Taehyung curled in on himself at the words, wrapping his arms around himself , hating himself because he couldn't deny it.
"But this isn't about you and me. Your mother loves you. She's here because she wants assurance that you're alright. We have to give her that."
"You just said you can't be a hypocrite. Pretty hypocritical of you to suggest this when you know that I'm not fine. You hate me. How can I act like I'm fine, Jungkook?"
"We'll end this." Jungkook said firmly. "In six months, lets end this. Lets stop hurting each other."
Taehyung went still, eyes lifting to meet Jungkook's.
"What?" He whispered, his world tilting on its axis.
"I'll talk to my parents too and we'll break the bond. You can find your own happiness and I'll go back to mine."
Go back to...
Taehyung felt nauseous.
Somewhere inside his heart, there was a space carved out for Jungkook to stay in. Over the years he had tried to fill it with other things, his work his friends and even attention from other alphas. It had never worked. Because that space was Jungkook's. It had his name on it.
Staring at Jungkook now, at how hopeful he looked at the possibility of finally being free of him, Taehyung wondered where he had failed.
His love for Jungkook, was always meant to be a source of comfort and joy.
When and why had it become a noose around the alpha's neck?
"Go back to him? "He whispered softly, voice bitter and hurt," Are you sure he'll take you back? You do know he has a new boy toy."
Jungkook blinked, frowning.
"Why are you doing this , Jungkook? Because you care about my mother? Or because you can't wait to go back
to Min Yoongi?"
"That wasn't what I meant at all, stop twisting my words." He snapped.
"You literally just said you were going back to your happiness.. what else could that possibly mean?"
"I meant back to when we weren't married!"
Jungkook shouted, "Back to when we didn't hurt each other every single day. Back to when I had friends and family who loved me and trusted me. Back to when I could breathe in my own fucking home. You have no fucking clue what you did to me, do tou Taehyung? Yoongi is nothing more
than a drop in the ocean of hurt your actions brought me. I got called a cheater, a fucking rapist, that I took advantage of you when you were drunk. I lost friends and I lost a full ride internship at my dream job. I lost everything because you said, I got you pregnant."
Taehyung felt the blow of each phrase like tiny little shrapnels exploding somewhere inside his ribs, lodging in his heart and drawing blood. He wanted to defend himself but there really was nothing he could say, was there? Jungkook would never believe him.
"I don't want to talk about this anymore Taehyung. " Jungkook said softly, looking absolutely exhausted. "We've talked and yelled and screamed and cursed at each other enough, don't you think? We deserve better. Both of us. Staying together is only making things worse."
Taehyung nodded, eyes fluttering shut for a few seconds. He was tired. Of everything really. He knew that Jungkook's offer was something he ought to welcome with open arms. But his heart still ached something fierce.
"My mother isn't easy to fool." he said softly.
Jungkook frowned but nodded.
"I understand. But you know her better than I do. And she knows you better than I do as well. She knows what kind of relationship would make you happy. The kind of mate you would want in your life. So we'll have to act just like that." he said.
Taehyung felt like someone had dumped a vat of ice cold water on him.
"I'm - what?"
"You must've had a dream about the kind of mate you wanted. How you would want him to treat you?" he asked briskly. "I'm asking you how you want to be loved, Kim Taehyung?"
Taehyung didn't respond, merely staring at the alpha in front of him. Jungkook's hair was messy, likely from wearing the helmet and his eyes were bright, likely because he'd finally found a way to get rid of Taehyung once and for all.
How do you want to be loved, Taehyung?
"Easily." he said softly.
Jungkook blinked confused.
"I want to be loved easily . " he said simply. " Someone who doesn't make me feel like I'm unworthy of their time , or their kindness. Someone who doesn't make me feel like I'm hard to love."
Jungkook hesitated before running a hand over his face, sighing deeply. He stared out into the courtyard, eyes unfocused as he watched the flowerbeds and the small fountain that fed the koi pond.
"Is love ever easy?" he asked softly. " Its always been so difficult for me ."
"Love is only difficult when you love the wrong person." Taehyung said without thinking, the words registering belatedly. He glanced at Jungkook in a panic. half expecting him to bead but he didn't seem upset by his words.
The silence stretched and Taehyung hesitated.
"What about you? How would you like to be loved." he managed to say, voice trembling just a bit. When Jungkook looked at him he looked away, awkwardly, " I mean..it would make it more believable if... we made each other happy. For my mom that is."
He felt his heart pound a bit.
Jungkook stared away for a few seconds before turning to him.
"Completely." he said hesitantly." Sometimes people only love certain parts . The whole, the happy, the joyful. They don't love the broken , the hurt and the aching parts. I wish someone would love every part of me."
Jungkook sighed shaking his head. " I think when someone loves you, breathing around them shouldn't feel so difficult you know? Even when the world tried to suffocate you with its expectations and demands, you should be able to breathe free around the one you love."
Tae stayed completely still, wary of breaking the moment. He had never shared something like this with the alpha, a vulnerable part of him exposed. A part that was likely never meant to be seen by him.
Jungkook seemed to snap out of it, rather quickly.
He cleared his throat.
He glanced at Taehyung, face void of emotions.
"Lets make a list." he said softly. " A list of twenty things we would want from our ideal mate. And then we'll, try to be that... for each other. For these six months. The more honest we are..the more authentic it will look."
"Right." Taehyung nodded, wrapping his arms around himself." And after my mother passes ..." he trailed off, staring at his feet.
"We move on and find our happiness." Jungkook said." Wherever it may be."
Taehyung would have to lose the two people he loved the most.
===== End of Chapter 2 =====
Taehyung felt, the gentle touch of someone stroking the curve of his cheeks, back and forth in affectionate touches. He felt disoriented, exhausted in a way . There was a heaviness over his body, like he was underwater and when he blinked groggy, drowsy eyes open,
he was met with the sight of dark doe eyes, staring down at him with gentle fondness. He was dressed in a powder blue dress shirt under a dark blue jacket, hair styled and with the gentle scent of the green apple body wash that he always used.
The room somehow looked both distressingly familiar and completely new.
“Jungkook?” He asked, confusion lacing his voice and Jungkook chuckled, moving closer.
“Hey, beautiful.” Jungkook whispered, running the tip of his thumb over the small swell of his lips,
“ I’m running late but I just wanted to tell you, I’ll be dropping Jun off at the play group and Sana at school as well. You need to rest well alright? Get as much sleep as you possibly can…”
Sana and Jun, he thought softly. The kids. They were two and five weren’t they? How did he know? When did that happen?
Jungkook leaned in, pressing a soft kiss to his forehead. The warmth of it spread all over him, the soft gesture making his senses sing.
He hummed, one hand coming up to gently cup Jungkook’s cheek. The skin was smooth and blemishless, so warm and real. He felt a sudden overwhelming urge to cry. Jungkook looked so beautiful, so ethereal in the sun kissed room.
It was still quite early in the morning and the curtains on the window were white brocade, letting the sunlight filter through like liquid gold.
The lighting did wonders for Jungkook’s skin, setting off a halo around his hair,
and making Taehyung ache in all the best and worst ways. He felt a confusing mix of joy and sadness as he stared at him, his heart clenching and aching.
“We have to go see the doctor tomorrow. Take the day off.” He heard himself saying,
and as Jungkook nodded, hand moving down to gently touch Taehyung’s midriff, the first tendrils of realization began taking root.
“Think this one will be another girl? Poor Sana’s outnumbered in our home.” Jungkook was laughing.
The words seemed to rouse him out of whatever spell Jungkook’s beauty had cast on him.
This isn’t real, he realized, even as Jungkook leaned over him, thick head of hair pressed against his chest as he peppered kisses over a baby bump that wasn’t really there.
He wasn’t pregnant. Jungkook wouldn’t treat him so well. They didn’t have other kids either. They never would. And yet there was something about this dream that made him feel at peace. It felt so real. So … right.
He sighed deeply, gently pressing his fingers to the thick strands of Jungkook’s hair. The texture was just like he’d imagined, a little wiry and coarse but still soft.
He indulged himself for a few seconds, imagining a life where this was possible. He didn’t really want to wake up yet.
“What’s for breakfast?” He asked softly and Jungkook laughed, looking up at him with mischief.
Did you forget? It’s my turn to make what I want. So spring onion pancakes and egg rolls.” Jungkook said brightly. “ Tomorrow’s your turn.”
Except there wouldn’t be a tomorrow. Jungkook would never know what his favorite breakfast was.
He smiled at little, nodding as he stroked his hair some more.
“I love you.” He said rather shakily. “ So deeply and I wish I could tell you why, but the truth is... I love you simply because i don’t know how to stop.”
It was less a confession, more an admission of defeat.
Jungkook didn’t stop smiling at him, and Taehyung saved the image away in his mind, this scene where Jungkook looked at him with so much love and affection. This scene straight out of an impossible dream.
He wanted rather desperately to hear Jungkook say the words too.
But his mind seemed to draw the line there, because Jungkook didn’t. He merely stared at him with the same beatific expression on his face.
Suddenly overwhelmed, Taehyung closed his eyes, screwing them shut with enough force to break the illusion.
And when he opened them again he was alone, the dark of the room greeting him like an old friend.
The dull hum of the air conditioner was loud in the stillness of the night, and he exhaled shakily, eyes fixed on the ceiling of Jungkook’s room.
It was painted a dull, lackluster gray. The sheets under him felt cold and impersonal. The mattress too hard. He brought shaky hands up out of the comforter, placing them palm down on his stomach. The hollow empty ache of it made his breath catch.
Taking a deep breath, he turned to the side. Jungkook lay with his back to him, body covered by a thin white sheet and nothing else. He stared at the broad shoulders and the hair.
Wiry and Coarse.
His fingers twitched , the phantom touch from his dream still very vivid.
He took a deep breath, clenching his hands into fists and exhaling softly.
Its alright, he told himself gently.
It will be alright.
Someday, the pain would stop being a living , breathing thing, sitting on his chest with an ugly gaping mouth. Right now it was a scraggly, leather skinned creature with black teeth , coated with the tar of Jungkook’s hurtful words,
the stench of his hurtful actions dripping from its wrinkled hideous face. Some day there wouldn’t be these razor sharp claws, digging into the flesh of his chest, threatening to rip his heart out with every breath.
Someday, pain would give up on trying to break him, would pack itself away and leave him. All he had to do was hold on, till then. And Jungkook had given him a timeline for it too, hadn’t he? Six months.
He heard the sound of a door opening, somewhere in the living room.
A second later, light pooled in through the slit between the door and the frame. Taehyung blinked, worried. His mother was up.
He sat up slowly, trying to decide if he should go check. She probably just wanted some water , right? There was no other reason for her to be up.
But when the light stayed on, five minutes later, he slowly levered himself off the bed, taking care not to wake Jungkook up. He picked his way to the door, taking care not to wake the sleeping alpha. He gently opened it, slipping out and closing it behind him.
Looking around, he found his mother on the couch, one of the side lamps turned on and her embroidery hoop in her hands. She was counting stitches carefully, briefly glancing at him before going back to the hoop.
Taehyung took the subtle invitation, moving to settle into the seat right next to her.
"Bad dream? " She asked quietly. Taehyung considered that.
No, he thought miserably. It wasn't bad at all.
"Why are you up?" He responded and she sighed.
"Does Jungkook want me gone?"
Taehyung didn't respond, merely staring at the opposite wall. He had a very volatile relationship with his mother, one that was fraught with a lot of misplaced anger and bitterness. He loved her deeply and knew she loved him as well, but there were times he found it impossible
to like her.
His mother, he knew now, had her reasons for being the way she was. His father had left them alone at a young age, and she had been forced to raise him as a single parent.
But it stung that she had taken it all out on him. She was just so stubborn
so irrational, so impossible to reason with... that Taehyung himself had grown up to be a bit of a pacifist. Why put up a fight when there was no chance of winning right?
He stared at her now, knowing full well that her illness only rendered him further helpless.
But she had asked him a question and he was going to be honest with his answer.
"You turned up here without a single phone call. Regardless of your ill Health, a little heads up would have been appreciated. And you didn't have to guilt him with details about it either."
She placed the embroidery hoop down and stared at him with firm, blazing eyes.
"Do you know what my biggest regret is?" she asked sharply. Taehyung stayed quiet and she exhaled shakily.
"That even knowing that your father was dying, I did not go see him." she bit her lips.
"No! Hear me out. Now that I am here, looking at the end of my life, I realise that if he was still alive, he would come find me. He would come see. Even if it isn't to reconcile, then just to... acknowledge that it wasn't all just hate and anger and exhaustion."
"He left you."
"Yes. Only when neither of us had any reason left to stay. When we let all of our hurt fester into something venomous and toxic. Had we spoken freely..." she shook her head. " little misunderstandings in a marriage are common and not dangerous.
But if you don't addressed them-"
"We're fine." he snapped, angry. "There's nothing wrong between us and -"
"The eyes always tell Taehyung. I don't doubt you still love him but I wonder if ... If perhaps Jungkook is upset about something..." she reached out " talk to him. "
Taehyung stared at the woman in front of him. In the dim light of the lamp, his mother looked old and weary, fragile in a way that made him feel sorry for her. She was a sad woman, regretting past actions.
She mentioned her husband but what else did she regret?
Did she perhaps also regret forcing him into mating Jungkook?
Did she perhaps regret how she had guilted him into staying in the marriage when all he had wanted was to run?
A life full of regrets, he thought with a gentle shake of his head.
How pitiful that sounded.
And it stuck him, then, that this was her hoping to atone for some of her sins. She wanted to do some good, to make up for all that she had done wrong.
And what better than to mend her son's relationship?
He scoffed a bit. His mother had no idea how futile it all was.
But he wasn't going to tell her that.
She was a dying woman, desperately hoping to save her only son from the same plight that she had been in : an unhappy marriage.
He would give her the reassurance she clearly needed.
It was what they had agreed on anyway, right?
He gently took her hand in his.
"Do you want me to apologise to him?" he asked gently and she looked taken aback.
"Is there something you did? Is he upset?"
"Ive been a bit too close with my boss." he lied easily. " Jungkook was bothered by it."
His mother hummed.
Her demeanor changed at his words.
"I knew it. When I saw you with that alpha, I knew. But this is not a bad thing, Tae bear. If he is bothered by it. it means he still loves you. He still feels you belong to him."
Tae hummed, rubbing a hand over her own. He would miss her.
With her death, he would well and truly be alone in this god forsaken world.
He squeezed her hand a little.
"Do you think, I can win him back?" he asked quietly and her eyes lit up.
"Yes of course! Do you need my help?" the eagerness in her tone made him smile.
She seemed overjoyed and excited almost. Perhaps she saw it as a vicarious way of healing her own broken marriage. Perhaps she thought she would find peace knowing she had helped Taehyung find happiness.
Whatever it was, he wouldn't take it away from her.
So he smiled at her.
Taehyung slept fitfully , the rest of the night, tossing and turning in bed until Jungkook’s alarm went off at half past six. He pretended to be asleep, while the alpha changed into his gym clothes, grabbing his bag and heading out. He wouldn’t be back for an hour and a half.
Once the door shut behind him, he slowly got out of bed, making his way over to the en suite to wash up.
By the time he was back in the kitchen, the smell of sizzling spring onions and shallots made his mouth water.
His mother stood by the stove, wearing an apron, her hair pinned up to the top of her head. She stood with the handle of the skillet in one hand, an egg in the other. Taehyung watched her crack the egg onto the pan, before using chopsticks to give them a little mix.
“What is this?” He asked in confusion and she grinned.
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I’m making spring onion pancakes, eggrolls and sausages for son in law. You can tell him you made them yourself. Those are his favorites, right?”
Taehyung remembered the dream and felt a small jolt in the pit of his stomach.
“How did you know?”
“You used to talk about him all the time.” His mother smiled, before carefully moving to plate the dishes and flip the pancake.
Taehyung watched her work, focused on the quick deft movements. He wasn’t good in the kitchen. He barely got by, actually. But Jungkook had quite a good grasp of cooking.
“You should make him lunch and go see him in his office sometimes.” His mother said casually. “ That would be a nice gesture.”
Taehyung hummed, reached over to sneak a bite of the egg roll.
“He’s a very busy man. I think it would be a bother if I turned up in the place where he worked , he said easily. The truth was, he had never once been to Jungkook’s place of work. For one, Yoongi was there. Nothing good could come out of running into the model.
Also, quite a few of Jungkook’s friends from college worked with him. They were alphas and betas who had spread a lot of lies about him. Lies that Jungkook had believed without question.
He didn’t resent him for that.
They were his friends. Sometimes people just trusted their friends at face value, took their words for truth without delving into it. He couldn’t blame Jungkook for trusting them over him. Taehyung had always been nothing more than a pest, a nuisance.
He had been an annoyance in Jungkook’s life and the alpha had only ever treated him as such.
But it certainly said something, didn’t it? That even after the years of being married to him, Jungkook was still close friends with the same alphas. He still trusted them.
Taehyung had clearly not made much of an impression on Jungkook, these few years. Or maybe the alpha just hadn’t taken a second to get to know him.
“The point of being married, is that you be a bother.” she said firmly, offering what Taehyung thought was abysmal marital advice.
But that was nothing new.
“I have a job as well.” He said gently. “ You seem to be forgetting that.”
“Why are you making so many excuses? Its like you don’t want to put in any effort at all.” She said sharply Taehyung winced. And there it was.
“Mother, I truly appreciate your efforts to help me but, can we just tone it down a little.” He said gently.
“He’s here.” His mother said suddenly. “ I’ll ask him myself. Son in law! Can I have a word?” She called out loudly and Jungkook ,
who had just stepped into the house, froze.
Taehyung, still with remnants from his dream, clinging to his conscience, looked away at the sight of him, heart pounding just a bit. That dream had felt so real and now he would ache for impossible things even more.
He moved away to the table, taking a seat, knowing full well that his mother could be like a bull charging at a matador when she wanted to get her way. He wasn’t going to get caught in the crossfire.
“What is it mother?” Jungkook asked quietly, putting away his shoes and making
his way over. He had clearly showered in the gym. Taehyung peeked at his hair. It looked damp. Did he use that green apple wash again?
He looked away, giving himself a mental shake. What was he thinking? It was a stupid dream. He couldn’t get hung up on it.
“Can Taehyung come see you at your work today?” she asked eagerly “ He made breakfast for you and I will be making lunch. You can have something hot and delicious.”
Jungkook’s eyes snapped to him at once. Taehyung shrugged. He had no intention of going to Jungkook’s work place.
“Well, I don’t see why not.” Jungkook said carefully. He stared at him again and Taehyung didn’t miss the slight panic there. He ignored it. The whole thing had been Jungkook’s idea to begin with.
“Excellent.” His mother went back to the stove and Jungkook cleared his throat.
“Tae could you help pick out my clothes ?” He said casually. Impressed, Taehyung nodded, giving his mother a small smile before following the alpha to his room. Jungkook waited till the door closed behind them before turning to him.
“Visit me at work? Is that really necessary?” He asked, face ashen. Taehyung frowned.
“Do you think that’s something I would have suggested?” He retorted, moving to the couch and settling there. Jungkook ran a hand through his hair, looking around in frustration.
“I have a shoot with Yoongi today. You can’t be there. You can’t.” He said sharply. “ And I’m not trying to be hurtful, but none of my friends like you.”
Taehyung stared at the alpha for a few seconds.
“Do you think,” He said softly, “ I care about their opinion of me?”
Jungkook blinked before frowning.
“That’s not what I-“
“This was your idea.” He said sharply. “ You stood there asking me what kind of a mate I wanted. You said that for six months we would act like we were in a healthy loving relationship.
My mother is dying and you were the one using her as a get out of jail card.”He smiled bitterly. “ And I agreed didn’t I? You get your freedom at the end of all this, Jungkook. Focus on the prize and maybe the sight of me won’t disgust you so much.”
He looked away, fighting tears. Jungkook stood still, not moving. After what felt like a small eternity he moved to the closet , rummaging there for a second. When he came back he had a small embossed card in his hand.
“That’s my office. If you give this to the receptionist, she’ll bring you straight to me.” He said curtly. Taehyung took the card, running a hand over the edges.
“I wasn’t planning on coming.” He said finally. “ We don’t have to do everything she asks us to do. You can come pick me up after work and we can get dinner or-“
“And if your mother turns up at my office, to make sure you’re there.” Jungkook retorted.” Don’t tell me she won’t. We both know she will.”
Taehyung grimaced a bit at that. It was actually quite a valid fear.
“Fine then.” He sighed, running a hand over his face. He was still tired. “ I’ll take the day off. And I’ll come see you during lunch.” The lack of sleep was getting to him. He wouldn’t be of much use in school either. He could at least sleep in a bit.
Jungkook seemed to be struggling to hold back his words.
“What is it?” He asked tiredly, not in the mood for games.
“If they say anything, just… just ignore them.” He muttered under his breath. Taehyung smiled a little.
“What will they say?” He asked casually, “ That I’m a slut? A whore?”
“If they feel comfortable saying things about me in front of you, that is a reflection of who you are alpha.” He said firmly,
“ Not me. Because no matter how bad things are between us, we’re still married. If you had any respect for that, you wouldn’t ask me to ignore it. You would ask them to be respectful. We aren’t kids in the playground throwing insults over the sandpit.
"We’re adults. If the people you call your friends can’t act right, that’s something you should be ashamed of. Not me.” he shook his head. " So go tell them to act their age. Don't ask me to be a doormat for them to step on. "
The alpha stared for a second, before turning away.
