes when you felt his hand moving from yours. you looked up from him, he’s awake.
“love?” you called him and he looked at you  blankly. 
you immediately clicked the button that was placed to call the nurse. taehyung just followed you with his blank stare.
“how do you feel?” you asked me as you wait for the nurse.
“who are you?”
your smile immediately dropped as you heard that. a doctor and nurse came in and checked his vital signs. you were left quiet on the side. you tried to process what taehyung said.
he got his head hurt, y/n. maybe it’s trauma. you tried to talk yourself about it. the door opened again and you looked up. jimin is visibly shocked as he held his coffee cup tighter, spilling a little.
“jimin.” you heard taehyung said.
the doctor asked for you to talk with her outside when they finished. before walking out, you see jimin approaching taehyung.
“how are you, tae?”
“what... what happened?” taehyung asked back.
jimin and you looked at each other before you follow the doctor.
“he doesn’t seem to remember everything.” you muttered. “i mean, he remembers his friend. but he don’t remember me nor the accident.”
“it can be because of the head injury he had. if that’s the case, we should run tests to know.”
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“what.. what happened?” taehyung asked his best friend.
he barely remembers anything. his last memory is having a drink with jimin after the first opening of their bakeshop. his head hurts. when he opened his eyes minutes ago and saw a girl beside him, he tried to call her the name he remembers.
but the girl did not move. he tried to move his hand and that’s when he saw you moved. you seemed surprised too when you see him awake. taehyung thought that maybe you were in the wrong room. but when you asked him, how is he. he can’t help but to ask who are you.
“you got to a car accident nights ago. you were asleep for four days.” jimin explained.
“car accident? did i drove drunk?”
“no, the guy who crashed on you was. you were just on your way to pick y/n.”
taehyung squinted his eyes as he tried to remember the name, “y/n?”
jimin looked at him, “your girlfriend.” 
“no, lily is my girlfriend.” taehyung answered with a smile. “me and lily have been going out for almost eight months.”
  “that was five years ago, tae. you and y/n have been together for four years now. namjoon introduced you to each other in the shop.” jimin tried to talk calmly.
“but we just opened the shop.”
jimin can feel his heart breaking on what is happening now. it breaks for you and taehyung. he saw how stressed you were for the last four days and now he feel bad that his best friend seems to forget events in his life. jimin reached for his phone in his pocket to show it to taehyung.
“it’s september 1, 2021.” jimin pointed out.
it’s 2021 and the last thing he remembers was back in 2016.
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“the doctor said that it’s dissociative or selective amnesia. because of the accident, he forgot certain memories of his life. based on what jimin told me, he forgot everything after their bakeshop’s opening. he... he basically forgot about me. us.”
you sighed before resting your head low. namjoon, jisoo, and jimin looked at you in pity and sadness. you wanted to cry again. you wanted to ask why does it have to happen this way. but you know you won’t get answers. you look at taehyung, who’s sleeping peacefully.
“will his memories return?” namjoon asked.
“no one knows. they said that there are cases that they come back fully or bits by bits. there are also cases that it stays like that.” you replied with a threatening sob.
you eyed on jisoo, who seems ready to hug you anytime now. but you tried to smile and just shook your head. minutes later, you spoke again.
“also, we can go home tomorrow. jimin will help me with taehyung and our stuff. i took a month long leave. so i can take care of him.”
you sighed again before looking at them, “thank you so much, guys. everything meant a lot.”
each one of them gave you a warm hug. in every hug, you felt like you’re giving in as your knees felt weaker. jisoo hugged you the longest.
“it felt like we’re starting over again.”
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“welcome home!”
as soon as you opened the house’s door, taehyung spotted picture frames of him with you. he seems really happy with you on those images. he tried to identify each picture.
“don’t worry. you don’t have to force yourself to remember it.”
he looked at his side. it was you, staring at the pictures too with a small smile. jimin, on the other hand, dropped your bags straight to your bedroom.
“do you want to eat first or take a rest?” you asked taehyung.
“rest.” he replied.
you nodded and walked him to your shared bedroom. seeing a single, large bed, taehyung can’t help but to feel uncomfortable. he knows that you two used to sleeping together. but he remember nothing with you.
“i’ll go sleep in the guestroom for the meantime. sorry, i still haven’t move my stuffs. i’ll move them tomorrow.” you told him, like you’re reading his mind.
“thank... thank you.” taehyung said awkwardly.
“no problem, lo— taehyung.”
you walked out awkwardly, leaving him alone with jimin. taehyung sat on the bed and he can smell the mix of his perfume and a lavender scent. he was removing his shoes when jimin stood in front of him.
“y/n is nice, okay? don’t be shy to ask for help or talk to her if you want to know something. you guys will get along well.” jimin assured him. “if you want to talk to me, just give me a call anytime. here’s your phone.”
he handed him a model of phone that he just saw for the first time, “my phone?”
“yep, you bought that like a year ago. it’s almost the same as your old phone. but it’s bigger.” jimin explained and taehyung nodded. “i’ll have breakfast here with you tomorrow. so you won’t feel awkward, okay?”
taehyung nodded quietly. he feels like a kid. but he’s thankful to have jimin with him. also, you. even though he doesn’t really know who you are except that you are his girlfriend.
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“so, why did lily left me?”
taehyung sat on one of the empty chairs in the bakeshop. it’s been two weeks since he went home from the hospital. so far, living with you is like living with a housemate except you cook him something to eat everyday and help him when his head hurts. he felt less awkward with you. it’s not like he consider you as his friend. but he finds you caring and nice, just like jimin said. now, he’s with his friend, who picked him up, since he feel bored staying at home with no one to talk to except you. he’s still shy on chatting with you. plus, he have questions he knows that he can’t ask you.
“she did not leave you, tae. you are the one who asked for a breakup.” jimin replied while wiping the counter.
“that’s not true.” taehyung said. “how can i breakup with her? i mean, you know how much i like her.”
“actually,” jimin looked up to him. “you did not tell me why. you literally just knocked on my door one evening, drunk, to tell me you broke up with her.”
“ugh, i hate myself! she was perfect!” taehyung grumbled like a kid.
jimin looks at him, who seemed offended, “it’s not nice to talk like that. you literally have a girlfriend.”
“that i barely know.” taehyung replied carelessly.
“did you even try to know her?” his friend snapped back. “you know, tae, i understand that you are in another timeline. but don’t you think that it’s a little mean to talk about y/n like she’s just a stranger. do you even want to know her?”
taehyung can feel that jimin was mad and the guy only got mad a few times. looking back on the last two weeks he had with you, he can see how nice you are to him. you always make sure to make him comfortable with you. you give him space without even him asking. he notices how you serve him his favorite meals every time. you did not force him to remember anything. maybe there’s a reason why you’re with him.
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“how are you?”
“i can still do it.” you replied as you fall on your bed.
jisoo is on the other line. she just finished her shift while you just finished moving your stuff from your former bedroom to the guest room.
“how’s taehyung?”
you rolled on your side, “still quiet. although he asks when he needs something or thanks me when i helped him, he still didn’t asked about us. maybe he’s not interested.”
you heard your friend sighed, “maybe he’s shy.”
“i don’t know. i’ll just wait. it’s fine.” you told her. “let’s talk about your wedding! do you have the date already?”
“oh, yup. we’re thinking of the last week of next month. by the way, did your clothes came?”
“oh, i ha—”
you paused when you heard a knock from your front door. you stood up from your bed and walked to the door. you’re not expecting anyone. so, you thought maybe it’s the package. but as soon as you opened the door, you decided to end the call with jisoo.
“tae? what are you doing here?” you asked him, confused. “i gave you the key, didn’t i?”
taehyung scratched the back of his neck timidly, “yeah. i... i just don’t want to barge in like an intruder.”
five years ago, he lived with jimin in an apartment. so, even though he have his own key to this house, he still thinks that it’s not his. it’s someone’s home. you and taehyung only bought this house months ago after saving for it.
“well, you’re not an intruder when you have your key.” you quipped. “come in.”
you opened the door wider to let him in. and for the first time since you went home from the hospital, you got to be closer to him. a simple brush of his arm to yours is enough to make you miss him more. even though it was just a split second, it was able to make you miss hugging and cuddling with him again.
“did you cook something for dinner?” taehyung asked as you locked the door.
you turned around and saw him in the living room, sitting on the couch while holding the remote.
“i thought you’re spending the night in jimin’s. so i did not prepare anything.” you replied truthfully.
taehyung eyed you, “how about you? what will you eat for dinner?”
your heart swells. it’s a simple and casual concern. but, it came from taehyung. it reminds you of the last time you talk to him through a phone call. he always points out to prioritize your health. you looked away from him as you felt your cheeks warming.
“maybe i’ll just order something? like, chinese food?” you answered.
“great. make whatever you’ll order two. let’s eat together.” he said, looking back on the television.
“how about jimin?”
“he forgot he got a date for tonight. so he drops me here before going to his date.”
you giggled with thought of jimin forgetting his date again. while you make a call to order food, taehyung watched whatever’s playing in front of him. the truth is, jimin don’t have a date tonight. taehyung asked his best friend to drive him, since he can’t drive for now, after closing the shop. after that talk with jimin, he went on the day, thinking if he should spend more time with you. maybe if he will know more about you, he’ll understand everything. he knows he have issues. so, he wonders how you stayed together, even bought a house.
“oh, you’re watching that.” you sat on the other single sofa, meters away from taehyung.
taehyung noticed what’s playing, it’s a marvel movie. he knows because of the characters. but the movie seems unfamiliar. some of the characters he knows looks a bit different.
“what movie is this?” he asked with pure confusion.
“avengers: infinity war. we watched it in the cinemas together.” you shared.
“i don’t remember.” he looks at you apologetically. but you just gave him a smile. “the last one i remember is civil war.”
“it’s fine. if you want to, we can binge watch those marvel movies. from doctor strange to black widow. then, shang-chi.” you offered.
hearing this, taehyung had a surprised expression. it seems like he missed a lot for five years. he felt like a steve rogers but with an amnesia. on the other hand, you find him adorable with his reaction. you two already watched every movie and mini-series in marvel except the recent ones because of the accident. but you don’t mind watching it all again. you love it. of course, you love him too.
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“maybe we should watch three to four movies each day to catch up.” taehyung suggested as he munched on his food.
you just nodded as you placed the last piece of egg roll on his rice. you know he likes it too much that he ends up eating almost all of it. taehyung thanked you before continuing. you two are watching doctor strange.
“what do you think?” he waited for your answer.
“whatever you want, tae. i still have two weeks before getting back to work. i love marvel.” you told him, making him smile.
it’s the first time he have someone with him to watch these movies. jimin found it boring while namjoon is more of a dc fan. lily have other interests. so, taehyung feels great to have you with him.
you cleaned up after the post-credit scene. taehyung insisted on helping you even though you don’t want him moving around. you two ended up sitting on the couch.
“how’s your head? are you getting head aches?” you checked on him.
taehyung shook his head, “it’s good. just felt a little dizzy while in the bakeshop.”
you nodded silently. that’s when silence took over for a few minutes before taehyung cleared his throat.
“y/n, i think we should hang around more often.” he told you and he swore he saw your eyes shine brighter.
“really? you want that?” you asked him.
“yeah. like, we’re together for four years. i want to know why.”
he waited for you to say something but when he looks at you, you just gave him a smile.
a lot sweeter this time.
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a/n: this one is a sudden idea. sorry. i know i haven’t posted anything for months but i can’t let this one out of my head. it was supposed to be a one shot but it’s too long to my liking. i had to cut it off. second part is on the way. your thoughts would mean a lot. thank you. take care, loves <3
ps. i can make a taglist if you want to. 
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Bleeding butterflies part 10 - BTS ot7 vampire au
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I am so sorry about the wait, I normally post things weekly but guys I cannot explain to you what my brain has put me through this past week. I hope you enjoy x
It starts off the same it always does, the pair of you under the tree. A little distance between you because you’re concentrating on a book and he doesn’t want to disturb you, only minutes passing before the distance closes inch by inch. You, smiling when you feel an arm around your shoulders, the vampire, pulling you closer until you’re leaning on him. His shy expression turning into a radiant grin when he hears you giggling under your breath at his antics, your cheeks hurting from smiling so much.
He takes it a step further, picking you up effortlessly to pull you into his lap, arms encircling your form, chin resting on your shoulder as his head nuzzled yours.
“You can still read like this, right angel?” he asks, his earlier intentions of not wanting to distract you remembered in the back of his mind with the warning of guilt.
You hum in response, happy this was where your relationship with Tae had progressed to. You remember before you confessed your feelings, before the war, how much you wanted him to close the distance when you both sat under the tree, not realising he had to resist when he wanted the same, sitting like stone to prevent himself from getting nearer. He couldn’t handle the smell of your blood back then, but he couldn’t deny the desire of your company.
This is where you spend the rest of the afternoon, kisses on your neck on your shoulder, soft and fleeting. His hands stroking your arms, your thighs gently, wanting to slip under your dress to feel the skin you hadn’t exposed to him, but he restrains himself. Sometimes you turn to him and reward him with a kiss to his lips, the pair of you hiding in the shade from the Sun, basking in each other instead, the happiest you’ve ever been, and you foolishly think it’ll last forever.
He’s sitting in his office, nose in another book but the words don’t reach him like he needs them to. The echoes of Taehyung’s words replay in his mind like a broken record, won’t make it another ten years, maybe a little more if they were lucky… he scoffs at the thought, there was nothing lucky about any of this, nothing he should be grateful for when the Earth threatened to swallow his entire heart whole.
There had to be a way, even if immortality wasn’t possible, there at least had to be a way to extend your life somehow. He didn’t want to think about it, he didn’t want to accept any of it.
There’s a timid knock on his door, his head turns to meet your downcast form, the first anyone had seen of you since you locked yourself away in your bedroom after Taehyung’s last departure.
Namjoon immediately puts down his book, the chair legs scraping on the floor as he moves the seat back, an invitation for you to come in, come sit on his lap, where he needed you, close as possible. He was afraid to have left you on your own after everything Taehyung revealed but Yoongi and Jin convinced him you just needed time, he was the one that needed you, and he would have to be patient despite the urge to be selfish.
You take his cue, almost running in your steps to close the distance between you both, curling into his form on the chair once you reached him, head buried into the crook of his neck, arms around his body, legs bundled on his lap. His arms don’t hesitate to enclose around you, fingers dancing in your hair as he holds you against him. He breathes you in, the distinct scent of the blood fruit encompassess all his senses, it’s so sweet your smell, but it’s ephemeral. The shadow of death lingered too close, threatening to take his light away. He understood it now, Taehyung’s desperation for a cure, a loophole, anything that would keep you here in his arms forever. They were searching, they had been, but they were under the illusion they had enough time. They deluded themselves, now the truth was something they couldn’t hide.
“Where’s your head love?” he asks gently, his fingers working through your hair, hoping your answer would at least distract him from his own mind.
“I‘ve been thinking about it all,” you whisper, hiding yourself in his neck, the grip you had on his bicep tightening as you force your selfish confession out. “If they weren’t immune to your command ability, I would’ve asked you to compel them to forget me,” even though it would leave you behind with the burden of knowing for the rest of eternity while your brothers lived without it.
“You mean at the end?” he asks after a moment of silence having taken your confession in. You nod against him. “And you think I would just agree...”
“I don’t want them to be in pain,” you admit. “It would be better, there’s no point discussing it, you're all immune to each other’s abilities.”
You shake the conversation away with your head, hoping the thoughts would also drop out of your mind and leave you in peace, but they don’t. Namjoon sighs, you feel his chest move against you, the high prince was always a comforting presence for you, a person you could voice the mess in your head to, to make it make sense, but this was too much to place on him, you knew that. This was something out of both of your control and it was why it bothered you both so much.
“Love, just give us some time,” he tries to say with hope, his features frowning as he forces his words out. “We’ll find a way, we won’t lose you.”
“Joon…” you suck in a breath, clutching onto his shirt with fists as you force your own admission out without crying. You didn’t want to hurt him, it comes out as a whisper, “I don’t want to be immortal.”
You feel him stiffen against you but you can’t take back your words.
This, this was why he never spoke to you about it, because a part of him dreaded your answer.
Taehyung doesn’t sleep, you know this, but if you didn’t know about his disposition, you would’ve believed he was dreaming with how serene he looked. The vampire had always had his eyes closed in your moments with him before the war, but never with his head resting on your lap like now. His believable unconscious illusion has you instinctively brushing the hair out of his eyes, letting your fingers stroke the strands even after your original intent was done.
He tries not to smile at how gentle you were being, the waft of your scent hitting him every time you ran your hand over him. His sweet angel, made for him, in his heart he knew it. You were the being he spent a century waiting for, the void of existence now filled, he could never go back to what he knew before you, the thought terrified him.
Comfort. That’s what Taehyung remembers underneath the arms of the tree with you. Love that grew roots like the ones under the ground you both sat on, unbreakable, strong, eternal. A part of him trusts the bond between you to not falter despite his actions, even now when he was cut off from you. But a part of him also knew that while the roots of your relationship were almost impossible to break, he was the one to poison them, and if they died it would be his fault.
He hated not being able to feel you, hated it more than anything.
Please let me in Angel, let me be selfish. Every time he thought about the block on the bond he felt himself cry, it was agony, a glimpse of what the future held and he couldn’t take it, he couldn’t. The relief he felt at night when he knew you were asleep, when he felt the barriers breakdown, he savoured every second before you put the bars up again.
He knew it was a punishment, but if anything, it motivated him more. If he couldn’t stomach your absence during these short periods of time relative to the life of a vampire, how would he handle eternity?
The stone around him in the cave grows warmer, the light at the end illuminating his surroundings the closer he got.
“Who dares enter my domain?” A low boom reverberated against the walls, Taehyung knew this beast could obliterate him in one breath, but still he approached.
“Ji-Yong,” Taehyung greets the dragon like an old friend despite the memories of when he soared through the sky during the war for your life. Dragon’s weren’t enemies as such to the brothers, in the previous battles they had been allies, but only when treasure was promised. The monster now sat on top of his pile of gold, some of it adorning all visible surfaces of the cave.
“Vampire prince,” Ji-Yong sounds amused by his arrival, the winged creature eons older than the young blood sucker, born out of the lava of the volcanoes that erupted when this world was made. “To what do I owe the pleasure.”
The dragon witnessed the first war of Earth, it’s birth and along with it, beings of fire. What the world had come to now, that he was the last remaining fire breather alive, and the power was held in the hands of 7 vampires. He could turn the young prince into ash with a breath should he choose to, and these leeches had the blood trove? Had won the war? The atrocity, the shame, it was maybe a good thing his kin were slaughtered by man thousands of years ago, so they would never have to witness this age at least. To think they nearly killed him, Ji-Yong had burned most of the city, he was sure he would’ve won the war had it not been for the arrows aimed at his soft underbelly, a dragon’s one weakness.
No matter, he was a prideful species, he would get his revenge now.
The temperature of the room rose as his hearth prepared to incinerate the vampire, a chuckle leaving his scaly lips as the fire burns from his mouth into the cave.
The chuckle stops as the fire does, the dragon watching the unamused prince in confusion. It was true, your blood unleashed impossible abilities, he had heard the rumours but now with his own eyes… The fire was moving, surely fire would be immune to this sorcery, but he could not deny it, the flames were travelling too slow to reach the vampire.
“Try that again, and I’ll rip you apart limb from limb, and I will make you feel it.”
“Sweetheart you think I haven’t noticed the plates coming back full?” Jin says softly as he scolds you. Your heads in a book, and you refuse to meet the Vampire’s gaze, pretending you hadn’t heard him but he can feel the spike of adrenaline in your veins at his words. There’s a light tsk from his lips, his crossed arms dropping as he lowers the book from your grip.
“I’m not hungry,” is all you offer him.
“You still need to eat,” he replies, eyes hardening as they look at you, really look at you. The signs were subtle at first but you were growing weaker and weaker since Taehyung left, he couldn’t exactly figure out why, but food was a good start and a good reason. A voice in his head, a darker more frustrated voice in his head just wanted to compel you to eat and force you to forget, but he knows how you feel about compulsion, he won't pull that card on you yet. It would all depend on your stubbornness.
“Jin I’ll eat when I feel like it, I promise,” you say to the vampire who’s eyes refused to leave you, it was like he was drilling a hole into your skull with his gaze. Your usual soft funny boyfriend wearing a serious expression always put you off. “I’m not starving myself, I just don’t feel like eating, okay?”
He doesn’t believe you, not in the slightest, he can hear the subtle rumble of your stomach begging for sustenance, so why are you lying to him?
“I am going to go make you a plate of food,” Jin doesn’t relent. “And I am going to sit here and watch you eat some of it, not all of it, some of it.”
He ignores your huff of disapproval as he walks away, he doesn’t miss the way your stomach starts growling desperately.
“Has he found any of the answers he’s been searching for?” the dulcet tone of Rose’s voice calls to her sisters as they gaze into the cauldron.
“Nothing that can help him,” Jisoo replies with her hands crossed lazily, taking in the scene of the vampire conversing with the dragon.
“You need to be having words with your old friend unnie,” Rose turns to Jennie. “He’s being too friendly with the undead prince.”
“We can’t kill the last dragon,” Jennie rolls her eyes. “Where would we find another one?”
“Shall we place our bets?” Lisa giggles as the image of the vampire’s frown presents itself. “Will he find his answer or not?”
What if he doesn’t come back in time to feed? What if his distance makes him grow weak, how would he make it back for blood to live? What if by the time he does come back, it’s too late? What if he’s already dead?
“Sweetheart,” Hobi’s voice makes you jump, so engrossed in your thoughts you didn’t hear or feel him approach.
Hoseok takes a deep breath in, what were they meant to do? You had been like this since Taehyung left, despondent, staring into space without a trace of life in your eyes. Sometimes you kept yourself occupied, they’d watch you bury yourself in something, but then a moment would come, an unwanted thought that breached the confines of your mind, and you would suddenly just stop and stare into nothing, a blank look on your face.
They tried to distract you, but it just didn’t feel right. It wouldn’t fix anything. And every time they looked at you now, they were burdened with the knowledge that you were fading from their lives sooner than they thought. It hurt to be with you, it was bitter bittersweet, and yet they craved your company more than anything.
“Y/n do you want to talk about it?” Hoseok offers, hoping it would be a good step.
“I don’t even want to think about it,” you whisper. It hurt so much.
“It might help,” he takes a seat next to you on the sofa, shuffling closer so a part of him is touching you at least. You don’t answer him, you don’t think anything will help.
“I know you think he’s being selfish,” he says cautiously, watching you close your eyes as if it would shield you from his words. “But he’s just desperate, we all are.”
He watched you swallow the lump in your throat, battling oncoming tears as the scent of petrichor exudes out of you. He takes your hand in his, rubbing soothing circles with his thumb, wanting to cry himself.
“Sweetheart it’ll be okay,” he promises, but even he thinks it sounds empty despite the hope in his voice. “We just need to give him a bit of time, and who knows? Maybe he’ll find the answer.”
You open your eyes then, glancing at one of the loves of your life sadly, but you didn’t have the heart to tell him.
“The scales of the universe are absolute,” the dragon voice makes the ground tremble around them slightly, enough that the vampire could feel the earth shake. “That much power in a single drop of blood, the equivalent of a thousand lives in a single vessel, of course the price to pay, the way the universe keeps its balance is to reduce her life expectancy.”
“How do we tip the scale?” Taehyung asks, which causes the dragon to rumble in laughter.
“You can’t, young vampire,” he chuckles. “I did however hear whispers in the wind that the nymphs are most in tune with this planet’s energy at least, they might offer you the hope you’re after.”
Easier said than done to catch a nymph.
“Beautiful,” Jungkook sighs as he enters the kitchen. He could feel how numb you felt, how drained you were, how sleep deprived.
“I’m fine,” you answer his worry, back still facing him as you worked on the dishes of your lunch, you barely ate anything Jin made for you. His arms wrap around you, holding himself as close to you as he can. Usually when you’re upset they can smell petrichor, it only intensifies when you cry, but recently there was a waft of another scent coming from you as it mixed with the saccharine sweetness of your blood. It smells like the clean breeze of a cold day, so sharp it would hurt his senses if he were human.
He kisses the side of your face, trying to keep his own negative emotions at bay regarding his older brother. They knew nothing they did would make the ache in you lessen, nor the hole that Taehyung had carved into your chest under the guise of love. His arms tighten around you leaning down to rest his head on the back of your left shoulder, the thumping of your heart still present, still soothing to him.
Even after your hands are dried, you both stay standing this way, trying to find comfort when it evaded you. His palm rubs your stomach over your clothes, the absence of food in there making itself obvious, you hold his hand still.
“I’m not hungry,” you answer before he can ask.
“Whether you’re hungry or not, you still have to eat princess,” he murmurs.
You keep quiet, the idea of food makes you feel sick, you’re too empty for food.
Jimin was comfort incarnate, but everything he tried with you failed time and time again. Jin had told him multiple times this wasn’t something he could fix, it was something they had to support you through while their younger brother was being an idiot out there in the world, away from you.
Well it led to this current physical position you were both in, you were reading a book, (you seemed to do that a lot these days, maybe to take your mind off Tae), your back was against the cushions placed against the headboard, and without a word said, Jimin had laid down beside you, arms hugging your knees, head resting against your thigh. He was hoping you would absentmindedly stroke his hair, give him an excuse to start kissing your wrist, distract you in other ways where he could relax you enough that you would fall asleep.
He could hear his hyung’s and Jungkook in Namjoon’s suite, another night of research while you were supposed to be asleep, but this night was different, instead of the usual sound of books and paper, he could hear Namjoon clear his throat.
He keeps his ear in tune with the other room, frowning when he hears the hyungs ask the high prince what was wrong.
“I think we all already knew the answer, which is why we didn’t ask,” Namjoon inhales sharply, Jimin can almost see the look of pain on his brother’s face. “She doesn't want to be immortal.”
Jimin stiffens against you, his bond going cold making you lower your book as you look at him in worry, but his mind isn’t with you, it’s still listening to the others.
“What? No, there’s still a chance, why wouldn’t she?” He hears Jungkook growl, the sound of him breaking something too dulled for you to hear through the walls, but Jimin almost flinches.
“Is eternity with us really that awful?” Hobi says with a breath of self pitying laughter.
“What do we do?” Jin asks.
“For now we find a way to elongate her life,” Namjoon sighs. “Her remaining life span is mere seconds long, we find a solution to that first.”
“And hope she changes her mind in the meantime?” Yoongi scoffs. “We all know how stubborn precious can be.”
“Let’s just hope Taehyung can find something,” Jin groans. “As much as I hate that he’s hurting her, I’m finding myself more and more inclined to do the same.”
“It was different when we thought we had longer” Hoseok sounded defeated, he hid it from you but when you couldn’t see him, he barely ever smiled.
“Minnie, are you okay?” Your voice breaks him out of the trance his brother’s conversation had on him, but your presence made his blood boil. You feel it too, the sudden swell of sheer anger that if felt in your own limbs would make you shake.
He looks up at you with eyes of a snake with how cold and piercing they become, he tries to tell himself to calm down, he didn’t want to scare you, he didn’t want to take this rage out on you when he knew it wasn’t completely your fault, just a hundred things out of everyone’s control.
“Why don’t you want to be with us forever?” he can't keep the tone of rejection and hurt out of his voice. Your eyes turn into saucers for a second before you school your features and look away from him.
“Jimin, I have never wanted to be a vampire, or a witch or anything,” you say quietly. “I don’t want to be immortal.”
“Why!” he shouts the word but he needs to know, why would you not want them forever? Why were you so willing and accepting to die?
“Jimin,” you sigh, not wanting to argue with him, but knowing this was where the conversation was heading. “I have my own beliefs about this stuff, I’ve seen my friends change because of it, it turns people power hungry, it makes them take life for granted, human life means nothing to the supernatural. I know a lot of people search for it like a cure for life but it’s a curse Minnie.”
“Are we that revolting to you?” Jimin asks with his jaw clenched. “Are we that wretched? That evil?”
“No!” You exclaim quickly, moving onto your knees as you grab his shoulders to keep him near you, to make him understand. “That’s not what I meant, I love you, the seven of you are the most kindest, most deserving beings that exist.”
He wants to deny your words, he wants to convince you life as a vampire was a gift, and it was when you came into it, but immortality always came with a price, and now he wondered whether he was willing to let you pay it.
We would pay it for her, as naive as the thought was, as good hearted, he knew it didn’t work that way.
“I know you think I’m being stubborn,” You admit. “But there is something deep inside of me Jiminie, that is warning me the consequences are too big to grant me eternity.”
The wood nymphs were the friendliest of all of the nymphs, the ocean ones were too aggressive and unpredictable for him to risk. The trees surround him, almost like guards hiding what he sought. Nymphs could be temperamental beings if pushed, if not complimented enough, if you weren’t smitten over them, if their last batch of males they trapped didn’t treat their new captivity like a blessing, but he guessed today with the peace of the atmosphere around him they were in the stage of luring creatures to slowly devour their energy into the Earth.
“I mean you no harm,” he calls out to the wilderness, hearing snaps of twigs and the bristle of leaves answer him, they didn’t believe him, what would a vampire be doing in the woods if not to steal their essence. “I’m looking for answers.”
He’s met with silence as if they were asking for him to go on.
“My name is Taehyung,” he feels a little foolish, what if he were imagining a presence around him. “I’m one of the princes, I need to ask you something about the blood flower.”
“Ask away,” a voice manifests itself into a body barely covered by foliage. “My name is Aurora, my sister’s won’t show themselves to you, but will listen to your questions.”
“They say you know how to make her immortal,” he breathes, trying to hold down the hope that wanted to fill his being. “How?”
“The scales of power, vampire,” Aurora states as if it’s obvious. “The universe has to compensate.”
“There’s only one way to keep the blood flower,” another nymph says from the trees in front of him.
“It is but a theory,” another voice echoes behind him. They’re surrounding him, he knows they are but he stays rooted to the ground.
“Balance of energy, the universe may make an exception to its rules if the requirements are met so the scales don’t tip.”
“Tell me,” he commands.
“Life for life, the blood flower has the power of a thousand petals shoved into one vessel,” Aurora explains. “The cosmic entities call her the blood star, she burns the brightest but burns the quickest.”
“Tell me what I have to do!”
“How do we keep the Earth from rotting with these vile humans destroying it?” a more sinister shrill voice gets closer behind him. “We feed the soil the essence of life, we keep the Earth turning, if we had it our way the blood flower would be giving it the energy it needed to reverse the damage these humans have made.”
“Yes, I’m well aware of how you were going to use her,” Taehyung grimances, remembering the part of the book of blood that contained the revolting descriptions of how to root the flower to bleed into the Earth. “That doesn’t answer my question.”
“Sacrifice an entire species of beings,” Aurora finally reveals. “It’ll force the scales to tip in one direction, the universe may correct it by extending her life, but only for a certain amount of time.”
“These sacrifices will have to be made regularly, and even then, there’s no guarantee she’ll make it to a normal life expectancy.”
“The cosmic entities say the blood star can be made immortal only by burning into a black hole,” the nymph offers. “We don’t know the sky, we only know the Earth, if you truly want her to be with you forever, you’ll have to ask them.”
“Is this how the next ten years will be?” you ask without emotion, staring at the rain that drowned the gardens, eyes specifically on the ground under the tree. “Desperate searches for an answer I don’t want, missing a piece of myself as he…”
You can’t finish your sentence as you gasp back tears, no you shed enough of them, no more, not yet.
Even though your eyes aren’t closed you can see the moments spent with him there through the glass of your bedroom window. Moments that started off slow but become loving as time went on, your secret safe spot with Taehyung. The sight of his smile in your mind was too much to bear. When was the last time you saw him smile, genuinely or carefree, you couldn’t remember. No of course you did, that night on Jimin’s birthday, before the rogue had his hands on your throat.
“Are you still cutting him off… emotionally?” Namjoon asks wearily, taking a seat on your bed behind you, but you know exactly what he meant.
You only nod.
“Precious, you haven’t been sleeping,” Yoongi sighs, leaning against the doorframe with his arms crossed.
“I can’t control it when I’m asleep,” you state simply, but there’s a weight behind your words, one that translated to I don’t want him to feel me through the bond for a moment. I don’t want him to know how much he hurt me.
“Love this is taking up all your strength and energy to hold the bond closed,” Namjoon berates your behaviour softly, you were becoming weaker and weaker and while he understood your need to punish Taehyung, he didn’t want this to be what killed you.
You asked him to stay, you put your beating bleeding heart on a silver platter and begged the vampire not to leave you and he did, effectively stabbing the heart you had laid out for him. Namjoon knew there were battling waves of heartbreak and anger in your system that could not be flushed out, that the only way for you to cope with this rejection was to control what you could. Since Taehyung’s actions were out of your control, you used every ounce of your abilities to show him what you could do, he hurt you, you were only returning the favour.
Yoongi sighs, using his vampire speed to stand in front of you, blocking the view of the garden as you look up at him in shock, strands of your hair following the gust of wind he bought. He hadn’t done this since the night he met you, but he had enough of you hurting yourself.
One hand caressing your jaw, he makes you look up at him, it didn’t even cross your mind what he was doing, but when you see his eyes dilate you know what’s coming.
“Hyung,” Namjoon sighs like he has a headache as your body falls into Yoongi’s arms, his fingers still gentle against your face as his thumb caresses your cheek.
“She’s stubborn, she won’t sleep unless compelled,” Yoongi defends himself, despite the hard look on his face there was still a gaze of love in his eyes as he takes in your unconscious form.
He wants to yell at you, he wants to scream, cry, beg, anything that would convince you to change your mind. You had been remembering all your moments with Taehyung since he had left, but Yoongi was remembering all of his happy moments with you. He remembers the morning he woke you up with a thousand kisses on your face, the way you giggled as the sun’s rays danced on your skin, he didn’t let you leave the room for hours. You were so beautiful in that moment he couldn’t resist, he didn’t want to. He kissed every inch of your skin, his tongue touched every part of you, he wanted that again, he wanted you again, all of you.
“She’s not been eating, are you going to compel her to do that too?” Namjoon asks, the tables of control turned, the others would have expected this from Namjoon before Yoongi.
“If I have to,” Yoongi bites back. “And if I have to compel her to agree to become immortal when we find a fucking cure, I’ll do that too.”
It was an outburst waiting to happen, the vampire could only be patient for so long before the emotions burst like a newborn.
“I was all for accepting and respecting her choices,” Yoongi admits as he picks up your limp body in his arms, watching the hair fall from your sleeping face. “But Taehyung’s right, we can’t lose her.”
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krreader · 17 hours ago
you are my universe.
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pairing: park jimin x reader fandom: bts warnings: / genre: fluff word count: 670+
summary: he’d always be okay as long as he had you by his side.
a/n: dedicated to the new coldplay x bts song because I am in love haha. hope you like it, love!!!
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“Well, this is a surprise,” you said with a grin as you squeezed your phone between shoulder and ear to hold it, desperately fumbling for your keys in your bag, “To what do I owe the pleasure, Jeongguk?”
“Stop pretending like I never call you,” he snorted, “I need you to come and pick Jimin up.”
“Why?” you had found your keys and unlocked the door, but didn't go in, now slightly worried.
“He's running a fever, I think his cold is escalating. He wants to keep practicing, so I need you to come get him before he can.”
Of course he did. It would have surprised you if he had come home by his own accord.
“I'll be there in thirty minutes. Make sure he doesn't move till then.”
You quickly changed out of your high heels into sneakers, left your bag in a corner and took the elevator down to the garage with only your phone, papers and wallet.
Traffic wasn't as bad as you had anticipated, so you thankfully arrived at the BigHit HQ sooner than expected, going straight up to the dance practice rooms. You messaged Jeongguk about where they were, but you soon heard their newest song at one of the practice rooms at the far end of the hallway.
Hoseok and Jin were dancing when you entered, Yoongi and Namjoon were on their phones and the maknae line was sitting, leaning against a wall.
Jimin immediately let his head fall back, almost annoyed at you being here, “I told you I'm fine,” he said under his breath.
“Thank me later, hyung,” Jeongguk got up and pulled Jimin along with him. In the meantime, Taehyung gave you your boyfriend’s practice bag.
You didn't say much to any of the members, wanting to get your boyfriend home as quickly as possible, only thanked Jeongguk for calling you and then you escorted Jimin down to the car.
“You should have stayed at home altogether,” you said once you were in the elevator, touching his forehead and sighing when you felt his fever.
“I wanted to try,” he leaned forward until he could lean his warm forehead against your shoulder, your hand coming up to his neck and holding him, your thumb brushing over the short hair on his neck.
“Let's get you home first.”
You didn't even bother being upset with him, you knew him well enough at this point of your relationship. He always wanted try, no matter how bad he felt. That usually ended in you having to pick him up like today, but if you had the time, then you were okay with it... as long as you then knew that he was in bed, resting.
Which is exactly what you forced him to do once you were home. You waited until he was settled in bed, then you made him some tea and started preparing a soup that he could eat later on.
“I'm sorry,” Jimin said with glossy eyes when you walked into the bedroom. Half of his face was hiding under the blanket like he was ashamed.
“Stop,” you sat down next to him, your hand resting on his cheek, “This is in my dating package, you get it for free,” you said to lighten the mood and he did indeed start laughing.
You wanted to get up again, back into the kitchen to continue with the soup, but he quickly caught your wrist.
“Can you stay a little?”
You wordlessly got under the blanket next to him with a smile and pulled him closer, him immediately resting his head on your chest while your fingers were brushing through his hair.
Like this, it didn't take more than ten minutes for him to fall asleep. You assumed that due to him still having practiced a little, he was more than exhausted. Instead of getting up straight away, though, you ended up staying with him for what felt like hours, just brushing through his hair and kissing his forehead again and again.
“I love you,” you whispered against him with a smile.
He'd always be okay in the end... as long as he had you to take care of him. And that, he could always count on.
101 notes · View notes
yoonia · 4 hours ago
alpha’s inferno ● teaser/premise
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➬ Title | Alpha’s Inferno
⇢ Pairing | Namjoon x OC/female original character
⇢ Genre | Vampires!au, Werewolf!au, Alpha!Namjoon, Vampire!OC, Smut, Angst
⇢ Summary | Alphas can only be stronger with a mate. Losing his Destined had almost sent Namjoon into the wilderness, to an illness known to shifters as the Mating Sickness. Years passed, and he is forced to face another trial when he has to let go of his Chosen, sending both him and his pack into another turmoil after barely surviving against a war between the supernatural beings. Fighting his illness, the Alpha continues to lead his pack of misfits all on his own since. Facing betrayals, living constantly with distrust, losing his allies, and finding his own pack slowly crumbling into disarray as he slowly succumbs into his sickness. But the war has turned enemies into allies, and hate becomes love, and he wasn’t completely ready to find the Moon Goddess giving him a second chance to find love in the form of the being that he had once distrusted the most.
⇢ Ratings & Warnings | +18/mature; will involve sexual tension, jealousy, nudity, some blood play, marking, biting, knotting, more warnings will be added as I continue writing this
⇢ Word count | app. 20-30k words
➥ Part of the Shifters Series
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Fates, this is torture.
Namjoon keeps cursing inside his head as he listens to the Vampire in front of him speak. And it is not the injuries from the previous attack that is torturing him. No, that shit will heal in a matter of minutes, as long as he is focused enough to center his wolf’s powers to stitch his torn skin back together. There was no piece of silver marring his skin and he would easily survive.
But neither he nor his wolf can find any will to focus right now. Not at his wounds, at least, when his mind, his eyes, every part of his sense are aimed towards one figure, standing on the sidelines between the other Vampires that seem to hold so much authority that his new Vampire friends, except for Jimin, are looking and reacting at them with a ton of respect and humility.
But it is certainly not the way she is holding herself with such big powers that had caught Namjoon’s attention. He had sensed her even before he caught the sight of her. Knew her presence with a single whiff through the air to know that she was coming. Then earlier during the battle when she suddenly jumped in right before the Vampire scum who tried to slash through his neck, Namjoon managed to catch her scent and to sense her presence up close to feel it.
The sparks came surging through his body like a wildfire, bringing both his senses and his dying wolf back to life, snapping every broken piece of his soul slowly back in place even without him touching her.
Fates, this can’t be happening.
Many years had passed, and yet Namjoon can still remember how it felt like back then when he met his mate for the first time. The one who had been fated to be his and to stand by his side by the Moon Goddess above. He can still picture her, the way her presence brought electric sparks in the space between them, the way her scent made his wolf sing and his heart pounding wildly. How she managed to make him so feral, so possessive, and how he would stand tall while flaunting his powers in place of banging his hands against his chest to announce his claim on his mate like the beast that he was.
Just like how he is feeling it now, so close to laying his claim on the pretty looking Vampire who keeps stealing glances his way.
The conversation between the Vampires and the rest of the werewolves—his pack members included—is still ongoing. Yet he cannot even care to try to listen or follow, too entranced by the sight of her and the way both his body and the Alpha wolf inside him are reacting to her, too focused on stopping himself from trudging forward to lay his claim. The only thing that he has in mind is to pull her away, take her in his arms and look right into her eyes to know that he is not the only one feeling this way. Once he can confirm that she feels the same connection, he would devour those pretty lips, bury his fingers through her red locks to feel their silkiness, to take over her completely, and give her pleasure that she had never felt before.
As if she knows what he is thinking, the Vampire turns to look at him. Her ruby eyes start to glow brighter as her gaze meets his, before sparks of golden shade begin to emerge from the center of her irises and start swirling in her eyes as if there is a storm happening in them, perhaps representing the storm happening inside her head as she is trying hard to process what exactly is going on. Just like how he is trying to wrap his head around the fact that he is reacting this way to a certain female Vampire that he had never met before.
Could it be? He wonders as he continues to look at her, watching her every move and the expressions that she is making closely.
He had heard stories about second chance mates. He heard it from the stories that he heard about Jimin and his wolf mate, how they had both been given a second chance of finding their forever by the Fates. He had once thought it would have been nothing but a myth, though it wasn’t like he had been waiting for it to happen to him either. The only time he had ever come close to getting a second chance mate had been through an arrangement that was made between his pack and the Supreme Wolf, and yet it never fell through as the female wolf being set to be his mate had turned out to have been possessed by the Rogue King and had led an army of rebels and Rogues to fight against the Vampire clan and the shifters community fighting together with the Supreme Wolf Pack.
What a chaos.
But the thought of Haerin barely crosses his mind as he looks over to the female Vampire now openly staring at him with deep interest. While everyone around him continues to talk about forging a new and updated peace treaty, Namjoon continues to be mesmerised by the swirls in her ruby eyes, dancing together like ripples on the lake where he would find himself finding solace after dealing with his pack, beckoning him to come close.
“Alpha Namjoon,” the familiar voice coming from one of his Beta snaps him out of his trance. Biting down his annoyed growl, Namjoon turns to find the werebear, Beta Jin, looking at him curiously for a brief moment before giving his wounds a knowing glance. “We need to get your wounds checked and treated.”
There is no need for his second-in-command to explain it further. It isn’t much of a secret among the ranked members of his pack that his wolf has been deteriorating for quite a long time. Ever since he had lost his mate. Ever since the Mating Sickness had taken over his body, eating him slowly from the inside and out. He had done quite well in hiding it from his pack, but now, with his wounds out in the open for everyone to see, for people to notice how he isn’t healing as fast as he should, it wouldn’t be hard for anyone to finally catch on. Especially now, when his wolf is still too fixated with the female Vampire to care about the blood still dripping from his torso and thigh.
Namjoon takes another glance at the pretty being who is now looking at him with a frown, as if she had just realised that he is carrying deep wounds in his body. Unless she had somehow heard Seokjin talking to him from the distance. Realising that he had caught her undivided attention, Namjoon shamelessly throws her a smile, adding a wink for an extra measure to have her eyes widening in shock, before he turns to his Beta. “Of course. Take me to the Healer.”
His legs feel heavy as he follows Beta Jin’s lead towards the tents where the Healer is waiting for him. His wolf whining inside his head for turning away from the being that he had seemed to be falling for, while his own body seems to be fighting his mind and trying to pull him back. Clenching his fists on his side, Namjoon first the urge to turn around and focuses on walking away instead. It has to be done. Not only for the sake of his being and for his wounds to be tended, but also for the sake of the pretty little thing that has awakened both his desire and his need to protect, before he would pounce across the field and devour her right in front of everyone, or let his wolf take control to lay his claim.
Not yet. Not now.
Not when the wounds from the battle are still fresh and definitely not before he can understand the reason why he is acting this way. If only he can find a way to talk to the Fates to ask them what they are planning for him. The Moon Goddess must be playing tricks on him. Because there is no way he is fated to a being that has been his sworn enemy for as long as he lived. He needs to find out what the actual fuck is happening and to know the reason why.
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Coming soon in October 7th, 2021!
[complete teaser is available on my Patreon!]
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All Rights Reserved ©2021 Yoonia
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mysweetkittae · 2 days ago
When The Sun Rises (Ch.8)
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01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18
Characters: Actor!Jungkook x Reader
Genre: Angst, Fluff
Word Count: 6,421
Warnings: Depression, anxiety, mentions of past child neglect, mentions of past parental death, I promise there is happiness and hope in this.
Author’s Note: This story is fully written and will be updated weekly! It will also be posted on AO3 if you would prefer to read it there.
Summary: Everything felt numb, the heavy weight of nothingness having long found purchase in the spaces between Jungkook's ribs. It was all he knew – to run, so far away that his fears could never catch him – until one day he couldn’t anymore. Until one day there was nowhere left for him to run; nowhere left for him to hide. And then someone came along – kind and loving and patient, the wisps of the morning rays to illuminate his endless night sky – and suddenly Jungkook didn’t want to run anymore. For the first time in his life, he no longer wanted to hide – he just wanted to be free.
And think about it he did.
All day.
Every day.
The days were counting down to when he would finally have to leave what had been his home for almost half a year, and as a result he tried to spend as much time with Y/N as he could. Namjoon and Seokjin kept pushing him towards her saying that they wanted to spend time to explore alone, knowing well that he wanted to hang out with her but also didn’t want to leave his friends.
As fun as the last few days they had together were, with helping train Hoseok and having fun like they always did, it was also laced with the sadness of Jungkook leaving. There were no more plans being made for next week, no more promises of early morning or late night walks.
The final time they visited the cove together was a few hours before Jungkook's train, the sun not yet awoken and the tide not low enough for them to sit on the rocks. It was silent, only the sound of the wind rustling between them hanging in the air. Even the ocean was still, the waves holding their breath as they lay witness.
“Promise me you'll come and visit?” Y/N asked as she tried to hold back her tears.
“Of course, I’ll come back whenever I can. You have to come and see me too though, okay?” Jungkook replied, just as much longing in his voice.
“Mmh,” she nodded in reply, hand subtly trying to wipe her tears.
“I'm really, really going to miss this place. I'm so glad I came here,” he breathed gratefully, eyes taking in the view one last time.
“Me too. I'm so glad I met you. I'm going to miss you so much, it’ll be so quiet without you,” she whispered, no longer bothering to hide her tears.
Jungkook pulled her in for a hug, softly stroking her hair. “I'm going to miss you too, but hey, at least you have Hoseok to keep you company,” he smiled, trying to hide the ache in his heart.
“He’s not you though,” she mumbled lowly.
“You still have me, just a little further away than you'd like,” Jungkook tried to console.
“I'm just worried about you, y’know? What if things don’t turn out the way you want them to?”
“Then I’ll just have to find another way, won't I? You're the one who told me that I have to take the risk otherwise I'd live my whole life wondering ‘what if?’”
“I know, I know. And I know you'll do great in whatever you do, but it still sucks that you have to leave,” Y/N pouted, lips sliding into a grimace.
“I'm not going forever,” he reminded, “I’ll be back before you know it! Besides, technology is a thing, you know? I can call you every day and see your face.”
“It’s not the same though,” she retaliated.
“No, but it’s enough until I see you again.”
  ☽ ☼ ☾
 Jungkook felt his phone buzz in his pocket, Namjoon calling him to tell him it was time.
The two solemnly made their way back to the hotel, where they loaded their luggage into Y/N's car and made their way to the train station.
The four of them waited sombrely at the platform, idle chatter exchanged to pass the time until the inevitable announcement came of the train arriving, and with it, their farewell.
“It was so nice to see you, Y/N,” Seokjin said as he gave her a hug, smiling softly as he pulled away.
“It was lovely meeting you too,” she smiled back, a mirrored expression on her face.
“Thank you for looking after Jungkook all this time,” Namjoon whispered in her ear when it was his turn to hug her.
“It was my pleasure,” she answered, voice starting to crack at the reality of the situation.
“I'm gonna miss you so much,” Jungkook whimpered as he held her close, fingers gripping tightly around the fabric of her jacket.
“Me too. But I’ll see you soon, yeah? You'll ace your audition and film an amazing movie and then we’ll get to see each other again. You can't get rid of me that easily,” Y/N tried to joke, downplaying the heaviness weighing down her chest.
“As if I could ever dare do such a thing,” Jungkook scoffed. I love you too much for that.
“Just look after yourself okay? Don’t overwork yourself, and make sure that you always put yourself first. Nothing is more important than your health and happiness, don’t ever forget that,” she reminded, frowning a little as she pulled back to look him in the eyes.
“You better not overwork yourself either. Stop putting others before yourself all the time and make sure you have time for yourself. Don’t burn yourself out like I did,” Jungkook chastised.
“I’ll try my best,” Y/N sighed, knowing well that she wouldn’t keep her word.
“Good. I don’t know what I would do if anything happened to you.”
They both smiled bitterly, holding each other one last time before it was finally time to get on the train.
Jungkook sat by the window and kept looking at Y/N, not taking his eyes off her once until the train moved out of sight. Sighing deeply and sinking into his seat, he covered his face with his clothes and curled into a ball, eyes scrunched shut.
“You'll be okay,” Namjoon comforted from the seat in front of him, hand resting on top of the table.
“Will I?”
“Yes, you will. This isn't the olden days, you know, phones exist. Stop being so dramatic.”
“Leave me alone, let me drown in my misery,” Jungkook whined theatrically.
“Dude, it’s literally been less than two minutes. Calm down,” Namjoon said, rolling his eyes.
“No,” Jungkook whined, almost on the ground with how far he had slumped on the seat.
“Honestly, Kook, what are we supposed to do with you?” Namjoon wondered, this time with less bite.
Jungkook grunted in response, laying as far as he could to his side and trying to sleep.
Namjoon and Seokjin sighed as they watched him slowly fall asleep, body covered by his coat as he shut himself out of his reality.
“Joonie… he’ll be okay, won't he?” Seokjin asked in concern, brows furrowing at the thought of Jungkook hurting again.
“I think so. He's a strong kid; he's been through much worse and still managed to get past it. It might take some time, but I really do believe that he’ll be alright in the end,” Namjoon replied optimistically.
“I hope so, I hate seeing him suffer so much. It’s not fair,” Seokjin complained forlornly, “why can't the universe just let him live peacefully for once? He doesn’t deserve this.”
Namjoon kissed the back of Seokjin's hand in comfort, fingers remaining intertwined as their heads moved to lean against each other. The two of them slowly fell into a slumber not long after, the landscape around them rapidly changing from the greens and blues of the seaside to the harsh greys of the big cities.
Jungkook woke up around half an hour before they arrived, stretching the kinks out of his body and yawning his remaining fatigue away. He put his left elbow on the table in front of him and leaned his cheek on his hand, head resting on the window.
A smile painted his lips as he saw Namjoon and Seokjin sleeping in the seats opposite, leaning against each other with Namjoon's left arm wrapped around Seokjin's waist. Despite all the years that had passed, Jungkook maintained the fact that he had never seen two people more in love than Namjoon and Seokjin. There was so much respect between the two of them, so much comfort and ease that would normally go unnoticed to the common eye, but Jungkook saw it all.
He saw how their bodies gravitated towards each other like the Earth and Moon, never feeling complete without the company of each other. He saw how they never had to say anything, how they just knew how the other was feeling and what they were thinking. He saw the unconditional support whenever one of them wanted to pursue a dream that meant they had to spend time apart, the wanting of the best for each other greater than any selfish desire. If there were to ever to be a relationship to look up to, ever a couple to prove that soulmates existed, it would without a doubt be them.
Jungkook tapped them awake ten minutes before reaching the station, the three of them getting their luggage and preparing to leave. Jungkook could feel his heart beating faster in his chest every minute they got closer to arriving, this fantasy that he had been living in for the past five months very quickly coming to an end.
Once he got off this train he would have to go back to being Jeon Jungkook the actor, rather than Jeon Jungkook the person, and he didn’t know if he would be able to cope. He knew that he was in a much better mindset than he was when he first left, but he had completely removed himself from the city and the entertainment industry for so long that he had no idea how he would react to being back.
He had no idea what films had come out in the time he was gone, no idea what scandals had been revealed or which celebrities now ruled the media. He didn’t even have any idea what people were saying about him. Were they wondering where he had been for so long, or did they not even care? Were his fans still waiting for him, or did they all jump ship and move onto the next big thing once he was gone? Would he be able to perform in front of the director at his audition or would he screw up and be laughed out of the studio for being a miserable failure?
“-kook? Jungkook?”
“Huh?” He said as he broke out of his trance, thoughts vanishing as he saw Namjoon staring at him.
“The train’s stopping, let’s go,” he motioned his head towards the door, standing up and grabbing their suitcases.
Sighing heavily and pushing his worries to the back of his mind, Jungkook followed after them, keeping his head down as he stepped onto the crowded platform and walked towards the carpark when Kyungmin was waiting for them. She almost knocked Jungkook to the ground when he approached her car, her arms wrapping around him in such a vice-like grip that he swore he felt his bones crack.
But he loved it anyway.
He loved the way that in that moment he felt so safe and secure, like she was squeezing away every worry that was wriggling through his veins and replacing them with love and happiness.
“I missed you,” he whispered into her ear as he hugged her with just as much vigour, lifting her up a little and swaying her side to side.
“Not as much as I missed you,” she smiled. “Now come on, let’s get you all in the car.”
“Kyungie,” Namjoon said in annoyance as he opened the boot.
“Why is your luggage in the car?” He asked despondently.
“Because I'm staying at Kook’s house? You know this,” she frowned, almost irritated at the ridiculous question.
“Yeah but why couldn’t you have gotten it later? How are we supposed to fit all our stuff now?” He groaned, fingers beginning to writhe in agitation.
“Did you honestly think I was gonna make an extra trip just for my stuff?” She asked in disbelief. “Squeeze it all in, I’m sure it'll fit, I didn’t bring that much stuff.”
“I hope you know that it won't all fit in the boot. Why do you have such a small car?!” Namjoon grunted as he tried, but failed, to push one of the suitcases in the boot.
“Well I'm sorry for trying to be economical and not buying an obnoxiously large car for just one person. I'm not a narcissist.”
“But where are we going to put it?! We can't just leave it here!” He cried in exasperation, sweat tingling over his skin as he resorted to using his shoulder to make it fit.
“Just… shove it in the back seat or something. We’ll manage,” Kyungmin rolled her eyes, disregarding the death stare her older brother sent her way.
It took all four of them to fit all of their bags and suitcases into the car, leaving only one and a half seats in the back.
“How are we going to fit?” Jungkook asked, worried about how uncomfortable this would be.
“Guys, it’s fine, we’ll manage,” she replied.
“It’s alright for you, you have enough space!” Namjoon grumbled, eyeing the passenger seat.
As soon as he touched the handle she swatted it away, glaring at him. “You have to sit in the back.”
“I don’t trust you to sit at the front with me,” Kyungmin announced tightly.  
“I drive Jungkook around all the time! I'm more than capable,” Namjoon cried in complaint.
“I still don’t trust you.”
“Do I get to sit at the front then?” Jungkook chimed, pushing his way towards the front seat, only to have his hand smacked away as well.
“Nope, don’t you dare try to sit in the front.”
“Why not?! I'm a great driving partner! Have you forgotten our road trip already?” Jungkook balked, fighting against Kyungmin prying his fingers from the handle.
“That’s exactly why you're not allowed to sit in the front, you almost got us killed – multiple times.”
“That’s not my fault!” Jungkook cried in despair, affronted by the accusation. “The GPS kept breaking and taking us on weird paths, it’s not my fault!”
“You nearly directed us head on into a lorry. Three times.”
“It wasn’t my fault…” he pouted, remembering his trip with Kyungmin when they were younger and how the universe continuously conspired against him and the GPS kept giving them the wrong directions, leading him to direct Kyungmin to the wrong places and constantly almost get crushed by significantly larger vehicles.
Kyungmin had not been happy with him.
“Point is, you're not sitting next to me. The only person I trust is Jinnie.”
The two of them looked at Seokjin in disbelief, Namjoon scoffing at Seokjin's Cheshire cat grin as he flaunted his way into the front seat. Namjoon and Jungkook were left to somehow fit into the back, with Namjoon squashed against the door and Jungkook's right leg draped over Namjoon's in attempt to not be crushed by the luggage.
“I hate you both so much,” Namjoon spat, arms resting on Jungkook's leg.
“Sorry, what was that?” Seokjin called, cupping his hand around the back of his ear. “We can't hear you over all this leg room.”
  ☽ ☼ ☾
 Arriving back at his apartment complex was a weird feeling for Jungkook. He could feel his body curling in on itself when the security guards greeted him, the eyes of everyone in the building staring at him as he returned home for the first time in months. He continuously hid behind Namjoon until they were inside the lift, body subconsciously seeking protection from him.
When they finally made it to the front of his door, his finger hesitated before the keypad, lungs seconds from collapsing in on themselves at the thought of returning to the place that he was supposed to call home; to the place that was supposed to be his sanctuary. Kyungmin placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, giving him a soft smile that spoke all the words he needed to hear in that moment.
Taking a deep breath, he unlocked the door and took his first step in.
I'm home.
It wasn’t as cold as he was expecting it to be, nor was it filled head to toe with cobwebs and ghosts coming to haunt him for his sins.
“I've been making sure that the cleaners regularly came around and kept this place in check, I didn’t want you coming back to a dusty apartment.”
Jungkook smiled faintly at Namjoon's statement, wondering how he even thought that Namjoon wouldn’t have made sure his apartment was spotless and warm for his return.
“Because I'm a better sibling that Namjoon is I made sure to fill your fridge without even having to be asked. You're welcome,” Kyungmin inserted, grinning at Namjoon as she pushed past him to open the fridge door, unnecessarily modelling it to everyone.
“Wait, when did you fill it?” Namjoon questioned, eyes squinting at her.
“Last night, why?”
“If you came last night then why didn’t you bring your stuff with you?!” He exclaimed in exasperation, arms waving in the air and almost hitting Seokjin square in the face.
“Because I still needed some of my stuff! If I brought it all here then what would I have used last night or this morning, huh?! I STILL NEEDED TO BRUSH MY TEETH I'M SORRY FOR HAVING BASIC PERSONAL HYGEINE!” She yelled back, slamming the fridge shut as her eyes bulged at the accusation.
“Well maybe you could’ve kept your toothbrush with you and brought the rest of your stuff last night so that today when you were picking us up from the train station with all our luggage we might have actually had some space to breathe! I know you have a big mouth but your toothbrush would’ve hardly taken up much space!” Namjoon yelled back with equal might.
Thank God fancy apartments are thoroughly soundproof.
Seokjin and Jungkook jumped to hold the two of them away from each other, pinning their arms to their waists so they couldn’t claw each other’s faces off.
“Children please, behave yourselves,” Seokjin begged, grunting from having to keep Namjoon from throwing a pillow to his sister’s face.
“Kyungie please your elbows are so pointy,” Jungkook cried in pain, her elbows constantly poking him in the ribs as she tried to escape his grip. “Kyungmin,” Jungkook added, voice sterner now than before. “I swear to God I will sit on you if you don’t stop moving right now. Namjoon, you too.”
The two of them slowly came to a halt, eyes trained to the floor as they remembered their regular childhood punishment. Though Namjoon and Kyungmin were always super close, it didn’t stop them from constantly bickering with one another. It was almost impossible to stop them, until one day Jungkook discovered that sitting on them seemed to be the only way to make them listen.
Something about their organs being squished and not being able to breathe or something.
“Finally,” Seokjin breathed in relief, loosening his hold around Namjoon. “I thought I was gonna have to tranquilise you or something.”
“No tranquilisation will be necessary today,” Namjoon pouted, starting to move the luggage to the bedroom in embarrassment.
Jungkook chuckled to himself as he joined Namjoon, grateful that his family were able to distract him from his thoughts for some time.
Jungkook went into the shower first to rid himself of all the grime that travelling brought, brain and body no longer used to, what he realised now, was an unnecessarily extravagant bathroom significantly larger than the hotel room he had been staying in. The high pressure of the shower relieved some of the tension in his body, but he couldn’t bring himself to truly enjoy it.
He sat cross legged on the cold tiles, fingers tracing the pooling water as the droplets pelted his head. He closed his eyes and listened, the sound of his heavy breaths and heart beat echoing in his ears as the water rushing down around him, only getting up when the stinging of the heat on his back got to be too much.
Roughly drying his body and hair with the towel, Jungkook stood before the fogged up mirror, one hand gripping on to the counter as the other messily wiped the condensation away. He stared at his reflection, noticing the way that his hair was longer than when he left home, the way his face had filled out a bit, the way his eyes didn’t look as empty. So much had happened in the past five months, and though his heart and mind may not have healed completely, though he knew that right now was difficult, he knew that he was on his way. The corner of his lips forcefully pushed up into a smile, trying to remember all of the good things that had happened to him.
“You’ve been doing well, Jungkook,” he muttered to himself as he patted his cheeks. “I believe in you… kind of.”
He really did enjoy himself the rest of the night as the four of them ate and chattered and watched their favourite movies for the millionth time. Jungkook's heart wasn’t a hundred percent in it, but he was getting there, and he was trying, and that was enough for him. It was enough that in those moments, with the people that he loved the most, he wasn’t lying to himself. He wasn’t putting on a façade, and he wasn’t pretending that there was nothing wrong with him.
He was just… him, and that was more than enough.
Namjoon, Kyungmin and Seokjin didn’t speak to him like he was fragile, they didn’t treat him like his bones were made of glass and that he could shatter at any moment. They were kind to him, and they were understanding, but they never once made him feel like he was any less than a person.
It was frustrating to Jungkook, to see himself take two steps forward and four steps back, but he was trying to be kinder to himself too. He knew that coming back home would be tough, he knew that leaving Y/N behind would be tough, but he had prepared himself for this. Y/N had truly believed in him, and he didn’t want to let her down. He wanted to do his best and make her proud that he didn’t give up, but if things didn’t work out, then at least he could say he’d tried.
At least, that was the plan.
It was way past midnight by the time they decided it was time for bed, exhaustion finally catching up on them.
“Hey, you sure you'll be alright sleeping by yourself?” Namjoon asked, hand resting on Jungkook shoulder.
“I’ll be fine, don’t worry. I'm okay,” Jungkook reassured.
“I know but… night is difficult,” Namjoon said carefully, knowing all too well how the darkness wrapped itself around your ribs tighter when the moon was highest, twisting its way into every crevice.
“I promise you I’ll be okay. You guys are next door anyway, if I need you I promise I’ll come to you.”
“You mean it?”
“Yes. I pinkie promise that should I require your services I shall send a messenger to promptly retrieve you.”
