Even in Death | Jungkook x Reader (Haunted Mansion AU)
Pairing: Jungkook x Reader (Borderline OT7)
Word Count: 13.5k
Warnings: 18+,Yandere, Ghost Bangtan, Stalking, Obsession, Mentions of Blood, Slight Gore, Fear, Non Consensual Kissing, Panic/Anxiety, Depictions of A Dead Body, Serial Murders, Reincarnation, Heights, Poisoning, Lots of Attempted Murder, Mentions of Suicide
I do not condone the acts displayed in this story nor do I believe any members of BTS would actually engage in this type of behavior. This is simply written for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as a reflection of my own values, opinions, or morals.
Preview: “Her face was exactly the same as yours, but her hair was styled appropriately for her era. But, what was most concerning was that you recognized the dress she was wearing in the portrait because it was the same one you were currently wearing. You could feel your skin crawl as you came to that realization, he had put you in his dead fiancé's clothes. “
A/N: Surprise, Happy Early Halloween! My internet disconnected while I was trying to upload this so I am thoroughly irritated hehe. Well, I do hope you enjoy this fic, it is based off of one of my favorite spooky season movies! As per usual, this is slightly edited but will be fully edited tomorrow my dears. I look forward to seeing you in the comments and my inbox 💜🎃🔮
It was exceptionally cold for October.
The leaves that were crisp colors of burgundy and orange were desperately clinging to the tree branches as the rain pounded them in unforgiving torrents. It was gloomy and had you been at home nestled under your favorite blanket with a hot drink, you would have loved it. But instead, you were in your car driving for hours at a time to make it back home.
You had gotten a call that your brother was in the hospital, and as you were his only living family member, you had to make it there to see him.
And, to make matters worse, the asphalt of the roads was steadily being drowned in rapidly increasing inches of water, making them look like murky, black, winding rivers. You had seen enough videos online to know that if the water got too high, you were going to be screwed. The last thing you needed was for it to travel through your exhaust pipe and stall your car. Then it would be game over and you would be effectively trapped in a natural disaster.
The windshield wipers were sliding frantically from side to side and even though you had them set to the fastest speed, you were still driving blind.
You knew that you were only halfway home, you still had hours more to travel. But with the way this storm was acting you were certain you weren’t going to be able to make it home that day. So, reluctantly, you knew that you had to search for somewhere to seek shelter and you had to be quick about it.
You knew of one place.
You had never been there per se, or even seen it in person, but you had heard enough stories from college roommates that had grown up in the area you were currently stranded in. There was an old manor in the forest, ways off from the modern roads. It had been a historical sight, but barely anyone has ever been inside it. Only dumb kids who wanted to impress their friends at least. And, from what you heard, those that went inside and returned were never the same, much like one of your old friends.
But did that matter to you? No, not one bit. Because not only were you on a mission, but you were also a skeptic. A firm believer of tangible evidence and scientific proof, the concept of spirits and the afterlife were a far cry from things that worried you.
You switched your turn signal on, the light ticking noise it usually emitted was drowned out by the harsh slap of rain against your car as you slowly turned your steering wheel and eased the vehicle off of the road and onto the well-worn dirt path that faded away into the thick tangles of the forest.
It was even darker inside the woods than it had been on the main road, thick storm clouds and the old overgrowth of the trees had made it practically nighttime, it was like you had traveled through a fold in time.
A sudden rumble of thunder shook your car, urging you to press your foot down a little harder onto the accelerator, you were suddenly very much aware of just how dangerous the weather had become.
You were beginning to grow antsy the longer you traveled down the dirt road, maybe you hadn’t remembered the directions correctly but it wasn’t like you could just check your maps app to verify that you had lost signal the minute you entered nature.
It took about fifteen minutes before you noticed a break in the trees, and when they began to finally thin out you were met with the towering statue of the manor. It was beautiful in an eerie sort of way. The entire structure was made out of dark brick and stone with thick glass windows that were foggy, showing their age and lack of care. The grounds looked like they had seen better days, the trees, bushes, flowers, and grass all withered and decayed.
You couldn’t help but empathize with the locals, it was no wonder why the majority of them never dared to travel to the manor. It made even more sense why it had been left untouched for so long, it had this foreboding air to it, one that warned trespassers away.
There was that as well as the large, black, wrought iron fence that surrounded the entire estate, its sharp peaks serving as a warning for anyone who dared to try and scale it.
But once more, you were on a mission, and you could overlook all of these things for a few hours or so until the weather lightened up and you could return home. Despite its foreboding nature, you were certain that the manor would be safe in these conditions, it had withstood centuries of weathering after all, how much impact could one flood have?
You eased your foot off of the accelerator as your car rolled closer to the fence, the rainfall was heavy but you could make out that there wasn’t an apparent lock on the gates. You would probably have to get out and try and manually open them.
But, just as you rolled to a complete stop and went to shift your car into park, the gates rattled and then popped open before coming to a smooth stop, leaving them wide open for you to roll through.
You sat there for a moment, lips parted in confusion. From your understanding, no one lived inside of the mansion, so how would the gates be updated to automatically open? You weren’t allowed more time to think as the sky lit up with a flash of lightning, illuminating the rooftops and casting splintered shadows over the grounds of the estate. You needed to take shelter, and fast.
And so you drove in, the gates ominously clanging shut behind you. There was a stone roundabout encircling a large, old, cracked fountain that had once been dried up but was now steadily refilling, leading up to the entrance. You drove as close as you could before throwing the car into park and racing up to the front door.
You hastily grabbed the door knocker, rapidly banging it against the thick door, but there was no answer. A frown settled on your lips as you stepped to the side, cupping your hands over your eyes as you attempted to peer into one of the windows but they were too fogged up with thick coats of dust and cobwebs making it impossible to see.
You huffed in annoyance, stepping back from the window to collect yourself only to do a double-take when you noticed that the door was slightly ajar. You were certain moments before it had been locked and closed, but maybe you were wrong. Had you ever tried to open the door in the first place? You honestly couldn’t remember. Maybe it was the stress finally getting to you.
You hesitantly moved forward, stepping foot into the entryway. You were immediately hit with the smell of stale, damp air and the sight of a darkened room. You could make out a grand stairway, two sets of them curving up to the second floor and decorated in thick lace-like, intricate webs. It looked like no one had been there in a very long time.
But, if that were true, then why could you hear the slow, melancholic notes of a piano being played?
You squinted your eyes in an attempt to get accustomed to the dark as you began to follow the sound of the piano. It was coming from a room off of the central entry way, that much you could make out.
“Hello?” You called, listening for a response. The only sounds that followed were your footsteps tapping against the cracked marble floor and the tune of the piano.
The music was getting progressively louder, almost unbearably so, the closer you got. And upon locating the source of the sound, you understood why. The piano was situated in a large ballroom, built to amplify the music that would be played there. It was just as dusty as the rest of what you had seen of the home. There were drop cloths over various pieces of furniture, giving them a ghostly effect, and some of the windows towards the rear of the house had been boarded up long ago allowing a cold draft of air to sweep through the room.
You were dumbstruck for a moment as you caught sight of the grand piano. Mostly because the keys were being pressed down, but no pianist sat at its bench. You laughed at yourself after a few seconds, there were such things as self-playing pianos, you shouldn’t have let your blood chill like that.
But still, it couldn’t hurt to check.
You turned on your heels, away from the instrument, and scanned the room before you called out once more, even louder this time. “Hello? Is anyone here?”
There was a dramatic clash of the keys, a rather horrendous sound, and the noises of the bench screeching against the ground before the room went quiet.
Your hand slammed against your chest in fright as your heart thumped steadily against it, now that had certainly frightened you. You spun around again and this time choked on your own breath. There was a man standing next to the piano, his mouth agape.
