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#jungkook one shot
blu-joons · 2 days ago
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Web Of Lies ~ Jeon Jungkook
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Your eyes widened at the expression on Jungkook’s face, the look of surprise was exactly what you expected, knowing that at last he had been caught out.
For weeks he had promised you that the late nights he spent sneaking out of the house were to catch up with friends, but you were far from convinced. He acted suspiciously, and as your patience wore thin, you finally made the decision to follow him, only to find him in the studio, continuing rehearsing after the day was done.
Your head shook as he walked over to pause the music, knowing that he was in for trouble with you as soon as he walked across to you.
“Why lie?” You sighed, folding your arms across his chest, “you’re going to burn yourself to the ground if you carry on like this?”
For some time, Jungkook had been complaining about various aches and pains in his body, with you actively encouraging him to rest more. You were doing almost everything at home so that Jungkook could rest, only for all of that hard work to be undone by him constantly going to the studio when he wasn’t supposed to.
“I can explain,” Jungkook tried to argue, following your pace as you slowly moved towards the studio door, “I just wanted to make sure that everything was perfect at work.”
“Don’t,” you warned, snatching your hand away as soon as Jungkook tried to reach out for you. “Just let go of me Kook, all I’ve done is worry about you these past few weeks and now I’m wondering why I even bothered.”
He took a step back as you walked out of the studio, rushing straight out of the building and back to your car. Once you were in, your hand slammed down on the steering wheel, angry at Kook for his actions, but yourself, for trusting him too.
Instincts carried you home as you drove through teary eyed, trying your hardest to keep yourself calm.
After a few minutes, you heard the front door go again after you returned home, rushing to get through the house and up into your bedroom before Jungkook caught sight of you.
However, after he searched throughout the house for you, Jungkook knew where he would find you. After giving you a moment to calm yourself down, he knocked on the bedroom door, opening it up anyway as he found you laid out on the bed.
“Can I just talk to you?” Jungkook requested as you refused to look at him, continuing to scroll through your phone as you tried to keep your composure.
The silence was telling for Jungkook, but he didn’t let that stop him from walking into the room anyway. As you felt the weight at the foot of the bed dip, you shuffled a little further away, keeping a distance between the two of you.
It was to be expected, and Jungkook knew that, when all you had done was care, he hated throwing it back at you as if it was nothing.
But he didn’t budge, waiting until you stopped moving away from him before clearing his throat, knowing full well that apologising was going to take a lot of effort.
“I can’t say sorry enough, I know that,” he acknowledged, “I thought it would upset you more knowing all along that I was going to the studio without your support.”
“How can I be with you when we don’t have trust?”
“Y/N,” he sighed, slightly taken aback by the strength of your words, “I thought I was protecting you by not telling you what I was doing.”
Your head shook in disbelief at his defence, the two of you had spent years together, and not once could you recall telling a lie to Jungkook as he had done to you, accepting your care only to risk making things so much worse for himself.
“How long were you going to keep this up until you were honest with me?”
Truthfully, Jungkook didn’t know, he wanted to make everything perfect at work, which unfortunately meant him hurting you instead. Either way something lost, but now he knew he had definitely picked the wrong winner.
“The boys don’t even know that I’ve been going to the studio after hours,” he added, flinching as your eyes widened yet again, “Y/N, please at least just tell me that you understand my reasons for doing this.”
“How can I?” You sighed, moving further away still, “you wanted to work your body until you couldn’t work no more, right?”
“Stop moving away, I’m not going to hurt you.”
“You’ve already done that Kook.”
He understood why you were mad, annoyed that he hadn’t listened to the advice of others and decided that he knew what was best for him. He had been lucky, he hadn’t ended up injured, but things could have ended up so much worse for him.
“I’m trying to put things right,” he reminded you, “I promise that I won’t go to the studio when I’m not supposed to again, and I won’t lie to you about my whereabouts either.”
Your head slowly nodded, “you promised me when you had that scare with your knee, you’d be careful, and here we are. You could end up in hospital Kook, off stage for months unless you start caring for yourself like everyone else is.”
“I know that Y/N…please don’t get upset.”
At the thought of his career slipping away from him, you felt yourself crumbling. You’d been by his side for years as he rose to the top, the last thing you ever wanted to see was him fall back to rock bottom again.
“I’m alright,” he assured you as he shuffled across to you, wiping underneath your eyes with the bottom of his shirt, “I know I made a mistake, plenty of mistakes, but I really am sorry.”
All you had ever done was care for Jungkook, you’d made so many sacrifices to help him get to where he was, and you knew better than most that one wrong move or one push too far could have serious consequences for him too.
He had been there for you, when you first started dating and broke your arm, you followed the rules diligently, knowing that you had Jungkook by your side to help take care of you and get things back to normal as soon as possible.
You’d hoped that what you went through would have stuck with him, but instead he had decided that he knew better, as if he hadn’t seen what the benefits of rest could do.
“Please don’t get upset, I’m going to stop, before I hurt myself, because you’re right.”
You could only nod your head in reply to him as you tried your best to keep it together. Too many emotions were with you, frustration, care, worry, you didn’t know how to feel, or how to react to what had gone on.
The most important thing to you though was that at last, Jungkook was listening to you, knowing that you made a point.
But you always had done.
Seeing how much you worried was a tough pill for Jungkook to swallow, but one that he needed too. “I’m not going to push myself; I’m going to do what everyone advises.”
Anxiously, your head nodded, “that’s what you told me months ago, how can I trust that you’re going to do it this time?”
“Because I’ve seen how much my mistakes from last time hurt you,” he assured you, “I don’t want to worry you anymore then I already do.”
“I just want you to be healthy,” you reminded him.
“And I am, I promise you.”
---
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demolition-lovers-blog · 19 hours ago
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DO I EVER CROSS
YOUR MIND?
Jungkook x female reader
Angst* Smut* Fluff
Y/N was very close with her brother Josh ,they got along great. Josh was popular with lots of friends so y/n just kind of fell into that crowd to. There were so many different people Josh hung out with everyone liked him and they also liked you. Y/N was outgoing, fun, pretty and funny it was hard not to like her. Josh had one rule and it wasn't your normal stay away from my friends, don't date my friends. Nope just one rule you had to  stay away from Jungkook, Jeon Jungkook  to be exact. 
They hung in the same crowd had all the same friends and even used to be good friends. Until they both went out for quarterback and Jungkook  got it. Josh still made 1st string starter but he never got over it.
Jungkook tried to still be friends with Josh but he wanted no parts of him. So  they avoided each other as best they could seeing as they had all the same friends and went to all the same parties.
So of course this crushes y/n she had a thing for Jungkook as long as she can remember, she thought she was in love with him. They used to talk and be friends but Josh put a stop to that. It broke y/n heart.
Jungkook never seemed bothered by it he just went on being friends with everyone else and dated different girls even a few of her friends which drove her crazy. It was a Friday night and you were going to a bonfire that they had whenever there wasn't a party to go to. You and your best friend Kate we're going to get a ride with your brother and his girlfriend Ashley. You looked good in your black skinny jeans, you had a tight half top on, but thru on a black and white flannel over that. Your hair and make up looked awesome you were ready.
When they arrived at the bonfire everyone got out and y/n and Kate went their own way, and Josh and his girlfriend went the other. Y/n and Kate decided they were going to go to the opposite side that Josh went to to get their drinks, Kate nudged Y/n and motioned for her to look to the left, Kate knowing Y/n had been in love with Jungkook forever. Y/n looked and saw the beautiful boy he was tall ,gorgeous blue eyes ,blonde hair that looked like he hadn't done it but you knew he had. But next to Jungkook was y/n's sworn enemy Megan, a girl who somehow would find out who y/n liked and the go after them herself and right now she was hanging all over Jungkook like a cheap sweater.
See Megan knew how y/n felt about Jungkook ,and after everything between Josh and Jungkook went down y/n swore Jungkook was going with her friends as a way to hurt her. She never understood why he would want to hurt her she hadn't done anything to him ,in fact she begged Josh to be friends with Jungkook again. Josh wouldn't hear of it y/n had a feeling something more was behind it but no one would tell her. Y/n said to Kate ,who was at the moment speaking to her crush Jimin.
Jimin also happened to be one of Jungkooks best friends "I'm gonna take a walk down by the lake just need to be alone for a minute." Y/n sighed out. Kate smiled and said "ok" She knew y/n couldn't sit there and watch Megan and Jungkook anymore it was tearing the poor girl in two, and she did nothing to deserve this pain. Y/n grabbed her pack of Marlboro lights and walked closer to the lake. She was trying to light her smoke but failing cause of the wind, when all of a sudden a flame showed up in front of her. She lit it without turning around and muttered a "thank you"
The voice that answered "your welcome" had y/n jumping. "Kook?" "hey" he tried to answer her cheerfully. Y/n scoffed “Oh What do i owe the pleasure of this visit Jeon?" "You sound upset with me y/n, why?" His voice gave off the impression that he was truly clueless to why she would be upset with him..
Y/n swung around eyes wide "Are fucking kidding me Jungkook you haven't spoken to me in over a year and you have no idea why i would have the slightest problem with you, why don't you just go back to your whore and leave me alone. " His face dropped" Y/n i know we were talking and i know we liked each other but after everything with Josh i just thought," He doesn’t think he has ever seen her this pissed off. "You just thought what, fuck how i feel, all that mattered was your and Josh's stupid fight." Jungkook tried to to explain himself. 'That's not true y/n I've never stopped liking you.' All he heard was a bitter laugh "Spare me Like would you like a run down of all my friends and enemies that you have been with since you two stopped talking. Because I honestly don’t think we have enough time for me to go thru them all.” She looked like she was holding back tears but she continued on determined to say what she wanted with out breaking down. “You went with everyone and while you were out with these girls did you ever think how that might make me feel, don’t answer that cause I already know it.” Y/n turns and just wants to go home and get away from him.
Jungkook reaches out for her turning her around to look her in the eyes “Y/n you really are blind they meant nothing and you mean so much I've begged your brother to please let us see each other." "He tries to plead his case. Y/n shakes her head. “I’m guessing he told you no, but it didn’t stop you from hooking up with a different girl every weekend. You say you tried but I saw nothing because you gave me nothing. Exactly how would i have known that they meant nothing to you! Thats just ignorant of you to even say, I'm bot stupid and i sure as hell can't read your fucking mind!! she looks down and shakes her head this time speaking in only a whisper. "You never even notice me anymore. I missed you Kook so much."
Y/n had tears in her eyes and Jungkook couldn't hold back anymore grabbing her and pulling her into his chest He held her close to his chest letting her know everything was going to be ok ,he was ready to fight for her. Then he looked at her and said ' 'if right now we only have tonight then I'm going to make this the best night of your life I know your a virgin but I'm gonna make you scream my name and completely ruin you for any other guy, you'll only want me no one else will ever do. Can you handle that baby can you handle me making you feel like no one else ever will ,that the only name you'll ever wanna scream is mine and you'll never look at another guy again.' He tilted her head up to look in her eyes as he continued "Y/n. you don't know how many times I've jerked my self off just thinking what it would be like to lick into your sweet pussy, I've dreamt about how sweet it will be and that after I do finally that's all I'm ever gonna want to eat. i know this is going to ruin me from any other girl," He heard a quiet "good" fall from her lips and he smiled at her." Y/n gives him a small smile. "You ready baby girl let's get out of her and make this count."
Y/n took his hand not sure what was going to happen. Was Jungkook going to use her just to get back at her brother, would he really do such a messed up thing to her. Once they got to where Jungkook's car was parked which was on the opposite side of where her brother parked. He looked at her and asked "would you be more comfortable leaving, we could go to my house," Y/n agreed here was not the best place so they got in Jungkook's car and drove away. Y/n texted Kate to make up a story and cover for her with Josh, which Kate was down for 100%. Y/n stomach had butterflies, knots and she felt like she could puke she was so nervous. "we are here baby girl " Jungkook said. Y/n came out of her daze and exited the car slowly. "No one is home so don't worry, my parents and brothers are away for the weekend." Y/n nodded he grabs her hand once they are inside and brings her up the steps to his room.
Y/n looks around the room at his posters and even notices he still has a picture of her brother and himself up, Y/n realizes he really misses Josh but knows there is nothing she can do about it. Jungkook walks over and grabs her hand taking her to his bed. You sit down nervous so nervous, what does he want to do exactly??
He leans and kisses her it takes a minute but she does kiss him back. "Kook, i know you are a lot more experienced then me, I'm not a prude. I've kissed boys and done other things but not anything oral or gone all the way." He gave her one of his beautiful smiles, "Did you save those for me baby girl?" Y/n said nothing and finally replied "No i was saving it for someone I love who loves me ,I'm not even sure that it is you. I know I have always loved you ,but I know by your constant girl whoring you don't feel the same way." His lips went into a hard line and he spit out a lot more aggressive then he meant." Don't tell me how i felt or feel i may not have handled it the right way but i was trying to get you out of my system which wasn't easy because i did love you and maybe i still do. I've just pushed it down so far cause I was tired of hurting." He knew he really had no right to be even the slightest bit offended and from the look on her face he knew she knew it to. "Oh Ok Kook, and watching you fuck half my friends and all my enemies was not hurting me at all sure feels like you did it on purpose just to hurt me."
"Fuck you y/n! I would never do that to you!" She stiffens and he knows how wrong what he just said was She let out a fake laugh. "That's right you tripped and your dick just fell into them right! This was a mistake i can't do this i have to go!" Y/n is not sure what she was thinking in the first place. she can't let herself get hurt again As she is just about to grab the door handle Jungkook jumps up grabs your wrist and turns you around. "I'm sorry baby girl, I've waited to long for this and your not leaving." He crashed his lips against yours and instantly you knew once you did this you would never be able to get away from him. The way he was kissing you. you weren't sure you wanted to.
Jungkook started to walk backwards towards his bed, when the back of his knees hit the bed he flipped you around so you landed on the bed and he landed on top of you. "Daddy just wants to make you feel good baby." Y/n looks away ,she can't bring herself to look at him. She doesn't know if she will breakdown ,just stare at him, or even worse tell him she loves him over and over. Also y/n is so nervous she hasn't ever been with someone like this before. She has made out with boys but she know even just from that kiss that there is so much more to this emotionally.
Jungkook was kissing down her neck, he seemed to be so into it that she was sure he would not even notice her fear. She was wrong he stopped what he was doing looking up at her, she wouldn't even turn her head to look at him. She was so torn she wanted on one hand to be with him more then anything, on the other she was afraid she would fall so hard for Luke and he would just walk away from her leaving her broken just from one night together.
Jungkook grabbed her chin lightly to pull her to look at him, but she wouldn't turn her head. He tightened his grip and forced her to look at him. "Y/n, don't do this. We both know we both want and need this bad. You are gonna have to trust me baby, I'm not going to hurt you well not emotionally if this is what you are thinking. Beside the emotional pain i can make no promises baby girl." Jungkook smirked at her. "What do you mean what are you planning on doing to me?"she asked him while nervously playing with her fingers.
He gave her a soft smile this time "Just lay back baby i'll guide you when i need to, but for now just enjoy the ride. Cause it's going to be one hell of a night." Y/n's eyes widened what the hell was he going to do to her. half of her wanted to get up and run out the door but the other half couldn't wait and she was getting wet just thinking about it. She can't figure out how something could excite her and scare her at the same time. She wasn't sure if everyone felt this way about sex ,but fuck it she was ready and gonna let Luke use her body anyway he wanted to. Y/n thought of the saying "Hurts so good" and thought she might just actually find out what that means tonight.
Jungkook slowly walks towards you. "I don't know why I waited so long, I've been so stupid. I've wanted you and only you for as long as I can remember." He takes y/n hand and walks you over and stands next to the bed. Y/n breathing is labored she wants this but she is definitely nervous. He starts kissing her slowly and they soon they fall into a deep heated kiss. Jungkook grabs the bottom of y/n shirt and lifts it over her head, he stands back and looks at her, she is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. He leans in kissing you again slowly unbuttoning your jeans and then pulls down the zipper. Be then glides your jeans down to your ankles taps one to get you to lift it and then the other. You try and cover yourself you have never been this exposed to anyone, Jungkook's eyes were dead set on you. "No no little girl, you don't hide from daddy. I'm going to make you feel so good baby. I've thought about this. I've imagined what it would be like to touch you, taste you, feel your pretty pussy wrapped so tight and warm around my cock. I'm finally going to find out." his eyes hooded as he looks her over once more.
Y/n had to remind herself to breathe "Kook I'm so nervous and afraid." He stopped and looked at her with what she might think is love if she'd let herself. "What are you afraid of baby?" She feels tears wanting to pool in her eyes and she silently gets mad at herself for being this emotional. "You going back to treating me like I don't exist again." He shakes his head, "No, baby, never! After tonight you are my girl I'll do whatever I have to, I'll make your brother understand that I love you and we are going to be together." With that he is kissing you again while still kissing you, his hand goes around your back and unhooks your bra, he guides you down on the bed and started kissing down your neck to your collarbone where he stops to start sucking, your breath catches, you know he's marking you and your scared and excited depending on who will see it. He continues kissing you down your stomach he kisses each one of your hip bones. He looks up eyes almost black he says nothing just pulls down your panties slowly never taking his eyes of you. "Breathe baby, you got to breathe for me, ok?" You nod and take a deep breath and look back down at him He is no longer looking at you but straight at your virgin core. He runs a finger down your slit, and then brings it up to his mouth. "Mmmm baby just what I thought you are so sweet , have a taste." He runs his finger down you again and brings it to your mouth. "Suck." He demands. Y/n does as he says. He takes his finger back. He then takes 2 fingers and it looks like he's making a V and he holds your lips open with two fingers as he takes his first ling slow lick into you. You shudder never feeling anything like this before. Jungkook continues to lick you, you don't think you could feel anything better then this. That is until he takes your clit between his lips and sucks at first light and slow. he didn't stay that pace long he started really sucking on your clit, you let out a moan you didn't know you were holding back, but Jungkook was moaning to. He was going down on you like you were his favorite meal and he didn't look like he was coming back up anytime soon. He wasn't coming up soon that was true. He thought he could stay her forever he couldn't get enough of you and he decided he didn't care if they did nothing more then this tonight.
Y/n whimpering and moaning was driving him further, he can see and feel how wet she is and it's all for him. He decides to slowly enter a finger. Y/n arches and she let's out a little bit squeal at the foreign feeling. "Relax little girl, Daddy needs you to relax and breathe for me ok baby. Can you do that for me please or I'll have to stop." "No no ,I'll breathe please ,please just don't stop Kook." "Don't stop who ,baby? I'm not sure I heard you right." "Don't stop daddy, please daddy don't stop!!" "Much better baby girl and I have no intentions of stopping." Jungkook would switch back and forth between fucking you with his tongue and back up to take your clit between his lips and suck. Y/n were loosing your mind every time you got to the point you were going to cum it's like he knew and would stop. You have never been so pissed off and turned on at the same time. Finally you scream out, "I can't take it anymore please either let me cum or please fuck me, I can't take the teasing!" Jungkook had gotten lost in the whole thing and didn't realize how long he had been making out with y/n pussy. "Baby, I'm sorry I got lost in your taste. I'm gonna make u cum and add a third finger to stretch you ,daddy didn't mean to make you suffer baby but just so you know, that will be a punishment for when you act up."
Y/n didn't care at the moment about anything else but cumming. Jungkook goes back down slowly puts in a third finger and starts fucking you with them while taking your clit in his mouth and sucking harshly. Y/n moans loudly,back arching, legs starting to shake. Luke can tell and thought about making you beg but took pity on you do to how long he had been edging you. Y/n cums hard screaming his name. Luke eases her through her orgasm. He wipes his mouth and comes back up and kisses y/n so she can taste herself. "Kookie can you teach me how to give you a blow job?" Not today baby I don't think I can make it through that, I'm so hard right now I need to be in you now." He starts searching for a condom, but y/n stops him letting him know she's on the pill. Luke says a silent thank you to the God's and lines himself up with you. "Now baby, I'm not going to lie to you and pretend that this isn't gonna hurt some, or that your first time is some wonderful experience."
Y/n nods " I've heard it's going to hurt and I know sex gets better for girls after the first time, and that most don't come their first time." He gives her a soft smile "that's why I took care of you before we had sex, cause I wanted you to have an orgasm, and I wanted to be the first person to give you one." "Are you ready baby?" Y/n nods. "Words little girl, Daddy needs to hear you say you are ready." Jungkook says sternly. "Yes daddy, I am ready." He lines himself up and starts pushing in. Y/n face is pinched together ,eyes closed, and your fists balled. "Baby I'm never gonna get past my tip if you don't relax." Y/n begs "Kook please, don't go slow make it real quick it hurts more going slow." Jungkook nods and pushes in in one hard thrust. Y/n screams out and tears run down your face, it was a pain that you knew was coming but would never truly been ready for.
Jungkook sat still his heart sinking. The tears you are crying from the pain are breaking his heart you are the last person he'd ever wanna hurt, but he knows that this is part of a girls first time. "Baby, baby, I'm sorry so sorry. Daddy didn't want to hurt you and your breaking my heart. We can stop baby girl, we don't have to go any further." "NO!" Y/n yells "we are not turning back now. Just start moving slowly and I'll adjust to it. please don't worry about making g me cum, you already did I just want you to worry about yourself." "Baby, I don't want to be selfish." Y/n looks up at him with soft eyes "your not just please this one time worry about you." Jungkook giggles a little. "That might be best baby ,cause your so tight and wet I don't think I'm gonna last a minute "he laughs. He starts his thrust slowly and realizes he isn't gonna last at all. "God baby ,I'm gonna cum I've never cum so quick in my life. Oh my God you feel so good baby, I'm sorry ,I'm sorry. This is just a warm up i'm going to fuck you all night ,I'm gonna cum. I love you so much oh fuck, oh fuck, Fuck baby." At that Jungkook cums he's pretty sure he's never cum this hard in his life. His legs shook his whole body started shaking. He dropped to the side and tried to catch his breath and come down from his high. He turns to y/n. "I don't care what it takes, we are going to be together. I'm never letting you go. I love you y/n. We're just going to have to make your brother understand  ,I can't go another day without you being my girl." Y/n smiles. "Kookie I've always been your girl, and we will make it work and if anyone has a problem including my brother well they can fuck off, cause I'm yours and your mine and no on else's opinion matters." Jungkook takes your face and kisses you slowly "Your right baby girl it's us against the world." Queue Post
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kpopfanfictrash · 25 days ago
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A Holiday Snowdown (M)
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Author: @kpopfanfictrash as part of the Happy Ho-lidays collab with @floralseokjin , @suga-kookiemonster , @sugaurora , @underthejoon, @winetae​ and @btssavedmylifeblr​
Pairing: Jungkook / Reader (female)
Genre:  Enemies to Lovers / Ski Resort!AU / Snowboarder!AU
Word Count: 36,333
Rating/Warnings: 18+ for sexual content. Fingering, oral (female receiving), hand job, mutual masturbation, breast play, some face riding, dirty talk, orgasm denial, clit smacking (is there a non plural form of this?), cum shot on chest
Mentions of past death (does not occur during story). Ankle injury (non-graphic). Yoongi is an enthusiastic MC. Bam is adorable. Jungkook has both lip and eyebrow piercing
Summary:  The Inn on the Hill is in trouble. Or that's what your boss, Namjoon, says during the last-minute All Staff holiday meeting he calls. You need money, and you need money fast, or his parents are planning to sell the resort. When no one can think of an easy solution, Namjoon proposes his parents' idea: a weeklong social media blitz with a celebrity guest. The celebrity? None other than Jungkook Jeon himself: two-time Olympic gold medalist, world-class snowboarder and the nation's sweetheart. What's the problem? You happen to have met Jungkook Jeon before, and sincerely hoped you'd never see him again.
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EIGHT YEARS AGO
Friday, December 19th 12:49 PM
“You don’t want to do that.”
Fingers freezing above the door handle, the words slowly sink into your muddled mind.
Uncertain, you turn towards the disembodied voice. Bodied voice, you correct yourself. Breath frosting in midair, you squint at whoever has the audacity to keep you from entering your house.
“Who’s there?”
A soft voice laughs, followed by said person stepping into the porch light. Blinking once more, you conclude you must be drunk.
Well, yes. Very drunk, based on the curling nausea and six Moscow mules you had at the bar. The fact that this guy looks like two people is simply further confirmation of the fact.
Lifting a hand, you shield your gaze from the porch light. Odd. You thought the light burnt out the night prior – oh, well. Maybe your friend and roommate, Taehyung decided to fix it.
“Why shouldn’t I go in my own house?” you demand, although it comes out more like, “Why shoul’n I go’n m’house?”
Both the guy’s heads turn towards the door.
“Because that’s not your house. Unless you’re a new roommate of my friend, Yugyeom… which I highly doubt.”
A beat passes before you turn and realize the door’s a sickly teal color. Not the gray-brown of your split-level.
“Oh,” you say dully, unable to think of a response. “Right, then. I’m going to go.”
Swiveling around, you nearly trip over the first step of the porch and fall.
Reacting quickly, the stranger lunges forward to grab your arm. “Whoa,” he says, keeping you upright. “Careful.”
Hazily, you glance up and notice how close he is. His face wavers, nothing more than a blur but for some reason, you think that he’s handsome. Something about his height and his voice scream attractive face. The stranger also happens to smell of peppermint.
You love peppermint.
Still, this is very embarrassing, and he’s still holding you tightly.
“Unhand me,” you say, stepping backwards – somehow, you manage to keep your balance.
The guy’s upper lip quirks.
“Alright, m’lady,” he says, releasing you with a bow.
You nod, attempt to stride past and nearly trip again. “Okay – never mind,” you blurt, grabbing the rail. “Hand me.”
A quick, surprised laugh escapes him. Stepping near, he grips your forearm but keeps himself carefully separate. You would find this endearing if you didn’t feel as though you were about to hurl.
“Ugh,” you moan, turning around. “What was in those mules?”
“Ginger beer. Vodka. Oh, wait – you’re not being literal, are you?”
“No.” Shakily, you exhale. “Gonna barf.”
“Fuck. Okay. Let’s get you off this porch, then,” he says. “Bambam just painted it.”
Many questions arise at this – does this guy know a lot about home improvements in the area? was the ugly door color chosen on purpose? – but all this is overshadowed by the sudden urge to vomit. Keeping your lips pressed together tightly, you concentrate solely on making it down the steps.
“Where do you live?” the guy prompts.
Trying to be subtle, you glance at your companion. Which means – drunk you swings her head sideways in a gigantic arc. The guy is still holding your arm, painstakingly helping you down the front steps.
“18 Ribalt Ave.” As soon as you say this, you freeze. “Unless you’re a murderer. In which case, I live uh – there.”
You point in the general direction of a dumpster and the guy starts to laugh. He has a nice laugh, you think, and the peppermint smell cuts through some of the nausea. Your stomach roils once in protest, then falls completely silent.
“Not a murderer,” he answers. “And you’re in luck – 18 Ribalt Ave is literally two houses down, so you were close.”
Obviously, I was, you say to yourself. I’m super smart.
“I’m sure you are.”
Startled, you glance up. “I… said that out loud?”
The guy’s lips twitch again. “Not if you didn’t want to.”
“Oh, good. Then – no, I didn’t”
“Cool.”
The two of you walk a bit more, and upon reaching the sidewalk, you start to turn left. Gently, he steers you in the opposite direction. A couple of steps later, your ankle wobbles and his grip on you tightens. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you’re realizing this night could have gone in a very bad direction.
When you left for the bar, you didn’t intend to get this drunk. Well, maybe that’s not true. You did text your best friend, Leslie, that you planned on blacking out so hard, you forgot all about the dismal Christmas waiting at home.
“What’s so dismal about it?”
Startled, you realize you’ve spoken out loud again.
Your drunk savior waits for an answer and whatever filter you normally have while sober has completely disappeared. This is a big University, and if the two of you haven’t run into each other before, what are the chances of running into him after?
It’s the type of logic only a drunk person would find convincing.
“Nothing, really,” you hear yourself saying. “I’m just… not looking forward to reentering the pit of despair. That’s what I’ve been calling my house since my dad died. It’ll be my first Christmas without him and just… yeah.” Exhaling roughly, you watch your breath frost in the air. “I know my mom will be sad.”
Your stranger is silent, long enough for you to wonder if you’ve spoken out loud. Maybe your drunkenness has reached an unforeseen level where your inside thoughts are out loud and your outside ones, inside.
“Won’t you be sad, though?”
Startled, you wobble again and his grip on you tightens.
“I guess,” you say after a moment. “But… I don’t know. When my dad was alive, he created a buffer, you know? My mom and I don’t always get along, but he knew just what to say to cut the tension.”
Hearing what you said, you clamp your jaw shut. Sometimes when you drink, your filter disappears, and all the years of repressed emotion comes pouring out.
Snow crunches beneath your feet, so you concentrate on that. Shivering slightly, you wish you’d worn a coat to protect against the air’s frigid bite. The constellations above are blurry, resulting in double and you think they might be more beautiful than reality.
“Did your dad laugh a lot?”
“Yeah.” Still staring upwards, your lips twist. “All the time. If I’d made that pit of despair joke last Christmas, he would’ve quoted Miracle Max, or something.”
“Get back, witch!”
“I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!” you say, automatic. Surprised, you glance over at your blurry savior. “You can quote The Princess Bride?”
His smile widens, distracting you for a moment.
“Of course,” he says. “That must be hard, though. Losing your quote buddy.” After a moment, he lowers his head to groan. “Ah, I’m sorry. That was supposed to be supportive, but it just sounded stupid.”
Oddly enough, you find yourself smiling.
“No – not stupid,” you say quietly. “You’re right. It was – well, is – hard.”
Silence falls, not as awkward as before. You continue walking and all too soon, a familiar house rises from its surroundings. You recognize the discount Frosty the Snowman (for legal reasons, named “Icy”) standing on the front lawn, holding a sign asking for people to remove shoes before entering. The sign was supposed to be cute, but drunk college kids broke the end of Icy’s broom and as a result, he looks kind of threatening.
Excitedly, you point at the door. “That’s my place.”
Your stranger double-checks the number. “Looks like it.”
“Rude,” you mutter, lowering your arm. “I know where I live.”
A pause follows, as though your drunken savior doesn’t want to contradict you. The silence makes your lips twitch.
“I’m just kidding,” you say, slapping him once on the chest. Shit – that’s firm. “I know, I’m kindaaa drunk.”
“Sure. In the same way Rudolph kindaaa saved Christmas.”
Your smile widens. “That was nerdy. Are you nerdy, Christmas ghost?”
He bursts out laughing, and for a moment the world freezes. You’re still drunk, so everything seems kind of blurry – except for his laugh. You think you might remember that laugh on your deathbed. You hope you remember it sober.
“Christmas ghost.” Although he’s no longer laughing, the guy still sounds amused. “Is that what I am?”
“You have a halo,” you say, pointing at his head. The streetlights behind him create the drunken effect. “A drunk halo. Ha-ha.”
“You know that’s an angel, right?” he asks, also smiling.
“Yeah. And… well, you asked me if I was sad.”
Now he’s quiet, and you wonder what your Christmas ghost is thinking. You also wonder what he looks like – maybe if you squint harder, you’ll be suddenly un-drunk and the world will come together.
You squint at him – emphatically – and nothing happens.
“Don’t do that,” he says, noticing your expression. “You’ll pop an eye vessel. Has…” He hesitates. “Has no one asked you if you’re sad yet?”
He sounds genuinely curious, and you suppose you can’t blame him.
Lamely, you shrug. “I don’t think most people know how to talk about it. Not many people our age have lost a parent. I get a lot of ‘I’m sorry.’ A lot of ‘he’s in a better place.’ I don’t know,” you say, your voice cracking a little. “I kind of think being with us was a better place.”
Fuck it, you’re going to cry.
Abruptly, you turn around to stare at your house. Taehyung must’ve fallen asleep with the holiday lights on – no matter how much you scold him, he does it every time you go out. Now though, it helps because you have something to look at while you dry your tears.
“I’m sorry,” you sniffle, then laugh. “Fuck. Now I’m the one apologizing.”
“Don’t apologize,” he says quickly. “I – I’m the one who should be sorry. I’m not good with words, and I don’t want to say the wrong thing. Not like all those other people.”
Turning, you give Christmas ghost a watery smile.
“I doubt whatever you said would be the worst thing,” you say. “My aunt told me to stop crying at the funeral so we could take a photo. I bet your thing was better than that.”
“Holy shit.” He sounds vaguely horrified. “Okay, yeah. My thing wasn’t that bad.”
“Or another time,” you say, this topic of conversation making you oddly chipper, “a professor asked, ‘at what point I’d be done grieving’ so I could take the midterm.”
“I… what the fuck.”
Christmas ghost sounds angry, which makes you smile. You’re imagining a tall, dark-haired Christmas angel swinging his fists in your honor and for a moment, you nearly forget the reason you’re sad. Of course, this makes you remember all over again, and the humor slowly fades.
It was longer than last time, at least.
The two of you stand there another moment, and again, you wish you were sober. Well, no you don’t. The alcohol numbs the pain and, although you try not to make it a habit, sometimes it’s easier to forget. Alcohol helps with the forgetting.
“What were you going to say?” you ask, tilting your head.
He hesitates. “I was going to say… I’ve never lost a parent, so I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through, but anyone who raised a daughter cool enough to quote Miracle Max sounds like an awesome guy. I’m sorry you’re sad. If it wouldn’t be totally creepy of me to offer help, I’d –”
“You already did,” you say softly.
He stops, and the two of you stand facing one another again. Long enough for your lips to tremble, this time from the cold.
“Well,” you say, using your sleeve as a tissue. “I guess I’d better go, Christmas ghost.”
He softly laughs. “Is that what I’m going to be from now on?”
Shrugging, you turn away from his smile – strange, how the whole night is blurred except for that – and begin walking up the sidewalk.
“Yeah!” you call, not turning around. “I think you will be.”
“As you wish!”
You can’t help but laugh at the Princess Bride quote, unlocking your door. Stamping your feet to get warm, you hurry inside and find Taehyung seated in the kitchen, books spread before him. His finals aren’t over until tomorrow, with psychology taking the dreaded Friday afternoon slot.
When he sees you, he exclaims and jumps to his feet. Through chattering teeth, you tell him about your Christmas ghost and Taehyung’s expression brightens (“I’m not drunk, you idiot! Let me see him!”) Giggling, the two of you return to the front porch –
And find the yard empty. Nothing but swirling snow, streetlights, and the drunken yelling of two kids down the street singing, All I Want for Christmas is You.
Your Christmas ghost, whoever he was, has disappeared.
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PRESENT DAY
Friday, December 17th 11:04 AM
Ever since you were little, you’ve always had a nervous tic. In grade school, it was biting your fingernails. Once your mom bought anti-bite polish, you switched to leg-jiggling. Then, after a particularly embarrassing final exam when the TA asked if you had to pee no less than five times, you switched to pen-tapping.
The habit has held ever since.
Tap-tap-tap. Tap-tap-tap. Tap-tap tap tap-tap.
“Y/N.” Namjoon swivels to face you at the head of the table. “Please stop tapping Jingle Bells. I’m going to jingle burst a blood vessel up here.”
Immediately, your pen ceases and you sink in your seat. Across the table, Hoseok – the Inn’s sous chef – gives you a sympathetic look.
“Stop picking on Y/N,” Hoseok scolds, turning to Namjoon. “Just because the ski lodge is about to go belly-up doesn’t mean you need to take it out on us.”
Exhaling roughly, Namjoon rubs at his temples. Honestly, you get it since it’s exactly how you feel. As the general manager for the Inn on the Hill, you’ve been trying and failing all year to increase sales. The fact that Namjoon is here at all is mostly your fault.
The Inn on the Hill is a tiny ski resort nestled in the Rocky Mountains, largely overshadowed by the bigger, fancier commercial resorts up the road. It seems travelers, once they land at the airport, only have the appetite to travel in a one-hour radius. Driving the two hours to reach your lodge means people don’t book despite the Inn’s superior ski slopes and views.
Namjoon’s parents have owned the Inn since he was a child, but they also own several other properties scattered over the globe. Currently, they’re in the Caribbean taking care of a different crisis, so Namjoon is here to lend his expertise. It’s a test of his leadership as much as your own, so you understand why he’s testy. If things don’t turn around soon, everyone here will be out of a job.
Twirling his pen, Jimin clears his throat. “What if,” he says, squinting up at the screen, “we did a children’s Olympics? Races and fake medals and all that fun, family stuff?”
Trying not to smile, you glance at the table.
As the Inn’s children’s coordinator, nearly all Jimin’s ideas involve more kids on the premises. Although you love children – and family ski trips provide most of your income – you don’t love the mess they tend to leave behind.
Neither does Yoongi, based on his expression. Min Yoongi is the hotel’s concierge and if he had things his way, Namjoon would make the resort eighteen and up. That’s not to say Yoongi doesn’t like kids – he loves them – but Yoongi has a very specific vision for the Inn which doesn’t involve sticky lollipops.
“Right,” Namjoon says slowly. “Except we already did a children’s week last winter and it didn’t go so well. Remember the Zhangs?”
Jimin’s smile fades. “Oh. Right.”
Across the table, Seokjin mouths, who are the Zhangs? and you furtively shake your head. Seokjin joined the Inn at the start of the season as your snowboarding instructor, so he wasn’t here for last winter’s debacle.
Nothing gets past Namjoon though and, upon seeing Seokjin’s face, he exhales.
“The Zhangs,” Namjoon clarifies, and Jimin slumps in his seat, “were a very influential family who intended to stay at the Inn but left after only three days because their son got lost for five hours during the winter scavenger hunt.”
Jimin winces. “He should have followed the map!” he complains. “Everything was clearly marked, and parents were supposed to go with their kids, but –”
“It wasn’t your fault, Jimin,” Namjoon says gently, butting in. “The Zhangs messed up, but they gave us a terrible review and made sales plummet for a month. I think we should try and steer clear of kids' events for a bit longer.”
Nodding, Jimin sits back and Namjoon’s gaze travels the table.
“Any other ideas?” he prods. “Anyone else?”
When his gaze lingers on you, you shrug.
“I don’t know what you want me to say,” you sigh. “There’s the winter festival in town, but we’re already promoting that in our marketing. We could try another round of feel-good posts on Instagram? It’s hard to do social media though, with Jisoo being fired, and all.”
“Jisoo wasn’t fired,” Namjoon corrects. “She was let go.”
Yoongi lifts a brow. “Isn’t that the same thing?”
“There’s a difference,” Namjoon insists. “One implies they were released with cause. We didn’t want to fire Jisoo, but there’s no room in the budget and Y/N minored in graphic design…”
“Yeah.” You grimace. “With straight C’s.”
“Regardless,” says Namjoon. “We need new ideas, and we need them now.”
The table falls silent, with everyone purposefully avoiding eye contact with Namjoon. The projector behind him flickers and dies, plunging the All-Staff room into darkness. You find this oddly fitting, considering the circumstances.
“I have an idea,” Seokjin offers.
Reaching out, Namjoon flicks on the light. “I swear to God,” he warns. “If you say Boys Gone Wild one more time…”
“Why not?” Seokjin bangs a fist on the table. “It was an incredibly lucrative franchise for years. And now, we have the chance to let women in on the fun!”
Most of the table laughs except Yoongi, who doesn’t seem to be listening. Seokjin has been proposing Boys Gone Wild once a week since his arrival and it’s yet to catch on.
Namjoon looks at the ceiling. “Pass. Alright – if there aren’t any other legitimate ideas, I’m going to have to go with my parents’ proposal.”
This catches your interest, and your pen stills in your hand. Namjoon would typically run prospective projects past you before the All-Staff meeting. The fact that he didn’t doesn’t bode well.
“What’s your parents’ idea?”
Namjoon doesn’t look your way. “It’s a promotion that had good success at their Hawaiian resort. You remember the one – so far off the beaten path, no one wanted to go. Until, of course, Timothée Chalamet vacationed there.”
Jimin’s eyes go wide. “Timothée Chalamet is coming here?”
Immediately, Yoongi closes his laptop. “I’m ready,” he declares. “We just got these new sheets which I swear, feel like you’re floating in the womb.”
“Ew.” Hoseok looks repulsed.
Namjoon blinks, unsure how to respond. “Uh, no. Not Timothée Chalamet – he’s way out of budget. I’m thinking of another celebrity,” he explains. “Someone who you’d expect to see at a ski resort. Someone who’d entice other skiers and snowboarders to visit.”
Taking all this in, you nod. Everything Namjoon says is making sense, which leads you to wonder what he could be hiding. There must be something if he didn’t tell you beforehand. Maybe it’s the cost.
“It’s a good idea,” you say. “Even a lower-level celebrity will be expensive, though. Are your parents willing to chip in that kind of money?”
Namjoon nods, still not meeting your gaze. “Yeah. This lodge has sentimental value for them, so they’re willing to pay. In fact,” he says brightly, “they already have someone in mind.”
“Oh, really?” you ask. “Who?”
In the corner of your eye, Hoseok exchanges a quick look with Yoongi. Jimin has become suspiciously silent, staring out the window and Seokjin, normally disruptive, has nothing to add. Perhaps this should have clued you in, but Namjoon has never given you a reason not to trust him before.
“Um.” Namjoon shuffles his papers. “I don’t want to say.”
Immediately, your eyes narrow. “Why not?”
“Because.” Namjoon sighs, looking up. “It’s Jungkook Jeon.”
Your vision goes momentarily white.
Jungkook Jeon. The name alone is enough to make your fists clench. Jungkook is a professional snowboarder – no, he’s the professional snowboarder. Gold medal champion in the last two winter Olympics and national heartthrob.
He also attended your university and broke your friend’s heart in the process.
It was junior year when Leslie dated Jungkook for three months – barely a blip in the grand scheme of things, but long by college standards. Around Thanksgiving, Leslie mentioned seeing someone new but was coy on details. You found out why after New Year’s when she named the guy as Jungkook, ridiculously talented snowboarder, and future Olympian.
Obviously, Leslie was excited but cagey about people meeting him – including you. Jungkook was private and didn’t like people making a big deal out of who he was. You could understand, so you didn’t press the issue and the first time you two met was mid-January. It was your dorm formal, and without a boyfriend, you decided to take Taehyung as your date. Leslie brought Jungkook and you all went for dinner before.
You were the first one to arrive at the restaurant. Taehyung was running late, working a double shift at the college bookstore before it closed. Leslie came straight from her theater troupe. You, being you, arrived five minutes early. Seated at the table, you jiggled your leg until the bells above the door rang.
Glancing up, you locked eyes with Jungkook.
Your first thought was holy shit, he’s attractive. Obviously, you’d known this – Jungkook both is and was extremely handsome. With dark, messy hair and a sharp jaw, Jungkook could’ve been booking modeling gigs instead of snowboarding.
So, it wasn’t strange that you froze when you saw him – the strange thing was Jungkook also froze.
He stood framed in the doorway, snow whirling behind him. Jungkook stared long enough for the hostess to speak, which was when he jerked to life and shut the door.
You slowly sat at the table, unaware that you’d risen. This was Leslie’s boyfriend, you reminded yourself as Jungkook approached. By the time he reached your table, you’d managed to plaster a smile on your face.
“Hi,” you said brightly, sticking out your hand. “I’m Y/N, Leslie’s friend.”
Jungkook stared, glancing down as something wordless crossed his expression. You continued to hold out your hand, feeling more and more silly. Just as you began to pull away, he came to his senses.
“Jungkook,” he said, grasping your hand in his. “It’s nice to meet you, Y/N.”
You shook, then sat down at the table. The two of you weren’t alone for long, since Leslie arrived quickly thereafter but you couldn’t shake the feeling you’d missing out on something. Maybe food had been stuck in your teeth, and Jungkook was too polite to say. Taehyung called your hair a mess later that night, so maybe that was it.
Either way, you met Jungkook in January and a month later, he broke up with Leslie. It came as something of a shock, since you’d hung out with them several times and they always seemed good together. Jungkook was quiet but funny, and Leslie was the life of the party. When she stormed into your house and declared their relationship over, you were stunned.
And when she said the reason why – well.
Leslie’s exact words were, “I walked in on him fucking someone else, so I guess we’re done.” Leslie was upset, but she put on a brave face and tried to move on. Apparently, Jungkook thought they weren’t exclusive – despite having introduced Leslie as his girlfriend the month prior. Leslie was devastated but started going out with a basketball player the next month, and that was that.
You’d seen behind the mask, though and knew how crushed Leslie was. The two of you bonded over it, promising never to date one another’s exes. Especially not slimeball cheaters like Jungkook.
It’s been a long time since then and you and Leslie are no longer as close, but the sentiment stands. Jungkook is a terrible person and working with him would go against everything you stand for.
A fact Namjoon knows, given you’ve spent each Olympics since cursing the screen each time his name is mentioned. Jungkook Jeon is a dick; this is a well-documented fact. It’s something everyone else at the table knows as well, based on how few are willing to meet your gaze.
“Absolutely not,” you declare.
Namjoon exhales. “Y/N –”
“No,” you blurt, half-standing from the table. “Why can’t we get someone else? There must be some other washed-up snowboarder looking for publicity. Or a skier!” you add. “I hear skiing is coming back in style. Pick someone else, Namjoon. Anyone else.”
Although Namjoon’s expression looks pained, he refuses to budge.
“I can’t, Y/N,” he sighs. “My parents know the Jeons, which is how we’re able to get him at such a low price. And Jungkook is like, ridiculously famous. There’s no way we’d be able to find someone as good for so little money.”
Helpless, you glance around the table. “Come on – is everyone else really okay with this?”
Jimin gives a small shrug. “Maybe it’ll be okay, Y/N,” he says, trying to make the best of the situation. “If Namjoon’s parents approve of Jungkook, maybe he’s not that bad?”
“Oh, he’s that bad,” you respond. “He just hides his Satan horns during the day. They’re nearly invisible beneath his man-bun.”
Hoseok snorts. “Isn’t that all we care about, though? We just need this guy to appear nice long enough to save our asses. It’s only for a weekend, Y/N.”
Namjoon holds up a finger. “A week, actually,” he corrects. “Jungkook arrives tomorrow afternoon and is staying until after Christmas. It’ll be a week-long publicity event.”
Incensed, your head swivels his way. “Tomorrow? That seems awfully soon for a project we’re voting on now.”
Shifting his weight, Namjoon seems embarrassed. “I… may have already told my parents we’d do it.”
“You what?”
Before you can commit bodily harm against your boss, Seokjin cuts in.
“Is this really our only option?” he asks Namjoon.
Glumly, Namjoon nods. “Yeah, it is. That’s why I started this meeting with a brainstorming session. If anyone can think of a better idea” – he looks pointedly at you – “then I’ll call the Jungkook thing off, and we’ll go with that. If not, though…”
He trails off, leaving the implication hanging.
Silently, you seethe because objectively, you know Namjoon is right. You don’t want to be objective, though. You want to be bitter because Namjoon, a boss you’ve always admired, has made an important decision without your input. Worse, he made the decision specifically knowing you’d vote against it.
Surprisingly, Yoongi is the one who speaks next. “We all know Jungkook sucks,” he says, looking at you. “But if I had to choose between going out of business and working with someone I don’t like, I’d pick the latter.”
Yoongi has a point, but you can’t help wanting to make a final stand.
“Is it worth compromising our morals, though?” you challenge. “The Inn on the Hill has always been a family-run, independent ski lodge. A boutique experience, standing apart from the amoral, corporate resorts. Won’t hiring someone like Jungkook go against that?”
Namjoon and Seokjin exchange a look.
“Tell them,” Seokjin says lowly.
Jimin’s eyes narrow. “Tell us what?”
Namjoon adjusts his tie. “Even though it contradicts our philosophy, it might be worth it.” He pauses, a lone muscle in his jaw ticking. “My parents said if revenue doesn’t pick up by the end of the season, they’re planning to sell by this time next year.”
A weight falls over the room, stifling further objection.
Dejected, you reseat yourself at the table. This changes things. Namjoon and Yoongi are right; hiring Jungkook is a better alternative to going out of business, no matter how abhorrent the concept of working with him might be.
“Alright, fine,” you say at last. “I know it’s a moot point for me to say so, but I’m in. Don’t expect me to be nice to him, though.”
You expect Namjoon to crack a smile and so, when he doesn’t, you feel your stomach sink further.
“About that,” Namjoon says. “With Jisoo gone, we’ll need someone to follow Jungkook around for social media.”
He looks meaningfully at you.
“What about Jimin?” you suggest, panic rising. “He’s such a good people person.”
“Jimin has to coordinate all the children’s stuff,” Namjoon points out. “And besides, he’s a terrible photographer.”
“Hey!”
“It’s true,” Yoongi says.
“Still,” Jimin huffs, pouting a little.
“What about Yoongi?” you say, growing desperate. “Shouldn’t our concierge be the one to take care of high-profile guests?”
“As much as I’d love to follow a prima donna snowboarder around the lodge,” Yoongi deadpans. “We just let go of Sayed yesterday, so I’m the only one working the front desk.”
Check, and mate. Recognizing defeat, you slump in your seat.
“Shit,” you mutter.
“And before you ask me,” Seokjin pipes in. “Someone has to man the mountain.”
“And cook,” adds Hoseok.
Namjoon continues staring in your direction.
“Alright, fine.” You throw up your hands. “I’ll do it. I’ll baby-sit the big man-baby. But don’t expect me to like it! And don’t expect my feelings about him to change.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” says Namjoon, clearly relieved you’ve agreed.
“And when this is all over and we’re profitable again, I expect a raise.”
“A big one,” he agrees.
Resigned, you shake your head. “I can’t wait for this week to be done.”
“Before that, it has to begin,” Namjoon says helpfully. “So, let’s start planning the week-long itinerary. I’m thinking bright, I’m thinking festive, I’m thinking –”
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“Someone ate Christmas and threw it back up,” you breathe, staring at the main lodge.
Tonja, the Inn’s interior decorator, has truly outdone herself. Holiday décor has been steadily appearing over the past weeks, but last night she put on the finishing touches and today, well – a winter wonderland.
Plush, cozy chairs are pushed around a roaring fireplace, draped with white throws she assured you were imitation fur. Fake snow dusts the mantle, and garland has been draped, hung, or placed across all available surfaces. Everything surrounds a gigantic evergreen which nearly scrapes the ceiling.
It’s what people traveling for the holidays expect, and therefore worth every penny sent to Tonja’s bank account. Lifting your clipboard, you check off review decorations. Satisfied, you resume the Inn’s inspection and immediately slip.
Catching yourself, you glance down in alarm. The snow mats you ordered are nowhere to be found, and your expression shifts into a scowl.
“Where are the snow mats?” you call as you turn.
No one answers, either too busy or being one of the guests. A nearby couple glances up from their snowshoes; you offer them an apologetic smile before hustling away. Yoongi is checking in a large party at the counter.
Realizing he has no time to get mats, you exhale and set your clipboard down on the counter.
Jungkook is scheduled to arrive in fifteen minutes, and you’re supposed to be the one greeting him. Having your guest of honor slip on wet floor and fracture a gold medal-winning ankle sounds like a terrible first impression.
Leaving the lobby, you head for the supply closet. Tugging open its door, you bang your knee on a mop and – swearing – hop around it to locate the mats. Lugging a box down the hall, you place them as neatly as possible before the main entrance.
Stepping away, you take a photo for Namjoon. You’re returning your phone to your pocket when you glance up and realize the tree’s star is crooked.
It wasn’t obvious from where you stood before but from here, the error is clear as day.
Swearing again, you check the front desk and find Yoongi’s still busy. Another look at your watch says you have five minutes to go before Jungkook’s arrival.
You blame your dad for your can-do attitude.
After your birth, your parents kept trying, but a second child just wasn’t in the cards. Your dad made up for it by joking you had the energy of three children, anyways – always ensuring you felt you were enough. Everything was possible, and nothing was ever off the table. After he died, you were the one who took care of your mom and now, at the Inn, you do the same.
Retreating to the supply closet, you grab the stepladder and return to the lobby. Kicking open its frame, you place this before the tree and start to climb. Halfway up the ladder, you begin to regret your decision. While you’re more than capable of fixing an ornament, you’re currently wearing heels. It makes everything more difficult and when your foot slips, you recoil and cling to the rungs.
A moment passes while you slow your racing heartbeat, and then you grip the rungs tighter and continue to climb. On the next step, you make the mistake of looking down.
“Oh, fuck,” you mutter.
You’re not exactly scared of heights, but neither do you enjoy them. Especially not while balancing precariously on ladders while wearing pumps.
There’s nothing to do but continue and so, gritting your teeth, you force yourself to climb. Reaching the top, you exhale and lean over, adjusting the star.
With the hard part complete, you begin your descent.
Two steps down from the top, your foot slips and this time the ladder tilts with you. Gasping, you attempt to rebalance and feel the heel of your shoe break.
Jolted downward, you’re thrown off-balance so quickly, you let go of the ladder. In hindsight, this was a poor decision. For a moment you flail, reaching out and then you’re falling, air rushing past you. Stomach plummeting, you scream and –
“I’ve got you!”
Squeezing your eyes shut, you prepare to hit ground and instead, feel your fall broken by a warm body.
In the movies, the guy catches the girl and easily cradles her against his chest. He’s barely winded, the girl’s hair stays perfect and romantic music ensues.
What actually happens is you hit the guy’s outstretched arms, and the momentum is enough for you both to crumple. You land sprawled across his chest, hard enough to knock the breath from your lungs.
Once you’re able to breathe, you open your eyes. Forcing yourself to move, you wince at the dull pain in your side. For a moment, you think your savior is Namjoon, but no – this guy is slightly shorter, dressed in a dark puffer jacket and face mask.
Stomach sinking, you still. Carefully, you scan his frame and notice the Olympic logo emblazoned on his jacket. Immediately, your eyes snap upwards.
“Jungkook?” you squeak, sincerely hoping you’re wrong.
Propping himself up on one elbow, the guy reaches upward to tug on his face mask. Your heart sinks as Jungkook Jeon is revealed.
He’s cut his hair, you realize.
During the last winter Olympics, headlines were made, and fan blogs devoted to the rumpled man-bun Jungkook was sporting. Now he’s shorn his hair close, styled up top to look ridiculously attractive. He also has an eyebrow piercing. And a lip piercing. Those were certainly never visible during general programming.
Realizing you’re staring, you blink and Jungkook looks on with amusement. This is enough to snap you back to reality.
Glancing down, you realize your legs are still intertwined. Cringing, you extricate yourself and push yourself to your feet. Your right hip aches, and one of your heels has snapped off, but you attempt to greet Jungkook as naturally as possible.
“Hi,” you say, sticking out a hand. “I’m Y/N, general manager of the Inn on the Hill. Welcome to our property, and I’m so sorry about the entrance. Are you okay? Do you need me to get ice, or a medic or anything?”
Jungkook continues to stare at you from the ground.
“I – uh. Y/N. Right. Are you okay?” he asks, incredulous. “You just… fell off that ladder.”
Wincing, you look up and immediately spot the problem. You were in such a rush to fix the tree, you forgot to lock the base of the ladder. No wonder it wobbled when you lost your balance.
“I’m fine,” you say, forcing a smile. “Thanks for catching me. Can I help you up?”
Realizing he’s still on the floor, Jungkook pushes himself to stand and ignores your hand. Dusting off his pants, he quickly scans the lodge. You watch Jungkook take it in, so busy staring at him that at first, you don’t react when something licks your palm.
“Ah!” you yelp, whirling to find yourself face to face with – a dog.
“Whoops – sorry,” Jungkook blurts. “That’s my dog, Bam. Bam – here.”
With a final glance at you, the dog obediently trots to sit at Jungkook’s feet. His tail continues to wag, head cocked to one side with interest. Reaching down, Jungkook scratches behind the dog’s ears and he happily whines.
“It’s okay that he’s here, right?” Jungkook pauses, looking up. “Namjoon’s parents said it would be fine, that you have dogs stay all the time.”
That’s definitely not true, but you keep your smile in place. Possibly Namjoon’s parents confused your resort with another, or maybe they’re trying to make their VIP guest happy.
“Of course,” you say. “We can definitely make accommodations for – Bam, right?”
Bam barks in approval.
You glance down in surprise, and Jungkook laughs.
“Sorry,” he says, reaching to pet Bam again. “I thought it’d be funny to teach him that, and Bam took to it a little too well.”
You’re about to smile when you remember who Jungkook is and clamp your lips shut. This is all part of Jungkook’s act, you remind yourself. Act cute, talk sweetly and then – bam! The hit-by-a-car kind of bam, not the dog version.
The dog version is adorable, with giant paws, floppy ears and a tail which won’t stop wagging.
“Right, well.” Turning, you find the front desk unoccupied. Yoongi must be showing someone to their room. “Why don’t I show you where you’ll be staying this week?”
“That sounds great.”
Jungkook’s gaze lingers a moment, as though expecting you to say more. Not wanting to fall into that trap, you look away.
“Just give me just one second,” you say. “I’ll change my shoes and we can start.”
You keep snow boots in the break room in case you need to leave for whatever reason. After a quick yet dignified (you hope) hobble to the front counter, you replace your heels with boots that are infinitely more comfortable.
Grabbing the keys and returning to Jungkook, you gesture for him to follow. His suitcase sits beside the front door, left in his haste to cross the room to you. There’s an extra-large dog crate placed beside his things and you stare at it, stumped and wondering how you’ll move it.
“I’ve got this,” Jungkook says close behind you.
When you jump, he starts and takes a step backwards.
“Sorry!” He holds up both hands. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Oh – I, uh, you didn’t. I was just wondering how to get the dog crate to your room.”
Jungkook shakes his head. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll come back for it later. So,” he says, grabbing the handle of his suitcase. “Which way?”
You hesitate but eventually decide this is a better plan than you awkwardly dragging a crate down several halls. Once you get Jungkook settled in, you can have Namjoon or Seokjin bring his things up. Jungkook is supposed to be your VIP guest, after all.
“This way,” you say, forcing your smile. “We’re incredibly grateful to have you here. Thank you for agreeing to do the social media takeover this week.”
“It’s not a problem.”
Keeping your smile in place, you gesture for him to follow. Bam trots along at Jungkook’s heels, tongue out and staring adoringly up at his owner.
Your smile turns semi-genuine, and you stuff both hands in your pockets.
“So,” Jungkook says as you walk. “When you say, ‘social media takeover,’ does that mean you’re planning on posting this week?”
Surprised, you glance sideways and meet Jungkook’s gaze. His brow is furrowed, as though something about this is concerning.
“We were planning to,” you say. “Why? Is something wrong?”
“No, not wrong, exactly.” Jungkook pauses. “It’s just… is there any way you could avoid posting until after I leave? Things can get kind of crazy, once I let people know where I am.”
You hesitate, unsure how to respond.
On the one hand, you understand his concern. Jungkook is famous, and it must be annoying to have groupies following him everywhere. Simply the thought makes your insides twist. On the other hand, you need to make money as quickly as possible.
“I get what you’re saying,” you say at last. “But you don’t need to worry about privacy. We can stagger the posts and make it unclear when they were taken. We also have police on hand in case things get out of control.”
Jungkook hesitates, and then nods. “Okay.”
“It’s just,” you say, feeling the need to explain, “my boss is hoping to increase sales over the holidays. And if we wait until after you leave to post, Christmas will have passed – and with it, the opportunity for last-minute trip presents.”
“Alright,” he exhales. “That makes sense. I guess it’ll be fine.”
He doesn’t sound one hundred percent convinced, but you hope it’s at least enough to keep him from calling Namjoon. The last thing you need is to push things back by a week.
It’s better to monitor social media reactions in real time. If you do everything beforehand and only release shots once Jungkook leaves, there’s a chance people might not react, and you’d be stuck without the chance to redo.
The elevator to the sixth floor – and Jungkook’s suite – is at the end of the hall, so you need to pass nearly every room to reach it. Nearing Namjoon’s office, the door swings open and your boss steps out.
“Jungkook!” Beaming, he sticks out a hand to shake. “So good to meet you at last. My parents are always talking about yours.”
“Likewise,” Jungkook says, shaking Namjoon’s hand.
Stepping off to one side, you stop beside Bam and cross your arms. Behind Jungkook’s back you mouth, traitor, at Namjoon, which he pointedly ignores.
“It’s great to be here,” Jungkook says. Subconsciously, he moves to stand beside you in the hall. “Y/N was just showing me to my room.”
“Was she?” Namjoon’s smile freezes. “Good, good. The mountain suite, right?” he asks, as though you might’ve stuck Jungkook in a broom closet.
“Yes, the mountain suite,” you say sweetly. “Only the best for our VIP guests.”
Clearing his throat, Jungkook looks faintly uncomfortable.
He does a convincing show of feigning humility, you must admit. You remember this about him from college. Jungkook was usually beside you on the couch at parties, observing the people like Leslie, who danced and sang.
This memory is accompanied by a twinge of self-doubt. It’s been a long time since college and you didn’t know Jungkook for long, but you did know him, however briefly. The fact that he hasn’t recognized you only reinforces your negative perception.
It’s only for a week, you remind yourself. You just need to get through this week, and then things can go back to normal.
“Well, we should be off,” you say loudly. “Don’t want to have Jungkook lugging his suitcase all around.”
“Oh,” Namjoon blurts. “Here, Jungkook, let me take that. You shouldn’t be carrying your own bag. I can, or we can –”
“No, no, no.” Jungkook wheels his large suitcase behind his back. “I insist. Thank you, though.”
Namjoon pauses, torn between ingrained hospitality and the need to respect a guest’s wishes. Eventually, the latter wins out and he takes a step backwards.
“Alright.” Namjoon looks at you. “Why don’t you give Jungkook a tour of the lodge, Y/N?” he offers as a compromise. “It’d be good to get him familiar with the Inn.”
You grit your teeth, seconds away from offering an excuse, when –
“That would be nice,” Jungkook says. “If you have time, Y/N, that is.”
“Well, actually –”
“She does,” Namjoon jumps in. “Y/N, I can get someone to cover whatever you have next.”
They both look at you expectantly, and you realize there’s no way to politely decline. Lingering awkwardness fills the air, making even Bam look somewhat distressed. Backed into a corner, you turn to Jungkook.
“Yes,” you say. “I have time.”
His expression softens, and he nods. Again, you remind yourself this is only for a week. You can be friendly for that long – as a professional of hospitality, this is what you train for.
“It’s no trouble at all,” you say, continuing down the hall. “Promise. Let’s get you to your room and we can go from there.”
“Okay.”
You don’t look back, but you hear Jungkook follow, with Bam trotting after.
Namjoon gives you a long look before leaving, slipping back in his office to shut the door. Left alone with Jungkook, you guide him to the elevator and – swiping your card – press the up button. The mountain suite is the most luxurious and private on the premises. It takes up the entire sixth floor, only accessible by private elevator at the end of the hall.
You tell Jungkook this as you enter, and Bam backs up to sit happily on Jungkook’s boots. Jungkook doesn’t seem to notice and, hiding a smile, you remind yourself dogs will love anyone. Even charming, duplicitous monsters.
Silence falls and, after a moment, you offer, “How was your flight?”
Jungkook glances at you in surprise.
“Good, I guess.”
You nod and face forward again, feeling silly.
It might be egotistical, but you really thought Jungkook would recognize you. Not recognize-recognize, but recognize in the, hey, you look familiar, kind of way. To meet him after this all time and get nothing leaves the inside of your chest feeling hollow.
Interrupting the world’s tiniest pity party, the doors to the elevator open to reveal the mountain suite.
Without meaning to, you exhale. The mountain suite has that effect on people, including yourself. Entering the room, you face floor-to-ceiling windows which display snow-covered mountains. A balcony lies beyond double doors, complete with a steaming hot tub and a twinkle-light trellis.
The elevator opens into the foyer, through which the main room is visible. You’re relieved to find the fireplace has been lit, its flickering flames casting shadows across the floor. To your right is a long hall which leads to the master bedroom.
Letting out a low whistle, Jungkook comes to a stop. “Wow, this is amazing.”
“I’m glad you think so,” you say, crossing the room to the kitchen.
Opening the fridge, you pull out a carafe and pour a glass of water. After a moment of hesitation, you take out a bowl and fill this as well.
“In case you’re thirsty after your flight,” you explain over your shoulder. “If there’s anything at all you need, please let me know. You can reach the concierge by dialing nine on that phone. Room service is also available 24/7 – I’d ask for our sous chef, Hoseok,” you add. “He’s the best.”
Leaning a hip to the counter, Jungkook watches you place a bowl on the floor.
“Is that for Bam?” he asks.
Confused, you pause. “Oh – yes. I hope that’s alright? Does he not drink tap water, or something?”
Jungkook hides a smile. “He’ll drink anything, don’t worry. He’s not used to being pampered like this. I’ll have high standards to live up to when we go home.”
“Oh,” you say. “Right.”
Leaving Bam to hydrate, you straighten and cross into the main room. “The blinds are on timers,” you explain, showing a panel near the balcony. “But they can also be controlled here, along with heating and lighting.”
Nodding, Jungkook follows and comes to a stop in the middle of the room.
“Cool,” he says, then pauses. “So. Are we ever going to talk about the fact that we know each other?”
Freezing, you glance at him in surprise.
He’s still wearing the puffer jacket, zipped to his chin over plain dark joggers. The beanie is gone, removed between here and the lobby and causing his hair to stick up messily in the back.
“I – what?” you blurt.
Not the most eloquent comeback but all things considered, you find it appropriate. Stricken, you watch as Jungkook walks closer.
“We knew each other in college,” he repeats. “You’re Leslie’s friend – Y/N.”
Coming to a stop, he looks down and you’re forced to tilt your head upward. He might not be as tall as Namjoon, but Jungkook is tall. You forgot that. You forgot a lot of things, apparently, including how easily his presence affects you.
When you remain silent, a flash of uncertainty crosses his features.
“You are that Y/N, right?” Jungkook asks. “I recognized you in the lobby, but then you introduced yourself as though you didn’t know me, so I thought maybe you didn’t remember, or –”
“I remember,” you cut in.
“Oh.” Jungkook pauses. “Okay, good.”
“I remember,” you continue, “but I didn’t think you’d remember me. You were the golden boy on campus, and I was just, well – your girlfriend’s friend.”
Something in his gaze flickers.
“Leslie and I didn’t date for very long,” Jungkook says quietly.
“I know,” you respond, turning away.
Maybe it’s rude to cut him off, but you foresee things going down a bad path if you continue this conversation. So far, things have gone smoothly, and you’d like to keep it that way. Silently, you repeat your inner mantra: last one week and Namjoon will give you a raise. All you need to do is not pick a fight.
Forcing a smile, you turn back around. “Do you need anything else before we start the tour?”
Jungkook stares at you another moment, then shakes his head. “No,” he says, crossing the room to grab his suitcase. Unzipping the side, he pulls out a dog bowl for Bam. “I’m good to go. Should I wear my jacket?”
“I would. We’ll see the rest of the lodge, and then maybe hit the slopes. That’s where you’ll be joining the kids class tomorrow.”
Setting the food bowl beside the water one you’ve presented, Jungkook looks up.
“Kids class?”
You nod, leaning a hip to the counter. “We’ve got a packed schedule for you this week. Tomorrow you have a kids snowboarding class with our instructor, Seokjin and the children’s coordinator, Jimin.”
“Anything else?”
“As a matter of fact,” – you pull out your phone – “I’ll send you the tentative itinerary. We’ve got a bunch of activities planned for photo ops. I’ll be joining most of them since I’m covering social media while we’re in between employees.”
Jungkook looks alarmed. “Photo ops?”
“If it’s the lighting you’re worried about, I wouldn’t,” you mutter, pressing send. “I’m sure you’d look perfect with a single lightbulb and zero makeup.”
A beat passes and, realizing what you’ve said, you glance up. Jungkook is looking, his lips pressed tightly together as though trying not to laugh.
“That’s… not what I was worried about,” he says.
“Oh. Good.” Ducking your head, you slip your phone in your pocket. “The schedule is just your typical, holiday stuff. A snowboarding class with kids, a cookie making contest, a Christmas Eve party. You know, the usual.”
“Sure, the usual.” Jungkook nods. “And while I take these photos, will I get to wear my own clothing, or is it strictly Christmas sweaters from here on out?”
You pause, surveying his body. “Do you want to wear only holiday sweaters?”
“No, not really.”
His voice comes out rougher than expected, and you tear your gaze away. He shouldn’t affect you the way that he does.
“Then I wouldn’t put that idea in my mind,” you say lightly. “We should probably start while it’s still light out.”
Never mind that it’s barely noon and there’s at least four hours of sunlight. The way Jungkook makes you feel is disorienting, as though you could be convinced to forget the past.
“Do you mind if Bam joins?” Jungkook asks. “At least until I can bring his crate upstairs. It’s safer this way.”
You pause, then nod and Bam’s tail thumps in agreement. Smiling openly, you place a second key card on the counter and head for the elevator.
Jungkook gets there first and, when he leans to press the button, you catch a whiff of cologne. Cardamon and peppermint – spicy yet sweet, making your heart beat a bit faster. It reminds you of a night you hold dear; your Christmas ghost from eight years ago.
Junior year was rough even outside of the whole Jungkook and Leslie drama. After your dad died, nearly everything seemed bleak and monotonous. Christmas was the worst of all, with neither you nor your mom knowing how to fill his void. That first year after his passing, your Christmas ghost gave you the courage to face a dismal holiday.