Jungkook had drawn such firm, infallible lines between them , that Yoongi felt frustrated and annoyed and helpless. Hoseok was meant to be a distraction, a tactic to remind Jungkook of what he was missing out on. But Jungkook didn't try and get closer, like he had hoped.
And now , this.
"Mr Jeons husband is so beautiful." the hair stylist working on him whispered and the make up artist fixing his jacket giggled.
"You aren't the only one who thinks that. Did you see Park Hyunsik? Can't keep his eyes off . Jungkook looks pissed."
"Can you blame him? They've been going at each other's throats ever since Hyunsik got transferred here. And now he's ogling his mate. Won't be surprised if Jeon throws a punch."
Yoongi scoffed. As if, he thought angrily. Jungkook was not the kind of person who would act
like a barbarian over something like that. Least of all over someone like Taehyung who really was the most despicable person on the planet as far as Yoongi was concerned.
But he couldn't help but wonder why the omega was here in the first place. What was the conniving fox
playing at? And why was Jungkook encouraging this?
He cleared his throat and both the gossiping betas moved away.
"Ask Mr Jeon to come see me." he said quietly, staring at his assistant who sat a few feet away. The boy bowed before scarpering off.
as he reached Jungkook who was busy fixing the lens in his camera. Taehyung sat next to him, looking awkwardly out of place. The omega hadn't spared him a single glance since he came in and Yoongi felt belittled for some reason. He wasn't used to being ignored.
As his assistant whispered his request, Jungkook looked up , catching Yoongis gaze. He nodded softly and a second later, Yoongi sat back satisfied as Jungkook stood up, making his way over to him.
Taehyung, finally looked up at him. Yoongi smirked. Taehyung looked away.
"The next shot will be in half an hour. You can take a break." Jungkook said casually moving to stand in front of him " What is it, hyung?"
"Why is he here?" he asked softly, not one to beat around the bush. Jungkook frowned before glancing back at Taehyung.
"Because he wanted to come see me." Jungkook said simply. Yoongi frowned deeper.
"And you just allow him to do whatever he wants?"
"What do you mean allow?" Jungkook asked sharply, a bit too curt. Yoongi bit his lips.
"I just meant... You haven't had him here before."
"I don't ask you about Hoseok hyung." Jungkook said shortly. " You know why?"
"Because its none of my business. And the same goes for you hyung."
Yoongi felt his pulse quicken.
"If you ask me to break up with him, I will." he said desperately, hating himself.
"Why on earth would I do that?" Jungkook laughed. " You're allowed to date Hoseok if you want. And I'm allowed to give my marriage a chance, if I want."
Yoongi felt his heart turnover.
"You're lying. You would never do that. You hate him." he hissed furious.
"Is it easy for you hyung?" Jungkook said quietly. " Hating people?"
Yoongi blinked taken aback.
"To be so bitter and angry and upset all day , everyday. Do you enjoy it?" Jungkook shook his head. " Because it isn't easy for me. And I don't hate Taehyung."
"I hate what happened. I hate that he made those choices all those years ago. I hate that we're both stuck in this place where neither of us wants to be. But I don't hate him. At least not the way you do. So viscerally. I couldn't hate someone like that."
Its because you don't love me anymore, Yoongi thought furiously. If you still loved me, hating him wouldn't be hard for you.
"You make me sound like a monster. Unlike you, I haven't forgotten all the pain he brought us. It should be me by your side right now." he snapped.
"You broke up with me before I married him." Jungkook retorted.
"You slept with him!"
"I did not." Jungkook growled. " I never did and just the fact that you still think I did.."
"I was willing to forgive you for it-"
"There was nothing to fucking forgive!" The alpha glared.
Jungkook took a deep shuddering breath.
"Why did you call me here?" he said finally. "We've had this particular conversation a million times. I'm not going to be yet another notch in your bed. You have Hoseok You go home to him everyday. Its time to stop being so greedy hyung."
Yoongi felt like he had been slapped.
"Greedy? Is it greedy for me to want to be with the man I love?"
" When you have another man in your bed, yes." Jungkook retorted.
"I told you I would break up with him"
"Do it. For his sake at least. He deserves better."
"How dare you!"
Jungkook held both hands up.
"I'm done, hyung." he said quietly. " In all the years Ive been with Taehyung, I've tried to be here for you as a friend. I've tried to make up for the hurt that I caused you. But I can't do this anymore. Because you don't care about my feelings."
Yoongi felt ice in his veins and moved to argue but Jungkook took a step back.
"Its always about you. About what you lost. About how much you hurt. You haven't once looked me in the eye and asked me how I am. You haven't asked me how I feel about any of this. All you
want to do is punish me for something I never did. Make me pay for marrying Taehyung, when you know damn well I never wanted to. Made me feel guilty everytime I smiled or laughed, because you were miserable and I felt like I wasn't allowed feel happy when you weren't."
Yoongi swallowed , ready to retort but he noticed Taehyung moving , his gaze shifting to omega instinctively. Jungkook's gaze followed his and Yoongi saw him go stiff as Park Hyungsik held a hand out, greeting the omega and sitting next to him.
"Did he tell you this?"
Yoongi whispered." Did Kim Taehyung tell you this?"
"Taehyung doesn't know a thing about us. And he may have his flaws, but he isnt selfish. Taehyung knows how to put others before himself. Something you're not capable of." Jungkook said shakily.
"How can you say that when the reason you're married to him is because of his selfishness?" Yoongi demanded.
"Selfishness?" Jungkook scoffed. " Hyung what has he gained from this marriage except for heartache? " he shook his head, " You really are incapable of empathy."
"You've changed."Yoongi whispered." You would never talk to me like this-"
"And maybe I should have. Tae-" Jungkook stopped, " Someone told me that loving the right person shouldn't be hard. They also said the right person would be able to love you. Easily."
Jungkook shook his head."You always made me feel like I was hard to love. Like you were doing me a favour by letting me stay by your side. I don't want to be with someone who makes me feel like I'm hard to love. Not anymore."
Yoongi looked away, heart sinking.
( Authors Note : The understanding here is this : Jungkook's relationship with Yoongi has been on the decline for quite a while now. It doesn't have anything to do with Taehyung by the way. Its started after Yoongi started sleeping with Hoseok because Jungkook never agreed to
cheat on Taehyung physically. The Yoongi Jungkook arc is what ends here to an extent. Jungkook's feelings for Taehyung are still the same. He doesn't like him or anything. He just empathizes that perhaps they have both suffered because of the events of that night.
Also perhaps a slightly petty side of Jungkook makes it sound like he's getting together with Taehyung to hurt Yoongi )
This chapter isnt done yet btw.
Also here's a way to avoid confusion: Taehyung's opinion of Jungkook is not the real Jungkook and vice versa. So build their characters based on how they behave when its their pov. Dont decide what kind of guy Jungkook is based on what Taehyung thinks of him and vice versa)
Just a little, not too much. He had an inkling that it may be because of him being there. Perhaps, Yoongi was mad that Jungkook had brought him here. Jungkook was probably reassuring Yoongi that Taehyung meant nothing to him. It was Yoongi he was in love with.
Yes. That was it.
They had had lunch, here in Jungkook's studio, rushed because he was busy. Taehyung had never felt more out of place and awkward in his life. He had taken efforts to look nice, not wanting to seem shabby and somehow affect Jungkook's reputation here. But he soon remembered why
he didn't dress up too often : People stared till their eyeballs were in danger of falling out. Especially the alphas. Taehyung had never done well with attention and he found himself glued to Jungkook's side, not wanting anyone to approach him.
But now that Yoongi had Jungkook,
one of the alphas who had been ogling him, had made his way over and was slowly slipping into the seat that Jungkook had vacated. Taehyung bristled as the alpha held a hand out.
"Hi. I'm Park Hyunsik." he smiled and Taehyung nodded very curtly. The alpha smiled a bit.
"Are you a new model? Jungkook really has an eye for the best." he commented casually and Taehyung, blinked, surprised.
"Oh.. I'm not. I'm his husband. Not a model." He flushed, shaking his head in embarassment. Hyunsik tilted his head in surprise.
" Hmm.. Bastard never mentioned having a husband, let alone such a beautiful one. " He laughed. " Excuse my language. Your husband and I don't really get along."
That piqued Taehyung's interest.
"Really? Why?" he smiled.
Hyunsik smirked before shrugging, all nonchalant.
Jungkook couldn't find Taehyung.
The omega wasn't picking up his calls and a quick call home had confirmed that he hadn't gone back either. It had been about fifty minutes since he'd last seen him and Jungkook knew that Taehyung was a grown man. Perfectly capable of
taking care of himself.
But he just couldn't focus on anything else. Where was he? If he was going to leave, why not just shoot him a message? He was supposed to be shooting and editorial right now wth Yoongi.
And yet, here he was wandering the hallway on the fifth floor.
Most of the studios here were deserted, allotted for newbie photographers to mess around with lighting techniques. Jungkook himself steered cleat of the place. He couldn't see anyone else , the length of the hallway and stopped a few doors before the last studio.
There was no one here, he thought angrily, trying Taehyung's number again. It rang, loud and clear. But no one picked up.
Sighing he ran his fingers through his hair, turning back towards the elevators when he heard it.
A soft soothing laugh that sounded familiar.
And then a voice, deeper and much more disturbingly familiar.
"Move your hands like this, Beautiful." Hyungsik's oily, disgusting tone made the hair on Jungkook's skin stand on end.
He stalked over to the door, before kicking it open, so hard it crashed into the opposite wall.
As he stepped into the studio, the sight in front of him made his blood run cold with fury. Clenching his hands into fists, Jungkook growled , low and deep.
"Get your filthy fucking hands off him , " he said softly, " right now."
Taehyung who sat on a three legged stool,
Hyunsik standing over him and holding onto his wrist and his waist, looked like a deer staring down a hunter's gun.
"Jungkook -" The omega began but Hyunsik cut him off with a laugh.
"Always a little late to the show aren't you, Jungkook ah? We could've raised a family in
the time it took you to find us."
Taehyung pulled away a bit at the remark but Jungkook glared at the older alpha.
"What the fuck are you playing at? Bringing him here? I should get you fired for this."
"Everything that happened here today was consensual."
Hyunsik turned to Taehyung, " Taehyung had a lot of fun. Very eager and a quick student."
Taehyung stepped off the stool, moving to stand in front of him.
"He was just taking pictures of me." the omega said , voice rushed and just a little nervous. " You were busy so I-"
"So you decided to follow an alpha you never met, to deserted fucking corridor and let him put his handa all over you?" Jungkook demanded, unable to reign in his fury although a voice in his head was screaming at him to calm down. But he couldn't calm down.
Did Taehyung not realize what kind of a Bastard this guy was? How could he be so reckless? There was no one here. He hadn't told anyone where he was going or who he was with.
What if something had happened?
"I'm not a child." Taehyung was saying shakily.
"I can decide for myself where to go and who to go with." He was glaring at him now, " You were supposed to be at a photoshoot and I had nothing else to do. Hyunsik offered to take pictures of me and I just-"
"Stay away from him. " Jungkook growled, moving to stand in front of
Taehyung, glaring at the other alpha who looked amused.
"No can do. Taehyung agreed to come shoot with me this weekend at the beach." He grinned, " Right beautiful?"
"What the fuck?" Jungkook turned to Tae who was chewing on his bottom lip.
"Have you lost your fucking mind?"
"No I haven't. Have you?" the omega snapped back making him bristle.
He turned to Hyunsik, breathing deeply, eyes narrowed in warning.
"You need to take several steps back. Your petty rivalry with me ends within these walls. You don't get to drag him into it."
"Not everything is about hou Jungkook." Hyunsik said softly, crossing his arms and glaring at him. " Your husband told me you've never taken pictures of him and he was curious how a professional photographer works. I was merely showing him how. " He shook his head in disbelief.
"It really makes me wonder, what else you haven't shown him" he smirked. "maybe I could do it instead, right Taehyung? I bet you would enjoy it more with me."
"We're leaving." Jungkook snapped grabbing Taehyung's wrist and tugging him out of the room , his steps fast and sure .
The omega stumbled a little as he pulled him along to the elevators, his mind reeling from annoyance. As soon as they stepped into the elevator he rounded on Taehyung.
"What the hell were you thinking, Taehyung?" he roared, making the omega flinch.
"He's a stranger... an alpha at that... Amd he asks you to come with him to. deserted corridor? You just go? Without letting anyone else know?"
Taehyung bit his lips at that.
" He works with you. He's not some guy i met on the streets! And I told you he said he wanted to
take pictures of me and I-"
"Pictures!!" Jungkook scoffed in disbelief. " Are you ten?! Have you never had your picture taken? Is that what you dressed up today for?" he shook his head, " You're unbelievable."
Taehyung looked down at his feet , fists clenched.
"Its so reckless. I can't understand why you would do such a thing, Taehyung. He's not a good man and he just wants to get back at me in any way possible! The fact that you're my husband is why he's doing this and I wish you would -"
"I just wanted to know more about you."
Jungkook froze, the words registering but not quite making sense.
Taehyung was looking away but there was no missing the sheen of wetness over his eyes.
"I just wanted to know more about what you did. About being a photographer." he whispered.
There was a dull roaring in Jungkook's ears, a fist made of iron closing around his heart and squeezing. He felt his mouth go dry, the breath catching in his lungs as Taehyung's worda slowly sank in.
"I wanna go home, now. I'm done."
Jungkook felt like his heart had dropped straight to his knees, his skin burning with regret. He wasn't sure why the sight of Taehyung upset, suddenly felt so ...wrong. He wanted to
apologize but the words burned like acid on his tongue.
"You.. You could have asked me."
"when? When you were chatting with your boyfriend?"
"You know what, Hyunsik is right. You're so full of yourself you can't fathom that mot everything is about you." Taehyung shook his head.
The alpha stayed quiet .
"He's bad news."
Taehyung turned to him with a somber look on his face.
"He made me smile more times in an hour, than you did in the entire length of our marriage. He's already better than you as far as I'm concerned." he said sharply.
Jungkook swallowed, jaw going taut.
Taehyung stepped out of the elevator, ignoring him completely and stalking to the cafeteria. A few minutes later he came out with his bag and his phone
Jungkook stood still , but the omega didn't come to him.
Instead he merely glared at him before walking out of the office.
( Authors Note: Am tired
There's more but I can't do this for a while. I need a break possibly for two to three business days. bye )
too exhausted to do any of that. There was a lump of emotion clogging his throat. Every few minutes he found himself fighting tears. Why was Jungkook so...so cruel to him? Why did he treat him like a nuisance? Like an errant child? Taehyung knew following Hyunsik wasn't
a very great idea. But he had done it quite innocently. Jungkook made it sound like he'd tried to deliberately mess things up. On purpose. Why was Jungkook always so ready to believe the worst about him. Why was Taehyung always guilty until proven innocent and not the other
He sighed, leaning against the wrought iron gates and staring at his shoes. He wasn't sure what he'd wanted, when he had sat down to pose. Perhaps to feel beautiful? To be complimented? Taehyung couldn't remember the last time someone had called him gorgeous.
Hyungsik had used that word generously. Gorgeous. Tilt your face a bit, wow. Breathtaking. Lower your gaze, thats just lovely. You're gorgeous.
Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous.
After the seventh time, Taehyung had actually started believing him. Had started feeling gorgeous.
And then Jungkook had turned up and all Taehyung felt was guilty and terrible. He sighed, running a hand over his face. Perhaps, it was because of what had happened between them. Guilt was the default emotion he felt whenever he was faced with Jungkook. Guilt, self pity, despair.
Sitting on that chair, with the lights on him, and the compliments pouring in, Taehyung had felt invincible for a few minutes. Untouchable in many ways. For a few minutes he had imagined Jungkook behind the camera.
"A good photographer falls in love with his model."
Hyunsik had said that with a mischievous glint in his eye. Taehyung had laughed it off but the words had settled in the pit of his stomach.
Because all he could think of was Jungkook taking photographs of Min Yoongi.
Was that why they came out so well?
Because he was in love?
"Taehyung ssi?" A familiar voice said right behind him and Taehyung jumped a little, eyes wide and just a little panicked. He turned around only to find himself face to face with a smiling Kim Seokjin, peering out of his car window.
"Seokjin ssi.." he bowed.
"Ah, you had taken the day off today hadn't you? What are you doing here?" the principal asked, looking curious and just a little worried. Taehyung suddenly felt very foolish. He shuffled awkwardly, managing a small smile.
"I got bored at home and just wandered here..." he said.
Seokjin looked endeared for some reason. He nodded in understanding.
"I guess that's what happens when you don't have much of a social life. " He said bluntly, amd Taehyung turned red. " Oh, i didn't mean any offense Taehyung ssi. I'm also much the same way. Home and school ."
Taehyung looked around and bowed again.
"I'll let you carry on now, Seokj-"
"Are you free for the evening? I have no plans to go home early today. I was actually craving some spicy fish cakes. And maybe some ribs." Seokjin said brightly.
"Unless you would rather go home." Seokjin said quickly. " You don't have to come. Its not... I'm not trying to force you to accompany me".
Taehyung laughed at how nervous the alpha sounded. Home was very unappealing. With his mother breathing down his neck.
Taehyung shuffled over to the other side, climbing into the passenger side of the nice car. He settled in quickly and reached for the seatbelt but it wouldn't come down past his shoulder.
"Oh, let me help" Seokjin unbuckled himself before leaning over him,
his chest leaning into Taehyung's own and the soft downy fluff of his chestnut hair tickling the underside of his chin. Taehyung held his breath as the sweet, soothing scent of almonds and rich chocolate hit his senses. Seokjin smelled very nice, he realised.
Taehyung stayed perfectly still as Seokjin tugged the belt into uts slot till it clicked into place. The alpha gave him another bright grin before moving away.
"I don't drink much beer. Soju is what I enjoy. Would you join me?"he asked casually.
Taehyung was not fond of either.
But he nodded nonetheless not wanting to seem picky or demanding. Seokjin was his boss after all. He played with the small tassels that hung from his bag, debating if he should message Jungkook about his whereabouts. But when he pulled his phone out, it had run out of power.
Well, not like Jungkook would even notice him gone. These days the alpha came home pretty late And it was barely five. He would be home by seven. He could manage that.
"Are you familiar with any good food stalls around here?" Seokjin asked worriedly and Taehyung grinned.
He had spent many a weekend walking around eating his weight in street food , while mourning his miserable marriage. He knew just the right places they could go to.
"Let me show you a whole new world, Seokjin ssi." he said with a wide grin.
The alpha stared at him in surprise.
Taehyung was drunk.
Not blackout drunk, but well on the way to the point where he would lose all filter and say something very stupid. Like how he was madly in love with Jungkook while Jungkook couldn't stand the sight of him.
Seokjin looked genuinely worried as he helped him
into the cab. They had had a good evening, Taehyung thought miserably. Seokjin was kind and entertaining and had a lot of nice stories to tell.He talked about his family, his pet gliders, his love for cooking. He also asked Tae questions about himself.
It was like a nice date.
Except it wasn't. Not really. Seokjin was just being kind to him. He probably felt sorry for him, standing there loitering around the school even on his day off. Did it get more pathetic than that? Taehyung curled up against the far end of the cab, knees drawn to hus chin.
"I called Jungkook." Seokjin was saying, " He said he's waiting in the parking lot. He'll pay for the cab and get you home safe."
Taehyung nodded, head aching and swimming at the same time. He felt good but also terrible. Good because it didn't hurt. Terrible because he knew
he would regret this in the morning. And Jungkook?
There was no telling what Jungkook would do to him tonight. He had likely sent his entire family into a panic.
"What time is it?" he mumbled weakly.
"A quarter to eleven." Seokjin said regretfully.
Taehyung wanted to cry.
He nodded absently and buried his face between his knees, exhausted. Sniffling he waved shakily as the cab pulled away from the curb.
Jungkook would yell at him. Call him an irresponsible, selfish person. He would tell him how Taehyung was the reason he was miserable.
Taehyung burrowed into the corner even more feeling worse with each passing second.
As the cab began slowing down, his pulse began racing just a bit, a steady amount of dread pooling at the base of his stomach, bile tasting bitter on his tongue.
He was in for it, tonight.
When the cab finally pulled to a stop. Taehyung screwed his eyes shut, wrapping his arms around himself really tight. He heard Jungkook's voice calm and steady, talking to the cab driver and shivered a bit. When a gentle hand lightly touched his shoulder, he jumped.
Taehyung didnt move or breathe. he stayed completely still.
"Taehyung, come out." Jungkook sounded stern.
Taehyung bit his lips, shaking his head.
A few seconds later, the door he was curled up against opened and with a yelp, the omega toppled right into the arms of the alpha.
Taehyung's eyes flew open in shock, his body barely registering what was happening. Jungkook had him lifted up against his chest like he weighed nothing, barely even looking at him, as be kicked the car door shut again.
"Hold onto me or you'll fall." The alpha said quietly.
Taehyung who had sobered up just from the shock of Jungkook's arms around him could barely move his limbs. It took a lot of effort to move his arms up and around Jungkook's shoulders, clinging to him with a desperate grip.
As the cab drove away, Jungkook began walking slowly.
Through the haze of his intoxication, Taehyung registered that although it was almost midnight, Jungkook was still in his office clothes.
"Didn't you... Didn't you go home?" he asked in confusion.
The alpha sighed.