His clothing was a little outdated, a little too formal; a loose-fitting shirt tucked into trousers with the top buttons undone.
“Holy shit, you scared the crap out of me!” You said with an uncomfortable laugh as you leaned forward a bit, attempting to breathe normally and slow your racing heart.
The man quickly began crossing the space between you, startling you into stepping backward.
“You came!” He gasped, his fingers encircling your wrist sending a cool chill through your warm flesh.
“Um, yeah, I’m sorry to just barge in here like this but the road just started flooding and I didn’t know what else to do. I’m sorry, do I know you? You seem so familiar.” You asked, your thoughts derailing the longer you looked at him.
Raven hair, porcelain skin, sweetly shaped eyes and a gummy smile with the most gorgeous pair of hands you had ever seen, perfect for playing the piano.
“You don’t…,” he trailed off, his smile fading away for a moment before a weaker one replaced it, “Yoongi, I’m Yoongi.”
“Oh, well, it’s nice to meet you Yoongi.” You said with a kind smile of your own.
His lips parted momentarily, his features softening as he looked at you. It was like he was looking at someone he hadn’t seen in a very long time. That look didn’t last too long, he snapped himself out of his daze, uncurling his fingers from around your wrist.
“Wait right here, please, the young master is going to be so pleased to see you.”
“The young master? Who’s he?” You asked, turning away from him as you continued to look at the ballroom.
In another time it would have been so beautiful, glimmering gold, shining floors, and gorgeous light illuminating the room from the crystal chandeliers. You could faintly visualize swirling skirts gliding throughout the room and gleeful laughs echoing through the space. It was like a filter overlaying the room, almost like something you had seen it all before. But you knew that couldn’t be possible, especially considering this was the first time you had ever been to the manor.
That was when you noticed it was too quiet.
“Yoongi?” You asked, turning to find him but the room was empty, you were all alone.
“Damn, he’s fast.” You mumbled to yourself.
“What are you doing here?!” A voice frantically called, fast and loud footsteps quickly approaching.
You were sure your heart was about to fail at this rate, where were all of these people suddenly coming from?
There was another man now, he was incredibly tall with golden skin and soft brown hair. He looked to be dressed like a butler, another common occurrence in this estate was apparently everybody dressed like they were from a different time.
“I’m so sorry to come in unannounced, I just spoke with Yoongi but uh...I have no idea where he went.”
“You need to leave, now.” He said firmly, his expression would have frightened you had you not seen the familiar gleam of fear in his eyes.
“What? I can’t go anywhere, not in this weather at least, the roads are completely flooded.”
“Go somewhere else, anywhere else.” He replied, grabbing you by your bicep and forcibly removing you from the ballroom. “You can’t be here.”
“Look, I’m sorry, I wouldn’t have come here if I had any other choice but this is it,” you tried, digging your heels down against the grimy marble floors, “I can’t leave until the storm is over.”
“You’ll find another way.” He grimly stated, jerking you harshly towards the front door you had entered mere moments before. “Go.”
Your eyebrows were pinched together in frustration, your neck craned back a bit so that you could look the man in his eyes. His jaw was tense in irritation, his eyes cold, and his brows turned downwards. To you, it looked like a caricature of wrath, there was something telling you he wasn’t really angry with you, but that this was a front concealing something else beneath it. From the trembling of his hands and tenseness of his shoulders you could tell he was stressed. He was worried. He was frightened.
You couldn’t quite understand how you knew this, but this seemed to be entirely out of character for him despite this being your first meeting.
His posture softened slightly under your harsh stare, his lips parting as his eyes darted over every feature of your face like he was memorizing you.
“Please,” he finally begged, “Please, just go.”
And, just as his fingers brushed the brass doorknob, a voice echoed down the hallway startling the both of you. Steady taps of polished shoes against the wood floor of the corridor bounced its way towards you. Both you and the man stood frozen in anticipation waiting for the oncoming shadowed figure to reveal itself.
“Namjoon,” The voice asked, “Where are you taking our guest?”
The new stranger finally stepped into the now candle-lit entryway, emerging from the corridor between the sets of grand stairs. He was very young and incredibly handsome with dark, wavy hair, a brown doe eyed gaze, and smooth skin. You could notice that his upper lip was slightly smaller than the lower one, and his face was littered with delicate beauty marks. And, much like his counterparts, he was dressed slightly out of time. All in all, he was gorgeous.
Subconsciously, you shifted closer to your companion, Namjoon. There was something gnawing at the back of your mind that you were safer by his side despite the alluring nature of the newest arrival.
“I was just taking her to get her things, young master.” Namjoon said, the lie rolling off of his tongue smoothly. Had you not been on the receiving end of his actions moments before, you would have believed him.
“No need, we have everything she could desire, don’t we?” He asked with a tilt of his head, the candle light flickering over his features ominously.
“Welcome to my home, I am the manor’s master, you can call me Jungkook.” He said with an elated grin, his eyes wide and shining as he took you in, a sudden excitement rolling through his body in waves.
You nodded slowly, your previous confidence having faded away with this confrontation. You softly uttered your name, and in response, his jaw dropped in awe and his cheeks flushed a prominent pink. If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought he was enamored by you. But, you had only just met and that would be beyond absurd.
“Yoongi told me you’ve been trapped here by the flood?” He asked, crossing the floor to come nearer to you as you began to shift even closer to Namjoon, although you didn’t notice. “I can assure you your presence is more than welcome, please allow us to take care of you during your stay here.”
“Oh really you don’t have to, all I need is to wait until the flood subsides and then I’ll be out of your hair.”
“Nonsense, you must join us for dinner, please we haven’t had a guest like you in so long.” He begged, his eyes wide in innocence as his hand finally clasped your own.
Almost instantaneously your hand erupted into tingles, like his touch and caused it to fall asleep. And, at the same time, a chill had settled in your bones. It was the strangest feeling, one so jarring that you ripped your hand free from his grasp causing his smile to fall and his expression to shift to one of pure disappointment.
You chewed your lip anxiously as you turned to look behind you out the window. Eerily, you realized where you had been unable to look inside from the exterior of the manor, now you had a clear few of the outside. It sent chills down your spine as you couldn’t help but wonder if you had been unknowingly staring at someone on the other side when you arrived.
More importantly, though, you could see down towards the gate. The river had begun to swell and was steadily starting to flood the area. Not to mention, the rain was pounding against the glass in unforgiving torrents. You really couldn’t leave even though your body was subconsciously warning you to flee.
“Well, I guess I can stay for dinner.” You sighed with a reluctant smile.
Jungkook came to life again, the same enamored grin returning as he looked at you like he was afraid to forget you.
“Right this way then.” He nodded before turning on his heel and heading down the dark corridor.
You hesitantly began to follow him with Namjoon following close behind. Every now and then Jungkook would turn his head to look over his shoulder and make sure you were still following him. It was like he was nervous to let you out of his sight.
Namjoon’s hand just barely ghosted over your shoulder as he leaned closer to you, his breath misting over your ear as he hastily whispered, “Don’t drink or eat anything while you’re here.”
Your face contorted in confusion as a low growl rumbled in your stomach, “But I’m hungry.”
“Not a single bite.” He hissed.
You exhaled strongly from your nose in frustration as you stubbornly nodded, despite the hunger carving up your stomach there was that tug in the back of your mind again, the one telling you to listen to him. While you had never been a believer in the supernatural, unlike your friends, you were a firm believer in following your instincts.
You would not eat.