Things are better now between you and your mom. Ever since she began dating Romel, a lot of the pressure has eased and you’ve reached an understanding. You might not agree on a lot of things, but for the most part your mom leaves your decisions alone. The past three Christmases have been spent apart, with your mom and Romel traveling to new destinations every year.
This suits you fine since you enjoy work and holidays are hell in the travel sector. It’s nice to keep busy, but you no longer dread Christmas like you did that first year. You have your Christmas ghost to thank partly for that, since he reminded you there were still kind people left in the world. For a while, you were drowning, and he helped you find a way home. Literally.
You never got the chance to thank him. Several times you thought about going to Yugyeom’s house, knocking on the door, and asking about his friend. Each time, you’d chicken out and so, the years passed, and you never saw him again.
Despite this, you’ve always wondered. You hope your Christmas ghost is doing well, wherever he is.
Unlike you.
You’re faced with the prospect of a multi-hour tour with one of your least favorite people in the world. Plastering your fake smile on, you hold the elevator open as Jungkook and Bam join.
One more week, you remind yourself as the doors shut. Then, you’ll be free, and things can return to normal.
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“It’s too early for this,” you say, clutching your coffee cup like a lifeline.
Taking a large sip from his hot pink thermos, Seokjin nods. “I agree, but I’ve unfortunately dedicated my life to teaching children how to snowboard, and they always wake up at the ass-crack of dawn.”
“Is that the official time? Ass-crack?”
“Yeah. And your official name is smartass.”
You laugh, nearly choking on coffee. “Touché. Cut me some slack. It’s hard not to be sarcastic before 8:00 AM.”
“Yeah, well.” Seokjin takes another sip. “It’s good for beginners to have the soft snow. Ice makes it harder when they go downhill.”
You nod in agreement, willing caffeine to permeate your body faster. A few feet away stands Jimin, enthusiastically gesticulating to a small group of children. They giggle at his instructions, as the two in the back begin a snowball fight.
Watching them, you continue drinking your coffee. After a moment, you lean over to Seokjin.
“Should we stop them?” you ask, gesturing to the demons.
“No.” Seokjin takes another sip. “They’ll sort it out eventually.”
You nod and face forward. This class happens every morning, but today there’ll be a special guest: Jungkook. Jimin is gearing up to make the introduction as he asks the names of each child present. There will be ten in total, one of whom wears an Olympic snowboarding sweatshirt. Curly, black hair pokes out from beneath his bright blue ski cap.
Last year’s winter Olympics had record views, in no small part due to the Fantastic Four: the not-so-creative name for Jungkook Jeon and three of the more attractive snowboarders. Their images were plastered across the nation for months. You couldn’t enter a coffee shop without being accosted by Jungkook’s smiling face – minus the cheek scar, of course. They kept editing it out.
For an unknown reason, this annoyed you.
It made you recall a college night you’d rather forget. The night Leslie dragged you, Taehyung and Jungkook to some raucous frat party. Per usual, she left you after an hour, making friends with new people and taking shots with the soccer team in the kitchen.
You wound up on the basement couch and sometime around midnight, Jungkook collapsed beside you. Mussing his hair, he released a sigh.
Lips twitching, you looked sideways. “Not a fan of these parties?”
Jungkook shook his head. Glancing sideways, you started and realized how close you were. The tops of your thighs nearly touched.
“I’ll need the whole week to recuperate,” he groaned. “We introverts aren’t meant for this much social interaction.”
You lifted a brow. “What makes you think I’m an introvert?”
You thought Jungkook would be stumped or embarrassed at being called out, but an answer was ready on the tip of his tongue.
“You don’t ever start the conversation,” he explained, quiet. “You tend to keep to yourself. And you look kind of tired.”
Unthinking, you laughed. “I look tired?”
“Well, I feel tired,” he said, collapsing back on the sofa and closing his eyes. “And you look how I feel.”
Staring at Jungkook, you wondered how drunk he was. A red solo cup of something lingered by his thigh – swallowing hard, you forced your gaze to move upward. This became a mistake since Jungkook was looking at you and the force of his gaze was magnetic.
“What’s that?” you said, focusing on his cheek.
His brow scrunched. “What’s what?”
“That.”
Reaching out, your fingertips lightly brushed skin and Jungkook froze.
You remember this clearly. Remember the heat which filled the space between you, and the speed at which you pulled away. It was Leslie’s boyfriend you were semi-hitting on in the basement of a party.
“Uh, I’m going to get another drink,” you blurted, standing up from the couch.
You heard him call out your name as you left, but it was too late. Locking yourself in the lower floor bathroom, you stayed until you managed to regain your composure. Once finished, you left and stuck to Taehyung like glue for the rest of the night.
Jungkook went home with Leslie and a week later, the two of them broke up. Looking back, you should have known then Jungkook had cheater potential. Never mind the fact that you were an equal instigator.
Despite the memory – or maybe because of it – you have a soft spot for Jungkook’s cheek scar. The Olympic posters shouldn’t have erased it; everyone needs blemishes or they’re not real.
“Morning.”
Startled, you turn and find Jungkook before you.
Seokjin waves, single-handed and you manage a nod. Jungkook has on the same puffer jacket but now, he’s added bright red sweatpants. His hair’s been squashed beneath a ski hat, and there are snowboarding goggles pushed up on his head.
Catching you looking, he smiles, and you quickly look away.
“Not morning people?” Jungkook jokes.
Seokjin squints at the sun. “We’re sane if that’s what you’re asking. Are you one of those weirdos who gets up at dawn, like Yoongi?”
When Jungkook glances your way, you explain, “Yoongi is our concierge. You’ll meet him later today.”
“Oh, cool. And no.” Jungkook shakes his head. “If possible, I’d sleep until noon, but my schedule usually doesn’t allow it.”
“Good man.”
Reaching out, Seokjin offers Jungkook a fist-bump. The three of you stand together in silence, broken only by the occasional sips of coffee.
A few parents stand to one side, glancing curiously in your direction every now and again. You try to ignore them, hoping they’ll wander off before the class starts. One of the main benefits of having Jimin on site is it frees up the parents to take advantage of the Inn’s amenities.
Speaking of whom, Jimin is finishing up with his introduction.
Glancing your way, he raises his voice. “Before we go and get our skis,” he says. “I want to introduce today’s instructors. First, we have Mr. Seokjin – everyone say, ‘HI, MR. SEOKJIN!’”
Jimin gives a large, exaggerated wave and the kids follow suit. Handing you his coffee, Seokjin starts to jog over.
“HI, MR. SEOKJIN!”
“Hi, kids!” Coming to a stop, Seokjin places both hands on his hips. “Are you all ready to try a double black diamond?”
“YEAH!” yells the curly-haired kid.
Several other children look stricken and in response, Jimin glares.
“No black diamonds,” he says firmly. “We’re trying to get everyone off the mountain in one piece.”
“We… might break into pieces?” squeaks a young girl with pigtails.
Jimin backtracks. “Of course not,” he says, squatting down to eye level. “Mr. Seokjin is just being silly. And to be extra sure, we’ve brought in a second instructor!” Jimin looks up. “Everybody say, ‘HI, MR. JUNGKOOK!’”
Multiple heads turn, and several jaws drop when they see Jungkook.
“Jungkook Jeon!” the curly-haired boy squeals. “You’re my favorite snowboarder!”
Rushing forward, he wraps both arms around Jungkook’s waist to squeeze. Jungkook grins, hugging back as he lowers himself to eye-level.
“Are you excited to snowboard?” he asks, glancing around the circle.
A wispy girl with braids raises her hand and Jimin points at her.
“Yes,” he says. “Amber.”
Amber glances at Jimin, then Jungkook. “How… are we going to keep up with Mr. Jungkook?”
“Oh, don’t worry,” Jungkook says seriously. “We’ll go super slow and start at the beginning.”
“But I wanna go fast,” complains the boy whose arms are still around Jungkook.
Jungkook looks down in amusement. “Well, first let’s get you onto some skis.”
Reluctantly, he nods and retracts both his arms. You manage to snap several photos, saving them to review when you return to the lodge. Trudging behind the class, you follow Seokjin and Jungkook to the ski shed for rentals.
Hovering outside, you continue taking photos. It feels voyeuristic, watching them through the lens of an observer. Contrary to your employment, you’re not a great skier. You’re not bad, exactly. You can keep up with the others, make it down the hill, but you rarely enjoy it. You find little intriguing about icy wind in your face while seconds away from hurtling off a mountain.
Despite this, you like to watch people ski. It looks so freeing when it’s someone else doing it, and not yourself.
Flipping to your camera roll, you survey what you have so far. There are several good ones of Jimin and Jungkook strapping kids into boots. Another of Jungkook returning a little girl’s mitten. Him grinning widely as the curly-haired boy skis a couple of feet.
Covering the screen, you almost don’t notice when Jungkook appears beside you. Again, you jerk backwards but this time, he takes it in stride.
Lifting a brow, Jungkook tugs off a glove. “How terrible are the photos, Y/N? You can tell me honestly. I can take it.”
“They’re not bad,” you assure him, flipping the phone around. “See?”
He leans forward, and you try to ignore his fresh, peppermint smell. After viewing a couple, Jungkook frowns and looks up.
“We can do better. Seokjin!” Jungkook calls, whirling around. “Let’s line up these skiers to go crush some serious powder.”
“Tubular!” yells Seokjin and all the kids start giggling.
Like ducklings, they follow Jungkook in a row up the slope. Beginner lessons take place on the bunny hill, a man-made slope right before the ski lift. Jungkook is in the lead, with Seokjin in the rear – holding hands tightly with a small girl in a ponytail.
Once the entire class is in place, Seokjin puts on his skis and stands before them. Clasping both hands behind his back, he shuffles up and down.
“Distinguished guests,” he says. “By the end of this class, you’ll be flying down the slopes. Or at the very least, you won’t fall every time you move. Shall we begin?”
“YES!” yell back two or three, while the rest look worried.
Seokjin nods, taking this as acceptance.
He starts by teaching them to balance, and mass chaos ensues. Jungkook assists, still in his boots, adjusting their posture and distribution of weight. Even though his main sport is snowboarding, Jungkook knows what he’s doing on a pair of skis.
Once the kids have the hang of it, Seokjin returns to the front.
“Okay,” he says seriously. “Before we can go down the hill, there’s a few things you need to know. Who can tell me one of them?”
When no one raises a hand, Jungkook drops to his knees. This makes him their height, and all of them giggle when he stretches up his arm.
Snapping a photo, you smile at the screen. The shot is adorable – Jungkook, wide-eyed and sincere while the children are laughing. Your guests will love it.
“You.” Seokjin points at Jungkook. “The ridiculously old child.”
More laughter ensues as Jungkook pouts.
“We need to learn how to stop,” he says in a squeaky voice. “And how to go slowly.”
“Excellent!” says Seokjin. “Ten points to Gryffindor.”
“But I’m in Ravenclaw.”
“Whatever.” Seokjin gestures to Jungkook’s skis. “Get on your skis, and let’s go.”
Over the next half hour, Seokjin teaches the kids how to snowplow. They practice repeatedly, until there’s minimal falling occurring each round. Once Seokjin is satisfied they won’t poke an eye out, he leads them to the edge of the bunny hill.
The first one down the slope is the curly-haired kid in the Olympic jacket, and Jungkook whoops with excitement. You’re glad you wore snow boots because you’re forced to trudge up and down after them, taking photos.
There’s a conveyor belt lift on the bunny hill, but you feel funny riding it without skis. Seokjin has his hands full trying to make sure the kids go forwards, not backwards. Even Jimin has joined in, having returned from an arts and crafts fest in the lodge.
On your twentieth trudge up the slope, Jungkook snowplows to a stop mere inches away. You sputter, jumping backwards to avoid being drenched by his snow.
“Sorry!” Jungkook gasps, shoving his goggles upward.
“It’s fine,” you sigh, shaking water from your coat. “Don’t worry about it.”
Jungkook nods and moves closer.
“Are you going to ski?” he asks.
“I – no, I wasn’t planning on it.” Glancing at him, you frown. “I need to take pictures, remember?”
Jungkook holds out a hand. “I can take a few photos for you.”
“But… you’re the one we’re photographing,” you say. “We specifically need photos of you.”
“And you’ll get them.” Jungkook grins. “I can do selfies – ‘A Jungkook Takeover,’ or something. Come on, it’ll be fun! And you can put on a pair of skis yourself. I feel bad with you all the way over here, watching.”
When you still don’t move, a knowing glint enters his gaze.
“Or is there something else going on here?” Jungkook muses. “Y/N.”
“What?” you say, looking anywhere but at him.
“Can you… not ski?”
“I can ski,” you huff, still avoiding his gaze. “It’s just been a while, that’s all.”
“Well, lucky for you, there’s an Olympic snowboarder here to teach you.”
“Snowboarder,” you say, turning fully to face him. “Not skier.”
His grin widens. “So, you’ll do it?”
“Fine,” you groan, handing over your phone. “Although I truly don’t understand what you’re getting out of this.”
Jungkook merely shrugs, and you turn around.
“Be right back,” you call. “Need to grab boots and skis from the shed.”
Somewhat irked at your willingness to go along with his pleading, you stomp towards the shed and emerge minutes later with fresh boots and skis.
Shuffling towards the bunny hill, you stare down at the snow. Funny how earlier, you called this barely a hill. Now, the ten-degree angle feels more like forty. Swallowing hard, you remind yourself this is fine. Kids have been skiing up and down this all morning; there’s no way Seokjin would allow it if there was a risk.
“Are you alright?”
Turning a little, you find Jungkook beside you. Your phone is still in his hand, although it’s pointed away from you both. His expression is full of concern and, not wanting to unpack this too much, you turn away.
“I had a bad fall,” you say softly. “When I first got here. I haven’t skied much since.”
“Ah.” Jungkook considers, then looks down the slope. “When I first started to train for the Olympics –”
“How is this going to help.”
“Getting there.” His upper lip quirks. “When I first started training, I was terrified of competition. Snowboarding seemed different when there was an audience. I hated the pressure of having people watching.”
Uncertain, you glance at him from the corner of your eye.
“What did you do?”
Jungkook exhales. “My teacher said to use the energy. He said nervousness is another form of excitement, and I needed to learn how to embrace it. So, Y/N – use it.”
“That’s it?” You stare. “Embrace my nerves?”
“Yep.” Pushing himself off one ski, Jungkook moves behind you. “The other thing he said,” he says, voice close to your ear, “was sometimes, you just need a good push to start.”
You barely have time to register his words when his hands find your waist. He pushes you forward and then, the entire world rushes past.
Rushing is a bit of an overstatement, but you yelp anyways. On reflex, your knees bend and lock in the skiing position.
“JUNGKOOK!” you yell. “YOU’RE DEAD!”
The children are squealing as Jungkook skis alongside you. He’s got the camera on, you realize, pointed backwards to give a silly grin. Tearing your gaze away from him, you force yourself to concentrate on Seokjin at the bottom.
Legs trembling, you remember Seokjin’s instructions and squeeze your thighs together. Snowplowing to a stop, you stand there shaking a moment before you turn.
You’re winding up to yell at Jungkook – when one of the children runs up and gives you a high-five.
“You did it, Ms. Y/N!” she exclaims.
You pause when she says this because she’s right – you did do it. You made it all the way down the – admittedly, bunny – hill and only felt a moderate amount of terror. Mostly, you were pissed at Jungkook but there was a small amount of freedom at the end.
Jungkook has reached the bottom by now and is skiing towards you. He’s still holding the phone in one hand, and you realize he’s live streaming when he comes to a stop.
“And now,” Jungkook says, turning the camera around, “an interview with the eldest member of the class. Y/N, did you find your training to be satisfactory?”
“Well,” you say, glaring at the man behind the camera, “there were a few things I found lacking.”
Jungkook mock-gasps. “Are you calling Mr. Seokjin a bad teacher?”
“No!” you huff. “That was supposed to be a slight at your teaching ability.”
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.”
Shuffling closer, you try to grab the camera. “You should probably cross ski instructor off your list of potential post-Olympic careers.”
“And social media manager,” he jokes, keeping out of arm’s reach as he turns the phone in his hand. Jungkook makes a silly face. “I have no idea if I’m even in frame.”
“Give me that,” you say, reaching out for the phone.
The front of your ski catches on his and for a moment, you flail. Jungkook lunges forward to steady you, but this only serves to entangle you further. In what seems like comedic slow-motion you fall, maneuvering just in time to avoid Jungkook’s ski. Unfortunately, the last-minute twist means you land on his chest.
Both legs sprawled to one side, you find yourself in the same position for the second time in as many days. Unwittingly, your gaze lands on Jungkook and you find him staring back. One of his hands has curled around your waist, as though he sought to take the brunt of the fall.
For a moment, neither of you moves and the world itself seems to still.
Then, someone purposefully clears their throat off to the side.
You remember who you are. Who he is. What you’re doing – and that Jungkook was live streaming when you fell. Slowly, you turn and find the phone face-up in the snow, still pointed at you, capturing you both in frame.
As gracefully as possible, you shove yourself backwards. Standing in skis is difficult but you manage with Jimin’s assistance. Seokjin helps Jungkook to his feet, and you see him hastily cutting the live stream from the corner of your eye.
Once you’re up and – relatively – dry, Seokjin clears his throat.
“That was an excellent example of what not to do,” he says to the class. “Make sure you always stay a ski’s length away from other skiers on the slopes. It was a great transition into the final portion of class, though – how to fall!”
Giggles ensue, with more than one child pretending to fall towards their neighbor. Seokjin walks them through the basics, explaining how to fall backwards, avoiding using the hands as much as possible.
“Twisted ankles and broken wrists!” Seokjin yells, skiing between participants. “Two of the most common injuries on skis! Good – good job, Manny!”
“Mr. Seokjin,” says Manny, looking slightly green as he hauls himself up. “What if we do get hurt on the mountain? What then?”
Seokjin squats down beside him.
“Don’t you worry about that,” he says seriously. “You’re not going to get hurt. And even if you do, we’ll be there to help. See that super cool snowmobile by the ski shed?”
Glancing to where Seokjin points, Manny nods.
“If you can’t ski down, one of us will come get you on that,” Seokjin tells him. “And we even have a ranger station, halfway up the mountain with all kinds of medical supplies. Just in case.”
“Okay,” Manny exhales.
Seokjin nods and stands, pointing at Jungkook to demonstrate a fall – which he does, with great flair. The kids all squeal in excitement, and the rest of the class passes without incident. Jungkook returns your phone the next time your paths cross, seeming like he wants to say more, but you pretend Jimin is in dire need of assistance and ski off.
Parents gather at the end and Jungkook dutifully poses for photos with multiple families. You’re surprised by this, since Jungkook’s agent said he didn’t want to be disturbed. This made you picture a grumpy, spoiled athlete but Jungkook has proven exactly the opposite.
You take advantage of his occupation to head for the shed, changing into your snow boots before Jungkook can stop you.
Back in the lodge, you collapse on the sofa before a roaring fire. With a mug of Hoseok’s wicked hot chocolate, you reluctantly sort through the photos you took.
The shots at the beginning are kind of awkward, with the kids standing stiffly and looking at Jungkook with rapture. As time goes on, they relax, and you find yourself holding some winning shots.
Entering the Inn’s Instagram account, you pause when a text from Namjoon appears on your screen. After a heavy exhale, you click on his name. Namjoon is probably telling you off about the live stream from earlier. You can’t imagine seeing famed snowboarder Jungkook fall in front of however many people went over well.
When you open Namjoon’s text, it’s not what you expected.
He’s sent you a still from the live stream. It must have been taken right before you fell, since Jungkook is grinning and holding the camera at arm’s length. You’re jumping, trying to get the phone back and – startled, you blink – you’re smiling ear to ear.
That’s unexpected. You didn’t think you were happy, but you also fail to see why this would warrant a message from Namjoon. Before you can think on this further, your phone dings again and you see Namjoon’s texts.
Namjoon: nice job, Y/N! That live stream is already circulating on Jungkook’s fan sites. The Inn’s Instagram followers are climbing [9:14 AM]
Namjoon: whatever you’re doing, keep it up! Jungkook’s fans are loving the Inn and it’s ‘mystery woman’ [9:17 AM]
Mystery woman?
Dizzy, you return to Instagram and search for a Jungkook fan account. To your dismay, the live stream has indeed been reposted, and people are already commenting beneath.
There are a couple of posts about how cute the kids are, how cool Jungkook’s run was – but mostly, people want to know who you are.
Snowbunny73: did you see the way Jungkook went up behind her?? I WISH!
EasilyEliza: omgomgomg he looks SMITTEN
GregsEgg: are you looking for a sugar daddy? Looking for short, female companion who wants to travel and likes expensive bags
Anya901: miss you, baby – when are you coming home?
JeminaCrickett: I’ve been saying I want Jungkook to squish me for YEARS and this girl went out and did it TT teach us your ways!!
There are more, but you feel slightly nauseous and hastily put your phone down. In no version of your social media plan did you envision yourself being part of it. For a moment, you stare into the fire and then, remembering you have hot chocolate, bring this to your lips.
The chocolatey warmth makes things better and, by the time you reach the middle, you’ve convinced yourself this is fine. Nothing about the plan has inherently changed.
So, Jungkook’s fans are intrigued by your chemistry. They’re intrigued because of Jungkook, not you and that’s all you need to get his fans through the door. If you need to post a couple photos with a flirty edge, that’s also fine. You can cast Jungkook in a romantic light without developing feelings for him yourself – can’t you?
Swallowing, you finish the rest of the mug. The fact that you’re skeptical has you worried. If today has proven anything it’s that Jungkook’s as charming and handsome as he was eight years ago. Likely nothing else has changed from eight years ago, either.
And yet, the thought gives you pause.
It was eight years ago Jungkook cheated on Leslie. They hadn’t been dating long and he was basically a child. Possibly you’re being too harsh by continuing to hold a grudge. Especially considering you haven’t spoken to Leslie in over a year.
Shaking your head, you stand from the couch. It’s too much to contemplate after one interaction, so you leave the quandary to address at a later date. Right now, you need a hot shower, a change of clothes and your laptop so you can plan out the rest of this week’s posts.
So that, to quote Namjoon, you can keep on doing whatever it is you’ve been doing.
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The rest of the day passes in a blur. Down several staff members, you’re expected to fill in wherever you’re needed and so, by the time dusk rolls around, you’ve helped Jimin wrangle children, assisted Tonja in decorating a tree and wound up in the kitchen.
Mashing potatoes in a gigantic bowl, you pause to wipe sweat from your brow. Hoseok’s holiday playlist transitions to the next song and your stomach lets out a loud gurgle.
Pausing his cooking, Hoseok stares over the burner. “Y/N,” he says, appalled. “When was the last time you ate?”
“Uh.” Resuming your mashing, you look away. “I don’t know? I think I had some toast around lunch.”
Hoseok presses pause on the music. Groans from the rest of the kitchen staff arise from this decision.
Ignoring them, Hoseok stares. “Think?” he says. “And toast? Here, Y/N, take this” – removing the masher from your hand, he replaces this with a bowl – “and go eat in the break room before you collapse. Please.”
You’re about to protest when you accidentally inhale. Hoseok’s French onion soup wafts towards your nostrils and your remaining shred of willpower crumbles.
“Ugh,” you say, resigned. “Fine. This smells absolutely amazing, Hobi.”
Snapping a towel, Hoseok shoos you away. “Obviously. Now, leave before I call Yoongi to come get you. Your mashing was terrible, anyways.”
Sticking out your tongue, you grab the soup bowl and leave, as requested. Hoseok’s right – you’re a terrible cook and possibly caused more harm than help.
Pushing open the side door, you enter the break room and come to a stop. The staff room is one of your favorite places at the Inn, outside of the mountain suite. Most of the best views have been turned into guest rooms, but this space has been the exception. When Namjoon’s parents wanted to replace this with a suite years ago, Namjoon put his foot down.
Situated at the back of the lodge, the entire right wall is made entirely of glass. Through it the ski slopes are visible, red lights from the lift blinking against darkened snow.
Pulling out a chair, you seat yourself at a table. Inhaling the warm scent of onion and bread, you lower your spoon and take a first sip. No surprise, it’s heavenly. It’s a wonder Hoseok hasn’t been snapped up by a rival lodge yet. Or possibly he’s had offers, but respects Namjoon too much to leave.
The head chef of the Inn is a friend of Namjoon’s parents, but between the members of the staff, he’s wildly unpopular. The guy stops in a few times a week to approve the menus and taste-test some food, then leaves. Hoseok is the one running the show, and it’s better that way.
By the time your spoon scrapes the bottom of the bowl, you’re stuffed. Leaning back, you exhale and stare out the window. The Inn feels peaceful in a way you don’t often find during the holiday season. Ever since your dad’s death, you’ve treated the time as an odd sort of limbo.
The holidays are full of mixed emotions. On the one hand, you love them but on the other hand, they remind you of your dad. He was the Christmas champion in your household, decorating the day after Thanksgiving to a playlist he made before Halloween.
There were so many traditions you celebrated. A hot chocolate bar the day your finals ended. Terrible caroling at the nursing home your mom worked at. Getting pizza Christmas Eve because of the one year your dad burnt the turkey and you had to order out.
Closing your eyes, you remind yourself it’s okay to feel conflicted. It’s okay to want to celebrate but to be sad he can’t be a part of it. When you open your eyes again, the lights on the ski slope blur and you realize they’re full of tears.
Wiping them away, you almost don’t notice your phone buzz on the table. Scrambling, you see your mom’s name a second before pressing answer.
“Y/N!” she declares, her face filling the screen. “How are you?”
Shifting in your seat, you hope your mom can’t tell you’ve been crying.
“Good,” you say, forcing a smile. “How are you and Romel? What’re you doing?”
“Oh, we’re going well!”
Twisting the phone, your mom shows Romel on the balcony of their hotel, a cocktail in hand. Spotting you, he waves enthusiastically. You can’t help but smile as you wave back, and the camera returns to your mom.
It took a while to get used to the idea of your mom being with someone who wasn’t your dad. She started dating Romel two years after your dad died, which led to yet another tense Christmas between the two of you.
After many years and therapy, you’ve come to understand the good Romel does for your mom. She was so snappish after your father’s death, and now she’s less so. More relaxed. Romel was the reason your mom started reaching out to you more, picking fewer fights about stupid things.
It took longer than you’d like to admit but, once you came around, you never looked back. Nowadays, Romel is as much a part of your life as is your mom. Still, he isn’t your dad and Christmas was always a special time between the two of you.
“What have you guys been up to?” you ask.
“Oh, this and that.” Your mom hums. “We’re taking a scuba diving lesson tomorrow, can you imagine? Romel is nervous about being so far underwater, but if those horrible Berkshires can do it, so can we!”
Hiding your smile, you nod in agreement.
The Berkshires are your least likable neighbors on your block. They’re the type who would call the police if your party was too loud, or Christmas lights too bright. Your father always combatted this by pointing the baby Jesus in your manger stubbornly in their direction.
“I’m sure it will be fine, mom,” you assure her.
“Oh, I’m sure it will be. I just got off the phone with your aunt and she’s on her way to her in-laws for the holidays. Are you taking time off this year, Y/N?”
Making a non-committal noise, you toy with your soup spoon.
“Maybe,” you say with a shrug. “The Inn is kind of slammed right now. I think I’ll be working over Christmas.”
“Hm.” Her brows knit together. “You know, Romel and I could always cut our trip short. We could come home, get a tree and you could stay with us. Or – we could come to the Inn!” she suggests. “We’d love to see you in action.”
“Mom – no, no,” you hasten. “I’ll be working, so I won't be able to spend time with you. Plus, you and Romel like traveling over the holidays. I’d feel bad forcing you to stay home.”
Your mom pauses. “Okay, well. Let us know if you change your mind, alright? We’re happy to come.”
“We are!” Romel yells in the background. “I’ve never skied, but if your mom can convince me to dive in the Mariana trench, I’m sure she can get me down a mountain!”
“It’s not the Mariana trench,” your mom laughs. “That’s in the Pacific. This is much less –”
Their conversation continues, and you find your gaze drifting towards the window. Lights sparkle against the dark snow, and you feel the slightest twinge of regret.
You know your mom means well and would change her plans if you asked. Selfishly, you enjoy working during the holidays. Your therapist once said you’re holding onto the past by not allowing new memories to replace the old, but it’s one piece of their advice you’ve yet to take.
Realizing your mom is saying your name, you blink and return to the present.
“Sorry, what?”
Your mom gives a rueful smile. “I was saying your dad would’ve loved visiting your Inn around Christmas. I’ve been following the Instagram account and your photos seem to get better every year.”
“Yeah,” you say quietly. “He would have loved it.”
Something tentative passes over your mom’s expression.
“Y/N,” she says, but before she can continue, the door bursts open behind you.
Light floods in from the hall and you twist around in your seat. Jungkook freezes on the threshold, and after a moment, you turn back.
“Mom, I have to go,” you say lowly. “I’ll talk to you soon, okay? Merry Christmas!”
She hesitates, as though wanting to continue, but nods.
“Merry Christmas,” she says. “Love you.”
“Love you,” you say, and hang up the phone.
Setting this on the table, you take a moment to composure yourself, then turn around. Jungkook continues to stand framed in the doorway, looking slightly awkward.
“Oh.” He glances into the hall. “I’m sorry for interrupting. I can leave if you want to finish your phone call. I didn’t mean –”
“No, it’s fine,” you say, pushing your chair back to stand. “Were you looking for something?”
Jungkook hesitates, glancing over your features. You wonder if he notices your red-rimmed eyes and hastily look down.
“Yoongi told me the view is best from this room,” he says, only to frown. “Are… are you okay, Y/N?”
You pause, considering.
“I don’t know,” you say at last. “How can you tell?”
Jungkook’s lips twitch as he steps fully in, letting the door shut behind him.
In the dim light, with him dressed in what looks like flannel pajamas, you aren’t sure how to act. Talking to your mom always leaves you feeling raw, as though her words grind away an outer layer.
“I’m probably not the best person to ask,” Jungkook admits. “I spend so long smiling for other people, it’s hard to know what’s real anymore.”
His words deflate you, a swift punch to your lungs. Hiding a wince, Jungkook comes to a stop several feet away.
“Sorry,” he says. “Too honest, huh?”
“Just honest enough. That… was my mom.”
“Ah.” Jungkook pauses. “Are you close?”
You look at him. Really look at him and try to see past who he was to you in college.
Jungkook is bigger than before. Broad showers, narrow waist and muscular thighs which strain his red pajama bottoms. He looks like a man, not a boy and you wonder if that’s so. Swallowing, you look up and find Jungkook focused on you.
“I – yeah,” you say. “And no. It’s complicated.”
His smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes. “I get that. I’ve been away from my parents for so long that at this point, it's just kind of… strange when I see them.”
“At least you have both of them.”
The moment the words leave your lips, you wish you could reach out and stuff them back in. You thought you were done being the jealous, angry child but something about being with Jungkook brings back the past.
He doesn’t seem to take any offense though, simply considers the statement.
“I – I’m sorry,” you stammer. “That’s not what I meant, I…”
“No, it’s fine,” Jungkook says. “You’re right. I do have them, and I’m lucky for it.”
“Yeah. But also, not everyone has good relationships with their parents. You shouldn’t have to appreciate them just for existing.”
Jungkook lifts a shoulder, then lets it fall. “And sometimes things are in-between. My parents are good people, but they’re closer to my brother because he was home. A lot of my growing up happened on my own. My parents are proud of what I’ve accomplished but in a lot of ways, they don’t understand me. Hard for anyone to understand, I guess.”
You stare at him a moment, unsure what to say.
It doesn’t seem you need to say anything, since Jungkook waits a moment, then looks out the window. Examining the mountains, he exhales and a similar peace to what you felt before passes over his features.
“You like being busy during the holidays,” he says.
It’s not really a question, but you answer anyway.
“I do.”
“I get that.” He nods. “I’m the same. Being at home just makes me feel more like an outsider.”
“Why are you telling me this?” you blurt, unable to hold it in any longer. “I mean, just… we don’t know each other well.”
Jungkook turns to look at you. “No, I guess not.” He pauses. “I’ve just spent a lot of holidays alone and thought… well, I don’t know. Thought you might want company.”
You stare at him another moment, something warm unfurling within your chest.
Jungkook doesn’t look away, and you wonder again how he can be the same person. According to Leslie, this is the guy who cheated on her. Not just cheated but let her walk in on him having sex with another person and simply brushed it off.
Strangely, the story is starting to feel like an outlier here. Based on everything you’ve learned about Jungkook so far, he doesn’t seem like the type of person who would hurt someone so carelessly. You wonder if maybe – possibly – you misjudged him.
“Yeah, okay,” you say finally. Turning around, you head for the couch by the windows. “Hoseok banned me from the kitchen, anyways. It’d be nice to have some company – quiet company,” you correct, glancing over your shoulder. “I’m not one of those people who talk to relax.”
Lips twitching, Jungkook nods and follows your lead.
True to your warning, he remains quiet while seating himself on the other end of the couch. Nearly three feet apart, he stares at the mountains in silence. You do the same, although every now and again, your gaze darts to Jungkook.
This is just for tonight, you tell yourself. A night of truce before returning to normal.
The next time you turn, Jungkook catches you looking and offers a smile. It transforms him, lighting up his features and you remember his comment from earlier. I spend so long smiling for other people, it’s hard to know what’s real anymore.
Oddly enough, you find yourself hoping he’s being real with you.
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“Twenty-five new bookings.” Namjoon looks up, impressed. “And it’s all thanks to Y/N’s genius live stream.”
Applause follows from Jimin and Hoseok, and you slump in your seat.
“But it wasn’t my idea,” you protest. “Jungkook decided to live stream when he took my phone. It was all him.”
“Still.” Namjoon opens his laptop. “Your Instagram posts have gotten more traction than anything else we’ve posted this year. Granted, half the comments are about how hot Jungkook is – but there are a lot of people saying how pretty the resort is, as well!”
Yoongi nods. “I’ve been fielding a lot of phone inquiries. People want to know if we’re full for New Year’s.”
“See?” Namjoon jabs a finger in your direction. “I was right. This is working!”
“For now,” you agree.
“That’s all we need.” Leaning back in his seat, Namjoon exhales. “We’ve got five more days of Jungkook, so let’s make the most of it. Any thoughts?”
After a pause, Jimin raises his hand.
“We’re making ornaments with the kids this week,” he says. “It seemed like Jungkook’s fans liked seeing him with children.”
“Good.” Namjoon types this up on his laptop. “I’ve got that down. What else?”
“Tree decorating,” says Yoongi. “Jungkook could decorate a tree in the lobby, or something.”
Behind Yoongi, the door to the conference room opens.
“Or cut down a tree,” Jimin offers. “People love that lumberjack stuff.”
“Yes, yes – great. What else?”
“I’m down for tree chopping,” Jungkook says as he enters. “It also might be fun to do a holiday movie marathon. We could set things up in the lobby and Hoseok could make more of that amazing hot chocolate.”
“Great idea,” says Namjoon, frantically typing. “And thanks for joining us, Jungkook. You can take the seat beside Jimin.”
Jungkook nods. Before sitting, he exchanges a complicated high five with Jimin which leaves you speechless. They must have been spending time together to make up something so intricate – opening your laptop, you pull up a chat with Namjoon.
Y/N: was it necessary to invite him?
Y/N: we don’t typically invite guests to staff meetings
“We invite guests to staff meetings when said guest has increased our bookings by fifty percent,” Namjoon says, answering your question out loud.
Glaring, you sit back and try to appear as innocent as possible. Namjoon is looking at you though, which makes it fairly obvious whose question he answered.
“Sorry,” you say, apologizing to Jungkook. “Typically, these meetings are staff only. I just wanted to be clear what we can discuss.”
“Totally understand,” Jungkook says, hiding his smile.
Internally, you curse Namjoon for constantly putting you through hell. Once you get through this week and collect your raise, you’re planning on never speaking to him again.
Hoseok clears his throat. “We could do a cookie-baking championship,” he suggests. “Shows like the Great British Bake-Off are huge. I’m sure Jungkook’s fans would love to see him baking.”
“That’s a great idea,” says Seokjin.
Even Yoongi nods at this. Hoseok beams and sits back, and you drum your pen on the table. You’re searching for a flaw but find nothing, much to your disappointment. It’s a great idea that’ll lend itself well to a dozen social media sites.
Already, you’re planning Instagram stories, before and after cookie photos and a Twitter poll for followers to vote on the winner. Before you can articulate any of this though, Yoongi lowers his phone.
“Who should participate in the cookie contest?” he asks, not looking your way.
You realize the suspiciousness of this the moment Namjoon avoids eye contact.
“Staff should join,” Namjoon says. “And some of the guests. Let’s post flyers in the lobby to gauge interest.”
“On it,” says Yoongi, taking note.
“Which staff,” you grind out.
Namjoon glances at you. “So, here’s the thing.”
“My fans like Y/N,” says Jungkook, surprising everyone. “So, Y/N should join.”
“I – what?” you say, taken aback.
It’s one thing to hear Namjoon say it. He’s in this to make money, increase follower count and gain bookings. It’s another entirely to hear Jungkook say it out loud, as the person for whom this could inevitably crash and burn.
Turning to face him, you meet his gaze. Jungkook sits slouched in his seat, legs spread in a way that makes your blood boil.
His brow sketches upwards. “You were on the live stream,” he explains, as though you haven’t seen. “A lot of my fans thought the fall was funny, and –”
“They find your dynamic interesting,” interrupts Namjoon.
Jungkook glances at Namjoon, and something unspoken passes between them. You find yourself wondering what Jungkook’s fans have said, but everything fades when Yoongi interjects.
“They thought Jungkook and Seokjin were funny, as well,” he says. “So, we should probably include Seokjin as a baker.”
“Done and done.” Namjoon nods.
“Whoa, hang on,” you sputter. “I didn’t agree.”
“Are you not a good baker?” Jungkook asks innocently. “Is that the problem?”
“There’s no problem.”
“No?” A teasing smile crosses his lips. “So, you’re in?”
Meeting his gaze, heat simmers, and you find yourself daydreaming about how satisfying it’d be to wipe the smirk from his face. The moment you think this, your gaze drops to his lips and now you’re thinking how soft they look.
Shit.
“Fine,” you say tightly. “I’m in. Anything for the Inn, right?”
“Right,” Jungkook says, voice low.
He still doesn’t blink, and another moment passes before Seokjin clears his throat.
“I’m in, too,” he says loudly. “In case anyone was wondering.”
Looking away, you find yourself grateful for the interruption. There’s a current buzzing under your skin, as though you’ve stood outside in a storm.
“We weren’t,” Namjoon says pleasantly. “But thank you, Seokjin. Moving on.”
He continues with the list for the week, filling up Jungkook’s schedule. You do your best to focus, but it’s hard with Jungkook sitting across from you.
Whichever way you turn, you meet Jungkook’s gaze, and your stomach flip-flops. Jungkook must be continually watching since you seem to make eye contact with him without fail.
This is Jungkook, you remind yourself. He crushed your best friend in college, and he’ll crush you too, no matter how much you hope that he’s changed.
Something about this rings hollow, and you can’t help but call into question Leslie’s account of the story. It’s something you’ve been considering since late last night.
While you and Leslie were good friends in college, you’ve barely spoken in the years since. After graduation, you drifted apart. You moved to a new city, became known within the tourism industry and Leslie was struggling to find a new job. Things were strained until finally, Leslie stopped responding to your calls altogether.
You kept trying, even flying out to her city, but it soon became clear your friendship was best left in the past. Leslie ended up a kind of crappy friend in the end – a source of vindication for Taehyung, who hadn’t liked her from the start.
Still, it’s hard to shake the memory of Leslie after they broke up. She was genuinely hurt when things ended with her and Jungkook, no matter what happened to your friendship after. This is what you cling to, fortifying yourself against the effects of Jungkook’s gaze.
Unless – your instincts are right, and something about Leslie’s retelling was off. Sneaking another glance, you find Jungkook looking back and rather than turn, you meet his gaze head-on. Jungkook’s lips lift in a smile and now, it’s your heart that flip-flops.
Forcing yourself to look down, you realize you might be already in trouble.
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“Alright, so here’s the vision.” Yoongi opens his eyes. “There are eight contestants, all of whom are competing for the same prize: holiday cookie glory.”
You and Jungkook exchange a quick glance at your table.
Yoongi, for better or worse, has really gotten into his role as master of ceremonies. Much of the past hour has been spent listening to directions you consider unnecessary. Never before have you heard the word fondant said so often, nor with such enthusiasm.
You and Jungkook are at the same table, much to your dismay. Each contestant has been given a holiday apron to wear over their clothes. Yours says Santa’s Helper, while Jungkook has a cup of eggnog and says, I Put the Rum in Rum-Pa-Pum-Pum.
The rest of the aprons are normal – one designed to look like Santa’s coat, another like an elf, and then there’s Seokjin’s. An outline of Santa and the phrase I Do it For the Ho’s. Jimin put duct tape over the word Ho’s and wrote Cookies before approving for broadcast. Apparently, the competition is supposed to be family friendly.
Aside from you, Hoseok, Seokjin and Jungkook, four other chefs have been selected from the guests. Yoongi decided these on a first come, first serve basis. Currently, everyone has taken their place at long tables in the lobby. Other guests stop to watch the proceedings, some taking photos of Jungkook at your table.
Midway through Yoongi’s lecture on toppings, Jungkook leans over.
“Is he being serious,” he mutters, keeping his mouth as still as possible.
Your upper lip twitches. “Super serious, I think.”
“Y/N.”
Hearing your name said aloud, you snap to attention and realize Yoongi is glaring at you from the front.
“Yes?”
Yoongi places both hands on his hips. All he needs is a cooking spoon to emulate your mother, scolding you for eating too many after-school snacks.
“Are you even listening?” he asks.
“Uh, yes. For sure. I’m listening.”
“Right. How long do you have to decorate your cookies, then?” Yoongi asks, testing your knowledge.
Swallowing, you start to panic a little – until you see Jungkook holding up a single finger.
“One minute,” you blurt.
Yoongi stares. “One hour, Y/N. Pay attention.”
Another guest raises their hand and Yoongi moves on. Keeping still, you wait until Yoongi answers before turning to Jungkook. He’s already laughing, both sides shaking as he tries to stop.
“It’s not funny!” you insist, although you smile.
“One minute?” Wiping his eyes, Jungkook straightens. “You wouldn’t even have time to roll the fondant.”
You groan. “If I never hear the word fondant again, it’d be too soon.”
He laughs again, throwing his head easily back. You didn’t think your joke was that funny, but Jungkook seems to find it hilarious. When he lowers his gaze, his eyes are bright.
“I take it you don’t watch a lot of holiday baking shows?” he teases.
“Nope. I’ve never made icing from scratch, let alone tried to decorate with it.”
Jungkook lifts a brow. “Revealing your weakness to the enemy?”
“Are you supposed to be my enemy?” you ask. “Forgive me for assuming the Olympic snowboarder doesn’t have much free time to bake.”
“That’s where you’re wrong. I made cookies every Christmas Eve with my grandma until she passed away. I’m a pro.”
Sobering slightly, you watch as Jungkook reties the strings of his apron. He doesn’t look upset, but you recognize the dimness in his gaze, the way his lips tighten when he speaks in past tense.
“I’m sorry,” you say quietly.
He glances at you. “It was two years ago. Don’t worry about it.”
“Still.” You shrug. “It’s hard. My dad died eight years ago and it’s still difficult during the holiday season. Part of the reason I’m working, I guess.”
Jungkook hesitates, as though he wants to say more, but before he can start, Yoongi clears his throat.
“Five minutes!” he yells, stepping onto a chair. “Jimin” – he points a spoon, and Jimin waves – “will be streaming on Instagram during the competition. He’ll walk around, show viewers the cookie progress and post a Twitter poll at the end to decide the winner. Sounds good?”
“Yes,” the group choruses.
Yoongi nods, and steps down. Namjoon wanders over and the two begin speaking in hushed tones, with Namjoon gesturing at his phone. Shifting your weight to your heels, you scan the materials before you. Without something to do, you begin to reorganize.
“So.”
Turning, you find Jungkook watching with an unreadable expression.
“Yes?” you ask, sliding a pastry cutter across the table.
“Are we… ever going to talk about college?”
Your fingers freeze halfway to the dye.
“I… what about college?” you stammer.
Jungkook tilts his head, as though to read your mind.
“I tried to talk to you – after,” he says, glossing over the word. “I saw you once in the library, and called out your name, but I don’t think you saw me. You were packing up your things…?”
He trails off, his words a silent question and you busy yourself with the sprinkles, your heart pounding erratically. You remember the night he’s talking about. It was the week before midterms, and you were holed up in your usual spot in the library. Jungkook entered with his usual entourage, and you remember being overcome by how casual he appeared.
He sat at a nearby table, and you attempted to ignore him but eventually had to move. When you began packing your things, Jungkook glanced up and saw you – and waved. You remember him calling your name, but you were too furious to respond.
Rather than confront him, you left.
Now though, you find yourself wondering.
It was strange for Jungkook to behave so normally in the library. He acted as though he hadn’t done anything, and wasn’t that a little confusing? If things occurred with Leslie the way she said they did, Jungkook would have acted differently.
At the time, you chalked it up to men being men, but maybe there’s more to the story. Before you can ask though, Yoongi hurries forward.
“Places, everyone – places!” he calls. “Is everyone ready? Baking materials ready to go?”
You nod and face forward, feeling oddly unsettled. Fingers hovering above your materials, you wonder why Jungkook would bring up that night. So many questions with little time for answers as Jimin scurries in place and points the phone’s camera at Yoongi.
With minimal theatrics, Yoongi kicks off the contest and explains its rules. Jimin follows Yoongi as he strolls down the aisles, stopping beside your table.
“And here we have the Inn’s general manager – Y/N!” Yoongi waits for you to wave. “And internationally renowned snowboarder, Jungkook Jeon!”
Jungkook also waves, ducking his head with a smile.
You used to think his bashfulness was for show, but the more time you spend with him, the more convinced you become that Jungkook is the real deal. His dichotomy is ridiculously attractive. With his eyebrow ring, lip ring and a full sleeve of tattoos, he could easily be intimidating – and yet, he wears holiday aprons, sleeps in red flannel pajamas, and has a goofball puppy.
Jimin and Yoongi continue to the next table, with Yoongi announcing the Bergman’s behind you. Glancing at Jungkook, you find him measuring ingredients.
Feeling you watching, he lifts a brow. “You ready, Y/N?”
“Born ready,” you say. “You know what they say around Christmas.”
“Never get involved in a land war in Asia?”
You laugh, surprised by The Princess Bride quote. “No. I was going to say you better not cry when you lose, but yours is better.”
Jungkook’s lips twitch but he doesn’t respond, and Yoongi yells, “GO!”
The cookie baking begins, its rules shouted by Yoongi while he walks around. An hour and a half for baking, an hour for decorating and ten minutes for plating.
Jimin wanders the room as well, catching shots of you sifting dry ingredients, cracking eggs, and getting flour everywhere. By the time you finish combining the wet and dry bowls, the words Santa’s Helper look more like Satan’s Helper on your apron.
You weren’t lying – you truly are terrible. Instead of adding the dry ingredients slowly, you dump them in at once and – poof – send flour flying. Your recipe requires an egg yolk, and you’re fairly sure some of the shell gets mixed in.
True to his word, Jungkook also told the truth. He really is good, and you watch open-mouthed while he mixes batter, rolls fondant, and gathers ingredients in the time it takes you to preheat your oven.
You had a vague, naïve hope you might win at the start but now, you’re simply hoping you don’t come in last. Returning from the bathroom, you scope out the competition and find – no surprise – Hoseok is kicking ass. He’s made some sort of chestnut praline cookie which looks both delicious and complicated. Seokjin has gone in the opposite direction with basic sugar cookies and icing that’s little more than reddish soup.
He seems to think he’s doing great though, based on the supportive words he croons at his batter. Returning to your table, you hesitate, then pick up powdered sugar.
“So,” Jungkook says casually. “Is there prize money attached to the competition?”
“Apart from your appearance fee?” you tease.
Glancing over, you immediately regret your decision. Jungkook has rolled up the sleeves of his sweatshirt while he works, and his forearm tendons are prominently visible. You stare at him, mesmerized before you regain composure.
“My appearance fee was for staying here,” he says with a grin. “A couple of Instagram posts. I don’t remember staff meetings being included.”
“What can I say? Namjoon likes to get his money’s worth.”
Jungkook laughs. “That’s for sure.”
“It was nice of you to agree to the discounted rate, though,” you add, voice lowered. “I don’t know that we could have afforded your actual retainer.”
He’s quiet for a moment, filling a pastry bag with colored icing. Tying off an end, he tests this on a napkin and appears satisfied by the result.
“Yeah, well.” Jungkook pauses. “Let’s just say, this came at a good time. I’ve been looking to lay low for a while.”
“What for? Crowd of admirers getting you down?”
Jungkook is silent, and after a moment, you glance sideways. Dropping your spoon back in the bowl, you find yourself stricken by the look on his face.
“I didn’t mean to –”
“No, it’s okay,” he says, looking up. “It’s just, you know – fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I know it’s a cliché, but it’s true.”
Nodding once, you pick up your spoon. “It does seem stressful. Always having to present a certain image to the public.”
“Yeah, it can be stressful.”
He says nothing more, and the two of you fall into a comfortable silence. Preparing your cookies for the oven, you lift the sheet and feel a hand on your wrist.
Surprised, you look sideways and find Jungkook before you. He hovers, gaze dropping minutely towards your lips. A streak of flour rests below his jaw, and you fight the sudden urge to wipe this away.
“I – yes?” you ask, breathless.
His gaze snaps upward.
“Sorry. I just wanted to make sure you know… that I’m happy I’m here.”
The words are innocuous, but the tone Jungkook uses is anything but. Staring back at him, you find yourself struggling to think of a response.
Before you can decide, Jimin pops up between you.
“What do we have here?” Gleeful, he films the withdrawal of Jungkook’s hand. “Y/N, how are your cookies coming along?”
Swiftly, you place the sheet on the counter.
“Terrible,” you say. “I’m awful at baking.”
“Better than Seokjin,” Jimin comments, zooming in on your tray. “Actually – I don’t know. It’s kind of a toss-up. Are these cookies supposed to be a specific shape?”
“They’re stars,” you say with a glare.
“Right, sure. And Jungkook.” Jimin turns the camera on him. “What were you doing before you decided to feel up our general manager?”
Jungkook’s cheeks turn bright red, and you would scold Jimin but are too preoccupied by how cute Jungkook looks. Unable to look you in the eye, he gestures towards his pristine tray of shortbread.
“I’m making alfajores,” Jungkook explains. “Once these are in the oven, I’ll work on the dulce de leche sauce and then, I’m adding some holiday touches.”
You and Jimin stare, open-mouthed.
Recovering fast, Jimin twists the phone around to show his expression. “You heard it here first, folks,” he announces. “Our sous chef, Hoseok, has some competition.”
Before Jungkook can protest, Jimin is already moving to the next table. He films the Ahn’s while you and Jungkook take your trays to the oven.
Time passes and by the time you’re plating, you’re well-aware your cookies are at the end of the spectrum. Not as bad as the Ramirez’, who burnt the bottom of their cookies, but nearly as bad as Seokjin’s utterly flat sugar cookies. (“Butter was too soft,” Jungkook mutters).
Once the cookies are plated, Yoongi makes a big deal of tasting while Jimin films. Hoseok has to hold you back when Yoongi tastes yours, makes a face and nearly spits it back on the tray. You complain he’s biasing the viewers, but Yoongi insists he’s telling the honest truth. You find out later he’s right when you taste your own batch.
The Twitter poll has only been up an hour when Jungkook is declared the winner. Hoseok is a clear second, although Jungkook’s fans all admit in the comments that Hoseok’s were better. You manage enough votes to refrain from last place, but not nearly enough to keep the teasing at bay.
Jungkook posts a selfie to the Inn’s story, proclaiming his win and you fight a smile when he returns your phone.
“You didn’t have to do that,” you tell him.
He shrugs. “I’m happy to help.”
You nod, but Jungkook continues to linger. He doesn’t seem to want to leave, and you feel your heart quickening the way it did earlier.
Namjoon appears by your side.
“Y/N, we have a problem,” he says grimly.
Startled, you turn and find Namjoon holding his phone. The print on his email is too small to read and so, taking this from him, you zoom in. After reading the first sentence, your eyes widen.
“Shit,” you mutter.
Jungkook glances between you. “What’s wrong?”
Seeming to realize Jungkook is there, Namjoon winces. “Nothing, nothing. Just a small issue with the Christmas Eve party.”
You nearly laugh at the understatement.
Based on the email, the chef catering Christmas Eve has come down with the flu and can no longer attend. As a gesture of goodwill, Namjoon gave the kitchen staff the night off and hired a catering company to run the Christmas Eve party.
Without a caterer, you’ll need to see if some of your employees can make it. Already you know this won’t work – most of the serving staff have plans with their families, and more than a few are planning to go out of town.
Rubbing your temples, you exhale. “Can we find someone else?”
“Who?” Jungkook asks.
“Our caterer for Christmas Eve pulled out,” you explain. “We need to find someone new, ASAP.”
“I have a few thoughts.” Namjoon pulls up another list on his phone. “I’ve made some calls, and most places are booked, but there’s a new restaurant in town that might be free. Only problem is, I’ve never eaten there, so I have no idea if the food is good, or–”
“We could try the place out,” Jungkook suggests.
Namjoon pauses. “You could… what?”
“We could do a test dinner.” Jungkook glances at you. “Y/N and I could eat at the restaurant, see what the food is like and report back.”
You stand there, open-mouthed, unable to believe what you heard. Jungkook said we – and doubled down by adding Y/N and I. That would mean you and Jungkook going alone.
Together.
For dinner.
“Well.” Namjoon shifts his weight to his heels. “That would be helpful. Are you sure you don’t mind?” he asks Jungkook. “You’re here on vacation. Some of the staff can go instead.”
You know Namjoon is walking a careful line between dismissing a guest’s suggestion, and not wanting to give work to your celebrity.
“I want to go,” Jungkook says seriously.
“Well.” Namjoon looks at you. “As long as it’s okay with Y/N.”
He’s giving you a way out and what you should do is take it. If you had any sense at all, you would not go to dinner with Jungkook.
“Yes,” you blurt. “I’ll go.”
Both of them stare at you, as though they expected you to decline. Unsure what to do next, you wait another moment, then nod.
“Well, alright,” you say briskly. “I’m going to bed. See you later.”
Before either can respond, you hurry away, untying the strings of your apron.
Once you reach your room, you slam the door and stand there for a moment, leaning your head to the wood. Once your breathing is under control, you open your eyes. Staring at the ski slopes, you force yourself to think calmly.
The night has been full of uncertainty – why would Jungkook bring up that night in the library? Why are you questioning Leslie? – and there’s only one person who can cut through the nonsense. Stepping into your room, you pull out your phone and dial a number.
Taehyung answers on the third ring.
“HELLO?” he yells, FaceTiming you from what’s clearly a bar.
Waving a hand, you smile at your best friend.
Taehyung calls, “WAIT A MINUTE,” and begins to maneuver outside.
You wait patiently while he does this, watching him open a door for his breath to immediately frost.
“Y/N!” Beaming, Taehyung pulls the screen closer until it’s only his eye. “What’s up?”
“Taehyung,” you say with a sigh. “I need help.”
Returning to a normal view, his brows lift. “You’re saying you need help? Oh man, this must be good. What happened? Avalanche?”
“Nothing like that,” you say, then pause. “Jungkook is here.”
Taehyung freezes, and for a moment you think the call has dropped. Then – a sharp bark of laughter, his camera jerking upward as Taehyung disappears from frame. The sound of him laughing drifts towards you and when Taehyung reappears, you glare.
“Jungkook, as in Jungkook?” he says gleefully. “As in, college Jungkook? Snowboarder Jungkook? Star of a thousand unfulfilled sexual fantasies Jungkook?”
“That’s the one. Minus the last bit.”
“Interesting.” Taehyung props his chin on his fist in mid-air. “So, what’s the dilemma?”
“The dilemma… is I think I agreed to go on a date with him.”
“With Jungkook.”
“Yes.”
Taehyung laughs again. “Wow, okay. And again – what’s the problem?”
Your eyes widen. “The problem,” you hiss, voice dropping, “is Jungkook cheated on Leslie back in college! Or did you forget?”
You expect Taehyung to wince, recoil or curse Jungkook out and are surprised when he barely reacts. Slowly, he nods and looks away.
“And?” Taehyung asks.
Your jaw drops. “And – what? Jungkook cheated on Leslie! It crushed her! I know you never really liked Leslie, but even you have to agree cheaters suck.”
Taehyung considers, chewing his lower lip. “Okay, so. Don’t take this the wrong way –”
“When has something good ever followed that?”
“– but Leslie is a shady bitch.”
For a moment, you’re stunned.
“Taehyung…” You stare. “What are you talking about?”
He shrugs and rubs his temple. “I’m talking about how Leslie was with you versus how she was with other people. She was jealous, two-faced, and always talked about people behind their backs. Do you want to know the real reason you stopped being friends after college?”
You hesitate a moment before nodding.
“It’s because she was jealous,” Taehyung says bluntly. “Leslie liked to surround herself with hurt people because it made her feel better about herself. The second you started to do well, she cut you off.”
“That’s not true,” you blurt.
“Isn’t it?” He cocks his head. “The only reason I tolerated Leslie was because she made you happy, and things were pretty rough after your dad died. She was never a good friend though, Y/N. You deserved better.”
“I – are you drunk, Tae?”
“No.” He considers. “Well, yes. But that’s partly why I’m being honest.”
Shaking your head, you swallow. “So… you hated Leslie the entire time we were at college?”
“I didn’t hate her. But yeah, I didn’t trust her. Leslie was fun, but she only cared about herself.”
“Even if that’s true,” you say. “Even if Leslie was a terrible friend and only cared about herself – that doesn’t change the situation with Jungkook.”
“Doesn’t it?”
You give him a look. “Why would it?”
Taehyung shrugs. “I mean, I trust your judgment way more than I trust Leslie’s. I don’t believe you’d agree to go on a date with Jungkook if you thought he was truly terrible.”
When you stay silent, he lifts both brows.
“Well?” Taehyung asks. “Do you think Jungkook is a terrible person?”
“No,” you admit. “I don’t.”
“Well, then, there you go. Why don’t you just ask Jungkook what happened? Maybe it was all a big misunderstanding.”
“A misunderstanding where his dick slipped into the wrong person?”
Taehyung snorts. “Look, if he actually cheated on Leslie – yeah, that’s fucked. You should be wary. But if not…”
“If not?”
“I don’t know.” He pauses. “I feel like there’s more to the story.”
“Taehyung, you’re drunk,” you say with a laugh. “Any advice you give should be served with lime and salt.”
“What’s the worst that can happen?” he counters. “You go on this date, Jungkook confirms he cheated, and you get a free meal. Win.”
“Well, it’s not a date, per se.”
Taehyung pauses. “What do you mean?”
You explain about the canceled caterer and Jungkook’s proposal to test a restaurant in town. When you get to the part of becoming roped in, a familiar light enters Taehyung’s eyes.
“I see,” he says, drawling the word. “So, Jungkook has volunteered himself for a mission to save the lodge?”
“Kind of.”
“And, while you’re also going on said mission, he didn’t actually say the word date?”
“Well, no, but –”
 “Y/N.” Taehyung grins broadly. “Go get that superstar dick you want so badly.”
“Taehyung!” you sputter, nearly dropping your phone.
He’s cackling now, dancing around in the snow outside the bar. When Taehyung finally recovers enough to respond, both his nose and cheeks are red.
“Y/N,” he says seriously. “You clearly like this guy. I say, trust your instincts and go on the not-date. Then, let me know how good he is in bed.”
“Taehyung. I am not –”
“Yeah?” Taehyung yells offscreen. “Yeah, yeah – hang on! I’m dealing with a crisis!”
When he returns to the phone, you shake your head.
“Go inside,” you tell him. “Believe it or not, this was semi-helpful. Go have fun with your friends, okay?”
Taehyung grins. “Will do! Alright, cool – I’m going to go finish my drink. Text me tomorrow and let me know how it goes. And let me know when I can come visit this Inn!”
“Okay, will do.” You nod. “Bye!”
Yelling goodnight, Taehyung hangs up and you return to your home screen. Without your best friend’s yelling, the room feels strangely empty.
Turning around, you stare out the window and survey the slopes. Right now, Jungkook is probably returning to his room to feed Bam. Crossing the room to your bed, you open Instagram and scroll to the Inn’s page. Jimin has already uploaded several videos to your Story of the cookie competition.
Opening the first, you find a shot of Yoongi eating your cookie and nearly spitting it out. You look pissed, Hoseok’s arms around your waist to hold you back but it’s Jungkook, at your side, who catches your gaze.
He looks at you, eyes bright and it’s hard to believe someone with that expression could be capable of what Leslie said.
Taehyung is wrong, you realize. The worst that could happen isn’t a terrible date and a free meal. The worst thing that could happen is you fall for Jungkook, only for him to prove you right and break your heart.
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The next day dawns, bright and cold on the slopes.
Seokjin is up early with his beginner class, Hoseok bakes cookies for the Christmas Eve party and Namjoon is welcoming a visiting ambassador and her family. There are no events scheduled for Jungkook until the late afternoon, which means you find yourself pulled in several different directions.
After lunch, you head for Jungkook’s suite and run into him and Bam in the hall. Today’s photoshoot is of them in the snow. You’re saving shots of Jungkook snowboarding until the last day, when a sports photographer is visiting and has agreed to snap photos in exchange for a discounted rate.
Exiting the lodge, you squint at the brightness and pull out your sunglasses. Taking control of the shoot, you position Jungkook at the ski lift with the slopes in the background. Bam is enthusiastic about the photos, barking excitedly each time you toss snow in the frame. Once you have enough options for today’s Instagram post, the three of you head back inside for Hoseok’s hot chocolate.
Jungkook holds open the door, allowing you to enter and you can barely meet his gaze. You can’t stop remembering the cookie contest; the way he said your name, his vascular forearms, and the casual way he insisted on going to the restaurant together.
“So, I was thinking,” Jungkook says, interrupting your thought.
Glancing upward, you find him looking almost nervous. The main door to the lodge falls shut behind you, and you begin to unbutton the top of your coat.
“Thinking about what?” you ask.
“We should ride to the restaurant together tonight. I have a driver who can pick us up if you want. We could leave around… seven?”
“Seven sounds good,” you agree. “I can drive us though, Jungkook. I have a car.”
“I know. I just thought you might be more comfortable if you didn’t have to drive.”
Butterflies alight in your stomach, and you wonder what, exactly, he thinks might distract you.
“Just how drunk should I plan on getting?” you tease.
Jungkook’s cheeks flush. “You don’t have to drink,” he counters. “I just thought, with the snow and all –”
“I’m kidding, Jungkook,” you laugh. “A driver would be nice. Let’s meet in the lobby at seven?”
“Perfect.” His head bobs.
“I’m sorry about my outfit in advance,” you add, aware that you’re rambling. “I know this isn’t a date or anything, but I feel like I should dress nicely and all I have here is a single sweaterdress. So, I’m sorry.”
A wordless emotion passes over his features, although it’s gone so fast, you think you’ve imagined it. Did Jungkook think this was a date? If so, that wasn’t clear from your conversation with Namjoon.
Before you can press this issue, Jungkook takes a step closer. Glancing down, he pauses, and you breathe in his scent of cardamom and peppermint.
“I’m sure you’ll look beautiful,” he murmurs.
Before you can think of an appropriate response, Jungkook turns away.
“I’ll see you tonight,” he calls, heading down the hall.
You stare after him until, with a shake of your head, you realize you haven’t responded. If this is any indication of how tonight will go, you might be in trouble.
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You are in trouble, you realize, when Jungkook knocks on your door.
“Coming!” you yell, tossing your lipstick in your clutch.
Part of being general manager means you stay in one of the suites during peak season. It’s easier than driving back and forth into town; during the summer months, you rent an apartment but during ski season, it makes sense to live on site.
Hurrying through the front room, you yank open the door to reveal – Jungkook, looking immaculate. Words fail you momentarily, and you stare.
He’s dressed in a dark turtleneck covered by a blueish gray peacoat. His hair has been styled, pushed back from his face in a devastating manner. You’re so busy staring, you only realize belatedly he’s doing the same to you.
Eyes wide, Jungkook takes in your outfit.
“Wow,” he exhales. “I – you look amazing.”
On instinct, you glance down and check what you’re wearing. Your only formal dress has been saved for Christmas Eve, so tonight you chose a sweater and pants. Admittedly, the pants are kind of tight and the sweater is low-cut, but you didn’t have Jungkook in mind when you selected them. Definitely not.
To avoid seeming as though you planned this for him, you step into the hall and pull the door shut.
“Thanks,” you say, turning around. “Um, should we go? You know, to taste the menu. At the restaurant.”
Jungkook’s lips twitch. He nods, holding out a hand to gesture you first. You nod, walking past and attempting to conceal your rapid heartbeat. The elevator to the lobby is silent on the way down, and you glance sideways at Jungkook.
“Where’s Bam?” you ask.
Jungkook looks at you and again, you’re taken aback by how handsome he is. Taehyung’s words run through your mind, unbidden. You clearly like this guy. It’s incredibly annoying how Taehyung is always right.
“He’s with Jimin,” Jungkook answers. “Bam had a love at first sight moment.”
You laugh, facing forward. “A lot of people tend to have that moment with Jimin.”
It could be nothing, but you swear Jungkook stiffens slightly at your comment. Before either of you can continue, the elevator dings and you enter the lobby.
His car waits at the curbs, idling with the driver in its front seat. The moment you exit the Inn, your breath frosts, and you shiver. Luckily, the backseat is heated, and you let out a sigh as your butt hits the leather.
Following quickly, Jungkook shuts the door and gives his driver the address. Settling in, Jungkook gazes out the window as the car pulls away. The drive is a fantastic view, you must admit.
Hammond is the town closest to the Inn, a tiny place with only a few thousand locals. They go crazy around Christmastime, with what seems like a tree for each permanent resident. The Inn is situated above Hammond in the mountains, but its lights are visible as you wind down the road.
“I’m sorry if I forced you into coming tonight.”
Surprised, you glance sideways and find Jungkook looking back.
“I – well, you didn’t force me. I could’ve said no.”
He gives a half-smile. “I guess. I only wanted to help, but I got the impression Namjoon wouldn’t trust a stranger to judge a restaurant’s cooking.”
“You’re right about that,” you admit.
“We don’t have to sit together if it makes you uncomfortable. I can sit at a different table, or –”
“Jungkook,” you interrupt. “I’m glad we’re going together. Okay?”
Visibly relaxing, he sinks in his seat. “Oh. Okay.”
Hiding a smile, you look out the window and watch the town grow gradually closer. The drive to Hammond is one of your favorite parts of the Christmas season. It’s almost a shame you need to live at the Inn every December. Lights are wrapped around each available surface, covering trees, poles and crisscrossing the road overhead.
Jungkook marvels at this, and you nearly smile. Catching yourself just in time, you shift in your seat to look out the window.
Ten minutes later, you’re pulling in front of a snow-dusted awning. Rosa’s says the placard hung above the restaurant. The place looks idyllic, set with the mountains in the background.
You’re so focused on this that you fail to look where you’re going when you step from the car.
“Ah!” you yelp, sinking ankle-deep into snow.
“Are you okay?” Jungkook rushes around.
Shaking your foot free, you wince. “Yeah,” you sigh, stepping onto the sidewalk. “Apart from a complete lack of coordination.”
“You hide it so well, though,” Jungkook says, offering an elbow.
Accepting this, you allow him to lead you inside. Jungkook’s expression is deadpan, until he sees you looking and grins.
Realizing he was joking, you laugh. It slips out before you can stop it and Jungkook’s smile brightens to an unnatural degree. It rivals even the Christmas lights as you enter Rosa’s.
Stopping at the hostess stand, Jungkook gives his last name, and you wait to be seated. You asked Namjoon if he wanted this to be an official tasting, or just a blind test of the food and he preferred the latter. So now, you and Jungkook are led to a quiet corner table with a view of the mountains.
Jungkook seats himself across the table, pulling out the menu to frown at its contents. He’s a concentrated reader, you realize – full of furrowed brow and slightly moving lips. You’re too busy watching Jungkook instead of your own menu, so when he looks up and asks what you’re drinking, you have no idea.
“Uh,” you say, glancing down and saying the first thing you see. “I’ll have an old fashioned.”
His brows arch. “You like whiskey?”
“Sure,” you say, laying your menu flat. No chance of backing out now. “Don’t you?”
“Nope.” Casually, Jungkook follows suit. “Way too strong. I like sweeter drinks. I think I’ll get a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.”
“… in the winter?”
Unconcerned, he shrugs.
Something inside you twists. You like this about him. You don’t want to and yet, you like the fact that Jungkook orders the drinks he wants when he wants and doesn’t care what people say.
The waiter stops at your table and, after giving your order, silence falls between you. You glance out the window and in the corner of the room, a pianist starts playing Have Yourself a Merry Christmas.
“Do you eat in town often?”
When you glance back, you find Jungkook looking at you.
“No, not really,” you say. “Hoseok’s cooking pretty much tops everyone else.”
“True.” Jungkook pauses, then adds, “But where do you go when you go out?”
“Out?”
“You know, with friends. Or on dates.”
“Dates?” you say, blinking.
His brow furrows slightly. “Do you not date, then?”