Namjoon rolled his eyes at Jungkook's fake serious demeanour, patting him on the back before calling out a “goodnight, loser” as he walked away.
Jungkook sighed as he crawled into his cold bed, rolling to the side to grab his phone to distract him from his niggling thoughts. He unlocked the screen to see a message from Y/N, a smile forming on his face as he felt his heart begin to swell.
  >> From: Y/N
Hey, I hope your journey was alright
How does it feel to be back?
My grandparents said hi btw
Anyway you're probably really busy right now so I’ll talk to you later?
Only if you have time though! I know you have loads of stuff to do
  Jungkook pouted at the last couple of messages, seeing it timed to hours after the first and realising that she must have thought she was disturbing him.
  << From: Jeon Jungkook
Sorry for replying so late today was super hectic and I didn’t get a chance to check my messages
The journey was alright just kinda tiring
It’s not as bad as I thought it would be but it feels a bit weird being back home
And tell your grandparents I said hi too! I really miss them :(
  Almost immediately he got a reply, heart jumping at the sound of the notifications.
  >> From: Y/N
I'm glad!
I'm sure it must be weird after being away for so long, but it’s good that it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be!
 << From: Jeon Jungkook
Yeah, small steps right?
How come you're not asleep? It’s really late
 >> From: Y/N
I could ask you the same thing
But to answer your question I couldn’t sleep
 << From: Jeon Jungkook
Me neither
Why can't you sleep?
 >> From: Y/N
 << From: Jeon Jungkook
  He could see the text bubble repeatedly appearing and disappearing, Y/N writing and rewriting her message, just as he was, neither of them knowing exactly what to write. After a few moments of contemplation, Jungkook sent her a message.
  << From: Jeon Jungkook
Can I call you?
  She spent a few moments hesitating, finally answering.
 >> From: Y/N
  Sighing in relief, Jungkook pressed the call button and held his phone close to his ear, hand resting on his chest to calm his heart. After what felt like an eternity, Y/N finally picked up, whispering a breathy “hi” into the receiver.
“Hey,” Jungkook whispered back, relief flooding his veins at hearing her voice.
They both remained silent for a few moments, neither of them knowing how to start.
Y/N eventually spoke, a simple “how are you?” escaping her lips.
“I'm okay, a little dazed if I'm being honest, but definitely okay.”
“That’s good, that’s really good, Jungkook. I'm happy that you're doing okay. How is everyone else?”
“They're okay too, it’s been a while since all four of us have been together so today was incredibly loud and full of bickering, but it was really fun. It reminded me of when we were kids again,” Jungkook smiled, remembering the events of earlier in the day.
“It sounds like you guys had a great time,” Y/N giggled, thankful that Jungkook had good people around him.
“Yeah. How about you? How was today?”
“It was alright, I guess. It felt weird having to do everything by myself again, I got so used to having you around that I forgot what silence was like.”
“I know what you mean. There hasn’t been a moment of silence all day but it still felt so… quiet. I'm so used to being around you all day that it feels really weird not hearing your voice every five seconds.”
“The house seems really empty without you, and without Namjoon and Seokjin, we got so used to the house being so full that now you’ve all gone it doesn’t feel right,” she told him, smile steadily dropping at how unnatural it felt.
“I really miss your grandparents, I know it’s only been a day but are they doing okay?” Jungkook wondered, rolling onto his side.
“Yeah they're alright, they really miss you too though.”
Jungkook paused, wondering if he should ask or not. “Just them?”
He heard her breathe a bit more heavily, a faint sniffle reaching his ear.
“No. I… I really miss you too, Jungkook. A lot,” she said truthfully, the quietness of the night leaving her heart exposed.
“Me too. I really miss you a lot too,” he mumbled.
They both remained silent once more, just listening to the sound of each other’s breathing.
“Hey, Y/N?” Jungkook asked after some time, eyes drifting to the neon glow of the city outside of his window. “Can you hear the ocean?”
“Yeah, I can.”
“C-could you maybe let me hear it? I can't hear anything from my room, and I really miss the sound of it.”
“Yeah, of course.”
He heard ruffling on the other side, presumably from her getting out of bed and opening the window for the sound to be clearer. She held the phone in the direction of the ocean, the crashing of the waves flooding Jungkook's ears as he clasped a hand to his mouth, trying to hold back the sudden onset of tears as the familiar sound blanketed his body in comfort.
Once the silent tears had run from his body, their new home the depths of his silk pillows, Jungkook whispered a small and cracked “thank you.”
“Don’t thank me, this is your home too,” Y/N responded earnestly.
“Yeah, I guess it is,” he replied, closing his eyes as he remembered all of the happy memories he had made there.
“We should probably get to sleep, it’s late,” Y/N eventually said reluctantly, not wanting to hang up but knowing that she had to be responsible.
“Yeah, probably. But I’ll keep texting you and calling you, okay? And you should too. I'm never too busy for friends,” he replied sternly, a reminder for her previous apology.
“I will,” she laughed, voice light and airy as the ocean breeze flittering around her room. “Goodnight, Jungkook. Sweet dreams.”
“Goodnight, Y/N, sweet dreams.” Nibbling on his bottom lip, he reluctantly hung up, placing his phone on the bedside table and dragging his duvet above his head, sealing him away from the outside world.
Jungkook naturally woke up early, so used to rising with the sun for so many months. He made his way to the window and sighed as he looked at the skyscrapers that lined the horizon, only the greys of concrete buildings and the reflective windows staring back at him.
He decided to take a shower, hoping that the sound of the water would trick his brain into thinking it was the ocean. He sat on the floor once more, letting the water pelt down on his head to try and numb his brain. Wrapping his arms around his knees and resting his forehead on them, he let the thrumming infiltrate his ears, slowly falling asleep.
“-Kook? Jungkook can you hear me?” Jungkook jolted awake at the sound of banging on the bathroom door.
“Jungkook open the door,” Namjoon called loudly, fists banging even harder.
Blinking the water away from his eyes, Jungkook dazedly turned the shower off and wrapped a towel around his waist, hobbling to the door and pulling it open. As soon as he did Namjoon pulled him in tightly for a hug, quickly pulling him back to inspect him.
“Why didn’t you answer?” He interrogated in despair, fingers roaming to check Jungkook's wrists and head.
“Sorry, I fell asleep,” he croaked, body dehydrated from being under hot water for so long.
“I was so worried, you were in there for ages and you didn’t respond, I thought something happened to you,” Namjoon breathed heavily, heart pulsating beneath his now-wet shirt from when he had pulled Jungkook close.
“No, I'm okay. Sorry for worrying you,” Jungkook apologised, eyes flittering over Namjoon's distressed state.
“Just… just don’t scare me like that again okay? I really thought you had hurt yourself,” he mumbled.
“Joon… you know I would never do that,” Jungkook replied firmly as he looked him in the eye.
“I know but, brains don’t exactly listen when you're scared, do they? I couldn’t help but think of the worst,” Namjoon defended.
“I guess. How did you know I was in the shower though? I woke up really early,” Jungkook questioned as he grabbed another towel and started drying himself off, wincing as he pressed his now-raw scalp.
“I heard the shower being turned on and couldn’t go back to sleep. The perks of manager life I guess, you wake up at the slightest of sounds.”
“Does Seokjin know?”
“That man sleeps like the dead, you could dump a bucket of cold water on him and he wouldn’t wake up,” Namjoon answered into his palms, hands running over his face.
“Could we… could we maybe not tell him? And Kyungmin. I don’t want them to worry unnecessarily,” he requested, finger scratching the side of his head.
“Of course, don’t even worry about it. Now come on, get dressed and we can eat breakfast in peace before they wake up.”
Jungkook nodded in relief and finished getting ready, smile slowly returning to his face.
Breakfast was simple, nothing like what Y/N had been feeding him, but it was still comforting in a way he never would’ve thought he would miss. It was peaceful, sitting at the kitchen island with the sun softly filtering through the windows, speckles of dust dancing through the air.
“How was last night? Were you okay?” Namjoon carefully questioned as he spooned another bite of cereal into his mouth, a drop of milk dripping onto his chin.
“Yeah it was okay, just a bit strange,” Jungkook admitted. “I ended up calling Y/N and had her let me listen to the ocean which was nice. I really miss it.”
“You must do, you became so used to hearing it every night. Do you think one of those apps with ocean sounds would help?” He offered, words jumbled around the spoon.
“Nah, those things are rubbish,” Jungkook side-eyed. “I’ve tried a few before and they sound nothing like the real thing.”
“Ah, I guess it’s impossible to replicate Mother Nature.”
“Yup, there’s only one of Her and She cannot be replaced.”
“Hmm, I'm glad you were able to speak to Y/N, was she doing okay?”
“Yeah, it was kinda comforting being able to hear her voice again, it felt weird not speaking to her all day yesterday,” Jungkook confessed. “She's doing alright, she just said that it was weird having to do everything by herself again. And she said that her grandparents missed us, which was really nice,” he added with a warm smile, longing desperately to be with them now.
“Jin was actually talking about them last night, we were saying how much we missed them too,” Namjoon nodded in agreement, chin resting on his fist. “I really, really loved being with them, they're such lovely people.”
“I heard my name, what are you saying about me?” Seokjin yawned as he walked in, sleep still evident on his face.
“That you're a nuisance to society and should be locked up for everyone’s safety,” Namjoon said as he stuck his tongue out at him, not a single trace of maturity to be seen.
“He said that you were talking about how much you missed Y/N's grandparents, I spoke with her last night and she was saying how they missed us too,” Jungkook replied, smiling at their playfulness.
Seokjin ‘accidentally’ bumped into Namjoon as he made his way to his seat, stealing Namjoon's bowl of cereal and forcing him to get another for himself.
“Oh, yeah. I know we only came back yesterday but I really want to go again when we get a chance. I'm sure you'd love to go and visit a certain someone, wouldn’t you Jungkookie,” Seokjin added, wiggling his eyebrows menacingly.
“Oh shush,” Jungkook mumbled, eyes focusing on the bowl as he tried to control the heat rising to his face.
“Good morning peasants plus Jinnie!” Kyungmin announced as she slammed the door, her usual bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed demeanour masking any sign of fatigue.
“Morning, Princess,” Seokjin said with a sweet smile, getting up to help Kyungmin make her breakfast.
“Don’t indulge her,” Jungkook and Namjoon said in unison, rolling their eyes at her as she stuck her tongue out at them.
“How are you a grown woman,” Namjoon mumbled under his breath, wondering where he went wrong in her upbringing.
  ☽ ☼ ☾
 After breakfast had finished Namjoon and Jungkook got to work on the audition, running through the selection of scenes they had been sent. Once Jungkook started he managed to push aside any other thoughts he had and focused solely on the script, analysing the personality of the character and figuring out the best way to portray them and bring them to life. He was slowly starting to get back in the swing of things, years of training coming back to him like muscle memory.
The next couple of weeks went by in a blur, each day spent rehearsing with Namjoon when he wasn’t fulfilling his other manger duties and Namjoon, Seokjin and Kyungmin spending time with him in the evenings after work, trying their best to help him get accustomed to being back.
His highlight of each day though was talking to Y/N every night. Whether it was texting each other, calling, or Zooming, most nights they would talk for upwards of an hour, just catching each other up on what was going on and with random conversations.
Y/N had taken it upon herself to record different sounds and sights from the town to send to Jungkook every day. She would record each sunrise and sunset she would see, she’d record the sound of the ocean every morning and night, she’d record the view of outside from the room Jungkook was staying in, and the view from their secret location. She’d send him loads of pictures and update him on every little thing that was going on, about customers and how Hoseok was getting along with his training.
It was what he looked forward to every day and it was what kept him going through work. Even though he was back home it felt like he was still there, and it made his transition into his previous life much easier since it didn’t feel like something that had become such an integral part of him had been abruptly cut out.
Y/N made sure to let Jungkook know regularly how proud of him she was no matter what happened and that as long as he tried his best nothing else mattered. Although his friends had been saying the same thing to him, for some reason it meant more to him coming from Y/N. He had thought that physically being away from Y/N would help him clear his mind and determine whether his feelings towards her were just due to her proximity and him being vulnerable and dependent and therefore latching himself onto to the closest person, but if anything the distance made his heart ache for her more, and now he wasn’t sure if it was because of the stress of the audition.
Once the audition is over, he tried telling himself, making any excuse that he could to try and avoid confronting how he really felt.
Once the audition is over then I’ll see.
17 notes · View notes
borathae · a month ago
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“Jungkook was sent by the Ravens of the Black Forest to kill the Queen of the Night Queendom. He hadn’t expected to find love when he climbed the high walls of the Queen’s castle and pressed a sharp blade against her throat.” 
Pairing: Bandit!Jungkook x Queen!Reader
Genre: Fantasy, e2l!AU, Smut, Romance
Warnings: LOTS of plot & worldbuilding omgmg, an assassination attempt, gags, ropes as bondages, switch!Jungkook, domish!Reader, knife play, blood play if you squint, choking, multiple orgasms, dirty talk, rough (angry) sex, crying kink ᵇᵉᶜᵃᵘˢᵉ ˡᵉᵗ'ˢ ᵇᵉ ʰᵒⁿᵉˢᵗ ᶦᵗ'ˢ ᵐᵉ, mutual striptease, food play in the form of feeding (bruh it’s hot), they share a bath all nakedy 👀, Kook is such an angry boy in the beginning, lmao this whole story is sending me down a spiral tbfh
Wordcount: 19.9k
a/n: This is without doubt one of my fave stories I have written so far. I love the world I created so much. And yes this takes place in the same universe Unveiled takes place. I hope you guys enjoy reading it just as much as I did writing it! 💜 also I know it’s long, but please give it a chance, it’s really good :(
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A cold blade against your throat wakes you. Your reaction is instant. You were prepared, waiting impatiently for the day to come. 
Your murderer is beneath you in an instance. His own blade is pressed right under his eye, your fingers have a tight grasp on his throat. 
He wiggles and growls, dark eyes glued to your face.
"Uh-hu", you warn, pressing the blade tighter to his skin. 
He grunts and eyes his shiny demise. 
"Fuck", he presses out, forsaking his fight against you. 
You tilt his head up, nails bruising his skin.
"Now tell me. Who could be so reckless to attack me in my bedchambers?"
"You have to kill me before I talk", he spits. 
You study him. Strong body with muscles that strain against his dark clothes. Pretty face with a chiseled jaw and soft cheeks, there is dirt and sweat on his skin. He is panting heavily, chapped lips parted. His nails are dirty and broken. That means he climbed up your walls. Logical. Your castle's wolves would have found him otherwise. Clever. Means he knew the grounds and your customs. 
"You climbed. Impressive. That would have been a high fall had you slipped. Fatal even." 
He growls and sits up, getting himself pressed down again. 
"It would have been worth it", he spits.
He is angry and filled with hate. It is directed at you. Interesting. People don’t normally look at you with such hatred. Which can only mean one thing.
"Ah!" he gasps, back arching in pain. 
You slashed through his shirt, cutting his skin in the process. He wiggles, finally showing you his strength. But you pin him down by his throat easily, ripping the shirt open with one hand. 
"I knew it." 
He snarls angrily, swallowing heavily because breathing is becoming terribly difficult. 
"You are one of them", you say, studying the raven tattoo on his right pec, "The Ravens of the Black Forest." 
He growls and fights harder. You figured him out. 
"Will you stop fighting against me?" you hiss, finally putting real pressure on his throat.
His eyes widen, fingers clasping your wrist. 
"Tell me your name." 
"Never", he chokes out. 
You squeeze harder, making his eyelids flutter. 
"You'd rather die than tell me your name? Your conviction is remarkable."
His body twitches, his lips opening and closing in search of air. You laugh. 
"Remarkable really. Such devotion could be useful. Also…" 
You drag the knife over his cheek softly.
" would be a waste to kill such a pretty face." 
You release his throat. He coughs and wheezes. 
"There, there you'll live. It will bruise but you will live", you soothe him, patting his chest.
He calms down slowly, staring at you with widened eyes. 
"Why would you spare me?" 
"Because I am not the monster you think me to be." 
He tries to sit up. 
"Stay", you order, pressing the blade right against his throat. 
He falls down on the mattress, licking over his lips nervously. 
"That's better", you smile, "now, I’ll give you one last chance to tell me your name before I call in my warriors and tell them to throw you into a cell to rot." 
"Call them", he hisses. 
You lower your eyes in anger. 
"Valkeria! Auralia!" you call them, "your silence won’t save you stranger", you tell him. 
"My Queen you called upon us", Valkeria asks, grasping her sword. 
"A confused bird has found its way into my bedchamber. Take him back to his cage." 
"Yes my Queen." 
The stranger leaves with an impressive struggle. Your warriors have much to do. 
"You won’t get through with this! You hear me? They will come looking for me!" he screams. 
"Gag him too, he is oh so noisy and I am trying to sleep." 
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The torches flicker, casting deep shadows on the stone walls. His steps echo, giving off the impression that at least three people were being dragged over the floor. He gave up fighting one night ago when all it brought him was a cut across his stomach. It stopped bleeding this morning, but still burned. 
"Walk, will you?" the Queen's warrior tells him, tugging at his aching arm. 
"If I was the Queen, I would have fed him to Woltron three nights ago", the second warrior, who was dragging him, says. 
"Don't let Her hear you." 
"I don't care. She is too merciful with his people." 
He could feel her iron nails dig into his arm at the mention of his people. She hated him and wanted him dead. Just like he hated them and wanted them dead. 
"Valkeria please lower your voice." 
"Don't forbid my words. You know how it ended last time. Ymir is still dead and he is still on the run." 
At that he felt his ears twitch in attention. Is he, they are talking about, who he thinks he is? But that wouldn’t make sense, he never returned home. They must be talking about someone else.
"The Queen thinks this one is different." 
"Well, then she is delusional." 
He found it peculiar that they were fighting. His teacher always told him that the witches of the Night Queendom, which called themselves rulers, always stuck together. He was taught like that. Cut off one head and three new ones will take its place. That is why the witches of the Night Queendom were so successful in banishing his kind, because they always stuck together. 
"We will see of her delusions very soon." 
A lock gets turned and he gets pushed up the same stairs he had been dragged down three nights ago when he failed his mission to kill the Queen. 
"Come now little bird, don’t give up now", she warns and pushes him roughly. 
He was close to giving up. He was taught that people like him were not supposed to give up no matter how hard life was. But he felt close to giving up, passing out to be more precise. Three nights and four days is a long time with no nourishment or sleep if one had to run for five days and climb walls before that. His body was losing its will to produce strength. 
And so he stumbled, cushioning his fall with his hands and knees. It ached so terribly. 
"Get up!" 
He gets pulled to his feet roughly. He could feel the sharp pain of the warrior's nails on his skin. 
"Aren’t you people supposed to be strong? Where is that strength now?" 
"Valkeria! Stop your cruelty, can’t you see that his body is weakened?" 
He gets pulled down a familiar hallway. He stumbles with his eyes barely staying open and his head pounding. He knows that hallway. He was led through it when he was caught. They are bringing him back to the Queen's bedchambers.  
She stops him with a harsh tug on his hair. It made him stumble and groan in pain. 
He could hear three knocks somewhere far away and a voice call out even further away. Then he gets pushed again, falling to his knees. 
"Oh my! Valkeria you mustn’t push him that hard." 
"I am sorry my Queen, I underestimated my strength." 
He feels a warm hand place itself on his arm and rub circles up and down his skin. 
It was the Queen's hand, he knows that it was. It gave him enough strength to lift up his head and send her a deathly glare.  
You are smiling at him. 
"Good evening stranger. I apologize for my warriors, they can be quite rough at times. Auralia please help him up and help him take his place." 
She follows in an instance. Just moments later he is secured on a chair, arms and legs tied. He grunts and wiggles, but to no avail. He knits his brows and grinds his teeth. This is it. He is going to die like a weak bitch, tied up and starved. Oh if his fellow brothers would see him right now, they would laugh at him. 
He can hear them talk behind him, the Queen and Her warriors.
"Leave us." 
"But my Queen-" 
"Leave us."
"What will you do with him?" 
"It mustn’t concern you Valkeria." 
"You know how it ended last time, Ymir is dead." 
"Valkeria, don’t speak to Her like this." 
"No, don’t defend me Auralia. Valkeria’s worries are justified….Valkeria." 
"Yes my Queen?" 
"This one is different. And if he isn’t, Woltron will be happy to feast upon him." 
He shivered at that, tugging at the ropes in hopes of getting free. Woltron. That name fell twice this night. It must be one of the wolves he heard growling behind the castle walls. As tall as trees and with a fur as dark as the night and as sturdy as the strongest armour. They scare him. 
"I understand my Queen." 
"Leave now, I can handle him from here." 
"Yes my Queen." 
He can hear a door open and close then steps as the Queen rounds him. 
"It is just you and me now." 
He grunts and challenges you with a harsh tug on the ropes. It makes his stomach ache again. 
"Don't fight it. They are laced with magic, they only loosen when I tell them to." 
"You witch", he growls and spits at your feet, "your curses can’t hurt me." 
You stare at your feet and the spot on which his saliva is glistening in the lights. 
"You have terrible manners for someone, whose life I saved”, you observe with disappointment lacing your voice.
He looks away and clenches his jaw in anger. You call it saving, he calls it keeping him captive. 
"Now, let me see if my warriors were too cruel to you." 
You lower yourself to inspect his body. His muscles were tense, his skin dirty and his shirt was clinging to his torso in torn stripes. 
"They cut you open", you observe, stroking your finger underneath the deep cut. 
He tenses and tries to flee from your touch, pressing his toes into the ground with all he got. 
"Don't touch me witch", he presses out through gritted teeth. 
"I must if I want to clean you." 
You rise to get a bowl of warm, clean water and a soft rag. The water smells like eucalyptus, making his eyes water. You soak the rag and wring it out.
"Stay still now or else it will hurt more than it must." 
He tries to fight it, tries to flee but he knows it is fruitless, soon the rag is touching his wound. He hisses and writhes under the burning sensation.
"What is that? What are you doing to me?" 
"I am cleaning you. I don’t want you to get infected." 
You clean the rag of his blood and place it on his stomach a second time. His muscles ripple in answer, fleeing the sensation. It must burn a lot, you pity him, it must be really uncomfortable.
"No, don’t touch me." 
"I know it burns. I apologize but I must clean it." 
One last time you drag the clean rag over his stomach. 
"Don't touch me", he growls and writhes.
"Will you stay still?" you hiss, straightening up to be face to face with him, "I won’t hurt you, I merely want you to feel better." 
He grunts, breathing heavily. 
"I don't need your help." 
"Yes, yes you do because right now you are tied to my chair in my chambers after starving for four days while outside an army of my strongest warriors just burns to bury their swords in your chest. So yes, you do need my help right now." 
He understands. He knows that he was outnumbered, weakened and defenceless and that your mercy was the only thing still keeping him alive. He was clever enough to realise that fighting you right now would only end in his death. He was trained for this, trained to survive when his chances were miniscule and fight when his chances were overflowing. He knew that right now the best thing to do was be complacent. 
He scoffs and stops wiggling, challenging you with a cock of his eyebrows.
"That's better", you smile victoriously and begin cleaning the cut on his chest. 
It wasn’t as deep as the one on his stomach and he had almost forgotten about it, hadn’t you dragged your rag over it. 
He hisses and tenses up. 
"It burns doesn’t it?" 
He stays quiet. 
"I know, but worry not. You will feel better once it begins working." 
"What?” he stares at the rag with widened eyes, “what have you done witch?" 
"I'm no witch", you halt your movements, "and I haven’t done anything”, you begin cleaning him again, “I merely added healing oils to the water to soothe your pain.”
“Healing oils?” he asks, craning his neck to stare at his exposed torso.
“Yes, my healers prepared them for me. They are quite helpful I must say. I use them whenever something aches”, you explain and send him a reassuring smile.
You must be lying. These aren’t healing oils. They must be infused with magic. Must be made to kill him, poison him slowly until it looks like he died of a weak body. This is all just a trick. He grunts, begins writhing again until his wrists and ankles hurt from the ropes digging into his skin.
“Will you stay still?” you hiss, grabbing him by his cheeks and squishing them, “I am almost done.”
“Leave me alone. Leave”, he grunts in exhaustion, “leave me alone.”
You sigh, dropping the rag back into the dirty water. You stand up and pet his hair, making him flinch back and growl with every touch.
“They sent a feisty one this time. I must say, your friend was easier to handle.”
“My friend?”
“Yes, your friend. He came to us a fortnight ago, climbed the walls just like you did and failed to kill me”, you pause to study his features.
He doesn’t look at you, grinding his teeth with a clenched jaw.
“He was far more loquacious than you. Said his name was Seokjin and that his brothers wouldn’t stop trying until I am finally dead.”
You could watch how he tenses up at the mention of his friend’s name. So your assumptions were right, the Ravens of the Black Forest are finally making their moves again. They were a group of men, hiding out in the deepest corners of the Black Forest. They despised you for being a woman and for being the one in control. You did understand them, men on this earth were treated poorly by many of your fellow women, but their hatred still offended you. You made sure that men in your lands were treated fairly and as equals, not as lesser beings made to be a woman's ragdoll. But these men, these angry, misunderstood men wanted you dead nonetheless. It had been years until their last attacks before they started again last month.
“Why is Rafkan attacking us again?” you ask, spreading healing creams on his wounds, “tell me stranger, what is his motivation?”
He scoffs and turns his head away. He only reacts when you reach the cut on his stomach, sucking in air through his teeth at the cold sensation. You soothe him with a quiet “hush it’s good for you” and a soft pat to his stomach. It makes him tense up to the point that his muscles shake.   
“Is it gold that he wants?” you begin, placing the bowl of ointment on your table, “perhaps food? Or medicine?” you ask, eyes flitting up to meet his’.
His expression stays stone cold. He doesn’t want to talk. You begin placing clean bandages on his cuts, making him tense up. It is peculiar how he is still fighting your kindness when you are so gentle with him. You place the bandages on his cuts with uttermost care and smooth over them as cautiously as you could and he was still fighting you, hissing in anger and sending you dark looks.
“Clearly he wants something”, you say, finishing the last touches.  
“He doesn’t, he just wants you witches dead.”
“How you talk disappoints me. I am no witch, I already told you so.”
He scoffs, “sure.”
You furrow your brows and take a deep breath. This one is a lot more stubborn than his friend was. You can see it in his eyes, it won’t be an easy task to gain his trust.
“You know, your friend was the same as you. Stubborn and filled with anger. Until he realised that he had nothing to fear here.”
“I’m not scared of you”, he spits.
“Of course you aren’t, but wouldn’t it be much easier for both of us if you started to talk?”
He laughs dryly, shaking his head.
“I see, you don’t think that way. Fine, then I must convince you otherwise.”
His head snaps up at your words, eyes filled with fear even though he clearly doesn’t want you to know that he was scared. He knew it. He knew that you would sooner or later retort to torturing him. Just like Rafkan told him, the witches of the Night Queendom were evil, sadistic monsters. He watches you as you slither through the room like the poisonous snake you are. He is sure that underneath that ebony dress your scales are hiding and that behind those red painted lips your poisonous fangs were waiting to be used. He watches you as you disappear behind a folding screen, using the opportunity of solitude to tug at the ropes again. He grunts, grinding his teeth. No matter how much he fights, how much strength he uses or how angrily he wiggles, the ropes stay closed like iron fingers on his body.
“Fuck”, he presses out quietly, dropping his head. The bandages look weird on his body, almost forbidden. He hates to admit it, but whatever you did to him is working. Ever since your warrior cut him open, he felt this everlasting ache on his stomach. It is finally gone. He doesn’t feel anything other than the prickling sensation of whatever ointment you put on him and that sensation wasn’t painful, it was as a matter of fact pleasant and he hated it. He hated it because he never wanted to connect good sensations with your kind.
“So, now let’s see”, your voice makes him raise his head again.
You are back, strutting to him with a tray in your hands. His heart is racing unbearably fast in his chest. This is it. He only heard nightmare stories of your people’s cruelty and now he will experience it on his own body. You set the tray down on the table beside him and pull a chair close to him to sit down on it. He eyes the tray, wondering to himself why the tools looked like cutlery.
You reach for an iron jug, pouring translucent liquid into a mug. You guide the mug to his lips, touching them with the cold edge.
He shakes his head, pressing his lips closed as good as possible.
“You must be thirsty, drink.”
He turns away.
“It will do you good.”
He shakes his head no and eyes the drink with panic in his eyes.
“Here, look”, you say and take a big sip, “it is water from our fountains. It is clean and tastes fresh, you have nothing to fear.”
“Don’t be stubborn, you need water to live.”
“I don’t need your water, witch.”
“You must stop calling me a witch when I am merely trying to help you.”
“Help me? It would help me far more if you just slid my throat instead of poisoning me slowly.”
You sit back on your chair, tilting your head to the side in confusion.
“Poison you?” you laugh loudly.
It angers him to hear you laughing at his words. He tugs at the ropes and growls, hoping that the surge of anger gives him enough strength to break through. It doesn’t.
“I am not intending to poison you stranger, so come don’t be stubborn and accept the water”, you say, placing the mug against his lips again.
He breathes quickly, it smells like nothing. Only the iron mug gives off a faint scent. You tilt the mug, making the water touch his lips. He presses his eyes shut at the cold sensation, waiting for the unbearable burn of the poison. It doesn’t come, as a matter of fact, nothing happens other than that his skin feels wet all of a sudden.
He locks eyes with you and finally parts his lips. The liquid feels cold on his tongue, coating his terribly dry mouth. He swallows, grunting when his throat finally stops aching in thirst. You were right. It tastes clean and fresh and so, so cold. He hates how good it felt and how hungrily he began drinking it.
“There we go. That’s better. You must have been really thirsty. I apologize that I kept you waiting for so long, but I needed to weaken you a little before I could talk to you.”
The water runs down his chin and trips down on his chest. You wipe it off with your hand.
“Don’t worry, you won’t return to your cell again. Unless of course, you decide to misbehave.”
He breaks away from the mug and swallows the last bit of the water.
“Just throw me in there again, I won’t talk”, his voice comes out easier now that his throat wasn’t so dry anymore.
“Oh trust me, I know that you won’t talk tonight. That is why I brought this”, you say and open an iron cloche.
He had expected to be met with torture devices, but instead freshly cooked food was looking back at him. Meat and potatoes, garnished with a red sauce. His stomach rumbles on instinct, so loudly that you could hear it as well.
“I can hear that you are hungry. So eat as much as you desire.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“You think it is poisoned, don’t you?”
His silence is answer enough for you.
You sigh and cut off a piece of meat and potato so you could eat them in front of his eyes. You chew and swallow.
“See? It is not poisoned.”
He eyes it, swallowing down the saliva in his mouth.
“I’m not hungry.”
You cut off a piece and guide it to his lips.
He locks eyes with you, opens his mouth and lets you place the food inside.
“There you go, that’s-“, your voice cuts off as he spits it back out again right at your face. You gasp and touch the spot it had touched.
“I don’t need your food witch”, he spits.
“I am trying to help you. How dare you spit at me”, you hiss.
“Be glad I am bound to this chair because if I wasn’t, I’d do things far worse to you.”
You place the fork down and sigh.
“You disappoint me stranger, I thought you would know better than this. Valkeria! Auralia!”
The door opens.
“What are you doing? Where are you taking me?”
“Take him back to his cell. He hasn’t learned his lesson yet.”
“I’ll kill you. You hear me?” he growls, fighting against your warriors' grasps.
“And gag him again, he is oh so noisy”, you order, locking eyes with him. Your warriors are stuffing a rag into his mouth, doing with little concern for his wellbeing. He grunts and whimpers, fighting against the feeling but losing miserably.
“I told you not to misbehave, this is all on you”, you tell him coldly, “now take him away, I don’t want to see him anymore.”
His screams are muffled and unintelligible, but you know that he is screaming curses at you.
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He had been sleeping before. It wasn’t really sleeping if he was being honest, the rag in his mouth and the ropes around his hands prevented him from feeling comfortable. Not that he found any kind of comfort in the cold, wet prison cell her warriors threw him in after he spat at her face last night. Or was it two nights ago? Perhaps even three nights? He doesn’t quite know as the only source of light was the measly torch outside his cell. But he knew that it was time for him to leave his cell again. It was being opened and two warriors stepped through the threshold.
“Wake up birdie”, one of them tells him and kicks his side.
He groans and writhes away, trying to sit up but failing miserably.
“Stop that Valkeria.”
“Why? She just told us to bring him to Her, she never spoke of treating him gently.”
“Yes, but kicking him awake won’t do you any good.”
"Yes it will, it's fun", she says and kicks him again. 
He could feel the pain in his entire body. It leaves a dull thumping sensation behind. 
"Stop that!" 
The other, and nicer, warrior squats down before him and places her hands on his shoulders so she could help him sit up. He does so with a groan, everything inside of him ached.
“I apologize for my friend’s behaviour. She doesn’t know what she is doing. The Queen sent for you again, you will leave your cell tonight”, she spoke with a calm and gentle voice.
She helps him to his feet and supports him by his arm.
“Come now, walk.”
He stumbles and tries to walk. He regrets not taking any of the Queen's food. He thought that he couldn’t feel any worse, but he does. He feels close to death. The colours around him looked washed out and pale, the world seemed blurry and distorted and his legs felt like two pieces of iron. He stumbles up the steps, the warrior pulls him back up easily.
“See? That is what you get when you refuse Her food”, she says with disappointment lacing her voice.
She was right in a way. He should have at least eaten the potato, then he wouldn’t be in so much pain. Perhaps then he would also have enough strength to push her down the stairs and run for his life. Perhaps if he ate that potato he would have already been able to flee.
He stumbles again, being held up by the warrior’s strong grasp.
“It’s not far anymore, hold on for a little longer.”
“Why are you so nice to him Auralia? He doesn’t deserve our kindness”, the first, and sadistic, warriors spits and a second later he feels his hair get twisted painfully.
He groans and stumbles, hitting his shins and toes way too many times as she pulls him up the stairs by his hair.
“Valkeria stop that!”
She stops tugging at his hair but only because they have reached the Queens chambers and she needs to knock. He is crying by now. Not actually, physically crying because he feels sad but out of his eyes tears are spilling from the discomfort of his hair being tugged. And then she tugs at his hair again, making him stumble into the Queens chambers.
He would have fallen on his face if you hadn’t caught his body before that, now he is lying in your arms, face buried in your chest.
“Valkeria! If I see you abuse him one more time, you will be the one being fed to Woltron”, you spit angrily.
“It is not my fault he is too stupid to walk”, Valkeria answers, shrugging her shoulders.
You click your tongue, “leave for the night and tell Yeri to take your place instead.”
“My Queen?”
“You need to take control of your emotions Valkeria.”
“Yes my Queen. I understand my Queen”, she mumbles and bows her head.
The door closes then and he feels his body being straightened up.
“Good evening stranger”, you greet him with an apologetic smile, “I apologize for Valkeria’s behaviour, you must know she has good reasons to hate your people.”
He furrows his brows in confusion.
“Your friend, Seokjin, he killed one of my warriors before he fled back to you. Ymir was her name and she was Valkeria’s wife.”
He lowers his eyes in shame. 
“But for now let’s take off this gag shall we?”
He gasps for air the moment the rag is out of his mouth, licking over his lips repeatedly. The soaked rag lands on the floor with a low thump.
“I felt awful having to gag you for days, but you spat at my face, it was only the right thing to do.”
He scoffs, wiping his mouth with his tied hands. The corners of his mouth ache terribly, they also feel hot when he licks over them, he must have inflamed them from the rag constantly rubbing against them.
“Don’t worry, they are only a little reddened. It’s nothing a few days of rest can’t fix”, you assure him, “but now, come follow me. I need to clean you.”
You tug at his arms. He is too weak to fight back, stumbling after you.
“Where are we going?” he asks weakly, eyeing the chair he had been tied to before.
“The bathing room. You stink.”
You lead him past a wall of thick curtains into a small, windowless room. Dozens of candles were lit and in the middle of the room an iron tub was standing, filled with warm water. It smelled of lavender and chamomile in the room.
You stand him next to the tub and reach for a pair of sharp scissors. He eyes them.
“Stay away”, he warns.
“Stay calm, I won’t hurt you.”
You move closer, he stumbles back until the back of his knees hit the tub. It makes him hiss at the sudden warm sensation on his skin.
“What, what are you doing?”
“I am undressing you.”
“No, don’t touch my clothes.”
“I prepared new clothes for you. Worry not, they are still black”, you tell him and cut open the right sleeve of his blouse. Next the left sleeve, it rips easily. He wiggles with his upper body in an attempt to fight you off.
“Stay still”, you pull at the ropes, “I don’t want to cut you on accident.”
He stays still but only because the scissors were terribly close to his crotch. He raises his head and looks up at the ceiling. Rafkan was right, the witches of the Night Queendom were sadistic monsters and now the leader of them all was stealing him of the only thing still keeping him connected to his brothers. He wonders if next she tries to give him a new name or worse burn off his tattoo. That’s what those witches do, they steal your identity until you have forgotten who you were, that is what Rafkan told him. And that is why Seokjin has never returned to him and his brothers. He knows that you were lying. Seokjin probably never left the castle’s walls, perhaps he became dinner for the wolves or Valkeria killed him when you weren’t looking or maybe he was living among them, thinking that he was someone else. Seokjin would never willingly stay away from his brothers, something must have happened to him.
You cut off the last thread keeping his pants together and pull the destroyed fabric from his legs. You stand up again and watch his face. He stares at you with angry precision, jaw tensed and eyes burning in hatred. His tied hands are covering him, muscles flexed in the desire to bash your head in.
"Let’s get you in the water, shall we?”
He lets you help him step in the bathtub, but only because you kept his hands still tied. It is warm on his skin, he had already forgotten how warmth feels like or how baths felt like for that matter. It must have been years since his last bath. Rafkan doesn’t really let them take baths because baths were reserved for witches, so he said.
“There we go”, you say, supporting him as he sits down.
The water reaches him to his chest just a little under where his tattoo ends. The smell of lavender and chamomile is even stronger in the bathtub, making him dizzy.
“Now lean back and relax, I will get your soaps.”
He stares at you angrily, leaning back against the bathtub. He may seem like he is relaxing, but he isn’t, every fibre in his body is tensed. He watches you as you turn your back to him and begin sorting through something on the little table next to the tub. He wonders if he could strangle you, he would only need to act quickly enough. Jump to his feet and out of the bath and use the ropes around his wrists to strangle you instead. Or perhaps if he is even quicker he could steal the scissors from the table and carve a new hole into your ribcage. He sits up and pushes himself up.
“There we go”, you turn around, making him fall back against the tub, “I have everything I need. You must know our soap makers create masterpieces, you will feel so clean afterwards.”
You place the bar of soap on the edge of the tub and fill an iron bowl with water. Then you go behind him, making him crane his neck.
“Keep looking forward”, you tell him, turning his head back.
“Don’t touch me.”
“Hush, you will thank me.”
“No don’t-“, a gasp interrupts him as you pour water over his head. He grunts with his eyes closed, mouth opening and closing repeatedly and shoulders heaving up and down. You pour more water over his head, making him hold his breath. A third time and then you finally place the bowl on the floor and reach for the soap. He sends you a deathly glare over his shoulder. You merely give him an apologetic smile and turn his head to the front again. He grunts, frowning.
“If my body wasn’t so weak I would kill you”, he growls, “I would drown you in this bathtub right here and now.”
“Yes?” you say and begin rubbing the soap into his scalp.
“Yes. Or maybe I would bash your head in with the corner of the tub and watch your rotten brains spill out.”
“That sounds gruesome”, you say, running your nails over his scalp gently. You watch goosebumps form on his shoulders and neck.
“And then I, I would dig your rotten heart out of your chest with the scissors.”
“Really?” you pay special attention to the nape of his neck, massaging the soap into his hair thoroughly.
“And, and then I would strangle you and, and…and…” he drifts off, body relaxing just slightly.
“That sounds like a thorough plan. So why not do it?” you ask, running your fingers over the crown of his head repeatedly.
“Because you tied my hands”, he answers you.
“I thought the Ravens were taught to fight with their hands tied so that they would never be handicapped in a fight.”
You brush his hair out of his face, making sure to caress his forehead with relaxing touches. The movements make his head tilt back just enough that you could watch his eyelids flutter. You keep watching them, massaging the front of his head in circular motions.
“That is a lie”, he presses out, forcing his lips closed so they wouldn’t part in relaxation.
“It is? I apologize then, it seems I was misinformed.”
You tilt his head back to the front and get the bowl.
“Close your eyes, I need to wash the soap out.”
He hates that he closes his eyes and that he waits for the water with held breath and he hates it even more that he feels disappointed that you have already finished washing his hair. If his brothers would see him right now they would beat him with sticks until he wasn’t moving anymore. He is betraying them, with every second he sits in this tub and allows you to wash him he is betraying them.
“There we go”, you place the bowl down, “the worst is gone, now I will make sure it is thoroughly cleaned.”
He tenses up when he feels your fingers in his hair again, rubbing soothing circles on his scalp. He hates that he doesn’t hate it. Your fingers draw circles on his scalp, tugging on his hair softly with every movement. He sighs and closes his eyes. Somewhere far away he remembers the sensation. He can’t place the location or person to said sensation, but he knows that sometime in his life he had experienced it before. He squeezes his eyes shut further to stop the brickling of tears. Why does he like this so much?
“Now tell me something else. I heard the Ravens are all orphans and that Rafkan was the one who saved you. Is that also a lie?”
He growls and turns, pushing himself out of the tub. The mention of his leader clearly angered him. You push him back down, “stay I’m not finished with you.”
“I hate you”, he spits, writhing away, “don’t touch me witch.”
Now he realises what had happened, why he enjoyed this moment so much. It was black magic again. You bewitched him and made him believe that he enjoyed your touches. It was all a scheme to get him to talk and spill the secrets of his people.
“I am no witch”, you hiss and press him down harshly, “now stay and let me wash you.”
He wiggles, making the water splash over the edge of the tub.
“Keep still.”
He fights more, almost making you fall into the water with him.
He gasps and stops fighting. You just slapped his cheek with the back of your hand. It wasn’t hard or painful, just a mere nudge, but it surprised him nonetheless.
“See? Now I slapped you on accident. That is what you get from wiggling so much.”
He looks over his shoulder to send you a deathly glare. You smile and connect your fingers with his hair.
“I apologize for slapping you, I hope it didn’t hurt.”
He scoffs.
“I take this as a no”, you say and massage his scalp so well that he can’t help but shiver on instinct, “I merely want to help you stranger.”
He turns to the front and clenches his jaw. It angers him how weak his body feels. Just those short moments of struggle drained him to the point that his eyes feel droopy. He couldn’t fight you any more, even if he tried. He just has to sit here and allow you to wash his hair.
“Tell me stranger, do you have a name? I don’t like calling you stranger.”
He stays silent. You massage the spot behind his ears, watching how he straightens up at the sensation and tilts his head back. You keep touching him there. His lips part without him even noticing that they do.
“Or perhaps you have no name”, you wonder.
He doesn’t answer you. Your fingers run through his hair again, making his shoulder raise and sink in a deep breath.
“Worry not, I can give you one.”
He tenses up.
“How about Ragnahr? Or perhaps a longer name. Something strong and mysterious. Something like-“
“Jungkook. My name is Jungkook.”
“That is a good name. It fits you.”
Jungkook closes his eyes and squeezes his own hands in anger. He wasn’t angry at you, he was angry at himself for revealing his name to you so easily. All it took was for you to threaten him with a wrong name and he already broke. Rafkan would be so disappointed in him. He should have just let you give him a wrong name. It is not like he is planning on staying here for long. Once he has eaten and rested and has regained his strength he will finally fulfill his task of killing you. He should have stayed unknown, should have taken on a wrong name and lived under an alias until his destiny was fulfilled.
You twist his hair softly, gathering it up at the top of his head to really rub the soap into his scalp. He can hear your movements and feel them all the way down to his toes. It makes them curl and his eyelids flutter. He allows them to fall closed because deep down he knew he couldn’t fight this exhaustion for long anymore. 
He begins thinking again. There must have been something stopping him from living under an alias. Something inside of him that told his tongue to speak the truth because living in a lie would have been torture too big. Perhaps it was that everlasting emptiness in his heart, which was present ever since he was five and ripped away from his parent’s dead arms by a masked stranger. Perhaps it was this hollow unknowing he always had to carry around with him that told him that losing even more of his identity would end in his ruin.
“My name is ___, you can call me this instead of always calling me a witch”, you say, running your fingers along his temples. You could feel that he carried a lot of pain in that area, it was written all over his features and was present in the way he tensed at your touch.
“Why would I call you this when you are nothing but a witch?” he hisses, but the slight shake in his voice made him sound a lot less angry.
“Because you think wrongly of me. I am no witch, I am a simple woman with no magical abilities.”
“Lies. You and your people are witches.”
“Is that what Rafkan told you?”
He closes his mouth and stays silent.
“Of course he did”, you sigh, “Rafkan doesn’t know everything about this world.”
“Yes he does and he told me that you would say such things. That you would use sweet words and soft touches to bewitch me until I am your slave.”
“My slave?” you laugh loudly and for some reason it makes him feel really stupid.
“Don’t laugh”, he spits angrily.
“I must apologize, but that is perhaps the most amusing thing I have ever heard.”
He scoffs, clenching his jaw.
“I don’t keep slaves in my castle. Everyone who is by my side, who works for me or does things for me, does them out of their own free will.”
“I don’t believe you”, he hisses, “I know your true nature. I know about your scales and your poisonous fangs and about the human sacrifices.”
“Human sacrifices?” you laugh, “scales and fangs?” you laugh even more.
“Stop laughing!” he screams in anger.
He just told you that he knows your darkest secrets and you are laughing at him. You are mocking him. It angers him so much that he feels like crying. You are not supposed to laugh, you are supposed to beg him not to tell anyone.
You round him then, carrying amusement in your eyes.
“Tell me Jungkook. Where did Rafkan tell you that I am covered in scales?”
He stays silent but looks at your torso.
“My torso? Oh that’s a clever place. He probably told you that because of them you need to make sure to stab me with all your strength so the knife would pierce them didn’t he?”
He turns his head away and grinds his teeth. You are still mocking him, taking him for a fool. This must be your way of hiding the truth. Make him out to be the idiot while your secrets stay safe. He clenches his jaw, feeling all the tension you massaged away return to his head.
He hears something then, as if fabric had hit the ground. He turns his head, instantly looking away again. You have bared yourself to him. Rafkan told him not to look at your naked body because the scales would hypnotise him. He holds his breath, squeezes his eyes shut and hopes that this would be enough to keep him safe.
“Don’t turn away. Look at me.”
“You can’t trick me witch.”
“I am not tricking you. Look at me.”
“No, I know what this will do to me. I’m no fool.”
“Yes you are. A fool who believes the ramblings of an even bigger fool”, you step closer, “look at me Jungkook.”
“Look. At. Me.”
“And if I don’t?”
“Then you will prove to me that you are nothing but a foolish child.”
He isn’t foolish, let alone a child. It angers him that you would even dare to put such words into your mouth. He peels his eyes open, looking at the ground. He can see your legs from the corners of his eyes. They seem normal to him. He takes a deep breath. He needs to be brave now, Rafkan will be so proud of him if he survives.
He turns and holds his breath.
“What?” he gasps, feeling his world crumble.
He blinks in confusion, letting his eyes run over your body almost obsessively exact. There are no scales, not even one. You turn a few times to show him everything. Still nothing, only human skin.
“Rafkan lied to you”, you close the distance between you and him and step into the bath.
He tenses up, tries to get away from you. He ends up housing you between his legs, panting at the feeling of your skin against his.
“Just as he lied to you about my fangs”, you say and open your mouth.
He looks at every tooth, feeling like his head might explode. Rafkan told him of big, sharp fangs. He told him that just a touch could kill and that therefore he shouldn’t force your mouth open after he killed you to check for them. There were no fangs in your mouth, not even one.
“No, no he wouldn’t lie.”
“Yes he would. He is a madman, who is obsessed with the idea of making me fall. I am sure that he told you that my people hunt your people for fun, that we find some sick pleasure in hurting men.”
You came closer in the time you spoke, making him press himself against the bathtub.
“Stay away from me.”
You reach for something on the table and Jungkook flinches away as you pull your hand back.
“I don’t want to hurt you”, you say, forcing him to look at you with two fingers under his chin. There is a clean rag in your fingers, “I want to help you.”
You soak the rag, guiding it to his face. He moves back, panting heavily in anger, or maybe it was fear.
“What are you doing?”
“Cleaning you. Your face looks terrible with all the dirt covering it”, you say, dragging the fabric over his chin.
He grunts, watching your hand as it dances up his face to clean his left cheek. His eye closes on instinct as you drag the rag over his skin underneath it. You clean his nose next, up and down the bridge of it until his eyes feel terribly heavy again. This must be your magic again, he feels so tired all of a sudden. You clean his right cheek, doing so a lot more tender because he has a little cut on his cheekbone. It burns just the slightest bit, but not enough to wake him up. Your face blurs in his vision, the colours fade out again as his eyes close more and more.
You wash out the cloth.
“We are almost done, worry not”, you say quietly and support his wobbling head with your hand at the back of it.
“What have you done to me?” he forces out, eyes falling closed.
“Nothing, although I must confess I chose the best sleeping oils for our bath. Their smell is supposed to help you fall asleep.”
“Stop messing with my mind, witch.”
“I’m not and I am no witch.”
You clean his forehead, watching the creases disappear from it. It only lasts a second. He inhales loudly and forces his eyes open again. The warmth of the water, the scent of the flowers, your tender touch and soft body against his’ almost got him. He can’t give up now, not when he had already come so far. Who knows what you would do to him, would he fall asleep. Perhaps you would drown him in this bath, hang his naked body for everyone to see above your castle walls. He can’t allow that to happen.
“Don’t fight it. I know you haven’t rested in days”, you whisper, caressing his cheek with your hand.
He shakes you off and widens his eyes.
“I’m not tired.”
“Yes you are, even now when you are surrounded by warm water, your body is shivering. I can feel it.”
He knows that you were right. He had been shivering uncontrollably ever since you joined him in the bath. He is glad that you think it was because of exhaustion, because in truth he was terribly scared of you. He was scared that this was all just a trick. That Rafkan was right and you were nothing but a snake. Perhaps he failed to mention that you could hide your true nature and you knew that. Perhaps you are using his ignorance to your advantage.
“I don’t believe you.”
“Believe me?” you ask, cleaning his torso with the rag.
“Your scales and fangs, you are hiding them.”
You chuckle, “and you fear that if you close your eyes I would use them on you?”
“I know you are planning something, witch.”
“Yes, I am. I want you to rest tonight.”
Jungkook furrows his brows and watches you. You are cleaning his stomach, using less pressure when your fingers are touching his cut. You are so gentle with him, it is confusing him so much. Why are you gentle and careful with him? Why is your skin not covered in scales? Why does your mouth not carry fangs? And why do you want him to rest as if his wellbeing was of importance to you?
You smile and pat his shoulder, “why not?”
He blinks and shifts his gaze to the water. This all confuses him so terribly much.
“Now, let’s finally wash out that soap and get you to bed”, you say, rising from the bath to leave it and round him. You pour water over his head, making him gasp and grunt at the sensation. You do it a second time and he is holding his breath this time around.
“There we go, now wait here and I will get the towel.”
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He is awake in an instance from the nightmare plaguing his mind. It was the same he always has. A masked man rips him out of the arms of his dead parents. He gasps and sits up, but something holds him back, tugs him down by his wrists until his back collides with the headboard. He groans in pain and surprise, looking around the room only to come face to face with you resting on your knees beside him.
"Good morning", you say, stroking your palm over his stomach, "I just finished treating your cuts, they are healing splendidly." 
"Where am I?" he asks, voice heavy in sleep.
"My bed of course." 
"No. No. What have you done to me?" 
"Nothing, you were just too exhausted to walk to your chambers and so I allowed you to sleep with me." 
He looks down at his body. Black, linen pants were covering his lower body. 
"Yes I put them on. I must say, your legs are quite heavy when you sleep." 
He tries to rub his legs together to see if he was still a man. 
"Don’t worry, I didn’t cut it off and use it as a necklace", you joke. 
He blinks at you with widened eyes. 
"I see you don’t find humor in it", you observe, "worry not, although Rafkan told you about our love for stealing men of their pride, we don’t actually do that, especially because they can bring us a lot of joy as well." 
"What?" he gasps and shakes his head, "no. Stay away." 
"Worry not, I merely intend to take care of your wounds and to feed you of course. 
"Feed me?" 
"Yes, your hands are tied."
He tries to raise them but finds himself unable to do as two ropes keep them on the mattress securely.
“Let me go”, he growls.
“I fear that this is not possible”, you give him an apologetic smile, “you carry too much hatred in your eyes still, I don’t want to risk it.”
“Risk it? What? Do I scare you?” he spits, grinning victoriously.
You study his face. He keeps up the eye contact. You sigh, eyes filling with pity as you let them run over his features. It confuses him again, maybe makes him even feel nervous. He clears his throat, feeling his gaze falter.
“You don’t scare me. I pity you.”
“Pity?” he scoffs and laughs, “if you feel so terrible for what you do to me then free me.”
“You misunderstand me. I don’t feel bad for what I do to you. I feel bad for what he did to you.”
Rafkan was right, the witches are confusing creatures, speaking in riddles and madness. He doesn’t understand a thing you are saying.
“How old were you when they came for you?”
“I, I don’t know what you are saying.”
“You called out for your parents as you slept. More than once.”
He turns his head away, looks to the side. This is not good, now you know his darkest secret and can use it against him.
“I figure you must have been nothing but a child. You must have been. This would have given him enough time to twist his way into your mind.”
He doesn’t understand. It angers him so much to feel so stupid and ignorant in your presence.
“What are you talking about?” and so he screams at you, tugging at the ropes with all he got.
You don’t flinch back, you simply sigh in sadness and reach out to cup his cheek.
He flinches away, skin burning where you are touching him.
“Rafkan doesn’t speak everything out loud, Jungkook”, you whisper.
“I, I don’t understand”, he chokes out, feeling close to tears in desperation. You are confusing him so much.
“You can’t, but give it some time. You will understand one day.”
“Tell me.”
“Not today”, you give him a smile, “for now, you need to eat, gain back your strength and nourish your body.”
You turn to your side then and reach for a grape, which had been resting on a plate on the mattress.
"I picked out the sweetest kind", you say, guiding it to his lips.
He eyes the grape, breathing heavily.
“Open up.”
He shakes his head.
“I didn’t poison it.”
“Stay, stay away from me.”
“Fine”, you give up and eat the grape yourself, “perhaps you want some cheese instead?”
You offer him a piece of finely cut cheese on a slice of bread, it is rolled up so it looks like a flower.
“You haven’t eaten in a week, don’t be foolish. You need the food.”
“I don’t need your food. I need answers.”
“They will come eventually.”
“I want them now.”
You furrow your brows, eyes darkening. It makes him swallow. You scoot closer, sitting down on his lap. He squeezes his eyes shut, head hitting the edge of the headrest as he moves away. He went too far and now he will finally feel the cruelty of the witches, Rafkan always spoke of. But it doesn’t come, instead you cup his cheek and make him look at you.
“Eat”, you whisper, touching his lips with the bread.
It smells so good that it makes his mouth water. Oh heavens, he is so hungry. He swallows and gawks at the bread.
“Eat, it will do you good”, you tell him.
He shakes his head.
“You can trust me.”
For the briefest of moments he looked into your eyes, meeting nothing but the purest honesty in them. Can he really trust you? Is this really just food? You encourage him with a nod of your head and a soft smile, caressing his cheekbone softly.
You brush your thumb over his lips, making them prickle at the sensation.
“Eat”, you breathe, putting soft pressure on his lips.
He exhales shakily and lets you open his mouth, gasping quietly when you replace your thumb with the bread. You press his jaw closed the moment the food rests on his tongue. He knows you are only doing so, so that he can’t spit it out again.
“Now chew”, you order him, keeping a tight grip on him.
He chews, keeping his eyes locked on your face. You stare at his lips, watching him chew with a sort of pride in your eyes. He swallows, feeling the bread against his lips in an instance.
He bites off a piece and chews with the help of you. He hates how helpless you made him, not because it embarrasses him, no for a weird reason it doesn’t embarrass him, but because he gave in so easily once again. First his name and now he lets you feed him. His brothers would be so disappointed in him. Is that how Seokjin felt too? Did you do the same things to him as you do right now?
He opens his mouth and lets you stuff it with bread and later force his jaw closed. He hadn’t even intended on spitting on you this morning. He was feeling too hungry for that and as much as he hates to admit it, he knows that he needs the food. If he had refused it again and you threw him into his cell for yet another three days, he feared that the hunger might have killed him.
“Again. Last bite.”
Your fingers aren’t as tight on his jaw as they were before. Perhaps you already trust him a little more.
He swallows, your fingers fall from his face.
“Perfect. Now”, you reach to the plate, “you must try a grape.”
“Because they taste lovely to cheese”, you explain, guiding it to his lips.
“Oh heavens, will you eat? How are you intending to gain back your strength if you keep refusing the food I prepared for you?”
He lowers his eyes and licks over his lips. You were right. He sighs, opens his mouth and takes in the grape. You had wanted to reach for his jaw again but he moved away faster, looking at you with dark eyes. It makes you smile.
“See? It wasn’t that hard.”
You reach for another piece of bread and some grapes.
“Here, have more. You must try it together, it will change the way you look at food.”
You were right. Again. It tasted really good. He liked it, it made his tongue prickle and his chest feel warm. Rafkan doesn’t really allow them to eat good food, just things to keep the body strong. Good food is reserved for witches who gain pleasure out of it, so he always said. Jungkook kind of liked the good food a lot more than the one Rafkan gave him.
“And? Do you enjoy it?” you ask.
He swallows and clenches his jaw.
“What are you doing to me?” he hisses. There must have been something in this food. Maybe not poison, but something magical. Something that forces him to find this moment so not at all horrible.
You laugh softly and tilt your head to the side, eyes filling with warmth.
“Nothing”, you say, “I’m just feeding you.”
“Did you enchant it?”
You eye the food between your fingers.
“Do you enjoy it that much?”
He looks to the side, hoping that you can’t see the blush on his cheeks.
“You do”, you caress his shoulder and scoot up his lap, “that is wonderful to hear. Here, take more until you feel like your hunger has vanished.”
Jungkook eats a lot this morning and he hates that he enjoys every second of it.
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He was in his chambers, staring at the walls as he always did this past week, when a knock made his head turn.
“What?” he asks coldly, watching the door open and three people enter his room.
Two witches and a man. It surprises him. He saw men on her castle grounds, but this is the first time he is meeting one up close.
“Good morning Sire, I hope you rested well.”
Jungkook scoffs and turns back to the wall.
“I’m not a Sire.”
“Well, Our Majesty told me to treat you with the highest respect, so I am going to address you as Sire today…Sire.”
Jungkook sneaks a glance at him and the masses of fabrics the two witches were carrying.
“What are you doing here anyway?” he asks.
“Dressmaking?” he asks, cocking his right eyebrow up.
“You see Sire, my name is Bartholomew and I am a dressmaker.”
“Tailor, Sire. I am a tailor.”
“Ah I understand….and why are you in my room?”
“To measure you of course.”
“Measure me?”
“You are a man of many questions Sire”, he mumbles and fixes the buttons on his coat, “you see, Our Majesty let me know that she had to destroy your clothes to…well, bathe you properly. And I am here to remake them in your image.”
He snorts and chuckles.
“She wants to dress me? What? I’m her puppet now?”
The tailor clears his throat and looks at his two assistants. It seems that his words had flustered him greatly.
“No…of course not Sire. She merely wanted to give you a part of your identity back.”
Jungkook faltered. What tricks is she playing now? If she really wanted to give him a part of his identity back she would have let him run two weeks ago, not lock him up in a windowless room and only take him outside for walks where his wrists were tied together. There were of course all those countless warm baths she shared with him and the many dinners he had to take with her. She allowed him to eat on his own most nights. She currently doesn’t allow him to eat on his own however, Jungkook has himself to blame for that as he had tried to stab her eyes with a butter knife last night.
That is why her generosity confuses him greatly, no it doesn’t confuse him, it leaves him suspicious. He almost blinded her last night and now she wants to give him presents?
“Why would she want that?”
“Because she felt gracious this morning.”
“I don’t understand. I almost blinded her last night.”
The tailor nods.
“She told me that you would say that Sire and I can tell you that she is more forgiving than you think she is.”
Jungkook grinds his teeth. He thought that a man would understand him better, but it seems that his mind had been poisoned by the witches as well. The tailor claps into his hands then.
“Now! Let us get started. I have a lot of work to do.”
His two assistants place the heaps of fabric on his bed and pull Jungkook to his feet.
“Don’t touch me, let go of me”, he growls, fighting against them.
They show no struggle, leading him to the tailor with ease.
Jungkook grunts and wobbles on the steps they put him on, staring down at the man with dark eyes.
“I swear to god if you even as much as dare to touch me I will rip your head off”, he warns.
“Very threatening indeed”, the tailor mumbles mindlessly, squatting down to begin measuring Jungkook’s legs.
He watches him work, considering for a moment if he should kick him in the face and use the moment of chaos to escape. The tailor's two assistants begin circling him before he can, holding up different kinds of fabrics against his face.
“Don’t touch me”, he hisses, moving his head away.
“They won’t touch you, Sire. They merely want to figure out your perfect colours.”
“My perfect colours? I’m not a witch, I don’t need colours”, he spits.
“Everybody needs a little colour in their life, Sire. Especially in a land where the nights are so long”, the tailor mumbles, “now spread your legs.”
The tailor forces them open.
“I said no”, he spits, closing them again.
“Sire”, the tailor forces them apart again, “stay still. I can’t measure them otherwise.”
Jungkook clenches his jaw, watching the tailor wrap the measuring tape around his thigh. He feels fabric against his cheek and as he turns his head one of the assistants is holding up a rosé coloured fabric. She looks into his eyes, squinting her own as she studies him.
“That colour looks nice with your eyes, Sire”, she lets him know, handing the fabric over to her colleague, “put this on the pile to take.”
“No. I don’t want colour. I want black”, Jungkook spits, lowering his eyes in anger.
She clicks her tongue in distaste, “but Sire this-“
“I want black or else I will use this stupid fabric to hang you from the ceiling.”
Something pinches him on his inner thigh.
“Ah”, he gasps, looking down at the tailor, “did you just poke me with a needle?”
The tailor ignores him. He did poke him with a needle, doing so as a punishment for the way Jungkook talked to his assistants, but he won’t let him know that.
“Strong thighs. You were running a lot weren’t you?” he says instead.
“I could outrun all of you if that is what you are asking.”
“I am positive that you could, Sire.”
The tailor straightens up and wraps the measuring tape around Jungkook’s hips. He tenses at the touch.
“Stay away.”
“Do you want it to pinch your manhood Sire or do you want it to be comfortable?”
Jungkook closes his mouth and stops fighting.
“As I thought, now let me measure you.”
He allows him with a clenched jaw, watching the tailor’s assistants instead. They are discussing the different pieces of black fabric, comparing them to each other as if there was any difference between them. They were all the same to him.
“You seem to be in good shape, Sire. Our Majesty can count herself lucky.”