Imposing suits of armor lined the walls of the dark corridor, the metal slightly dingy and dusty with cobwebs connecting their gauntlets and gloves to the weapons they held in their grasp. They were frightening to look at and you could have sworn you felt as if they were watching you, phantom eyes following your every step as you entered the depths of the manor. You could understand why your friends hadn’t liked it here, there was an unsettling feeling that seemed to linger in the dry air.
When the three of you finally emerged from the corridor, your group spilled out into what appeared to be a grand hall. This room was the most lively compared to the prior ones you had been in. There was a strong fire burning inside the massive fireplace, candles lit in every corner of the room, and a long dining table covered with various foods and vases of dried flowers. But, most importantly, you were not alone.
Only one person was familiar to you, Yoongi was seated at the table and the mildly bored expression he wore on his face quickly evaporated when he caught sight of you, that sweet gummy smile of his returning full force.
Namjoon quickly ushered you towards one end of the grand dining table, the head seat on the opposite side of the table. Before he could grasp the chair, another set of hands did, sliding the chair backward and motioning for you to sit. The man that did so had a charming smile on his plush lips, a startlingly handsome face, and chestnut brown hair.
“Oh, thank you.” You said with a wobbly grin, gently taking a seat as he pushed the chair in.
“Seokjin, madam,” He said proudly before leaning against the table beside you. “I shall be your host, your ghost host-”
Your host was quickly cut off by a sharp jab to his ribs by another man, forcing a wheeze from Seokjin’s lips that extinguished the laugh that had begun to shake his body at whatever joke he had tried to make.
“Ghost host?” You echoed, raising your eyebrows.
“So quiet it’s like he’s not even there.” The man who had struck him said with a loud laugh and a bright smile despite the glare he was shooting at the host.
“Hoseok, madam, I’m the groundskeeper of the estate,” He said with a slight bow, “It’s wonderful to see you.”
To see you? Didn’t he mean to meet you?
“You’re the groundskeeper?” You asked, your eyes darting to the windows to take in the shriveled state of the gardens outside.
Hoseok suddenly looked rather bashful and forlorn compared to his bright disposition from before. “I’m afraid I haven’t been able to go outside and tend to them in a long while.”
“I see, because of the weather.”
“The weather, of course.” He said with a sharp jerk of his head that seemed to imply otherwise.
“Enough of their boring prattle, wouldn’t you rather speak with me, my lady?” Another voice chimed in, a cold finger stroking over the delicate bones of your hands sending tingles throughout the skin like what had happened with Jungkook.
You almost hadn’t noticed the other stranger seated at the table, but he too was just as beautiful and timeless as the other men, with full lips, sultry eyes, and raven-colored hair.
“Jimin.” Jungkook coldly said from his seat at the head of the table, his gaze dark and full of warning as he watched Jimin withdraw his hand.
“Oh come on, cousin, I’m just having a little fun.”
“The last thing you need is another woman in your life, Jimin.” Seokjin snorted, the tips of his fingers tracing his wine-filled goblet.
“That’s true, he’s had more marriages than he can count on one hand.” Hoseok chuckled.
Jimin seemed to only take their teasing remarks in stride, a proud smile parting his plush, red lips. “What can I say, I’m a lady killer.”
Maybe you would have laughed at the comment had he not stared at you in a painful stretch of silence for far too long with a smile that was a little too wide. You forced a laugh and turned your head away despite still feeling his phantom gaze lingering on your profile.
Jungkook called your name from the end of the table, instantly garnering your attention, “You haven’t touched your food.” He said, his voice laden with concern.
Your eyes flickered down to the plate in front of you that was filled with heavenly-smelling dishes, your stomach twisted in hunger and drool began to pool in the sides of your mouth. You were incredibly hungry, you couldn’t remember the last thing you had eaten that day.
It was the sudden jerk of your chair that pulled you back into the moment, Namjoon had kicked the leg of your chair as he had passed by, pausing to top off Jimin’s drink. You looked toward him and then back to your plate, remembering his stern instructions to not eat or drink anything.
“Oh, I’m not very hungry, I ate just before I got here.” You lied.
Jungkook seemed to deflate a little from your words, his posture slouching as a frown pulled at the corners of his lips, his eyes looking at you in an almost pleading manner, like a puppy begging for table scraps.
“I’m sure it’s lovely though, it smells wonderful!” You rambled, afraid to offend anyone at the table.
“Darling, won’t you have just a little taste? I’m just dying to know what you think of my arrangement.” Your host, Jin, asked with a laugh as he leaned forward.
“Maybe later, I’m a little queasy at the moment.” You lied once more with a regretful smile.
“I’ll hold you to that.” He said with a slow blink and a slight quirk of his full lips.
“Well, don’t let me stop you, aren’t any of you going to eat?” You said, attempting to divert the attention away from yourself.
The men seated at the table all gave each other a knowing look, one that conveyed a message you were not privy to. Hoseok was the easiest to read out of everyone there, you could see the look of anxiety present in not only his face but his entire body. You couldn’t help but think how strange that was.
But, before you could think too hard about it, you were suddenly hit with a cold splash, one that stole the breath from your lungs and enticed a shocked gasp to free itself from your mouth. Your top and your pants were soaked in a thick, red, liquid with a strong scent.
“Please forgive me, that was an honest mistake.” Namjoon said, his voice not anywhere as remorseful as you would have liked considering you were now soaked with wine.
“The clumsiest butler there ever was.” Yoongi chuckled, although his shoulders were quite tense, his body betrayed his true emotions.
“Namjoon!” Jungkook cried, standing up so quickly his chair slid back. He quickly began to round the long table and rushed to your side, embarrassing you even more than you already were.
“Forgive me, young master.” Namjoon repeated, this time his head bowed down and regret was clear in his tone.
“I’ll deal with you later.” Jungkook seethed, refusing to look at Namjoon. “Are you alright, darling?”
“I’m fine really, like Namjoon said, it was just an accident.” You replied, the word accident coming out much harsher than you intended it to.
Jungkook shrugged the jacket he had been wearing off and gently draped it around your shoulders as he, almost frantically, checked you over. Despite the initial chaos of everything going on around you, you couldn’t help but notice the lack of warmth that clung to the coat. It was almost like you had just picked it out of the closet instead of taking it from the man who was now crouched before you.
Everything about the manor was just so strange. Wasn’t it supposed to be abandoned? That was what your friends had told you at least. But that didn’t make any sense, there were clearly six other men in the flesh and bone inhabiting the same room as you were.
“You’re not fine, look at you, you’re completely drenched.” He huffed, cheeks flushed with embarrassment and eyes burning with the unextinguished coals of anger.
“If I may, sir?” Namjoon asked, eyes choosing to be trained on you instead of whom he was talking to.
“Go ahead.” Jungkook answered, his jaw clenched.
“I could show our guest to her quarters and provide her with a change of clothes, allow her to settle in for the night.”
“For the night?!” You exclaimed.
“Of course, my dear, the river has overflown, I’m afraid no one will be leaving the manor tonight.” Hoseok chimed in, you hadn’t noticed he had moved but now he stood by the tall windows, pulling the curtains aside to peer out into the courtyard.
And he was most certainly right, the river was swollen and the courtyard was steadily being submerged by the rising water.
“But I can’t stay! I need to get home, my brother needs me!”
“Don’t fret, it’s only for the night, you can be on your way tomorrow, right Jungkook?” Jimin added, a devilish smirk on his lips.
“Tomorrow, of course.” He eventually replied, teeth tugging at his lower lip.
You turned once more to gaze outside, almost like you could will away the flash flood and the pelting rain. A sudden flash of lightning and a deep roll of thunder had you huddling back into your chair, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to try and leave. After all, you still had ways to go and some sleep could be good for you.
“If you’ll follow me,” Namjoon said, pulling your chair back and raising his arm up, gesturing to the corridor you had previously come from.
