Actions

Work Header

odd and even

Chapter Text

“Taehyung, do you have a second?” calls Seokjin to his brother who is currently playing an intense game of Mario Kart by himself.

“Hold on a second, hyung. Can’t you see that I’m in the middle of an important business?”

“Since when did Mario Kart become an important business? Seriously, stop that already.” Seokjin lets out a deep breath when he noticed that his little brother is not even listening to him. “Kim Taehyung, I swear to the gods of Mario Kart, I’m going to break all of your controllers unless you will actually pay attention to what I’m trying to tell you here.”

Taehyung finally drops the controller on the floor then turns to look up at Seokjin who looks unimpressed with whatever he’s doing. He just nods at his hyung, eyes big and trying to convince Seokjin to ease his anger towards him. The latter couldn’t do anything but to exhale deeply, asking God what did he do in his past life to deserve someone like Taehyung as his baby brother.

“You know my boss, right? The boss that I’m working for as an adviser?” Taehyung only nods. “Well, you see, he just fired another babysitter.”

“Another babysitter?” he snorts as he raises an eyebrow. “Isn’t that like the thirteenth time he fired a babysitter? Honestly, what’s wrong this time?”

“He said that the recently fired babysitter is always flirting with him and they don’t even care about their job nor his daughter at all.”

“Where does he even get them? It’s always the same problem! They all flirt with him! Seriously, did he really hire babysitters or sluts?” Taehyung scrunches his nose. “Besides, is he really that attractive that they all flirt with him?” he purses his lips then his face lights up. “Can you show me a photo of him, hyung?”

Shaking his head, Seokjin gives his brother a warning look. “Taehyung, how many times do I have to tell you that I won’t show you a picture of my boss? It’s very inappropriate for me to do, seeing that I’m his adviser. But I’m already telling you, he’s really handsome and you know how I am when it comes to deciding whether a person is attractive or not. Too bad though, he’s not my type.”

Taehyung nods, “Well, that really says a lot because you don’t think that Choi Minho is handsome. A whole Choi Minho, hyung. I started to think that you must be blind and you won’t just admit it because you’re afraid of my reaction, but when I told you about that Nam Joo-hyuk, you said that he is handsome.” He suddenly smirks, “But of course he isn’t your type because your type is his cousin. What is that guy’s name again? Kim Nam-june?”

“It’s Namjoon, you uneducated piece of shit. But he isn’t my type either, so just shut the fuck up, you ungrateful kid.” Seokjin throws a pillow towards his brother’s direction and actually groans when the little shit managed to dodge it.

“Anyway, why did you tell me that story now? It doesn’t have anything to do with me nor will it affect my daily life.” Exhaling dramatically, he says, “I can’t believe I paused Mario Kart just because of your bullshit, Jinnie-hyung.”

Seokjin decides to ignore Taehyung’s last statement and simply answers his first question instead. He coughs, “Well, since he doesn’t really trust Namjoon anymore when it comes to recommending the babysit-”

“That Namjoon guy is the one who refers the babysitters to your boss? Interesting.”

Seokjin throws another pillow towards Taehyung that finally hits him on the head. “Like what I said earlier, shut the fuck up, Kim Taehyung.” He glares at him and Taehyung’s expression keeps on telling him that he’s not bothered. He huffs, “Back to the topic since he’s really done with Namjoon and is one step away from sending him to the Bermuda Triangle, he asked me to find a babysitter for him this time.”

Raising an eyebrow, Taehyung picks the abandoned controller up, “And? I still don’t get the point, hyung. It still doesn’t have anything to do with me.”

Grinning sheepishly, Seokjin states,“You see, Taehyung, I may or may not have accidentally told him that I have a little brother that can do that for him.”

It didn’t hit Taehyung right away but when it did, he drops the controller back to the floor and his voice echoes throughout their spacious apartment

“You did what now? Hyung, you must be crazy!”

“I’m really sorry, Tae, but he already ordered me to bring you with me tomorrow morning. He said that if I wouldn’t, I would lose my job.” He bites his bottom lip. “Taetae, he really threatened me! You know how important my job is to me, right?” He cups Taehyung’s face between his hands. “Please, Tae, do this for your hyung?”

Taehyung moves away from him, “Hyung, I don’t know how to take care of a child nor have an experience for it! I’m only a second-year college student and we’re not supposed to have on-the-job training until next year!”

“You want to be an elementary teacher, am I right? You’re supposed to be good with kids, whether you have an experience or not.” He gives him a pointed look. “Besides, don’t think that I have forgotten that time when you managed to make twenty kids calm down when a fight broke out at the playground.”

“That was a one-time thing!” He tries to reason out.

“It is a one-time thing that’s really impressive, Taehyung-ah.” Seokjin takes his hands and holds it. “Please, accept my offer. It’s not like you’re going to do it for free, my boss will give you a paycheck, I’m not sure how much though. But I think that it’s a really big money if I’m going to base it on the kid’s previous babysitters. Before they left the place, they all cried about how they won’t ever find a job that would pay them that big.”

Taehyung only eyes his elder brother who is literally pleading to him. This must be really important, just like what Seokjin had told him that he might lose his job if Taehyung won’t agree. Sure, Seokjin could have been joking about him losing his job, but Taehyung knows whenever his hyung lies to him. He also guesses that his Seokjin-hyung must really love his work since even he complains so much about his boss, he had never thought of quitting, even just once.

Exhaling deeply, he guesses that it wouldn’t really hurt if he’s going to accept this. Besides, him being a babysitter might be a good help for him once their on-the-job training starts. And he could probably use the money that he’s going to earn too. He could finally stop relying on Seokjin too much when it comes to money, albeit the fact that he knows that his hyung doesn’t really mind spending money on him.

Another glance at his brother who is looking at him with expectant eyes, he lets out another deep breath before finally letting out a quiet ‘yes’ that made his brother jump to him out of happiness.

 

 

Taehyung doesn’t really have an idea as to why he’s fidgeting so much. His knees keep on bouncing up and down, fingers can’t stop playing with each other and his eyes are looking at any direction that it could make. He is sure that Seokjin is probably judging him right now even though he’s not really looking at him.

It seems like Seokjin has had enough of it when he places his hands on Taehyung’s thighs but still not enough to stop it from moving.

“Seriously, why are you so nervous? It’s not like we’re going to meet the Prime Minister or something. Chill the fuck out, Tae.”

“I don’t really know why I’m nervous too, hyung,” answers Taehyung as he bites on his lower lip. “Maybe it’s because of the fact that I really don’t know what to expect? Can you tell me how the kid’s like?”

Seokjin thinks for a moment then says, “Well, I’ve only seen her once but I’m confident to say that she got her looks from the boss. Most of her facial feature resembles the boss’ face more from what I’ve seen. Also, I noticed that she doesn’t like to talk to strangers or just people in general.”

“Huh?” Taehyung sends his brother a confused look. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, when I first met her, I was with the boss and Namjoon. When Namjoon asked her about what does she want to get when he comes back from work, she didn’t even spare him a glance. She just kept looking down on the floor and clung to the boss like her life depended on it.”

“That’s really weird but there must be a reason why she acts like that.” A question pops up in his mind, “What about her mother? Maybe, it has something to do with her mother?”

“I don’t really know much about her mother, Tae,” Seokjin exhales. “I tried to ask Namjoon about it because I was so curious but he only gave me a disapproving look and told me not to ask him that question ever again.” He pouts, hands on the wheel tightening as he remembers the scene. “He also used a harsh tone when he ordered me not to question him about it anymore. Why does he act like asking that question is a taboo?”

Taehyung cackles then point to his hyung accusingly, “Ha, you keep on telling me that you don’t have any romantic feelings towards Namjoon but you get upset when he uses an onerous tone on you. You’re such a big fat liar, hyung.”

“Be grateful that I’m driving right now because if I wasn’t, both of my hands will be on you in a very unpleasant way.”

Taehyung only sticks his tongue out at him then looks away from him. He looks out through the tinted windows of Seokjin’s car, suddenly aware that they are on an unfamiliar road. The road isn’t deserted since they pass by a few expensive-looking cars and some transportation buses going in the opposite direction. Perplexed, he wonders where are they headed. He is about to ask Seokjin where are they going when he sees a sign that says Gangnam – 250m.

He suddenly turns to Seokjin, “Oh my goodness, hyung, are we really going to Gangnam?”

Seokjin nods with furrowed brows, “Yeah, didn’t you already know about it? I told you where I’m working, right?”

“Um, no?”

“No? Didn’t I already tell you years ago about this?” Taehyung shakes his head. Seokjin heaves out a deep breath as he tries not to slam his head on the wheel in realization. “Good Lord. How could I forget that my dear little brother never listens to me?”

The younger makes a petulant expression, “But seriously, we’re going to Gangnam? I can’t believe that you have to drive for hours just to go to work.”

Rolling his eyes, Seokjin smacks the back of Taehyung’s head with one of his free hands, “You are over exaggerating. We’re living in Seocho, not in Gangseo or something. Most of the time, I only have to drive for like thirty minutes or less, depends on the traffic. Besides, I’d rather drive for hours and have a really great pay than drive in less than ten minutes and the salary won’t even help us to survive for weeks.”

“Yeah, right,” Taehyung grumbles while glaring at his hyung. “Since we’re going to Gangnam, that means your boss must be one of the billionaires here in Korea.”

Seokjin just laughs, “It doesn’t matter, Taehyung.” Before Taehyung can even react, Seokjin’s car halts and he opens the window beside him. He pulls out some expensive-looking card which has his name on it then swipes it on a device attached to a wall that looks similar to the ones that the cashiers pull out when you use your credit card as a method of payment. A sound from the said device can be heard and it almost made Taehyung jump out of his seat. Another noise startles Taehyung but this time, it’s the sound from the gates being opened. Seokjin chuckles then start his car again when the doors are fully opened.

Inside the enormous gates reveals a huge mansion. Taehyung is in awe as he stares at the infrastructure in front of him and he vaguely thinks that the place isn’t a mansion but a palace instead. He wonders if the Queen of England really lives there or his hyung’s boss. Whoever it is though, they must be very rich.

Seokjin’s car stops again but this time, in front of a large door with a stairway at the foot. The brothers get out of the car and some servants immediately arrive and ask for Seokjin’s car keys in which he delightedly obeys. Taehyung is now confused if they are at his hyung’s boss’ house or at a five-star hotel. Nevertheless, it still amuses him to the core.

If the outside of the mansion looks captivating and really fancy, the inside looks like the ones that people usually see in movies. If Taehyung isn’t sure earlier if he could call this place a mansion or a palace, he’s confident to call this a palace now. Everything inside it looks like it’s a million times more expensive than their whole apartment altogether. The thought made Taehyung shiver, now terrified to touch anything inside that can probably cost his life.

Taehyung is sure he appears like a lost puppy now as he silently and obediently follows his elder brother who is striding confidently to go to wherever he’s planning to go. As Taehyung is just literally tailing Seokjin, he bumps into his brother’s back when he abruptly stops walking. He starts to groan loudly which earns him a slap on the shoulder from his brother.

“Okay, before I knock on the door, if he asks you any question, call him Master, is that clear?” He is about to protest but Seokjin only shushes him as he knocks on the door then places his mouth in front of a device that looks like a speaker, “This is Adviser Kim, Sir. Just like what I have promised you, I brought my little brother with me to have a word with you.”

The door suddenly opens and Seokjin quickly enters the room. Just like what he has been doing ever since he entered his hyung’s boss’ premises, he follows him but this time, his hands are clutching the back of Seokjin’s dress shirt.

When they entered the room, he quickly realizes that this is probably the boss’ office. Books are stacked neatly in the corner of what seems like a mini library, number of piles of papers arranged near the said shelf too. In the middle of the room is an office table that looks really expensive if he’s going to judge it based on the details engraved on the said table. Gold can be seen on the details carved on the table and he’s sure that his eyes catch something that somewhat looks like diamonds. Real diamonds. At the top of the table, the paper works are scattered around the table. That’s when Taehyung notices a man that has his elbows resting at the top of the table, eyes staring intently at him that definitely catches him off guard.

“Sir, I would like to introduce to you my little brother, Kim Taehyung. He’s the one that I’m referring to when you asked me if I know someone who is a babysitter. He really likes kids and can understand them very well and I can attest to that.” Seokjin’s tone is so formal and reserved and Taehyung is not used to hearing his brother speak like this. He would have laughed if it isn’t for the Master’s intense stare on him.

“Seokjin, I can see that your little brother is inexperienced when it comes to handling kids. I asked you for a babysitter, not someone who likes kids.” The Master’s voice is so strong and stern that it sent chills running down Taehyung’s spine.

“Yes, Sir, I know about that but please trust me when I say that Taehyung is perfect for this job.” Seokjin tries to convince him, the pleading evident in his voice. “I’m confirming that Taehyung is not a professional when it comes to this, but I strongly believe that he can exceed your expectations.”

He cocks an eyebrow, “Are you sure that you want to take the risk about this, Seokjin? If my daughter won’t interact with him or even spare him a glance, you know that you will lose your job, right?”

Nodding his head curtly, he mumbles, “Yes, I’m very aware of that fact, Sir.”

“Very well then, if that’s what you want.” He trails off for a few seconds then continues. “Did you already orient him about some information that concerns my daughter?”

“I did when we were on our way here. I’m confident that Taehyung didn’t forget about that.”

“Alright, if you say so.” He presses a button on some device that’s attached to his table. “Haechan, guide Seokjin and his brother to Jiyeon’s location.”

As if on cue, the door opens and it reveals a petite man wearing a formal attire who seems to be waiting for Seokjin and Taehyung. Seokjin looks over at his boss who didn’t even move an inch from his location.

“You’re not going to come with us, Sir?”

“I don’t need to. Did you forget that I can monitor everything from here?”

Realization hits Seokjin, “Ah, yes. I’m sorry for forgetting about that, Sir.”

“Just go, Seokjin.” He orders with a voice of authority. But before they can fully leave, he says, “You’re not allowed to enter Jiyeon’s playroom, by the way. Only Taehyung is allowed to since I have to observe him and what he’s going to do.”

Seokjin only nods then proceeds to walk towards Haechan who is waiting for them in front of the Master’s office. Just like earlier, Taehyung follows his hyung who is walking behind Haechan. Not too long after that, they arrive in front of another fancy-looking door. Haechan opens the door carefully like it’s going to break. Taehyung raised an eyebrow at that but doesn’t bother questioning him why did he do that. Haechan motions for Taehyung to enter the room and so he did. He doesn’t really know why he’s being quiet and careful like something is going to break if he’s going to walk faster. Before Haechan fully closes the door, Taehyung looks at Seokjin who is already looking at him with the eyes that say he believes in him. It made Taehyung smile a little and melt the nervousness that he’s feeling in his heart.

Walking further into the room, he tries to find the little girl. The so-called playroom is quite spacious and there are a lot of toys of different sizes can be seen. Taehyung recalls the little girl’s name.

“Jiyeon-ah? Are you here, Jiyeon?”

He starts to roam around the room and searches every corner to find the little girl. When he didn’t find her after a few more seconds, Taehyung starts to think that maybe, the little girl is lost and is somewhere out there. His heart is slowly starting to beat a little faster than it should be. But it immediately calms down as soon as he sees a shadow of a little girl on that one specific corner that he hasn’t searched yet. Taehyung lets out a relieved sigh, silently thanking the gods that he doesn’t have anything to worry about.

Slowly but surely, Taehyung starts to approach the little girl. It seems like she noticed his presence when she stops playing and buries her face in her hands.

Taehyung frowns when he sees the action, stopping at a safe distance from the kid. He thinks that it will be better to stop because he has a feeling that Jiyeon doesn’t like the feeling of being around strangers.

“Hi, Jiyeon,” greets Taehyung softly with a light tone, afraid that he might scare the little girl off. “Is oppa making you feel uncomfortable?” Taehyung asks her but she didn’t even glance at him. Silence takes over them for a few seconds with Taehyung trying to think of something that can make the little girl look at him, even just for a second. He needs to do this or else, Seokjin will lose his job.

Looking around to see if he can find something that he can use, his eye catches something. He points at the toy in front of her, “Is that the toy that you’ve been playing with earlier? Is that an Ironman plushie?”

She still doesn’t look at him but at least this time, she acknowledges his presence and bobs her head as the answer to his question. Taehyung smiles a little, pleased that he made a progress even just a little. He carefully tries to scoot closer to her, “Oh, that’s an interesting since Ironman looks cute in that form. Have you seen any Ironman movies?” She nods again as Taehyung takes another step closer to her. “Don’t you think that it will be better if, in movies, Ironman will look like your plushie?”

The little girl stiffens which makes Taehyung kind of freaked out. Shit, did I scare her off?, Taehyung asks himself when Jiyeon didn’t respond to him in any way.