“Excuse me?” Jungkook's voice pitched in surprise about the bluntness of the tailor.
“Keep your arms stretched out, Sire”, he says, putting Jungkook’s arms in the desired position.
He allowed him, too shocked had made him his words.
“What did you mean by that?” he stresses.
“Are you not her lover, Sire? The castle watched you enter her chambers each night and leave it hours later with your cheeks tainted red.”
“That’s – “, Jungkook falls silent for he is far too shocked to come up with an answer.
He would never. Never. Never. To even think about it...let alone do. Never. Just, never.
“-not mine to ask. You must forgive me Sire, I shouldn’t have asked.”
Jungkook scoffs and looks away, meeting the assistants’ curious gazes. They are studying him, looking at him as if he allowed them to do so.
“What?” he spits, making them flinch and giggle, “stop laughing.”
“Now, now. Don’t be too harsh on them, Sire. Everyone in the castle is excited about the news. You must know, Our Majesty usually doesn’t keep male guests, so we are all excited that she chose such a handsome, strong man to be by her side.”
“I’m not by her side”, he squeaks, “I’m her prisoner.”
They all giggle.
“I see Sire, her prisoner.”
“Why did you say this so weirdly?”
The tailor grins boyishly and winks at him.
“That is – no, just no. How dare you even think of that. This is outrageous, I – no.”
 The assistants giggle again.
“Stop laughing!”
They don’t listen, whispering and giggling to each other as they begin comparing fabrics again. The tailor moves on to measure Jungkook’s chest.
“I’m her prisoner, I mean it. She is keeping me against my will”, he stresses, whispering the words to the tailor, “shouldn’t you be on my side?”
“And why should I?”
“Because you and I are the same. We should stick together.”
“You and I are not the same Sire, believe me.”
“Can’t you see that they have cursed you?”
“Cursed me?” the tailor laughs, “this is utter nonsense.”
“It isn’t and you know that it isn’t. What did they do to you? Did they torture you?”
“No Sire, I am a simple dressmaker, nothing more.”
“Help me, please.”
“Help you? With what?”
“Why do you want to escape Sire? Is Our Majesty not treating you well?”
“No, she is a monster.”
“A monster?” the tailor asks and chuckles, “how ridiculous.”
“I am serious. They are all witches here. All of them and you are nothing but their puppet.”
At that the tailor stops working.
“Now I must forget my manners for a second. Stop calling them witches, they aren’t witches. They have names and feelings and they care a fuck more about you than Rafkan ever did.”
“Excuse me?” Jungkook gasps. Where did that man’s manners go?
The tailor hooks his fingers in Jungkook’s shirt collar and rips it open. Jungkook had no time to react, left gawking at the tailor with widened eyes. His tattoo is on complete display for the tailor and his assistants, they stare at it with pitiful eyes.
“The Ravens of the Black Forest sent you.”
Jungkook covers his tattoo quickly, fumbling with his shirt in hopes of repairing it.
“And if they did? You know going against me will end in your deaths.”
“I know, Jungkook.”
“How, how do you know my name?”
The tailor unbuttons his coat and pulls it open, revealing a black raven tattoo on his chest.
“I was one of you once. A Raven, filled with hatred for the women you call witches and with my mind poisoned in lies. You probably don’t remember me, you were with the Ravens for a little over five months when Rafkan sent me away to kill the Queen’s mother.”
Jungkook jumps from the steps, grabbing the tailor by his throat.
“You traitor. I’ll bash your head in”, he spits, pushing him against a wall.
The assistants wanted to help, but the tailor stops them with a raise of his hand. Jungkook can feel their scared eyes on the back of his head.
“I’m not your enemy Jungkook.”
“Yes you are. You betrayed our people.”
“Our people are here. The blacksmith? Left the Ravens five years ago. The warrior whose left eye always twitches? Left the Ravens after Rafkan hurt said eye in a fit of rage. The three philosophers you always see talking in the gardens? Ravens, who saw that life wasn’t about killing but learning. We weren’t killed by the Queen, we were saved.”
“Liar”, Jungkook growls, pressing him closer to the wall, "she kills people, I know she does."
“I’m not lying”, the tailor insists.
“She cursed you.”
“She didn’t.”
The tailor breaks Jungkook’s fingers away from his throat, lowering them. Jungkook lets him, feeling too weak to fight back. He was dizzy in confusion. This all didn’t make sense to him. 
“I was a little older than you are now when I left the Ravens”, the tailor begins, closing his coat as he speaks, “I climbed the walls and wanted to slit her throat. Just like Rafkan told me to do. I got captured and at first I was going mad at the idea of killing everyone in this castle. That is until I realised that I had never lived in such comfort before than I did here.”
“We are not meant to live in comfort. That is reserved for witches.”
“How naïve can you be, child?” the tailor spits, “we are not destined to live in the cold, wet darkness of the Black Forest and under the hand of a madman. We deserve a warm, comfortable home.”
“No”, he shakes his head, “no we do not.”
“Yes we do”, the tailor steps closer, taking Jungkook’s face between his hands, “tell me Jungkook have you ever slept as well in the Black Forest as you do here? Have you dined that well? Did you smell that good? Or even felt that safe?”
Jungkook falters, “n-no, but – “
“But what? Do you really think you are destined to die from the Black Forest’s toxic fumes or under the sharp teeth of one of the many monsters living in it?”
“That’s, that is why we train.”
“But we don’t have to. You don’t have to. Here, you don’t have to live each day thinking it is your last.”
“No”, Jungkook shakes him off, “no, I don’t believe you. She cursed you, I’m sure she did.”
“Then tell me Jungkook. Do you feel cursed ever since you came here or do you still feel like yourself?”
“Like….like…” Jungkook swallows, pushing his hair back nervously, “I don’t know. Don’t ask me that, I don’t know.”
“I think you do.”
Jungkook shakes his head.
“Tell me Jungkook.”
“I can’t, I don’t know.”
“You do. Tell me!”
“Tell. Me.”
“I feel like myself and I feel a lot damn better than I did in the past!”
The tailor smiles, features softening.
“You see? It wasn’t that hard to admit.”
“Yes it was”, Jungkook chokes out and sinks down on the bed, burying his face in his hands.
All those Ravens Rafkan told him about, all those Ravens he said were killed painfully, actually found a new life here? They aren’t dead. They are alive, protected and taken care of. And...and he could have this too? No more cold, sleepless nights? No more endless days of hunger when hunting was bad? No more aching limbs and burning lungs? He could have this too. He could have a comfortable home. 
“I’m scared Bartholomew.”
“Scared of what?”
“What Rafkan will think of me once he finds out.”
Bartholomew sits down next to Jungkook and pats his back.
“Well, luckily for you. Rafkan can’t reach you here”, he says softly.
Jungkook exhales shakily and raises his head. He can’t reach him here. He can’t hurt him here. Jungkook exhales shakily. He can’t hurt him here.
Jungkook turns, staring at the fabrics behind him.
“Can I…look at them?” he asks quietly.
Bartholomew exchanges a proud look with his assistants, squeezing Jungkook’s shoulder brotherly.
“Of course you can Sire, look at all of them and pick out the ones you like the most. I will do the rest.”
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You are holding a banquet for guests from far away countries. The princess of the Sand Queendom and her husband came with their closest friends. The powerful Sorceresses of the Ruby Hills came, bearing gifts of gemstones and healing oils. Even then Huntresses of the Snow Wall with their black horses and long braided hair came to celebrate with the people of the Night Queendom. He was your guest, the man by your side in fine silks but with chains around his ankles hidden underneath the tablecloth. He hated the evening at first, but then you fed him delicious food and ran your fingers through his hair and he didn’t quite hate the evening as much anymore. He just hated that he didn’t hate your tenderness and worse that he craved it whenever you paid attention to someone else. He especially hated himself when he felt jealousy in his stomach as he watched you dance with another man, laughing at his jokes and holding his hand.
He stands up from his chair, feeling Valkeria’s iron grip on his shoulder in an instance.
“Stay birdie”, she hisses.
He looks up at her with dark eyes.
“I want to dance with her.”
“You want to dance?” she laughs tauntingly, “and make a fool of yourself?”
She shakes her head and looks at Yeri and Auralia with amusement in her eyes. She slaps the back of his head so hard that he hears ringing in his ears for a few minutes.
“Just stay seated and spare yourself of the embarrassment. Idiot.”
Jungkook clenches his jaw and eyes the knife on the table. Maybe he could reach for it and use it to poke Valkeria into her stupid mouth. He hates her so much. He has been the Queen’s guest since two months and she is still hurting him whenever the Queen wasn’t looking. He can’t stand her. She is cruel and exactly how he imagines actual witches to be like.
“That was exciting”, you return before he could hurt Valkeria, plopping down on your chair beside him. Your skin is glistening in a sheer layer of sweat and you are slightly out of breath. Jungkook lets his eyes linger on your neck for a moment, your jewellery was slightly out of place. He wants to fix it, but doesn’t dare with Valkeria’s fingers still tightly around his shoulder. Jungkook looks away, searching for the man who made you laugh. He is dancing with another woman already, making her smile as well. Jungkook looks away, turning a cold shoulder to you. He is angry at you for leaving him with Valkeria and for giving attention to this weird-looking man. Yes, Jungkook thought that the man looked really weird with his blonde hair and blue dress. He looked far better than that fool.
You study him and the hand on his shoulder.
“Valkeria let go of him”, you say.
“Yes my Queen”, she says and steps back in an instance.
You turn on the chair to face him, placing your hand on his lower arm.
“What is the matter Jungkook?”
“Nothing”, he presses out.
“Do you want more food? More wine?”
He shakes his head.
“Perhaps you want to dance?”
He gnaws on his lower lip in contemplation. He does want to dance. Valkeria laughs behind him, voice carrying judgment. Or perhaps he doesn’t want to dance. He shakes his head and turns away even more.
“Speak to me.”
“I want your warriors to stop hurting me”, he hisses and turns to face you, “I’ve done what you wanted me to do. I stayed with you, behaved, was your little puppet whenever you wanted to bath or feed me. I don’t deserve to be hurt by someone like Valkeria whenever you aren’t looking.”
You look over his shoulder at Valkeria. She seems shocked that Jungkook dares to out her in such a way.
“Is that true?” you ask both Jungkook and Valkeria.
“Yes.” “He is lying.”
You look at Jungkook. He lowers his eyes, knitting his brows in anger.
“It seems that your stories aren’t matching.”
“He is lying my Queen. He just wants special treatment. I would never hurt your prisoners.”
“He is not my prisoner. He is my guest.”
“He is still lying.”
“I’m not lying!” he complains loudly.
Valkeria draws her sword halfway, “say that again birdie and I-“
“Worry not Valkeria”, you interrupt her, “I already know who to believe”, you look back at Jungkook, “come now Jungkook, let us leave.”
“What?” he gasps.
You pull him to his feet and away from your warriors.
“But I am telling the truth”, he insists loudly, fighting against you.
“I know”, you assure him, “but I don’t want to stay here when my own people want to hurt my guest.”
“Where, where are we going?” he stutters, stumbling after you.
“Far away from the festivities.”
Jungkook looks over his shoulder. Your warriors are looking at you and him, Valkeria carries hatred in her eyes. He smiles at her victoriously, making the anger in her eyes worsen. Then he turns to the front again, running with you.
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His love for running soon turns sour however, when he stumbles over his chains yet again, hurting his ankles in the process. You support him so he wouldn’t fall, but the pain still lingers.
“Stop running”, he hisses, ripping his hands free, “I can’t run anymore.”
You whip around, reaching for his wrists again.
“Why? We are almost there.”
“At least take off my chains.”
You look down at his feet then back into his eyes.
“Are you in pain?”
“Yes I am. They hurt me. Why are you still chaining me up?”
“Very well then, you are my guest after all. I apologize, it was long overdue, wasn’t it?” you say and he can hear a faint click from the ground. Freedom, he can feel it. His ankles don’t ache anymore.
“How is that possible?” he gasps, stumbling away from the chains, which were on his body a second ago.
“I told you they are infused with magic. They only open when I want them to and I wanted them to open.”
He takes another step back, “I’m free?” he whispers, gawking at you.
You smile and nod, stretching out your arm and offering him your hand.
“Come now, let me show you everything.”
He looks between your hand and the opened gate. You freed him. He scans his surroundings. Three guards on the walls, but none at the gate. Five banquet guests and ten horses. No wolves, none. A sturdy stick to his right and a thick metal pole to his left. He could do it, fulfill his destiny and kill you. Nobody would notice and if they did, he could flee easily. He has always been the fastest runner of them all. He looks back at you, your smile and gentle eyes and your welcoming stance. But destiny has waited for so long already, he is sure that she can wait another night. He takes a deep breath and steps closer, placing his hand into yours.
“Let’s run, just one last time.”
And then you run. You run past gawking banquet guests and worried guards, you run down stairs and climb over rocks, you run up hills and stumble through forests, you run until tears have collected in both your eyes and Jungkook tastes the night air in his throat. And then you stop, underneath a white oak tree with its bark weeping darkness, you stop.
You turn and look at him with glimmering eyes. It makes him nervous and so he looks to the side, scanning his surroundings again. The forest was tense, but carried the smell of life. Not like the Black Forest with its deathly stench. He looked at the white oak again.
“What is this place?” he asks.
“This is the tree of our ancestors Jungkook. Mine and yours”, you explain, pulling at his hands to guide him to the tree.
“The tree of our ancestors?”
“Yes. They danced beneath it, sang songs to it and nourished it until it was strong and tall”, you say and place his hand on the bark.
“Do you feel that?” you ask him.
“A heartbeat”, he whispers.
“Yes”, you squeeze his hand.
“Where is it coming from?”
“It belongs to the tree.”
“The tree?”
“Yes, the tree.”
Jungkook counts the heartbeats, having to swallow. He can feel them so clearly.
“Is…is it human?”
“No”, you laugh softly, “it is neither human nor creature. Jungkook, it is everything. Every stone you see, every grass that grows, every stream which trickles and every tree that reaches for the sun. Even the air that surrounds us and the rain on your skin.”
The heartbeat against his fingers is steady, like that of a calm, sleeping body. It overwhelms him. He feels life surge through his veins and at the same time feels his body drain. He blinks, feeling his eyes burn in tears.
“I, I don’t understand. It is a tree. How, how can it be everything?”
“Must you really know the answer or isn’t it already enough to know that everything we stand on, feel, smell, see and taste is connected?” you say, taking both his hands to turn him to you.
Even now when his hands are resting in your palms, he can feel the heartbeat on his fingertips. It lingers on his skin and burns itself into his memories. He feels changed, as if he touched life itself.  
“But how?” he breathes, “how is it possible that everything is connected?”
“Its roots of course”, you say and smile, “they reach from the Snowy Mountains in the north to the Singing River on the south border and from the Nourishing Fields in the east all the way into the deepest corners of the Black Forest in the west. It gives everything life, nourishes it, protects it from harm and talks to it.”
“Talk? The tree talks?”
You chuckle, “not like you and I would. No, it speaks in a language not many of us still know for knowing it takes a lot of time.”
He inhales shakily.
“What…what does the land talk about?” he asks quietly.
“Many things. History mostly and songs”, you look at him, “you can hear those most of the times. If you listen closely.”
“How can I listen?”
You step closer, making his heart skip a beat as you brush your lips against his ear.
“Close your eyes and listen”, you whisper.
He shivers, eyes falling closed on instinct. He doesn’t hear it at first and it makes him think that you were simply taking him for a fool. He had already wanted to open his eyes again when suddenly a gust of wind made the leaves above his head rustle. They sound like hundreds of voice whispering songs and poems. The call of an owl joins them soon and in the far distance crickets chirp the harmony. Then the cracking of a branch and the trampling of hooves as a herd of deer hurries through the safety of the high shrubs, like drums they control the tempo of the song.
He opens his eyes, allowing a single tear to roll down his cheek.
“You could hear it, couldn’t you?”
He nods his head, knitting his brows and biting down on his lower lip.
“I know how you feel. It made me cry the first time too”, you say, cupping his cheek.
He lowers his head into your touch and squeezes his eyes shut, sobbing quietly.
“I never noticed it”, he presses out.
“Noticed what?”
“The songs.”
“I see”, you drift off.
He sobs and sniffles. He feels so embarrassed for crying, not because he is crying but because he has no idea why he is crying in the first place. This tree, this place, the songs and your warming touch, it moved something inside of him. He realised how dark he lived his life. He lived out his days with his heart filled with hatred, anger and resentment when he could have closed his eyes and felt the connection everywhere. Why did he waste so much of his life resenting something, someone, when he could have spent it loving the rest?
“Do you want to see everything?” you ask him.
He opens his eyes, allowing you to brush his tears away.
“Yes”, he whispers, making you smile.
You step forward and call into the night. Jungkook is mesmerised, your song blends with the songs of the lands and gives them strength. You end the call with a sigh.
“What was that?” he asks.
“I called my friends.”
“Your friends?”
Then he can hear it. The shuffling of feet, the cracking of branches, rustling of leaves and low growling. He draws closer to you, reaching for his blade on instinct. He doesn’t have it on him, of course he doesn’t, but the instinct was still there. He stares into the darkness with held breath, stumbling back when out of it a pack of wolves step. As tall as trees and with their fur as black as the night.
“No”, he gasps, “no what, what is this?”
“Not what”, you look at him, “but who.”
They circle you and him, growling deeply with their fangs bared. You step closer, reaching your hand out. The tallest of them all with its eyes burning in a deep green, rests its nose against your palm.
“This is Woltron”, you say and Jungkook feels his blood freeze.
“You lied to me”, he gasps.
“Lied to you?” you laugh, “you must tell me what you mean for I am utterly confused.”
“You will feed me to him.”
You laugh, “oh dear Jungkook, no. I want you to meet him. Come, step closer.”
He shakes his head.
“No”, he takes a step back, colliding with the nose of another wolf. It growls, watching him with fiery eyes, “no, stay away!” he exclaims, fleeing in an instance. He grasps your arm, hiding behind you.
“You mustn’t be scared”, you chuckle, “they won’t eat you. Well, unless you fail their test that is.”
“Their test?”
You pull him closer until he was face to face with Woltron. Its emerald eyes were drawing him in to the point that he felt dizzy.
“You see Jungkook, they aren’t just wolves. They are gods, old gods who wandered the earth way before humans graced it. They share their memories with the tree of our ancestors, they listen to its voice and answer it in songs.”
Woltron steps so close that Jungkook could feel its hot breath on his skin.
“W-what is it doing to me?”
“He is looking into your heart to see if you carry good in it. If you do, he will allow you to live”
“And if I don’t?”
“Then he will eat you.”
“What?” Jungkook turns away and closes his eyes, “no. No, I can’t. I will be eaten alive.”
You cup his cheek and brush your thumbs over his cheekbones. It makes him open his eyes.
“Trust me”, you whisper.
He shakes his head.
“But I-I am not good. I don’t want to die.”
You smile and caress his lips.
“Trust me Jungkook.”
He exhales shakily. Your touch must be magic, he feels so reassured that he allows you to turn his head back to Woltron’s piercing gaze. You hold his hand as the wolf was gazing into his heart, caressing his knuckles and studying his fearful face. You know that he will pass. You have seen it in his eyes the moment he pressed the blade against your throat. You saw the good in him and as Woltron bows His head at Jungkook you know that He saw it too.
“What is happening?” Jungkook asks, squeezing your hand.
“He is giving you his blessing.”
“I…” he throws his hand over his mouth, “…I passed?”
“But…I’m not good.”
“Yes, you are.”
Jungkook looks at you with tears in his eyes.
“You believed I was?”
“I didn’t believe it, I knew it.”
He blinks, “why? I-I’m a Raven, I’m trained to kill people like you, I pressed a blade against your throat.”
“Even if you are all those things you say that you are, your eyes are filled with good.”
“My eyes?”
“Yes, your eyes.”
You reach out, making him close his eyes in instinct. You touch his lashes softly, caressing his lids afterwards. It makes him sigh.
“Those beautiful, beautiful eyes”, you breathe and step closer, “those aren’t the eyes of a killer.”
He opens his eyes, feeling himself shiver with every single one of your touches. You smile.
“Come now, I will show you everything.”
“How?” his voice felt raspy as he spoke and so he clears it with a shy cough.
“Woltron will take us.”
The wolf rests before you and him and Jungkook watches you as you climb on its back.
“Climb on him.”
Jungkook is hesitant at first. He fears that this was all a trick of the wolf, that once he is close he will open its mouth and eat him whole. Jungkook is so sure that he wasn’t good. The wolf must be playing tricks on him.
The wolf, which nose he had bumped before, pushes him all of a sudden. Jungkook stumbles, falling against Woltron’s warm body.
“It was an accident, please don’t eat me”, he gasps, fearing for his life.
The wolf merely grumbles and waits for him patiently. You giggle, petting his hair.
“You must stop being frightened. They have already accepted you as their friend.”
Jungkook looks up. He finds it mesmerising how you sit on top of Woltron, tall and confident. He thinks that this place fits you. You smile then.
“Come join me”, you encourage him, pulling at his arm.
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Jungkook feels as if he was living in a dream. The wolf carried you and him, took the both of you through the thickness of the forest until a high mountain cut off his way and he had to climb it. He only stopped once you had reached the top. He stayed back with his pack, resting on the snow with his eyes closed. It was cold on the mountain and Jungkook felt himself shiver ever so often. His breath was visible in the air, like a little cloud it lingered in the air for as long as he exhaled.
“It is cold.”
“Are you cold?”
“A little”, he answers.
“Here”, you say and take off your shawl, “it will keep you warm.”
“But you will freeze.”
You laugh, wrapping it around his neck a few times.
“I drank enough wine to keep me warm, worry not I am a heated drunk.”
He knits his brows, deep creases appearing on his forehead.
“What is the matter? Do you not like the shawl?”
He shakes his head, “I mean yes! Yes I do, I am just so confused.”
“Confused? About what?”
“Why you offer me tenderness and why you believed me instead of Valkeria and why you haven’t slid my throat yet.”
“I must say, it makes me sad that you still think that I want to kill you”, you say and Jungkook felt himself lower his eyes in shame.
“But I know why you would think like that”, you assure him, “it is difficult to shake off old habits.”
You tug at his shawl softly to bring him closer.
“You can trust me Jungkook. I don’t want to kill you.”
Jungkook inhales, catching a sweet scent. It was coming from the shawl. It was your scent. He knows that it was your scent because this is exactly how a room began to smell whenever you entered it. It made him dizzy right now.
“Come now, I am already so excited to show you everything”, you say and take Jungkook’s hand, leading him to the edge of the plateau.
“This is our home”, you tell him, extending your arm to point at everything.
Jungkook could see everything. The Singing River in the south, the Nourishing Fields in the east, even his home, the Black Forest he could see. The land lacked colour now that the night was touching it, only the blue light of the moon gave everything colour. But it looked beautiful nonetheless.
“Is this everything?”
“Yes, this is everything.”
“This is really everything?”
“Yes”, you say and chuckle fondly, “well at least everything your eyes can see. There are countries way beyond our vision, but what you see before you is our home.”
He feels so close to tears again. He always thought his world to be so small. It reached from the east border of the Black Forest to the west border and ended by the juncture where it met the Singing River. The Nourishing Fields were nothing but a legend to him and the snowy mountains were nothing but grey phantoms in the distance. He never would have dared to even dream of one day standing on said phantoms and looking at everything.
“It is so big”, he whispers.
“Yes, it really is”, you squeeze his hand, “tell me Jungkook, where have you been already?”
He points at the Black Forest and then your castle, lowering his arm afterwards.
“I see. Mhm”, you pause to contemplate, “worry not, you still have enough time to see the rest. You must see the Singing River in summer, oh its waters are wonderful to swim in. And the Nourishing Fields, oh Jungkook you would love the colours they carry in autumn.”
“Have you been?”
“Yes, many times.”
“With Seokjin too?”
“No, he wasn’t special enough.”
“I’m special”, he whispers more to himself than to you.  
He smiles and closes his eyes to listen for the songs. The Singing River in the distance. The wind down below as it swirls through the trees. The call of an ibex and the answering call of its mate. And behind him the old gods talk to each through their wolf form. Perhaps it is the fresh air on this mountain or the thought that Seokjin wasn’t special but he is, but he thinks that the songs sound even better up here.
He opens his eyes, realising that you had been watching him. He can see the stars reflected in your eyes. You smile softly and draw closer.
“Do you understand now?”
He felt himself smile and pull you closer by your hand.
“I think, I finally do.”
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You don’t wake up at first, only when you feel coldness against your throat. It is dark in your room, but the moon gives it enough light to reveal Jungkook’s features to your eyes. He is sitting on your lap, hovering over you with one hand tightly wrapped around your wrists. He had placed them above your head, moving them turns out to be impossible.
"Jungkook?" you ask, mind foggy in sleep. That changes when the coldness against your throat moves. You widen your eyes, trying to gawk at whatever it was that bothered you. 
"What is that? What are you doing?" you ask him calmly, eyeing the sharp knife he is grasping. 
"What have you done to me?" he asks, voice shaking in emotion. 
"Nothing. What are you doing to me?" 
He presses the knife closer, squeezes your wrists. 
"I am asking the questions tonight." 
"I understand. Ask them."
"I came to kill you. What have you done to me to make me forget my destiny?”
“I showed you your real one.”
He falters and breathes shakily. He shakes his head, finding his composure again.
“I hate you. I am supposed to hate you”, he spits, pressing the knife closer, “why did you take this from me?”
“I didn’t, you just let it go.”
“Stop”, he chokes out and whimpers.
“Why are you crying?”
“I am crying because my head is foggy and it is your fault. You cursed me, witch.”
You raise your head, making the blade glide into your skin.
“Then kill me.”
He draws closer. His tears trip down on your face. He is shaking, squeezing your wrists and pressing the knife closer. He can watch one single droplet of blood taint the clean metal. He looks back into your eyes, meeting nothing but sad understanding in them. Even now when he was cutting your skin and was holding your life in his hands, you weren’t angry at him. Jungkook sobs, tilting your head up with his knife. You let him, lips curling into a reassuring smile.
“I hate you”, he chokes out.
"No you don’t", you whisper.
He whimpers, knife gliding from his fingers as he kisses you deeply. You melt into him, allowing him to taste your sigh. He squeezes his eyes shut and sobs, kissing you deeper until he is sure that nothing could separate the two of you. 
He came to kill you. He was so sure that tonight he would finally fulfill the task Rafkan gave him. He decided that he would. Two hours ago when you left his chambers for the night and left him with his thoughts. Two hours ago when he tossed and turned in his bed and thought about what had happened earlier that night. When you showed him everything and held his hand whilst doing so. He thought about it, repeated it in his head over and over again until it drove him mad. He was not supposed to like you, he was supposed to hate you. And so he decided that tonight he would finally kill you and rid himself of his greatest burden. 
It seems that his plan wasn’t working. Jungkook whimpers and presses you closer with his hand on your back. You arch for him, pulse racing in your wrists. And Jungkook whimpers again, feeling dizzy. He wants to hate that he failed again, but he can’t. No matter how hard he tries, all he finds in his heart is the overwhelming urge to keep kissing you. 
His hand runs up your body to cup your face. He practically pulls you on his mouth, forcing you to sit up as chasing him would be impossible otherwise. You chase him happily, arms hooking behind his neck and lips parting for his tongue. 
He tastes of sweets and temptation. You taste of honey and perdition.
Jungkook breaks the kiss, breath intermingling with yours. 
"I can’t stop." 
"Good, don’t." 
"Why are you doing this to me?" 
"I'm not doing anything, this is all you." 
He exhales shakily, drawing closer. You sit up more, making him flee as your teeth bite his lower lip. He gasps and shivers, thighs squeezing together on your lap. As much as he is fleeing he is also chasing the feeling.
You break the kiss, tugging on lip until he groans. You release it with a purr, dark eyes flitting up to meet Jungkook’s. He towers over you in this position, eyes widened and fingers grasping your shoulders. You like the heaviness of his body on your lap and the warmth of his skin.
"You bit me”, he gasps, licking off the faint taste of iron.
"I did”, you say and smirk, eyes glued to his swollen lips.
He licks over his lip again, tasting nothing but the sweet lingering of your kiss. He looks at your neck then and the little cut he left behind. It is almost an instinct in him to lean down and kiss it. He couldn't stop it from happening, just as you can’t stop your head from tilting back. Jungkook feels your moan against his lips as he sucks on your skin softly. He believes that such sounds must be your way of cursing him as they leave him aching between his legs. He never felt such aching before. It must be magical. It simply must. He breaks away, stares at his crotch. It has…grown?
"What is happening? What are you doing?" he asks. 
You open your eyes and study his features. He is confusing you. He speaks of things happening while you did nothing but accept the tenderness he offered you. Then your eyes fall to his middle and you understand. He is straining against his pants with such intensity you fear he might rip through the fabric.
“You’ve hardened”, you smile and touch it, watching how he shakes at the feeling. 
“What – oh – what are you d-doing?” he stutters, wiggling back and forth on your lap as he hadn’t quite decided yet if he wanted to flee or accept it.
"I'm making you feel good", you say, rubbing his length continuously. 
He gasps, eyes threatening to close and fingers falling to your wrists to stop you.
"Don't stop it Jungkook, allow it to happen."
"But, but it''s….it's not what I came here for." 
"We both know this is a lie", you say, rubbing circles on his leaking tip. The fabric has dampened, leaving an imprint on your fingers. 
Jungkook moans, widening his eyes in shock afterwards. He wasn’t intending to make such crude sounds. He was trained differently, trained that his manhood wasn’t made to give him good sensations but was a tool to keep his bladder from breaking. Good sensations would let the demons of the witches in, so Rafkan said. But he can’t help it. He just…has to make a sound again.
He whimpers, head tangling to the front and lips pressing against your cheek as he begins panting.
"There you go. You sound so sweet", you encourage him, squeezing his length as you rub your palm up and down. 
His fingers loosen from your wrists, thighs squeezing around your legs. He doesn’t want those sensations to stop. He likes that feeling. So he hopes that Rafkan was wrong about the demons too, he was wrong about a lot of things already after all.
"Do you want to give in, Jungkook?" 
"That delights me", you abandon his length to hold his shoulders instead, "I want to give in too." 
You flip the both of you over, sitting down on his lap. He hasn’t even recovered from the change of position yet and you have already grasped the knife and rested its tip against his chin. Confusion ignites in his eyes, growing when you drag the cold metal up his jawline and over his lips. He doesn’t dare to breathe, body tense in fear that if he moved, you would cut him. 
“You stole it from Valkeria, didn’t you?” you ask, dragging it down the other side of his jaw and neck.
“Yes”, he presses out, eyeing the silver blade.
You laugh, “she will hit you once she finds out.”
“You won’t allow her.”
You smile, dancing the knife down his throat just gently enough that it makes him shiver.
“No, I won’t allow her”, you assure him and then he could feel his shirt tear as you drag the blade through the fabric.
He gasps and shudders, back arching off the mattress. So that is why you grasped it, you wanted him bared to you as if he was yours to marvel at. You rip his shirt from his body, running your hands down his torso. Jungkook can feel your warm, soft palms and the cold, hard handle of the knife. It is such an opposite of sensations that he feels breathless.  
You cut his pants as well, bearing him to the coldness of the blade. You place it on the inside of his right leg, dragging it up his skin. Goosebumps rise on the rosy path you leave, his legs part for you. He rolls his hip up once you have reached his inner thigh, fingers grasping the sheets. With a curious fire burning in your eyes, you rest the blade against his swelling member. He shivers at the contact, twisting the sheets.
“Tell me Jungkook. Do you trust me?” you ask, turning the knife so the sharp side of the blade was pressed against his skin.
His chest heaves up and down in a deep breath, you can watch how it stretches his dark tattoo and makes his muscles ripple.
“Do you trust me Jungkook?”
Your eyes meet. Yours sparkled in mischief as you dragged the blade up the entire length of him. It felt cold on his skin, especially on his tip. He gasps and tenses his legs for bucking up his hips would have ended in pain.
“So you don’t think that I will wear your pride as a necklace?” you continue, running the blade down to the base again. You outlined his veins as you went, watching them change under the touch before they popped back into their original shape. It was mesmerising to watch. You press the blade against the base of his length.
“Mhm?” you stress.
He eyes your fingers, swallowing nervously.
“No”, he chokes out, eyes meeting yours in a silent question if his trust was misplaced.
You smile, “that’s good.”
You abandon his length and drag the knife up his abdomen instead, watching how his muscles reacted with every grace. You stop when the blade rests against his tattoo, making eye contact with him. You begin tracing it, making his nipple harden and painting goosebumps all over his skin.
“Who would have thought that the caged bird would be mine one day”, you say, watching how he swallows heavily.
“Like your slave?”
You chuckle deeply, putting pressure on his skin just enough to pierce it. He groans and arches into you, neck flexing as he throws his head back. The raven on his chest is crying one single tear of ruby for you. You wipe it away with your finger, tainting his skin a deep, deep red.
Jungkook looks at you again, brows knitted in pleasure.
“Do you want to be my slave Jungkook?”
He looks away and blushes.
You laugh fondly and twist the knife in your fingers so the handle would be facing him. He looks at it in confusion.
“It’s yours again.”
Jungkook accepts it and sits up, wrapping his fingers around your throat gently. He is so close, dark eyes challenging you dangerously. He starts from the bottom, cutting open the cords of your gown. It cracks with every new cord cut, making you shiver each time. He tilts your head up and squeezes softly. Your eyelids flutter, your head becoming dizzy.
One cord left. He cuts it slowly, eyes lowering darkly. The knife falls from his fingers and lands on the floor with a shrill sound. It is forgotten in an instance as Jungkook hooks his fingers in your ruined gown and rips it from your body.
You were only gone from his lap for a second and then you are already connected with him, sinking down on his length until you have swallowed him whole.
“Fuck”, he presses out, digging his nails into your shoulders.
You agree with a deep moan, twisting his hair at the nape of his neck. Then you begin moving, watching his eyes roll to the back of his head.
“This is witchcraft”, he chokes out.
“Why? Because nothing worldly could feel that good?” you ask him, voice quivering in pleasure.
He throws his head back and presses you closer by your shoulders.
“Yes”, he moans, allowing his mouth to fall open.
“Well, then I am glad that I am the one to bewitch you”, you say, pushing at his chest until he collides with the mattress.
You wrap your fingers around his throat and squeeze softly. His chest rumbles in a growl, fingers slipping down your body until they are grasping your dancing hips, bruising your skin in the process.
His raven hair is spread out on your pillow, his neck was tense and his eyes squeezed shut. Your own threatened to close each time his length graced your favourite spot, if his blissed-out face wasn’t so mesmerising to look at, you would have already closed them. But it was mesmerising to look at and nothing gave you more joy than seeing a man get lost in the feeling of your warmth. Especially if that man was Jungkook, the stranger who months ago pressed a blade to your throat and the lover who right now feels like magic in your body. 
“What are you doing to me? Oh ___, what are you doing to me?” he pants, voice pitched in pleasure.
“Making you mine”, you rasp, writing your name with your hips.
“Yours”, he moans, back arching and heels digging into the mattress.
He bucks his hips up, forcing your torso closer to his’. You moan loudly, squeezing his throat as a reward. He whimpers and swallows heavily, eyes rolling to the back of his skull even now that he has them closed.
“Do you like being mine Jungkook?” you challenge.
“Yes”, he chokes out, basking in the feeling of your nectar coating his every inch.
“Tell me, is my witchcraft still a curse?”
He shakes his head vigorously, “no, no, no it’s not.”
You smile victoriously and straighten up again, forcing his legs back down with two strong hands. You arch your body, finding support on his thighs and throwing your head back.
Jungkook lifts his head for only a second and then the view of his length disappearing inside of you repeatedly becomes too much to bear. He moans loudly, head falling back into the pillows and hands tugging on your hips in desperation. Feeling your warmth is one thing, but watching the movements to the sensations is utterly and truly messing him up. If that is the dangerous witchcraft Rafkan told him to stay away from then Rafkan is a fool. Why would a sane man stay away from such feelings?
Your right hand leaves his muscular thigh, grasping his wrist instead.
“Be useful”, you order him, guiding his hand to your middle.
He is watching you again, shaking with his head dizzy. He groans, lungs wheezing for air, when you make him touch your warmth. It is so soft against his fingertip. You guide his thumb, making him roll circles on your clit.
“Touch me like this”, you tell him, abandoning his wrist to hold his thigh again.
You became tighter ever since he started touching you. Jungkook feels his toes curl at the sensation. He doesn’t want it to end, he wants to experience it until his heart gives up on him and his brain becomes mush. And because he doesn’t want it to end and you told him to touch you at this spot, he continues doing what you told him to do, keeping his eyes glued to your face.
You are glowing in ecstasy, lips parted and eyes closed. Your nails hurt him, he is aware of every nerve you hit as he can feel it tingle all the way to the tip of his length. He abandons your face then, looking at your breasts. He saw them many times already whenever you bathed with him, but he likes them a lot more tonight. They move in a very mesmerising way as you bounce on him. He wants to touch them. 
Your hips falter, your walls squeeze him. A dark smirk curls your lips. 
"You are learning", you say, shivering each time Jungkook squeezes your breast with his big hand and rolls circles on your pleasure spot with his other.
“Oh Jungkook”, you arch and quiver, “, oh Jungkook, oh sweet Jungkook.”
He is lost for breath. He can bewitch you too? He thought only witches could curse other people, not him. He was just a normal man. But then. You were nothing but a normal woman too, you told him many times before. This wasn’t witchcraft, this was simple, but breathtaking, worldly magic. 
You moan loudly, falling to the front. He could feel the impact your hand did as you slammed it on the mattress beside his head. Your other hand wraps around his throat again, making him look into your fiery eyes. 
"You are doing so good that I feel close to breaking", you growl with your voice deeper than usual. 
Jungkook swallows, head dizzy from your fingers cutting off his blood flow. Your hips speed up, forcing a guttural moan out of him. 
"I see you are close too." 
"Close to, to what?" 
You slow down your movements, drawing circles as you connect your lips with the shell of his ear. He mewls with every movement, melting beneath you.
"Complete bliss", you rasp, squeezing down on him. 
He whimpers, eyes opening widely to stare at you in shock. The smile you give him is sending electricity down to his toes. 
"You didn’t know you could do this, did you?" 
He shakes his head vigorously, mouth falling open. You stop him with a tight squeeze, forcing a deep growl out of him. Then you speed up again, watching him go cross-eyed in pleasure. He stopped touching you, grasping your hips to push you off of him. This wasn’t worldly anymore. He was burning up, it is the demons, they are coming for him with hellfire and breathlessness. You choke him harder, squeezing your walls around him.
"I can’t, I can’t, I can’t", he sobs, writhing on the mattress uncontrollably. 
"Yes you can, allow it to happen", you growl.  
"No, I can’t." 
"Let go Jungkook", you order him and release his throat. 
He yelps up, breaking beneath you with such intensity he almost throws you off of him. You pin him down by his wrists, riding him through his shakes. Tears are soaking his cheeks, his mouth is agape so far you fear it might get stuck, he can’t even make a sound. His high has stolen his voice.
His shakes soon turn into painful writhes, his legs wiggling all over the mattress in a desperate attempt to flee. You want to stop, claim your high on his tongue instead, but he doesn’t let you. 
"Don't stop!" he screams despite writhing as if he wanted it to be over. 
"You are dangerous Jungkook. For me and for yourself", you growl, squeezing his wrists as you slam your hips down on him again. 
His body is bouncing off the mattress, making the headboard of your bed hit your wall repeatedly. You wouldn’t even mind if it decided to give up and break underneath you. Not when Jungkook is running through your every vein as if he was a drug meant to make you see colours which don’t exist. 
"Touch me again", you order him. 
His hand searches for your middle in an instance, fingers connecting with your pleasure spot messily. He rubs circles, doing so sloppily and quickly. It is a surprise with every second roll, making your toes curl. 
"That's it", you moan, "keep going." 
He wheezes for air, swallowing audibly afterwards. Is he looking at you or is he seeing the light? You can’t quite make it out through all the tears in his eyes.
“Are you doing fine?” you ask him.
He nods his head, blinking to make the tears roll down his cheeks again.
“Is this the best thing you have ever felt?” you ask, clenching in desperation.
He nods his head more vigorously, moaning your name brokenly.
“Keep touching me”, you stress with your voice pitched, “you are going to break me.”
“Break you”, he repeats, meeting your movements.
You squeak, almost falling into him if you hadn’t caught yourself before that. He watches you shake and hears you whimper.
“Break you”, he says, voice deeper than before.
He speeds his hips up and puts precision into his touches. Your eyes squeeze shut, mouth falling open. He is going to break you. He has enough power over you that he can break you. He is doing that to you. Oh, it makes him feel so good.
“Give it to me”, he growls impatiently, “now, give it to me now.”
“Jungkook”, you yelp up and give him what he needed. Your high, your bliss, your nirvana. And Jungkook accepts it with his own body tensing in his heaven, painting your spasming walls with his seed a second time.
You collapse on top of him. His skin is hot and sweaty, so is yours. You want to speak but find no energy in your body, so you sigh and twist his hair lovingly.
He runs his fingers up and down your spine, keeping his eyes closed. You haven’t let him escape yet, he can feel every pulse of your afterglow on his length. They come with no pattern to them, surprising him each time with a warm tingle in his stomach.
“Rafkan killed my parents”, he breaks the silence.
You sigh and hug him, “I see you truly understand now.”
“I won’t return to the Ravens”, he whispers.
“Mhm”, you smile against his neck, “this makes me happy.”
“Can I stay with you instead?”
“Of course you can.”
And as you raised your head and gazed into his eyes, Jungkook finally understood that no matter how many times he would travel back in time and live his life differently, he would always find his way to you, for being with you is his real destiny.
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@submissive-bangtan @tipsydipsydo @bts-fan-obsessed @anonymous2505 @jikooksgirl19 @lilmeowmeowyoongles @fan-ati--c​ @trusfatedk00kie​ @cravingforhotchocolate​ @seagulljk​ @kthblackgf​​ @greezenini​​ @pb-n-juju​​  @flxrcnt​​ @issysor​ @callmejimmeo​​
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gukyi · 8 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!
7K notes · View notes
sparklingchim · a month ago
oops..; m | jjk
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pairing: jungkook x reader
word count: 2.2k
rating: 18+
genre: smut, idol!au, secret relationship, established relationship
warnings: quickie, koo is a needy boy, sex in a public bathroom stall, unprotected sex, clit play, spit kink, tattoo kink?, finger sucking, choking, getting caught by paparazzi, mentions of handcuffing, blowjob, cum swallowing, groping
summary: a quickie in the airport restroom was all it was supposed to be - not suddenly the whole world finding out about your secret relationship with jungkook.
a/n: the title is so ingenious isn't it😌😌 this is literally just an excuse to write something about jk in his cool airport fashion looks hehe
,,You're acting like a hormonal teenager."
Despite your complains you allow Jungkook to drag you to the restrooms.
,,I swear we'll be quick."
,,Can't you wait till we get home?"
,,You're teasing me since this morning and dare to ask that question?"
You frown. You're only able to recall how you scolded him this whole morning because his clothes were all over your hotel room and he was being way too slow with packing his things, despite having to leave in an hour.
,,I never teased you."
Jungkook turns his head to look back at you, you can't see his whole face due to the bucket head and black mask covering it, but you bet he's arching his newly pierced eyebrow right now.
He knows you too well to quickly realise that the clueless look on your face is genuine and that you aren't messing around with him - you are actually oblivious to the things you did this morning, very much to his wonder.
,,Doesn't matter, right now I just wanna feel your tight pussy around my cock."
,,What if there are people?"
,,Wait here and I'll check if someone's there. If I don't come out within 10 seconds you can come inside too," Jungkook tells you, letting go of your hand and entering the men's restroom.
With vigilant eyes you observe your surroundings. Trying to look casual and insouciant. Perhaps it's a little too much, there are barely any people at the airport at this early hour. Just a few people strolling around, far away.
You wait a bit longer than ten seconds, but when you're sure that Jungkook would have returned if there were any people in, you enter the restroom as well.
Before you are able to say something about the fancy facility, Jungkook captures your lips in a hungry kiss as he pushes his face mask down his face.
He sighs while moving his lips passionately against yours. Hands on your hips, he directs you to a bathroom stall, knocking the door open with his foot.
He carelessly throws his big backpack on the floor, pressing you against the wall.
With the door locked, his hands start roaming over your curves and swells. He gives your butt a good squeeze, trailing his hands up your hips to your heavy breasts.
,,You drive me crazy," he murmurs between kisses placed on your décolleté.
,,You're wearing way too many layers," you huff as you examine Jungkook's upper body, trying to tug his black jacket down.
,,We don't need to take off our clothes, baby." Kissing up your neck he's back at the sweet spot just under your earlobe.
,,Please?" you plead, tempting him by reaching your hand under his clothes and skimming over his abs. ,,Wanna see your tattoos."
He chuckles. Jungkook can't forbid it when you bat your eyelashes at him that cute way, so he shimmies his jacket off his shoulders and you help him getting out of his pullover.
,,C'mere," he says as soon as his clothes are thrown on top of his backpack.
Hoisting your body off the ground you instinctively wrap your legs around his waist.
One greedy hand is situated between your legs, one smooth motion and your panties are flicked aside, digits roaming over your dripping pussy.
,,My girl's so wet," Jungkook hums. A sweep over your swollen clit and you're already uttering a whimper. He grins. ,,Like that?"
,,Jungkook," you scold, though you have to admit that it sounds more like a whine. ,,Don't tease. Make this fast. You promised."
With your reminder, he pulls his black cargo pants down together with his briefs till his cock springs out.
You're stunned at his hard-on, the tip leaking with precum already.
,,I want you so badly," he mumbles, smooching your face.
You titter. ,,The times at the resort weren't enough for you?" You already lost count of how many times he fucked you by the time you went to sleep the first day. You believe that there's no surface left in the room that Jungkook didn't bend you over to claim what's his.
,,I could never get enough of you," he admits, biting the flesh above your collarbone.
And with that, Jungkook slides inside of you, the stretch of his girth a pleasant feeling that you welcome. Wholly tucked inside your heat he meets the beginning of your cervix, and without having to move you are already a whiny mess for him.
,,Baby," he whispers with a cautionary undertone, a hint of amusement at your reaction portrayed in the curve of his lips.
You stare at him, innocently, fingers cramping at his biceps when he slowly rolls his hips into you.
,,Can you keep quiet for me? Hm? Can you do that?"
Honestly, you're not sure.
,,Dunno," you reply, fingers gripping at his burly arms as he sets a fast pace, both of your bodies colliding with each snap of his hips.
And because Jungkook sees the exact moment when he adjust you on his hips, his cock reaching that spot inside you and as your twisted face prepares to utter a loud moan, he takes the opportunity to plunge two of his fingers inside your mouth. You immediately close your mouth around him, sucking on his digits like the obedient girl you are.
Now moans muffled and keeping this as 'quiet' as possible, Jungkook thrusts faster inside. He heaves a few strained grunts, the tightness of your pussy leaving him no option for complete silence.
Seeing his bare, tattooed arm while he rams inside you is somehow enkindling the burning knot in your stomach. Every new tattoo he adds on his arm is making him more desirable. And now with the new eyebrow piercing you've finally lost everything. He was effortlessly handsome and hot before all of this, but now with these added details it's just another perk for your sly eyes.
Pulling his fingers from your mouth he puts them inside his, this simple action making your walls quiver in glee. After sucking your saliva off his fingers, his lips move to your neck and he plants butterfly kisses all over your skin. When his hands sneak under your pullover - which actually belongs to him - he halts in his movements, pinching his brows as he leans back with his head.
,,Where's your bra?"
,,Took it off."
You throw your arms around his neck, wanting to pull him back to your mouth, but he resists.
,,You wore that sexy bra this whole morning, teasing me with walking around in that matching set, just to take it off again?" He is surprised that he didn't even see when you took that damn thing off. The way it made your perky breasts squish together is still clearly rooted in his mind.
,,I didn't tease you."
,,You don't consider constantly bending down in front of me in sexy lingerie as teasing?"
He thrusts his cock back inside, going deeper and harder. You mewl, shaking your head. ,,I was just packing the last few things in our suitcases."
,,Wanted to throw you on the bed and fuck your brains out so badly." Tattooed fingers enclose your throat, putting pressure on the sides.
More juice gushes from your hole, the wet noises reverberating around the empty room increasing.
,,You're-" His cockhead nudging your cervix every time he lunges forward is stealing all your functioning brain cells and squashes them into a mass of nothingness, leaving your fighting with the sentences you want so say. ,,You're doing a pretty good job succeeding in that right now."
Having to hold back loud moans that are waiting to spill from you on the tip of your tongue is hard, but watching Jungkook in his determined, fucked out state, pumping his dick into you with precise thrusts makes you sink your teeth into your lips, almost drawing blood.
,,Yeah? You like the way my cock splits you open?"
You nod promptly. Nails dig into his shoulders. He furrows his brows and you follow the way his piercing moves along, the two little silver balls twinkling under the bright lights of the room.
,,Wanted to fuck you in that sexy outfit," Jungkook pants, pace quickening when he imagines drilling your cock into you while you are wearing the lingerie again.
,,When we get home - oh god - when we get home you can," you promise.
,,Want to cuff your hands too."
Your eyes roll back. Walls fluttering around his thick girth. ,,Everything you want."
,,Good little slut," he groans, cock twitching within your tight grasp. ,,You're close?"
You can barely nod, eyebrows pinched when the hand from your throat sneaks down and rubs your clit in precise movements.
,,Jungkook." Moaning his name, your head falls back and he can't dismiss the chance to create pink and purple marks on your skin.
With Jungkook all over you and his cock thrusting inside in rigid drags, the tight knot in your stomach bursts in a sudden sensation, pleasure filling every part of your body.
Somehow managing to draw him even closer to you, you nuzzle your face in the crook of his neck and bite down his skin to mute the moan that nearly fled your mouth.
,,Good girl," he coos, fingers combing through your hair in reassurance.
Jungkook holds you close to him as he drills his throbbing cock inside your clenching cunt, your essence painting his length in white stripes every time he pulls his cock back out.
,,Can I cum inside?"
Pondering about his questions for a second you answer, ,,Let's not make a mess." You slide your fingers down his buff arms. ,, Cum inside my mouth?"
Jungkook immediately pulls out of you, hand stroking his cock briskly.
,,Then get on your knees, now." Voice strained from his nearing high he pushes your shoulder down, prompting you to kneel in front of him.
Taking his cock between your lips, you focus on moving up and down his length. Jungkook groans at the feeling of your mouth around him, hand absentmindedly reaching behind your head, but not pushing you further down.
,,Just the tip, baby - fuck, yes - just like that."
Sucking on his tip and looking up at him with doe eyes you feel your mouth salivating at the thought of swallowing his cum.
Not long after that, Jungkook bursts hot white fluid down your throat and you swallow every drop of it. Giving him a few final strokes with your mouth before you withdraw with a lewd plop.
Both of you are panting, Jungkook's chest heavily rising up and down as his cock softens. He pulls you in for a kiss. Your heart swells at his tenderness.
While still calming down from your orgasms you don't have much time to bask in the afterglow. You tuck your panties in place and walk out of the stall to fix your hair. Jungkook stays behind, throwing his clothes over his body.
,,My hair looks like a nest," you mumble as you struggle to brush your fingers through the back of your head. Being pressed against the bathroom stall with your hair constantly rubbing against it through Jungkook bouncing you on his dick hasn't been benevolent to your hair.
While strolling towards you Jungkook gives your butt a playful smack before pecking your cheek.
,,We should probably leave before someone comes in," you say, looking at him through the mirror. His cheeks are painted in a slight flush, the sparks of his high still depicted on his face. It's adorable.
Jungkook nods, though he's making no effort in actually carrying it out.
,,Want some chapstick?" he asks, pulling out a strawberry flavoured.
You turn your head to him and he finely coats your lips in a thin layer of chapstick. Watching him being so concentrated at his task makes you nearly coo and smooch his nose.
After putting some of the chapstick on his lips too he throws his bag over his shoulder.
,,Ready to go?"
,,Shouldn't we leave separately? I don't want anyone to see us coming out of the restroom together," you answer.
,,Nah, we should be fine. There's no one out there."
But oh boy, how wrong he was.
As soon as Jungkook opens the door, both your hands intertwined, you are surprised by flashing lights and a horde of people standing - waiting - all around the entrance of the men's restroom.
Escaping the blinding light by hiding behind Jungkook you screw your eyes shut. The distinct sounds of people taking countless of pictures of you get muted once Jungkook awakens from his shock-induced paralysis and shuts the door close.
,,Shit," he curses under his breath.
You're shocked. Unable to say anything.
,,D-did they-" You point at yourself, mouth hanging open.
,,They...saw you too, yes." He talks slow, like he also can't grasp what just happened.
The way he torn up the door and practically presented you two to the whole mob of people standing outside could be comical if it wasn't for the burden you know will follow after this event.
,,Wait, do I still look freshly fucked?" you say, disquietingly brushing your fingers through your hair as you look into the mirror next to you.
,,I mean, what else is there to assume if we both come out of an empty bathroom?"
,,Oh, you're...right..." The position you're both in is way too suspicious, you come to realise. Puffing, you turn to him, scanning his face for help or advice for what you should do now.
,,I have a plan."
You perk at that. Brows lifted and await his explanation.
Jungkook holds out his hand for you.
,,Let's run."
991 notes · View notes
kookingtae · 3 months ago
Incoming: Elite Chatboy (pt. 4)
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pt 1 | pt 2 | pt 3
→ pairing: sex chat worker jungkook x reader
→ genre: text au (smau without the social media), smut, humor
→ word count: 10.2k (written portion at bottom)
→ scenario: welcome to Elite Chatroom, a sex chat company with a wide variety of services such as text messaging, phone call, and video chat. you signed up online for the most basic text service plan not knowing what to expect, but you certainly didn’t think you’d end up actually liking the man behind the screen.
→ warning: sexting, video sex, professional dom jungkook, teasing bratty sub reader, crack humor amidst explicit dirty talk, mutual masturbation, degradation, praise kink, strip tease, fist fucking. mentions of: oral (fem and male receiving), face fucking, size kink, cum play, dacryphilia, subspace.
→ a/n: smh i WOULD find a way to make this smut 10k words loool this is WAY longer than i was expecting, and im not even sure if i like it BUT i hope you guys do :”) tbh ive only read over it for editing like once bc it took a lot out of me so pls excuse any mistakes u find! after this i will be focusing on another project of mine that has a deadline, so the wait for pt 5 may be longer than when i usually update this series, but i hope having such a big chapter will hold you over until then! happy reading and i hope you all enjoy it <3
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Your heart pounds out of your chest as you frantically rush around the room for any last minute things you have to do: comb your hair, touch up your makeup, hell you even brushed your teeth even though there’s no way he’ll be able to smell your minty fresh breath through the screen of his phone. Adjusting the little portable desk for the umpteenth time that sits in your bed, your stomach is a flurry of nerves when you lean your phone against it so that the camera has a perfect view of yourself while you sit in front of your headboard.
Your eyes quickly glance over his text message one more time. ‘PRESS THE FACETIME BUTTON AT THE TOP OF THE CHAT’. The all-caps typing you both used perfectly emulates the frenzied chaos swirling inside of you at your last-minute and rather impulsive decision to video chat with him.
Shit, this is a bad idea. What if he sees you and thinks you’re not what he expected? What if he thinks you’re cuter in your profile picture than you are in real time? What if you don’t live up to his expectations?
You attempt to swallow down your anxiety and self-doubt before taking a deep breath, closing your eyes for a moment or two, and finally pressing the facetime button.
Shit, you forgot to grab your phone charger!
The bleating sound that lets you know facetime is calling him only adds to your nerves as it chimes through the air while you shoot up from your bed and dive over to your bag on the other side of your room. Shit, your phone battery is on 6% and you meant to grab your charger while you were getting everything set up! How could you forget it?!
A dark, stormy cloud of dread falls over you when you hear the sound of the call being answered.
Your palms prickle as fear and anticipation and excitement and anxiety all spike within you at once like a lightning bolt straight to your core. You speed up the pace at which you frantically rummage through your belongings that are tossed haphazardly in your bag.
“Y/N?” Jungkook’s voice is honey dripping within every crevice of your being when he sings out your name.
“I’m here!” You call out distractedly from the other side of the room, hoping your voice will carry and filter through your phone speakers to him, wherever he is in the world. “Sorry, I’m looking for my phone charger!”
Jungkook does the last thing you expect him to do in the middle of your internal meltdown: he laughs. “You had five years to get ready!”
His warm laughter and gentle teasing has your heart blooming in your chest and an infectious smile growing on your lips. “It was only 10 minutes!” You argue back lightheartedly.
Your anxiety starts to subside at the natural banter that flows easily between the two of you, just as it does through text. You don’t know why you were worried about things being weird. This is Jungkook, the same boy you tease and bicker with who also somehow manages to drive you absolutely insane with desire—the same boy who you talked to for almost an hour on the phone last week after the two of you had climaxed, only for Elite Chatroom to notify him with an alert saying that your session was almost over. Each service plan has a two-hour maximum time limit, you had been informed by Jungkook shortly after the interruption, so that people don’t take advantage of the services and so that the workers have enough time to take several clients a night if need be.
You ignore the knot that grows in the pit of your stomach at the thought of Jungkook sexting someone right after leaving the chat with you.
“Got it,” you emit a sigh when you finally feel the white cable amidst all the other shit in the depths of your bag and dash back over to plug your phone into the wall. Thankfully it’s still able to stand upright with the camera on yourself even though the charger sticks out of the bottom.
“Okay, I’m here,” you exhale with an involuntary nervous giggle as you plop down on the bed and finally get to look at the chatboy in front of you.
And suddenly it’s hard to breathe.
Jungkook is sitting on his bed, dark hair falling attractively around his forehead and tattoos on full display as he stares at you with what must be the most breathtaking face you’ve ever seen in your entire life.
“Oh my god,” you can’t help but blurt out, fighting the urge to cover your mouth at your accidental outburst as your eyes stay captivated at him on your screen.
After a few moments of silence, the two of you just drinking in the sight of one another, Jungkook blinks several times in delayed reaction as if waking from some sort of trance ever since you sat down in front of him. “What?” He asks, the sudden self-consciousness visible on his expression.
You can’t help but stare at his big, dark doe eyes, so wide and innocent and the complete opposite of everything you’ve ever known about this boy. “N-nothing,” you fumble out, clearing your throat and mentally shaking yourself out of your stupefied daze. “I just... you’re better looking than your contact photo,” you sheepishly admit.
How is that even possible?! you want to yell at him, but before you can make an even bigger fool of yourself Jungkook is speaking.
“Yeah, um... so are you,” he grins and reaches up to scratch at the back of his neck, a cute blush blooming on his cheeks and his bicep flexing from the motion displaying the rest of his tattoos that create the beginnings of a sleeve up his right arm.
You try to keep your mouth from falling open as you practically drool at the sight.
“Shit,” you hear him curse to himself, the expletive refocusing your attention back to his beautiful face. “What are you doing to me?! I’m never like this!”
“Like what?!” You reply defensively with a chuckle.
“I don’t know, nervous!” He admits, mirroring your natural grin.
Your heart jumps in your chest at his confession, thankful that you’re not the only one to feel this way. “Why are you nervous?”
“You know exactly why!”
“Do I?” You arch a brow at his words, excitement dancing in your eyes.
“Yes,” he leans forward to get closer to the camera and fixes you with an intense gaze that has your body bursting into flames, “you do.”
You swallow down the flustered response that rises within you under his stare and try not to ogle his features that are even more beautiful upon closer inspection. “Pretty sure I don’t,” you deny challengingly.
Jungkook presses his tongue against the inside of his cheek, the action stirring a sizzling heat within the depths of your core. “Don’t play coy with me baby. You know exactly what you do to me.”
His words cause another roll in your stomach that crashes like a wave into your core as well, though it does nothing to put out the inferno that it joins there. You involuntarily squeeze your thighs together, his ability to arouse you having grown tenfold now that you can hear his voice and see his eyes on you. You’ll be damned if you let him know that, though.
“Hm, I don’t know,” a smirk plays at the corner of your mouth before you’re biting down on your lower lip in anticipation. “I think I need a refresher.”
Jungkook swallows at your sultry words before readjusting his position on his bed, one of his legs bent in front of the camera as he leans back and props himself up on his elbow in an enticing display. “Yeah? You need a refresher on how hard you make my cock?” He arches a brow while one of his hands falls over his groin right where you presume his dick to be.
Your eyes widen on their own accord as you try to hold in a cough, not having expected such bold and obscene words for come out of the boy’s mouth so soon. “Jesus, Jungkook,” you splutter before a laugh bubbles up and forces its way past your lips.
His seductive nature instantly vanishes, now replaced with mirth that gleams in his eyes and an adorable groan of protest. “What?!” He cries in false-frustration though a smile lights up his features while he watches you.
“We just got here!” You choke in disbelief.
“Y/N it’s 45 minutes into your session!” A laugh of his own falls from his lips.
“Okay but this is different!” You argue back, the lighthearted bickering returning between you. “I’ve barely recovered from seeing your face and you expect me to see your dick?!”
“What’s wrong with seeing my dick?!”
“Do you want me to die?”
You watch as his lips twitch at your words as if there’s something he wants to say but knows he shouldn’t, and it’s the knowledge of this boy’s crude humor (you can practically hear him now: “are you saying you’d die for my dick?”) that causes you to speak up again before he can.
“Don’t–! Make that a sex reference.”
His mouth is already open, breath drawn and ready to say whatever weird shit popped into his chaotic brain before he stops short at your words. “Me? A sex reference?” He quickly reroutes with a scoff as if offended. “What kind of person do you think I am?”
“A horn dog,” you deadpan without delay.
“Only horny for you baby,” he winks.
The cheesy sexual remark and giant, giddy smirk on his face should make you want to wring his neck—and it definitely does. But you can’t deny the deeper meaning behind his words that warms you with endearment given how many women he watches masturbate daily, and he’s still only ever gotten off with you.
“Stop why is that making me soft?” A pout takes over your features that’s soon being replaced by a roll of your eyes. “What is wrong with me?!”
“Just admit it.” His smirk is replaced with a winning grin that takes over almost the entirety of his face and has your heart squeezing in your chest. “You love me.”
“I would rather die,” you instantly quip back.
“Oh?” The arch of his brow lets you know you’ve walked yourself into another one of his bad jokes, though before you can stop him he’s already continuing. “Does that mean I can show you my dick then?”
A scoff of laughter involuntarily escapes your throat as you bury your face in your hands in either shame, disappointment, or both—it’s hard to tell at this point. “I actually hate you,” you shake your head with a chuckle when you look back up.
“You keep telling yourself that babe.” He wriggles his eyebrows teasingly before joining in on your laughter.
“Do you normally jump right into things with your other video chat clients?” You ask, curiosity outweighing your aversion to hearing about the many people he seduces.
“Well I usually just start off by saying some sexy shit. Order them to take their clothes off and whatnot.” He shrugs like he’s talking about the weather instead of having cyber sex with strangers. To him, cyber sex probably is something as casual as the weather. “And then when they’re all prepped and ready I start doing my thing.”
Your brows raise at that, intrigue peaking at his last word. “Your ‘thing’?” You question before you can stop yourself. 