Before you could stand on your own Jungkook hastily rose to his full height and lowered his hand to you, offering to help you up. You gave him a thankful smile and slipped your hand into his as he guided you up. That feeling had returned again, stronger than it was earlier. Cold shocks ran over your skin and the urge to pull away and flee was strong. But you couldn’t understand why. No one there had done anything wrong, well maybe everyone excluding the head butler.
They had offered you shelter from the storm, a storm that certainly could have killed you, welcomed you kindly and even offered to feed you and give you a room. Jungkook himself, the master of the house, had been so accommodating.
So why did your skin crawl when he touched you? Why did your heart thump pathetically fast in fright when he came too close? And why did you have this morbid feeling that facing your death in the storm would be far better than staying a second longer on the grounds of the manor?
“I’d like to see you, once you settle in, of course,” Jungkook said as he handed you off to Namjoon. “I’ll be around.”
You gave him a nod in confirmation before saying your goodbyes to the other men you had briefly met and then retreated back into the musty, dark hallways with the tall butler by your side.
Once you felt like you were far away enough, you decided to confront Namjoon. “What was all of that about?!”
“The more you know, the more danger you’ll be in,” Namjoon replied, his face was tense but there was panic buried in the depths of his dark eyes.
“What does that even mean? First, you try to throw me out, then you deny me food, and then you dump wine all over my clothes! What the hell is going on here?!”
“Listen to me, there are some things that are better off left buried and undisturbed.” He said, fixing with you with a firm look as he came to a stop on the second floor in front of a heavy mahogany door.
“Stay in your room, do not leave without me, do not speak to anyone.” He instructed before pushing the door open and showing you inside.
The air in the room was just as stale as the rest of the house, the space dimly lit with several flickering candles. The room was extravagant in a gaudy way, thick carpets, curtains, and duvets decorated the room in varying shades of crimson and merlot with accents of gold. Much like every other room you had seen, it was like it had been preserved long ago in a different time from today. There was a grand fireplace at one end of the room that was already lit with flames that crackled loudly in the quietness between you and the butler.
“Do you order everyone else around like this, or is it just me.” You bitterly laughed, plopping yourself down on the all too soft mattress.
The butler’s back was to you but you could still tell what you had said greatly affected him. His gloved hands were clenched and there was a slight shake to his shoulders. You could hear him harshly swallow before clearing his throat.
“I do what is best for everyone, including you.”
And then, he was gone.
“Does everyone here just vanish without notice?” You asked yourself with an annoyed huff. It seemed like they were incredibly good at coming and going in complete silence.
You sat on the bed for a few more moments, your fingers picking at the frayed hem of the duvet. You could hear the pounding of the rain against the window panes and the crackle of the fire. But other than that, there was silence and you had been left to your thoughts.
Your clothes had become uncomfortably sticky since the incident at dinner, and now all you wanted to do was peel them off. Your gaze landed at the foot of the bed where a bundle of fresh clothing laid, you couldn’t help but wonder how it had gotten there considering you didn’t remember seeing it when you had first entered. You clenched your eyes shut and let out an exhale from your nose, you had undergone plenty of stress in the past twenty four hours, you could chalk up the memory loss to that.
You rose to your feet and gently unraveled the fabric. To your surprise, it was a full-length, white, satin, and lace gown. It looked too fancy to be sleepwear but not extravagant enough to be an evening gown. It was right in between, an elegant and rather beautiful dress. There was a part of you that felt completely ridiculous as your wet clothes slapped down against the thick carpet beneath your feet and you shimmied the silken gown down over your shoulders and hips. But, you couldn’t deny how lovely the fabric felt and how well it fit, almost like it had been tailored to your exact measurements.
But that was ridiculous and, not to mention, impossible.
Now dry and comfortably clothed, you were feeling rebellious. After all of the hell the butler had given you that night, you were more than inclined to the idea of frustrating him beyond belief. So you decided to break two of his three rules, you were going to leave your room and you were going to traverse the halls of the manor without him.
The heavy door thudded shut loudly behind you causing you to jump in surprise. It had closed far louder than you had anticipated. But that was about to be the least of worries. The most pressing matter now was the light emanating from around the otherwise dark corner.
Your fingers twisted anxiously in the fabric of your dress as you looked towards the origin of the light. Maybe Namjoon had warned you against leaving for a reason. And a reason that was much graver than him just being a dick to you.
But in the end, your curiosity won over your sense of self-preservation.
It was almost like it was beckoning you to come closer, it felt like you couldn’t control your body like your feet were blindly leading you forward and around the bend to the source of the thrumming light.
At the very end of the hallway was a large door with a strong, green, pulsating light bleeding from beneath the door and illuminating the hallway with an eerie glow. But, what was even more startling was that the door appeared to be moving. It was expanding and contracting almost like it was alive...like it was breathing.
There was a horrible feeling in your stomach that was telling you to turn away but your mind refused to listen and urged your legs to carry you unbearably closer to the very thing that was flooding your veins with the unmistakable cold shock of fear.
And as you finally approached the ominous door, your hand raised and latched onto the doorknob. Upon contact the door ceased moving and appeared to be nothing more than normal. And, as if you were compelled, you twisted the knob and entered the room.
The first thing you noticed upon entering was how eclectic the room was. There were so many items in the space that you had no idea how anyone could navigate it. There were herbs, books, crystals, stones, and unlabeled bottles that contained glowing fluids you were unfamiliar with. But, most strange, was what was in the center of the room. There was a large, round table decorated with candles, a deck of cards, smaller crystals, and a massive crystal ball that was thrumming with the green light that had called to you moments before.
But what was even more surprising was the man seated behind the crystal ball. For one, he was absolutely stunning, much like the other men that inhabited the manor. He had honey skin, dark wavy hair, and eyes such a rich green that they rivaled that of the crystal ball. His ears were decorated in various piercings and his fingers wore many rings along with his wrists that were covered in bracelets. And of course, he too wore clothes that you hadn’t seen any men of your era wearing. But damn, did it suit him so well.
You were momentarily shocked by the sound of your name leaving his lips accompanied by a somewhat guilty yet amused smile.
“How do you know my name?” You asked, your posture and voice rather defensive.
“I know all.” He ominously replied, long elegant fingers tracing the crystal ball before him.
“Right, of course, silly me.” You scoffed with a shake of your head. “What should I call you? Fortune Teller?”
“Those who know me, call me Taehyung.” He grinned.
“Taehyung the Fortune Teller.” You nodded in disbelief.
“Not quite,” He mused before nodding his head, the chair opposite of him sliding out towards you, “But close enough.”
You froze in shock, dumbly staring at the chair in front of you. Yeah, you didn’t have an explanation for that one. It wasn’t unheard of for frauds to rig things like this in their shops, but from what you could see, nothing was attached to the chair and you had no idea how he had done that.
“Have a seat, please.”
You slowly lowered yourself down onto the chair, and the minute you had situated yourself in it, the chair flung forward and pinned itself to the table as you shrieked in fright.
“Don’t be scared, I won’t hurt you.” He attempted to soothe you with his deep voice.
“This chair is moving on its own and has me trapped and you expect me not to be scared?!” You yelled, your hands gripping the arms of the chair as you attempted to scoot away only for a strong force to keep you frozen in place.
“I need to be sure you won’t leave before I tell you what must be known.”
“What must be known?” You echoed, still frazzled from what had just happened.
“Yes, you are in grave danger.”
“Danger? What kind of danger?”
“I have sensed a great darkness looming in your near future, the longer you stay here, the stronger it grows.”
“I don’t even want to be here, I want to leave, I need to get to my brother, this was never supposed to happen!”
“All things are as they should be.”
“What does that even mean?!”