He is caught off guard when Jiyeon suddenly turns around to face him. Their eyes meet immediately and they just stared at each other.

Jiyeon looks at Taehyung with wide eyes, curiosity clear in her eyes. She doesn’t move nor bother to open her mouth and just keeps on staring at Taehyung, particularly on his face. She moves and unexpectedly walks toward Taehyung, hand reaching out to him. Confusion is painted on Taehyung’s face, not really sure as to why Jiyeon is holding out her hand to him. He decides to walk towards her too and when they’re in each other’s proximity, he crouches down on the floor so that he’s on an eye-to-eye level with her. Her stretched-out hand reaches Taehyung’s face and a smile quickly breaks out on her face as soon as her hand touches it, eyes crinkling. She also lets her free hand touch his face. Now that she’s holding Taehyung’s hands between her hands, her smile only widens.

“W-Why are you touching my face, Jiyeon-ah? Is there something wrong with my face?” questions Taehyung but she quickly shakes her head. He tilts his head to the side, confused. “Then why are you touching my face if there isn’t something wrong with it?” He pouts at her and then she surprises him when a giggle comes out of her mouth. “Can you tell me, please, Little Miss Jiyeon?”

Again, she shakes her head as she giggles. She suddenly squishes Taehyung’s cheeks that only made her laugh more. Taehyung beams at the sound of her laugh, thinking how melodious it sounds.

“Come on, Jiyeon-ah, tell me why you’re squishing my face now,” says Taehyung a little more seriously which made her step back away from him. Taehyung immediately notices the shift of the mood and he frowns. It made him frown even more when he sees the gloomy expression casting Jiyeon’s face.

He starts to move sluggishly towards her, very cautious so that she would not move farther away from him. He is quite thankful that Jiyeon’s back is now facing him. It just means that he can do this more easily.

Taehyung continues to move near her, still careful with his move. Somehow, his instincts are telling him to be careful when it comes to Jiyeon. He doesn’t really know why but right now, he’s not bothering to find out about it.

His hands finally manage to touch Jiyeon’s shoulders and she visibly winces. It made Taehyung cringe a little but it didn’t stop him from reaching out to her. Slowly, he turns Jiyeon around so that she’s facing him now. Her eyes are directed to the floor and it looks like she doesn’t have any plans to look at his face. Taehyung groans internally, thinking how this scenario is so similar when he first arrived in the room. Her lips are also wobbling now and Taehyung is afraid that she will start crying soon.

“Jiyeon-ah, oppa is sorry for being careless and inconsiderate. I didn’t mean to say it in a way that will scare you.  I swear that I’m not mad or anything so please, don’t be sad now, okay?”

Tears start to fall from her eyes as she shakes her head. Her shoulders are shaking and quiet whimpers can be heard from her. Taehyung can’t do anything but to slowly pull her in for a hug. For a moment, Taehyung is convinced that she will push him away when she placed her hands on his chest, already exerting a weak force. But when he started to stroke her hair softly while whispering words of encouragement in her ears, the stiffness in her body began to disappear and her tears gradually ceased.

It didn’t take long for her to calm down and pull away from Taehyung’s warm and comforting hug. Jiyeon looks around the room like she is searching for something and her eyes light up a little when she finally finds it. She runs to the direction where she found what she has been looking for. Shortly after that, she comes back with what seems to be a sketch pad and a pencil.

“Are you going to draw something for me, Jiyeon-ah?” She shakes her head like what she has been doing whenever he asks her a question. “What are you going to do with that then?”

Instead of answering his question, she just opens the sketch pad and places it on the table next to them. She sits down and starts scribbling something on the paper. When she’s done, she shows Taehyung the pad, sadness evident in her eyes.

I can’t talk.

“What do you mean with that? I can’t quite comprehend what you’re trying to say, Jiyeon-ah.”

Jiyeon just opens her mouth then shakes her head. Taehyung is perplexed for a few moments but realization dawns on him.

He doesn’t really want to believe it but he knows that Jiyeon is not lying to him. He knows that Jiyeon can’t lie about something like that. But he knows in himself that he has to accept it, although it’s making his heart ache so bad and feel pity for the little girl.

Taehyung pulls Jiyeon in for a hug again but this time, it’s a little bit tighter than earlier. Jiyeon wraps her arms around him then nuzzles her head on his neck, causing for him to chuckle because her hair is tickling him.

It became the reason for the start of a tickle fight and their loud laughter fills the serene atmosphere of the playroom. The gloominess is long gone as Taehyung’s and Jiyeon’s jointed laughter can be heard.

Their tickle fight continued for some more until they’re both panting hard because of laughing too much. Jiyeon and Taehyung flop down on the floor, their eyes closing for a moment. Everything is quiet once again and it is really peaceful.

“You know, Jiyeon-ah,” Taehyung starts off as he decides to break the silence. “I don’t really care if you can talk or not but all I know is that you’re a nice and playful little girl and I would love to play with you more.” He turns to look at her who is already looking up at him with wide and happy eyes. “Do you want to play more with me too?” She nods enthusiastically and throws her arms around him. However, their happy moment is interrupted when the door of the playroom opens, revealing Seokjin, Haechan, and the Master behind it. They quickly get up from the floor and fixed their appearances.

“Angel, it’s time for you to go to your room now.” The Master orders but his voice is unbelievably soft, unlike the voice that he had earlier when he was talking with Seokjin.

Jiyeon shakes her head and clings onto Taehyung, her hands clutching his shirt. “Angel, please, listen to me. It’s already past eight o’clock in the evening. You need to go to bed now.”

It seems like Jiyeon won’t obey her father’s orders as she didn’t even move nor let go of her hold on Taehyung’s shirt. Taehyung exhales deeply and now decides that he will take some action and step in.

He strokes her hair softly, “Jiyeon-ah, I’m afraid that we have to follow your Dad’s orders. You don’t want him to be mad at you, right?” She curtly nods at him, “That’s great! Now, listen to him and go to bed already. I think Haechan-ssi will accompany you on your way to your room.” Again, she nods her head and finally lets go of her hold on Taehyung’s shirt.

Taehyung watches Jiyeon leave with a heavy feeling in his heart. It’s kind of ridiculous how he’s already attached to her but no one could really blame him if the kid is really amazing and is fun to be with. It’s like he had gained himself a little sister which he has been wanting to have ever since he’s little. Unfortunately, he can’t have that anymore.

Snapping out of his own musings, he looks up at the Master who is eyeing him intensely like what he has been doing ever since their first meeting several minutes ago. Taehyung feels shivers running down his spine, causing for him to rub his own arms. He clears his throat, “Um, did I pass your test, Master?”

“I can say that I’m quite impressed with what you did,” he answers with his monotonous tone, obviously not buying whatever Taehyung is trying to do. “Albeit the fact that I thought you already knew about her condition. Didn’t Seokjin already tell you about it?”

“Hyung didn’t exactly say that Jiyeon is mute,” He defends himself while internally cringing when he finally says it out loud. He really feels pity for Jiyeon. “He only told me that she won’t talk with anyone, not even with this Kim Namjoon-ssi that hyung tells me about. You can’t really blame me if I didn’t expect that.”

The Master gives Seokjin a look of disappointment and exhales, “Let’s forget that. It’s a matter that we shouldn’t discuss anymore.” He turns to look at Taehyung again. “Since you’re still going to university, let me know about your schedules so that we could arrange something. Make sure to give me your schedules as soon as possible but preferably tomorrow. Tell me what’s your schedule for tomorrow so that I can arrange something.”

“Uh, I only have my morning classes tomorrow and it will last until twelve noon. After that, I don’t really have anything to do.”

“Brilliant. You can start working here from that time since it’s just right after Jiyeon’s private lessons with her tutor.” He turns to Seokjin. “Since your brother is a novice here and doesn’t own a card yet, you can accompany him on his way here. Donghui will be here tomorrow and he’s the one who is going to give your brother the card.” He turns to Taehyung again. “Don’t forget to bring your schedule and the basic requirements that I’m going to send Seokjin. Make sure everything is ready because I don’t want any interruptions, is that clear?” Taehyung can’t do anything but nod. “Good. I will take my leave now since I still have a lot of things to take care of in the company.” He eyes Seokjin again. “You can drive your brother home but after you’re done with that, go to the company. Namjoon and I have important matters to discuss with you.”

“I understand, Sir.” Seokjin nods then bows to his boss.

Taehyung is caught off guard when the Master looks at him once again, “I’m expecting you tomorrow, Kim Taehyung-ssi. Please don’t be late because that will not make a good impression.”

“Yes, Master.”

The Master is about to walk away when Taehyung calls out to him.

“Wait, Master!” Seokjin widens his eyes at his brother like he’s warning him not to continue whatever he has in his mind. But as usual, Taehyung ignored Seokjin’s warnings. “I have something to ask you.”

The Master raises an eyebrow at him, “What is it?”

He clears his throat, “This will be really weird but may I know what’s your name? I’ve been wondering about that ever since I first saw you. Although you looked really familiar because I think I have seen you somewhere but I just can’t remember it.”

Taehyung expected for the Master to get annoyed with him or even snort at his stupidity. It truly surprised him when a low chuckle escapes his mouth.

“You’re really something, Kim Taehyung-ssi.” Taehyung is sure that a whimper escapes from his mouth. “But to answer your question, it’s Jeongguk. The name’s Jeon Jeongguk.”


And with that, Jeongguk leaves without sparing Taehyung another glance while the latter is standing frozen in his place as the realization hits him. Shit.

Chapter Text

When Jeon Jeongguk told him his name, Taehyung already recognized him. But when he searched for the man on Naver and the results loaded, it still surprised him. He hasn’t clicked any link yet he’s already overwhelmed with the number of news sites that have an article published about him. There are more than ten million results and Taehyung doesn’t know where to start. He shrugs and clicks the most interesting link that he can find, and it’s about his basic information.

Name: Jeon Jeongguk

Age: 23 years of age (Korean age)

Net Worth: $10.3 B

Source: electronics, Jeon Electronics

Info: Despite not being able to step his foot in college, Jeon Jeongguk, CEO of Jeon Electronics, is the second richest person in Korea. The 23-year-old bachelor brought his father’s company to be one of the leading companies as soon as he took the responsibility as the CEO at the young age of 18. The man lives up to what the industry calls him, The Golden Maknae, being the youngest in Forbes’ South Korea’s 50 Richest List, he continues to go further and bring the Jeon Electronics as the top company in Asia, most especially in Korea, China, and Japan.

It’s a short read but Taehyung knows that it’s more than enough to make his mouth drop. He can feel a little bit of envy in his heart but he’s amazed more right now. Seeing Jeongguk’s net worth and age has Taehyung impressed. In the span of five years, he did a lot of magnificent things to the company that leads him to where he is right now. He is unstoppable. Taehyung is convinced that Jeongguk is probably a genius or something. No matter what, he’s very accomplished and knows what he’s doing.

Taehyung continues to scan through the results to see if there’s anything that he can find that is related to Jiyeon or her mother. But fifteen pages later, Taehyung groans and gives up. It really confused him, a big part of him itching to find out the reason why nobody seems to talk about Jiyeon or her mother but he quickly stops himself from being too curious. He shouldn’t really meddle with other people’s private lives. It’s wrong on so many levels and honestly, it will offend him, too, if someone will do that to him.

He stops searching about Jeon Jeongguk and starts to search some information about mute people instead. He doesn’t really want to offend Jiyeon like their first meeting. He needs to educate himself in order to be able to fully get the little girl’s trust. Besides, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Finding an article written about mute people, he starts to read it and he immediately learns a lot of things about them. Eight articles later, he is left confused about one thing as he recalls what happened earlier. He re-reads a specific part of an article that left him perplexed.

Do you ever wonder if whenever mute people laugh, a sound can be heard from their mouths? If yes, the answer to that would be no. Mute people can laugh but you really won’t be able to hear a sound from them…

If he remembered it correctly when Jiyeon laughed earlier, he definitely heard a sound come out from her mouth. He considers to think that he must have remembered it wrong but he can clearly hear Jiyeon’s melodious laugh in his head.

More curious than ever, Taehyung tries to search for more information about the topic but he can’t find any. Breathing out a defeated sigh, he’s now having an inner battle with himself if he should ask Master Jeon about this. He doesn’t really know if he will be offended or will entertain Taehyung’s questions about Jiyeon’s condition.

Letting out another deep exhale, his eyes dart to the clock hanging on the wall and he curses as soon as he sees that it’s already past midnight. He closes his laptop and then goes to the bathroom, deciding to take a bath before sleeping so that he wouldn’t have to wake up early. His morning class will start at seven o’clock in the morning. He can wake up at 5:45 am and everything would be fine.

Before he can enter the bathroom, his phone dings. He checks it and sees that it’s his hyung who texted him, the requirements that he needs to prepare can be seen in the message. Taehyung figures that he can probably do it later today after all of his classes has ended. Right now, all he wants to do is take a shower and sleep. He will be really exhausted if he won’t get to bed anytime soon. Aside from that, Seokjin will probably scold him again for staying up late. He had always advised Taehyung not to stay up late most especially now that he’s a college student. He always reassured him that he will regret it once it finally decides to take a toll on him.

The thought makes him laugh, only reminding him how much his brother cares for him. It has always been the two of them and he is contented with that.

Deciding not to think about too much, Taehyung finally enters the bathroom and starts to wash himself up, the serenity of the house making him calm.

 

 

To say that Taehyung is tired is an understatement. His professor in Physical Education thinks that it will be fun if he’s going to test their stamina today. To test their stamina, the professor decided to make them run around the football fields while the sun is high up in the sky. Taehyung admits that he’s no gym person or anything that relates to that, but he still blames his professor and the sun for draining out his energy. He’s quite thankful that it was his last subject of the day because he’s sure that if he has another one, he’s just going to sleep all throughout the lecture. He’s not fond of being scolded by any of his professors so he’s not really up for that.

Lazily walking out of the campus with an envelope in hand, he feels nervous and excited at the same time. It feels like déja vù, his mind recalling that he’s also feeling like this yesterday. Master Jeon didn’t exactly say that he’s already hired so it’s making him nervous but he’s really looking forward to meeting Jiyeon again. The little girl paved her way into Taehyung’s heart and he finds himself not really minding that. In fact, he’s glad that Jiyeon did that as something inside of him already cares for the kid deeply. Then again, everyone will probably be fond of the little girl if only they will learn to understand her situation.

Speaking of her situation, Taehyung makes a mental note to remind him to ask Master Jeon about Jiyeon’s case. He’s really confused about her condition ever since he did some mini research about it. It might look like he is being too inquisitive about it but he figures that if he will really be Jiyeon’s babysitter, he has to know the truth about her situation. Maybe not entirely the whole story about it but at least a sneak-peek. It’s better for him to be informed about it because he doesn’t want to make any mistakes again. Although he’s aware that mistakes are inevitable, it’s better if he has a little knowledge about Jiyeon’s situation so he can be more understanding.

He breaks out of his reverie when he hears a loud horn, jumping a little because of the surprise. He looks over to the direction where the sound came from and a smile makes its way to his face as soon as he sees Seokjin waving to him. Taehyung sprints towards his hyung, feeling giddy about the fact of seeing him again. Not too long after, he finally arrives at his hyung’s location and quickly enters the car, not wasting any more time.

“Do you have all of the requirements I sent you last night?” asks Seokjin as he starts to drive.

“Yeah, I do, thanks to Jinki’s help though. Without him, I probably won’t be able to get all of these in time.” He frowns at him, “You didn’t go home again last night, hyung.”

“Ah, I’m sorry about that, Taetae,” he sighs tiredly. “We needed to arrange some things for the new investors that are going to arrive tomorrow. Sir Jeon was really meticulous about it so we had to plan everything last night.”

“Why didn’t you start planning like one week before their arrival? Wouldn’t it be more efficient and less hassle?”

“The investors confirmed their visit last minute so we had to prepare all of it last minute, too. Thank goodness because we finished it overnight. Sir Jeon will be in a bad mood for a whole month if we’re not able to do that and him being in a bad mood isn’t exactly the greatest thing.”

“I understand, hyung,” Taehyung says sympathetically. “I just hope that you will be able to get a rest. I don’t want you getting sick.”

“Don’t worry, Taehyung-ah. After I drop you off at Sir Jeon’s home, I will go back to our house. Thankfully, he has some mercy and let me have my rest. Though he will probably need me again for the whole day tomorrow.”

“That’s good to know, hyung! But please, take a rest this time. I know your definition of rest is doing paperwork even though you’re supposed to be relaxing. Please do not tire yourself out even more.”

Seokjin ruffles his hair, “Yes, Lord Taehyung. I will really sleep this time. I’m afraid to receive a punishment if I will disobey you, my Lord.”