"I told your mother we're spending the night at a hotel."
Taehyung felt like he bad been hit over the head with a hammer. Or perhaps he had fallen into a pothole and woken up in another dimension.
"I... You did?" He blinked. " Why?"
Jungkook didn't respond, carrying him over to his own car and placing him carefully in the back seat.
Jungkook reached over him grabbing a couple of throw pillows from the side and placing them against the door.
"Lie down. There's plenty of room, you can stretch your legs out. " He said carefully.
Tae stayed frozen.
"Because I had no idea where you were."
He gently pushed him by the shoulder prompting him to lie down. Taehyung curled up against the expensive leather seats, feeling his gut churn.
"You weren't picking my calls and I didn't want to go up to her and tell her I lost her son." he muttered." I waited for you in my car."
"In the parking lot?" Taehyung whispered, voice small and shaky.
"I figured youd turn up eventually and we could go in together. But then after it turned eight, I told her we were having a wine dinner and couldn't drive so we would stay out at a hotel."
Taehyung closed his eyes, relief flooding his senses.
"Thank you." he breathed shakily, " I'm so sorry..."
"Its fine Taehyung. You were with a friend so thats fine. But maybe next time you could use his phone and just text me . Just so I know you're alright."
"There won't be a next time!" Taehyung said rushedly. "I promise. I swear it. I'll never do something like this again. I swear and I promise and I will never.." Taehyung frowned," What was I promising again?"
Something that sounded suspiciously like a laugh made Taehyung blink.
He turned around, still a little groggy, trying to listen for it again, but Jungkook cleared his throat. A second later the car came to life under his touch and Taehyung groaned a little, settling into the seat again.
He gripped the edge of the seat to keep himself from rolling off into the footwell, hating himself for the terrible choices he’d made.
“Do you want some fresh air?” Jungkook’s voice made him blink again.
“Sit up, if lying down is uncomfortable. I’ll crack open the window and you’ll feel a bit better.” The alpha said briskly. Taehyung considered it and nodded, levering himself up with some difficulty.
He blinked as the window slid down, crisp cool air blowing into his face right after. He blinked against the breeze, immediately feeling better.
“There’s a bottle of water in the side. Finish it.” Jungkook turned down an alleyway
and past a few sidelanes before merging into Seoul’s late night traffic on the freeway. Where were they going?
Taehyung fumbled around for a few seconds before finally finding the bottle. He uncapped it before wrapping his lips around the mouth of it,
gulping it all down very quickly. He gripped the bottle, eyes shut against the night wind, the chill of it sobering him up slowly.
Jungkook stayed quiet for the rest of the ride, and by the time they reached the hotel ,
an expensive, high rise affair right on the banks of the Han, Taehyung was wide awake and filled with regrets and trepidation.
He briefly considered just acting drunk again but when Jungkook came around to open the door, looking completely exhausted and tired,
all he could feel was a crushing guilt.
“I’m sorry.” He said again when the alpha held a hand out. “ My phone turned off and –“
Jungkook crouched down, leaning into him till their faces were just inches apart, and when the alpha’s hand moved to lightly touch his hip,
Taehyung realized he was trying to lift him up again. He quickly held both hands up, gripping the alpha’s broad shoulders. Jungkook’s gaze shifted to his and Taehyung swallowed.
He stared for a few seconds, because he’d never seen Jungkook this close. He looked so ethereal, here in the golden glow from the streetlights with the wind playing around with his dark hair.
“I can walk.” He said softly.
Taehyung watched as Jungkook pulled his hand away, resting it on his knee for a second and the omega flinched, reaching out and gripping Jungkook’s wrist hard.
“What is this?” He asked, horrified, eyeing the rough abrasions on the fist.
There was bruising all over the knuckles, little pin pricks of purple under the translucent skin, where Jungkook had clearly bled, as if he had punched some-
Taehyung stared up at him in disbelief.
“Did you punch him?!”
Jungkook hesitated, before pulling back and away, stepping out of the way and holding the car door open for him. Taehyung took a few deep breaths to gather his senses before slowly getting out of the car.
He gripped the roof of the car and when Jungkook made to close the door he grabbed his arm again.
“Why?” He demanded. “ Why would you punch him?”
Jungkook stared back at him before turning away.
“Get your bag.” Jungkook said softly, tugging his arm away.
Taehyung watched as he moved to the back of the car, getting his bag out of the boot. He swallowed, wanting to know more.
“Nothing happened.” He said urgently. “ It was just a few pictures and-“
“Taehyung.” Jungkook said softly. “ Can we go in?” He pointed at the Hotel.
Taehyung bit his lips.
"You didn't have to -"
“ I paid a lot of money for the room. I asked them to keep a set of clothes ready for us. I spent six hours sitting in a car not knowing where you were. Debating whether I should call the fucking cops or not. I’m exhausted.
And while I understand that you want to call me a bastard for punching a guy who deserved it, I’m too tired to fight. Let’s just get this night over with. Please. I’m begging you. Please let's just go in. ”
The room was a large suite, with a living space and a larger bedroom inside. Taehyung saw the complimentary wine, the fresh flowers and the soft lighting, feeling tacky and out of place in front of such grandeur.
Large glass walls opened out into a balcony and then an infinity pool beyond . Far off the Seoul skyline lit up like a jewel encrusted necklace draped over a starry black sky.
Taehyung watched as Jungkook made a beeline for the bedroom,
returning a minute later with two large shopping bags with a popular brand written on it.
“Here. I think these should fit you.” He held the bag out and Taehyung hesitated before making his way over and taking the bags.
He peered in, seeing a brand new set of sleepwear, a small bag full of toiletries as well. He glanced up at Jungkook intrigued.
“They bought all this?”
“I called in a favor. I did the marketing campaign for this particular chain of Hotels.” Jungkook said with a shrug.
“ I’ll take the bathroom over here. You can use the en suite.”
The shower did wonders for Taehyung's tired body and by the time Taehyung came out, hair damp and wearing what had to be the softest clothes on the planet, he felt very relaxed and sated.
He found Jungkook out in the balcony, wearing a matching set of PJs and stopped for a second just to watch the alpha.
Jungkook had his camera out, focused on the breathtaking view, occasionally taking pictures before pausing to stare at the landscape.
He wasn’t sure if he should go bother him, hovering by the door uncertainly. He finally decided just to go to bed, but the moment he turned around Jungkook’s voice broke the stillness of the night.
“Do you want to see the pictures Hyunsik took of you?”
The omega wasn’t sure if it was some kind of a trick question. Was Jungkook angry? Being sarcastic? Was he trying to pick a fight? Hyungsik had given him his number and had taken his mail id as well. He had promised to send the pictures to him once he was done editing them.
“Why…” He swallowed, “ do you have them?”
Jungkook turned around then, catching his eye through the glass doors. He leaned over a side table grabbing a large brown envelope and waving it at him.
“Figured, I’d save you the trouble of meeting that bastard again.” Jungkook shrugged. “ Here.”
He held the envelope out.
Taehyung hesitated before slowly picking his way out to the balcony. It was cold out there and he shivered a bit as he made his way over to the alpha.
Jungkook didn’t say anything as he handed the pictures over to him and Taehyung felt awkward, holding the envelope and just staring at him.
“Thank you.” He said stiltedly and Jungkook didn’t respond, merely nodding at the envelope.
“Don’t thank me. First see if you like them.”
Taehyung stared down at the envelop and then back up at his husband. He frowned, confused.
“Now?” He swallowed. “ With you?”
“Does that make you uncomfortable?” Jungkook tilted his head, “ are they photographs other can’t see?”
“What?” He blinked. “ Of course not , what are you-“
“Relax.” Jungkook smiled a little. “ I was the one who printed them out for you. I saw them already.”
Taehyung felt an odd sense of foreboding as he stared down at the envelope.
"Can I just check them out later." He said meekly, his nerves frayed already and Jungkook rolled his eyes before reaching out and snatching the envelope back.
"Just look at them, Taehyung."
He pulled out the prints and handed them over to him.
Taehyung flinched but took them nonetheless.
The first shot was him sitting on the stool turned sideways, looking away from the camera.
It was nice.
Jungkook moved to stand behind him.
"The angle is off." he said
casually, hand comming over his arms to point at his face. " See here? The lights casts a shadow on your jawline. It doesn't set it off. " Taehyung jumped when Jungkook's forefinger moved to touch his actual jaw, running down the length of it gently. "You have a lovely
bone structure." he muttered, lips right by the side of his face. " If he had shifted the camera just a bit to the right, the photo would have been breathtaking. But he's an idiot , too busy trying to piss me off to realize what a photogenic person you are. So he fucked up."
Taehyung blinked rapidly, face burning from where Jungkook had just caressed him, and heart racing from what he had just said. Photogenic? Lovely bone structure?
Was this another god forsaken dream?
Before he could scream, Jungkook reached over and took the next print out.
This was Taehyung laughing, head thrown back, eyes scrunched shut. He remembered exactly why he had been laughing. Hyunsik had been talking about his niece who liked stealing shampoo from the bathroom and pouring it over her mother whenever she was sleeping.
He looked happy.
Jungkook was quiet behind him. He cleared his throat, sneaking a glance at the alpha who was staring at the photo with an unreadable look on his face.
"Its nice. " Taehyung said hesitantly and Jungkook cleared his throat.
"Your face does all the work. " he grunted.
Taehyung moved to take the next print out and froze.
It was a close up of his face, just his lips and his nose, fingers resting on his lower lip, tugging the fold gently. He felt his mouth go dry a bit, because this looked sensual. Sexy.
And he certainly hadn't posed for it.
No Hyunsik had likely taken this while he was talking casually. It was a habit he had , playing with his lips sometimes while talking.
The photo looked just on the border of obscene and Taehyung felt mildly ill.
" He put that up in his office.And that's why I punched him."
Taehyung slid the photo back in and turned, but Jungkook took a few steps back.
"I have a friend." he said stiltedly. " His name is Yugyeom. He won the best editorial photographer of the year award , last year. Pick out a theme and an outfit. He'll make sure to do a great job."
"I'm going to go sleep now. I have a photoshoot out of town tomorrow. I won't be back for a few days. I need to leave early."
"In about three hours actually." Jungkook sighed.
Taehyung stared in disbelief.
"Not everyone is trustworthy."
Taehyung stared down at his feet.
"Hyunsik was involved in a lot of stalking cases a few years ago. I didn't want him in my department but his uncle owns shares in the company. He wanted my job but now he works for me technically. You can see why he hates me. So, Block him. "
" And if you get drunk again tell your drinking buddy to drop you off instead of putting you in a cab all by yourself. Not everyone can be trusted." Jungkook said sharply.
Taehyung bit his lips.
The alpha went back in quietly.
Tae stared after him before turning back to the envelope in his hand. Sniffling just a little, he took the envelope, making his way over to the small trash can in the corner of the balcony. He dropped it in , closing the lid shut.
What a beautiful night, he thought miserably.
=====End of Chapter 3 =====
( Authors Note: So the fic is at 22k.words. I won't be updating this till I am perfectly happy with what I have planned so don't ask me when. Please be patient and let me go at my own pace. You can support me on Kofi of you enjoy my work)ko-fi.com/shynloveswriti…
As an alpha, Jungkook on most nights craved intimacy on a raw and primal level. He wasn't built, biologically to be celibate. But despite being an alpha with a high libido, Jungkook had only ever been with one person. He had for years craved intimacy only with
Yoongi, a gentle kind of intimacy. It was genuine, a love driven need. He loved Yoongi, deeply and wholly, so he had wanted to make love to him. To hold him close, whisper endearments against his skin, make him feel loved and cherished and protected. He had wanted him in the way
An alpha would want a mate. Honest and honorable in a way, with the best of intentions. That was the kind of attraction he was used to. That was the kind of attraction he was comfortable with.
But about six months into his marriage, Jungkook had become aware of another,
kind of attraction, one that he felt for his unwanted husband. Taehyung was, there was no denying it really, very beautiful. And Jungkook as a photographer, was a connoisseur of beauty. He chased it, captured it for a living. How could he possibly pretend that he wasn't attracted
To the damned omega.
He couldn't and there were nights when no matter how much he touched himself, thinking of the man in his heart, he ended up reaching his pleasure while thinking of the man in the room next door. On those nights he was riddled with guilt and self loathing.
Because no matter how much he wanted to blame Taehyung for this, he knew it wasn't the Omega's fault in any way or form. It was Jungkooks wretched body that refused to understand that he was off limits.
The one omega in the world he would never bring himself to touch willingly.
Jungkook stared at the envelope in front of him, feeling, for lack of a better word, guilty and confused. He wasn't sure why he had behaved the way he had, with Hyunsik and later with Tae as well. The feeling of guilt returned when he remembered how Taehyung had looked,
When he had mentioned that not everyone was trustworthy. He had made the comment at face value, referring to Hyunsik, but when he thought of the hurt on Taehyung's face, he couldn't help but wonder if the omega had thought he was talking about someone else.
Perhaps Tae himself.
Jungkook opened the envelope tugging the photo out. It was the close up shot of Taehyung's lips and fingers. He remembered how mad he had gotten at the sight of it, how he hadn't quite waited for an excuse or an explanation, stalking over and punching Hyunsik in the face .
The look of stunned surprise on everyone's faces, the hushed whispers and the wide eyes. The disbelief hanging heavy in the air at the sight of him nursing his own fist while Hyunsik lay on the floor, clutching his jaw in pain.
He had never punched anyone in his life.
He remembered a very vivid argument with Yoongi once, when they were dating. There had been a party, and Yoongi had insisted they attend, although both of them weren't fond of social gatherings. Yoongi had to keep the connections he insisted and so they had gone.
Someone had hit on Yoongi and the omega had curled up against Jungkooks side, throwing vicious glares at the other alpha. Jungkook had told the guy to read the room and respect people's boundaries and had turned away. That had been that.
Later that night, Yoongi had been angry.
"Why didn't you punch him? " He had demanded, pushing him by the shoulders and Jungkook had just stood there, at a loss for words. He could see that Yoongi was upset, but he couldn't for the life of him, understand why.
Because the answer to that question was simple.
Jungkook hadn't punched him because he hadn't wanted to. At no point had his blood turned hot with anger, his breath turning into fire in his lungs, burning with the need to scorch the guy into ashes. His fists hadn't clenched in fury, and his feet hadn't moved against his will.
" You're not worth the trouble you come wrapped in, Kim Taehyung. " He muttered, running a forefinger over the curve of the jaw. He remembered how smooth Taehyung's skin had felt against his fingertips earlier. He was so thin, he thought, carrying him had been like carrying wool.
His head hurt.
The clock on the mantle read seven thirty. Taehyung was in the other room, sound asleep. Jungkook had changed back into his shirt and trousers, and had come out to the balcony for some fresh air before leaving. He had seen the envelope in the trash.
A sharp pang of guilt had lanced his heart at that. Fuck, he hadn't meant for the omega to throw all the pictures away. They weren't bad.
Of course he could do so much better, but they weren't bad. And he certainly didn't want to deliberately ruin something Taehyung wanted.
He carefully placed the photographs back in his briefcase . Because if he left them in the garbage bag someone else would find them and it would be awkward. Yes, that's why he was doing this.
He sighed before stepping out of his bedroom, closing the door carefully without noise.
His feet paused in front of the door leading to Taehyung's room. He leaned in, listening for any sound but only the gentle hum of the air conditioner greeted him. The omega was deep asleep, likely exhaust and maybe even a little hungover. His eyes fell on the bottle of water, by
the table and he licked his lips, fingers trembling a bit. He felt jittery and nervous willing himself to keep walking but he couldn't.
His mother, he told himself firmly. His mother would be upset if Taehyung came home with a hangover and then all the lying would got to waste.
He couldn't let that happen now, could he? Jungkook moved to grab the bottle of water, uncapping it slowly before grabbing the phone on the table.
"Get me some hangover medicine. I'm at the Royal Suite. " He said briskly before hanging up.
He moved to the door, pushing it open.
At first the bed looked empty, the omega curled into a ball in a corner under the thick coverlet and quilt . He felt his nostrils flare at the scent, the sweet comfort of it momentarily bowling him over in its intensity. He took a few deep calming breaths before reaching the bed.
When he pulled the coverlet back, just enough to reveal Taehyung's face, his body jolted in surprise.
Taehyung lay on his side, hands drawn up to his face, fore and middle finger resting on his plush lower lip, mouth gently parted enough to show the white of his teeth.
The pose was so eerily reminiscent of that damned photograph that he couldn't help but stare, eyes taking in the soft downy brown hair, falling into his eyes. There was a scattering of moles, on his eyes the curve of his lips, over his brows . He hadn't seen those before.
They hadn't been there in the photograph. Another spark of irrational anger shot through him. Hyunsik had no bloody right to edit out those moles. He had no fucking right to-
He startled, recoiling in shock as Taehyung's wide brown eyes blinked up at him.
The omega had woken up.
And then his eyes fell on his hand, resting gently on the mole right by Taehyung's lips. He had been tracing the beauty spots with his fingers, without even realizing it. His touch had woken Taehyung up out of his sleep.
He pulled his hand away.
( a/n : this tweet will be deleted. I'm stopping here today because there's a lot of drama heading your way and i need to make it more angsty
I'll be back tomorrow at the same time)
Taehyung felt a bit like he was underwater, blinking back the cobwebs of sleep as they clung to his vision, hands furling and unfurling under the sheets as he tried to get his bearings. There had been a vague sort of dream.
A monarch butterfly, large and majestic, fluttering around him as he stood in a lush, flowered meadow, the beautiful thing moving close to his face, resting every once in a while, first on his eyes, then on the curve of his lips and then over his brows.
The touch of the featherlight wings against his lips felt so real, his body responded to it. The soft gentle touch against the plush folds rousing him out of his sleep and when he blinked awake, the last thing he expected was to see Jungkook,
hovering over him , hands lingering over his face. He stared, confused, mouth dry and tasting awful from the alcohol the previous night. His limbs ached and there was a very heavy air of exhaustion on his muscles. He was so tired. What time was it?
“Jungkook?” He croaked out and the gentle finger against his face drew away. He turned his head slightly, looking askance at the alpha who was staring at him like he had seen a ghost.
“ I… You… You were talking in your sleep.” Jungkook said quietly and Taehyung frowned.
Really? He had never done that before in his life.
“I was?” He shook his head, groaning a little when the movement sent sharp shards of pain shooting up his skull. “what did I say?”
Jungkook looked away , scratching the back of his head.
“I don’t know but it sounded like you were calling for me. I was on my way out, actually. I heard you and just wanted to make sure you were okay.”
Great. Now he was bothering Jungkook even while asleep. Taehyung felt a chill run up his skin.
He groaned, rubbing his palm over his face and shifting away from the alpha’s side, a dull sense of guilt pervading his insides when he remembered the events of the previous night.
He had made things so difficult for Jungkook with his irresponsible actions, a pattern in their entire relationships. Would there ever be a day when Kim Taehyung did not cause pain in some form to the people he cared about?
He wanted to crawl back into the bed and never emerge back.
“You don’t hold your liquor well, do you?” Jungkook asked slowly. “ I remember you got sick on the night of our engagement as well.”
There had been an unspoken rule between them, where they didn’t talk about the past or anything that happened then. He was sure of it, because he had stuck to it quite faithfully. Their engagement? That had been … quite a while ago and well, Taehyung didn’t remember much of it.
Except Jungkook was right. He had been forced to ‘ celebrate ‘ by drinking with a lot of people and had ended up sick for a few days. How did Jungkook know?
He wasn’t sure he wanted to know.
So he shrugged, passing over the remark about their engagement.
“I don’t enjoy alcohol and maybe that’s why I never built a tolerance for it. I like tea. Chamomile tea. When I was around twelve I spent a few months in Japan with my father’s family and they taught me about the art of brewing tea. ”
Taehyung stopped talking abruptly, mind finally sobering up enough to remind him who he was talking to. Jungkook who possibly wanted to leave as soon as possible. And here Taehyung was revealing secret details about himself to a man who loathed him completely.
Why did he say that, anyway? That was an intimate part of him, a detail not many people knew, except for the ones he loved dearly. Jungkook wasn't the kind of person he should be sharing parts of himself with.The alpha couldn't be trusted with those precious aspects of his being.
He looked away, hands fumbling for his phone. He had to call in sick today as well, he thought miserably. His work was always a welcome distraction. Anytime he didn't go in, which wasn't often, he felt empty and miserable. And today would be spent with his mother. Oh, God.
"I'm going to Jeju Do. For two weeks. " Jungkook said suddenly and he paused in the middle of grabbing his phone from under his pillow.
"What? " He frowned, confused why Jungkook was telling him this. He had already told him he was going away. What did it matter where?
"In case your mother asks. " Jungkook said stilted, and Taehyung nodded, glum. Right. His mother. The only one he could call his family. His mother who was dying and so deserved happiness although she had done nothing to earn it. Because she was dying, Taehyung would lie for her.
He remembered how it had felt the previous day, watching Jungkook and Yoongi talking. There was an intimacy there even though they were just talking. An air of two people who knew and cared for each other. It wasn't something you could fake. Why was he trying to?
His mother had never truly.... Been there for him. He remembered how vindictive and happy she had looked when rumors had begun about Jungkook and Taehyung. He remembered how she had preened at the thought of landing a rich, handsome son in law. She hadn't cared about him.
But here he was lying on the cold sheets of some hotel room, head pounding and body aching, feeling apologetic just for existing.
It didn't seem fair.