“You were destined to walk these halls once more, you’ve returned to us, but you cannot stay.” He continued, a deep sadness reflecting in his eyes as he reached out to you and grazed the back of your hand with his fingers.
“Do you only speak in riddles? I need answers, if I’m truly in danger then I need to find a way out of here, I need your help.”
“I cannot help you.”
“And why not?”
“I am bound by forces you do not understand, what I have told you is a warning, that is all I can give you, anything more will bring doom upon the inhabitants of this manor.”
“I don’t know why I am even listening to you, you don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
That seemed to strike a nerve.
Taehyung lurched forward, grabbing hold of both of your wrists and tugging you towards him, pinning your forearms down to the table.
“What are you doing?! Let go of me!”
“I may not be able to give you guidance, but there are others who can, those who are not bound like myself.”
“Didn’t you hear me? I said let go!”
Taehyung ignored you, his eyes sliding shut as he began to recite an incantation so softly you almost couldn’t hear it, but you still managed to.
“Serpents and spiders, tail of a rat; call in the spirits, wherever they're at. Rap on a table; it's time to respond. Send us a message from somewhere beyond.”
The room was almost immediately plunged into darkness, the only source of light being the green crystal ball and the few candles that littered the table. But, what was most horrifying, was what you couldn’t see in the dark. Cold gusts of air misted over your body and goosebumps raised on your skin leaving tingles behind like someone had touched you, but both of Taehyung’s hands were on yours and he was the only other person in the room with you.
You screamed in fright as a disembodied low pitch, raspy whisper was uttered directly beside your ear, a cold chill racing down the length of your arm like someone was pressed up beside you, but no one was there.
“Remember,” the phantom voice whispered.
Several images flashed behind your eyes, but none of them made sense, they were fragmented, disjointed, and unrecognizable. A bloody hatchet, a blood-curdling scream, innocent doe eyes, a casket, a wedding, and a delicate cup of rich dark tea.
But there was one thing that was familiar, the horrible pit of dread in your stomach.
“Trust your enemy, deceive your friend,” Taehyung said.
And, just like that, the light turned back on, the crystal ball dimmed, and the chair slid back from the table.
And, without a second thought, you ran.
You were so terribly frightened. You had never been one to believe in the supernatural, you were a skeptic at heart and mind but being confronted with whatever that was was enough to have your heart racing, adrenaline coursing through your blood, and tears rushing down your face as you blindly sped down the hallway, the door slamming shut behind you.
You were so distraught, so completely and utterly horrified, you didn’t see the person standing in the hallway that you were running directly towards. But before the two of you could collide, a pair of hands gripped your biceps and forced you to stop, pulling another terrified cry from your mouth as your eyes clenched shut and you attempted to wriggle free, terrified to see another specter touching you.
You could feel hands cupping your cheeks, tilting your head up to force you to look at whoever it was. Fingers gently brushed your tears away as you blinked rapidly, attempting to see who the figure was. You sniffed heavily as he continued to wipe your cheeks, and once your eyes finally focused you knew who it was.
“Jungkook?” You weakly asked.
He softly whispered your name back to you, his dark doe eyes so wide in wonder and something else...something that almost bled affection. His brows had pulled together in stress as he checked you over like your crying was the result of some physical harm to yourself.
“You’re shaking, sweetheart, what happened?” He asked, firmly pulling you in closer to him as his hands settled on the curves of your waist.
Your heart fluttered for a moment, chills seeping into your bones before your mind traveled back to the room down the hall and your shaking began to worsen. There was something ingrained in your body that was begging you to flee from the beautiful man in front of you, but the fear from what had transpired moments before was overpowering it.
Before you could even try to stop it a sob broke free from your throat, your shoulders shook, and fat tears ran down your cheeks. You were so infuriated with yourself that all you could do was cry, you hated crying, hated appearing fragile. But here you were, knees weak in front of a man you barely knew because of a little scare.
“Oh, no, darling, please don’t cry.” He begged, desperately trying to dry your already damp cheeks. “Here, come with me, I’ll take care of you.”
His hand rested on the middle of your back as he began to guide you back towards the grand staircase, further away from the demons that had spoken to you and further away from the supposed safety of your room. Namjoon’s words from before were strong in your mind but you couldn’t fathom being alone after what had happened, and besides, Jungkook was kind, he wouldn’t harm you.
Or so you thought.
Jungkook had led you back towards the dining hall, pulling the chair that sat at the head of the table out and guiding you to sit. To your horror, he lowered himself down to his knees and grasped your hands in his own, staring up into your eyes in what could only be described as worship.
“Please, get off the floor.” You sniffled, your eyes still tearing up as you looked back at him in embarrassment.
“You’re worrying about me when you’re clearly the one in distress?” He asked although it wasn’t sarcastic, but genuine worry.
“I’m not worried, it’s just weird.”
That one forced a chuckle out of him, a fond look evident on his features as his fingers gently smoothed over the backs of your hands. The way he treated you reminded you of long-lost lovers reuniting but that only made a pit settle in your stomach. Although he was, by all means, a perfect gentleman, pleasing to look at and oh so kind, your skin crawled in his presence. You wish you knew why.
“Won’t you tell me what happened? I don’t like to see such a beautiful woman so upset.”
“I met Taehyung.” You said, choosing to ignore that last part of his statement.
His expression immediately hardened, the kindness draining out of him in a flash. “You met Taehyung?”
You nodded, hesitantly. “Yeah, I did. And it was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.”
“What did he tell you?”
You paused for a moment, going over what you remembered in your mind. Taehyung’s final words echoed in your head, “Trust your enemy, deceive your friend.” As much as you hated your meeting with the fortune teller, you couldn’t help but think critically about what he had told you. That horrible feeling in your body, that pit in your stomach whenever you were around Jungkook, maybe it was all for a reason. Maybe, Namjoon was the only one you could trust and Jungkook wasn’t.
“He...he didn’t say much, the room went black and I could see and hear things moving around, touching me and whispering to me. It was horrible, I don’t believe in those things they aren’t supposed to be real.”
Jungkook’s body relaxed although there was now an amused smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. “You don’t believe in ghosts?”
“I don’t, I mean, I didn’t? I...I don’t know what to believe in anymore.”
“I see. Allow me to take your mind off of things?” He asked, rising up to his full height and completely towering over your seated form.
You hesitantly nodded, before taking the hand he extended and standing beside him. He gently guided your hand to the crook of his elbow in a gentlemanly manner and began to walk with you.
“I could tell you the story of this manor.” He suggested, the sound of his shoes tapping against the floor echoed throughout the silent space.
You jerked your head in a nod and matched his pace.
“The manor has been passed down through my family from generation to generation, and as such we have amassed a great wealth. But inheritance wasn’t the only thing that followed us, the manor has a history of misfortune and despair.”
“Misfortune?” You echoed.
“Yes, it started a long time ago and has plagued the family ever since,” He nodded, pulling you further into the manor.
The corridor the two of you were walking down was dark, the walls covered in thick curtains and ornate portraits. The portraits were rather strange, there was something about them that made you intensely uncomfortable. You could see a woman lounging on a chaise, a ship caught in a storm, a man wearing a tophat hunched over, a woman with a penetrating stare, and a portrait of a dignified man that looked not unlike the host from earlier that night, Seokjin.
“But, there was no greater misfortune than that of my great grandfather.”
“What was his misfortune?”
“He fell in love,” Jungkook said, his words trailing off for a moment, his gaze going glassy as he turned to look at you. It seemed like he was somewhere else, a different time and a different place than now.
“How could love make misfortune?” You asked, snapping him out of his daze.