“Yes.” His eyes twinkle and his lips twitch into a small smile, amused. “My ‘thing’.”
The look on his face has you almost blushing with round eyes; you can guess exactly what his thing entails, though the thought only adds to your curiosity rather than sating it. “W-what is your ‘thing’?” You’re almost scared to ask.
He shrugs, his smile twisting to a smirk at your reaction. “I just put on a little show for them, you know?”
Now your brows furrow at that. “A show? Do you have like, a whole routine that you do or something?”
“Well it differs for my regulars of course because I can’t show them the same thing every time but,” he pauses in thought as if realizing this for the first time, his smirk now turning into genuine mirth as laughter tumbles from his lips, “I actually do have a go-to I do for new clients.”
“Wow,” you draw out the word with a shocked grin as a chuckle of your own joins his. “You have a whole routine!”
“Shut up!” You watch as the flawless golden hue of his skin turns a flushed shade of crimson.
The adorable sight of his embarrassed blush only prompts you to tease him further. “Like a little dance number!” You joke.
“Shut up it’s not!” He protests weakly, his own expression upturned into an infectious grin as well. “This is serious shit! I’m a professional!”
You continue to laugh at his persistent denial. “I have to see this oh my god.”
“Stop, I can’t now!”
“Because it’s embarrassing!” He whines playfully. “You’ll make fun of me!”
His words only make you laugh even more. “No I won’t!”
“You literally laughed when you said that!”
His callout has you twisting in flustered amusement, your hands reaching up to hide the laughter that continues to spill from your open-mouthed smile. “Okay I won’t!” You inhale deeply to regain control, only uncovering your face once your expression has fallen into a more serious one. “I won’t,” you repeat calmly, and the second you meet the knowing look in his eyes you try to hold in the giggle that comes bubbling up within your chest.
A long sigh leaves his lips. “Fine, but if I see you laugh I swear to god–!”
“I won’t laugh!” You argue back with a grin.
He watches you skeptically for a second longer before eventually rising from his bed and disappearing from view behind the camera. Seconds later the low, smooth sound of sultry music fills his room and filters through your phone’s speakers.
You’re unable to stop the giggle that pushes it’s way past your closed lips—the fact that you joked about it being a dance routine and he actually does have music!
“I said no laughing!” He hollers from out of frame.
“Okay okay I won’t!” The pressure of the moment forces another giggle from you. “Starting now!” You call out before he can chastise you again.
The few still moments that he stays out of view has your heart rate spiking in anticipation. A nervous heat now starts to replace the amusement within you as you realize just what you’re about to see.
And it’s when he finally saunters into view that your expression falls slack entirely.
He has the casual confidence of someone who knows just how sexy they are, his steps slow and sensual yet his eyes ablaze with an intense, lustful passion that burns straight through your soul and past your stomach to melt right between your legs.
You try to swallow past the thick lump in your throat in an attempt to moisten your suddenly dry mouth, though it’s as if your throat has closed up along with the rest of your stiffening muscles and scorching organs as you continue to watch his movements, unable to look away even if you wanted to.
A knowing smirk tugs at his lips to join his overall cocky aura, the heat of the moment only rising tenfold as he reaches down and grabs the bottom part of his t-shirt in a fist and starts to tug it up at a tantalizingly slow pace. The dryness of your mouth is suddenly replaced by mouth-watering lust when his smooth skin and the slightest sliver of chiseled abs peak out from beneath the fabric, giving you a taste and making you crave more before he suddenly drops his shirt and it falls back down over his skin.
“I think you need to work for it, baby girl.” He presses both of his hands down on the bed on either side of his phone and leans closer to the camera, his features sparking with the enticing challenge.
You gulp, hoping that you can find your voice enough to put together some sort of response. “I-I thought you were gonna show me your routine.”
“Only good girls get to see my routine.” His voice is husky as he stays leaned over the camera, that annoyingly sexy smirk still playing at his lips. “Are you a good girl, Y/N?”
You feel your head slowly begin to nod yes as if you’re in a trance, unable to control your actions at this point.
“Then prove it.” He takes on a more commanding tone that has you pressing your legs together. “Show me what a good girl you’ve been.” When his eyes rake over your figure, you think you really will go insane. “Take off your pants.”
You’re unsure if this is standard procedure and you’re just falling victim to his routine like all his clients before you, but at this point you couldn’t do anything about it even if you wanted to.
So you slowly rise from the bed, your camera positioned to where he can still see you standing on the floor as you unbutton your pants and pull them down your legs. Nerves begin to take over as you feel self-conscious beneath his watchful gaze, though you can hear his breath lightly fan against the speakers and when you look up you notice his eyes have darkened.
You feel your body engulf in flames under his stare before you’re quickly stepping completely out of your pants and sitting back down on the bed as if it offers you some semblance of shelter compared to standing out in the open.
The feeling doesn’t last long when you hear his next words, though.
“Now feel how wet you are.” It might just be your imagination, but you think you can physically see his chest rising and falling with each breath that seems to have gotten heavier upon your actions. “Spread your legs for me. I want to see your hands in those sexy little panties.”
Your eyes widen slightly at his words, knowing that if you spread your legs there will most likely be a wet patch at the center of your underwear. But again, his commanding words paired with the intense gaze he’s subjecting you to makes it impossible to do anything but obey.
And so you do.
Your legs part open in a painfully slow motion, the air instantly cooling the heat radiating from your clothed pussy. You bite down on your lower lip in an attempt to contain some of your embarrassment. You’ve never done anything like this before; sure you’ve had boyfriends in the past, and you certainly aren’t a virgin. But cyber sex is something completely new and foreign to you, and so you can’t help but feel shy and anxious under his intimidating scrutiny. Especially when he can’t take his eyes off the way you hesitantly reach inside the top of your underwear and swipe your middle finger through your slit.
You involuntarily quiver at the contact, your pussy throbbing in desire and aching to be touched just because of his mere presence on your screen.
“How wet are you?” His voice is considerably thicker with lust when he speaks up.
A gulp rakes down your throat. “I-I’m soaked,” you try to steady your voice in reply, though the attempt is futile.
A low hum rumbles deep within his chest. “Good girl,” he praises sensually before finally leaning back from the camera.
He stands upright again to continue taking off his shirt when you notice a tint in the shape of an erection suddenly visible in his sweatpants. You’re sure that wasn’t there before; you certainly would’ve remembered the way it has you clenching around nothing in intense desire.
As you watch him with your hand clutching your folds, you somehow find the courage to speak up. “Is all that because of me?” Your voice is breathlessly coy when you arch a brow at him.
His shirt is still on his body when he drops it from his grasp again and glances down to where you’re looking as if he’s just now realizing that the imprint is visible. The way he curses beneath his breath has your arousal growing, evident in the way wetness continues to pool where your hand is between your legs.
“Should’ve known my hungry little cockslut would notice that.” He clicks his tongue before reaching down to gently brush a hand over the outline of his clothed member, the action causing your body to erupt in desire.
You feel your cheeks burn in a scarlet heat at his words, though you don’t let that deter you. “What, and you didn’t?”
Now it’s his turn to adorn a sheepish blush despite the sexual confidence he’s exuding. “It doesn’t ever happen so I’m not used to having it.” His eyes avert from yours as he reaches up to nervously rub the back of his neck, though before you have a chance to steady your hitched breath his gaze is on you again. “It’s all your fault.”
Excitement jumps within you at his admittance to never getting an erection from seeing other clients strip for him—probably because he’s become desensitized to his job. Which leaves you to wonder why you’re the only client who’s an exception to that.
“How is it my fault?” You arch a knowing brow.
His demure expression shifts into a smirk when he realizes the coy game you’re slipping back into. “You know exactly how it’s your fault, baby girl.”
You gulp through the sudden thickness in your throat as he holds your stare while finally following through with taking off his t-shirt, the thin fabric akin to running water as it ripples over the toned muscles of his chest and shoulders and eventually over the fluffy locks of his dark brown hair.
Your body numbs and jaw goes slack while you stare at his shirtless form. “Jesus christ Jungkook,” you curse just loud enough for him to hear. “Why the fuck are you so hot?”
He chuckles darkly at your words, a seductive twinkle in his eyes as he runs a palm down the v-shaped line of his abdomen before coming to a stop at the waistband of his sweatpants. “I should be the one asking you that, baby.”
His fingers fiddle with the drawstring, the few seconds that it takes him to ease the fabric down his legs feeling like an eternity until he’s left in just his boxer briefs that hug the bulges of his muscular thighs in all the right places. You barely have any time to devour the sight before his hand slides even further over his body to rub the hardened length straining within his underwear.
“You see what you do to me?” He asks with a lick of his lips.
You physically feel your soul leave your body at the onslaught of visual sensations assaulting your senses, his physique seemingly handcrafted by whatever higher power that you now know must exist if someone who’s as breathtakingly perfect as Jungkook is alive and on this earth at the same time as you, much less your service provider for a sex chatroom.
You’re completely speechless, unable to even think about trying to put together a coherent sentence while your eyes are locked on him. At your prolonged trance, a lighthearted chuckle suddenly falls from his lips.
“I take it my routine is working on you,” he teases.
You somehow manage to snap out of your reverie at the sound of his voice, having to blink several times and refocus on his face while his words register in your mind.
“W-what comes next in the routine?” You swallow shakily.
“Well if they’re not naked yet,” he hums, eyes roaming your pant-less form, “I tell them what to take off.”
Your throat constricts at that, nervous anticipation bubbling within you at the thought of being directed by Jungkook to strip down the way he has for you. “Oh?” Is all you can manage to squeak out.
“Mhm.” He lounges back on the bed, one of his legs stretched out with the other bent at the knee while he props himself up on his elbow.
You’re unable to stop your eyes from following the outline of his body that dips at the curvature of his waist and swells at his pectoral muscles, and you get the feeling that he knows exactly how sexually inviting his position is.
“First I start with suggesting they get a little more comfortable by removing their shirt.”
Tension rises within you as you shift to reposition yourself so that you’re sitting on your feet with your legs bent beneath you and knees slightly spread. “Removing their shirt makes them more comfortable?” Your question is laced with surprise.
He simply shrugs. “It is when they only came here for one thing so they know what to expect. Like I said, not everyone is as inexperienced in this as you.”
A flustered scoff escapes your lips at that. “Excuse you! I’d say I’m doing pretty well if I talked my way into your pants.” Your voice then takes on a mocking tone as you playfully mimic his past words. “‘Oh, I’m a professional! I’m never like this!’”
“Stop!” It’s his turn to get flustered now as he cringes with a giggle. “Don’t bring it up!”
“Now you know how it feels!” You giggle as well, liking the idea of giving him a taste of his own medicine since he’s the one who usually brings up the sexual things you say in the heat of the moment later.
“Okay, well maybe I just wanted you to take off your shirt!” He throws back. “Ever thought of that?!”
Despite the accusation that his tone holds, you can’t help but blink in realization at the meaning of his words. “You want me to take off my shirt?” You still can’t help but be shocked by this adonis of a man’s interest in you.
“Is that not obvious by this point?” He deadpans.
“Well I don’t fucking know, I’m not a mind reader!” You retort defensively.
“Yes Y/N!” He yells back with the same spirited banter that always seems to come naturally for the two of you. “I want you to take off your shirt!”
“Fine!” You mirror his tone of voice defiantly. “I will!”
There’s a beat of silence where the both of you sit waiting for you to follow through.
“Stop I’m nervous now,” you suddenly pout in a flustered manner.
“Don’t be nervous!” Jungkook draws out the words with a playful whine that’s laced with infectious laughter. “I promise you don’t need to be nervous in front of me,” he continues once the air between you has settled to a state of calm before glancing down at his fingers that fiddle with the sheets of his bed. “I think you’re beautiful.”
Your heart thuds with a flutter in your chest, touched by his unexpected compliment. How could someone who can have any girl in the world be this attracted to you in particular? Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe how you see him, but rather than spilling your innermost feelings like a mushy idiot, you instead coo in endearment.
“Aw babe.” There’s a gleam in your eyes when they go round, lips twitching into a soft pout. 
“Babe,” he mirrors your puppy dog eyed expression with the same coo in his tone of voice.
Before he causes you to go too soft and question what all these emotions are that he’s making you feel, you sigh and shake out the flustered nerves that threaten to consume you again. “Okay, I’m gonna do it.”
The adorably soft pout is still on his features when he speaks up. “Only if you’re comfortable.”
“I am,” you assure him with a nod. “I’m not like insecure or anything, I just...” There’s a pause while you think of the right words to say. You finally settle on, “I don’t know, you make me nervous.”
“I completely understand. Don’t you remember I said the same thing earlier?” His head tilts with a grin.
“Yeah... true,” you smile back at him, heart warmed by his reassurance and the fact that he’s also as nervous as you are despite exuding nothing but sexual confidence. You suspect that comes from experience with his job. “Okay,” you exhale as you mentally prepare yourself.
Your fingertips tickle at the bottom hem of your shirt before you slowly pull it up and over your head, revealing to him the matching bra to your panties that you made sure to put on in the time it took you to get ready before your video chat. Your breath is held hostage in your lungs as you let the clothing fall to the floor before glancing back at him.
“Wow,” he finally blows out a low breath after a few still, tension-filled moments of silence, his eyes unwavering as he’s captivated with the sight of you. “Did you put on that set just for me?”
“Mhm.” You sensually fiddle with the straps to the soft red lace adorning your chest, the nerves that were jumping wildly within you starting to settle into your usual courage after his positive reaction.
“I see I was right in the chatroom when I said I bet your panties look sexy on you.” His voice is a deep rumble in his chest when he speaks, the vibrations seeming to travel through the speaker of your phone and wrap around every tendon and bone in your body like the effects of a delicious poison consuming you from the inside out. “I wish I was there right now.”
“What would you do if you were?” You arch your brow seductively.
“Mm, I would kiss and suck every inch of your body,” he hums with a sensuality that drives you insane as his hand casually finds the outline of his length still hard within the confinement of his boxer briefs. You inwardly pout when he obscures the view of his clothed erection until to your delight, he squeezes it. “Starting with those pretty tits of yours. Can you show them to me, baby?”
Heat jumps within your core and blooms all the way into your chest that rises and falls with slightly heavier breaths, turned on immensely by his dirty words spoken in such a sultry tone. Without even uttering a word, you reach around and unhook the bra at your back before letting it fall from your frame.
You hear him inhale sharply at the view of your exposed breasts. “Shit,” he mutters on exhale, his grip tightening on his member. “Fuck, this was a bad idea.”
You blink rapidly in surprise at his words. “Why?”
His eyes are pitch black and blown out with lust when he replies. “Because I don’t think I can hold myself back from breaking the rules for you,” he practically growls in a husky voice.
Though the initial alarm that filled you settles at his explanation, it does nothing to ease your confusion. “What do you mean?” You blink again with furrowed brows.
A deep groan of sexual frustration reverberates from the depths of his chest, an almost feral look in his eyes. “It means that I want to find out your address, go there right now, and fuck the living shit out of you.”
Your eyes widen as every vital organ in your body drops like an atomic bomb straight to your core.
Instantly and without thinking your fingers fly into your underwear to the bundle of nerves between your legs, gathering wetness from your clenching hole where you want him most and spreading it through your folds.
“Fuck, Jungkook, you can’t just say shit like that.” Your reprimand holds the edges of a moan within it as lust overtakes you.
“Yeah? You like the idea of me coming over and having my way with you?” His words are fueled by the way you touch yourself as he doesn’t even possess the willpower to chide you for not waiting for permission, his hand dipping into his briefs as well and taking ahold of his length. “I’d fuck you so hard you wouldn’t even be able to think. All you could do is cry and cream all over my cock.”
You let out a whimper of desire as your eyes flutter shut under knit brows, your pleasure increasing tenfold at the sound and image his dirty talk paints in your mind as you start to rub your clit in a familiar motion.
“Fuck, stand up baby.”
His words have your eyes opening from under the heavy haze that forced them shut. “Huh?” You croak out in a voice that’s thick with lust.
You watch as he gulps with a lick of his lips, seemingly more fucked out right now than he wants to show. “You’re lucky I’m not punishing you for touching yourself without my permission. Now stand up and turn around.”
Confusion from his sudden and strange request fills you, though you can’t find it in you to want to disobey him right now—not when he turns you on more than anyone you’ve ever been with and he’s not even here in person. A shaky breath escapes your lips when your fingers leave your aching core before you get off the bed and face the wall away from the camera.
You can hear him emit a low moan behind you. “Good girl. Now I want you to bend over and pull your panties down nice and slow for me.”
Your cheeks burn at his request, though with the trepidation that fills you there’s also a thrill of excitement that comes along with it. You let out a breath you hadn’t known you’d been holding and slowly start to bend over at the waist so he has a perfect view of the swell of your ass.
There’s a low hum that filters through the speakers and fills your room, the sound of his breath catching along with the rustling of fabric alerting you of exactly what he’s doing.
“Don’t masturbate yet,” you’re quick to call out, not moving from your position but still not willing to continue unless he listens to you. “I want to be watching you when you pleasure yourself to me for the first time tonight.”
He hisses in protest at your command but nonetheless relents without question, the sound of the elastic waistband slapping against his skin signifying that he’s removed his hand from his underwear. “Fine. But only because I know how desperate you are for my cock.”
Pride swells in your chest at his obedience. “Are you sure that’s the only reason?” You can’t help but tease in a smug tone.
“Someone’s getting cocky,” he grumbles though you can hear the edge of a smirk on his lips. “Don’t forget who has you bent over like the pretty little whore you are. Panties off. Now.”
You click your tongue but ultimately concede, thumbs hooking under the waist of your underwear and pulling the red lace down at a slow, tantalizing pace.
A sharp inhale fills your lungs when you feel the cool air hit your wetness that pools from your panties when you slide them down your thighs. Knowing that he can see not only your ass but also your pussy from behind has you suddenly feelings extremely vulnerable while you show to him the most intimate part of your body, though you also know there isn’t anyone else you’d feel more comfortable with or would rather expose yourself to. Somewhere down the line between your sexting sessions, playful banter, and that hour long phone call, you’ve grown to trust Jungkook. You couldn’t do this with anyone else even if you wanted to.
“God damn,” he lets out a loud, audible groan at the sight of you. “You’re so fucking wet, baby. I can see it dripping down your thighs and you’ve barely even touched yourself. Do I turn you on that much?”
“Yes,” you admit with a whimpering pout as you step out of the lace at your feet and turn back around to him.
You’re surprised to see he’s moved the phone from its original position propped up against something and is now holding it up to his face while laying back against his bed so he can get a better view of you. The sight of his big, doe eyes that shine in the light from the screen as well as the gentle slope of his nose and delicate curvature of his bow-shaped lips has your heart sprouting with a warmth of adoration in your chest.
“What are you doing?” You can’t help but grin as you sit back down on your bed and lean into the camera.
“Looking at you,” he answers so matter-of-factly that it has your stomach flipping.
“Are you sure you’re not just hiding your dick from the camera so I won’t see you touching yourself?” Your lips upturn into a playful smirk.
“And deprive my cock hungry baby of what she wants most? Never.” He mirrors your expression of amusement before sitting up off his pillows and setting the phone back where it was originally placed. 
You hate that even the obscenities that leave his mouth sound endearing to you now.
“Ah, what are you doing to me?” You cry out with a sigh as you sit back on your heels again with your legs bent beneath you. The position puts your full torso on display but obscures between your legs while accentuating the curvature of your hips and thighs.
“I’m should be the one asking you that. Though I suppose I already know the answer,” he breathes out in reply as he perches onto his knees as well, giving you a perfect view of his toned stomach and muscular thighs that has you practically salivating on the spot. “This is what you do to me, baby.” His hand runs over his clothed erection that’s still straining against the stretchy fabric of his briefs.
You feel your mind go numb at the mouth-watering sight, unable to do anything but fixate on the beads of precum that create a wet patch in the cloth. “I want to see it,” you blurt out before you can stop yourself.
A dark chuckle rumbles in his chest. “I don’t know,” he hums as if contemplating the idea in his mind. “I don’t think you want it badly enough.”
“I do,” you reply without missing a beat, perfectly aware that he’s baiting you but not caring if you fall for it. “I want it so bad baby.”
“Yeah?” His eyes dance as the corner of his mouth tugs into a smirk at your words. “Show me.”
Your face flushes once you realize what he’s asking, though you soon figure embarrassment is a pointless emotion now that he’s seen every part of you. Which is why without another word you slowly shift your knees apart so that your legs are parted for him and he has the perfect view of your soaking wet pussy.
Your eyes stay locked on his in an intense stare while you run a middle finger through your slit from your dripping hole all the way to the bundle of nerves near the top of your folds. You visibly shiver when your finger brushes over your clit; the sensation paired with the way his gaze is transfixed on you like you’re the only person in the world who matters causes goosebumps to rise onto your skin. 
“See how wet you make me?” Your quivering voice is thick with lust as you bring your hand up so that he can see the evidence of your dripping arousal on your fingertips. Needing to mentally prepare yourself, you then take one moment, two, before slipping one of the wet digits past your lips and into your mouth.
Jungkook’s mouth falls open as his jaw slacks. “Holy shit Y/N...” his voice is but a murmur of awe, clearly remembering the uncertainty and reluctance you possessed for the action when he told you to do it during your very first session together.
Fueled by his reaction, you make sure he has a perfect view of your lips wrapped around your index finger before slowly and sensually pulling it out until the tip is removed with an audible pop!
“You are so fucking hot,” he gushes without hesitation. “Wanna bury my face in your pussy and devour you all night long.”
“Fuck, that sounds so good.” You slip your fingers back between your legs to gently massage your clit again, the thrill of him watching you only adding to your pleasure as your lids flutter shut and your mind fills with the mental image his words create.
“Ah ah, open your eyes. Look at me baby,” his tone is gentle and slightly patronizing in a way that has your toes curling at the eroticism of it all. You do as told to reveal the sight of him watching you under low lids heavy with lust. “I want you to look me in the eyes while you touch yourself to the thought of me.”
You let out a mewl as your arousal grows tenfold under his gaze, too turned on to feel shy at this point as you shamelessly spread your legs open wider so that he can see every inch of your exposed pussy. “Wanna feel you right here,” you whimper as your fingers slip down your slit to dance teasingly outside your hole without yet putting them inside.
“Yeah?” You notice the way Jungkook’s chest rises and falls as his breathing grows heavier while he watches you. “What exactly do you want right there, baby?”
You barely manage to stop yourself from blurting out your cock, almost too needy to play coy at this point though you somehow gather every last ounce of self control that you possess to bite your tongue.
Instead you maintain enough restraint to arch your brow with a smirk playing on your lips. “What do you wanna put here?” You ask in a challenging tone. “Your fingers? Your tongue? Or maybe... your cock?” You glance down at his clothed erection that’s now visibly throbbing to the point that it looks painful before looking back up into his eyes. “Show me.”
The speed at which he licks his lips in anticipation before reaching for the waistband of his underwear is almost comical.
He suddenly stops himself short as if remembering his place. “You’re just dying to see my cock, huh? Been thinking about it since our very first session?” He grins darkly as he continues to fiddle with the hem, not yet revealing it to you which has your teeth gritting in impatient desire. “What’s the magic word?”
“Oh my god, please, Jungkook, for the love of god, please just show me your fucking cock!”
“Okay, okay, so impatient.” He has the nerve to chuckle after purposefully riling you up. “But, since you begged like a good girl...” he trails off before finally pulling his boxers past his hips and revealing his hardened erection to you.
You don’t even try to hold in the audible groan that escapes you at the sight.
“Jesus fucking christ.” You watch his generous length spring free from its restricting confinement and slap against his lower abdomen before bobbing in position. The sight of his smooth skin beading with precum at the tip is even better than the fantasy you’d cooked up in your imagination. “I’ve never been so happy to see a dick in my life.”
A genuine laugh escapes him at that as his hand instinctively wraps around his shaft. “You’ve been so good for me. It’s the least I could do.”
“Oh, is it?” You sneer sarcastically at him though the action is a lighthearted one. “Do you torture everyone like this or just me?”
“Just you, baby. Aren’t you so lucky?” He teases back at you with a shit-eating grin.
“Yeah yeah. More like you’re the lucky one,” you grumble with amusement playing on your features.
“You got that right.” He looks you over with an expression of cocky arousal, his eyes lingering on the swell of your breasts and between your legs as he wraps a fist around his cock and starts to pump himself. You focus on the way his brows knit and lips part in silent pleasure before an erotic moan escapes from the back of his throat.
Unable to look away even if you wanted to, the sight of him so turned on by your body fills you with courage. “You like watching me show myself to you baby?” You slip your hand down to part your folds with two fingers, ignoring the flush creeping up your neck from being so exposed to instead watch as he gets himself off to the sight. “Does it turn you on to know I’m this wet all because of you?”
“Fuck yes baby,” he sighs out in pleasure, his voice taking on a breathy tone that you remember hearing when he was touching himself on the phone last week. “Want you to finger yourself and imagine it’s my dick.”
“Yeah?” Without hesitation you gather the juices leaking from your hole onto your fingertips before slowly easing one in. “Ah, I’m too tight. I can only fit one at first,” you admit breathlessly as your head rolls back.
“Oh, poor thing,” Jungkook coos in that same patronizing tone that has heat licking at your lower belly, his hand speeding up along his length. “Just gonna have to take extra good care of you and spend my time getting you nice and stretched before I give you my cock. Or would you rather me make you take all of me?”
“Mm, I want it all baby,” you lull your head to the side as you watch him under hooded lids glazed over with lust. “I want you to feel how tight I am. Wanna squeeze and clench around your fat cock ’til I milk you dry.”
Jungkook groans at the mental image that your words paint in his mind, squeezing tighter around his shaft with each motion to mimic your walls sucking him in. “You’re that desperate for my cum, huh? Gonna give it all to you, baby. I’ll smear it all over that dirty mouth and those perfect tits of yours before filling you up so much it’ll be dripping down your thighs while I’m still inside you.”
You shiver at the filthy obscenities that spew from his mouth. “You’re gonna cum that much just for me?” Your voice takes on an angelic tone though the smirk on your lips can still be audibly heard.
“All for you, babe. Only for you...” he breaks off into a moan, the words obviously spoken under the influence of his intensely aroused state though your heart can’t help but flip at them anyways.
The thought stirs up a surprising wave of possessiveness you didn’t know you had for the sex worker in front of you. Unsure of what to do with the unexpected emotion, you instead focus on the way his words make your pussy crave more.
“Gonna add another finger,” you moan wantonly as you press another digit through your slick walls, the stretch making your mouth fall agape.
Jungkook eats up the sight, not daring to look away as he mirrors your expression with knit brows of pleasure. “Shit, Y/N, tell me how it feels.” His breathing is erratic when he speaks. “Describe it to me so I can imagine exactly how perfect it would feel inside that pussy of yours.”
“It’s—ah!—warm,” you try to tell him through the whine that threatens to tear through your throat. “Wet– and tight, so fucking tight it’s suctioning me in.” Finally your words break into a mewl, pain from the stretch melting into pleasure due to how immensely turned on you are thanks to the boy in front of you.
“Fuck, I wanna be inside you,” he hisses without constraint, careless expletives flying from his tongue left and right now that his lust has taken over and he seems to have forgotten all about his job in favor of getting off to you. “Wanna fuck you so fucking bad baby, god, I would do anything.”
“Anything?” Your ears catch onto the word despite the daze of arousal clouding your senses, brow just managing to raise despite your features contorting with pleasure.
“Fuck yes, anything,” he shamelessly replies without missing a beat, his free hand cradling the base of his member while the other desperately works the tip. The expression on his face is pure sex. “Wanna make you scream my name while you ride my cock.”
His response makes a smirk of triumphant pride spring to your lips, though you can’t tease him about it right now even if you want to due to being too fucked out with pleasure to even think straight. You decide storing away the confession to hold over his head at a later date would be better anyways.
“Mm yeah, I wanna bounce on your cock babe.” You groan at the thought of looking down and seeing his beautifully wrecked face beneath you while you’re slamming down on top of him. “Wanna bury my face in the crook of your neck and mark your skin with my lips and teeth.”
“Yeah? You wanna be on top?” Jungkook’s breath hitches while his eyes that were temporarily squeezed shut with pleasure now open to gape at you, jaw slack and lips permanently parted. “My neck is all yours, pretty girl.”
Your insides dance with excitement at the thought of Jungkook—someone who is a professional dom for a living—underneath you while your gaze rakes over the smooth, flawless golden skin of his throat that’s exposed to you when he flings his head back.
“Is that so? You want me to have control?” Endless fantasies flood your mind of ways that you could have this boy writhing and trembling in pleasure.
To your surprise, a dark, breathless chuckle sounds through the speakers as Jungkook focuses on you. “Mm, you and I both know who would be the one in control, baby girl. Or do I have to remind you?”
You swallow thickly, his words inciting excitement within your core though you somehow manage to hold your ground. “I don’t know about that.” The power behind your response is weaker than you intended given the fact that your fingers still fill your walls at the sight of his intense gaze.
“Please, we both know you’d be on your knees for me in two seconds if I told you to.” The cocky expression on his face only adds to pure sex that oozes from him and saturates your body in desire. “I already made you bend over to take off your panties and spread your legs to taste your own cum. What do you wanna try next?”
“Sh-shut up, chatboy,” you try to bark at him though there’s a waver in your tone that can’t be missed, the sound of it only making his smirk deepen.
“You know I’m right, baby. Why keep trying to deny it? We both know you’re a slut for me. My little baby slut.”
You hate the way his words are fuel to the fire blazing in your core and make your toes curl, wishing there was some way to prove him wrong if only to fight for your pride but knowing there’s nothing you can do—especially since it’s nothing but the truth.
“Say it.” His voice snaps you out of your daze.
“What?” You ask to buy yourself time, knowing exactly what he wants.
“Say you’re my slut.”
You scoff, heat rising up your neck. “In your dreams.”
“In yours too,” he arches a brow, knowing perfectly well that he’s right. “Say it, Y/N. Be a good girl and maybe I’ll reward you by letting you cum.”
Your throat tightens, the need to fight back outweighing your submissive side. “What’s stopping me from cumming anyways? You’re not here.”
“Luckily for you, or else I’d have that smart mouth stuffed full of my cock by now.” A devilish smirk creeps up on his lips. “Though I bet you’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
You force your mouth shut to keep from crying out yes!
Undeterred by your silence, that only seems to make Jungkook try that much harder to get you to break. “It’s okay baby, you can tell me. I bet you’d like me to fuck and use all your little holes. Want me to thrust my hips into your mouth like this?”
As if matters couldn’t get any worse for your sanity, he lays down on the mattress so that you have a perfect view of his side profile and the line of body before he holds his hand in a steady, unmoving fist and begins to piston his hips up into it with slow, rolling thrusts. The sight alone is enough to drive you insane—much less with the pure filth that spews from his mouth.
“I’d hold your head right here above my cock and thrust up into that pretty mouth. And guess where that would leave my mouth?”
You’re almost scared to ask. “W-where?”
“With nowhere to go but on that sweet pussy of yours.” 
Your eyes widen at the position he’s insinuating. “What makes you think you could focus with my tongue wrapped around your cock?” You manage a smirk of your own through your flustered state.
“Mm, even if I couldn’t, I’d be moaning right against your clit.” He hums out a groan as if the mental image of his words is the most appetizing idea he’s ever heard. “How does that sound, baby? The vibrations from my voice on those wet little folds?”
The thought of Jungkook’s hot breath on your core while he uncontrollably moans into your pussy has you shivering in desire, wanting nothing more than to experience the fantasy in real life and not just through imagination.
“Fuck, Jungkook,” you can’t help but moan as you dig the heel of your palm into your throbbing clit, curling your fingers within your walls in a desperate attempt to sate the carnal need radiating throughout your body.
“Mm, my name has never sounded so hot as it does falling from your lips.” His voice is a low, deep gravel as it envelopes your body and joins your fingers to coil within your center like a tightly wound spring just waiting to unwind into an explosion of pleasure. He bites down on his lower lip as his hold on his member speeds up in quickening ministrations. “Say it again.”
You look him directly in the eyes, recognizing the parallel between your last session and this one where he begged you to say his name—only this time, he can visibly see the lustful expression on your face and the way your mouth parts in an audible moan as you do so.
“Jungkook...” you trail off with a toss of your head. “I want you.”
“God, I want you too Y/N. You have no idea how sexy you look right now.” He immediately replies, his dark eyes captivating you in a trance as they draw you in with all of his attention. “If you’re that fucked out from your measly little fingers then I can’t imagine how much you’d lose it when I’m inside you. Fuck, I’d stretch you out so much you wouldn’t be able to do anything but cry and cum for me. Have you fucked stupid on my cock.”
You practically salivate at the explicit obscenities that falls effortlessly from his perfectly pink lips as if it comes naturally to him. Never in your life have you met someone who’s so good at dirty talk; sexting is one thing, but saying it out loud to the person you’re with is another entirely. And though you know this is his job, that he gets paid to dirty talk for a living, you can’t help but feel that his words are too raw to be anything but sincere.
You ignore the part of you that’s hoping so, at least.
“Shit, baby, I’m close,” you whine out, bringing your thumb down to tease your clit when your motions start to get erratic and desperate.
“That’s my girl. I can’t wait to watch that beautiful face of yours come undone,” he practically growls in anticipation as he leans slightly closer to the screen. His fist focuses around the head of his length as he pleasures himself in quick and passionate motions. “Who are you going to cum for, hm?”
“Fuck, you, all for you,” you throw your head back with an embarrassing moan that he absolutely devours, his eyes intense as they drink in the sight of you as if you’ll disappear at any moment and he’s burning you into his memory.
“Then do it, baby.” His words are breathless when they emerge from the back of his throat, and if you weren’t so far gone in your own pleasure you would notice just how close he is as well. “Don’t hold anything back. Cum for me like you mean it.”
At his command your eyes flicker to his for the briefest of moments, that being all it takes before a blinding white heat flashes within your field of vision and temporarily renders you blind with sheer euphoric ecstasy. Your head flies back as a visceral moan tears through your body that jerks and trembles in uncontrollable pleasure.
“Oh my god, Jungkook!” You can’t help but gasp out his name, thoughts of him flooding your closed lids and fueling the orgasm that wracks your frame like open windows in a raging storm. He’s all you can see, all you can hear—you’re consumed by him.
And all it takes is the image of you unraveling before of his very eyes and screaming his name for him to follow suit.
“Y/N!” Your name sounds like heaven falling from his lips when he cries out a moan that’s more higher pitched than you’ve ever heard from him, the sound needy and desperate and catapulting your orgasm into a second wave of mind-numbing bliss.
You thankfully open your eyes in time to see his white seed shoot from his tip and onto the bare, chiseled planes of his stomach and chest. Drool practically drowns your tongue with the desire to lick his cum clean off his skin as you study the erotic sight paired with his twisted expression of furiously knit brows and eyes squeezed shut. You wish you could tattoo this sight into your mind forever; it’s by far the hottest thing you’ve ever seen.
It feels like centuries before the two of you finally drift down from the clouds of your long-awaited high, what was once a symphony of expletives and moans now nothing more than heaving breaths and racing hearts. Your form, now collapsed back onto the bed, shifts slightly so that you can see your phone screen positioned in front of you.
“Holy fucking shit,” is all you manage to breathe out.
“Yeah.” Jungkook’s reply holds just as much gravity as yours, silence permeating throughout the space again before he eventually opens his mouth once more. “Welp, there goes my midnight appointment.”
You lift your head off the mattress to arch a brow at him. “What do you mean?”
“I had a client scheduled after this.” He continues to stare at the ceiling for a few more moments before letting out a single chuckle of disbelief. “There’s no way in hell anything could follow this.”
You hate the way your heart flutters in your chest despite yourself. This is dangerous territory; you know it is, and yet you can’t stop yourself from feeling this way regardless. Even your stomach sinking at the fact that he was planning on seeing someone else directly after seeing you is outweighed by his admission of being unable to follow through with the scheduled appointment. How could you not possibly feel special when he says things like this?
You try to shake your head free of these irrational emotions. The last thing you need to do is get attached to your paid sex worker. Even just the thought makes you feel naïve and impossibly foolish; things would not end well for you if you allowed yourself to indulge in these feelings.
And so, when Jungkook sits back up and starts to be his normal stupid, goofy, adorable self while carrying on a conversation with you as if you hadn’t just completely mind-fucked each other’s brains out five minutes ago, you try to act as if nothing’s changed.
And it hasn’t.
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taglist: (i apologize to those it wont tag, idk whats wrong with tumblr but i’ll dm you instead!) @min-nicoleee @ladyartemesia @mooniyooni @awhnamjoon @marcoazz2 @nanied93 @dilfsope @fancycollectormoon @dalamjisung @fairysunooo @jikookiekosmos @rageyoudamnednerd @rjsmochii @daydreambrliever @ariviia @gardenofrosesx @wearenot7withu @aegrotamograine @purplestar00paintblotch @ji-wooandfriends @mercurygguk @taehugger @aotwhre @bluesharksandfish @noonas-magicshop @rkchmestizangmaldita @mal99 @un-love @livesinabubble @sammy0424 @serious-addiction @anonymous2505 @girlontheblock @daisybutterlions @kooyanami @julyarchives @eektaetae @kookietechno @bibbykins @banqtanwrites @gukssunshine​ @she-is-dreaming​
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ughcore · a month ago
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- atu!jaykay ; masterlist 
“there’s no greater evidence of the thin line between love and hate than your relationship with jeon jeongguk.”
jjk / enemies to lovers to established relationship + slice of life au
warnings: explicit smut, oral (m & f receiving), creampie, lowkey dom!jaykay, pet names :), impregnation kink :), body worship, choking, pussy spanking, masturbation, sensory deprivation, spitting, fingering etc....
note: oneshots will be updated as the order changes. they are not posted chronologically, though they are listed as such.
ongoing (currently 27k) 
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x mine for the night (m) - jeongguk last night in town brings some surprises x addicted to u (m) - you and jeongguk come face to face after six months x caught in the moment (m) - taehyung organises a trip to the cabin x 01:14am (m) - you come home from work and find jeongguk asleep x it’s always you (m) - you take jeongguk to your parents house x right here (m) - jimin comes along and causes problems for you and jeongguk
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blu-joons · a day ago
When You’re Signed With SM Entertainment ~ BTS Reaction
You weakly smiled across at Jin as he showed you the chart for the end of the week, noticing that NCT had overtaken BTS for the number one spot. “You can smile,” Jin laughed, spotting you trying to hide it.
“But how?” You questioned, “your number two now because of that.”
“But the people that you work with are number one,” Jin reasoned, “you can’t ignore that, even for all of us.”
“It still feels wrong,” you chuckled, handing his phone back across to him, “it’s like a lose and lose situation really for me, one of you has to miss out.”
Jin wrapped his arm around your waist, “look at it this way instead, be happy that two of your favourite groups have filled the top two spots rather than number one.”
“I guess that does give a bit of a happier outlook,” you chuckled, “it’s nice to see friends do well, but it’s even sweeter to see you doing well too.”
Jin’s head nodded as he pulled you in tight to him, “we’ve had plenty of times at number one, I’m sure we can let it go for once, especially to an SM artist.”
“You’re only saying that because I’m there,” you joked, “if I wasn’t, you’d definitely be bitter that SM had knocked you off of the top stop.”
“Maybe, but thanks to you, I don’t have to be.”
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Your head shook as soon as Yoongi invited you over to visit him at work, leaving him stunned as you looked away from your video call. “I don’t think I should be showing my face at a different company, it’s not a good look.”
“You’re visiting your boyfriend,” he frowned, “not committing a crime.”
“I know,” you stressed, staring back to the camera, “but you’ve seen the looks that people give me there before.”
“And I’ve told you every single time to try and ignore them,” Yoongi tried to argue, “you’re not banned from Hybe just because you work at SM.”
Your head shook as your memory filled with the countless stares you’d had before. “It’s alright for you, you never come to SM, you never get to walk in my shoes.”
“So, why don’t I come over to you instead?” He proposed, “let’s see if Hybe really is the problem or if it’s you that’s just worrying over nothing.”
Your eyes looked to him doubtfully, surprised when his head nodded back at you. “What are we supposed to do if you’re not welcome here either.”
“Then we find a place that will accept us both, because we’re not going to let anywhere reject us, are we?” Yoongi asked you.
“Of course, we aren’t, we’re a team after all.”
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You could see the smile that he forced onto his face when you told him you’d be attending the SM company dinner rather than the Hybe one. “I have to put my career over our relationship for one night only.”
“But I told everyone that you’d be here,” he sighed across at you.
“That’s not my fault,” you defended, “and if the parties didn’t fall on the same day, then I would have come with you.”
“It’s like they do this sort of stuff on purpose just to wind us both up,” he vented, throwing himself down on the sofa in frustration, “they know what they’re doing.”
Your head shook as you sat down beside him, “the dinners have always been on these days, it’s just the first time that I’ve actually had to go to one of them too.”
“What about If we split our evening half and half,” he tried to suggest, “Hybe for the first half and SM for the second, then we’re both covered.”
Your hand settled against the top of his leg, “we both know that it’s not the easy, we’re just going to have to go separately, and share stories at the end of the night.”
“It sucks,” he huffed, “I can’t wait for the day when our companies stop trying to get in our way doing stuff like this.”
“I’m sure it won’t be forever, let’s just be patient.”
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Disapproval felt inevitable when the two of you announced your relationship to your companies, hoping that they would trust in you both. “Lee Sooman seems to think that it’ll all end in tears after the cat we had today.”
“Bang PD too,” Namjoon sighed, “he thinks it’s a phase.”
“I think both of them have chosen to ignore the fact that we’ve been together for months,” you sighed.
“They’re worried about how it’ll reflect on the companies,” Namjoon assured you with a confident smile, “they don’t care about the two of us.”
Your head nodded as you sat yourself down beside Namjoon on the sofa, “where do we go from here? It’s obvious that we’re not going to have either company’s backing.”
“Well, we ignore them,” Namjoon stated with a gentle laugh, “I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly not going to let Hybe get in the way of my happiness.”
Your eyes flickered up at him, “I wasn’t planning on letting SM do the same to me either, they’ve controlled enough of my life for too long anyway.”
“It’s their fault for allowing dating after three years,” he smiled, “if they’re not happy, maybe they should rethink their contracts in the future.”
“Shame, they’re too late with mine anyway.”
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You could hear the sigh from Jimin as soon as you sat down at the coffee store, muttering an apology across to him. “I tried to get away sooner, but SM Town rehearsals are underway, it’s not that easy.”
“You don’t need to apologise,” he frowned, “it’s not your fault.”
“But I can see that you’re annoyed,” you challenged, “you’ve probably been sat here for a while waiting for me.”
“It can’t be helped, I guess it’s just one of the differences between working for two different companies,” he assured, “ours let’s us go earlier than yours.”
Your head nodded as you ordered yourself a drink, “if you’re trying to imply that Hybe treats their employees better than SM does, then I’m not going to start.”
“That’s not what I’m saying at all,” he smiled, “I know how hard you’re all working to get SM Town sorted, I would do the same if Hybe did something like that.”
You let go of a sigh, both of frustration and exhaustion, “be thankful Hybe doesn’t, it’s chaos, too many opinions and absolutely zero decisions being made.”
“It’ll get easier,” Jimin comforted, “why don’t you forget about it for a while and just enjoy being here with me?”
“You’re right, that’s exactly what I need to do.”
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Your mind was filled with thoughts at the three papers that were in front of you, contracts that would change your life forever. “How can you be tempted by anything other than Hybe?” Taehyung asked beside you.
“I have to think,” you frowned, “you’re not the only factor.”
“But imagine how amazing it would be for the two of us to work in the same company together,” he tried to explain.
“I can appreciate that that is an exciting idea,” you sympathised, “however the contract doesn’t offer me the best for my career, that’s my focus.”
His head dropped as he watched you pick up the contract that SM had offered you. “You’re going to go and work for SM, is this really what you want to do Y/N?”
“I know you want me at Hybe,” you emphasised, “but I hope that you can support me in my decision to go to SM too Tae, I have to put myself first, not us.”
Dejectedly, his head nodded back at you, “I will always support you in everything that you do, even if I wish that it was the Hybe contract in your hand right now.”
“Nothing will change between the two of us,” you told him, “work is work, private life is private life, it’s always the way, right?”
“Definitely, we’ll still always be there for each other.”
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You could feel Jungkook’s eyes looking across at you as the nominees were read out for group of the year as you applauded for Exo’s nomination. “I can’t believe you’re cheering for the opposition; you’ve got to cheer for me.”
“They’re my labelmates,” you defended, “I can support both.”
“As long as you cheer for me a little bit louder than I don’t think I’ll have too much of a problem,” he laughed.
“Don’t worry, I might cheer for Exo, but BTS will always be my number one,” you assured him, poking his arm, “I never had you as the jealous type.”
Jungkook’s head shook as the remaining nominations were read out, “I’m definitely not jealous of Exo, but I’m jealous that they’re your labelmates and I’m not.”
“It’s always been the way,” you smiled, taking a hold of his hand, “I thought we were used to the fact that we work for different companies after all this time?”
His head nodded gently, “I am used to it, but that doesn’t stop me wishing that I could get to spend every day at work bumping into you and meeting you for coffees.”
“One day, maybe,” you sympathised, “but for now, I’ve got to make sure that I’m a part of SM Town as well as a proud member of the army.”
“One day I’ll get you at Hybe, you wait and see.”
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cosmostae · 7 months ago
Honey and Milk
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Summary: Your stepbrother teaches you how to kiss. 
Pairing: Fem! Reader x Yandere Kim Taehyung
Based on this request: 
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Warnings: implied murder, manipulation, pseudo-incest, corruption kink, overprotective! tae, innocent oc, dub con, implied non con (somnophilia), explicit smut (dom! taehyung, fingering, squirting, dirty talk, handjob, implied sub drop etc.), yandere behaviour
Word Count: 4.8K 
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His bedsheets smelled like the summer breeze. Crisp, clean and warm, as though they were still fluttering on the washing line outside. Yet, in the sun’s absence, the celestial moon hung in the night sky. A crescent, akin to the sliced oranges arranged like flower petals on your plate, courtesy of your mother.  
It was placed within arm’s reach, on the nightstand, as you laid on your stepbrother’s bed. Your mother’s head peeked around the door and left it ajar before she pitter pattered away. You watched him study while your parents were watching a black and white movie downstairs. Taehyung hadn’t bothered to turn on the lights, the lamp on his desk casting a golden glow upon his features.
Just like the facts written in his textbook, your stepbrother’s beauty was irrefutable. You saw glimpses of his father, in the curve of his jaw and his lips. You had never met his mother prior to her death but you had seen the grainy, coloured pictures preserved in a family photo album. He had his mother’s eyes.
Standing side by side, Taehyung and you looked nothing alike. It used to bewilder people until they understood that your relationship grew from nurture rather than nature. However, even if you were related by blood, nothing guaranteed that you’d win the genetic lottery like he did. Living in a country plagued with unrealistic beauty standards and lookism, your stepbrother was always put on a pedestal for his beauty. A halo surrounded him wherever he went and perhaps, it was difficult to not think of him as an angel when he looked like something entirely out of this world.
Taehyung never wanted you to worry about such inconsequential things. The number on a scale or the mould society expected you to fit – our souls are beyond all of that. Whenever you were hungry, even if it was in the middle of the night, he’d cook something up for you or drive you to the nearest diner where you’d sip on a milkshake while he sliced your steak into perfectly chewable pieces. It didn’t matter if it was his last penny, he’d buy that pastry which you kept on eyeing and wipe the cream off your lips with a chuckle and a sparkle in his eye. You’d find yourself within them as though you were a diamond reflecting light in his eyes.
However, money to spoil you with wasn’t much of a concern ever since he picked up modelling work in which your closet was filled with pretty clothes he bought for you. He studied Law but loved the Arts in which he could draw you from memory, perfectly, as though the curve of your cheek and the lights and shadows of your face rested on the back of his hand. You didn’t understand why he’d dedicate inches of graphite and hours of his time to draw you but he simply answered that you’re his muse and said, “If everyone else saw you the way I did, they’d be in love with you too.”
His sentiment was laced with sweetness, but it didn’t delight you. You’d always been seen as Taehyung’s stepsister before anything else. People didn’t bother to remember your name. All the boys saw you as a little sister and treated you nicely, all to be in your stepbrother’s good graces.
You had never been asked out unlike Taehyung who’d receive propositions on the streets. He’d state that you’re his girlfriend so they’d retreat, however not everybody had the decency to do so. You’d see the look of disbelief on the stranger’s face (but never the way Taehyung gouged their eyes out in some dark, secluded place).
Taehyung would always comfort you afterwards, with food or any pretty item on the shelves of luxury retail stores, anything to wipe the frown off your lovely face. But, no matter what your doting stepbrother did for you, it’d never change the fact that you’ve never had a date, a first kiss or your first time.
Despite being a hopeless romantic, you were completely inexperienced. People always wanted the things they couldn’t have and you were no exception. You’ve harboured hopeless crushes and made mortifying love confessions to which you’d always be rejected. They’d turn you down, gently of course, if they didn’t want Taehyung’s fist in their faces.
Although you didn’t have much success in your social circle, you decided to widen your horizons by using dating apps. After many dry, one-sided conservations, you eventually matched with a promising boy named Yeonjun. He had cotton candy pink hair and was just as sweet. Tomorrow would be your first date and you had no idea what to expect, although your friend teased that at the end of it, he’d give you a kiss.
Your anxiety and lack of experience was a tangle of thorns for the butterflies that danced in your stomach. You had seen countless kissing scenes in movies. They made your cheeks warm and made you wonder if you could ever share such burning passion with someone – to want to kiss each other breathless like there was an unrelinquishing fire in their stomachs. If anything, you knew you didn’t want to kiss like a dead fish.
You’re shy but eager. You wanted to kiss and to be kissed. You didn’t want Yeonjun to think you were a boring kisser and even fretted over your breath, making sure you’d carry a pack of strawberry gum, just in case. You watched tutorials, read articles and even practised with your pillow (a secret you’d carry to your grave.)
You became filled with dread as these thoughts filled your head and distracted yourself by watching your stepbrother instead.
Your gaze lingered on his slender, long fingers as he typed away on his keyboard. Curiously, plum-coloured bruises bloomed on his knuckles. He came home late today. When you asked, he explained it was the aftermath of a boxing match with his friend. It was meant to be a playful, casual one but Jungkook had always played rough, he said.
You nodded understandably before you rose from your horizontal position, stretching and preening like a cat in your silk pyjamas.
While he turned over the page, Taehyung watched you move from the corner of his eye. In the dim light, he caught a sliver of stomach before your thin, loose top fell over it.
Your dusty pink shorts only reached the tops of your thighs and his gaze slid down the length of your bare legs as you got out of his bed.
You moved towards the door but Taehyung grabbed your wrist before you could take another step.
He asked, “Where are you going?”
“To the bathroom.”
Taehyung’s grip loosened, allowing you to walk to the bathroom across the hall. From the cabinet, you fetched a jar of ointment and quickly returned to his room.
Taehyung’s gaze dropped to the jar in your hands and soon enough, dropped even lower, as you got onto your knees before him.
Taehyung raised a brow. You couldn’t see his dilated pupils and the way his lips curled in amusement. His eyes liked what they were seeing as they fell on the delicate shadow of your lashes, your bitten lips as you gnawed upon it and your chest where he could clearly see you weren’t wearing a bra. As much as he enjoyed looking down your shirt, he took the jar out of your struggling hands and easily unscrewed it.
“Here, baby,” he murmured as he handed it back to you.
He watched you dip your fingers into the ointment. It smelled like jasmine. You pulled his sun-kissed hands into yours and gently applied the smooth, oily salve onto his knuckles with your fingertips. Taehyung relaxed in his chair, widening his legs where you sat between them, with your nose obliviously close to being pressed into his crotch.
Once you finished with one hand, you moved onto the other. Taehyung curled his free hand into your hair, lightly scratching your scalp, although his fingers itched to pull on it. You hummed in contentment, loving it whenever he’d run his hand through your hair and lull you to sleep. However, the upcoming date crept into your mind again and you sighed.
Taehyung plucked the jar out of your hand, placing it on his desk before hooking his fingers under your chin. He raised your face to meet his and you gulped at his narrowed eyes.
“What’s bothering you?”
With downcast eyes, you muttered, “Nothing.”
Taehyung gripped your chin harder and moved in closer, until you could count each and every one of his thick, long lashes. His warm breath hit your lips as he said, “You’ve been sighing all night long, baby. You think I can’t tell when something’s going on inside your pretty little head?”
Much to your dismay, you sighed once more and pouted when Taehyung chuckled at you.
“You know there’s nothing you can’t tell me, little one.”
You were slightly embarrassed but his warm honey eyes patiently waiting for your response soothed you somewhat. His left thumb was rubbing circular motions into your trembling hand while his right thumb rested on your lips. His eyes were dark as he rubbed the pad of his thumb onto your lower lip, watching the pillowy flesh move from side to side.
At your hesitation, Taehyung’s thumb started slipping in, enough for him to feel the wetness of your mouth. As though, if you had taken a second longer, he would’ve pulled the answer right out of you by sinking his fingers deep inside your throat. Instinctively, you wrapped your lips around his thumb and just like that, all the blood rushed into Taehyung’s cock. The way you were looking up at him and subconsciously sucked on his thumb like it was a pacifier made him want to plug your pussy with his fat cock very badly.  
It wasn’t the first time he’d done this. He liked putting his fingers inside your mouth, liked having you drool all over him. Sometimes, it’d be the cream he’d just whipped for a fresh strawberry cake and he’d beckon you to have a taste. He’d scoop it up, too much for you to lick all at once and push it deep inside your mouth until you felt like you’d gag around his fingers. You didn’t like it so whenever he placed his digits in between your lips, you’d suck them hard to not let them get in any deeper. All he was able to do was rub his thumb against your tongue.
“Baby,” he said deeply, “I want you to be honest with me or else, I’ll have our parents ask you instead.”
You nodded defeatedly. He took his thumb out of your mouth and his tongue darted out to lick up the wetness. Taehyung hummed in contentment.
“S-So…I’m going on a date tomorrow.”
Taehyung nodded. He was already aware of this since he’d be driving you tomorrow. Yeonjun and you agreed to meet up at the mall and Taehyung would pick you up afterwards.
“Have you changed your mind? You don’t want to go anymore?”
“No!” You adamantly shook your head. “No…I really want to go. It’s just - I'm nervous.”
Taehyung cocked a brow. “What for?”
“Well,” you breathed, “I t-think I’m going to have my first kiss tomorrow but I’m scared I won’t be much of a good kisser.”
“Baby, no one’s expecting you to be an expert.”
You pouted, “But I still want to be good.”
“Hm,” Taehyung feigned contemplation, “You’ll get better with practise, baby. Why don’t you let me help you?”
Your eyes widened. “How can you help me?”
Taehyung smirked. His deep voice dipped even lower as his gaze dropped to your lips. “By showing you, of course.”
“B-But you can’t do that. We’re family, Tae.”
Taehyung shook his head. “Oh, darling. That’s why I should teach you – because you can trust me. As your stepbrother, I wouldn’t have any ulterior motives – I’d be merely helping out my baby sister, don’t you see?”
You frowned and he sighed. Cupping your face with both hands, he forced you to look him in the eye.
“Do you feel comfortable with me, little one?”
“Of course,” you breathed.
Taehyung smiled sweetly and pressed his lips to your forehead. Your eyes instantly fluttered shut, allowing his warmth and comfort to seep into your heart.
Taehyung always tucked you into bed every night, kissing your forehead while gently telling you to close your eyes. He’d stay by your side as long as you needed him and just before you fell into a deep slumber, you’d feel the ghost of his lips on your nose and cheek.
Growing up, he’d kiss your scraped knees and lick the blood off his lips. Whenever you got your period, he’d prepare chocolate, ice cream and heat packs on your bedside table and would crawl onto your bed, lift your shirt and give you tummy kisses. Taehyung’s kisses had always been comforting and perhaps, a kiss on the lips from him would take all your worries away.
Taehyung cooed, “Baby, I think you’ll feel much better if you get your first kiss over and done with. You won’t feel as nervous, hm? I’m sure you already have many other things to worry about - like that adorable outfit you’ve been trying to pick out all day.”
You frowned. “I just want things to go well.”
“I know, darling, but if you worry too much, you won’t be able to enjoy yourself. And I want you to have fun, baby.”
You chewed on your lower lip. “Can you really teach me?”
“Of course,” Taehyung smiled. “Don’t I teach you everything?”
Taehyung was right. He was the one who taught you many things like how to ride a bike, how to dress yourself and how to make friends. Consequently, Taehyung knew about all of the people in your life.  At the same time, he never bothered teaching you how to tie your shoelaces because he wanted to always do it for you. He never wanted you to pick up a knife or for you to even clean your room.
Growing up, your parents were always working and Taehyung was in charge of taking care of you. You never truly overcame your fear of the dark because Taehyung would always be there to hold you to sleep. You never learnt how to properly deal with your periods either as Taehyung would sort it out for you. You’d stand there naked in the shower, arms around yourself, while Taehyung placed the showerhead onto your pussy to clean the mess between your legs. Your thighs would quiver and you didn’t know why but it tingled whenever the water rushed over your folds.
On other days, he’d have you sit on the edge of a bathtub while he shaved your pussy with a razor. It always made you feel awfully funny and you’d whine, “Tae, it feels like I need to pee.” Taehyung would scold you to sit still or else he’d nick your skin. But deep down, he knew what he was doing to you. He loved watching you squirm and enjoyed spanking your pussy when you moved too much.
It’d be even worse when you’d finally sit on the toilet and nothing would come out. Yet, you still felt that aching heat in your core. You’d beg Taehyung for help, feverish and desperate, but he would simply spank you for wetting your panties and change you out of it. It frustrated you to no end because you knew it wasn’t pee. But, you didn’t understand why something wet kept leaking out of our pussy whenever Taehyung touched you everywhere.
Taehyung patted his thigh. “C’mere, baby.”
You tilted your head to the side in confusion, much like your family dog Yeontan did.
“I can’t kiss you when you’re all the way down there, silly.”
Bashfully, you stood up. You hesitated to sit down on his lap, afraid that you’d crush him with your weight. But you yelped when he yanked you down, your hands grasping onto his shoulders to steady yourself as you sat on his sturdy thigh.
Taehyung wrapped his arms around your waist and pulled you closer to his body. When he did, your clothed pussy slid over his thigh and that funny feeling returned again.
You had always thought your stepbrother was pretty, like a doll. Face to face with his awe-inducing beauty, it was hard to think of anything else. He was so warm beneath you and suddenly, you felt shy.
“I-I think I should get gum.”
Taehyung tucked a strand of hair behind your ear before rubbing the shell of it between his fingers. “Why, baby? You trying to run away from me?”
You gulped. “No, I’m just worried about my breath.”
“I want to taste you.”
You fidgeted. “But what if I taste bad?”
“I’ll like the way you taste,” Taehyung said lowly, “I’m sure of it.”
“B-But what if my lips are too chapped-“
Taehyung hushed you, placing his ringed finger on your lips. “Your lips are perfect, baby. Everything about you is perfect.”  
Calloused yet delicate hands brushed your skin. Goosebumps rose everywhere he touched, your heart fluttering like the curtains dappled by moonlight. His fingertips thrummed upon your shoulders, danced their way to the nape of your neck before gliding through your hair. His touch pulsed through your skull and you shivered when he whispered into your ear –
“Relax for me.”
Your shoulders slackened and the tip of his nose brushed yours in an eskimo kiss. Slowly but surely, the tip of his nose traced its way to your cheek before he moved in closer and grazed your cheekbone with his lips.
Your breath hitched and once more, he pressed a kiss to your forehead then between the furrow of your brows, softly over your eyelid and down to the tip of your nose. They were featherlight kisses but your heart was thumping like a rabbit in your chest. You couldn’t move, couldn’t speak – all you could hear was his quiet breathing as he stared at your lips.
His hand on the small of your back crept under your top. You felt the heat of his palm as it slid over your bare skin. His fingers gently caressed the tiny hairs on your back.
He swallowed before gazing into your eyes intently, imploringly. “This is your first kiss, yes?”
You whispered, “Yes.”
Without hesitation, he pressed his lips to yours, stealing your breath away. Your lips were trembling as he kissed you, feeling the firm pressure of his mouth on yours. But, before you can properly feel the warmth of his soft, luscious lips, he pulled back. It was meant to be a chaste kiss yet it left you wanting more.
He murmured huskily, “That was your first.”
To your surprise, he quickly moved in to kiss you again. This time, he was rougher. He pressed his mouth onto you hard and to your delight, his hot tongue darted out to lick your lips. They glistened with his spit and with his teeth, he gently nibbled on your lower lip before sucking on it hard. You felt a tingle down your spine, amplified by his hand caressing your back and the way his teeth tugged on your lips before letting go. You whimpered when he moved away once more.
“And that was your second.”
Without warning, his hand curled into your hair and he pulled you to him this time. Your eyes fluttered shut as he kissed you hungrily and he growled against your mouth. “Open up for me.”
You obeyed and gasped when his tongue slipped in, circling the tip of your tongue before sucking on it. Involuntarily, you moaned and when he pulled back, a trail of saliva lingered between your mouths.
He rasped, “You sound so fucking hot, baby.”
Your chest was heaving as you panted for breath. “I-It’s not embarrassing? When I make those noises?”
“No,” Taehyung licked his lips, “I fucking love it.”
Before you could protest, your stepbrother’s tongue slithered its way into your mouth once more. He had an unquenchable desire to taste you, not even wanting to move away to catch his breath. You tasted like nectar on his tongue and similarly, his kisses made you feel intoxicated.
He grunted, “Place your hands in my hair, baby.”
This was him teaching you, you realised, and you obeyed. Your hands buried themselves into his glossy black hair and if possible, he pulled you even closer, until your breasts were flattened against his chest and you were sitting right on top of his bulge. Taehyung groaned into your mouth, so imposingly deep and full, that it made your pussy throb.
His hands placed themselves on your hips, gripping them hard, as he forced you to move back and forth on his erection. Your stomach was fluttering and your palms were sweaty as they fisted his shirt. You didn’t know why it felt so good whenever that bump rubbed against your clothed pussy but all your body knew was that it wanted more. You looked down and embarrassingly, you saw that you had left a wet patch on his pants as though you had peed. You mewled like a kitten against his lips, “Tae Tae, I f-feel weird.”
Taehyung growled, “What are you feeling, baby?”
You gasped. “I f-feel hot.”
“Yeah, baby?” Taehyung didn’t even need to hold onto you, you were grinding against him on your own like a needy slut. Your stomach clenched every time your swollen clit grazed over his cock and Taehyung’s large palm on your belly felt it. His palm started sliding up your chest and rested right on your beating heart.
“Your heart is racing,” he said.
Taehyung’s thumb rubbed your stiff buds and you whined. They were sensitive but Taehyung kept on flicking and pinching them. “Your nipples are so hard, baby.”
Taehyung’s nimble fingers unbuttoned your pyjama top and slipped it off you halfway, just enough for him to lean down and capture your nipple into his mouth. His tongue gave it kittenish licks before he loudly sucked on it, releasing it with a pop before moving onto the other. He nibbled and sucked your nipples until they were swollen and sore. It was a sensation you had felt many times before, when you woke up in the morning, clueless to why they were in pain. Taehyung would apply cream onto them and massage your aching breasts with his large hands, assuring you that it was perfectly natural.