"Let's just tell her the truth. " He said softly, before looking up at the alpha. " Let's tell her the truth about us. "
"I... What? " Jungkook was staring at jim like he had grown an extra head. Taehyung shook his head, tugging the covers up to his chin. He stared at the alpha, holding his gaze.
"Her and everyone else. Let's just tell them the truth and end this godawful farce of a marriage. "
"No." Jungkook said shakily. " We're not doing that. "
Taehyung scoffed, looking away.
"Right... I don't know why I thought for even a second that you would care at all about what I feel or want. " He whispered, burying his face in his arms.
"We have a deal, Taehyung."
"You agreed to this. Your mother is-"
"You do realize she's the reason you're stuck with me. " He said sharply. " Don't you remember how she screamed at your parents to take responsibility, all those years ago? You should be glad she's dying. " He spat out, eyes burning.
"It's not just about you. " Jungkook yelled. " Great, you hate your mother. Good for you. Did you forget I have parents too? And unlike you, I care about them. I will not hurt them anymore than I already have. I'm not going to walk up to them and tell them I'm getting a divorce."
"You will have to eventually. " He pointes out. " Six months remember. This ends in six months. "
Jungkook crossed his arms, staring at him.
"And I will. Slowly. I won't dump it on them with no warning. I don't want them to know I was unhappy. They will
Blame themselves and I cannot allow that to happen. You're not the only one in this godawful farce of a marriage, Taehyung. But you are the fucking reason for it. Your mother isn't to blame. You are! "
Taehyung screwed his eyes shut.
Back on square one, he thought shakily.
After a few seconds of silence, Jungkook exhaled sharply. Taehyung stayed quiet, his eyes aching from the effort of keeping his tears at bay.
"You're tired. You need to rest. Get ready.. Let's go home. " He said quietly.
"You do not have monopoly on unhappiness, Jungkook."
"I was unhappy as well. So much so I don't even remember what happiness feels like. I wouldn't even be able to recognise it if I felt it someday. Happiness has become a myth in my heart, ever since I tied myself to you. And you're right. It's my own fucking fault. "
"You're right. We're both unhappy. We're both miserable. We both want out. But do you think we'll get it if we just step of this fucking hotel and tell them we were lying for years? You think they'll believe us. And your mother... Are you strong enough to break her heart? "
Taehyung stayed quiet, the words hitting hard.
"She's your mother. And when you have a mother you care about them. Whether we want to or not. Whether they deserve it or not. Isn't that how is goes here in Korea, Taehyung? If we walk out of our marriage they will never forgive
You or me. Are you strong enough to live with it? Because I am not." He shook his head. " You want to tell her? Do it yourself. I want no part of it. "
"You think I won't? " He screamed, loud and ringing. " I can do it. I'm so fucking done with this! With you! "
"Then do it."
" Fine. I will. "
Taehyung threw the covers off, climbing off the bed and moving to the en suite.
He would do it. Why wouldn't he? There was absolutely nothing stopping him from telling his mother that he didn't love Jungkook.
That he didn't care about him.
Because that was the truth. The version of Jungkook he was in love with, didn't exist when it came to him. He would never get to see the sweet, gentle alpha, who had a kind smile for everyone. Who would rescue puppies and raise them behind the school buildings, who would help
Janitors clean up after hours, who would skip lunch to tutor friends who were falling behind. Taehyung had fallen in love with someone kind and thoughtful but circumstances had tainted his relationship with Jungkook before it could even form. If the foundation was rotten,
there was no point spending years building upon it. Nothing good would come out of it. And it was time he realized that. It was time he understood that there was no future here.
He had to end this.
For his own sake as much as Jungkooks. Because it must be hard,
For Jungkook as well. hating someone was hard work wasn't it? Someone like Jungkook wouldn't have enjoyed it. The alpha had probably never hated anyone else .How odd that he felt apologetic even for that? When had he become this pathetic?
And why had he done this to himself?
Perhaps it was the alcohol and the evening with Seokjin, he thought despondently, dressing himself up quickly. When he stepped out of the shower his room was empty, and there was a fresh pair of clothes on his bed and a strip of tablets he recognized as the one people used for
a hangover. Disoriented , he dry swallowed one of the pills before moving to the mirror.
He felt a bit like he was stuck in limbo, his mind and heart warring terribly. His mother was dying.
He would have to be a very cruel man to break her heart in the last days of her life here on earth. But he couldn’t trust himself to live through this charade for another six months. This would be better, right? She was a grown woman.
Why must he bear her share of emotional distress just to protect her when she had done nothing of the sort for him?
Taehyung slipped into his clothes and stepped out when he felt he looked presentable enough. Jungkook was sitting on the couch,
elbows resting on his knees and head buried in his hands, fingers lightly gripping his hair. He looked up at the sound of him closing the door and Taehyung bit his lips when the alpha stood up, eyes more neutral and less antagonistic than before.
“I think,” Jungkook said carefully, these aren’t decisions we should make when we’re high on emotions. I provoked you, and I feel like I shouldn’t have. We decided on waiting for a reason Taehyung. I promise you that at the end of six months, we can walk away from each other.
Impulsive decisions only end in misery for everyone. Let’s think this through. Please.”
Taehyung bit his lips.
“What is there to think?” He said tiredly, “ My mother should know the truth at least before she leaves this world.
And as for your parents, you can tell them I left you. That I cheated on you. Or whatever else you want to say about me. I won’t refute it.”
Jungkook exhaled, before moving closer. Taehyung flinched when the alpha reached for his arm and
Jungkook paused, before pulling back from him again.
“Why do you think I would say such things to two people who love and care for you very much?” He asked quietly. “ That’s not the kind of person I am. But well, if you really want to do it, I suppose I can’t really stop you.”
“No, you can’t.”
“Then let’s go.” Jungkook moved to the side, holding an arm out , gesturing him to leave,” After you.”
The moment Taehyung walked past him, Jungkook reached out and gently gripped his elbow.
"Tell her you fell out of love. It would be more believable."
Taehyung laughed shakily, " Believable? In what world, Jungkook? And just so you know, she told me she thinks you're halfway to falling out of love with me. She told me I should try harder because your face gives away your feelings. You think people assume we're in love,
but the ones who truly know us, can see right through the charade. I have always looked at you the way I do now. You don't have to act like you don't know about my feelings for you. " He tugged on his arm, but Jungkooks grip tightened.
"The way you look at me has changed."
Taehyung stiffened, pulse kicking inside his chest, his heart squeezing tight as it trembled inside his ribs. It Was funny how his ribs were meant to protect his heart, but they were useless in front of Jeon Jungkooks razor sharp tongue. Everyday he felt more blows befall it.
"How do you know, Jungkook? Have you finally started looking at me? " He smiled bitterly. "If it bothers you that I don't look at you the way I used to, just stop looking at me. " He tugged his hand away. " It shouldn't be hard going back to ignoring me. You're good at that. "
Jungkook swore, hand moving up from his elbow to the flesh of his upper arm, tugging hima round when he tried to leave.
"Why must you twist everything I say, Taehyung? "
"I'm not the one doing the twisting here. It's you. You're twisting a dagger into my fucking heart! "
"Okay." Jungkook said quietly, dropping his hand away and stepping back. " Okay, Taehyung. Do whatever you want. I'm done. " He shook his head. " You're not my responsibility anyway. You can do whatever you want." He turned away.
Taehyung stood outside the door to their apartment, taking deep breaths. Jungkook stood just a few feet behind him, completely silent. They hadn't exchanged a single word on the drive over and Taehyung felt like he was on the edge of a precipice, with no idea how deep the chasm
was. But he had never been more ready to jump. He was going to do it. He was going to tell the truth. This was it. Enough was enough. He had suffered enough. There was no penance when the sin was unforgivable. He had to do this.
He rang the door bell, holding his breath.
The sound of footsteps on the other side made him breath in deep and Taehyung took a deep breath. He closed his eyes shut for a second only opening them when the door swung open.
Taehyung froze. Because that wasn't him. It was Jungkook.
"Tae." Mrs Jeon smiled.
Authors note : I'm sorry.
When Taehyung first met Jungkooks parents he had a very strong feeling of cognitive dissonance inside his head.
All of his beliefs and past experiences when it came to how parents are, clashed very solidly with what he was seeing first hand. He couldn't come to terms with it.
The Jeons were for lack of a better word, ridiculously kind.They seemed to be caricatures of perfect parenting and he felt like he was floating in a pool of disbelief, watching them with Jungkook. They listened to the alpha, actually listened with the intent of understanding him.
He found it fascinating. Did parents like this exist? What was the catch here? There had to be a catch, right?
They didn't hate him.
That was a surprise in and of itself. Taehyungs mother hadn't been polite let alone kind, talking to them.
But they still smiled at him.
Jungkooks dad shook his hand and patted his back. Jungkooks mother pulled him into a warm hug. They accepted him without a single ounce of hesitation, staying quiet and agreeing to everything his mother said.
But they had looked at their son with a lot of sadness.
Taehyung supposed they had always hoped it would be Yoongi who would marry Jungkook. Yoongi who would make their apn happy. Perhaps in Taehyung's eyes they saw a lifetime of misery for their only son. That would make any parent sad, wouldn't it?
But he was grateful.
His mother in law and father in law had never made him feel unwanted. They had always been there, open and friendly and accepting without expectations. It was something he wasn't used to: receiving affection without having to pay for it in some way. All love was conditional.
Taehyung himself hadn't had a very nice relationship with his mother. But it was only separation from her that had made him realise it. Out of the circle of her influence, he found a peace that hadn't been in his life before. A sort of weight lifting off his shoulders.
It was funny but Jungkooks disdain for him was a lot easier to bear, than the constant anxiety and worry that he had felt, growing up with his parents. There were times when only the reminder of what he had left, had kept him tethered to the marriage and to the alpha.
The feeling of being indebted to her in some way, simply because she had raised him, the feeling of owing her happiness, of being the cause of her unhappiness, it had all been so suffocating. And it was hard, because she had made it seem so normal, this environment where he felt
Like any small thing he wanted for himself, anything he desired for himself, could only be pursued if it fell in line with what she wanted for him. His desires couldn't exist if they didn't align with hers.
And it was a very twisted thing indeed, because a relationship with Jungkook had been the one thing that they had both agreed upon as something Taehyung could possibly want and pursue.
For the first time, his mother had approved of something he had wanted.
And it was Jungkook.
But it was clear that Jungkook hadn't grown up in a home like that. The relationship between Jungkook and his parents was one of understanding and respect, with healthy boundaries and open lines of communication. Jungkooks parents didn't make snide remarks or talk in riddles.
Taehyung, over the years had formed an attachment to them, not because he wanted to, but because they made it impossible not to.
When he saw the look of warm welcome on Mrs Jeons face, he felt his heart take a steep dive. Because there on the fine wrinkles of her smile,
He found all the reasons why Jungkook didn't want his parents to find out this way. The soft kindness in her gaze and the cool soothing affection in her tone was enough to douse that fire inside him, the one that had fueled this need to end things with Jungkook right away.
"Are you alright? You look like you've lost weight, baby... " Mrs Jeon reached out to him, hands gently curling around his own, squeezing a little. The worry in her voice made his tongue run dry and he could only bow, his voice refusing to come out. His thoughts were a mess.
She stepped back in, taking him with her, but not before peering over her shoulders at her son. Jungkook stepped closer and Taehyung flinched when the alphas arm came around his waist lightly, almost naturally.
"We didn't know you were visiting mom. Sorry we were out last night"
Mrs Jeon smiled a little at that , watching as they took off their shoes.
"Taehyungs mother called us. She asked us over for lunch and mentioned that you were leaving on a work trip. For two whole weeks. " She hesitated, " Are you taking Tae along? You better, Jungkook. "
Taehyung felt the blood turn into icicles inside his chest. Blood draining from his face, he quickly shook his head, pulling away from Jungkook and stepping further into the hallway.
"Oh no. I can't... My work... It makes it difficult.. For me to... Take a lot of holidays. "
"Nonsense." His mother's voice came from the hallway, and he closed his eyes in frustration. " Mrs. Jeon, you must explain to this child that some things are more important than his job. Like spending time with your alpha. Isn't that so, Jungkook ah? You want him there right? "
Mrs Jeon didn't say anything merely reaching out and gently brushing the hair off his face.
"Taehyung isn't a child, Mrs Kim. " She said softly, fingers threading through his hair and putting the strands in place. It was a careful motherly gesture, one that made a
lump form in his throat, " Taehyung is a young man. A beautiful, successful young man with a career doing something he loves. And if he says that he can't afford it, we should respect his wishes. " She pulled away to cup his face, " how have you been, sweetheart? "
Taehyung on the verge of tears, could only nod, biting his lips so he wouldn't cry. The ache in his heart intensified. Her sweet words and gentle kindness were things that he ached and longed for all his life. And he only got them because he was married to Jungkook.
He imagined telling her he wanted to leave her son. That he wanted to end the marriage that had brought all of them together. Imagined the hurt that would flash through her eyes, the way she would be so confused, wondering if it was her fault in some way. How could he do that?
Her fingers against his cheekbones felt warm and so soft. He covered her small hand with his own, dredging up every single ounce of his energy to force his lips into a smile.
"I'm well, mother. " He whispered, voice low and almost breaking apart. " Have you been well? "
She laughed lightly, shaking her head before linking her arms with his. She turned to Jungkook and smiled. " Your father is in the roof deck outside. He said he wanted to talk to you about something. Go find him. I'll catch up with Taehyung. "
Jungkook hesitated before
stepping closer to her and wrapping his arms around her.
"Oh! " She looked startled, but hugged him back nonetheless. " This is new. " She laughed. " You've changed him a lot Tae.. He would never hug me before. "
Jungkook pulled back to look at him, his eyes sad but resigned.
"Do what you need to do, Tae. " He said quietly, before looking at his feet. " I'm sure every thing will be just fine. "
The alphas words made him feel even worse. How could he possibly do what he needed to do? Especially like this?
He looked away, head aching.
Jungkook gave him one last look before nodding and walking away to the wide bay windows that opened out into the deck on the roof.
Mrs Jeon tugged him closer.
"Your mother is making prawns and pork belly and I need help preparing the strawberries for dessert. Will you help? "
Jungkook smiled, but it was more mechanical than anything else. His mind was only on Taehyung Would the omega tell his mother that they wanted a divorce? What would he do then? How could he possibly explain things without hurting them?
"You alright, son? "
Jungkook dragged himself to the present, playing with the ring around his finger, nervous.
"Yeah, dad.. Something you wanted to talk about? " He managed a weak smile. His father watched him carefully.
"How are you doing, Jungkook ah? You and Taehyung? Are things okay? "
Jungkook went still . Of all the things be was expecting, this wasn't it. He licked his lips, before running a hand through his hair, scratching the back if his head.
"Uh... Yeah, dad why? "
His father sighed.
"Jungkook ah... You know I don't like talking about these things,
But your mother, " He shook his head, " She worries a lot. And you know. How she gets when she worries. " He sighed, " She talks about it all the time at home but when I tell her we can talk to you and Taehyung she immediately refuses. She thinks you will hate us for it. "
Jungkook held his breath, he had an idea what was coming and he felt like he was going to throw up because of it.
"Jungkook ah have you guys thought about building family? " He said quietly.
the silence that followed was so loud that Jungkooks ears rang.
"Dad - " He began shakily and Mr Jeon stepped closer, gently gripping his shoulders.
" It's just a question. You can say yes or no. You don't have to give me a reason for either of those. I never wanted to ask you this. It's your choice of course.. You and him.. we have no say."
" But it's just that... It's been a while hasn't it. And I know you must still be mourning what happened before... it's a loss that you can't easily forget. But I also remember you were... Ready to be a father back then. You told me.. You would protect the pup.. "
A pup that was never there, Jungkook thought bitterly. He swallowed the words that threatened to bubble up. The urge to come clean and tell them what had happened. But he couldn't. He couldn't just tell them that, not when they believed the best about Taehyung.
"And you know... We're old too. Your mother she was telling me that perhaps you've been trying but ut isn't working out. I just wanted to tell you, if there's any support you need from us, we're here for you. I know you want pups son. I also know Taehyung does too.. So if you-"
"Dad, we're not okay. " Jungkook said shortly, his voice soft but firm. " We're not... Things aren't good between us. "
Mr Jeon went completely still.
"What? " He frowned. " Between you and Taehyung? What do you mean by not good?"
Jungkook took a deep breath.
"We're considering getting a divorce. "
(Authors note : I need to take care of the baby again
I'll be back in a few hours)
Please quote with your thoughts.. I feel like I was exceptionally evil with this...and there's more coming your way....
Jungkook’s father didn’t respond right away. In fact, he didn’t react at all, gaze steady and his expression even. Jungkook felt like he had stepped right off the edge of a cliff, the ground dissolving into ashes under his feet,
his heart squeezing tight because he didn’t want to do this. He never wanted to do this. But this was what Taehyung wanted. And Jungkook didn’t want them to hear it from Taehyung.
If someone was going to break his parents’ heart, it had better be him.
He took another deep breath before finally turning to look at the man he had modeled his life after, the man he held in the highest of esteem , the one he had always relied on.
Jungkook’s father was the one who had taught him how to walk, how to ride his bike, how to value people, to treat them with kindness even when they didn’t deserve it.
And Jungkook knew, deep down, that there was nothing his father detested more, than people who ran away from their problems.
He wondered if perhaps, this one statement of his, would make his father question decades of parenting.
Was he wondering right now, where he had gone wrong? Was he perhaps trying to understand, why the boy he had raised with such meticulous care and concern and so much love, would choose to break his heart so?
He bit his lips, and exhaled.
“Aren’t you going to say anything, dad?” He asked, voice shaking so much he could barely recognize it himself.
“I’m waiting for you to continue.” His father said evenly. “ I know you, Jungkook-ah." he said gently, " I know how I raised you, and i know how much you believe in
giving people second chances. You forgive and pretend things are okay, even when they're not. So , If you're bringing up something as…. serious as a divorce, then there must be something very distressing going on. What happened? Did …. Did one of you stray in some way?”
Jungkook hesitated, because for one second that seemed like a perfect out. Except he couldn’t do that to himself or to Taehyung. It just felt wrong. There really was no way to sugar coat this , he thought miserably.
He would have to fabricate a few untruths but he would have to make sure to base them on a foundation of truth. That way the whole structure wouldn’t come crashing down on them.
He didn't want to spin elaborate tales and make things worse. It would be like ripping a bandaid off. Fast but effective in the long term.
And there was only one, irrefutable truth.
“We’re not…. In love with each other.” He stopped, before swallowing, “ anymore.”
His father showed the first sign of emotion them, his lips curving into a small frown, eyes going just a bit dimmer. He looked troubled, deeply so and Jungkook flinched when the older man reached out, gently cupping his shoulder.
“Let’s sit down first.” He said quietly, leading him to the chair nearby and waiting for him to sit before pulling another one close. He reached out and touched both of his knees, “ How long have you felt this way, son?”
Jungkook’s couldn’t breathe.
“i… I don’t know.”He said helplessly, every single fiber of his body rebelling against the thought of lying to his parents. He had shielded them from a lot of painful truths, because he knew they wouldn’t be able to bear it the way he did,
but he had never, in his life deceived them so deliberately. He felt sick to his stomach, his skin ice cold and head pounding. There was an ache somewhere in his chest, like an iron fist that got tighter and tighter, squeezing the breath out of his lungs.
His father seemed to understand his distress, gently squeezing his knees, before reaching out and cupping his face, " Hey, baby, look at me. Its okay. Youll be okay." He rubbed a thumb under his eyelid and it came away damp. He hadn't even realized he had been crying.
“Dad..” He choked out. “ Please don’t hate me.”
“No… No baby, I could never . Why would you say that Jungkook ah… there is nothing you could say or do that would stop me from loving you with every fiber of my being.
You’re my son, my biggest treasure . The only thing in my wretched life I am proud of…. Why would you think for a second I would hate you?” His father moved to kneel in front of him, both hands cupping his face, before stroking his hair. " I love you and I love Taehyung."
Jungkook felt like he had been squeezed dry of every ounce of happiness. He took a deep breath.
A hundred emotions ran through his head, a hundred different thoughts, he couldn’t keep up with or decipher. So many lies, so many deceptions. Why had he let it get this far?
He struggled to contain his emotions, before finally looking up at the older alpha.
“When Taehyung leaves me, can I come stay with you guys for a while?” He whispered, voicing the first thought that struck him, " Just for a while.?"
His father’s face softened.
“Taehyung isn’t going anywhere. And neither are you. This is your home. Yours and his… You live here, Jungkook-“
But the alpha was shaking his head, leaning forward and wrapping both his arms around his father’s neck, burying his damp face into his shirt.
“No. No.. You are. You’re home. You and mom … That’s where home is and I just… It just hurts so fucking bad sometimes I can’t breathe , appa.” He choked out.
Mr. Jeon held him close, hands gently stroking his back as Jungkook cried.
As a parent, every single instinct in him screamed to make it stop. To stop his son from hurting, but he realized that he couldn’t. He had no idea how to. Helpless , all he could do was hold him .
He whispered assurances, that it would be alright. That he would always have him. That he would do everything to help him, over and over ,all while his heart cracked right down the middle. His son's tears had always felt like acid on his skin, right from the time he was a baby.
The sound of Jungkook’s misery was so loud and jarring inside him, the stench of despair and sadness so cloyingly unbearable , he couldn’t stomach it. He realized right then, how much he loved the boy in his arms. Because the sight of an unhappy Jungkook was enough to break him.