“You would be surprised.” He sighed before continuing your walk and bringing you into what appeared to be a study, although to you it looked more like a library with the massive bookshelves that towered over you, each holding impressive marble busts that you could have sworn were following you and Jungkook as you walked through the room.
“Marriages of convenience were far too common not too long ago. The Jeon estate was set to be joined with the Blackwell estate, the two most influential families this once-bustling town had ever seen.” He explained, pausing to make sure you were listening.
“My great grandfather was to be wed to the eldest daughter of the Blackwell family, despite him begging his father to dissolve the engagement.”
“Why did he want to break it off if arranged marriages were so common?”
“Because he loved another and he could not fathom a life where she was not his. This is the very room where he saw her for the first time.” He said, releasing his arm from your hold to guide you in front of him, his chest flush against your back.
“Right there is where she was.” He mumbled, his voice directly beside your ear as his hands slipped down your shoulders to brace your biceps.
You swallowed uncomfortably as you looked towards where he was looking, there was an extension to the library that almost looked like a greenhouse. The walls and roof were made entirely of glass with several chandeliers hanging from the metal beams. There was a grand piano in the middle of the little atrium and it was surrounded by dried and decaying flowers that were still withering away.
“She had accompanied her father and her elder sister all the way to our estate, but as the youngest daughter, she was often overlooked and forgotten. But my great grandfather, he couldn’t help but see her.”
“So, that was his misfortune? He was promised to her sister?”
“No...not quite.” He said, his voice lower than before, a dark edge to his words. “If only it had been that simple.”
It was quiet again, although this time the silence held an intense gravity, you were getting that feeling again, the one that was telling you you would be better off far away from him. And now, Taehyung’s ominous warning was even clearer and stronger than before. You couldn’t trust Jungkook.
But, you also couldn’t go on until your curiosity was satiated. That was your fatal flaw.
“The eldest daughter grew ill a few weeks before their wedding, she was bedridden and her health was rapidly declining. And, before you knew it, she had passed. Her sister was heartbroken, she was distraught, but in her despair she and my great grandfather found one another. And, in the haste to merge the two estates, she was to become his new bride.”
You couldn’t understand why, but there was something telling you Jungkook wasn’t revealing the entirety of the story to you. It felt incomplete somehow like you had heard it before but couldn’t remember the finer details.
You were walking again, his hand now brushing the small of your back, his left side snug against your right like he was afraid to let you wander too far from his grasp. This walk was more familiar, if you remembered correctly you were heading towards the ballroom you had first entered when you had initially arrived at the manor.
“So, he got what he wanted then? He was going to marry the woman he fell in love with.” You were searching for clarification now, the sister’s death was unfortunate but his great grandfather would have gotten what he desired.
“As I said, it’s not that simple, darling.”
You bristled at the pet name, there was energy in the air, it almost felt like lightning was about to strike. Something was about to happen but you didn’t know what and if you were being totally honest with yourself, you were scared.
You were in the ballroom now, it was dark and dingy with cobwebs galore and sparsely lit candles to illuminate the vast space. There was something terrifying about it, a distant wisp of a memory slipping through the darkest recesses of your mind.
“The day they were meant to be wed he found her in her room, motionless and limp. She had taken her own life.”
“That’s...that’s terrible.” That was all you could manage to say. “Why did she do it?”
What you had said appeared to strike a nerve within him, his jaw tensing and his raven locks obscuring his eyes as he turned. The look on his face was a cross between immense distress and anger, he looked like he was at his breaking point.
“That’s it? That’s all you have to say for yourself?”
“Jungkook, what are you talking about?” You slowly asked, taking a hesitant step backward in an attempt to make as much distance between the two of you before he noticed.
But luck was not on your side, he had noticed you trying to escape from him again.
“I know you remember, you must remember!” He shouted, spinning on his heels to face you. “How could you not remember how much I loved you? I did anything and everything to be with you! You were promised to me and I was to you, remember?!”
“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, you’re scaring me!” You cried, your steps quickening as he began to rapidly approach your retreating form.
“I have waited centuries for you to return, you don’t get to abandon me again, not this time!”
“You...you think that I’m her? You’re insane!”
“I don’t think, I know. It must be you, there is no other possibility.” He stubbornly said, his hand capturing your wrists and tugging you towards him. “You belong to me and I to you, I’ll make you remember.”
“You’re not making me do anything, let go of me!”
“No! This is where we were going to be wed, this is where we would have had our first dance as husband and wife! How could you throw it all away? How could you forget?!” He cried, his grasp tightening as his voice became louder and louder.
But, what was worst of all was what was happening all around you. The once empty ballroom was now packed tightly with masked dancing phantoms, you could feel the skirts of the ballgowns brushing against you, you could feel their penetrating stares, and you could see directly through them as they swung through the room in time with the out of tune piano.
You couldn’t stop the cries of fright that were coming from you as you tried to flee, Jungkook’s unrelenting grasp anchoring you to your spot. All you could do was clench your eyes shut and turn your head away in an effort to blind yourself from what you were seeing. It was all far too much for you to handle and with the way you could barely get a breath of air into your lungs you felt like you were going to pass out on the spot.
“I’m not her! I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“Yes, yes you are, I’ll make you remember.”
And then, his lips were on yours. Your entire body lit up in a horrid wave of chills so strong it had you reeling backward. His lips were cold, absolutely frigid compared to your warmth. In all honesty, it felt like you were kissing a corpse. He had released one of your wrists so that his hand could cradle your jaw and guide you closer to him, that had been his own mistake. As soon as you realized that one of your arms was unfettered you ripped your other free and parted from him with a gasp for air. And then you were stumbling backward, through the crowd of phantom dancers, and sprinting away into the dark halls of the manor.
You could hear Jungkook calling out to you, his loud voice echoing down the corridors and chasing after you. It felt like no matter where you ran to there was no way you could escape him, he was everywhere.
You squealed in fright as you rounded a corner and he stepped out of the shadows. “Please sweetheart, stop running, we can be together again.”
You ignored him, tripping over your own feet as you raced by him, your silken nightgown fluttering dramatically behind you as you sped down the dimly lit hallways.
“I didn’t mean to frighten you, please, let’s just talk about this.” He begged, appearing out of thin air once more and only worsening the state you were currently in.
“Go away!” You screamed, refusing to stop and continuing to run.
“It would only take a few seconds, I swear it won’t hurt, and then we can be together forever just like I promised you.”
“Leave me alone!” You yelled as you finally approached a familiar sight, your bedroom door.
You quickly slipped inside and slammed the heavy door shut behind you. And then, you stood there for a moment, your eyes pinned to the entrance waiting for him to appear inside the room like he had done three times before. But, after a few moments of waiting, nothing happened. Jungkook didn’t enter your room, the door didn’t move, and it was utterly silent.
That was why you nearly jumped out of your skin with a panicked shriek as you felt a hand settle on your shoulder. You whipped around and almost instantly relaxed, a sigh of relief decompressing your chest.
“I thought I told you to stay in your room.”
“Namjoon.” You nearly cried, your hands hastily wiping at your tear stained cheeks. “Namjoon, something is wrong with Jungkook, something is wrong with this manor!”
“I know, I know everything. That’s why I was trying to keep you safe.”
“You...you know? You know that Jungkook thinks that I’m-”
“Lady Blackwell, yes.” He confirmed.
“But I’m not! Listen to me, I am sick and tired of all of these ominous warnings and useless statements! You need to tell me absolutely everything right now!” You demanded, your fists balled up at your sides.
Namjoon’s jaw tensed, his tongue poking his cheek in irritation. You could see his dark eyes darting around the room, he was thinking very intensely about what he was going to say.
“No matter what I tell you, you won’t believe me.”
“Convince me then.”