But, you’d always feel that tingling heat in your pussy, just like now. It felt better as you kept grinding on your stepbrother’s thigh but you needed it more. It just wasn’t enough. You whimpered, “Help me, Tae Tae. Please help me!”
“Help you with what, darling?”
There were tears in your eyes as you frustratedly wailed, “I-I don’t know…it feels f-funny down there.”
“Down there?” Taehyung smirked at how cute you were. His hand cupped your pussy, his thumb stroking your folds through your silk shorts. “You mean here, baby? Your princess parts?”
You moaned loudly and bucked your hips into his hand. “Yes! Yes! Please, more!”
Taehyung shushed you, “Baby, you gotta be quiet. If mummy and daddy hears you, I will have to stop touching you. Do you want that, baby?”
You shook your head. You’d rather die than have to put up with the pulsing heat in between your legs again. Taehyung chuckled at the sight of you. You were twitching in his lap, pleading him desperately with blown out eyes to touch your tight little pussy. He squeezed your thighs comfortingly. Taehyung cradled your head and encouraged you to bite down on his shoulder to quieten your noises.
His shirt was clenched tightly in between your teeth as his fingers caressed your stomach. They slid lower to your crotch where he then petted your clothed pussy. You bit down hard as he kept on touching you like that, teasing you, barely giving you what you wanted. You whined in frustration.
That was until his hand slid into your shorts and your entire body flinched when you finally felt his fingers on your bare pussy.
“Fuck, you’re soaked,” Taehyung whispered in awe, “Dripping all over my fingers, so fucking filthy, princess.”
You mewled as his fingers stroked your wet pussy lips. He gathered your wetness before moving lower and plunged two fingers inside your cunt. It was such a strange feeling, you’d never had anything inside you before.
But, you were so wet that his fingers pumped in and out of you easily. His fingers were so long, they were able to reach deep inside you and brush against your sweet spot. As a result, you moaned into his shoulder and knowing that he’d found it, Taehyung slipped another finger inside you. The painful stretch of his three fingers being shoved inside you was alleviated by them hitting your g-spot over and over again while his other thumb rubbed your clit.  
He pressed his mouth to your ear as he said, “You like the way my fingers fill you up, baby?”
You nodded fervently. You were drooling onto his shoulder and tears threatened to spill from the corner of your eyes, you had never felt so good in your life. His fingers kept on curling inside you and scissored your tight cunt open so your pussy would accept a fourth finger. You felt so full as all four of his fingers moved inside you hard and fast, it was already too much for you and you whimpered into his shirt, “I-I’m gonna pee.”
Taehyung knew you didn’t know what cumming was. But, he knew that you were right, in a way. Your pussy was so wet that you squelched around his fingers every time he moved back inside you. His four fingers pounded against your sweet spot hard until you were shaking breathlessly in his lap. You were biting into his skin now, undoubtedly leaving marks, but Taehyung didn’t mind. He bit down on your neck as well, making you cry out his name. He sucked on it until a hickey bloomed on your skin, marking you as his.
The combination of his fingers digging deep inside your cunt and his thumb roughly pinching your clit was more than enough to send you over the edge. You let out a silent scream, eyes rolling to the back of your head as your release gushed out of you. He kept on fingerfucking you even as you were squirting, making you shudder for the entirety of it. Your release soaked through your silk shorts, left a puddle on Taehyung’s lap, dripping onto his chair and onto the floor. Once it was all over, you collapsed in his arms, utterly boneless.
Taehyung scooped you up, your head resting on his chest, as he placed you on the bed. You were still twitching all over, gazing at him with hazy eyes.
You whispered brokenly, “C-Can you teach me how to touch myself, Tae Tae?”
“Sure, baby,” Taehyung smiled sweetly, “I’ll teach you everything.”
Taehyung leaned down to kiss your forehead. But, you weren’t falling asleep yet. You merely laid there in a semiconscious state, as though you were floating on a cloud. Your eyes were on him, but he didn’t know if you knew what you were doing – didn’t know if you knew that your hand was wrapped around his cock.
His hand was placed over yours, forcing you to make a fist for him to fuck into.
Taehyung couldn’t wait to cum, knew that he’d be spilling all over your face and surely, you wouldn’t mind. He made you feel good, to the point you squirted all over him. You weren’t selfish, were you? Of course, you weren’t. He gripped your hand hard and made you move it up and down his cock, as though you were jerking him off yourself.
Taehyung imagined driving you to your date tomorrow but he’d be mean and lock the car doors, not letting you leave. You’d whine and complain but you’d be moaning soon enough when he starts touching you underneath your shirt. You’d be nervous to take his big cock but he knew you’d be able to take it, considering all the times he’d kissed and fucked you in your sleep.
He’d have you bouncing on his cock, his fat cock splitting your pussy open. He’d bully you, saying that any passerby can see how much of a slut you were, although his car windows were tinted. He’d drill you so hard, you wouldn’t even be able to walk to your date. But it’s not like it’d matter when Yeonjun won’t be turning up anyway, not in the state that Taehyung left him in that dark alleyway.
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latetaektalk · a month ago
(road)tripping for you | jjk [preview]
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“it was just supposed to be a roadtrip; your best friend, her boyfriend, his best friend, and you. but it gets a little more complicated (and a whole lot more awkward) when your best friend and her boyfriend have to drop out and you’re left to go on the trip with none other than jeon jungkook, a complete stranger. well, a complete stranger except for the fact that you hooked up two years ago.” 
— genre: roadtrip! AU, strangers to lovers! AU, only-one-bed! AU, summer! AU, fluff, a bit of angst
— pairing: jungkook x female reader 
— word count: estimated 25-30k, 614 for the preview
— warnings: cursing, light alcohol consumption, awkward situations, clichés 
— playlist: to be added
— a/n: a preview of my new jungkook oneshot for this summer !! super self indulgent and filled with every cliché and trope you can think of!! to be added to the taglist, shoot me a message/ask! oh, the release date might change. also huge thank you to miss lira @koocycle​​ again for listening to me talk abt this fic and also beta reading it!! she’s an absolute babe :(( ily so much
— coming monday, august 30th 2021
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“What do you mean they aren’t coming?” 
He stares at you with huge eyes, doe eyes so big you think they’re about to fall out. One good slap on the back of his head and they’re out. You’re sure. 
You sigh and close your eyes, your jaw on the verge of breaking. Sooyoung’s dead.
“They just called me,” you hold up your phone as if you needed proof, “and well, turns out they’re out of town and stuck there because the railway companies went on strike.” 
You press your lips together. “They aren’t coming.”
Jungkook stares at you like you’ve just grown a second head, and you can’t blame him. It took you a number of “Wait, wait, wait, what?”s and “You’re kidding, right?”s to process this information too.
He presses his hand to his forehead. “So, what?” The knit between his brows deepen as he comes to the same realisation you came to just a few minutes prior, leading to you cursing out Sooyoung over the phone. “It’s just you and me? No Joon? No Soo?”
You reluctantly nod.
Jungkook blinks at you in total five times before he reacts again, his face morphing into something you can’t pinpoint. It’s something between worry and fear, you think.
“Can’t we go pick them up?” he suggests, a proposal you’ve already made.
“No,” you begin and look into the distance, repeating what Sooyoung told you over the phone. “The issue is that we already booked all of our hotels, so if we were to pick them up, our reservations would fall through. And no, they also don’t let you reschedule either. I guess that’s the service you get when you book the cheapest hotels possible.”
You can see Jungkook think, desperate to find a solution to this. You want to tell him that you’ve thought about it all already, that you don’t want to go on a roadtrip with just him either, but you refrain, pressing the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
He lets out a hollow chuckle when he comes up with no solution. The sound arises from the back of his throat. It’s meant to lighten the mood, you think. “Well, what fucking genius suggested booking our hotels beforehand?”
You let the question hang in the air for a moment, scrunching your nose and looking down to your shoes before answering, fingers fumbling in front of your stomach.
“I did.”
Jungkook quiets then. Maybe you should have bitten your tongue and not said it.
“Well, I mean,” he scrambles, “you couldn’t have known-”
“I mean it’s not just the hotels,” you interrupt, probably saving Jungkook from embarrassing himself further and possibly even insulting you again. “We also already rented the car.” You gesture behind him. “And Soo and Joon also don’t want to inconvenience us. They said they’d take the next train back and try to catch up with us somehow.”
He nods then. A prolonged silence stretches between you like gum, sticky and gross. You don’t look at him, and he doesn’t look at you. 
In the end, he speaks first again, clearing his throat. “So, uh, we’re going on this trip together then?”
You press your lips together and tuck a strand behind your ear, still refusing to meet his gaze. It’s almost ironic how good the weather is today, perfect for a roadtrip, a roadtrip you no longer want to go on.
“Unless you want your money to go to waste, yeah, seems like it.”
Jungkook stares at you, and then nods. You look down at your suitcase and put your hand on it. 
This is happening.
You heave out a long sigh.
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coming monday, august 30th 2021
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krreader · 11 hours ago
BTS reacting to you having Hanahaki.
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pairing: bts x reader fandom: bts warnings: hanahaki!au ; no happy ending for some ; death genre: angst ; hints of fluff word count: 1.9k+
a/n: thank you so much for your request @shinyyoonie​. I hope you like it <3
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kim seokjin
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You were always okay, your entire life that you had spent with Seokjin as your best friend, at no point in time had you ever thought you were feeling the things you were feeling now. And that's the sad part of, isn't it? You only knew about it when he came to you and introduced his girlfriend to you... and then the coughing started.
“I just don't get it... why did I not notice sooner? Why now?” you one night said, Namjoon sitting next to you on the couch.
“Love isn't always obvious.”
“Should have been in this case, though,” you wiped away a tear from the corner of your eye, “I either die, or I ruin my best friend's relationship. I don't like either of these options.”
“You won't die, (Y/N),” Namjoon gave you a clap on the thigh, then he got up.
“Why are you so sure about that?”
He didn't reply, but when he left your apartment, he did so with a smile, knowing that Seokjin was already on the verge of breaking up with his girlfriend because he slowly started realizing that she wasn't the one, but someone else was.
Now you just had to see that too, and your coughing would finally stop, he was sure of it.
min yoongi
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You were sitting by yourself at the Han river, watching happy couples and families watch the sunset, while you couldn't help but smile and do what you always did when you thought about this feeling... this person.
When you looked into your hands, you saw four petals, as you had seen them so many times before.
You tried solving your problem, had told Yoongi about your feelings, but when he didn't return them, it had only gotten worse. Nowadays, you barely had an hour without having to cough the petals up. It was hell. Hell that would either end with you choking to death or finally saving up enough money for surgery.
“You should enjoy this moment with someone you love, you know?” when you turned your head, the same person that you just thought about sat next to you and from your blinking motions, he assumed that you really hadn't expected him to show up, “Not sure if I'm still that person, though.”
You didn't respond, just looked back down to the petals, hoping this answer would suffice.
To your surprise, Yoongi brushed the petals away and then interlinked your hand with his, before leaning back against the bench.
“I can't tell you I love you... not yet, anyway. But... I can't say that I feel nothing either. I realized that I can't lose you, under no circumstances.”
“You don't have to say this, Yoongi, I'm still going to be your friend, I wouldn't...-”
“I don't want you to be just my friend, though. I want to try this. Us.”
It was no guarantee. In a month, he could wake up and decide that he really felt nothing, but at least you now had a chance. And you'd sure as hell take it.
jung hoseok
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It was the perfect night. A movie night after he had been gone on tour for weeks, just you and him, then you went on a walk, before finally settling at a rooftop café, one with a view that had no other guests but you.
And so here you were, standing at the edge of the building, looking up into the – surprisingly – clear night sky.
Well, he was, anyway. Not you. Your eyes were on him.
There was something you wanted, needed, to say. And what better time than here and now, after such a wonderful day?
“I love you,” you blurted out. You wanted to give a speech, but this had been burning within you for so long that you just couldn't help it anymore.
Hoseok turned his head to look at you, then he smiled, “Aw... love you too, (Y/N).”
He must have thought you meant as a friend... a best friend. But it wasn't what you meant. And when he didn't get it and responded platonically immediately, you knew that this wasn't something that was ever on his mind... that he didn't feel what you felt.
He looked back up into the sky and the moment his eyes weren't on you anymore, you started coughing. Not enough for him to look at you in worry... but that was good. Because when you looked into your hands, you saw the flower petals that you had dreaded ever seeing.
You had Hanahaki.
He didn't love you...
kim namjoon
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“Kim Namjoon?” a doctor approached Namjoon, who immediately stood up, visibly distraught.
“Is she okay? She's okay, right? I don't know what happened, she just couldn't breathe anymore and now I...-”
The doctor put his hand on Namjoon’s upper arm, stopping him from talking, “She's awake now. And... I think you should see her. Say... goodbye.”
Namjoon's eyebrows furrowed, “Goodbye? What do you mean? You helped her, she's awake. Why would I need to..-”
But the doctor clearly wasn't ready to give him that answer. What you had was best if he saw it with his own eyes. And if you explained it to him.
And so a few moments later, Namjoon entered your room, a breathing mask on your face helping you breathe, but from the way your chest was heaving, it was clearly hard, even with the mask on.
“Hey, sweetheart. You're looking better,” Namjoon said with a hopeful smile, sitting down on the bed next to you, “You're okay, right?”
You looked at him for a long moment, then you finally took off the breathing mask and smiled sadly at him, “I should have told you... I'm sorry I didn't and that you have to find out like this,” you whispered, your hand reaching out to touch his face.
“Tell me... what?”
When you turned your head to the side, Namjoon followed your eyes, his own landing on the pile of petals lying next to your bed... dead petals.
“She was quicker,” your hand wandered down to his own, your fingers resting on his gold wedding band, “And you were so happy... so I never said anything.”
“No,” he immediately shook his head, “No, don't do this to me.”
“She’s a great woman, so cake care of her and the kids. You're a wonderful husband and father to them and I know they cherish you.”
“(Y/N)!” he now yelled, already crying, not wanting to hear the end of this, because he knew what was coming.
“I love you,” you said, but the moment the words were out, you knew that they would be the last thing you'd ever say... how poetic.
The doctors rushed in the moment they heard Namjoon cry and scream... but there was nothing they could do.
This Hanahaki disease story had no happy ending.
park jimin
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You had told him about your feelings months ago, but when Jimin went on tour and didn't answer any of your calls or messages after you had told him you loved him, you had assumed that he had made his decision.
Unbeknownst to you, he came home with a bouquet of flowers in his hands, driving straight to your apartment, only to find your mother opening the door for him.
“Oh, hello Mrs. (Y/L/N). Is... (Y/N) here?”
Her shoulders dropped when she saw the flowers, turning her head slightly as if she thought about something, then she looked back at Jimin, “She... moved. Didn't she tell you? We're packing up her things and shipping them overseas.”
His lips parted, then he breathed out, “What? But... she was..- what?”
“She got a really good job opportunity overseas. It was very last minute. She'll probably call or text you soon about it.”
“I don't understand... when she left she said...-” Jimin stopped himself and took a deep breath. Was there a point in arguing? If your mother said you left, then she couldn't give him the explanation he needed or wanted. All he could do that day was leave, which was exactly what your mother wanted.
“Who was it?” you said, walking out of the bedroom.
“What are you doing up? You just had surgery, go back to bed.”
Your mother protected both of you, but you more than him.
Your Hanahaki had gotten removed because you have had no hopes of him returning your feelings. It was too dangerous for you to live with that curse inside you. And so you had gotten it removed... and with it, your feelings for Park Jimin.
If you now found out that if you had just waited a few more days... no... she couldn't do that to you.
kim taehyung
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“You really didn't have to come, you know?” nevertheless, Taehyung smiled as you were sitting next to him in your car. His members had already gone inside after all of them had made their appearance before the paparazzi, but Taehyung had stayed behind when you had texted him that you were in the parking lot.
“It's a world tour. I can't just let you go without saying goodbye,” you smiled.
“Still... you told me you weren't feeling so good when we wanted to have dinner last weekend. You should stay in bed if you're sick and take care of yourself,” he reached over and put his hand over yours.
A friendly gesture. One, that you, however, wanted to be more.
And so you instantly started coughing.
Before, you had always been able to hide it well from him, but within such close proximity, he just had to see it.
“See, I told you, you should have..-” but then he saw a petal fall from your hand and instantly, as if he had touched fire, pulled his hand back.
He was clearly surprised, but knew damn well what this was, so instead of trying to explain yourself, you just opened your window and threw the petals outside, then stared at them floating away.
You didn't see it, but Taehyung opened and closed his mouth, over and over again, but just when he was finally ready to say something, his phone rang.
“Yeah.. yeah, I'll be right there. I know, I'll come inside now,” and when he ended the call, you finally turned your head to look at him, “I... need to leave.”
“Yeah, you do,” you once again smiled, only this time sadder. He didn't say anything about the petals, he didn't smile either. He just wordlessly left the car and walked into the airport without turning back.
And despite knowing what would happen next, you whispered to yourself: “I love you, Kim Taehyung,” and as soon as the words were out, another coughing fit began, this time much worse than the last.
There was no hope... right?
jeon jeongguk
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When Jeongguk had found out that you had Hanahaki because of him, it had been him that had paid for your surgery. He couldn't force himself to fall in love with you, but as his best friend, he couldn't lose you either. So the surgery was the best decision for both of you.
However, if he had known how much your relationship would change afterward, he might have been more selfish.
“You can't make it?” Jeongguk said, clearly sad when you had told him over the phone that you wouldn't make it for his birthday.
The two of you always went out for dinner, but... not this time, apparently.
“Sorry, I have to work late last minute.”
“But... can't you tell them you already have something planned? That always worked in the past.”
“Yeah well... things aren't like they were anymore.”
He immediately knew what you meant, “I see,” he said quietly.
He could feel it. He could feel you drifting away from him, probably holding a grudge against him now... and he couldn't even blame you.
But the more this happened, the less he saw and talked to you, the more he missed you, yearned for you.
Until one night, when he texted you that he missed you, he suddenly started coughing...
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yoonia · a month ago
once upon an us [m] | knj
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❥ Summary | You have spent years building a life of your own until you find yourself living a life that every little girl could have ever dreamed of. With a promising career and an expensive apartment in the big city, the only thing left is the fairytale wedding that you had wished for since you were a little girl. When the one you believe to be your prince charming finally comes into your life, you start to believe that dreams do come true. But you also know that things aren’t always as simple as it seems, when there is still a piece of your past that is still tethering you back from reaching for it.
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❥ Title | Once Upon an Us
❥ Pairings | Kim Namjoon x female reader
⤑ Genre | Past Lovers!au, Exes to Lovers!au, Established relationship, Angst, Rom-com, Fluff, Smut
⤑ Ratings | +18 / M for Mature
⤑ Warnings | Mentions of miscarriage, grief, characters making bad decisions, fake relationship(-ish) trope, Namjoon as a (former) basketball player, some cliche scenes as part to romcoms (sharing a bed, lots of arguments), technically involves infidelity, sexual tension, lots of kissing, dry humping, outdoor foreplay, public sex, breast play, clothed foreplay, clothed sex, denied orgasm, hair pulling, fingering (female), oral sex (female, including clit play, implied biting), unprotected sex, rough sex, mention of multiple orgasms, implied creampie.
⤑ Word count | 47k words (I am so sorry!!!)
⤑ Cross Post | AO3 | Inkitt 
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❥ Author’s Note | This story is written as a part of the ‘Christmas in July’ project, for the ‘Winter Wedding Season’ category, an event hosted by @kookdiaries, @kithtaehyung, and @xiaokoo. This fic is loosely inspired by the movie Sweet Home Alabama (2002) | Thank you @theodea for reading through this on such a short notice (I love you, bub!) and for my sprint mates and fellow camp nano-ers who kept hyping me up in this journey @softyoongiionly @randombtsprincessa @yeoldontknow 
❥ Song Companion | Sabrina Claudio - Belong To You (feat. 6lack) ● Daughter - Landfill ● ORKID - Only If You Want To ● Jutes - We Good ● Standing Egg - Ironic
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There is always something to be said about little girls and their big dreams.
The way their innocence allows them to conjure imaginations that are beyond any adult mind could comprehend. To have their minds going places without any worries of facing the reality of life, without any barriers or limits to how far their extensive imagination would go as they create all the scenarios involving their whole life—starting with the paths where they want to go in life, the person they imagine they would become, the people they want to meet, and everything that they want to achieve.
For a lot of people who had known you since you were a little girl, this is exactly how they had seen you and has continued to remember you with. A dreamer. The little girl who would paint a big picture inside your head that you would often get stuck in your own world, oftentimes too stubborn to look at the present or the world around you and to simply follow the course that your life was taking you into.
The little girl in you had dreamt of becoming your own princess, just like the ones you have read in the storybooks that your parents used to read you before bed. You dreamt about living in a castle somewhere at the top of the mountains—just like the mountains that you had always seen growing up at home. You dreamt about having all the fancy things that princesses would acquire and being spoiled with the pleasure of the admiration and praises from all the people that you would surround yourself with.
As you grew older, your dreams began to manifest into something more real. When you knew that, in reality, it would be impossible for you to build your own castle, you began to turn your dreams and use them to build a plan of uprooting your life. From the small-town girl that everyone knew into someone who has a lot more, achieving everything through an elaborate plan that you had concocted so perfectly for yourself—to move into the big city, to have your own place, switching from living in the old brick house in your family’s property to affording a fancy apartment which looked similar to those you have seen in the movies, and to have a great career, something that would be enough to allow you to buy your own fancy things the way you couldn’t afford to as a child.
Soon, you would learn that the journey to fulfilling your dreams would not be as easy as how you had pictured it as a child. If there is something for you to learn as an adult, is that there is also always something to be said about life, about its twists and turns, the surprises and the secrets looming in every corner, and how easy it would be for someone like you to get caught drifting in the tide if you are not prepared for it.
It had taken you far and through a tumultuous course of life to be in this moment, to find yourself living in the big city, with a good job and a rising career that had put a roof over your head—specifically the two-bedroom apartment located in the heart of the city which would have costed a living if you hadn’t been lucky enough to have the kind of income that you earn from your fancy job.
Sometimes, it still feels unbelievable to think that you had somewhat managed to bring your dreams into reality, though the years of hard work to make it all happen have managed to keep your foot on the ground, keeping you humble despite everything that you had gone through. The journey started the day you left the small town where you were born and raised, stepping out of your comfort zone to begin your own adventure. It was all followed by the years you spent studying in law school, then building up your career while constantly proving yourself against the people who had once looked down on you along with all the vicious male competitors at work for you to become the person that you are today.
Looking back at your journey and at everything that you had accomplished for the past seven years, to see for yourself just how you had managed to survive all the tides that fate had thrown at you should be able to make you feel happy and content. The life that you had built up to today has gone beyond whatever you had imagined and there is no chance in hell you would ever trade it for anything else.
Not even for a fraction of a memory that you had to sacrifice many years ago.
But sometimes, you still find it hard to savour everything. Not when you still constantly feel like you are missing something, as if there is a piece of you that had been mislaid, lost, perhaps forgotten in the midst of walking down your path to finding your happy ending.
And the void has only been getting stronger because you know that the little girl inside you is still refusing to give up on her fairy tale ending and has always been so demanding that she wants to have it just the way the old storybooks that she had read as a child had been telling them.
In the fairy tales that you had once adored as a child, each of their stories had always ended with the Princesses meeting their Prince Charming, to have them falling in love, and have their union defeat all the bad until there is nothing left but the good. Just like everything else that you have acquired in life, this had also been a part of the dream that you had manifested in your mind as a little girl. To finally end your story by finding someone who could sweep you off of your feet the same way you read them in those storybooks, before riding into the sunset to mark the end of your lone journey and the start of your journey together with the one you love.
There had been many years of waiting, of picturing how it should be when the moment would finally come. But despite all the scenarios that you had planned and played out in your head each time you wondered about it in the past, never once had you imagined that it would be something like this.
You snap out of it when his voice comes to your senses, shaking you out of your wandering thoughts and pulling you back to the present. Back to the man who is still down on the floor, resting on one knee right before you. He is now wearing a nervous smile on his face while his eyes carry a ton of questions, no doubt for having you falling silent instead of jumping up and down in joy after what he had initially asked of you. Your eyes fall on his hands. The same hands that have been holding out a small box with a glowing diamond ring sitting at its center, and you immediately remember what had just happened before time suddenly stopped still for you to send your mind wandering off to the past.
“M-Matthew—” your voice comes out small when you finally manage to speak, though the words still seem to refuse to come out.
“What do you say, babe? Will you marry me?” he asks again, as if you hadn’t heard him the first time, and you can see his gaze flickering, looking vulnerable when you have yet to give him an answer.
A hush comes from around you as the people who have been witnessing this moment unfolding are beginning to whisper. Some talking with curiosity while others seem to be growing more impatient on Matthew’s behalf.
‘She’s still in shock,’ says one voice. ’I think he’s made her speechless,’ says another. You don’t even make any effort to look around to see who is speaking and who is probably sneering at you, still too stunned into silence at the sight of the man before you. You can feel their gazes on you even without looking over, though you try not to let their presence intimidate and haunt you, letting them fade into the background while you focus on steadying your breath.
The words are there on the tip of your tongue, but your racing heartbeat makes it hard for you to find your voice to speak it out loud. Despite the fact that you had known for quite some time that he had been planning for this, having heard him talking and insinuating for this moment to finally happen, you never expected for him to do this here and definitely not right at this moment. Right in the middle of the important office event, everyone has gathered for the night to celebrate his promotion as a partner. He was supposed to be the one who is standing in the limelight, the one who is supposed to become the main part of the event, and he certainly was not supposed to pull you with him under that spotlight which now seems to be pointing straight at you.
But perhaps this is his fairy tale ending too. Something that he had planned to happen right at the same time he finally acquired his goal, putting an end to his lone journey to start a new one with you. As the thought occurs to you, the answer comes to you pretty easily.
“Yes,” you finally give your answer out loud, and your pounding heartbeat intensifies just as your joy begins to take over, coming out in waves, eliminating all the doubts that had been weighing inside your chest. “Yes, Matthew. The answer is yes. I’ll marry you.”
While everyone around you cheers to celebrate, Matthew jumps onto his feet and wraps you in his arms. As someone who always appears so calm and composed whether he is in the courtroom or within the conference meeting rooms, Matthew has never had any hesitation in showing his feelings for you whenever he is in public. And you have grown used to it by now that you simply laugh with him as he envelopes you with his big arms, lifting you up and spinning you around with him, before taking your lips in his in a quick celebratory kiss and then finally letting you go.
Your head is still spinning and your mind still feels slightly fuzzy when he takes your hand and gently slides the beautiful ring onto your finger. Everything seems so surreal that you are almost convinced that you are dreaming, that nothing about this is actually happening. But then Matthew helps you feel everything once again, bringing your senses back alive and your mind back to focus as he pulls you in his arms once more so he can capture your lips, giving you a kiss that is much deeper in his joy.
This is it, you wonder to yourself as you slowly give in, wrapping your arms around his neck as you return his kiss and lean into his embrace.
The happy ending of your own fairy tale. Your Prince Charming.
The feeling of his heart beating against your chest makes his presence more real. To allow you to realise that this is all happening. But the moment he lets you go, giving you a chance to pull away from the kiss and look at his face, the reality of your life and of what had just transpired finally begin to sink in.
The happiness you are feeling now should have you feeling ecstatic, to be able to cheer just as loud as the guests in the office party who had become the witnesses to this wondrous moment and to savour it with a smile on your face which should be just as wide as Matthew’s as he looks at you with wonders in his eyes.
“I love you,” he whispers, keeping his forehead resting on yours as he keeps holding you in his arms, swaying you gently with him as he moves from side to side to enjoy the faint hum of the music playing from the speakers while everyone else returns to the enjoy their drinks.
You look up at him, returning his smile when you whisper, “Love you too,” making his smile grow wider as he savours the words you have given him before he pulls you back against his chest. You enjoy making him smile, and you revel in the joy brewing inside you knowing that you make him happy. And yet you can still feel the sinking feeling that comes to you in the form of the shadow from your past, reminding you of the reason why you are still unable to fall freely into this joy, to savour it the way you are supposed to. And you hate not being able to enjoy this moment when deep down you know that you deserve every bit of the happy ending now being offered to you.
Wrapping your arms around Matthew’s waist, you close your eyes and bask in his warmth. It pains you to know just how happy he is about this moment while you are filled with a dreadful pang of guilt pinching at your chest.
As you let him continue to guide you into a slow dance right in the middle of the dance floor, you begin to silently write a new elaborate plan inside your head, writing another scenario that would allow you to finally embrace the happiness being gifted to you, starting from going back home to face the shadows of your past and the life that you had left behind when you began writing your own story.
Because something is tethering you back into that life still, a secret that would be enough to shatter the life that you have built for yourself, your future, and perhaps any happiness that is waiting for you at the end of the tunnel.
And you know that it is time for you to set everything loose for once and for all. All for the sake of moving on and for you to embrace your new beginning.
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Your flight home had never felt this long before. Not for a trip that was supposed to have been a quick one. It isn’t as if your hometown is somewhere across the globe or even all the way across the country. It just didn’t help that you had been anxious all through the trip that it simply felt as if the plane had been crawling in the air, making it appear as if time simply stood still while you were up there. With your stomach constantly churning, you couldn’t even indulge yourself in the alcohol drinks they were offering on the flight to help you pass the time.
Stepping out of the plane has not done much to ease the anxiety you felt, and yet you simply force yourself to hold it back down and act as if you still have control over everything. You have even chosen to grab a rental car from the airport instead of taking the cab home, hoping that driving the car would help clear your head a little and perhaps force you to focus instead of letting your mind constantly wandering out of control.
Once you start driving away from the airport, you soon find that you were right, after all. The action has your mind focusing that it leaves no space for your anxiety to take over. Though it doesn’t stop other emotions to come through you. Watching the scenery as you drive the car slowly down the road, you relish on the feeling of melancholy that suddenly overwhelms you. And yet, at the same time, you still find it hard to just relax and give in to the moment. But only because everything that you are looking out on as you drive past the town road and its old buildings all seem odd to you, and somewhat foreign.
It had been seven years ago when you left this town for the first time. Leaving behind the heartache, the grief, the physical pain that had been a part of you, a reminder of what you had lost, and you had done it all simply to continue on living.
Up until three years ago, you had been coming home often, either it was to spend the holidays with your family or to simply visit your parents on their birthdays or on the weekends where you would be free with a chance for a long break. But then things changed, when everything fell apart all so suddenly and you no longer had any reason to come back when the last string of hope that you were still holding on to for you to survive was ripped away from you.
It was not too long after when you got the permanent position in the law firm you are working at, and while work had always been so rough and so busy even around the holidays, it had helped give you the escape you had needed to stay away. It might have been unfair for you to use your job as your excuse to keep your distance, and for you to use it as a reason not to come home as often as you had wanted, but it was a small sacrifice to what you had wanted to gain. Ever since then the only way you could ever celebrate Christmas with your family had only been done through video calls instead of being there in person. Though your heart kept telling you that it wasn’t enough, you simply had to make do, and your parents had no other choice but to understand and to let it continue on for a while.
Being here now, looking out the window to watch the town as you drive right by, you can feel a nagging feeling inside you that tells you how much you no longer belong in this place. Especially now, when you are about to embark a new journey that doesn’t involve any part of your past.
Thinking about the recent events happening in your life, specifically on the one that is about to change the entire course of your life, only brings your mind back to Matthew.
You have always been a terrible liar, and the guilt of lying to Matthew about this abrupt homecoming is still clawing at you in the chest. Rubbing your palm against the source of the painful pinch you are feeling, you recall the day when you had to tell him about coming home to see your parents in order to send them the news of your engagement.
And that you would need to do it without him.
Having only started dating each other for 8 months, Matthew had never gotten a chance to get to know the side of you that you had left behind. He had only known you as the woman who would always come early every morning and the last one to leave the office at night. And then last year, after facing a case that had gotten you stuck with him in the office on the night before Christmas, it had been the side of you that you had painted for everyone around you to see—the hardworking city girl with no baggage or secrets, and perhaps not even a personal life—that had managed to catch his attention first. He had never known you as the small-town girl who had once think highly of the holiday tradition that you had with your family, who would stay up all night to set up all the Christmas decorations to light up the whole house when you weren’t stuck in the kitchen helping your mother with her Christmas meal or when you weren’t helping your brother wrap up all the gifts until blisters would start growing on the tip of your fingers from working with all the glues and tapes.
So the moment you got a strong reaction from Matthew about you seeing your parents without him and that you would be staying with them for the holidays, you had been ready for it. Though it had needed a lot of convincing on your part still to make sure that he wouldn’t insist on tagging along and ruining your whole plan.
“How long will you be gone?” he asked you the morning he was driving you off to the airport, once he was open to the idea of letting you travel home on your own.
“Just one week, only until the day after Christmas, then I’ll come back as soon as I can so I can spend New Year’s Eve with you. I promise,” you had answered him then, appeasing him by giving him what he had wanted to hear while silently repeating it inside your head as a promise to yourself, setting up a time limit as you set out to clear out the final hurdle getting in the way of your new beginning with your fiancé.
It wouldn’t be easy. Even as you were thinking about doing this and way before you even decided to fly all the way here to make this happen, you had known that this would not be an easy task. But it needs to be done, and it needs to happen soon, and the last thing you would ever let yourself do is to get swayed away from your goal the moment you take action, just like it had happened before.
But you cannot afford for it to happen again. Not now, not ever, and especially not after all sacrifices that you had made the day you left this town for good three years ago.
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Not too many changes had been done to the house that you grew up in since the last time you were home.
The wallpapers and the floorboards had been changed, and you also know that your Dad had done some renovating over the years that you were mostly gone, but he kept a lot of part from the old house to make it look all the same. You can still breathe in the faint scent of stale paint and glue and must from old wood lingering in the air, though everything feels muted when they are mixed with the scent of fresh paint and freshly cut wood that still remains after the past renovations.
All the mixed fragrances are soon masked away with a set of new ones, as the delectable aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the meat dish cooking in the oven continue wafting in the air as your mother makes her way back and forth between the kitchen and the dining room to set up dinner. Your mother had made it obvious that your arrival had been a surprising one, when she screamed at the top of her lungs the moment she opened the front door to see you standing there on the other side. Especially since you had no chance to let her know about your sudden visit, an afterthought that had only occurred to you the moment you were knocking on the door. But she was quick to recover from her shock, replacing it with excitement and had instantly taken action in preparing a large dinner to welcome you even if your Dad and your brother have yet to arrive home.
“How was your flight? Did they serve you one of those snack boxes like the one I got when I came home from seeing you last time? Unless you got on the first class flight. They still serve you a full course meal for those expensive tickets they’re selling, don’t they?” Your mother keeps throwing random questions as she is busy preparing the meal, while she keeps insisting that you simply remain in your seat instead of helping her with her tasks. You only respond to her questions with one short answer at a time while trying to sneak in some lending hand whenever she isn’t looking—from checking on the oven’s heat to stirring the pot of meatball sauce while she has her hands full with the other.
“Have you gone to see anyone yet since you landed? Have you heard from Missy? Did you hear that she’s pregnant with her third child? Third!” your mother keeps rambling on, waving her spatula at you while speaking louder with her voice rising with each sentence. You have no idea whether she is completely hyped over the fact that your childhood best friend is having another little one on the way or if she is just happy to have you home this year after your long absence in the house. Even better, that you had arrived a lot earlier and with almost a week to spare before Christmas would arrive.
Her joy is somehow contagious that you cannot help but laugh just as she accidentally splatters some sauce anywhere but the pot where the fresh sauce is boiling.
“Mom, slow down. You’re tossing that tomato sauce all over the kitchen,” you tell her while pointing at her spatula and the sauce dripping from it before she tosses it back to the pot where her special meatball dish is currently cooking. “And no, I haven’t gone to see anyone yet. I drove straight here and avoided going through downtown—”
To avoid having people seeing me around before I can at least prepare myself to deal with them and all their questions, you silently add.
“I haven’t even called Missy yet. Maybe I will in the morning or I can go the her family’s diner a bit later to pay a visit.”
Your mother shakes her head. “You must be exhausted. Look at those bags under your eyes, and have you been eating properly?” she keeps asking you while pinching at your cheeks. “You always work so hard and I know that you’d be skipping meals if I don’t call you everyday to remind you of it.”
“I’m fine, Mom. It’s probably just the jet-lag,” you simply answer her before she would go ranting about the way you have been living in the big city. She had always been giving you the same lecture after she had caught you red-handed tossing away a week worth of takeout boxes out of your apartment when she made a sudden visit to see you. Then, as if your body agrees with you, you suddenly feel your shoulders dropping and you find yourself yawning.
“Oh, look at you,” your mother comments right as she sees it. “There will be no more of you going around town tonight. We’re going to sit down for dinner and then you’re going to go upstairs to sleep it off.”
You open your mouth to protest, only to have your mother shaking her head and pushing you away from the frying pan that you have been fiddling with. “Now, go sit back down! Don’t you dare think that I haven’t noticed what you’ve been doing. Now, shoo!”
You laugh softly as you let her kick you out of the kitchen while muttering, “Yes, mother.”
Not long after, your mother sits with you at the dining table as she tries to feed you every single meal on the table while asking about how your life has been. Your father is still out at work, giving the two of you a chance to catch up more freely and for you to gently bring up the real reason why you had returned home without the intense way your father would be reading through your lies if he had been home already.
You had tossed the engagement ring into your purse when you first arrived, keeping it hidden from your mother’s eyes. Despite the fact that you have only had it on for a few weeks, you still feel like there is something missing as you raise your left hand up. You can barely ignore the indentation on your ring finger that you keep rubbing your thumb over it, brushing against the odd feeling of void that the ring had left behind.
All through dinner, your mother keeps you updated on the rumour mills, letting you know about how the neighbourhood has been changing and everything there is to know about the people in town. You listen halfheartedly, responding with the usual murmurs of yes and no or ask her more about what she is telling you, even if you are slowly feeling the weight of your news looming, pushing you to the edge to make you want to just spill everything in the open.
You look at your mother and see that she seems to be holding back too. Not in the way she is talking about the town, however, but from asking you the questions that you can see lingering in her eyes each time she gives you her quick glances.
Once you are done with the first course of the meatball dish and your mother stands up from her seat to give you a second offering, you can no longer take it anymore.
“I’m going to see him,” you finally tell your mother, still feeling a bit tense about admitting it, though you feel good for finally voicing it out.
Your mother only looks at you for a moment before releasing a deep sigh and returning to her seat. “So that’s why you came home, huh? I was wondering if there’s something more going on,” she says, sounding a bit regretful as a sad smile comes to her face. “I thought that might be the case, but I kept telling myself—” she stops only to shake her head. “It’s been so many years.”
“That’s the point. It’s been years too long,” you answer your mother with a solemn nod. “I need to settle the things going on between us for good.”
Your mother purses her lips together. “Can’t you guys just talk about it like decent adults first? You know, maybe you can find a middle ground and work on—”
At her question, and whatever it is that she has going on in her thoughts, you can only sigh and shake your head. “I tried, Mom. Things wouldn’t have turned out this way if not for him suddenly turning away from me before actually giving a chance for us to talk about it like two adults,” you tell her, explaining to her for the umpteenth time already, just like how you would always do every year when this topic comes up.
“Why now? After all these years, why have you suddenly decided that you want to see him in person now?”
You open your mouth to answer but find yourself unable to speak. How are you supposed to explain the fact that you had somehow agreed to marry someone that your parents don’t really know anything about? And while this hurdle had been getting in your way for too long already, it wasn’t until the moment you put on Matthew’s ring and have the images of your future flashing in your eyes when you realise that you can no longer let it hold you back from moving on.
You know that no matter how well you can find a way to explain it, neither one of your parents is going to be happy to know what is going on or to understand the reason why you are taking an action after years of being silent.
“I can’t tell you why just yet, I just—” you begin to speak, shaking your head again before looking at her. “It’s time, Mom. Don’t you think?”
Your mother looks completely somber when she nods. There is a voice in the back of your mind that is telling you that perhaps your mother knows that something is up. But you refuse to admit it, hoping that she simply thinks of this as a way for you to make things right.
“You’re right. I think you really should talk to him,” she says to you, finally, keeping her voice soft as she speaks before pointing a finger at you as she adds, “And I mean really talk to him properly without screaming at each other.”
Her comment reminds you back to three years ago, when you were much younger and you still had lack control of your emotions that you had allowed the townspeople to witness it when you were fighting with him in public. It was catastrophic, and there is no doubt that people still remembers that day, perhaps even better than what your memory had served you. Chuckling sheepishly to yourself, you raise your hand up and look at your mother with a sly grin. “You know I can’t promise you anything yet, but I’ll do my best to reign down my anger.”
“As you both should,” she says, only to stop briefly and glance over to the empty seat where your father would usually sit during dinner. Except for tonight, as he was stuck dealing with a little problem at work. “And, um—I need you to do me a favour,” your mother speaks to you softly, almost to whisper before turning to look at you. “Don’t let your Dad know what you might decide to do about all of this until it’s time, you hear me?”
For a moment there, you are left speechless, wondering if your mother had found out about what is truly going on. But looking at her doesn’t give you an answer, not when she isn’t giving you much of it when she keeps her face blank, only filled with the firm look in her eyes as she waits for you to agree with her.
“I won’t tell him anything until I’ve handled things.”
Your answer seems to please her, enough to bring back her smile. Your mother pats gently on your left hand, showing her gratitude without so much of a word before she leaves her seat to finally get you that second serving of her homemade meatball dish. As she leaves, your eyes find your hand, focusing on the empty ring finger that suddenly feels heavy with an invisible weight, carried by the secret that you simply cannot wait to let go of.
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“How does it feel to be back home?”
Listening to Matthew’s voice on the phone makes you want to close your eyes and exhale a deep sigh. In fact, that is just what you do as you lean against the side of your rented city car, basking in the rumbles of Matthew’s deep voice that you have started to miss a lot despite the fact that you had just spent time with him last weekend.
“It feels—good, and odd at the same time,” you answer him with a chuckle, opening your eyes to look around you and take in the sight of the beautiful town where you grew up in.
There is a whole lot of truth in your words when you talk about being home. Being here feels good. Everything about it feels right—the fresh air, the clean roads and sidewalks, the artsy walls and the old buildings, the familiar scents, and all the places that remind you of your childhood and all the years you spent causing trouble and trying to find yourself through your teen years.
But it is certainly different here compared to the big city. In the city, you are nearly invisible. Surrounded by all the people who only care about their own personal businesses, on living it through the day and following the quick pace of the city life that you have become a part of for the past nearly seven years. Everything here appears in brighter colours, slightly muted compared to the colours you see in the city, where everything seems more vibrant and bold and awfully loud. Everyone here moves at a slower pace, as if they are savouring every second of their day as they go about it town, finishing their personal businesses without so much of a rush, sometimes even stopping just to have a chat with anyone they come across. It has been a sight that is completely unlike what you have grown used to seeing back in the city, where people would rush to get from one spot to another as soon as they can without even bother paying attention to the people they come across as they continue to live and move along to follow the constant ripple pulsing within the city
You almost forgot that you had once been a part of this town.
And you have just been reminded that everyone in this town knows each other.
There is no doubt that the news of your arrival may have already reached him. There is nothing you can do to escape it when you came across Ruth, the gossip girl of the town, when you dropped by at the bank in town this morning. Not to mention the fact that your uncle may have gone to see him early morning when you know that they are still doing their morning runs together. Funny how life changes over the years and yet some things just remain the same.
Everything—and everyone—in this town seems to remain completely the same.
And that is when you start questioning just where do you fit in all of this. Or if you still fit here at all.
“Baby? Is everything okay?” you hear Matthew’s voice from the phone still pressed to your ear, snapping you from your wandering thoughts, and only then do you realise that he has been saying stuff on the phone which you have obviously missed.
“Yes,” you quickly answer him while chastising yourself for it. “I’m sorry, I got distracted. You were saying?”
Matthew lets out a soft chuckle through the phone, as if he already knows your antics, and that he had grown used to noticing you spacing out so randomly when you are not focusing completely the way you would when you are working. “I was saying how sorry I am that I can’t be there. You know, it would’ve been better if I had joined you to meet your family if you’re going to let them know about our engagement, don’t you think? I should’ve been there with you to do it. I have to meet them at some point, right?”
“Right,” you answer him with a small voice while you feel your breath getting caught in your throat. You had gone through all of this before, having him question why he isn’t here with you and you had always tried to explain the best you could about why you have to do this alone. With him constantly bringing it up on each phone call, you are not completely sure just how much longer you can keep going with this ruse and how soon the truth will come out.
You are thankful for the fact that he is unable to see you this way, but you still try your best to recover and answer him lightly, “But you know, you also have that family thing this Christmas and the gala. I feel like I have to do this on my own—”
Because your Dad’s heart might not be able to survive it if you had brought a man into your parents’ home and your Mom would blow a torch once she drops her gaze on Matthew.
And then there’s the gossip.
Oh, what would people say if you had come home with Matthew instead of coming here alone? Once again, the weight of the engagement ring that you have kept inside your purse feels heavy. This time, it feels heavier than the tightness in your chest that you have to press your free hand harder against the side of your purse as if the tiny little thing is pulsing from within and everyone in town might be able to sense its presence from a mile away.
“—because you know, I already told you that my parents might be a bit old-fashioned about this, yet I feel like I need to send the news to them lightly.”
“Yeah, I get it. I mean, I don’t think I can escape this charity gala even if I’d wanted to,” he says, and you feel even more guilty for lying when you can hear the smile in his voice.
Not lying, omitting the truth, as you have told yourself time and time again.
“But—” he adds, “At least you’re going to be back here for New Year’s Eve, right? My parents have been going on and on about the family dinner and the gathering. Don’t worry, I kept my promise not to tell them about the engagement until then, but they still ask about you a lot, wondering if you’re going to be here.”
“I’ll be there,” you quickly answer him, just when you hear the sound of a door opening. “Listen, Matthew honey. I have to go. Can I call you back later tonight?”
“Of course,” he says. “I have to stop by at the office briefly before heading to the gym and then I’m off to see my Dad for lunch right after my workout. You take care over there, alright? I love you.”
“Me too.”
Ending the call, you toss the phone into your purse and push yourself away from the car. You begin to walk carefully on the gravel-covered pathway heading to the old building in front of you—the old place that you had once remembered as the old wooden barn turned into the town’s farmers’ tavern which, at some point, had come near of being torn down.
The place had once called the Spinning Horse Pub, where you would see drunken old men hanging out there at night after spending all day doing labour work, tossing glasses and passing around the local beer while singing old folksongs completely out of tune and with all the wrong lyrics, the sight which ended up leaving kids scarred and slightly traumatised at the sight of adulthood.
Today, the place is called the Moonlit Bar, standing pristine with a mix of brick walls and polished wooden floors, stained glass windows, and blues music humming faintly from inside just as the front door swings open.
After years of not seeing him in person, you had thought that you would have a problem finding him. But it had turned out that he had been keeping contact with your parents, especially your Dad—in extension of him spending his free time with your uncle—and you had found out just where to ambush him without creating so much of a hassle or to attract the attention that you obviously have no time or energy to deal with.
Your heels sink between the gravels as you continue to walk closer towards the bar. The sounds of men talking are heard as you grow closer, followed by a series of laughter coming with the voice that you have known for a long time. Even before you can see him, as the talking men are still concealed behind the truck that is parked right in front of the bar, your heartbeat has already started picking up, pounding rapidly the closer you are to get to him. And with each pound of your heartbeat, you can feel the ominous throb coming from the ring inside your purse, further intensifying all the tension you currently have running through your body.
And then, finally, you are there, right where you need to be after walking around the parked truck to be able to have a clear view of the bar’s own front door, only to stumble right the moment you find him.
Standing on the front porch, looking all gloriously in his presence is Kim Namjoon, the man and the devil himself, whose wide smile that he shared with his friend falls for a brief moment at the sight of you coming over to him before his lips curl up to a sly grin.
Namjoon waves at his friend who knows not to stay and is already hopping away to his parked car in the lot before he turns to you. “Well, look at what the cat dragged in,” he says, leaning back against a column on the front porch with his arms crossed as he takes you in. His eyes are glowing with mirth, though you can sense him holding something back, using his haughtiness against you to hold it back in.
You stop on your tracks, staying just a few steps away from the porch’s stairs as you cross your own arms. “I thought you were allergic to cats.”
Namjoon shrugs. “Still am,” he says, dragging his words while he drags his gaze, looking at you from the top of your head and down to your fancy heels. His intense gaze makes you feel self-conscious, while your skin begins to flush not only for the way he is looking at you, but also at the sight of him.
With the years that had gone by, you have never expected to see him changing this much. He has always been so tall, but the last time you had seen him, he was still his lanky old self, completely careless to the way he looked or how he presented himself.
Today, he is standing there with his flannel shirt, the short sleeves folded up all the way to his shoulders, exposing his strong arms, muscles grown from the years that he had no doubt been spending working out and out on runs, all flexed tightly for your eyes to see as he keeps his arms crossed defiantly over his chest. And then there is his chest, looking all buff and strong, unlike the way he used to be back then, when he had looked way smaller compared to your massive built uncle who had insisted to have him join his exercises and workouts, when he appeared frail that it made you worry a lot whenever he had to deal with his carpentry and especially when he had taken the job at his father’s construction business.
All of a sudden, you feel the urge to clench your hands, only because a flash of memory comes into your head. You still remember how it felt to run your hands down his skin, how he would shudder under your touch when you pressed your palms on his chest. And then your mind wanders yet again, only to imagine what it would feel like if you would run your palms down to his chest today, to trace his tight muscles, to feel the heat of his skin, and—
“So what are you doing here, stranger? Did you get lost? Forgot your way back to the big city?” he begins questioning you, snapping you right out of your trance. You look up to see his eyes, noticing the way they are glinting with amusement, as if he had caught on to you ogling at him.
“No, actually. I’m here looking for you,” you respond to him while averting your gaze, shaking your head to shake off the blunder that has suddenly gotten into you and get your mind out of the gutter.
“Oh, really?” he asks, sounding intrigued. “Mind if I ask why?”
Again, your heartbeat picks up, and you swallow deeply to stop yourself from throwing up out of nerves. Pressing your lips together, you reach into your purse to pull out a brown envelope that contains the papers that you had prepared prior to coming here. Taking it in your hand, you take a few steps closer to him and hand it out for him to grab.
“I’m here for this,” you tell him, keeping your voice calm and steady as you continue, “I want you to sign the divorce papers. And I’m going to need you to do it now.”
His eyes fall on the envelope that you are handing out to him, a flicker of his surprise and his emotions that you cannot really read from him appear in his gaze for a brief moment before they disappear, replaced by a look of astonishment that comes together with his smile.
“No,” is all that he says to you.
“What?” you simply gasp out your reaction while your courage simply shatters into pieces.
“I said no. I’m not signing that.”
Rage comes boiling in your blood and you lower your hand roughly that the envelope brushes against your thigh with a loud slap. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, I’m not signing.”
“Why? What’s the point?” you try to protest. Stopping only to take a deep breath to calm yourself down before levelling your voice, keeping it down when you continue to speak, “Namjoon, we’ve been separated for a long time. We never even talked nor have we seen each other since I left town, much less living like a normal pair of husband and wife. Do you really want us to get stuck in this—this, whatever this is, until we both grow old, despising one another while we’re rotting to death?”
Namjoon’s gaze turns hard as he lowers his arms. “I’m not signing because I can’t.”
“What the hell does that even mean?” you hiss at him, though it doesn’t seem that getting emotional is doing much to help you in this matter.
Namjoon exhales a deep sigh and looks around him. He keeps his eyes looking far away and over your shoulder, staring at the shadows that aren’t exactly present when he speaks, “Why don’t you come inside so we can talk properly without worrying about people listening in? I know that I owe you at least a drink or two.” His eyes find you again before he gives you a smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes, the same eyes that are still giving you a hard gaze. “What do you say, city girl? Or are you too fancy now to try out the local brews?”
You keep staring at him with disbelief as he turns around and makes his way back into the tavern without waiting for your response. Deep down, you know that he is right. It would be better to be talking about this inside, away from any prying eyes and curious ears listening in. God knows what the rumour mill is already spreading about the connection between your return and your visit to Namjoon’s bar while you are standing out here for everyone to see. And you are also curious to hear about what he is about to tell you. After taking a quick look around you, you slip the envelope back into your purse and dust off your skirt from the invisible dust before stepping up onto the porch.
Namjoon is still standing by the entrance, waiting for you to follow as he holds the door open for you. His smile doesn’t seem at all welcoming when you look at him, but feels more like a taunt. Despite knowing that you would be caught in a place where he holds all control, you don’t stop yourself from going around him and walk through the door. “Let’s get this over with,” you tell him as you walk past, only to have him responding to you with a deep chuckle as you sense him following you in.
“Oh, Sweet Cheeks, you have no idea. I haven’t even started yet.”
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Stepping into his bar feels like stepping into a completely different world from what you had outside.
Even in the daytime, the bar had been kept slightly dark, with only a few probe lights illuminating the room from the corners of the seating area, some lights are spread around the bar, and some of the brightest are set around the empty stage in the center of the room, highlighting the music instruments placed there to be ready for use. You can feel Namjoon’s warmth as he follows close, right until the moment you come to a halt at the center of the room and he walks around you to make his way towards the bar counter.
He says nothing as he looks over his shoulder to meet your gaze, but the look in his eyes is enough to have you following him towards the bar. You can see that a few patrons are present as you walk across the room, and neither of them are looking your way. Some of them are enjoying their meal, while some are simply there to chat with each other while enjoying their beer and the light music playing from the old jukebox across the room. The silly device looks awfully too bright against the darker room around it, catching your attention so easily. Judging from the looks of it and how old it seems, you wonder just how that thing is still running.
Namjoon stops at a seating booth nearby the bar counter, quite hidden from the rest of the place. Simply perfect to finally have the talk. He watches you coming closer and gives you his sweet and charming smile that you have grown used to know, added with a pinch of his smugness, then motions for you to take the seat right across from him.
“You seem to be doing well. And I have to admit that this place looks nice,” you say to him after a beat of silence. You find it almost awkward to be sitting here with him and not saying anything. But you have found a long time ago that both you and Namjoon had always managed to find comfort in your silence.
Except that part of your life had ended a long time ago, and you barely know the man who is sitting right in front of you today.
Namjoon’s lips curl up to a smile, and you can tell that he is pleased to hear your compliment and he takes a lot of pride in bringing this place together. You can obviously see it when he leans back, taking a good look at the place with a look of wonder in his eyes. And you cannot help but admit that you share the same pride inside you for seeing how far he had gone since you left.
“How did you find me?” he suddenly asks you before his eyes find you again.
You keep your eyes on him for a moment, studying the look he is giving you only to give up when you find nothing. Giving him a shrug, you answer him with a small smile. “Small town. Everyone talks. Just ask the right question to the right people and they all come pointing their fingers to help me find you.”
Namjoon grins. “Your uncle told you about this place, didn’t he? Did he specifically told you that you can find me here today?”
A chuckle escapes you as you nod. “He came to the house to barge into our dinner last night the moment he heard from Dad that I was home. Couldn’t stop talking about you and how you managed to pick this place back up and keeping it from falling to the ground. Said you re-built everything with your own two hands.”
Namjoon simply gives you nothing but silence instead of confirming what your uncle had told you last night. And he did more than just to let you know where you can find and perhaps corner Namjoon into talking to you.
You had thought that your uncle may have been exaggerating things when he talked about Namjoon and about all the things that the man had done for the town ever since you left. But seeing this place now and how he carries himself around the bar and around you is beginning to make you wonder just how much things have truly changed since then. There is a glint in his eyes that is hard for you to decipher, though it makes you feel like he is able to look through you without so much of saying a word. You open your mouth to speak again, to strike a conversation, to say anything, just to keep the ball rolling and to start getting straight to the point where he would provide some answers, only to be interrupted by a waitress who comes sidling to the side of the booth.
You turn to the girl, expecting her to ask for your orders just so you can quickly send her away, only to realise that she doesn’t even have her eyes on you. The waitress simply stands there with her hips popped to the side, keeping one arm pressed around the underside of her boobs to practically push the girls up and making them look bigger as the peak of the mound come peeking from over her low cut shirt and her other hand is nowhere close to holding her notes. To you, she appears to be a bit—ditzy, as she tries to gain Namjoon’s attention, but her presence amuses you too much to make a comment out of it.
“What are you having, Joonie?” she asks with a voice slightly whining to make herself sound cute for your dear husband, and yet Namjoon pays her no attention, giving her not even a glance as he keeps his eyes on you.
Amused at this development, you lean back in your seat and cross your arms over your chest to taunt him. “Yes, what are we having, Joonie?”
Namjoon’s lips twitch for a brief moment, as if he is holding back a smile. Yet he keeps his eyes locked on your face when he finally answers, “I’ll have the beer from the tap, and tell Bernie to make my wife here a glass of Manhattan.”
You glance over as the poor waitress stiffens. Her eyes grow wide as she glances back and forth between you and her employer before she stutters, “Y-your wife?”
Leaning forward, you address the girl with a sly grin. “You heard the man. And yes, I’m his dear old wife. Please make sure that Bernie makes mine a little sweet, will you?” you ask her, making her look even more flustered before nodding. “Thank you, darling,” you call out to her with a teasing wink right as she starts scrambling off towards the bar where Bernie—your father’s old fishing mate who is also Namjoon’s second cousin—is tending the bar.
The sound of Namjoon’s deep chuckle pulls your attention back to him. You remember how that sound used to make your stomach twist with butterflies fluttering inside you, and you hate to admit that it is still giving you the same effect, albeit a bit muted due to the fact that everything between you had turned into shambles. You simply doubt that you can escape from feeling all the pain coming back to you again each time you think of the past, so you suppress the sensation happening inside your belly, ignoring it the best you can as you begin to push him into talking.
“Why won’t you sign the divorce papers, Namjoon? I’ve been sending them to you so we can get things over with without us having to go through the court and all the unnecessary legal battles you know waiting for us. All you had to do was sign them. I thought you wanted this? Why do you keep sending them back to me?”
Namjoon says nothing, but keeps his eyes looking down on the table while he rubs his hand over his rugged face. The moment his gaze finds yours again, it looks terribly guarded, as if there is a wall standing between you and he has chosen to hide behind it.
“Don’t you want to move on, maybe get lucky with little miss sweet thing right there?” you ask him with a tilt of your head aimed at the waitress who still seems a bit frazzled as she talks rapidly with another girl. The disbelief on their faces seems almost comical, though it brings an odd feeling into your chest to know that there are girls like them, other women, that he could pick from. Women who seem to adore him the way that waitress does.
While you are suddenly left wondering about this, the question that you have given him finally draws a reaction from him, even if it only comes in the form of a scoff. His eyes soften for a brief moment when he holds back another smile, before they both disappear the moment he notices you watching, soon to be replaced with a faked mirth when he shrugs. “She’s not my type. Frankly, I’m not that big into dating when I legally still have a wife. Even if she’s busy trying to conquer the world, leaving me in this town to rescue old buildings from falling into the ground.”
This time, you are the one giving him a scoff. “Don’t tell me you haven’t been with anyone else since we separated.”
Namjoon doesn’t answer you right away, but falls silent instead. Leaning forward, he crosses his arms and rests them on the table as he levels his gaze on you. His eyes are intense, piercing through you just enough to make you shudder, that you nearly miss it when he answers you with, “I haven’t.”
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“When Daisy told me that Namjoon’s wife is here, I just had to come and deliver these drinks myself.”
Bernie’s large figure fills the space around you just by standing at the side of the booth. He drops the large-sized tankard filled with beer with a loud thump on the table for Namjoon while he sets down your martini cocktail gently for you. Seeing him there and listening to his boastful laugh makes your heart feel warn that you cannot resist sliding out of the booth to wrap your arms around him.
“Bernie, it’s good to see you,” you hum softly as you embrace the man who had become more like a second father to you at some point in your life.
“You look awfully good for a city girl,” Bernie says after patting gently on your back and releasing you. He crosses his arms over his chest, his gaze looking up and down as he takes you in. You have no idea what he sees in you, but you can see pride coming out of his gaze. “Heard from your uncle this morning that you’re home. Didn’t expect to see you hanging around this side of town, much less to visit here. The drink’s on the house, my treat to welcome you home,” he says, nodding at your untouched glass while Namjoon gives him a light scoff. The big guy turns to your soon-to-be ex-husband and raises his eyebrows. “What? You can just cut it off my pay.”
“There’s no need, big guy. He already said he’s paying for this,” you say to him before Namjoon can say a thing.
Bernie raises his brows once more. “Really, now? Then the second glass will be my treat,” he says, before wrapping an arm around your shoulders and pulls you in to whisper, “Just don’t tell your Dad I gave you more than a glass.”
His sly comment makes you laugh. “You know I’ve passed being twenty-one a long time ago, Bernie. Dad should know that I can handle my drinks just fine.”
“Oh, but you’ll always be your Dad’s baby girl even if you’ve made it big in the city. You know that, don’t ya?” Bernie says with a shake of his head, and then he follows your eyes as you take a good look around, noticing some of the areas that you had failed to pay attention to when you first came in. “See what he did to the place, Pumpkin? Joon here did all of this by himself—with a lot of our help, of course. Said he did it all for—”
“Bernie,” Namjoon quickly cuts him off before Bernie can say anything else. The bartender looks over with a questioning gaze while Namjoon simply stays calm. “You got some customers coming.”
You raise a questioning brow at him, wondering just what Bernie may have been trying to tell you before he was cut off. But Namjoon tilts his chin up towards the bar’s entrance and both you and Bernie turn to look. Sure enough, a group of young men walk past the front door just then, almost too conveniently, letting Bernie know that it is time for him to get back on the job. The big man looks over his shoulder to you and shrugs.
“Right. Well, I’ll catch up with you a little later, Pumpkin,” he says as he playfully messes with your hair before turning back to the bar.
“Take care, big Bernie,” you call out to him then return to your seat, facing Namjoon once again. You avert your eyes when you find him still watching you, taking your time as you taste the drink that had been made for you with a few small sips while letting it run down your throat to calm your nerves.
“So, where were we?” you ask him while leaning back in your seat.
Namjoon remains calm when he answers, “The papers.”
You nod. “And you were telling me why you’re still not signing.”
Once again, Namjoon gives you nothing but silence. He takes a few big gulps from his drink, making you wait until he sets the glass down and leans forward. “Why do you want to get out of this marriage so bad?” he finally asks you, looking awfully curious as he studies your face. Neither of you says a thing until the glint of mirth in his eyes dims down and his smile falls, bringing a painful pinch into your chest upon seeing his reaction. And the pinch brings even more pain when he mutters softly, “You’ve found someone.”
You frown at your hands, unable to look at him. “I’m just trying to move on, Joon.”
Namjoon nods with a blank expression on his face. “And I already told you that I can’t sign it.”
You raise your head and frown at him. “And why is that, exactly?”
Suddenly, his face turns a little sour, though you can see a flash of sadness coming across his face. “Winny.”