How long, he wondered. How long had his precious son been in such pain? How had he never noticed? As Jungkook cried, all his father could do was keep watch.
And hope that he could fix it for him. Because that was his job. And he would do it faithfully, for as long as he had to.
Taehyung sat across from his mother in law, the short width of the kitchen counter between them. Mrs Jeon , despite having a lot of helpers at her place was a phenomenal cook, fond of taking complete control of the kitchen, involving herself in every small thing.
His own mother was out of earshot, having gone to take a quick nap while they fixed dessert. Taehyung was grateful for the respite in a way. He watched as the older woman carefully washed and peeled and sliced the berries with careful precision, her perfectly coiffed hair
early earrings looking a little out of place in their apartment.
Despite being from a wealthy family, Jungkook had insisted on only using his own money when it came to their apartment.
The place was a modest affair by any standards, and Mrs. Jeon looked expensive and regal in here.
“Your mother ….is unwell.” She said carefully and Taehyung went still, pausing in the process of slicing a berry.
He wasn’t sure how much his mother had shared, wasn’t sure if it was alright to tell them the entire truth. He supposed as Jungkook’s mother she deserved the right to that information, but his own mother was unbreakable with such things. He didn’t want to upset her in anyway.
But she reached out and lightly touched his hand, her gaze soft and tender, “ You have to know you’re not alone Taehyung. No matter what happens you’ll always have us.”
Ah, so she had told her the truth then. Perhaps so she could have that small edge of power over them.
He nodded and went back to slicing the fruit, not sure what else to say. There was a short, terse silence and then Mrs. Jeon cleared her throat again.
“Are things alright, with you and Jungkook?” She asked casually. Taehyung’s pulse picked up.
This was it. The most perfect opening. Here was the chance to tell her the truth. He could do it. He could casually look her in the eye and say , no, we’re not doing well. It was what he wanted. It was the best way to end the agony they were causing each other.
Taehyung took a deep breath, ready to spill it all,
"You know we were so relieved when he agreed to marry you, because if not, he would have married Min Yoongi instead, and God, he would have made himself so miserable with him. You saved my son from that, Taehyung".
The words, fully formed and on the tip of his tongue, ready to spill out, died a quick death. He felt a little like he had been doused with ice cold water, and then with gasoline and then set on fire. His skin burned hot but felt icy cold. What did she just say? Had he misheard?
" You were also with him, weren't you? All of you, you were in college together. I don't know if you liked him, Min Yoongi. If you did, I apologize. But I have been thinking it for so long, and I couldn't ever say it out loud to anyone. " She shook her head."That boy.. Bad news."
"And I know the circumstances weren't... Ideal. You went through so much, that night and the days after, but you must forgive me for being happy that you came into my son's life. Please, consider it the madness of a woman who loves her son very much." She sighed.
Taehyung wasn't quite sure what to think, his thoughts in shambles, head starting to ache a little.
"But you knew your son didn't love me. " He said shakily. " You knew that. "
She bowed her head.
"I was certain that he would. Eventually. Once he spent more time with you.. "
She looked up then, eyes a little cloudy.
"And you, Tae? " She asked quietly. " I'm old and foolish at times. At times, I think I see you look at him with love, but I don't know if that's just wishful thinking on my part.A trick of the light. But I know you won't ever lie to me"
"So, Tae, please tell me this. Do you love my son? "
He felt the words pierce through his heart, sharp and throbbing. He couldn't quite breathe, because the truth was he didn't know. Young, naive Taehyung had loved Jungkook. Yes. But the Taehyung of today, wasn't sure if he was even capable of loving someone. He didn't know how to.
He had been so numb and miserable for so long, he didn't feel anything except a nagging urge to apologize, over and over again, to everyone around. Sometimes he felt apologetic for his very existence. Did someone like that deserve to love? Was his love even worth anything?
His love for Jungkook had never amounted to anything. It was worthless. Invalid. He only carried it in his heart because he was scared of the hollow emptiness it would leave behind, if he tried to get rid of it. A pained heart felt better than one that had nothing in it.
He stared at her for a few seconds, the openness of her gaze making him ache in many ways. She wanted him to say yes, he thought vacantly. But he knew that would only make things difficult.
"I think you can love someone deeply, " He said carefully,"and still want them gone."
She didn't respond for a few seconds, her gaze still steady on his own.
"Do you mean yourself, or my son? " She said finally.
He sighed, shaking his head.
"Mother, " He said quietly, reaching out and touching her gently, " I can't tell you what you want to hear right now..
But I can tell you this. Your son is easy to love, and so he will always be loved. By many people, in many ways. My love, " He bit his lips, " He won't even miss it. "
“So, I was right.” She said tiredly. “ you’re not happy. Neither of you. Taehyung, tell me how can I help? How do we fix this?”
Taehyung blinked. Fix it? Fix what? You couldn’t fix something that wasn’t even there in the first place.
“And please, don’t tell me we can’t. Because love doesn’t just disappear. If you leave, you will hurt just as bad, if not more than how you hurt now. Just tell me what’s bothering you.
Why are things bad… is it… does it have something to do with what happened before?” she looked hesitant. “ I never talked to you about it…Because Jungkook was just so… He was so quiet about it. He wouldn’t say anything… And I didn’t understand…”
“He didn’t say anything?” Taehyung went still, processing the words.
“No… We tried to get him to talk to us, but he never said a word. We assumed it was his fault … that he made a mistake…
and we were just grateful you weren’t pressing charges and –“ she sighed shaking her head, “ we did what we thought was right. We told him that actions have consequences and if there was going to be a baby, he would have to do the right thing . And step up and be the father….”
“Wait…” Taehyung felt his head spin a little, “ He didn’t tell you that he wasn’t the father?” he blurted out, his words spilling out before he could quite think them through. As soon as they were out there, the effect was almost instantaneous.
Mrs. Jeon went completely still, before pulling her hands away from his. Her face drained of color, eyes wide and lips parted in shock.
“I…what?” She whispered, staring at him in disbelief.
Taehyung felt the implication of his words hit him like a truck.
“I… I’m… Mrs. Jeon…”
“What do you mean by that?” She asked shakily. “ What do you mean he wasn’t the father?”
Taehyung felt sick, bile rising to his mouth and he pushed the chair back, ready to bolt but she reached out, grabbing both his wrists.
“No! Taehyung! Wait! Don’t run! Please! Just.. I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to spook you! Listen to me… its alright… It’s okay just talk to me! Taehyung !”
“No!No… No wonder you were so nice to me You don’t know… he never told you… I… I need to go…” He made to move again.
“No.” Mrs. Jeon’s grip on his wrist tightened. “ I am not being nice to you , Taehyung. I’m treating you with love and respect , because I love you and care for you.
There’s a difference between those two things. Being nice to someone is an act of kindness, something you show strangers and friends…. But treating someone with respect and affection…its an act of love.
Its reserved for people you let into your life and into your heart. People who matter to you. And you matter to me.. so please…
Please just listen to me. I trust you and And I love you. Nothing you say will change that… but you have to tell me the truth. What did you mean by that? If Jungkook wasn’t the father….? Then who was….?”
Taehyung stared at her and took a deep breath. He was tired. So tired of keeping it all in and he couldn’t keep up with the lies and the pretense anymore.
“No one.” He said softly. “ there was no baby.”
Mrs. Jeon seemed to be stunned.
“Taehyung…” she said shakily. “ You… Tell me you’re joking.”
He stared down at his hands.
“I thought there was.” He said shakily. “ There was a test… I took a test and it came back positive…..and I was so sick after that night… Everything just seemed to point that way …”
“Did you not go to a doctor?”She shook her head.
“I did… they said it was too early to say… It had only been three weeks, so they wanted me to wait another couple of weeks but … my mother…” he trailed off
“But your mother wouldn’t listen.” She said shakily. “ She saw the test and she heard about you spending that night with my son and came knocking on our door right at once?”
Taehyung stayed quiet.
“When did you find out that you weren’t pregnant?” She asked shakily.
“Three days before the wedding.”
There was a ringing silence then.
“Did you tell Jungkook?”
Taehyung felt his lips wobble.
“No, I did not.”
She pulled away again, and Taehyung watched as she buried her head in her hands.
"If you had told him, we would have fixed it, Tae."
"I wanted to... " He said shakily. " I don't... I don't know why I didn't. " He shook his head. " Guess I was just scared that people would hate me. That they would accuse me of lying about the pregnancy and trapping him... so I just didn't tell him and the n three weeks later.."
"You told him you had a miscarriage. " Mrs Jeon groaned. " How did you think that was something you could lie about Taehyung? " She demanded harshly. " Because you call me mother, I'm going to be exactly that and tell you that was a horrible, horrible thing to do to Jungkook."
"And not just him. To yourself as well! You were young. Both of you... Way too young to deceive people with something of such gravity . " She gave him a look of utter disappointment. " I can't imagine Jungkook took that well. "
"He insisted on us going to the doctor and well,
I couldn't pretend anymore. I had to come clean. " Taehyung closed his eyes, the memory of Jungkooks anger , the betrayed look on his face, so fresh in his memory. " He never forgave me for it. "
" But why didn't he tell us the truth? He told us you did lose the baby."
"I don't know." Taehyung whispered. " I didn't question anything he did after that. I didn't think I had the right to. I just listened to whatever he said. " He swallowed. " And that's how I've been living the past three years."
"Are you being fully honest with me? "
Taehyung looked up at her, holding her gaze before nodding slowly.
“Yes , I am. I don’t remember what happened that night. I don’t know why the pregnancy test came back positive but I do know that if I could go back in time, I would tell Jungkook the truth.
I would tell him the truth and set him free, even if he hated me for the rest of my life.”
Mrs. Jeon watched him for a second and then leaned in closer.
“Taehyung, I’m going to ask you one question. Just one. I want you to look deep into your heart and answer me , honestly. Between you and Jungkook, is there something left that is worth salvaging?”
Taehyung licked his lips, confused.
“I… what do you mean by that?”
“I’m asking you if you feel anything for him, other than a sense of guilt and debt.” She said softly. “ Are there any tender feelings left? If Jungkook forgave you for what happened, would that be enough for you to move on,
or is there a part of you that wants something more with him?”
Taehyung felt his pulse quicken a bit at that.
Without any warning, he had sudden , vivid vision of the dream he had dreamt that morning. Jungkook holding him close, looking at him with so much tenderness.
Talking about having more children with him. He remembered, jarringly, how soft the alpha’s hair had felt under his fingers, how real it had all seemed, despite it being nothing more than a dream.
He couldn’t stop himself from breathing out , his exhale shaky and unstable and his eyes welling with tears before he could stop himself.
“Ah,” Mrs. Jeon said softly, leaning back and giving him a gentle smile. “ Your eyes tell me everything that your heart tries to deny.”
“It doesn’t matter how I feel.” Taehyung said quickly, swiping at the tears that brimmed over. “Jungkook deserves better than what happened to him and no matter how I feel, I have to let him go.”
“You have to let him go? You think that is the right thing to do?” She asked gently.
“Yes. It’s the only way he can move on.”
“Very well,” She said briskly. Then in all this, what you want the most is for Jungkook to move on?”
“And you want him to move on but you think your feelings won’t affect his moving on?”
Taehyung stared at her in confusion. He shook his head.
“See that is where I think you’re wrong. Your feelings not only matter, but they are the most important things to consider, if we want Jungkook to move on. You know why Taehyung? I know my son.
And he cannot live holding bad feeling towards a person. The only way he would ever move on is if he forgave you. And well, Jungkook cannot forgive you until he understands why you did what you did. And he won’t understand that till he gets to know you.
And you can never fully know a person, until you know what they feel. So, if you want my son to move on, you have to show him your real self. You have to tell him the truth. You have to tell him how you feel.”
She smiled softly, " So, Tell me Kim Taehyung, do you love my son enough to show him who you truly are? Because if you do, I'll help you. If you would rather cut your losses and end this here, well, I'll help you with that as well. It's up to you."
Taehyung didn’t respond for a few seconds.
“Can I ask you for a favor?” He said shakily and she blinked before nodding quickly.
“Don’t tell him what I said. About him knowing about the baby and the other stuff.
I don’t know why he didn’t tell you the truth but I know that he must have had a reason for it. Just, please don’t hold that against him. He really loves you guys the most. You’re everything to him.”
Mrs. Jeon smiled.
“Very well. I won’t tell him.”
They sat in silence, a quiet agreement between them. Taehyung stared at the table front till a cherry red fruit came into his line of vison. He blinked, because Mrs. Jeon was holding out a sliced strawberry near his lips.
“These are your favorite right?” She said gently. “ Go on, have some. They taste delicious.”
He opened his mouth, letting her feed him the juicy fruit. As he chewed, savoring the flavors exploding on his tongue, she smiled.
He hesitated before smiling back, a small one but a smile nonetheless.
“You really are the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen. Even more so when you smile. But I realize you haven’t been doing much of that , have you?”
She sliced another fruit before reaching for a small pot of honey. Taehyung watched her drizzle a bit of it on the berry before holding it out to him again, “ Well, I’m going to make sure you have many more reasons to smile from now on, Taehyung ah. Now eat up.”
Thank you @matt⁷ 🐘
for the lovely mood board
The drive home was silent and charged , the air heavy with unsaid words as Mr and Mrs Jeon sat quietly, the chauffeur having brought the partition up to give them privacy. Unaccustomed to keeping secrets, the couple looked distinctly uncomfortable, their bodies tense.
It was quite clear that they were both waiting for the other to start, unsure and worried, their love for their son making it very difficult to put feelings into words.
"So," Mr. Jeon said finally, reaching out and lightly touching her knee. " Did taehyung talk to you?"
Mrs Jeon took a deep breath.She had never kept secrets from her husband when it involved their son. And she certainly wasn't about to start now. She carefully told him the things that Tae had shared, looking for any signs of shock, but none came. Her husband looked troubled but
he wasn't surprised.
"I take it Jungkook told you as well. " She said thoughtfully.
"Yes he did. Well, first he cried for a long time, but then eventually he told me about what happened back then. "
"He cried? " Her heart ached" A lot? My baby. " Tears welled over.
"Its a good thing. " Mr Jeon said firmly. " He must've kept it all to himself, all these years. Both of them. It's good that they've opened up to us. Acknowledging hurt is the first step to healing from it, after all. Now that they agree something has to change.. We can help."
"How? " She sighed deeply. " Both of them want to sweep it under the rug. Neither of them is nowhere near ready to open up. I told Tae he needs to be honest with Jungkook but that's of no use if Jungkook doesn't trust him in the first place. " She shook her head. " What now? "
"I think.. something happened that night, Aera. " He said softly. " Jungkook can hold his liquor well and he insists that he was alone in that bed that night. How did Taehyung end up there with him? " He shook his head. " And why would a pregnancy test come out positive? "
"Do you think someone else was involved? "
"That's the thing. " Mr Jeon sighed, shaking his head. " There's no way to know, now. The kids at that party are scattered all over the country, living their own lives. Most of them were drunk that night. How can we possibly find out?"
They stayed quiet, each lost in their own thoughts. And Mr Jeon turned to her after a few minutes, a small frown marring his features.
"Was Yoongi there? That night? "
" Yoongi ? I'm not sure. But if he was there Jungkook would have driven him back home and returned himself."
"Yes. Exactly . It was very rare for Jungkook and Yoongi to be apart back then. What's more? Remember what Mrs Kim kept insisting that night she came to see us the first time? She kept screaming about how Taehyung was a good boy who stayed away from parties. So why was he there?"
"I can ask him. " She said quickly.
"Yes you should. But more importantly, I need to talk to Jungkook. " He said quietly.
"Oh what are you going to tell him? "
"I told him that he can't find peace unless he knows why Taehyung made the choices that he did, but, "
He nodded thoughtfully, " Now I think we need to find out why Taehyung was put in a position like that in the first place. Remember what our doctor said when we found out we were having Jungkookie... He said false negatives are common. False positives? Those are way too rare. "
"Some of Jungkooks friends from college still work with him don't they? Jaehyun and Yugyeom? There was another guy too. Minjae? Mingyu? "
"Jungkook mentioned that he had a two week work trip to Jeju do. He missed hia flight today and asked me to book him one for tomorrow. "
"Just him? " Mrs. Jeon frowned, " Darling..."
"I did suggest it..." Mr Jeon shrugged. " He turned me down. He said he couldn't do that because it would upset Taehyung. "
"So that's the only issue? What if Taehyung wants to come along. " She grinned.
"What are you upto? "
"Nothing darling. You can do all the brainwork... Do your sleuthing with your son. Leave the matters of the heart to me. They need to spend more time together. Talk and get to know each other. I'm going to make sure that they do. " She grabbed her phone and began texting.
Taehyung stared down at the phone, trying to make sense of what he was reading. It made zero sense.
"So... " Jungkook was over by the closet, changing out of his clothes. Taehyung sat on the pull out bed that doubled as a couch , still staring at the text. "DId you tell her? "
"What? " Taehyung blinked, confused and Jungkook turned around , shirtless.
"Your mother. Did you tell her? That you wanted to end things... Between us. "
Taehyung took a deep breath. "No, I didn't tell anything to anyone. " He said quietly before looking away.
Jungkook seemed to watch him for a few minutes, a thoughtful look on his face.
"I told my dad we were considering a divorce. " He said quietly and Taehyung felt his pulse quicken a little.
"Did you tell him why? "
Jungkooks face was neutral.
"No, I didn't. "
"Right.. What did he say? " Taehyung watched as the alpha carefully climbed into his bed, slipping under the covers. He leaned back against the couch himself.
"He said we shouldn't make hasty decisions. " Jungkooks voice came over. " To think things through. "
Taehyung took a deep breath.
"I'm sorry. " He said finally. " I... I got overwhelmed today and I... I may have been unreasonable in many ways. I don't know why I did that. " He bit his lips.
Jungkook didn't respond.
"You missed your work trip too. "He said quietly.
"It's alright. " Jungkook said finally. " I'll leave tomorrow."
Tae gripped his phone, the message in his inbox feeling like it was burning through his skin.
Two weeks is a long time to be apart, Mrs Jeon had texted. What was he supposed to do? Ask Jungkook to stay?
"Will Yoongi be there? " He blurted out before he could stop himself.
The minute the words left his mouth he wanted to kick himself. What on earth was wrong with him?
"He's one of the models there, yes." Jungkook said shortly.
"Right. And Hyunsik? "
"Why do you ask? "
Jungkook sat up on the bed and Taehyung flinched, feeling the alphas annoyance in the air, his scent changing quite rapidly. He licked his lips nervously, trying to come up with a reason.
"I left the photographs in the hotel. I thought I'd go meet him tomorrow and get a copy."
(Authors note : guys m sorry i need to go, the kids are making shadow puppets. More hands are needed
I'll be back later)
Jungkook cleared his throat.
"I have another copy. You don't have to meet him." He said sharply. " And didn't I tell you those were bad photographs? I also told you , I have a friend who can do better ones. "
Taehyung wanted to crawl under a rock and never resurface.
His brain was just wired to be ridiculous whenever Jeon jungkook was involved it seemed. He wasn't sure why he had brought up Yoongi and then Hyunsik. He wasn't interested in neither of those people.
"He'll be there. " jungkook said suddenly making him glance over.
"Yugyeom will be there. If you want some more pictures... You can tag along. If you want that is.. I'm not... Insisting. You can say no. "the alpha added quickly.
" Oh, okay. " He bit his lips. " I mean, it could be a good idea. Your father too. He'll be happy.
You can tell him we're working on the marriage. " He said hesitantly.
Jungkook was staring at him now and Taehyung glanced away.
"And when we get back? What do we tell him? " Jungkook asked quietly. " That we patched things up or that we're done for good? "
Taehyung flinched. Jungkooks question was a stark reminder that there really was only one way this marriage of theirs could end. But Taehyung hadn't lied to Mrs Jeon. He did want to help Jungkook move on. Without any lingering feelings of anger or hurt.
"You tell me " He said.
"I know you didn't have any say in how this marriage began.... So I think it's only fair that you get to decide when and how it ends, Jungkook. " He whispered.
Authors note : that's all for today, see you guys tomorrow)
Jungkook stared at the omega, something churning in the base of his stomach.
"How much of a say did you have? " He asked quietly. " In the way this marriage began? "
Tae looked up then, eyes wide and hunted.
"You haven't questioned that before. Wasn't I the cause of it all? "
Jungkook made a noise of impatience at that.
"You lied to me Taehyung. You lied about.... having lost a baby. A baby I thought I'd help create.. a baby I had named in my head.... How do you think I felt, knowing that you had deceived me about something so precious? "
Taehyung shook his head.
"Let's not talk about this-"
"No." Jungkook growled, frustrated from all that had happened. " All we've ever done is not talk about it and clearly that is not working. So let's talk about it. Why did you lie to me? "
"Because it wouldn't matter even
if I didn't. " Taehyung said shakily. " You had this idea in your head about me and you always saw me that way. Even if I had told you the truth you would have called me a liar. "
"You don't know that. You don't know me. "
"And you didn't know me either. But you agreed with
Everything your boyfriend and your buddies told you about me. That I was some kind of homewrecker who wanted to break you and Yoongi up... "
"You fed the rumors Taehyung... Your scent.. "
"You think I had any control over that?? You think I wanted to have feelings for you?! "
"How could you have feelings for someone you've never spoken to? Someone you've never spent time with? How does that work, Taehyung? " jungkook asked quietly. " You knew nothing about me. Who exactly did you have feelings for? A version of me you built in your head. "
“Yes.” Taehyung said quietly. “ I was. It was an idealistic, perfect version of you that I built in my own head. And I would have happily lived my entire life with just that. I never would have acted on those feelings , Jungkook.
