Gossamer, a #taekookau
"So now I have to meet him for this stupid fashion show?!" Taehyung groans, "come on! You knew he is my ex-husband! Why would you invite him?!"
Hoseok sighs, "he is one of the investors, Tae. We can't possibly not invite him?"
- Ex husbands
- dom/sub undertone
- arranged marriage
- morally grey characters
- past alcohol abuse
- toxic relationships/characters (you are warned. Leave if it's too much for you)
- minors are suggested to not read this one
"He is coming here for his sugar baby anyway," Hoseok sits on the bed, eyes on Taehyung, "get over it."
Taehyung lies down, reaching for the cigarette case by the bedside table. He lights one and hums to himself.
"I just," he sighs, "I promised myself to never see him again."
Hoseok chuckles, "and, you don't have to. It's a huge event. Ignoring a person won't be tough."
Taehyung lets out a ring of smoke, humming, "yeah. It won't be tough."
His mind takes him back to those days. Those days when ignoring Jeon Jungkook was the most impossible thing.
Forgot another tag - age swap.
JK is 4 years older than Tae.
Taehyung is glad for the lights blasting over his face. The lines of photographers all over him, obscuring his view of the others in the room. He crosses his one leg over the other, flashing a blinding smile to overpower those flashes of the cameras. His name echoes around him.
'To the right, just a little left.' 'Here, V, here,' 'please a little to your side,' 'smile at the cameras...'
Taehyung ignores all the instructions and poses the way he likes. An easy smile with a tilt of his head. Taehyung nods when Hoseok asks the photographers to leave.
“I am exhausted,” Taehyung sips the champagne, “when can we leave?”
Hoseok rolls his eyes, “you know we can't leave right now. We have to wait it out.”
Taehyung hums, eyes roaming over the others, “where is mimi?”
Hoseok shrugs, “getting ready for the ramp.”
The sudden raise of the murmurs in the room makes him alert of someone important's presence, but Taehyung is hardly bothered. He keeps his eyes on the ramp.
But, there is a nagging feeling in the pit of his stomach. Something familiar and aching. He looks over to his side.
The first person he sees is a guy. Dressed in rich clothes and accessories. But, Taehyung's experienced eyes scan over the guy to decide, the guy is not rich himself. There is a certain awe in his eyes and smile that screams, 'newbie to this glam world,' to Taehyung.
The guy stops short when he sees Taehyung and suppresses a choking sound when he recognizes Taehyung. Taehyung offers a small smile of acknowledgement. The smile fades just too quickly when his eyes slide over to the man behind the guy.
This is the man who belongs in this world.
Hell, Taehyung thinks bitterly, this is the man who owns the glamour world.
Jeon Jungkook has that same aura of indifference. His expression is just as blank as it always used to be. Those eyes are on Taehyung and Taehyung swallows.
Jungkook's eyes flick away from him.
“Is this our seat?” the guy asks, excitement dripping from his voice.
“Yes,” Jungkook's secretary nods, “you are on this one,” she points, “and, sir beside Mr. Kim.”
Taehyung forces himself to not react. He forces his muscles to not lock up and freeze. He swallows anyway.
Jungkook unbuttons the one button of his suit and sits down beside Taehyung. Taehyung's eyelids flutter when the scent invades his nostrils.
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille.
The same perfume he always used. Taehyung digs his nails on his knee, eyes focused ahead of him.
The cameras are blinding again. This time for Jungkook and Taehyung leans on his left, trying to get away from the lenses. He notices how the cameras are trying to capture the two of them. He knows this is an important event for the media. Jungkook and him meeting after years.
Taehyung lets out a sigh of relief when Jungkook's secretary and the staffs of the event ask them to leave.
“When's the event starting?” the guy beside Jungkook asks, “soon, right?”
Jungkook clicks his tongue, his hand going to rest on the guy's knee, effectively silencing him.
Taehyung finds himself going back years. His mind reeling back to when that hand used to come and rest on his knee. To silence him. To get his attention. To guide him around those prim guests and inquisitive eyes.
He cringes at the image of his past self. Just like this guy.
He remembers being starry eyed, new to this world. Letting Jungkook string him around. Letting the man show him off. A naive, little thing. 'A brainless beauty,' as Jungkook's father called him that night. Those words Taehyung still carries with him. A scar, a reminder to self.
The name still echoes in his ears. Jungkook's breathy voice calling him that. Those grunts, swear words etched on Taehyung's skin. Those hands leaving marks, pleasure and pain coursing through Taehyung's veins like substances. He was so high on Jungkook.
'The only person you are here to please is me,' Jungkook's words still plays like an old vinyl in Taehyung's ears, 'the only person you need to please is me. I got you for myself, and no one else matters.'
Taehyung twitches on his seat. There is a question he never got to ask.
'If you were the only person I was there to please, then why I wasn't the only one to you?'
The question Taehyung knows he will never ask. His self-respect will always hold him back. He will never be able to look at the man and demand that answer. Jungkook never owed it to him.
Taehyung smiles to himself. Self-respect. He learnt that word and how deeply rooted it was in him the day he left Jungkook. That sham of a marriage. The pretence of domesticity. All of it.
'I want a divorce.'
'The papers will be sent to you.'
Just two messages ended it all.
“You want something to drink?” Hoseok asks, leaning in, “you look pale.”
Taehyung shakes his head, “no. I am fine. I just want to see mimi walk down the ramp before I leave.”
Hoseok winces, “we have to stay for the after party, tae. I am sorry.”
Taehyung swallows, “oh.”
Taehyung sits through the show and claps the loudest when Jimin walks down the ramp. The supermodel's expression doesn't change but on his way back, Jimin winks at Taehyung from the corner of his eyes.
Taehyung smiles wide, watching his best friend disappear behind the curtains.
When the show is done, Taehyung gets up first. He points at the washroom and nods when Hoseok tells him he will wait in the party.
“Change your clothes,” Hoseok eyes him, “wear something casual. Then come back. Yeah?”
Taehyung sighs, “fine. Just wait for me.”
Taehyung gets out of the party to go to the washroom. When he walks out of the washroom, there stands his guards. To usher him back to the hotel, where he is to change his clothes and join the after party. Taehyung follows them to his car, getting inside to drive back.
He is in his room when the phone buzzes by his bedside. Taehyung ties the robe around himself, ready to slip into his party-wear. He curses and goes to pick up the call.
“Good evening, sir. Mr. Jeon is here to meet you,” the receptionist answers him, “shall I send him up?”
Taehyung grips the receiver tightly, his eyes focused on the ticking clock. It's past eight in the evening. He clears his throat.
“No,” Taehyung whispers, “ask him what he wants.”
The receptionist sounds uncomfortable, “he won't talk to me, sir.”
Taehyung knows that much.
“Tell him to wait by the lobby,” Taehyung murmurs, something crawling up his spine.
“I wasn't really seeking permission here, doll.”
Taehyung holds back a gasp, “what-”
“Tell me your room number,” Jungkook's voice is just as commanding as ever.
“Fuck you,” Taehyung hisses.
“I will find your room on my own,” Jungkook's voice is impassive, “and, it won't be good if I have to do that. Yes?”
“What do you want?” Taehyung wonders, “we haven't seen each other for six years. You can't possibly have anything-”
“Baby doll,” Jungkook murmurs, “room number.”
“It's laughable that you think those words still mean shit to me!” Taehyung says and sits down on the bed because his knees feel weak.
The line is silent, but Jungkook didn't hang up.
Silent treatment. It always wrecked Taehyung's nerves.
He curses, “what do you want?!”
“I can find you,” Jungkook murmurs, “you know very well that I can find you.”
Taehyung closes his eyes, “why?”
“Room number,” Jungkook answers.
Taehyung feels his eyes burn, “why does it have to be always your way?!”
“Because, that's the only way for you,” Jungkook whispers.
“I am not telling you my room number,” Taehyung decides, “so, fck you.”
Jungkook's chuckle sends a shiver down Taehyung's spine. A type of shiver that is not really fear but anticipation. A sick sense of thrill.
“Fine, I was trying to be modest anyway,” Jungkook cuts the call.
Taehyung jumps off the bed to run and struggle himself into his jeans. He snatches his shirt next, hurrying to button it.
If one thing he knows about Jeon Jungkook, it's that the man has his ways, and his ways always end up wining.
When the doorbell rings, Taehyung expects it.
Taehyung thinks about not opening the door, but his mind takes him back to that one time he did that. He remembers the door broken by Jungkook's guards. The man standing proudly, hands in his pockets and eyes on Taehyung. He does not want to repeat that, so he goes to open it.
His heart beats to his mouth when he sees the man on the other side. Jungkook stands the same. Hands in pockets, eyes on him. Taehyung forces himself to regulate his breathing.
“What is it?” Taehyun goes for casual, ends up with a wavering voice.
Jungkook stands motionless.
The guards of the man force the door open, and Taehyung is reminded just how defenseless he is against the said man.
Jungkook waltzes inside and waits until his guards locked the door behind him. Taehyung glares at the man, blocking his way inside the suite.
“What do you want?”
“You need to call Hoseok and tell him you are not coming to the party.”
Taehyung blinks, “I am sorry?”
Jungkook nods, once, curt, “then, you will pack your bag and come with me.”
Taehyung gapes, “seriously, what?!”
Jungkook breathes in, as if irked, “I don't repeat myself.”
“Then start now,” Taehyung crosses his arms over his chest, “because, I have no idea what you are saying and what do you mean by this!”