“I…” Fiddling with the edge of your napkin, you try not to think about the handsome man seated across the table and how this isn’t a date. “There aren’t a lot of options at the Inn.”
“I mean, there’s a bunch of guys there. Seokjin, Jimin, Hoseok…”
“Not really interested.”
“Tonja?”
“I’m straight,” you say, and he nods. “What about you?” you ask, changing the subject. “I’m sure people must be throwing themselves at your feet.”
The arrival of your drinks interrupts the conversation, and you patiently wait while the waiter retreats. Picking up his glass, Jungkook swirls it once before taking a sip.
“I guess,” he says. “It’s hard to date seriously with all of my traveling.”
“I feel like some people wouldn’t mind.”
Jungkook pauses, then looks at you quizzically. Before he can follow up, the waiter stops by to take your dinner order. Once he disappears, you lean forward.
“Can I be honest?”
Jungkook pauses. “Go ahead.”
“You’re not what I expected,” you say.
He seems vaguely amused. “What were you expecting?”
“Well. I… didn’t have the greatest impression of you back in college.”
Jungkook goes still, and your courage slowly drains.
Taehyung wanted you to ask Jungkook what happened with Leslie, but facing him now, you find yourself at a loss. If you fuck things up, there are still several more days left to go on his contract. It would be stupid to ruin this just to give yourself peace of mind.
That’s what you tell yourself the reason is, anyways. Not that you’re a coward and asking him for the truth and it being unfavorable would potentially break you.
Jungkook lowers his glass. “What was your impression of me back in college?”
“I thought…” After a moment of hesitation, you go with the easy answer. “You went from girl to girl. You always had a crowd of people around you.”
“You thought I was a player.”
It’s close enough to the truth that you nod.
Jungkook’s expression is oddly intent. “And what do you think now?”
“Now…” You force yourself to hold his gaze. “I think my impression of you may have been wrong.”
Something in his eyes lightens. In the corner of the room, the pianist begins to play O Tannenbaum.
Changing the subject, Jungkook asks about Christmases spent with your mom. You explain about Romel and before that, your mom and dad together. Speaking about your dad is hard, but Jungkook is patient and before long, you find the words pouring out.
He responds in kind, explaining he has a younger brother but they’re not super close. All the years spent touring and training took their toll. Jungkook plans to train for the next Winter Olympics and then, he thinks he might be done.
“It takes up a lot of time,” he explains as your dinner arrives. “I’d love to be able to just relax and figure out who I am off the slopes.”
“I can’t even imagine the type of pressure you’re under,” you say, taking a bite of your pasta. So far, the food has been excellent – Namjoon will be happy to have a crisis averted. “Having so many people watch you. Knowing a single run counts for everything.”
Jungkook nods. “Yeah. It never gets easier, either. Some of the novelty wears off, but the pressure just changes – never decreases.”
“And after your last run,” you blurt without thinking. “The one during last year’s Winter Olympics. How can you even top that? I remember the announcer said it was the cleanest, most difficult pass they’d ever seen and – what?” you say, noticing his expression.
“Nothing.” Jungkook’s lips twitch. “I didn’t realize you were a fan.”
Immediately, your cheeks heat. “I’m not. I just watched the Olympics, that’s all.”
“Hm. Who won men’s curling, then?”
“Well, that’s not fair,” you say. “No one watches that.”
“More should.” Jungkook grins. “That’s not the point, though. The point is you watched my run and thought I was good.”
“I know you’re just fishing for compliments,” you say, “but you deserve to hear how awesome you are. I mean, I’m sure you hear it all the time. I haven’t told you that yet, though.”
“No,” he says softly. “You haven’t.”
There’s weight to his words beyond the usual meaning. For a moment you stare, pasta forgotten on your fork.
“For what it’s worth,” Jungkook continues, “I couldn’t do your job, either.”
“Oh, really? You’re literally doing my job right now.”
He shakes his head. “I’m just posing for photos with my dog in the snow. I’m glad I can help, but I could never do what you do for the Inn. I see the way people look at you, the way they gravitate to you for advice. What you do is important, so don’t say that it’s not.”
His words steal your breath away and oh, now you’re in danger. Before, you thought you could go to dinner and keep things professional but there’s nothing professional about the sudden urge to climb over the table, straddle Jungkook’s thighs and kiss his damn mouth to keep him from saying such wonderful things.
“I don’t know,” you say when you’re able to speak. “You’re impressing an entire nation, Jungkook.”
His gaze ignites at your words. “I don’t really care about the nation right now.”
Your body’s response is immediate and visceral. Thighs pressed together, your fingers tighten on the napkin – not tapping, for once. Right now, your attention is focused solely on Jungkook.
Dinner slips past, with conversation and wine flowing. By the time you return to the Inn, you’ve texted Namjoon several smiley faces and fifteen thumbs-ups about the restaurant. He tells you to go tf to sleep and turns off his phone, which you show to Jungkook and results in a near-minute of laughter.
You realize you’re tipsy after you pay – Namjoon gave you his credit card – and step outside. Snow is falling, light flakes falling from a grayish sky. Turning around in a circle, you stick out your tongue to catch two or three.
Jungkook watches in amusement from a few feet away.
“Brr,” you say, moving closer. “Aren’t you cold?”
“A little,” he admits. “My driver should be here soon. I texted him when we paid.”
“Okay, cool.”
You continue to shiver though and after a moment, Jungkook steps closer and unzips his coat.
“Here,” he says. “The lining is down, so it’ll be warmer than your peacoat.”
A moment of hesitation follows, then you slowly step forward to slide your arms around his waist. A million thoughts are running through your mind – this is Jungkook – but all of them quiet at the scent of peppermint and cardamom.
“I like your cologne,” you mumble, turning your face into his sweater.
Jungkook chuckles, shaking your frame.
“Thanks,” he murmurs, and you hear where the words start inside his chest.
You listen to Jungkook’s heartbeat, loud and clear. Its thumps are uneven, as if Jungkook might be as nervous as you are. Forcing yourself to exhale, you tilt your chin up to his.
Jungkook stares back and, after a moment, closes his arms around you.
It’s been a long time since you allowed yourself to care during this time of the year. Longer since someone made you want to try. For so long, you’ve kept yourself hidden because if the feelings can’t reach you, they can’t hurt you.
In the snow with his arms wrapped around you, you find yourself wondering if maybe, this was a form of hurting itself.
Headlights swing onto the street and, recognizing the car, you take a reluctant step back. Jungkook opens the door, letting you in and following suit.
The way to the Inn is quiet, a different sort of tension in the space between you. Subtly, you move your hand closer on the leather seat.
Jungkook shifts, barely noticeable and ends up slightly closer. The heat from his hand is a tangible weight against your pinky finger. Something curls in your gut as you stare straight ahead.
Outside of Hammond, there’s barely any lights except the car’s headlights. In the corner of one eye, Jungkook’s profile is barely visible against the dark of the night. On the seat between you, his hand shifts even closer.
You still when his thumb lightly brushes your finger. Without speaking, Jungkook takes your hand and gently flips it over. Lightly, his index finger drags down the center of your palm.
Inhaling slightly, your fingers curl around his. You see Jungkook smirk, and he does it again. And again – until you can no longer stand it, twisting sideways to face him.
His eyes are nearly black with hunger, mirroring your own. Your lips have parted on instinct, and his gaze drops to them as though drawn.
The car beneath you has slowed and far in the distance, you see lights from the Inn. Your stomach plummets at this because it’s too soon. You want to stay here forever, in this half-space with him. With a large amount of effort, Jungkook looks over your shoulder and the car comes to a stop.
“We should go in,” he says, little more than a rasp.
“Mm. We should.
You don’t move though, and neither does he.
“Y/N… we should go in,” he exhales, sounding pained. “You only just started giving me the time of day. I’d hate to ruin things by moving too fast.”
He’s right. You know Jungkook is right and somehow this makes you want him even more. When he reaches across you to open the door, you grasp his jacket.
Jungkook stills, turning his head.
You hesitate, then kiss him before you lose the nerve. Just once, to see what it feels like – but as you start to pull away, Jungkook’s hand comes up and cups the back of your head. He pulls you closer, kissing you deeply as you lose your breath.
Before you can fully dissolve, Jungkook lets go and moves himself backwards. His breathing is heavy, staring at you as though he thinks he might fall.
“Well.” Jungkook exhales. “That was –”
“Goodnight,” you squeak, and push open the door.
He blinks. “Y/N…”
“Nope,” you say, whirling around. “I need to go. Now. Before I change my mind and ruin what you said you wanted.”
Jungkook’s jaw works, and you know what he’s thinking. He’s thinking you could both head inside right now, rip off each other’s clothes and destroy everything he said about going slow. If you did that though, there’s no telling which of you would still be here when you wake up tomorrow.
“Fine,” he says. “Yes. Go inside.” Groaning, Jungkook flops back on the seat to press both fists to his eyes. “I need a fucking cold shower.”
You laugh in surprise, spinning around to enter the Inn. Snow is starting to fall as you push open the door and you feel your heart soar.
For the first time in ages, the holidays feel magical. When you glance behind you, Jungkook is grinning, and you wave at him once before disappearing.
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The sun shines brightly when you wake the next morning. Jungkook and Seokjin head out for an early run on the slopes – a snowstorm is coming according to the local weatherman, so you’ll need to have guests inside before dinner.
Passing behind the front desk, you take off your snow boots and slip into heels. Most of the patio furniture has been secured, except for the ones being currently used by the guests. Yoongi is busy checking in a large group, so you hurry to the counter and put on a bright smile.
“How can I help you?” you ask the next person in line.
An older man in a bright-orange parka steps around his suitcase.
“Hi, there!” he says with a smile. “My wife and I are checking in. Last name is Henderson.”
His wife, staying behind with the bags, offers a wave. You smile, then busy yourself at the computer. Once their paperwork and deposit have been received, you reach below the desk to hand them their key.
“These are yours,” you instruct. “You’ll be in room twenty-nine, which is upstairs and down the hall to your left. Elevators are ahead. Do you need any help with your bags?”
“Oh, no – no,” the man says, turning towards his wife. “Still enough gumption in me yet. Have a nice day!”
They exit the lobby, and once they’ve disappeared, you check the screen to see how many more people have yet to come in. As much as you hate to admit, Jungkook’s presence has increased your sales tenfold. Currently, you’re sold out through February and things don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Okay, maybe you don’t hate to admit it. Jungkook has proven himself to be exactly the opposite of who you thought he was. His kiss continues to linger in your mind – his uneven breathing, the way his chest rose and fell. How he had to physically pull away, rather than move things any further than would be smart.
When you do let him in, it might ruin you.
Letting Jungkook in would change everything and strangely enough, you think you might want that. You’ve been stuck in the same place for so long now, too terrified of being hurt to take any chances and maybe that was okay five years ago, but now –
“Excuse me?”
Head snapping upward, you realize a guest is standing before you.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” you say, straightening. “How can I help?”
Exhaling deeply, the woman rolls her eyes.
Minutely, your smile tightens. High maintenance. Years spent in the service industry have taught you the signs. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always the people wearing designer labels who suck. It’s those who have a certain air, a certain look, a certain my time is worth more than your time attitude.
“I’m here to check in,” she says – slowly, as though you might be hard of hearing.
Nodding once, you pull up the reservation list. “Last name?”
“Really?” She stares.
Fingers pausing on the keyboard, you look up again. The woman has that over-tanned, over-coiffed look that’s popular on the west coast, but you honestly have no idea who she is.
Yoongi’s disappeared, otherwise you’d call him over. Something about his demeanor makes even the most narcissistic starlets drop their attitude.
“I’m sorry,” you apologize, not knowing what for. “I need a last name and ID to complete the check-in process. Hotel policy.”
The woman rolls her eyes, fishing around in her Birkin bag for her wallet. Pulling out a Nevada driver’s license, she plunks this down on the counter along with her black card.
Smiling politely, you pick them up. Anya Ajanovic. That’s her name, and it rings zero bells. As quickly as possible, you run her name through the system. The faster you get her into a room, the faster she’s out of your presence.
“I see you’re staying at the Inn for four nights, Ms. Ajanovic,” you say pleasantly. “Is that correct?”
“Yes,” she says, glancing around the room. “Four nights.”
Nodding, you reach below the desk for a key. The lake suite is available, and you get the feeling Anya won’t tolerate less than the best. Well – second-best, since your best suite is currently taken by Jungkook.
Glancing up, you’re forced to concede Anya is pretty. With lustrous blonde hair and bright hazel eyes, she looks like Skiing Barbie made by Mattel. She continues to scan the lobby while waiting, as though looking for something.
“Your room is ready,” you say pleasantly. “Is there anything else you need during your stay?”
“No” – craning her neck, Anya twists around – “no, I don’t think so.”
“Alright.” You pause, sliding her key over the counter. “It’s just… you seem to be looking for something.”
“Oh.” She glances at you and for the first time, looks almost bashful. “I’m searching for my boyfriend, actually. I wanted to surprise him for the holidays. I was supposed to have work, but I managed to get off and here I am! Embarrassing, right?” A small laugh follows. “I always swore never to chase a man and here I am, chasing him. It’s downright Hallmark.”
A leaden weight thumps in your stomach and without quite knowing why, you swallow.
“Your boyfriend… is staying at the Inn?”
Nodding once more, Anya scans the lobby. “Mhm,” she says, sounding distracted. “Jungkook Jeon. Do you know him?”
A loud ringing fills your ears.
She continues to speak, but everything Anya says seems to come from underwater. Your fingers tighten on the desk, gripping to the point of property damage.
No. Not possible.
Not possible for this woman – this terrible woman – to be dating Jungkook, because that would mean… Leslie was right.
Heat replaces ice in your veins, searing you from the inside out. Leslie didn’t lie to you back in college. Jungkook really did cheat on her, and now you’re stuck in the same web.
You’re an idiot. A complete idiot because you watched this happen before and thought yourself impervious. You thought Jungkook had changed when he’s been the same guy all along.
Tugging your turtleneck from your collar, you glance around again for Yoongi. He’s still checking people in, which leaves you stranded with Anya.
“Oh,” you say, strangled. “Jungkook Jeon, the snowboarder – right?”
Her eyes widen. “Yes! Oh, right. I always forget that people know him. I don’t really follow sports, you know?”
“Mhm,” you say tightly.
You shouldn’t care. You really shouldn’t care who Jungkook decides to date, but you do. The fact that he chose Anya over you hurts worse than if he’d simply not been interested.
Nodding, she doesn’t seem to be listening to your responses. “Anyways,” Anya says. “I’m going to head to my room and freshen up. Want to look my best when he sees me. What’s the room, again?”
“The lake suite,” you say, giving her directions.
Flagging down a valet, you ask them to assist Anya with baggage. Spending another second in her presence would be more than you can bear. Once she’s disappeared, you sag against the front counter.
Jungkook lied.
He said it was hard to date because of travel when meanwhile, he’s been in a relationship with this wannabe Kardashian. Worse, he kissed you last night. He made you feel special while he was dating someone else. That bright, rosy feeling Jungkook gave you has died, shriveled against the cold light of reality.
The facts are so appalling that for a moment – only for a moment – you wonder if they’re true. Maybe Anya is mistaken but as soon as you think this, you dismiss it. The facts are the facts – anything else would be denial.
Clutching the counter, you force yourself to breathe. In and out, over and over until –
“Y/N?”
Yoongi’s voice cuts through the haze.
Slowly, you look sideways and find him standing beside you. When he sees your expression, Yoongi does a double take.
“What’s wrong? Was it that woman you checked in?” His gaze narrows. “I heard her driver complaining after dropping her off. Apparently, he was taking too long. Around switchbacks!” Disgusted, Yoongi shakes his head. “If she wants to fly off the mountainside, that’s her prerogative, but don’t take the staff with you – you know?”
Although you attempt to smile, your lips don’t appear to be in working order.
Yoongi hesitates. “You should get some water,” he says, steering you towards the break room. “Go and sit down. I have the front desk covered.”
“Thanks,” you whisper, turning away.
You make it all of five steps before realizing facing other people is the last thing you want. Taking an abrupt left, you bypass the break room and cut through the lobby. It’s well past your lunch break, and you plan on spending the entirety of it holed up in your room, eating Christmas cookies and having a good cry.
After which you will pull yourself together. This is nothing. Jungkook means nothing.
Except – your feet move faster – you know this isn’t true. You basically admitted to yourself you were falling for him, and likely have been since he arrived at the Inn.
Turning the corner too fast, you nearly run smack into Jimin.
“Whoa – hey, Y/N!” Grinning, he side-steps you. “Where’s the fire?”
“I – nowhere.” You force a laugh. “Just in a hurry to eat, I guess.”
Pausing, Jimin surveys you a beat too long.
Heart seizing, you find yourself full of the terrifying possibility that Jimin knows. He knows you’ve fallen for a man you professed to hate and now, his real girlfriend has come to pull the rug out from under you.
Suddenly, the lodge seems too small to contain your feelings. You don’t want to stay in and wallow – you want to go out and do something, release some of this pent-up frustration coursing through your veins.
“Well, if you’re not too busy after lunch,” Jimin says slowly. “Jungkook was looking for you. He and Seokjin are done snowboarding, so he’s back at the lodge.”
“Oh,” you say tightly. “How nice for him.”
Jimin pauses. “Y/N. Is everything –”
“Got to run,” you say, rushing past before he can say anything more. “See you later, Jimin! Thanks for letting me know about Jungkook.”
Biting your tongue, you refrain from adding a quippy remark about Anya.
Instead, you head for your room. If Jungkook has left the slopes, then that’s exactly where you want to be. Changing into your snow gear, you grab a parka and are gone before you can talk yourself out of it.
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Just one run, you tell yourself while standing in line for the ski lift. There are fewer people on the slopes already, preparing for the snowstorm that’s coming this evening. Already, dark clouds gather on the horizon – far enough away for you not to be worried.
The last place anyone would think to look for you is the mountain and right now, you’re in desperate need of alone time. Jungkook is employed by the Inn for another two days, and you can’t afford to alienate him before then. This poses a problem, since you’re certain the moment you see Jungkook, you’ll have a difficult time staying civil.
Exhaling, you lower your ski goggles and step onto the lift. Settling onto the icy cold seat, you close the bar and try to relax. Easier said than done, although the lodge is beautiful in the waning light. Heat lamps have been positioned around the patio, and lights from the Christmas tree are visible through the bay windows.
Tomorrow is the Christmas Eve party, and you’re praying a good night’s sleep will help you navigate. The holiday movie marathon is tonight with Jungkook, but you’re hoping you can convince Namjoon to hold it without you.
At the top of the ski lift, you open the seat bar and ski to one side. Squinting through your goggles, you glance at the trails. Snow drifts have already piled up around the signs, making them hard to read. You’ll need to let Seokjin know this once you reach the bottom – it could be a safety hazard not to clearly mark the trails.
Pushing off, you select the trail with the easier drop. Last time you came up here, you nearly went down the black diamond trail by mistake. Hovering at the trail’s edge, you adjust your goggles and stare at the slope.
You can do this. Take the nervous energy and use it.
Pushing yourself from the edge, you tip down the hill. Tucking both arms into your sides, you squint through the wind as you rush away. The path turns, veering right and as you round the next corner, your stomach plummets.
This slope is steep.
Much steeper than expected. Frantic, you glance over your shoulder and see the trail marker you must have missed in the snow. A double black diamond.
Heart leaping into your throat, you face forward. You can do this, you determine. All you need to do is stay calm, keep your feet steady and snowplow. Angling your skis closer, your speed gradually slows – until your entire body pitches forward. Immediately jerking backwards, you grit your teeth.
You will make it to the end. Once you’re back at the lodge, you’ll have a big laugh with Seokjin about this in front of the roaring fire – after he scolds you for being an idiot, of course.
Wind rushes past, and after another few moments, you begin to relax. The trail is almost peaceful when it’s so empty. Giant, fluorescent lights brighten the trail from above. Whizzing over the snow, a flutter of butterflies erupt in your stomach but this time, they don’t seem as scary.
Breaking into a grin, you bend your knees and zip around the next corner –
And come face to face with a deer.
You yelp, swerving sharply to avoid a collision. Startled, the deer leaps from your path and you breathe, facing forward – only to gasp.
Pine trees rise from the snow, and you barely manage to avoid the first one. The second is easier but as you swerve around the third, you feel your ankle twist.
Pain lances upward and you swear. Feeling yourself falling, you recall Seokjin’s lesson and throw your weight backwards. You land hard on your ass, the breath knocked from your lungs.
For a moment, there’s silence.
When you push up your goggles, dark sky is visible through the branches above. Shakily, you lift yourself to a seated position. Your ankle throbs and when you reach for your foot, a hiss escapes at the pain. Unclipping both boots from the skis, you toss them aside and attempt to stand.
“Fuck,” you blurt, collapsing back in the snow.
Placing weight  on your ankle is nearly impossible. Glancing around your surroundings, you realize the slope is at least fifteen yards away. Far in the distance, you can make out the shouts of other skiers.
Leaning forward, you call, “HELP! SOMEONE – HELP! I’M IN THE FOREST.”
Although you wait, no one shouts back.
Flakes start to drift from the sky, and you look up in alarm. That can’t be good. Twisting around, you continue to yell until the distant sound of skiers has disappeared. Panicked, you realize you aren’t getting down without walking.
Steeling yourself, you scoot closer to a tree and grasp a bough overhead. Keeping weight off your ankle, you pull yourself upward. Teeth gritted, you slowly take a step and feel your knee buckle.
“Fuck,” you breathe, tears pricking your eyes.
The snow has begun to fall faster, and you’re stricken by the realization you might not make it down. Lowering yourself to the ground, you begin to crawl towards the trail. Slowly, you move, cursing yourself for not bringing your cell phone. There’s no service on the mountain, but at least you could change your outgoing message.
By the time you reach the run, your breathing is heavy. Pausing at the base of a light post, you try not to give in to the panic clawing your chest.
A storm is coming, and you’re stranded alone on a mountain with a twisted ankle. It was stupid of you to come up here. Stupid to mix up the trails. Stupid to give Jungkook a chance.
This one, at least stings less than the rest, so you slowly exhale and force yourself to think. Shelter. You need to find shelter if you can’t make it back to the lodge. The wind howls again, and you open your eyes, determined to keep going.
Before you can move though, someone shouts your name.
Frozen, you squint through the whirling snow. Nothing but the gray-dark of the mountain stares back. Snow obscures your vision, leaving nothing but pine trees and –
A brief flash of red.
Squinting harder, you watch a shape emerge from the storm. Zigzagging down the mountain, headlights appear and disappear amidst piles of snow. Staring in shock, you wonder if you’ve begun to hallucinate. You’ve heard of this happening in the desert when travelers imagine water where there’s none to be found.
Just as you think this, a red snowmobile comes into view.
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Its headlights cut through the snow, ice and slush spraying as it comes to a stop. Heart leaping, you try not to move when you recognize the Inn’s logo. Most likely it’s Seokjin out for a final sweep before he shuts down the lift.
Cutting off its engine, the driver pushes up his goggles. Swinging a leg over, he dismounts and snow crunches beneath his feet.
“Y/N?”
Recognizing the voice, you go utterly still. The lights of the snowmobile illuminate Jungkook rushing towards you, dropping to his knees.
“Y/N,” he breathes, scanning your body. Spotting your hands clutching your ankle, he frowns. “What’s wrong? Did you hurt yourself?”
“Yes,” you say – then you remember.
Jungkook has a girlfriend. He lied about it to your face.
Immediately, you stiffen. “I mean, yes but don’t worry about me. I’m sure I can make it down the mountain. I just need to rest, and –”
“And what?” Jungkook’s expression sharpens. “Roll yourself down the mountain? Die of hypothermia before you reach the bottom?”
Scowling, you attempt to hold the high ground.
“I’m not dying of hypothermia,” you say. “It’s not that cold.”
“It’s about to be,” Jungkook counters. “I – why are we even arguing about this?” Lifting a walkie-talkie, he presses a button on the side. “Seokjin? This is Jungkook. Over.”
There’s a crackle on the other end, and Seokjin comes through.
“Did you find Y/N?” He sounds frantic. “Where is she?”
“East side of the mountain. Gully run.” Clicking off the speaker, Jungkook says, “What were you doing, trying this run by yourself? This is a double black diamond, Y/N.”
Your scowl deepens. “I know. The sign was buried in snow, so I didn’t realize. Seokjin, I’m fine,” you say, reaching for the walkie-talkie. “I just twisted my ankle a little.”
“A little?” Jungkook demands. “Can you even stand?”
Seokjin’s voice crackles through the speakers. “You hurt your ankle?”
“Yes,” you say, then pause. “And no, I can’t put weight on it.”
“Y/N.” Seokjin groans.
Jungkook takes back the walkie-talkie. “It’s alright,” he says. “I’ll get her back. What’s the quickest way down the mountain?”
“How high up are you?”
“Pretty high.” Jungkook glances around. “I wasn’t far down the run when I saw broken branches.”
Looking over his shoulder, your stomach churns when you realize you need Jungkook’s help. You’re not so prideful you’d risk your health by denying his assistance, but damn, do you wish Jungkook were anyone else.
On the other end of the walkie-talkie, Seokjin swears and Jungkook’s gaze darts in your direction, lips tight.
“What’s the fastest way down?” he repeats.
Seokjin’s voice muffles, then is cut off. After a moment of waiting, Jungkook sits back on his heels. Tearing off one glove with his teeth, he unzips a bag at his waist.
“What are you doing?”
Jungkook looks up. “Searching for gauze. At the very least, I can wrap your ankle.”
“But it’s freezing outside. That’s not –”
“Jungkook – you there?”
Snatching the walkie-talkie from the snow, Jungkook presses the button. “Yeah, I’m here. What’s up?”
“The fastest way down is the gully run, but there’s a line of weak snow halfway down the mountain. It was okay this morning, but with the storm…”
Jungkook exhales. “Could trigger an avalanche.”
Eyes wide, you glance at his snowmobile. Something that heavy would be a definite risk to drive if conditions are right for shifting snow.
“Is there another way down?” Jungkook asks.
He keeps his voice level, and you can tell he’s trying not to scare you. It’s something you appreciate but that’s utterly useless given how long you’ve worked here.
“No,” Seokjin says. “Not unless you go back up and down the other side, but that’s where the storm’s hitting right now. High winds.”
“So, what are you saying?”
“What I’m saying –”
“The ranger station,” you say, looking up. Seokjin mentioned it the other day in his class, and you completely forgot. “It’s not too far from here. We could stay overnight, or at least until the wind dies down and we can go the other way.”
“That could work,” Seokjin says slowly.
“What else were you going to suggest?” Jungkook asks.
Jaw tight, you look away. Of course, Jungkook doesn’t agree with your plan. He probably doesn’t want to spend the night on the mountain, kept away from his girlfriend, Anya.
“Nothing useful,” Seokjin says. “Y/N’s idea is better. You should go to the ranger station and wait out the storm. Radar says it should pass in twenty-four hours. Do you have food?”
“Yeah,” Jungkook says. “But Y/N is hurt. Is there any way to airlift her out?”
“Even if we could fly in these winds, there’s no space to land on that side of the mountain. You’re better off staying until tomorrow.”
Nodding grimly, Jungkook zips his pack up and stands.
“Where’s the cabin?” he asks you.
“I can lead us there,” you say, trying – and failing – to stand.
Moving quickly, Jungkook’s arm wraps around your waist to haul you upright. Your weight hits his chest and you look up on instinct. Snowflakes crust his lashes, and his cheeks are pink from the cold. It hurts to look for too long, so you glance swiftly away.
“Y/N, are you good?” Seokjin asks, the line crackling.
“Yeah,” you say. “The cabin isn’t far from where I went off the trail. I think.”
“Okay, cool. Let us know once you get there.”
“Will do,” says Jungkook. “And Seokjin – can someone check in on Bam? He’s in his crate, but–”
“Done. Don’t worry about a thing.”
“Thanks.” Jungkook exhales and presses off.
Shoving the walkie-talkie into his pocket, Jungkook adjusts his arm on your waist and takes one of your hands.
“Is this okay?” he asks, helping you to take a step.
“It’s fine,” you say tightly.
Once you reach the snowmobile, Jungkook leans you against it. “Stay here,” he says. “I’ll grab your skis and be back.”
You nod, waiting while Jungkook disappears. Wind blasts down the alley, and you fight back a shiver. Your parka feels like nothing, and you wonder how much the temperature has dropped.
Emerging from the forest, Jungkook arrives just in time to witness a violent shiver. He pauses, lips tightening before strapping your skis to the back. Helping you onto the seat, Jungkook is careful not to jar your ankle as he joins.
Revving the engine, Jungkook lowers his goggles.
“Ready?” he calls over his shoulder.
You give him a thumbs up, pointing at the trail in question. Wrapping both arms around him, you slowly lean forward and press your face to his back. It’s a question of necessity, not romance you think as Jungkook takes off.
Zipping his way down the mountain, Jungkook twists when you tap him on the shoulder. Pointing at the break in the trees which lead to the cabin, he veers in this direction. A couple of minutes later, you come to a clearing.
Cabin is a nice word for the one-room outpost halfway up the mountain. When this land was part of the national park, the cabin belonged to its rangers. Now, it’s mostly used for medical supplies and staff breaks during shifts on the ski lift.
Stopping beneath the cabin’s eaves, Jungkook cuts the engine. Helping you from the seat, he assists you for three painstaking steps before exhaling, bending abruptly to sweep your legs out from under you.
You gasp, your hands flying on instinct around Jungkook’s neck. Pushing open the door, Jungkook fumbles along the wall to flick on the light switch, and it takes several seconds for the generator to kick in.
The bare ceiling bulb flickers before casting the room in a greenish-gray glow. The cabin’s furnishings are sparse – a bed for naps, a small kitchenette and a moth-bitten couch which has seen better days. Boxes have been shoved beneath the window, piled haphazardly to block out the light.
Lowering you onto the bed, Jungkook retreats and toes off his boots at the door. His parka, goggles, and hat are next, and he glances around the space with a swift efficiency.
Spotting the kitchenette, Jungkook crosses the room to drop his bag on the counter. Unzipping it, he pulls out a roll of gauze, a cold pack, and antiseptic.
“Is it only your ankle that’s hurt?” Jungkook asks as he turns. “Any scrapes or cuts that need to be disinfected?”
“Just the ankle.”
Hearing your shortness, his jaw tightens. Quickly, Jungkook closes the space between you to kneel by your side. Since being deposited on the mattress, you’ve tried to undo your boot laces, but your fingers are stiff.
“Here.” Jungkook brushes you aside. Undoing the laces himself, he eases off your shoes and sets them on the ground.
Once your shoes have been removed, the difference between your ankles is obvious. Even you wince, seeing the visible swelling.
Sitting back on his heels, Jungkook shoves a hand through his hair. “Do you need help with your jacket?” he asks, looking up and you realize you haven’t changed.
“No,” you say, hastily unzipping. “I can do it.”
His brow furrows at your tone but Jungkook remains silent. Once your coat is removed, he stands and drapes this over his own. Returning to the bed, Jungkook kneels by your side.
By this point, your ankle is throbbing. Collapsing onto the pillows, you extend your legs with a barely restrained groan.
Jungkook’s gaze flickers. “Can I take off your socks?”
After a moment, you nod and prop yourself up on your elbow.
He works slowly, peeling off the socks which have been dampened by snow. Placing these aside, he stands and returns with the gauze and cold pack. Shivering, you recoil from the frigid air on your skin.
“Do you want an insulation blanket?” Jungkook asks quietly.
“I’m okay.”
He nods, then looks up. “Can I examine you?”
“I – what?”
Lifting a brow, Jungkook slips a hand beneath your left foot. “Is this the ankle that hurts? Can I examine it?”
His fingers are cold, and you shiver again. “Oh. Yeah,” you manage to say.
Slight regret colors his gaze. “Sorry.”
Removing his hand, Jungkook cups them around his mouth to blow – slow and even. You stare, and when he returns his hand to your foot, his fingers are warm. Lifting your ankle, Jungkook shifts to better see it in the light.
Faint, purplish bruises are already visible but at least nothing protrudes. You remember enough from first aid to know this to be a good sign. Jungkook’s fingers are sure but careful on your ankle, moving over the joint.
“Does this hurt?” he murmurs, applying the gentlest pressure.
“I – a little,” you admit.
He pauses, then meets your gaze. “Let’s test if you can put weight on it – alright?”
You nod, allowing him to help you from the bed. Jungkook’s arm encircles your waist and again, you’re consumed by the warm smell of peppermint. You’re reminded of a distant memory but can’t quite recall. There’s a blurry night and Christmas songs, but the moment you think this, the memory is gone.
“Okay,” Jungkook says. “Put your injured foot on the floor and slowly add weight. Just a little at a time.”
Biting your lip, you do as instructed. The second weight is added to your injured ankle, you sharply inhale.
“Okay, enough,” Jungkook says gruffly, pulling you to his side.
Turning again, lowers you to the bed. Exhaling in frustration, you stare while Jungkook kneels before you. He resumes the examination of your ankle, turning it this way and that while he gently probes.
“Well?” you ask, fighting the quaver in your voice. “What’s the prognosis?”
Jungkook looks up. “A doctor will have to examine you, but… honestly?” Slowly, he lowers your foot. “Could be either. The fact that you can’t put weight on it seems to suggest a fracture. There’s pretty obvious swelling and bruising as well.”
“So… it’s a fracture.”
“Could be. Or a really bad sprain.”
“… since when are you a trained medic?”
“I’m not,” Jungkook says. “But I’m first aid certified. Comes in handy in the mountains. Okay.” Rocking back on his heels, he scans the cabin. “I’m going to wrap your ankle, Y/N. If it is a sprain, you’ll need ice, compression and elevation.”
“Ah, good old RICE.”
Jungkook’s lips quirk as he stands, returning to your side with the contents of his bag. Settling onto the mattress, he begins wrapping your ankle. The cabin heat has finally kicked in, and you’re starting to feel a bit warm in your sweater.
Fastening the gauze with small metal clips, Jungkook sits back. Breaking the cold compress across his knee, he hands this to you. Accepting it, you reach to drape this over your ankle. Barely have you drawn in a breath before –
“What were you thinking,” Jungkook says, his voice low and flat. “Going out in this storm. Going on a black diamond run.”
Your jaw clenches. “I had enough time,” you retort, although you can’t meet his gaze. “If I hadn’t fallen –”
“But you did fall. You fell, you got hurt and were almost stranded in the middle of a blizzard.”
“I’ve done this run before.”
“When?” he demands. “Because I seem to recall you saying that you didn’t ski much. That you had a bad fall and have been scared ever since. And why,” Jungkook continues, reaching for you, “have you barely even looked at me since I found you?”
Fighting back tears, you wish you could hide but know everything you’re feeling is written plainly on your face.
“What do you care?” you demand, the words coming out sharply.
“What do I – Y/N.” Gently, his fingers slip beneath your chin. “I just spent an hour in the snow searching for you. I kissed you last night! Do you seriously think I... don’t care?”
He sounds so confused and earnest, it hurts even more.
“If that’s true, then you shouldn’t care,” you insist, and he turns your head to meet his gaze head-on. “Seeing as I met your girlfriend back at the lodge. She checked in a few hours ago.”
Jungkook goes perfectly still.
A cornered animal look enters his eyes, which only serves to stoke your anger. Jungkook thought you wouldn’t find out; it’s the only explanation for his reaction. He thought you wouldn’t find out, thought he could leave after a week and take your heart with him.
“I can’t believe I fell for it again,” you breathe, the words pouring out. "I thought you were a nice guy again, and you turned out to be the type who –”
“When.” His hand falls from your chin. “When did Anya check in?”
Jungkook looks vaguely sick and in response, your brow furrows.
“I…” Scanning his expression, you hesitate. “Right before I went skiing.”
Slowly, his eyes close. “What exactly did she tell you?”
“She said… she was coming to surprise you for the holidays. That she had to work, but she managed to get free. And… she’s staying in the suite below yours.”
When Jungkook opens his eyes, they look glassy.
“That’s not my girlfriend,” he says grimly. “That’s a woman who’s been stalking me for months, convinced she’s my soulmate. I have a restraining order against her. It’s part of the reason I wanted to disappear, to get away from the drama.”
Dimly, Jungkook’s words from the cookie-baking contest come back to you. Let’s just say, this came at a good time. I’ve been looking to lay low for a while. It was her. Anya is the person Jungkook wanted to get away from.
Stomach twisting, you realize you may have made a horrible mistake.
“A… restraining order?” you say faintly.
Jungkook nods. “That’s why I didn’t want you posting to social media. When you explained why it was necessary, I wanted to help you and the Inn and figured the restraining order would keep Anya away, but… I guess not.”
“Why didn’t you tell us about her? Flag her name, so she couldn’t make a reservation?”
Even as you say this, you’re well-aware your software isn’t fancy enough for that. You’d need to manually review the guest list every night.
“Namjoon knows,” Jungkook says. “He’s been checking the guest list every night to make sure no one slips by. I’m sure once he sees Anya checked in, he’ll call the police and she’ll be gone by morning.”
Still staring at him, you allow this to sink in. You remember Jungkook talking about the perils of fame, but you thought he meant it’s hard to get Chipotle in person, not the physical danger which comes from a stalker.
Frankly, Jungkook being a playboy seemed far more likely.
“I’m… sorry,” you say at last. “I assumed the worst, and you don’t deserve that.”
Jungkook nods, then pauses. “You said something else.”
Dread enters your stomach, and you feel your fingers begin tapping the blanket beneath you.
“Oh?” 
“You said... that you fell for my act again. That you thought I was a nice guy again. What… when did I do something like this before?”
“That’s… well.” Shrinking in on yourself, you can’t meet his gaze. “I was thinking of back in college.”
“Right. But what did I do to you back in college to make you think I’m not a nice guy?”
Jungkook sounds genuinely bewildered, which chafes at your memory. “You cheated on Leslie,” you say finally, meeting his gaze. “She told me everything.”
His eyes widen.
“She told you… everything,” he repeats.
“Well, she said that you cheated,” you explain, fully aware you’re babbling again. “Back in college, around Valentine’s Day? She said she walked in on you with another girl, and that you told Leslie you hadn’t thought you were serious…”
The look on his face makes you trail off into silence. Jungkook’s hands grip the blanket, nearly white with anger.
“Leslie said that I cheated on her?” 
“Yeah.”
His jaw tenses. “And you never thought to ask me?”
“I – I didn’t know you!” you protest. “Leslie is – well, was – my best friend! Of course, I believed her. Are you… are you saying you didn’t cheat?”
Ignoring most of this outburst, Jungkook latches onto one word. “Was?” he says carefully. “Leslie was your best friend? Is she still?”
“Well, no.”
His brows flick upward. “And why’s that?”
“I don’t have to explain myself,” you huff. “We drifted apart after college. It’s none of your business.”
“It’s kind of my business, given she’s the one spreading lies about me.”
“And what lie was that, exactly?”
“That I cheated,” he says stonily. “And that she broke up with me. If I remember correctly, it was the other way around.”
This steals the breath from your lungs. Staring at Jungkook, you feel your chest rise and fall.
“I don’t…” Uncertain, you shake your head. “You were the one who broke up with her?”
He nods.
“But… why?”
“Why did she lie, or why did I break up with her?”
You want to know both, but Jungkook can only answer one of those questions.
“Why did you break up with her,” you say at last.
Something in his face softens. “Why,” Jungkook murmurs. After a moment, he stands from the bed. “A lot of reasons, I guess. Leslie never wanted to hang out with me alone. She only wanted to be seen in public. Also” – He holds up two fingers – “she told my best friend that if we weren’t dating, she’d ‘definitely fuck him.’ And then, there’s the other reason,” he says, adding a third finger. Coming to a stop, Jungkook meets your gaze. “I almost kissed her best friend at a party and thought I should end it before things went any further.”
Frozen, you stare at Jungkook from the bed. Lowering his hand to his side, Jungkook crosses the room to sit on the edge of your mattress.
“Which friend,” you whisper.
He gives you a rueful look. “I wanted to tell you I liked you. I tried to that night in the library, but then you ran away, and I figured… well. I figured it wasn’t meant to be. But when I got to the Inn and saw the manager was you, it just, I don’t know. It felt like fate.” Jungkook winces. “That’s dumb. I’m sorry. I’m not good with words, and I don’t want to say the wrong thing.”
Again, you get the oddest sense of déjà vu. Titling your head, you try and remember where you’ve heard that before.
Before you can recall, your mind snags on something else. “After you broke up,” you say slowly. “Leslie and I promised never to date each other’s exes. Did she…?”
Something unreadable crosses Jungkook’s expression.
“I told her I had feelings for someone else. I didn’t say who, but I wonder…”
Trailing off, he leaves the words unsaid. You don’t want to believe him. You don’t want to believe Leslie would do something so cruel, but Taehyung’s words play again though your mind. Leslie was jealous of you and now, you no longer feel hurt – but furious.
“I didn’t know,” you say tightly. “I didn’t… she didn’t…”
Scooting closer, Jungkook covers your hand with his.
“Hey,” he says softly. “If I had been in your shoes, I would’ve believed my friend, too.”
“I guess. It's just… I can’t believe she did that.”
Jungkook makes a low, humming noise.
“It’s a lot to take in.” Helpless, you glance at him. “Leslie lied. I spent so long hating you for apparently no reason. And you… you liked me back then?”
“More than liked.” He gives a small smile. “I couldn’t stop thinking about you from the first time we met.”
“What, at that restaurant?”
A flash of guilt crosses his expression. “Well. Before that, actually.”
Now, you’re the one looking at him strangely. “We met before then? I feel like I would remember that.”
“You would,” he says slowly. “If you hadn’t been drunk off your ass.”
Drunk off your ass? The only time you were so drunk you couldn’t remember was –
No.
No way.
Eyes wide, you stare as the pad of Jungkook’s thumb gently strokes your palm. “It… was you,” you whisper, the dots connecting. “You’re my Christmas ghost.”
Softly, he laughs. “I forgot you called me that. Well, that’s not true. I remembered. But I didn’t think you remembered.”
“That’s… you’re not… why didn’t you say something?”
“I tried!” Jungkook insists. “When I got to the restaurant the night of the formal and realized who you were, I was going to say something, but then you stood up and introduced yourself. It was clear you didn’t remember me, and I didn’t want to embarrass you, so I figured I’d bring it up later… and, well.” He shrugs. “It just never happened.”
Suddenly, it all clicks into place.
The peppermint smell when your Christmas Ghost walked you home. His insistence on not being good with words, but somehow managing to make you feel better. Quiet, but kind and – without meaning to, tears sting the backs of your eyelids.
“You were nice to me,” you whisper. “When I was rambling about my dad.”
Jungkook’s expression softens. “I’m glad that’s what you remember. I thought I kind of fucked up – I’ve never been very good with words.”
“No,” you blurt. “Never. You… your words meant a lot to me. I’m sorry I was too drunk to remember who you were.”
He smiles. “I figured. I had just started dating Leslie, but I spent most of my holiday break talking about the super-cute drunk girl I met the last night of finals. I figured it wasn’t meant to be, so imagine my surprise when I show up to dinner and Leslie’s best friend is – you.”
“Me.”
Jungkook inches closer. “You.”
His gaze drops to your lips, and the air between you feels suddenly thick. Head swimming, you force yourself to concentrate on why it wouldn’t be a good idea to make out with him right now. Your ankle is throbbing, you’re trapped in a blizzard, Jungkook technically works for the Inn –
“Can I kiss you?” he asks, sounding so utterly hopeful, all your reservations crumble.
“Yes,” you whisper.
Jungkook leans in, one hand rising to cup the back of your neck. His thumb drifts across sensitive skin and, almost without meaning to, your eyes slowly shut.
He leans in and your lips touch, soft and fleeting. His touch is gentle and when Jungkook pulls back, your eyes open.
“Oh,” you say, gaze catching on his.
Abruptly, Jungkook pushes himself backwards and stands.
You blink, suddenly cold without his presence. “What’s wrong?”
Shaking his head, Jungkook scans the cabinets and pulls open the first one. Not finding what he’s looking for, he opens another and lets out a noise of triumph. Removing four citronella candles, he places these on the counter.
Your jaw drops. “Are you serious? You were looking for… candles?”
Jungkook fishes a lighter from his bag. “Yeah,” he says, flicking it on. “What did you think I was looking for?”
“I don’t know, first aid supplies?”
He makes a dismissive sound, and you grin, scooting back on the bed. Once the candles are lit, Jungkook shuts off the hanging light and turns around.
The candlelight bathes the room in a flickering glow. Crossing the room to sit on the bed, the mattress squeaks beneath Jungkook’s weight.
For a moment, he pauses. “I’m nervous,” he admits.
“You’re nervous?” you say. “You’re, well… you. And look at me.”
“I am.”
Jungkook’s voice is low, his face warm in candlelight and you fight back a shiver. Emboldened, he reaches out to pull you closer. A hair’s breadth away from your lips, Jungkook pauses.
“I have to say,” you tease. “I never imagined you as the hesitant type.”
Something in his gaze darkens.
“Are you saying you imagined me otherwise?” he asks, soft and low.
“Maybe.”
“What, exactly, did you imagine?”
Your breath hitches when his thumb strokes your jaw.
“I imagined you kissing me,” you whisper.
Indulging you in your fantasy, Jungkook presses a slow kiss to your brow.
“What else?”
“I –” You pause, overwhelmed by the possibilities.
He chuckles at this response.
“Truthfully.” Jungkook shifts to better see you. “You’re right. I… don’t do this a lot. I’m not really a one-night stand kind of guy.”
“No?”
“No. I’ve only been with three other women.”
You stare. “But… you and Leslie…”
“We never had sex.”
“But… you two were dating for like, three months.”
Jungkook lifts a brow. “And? I like to go slow.”
Pointedly, you stare at his hands on your waist.
He exhales a laugh. “Was eight years not long enough? And can we please,” he groans, “not talk about other people right now?”
“You don’t want that?” you tease. “You want all of my attention?”
“Yes.” Gripping your waist, he pulls you closer until you’re nearly in his lap. “Please.”
His last word is said with your lips nearly touching. Jungkook is careful not to jar your ankle, but the way his hands are holding you feels barely restrained. Fingers curling into his hair, you tilt your head upward and open your mouth with his.
Jungkook groans, the sound catching in his throat. One of his hands splays over your neck, his thumb stroking upwards in slow, even strokes. Shifting even closer, your hand bunches in his sweater as you kiss him back. A whimper leaves your lips, stolen and swallowed as fast as it comes.
Hand slipping beneath your sweater, Jungkook spans your waist before pulling back.
“Fuck,” he says, hoarse. “Want to see you.”
Leaning back, you replace his hands with your own. Removing your sweater, you hesitate a moment before dropping to the ground. Left in only your bra and sweatpants, you can’t help but feel woefully inadequate.
Except for the way Jungkook stares, as though he might consume you whole.
“You, next,” you tell him, suddenly shy.
Glancing up, Jungkook’s gaze catches before he nods and sits back. His lip ring is gone, you realize, but the eyebrow piercing remains. Removing his shirt, Jungkook reveals a trim torso – and an entire sleeve of tattoos.
Absently, you reach out to trace over a flower – a tiger lily on his forearm. Stomach clenching, you wish you could put weight on your ankle. If you could, you’d push him back and trace each line of ink with your tongue.
Seeming to understand what you’re thinking, Jungkook’s gaze darkens. Kneeling before you on the bed, his abdominals are visible and your gaze snags on these next.
“Holy fuck,” you whisper. “Why are you built like that?”
Jungkook ducks his head, and – slipping both hands to his face – you return his lips to yours. Kissing you back, he eagerly presses you down to the sheets. Right hand cupping your waist, he slowly skims up until his thumb brushes your breast.
You groan, arching upwards and he does it again. Lowering his head, Jungkook’s lips find a nipple and close over the fabric. He tugs, biting down and soothing the ache with a lick. Reaching beneath you, Jungkook undoes your bra, removing its straps to drop on the floor.
Left bare from the waist up, his gaze darkens as he beholds you.
“You are unreal,” Jungkook murmurs, dropping again.
A soft breath escapes when he bends to lick over a nipple. Both harden, resulting in a dull, aching throb between your drenched thighs. Cupping a breast, Jungkook flicks with his tongue before closing his mouth over to suck. You groan, arching your back as he moves to the next.
When both your breasts feel heavy, Jungkook sits back on his heels and spreads his thighs. Dragging both hands through his hair, he looks at your ankle.
“I don’t…” Jungkook’s breathing is heavy. “I don’t want to hurt you, Y/N.”
He’s right. You know that he’s right, but you hate it because you want him so badly, you might burst. The evidence of Jungkook’s arousal is obvious, straining his sweatpants in a way that makes your mouth water.
Catching where you look, Jungkook groans. “I don’t think that would be a good idea,” he cautions. “But… maybe we can do other things?”
Your gaze lifts. Lowering yourself back on your elbows, you spread your legs and let your chest rise and fall.
“What kind of things?”
Jungkook’s gaze darkens and he shifts, placing a palm beside you on the bed. Slipping a hand down your body, a few strands of his hair fall forward.
“Can I remove your pants?” Jungkook asks, and you nod. “What about your panties?” He smirks. “Can I take them off and see how wet this pussy is for me?”
Oh, fuck.
Your mouth goes dry, and you lick your lips as you nod. Lifting a brow, Jungkook tugs your pants down to remove them from your body. He’s careful not to jar while he works, and when he returns to your panties, he pauses.
Lowering himself to one forearm, Jungkook drags a single digit down the center of the fabric. You inhale sharply, legs spreading at the sensation. It must be obvious how wet you are, how much Jungkook has turned you on with only his words.
He looks up. “So ready for me, sweetheart.” Jungkook presses his thumb over your clit through the cotton. “Fucking soaked and we’ve barely started.”
“Eight years,” you remind him. “Eight years of sexual tension between us.”
“Spread this leg.” Jungkook taps your good ankle. “Good girl. Now, this one” – gently, he lifts the knee over his shoulder – “should stay elevated.”
Gasping a laugh, you drop back on the bed. “I don’t think that’s what doctors mean when they say to – ooh.”
Lazily, he drags a finger up and down your clothed sex. It feels indecent, your legs spread before him while he tugs your panties aside. For a moment he simply looks, taking in the sight of your soaking pussy displayed.
“Such a tight, little cunt,” he exhales, and looks up. “Even if it were on the table, you wouldn’t be able to handle my dick tonight.”
“I can take it,” you pant.
Chuckling, he drops a kiss to your inner thigh. “I bet you can,” Jungkook murmurs. Casually, his fingers stroke your waiting sex. “I bet you like taking a big dick, mm?”
“Yes,” you breathe. “Yes, please.”
His index finger teases your pussy, dipping in slowly but never all the way. Lowering himself to one forearm, Jungkook inhales.
The first lick of his tongue makes your entire body clench. Knees spreading wider, you urge him on in a silent demand. Jungkook continues to stroke with his fingers, playing with your pussy while he sucks on your clit.
“Oh, god,” you pant.
Jungkook keeps going. With slow, measured licks, he urges your clit into something throbbing and needy. Fingers teasing your pussy, he waits until you’re keening before he pushes one inside.
“Oh!” you gasp, head thrown back at the intrusion.
It’s been a while since you slept with someone, and your entire body feels tight. Jungkook goes slowly, his fingers easing you open until you begin to feel wanton. Leg thrown over his shoulder, your thighs tremble in earnest when he sucks on your pussy. Gripping his hair, you tug Jungkook upward and his lips curl into a smile.
Gripping your panties, he tugs these down your legs to toss aside. Dropping back down, he settles before your dripping cunt.
“Use me,” he pants, guiding your hands to his hair. “Want you to fuck my mouth, Y/N.”
You hesitate a little but the moment he licks, you give him what he wants. Legs spreading eagerly, you guide Jungkook’s mouth against your needy sex. Jungkook groans in approval, hips grinding into the mattress with each flick of his tongue.
“Oh – my god,” you groan.
Freeing one hand, Jungkook slips two fingers into your waiting pussy. A cry escapes you, eagerly spreading your legs to roll your hips.
“Yes,” you say, trapped between the bed and his mouth while Jungkook fills you with his fingers.
A deep, steady pressure builds inside you. Right before breaking, Jungkook sits back and pulls out his fingers. A whine of protest escapes you, until he slides them on either side of your throbbing clit.
Pushing himself up your torso, he kisses you slow on the mouth.
When you taste yourself on his tongue, you bite down on his lip. Jungkook uses this opportunity to slip a finger inside your waiting pussy. You gasp at the fullness and Jungkook grinds the heel of his palm against your swollen clit.
“Jungkook,” you gasp, clasping his upper back.
He chuckles, his breath teasing your throat, then your nipples as he lowers himself down your body. Jungkook’s tongue soon replaces his hand, easing you back to the brink of orgasm. Right before you break apart, he lifts his head.
“Jungkook,” you groan.
“Yes?” His smile flashes from between your thighs.
You lift your hips. “Make me come.”
“Is that what you want?” Spreading your sex, Jungkook laps up your juices. “You want me to make this pussy come?”
“Yes,” you moan.
One of his arms curls around your leg, keeping you firm on his shoulder. This action causes his bicep to flex, which you find momentarily distracting – until he plunges two fingers inside, curling them forward in a come-hither motion.
“Oh my god,” you gasp, back arching.
“So fucking sweet,” he breathes. “Could fucking eat your pussy for days. Make you come apart and keep on going.”
“Why don’t you,” you taunt.
Stilling his fingers, Jungkook looks up.
“Because,” he says sweetly. “I think you like being told no.” Withdrawing his fingers, Jungkook traces around your pussy. “I think you like being denied until your legs shake. Want you to soak these sheets, but you have to deserve it.”
“How – how do I deserve it,” you pant because he’s right. You love being edged, love to be teased, love having your orgasm drawn out until your vision turns black.
Jungkook’s gaze moves to your chest, where your breasts rise and fall with each breath you take. Knowing your nipples are hard, you lift a palm to thumb over the peak.
“That’s it, baby,” Jungkook says, not looking away. “Tug those nipples down for me like a good girl.”
You obey, spreading your legs as you palm your breasts. When you tug on the nipples, Jungkook lowers his head to suck on your clit. You gasp, nearly coming undone–
And his tongue lowers from clit to your cunt, fucking you roughly as his fingers pull out. You whimper, orgasm slipping away as your hands find his hair. Legs open, you ride his tongue while he pushes inside you. Your body trembles, about to come again when Jungkook pulls back.
He sharply smacks your clit, and you gasp. Without further preamble, Jungkook lifts himself up your body to thrust two fingers inside you.
“A-ah,” you moan, your thigh shoved towards your chest as Jungkook leans forward.
“There you go, baby,” he says, snapping his wrist below. “Take all of that. You like having my fingers inside you?”
“Yes.”
“Such a tight, little pussy,” he goads. “No way you could fit all of my dick.”
“I can!”
Honestly though, his fingers stuff you so well, you’re not entirely sure. Having his cock inside you might ruin you in the best sort of way.
“We’ll try another day,” he says. “After I’ve made you come a few times and gotten this pussy nice and wet.”
You moan, unable to respond when he adds a third finger. Jungkook stretches you so nicely, fucking you so hard, your breasts bounce on your chest.
“That’s it,” he breathes, glancing down at his fingers disappearing inside you.
The wet sounds of him fucking you leave your entire body trembling. Each thrust makes you whimper, hitting your g-spot with extraordinary precision. You’re squirming beneath him, gripping the panes of his back, unsure you’ll survive when you finally come.
“Oh my god – Jungkook,” you gasp, burying your face in his shoulder.
He doesn’t relent, fucking you open as your orgasm breaks. Coming apart on his fingers, you gasp his name as your vision darkens. Your pleasure never slows, the waves gradually decreasing until you open your eyes.
Slowly, Jungkook slips from your body and collapses beside you.
“Holy shit,” you breathe.
He’s smiling, his hair messy and lips wet. “Was it good?”
“Good?” Reaching out, you tug on his waistband. “Come here.”
Not objecting, Jungkook moves closer and lowers your leg to the sheets. Lips finding yours, he kisses you gently and you nearly melt. With his right leg pressed to yours, you’re able to feel the massive bulge at the front of his sweatpants.
When you start to reach down, Jungkook halts your wrist.
“You don’t have to do anything for me,” he says.
“I want to,” you insist, lowering your hand again.
Cupping his bulge, you suck in a breath at how large he is. Fascinated, you stroke slowly upwards until you feel the whole shaft.
Jungkook goes still, his chest rising and falling with perceptible effort. “Y/N…” he says tightly. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
Looking up, you meet his gaze. “You won’t.”
He hesitates another moment, then nods.
Tugging down on the waistband, you free Jungkook’s cock. His length nestles between his thighs, semi-hard just from eating you out. Staring at him for a moment, you imagine what it’d be like to have Jungkook inside you.
“I don’t think you’ll fit,” you murmur.
Hissing through teeth, Jungkook pushes down both his pants and underwear to drop to the floor. “If you’re trying to test my self-control, it’s working.”
Your core clenches, and you shift against him. As though your last orgasm never happened, you find yourself feeling wholly unsatisfied. You want Jungkook inside you, filling you up and making you whole.
He’s right, though. Once you start, it’d be hard to stop, and you might hurt yourself further.
“What if we do something else,” you suggest.
Jungkook tilts his head. “I’m listening.”
Lifting a hand, you spit into your palm. Jungkook watches in awe as you reach between you to wrap your hand around his cock. He groans, shifting backwards as he responds to your touch. Brushing over the tip, you slide your hand down to squeeze the base.
Through lidded eyes, Jungkook watches you stroke his length. Reaching down, you slip a hand between your thighs, and he freezes, jaw taut at the sight of your pussy parted by your fingers.
“Holy fuck,” he chokes out.
Emboldened, you push a finger inside you. Moving slowly, you begin sliding your finger in and out, your other hand increasing its speed on his cock.
Staring at your hand moving between your legs, Jungkook reaches down to cup his balls. They look heavy and full, and he plays with them casually while your hand fucks his cock.
One by one, you dip each finger inside you to get them wet. Once finished, you reach out and replace this hand on his length. Jungkook pants, head tilted back while you jerk him off. Chest rising and falling, his abs are held tight while your palm glides up and down his shaft.
Thrusting his hips, he chases the feeling as you tighten your fingers.
“Y/N,” Jungkook rasps. His hips continue to move up and down. “I’m not going to make it much longer.”
“No?”
“No.” With a hiss, he releases his balls. “I’ve been wanting this for a while, and I’m not going to last long the first time. Where do you want me to cum, baby?”
You’d like to have his cum on your pussy, but that’d be a greater risk. The thought of his cum on your chest though, is nearly equally appealing.
Nipples hardening, you spread your pussy wide and add a second finger. Jungkook moans, the veins in his neck standing out while he fights not to come in your palm.
“Here,” you breathe, cupping a tit. “Come on my chest.”
Jaw clenched, he nods and replaces your hand on his cock. “Lean back, baby,” he urges, kneeling over your chest. “Push those tits together for me.”
You do as he asks, thumbing over your nipples while your hips roll in mid-air. Seeing this, Jungkook groans and rubs himself harder. You watch, lips parted at the sight of his vascular hand wrapped around his cock.
Letting go of a breast, you reach between your legs to rub over your clit.
“That’s it, Y/N,” he pants, rolling his hips. “Make that little pussy come again. I want to hear it. Want to watch you come apart at the same time.”
You moan in agreement, arching your back as you tug on a nipple. Your body breaks, sending you over the edge in your second orgasm. His name crosses your lips as Jungkook stiffens and comes. Thick streams of cum shoot from his cock, painting your chest to cover your tits.
You inhale at the possessive glint in his eye, the way Jungkook milks his cock for all that he’s worth. A few, final dribbles land on your stomach as slowly, you withdraw your hand.
Sitting back, Jungkook surveys his handiwork. “It seems a shame to wipe it off,” he muses. “Maybe we should leave it.”
“Or maybe you can clean me up, and we can go again later.”
Grin widening, Jungkook retreats to search the room for a wipe. You stare at his ass as he walks, watching the two, perfect halves shift above his thighs. It’s unfair for a man to have such a great ass, you think sadly. On the bright side, you get to look at it all you want.
Once Jungkook returns, he cleans you and reaches for his sweatpants on the floor. You make a soft noise of protest, and Jungkook gives you a look, tying them around his waist.
“What?” you ask innocently. “You have a great ass.”
“My trainer will be happy to hear it.”
Unable to stop smiling, you settle back on the bed and Jungkook helps you into your clothes. Once you’re both, he sits on the bed and pulls you between his legs. Resting your head on his chest, you listen to his heart and wonder if you’ve ever been this peaceful before.
Turning your head, you find Jungkook looking at you.
You smile. “Hey.”
“Hey.” He smiles back.
The two of you grin at each other like fools until a sudden blast of wind shakes the cabin. Startled, you glance up and remember the circumstances. The blizzard. Your ankle.
Sobering slightly, your smile disappears.
“I’m sorry,” you murmur, looking up.
Jungkook furrows his brow. “What just happened between us is the absolute last thing to apologize for. Especially since I’d like to do it again. Soon. Maybe tonight.”
Pleasure curls at his confession but you push this aside. This is important, and you want to make sure Jungkook understands.
“No, I’m sorry I was such a jerk to you,” you say. “Both in college and now. I assumed something that wasn’t true and… well, look where it led us.”
“Yeah.” His grip on you tightens. “Look where it led us. Y/N…” Jungkook pauses. “Do I wish things had been different and we’d gotten together earlier? Sure. But that’s not what happened. You believed your friend, and I didn’t try very hard to convince you otherwise. We both made mistakes.”
“I guess…”
“Listen.” Fingers slipping beneath your chin, Jungkook looks at you in earnest. “The past is the past. All we can control is what happens now. I’d like to date you, but that can’t happen if we don’t move on.”
Sleepily, you smile.
Jungkook blinks at your response. “What?”
“Nothing.” The final knot in your stomach begins to untangle. “You want to date me?”
His cheeks flush crimson. “I, uh – I thought that was obvious.”
“Good,” you say, reaching up for a kiss. “I’d like to date you, too.”
Jungkook obliges, kissing you gently as the wind howls outside. When he finally pulls away, you can’t help but smile. Settling into his chest, you nearly nod off when Jungkook stirs.
“Let me know if you’re hungry,” he yawns. “I have energy bars in my pack.”
“Okay.”
“Or cold. Let me know if you’re cold.”
“Why?” you ask, fighting a smile. “Are you going to give me your shirt?”
“Maybe.”
“And if I’m bored?”
He chuckles, hand slipping a bit lower. “I can think of ways to entertain us.”
A shiver travels your spine, but you shake your head. “I’m pretty happy right now, thanks,” you murmur, and he nods.
You must doze off at some point since you’re woken around midnight when Jungkook pulls out a blanket to cover you both. Using him as a pillow, you fall asleep again and the next time you wake, light enters from outside.
The storm is finally over.
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CHRISTMAS EVE, ONE YEAR LATER
Saturday, December 24th 9:17 PM
“A little to the left, don’t you think?”
Taehyung laughs by your side. “Y/N.” He takes a sip of champagne. “I’ve watched you adjust that star five times since I got here. This is a party. Act like it.”
“Sorry – sorry, you’re right,” you laugh.
The annual Christmas Eve party is in full swing at the Inn. The lobby has been decorated within an inch of its life, thanks to Tonja returning for the holiday season. Due to last year’s PR stunt, the Inn has been booked solid for nearly twelve months.
What started as guests coming because of Jungkook turned into travel agents recommending you as a niche getaway. Namjoon’s parents were stunned by the turnaround, saying this surpassed even their Hawaii resort. Jungkook was ridiculously pleased by this, referring to himself for three weeks as the man who outsold Timothée Chalamet.
This week has been the busiest yet, with people coming from all over to celebrate the holidays. You’ve worked non-stop, per usual but this Christmas has been different because this year, you aren’t celebrating alone.
Taehyung arrived two days ago and is staying through New Year’s. Your mom and Romel will come after Christmas and leave sometime in January. And Jungkook has been here since the start of December.
Usually, he’s either training or competing during the winter but Jungkook worked out a deal to train at a nearby facility during the week and the rest of the time, he’s been here. Helping you out – and cleaning up after Bam when he gets himself in trouble.
As though called into being, the crowd parts to reveal Jungkook near the fireplace. When he spots you, he waves, winding his way through the revelers to stand at your side.
Slipping an arm around your waist, he pulls you close.
“You look beautiful.” Jungkook brushes a kiss to your temple
“You said that earlier,” you scold, although you can’t help but smile. “When I left our room.”
“I know, but I meant it.”
“Who said you’re not great with words,” you murmur, turning to kiss him fully.
The kiss turns slightly heated as, pointedly, Taehyung clears his throat. Hastily, you disengage and find your best friend grinning at you like a proud father.
“Who would have thought,” he says, lifting his glass of champagne. “Nine years later, you’d be dating your Christmas ghost. Did Y/N tell you I tried to find you afterward?” he asks Jungkook. “Walked up and down the street calling your name.”
“Jungkook?”
“No. Christmas ghost.”
Jungkook snorts, taking a sip from a peppermint martini. “No, but you’ve told me that story. Several times.”
Ducking your head, you try to hide your laughter.
“And I’ll tell it again!” Taehyung declares, quoting Brooklyn 99 to lift his glass. “But seriously, Y/N. Everything comes full circle.”
Jungkook squeezes your waist, and you smile.
Another new development has been Jungkook and Taehyung’s friendship. You introduced them about a month into dating – surprisingly, they never hung out much in college – and the two instantly hit it off.
“And Leslie” – grimacing, Taehyung finishes his glass – “is exactly where she belongs. Which is not here.”
Jungkook stiffens and now, it’s your turn to squeeze his waist.
A few months into your relationship, you got your answer about Leslie. Shortly after New Year’s Eve, you reached out but every text you sent went unanswered. It was a chance encounter between Taehyung and an old friend from college which revealed the full story.
As it turned out, Leslie saw the near kiss between you and Jungkook at the party. When Jungkook ended their relationship, Leslie was bitter and took it upon herself to ensure you never dated. Apparently, Leslie bragged about this while drunk to her theater troupe.
Finding this out was like a blow to the stomach. There was a part of you which understood. The almost-kiss wasn’t your proudest moment, either – but the way Leslie reacted was undeniably petty. For a while you were angry, but you eventually realized you’re better off without her. You have other friends now, new people in your life who support your happiness.
Glancing at Jungkook, you smile, and his eyes crinkle.
“Let’s not ruin the evening by talking about her,” you suggest. “Current friends only.”
“Sounds good.” Waving a hand, Taehyung flags down a passing waiter. “Three glasses of champagne, please.”
The waiter nods and takes off. All the staff are present, scattered about the party. Yoongi is playing Christmas songs on the piano – he’s a concierge of many talents – while Namjoon speaks to his parents before the giant tree.
Tonja and Hoseok are laughing about something in the corner. Hoseok was promoted to head chef over the summer, and his restaurant has also become a big tourist draw. Jimin and Seokjin are around here somewhere, probably fending off their daily admirers.
When the waiter returns with champagne, Taehyung leaves to say hello to Namjoon. Left alone once more, you turn to face Jungkook.
He squints at the tree. “Is that star crooked?”
Your eyes widen in panic.
Glancing sideways, Jungkook winks and you realize he’s joking.
“Jungkook!” you cry.
“I’m sorry – I’m sorry!” he laughs, as you swat his sweater. “Taehyung texted me five minutes ago and asked me to say it.”
“Not fair!” you complain. “You’re supposed to be on my side.”
“There are no sides,” he teases, wrapping both arms around you. “Besides, there was twenty dollars attached to the request, which I plan to spend on you. Better?”
“Better,” you agree, resting your chin on his chest.
“How’s your ankle?”
Hiding a smile, you roll your eyes. “I hurt my ankle almost a year ago. When am I going to live that down?”
“Never.” Jungkook grins. “Although I wouldn’t mind another trip to the cabin this year.”
His words make you shiver.
Your ankle last year turned out to be a bad sprain, but it took several weeks to fully heal. During this time, Jungkook insisted you refrain from anything strenuous. Once you were cleared, the two of you actually slept together and – well. The weeks which followed were a blur. Several times, you stopped at the cabin midway through skiing for a quick release.
Resting your chin on his chest, you allow your eyes to shut. Your heart feels so frighteningly full. This feeling used to be terrifying, since you were convinced it meant another shoe was about to drop. Lately though, you’ve been allowing yourself to enjoy. To savor the moment, rather than worrying about when it might disappear.
Gently, Jungkook’s lips brush your hair. “Have I said how incredibly proud I am?” he says, surveying the party.
You follow his gaze around the room. “A few times.”
“Good. Nearly enough, then.”
You smile and turn your face up to his. “Merry Christmas,” you tell him, hoping he can hear everything between the lines.
Jungkook’s eyes shine in response. “Merry Christmas, Y/N.”
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Author’s Note: Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a happy holidays if you celebrate, and a happy new year!
© kpopfanfictrash, 2021. Do not copy or repost without permission. There is no tag list for this story, please do not ask to be added.
4K notes · View notes
venusiangguk · 5 months ago
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dilf jk: series masterlist
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>>pairing: jungkook x reader / dilf jk x grocery store clerk oc
>>genre: strangers to lovers, friends with benefits, smut, fluff
>>status: on going
** snacks are drabbles that can be read as stand alones. they are not relevant to the plot. they are not written chronologically, but i order them as such as i go **
most recent work will be labeled: !! NEW !!