Eliciting a giggle out of Taehyung’s mouth, Seokjin’s smile grows wider, pleased to hear his dongsaeng’s giggle. At least, he’s sure that he is not dying out of nervousness of meeting Sir Jeon again. Besides, Taehyung seems more relaxed now, the exhaustion that he saw earlier already vanished.

After a few minutes, they arrive at the Jeon’s Manor, Haechan already waiting for them at the bottom of the stairs near the main doors. Beside him is a man who is much taller than Haechan’s lithe figure, face void of any expressions, and is wearing a very well-tailored suit. Seokjin recognizes the man as Donghui, the one that Master Jeon referred to yesterday.

As soon as they got out of the car, Donghui approaches them, strides long and fast. He meets Seokjin in the eye but not too long because his attention is quickly diverted to Taehyung.

“This is the card that will serve as your ticket to enter Master Jeon’s premises and the Manor.” He explains, hands reaching out to Taehyung to lend him the card. “Apart from that, you can use this card in entering any of the establishments located only here in Gangnam. It includes malls, restaurants, and shops which also means that if you’re going to buy something from there, just show them the card and they will give you anything that you want. But don’t try to use it for anything useless because the Master will order to make your card void. If you have any questions regarding the card, just look for me. Is that clear, Kim Taehyung-ssi?”

Too overwhelmed about Donghui, Taehyung can’t do anything but to nod at him. Donghui does the same and in a flash, he’s already gone with the help of his car that looks like a sports car.

Seokjin and Taehyung hear Haechan clear his throat, “Kim Taehyung-ssi, the Master is waiting for you at his office. Let me guide you the way there.”

“What about hyung? Aren’t you going to let him in?”

Haechan shakes his head, “That can’t be happening, Taehyung-ssi. The only duty that the Master ordered him is to drive you back here at the Manor. The Master didn’t say that Seokjin-ssi will come with you to your meeting with the Master.”

“Oh, is that so?”

“Yes. The Master’s words are absolute and no one shall ever disobey him.”

Taehyung feels shivers run down his spine at what Haechan said, his heart starting to beat fast and his palms are getting sweaty. Obviously, it made him scared but he believes that the Master won’t be that bad.

With one last glance at his brother who is smiling encouragingly at him, the main doors close and Taehyung simply follows Haechan to the Master’s office.

It doesn’t last long until they arrive at the Master’s office. Taehyung bows to Haechan which the latter returns. The servant leaves before he can even say anything and it only made him nervous. He leans onto the speaker to let the Master know about him.

“Uh, good afternoon. Master Jeon? This is Kim Taehyung. I’m here to give you the requirements that you have requested.”

And just like what he has expected, the door opens automatically and reveals the inside of the office. Just like yesterday, Master Jeon has his elbows resting at the top of his fancy office table. Taehyung takes careful strides towards him, his nerves getting the best out of him. He sighs deeply as he stops right in front of him, feeling exposed as Master Jeon is practically eyeing him from head to toe.

Master Jeon motions for Taehyung to take a seat which he quickly complies with. Taehyung tries so hard not to squirm because of his gaze but he fails as his thighs bounced up and down and he starts to fidget with his own fingers. Master Jeon clears his throat that made him startle and quickly look up to him.

“Don’t be too nervous, Taehyung-ssi. It’s not like I’m going to bite you or something. I’m just going to ask you some questions.” He can’t do anything but to nod that only made him chuckle. “Did you bring all of the requirements needed?”

“Y-Yes, Master,” Taehyung finally finds his voice. “It’s h-here in the envelope.”

Taehyung hands him the envelope. As soon as Master Jeon gets his hands on it, he opens it and pulls out the papers inside. His eyes carefully scan the information listed on the papers then he suddenly looks at Taehyung.

“So you’re studying at Seoul National University of Education?”

“Yes, Master.”

He nods his head, “Ah, I see. Is that the reason why your brother brought you here? Is it because you’re good with kids?”

“Yes, Master. Hyung thought that I can probably do a great job in taking care of your daughter even though I don’t really have any experiences on doing that kind of thing.”

“Is that the only reason why he recommended you to me?”

“No,” Taehyung shakes his head as he remembers his conversation with his brother yesterday. “He believes that if I can manage to make twenty kids calm down then one kid won’t be a problem for me.”

“Seokjin really has a unique way of thinking,” he says as lets out a sigh. “It’s probably one of the reasons why I made him as my adviser.” He sets aside the papers then looks Taehyung in the eyes once again. “I can take a look at the questions again later but how about you, Kim Taehyung-ssi? Do you have any questions?”

His mind immediately recalls what did he find out last night. Taehyung is not sure if he should ask Master Jeon about it or not, afraid that he might be crossing a line that he shouldn’t.

Exhaling a deep breath, Taehyung thinks that it’s now or never. Besides, him wanting to know about Jiyeon’s condition is reasonable. He should be able to understand her condition so that he would know what are the things that he should and shouldn’t do.

“I have a question about Jiyeon, Sir,” he starts off slowly, not wanting to be direct and catch the Master off guard. “To be honest with you, I did some small research about mute people. I have read countless articles about it until I stumbled upon an article that tackles the topic if mute people can make a sound whenever they laugh.” Taehyung gauges for Master Jeon’s reaction and he doesn’t know whether him not changing his facial expression is a good thing or not. He is hoping for the former. “Yesterday, when you sent me off to Jiyeon when she was laughing, there are sounds that are coming out from her mouth. It just made me confused because from the article that I have read, there aren’t supposed to be any sounds that can be heard from mute people that are laughing. They can laugh but you won’t be able to hear any sound. I just want to know what’s the truth about her condition?”

Silence takes over the two of them as soon as Taehyung finishes talking. It is seriously making him nervous, not sure whether he really stepped over a line that he shouldn’t have. He’s now regretting that he had done this and he’s afraid that the Master will kick him out of his office any second now.

“Jiyeon has a special condition,” Master Jeon starts, making him almost jump out of his seat. “She’s supposed to be able to talk like we do but she wasn’t able to do it now because of an event that happened that must have triggered something inside her that caused for her to be unable to talk. We already brought her to the doctors and we are delighted to know that the condition she has right now is only for temporary.”

It’s Taehyung’s turn to look into the Master’s eyes right now and he feels pity for him. Sadness can be seen in his eyes and Taehyung’s heart swells for a moment. He can see that the situation Jiyeon has right now is hurting him.

“But they also said that it could be a permanent thing if Jiyeon wouldn’t show some kind of progress anytime soon. We tried giving her teachers that can help her in her speech but she wouldn’t even listen to any single one of them. It’s hard but I know why she’s being like this. Jiyeon must be really scared and she doesn’t want to show it to anyone.

Taehyung can’t do anything but to nod at him in understanding. Master Jeon didn’t say it out loud but he can clearly hear his unspoken words that say it’s a hard situation for him too. The Master really wants to help his own daughter but he can’t do any of it when Jiyeon herself refuses to receive help from anyone.

It goes unsaid but he knows that the Master is somewhat asking him to do something to help Jiyeon’s condition. Taehyung doesn’t really know the real reason that caused her situation right now but he is determined to do every single thing that he can muster to do.

“Do you have any other questions?” The Master’s sudden inquiry had him bump his elbow on a hard surface that sent electricity through his body. But to answer his question, Taehyung simply shakes his head. “Alright, if you say so.”

Master Jeon pulls out some formal-looking paper from one of the papers stacked at the top of his office table. He also grabs a pen and signs at the bottom of the paper. He hands out the paper to Taehyung.

“This will be your contract. I will let you read and analyze it first if that’s what you want.” Master Jeon rests his elbows again on the table. “You will get your income every 15th of the month and you can even receive some additional payments for depends in some circumstances. Your brother sent me a copy of your schedules last night and on Wednesdays and Fridays, your schedule ends at three o’clock in the afternoon, the rest ends at twelve and on Tuesdays, you don’t have any classes. I have a proposal to you since I personally think that your schedule for Wednesdays and Fridays are somewhat busy.”

“What do you have in mind, Sir?”

“You can bring some of your clothes with you every Tuesdays and Fridays and just sleep over here instead. If you’re still going home it would be tiring for you. But if you still want to go home then I will let you. I will let Seokjin know about this if you’re worried about that.”

“Are you sure about that, Sir? Isn’t it a bit too much?”

“No, Taehyung-ssi. I will be delighted if you will accept it because it will benefit you. But I understand if you’ll turn down the offer.”

Taehyung thinks for a moment and Master Jeon is right. It will help him a lot since activities in school would already spend a lot of his energy and taking care and playing with Jiyeon will take an effect on him, too. Aside from that, the travel from the Jeons’ Manor to their house is quite a distance and it would tire him out, too, since not all the time Seokjin will be able to drive him to the manor. Traveling will exhaust him and won’t leave him any energy to do his homework.

“I will accept your offer, Sir.” He says, deciding that he shouldn’t let the offer slip away.

“That’s good, Taehyung-ssi. I will let one of my servants arrange one of the rooms upstairs, preferably the room next to Jiyeon’s.” Master Jeon looks at his wristwatch, eyebrows furrowing at the time. “You should go now. Her session will end in five minutes. She’s located in the library, it’s just a few steps away from her playroom. You remember where it’s located, right?”

Taehyung bobs his head as he stands up from his seat, fixing the wrinkles on his clothes. He starts walking towards the doors but before he can fully exit the room, he turns around to give Master Jeon a courtesy bow.

“Thank you for accepting me as your new employee, Master Jeon.” He rises from the bow and rapidly feels the shivers running down his spine when his eyes meet Master Jeon’s intense gaze directed at him. Continuing to walk, he stops when he hears his voice.

“Taehyung,” he squeaks as his name leaves the Master’s mouth without any honorifics. “Call me Sir. Sir Jeongguk.”

For some unknown reason, his heart stops then starts to beat fast like it’s running a thousand miles. Taehyung turns his head to look back at him and feels the blood rushing towards his face when his eyes immediately meet with the Master’s own.

Taking a deep breath, Taehyung says with the smallest voice that he ever heard that came out from him, “O-Okay, Sir Jeongguk.”

With that, Taehyung practically runs as soon as the doors open with his heart pounding like crazy accompanied with an unknown feeling.

 

 

It takes him quite a few minutes, still, he manages to find the library. He lets out a deep breath before opening the door of the library and soon found his own mouth hanging open at how big the library is.

Taehyung is dumbfounded with his mouth still wide open as his eyes roam the library. He mentally curses, thinking how the library is almost as big as the apartment that he and Seokjin are residing in right now. Another thing is that he feels like the library contains almost every book that’s published in history and it’s amazing. There are a lot of shelves with books neatly stacked on it, like it has never been touched by anyone. The shelves look quite old too but it must be really strong that it can hold a lot of books after a long time.

A sound snaps Taehyung out of his thoughts and he quickly recognizes it as Jiyeon’s giggle. A smile rapidly makes its way to his mouth, excited to see the little sunshine once again. He goes to the direction where he thinks he heard the sound and thankfully, he finds Jiyeon who is accompanied by a man whom he assumes as her teacher. Taehyung doesn’t hesitate to approach them, too enthusiastic to interact with the little girl again.

“Excuse me?” The man looks up from the book where he’s pointing out something to Jiyeon. “My name’s Kim Taehyung and I’m Jiyeon’s new babysitter.”

“Oh, you’re the one that Jeongguk told me about.” A dimple pokes out of the man’s smile, making Taehyung scream internally. “The name’s Kim Namjoon, Jiyeon’s teacher and at the same time, Jeongguk’s cousin. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Kim Namjoon?” Taehyung carefully repeats, making sure that he heard his name correctly.

“Yep, that’s me. Is there any problem with it, Taehyung-ssi?”

“Oh no, I don’t have any problem with that.” He shakes his head. “It’s just that I heard your name a lot of times already.”

“Really? Where?”

“From my brother. Um, do you know Kim Seokjin?”

Namjoon’s eyes widen in recognition. “Oh, I see. Are you related to Jinnie-hyung by any chance?”

“Jinnie-hyung?” Taehyung splutters. “My brother lets you call him that?”

“Why? Is that supposed to be a big deal?”

“Of course, it is! He never lets me call him that! Whenever I do, he hits me on the head like really hard. You know how he is when he hits someone, right? It looks like he’s a weakling but he’s strong.”

Namjoon only laughs at that, making Taehyung pout and glare at him. The scene made the elder laugh even more and have Taehyung whining.

“You really are Jin-hyung’s brother. You act the same as him whenever he gets annoyed with me.”

Taehyung is about to say something but he feels someone tugging at the hem of his shirt. The gloomy aura that he has earlier vanishes as soon as he sees Jiyeon looking up at him, wide doe eyes and bright bunny-like smile. He crouches down so that he’s on the same level as she then shuffles her hair.

“Jiyeon-ah, I’m back! Did you miss Taehyungie-oppa?”

She nods enthusiastically then wraps her arms around him for a hug. He hugs her back and feels warmth course through his body, finding the little girl’s presence really calming.

“How did your class with Namjoon-ssi go? Did you have fun learning new things?” She nods again then looks over at Namjoon, like she’s telling him to tell what happened. Namjoon only nods at her then turns to Taehyung.

“As usual, she’s a brilliant kid. She can easily learn new stuff and manages to ace it like she knows it for years already. Jiyeon is a natural learner, just like her father.”

“That’s great, Jiyeon-ah! I’m proud of you!” He pats her head gently. “Keep up being a great student that you are. I’m sure that someday, you will be really successful, just like your father. And I know that he will be really proud of you. Do you want that to happen?”

Again, she bobs her head, her beam widening. Jiyeon points out to some direction in the library and he only tilts his head in confusion.

“Why do you want to go there, Jiyeon? Do you want to show me something?”

She only nods again then tugs on his hands, causing him to stumble a little. Taehyung chuckles lowly, wondering how can a little girl be that strong.

Before leaving completely, Taehyung looks over to Namjoon and sees him packing his things up, probably readying to go. It seems like the latter sensed Taehyung watching him so he meets his eyes then sends him a grin.

“I’ll be leaving in a few seconds since I still have to meet up with Jeongguk to tell him if his daughter had shown any progress.” He lets out an exhale. “Good luck on taking care of Jiyeon, Taehyung! That girl can be a little hyper sometimes, most especially when she’s having fun.”

“Thanks for that, Namjoon-ssi.”

“Stop with the formalities and call me hyung instead.” Namjoon winks at him, making Taehyung snort. “I’ll see you around, Taehyung. Have fun with Jiyeon! I’m sure you’ll love that little girl.”

“I already do, hyung,” Taehyung says softly which made Namjoon smile.

With that, Taehyung finally gives in to Jiyeon’s insistent tugging and lets her lead the way to wherever she’s planning on taking him. Jiyeon has an excited expression on her face and he can’t help but smile. Seeing her smiling like that is a beautiful sight.

Not too long after that, they finally arrive at a section where there are books that have colorful covers. Jiyeon lets go of Taehyung’s hand and walks toward a shelf. Taehyung, on the other hand, is looking around the shelves, figuring out that the little girl brought him to the kids’ section.

He can’t help but be amazed. He didn’t really notice the signs earlier, probably too enamored by the books that he had seen when he first entered the library. There are many sections in the library, just like what he had predicted earlier. He can see that there are the teens’, adults’, men’s, women’s, and many other sections. Meanwhile, the shelves are labeled based on what genre of books do they contain. There are science fiction, romance, educational, and other genres.

Taehyung stops looking around, now focusing on Jiyeon who is still in front of a shelf labeled as fantasy. He walks toward her then pretends to be looking for books too. Giggles quickly escaped her mouth, making him smile.

He looks down at her, “What do you want to read, Jiyeon-ah? Do you have anything in mind?”

Shoulders visibly slumping down, a frown masks her face. Jiyeon shakes her head then pouts while looking up at Taehyung. Chuckling because of her actions, he thinks for a moment, trying to figure out what book could manage to catch Jiyeon’s interest.

A title suddenly pops up in his mind, now quickly scanning through the numbers of books. It’s not too long when he finally finds the book, showing it to Jiyeon. She cocks her head to the side, confused about what did he show her.

“It’s called The Little Mermaid, Jiyeon-ah.” He informs her as he flops down on the floor, leaning onto the shelves. He motions for her to sit beside him which she complies with without any protests. Taehyung opens book then shows her the picture, “It looks really interesting, right? Do you want me to read it for you?”

Jiyeon only stares at the picture that he’s showing her, specifically on the tiny crab and the yellow fish with blue stripes beside the girl. Eventually, she agrees with him and Taehyung only beams, now in the process of turning to the next page as he reads the title out loud once again. Just like how he had read the title, Taehyung reads the whole book dramatically, managing to make Jiyeon giggle uncontrollably at times.

When Taehyung finished reading the book, he’s confident to say that Jiyeon liked the story. Although there is a minor character death that made her scowl, overall, she really enjoyed the story based on her reactions and his judgment.