Jungkook looks at him, impassive as ever, “you are coming with me,” he instructs, “and, for a few months you are not allowed to leave my side.”
“You are crazy,” Taehyung laughs, “what are you-”
Jungkook holds out his phone, flippantly showing Taehyung the screen.
Taehyung furrows his brows to read the message there.
'Drop the deal or he will suffer.'
Taehyung blinks, “what...?”
Jungkook hums, “yeah.”
“No, what is this and how do you know it's about me?!” Taehyung laughs, throwing his hands up in confusion, “they didn't mention me-”
“There's no one else in this entire world whose suffering is my problem,” Jungkook snaps, “so, it's you.”
Taehyung goes still, “... what?”
Jungkook nods, “pack your bags.”
“No!” Taehyung grits his teeth, “you can't come back after six years to tell me whatever that meant with a damn guy hanging from your arm like a candy!”
Jungkook sighs, “I didn't have any reason to bother you in these six years. So, I didn't.”
“That's the only clause you had,” Jungkook speaks as if he is stating business facts, “to leave you alone. I did.”
Taehyung wants to scream. He hates how Jungkook's words make him feel.
“What do you really want, Jungkook?” He says instead, “because, I know my worth to you.”
“I want you to pack your bags,” Jungkook pushes his hands in his pockets again, “I am leaving with you in ten minutes. Either you pack or you come without anything. You choose.”
“I choose for you to leave me alone,” Taehyung whispers, “like you did all those years ago.”
“I will,” Jungkook nods, “once the culprit is found.”
“Drop the deal,” Taehyung shrugs, “is it one of those drug deals or weapons? Which one?”
Jungkook does not answer. Taehyung scoffs.
“Still a beauty with no brain to you, huh?” Taehyung chuckles, “get out. I can handle mys-”
“I can't drop the deal,” Jungkook sounds like he would rather not explain but is forced to, “they will know for sure how much value you hold then. I don't know how many are behind this threat, and I need to find them. Send a message that no one messes with me.”
“I don't want to go with you-”
“I am not asking,” Jungkook shakes his head, “I am telling you. I haven't meddled in your life once since our divorce. I would not come back if it wasn't important. I want nothing in return. Just, come with me. Let me make sure you are safe.”
“I am not going with-”
“I have never forced you,” Jungkook steps up to Taehyung, hand reaching to take a hold of Taehyung's elbow, “baby doll. Not once ignored your boundaries. Never crossed a line you drew,” his grip tightens, pulling Taehyung closer, “don't make me start now.”
“I am not going to bring up our past,” Jungkook shakes his head, “I am not holding onto anything. We are way past that. You have a boyfriend, and I am fine in my relationships as I go with them. Just, for god's sake, do this. A few weeks. Maximum. Be rational for once!”
“Call your boyfriend and tell him you are coming with me,” Jungkook instructs, “not a damn hide out. My house. In LA. You can live there, and he can just as well come over.”
Taehyung curses, “Yoongi hyung has work. Unlike you, we don't own companies and the underworld.”
“Hey, I am just outside your hotel, what's up?”
Yoongi's voice makes Taehyung close his eyes, he swallows and lets out a deep breath.
“I have to leave for LA,” Taehyung glares at the guards who are packing his bags for him, “something important came up. Sorry, hyung.”
Taehyung watches Jungkook smoke, standing by the vast window and keeping an eye on the city beneath him.
“Can I meet you now?” Yoongi wonders, “before you leave?”
“Of course,” Taehyung hums, “can you wait by the lobby. I will-”
“Ask him to come up,” Jungkook speaks, “here.”
Taehyung grits his teeth, “why?”
Jungkook looks over at him, impassive eyes focused on Taehyung, “I need to meet him once.”
Taehyung glares at the man, “we are dating for just two months. He doesn't know about you or-”
Jungkook's lips twitch, “just get him here.”
Taehyung does not expect for Jungkook's guards to grab Yoongi by the neck and force him on his knees. He does not expect them to put a gun on his temple.
“What are you doing?!” Taehyung shrieks, “he is my boyfriend!”
Jungkook taps the cigarette against the ashtray, observing.
Jungkook walks over to the kneeling man, leans in to grab Yoongi's hair and jerk his head up. Taehyung watches Jungkook blow the smoke out on Yoongi's face, the man watching him without blinking an eye.
Taehyung feels his heart race, his throat drying out fast.
Jungkook chuckles, “funny, how a mere photographer doesn't lose his shit when there are more than two guns pointed at his head.”
“The only funny thing here is your shit-talk,” Yoongi replies, “as immature as ever.”
“Why are you here, Min Yoongi?” Jungkook wonders, “hmm?”
“Not sure what you want to hear,” Yoongi murmurs, “I am dating him.”
“You are always hired to kill people,” Jungkook whispers, “you are not going to make me believe-”
“I left that path,” Yoongi shrugs, “I am trying to make a living in the right path now.”
Jungkook's grip tightens on Yoongi's hair, “you have a pretty face, Min Yoongi, I would hate to scar it again.”
Yoongi's eyes burn, Taehyung shudders when he remembers the elder telling him that the scar down his eye was an accident.
“I don't fear you,” Yoongi murmurs.
Jungkook leans in, lips near Yoongi's ear, “you are terrified of me. Who are you kidding?”
Yoongi swallows, “I am not here for your doll. I am not a fool to touch what's yours.”
Jungkook's eyes are heavy on Yoongi, “why are you here, then?”
Yoongi stays quiet. Jungkook sighs.
A cry breaks out of Taehyung's lips when Jungkook shoves Yoongi down on the floor. The sound of Yoongi's head crashing against the tiles is an odd one. Jungkook's boots are right in front of Yoongi's face.
“The underdog isn't supposed to have a mouth on him,” Jungkook murmurs.
“You are to open your mouth when I am demanding it,” Jungkook orders, “yes?”
“I am here for Park Jimin,” Yoongi coughs, eyes brimming with unshed tears because of the hit his forehead took against the tiles, “there was no other way to get close to him.”
Jungkook hums, “why?”
“You know why,” Yoongi sits back on his knees, “I am paid to.”
“You used me?” Taehyung whispers, “to get to mimi?”
Yoongi looks at Taehyung, “if you are expecting morals from the likes of me, you won't find it here.”
Taehyung glares, “I really liked you!”
“I wanted to go directly for Jimin, but he doesn't date people like us,” Yoongi's lips curl, “he is too snobby, so I had to somehow enter the circle. His circle is either you or your manager, and your manager talks a mile per second. So, it had to be you.”
Jungkook looks at Yoongi with contempt, “who paid you?”
Yoongi shrugs, “that you can kill me for. I won't tell.”
Jungkook looks at him intently, “I will lock you up. I don't trust you. You will be under my watch until this mess is solved.”
Yoongi smirks, “you never succeed.”
Jungkook turns to Taehyung, “now, you have any more reasons to stay here?”
Taehyung shakes his head, his eyes glossy, “no,” he curses, “I will change my clothes, and then we can leave.”
They both watch Taehyung go to the bedroom, and then Yoongi gets up on his feet.
“Sorry,” Jungkook holds out a tissue, “I used too much force.”
“Wonder how that happened for someone as skilled as you,” Yoongi takes the tissue and wipes his lip, “what's the plan next?”
Jungkook looks at the closed bedroom door, “taking him out of here. It's getting messy.”
Yoongi nods, “I know. I can't take care of him alone. It's good that you are stepping in.”
Jungkook watches Yoongi, “you really like him.”
Yoongi tongues his cheek, nodding, “I know. Make sure he is fine. Safe. Otherwise, next time, you will be face-planted on the floor.”
“About Park Jimin,” Jungkook frowns, “he is Taehyung's best friend. If Taehyung goes missing, those people might come for him-”
“I can't care less about Park Jimin,” Yoongi wipes his mouth, “his life is not my concern. Won't care a bit. He is a snob and I won't mind him gone.”
“Taehyung is important,” Yoongi murmurs, “I am keeping an eye on him for the last six years and know him up close for two months. I can tell you, you lost a golden chance.”
Jungkook watches him, “to keep a few people untainted, you need to let them go, Min Yoongi.”
Yoongi's eyes are observant, “you never make sense to me.”
Jungkook chuckles, turning away, “you are still the underdog, and I am the head of the organization, Yoongi. It's good that some things don't make sense to you.”
Yoongi watches his boss go and light another cigarette.
“I can't leave just like this,” Taehyung comes out of the room, dressed properly, “I have to talk to Hobi hyung and Jimi-”
“Hoseok is already alert,” Jungkook cuts Taehyung's words, “and, Jimin can handle himself.”
“No,” Taehyung crosses his arms over his chest, “get him here.”
“If something happens to him, I will never be able to forgive myself.”
Jungkook does not budge, “I don't have the time to run your errands.”
Taehyung shrugs, “then, I am not going anywhere. Apparently, him and hobi hyung are the only ones I can trust.”
Jungkook watches him, impassive, “call Hoseok.”
Taehyung watches one of the guards dial a number and his stomach flips, “no,” his voice comes out frail, “no,” he stumbles, “tell me he doesn't know you. Tell me he has nothing to do with this!”
Jungkook does not utter a word.
Taehyung lurches for Jungkook, grasping the collars of his suit, “so, all these jobs I had... all these events... none of this was my own effort paying me off?!” his eyes burn with tears, “all of this. My six years are down the drain?!”
“No,” Jungkook murmurs, “they are not.”