Yes, I loved a version of Jungkook who was maybe, only ever real in the confines of my own fantasies and dreams, but since when did you have a say in what I dreamt?”
Jungkook sighed and Taehyung watched as he pulled the comforter up to his chest.
“But the illusions slowly breaking.” Taehyung whispered, “ It’s clear that I’ve been quite a poor judge of character.”
Jungkook chuckled without mirth.
“ So you realize, the person you fell in love with, isn’t real? ” Jungkook said finally. “ I hope you can get your feelings back, save them for someone worthwhile, once the illusion breaks completely.”
“It will when you finally divorce me.”
"What are you running from Taehyung? ' Jungkook said suddenly. " I'm trying to understand ... Why Cant you just tell me what happened? I asked you why you lied but you keep talking in circles, and I don't know what to do any more. My parents deserve better than all the lies I
Feed them. And whether you know it or not, I tell them those so they don't end up hating you completely. Three years ago, when I found out you lied about the miscarriage, if I'd told your mother about it, if I told my mother about it... You would have been ostracized for life.
I didn't. Because I didn't want that on my head. No matter how much you may have deserved it, I couldn't bring myself to do that to you. All I'm asking is that you help me fix this. it's the only way we can put this whole thing behind us. You told me just now that you
Could have lived your whole life, never acting on those feelings you had for me. So why did you tell me that you were pregnant? "
" Because I took a test and it was positive. I took three tests they were all positive. " Taehyung shook his head. " I was nauseous, tired.. "
Jungkook sat up fully, turning around to frown at him.
"Really? " He asked in disbelief.
"If you aren't going to believe me-"
"I am. " jungkook said sharply. " I do believe you. When was this? "
"The pregnancy test. When was it? "
"About two weeks after... "
"You know we didn't have sex that night Taehyung. I keep going back in time to that night and I'm sure we didn't do anything... " Jungkook shook his head. " When I saw the pictures, and when you told me about the test, I felt like I was trapped in a fucking nightmare.. "
Taehyung shook his head.
"I don't remember anything from that night. I know I got drunk... I don't even remember how. And when I woke up you were there... And I had no idea why we were in that bed together. And then there were the pictures and I didn't believe myself,
Till that test. I thought that maybe something did happen that night... I mean... Why else would there be a positive test? " He groaned. "I shouldn't have told my mother about it. I should have waited. I don't know why I told her... I was just so scared... And I had no friends. "
Taehyung looked up then, and finally caught the alphas eye.
"You know Jungkook, you keep asking me why I lied, why I didn't leave you, why I didn't end things.. All of those questions, they have the same answer, really. I was scared. I was scared of being judged, of being
Abandoned, of being hated. " He licked his lips. " I was used to being ignored, or treated with indifference, used to not being loved or cared for but... I didn't think I could bear being hated. I just couldn't. So it seemed easier and safer to just stay quiet and endure. "
"Taehyung... " The alphas voice was low and heavy, weighed down by sympathy and Taehyung choked on his tears.
"I was so scared of being hated by all those people, I didn't think about what I was doing to you. I was unfair to you, Jungkook and I treated you so badly
And I made you hate me. Now I realize I'd rather be hated by all of them than by you. It would certainly hurt less." He shook his head." But I know it's too late. I made my choice and I have to live with it. Just know that you didn't deserve any of it. You..you're a good person."
The sound of a footfall made him look up and he stared, surprised when he saw that Jungkook had stood up.
Taehyung held his breath as Jungkook came around the bed, the alpha's steps hesitant but still firm.
He inhaled sharply when Jungkook moved to kneel in front of him.
He went still when Jungkook brought a palm up to his face, flinching a little at the proximity. Jungkook hesitated, hand hovering just a hairsbredth away from his skin.
"You always flinch when I come anywhere near you. Are you scared that my touch will hurt you in some way? "
Taehyung bit his lips before shaking his head.
"No, Jungkook. I'm just scared I'll forget all the reasons why you shouldn't be touching me at all. "
Jungkooks lips turned up in a wry smile.
"You know what I've forgotten? " He said quietly, shaking his head,
"All the reasons I'm supposed to hate you. " He sighed, looking down at the floor, " Some people are easy to love, Taehyung, but some others... They're impossible to hate. I don't think I ever hated you. I don't think anyone ever could. That's just the kind of person you are. "
"We'll find out what happened that night. " Jungkook said softly, " I promise. Something doesn't fit right. With what you remember and what I do... We don't know the truth yet, but someone, somewhere does. And I'm going to find that person and make him talk. It's not just me.
"You don't deserve any of this either. "
He made to pull away but Taehyung reached up, gripping his wrist and keeping his hand in place. Jungkook felt his mouth go dry as Taehyung slowly leaned into his palm, the omega closing his eyes, tears spilling onto his cheeks
And then onto Jungkooks hand as well. It was an act of despair more than anything else, he thought, a cry for some small comfort when the pain just got too overwhelming to bear. He kept his hand there, letting the omega press his cheek to the roughness of his palm.
Taehyung woke up to the warmth of the early morning sunbeams, spilling in through a small gap between the curtains. He blinked awake, the large digital clock on the opposite wall flashing the time intermittently. 6.08 AM.
Still very early.
But the bed next to him was empty , Jungkook’s scent gone, meaning the alpha had clearly left a while ago. He fumbled for his phone , finding messages from Jimin and a few other of his friends from the school, inquiring after his absence the past two days.
Taehyung shot a quick message to Jimin , letting him know that he would be coming in to work that day and they could talk. He climbed out of the couch and sat staring at the opposite wall for a few seconds,
his hands shaking just a little as he remembered what had happened the previous night. He pressed a finger to his cheek, where Jungkook’s hand had rested for a brief second, not entirely sure if any of that had been real. It was surreal, that Jungkook had believed him . How? Why?
And had he really meant it? Had he never hated him?
Taehyung shook his head.
No. Jungkook had to be lying. There was no way he didn’t hate the man who had ruined his life.
He was probably trying to tide things over, calm him down so he wouldn’t have another outburst and ruin things for the alpha.
It was easier to believe that, he thought , trying to calm himself down. Yes, that was something he could live with.
The alternative, the idea that Jungkook actually meant what he said…it was too much for him to take in. Too much to process really. Because if Jungkook hated him regardless, he wouldn’t have to worry about how he behaved around the alpha.
He wouldn’t build any kind of stupid expectations around the man, he wouldn’t go back to hoping. To pining.
Because Taehyung had been there, in that particular position for a long , long time.
Pining after a man who was in love with someone else, it wasn’t really a fun place to be. It was like being caught in a butterfly net, with no way to escape.
Taehyung was only just finding his way to the mouth of the net, just barely trying to break free of this miserable unrequited love .. He couldn’t just turn back around and fly right into it again. That would be foolish. Insane.
He would never do that to himself again. Jungkook wanted to find a way or them too separate for good, he reminded himself. No matter what Mrs. Jeon said, the truth of it was this :
Jeon Jungkook would never fall in love with Kim Taehyung.
That fact was so irrefutable, so unchangeable, it might as well be written on the face of the moon itself. He would do well to remember it
He stood up slowly, folding the sheets and fixing his pillow before moving to the bathroom.
His reflection looked pale , eyes wide and shadowed, signs of a troubled night’s sleep. Splashing coldwater on his face, he paused to stare at himself some more. Jungkook’s words rang in his head, so firm and confident.
The alpha seemed so sure and certain that they would find out what happened. But Taehyung knew that wouldn’t happen till he remembered everything that happened to him, that night.
And that would mean reliving it, slowly and carefully.
Taehyung felt his mouth go dry a bit, at the very thought of it. Everytime he thought of that night, his pulse quickened, sweat beading up in brows and he had no idea why.
There was a large gap in his memory.
He remembered certain parts of the night with ridiculous clarity but certain other parts were just…not there. They were hazy , murky like the waters in a muddy pond.
The ones where, no matter how long you stared at it, waiting for the muck to settle, you never truly saw what lay beneath it all.
Taehyung grabbed a towel, patting down his face as he breathed in an out a few times,
trying to regulate his breathing, closing his eyes in an attempt to remember.
What he remembered the most prominently was the scent of almonds.
It was a cloyingly sweet scent, insistent and almost overpowering. He didn’t like it. It was stifling. It made it hard for him to breathe.
There were also a number of disjointed images : all of them blurry and distorted.
And the worst part was , the more he tried to focus on them, the more they faded out of his vision. It was impossible to remember.
Taehyung felt terrible. Useless almost. Jungkook seemed to remember every detail from that night. So why couldn’t he? What had happened?
Taehyung felt a sudden burning anger against his mother. She had been the one to mess things up for him . She was just so unreasonable at times… and he was so malleable when it came to her.
Taehyung spent the next hour feeling troubled and anxious, and when he finally stepped out of the room, dressed for work , with his messenger bag on his shoulder, he found his mother sitting on one of the stools in front of the kitchen counter,
her eyes fixed on the open windows, that looked out onto the street. Taehyung paused for a second, because like this, silhouetted against the bright light from the window, the weight loss was really quite evident.
He hadn’t seen her in a long time, and he didn’t often think of her. Perhaps that is why he hadn’t paid much attention to the small signs of physical deterioration.
Her rich brown hair had definitely thinned out, and there was a definite tremble in the hand that rested on the countertop.
“Good morning, mother.” He said softly . His voice seemed to startle her a little. She turned around, looking surprised.
“Taehyungah…” She said softly, her tone a little brittle. “ What happened last night?”
Taehyung went still.
“Last night?” He moved slowly to stand beside her, reaching out and lightly touching her shoulder.
“ You were exhausted. You said you wanted a small nap but when I tried to wake you up, you couldn’t get up. So I let you sleep.”
“Oh.” She sighed, shaking her head. “ I should call Jungkook’s parents. I haven’t spoken to them in a long time.”
Tae felt his stomach turn over.
“Mom… I.. are you alright?” He said in confusion. “ They came over just yesterday?”
“What?” Her eyes seemed to go out of focus for a second and Taehyung felt his pulse quicken. “ Oh…” She laughed suddenly , shaking her head. “ Oh, I’m being so silly. Of course.. of course..
they came over. I must still be half asleep.” She stood up, her smile wide as she took him in. “ Where’s Jungkook?”
Taehyung looked over her shoulder, at the cereal bowl on the counter.
“He left already. You didn’t see him?”
“Oh.. I see.” She scratched her head for a second before glancing around her , her gaze a little unsteady.
“Mom, do you want to lie down?” He asked gently and she looked back up at him.
“Is it evening already?” She ran a palm over her face. “What time is it?”
“Its not evening. It’s morning. You just woke up, but you look pretty tired. I have to head in to work, but I’ll see if I can take half the day off. We can go see a doctor.”
“ A doctor?” She scoffed. “ Absolutely not. I’m perfectly alright. Don’t be ridiculous. You need to have breakfast. What would you like? Should I make you something spicy?” She grinned.
Tae hesitated before shaking his head.
He couldn't eat anything spicy.
She didn't remember.
“I’m not really hungry.” He reached for her elbow, gently tugging her closer, “ Come with me mom, it’s still quite early. You can sleep in for a while .”
She didn’t protest, and Taehyung helped her lie down in the guest bedroom,
tucking the blanket around her, staring at her with a hollow, empty feeling in his chest. It was like something had been carved right out of there, a vacuum in the place where his anger against her had been, just a few minutes ago.
He couldn’t hate this woman, he thought despondently.
Jungkook was right.
Some people really were impossible to hate.
Reaching over , he brushed her hair back.
"Ma." he said softly, " You love me right?"
"Why would you ask that? Of course i do, my baby bear."
The endearment made him smile a little.
“I love you too.” He said quietly. “ And I don’t need a reason to love you, either. People… can love other people without having a reason to. Right?” he bit his lips, fighting the urge to cry.
She looked confused but nodded nonetheless.
“Of course. Of course. You can’t choose who you love.” She smiled.
“Yes. Yes, you can’t.” He hesitated before leaning over and kissing her forehead.
"If you have a reason, its not love. it's just gratitude, isn't it? Or sympathy." she said suddenly.
Taehyung smiled at that.
"Taehyung ah..." She reached out and took his hand. " I'm sorry I came here. I feel like i shouldn't have. But ... I wanted to see you."
“I was thinking of your father…and just.. all of a sudden I couldn’t quite remember him right. He looked a lot like you, you know.” She chuckled. “ And at first I just wanted to ask you to send me a picture of him.
If you had any of it. In your phone or something. But then, I got scared. What if I …forgot how you looked as well…” she reached out and cupped his face, “ My baby. The most beautiful boy in the whole world.” she smiled gently. " That's why i came. To see you."
He pressed a small kiss to her palm.
“This is your home.” She sighed deeply. “ You built it with Jungkook. I don’t have any right to it. I think, I can be selfish sometimes.” She shook her head.
“ I try not to be. But its hard. I want you to be happy Taehyung. I wanted to make sure you were. Sometimes, when i spoke to you, i felt like you were sad and it ... scared me. I just had to make sure. I’m sorry I came here but, please, don’t ask me to go away.” she whispered.
“I’m glad you did, mom.” He said quietly. Honestly. “You’ll always have a home here. With me. Of course I won’t ask you to leave. You can stay as long as you want to.”
She smiled, wide squeezing his hand tightly.
"Thank you for saying that" she said quietly. " Everything is so confusing sometimes. I forget things.." she shook her head. " But I think I'll remember what you just said. A home. With you. Always."
He couldn't stop the tears that welled, looking away so she wouldn't notice.
He stayed sitting, while she held his hand, keeping his gaze on the wall. He hadn't given too much thought to her diagnosis, because she had adamantly refused to share details with him . But now he felt betrayed. Losing her cognitive abilities, wasn't something simple.
How could he possibly care for her if she wouldn't let him?
But then, it had always been that way with her. She didn't tell him everything. She had always firmly believed that she knew better than anyone else. That she could solve it all. Omniscient in every way.
A home, he thought vacantly. What was home really? He didn't know. He had never experienced something like that. What did people mean by having a home? Someone who would stick by you no matter how terribly you treat them? Is that who he was to her? He sighed deeply.
He wasn't sure why he felt the need to forgive her, even knowing that she would never apologize.
It was just that, anger against someone was exhausting when the other person had no remorse or regrets.
It was draining.
And he had no energy left to hold grudges.
She meant well.
It was something he had told himself over and over again, the past years, anytime she crossed boundaries or made decisions for him, choices that caused him pain or distress.
She is my mother.
I can't hate her.
She just wants me to be happy.
She means well.
The sound of her even breathing filled the room and Taehyung stood up slowly. He glanced at her again, feeling a swell of hurt inside his chest again.
He didn't want her to die.
He wasn't quite ready to say goodbye.
There were things he had to say to her.
Old feelings he wanted to discuss.
Old ghosts he wanted to put to rest.
But what good would that do, he wondered, when she would soon forget it all anyway.
It would be cruel to cause pain to someone who wouldn't even understand why you were hurting them.
"Taehyung? " Jungkooks voice startled him, making him stumble a little in surprise. The alpha stood by the door, dressed in a casual button down and blue jeans.
He was staring at Taehyung's mother, brows creased in worry.
"Is she alright? She looked a little ill, earlier. "
Taehyung rubbed furiously at his tears before turning around, keeping his gaze away from Jungkook’s, merely wrapping his arms around himself and moving to the door, silently asking the alpha to follow him out, so they wouldn’t wake his mother up.
Out in the hallway, Taehyung turned to Jungkook with a questioning stare.
“I thought you left.” He said quietly.
Jungkook was watching him carefully.
“I thought you wanted to…come along.” He said hesitantly.
Right. Two weeks. He felt a bitter taste on his tongue.
The text from Mrs Jeon had thrown him for a loop. He had promised her that he would do as she said, so when she had asked him to go along... he had just ... said those things. But now, he no longer felt like he wanted to. He was tired and he wanted some semblance of normalcy.
“I don’t really care much about the pictures.” He said finally. “ I don’t know if I want to come anymore. I’m sorry, if I caused trouble by saying that.”
Jungkook looked surprised, eyes automatically flitting to the door.
“Did she say something?” He asked , worried.
“What? No. Why?”
“You wanted to come last night. What happened all of a sudden?”
“Nothing happened. I just don’t feel like it.” Taehyung snapped, bristling just a little. “ Shouldn’t you be relieved. I doubt you want to spend two weeks trapped with me.”
Jungkook ‘s jaw went taut at that.
“Did I dream what happened last night?” He said finally. “ You were infinitely more bearable when you were apologizing to me. Did you change your mind about that as well?”
Taehyung flushed, turning away, and making to walk away but Jungkook grabbed his arm.
“Listen, Taehyung.” He said stiffly. “ Don’t overthink it. We need to find out what happened that night. Yoongi’s going to be there, and Yugyeom and Mingyu.
And they were there, at the night of the party. They may know something…”
“If they do, why didn’t they say something all these years?” Taehyung snapped. “ Oh, that’s right. Because it was so much easier to believe that I trapped you..”
“If you think Min Yoongi will help you prove my innocence… you’re out of your mind.” Taehyung said stiffly. “ He would rather lie through his teeth than say one thing that would support me.”
Jungkook sighed, running a palm over his face.
“Yoongi isn’t a dishonest person.” He said carefully. “ And … you can’t fully blame him for being antagonistic towards you.. You were…”
“Chasing after his man.” Taehyung finished sharply, glaring at him. “ right I know. You’ve rubbed that in 7000 times now.
You think it hasn’t sunk in yet?”
Jungkook sighed before shaking his head.
“That is not what I was going to say. If you let me speak….What I was going to say was, you were a threat in his eyes. Always.
He was … I think jealous of you in many ways. Perhaps that’s why he dislikes you so much.”
“A threat right…..” Taehyung scoffed. “ As if. He’s a supermodel and I’m… nobody.”
“You do know that you’re far more beautiful than he is.”
Taehyung went still.
“Objectively.” Jungkook said quickly. “ I mean.. you have a very classical beauty that perhaps he may be jealous of.”
The conversation had derailed and Taehyung could no longer make sense of it.
Jungkook cleared his throat before looking away.
"I just think you should come."
“This would help both of us, wouldn’t it?” Jungkook continued, still keeping his gaze away from him. “ It would help you move on too. We can only find out what happened that night, if you help me , Taehyung. I need your help for this.”
Taehyung felt a familiar numbness in his heart, a feeling of helpless acceptance filling his mind as Jungkook’s words registered. He was so used to having his decisions overridden , he couldn’t even bring himself to protest anymore.
And Jungkook was right in a way wasn’t he? They would have to work on this together.
“So, we just leave ? Now?”
“Yes. I spoke to Kim Seokjin ssi as well. He mentioned that you’ve never taken any of your vacation days and that he’s glad you’re taking a break.”
“You what?” Taehyung frowned. “Why would you do that?”
“Well, I couldn’t really book the tickets before talking to him-”
“You shouldn’t have booked them without talking to me either. And I’m the one who works there, why would you talk to him?” Taehyung demanded.
“At this point , I can’t help but wonder if you just want to pick a fight with me , Kim Taehyung.” Jungkook growled.
“Just because you’re the alpha, you don’t get to decide…”
“Oh, for the love of.. This has nothing to do with me being an alpha!”
“Then you should have talked to me and..”
“We talked! Last night! Was that not a talk, Taehyung? Were our mouth not moving? Forming words? We talked to each other and we decided that you would come with me!”
“I…” Taehyung breathed out sharply. “ I don’t have the energy for this. But… next time.. Don’t make decisions for me without talking to me about it.”
Jungkook looked like he wanted to say something but he hardened his jaw, nodding stiffly instead.
“Noted.” He grunted, before turning away. “ Flight leave in five hours. Just pack lightly. I can buy you more stuff there if you want anything.”
“I’ll buy them myself.”
“ Okay, Taehyung. You can buy them , borrow them, hell just fucking sew them yourself if that’s what you want. I am fucking done with you.”
Taehyung flinched when the alpha stalked away, the door of the bedroom slamming shut a minute later.
It was going to be a long two weeks.
End of Chapter 4
Authors Note : just like jungkook I'm also fucking done with this long ass chapter.... But also very proud of the progress between these two... They bicker a lot lol... But now we know it's a surface level animosity rather than deep rooted dislike or hatred.
( Chapter 5 will start in Mid September. Please don't message me about updates )
Taehyung sat pressed up against the door of the cab, intensely aware of being watched.
The cabdriver wouldn't stop staring at him through the rear view mirror and while Taehyung was, to an extent used to unwanted attention, he had never felt so discomfited before.
"Are you worried about mother?" Jungkook's voice broke through the silence between them, " Mother will take good care of her. She'll be fine."
Taehyung didn't respond, merely wrapping his arms around himself. He shifted awkwardly, before glancing at Jungkook and then at himself.
They looked so mismatched, he thought miserably. Jungkook was dressed like the A list fashion photographer that he was, with a fitted black t shirt and graphic bomber jacket, skin tight jeans and shoes that could probably kill someone.
Tae wore an oversized sweater and jeans.
He glanced back up and the driver was leering again.
"What do you want?" He snapped, losing his temper completely. Next to him Jungkook startled.