Your breath gets caught in your throat while you can feel your heart plummeting down your stomach at the mention of her name. Winny, Namjoon’s grandmother and—legally still—your grandmother-in-law. Though Winny is not exactly her real name, the name that toddler Namjoon had officially given her when he couldn’t specifically call her as ’grandma’ nor that he could pronounce her name properly at such a young age. The name had stuck with your grandmother-in-law ever since, and she had always let both you and Namjoon continue using the name to address her while growing up together, and it had even lasted until you both have grown into adults.
“Did you know that Winny got a heart attack early this year?” Namjoon asks you, and you are beginning to see just where this is all going.
Nodding your head, you take your glass in your hand, taking one swipe of a drink before you can talk about it. “Your Mom called to tell me about it when it just happened. I called your grandmother after she woke up from it and we talked through the phone for a long time,” you begin to tell him, sighing deeply as you recall about the phone conversation that you had with her at the time. A frown comes to you when you recall how the conversation went, how she reacted to your voice, and sympathy comes when you remember everything that she said to you then, “She seemed confused, asking me why I’m not back for the term break yet and if I’ll be home for the holidays. She kept talking as if I hadn’t finished law school or even had the job in the firm yet, and it sounded like she believed that we’re still together.”
Namjoon studies your face for a moment. “And yet you still didn’t question it, nor did you correct her to remind her that we are no longer happily married, or that you had graduated from school years ago.”
Slowly, you only shake your head. “I had to play along cause I didn’t want to upset her.”
Namjoon takes another drink. You can see the sadness in his eyes returning to him full force and it has you doing everything you can to hold back from reaching out to him and hold his hands to give him some comfort. Ever since he was a little boy, Namjoon had always been close to Winny. His grandmother had always been strict to all of her grandchildren, but the woman had treated him a bit special back when he was growing up while at the same time, treated him as if he was her own child, giving him advices that had eventually helped guide Namjoon up to a point where he started making his own mess. That was how the two of them formed a bond with each other when Namjoon was entering adulthood. A tight bond that had always been so strong that you know it would have been hard for Namjoon to deal with her illness.
“She called me this morning, said she heard that you came back home. I’m not sure how she found out, but she was asking a lot of questions about you. She specifically wanted to know why I haven’t taken you to see her yet and if there’s any specific food she should cook for you to welcome you back. Though she might be asking my Mom for help on that,” Namjoon says with a low chuckle, shaking his head. “That was how I found out that you were back in town.”
Hearing this, you can only sigh. You hate to think of the strong-willed woman having trouble with her memories and dealing with her regular days. “What did you say to her?”
Namjoon only shrugs. “I just told her that you might still be exhausted from the trip, and that you would call her once you have gotten some time settling in. You know, all of that. Even if I had no idea how to make that happen. Just like Bernie said, neither of us really expected you’d be coming here on your own.”
You look down on your hands, wondering how things seem to suddenly be on your way. It seems like fate is trying to test you. Just like how it did years ago when you were younger, when you were too hot-headed to play along and had ended up leaving.
Namjoon leans in, whispering softly just so you can be the only one to hear it when he says, “She’s still confused, ______. Her memory is still stuck in the past after that heart attack.”
“I realised that much when I talked to her. I was hoping that it would gradually get better in time. I guess that was a bit too much to hope for,” you answer him, nodding your head solemnly. Deep down, you really do feel sad for her. Winny had always been larger than life, easy and fun to be with, and had always been the wise voice that you listened to when you were still together with Namjoon. The situation makes you feel bad about it. And yet, it doesn’t stop you from wondering, “What does signing the divorce papers have to do with Winny’s condition?”
Namjoon pinches his lips together and clenches his jaw for a moment. “The old Winny before the heart attack had known that we were separated. And though she kept trying to get us to reconcile, she was starting to accept the fact that we may never get back together,” he says, lowering his voice as he speaks, even if there is no one getting close enough to listen in. “Present-day Winny still thinks that you are returning next year after finishing law school and that we are still going to run her old office once my dad and uncle retire.”
Sighing, you murmur softly to yourself when you finally understand, “She still thinks that we’re together and still happily married.”
Namjoon’s jaw tightens when he nods his head. “That’s not the only problem,” he whispers, sounding nearly like a groan when he is speaking while letting out an exasperated sigh. “Do you remember our deal, when we first got into this marriage?”
Your mind instantly flies back to the past. To the moment when you had just graduated from high school, when you were both had been so young and lost after making one of the biggest mistakes of your lives and receiving a blessing that had come at the worst period of time, and how both your family and Namjoon’s had cornered you both to the point that you had almost agreed to Namjoon’s suggestion of running away and eloping just to escape their wrath. That had been a messy time of your lives until Winny swooped in, playing devil’s advocate as she tried to diffuse the situation in her own way before all hell would break loose.
Then you are reminded of the one crucial part of the entire ordeal that had changed everything.
The trust fund.
The account that Winny had set up for your small growing family, all to ease the tension running through both families upon finding out their high school graduates kids were expecting a baby instead of college acceptance letters, and to reassure both you and Namjoon that you would be taken care of no matter what your fathers had tried to punish you both with. It was the part of the deal that had you agreeing to legally marry each other before the baby would come along and to have it occurring right in front of your entire family and about a half part of the town attending the ceremony as witnesses.
How you had forgotten about all of this is beyond you. It feels like such a long time ago, a distant memory of your past that had somehow gotten buried almost completely in the back of your mind. And yet, you can feel the same dread and grief that you haven’t felt for a long time rolling through you at the thought of it.
“After we lost our—” Namjoon’s voice breaks before he could say it out loud, and he clears his throat before he can continue. “She still kept the trust fund, telling my Dad that she would one day hand everything to both of us if we ever get back together.”
Your eyes grow wide upon hearing this. Though you have always known what Winny had been planning to do, you had never thought that she would actually keep her words. And that she would have waited for this long to keep the account running despite seeing no other possibilities that you and Namjoon would come back together.
Rubbing a hand over his face, Namjoon looks at you with a mix of hope and depletion in his eyes, before he finally gets to the point. “I have—some plans. Big plans. And I won’t lie to you, I’m going to need that money. I thought that perhaps I could just borrow it so I can have things running and then I would return them once everything pulls through. Just as long as she doesn’t go and donate the funds someplace else first. That’s what she said to us, by the way. That she’d rather hand the money to someone else that would actually care about it than let it sit in her account with nowhere to go because we’re too stubborn to—you know.”
Surprised to hear this new development, on what sounds more like a threat that—you do have to admit—does sound like something Winny would say, you cannot help but laugh. “Would she really do something like that?”
Namjoon’s lips curl to a small smile. “She may have implied a few times—almost at least twice each year—that she would do it one day. That was before she got sick,” he says with a sigh, and you can only shake your head in wonder.
“So how are we supposed to do this? How are the legal work and the papers play a role in this?”
Namjoon ponders about it for a moment before speaking with a low voice, “I’ll sign the papers, if you really want me to, but I’m going to need your help first. My parents have been talking about having a family retreat, rent a cottage up in the mountains for a quiet Christmas family outing so Winny can get the break she needs. Initially, it would have been just us, the immediate family. But Winny already knows that you’re in town and she sounded terribly excited to see you and to spend time with you while you’re here, so I figured that this might be a good chance.”
And too much of a coincidence, you wonder to yourself. But you say nothing. Because Namjoon has no way to arrange all of this just when you are coming back just to sever the ties. Once again, you curse at fate, hating the way you are forced to play its game yet again.
“Come with me, join us, stay a bit longer in town, just until after we’ve shown Winny that we’re doing okay. You know that she adores you so much, so maybe having you with her would help her get better,” Namjoon continues, sounding almost pleading when he shares his ideas. “Unfortunately, playing a role and acting like a regular married couple in front of her won’t be enough. We need to make sure that we’re still legally married while we’re doing all of that act together, just in case she goes out of her way and checks everything out.”
Chuckling softly, you cannot help but smile. “Knowing Winny, I suppose that we do have to prepare for something like that to happen. As long as she finds a way, she’d be digging everything out to expose us for deceiving her,” you murmur softly as you think of Winny and her antics.
Namjoon laughs. “Don’t forget that she has her own lawyers. Might not be as big as you guys in the big city, but these people would do anything that Winny asks them to. I don’t think my Dad or uncle would be able to do anything to cover it up once the divorce is legalised before I can get my hands on the money.”
Laughing at this, you know that he is absolutely right. Your mind flies back to another period of time in the past where Winny had gone and send out her lawyers to handle the mess that her grandchildren had created all over town. Once, she had even sent out the same lawyers to investigate the tenant of a new apartment building where Namjoon’s sister lived, accusing them of trying to con the poor girl by setting up some shady deals when she was trying to extend her rent for another year.
Winny had always been protective of her family, and she had always managed to find a way, no matter how extensive, to make sure everyone is safe.
“How important is it to you to pull this through? How badly do you want—no, need it, that you have to go this far?”
Namjoon smiles at your question. “You tell me. You are the one who has always had big dreams to chase,” he says, and you can sense a sudden change in his voice. Something that sounds wistful, while at the same time, a bit envious, even. But then his expression turns a bit solemn. “But I also want to see Winny get better. We’ve tried everything. We’ve turned to different doctors, hospitals, specialists, and we even got her through a bunch of therapies that did no good but left her feeling tired all the time that we had to stop everything before things would go from bad to worse. You are pretty much our only hope at this point.”
And mine.
Those were the words that he didn’t say out loud, but you can see it in his eyes. The desperate need to make sure that things will go in his way. It makes you curious to know what he has planned, perhaps something to do with his project on restoring old places and bringing this town back up—just like what your uncle said about something that Namjoon seems to want.
There is a mix of different feelings running inside you after listening to him speak. Starting with a punch in the gut when he mentioned your ‘dreams’, feeling like he was taunting you about it. Then there is the same pinch of sympathy and dread when you think about the woman that you had looked up to for a long time having such a hard time. Suddenly, you just want to be there for her, to help her and her family for one last time before you would walk away from all of this for good, just like the way she had been helping you through one of the toughest times of your life then.
And perhaps, in the process, you can help Namjoon too. For old time sake.
“Fine, I’ll stay for the charade. I’ll help you, as long as you promise to sign the divorce papers before I leave town,” you say this to Namjoon, keeping your eyes looking straight into his. “But I’ll only stay until after the family retreat, and not a day longer.”
The expression Namjoon is giving you is still unreadable, and you are starting to hate just how you are unable to read through him when you used to know him better than you knew yourself. But there is also something in his eyes that you manage to catch on to before it fades. A feeling of relief, as if you had just given him hope, no matter how small it is compared to what he truly needs. Though he is quick to mask it all away, hiding his emotions much better than you ever could have when he nods and answers you with,
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Coming home from meeting Namjoon has left you feeling more lost than resolved.
You had known that it wouldn’t be easy to get through to him and you had gone to see him without so much of a hope to return with the result that you had wanted on your first try. You had known all along that Namjoon may have something up his sleeve because you have been sending the divorce papers repeatedly for the past year only to have him sending them back to you.
You had drafted the divorce papers ever since the day you realised that there was no way you were going to get back together when neither of you even bothered to make any effort of communicating with each other during the time you were apart. Not the same way you and Namjoon did it when you had simply gone away to law school. And after what had happened three years ago, you had thought that everything had officially ended.
You had always wondered why Namjoon had been so adamant in keeping this marriage together when there had been nothing left to fight for. But seeing him today and listening to his side of the story had given you a new perspective on the matter.
Had Winny always been a part of it?
You have had a lot of theories on why Namjoon would deny you the divorce when he had made it seem like he wanted nothing to do with you, not after the big fight you had that had sent you packing up and leave. But it had never crossed your mind that perhaps he had simply done it to be able to claim the trust fund from Winny.
But would that have been the case at all?
And if it was, then why does it make you feel—disappointed to hear it, when you had never even considered about the possibilities that he may still have some hopes to turn things around. No, you are not going there, you shake your head and scold yourself for even letting your mind stray to a place that you had not let yourself venture into for a long time. A place in your mind that you had pushed so far back by living your life away from the memories—burying all thoughts of your past by working the long hours, taking in the big cases that had left you too exhausted to think at the end of the day to remember him at all, making new acquaintances that had no knowledge of your past back home.
Starting a new relationship.
You had never intended to seek a new chance in a relationship with another man, nor have you ever expected to have Matthew, the junior associate that had only joined the law firm last year to somehow show any interest in you as soon as you met him and to have him pursuit you so publicly until you finally agreed to start going out with him. You had thought it would only turn out to be a fling or that he would have given up on you as soon as he recognised the walls you had put around you to guard your heart. But he had always been so insistent, and never once had he wavered no matter how much you tried to push him away.
And you certainly had never expected that he would ask you to marry him this soon, or ever, before you had any chance to deal with your past.
The sounds of laughter filling the room completely snaps you out of it, taking you back to your family who has gathered in the dining room for what would be the second family dinner where everyone is present. And it is not even Christmas night yet.
Sitting at the end of the table is your Dad, who is telling jokes from his workplace with the help of his brother, your uncle who had taken the seat on the other end. Your mother sits right across from you, forcing your brother to sit separately from his wife as he takes the seat right next to your Mom while your sister in law chooses to sit by your side.
Looking at your family together, you feel warmth surging inside your chest. Your arrival at home had become some kind of a momentous affair and everyone, who had rarely come to join your parents for dinner, had agreed to come just to spend time with you while you are home. For the past few nights since your return, the house has already felt a bit more festive, and it already feels like Christmas even if you still have a few more days to go.
Being here with them and seeing them gathering like this makes you realise that your departure from the town may have caused more heartaches than you had thought. That you might have not only broken off your marriage with Namjoon when you left, but had somehow created a complete mess in the family dynamics when you broke their hearts by leaving them as well.
You try to join the conversation as much as you can to ease the guilt, but your mind keeps going back to the conversation that you had with Namjoon today, replaying every word in your head until you can almost hear his voice all over again.
“You’ve found someone.”
You recall how he had said those words, the odd look on his face and the low tone of voice that he had when he spoke. Had it been hurt that you saw in his eyes?
You had no idea whether or not to believe him when he said that he had never been with anyone else even after you had parted ways. It suddenly seemed unfair to think about it, though you don’t really have the interest to worry about him the way you used to. Not anymore.
You had spent too many years doing so in the past and look at where it got you. The small voice in your head is always there to remind you of the heartache that you had carried with you when you left town back then each time you begin to dwell too far into the past.
Focus on the future, you hear the same voice whispering to you once again, and your thumb easily slides to find the empty ring finger to brush against the indentation left by your engagement ring.
A regretful sigh escapes you when you think about the gorgeous diamond ring, of how you have kept it hidden in your purse still, never once putting it on ever since you had gotten here. You had been wearing it with pride since the day of the proposal, and yet, just thinking about the ring alone simply gives you a sense of shame as you sit there in the middle of your family with your secrets hidden too deep for them to see it.
You know that you would eventually have to reveal to your family and have them know that you had gotten engaged to someone else. You know that you cannot possibly hide it any longer, but there is no way your parents would take the news lightly, not while you are still legally married to Namjoon. Not until once the divorce is finalised and the ties between you and Namjoon would officially be severed through a simple exchange of signatures. Not while your parents are still following their old, conservative ways, and the news certainly would not make it easy to share with the kind of past that you have.
After all, it was only seven years ago when you came to your parents, straight out of high school, admitting to them that you had gotten pregnant because both you and Namjoon had been irresponsible and reckless about it. Not to mention the occasional events where you had gotten caught doing the naughties while you were both still dating each other all through high school to basically give your parents some clue of just how careless you had been then.
Thinking about it now, you suddenly cringe at the memory of your father coming home early from work to find you riding Namjoon’s lap on the wooden bench that he had built for your mother on the back porch.
It had happened during your senior year of high school, about a year after you began dating Namjoon and only weeks after losing your virginity to him. The night had ended with your father giving Namjoon ’the talk’ while keeping hold of him in the living room while your mother kept you in the dining room to have a long conversation about the birds and the bees. Not that it had done any good at the end.
Knowing what they had perceived you with your wanton ways as a teenage girl, there is no doubt where their mind would venture into had they known you have been having a relationship with another man. And they are not the only ones whose thoughts on it matter to you, you soon realise.
“I haven’t.”
You remember Namjoon admitting to you when you had thought that he might have been finding other women to spend his time with after you were gone. An admission that had made you feel relieved and yet guilty at the same time of what he might have been thinking when you implied to him about finding someone new. That he might imagine you sleeping with another man while you still hold the title of being his wife—even if they had only been nothing but in written papers.
There is no way for you to let him know the truth. That even when you let yourself open your heart to allow Matthew in, even if you had allowed yourself to feel love again, never once had you gone so far with Matthew to even sleep on the same bed with him, much less to make love to him. Not when the ties you still had with Namjoon had always held you back, stopping you from getting too far. Not when you would feel guilty and would think of yourself like a traitor to even receive something so simple like a kiss.
“I haven’t.”
His words continue to echo inside your head, while you silently admit the painful truth that you couldn’t give him then.
Neither have I.
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Three years ago…
You had once thought that you have had everything figured out. By the time you were in senior high school, you had everything planned out perfectly, all the possible ways that you could go through to achieve your goals written down from start to finish—starting from how you were going to leave town, then to study in a good university that could later bring you to places and lead you closer towards your dream. You had envisioned yourself to be someone who was more, someone who could go far and do bigger things in life, instead of being stuck in this small town for the rest of your life just like all the others.
Namjoon had always been in the picture since way before you had even started painting all these visions in your head.
When you were little, Namjoon had been the only one who was willing to listen to you rambling about your dreams, the only one who wouldn’t look at you funny over your obsession with your princess stories and on finding your own fairy tale ending. It had always been easy to share these things with Namjoon simply because he also had his own big dreams to share.
Just like you, Namjoon had always wanted to leave town, to venture out to new places, and he had found his own way to reach it as he joined the basketball team at school and had been playing while keeping his eyes on the sports scholarship as his ticket for his upcoming adventure. Together, you had written out all the details, planned out all the steps, and you had both been nothing but confident in achieving them as long as you had each other.
It took you rewriting your entire life story and the scenarios that you had envisioned since you were a young girl to finally understand that life could never be that simple.
No matter what your parents had called it, you would have never looked at it as a mistake. Having an unplanned pregnancy when you were still too young had been completely terrifying, a surprise that had come uninvited but had always been welcomed, and you still managed to adjust with all the changes, rewriting all the plans to fit the baby into your lives.
All of a sudden, you had no choice but to forget about all the universities you had been applying to and to set your mind in preparing for the baby, in learning and practising on how to become good parents, and building your small family with Namjoon. Your life suddenly expanded so rapidly that you had to shrink down your dreams. You had ended up having more reasons to stay in town, where you would have more people helping you, your families standing by your sides to guide you all the way through. The magical wedding you had envisioned many years ago became something more simple, more intimate, all to save up enough money to buy cribs, to afford to buy the small cabin near the lake where you could have your privacy and enough space for the nursery, and to save up enough funds for you to apply for the community college so you could still earn your degree.
Once again, you were all set up for another adventure, and Namjoon was always there with you to share the journey. It was the two of you against the world as you anticipated for your little one to come, until once again, fate played a twisted game by sending you to another turning point where you had to walk through a different course in life.
An entire ordeal sent your world tilting off its axis, sending you to a new, empty path where there was no more baby, no more chance of having the small beautiful family that you had envisioned, and the only thing that was left had been your dreams, coloured with the sorrow of your loss and the crumbling hope of ever getting a little break.
The loss and grief had been so great, but you used those emotions to continue on moving, ignoring the pity look everyone was giving you as you carried on with your classes and exams and pushed yourself until you could figure out how to be able to get out of the town that had become even more suffocating with the memory of what you had lost. Slowly, you began rewriting a new story of your own, using the last bit of hope you had left to find your new happy ending.
The only thing you had never expected was to find yourself going down this new path on your own, while Namjoon remained stuck in the moment of grief.
You had somehow managed to excel through community college and was heading out to law school when you made a deal with Namjoon that he would soon join you. He had let go of the scholarship that he had gotten through basketball when he had his mind set on staying behind to build a family with you before giving up on basketball and chasing his dream entirely. But you gave him all the time and space he needed, choosing to wait instead of pushing him to run. You had gone to the big city on your own to attend law school, feeling confident enough to survive the temporary long-distance relationship until he would be ready to join you. Even if you were the one who had to make the effort of keeping the relationship last—from being the one to come to visit the town and spend time with him to set everything up for your future together for the day he would be ready for it.
It wasn’t until during the final visit that you made right before you were graduating from law school when you realised that Namjoon had never made an effort to move on and had completely given up—on everything.
“Is it so wrong to want more?”
That was the question that you had asked him then, when he had fought against every effort that you had put through to be able to continue on living and to push him into getting back on his feet so he could give his own dreams another chance.
“Is it so wrong for me to continue on living? For me to want you to live instead of—” you were too emotional to even form any word and had been waving your arms around instead, pointing at the messy bedroom in the cabin where he had been holed up in while you were away. “This has been going on for too long, Joon. You can’t put your life on hold like this, not this long.”
You had hoped that you could get through him somehow, change his mindset so he could try again and do it together with you. But the more you spoke, it kept getting clearer that nothing you said could get through to him. You might as well had been talking to a brick wall with the way he kept being obstinate, too stubborn for his own good, and it was getting too tiring to even try. But you had to, if not for his sake, then for the sake of saving your marriage. Even if you could feel the last sliver of hope you had was slowly chipping away the more you spoke to him.
“What’s the point? I won’t get drafted anywhere by now. That chance has been lost for me.” His eyes were hard as he said this, and it was obvious that he had made his own mind about it. A flash of depletion came flashing out of his eyes when he finally returned your gaze after he kept avoiding your eyes the entire time, before the hardness returned and you saw nothing but lost hope. “Perhaps it’s just not meant to be,” he muttered, and it was both disheartening, enough to make you feel hurt inside, while at the same time it made your blood start boiling with your devastation.
“So what? You’re just going to hole up here for the rest of your life doing nothing?” you scoffed at him, finally snapping at him. “Haven’t you thought about how it could possibly be your second chance? That maybe it’s a sign for you to try again?”
When all he could give you was silence, the only thing you could do was shake your head, still refusing to accept this. “All I’m asking you is for you to try. With me. We can do this together.”
Namjoon clenched his jaw for a moment. “What if it’s not something that I want?” he said then. “I don’t have big dreams like you do.”
The painful pinch inside your chest almost made it impossible for you to speak. “You used to have dreams.”
He scoffed. “Yeah, but look at where it got me. Look at where it got us. You wouldn’t have gotten a miscarriage if it wasn’t for—” His voice was strangled with emotions that he simply stopped, the clench of his jaw tightened as he tried to hold back from saying anything more, from talking about him—the baby boy that had once hold your entire world while he was still living inside your womb.
For some reason, you had expected this. The loss had been too great for both of you and you were both had been too young to deal with the grief. It had taken a lot for you to finally be able to move on, to leave the town where you had buried your unborn child. You could see the grief in his eyes, appearing just as strongly as how you had felt it. You understood fully well the pain that he felt. Hell, you were the one who carried the child for almost nine months before he suddenly stopped moving inside your belly.
No more brain activity, they said, reassuring you that the exhaustion that you had from splitting your days between classes, working on your part-time job, and supporting Namjoon in his games had nothing to do with it. But it was harder to convince Namjoon about it when his guilt had been planted too deep in his mind, when he still blamed himself for letting you join him on his away game and getting you sick days before it happened.
“It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. It just happened!” you nearly screamed as you tried to make him see this, but then you took a deep breath and decided to try a different angle. “Look, I’ve gotten things figured out. I’m graduating in a few months and I’ve applied for a job at a law firm so that I can—”
“Good for you, then. I’ve always known that you would make it,” he cut you off before you could even begin to lay out your plans, everything that you had envisioned for when he would finally join you in the city. Namjoon had a smile on his face when he said this, and something in your head was telling you that nothing about it was right.
“I want you to be there with me. I’ve been waiting for the moment that you would finally come with me so we can make it together,” you said to him with a small voice while Namjoon only kept shaking his head.
“I can’t join you.”
You began moving your head from side to side. You hated the thought of giving him an ultimatum, but you knew that you could no longer put your life on hold for him. “I can’t wait for you until you change your mind on your own.”
The way Namjoon was looking at you made your heart stop, before you could feel a crack building when he said, “Then we’re at an impasse.”
“I suppose we are,” was the only thing you could say to him, though you could barely get the words out when your throat was caught, both with pain and anger. “I’ve spent days, weeks, worrying about you, planning and preparing for everything so you can join me—”
“Maybe you shouldn’t.”
Your heart was pounding so hard at this point that you could barely hear your own voice. “What do you mean?” you asked him, your voice almost strangled with the pain hurting you from within. You could almost hear it when your heart was starting to break apart, but you needed to be sure. “Are you saying—”
His eyes softened when he looked at you, even if you could see the hardness in them when he gave you a smile, giving you a false sense of sincerity when he said. “I’m saying that it’s not worth it. I’ll always love you, _____. But I don’t think this is going to work anymore. It’s obvious that we’re both walking in two different paths now. We’ll end up hurting each other if we continue doing this, you know that.”
You were too lost for words to speak, too broken to respond to him. Tears began to form in your eyes, but you refused to cry right in front of him. Breathing in deeply, you swallow all the pain down, letting your rage take its place.
“Fuck you, Namjoon. You’re right. It’s not worth it. I’m sorry I even wasted my time with you.”
That was the last thing you ever said to him before turning away, not giving him another glance when you walked away from him, leaving him and the town behind for good as you silently accepted the fact that you would never find your happy ending in this place. Not anymore.
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Present day…
[from Matthew] I’m sorry about what I said on the phone last night. I was feeling disappointed that I won’t get to see you this weekend and I unintentionally took it out on you. I hope you’re having a great time with your family. Please call me back.
You barely finish reading the whole text before shutting the app off and tossing the cellphone into your purse with a deep sigh. You turn away to look out the window, watching the trees and the hills passing by as Namjoon keeps on driving up the mountain roads, hoping that the silence and the sight of the scenery—even though you have them all covered under a blanket of snow—can calm you down before getting into the whole charade.
But nothing seems to go past Namjoon’s attention, when he only gives you a brief moment of silence before asking, “Is there something wrong?”
Pressing your lips together, you silently contemplate your answer. What are you supposed to tell him? That you had a fight last night through the phone call with your fiancé after letting him know that you will be staying a bit longer, that it is still unnerving to you just how mad your fiancé got after hearing that you are having an extended Christmas celebration with your family instead of coming home the next morning after Christmas dinner like you had promised him you would? Or should you tell him how upset your fiancé had been when you had accidentally sent him a photo of yourself at home while you weren’t wearing the engagement ring? That would surely start quite an interesting conversation with your husband—even if the title that he still carries would only last until the moment all of this charade is over.
“Nothing,” you finally answer him before turning to look at his face. Sometimes you still feel like you are dreaming when you see him driving this fancy four-wheel truck by himself. He used to hate driving through town, choosing to either ride with his friends or hitch a ride with your brother in his truck whenever he had to go to places that would have needed quite a drive from home. He seems to be a lot calmer and more collected now as he leads the truck up the tricky roads, knowing exactly where to go without so much of a fuss. Unlike back then when he had sat right by your side when you first learned how to drive.
“It’s just nerves,” you quickly add as soon as you notice that Namjoon is still expecting for you to explain. “I suppose it’s finally getting to me that we’re going to be holed up in one place, together with two families and a very attentive grandmother. And we’ll be coming in as an estranged married couple in the middle of it. Oh, let’s add the fact that I haven’t been in town for three years to know everything that’s been going on so I’m not completely sure just how we are supposed to pass Winny’s test with flying colours.”
Namjoon chuckles softly as he keeps his eyes on the road. “If you put it that way, I guess I’d be nervous about it too,” he says, suddenly reaching out to grab your hand and give it a little squeeze. “Don’t worry, we got this. We already had our stories lined up and I’m sure that she wouldn’t notice how detached you have been with the family and the whole town. She still thinks you’ve been away in school, after all.”
The touch that Namjoon gives you makes your chest stir a little. It has you growing rigid in your seat when your body seems to be reacting to him and yet you try your best to hide it. But the moment he pulls away, you immediately feel the loss. Your eyes follow his hand as he grips the steering wheel while you clench your hands on your lap, already missing his light touch and wishing to have his hand resting on yours again.
Grabbing your empty left hand with your right one, you clutch them together tightly to stop yourself from reaching out to him just as you respond to him, “That is true. But we need to make sure to remind my Mom not to talk about Missy’s pregnancy with her third child since it wouldn’t line up with the timeline.” You almost roll your eyes when you say this, since it is the only thing that your mother had been talking about during family dinners. Especially since your best friend had specifically asked your mother if she would be available to watch over the other two little ones when the time would come for the baby to arrive.
You almost grimace when you think about this. It’s not that you are not happy with Missy’s good news. But being near a pregnant woman had always made you feel uncomfortable, much less to hear it being talked about constantly. It doesn’t matter if she is your best friend and that she had been there during your own pregnancy and your loss, but being reminded of that phase in your life had been extremely hard for you to deal with.
“Dutifully noted,” Namjoon responds to you with a smile, unaware of where your mind had wandered off to. “How are your parents taking this, though? I know that this situation isn’t quite ideal and it doesn’t seem fair to get them all involved.”
You release a sigh. “It sure isn’t, but they try to understand. They both care about Winny, after all, so they didn’t question it too much. I think the prospect of getting to enjoy the holiday break outside of the house became their top priority to think about so they really don’t think much about everything else.”
Your parents had been surprised when you told them about your plans to join Namjoon and his family on their trip to the mountains. Whatever they had expected when you announced that you were going to see Namjoon and to have one of the most life-changing conversations of all, it was probably nowhere close to this, and neither of you could imagine it would end up this way. But then Namjoon extended his invitation to have your parents come along on the trip, and they simply stopped questioning it. Even if it has become pretty obvious that your father is still feeling a bit wary about the whole thing.
As the drive continues and the air grows denser, you are relieved that there is only the two of you in this ride, with your families traveling separately as they all left early at dawn to beat the bad weather. While Namjoon’s parents had gone to the mountain cottage first with Winny and his sister, you had convinced your parents and your dear uncle to join Bernie in his truck so that you can have some more time with Namjoon to plan things out properly. It had also been his idea to come together as a unit, showing a front that would please Winny by coming together in the same car as if you had been staying in the same old cabin that you had lived in with Namjoon since you came back.
“How do your parents feel about all of this?” you ask him in the middle of the conversation, just as you are reminded of his mother, who had treated you like a second daughter since you got married to Namjoon. You have grown so close to each other that she had even gone to the city with your parents to attend your graduation from law school three years ago.
“Just as I told you before, all we really want is for Winny to get better. No matter at what cost. They, uh—they know what we’re planning to do, but only to the point that we are going to be there together to indulge Winny. I can definitely say that the news had pretty much surprised my parents when I told them about you coming on this trip, but I think they’re just happy to know that you’re going to be there for her. That, and because we can finally have you joining our family this year.”
You nod your head, ignoring the feeling of longing blooming in your chest at the thought of meeting his family again. “How’s your Mom doing?”
Namjoon’s smile grows. “She’s doing great. She’s been busy with her shop downtown, but overall, I think she’s having the best time of her life with it,” he says, his eyes flickering between you and the road while his smile widens when he sees you smiling back.
“I’m glad to hear that. She had always wanted to do her own thing.”
“She’s also been helping me out at the bar. You know that she’s acting as the head manager, right? Practically Bernie’s boss and she gets to boss see around, even if I own the fucking place,” he says with a chuckle that rises up to a series of laughter after seeing your reaction to what he had just told you. “I’m serious! She was the first person to support me when I told everyone I was going to buy the property and rebuild the place. Then she got all excited when the place was coming together that she simply offered to get involved. She began by tending the bar with Bernie, making sure to help me run the whole thing once I officially had it open for business. She usually bartends during the day while serving lunch. You just happened to come during the days when she took a break and let Bernie work all day.”
Picturing yourself entering the bar with your mother-in-law standing behind the counter has you laughing amusedly. “I would have probably shocked her pants off if she had been there when I first came by.”
He gives you a small smile before he turns back to the road. “Especially with those papers in your hand,” you hear him muttering softly, though the rumbling sound of his truck drowns the words that you are not completely sure if you had heard him correctly. And he gives you no chance to question it when he makes a sudden turn, leaving the main road to drive through a long gravel-covered road until a fenced property comes to sight.
“We’re here,” he says as he drives through the wide opened front gate, slowing the truck down until a rather spacious plane of snow and a frozen pond appear, and the cottage—that does not fit its title at all—rises to view. The cottage, as Namjoon has called it, is a three-story mountain lodging with red brick walls, massive stone columns protruding on its sides. Large windows with rustic wood frames fill the sides of the lodge, overlooking the beautiful scenery of the snow covered mountains and trees, while the open balcony on the upper floor seems to be enough to fit the entire family to hang out on if anyone wants to stay out in the cold.
“This place looks amazing,” you find yourself muttering softly as you marvel at the beautiful sight of the building, while Namjoon remains silent as he drives his fancy truck to the side, finding the empty spot between Bernie’s fancy truck and your uncle’s older one that has already gotten covered with a thin veil of snow.
Namjoon sets the truck to a park before leaning back in his seat. Then he turns to you just as you look at him, a smile on his face when he says, “Thank you.”
It takes you a moment before you finally understand what he is trying to say.
“You built it,” you tell him rather than asking him for confirmation, and Namjoon gives you nothing but a smile to respond. “I thought you said your family is renting the place?”
Namjoon nods. “It belongs to the Mayor. But I was the one who helped build it, renovated it from the old hunting cabin that he inherited from his father to look the way it is now. All I did was added more floors and built bigger rooms inside to fit a whole family. It did make it easier for us to get a cheap price to stay here through Christmas because of that. The man is also an old friend of Winny’s from school, so I think that’s also the reason why he’s letting us use the place for as long as we want to.”
You open your mouth to make a comment, but find yourself unable to find the right words. You don’t even give the lodge another look, too amused at your husband. You have been hearing different things about him from the people around you—how much he has changed, how far he had turned his life around after you were gone, and you are beginning to see him in a different light.
In a way, it amuses you just how far he can go once he put his mind on it. On the other hand, it makes you feel—jealous, betrayed, dejected, because this is exactly what you had wanted from him years ago. This is the side of him that you had wanted to see, and all he did then was defy you, constantly refusing your help and support while not being able to see how much you wanted to help him become the person he is today. And it is somehow hurting you to find out that he had only chosen to start trying again once you were out of the picture, and only once you were no longer a part of his life.
Which only shows that he surely had not been doing all of this for you.
“Shall we come in? I have a feeling that everyone would have been waiting for us.” Namjoon glances towards the lodging before looking at you, keeping a smile on his face as he is still unaware of how you have your mind wandering off to the past or to even notice the hurt you are feeling in your chest.
Suddenly, not only does he appear to you like a new person, you only see him as a stranger. Perhaps he was right, after all, when he said that the two of you had been walking in different paths. That maybe it was not meant to be. That you had always meant to walk another path without him by your side. Somehow, keeping this thought only helps seal your mind into getting things done as soon as possible and return to the life waiting for you once this is all over.
“Alright, let’s get things rolling.”
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If you had been mesmerised by its outer skin, you find yourself getting more amused and astounded as Namjoon takes you inside the lodge.
His mother welcomes you at the front door with a big hug, lingering for a moment to squeeze you in her arms as if you are still the young girl she used to watch over when your parents were away. “It’s so good to see you again, ______,” she whispers to you, lowering her voice so that you would be the only one to hear her.
“I’m happy to see you again too,” you respond to her before you part ways, and you nearly tear up with emotions when you find her still smiling at you with her glossy eyes taking you in.
“Come say hi to everyone else.”
Letting Namjoon takes your hand in his, you walk hand-in-hand to enter the main living room where everyone is gathering, sitting and lounging on the loveseats with warm drinks and snacks that fill the air with their wonderful fragrance, no doubt Winny’s creation straight from her own kitchen. You linger briefly near the foyer to talk with your in-laws first, before greeting your parents who are joined by your uncle and Bernie near the fireplace. Right across the room, sitting close to the massive Christmas tree—one that appears to have been cut straight from the mountain forest before it was placed inside the room—together with Namjoon’s sister is Winny, who is looking straight at you with wide eyes and her smile hidden behind the cup she is holding up as she takes dainty sips of her drink.
Namjoon pulls you to his side as you walk away from your parents, brushing his lips across your temple as he whispers, “Don’t be nervous.”
“Got it,” you whisper back to him, giving him a smile as he pulls back. You let him guide you to grab a drink from the nearest table where the refreshments have been set up before walking over to greet Winny.
However, right before you can make it to the table and grab the hot chocolate drink that seems to be calling your name, Winny stops both you and Namjoon from moving across the room when she suddenly calls out,
“Stop. Hold it right there!”
Both you and Namjoon stop moving at the same time and your heartbeat begins to rise. You are practically clutching his hand tightly in yours and almost clinging onto his arm completely just to keep yourself from crumbling on the floor. Feeling completely scrutinised under Winny’s gaze, your nerves begin spiking up that you are too afraid to make a move. Just as you are beginning to feel the blood draining from your face, wondering if you had somehow shown a tell to blow this whole charade before it has any chance to start, a bright smile grows on Winny’s face, while her eyes are filled with mirth and joy and something else that you cannot truly decipher.
Suddenly, she raises a hand and points up, aiming right above your heads and says, “Look, you are standing right below a mistletoe. You know it’s a bad omen to step away from it without a kiss.”
Your heart drops, while Winny looks too adorably excited that you find no way to deny her. So you turn to your husband, meeting his wide eyes that are looking at you with pure confusion and doubt, before his gaze shows a silent understanding when he pulls you closer and wraps his arm around your waist. He gives you a small smile as his head dips, the mask that he has been wearing around you slipping from his face for the briefest moment before his lips are suddenly on yours, giving you a chaste kiss that feels too good and yet ends too soon. The kiss feels brief, and yet it is enough to set your whole body to come alive, to bring warmth rolling in waves from where he is kissing and touching you and all the way down to the tip of your toes.
And for some strange reason, you refuse to let this feeling fade away too soon. He tries to pull away once he ends the kiss, but you immediately wrap your arms around his neck to keep him close.
“Need to make it believable, remember?” you whisper against his lips, before pushing yourself up to your tiptoes so you can press your lips on his, starting with a chaste kiss that feels just as innocent as the one he gave you. Only that instead of pulling away, you press harder, moulding your lips with his to let it linger.
Namjoon grows stiff at first, before his hold on your body tightens, pulling you further into his chest as he begins to return the kiss with the same fervour, his tongue slipping out sneakily as he devours your lips to have a taste, and it has your body lighting up as if he had set up a flame somewhere deep within you.
A soft sigh escapes from your throat and it snaps you right out of it, clearing out your muddled brain to remind you of where you are. Ever so gently, you pull away, keeping your arms around him still when you open your eyes, finding him watching you with dilated eyes that are slowly filled with a hint of shock. Though you can easily see that there is also warmth in his gaze, a hint of longing that has your heart pinching tightly in your chest.
“Oh, that’s what I’ve been waiting to see, my favourite couple being full of love the way they always do,” Winny exclaims with a soft clap. Everyone in the room gives a burst of nervous laughter—except for Bernie who is standing in the corner with a knowing smile on his face and Namjoon’s mother who is watching you with a pair of glossy eyes that she quickly hides by turning to grab her glass from the table—but Winny doesn’t seem to notice this as she rises from her seat and makes her way towards the two of you.
“Look at you,” she says, taking your face in her palms just as Namjoon releases you from his hold. “You’ve become an elegant woman already. Oh, why did time have to move so fast? I used to be able to watch you grow and suddenly you are looking so mature it feels like time has completely slipped right out of me. ”
Guilt slowly seeps in, but you force a smile to your face when you answer her, “It’s good to see you again, Winny. I’m sorry I’ve been away.”
For a moment, the only thing that Winny does is to look at you, her gaze studying you closely with an intense look that you cannot possibly read even as you are looking at her closely. “I’ve missed you too, kiddo. But I’m glad to see you two back here together again,” she says, giving you an odd look on her face as she speaks, making you start questioning things silently and feeling your doubt brewing inside your head. Before you can think too much of it, Winny turns her gaze to Namjoon and smiles gently. “Joon must have felt relieved to see you back home.”
“Oh, I’m not so sure about that,” you try to lighten things up with a joke, though you still find it hard to hide the nervous chuckle bubbling from inside you. Noticing this, Namjoon wraps an arm around your waist and pulls you back to him, pressing you to his side.
“Don’t listen to her, Winny. Of course it makes me happy to have her home with me,” he says, once again planting a kiss on the top of your head.
Seeing this, Winny simply nods her head. “Well, I better let you kids go to your room and rest. I know it was a long drive. Go on, grab some hot chocolate and snacks or take your time to get settled in and come back down to have a drink with me once you’re ready.”
Once the short encounter is done, you part ways with Winny, giving her another hug before leaving the room. Namjoon takes you upstairs, leading you to the bedroom that you would be sharing with each other during your stay. He keeps holding your hand even when nobody is looking and he only lets you go once you are in the room.
“This is it. I hope it’s okay that we’re going to be holed up here for a while,” Namjoon smiles sheepishly while you turn your eyes away to find the king-sized bed in the middle of the room. All of a sudden, your body feels warm just thinking about sharing the room and perhaps split the bed with him. But then you hear Namjoon clearing his throat, possibly seeing the look on your face as discomfort and then points at the sofa bench placed in the corner of the room. “You can take the bed, and I can take the bench if that would make you feel more comfortable.”
You take a good look at the sofa that doesn’t exactly look comfortable to sleep on and simply cannot imagine him sleeping all night on that thing. But you say nothing about it. As if he takes your silence as a yes, Namjoon only smiles and nods at you. “Alright, I’ll leave you to change and unpack, maybe lie down for a moment. I know you might want to chill a little before going back out there. I’ll go down and grab the rest of our bags.”
He catches your gaze as you look up at him again, and his smile softens to whatever he sees in your eyes. “I won’t be long. I promise.”
Namjoon closes the door gently behind him as he leaves the room, while you take a seat on the edge of the bed just as your knees are beginning to feel weak. Only then do you finally realise that your legs have been trembling for a while now, and the only reason why you even managed to keep on standing was simply because you had been holding tightly onto Namjoon’s arms the whole time.
You release a deep sigh as you are trying to wrap your head around everything. You have to admit, that you have been feeling as if you are walking in the clouds and it has been this way ever since you walked past the front door. It is not so much because of the ruse that you are feeling this way, but for everything around it. And for the most part, it is all because of Namjoon.
You had known that you would need to play your part in this whole thing, and you have been preparing for it for the past few days before coming here. The only thing that you had not expected was to have your whole mind and body reacting this way over a simple kiss.
The kiss that you shared with Namjoon had only been a show, one that had been completely unplanned—when neither of you had expected that Winny would be asking for such request only moments after you arrived—but you cannot deny and say that your body is only reacting to it now as a part of your scheme and it is left you questioning things when you are supposed to keep a clear head while getting into this.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Namjoon has affected you when you are with him.
For the purpose of planning the ruse and getting used to being with him again without feeling all the awkwardness and to stop you from acting like strangers with one another, you had been seeing him constantly—from going out on lunch dates with him and coming to the bar to see him at night—and while all those meetings have been nothing but friendly encounters, you cannot deny the way he has been making you feel.
At first, it had taken you a while to stop feeling uneasy for being around him and appearing in town together with him, but then the need to get used to each other’s presence again had been stronger than your past resentment to one another that you slowly got used to it. Until you soon found yourself easing into things as if everything around you had gotten back to the way they were.
The comfortable silence that would fall between you had seemed like a warm blanket more than it gave you the awkwardness that you had feared to find when you had first thought about spending time with him. The light touches that he had given you—the ones that you let him do while telling yourself that it had to be done as practice—kept giving your body all the odd tingles that had been surprising but was never unwelcome.
Sitting here alone while thinking about all of this, you also notice how it suddenly feels like there is a void inside your chest that has been growing since the moment he walked out the door, as if you had grown so used to his presence that you had been clinging to it for comfort. The silence that accompanies you in his absence is not only making you feel the presence of the void even more, but it is giving you a chance to think, to look back into the past few days while wondering why the light tremors that his kiss had ignited in you have yet to fade.
A part of you seems to be telling you that perhaps being with him has awakened the feelings that you had felt for him but left buried for years. But you ignore the voices, denying that you may still have a lingering feeling for him left. Perhaps you still do care about him, perhaps you always have, but you are not quite sure if this feeling is anything close to the fierce, burning love that you used to have for him.
Perhaps what you have for him is nothing more but an infatuation, and it is building up inside you only because you are seeing him as a different person and not as the man that you had left behind.
Yes, that is simply what this is and nothing more, you keep convincing yourself even as you press your fingers on your lips, tracing the lingering sparks that have been left there from his kiss.
Closing your eyes, you take a deep breath to gather your resolve back, reminding yourself the reason why you had come here in the first place. Soon, everything will be over, and you will be free to move on, to leave all of this behind without any regret. Whatever Namjoon makes you feel would be temporary, and you have no doubt that it all stems from the memory that you had together in the past, the nostalgia that still remains in your head and not because you simply still love him or care about him the way you used to be in the past.
As you wait for Namjoon to return, you keep repeating this to yourself, refusing to give in to the illusions carried by your old, buried feelings, while convincing yourself to be stronger, hoping that your words alone would be enough to get you through this charade in one piece.
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The moment dinner time arrives in the evening, you only find that none of the things you kept telling yourself all day even mattered, or if any of them truly worked. Not when your mind keeps bringing you back to the kiss that you shared with Namjoon even as you are sitting among the others at the dinner table. And with Namjoon sitting right beside you, his presence serves as both the comfort that you need and, at the same time, the catalyst, when he ignites every spark, every reaction, and—every time you would look at him and your eyes would find his lips again—every flash of memory from the kiss.
No matter what you have done to try and get that moment out of your head, there is no stopping you from rewinding it again to yourself. There is no denying that—even if you keep telling yourself that it didn’t matter—the kiss still rattles you in a way that your body continues to react so easily to him. Your body shudders to each brush of his hand through dinner or whenever he leans closer to speak. Your skin would tingle when he is pressing to your side as he eats his meal. The fact that you are simply unable to avoid every gesture he is openly showing to the others at the table to play his part as the dotting husband only makes you feel more hyperaware of his presence. And it is certainly giving you quite a challenge, when you need to constantly hold back and hide all the shudders he brings forth within you, preventing it from showing out for everyone else who is present to see.
“You know how proud I am to hear about how well you’re doing in school, don’t you? I’ve told this to Joon time and time again since you started school again, but we all have hopes for you to make it big,” Winny says, turning to you after you saw her talking to your mother.
Feeling all the attention that seems to be drawn to you all so suddenly, you can only chuckle nervously while shifting in your seat, barely realising that you would lean a bit closer to Namjoon when this happens. “I don’t know about reaching anything big, but—” You turn to glance at Namjoon, gauging at his reaction and using his smile the encouragement that you need to keep on talking. “I do enjoy being in school, and I can’t wait to graduate soon and see where it leads me.”
The lie feels bitter on your tongue, but it is nothing compared to the guilt you feel in your chest for deceiving your grandmother-in-law.
Meanwhile, Winny simply nods, completely unaware of the turmoil that you are having.“Namjoon has also been making me proud. I think he wants to prove to himself and to the family that he can keep up with you. He’s shown me this bar he’s been working on and I think he’s doing quite a great job on it.”
The pride in her eyes is contagious, and you find yourself smiling proudly as you turn to Namjoon. “Well, he sure has been surprising me with a lot of what he’s been doing. I’ve been spending my time at the bar with him since I got back and I love seeing what he had done to the place.”
To your pleasure, Namjoon appears embarrassed to hear your compliment. A shy smile appears on his face and he dips his head to hide the blush forming on his skin. But then he reaches out to grab your hand gently in his and starts running his thumb absentmindedly on your knuckles when he speaks again, “I’m glad to hear that, coming from you. You have been my inspiration behind everything that I’ve been doing, after all.”
He looks straight into your eyes as he says those words, and a shiver instantly runs down your spine when you can clearly see the sincerity in the way he is looking at you. As if those words were real. Then you look away just as your face grows hot, finding Bernie sitting at the end of the table while giving you a knowing look. Everything that he said to you from the other day rings inside your head, and your heartbeat picks up.
“Joon here did all of this by himself—with a lot of our help, of course. Said he did it all for—”
There is no way, you tell yourself, refusing to let your mind go anywhere that you really have no right to venture into. But you keep these thoughts to yourself, forcing a smile to your face and holding it together as Namjoon brings your hand up and presses a kiss on the back of your hand. The gesture instantly sparks a reaction through your body, a delightful spark that you haven’t felt for a long time comes shooting through your skin, and you find yourself unable to look away, completely hypnotised by his warm gaze that keeps drawing you closer to him, and the touch that seems to bring back all the emotions that you had once thought had been lost.
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The rest of the dinner simply flew by like a fleeting dream. Though it didn’t stop you from slipping away from the others only an hour after dinner has been wrapped up to find a place to hide.
You had managed to hold yourself together through the rest of the dinner without so much of a blunder even with the continuous moments you find yourself getting too lost inside your head for all the feelings that Namjoon had brought up in you.
And he was not the only one who had made you feel these things.
Sitting outside the lodge, you can hear the voices coming from inside. You can tell that everyone is currently doing their own thing to enjoy the night. You can hear the sound of your parents laughing from the seating lounge as they are keeping Winny company near the fireplace while Namjoon’s parents are no doubt enjoying their drinking party with Bernie in the kitchen pantry. The last time you saw Namjoon was right before you stepped out onto the porch, catching the sight of him having an intense conversation with his sister in the living room and away from the others.
Being around everyone, having both families joined together and sharing this moment have been enjoyable, and it was surprising to see just how easy it has been for you to dive right back in despite how long you have been away from them. Watching everyone interact and enjoy their dinner left you swamped with emotions, just the way it did during your family dinner the other night when everyone was present, laughing and chatting as if the time when you were gone had been non-existent. You felt exactly the same way earlier, and it had made you somewhat uneasy, when it felt both like coming home while making you feel like a fraud at the same time.
As if you no longer deserved to be sitting here among them, indulging in the warmth of their companion and acting like a member of the family when you haven’t been one for a long time.
It had become too overwhelming when you still couldn’t shake the feeling off even after dinner had ended that you simply had to get away, and that was the reason why you have found yourself here, sitting on the long wooden bench—one that looks a bit too similar to the old wooden bench you have back at home—to find solace and perhaps have your peace with the silence as your companion. You were also hoping that being out here would give you a chance to clear your head before heading up to your room to end the night, but your mind keeps wandering all over the place, taking you back to the events happening throughout the day and sometimes way back to the past where everything had seemed to be perfectly in control, before it had gone into a complete mess.
“A penny for your thoughts?”
You nearly jump at Namjoon’s deep voice as he appears at the door, smiling amusedly at you. “God, you scared me,” you mutter softly while pressing a hand over your heart, hoping that it would calm back down.
“Sorry,” he chuckles at you as he leans against the wooden doorframe. “What are you doing out here in the cold?”
You press your lips together, wondering just what to say to him, though you immediately realise what a mistake it would be to hide these things from him. Not when he is the only one currently on your side.
“I just need to do some thinking on my own,” you finally tell him with a shrug, and his gaze softens. “Where’s everyone?” you ask him when you realise that the voices coming from inside have gone down.
Namjoon glances over his shoulders and takes a look inside through the open door briefly before turning back to you. “Most of them have gone up to their rooms, including Winny. Our Dads are planning to go to the shop early in the morning for the barbecue lunch tomorrow so they’re settling down early. The only ones left are Bernie and your uncle who are trying to work on finishing that bottle of whiskey I brought them earlier,” he says, chuckling softly before his warm gaze returns. “And then there’s us.”
“And then there’s us,” you mutter softly, mirroring his words with a small voice.
You bite your lips, hating how powerless you are against the flutters forming inside you and how surprisingly good it feels. The warmth in your belly feels comforting, but it makes you grow wary to let it linger for far too long. You should be standing up and start to make your leave, and then hide in the bedroom instead of sitting here under his gaze and enjoying the way he is making you feel. Suddenly, you feel like a teenager again, the same way you felt when you hid away with him during one of the parties that your school friends were holding at the time and he had ended up giving you your first kiss.
“Mind if I join you?” he asks you gently while his eyes never once stray away from you, and you find yourself unable to refuse.
You should say no to him and walk away, the small voice inside your head whispers to you, telling you to retreat for the night and walk away from him. It would be much safer, the voice speaks, and you can swear that you can hear it trembling, filled with the fear of having the wounds that you had once carried inside you returning. But the pounding in your heart becomes stronger, drowning the voices that keep sending you all the warning signs, and the words simply slip out before you can stop them,
“No, go ahead.”
A smile of relief comes to his face and he walks over to take the empty seat next to you while you slide away to give him space. You still haven’t gotten used to the new muscular built he is now sporting that you almost forget that he wouldn’t fit easily to your side so you cannot escape it when he brushes against you. The bench groans a little as he drops himself right next to you while he instantly engulfs you with his warmth. Goosebumps begin to form on your skin even without him touching you directly that you just lean back, trying your best not to make it obvious by rubbing your hands on your arms to hide it.
“It’s quite a lot to take in, isn’t it?” he suddenly asks you, keeping his voice low enough that you almost miss it. You turn to him to find him smiling at you while you have no idea how to respond. “I’m sorry for putting you through this.”
Swallowing hard, you can only nod your head slowly. “I wouldn’t say you are solely responsible in all of this. We wouldn’t have been in this spot if I hadn’t come to rush you into—”
Signing the divorce papers.
Shoot. For a while there you had almost forgotten the real reason why you are here in the first place and why you had agreed to become a part of this whole ruse. There is an icy prick poking in your chest when you are reminded that this whole thing has a time limit, and it surprises you to feel this way. There is no way you would want this whole thing to carry on, not when you have another life waiting for you. Another story for you to live through.
Another man who is waiting for you to return.
You shake your head, still cannot believe how easily you find yourself straying away from what you are meant to do. You should have expected this, when you knew what you were getting into by joining this trip. But it had somehow slipped your mind completely to prepare yourself against this, to remember that Namjoon would not be the only one that would be able to draw out all the memories and to stir your heart. Regardless of all the lies, the secrets that you are still keeping from everyone, and the horrible charade you are playing, you cannot deny how it makes you feel like you are finally home.
For years, you had thought that being here would only bring back all the hurt, that you would be constantly reminded of your painful past when all of the elements are present together. But it had turned out that the only things that have been brought back up while you are with everyone who are dear to your heart are the memory of the love that you had shared with them, the good times, and the comfort of coming home.
And for some reason, there is a part of you that doesn’t mind being here, to forget the world outside of this bubble and the life where this warm feeling doesn’t exist. Letting this thought linger inside your head, you find yourself admitting it loudly to Namjoon about it before you can stop it.
“I have to admit that I’ve missed all of this. To be around the family, to hear Bernie’s dirty jokes. And most importantly, being around Winny,” you mutter softly, turning to him with a smile just as you stop yourself from admitting how much you have missed the part of your life which you had once shared with him, only because you would have to admit that you have been missing him too. “I was nervous about meeting them all at once, but everyone was enjoying themselves that I just got into the festive mood pretty easily.”
“I think we both did pretty well for the first round,” Namjoon says, nodding his head.
“I’ll say,” you chuckle softly at him. “Though, I do admit—being around Winny for too long makes me nervous. Sometimes I’ll find myself talking to her and then the moment she brings up something from three years ago as if they had just happened, I’ll feel so guilty that I just want to admit everything.” You look back with a sigh. “Especially when she brought up the candy apple. I probably would’ve bawled my eyes out and told her that the last fair we went to together happened 4 years ago and not last year if you hadn’t come to change the topic.”
Namjoon laughs softly as he recalls that moment, when he came to the rescue at the perfect time while you were stuttering in front of Winny while she was reminiscing about the old town’s fair that you had gone to together. “All I did was look at your eyes and I knew you were panicking. I did what I had to do.”
“My saviour,” you whisper to him with a teasing tone in your voice, making him smile.
“That’s what teammates do, be there for each other,” he says, speaking in a low voice that warms your skin. He falls silent for a moment when your gazes meet each other, and the playfulness in his eyes fades. “We used to make a great team, you and I.”
We certainly did, the small voice in your head responds to him, just as a painful twist appears in your chest. The betrayal that you had felt before when you thought about his changes comes stabbing deeper into your chest, and it grows even deeper when you remind yourself that you are no longer a part of his life, just as much as he is no longer a part of yours.
“Don’t do that,” you say to him as you look away, avoiding his gaze that suddenly feels so intense that it nearly burns you just by looking back at him. “Let’s not go there, Namjoon.”
The way he is looking at you makes you feel exposed, that no matter what you do to shield yourself and hide from him, he can still make you feel as if you are holding out your heart, that you are baring your soul for him to see. So you keep your eyes looking away, focusing on the trees around the lodge instead of letting him see through your facade.
“Why not?” he whispers, and you realise that in your effort of trying to avoid him and to push him away, Namjoon has shifted closer. You can feel his arm resting on the backrest behind you while his warmth comes pressing to your side. “Can’t I talk about the good old past? We were sharing all the great memories from when we were kids and we even acted like how we used to be in the past. Is it not okay to just talk about it, for old time sake?”
“That—that’s different and you know it,” you respond to him with a voice barely a whisper. And you hate the way your body is truly reacting to him, as your skin grows hot when you feel his warm breath falls against you, brushing softly right where the top of your sweater falls over from your shoulders. A faint scent of whisky wafts between you and you lift your eyes to him. “Are you drunk? Is that why you’re not making sense right now? Or did you hit your head on your way out here?”
Namjoon laughs and shakes his head. “You know I barely had any alcohol through dinner. Neither of us did since we promised to stay sober while we’re around Winny, remember?” he says with a chuckle, and you begin to regret turning to look at him. You have failed to realise how much closer he is to you now, that he is basically leaning over you and keeping you trapped against the bench with nowhere to escape. His eyes are dark, and there is something in his gaze that you have not seen for a long time as he keeps looking at you. His presence feels intimidating, intense, leaving you completely entranced that you can barely hold back from leaning closer and letting yourself be drawn to him.
“I only took a shot of whiskey from Bernie and your uncle before I walked out here to find you, but my head is still as clear as day. I’m only curious, are you saying that you didn’t feel a thing when we kissed? Do I not make your heart race anymore?”
Your mouth falls open, both in shock and for finding yourself almost giving him the answer that he seems to be searching for.
Because the answer is yes.
Yes, you did feel something—a lot of things—when you kissed him under the mistletoe and right in front of your families who knew nothing about the deal you have made with each other.
Yes, he makes your heart race, just the way he is doing it now, simply by being so close, for having his face leaning close to yours that you clench your hands tightly to stop yourself from reaching out and pulling his head so you can devour his lips again.
And yes, your heart is still racing, not only because of his presence, but also because of the way he is looking at you as if you are a mystery for him to unfold. The curiosity, the astonishment, the wonder—you can see it all, all the emotions dancing in his eyes, and you wonder if you are showing him all the same thing when you return his gaze while your face is burning under his gaze.
But you take a deep breath, willing your body to stop reacting to him and swallow hard. “Everything is in the past, Joon. Right where we left it. And we’ve moved on from it.”
Namjoon clenches his jaw, though there is a glint of his amusement in his eyes when he says, “We did leave all of that behind, didn’t we?” His voice comes out so soft that it almost seems like he is questioning himself rather than expecting an answer from you. Then his sly grin returns when he lifts his hand, brushing against your forearm that shows under the sleeves of your sweater, his fingers tracing gently on your skin before he begins trailing them upwards ever so slowly, all the way to your shoulder.
“Do you really not feel anything anymore? Not even when I touch you like this?” Then he stops, only for a brief moment, before you feel his fingers moving to brush your hair away, exposing the nape of your neck, where he then runs a featherlight touch with his long fingers until he draws a shudder through your body. ”Not even when I do this?” he whispers, keeping his eyes on you the entire time to watch your reaction, no doubt catching the way your eyes are dilating to his touch or the way your breath hitches right when the tip of his fingers brush against the sensitive spot beneath your ear.
“No,” you answer him, but even you know that your answer holds no truth when you are trembling against him, and your voice has come out breathless, almost to a sigh, when the shudders running through your body is still existent and you can no longer fight against it.
Namjoon must have caught on to how your body is truly reacting to him no matter how much you try to hide it, because he only seems to keep leaning closer, his head dipping lower, coming so close that you are suddenly feeling his lips ghosting over yours, just a hairbreadth away from yours when he finally stops himself.
“And you won’t feel a thing if I kiss you right now? A real kiss, not a part of a show where we have audiences watching and expecting us to perform for them?” he whispers against your lips. “There is only you and me out here, Baby Doll. Nobody else but us.”
He looks down at you for a long, silent moment before he dips his head, placing a chaste kiss on your lips. He pulls away right after, just far enough to what you imagine as a way for him to gauge your reaction. He looks at you for another beat of a moment before he does the same thing. He dips his head, giving you a brief, closed-mouthed kiss, lingering for a moment longer this time, before he slowly pulls away again.
This time, you are the one searching for his eyes. Deep down, you both know just how wrong this is. How this cannot happen. And most importantly, why this should never happen. But right now, it doesn’t seem to matter. The pull between the two of you which you had once thought had somehow vanished right before you left is still there and you cannot seem to shake it off. Not when he is this close, with his warmth rolling between you and the shadow of his touches still ripples on your skin.
Maybe it is due to the fact that you are stuck in this place together. Maybe the entire night of reminiscing the past and having his grandmother doting you as if you had never left makes you feel like you are right where you belong. Maybe it is the melancholy, knowing that this would be the last time, that you would have to let him go for good once everything is over, no matter what history you have had together and what you still feel for each other. But there is a strong feeling of need inside you that makes you want him more now in a way that you haven’t felt before. And it is taking over you to the point that you can no longer hold back.
When he dips his head toward you again, only after noticing how you no longer have your guards up against him, you slide your hands up his chest, grabbing onto his shirt and pulling him into you. You part your lips, almost begging him to deepen the kiss, and he happily obliges, sliding his tongue against yours before he trails it over your bottom lip.
You can taste the bite of alcohol on his tongue and you pull him even closer. The move seems to snap him out of his final restraint, and he is suddenly reaching out for you, no longer holding back. His hand slides up your back, fisting into your hair as he moves the other to start fumbling with your knitted sweater. He somehow manages to slide his hand inside, then wraps the same hand around your waist to pull you even closer, almost lifting you onto his lap.
You gasp softly against his lips as his hand reaches behind you, finding the zipper of the dress you have been wearing underneath the sweater and starts sliding it down. You must have been so distracted by his kiss that you fail to realise how your cardigan had slipped right off your shoulders, giving him more leeway in doing the same with the strap of your dress, and he pulls back just as the front of your dress falls over, exposing your covered breasts to his eyes.
A soft groan slips out of Namjoon’s lips when his gaze falls on your heaving chest, while pure hunger appears in his eyes, dark and intense, making you grow hot just by having him rake his gaze all over you. He wastes no more time as his hand finds your breast, touching you gently while he uses his other hand to slip behind you, unfastening your bra so easily as if he has done this to you many times before. You think nothing of it when you simply lean forward, pressing your lips on the nape of his neck while he makes a quick work on your clothes—unhooking your bra with what seems to be a flick of his wrist before sliding his hand underneath, trailing his fingers across your skin all the way from your back and then coming around to find your breast. He slides the straps of your bra off your shoulders, his fingers finding the sensitive skin around your nipple, making its tip harden before he finally rubs a thumb across the nub.