“I told him to be around you,” Jungkook speaks matter-of-factly, “when you left, I wasn't sure if anyone will come for you or not, so I just planted him beside you. Along with another,” he thinks of Yoongi, “but, where you are today, is your own work. I got nothing in that.”
Taehyung trembles, “Jimin,” he swallows, tears brimming in his eyes, “he is someone I met in this industry. He is my best friend,” his tears topple over the rim of his eyes, “tell me you didn't... that he isn't one of-”
“No,” Jungkook denies, “he doesn't know me. At all.”
“Exactly how crowded is your organization that you spare this many people to spy on your dolls?” Taehyung wonders, “how many?”
Jungkook buttons his suit, eyes sharp on Taehyung, “I might have had many affairs, but I got married only once. If I remember correctly.”
“As if those vows meant shit to you,” Taehyung goes to turn away and stops because of the grip on his wrist.
“I never cheated on you,” Jungkook's mask of indifference has a crack, the simmering anger and frustration seeps out, “I think you undermined your effects on me there.”
Taehyung's stomach flips, “let me go.”
Jungkook does, “did six years ago.”
The businessman turns on his boots to go and talk to one of the guards. While they converse, Taehyung calls Jimin over.
His eyes find Yoongi at the corner of the room, smoking. Taehyung feels furious.
The sound of the slap rings in the room. While Taehyung grabs Jimin by his waist, Jungkook merely bites down on his lower lip.
Yoongi stands there, face red where Jimin slapped him.
“People like you are the disgrace on this society!” Jimin shouts, “you as$hole!”
Yoongi glares at Jungkook who coughs, turning his attention on Taehyung who is struggling to hold Jimin back.
“You are so cheap!” Jimin shouts, trying to break out of Taehyung's hold, “to use Tae for money! How-”
“It's my job,” Yoongi answers, “I get paid for it.”
“You good for nothing as$hole!” Jimin throws a kick, clawing at Taehyung's arms, “find a better job then!”
“Okay, as much as I am enjoying this,” Jungkook gets up from the couch, “we need to move.”
“I am coming with Tae,” Jimin demands, “I don't trust you people!”
“My contract with the company ended,” Jimin shrugs, “I have some time off. I will follow Tae. I am not trusting any one of you around him!”
Yoongi arches a brow, “you think you are capable of protecting him on your own?”
“Well,” Jungkook sighs, “he can cause a ruckus.”
“He is the son of Mr. Park. The politician in Korea,” Jungkook nods at Yoongi, “if something happens to him, shit will be stirred. Unlike Taehyung, who has no one looking after him.”
“I am looking after him,” Jimin glares, “he got me!”
Jungkook eyes Jimin with a nod, “I know.”
Jungkook looks over at where Hoseok is, “we three will fly out to LA,” he looks at his wristwatch, “you clean up the mess here and come to the house. Soon.”
“Get rid of him,” Jimin sneers at Yoongi, “filth of the street!”
Yoongi's eyes flash with anger, he doesn't utter a word.
Jungkook watches Hoseok lead Taehyung and Jimin to the lift.
“When everything is done here, you come with Hoseok too,” Jungkook turns to Yoongi, “I have work for you.”
Yoongi nods, “this time I don't want money as the payment.”
Jungkook arches a brow, “then, what do you want?”
“I want you to clean up my records and turn a blind eye towards whatever happens to Jimin.”
Jungkook breathes out, “he is none of my business. As long as his father doesn't come for me.”
Yoongi shakes his head, “he won't.”
Jungkook pats Yoongi's shoulder, “do whatever.”
- It will be a drabble. I SWEAR TO UNICORN!
- If you want to support me, here's my kofi, it would mean a lot :
Taehyung remembers this house in LA. He visited it twice. His eyes scan the place and he feels nauseous.
“You are to leave the house with my guards, if ever,” Jungkook points his cigarette at Taehyung, “there are servants waiting for you. Anything you need-”
Taehyung storms in.
The inside is the same too. Taehyung eyes the decorations and follows the corridors with muscle memories. He feels like he is seeing that 20 years old Taehyung through his eyes again. First time stepping inside these corridors, awestruck, following Jungkook like a lost puppy.
He takes a turn and sees the living room. The east side of the room has a floor to ceiling glass. His insides crawl when he recalls Jungkook pressing him up against that glass, their mouths hungry on each other. Kisses leading to so much more.
God, he was so stupid.
He wants to turn to Jungkook and demand to know how many. How many 'dolls' of his remember that place like he does. How many dolls of his know how the master bedroom's mattress feels on their back. How the carpet is so lush under his knees. Who else knows about this house...
“Your room is the same,” Jungkook points, voice holding nothing, “if you remember.”
“I do,” Taehyung murmurs, eyeing the place, “count it as my curse. I remember everything about you.”
Jungkook is quiet for a second, then he hums, “a curse, indeed. I hoped you would forget.”
Taehyung ignores those words, “where is Jimin's room?”
Jungkook shrugs, “he will stay on the top floor,” the man goes and flicks the ash of his cigarette in the ashtray, “I don't like strangers in my space.”
Taehyung scoffs, “some things never change.”
Taehyung hesitates, looking at the corridor that will lead him to his room and back at the man who is unbuttoning his suit jacket.
“How long before you catch whoever it is that's threatening me?” Taehyung wonders, “I can't stay here for months. I have work to go back to.”
“I don't need too long,” Jungkook drops the cigarette in the ashtray, turning to face Taehyung, “my men are already on it.”
Taehyung gives a curt nod, his eyes following Jungkook's movements as the businessman takes off his jacket. That crispy white shirt tailored to perfection.
The tattoo, the outline of that snake, makes something coil in the pit of Taehyung's stomach. The snarling python with its fangs exposed stare at him. As if ready to lurch through the material of the shirt.
Taehyung remembers tracing the ink of that tattoo, with lips, nails…
'Why a snake?' he had asked one night, Jungkook sitting at the edge of his bed, his back to Taehyung.
'To remind myself,' the man had sad, looking over his shoulder at Taehyung.
Jungkook's eyes were hooded, veiled almost, 'that everyone is a snake in disguise.'
'You lose your footing, they poison you,' Jungkook's smile was crude that night.
Taehyung was foolish. Twenty and foolish. He had swallowed, leaning up on his elbows to pull the man to himself.
'I would never,' he had said, lips ghosting over Jungkook's, 'I would never.'
Taehyung shivers when he recalls how Jungkook had reached with his left hand. The arm that had the rest of the tattoo. The snake wrapped around his arm. Its tail wrapped around Jungkook's wrist.
The man had wrapped his hand around Taehyung's throat. Not tightly, but there.
He had pushes Taehyung down on the bed, head on the pillow. Those eyes are intense under the moonlight cascading down from the window. The elder had leaned in until their lips were almost on one another.
'You promise,' Jungkook murmured, 'baby doll?'
Taehyung had nodded, 'yes.'
There was a cruel smile on Jungkook's lips then. His eyes wandering over Taehyung's face.
'Pretty face, empty vows, you are made of everything the snake represents, doll,' he had got up from the bed, 'good night.'
Taehyung stares at the bed now, seeing himself lying there.
Taehyung sits on the bed now, feeling what that twenty years old Taehyung felt.
A sense of betrayal. A sense of reminder that he is nothing. Another face in a vast sea of others. Just another pretty face.
He snorts now, thinking, how Jungkook never shared a room with him.
He never gave an excuse for that. It was simple.
'I don't like sharing my space with others,' Jungkook had said, 'even after the wedding, it's not going to change. My routine is also too erratic. You don't need to be disturbed.'
Taehyung flops on his back, eyes on the ceiling.
The real reason was simple.
Jungkook didn't trust him.
Jungkook doesn't trust anyone.
Sleep makes a person vulnerable. The most vulnerable state of mind. He didn't trust Taehyung enough to let him be there. What if Taehyung tried to kill him or anything.
Taehyung hates how those memories resurface. It's like Jungkook opened the pandora's box all over again, and the Taehyung's box doesn't have hope in it.
Instead, it has memories. Memories that keep him going and kill him every day simultaneously.
He closes his eyes, forcing himself to calm down and try to catch some sleep.
He is not sure when he really falls asleep. The sound of the knock wakes him up. He looks down to see a maid by the door. She smiles at him, hands clasped in front of her.
“Good evening, sir.”
Taehyung sits up, “good evening...?” he looks at the window and curses when he is met with darkness.
“The chef wants to know what would you like to eat?” she asks, “he would make anything you want.”
Taehyung blinks, “just ask Jungkook. I don't care.”
The girl hesitates.
“Sir is dining out with his partner,” she looks apprehensive, “they would not be back tonight. So…”
Taehyung suddenly remembers the guy from Paris. Right. Jungkook's partner.
“Uhh, just make anything,” Taehyung shrugs, “tell the chef to make whatever they prefer.”
Taehyung goes to the closet, finding his clothes neatly hung. He picks out a T-shirt and jogger before going to take a shower.
He comes down the stairs to the living room to see the chef in the kitchen. Taehyung freezes when he sees Yoongi there too.
“Shit, don't burn it!” the chef, Taehyung assumes, curses, “Yoongi!”
Yoongi rolls his eyes, “chill, will you? I know how to handle myself in the kitchen.”
The chef rolls his eyes, turning to face the oven, “just get out of my hair.”
Yoongi hops onto the counter, “nope.”
“Jin hyung?” Taehyung whispers, “you...” his voice comes out tight, “you passed your exams?”