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you find a baby in your store and in turn, a dilf finds you
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‎❥⁞ part one: the art of wanting - 10.3k words, (m)
‎you find a baby in your store and in turn, a dilf finds you.
❥⁞ snack: the art of caring  - 4.7k words, (m)
‎jk picks you up after a fight with your roommates... he and nari are better company anyway!!
‎❥⁞ snack: gardening/pool day drabble - 1.2k words, (pg)
nari plays in the dirt while jk gardens and you make a bet
‎❥⁞ part two: the art of playing - 6.3k words, (m)
costumes are a must for jk’s work party... they come with the cutest heart-shaped cuffs... now what could they be used for?
❥⁞ part three: the art of craving - 6.9k words, (m)
‎jk takes you to a bbq at his friend’s house. the tri-tip is good but the creampie is even better.
❥⁞ snack: the art of waiting - 3.9k words, (m)‎ ‎ 
jk comes back from his business trip and he’s wearing new pjs... you must get his face between your legs.‎
❥⁞ part four: the art of doubting - 17k words, (m)‎ ‎ ‎!! NEW !!
seeds of doubt are planted and unfortunately they grow faster than love. things with jk fall apart. 
4K notes · View notes
onlyswan · 11 days ago
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summary: in which you come home drunk and jungkook is confused the entire time.
> jungkook x f!reader
> fluff, slightly suggestive / wc: 2.1k
> warnings: infidelity but not involving our couple obv (this is jus rly funny nd stupid but ive had so much alcohol since the holidays so i have to)
“jungkook!” you cry out, clawing at his shirt before throwing your arms around his torso. jungkook catches your weight and holds you against his body securely, looking at your friend standing at your doorstep with his confused doe eyes.
she scratches the back of her head. “she drank vodka like water as if she also got cheated on and they cursed at the guy for hours then turned on the karaoke. she cried along when ah-young cried while singing all i ask by adele.”
“and she hasn’t stopped since?” your boyfriend adjusts the way he’s carrying you, freeing his other arm to stroke your tear stained face. you sniffle loudly and nuzzle against the comfort of his embrace, whining out garbled words he can’t understand.
“yeah. i had to tear her away from sleeping ah-young ‘cause she was so noisy. you know she still has to do her night time routine and all that no matter how drunk she is or else she gets grumpy about it in the morning, so i took her home.”
he nods his head understandingly, giving your friend an apologetic smile. “she must’ve given you a hard time.”
she shakes her head, chuckling lightly. “i’m guessing you’ve never seen her this drunk? goodluck!”
and with that, she walks away to leave the apartment complex and jungkook is left sitting on the couch with a drunk girlfriend crying on his chest.
“baby, let me go for a sec so i can get you some water, okay?”
“no, no water!” you protest, looking up at him in panic. “i almost drowned earlier, kook. i was so scared.”
“what?! where? i didn’t know ah-young’s new house had a pool?” he strokes your hair to check if it’s damp, but your soft hair glides through his fingers smoothly.
“no pool! the toilet!”
he looks at you, dumbfounded.
“why is her toilet so fucking big? when i sat down i was like, falling into this deep abyss and the world was spinning. i wanted to cry really bad. 1/5 stars. i’m traumatized. but it has that feature that washes your ass.”
he can’t help but to laugh, craddling your face to wipe away the tears rolling down your cheeks as you continue to rant about how horrible your experience with the toilet was. that you will never come back to your friend’s house ever again. that the painting she bought her ex-boyfriend was creepy and would give you nightmares for the next two weeks. that you realized you don’t like shrimp and you’ve been forcing yourself to eat them your entire life and you feel bad for putting yourself through that.
“so you don’t like shrimp? you hated the food i cooked for our monthsary?” he pouts, expression looking sad and hurt. you shake your head immediately to assure him, visibly panicking. “it’s only your cooking i like! the shrimp for our monthsary dinner was really good. are you kidding?! i cleared my plate!”
but he has never cooked you shrimp. you used to brush it off subtly every time he suggested it on the menu before by pointing out other dishes with fake enthusiasm.
“so this is what you’re like when you’re drunk, huh? so cute.” he laughs, pinching your cheeks. then you start crying again. his heart drops to his stomach.
“do you love me because i’m cute or am i cute because you love me?”
“uh, both? you’ve always been cute. but the deeper i fall in love with you, the cuter you become.” he presses a kiss on your cheek. you reek of alcohol, but he doesn’t mind. you’ve already taken care of him drunk a couple times before, and he’s pretty sure you’ve dealt with worse.
“see, men are such smooth talkers. you make it impossible not to fall in love and impossible to move on. look at you! you’re so pretty and lovely!” you squish his cheeks, making his pout stick out more. “yah, if you break my heart and stomp on it - am i supposed to get drunk on tequila, sing heartbreak songs in karaoke, cry for weeks, stare into a void for a few more days, block you on all social media platforms, chop off all my hair, then pretend you never happened? that’s so much work when you can just not break my heart and not lose your kisses and cuddles privileges.”
wiping away your tears. that’s what he has been doing since you came home. you rushed to your friend’s house the moment you learned she broke up with her boyfriend because he’s been cheating on her with different girls throughout their two-year relationship. he expected that you’d cry and drink with your small circle of friends, just as any other friend group would when one of them deals with relationship problems, but he didn’t know that you cry so much when truly drunk. he’s only seen all you giggly and tipsy before, ringing strangers’ doorbells and kissing his face all over. and right now, it’s understandable for you to voice out such feelings when you constantly witness your friends cry over toxic assholes who are only good at the start.
“i’ll never do anything that will forfeit my kisses and cuddles privileges. that sounds like the worst thing that could ever happen to me. just thinking about it breaks my heart too.” he speaks gently, mindful of his words as to not further upset you more. you sniffle and nod in response. “good. or else i’ll consider drowning you in ah-young’s toilet.”
“ey, come on. no toilet is deep enough to drown a person.”
“yes, there is. ah-young’s toilet!”
you go back and forth, arguing over this topic for a few minutes until you give up and touch your neck. “i’m so thirsty. water.”
“you want water now, huh?” he laughs, standing up while carrying you in his arms because he knows you’ll whine about getting left behind.
you sit on the counter, swinging your feet as you wait for him to fill a glass with cold water from the fridge.
“do you also feel the earthquake?”
he tilts his head and stays still for a few seconds, before shaking his head. “that’s just your head, baby. here, drink it all.” you gulp down the water like a little kid drinking warm milk, chest heaving as if it’s going to be taken away from you if you take a moment to breathe.
“you’re so cute,” he can’t help but to say again, stroking the back of your head. you side eye him and glare, entire face still basically planted in the glass.
you set down the glass when you finish. “i smell horrible. shower.” you hop off the counter and your knees wobble, luckily, he’s by your side to keep you steady. in the end, he carries you all the way to the bathroom.
“ackkk, motion sickness.” you whine.
“don’t throw up yet. i’m begging you.” he begs nervously.
“i don’t throw up. i’m not weak!”
a big brown creature approaches when you enter the room, ready to jump you and jungkook. your eyes instantly light up.
“bam, my baby!”
“bam, not now. i need to take care of your mom. house.”
thankfully, the dog listens and you’re not lying about not throwing up.
“do you want my help or should i wait outside?” he asks quietly when you start stripping off all your clothes.
“don’t leave me,” you jut out your bottom lip. he only smiles before guiding you into sitting down in the bathtub. he takes up the task of washing your hair, adding in a scalp massage while you run the loofah across you skin.
“you know what the most infuriating part is?”
“the cheating, of course.”
“i mean besides that,” you snort, squirting more body wash on the loofah.
“what then?” he washes away the bubbles on his hands to avoid getting them into your eyes before massaging your throbbing temples. your eyes start fluttering open and close more frequently from the relief and relaxation.
“he took fluffy. you know, my boyfriend and i take bam and fluffy on walks sometimes when no one is free to watch over him.”
“oh, what’s your boyfriend’s name?” he plays along with your drunk ass, voice flowing with curiosity.
“jeon jungkook.”
bam peeks inside the bathroom upon hearing his name spoken in the conversation. your boyfriend sighs fondly.
“bam, i said house.”
the dogs tilts his head and you swoon at his cuteness. “bam, your daddy said house.” and he walks away to obey you. jungkook’s heart flutters at how your voice turns so sweet when talking to bam.
“then do you know what my name is?”
you look at the man sitting on a stool beside you. “jeon jungkook.”
“i’m your boyfr-”
he wishes he can put memories from this night in a box and relive them any time he wants, because every second is fucking golden.
“anyways,” his shoulders drop. “and he left the thousand dollars worth of painting behind. he whined about wanting that for months. i mean sure, she can just sell it again. i hope she does because i’m starting to believe that it’s bad luck. but still! the dog comes to the person who needs the love and consolation! seriously, after everything, he still found another way to spite her.”
“what an asshole. he doesn’t even take care of fluffy properly. i give him advices but he doesn’t listen. he’s not in good hands.”
“right? and he has the nerve to take him. it’s so annoying.”
“is my girl crying again?”
you sniffle. “no.” you sigh. “yes. ah-young said she won’t give up until she gets fluffy back. so there’s still a glimmer of hope.”
“don’t cry then, my love. fluffy will come home and we’ll take him on a walk with bam again, hmm?”
he takes the showerhead to finally finish shower time, hands tenderly caressing your skin with only the intent to wash away the soap from your body. through your sleepy state, you notice something. “you forgot to take off your watch.”
he pauses for a moment, glancing at his wrist before the realization hits him. “it’s waterproof.” you bought it for him especially for that reason.
“the world has progressed significantly. it’s soooo amazing. you should get a bulletproof watch next.”
after drying up and brushing your teeth, you insist on dressing yourself. he prevents you from injuring yourself when you almost trip over while putting on pajamas. bam is standing on the bed, nuzzling his head on your side. “hi, bamie. i love you. your new dinosaur clothes will get delivered tomorrow.” your giggles filled the room. “also, i’m still a bit drunk even after that shower. never drink vodka, okay? it’s not good for you.”
jungkook watches the interaction with his chest brimming with love and admiration for his two favorite souls in the world.
“i think bam just smiled at me. is that normal?”
he pets bam’s head and scratches behind his ears as the dog eagerly looks up at the both of you. “of course it’s normal. he just missed you.”
“sorry, bamie. don’t worry, this will be the last time in a while. i feel like shit.”
you plop down on your side of the bed, groaning as exhaustion seeps into your bones. “sleep time. house now, bam. house.” he instructs bam to go back in his house after giving him some affection so you can finally get your much needed rest.
you crawl into his arms right away - your thigh over his thighs and your arm over his stomach, pulling his body closer. “you’re so warm and comfortable. i love you so much.” he kisses your forehead, then your lips. you hum at the feeling of his plushy lips against yours.
“i forget that you have a lip ring sometimes.” you mumble quietly, and without inhibition, your tongue darts out feel the cold metal against it. the action makes his stomach do flips. fuck. fuck. fuck. she doesn’t even realize what that does to me. jesus christ.
he swallows thickly, distancing his face a bit to calm himself down. “go to sleep, baby. you had a long day. you must be tired.”
“so tired. from crying. head hurts. heavy. but feel like i’m floooating.” you nuzzle your face against his neck, your warm breath slightly tickling him. he fights off a giggle.
“you cried the entire time. want some more water?”
you mumble a no. “okay, tomorrow then. goodnight. i love you.” he resumes his head massage, dedicated to it from the shower to the bed.
“i love you too.” words coming out slurred, you drift off to sleep. he stays up for another hour, worried that you’ll wake up nauseous and you won’t wake him up to ask for help. he scrolls through the item recommendations in his online shopping app, then his cart where you also add things you want to buy. at the very top, he sees that you added a brown fluffy jacket for bam, then a long brown coat similar to it in your size and his. this is what she does when she’s on my phone? is it really possible to love her even more? he checks them out after a minute of deliberation, pressing another kiss to your cheek before also falling asleep.
note: this got ..... longer than i intended im laughinggg but theyre just so fucking cute im sorry goodnight
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softyoongiionly · 17 days ago
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Like I’m Famous
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It’s New Years Eve and Jungkook would rather be anywhere else than at his company’s massive party. Sure, he’s a guest of honor and his team rented out the nicest hotel in Seoul, but ringing in the New Year with you on the other side of the world just feels wrong. He doesn’t know how he’s supposed to celebrate without the woman he loves, but maybe- just maybe...he won’t have to...
Pairing: Jungkook x Reader
Genre: Idol! Jk, Dom! Jk (oops), established relationship au, long distance au, smut, fluff
Word Count: 11,239
Warnings: a teeny bit of angst, use of alcohol (jungkook and yn are sober), biting, marking, scratching, unprotected sex (reader is on birth control), dirty talking, doggy style, slight elements of dom/sub dynamics, squirting. 
A/N: Happy New Year, cuties <3 s/o to @bulletproofbirdy and @gldnrecs for putting up with me screaming about this jk. Love you both!!! Let me know what you think ^-^
Jungkook grumbles to himself as his long fingers desperately try to unravel the tangled mass of party decorations. 
He HATES parties. 
But the company is insisting on throwing a massive one for it’s employees, which (unfortunately) includes him and six of his best friends. 
One could argue that they are probably fairly important employees, considering the fact that they bring in nearly 80% of the company’s revenue, but Jungkook? Literally. Doesn’t. Care. 
It’s New Year's Eve. 
He wants to spend it at home with some good alcohol and a FEW friends. 
Not half the population of Seoul. 
He cringes at himself as he complains internally, he doesn’ want to sound ungrateful. He loves his life and he knows how lucky he is, but this is not how he wanted to ring in the new year. 
“Hey- what’s your problem huh?” Jimin is smirking fondly at the sight of his best friend pouting in the corner, doe-eyes cast down at the task at hand, “Why do you look pissed off?”
Jungkook shakes his head immediately, “It’s nothing. Can you hand me the scissors? There’s no way I’m going to be able to get this untangled…”
Jimin narrows his eyes, “I’m not getting you anything until you tell me what’s wrong.”
Jungkook feels a wave of irritation come over him, he loves how well Jimin knows him but he also HATES how well Jimin knows him. 
“I just-” He resigns, letting a sigh past his lips as he slumps back against the wall, “-wish she was here.”
Jimin purses his lips, “Y/N?”
He nods, running a hand through his hair, wincing at the feeling of it; he really needs to take a shower. It’s been like a day and a half. 
“You will have plenty of other years with her. Besides, you’re seeing her for Valentine’s Day, right? That isn’t too far away.” Jimin keeps his tone optimistic, but even he is having trouble hearing his own pep talk. 
You and Jungkook started dating in March of this year, and Jimin watched his best friend fall head over heels for you in just a few weeks. But in the time that you started dating, Jungkook has only been able to spend fourteen days with you. 
Fourteen. 
Over the course of nine months, Jungkook has been able to spend two weeks with you. 
And those days were usually scattered in patterns of twos and threes. 
Jungkook just stares at Jimin, the look on his face signaling that he doesn’t need Jimin’s optimism right now. He needs sympathy. 
“Alright-” Jimin huffs as he hops off the counter, striding over to where Jungkook is sitting. He plops down in front of him and holds out his hand.
Jungkook raises his brow at it, feigning discomfort which causes Jimin to smack his leg. Jungkook laughs then and it sends a wave of relief over the man in front of him.
“Hold my hand, stupid…” Jimin insists, shaking it in front of his best friend.
Jungkook snickers as he gives in and rests his hand atop his hyung’s much smaller one, preparing for one of his infamous pep talks. 
“In all of the years I have known you, I have never seen you happy. I know how badly you’ve been wanting to find someone and now that you have, it probably feels like torture that you can’t be with her. But this is only temporary. There will come a time where you will be with her the way you want to be. You’ll see her every day, you’ll share a bed with her, a home with her, you might even start getting annoyed with her-” Jimin jokes, causing Jungkook to crack another smile, “I am really sorry that you haven’t been able to enjoy your first relationship like you want to, but your time with her will come, ok? I know she feels the same way about you and I know she misses you a lot.”
Jungkook cocks his head, “How do you know that?”
Jimin smirks, holding up his phone, “Because she checks in with me all of the time…”
He gawks, “Yah! What do you mean she checks in with you, why doesn’t she just ask me???” 
Jimin snickers, pulling his phone away when Jungkook tries to grab at it, “Because she doesn’t want to be overbearing! She knows how you are, always acting like nothing bothers you, she just texts every so often to check that you’re eating well and not over-doing it.”
Although Jungkook wants to pretend like he doesn’t like someone checking up on him like that, it actually touches him that you would do. It shows how well you know him already, to know that he is always going to put on a brave face, even if he is feeling weak…
“I miss her…” Jungkook resigns, biting his lip to reign in any pesky emotions. He doesn’t want to have a breakdown right before the party, that will only make it less enjoyable. 
Jimin nods in earnest, “I know you do.” He pats his arm reassuringly before nodding to Jungkook’s cell phone, “Can you FaceTime her tonight? She should be awake around midnight, right? The timezones will line up…” 
Jungkook’s lip is between his teeth as he nods, “Yeah, she said she would call me around 11:30 our time. I really wanted to be able to kiss her at midnight, but it will be nice just to see her I guess.”
Jimin sighs, nodding in understanding before a sly smirk comes across his face, “I guess you’re going to have to settle for me…again.” He cheekily adds, causing Jungkook to blush and launch a plastic star in his direction. 
“Shut up-” He grumbles, “You’re going to have to make out with someone else tonight.” 
Jimin’s laughter twinkles around the room as he leans forward to ruffle Jungkook’s hair, the sound of his amusement only increasing when his friend swats his hand away.
“Don't you worry about me, lover boy. I can assure you I won’t be ringing in the New Year alone…” He winks, his laughter returning when Jungkook rolls his eyes, “Seriously though, everything is going to be fine- you’ll hang out with your friends, you’ll get really drunk, it will be great.” Jimin holds out his hand once more, kicking away a decoration with his chelsea boot, “C’mon, we need to go get ready. Leave the decorations for Jin and Yoongi-hyung, they’re the only ones who have the patience for this kind of shit.”
Jungkook nods immediately, not needing to be told twice, and follows Jimin out of the conference room.
Roughly an hour later, Jungkook is sitting in the makeup chair and staring off into space as one of the stylists fusses with his hair. 
He dyed it gray recently and is still getting used to the way it looks on him. He kind of hated it at first, but after getting your (overly enthused) reaction, he has to admit it’s starting to grow on him. 
He can hear the sound of his members joking loudly with one another, the sound of the hair dryers, and the clanking of makeup products on the portable carts. He can hear the low hum of the party just outside the doors, the booming of the bass coming from the speakers, but he can’t bring himself to fully absorb any of it. 
His mind is occupied. 
Jungkook: There’s like a thousand people here lol
Jungkook: I’m nervous
He texts you with the hopes that you’ll be awake, because the only thing that can distract him right now is the thought of getting to talk to you. 
“She’s probably asleep right now…” His stylist notes with a knowing grin, “You don’t want to wake her up.” 
Jungkook shakes his head, “She won’t wake up, trust me. She’s a heavy sleeper.”
He feels privileged that he gets to know this about you, that he has slept beside you enough times to observe this tiny fact. 
He misses sleeping next to you. 
He misses feeling the weight of your head on his chest. 
“You know we all loved her, right? When she came that last time, me and the girls were talking a lot about her. She’s really great.” 
This makes Jungkook smile, he remembers how easily you seemed to fit in with his little family here at Hybe. You had everyone cracking up, he remembers that his face hurt when he laid down beside you that night. 
God, he really misses you. 
“She is.” He agrees softly, smoothing his thumb over the wallpaper on his home screen. 
It’s a photo of you with your cheeks puffed out that you sent to him on a particularly bad day. Your face is bare and your hair is a complete disaster, but he thinks it’s the most beautiful picture he’s ever seen. 
“I had a feeling you all would get along with her; she seems to get along with everyone.” He smiles, forcing himself to lock his phone so he doesn’t keep waiting for you to text him back. 
His stylist smiles, a bit of fondness in her eyes as she pats his shoulder, “I know you’re upset that she isn’t here tonight, but think about it this way- last year, you didn’t have anyone to miss like this did you? And don’t you remember us talking about that?”
Vaguely, Jungkook thinks, but she does have a good point. 
He is lucky enough to miss someone so much, and even luckier to be in love. 
“I know you’re right,” He concedes, keeping the volume of his voice low, “I just wish I could shake this feeling. Tonight is supposed to be fun.”
“And it will be, Jungkook-ah!” Namjoon chortles from across the room, his cheeks a bit darker than normal. Jungkook knows for a fact that he and Hoseok pre-gamed before coming downstairs, and he can tell by the way his hyung is slurring his words that he’s halfway to being absolutely plastered. “Your hyungs will make sure you haveagoodtime, won’t we Hoseok-ah?”
Hoseok is sitting in his makeup chair, eyes a little glossy with a wry grin on his lips, “Jungkookie-ah!!!! You’re gonna have the best time BRO- don’t worry about Y/N, she’s probably busy today anyways, eh? She’s got a lot of friends….you’ll see her soon.” 
Jungkook cringes at the sound of their yelling, but he tries to laugh it off with them so they won’t worry themselves any further. 
“Yeah she does.” He concedes yet again, suddenly feeling uncomfortable with all of the attention on him, “Thanks hyung.” 
“Yahhh Jungkook-” Namjoon stumbles out of his chair and over to where he is sitting, his lengthy body nearly toppling over as he kneels beside him, “What’s wrong??? You know you can tell us, ok? We’re your hyungs, we will understand you, ok? Just open up, like a butterfly, just spreaaaaddd those wings,” He grips onto Jungkook’s bicep to stabilize himself before his glazed eyes widen, “Whoa- so strong…”
Jungkook snickers as he observes his normally reserved hyung let loose. His stylist quickly shoos him away, grumbling as she scolds him,
“Uh huh! This turtle neck is new from Louis Vuitton and I know for a fact you haven’t washed those hands since you came down here.”
Namjoon stumbles away, cackling as he collides with Hoseok, who has managed to evade his stylist to meet his drunken partner in the center of the room. 
Before anyone can say anything else, a sage voice sounds off in the corner, “Leave him alone. You know he doesn’t like to be fussed over when he’s upset. Just let him be…”
Yoongi is perched in his chair, not even looking up from his phone as he smoothly brings order to the situation. 
“Yoongi-hyung! Shouldn’t you be catching up to us? You’ve barely had any whiskey…” Hoseok teases whilst he and Namjoon plop onto the leather sofa.
Yoongi quirks a brow, finally meeting the rest of the room, “What are you talking about? This is my fifth glass…” 
Jungkook snickers, always impressed with Yoongi’s demeanor, his mood slightly lifting in response to watching the antics of the people he feels closest to. 
He’s not just lucky to have you, he’s lucky to have them too. 
“wAHHHHH so cool, hyung! He is the type to be absolutely wasted but still-” Namjoon makes an odd gesture with his hand, trying to imitate a wave like motion, “-soooo chill.” 
Hoseok loses it then, the two of them erupting into a fit of laughter as they fully lay back on the couch. 
Yoongi’s lips tremble with the evidence of a smile, but he doesn’t let it fully form as he nods to Jungkook, “You’ll be alright? You know you don’t have to come tonight…we can just tell them you aren’t feeling well.”
Jungkook shakes his head, “It’s okay, hyung. I’ll be fine, thank you.” 
“That’s a terrible idea, Yoongi-” Jin has finally made an appearance, dressed head to toe in a freshly tailored black suit, his matching hair perfectly coiffed above his head, “-can you imagine the rumors? BTS Jungkook, absent from New Years Eve Party? Could there be tension within the group? Jungkook-ah, we love you and respect your emotions, but if you don’t show up to this party, there WILL be tension within the group.” 
Jungkook is chuckling again, glancing down at his phone once more and trying to hide his disappointment. How can he have 308 unread messages, and yet none of them are from you? 
“Don’t worry, hyung. I’ll be there.” He assures him, “You guys are making me feel better actually, I’m sure once I get to Namjoon and Hoseok-hyungs state of mind, I’ll be good.” 
Jin’s eyes follow in the direction of Jungkook’s nodding before rolling his eyes, “You two better be able to walk straight when you go out there. Yah, where are the kids???? We’re supposed to be entering in 5 minutes.” 
Yoongi jerks his head in the direction of the private dressing room, “They went in there like 20 minutes ago. I think they are trying to pick up something matching to wear…” 
Jin rolls his eyes before marching over to the door and banging on it, “Finish up in there! We need to get going!” 
“Hyung, you’re not in the best of spirits huh? We need to get some liquor in you, Jimin-ah! Get out here and pour your eldest hyung some soju!” Namjoon laughs, throwing back a bit of his drink.
Soon enough, Jimin and Taehyung come stumbling out in matching gold suits, giggling and whispering to one another, “Ta-DAAAAA, what do you think?” Jimin cheers, his cheeks rosied with the evidence of alcohol. 
Taehyung is completely sober physically, but he is mentally drunk off of the good vibes in the room. 
“Yahhhhhh so siiiiick, you two look amazing!” Hoseok cheers, clapping his hands together a little too loud.
Jungkook is quickly drawn away from the antics and the chaos when he feels his phone vibrate in his hands. 
Babe: I’m sorry baby 
Babe: You’ll have your guys though, right? I know they’ll watch out for you. 
Babe: Wish I was there! Love you
Jungkook bites his lip to stop the smile from forming on his mouth, but he fails miserably and his friends don’t let him forget it.
“Oh look at that! He smiles! Jungkookie, did she text you? Did she send you a selfie?” Jimin chirps, snickering as Taehyung wraps an arm around his waist.
“No- uh she just texted me…” He explains, not really paying attention to anything else now.
Jungkook: I love you too. 
Jungkook: Did you sleep well? Is the blanket I sent working ok? 
Did they fix the heating in your apartment?
Did your cat keep you warm?
Did you eat well?
Did the sun rise ok for you?
If not, I’ll talk to someone about it I swear…
Jesus, he thinks, he’s really in deep. But he knows that he can’t send you those messages without sounding COMPLETELY insane. 
Babe: omg the blanket is incredible
Babe: it’s so soft and it kept me so warm that I actually had to take off some of my layers
He feels his heart skip a beat as he receives your approval, his posture worsening as he hovers over his phone. 
Jungkook: I’m so glad, I looked up a lot of reviews for it, and Naver said it was the best one 
Jungkook: I hope you didn’t take off too many layers though, I don’t want you to catch a cold
He hopes that his messages aren’t coming across as too needy, he is really working to reign in just how much he misses you. 
Babe: Are you saying that you don’t want me to take off my clothes?
Babe: That’s very unlike you 
Jungkook smirks at your message, now leaning back confidently against his chair as his stylist finishes up his hair. 
Jungkook: I never said that lol 
Jungkook: I just don’t want you getting sick
Jungkook: If I was there, you wouldn’t have to worry about keeping warm 
He wants to pipe up in the midst of the free flowing conversation his hyungs are having to ask if what he said was smooth enough, but he knows they would probably tell him not to worry so much. 
Babe: that’s true
Babe: I wish you were here 
Babe: Cornflakes wishes you were too, you made a really good impression the last time you were here. 
Jungkook finds himself smiling like a total idiot at his phone, and he is so focused on you that he manages to ignore the razzing from his hyungs. He wishes he was with you right now, cuddled under your covers, your fluffy orange cat sleeping at the foot of the bed. 
But he will settle for imagining it, for now. 
Jungkook: Make sure he knows that I miss him too 
Jungkook: just don’t tell him that I miss his mom the most
Babe: I won’t tell him if you won’t 
Babe: Are you almost done getting ready? I’m assuming that you guys are getting hair and makeup done right now <3
Jungkook: Yeah we are, we only have a few minutes before we have to make our appearance
Babe: I know it’s a tall order 
Babe: but is there anyway I can see what you look like right now
Babe: you know before the REST of the world does?
Jungkook is chuckling to himself now, fondness covering his heart at your request. You make a valid point though, he doesn’t know how he would feel if he had to be the last one to see you, if the rest of the world always got that piece of you first…
He hates to admit it, but he really doesn't know how he would share you like that. It makes him dizzy just thinking about it. He wishes he could save more pieces of himself for you. So although he really doesn’t like taking selfies that much, he doesn’t mind doing it for you. 
Jungkook: Here you go <3 
Jungkook: I took it for you only. 
Babe: Okay so here’s thought
Babe: ditch the party
Babe: and get on a flight to me instead
Babe: makes the most logical sense 
Jungkook isn’t even focusing on the fact that his hyungs are now ushering him out of the room, his eyes solely fixated on his phone. He’s snickering to himself, his cheeks hot due to your reaction to him. He has half a mind to honor your request, but he knows that he can’t. 
He would be risking too much. 
Jungkook: I’m guessing that means you like it? Haha
Jungkook: I wanted to look good for you, even if I knew I wasn’t going to see you
Babe: you look so good :( 
Babe: you ALWAYS look good 
Babe: I’m actually upset that I can’t make you cum right now, it feels like a crime 
Jungkook has made it into the party by the time he reads your text and with a glass of soju in his hand, he feels his stomach lurch with desire. 
The bustling party means nothing to him now. Normally he would be anxious, staying close to his hyungs, and trying his best not to socialize more than he has to. 
But right now, all he cares about is you. 
Jungkook: You can’t say shit like that to me 
Jungkook: I’m in public right now and these pants are already tight enough
Babe: I’ll be good, I’m sorry :(
Babe: It’s just been so long 
Jungkook throws back his soju, bearing his teeth at the taste, his body tightening with the onslaught of his arousal. 
Jungkook: If I was with you right now, you wouldn’t have to be good
Jungkook: and I could show just how much I miss you
Jungkook: I’d be showing you all night long
He has no idea what has come over him. He isn’t normally one for sexting, but when you’re long distance with the woman of your dreams, you start to act up. 
And boy did want to act up. 
Babe: Can I send you something? 
Babe: I got something new to wear for you and I wanna see if you like it. 
Jungkook immediately abandons his soju on the bar top and evades the 19000000 people trying to get his attention with a vague shout of the word, “Bathroom!” 
Before rushing back into the small ballroom where they had just been getting ready. 
Jungkook: Yes
Jungkook: Let me see you, please
He ignores the logical side of him that questions how you’re able to send him pictures when you’re supposed to be at work. 
But then again, he’s supposed to be working too technically, and he’s about ready to abandon his shift just to hear your voice. 
Jungkook inhales sharply through his nose as the photo you send comes through. He can instantly feel his dick throb in the confines of his slacks, his head falling back against the wall. You’re sitting on your knees which are spread out against a white fluffy duvet, your body is covered in a black lace babydoll, your breasts sitting higher up on your chest than normal, black feathery material adorning the tops of the cups. The skirt of the lingerie is made from chiffon and flares out just below your breasts, stopping mid thigh…
You look unreal. 
You look like painting. 
And he genuinely feels like he could cry because of how hot you are.
Jungkook: You don’t even understand, do you? 
Jungkook: What a photo like this would do to me.
Jungkook: Fuck lol
Jungkook: I should have told you no
Jungkook: Is that really all for me? 
Babe: Everything under it is too
Babe: You should come see it in person
Jungkook purses his lips, his face going stone-cold as he tries to get ahold of himself. 
Jungkook: I’m really about to 
Jungkook: I’m going to get in so much trouble, but I literally don’t give a fuck
Jungkook: I can’t do this anymore 
You giggle to yourself at his reaction, feeling a sense of pride rushing through you that you were able to get this out of him. Leaning back against the plush hotel pillows, you bring your phone up to your face to read his next messages. 
Jungkook: I’m looking at flights right now 
Jungkook: I might have to take our jet, but if I’m going to get yelled at, I might as well go all out
Your eyes widen at this, realizing what he’s saying, but still amused about the fact that he doesn’t know…
Babe: wait baby
Babe: look at the picture again please lol 
Jungkook shakes his head, growing irritated with his phone as the app he is trying to look at starts glitching out.
“Again?” He mutters, “Does she want to kill me?”
But he does it anyway, not wanting to pass up an opportunity to look at you again. As he does, he manages to look at the photo a little closer, and suddenly he realizes something. 
The background you’re in looks familiar, but it definitely isn’t your apartment. Your duvet is a soft blue color and you have like ten stuffed animals and pillows on your mattress, and you don't even have a headboard- 
Oh my god. 
All at once, he’s pressing send on your contact and bolting out of the ballroom, once again avoiding and ignoring everyone who tries to get his attention. 
Jimin and the rest of the members notice him escaping the party in a grandiose fashion, and as Taehyung begins to smirk, Jin pipes up,
“Finally. I thought we were going to have to walk him up there ourselves.” 
Jimin is beaming, the seven of them watching their youngest member rush off to his surprise, “He’s going to be so happy…”
Namjoon and Hoseok chuckle amongst themselves, “Yeah, no shit. I’d be sprinting like that too if I was going to get laid….”
Namjoon nods in agreement, throwing back more of his cocktail, a bit of sadness lingering in his eyes as he thinks about the woman he’s missing, “Long distance fucking sucks. I’m glad our Jungkook gets to ring in the new year this way…” 
“Are you really here????” He pants in the phone as you answer, his vision blurring slightly on account of his speed. 
“Am I really where? At the most LUXURY hotel in Seoul? I might be- I heard BTS was going to be here, and I’m a really big fan…” 
The sound of your voice makes him smile, his pace only increasing as he jogs up the stairs. 
The elevator is going to take way too long and he doesn’t want to risk seeing anyone else. 
“Baby- don’t mess with me right now, are you here? Are you in my room?” He laughs in disbelief, unable to convince himself that this is really happening. 
“Are you in Penthouse 224?” You giggle, sprawling out on the bed, “Cause that’s where I am…”
Jungkook actually feels tears prick the corners of his eyes but with arousal still swimming through him, he has no idea how to feel. 
He just knows that he feels like a kid on christmas, he just knows that he wants you in his arms…
“Fuck okay, oh my god-” He laughs, still running through the hallways, feeling around for the room key in his pocket, “Shit, I forgot my key downstairs- let me in. I’m almost there.” 
You’re still laughing, all of the emotions that have been plaguing you for the past however many months now slowly disappearing, your only focus being back in your boyfriend's grip.
“Okay hurry!” You cheer him on, scrambling out of bed, “Knock when you’re here! Are you in the elevator?”
“No, fuck the elevator, I took the stairs- there were too many people. I’m running down the hallway now.” He assures, his palms actually itching to touch you.
“You took the stairs?! Jungkook-” You giggle, practically bouncing in place as you finally make out the sound of his loud ass footsteps. 
You throw your phone on the carpet, not even bothering to hang up as you rip the heavy hotel door open. Within seconds, your boyfriend is rushing into the room, grabbing you in the biggest bear hug that you’ve ever received, his lips already going to work on your face, your neck, your hair, basically anywhere that he can reach.
“I can’t believe you’re here-” He’s panting the words through his heavy breath and you almost feel sorry for him when you feel how hard his heart is pounding against his chest, “How did you get here? I don’t understand…”
You’re beaming as you untuck his face from your neck, wanting to get a good look at him. Saying nothing, you simply lean in and press a kiss to his lips. Slowly, you work your way into his mouth, your hands sliding up the soft material covering his arms until they are resting on his shoulders. His hands are on your waist then, underneath the babydoll and gripping at your skin like he’s holding on for dear life. You feel your core ache between your legs as he slips his tongue in with yours, his breath slowing but deepening all at once. 
“You know what? Nevermind-” He grunts, “I don’t give a fuck…”
With that, he is walking you back towards the bed and as the back of your knees hit the duvet, Jungkook’s hands are gently pushing you onto the mattress. He bites his lip, sending an intense gaze your way as you scoot back to accommodate for his body. 
He shakes his head, “Head up there baby, get comfortable for me-” He jerks his chin towards the headboard, his tongue coming out to play with his lip piercing. Obediently, you nod, forgetting all about pleasantries as you watch his tattooed fingers untuck his black turtleneck from his slacks. He’s gotten even bigger since the last time you saw him, his chest and biceps swollen with the evidence of his hard work, his tattoos decorating the entirety of one his arms…
He’s absolutely dreadful. 
Jungkook wants nothing more than to jump onto bed with you, but he is so riled up that if he starts kissing you again, he’s afraid that this will be over before it even begins. 
And he wants it to last…
He moves towards the edge of the bed, his knees flushed with the mattress, his fingers lingering at his belt buckle. As he looks up at you, a smirk comes over his lips, his chin jerking towards you this time, “Are you going to show me what you brought for me?” 
You bite your lip at the rough sound of his voice, your lace underwear completely ruined. 
But you will never pass up an opportunity to show off for him…
Leaning back against the pillows, you keep his eye contact as you lift up the bottom of your babydoll and spread your legs to expose yourself to his hungry gaze. 
Jungkook licks his lips at the sight of you, shaking his head as he looks away briefly and attempts to collect himself. When he brings his eyes back to yours his fingers are smoothing over his belt buckle, one of his thumbs tucking into the waistband of his pants. 
“Are you going to unwrap it for me?” He goads, cocking his head to the side.
Your lips curve into a smile, running your fingers over the length of your pussy, “It’s your gift, why don’t you come unwrap it yourself?”
Your boyfriend raises his eyebrows, a small grin blooming on his lips at your attitude, “Tsk- that’s a good point…” He kisses his teeth before stepping out of his shoes and kicking them to the side. Still keeping his eyes on you, he tucks his fingers into the belt and slowly allows it to slide from beneath his belt loops. He chuckles darkly at your wide-eyed gaze, doing his best to process the way your presence makes him feel. 
You’re entirely mesmerized, your eyes trying to take all of him in at once, your body growing restless without his touch. You feel your mouth grow completely dry as you take in the sight of his erection warping the seam of his slacks and without even thinking, you are reaching out for him. 
Jungkook is in the process of unzipping his pants when he notices you sitting up on your knees, your arms outstretched in front of you, “Oh look at that ah? Are you going to crawl for me, baby? Do you want it that bad?” 
You’re nodding wordlessly, your palms now finding the mattress, “I got on three planes for it…”
Although there is a bit of spice in your words, Jungkook has rendered your voice basically useless. His aura alone makes you feel so small. 
He’s smirking again, his black boxers peeking through as he opens up the flap of the slacks, “All for this?” He checks again whilst his free palm slides over the bulge in his pants, and when he squeezes over it, you are unable to take your eyes off the veins that protrude from the back of his hand.
“All for you…” You correct, crawling a bit closer, ensuring that your ass is sticking up for him, “It’s all for you.” 
Jungkook’s dick pulses in his boxers and his brain feels like it’s short-circuiting, unable to take all of you in at once.
“Did you fly first class?” He rasps, his eyes eagerly scanning over the swell of your ass, desperately wishing he had his hands on it. 
But watching you crawl for him is just as good, maybe even a little better. 
You pout your lips a bit, shaking your head, “No. I couldn’t afford it…”
He kisses his teeth in disappointment, shaking his head, “I don't like hearing that- as much I love that you surprised me, I better not ever hear of my girl flying economy again…” Jungkook raises his brows, letting his voice grow stern despite the fact that he is now reaching out to you, “You hear me?” He checks again, tilting his head down so he can properly look into your eyes, “The next time you need money you just ask me-” Jungkook insists, and you can’t help but ache at how utterly demanding he sounds. You’re in front of him now, nodding your head as he takes your hands and secures them around his neck, leaving your knees to rest on the mattress. 
“It was a lot though…” You insist softly, leaning in to kiss at his bottom lip, your teeth nibbling on his lip ring, “...and I wanted it to be a surprise.”
His hands are sliding up your arms now, the same salacious and slightly arrogant look on his face, “How much was it?”
As he asks this question, he presses himself completely against you, his lips finding the tender skin of your neck, “Hm? How much would it have been?”
Your hands immediately find his hair, admiring the new color while you scratch gently at his scalp, “It would have been like 35 million won…”
Jungkook is snickering now, taking a bite out of your skin before continuing, “That’s nothing- you tell me it's for clothes next time yeah? My wallet is your wallet.”
He finds the most sensitive spot on your neck and allows his tongue to delicately trace over the surface of it. You’re quickly losing steam, unable to ignore the raging desire coursing through your veins that’s now causing your hands to tighten in his hair.
“Do you understand?” He presses, gently sucking against the sensitive flesh, “Hm? I won’t even ask what it’s for, if my girl tells me she needs money, then she gets whatever she wants.”
You’re nodding again, your lips finding their way up the side of his hairline, your breasts pushing against the strong hills of his chest, “I understand. I promise I’ll ask you next time.”
“Good girl-” He smirks, his teeth now jumping into the equation as he continues his pursuit on your neck, “-say I’ll never fly economy again, Jungkook.”
Biting your lip, you brace yourself against a moan, feeling entirely overwhelmed by him, “I’ll never fly economy again, Jungkook.”
His grip on your hips tightens then, his breathing much rougher than before, “You’re so good for me- you always listen so well…” 
With that, he starts sucking on your neck properly, because everyone needs to know that he’s been there, you need to know that he’s been there. 
“I missed you so much-” You whisper, your own lips doing their best to cover every surface of skin with their touch, your body growing anxious without him inside of you, “Are you happy I came? I didn’t intrude, right? This was ok?”
You don’t know why you’re suddenly overcome with the need to hear his approval, but Jungkook has a way of making you crave this kind of attention. He is so particular about every little thing in his life, a staunch perfectionist, you are always grappling with the fact that he chose you. 
All of you, without ever making a single complaint. 
If only you knew how in love he really was. 
He pulls away from your neck, his clouded gaze now on fire with determination and lust. 
“Come here.” Jungkook coaxes your lips back to his, the kiss immediately deepening as he allows you to indulge in him for a moment. But before long, he is pulling away again with a darker glint in his eye as his fingers come up to touch the space between your eyebrows, “You want me to show you how happy I am? Hm?” He’s leaning in again and kissing your lips, his teeth nipping at them as he smirks, “I think I need to. If you’re asking those kinds of questions, I must be doing something wrong huh?”
You’re quick to shake your head, your hands gripping his shoulders in a desperate attempt to keep him glued to you, “No, you’re not. You’re doing nothing wrong, I just wanted to make sure…”
Jungkook chuckles again, liking the desperate tone of your voice, “Is that right?” He grips the back of your head with one hand, and brings your mouth back to his before taking your bottom lip between his teeth. He draws back slowly until it is snapping against your mouth, “Hmm, I don’t know if I believe you, baby. I think it’s time you turn around now, I’m pretty sure I need to show you something-” Suddenly, his strong hands are spinning you around and easing you down onto the bed so your cheek is flat against the mattress. Your hands eagerly find the fabric of the duvet, knowing that you’ll need all of the support you can get. 
“Shit-” Your boyfriend curses, taking in the sight of you bent over just for him. He has finally managed to get his slacks off, leaving him in nothing but his silver jewelry and black Calvin Kleins. He lines his hips up with your ass, unable to resist the urge to press his dick against your pussy, “You have no idea how fucking good you look for me. I feel like I’m dreaming right now-” He leans over you then, using his teeth to drag the lace of the babydoll up your body until the bulk of it is resting at the top of your back. Jungkook’s hands are gripping your hips again, grinding his hard dick between the soaking crotch of your underwear, “I’m going to fuck you so good,” He promises, his voice cracking beneath the weight of his desire. With your back now exposed, Jungkook covers your body with his, his warmth coating you like a velvet robe. His lips are tracing a line down your spine, sponging kisses and taking skin between his teeth whenever he can, his hips grinding against you all the while, “I’m going to make you cum so hard, I want to feel it running down your thighs, I want it all over my dick, all over my face-” He’s working himself up so much, the sound of your shaky breath only making it worse for him. 
He’s out of his mind. 
“Please,” You reach behind you, trying to place your hand on him, “I can’t wait anymore, I’m so wet for you. Please fuck me…”
You hear him inhale sharply, his teeth digging into your back again while his hand moves to squeeze over his dick. The next thing you know he’s pulling away and tucking his fingers beneath the band of your panties, tugging them as far as they will go down your thighs. When your pussy comes into view, he actually has to force himself to look away for a second to prevent him from cumming right then and there. 
Jungkook is covering your body again but this time you can feel the tip of his dick brushing against your folds, the sensation causing your nails to dig into the covers. His lips are at your ear, his ragged breathing sending a shiver down your spine, “You never disappoint, baby.” He takes the shell of your ear between his teeth, a smirk on his mouth when he hears you gasp, “I just saw how wet you were, is that all for me?” 
You nod, wincing in pleasure as you feel him start to guide the bulbous head of his cock up and down your cunt. There isn’t time to notice how he is supporting the entirety of his weight with one hand, but he most certainly is. 
“It’s all for you. I want you inside of me so bad, it’s been so long,” You plead with him, slightly frustrated at how long he is taking. You had every intention of jumping his bones as soon as he walked through the door. But Jungkook is just different. 
He likes the torture. 
“So so long-” He agrees, gently licking up the shell of your ear, “Are you going to get messy for me?” 
You’re nodding, desperately backing up against his dick, “Mhm…”
Jungkook bites your ear a little harsher now, his resolve slowly starting to crumble, “You promise me? You’re going to show me what happens when you’re without my dick for this long?” 
Now he has you whining, “Yes! Yes I promise, I’ll cum all over your dick- please baby,” You pant into the duvet, your eyes squeezing shut when he brushes over your clit, “Please fuck me, I worked so hard to come to you. I-”
Jungkook slides into you without warning, completely powerless against your begging. He backs up off of you, allowing his hips to start moving against you. The feeling of your pussy is fever-inducing, the warmth and wetness of you like a drug to him.
He feels like he’s going insane. 
“Oh- god, there she is…” He grunts behind you, his body expertly moving against yours, “Is that better, baby? Does that feel better?”
Your eyes are blown open now, the pleasure of him finally filling you up practically bringing tears to your eyes, your fingers going numb as they dig into the bed, “S-so much better, so much better. You feel so good…”
“Mhm,” He hums to himself, smirking slightly as he watches the way you bounce back on his dick, “You don’t feel right when it’s not inside of you huh? Have you been feeling empty?”
“I’m so empty without you.” And this statement you whimper, means a whole lot more than you care to think about, and you don’t even have to explain yourself because you know he feels it too. 
Still pumping his hips, Jungkook is bending over your body again, needing to feel more of you. He kisses up your spine a second time, his teeth biting on the meat of your shoulder as he increases his pace inside of you. His tattooed fingers walk themselves up the sides of your hips until he secures them around your waist for leverage, allowing him to dip deeper inside of you. 
“Oh fuck, Jungkook please-” You whimper when the tip of his cock rubs against your g-spot. 
He bites you again, a dark and drunken smile on his face, “Oh baby, what are you begging for hm? I’m right here, he’s right here…don’t worry.” 
Instinctually, you move your face closer to his, wanting to feel his lips, “I want more.”
Your cunt flutters around the length of him then, causing his teeth to sink deeper into your skin. He is on the verge of growling but he stops himself at your request, one set of his tattooed fingers crawling up your back and towards your mouth, “More?” He goads before slipping them into your mouth, “You want more inside huh? Is that what you want?” 
To be honest, you don’t even know exactly what you’re asking for, but now that his fingers are in his mouth, you don’t care. 
“Mmph- mhm…” You hum around his fingers, sucking at them like a woman starved. Jungkook uses the grip he has in your mouth to usher your gaze to him, wanting to get a better look at you. When you finally see him, your pussy clenches at the sight: his hair is sticking in several directions, his eyes are blackened and glossy with desire, his lips swollen and curved in an incredible grin. 
“There we go-” He breathes, a bit of mint still left on his breath, “-now I can watch…” 
You find yourself whimpering again, moving your mouth away from his fingers and towards his lips, “Kiss me.” You plead as you feel your orgasm begin to approach, “I’m so close- I’m really really close.”
Jungkook’s tongue licks over his lip piercing, pleasure flashing through his eyes as he feels your pussy start to tighten. But his grin never falters as he shakes his head, “I can’t do that baby, I wanna watch that pretty face of yours-” He cups your cheek now, fingers still wet with your spit as he brings you closer, “But I’ll tell you what, if you manage to cum hard enough for me, then I’ll kiss you all through the next one, okay baby? But you gotta cum really hard- ugh fuck…” He loses his composure again when your hips start working against him, the promise of multiple orgasms spurring you on. 
“Jungkook-” You cry, spreading your legs even wider to accommodate the pleasure rushing between your legs, “I’m gonna- “ The sharp snap of his hips cuts you off, “I’m gonna cum…I’m gonnacum fuck- I’m gonna- ugh!” 
And he watches as long as he can but the sound of your moaning is too much for him. With a rough moan, his lips crash onto yours as he mutters unintelligible filth into your mouth.
“Fuck yes, wet my dick baby…”
“Make a mess for me…there you go…”
And you follow instructions well, your orgasm so intense that it spills from your entrance and runs down your thighs. His kiss is almost painful, nothing but teeth and tongue and bumping of noses as he fucks you through the finish line. 
“Oh my god-” You keen, feeling your body growing weak with pleasure, “Jungkook…baby…”
Jungkook’s hips are moving at a blinding pace now, ensuring that he gets every drop of desire from you. But he’s really struggling to hold on, all of the emotions and lust from the evening starting to attack his logic. 
“Good girl, there you go, cum all over me…” He groans into your mouth, his chest and face completely covered in sweat. 
And with one more pretty moan tumbling from your lips, Jungkook is rushing away from you, his hands pushing on your hips, “Get up there-” He’s gesturing towards the headboard now, “-wannafuckyoumissionary…”
The lust is causing him to slur his words and despite being completely sober, Jungkook doesn’t think he’s ever felt more drunk in his life. The two of you feel the ache as he slips out of you, but he’s determined to remedy that as he finally pushes his boxers down his legs. He watches you like a hawk as you settle against the headboard, biting his lip as he strokes his dick in the interim. 
“Right here?” You check softly, feeling completely submissive beneath his gaze, your eyes zeroing in on his cock, pussy clenching at the sight of it. 
And he just nods, letting out a deep breath through his nose when his hand strokes over the tip of his length, “Take that pretty dress off for me though,” He urges softly, “I want to see all of you now…” 
You don’t need to be told twice, your hands almost acting on their own as you rip the babydoll from your body and allow it to tumble off of the bed. Jungkook is closing the distance between the two of you, his lips finding their way back to yours as he settles between your legs. As he kisses you, his hands finally come out to brace on either side of your head, his dick springing back up against your pussy. 
“So fucking beautiful-” He mumbles into the kiss, his lips a little gentler now, “-I wish I could keep you like this all of the time.” 
“It’s all for you,” You assure him, gently tucking your fingers into his hair whilst you suck on his bottom lip, “only for you.” 
He smiles at that, his teeth nipping at your lip while his hips grind against you, “Mhm- all mine. I think it’s time you cum again now, don’t you?”
Jungkook kisses you again before you can answer, his arms starting to tremble a bit on either side of your face. You slowly drag your fingers up the length of his limbs, feeling victorious as he finally shivers for you. As your digits reach the sides of his neck, you pull away slightly to look into his eyes, “I want you to cum.” 
He smirks, nibbling at the tip of your nose, “Is that right? So you don’t want to cum again?” 
You pout your lips, ushering his mouth back to yours, “Noooo- I never said that. I just want you to cum really bad, it’s been so long since I felt it inside of me.”
Jungkook winces then, his dick throbbing at your words, his hips jerking in response, “Put me in then, c’mon…”
With an encircled fist, you reach down to find his dick and now that you finally have a hold of it, you can’t help but indulge in the desire to touch him. When you start stroking him, you smirk as you feel his arms buckle beside your head, the smallest moan leaving his lips as they do. 
No matter how dominant he is in the bedroom, he can never escape how unbelievably weak he is for you. 
When your hand begins to reach the tip of him, Jungkook’s eyes widen, his gaze snapping up to yours as he rushes down to cover a moan with your lips. 
“Don’t be bad please-” He slurs into the kiss, shaking his head, “-put me inside of you so I can give you what you want.” 
The tip of his cock is dangerously close to your entrance, despite the fact that you are still slowly stroking him into a frenzy. And with the ragged desperation in Jungkook’s voice and the aching deep in your cunt, you have no choice but to guide him back inside you. 
“Fuck.” He practically spits the word in your mouth, his hips immediately catching a rhythm. His elbows are beside your ears and his tongue is still very much seeking out your own, the two of you wanting to be as close to each other as possible. 
Jungkook’s abs are on full display as his stomach lurches over and over beneath the pleasure, but you are too preoccupied with his mouth to notice. You drag your nails slowly up his back, the pressure gradually getting harder as the speed of his hips increases. 
He loves when you scratch him up, it lets him know he’s doing his job right. The tip of him curves against your g-spot, that familiar feeling of your climax creeping over the horizon. You can’t help the sound that leaves your lips, a small whimper that Jungkook is eager to swallow whole, your shared saliva forming a string between your lips as he pulls away.
“My dick isn’t going anywhere baby,” He struggles to get the words out, despite how cocky his voice tries to sound, “You don’t have to hold on so tight…”
But you have the perfect response to turn his logic on its head.
“That’s what you always say,” You murmur, nibbling on his cheek, “But you always take it away eventually…” 
This makes something inside of Jungkook snap in half. 
Suddenly, his hands are hooked under your knees, the strength of his upper body pushing them back until they are closer to your chest. With this new angle, he is able to slip deeper inside of you until the tip of his cock is just outside of your cervix.
“You think I want to? Huh?” He grunts as he starts a pace that you don’t even recognize, the sheer force of his thrusts, cutting off each breath you try to take, “You think I like leaving you? You think I ever want to leave this pussy? Hm?”
The headboard is knocking against the wall now, and you’re thankful that you’re in a penthouse away from the rest of the hotel. A noise complaint would serve as an interruption that you couldn’t possibly take. 
“N-No- I don’t think you want to, but you always have t-to.” You explain through the devastating pleasure, your hands reaching up towards him, “So- so I have to hold onto your cock while- while I- ugh fuck, Jungkook…” You whimper as he starts hooking his hips upwards, knowing exactly where to fuck you. 
“While what?” He growls, leaning down finally and pressing his forehead to yours, “While you can huh? Cause you can’t cum properly if I’m not there? Cause I’ve spoiled you with this dick?”
“Y-Yes…” You mutter, trying to capture his lips again, “No one can make me feel like this, just you- it’s not good anymore if it's not you…”
Jungkook lets you have his lips, because it’s the only thing that can center his overheated subconscious. He is completely blitzed, dick aching beyond belief, heart palpating with a sickly kind of passion meant only for 19th century romance novels. 
“But I want you to feel good baby…” You whisper now, sweetening the movements of your lips, trying to maintain his focus, “...please? You’ve worked so hard, you’ve done so good- you deserve to cum now. Please? I want it so bad.”
Jungkook pulls back, his upper half impressively maintained despite how fast his hips are going, and he looks at you with a shattered sense of control, his eyes completely black with desire. 
“Yeah? You want me to cum inside?” He confirms just staring at you with an intensity you almost can’t handle. 
You have your hands on his face now, you haven’t seen him cum (in person) in nearly six months and you want to take in every bit of it. 
With dry lips, you lean in and kiss at his own, the surface of them chapped due to his heavy panting, “I want it-” You affirm, a whimper interrupting your words, “I wanna make you feel good, wanna see you cum for me, please?”
And finally- he breaks and a soft whimper leaves his mouth, his dark eyes widening as the pleasure coils around his stomach and begins to constrict. 
Like a python to a rodent, it’s about to swallow him whole. 
“You” -thrust “Are” -thrust “The” -thrust “Only” -thrust “Thing” -thrust “That” -thrust “Makes” -thrust “Me” -thrust “Feel” -thrust “Good”
These words of conviction are spoken through his teeth, the sweaty strands of his hair and the silver of his chains rocking back and forth with the force of his body, his eyes still boring into yours, but the careful layer of composure has disappeared. 
He has nothing left to prove. 
“Cum for me then, cum inside of me…”
Jungkook bites his lip in an attempt to suppress a moan, but it's a fruitless endeavor, especially when you tuck your hands into his hair. 
“You can take it, huh?” He checks again, his mouth never fully closing, “This deep? What if I need to go harder?” 
“Fuck-” You whimper, your nails digging into the protruding muscles of his back, “I can take it…please just cum for me.”
There is a wild and devious smirk on his lips now, the drunken state of his gaze only worsening. Jungkook glances down at where you’re connected.
“I know you can take it, cause you’re a good girl hm?” He’s muttering to himself at this point, completely lost in his own pleasure, “my good girl, my good girl takes dick so fucking good. The only one who deserves my cock- “
You know for a fact that you’re about to cum. but you can’t seem to focus on anything else other than watching your boyfriend absolutely lose it above you. 
“Fuck- Y/N-” He’s still speaking through his teeth but his voice is growing reedier and reedier as he approaches the inevitable, “I’m really going to cum now, I can’t fucking- fuck- fuck I can’t hold it. I’m going to-” Suddenly, he stops watching the show between your legs and shoots an almost hopeless look in your direction, “Come here- comeherecomeherecomhere…” He urges before his lips crash into yours. You feel it then, his release painting the inside of you over and over as Jungkook’s body finally weakens. As the full force of his orgasm hits him, he’s ripping away from you, his sweaty face burrowing in your neck, “FuUUUCK! Fuck, ugh fuck, oh my fucking god…”
His desperate groans finally spur you on, allowing you to crash over the edge, your core spasming around his dick…
“Oh fuck-” He keens, moving back to kiss all over your face, “You’re cumming huh? I can feel you- there you go baby, good fucking girl- cum all over my cock..” He encourages, his spit and kisses all over your features, just as it should be. 
He’s overstimulated now, his dick softening inside of you, but he doesn’t care. His hand reaches down anyway and finds your neglected clit, the pads of his fingers rubbing back and forth over the bridge of it.
“Jungkook,” You cry, your nails tearing into the sweaty skin of his back once more, “Oh god…” 
“I know baby, I know…” He soothes you, biting the tip of your nose. His eyes are reddened and glossy, his gaze completely out of control as he works you through your second orgasm “...it’s good, it’s so fucking good for that pussy isn’t it?” He kisses you again while your toes curl into the sheets, “Squirt for me, c’mon, cum all over this cock…”
Your body obeys him, spilling itself all over his capable hips, and you can barely make out the sound of his praise now as the power of your orgasm takes over your ability to focus. But you can feel him. You feel his lips as they kiss all over your face, his hips as they expertly rock you through your finish, his hands as they aggressively fist in the duvet on either side of your head. 
Before long and with a symphony of panting, Jungkook’s body finally gives out and collapses on top of yours. Your nails soften up on his back as you gently place your palms on his skin, holding him to you as he breathes heavily into your neck. Nearly at the same time, Jungkook places sloppy kisses along your throat as you do the same along his drenched hairline. The two of you are in sync when he slips out of you as well, both of your faces drawing up in a wince. 
For the moment, he just lays there, just drinking you in and coming to terms with the fact that you’re here with him.
 Exactly where you’re supposed to be. 
He kisses your throat once more before pulling back, the task of him holding up his own body now incredibly difficult. 
But of course, he manages anyway. 
With a small smile, he kisses you between the brows and then falls back against the empty space on the mattress. But his arms are quick to react to the lack of contact with you, and he’s already reaching out to usher you onto his chest. You respond in kind, taking your place on the broad expanse of his pecks, not bothering to register just how sweaty the two of you are. 
“Come here baby…” He whispers, all of the tenderness he normally has for you back in his eyes, “Come lay with me.” 
The room is illuminated by the vibrant lights of Seoul peering in through the cracks in the curtains, the visibility just enough so that you can see the figures of one another. For a while, you stay cuddled up on his chest, your arm draping over the dips and valleys of his stomach, admiring the way it still trembles with the impact of what you two just did. 
His lips find the top of your head as they press against it, his nostrils flaring a bit as he softly inhales the scent of you and a bit of pride flows through him when he takes in notes of his cologne. 
You’re covered in him, just as you should be. 
Moments later, you feel his fingers beneath your chin coaxing your face up towards him, and in his deep voice he murmurs, “You broke some rules to come to me, didn’t you?”
With a small smile, you nod, staring up at him with a sparkle that could rival the night sky, “Tons of rules…”
His teeth peak out as he grins, his thumb brushing over the ball of your chin, “Did your boyfriend make it worth the trip?”
His tone is suggestive now, and the uncharacteristic depth in his voice is making your brain flash with reminders of what just happened. Giggling softly, you kiss the tip of his thumb and nod, “You would have been worth it no matter what- “ You insist innocently which only causes his grin to broaden, “-but you know, thank you for all of that…”
Jungkook makes a sound of adoration before snickering fondly at your shyness, “She’s so polite…” He compliments playfully, leaning over to peck you on the lips, “...but if anyone should be saying thank you, it’s me.” His hand moves from your chin to your cheek as he holds your head against his chest, “You being here just made my whole year, you know that? I don’t need anything else in the world right now…” 
His words make you smile wider and you use all of your strength to lean up to kiss him. He responds gently, nudging the tip of your nose.
“Nothing?” You respond sweetly and he shakes his head. 
“Nah- just you.” He confirms kissing you again before his eyes light up in realization, “Yah wait, when’s the last time you ate something? You’ve been travelling for hours, no? Aren’t you starving?”
His genuine concern bathes you in love, but the expert timing of your stomach growling doesn’t allow you to focus on it for long.
“It’s been like- I don't know, maybe 12 hours?”
“Yah!” He grumbles, the muscles in his neck tensing up as he pulls away from you and reaches for the room phone. You’re giggling as he clumsily tries to find the light switch, “It’s okay! I’m not going to starve babe, I have been running off of adrenaline for most of it…”
But he’s having none of it, his hands quickly locating the room service menu resting on his nightstand, “No- no, I can’t believe you haven’t eaten in that long. Here,” He hands you the menu, still holding onto you as he ushers the two of you up against the headboard, “-tell your boyfriend what you want, ok? I’m gonna get some food in you…”
You’re noticing now that he’s been referring to himself as your boyfriend a lot this evening, and for whatever reason it’s making you less prone to give him a hard time. The two of you like to banter often but it’s easier over the phone or over texting- you miss each other too much to fuss around when you’re actually together. 
So you concede immediately, not for the raging hunger inside of you, but for the amount of love you have for the man using his cell as a flashlight so he can see the buttons on the hotel phone. 
“Are you going to eat too?” You check, your eyes eagerly scanning the menu and trying your best not to notice the obscene prices. 
Absent-mindedly, his hand that’s still resting on your shoulder rubs at the skin there, needing to love on you in some way. He nods eagerly, “Definitely. You made me work up an appetite,” Jungkook notes, a bit of a smirk lingering on his lips as he looks back up at you, “Do you know what you want? They have really good steak…” 
You both settle on the steak and the pasta with Jungkook insisting that you also get a dessert to share. He is dialing the number to the kitchen and after he recites your order he politely requests that they leave the food outside of the room. When they appear to ask him if he needs anything else, a bit of arrogance rushes over his face as he looks towards the state of the bed,
“Yes actually- would you mind also leaving a new set of bedding please? Yeah, you can just leave it out there with the food, I will change the sheets myself…”
His cocky smirk makes you burrow into his chest to cover up the giggles that leave your lips and he responds by hugging you close to him, his hand squeezing at the back of your arm.
“Thank you, I appreciate it. Goodbye.” 
Jungkook makes good on his promise to change the sheets when they arrive, insisting that you go pee and have a moment to yourself while he gets everything set up. 
He assures you three times that he will take care of everything. 
After taking a second to pee and splash some cool water on your face, you change into something more comfy before checking your phone for any missed messages. 
While you’re responding to some friends, you finally check the time and notice something that makes your eyes widen in shock. You peek out of the bathroom then to see the sight of your boyfriend carefully fluffing the new set of pillows that the front desk sent with the silver trays of food set up nicely emitting a smell that makes your mouth water.
“Hi baby.” He smiles before cocking his head at the look on your face, “What is it?”
“We missed the countdown-” You giggle, holding up your phone which now indicates that it’s 12:42am, New Years Day…
Jungkook covers his mouth over his own laughter, his brows rising in genuine shock, “Are you serious?”
You’re nodding as you close the distance between you, “Yes, I literally didn’t even hear any fireworks or yelling or anything…”
He smirks, “Yeah well 48 minutes ago we were a little preoccupied, hm?” He bites his lip as you giggle again, one of his hands reaching out towards you, “Come here…” 
You bound over to him happily, taking his fingers between yours and allowing him to tilt your chin towards his face.
“We can just do our own-” He murmurs, “Ready?”
You nod, grinning from ear to ear, one of your hands coming to rest over his.
“10”
“9”
“8”
“7”
“6”
“5”
“4”
“3”
“2”
“1”
“Happy New Year” You both whisper at the same time, your smiles unavoidable even as you lock lips. 
And with the love of his life in his arms, Jungkook finds himself believing that it will be the happiest new year of all.
A/N (pt.2): love you all so much! if you enjoyed, I would love to hear from you. Happy New Year <3
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moonchild1 · 4 months ago
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jeon jungkook fic rec list (Ⅲ)
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here's a list of my favourite jungkook fics, please show lots of love and support to these wonderful authors and their blogs, some of these fics contain smut so no minors allowed ♡
a- angst s- smut f- fluff ❣- ultimate favourite
trust issues by @7deadlysinsfics f s (drummer jk bar au strangers to lovers au) ❣
The painter by @7deadlysinsfics s a (strangers to lovers au painter jk dom jk)
heartbreak anniversary by @pbandjk f a (exes au dad jk)
heartbreak anniversary 2 by @pbandjk
Making Him Jealous by @parkmuse s (roommate au threesome) ft. Jimin ❣
Zipper by @parkmuse s (best friends au they watch porn together) ❣
The golden boy by @luxekook s (enemies to lovers au) ❣
stay in your lane by @luxekook f s (enemies to lovers au college au) ❣
queen of broken hearts by @bratkook s a (one sided love jk's in love but oc isn't) ❣
Concrete king by @bratkook f s (summer romance)
clairvoyant by @bratkook f s a (shy roommate jungkook college au) ft. Fuck boy Taehyung
merry go round by @lolabangtan s a (infidelity/cheating au) ft. Taehyung
netflix & chill series by @1kook s a ❣
A hero's journey by @hansolmates f s a (best friends boyfriend au pinning au) ❣
superdad by @jimidol f s (dilf jk established relationship au parent au) ❣
two rotten apples by @chickenkooks s a (neighbours who hate each other enemies to lovers au) ❣
not a date by @bubmyg f (enemies to lovers au college au)
spring will come again by @baepsaesbae f s a (virgin jk) ❣
How to Make Him Cum 101 by @mimithings97 f s a (college au)
order up by @ressjeon s (restaurant au strangers to lovers au) ❣
tutor me by @hisunshiine f s (college au student jk tutor reader) ❣
backstage by @hisunshiine s (idol au sowoozoo jungkook 😉) ❣
platinum panther by @arcticmarshmallow f s a (dilf jk spoiled bratty reader) ❣
Daunting by @soobsfae s (yandere stalking milf reader son's best friend jk) ❣
through the night by @nightbts f a (idol au friends to lovers au stylist reader) ❣
I'm kinda into you by @intokook f (fuck boy jk friends to lovers au high school au)
extra credit by @jeonsjiddies s (professor reader student jk)
in between by @luffles424 s (college au twin au) ❣
somewhere only we know by @qersona s a (hybrid au college au) ❣
Golden by @kingsuckjin​ f s a (friends to lovers ex jin cheating au but its sorta sad yandere au) ft. Cheating BF Seokjin ❣
A new what? by @xiaokoo s (boyfriend jk)
first and last by @kookiesjoonies s (friends to lovers au)
once you realize by @kooala f (friends to lovers au)
the best thing he never had by @rosaetae a (friends to lovers au) ❣
The truce by @thebangtantale (enemies to lovers au fake dating au)
Oh brother by @kookdiaries s (brother's best friend au college au) ❣
today's special is... by @dntaewithluv f s (boyfriend jk)
why we broke up by @jjeongukkie a (social media au) ❣
Finding forever by @kookiejoonie f s a (cheating depression violence) ft. Ex husband Yoongi ❣
Cockblocked by @mercurygguk f s a (roommate au friends/idiots to lovers au)
s is for sexy by @kpopfanfictrash f
forsythia by @aechana f s a (band au friends to lovers au slow burn) ❣
learning the hard way by @littlemisskookie f s (noona reader dom jk)
IDLYGF by @taniie (best friends to lovers au teen drama) ❣
Night Changes by @neonlights92 s a (fuck boy jk college au rom com enemies to lovers au) ❣
pen pals (with benefits) by @bangtanhome f s a (enemies to lovers au friends with benefits to lovers au college au) ❣
bare necessities by @gguksgalaxy f s (established relationship au) ❣
candy cane ache by @monvante f s a (enemies to lovers au fake dating au based on the movie the proposal) ❣
friends, lovers or nothing by @pazzarovisky f s a (best friends to lovers? au) ❣
day by day by @hansolmates f s a (dilf jk idiots to lovers/best friend to lovers au) ❣
2K notes · View notes
taleasnewastime · a month ago
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Snow laughing matter
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Summary: You hate Jungkook, have hated him since your first day when you overheard him talking about you in the kitchen, so it’s just your luck that you have to organise the work Christmas party with him. You’ll do anything to not interact with him, but the more you get to know him, the more you realise that maybe he’s not as nasty as you have built him up to be.
Pairing: Jungkook x reader
Genre: Enemies to lovers; fluff; angst; Christmas fic!
Word count: 11.5k
Warnings: Swearing, misunderstanding, slight in work bullying, mentions of alcohol consumption, kissing, just your classic enemies to lovers.
BCCxFI advent calendar prompts: Enemies who have to arrange a work Christmas party & Mistletoe.