His lips suddenly find yours again just as the touch draws a gasp right out of you, though he doesn’t stop you from moaning into his mouth as he begins to devour your lips with more heat and hunger while he keeps touching you, sending surges of pleasure all through your body with the light traces of his long fingers. You hear a soft grunt coming out of his throat, but you continue kissing him, refusing to let him stop or to let any drop of doubt fall between you. While his touches remain on your skin, you reach out to him and begin to fumble with the buttons of his shirt, suddenly having the urge to feel his skin, to bask in his warmth, and to feel him shudder under your touch the same way he is doing it to you.
Just as you tug on his shirt, a deep groan rumbles from his chest again and his grip on your waist tightens just as he pulls you up to his lap. The move happens so suddenly that you can barely stop yourself from falling against his chest with a soft gasp. Then his lips are quick to return to yours, capturing the rest of the sounds you are making both in your shock and as you are drowning in the heat of the moment as he devours your mouth, pouring his desire more freely now that you are reacting and reciprocating his actions.
Your hands are trembling as you blindly release the buttons of his shirt, taking them off one and a time with your eyes closed and his kisses distracting you just as his hands are pressing on your curves, touching you wherever he can reach. You can only faintly hear the sound of him clearing his throat through your muddled senses, and yet he makes no move to pull away and you continue on pressing your lips on his, arching your chest to him, letting your body melt against his as your hips begin to sway, rolling over his lap as you press down against his groin.
The sound that you heard comes back, growing louder, and it takes you a while before you realise that the sound is coming from somewhere else and it wasn’t Namjoon who has been clearing his throat in the middle of kissing you. Both of you instantly pull away from each other as you realise this and Namjoon finally notices the sound. The soft cough returns again and you turn to look at the door just as Namjoon instantly pulls you to his chest to hide your exposed chest for your intruder to see, and your heart plunges in your chest when you see Bernie standing there, looking overly intoxicated after his drinking game with your uncle with a sick grin showing up on his face.
“Ah, sorry to interrupt. Didn’t see you two out here. Was checking to see if the door’s locked and there you are,” he says, slurring a little as he points between the door and the outer side of the porch. Meanwhile, you can feel your face burning hot with shame, though you are glad that Namjoon managed to snap right out of it a bit faster to cover your body from Bernie’s eyes, though you aren’t even quite sure if he can see either of you that well through the dark while he is being so heavily drunk.
As if he notices the way Namjoon is hiding you from him—and most probably only realising now that both you and Namjoon are looking like little deers caught in headlights—Bernie raises his hands in surrender and says, “Don’t worry, I didn’t see anything. Scout’s honour.”
While you are still left speechless in your shock, Namjoon chuckles softly. “You go on up and head to bed, Bernie. We’ll make sure to lock the doors up before we come up.”
“Sure thing, Joonie,” Bernie says, nodding like a child before he clumsily turns around and makes his way back through the door. His large frame keeps brushing harshly against the doorframe before he manages to slip right in. You are just beginning to breathe a sigh of relief and are telling yourself that perhaps he really did see nothing, when Bernie suddenly looks over his shoulder and asks, “Don’t you kids think it would be better to do it in your room? It’s freezing out here.”
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“So—how are we going to do this?”
Namjoon lifts his brows at your question and you can see the humour painting his gaze. “Simple. We sleep. I’ll take the sofa and you can keep the whole bed.”
You hold back the urge to roll your eyes at him and sigh, keeping your eyes on him as he stands right beside the bed while you stand on the other side. The heated moment that you shared with him at the porch had been instantly ruined when Bernie caught you both and things had only grown awkward and tense between you since. You could barely look at him when you were both fixing up your clothes and took your time to cool down. Then, once he had made sure that the coast was clear, Namjoon pulled you inside, locking the doors behind you before taking you all the way to the bedroom. Only to once again find yourselves surrounded with an air filled with tension once you were both secured in the confinement of your bedroom.
Your face still feels warm after what had happened downstairs—including the part where you had gotten caught right in the midst of it. As your mind flies back to that moment, your skin tingles right where he was touching you. Your breasts instantly grow hot and tight at the memory of his hands and fingers touching and brushing across your nipples that are now beginning to grow hard beneath your nightshirt. Afraid that he can see it through the thin fabric of your shirt, you cross your arms around your chest, pressing all the delicate tingles down while hiding the way your body is still reacting to him. Though it doesn’t stop you from running your gaze on him, noticing how the material of his shirt seems to cling onto his broad chest and wide shoulders so perfectly well that it barely serves its purpose in covering his body.
At least he is wearing something, you inwardly sigh.
After getting into the bedroom earlier, you had practically run and gone to hide in the bathroom to avoid him. After taking your sweet time washing up and getting yourself ready to bed, you had then returned to the bedroom to find him standing there only in his boxers. The way you had completely forgotten that Namjoon had always slept in the nude when you were still together almost had you screaming. Telling him to put a shirt on and making him promise to at least keep his boxers on had been the first few things that you said to him, much to his amusement. At least it had been entertaining enough for him to do exactly what you asked him to.
You look away before he would notice you staring at his chest. When your eyes fall on the sofa bench which Namjoon keeps insisting to sleep on, you simply grimace, unable to imagine him fitting his hard body on top of the small-sized furniture the way he keeps claiming he would. “No, that won’t do,” you find yourself muttering as you wonder about this. Hearing this, Namjoon tilts his head.
“What do you mean?”
“I’m talking about you, sleeping there,” you point out between him and the sofa before shaking your head. “When there is a perfectly good sized bed right here.”
Namjoon raises his brows and barely holds back his amused smile when he teases you, “Are you trying to seduce me into joining you in bed, Baby Doll?”
“You know what I mean,” you say to him, narrowing your eyes. “I’m only saying that instead of letting me have this whole bed while you torture yourself into that tiny thing, why don’t we just—use the bed?” You stop for a brief moment, trying to ignore the way your cheeks are heating up before adding with a small voice, “Together.”
Namjoon’s eyes are glowing with glee when he questions you about it. “So you have nothing untoward planned for me? We’re just going to—sleep?”
“Funny. That would be the last thing I’d ever do. And we’re not just going to split the space by pointing between us to decide which of us gets which side,” you continue by pointing at his side to your side. “You can take that side and I’ll take this side. And then—” Giving him a sweet smile, you pull a thick pillow from the pile of them resting against the bed’s headboard, fluffing it in your hands a few times before placing it in the middle and add, “These pillows, the ones that we won’t be using to sleep, will be here in the middle.”
Namjoon’s eyes fall onto the pillow and his smile falls as you continue to add more pillows right in the middle of the bed and make it look like a fort. “You’re making a barrier?”
“You’re creating a line with pillows.”
“Exactly. And it’s a fort, actually.”
Namjoon looks up and raises his eyebrows at you. “Let me guess, we’re not allowed to trespass each other’s territory?”
Clapping your hands, you make a sound like he had just the grand prize in a big quiz. “That’s right. No crossing over to this area if you don’t want to get your balls kicked.”
He looks at you, looking genuinely surprised, before he starts laughing. “Alright, Baby Doll. Whatever you say.”
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Warmth comes trickling as the morning slowly sneaks in, brushing against your skin like delicate fingers teasing you to wake up, coaxing you to embrace the morning for a fresh start. As you slowly come awake, you breathe in deeply, inhaling the familiar musky scent that feels like home, wrapping you alongside the two gentle arms that are keeping you comfortable and safe in a loving embrace. And then the sound of a steady heartbeat begins to pick up, slowly rising, sounding clearer and clearer, inviting, mesmerising, and you snuggle against it, embracing the warmth that comes with it, only to notice that you are no longer snuggling against the soft pillows that you had been resting on all night.
It takes you another moment before you are finally pulled out of your slumber completely, before finding yourself resting on something solid, that there is a warm surface present under your palm. The smooth texture of Namjoon’s shirt appears to your bleary eyes when you slowly open them, letting you know that you have somehow gone over the pillow fort, and had landed on top of his hard chest instead. With your head right on top of his beating heart, your palm resting over his abdomen, and your legs entwined together, it simply appears as if you had locked onto one another in your sleep.
Namjoon’s breathing is still steady, even if he has one of his arms resting around your waist. Trying to relax as not to startle him awake, you begin to rake your brain to find a way to slip right out of his clutch without waking him up. The first thing you do is to slip your legs out of his, before gently peeling yourself from him, only to have his arm tightening around you to stop you from moving away.
“Where are you going?” His voice sounds deep and hoarse with sleep, but it stirs something deep inside you like a flame licking from within. It has you clenching your thighs together, your body going stiff against him before giving in to his embrace and simply remain to lie motionless on top of his chest.
“I—I’m sorry, I have no idea how—”
Namjoon’s chest rumbles as he chuckles softly. “Did I say I mind it?” he asks you, keeping his eyes closed while he is moving his fingers absentmindedly up and down your upper arm, while the palm that is pressing on your waist is still ever-present, holding you against him while he is caressing you gently. You look up just as he slowly opens his eyes, looking down on your face with something intense in his gaze, making you want to melt against him instead of pushing yourself off of him.
“This shouldn’t have happened,” you whisper softly, only realising now just how close your face is to his.
Namjoon’s lips twitch, forming a small grin. “I’m not the one who went over the fort that you built,” he says to you teasingly. You should be angry at his words, at whatever it is he seems to be accusing you of, but it is hard to think clearly when you have his lips brushing against your temple and when your heartbeat begins to race with the rising heat burning inside your belly.
“It’s still wrong,” you whisper with a sigh, closing your eyes when Namjoon tugs you up against his chest and continues to run his gentle kisses on your face.
“I’m not the one making the rules.”
You slowly push yourself up and he plants a kiss right at the tip of your nose, drawing a gasp out of you. “I should get up and—”
“And?” he asks, though he doesn’t make any move to let you go. He simply lies there beneath you, keeping his eyes on your face to gauge at your reaction, waiting, with his lips hovering so close that all you have to do is push yourself upward so your lips can touch.
But you do nothing as such, letting him hold you to his chest, unable to look away. You feel like you are getting drawn further into him, the pull that has been present now making itself known. One moment, you are simply there, listening to the steady thrum of his heartbeat that nearly matches yours. You have no idea who makes the first move, but his lips are suddenly on yours, brushing gently just as you lightly press your lips against him in return. A soft sound slips out of you when he gently takes your bottom lip and gives a light suck, and that is when the remaining restraint you have between you simply snaps.
With a light pull, he tugs you until you are on top of him, your legs resting on either side of him while you straddle his hips, pressing your pulsing center right on top of his covered hard-on. Your hands are clutching tightly on his shirt while you mould your lips together. He slides his tongue right at the seam of your lips, making his way in to deepen the kiss. Everything becomes a blur of heated desire with your tongues clashing against one another, his hands running up and down your curves while you slip your fingers through the hem of his shirt, slipping beneath the fabric, desperate to feel his skin.
While your fingers begin tracing blindly on the hard ridges of his abs, your hips begin to move, swivelling and rolling against him to rub your pulsing core against his covered cock, feeling him hardening and growing stiff under the heat of your desire. A deep groan comes rumbling from his chest before he gives one tight grip on your waist, holding you right in place as he moves his hips, reciprocating every motion you make while his other hand slides under your nightshirt, finding it easy to slide right in when its hem has hiked up to your hips as you continue riding on his groin. It doesn’t take much for him to find your breasts, continuing where he left off last night without any bra present as a barrier this time as you had opted to sleep without it. His palm feels warm against your mound, and he waits no longer before he begins fondling on your soft flesh, kneading and tugging while his fingers find your hardened nipple and gives you a light pinch.
You release a cry into his mouth, letting his kiss drown your voice. Your body trembles at the way he is playing with your body, the way he seems to find the right rhythm to draw out the delightful sparks of pleasure rising from deep within your core. With your nails buried on his chest, you keep on grinding against his covered cock and pressing hard right where it makes you feel good. You continue to ride the waves, letting them build up and continue to rise until you can feel yourself reaching to the edge, getting closer and closer, already losing balance as your legs are trembling around him.
Feeling how close you are to climax, Namjoon slides his other hand down your shirt, cupping your other breast with his palm and begins to do the same as he did the other. As you press down harder against him, he sucks on your lips harder, giving your nipples a rough pinch to draw your cries, and you can start feeling yourself plunging, flowing over the edge and—
The sound of someone banging on the door makes you both jump. For a moment, everything is spinning and you nearly come tumbling down from on top of him. But Namjoon is quick to catch you. His hands are still hidden beneath your shirt, but he is now holding you by the waist, keeping you still while you are both breathless. You are still feeling terribly flushed and your heartbeat seems to take forever to settle down, even if you can still clearly see the burning need in his eyes when you look at him. His own skin still looks flushed and his lips are swollen after all the biting and sucking you did while devouring them in the heated moment.
Neither of you says a thing to each other, or to even try and respond to whoever is on the other side of the door, until the banging sound returns.
“Joonie, you’re up?” Your father-in-law calls for him from outside, and Namjoon releases a groan. Closing his eyes, he lets his head fall back to the pillows.
“I’m up!”
“Good, I’m driving down to the nearest store to buy some supplies for the grill. You coming? Your dad-in-law is driving.”
Namjoon lets out another groan and pulls you down. He buries one hand in your hair as he holds you to him, pressing his lips on yours for a brief kiss before he whispers, “I have to go. He won’t shut up if I’m not up to help him.”
You open your mouth, but your head is still muddled and everything seems so fuzzy for you to even say much. “Okay,” you simply whisper, nodding your head before letting him help you lie back down on the bed.
“Get some more rest,” he says, brushing his lips against yours as he hovers on top of you. “We’ll continue this once I’m back.”
With those words, Namjoon presses a gentle kiss on your lips, before pushing himself up and leaves the bed. He quickly grabs his pants, getting ready to go just as his Dad comes banging on the door once more. “I’m coming,” he shouts back, though he makes another stop to kiss the top of your head before he makes his way out, keeping the door from opening too wide to hide your flustered state from his father when he slides out the door.
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The moment Namjoon is gone, the entire warmth that you have felt since the moment you woke up just seems to have been sucked dry along with his departure. The silence that falls after also feels too deafening and you find it hard to process everything and understand what had just happened. It feels like you have been dreaming, that nothing is real, and it gets even harder to think clearly and to snap right out of the remaining fog of your desire when you can still breathe in his scent which has been plastered all around you—the pillows, the sheets, even on your hair and skin.
Deciding that it would only get you nowhere if you simply remain there and wallow in your loneliness, you run to the bathroom, hoping that a long hot shower might help clear your head a little before going through with the day. You stay under the shower for a bit longer than you probably should, relishing the running water that does its best to wash away the grime, the remnants of his scent that you still carry with you, and the shadow of his touches on your skin. You feel it slowly washing away the fog that is still muddling your head and the rush of pleasure that seems to linger inside you. Only when your skin begins to wrinkle and the hot water slowly turns cold when you finally step out of the shower, wrapping the fuzzy towel that you find on the sink counter before walking out of the bathroom just in time for your phone to start blaring loudly.
You reach for it and pull it out of your purse, and your heart instantly falls.
Your hand is shaking as you bring the phone up to your ear, knowing that you cannot possibly ignore his calls. Not if you want to have a whole day safe from any interruption. Because you know that he would only continue calling again, and again, until he can get through you. That is just how relentless you know Matthew is as a man and a lover.
You take a deep breath and slowly lowers yourself to sit on the edge of the bed, afraid that you might fall if you don’t. “Hello—?” you can barely get your voice out as you answer the call, but you manage to anyway. A shuffling sound is heard from the other end before you hear him speak.
“Good morning, babe. How was your sleep?”
Matthew’s voice rumbles deep from the phone and your chest twists with guilt. “Morning. It was okay. Really good, actually,” you answer him, before a rush of heat flows to your face at the memory of your sleep—or, better yet, the memory of how you had woken up this morning. The surge of pleasure that you had just washed off suddenly runs through you when you remember how you were riding your husband’s lap, the heat in your body returning full force with need, and you try to shake it off as you focus on your fiancé’s voice.
“That’s good to hear,” he says, sighing. “You know I’m glad to see you taking a long break after the past busy month. You’ve worked so hard lately so you needed this break. It must be the fresh air, isn’t it? You’ve always had trouble sleeping for as long as I can remember.”
Letting out a bitter chuckle, your voice grows small when you answer him, “Yes, the fresh air, that could be it.”
Matthew hums into the phone for a moment before he speaks again. “Look, baby. I’m just calling to say I’m sorry. Again. You, uh—you never called me back, so I was wondering if everything is okay.”
No, everything is not okay, the voice in your head sneers at you, making you grimace to think that he had been waiting for you to call him back when he barely crossed your mind. “Right, I’m sorry. I’ve been around my family—” and in-laws, you add inwardly before you continue, “—so things have been overwhelming. I just couldn’t find the right time to call you and talk.”
Once again, your tongue feels bitter with all the lies. Though a part of your excuse isn’t a complete lie this time, when you have been surrounded by your family since you arrived yesterday and Namjoon had almost never left your side. And you obviously could never slip away from Winny to make any phone call in the middle of the family reunion without raising questions. Not even if you would try to make a silly excuse to say that you were to make a call about work.
But there is also a part of you that had been intentionally avoiding him, for reasons that you could barely understand.
Looking back to it now, and then recalling everything that has happened since last night, you wonder if this whole ruse has had something to do with it. Perhaps you had gotten too deep in playing the role as the dotted wife who is returning for the holiday week to be with her husband. Perhaps a part of you enjoyed reliving this part of your life without any disturbance from the real world and from any part of your present life, and you just weren’t ready to wake up from that illusion too soon.
You close your eyes and sigh, barely catching on to what he is saying on the phone with your mind drifting away while he keeps on talking. “—I didn’t want to interrupt your time with your family, but I just need to know if you’re still mad at me. I don’t want us to fight while we’re apart, especially when it’s Christmas.”
“I know. I’m sorry, I was just a bit—busy. But I’m not mad at you, I promise.”
A deep sigh is heard from his side, and he mutters softly, “Good, that’s good,” while you grow tense as you anticipate what he is about to say next. “So—have you had the talk with your parents yet?”
You begin pulling on your towel as you try to think of an excuse. “No, baby. We just got here, remember? Everyone was busy preparing for this trip and then we got caught up in catching up, I could barely share anything and update them about what’s going on with my life aside from stories coming from work. And I told you, my grandmother has been sick, so I didn’t want to steal the stoplight too much from everyone.”
He remains silent as you ramble on, until he finally says, “Maybe I can help.”
“What do you mean?”
“What if I fly there so I can join you? Meet your family while everyone is there? All the preparation for my parents’ Christmas gala is done already and I won’t even have too much to do before the New Year’s Eve party. I think I can slip away a day or two and join you there. That way we can share the news together, what do you say?” He speaks so fast that you can barely catch up to what he is saying, and the moment you do, you can feel your heart pushing its way up to your throat.
“You want to come here?” you ask him, almost stuttering.
“Yes, why not? My family’s jet is available since everyone will be staying here for the event and we can fly back together right after seeing your family. We’ll save up on plane tickets that way, won’t we?”
The more excited he sounds, the more anxious you feel about it. To imagine him coming here, to not only expose your secret past with Namjoon but to also ruin the ruse—you can feel your blood draining while you can barely breathe. You can’t even stay seated with your anxiety rising up. Your head begins to pound as you stand up and begin pacing back and forth in the bedroom.
“Fly—here?” you ask again, wishing that he would start laughing and tell you that he is simply joking. But the only answer you get to hear is, “Yes! I can have it arranged soon. I can fly out there on Christmas morning, and—”
“No, Matthew don’t. You can’t do that.” In your panic, the words simply slip right out of you before you can do anything to stop it, surprising yourself and—judging from the silence that falls from his side—him as well.
“Why can’t I?” he asks you after a beat of silence, the tone of his voice filled with suspicions and you feel the urge to pull your hair out.
Still pacing on the floor, you try to find the best excuse that you can think of to erase every thought he could have about flying here to see you. “Just—this is a private event and my family isn’t as big or as open as yours.”
Lies, lies, all nothing but lies, when you know for sure how welcoming your parents have been to your friends in the past. But how are you supposed to explain to him that he barely exists to your parents? And how the hell would you explain to your family if Matthew just randomly shows up, introducing himself as your fiancé, when they are probably thinking that you are trying to reconcile with Namjoon through this trip? And what about Winny?
All these thoughts keep running in your head while Matthew simply grows silent. You don’t have to see him to know the gears in his head are turning at the same time, and you suddenly despise the fact that you are somehow engaged to a lawyer. And a damn talented one at that, you have to admit, when you have witnessed him time and time again exposing frauds and terrible liars in courts.
“Is there something wrong about me seeing your parents?” he questions you, sending chills down your spine with the accusing tone latching onto his voice. “We’re getting married anyway, aren’t we? I’d eventually have to meet them and introduce myself.”
“Yes, I know, but—” You close your eyes and try your best to control your breath. Remember, he can expose your lies and pick up on an uneven tone so easily, you remind yourself as you try to calm your nerves and make sure to stay collected as you speak to him. “Can’t we do it next time? Maybe when it’s not the holidays or on any other private occasion. I just don’t want to overwhelm my parents or my grandmother with so much going on already.”
A faint sound of someone talking is heard passing right in front of your door and you briefly stop, moving further from the door before you can continue.
“It’s not that I don’t want to introduce you to everyone, it’s just—The timing wouldn’t be right. I just—I need to ease this thing to my parents.”
“Is that so?” he asks you, and it is obvious that he isn’t buying it. “There’s always something, isn’t it?” His voice sounds harsh as he says this, making you flinch at his tone, knowing that you have made him grow angry at you again. “Seriously, what is the matter with you? Is there something going on that I need to know about? Did you meet someone and suddenly have a change of heart? Because you’ve been acting strange and distant since you went back home and it’s like I can’t talk with you so I don’t know what to think!”
Shaking under his wrath, and to how close he had come to the truth, you reach out to grab the backrest of the nearest chair and hold on tight. “I’m sorry. Things are just too complicated right now, and I can’t really tell you anything.”
“Right, of course,” he says with a sneer. “Well, you know how to contact me when you’re done being so—so aloof and when you’re ready to tell me what the fuck is going on with you.”
With those last words, Matthew ends the phone call. The sound of the final click makes you flinch and it makes your breath hitch at the finality of his words and the way he ended the call. You have grown used to seeing him getting emotional, letting his anger and frustration show, but it feels different when you are on the other end of it.
And it makes it even harder for you not to crumble because you are the guilty party.
Dropping down on the chair, you place the phone away with shaking hands. All so suddenly, you feel like the rug has been pulled from beneath you and there is nothing stopping you from falling. There is nothing stopping you from being pulled and awakened from the illusions that you had let yourself drown in.
Dropping your head into your hands, you chastise yourself and let all the dread of guilt wash over you.
You shouldn’t have agreed to be a part of this ruse. Or, at least, you should have kept your head firmly on your shoulder instead of getting drawn into the moment. You should have said the hell with it and insisted harder on Namjoon to sign the divorce papers so you wouldn’t have to worry about getting your secrets exposed if—and when—Matthew decides to register your marriage legally.
Your mind flies back to what had happened between you and Namjoon last night, and what had occurred this morning, only less than an hour ago, and you feel like you need to smack your own head so you could get your act together.
What were you thinking, making out with Namjoon like that after all the talk about letting go and moving on? How can you let yourself lost in his touch when you had sworn to yourself that you would never fall for his charms and that you would never forget what you had come all the way back here for?
Taking a deep breath, you muster every will to snap your head back into place and out of the illusion of the life that you had let go of a long time ago. This part of your life had been lost, and whatever you had thought you felt with Namjoon since you had gotten back had been nothing but a broken piece of your memory forcing itself back into your mind, nothing but an illusion.
Perhaps you have grown too comfortable in this situation, letting yourself get tempted to the alluring part of your past that you had wished you still have, but now it is time to face reality and to get your focus back on track, to remember your purpose.
Finish the whole charade, keep Winny happy for a little while longer, and then have Namjoon sign the papers so you can be free, you remind yourself, repeating those words in your head until they sink in. Because there is nothing left for you here but a fleeting dream, while you have your entire life waiting for you, away from this place, and—most certainly—far away from him.
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For the rest of the day, you try your best to avoid being alone with Namjoon.
You still play your part for as much as you need to whenever you are among the others, though you let Namjoon run the show as he openly shows his affection, giving you light touches and kisses while mingling with the rest of the family. But the moment the act is done, you will try to put a distance between you, always evading him whenever he tries to come close without anyone watching and finding excuses to slip away whenever he is trying to pull you aside.
It had taken you nearly all morning to get your act together, and it helped that he was gone for a long time as he went to join the rest of the men on their shopping trip to the nearest store. Then everyone’s excitement during the outdoor barbecue feast had managed to give you the escape you needed, when Namjoon kept being pulled away to help tend the grill while Winny kept insisting that you would stay with her the entire time.
It isn’t until after dinner when he finally manages to catch up with you just when you are about to slip away to find shelter out on the porch, thinking that perhaps you can wait out there until Namjoon would fall asleep before you can return to your bedroom to avoid anything untoward to ever happen between you. But you should have known that it hadn’t slipped his attention that you have been steering clear of him the whole day and is just about to try to escape him yet again.
“You’ve been avoiding me,” is the first thing he says when he catches you moments after you slip out of the door. “Is there something wrong? What happened?”
Not expecting to have him ruining your escape plan and finding yourself somehow out here all alone with him, the words simply die down on your tongue. You open your mouth, ready to launch some random excuses to slip away from him when Namjoon comes approaching you with a determined look in his eyes. There is also something else in his eyes that makes you stop before you even try to evade him—a mix of wariness, curiosity, and a hint of despair—as if having you slipping away all day and giving him cold shoulders have been affecting him more than you had thought it would.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” is the only thing you can say to him, though it is clear that there is no use of you to act so aloof about it when he simply responds with a scoff.
“Right,” he says with a bitter chuckle. “Don’t play dumb with me. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice?”
Namjoon has come so close that he is looming over you, keeping his voice low enough only for you to hear. His looming presence and his deep rumbling voice make you feel so little, cornered, and you lean back to the railing on the edge of the porch to hold on, trying to make yourself tall as you return his intense gaze with your own. “What is going on inside that brilliant head of yours, Baby Doll? What game are you playing with me?” he slowly questions you, and his words snap something inside you.
“There is no game,” you hiss at him just as you hear the sound of laughter ringing from inside the lodge. Looking over his shoulders, you make sure that there is nobody passing by this area to find the two of you having this face off. God knows what would cross their minds if they should ever find you out here together like this.
“You must have thought you have been so slick to avoid me and that nobody would notice. But even Winny caught on to your act and she’s been asking me if you’re feeling okay,” Namjoon says with a sneer, while you grimace, realising just how terrible you have been at pretending after all.
With a frown on your face, you look up, finding Namjoon looking at you, no longer with the sneer or annoyance on his face, but more of a concern. “Something happened while I was gone, hasn’t it?”
“Nothing happened. It’s just—” Your mind flies back to the phone call that you had with Matthew, to being the receiving end of his anger, and you pull back just when Namjoon lifts his hand to touch you. “Maybe I just realised that this—whatever it is that’s been going on between us—is wrong.” Shaking your head, you look up into his eyes and plead, “We just can’t—I just can’t have it happening again. I can’t allow it.”
Namjoon scoffs. “You won’t allow it? Always have to be the one to make the rules, don’t you?”
The condescending tone in his voice feels like a knife piercing through your chest. You can barely hold back from pushing him off when you lift your chin up to respond to him. “I thought all we had to do was play a role? To act only when we have audiences watching us? Not to do something like—” You stop just as the image of you kissing him, touching him, letting him bring pleasure through your body comes flashing through your head and your whole skin flushes, and it is somehow making you feel even angrier that you had even let yourself lost in that moment in time that your voice comes out as a hiss when you continue, “Not to act on it while we’re alone. Not to lose control when we’re—”
When we’re not supposed to. When we have a time limit.
The words simply remain inside your head when it suddenly feels too painful for you to say them out loud.
“Lose control? Is that all it ever was?” he questions you, though it sounds more like he is wondering these words out loud. Placing his hands on either side of you, he leans closer, caging you against the wooden railing behind you as he lowers himself, getting close to your face.
“I’m going to ask you again, what the hell happened with you? Why all the sudden change? One minute you were okay with everything and it was obvious that you wanted it to happen, and then you suddenly act like you just can’t get away from me fast enough and now you’re off rambling on as if you didn’t want me too.” Namjoon asks you, before he lifts one hand, reaching up to brush away the hair that has fallen on your face when you were getting too emotional. He moves his fingers ever so gently, and yet you can still feel his knuckles brushing gently across your skin. The featherlight touch brings a shudder through your body, and it doesn’t slip Namjoon’s attention when he could feel it, even if it only happens for such a brief moment.
“Tell me you feel nothing when I touch you like this,” he whispers to you as he brings the tip of his fingers down, tracing an invisible path down the nape of your neck.
Almost instantly, your body comes to life. The light touch he is giving you simply lights up your senses, the shudders feel so delightful, and the pull between you simply strengthen itself that it would be so easy for you to simply give in to it and let go.
But this is wrong, your conscience speaks, snapping you out of it that it helps you muster enough strength to grab him by the wrist and stop him before he can go on.
“No, we can’t do this. You need to remember why I came here in the first place and why we’re doing this,” you whisper as you push him away while shaking your head. While your reaction and your words seem to light something else inside him that his eyes only grow hard, and his words—that had been enough to draw you to him and had managed to break the walls that you had built between you—now suddenly sounds vindictive, taunting, coming at you like a jab to your gut when he says,
“You can’t or you won’t? Tell me what you feel when you’re with me. Tell me you feel nothing.”
In an instant, everything that you feel for him changes. It feels as if he had just ripped the band-aid that has been present to hide your wounds and what comes out of it is vicious, filled with all the pain that you had buried, laid almost forgotten, and now coming awake just as strongly as the desire that you have felt for him ever since he had first brought it back up from your cold heart, and it gives you enough strength to push him away, severing the pull that has kept you blinded from all the painful memories that were left from the moment he had stomped all your dreams and your heart into nothing.
“Fuck you, Namjoon. You don’t get to say these things to me or even had the audacity of asking me about my feelings when you were the one who pushed me away and broke us apart,” you cry out as you keep pushing against his chest in your anger. The sudden burst of your rage renders him speechless at first, before he snaps,
“Are we going to talk about that now? About what happened years ago? Is that it?” He begins seething with anger, though you can see the hurt in his eyes. “Well, let me remind you that I wasn’t the one who left and gave up on us,” he says, pointing at you. “You were the one who walked away.”
His words feel like a slap right on your face and you can no longer hold everything back. “You broke up with me,” you nearly scream to his face, not even caring if there is anyone inside the lodge that can hear you as you continue to face him, letting the hurt inside you reveal itself for him to see. “You were the one who said that there was no point for us to even try to go on, that it would be better for me to just go and leave you behind. That was what you said to me!”
“I thought that was what you wanted…!”
“What I wanted was for the man that I loved with every-fucking-thing that I had to fucking fight for me!”
This time, Namjoon is the one who looks as if your words had slapped him right on his face. The moment he speaks again, his voice sounds small, and broken, as he can only whisper, “I never gave up on you.”
The fight simply leaves you after hearing his words and once you are done pouring out everything that you have kept to yourself for a long time. Except that it only leaves you with one simple question that you have yet to find the answers to.
“Why did you keep sending me back the divorce papers?”
Say it. Please, say it. Tell me that you have been waiting for me. You silently beg, and beg, only realising now that these are the exact words that you have been waiting for him to say to you.
But Namjoon remains silent, keeping his eyes away from you still. Instead, all he does is clench his jaw and he begins shaking his head. “It doesn’t matter,” is the only thing that Namjoon says to you. His eyes no longer hold the same warmth and longing that you had seen in them merely moments before when he looks at you, as if he is withdrawing from you again. You can feel him putting up a barrier as he protects himself from the tremors coming from the pull that is still tethering you together.
“I’ll sign the papers. You’ll be leaving this weekend, right? I’ll give them back to you in the morning.”
With that, Namjoon turns away and goes back inside, leaving you standing there all alone on the porch, with your heart still bleeding out from the pain that he had ripped open and your tears still running down your face. He never returns for the night to sleep in your shared bedroom, while having your heart torn out has left you exhausted, completely drained that you easily fall asleep the moment you find solace in your bedroom.
Completely on your own.
Only to wake up the next morning to find the divorce papers resting on his cold pillows, marked with his signature right at the bottom of the page.
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The rest of the day simply floats by. Though you cannot really say that things are going smoothly as they had been for the past two days. It feels more as if you are walking through a thick pool of gelatine, wading heavily through the surface as much as you can without being swallowed down to the bottom.
At the same time, your body seems to be moving on autopilot, and it helps you to play your role well despite the numbness you are feeling within. You can still find a way to smile, to laugh at any random jokes, to nod whenever you need to, though you can barely listen to what people have to say.
When you finally saw Namjoon again during breakfast, he had managed to act out as if nothing has changed, so you were determined to play your part the way he could. Even if it takes a lot for you not to grimace at his touch or to flinch whenever he kisses you or when he presses his lips on your temple the way he always would in the middle of a conversation with Winny.
You are having so much trouble keeping it up together that it barely registers to you that tonight would be the highly eventful Christmas dinner. The night where you are supposed to be filled with joy. Where you are supposed to embrace the moment while being surrounded by the people that mean to you the most—and yes, that obviously includes Namjoon—and yet, you can barely feel a thing when it feels like every part of you is slowly crumbling. That for some reason, you are left as nothing but a shell, present but completely meaningless, as if it wouldn’t matter if you are no longer a part of this picture-perfect moment.
You do, however, take as much time as you can get to record all of this into your memory. Taking in everyone’s presence, their expressions, their stories, keeping this night as something that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Watching everyone sharing all the love and the bond that has been there for years, you realise what you have missed out on for a long time. You know that there is no use to dwell on the past, but you try your best to picture this as something that you can possibly reach again in the future.
One day, perhaps, after all of this ends.
And only if everyone would forgive you for what you are about to do.
It isn’t until in the middle of the dessert, when your uncle suddenly stands at the end of the table with his best friend, Bernie, and they both start belting out the Christmas Carol when you reach out to grab Namjoon’s hand, surprising him for a moment when you give him a squeeze until you turn to smile at him. His eyes are wide when he sees how relaxed you are, not seeing the way your mind is working hard to plan out just how you are going to give this story an end. And then you start to join the duo, keeping the smile on your face as you look at him, encouraging him to join in as everyone else are singing along.
You can feel Winny’s eyes on you as she sits right on your other side, and you find her watching you with glossy eyes. So you reach out, grabbing her hand with your free one, creating a bond between the three of you to share this moment. Even if it is only for one last time.
You return to an empty bedroom once dinner is long over, everyone has retreated to their rooms earlier after their bellies are full with the sweet desserts that Winny and your mother had made and all the alcohol that was present on the table.
Once again, Namjoon has chosen not to join you in your room, disappearing somewhere in another part of the lodge as he tries to avoid you.
This time, you find it hard to go to sleep. Not that you ever plan to do so anyway. And not when you can still feel his presence on the empty side of the bed, as his scent still lingers even when the sheets have grown cold.
Each time you close your eyes, you can still see those moments inside your head. You have tried so hard to deny it before, but being with him did make you feel everything. The comfort, the desire, the raw carnal need that you had never felt with anyone else the way you did with him. And now that your mind and body remember perfectly well what it is like to be with him, to be in his arms and to feel his love, you know that there is no turning back.
Being with Namjoon after going through all the pain many years ago now feels dangerous. Disastrous—that would be the only way to describe it, because why else would you end up losing control like that when you are together, or to be acting like teenagers who are completely helpless against the desire coursing through your body. It makes you completely reckless—just like how he managed to pull you onto his lap after dinner at the back porch, going completely out of bounds as you kept going at each other, practically clawing each other skin in the process of tearing out your clothes without any care of your surroundings. Or just like the other morning, when you were riding him without a care as if it had been something that you had always done.
The tension coming from those short, heated moments still lingers in your body, making your skin feel hot and tight even when you are far away from him and when he is no longer in sight. Rubbing your hands up and down your bare arms, you take a seat right on the edge of the bed, trying to find solace until the tremors in your body would start to subside.
Except that you quickly realise that it would be impossible for it to happen when you realise that the tremors are coming from deep within your chest.
“I’ll sign the papers.”
If it had been years ago, if it had happened before you joined him on this trip, perhaps you would have felt relieved, pleased to finally have what you have been waiting for. To have your freedom. To finally have your life back. To gain a chance to decide on your future without constantly being haunted by him and the memory of your history together.
But as you wrap your arms around yourself, the only feeling that you have now is nothing but agony, despair, sadness, and it takes you a while before you realise that what you are feeling is your heart breaking into pieces, realising only now that the shackles that you had thought to be the one holding you back from your happiness had in fact been the only thing that has been holding you up and keeping you together from falling apart. Now that you are about to become free from it, there is nothing stopping it from having your entire world and the life that you had created for yourself from falling apart.
Realising all of this, you find yourself determined to start working on your plan. Rising from the bed, you walk around the bag that you have packed earlier this afternoon and reach out to find your phone, setting it up on the table near the windows so you can have better reception.
It takes a while for the call to come through, and then suddenly his face comes to the screen.
“Hey there, stranger,” Matthew’s smile comes beaming from the other end, and it brings a similar smile to your face.
“Hey, just calling to say Merry Christmas before you get too tired.”
He chuckles softly when he hears this, before answering you softly, “Merry Christmas, babe. How was the family dinner?”
“It was great,” you answer him. “It was amazing, but it probably wasn’t any close to yours. Did the Christmas Gala go on well?”
Matthew nods, and pride comes to his face when he begins sharing with you about his wonderful night with his family and the important people that had been invited to the event. It appears that a lot of people had come from every part of the city just to attend the night. Something that isn’t too surprising knowing how important his family is to the city. With his parents being high ranked politicians while he and his siblings have slowly become successful lawyers following on their tracks. Had that been the reason why you were so drawn to him? The alluring world and the glamorous life that he could offer you that had somehow seemed to be the answers to your dreams?
You can see him still wearing his tuxedo for the night, and you admire his handsome look, even if you had seen it when he sent a photo of him wearing the tux before the gala had started. Seeing that he has yet to change, it shows that the event had only ended not too long ago and he had just returned to his penthouse.
“That sounds marvellous. Are you exhausted? You seem like you’re still glowing for some reason.”
Matthew laughs. “Just the Christmas spirit, babe. I just feel sorry that you weren’t here with me. You would’ve looked amazing if you had come with me in your pretty dress.”
His words make you smile, before you feel your guilt rising slowly, reminding you of what you need to do to make things right. “Seeing that you’re now home, I was wondering if we can talk?” Your heart starts to pound even before you can say anything, but you know that you need to get through this. That you need to do this now before it would be too late. “There’s something that I need to—say. A lot of them, actually.”
“Right, right,” Matthew says, nodding his head with a knowing look on his face, just as his beaming smile slowly fades. You can see him taking a seat, resting back on the sofa that you have grown familiar with after spending many nights there with him. He rubs his palm down his face with a sigh, before looking back at you through the screen again with an intense look in his eyes and says,
“Perhaps you can start by explaining to me about the request you made through our affiliates, Jeon and Partners, before you had to leave, when you had them draft a divorce statement for you, listed under your name.”
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It feels like forever before midnight comes to pass.
Throughout the night as everyone in the lodge descends into their slumber, retreating to their rooms one person at a time with the anticipation of waking up to the bright Christmas morning, you remain in your room, waiting, until the only thing you can sense beyond that door is silence. It doesn’t take much for you to sneak into your uncle’s room and use the drunken state that he is in to coax him into lending his truck. With the keys clutched in one hand and your packed overnight bag on the other, you move carefully through the night, making your way downstairs without making so much of a noise that could possibly wake everyone up and ruin your plans.
As you continue to make your escape and slip out through the side door heading to the parked vehicles, the conversation you had with Matthew earlier continues to replay itself in your head. After the last fight you had with him, he had grown so curious to figure out why you have been acting so strange that he had gone digging around to find what you had been secretly hiding from him.
The moment he revealed to you that he had found out that you had filed for divorce to someone else through an affiliate law firm, your heart had instantly plummeted. But then as you finally told him everything, making him understand your situation and why you had to do what you are about to do, the only thing you feel after was—relief. It had been the first sign that showed you that you were on the right track. That you are doing the right thing.
The only thing for you to do left is to walk away from this. Because you can no longer lie to everyone and there is absolutely no place for you here. Not anymore. At least, not until you can—
“So that’s it? You’re going to leave again?”
You are only a few steps away to reach your uncle’s truck when you hear his voice. For a moment, the thought that perhaps you are imagining it comes across your head. But then you turn around, finding him standing there on the side porch while keeping its lights turned off.
As if he had been waiting, lurking in the dark.
As if he had predicted this.
He remains silent as he makes his way to you, walking in slow, long strides with his head held high and his eyes locked on you. Stopping only two steps away from you, his eyes fall on the overnight bag you are carrying in your hand and his jaw clenches tight.
“You’re really leaving,” he says, before his eyes find yours.
“I—I have to,” you can barely choke out the words, suddenly feeling so small under the scrutiny of his gaze. Shaking your head, you dare yourself to look at him in the eyes to plead to him. “I’ve made a mess of things and I’ve only made it worse by coming here. You know I can’t stay. I’m so sorry.”
You turn away just then, only to have him stopping you. Catching you by the wrist, Namjoon pulls you back so that you are facing him. The hardness in his eyes is no longer present when you look up at him, though you still have no idea how to read the expression he is wearing.
He says nothing for a moment, just taking you in, then he pulls you closer to him ever so gently while murmuring, “Don’t go.” His request catches you by surprise, but it is nothing compared to what he says next. “You asked me to fight for you?” he asks, taking your other wrist into his hand as he gently peels the car keys out of your clutch. “Here I am. Don’t go. Don’t leave.”
Startled, your head falls back as you release a bitter laugh. “Oh, God. Namjoon—” You blink away the tears that are threatening to fall. You have been hoping that you could have a chance to keep it together until you can reach the town, or perhaps once you are back home, before you can have your breakdown. So much for your plans, you wonder while shaking your head.
“I can’t stay. You know I can’t,” you finally tell him. “I can no longer look into Winny’s eyes and not feel guilty for pretending to be someone I’m not, to play a role of the person who has no place here.”
Namjoon lifts your chin up with his gentle fingers, and he makes you look up to meet his gaze before he speaks. “That’s not what I saw when you were sitting there at the dinner table with us, singing along with Bernie and your uncle no matter how out of tune they were and laughing at my Dad’s corny jokes,” he says with his lips curling to a small smile. You are lost in the depth of his gaze to realise that he has not only stolen the keys away from you but he has also pulled your bag away, throwing it to the ground before he takes your hand in his.
“That’s not what I saw when you were holding my hand or when you are with Winny, tending to her needs and listening to her stories,” he says, bringing your hand to his lips. “This is where you belong, _______. You are home. You belong here with us. With me.”
He lowers his head as he says this, but instead of brushing his lips on your face or lips, he presses a kiss on the top of your head. At this point, you are slowly losing every bit of resolve that you still have, already forgetting everything that you had been planning to do.
His words serve like an enchantment, filling your head so easily to replace every thought, every doubt, and it becomes so easy for you to simply lean into it and embrace the way his request is making you feel when you have been waiting to hear those exact words to come from him for years. It had taken you so long to admit this, but you had never truly stopped waiting. You had done all you could to relinquish the hope you ever had for finding your way back to him again, only to have the memory of your broken heart stopping you from ever trying to reach out to him again.
“Stay,” he whispers softly as he buries his nose between the strands of your hair. “Don’t go.”
As you lean into him, he flattens one hand on your back, letting it drift slowly upward until his palm comes to the base of your neck. He continues to brush his nose gently across your hair, breathing through the strands while pressing his mouth to kiss your hair, with each kiss drawing a shiver through your body.
Your hand grips onto his shirt then, though you are not quite sure whether you want to stop him or to urge him to carry on. “Namjoon—”
“Sshh—” he murmurs against your hair, then his fingers find your chin, lifting your head gently to look at him again just when you try to avoid his gaze and pull away. He pulls your face towards him, letting his lips dance over yours ever so gently with a hesitant kiss.
For a brief moment, you make no move to return the kiss, still too stunned and still feeling too vulnerable against the turmoil happening inside you. As always, Namjoon manages to bring back all the emotions within you, and it takes you a moment to be able to process them all together, to let the last bit of your restraint crumble, and you begin to press against him, kissing him back gently until you both begin to let go.
He hums his approval as he kisses your lips before he pulls back. With his hooded eyes on you, he grips the back of your neck and tilts your head back. The hold he has on you feels firm, and yet he remains gentle as he is pressing his mouth on your furrowed brows, your temple, and then on your eyelids as your eyes are beginning to flutter close to his gentle kisses, before finally dipping down to find your lips.
Your fingers tighten on his shirt, and your mouth falls open against his to welcome him. And almost instantly, the kiss goes from a soft and gentle caress to a dominating one, growing hot and needy in less than a second, and you can feel his hunger taking over him as he slides his tongue into your mouth. As you are submitting to him, opening yourself up to the searing kiss and the touches of his fingers on your body, your own hands come reaching up to start clawing on his shirt, wishing it gone so you can feel the connection that you have with him through every delicate touch of your skin against his.
You have no idea what is happening to you. It is hard to explain why you cannot seem to keep your head on straight when you are in his arms. It feels like your body simply comes alive while also losing its will to run when he is holding you like this. It should be wrong to relish on this delightful feeling, when you had only come here in the first place in order to end this instead of coming back to it. But there is also something so right to be with him again. All the things that he makes you feel and everything that you share with him feel completely different from anything else that you had ever experienced. Though it is not as if you have truly experienced a lot when it comes to relationships and men.
Namjoon had always been the only one. From the only boy that you had ever loved to the only man that you have ever been with. Even if you have made up your mind to move on, to be with someone else, you have slowly realised that whatever you had with Matthew could never compare to what you and Namjoon have shared for years. And every memory of what you felt when you were with him is definitely worlds apart from the kind of feelings that Namjoon is able to ignite in you so easily with his touches.
Namjoon bites your bottom lip in the middle of the kiss, snapping you right out of it and makes you both pull back from the heated kiss. Both of you are breathless, the air between you curling with a thin veil of white fog, and there is no doubt that both of your bodies are burning with need. But neither of you make a move to come apart any further, keeping your hands on each others’ bodies to hold on and your mouths are still hovering against one another.
“Tell me you’re staying,” he whispers against your lips. As if the way you are kissing him has yet to serve as the answer that he needs to hear. And he simply needs to hear it, to have you say the words out loud.
But you find it hard for you to speak. Both from being so breathless still and for feeling the fear that you might be giving the wrong answer. Suddenly, you are no longer sure just where you are leaning into. A part of you still wants to flee, to protect yourself from the past heartache and the possibility of having to go through all of it all over again. While another part of you finds home in his embrace, and there is nothing that your soul wants more than to return to a place where you truly belong.
“I can’t—” you begin to answer, only to stop when you have no idea what to say. You simply cannot decide which path to take as of this moment, when everything seems to be crumbling just the way it did the day you left this town 3 years ago. But then you reach up, resting your palm on his face as you look straight into his eyes, finding the love that had been the reason for you to live, coming from the man who had once been your strength and your weakness, and everything inside you breaks apart. “Namjoon—”
You know that he can see it in your eyes as it happens, when he can see the pain in your eyes that is too stubborn to leave. Then he is suddenly looming over you, pushing you back towards your uncle’s truck until you can feel the hard ridges from the vehicle pressing against your back. You cannot really tell whether it is coming from his rage for seeing your inability to let go of the past or simply a part of his presence, but he sets your body on fire without even laying a single touch of his hand.
“You don’t have to leave,” he whispers, suddenly pressing so close to you as he pins you back against the truck that you can feel his chest vibrating with his deep voice.
“I have to,” you choke out, though you are starting to feel yourself giving in.
“No one said that you should.”
You continue to shake your head. “It won’t be right if I stay any longer,” you mutter softly, more to yourself than to him, but Namjoon takes it as something that you are throwing at him just to have a reason to walk away.
“Says who?”
“Namjoon, I—” You stop and look at him. Your eyes find his, finding the pain emitting from within their depths, and it is enough to make you question things. But you need to get things out of your chest and make him see it. “What we’ve done, what we’ve been doing—That kiss under the mistletoe, that was a part of an act, a show, but everything else that came after—” you shake your head at him. “It was wrong. We were wrong. We shouldn’t have let things gone so far.”
“Why not?”
“Because—” Your breath hitches just as the twist in your chest returns. “Namjoon, I said yes. I was already engaged to someone else.” You bite your tongue to avoid telling him the truth, that even if you leave today, you may not have anything to come back to. Not after that last conversation that you had with Matthew and how he had reacted to the news.
But instead of yelling at you, Namjoon simply looks at you with a deep gaze that has yet to waver. “You’re still my wife,” he says, with a tone that you can barely decipher, though you can still feel him laying claim on you with those words.
“Do you love him?”
His question surprises you. You open your mouth, only to close it again when you cannot find the answer. Do you really love him? Have you ever truly felt anything for Matthew? Or do you simply love the idea of having someone admiring you, loving you, chasing you to the end of the earth with a promise of forever?
The promise that Namjoon had once given you, and apparently he had kept without you knowing any of it. All of a sudden this thought comes into your head, sneaking in when least expected. It may have gotten inside your head ever since you started seeing this new part of him, to know all the things that he had been working on and the reason behind all of it.
But you still have to return, you remind yourself that you would still need to resolve things with Matthew face to face, to be able to have an actual conversation that a simple video call couldn’t provide so you can explain yourself properly. And you also have your job. The career that you have built for many years, waiting for you to return. Even if you know that things would certainly change now, because there is no way you could possibly return to work in the same place with Matthew. Not after what you did.
“One day,” he says, stopping you before you can say anything. “Just stay here with me one more day, and you can decide tomorrow if you still want to leave or if you want to stay for another.” He stops to take a deep breath, before adding with a small voice, “If not for me, then—”
You grimace when you suddenly remember.
Your eyes flutter close when a pinch of guilt comes to your chest. Would you really have done it to Winny, to just walk away and leave without saying goodbye? After everything that she had done for you?
You open your eyes again. And the first thing that you see when you look at him nearly knocks the air out of your chest. In his eyes, you see something that he had never truly shown you before. Something that you cannot remember ever seeing before.
You see his vulnerability. You see his pain. And suddenly, you question yourself if there is really something true in the words that he had given you before.
“Did you mean it? What you said before—?”
He frowns. “About what?”
“That you—” You stop, not sure how to approach this without having him pulling away from you again. Not sure how much it will break you if he isn’t giving you the answer that you want to hear. “That you never—”
“I never gave up,” he immediately answers before you can question him properly. “Never really did.” His deep gaze softens as he releases a deep sigh. Then you can see his guilt as he looks at you, before he covers it by resting his forehead on yours. “I wanted to race out there and fight for you the moment I realised that I was nothing without you and that I shouldn’t have pushed you away. But I knew that it wouldn’t be right for me if I had simply begged you to come back when you were finally getting everything you wanted.”
Once he stops talking, you find yourself exhaling a relieved sigh. Hearing his words doesn’t erase the pain that you had gotten from the past, but it does make your heart swell. And it changes the way you are seeing him even further. He is still silent as he gives you a chance to process this, making no move to touch you or to walk away, until you push yourself up on your tiptoes and press your lips on his.
“One day,” you whisper softly, finally agreeing. The logical part of your mind is telling you that you are simply agreeing to stay simply because it is late, and there is no way you could possibly drive all the way back to town in the darkness and through the route down the mountains that you can barely remember.
But the other part of your mind is telling you something else. Insisting that you would stay solely because of him. Because you want to see another glimpse of Namjoon that you haven’t seen and all that you have missed ever since you left. And you can tell that you are opening up to him, and opening up to chances, finally giving in to this moment, no matter how hard you have been trying to fight it. And you let him know this when you tilt your face up toward his once again, as if giving yourself to him, but also giving him a chance to take the olive branch that you are handing out to him.
Namjoon seems hesitant at first, not completely sure if you are truly giving things a chance or if you are seconds away from challenging him again. But as you remain defiant, keeping your chin up as he dips his head lower, and then lower, and you make no move to look away or to push him back, Namjoon no longer holds himself back.
You feel like you are in a daze when you feel his lips on yours, still barely recovering after all the revelation that he had just given you. He kisses you gently at first, brushing his lips lightly against yours once, twice, and then pressing slightly harder when he comes for the third. It sure feels like he is still holding himself back, as if he simply refuses to give in entirely. Not when you still refuse to let him see what his kisses and his touches do to you.
As you close your eyes, the pained look that you saw from him earlier comes back to you, reminding you of the pain that you had felt years ago when you walked away from this old town, and it brings back the pain that you felt from losing him then. Just as you lean further against him, you realise that you have yet to heal from that old wound, which explains the need that you keep feeling to protect yourself from having too much hope. You also realise that you have come so close to losing him again tonight, and you would have probably been nursing the opened wound if he hadn’t chased you out from running.
The moment these thoughts fill your head, your body simply reacts. Your chest arches against him while your hands move to reach out to him, fingers tightening on his shirt, pulling him closer and tethering him to you as you take his bottom lip between your mouth and give him a light bite. The pain that you ignite in him snaps him out of it. And all so suddenly, Namjoon loses all control, and he simply lets himself go.
The moment his mouth meets yours again, a growl slips out of him and he pushes you firmly against the side of the truck, pressing his hard body against yours to pin you harder in place so that there is no more chance for you to escape. As his kiss becomes deeper, with him spilling all his need into it, his hands move around you, with one of them resting at the back of your head to hold you still against him while the other comes wrapping around your waist to press you to his chest. You simply melt against him, feeling his heartbeat pacing against yours and your body heat searing hot between you that it could have melted the snow around you if you would let them.
“We need to get inside. Can’t have you out here, you’ll be freezing cold,” he murmurs against your lips, his breath already growing ragged with need, while his touches are growing hot on your skin that not even your sweater can keep you from feeling it.
“Okay,” you whisper against his lips, though there is something in his eyes that keeps telling you that it wouldn’t simply be an act of sheltering you from the cold if you ever let him take you back inside. That he has something else in mind and the moment he can get you someplace safe, to get you to a place that is warm and comfortable, letting you rest would be the last thing in his mind.
You can also feel it in the way he is grabbing your hand and pulling you with him back into the lodge. How he is walking with long, impatient strides, keeping his shoulders straight, it becomes more obvious that he is moving with a goal set in mind. And then he quickly proves to you that you are right when he makes a turn as soon as you are both inside the lodge, moving towards the other side of the ground floor and away from the stairs, before opening a door that he finds downstairs. The next thing you know, he is pulling you into a bedroom that seems to have been left vacant as everyone had chosen all the bedrooms available on the upper floors.
Once you are both inside, Namjoon wastes no time to turn you around and push you against the door right after he closes and locks it behind him. Then his mouth quickly returns to yours, pressing a searing kiss that no longer holds any apprehension, showing you nothing more but lust and temptation and the pure hunger that he has more than once shown you before. What happens next is a flurry of clashing tongues and teeth and lips moulding to one another. His fingers come up to the back of your head, clutching tightly on your hair to hold you in place as he continues to devour your mouth, drawing soft moans from your throat and light shudders all over your body.
With his other hand, he follows the surge of pleasure running down your body, tracing his fingers down your curves while pressing down on your sensitive spots as he makes his way down. Your chest arches as he brushes his thumb over your covered nipple, pressing down hard over the nub that the sweater you are wearing barely feels present. Then he grabs tightly on your waist, pulling you to him and pressing against the small of your back until your hips are connected to his, allowing him to rub the evidence of his desire right against your abdomen, showing you without so much of a word just what you have been doing to him while claiming you as his.
This is everything that you remember of him. The way he takes without any shred of guilt when he presses his lips on yours and his hands are gripping you possessively without giving you any chance to slip away. How he devours your lips with pure hunger, swallowing your gasps, drowning the sound of your moans, and drinking the sounds of your breath until you are nothing but a bundle of flames, burning from deep within with your desire that continues to build up stronger as he lets you feel his own. The way he fists on your hair, entangling his long fingers through each curl and pulling your head back to make you submit to him, giving him access to trail his mouth down the column of your throat and giving him a full reign to control your body. The way he is rolling his hips, pressing the bulge of his arousal against the center of your pulsing need while his mouth continues to devour you.
Namjoon grunts against your skin as he nips at the sensitive spot under your ear, as he has recognised every part of your body that would be able to respond so easily to his touches. Then he slides one hand—the one that isn’t holding you up against him—to reach beneath your sweater, climbing back up the moment he meets your bare skin underneath, and then keeps moving up, until his fingers meet your bra and he swiftly grabs on to it, pulling it down, giving him full access to your breasts.
His hand comes back up, taking one mound into his palm, sending a wave of pleasure down your body as he begins to work on the soft flesh and the hardened nub with his palm and fingers. The wave continues to ripple inside you, rising steadily, moving from where he is touching you towards your pulsing core.
For every single time you are lost in bliss under his talented hands, you keep telling yourself how wrong it would be to give in. Even if he had been right when he reminded you that you are still legally his wedded wife, but years have passed and you still have something left unresolved waiting for you back in the city. But as he continues kissing you, his mouth pressing at the right places along the column of your throat then coming back up to find your lips, his hands touching everywhere while igniting the flame within you, you keep finding it hard to convince yourself to stop, to admit that this is something that you shouldn’t be doing.
How is this wrong, when it is your husband who is touching you? The man who you are still legally married to, both in the papers and under the legitimacy of your vows? And how can you possibly say that this is a mistake, when your heart still beats for him the way it did the day you said ’I do’, and when your whole body would only come awake under his touch?
When his hands are on your waist, pressing and kneading the way he would do it back then while rising you up against the wooden door behind you, you finally realise the reason why it had always felt as if your skin was crawling whenever Matthew touched you. The reason why your body seemed to scream ’this is wrong!’ whenever you tried to make love to another man.
Because both your heart and soul had only been searching for the one they have always meant to be with, and that person is the man who is now lifting you in his arms, carrying you to the bed that is placed right at the center of the room.
With his mouth no longer latching onto yours, you finally allow yourself to look around. The room is dark, with only the soft gleam from the moonlight illuminating the room, but you can still see Namjoon’s desire in his eyes as he gently sets you down on your back, right on top of the plushy bed that has grown cold for being neglected for days.
Under his gaze, your whole body thrums with a sort of carnal desperation. Something that you are beginning to see as a feeling that he might be experiencing as well, when you watch his eyes glinting with lust and pain when he rakes down your body with his gaze, when his chest heaves with all the pent up desire that he seems to have kept buried for a long time, and when his hands seem to unable to stay away, already reaching out to you and touching you with his gentle caress as if he wants to make sure that you are real.
When your hands reach for him, you realise that you share the same desperate need to feel him, to touch and connect to him. All the pain that you felt from the past is beginning to simmer, but it is still present, reminding you how painful it would be to lose him again and how close you had been to let it happen.
As his touches grow bolder, you feel that you are getting just as eager. Your hands begin to tug at his clothes while your mouth keeps meeting his with a passion that you haven’t felt for a long time and matches terribly to his own. Namjoon slips your sweater off of your shoulders, tossing it away to the nearest chair, before tossing his own jacket away to join it. He returns to you in a matter of seconds, then slides his fingers beneath your shirt with a sense of starvation and need to touch your bare skin. You can feel his hunger when his body vibrates right when you are shuddering under his touch, and you can hear it when he lets out a deep grunt while his breath grows ragged the moment your skin connected to each other.
The sound that he keeps making is causing you to grow more impatient, and you begin to tug and pull at his shirt, not even caring about it when you pop out the buttons in your desperate need to take his shirt right off of his body. Namjoon seems to share the same feeling, when it seems like the only concern that he has at the moment is to get you out of your clothes. He keeps tugging impatiently at your shirt while giving you his kisses so recklessly that you can feel your lips bruising with each pressure of his lips on yours. But you care nothing of it, only returning the kiss with your own need, while you do the same as you continue to tug at his clothes until his chest is left bare right at the same time he manages to toss your shirt away.
His eyes instantly fall onto your chest when you come apart, eyes dilating at the sight of your breasts spilling out of your bra after the mess that he had created in the heat of the moment, and the sight carries on to entice him further as your chest keeps rising and falling with your ragged breath. It sends him into some kind of a hungry daze, as his hands absentmindedly reach out for you, all while muttering under his breath, “Beautiful,” before he dips his head, capturing your mouth while his hands continue to mesh, knead, pressing onto your soft flesh and pinching at your nipples until you arch your body against him, feeling the pleasure moving rapidly inside you like sparks of flame licking at your center.
His hands trail down to your waist, cursing under his breath when he finds the waistband of your pants getting in the way. Instinctively, you also curse along with him at your decision to wear them. Though it had been undeniably the perfect decision for you to take before running out into the cold, you hate to admit that if only you had been wearing a skirt, or perhaps the same dress that you had worn during dinner, he would already find his way to be inside of you, to be touching you right where you are pulsing with need.
He doesn’t even try to pull away from the kiss even as he tugs at the zipper on your pants with one hand while he tries to work on his own zipper with the other, all while his tongue keeps dancing and teasing against yours in a way which sends magnificent jolts of need all the way down to your toes.
He stops the kiss as he shoves your pants down to your hips and you help as much as you could—by tearing your flimsy bra and kicking the damn pants and underthings the rest of the way until they are all gone, fallen to the floor before Namjoon climbs back on top of you. By then, you are nearly blinded with desire, and it intensifies the moment he slips his fingers between your legs, finding out just how ready you are for him. The touch of his fingers dancing around your heat draws a soft moan right out of your lips, while he breathes out a sigh of relief, as if your readiness serves as the answer to his prayers.
Instead of taking the chance to continue devouring you, Namjoon pulls back, his fingers retreating from your pulsing heat to shove his own pants down, releasing his cock as he kicks everything away. His pants and boxers fall onto the floor with a heap of a mess, and his hand comes down to wrap his hard length, stroking himself a few times as he bends down on the bed, his mouth finding your bare neck where he presses a kiss onto. At the sound of your whimper, his free hand reaches down between your legs, finding your heat once more. This time, his fingers move rather gentle and slow as he circles around your folds, moving in a steady rhythm as he slowly finds the center, then he dips the tips in, pressing right where your arousal keeps dripping out.
He hums against the nape of your neck as he slowly pushes his way in, dipping his fingers into your heat all the way to his knuckles and grunts as he feels your body shuddering against him. “Fuck, you’re tightening around me, Baby Doll,” he groans deeply, growing nearly breathless as he relishes on the way you are pulsing around his fingers while he continues to stroke himself gently, you can feel him moving against your hips and you raise yourself, inviting him to push himself into you.