"Not you. Him." Taehyung bit his lips, feeling like his nerves would fray at any minute, as he pointed at the driver.
"Keep your eyes on the damned road." He yelled.
Jungkook's jaw went taut next to him.
"What is your name?" He demanded coldly, and the man spluttered.
"I was just checking the rear view mirror, Sir. I swear."
Taehyung laughed in disbelief.
Jungkook reached out, grabbing his hand and squeezing gently.
"We're there. It's alright."
"It's not.. he..."
"I know.. He was out of line. I'm going to file a formal complaint and he's going to lose his job.. It's okay.. just breathe."
Taehyung nodded pulling his hand away and going back to staring out of the window.His mother had looked so ecstatic, when he had mentioned that he would be staying away for two weeks with Jungkook.
But would she remember it come evening?
Early onset dementia, the reports said.
It was a result of whatever was eating away at her brain. Towards the end she would need round the clock care.
Taehyung wasn't sure what this meant for him. He couldn't possibly afford all the things that had been written there . What was he going to do?
"We may need to ...get some clothes for you before we go." Jungkook said suddenly, startling him. They had paid the man and Jungkook had already filed a complaint. As they stood there loading the suitcases onto the cart for their luggage, Taehyung didn't miss the looks
that people gave them. He had never been to the airport before and he felt out of place and nervous.
"New clothes?" He bit his lips, catching the eye of an alpha a few feet away. The man was watching them and whispering something to the woman next to him.
"everyone there is going to be wearing haute couture. i don't want you to feel out of place. But if you don't want to that's fine." Jungkook said quickly.
Taehyung watched the couple across from them for another second , before turning to Jungkook.
What do you think people feel, when they see us?" He asked hesitantly. Jungkook paused in the middle of loading the last suitcase.
"Do you think we look like we're in love?"
Jungkook's body went stiff, his eyes shifting away from him.
"Why do you ask that?"
Taehyung hesitated before reaching out and gripping Jungkook's wrist.
"I can't meet those friends of yours without knowing what they think of me. Without knowing what they think of our marriage."
Jungkook's face seemed to drain of color a little.
"They can be loyal to a fault, but I'll let them know that they would have to treat you with respect." He said vaguely, before moving to grip the handle of the cart starting to push it towards the entrance.
"That doesn't answer my question at all." Taehyung argued.
"Have you been on a plane before? " Jungkook asked suddenly, hands closing over his own, pulling him closer. Taehyung swallowed, mouth a little dry as he shook his head.
"No. Why? "
"I'll get some ear plugs and sour candy then. Just in case. "
Taehyung stated at him.
"Sour candy? " He asked confused.
"It can help you with air sickness. In case you feel nauseous when we're up there. " Jungkook held both their ids out and Taehyung watched as they put tags on their bags before taking away the bigger suitcases.
"I don't need new clothes. "
Jungkook looked up from the boarding passes, a small frown on his face.
"I don't want to fit in with you or your friends. I'm alright being myself. And if they have a problem with that... If you have a problem with that... "
"That's not what I meant, Tae.. "
"Sir, could you please come this way... " A sharply dressed woman with bright red lips, reached out lightly touching Jungkooks arm. " Security check happens over here. And you can use the other counter. " She smiled at Taehyung as well.
Taehyung nodded, making to move away but Jungkook gripped his wrist, tugging him back to his side. He felt his breath catch as the alpha wrapped an arm around his waist.
"It's my husbands first time on a flight. We booked last minute so the seats are on different rows..
Can you help us out somehow? I'd rather have him by my side. " Jungkook offered her a charming smile. She looked surprised, glancing between them.
"Oh... You're married? "
"I see... Well, I'll see what I can do... " She smiled at Taehyung, eyes not quite meeting his.
"We can use the same counter for security check right? " He smiled, " I don't want him getting nervous. " He chuckled.
The woman bowed.
"Yes of course sir. Please, this way. " She held an arm out. Jungkook reached for his hand again, linking their fingers together.
Taehyung exhaled sharply when they were out of earshot of the woman.
"What are you doing? " He demanded trying to tug his hand away but Jungkook wouldn't let go.
"Answering your question. " The alpha said quietly. " What people think of you or our marriage depends on how we behave. It's not a vacation. I'm there to work and I'm bringing my husband along. You don't have to be nervous. " He said quietly. " I won't let anyone hurt you. "
Taehyung bit his lips, looking away.
"I don't trust you. " He said shakily. " I can't afford to trust you, knowing you still call them your friends.. "
Jungkook didn't respond.
"They're more Yoongis friends than mine. They just resent you for what happened. "
"They don't know what happened. " He snapped. " They have no idea.. "
Before he could continue, Jungkook was grabbing his forearms, pulling him into a hug. Taehyung went still, stiff as a board and skin icy cold.
"I know..They don't know you. They also don't matter, Tae."
Taehyung trembled a little, so unused to being touched with any kind of gentleness, least of all by someone who had every reason to hate him.
He tried to gather his thoughts but it was impossible. Jungkooks warmth and his scent had sent his senses scattering to the five winds.
When the alpha finally pulled away from him, his cheeks were flushed red and Jungkook was staring at him with worried, nervous eyes.
"I need to know you're okay. " Jungkook said carefully. " Do you want me to get you some water? "
Taehyung shook his head, staring at his feet.
When they were finally settled into their seats, Taehyung felt the first tendrils of fear beginning to coil up at the base of his stomach. Everyone was loud , noisy as they put away their carry ons, on the phone bidding goodbye, calling for the air hostess.
Jungkook lightly touched the back of his hand where it lay on the armrest.
"All good? " He asked quietly, leaning forward so he could get a better look at his face. Taehyung flushed under the scrutiny, nodding quickly.
Jungkook hummed, holding out the ear plugs.
"What are these for? " Taehyung asked nervously. " Does it get really loud? "
Jungkook smiled a little before shaking his head.
"It helps equalize the pressure in your ear so you don't experience any pain or discomfort during take off or landing. You'll also have to swallow."
Taehyung frowned at that, tilting his head in confusion.
"Swallow what? " He asked nervously, licking his lips.
Jungkook blinked at that, ears tinting red as he followed the movement of his tongue.
"Nothing... Just you know... Swallow like you're.. " He cleared his throat.
"Like I'm.. ? "
"Like you're dry swallowing a pill. " A voice said behind them, and Taehyung jumped.
"Hyunsik ssi?! " He exclaimed, surprised.
"What are you doing here? " Jungkook frowned.
"Well, when you didn't show up yesterday for work they asked me to take over."
"Well, I'm here, now. " Jungkook snapped. " You can leave. "
Hyunsik rolled his eyes.
"Don't make me regret not getting your ass fired for assault Jungkook. " He said sharply. " Director Lee said an extra hand would be helpful. I'll be working with you. Get over it. "
Taehyung watched as Hyunsik settled into the seat on the next row, only the aisle between them.
"Ear plugs? " He asked curiously, staring at the objects in his hand. " Do your ears ache during take off, Taehyung ssi? "
"I don't know... This is my first time flying.. "
"Well, I'm no expert but I'm assuming you'd have to actually wear them, for them to have any effect. " He teased and Taehyung smiled awkwardly before glancing at Jungkook.
The alpha was watching him with a stern look on his face.
Taehyung stared at his knees.
" Come here. " Jungkook leaned over the armrest, picking the ear plugs up from his palm. Taehyung held his breath as Jungkook carefully brushed the hair off his ear before carefully pushing it in.
"Turn this way for me, Tae."
The Omega's heart ached.
He was so royally fucked.
He closed his eyes as Jungkook carefully held his chin between hid fingers before putting the other one in.
When he finally looked back at him, their faces were inches apart. Taehyung could have counted every single eyelash on the alpha. He licked his lips again, mouth dry.
"If that doesn't work.. " Jungkook whispered gaze dropping to his lips, " Theres something else we could do. "
Taehyung felt his pulse quicken.
"We? " He asked, voice choking a little.
Jungkook glanced back up at him, eyes locking with his, hand reaching for his wrist.
Taehyung stared as Jungkook carefully tugged his arm closer, his free hand moving to rest lightly on the sensitive skin, on the inside of his wrist.
" There's a pressure point here, " He pressed his fore and middle finger against a spot, " That helps with motion sickness."
Taehyung felt the lurch beneath him as the plane slowly started moving, But he couldn't bring himself to care, all of his senses zeroed in on the spot where Jungkook was lightly tracing circles on his skin, with infinite care.
"Just look at me, " The alpha smiled, " Just me. "
The plane lurched again, and Taehyung settled back against the seat, closing his eyes a little as the speed of the aircraft rose. The hand around his wrist loosened a little and Taehyung blinked one eye open, confused.
Jungkook was staring at the floor, his face pale.
Taehyung sat up frowning, just as the aircraft ascended, but all he felt was a light lurch in his belly, a dull roaring in his ear, that went away the moment he swallowed.
Jungkook however, slumped forward on the seat, knuckles white as he clutched the armrest.
"Jungkook.. " Taehyung gasped, reaching for him in a panic, gripping his shoulder and pulling him back. " Jungkook what.."
"Fuck... I.. " The alpha slurred, his face ashen, " I.. Forgot my pill.."
" Pill? " Taehyung leaned closer, cupping his face to keep him up " What pill? "
But Jungkook merely shrugged him away, reaching for his bag with shaking fingers, and Taehyung watched as Jungkook struggled to get a small box with a few white pills inside.
"Here, give him some water. " Hyunsik held a bottled water out to him, " He gets vertigo on flights."
What on earth was that?!
Taehyung turned to the alpha by his side, fumbling with his own seatbelt so he could wrap him in his arms, taking the box out of his hand and helping him lean back against the seat.
" Here... The pill.Just one? " He asked.
Taehyung hesitated before carefully holding it up to his lips, helping him take it in, before pressing the rim of thr bottle against his lips. Jungkook took small sips, eyes still shut. He was breathing deeply.
Sweat dotted his hairline, his face flushed and pale.
Taehyung hesitated, before reaching for his wrist, pressing the spot he had shown him earlier, stroking the alphas skin gently. He remembered how careful Jungkook had been with him, returning the gesture just as gently.
When he looked back up, Jungkook was watching him.
"Does this help? " Taehyung asked quietly, still stroking the skin gently, pressing in with the pad of his fingers.
"It doesn't usually.."Jungkook's voice was a little raw, " But, Now it feels good."
Taehyung paused before looking at him with tear filled eyes.
"Are you sick?"
Jungkook blinked as Taehyungs tears started falling freely, the Omega's eyes heavy with fear and worry and he sat up quickly, ignoring the pain that shot through his skull.
'"Tae... What.. Don't cry.."
"Why did that happen? You were alright... A minute ago and then you just.."
Taehyung shook his head in disbelief, lips wobbling.
"Tae, it was my fault. " Jungkook said quickly, " I usually take my pills before I get on flights. I forgot... I'm sorry... Did I scare you too much? "
" I... You just reminded me of my mother... She gets dizzy too.. "
Taehyung shook his head feeling foolish. But he couldn't help it. His mind had made the connection and just the fleeting idea of Jungkook being sick... Of something happening to him... It had torn his heart into shreds.
He swiped his tears, feeling pathetic.
"It's nothing.. I've had it since I was a child... Its mostly under control but I just have trouble flying. It's nothing to worry about.. " Jungkook said quickly.
Taehyung nodded, pulling his hand away, and settling back into his seat, still a little out of it.
Jungkook reached over, putting his seat belt on for him, and Taehyung exhaled, shaking his head.
"You scared me. " He said hesitantly, " Why didn't you tell me? "
"I forgot myself. " Jungkook admitted hesitantly. " It's not like me. I don't know why I did that. "
"Can I get my water back? " Hyunsik's voice came from the side startling him.
Taehyung turned red before handing the bottle over. Hyunsik was watching the pair of them with curious eyes.
"You know Jungkook, the more I look at Taehyung, the more I wish I punched you back. "
Taehyung frowned as the alpha settled back against his seat, closing his eyes right after.
Jungkook was watching him carefully.
"What did he mean by that?" Taehyung asked quietly, voice low and vulnerable.
Jungkook shook his head.
"You should rest now. Well be there soon. "
( this tweet will be deleted. Updates again tomorrow. Much longer one. And Oooh yes, the drama is about to begin. Hehehehehe)
Taehyung had no fond memories from childhood. There hadn’t been any family trips, no vacations or days at the beach. His mother sometimes took him out to the park , but all that had ever done was remind him that he was different from the other children there,
his clothes less flashy, his shoes more scruffy. He had never fit in, had never had friends to confide in. But oddly enough, he had never felt lonely either.
For Taehyung , being lonely was just the way life was.
Which is why Jeju Do was a shock in many ways.
Jungkook’s company had sent a large SUV to pick them up. Hyunsik was up front with the driver , while all the equipment and luggage was stashed away at the back. Jungkook and Taehyung sat in the mid section of the car, the omega watching the scenic view outside the window,
fingers curled around the window sill and eyes wide. There were quite a few people out and about, all of them with their phones out, taking pictures and capturing moments and memories.
“Most people don’t go back and look at these pictures ever again.” Jungkook’s voice came from right near his ear, startling him a bit. He had been quite certain that Jungkook was asleep , had even checked on him just a few minutes ago.
Taehyung made to turn back around, but froze when his back and elbows made contact with the soft fabric of Jungkook’s shirt.
It was silky , cool against his heated skin, and Taehyung struggled a bit to keep his composure, because this close ,
Jungkook’s scent was mpossible to ignore. He pressed his thighs together, wondering if your feelings for someone affected the way you perceived their scent. Because there must be a reason why Jungkook’s alpha scent made him lose his mind so thoroughly.
The plush leather seat behind him seemed to shift, and Taehyung held his breath as Jungkook moved closer, one hand coming up to rest on the widow right next to his, till the omega was caged against the door, the seat and Jungkook’s chest.
Taehyung stopped breathing completely, because he could feel the heat radiating from Jungkook’s chest, hot against his back, and when Jungkook moved his hand closer, thumb moving to rest on top of his hand, he couldn’t quite bear it anymore.
“Um.. Can you just.. move a bit.” He choked out, stuttering a little.
“Move? Like this?” Jungkook actually moved closer, now pressed right up against him, his hand curving around Taehyung’s shoulder, shifting him around till they were pretty much spooning against the window.
Taehyung physically felt a tidal wave of arousal wash over every inch of his brain, completely clearing it of all rational thought, leaving behind nothing but the wreckage of Taehyung’s shipwrecked soul.
“Is this okay?” Jungkook asked, leaning down till his chin brushed the hair by his ears.” We should stick together . That way we’ll smell more like each other.”
Taehyung couldn’t trust himself to speak.
He let out a choked ' hmmm' and The alpha settled comfortably against him.
After a few seconds of silence he cleared his throat.
"Have you never been here before? " Jungkook asked curiously and Tae swallowed, eyes zoning in on where Jungkook's hand lay, right beside his own.
If he moved his hand just an inch to the left their fingers would touch. What would Jungkook do then? Would he pull away? If he did that would be the most humiliating thing to ever happen to him. He shuddered at the thought of it.
He licked his lips staring at the fingers.
Jungkooks fingers were different from his. Not as long and slender, but thicker and rougher somehow. There was a small scar over his thumb and a mile near his wrist.
."Taehyung? " Jungkook said suddenly startling him.
"I... Yeah? " He flushed, having spaced out completely.
"You're okay with us sharing a bed right? " He asked casually, " I tried asking for a room with twin beds but they were all taken. And well it would be weird if I asked the company to book us twin beds. You know we're married. " He chuckled lightly.
"Right. Sure. Why not? "
He was quiet for a few more seconds and Taehyung found himself relaxing a little against his chest.
So much so that,
When Jungkooks thumb rubbed over the back of his hand he didn't even scream.
"Taehyung" Jungkook said very softly, " Can you tell me what you remember about that night? "
Taehyung blinked slowly, the words barely registering for a few seconds. When they did, he felt a familiar panic, curling somewhere deep inside him, but Jungkooks scent was warm around him, his touch oddly comforting.
"Only bits and pieces. " He said shakily. " I'm sorry. "
"Don't apologize, " Jungkook said at once. " It's fine. Bits and pieces is fine. It's a start. We can go from there. " Jungkook squeezed his shoulders a bit. " Did someone invite you to the party. " He asked carefully. " Do you remember a name? "
Taehyung blinked at that.
" You did. " He said quietly, " You sent that text. That you wanted to meet everyone one last time before we parted ways. " Taehyung sighed. " If it hadn't come from you, I wouldn't have been there at all. All of my worst choices have your face behind them, alpha. "
Jungkook had gone eerily quiet behind him.
"Taehyung, I never sent anyone any text. " He said firmly. " What made you think it was me? Was it from my number? "
Taehyung sat up, confused.
"It wasn't you? " He turned around in his arms, blinking up at him. " Are you sure? "
"Very much so. Why did you think it was me. "
Tae tried to remember, but a familiar fog of confusion lingered over his senses. It was like seeing through a translucent curtain. He could make out rough shapes but no fine details.
"I don't remember... " He bit his lips.
Jungkook sighes, pulling away from him and leaning back. Taehyung felt cold and empty at that, his body almost chasing after Jungkooks scent and his warmth. The frustration on his face made him wince.
" I'm useless. I'm sorry.. I shouldn't have come at all... "
Jungkook frowned, rounding on him with narrowed eyes.
"The next time you say that to me, I'm going to put you on a fishing boat back to the mainland. Self pity looks terrible on you Kim Taehyung. Have some dignity. " He growled.
Taehyung bristled, sitting up straight and glaring at him.
"It's not self pity.. I was just feeling upset that I couldn't help you."
"Us." He said sharply. " It's for us. Whatever happened that night, knowing about it is going to help both of us. We're on the same team Tae."
Before Taehyung could respond, Hyunsiks voice came from up ahead.
"Inside voices, children. " The alpha said drily. " I much prefer watching you Canoodling near the window to watching you bicker. It's annoying. "
"Stay out of our business."
"I would if I wasn't trapped in a car with the pair of you." Hyunsik grunted. " First your boyfriend and now your husband. You need to take a break from relationships Jungkook... You're terrible at them. "
Taehyung frowned confused.
"Boyfriend? " He glanced at Jungkook.
" What are you talking about? "
"You don't know? Loverboy here had a huge quarrel with lead model , Yoongi. Left the poor thing in tears, right Jungkook. Any alpha that makes an omega cry like that is an asshole in my opinion. Steer clear of him Taehyung. "
"You need to shut your fucking mouth, right now."Jungkook growled low and Hyunsik scoffed.
" Oh shut up. Using your scent to lull him into a false sense of security, Taehyung may not have realized it, but I did. It's a shitty thing to do Jungkook. You shouldn't do that to him."
Taehyung felt his entire body go icy cold at that.
"You... What? "
"Taehyung he's spouting nonsense.. I didn't.. "
"I'm not spouting nonsense Taehyung. " Hyunsik said firmly. " Weren't you feeling particularly lethargic right now... With him?? Like your inhibitions were low?"
Taehyung felt his head spin at that, recoiling away from Jungkook instinctively but the alpha chased after him, gripping his wrists.
"Taehyung don't believe this fucking idiot... I did not do that... "
"Your scent. " Taehyung frowned, " It was stronger. I did feel that... "
The car ground to a halt before Jungkook could respond and Taehyung yanked his hands away, eyes wide and hunted.
"Taehyung you need to hear me out... "
"Don't touch me. " The omega hissed, reaching for the door and tugging on it, moving out as soon as it opened.
He began walking away from the car, from Jungkook, wanting to get as far away from the alpha as possible, but Jungkook was on his heels in a second, grabbing his arm and tugging him around.
"Taehyung stop! "
"You're an awful human being. " Taehyung said shakily.
"Taehyung you need to listen to me okay? Hyunsik makes it seem like I was drugging you or something.. But I swear to God that is not what happened... Just will you hear me out.. "
"You used your scent... Don't lie.. "
Jungkook took a deep breath.
"You're right I did..."
Taehyung made a noise of hurt, trying to pull away from him but Jungkook merely grabbed his other arm as well, hauling him close till they were pressed right up against each other.
"But I didn't do it to manipulate you or control you in some way, I can't do things like that..
My scent was just meant to help upu relax because everytime you try to remember about that night, you get panic attacks. "
Taehyung froze, eyes wide.
"How did you know that? " He whispered. Jungkook sighed.
"Last night, I called Dr--, remember him?"
"The guy who confirmed that I was never pregnant. " Taehyung said vacantly, looking away.
"Yes, him.. I wanted to ask him about the possibility of someone getting a false positive in a pregnancy test. He told me that your mother.. Tried to get you to remember what happened
That night, and it made you panic. He told me that there was a chance that something happened and your mind is just blocking it off . Like a coping mechanism. And he told me I had to be careful when talking to you about it." He sighed. " I just wanted you to not panic."
Jungkook's hold on his arm relaxed a little bit but he didn't let go.
"I can't control you with my scent Taehyung that's bullshit. Even if I could, do you think I would do something like that? " He sighed. " I would never hurt anyone intentionally, Taehyung, least of all you. "
Taehyung took a deep breath.
"Everytime I try to trust you, " He whispered, " You find a new way to make me doubt myself Jungkook. It's just fucking exhausting, being with you. I want out. "
Something about the way he said it made Jungkook freeze. The words cut deep, although they had no right to, and Jungkook felt something primal stir inside him, something that felt very Close to anger.