Authors Note: Merry Christmas! Here’s another Christmas fic from the BCC advent calendar, this time a longer sfw one. I really love enemies to lovers but find it hard to balance the enemies and lovers bit, I mean you don’t want to make what they’ve done unforgivable, but it also needs to be enough to make them enemies – I hope I have achieved this. Anyway, I hope you’re all having the best last month of 2021!!!
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“She seems like a bit of a bore.”
You stop dead before you enter the kitchen, your large panda mug and bag of instant coffee dangling in your hands. It’s the words that make you stop, it feels like it isn’t a conversation you shouldn’t walk in on, but you don’t move away, just stand hidden behind the door for a second deliberating on what you should do; stay or leave.
“How can you gauge that from one conversation?” A different voice asks.
“You just get a vibe from some people. I mean, look at her clothes.”
There’re a few light chuckles indicating that more than two people are in the room.
“You’re as dumb as you look,” a deep voice that you recognise grumbles. “It’s her first day. You can’t just get a vibe from someone that easily.”
“She’s a bore,” the original voice states.
“She’s quiet and shy, there’s a difference,” the deep voice replies.
You’ve gone deadly still, almost stopped breathing as if even from out here they might be able to hear you. They’re talking about you. You’re first day in a new job and a group of guys are already gossiping about you in the kitchen. You know you should turn and walk back to the desk you got shown to this morning, or should waltz into the room and do a gently fuck you, but you’re stuck rooted to the spot. You don’t want to listen to this, but you can’t move right now, and you’re not the sort of person to call someone out, especially if there’s a group of them.
“I just feel sorry for you, I mean, at least none of us have to work with her.”
There’s a low hum, one you think comes from the deep voice you recognise.
“Well, for your sake, I hope she’s not as prudish as she looks. It wouldn’t kill her to make an effort with her clothes.”
“Yeah, well, I guess some people don’t care about that,” the deep voice grumbles.
Your body has gone impossibly hot, your brain gone into a whirlwind. You know who the deep voice belongs to now. Jungkook. The man who you were introduced to earlier who works in HR with you. The man who you’re supposed to ask for help if you need it, your ‘buddy’. The only person who has the same job title as you in the company.
You remain hot, but something in your turns. He seemed nice earlier. Tall and broad, but there was an innocence in his large eyes and when you spoke to him, he seemed to genuinely want to help support you in getting up and running in the company.
Well, you can see that was a load of crap now.
You regain the movement in your body as the voice in the kitchen continue to laugh and joke at your expense, but you no longer hear them. You feel embarrassed as you turn and head straight back to your desk. Embarrassed because you’ve been so naïve in thinking everyone would be nice, embarrassed you didn’t stand up for yourself, embarrassed you’re just running away, embarrassed you were excited to start this job and yet on your first day this has happened.
You flop back into your desk, push the coffee and mug to the corner of your desk and log back into your computer. Only a few minutes pass before Jungkook is walking to the desk he occupies that’s opposite yours, coffee in hand.
You look up to see him flashing you a smile, one you don’t return. You still feel hot as you look at your screen and try to ignore him.
It’s your first day in the job, and it’s the day Jungkook becomes a man you only feel hatred for.
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Nine months later.
“I am not organising the work Christmas party with Jeon fucking Jungkook.”
“Ooh, that will be fun. You guys in HR get all the fun tasks. Can you make sure more money goes behind the bar then on the food?”
“Jenny. Focus on the facts. It’s not the party I don’t want to organise, it’s who I have to organise it with.”
“Right,” Jenny waves a dismissive hand as if she doesn’t much care for that info. “Jungkook, your enemy, got it. I still don’t fully understand why, but whatever.”
You roll your eyes at her, something she misses as she goes back to scrolling through a report on her screen.
Jenny is your closest work friend; you hang out outside of work occasionally, go for Friday post-work drinks together, meet for coffees in the kitchen, have lunch together, the usual. You like her, but she also drives you a tad insane sometimes.
“You know why. He’s a dick.”
“He’s hot.”
“I don’t think that excuses someone’s behaviour.”
Jenny clicks her fingers, spins on her chair to point a finger at you.
“You guys would have total hot, angry enemy sex. You should definitely look at adding that to your Christmas list.”
You roll your eyes, this time letting her see your displeasure. She just waves the hand that was pointed at you in that dismissive way again and spins back to her computer.
“Please, I’m having a crisis here,” you whine.
“Ok, ok. I get it. But I don’t really know what you want me to do? You work with him every day, what’s a bit of extra work organising a party?”
“I only ever have to ask him for help on things or go to the odd meeting with him. I never have to actually work with him like this.”
“Right. Well. Why don’t you just divvy up the work? He does the decorations, you sort the booking of the venue, etc, etc. Easy.”
She makes a good point. Your manager sent the email to both of you, gave you the budget and asked you to sort it out between the two of you, but didn’t specify how. You could definitely do what Jenny’s suggesting. It might not be easy to hand any control over to Jungkook, but you’d do it if it meant you only had to talk to him the bare minimum.
Your hand reaches out and quickly ruffles the top of her hair, something she hates and you love to do. She yelps as you jump out of her reach, starting to head back to your desk.
“Love you,” you shout over your shoulder with a laugh.
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You hear the chair rolling before you see him. The noise makes you concentrate extra hard on your screen, your fingers tapping away at an email, your teeth resisting the urge to grind together.
“Let’s talk about Christmas,” Jungkook says on arrival, tugging himself up as close to your desk as he can manage.
He’s always way too happy, especially when you don’t try and hide your dislike for him. He’s never outwardly shown any hatred towards you, he kills you with his kindness. The only negative things he’s ever said to you are what you heard on that first day. But he always corrects you, offers to read over your work only to correct the smallest of things or suggest restructuring an entire document. He butts in for you in meetings, backs you up when you have good ideas but in a way that you know is him trying to take the credit. No one can see why you hate him, he’s only ever nice to you, and yet, if everyone saw him the way you do, they wouldn’t be so far up his ass.
“I was actually going to email you a list of things you can sort out,” you say as you continue to type, not looking at him.
“Great,” he isn’t put off by your flat, unimpressed tone, he’s used to it. “Well, email that over, but I’ll also set up a meeting slot so we can brainstorm.”
“Right. Well, I don’t think that will be needed.”
“Don’t you think we should think about a theme and location and food?”
“I’ve divvyed it all up. You’ll see it on the email.”
“Right,” annoyance is finally starting to seep into his tone. “We should at least discuss the budget.” You open your mouth to rebut him once again, but he holds up a hand and talks over you. “You can’t tell me you’ve sorted that out too. If you’re doing food and I’m doing the venue, that’s not an even split of budget. We need to at least discuss how much money we’re aiming to spend on each thing. If you take a couple of thousand for the food and I use more for the venue we could be in some deep shit.”
He has a fair point. And you know that even if you give a certain percentage to each area, something may be more expensive then you think or something unforeseen may crop up. You can try to keep yours and Jungkooks roles in this as separate as possible, but you’ll have to work with him on some things. You may as well try and make it as painless as possible.
“Fine,” you huff out the word and spin to look at Jungkook, the smile is already returning to his face. Does he really enjoy causing you pain so much? “Put something in my diary.”
“Perfect. I’ll get some ideas together too,” he starts to shuffle away, pauses for a moment to look at you, deliberating whether to say something or not. “I’m looking forward to organising this with you, Y/N.”
He lingers a second more but you’re too surprised to say anything. He’s never sounded so sincere with anything he’s ever said to you before. It throws you off, you don’t know if he’s trying for sarcasm, but something makes you think he isn’t.
You turn back to your computer, attempt to finish your email but struggle to get your head back into it. What doesn’t help is an email a few minutes later, a meeting set up for first thing tomorrow, the title Christmas party planning session 1.
You sigh. This is going to be as awful as you thought.
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“So, I’m thinking silver and gold. Real classy, you know. I think we should avoid all things tacky this year, the talking Santa toy and magician really didn’t go down well last year.”
“Do we need a theme? Won’t people just wear what they want?”
It’s the first point on Jungkook’s long list of points to go over in this hour meeting. You’d emailed over your list of who should take on what decisions and arranging and that had apparently gone unnoticed. Classic Jungkook thinking he’s better than you even in this. You can’t even make a list without him deleting it and restarting.
“Not a dress code. A colour code for the decorations.”
You tap your pen on the table, watching as the nib pops out and disappears.
“Of course,” you say through gritted teeth. “Silver and gold is fine.”
“Never thought I’d have you agree with me so early,” he lets out a small chuckle, the noise goes right through you, reminds you why you hate him so much. “Ok, so next, any suggestions where we hold it?”
“Yeah, so I’ve heard the Cricket Club or Rugby Club are good, I mean we also know they’ll be good on size and they’ll probably do catering attached which helps take off some stress. But I think we should also consider the Abbey, or the Arts Club. They’ll probably be nicer and we can get the food we want, but it will all come to costings I guess.”
Jungkook doesn’t interrupt you, doesn’t say anything to dispute or validate your thoughts, just nods the whole way through while making notes. He’s never done that before. But then maybe it’s because no one is here to hear him, no one here for him to try and impress.
“I’ll give them all a call later to get estimates.”
He goes to move on, his eyes looking down his list to work out what’s next, but you can’t let it go.
“You haven’t got any suggestions?”
He looks up at you. His mouth popped open and his eyes wide from concentrating on what’s on his list. He looks innocent and completely pure. You’re caught out by it, feel bad for snapping at him for a second before remembering who he is. The expression falls off his face, and he gives you a small smile as he lightly shakes his head.
“Your suggestions were good,” he says the words gently before looking back down at his paper.
You continue to tap your pen on the table. He sets you on edge, even when he’s being nice like this you hate him. You’d rather he was snapping at your throat, would rather you have a reason to hate him, and not this.
“Food.” Jungkook says the word firmly before looking back up at you. “Now this I have some opinions on.”
“Right, your religion. Aren’t we just going to go for a standard roast?”
Jungkook holds up a hand and closes his eyes as if deeply offended by the statement.
“No, no, no,” he starts. “A roast, yes. But it’s not that simple Y/N. Firstly, starters. Soup, prawns, or something unconventional? Do we give people lots of choice or not much? And then the main. Sure, a roast, but we’ve got to think about what meat, and that’s even before we consider the vegetarians and vegans. Do we serve Yorkshire Puddings even if people don’t have beef? Some may say it’s sacrilege, but we all know it’s the best part of the meal. And then deserts, Christmas pudding is boring, but people will kick off if it’s not at least an option.”
You smile despite yourself. You’ve seen the way he consumes food, wish you could unsee some of those noodles he’s noisily slurped at his desk. But this, this is a whole new level.
“Ok. You’ve got food covered,” you say as your lips twitch, you have to look down at the table in front of you to ensure he doesn’t see the expression.
“Next most important question,” he draws your eyes back to him. “Booze.”
“Some may say more important than food,” you reply and don’t miss the offended glare he shoots you. You giggle, he smiles.
“And as we’ve gathered, they’d be wrong,” he looks down at his paper and starts to write before he’s even started to speak. “We’ll throw whatever leftover budget we have behind the bar. Everyone has to buy when it’s gone.”
You don’t object, it’s a fair deal. You’ll try and keep costs low on everything you can so the bar tab is as big as possible. Everyone’s happy.
“Ok so some last quick-fire questions.” You nod at the statement even though Jungkook isn’t looking at you. “Day of the week?”
“Friday.”
He gives a firm nod before noting it down.
“Ask to allow people a half day?”
“Obviously.”
Another firm nod, and another note jotted down.
“Any entertainment?”
“Uh, I’d rather the money’s put behind the bar.”
He clicks his finger and shots a finger gun at you, you’re assuming that’s a sign that he agrees.
“Ok, finally,” he looks up at you for the first time and his body language seems different somehow. You prepare yourself for something bad. “Plus ones allowed?”
“Oh.” Not what you expected, though you aren’t sure what you expected. “Well, yeah, the more the merrier right?”
He nods his head, but he doesn’t look as sure. Does he not want plus ones? It’s not an argument you’d take to the grave backing, but, you don’t see why they shouldn’t be allowed.
“Yeah, the more the merrier sounds right,” his eyes flick down to the paper in front of him, back to you and then settle on the paper once again.
There’s a tension in the room that wasn’t there before. You can’t read it, not sure where it’s come from or why it’s here. It’s unsettling, like most things about Jungkook.
“Will you be bringing –”
You don’t hear the end of Jungkook’s question as the meeting room door swings open. Your back to the door, you watch as Jungkook’s eyes go from yours to the door, watch as his demeanour changes once again. He becomes stiffer, his back straightening and his head moving so he’s looking down at the table. Before his face disappears from view you swear you see disgust cross his features, but that can’t be right, because then the person behind you speaks.
“You guys done in here? We have the meeting room booked in five.”
Neil. A voice that annoys you nearly as much as Jungkook’s. A voice you worked out to be one of the ones from the kitchen on that first day. You hate him nearly as much as Jungkook, possibly more, the only good thing is that you can avoid Neil a lot easier than Jungkook.
You turn in your seat, plaster a smile on your face.
“Five minutes?” You say in a sickly-sweet voice. “Then would you mind not interrupting our meeting until we need to leave?”
Neils eyebrows raise a fraction in surprise. You hear Jungkook’s shuffling behind you seize, probably just as surprised you’ve offended his friend.
“A HR meeting? Must be real important. I’m so sorry I interrupted.”
You wish you could punch the smile off his face. He’s a twat, in a technical position in the company, lording that over you. Well, it does little to impress or intimidate you.
“Yeah, apology accepted Neil. Thanks for closing the door after you.”
You spin so your back is to him, a clear dismissal. You can’t see what Neils doing behind you anymore but can clearly see the amused smile on Jungkook’s face as he looks over your shoulder. Neil’s probably making some crude gesture behind you, some joke at your expense that’s making Jungkook look so happy.
Every nice feeling you held for the man over the last hour dissipates into thin air. It’s always like this, just when you think you might be wrong about him, he proves you wrong.
You gather up your unused notebook, pick your bag up from the floor and clutch your pen. You don’t look at Jungkook, anger pulsing through you, you think steam might start coming out your ears. Your chair scraps across the floor as you stand, the noise jarring in the now quiet room.
“We done here?”
You look back at Jungkook, the amusement has disappeared from his face, but you can’t read the emotion that has taken its place, your thoughts too wild and making you blind.
“Uh, yeah.”
He barely gets the words out before you’re moving again. He could have said no and you would have still left this room in the same rush as you currently are.
You leave through the same door that Neil was just stood in, are glad that he isn’t lingering on the other side of the doorway to see you leave. You flop back into your desk when you reach it, rest your head in your hands for a minute before logging into your computer.
You’re glad that Jungkook doesn’t acknowledge you when he finally gets back to his desk.
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“Nigel is taking the piss today. He knows I already have too much work on my plate and yet because I’m the only one who works in my team, he keeps giving me more.”
“Hey, you may get a bonus this year because of it?”
“Really?” Jenny rolls her eyes at you, gives you a look as if she can’t believe the words have even left your mouth. “A bonus? In this place?”
You shrug before taking a large bite of your sandwich.
“All I can hope for is they finally stop skimping on new starters and actually get someone in to help take on this extra work. You’re in HR, surely that’s something you can do?”
You continue to chew on your large mouthful, shoot her the same look she sent you and she sighs and looks down at her food.
“Fine,” she lets out the word like a huff of air. “Let’s talk about something more upbeat. Like Christmas. Have you got a date for the party?”
You continue to work away at the food in your mouth, you should really start taking smaller bites so you can reply to Jenny. She’s used to it though, is waiting patiently for you to reply while she works some of her salad onto her fork.
“We haven’t decided yet.”
You see Jenny jump the same way you do, the voice is not yours and it catches you so off guard that some of your food goes down the wrong hole and you begin to choke.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you,” Jungkook’s voice laughs lightly and then you feel his large hand on your back lightly patting it as if to help you dislodge your food.
You recover quickly, pull away from his hand so you can take a long drink and then twist in your seat so you can look up at him. He’s looming over you, his features awkward as if he genuinely is sorry for making you choke – or more likely sorry that you’ve recovered from the choking. He looks nervous though, is shuffling his weight from foot to foot and fiddling with a ring on his finger. It’s setting your nerves on edge. Why is he here? He never comes to the café at lunch, always eats at his desk and the few occasions he does come down he eats with Neil and his posse.
“Why are you here Jeon?” Your voice is a bit croaky from coughing, so it lacks the bite you were going for, but Jungkook seems to receive the message.
Though he still looks nervous something seeps into him as he more confidently pulls the empty chair out next to you. You watch, incredulously, as he takes his bag off and takes the seat before pulling out his lunch. You glance around, see Neil sat at a table not too far away, an empty seat at his table. What the hell is going on?
Jungkook looks at you as he pops open the lid of his Tupperware, his eyes large and innocent as if he has no idea why you’re looking at him with daggers. But you know it’s an act. You know he knows exactly what he’s doing.
“Was the seat taken? Because it’s never taken. It’s always just you two.”
Rude. But also he’s right. It is always just you and Jenny, and in this public café you can’t really tell him to piss off.
You work your jaw as you look away from Jungkook to Jenny. The sight you’re met with doesn’t do much to improve your mood though. Jenny is sat with a wide, shit-eating smile. You huff out some air as you look back down at your sandwich and take another large bite, clearly outnumbered.
“So who are you taking to the party Jungkook?”
You almost choke again. It’s clearly not safe to eat in the presence of these two people.
While you try and regain some form of composure, you don’t notice Jungkook scratching his neck next to you, clearly as uncomfortable as you.
“Uh, no one,” he says.
“Right,” the smile remains on Jenny’s face. “Well, you still have time to get a date, right?”
“Sure.”
“If you need a hand, I could definitely write up a list of people you could take,” she smiles sweetly before placing a mouthful of lettuce in her mouth.
You shoot her an annoyed look; what the fuck is she doing? She catches the look and merely raises her shoulders a fraction so that only you would notice it. You swallow your mouthful of food and turn to look at Jungkook, his cheeks tinted pink as he opens his mouth to reply.
“We should firm a date in the diary,” he whips his head to yours, his eyes wide as if he has no idea what you’re talking about. You roll your eyes. “For the party. We need to set a firm date because everything else relies on that.”
“Right.”
You’ve never known Jungkook to give such short answers to anything. At least he’s hopefully regretting sitting at this table now, it’ll mean he won’t do it again.
“Don’t forget to do cute decorations,” Jenny jumps in.
“Yeah, sure,” you wave a hand at her, ever since you told her you were organising the party she’s been giving you suggestions. Emailing you at work, messaging you outside, dropping you links to Pinterest boards she’d created. Honestly, it was a lot.
“I mean it, Y/N. People want good photo opportunities these days.”
You make a noise that you hope sounds like agreement. Before taking a final bite of your sandwich. You watch in horror as her face transforms as if she has an idea, which is never a good thing. What makes it worse is that she’s looking between you and Jungkook as her face does that thing.
“You two should definitely get a meeting set up for it. Like, get together and go through it all.”
“Yeah, it’s as if that’s not we’ve already been doing,” you say through your mouthful of food.
“I mean, go shopping together. You should go out and do it all properly and make sure it’s actually a good party.”
“We can organise a good party from our desks.”
“But there’s no fun in that.”
You shoot a frown at Jenny. What the hell is she doing? It’s as if she gets some sick kind of joy from your suffering.
“Uh,” Jungkook makes a noise as if to remind you he’s still there, you and Jenny turn to look at him. “I actually think it’s a good idea.”
While your face transforms as if to show more disbelief, Jenny’s transforms back into that stupid smile.
“See, it’s a good idea,” even her tone is annoying, as if she was in no doubt of the fact before but now has someone on her side.
“It just happens so rarely I can never believe it when it’s true.”
The smile doesn’t drop off her face at your attempt to insult her, if anything it seems to deepen. You look back at Jungkook see a small smile on his face, his eyes still large as if waiting to hear your response. You sigh, why are you doing this to yourself?
“Fine. I guess it will mean we get nice stuff at least.”
Jenny lets out a small squeal in delight. “Yes, I can’t wait for this. I’ll send you any suggests I find.”
“Why don’t you just come along?” You frown at her.
Her face transforms, her smile drops and her eyes flick between you and Jungkook. She lets out an er noise as she so clearly tries to come up with a response.
“Because you guys have it sorted,” you frown at her, but she seems to be doing everything to avoid your gaze. “Plus, it’s not my job. I have better things to be doing.”
The frown stays on your forehead, your eyebrows pinched together as you gaze at her like she’s said a puzzle you need to solve. You open your mouth to reply, but she cuts you off.
“Right, well, I should head back up anyway.”
You look down at your watch, sigh when you realise the time. It’s one of the worst parts of the day, packing up from lunch and beginning the slow slog back at your desk for the afternoon. You’re standing up and collecting your bag when you realise Jungkook is also packing away.
“Uh, you can stay if you want, you’ve not been here long.”
He looks up at you, gives a small smile, before standing and towering over you.
“It’s alright. I have a lot to do, plus I’ve finished my food anyway.”
“You really are a bottomless pit,” you laugh as the three of you start to head back up to the office.
It doesn’t take long, just a few staircases where you make small talk. It’s surprisingly not awkward, given the three of you have never interacted like this before you’d thought it would, but it’s nice.
“Thanks for letting me sit with you guys,” Jungkook says when you reach a divide in the hallway, Jenny going one way, you and Jungkook heading another.
“Any time Jungkook, it was nice,” Jenny says, giving you one last wave before leaving the two of you to head to your own desks.
You should be annoyed at the comment, would normally dispute it, or at least make it clear that you don’t agree with her. But you don’t, because you didn’t actually mind it. Plus, you doubt Jungkook will ever want to join you for lunch anyway. Today was a weird anomaly.
“You know, you don’t have to agree with Jenny. I get you may not know her that well and don’t want to offend her or anything, but, we really don’t have to go shopping together.” You say instead, let him know you won’t be offended if he didn’t want to agree to go Christmas shopping with you.
“Oh. No. I actually thought it was a good idea.”
“Well, you probably don’t want to do it with me. I can go alone, or if you’re that bothered, I’m happy for you to do it alone?” You persist.
He stops walking, you carry on a few steps before you realise. Stopping you turn back and look at him.
“Why wouldn’t I want to go with you?”
Is that really why he’s stopped walking? Why there’s a look of puzzlement on his face? It makes your own mind whirl as if trying to work out what’s going on. Surely it’s obvious why you wouldn’t want to go shopping together if it was at all avoidable; you hate each other.
“I don’t think either of us want to spend more time than we need to.”
He flops his head to the side as if to see you better, his hair falling with him, his features creating a look you’ve never seen on him before. He looks adorable.
“I wouldn’t mind going with you.”
“Ok,” you shuffle on the spot, look over your shoulder to see if anyone’s walking this way before looking back at Jungkook. “Well, put it in the diary then.”
You regret the words nearly as soon as you say them. Why on God’s green earth would you ever agree to something so stupid? The smile that overtakes Jungkook has your heart simultaneously fluttering while also putting up extra guards. The only reason you can think he’d be looking that happy is because he has some evil plan to humiliate you when shopping.
You nod your head at him, not retuning the smile before spinning on the spot and starting to walk back to your desk. Jungkook easily jogs to catch you back up and then falls into sync with your steps.
“We still need to work out the venue and book it. I think I’ve nearly got a good deal on the Abbey; we just need a date.”
“Right, I’ll talk to the directors and see if we can get that half day sorted.”
“It’s going to be such a good party,” you look up at Jungkook and see he’s beaming as he says the words. “We make a pretty good team.”
You hum out. It’s odd, you’ve hated Jungkook for as long as you’ve known him, but something about planning this party with him has made you wonder why you hate him.
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Jenny was too welcoming. It’s the only reason as to why Jungkook keeps joining you both for lunch. Not every day, he still sits at his desk some days, but enough. You blame Jenny entirely. You don’t know what she did but it was obviously her because you are still your usual cold self to him.
You don’t understand it. He hates you. You hate him. He hates you. So why does he keep sitting with you and Jenny for lunch and not with Neil?
Not only that but he also chats to you more when you’re at your desks. You hate it. He’s nice, too nice, it sets your nerves on edge. It’s nice to have someone you work so closely with that you get on with, but you wish it wasn’t Jungkook.
He’s chipping away at the guard you’ve placed around your heart specifically for him and all those people that were in the kitchen that first day.
“Did you watch bake off last night?”
It’s exactly questions like this that throw you off. He knows you watched it, he knows you can’t not answer his question. He’s caught you in a trap.
“Lizzie was robbed.”
“It was her time to go.”
“And if I had said Lizzie should have gone, would you have said Crystelle should have gone? I don’t think we can ever agree on anything.”
“It’s just what I think Y/N,” he says. “And we’ve agreed on a lot of Christmas party things so far.”
Yeah, that again, because you’re friends now, or possibly friends, or whatever you are.
“Also, the John Lewis advert killed me,” you say.
He rolls his eyes, looking back at his laptop and typing something as if ignoring you. He doesn’t seem to care that you’ve ignored his previous comment. A smile comes to your face even though you fight it.
“What? Just because you’re heartless Jeon.”
“The McDonalds ad was better.”
“Don’t,” you hold your hand to your heart as if greatly pained by the memory. “I think I may have shed a tear.”
He’s looking at you now, a small smile on his face. “Another thing we can agree on.”
“What? You shed a tear too? Now that I’d love to see.”
“I have a heart; however hard you try to deny it.”
Right. He may have a heart, but you hold a grudge. You will never, and have never, forgiven him for that first day. He’s never even acknowledged it, never said sorry. He doesn’t know you heard, but still, you made it obvious enough in those first weeks. You didn’t make it unknown that you disliked him, and he’s done nothing to attempt to right his wrong.
“Sure, got a date to the party yet then?”
He seems caught off by the question, his cheeks flush as he squirms in his seat.
“Uh, no.”
“Jenny not given you that long list?” You tease, enjoying seeing him in this state.
“I was actually just thinking of going alone.”
He looks at you dead in the eye, his eyes seeming to sparkle. And then he squirms again, though you aren’t sure why, you haven’t said anything to elicit the response.
“Uh, and what about you? Have you got a date yet?”
“Nah, I’ll probably go alone too,” you reply.
It seems to be the correct answer. A smile he so obviously tries to suppress working its way across his face. Is he mocking you? Does he find it funny that you are going alone? Even after he just said he was going alone too.
Before he can say whatever it is he so clearly wants to say – probably some joke at your expense. Or before you can quip some form of defence, your manager wonders over.
“How’s the planning going guys?”
She catches you unawares. You’re flustered for a second, so caught up in Jungkook that your mind whirls in trying to work out the change in pace.
“Oh, hi,” you say lamely as a way to buy yourself time. You can almost feel Jungkook laughing at you behind your back. You shake your head, try to think about what you need to ask her.
“We actually need to confirm the date with you,” you smile up at your manager, hear Jungkook shuffling closer. “Is Friday the 10th ok?”
“We also wanted to ask about getting a half day for everyone?”
And just when you think he’s ok, there he goes doing exactly what he always does. Butting in and saying something you were going to bring up, but making it sound like it was his idea.
“Yeah that’s a great idea. I’ll authorise that,” your manager nods her head as she looks at Jungkook.
“Ok, great. I’ll call up the Abbey who I’ve already spoken to and book it all.”
“Amazing, thanks Jungkook.”
Jungkook. Not both of you. Because he’s stolen the thunder. It’s not even like he’s tried to include you in it. It’s as if he’s making out that he’s done everything. You hate it.
You listen as your manager rambles off a few requests to both of you and then turn back to your computer as she disappears. You’re well aware of Jungkook beaming at you, can feel him trying to get your attention as he shuffles back to his own desk. You ignore him. It’s harder to hate him now you know him better, where you’d once feel anger at what’s just happened you now only feel disappointed and sad.
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“Major crisis,” Jenny almost flops onto your desk, you have to move your water to make sure she doesn’t knock it. “What are you wearing to the party?”
“What party?” You say, so preoccupied with Jenny disturbing your desk and the work you still have to do to take much notice of her.
“The Christmas party, Y/N, please keep up.”
“Right, well we still have just over a week so I haven’t thought about it.”
“Jungkook,” she looks behind you and you hear a small noise, half shock, half to show he’s listening. “What are you wearing to the party?”
“Uh, probably a shirt and trousers?”
Jenny shoots you a look as if to say see he knew what I meant straight away. You roll your eyes.
You’ve not spoken to Jungkook as much recently. The party prep has slowed down, enough sorted out and the rest has to be done more last minute. You’ve been your usual off self with him and he’s left you alone. Normally you’d like that, but there’s something about this time that you don’t like. Whether it’s because you had been talking so much because of the party and now you’re not, or because you’d grown used to talking and now not talking feels weird. Even the small conversations at your desk about nonsense like Bake Off or him coming to lunch with you and Jenny has stopped. You hate to admit it, but you kind of miss him. He sits right next to you, and can easily start a conversation with him, and yet you don’t. Wallow in your grudge and pettiness.
“It’s so easy for you men. Shirt and some trousers, easy.”
“I don’t know, it’s hard sometimes. I mean do you go navy, black, classic white? Hard choice.”
Jenny rolls her eyes at being mocked and you bite your lip to stop the giggle that’s bubbling in you from escaping. Your back is to him so there’s no risk of him seeing your smile, but you still settle your face into a more neutral look.
“Come on then, what shall I wear?” Jenny asks, eyes still on Jungkook behind you.
“Not going for shirt and trousers too?” He deadpans.
Jenny makes an exasperated noise, her head falling backwards, while the giggle finally escapes you.
“You guys are hopeless. I don’t know why I even try.” She shoots you a scowl. “You better be buying good decorations.”
You’d forgotten that was happening, the meeting set in your diary for this weekend. The tension between the two of you made you less than excited for that trip.
“Ah, are we still doing that?” The questions aimed at Jungkook and yet you still sit with your back to him.
“Yeah?”
You breathe in, turn around so you can look at him. He doesn’t look scary and yet your heart still pounds as if faced with a monster, loud and hard.
“I just thought -” you pause, unsure what you thought. That he wouldn’t want to go with you anymore the same way he’s stopped eating lunch with you. That you felt like you were heading in the direction of friends and then he went back to his old ways and when you started ignoring him again, he didn’t try to fight to make it right. You just thought that he didn’t want to hang out with you anymore.
“I’ll meet you outside M&S at 12 on Saturday?” He says.
Simple. He barely watches you long enough to see your head nod in conformation. When you spin to look back at Jenny, she raises her eyebrows as if to ask what was that? You shrug, you have no idea. You guess you’re back to being enemies.
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Jungkook’s already stood outside the entrance of M&S when you approach. He hasn’t seen you yet, so you are free to roam his body with your eyes without the worry of being caught.
It’s weird seeing him outside of work. The dress code at work isn’t that strict, but you’ve still never seen him wear anything like what currently adorns his body. Tight black jeans, big stomping black boots, a black top covered by a black leather jacket. Fuck. This was a mistake. You haven’t even spoken to him yet and already your heart is pounding with what you assume to be nerves.
His head snaps in your direction when you get closer. You don’t miss the way his eyes flick up and down your body, probably thinking the same thing you just were about him.
“Hey,” the corners of his mouth turn up as he looks down at you.
“Hi,” you reply with a small smile.
“So, uh, I know there’s a Christmas shop just down there and then I thought we could try like Clintons or something after?” His hand rubs at the back of his neck as he looks off in the direction he’s talking about.
“Ok,” you say simply, and you both easily fall into step.
It’s awkward, neither of you know what to talk about. You struggle communicating at work as it is, but now in this alien situation, in an environment neither of you see each other in, the tension is almost visible. It makes your heart pound harder as you wrack your brain for anything to say.
The Christmas shop comes into view and you still haven’t spoken a word. It’s like an awkward first date. It’s as if you don’t know Jungkook. And really you don’t. You work with him, but the two of you never discuss life outside of work, you don’t know what he’d be doing if he wasn’t here with you now, you don’t know what his friends are like, you don’t know if he lives alone or with friends or family. You know nothing about the man beside he watches the Great British Bake Off.
Maybe you could start there, but as you enter the shop all you do is pick up a basket and say, “Silver and gold, right?”
His wide eyes turn in your direction, he looks like he was as lost in his own thoughts as you were. It takes him a second to comprehend the simple question but then he’s nodding.
“What were you thinking? Streamers? Wreaths? Those cute pinecones that they spray paint?”
He seems to relax the more you speak, his shoulders visibly sinking so they no longer sit taught and tense.
“Uh, shall we just see what they have?”
“Lead the way,” you nod.
He glances around before picking a direction. You follow behind, only see the black of his back and maybe it’s the fact you can no longer see his face that the words slip out.
“So what would you have been doing today if you weren’t here with me?”
You’re aware of his head turning to look back at you, but you stay focused on the path ahead, don’t look up to see what look adorns his features.
“I have pretty boring weekends. It’s lame, but I either spend all my time gaming or just hanging out with my friends.”
“That’s not lame,” you reaffirm, knowing he’s playing it down so that you don’t think poorly of him. “Isn’t relaxing and doing nothing exactly what a weekend is for?”
“I guess,” he shrugs, coming to a stop by a row of tinsel.
“I was thinking we could do string lights across the ceiling,” you say, the previous conversation obviously ended.
He hums and nods his head, still looking down at the tinsel. Jesus, why is he being so awkward, you’re really trying to make this day as easy as possible. He was the one that said you should still do this together; can’t he at least try and pretend to not hate you?
“Maybe we could do tinsel on the back of peoples seats?” You suggest.
“Might get a bit itchy,” he says simply.
“True,” you elongate the word as you try and wrack your brain for another suggestion. “Maybe we can just buy a load and work out what to do when we get there?”
He starts gathering strands in his hand, an equal amount of each colour before turning to you, his arms loaded. “This enough.”
“Uh, yeah, looks good. Shall we look at the lights?”
He nods and you turn feeling hot and awkward as hell and walk off. All you can think of is how the quicker this is over the better.
When you reach the lights you don’t even wait for Jungkook’s assistance, just look for the longest set and pick up four boxes. That should be enough.
“That was easy. Shall we go?”
His eyes flick around the room as he shifts his weight but doesn’t speak. Really, what is up with this guy?
“Unless there’s something else you wanted to buy?” You probe.
“Oh, well, I just wondered, you know since it’s kind of lunch time, if you wanted to get some food, but if you have plans that’s fine, it’s just I was thinking of getting something and thought maybe you’d want to too and it would just make sense if we went together.”
Your smile grows as you watch him, pink is dusting his cheeks and he can’t keep eye contact with you. Is this why he’s acting so weird? Is he really nervous about this? He hasn’t come to lunch with you and Jenny at work for a few weeks, but he did before, what was the difference between this and that? Maybe he just felt awkward with Jenny not being here. Whatever it is, it’s kind of cute.
“Sounds good,” you beam at him, unable to hide how much you’re enjoying him looking so flustered.
“Really?” He splutters and then catches himself. “I mean great. We can look for some more stuff after? We need mistletoe and I liked the pinecone idea.”
“Sure.”
Jungkook pays for the decorations, says he’ll get the company to reimburse him, and then refuses to let you carry a single item.
You begrudgingly follow him, empty handed, to the café he suggested. It’s cute, is decorated for Christmas and has soft music playing in the background. This time you refuse more strongly when Jungkook offers to buy your food. He attempts to say he’ll buy it while you save the table, but you know that he wouldn’t accept your money, so you don’t let him. He seems strangely upset by the prospect, but you brush it off.
You settle down into your seats, try not to think how date like this situation is. Jungkook sat opposite you, his leather jacket now hanging off the back of his chair so you can see the black top is short sleeved, those tattoos on his arm you so rarely see at work on display. It’s as you’re admiring them that he speaks.
“Listen, I want to apologise,” he says it so straight forward it catches you off-guard.
“For what?”
“For the other day, with our manager. I didn’t realise it sounded like I was talking over you and taking the credit. I thought I was trying to help, but I can see now that I wasn’t and I’m sorry.”
“Oh, that’s ok,” you brush it off, you’re already over it, it happens so regularly you’re kind of used to it, hadn’t realised Jungkook had been brewing on it.
“I kind of realised that must be why you’ve always been so cold to me. You should have told me you didn’t want my advice and I would have stopped.”
God, was he really getting into this now? Nine months you’ve worked at the company and he’s only now starting to talk about your turbulent relationship. At least he’s apologising, that’s more than you would have thought.
“That is it, isn’t it?” He questions when you don’t immediately answer.
You close your eyes, here goes nothing.
“It’s part of it.”
“Part?” You can see the frown working its way between his eyebrows, can almost see the way his brain is whirling to try and work out what you mean. You’re obviously going to have to spell it out.
“I don’t like your unsolicited advice. I know you probably think you’re being helpful, but it comes out kind of condescending.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t mean it to. I actually think your work is amazing, I just want to make sure that it gets the credit it deserves. I thought I was helping,” the way he so genuinely says it makes your heart patter in a strange way.
“You never help anyone else, never correct anyone else, just me. I’ve seen people ask for your help and you’ve never made the comments you make to me.”
“Because I don’t like them,” he says it simply as if it’s a well-known fact.
“But Neil?” It’s not a full sentence, but you know he’ll understand. Neil, the guy everyone in the office loves, Jungkook has helped him in the past, has silently done what he asked and never commented on better ways of working or corrected grammar mistakes the way he always does with you.
“I hate Neil,” again, it’s spoken as if everyone knows what he’s talking about, but you don’t. He eats lunch with Neil, he laughs and jokes with Neil, you don’t get it.
“But on my first day, you and Neil were bitching about me in the kitchen.”
The words slip out without you really thinking about them. It’s not really the way you would have gone about telling him. There’s a pause and then Jungkooks eyes widen as if remembering.
“You heard that?”
You don’t say anything, your leg nervously bobs under the table and you fiddle with your fingers in your lap. You hate this, hate confrontation, hate talking about feelings, hate feeling weak. Jungkook leans in towards you, his hand stretching across the table as if you reach for you, but he only makes it halfway across the table.
“Is that why you’ve always been so off with me?” He doesn’t wait for an answer, he already knows what you’ll say. “Y/N, I don’t know what you think you heard, but I never said anything.”
“Boring, dull, a prude, or words to that affect I think,” you spit the words out like they’re venom, something that pains you, but you need out of your system.
“I never said that,” his voice is softer, as if he’s not as sure as you are, it was nine months ago after all.
“You said I don’t care about what I wear as if it’s ugly. You didn’t know me, and yet you stood in that room and insulted me.”
“Defended you. Listen, I don’t know what you heard, but I didn’t agree with Neil, I hated that him and his friends cornered me while I was making a coffee and then dragged me into their conversation. I don’t like them. And I told them that I didn’t agree with them and left as soon as I could. I think I said something about most people don’t care about that sort of stuff, like me, not you.”
You pause. Try to think back on that day. You never actually saw anything, only had voices and their tones to go off, but maybe Jungkook is telling the truth. Plus, he did arrive back his desk with a coffee pretty soon after you.
“But, aren’t you friends with Neil?”
Jungkook leans back into his chair letting out some air you didn’t realise he was holding. He seems to relax a bit, as if your softer more unsure tone of voice is giving him hope.
“I wouldn’t describe him as a friend. I eat lunch with him sometimes when I’m in the canteen because there’s no one else. We started working for the company on the same day and I kind of got stuck with him because of that.”
It feels like things are connecting in your head, everything appearing in a new light with all these revelations.
Jungkook doesn’t like Neil. It’s why he normally eats lunch at his desk and then started eating lunch with you and Jenny. It’s why he was smiling over your shoulder when you embarrassed Neil in that meeting room, smiling because you embarrassed Neil not because Neil was making a joke behind your back. It’s why he always brushes him off as quickly as he can, not because he has no comments on the work and wants to make it better like he does with you, but because he wants to get rid of Neil as quickly as possible.
Over the last few weeks organising this party with Jungkook you’ve wondered why he seems so nice when you’ve hated him for nine months. And the answer is because of you, because you’ve not given him time, you’ve assumed the worst and shut him out because of it.
You look at him, sat across the table from you. You’ve messed up as much as him. Both of you miscommunicating and creating a bigger mess then was necessary.
“Shall we start again?” Jungkook’s eyes widen in that way you love, sparkle as if they contain the galaxy, shine with hope.
“I’d like that,” he nods, a toothy smile adorning his lips.
“Cool,” you look away from him, his full attention on you when he looks like that feeling too much. “Shall we go buy some pinecones then?”
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“I’m so excited for tonight,” Jenny squeals for what feels like the hundredth time as you drive the both of you to the Christmas party.
You agree with her, though you’re more silent with your excitement.
After buying Christmas decorations with Jungkook on the previous weekend, getting everything out into the open, you’d become closer, finally able to add the label of friend against his name. You’d offered to help set up tonight, but he said it was all in hand, the team you’d hired to help serve food and drinks offering to help decorate. You felt uncomfortable about not helping out, the last important and most stressful part and you were putting it all on Jungkook, but he insisted.
You’re still arriving a bit early, Jungkook hadn’t messaged with any dramas (something he’d promised to do), but you felt like you should at least be there before everyone else. But as you pull into the parking lot you can already see some of you colleagues wondering to the entrance.
You and Jenny teeter to the entrance, hand your coats over to the desk at the front and follow the small stream of people into the main room.
There are not many people here, only a few keen people who either want to avoid traffic or who want to make the most of the bar tab. The small number of people makes the effect of the room that much better, you can see the decorations and set up so much better. It’s exactly how you and Jungkook discussed, fairy lights zigzagging along the ceiling giving the room a warm glow, circular tables with bouquets of pinecones rather than flowers and big gold and silver bows on the back of chairs, tinsel around all the hard edges; the bar, the DJ booth, a large space left empty so people can dance when the night advances. It’s almost better than you could have dreamed.
“Wow,” Jenny says next to you. “You guys really pulled it out of the bag.”
You nod, unable to say anything, still trying to take in all the details of the room.
“We should get a drink,” Jenny says.
You turn to look at her, then to the bar. You should definitely get a drink before the tab runs out. But you should also find Jungkook, thank him for everything, squeal about how amazing everything looks. You want to celebrate this with the person you did it with. It feels surprising, you actually want to see Jungkook.
You glance around the room, crane your neck to better see over peoples heads, but you don’t see Jungkook anywhere. You give up when your eyes are back on the bar, figure that you could get Jungkook a drink at the same time as getting yourself one, he probably needs it.
You never make it to Jungkook though. The furthest you get is the bar and grabbing a drink before you’re pulled into endless conversations. Everyone wants to commend your work on the party, get into conversations about life. You can’t excuse yourself and any time you do you’re just dragged back into another conversation.
The meal begins before you can find Jungkook. You’re not sat by him, the both of you figuring each table should be a mix of departments, try to get different departments mingling. But it’s the first time in the night you see him. From across the room you catch his eye, see he went for the black shirt with fitted trousers, the top few buttons of his shirt undone so even from here you can see the hard, smooth planes of his chest. You both just stare at each other before he raises a hand in a small wave and you copy him. Flushing with heat like a fool you sit down quickly, the whole encounter making you feel awkward and worrying about the prospect of being anywhere close to Jungkook. If you feel like this with him so far away, you’re worried you might combust if you get closer. After searching so long for him before, now having seen him and all that smooth skin you can’t help but think you should actually just not see him. The unhealthy way your heart is beating would at least suggest that’s a good idea.
The food is good, the thing so clearly organised by Jungkook going down well with everyone on your table. You relax into the night with a few drinks so that when the meal is over you feel no inhibitions as you take to the dance floor.
You’re spinning around when you catch his eye. Stop so you’re facing him and watch as he takes the few strides forward so he’s beaming in front of you.
“Congratulations,” you don’t think, or the giddiness of seeing him makes you forget all sense of normal, or the alcohol makes your brain a whirl so you have no comprehension; whatever it is, you fling your arms around Jungkooks neck so you can pull yourself into him for a hug.
You’re aware of the way his smile falls off his face in shock, his eyes popping open before your face is against his shoulder. He doesn’t encompass you the same way you do to him, just stands stiff under you. But when you start to pull away he seems to snap out of it, places his hands on your back, squeezing you back into him.
“I could say the same to you,” he says into your ear.
You hold onto him for a second more before pulling away and looking up at him. You don’t create any space between the two of you, are perfectly happy stood so your chests are nearly touching.
“It’s so amazing, I think everyone’s loving it,” you beam.
He smiles down at you, nods his head lightly in agreement.
“And you look so nice. Who’d have thought,” you say the words lightly, jokey, trying to ease the heavy pounding of your heart, trying to get back on safer territory.
Jungkook doesn’t seem to take the hint, his eyes roaming down your body as if only seeing it for the first time. You almost gulp when his eyes land back on yours, they’re deep and dark and full of something you don’t want to admit to hoping you’ve read right.
“And you look incredible. As always.”
You laugh, look away from him, unable to not be awkward at the clear-cut complement. Jungkooks hand finding yours is enough to get you looking back at him.
“Can I talk to you? Somewhere where I can actually hear you?” He asks, and when you nod your head he turns and starts to carve his way across the dance floor.
He drops your hand but keeps glancing over his shoulder at you as if worried he’s lost you. It’s cute and you smile up at him every time as if to help reassure him. He doesn’t stop walking when he’s off the dance floor, but he does fall back so he can walk more in step with you, the two of you making your way to a quieter corner of the room.
“So, uh, the place really does look amazing,” you say when you come to a stop, glancing around the room as if to remind yourself of the fact but it’s more done because you can’t seem to be able to look at Jungkook. Still in a room full of people and yet it feels like it’s just the two of you now.
“I wanted to say how much I enjoyed doing this with you,” he says as if you’ve not spoken. “And to apologise again if I ever caused you any offense.”
You huff a laugh as you look at him, shake your head as you smile. He’s apologised enough times since that day you went shopping and you’ve accepted every one, said that you should have talked it out with him earlier rather than just bottling it up and hating him. You were both in the wrong for so many different reasons.
“Jungkook,” his eyes go wide in that way you love when you say his name, your heart skips a beat. “It’s nearly a new year, shall we call it a fresh start as well?”
The smile spreads across his face, teeth gleaming under the lights, eyes crinkling at the corners. His hand comes out towards you and when you look at it as if it’s a foreign object, no idea what to do, the delight only deepens on his face.
“I believe people shake it. You know, we may as well do this fresh start right.”
“Right,” you whisper the word out.
His hand feels so large in yours, his fingers fully encompassing yours. He’s warm but not sweaty. You look up at him, the smile dipping off his face as you lightly shake your hands together. His eyes sparkle as you look into them.
You should let go, you should stop looking at him like this, you should try and control your erratic heart. Friends. Colleagues. A fresh start. This is a purely professional relationship, and yet, both of you cling to one another far longer than you should.
“Don’t make me re-introduce myself or anything stupid,” you try to joke but your voice is thick, the lightness you were aiming for completely missing.
His lips twitch with amusement. “You were the one who suggested the fresh start.”
You open your mouth to give another retort but are cut off by a new voice.
“Hey, love birds, do you realise where you’re stood?”
You leap away from each other, your hands losing one another, all your body heat going to your skin as you can no longer look in Jungkooks direction. You look instead to the person who shouted out to you, see some man who looks like he’s had one too many drinks, you think you recognise him from accounts.
“Pardon?” You squeak at him.
“You know, it’s bad luck not to kiss,” he smirks at you, his eyes glancing above your head before smirking and walking away.
You have no idea what he’s going on about. But when you turn to look at Jungkook to say just that you realise maybe he does know. His hand is scratching the back of his neck, his cheeks tinged pink and his eyes dart everywhere but you.
“I – uh – I really didn’t pick this spot because of that,” he says.
You frown. But then as you look up to where the man glanced everything clicks into place. Green stems with white berries, you’d seen a few sprigs of mistletoe around the room, you just hadn’t noticed this one before now.
Neither of you move away though a tension has fallen between the two of you.
“We can move if you want? If it’s making you uncomfortable or anything?”
You smile, a laugh bubbling in you at how awkward he’s getting, how awkward you both are. It’s like you’re school kids who’ve been forced together.
“I’d hate for someone else to goad us into anything,” you almost laugh the words, laugh more when Jungkooks wide eyes shoot to yours.
He seems to become more awkward if possible and it gets to the point where you worry he’s going to actually turn and leave. You laugh more freely, don’t think as you reach out and clasp his hands in yours.
“It’s fine Jungkook, I’m joking.”
He smiles though you can still see the awkwardness, and you watch as he glances between your joined hands to the mistletoe that still hangs above you.
“So, you don’t want to move from under the mistletoe?” Amusement has seeped into his tone.
“Well, I hear it’s bad luck not to kiss first.”
His eyebrows lift, a deep hum escapes him as his eyes flick between yours, searching for something. Your hands are still holding his and you feel him shift an inch closer to you.
“Do you want me to kiss you?” His voice is deep, rough, almost hoarse.
“Do you have to ask when you’re stood under mistletoe?” Your voice is steady despite the deep panging in your chest.
“I do when it’s you,” he clarifies when you lift your eyebrow in question. “You hate me.”
“Hated,” you correct. “And I thought we’d established we were over that.”
He chuckles. “So that means I can kiss you now? From enemies to – what, Y/N? Because I thought you said friends, and I’m not being funny, but I don’t kiss my friends.”
“Uh, ok,” you become less sure of your initial boldness, go to step backwards but those hands in your hold firm, keep you exactly where you are.
“But I’d like to kiss you,” Jungkook leans towards you, his voice getting breathy. “If you just say the word.”
Your eyes search his, so much closer now, see the genuineness of his words. You don’t reply verbally just lean the few inches towards him, press your lips against his.
They’re as soft as they look, not that plump but they seem to fit perfectly against yours, encompass your bottom lip and mould against it. His hands come to your hips, tugs you forward so that you’re flush against him. You gasp at the sudden movement and Jungkook takes advantage, tugging your bottom lip between his teeth, nipping and tugging gently before pulling away.
Your faces are remain inches away as you stare at each other, Jungkooks teeth are fully on display as beams at you.
“Friends to lovers?” He quips, raising an eyebrow.
You laugh, try to pull away so you can swat his arm with your hand, but Jungkook holds onto you too tightly, keeping you right where you are.
“Lovers?” You laugh. “Ask me on a date first and we’ll see.”
His smile remains as he looks at you, his eyes continue to shine.
“Y/N, will you go on a date with me?” He tries to say it overly seriously but the pure joy that he’s obviously feeling lessens the impact.
You chuckle, feeling the same amount of joy as him. Again, you don’t answer verbally, place your hands around his neck so you can pull him back in for a kiss.
“Is that a yes?” Jungkook says against your lips.
“Yes Jungkook, it’s a yes,” you laugh, your lips falling back into that steady rhythm against each other you could easily get addicted to.
1K notes · View notes
ggukiepie · 5 months ago
Text
so good
pairing: jungkook x reader
summary: just some steamy sex with your boyfriend jk
tags: established relationship, smut, literally pwp, the plot is maybe two sentences long lmao, a little bit of fluff
warnings: dom!jk, sub!reader, kissing, a little bit of cock warming, bondage (handcuffs !), pet names <33, spanking, oral (f. receiving), fingering, multiple orgasms, squirting, anal play, anal fingering, reader kinda goes into subspace at the end, unprotected sex (!! plz be safe), creampie, i think that's it
wc: 3.3k
a/n: first one shot im releasing that is smutttt yay <33 requests are open and like, reblog, tell me ur thoughts on this one shot !! / masterlist
--
“Stop,” Jungkook says. This is the second time he’s said it and you know deep down if you keep going, he’s going to snap pretty soon. Your body stills as you’re perched on his lap, arms around his neck and legs trapping his, face buried in the crook of his neck. His cock is inside you and he’s so undeniably hard that you’re trying your best not to move.
You can still feel his arms move, fingers moving quickly on his keyboard as he’s still playing Overwatch. He’s been playing for hours and you were bored. And horny. Horny because he was such a tease this morning—you were making breakfast and he had come up behind you, grinded his hips against yours as he oh so innocently asked if you could make him breakfast as well. And it wasn’t just that. He teased you while you both ate breakfast. He teased you when you showered, surprisingly joining you in the shower but not touching you at all. Then he ignored you and started playing, so you whined and whined until he said you could come sit on his lap and wait while he finished.
You roll your hips just to get back at him. He hisses through his teeth. You smile to yourself.
“Baby,” he warns and you roll your hips again, even daring yourself to start kissing up the column of his neck. “Stop moving or I’ll spank you.”
You roll your eyes and scoff. “As if,” you say as you grind down against his hips. “You’re too busy playing.”
He drops one hand to squeeze your waist in warning. You’re going to get what you want, finally, even though you’d probably be punished first. But you don't mind. You loved it even, craved for it. And you knew Jungkook loved this little game you both were playing as well.
Suddenly it’s quiet and you realize he closed the game. “Bed. Now,” is all he says. He sounds so serious so you have no choice but to stand up and walk quickly to the bed. You know this by now. Everything comes second nature to you that your body moves on its own. You take your shirt off so you’re finally naked and then you kneel on the bed and look down.
You don’t dare look up as you hear him moving around the room. Excitement is coursing through your veins and you can’t help but fidget in your position. Sure, you had to push a few of his buttons to get him to snap and give you what you want. You were probably going to get punished for it but it was fine. It was—
“Hands.”
Your head snaps up and your eyes zero in on the handcuffs he’s holding in front of you. Your eyes widen. Okay, so maybe you pushed him a little too far. He looks so serious, eyes brooding and staring straight at you. You’re frozen in place as he stares down on you.
“Don’t make me ask again, sweetheart.”
His voice snaps you from your trance and you bring both hands up. He cuffs your wrists silently and you feel goosebumps across your skin. You’re not sure if it’s from the cold metal or the scary look on his face. His eyes roam your body, from your lips to your perked nipples and down to your core. Your cheeks redden from his burning gaze.
“Ass up and head down, baby. You know the drill.”
Your mouth opens in surprise. “But—”
He raises his eyebrow. “Do you want me to get the whip?” You shake your head quickly and get into position but it’s hard because your hands are handcuffed. Jungkook knows this as well and he enjoys seeing you struggle as you try to get on all fours. You end up leaning on your elbows with your face pressed against the mattress. You spread your knees and arch your back, not in the slightest bit embarrassed that he’s now seeing how wet you are.
He places his hand on your back and you jump at his soothing touch. He rubs your skin soothingly but you know he’s just doing that to get you to relax. “Count to fifteen for me, okay?” he says lowly. “And if you make a mistake, we’ll start all over again.”
Before you can even reply you feel his palm smacking your ass, his big hand hitting your right cheek and your body jolting in surprise. You feel the pain shoot down all the way to your toes. “O-one,” you choke out. Despite this you arch your back even further.
Jungkook chuckles and rubs your skin slowly. “My naughty baby,” he says softly. “Didn’t listen to me at all,” he continues and slaps your ass again, this time the left cheek.
“Two,” you whisper hoarsely. “I’m sorry, I’m—”
Another hit. You count again. And again and again. There’s a fine line between pleasure and pain, really. You want to evade his slaps but you also want more. Jungkook’s slapping your ass and you’re counting and you want him to stop but at the same time you don’t because it just feels so good. It’s making your head fuzzy, the pain that’s spreading through your body but also making you incredibly wet. Your pussy is dripping, can tell from the way you feel it coating your inner thighs.
Another slap. This time it’s on the skin where your ass and thigh meet. “Six,” you croak out.
Jungkook laughs from behind you and pinches your butt. “Wrong number. Again.”
You try to shuffle from your position. Your elbows are starting to hurt from leaning on it for too long. Your ass is on fire and you’re sure you won’t be able to sit down properly tomorrow. “No—” you try to argue, try to wiggle from away but Jungkook’s holding your waist firmly. He’s rubbing smoothing circles on your skin but it’s not doing anything for you.
“We can always stop. You just have to say the word.” He touches your core this time, his fingers teasing your clit. You moan and press back further into him. “Seems like you even like it. My little pain slut.” He pinches your clit and you gasp.
“Again please. Slap me again. I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” you rush out. Your brain is fuzzy and you feel everything and nothing at once. You want to feel the pain. You want to prove that you can handle it. Want to make Jungkook happy. To please him.
He says nothing more and slaps your ass. You start counting from one again and he keeps going and you don’t tell him to stop. You’re crying by the tenth slap, shoulders pressed against the bed and your arms stretched out in front of you. Jungkook alternates from rubbing your skin affectionately to slapping you harshly.
“Last one, sweetheart. You’re doing so well for me.” He’s rubbing your ass and you feel his thumb press down on your rim and you absolutely keen, the filthiest moan coming out of your mouth and your spine stretching even further. “God,” he laughs. “Such a fucking slut, hm?” he chastises and presses down even harder. Your eyes roll back and you’re seeing stars. The pleasure feels so good. His hand feels so good. “A fucking slut who’d take anything I’d give, right?”
You nod because you can’t say anything else, mind too ridden in pleasure.
Jungkook slaps you for the last time. One harsh smack that leaves a handprint on your left cheek and you hear it echo in the room.
“Fifteen,” you shriek. “Thank you, I’m sorry—” You’re babbling now. You feel Jungkook lean over you, his body covering yours as he kisses up your spine, your neck to your ear.
“My good girl,” he says so softly as if he didn’t slap you more than twenty times. He nibbles your earlobe and you shiver. “Took your punishment so well, sweetheart,” he whispers in your ear.
“I want you,” you beg. “Please, I want you now.” You feel his body leave you and suddenly you’re craving for his warmth again. But then you feel his mouth on your pussy, his tongue licking into you and you groan. “More.” You press further into your face as he eats you out. “Want more. Please.”
“Greedy girl,” he says as he sucks on your clit. Your orgasm is coming embarrassingly close. It just feels so good. His tongue is swirling on your clit, collecting your juices that he laps up like he’s starved. He pleasures you so well that your thighs are shaking. You’re almost there, almost feel the knot in your stomach snap.
But then Jungkook leans back just as you’re about to orgasm. He’s mean. Jungkook is so undeniably mean sometimes that you want to smack him for it. Want to reach down with your own hands and make yourself come but you can’t because you’re fucking handcuffed.
You whine out loud and more tears stream down your cheeks. “Jungkook,” you say, so wound up and frustrated and tired. All the while he’s laughing at your demise. Laughing at the way you struggle and squirm. Suddenly, he flips you and your back is on the mattress, eyes blown out and looking straight at him.
He hovers over your body and brushes your cheekbone with his thumb. “So pretty,” he murmurs. “Look so pretty when you cry, baby.” You pout at him and he grins.
He kisses you and you arch your back to get closer to him. His lips feel so good against yours, mouth opening slightly to let his tongue slither into yours and lick into your mouth. The kiss is messy and wet and it’s just the way Jungkook likes when he’s riled up like this. Likes it messy when he’s being mean and you let him anyway because you love it as well. He leans back and squeezes your cheeks with one hand, forcing you to open your mouth. You know what’s coming, can tell from the gleam in his eyes and the way he stares at your mouth. You put your tongue out and open your mouth even wider. He doesn’t even have to ask.
“God, you're filthy,” he says but spits in your mouth anyway. It hits your tongue and your hips roll up involuntarily. You swallow and open your mouth to show him, loving the way he looks at you like this. “Good girl.” He loops your cuffed hands around his neck so you’re trapped underneath him. His fingers trail down your body, pinching your nipples and then down to your clit where he circles it with two fingers.
“Jungkook,” you moan out. He’s rubbing your clit so quickly now and he’s also nipping at your neck, biting until the skin blossoms into pretty shades of pink. You’re coming before you know it, legs shaking and hips moving up and down. Still, his fingers don’t stop its assault on your cunt.
“Another one, sweetheart,” he whispers into your ear. “Let go for me.”
You close your eyes and focus on the way he’s playing with your clit. You’re not even embarrassed that he’s making you come again just from touching your clit alone. You feel your orgasm building up, the coil in your stomach becoming tight and then snapping. And then you feel the bliss, feel it all over your body that you don’t even moan or make a sound. You’re crying again from how good it feels.
Finally, finally Jungkook slows down his fingers. He kisses your forehead and looks down at you with his doe eyes. You can’t even focus on him, too busy trying to even your breathing. “So beautiful for me.” He thrusts two fingers into your core and you babble out his name over and over again. You feel full just from his fingers and you think you might come again.
“Need to stretch you out,” he huffs. He’s still wearing his boxers but you can see how hard he is already.
You shake your head. “Want you now.” He ignores you and continues fucking you with his fingers. “Jungkook,” you plead. “Need your cock. Please, please— I’ve been good,” you all but beg.
Suddenly he withdraws his hands and leans a bit back to take his boxers out, his cock springing out to slap against his stomach because he’s so big and hard and—it’s throbbing. He wants you just as much as you want him right now. He presses his body to yours as he holds his cock, rubbing its tip against your pussy to gather the juices. And then in one swift motion he enters you, filling you to the hilt where his pelvis is pressed against yours.
“Feels so tight,” he groans out. “Feel so good for me baby. God,” he chokes.
You’re at a loss for words, too focused on the feeling of being so full. He starts thrusting and he hits your g-spot right away.
“Faster,” you moan. You encircle your legs around his waist and bring him closer. He’s careful not to crush you so he places his forearms on either side of your head. Your legs instantly wrap around his waist and you push him even deeper, feeling him deep in your stomach. You can feel his cock brushing against your cervix and you arch your back even more, already unaware of the loud moans escaping your mouth. “Jungkook, I’m—”
He hikes your legs over his shoulders and because your cuffed hands are around his neck both of your bodies are pressed against each other, not a bit of space to separate you both. It feels like you’ve been folded in half and your legs are starting to ache but it feels so good. “God, look at you,” Jungkook breathes out as he keeps the punishing pace of his hips against yours, hands holding your thighs so tightly you’re sure it’s going to bruise. “Wanna wreck you, wanna—”
“I’m close,” you cry out and this time you’re not even embarrassed that you’re about to come again.
Jungkook starts kissing your jaw, nose pressed to your cheek as you feel his teeth nibbling your skin. “Come for me, baby. Want you to make a mess.”
And you do. You come from his filthy words, from the way his cock feels inside your pussy, from the way he’s holding you tightly. Your vision blurs for a moment and you cry from how good it feels, how your legs start to feel like static and everything’s wet and messy but you want more. Jungkook fucks you through your orgasm until you whine and tell him to slow down. Then he maneuvers your bodies until you’re on top of him and your hands are free of the handcuffs. You didn’t even realize he’s taken it off, your head too high up in the clouds and stuck in that feeling of pleasure and euphoria. You still feel his cock inside you, so big and heavy and it’s twitching. But Jungkook isn’t moving and is rubbing your wrists instead to try to ease the pain of being handcuffed for too long.
“You good?” he asks quietly and you look into his eyes, see the concern in it but there’s a bit pleasure in there too. You nod and kiss his nose, a small but sweet gesture that doesn’t go unnoticed by him because he’s smiling as well.
“Wanna keep going,” you say, voice hoarse and quiet from all the screaming you’ve done earlier. You start kissing down his neck, biting down on that sweet spot of his and it’s his turn to moan out loud. “Want you to fill me up, please.”
“Ride me baby. Be good and bounce on my cock for me, yeah?”
You nod quickly and start moving your hips up and down, resting your hands on his chest to go even faster. Your legs start to shake but you don’t care. You keep going despite the ache, the fatigue, despite the fact that your pussy feels so used but it still feels so good. But Jungkook’s helping you as well, hands on your waist to help you move up and down, words of encouragement and praise escaping his lips.
You feel yourself tighten around him, feel that coil tightening and wanting to snap. Your body feels so light but so heavy at the same time just begging for a release. You feel the wetness between your legs, to where you’re connected, to where it’s dripping down your thighs. You hear the sounds of skin slapping against skin. You feel rather than see Jungkook’s hands gripping your ass, squeezing the flesh between his long fingers. You feel his hand moving to your other hole, to the puckered rim that he played with a few moments ago. You push against him and moan again, wanting to tell him you want more but failing to get the words out your mouth because you’re too lost in the pleasure.
But Jungkook knows your body so well. “Greedy girl,” he says. “Always wanting more, huh?” he asks as you continue to bounce on his cock. You nod, the words barely processing in your pleasure muddled mind. His middle finger presses against your rim, not pushing it in but just applying pressure. Still, the coil inside you snaps and you feel your pussy gushing, your wetness coating your thighs and his chest and it doesn’t take long for Jungkook to start fucking into you, his pleasure taking control to reach that high he’s been holding off for so long.
“Come inside me, please,” you whimper as you let him use you, brushing away the sensitivity that’s building in your body.
“You feel so fucking tight, so fucking good, God,” he huffs out as he finally comes inside you, hips stilling against yours and cock twitching inside you. You feel him fill you up, so undeniably full and tired but so good.
You both stay like that for a while, with you on top of him and his arms around your waist, touching you everywhere while he’s leaving kisses on your neck.
His finger circles your rim again and you shiver but you don’t say anything. You both know you can tell him to stop and he will if you say so, but you stay quiet so he pushes his finger in.
“Jungkook,” you croak. God, you’re so tired but you want more.
His pace is slow inside your ass. “Think you can come for me like this, princess?”
You nod because you’re too tired to speak. He takes his finger out to gather your wetness around your pussy then enters your ass once more, wiggling his finger inside your walls and eliciting a tired and quiet moan out of you. After a while he presses another finger inside and it’s so tight and you feel so full, his dick inside your pussy and two fingers inside your ass. He thrusts his fingers a little bit faster and you feel your orgasm building again. You’ve lost count. Maybe you were at your fourth? You didn’t know.
Suddenly you’re coming, so silent because you’re tired and spent and then Jungkook retracts his fingers out. “So good to me. So perfect. You did so well baby,” he whispers into your hair. He moves to sit up but you shake your head and tighten your arms around his neck.
“Don’t leave me,” you say as tears stream down your face. You don’t know why you’re crying.
“Gotta clean you up, baby—”
“No,” you cry out and hug him even closer to you. “Rest first,” you breathe out. “Please.”
Your arms are tight around him as you try to slow down your breathing. Whimpering every so often when Jungkook’s hands brush over your ass. He rubs soothing circles down your spine, whispering into your hair words you can’t make out and kissing your forehead from time to time.
A beat of silence, and then, “Did I go too far?” he quietly asks.
You shake your head again. “I just…” You shiver from his touch. “Just need to calm down.”
“I love you,” he says, kissing your head, pressing his lips into your hair and rubbing his nose gently against it. He continues rubbing his hands up and down your back. You feel his heartbeat through his chest, slowly and soothing which puts you at ease.
“I love you too, Kook,” you murmur into his chest. “Love you so much.”
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darkestcorners · 2 months ago
Text
the friendly ghost | yandere!jungkook au
THIRD INSTALLMENT | HALLOWEEN YANDERE SERIES
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pairing: yandere!jungkook x reader (f)
genre: yandere, slight horror
warnings: mature themes, obsessive & unhealthy behavior, manipulation, paranormal themes, violent themes, major character death. ( TW: mentions of suicide)
word count: 11.8k
Based on the Halloween Classic; Casper
Synopsis: When you’re forced to move back in with your father after failing to find a stable job , you’re more than unsettled with the foreign and creepy place he has bought. Your anxiety only seems to worsen when you start to suspect the old house is haunted. But when your suspicions are confirmed , it seems like the spirit that inhabits your home isn’t terrifying at all. In fact, he’s rather friendly. A bit too friendly
AN; hey guys so we are going to pretend i posted this on halloween for the sake of my mental health🤠 on a serious note though , i had a family emergncy & a pretty shitty halloween so that was why my last two halloween fics were so delayed. im really sorry! but i hope everyone had a happy halloween ! hope you enjoy regardless! :)🎃🎃
“Dad you could of bothered to at least hide the key somewhere I could find it.” You grumbled into the phone as you took a look at the poorly painted teal color door. The ‘Welcome’ sign that hung from it was anything but inviting.
Your father had done a decent job at carving a large pumpkin that stood right at the doorstep of the home but it looked rather sad. You supposed the bad shape of the house added to the appeal of the current Halloween season but it would soon wear off . Your shoes crunched against the dried up leaves that covered the floor of the porch .
“I told you it’s there, I put it under the welcome carpet!” You rolled your eyes as you stared at the dirty thing, there was certainly no key under there. You had checked a good three times already and practically torn apart a gardening pot he had on the side too in search for it.
“Well looks you have early-onset Alzheimer’s because there’s nothing here.”
You hear him let out a sigh.
“Just wait there, I’ll be home in about 10 minutes.”
The line went dead and you stood there waiting for your father’s car to pull up in the driveway.
You were in a sour mood to say the least, you had just graduated college with a degree in communications and while you would admit it wasn’t the most impressive major , it had been for you. You were finally relieved to have finished school, only for you to fail to find a decent job. You had been applying to loads of different marketing jobs, even social media manager applications and nothing.
These were quite simple jobs, right? Even more so with a literal degree but somewhere nobody seemed to be interested in hiring you. You blamed it on the fact that you didn’t have much experience since you had just graduated a few months ago but it was just what you talked yourself into to make yourself feel better and not like a complete failure.
Your dad’s way of comforting you had been to convince you to move back in with him while you got yourself back on your own two feet. You hated it.
You were supposed to be the successful independent woman you imagined yourself to be at the age of 24 but now you had come scurrying back home to live with your dad like some teenager again.
It was illogical, you knew that. Things like this happened all the time, times were rough and living spaces were expensive, not to mention the lovely college debt you still had to still pay off.
It was the smart move, you had to admit that. Saving as much money as you could right now was the only way and you couldn’t afford the rent in the expensive area of the city anymore.