Instead, he simply moves his fingers, sliding them in and out of you and rubbing the digits against your pulsing walls while his thumb finds your clit, pressing and circling until the pleasure comes rolling upward and you are left trashing on the bed with the need for release. You can feel the pleasure rising, reaching its peak, but also not quite there. Namjoon can probably feel this too as he gives you a quick peck on the lips before pulling back, suddenly rising and then climbing down the bed. He still has his fingers playing with your cunt, slowly picking up their pace as he thrusts them deeper, pressing right at your sweet spot, before he pulls his thumb away and his mouth latches on in its place.
Everything falls into another flurry of sinful bliss while your body becomes nothing but a bundle of nerve ending as he plays with your body so fluidly—his fingers continue pumping in and out of you, his mouth and tongue taking turns to tease and torture at your swollen clit, sucking and lapping while sometimes he would get his teeth into the mix and brush against the pulsing flesh until you are left trashing and crying with pleasure. There are tears in your eyes at how good he is making you feel and how quickly you are coming over the edge. With your hands clutching on his head, you press your hips down against his face, riding his mouth and hand with a matching pace to the rising pulse of your climax, chasing it with the help of his coaxing words, until you are finally there, as your orgasm comes rolling so intensely there is nothing stopping you from falling over the edge.
Your whole body continues to pulse with the spasms of your climax even as he slowly pulls back, releasing you from his mouth while his fingers are still moving gently around your folds to help you ride it down. Moving ever so slowly, Namjoon climbs his way back up, pressing his hand onto the bed beside you to prop himself over you. He stays there for a moment, watching you closely as you try to control your breath, your eyes slowly opening to him with pure love and lust looking back at him right at the same time you are seeing them coming from his own eyes.
“You can stop me,” he whispers hoarsely. “If you don’t want to do this. If you still want to—”
The words die down on his tongue, and yet you can still see the fear and doubt in his eyes without him ever having to say them out loud. You reach out to him, trembling hands cupping his face, your thumbs brushing to wipe away the remnants of your release that are still coating his mouth and chin even after he had tried to brush them all clean. “Make love to me, Namjoon,” you whisper to him. “Make me feel alive again. You’re the only one who can make me feel.”
There is a hint of relief and a glint of hope in his eyes when he hears your words. With a smile on his face, he turns to kiss your palm, pressing his mouth on one side before turning to do the same to the other. His gentle hands come up, catching your wrists as he begins kissing down on them, then he brings your hands down to rest them above your heads, pressing them down to the pillows before he lowers himself on top of you and quickly catches your mouth in his once again.
“I’ve waited for this moment for a long time, Baby Doll. I’ve missed you so much,” he whispers against your lips, drawing your tears out when you realise that you have been feeling the exact same way.
One of his hands comes down, before you can feel the tip of his cock rubbing against your slit. He takes a moment to coat his shaft with your arousal, moving it up and down and then around your clit, making your legs tremble around him, until you feel the fat tip of his cock pressing and nudging at your entrance.
With his mouth pressing down on yours, he swallows the soft cries you are making as he sinks into you, groaning deeply as he feels your wet heat engulfing him, wrapping around his girth. He waits for a moment, only until he can feel the intense pulsing of your walls around him slowly wane down, until your body relaxes beneath him, until his own heartbeat steadies and he no longer has to worry about coming too soon to the pleasure of being buried inside you again after so long.
You throw your head back against the pillows as he begins to move, gently and slowly at first, his deep groans turning into whimpers as he relishes the wonderful feeling of his cock brushing against your walls. He thrusts, and thrusts, moving in and out with a steady pace, and you reach out to him just as he finally releases you so he can hold your hips up to him, your hands clinging onto him, urging him on as your need continues to boil hotter from the depth of your core. The sweet and soft sounds you are making soon becomes the encouragement that he needs, along with the way your nails are beginning to clutch and bury themselves into his skin. He leans forward, kissing you again as your hips begin to rock against each other. The old bed creaks beneath you, but nothing can stop either one of you from rolling your hips, chasing and drowning yourself in the pleasure of his lovemaking, pushing up when he presses down, slowly increasing the pace as the need to chase for climax begins to grow stronger on both of you.
Namjoon continues pounding and thrusting his cock rapidly into your heat while you reciprocate by moving your hips, lifting yourself up to meet each of his thrusts. The emotions piling up from the past few days that you have spent with him are all coming to a head, leaving you both clinging desperately to each other as you try to ease the tension that are still carried by both your bodies and your broken hearts. With a deep groan, Namjoon raises his hands, gripping the wooden headrest right above your head as he keeps on bringing you over to the edge of your bliss, picking up his pace as he puts more force into his thrusts, sending you both jostling on top of the bed. And yet his cock keeps hitting you deep to a point that you are feeling the mix of pain and pleasure meshed together in one delightful bliss.
Soon enough, the waves of your orgasm begin to build up once more, coming to you stronger and faster without giving you a chance to hold back. Your breath begins to come out shorter, the cries of pleasure keeps getting caught in your throat at the force of his pounding, before it comes out higher when the pain slowly descends, leaving nothing but pleasure in its place.
“I love you,” he rasps between his thrusts, wanting you to hear it. And you can see his need to let you know this when he never once looks away as he buries himself deep inside you. “I’ve always loved you and I still do. I never stopped, damn it.”
Your gaze turns up and finds his, only to grow blurry and hazy at the mix of your tears and the rising bliss just as you scream out, “I love you too, Namjoon. Always have.”
And always will.
At the exchange of your words, something within you snaps, and with one single thrust, he pushes you over to the edge, sending you tumbling over to the peak of your pleasure with a loud cry of his name. Your climax comes through you in an intense wave, vibrating from deep inside you and wrapping tightly around him to send him to his own release. A deep groan continues to rumble from his chest as he keeps on thrusting, the movement of his cock turns rapid and messy and filled with the desperate need to reach his end before you feel him swelling, tightening inside you, then he pushes forward and going so deep one last time as he releases himself inside you, filling you up with his cum.
The moment everything stops, Namjoon drops down beside you and pulls you to his chest. He continues to hold you tight between his strong arms, letting you feel his heartbeat without minding the thin veil of sweat building between you. As the remaining spasms of your release begin to wind down, your eyes slowly flutter to close, relishing on the mixture of emotions and the feelings running through your body—the warmth of his embrace, the wet heat coming from his release that is still dripping out of your pulsing core, and the feeling of love fluttering inside your heart.
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Your whole body feels incredibly relaxed, while at the same time, completely sore, by the time dawn comes peeking through the window. And yet, you find there is no need to complain about it when your body is also humming with pure pleasure as you open your eyes and stretch your limbs out beside him.
For the rest of the night after your rigorous lovemaking, Namjoon has shown you just how insatiable he could be when he is with you.
For hours, he had taken you in every position possible for a man to take you. With you on top, riding him while facing him and then facing the other way. With him on top of you, taking you hard and gentle and then with a lazy roll of his hips until you were sent into a slow rising bliss. With you in all fours, as he took you from behind, not even caring how the bed kept making loud noises as it kept on banging against the wall with how hard he was pounding his cock into you until your whole body was trembling with your intense climax. You have lost count on how many times he had made you cum, as he simply kept on going, only giving you a short amount of time for breaks each time before taking you again, as if he was making up for lost time the best he could, showing you what three years of exercising and working out while working hard labour had done to his body and stamina.
As if he had been doing it to prepare for this moment, just to please you like nobody could.
“I did some thinking. You know, after our fight 3 years ago,” he murmurs softly after kissing the top of your head. You have your head resting on his shoulder, while he has his arm around your shoulders, his fingers running up and down your arm absentmindedly to enjoy the silence that had fallen between you. “I knew you were right all along, but I guess I was too stubborn to see it then. Then I went to your graduation, watching you from far away since I had too much pride to join my Mom to sit with your family then. But I was still there to see you taking that step onto the life that you had always wanted, and that was when it truly hit me.”
You instantly look up at his face as you listen to him. It surprises you to hear that he had been there for your graduation, when you had spent the entire night after the ceremony crying over his absence. But you say nothing about this, only staying silent as you continue to listen.
“It took me a long time, but I also realised that just because we lost—” he chokes out as he always does whenever he talks about this, so you rub your hand gently over his chest, soothing him so that he could go on. “It didn’t mean that I—that we had lost a chance to still build our family.”
Sighing, you are filled with both relief and despair to know that it has taken him so long to get to this point. To realise all of this. But you are also glad that he is finally there. “That was what I kept trying to tell you,” you murmur to him while trying your best to keep your tears at bay. “But I had to understand. Our reason to believe that we could be a family at all was because of—of him, our little peanut,” you chuckle softly at the short memory of being a young mother. “So it was hard for both of us to look past that and to see us having a life without him with us. At one point, I couldn’t see it. But all I ever wanted was for us to heal together.”
Namjoon closes his eyes briefly and sighs. And then you can see the regret in his eyes when he looks at you again. “I just didn’t want to hold you back. When I finally realised that I could no longer put my life on hold, I also knew that the only way for me to change things up was to start from the beginning rather than for me to chase your shadow. I reapplied for college once I got back home, finished early, started working with my Dad to learn the ropes, and did everything I could to build everything from the ground up, both literally and figuratively, starting with my own life first, stopping it from crumbling to the ground before I started doing the same to the old buildings in town.”
You push yourself up. “Why didn’t I know any of this?”
Namjoon doesn’t answer you right away, but chooses to bring up your question instead. “You asked me why I kept sending the papers back.”
Hesitantly, you nod your head.
“I wanted to win you back,” he says, his smile never leaving his face. “But first, I wanted to become someone who you can rely on, and I knew I had to prove to myself, to you, to everyone, that I can be someone that you can depend on when the only thing people saw from me was how much I had failed you.”
With a sigh, he lets his head fall back. His eyes looking up to the ceiling but his gaze seems further away as he looks back to the past. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and I still blame myself for what happened with—” Again, he chokes, but the pain is no longer there when he looks at you. “But I blame myself more for being stuck inside my head while I was grieving that I completely neglected you, completely disregarded my part as your husband, and as the man who vowed to take care of you.”
He lifts his hand, brushing your hair and tucking it behind your ear gently. “I’m sorry it took me a long time to realise it. I should’ve fought harder. I should’ve done it sooner,” he says, keeping his eyes on yours. “I should’ve been there for you and fought my way back up together with you.”
“You could’ve told me. I would have—” you try to speak, “I wouldn’t have—”
Namjoon stops you by pressing a light peck on the tip of your nose. “It doesn’t matter now anyway, right?”
And then it dawns on you, just as you are reminded of how your Mom had sat you down on that first night you arrived, before everyone came by to join dinner, when she asked you gently to have a proper conversation with Namjoon before deciding to do anything. When she asked you to listen to him. “My parents knew about this.”
Namjoon slowly nods. “They had always been the ones to give me their full support. And Bernie wasn’t lying when he said they all helped. Bernie and your uncle, specifically, have been great partners in expanding my construction business.”
It sure takes a lot to take in. There have been so many changes happening while you were gone, so many things that you have missed. Perhaps you were wrong after all when you had thought that life would simply stop in this place, that it would be impossible for you to expand your life in such a small town where there were so many barriers, so many limitations, and not enough room to grow.
But when you had managed to prove to everyone and the world that it was possible for you to have big dreams and to reach for them by leaving, Namjoon had shown that it was possible to have them all by staying.
“I signed the papers,” he murmurs softly, reminding you about the predicament that you have found yourself in. You close your eyes as your heart pinches under the memory of waking up to find those damn papers.
“I saw.” You open your eyes to look at him and sigh. “I haven’t put down my signature yet.”
“Why?” he asks, and then his vulnerability shines bright in his eyes. “Are you going to sign it?”
“I don’t know anymore,” you find yourself answering him, before the pain in your chest increases and you simply drop down on top of his chest to hold him tight. “I won’t. No, never. I’m going to burn those papers once the sun comes up.” Namjoon’s chest rumbles with a chuckle, though you can still feel him sighing with relief when he presses his mouth on your temple. “I ended it. The engagement,” you whisper to him while keeping your face pressed to his bare chest, afraid of what you might find when you look at him.
Namjoon says nothing at first before you feel him nodding. “I know,” he whispers as he buries his nose into your hair, breathing you in before he sighs in relief.
You raise your head to look up. “What? How?”
He hums softly. “I just—I can tell. And I overheard a little bit of your argument while you were on the video call earlier. I was standing right outside the bedroom,” he admits to you sheepishly. “I’m so sorry.”
“No, you’re not,” you say to him after reading the expression on his face, finding more relief and pride present there instead of remorse. “You’re definitely not sorry.”
A slow smile grows on his face as he dips his head, capturing your lips in his with a whisper, “No. No, I’m not.”
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There was a saying that you read a long time ago. One that said how time flies over everyone, but leaves its shadow behind.
Months have passed since you were reunited with Namjoon. Ever since the holiday week that you spent with him where you were given the chance to revisit your past and to have another look at the life that you had at that moment to find what you had been missing.
The summer breeze comes flowing through, making your dress dance around you as you slowly walk down the path between the guests, surrounded by the familiar faces of your family and friends who have arrived to become a part of this moment.
You make a quick glance over to the seats, your eyes meeting Winny’s, finding her beaming with a smile as she watches you with pride in her eyes. The trip in the winter had done a lot to help her recover, and she had become one of the first people around you to support this day to happen. Everything else had simply fallen in place since—the bar had been expanded to have its own bed and breakfast, Namjoon’s business has risen even faster than what he had ever predicted, as the Mayor’s testimony of his work had spread so fast to the neighbouring town that he had gained even more work, saved even more buildings, and there is nothing stopping him now from blossoming.
And then there is you.
It is certainly funny how life works, how it had chosen to send you into different paths and different kinds of adventures before it finally leads you towards your fairy tale ending.
When you came back home all those months ago, you had thought that you would return to the big city with closure, with a chance to move on with a fairy tale ending. Never once you had ever thought that you would find yourself instead.
Instead of closure, you had found a new beginning, a second chance, and to finally open your eyes to realise that you had already found your fairy tale ending, and you never had to look far to see it. And now you are here, walking towards the happy ending that you had dreamed of for a long time, in the magical moment that you had pictured in your head ever since you were a little girl—a white wedding at the top of the cliff, overlooking the town and the canyons below, with you wearing an ivory dress that sparkles beautifully under the bright sun above.
You look ahead, meeting Namjoon’s gaze as he waited for you at the end of the path, standing not too far away from the edge of the cliff that serves as your final stage. Right beside him is the Mayor, acting as the officiant for this ceremony, a surprise gift that he had offered after finding out about your plans for renewing your marriage vows with Namjoon. The fact that he had offered his service only months after you had officially become his legal advisor was almost too good to be true, but the man had claimed that he owed so much to Namjoon, and then now to you, to take the pleasure of becoming a part of this moment.
You look at Namjoon and smile at him. There are tears in his eyes when you finally reach him. His hands are trembling when he takes yours in his, but the moment your hands touch each other, the only thing you both feel is a wave of calmness, as the bond between you takes over to eliminate all the nerves.
You barely pay attention as the Mayor reads out the written vows that you had prepared for each other, only until the moment he gives you the final question, of promising a forever with Namjoon, both in happiness and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, and nothing can ever set you apart.
You raise your head, looking straight into the eyes of the man who had always been there as a part of your journey, whether or not he was constantly present in every page of your tale. Your husband. Your Prince Charming.
And as you look out beyond the cliff, into the sight of nothingness that also offers you a wide-open space with a thousand of possibilities for your future, you feel as if you are free falling into your new beginning, and you simply take it, knowing full well that he would be there to catch your fall.
“I do.”
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Extra: honourable mention - BM (Matthew) from Kard
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❥ Author’s note 2.0 | Thank you for reading!
❥ Taglist | @hearteuforjoonie — @blue1928 — @jeonmisha — @smitssharon02 — @mini-coop25​ — @sumzysworld — @namjooningelsewhere — @nyamnomnamujoon — @rrrrap-monster — @moonchild1 — @onlythehobi — @secretlypg95 — @girlsforgloss — @kpopstudybee — @mynameis-kim​
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jcwriting · 5 months ago
Written in the Stars
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summary ↬ being soulmates with a werewolf? pretty easy. being jungkook’s soulmate? the easiest thing in the world. there’s only one teensy tiny problem. he doesn’t want to fuck you.
pairing ↬ werewolf!jungkook x reader
genre ↬ soulmate!au, abo verse, fluff, angst, hurt/comfort (this is so fucking dramatic and for what)
word count ↬ 10.4k my hand slipped
warnings ↬ swearing, angst (but with a happy ending bc im a sappy bitch), jk is stupid in love (emphasis on stupid), mentions of violence (very brief and i don’t go into too much detail but just to warn yall), slight nsfw (sex is a big topic for like half of this but not sex is had...i know im shocked too), half of this is background info/setting up the story the other half is finally addressing the summary lolol, jk is kind of an asshole but he has reasons!!!!!
authors note ↬ hello lovelies! here’s a small little thing for you all (laughs in 10k word count). this has been sitting in my drafts for fucking ever and i just needed to get it out there and out of my hands. im thinking about writing a part two where the actual ~*/sex/*~ is had but im still on the fence about that. please let me know what you think! i literally crave your interactions so pls dont be shy,,,,,okay love you bye :)
(ps i was so close to naming this Rewrite the Stars but since this has absolutely nothing to do with The Greatest Showman i didn’t. but i was close,,,,so fucking close)
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You always knew Jeon Jungkook was destined for great things.
It was written in the stars, your mother had told you after he had first stepped foot into your family-owned grocery store. Your mother didn’t have any special powers, she just had a thing for astrology. While you normally shrugged off her random proclamations about divine intervention and planetary alignments, you found that Jungkook was something you couldn’t ignore or chalk up as your mother’s latest tea leaf reading.
From the moment you set eyes on him you knew he was different. While your family held zero claim to any sort of mystical or magical inclinations, you were well aware of those who did. It was no secret that non-humans roamed the Earth in plain sight, even though it had taken humans eons to realize this. After years of savage wars and civil unrest, agreements had come into place and governing bodies were adjusted to accept the changes that had finally been made. But, this was all before your time. You were the generation that was born into the period of peace, the first children to not experience bloodshed before they could walk. The world you knew now was almost a complete one-eighty of what it had been.
Where before those who were not of human blood had to do everything they could to blend in, now could be free of the shadows. Your classrooms had both humans and non-humans in their rosters. Some of your teachers were hybrids. Curriculum expanded to teach humans about a world that had once been entirely unknown to them. One of your favorite teachers was a witch who regaled your tenth grade class with stories of goblin wars, wizard duels, and vampire covens. All tales that you had once thought were nothing but fiction were now anything but.
Which is why, the second Jeon Jungkook entered the grocery store that your parents owned and that you had worked at since you were old enough to speak in full sentences, you knew who he was. You didn’t even question it.
He was a werewolf. A powerful one. You could see it in the way he carried himself. The purposeful strides he took down the narrow aisles, the confidence in his broad shoulders. Humans weren’t nearly as sensitive as their hybrid counterparts but you also paid attention in your classes. Or, perhaps you were more aware than other humans. Never in your life did you have the issues other faced when meeting a non-human for the first time. You always knew who they were without them having to tell you. You just knew.
So, when Jeon Jungkook stepped up to your register with a bottle of water and some raw beef, you didn’t flinch. Didn’t bend under his dark gaze or shuffle your feet in an awkward attempt to break the silence. Instead, you flashed him your customer service smile and rang up his items. He didn’t say a word as he paid, barely sparing you a second glance as he strode out of the store.
“He’s going to be a great and powerful man,” your mother said in that feathery light voice of hers. “It was written in the stars.”
You couldn’t help but agree.
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Jeon Jungkook came into your store everyday for the next month. He bought the same thing every time. A bottle of water and a package of raw beef. The only time he spared you any words was to say thank you or the occasional hello if the sun was shining. Usually, he was alone. Sometimes, he came with a few members of his pack. You liked those days. He smiled a little brighter and talked a little louder when they were around. Especially around Taehyung.
Then, after a month, he didn’t come in. Not for an entire week. From Monday to Sunday, you hadn’t seen a hide nor hair of him. A part of you was worried, so worried that you almost stopped Taehyung in the middle of the street to ask of Jungkook’s whereabouts before realizing how insane that made you look, the other part was chastising yourself for caring. Jeon Jungkook was a customer. Nothing more, nothing less.
The following Monday had come and you had finally stopped glancing at the sliding doors every five minutes. You no longer expected his commanding presence to rock your little world. Instead, you continued your day as if it had been any other. That was, until, Jeon Jungkook stepped through the entrance looking as if he was walking on air. It didn’t take a genius to figure out why.
“Did you have a good heat?” You asked when he stepped up to your register. Jungkook fumbled the water bottle he had been setting onto the conveyer belt before turning to stare at you.
“What did you just say?”
You didn’t shrink under his intense glare. “I was asking if you enjoyed your heat. Seems like you did.”
“How do you know I was in my rut?”
“Oh, is rut the correct terminology? Sorry, they always interchanged them in class, I was never sure what was appropriate.” You shrugged and rang up his items. “It was kind of obvious, though. You seemed pretty agitated about a week-and-a-half ago, then you disappear for a week, and now you’re back looking happier than ever. If it wasn’t your rut then I want to know where you went on vacation because that’s where I’m heading to next.”
Jungkook laughed. That almost made you jump out of your skin. You had never heard him laugh before. It was throaty, it was deep, and it was wonderful. “I’ll be sure to send you the link to the Airbnb.”
“And how do you plan on doing that?”
He smirked. “I’m here every day, aren’t I?”
You tilted your head as you accepted the cash he handed to you. “Clearly, you’re not that reliable.”
Jungkook laughed again. It was becoming your new favorite sound. “My apologies. I didn’t mean to appear flaky.”
“You’re forgiven,” you decided as you handed him the plastic bag of his purchases. Teasingly, you added, “just make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
He flashed you a smile that showed off his sharpened canines. “Don’t worry, darling. I never make the same mistake twice.”
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Jeon Jungkook kept his promise. He showed up everyday, like clockwork. Bought the same thing. Arrived at the same time. The only thing that changed was how he treated you. It wasn’t that he treated you badly before, he had always been polite. But now, he talked to you. He asked you questions and answered yours. More often than not, he laughed.
(It had become your favorite sound.)
For three months, this continued. The two of you had settled into a comfortable routine, something you relied on and expected. Until, he changed that.
Until, Jeon Jungkook asked you out on a date.
“What did you just say?”
“Are you free? Tonight?” You glanced around, almost expecting to see some sort of supermodel posing behind you to explain the absolute absurdity of the situation. “What are you doing?”
“Looking for the hidden cameras. I think I’m getting Punk’d.”
Jungkook sighed and placed both hands on the counter that separated the two of you. “Look at me.” You did. Slowly and warily, but you did. “Does it look like I’m lying to you?”
Narrowing your eyes, you regarded him carefully. He seemed serious. But, then again, do you ever really know someone? “I don’t know. I’ve never actually seen you lie before so I wouldn’t know the difference.”
“Fine. Ask me what color my shirt is.”
“What color is your shirt?”
“White,” he deadpanned. You glanced down at his chest. His shirt was black.
He threw his head back and released a full bellied laugh. Even in your exasperation you couldn’t help but soften a little. “I’m sorry, darling. I couldn’t help myself.” Annoyed, you huffed and spun to face the cash register. Stabbing your finger onto the touchscreen, you ignored Jungkook’s obvious presence on the opposite side of the counter. Until his hand reached around the card reader and grasped a hold of your chin. The warmth of his fingers forced your head to turn to meet his.
“Come to dinner with me.” His voice was nothing but a rumble in his chest, his eyes so black and all-consuming you couldn’t do anything but agree with him. He seemed pleased by your response as his fingers tightened against your skin and a grateful smile flicked past his lips. His gaze darted down to your mouth and your breath froze in your chest.
“Are you going to kiss me?”
Jungkook raised an eyebrow. “Do you want me to?”
“No.” You tried to shake your head but his grip didn’t allow you much movement. He was taken aback by your answer, a small frown tugging at his mouth. You quickly backtracked to fix the situation. “I don’t want our first kiss to be in a grocery store. That’s a new low that I refuse to reach.”
Jungkook chuckled and tapped your chin gently. “Alright, darling. I’ll pick you up at seven.”
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Again, he kept his promise to you. He showed up at your parents house exactly at seven, wearing a button-down shirt and slacks. The tulips he had gotten for you was thrust into your hands the moment you opened the door. Flashing him a genuine smile, you hurried into the kitchen to set them in water while your mother grilled him on his birth time. You were quick to drag him away, practically throwing him towards the car as you waved goodbye.
“Sorry,” you sighed as Jungkook opened the passenger door for you. “She has a…thing for astrology. She’s probably creating your star map or whatever right now.”
“It’s okay,” he responded once he got into the drivers seat. “It’s sweet of her to care.”
You snorted. “She’s delusional is what she is.”
“So, you’re saying you don’t believe in astrology?”
“Do you?”
Jungkook shrugged as he pulled out of your dirt driveway. He looked so damn attractive behind the wheel it was honestly unfair. “Not really saying I do or don’t. All I know is that there are a lot of things out there that are out of our control. If believing in the stars and planets helps you gain some of that control back, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”
“God, don’t talk like that in front of my mother. She’ll want to start dating you.”
He grinned and placed a hand on your knee. “Tell her I’m already taken.”
You didn’t get a chance to respond to that. Not that he didn’t give you one, it was just that you literally had nothing to say. With just one sentence he opened the floodgates of your brain and the amount of thoughts that were flying through your conscious was painful. Anxiety fluttered in your stomach and you pressed your lips together to keep you from word vomiting onto him. No, it was better to keep your mouth shut and let the moment pass.
By the time you reached the restaurant you were a trembling mess of nerves. Were you guys dating? You thought this was just a ‘testing the waters’ date, not a ‘you’re my girlfriend now’ date. Did you have to make it Facebook official? You hated that shit.
Jungkook didn’t comment on your obvious distress, though. He merely placed a hand on the small of your back, ignoring how you jerked in surprise, and led you into the quiet bistro. Nodding politely to the hostess who was practically panting at the sight of him (you honestly couldn’t blame her) and pulled out your chair for you. When he sat down, he started talking. Idle chat at first. Commenting on one of the dishes, asking about the college classes you were taking at your local university. Before you realized it, wine was in your glass and your shoulders were loose. Previous nerves forgotten, you lost yourself in Jungkook. You drank, you ate, you laughed, and genuinely enjoyed his company. Honestly, it was the best date you’d ever been on.
“I have to be honest with you,” Jungkook spoke after he finished his raw steak. “I have an ulterior motive for asking you here tonight.”
“Oh,” you mumbled around the shrimp you had just tossed in your mouth. “So…this isn’t a date?”
“No, it is,” Jungkook clarified quickly around a dry chuckle. He seemed…nervous. It put you on edge immediately. “This is definitely a date. And, also, more.”
“More? What, is this a proposal too?” You were joking. A 100% joking. But Jungkook was staring at you so seriously it made you panic. “Jungkook, if you get down on one knee here I swear-”
“I’m not proposing,” he assured you. “This is something more than that.”
“More?” You parroted. Jungkook sighed.
“Do you know what a true mate is?”
Right there, in that quaint little bistro, on a date with quite possibly the most untouchable man you’d ever met, he explained how you were irrevocably his. His true mate, his soulmate.
Jungkook explained everything in great detail, which you appreciated, because honestly, you had no words. He explained how when he was born, the witch who cared for him told his father that his future glared brightly ahead of him, but only when he met his other half. True mates were rare. Mating was common, the wolves in his pack could have multiple mates or a lifelong one, but true mates were destiny. Someone or something out there had forged the two of you together. You were essentially each others other half. He was made for you and you were made for him.
“But…aren’t true mates only for wolves? I thought it’s impossible for a human to be a true mate,” you asked in a shaky voice once Jungkook took a breath.
“It was supposed to be impossible. Until, I met you.” Jungkook stared at you with a sort of reverence that made your entire body blush. “I have no idea how you are. I’ve spent hours researching. I’ve consulted with members of my pack and others. No one knows why.”
“Are you sure, though? I mean…what if you’re wrong?”
“I’m not.” Jungkook shook his head. “I visited the witch right after I met you. She took one look at me and told me that I had finally found my true mate. She said she’d never seen a future so bright before.”
You had no words for that. For the first time in your life, you were speechless. Jungkook seemed to understand. He let you sit in silence as he paid for the bill and walked you out to the car. The drive back to your parents house was the same. You couldn’t speak. The shock rendered you stupid.
By the time Jungkook pulled into the driveway you still hadn’t spoken a word to each other. You stepped out of the car before he could open the door for you. Walking up to the porch steps in a trance, you didn’t hear him follow you until he clasped your wrist in his hand. Turning to face him, you were surprised to see his brown eyes so big. They practically sparkled in the moonlight and he looked so soft and sweet you nearly melted into the wood beneath your feet.
“Please,” he whispered. “Can you…just - are you okay? You’ve been so quiet. I’m worried I’ve scared you off or something.”
With that voice, it was impossible to deny him. So, you said the first thing that popped in your head. “Do we have to make it Facebook official?”
Jungkook stared at you before bursting into laughter. “Really? That’s all you have to say?”
You blushed and glanced down. “I’m just worried, that’s all. I can’t remember my Facebook password so even if you wanted to change it I don’t think it’ll work.”
“So that’s why you never accepted my friend request,” Jungkook teased. Before you could squeak out a response, he wrapped his arms around your waist and tugged you forward. You kept your arms crossed across your chest but let yourself fall against him.
“Don’t make fun of me,” you whined as you buried your face into his shoulder. He smelled so good, a mixture of pine and spice. “My brain hasn’t worked since you told me I’m yours, so bear with me.”
Jungkook chuckled and gently swayed you from side to side. “Does that mean you’re okay with this? All of this?”
Sighing, you lifted your head up and stepped away from him. Jungkook was not impressed and pulled you back to him. Your heart swelled in your chest and you wrapped your arms around his neck in consolation. “Honestly? I haven’t really processed anything. You’ve had your whole life to come to terms with this. I just found out thirty minutes ago that I’m someone’s soulmate. It’s a lot to take in.”
Jungkook nodded as he tapped his fingers against your hips. “I know. It’s a lot…I’m a lot. I just want you to know that you don’t have to do this. You don’t have to be with me. I won’t-”
Now it was your turn to burst into laughter. You couldn’t believe those words had left his mouth. It was easily the most absurd thing you’d ever heard. “Jungkook, I want to make something very clear. I have no problem being your true mate. That’s not the issue here. Well, there really isn’t an issue. It’s just…hard to believe, I guess. I have to process that this is my new reality.”
“Really?” Jungkook perked up and looked so fucking cute you couldn’t help but cup his cheeks. His skin was so warm despite the cold autumn air that surrounded you both. “You want to do this? Be with me? Be mine?” All you could do was nod. You were so overwhelmed with emotions. The shock was evident, but a piece of you was so happy. You felt whole.
Jungkook’s face split into a wide smile that caused his nose to scrunch up. He wrapped his arms around your waist and spun you around. Squealing, you slung your legs around his hips and held on. Normally, you’d rather die than show this much affection to someone. But, this was Jungkook. Your soulmate.
“So…what do we do now?” You asked once Jungkook set you down. “Is there, like, a ceremony or something?”
“I have no idea,” he admitted as he stared down at you. He had a hand against your jaw and was rubbing your cheek tenderly. “I really didn’t think I’d get this far.”
You scoffed at his ridiculousness. While recognizing you were Jungkook’s true mate was going to take some time, believing that he thought you’d deny him was utter nonsense. “What if…what if we date, first?” You suggested timidly. “I know that sounds kind of weird considering we’re supposed to be the loves of each others lives. But, I don’t really know you all that well. And, I think this is going to take sometime for me to get used to. Maybe we should date, get to know each other, and just learn how to be with one another.”
“Whatever you want,” Jungkook agreed. “We can do whatever you want. Just as long as I have you, I’m happy.”
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Two years passed.
Two blissful, wonderful years. Two years of dating, two years of loving, two years of being Jeon Jungkook’s. It was everything you could’ve asked for and more. You had never felt so loved and cherished in your entire life. He respected you, he took care of you, and most importantly, he was there for you in every sense. Since the moment you met him, you hadn’t been alone. He hadn’t let you. Jungkook knew you better than you knew yourself.
And, it was the same for him. You were there for him when he transitioned into the leader of his pack. You were there when he took over the CEO position from his father and encouraged and supported him every step of the way. You let yourself be loved and in return he let you love him. It was wonderful.
Except, for one tiny thing.
While the emotional aspect of your relationship flourished and bloomed into something beautiful, the physical side remained stagnant. Make out sessions and heavy petting were a norm in your relationship. At first, it didn’t bother you. In fact, you loved that Jungkook was taking things so slow and so seriously. But, eventually, your needs began to grow. You found yourself wanting him in more ways than one, wants that only he could satisfy. Jungkook refused. Every time.
It wasn’t like he refused your every need. No, Jungkook was extremely attentive. When it came to himself, that’s when things got dicy. He had no problem spending hours between your legs, worshipping you until you were crying from the overstimulation. Yet, he wouldn’t let you anywhere near him. Not without lack of trying on your part. The minute your hands went down to his waistband, he pushed you away. Every time you tried to dip your mouth to the obvious bulge in his pants, he lifted you up and kissed you breathless until you forgot your name. It wasn’t until after a year of dating that he finally let you grind on his clothed cock. Even then, he held off until you finished and then walked out with quite possibly the worst case of blue balls. You hated that he did this to himself. The worst part was, you couldn’t understand why.
The one time you had brought it up to him it had resulted in the worst fight the two of you had ever gotten into. It was the only argument that was never really resolved. After the yelling and the tears, all you got out of Jungkook was that mating with a wolf was not pretty. It was extremely dangerous and he refused to put you in that kind of danger. End of discussion. No matter how hard you tried to persuade him or broach the subject, he shut it down. Hard. Eventually, you gave up.
He even spent his ruts away from you. Every three months, he left you for a week. You knew he had a place somewhere up in the mountains and you assumed that’s where he went. You had no idea. There was no point even asking to come along. You loved your boyfriend and didn’t want to purposely give him a heart attack. You hated it when he left. As much as you tried to hide it and convince him that you were just fine, he wasn’t stupid. Being away from him was tough. A piece of you was missing whenever he was gone. And you were only whole again when he returned.
This past week had been one of those weeks. He had left on Sunday for the mountains. He was agitated and clingy, how he normally was pre-rut. Jungkook wouldn’t let you leave his side and you spent most of the weekend on his lap or wrapped in his arms. Not that you minded. When he left your parents house on Sunday night, you’d had to coax him out of the door. Promising him that you’d be okay and that you’d see him next week. It wasn’t until several kisses later did Jungkook finally leave.
While you’d been doing this for two years, it never got easier. More manageable? Sure. But definitely not easier. All you could do was go through the motions. You went to work at the local bakery, came home and helped your mom with dinner, watched TV with your dad before going to bed. Taehyung and Jimin would visit often, threatened by Jungkook to keep you company. While you assured them it wasn’t necessary, you secretly didn’t mind. They made you laugh and made you temporarily forget your boyfriend was miles away from you. Sometimes, if you were lucky, he’d call you to tell you goodnight. But those times were rare. Normally, you didn’t hear from him until Friday or Saturday when he was finally coming out of his rut and returning to the world.
By the time Sunday rolled around, you were a jittery ball of nerves. Not in a bad sense. You were just excited. The anticipation killed you and it took all of your willpower to sit and wait for his text to tell you to come over. Your parents always left you alone on these Sundays, unable to deal with your hyperactiveness and constant fidgeting.
This Sunday was no different. You puttered around your room for the better part of the day. You spent the other part in the kitchen, baking like your life depended on it. Jungkook loved your cookies and you always made sure to come over with at least three batches after his ruts. He always said that was his second favorite part about coming home, after seeing you, of course.
You had just finished packaging the final batch in a glass cookie jar when your phone dinged. You didn’t have to read the message, you knew exactly what it said. Pure joy rushed through your system as you threw on your coat and shouted a hasty goodbye to your parents. Juggling the cookies and car keys, you sprinted to your car. The drive to Jungkook’s was thankfully not long. About ten minutes, as long as you didn’t hit any traffic on the main road. Luck was on your side, though, and you showed up at Jungkook’s house in eight minutes.
Taehyung’s car was in the driveway when you pulled up, which wasn’t odd. Although Jungkook owned the house, the members of his pack were almost always around. While most preferred to travel in their wolf forms, you knew Taehyung and Namjoon preferred cars. Something about being able to listen to their own music without comments from the peanut gallery. You didn’t really understand and didn’t really need to. You had just chalked it up as one of their many quirks.
Carrying the trays of cookies in both hands, you shut your car door with your foot before speed-walking up the stone walkway to Jungkook’s home. The screen door was shut, but the wooden door was swung wide open. You had just reached for the metal handle when you heard it.
A deep, threatening growl ripped through the peaceful quiet and froze you in place. You knew it was Jungkook. While you had only heard it once, you’d never forgotten it. It was when the two of you had attended a party and an alpha from a neighboring pack had cornered you in the hallway. Jungkook had found you cowered against the wall as the other alpha had caged you in. The sound that had left his chest had given you equal parts comfort and fear. Comfort, because he was there and you knew you were safe. Fear, because you could see in the way he bared his teeth and how his muscles vibrated, he had been furious and bloodthirsty.
That’s what you felt now, fear.
Something was wrong. Something was very, very wrong.
From your vantage point in front of the screen door, you could see directly into the kitchen. Taehyung was leaning against the granite countertop and Jungkook was seated at the island. The tension was so thick you practically choked on it.
“Enough, Taehyung.”
“No,” Taehyung snapped, seeming just as angry as Jungkook. “I’m not dropping it. Not this time.”
“Yes, you will,” Jungkook snarled. “I’m not having this conversation with you.”
“Too fucking bad.” While Taehyung was also an alpha, he acted so much like a beta you never really noticed. Until now. “I’m not going to sit by and watch you do this to yourself anymore. Not spending your ruts correctly is only causing you more harm than good.”
“I’m doing things the way I want to, and it’s working-”
“The hell it is!” Jungkook growled at the interruption but Taehyung ignored him. “It’s not working, and you know it. Anyone with two fucking eyes knows it. It’s getting so bad that the pack is noticing, too. Even Namjoon has realized something is wrong, and he’s as oblivious as they come.”
“If they have a problem with me they can take it up with me.”
“No, they can’t. Because you won’t listen. Your head is so far up your ass you can’t even hear yourself anymore. What you’re doing right now is not working. Something needs to change.”
“Like what?” Jungkook spat.
“You know what,” Taehyung bit back. Jungkook was practically vibrating from rage. You knew you needed to go get someone, someone from the pack to calm the two of them down. Things were only escalating, but you couldn’t move. Your brain screamed at you to run but your legs were rooted in place. “That’s is what’s so frustrating, Jungkook. This, all of this, could be solved. She’s right there-”
“Don’t.” Jungkook stood up so fast the chair he sat on flew backwards and hit the wall with a resounding crack.
“Why?” Taehyung threw his arms up in the air. “Why not? I don’t get it-”
“Because I don’t want her!” Jungkook yelled, the force of it rang throughout the house. You had no idea who the she was that they were referring to. You assumed it was someone from the pack. It was well-known that wolves with human mates sometimes turned to other she-wolves to help with their ruts. You figured that’s what Jungkook did whenever he went away for a week. It had bothered you at first, but you knew he had his needs and that they were at a biological level. You refused to make him feel guilty or ashamed for taking care of himself.
“You don’t want her?” Taehyung was enraged. You could tell by the way he straightened his spine and unfurled himself to his full height. Jungkook bristled in response and the muscles in his back strained against the thin material of his shirt.
“No, I don’t!” Jungkook exploded. “What don’t you understand about that? I don’t want her around me. I don’t need her, I’m fine on my own. The thought of having her there when…God - it makes me physically ill.”
“She’s your girlfriend. Above all of that, your true mate. You’re seriously going to deny yourself of her, for what? Just because you don’t like having her around?”
That’s when it hit you. They weren’t talking about some random she-wolf. They were talking about you. You were the one Jungkook didn’t want. You were the one Jungkook didn’t need. You were the one he didn’t like having around. As the weight of the words sunk into your mind, you felt your chest becoming tighter and tighter.
Then, you’re heart broke right in half. You dropped the container of cookies and didn’t flinch when it shattered against the wooden slats. The sound unstuck your feet from their position on the porch and your fight or flight system took over. Without a second thought, you turned on your heel and ran.
You didn’t know if anyone was behind you, you didn’t turn around to check. Hands fumbled for the car door as you threw yourself into the drivers side. Pain ricocheted throughout your chest cavity and you struggled to breathe. Your brain was blank, the only thing your mind did was move your body to get you somewhere safe. You had to leave and you had to leave now.
Miraculously, your fingers found your keys and inserted them into the ignition on the second try. A flutter of movement occurred to the left of you but your eyes didn’t let you look that way. Instead, they focused on the rearview mirror as you reversed out of the driveway. Your right hand found the gearshift and moved it to drive. Soon, you were tearing down the street as your ears refused to register the agonized howls that echoed behind as you kept staring forward. Adrenaline pumped through your system and your body shivered in response, the splash of hormones had created a blanket of fake calm over you. The emotions, the pain, the thoughts were swirling inside of you, ready to break free and drown you, but your brain wouldn’t allow it.
It wasn’t until you reached the end of your long driveway that you felt the original spike of adrenaline fade away. Your mother was in the front, tending to the flowers, and looked up when she saw your car fly into its usual spot. She stood up and her face twisted into a frown when you got out of your seat.
“Honey, your aura…it’s concerning.” The blanket was yanked away and the pain crashed over you.
You couldn’t say a word, all you could do was collapse in your mother's arms and cry, cry, cry.
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It took you two days to calm down. The tears had stopped rolling and your shoulders no longer shook from trying to hold your sobs behind your teeth. Your mother hadn’t left your side, leaving your father to answer the door whenever someone knocked. The only person who did was Taehyung and Jimin. Jungkook never showed up.
Well, that was a lie.
Jungkook did show up every morning and night, without fail. But he never came to your doorstep.  Instead, he was in the woods behind your house, patrolling, not daring to leave the protection of the forest. A part of you wondered if he was respecting your obvious need for space or if your mother had paid a witch to set up boundary lines that didn’t allow him to cross. Either way, you were grateful that you couldn’t see him. There was an incessant tugging in your heart to be near him but you staunchly ignored it, which would’ve been impossible if you saw his achingly beautiful face.
I don’t want her. I don’t need her. Having her there makes me physically ill. Those three sentences played in a constant loop in your head, like a horror movie you couldn’t escape from. You were the protagonist who couldn’t escape the maze, but the villain wasn’t kind enough to kill you off. No matter what you did, your brain wouldn’t stop repeating those three sentences. Your mother burned sage, she pressed crystals into your palms, she muttered ritual after ritual, but nothing worked.
You hated how affected you were. You had always told yourself that you would never be the girl who’d get so wrapped up in someone else they didn’t know who they were anymore. Independence was something you prided yourself on, but you seemed to be at a complete loss now. You couldn’t stop the waves of sadness and self-hatred at your depressed state. It was amazing how empty you felt yet so full of pain at the same time. Your mind and heart couldn’t seem to decide which hurt worse; your heart for having your soulmate so obviously reject you, or your brain for trying to make sense of the situation. When did this happen? How did this happen? How had you been so blind as to not see it?
“I don’t think we’re soulmates,” you rasped to your mom on the third morning. It had been the first words you had spoken to her since you had fell into her arms. She looked up from the bundle of herbs she was smoking.
“Why do you say that?”
You stared at your hands that had curled in on themselves. “I don’t make him happy. I-I never realized how uncomfortable I made him. I wish I had known. How did I miss it?”
Your mother tutted gently and gathered you in her arms. She smelled of lavender and wax. “This is good. I’m glad you’re letting yourself have this moment. Let’s sit in this and allow yourself to be embedded here.” But you didn’t want to have this moment. You didn’t want to have any moment and you’ve felt enough to last a lifetime. Instead, you rolled over, let sleep overtake you and tried to ignore the distant howling that rattled your window pane.
By nightfall of the fourth day, you were forced out of bed. Partly by choice, partly by force. Your parents had dipped out to run to the grocery store, despite your mother’s insistence that she could stay. You and your father managed to convince her to leave and you had gotten up to wave them goodbye. Sure, your heart was broken, but the least you could do was kiss them on the cheek before they left. You had turned around to shuffle into the kitchen to try and shovel something down your dry throat when a loud knock sounded at the front door. Hesitating, you carefully peeked through the kitchen window and saw Jimin on your front doorstep, dressed in all black.
Sighing, you stumbled over and pulled the door open. You figured you couldn’t avoid them for much longer. “Hey, Jimin.”
“Christ, you look like shit.”
You huffed out a laugh as Jimin stared at you in horror, not having the energy to be offended. You also knew, in a weird way, that this was Jimin’s way of caring for you. “Yeah. My mother’s covered all the mirrors in the house.”
Jimin nodded as he glanced at you from head to toe. “I want to ask if you’re okay but…” He gestured to your gaunt frame swaddled in a heavy sweatshirt and sweatpants. For the first time in two years, they were your own clothes, not Jungkook’s.
“I’m fine, Jimin,” you heaved a heavy sigh and leaned against the doorframe. “Do you want to come in? I think my mom boiled some tea not too long ago.”
Jimin shook his head. “Can’t. Jungkook would have a fit if I got that close to you right now. I’m already pushing my luck just by showing up.” He doesn’t care, you thought bitterly, and almost said it out loud but you caught yourself at the last second. Jimin wasn’t stupid, though. He knew what you were thinking. “Hey,” he murmured, eyes going soft, “are you ready to talk about it?”
“No.” You shook your head. A wave of sadness washed over you but the telltale prick of tears didn’t come.
Jimin understood. He tucked his hands into his pockets as he rocked back onto his heels. “Are you going to talk to him?”
Letting out a heavy breath, you crossed your arms over your chest. “I know I have to. I just…I just need time.”
“Take however long you need.”
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It was another 48-hours before you finally snapped. While you had spent the majority of the two days that had passed to make yourself resemble a human being, you couldn’t focus. You couldn’t move on. Why?
Because Jungkook wouldn’t leave you alone.
His presence was constant. He circled your house every hour of ever day, the large shadow of him in wolf form darkened the trees behind your house. The howling had stopped but the pacing hadn’t. You hoped he was at least sleeping, but then you got annoyed at yourself for caring. You didn’t know why he was out there, it made no sense. Jungkook’s words were so different from his actions it made your head spin.
But, you needed to move on with your life. You had to. The only way it was going to happen was if Jungkook did too. It hurt. God, did it hurt. Yet, as sad and utterly pathetic as it sounded, you were used to the pain at this point, had resigned yourself to it. A part of you worried you wouldn’t know what to do without it.
Shaking off that depressing thought, you tugged on your rain boots and stepped outside for the first time in a week. The air was heavy with the promise of rain, the clouds low and gray. You tugged the hood up on your sweater to prevent your hair from completely frizzing out before you walked to down the back deck steps.
The backyard of your parents house was expansive. The home you had grown up in sat on top of a sloping hill that your mother had turned into her personal greenhouse. You stepped past rows of raised garden beds and pruned plants until you reached the line where the neatly mowed grass met the twisted ferns of the forest floor. As you had suspected, the ground was scorched with the evidence of past rituals. While your mother hadn’t out right admitted, you had figured someone had come and created a boundary line. It was obviously specific to Jungkook since Jimin and Taehyung were still able to visit. While your mother’s methods were extreme, you understood. As difficult as it was to move on with your life with Jungkook sequestered to the forest, you couldn’t imagine what it would’ve been like if he was within a few feet of you.
With a deep inhale, you sat down on the damp grass and waited. After a few minutes, you could hear the faint sounds of paws hitting the wet earth. The galloping got louder and louder until there was a momentary stretch of silence before it changed to footsteps.
When Jungkook emerged from the trees, you weren’t prepared. Although you knew you wouldn’t be, you still weren’t expecting it to hurt this bad. Your chest squeezed painfully at the first look of his broad form. Technically, it had been two weeks since you two had truly seen each other, the longest you’d ever gone. What hurt the most was how badly you longed for him. You wanted nothing more than to run straight into his arms, bury your face into his chest, and forget everything. Just forgive and give your heart what it wanted. But you remained firmly in place.
Jungkook looked as if he had seen a ghost. Which, to be fair, was probably true since you hadn’t seen the sun in seven days. His normally golden skin was pale and even from where you sat you could see the dark circles bruising under his eyes. Clearly, he hadn’t been sleeping. You hated that you noticed. You hated that you cared. He was dressed in all black and his chest strained against the material of his sweater. His hands were balled into tight fists at his side and the sight reminded you of why you were here.
“Hi.” Probably wasn’t the best start but it was the best you could do. Jungkook didn’t respond so you soldiered on. “I-I know you don’t want to be here, so I’ll make this quick. I just…wanted to apologize. I had no idea I made you so uncomfortable. I’m not sure how long you’ve felt this way about me, not that it really matters, but I wish you had told me sooner. Maybe things would’ve been easier for you, who knows.” You released a heavy sigh and tried to shove down the stone in your throat as you forced the next words out of your mouth. “But, all of that doesn’t matter anymore. I think I understand what you need, now. I know you loved me at one point, but I’m obviously not what you need anymore. And…t-that’s okay - I swear it is. All I want is for you to be happy, Jungkook. And I think, in order for that to happen, I need to move on. We both need to move on-”
“Stop it,” Jungkook broke in with a harsh voice that cut your sentence in half. “Stop talking.”
It felt like he had slapped you in the face. A wave of humiliation washed over you and you visibly flinched. Staggering to your feet, you locked your gaze onto your boots in an attempt to hide the tears that dripped down your nose. “I’m sorry,” you whispered, not expecting it to change anything. You began to turn away but Jungkook stopped you in your tracks, again.
“Wait, no - stop. Stop. Please…don’t go,” he pleaded. When you turned around, his eyes were frantic. Jungkook’s hand was raised from his side as if he thought about reaching out to you but something stopped him. His words were at war with one another and you were caught in the middle, at a loss for what he was trying so desperately to convey to you.
“Jungkook, I’m so confused.”
“I know. I’m sorry. God, I’m sorry.” Jungkook tucked his head into his hands before dropping down into a squat. “This is all wrong. This is all so wrong.”
You knew you should walk away. You had said your piece, it was time to move on, just as you had said. Yet, you couldn’t. It was as if your heart was tethered to him and your body couldn’t handle the pain of walking away. “Listen-”
“I don’t know what to do.” He cut you off but the bubbles of anger that had risen from being interrupted popped once you saw how lost he looked. His tattooed fingers threaded through his hair, allowing you to see the pure anguish that twisted his features. “Whenever I feel like this, I come to you. Because you always know what to do. Any situation, no matter what, you can handle it. It’s something I’ve always admired about you.”
The way he spoke to you now, so reverently and so full of awe, made your head spin. Nothing made sense.  It was such a blatant contrast to the brutality that he had spat out a week ago. As much as you wanted to believe what he said now, those stupid words could not get out of your head. It was a constant reminder that never shut up.
“I don’t know what to do either,” you admitted in a quiet voice.
“Tell me,” Jungkook begged, as if he couldn’t and refused to comprehend what you had just told him. “Tell me what to do, and I’ll do it. Whatever you want from me, I’ll give you.”
You were shaking your head before he could finish. “There’s nothing you can do, Jungkook. Nothing.”
“Don’t say that.” He stared at you, horrified. “Don’t say that to me. Please, there has to be something.”
“What could there be?” You cried. Tears streamed down your cheeks now. “You said it yourself, being near me makes you sick. Why would I stay? Why would you want me to? I refuse to make you uncomfortable anymore - so that’s that.”
“It isn’t,” Jungkook argued back. “It can’t be. I-I can’t lose you, I can’t. I need to make this right, please just let me. Please.”
But, you were tired. You were so fucking tired. You were exhausted of the emotional rollercoaster that you were on that you just wanted to crawl away and hide. All the fight seeped out of you as your shoulders slumped forward. Jungkook saw this and the blood drained from his face. You were giving up, he could see it, and it scared the shit out of him.
“Jungkook, I need to go, okay? I-I can’t do this.”
“No!” Jungkook shouted and shot up to his feet. The pure panic that choked his voice brought on a fresh set of tears that you struggled to hold back. “Just let me explain, okay? I swear to God, after you hear what I have to say, if you still want me to, I’ll let you go. I won’t fight you on it. But, please let me tell you the truth. Give me a chance to make this right. You deserve that.”
You hesitated for a moment. Deep down, you knew you should let him talk. Not because you necessarily thought he deserved to, but because he was right. You did deserve the truth, no matter how much it broke your heart. With a heavy sigh and a quick swipe of your cheeks, you nodded. Once Jungkook was sure you weren’t going to leave, he began pacing. Looking every bit like the wild animal you knew him to be but never got to see.
“Mating with a werewolf is…brutal. It’s intense, it’s painful and it isn’t pretty. It’s essentially a breeding session where I use you as a vessel to fulfill my innate biological needs. It’s not romantic, it’s not gentle. Even for she-wolves it can be too much. The thought of subjecting you to something like that - that type of pain…I couldn’t fathom it. I don’t think you understand just how precious you are to me. The image of you being battered and bruised because of me, something I did…it tormented me, day and night.” He paused for a moment, the pained look in his eyes made you shiver. You hated that he had gone through all of this turmoil on his own, and you especially hated how you never made more of an effort to try and relieve him of it.
“I couldn’t do it. That’s partially the reason I waited so long to tell you that you were my true mate. I knew ruts were something I would never expose you to even though it’s such a huge part of my life, a wolf’s life.” Jungkook looked you straight in the eye, the intensity of his dark gaze took your breath away. “I know the practices other wolves partake in when their own heats or ruts arrive. I know you know them too. But, I need you to understand something. The moment you allowed me to be yours and vice versa, I haven’t had anyone else since. I swear on my life, I’ve spent every single one of my ruts alone. I wouldn’t and I won’t do that to you.”
“Isn’t that painful, though?” Your voice cracked but neither one of you acknowledged it. While your knowledge on ruts were expansive, having done plenty of research since being with Jungkook, you had obviously never experienced one.
“It’s manageable. It’s way more painful for a she-wolf to go through her heat alone than it is for a male.” Jungkook clenched and unclenched his fists as he resumed his pacing. “The worst part is being away from you. I’ve been going through ruts since puberty, I can handle them. But not being able to be with you for a whole week…I hated it. Still do. I dread that three month mark. And as time went on, I became more and more miserable. Being apart from you was almost unbearable but the other option…I never even allowed myself to consider it.
“It came to the point where the pack was noticing. I wasn’t getting the proper pheromonal release from my ruts and it was beginning to affect those around me. Taehyung has been on my ass for months now to get over myself and take you with me during my next rut. Each time I’d give him some excuse, but it was getting harder and harder to justify what I was doing. At first, I was convinced it was because I was protecting you. But you’ve been so understanding and so patient with me and my life, those excuses were becoming useless. Eventually, I think it was because I was protecting myself. I was - am - so scared. I’m terrified that I could hurt you when I’m like that. That I wouldn’t be able to notice or worse, ignored, if something happened to you. Living with that type of fear became debilitating. So, I just kept my mouth shut and kept you away from that part of me.”
Jungkook shook his head and chuckled humorlessly. “Now I know that was the worst possible thing I could do. That I was just hurting you more. What you walked into last Sunday was a culmination of my frustrations that I was refusing to deal with. While it’s not a valid reason, I’m well aware of that, I need you to know that what you heard was not the truth. It couldn’t be further from it. Because the truth is that I’m hopelessly in love with you and the thought of being without you hurts worse than I ever thought was possible.”
It wasn’t the first nor would it be the last time that Jungkook left you speechless. It took you a full minute to process what he had said. Jungkook granted you the silence although he became increasingly more agitated as time passed. His boots scuffed the dead leaves that littered the ground and his pacing led him closer to the ashes that lay before your feet. Then, he’d suddenly stalk off with a growl as he was forced to keep away.
“I-” you cleared your throat around the lump that had found a home there. “I had no idea. This whole time…I thought it was because you didn’t want me.”
“God, no.” Jungkook swore heavily as his muscles bunched and coiled beneath his clothes. “The - the fact that…you - fuck. I’m so sorry. I’m so fucking sorry. That’s not it, that’s not it at all. You’re my dream girl, you’re the love of my life, and I want you every second of every day.”
Maybe it’s because you were emotionally drained and had no mental strength left. Maybe, you needed to hear those words from Jungkook more than you realized. Whatever the reason was, it wasn’t worth trying to figure out an explanation as you sunk to the ground and burst into tears.
Jungkook lost it across from you. Broken whines stained the air as he carded through his hair anxiously. He kept trying to get to you, to try to soothe you. But the boundary was unfortunately doing its job and each attempt was met with failure. Curses were spat out until eventually, he got as close as the boundary would let him and fell to his knees. He began spewing whatever came to mind first, unsure of what to do. All he knew was that you were crying because of him and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it. He thought hearing you cry from your bedroom window was torture, but nothing could compare to hearing you break down in front of him. Nothing. “Fuck, fuck, fuck. I’m sorry…please, I’m so sorry. I - don’t cry, darling. Please don’t. I’m so sorry I hurt you, I didn’t mean to, I swear.”
It wasn’t tears of heartbreak that leaked from your eyes. Instead, it was tears of relief. While your heart had wholly accepted his words as the truth, the logical part of you reminded yourself that the two of you had way more talking to do. This was far from over, but the relief of knowing that he loved you and he was yours…it was indescribable.
You finally lifted your head up and were shocked to find Jungkook’s cheeks glistening with moisture. Your only thought was to comfort him as you scrambled forward to do just that. Instead of feeling his smooth skin against the palm of your hand, you were blocked by what felt like a wall although nothing stood in your way. Frowning, you realized with a start that the boundary worked both ways. Jungkook let out a frustrated growl as he glared at the ashes that was stopping both of you from getting what you wanted. It was silent for a few moments until an idea popped into your head.
“Wait here,” you announced before jumping up and taking off for the house. Ignoring Jungkook’s distressed cry, you ran inside. You yanked your car keys off from their designated hook and quickly typed out a text to your parents to let them know where you were going before spinning around and sprinting back outside. Jungkook was where you left him, although he stumbled to his feet when he saw you reappear.
“I’m going to your house,” you announced, breathless. “No witch is stupid enough to go that far into werewolf territory. If you want to talk to me there, then follow me.”
Jungkook stared at you for a heartbeat until the words you spoke clicked. “Y-yeah. Yes. Okay. I’ll be there.”
With a curt nod, you ran to your car. For the first time in a week, a faint sprout of hope bloomed in your chest.
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It was the longest and shortest ten minutes of your life. The drive to Jungkook’s seemed to last a lifetime but also was over within a blink of an eye. The tears had stopped flowing by the time you pulled your car into his driveway, but you felt the telltale prick in your eyes when you saw him burst from the trees. Your heart ached as his long legs ate up the distance between you two as you wrestled with your seatbelt and threw the car into park. By the time you freed yourself, he was at the hood of your car.
The two of you stared at each other for a few breathless moments. You weren’t sure who moved first, but it didn’t matter as you crashed into each other’s arms. The moment his searing warmth enveloped you, you dissolved into another puddle of sobs. The feeling of his thick arms banded across your back, his torso molded to yours, and his hair tickling your ear, felt so right. Another wave of crippling relief washed over you and you practically melted against Jungkook. But he held you up, just like he always had.
He leaned against the front bumper while his hands were everywhere. Cradling your head into his neck, smoothing over your hips, or running circles over your shoulders. He was crying, you could feel the tears dampening your hair. But you were soaking his shirt so no one was in any position to complain.
“I’m sorry,” you whispered.
“Don’t,” Jungkook hissed fiercely as he squeezed you tighter. “Don’t apologize. This isn’t your fault, not in the slightest.”
“Kook,” you sighed and pulled your head back to get a good look at him. “It takes two to tango.”
“Not this time,” he argued. “You’ve put up with so much. You’re everything I could’ve asked for and more. It was my own fears that got in the way and created this mess. And I’m so sorry for that, darling. I’m so fucking sorry.”
You shushed him gently, running your thumbs over his cheeks to swipe at the dried tears. “I know you’re sorry. I believe you.”
Jungkook dipped his head further into your touch with a pleased rumble vibrating through his chest. He kissed your palm gently, sniffing at your wrist. It made you giggle. “Missed that,” Jungkook mumbled as he stared at you with stars in his eyes. “Missed you. Missed you so much.”
A fresh wave of tears cascaded down your cheeks. You were positive that you looked like a mess, hair in a knotted bun, face red and puffy and you kept sniffling every two seconds. But Jungkook looked at you as if you held the world in your hands. “Missed you too,” you murmured in return. “Please, next time, just talk to me. I may not have the answers you’re looking for all the time, but I’ll always be here to listen.”
“I know,” Jungkook whispered. “There won’t be a next time, promise. If I happen to be stupid enough to put us in this position again, I give you full permission to punch me in the face.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” You lifted yourself onto your toes to brush your lips against his, dropping back down to your feet when his head chased after yours. “Or maybe I just won’t kiss you for a week.”
Jungkook’s eyes widened comically and he actually looked terrified. “I’d rather you just punched me in the face.” You tilted your head back and laughed. Jungkook tugged you closer and nosed your throat before peppering gentle kisses along the exposed skin. Sighing happily, you tilted your head to allow him better access and rested your cheek on his shoulder.
“I love you,” you said quietly. Jungkook froze for a split second before he sank against you. Squeaking in shock, you scrambled to brace yourself against the sudden weight pressing you towards the house.
“Say it again,” Jungkook pleaded. You couldn’t deny him. Dusting feather light kisses to the shell of his ear, you repeated those three words again, and again, and again. Each time you did, Jungkook held you a little tighter and cried a little harder.
Eventually, you’re murmured promises became softer and softer until the two of you just enjoyed each others presence. “C’mon,” you finally whispered as you started to lift yourself off of him. Jungkook growled and refused to let you move an inch farther. “Kook, come on. Let’s go inside. Your ass must be numb by now.”
“Don’t care,” he grumbled but he at least shuffled forward a bit more so that your combined weight wasn’t squashing his ass against your car.
“You might say that now, but you won’t be saying that later.”
Jungkook grunted at your logic but he at least raised his head and looked at you with the sweetest eyes. “Please tell me you’re staying.”
Giggling, you asked, “do you want me to?”
“Obviously,” he scoffed. “I want you here forever.” Jungkook tilted his head thoughtfully. “Actually, you should just move in with me.”
Christ, this boy was going to give you whiplash. You couldn’t help but laugh. “Jungkook, we just made up. The whole reason we were in this mess is because of poor communication. Don’t you think we should work on that first before anything else?”
“But…we could work on communication all the time if we’re together 24/7.” Despite his pout, you knew he wasn’t totally serious. Although you were sure it was going to come up again.
“Alright, you maniac,” you said fondly. “Take me to bed.” Jungkook’s chest rumbled happily as he lifted you up and wrapped your legs around his trim waist.
It wasn’t a long walk to his bedroom, but the exhaustion of the past week caught up to you and the gentle rocking of his steps lulled you into a serene state. Not quite asleep, but not quite awake either. You were aware when Jungkook placed you on his bed, practically engulfed in his scent. The last thing you remember before falling asleep was the words Jungkook pressed into your hair has he slid in behind you.
“Love you forever, my darling girl.”
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