Those wide eyes find him, and Jin freezes for a second before the man is nodding. An achingly familiar yet distant smile forming on that handsome face.
“A certified chef now,” he says.
Taehyung takes those last two steps to come and stand by the counter. His eyes on the man.
“You don't work as his personal guard anymore?”
Jin shakes his head, “got tired of the smell of blood and gunpowders,” he shrugs, “so, here I am.”
Taehyung nods, “I see.”
Taehyung forces a smile on his lips, “how is Joon hyung?”
Jin's smile dims a little, “alive,” he goes back to stirring the pot, “with Jungkook right now as we speak.”
Taehyung eyes Yoongi, “why are you here?”
Yoongi swallows, looking uncomfortable, “I,” he pauses...
“What do you mean?” Jin gives Taehyung a confused smile, “Yoongi is Jungkook's sniper. He is one in the circle. During the one year you knew us,” Jin shrugs, “he was overseas for a project. That's why you didn't meet him.”
The room is too quiet. Taehyung blinks at Yoongi.
“You know each other?” Taehyung whispers, demands from Yoongi, “so, all that crap in that suite... it was all an elaborate drama?”
Yoongi glares at Jin and then looks at Taehyung, “we had to do it,” he begs almost, “you won't agree to come here otherwise-”
“So, all that was just pretence?!” Taehyung shouts, “no one is coming for Jimin?! What's next?! No one is coming for me too?!” he takes a step back, voice rising, “what is this?! What are you all planning? Where is Jimin?”
Yoongi hops off the counter, “Tae, listen to me-”
“Where is Jimin?!” Taehyung screams, “what did you do to him?!”
Yoongi curses, “nothing! He is in his room on the floor above this!” he holds his hands up, “it was all boss' plan. I just played a character-”
“This is not a damn film!” Taehyung shouts, “it's my life!”
“You are playing with my life!” Taehyung screams, his frustration seeping out of him in waves, “where is your boss?! Call him! I need answers! I want to know who gave him the right to play me like this?!” he slams his hand on the counter, “call him! Yoongi! I swear, call him!”
“He went for an important deal,” Yoongi tries again, “it's very important-”
Taehyung turns to Jin, “call him! Call him!”
Taehyung keeps his voice down this time, “call him before I do something,” he points a finger at the two of them, “call him right now!”
Jin bends to it.
Taehyung snatches the phone from Jin's hand and holds it against his ear.
“Jin?” Jungkook sounds confused.
“Come here right now,” Taehyung chews out, “we need to talk!”
Jungkook is quiet for a moment, then he sighs, “what's wrong?”
Taehyung hisses, “everything! Come home!”
Jungkook hums, “well, I can't,” he sounds bored, “I am-”
“I will do something,” Taehyung threatens, “I swear, Jungkook-”
Jungkook's chuckle is breathy, “my guards are shadowing you. Even from yourself. You can't do shit. I will be back tomorrow. We will talk then. Now, behave.”
“First, I am not your doll anymore,” Taehyung glares at the tiles, “second, don't underestimate me. I need answers and I need you to be here in an hour. I don't care how you make it possible, do. It's not me begging, Jungkook,” Taehyung growls, “it's me telling you.”
“It took you six years to grow a mouth on you, doll,” Jungkook observes.
Taehyung snorts, “no,” he closes his eyes, “it took me six years to finally use it against you. Back then, like a stupid, I didn't want to.”
The line is quiet, then Jungkook sighs, “what a shame.”
Jungkook comes home in half an hour. Taehyung watches how the man flicks his wrist at Jin and Yoongi. They silently leave. Taehyung sits on the couch, following the man with his eyes.
“What was so important that you had to cut short my meeting like this?” Jungkook wonders.
Taehyung crosses his one leg over the other, glaring at the elder, “Yoongi and you work together.”
Jungkook scoffs, “no. He works for me. Under me.”
“Same difference,” Taehyung shrugs.
Jungkook arches a brow, “not really.”
Taehyung gets up, frustrated, “that's not the point!”
“Why did you lie about him being there for Jimin and all that shit?” Taehyung demands, “why was all that necessary?”
“I had to cut your only thread off, so you follow me here,” Jungkook shrugs, “also, he had to lie to get closer to you. To keep an eye on you.”
“And, you see nothing wrong in it?” Taehyung demands, “nothing at all?”
Jungkook pushes his hands in his pockets, eyes unwavering on Taehyung, “it was to keep you safe.”
“But, it was wrong!” Taehyung feels frustrated.
Jungkook shrugs, “those moral values mean shit to me.”
“I needed you safe. I needed someone planted in your circle. Close to you. So, I did,” Jungkook stares at Taehyung, “that's the only right thing to me. You, alive.”
Taehyung's hands ball beside him, “why won't I be alive?!”
“You were my husband,” Jungkook says matter-of-factly.
“That's a big deal,” Jungkook shrugs, “people are after you. I had to make sure-”
“Why would they care when you and me, both know, our marriage was nothing but a sham!” Taehyung seethes, “tell me!”
Jungkook pauses, his expression clouding, “well,” he is quiet then...
“Well?!” Taehyung demands.
Jungkook's jaw hardens, “Jeon Jungkook got married once. Someone got him to do it, it's a huge deal. No one knows how we were behind the closed doors. They think we were in love.”
Taehyung laughs, “sorry, love? Everyone knows you are incapable of it!”
“I can't change others' views,” Jungkook turns away, going to the bar at the corner of the living room, “so, this was the only way to me.”
Taehyung walks up to the man, “you are not even going to apologize?! For what you did?”
His voice carries too much emotion. Taehyung knows.
Jungkook stares at him, those eyes shift on Taehyung's face. Taehyung swallows down the painful lump that clogs his throat.
“Won't apologize for how you treated me?” Taehyung asks, demands, “a simple sorry,” he whispers, “I waited for a simple sorry. Do I not deserve that?”
“I didn't deserve a proposal,” Taehyung whispers, “just an offer. Wedding based on salary,” he laughs, “then a divorce over text. Every time I opened my mouth, you fed me either money or lies. Don't you think I deserve an apology?”
Jungkook watches him, immobile, unyielding.
“What?” Taehyung laughs, delirious, “are you going to tell me we were a business relationship? Colleagues?”
“We were,” Jungkook mutters, “you were hired.”
“For sex and pretence,” Taehyung nods, “I know. I know I should feel grateful that you saved me that night. I am.”
“I am grateful that you saved me from that darkness,” Taehyung whispers, “I will forever be grateful for that night. But, still,” he watches Jungkook, “I am a person. I am a human being. It hurts-”
“I am sorry,” Jungkook murmurs, “for not treating you right. I am sorry.”
Taehyung swallows, “for what?” he demands, “there are too many…”
“For not knowing how to treat someone like you,” Jungkook murmurs, looking down at the glass as he pours the whiskey, “I thought I own you. I saved you,” he frowns, “I gave you shelter. I thought that was enough.”
“It was not enough,” Taehyung whispers.
Jungkook meets his eyes, nods, “it was not enough,” he takes a sip of the whiskey, “I didn't know better.”
Taehyung grips the edge of the counter, “you were spoilt rotten. You were so spoilt!”
Jungkook hums, “rotten. That's me.”
“You wanted sunshine, rainbows,” Jungkook's lips twitch, there is something achingly painful in that hint of a smile, “I was darkness. I couldn't afford it. I can't afford it. So, when you asked for that divorce, I finally saw the chance to give you just that. Freedom.”
“I never apologized because I never saw anything wrong in how I treated you,” Jungkook sighs, “because, in my life, I thought that's normal. That's how everyone treats each other. Lies, betrayal, hurt…” he frowns, “those are normal to me. Apparently, they are not in real world.”
Taehyung feels drained, he looks down at his own hands, “that's all I ever wanted.”
There is a silence they both know is too fragile. One wrong word and it will break into pieces.
Taehyung's throat bobs, “I am sorry about your dad,” he does not look at the man, “you loved him.”
“Losing him must have-”
“I killed him,” Jungkook takes a large gulp of the whiskey, “no need for condolences.”
The shudder that runs down Taehyung's spine is of satisfaction. He feels sick the next moment for feeling that way.
“What?!” he cannot hold back his shock.
Jungkook pours himself another glass of whiskey, nods, “yeah.”
“You,” Taehyung is lost for words, “the only person you loved, cared for, was your father!”
Jungkook's eyes snap to him, and Taehyung sees the storm in those irises. It brews, dark, darker. Jungkook looks deadly.
The sardonic smile Jungkook offers makes something freeze in Taehyung.
“Yeah,” Jungkook empties the glass of whiskey in one go, “I loved him,” those eyes travel over Taehyung's shoulder, Jungkook looks lost in thoughts, “blindly.”
Taehyung frowns, “why... then why?”
“He refused to retire,” Jungkook says, eyes on the glass in his hand, “I wanted to be the head of the organization. That's all.”
Taehyung blinks, “for power? For just that?”
Jungkook's eyes never find him, he nods, “yeah.”
Taehyung feels his heart squeeze in his chest.
“You don't value anything, anyone,” Taehyung takes a step back, disbelief clear in his voice, “you just care about yourself and your profits, losses. God, he was not a good man, but he treasured you! You killed him just for this organization?!”
Jungkook watches him, face blank.
Taehyung's face contorts, “you don't care for anything and anyone. Just you and your power and your money. You are still the same-”
“I am never going to change,” Jungkook acknowledges, “I love my work. I enjoy being in power. I like how easy life is with power and money.”