It was temporary. Just temporary.
You sighed as you placed your phone back inside your coat and took another look at the old house. As to why your father had decided to buy this poor excuse of a house? You had no idea, you didn’t want to be harsh but it wasn’t exactly the most modern home. But your father had always had a thing for the antique.
The overgrown grass surrounded the front yard, and the paint on the wooden fence was chipping off. You’re father had told you it had a garden in the back but by the looks of it, you couldn’t imagine it looking very pleasant.
Your eyes trailed over the second floor windows, squinting when you saw something move.
Was that the curtain?
The sound of an engine roaring broke your attention and you saw your father’s car making its way up the narrow street .
You waved at him, tugging your suitcases up further up steps and waiting for him to guide you into your new home for the next couple of months.
—-
Unpacking was a bitch, you believed anyone would agree with that statement.
You had avoided it for the past two days but it was time to finally settle into the room your father had given you the privilege of staying in. It was cozy, it’s not like you needed much room but you had to admit it was still a lot more spacious than your entire apartment had been back in the city. At least that was an advantage.
Your father had left for work early the morning and you had spent most of your day just lounging around, filling out as many applications as you possibly could online. You had tried to tidy up the place a bit too, urging your dad to consider adding some more decorations that didn’t already belong to the previous owners of this house.
Everything seemed rather old, well obviously, but it also seemed like it had not been touched in decades.
Your father mentioned that nobody had lived in this house since the original owners back in the 70’s which explained a lot, the designs of the house were definitely outdated but you supposed that added a bit of character to it.
You had your suitcase laying on the bed and you began unfolding your clothes. Your father had placed photograph of your mother on your nightstand you, probably hoping you wouldn’t mind but you did. You had taken the frame and it flipped face down.
You never liked keeping your mother’s photographs around the house ever since she had passed. You didn’t see the point in constantly being reminded of someone who was no longer part of this world. It just seemed like a way to constantly torture yourself.
Your father was the complete opposite. For a therapist, he didn’t seem to have the healthiest way of dealing with grief but you figured giving advice to strangers was a lot different than applying that same advice to your own personal life. He constantly liked being reminded of her, having her picture around and even some of her belongings. He had told you that it was in fact healthy to accept the loss of someone while still be unable to let them completely go.
You had your doubts about that conclusion.
It wasn’t like you didn’t like talking about her, although you were a bit avoidant regarding the topic but you supposed that was normal. But you were especially sensitive with photographs, couldn’t stare too much at them without breaking down. Remembering the dead never brought you the comfort that it brought your father apparently.
The sound of something hitting the ground was heard throughout the room and you looked over your shoulder, noticing the notebook you had taken out one of the boxes earlier was on the ground.
You frowned, walking over to pick it up and place it back on the dresser.
Turning back around, you made your way back to the pile of clothes that awaited you.
Clank.
You paused, your hands gripping the material of one of your old shirts.
The notebook was back on the ground and you knitted your eyebrows.
Were you starting to lose your mind? Sure, the stress you were under was more than you could handle but last time you checked, you were not diagnosed with any alarming psychological issues.
Yet.
Other than your father claiming you were a bit of a narcissist and needed to work on your pessimistic attitude but he was a therapist, they always found something wrong with you. So naturally, you took his words lightly and paid them no mind.
You took a breath and shook your head, deciding to ignore the damn notebook for now. You turned back around and continued to unpack your suitcase,
Your thoughts wandered off again, as much as you were grateful to have such an attentive father kind enough to let you move back in with him cost free it was still such a sad scene in your head.
Of course you were bound to be stuck back in a town so small you were sure it wasn’t even on a map instead of the bustling city you had planned and dreamed of living in since you were a little kid.
Clank.
An involuntary shiver ran down your spine.
You took a cautious look behind you, the notebook was still on the ground but there was another item that joined it, the lamp that you had placed on the nightstand now had been knocked completely on the floor.
Not only that but the notebook was open now, flipped to a seemingly random page but your eyes caught sight of the messy writing on it. 
“Nice to meet you, Y/n.”
You stared at the sentence. Had you wrote that? Unlikely considering it didn’t resemble your handwriting at all. You wondered if it could’ve been one of your friends from back home or a roomate. 
You picked up the notebook, slamming it shut and stared around the empty room.
“Dad?” You called out starting to think he had come back home early and playing around with you. You knew he was the type to indulge in childish games even at his grown age but you also knew you had not heard the front door open once this entire time.
Silence.
Weird.
—-
Your eyelids were giving out on you, unable to escape the tiredness anymore you decided to shut your laptop and take off your glasses. You had sent a final application to a position you had been eyeing for weeks now, it was your dream job but you had little faith in actually getting it with how unlucky you had been recently with other applications.
Deciding to dwell on this tomorrow morning instead, you reached over and turned off your lamp. You positioned yourself against the covers and stared up at the ceiling.
Your breathing slowed and you shut your eyes. The silence of this place wasn’t something you were used to, you had been surrounded by the obnoxious sounds of the city life for so long that you had forgotten what it was like to go to bed in such tranquility. No sounds of traffic or ambulances going off every other minute, no people yelling or making a fuss upstairs.
Just the sound of the rustling October wind outside.
That was until you heard the sound of someone shuffling outside your bedroom door.
You kept your eyes shut, wondering if you were just hearing things in the middle of you falling into your slumber . You waited and the sound didn’t continue so you brushed it off and relaxed.
But then, you heard your bedroom door creak open.
Your eyelids fluttered open, squinting through the darkness. Your door was partially opened now and you knew you had shut it. It had been shut just moment ago.
Was your dad awake?
You sat up, throwing your covers off and sliding off the bed. You dragged your body out the door and walked downstairs, the old wooden steps creaking with every step.
You stood in the middle of the narrow hallway and looked to both sides. No sign of your father and you expected that much, he was not the type to wake up during the night. The man was an alarmingly heavy sleeper.
You yawned as you made your way towards the kitchen, you craved nothing more than a glass of water right now. Your tired state was surely making you become hypersensitive to any noise. It was an old house, you knew it was nothing out of the ordinary for everything to make a noise.
The glass filled halfway and you turned off the faucet, bringing the cup to your lips.
You gulped down the cold liquid but your eyes widened when you saw something run past you from your peripheral vision.
Nearly choking on the water, you brought your glass down and wiped your mouth. What was that?
It had been a silhouette, or at least that’s all you had seen. It had passed you far too quickly to even fully register.
You stare at the empty kitchen, the hallway in front of you was didn’t have a light so it always remained dark and it unsettled you a bit but you weren’t about to admit that to your dad. You were a grown woman, being afraid of a dark hallway was beyond childish.
Yet you hesitated to step forward.
You reluctantly walked down it , making your way back to the staircase but your steps slowed a bit when you felt something behind you.
It was something you couldn’t explain, you had never felt anything like it before. The air felt heavy almost, like someone was right on your steps behind you. Your skin crawled the more you stood there, only feeling it get worse and more prominent.
You let out a shaky breath as you glanced back. There was nothing.
You figured as much.
But it was cold. So cold.
Had it been this cold the entire time?
You weren’t sure but you decided you needed to just get to bed and sleep off this strange feeling in your stomach. Everything was starting to psych you out and you didn’t know why. You weren’t the type to believe in the paranormal, much less fear it. You had always said that if there was anything to fear in life, it was those who were still living , not those who had already passed and possessed no real power to bring you any harm.
As you climbed back up the stairs, you heard it.
The sound of the TV playing in the living room.
It sounded distant at first, like the volume was incredibly too low that you could only hear static and low voices murmuring. 
But it progressively got louder and louder, until the sound became unable to ignore. There was not a single doubt that the TV was playing now. You turned, glancing down the hallway and seeing the flashing lights of the screen display itself on the dark wall.
Your skin crawled again.
What really got you was when you heard it suddenly shut off, the lights disappearing and the eerie silence greeting you again.
You let out a shaky breath and sprinted back upstairs.
——
You watched as your father placed the hot pancakes on your plate and you reached over for the maple syrup, he was humming along to some song you couldn’t recognize. Your eyes trailed over the stove, watching as he continued to flip pour the batter on the sizzling pan.
“So, I applied to that ‘dream’ job I’ve been wanting.” You began, taking a bite out of your breakfast. “ Waiting for them to reject me so you can finally provide me free therapy sessions.”
Your dad chuckled at your comment and shook his head.
“No handouts, “ He joked as he took a seat next to you with his own plate of pancakes. He popped open the strawberry jam and covered them in the sweetness.
“Y/n, you have to be more confident in yourself. I’m sure you will get the job, you’re great.” He gives you a reassuring smile.
Your dad said that but you wondered if that was just the therapist in him, always needing to provide you with the appropriate support and positivity. You often questioned where you had gotten your personality from because it definitely didn’t resemble his.
“Whatever,” You muttered, if you were that great they would have already hired you months ago.
“By the way,” You say, biting the inside of your cheek as you thought over how to phrase your next words.
“Is the TV broken?” You wonder and watch your dad frown in between bites.
“No, not that I’m aware of. Why?” He replies curiously and you shrug.
“Thought I heard it playing last night.”
Your dad swallows his food and furrowed his eyebrows, confusion all over his wrinkled features.
“You heard the TV on?”
You nodded.
“That’s weird,” He makes a face before he lets out a chuckle. “Maybe the house is haunted , it is pretty old.”
You snort and shake your head.
“Why is that your first conclusion?” You roll your eyes at him. Your father was also the type to be incredibly superstitious and it was good to know it had not worn off all these years you had spent away from him at college.
“Isn’t the most obvious conclusion?” He questioned.
“No, the most obvious conclusion would be you’re in need of a new TV or maybe better outlets.” You reasoned even though a part of you was bluffing. His thoughts were the exact thing you had been thinking last night and even that day you had been unpacking but you would never admit that to him. Your ego was too big.
“Well, I’ve never heard it playing by itself before.”
You didn’t know what to reply to that but then you remembered his sleeping habits and opened your mouth to protest but he beat you to it.
“Maybe the ghost has a crush on you and keeps trying to get your attention.” He added, giving you a playful grin as a he took a sip of his orange juice and you gave him a glare.
“You’re so funny.” You say dryly before you let a small smile break out at his joke.
Maybe you did miss living with him again.
—-
You were hearing it again.
The sound of shuffling, it was coming from your room. You were starting to seriously consider that your dad just had a stray cat living inside of his walls because what else could it possibly be? It had been consistent for days now and yet you couldn’t find the source of it.
You had heard of old houses like this having cases of people living inside walls but you didn’t let yourself ponder over that possibility too much because that was far more terrifying than any spirit scenario.
You tip toed down the hallway, coming to stand in front of your door. You had been washing the dishes when you had heard something stomping up here. Well, maybe not stomping but you did hear clear footsteps pacing around.
At this point, you were getting fed up more than anything. Whatever was going on was making you start to question your sanity because no matter how much you mentioned the strange instances to your father, he always claimed he hadn’t heard any of it in all his time living here. Which had only been a year but you supposed that was enough time to conclude whether or not a house was in fact haunted. What kind of ghost would hide for a year and randomly start showcasing its presence up until only now?
And more importantly, why were you the only one that had these encounters.
Either whatever was in this house was preying on you specifically or your father was far more oblivious than you had previously thought.
Your fingers gripped the doorknob, slowly turning it and opening your bedroom door.
The noise immediately stopped but you weren’t stupid. You knew you had heard it coming from here.
Your eyes fell on the closet, staring directly at it and just waiting.
Nothing.
You didn’t know why but you felt compelled to search that area of the room first. You moved forwards, stepping right in front of the closet door and taking a deep breath .
Were you expecting something to actually be inside of it? Realistically, no. Considering you hadn’t actually seen anything this whole time.
Still, you could feel a ball of nerves in your stomach.
Fuck it.
You swung the door open and what your eyes landed on had you immediately flying backwards.
“What the fuck!” You yelled, stumbling back so fast that your body instantly hit the ground, your hands catching your fall behind you as they slammed roughly against the carpet floor.
You stared wide eyed at the guy inside of your closet.
There was a guy in your closet.
“Y-You can see me?” He exclaimed looking as—if not even more frightened by your presence.
“How did you get in here!?” You shout, eyes now frantically searching for your phone. “ I’m calling the police!”
You had no idea how this guy broke into your house or how long he had been in here, did your father casually have people hiding in the closets of this house? Impossible considering you opened this closet every single day. This person had to have just broken in. But when? You hadn’t left the house once since you got here , they couldn’t have possibly broke in without you noticing. Suddenly what you had been reading about people living inside walls didn’t seem so far fetched now.
You watched as the guy took a cautious step forward and you immediately scooted away, your body going into fight or flight mode.
“Stay back!” You warned as if anything about you was the slightest bit threatening, you didn’t even have a phone in your hand to call the authorities. But as you inspected the guy in front of you more, you noticed he also didn’t look that intimidating.
His round eyes looked too big on his face, his extremely pale face. They blinked rapidly at you, seeming almost afraid of your next move. His dark hair was slightly overgrown, the messy curls covering the front of his face and he wore a dark brown checkered sweatshirt.
He looked vulnerable one in this situation if anything, biting his lip nervously.
“Trust me, you don’t want to call the police.” He blurts out, eyes frantic.
You gave him a confused look.
“And why is that?”
“Because they will think you’re crazy.” He replied simply as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. Was he alright in the head?
“What are you talking about? You’re the one who broke into my house!” You screech out, completely astonished.
“This is my house.” He stated frowning but it looked more like a pout on his pink lips.
He was for sure confused. Or insane. Probably both.
“Excuse me?” You demand.
He sighs as lifts his hands out, motioning for you to calm down.
“I’m sorry, I-I mean this used to be my house.” He clarifies.
Used to be?
You shake your head.
“No, that’s impossible. My dad said the last people to reside here was back in the 70s….” You trail off and watch him stare intently at you, a nervous look coating his dark eyes .
Was he implying?…
“I know,” He confirms.
“I’m dead.”
Your mouth falls open in shock, waiting for him to crack a grin and start laughing but his mouth remains in a straight line. Continuing to study you cautiously.
You don’t remember much of what happens next , just that you felt your head flop to side and your vision go completely black.
——
“Y/n!”
You gasp, feeling a very cold sensation cover your face and your body springs up. You cough, squinting your eyes shut as you feel around the wet substance over your face.
What the fuck?
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do that but you wouldn’t wake up.” You hear a voice say beside you and when you open your eyes, your met with those familiar doe eyes staring back at you.
Your eyes trailed down to the empty glass he’s holding in his hands. He threw water on you?
“I have to be dreaming right now..” You conclude, thinking about asking him to pour another glass of water on you so you could fully wake up.
He smiled as he stared curiously at you.
“I can’t believe you can see me…” He whispered in complete amazement, his eyes twinkling with a childish gleam and you are still left terribly confused.
This guy was apparently dead.
“Your dad can’t see me, I’ve tried to make him see me. I really have but it’s no use.” He mumbles to himself , knitting his eyebrows at his own words and looks back up at you with a nervous grin.
“I’m Jungkook, by the way.” He tells you, offering his hand and you eye it suspiciously.
He bites his lower lip anxiously, patiently waiting for you to shake it.
Was he serious?
“Oh! I wonder if I can actually touch you.” He says excitingly.
You hesitantly reach out your hand, coming to place it into his larger one.
He was freezing.
Your eyes widened and so did his, both of you stared down at your interlocked fingers in complete awe.
How was this even possible?
“Oh my god…” You mutter.
Jungkook breaks out into a full grin, displaying his perfect smile.
“I’ve forgotten how it’s like to feel another person.” He says, eyes boring into your own as he grips your hand gently. “ You feel so warm.”
Everything about this should have had you freaking out, completely losing your mind or just about doing anything other than this . Any other rational person would of run out of here screaming, probably even considering calling some paranormal investigators or a priest.
You should have been calling your father, telling him what you had just seen and were continuing to see.
A literal ghost sat in front of you.
But the more curious and realistic part of you was conflicted. Would your father ever believe this? You knew you said he was a believer of all things spiritual and paranormal but this was too insane even for him. I mean, he was a therapist after all. Wouldn’t it be more likely that he send you straight to a psych ward instead?
Perhaps that’s actually where you needed to go.
“Why can I see you?” You force yourself to question.
Jungkook looks up from examining your hand and fingers, he seemed rather too immersed in the fact that he could actually touch and feel you.
“I’m not sure ,” He tells you, cocking his head to the side. “ It may have something to do with your skepticism.”
Your face twists in confusion.
“Wouldn’t it be the opposite? Why would the person who doesn’t believe in spirits be able to see you rather than one that does?”
It didn’t make much sense in your mind. Especially because from what you have read most of your life, the people who had happen to come across paranormal entities were most likely to be spiritual and have a certain connection with the other side.
You didn’t have any of that. In fact, you had been a big critic of it entire your life.
“Sometimes spirits feed off of your skepticism because they want to prove you wrong,” Jungkook explains, eyes scanning over your face as his lips tilt slightly.
“ That’s how I felt when you first came here, I could feel your energy before you even stepped foot inside.”
You were taken back by his words, a shiver running down your spine when you realized all those strange instances of things moving, the TV playing and the footsteps.
Even what you had thought you had seen in the window when you first arrived.
 It had all been him.
“I could tell that you didn’t want to believe in what you saw, that first day when I knocked over your notebook. You convinced yourself it was all just in your head, didn’t you?” Jungkook asks, a playful look taking over his boyish face and you could only blink at him in complete shock.
“And when I played the TV? You saw me, but only for a second. It was much easier during that time, the veil is always thinner at night.” 
“It annoyed me a little, I wanted you to know I was real. That’s why I kept trying to make my presence known,” He stated but then he broke his gaze and hung his head down. “ But I didn’t mean to scare you , I-I tried not to. I just wanted you to notice me.”
Well, he had definitely scared you.
You didn’t even know what to say, the entire thing was incredibly unreal. How was it possible you were talking to an actual ghost?
And the most insane thing about it was you weren’t even afraid. The spirit in front of you was by no means terrifying, if anything he was the opposite. He had looked so unsure of himself and lost inside that closet. It made you all more curious.
You jolted as you heard the front door shut downstairs.
“It’s your father,” Jungkook tells you, pulling away from you.
You hear his footsteps start climbing up the stairs and you just about pass out again when you see Jungkook vanish in front of your very own eyes.
“Y/n?” You hear your father call out as he knocks on your door. “ I’m home, I brought back some takeout for dinner.”
You scramble to lift yourself off the floor, your eyes scanning your entire room for Jungkook but he had in fact completely disappeared. Not a trace of him anywhere.
Had you imagined it all?
If so, you were in fact in need of your father’s therapy assistance.
——
You chewed the rice silently as your dad poured himself more of the chicken stir fry out of the styrofoam containers. You sat stiffly at the kitchen table, your mind was unable to focus on anything else but the encounter you had in your room.
“So, how was your day?” Your father asked, seemingly noticing your off demeanor.
Just found out this house is either severely haunted or I’m schizophrenic, you thought.
“Fine,” You reply instead. “You?”
“Just the usual, I had a couple come in and they were discussing their issues with anger management and how it impacts their relationship but I think their main issue was lack of communication which is the common in young couples….”
In the midst of your dad’s rundown at work, you notice something or someone standing directly behind him. Just hovering over him in the middle of your discussion with a attentive look on their face.
Jungkook.
You nearly choke on your food, violently coughing up the rice in your mouth.
“Are you okay?” Your father asks, handing you over a glass of water and you nod through your watery eyes, hastily drinking down the liquid.
“Sorry,” Jungkook says with a sheepish smile, looking regretful for scaring the ever living shit out of you.
You eye your father, looking to see if he heard the guy behind him but he seemed to preoccupied in making sure you were still not choking to death.
Your father notices your distracted gaze behind him and he glances back.
“What are you looking at?” He asks as he stared behind him and your eyes widened as he seems to be staring directly at Jungkook.
How could he not see him?
“I’m telling you he can’t see me, you’re going to freak him out.” Jungkook tells you worriedly, and as if to prove his point further he comes and stand directly in front of your father, staring him dead in the face.
You were sure you’re face was doing a poor job at maintaining to hide your true emotions because your father was starting to look concerned.
“Y/n, are you sure you’re okay?”
You swallow, trying your best to collect yourself and not look like you were on the edge of completely losing it.
“Yeah, I just feel kinda sick.” You say shakily, setting down your chopsticks and lifting yourself from your seat, you watch Jungkook eye your every move.
“I think I’m gonna head to bed, alright?”
Your father didn’t seem to look completely convinced by your excuse but he nodded.
“Okay, tell me if you need anything.”
You nodded and headed directly towards the staircase, not wasting any time in climbing up the steps. You nearly tumbled back down them when you saw a familiar figure greet you at the top of them.
“Holy fuck!” You whispered in a hiss, coming to clutch your chest as Jungkook’s sudden appearance.
“Can you not do that? I already feel like I’m going insane.” You snapped at him and he looked startled for a second.
“I’m sorry, I’m just not used to you being able to see me.”
You let out a breath, your heartbeat slowing down .
“I’m not used to seeing you either.” You exclaim and walk past him to go inside your room.
You didn’t know how to deal with any of this, you had so many questions. The first one being , why on earth you could communicate with a ghost so clearly? It was as if you were talking to an actual breathing living person. You didn’t know that was possible, at most you had heard about people being able to communicate through spirits in other ways. Usually involving them having some sort of psychic abilities or being spiritually gifted. Maybe even through a ouija board.
But not like this.
“I dont get it, how is this even possible?” You ask as you see him emerge further into your room, trailing closely behind you with a thoughtful expression on his face.
You didn’t know how to feel about the way he always seemed to look at you. It was as if he was savoring every second of you, as if you would slip away at any given moment and he greedily needed to memorize every aspect of you.
“I don’t know,” Jungkook says, shaking his head. “ But it is, I can finally feel the touch of someone, talk to someone.”
He looked relieved , so happy and giddy. It was almost cute.
“This used to be my room, you know?” He tells you, lips twitching slightly as he takes a look around the large space.
“I was upset when I heard your father tell you this was going to be your room over the phone, I never liked sharing.” Jungkook mused as his eyes settled back on your face.
“But when I saw you here, it all changed. “ You were surprised to see what looked like a blush form on his pale cheeks. “ You were so pretty.”
Your mouth fell open slightly at his confession.
“Do you like it?” He asks suddenly with wide eyes.
“Uh, y-yeah? I mean it’s a nice room.” You reply unsurely, you didn’t know why you felt nervous all of a sudden talking to him.
He smiles at that, coming to stand closer to you.
“I’m glad to hear that, “ He takes your hands into his again without hesitation, rubbing his thumbs over them in an almost comforting manner.
“I can’t believe I’m finally not alone anymore.” He whispered, staring down at your hands, a sad look taking over his features and you didn’t know why the image made your heart sink.
Had he really been alone all these years?
“ Y-You don’t know what’s it’s like to be stuck here with nobody.” His lips quiver , heavy emotion taking over his tone. He looked as vulnerable as he did when you had opened that closet door, resembling that lost boy again.
“I hated it.” He emphasized. Bitterness clear in his words. “ I hated it so much.”
You don’t know what comes over you but seeing his distressed state makes you feel something. Maybe you were indeed more empathetic than you had thought because you really couldn’t stand how upset the young man in front of you was.
You squeezed his hands back.
“It’s okay,” You tell him reassuringly . “ You’re not alone anymore.”
He looks up at you, surprise washing over his face. His teary gaze locks with yours as a small smile forms on his lips at your words.
—-
Weeks pass and Jungkook’s presence becomes all too familiar to you. Everyday turns into a routine, you wake up and spend your entire day with him. He follows you around the house like a lost puppy so it had been hard to ignore him really, not that you wanted to. Suprisngly he was rather comforting to be around. Sometimes he respected your space, deciding to simply linger behind you as you typed away on your laptop or finished some chores around the house. But most of the time, he was rather persistent in talking to you. Asking you all types of questions, where you had moved here from, how college was like and even the more shallow and simple things like your favorite foods and hobbies. 
I mean, it made sense considering he had told you he had been alone all this years up until your father bought this property. But even with your father here, it didn’t really matter considering he wasn’t able to see Jungkook. 
It was beyond strange, you never thought you would be the type to believe in these things yet here you were, greeted with a paranormal being everyday. Sometimes you really started to consider if you had completely lost it and Jungkook was simply a figment of your imagination, hallucination of some sort that your brain had created in order to cope with something. 
But he wasn’t, he was far too real. He had his own thoughts, his own personality, his own feelings. 
“How exactly does that thing work?” Jungkook’s asks you raising a single eyebrow, eyeing the phone in your hands as you sat on your bed. He was leaning over, not bothering to hide the fact that he was being all types of invasive. 
“A cellphone?” You ask with a scoff but then dumbly realize what your father had told you regarding this house. “Right, you’re from the 70′s..” 
The only types of phones he had ever used were most likely rotrary ones. Which oddly enough your father had decided to keep the one that was attached to the kitchen wall when he had moved in. 
“Yes,” Jungkook replied with closed lipped smile. “They used to be much cooler back then.”
You rolled your eyes, handing him over your phone and he knits his eyebrows as he inspects it, long fingers tapping against the screen. You watch as his messy locks of hair fall over his forehead, you couldn’t help but think he looked pretty funny trying to figure out how to work the foreign device in his hands. His lips were puckered up in a slight pout.
A sudden thought you had been avoiding pops up into your head.
“Jungkook,” You say slowly and watch him look up, brown eyes intently waiting for your next words.
“How exactly did you die?”
You watch his face fall instantly, eyes dropping down to your phone that was still in his hands and he let it down beside you. He was quiet for a couple of seconds, not lifting his gaze up and you started to wonder if you were being too intrusive.
“I don’t know,” He said finally, eyes looking glossy. He was playing with his fingers in a nervous manner and that’s when you noticed they were trembling. 
“What do you mean?”
“I-I mean, I remember my life beforehand but I don’t exactly kow why or how I ....died.” He explained looking back up at you, his eyebrows furrowed as if he was trying to remember something in that moment.
“I just remember waking up and my family not being here anymore. I couldn’t leave the house. Everytime I tried I could only get so far and when I saw people outside, they couldn’t see me.”
You couldn’t believe it, was it even possible? I mean, you were for sure no expert on the afterlife or what came with it but you couldn’t wrap your head around someone not remembering the cause of their own death. Was there a reason for that? It just didn’t make any sense.
“That must be horrible...” You stated quietly, not even for a second wanting to imagine what it would be like to be stuck in a place with nobody around you. Was it like that for everyone? Was the reason Jungkook was still stuck in the mortal world and in this house due to him not being able to remember his own death? It was clear his spirit had not passed on. If he was truly at peace then there would no reason for him to still be tied to this home.
Or did he simply want to be here?
“Does that mean your parents passed away too?” You ask, trying to make sense of it. If Jungkook mentioned he could no longer see his family after he had died, did that mean they were also dead? If so, then why were they the only ones that passed on? Why had had he been the only one stuck inside the house? He looked pretty yong, even a bit younger than you and it made you it all more devistating. His life had been ripped away from him too soon.
You watch him take in your words, he looked conflicted by them and you figured that meant he had also been asking himself that question. 
“I’m sorry, Jungkook..” You lift your hand up to his cheek, gently caressing it. He looks a little shocked by your action but it quickly wears off and he rests his own hand on top of yours, welcoming the intimate touch. 
“It’s not all bad,” Jungkook assures you, breaking you out of your deep pondering. He no longer looked somber as a smile spread his lips. 
“I have you now.”
---
You grab your coat off the hanger as you slip passed the living room, wrapping your bag against your shoulder. Your father had called you to ask if you could stop by the supermarket to pick up some last minute treats to give out tonight. You had agreed that you would be spending Halloween together watching your favorite scary movies but you had also realized you basically had no popcorn or candy in the kitchen and you wondered why your father had not prepared anything. He was always the type to go all out for these types of things so it didn’t suprise you to receive his frantic call about being a horrible citizen and fellow neighbor of this town for almost being the only one not giving out candy. You had mentioned that this house wasn’t exactly the most inviting and you doubted kids would be looking forward to coming trick-or-treating here but he insisted that the entire point of Halloween was for the houses to look frightening and uninviting. 
You couldn’t argue with that.
“Where are you going?” You turn to face the familiar voice that had stopped you in your tracks.
You were suprised Jungkook had to even ask, you figured he had been eavesdropping on the entire conversation consdering he rarely left your side but oddly enough this was the first time you had seen him this entire morning and you wondered where he had been. 
“To the store to pick up a few things for tonight.” You tell him in a casual tone and you’re confused to find him look so startled and unsettled by your statement.
He began to shake his head.
“Can’t your father go?” He asks with a hopeful expression on his face.
“He’s at work,” You sigh and when you turn to leave, you nearly collide with his chest. 
You stumble back in shock.
“Jungkook, I told you I hate when you do that.” You snap nearly having a whiplash as you look up at him. The fact that he could appear anywhere at any time just freaked you out. It was one of the things you couldn’t get used to.
“You can’t leave.” He ignores you as he blocks the door.
“’I’m just going to the grocery store real quick, I’ll be right back.” You explain with a chuckle at his overdramatic reaction.
Jungkook doesn’t look the least bit amused or convinced by your words.
“But what if you don’t come back?” He asks as complete dread fills his eyes. The look he was giving you reminded you of a young child, his fingers coming to grasp the front of your coat tightly.
Did he actually think you would just leave like this? Without saying goodbye?
“P-Please tell me you will come back.” He begged and your eyes widened when you realized he was clearly holding back tears, his watery gaze fixated on you. He swallowed the lump in his throat, hands moving to grab your wrists now and tugging you forward towards him more.
“Don’t leave me, I’ll do anything I-I-” You didn’t know what to do to calm his disheartened please. You were never good at comforting people but you figured it was a good time to start because you absoluately hated the way Jungook’s anguish was making you feel right now.
“Jungkook, I’m not leaving. I’ll be back in like 20 minutes, I promise.” You cut him off, hoping your words sounded as genuine and sincere as you wanted them to. 
His eyes scanned over you, as if looking for any traces of a lie. When he didn’t find any, he finally nodded but didn’t let go of your hands, instead he brought them to his chest.
“Really? You promise?” He asks you in a low whisper, his tone was still shaky and breathless.
“Yes I-”
“Do you promise you will never leave me?” He interrupts, and you couldn’t lie and say you weren’t caught off guard by his sudden question. His stare was unmoving, the intensity of it was all consuming and you found it hard to look away. 
His grip on your wrists tightened as silence fell over both of you.
You couldn’t help but feel guilty, did you do something to make him believe you would suddenly get up and leave without a second thought? Not that you could think of. The issue seemed to stem from him just being terrified of being alone again, being abondoned. It was obvious he had formed an attachment already, after all you were the only person he had been able to communicate since he had died. All Jungkook seemed to crave and want was a friend, somebody to talk to and it pained you to think that would have to come to an end someday. A part of you wondered if he would be able to ever pass on to the other side, if his spirit would be able to free itself from this house or if he would be stuck inside these walls forever. 
You licked your lips nervously, keeping your steady gaze on his.
“I promise.” You finally say.
At the sound of your words,  his tight grip instantly relaxed, his demeanor no longer stiff and tense. Relief washed over those boyish features you have come to adore so much, his round eyes blinking away the tears that had previously pooled over them.
--
You could still hear the laughter of the children from outside , the sound of their footsteps running across the sidewalk below and stomping through the crunchy autumn leaves. Their pumpkin buckets glowed against the darkness, each of them varying in color,  from the classic orange to the most neon green you had ever seen. You sat against the window, resting your forehead against the glass as you took in the night sky. The memories of your childhood came flooding, the image of you walking down similiar streets in your witch costume with a hat far too big for your head was still fresh in your mind. You supposed that’s what you enjoyed most about the holiday, reminiscing on the old memories because frankly it had become boring after you had turned into an adult.
The feeling of Jungkook’s presence emerging had become so predictable to you now, the room tempature change was always drastic and had you shivering in seconds. 
“Do you remember going trick or treating?” You ask as you feel his fingers run over your hair, caressing it. 
He had become far more touchy ever since that night you had comforted him about the mystery of his death and loss of his parents. He seemed desperate for any display of intimacy.
“Yes,” He replied in a deep whisper, and you could tell he was grinning from ear to ear. “It was my favorite time of year as a kid, I loved getting scared.” 
Ironically, he was the very thing all children feared on this night.
You tried to imagine his younger self skipping down the streets in whatever ridiculous costume he had chosen for himself. He seemed like the mischieveous type so you could only imagine what type of trouble he would’ve gotten himself in.
“How about you?” He asked, breaking you out of your daydream.” I can’t imagine you being much of fan of Halloween.”
You didn’t know itf he meant that in an insulting way.
“What do you mean by that?” You turned to face him, his mouth was inches away from you and he grinned down at your offended expression.
“I don’t know you seem far too...” He paused, seemingly trying to think of the correct word as he brought his finger under your chin, taking a better look at you. “gloomy.”
You slapped his hand away, scoffing at his poor attempt to describe you. 
Although he wasn’t wrong, you had always been quite a moody and sulking type, even as a child. 
“But I’m right, aren’t I?” He lets out a laugh as he playfully tugs you away from the window, circling his arms around your waist.
The actions causes your heart to skip a beat, your hands landing on his shoulders hesitantly. He doesn’t seem to notice your taken aback reaction or he simply ignores it. 
“I know everyhting about you now.” Jungkook stated, coming to pull a strand of your hair behind your ear, his thumb caressing your cheek.
You didn’t like the way he was making you feel and you certainly didn’t like the way your body was reacting to the touch of this dead boy. It was insanity, why was he making you feel like this? How was it possible for a touch so cold as his to feel so warm to you? So comforting and familiar. 
You blinked and in a second he was gone.
The gush of air hit your face and you held in a gasp at the empty space in front of you. 
You turned, attempting to find his figure in the darkness but you didn’t see a thing. He was nowhere to be found.
“Boo.” 
You jumped at the icy sensation in your ear, his soft voice making the hair rise on your neck. His arms gripped your waist again as he laughed against you and practically tackled you onto the bed. You couldn’t help but break a smile as he came to grip your wrists over your head, his body was hovering over you. The sight of it was amusing almost, his long limbs just floating on top of you. You saw how his strands of hair fell fowards, his face looking even more youthful from this angle.
You let out a groan as he let himself fall on top of you. 
“Jungkook!” You laughed as his weight engulfed you completely, his eyes twinkled at the sound of your giggles.
Adoration filled those round doe eyes, they slowly moved down your face, mesmirizing each one of your features. As if he was studying you each one of your expressions, wanting to capture the moment entirely. 
“I love your laugh.” His gaze landed directly on your lips and your stomach dipped at his words. You stared wide eyed at him, you were completely speechless.
He inched towards you, lips gently pecking yours, as if testing to see your reaction to him. When you didn’t reject or pull away from him, the kiss only deepend. The sensation of his mouth on yours sent tremors through you, evoking a feeling you couldn’t quite explain. To be frank, you never put much thought into what kissing a ghost would feel like but you for sure your mind wouldn’t have ever imagined it would feel like this. 
It was different, nothing about him was warm or feverish, on the contrary his entire being was chilling. 
Despite that you could still feel the intense emotion behind it, the longing in it. 
When he pulled away, you could only wish he would repeat the action again. Over and over.
He breathed heavily, his lips still lingering too closely to yours. 
“Can I keep you?”
It seemed like such an innocent request, a childish one even but the way he had said it was the complete opposite. His words were fileld with fondness, admiration even. 
You could only smile in return, brushing your thumb against his swollen lips as your fingers curled behind his neck, connecting your mouth with his again.
---
Your eyes stared at your laptop screen, not believing what you were seeing. The email was clear, there was no mistaking it. It was hard for you to process it, to believe it. The interview had not gone that well in your eyes, you had been jittery and nervous the moment you had turned on the webcam. You were positive you wouldn’t have gotten the job, that they wouldn’t have even considered your rookie attempt at an application. Your resume wasn’t at all impressive either and it didn’t display that many skills but you were fairly determined. They must’ve seen some type of potential in you or maybe it was as simple as them just needing someone to hire and you had fit the needed criteria , regardless of experience. 
Either way you were ecstatic. 
The angency was located back in the city you had been forced to move out of just weeks ago. The same city you never intended to leave. The place you wanted to make a home was waiting for you again. This job would guarantee you a place to stay, a stable income and everything you needed to get back on your feet. It was everything you had ever wanted, wasn’t it? This is why you had slaved away at college all these years. It felt you like you were finally being compenstated for your efforts.
For once, you didn’t feel so negative about your future. You could finally start to see something in it.
Not wasting any time, you ran down the hallway leading to the staricase. Your legs bolted down the old wooden steps as you made your way over to the kitchen.
“Dad!” You saw him sat at the table with some type of paperwork in his hands as he read something on his cellphone.
He looked up the moment he saw you rushing in.
“I got the job!” You beamed, not being able to hide your overwhelming state of happiness. “They just emailed me from the agency, I start in two weeks.”
Your father’s face lit up at your words, a knowing smirk forming on his lips as he got up from his seat and engulfed you in a tight hug. You tensed up for a moment, not used to the sudden display of affection. It had been so long you two had actually hugged, you weren’t exactly most a affectionate type and you often did shy away from his fatherly tendencies to comfrot you but this time you welcomed it. You wrapped your arms around him, unable to hide your smile.
“I knew you would,” He said with a hearty chuckle, his glasses almost stumbling off his face when he pulled away from the hug. “ I told you that you don’t give yourself enough credit for your efforts.”
You almost rolled your eyes at his usual therapist fueled comment but you had to admit he was right this time. Maybe you really had not given yourself enough praise for what you had accomplished or allowed yourself to feel proud.
You hadn’t noticed Jungkooks  figure hovering you, you were far too wrapped up in your own excitment to have noticed the drop in tempature that indicated his arrivals. His eyes were studying your every move as he watched the tender scene unwrap in front of him
But it wasn’t tender at all for him.
He felt his entire self break in that moment. How a dead soul could manage to feel so much pain? He didn’t know but it served as another cruel reminder that death could not grant him any sort of relief from the inevitable hearbreak in this moment.
His eyes watered, angry tears forming. 
Were you that glad to leave him?
His heart ached at your delighted state, you were full on grinning. The type of smile that made one’s cheeks hurt. Had you ever smiled like that with him? He wasn’t sure, all he could feel when he saw you now was betrayal. 
You had promised you wouldn’t ever leave.
 Why had it been so easy for you to break your word? 
Could you not see the way he felt for you? His entire soul belonged to you, you were the only good thing left for him. You had been his escape, the only person who could see him , talk to him, and love him. 
 He would never find someone like you again, he didn’t want to. He only wanted you.
No, he thought angrily.
You didn’t get to leave him behind.
---
You couldn’t sleep. The intrusive thoughts had filled your mind, you were unable to think about anything else besdies him. 
Jungkook refused to make himself known the entire day. You knew that could only mean one thing. You had upset him. It had not been your intention to, you thought about ways on how to break the news to him in a rational manner. You knew his avoidence had to do with your new job acceptance and what that would mean for both of you.
A part of you thought it was silly, were you really worrying this much over a ghost? If your father ever realized why you were in such a conflicted state right now, there was no doubt you would have been wheeled into the nearest mental hospital. It was ludicrious, you were feeling horrible for having to leave Jungkook behind but why? It wasn’t as if you could live with your father forever and be tied to this house.
Besides, your father had always been the type to move around a lot and you knew it was only a matter of time before he left this house behind. He never stayed in one spot for too long. It had been one of your biggest pet peeves growing up, and you couldn’t lie and say you still didn’t resent him a bit for it. After all, it had been the reason you had struggled to maintain friends or gain much social skills.
You knew you had no future here and much less with a ghost. Jungkook was dead. There was no changing that no matter how much your heart ached everytime you reminded yourself about the reality of it. You knew you shouldn’t have ever allowed yourself to develop feelings for someone, something that would never be part of the living world again. 
Yet why did it still hurt so much?
A sigh left your lips as you adjusted yourself again against the covers, twisting your body to the side and forcing your eyes to shut. 
The cold sensation hit your body instantly, crawling its way to the back of your neck. 
You shivered at the freezing air, tugging the covers around you tighter and your eyes glanced towards your window.
It was closed.
Which could only mean one other thing.
“Jungkook,” You whispered gently.
He was here, you could feel him. You felt the mattress drip beside you, signaling his arrival. 
His fingers trailed over your exposed arms in circular motions. His touch was gentle, like it always had been. 
“I’m sorry,” You turn to him , coming to sit up against the headboard. “Jungkook, listen. I don’t want to do this, you know I don’t.”
He watches you, you could make out most of his features in the darkness thanks to the little light that peaked in through your bathroom door in the corner. His eyes didn’t leave yours for once, listening intently to your words as his fingers continued to caress your skin.
“But I have to, this is my job. I’ve been dreaming about getting this for so long and I can’t give that up.” You explain, trying your best to soothe the bluntness of your words, knowing there was really no kind way to put this.It was evident you were choosing yourself and what benefited you the most.
“Maybe in another life, we could of been together,” You whisper to him, his nose was almost touching yours. The close proximity you were in only made your heart beat quicker.
You watch his head tilt at your words.
“You’re right,” He replied, his voice deeper than you had ever heard it before. “We could be together in another life.”
You swallowed, noticing the way his gaze had darkened. You thought you recognized his behavior fairly well now but you were positive he had never looked at you this way. Jungkook was always playful, childish and even pitiful at times. 
But he was none of those things right now.
“I wish there was a way you could escape this house,” You told him. “ A way for your soul to finally be at peace.”
He smiled at that but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. 
“Why did you lie to me?”
You heart sunk at his words, his tone remained the same, a neutrality you weren’t familiar with when it came from him.
You instantly knew what he was reffering to. The words you had told him that day.
“I-I didn’t, I mean I didn’t mean to but you have to understand.” You stumbled over your words, sounding more defensive than you intended to. 
Jungkook in fact didn’t understand. You knew he didn’t by the way his eyes had narrowed at your excuse, his whole demeanor shifting. 
“You promised me you would never leave me.” 
There it was, that uncontrollable anger surfacing. What he had tried keeping at bay was unraveling itself and you could tell his emotions didn’t end in only rage but hurt.
He sounded so pained and all you could feel was shame.
You pulled away from him, trying your best to figure out how to calm him down. It seemed like Jungkook was no stranger to tantrums and overreactions, you had seen it that day he thought you were leaving him. But instead of despair, this time it something much more violent. 
“You told me you wouldn’t leave me alone again, why did you lie to me!” You flinched at his sudden raise in volume, your eyes bulging out as you took a look around you. Your father surely had to have heard that? You backed away and nearly fell off the bed as you made your way over to the door.
You grasped the door knob but when you tried to pull open the door, it wouldn’t budge. You knitted your eyebrows in confusion, tugging it harder. The door wasn’t locked by any means but something seemed to be forcing it shut. Something incredibly strong.
“Jungkook, why can’t I open the door?” You clenched your teeth as you tried to put your entire stength into pulling it open.
“What makes you think you can leave me here alone!” Jungkook’s voice boomed so loudly throughout the room that you swore it shook the walls. You looke behind you, he was still standing by the bed, angry tears falling down his cheeks as he glared at you. 
“P-Please, calm down. Let me out, Jungkook!” You pleaded, growing frustrated with your lack of progress with opening the door that instead you started banging against it with your fists.
You yelped as you heard the sound of glass shattering near you, turning you noticed it the light that had been coming from the bathroom was gone and another scream left your lips when a lamp was thrown harshly towards the wall right next to you.
“Jungkook! Calm down!” You shut your eyes, the room was freezing now, you felt your entire body ache at the extremely low tempature. 
“You can’t leave me! I won’t let you!” He cried behind you, you didn’t even want to turn around to look at him again. You knew he was completely losing it, his voice sounded strained, filled with nothing but distress and fury. 
You continued to hear more stuff breaking behind you, when you turned around your stomach dropped at the sight of various items flying in mid air. The image was straight out of a horror film, Jungkook stood in one place as you saw the your laptop slam straight into the wall in front of you. The dresser shook relentlestly , the drawers shutting and opening uncontrollably.
Your body slid down against the door, you shook your head, covering your ears at the sound of the complete chaos mixed in with Jungkook’s disturbed yelling.
“Y/n!” You heard your father’s voice from the other side of the door, he was knocking frantically on it.
“Dad! Help me!” You scream out, coming to slam your fists against the wooden material again. “P-Please do something!”
“Tell him to leave!” Jungkook hissed and he was suddenly right in front of you. You jumped back in horror, trying your best to crawl away from him but it was useless. Anywhere you tried to run and hide, he appeared right in front of you.
“Tell him to leave or else!” He warned you, the threat was clear in his words as he came to grasp your ankle, dragging you back towards him as your back slid across the carpet.  
Would he hurt your father?
Could he?
Everything you had deemed impossible about the spirit realm was clearly proving you wrong right now.
“D-Dad,” You called out again as Jungkook’s jaw clenched, he was fully holding you down now, his entire weight was suffocating you. “Go away! I’m fine.”
Your dad’s persistant knocking came to a halt. 
“Y/n? What’s going on!” 
He didn’t believe you, concern was clear in his voice but you needed to get him away from the door.
“I’m fine!I-I just had a nightmare, please leave me alone.” You tried again, forcing yourself to get rid of the shake in your tone as you calmed your unsteady breathing.
It was quiet for a few seconds before you heard your father’s footsteps make their away across the hallway, away from your room. But if you knew anything about your father, you knew he was most likely on his way to dial the police. 
“Shh shh,” Jungkook’s finger came to press against your lips when he had noticed you had started to sob, your frantic eyes met his again and you didn’t recognize who was  in front of you anymore. A completely crazed look had taken over him.
“L-Let me go, you have to let me go.” You mumbled against his finger but he shook his head stubbornly at you, anger washing over his features again.
“You won’t leave me,” He stated lowly, the tears continued to roll down his pale cheeks and he licked his upper lip, the tiniest bit of a smile forming on them. “We will be together, I promise.”
Your blood ran cold at his implication.
You suddenly felt a tightness around your neck, it felt like a pair of hands was choking you. Your eyes trailed down but you realize there was nothing wrapped around your neck.
Yet you couldn’t breathe.
“I’ll make it quick, Y/n.” Jungkook reassured you as he carressed your cheek. 
Your mouth fell open, trying to breath in the air that was being ripped away from your body. The tightness only got worse and your arms reach out to push him off you, desperatly throwing punches at him but it was as if you had not even touched him. His body remaining unaffected above you.
“J-Jun-” You tried to speak through your choked breaths but you couldn’t anymore, the oxeygyn was rapidly being caught off, you couldn’t catch a single breath to relieve the pain in your lungs. 
Your eyes darted around the room, looking anywhere but him. You couldn’t stand to look at his eyes anymore, instead your gaze briedfly landed on the clock that hung on the side your wall.
12:06 a.m
The veil is always thinner at night.
Everything around you became blurry, you saw black dots everywhere as his thumb continued to run down your cheek.
“We will be happy after this.” You heard him say in your last moments of life, you felt like you were floating now too. His words sounding too muffled in your pained state. 
“You will be mine forever.”
An abyss of darkness is what greeted you next, your body fully giving out and  stilling completely.
---
The yellow caution tape surrounded the house, the bold black lettering that read ‘ crime scene ahead’ wrapped the old wooden fence. Countless of police cars were flooding the scene, accompanied by a few ambulances as well. Neighbors gathered around the house, in their robes and night attire and they invasively tried to figure out what was happening. Officers held out their hands, limiting their acess and preventing them from stepping too close. The entire block seemed to be present, their nosey selves unable to pass up the opportunity to catch the latest gossip and tragic news on the once too quiet and boring neighborhood. 
“No traces?” Dective Kim questioned his partner as he set another identifaction marker on the carpet floor where they had found the young woman’s body. His gloved hands angling the yellow stand in the desired position. 
“Not one,” Confirmed his partner with a shake of his head. “The father is the main suspect naturally but.....there’s nothing really.”
Detective Kim stared down at the area of the floor that had been marked, tilting his head as he took a look around the cold room. It was chilly outside but nothing compared to the low tempatures presented in this room. 
“Misery seems to follow this house.” He commented as he further inspected the the dresser that was out of a place, a few dawers completely opened with clothes gathering around the floor. A smashed laptop that had broken into pieces followed closely next to it.
His partner turned to him, raising an eyebrow.
“What do you mean?”
Detective Kim sighed. “ A ninteen-year old boy died in this same room years ago, back in the 70′s. My grandpa used to know him.”
His partner looked mildly suprised by the statement, eyes darting back towards the floor.
“How’d he die?”
“Suicide. He killed himself after suffucating both his parents to death in their sleep.”
---
712 notes · View notes
yoon2k · 4 months ago
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aren't we all sinners? | jjk
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✠ SUMMARY | ghosts in a church was as normal as sinners in a confessional. so normal, you didn't bat an eyelash when the local ghostbusters were called in yet again for another job. what did bat your eyelash, though, was one ghostbuster in particular. and he was about to find out just how a confession works.
✠ PAIRING | ghostbusters!jungkook × virgin nun!reader
✠ RATE | 18+
✠ GENRE | supernatural, religious, sacrilege, smut
✠ WARNINGS | sacrilege! , breaking religious vows, defiling of religious areas, misuse of a cross, corruption, loss of virginity, penetration with foreign object, unprotected penetrative sex, oral f!recieving, dirty talk, begging, slight tears, guilt, shame, internal dilemmas
✠ WC | 7.4k
✠ A/N | another religious jk fic ! literally both of them have been so random and impulsive its funny to see it happen twice 😭
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⇢ For the Namkook Moonrise Masquerade Collaboration hosted by @jamaisjoons
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"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been only days since my last confession but I can no longer defend the egregious nature of my actions. I can't justify these thoughts that I've been plagued with. Ever since… our last ghost…"
You had rushed to the confessional in a hurry, heart thudding faster in your chest as you aimed to reach sanctuary with haste. You slammed the door of the small space shut behind you, panting with short breath as you tried to relieve your anxieties. He was back. Here. Again. You thought you'd be able to contain yourself this time, you urged yourself, pleaded with yourself and your beating chest to relax, and remember your vows when you caught sight of him. You implored yourself to think of your god, your lord and saviour, the one who you were truly married to in religious matrimony. You prayed and prayed. Since the last time he came. For your god to give you the strength to stop seeing his face, his charming smile, everytime you closed your eyes. You begged, on your knees, with your hands clasped and your eyes screwed shut, for your mind to stop conjuring up scenarios with him. To stop imagining how his hands would feel in yours, how his embrace would wrap around and protect you. How sweet a kiss would be—It was impiety! Desecration of everything you hold dear to your heart! You were on the verge of falling to sin, if your thoughts hadn't already granted you a seat in hell. Burning in those flames with all those lustful disbelievers. It's what you deserved. Your impure thoughts clouding the mind that should only be thinking of your vows. Your religious duty. The one you swore to.
“Bless me, Father. I am crushed under the weight of my sins and I can no longer bear these impurities raging inside me. I need to beg for the Lord's forgiveness and hope he will have mercy on my soul.” You took a deep, shaky breath. You were about to confess one of the greatest sins you had ever committed after taking your religious vows. Right to the man who spoke to god. Confession was confidential. Of course it was. But it wouldn’t stop the searing shame washing over you as the pious man acknowledged your sins. You knew he’d never see you the same way again. You’d never be the same person, not in the eyes of god. Forever blemished with specks on your soiled soul.
“There has been an abundance of the unrested ghosts recently. Those who struggle to cross the barrier between this life and the next,” you started hesitantly. Information he already knew. He’d been the direct communication between the ghosts, after all. You cleared your throat. “The ghostbusters that have been arriving. I’m afraid…” Your heart felt like it was in your throat, pushing away at the barriers of your skin. Like an embodiment of your sin, raging to tell everyone of your deepest desires.
You rubbed your clammy hands together. Your soul needed to be absolved. You couldn’t go on living like this. This was in direct contradiction to everything you had learned, to everything you stood for. You had to beg for forgiveness. Now. Before it was too late. Before you crossed the threshold between salvageable and lost. Before you became damned, for good. “I-I’m afraid I’ve been having thoughts about one of the men, father.” A beat. Silence from his end. The sweat trickled down your brow, creating an anxious itch. “Unholy thoughts…thoughts I can’t control. I’m afraid the devil’s in me.”
He didn’t say a word. Resolute silence greeted your words, confirming your worst fears. The judgement flooded through the small wall separating the confessional, the lack of words speaking volumes. You suddenly felt too hot in your clothes, struggling to sit still and not tear off the head covering sitting heavily on your head. You panicked, but you had to continue. Otherwise, what hope was there for you? The deed was done, the priest was told. Now, you needed to repent. You needed your penance to save yourself. To wipe your slate clean and start anew, with the lord’s guidance to keep you away from impurity.
“I think of him… in my bed. Jeon Jungkook. The one with the… piercing…” you gulped. As if you could pick a worse man to occupy your mind. Not that he was in any way evil, of course. Jungkook was the kindest man you’d ever met. Extremely charming with the humor to match. He was always greeting you with that big smile, raising a hand in a wave as he passed you by in the corridors. He was consistently sweet to everyone, your convent’s dog running straight to him everytime he entered. You didn’t think there was a more pure adult in the world than the innocently endearing man that pouted in concentration as he was loading up his machine. Not to mention, the man was strikingly handsome. A fact that rarely went unnoticed. The way all eyes would turn to him as he walked by, women lifting their gaze off their prayer books to follow his stride. He was obnoxiously unaware, of course. He was only here to do his job. Still, your heart didn’t hesitate to do a little cartwheel everytime he found you and struck up a conversation. And for all his heavenly traits, Jeon Jungkook was the embodiment of sin. And your priest knew, if a woman mentioned him, what kind of indulgences they were seeking. You must’ve reeked with shame at this point.
“He occupies my every thought, Father. I see his eyes when I close mine, I hear his laugh and the rhythm of his voice when I fall into dreams. Father, I—” You shut your eyes, “I think about his hands…” you whisper, “how they would feel… in places I’ve never felt before.” There's a sharp gasp from the booth next to you, but you could barely hear it. For you couldn’t continue, your heart beat so loudly. You shook your head. This was a mistake. You should’ve never spoken your crimes out loud, you should’ve never placed such a heavy burden on the priest. The burden of forgiving your actions. You should’ve found strength within you. Not go running to the lord at every transgress and plead for him to forgive you—
“Tell me.”
The voice next to you. He finally spoke. As startled as you were, your internal trainwreck being put on a temporary halt, a certain weight lifted off your chest. Not all the weight, but a small piece. To know you still had a chance with god. To know your priest wanted to help absolve you of your sins, wanted to guide you on your path to forgiveness. It gave you the courage to continue.
“I-I had a dream the other night.” Your heart thudded as you recalled the fateful memory. It must have been that moment, the last time he was here. The way he’d brushed up against you as you walked the halls, showing him to the room where you saw the ghost last. The way he’d made you laugh at an impression of his boss, deepening his voice and furrowing his brows to the full effect. The way he’d pushed you up against the wall suddenly, hand around your waist as he hissed in your ear to stay quiet. You were holding your breath, scared to move. For you hadn’t seen the ghost ravaging a mere few feet from where you were headed. Right before Jungkook snatched you from harm’s way and hid you in a corridor, with his body as your shield. You had wondered if he could hear your heartbeat. It was deafening to you.
You still remembered the way he’d shot the ghost with rock salt, deterring it from coming any closer and sending it screeching off to another end of the large building. The look he’d given you when he asked if you were alright. The lingering gaze, the way he’d traced your features as he held onto you a moment too long. A hint of a smirk on his face as if he knew what he was doing.
“In the dream, he-he touched me, Father. His mouth found mine in lustful passion, his fingers traced maps on my skin, exploring every inch. His lips set fire to every inch he grazed, trailing down my bosom. I’d never known such pleasure, as I imagined he would give me. H-his hands, Father, they…” Your face heated, “he pushed them into my sacred chastity. He defiled me in my dream, Father. And it felt so good. I longed for it. Night after night, I rolled around my empty bed sheets. Praying for the same dream to come to me again. Just for a taste of sin. I-I wanted it. Would have done anything for it.”
You would have cried with shame. You would have fallen down to your knees and wept for your treachery, praying that the angels on your shoulder turned away at the lustful deeds you partook in. The way you’d lie back on your bed, nightgown covering your entire body. Your hand would sneak under the cotton material, eyes screwed shut as you found the source of your suffering. Explored your body for the first time with your hand, shaking as you nudged the little bundle of nerves that caused you so much heartache. Keeping his face in your mind, imagining his weight falling on your body. Feeling him pressed against your skin, with his fingers tucked in between your legs. You drew harsher circles against your clit, sweat beading on the surface of your skin as your body was set alight with desire. Tiny moans falling from your lips, whimpers as you felt the ghost of his lips over yours. Those beautiful pink lips. Curved into that cocky smile. You felt your hand dip into a wetness, fingers soon becoming soaked with the arousal dripping from your core. You pushed your body further into the mattress, experimenting with the boundaries of your hole. Oh. Your finger slid right into your cunt, so easily in your ardor. You’d heard his voice drifting in your ear. Thinking of the way his hot breath would feel, a nip to your earlobe as he’d whisper. Go on, pretty angel. Cum for me. Your body writhed in your sheets, twisting and turning as you reached your climax. Your hand flew to your mouth, muffling your longing moans as you imagined his face at the height of your orgasm. His twinkling eyes as he winked at you deviously. And then it was gone, and you were left alone in your room once more. A cold breeze chilling your skin fraught with sweat, the puddle of arousal mocking you as evidence of what you had just done. Your breathing filled the room, heavy pants and tears in your eyes. The cross hanging on the wall that usually brought you such comfort glared harshly at you. Lord, what had you done? What would you repeat doing for the next couple nights?
“At first, it was only glimpses in my sleep. When I’d first met him. He appeared as a distant face, someone I barely recognized. Now, he claims my mind, my body, my soul. I fear he is the devil. For I have been corrupted with longing by his mere presence. I seek your guidance, Father. I beg the lord will find it in his heart to forgive me. Please, I-I,” your voice broke, “I have nothing else to hold dear but my devotion to my religion. I need your penance, Father. So I can leave the devil behind and move on with my chaste life.” But your words are only met with silence. You must have stunned the priest into quietude. Either that, or he had a heart attack upon hearing your recital.
“Father...I seek your guidance.” You felt your chest tighten with emotion. “Father?”
Jungkook was stunned. Shook beyond words as he stood there, frozen, while you bore your heart to who you thought was the priest on the other side of the thin wall. He felt guilty, sweat beading at his forehead, at the idea of listening to your innermost thoughts. When you’d first entered the confessional in a hurry, he heard the loud scrape of the door as you locked yourself in. Huffing breaths as hushed words fell rapidly from your lips. He was only checking the radioactive activity in the small room, by orders from his boss. Apparently, the ghost had been hanging around and eavesdropping on confessions. But by the time you’d started to pour your heart out, it was too late for him to make an escape. He’d already heard you admit to a sin of impure thoughts, there’s no way he could reveal himself then. You’d be disgraced, ashamed. He couldn’t do that to you. No, the only thing to do was to let you rant. To preserve your pride and keep your head held high. What’s the worst thing that could come out of your mouth?
Turns out, sexual fantasies about him. That’s what.
At first, he felt guilty. Then, you spoke his name. You started to detail all the things you wanted him to do to you. All the places you wanted him to touch, where you wanted his hands… Jungkook liked to think he was a good man. Maybe not the most religious, but certainly not the worst. But would a good man be sweating in a confessional, head tilted back and eyes closed in agony as his cock ached in his jeans? Would a good man start palming themselves through their pants, imagining you under him in the way you so sweetly and shakily described? Would a good man look at you the way he did every time he walked into the convent, sneakily stealing glances and looks, always coming up with reasons to talk to you. Just to hear your dainty voice, your pretty laugh. Would a good man imagine ripping off that damn chaste outfit off your body, just to have you writhing in pleasure beneath him? Just for a taste of your sweet juices?
God, how he felt dirty. Dirty and stained with impiety. His thoughts were clouding his judgement, like stains on his hands. It was some kind of sin to be thinking about you, let alone to get off to you. He was sure about that. But in a church no less?? Yeah. Jungkook probably had just earned himself a one-way ticket to hell. But he couldn’t care less. Not when your voice spoke out loud the tension he knew there was between you. Not when you confirmed you wanted this just as much as he did. That eased his guilt a bit. Just enough to goad you to continue. “Tell me.”
Your small voice drifted through the wall, dripping in shame, with a hint of longing and lust coating the edges. Jungkook had to constantly remind himself to keep quiet, biting back groans as your story continued. He almost didn’t hear you finish, too busy in a haze of desire and daydream to realize you were asking for penance. From the priest you thought he was.
Fuck. What was it that priests say? “Say three hail Marys and repent, for our lord and saviour is… merciful (?).” Yeah. That sounded about right. Breathing out a sigh of relief at the end of this tortuous confession. Fuck, maybe now he could go home and shower. He desperately needed to cleanse himself of whatever just took place here.
But the other side of the wall was too quiet. He hadn’t heard the shut of the door, signaling your exit from your side of the confessional. When he listened, he was surprised to hear your breathing through the wall. “... Was there something else, my child?”
A small gasp escaped you. You must have slapped your palm over your mouth because your voice suddenly became muffled. But he heard you, alright. Loud and clear. “I-It’s you. Holy—” You stopped yourself before you could do more damage to your rotten soul. His heart dropped to his ass. Gathering your bearings, Jungkook heard a loud thud as your door was slammed open, rushed footsteps carrying you out and away from him. Fuck.
“Wait!” he pushed the door open, looking around for you wildly. Swinging his head in the direction he thought he’d heard you go in. But you were nowhere to be found. Shit. Of course, you knew the covenant like the back of your hand. If you wanted a quick escape route, strangers to the building didn’t stand a chance.
Lucky for him, though, Jungkook was no stranger.
He spotted the doorway he thought you'd disappeared through, hustling and hot on your trail. Barging through the wooden door, a loud clang announcing his arrival in the corridor, he was just in time to catch your long dress disappearing behind a wall.
He chased after you, "Yn! Please wait!" But as he rounded the corner, all he got was a slammed door in his face. "Yn, please." He lifted his hand to a tentative knock, barely aware of your heavy breathing on the other side of the door. “Please, darling, open the door.”
“Go away.” He heard that loud and clear. Your sweet voice, trying to sound determined and stern, but dripping in anguish and shame. God, how he wished to be able to take that pain away. He knew it was his fault. He should’ve never been listening to your innermost thoughts. He should’ve announced his presence and stopped you from spilling your guts the moment you’d stepped into that confessional. And he’d tell you as much. Except, there was a small part of him, once he’d heard your tattered voice, that urged him to stay and listen. There was always a devil on his shoulder, egging him on in his charade and convincing him you couldn’t possibly say anything so damning. You were married to the lord, after all. Even though all he wanted to hear from you was those words you’d spoken so worriedly.
“I’m sorry. I never should have pretended I was the priest.” He called out to you, unsure if you could even hear him. “I know how private confession is supposed to be. And I was gonna get out of there, I swear! But then… I heard you mention my name and… well…” He took a deep breath, missing yours hitching on the other side of the door. “I know I shouldn’t have even heard those words, let alone like them. But, yn, you don’t understand how long I’ve been dreaming about those same things.” His confession was met with silence. He sighed, bowing his head.
“W-why?” Your tiny voice broke through the wood. His head shot up, leaning closer to the door, one hand holding his weight against the wall.
“I-I… well… I don’t really know how to explain why.” He rubbed the back of his neck, “I mean, without offending you, of course.”
“I won’t be offended.”
Jungkook’s head shot up in surprise at your voice. “Right, well. I heard your innermost thoughts. Seems only fair you hear my confession, too.” His heart beat louder in his chest. For a moment, he thought a ghost might have possessed him. But his radioactive scanner wasn’t going haywire. Must’ve just been a poor bastard’s nerves, causing his large palms to create enough sweat to rehydrate an entire desert. He wiped his hands on his jeans and cleared his throat. “Forgive me, yn, for I have sinned. I’ve thought about you in an inappropriate way more times than I can count. From the moment I saw you, actually. I remember the first time we laughed together, it was when Sister Lena tripped over the pew. Remember?”
He didn’t hear the tiny giggle you let out at the memory.
“I remember thinking it was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. I don’t understand it, really. It’s like you have some kind of hold on me and I can’t shake it, no matter how hard I’ve tried. It’s ironic when you think about it. I hunt and rid people of ghost possession for a living, yet I can’t rid myself of you. I remind myself of your duties and promises, of your devotion to your religion. I try to equate you with God, and the saviour. That only backfires. Now, in my mind, my devotion is only to you. I picture your face when I think of religion, and I fear hell now, for it will not have you in it.”
“I-I picture your body when I think of heaven.” He let out a shaky breath. This is it. “I can’t stop imagining you under me, all the things I could do to you. All the ways you would scream my name. The way you would writhe as I bring you to your peak with only my mouth, or my fingers. The way you’d look when you came all over my cock after I fuck your pretty pussy open. I can only see your face when I touch myself, a halo over your head, reminding me of the angel you are, and the sinner I am.” He bowed his head in defeat. You were never gonna look at him again after this. What was he thinking, suggesting telling you his filthy thoughts? You didn’t want to hear that shit. “I’m sorry, yn, but it’s true.”
He leaned back, letting the door creak at the loss of his weight against it. Staring at the blank, empty, silent wood. Is this what confession was like? He wouldn’t know, he’d never been. But people always spoke of such a freeing feeling when they’d leave. All he felt was a heavier weight on his shoulders, one he’d have to learn to carry every time he stepped foot back in the convent.
He turned away from your rejection, ready to leave you and any thoughts of you behind. Whatever it took. He didn’t expect the door to swing wide open, or your small voice breathing out, “But… aren’t we all sinners?”
He turned back to see you peeking out of your room. You'd removed your wimple. Were you allowed to do that? Didn't matter, since you looked ethereal. You stood up straight, clearly catching his stubborn gaze on you. "Jeon Jungkook, I absolve you of your sins." Your small voice spoke hushed, rapid. "Your penance is to enter my room… and repent. Until your sins are forgiven."
He finally met your eyes, ears red from your words as he snapped out of his sheepish state. There. Your eyes held truth, no trace of any false statements. Your true intentions were evident. Willing, almost begging, to be at his mercy. The way you were looking at him, with want in your eyes. He didn’t care how sacrilegious it was, defiling a servant of god. He didn’t care if he would burn in hell for his blasphemy. He followed that gaze, taking large strides over to you to gently cup your face in his hands. His breathing was heavy in anticipation as was yours. Would you really let him do this?
“Please,” you whispered, leaning into his touch. He felt your soft hands touch his biceps, slowly pulling him to follow in step as you backed into your room. “I want this, Jungkook. You must believe me.” Your eyes searched his shyly at your confession, waiting with bated breath.
“Oh, I believe you, yn.” He pulled you close, pressing his forehead against yours. His lips were so close you could almost taste them. His warm breath on your skin. “ Forgive me, Lord. For I am about to sin—” He caught your lips in a passionate kiss, breathing in deep to fill his lungs with your air. Pushing you until your back hit the stony wall, digging into your skin as he trapped you with his passion. You grabbed at him with desperate hands, wrapping around the back of his thin shirt. Whatever material was fisted easily in your hands, stretching easily with the way you were clawing it down his shoulders. He gave you a moment to breathe, drawing back to meet your lust-blown eyes. His were darker, heavy breaths fanning your face as he ran his eyes down your face. But there was something softer in them; something that showed the gentleness of this giant man, below the surface of his rough exterior.
He dragged you down into the depths of hell with him, his soft touch leading you down the path of thorns you were bound on. You couldn’t care less as your back hit the mattress; all your senses could feel at that moment was him. Your mind clouded with the taste of his lips, the touch of his hands roaming your body, the way he stole your breath away as he pulled away, assertively making you his with a smack of his lips against yours. “Mm,” his hands trailed down to push your dress up, the holy fabric once protecting you completely useless at his touch. He found his way in between your legs, exploring the wetness of your heat through your thick panties. “Soaked. Just like you confessed, angel. Good girl.” He nuzzled your neck with his words, placing wet, open-mouthed kisses wherever he went.
His angel. That’s what he’d called you. An angel. A creature made of pure light created to only do good in this world at the command of god. What you should strive to be. A creature capable of doing no wrong; strong soldiers of god doing holy work, their purity and goodness above any levels a puny human could ever reach. How could he compare you to them, when he had you lying here underneath him, legs open and begging for him to touch you in your sacred place? How could he compare you to a saint when all you wanted was to fall into the debts of debauchery with him; when all you wanted was him to show you how to sin, how to please him, how to go so far past the line that those holy saints would never find you?
Lost in your thoughts, your gaze wandered subconsciously to the wall mirroring the door. And there it was. Burning a hole into you, about to burst into flame. Your holy cross. Hanging tediously on the wall as if it was hanging by a thread, swinging in warning before you went too far, and truly lost yourself. It stared at you menacingly, judgingly. Reminding you of who you were, your promises, your vows. To serve your god, and only him. To stay true to your values. To serve as a pillar of a sacred society. It was a witness to your acts, waiting to serve testimony at the end of time on judgement day, so you may be punished for your sins.