The butler sighed, his thumb and forefinger pinching the bridge of his nose momentarily before he opened his eyes and gestured for you to take a seat on the edge of the bed facing him.
“Over a hundred years ago, the young master was engaged to the eldest daughter of the Blackwell estate, at first he had few problems with the matter, but upon the family's first visit things began to go awry. He had met you, the youngest of the Blackwell’s.”
“Namjoon that’s imposs-,”
“Let me finish and then you can ask all of the questions you want.” He interrupted you with a warning look in his eyes.
“Jungkook begged his father to break off the engagement and allow him to marry you instead, but that wasn’t what the two families had agreed upon. Jungkook was young and determined and he could never take no for an answer. So, he knew that the only way the engagement would be dissolved was if your sister were to die. Over the course of several months, he steadily began to poison her, slipping it into her drinks and her meals, and eventually, she grew sick and bedridden,
You were absolutely distraught when she died, you didn’t know what to do with yourself and you wanted nothing to do with Jungkook. You had seen him as an older brother, nothing more. Despite your wishes, you were to take the place of your sister. Jungkook thought that he was finally getting everything he wanted, but he never thought you would guess what he had done. You refused to marry your sister’s killer so you asked me to do something for you.”
“Namjoon...what did you do?” You whispered.
He pressed his lips together in stress, his eyes suddenly shining as if he were about to cry.
“You begged me to kill you. You were religious back then, you didn’t want to take your own life but you couldn’t bear the thought of being trapped in a marriage with him. So I did it, I stole what Jungkook used to poison your sister and I slipped it into your morning tea. You fell asleep and you never woke up again.”
There was a strange tightness in your throat as you listened to him speak, there was something in the back of your mind telling you what he said was the truth. You couldn’t explain it, it was much like that feeling in Taehyung’s room, the barest hint of a memory buried deep.
“Why did you listen to me? Why did you do it?”
“I cared for you, I didn’t want to do it but you made me promise you.” He confessed, dropping to his knees in front of you and staring up at you with shining eyes.
“I don’t understand what this has to do with what’s going on now, I don’t feel like her, I don’t remember what it was like to be her.”
“It’s not about now, it’s about what happened then. After your death, the young master was inconsolable and in his grief, he consorted with the supernatural.”
“Taehyung,” You breathed.
“Yes, they made a pact, we would trade our lives so you could live again.”
“Why would you do that?! You killed her because she asked, she didn’t want this!”
“And I couldn’t live with myself!” He cried, “I jumped at the chance to bring you back, to right my own wrongs but I’ve only made a mess of things. We all loved you so much in our own way we couldn’t go on without you. Jungkook, Seokjin, Yoongi, Hoseok, Jimin, and myself are all bound in contract by Taehyung.”
“What happens next? I’m here, wasn’t that the deal?”
“You’re human, you can leave the manor but we can’t. There’s a curse in place, anyone who dies on the grounds of the manor remains trapped here.”
Your stomach turned at his words, you felt like you were going to be sick right then and there. You hadn’t been one to believe in the supernatural or even the afterlife, but now being confronted with the possibility you were going to die you felt like you were going to pass out.
“Is that why you wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything?”
“Everything was poisoned, if you had one drop of wine or one crumb of food, you would have died on the spot.”
Oh, fuck you were going to be sick. You needed to leave, you needed to get out of there. Without thinking you leapt up from the bed and raced to the bedroom door, ripping it open with more force than you thought you had in your body. But before you could sprint out of the room, you heard something coming down the hall. It was footsteps and they were fast approaching.
And, upon angling your head out past the door frame you were met with a horrific surprise. At the end of the hallway, Hoseok came to a stop, his face frozen in surprise. And, even worse, there was a large pair of rusty hedge clippers in his hands.
You didn’t have to ask what they were for.
“Please, don’t make this harder than it has to be.” He begged, sorrow evident in his dark eyes despite the tight grip he had on the tool beside him.
Before you could breathe, scream, or do anything, Namjoon wrapped his arm around your waist and yanked you back into the bedroom, slamming the door shut.
“Come on, we don’t have much time!” He exclaimed, his hand moving to your wrist and tugging you towards the corner of the room where a wall of bookshelves rested.
Without hesitation, he reached towards a small bust that rested on the shelf and pushed its head down and towards the two of you, and almost instantly the bookshelf slid away and revealed a dark, damp, and cobweb infested tunnel.
“Servants passageways, they were built into the house centuries ago, there’s so many in the manor not everyone knows where exactly they are.” He explained, ushering you into the tunnel.
“Hurry, follow the passageway, and don’t stop. I’ll distract the others and come for you when it’s safe.” He instructed you.
And before you could get another word in, the secret door slid shut and you were enveloped in darkness. You stood there for a moment, paralyzed in confusion and fear before you realized that you needed to get moving. It was incredibly dark and from the smell and the state of the passageway, it was obvious that it hadn’t been in use in a very long time.
Your hand traced over the brick wall to the right of you, they were cold and rather grimy but it was much better than tripping over your feet and smacking into walls you couldn’t see. Which, ironically, was exactly what happened to you.
The tip of your shoe connected with a raised surface and had you falling forwards, your hands and knees colliding with more of its kind. Your hands patted the cool stone beneath you, and upon further investigation, you realized what they were: stairs.
You groaned in pain, rubbing at your knee as you rose back up onto your feet and attempted to gauge the distance of the steps beneath you. At first, you were sure you looked like a newborn deer, sliding all over the place with your arms stretched out at your sides feeling for something to hold on to. But, eventually, you got the hang of it and began your ascent.
There were so many steps you could feel the muscles of your thighs and calves burning in protest, you had no idea where Namjoon was sending you off too but so far you were not enjoying it. It was the memory of Hoseok and the rusted blades that re-instilled your fervor, forcing you to continue upwards.
After endless climbing of steps, you finally reached a landing, and with your arms stretched out in front of you, you felt the familiar grain of wood under your palms. It felt like a door. And, with a little effort and a push, it popped forward and slid to the side revealing where exactly you had been trekking to.
It was the attic.
Through a pair of broken shutters, an eerie moon cast light over the various objects that littered the space. It felt almost like a maze with how many items had been stored there, you wouldn’t be surprised if you got lost in the mess. There were several trunks, chairs, boxes, and portraits laying around, some of them covered in drop cloths and some of them not. But it was the portraits you were more curious about. Specifically, the one that was partially revealed.
You managed to navigate your way through the eclectic maze, cursing every now and then when your dress would snag on something and scare the shit out of you, thinking that someone had come to find you and kill you.
When you finally reached the portrait, your stomach dropped and you suddenly realized that you definitely could not deny what Jungkook as well as Namjoon had told you. You were either Lady Blackwell or you were her descendant because when you looked at the portrait you very well could have been looking in a mirror.
Her face was exactly the same as yours, but her hair was styled appropriately for her era. But, what was most concerning was that you recognized the dress she was wearing in the portrait because it was the same one you were currently wearing. You could feel your skin crawl as you came to that realization, he had put you in his dead fiancé's clothes.
You stepped away from the portrait, the uncomfortable feeling in your stomach too much to bear.
The other strange anomaly in the attic was the numerous dresses that were concealed with thin veils. But before you could reach them and further assess them, you felt something underfoot that had you stumbling. Once you regained your balance, you realized what it was. It was a phone, and not an unfamiliar one.
What was even more surprising was that you could turn it on, and it looked like it had been there for a while. The manor was strange enough, for your sake, it was better not to question it. Once the screen was unlocked, your stomach dropped.
The last app that had been opened was the contacts catalog, and once again, your very own face was staring back at you. You were the last number the phone had called. It was all starting to make sense.