“Jiyeon-ah,” starts off Taehyung as he runs his hands through her hair. “Did you like the story?”

She bobs her head while eyeing the cover of the book with a smile on her face.

“I have something to tell you, Jiyeon-ah,” she turns her head to look at him, hands still clutching the book tightly. “That story is actually a movie,” her eyes light up and she’s slowly starting to bounce up and down. “Actually, the movie is more fun since Sebastian will sing and all the other sea creatures. Wouldn’t that be amazing?”

She nods again while looking at him with expectant eyes. “Shall we watch it today, Jiyeon? What do you think?”

Instead of answering his question, she gets up from the floor and tries to pull Taehyung up with her, like she’s telling him that she’s already eager to watch the movie version of The Little Mermaid. Taehyung wholeheartedly gets up from his seat and lets Jiyeon lead him out of the library.

On their way to wherever Jiyeon is planning to bring him, they manage to see Namjoon and Jeongguk talking who is also going somewhere. They quickly notice Taehyung and Jiyeon and they didn’t even hesitate to approach them.

“Oh, Taehyung, why are you here? Is there any problem?” asks Namjoon, eyeing the two of them worriedly.

“No, there isn’t any problem,” he rapidly dismisses the thought. “It’s just that I think Jiyeon is going to bring me to her room since I offered her to watch The Little Mermaid.”

“I see,” Namjoon nods. “Guk, do you have that film in the movie room?”

“I don’t know but they could use the Netflix if they can’t find any DVD for that one.”

“Is that so?” Namjoon turns to Taehyung. “You two can go to the movie room. It’s the first room upstairs. And don’t worry, I think the Netflix doesn’t have a password so you can use it freely.”

“That’s right. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to call for Haechan. He will give you anything that you will request for. Is that clear?”

“Yes, Master,” Taehyung says so that he would know that he understands what he said.

“What did I tell you about calling me that, Taehyung?” questions Jeongguk all of a sudden, almost managing to make him let out an embarrassing squeak.

“Ah, I’m sorry about that, Mas- I mean, Sir Jeongguk.”

“Get used to it already, is that clear? Don’t be too formal with me since you don’t do any household chores in here. But be comfortable here since I know that you will be spending a lot of time here, most especially with Jiyeon. It’s not really pleasant seeing you being awkward. Try to get used to it soon, understood?”

“I understand. I will try my best to improve more so that you will be satisfied with my performance.”

“That’s good to know,” he expresses his delightedness. “Before you go, Jiyeon-ah, can you come here?”

Jiyeon lets go of Taehyung’s hand to walk over to her father. She tilts her head to the side, asking her father why did he call for her.

Jeongguk smiles fondly at her as he caresses her hair, “Have fun with Taehyung, okay? Don’t eat too many sweets or else you won’t be able to sleep tonight.”

She only nods her head then hugs him tightly, face nuzzling at the crook of his neck. Jeongguk cards his hands through her hair then leaves a kiss at the top of her head.

“Taehyung, don’t forget that her bedtime is at eight o’clock in the evening, the maximum is nine o’clock. Before tucking her in bed, make sure that she has washed and changed her clothes.” Jeongguk looks at his wristwatch. “You can leave even if I’m not here yet. I’ll have Chanhyuk here so that he can drive you back to your apartment.”

“What? It’s not really necessary. I can commute on my way back to our house.”

“No, I insist. I can’t let you alone out there. There are a lot of danger in this city, Taehyung. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

“Jeongguk’s right, Taehyung,” agrees Namjoon with his cousin. “I think you’re aware that there are a lot of rich people in this city, meaning there will be a lot of danger, too, so let one of Jeongguk’s drivers lead you back. Besides, we’re pretty sure that Seokjin will kill not only Jeongguk but the both of us if something will happen to you. And you know your brother, right?”

Taehyung shudders at the thought of his brother being mad, “I guess, you’re right. Thank you in advance for that, Sir Jeongguk.”

“It’s no big deal,” he shrugs him off.

His eyebrows raised at the sudden change in Jeongguk’s demeanor. If earlier, he’s all worried and shit like that, it suddenly vanished like it never happened. Taehyung wants to ask him about that but he decides not to since he’s afraid that he might be overstepping a boundary.

Jiyeon is back on Taehyung’s side and doesn’t even hesitate to grab his hands again, just like what she has been doing not too long ago.

“We will be taking our leave. Don’t forget about the things that I have told you, Taehyung.”

“I have everything stored in my mind right now. Don’t worry.”

“Good,” Jeongguk nods at him then turns his back around with Namjoon hot on his tail but doesn’t forget to bid them a goodbye.

Taehyung and Jiyeon don’t waste any time and starts walking up the stairs. True to Namjoon’s words, the so-called movie room is the first room upstairs. For the second time today, Taehyung’s jaw drops wide open as he takes in the size of the room, which is really enormous. It looks like a mini movie theatre and he’s more than amazed because of that.

Its appearance is not too different from how the library looked like. If the library has countless numbers of books stacked up neatly and orderly, the movie room has different films lined up perfectly. Similar to the library, the shelves where the films are tucked in contains labels in them, starting from horror, drama, comedy, and other genres of movies.

Taehyung scans the shelves to see if he would be able to find The Little Mermaid. Jiyeon, on the other hand, only makes herself comfortable at one of the reclining chairs lined up.

Several minutes later, he wasn’t able to find The Little Mermaid on one of the shelves. They both settle by watching it on Netflix instead.

Not too long after that, the movie starts and Jiyeon is visibly bouncing up and down on her seat, causing for Taehyung to laugh at her antics as he lets himself relax on the seat beside her.

The movie doesn’t really last long and Taehyung finds himself switching to another movie, The Little Mermaid 2. The pair ends up seeing every installment that The Little Mermaid has and they even watched one of its mini-series.

They didn’t really bother on checking the time so it surprised them that it’s already quarter to eight. Taehyung’s eyes divert to Jiyeon and see that she’s already half-asleep. He chuckles as he gets up from the reclining chair and picks Jiyeon up, a whine can be heard from her.

“You’re already tired, Jiyeon-ah. Let’s get you to bed already.”

Another whine escapes her lips, a sign that she’s opposed to what he’s planning to do. He shakes his head in disbelief at the little girl.

“I would want to spend more time with you but your bedtime is nearing and you’re already tired.” He sighs as he looks down at her who is eyeing him up with a pout. “No excuses, Jiyeon. Let’s get you to shower already, okay?”

Whining once again, she doesn’t even move anymore and just lets him carry her. Taehyung asks Jiyeon for some directions so that they could arrive at her room which she obediently does. She points out directions tiredly and after several seconds, they arrive at her room.

Taehyung doesn’t even have any time to look around her room because he’s quick to bring her to the bathroom. He leaves her for a moment so that she can undress and wash up. It didn’t take up too much time for her to wash up and the next thing he knows is that she’s out of the bathroom. Taehyung helps her by dressing up then combs her hair.

Jiyeon lets Taehyung tuck her into her bed then tugs on his hands. She looks up expectantly at him, her doe eyes wide and pleading. Taehyung exhales deeply and takes a seat beside her, his fingers softly combing her hair.

Without even noticing it, he starts to hum a tune that he had heard playing from the streets earlier when he was on his way to the university. Jiyeon visibly relaxes at that so he continues whatever he’s doing.

Eventually, Jiyeon’s breathing evens and Taehyung takes that as his cue to leave. He doesn’t leave the bedroom until he drops a kiss at the crown of her head. He caresses her cheeks then finally exits the room.

Downstairs, he finds Haechan who seems to be waiting for someone. He calls out to him and Haechan nods in acknowledgment.

“Here are your things, Taehyung-ssi.”

“Thank you for taking care of them. But just call me Taehyung, please.”

“I’m afraid that I couldn’t do that. I do not want to disobey the Master’s orders.”

“What?” questions Taehyung. “I mean, I’m the same as you. I also work here. There’s no point of you calling me with formalities, really.”

Haechan shakes his head, “I’m sorry but the only orders that I’m going to follow are Master Jeon’s. If you don’t mind, please follow me so I can lead you to Chanhyuk’s location.”

Even though Taehyung doesn’t really want to, he complies with what the butler said. He follows Haechan leading him outside and when the door opens, they are welcomed by a tall and well-built man who is standing by an expensive-looking car.

“Chanhyuk, this is Kim Taehyung-ssi. Please drive him home safely, just like what the Master has directed.”

“I understand, Sir.” He bows down to Haechan. “Taehyung-ssi, shall we go now?”

Taehyung can’t do anything but to nod and enter the car that Chanhyuk opened for him. Chanhyuk securely closes the car then makes his way to the other side, inserting himself into the driver’s seat.

It didn’t take long and now they’re on their journey to Taehyung’s shared house with his brother. He couldn’t help but let out an exasperated sigh as he looks out at the windows, trying to take in the passing scenery in front of him. Thankfully, he enjoys the views that they’re passing by that he didn’t even notice that they arrived at Taehyung’s place already.

Just like earlier, Chanhyuk opens the door for him. Taehyung grunts at that but he can’t really do anything since it’s already been done. He lets out a quiet gratitude to Chanhyuk but he’s not even sure that the latter heard it.

Shrugging it off, Taehyung enters the house and immediately finds Seokjin in the living room, playing Mario Kart all by himself. He scoffs in disbelief as he notices that there are wrappers scattered around the floor. There are also some banana peels and other fruits’ skins. He can also spot some bread crumbs and chips. He sighs, wondering what the hell happened in their living room.

“Hyung, what in the world did you do in our living room?” asks Taehyung immediately as he flops down on the couch.

Seokjin grunts, “Fuck off. Is it really bad that I’m enjoying my only day off for like the next three months?” He responds eyes not even leaving the TV screen.

“Whatever, Jin-hyung. As long as you are going to clean your mess up, you can do whatever you please.”

“How about you though? How’s your first day at work? Did Sir Jeon yell at you or something?”

Taehyung’s eyebrows scrunch, “No, he didn’t. Why would he do that? He’s actually nice and even had one of his drivers lead me back home.”

Seokjin drops the controllers quickly and dismisses the game that he’s been playing. He sits down beside Taehyung who is eyeing him weirdly.

“Nice? He was nice to you? How is that possible?”

“What are you even saying, hyung? Why do you act like it’s such a big deal?”

“Because it is a big deal, Taehyung! He’s not exactly the nicest person in the world, you know?”

He frowns, “Hyung, don’t say that about Sir Jeongguk. What you said isn’t exactly nice either.”

Seokjin splutters at his statement, “Excuse me but can you repeat what did you just say?”

“What even-”

“You called him Sir Jeongguk.”

“What?”

“I said you called him Sir Jeongguk!” exclaims Seokjin.

“Oh, yeah, I did,” Taehyung confirms. “He told me that I should stop with the formalities and just call him Sir Jeongguk instead. Why? Is there something wrong with it?”

“I can’t believe you, Kim Taehyung.” He shakes his head in disbelief. “I can’t believe that he’s letting you call him that.”

“Hyung, seriously, what’s the big deal about it?”

“I’m older than him by two years and he only calls me by my first name! I’m partially okay with that but the thing is, I’m calling him Sir or Master too! The amount of disrespect is really unbelievable.”

“Then call him Sir Jeongguk, too! You’re acting like you have the worst dilemma ever when the solution is very simple.”

“Do you want me to lose my job, you dumbass?” Seokjin deadpans.

Taehyung only opens his mouth to realization. They went quiet for a few moments until Seokjin clears his throat.

“But on the important note, I’m glad that you have a job now. It may not be the dream job that you have but it will at least give you some experiences that you can use in the future.” He flashes a proud smile at him.

“Thank you, hyung, although I’m a bit hesitant about this at first, but thank you for pushing me. I can help you to pay the bills that we have now.”

Seokjin shakes his head, “No, no. You aren’t going to help me in paying our bills. Just save the money that you will earn at the bank. You should have your own savings too, you know?”

“But hyung-”

“No, Taehyung. Besides, practically, I am your guardian. Even though you are already in the legal age, they still consider me as your guardian. So no protests anymore, alright?”

Taehyung sighs before nodding, now letting his hyung win. His attention suddenly diverts to the controllers on the floor then pushes Seokjin off the couch.

“The loser’s going to buy ice cream!”

Seokjin growls at his brother, “Oh, is that what you want now?” A smirk appears on his lips. “Bring it on, bitch.”

Chapter Text

Almost one week has passed, and he can confidently say that he’s getting used to his job. He made mistakes on the first two days since he doesn’t really know his way inside the manor. It always takes him a lot of time to go back to wherever Jiyeon’s location is. Although the little girl is almost always by his side, it seems like Jiyeon doesn’t really know where is where in her own home. When he asked Namjoon about it, the man said that Jiyeon doesn’t really go anywhere in the manor except for the living room, the dining room, the library, her father’s office, her playroom, and of course, her own room. The revelation made Taehyung frown because when one of the servants showed him a map of the manor, the said rooms are all located in the same part of the house which is the west wing.

When Taehyung decided to tour the house so that he won’t get lost again, he dragged Jiyeon along with him after getting an approval from Sir Jeongguk. While roaming around the manor, they discovered unexpected rooms. There are the spa room, music room, dance studio, a small cafeteria for the servants, and a whole lot more. But their favorite would probably be the most joyous and liveliest room in the whole manor, the arcades.

Jiyeon and Taehyung didn’t waste any time and quickly entered it, their eyes light up with happiness. Though it made Taehyung sad when the little girl told him that she’d never been in an arcade before. Of course, Taehyung helped Jiyeon whenever she found an arcade game which she deems to be interesting enough to play. Jiyeon asked him to play with her and he gladly accepted the offer.

They had too much fun at the arcades that time since, by the time that they went back to Jiyeon’s room, it was already past eight o’clock in the evening. Though Taehyung got scolded a little bit by Jeongguk, saying that they shouldn’t have gone too much when it comes to playing games. Although Taehyung concludes that being lectured by Jeongguk was worth it, most especially when he saw how happy Jiyeon was while playing arcade games.

Now, Taehyung is at the library as he tries to study for his summative test in Calculus tomorrow. Jiyeon, who is asleep earlier, wakes up and gets up from the couch, knuckles rubbing the sleep away from her eyes. Taehyung drops his pen on the book then walks over to Jiyeon, his hands tucking her hair behind her ears.

“Did you sleep well, Jiyeon-ah?” She nods as she looks up at him, eyes still evident of sleep. “Do you want to go downstairs? We can get something for snacks.”

Jiyeon once again agrees with him and they proceed to walk downstairs, hands entwined. It takes them a few moments to get to the kitchen but when they arrived, the place is surprisingly unoccupied. Usually, the other servants would be there but Taehyung shrugs as he lets Jiyeon take a seat on one of the stools near the benchtops. He opens the fridge and pulls out some fruits, mainly the strawberries, their favorite. He also pulls out the chocolate syrup and pours some into a small glass bowl so that they could dip the strawberries in it.

Taehyung lets out a satisfied hum as he keeps on munching on the fruit, the little girl doing the same thing and even managing to smudge some chocolate on her cheeks. Laughing at Jiyeon’s appearance, he reaches out to her and wipes the chocolate syrup off using the napkins that he found at the top of the benchtops.

Too occupied by the strawberries with chocolate syrup, they didn’t notice someone entering the kitchen. They only knew about it when the stranger grabs a strawberry from the container.

“Hey!” Taehyung almost yells. He quickly stops himself when he sees the stranger’s appearance, making him lower his head down.

“Oh, I’m sorry for catching you off guard.” The stranger says with a sweet voice.

“Who are you?” asks Taehyung before he can even stop himself. He almost slaps himself, but he contemplates to do so since he already embarrassed himself enough in front of a stranger.

“I’m Park Jimin, Jeongguk’s best bro, and little miss Jiyeon’s godfather.” The man stretches out his hand to him with a smile.

He shakes hands with him, “I’m Kim Taehyung, Jiyeon’s new babysitter.”

Jimin’s eyes light up, “Ooh! You’re the person that Namjoon-hyung told me! The only one that can make Guk change his-”

“Shut the fuck up, Jimin.” Someone growls out of nowhere, sending shivers down Taehyung’s spine and make him squeak a little.

Turning around, Jimin huffs at him with a glare. “Watch out for your language, Guk. Can’t you see that your daughter is within your proximity? Do you really want for her to learn a curse word as her first word? That would make you a very great father, don’t you think?”

Jeongguk only rolls his eyes at him and approaches Jiyeon instead then drops a kiss on her forehead. “Angel, forget the words that I said earlier, alright? Those words aren’t the ones that you’re supposed to learn.”

She obediently nods at her father. She wraps her hands around him and pulls him in for a hug, her face nuzzling the crook of Jeongguk’s neck.

A sigh can be heard from Jimin. “Ah, I really love it when little Jiyeon does that. It’s such an endearing gesture. It just shows how much she loves him.”