Your blood suddenly ran cold with fear as the small symbol took over your body, the power it held over you cumbersome, but towering. What were you doing? How could you lose your senses so easily, a lapse in judgement at the wink of an eye from the man above you? Your body was frozen in shock, unable to process the guilt and horror you felt. But also unable to push him away, to deny what you truly wanted; what your body craved. You couldn’t, not when he was making you feel so good. When he was giving you everything you’ve been missing for all the years of your life, having dedicated yourself to god the moment you turned of age. You’d never felt sensations like this before. And god, did he know what he was doing. He turned you dizzy with just his mouth, you couldn’t imagine how anything else would feel…
But you couldn’t.
Jungkook must have noticed your dilemma when he paused to scan your pensive face. Pulling back from his quest in trying to mark up all the supple skin he could find, his big eyes flashed with worry. “What’s wrong? Do you wanna stop?”
“No,” you were quick to answer, but you felt a pang of guilt in your chest. Your eyes drifted over to the cross hanging on your wall. Watching you. Judging you.
Jungkook followed your gaze, finding the source of your worries. He looked back at you, then at the cross again. It took him a minute, bless his heart, but he realized your strife. “What are you worried about? That little thing?” You nodded hesitantly, avoiding his eyes and trying to look anywhere else for fear of judgement. You landed on his chest instead. He tracked your gaze, tilting your head up to meet a playful smirk on teasing his lips. “It’s not going to hurt you, you know.”
“I know, but…” your hands fiddled with the strings of your dress, anxiety causing a slight tremble in your body.
Jungkook understood your feelings without your explanations. He wordlessly got up from your bed, leaving you with a sense of emptiness without his weight over your body. You watched his every move with horrified guilt; he was going to leave. You’d led him on, only to disappoint him. It was your fault, playing Jezebel. But he didn’t want to have anything to do with your unsteady emotions. Why would he?
He moved across the room to face the cross that was causing you so much agony and internal affliction. He watched it for a minute before reaching and dislodging it from its protected position. It looked so small in his large hands, almost benign. He turned it over, inspecting it. Before walking back over to you. “See, darling?” He turned it around to you, displaying it in his hand. “It’s totally harmless.”
He was so cute. Smiling hopefully with a hand held out to you, desperate to prove your fears were nothing to be afraid of. Not for himself, but for you. He hated seeing the anxiety that wrought you, and the power that a tiny metaphor had over you. He never agreed with the whole god and church thing, but to see you so distraught… he couldn’t stand it.
You tried at a smile. For him. But he could tell you were still worried. Sure, he took the boogeyman off its pedestal. But how to show you its insignificance?
Jungkook’s eyes trailed down, and spotted where his hands had explored earlier. Your soaked panties clung to your cunt, the thick fabric drenched with arousal. Before he could think anymore about what he was about to do, he dove under your dress, pulling down your panties in one fell swoop.
You let out a loud gasp at the sudden breeze in between your legs, but it was quickly replaced with a moan with Jungkook’s tentative lick at your folds. Your legs turned to jelly. You’d never felt anything like this before. This, you thought, must be what heaven feels like. The way he kissed so softly, ran his tongue through your folds like he was enjoying a five-course meal. He was being so gentle and sweet, hooking your legs over his arms in between his face. He looked up at you from under your skirt, only to send a wink. You whimpered instinctively, choking back your loud moans with every lick.
When he latched onto your clit, you about lost it. The sensitive bundle of nerves shivering with the sensations he was presenting it with, tingles moving through your body like an electric shock in the best way possible. His tongue is swirling around your clit like a whirlpool, licking up your juices and covering your mound in his saliva. You cry out once he adds suction, clutching your sheets in a death grip as his cheeks hollow. He looks up at you with big eyes. He looks so innocent in the moment, and not at all like he’s currently bringing your entire world crashing down into pleasure with just a flick of his tongue.
He let go with a pop, allowing you a moment to breath. “You like that, baby? Did I make you feel good?” He asked with a smirk, wiping your juices with the back of his hand. You let out a tiny sigh at the sight, eyes half-lidded as you watched the grinning man who had you under his full control. You gave him a lazy nod, heat rushing to your cheeks at the admission. Only to make his grin grow wider.
Jungkook thought you looked a lot more relaxed now. Body slightly quivering, but more open and loosened up. But, eating you out wasn’t the end of his plan. It was only the beginning.
He took advantage of your momentary haze to inspect the discarded cross. Once it passed his judgement, he held it up to you. “Does this still scare you, baby?”
Your reaction was instant, though more less defined now. He could see how conditioned you were about this cross, how much it held you back. There was only one way to fix that.
“It’s nothing more than wood, love.” He cooed, rubbing your thighs soothingly. A distraction as he inched the ornament closer and closer to your heat. “It doesn’t have any power over you. If anything, you have power over it.”
You nodded at his words, willing to eat them up. He must be right, the way his eyes were shining so pretty right now. There was no way a man who looked like an angel could be wrong. If he said you shouldn’t be scared, maybe he had a point. Maybe god would forgive you. Maybe Jesus died for your sins, as your cross served a constant reminder of. But, he could forgive you for this. Maybe, this wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Maybe…
Your eyes widened as you let out a gasp at the small object being pushed into your wet heat. Jungkook shushed you calmingly, rubbing your clit to get you to open up. You looked down to see the sacred cross, being pushed deeper and deeper into your cunt. You felt a small amount of pain at the penetration, your fingers the only ones your tight pussy had ever known. But Jungkook was going slow, making sure you were adjusting well. “See darling? It’s under my control now.”
Oh lord, forgive me. You thought fleetingly as your eyes screwed shut. He started to move the small symbol in and out, slow at first. Establishing a tempo. You didn’t have time to think of the implications. What this would mean for your wretched soul. How he was simultaneously defiling your body and a symbol of god. Jeon Jungkook had guts, you had to give him that. Coincidentally, being a ghost-buster awarded him that trait. While you were twisting and turning, body writing on your bed as your soul fought with itself, fear ebbing away and pure pleasure taking over.
He held onto the cross, fingers twisting around the top, like he was holding a sword. Sheathing it within your pussy repeatedly. “Look at you now. Not so scary, is it?” He landed a small kiss on your inner thigh. “You have nothing to fear when you’re with me.” His other hand came up to drag up your folds, long, veiny hands tickling your most sensitive parts. He was being undeniably gentle, but you wanted more. You could take it, you thought. You’d burn in hell anyways, what’s the point of being coy?
“More, Jungkook.” You whined, bucking your hips up. “Please?”
A small chuckle escaped him. “Making demands now, angel?” He came up to hover over you, cross buried in your cunt. You saw a glint of mischief flash in his eyes before he swooped down for a sloppy kiss. “Talk to me. Tell me what you want me to do to you, just like you did in that confessional.”
“Mm, I—” You hesitated with his eyes on you, suddenly shy again. Jungkook took to kissing down your body, slowly lowering himself back down while murmuring gentle encouragements. “Faster, please.” You rushed out, before you could stop yourself. “I want you to fuck me with that godforsakken thing harder.”
A smile the devil would be jealous of flashed on his face. His eyes turned dark at your hasty request, a click of his tongue your only warning before he abided. Pulling the cross out slowly, and then shoving it back in with a rough hand. You let out a cry, but he could see your pussy clenching tightly around the object. He did it again, more ruthlessly this time. Faster, harder. Until he was sure he was bruising your walls. But you didn’t stop him. Your legs quivered, and he saw a shimmer of tears in your eyes, but you just kept beginning for more. “This is what you wanted? When you were confessing in there, I was imagining all the things I could do to you. How you seemed so pure and chaste, but you hid such dirty desires beneath that holy outfit. But this? I didn’t know just how obscene you were. Getting off to being fucked with a cross. Wanting me to go harder, be rougher with you. Fucl, how would you take my dick?” He moaned at his own words, imagining how much more filthy your cravings could get.
“Please,” you choked out, feeling a tightness in your stomach. You recognized it as your orgasm fast approaching. “Please, Jungkook. I want your cock so bad. You don’t know how often I’ve thought of it, stretching me. How big it would be. How hard it would feel, pressing against my walls. Please. Give it to me, and I’ll be good, I promise.”
Jungkook cursed at your words, speeding up his pace with the cross, his other hands rubbing harshly at your clit. He could feel you were on the edge of orgasm, and he wanted to see you cum all over the small ornament so badly. With just a few more rough strokes, you were writhing on the bed as arousal gushed forth from your hole, coating his hands and the cross in your cum. He pulled it out of your cunt with a groan at the sight, the way your legs flew shut automatically as you tried to recuperate. But he was in a rush. You were soft and prepped enough to take his cock. And besides, he was about a second away from busting his own load, and, if that wouldn’t have been embarrassing enough, he wouldn’t’ve even gotten the chance to be inside you and give you what you wanted.
He pushed your legs open again gently after he pulled his pants off in a haste. You were just coming out of your post-orgasmic bliss, catching a sight of his long cock stood stiffly in between his legs. Your eyes widened. He was huge. How were you ever going to take him when all your cunt knew was your small, skinny fingers? You were going to be wrecked, ruined. Evidence of your night with him would plague you in the way you would walk the next morning, you knew it. Your sins would be written all over your face, your body telling the tale.
But that made you want it even more.
“You ready?” In all the frantic haste, Jungkook stopped for a moment to examine your face, making absolutely certain that you wanted this. Your resolute nodded solidified your desire, and eased his worries. With a soft kiss pressed to your lips, he held you close as he tapped his cock against your entrance. Almost as though it was a door, and he was asking for permission to go in. He rubbed the tip against your folds, brushing over your clit, and earning a large whine from you. You pushed your hips up against him bravely, begging for more. He was met with your pout when he looked at you, in return, a smile spreading across his lips. With a wink, he gripped his thick cock in hand, and pushed inside you slowly.
The stretch was like something you’ve never experienced before, your body frozen at the penetrative sensation. The cross was nothing compared to this, you thought, as he eased his way inside. You could feel him going deeper, thinking it would never end. Inching in, little by little. Just when you thought he was all the way in, he’d move again. God, he was endless. You held your breath as navigated his way through, pressing gentle kisses onto your skin with small murmurs of “almost there,” “you’re doing great.”
Finally, he was buried inside. You let out the breath you were holding, tears pricking at the corners of your eyes. Jungkook looked down worriedly, “Are you okay? Can I move?”
Your virginity was lost, the metaphorical seal broken. The deed was truly done. And yet, you felt no guilt. No gut-wrenching heartache, no culpability. Not a damn thing for throwing away your religious vows. All you felt was relief. And happiness that it was the man above you who took you on this journey. His eyebrow piercing glinted playfully at you as his eyebrows furrowed in concentration. You pulled him down for a kiss as your answer.
He breathed against your lips, taking your green light to pull back out and go in again while you were distracted with the kiss. You wrapped your arms around him tighter, wanting to feel his chest pressed against yours. You could feel his muscles with every move of his hips, surrounding you like a protection. He chased your lips like candy, never letting you escape. Soft lips hungrily biting at yours. Now that he knew you liked it rough, he’d take full advantage of that.
“Oh lord,” you moaned as he swiveled his hips, moving faster into your virgin cunt. You felt his heavy balls slapping against you, his groans in your ear like a melody as a distraction from how he was shaping your insides to fit his girth. He pulled one of your shaky legs to wrap around his waist, using the new angle to piston his hips ruthlessly into you. It was your first time, he knew that. But he couldn’t help himself. All those things he’d heard you say during your confession came rushing back to him. He looked down at you, making sure you were actually there, and not in his imagination this time. Your eyes shut, mouth fallen open in pleasure, skin exposed for his marking. This is better than anything he’d thought of. And he felt privileged, being the only one you let under your skirt. You didn’t know it, always so trusting and sweet, but Jungkook heard the whispers about you. Watched the way eyes followed you in any room you entered. Heard the way men would talk about your ass, your pretty face, how you’d look with their cum splattered on your cheek. It was obscene and disgusting. If only Jungkook hadn’t partook in those thoughts himself.
“Please, please, I—” you were unable to finish your thoughts with your second orgasm of the night approaching. You both were never gonna last long, Jungkook knew that. You had wanted this for so long, and had rushed so frantically into each other that you were bound to feel release creeping up on you like restitution for your suffering desires. He could feel his own coming up, knew that once he got a taste of your body, he wouldn’t be too far behind. Neither of you could care less. Wrapped up in one another, all you wanted was satisfaction, that sweet moment you’ve both been craving for so long.
“Cum for me, sweetheart,” he commanded, seasoned hands abusing your pussy into submission. You had no choice but to listen as he stimulated your clit, his engorged cock hitting your bundle of nerves from the inside. You came with a loud cry, one he muffled with his mouth. Jungkook couldn’t take it, the way you looked, the way you held onto him so tightly. The way you clenched impossibly tightly around his cock. It only took a few wreckless strokes, hitting hard and deep into your cunt, for him to spill his seed inside you.
“God forgive us,” you panted as you lay there post-orgasm, entangled in one another with only sin for company.
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blu-joons · a month ago
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A Bam Protected Pregnancy ~ Jeon Jungkook
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You instantly felt the weight of the world lift from your shoulders as you laid yourself down across the centre of your shared bed. The comfort of the mattress seemed to mould around you perfectly, taking the pressure off of the small of your back as your hands settled over the top of your growing baby bump, letting go of a tremendously large sigh too.
It didn’t take long before Jungkook’s figure appeared in the room too, smiling down at you as he took in the view of you, leaning against the frame of the door. He couldn’t help but chuckle as he saw the relief in your expression, bringing your eyes across to look at him.
After a few moments, Jungkook walked into the room, perching himself down on the end of the bed, careful not to knock you at all. His hand settled against your ankle, running the pad of his thumb gently across the width of it, pushing down gently too to try and relieve some of the pressure that was beginning to build as your pregnancy went on.
“Are you tired?” Jungkook asked as you readjusted the pillow that your head was resting on to make yourself more comfortable. “Why don’t you have a nap for a bit? I don’t mind sorting out some bits for dinner?”
“I can’t keep sleeping,” you laughed in reply, “it’s the middle of the day too, the midwife told me that I’ve got to keep myself nice and busy.”
His head shook back across at you, often wanting you to focus more on what your body wanted rather than what the midwife told you, knowing that no one knew your body like you.
“What about if I lay down with you for a while?” Jungkook proposed, “I had a bit of a restless night of sleep myself last night.”
You smiled weakly, “I know what you’re doing, and it’s very tempting.”
“Come on,” Jungkook grinned, standing up from the bed and encouraging you to shuffle across to your side of the bed, “I know you can’t resist a nap and a cuddle with me Y/N.”
You groaned loudly as you moved the weight of you and your bump across the room, making just enough space for Jungkook to be able to lay beside you. “I can’t believe I still have a month of moving around with this thing.”
“You’ve got to start taking it easier at some point you know.”
“That’s not me, I’m not used to lazing around.”
He smiled sympathetically as he moved his arm to ret against the small of your back, “for the sake of our baby, I think you might be able to get used to it though.”
“I couldn’t even take Bam for a walk the other day because I was exhausted,” you reminded him, “the two of us used to be able to walk around for miles.”
“And once the baby gets here, the three of you can walk around for miles instead of two.”
As if he knew the two of you were talking about him, it didn’t take long before you heard the heavy footsteps of Bam race up the stairs, following the sound of your voices through into the bedroom, immediately running up to the bed and jumping onto it too to join you both, walking across to the small bit of space that was between you both.
A snort of laughter came from you as Bam began to nudge Jungkook out of the way, stretching his legs out to create plenty of room beside you, leaving Jungkook scrambling to try and stretch his arm out far enough so that he could rest it over the top of your bump.
“Excuse me,” Jungkook laughed, gently patting against Bam’s waist as he sat himself down, without any regard for Jungkook at all. “Can you believe this? I’m being pushed out of my own bed,” Jungkook groaned, trying his hardest to wriggle around Bam, only for his leg to poke out every time that Jungkook tried.
“You know what he’s like, he hates anyone being around the bump,” you smiled as Bam settled right beside you, leaving no distance between the two of you.
Throughout the whole of your pregnancy Bam had been like a security guard by your side, keeping an eye on everyone. If anyone dared to touch your bump then Bam would be straight at them, barking loudly to warn them off of doing any harm to you.
“He’s going to be the most protective big brother in the world,” Jungkook smiled, happy to release his grip around your bump as his elbow began to ache, “he means business too.”
“Even you aren’t allowed anywhere near the bump anymore,” you joked, glancing across to face him with a smile, “he’s certainly not enjoying you being close to the baby either.”
“But that’s my child.”
“That means nothing to Bam,” you teased.
Jungkook’s eyes rolled back across at Bam, “how am I supposed to get through the last month of your pregnancy and take care of you when my dog doesn’t let me get anywhere near the spot where my child is growing?”
“Maybe I don’t need you to look after me, maybe I’m well taken care of enough with Bam just sticking by my side and keeping an eye on things for me.”
“He’d probably do a better job than me too.”
You chuckled quietly as the smile on Jungkook’s face grew, watching as yet again Bam stretched his legs out, digging into Jungkook’s knees, giving him no choice but to move his legs further away from your body, leaving him further away from your bump too.
“I reckon I might just be able to reach from here,” Jungkook whispered, slowly reaching his arm up in the air, keeping the noise quiet in the hope that Bam wouldn’t notice.
Your eyes widened back across at him, “he’s aware to just about every movement, I really think you underestimate quite how aware he has been whilst I’ve been pregnant.”
“Just watch, I’m going to prove that wrong.”
You followed Jungkook’s arm down as he tried to stretch around Bam so that he could relax his hand over your bump. Just as he managed to make contact with the top of your bump, Bam’s eyes opened back up, noticing the unfamiliar hand that was against your bump.
A loud bark soon came from him, reaching his front paw up and batting Jungkook’s hand away from your bump, warning him to keep his distance. Jungkook immediately moved his hand away, leaving you in hysterics by his side in response to how protective Bam was.
“At least I know once this baby is born, nothing will happen to them with Bam around,” Jungkook spoke up, trying to make himself feel just a little bit better. “Although I would appreciate if maybe he would be a little more understanding of the fact that that bump doesn’t just belong to him, but it belongs to me too.”
You stretched your hand back, running your hand through the front of Jungkook’s hair, only able to offer him a smile as Bam settled back down, cosying into your side.
“You’ll get your time with the bump one day, I promise.”
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satnin-darling · 3 months ago
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Castle. (m) | ONE SHOT | JEON JUNGKOOK, 8.1k
Pairing(s): Reader x Jungkook, mentions of OT7 x reader
Summary: The member’s filmed in the SOOP for four days sometime in the summer but now, they’ve returned for more rest, away from the cameras. With a few days in the cool mountainside, you get the opportunity to experience the aptly named ‘SOOP in the Castle’ yourself along with your seven boyfriends, and it seems that Jungkook has missed you more than he let on 😉
Warnings/Tags: RATED M (18+) for language; smut (fem-reader; oral (m-receiving - in the shower); fingering; marking/scratching; multiple orgasms; penetrative sex); fluff - we have the special appearance of Bam🥺, a kiss from Jimin because he missed you that much😘, everyone bonding over food; Yoongi dog sitting because of *ahem* reasons - idol!AU - established polyamory relationship - the setting is the accommodation from in the SOOP 2! (Can’t wait for the second episode 😩)
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“There aren’t any signs that point to a clear route,” you said, slowing your car as the road began to climb.
All around was pitch black, the path ahead was really just a dirt road cut in the low lying grass. The bright lights of your car continued to jar as you traversed more ground, there wasn’t much to see other than enormous trees with thick trunks that lined the road, its evergreen leaves dense and pointing upwards.
“One of our managers should have driven you up, they know the route better,” Jimin replied, concerned. You smiled at his well-intentioned nagging.
“It’s fine, just stay on the line with me,” you replied, pressing your foot on the gas slightly as the road became steeper.
The navigation showed a solid blue line that represented your car, well into the region of Gangwon-do, an hour or so away from Seoul. Your car lurched forward, the wheels crushing over loose pebbles and the powdered earth. Over the speakers, you could hear laughter, Jungkook’s mostly.
“I can’t believe you guys filmed in the SOOP for four days only,” you said, recalling the month long preparation it took to ready the place. Even so, the hectic nature of their schedule wasn’t something unheard of and any reprieve would have been appreciated.
Yoongi was the one who told you about the renovation at length over a dinner; you listened to him detail how the main structures were gutted to make space for functional rooms and install each aspect that they requested. Excited yourself to see the finished product, you found a wedge in your own schedule that lined up with the few days they had for personal excursions.
“It’s like a castle. It was a shame to stay for a short period so we’ve come back to spend more time since ahead of the online concert,” Jimin said, his voice clearer as he drew away from the merriment of the rest. The episodes weren’t out yet so you only had their descriptions to go by.
You drove at a comfortable pace, climbing higher and higher, twisting the wheel as the road curved in more pronouncedly.
“Have you eaten?”
“Not yet. I’m starving,” you replied, hunching over the wheel as you began to see the illuminated structures of the houses.
“Yoongi-hyung is grilling some hanwoo beef, there’s some ramen too, the usual spread that we have - are you near?”
“I think so.”
You squinted at the sight ahead, approaching with caution. Eventually, the road levels and Jimin’s silhouette appears, his hand eagerly waving at you. Even though you were sure that he wouldn’t be able to see it, you smiled widely, waving in return.
All the lights were on, the separate houses like beacons in the night. Like a miniature scene, you could point out a discrete area by the first house where a table was set up; palls of smoke twisted from two grills and conversation seemed to emanated from their actions. Above, the stars were on full display, the tips of the nearby trees providing a secure boundary to the land. You slowed to a halt, whistling to yourself at the enormity of the location, twisting your head to see how it stretched for a few more yard down a slope.
As soon as you parked, Jimin opened your door, dressed in all black, complete with house slides. Immediately, he reaches for you, swiftly unbuckling your seatbelt. As it retreated, his arms wound over your body, face at the crook of your neck, lips eagerly kissing under your ear.
“Jimin!” You protested, but making no moves to push him away as he kissed you more, spontaneous pecks all over your cheeks, your forehead, then eventually your lips.
The light floral scent that draped over him filled your car as he pressed you against the seat, hands cupping your face, you opened your mouth to accept his tongue, which slid against yours, prompting heat to flood your body. His hair had grown longer, jet black strands brushed your face while his hands began to roam, firm pressure serving to spur more heat as you fumbled for each other in the dark.
“Missed you,” he muttered, nipping your lower lip, drawing a soft moan. Naturally, there was little opportunity to answer while you were kissing each other as if your lives depended on it. You had missed him, as you have missed the rest. Time together were essentially reduced to pockets of days or few hours that you could steal in between commitments like performances, interviews, recordings.
You slipped your hands up, over the thin fabric of his shirt, lacing your fingers over his neck to pull him closer, become familiar with him again. While his hand crept up the hem of your top (donated by Namjoon), he squeezed your breast over your bra, making you gasp into his mouth.
Then came the insistent barks of Bam, who bounded over, barrelling straight the back of Jimin’s legs using all of his strength contained under the sleek, brown coat of fur.
“Oh shit!” You gasped while Jimin made a small grunt as Bam continued to jump up and down, full of energy, his nose rubbing Jimin’s ass.
“Bam! Wait! Sit!” He said, half-laughing, mostly in distress.
Suddenly, you were shoved further into your car, your lower back poked by the stick shift while Jimin stopped himself from laying completely on top of you. Covering your mouth with your hands, you tried not to laugh as Bam carried on, his insistent whines coming through at the lack of attention.
“The food’s disappearing!” Jungkook said from outside the car, and you realised that Bam was no longer assaulting Jimin’s backside. He looked over his shoulder, one of his knees resting on your seat, his other foot planted on the floor. With caution, you disentangled yourselves from one another and stepped out of your car.
“So make more,” Jimin replied, disgruntled and embracing you protectively.
Returning it with enthusiasm, you hugged your arms tightly over him, enjoying the feel of his warmth, but mostly the muscles which flexed underneath his shirt. Like Namjoon and Yoongi, who had taken to carve out a proper exercise regimen during the past few months, Jimin had taken up running more seriously, which had the effect of sharpening his stamina and sculpting his already lithe figure. Evening runs helped to calm his mind and while he was always physically fit, you noticed an improvement over the weeks past.
“I’ll go get your bags,” he said, kissing your temple and parting from you.
Jungkook pats Bam’s side, prompting him to run elsewhere, likely back to where the rest were. Under a hybrid of moonlight and artificial lighting, you see him striding towards you, bare faced, wearing an oversized shirt with the sleeves going past his elbows and shorts that showed off his toned legs. Jimin rummaged the trunk of your car to retrieve your bags while Jungkook snakes his arm around your waist. The evening breeze is cool and the warmth that assuaged your body calmed, though being this close to Jungkook could easily reignite that. The brown wooden slats that lead up to the main deck creaked underneath each step. Once level with the house, some areas had pools of water due to shallow dents.
“I’m glad you made it here safe,” he said, briefly taking your duffel bag from Jimin while he slipped on the straps of your backpack, then handed it back. Shrugging you fell in step with him, noting the way his chunky black sandals thudded over the wood.
“I could have used more solid directions than Jin’s ‘Turn right on the fifteenth tree’.”
"Hyung showed us the drawing of the map he made for you to follow," Jimin added.
You retrieved your phone from your pocket to show them a blank page with hastily drawn squares and rectangles in thin, black lines, followed by a red arrow that was vertical and veered off the right. Then, there was a tree that had two lines for a trunk and a circle for the bulk of its leaves with '15' on it. At that they both laughed, and you love hearing them laugh so much.
Jimin quickly disappeared into the main house to discard your bags. Bam loped towards you both, his ears down and his eyes looking at you, curious. Gently, you rubbed his head and he pushed it towards your touch, the short strands of fur was sleek to the touch as he sniffed the palm of your hand.
"You're such a good boy!" You cooed, scratching from the top of his head to his neck, he continued to lean into your touch, sometimes jumping. Jungkook made a noise of satisfaction that he was behaving nicely.
"How long has he spent in the training centre?" You asked, impressed that Bam was already so social despite having met you a handful of times. You remembered seeing him as a puppy but now, he was easily five times the size. Jungkook delivered some treats as a reward, to which Bam eagerly munched on.
"Not as much as when he was around two months old, but I usually try to make sure that he's in there at least twice a week," he said, pocketing the small bag of dog treats.
Bam then decided to shoot off elsewhere, ducking under the table. The main house was bright with plenty of windows to peek inside. Past the glass front door, there was a kitchen and then a living area with a huge TV. Jimin's footsteps creak the wood and he squeezed your wrist, walking faster as he carried a chair. Not so far was the dinner set up beneath an awning. It was well lit and busy, the sounds of grilling meat and overlapping conversations lacing the air.
Standing up, Taehyung’s smile appeared as you came into view, his hand waving, causing the sleeve of his white shirt to come down, while his other hand was in the pocket of beige slacks. Alerting the rest, you see Hoseok and Jin twist from their seat, chopsticks in hand, smiling back. Jungkook gave you one last squeeze at the shoulder before hurriedly tending to Bam, who seemed to assumed the position to take a dump on the deck. The closer you got, the conversation was more audible and you saw how Jimin was arranging your seat.
"The guest of honour!" Yoongi exclaimed, his hair a shock of blonde, resembling a dandelion which seemed to have pockets of air that made the flyaway strands stand up to attention. He grinned and opened his arm to give you a side hug; he smelled of barbecue smoke and the faint scent of a new cologne, sharp and masculine, different from what he usually wore. There wasn’t a spare space on the table, which was heaving with cans of beer, small bowls, crumpled tissue paper, and various utensils, abandoned or not. Namjoon rounded the corner, beer in hand, long, tanned legs, wearing a matching ensemble of blue and white tie-dyed shorts and shirt, muscles filling them out nicely.
“Hey,” he said, dimples on display as he kissed your cheek before taking a seat on a vacant chair. The wind carried his scent and you realised that it was the perfume you got him as a gift ages ago.
"Come sit with me," Taehyung said, swamping you in his embrace, the cotton of his shirt brushing your skin. He guided you to sit by your chair as Jimin handed you a small bowl with some wooden chopsticks. Jin jerked his head since his hair was at a length that got in the way.
"Did you find this place because of my directions?" He asked, breaking out into a grin, you see him wear an oversized purple shirt, contrasting nicely with his skin, his eyes full from sleep.
“Couldn't have found this place otherwise,” you replied, sarcastic.
Satisfied, he went over the flat griddle and took a long strip of beef, cutting it with scissors efficiently, straight to your bowl.
“This is an upgrade from the last place,” you said, while Taehyung leant his head on your shoulder. Soft brown curls tickled your jaw while his hand rested atop your thigh.
“We have a pool, a gym, and those houses over there are just for rooms,” Hoseok said, pointing to the other two not so far off and bringing up a Polaroid camera to snapping a picture of you and Taehyung.
“You found it!” You said, admiring the simple white tee with a black heart in the middle that read ‘HUMAN MADE.’ He had lost it some time ago but had to admit that you always liked raiding his closet, though he made sure to hand them to you if you asked. Instantly, the picture slipped out of the slit on the camera, waiting to develop.
“Jimin took it,” he grinned, opening a can of beer for you.
After taking a sip, you craned your head to peer into the downward slope, discerning a sandy rectangle then then further nothingness due to the lack of lighting.
“Tennis court,” Taehyung murmured, chewing on another piece of beef.
“And they added a basketball hoop,” Yoongi added, pursing his lips. You helped yourself to some of the grilled clams, humming at the taste.
“Good, right?” Namjoon said, moving his jaw since he ate a large piece of beef, which proved to be a chore to chew.
“Mhm,” you managed.
Taehyung slung his arm around your shoulders, and he took his phone out to show some pictures in his gallery. From the small squares, you saw orange streaked skies, a few photobombing snaps, then a couple of shots of him and Jungkook on a quad bike. He pressed on one that showed a picture of a gaming room, curved monitors and RGB keyboards with a black and yellow motif.
“Definitely a major upgrade,” you observed, flicking through the gallery and smiling at the funny angles he took of some of them half asleep on the couch.
“Let’s ride one of the quad bikes,” Taehyung said, his voice dropping an octave.
“Did you go around the perimeter?” You asked, agreeing and giving his phone back.
“Yeah. The area has a dirt trail and it’s like this,” he replied, disentangling himself briefly to reach for his drink and gesturing in the air to make a vague shape, “like this potato chip shaped track.”
You raised your eyebrows and imagined zipping along the dirt path, it was far too dark to ascertain the perimeter so you trusted Taehyung’s estimation. He returns to you, his chin on your shoulder as you have more food.
“Where are you sleeping tonight?” Jungkook asked, returning from inside the main house, his hands glistening after washing them.
Bam was preoccupied with a frayed rope, which he was tugging further with his teeth, wrestling with it on the deck. You shrugged one shoulder, not having had the time to think about it, especially since you hadn’t seen the rest of the houses yet.
“I don’t mind,” you said, enamoured with how the hanwoo beef melted on your tongue. Jungkook began to chew his bottom lip, his large eyes darting around the table. You notice Jimin laughing, his hand covering his mouth, his eyes narrowing into slits, jovial.
“I think he’s dropping hints,” he said, raking his hand through his lengthy hair. Yoongi exhaled a laugh while Namjoon shook his head. Jungkook rubbed the back of his neck, pretending to never have brought up the conversation in the first place.
“Where’s your room?” You chuckled.
-
Jungkook’s bed in the accommodation was large but not large enough that you had ample space to move. As a result, by the early hours of the morning, you were both tangled up in each other, his phone wedged between your bodies, the wire giving a temporary impression on your rib. Jungkook was a light sleeper but when he was finally knocked out, nothing could wake him. His body was solid and generated more heat than you could manage, so you slept draped over him, the blanket slithering onto the floor as the night wore on.
On the left side, Bam slept in a cage placed between the bed and the closer. Worried that your presence would make him restless, you were surprised that for the most part, he was quiet, only the faintest of scratches that resounded in the night. What substituted white noise was the sound of the wind outside, which howled and rattled the sliding doors. Nevertheless, you managed to catch some sleep given that you drove straight to the location well into the night.
By the time you actually woke up, the bed was empty and so was Bam’s cage, the metal door with the small water tube fully open. Bleary eyed and slightly disorientated, you craned your head and gauged whether he was in the common area or by the toilet. Through the slit created by the threadbare curtains, you see that it was drizzling, the windows speckled with dew. You check your phone and saw his message.
Jungkook [9:56AM]: Went to feed Bam and take him out for a walk. Be back soon :)
The time was a little after 10:30AM so you slide off the bed and walked across into the common area. On the cream couch were a couple of shirts that Jungkook had folded and laid out, you smiled. The rest of his items were half unpacked, his enormous black backpack that housed his personal belongings slanted from their uneven distribution. Alone, you decided to have that shower, eager to get the day started.
-
Yoongi navigated the kitchen with practiced ease having familiarised himself during the first trip. He and Hoseok were the ones awake, which made for a timely replay of how things were when they were filming. Easing into the morning, few words were exchanged as he noticed Hoseok scrolling through his phone as part of his morning routine. In front of him, halfway consumed, was an Iced Americano, appearing every morning without fail, whatever the weather.
Yoongi began to round up the necessary pots and pans for a hearty brunch, dragging his slides on the grey flooring. Methodically, he lined the induction pots next to each other on the hob and rummaged in the shelves for several meal kits and other fresh produce. Outside on the main deck, he spots Jungkook in a black windbreaker with the hoodie over his head. Bam scrabbles on the surface as Jungkook tugged the multicoloured rope that appeared more frayed since he saw it last. Hoseok takes a sip of his drink, his gaze trained on their tug of war. Yoongi spots him breaking out into a smile.
“Bam’s gotten so big, hasn’t he Hyung?” He observed, slipping his phone out and taking a few snaps. Yoongi hummed in reply.
“He and Jungkook match each other’s energy. Makes me miss Holly,” he replied, his eyes on how the induction cooktop automatically turned on without any ingredients to cook. Swiftly removing it, he placed it elsewhere for later. Hoseok laughed as Jungkook tripped by trying to avoid Bam’s tail, and looked up to signal that he was okay.
“I caught that on video,” Hoseok said, sipping his coffee as he replayed the clip.
“Send it on the group chat,” Yoongi chuckled.
-
A shower was a welcomed act of self-care, and once completed, you turned it off so you could wrap a white towel over your body. The surfaces were covered in condensation and you could hardly see yourself in the mirror. Taking another towel, you squeeze out excess water from your hair as gently as you could so as to not wring it harshly. Peeking outside, you were still alone so you step out, the cool air making your skin tingle. Fortunately, the cream couch wasn’t too far and you stood before the clothes to take your pick.
The moment you chose one of Jungkook’s shirts however, the sound of the door sliding steals your attention. Jungkook, with a hood covering half his face, was pulling the door open. As soon as it was wide enough, Bam lunges forward, his bulk squeezing through the gap, leaping straight to you with enough momentum to go on his haunches and placing his wet paws on your forearm, scrabbling against the towel. For an eternal moment, chaos occurs.
Jungkook made a noise of disturbance, but his jacket becomes caught at the latch at the door, anchoring him to the frame. His plans of immediately reaching for Bam were thwarted for the moment and he was barking incessantly, nearly toppling you backwards. The door is still wide, and beyond, you could see bright colours of the grassy knoll that the house sat atop. Bam’s paws smeared mud all over your bare skin and towel, which loosens and slips in your haste to calm him.
“Bam! Bam!” Jungkook instructed, but to no avail, so you firmly place a hand on Bam’s shoulder to guide him back down at the same time, try to stand up and holding your towel firmly over your body. Jungkook looks up, helpless but on the verge of laughter as he slips out of his jacket and comes to your rescue, stepping into the space to grab Bam’s leash, which whipped around from his movements. His eyes rest on the way the towel is barely covering you, pinned by one of your hands as you fend off Bam’s slobbery, exuberant greetings.
“Bam… sit,” he commands, and instantly, Bam follows, sitting on your feet, leaning his whole weight onto your legs. You unravel the towel around your hair so you could hand it to Jungkook, who keeps his gaze on you while he kneels beside Bam to wipe him down lovingly. The towel runs over his short, brown fur, down to his paws, his strong body, and floppy ears, in an orderly manner until he is wriggling once more.
“Bam, house.”
Jungkook keeps his eyes on you while Bam rose from his position and disappear into the bedroom. Up close, you see how his hair got caught in the morning drizzle, the tips sticking together over his forehead. Standing tall, you catch a glimpse of his tattoos concealed by his sleeves, his bare legs stemming from his shorts, his wide eyes and parted mouth at your state of undress. With the back of his hand, mere inches away, he grazes the parts where mud streaked your skin, drying and flaking by the minute.
“He got mud all over you,” he muttered, his voice smooth while his fingers trace your upper arm, drawing inward to the underside of your breast, where Bam had managed to give another muddy print.
“I mean, I was clean,” you said, defending yourself.
“How’d he get there?” He asked careful hands skirting over your bare shoulders for a thorough examination.
“He’s not a puppy, he pounced on me,” you laughed.
Then, he reached down, taking the hem of the towel to lift it, wiping where the most of the mud was, until it was clean, his eyes following the motion, “Good as new.”
You forgot to breathe at some point since his attentive efforts led to the towel revealing a significant expanse of your body, from your knee to your lower stomach. The air around seemed colder and you found yourself shivering. Or maybe it was because Jungkook was still tending to you, his eyes roaming how the sole thing making you modest was a weakly held towel over your front. You could have dropped it, you needed another wash anyway, but more so, you wanted to let him touch you, bare skin against skin.
“We’ll probably have to take another shower,” he said, quieter this time, since his arm wound its way around your back, pulling you to him.
Half stumbling, you fall onto him, hands steady on his chest, feeling the thud of his heartbeat through the thin shirt. Towering over you, he lets his gaze sweep along your face, big brown eyes taking into account how you were practically being held up by him, silver earrings hanging down, silver brow bar peeking through dark strands. The moment was so long that it could have been awkward, but the electricity that coursed through the air made it less so.
Jungkook had the ability to stall your thinking, especially when his lips were on yours, overwhelming you with the heat the radiated off of him, the way his body was so solid, your mind dizzy from how he held you to him, the towel slipping down as his large hands cupped your face. It was close, but not close enough. He gave gentle kisses that had his tongue sweeping into your mouth, just like him to do before he kissed you deeply to tease and have his teeth against your throat, nipping then soothing with soft lips. His fresh scent lifted off his skin, clouding your faculties and your knees softened as you gasped at the sensation of how he kept you secure by cupping his hand at the back of your neck while the other was on your lower back, your mud streaked skin simmering from how much you wanted him.
“Should we-”
“Yeah,” he said.
In the moments you separated he tugged his shirt off, revealing sculpted muscle, defined as if carved into his body, each one lean and firm, little to no spare flesh, hard lines with etched grooves which went to so well with the tattoos that coloured his skin. A thoughtful arrangement of images on the right arm, skimming the top of his shoulder, hidden well by long sleeves hinted by the smattering of images that adorn his hand and knuckles. Those on his inner bicep were your favourite, a blacked out cloud with lighting bolts spearing from the bottom overlapping a tiger, which was filled out this time rather than outline. You see the clock of lower down, large and faint, with Roman numerals, interrupted by the criss cross lettering in bold that wound over his forearm.
Backed into the bathroom, you traded kisses, each one more intense than the previous, the more you gave, the more he returned. Shutting the door carefully so as to not startle Bam, you tugged at his shorts because you wanted nothing between you. It falls down, almost tripping him up as you moved to the, now smaller, cubicle, the knob twisting so that the water could jet out. Quickly, he begins to pump some body wash that ended up clattering on the floor anyway. Half lathered suds on his torso slid down with his back to the spray, the water pelted on his flesh but he suddenly let out a small yelp, startling you.
“Ah shit, cold! Cold!”
You laughed, kissing his chest, licking over his dark nipple as he twisted his arm back, rectifying the temperature to tepid and bearable. But something else caught your eye, a glint of silver illuminated by the overhead spotlights.
“Is that…”
He looked at you, shy all of the sudden. His duality was always something that never failed to send you reeling, how he could switch from being powerful to sweet in mere seconds.
“I’ve been meaning to get it done,” he replied, thoroughly soaked by the water by now, hair sticking onto his forehead in stringy strands. You recalled how he brought it up one night, on a whim. Then again, he was the type to get it done when he felt like it.
“Do you like it?”
Do I?!
“Fuck yeah I do,” you said, running your thumb over his nipple piercing bringing out a sharp hiss, sensitive from the slightest of touches.
Then, you drag your fingers down the ridges of his abdomen, firm and contracted while hands found themselves over your body, fingers sinking over your soft flesh, his mouth seeking yours in hungry kisses that stole your breath. You don’t quite remember it but he had somehow backed you up against the wall, away from the spray, hoisting you up with his hand on your thigh, lifting to spread you wide. Moaning softly, his kiss literally sucking all the air from your chest, velvety soft lips, the smooth muscle of his tongue had your lips parting, the tip of his nose on your cheek. You feel how his hardened cock throb against you, distracted again by hot and wet kisses that escalate into frantic push and pulls, the sound of the water drumming onto the floor with no one underneath but managed to melt most of the mud that covered your skin. He murmurs your name, whiny and totally not in control, which sends a thrill straight to your core.
“Fuck, I want you,” he groans, pushing his hips as you rocked against him, hands massaging his neck, absorbing the sounds he made which echoed in mocha walls of the bathroom. Without thinking, you break free from his grasp, turning him so that his back pressed against the wall. A confused furrow of his brow, his hands pushing his hair back, that glorious sight of his arms contracting, legs spreading instantly as you drop to your knees.
The only thing better than looking at Jungkook is looking up at him through your lashes, mouth hovering over the angry tip of his cock, leaking pre-cum. You hold his gaze as your hand curls over his cock, a modest pressure at first, teasing. His face flickers in response, bared teeth, pink flush over his cheek that bloomed from his chest. You rub your thighs together at the view, silver piercings that adorn his body shimmering in the light.
“Ah…shit,” he hissed, sucking air through his teeth as your tongue swirls over his balls, which contracted at the featherlight kisses you delivered. Slow and deliberate, you planted your lips along his shaft, the silken hardness pulsing under your attention. Jungkook threw his head back, the muscles on his neck bulging out, that vein that ran on the right side raising along his skin. You moaned, the vibrations coinciding with how you enclosed your lips over the tip, that strong, masculine taste making your body tighten all over.
“Oh fuck,” he sighed.
Jungkook tried not to swear that often, but it slipped out when he was drunk, or in cases like this. The latter was your favourite, a glimpse into his mind, how you could drive him crazy simply because you knew what he liked and how he liked it. His enunciation was so clear that you had to stop yourself from laughing because you were just getting started. Rocking your head back, you use on of your hands to steady his cock, tongue flattening over the underside, flicking over his balls again, earning a strained grunt. Back on the tip, your lips part, sliding over it, tongue licking over the weeping slip. Again, he says your name, his tone helpless while his his hand pulls at your hair, easing you off so that he could thrust his cock into your mouth more. Relaxing your jaw, you let him, saliva coating his cock, pushing past your lips as your hands hold his legs, nails raking his ass, down those thighs, sculpted and firm.
“Feels so fucking good, how the fuck are you doing tha.. that,” he shuddered, taking him all in, burying his cock in your throat, forgoing air for that heavenly compliment. You held out till you could feel tears spring from your eyes, stuttering slightly before withdrawing. Inhaling sharply through your nose to not disturb the flow, you moaned around his cock, his addictive taste spurring the frantic bobbing your head, wetting the shaft with your saliva that dripped down to his balls in this sloppy mess that had him pulling at your hair while small tremors racked his muscles. His moans sounded masterful, even more pleasant to hear knowing that you were the source.
“Oh fuck, keep going,” he groaned, motivating you to hold on firmly, hollowing your cheeks so you could suck down the length of his cock, releasing it with a lewd pop that echoed in the confined space. Both his hands flew to your head, fingers scratching your scalp, the gentlest of touches, a far contrast from your own, which clawed at him, hard enough to prompt his guttural moans, but not enough to mark.
Diving down, your lips hit the base, throat tightening as your saliva allowed his cock to slide in, making his entire body twitch. You wiggled your hips, the flood in your pussy smearing your thighs and you looked up as you drew your mouth back, looking up to take note of how his breathing changed, chest damp and heaving from how hard he was trying not to cum. So your mouth descends, the air displaced from your throat, lip curling to sheath your teeth as his cock swelled, his balls tightening as your tongue laves over the shaft.
“Shit!” He gasped, his hands cupping the back of your neck, not oppressive at all, keeping you still, hips thrusting more insistently so you held on, nails pressing on the backs of his thighs, torso lifting as your jaw slackens. His moans escalated, like music to your ears that ended in strained sighs, knees rubbed raw from the wet floor but that didn’t matter. Jungkook’s entire body seemed to vibrate and you looked up, see the inked sleeve ripple with his muscles, the grooves of his abs, dark hair, newly trimmed, the silver glint of his piercings providing a heavenly picture. As your vision began to vignette, you shut your eyes as you steadied yourself, leaning onto him as he fucked your face.
“Fuck - ah, Fuck!”
You moaned at the taste, his cum shooting at the back of your throat while he shuddered, balking forward, his hand slapping the wall next to him, enabling you to retreat and plunge your mouth in a slow, torturous rhythm, his breaths going ragged as you gathered his cum, spreading over his shaft. More came from the tip, and you paid careful attention, smoothing your lips over it, letting the air filter back into your lungs, humming while his fingers clutch at your hair, his moans reverberating in the cubicle, balance unsteady as you sucked every dropped, head moving expertly, lips kissing and your tongue licking the essence.
“Ah fuck, stop - wait, ah shit,” he hissed, but you weren’t about to, jerking his pulsing cock, tongue swirling over his balls, giving him everything, loving the way he fell apart.
Then, you’re being hoisted up, practically carried back into the bedroom in his strong arms, hair and skin still wet from the shower, only to be tossed rather brusquely on the surface of the bed. Scrambling back, you shoved the pillows away, the moss green top cover rumpled from your movements. You swipe the condom by the night stand just as Jungkook’s knees plant themselves onto the bed, his hands darting out to grip your hips and drag you back to the edge, his hips wedging your legs apart.
“How the hell are you so strong,” you gasped, as he tugged you roughly, lips over yours, his cock is still rock hard and as your heart hammered in your chest. As he takes the foiled packet from you, you notice Bam slip out of his cage, sitting rather obediently by the side of the bed. Jungkook, choosing to remain unaware, kissed along your neck, fingers beginning to tear the packet simultaneously.
“Wait, Jungkook -” you protested, not about to waive your empathy for Bam, who surveyed your naked bodies with innocent curiosity, the tilt of his head causing one of his ears to flap over his head. Jungkook propped himself on his arms, following your gaze to land on his precious puppy.
“What if he watches us? Or takes a shit while watching us? I don’t want to traumatise him or turn him into a perv,” you said, grabbing the corner of the cover top and shielding your chest.
Bam emitted a high pitched whine, his tongue lolling out, sharp canines in view. Jungkook looks at you as if it was the hardest decision in the world. Then again, you can’t blame him, given that you were practically presented on a platter, wet and naked. He pressed his forehead against yours and sighed.
“Ah fuck. Okay, okay give me a minute.”
-
Mornings were usually uneventful whether the members were touring or even back home. Today seemed like an exception. Yoongi carefully placed the steaming pot of food over the ceramic table; several plates were already out, some filled with rice or tteokbokki. Hoseok was busy making more Iced Americano’s as Jin wandered around, observing the way the machine whirred.
“Can I have a glass of ‘Hope-ffee’?” Jin asked, fiddling with the buttons as Hoseok made his way to the sink.
“Sure Hyung, after I finish this one -”
The glass door was suddenly pushed open as Jungkook burst through with Bam in tow. In his grasp were numerous toilet training pads complete with wipes and what looked like a small spray bottle. Under his arm was the wooden holder for Bam’s water bowl, to which he situated by the water dispenser. In a flash, he hands Bam’s leash to to Yoongi, who blinked in apparent confusion. It wasn’t because Jungkook was flustered, it was because he was wearing his t-shirt inside out, sticking to his apparently damp skin, and mismatched slides, one from the merch, the other from FILA.
“Hyung, could you look after Bam for a second,” he asked, not really taking no for an answer as he dug in his pocket and revealed a crumpled bag of treats.
Yoongi said nothing, watching the younger man rummage in his bright purple shorts that were also inside out. Jungkook’s doe eyes surveyed the open kitchen space, much to the stunned looks of Hoseok and Jin. Deciding that the spot by the pillar was suitable, he smoothes one of the pads, corner to corner, then promptly rushing over to the sink, washing his hands and flapping them to dry. Hoseok flinched at the cold water droplets and Jin went over to Bam who was rubbing his shoulder against Yoongi’s leg. Jungkook waved cheerily and bowed his head in polite thanks, disappearing through the glass doors and jogging in the direction of one of the houses. Yoongi exhaled a sharp laugh, bending down to hold Bam’s face in his hands.
“Did you see what I saw?” Jin asked, on the verge of laughter himself, full lips spreading into a grin.
“Which part? The fact that he’s not even dressed properly or his dick fighting against his shorts?”
Hoseok laughter came from behind, followed by vigorous clapping the echoed due to the high ceilings as Jin straightened the pads and made sure that it fully unfurled. Yoongi gradually ran his nails along Bam’s head, who’s tail wagged enthusiastically, his tongue rolling out, sharp teeth descending from his mouth.
“Oh well, c’mon Bam! Yes, you’ve gotten so friendly haven’t you!”
-
The floor was a mess, the closet with shirts half-hanging on the hangers and Jungkook’s belongings were strewn all over the place, with a trail of shirts on the from the entrance all the way into the bedroom. So unlike him but he did leave in a hurry, returning in record time to shed the clothes he put on in haste.
“J-jungkook… hgnh, fuck,” you moaned, ass in the air, your thighs spread so wide and your pussy so wet, that your thoughts were a garbled mess. You could hear him chuckle from behind.
I can’t believe he’s teasing me now.
His fingers shoved themselves inside of you at a blinding pace, making your limbs tremble from holding yourself up. He varied the rhythm, twisting them, scissoring them, making you gasp as you rutted your hips to try and keep up. But he was relentless and you were dripping, feeling so exposed that strings of your juices coated his fingers making a loud squelches each time he plunged them deep in your pussy. Your thoughts were slipping past you as you felt your body meet the mattress, already so fucked out as you urgently rolled your hips, seeking more friction.
“Want me to stop?” He taunted, slowing his ministrations, forcing a frustrated whine past your lips. You furrowed your brows, the pleasure ebbing suddenly. Your mind grasped for words but all they came up with were his name, the word ‘Yes’, or the word ‘No.'
“N-no,” you sighed, slowing your hips since he had stopped, keeping his fingers in your tight cunt, flexing every so often, driving you to the point of frenzy. You were so close but Jungkook was a relentless tease, taking you the point before the peak then robbing you immediately when it counted.
You felt him grasp your hips, his fingers slipping out of your pussy so quickly that you were bewildered, flipped abruptly onto your back. Jungkook placed himself between your legs, his hands pushing your thighs down till you were spread before him. You found it in yourself to smile, flexing your pussy, forcing out your slick past your folds. Jungkooks’ mouth parted, his brown eyes turning glassy.
“Fuck,” he murmured, his grip on your thighs tightening as his palms forced you down, almost bending you in half.
“Jungkook…” you whined, jutting out your hips, prompting him. You saw how his tongue snaked out, pressing on his top lip. You nearly laughed in a delirious way. He was admiring you but all you could think about was his cock.
“How the fuck am I gonna last,” he asked, presumably to himself.
You smirked, biting your lip in anticipation. He swiped the condom, sheathing his cock, aligning it over your dripping core. You held your breath as he raised his hips, the head of his cock pressing against your pussy, making you hiss at the sensation.
“Fuck,” he groaned, sinking into your pussy, all the way till you gasped, feeling everything. The feeling was so acute, so pleasurable that it both of you took a moment to adjust. Jungkook closed the distance between you, kissing you deeply, drinking in your moans as he began to thrust, up and down, shallow then deep. You grasped the backs of your knees as his hands found themselves from the bed to your neck, keeping a light pressure, making your keen into him, your tits against his firm chest. Each thrust had your hips twisting, trying to get more of him, your moans forming into breathless gasps against his lips.
“H-harder,” you whined, your arms crossing over his neck, locking him against you. Jungkook smiled against your lips, biting your bottom lip teasingly, his cock nestled in your pussy as you begged for more.
“Harder?” He asked, raising himself up, his strong arms locking, the tattoos that ran the length of his right arm rippling from the effort. You clenched involuntarily at the sight, the way his features crumpled as a beat passed between you, the scrunch of his nose, the baring of his teeth, the mole at his bottom lip stretching as it curled into a snarl. Then, he tugged the condom, slipping out of you briefly, grasping your hips to drag you to the edge of the bed, your ass half hanging out. His strength always startled you, the sheets on your back creasing and uncovering the mattress below. Jungkook looked at you, suspending time for what seemed like an eternity, dark hair matted over his forehead, bare skin tanned and dewy. The silver of his earrings caught the light, the brow bar moving as his eyebrow twitched in anticipation. His eyes darkened as you raised your arms above your head, fisting the sheets, and wiggling your hips, unable to wait any longer.
“Jungk- oh fuck!”
The feel of his cock entering you so abruptly took the air from your lungs, his other leg coming up while the other stayed down for leverage. He was fucking you so hard that you didn’t know what to do with yourself, your nails dragging down the ridges of his chest, taut from effort as he grunted, his face a grimace, his dark hair begging to be tugged. His cock pistoned inside your velvet walls, again and again, your body vibrating from the assault on your senses that you tipped your head, seeing stars.
“Fuck! Fuck!” He grunted, his hand grasping your calf to press it against your chest, trapping the soft flesh of your tit. You gasped as he kept rhythm, his free hand coming up to grasp your hair, the pain elevating your pleasure, the tug against your scalp exposing your neck, his lips planting sloppy kisses as your nails clawed against his upper back, over the hard muscles, ridges and grooves that emitted pure heat, holding on as he pounded into you ceaselessly. His voice was muffled against your skin, Ah fuck, you’re so fucking good at taking all of me, fuck. His inhales were sharp, you were addicted, chasing that high, fingers sinking over firm skin. You were so wet that you coated his balls, the audible squelch turning you on so much that you moaned, the feeling of his lips along your skin and his cock plunging in your pussy so deep driving you over the edge, legs shaking from how hard he was going.
“Fuck Jungkook, you’re gonna make me cum,” you moaned, the tension snapping instantly.
That seemed to grant him a different energy and he broke from from your grasp, one of his hands coming to plant themselves at the side of your face, the other grasping the back of your knee only to press it down towards your chest. The mere sight of him fucking you so roughly made you bring your hand down between you, parting your pussy so your clit was exposed. He grinned, that same smug smile that greeted you across the room, so devious, he just knew how to give it to you. And he drove his hips down, keeping it there, making you feel so full that you came, your pussy spilling your juices, pulsing so violently that your moans descended into a strangled cry, your head tipped back, muscles stiffening as your hips twisted from the force of your orgasm, gushing hot and wet juices, inner walls contracting rapidly. Jungkook gasped your name, expletives flowing freely with abandon as your pussy clamped over his cock like a vice, his every muscle hardening as he raised his hips, ramming them back down, once, twice, three times.
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” He growled, his cum pumping into the latex, you imagined the thick spurts against your velvet walls and your legs trembled from keeping them up.
He continued thrusting his cock into your soaked pussy shallowly, making your head spin from the oversensitivity. Small aftershocks wreaked havoc over your body as your breath left your lungs, feeling so warm, so satiated that you couldn’t have known anything else in that moment. He fucked you till you were pushing him away, half-laughing, half moaning as he rutted into you, his final thrusts making you both moan into each other lips. When he raised himself up, he pressed his forehead against yours, the only sound were your pants, your hearts thudding so hard that you were lightheaded. Skin on skin, sheets in disarray, your whimpers muffled on his chest, the salt of his skin on your tongue.
As your bodies went slack, you felt your bottom half nearly fall off the bed, awareness of reality coming back in waves.
“Jungkook, I’m slipping,” you protested and he grasped your hips, pushing you up the mattress, making you laugh and he moaned from how you clenched around his softening cock. When he rolled to his side, you both stared at the ceiling, completely and utterly fucked out.
The knock at the window startled you both and Jungkook groaned, getting out of bed to peer through the door. He burst out laughing, which prompted you to cover yourself with a sheet and walk from the bed. Yoongi was by the sliding doors, blonde hair all fluffy like spun gold, comically pressing himself against the glass pane, the pads of his fingers splayed, mouth opened in mock distress while Bam waited, his tail wagging eagerly.
“I think you’re due for your fatherly duties,” you laughed, craning your head back to see Jungkook shoving his foot in one of his shorts, sliding off the edge and onto the floor, surrounded by his clothes.
-
Castle (II).
-
masterlist.
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kpopfanfictrash · 11 months ago
Text
Ember Burning (M)
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Author: kpopfanfictrash
Creative Contributor: @baebae-goodnight​ for this MOODBOARD WOO!
Pairing: Jungkook / Reader
Rating: 18+
Genre: Fantasy / Dragon / Enemies to Lovers
Synopsis:  The dragon riders of Duret Ghal are known across the continent; fierce warriors who take to the skies on their leashed, winged beasts. You are the last Dragon Queen of Ashya, ruler of a dying species who can transform from human to Dragon at will. When a new foe emerges which threatens both Dragon and rider alike, you find yourself forced to broker peace with your former enemy. The King of Duret Ghal, and a dragon rider himself: Jeon Jungkook.
NSFW Warnings: oral (male and female), nipple play, fingering, multiple orgasms, big cock, dirty talk, hair pulling (her to him).... tattooed, man-bun jungkook who has a big sword
Trigger Warnings: somewhat graphic depiction of a shoulder injury  
Word Count: 36,079
Soaring through azure-colored sky, golden wheat fields spread out below, you could almost convince yourself duty did not exist. It was easy to pretend while disconnected from the ground – flight broke the strings which bound you to all mortal beings. You ceased to be of flesh and bone and instead became one with the air, the wind, and the wildness of flame in your throat.
The Thadal mountain range loomed ahead, its jagged peaks piercing the sky. Idly, you wondered if they truly did. Legends said Natal, who had created the world and everything in it, formed the Thadal range last of all. Exhausted by the sheer effort of creation, her hand had slipped, causing the tallest of peaks to rise higher than planned. This ripped a hole in the veil which guarded this world from the next and before Natal could fix it, magic slipped through.
It had been the dragons who slumbered in the mountains’ highest peaks who received this blessing.
Dipping a wing, you wheeled about in the air. With the sun at your back, you surveyed the splendor of your realm laid beneath you.
Ashya, land of the Dragons – of which you were Queen.
Stifling the sigh which rose at the thought, you turned from the furthest rim of the world and began the flight home. A return to duty, to obligation and to your human form, as well as the conflict which loomed on the horizon. Not to mention the sleeping King within your castle walls.
Each of these weighed upon your shoulders, replacing the freedom you’d felt in the air. As you shifted to human, donned a gown, and entered the castle, the sun had barely risen above the lip of the world.
And your true day was only beginning.
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From the thunderous expression on Park Jimin’s face, it was clear you needed to do something, and quickly.
Your choices were either to interject and stop a second war from breaking out at your table or sit back and watch while King Jungkook was pummeled into the ground by the esteemed commander of your armed forces.
Admittedly, the second option was tempting. You would so dearly love to watch the crown knocked from King Jungkook’s perfect tresses, but pettiness was unbecoming when far greater evil lurked on the horizon.
With a wave of your hand, you signaled Jimin to sit back.
The remark which had so enflamed your commander came from one of Jungkook’s advisors, a Lord Kim Seokjin you’d only met once prior. He had insinuated, in so many words, the power of your kind was nothing more than a parlor trick. Something to be taken out at parties, but incapable of truly defending your realm.
Jimin’s steely gaze remained fixed on the Lord, a thin line of steam rising from the seat where he sat. It was never wise to anger a Dragon, especially not a renowned fighter like Jimin. There was a reason he’d been named the youngest commander in over a century, and it was only partly because your people had dwindled in size since the last Dragon War.
The Dragon Wars were the reason it was truly remarkable for you to sit in the same room as King Jeon Jungkook at all. Only a hundred years had passed – barely a blink, in the grand scheme of things – since your nations had been labeled bitter enemies.
Duret Ghal, Jeon Jungkook’s nation, was home to the fierce dragon riders. Warriors who tamed the dull, vicious beasts of the mountains and rode them into battle. Their riders were human, although they fancied themselves important because they dared to treat dragons – albeit a less intelligent kind than your own – as glorified steeds.
You, on the other hand, were a Dragon.
Not one like what King Jungkook rode into battle. Duret Ghal bonded with dragons, mere animals ungifted by magic and unable to transform into humans. You were a Dragon, descended from the first magical beings blessed by the veil. Those who had shifted to the flesh of their enemy to defeat humans on their own terms.
At will, you could shift from human to Dragon with barely a thought. Beneath your smooth, human exterior lurked the scales of a dragon, and Lord Seokjin would do well to remember this while he sat at your table.
Tilting your head, you looked his way. “Would you care to repeat yourself, Lord Seokjin? The way you phrased your objection just now made it sound as though you were doubting my people.”
Although Lord Seokjin hesitated, he met your gaze. This surprised you. Few humans had the courage to look a grown Dragon in the eyes. You were well-aware of the rumors which plagued your people.
Some insisted Dragons held power beyond that of humans. This was untrue, of course. Aside from their shifting, Dragons could not use magic. It was only the offspring of a Dragon and human who could wield magic, often called gifts.
Then there was the rumor Dragons retained scales in places best left unmentioned when they transformed into humans – also untrue. Once you became human, you were nearly indistinguishable from your more stagnant counterparts. The main differences were your skin, which ran hotter, the occasional steam from your lips and hidden embers which flickered in the depths of your gaze.
Your unusual eyes were likely the source of the third rumor. Looking a grown Dragon in the eyes would result in paralysis, or worse. This was also untrue, although you liked to encourage it all the same.
It made meeting human dignitaries much more amusing.
“I am not saying Dragons are not fierce,” Seokjin said, backtracking a little. “Merely observing your numbers have diminished since the last Dragon War. Without Duret Ghal’s riders, you would be at a disadvantage against the Mor Empire.”
To this, you had no response because Lord Seokjin was right. He had easily identified your current problem – Mor continued to press upon your southern border, and there were not enough Dragons left in Ashya to defend it much longer.
To your right, Jimin scowled, knowing the truth to this as well.
It was the main reason you’d decided to meet with King Jungkook at all. The reason you considered entering an alliance with a country who’d once been considered your enemy. The Empire of Mor, a nation of humans, had recently decided to rid themselves of all dragons.
This declaration placed both your nation, Ashya, and Jungkook’s at risk.
Ashya, since you were Dragons and Duret Ghal because they rode them. The Mor Empire was led by Emperor Cyan, whose quest for dominance had consumed him since he was a child. His Empire had already gobbled up the quiet Kingdom of Mica to the west and Kindare, to the south. Now he’d set his eyes on the northern wilds.
His largest obstacle to this was the dragons. Few human soldiers could keep from shitting their pants when a great, winged beast breathing fire rose above their ranks. Ironically enough, the sole reason the Mor Empire stood a chance was because the number of Dragons had greatly diminished over the centuries.
There were two main reasons for this.
The first were the Dragon Wars – centuries of bloody conflict between Ashya and Duret Ghal. During this period, dragon riders had fought Dragons for control of the northern border. The wars had caused untold damage on both sides until a truce had been called to save you from destruction.
The second reason for your diminishing numbers were the humans themselves. In order for a true Dragon to be born, two Dragons needed to mate and continue to bloodline. When a Dragon mated with a human, the resulting child was human. Occasionally, this child was blessed with a magical gift, but not always – and they could not shift into Dragon form. Over the years, your kind had mingled with humans until there were few Dragons left.
Hence the need to align yourself with your greatest foe to protect both your people and his. You needed numbers, which Jungkook had. Emperor Cyan had declared war against all northern realms. Only the might of riders and Dragons together stood a chance against him.
It was a mission of fools though, made even more evident by the blatant ill-will around the table. Releasing a sigh, you glanced to where your most trusted advisor, Min Yoongi, was seated on your right.
Min Yoongi was not a Dragon, but a human born with a gift. He could read the emotions of those in the room and determine whether they told the truth. It was magic he’d inherited from his Dragon mother and had come in handy many times during the negotiations.
Subtle, Yoongi nodded.
You managed to stop a second sigh from escaping. It seemed Lord Seokjin was telling the truth. He truly did respect the Dragons, which made his second statement all the more troubling. It would have been easier had he hated you.
“We may be at a disadvantage without Duret Ghal,” you admitted. “But you are equally disadvantaged without Ashya. If our realm were to fall, Mor would come for you next.”
“We could have this same argument for hours, Your Majesty,” Jungkook drawled, speaking up for the first time. “And we have. I grow tired of this stalemate. What are the terms you require to sign the treaty?”
Jaw tight, your gaze shifted to the King seated opposite. Jungkook stared back at you, his gaze dark and lidded in the flickering light of the fire.
Jeon Jungkook was a young ruler, like yourself, but while your transition of power had been relatively peaceful, his had been anything but.
The former King and Queen of Duret Ghal had been slain by his Uncle, Lord Vonner, when Jungkook was only eighteen. Duret Ghal had been close to signing a treaty with Ashya at the time. In said treaty, your hand in marriage had been promised to Jungkook in exchange for unified lands.
Obviously, opposition had existed on both sides of the treaty, but things had not turned violent until Lord Vonner. He’d risen against his sister and brother-in-law, killing them both in their sleep and claiming the throne. At the same time, he had sent assassins to your land and attempted to kill your parents.
He’d only succeeded in killing your mother.
The blood of Lord Vonner’s actions had ended your betrothal, throwing your lands into chaos while your father roared his revenge. It was only once Jungkook had usurped and executed his Uncle that your land had tentatively agreed not to retaliate in force.
This had taken place nearly ten years ago, and still Jungkook was not yet thirty years of age. His youthfulness was apparent everywhere but his eyes. These had been hardened, darkened by all he had seen and done.
Looking at him now, it was difficult to place the boy you had once known.
“Use of your ports,” you answered. “Free travel for Ashyan merchants along the roads to said ports, and then usage without the current fees.”
Lord Seokjin chuckled. “You must be mad.”
A low growl left Jimin’s throat – a warning. “How ironic to hear you speak of sanity, Lord Seokjin,” he said. “When you dare to insult the Queen of Ashya within her castle walls.”
Holding up at hand, you bade Jimin to cease.
Jimin was even younger than you were, and twice as hot-headed. Admittedly, he had good reason to despise Duret Ghal. His father had been killed in a skirmish on the northern border when he was barely twelve. There was a subset of Ghalians who despised the humans who dared to love Dragons. When a Ghalian woman had fled, seeking the protection of Ashya at the northern border, a mob had fought your soldiers and Jimin’s father had died.
Still, Jimin needed to remember you had a job to do. As your commander, he was well-aware of the weakened state of your armed forces. The treaty between Ashya and Duret Ghal needed to happen in whatever way possible.
Ignoring the interaction, Jungkook merely raised a brow. “No fees?”
Although his voice remained calm, a hint of steel lay beneath the silken words. You could hear it plainly, as did Yoongi based on the way he stiffened.
“No fees,” you repeated.
Jungkook exchanged a glance with Seokjin.
“It is not possible,” he said at last. “Our nation’s ports remain the primary source of income for many Ghalians. Now that Mor has conquered Kindare, they have free access to their ports and fail to use ours. It is only the revenue from Ashya which keeps up afloat.”
“I do not ask you to forsake all payments. Merely those from Ashya.”
Jungkook’s teeth flashed in what might have been a smile but came off as a grimace.
“Ashya provides half the sales at my docks,” he informed you. “By granting your nation free trade, you cut my people’s livelihood in half.”
Somewhat chastised by this, you sat back in your seat. You had not realized Duret Ghal’s economic outlook was so dire.
When Ashya had been a land of only Dragons, the fact you were landlocked had not been a problem. You could simply fly where you wanted and take whatever with. Now though, Ashya had more humans than Dragons and you were forced to find more accommodating solutions.
Ashyan craftspeople were famed for their metalwork, in addition to textiles, but such trade would be useless without people to buy and places to sell. For years, Duret Ghal had steadily increased their tariffs, which in turn had steadily crippled your people.
Returning to Jungkook, you clenched your jaw. “And what would we need to give Duret Ghal in order for our demand to be met?”
The corner of his lip curled.
In this singular motion, you were reminded of Jungkook’s somewhat brutal reputation. After the coup of his Uncle, rumor had it Jungkook had been bloodthirsty in his quest for revenge. Lord Vonner had been put to death in the main square of their capital city, roasted alive by Jungkook’s dragon, Nemrys.
You had not faulted him for this at the time, having also lost people at the hands of Lord Vonner. It was hard to imagine the type of pain Jungkook had gone through, losing both his parents and his throne in a single blow. Despite your understanding, you knew some had disapproved. They’d whispered amongst themselves the King had lost a better part of himself on that day.
“Shares in your mines,” Jungkook said in answer to your question. “Given the current situation with Mor, we’ve had difficulty collecting on some of our foreign loans. A fifty percent share in Ashya’s mines would ease our cash flow problems.”
Your lips tightened in response.
Jungkook had managed to touch upon Ashya’s main source of riches, and a large reason for the previous century’s Dragon Wars. Much of the Thadal range fell within your borders, meaning you owned the majority of gemstones on the continent. It meant little without Duret Ghal’s port cities, however. Mor had ceased trading with Ashyan merchants long ago.