“If you were expecting my redemption arc, that will never happen,” Jungkook chuckles, “devil never becomes an angel. He doesn't want to. I don't want to. I also don't care what you think of me. So, your words and your values, they all mean shit to me. They always will.”
“If what I want doesn't happen, I make it happen,” Jungkook tilts his head, “if I need something, I work and get it. I don't care about society's rules. Cowards make them to hide their impotence. I don't need to follow them. So, yes, doll, I am shit and you and I both know it.”
a/n - this is me warning you all, lmao. There will be no redemption arc where jk changes and becomes a civil businessman. lmao, he won't leave this underworld. I am not writing that. So, you can still stop reading. Don't expect a redemption arc. Also, keep the tags in mind. x
Taehyung swallows, “I know. Knew it six years ago, and that's why I left.”
Jungkook agrees, “I would like you to keep that in mind. I am not a good guy, and I am not about to turn into one. So, keep your values to yourself. I won't act on them.”
He rounds the counter to leave.
Taehyung lets out a deep breath, “if no one matters to you, then why am I here and why are you trying to protect me?”
The man stops on his track. His shoulders taut. Taehyung watches Jungkook hesitate before he turns to look at Taehyung, slowly walking up to him.
Jungkook's eyes are icy, “I owe you a simple life,” his voice carries a sense of warmth that makes Taehyung shiver, “I owe you a normal life where you meet someone normal and fall in love and adopt babies and live a normal life.”
Taehyung remembers his own words. He said those.
“I owe you that safety, that security,” Jungkook lifts his hand, reaching for Taehyung's cheek, but he stops himself, “I thought by saving you that night, I did enough. Didn't realize, I was just as ruthless as those men in that brothel. I was no better to you. I was worse.”
“I got you out of one hell to throw you into the pit of another,” Jungkook looks away, “there was no noble purpose in my doings that night either. I just,” he grits his teeth, “I wanted you. Blindly. I didn't save you. I fought to have you. For myself. Only for myself.”
“I was mesmerized,” Jungkook's eyes wander, “with you. I wanted to touch, feel, ruin you by myself,” his voice is gravelly, he is too close to Taehyung, “and, I did. I had you in every way possible.”
Taehyung hates how heat coils in his stomach. He thinks he is just as ruined.
Jungkook's hand curls into a fist, “and, I still wanted more.”
Taehyung swallows, goosebumps all over his skin, “more...?”
Jungkook chuckles, “you really believed my lies that I wanted to marry you, so dad gets off my back? He didn't give a fuck if I married or not. In fact+
“He wanted me to stay single, have flings here and there,” Jungkook shrugs, “he hated me for being so invested in you. He hated you, thinking you are ruining me. In a sense, you were,” Jungkook snorts, “I was in you more than I was in the business. I admit.”
Taehyung feels hot.
“Do you even remember the places I took you to?” Jungkook snorts, “around the world?”
Taehyung does not answer. It's clear that Jungkook knows.
“We were too wrapped in each other to give a damn about the places,” Jungkook combs his hair back, “it was ruinous. I was ruinous.”
“So, when you said you want to leave, I agreed,” Jungkook breathes out, shoulders dropping, “because I realized, you need someone to love you. You wanted someone whose life wasn't a rollercoaster ride. I realized, I would never be that person. I can't. So, I want you to have it.”
“And, if for that I have to manipulate the flow of time, I will try to do even that,” Jungkook nods, determined, “6 years aren't enough to untangle the cobweb that's my life, and you fell into it. But, I will not stop until I have cleared your path for you to really be free.”
“That is why I need to do this,” Jungkook nods, “let me.”
Taehyung hugs himself, suddenly feeling cold, “I wished you would change. There was a time when I blindly believed I could change you.”
Jungkook's lips twitch with no humour, “you can't. I don't want to change.”
“It's only in fiction where an anti-hero changes and things go back to fine,” Jungkook hums, “I was born in this mud. If I leave, I will lose my powers and I will be defenseless. I can't protect myself or you. I will be useless then. As simple as that.”
Taehyung nods, "I know."
“So,” Jungkook shrugs, “I am sorry that I planted two of my men around you, but I had no other choices. I have too many enemies and I didn't want them to find you. Someone did anyway,” he clicks his tongue against his cheek, “but, I will sort it out. Don't worry.”
“So,” Taehyung whispers slowly, “in these past six years, you knew the people I dated? Slept with...?”
Jungkook nods, “yes.”
Taehyung's eyes widen, “where are they?!” his face heats up when Jungkook arches a brow, “I mean, they are alive, right?!”
Jungkook laughs, “yes? Why?”
“You are friends with some of them still,” Jungkook shrugs, “why would I interfere in your sex life or love life? That's none of my business?”
Taehyung breathes out, nodding to himself, “right.”
Jungkook sighs, “I don't unnecessarily kill people. I don't enjoy the paperwork.”
“That's the thing you don't enjoy?!” Taehyung gapes, “out of everything else?!”
Jungkook shrugs, “yeah? I mean, making fake death certificates, throwing money at open mouths to keep them shut. It's tiresome.”
Taehyung curses, “I forgot how full of yourself you are!”
“Good,” Jungkook nods, “it's for the best that you don't remember me. It's good.”
There is that hollow feeling in Taehyung. He feels sick for that abyss. He hates how nothing fills that abyss. No one fades that darkness. He nods, eyes on Jungkook's face.
“It's good. Yes.”
“I will go now,” Jungkook jerks his head towards the door, “forgive Yoongi if you have it in you. He was just doing his job.”
Taehyung looks away, “right.”
Jungkook takes a step back, “good night, babydol-” he stops himself, tongue rolling around his cheek, “Taehyung.”
The stupidest question blurts out of Taehyung and he instantly regrets it.
“Do you call your other f'cks babydoll too?”
The question makes no sense, and Taehyung hates how vulnerable that sounds out and voiced. He hates himself for even wanting that answer.
Jungkook is quiet.
“Ignore I asked that,” Taehyung frowns, turning on his unstable feet to rush and go back to his room.
Jungkook watches how fast Taehyung disappears down the corridor. He stands in the living room. Alone.
“No, I don't,” he whispers to himself, sighs, then he leaves the flat.
“You look beaten,” Namjoon observes, “go home, sir. I will finish these files. We will get the culprit soon. Hoseok is working too. Jin just dropped by to say you haven't been there in four days!”
Jungkook scrolls on his laptop, eyes fixed there, “he is there.”
“So?” Namjoon frowns, “it's your apartment.”
Jungkook curses, looking at his second in command, “seeing him brings back that 24 years old Jungkook. Apparently, I still want him. Physically.”
Namjoon blinks, “you realized it after seeing him?”
Jungkook glares at Namjoon.
Namjoon deadpans, “no, but, you seriously realized it after seeing him?”
Jungkook goes back to his laptop, matching the fingerprints with their records, “get back to work, Namjoon.”
They both startle when Yoongi storms inside the office, seething.
“You are late,” Namjoon says.
“I showed up,” Yoongi growls, “count your blessings.”
Namjoon holds his hands up, “whatever it is, I am sorry,” he turns to Jungkook with wide eyes.
Jungkook stares at his first in command, “what's wrong?”
Yoongi paces the room, “I will kill him.”
Namjoon and Jungkook groan.
“No, really, I am very serious!” Yoongi comes to slam his hands on the table, glaring at Jungkook, “today, he sat down on the table, my table, took my plate of breakfast and placed it onto the floor. Saying, a filth like me should know my place, which is not beside him!”
“What did you do then?” Jungkook wonders, biting back his laugh.
“Took his plate and poured it out for Holly,” Yoongi shrugs, “told him, if he is going to be a bitch, then I would rather feed his food to Holly.”
Namjoon chokes on thin air, and Jungkook stares.
“You are old,” Jungkook shakes his head, “you are old.”
Yoongi shrugs, “you and me are the same age. I know. Why?”
“I meant, grow up!” Jungkook curses, “I fear one day you will come in and say you killed him or something!”
“Count on it,” Yoongi points a finger at Jungkook.
Namjoon shakes his head, “anyway, did we find anything?”
Yoongi hums, “Hoba found the sender of the message finally. We can give her a visit tonight.”
“Her?” Jungkook frowns.
Yoongi nods, “she is a college student. It was her phone from where the message came.”
Jungkook thinks to himself, “who is it and why is she after Taehyung?”
Namjoon makes a face, “maybe she is just the front? Someone can easily steal a phone, send a message and delete. No?”
Jungkook hums, “well, whatever it is. Let's see. Tonight.”
“Taehyung and I talked,” Yoongi sits down, leaning back on his chair, “he said, he forgave me for what I did. He still thinks I should have come clean to him, but he forgave me.”
Jungkook nods, “he doesn't like holding onto grudges. He is too good for his own good.”
Yoongi watches Jungkook, playing with the paperweight on the table, “you will never tell him, right?”
Jungkook ignores those eyes, focused on his laptop, “tell him what?”
Yoongi sighs, shares a look with Namjoon, “you know what.”
Jungkook finally looks up at Yoongi.
“People clarify themselves with an intension,” Jungkook gives Yoongi a pointed look, “I don't see why I need to tell him anything.”
“He thinks you cheated on him,” Namjoon murmurs, “more than once. All those photos, those proofs your dad planted… he thinks they are real.”
“The old man wanted me to focus,” Jungkook snorts, “take my business seriously. I did,” his smile turns sour and then evaporates to leave behind a chilling seriousness, “took it serious enough to get rid of him,” he looks at the other two, “I don't think Taehyung needs to know.”