“I figured that she always did that,” Taehyung mumbles under his breath. He looks at Jimin, “Um, Jimin-ssi? What was that thing that you’re supposed to tell me? I didn’t hear it because Sir Jeongguk interrupted you.”

“Oh, about that,” Jimin nods. “It’s just that you’re the only one who can-” He abruptly stops as he eyes Taehyung. He strides towards him, “Wait, you call Jeongguk Sir Jeongguk? Not Master Jeon or even a Sir Jeon? It’s really Sir Jeongguk?”

The question sounds awfully familiar, and Taehyung couldn’t pinpoint why. It suddenly dawns on him when he sees Jimin’s facial expression, which mirrors the expression that Seokjin had when he first heard about it.

“Uh, yeah? Is there anything wrong with that? Is it really that big of a deal?”

Jimin shakes his head, “No, no. Don’t mind me; I’m just being weird. And, simply forget everything that I have told you today. All of it is complete nonsense.”

Taehyung nods warily, confused at Jimin’s sudden change of demeanor. He decides to ignore it now, for the reason that he’s weirded out by every single word that Jimin told him. His attention diverts back to Jiyeon and Jeongguk and he can’t help but smile at the sight.

He snaps out of his thoughts when he feels someone poking him on the cheeks. He turns around to look at the newcomer who is smiling widely at him.

“Hey there, are you by any chance related to Kim Seokjin?” The person asks, eyes looking up at him with curiosity.

He nods, “Uh, yeah. He’s my elder brother actually. Why?”

“Nothing. It’s just that you look really gorgeous, just like him.” The stranger sighs. “Too bad, I won’t be able to try and come for your heart. Joon already managed to catch Seokjin-hyung’s heart while I’m pretty sure Guk is already developing a crush on you.” He turns to look at Taehyung. “Say, do you have any other siblings or even cousins who are equally attractive like you?”

That causes for Taehyung to blush. He finds himself playing with the hem of his shirt, eyes looking almost everywhere except for the stranger’s face. He hears a grunt from somewhere in the room.

“Hoseok-hyung, can you stop being flirty even just for once?” Jimin huffs as he pulls him towards him. “This is why any of your relationships don’t last. You always flirt with everyone you find attractive. Besides, stop blurting out nonsense. Do you really want Guk to castrate you?”

Hoseok laughs at him as he drapes his arm around Jimin’s shoulder, “My, my, Jiminie. Do you really miss my flirting that much?”

“Not really but you can still flirt with me if you want,” Hoseok’s face lights up until Jimin continues his sentence. “That is if you want Yoongi-hyung to emasculate you.”

Hoseok scoffs, “Nah, Yoongi-hyung won’t come after my ass. I’m his best friend; he wouldn’t lay a finger on me.”

“Let’s see. But you know that Yoongi-hyung would do anything for me, right?” Jimin reminds him with a saccharine smile.

“Shut the fuck up, Jimin.”

“Hoseok, language,” Jeongguk speaks up all of a sudden, making the two shut their mouths.

Taehyung, on the other hand, tries so hard not to laugh because of Jimin and Hoseok. He suddenly feels Jiyeon tugging at the hem of his shirt so he picks her up.

“Jiyeon-ah, do you want to go back upstairs now?” The little girl shakes her head. “Really? Where do you want to go? Do you want to go to your playroom?” Again, she shakes her head. “Where do you want to go, Jiyeon-ah?”

He lists down all of the places that is possible that Jiyeon wants to go to but the little girl keeps on disagreeing with him. Taehyung looks over at Jeongguk and meets his eyes, silently asking for help.

“Angel, where do you want to go? Can you write it for us?” He requests to her as he pulls out a pen from his pocket and a piece of paper from his wallet.

Jiyeon quickly grabs them from his hands and Taehyung settles her down once again on one of the stools. She doesn’t waste any time and scribbles the place that she has in mind.

Garden.

Taehyung eyes Jeongguk, confused with what Jiyeon meant. The latter simply ignores him.

“You want to go to the garden? Why? I mean, it has been a long time ever since you visited the garden,” asks Jeongguk, doubt can be heard in his voice. “What do you want to see in the garden?”

She writes down something on the paper once again and shows it to the both of them. 

Butterfry?

“Did you mean butterflies, angel?”

Jiyeon nods while beaming widely at her father. She takes one of his hands between her own small ones and places it near her chest. Her eyes are wide as she looks at Jeongguk, evident that she’s pleading for him to say yes.

Jeongguk, the weak person that he is for his daughter can’t help but to sigh and give in to his daughter’s request. Deep inside, he knows that if he is going to deny Jiyeon’s request, he’s going to regret it.

“Alright, you can go,” Jeongguk confirms. “But you have to bring two of the guards with you. I can’t risk you being in harm, alright?”

Without any protests, Jiyeon agrees with his condition. She immediately grabs Taehyung’s hand and pulls him with her towards the exit of the room, her eyes excited and it’s clear that if she can speak, she will probably have that high-pitched voice calling out to him to hurry up.

But before they can fully exit the kitchen, she looks over at Jeongguk once again and tilts her head as she motions for him to come towards her.

“Are you saying that you want me to come with you?” questions Jeongguk carefully, his voice soft. Jiyeon nods. He sighs, “I would love to but I can’t, angel. Hoseok, Jimin, and I still have important matters to talk about.”

Jiyeon’s shoulders visibly slump at that, causing for Jeongguk to frown. He approaches her and crouches down so he’s at the same level as her then he cups her head between his hands, softly caressing her cheeks.

“Don’t worry, angel. I’ll make it up to you the next time, okay? I just really have to prioritize this for now, but I promise that we’ll bond soon, okay? I promise you that we can do whatever you want.”

Flashing a small smile at him, Jiyeon only bobs her head then places a kiss on Jeongguk’s cheeks. Jeongguk lets go of her face and the little girl beams at him one last time before tugging at Taehyung’s arm once again. He lets himself be carried away by Jiyeon, his eyes still glancing back at Jeongguk who is smiling at them. And when he’s out of sight, Taehyung focuses on Jiyeon who looks happier than ever.

 

 

Just like what Jeongguk said, they are accompanied by two bodyguards on their way to the garden. Taehyung is more than surprised when two golf carts stop in front of him and Jiyeon. The little girl happily rides the other one while he hesitantly takes a seat on the other. As soon as he sat down, the cart starts and he feels the breeze of the wind blowing past him.

Too occupied with the wind, he didn’t even notice the cart stopping in front of what seems like a greenhouse. He’s left confused as he gets off the cart and he suddenly has Jiyeon by his side, holding his hand while trying to pull him into the greenhouse. Just like earlier, Taehyung complies and lets himself be dragged in by Jiyeon.

Inside the greenhouse, it seems to resemble a forest with the number of trees and plants that can be found. He can also hear different sounds of birds chirping and he can’t help but wonder how many species of birds are in this greenhouse. As Jiyeon leads him further inside, he manages to spot different kinds of flowers, starting from the roses, daisies, and even ambrosia. He is more than amazed by everything that he’s seeing right now and he can’t really help but to question why does Jeongguk have all of these in this area.

His thoughts stopped as Jiyeon finally halts from walking, only seeing that she stopped in front of what seems like to be a small hut. She knocks on the door and after a few seconds, an old lady opens the door. As soon as she sees Jiyeon, she smiles and pulls her in for a hug.

“I missed you so much, Jiyeon-ah. I can’t believe you’re here again,” She says, happiness radiating off of her voice. “Actually, I thought you already forgot about me but I’m thankful that you’re finally back.”

Unable to say anything, Jiyeon only pulls her in for another hug, a wide grin can be seen on her face.

Jiyeon points out to some direction in the greenhouse and the old lady only smiles.

“You want to see the butterflies?” She nods enthusiastically. “I figured that you would want to see them since it has been a long time. They probably miss you too. Let’s go and visit them, shall we?”

The ahjumma and Jiyeon walk to the direction that the little girl pointed to earlier hand-in-hand. Taehyung only follows them without even uttering a single word. Besides, it’s really nice to see Jiyeon being contented and happy at the same time. It just means that she feels really peaceful.

A small room that is full of butterfly cages can be seen in the part where a lot of flowers are located. Jiyeon’s face lights up as soon as she sees them and she even lets go of the ahjumma’s hand to run towards the small room. They only laugh at her as she starts looking at the butterflies with eyes full of curiosity, a sight that is really endearing to watch.

The old lady faces him, “May I know your name, young man?”

Taehyung nods as he clears his throat, surprised by the ahjumma’s sudden question. “My name is Kim Taehyung; I’m Jiyeon’s babysitter.”

“Babysitter? Guk-ah finally found a person who can take care of our little miss Jiyeon very well?”

“Yes, ma’am. And I’m delighted to be assigned to take care of Jiyeon. She’s a very intelligent kid.”

“I have always known that she’s an intelligent kid,” She sighs. “Ever since I saw her, I knew that she was going to grow up really well. I even believe that someday, she’s going to be like her father.”

“Everyone knows that she’s going to be like him someday. I think all of us can see how much Jiyeon adores him.”

“It’s really nice to know that she loves him very much. After all, she is his only reason.”

Taehyung looks at her with that, “You seem to know how important Jiyeon is for Jeongguk, ahjumma.”

“Of course, I would. I know Jeongguk very well, after all. It’s only acceptable that I know him very well.”

“What do you mean, ahjumma?”

She turns to smile at him, “I’m Jeon Baram, Jeongguk’s and Jiyeon’s grandmother.”

“His grandmother?” Taehyung asks, his voice cautious.

“Yes, young man. I’m his grandma.”

Taehyung bows, “Forgive me for being disrespectful, ma’am.”

“Oh, hush Taehyung, I don’t really care about that right now,” She smiles warmly at him. “But tell me how’s my grandson doing? It’s been awhile since the last time that I saw him. Every time I call the mansion, his servants always say that he’s busy or he’s not home.”

“He’s actually doing great, ma’am. Although he’s really busy these days since he got new foreign investors if I remembered it correctly.

She nods, “Ah, I see. The company is getting bigger every single day. I’m really proud of him. Does he get to spend time with Jiyeon, though?”

Taehyung scratches the back of his head, “Uh, I guess so?”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Well, just like what I’ve said, his hands are full these days and barely gets to spend time with Jiyeon. Although he greets her every time he sees her and always reminds her to take care of herself and obeys my instructions.”

Jaehee sighs as she takes a seat on the bench near the butterfly sanctuary, “I have always told him to treasure his time with Jiyeon because he is the only person that she can rely upon. But I guess, he didn’t take my advice well.”

It was silent for a moment. Taehyung is contemplating whether he should ask her more about this. He’s having second thoughts because he doesn’t want to overstep a line.

“Taehyung,” Baram calls for him. “If you want to know anything, just ask me. I will gladly answer you.”

The heavy feeling on his chest seems to vanish as soon as he sees her send him a reassuring smile. He hesitates for a moment then finally asks her a question.

“Are his parents still alive?” questions Taehyung quietly, his voice careful.

The glow in Baram’s eyes disappears as soon as she hears his question. She looks him in the eyes before answering.

“No.” Her answer is simple yet clear and it’s honestly making the younger feel bad. He should have known not to ask that. But she’s quick to reassure him, “Oh, no, don’t feel bad about it, Taehyung. I just really miss Changmin and Jihye. It has been years since they passed away.”

She looks away from him to watch the little girl who is still fascinated by the sight in front of her. Jiyeon lets out fits of laughter as the butterflies surround her, some of them even landing at the top of her head. Baram smiles at the sight of her grandchild then proceed to talk.

“It’s been long ever since Jeongguk’s parents passed. He’s only seven years of age when life was taken away from his parents and to say that Jeongguk was devastated is an understatement. He was such a wreck when they died. He couldn’t believe that in the blink of an eye, his parents would vanish forever.”

Taehyung blinks, perplexed about the statement that she said. He asks her, “What do you mean by that, ahjumma?”

“His parents died in front of his very eyes, Taehyung.”

Everything seems to be silent as soon as Taehyung hears that from Baram. His heart stopped beating for a short moment then it suddenly starts to pound again, rather faster than it normally would. It made him clutch on his chest and suddenly breathing seems to be a hard thing to do. He almost flinches when he feels a hand running on his back while whispering comforting words to him.

It didn’t last long and Taehyung’s fine again but that didn’t stop him from holding onto his chest. His eyes meet with Baram’s once again and the elder flashes him a comforting smile.

“Are you alright now?”

He nods, “Yes. Thank you for helping me out, ahjumma.”

“You’re welcome,” She sends him another smile. “If it’s fine with you, you can tell me what triggered your anxiety.”

He bites on his lips as he shakes his head, “Thank you for your concern but I’m afraid I can’t tell you about it. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. It’s completely fine with me that you won’t tell me about it. I understand what your reason might be.”

He heaves out a deep breath, “Again, thank you for that, ahjumma.”

“No problem, dear.” Baram smiles at him, “But remember that if you need someone to talk to, I will always be here at the greenhouse.”

Taehyung’s brows scrunch at that, “Speaking of, why are you here in the greenhouse, ahjumma? Why don’t you just live in the manor?”

She chuckles, “I’m always welcome to live in that big mansion but I’d rather stay here at the greenhouse. It makes me feel like I’m back in Daegu.”

“Back in Daegu? You’re from Daegu, too?”

“Yes, I am, but my husband is from Busan. That is where Changmin is born and so is Jeongguk.”

Taehyung nods as he takes in the new information. He knew a lot of things about his boss today, thanks to his grandmother for that.

“But is Jeongguk okay with this? Does he approve of you living here in the greenhouse instead of the manor?”

She nods, “He does. It has been a while since the last time that I saw him, though. I really hope that he would at least drop by and exchange greetings with me.”

Taehyung feels saddened by that, at the same time, it makes him furious at Jeongguk. He knows that there must be a reason as to why he doesn’t really visit Jaehee that much, but he shouldn’t simply abandon her in this place.

“Judging the expression on your face, I think you’re mentally cursing him for not paying me a visit,” She laughs. “But if it will make you feel better, he makes sure that I’m always eating and I’m not tiring myself out with the activities that I’m doing here.”

“That’s really good to know, ahjumma.”

“Aish, stop calling me that and call me Nonna. What you’ve been calling me is making me feel really old. Is that clear, Taehyung?”

“Crystal, nonna.” He giggles.

A comfortable silence takes over them as they both watch Jiyeon who still has her attention occupied by the flying butterflies around her. It’s a sight that’s endearing to watch, as she looks like she can make the insects do whatever she tells them to do. The butterflies are continuously circling around her, much to her delight. She keeps on giggling as she watches the butterflies with interest.

Jaehee suddenly speaks up, “Thank you for taking care of Jiyeon.”

He shakes his head, “There’s no need to thank me for that, nonna. It’s my duty to take care of her after all.”

“I know but still, thank you. You are actually a big help for her.”

“What do you mean?”

“You may not notice it but you’re helping Jiyeon in many ways. I’m glad that Jeongguk found you to take care of her. I have always known that the babysitters that Namjoon suggested to him are failures. But thankfully, Seokjin recommended you to him.”

Taehyung seems surprised about her statement, “Nonna, how did you know about my brother?”

She looks around before leaning onto him to whisper, “I have my own eyes and ears in the manor, you know?” She playfully winks at him that caused for the two of them to laugh.

Jaehee suddenly turns serious, “But I want to request something to you if you won’t mind.”

He smiles encouragingly at her, “I don’t mind it. What is it that do you want me to do?”

“Promise me that you will always take care of Jiyeon. She might not be able to say it out loud, but she adores you so much. You are helping her to take her mind off of the horrendous things that happened in the past. I want to make sure that someone will always look after her.”

Nodding as he tries to blink away the tears at the corner of his eyes, he says, “I promise. Besides, I don’t think that I can abandon Jiyeon that easily.”

Baram nods in approval with what he expressed. She seems to have her mind off somewhere until she looks at him once again.

“Taehyung,” She says softly. “Promise me another thing.”

He stays silent, waiting for her to go on with what she wants to say. It takes her a few more seconds before she finally speaks up.

“Promise me that you will take care of Jeongguk as well. Not because you are obliged to do so, but because you genuinely care for him.”

 

 

The sun is starting to set but Taehyung and Jiyeon decide to take their time and enjoy the scenery as they walk back to the manor. The sight is captivating and they both feel their breaths hitch. As usual, Jiyeon is holding onto Taehyung’s hands, her skips quite small but happily. He is glad about that, assured that the little girl is more than happy with how her day went today.

His mind keeps on wandering back to what Jaehee said to him. What she said was completely unexpected. He also didn’t know why she did suddenly make him vow to look out for Jeongguk too. All of it was just really confusing that it almost made his head hurt.