How dare you think of leaving me, some part of him seemed to say.
It shocked him, enough to let go of the omega, stepping back and away from him, his mind reeling from the way Taehyungs words had made him feel.
What the fuck was wrong with him.
He struggled to get his thoughts under control, hands shaking a little as he stared at the omega.
"I see... Then it's good that this relationship has an expiration date. " He said shakily.
Taehyung looked away that.
"Yes. I'm looking forward to not seeing you again. "
Jungkook felt the words like sharp little paper cuts, stinging and unbearable.
" Are you certain you'll be okay with never seeing me again? "
The words were out before he could think them through , spilling out of his mouth before he. Could complete the thought in his head.
Are you certain you'll be okay with never seeing me again,
Because I'm not sure I'll be fine with not seeing you.
"Did you really just ask me that? " Taehyung whispered, staring at him in disbelief. " Do you even have a fucking heart, Jeon Jungkook? " He whispered.
Jungkook looked away from him.
"If that's what you want then fine... " He said softly.
" If that's what I want?? " Taehyung laughed in disbelief " Are you hearing yourself right now? It's not what I want...its what you want. What you've wanted from the time we got married . To be rid of me. " He snapped.
Jungkook stared at him.
"Are you saying nothing's changed?"
"Are you saying something has? "
"Of course it has! " Jungkook protested, " How can you say that it hasn't? The past couple weeks... Things have been changing. Between us... Don't you feel it, Taehyung? "
"You're out of your mind. I can't listen to this."
He made to move away but Jungkook was quicker, coming around to stand in his way, holding both his arms up.
"Stop running away for fucks sake. Can you just talk to me? For once? "
" Move. " Taehyung growled.
" Fine. Things may not have changed for you. But they have for me."
"Taehyung i wasn't fair to you. " He said shakily. " I understand that now. I let my own hurt blind me to a lot of things back then and maybe I held on to my anger because it made me feel. Righteous in some way. It was easier to blame you then question what happened.
And I'm fucking sorry I took that easy way out. I just... Everything seemed to point to you and I was just so overwhelmed and hurt that I didn't think of anyone or anything but myself. And that was wrong of me. I admit it. But I can't fix it if you don't give me a chance to. "
"And what exactly are you fixing? " Taehyung asked softly, his voice shaking a little. "There's nothing here to fix, Jungkook. You can't mend a relationship that was never there in the first place. " He shook his head.
Things may have changed for you...but you haven't changed...You're still the same guy who put me through hell for three years. You're still the guy who refused to believe me when I tried to explain what happened. You're still the guy who's in love with someone else. "
Jungkook made a noise of frustration, shaking his head.
"That's not what I'm trying to say, Taehyung. Can you just please listen to me and understand what I'm trying to tell you? What on earth do you mean I haven't changed? Of course I have... I just....
I want you to realize that something happened that night to you. And what ever it was, it ruined both our lives. All these years, all I could think of was how you hurt me, how you lied, how you're the reason I lost so much...
But you know what's changed.. I realized
that we're both victims here. Every choice we made these three years came from a place where we blamed each other for our pain and misery. And that's not fair to either of us. Whatever we said or did to each other, whatever hurt we've caused each other, it's because we
Thought we were getting back at the person who ruined our lives. When really it wasn't us at all. You and I we're not the bad guys here. The more I think of it, the more convinced I am that someone did this. Deliberately. And I want to find out who that was.
I'm here Taehyung. I'm here and what I'm trying to fix is our fucking hearts, okay? Yours and mine. Because I don't want to meet you on the streets ten years from now and think of you as someone who hurt me, someone who caused me pain, someone I hate... I don't want that.
When I say I want to fix this... I'm not saying I want to tie you to my side, force you to stay with me and live out a life of misery, alright? Of course this marriage is ending. We don't fucking love each other. But there's a difference between not being in love
With someone, and hating someone with every fiber of your being. I can live with us not being together...but I can't live knowing someone somewhere hates me for what I did to them...I can't. I'm sorry if that inconveniences you in some way but That's just who I am...
I've changed, Taehyung, because my idea of what happened that night, has changed. That was the glass I was looking at you through, and now those glasses are gone. And I see you for who you are . Someone who was hurt just like I was. And I'm not asking to fix our nonexistent
Relationship. All I'm saying is that, six months from now, when we walk out of each other's lives, I want us to be able to look each other in the eye and say, honestly, that we only wish each other well..
Please, just help me reach the point where, when the time comes, I can say goodbye to you without feeling like I've failed both you and myself. I don't want hate you and I don't want you to hate me either....because we deserve better than that. You and me. "
It was another hour before they finally stood outside the large reception lounge of the luxury resort, watching the valets load their luggage into carts. There would be more electric carts coming over, the manager explained, fuelled vehicles weren't allowed inside the premises.
Taehyung stood next to Jungkook, an awkward silence settling over both of them. Tae felt ill at ease next to the alpha, mostly because he felt like it was his turn to speak. Jungkook had told him all that and he had just not responded at all. He had just been too overwhelmed.
As he stood next to the alpha, shuffling awkwardly on his feet, he couldn't help but feel awful. Jungkook's words had been so desperate, a plea for him to. Understand and he wasn't sure if he was capable of understanding them right.
To be able to wish each other well....
Did that mean he wanted them to be friends?
Was he strong enough to give Jungkook something like that and not destroy himself in the process? Being friendly, sharing parts of each other, getting to know each other...
And then parting at the end of it.
It hurt just to imagine.
Taehyung didn't trust himself around Jungkook. The smallest things about the alpha, the most insignificant little details had engraved themselves on the walls of his heart, these few years. He remembered things about Jungkook, he knew what made him angry, what made him sad..
He knew how much pepper he liked in his soup, knew the flowers he preferred , how sensitive he was to certain scents..
These weren't parts freely shared with him by the alpha.
These were details collected through stolen glances, quiet observation without the alpha knowing...
And Taehyung who hadn't gotten over these tiny details, would he ever get over Jungkook, if they actually became friends.
The idea was laughable.
And when Jungkook made him fall deeper in love only to walk out on him, " Wishing him well" ?
Would he survive that?
"Have you ever been to a place like this? " Jungkook asked quietly, breaking him out of his thoughts. Taehyung glanced around, all the blinding opulence evident in every corner. Luxury was always loud and gaudy, Taehyung only knew the silence of barely getting by.
When you were poor, you were also invisible. Common. Without value. He had no experience in places like this. And if Jungkook knew him at all, he would know that at least.
"I've never been anywhere but Seoul, Jungkook. " He said quietly. The alpha stepped a little closer.
"Where do you want to go? " He asked gently.
Of all the things that Taehyung had expected him to say, that was on the bottom of the list.
"I.... What? "
"Paris? Venice? Or somewhere else? You must've wanted to go places. "
Daegu, Taehyung thought. Back home.
Before he moved to Seoul, he had friends. Familiar faces who had cared a bit about him.
Seoul had been a prison cell.
"Paris sounds nice. " He mumbled under his breath. " Have you been there? "
Jungkook turned to look at him, a thoughtful look on his face.
"No but, there's probably a photoshoot coming up there. I can volunteer. Do you want to come along? "
Taehyung stared at the man in disbelief. Jungkook, he realised in shock, wasn't frightened of his own thoughts or feelings like Taehyung.
That's why he said things like this.
Without thinking, without worrying about the repercussions of them. Jungkook wasn't afraid of showing he cared.
Probably because he had never had it used against him like a bear trap. Holding him down under water, only letting him catch his breath when he did what they wanted.
And Taehyung struggled against the tide of his own fears, wanting to be honest with Jungkook for once.
"Japan.. " Taehyung said without over thinking." I always wanted to see the cherry blossoms
in Japan. "
A truth. He had always loved watching them on the news.
Jungkook seemed to light up at that. He turned around fully, reaching for his hand and squeezing it.
"We'll go then. Next year. They bloom between march and may.. " He said firmly. " Cherry blossoms. You know what that reminds me of. There's a phrase, mono no aware. "
"The sadness of things.. " He said easily, " It's a Japanese phrase. "
Jungkook nodded. " Do you know what it means? "
Taehyung shook his head.
"It means that sometimes beauty is enhanced by impermanence. " Jungkook smiled. " Like the cherry blossoms."
"The flowers only last a very short time but that doesn't stop us from enjoying them. ' jungkook sighed, " Things change. Everything does. They change and they end and like the cherry blossoms they wither away...But that doesn't make them any less beautiful you know? "
" In fact.. " Jungkook turned to him again, " It makes them more precious don't you think? I guess it just means that Knowing that something is ending..shouldn't stop us from loving it while it's there... Does that make sense.. "
Taehyung felt a lump in his throat.
(A/n this is real. Btw)
"Endings are scary. " Taehyung said shakily. " When something ends, there's just... So much pain involved.. Don't you think.... " He bit his lips.
Jungkook hesitated for a few seconds.
"I ended things with Yoongi a while ago. " He said, looking away. " It wasn't scary. "
Taehyung felt like someone had doused him with icy cold water.
"What? " He stammered, voice breaking a bit. Jungkook turned to him with a small smile.
"You look more horrified than he did. " He chuckled lightly. " It was bound to happen, I suppose. We're not the same people."
we were when we met and fell in love. " He shrugged. " It's funny, I used to think that love won't ever disappear, you know. Once you love someone, a part of you will always love them. But, I don't think any part of me loves him anymore. " He sighed.
Taehyung stared at the alpha, not missing the slight wistfulness in his tone. There was definitely an ache there, impossible to hide from someone like Taehyung who could pick out the way Jungkook's emotions changed, just from the pace of his breaths.
Taehyung supposed he ought to feel some semblance of relief at the words. He had always felt like Jungkook deserved to be loved by someone who valued him more. Someone who saw how wonderful he was, a man who was good, through and through.
But all he felt at the moment was a sad ache somewhere in his chest. Jungkook looked like he was grieving the loss of whatever had kept him tethered to the omega. And Taehyung couldn't take joy in something that brought Jungkook sadness.
So he merely bowed his head.
There was a beat of silence, during which they seemed lost in their own thoughts. Until the alpha cleared his throat.
“Taehyung….” Jungkook said quietly, “ Is there a possible future for us, where you can see yourself as a friend of mine?
If there isn’t I’ll give you your space… I’ll take care of all of this by myself. I won’t bother you about anything beyond what’s necessary.
But if there is… If there’s even a small chance of us putting this behind us, I want to try.” He took a deep breath,
“ I don’t know if you know this about me, but when I genuinely want something, I can be very persistent. And lately… a part of me is aching to know more about you. I don’t want to start wanting that…because once I do…
I’m not going to be able to stop. So, just… can you tell me if I’m allowed to? Am I allowed to want that….with you?”
Taehyung breathed out, looking back up at him with damp lashes.
“You said you didn’t want to hate me… What if that’s what happens when you get to know me? People who get close to me… I don’t think they end up liking me much.” He licked his lips.
“ I’m not interesting or fun or pleasant to be with … I just… I feel like I’m just one of those people meant to be alone you know…all their lives.”
Jungkook frowned deeply, tilting his head in confusion.
“Tae… what…” He shook his head in disbelief. “ Why would you say that?”
Taehyung flushed, ears turning red. Had he said too much? Revealed too much. Something clawed inside his chest , that familiar fear that made him want to lash out at Jungkook , anytime he tried to get close and the urge to say something cutting,
something sharp and angry and uncalled for, it simmered under his skin because he didn’t know how else to protect himself, not when every tender word that came from the alpha, insisted on being carved into his mind.
But Jungkook seemed to sense the change in his emotions, because the alpha was suddenly standing right in front of him, taking both his hands in his own.
“Well, it doesn’t matter.” He said firmly. “ If the people in your life have made you feel that way, then they don’t belong there. You just need to meet better people, Taehyung. People who care enough to get to know you before passing judgements on your personality.
And not to brag but, I’ve had people say I’m a pretty decent guy. Four star reviews on yelp. You can ask anyone. Except maybe my ex boyfriend , don’t ask him.” He shrugged.
Taehyung felt a smile tug on his lips against his will, and he brought his palm up, instinctively but Jungkook caught his wrist.
“I’ve never made you smile before, have I?” he asked quietly, eyes trained on his lips , gaze lingering just a second more than necessary,
before pulling back to meet his eyes again, “ what a pity… you have a lovely smile.”
Taehyung stared at him, moving to tug his wrist back but Jungkook’s grip was firm.
“You don’t like being touched?” he asked softly.
Taehyung could only stare at him, a little stunned.
Jungkook glanced down at where his tattooed fingers lay wrapped around the omega’s slender wrist, “ I'm asking because I need to know...if that is a a boundary I should keep. I’m a very tactile guy so if you don’t like being touched you need to tell me, Taehyung.”
Taehyung had to swallow twice just to get his breath back. Jungkook’s fingers were rough, a little calloused probably because of his work and he could feel the ridges of his palm digging into his skin a little.
Taehyung had never met anyone who behaved less like an overbearing alpha, than Jungkook. But he had always noticed how that little bit of aggression and arrogance seemed to come out when he stared at people or when he touched them.
He’d never experienced it himself , but here under the alpha’s scrutiny, Taehyung realized that Jungkook was right. He was very tactile. And Taehyung really wasn't strong enough to be okay with that. Licking his lips, he cleared his throat.
He had to put his foot down a little , he told himself firmly even if there was a voice in his mind screaming at him to just take what he could get. Like the cherry blossoms, enjoy it while it lasts, the evil little voice seemed to stay and he shuddered.
“No.. i… I don’t mind that. Just… sometimes you.. your grip is too hard… I bruise easy…” He hesitated, “ so please be careful.” He glanced down pointedly at where Jungkook held his wrist, expecting him to let go but Jungkook didn’t .
Instead, he felt the subtle pressure of his grip tightening, the fingertips pressing in, and the fist small tingle of pain…he glanced up and Jungkook was watching him with his eyes narrowed, gaze so intense, Taehyung felt his insides churn .
The grip tightened again and he couldn’t help but whimper.
“Jungkook…” his voice came out just a little to breathy, “ gently…I…”
Jungkook’s eyes darkened even more at that, and Taehyung flushed when his scent grew stronger as well,
blood rushing to his face as the alpha leaned in, lips parting to say something but a loud noise behind them made both of them jump. Jungkook’s hand dropped away from his wrist as if he’d been burned and he was staring at Taehyung in shock.
“I.. Tae.. I’m so sorry… I.. Fucking hell… Did I hurt you?” He reached for his hand and Taehyung quickly shook his head, watching as the alpha held his forearm , this time his touch ridiculously gentle, eyes fixing on the slightly red flesh, his brows furrowed.
“Are you okay?” Taehyung asked nervously , genuinely concerned and Jungkook grunted.
“I’m sorry. Uh…. I’m just not…feeling my best. “ He scratched the back of his head, not meeting his gaze.
“ But it won’t happen again. I’ll stop at a pharmacist’s tomorrow and get my suppressants. “
Oh, right. Taehyung looked away, not sure what to say.
" I get a little ...impulsive around this time. " Jungkook said again. " I apologize. Don't hold it against me."
And What exactly did impulsive mean? Taehyung thought , a little wildly. He had no idea how ruts worked. Had never had an alpha friend or anything like that. He had tried asking Jimin once, simply out of sheer curiosity because the omega always looked like he's been wrung out
and left to dry after helping his boyfriend out with his ruts . But that thought had died a quick death. Jimin was his only friend. He didn't want to make things weird between them. And also, how would he explain not knowing what an alpha's rut was like, being married to one.
But that was just how it was.
Despite living in the same home for nearly three years he had no idea what Jungkook did during his ruts or how he handled them.The alpha usually just disappeared for a few days every three months.And whenever Tae had his heat he booked a motel room.
They stood in awkward silence for a couple of seconds before the electric cart came rolling down the pathway once more.
“Sir, your bungalow is ready… We have a complimentary High Tea and also a spot for couple’s massage open
in case you want to loosen up those limbs before dinner?” The manager said softly, looking back and forth between them with a bright smile.
“Oh, will we be meeting the others then?” Taehyung asked even as Jungkook ran his forefinger over his skin.
The alpha looked genuinely worried , hunched over his arm and Taehyung reached out, lightly touching his hair. It was so soft he momentarily lost his train of thought , but when Jungkook glanced up, he got himself together.
“I have some salve in my luggage. It’s alright. It doesn’t hurt.” He said quickly. Jungkook seemed to be searching his face for something, perhaps any sign that he was lying. After a second the alpha nodded, pulling away from him.
“okay, we’ll get to the room first.” He said briskly, before turning to him. “ What did you ask me earlier?”
“Will we be meeting the rest of your crew at dinner?”
Jungkook shook his head.
“They’re not staying here. They’re at a hotel a couple miles down the road.”
“We’ll only be shooting here . We have a session late night on the beach so they’ll probably be here after dinner.” Jungkook led the way as they moved to climb into the cart. " Have you ever seen an overwater bungalow."
"Why aren't we staying with them?"
Jungkook gave him an amused look.
“You want to stay with them?” He shook his head, “ They aren’t really what I would call pleasant company, you know.”
The cart began moving and Taehyung lurched, not used to riding in an open vehicle.
Jungkook’s arm came around him, wrapping him in an embrace, almost caging him against his chest. Tae fumbled, hand curving around the alpha’s thigh for balance , the muscles flexing under his grip.
“Be careful, please. “ Jungkook barked at the driver who was chuckling lightly.
“Are you sure you want that, Mr. Jeon?” He teased and Taehyung felt his face flame. “ Are you here on your honeymoon?”
“No.” Taehyung began just as Jungkook went,
“Yes.” The alpha smiled at the man through the rearview mirror. “ I’m a lucky man aren’t I?”
The man hummed.
“No doubt sir. You make a very lovely couple.”
Taehyung glared at him.
“Why do you have to lie?” He hissed and Jungkook grinned down at him, tugging him closer.
“So we get the extra special treatment, “ he mumbled.
“ Rule of thumb, when you’re in a luxury resort always tell them you’re on your honeymoon.”
By now, the sun had begun to dip below the horizon, the sky darkening and Taehyung sat up a bit straighter, eye going wide as the overwater bungalows came into view.
They looked like little cabins, perched on stilts in the ocean, each cabin with a set of stairs leading right into the water. Taehyung felt his jaw go slack, heart pounding in disbelief.
“That’s.. Oh my God..” He whispered in awe, and Jungkook leaned in till his chest was pressed flush against Taehyung’s back, chin resting on his shoulder.
“Beautiful isn’t it?” He grinned. “ A beautiful place for beautiful people.”
Taehyung wrinkled his nose in distaste.
"What?" Jungkook gave him a look of innocence, and Tae elbowed him in the chest, "stop being cheesy" he rolled his eyes.
"I didn't come up with that, that's what it said in the brochure!" he protested, as Tae made to pull away from him, but the alpha kept his arm firm around him.
Jungkook watched as Taehyung went around the two storey bungalow which had a living space, a large bedroom and an open deck with an infinity pool.There was another deck on the opposite side, this one with lounge chairs and stairs leading down to the turquoise blue water.
One of the staff from the hotel helped him set up all his photography equipment in the living room, which had a nice oak work deal that would come in handy these two weeks. He grimaced. He was spending a lot of money on this ' work trip'. But he had his reasons.
" Where does all the water go?? " Tae's excited voice came from the deck, making him smile a little. The omega had found the infinity pool then. The large glass doors opening out into the deck from their bedroom slid open and Tae stuck his head in.
"Theres a magic pool here. "
Jungkook grinned waving back as the omega went back outside. He felt a little bit disquiet watching Taehyung. He looked alright but Jungkook was so, so scared of messing up.
The talk with Dr. Lee had somehow answered a lot of questions but also given rise to new ones.
"PTSD"The man had said right off the bat and just hearing the phrase had set off alarm bells all over his mind and body.Thankfully his father had been right there, taking over the conversation while Jungkook's mind took a deep dive into what was surely the seventh circle of hell.
The phrase terrified him.
It was a word that he really, really did not want to associate with Taehyung. No, it wasn't acceptable. It couldn't have happened. There had to be another explanation.
But no matter how much he thought of it, it all came back to one thing.
His father had clearly had the same idea, because he had mentioned it to the man, tentatively. Dr. Lee had said firmly that he couldn't make any assessments without meeting Taehyung himself. For now all he could do was maybe share a few ways to help him.
Jungkook had tried to take it all in and it seemed there were just two things that kept coming up in the conversation. Trust, comfort, patience. Be someone the omega could trust, keep an eye on them to judge when something was making him uncomfortable, and be patient with them.
" That feels like manipulation somehow. " He had blurted out at once, not liking the idea of trying to earn Taehyung's trust with ulterior motives. Dr Lee had given him a rather sad smile.
"Repressed memories never end well, son. Your husband can't run away from them forever.
"Someday he's going to have to face them. Don't you think it's better if he has someone by his side when it happens? Someone who can understand what he's going through? Someone he can trust to take care of him. I've seen people relive their trauma. It's never a pretty sight. "
"Jungkook." Taehyung's voice broke him out of his thoughts and he glanced up at the omega, who was wearing a cotton nightshirt that hung to his knees and seemingly nothing else. He smelled like green apple and pine.
"I took a shower.. I need to lie down now. " He said softly.
"Are you alright? " Jungkook asked quietly , placing his files down and walking over to Taehyung's side. The omega looked exhausted, eyes rimmed red and hair still a little damp from the shower.
" I have a headache. " Taehyung said tiredly. " I don't know why. "