“He moved past it all,” Jungkook waves his hand, “I don't think dragging him back to the past is necessary.”
“You were his first everything,” Yoongi leans on the table, “you left him scarred like that. He will forever look back and feel insecure. You should clear it out!”
Jungkook gives him a hollow smile, “if that's the only reason he looks back and thinks of me, a selfish part of me wants to let it be.”
Yoongi's throat bobs, eyes fixed on Jungkook.
“Give him better memories,” Namjoon offers, “let him look forward to you than look back on you.”
“No,” Jungkook goes back to the laptop, “he needs to look forward to a bright future. I can't offer that. I can just let him be, and I choose that.”
He holds his hand up when Yoongi and Namjoon try to say something.
“Focus on the case,” Jungkook points, “that's all.”
Taehyung hears the unsteady footsteps and frowns. He looks at the clock and gets out of the bed when he sees it's past two in the morning.
After wrapping the robe over his nightsuit, he walks out of the room. Sleep flies from his eyes when he sees Jungkook.
What makes him gasp is the blood on Jungkook's crinkled white shirt. The blood flows from the right side of the chest. There is a burnt circle.
He hurries, “what-”
“I am bandaged,” Jungkook offers, voice strained, “just, didn't get to change the shirt.”
Taehyung watches the man slowly walk towards the couch. He looks exhausted.
“What happened?” Taehyung asks, watching Jungkook drop on the couch.
Jungkook leans back against the couch, legs spreading comfortably. He winces when his shoulder moves a little.
“Yeah, no shit!” Taehyung deadpans, his heart racing a mile per minute.
Jungkook opens one eye, looks at Taehyung, “the sarcasm isn't helping.”
Taehyung walks up to him, “what do you want me to do?”
“Nothing,” Jungkook shrugs, “not the first shot. Not the last, either.”
“Go to sleep, I will be fine,” Jungkook starts to unbutton his shirt, “I have handled worse.”
“I know!” Taehyung curses, “if you are forgetting, I was married to you for a year!”
Jungkook's fingers miss a button, he goes back to it, “right. I try to forget that.”
“Yeah,” Taehyung hugs himself, “me too.”
The silence stretches. Jungkook focuses on the shirt, shrugging out of it. Taehyung can't help himself. His eyes wander over to the man. He traces those scars he knows and catalogues the new ones. There are so many.
Jungkook groans, throwing the shirt on the floor and lazily unbuttoning his trousers.
“What are you doing?” Taehyung looks away, voice thin.
Jungkook arches a brow, “the waistband digs on my hips,” then he realizes what Taehyung meant, “I am not getting naked. God!”
“No energy left to get it up,” Jungkook curses, “also, lost blood, so, nothing is rushing in that department for tonight.”
Taehyung feels his face heat up, he curses, “why do you have to be a brut about everything?!”
Jungkook's lips twitch, “was being honest.”
“Go and sleep,” Jungkook squirms, getting comfortable on the couch, “I will be out of your hair in an hour or so.”
Taehyung frowns, turning to face the elder, “where are you going in this state?”
Jungkook closes his eyes, throat bobbing, “got a lead. We have to follow it.”
“You are not going anywhere!” Taehyung walks up to Jungkook in urgency, “you are not moving an inch from this couch tonight!”
Jungkook opens his eyes, looking at Taehyung, “who would stop me?”
Taehyung takes the challenge, “I will.”
Jungkook stares at him, gaze heavy, “yeah?”
“Try and I will-” Taehyung gasps when Jungkook's leg goes around his.
The elder slams the back of Taehyung's knees with his foot, and Taehyung topples over him. In a quick motion, Jungkook takes a hold of Taehyung's throat and rolls their position.
“You will?” he wonders.
“I will kill you if you move from this couch tonight,” Taehyung grips the elder's shoulders, “you hear me?”
Jungkook rolls away, breathing out a soft chuckle. They both sit on the couch, half lying, half sitting. Both panting for air.
“I need to sort this mess quickly.”
Jungkook stares up at the ceiling, “didn't think a uni student can carry a gun with her.”
Taehyung turns his head towards Jungkook, “what happened?”
Jungkook shrugs, “I went in thinking she is innocent. She pulled a gun on me and as my men got busy with me, she ran.”
“Why?” Taehyung wonders.
“Turns out, her father was the weapon dealer of this district,” Jungkook huffs, “as my business spread here, he lost his. So, they are trying to get back to me.”
Taehyung frowns, sitting up, “why me? Do they think I am important to you?”
Jungkook's eyes find him. For a few moments, the elder just stares at him. Then he looks away with a shrug.
Taehyung scoffs, “should have told them about Jinwook. I won't be in this problem then.”
Jungkook's eyes snap to his, “not this again.”
Taehyung glares, “right.”
“Why would you tell them about Jinwook and put him in danger in any way,” Taehyung sneers, “he is, after all, too precious to you.”
Jungkook sits up with a grunt, “it has been six years! Taehyung, let it go!”
Taehyung laughs, “oh, I did. I am just stating facts!”
“He meant shit to me!” Jungkook curses.
“But, he was worth jeopardizing everything we had,” Taehyung laughs, “I mean, whatever bare minimum we had. Fucking him on our bed was worth it!”
Jungkook hisses, “I told you that never happened!”
Taehyung snorts, “right.”
“I saw those discarded condoms!” Taehyung gets up, suddenly back to the past, those six years' worth of hurt oozing out of him, “I saw him naked on the bed. I saw you right beside him. Just as naked! You want me to believe nothing happened?! Also, that wasn't the only time!”
“There were pictures of you two in clubs, in your yacht,” Taehyung shouts, “when you lied and told me you were going for a deal overseas, and it was just a trip with him! He was worth it all, and if he was, then why am I here?! Why isn't he targeted?! Because, you hid him well!”
“That yacht thing was overseas,” Jungkook hisses, “it was the cover! We got those pictures taken with our consent. So, the ones we were targeting would know I am out of the country, and he was there because I wanted them to think he is important. I painted him as the target!”
“You kissed him,” Taehyung whispers, voice wavering, “you kissed him!”
“No, I didn't!” Jungkook gets up, groans when his wound hurts, “it was the damn angle of the photo! Taehyung, I never cheated on you! I had to use him to steer the focus from you! Come on!”
The Instagram post that inspired me to write this story :
Taehyung gives a resigned laugh, shaking his head, “why are you still lying?” his eyes are accusatory, “I was in that marriage for a year, Jungkook. You were nowhere in it!”
Jungkook's expression doesn't change, his voice is just as rough as before, “if blaming me helps yours-”
“Tell me one thing, Jungkook,” Taehyung breathes out, tired, “if I take your phone and open it, am I going to see his number as the most dialled still?”
Jungkook is quiet, his face gone back to impassive, “yes,” he gives a curt nod, “you will.”
Taehyung smiles, “well, then.”
Jungkook hums, “yeah, well then.”
Taehyung goes to the kitchen, pouring himself a glass of water. Jungkook sits down on the couch, closing his eyes.
Taehyung sips the water, his eyes finding the man on the couch again. His mind reeling with anger that makes no sense.
Taehyung clutches the glass to his chest, turning to face the vast window in the kitchen. He goes to stand near it, eyes on the darkness outside. More than the outside, he sees his own reflection. It makes him laugh, how haunted he looks. Tortured because of his ghost of a past.
The unshed tears still gather on the rim of his eyes. Those unsaid words still make his lips tremble. His tongue feels heavy. Those questions, demands for answers, those accusations, all of that weighing heavy on it.
Taehyung is torn between forgetting it altogether and sacrificing his self-respect and demand answers from Jungkook and let the man see how, even after six years, those questions were important to Taehyung.
He cannot ask, though. Cannot let the man laugh on his face. Ever.
The ring of the cellphone makes him jump. He turns around to see Jungkook reach for his phone. Those eyes find him once Jungkook sees who is calling, and then he picks up the call.
The other line says something that makes Jungkook frown, “are you sure? Yeah, okay.”
Jungkook gets up, wincing once, “yeah, get the car. I am coming,” he starts walking towards the stairs, “yeah. Okay.”
Taehyung watches the man go and when Jungkook disappears down the hallway to the stairs, Taehyung walks out on the balcony attached to the living room.
He watches, a laugh bubbling out of him, how Jinwook leans against the car. He is smoking, drumming his fingers over the car while he waits. Taehyung turns to get inside the living room and watches Jungkook come out of the corridor, ready to leave. Their eyes meet.
Jungkook pauses. One glance at Taehyung and he gets it. He looks away, buttoning his shirt.
Taehyung stands, stoic, watching the man carefully tuck the shirt into his pants. He does not utter a word.
“Don't open the door for anyone,” Jungkook murmurs, “good night.”
Jungkook walks out of the flat. Taehyung goes back to the balcony, like déjà vu, he stands there and watches Jungkook walk out to Jinwook who smiles at him. Jinwook opens the door for Jungkook and Jungkook gets in, and then Jinwook looks up, as if feeling Taehyung's eyes on him.
For a second they just look at each other and then Jinwook gets inside the car. The door closes behind him and the driver starts the engine.
Taehyung watches the car leave the boundary and he chuckles, turning away.
Six years and Taehyung isn't surprised to see nothing changed.
“I can't just drop off the surface of the earth like this,” Taehyung storms inside the home office of the man, “I have a life. My career. I need to go back to my shoots and everything,” he stares at Jungkook who looks up at him, “you can't just lock me up here like this!”