Looking down at the little girl who is holding his hand and is occupied with the scenery in front of her, he couldn’t help but smile. Even though he didn’t promise anyone that he would take care of Jiyeon, he already swore to himself. He’s aware of the fact that he only met her a few days ago, but there’s already a Jiyeon-shaped space in his heart. It may not be obvious but Jiyeon has her own way of crawling into people’s hearts. She is a very intelligent girl, who is also funny and cute at the same time. She’s also sweet and very caring, which makes her more endearing than she already is. Aside from that, she has her own way of making someone smile, and she’s doing it effortlessly.

In all honesty, he doesn’t know why did Seokjin tell him before that the little girl won’t interact with anyone. She’s really sweet and looks like she wouldn’t kill an ant. Although she might come off as an introvert at first, she’s actually very welcoming and warm.

Taehyung shrugs, thinking that it’s probably the past babysitters who have a problem and not Jiyeon. He thinks that they definitely didn’t try hard enough to make the little girl warm up at them. Besides, he doesn’t forget about the fact that they all probably just want to get into Jeongguk’s pants anyway. Seeing that he’s undeniably attractive and is rich and is one of the famous businessmen in Korea, a lot of people might have tried their luck and make the bachelor fall for them. And obviously, they failed.

He is too enamored with his thoughts that he didn’t notice that they were nearing the manor already. He only snaps out of his thoughts when Jiyeon tugs at the hem of his shirt and points to a direction with enthusiasm. Taehyung obliges to what Jiyeon wants when she pulled him, a signal that she needs him to walk faster. He laughs at her then walks just fast enough so that he won’t tire her that much.

As they arrive at the back entrance of the manor, Taehyung is surprised to see Jeongguk waiting for them. He picks Jiyeon up, much to her chagrin. He eventually halts in front of his boss who looks unimpressed and pissed.

“Why did it take you so long to get back here?” demands Jeongguk.

“I apologize for that but we took long to get back here because of the reason that we refused Nonna Baram’s offer to call for the bodyguards and have them bring us a ride.”

“You shouldn’t have refused that. You wouldn’t know what would have happened while you’re walking back here, Taehyung.”

“It’s just that it’s what Jiyeon wanted. She really wants to explore and take a look at the captivating scenery. Who am I to refuse her? Besides, it’s clear that she doesn’t have that many chances to go out and enjoy the sun.”

“But you should have known better. I trusted you to take care of her, not let her do whatever she wants to do.”

Something seems to snap inside of Taehyung, making him look at him, disappointment clear in his eyes. He lets out an exasperated sigh, trying to calm himself down. He bites his lips then looks at Jiyeon, who is watching their exchange.

“Jiyeon is your daughter, Sir Jeon.”

Jeongguk scoffs, “Do you think that I didn’t know that? That’s why I said that! I want her to be safe and hidden as much as possible!”

The little girl visibly winces when he raised his voice, making him worried for her. Jeongguk ignores Taehyung for a moment to look at his daughter.

“Angel, go back inside already, okay? I still have a lot of things to discuss with him. We’ll follow you when we are done talking, alright?”

She might be puzzled by whatever is happening, still, she obeys what he ordered her to do. Jiyeon didn’t leave without giving the both of them a kiss on the cheeks then she rushes to go inside, eager to go to the kitchen and eat.

As soon as she’s inside, they both looked at each other and continues where they left off.

Taehyung starts, “I’m aware of that fact but she’s your daughter. I know that it’s natural for you to be really protective and worry about her safety but that doesn’t mean that you have to take her freedom away from her.”

“If you are in my shoes right now, you would rather have her freedom taken away from her rather than her own life.”

He freezes at that, shivers suddenly run down his spine. He observes him and tries to see if he’s joking but it seems like the latter is dead serious about this.

“W-What do you mean by that, Sir?”

Jeongguk hisses and shakes his head, “Nothing. You should head back home, Taehyung. I think it would be better if you would take a few days off from babysitting Jiyeon.”

“But why? Who is going to take care of her while I’m away?”

“It’s not your problem anymore, Taehyung. Just go back inside and wait for Chanhyuk to arrive.”

Before Taehyung can let out another protest, Jeongguk turns his back on him and walks back inside the manor, causing for Taehyung to frown and leaving him confused and frustrated about what just happened.

Chapter Text

As soon as Jeongguk enters the manor, he sees Jimin, Hoseok, and Namjoon waiting for him in the living room. He takes a seat beside Namjoon who is sitting on the couch, while Jimin and Hoseok are sitting on the love seats.

“So, why did you make Taehyung leave?” asks Jimin as soon as his ass lands on the seat, his brows raised at him. “It has something to do with Jiyeon, isn’t it?”

Jeongguk groans, his hands automatically reaching his temples to massage them, “He’s meddling with how I protect my daughter, Jimin. He needs to realize his place.”

Letting out an unamused scoff, Jimin throws a pillow at him, “You’re fucking stupid, do you know that? Of course, he’s going to intrude; he’s her babysitter, for crying out loud. It just shows that he genuinely cares about Jiyeon. You should be glad.”

“But he doesn’t know the truth, Jimin,” Jeongguk reasons out. “Besides, the old woman told him something that she shouldn’t have.”

“And you’re mad at Taehyung because of it?” Jeongguk only nods. “You’re fucking crazy, Guk.”

Jeongguk is about to let out a protest when Hoseok agrees with Jimin.

“He’s right, Guk; you’re out of your mind. It was your grandmother who told him things, not the other way around.”

He holds his hands up, “Alright, alright, I was wrong about that and I’m going to apologize to him for that, but it didn’t change things that he had risked Jiyeon’s life by refusing the bodyguards.”

Namjoon cocks an eyebrow, “Shouldn’t you also blame the bodyguards for that? Didn’t you order them to always watch Jiyeon?”

“Both are at fault, Namjoon,” Hoseok remarks. “Should we report this to Yoongi-hyung? Since it’s his company that you chose to entrust with Jiyeon’s safety.”

“Yeah, Yoongi-hyung’s probably going to lecture them about this,” Jimin giggles as he turns to Jeongguk. “Or, do you want them fired?”

“I want them fired, Jimin,” Jeongguk says with finalization, and everyone nods in understanding. They know how much Jeongguk treasures his daughter. It’s just a normal sight for them to see him being overprotective of her. Although it could be really annoying sometimes because they want Jiyeon to experience a normal childhood but unfortunately, she can’t have that when she’s the daughter of the second richest man in Korea. Though not the right people know about that.

“As per Taehyung, you should apologize to him,” Hoseok suggests, wiggling his eyebrows. Namjoon rolls his eyes at him while Jimin chuckles at Hoseok’s actions.

“What’s with the eyebrows, Hoseok?” grumbles Jeongguk under his breath.

Hoseok scoffs, “Oh come on, we know that you think he’s attractive.”

“Everyone who has an eye would think he’s attractive.”

“Not that kind of attractive,” Hoseok states with a very suggestive tone. Jeongguk tilts his head to the side in confusion, making Hoseok groan out of frustration. “You know? The I-totally-want-to-bang-you kind of attractive.”

“Hoseok!” Jeongguk exclaims as Jimin rolls off to the floor while laughing hard.

“Well, Hoseok is partially right, Jeongguk,” Namjoon tells him. “Still, you should apologize to him. You sent him off without giving him an acceptable reason. The least thing that you could do is say sorry to him and ask him to be Jiyeon’s babysitter again.”

“How do I do that?” questions Jeongguk, eyes wide. Jimin, Hoseok, and Namjoon are quick to give him an are-you-fucking-kidding-me look. “For real, how do I do that?”

Everyone is silent for a moment, dumbfounded with what Jeongguk just asked. Jimin decides to break the silence.
“Wow, you really are something, Jeon Jeongguk.”

“What does that supposed to mean?”

Jimin laughs, “I mean, you can do basically everything, but you don’t know how to apologize? It’s hilarious and kind of pitiful at the same time.”

A blush appears on Jeongguk’s cheeks, which everyone considers to be a rare sight. They pull out their phone from their pockets and quickly snaps a picture of a blushing Jeongguk. The young CEO curses the three of them, only causing them to chuckle at him.

Groaning, Jeongguk asks once again, “How am I going to apologize to Taehyung? And please, give me a serious answer.”

Hoseok is about to give him an answer when a loud ring echoes throughout the entire manor, leading everyone frozen on their seats. However, Jeongguk is quick to recover when a louder sound echo throughout the manor, an alarm that Jeongguk specifically set in his daughter’s room.

Jeongguk doesn’t waste any time and runs towards the direction of Jiyeon’s room, and praying to every single god out there that they would arrive there on time.

 

 

Taehyung storms angrily inside the apartment, startling Seokjin that almost made him fall out of his seat. He sets the ramen cup and chopsticks on the table, eyeing his little brother, unamused.

“What are you so mad about? Did Sir Jeon upset you or something?” He starts to interrogate his brother who is now slouching on the couch. Frown forms on Seokjin’s lips as he studies his brother’s figure.

A sigh escapes his lips, knowing that Taehyung isn’t the type of person who gets upset easily. He’s probably one of the most understanding people in the world so it’s a mystery what got him so mad and upset at the same time.

“Hyung, what’s wrong with him? I just wanted to make Jiyeon happy but he goes and scolds me for it,” He huffs. “What does he expect me to do; stop Jiyeon from experiencing life?”

Seokjin raises an eyebrow, “Hold on a second, Tae. I get it that you’re angry about something but I need the whole context.”

“You see, Jiyeon and I went to the greenhouse today because the little girl wanted to see the butterflies and her grandmother. It’s not a problem but what happened after that is what went wrong. Jiyeon told me that she wanted to explore the premises that her father owns so I thought that there would be no problem about that. But when we arrived at the manor, Sir Jeongguk was mad at me saying that I shouldn’t risk Jiyeon’s life like that. I don’t really get it because it’s not like we went outside where other people can see Jiyeon! Why does he have to be so protective of her? I know that he loves her and doesn’t want to lose her but that doesn’t mean that he should put an invisible leash on his daughter’s neck!”

Seokjin heaves out a breath as he pats his little brother’s nape, “Taehyung-ah, he probably has reasons why he’s being that protective of his daughter. Didn’t you already know? Jiyeon is his only reason.”

“I know that but he should at least consider her feelings? He should know that she longs to go out of the premises and be outside, wanting to find out what the world is offering to her.”

“Maybe she’ll get to experience that one day, Taehyung, but it’s clear that today shouldn’t be that day.”

Taehyung just exhales a deep breath, sinking down on the couch even further. His hyung laughs as he shuffles Taehyung’s hair, the younger pouting at him. Seokjin proceeds to eat his already cold ramen while Taehyung keeps on being upset about what happened earlier.

As he starts to pick on the flowers on the vase, the doorbell rings that snaps him out from spacing out. Seokjin motions him to answer the door and he begrudgingly obeys him.

Taehyung doesn’t even have time to greet whoever it was on the door as he is suddenly tackled down by an unknown person. He was about to protest when he looks down and sees that it was Jiyeon.

“J-Jiyeon? What are you doing here?” He asks while also patting the little girl’s head. “Who brought you here?”

Namjoon enters the scene, his hair ruffled and clothes askew. Taehyung cocks an eyebrow at him but the older just mumbles, “Let’s go talk about this inside.”

The older of the two ushers Taehyung inside like it’s his own house and proceeds to close the door himself. But before fully closing the door, he peeked outside like he’s trying to see whether someone had managed to follow them or not. Once assured that everything’s good, Namjoon locks the door and goes to the living room of the Kim’s.

Arriving at the living room, Namjoon quickly notices that Jiyeon is already sitting on Taehyung’s lap, her head lying on his chest. The latter is playing with the little girl’s hair, a fond smile can be seen on his face. Namjoon takes a seat beside Seokjin who is sitting on the couch, smiling at the quiet interaction between Taehyung and Jiyeon. His attention turns to him when the latter feels that someone sat beside him.

“What brings you here with Jiyeon, Joonie? Did something happen?” interrogates Seokjin, eyeing him suspiciously.

Namjoon sighs, “I have a request to make to both of you, Jin-hyung. Can you please let Jiyeon stay here for a few days?”

“What?” Taehyung chimes in, startling Namjoon a little. “No offense, I’m not really against with what you’re saying but why? Can you give us the context of why you’re going to leave Jiyeon here with us?”

“I can’t really tell you the full context as to why I’m going to her here with you, but the manor is not really the safest place right now. Jeongguk can’t really think of any place or anyone besides you two to leave Jiyeon. He trusts you two, so please, take care of his most precious possession.”

Before Taehyung can even protest even further, Namjoon’s phone rings loudly, successfully cutting him off. Namjoon fishes his phone out of his pocket, hissing as soon as he sees the caller ID.

“Hello, Guk? Yes, yes, Jiyeon is all right so stop worrying too much about her, okay? Jin-hyung and Taehyung already agreed that they’re going to watch out for her.”

“When did we agree to this, Joon-ah?” muses Seokjin out loud. The older of the two only laughs when Namjoon calls his name with gritted teeth.

“Don’t listen to Jin-hyung, Jeongguk. He’s just being a tease. Anyway, I already received a message from Yoongi-hyung and he already signaled more of his employees to surround the manor. He also said that he’s going to meet you there, he just needed to make sure that some things are well-arranged before leaving the agency to his second-in-command. I’ll be there as soon as possible, okay?”

With that, Namjoon ends the call with Jeongguk. Namjoon suddenly stiffens when he feels Seokjin’s unwavering eyes on him, looking at him like he just committed an unacceptable crime.

“Yoongi? Are you talking about Min Yoongi, the head of Min Security, Joon-ah?”

“There are a lot of people who are named as Yoongi, hyung.”

Seokjin scoffs, “Oh, please. We both know that Sir Jeon only knows one person named Yoongi and that is him, Namjoon. Don’t try to fool me.”

“Look, hyung, just ask Jeongguk himself about this, okay? I just really need to go already or else, Jeongguk will lose his mind over thinking about things.”

Unimpressed, Seokjin purses his lips then rolls his eyes. He waves Namjoon off, “Alright, alright. Just go. But I’m expecting an explanation the next time we see each other, are we clear, Kim Namjoon?”

Namjoon salutes, “Yes, Sir.”

Flashing a small smile towards the brothers one last time, Namjoon takes his leave and sort things out.

 

 

Almost one week passed with Jiyeon staying at Seokjin and Taehyung’s place. They didn’t hear anything from Jeongguk himself, instead, his orders and reminders were brought to them by Namjoon.

Namjoon just kept on going back and forth to the manor and the Kim brothers’ place, tiring him out at the process. He doesn’t really understand why can’t Jeongguk just give Seokjin a call since he’s aware that Jeongguk still hasn’t formed any courage to talk to Taehyung again.

In his honest opinion, it’s irritating but he knows that he can’t bother him about that right now—not when his beloved daughter’s life is in danger.

Today would be the sixth day ever since he dropped off Jiyeon at the Kim brothers’ place. This time though, he will finally fetch his niece.

Yoongi signaled them that the manor is clear of any harm. More than a hundred of his personnel roamed the whole lot of the Jeon’s, searching out to see if there are any intruders. After they made sure that it’s clear, Yoongi immediately told Jeongguk that he could reunite with Jiyeon again.

Jeongguk would have been the one to pick her up from the Kim brothers’ place if it wasn’t for the urgent meeting that the board members of Jeon Electronics called. He had to leave Jiyeon in Namjoon’s hands again which saddens him a bit, though he knows that his daughter would be safe in his cousin’s hands.

Ringing the bell on Seokjin’s and Taehyung’s door, Namjoon sighs to himself. After this, he could finally get some time off for himself after a very exhausting week. He just can’t wait–

“Namjoon! Thank God you’re finally here!” Seokjin exclaims as soon as he opens the door.

More confused than ever, Namjoon just lets Seokjin drag him inside their place. He takes a look at the elder’s face, quickly noticing that he looks so frantic and seems to be in the middle of panicking. Scrunching his brows, Namjoon wonders, Just what exactly is happening here?

Seokjin pushes him down on the loveseat, while the elder takes a seat on the other one. Exasperatedly, Seokjin runs a hand through his hair, eyes wide and shaking.

“I-I couldn’t contact Taehyung right now, Joonie, and he’s w-with Jiyeon. What if something is happening to them? I don’t know what we’re going to do.”

Namjoon is shocked, but he knows that he shouldn’t panic like what the elder is doing right now. He should think of what they’re going to do, and how they’re going to find Jiyeon and Taehyung without Jeongguk knowing that they went missing at all.

Just as he is about to call for some reinforcement, the doorbell ringed loudly that echoed throughout the apartment, startling the two of them. One look at Seokjin and he figured out that he probably won’t be able to stand right now because of worrying so much.

“Taehyung! Jiyeon!” A wave of relief takes over Namjoon as soon as he opens the door. He hears some rustling sound from the living room, and in a flash, Seokjin is standing beside him with a relieved smile on his face.