Still, it pained you to grant Jungkook access to your most coveted resource. Everything in your nature – Dragon and otherwise – went against it, but sacrifices must be made for the greater good. You’d entered these negotiations aware this might happen. Another advisor, Lord Kim Namjoon, had warned you of it beforehand and yet, you had hoped.
If you did not find a compromise soon though, Mor would overtake you and the point would be moot.
“Ten percent,” you said at last, lifting your chin.
Jungkook’s eyes gleamed. “Forty.”
“Fifteen.”
“Twenty-five.”
“Twenty.”
Jungkook paused, then glanced at Seokjin for counsel. Bending close to the table, Seokjin scribbled something on a piece of paper and sighed. Looking at Jungkook, he nodded.
“Twenty,” Jungkook said, facing you.
You nodded, but before Jungkook could get too cocky, you held up a hand.
“In return,” you said. “All fees will be waived on Ashyan merchants.”
Jungkook stilled, a lone muscle ticking in his jaw. “I can lower the tariff to a flat rate of two and a half percent, but no more.”
The current tariffs on Ashyan merchants ranged from three to eight percent. Two and a half would benefit all Ashyan merchants, but you were uncertain if Jungkook had more to give. Possibly he was low-balling you, unwilling to show all his cards at once.
Glancing at Yoongi, you watched him slowly shake his head. No, the King was not lying.
Blinking, you returned to Jungkook. You had not expected him to show his hand so quickly. Perhaps he also tired of these negotiations. Gaze narrowed, you attempted to read the young King at the other end of the table.
His face remained blank, as inscrutable as your own. A shiver of something traveled down your spine, although you quickly pushed this away.
“We can accept this,” you said.
Jungkook nodded. “Then we are in agreement.”
Pushing your chair back, you stood from the table. “I think we have made enough progress for today. Lord Namjoon will draw up revisions for the treaty.”
Lord Namjoon nodded, near the center of the table. He was also a Dragon, although he rarely saw battle. Namjoon’s talents lay elsewhere, mainly in crafting legislation which aimed to avoid war in the first place. You could not afford to lose a mind like his to some border skirmish.
As you turned around, the skirts of your gown swept the floor. You’d nearly made it to the door when a firm hand caught your arm.
“A moment, Your Majesty,” Jungkook said, his voice low.
Going utterly still, your gaze shifted to his hand on your sleeve. Glancing up, you wished you truly had the power to turn humans to stone. It would have made these proceedings much easier.
Jungkook had dressed casually for the meeting. He seemed to have come straight from his dragon, since he wore riding leathers. He had no crown, unlike you. Amara, your lady in waiting, had insisted you add the thin, silver diadem before leaving. It lent you an air of authority, she’d said.
It seemed Jungkook could command his authority without such trinkets. The realization made you straighten, meeting his gaze several inches above yours.
“Yes?” you said, your voice frosty.
Jungkook released his grip.
A move you thought wise, all things considered. Behind him, you saw your advisors gathering their reams of paper. They chatted amongst themselves, purposefully ignoring the Ghalian retinue. All except for Lord Namjoon, who spoke politely to Lord Seokjin about a provision of the treaty.
To Lord Seokjin’s right sat Kim Taehyung, a dragon rider whose reputation preceded him. The general of Duret Ghal’s army, he had remained silent throughout the entirety of the negotiations. Based on how often he looked out the window, you got the feeling he preferred to spend his time in the sky and not amongst stuffy people.
Honestly, you could not blame him. Even if his kind of flying were a poor imitation of yours – seated astride a dragon, rather than becoming one himself.
Clearing his throat, Jungkook returned your attention to him.
“Is there something you want, Your Majesty?” you said, growing impatient. “I have a nation to run outside of these meetings, you know.”
A smile curled his lips. “I am aware.”
“So long as you are aware, then.”
You moved to walk past, but Jungkook stopped you again. Teeth gritted, you exhaled steam past your lips.
“What?” you snapped, turning to face him.
Something unreadable stole through his gaze. “We need not have these conversations at all,” he said, dropping his voice. “If you would agree to my original proposal.”
Immediately, your expression shuttered.
“Good day, Your Majesty,” you said and walked past.
This time he did not follow, falling silent as you swept from the room. Yoongi and Jimin joined your exit, the latter tossing a haughty look towards the Ghalians. Namjoon remained in the room, likely to continue his conversation with Seokjin.
As you walked away, you tried and failed to push Jungkook from mind. The offer he alluded to was completely ridiculous.
Marriage.
Seven months prior, Jungkook had sent a message to you after nearly a decade. He’d proposed several items, amongst which was a request to resume your failed betrothal. A list of reasons had been provided. Your nations were on the verge of war, the merger would benefit you both financially and would go a long way towards healing the realms.
Equally politely, you had declined.
It had been a long time since you’d sworn not to marry – or mate, as it were. The mating bond was a possibility for both Dragons and humans. Dragons only mated once in their lifetime, which tended to be longer than ordinary humans. Your parents had been mated to each other, meaning you’d witnessed firsthand the tragedy of their ending.
You would choose an heir when necessary, of course. You weren’t so selfish as to plunge Ashya into civil war when you died because you did not wish to mate. You’d even considered a marriage of practical alliance, one with no chance of mating, but the appropriate circumstances had yet to present themselves.
For this reason, amongst others, you had declined Jungkook’s offer.
Coming to a stop in the hall, you bade Jimin and Yoongi goodnight before continuing on your way. The sun had long since sunk below the horizon. Negotiations with Duret Ghal had taken up most of your time since their arrival in Valor, Ashya’s capital city, nearly ten days ago.
Outside your chambers, you nodded to the guards before entering. Once the door fell shut behind you, you released a sigh.
Straightening, you strode to your dresser and seated yourself at the mirror. As you removed your crown to set on its pedestal, you stared at the silver.
It was not as though you wished to be alone forever. Truthfully, you found yourself exhausted at the end of each day. It would have been nice to fall asleep beside someone and wake with them by your side. Each time you imagined the prospect though, you recalled your father’s death and thought better.
Both Yoongi and Namjoon knew the King had proposed.
Not Jimin, which was for the best. If you had accepted Jungkook’s offer, it would have taken a lot to convince Jimin to remain at his post. He had barely accepted the necessity of a treaty between Ashya and Duret Ghal.
Namjoon had been practical when he heard of the proposal, which you had expected. Lord Namjoon could be practical to a fault, known to ‘factor in’ emotional responses when making decisions. Privately, you thought him a nice foil to Jimin.
When you’d told Namjoon about the King’s offer, he had simply nodded and said it made sense. He acknowledged, of course, the difficulties such a match would present, but did not seem to think it would be a bad idea.
Yoongi had been the one who surprised you. As someone with decisive opinions, you’d imagined Yoongi wouldn’t approve of the match. Instead, he had merely suggested you consider the offer. When you had declined, Yoongi had seemed almost disappointed. It could be hard to tell though, since the Lord usually kept his emotions close to the chest.
Undoing the laces of your gown, you let it drop as you entered your bathing chambers. Amara had left heated water and oils, flickering candles set around the edge of your sunken tub. Lowering yourself to the water, you tipped your head back to rest on the edge.
Today ended only the first week of negotiations between you and Jungkook. Another week remained – you could survive this much, you reasoned. One week from now, you’d have much needed relief for your merchants, along with an ally against the looming threat of Mor to the south.
Only one more week, and Jungkook would be gone.
Ignoring the strange tingle which spread down your spine at the thought, you held your breath and lowered yourself underwater.
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Lips pursed, you stared at yourself in the mirror.
Amara hovered, pins in her mouth while tightening your corset. Your dress for the evening was a mix of old and new – although you despised corsets, this one cinched your waist tight enough for the armor-like bodice. Skirts flowed like water to the ground, brushing the floor with emerald chiffon.
Tonight, you had decided to throw a feast honoring the upcoming treaty with Duret Ghal. The event had not been your idea, but Namjoon’s. He believed it would increase the goodwill between you.
You had protested this until Namjoon pointed out there’d been little to celebrate recently. Realizing the truth to this statement, you’d reluctantly acquiesced to two events. Tonight’s feast and a ball, to be hosted their final night before Duret Ghal left.
Inhaling, your eyes watered as Amara cinched the last hook.
“My apologies,” she said, casting a sympathetic glance in the mirror.
Mutely, you shook your head, not blaming her in the slightest. It was not her fault women's fashion tended to be barbaric, more often than not. It was why you preferred to wear looser gowns, ones you didn’t need your lady in waiting’s help to undo.
Amara had been your companion ever since you were little, although you could not exactly call her a friend. You were her Queen, first and foremost. There was no one else in Ashya for you to call an equal.
“Amara,” you said curiously, glancing up. “What do you think of the Ghalian King?”
Startled by your question, Amara nearly dropped the pins she held. Her wide brown eyes stared back at you in the mirror and briefly, you wondered if she thought this a trap. Possibly you needed to work on your resting facial expressions. Yoongi said you were too harsh, but then again, hearing this from Yoongi was the pot calling the kettle black.
“You can answer me honestly,” you said, a bit gentler. “It has been a long week of negotiations and I find myself wondering what people think of the treaty.”
“Well.” Amara looked thoughtful. “I rather think those are two different questions, Your Majesty. Do you wish to know what people think of the King, or the treaty?”
She was correct, you realized. The two were different, even if they were one and the same in your mind.
“Both,” you responded.
Turning towards the mirror, Amara began to fit the bodice over your bust. It was elaborate, with swirls of silver and emerald stitched into the hard lining.
“Well,” she said, hesitant. “Of course, people think the young King is handsome.”
“He is a rider,” you said sharply.
“It is not as important to humans,” Amara reminded gently. “It does not offend so much as it does the Dragons. And objectively speaking, the King is handsome. He could smile more,” she admitted. “But this does not seem to deter from his handsomeness.”
“I suppose not.”
Seeing your expression, she laughed. “You did ask me to speak honestly, Your Majesty. The people find the King handsome, but they do not trust outsiders. Especially Ghalians. Most have a family member who perished in the Dragon Wars.”
None of this was new information, although it did irk you to hear Jungkook’s looks were a topic of conversation in Valor. It was always like this with men versus women. The moment a male monarch had a somewhat pleasing expression, people were willing to forget all manner of atrocities committed in the past.
“And what of the treaty?” you pressed.
Amara bit down on her lip. “Well…”
“Yes?”
“It depends. Some oppose it, much as they did the treaty all those years ago. Others look forward to the potential trade gains. And still others,” Amara said, a knowing edge to her voice, “think you should accept the King’s proposal of marriage.”
Jerking upright, you prompted Amara to nearly stab you with a pin.
“Amara!” you gasped, looking down.
She blinked in surprise. “Yes, Your Majesty?”
“How… did you hear that?” you said, utterly flummoxed.
“It was only a guess.” Amara shrugged, a ghost of a smile at her lips. “Many villagers wondered if there were other reasons for His Majesty traveling all this way. They imagined you must have declined his offer, since nothing official has been announced.”
You stared at her in shock, a bit thrown by the assessment. Perhaps it had been naïve of you to assume no one would guess based on Jungkook’s elongated presence.
“I see,” you said at last. “The skirts, if you please, Amara?”
Sensing you were done with the conversation, Amara nodded and hastened to fasten the fabric. You stared at the dress in the mirror, willing your racing pulse to slow.
Your gown for the evening was emerald green; one of the colors of Ashya, along with the color of your scales as a Dragon. It had always been a source of pride for your parents, as though Natal herself had proclaimed your destiny.
As Amara arranged your train on the ground, you stared at your reflection. Most of what she said you had already known. Ashya had been divided for a long time now on how to proceed with Duret Ghal. You knew whatever choice you made, there would always be those who opposed you.
And yet, it was strange to hear some rooted for a union.
Glancing at Amara, you found yourself curious. “And what do you think?” you asked. “What is your opinion of the Ghalian King?”
Amara’s fingers hesitated on your hem.
“Me?” she said as she straightened. “I am sure I do not know, Your Majesty. I do not know the King personally, so it is hard to say.”
You nodded, having assumed as much.
“Although…” Amara hesitated, drawing your gaze back to her. “How a person treats their servants is usually indicative of their personality. Take Lord Larkin, for example,” she said, naming a wealthy noble at your court.
“What about him?”
Amara looked down. “His servants are skittish. They mostly keep to themselves at the request of their Lord. It is rumored he keeps a strict household, and his wife is inscrutable.”
Knowing what you did about Lord Larkin, these facts did not surprise you. He had an archaic mentality of most things – dutifully, you filed this information away for later use.
“What of His Majesty, then?” you said. “How do his servants treat him?”
“They seem to admire him.” Amara stood straighter. “From what I have seen, they seem to genuinely enjoy working for him and respect him. I know he has a fearsome reputation, but… perhaps it is only towards his enemies.”
“Whom we used to be,” you noted drily. “Until now.”
Her head bobbed in a nod. “This is also true.”
Despite this, Amara’s words lingered as you finished dressing. It was quite possible your feelings for Jungkook personally had clouded your judgement of him as a ruler.
There was not time to linger on this, since Yoongi arrived soon after to escort you to the great hall. You would be the last to arrive for tonight’s feast, which was customary.
Noise from the hall grew as you approached the doors. Tonight’s event would be more casual than the ball a week from now, but casual was relative since you’d been forced to wear a corset and the meal would feature no less than twelve courses.
As the doors swung open and you began to walk in, all noise within the hall ceased. Ashya’s great hall had seen centuries of celebration, along with conflict and conquest. At one point during the Dragon Wars, Valor had been briefly occupied by Duret Ghal. During this time, the banners hung on your walls had been blue and gold, instead of emerald and silver.
Entering the room with Yoongi at your side, you sensed the gaze of every inhabitant upon you. Focusing straight ahead, you did your best to ignore this. It had never felt natural to you, being the center of attention. You did so for the sake of appearances but had never enjoyed the sensation.
At least you had Yoongi, who looked handsome as usual in his formal attire. With his dark, sweeping hair and keen gaze, Yoongi would have made an excellent King consort. Unfortunately, your relationship had never progressed in this direction and frankly, Yoongi was not important enough to consider marriage without love.
Glancing your way, Yoongi caught your eye. “Is there something in my teeth?” he muttered.
Stifling a laugh, you faced forward.
“No,” you said. “I was only thinking about choices.”
Although Yoongi arched a brow, he said nothing in response. Now was not the time for an in-depth conversation. People bowed as you passed, a veritable rainbow of fabrics and colors. At the front of the hall, a table had been placed atop the raised dais. Behind it, the banners of Ashya and Duret Ghal had been strung.
High above, evergreen boughs entwined with the chandeliers, carefully spaced so they would not catch fire. Evergreens were considered sacred, symbols of Natal’s everlasting power. Although the winter solstice had not yet arrived, the air in Ashya was cold enough for them to thrive.
Your visiting guests had already arrived you saw as you approached the dais. To your surprise, you saw women traveled in Jungkook’s party. On the other side of Taehyung stood a lady with dark hair, right hand resting on the pommel of her sword.
Although both genders fought in the armed forces, it was still considered an unusual path for a woman. It was a pleasant surprise to see both men and women amongst the soldiers Jungkook had brought to greet you.
Seokjin wore robes of deep purple tonight, eschewing the colors of either nation. It was nearly as bold a statement as Taehyung, draped in the royal blue of Duret Ghal beside him. As you neared the table, both of them stood, and your gaze finally fell upon the man at the center.
Jungkook was already on his feet, a golden crown on his head in contrast to your silver.
Your gaze traveled lower, realizing he’d worn robes of midnight blue as well. His waist had been bound in a golden sash, robes flowing to accentuate his trim thighs. At his side, his sword remained hidden, a decorative golden tassel placed before the hilt. It was not the broadsword you’d seen him wear on his dragon, but a more formal rapier made for ceremonies and balls.
His gaze lingered on you as you approached, sweeping your body in similar fashion. Your skin burned each place he lingered, flames consuming you from the inside.
At the bottom of the steps you paused, and Jungkook inclined his head. His gaze remained fixed on yours the entire time.
After ascending the dais, you stood before your chair and surveyed the room. Long rows of tables and benches stared back, along with the faces of your many subjects. Taking a deep breath, you raised your chin.
“Citizens of Ashya and Duret Ghal,” you said, your voice ringing out. “We gather this evening in uncertain times. Much as Natal crafted the first light from darkness, so are better things forged in the fire of adversity. Although dark days lie ahead, I know they will only strengthen our bonds to each other.”
At your side, Jungkook listened with rapt attention. The rest of your speech was conciliatory, bland words about coming together for the betterment of both nations. Namjoon had written most of it and, in the corner of your eye, you saw him mouthing the words.
You only went off-book once, near the end.
“It is important now, more than ever, to remain united in the face of such a foe. Mor seeks to wipe us from the map – and why? It is because we are strong.” The entire great hall had gone silent, focused on your words. “We have what they will never obtain and so, they seek to destroy it. To destroy us, but I will not let them. We will not let them,” you corrected, glancing a Jungkook.
He looked at you and nodded.
“And when they do come to face us,” you said, turning forward. “We will show them exactly why they were right to fear our teeth and claws.”
A roar echoed through the hall, several shooting to their feet to vocalize approval. Turning around, you sat in your seat as gracefully as you could and arranged your gown.
Jungkook was next and once he began speaking, Yoongi leaned over.
“Nothing like a little bloodlust to get the party started,” he murmured.
You winced. “How bad was it?”
Yoongi chuckled. “They seemed to enjoy it. Lord Namjoon might not forgive you so easily.”
Glancing down the table, you saw Namjoon rubbing wearily at his temples. You nearly laughed at the sight, schooling your features to neutrality when you remembered Jungkook still spoke.
His speech was brief, which did not surprise you. During the time you’d spent in his presence, Jungkook struck you as a man with little bullshit, or patience.
Once he was finished and seated beside you, you waved a hand for the meal to start.
In the corner of the room, a string quartet began to play. Doors opened on both sides, allowing servers inside holding trays of food. As the first course was set before you – a medley of greens with spiced, mashed nuts – you reached instead for your cup of wine.
Even this strained your bodice, but you managed. One of the many perils of being a woman in power was navigating foreign dinners while wearing a corset.
“The ballroom is beautiful,” Jungkook said by your side.
Surprised, you turned. “Small talk, Your Majesty?”
He shrugged and took a bite of his greens. “You do not seem inclined to discuss important topics outside of our negotiations.”
“And what important topics would you care to discuss?”
Jungkook paused, setting down his fork to face you fully. Eyes gleaming, his lips parted, and you felt your heart start to race.
Yoongi cleared his throat at your side.
Both of you turned to stare at your advisor.
Eyebrows arched, Yoongi motioned towards the front. “The greeting line has begun,” he said.
Realizing he was correct, you sat back in your seat. Already, the line of subjects stretched down the main aisle. Lords and ladies, merchants and townsfolk, all attempting to curry favor with their monarchs. Reaching out, you gripped your wine glass to drink again. Yet another reason you disliked feasts, balls, and the like.
The politicking side of ruling had never come naturally to you, although you did practice. It meant endless hours of hobnobbing, spending time with people fawning for your favor. Still, it was important to meet with your citizens and hear their concerns. If only most of your court weren’t completely unbearable.
Inclining your head, you allowed the first two to come forward.
When they came into view, your expression softened. You had expected nobility, and instead found yourself faced with two tradespeople, by the looks of them. The man and woman had worn their best attire, immaculately neat under the scrutiny of court.
“Merchant Calum and his wife, Natalia,” said the announcer at the front.
You smiled in response to their curtsy and bow.
“Thank you for coming,” you said, and gestured for them to rise. “We are so glad you could join us tonight.”
“It is our honor, Your Majesty,” Natalia said, looking up.
“Is there something particular you came to discuss?”
Her gaze slid to Jungkook and you tried not to stiffen. Likely, they had come to see the King of Duret Ghal. It had been more than ten years since Jungkook had last entered Valor. 
“No, Your Majesty,” she said, her gaze sliding to you. “No favor to ask. We simply wished to see you in person. I apologize for my husband’s lack of speech in your presence,” she said, reaching for his hand. “He lost the ability during a fire in the mines years ago.”
“I see,” you said gently.
Looking at him, you signed your thanks for his attendance tonight. The man brightened, signing back gratitude for the invitation. His wife beamed, thanking you once more as the announcer stepped forward to hurry them on. It seemed their allotted time in your presence was up.
As they left, Jungkook glanced at you curiously. “Where did you learn how to sign?”
“Occasionally, one wishes to communicate without being overheard.”
Jungkook allowed the matter to drop but continued to look your way.
The true story was longer.
A year before your father had passed, you’d decided to join the Ashyan forces. You had called it a part of your training, but the reality had been the castle was empty and cold after your mother died.
No one had known who you were when you enlisted. You’d entered a regiment far enough away for few people to have ever walked the streets of Valor. It was where you’d met Jimin, whose parents had been Dragons of relative unknown. Under your parents’ regime, Jimin would never have been named commander.
This had been one of the first laws you overturned after your coronation – the blood laws, which had decreed only noble lines could serve in certain positions. Jimin was more Dragon than most of the realm. He fully deserved the title of commander.
While you served in the army, you’d also fallen in love for the first time. Leo had been human, from a western province so far away, it nearly fell off the edge of the map. An encounter with riders had left him without speech, so everyone in your regiment had learned to sign to communicate.
Unsurprisingly, your love had not lasted. As soon as Leo discovered who you were, things had come crashing down. When your father’s condition had worsened and you returned to the castle, your title and demands were placed on display.
Leo was ultimately forced to make a choice – a life of duty with you, or relative freedom in the western wastes. He chose the latter.
None of this was pertinent to your conversation with Jungkook though, and so you kept quiet and welcomed the next guest. A wealthier Ashyan merchant, to whom you made veiled references about lower tariffs which seemed to please him.
Once he had gone, you realized Jungkook continued to glance your way. Ignoring him, you motioned for the next group to be brought forward, but when they came into view, you stiffened. Following your gaze, Jungkook took in the two men who’d made you go still.
Lord Larkin and his son, Lord Declan – the very same nobility Amara had spoken of earlier. While you’d never liked the pair of them, your opinion had obstinately worsened based on what she’d said.
Lord Larkin bowed, silver hair shining in the candlelight above. His son, Declan, lowered his head as well. You waited a moment longer than necessary before asking them to rise.
“Lord Larkin,” you said flatly. “And Lord Declan. What a pleasure to have you both attend tonight.”
“The pleasure is ours, Your Majesty,” Larkin said with a nod. Casually, he glanced at Jungkook. “We wished to extend our welcome to the rider King, as well. It is certainly unusual to see a human seated beside an Ashyan Queen.”
Jungkook merely smiled.
Admittedly, the gesture didn’t do much to brighten his countenance. The warmth of his smile failed to reach his gaze. On the table, Jungkook tapped his long, agile fingers. You realized with some surprise they had been inked.
Tattoos were not uncommon amongst soldiers, but it was rare to see them amongst members of nobility. You found yourself curious what other marks the King bore.
“I imagine it would be unusual for any man to side beside your Queen,” Jungkook said calmly. “Dragon, rider, or any variation within.”
The implication to Lord Larkin was clear – you are not seated beside her, either. Seeming to understand, Larkin’s eyes flashed while he inclined his head.
You fought not to smile.
Lord Larkin owned two of the largest mines in the Thadal range and was integral to the Ashyan economy. It would be unwise to anger him or his family, a line you’d tiptoed around since your coronation. Especially once it became clear Lord Larkin wished to align his son, Lord Declan, to you in marriage.
For a while, you had considered the idea. Their family was powerful, in possession of both lands and titles which would enrich the crown. Lord Declan was also a Dragon, ensuring the royal Ashyan line would continue unhindered.
It had been Yoongi who advised caution. You were still young, new to the throne and with plenty of time to make an heir. Better to first gain control of your nation and consider the offers of a political marriage after. You had known even then Lord Declan was not your mate, no matter how much his father wished for him to be.
Mates were a mysterious thing in your world. They could be either Dragon or human and did not always present themselves in an obvious manner. A person could stand before their mate several times before realizing the bond.
People spoke of the signs, though. Some likened the beginnings of the bond to slow trickles of energy. Others described it as sparks caressing their skin. Still more mentioned an invisible thread which tied them to one another.
None of this you’d felt with Lord Declan, so you felt fairly comfortable saying he was not the one. And yet, you knew Lord Larkin would continue to bide his time.
“It is unusual for a male to sit by my side, you say?” you mused, sipping your wine. “Whatever do you imagine Lord Yoongi to be, Your Majesty?”
Lord Declan laughed, which prompted a glare from his father.
Jungkook tore his gaze away from the Lord. He glanced instead at Yoongi, who seemed determined to ignore your conversation while he finished his greens.
“A very pretty piece of décor,” Jungkook said at last.
At this, even Yoongi smiled. Stifling a laugh, you returned to the Lords who remained standing before you.
“He is most horrified to hear it, I am certain,” you said. “Although if His Majesty considers Yoongi’s looks to be his best asset, perhaps he is the foolish one at this table.”
Jungkook smiled at this, reaching out for a sip of his wine. He seemed more relaxed, less formal and you marveled at the change in his features.
“Is there anything else you wish to discuss?” you said, returning to the Lords.
Their time with you had been longer than the townspeople but then again, this was oftentimes the way of things. Lord Declan nodded, but Lord Larkin simply looked thoughtful, glancing between you and Jungkook. At last, he bowed his head.
“That is all,” he said. “Thank you both for your hospitality.”
Once they had left, you sagged in your seat.
“Pretty.” Yoongi snorted. “I shall have to write home and tell mother immediately.”
Jungkook laughed in response – a real, honest sound which made your heart flip in your chest. It was your first time hearing such a noise from his lips during this visit. It fractured your thoughts into a million pieces.
Rather than confront any of these pieces directly, you looked at Yoongi. “Now, there is food in your teeth,” you said.
Yoongi shrugged, lifting his spoon to fix his reflection. Returning to the waiting line, you gestured the next guests forward.
The rest of the evening passed smoothly. Most of your conversations were kept short, allowing only enough time to greet and move on. By the end of the line, your head was beginning to ache.
Collapsing into your chair, you released a sigh. The line, consumption of wine and lack of food had begun to create the perfect storm. At the next lull of music, your stomach growled in a most unbecoming fashion.
Closing your eyes, you prayed to Natal no one had heard.
“Have you eaten at all?” Jungkook asked from your side.
Opening your eyes, you wondered if perhaps the goddess was busy. Or maybe she simply didn’t care about mortal whims and petty Queens. Looking to your side, you found Jungkook frowning at your full plate.
“I have eaten some,” you said, and cut into the meat.
Before you could stop him, Jungkook had raised a palm to signal the server. “Was there a problem with your plate?” he asked, returning to you. “Or do you simply prefer to eat alone?”
Startled by how earnest Jungkook sounded, you were silent while waving the server away. The poor man fumbled a little, taking a few steps backwards before he turned around.
“Nothing of the sort,” you said, glancing at Jungkook. “The food is fine, and I do not care about eating before others.”
He seemed baffled. “Then, what is it?”
“It is my corset,” you hissed, lowering your voice. “Or have you never sat beside a woman at dinner before?”
Jungkook’s eyes widened, drifting below your neckline. Amara had done an exceedingly good job at making certain you filled out the bodice. A lone muscle ticked in Jungkook’s jaw before he looked up.
“I have sat beside women before,” he said.
“What a delight.” Reaching out, you plucked wine from the table. “I am glad to hear it is not my responsibility to teach you about the fairer sex.”
His gaze narrowed. “Corsets are not as fashionable in Duret Ghal as they are here, Your Majesty,” Jungkook said lowly. “I have never had the pleasure of removing one before.”
Gaze snapping to his, you met his darkened stare. A flicker of heat curled in your belly, making you feel even more light-headed.
Before you could respond, Seokjin asked a question and Jungkook was forced to turn away. Hastily, you sat back and faced forward again. Reaching again for your glass, you took a large sip of wine.
Amara was not wrong. Jungkook was handsome and you were no better than the many people who’d come here tonight to look at the attractive, young King. Inwardly, you cursed your weak morals.
“He is not wrong, you know.” Yoongi continued to chew on your other side. “You should eat before coming to these events, Your Majesty.”
You shot him a look. “And when I desire your opinion, I shall ask it, Lord Yoongi.”
“I thought you paid me to advise you?”
“Only under specific circumstances.”
“And what circumstances would those be?”
“When I ask.”
Yoongi laughed, setting down his fork to reach for his glass. “Will you at least send up food to eat afterwards?’
“Of course,” you said, pushing your meat aimlessly away. “This is not my first gathering, you know.”
Yoongi nodded and the two of you fell into comfortable silence. The conversation had lessened some of the tension between you and the King. And yet, you continued to be aware of his presence beside you.
On the table, his hand rested close enough for you to see. Tanned fingers entwined with black ink, his palms roughened by callouses, proof of the leather he gripped when he rode.
Jaw taut, you continued to drink from your glass of wine. Long before it was considered polite, you yearned to stand and retire for the evening. People danced after the final courses, but it was a paltry thing compared to a real ball.
Once most of your guests had begun to leave, Namjoon agreed it was acceptable for you to go. With great relief, you stood and said your goodbyes. Yoongi went with you, following you towards a separate hallway to avoid foot traffic in the castle. Halfway down the hall, you heard someone say your name from behind.
Turning around, you found King Jungkook striding towards you. His robes swished about his ankles, head held high despite the wine and the hour. As he came to a stop, you turned towards your advisor.
“You may go, Yoongi,” you said, dismissing him. “I will return to my rooms after speaking with His Majesty.”
Yoongi hesitated, then took his leave. You watched him disappear down the hall, waiting until he turned the corner before you spoke again.
“It will seem suspicious for us to leave at the same time, Your Majesty.”
Jungkook made a dismissive noise. “I am not concerned by the thoughts of people in there.”
“An odd way to think of your subjects.”
He considered you standing before him. “You have a very low opinion of who I am and how I run my Kingdom.”
“No,” you said. “Merely of the idea of you running mine.”
Jungkook blinked, taken aback by your statement, but his confusion did not last long. After a moment, he stepped forward to close the space between you.
“Is this what you think of me?” he asked, voice low. “You think I asked for your hand in marriage – why? To become King of Ashya without the difficulties of waging war?”
“It would be a practical way to go about it.”
Jungkook’s gaze scanned your features. “I do not desire to rule Ashya in your stead. Merely to provide the best solution for both our peoples.”
Standing this close, you could feel the heat from his body. His scent was a living thing, wrapping your limbs, coaxing you closer – teeth gritted, you fought the need to take a step backwards.
“That is what you say, Your Majesty.”
He stiffened. “Are you calling me a liar?”
“I believe there are things you do not tell me.”
“And what about you, Your Majesty?” Jungkook tilted his head. “You have declined my offer of marriage and have yet to give a reason.”
“Do I need to give you one?”
“I would like one.”
“I should think you used to disappointment by now,” you said. “Such is the lot of Kings and Queens.”
He stared at you for a moment, his features softened by candlelight. A feeling almost like regret stole through you, gone before you could fully embrace it.
“Do you remember the last time you visited Duret Ghal?” Jungkook asked, which surprised you.
You stared at him a moment. The suddenness of the question pushed all retorts from mind. Thus far, you had held firm to your vow not to marry by convincing yourself the man standing before you was your enemy.
Now though, he asked if you remembered.
In truth, you did.
It had been your seventeenth birthday when you last traveled to Duret Ghal. The occasion had been to finalize your parents’ treaty, as well as formally meet Jungkook as your betrothed. You had met a few times before then, as children, but it had been a long time since those days.
Duret Ghal was a land of icy wilderness, except during the summer, when harsh winter snows melted to expose greenery and cliffs. Rumors said the dragons kept their bays clear of ice, but you had gone at the wrong time of year to see this in person.
To the north of Duret Ghal lay the Irik Sea, a fathomless expanse of foamed troughs of water. Its only mountains to speak of were the famed Cliffs of Oria, which circled the capital city of Ebril. It was within these cliffs the famed dragons nested.
Ebril was situated along the coast, known equally for seamen as much as their riders. The people of Ebril were known to be craggy and sharp, much like the topography. Despite their reputation, Ebril was a city of learning. Built from the white limestone which lined its cliffs, it was occasionally referred to as the jewel by the sea.
Ebril had not been the only thing which fascinated you on that trip. You had found Jungkook equally intriguing.
He had been different then. Still quiet, but in a studious way. His hair had been shorter, as though he could not be bothered with the time it took to comb it.
Upon your arrival, you had thought Jungkook hated you. He could not seem to stand being in the same room as you for very long. Still, he had not seemed antagonistic and so, you had resigned yourself to a loveless marriage and spent time exploring the city.
One morning, you’d woke to find the day warm enough for a trip to the cliffs. Your parents had been busy from sunup to sundown, negotiating the treaty you now found yourself crafting. Back then though, you’d been blissfully free of obligation and duty.
Having never seen the Cliffs of Oria, you’d gone to the stables to secure a mount. Strictly speaking, you did not need one as a Dragon. Ideally, you preferred to fly by yourself, but your parents had warned you against shifting in Duret Ghal.
Although some things had changed since the Dragon Wars, many Ghalians still did not trust your kind. It was never a good idea to push boundaries, especially not when the treaty depended upon it.
You had even borrowed Amara’s clothes in an attempt to blend in. It had been a practical move on your part, since you’d been packed only dresses.
When you’d arrived and requested a horse from the palace stable hand, he had looked you up and down before sneering.
“You’re Ashyan,” he’d said upon hearing your accent. The word Ashyan sounded like a curse. “I heard some of your kind had come to the castle. Thought you could fly without horses, huh? What need do you have with a Ghalian mount?”
You’d been so taken aback, you blurted out the first thing which came to mind.
"If you know so much about Ashya,” you’d told him, gaze hard, “then surely you know more humans live within its borders than Dragons. Humans cannot sprout wings any more than a man like you can see reason.”
The man’s eyes had bugged, taking a threatening step forward – as a soft laugh echoed through the courtyard. Surprised, both of you had turned towards the sound.
In the archway of the stables, Jungkook had shut his book in one hand. “That was funny,” he said, looking at you.
Upon seeing the Prince, the stable hand had paled.
“Your Highness,” he said, hastening to bow.
Jungkook’s gaze slid towards him, any trace of humor disappearing. He stared at him coldly and for a moment, you’d seen a hint of the King he would become.
“I believe the lady asked for a horse.” Jungkook had spoken calmly. “Were you about to deny the request of a royal guest to the crown?”
He did not call you the princess and for a moment, you had wondered if he knew.
“Of course not, Prince Jungkook,” the stable hand had stammered and for a moment, you’d felt a modicum of pity for him.
Then the man had cast you a dark look entering the stables and you'd quickly forgotten your mercy. Instead, you’d found yourself wondering how loud he’d scream if you shifted.
Jungkook cleared his throat.
Looking at him, you’d found him lingering in the entrance to the courtyard. Curiosity washed through you, wondering if he intended for you to thank him. The idea was vaguely insulting. You could have handled one measly human.
“I did not need your help, you know,” you had said.
Jungkook had merely arched a brow. “Oh, I am aware.”
“Good.”
Turning around, you had considered the conversation to be over. While you stood and waited for your horse though, you realized Jungkook did not leave. After another moment, you’d turned towards him.
“Then, why did you interject?” you’d asked, suddenly curious.
Rather than answer immediately, Jungkook had crossed the courtyard. He came to a stop before you, forcing you to tilt your head back to see him. For a human, you remembered him being quite tall.
That close, you’d seen Jungkook’s eyes for the first time. They were not all brown, as you’d imagined. Instead, you saw many colors within – auburn, hazel, and a deep, burnished gold. 
Meeting his gaze frankly stole your breath away.
“You are my guest,” Jungkook had said. “And my betrothed. It is my duty to protect you.”
Looking away, you’d tried not to smile. Despite the fact you were trying not to laugh, it felt oddly wrong to be free of his gaze.
“Why are you smiling?” Jungkook had asked, confused.
“I am sorry,” you had said, biting back a smile. “It is only… well. Is that how women are raised in Duret Ghal?”
“I beg your pardon?”
Before you could answer, the stable hand had emerged with a horse in tow. Accepting the reins he gave, you’d placed a foot in the stirrup and swung into the saddle. Settling your weight, you’d leaned forward and pet the horse’s long mane.
Glancing up, you’d locked eyes with Jungkook. “You speak of women as though they need protection. I must say, it has never been something I needed or wanted,” you’d said quietly, then clicked your heels and steered the horse away.
You had not looked back as you rode from the castle, but felt the weight of his gaze between your shoulder blades the entire way. It had sent the strangest energy across your skin but once you reached the trail, you managed to push both this and Jungkook from mind.
The sea had always been a subject of endless fascination for you. Crossing the grassy plains which topped the Cliffs of Oria, you’d found satisfaction in the salty taste of the air.
After nearly an hour of riding, you’d slowed to a stop. Before you, the Irik Sea had stretched in an endless display of blue. It reminded you of the sky with its limitless potential. As soon as you thought this, you had the dearest wish to fly.
Glancing away, you realized you’d seen no other humans for miles. Quietly, you slipped from your horse and tied him to a tree.
Entering a nearby thicket, you’d changed from your clothes and placed them under a rock. When you transformed to a Dragon, it tended to shred whatever clothing you wore.
Naked as the day you’d been born, you stood under the sky and tipped your head back. Allowing the transformation to take hold, warmth had spread through your veins until – opening your eyes, you were a Dragon.
Humans referred to this as the change, but you’d never found it to be an accurate descriptor. It was not as though you changed from one thing to the other; merely shifted to a different part of yourself. You were always a dragon and always a human. To be a Dragon was to be both.
Wings unfurled, you’d bent and leapt into the sky. It always took you a moment to reorient after shifting. Your senses of sight, smell and hearing were sharper as a dragon, although some things were different.
Beating your wings against the sea breeze, you’d risen and fallen while surveying the cliffs. From this height, you’d been able to see the smaller cities which dotted the fields of the capital. Ebril shone like a star on the distant shore. Instead of flying towards this, you turned in the opposite direction. You had no desire to be seen and send their women into hysterics.
Remembering Jungkook’s words, a jet of flame left your nostrils in a wicked snort. The idea of protecting a Dragon was laughable. Wheeling sideways, you’d traveled further out over the ocean. It had been silver-green at the time, bright as the clearest Ashyan jewel.
Growing bolder, you’d flown lower and skimmed the waves with your toes. Swooping higher, you’d circled again before diving straight down. When you plunged beneath the surface, the coldness of the Irik snatched fire from your lungs. Sputtering, you’d breached the surface and shot into the air to hang there, gasping.
Then you grinned and dove again.
For the first time in months, you’d allowed yourself to have fun. Ever since you’d turned sixteen, you’d become infinitely aware of your title and duty. Your duty to marry, to someday become Queen and leave your childhood behind. You’d wondered why you needed to give up fun and freedom, all for someone else’s hand.
In truth, the idea of marriage had scared you. Riders enjoyed taming dragons, or so the legends had said. They’d taken your ancestral creatures and turned them into beasts who willingly did their bidding. You had no desire to do anyone’s bidding but your own.
After a long day of flying, you’d tucked in your wings and returned to the cliffside. Although you had told your parents where you were going, they would worry if you were not back in time for dinner. Approaching the spot where you’d left your things, you realized a second horse had been tethered beside yours.
Searching the plains, you’d immediately spotted Jungkook. He lazed in the sun at the edge of the cliff, book open on his stomach and one arm behind his head.
He did not so much as look up when you landed, although the noise from your wings must have been deafening. Dropping into the thicket, you’d quickly returned to human form. With trembling hands, you’d pulled back on Amara’s clothes.
As you exited, Jungkook remained in his same position. Upon seeing him there, you’d stopped and looked away. Perhaps he had not seen you after all.
“How was your swim?” Jungkook had asked, eyes still shut.
Your stomach had dropped.
“I can explain,” you’d said, stepping forward.
One eye opening, Jungkook had frowned. Pushing himself to his elbows, he’d surveyed you and it had struck you suddenly how beautiful he was. Brown curls and soft gaze, above a lean body.
“What do you have to explain?” he’d asked, sounding curious.
“I – well.” For the first time, you’d found yourself flummoxed. “I did not mean to take advantage of Duret Ghal’s hospitality.”
This seemed to amuse him. “Are you… apologizing for using the sky, Your Highness?”
“No. Well, yes.”
Something in your expression made Jungkook soften. Closing his book and setting it aside, he’d stood from the ground and began to walk closer. He came to a stop near enough to see the tiny mole beneath his lip.
“Some Ghalians fear Dragons, it is true,” he’d said quietly. “But you need not ever fear this from me, Your Highness. If someone asked you not to fly in my Kingdom, please consider this to be a formal revocation.”
You had stared at him a moment before arching a brow. “It could be dangerous to fly, though. I might be in need of protection.”
Jungkook had paused for a moment before laughing, his head thrown back and smile wide. It was the same laugh he’d made tonight at the banquet.
“Forgive me for earlier,” he’d said, lowering his head to meet your gaze. “It was foolish of me to imagine I might protect a mighty Dragon.”
Although he’d adopted a teasing tone, seriousness lit his gaze. You found you rather enjoyed it. Enjoyed him, against all better reason. The slightest of thrills went down your spine.
“Foolish, indeed,” you’d murmured.
In your mind though, you’d wondered if perhaps you were the foolish one.
Although the day had been nearly ten years ago, you had never forgotten it. Never forgotten the boy who’d wanted to protect a Dragon.
The answer to Jungkook’s question was a resounding yes.
Yes, you remembered. Perhaps too much.
“I remember some,” you said, fighting to keep your voice steady. “Not all.”
Jungkook paused. “I see.”
“If that is all, I shall –”
“We were to be married before,” he said, expression inscrutable. “Is the idea of marrying me now so repulsive?”
“I do not find you repulsive,” you said on instinct.
Too late, you realized you’d eliminated an answer. You did not find Jungkook repulsive, so your reason for declining was something else.
He considered this. “No?”
“I do not,” you admitted. “But I also don’t know you, Your Majesty. Our former betrothal ended nearly ten years ago. The intention was to mend a rift between two nations. The situation is different now. Now, we have a common enemy to unite us.”
“And once Mor is defeated?”
“The defeat of a mutual enemy will be enough.”
Jungkook gave you a look which plainly said, will it?
Growing increasingly frustrated, you stepped forward until you stood nose to nose. Tilting your chin higher, you fought the overwhelming tide of his cedar and sunshine.
“You asked if I remember our last meeting and I do,” you said hotly. “I also remember the carnage which followed. Do not ask from me more than I can give, Your Majesty.”
A shadow crossed Jungkook’s expression, quickly followed by anger.
“If you remember so well,” he said, eyes narrowed. “Then surely you remember it was my Kingdom, not yours which paid for the coup in blood. It took me many years to rebuild what my Uncle destroyed.”
“I did not mean –”
“I think you did,” he interrupted. Taking a step back, he allowed cool air to pass between you. Stiffly, he bowed. “Thank you for the evening, Your Majesty. Enjoy the remainder of your night.”
Turning around, Jungkook strode down the hall until he disappeared.
You remained still for a moment, staring after him and wondering what you had done. All you’d wanted to do was to steer the conversation away from your vow not to marry. Instead, you’d insulted a man who had done nothing to harm you – at one point, he’d even wanted to protect you.
Gathering your skirts, you turned and walked away. Yoongi had not waited for you, for which you were grateful. You had no doubt he’d side with King Jungkook regarding your display this evening. Anyone with half a brain would, you supposed.
Still, it was too much for Jungkook to expect you to marry him simply because you had once been engaged. You’d been right about one thing – the situation was different now. You were different now and could not afford to let Jungkook get any closer.
You’d witnessed firsthand the kind of disaster such unions wrought.
Climbing the steps to your chamber, the crown on your head felt heavier tonight than ever before.
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The sun had not yet risen when you left your bed the next morning. Donning a gown, you hastily braided your hair and slipped outside. Nodding hello to your guards, you hurried down the corridors and out a side door.
As the land of Dragons, Ashya had developed unique features attuned to their needs. One such accommodation were the sheds – tiny, low buildings with large yards beyond them. They rested on the opposite side of the stables, since horses tended to be spooked by dragons and the main purpose of the sheds was for Dragons to shift.
Entering the one closest, you shut the door and began to undress. Hanging your clothes on the wall, you strolled into the enclosed yard. Its walls were high enough to ensure no passersby saw, yet large enough to encompass an adult Dragon.
Inhaling a breath, you tipped your head back and let the shift come. Wings unfurling, you opened your eyes and set your forelegs upon the ground. Bending low to the dirt, you pushed yourself upwards and into the sky.
Soaring over the castle, you began to fly southeast of the city. Valor sprawled out beneath you, a haphazard city of cobblestone and flint. Smoke curled from the chimneys, the earliest households waking for the day.
To the east, the foothills of the Thadal mountains were covered in pasture. Sheep and goats grazed there; their wool favored by Ashyan merchants. Circling overhead to ensure all was well, you found yourself satisfied and began to climb higher.
This was one of your favorite pastimes. Flying high enough that even your Dragon’s breath froze in your lungs, crystallizing in bursts until you could no longer bear it. Then you dove, tucking your wings in to hurtle towards the ground.
At the last moment, you snapped your wings open and rode the wind.
Snorting a thin stream of smoke, you slowed as you approached the mountains. The first rays of dawn broke over the horizon, spilling their light between the rocky crags. Inhaling fresh morning air, you flew further south.
The Thadal range was truly one of the wonders of the continent. Flying between towering peaks, you did not question why the Dragon Wars had been fought for its riches. The mountains went on for miles in the east, a flight you’d only made once. It had taken you nearly a week to cross the entire range and at its end you’d found a desert similar in size to the Irik Sea.
When you had returned, your father had berated you. Your mother had died only a year prior and he had only recently managed to pull himself together. If you had died, he’d shouted, the entire future of Ashya was lost.
It was a heavy burden to bear, but one you’d shouldered after his passing. Everything you did was for your nation and people. You would be enough for Ashya and would guard against the kind of attachments which might put this at risk.
As the sun slowly rose, the tightness in your stomach increased. With the rising sun came the responsibilities of being Queen. You had a schedule to keep, meetings to attend with Duret Ghal, your advisors and a large group of nobles.
Tucking in your wing, you began to turn – only for bright, searing pain to hit you in the shoulder.
Crying out, you fought to keep stable while twisting around. Wings beating the air, you frantically searched for your attacker. Vision blurred, you scanned the tree lines below and found nothing.
A second bolt shot towards you. With great effort, you managed to dodge the strike, rolling in midair. Mid-twist, you realized a large iron bolt remained lodged in your shoulder.
Stomach curdling, you realized what danger you were in. Only Mor had crossbows strong enough to kill a Dragon. Somewhere beneath you lay a Mor patrol.
Searching the woods, you felt hot drops of blood dripping from your scales. Before you could retaliate, before you could so much as inhale, an arrow of darkness shot into your vision.
Jungkook, astride his dragon, Nemrys, laid waste to the mountain.
A great wave of fire engulfed where the Mor patrol had been. Faint screams rose from below, a final shot fired but its aim was way off, as though whomever had done so, did so out of panic.
Wings flapping, you tried to stay aloft, but to no avail. It was hard to bring down a Dragon with a single bolt, but Mor had perfected their technology over the past century and you’d been caught unawares.
Nemrys continued to torch the forest even as you dropped, struggling to stay alight. Vision turning black, you thought you heard Jungkook yell – or maybe it was your own subconscious – before you spiraled down, wings cutting through branches before you hit the ground.
Everything went dark after that.
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Groggily, you woke to the sound of your name being called.
Fabric had been draped over your torso, softer than the dirt beneath your back. As you opened an eye, you realized you’d shifted to human. This happened occasionally when you went through a great shock.
As soon as you thought this, you remembered the attack. When you attempted to sit upright, a gentle hand gripped your shoulder. Re-focusing through the haze, you realized it was Jungkook who knelt beside you.
His expression remained on your arm. A shudder of pain wracked your body, which had been covered by his cloak, you realized.
Except for your shoulder, that was.
Catching a glimpse of it on the ground, you winced and forced yourself to look away. The lower part of your arm remained unscathed, but the upper portion was in bad shape. All you could see was blood, shredded muscle, and bone peeking through.
“The arrow,” you breathed, head spinning. “Where is it?”
“Knocked loose when you landed,” Jungkook said, tight-lipped. “Which was lucky, given how large the bolt was. Had you shifted while it was still in your shoulder… I do not know what might have happened. Still…” He paused. “You have lost a lot of blood.”
Turning aside, Jungkook began rummaging through a pack on the ground. Dizzily, you glanced around the forest clearing.
“W-where is Nemrys?” you asked, your teeth chattering.
Jungkook looked back with alarm. “I left him in the clearing,” he said. “There was not enough room for him to land.”
“And this is… your cloak?”
Jungkook nodded but said nothing more. He was dressed in all leather, a broadsword strapped to his back in a pragmatic sheath. When he turned your wrist over, you let out a hiss and his gaze snapped to yours.
A war seemed to wage within him as Jungkook sat back on his heels. “You have lost a lot of blood,” he repeated.
“There are healers in Valor,” you said, struggling to sit up. “You must bring me to them.”
Jungkook gripped your good shoulder again. “You cannot shift in this state, and I fear moving you would aggravate the wound ever further.”
You glared at him from the ground. “What do you propose, then?”
Even as you spoke, it occurred to you the situation might be bad. Right now, shock and adrenaline kept the pain at bay, but it would soon wear off.
“I stopped the blood flow as best I could,” Jungkook said. “But it continues to bleed. I fear you may lose consciousness before we reach the capital.”
Panic rose, choking whatever retort you had to say. If you lost consciousness now, it would only be a matter of time before your organs began to fail. You could not die here. You would not; not on an unknown forest floor, miles away from your home.
You would not be brought down by a single Mor patrol before you even got the chance to face them on the battlefield.
“What are the options,” you said, returning to Jungkook. “Do you have a tourniquet with you? Can Nemrys cauterize my wound? I can survive the loss of a limb, Your Majesty, but I will not leave Ashya so poorly defended.”
Jungkook stared at you a moment before he slowly exhaled.
“There is another option,” he said at last.
“Whatever it is, you best do it quickly. Before I pass out and leave you to wrestle with your conscience alone.”
Suppressing a grimace, Jungkook finally nodded and rolled up his sleeves. It exposed sinuous forearms and ink which, in any other circumstance, you might have found appealing. As it was, you merely found them distracting.
Jungkook hesitated before laying his hands on your arm.
“You must…” He paused, then swallowed. “You must trust me, Y/N.”
The use of your first name was shocking enough for you to fall silent. Nodding, you stared at the sky and laid as still as you could. The pain had begun to set in; you could feel phantom tingles from your injured limb. Dull, shooting pain which throbbed in your shoulder.
At first, nothing happened.
Jungkook’s hands remained on your arm and for a moment, nothing changed. Then – a flurry of sparks skittered down his hands. They sank into your skin so quickly, you thought you’d imagined it.
In response to this, the pain flared, and you arched your back.
“Steady,” said Jungkook, calloused hands on your body. It could have been your imagination, but his dark eyes seemed to glow. “The pain will be gone soon.”
As he spoke, more and more sparks traveled down his forearms. They increased until a golden stream of light poured from his fingertips, fracturing into pieces and – healing you, you realized.
Each place the golden light touched, your muscles reknit. Blood flowed back to the wound as your skin stitched itself together. Shocked, you stared at the evidence of your wound being erased. A bead of sweat rolled down Jungkook’s brow, his color turning sallow while you stared in alarm.
“Jungkook,” you rasped, chest rising and falling. The steady stream of light continued to brighten. “Jungkook – enough.”
He inhaled and jerked back, severing the connection.
Still breathing heavily, you stared at him in shock. The forest around you seemed darker, as though it, too, missed the light. Missed the golden magic which had poured forth from his fingers.
Shakily, you pushed yourself to a seated position, one hand on his cloak to hold it in place. Glancing down, you saw your shoulder and went still. He had healed you. Somehow, Jungkook had healed you.
Experimentally, you flexed the muscles and watched the skin ripple, undeterred.
You’d heard of healing magic but never experienced it in person. Magic was rare enough for not all gifts to be born in the same lifetime. There was also the small matter of neither of Jungkook’s parents being Dragons. Only a human with a Dragon parent could inherit magical gifts.
“Explain,” you said, gaze lifting to him.
Jungkook blinked. “Excuse me?”
“Explain,” you repeated, not looking away. “How did you heal me?”
Finally understanding, Jungkook sat back on his heels. Twisting around, he rummaged in his pack for a canteen and unscrewed the cap. As he took a long sip, Jungkook stared at the forest.
His exhaustion was clear, and you felt a glimmer of regret at your words. Regret – and something else. Something warmer, which wrapped you in golden tendrils as easily as his magic.
Clutching the cloak, you stared and realized you were being unfair. First and foremost, he had saved your life. Everything else could wait.
“Thank you,” you said quietly.
Jungkook stilled.
“I do not know how, nor why you healed me,” you continued. “But… thank you for doing so.”
Setting down his canteen, Jungkook waited a moment before turning to face you. He seemed to wrestle with some inner emotion.
“You are welcome.” After another beat, he reached into his sack. “Here,” he said, pulling out a ball of clothes. “If you wish to change into my spare clothing, you may. I can wait over there.”
Once you accepted the bundle, Jungkook stood from the ground. Dusting his palms on his pants, he swayed a little before he steadied himself. Before you could comment on this he was gone, trekking across the clearing.
Silently, you unfolded the clothes in your lap.
They included a tunic and trousers, along with a leather belt to hold them in place. Scuffed boots made up the last item of the pile. Running a thumb up their side, you attempted to determine their make.
“Why do you have all this?” you asked, looking up.
Even from here, you could see Jungkook’s cheeks redden. “Nemrys and I were once trapped by a snowstorm. We were forced to camp for the night in the mountains. Ever since then, I’ve always carried supplies. Get dressed,” he said, turning around. “I promise not to look.”
Tough you bristled, you watched and true to his word, he did not turn around. Once you were certain of this, you stood from the ground and began to dress yourself. His tunic was much too large, as were the trousers, forcing you to tighten the belt to its final notch. The fabric was soft and warm though, smelling of him.
Again, you marveled at your ease of motion. You’d seen your shoulder before Jungkook had done his healing and knew the situation could have been worse. If you hadn’t bled out in the woods, you might have lost the limb. Even in older accounts of magical healing, you knew it could be dangerous work. Healing required knowledge of muscles, veins, ligaments, and nerve endings. It was simple to patch up skin – harder to make everything beneath it work again.
Whatever magic Jungkook had, it was powerful.
Once you were fully dressed, you approached him on the other side of the clearing. Jungkook continued to stare pointedly at the woods, only turning around when you tapped his shoulder. He swiftly took in your outfit, gaze darkening at the sight of his clothes on your frame.
Ignoring the possible meanings his look could contain, you cleared your throat.
Jungkook’s gaze jumped to yours. “Are you ready to go?” he said, a bit brusque. “Nemrys is willing to fly us both back.”
Your jaw fell a little. “You wish for me to ride a dragon?”
“I expect you not to undo the gift I gave. Although I fixed your shoulder the best I could, I’d prefer a healer examined you back in Valor. It would be bad,” Jungkook added, seeing your expression, “if the Queen of Ashya were to plummet from the sky after my attempted healing.”
Much as you hated to admit it, he had a point. Magic was tenuous – even you knew how complicated healing magic was.
“Fine,” you muttered. “I will ride back with you.”
When you moved to walk past him, Jungkook grabbed your arm. Bristling somewhat, you stared at his hand on your sleeve.
“What?” you huffed, looking upwards.
Jungkook met your gaze. “Before we go,” he said slowly. “There are things you should know. Things we need to discuss.”
“Such as?”
“Such as my magic,” he said, releasing your arm. “My magic, where it comes from, and what it means for Ashya.”
You stared at him, not understanding.
Jungkook exhaled and ran a hand through his hair. Dark strands fell around his face, partially concealing the worry in his gaze. Of what, or for whom, you did not know.
“Do you know the origin story of magic?”
His voice had deepened, softened a little. Something about this and his expression convinced you not to snap back. Every child on the continent knew the origin story.
“Of course,” you said curiously. “Natal ripped a hole in the veil and before she could close it, magic seeped through.”
“True.” Jungkook nodded. “In your version of the story though, only your kind were gifted with magic. This is not the case. All dragons have magic.”
The world around you seemed to tilt. What Jungkook said was impossible and yet, he seemed utterly serious. For a moment, you wondered if he’d also been hurt in the attack. Perhaps he’d hit his head in his haste to heal you.
“You are the only kind of dragon who can shapeshift,” he continued. “Other kinds of magic exist, though. There are other types of power the dragons can wield.”
“Impossible,” you whispered, finally finding your voice.
“It is true.” Jungkook’s gaze remained level. “Riders can use the magic of the dragon they’re bonded to. It is why I can heal. Nemrys comes from a long line of dragons with healing magic.”
“It cannot be,” you said, reeling from the implications. “Only the descendants of Dragons and humans are born with magic.”
“And riders, once they bond.”
You stared at him a moment, then shook your head. “We would have known. We would… we would have known if someone else could use magic. How could we not?” you demanded.
A shadow of something bitter crossed Jungkook’s expression. “I am sure you are aware there are parts of Duret Ghal which disapprove of magic.”
You did not know how this could relate to the dragons and their riders but allowed the detour to continue. It could not be worse than the sudden revelation magic was different from what you’d always imagined.
“I am aware,” you said flatly. “A ridiculous notion. Magic wins wars.”
“True.” Jungkook seemed to weigh his words. “But those born with gifts are viewed as a necessary evil by some within Duret Ghal. A tool for battle and nothing more. If these people had discovered their leaders had magic?” Jungkook shook his head. “A century ago, Ghalians would have revolted.”
Your eyes narrowed. “They would accept you ride dragons, but not that you have magic?”
A ghost of a smile crossed Jungkook’s lips.
“Humans are gifted magic when a Dragon and human mate,” he explained. “For many years, Duret Ghal considered Ashya and Dragons to be our enemy. You can understand why the idea of magic was an inherent threat.”
“…I suppose.”
“They only accepted the riders because Ghalians imagined the same thing you did – that the dragons we ride are a tame, subservient species compared to your own. It is not so.”
“No?”
“No.”
Unable to fathom this, you looked away at the forest. If everything Jungkook said was true, then the history of your nation – of your continent – was a lie. The Dragons of Ashya were only different in that they could shapeshift. The rhetoric you’d believed your whole life, that you were somehow more than the rest, was untrue.
The dragon riders had magic and, realizing this, you turned back.
“Why did you heal me, then?” you asked. “If the Ghalians feel so strongly about magic, surely you would wish to keep this a secret?”
Jungkook hesitated.
“We were… aware of the risk coming here. For many years, I have been trying to convince the other riders to reveal themselves,” he explained. “It was the coming war against Mor which convinced them, in the end.”
“What does Mor have to do with it?”
“Everything,” Jungkook said. “Mor has declared a war on all dragons, including those of Duret Ghal. Their technology is beyond ours. When they do come, it will be a bloody battle. If we do not fight with our full capabilities, we might fail. I will not allow this to happen.”
“And so,” you said slowly. “You healed me because… you had already decided to reveal your magic?”
An amused gleam entered his gaze. “Amongst other reasons,” Jungkook allowed. “Though you may not believe it, I rather enjoy having you around, Your Majesty. It would be a pity to waste a life such as yours.”
There seemed to be deeper meaning to his words, but you had no time to dissect it. Stepping closer, Jungkook looked down.
“We had planned to reveal our magic once the treaty was signed,” he explained. “Your injury simply moved up the timeline.”
“I see,” you said, somewhat dazed by his presence so close to your own.
Jungkook nodded, then turned to continue, but something within you kept you from moving. Staring at the back of his head, you realized the words you truly wanted to say.
“And the other dragons,” you said slowly, then stopped. “What about them?”
Paused at the edge of the clearing, Jungkook turned around. Wariness had entered his gaze.
“I do not know this is my story to tell,” he admitted. “But since you cannot speak directly to Nemrys, I can tell you what he told me.”
Jungkook glanced overhead and you wondered if he searched for the time. Or, you realized, he could be communicating with Nemrys.
You had known rider and dragon had a bond. This had been well-documented throughout history, but not much else was known beyond their ritualistic ceremony. Whether dragon and rider could converse was a controversial topic amongst historians, but based on what Jungkook said, it seemed they could.
Based on what he did now, it seemed they did.
“Thousands of years ago,” Jungkook finally said, looking down. “Natal broke the sky and magic flowed in. It entered all dragons who slept in the mountains below. The magic manifested in different forms. A line of dragons known for compassion became healers. Another line, known for passion and wildness, became stormmakers. And another, always curious, became the shapeshifters.
“Human beings were originally from the south, but as they moved north, they encountered the dragons. Wars were fought between them, bloodier than any of our recent conflicts. Many were killed on both sides, until the head of the shifter dragons decided to become human.
“There was dissent amongst the dragons as to whether this was wise. Many did not like the idea of stooping to the humans’ level, but the shifter line proceeded despite their caution. Your kind founded Ashya and lived in peace for a while.
“Over time, changes took place. Small, at first – and then larger. Some of the shifters chose not to shift, even though they could. Some decided they preferred human form over dragon. In an important conflict, the shifters sided with humans. Certain lines of dragons deemed this to be unacceptable.
“The most feared magic amongst dragons was – and still is – that of the memory dragons. These dragons, though rare, can manipulate thought, memory and perception. As punishment for siding with the humans, they took away your memory of all dragons. Stole your ability to communicate while in dragon form. Over time, your kind have forgotten what you once were.
“It was a terrible punishment. One which has not been given since. That is the whole truth,” he finished quietly. “That is the knowledge which has been kept from your kind.”
Falling silent, Jungkook allowed time for his story to sink in. The forest around you was silent as well, as though it, too, were holding its breath.
You could only stare while struggling to comprehend. If what Jungkook said was true, then you were not different from other dragons – or, you were, but not in the ways you’d once thought. They were as intelligent, as cohesive, and knowledgeable as you were. More, perhaps, if they had hidden this from you for so long.
“And so, rider magic,” you said, a bit hoarse. “How…?”
“Ah.” Jungkook gave a wry smile. “The riders did not come until later. Call it Natal’s judgement, if you will. As time went on, some of the dragon lines grew more curious about humans. One of them somehow bonded with a human. This continued to occur until finally, the King of Duret Ghal himself became a dragon rider.”
“And the riders,” you said, trying to piece it together. “They can use their dragon’s magic?”
Jungkook nodded.
“And you speak to them?” The barest hint of wonder entered your voice. “Can you speak to all dragons?”
“Only the one we are bonded to,” Jungkook said, a bit softer.
“I see.”
He gave you a look. “I know this is a lot to take in.”
“No. Well, yes,” you said as you shook your head. “You have given me much to think on, Your Majesty.”
Jungkook’s expression shuttered a bit at the formality, but he inclined his head. “Indeed, Your Majesty,” he responded.
You stared at him for a moment, taking in the dried sweat on his forehead from the energy spent healing you. Something had changed between you, and you did not know how you could turn back.
“Thank you,” you said softly.
Jungkook glanced up. “For what?”
“For many things, I suppose. For healing me. For trusting me with the truth. I owe you a life debt, Your Majesty.”
An unreadable look passed over his face. “I imagine there will be many life debts between us before this war comes to pass.”
He was not wrong and for a moment, you allowed yourself the luxury of imagining you might face this war together.
“A fair point,” you allowed.
Glancing past him, you surveyed the clearing. Nemrys must be nearby, or Jungkook would not have gotten to you so quickly. Suddenly, the prospect of meeting another dragon held an entirely different meaning. All this time, you had assumed them to be less intelligent than your own and had treated them as such. You could only imagine how little they thought of you.
Nemrys would likely be less thrilled to have you riding him, than you would be in the saddle.
“There is another reason I healed you,” Jungkook admitted.
You glanced his way in surprise. “And what reason was that?”
Jungkook walked closer, step by step until he was barely a foot away. Reaching out a hand, he adjusted his tunic where it fell on your frame. His thumb brushed your bare collarbone and in response to this, you barely suppressed a shiver.
“You said you did not know me.” Jungkook swallowed. “It seemed a shame for our time to be cut short before I could remedy this fact.”
With that, he dropped his hand and walked away.
You stared as he left, feeling utterly thrown until he spoke again.
“Follow me,” Jungkook called. “Nemrys is impatient. Not unusual for a dragon, but he does make a good point. People will be looking for us – I was expected back nearly an hour ago.”
Glancing overhead, you realized Jungkook was right based on the sun's position. It had risen nearly above the treetops, meaning Jimin would have people looking for you soon.
Jungkook kept going as you followed, striding from the clearing you’d made when you fell. It took only a few minutes before the trees had thinned enough for you to come face to face with Nemrys on the ground.
His scales were ebony in color, dark as the night sky above during the witching hour. Only one golden eye could focus on you at a time, but the one which did remained steady as you entered.
Nemrys did not seem happy to see you, and you did not blame him. Dragons were a territorial bunch, whether shifter or otherwise. If Nemrys considered you a threat to Jungkook, he would stop at nothing to protect his rider.
As you exited the forest, Jungkook looked up. “No,” he said sharply, walking around Nemrys’ side.
Curious, you turned and realized he wasn’t speaking to you.
“What did Nemrys say?” 
A growl left Nemrys’ throat, clawing at the ground with a single, curved talon.
Jungkook sighed in response, looking skyward. He seemed thoroughly exasperated, and it was one of the most natural expressions you’d seen on him thus far.
“Nemrys asked if you wished to ride in the saddle, or have him carry you,” Jungkook said at last, looking down.
Gaze narrowed, you turned your head to Nemrys. If you did not know any better, you could have sworn his upper lip curled. To be carried by a dragon meant to dangle upside down from their claw while they flew through the air.
“No, thank you,” you said, walking closer. “Although, I do have something I wish to say to Nemrys.”
Coming to a stop before him, you looked Nemrys in the eye. Nemrys slowly blinked, as though he were extremely uninterested in whatever you had to say.
“Thank you,” you said, your voice softening. “Thank you… for telling me, through him.”
Nemrys stilled.
“And for healing me,” you added, bowing your head. It was a sign of great trust to expose your neck to a dragon. “I cannot find the words to express my gratitude.”
After a moment, Nemrys exhaled and lowered his head as well. Glancing up, you met his gaze and felt something unspoken pass between you.
“He thinks you might find the saddle more comfortable,” Jungkook said, sounding a bit amused at the side.
Lips twitching, you took a step backwards and looked now at Jungkook. Nemrys snorted again, steam exhaled past his lips. In response to whatever he’d said, Jungkook’s cheeks turned a bit pink.
“What was that?” you asked, curious.
“Nothing.” Jungkook glared at the dragon. “Nemrys said we should go.”
Nemrys snorted once more, steam rising as he hauled himself to his feet. It did not seem Jungkook was telling you the entire truth, but the importance of this faded when you saw the saddle. It had not seemed as high when you were also a dragon.
“You sit up… there?” you asked, coming to a stop.
Jungkook hid his smile. “It isn’t as dangerous as it seems,” he insisted, placing a hand on the ladder. “You just climb all the rungs until you reach the top.”
Nodding, you placed one foot in the stirrup and firmly gripped the ladder. As you began to climb, hand over foot, you found yourself holding your breath. Eventually, you reached the top and swung a leg over.
“Careful,” Jungkook called from the ground. “I still want my healer to take a look at your shoulder.”
“I have healers, too,” you grumbled, settling onto the leather.
Jungkook climbed after you, swinging his leg over to land firmly behind you. His right hand found your waist, tugging you back until your spine met his chest. None other would dare touch the Queen in such a manner but then again, Jungkook was also a King.
“I know,” he said, his breath warm on your ear. “But mine are accustomed to dealing with magical healing.”
Unable to argue, you gripped the front of the saddle. Unconvincingly, you tried to make yourself believe it would be like riding a horse. Jungkook’s hand gripped your hip, distracting enough that you nearly forgot what you were doing.
As Nemrys bent and spread his wings, you forced your eyes shut. It was a silly thing, but you’d never flown through the skies when you were not the one in control.
You felt, rather than saw, when the ground fell away beneath you. Wind whistled past your ears, the force of gravity pressing you against Jungkook’s chest. He said nothing in response, merely curled his fingers into the hem of your tunic.
One you felt comfortable, you opened your eyes against the rushing wind.
For a moment, vertigo overtook you and you felt a bit nauseous. It felt wrong to fly in your human body, with nothing protecting you if you were to fall. The feeling only lasted a moment though, before you began to marvel at the landscape beneath you.
It looked different with your human vision – as a dragon, you could see UV as well as blue, red and green. Vision as a human was softer, the mountains before you a muted grey-green. Even the air felt colder without your dragon skin.
Unbidden, you shivered, and Jungkook’s hand tightened.
“It is different,” you breathed, staring hard at the ground.
Jungkook chuckled, low in your ear. “Different for me, too,” he admitted. “I have never flown with another person before.”
Startled, you turned and found his face close to yours. You had not thought about this when you moved, but now found yourself inches away from his lips.
“Never?” you murmured, your words caught by the wind.
“Never.”
Again, the same shiver swept your spine, so you forced yourself to face forward. The wind continued to blow, ferocious and cold, but Jungkook managed to stay warm behind you. Eyes drifting shut, you allowed yourself a moment to bask in his presence.
Only a moment before you pulled yourself together.
All too soon, you arrived at the castle courtyard. Landing in the open space by the gate