Jungkook hums, eyes stuck on the file in front of him, “you can't go out of here for now.”
Taehyung slams his hands on the table, “for how long?! It has been a week already!”
Jungkook looks at him, expression bored, “a few more weeks.”
Taehyung curses, “impossible!”
“I have a career, Jungkook!” Taehyung tries to not shout at this point, “I have signed contracts. I need to go to work! The shoots aren't going to wait for me! They will drop me and find someone else!”
Jungkook sighs, “fine. Take Yoongi and Hoseok with you. Also, take my car.”
Jungkook points a finger at him, “no matter what happens, you are to listen to whatever safety measures those two come up with. Don't act like a brat.”
Taehyung fumes, “I never act like a brat!”
The silent but deadpan look from the elder makes Taehyung hiss, “I don't!”
Jungkook dials a number on his landline, “Yoongi.”
Taehyung waits, pulling a chair to sit. He twirls it around, looking around the room. Jungkook goes back to his files. Yoongi walks in a few minutes later.
“Yeah?” he steps up to Jungkook, “what is it?”
Taehyung blinks, “is that...” he frowns, leaning closer to the elder, “is that scratching mark on your neck?”
Yoongi shrugs, “yeah,” he keeps his eyes on Jungkook, “what is it?”
Jungkook sighs, “Taehyung needs to go to work. You will take him there. With Hoseok. Yes?”
Yoongi nods, “fine. But, I have a condition.”
Jungkook arches a brow, “I pay you to not have any conditions.”
Yoongi rolls his eyes, “well, I do,” he gives Jungkook a pointed stare, “let Joon handle his friend.”
Jungkook leans back on his chair, “why is that, Yoongi?”
“Because I said so,” Yoongi's jaw hardens, “I know you are the boss, but you need me as much as I need your money. So,” he shrugs.
Taehyung frowns, “did you do something to him?”
Yoongi scoffs, “no,” he looks at Jungkook, “it's so I don't do something to him.”
Jungkook's eyes are mirthful, but his expression doesn't change, “sorry, Yoongi. Either you find a new boss or you stick to your duty.”
Yoongi glares, “you are enjoying this.”
Jungkook shrugs, “never denied it. Anyway,” he waves his hand, “get out. Both of you.”
Taehyung gets up and leaves. Yoongi hesitates. He lingers behind and eyes the closed door and Jungkook.
“What did you do?” Jungkook sighs.
Yoongi slumps down on a chair, “shot his lover.”
Jungkook stops, eyes finally on Yoongi, “sorry?”
Yoongi shrugs, “you heard me.”
When Jungkook just stares, Yoongi curses, shrugging.
“The clear rule was to not invite anyone here,” Yoongi eyes Jungkook, “no one knows where I live, and I made it a point, but he had to cross it and invite that scum over. It felt like he thought he can get away with anything.”
“Was he an important figure?” Jungkook asks.
Yoongi shrugs, “his makeup artist.”
Jungkook hums, “let Namjoon know. You will pay for the paperwork he does on your behalf.”
“Yep,” Yoongi gets up, “noted.”
Jungkook watches Yoongi, “was that extreme punishment important though?”
Yoongi's eyes find him, the man shrugs, “to tame a brat like him, yes,” Yoongi pushes his hands in his jacket's pocket, “he had to know he can't walk all over me.”
Jungkook hums, “okay, then.”
Yoongi walks out and Jungkook goes back to his files.
Taehyung is not sure how long it has been since the shoot started. He is not keeping track of the time. The flashes are blinding around him, and Taehyung finds himself savouring it. Work keeps him busy, his mind far away from the chaos that is his life right now.
He freezes when Jungkook walk in to the studio. He watches how Jinwook is right beside him. Taehyung feels the anger crawl up his spine as he watches Jungkook take a seat, as if he owns the place. Jinwook stands behind him, eyes focused on Taehyung.
Taehyung tries his best to go back to the shoot but he can't. Not when those heavy eyes are on him. Jinwook has no expression on his face. As always, he is just an observer. He stands behind Jungkook and judges Taehyung. Has been doing it since the day they met.
“Taehyung, focus,” his photographer calls, clicking his tongue, “your posture is stiff.”
Taehyung fixes himself on the swing, nodding when the assistant asks if he is ready. He holds the rope and smiles up, the rose petals falling on his face.
“Now, pull your legs up...”
Taehyung arranges himself, looking down at the lens with a small smile. He tries to ignore those eyes on him.
He lies down next, tongue pressing against the lip ring. He offers a smirk for the camera. The shoot continues for another hour before he is done.
Taehyung takes off towards the vanity when he is done. He is getting out of the jacket when the door opens and Jungkook walks in.
Taehyung ignores him, flopping down on the chair and starting to remove his makeup. Jungkook looks around the vanity, his eyes wandering.
Taehyung rubs his cheeks furiously, trying to get rid of the foundation and everything. He feels breathless. A hiss escapes him when Jungkook reaches and grasps his wrist.
Taehyung looks at the man and Jungkook takes the cotton pad from him, silently turning Taehyung to him.
Taehyung holds those eyes, glares at the man, while Jungkook wipes the cotton pad down his face. He is gentle, so very gentle.
Taehyung does not waver, his eyes zeroed on Jungkook. Jungkook takes a new cotton pad, pours the liquid makeup removal on it and faces Taehyung again.
“How long have you known the director?” Jungkook asks, the pad pressing under Taehyung's lower lip.
Taehyung's lips part, “long.”
Jungkook hums, “are you two friends?”
Taehyung shrugs, “somewhat.”
Jungkook's thumb presses the pad on Taehyung's lip, “talk in details.”
“I have done a lot of shoots for him,” Taehyung hisses, “he is a friend somewhat. A known and kind face.”
Jungkook nods, leaning in, his arms on the armrests of Taehyung's chair, “kind face with curious eyes.”
Taehyung frowns, “what...?”
Jungkook's face is close to his...
“The way those eyes lingered on your ass,” Jungkook throws the cotton pad in the bin, not looking away from Taehyung, “how his hands lingered a minute too long on you, didn't look very kind to me.”
Taehyung breathes out an incredulous laugh, “are you seriously saying this?”
“First of all,” Taehyung snorts, “my ass? Is none of your business. Second, he was giving instructions. Third, he is not even interested in men!”
Jungkook hums, “and, how, pray tell, do you know that?”
Taehyung blinks, “well,” he fumbles for words, “I mean...”
“Did you ask him out?” Jungkook wonders.
Taehyung glares at the man, “how is that any of your business?”
Jungkook shrugs, “it's not. But, I like to know what I am dealing with.”
“You are dealing with a psycho like you who wants to take me down,” Taehyung grits out, “remember?”
“Answer my question,” Jungkook's eyes are unreadable, “how do you know he is not interested?”
Taehyung curses, “because, I got drunk once and flirted with him. He wasn't interested.”
Jungkook stares at him, and the longer he stares, the hotter Taehyung's face feels.
Then the kingpin's lips twitch, “so, you are telling me,” he pauses, as if thinking, “there are people who can resist your ass?”
Taehyung blinks, cheeks reddening, “are you seriously-”
Jungkook pulls away, hands in his pockets, “I doubt it. Let's see what his record says.”
Taehyung takes a makeup wipe and wipes his face at once. He gets up to round the chair, eyes anywhere but on Jungkook.
“I need to change,” he murmurs, “get out.”
Jungkook takes the seat Taehyung was on, “I am to wait here.”
Taehyung glares at the man, “I need to change!”
Jungkook shrugs, “change,” he pulls out a cigarette, lighting it, “I won't stare.”
Taehyung does not move an inch, and Jungkook finally looks at him. Those eyes are hooded, smoke coils out of Jungkook's mouth as he speaks.
“I am not twenty-four anymore,” he arches a brow.
Taehyung is reminded of the times Jungkook would just waltz inside the closet or the washroom. His arms wrap around Taehyung, making Taehyung jump and then giggle. Those lips would press over his shoulder blade. The elder would turn him around for a kiss and it would escalate-
Taehyung clutches his hands in front of him. He can still taste Jungkook on his tongue. Can still hear their laughter. Can still see his own awestruck face. Still imagine vividly how Jungkook would give him a smile too, in those moments, break his character for a few seconds.
'I missed my babydoll,' he would say, 'did you miss me?'
Taehyung feels shame coil in his gut when he recalls how he would nod, earnest, arms looping around Jungkook's neck, 'he always misses you when you are gone.'
Taehyung hisses at his past self. What an idiot.
“There was a part of me that thought you would come back,” Jungkook murmurs, his voice sombre, breaking Taehyung's trance, “won't be able to stay away for more than a few weeks.”
Taehyung's skin crawls, “thought the same and it drove me to prove myself wrong. I had to.”
“Took my everything to not go after the first man you went on a date with after our divorce,” Jungkook is now looking at the cigarette between his fingers, “to not empty my gun down his throat.”
Taehyung shivers, “he is a friend.”
Jungkook chuckles, “Yeah. I know.”
Jungkook smirks down at his hand, “the actor you dated next,” he leans back on the chair, thinking, “he lost a project.”
Taehyung gapes, “Yes?” he blinks, “what did you do?!”
Jungkook shrugs, “well, he was to lose his life, but it went over a job,” he arches a brow, “good, no?”
“Because I slept with him?!” Taehyung demands, “is that it?!”
Jungkook's eyes find him, “well,” he looks away, jaw hardening, “it was a new feeling.”