Seokjin pulls Taehyung in for a hug, “I thought you already went missing, you stupid! Why didn’t you answer any of my calls, huh? You worried me so much.”

“You called?” was all that Seokjin and ' heard from Taehyung after Seokjin’s dramatics.

“What?” Seokjin looks so pissed and unimpressed now, causing Taehyung to gulp. “You didn’t know that I called you, Kim Taehyung? How the fu–” Namjoon and Taehyung sends him a warning look. “–dge did that happen?”

Taehyung holds a finger as he picks up his phone. As soon as his phone lights up, a guilty look can be seen on his face.

He scratches the back of his head as he smiles sheepishly, “Sorry, hyung. I forgot that I put my phone in silent mode.”

Seokjin and Namjoon groan loudly, making Taehyung laugh. He instantly stops when Seokjin glares at him, still not pleased with what he did.

They go inside the apartment and takes a seat on the couches. Seokjin turns his attention to Namjoon, who showed up at their doorstep without a notice.

“By the way, Joonie, what are you doing here? It’s not like we despise your presence here, but I don’t see that you brought the usual stuff for Jiyeon.”

Namjoon clears his throat, “Actually, hyung, I’m here to pick Jiyeon up to return to the manor already. All is well now and Jeongguk wants to see his daughter as soon as possible.”

“Oh,” Seokjin nods in understanding. “About that, are you finally going to tell us why did he send Jiyeon here? Don’t you think that we deserve to know since we took care of Jiyeon?”

Shaking his head, Namjoon smiles apologetically, “I’m sorry, Jin-hyung, but it’s not really my place to tell. If you want to know about it, you should ask Jeongguk himself for it.”

He lets out a dissatisfied noise, “Why does Sir Jeon have to be so secretive? I could definitely ask him about it if only my position in the company won’t be at stake.”

Namjoon only smiles then stands up. He directs his eyes at Jiyeon, warmly grinning at her, “Let’s go now, Jiyeon-ah. Your Daddy misses you so much already so let’s go and meet with him very soon! Don’t you miss him, too, baby?”

The little girl nods with enthusiasm, excitement clear on her face. But her excitement dies down as fast as it was seen on her face, making the three adults confused.

“Why, Jiyeon-ah? Is there something  wrong?”

She responds by hugging Taehyung tightly, small whimpers coming out of her mouth. The young adults’ eyes meet with each other, surprised with Jiyeon’s reaction.

Taehyung caresses the back of her head then drops a kiss on her forehead, all while smiling sadly.

“You should go with Namjoon-hyung, Jiyeon-ah,” encourages Taehyung with a small voice. “You said that you miss your daddy already, right? Going with your Uncle Namjoon means that you will see him again!”

Jiyeon shakes her head, still holding onto Taehyung tightly. If possible, the little girl tightened her hold on the latter even more, a sign that she refuses to let go.

“Jiyeon...” Taehyung protests weakly, trying to get Jiyeon off of him. But to no avail, the little girl only wails and sobs with her eyes closed.

Feeling helpless, Taehyung looks at Seokjin and Namjoon, silently asking for help. Namjoon sighs and walks towards Taehyung and Jiyeon. He starts disentangling Jiyeon from him, and it’s just breaking Namjoon’s heart. He never heard Jiyeon cry like this, not even when— nevermind.

Just after a few more seconds, he succeeds in disengaging Jiyeon from him. She tries to wiggle out of his hold, but unfortunately, Namjoon is way stronger than her.

Placing her on his shoulders, he bids goodbye to Seokjin and Taehyung without giving them one last glance.

“Goodbye, Jiyeon-ah. ‘Til next time,” Taehyung says sadly as he waves at her when he notices that she’s looking at him. He immediately diverts his attention elsewhere as soon as sees tears welling up in her eyes. Her eyes are so glassy and red, a sign that she had been crying hard.

Before Namjoon can even take a step further away from the brothers, an unfamiliar voice made him halt his tracks and clearly shook all three of them in the room.


“T-Te… Tae.”

Chapter Text

“T-Te… Tae.”

Namjoon instantly stops in his tracks, shocked by the sudden sound of a voice that he had never heard before. His heart is pounding like crazy and his grip on the little girl unconsciously tightens. He realizes what he had done when the little girl lets out a whimper, a sign that she’s hurting because of what he’s doing.

Not really knowing what to do, Namjoon decides to put Jiyeon down. He crouches down and carefully places her feet on the floor, her face lighting up in the process. Without a second thought, Jiyeon runs toward Taehyung who has his eyes wide and mouth agape in shock. Jiyeon wraps her hands around his shoulders, face nuzzling at the crook of his neck.

“T-Tae,” she says once again, though her voice is quite softer than earlier when she first spoke which is full of agony and longing. She pulls away from him then shakes her head.

When Jiyeon speaks once again, Taehyung finally shakes the shock away and looks directly into her eyes, proudness, happiness, and sadness can be seen in his own eyes at the same time.

“Jiyeon-ah,” starts Taehyung carefully, not wanting to surprise her or anything that would cause her not to speak again. “C-Can you say that again?”

Looking shyly at him, she nods as her head slowly looks down on the floor. “T-Tae-tae.”

As soon as Jiyeon says his name, Taehyung can’t help but feel emotional, happiness and relief washing through him. Even though he didn’t quite believe it the first time he heard it, probably hearing it thrice made him realize that he really heard her right. She really said his name as her first word, his heart immediately swelling with pride at the thought.

“I’m so proud of you, Jiyeon-ah,” He smiles at her. “But please don’t cry anymore, okay? I’ll come with you. I think Namjoon-hyung wouldn’t mind.”

Namjoon looked hesitant for a moment until his gaze lands on Jiyeon. He lets out an exasperated breath then nods, “Alright, you can come. But please help me explain things to Jeongguk, okay? I don’t think that I would be able to handle him alone right now.”

Jiyeon’s and Taehyung’s face lights up because of the statement. She wraps her arms around Taehyung’s neck again and the latter picks him up then strides towards Namjoon. Before they can fully leave, Taehyung looks back at his hyung again then waves him a goodbye.

“Just take care of yourself, okay?” Seokjin smiles at him. “Don’t hesitate to call me if something came up.”

Taehyung smiles at his hyung once again then finally leaves the apartment with Jiyeon and Namjoon.

 

 

Jeongguk’s eyebrows scrunch together as his eyes scan the papers that one of the security team’s personnel handed him, scowl evident on his face. He bites the inside of his cheeks, trying not to let out a groan of disappointment come out off of his mouth. But it was useless when he hears a growl eliciting from his own lips as soon as his eyes set on the last page of the papers.

He was about to throw the papers because of his dissatisfaction when he hears the knocks on his office door.

“Guk, it’s me,” introduces someone from behind the door. Jeongguk didn’t have any second thoughts and quickly pushed the button to open the door. It shows him the person that he wanted to talk the most regarding about this situation since he’s the one he left in charge for his daughter’s safety.

“Yoongi-hyung,” Jeongguk nods at him in acknowledgment. “You’re just right in time. I wanted to talk to you in relation to these reports that one of your workers handed me.”

“Oh, I actually came here to talk to you about the same thing,” Yoongi states as he tries to fight off a yawn but incredibly fails to do so. Jeongguk can’t help but notice that he seems to be more tired than the last time that he had seen him and that was just less than twenty-four hours ago. “Pardon me if I would be kind of off today since I stayed up all night to look into the security cameras that the guard house gave me. I didn’t really notice anything suspicious in the first few hours of the clips until the eighteenth up to the twentieth hour of that day.”

“What happened? What did you see?” interrogates Jeongguk rather eagerly. His hands are clutching tight onto the papers and his desk, his body high in anticipation.

Yoongi takes a seat on the chair in front of Jeongguk’s table, “There were some suspicious activities that happened in the west wing of the manor that time. We managed to see a few people sneaking inside the manor―how did they get in, we have yet to find out about it. We need to orchestrate another investigation on the grounds of the manor including that greenhouse about 200 meters away from here. I would say it’s some kind of an inside job and one or maybe even two or more of the culprits are part of your employees right now but we’re still not sure about that. We need to conduct further background checks on all of your employees and my employees that I sent here to see if anyone would fit the descriptions that we have. We might be able to narrow it down into a few suspects but to be able to do that, we need to gather more clips from every single security camera that you installed in this place, Jeongguk.”

“Hyung, you know about the secret cameras that I made Namjoon, Hoseok, and Jimin install around here?” Jeongguk narrows his eyes at him then the realization hits him. “Ah, of course; Jimin doesn’t really know how to keep a secret from you.”

“It’s the key to our healthy and long-lasting relationship―never keep secrets from each other,” Yoongi smirks at him. “Anyway, enough about Jimin and I. How about Jiyeon? When is she coming home? What are you going to tell her if she would ask you why?”

“Namjoon left about an hour ago to get her from Seokjin’s and Taehyung’s place,” Jeongguk exhales deeply. “As per her questions about this, I’ll tell her the usual: I went out of the country so you had to stay with them. At least something along those lines.”

Yoongi scoffs, “Do you really think your daughter would buy that? She’s a smart girl; she won’t be easily get fooled by half-assed reasonings like that. At least tell her half of the truth. In that way, she won’t be suspicious at all.”

Jeongguk massages his own temples, “I’ll think about that later, hyung. Besides, I don’t think Jiyeon would instantly ask me about that.”

“Since we’re already talking about Jiyeon, I found a speech doctor,” Yoongi eyes Jeongguk cautiously. “Well, it’s not actually me who found him but Hoseok. He said the person was his sister’s new suitor and told me that if he’s going to help him, the guy might be able to make his sister say yes.”

He snorts, “Only Hoseok would negotiate like that.” Jeongguk smiles apologetically, “Thank you and Hoseok for your efforts to help Jiyeon, hyung, but I don’t think we need any of that at the moment. She hasn’t shown any signs of being able to talk and sending her to a speech doctor might only make it worse. I don’t really want to pressure her.”

“I guess you’re right. But if you ever changed your mind, don’t hesitate to give either me or Hoseok a call, alright?”

Jeongguk nods, “I will, hyung. Thank you for your support.”

Yoongi stands up from his seat, straightening out the nonexistent creases on his pants. He looks at the younger again, “I’ll go now, Guk. I still have a meeting with Jimin regarding their family’s company. I’ll call you later once I check the CCTVs that you secretly installed.”

“I’ll wait for it, hyung.”

The elder waves at him then exit his office. As soon as Yoongi is out of Jeongguk’s sight, his shoulders almost automatically slumped down. An exasperated sigh escapes from his lips, an undeniable evidence that he’s exhausted. But he doesn’t mind it one bit. Everything that he’s doing right now is for the safety of his daughter. Jeongguk would give zero fucks if the culprits will target his riches instead but they have to target his own daughter whom he thinks of as the most precious thing he’ll ever have. There’s no amount of penny that could be equal to his daughter’s life. He would do anything just keep her away from harm.

He was out of his reverie when he hears knocks on his door and the voice that he has been waiting for can be heard from the other side. Jeongguk didn’t waste any time and opened the door as soon as possible, only to be welcomed by Namjoon’s lone stature.

“Namjoon,” Jeongguk greets. “Where is my daughter?”

Namjoon sighs, “Before you could freak out on me, please listen to me very carefully.”

Jeongguk squints his eyes at him, “Tell me where Jiyeon is first. I need to know if my daughter is safe and sound.”

Groaning tiredly, he answers, “Jiyeon is at the library with Taehyung.”

“With whom?”

“You heard me, Jeongguk.”

“Why is she with him? What is he even doing here in the first place? His duties concerning Jiyeon ended as soon as my daughter stepped out of his place.”

“That’s why I told you to listen to me first before you get mad at me, okay?” Namjoon breathes out. “You already know that in the past week, you sent Jiyeon to be taken care of by Taehyung. Those two, they really had a strong bond after being with each other so much for the past few days. Since you needed Jin-hyung here with you, he had to leave those two alone.”

Jeongguk is about to have a violent reaction but Namjoon sends him a warning look. “I advised you not to send bodyguards with them, right? And thankfully, you chose to listen to me even though it is a bit reluctantly. Since Seokjin went to the company to handle things, Taehyung has no one to leave Jiyeon with. That caused him to be absent for those days just to watch your daughter.”

“He didn’t attend the university because of his responsibilities regarding my daughter?”

“Exactly. That’s why you should be grateful to him that he genuinely cares about Jiyeon and even went to the extent that he kind of abandoned his future for almost one week just to be sure that your daughter is safe although he doesn’t exactly know that there are people who are after her life.”

Suddenly feeling ashamed, Jeongguk washes his hands over his face. He could feel Namjoon’s gaze on him but he doesn’t really care about that right now. Knowing that Taehyung went missing in action on their university just to take care of Jiyeon says a lot. He gets what Jimin was trying to tell him that time now.

“I guess, I’ll just send him a bonus for taking care of her?” He says with his voice muffled because of his hands.

Namjoon shakes his head disapprovingly, “That’s now how it works, Guk.”

“What do you mean?”

“Something happened today and it has something to do with Jiyeon and Taehyung.”

Jeongguk’s head perks up at that, eyes boring through Namjoon’s skull. Namjoon quickly notices it and slaps the back of his head.

“Nothing bad happened, okay? I think that you would actually like this news.”

“That better please me or else-”

Namjoon waves his hands at him, “I know, I know. But listen, when I arrived at their apartment, it was only Jin-hyung that I saw there. It turned out that Taehyung and Jiyeon went outside because they got bored.”

“He took my daughter out?” Jeongguk grits his teeth. “How is that supposed to make me feel happy, Namjoon?”

“My story is not finished yet so can you calm your ass down? This is what I don’t like about you. You keep on interrupting people who aren’t done talking yet.”

Jeongguk just rolls his eyes at him. Namjoon takes that as his signal to continue talking, watching his cousin slump down on his chair.

“So the details are unimportant after that because they got home safe anyway. But when I was about to tell her that we should leave, she clung onto Taehyung like her life depended on it. She cried, Guk. She didn’t want to leave unless Taehyung comes with us,” Namjoon sighs as the scene plays on his mind. His heart clenched. “That time, I was starting to consider bringing Taehyung with us so that she would come back home in her own will but I know how much you’re going to talk my ears off if you’re going to find out about it. So I did what I have to do—carried her on my shoulders. But when I was about to go, she-”

“What, Namjoon?”

“Jiyeon talked, Guk. She fucking talked.”

Namjoon gazes at Jeongguk, trying to gauge for his reaction. Jeongguk’s face is blank of expressions until a few seconds later. With his hands slamming down hard on the table that made him wince slightly, Jeongguk’s eyes are wide and he’s breathing heavily.

“Tell me that this isn’t a joke, Namjoon,” He orders breathily, eyes pleading to his cousin. Namjoon only smiles at him genuinely and it’s all that Jeongguk needs to rush outside of his office without glancing back at him.

He can’t seem to think steadily as the only thing that is on his mind right now is to get to the library, where he believes Taehyung and Jiyeon can be found. Jeongguk can hear his heart hammering in his chest and he tries to calm it down even just a little bit. He momentarily succeeds in doing it but as soon as he sees the door leading to the library, all of his efforts went useless.

Slamming the doors open, Jeongguk calms down as soon as his eyes land on the sleeping figures of Jiyeon and Taehyung on the couch inside the library. Jeongguk feels his being melt at the sight, all of the adrenaline inside him disappearing. He walks towards the two as silent as possible so that he won’t wake them up. It seemed that the two were tired if he’s going to judge the look on their faces.

Deciding not to interrupt their well-deserved rest, Jeongguk turns the lights off in the library and makes his way out. He reckons that tomorrow would be enough for Taehyung to explain everything to him.

Chapter Text

As soon as Taehyung’s consciousness is back, he expected his thighs numbing because of the weight of Jiyeon’s head resting on it all night. Instead, he felt that he’s lying on a very comfortable bed and there’s no sign of Jiyeon being beside him at all. His body shots up in panic only to realize that he’s still on the manor, judging the fact that everything in the room is too expensive-looking.

Heaving out a relieved breath, he figures that Jiyeon is probably in her own room right now. Now thinking that, he remembers they both fell asleep in the library last night. So how in the world did he even get in this room?

Before he can even get out of the bed, the door suddenly opens, revealing an exhausted Jeongguk who is carrying a tray of food. Taehyung doesn’t say a word and only watches his former(?) boss set the tray that he’s carrying on the bedside table.

When Jeongguk takes a seat on the bed, that’s when he only notices that Taehyung is already wide awake. He quickly gets up from the bed and picks the tray up again, handing it to the younger rather a bit harshly.

“Judging by your actions, you’re still mad at me,” starts Taehyung as he stares at the tray on his lap. He picks the cup of what seems to be looking and smelling like hot chocolate. When the taste got on Taehyung’s tongue, he coughed a little bit louder than how it should normally sound, causing Jeongguk to look at him with some expression that Taehyung can’t identify. He waves him off, “Don’t mind me; I just don’t really like coffee.”