This was your roommate's phone, the one she had lost when she was dared to enter the manor. You didn’t recognize the number that had called you that morning because you had deleted her contact when she got a new phone and a new number. The call about your brother, that wasn’t from the hospital, it came from here.
When your roommate left her phone behind someone in the manor must have found it and from there found you. They had lured you right to them, your brother was perfectly fine. You had been tricked.
“Son of a bitch!”
You let out a cry of frustration, picking up the phone and chucking it into one of the brick walls so hard the screen cracked and its light dimmed.
You took a few moments for yourself, allowing yourself to breathe in and out deeply, over and over again until you could feel your heart slowing and breathing returning to normal.
Once you were ready, you decided to distract yourself. Right, the wedding dresses. You came nearer to them, and in shock, you realized that there were six of them in total. All of them were gorgeous, probably the most beautiful dresses you had ever seen, but they had yellowed with age and were stained with the stale scent of the attic.
Upon further investigation, you realized that beside each of the spread-out wedding dresses, there were portraits to accompany them. Your eyes scanned over each, taking in the sight of the beautiful brides with their glowing smiles. But another thing you quickly noticed was that all six of them shared the same groom.
It was Jimin.
At the moment of your realization, you heard a door squeak open and the steady click of shoes against the aged, wooden floors.
Your heart rate immediately skyrocketed as you spun around helplessly, your dress flaring as you attempted to locate a hiding spot. And with the footsteps coming closer, you leaped behind a pile of wedding gifts, still wrapped, and curled into yourself.
“I heard you up here, scuttling around like a mouse in the walls.” The voice mused, you could hear their smile ingrained in their voice. You were sure you knew who it was, it sounded exactly like Jimin with that uncomfortable flirtatious edge to his voice.
“Come out now, there’s no sense in hiding. Wouldn’t you rather get this over quickly?” He said.
A loud thud echoed to your left causing you to flinch and your hand to slap over your mouth before you could whimper in surprise. There was a horrible noise coming closer, it sounded like metal scraping against wood. Against your better judgment, you peaked through a gap in the presents and what you saw was horrifying enough to make your blood run cold.
It was definitely Jimin. His jacket was gone and his sleeves had been rolled up to reveal his forearms. He was wearing a pristine white shirt with the top buttons undone and a wicked smile on his lips.
But what was worst of all, was the sight of the hatchet in his right hand, the blade dragging behind him on the wood as he walked through the attic slowly and confidently, like a predator in the midst of a hunt.
Your fingers tensed over your mouth as you felt a cry welling up in your throat. Of all of the ways to die, this one had to be the worst.
“You know, you probably should have just let Jin or Jungkook do it. They would have put you down easy. But me? Oh, I want to take my time with you, darling.”
The scratching of the blade was louder now, his footsteps were even closer than before. You had this feeling in the pit of your stomach that he knew exactly where you were.
“You should be honored, you can be my lucky number seven,” He chuckled, “They didn’t know what they were getting into when they married me. Till’ death do we part, they vowed. For better or...for worse. In sickness, and in wealth. But we both got what we wanted in the end. They got to become a wife, and I got to keep their dowry.”
He was a black widow.
Silence fell over the attic and you became painfully aware of everything else. You could hear your blood rushing in your ears, your heartbeat was borderline cacophonous, and no matter how hard you tried to muffle it your breaths were like nails on a chalkboard.
Your entire body froze with fright. You could hear him humming a tune behind you now, and you distinctly knew it was “Here Comes The Bride.”
“There you are,” He cooed, causing you to whip around and scramble backward on your hands.
He was standing over you, the pile of presents forming a flimsy makeshift barrier between the two of you. The smile on his face was so horrible, it was just too wide and far too exciting. He easily raised the hatchet up, rested the handle on his shoulder. There was blood dried into the wood.
“Come on out, darling. You’ve kept me waiting long enough.” He said before slamming his boot into the pile of presents and toppling them over one another.
That snapped you out of it.
You quickly turned over and sprung up onto your feet, sprinting away from him. He had been standing in front of the passageway you had come from and the closest exit was the shuttered window.
You could hear him laughing behind you as you stumbled over yourself, ripping the shutters of the window open. You squeezed yourself through it in a panic, leading yourself onto the balcony at the back of the manor. It was still raining, fat drops of water rushing out from the sky, the balcony was slick from the rain.
You ran forward, your hands gripping the slick railing as you leaned over. There was no way you could survive that fall, you were too far high up. That was when you realized, you were cornered. There was nowhere else to go. You were going to die.
Jimin slipped through the window with ease, an amused and playful smile greeting you as both of his hands wrapped around the handle of the hatchet.
“Taehyung said you have to die on our grounds, but he didn’t say how, did he?” He mused, slowly walking towards you, reminding you of your inescapable fate.
You leaned back against the railing, pushing your body and weight flush against it as you closed your eyes, waiting for Jimin to reel that hatchet back and hack into your flesh with it. But that feeling did not come.
“Jimin.” That was Jungkook’s voice.
You opened your eyes to see Jungkook firmly grasping the hatchet, he was enraged. “I told you, no, I warned you not to touch her.”
“I wasn’t going to touch her, Kookie, I was going to kill her.” Jimin snorted with a roll of his eyes.
“Not like this, I told you we weren’t going to do it this way. She deserves to die calmly, not to be hacked apart like tomorrow evening’s dinner.”
“That’s what you want, Taehyung just said she had to die and you don’t have the guts to do it. Let me handle it, this is what I’m good at.”
“I said I’ll take care of it, she’s mine.”
“And by ‘take care of it’ you mean slipping poison into her tea? She’s not going to fall for that, it’s better this way, you’ll thank me later.”
“Jungkook, please,” You tried, your eyes glossy with unshed tears, “don’t let him do this, I don’t want to die!”
His face tensed up in pain, his eyes darting between you and the gleam of the blade.
“It’s okay, sweetheart,” He said with a smile that looked more like a grimace, “I won’t let him hurt you, we can do things my way, okay?”
“No!” You cried, your chest heaving as your tears finally broke free. “I don’t want to die! I want to live, I don’t want any of this but none of you will listen to me!”
“Sweetheart-” He tried again, attempting to walk over to you.
“No, stay away from me, I won’t let you kill me!” You screeched, pressing yourself even closer to the railing behind you as the sky shattered and shook with shards of lighting and rolls of thunder.
“It’s alright, it won’t hurt a bit and I’ll be with you the entire time. It’ll feel like you're drifting off to sleep.” He attempted to comfort you, a gentle smile being cast your way.
“Go fuck yourself!” You spat as you realized you could not move any further, you were pinned. “I am not her, she is not me, and we don’t love you!”
And with that, the final roll of thunder shook the house, the railing behind you creaked and collapsed, your feet slid out from under you, and you went careening off the balcony, plummeting down to the ground below as your once pure white dress fluttered helplessly around.
The last thing you could see was Jungkook’s face. He looked shocked and panicked, but you could also see he was relieved. He was happy he wasn’t the one who had to kill you.
No, you took care of that yourself. Again.
It seemed like no matter what life you were born into, it was always destined to end the same way. You would always take your own life. Whether it be intentional or completely an accident. Fate was a bitch.
And with a sharp crack of your neck and the splintering of your bones, you died.
And then, you were back on the balcony, right where the railing had given way, and you were staring down at your own mangled body, your white dress coated in mud and steadily being dyed a crimson red.
Arms tightly wound themselves around your waist, his face pressed into the juncture between your neck and shoulder as the two of you looked over the horrific shell of your body laying limply in the mud.
“I knew you would come back to me,” He breathed in happiness as he laid a shaky kiss to the column of your throat.
You stood there silently, numbly in shock as you couldn’t tear your eyes away from what remained of your flesh and bone.
“Even in death, you are always meant to be mine.”
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