“What?!” Taehyung curses, “being a psychopath?!”
Jungkook stares at him, “being jealous. I wasn't used to that feeling.”
“You sound like a toddler who went through a rebellious phrase because his favourite toy was gone!” Taehyung shrieks, “I was, let's face it, nothing but a toy to you!”
Jungkook doesn't lose his temper, far from it, “I grew up throwing my toys away after a week or so...”
“Used, broken, forgotten,” Jungkook shrugs, “I never kept an eye on where they go or who picks them up next.”
Taehyung curses, “you hear yourself, right?”
Jungkook hums, “I do.”
Taehyung chuckles, “then, should I feel blessed that I was so closely monitored? Obsessive prick?!”
Jungkook gets up from the chair, one step and he is right up Taehyung's face. His hand comes up to hold Taehyung by his wrist, so Taehyung can't back away.
“You should realize that you were never a damn toy to me,” Jungkook chews the words out, “never will be.”
“Says a man who kept me locked in that damn mansion of his while he went around f'cking his favourite toy,” Taehyung grasps Jungkook's shirt, “the precious one who follows you like a shadow.”
Jungkook's other hand holds Taehyung's hip, “he is just my secretary. You know it.”
“I kept you in that mansion where you were safe,” Jungkook leans closer, “kept you where my damn husband was supposed to be! What did you expect? Me to take you around like I take him around? Throw you in danger carelessly?”
Taehyung laughs, “I was just a trophy to you, please!”
“It was your insecurities that broke up apart,” Jungkook murmurs, “I never treated you badly. If you can tell me one instance, I will drop to my knees and apologize.”
Taehyung arches a brow, “when your dad said, I am beauty without brain-”
“I wasn't there,” Jungkook counters.
“If you were, what would you possibly do-”
“I would do what I eventually did,” Jungkook whispers, face inches away from Taehyung's, “you know what I did to him? He didn't utter a single word when I killed him, you know why?” Jungkook whispers.
Taehyung does not answer.
Jungkook's lips hover over the shell of Taehyung's ear, “I tore his tongue off when he started badmouthing you,” he murmurs, “in front of me for the first time.”
Taehyung swallows, his eyes wide. Jungkook's nosetip presses against his ear.
“Took pleasure getting rid of him.”
Taehyung holds back his gasp, “what did he-”
“He called you names,” Jungkook murmurs, “finally came clean and told me how he wanted to get rid of you so that I marry someone in class. From other families of the underworld.”
Taehyung swallows, “you shouldn't have killed him.”
“For you,” Jungkook whispers against Taehyung's ear, “I will.”
Taehyung presses himself back on the vanity's wall, the cool surface a shock to his heated flesh. He bites back a whimper.
“Jinwook,” Taehyung mutters, “your relationship with him-”
“We are back to him, huh?” Jungkook's voice sounds icy, “he is not what you think of him.”
Taehyung laughs, “really? You killed your old man, but you won't get rid of him for me? Why?”
Jungkook pulls back a little, his face contorting, “I will never get rid of him.”
Taehyung nods, swallows, “I know. I knew it for a long time now.”
Jungkook combs his hair back, a few strands disobeying and falling over his forehead anyway.
“You care about him,” Taehyung whispers, “probably love him. When you said, he meant shit to you, you were lying. No?”
“I have seen you around him,” Taehyung murmurs, “you are a totally different person with him. Gentle, loving,” he grips his hands, thinking back, “caring. You are less of an asshole. You took a bullet for him once,” Taehyung lets out a delirious laugh, “I still remember.”
Jungkook looks away, his shoulders taut. Taehyung takes a hold of Jungkook's face and turns him to face Taehyung.
“That night,” Taehyung's voice wavers, “on that bed-”
Jungkook's face contorts, “it wasn't like that! God, how long will you hold onto it?!”
“Forever!” Taehyung shouts, “I will hold onto it forever! I can take your any side, but I won't be with a cheater! I refuse to!”
Jungkook shrugs, “Well, good that we are over then.”
Taehyung goes limp, a laugh escaping him, “are you finally accepting you slept with him?”
“I am letting you believe whatever you want because I can't explain what he is to me,” Jungkook takes a step back, “that's all.”
Taehyung feels cold, his arms tighten around himself and he nods. He feels heavy, head hammering. Just like he felt all those years ago.
Taehyung points at the door, “get out,” he holds back from shouting, screaming like he did all those years ago, “get out of here. Right now.”
Jungkook hesitates, there is something painful in his eyes. Taehyung stands his ground.
“Get out of here, Jungkook,” Taehyung murmurs.
“Also, I refuse to go with you,” Taehyung stares the man down, “I think, it's not me your enemies are after. It's Jinwook. It makes sense to go for a person who is actually important to you than a damn ex-husband.”
Taehyung holds up his hand when Jungkook opens his mouth...
“No, Jungkook,” Taehyung shakes his head, “I would rather die than go with you and see your face.”
“It's not up for negotiation,” Jungkook takes a step back, “you are coming with me. By your own will or by force. I don't care.”
Taehyung stares at the man, “what did you say?”
“I said, you are coming with me,” Jungkook points a finger at Taehyung, “you can mess with everything, but I won't let you mess with your own safety.”
“I would rather die than see your face again,” Taehyung thunders, “yeah? So, I don't care what you do, I am not going with you!”
“So, get out of my face right now!” Taehyung snarls and hauls the ashtray at Jungkook.
Jungkook leans back calmly and the ashtray crashes against the door, breaking into pieces.
Jungkook watches him, “if you are done screaming, I will wait outside.”
He leaves the vanity.
Taehyung turns towards the wall of the vanity. He leans his forehead against the cool surface, concentrating on his breathing. He scrubs his face furiously when tears start to roll out of his eyes. He does not move from the spot for a long time. Then he goes to change.
“You should just tell him,” Yoongi lights Jungkook's cigarette, “a promise isn't worth it if it's coming between you two.”
Jungkook inhales the smoke, feeling it burn down his chest, “between us?” he chuckles, “we are not 'we' anymore. Remember?”
Yoongi sighs, “Jungkook...”
“That's the only thing he wanted from me,” Jungkook leans against the vanity, “and, I am not going to take that from him.”
Yoongi curses, “if I knew what you are hiding, I would go and tell Taehyung.”
Jungkook snorts, “good that you don't know, then.”
“Does Jinwook know that he is the reason you two are-” Yoongi pauses when Jungkook glares at him.
“No,” Jungkook shakes his head, “and, you are not going to tell him. He doesn't need to know.”
Yoongi tongues his cheek, “tell him. I am sure he would not want your life ruined.”
Jungkook laughs, “my life was never not ruined, Yoongi. It's okay,” he throws the cigarette on the ground, stepping on it, “I don't want Taehyung back in my life. It's better that he is gone. For his own good.”
Yoongi hums, “He isn't coming with us willingly.”
Jungkook looks at the elder, “I know.”
Yoongi stares, “what did you do?”
Jungkook shrugs, “nothing.”
Yoongi grabs Jungkook's elbow, “Jungk-”
Jungkook huffs, “locked the door of the vanity,” he throws the keys to Yoongi, “if he won't come with us, I'll take the entire vanity.”
“What if he tries something stupid?” Yoongi throws his hands up, “I don't trust him! If he is anything like his best friend, I don't trust him at all!”
Jungkook shrugs, “that's why, you will drive, and I will be inside the vanity. Now, let's go.”
Yoongi curses, following.
Jungkook opens the door, and he laughs when Taehyung lurches for the door. Jungkook grabs Taehyung by his waist and pushes him inside, getting inside himself.
“Let me go!” Taehyung shouts, thrashing, “I said-”
Jungkook hauls him up by his waist, “I told you, no.”
Jungkook slams the door behind himself, “lock it!”
He holds Taehyung to himself, waiting for Yoongi to lock it and slam the side of it, before Jungkook carries Taehyung to the makeshift bed and sits down with Taehyung on his lap.
“What are you doing?!” Taehyung asks, eyes wide.
When the vanity starts to move, Taehyung gasps, “this is not my personal vanity!”
Jungkook shrugs, “I have paid it off.”
Taehyung elbows him, hard, “let me go! I swear,” he squirms on Jungkook's lap, “Jungkook! This is,” he looks at the man, “I don't want to live like this.”
Jungkook watches him.
Taehyung sits, watching the man, “why can't you understand my point?” his shoulders slump, “I would rather die than be with you, in your protection,” Taehyung looks away, “you are hurting me.”
Jungkook's grip loosens around Taehyung, “I am sorry.”
Taehyung snorts, “you are not. If you really were, you would tell me what you are hiding.”
Jungkook swallows, his eyes on Taehyung's face, “I promised-”
Taehyung's lips wobble, “right.”
Jungkook lets out a deep breath, “I,” he curses, “stop crying!”
Taehyung looks away.
“I will show you, then,” Jungkook whispers, as if to himself, “I can't tell you, I promised him,” he looks at Taehyung, “I will show you.”
Taehyung looks at the man, “what...”
Jungkook shrugs, “just... stop crying.”
Taehyung frowns, “what do you mean by showing me?”
He looks away, gritting his teeth, “I am just making a loophole out of the promise I made,” he leans his forehead against Taehyung's shoulder, closing his eyes, “it was his last wish, and I am...” he swallows, “I am breaking it. I just,” Jungkook curses, “I didn't want to.”
- see you soon. I will finish this story this week.
- If you want to support me, my writng, here's my kofi : ko-fi.com/aamyungv