“You don’t like coffee?” Jeongguk scoffs. “What kind of a person who doesn’t like coffee? That’s fucking weird.”

Taehyung felt offended by that so he calls him out, “Excuse you, Sir Jeon, but some people can’t really stand bitter things. If only you put at least three teaspoons of sugar in it, I could have taken it and tried to deal with it.”

“It already has a creamer; what else do you need?”

“A creamer isn’t enough to get its bitter taste away from it, Sir,” Taehyung rolls his eyes. “Besides, chocolates are much better than coffee.”

“This is ridiculous. Chocolates are too sweet. Is that the reason why you’re too hyperactive?”

“You have an odd taste in food. You won’t last a day in our house if you’re like that.”

“And who says that I ever want to go to your house?” Jeongguk raises an eyebrow.

Taehyung stares at him with a blush of embarrassment apparent on his cheeks, causing him to turn his head away from him. He starts to munch on the bacon and eggs on his plate, trying to take his mind away from the awkwardness.

Just as Taehyung is about to try enduring the hell cup aka the cup of coffee, Jeongguk speaks up.

“Thank you for taking care of my daughter, Taehyung,” Jeongguk begins. “From the past few days that Jiyeon had been with you, Namjoon only told me if she’s still alive and breathing. With that, I’m already contented because even if I won’t ask him what happened with Jiyeon that day, she was genuinely happy.

“I got mad at you that day because I was so worried about her. I only wanted to protect her from anyone that I know that can potentially harm her. She’s the only one that I have right now and I would do anything to keep her safe, even if it means that I have to restrict her freedom.”

Sighing deeply, Taehyung looks at him in the eyes, “I won’t change my opinion about that, Sir Jeon. I still want Jiyeon to have her freedom.” He trails off for a moment then smiles, “Seeing her being so happy when we went out, it was the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen in my life. The awe on her face while seeing vehicles that she had never seen before, the smile she had looking at the tall buildings in the city—those were moments that I wished that I was able to capture with a camera. She looked so alive being able to experience what life is and I wish that I have the power to let her do whatever she wants to do with her life.”

Jeongguk bites on his lips as he contemplates, “I want her to have that, too, but I can’t simply let that happen when I know that her life’s in danger, Taehyung.”

“What do you mean that her life’s in danger?” inquires Taehyung. “Namjoon-hyung told us when he dropped Jiyeon off at our apartment that the manor isn’t the safest place that time. He resisted to tell us because he said it wasn’t his place to tell. What was it about?”

“You don’t have to know about it, Taehyung,” Jeongguk exhales exasperatedly, hands combing his hair.

That’s when Taehyung notices that something is wrong with him. He observes his face and sees that the bags under his eyes are more prominent and he was rather looking paler than he’s supposed to be. Jeongguk can’t also stop the small sighs leaving his mouth and his nose scrunches as he stops the snot coming out of his nose. He also noticed that Jeongguk seems to be more irritable than before. Taehyung thinks for a moment.

“When was the last time that you got a proper rest, Sir Jeon?” Taehyung questions, eyes squinting suspiciously at him.

“Why do you want to know? It’s none of your business,” Jeongguk snaps and Taehyung almost slapped him at the back of his head but he refrained himself from doing so since he’s still(?) his boss after all.

“Please just answer me truthfully, Sir, and I will tell you why,” Taehyung offers.

Jeongguk rolls his eyes then thinks, “I don’t really know. Can I know now why you’re asking me?”

Taehyung purses his lips as he looks at Jeongguk’s stature, “What kind of answer do you want? A brutally honest one or a soft, honest one?”

“I think I prefer the former,” answers Jeongguk.

Shrugging, Taehyung grins a little bit wickedly, “Well, Sir Jeon, in a brutally honest answer, you look like shit right now.”

Jeongguk chokes on his own saliva as soon as he hears Taehyung’s answer. He looks at Taehyung with wide eyes, “Excuse me? I look like what?”

“You look like shit, Sir Jeon.”

“That’s a lie. I never looked like shit.”

Taehyung snorts, “Oh really? What explains your current state right now? Sunshine and rainbows?”

When Jeongguk is about to call out Taehyung for his rather mean words to him, he coughs loudly, making the latter look amused and his face is literally mocking him and saying, “I was fucking right.”

“You should take a rest; you’re sick,” Taehyung finally says.

Jeongguk shakes his head, “No, no. I still have a lot of paperwork to do and I still have to meet up with Yoongi-hyung later. I can’t take a rest right now.”

Breathing out a tired sigh, Taehyung eyes him, unamused. “Please take a rest, Sir Jeon. It would be good for your health and your body. I don’t think that Jiyeon would appreciate it if you would get sick.”

“I already know that,” Jeongguk grits his teeth. “But don’t tell me what should I do with my own body. I still can do it and I know when I’m going to pass out or something.”

“Wow, Namjoon-hyung told me that you can be quite stubborn but I didn’t expect it to be this bad,” Taehyung grumbles which Jeongguk heard, causing the latter’s eyebrows to quirk.

“Namjoon told you some things?”

Taehyung shrugs, “Yeah, well, he told me while we were on our way here that he’s kinda regretting that he brought me, too, because he knows that you’re quite stubborn and won’t listen to whatever he would say.” Taehyung licks his lips, “I guess, he still managed to explain things to you because you won’t be talking to me if that wasn’t the case.”

Jeongguk clicks his tongue in dismay, “Namjoon’s so talkative that he’s starting to be like that old lady.”

“That old lady? You mean Nonna Baram?”

Jeongguk looks quite taken aback at what he said, basing on the fact that he choked a little, “What? What did you just call her?”

“Nonna Baram,” answers Taehyung with an innocent yet confused look in his eyes. He got even more confused when Jeongguk’s face becomes empty then it suddenly turns annoyed. “What’s wrong with you? Why are you reacting to her like that? Nonna Baram is actually nice; I liked her.”

“You probably wouldn’t if you’d know what she did to my daughter,” growls Jeongguk under his breath which went unheard by Taehyung, though the younger noticed that he said something but decided to ignore it instead.

“I don’t really know why you suddenly acted weird but please take it into your consideration when I told you to get some rest,” Taehyung almost pleads by the look in his eyes.

Jeongguk nods, “Yeah, I will. After I finish the paper works and that meeting with Yoongi-hyung.”

Before Taehyung can even protest furtherly, Jeongguk is swift to leave the room without a single glance at him.

Taehyung sets the tray aside, already not in the mood to eat anything. He breathes heavily then lies down again, figuring that it probably won’t hurt if he’s going not going to the university today.

 

 

Yoongi strolls casually in the Jeon’s Manor, a manila envelope heavy on his hands. He feels tired more than he ever did, but he brushes it off since it’s for the safety of his goddaughter. Yoongi genuinely loves and cares for the little girl, seeing that she’s literally the embodiment of sunshine and rainbows and everything that’s good in this world, beating out Hoseok and Jimin for that title.

Entering the meeting room located in the manor, Yoongi isn’t surprised to see that Jeongguk already arrived. His eyes are scanning some papers on the transparent folder, a frown adorning his lips. The others are yet to arrive, the others being Namjoon, Hoseok, and Jimin.

As he’s getting nearer Jeongguk, the older can’t help but notice the bags under his eyes. When Yoongi met him yesterday, he was sure that it wasn’t there. It made him wonder what the hell happened in the past hours that they didn’t see each other that caused Jeongguk to be in that horrible state.

Taking a seat on one of the chairs, Yoongi throws the envelope on the table, causing the younger to finally take note of his presence.

“I didn’t notice that you’re already here, Yoongi-hyung,” Jeongguk greets as he closes the folder. “Do you know when are they going to arrive? I still have a lot of things to do after this.”

Yoongi shrugs, “You said that the meeting would be held at 15:00; it’s only two minutes pass 14:30, Guk.”

Jeongguk exhales, “I guess I should’ve made them come here at 14:30, but we can’t really change that now, can we?”

“Well, yeah,” Yoongi agrees. “Actually, I think that it’s the perfect time for me to discuss some things with you since it’s only the two of us right now.”

All of Jeongguk’s attention suddenly focuses on Yoongi, making the latter squirm on his seat slightly. He props one of his hands on the table while the other pushes the manila envelope towards Jeongguk.

The younger doesn’t waste any time and instantly opens the envelope, a thick pile of papers and a flash drive welcoming him. Jeongguk pulls the flash drive out of the envelope then places it on the top of the table. He grabs the papers next and is in horror as soon as he sees its content.

Jeongguk feels rage and disbelief rising through his body, his teeth gritted and hands are starting to crumble the sides of the paper. He slams the papers down on the table then gets out of his seat. He starts pacing around the room with his fists clenched together, mind full of raging thoughts about what he just read.

“Guk, I think you need to calm down,” sighs Yoongi as he stands up to grab the papers from the opposite side of the table. “Nothing is confirmed yet so can you please sit down and think about things rationally ?”

“Hyung, how can you even tell me such thing?” Jeongguk scoffs. “ That woman was the reason why Jiyeon’s life was put in danger!”

Yoongi breathes, “Like I said, nothing is confirmed yet, Jeongguk. So can you please calm the fuck down?” Sending Jeongguk a look that sent chills down the younger’s spine, he sits down, defeated.

Jeongguk bites on his lips then steady his hands on the table, “Then you have to tell me why was she included on that list in the first place? You must have seen something that made her end up on that list.”

“You’ll get your answer on the flash drive, Guk,” replies Yoongi. He looks at Jeongguk, eyes suspicious. “What got you so mad about her being on that anyway? You aren’t telling me everything you know, are you?”

“We can’t talk about it right now, hyung.”

“Why not? I’m the head of this investigation—I’m the one who gave you the guards that you have around this place. What you aren’t telling me could help us a lot in this, Jeongguk.”

Min Yoongi is the head of the most trusted security agency in the whole Korea. His men are well-known as formidable guards, being trained in all-kinds of martial arts and handling different types of weapons. He may not be in the police, but he’s the one who is acting the officer-in-charge for Jiyeon’s case since Jeongguk refuses to let anyone deal with it except a person whom he trusts. Yoongi got a permission from the police and the government to lead the case, knowing that he’s educated about these kinds of things, being a graduate of Korean National Police University.

Jeongguk is about to answer him but the door opens rather forcefully, revealing Namjoon, Jimin, and Hoseok.

“We’re here, bitches!” Jimin yells as he strides toward his boyfriend, dropping a kiss on Yoongi’s lips as he takes a seat on his lap.

“You’re late,” Jeongguk chides. “And there are so many seats in here yet you chose to take a seat on Yoongi-hyung’s lap. That’s gross, Jimin.”

“We’re not late, dumbass. There’s still four minutes before three. Don’t you know how to count?” Jimin rolls his eyes. “Besides, it’s just the five of us here; I can do whatever I want with Yoongi-hyung. Right, squishy?”

Clenching his jaws, Jeongguk stops himself to say something that could potentially hurt Jimin’s feelings. He shouldn’t lash out at anyone just because he’s drained.

On the other hand, Yoongi pushes Jimin off of him then mouths later to his boyfriend as soon as he sees the disappointed look on his face. Yoongi grasps on the flash drive that Jeongguk set aside earlier then plugs it on the laptop.

After a few clicks, Yoongi plays a video. It doesn’t have any sound, seeing that it came from a CCTV camera. But it’s more than clear to everyone, most especially Jeongguk, what was happening in the video.

In the video, Baram and a group of guys can be seen. It was a shot from the CCTV ensembled near the greenhouse. The group of guys came from a delivery truck of what seemed to be pots of flowers; lots of pots of flowers to be exact. After placing the pots inside the greenhouse, the group of guys didn’t leave like they were supposed to do. Instead, they stayed for a few minutes and asked her questions which she answered gladly. Jeongguk doesn’t need any audio to know what they’re talking about. He already has an idea what they could possibly be talking about since the faces of the guys in the video told him everything that he has to know.

They were the same guys who tried to attack his daughter—the same guys who tried to kill Jiyeon. Jeongguk doesn’t know whether to be glad or to get angry about the fact that those bastards still stayed in the manor as gardeners. They probably thought that he didn’t see their faces. Unluckily for them, he did and he made sure that he would never forget about it.

He didn’t bother finishing the video and abruptly stands up, face so serious that scared Jimin and Hoseok for a moment. Looking in their eyes one by one, Jeongguk gives orders.

“Namjoon, give the flash drive and the files to the police and demand them to file a warrant of arrest immediately. Hoseok, make sure that no one will know about this. Warn the guards on the gates not to let anyone leave unless they got an order from me. Tell them that if anyone tries to leave insistently, don’t hesitate to give them a blow. Jimin, go to Jiyeon’s room and check up on her. Make sure that she won’t leave her room until everything is settled. Entertain her as much as you can. And Yoongi-hyung, you’re coming with me. We’re going to the greenhouse and talk to that woman.”

The others didn’t have a chance to say the word as Jeongguk is already out of the room in a flash. They quickly follow him out of the room and did whatever Jeongguk commanded them to do.

Downstairs, one Kim Taehyung could be found. He’s looking at the paintings arranged on the walls like they were in some art gallery. He can’t help but to be fascinated and wonder if they were the original works. The atmosphere was so calm and peaceful;  not a single noise could be heard from anywhere in the manor. However, the serenity didn’t last long as there were sudden heavy footsteps coming from the stairs. He peeks to see who was it, only to find a very serious looking Jeongguk with some guy that Taehyung didn’t know.

“I can’t believe that I still chose to trust that hag after what she had done years ago. I shouldn’t have listened to Jimin’s and Hoseok’s advice, about how giving people a second chance. If I didn’t listen to them, I won’t be worrying about Jiyeon’s life being in danger constantly.”

“Come on, Guk. It already happened; past is past. We just have to make sure that this time, Baram-ssi will be sent to jail.”

“Baram? What do you mean you’ll send Nonna Baram to jail?” Taehyung intrudes, catching Jeongguk and Yoongi off-guard. “Sir Jeon, what did she do? Was this what you were talking about earlier?”

Jeongguk exhales deeply, “Now’s not the time to explain things to you, Taehyung.”

“I just want to know why you’re sending her to jail, Sir Jeon! She was a very nice and welcoming person to me. I can’t fathom any reason why she would be sent to a place like that.”

Gritting his teeth, Jeongguk shoots a warning look at him, “Like I said, now’s not the time .”

“If you won’t really tell me, then I’m not letting you do that to her.”

“What could you possibly mean, Taehyung?”

Already moving, Taehyung answers, “I’ll tell her to escape and hide because you’re about to do something to her, and I won’t allow that, Sir Jeon .”

A growl escapes Jeongguk’s lips before running towards Taehyung, immediately grabbing his arm once he was within his reach. “You can’t do that, Taehyung.”

“Then why? Why are you going to imprison her, huh? What could she have possibly done for you to be this angry at her? Or are you doing this for no reason?”

Jeongguk grips Taehyung’s arms tightly, he’s sure that it would leave some mark. The younger squirm under his intense gaze and gritted teeth. “Fine, you really want to know why? You really want to know why we’re going to send her to jail so that she’ll rot there?”

Too shocked to open his mouth, Taehyung only nods at him. “She was the reason why Eunjin died, Taehyung! She was also the reason why Jiyeon is under the state she’s in right now and that her life is in danger. Now, tell me; is that enough reason to send her in that rotten place?”

Taehyung isn’t even able to answer Jeongguk’s question as the latter leaves him there, Yoongi hot on his trail. He can’t do anything but watch Jeongguk’s back getting farther away from him with his mind full of countless unanswered questions.

Chapter Text

Hello, this is masterminds.

It's been 10 months since I last updated this because of how busy I've been with school works. After finally having enough time for this, I have decided to come back. I also made a decision to revise this work as I've realized that there were so many plot holes and inconsistencies all throughout the chapters. The already published chapters won't be taken down, but instead, they're going to be edited. There were some scenes that may or may not disappear if I decided that they are necessary nor unnecessary for the fic. Revising this should take a month or two since I still have to work around my schedule for university, but I promise to post new chapters for the fic after the revising ends.

I hope you'll understand the decision I made. Thank you. ♡

 

Chapter Text

Hi.

So I've been editing this fic on my documents for the past few months. Some things about the fic have completely changed and I've been thinking since a few weeks ago of reposting this whole thing instead of simply editing it.

However, I haven't decided whether I should be posting it as a completely different story (but almost have the same plot and maybe, the title, too, I don't know yet) or I should just delete the chapters that I already posted and post new chapters. I just wasn't satisfied with how this one turned out although I know that a handful of this fic's readers loved the idea and its plot.

I'm in torn because of this fic for the past few weeks so please let me know what you think.

Thank you.